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Sample records for free-living atlantic walruses

  1. Neutralizing antibodies to phocine distemper virus in Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Arctic Canada.

    PubMed

    Duignan, P J; Saliki, J T; St Aubin, D J; House, J A; Geraci, J R

    1994-01-01

    The first evidence of phocine distemper virus (PDV) infection in Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Nottingham Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, is reported. Blood samples were collected from three male walruses killed by Inuit hunters in the fall of 1990. Differential virus neutralization test for each animal yielded higher titers against PDV than against other members of the Morbillivirus genus including canine distemper, peste des petits ruminants, rinderpest and measles viruses. Thus, PDV infection may be enzootic in walruses of the eastern Canadian Arctic.

  2. A morbillivirus antibody survey of Atlantic walrus, narwhal and beluga in Canada.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, O; Stewart, R E; Measures, L; Duignan, P; House, C

    2000-07-01

    A longitudinal serologic survey was conducted for morbillivirus antibodies in Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), narwhal (Monodon monoceros), and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the St. Lawrence estuary (Canada). Sixty-five of 131 (50%) walruses sampled between 1984 and 1993 had detectable morbillivirus neutralizing antibodies. Positive walrus were identified from four of five Arctic sampling sites, to as far back as 1984. Prevalence of morbillivirus neutralizing antibodies in walruses from Foxe Basin ranged from a high of 76% (n = 21) in 1993 to a low of 22% (n = 28) in 1984. Limitations in sample acquisition may have produced underestimates for the 1984 data. There are no reports of clinical morbillivirus infection in walruses. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that a morbillivirus similar or identical to phocine distemper virus (PDV) has circulated among walrus populations of the eastern Canadian Arctic, at least since the early 1980s. No narwhal (n = 79) or beluga (n = 445) from Arctic waters were identified as having antibodies to dolphin morbilivirus (DMV) above the threshold serum dilution of log2 4. Also, none of the beach-cast cetacean carcasses (n = 28) from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence estuary were positive for antibodies to DMV. This indicates that Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence estuary, and Arctic cetaceans either have not been exposed to DMV or an antigenically related morbillivirus, or are not susceptible to infection.

  3. A morbillivirus antibody survey of Atlantic walrus, narwhal and beluga in Canada.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, O; Stewart, R E; Measures, L; Duignan, P; House, C

    2000-07-01

    A longitudinal serologic survey was conducted for morbillivirus antibodies in Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), narwhal (Monodon monoceros), and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the St. Lawrence estuary (Canada). Sixty-five of 131 (50%) walruses sampled between 1984 and 1993 had detectable morbillivirus neutralizing antibodies. Positive walrus were identified from four of five Arctic sampling sites, to as far back as 1984. Prevalence of morbillivirus neutralizing antibodies in walruses from Foxe Basin ranged from a high of 76% (n = 21) in 1993 to a low of 22% (n = 28) in 1984. Limitations in sample acquisition may have produced underestimates for the 1984 data. There are no reports of clinical morbillivirus infection in walruses. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that a morbillivirus similar or identical to phocine distemper virus (PDV) has circulated among walrus populations of the eastern Canadian Arctic, at least since the early 1980s. No narwhal (n = 79) or beluga (n = 445) from Arctic waters were identified as having antibodies to dolphin morbilivirus (DMV) above the threshold serum dilution of log2 4. Also, none of the beach-cast cetacean carcasses (n = 28) from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence estuary were positive for antibodies to DMV. This indicates that Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence estuary, and Arctic cetaceans either have not been exposed to DMV or an antigenically related morbillivirus, or are not susceptible to infection. PMID:10941737

  4. Population structure and gene flow of the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in the eastern Atlantic Arctic based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite variation.

    PubMed

    Andersen, L W; Born, E W; Gjertz, I; Wiig, O; Holm, L E; Bendixen, C

    1998-10-01

    The population structure of the Atlantic walrus, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, was studied using 11 polymorphic microsatellites and restriction fragment length polymorphism detected in the NADH-dehydrogenase ND1, ND2 and ND3/4 segments in mtDNA. A total of 105 walrus samples were analysed from northwest (NW) Greenland, east (E) Greenland, Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land. Two of the 10 haplotypes detected in the four samples were diagnostic for the NW Greenland sample, which implied that the group of walruses in this area is evolutionary distinct from walruses in the other three areas. One individual sampled in E Greenland exhibited a Pacific haplotype, which proved a connection between the Pacific walrus and walruses in eastern Greenland. The Franz Joseph Land, Svalbard and E Greenland samples shared the most common haplotype, indicating very little differentiation at the mtDNA level. Gene flow (Nm) estimates among the four areas indicated a very restricted exchange of female genes between NW Greenland and the more eastern Atlantic Arctic samples, and a closer relationship between the three samples composing the eastern Atlantic Arctic. The genetic variation at 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci grouped individuals into three populations, NW Greenland, E Greenland and a common Franz Joseph Land-Svalbard population, which were connected by moderate gene flow.

  5. Population structure and gene flow of the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in the eastern Atlantic Arctic based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite variation.

    PubMed

    Andersen, L W; Born, E W; Gjertz, I; Wiig, O; Holm, L E; Bendixen, C

    1998-10-01

    The population structure of the Atlantic walrus, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, was studied using 11 polymorphic microsatellites and restriction fragment length polymorphism detected in the NADH-dehydrogenase ND1, ND2 and ND3/4 segments in mtDNA. A total of 105 walrus samples were analysed from northwest (NW) Greenland, east (E) Greenland, Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land. Two of the 10 haplotypes detected in the four samples were diagnostic for the NW Greenland sample, which implied that the group of walruses in this area is evolutionary distinct from walruses in the other three areas. One individual sampled in E Greenland exhibited a Pacific haplotype, which proved a connection between the Pacific walrus and walruses in eastern Greenland. The Franz Joseph Land, Svalbard and E Greenland samples shared the most common haplotype, indicating very little differentiation at the mtDNA level. Gene flow (Nm) estimates among the four areas indicated a very restricted exchange of female genes between NW Greenland and the more eastern Atlantic Arctic samples, and a closer relationship between the three samples composing the eastern Atlantic Arctic. The genetic variation at 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci grouped individuals into three populations, NW Greenland, E Greenland and a common Franz Joseph Land-Svalbard population, which were connected by moderate gene flow. PMID:9787444

  6. Occurrence of Prosthenorchis elegans in Free-living Primates from the Atlantic Forest of Southern Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Catenacci, Lilian S; Colosio, Adriana C; Oliveira, Leonardo C; De Vleeschouwer, Kristel M; Munhoz, Alexandre D; Deem, Sharon L; Pinto, Jaqueline M S

    2016-04-28

    Parasite prevalence and abundance are important factors affecting species' conservation. During necropsies on a free-living golden-headed lion tamarin ( Leontopithecus chrysomelas ) and two Wied's marmosets ( Callithrix kuhlii ) in the Atlantic Forest of southern Bahia, Brazil, we collected a large number of adult intestinal parasites that we identified as Prosthenorchis elegans. This parasite is pathogenic for neotropical primates. Prosthenorchis spp. infestation is influenced by diet with increased risk of exposure from ingesting invertebrate intermediate hosts. The biological similarities and sympatric nature of these two nonhuman primates support that they may harbor similar infectious and parasitic agents. PMID:26981688

  7. Co-occurrence Analysis of Microbial Taxa in the Atlantic Ocean Reveals High Connectivity in the Free-Living Bacterioplankton

    PubMed Central

    Milici, Mathias; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Tomasch, Jürgen; Decelle, Johan; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L.; Wang, Hui; Jáuregui, Ruy; Plumeier, Iris; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Badewien, Thomas H.; Wurst, Mascha; Pieper, Dietmar H.; Simon, Meinhard; Wagner-Döbler, Irene

    2016-01-01

    We determined the taxonomic composition of the bacterioplankton of the epipelagic zone of the Atlantic Ocean along a latitudinal transect (51°S–47°N) using Illumina sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene and inferred co-occurrence networks. Bacterioplankon community composition was distinct for Longhurstian provinces and water depth. Free-living microbial communities (between 0.22 and 3 μm) were dominated by highly abundant and ubiquitous taxa with streamlined genomes (e.g., SAR11, SAR86, OM1, Prochlorococcus) and could clearly be separated from particle-associated communities which were dominated by Bacteroidetes, Planktomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Roseobacters. From a total of 369 different communities we then inferred co-occurrence networks for each size fraction and depth layer of the plankton between bacteria and between bacteria and phototrophic micro-eukaryotes. The inferred networks showed a reduction of edges in the deepest layer of the photic zone. Networks comprised of free-living bacteria had a larger amount of connections per OTU when compared to the particle associated communities throughout the water column. Negative correlations accounted for roughly one third of the total edges in the free-living communities at all depths, while they decreased with depth in the particle associated communities where they amounted for roughly 10% of the total in the last part of the epipelagic zone. Co-occurrence networks of bacteria with phototrophic micro-eukaryotes were not taxon-specific, and dominated by mutual exclusion (~60%). The data show a high degree of specialization to micro-environments in the water column and highlight the importance of interdependencies particularly between free-living bacteria in the upper layers of the epipelagic zone. PMID:27199970

  8. Co-occurrence Analysis of Microbial Taxa in the Atlantic Ocean Reveals High Connectivity in the Free-Living Bacterioplankton.

    PubMed

    Milici, Mathias; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Tomasch, Jürgen; Decelle, Johan; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L; Wang, Hui; Jáuregui, Ruy; Plumeier, Iris; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Badewien, Thomas H; Wurst, Mascha; Pieper, Dietmar H; Simon, Meinhard; Wagner-Döbler, Irene

    2016-01-01

    We determined the taxonomic composition of the bacterioplankton of the epipelagic zone of the Atlantic Ocean along a latitudinal transect (51°S-47°N) using Illumina sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene and inferred co-occurrence networks. Bacterioplankon community composition was distinct for Longhurstian provinces and water depth. Free-living microbial communities (between 0.22 and 3 μm) were dominated by highly abundant and ubiquitous taxa with streamlined genomes (e.g., SAR11, SAR86, OM1, Prochlorococcus) and could clearly be separated from particle-associated communities which were dominated by Bacteroidetes, Planktomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Roseobacters. From a total of 369 different communities we then inferred co-occurrence networks for each size fraction and depth layer of the plankton between bacteria and between bacteria and phototrophic micro-eukaryotes. The inferred networks showed a reduction of edges in the deepest layer of the photic zone. Networks comprised of free-living bacteria had a larger amount of connections per OTU when compared to the particle associated communities throughout the water column. Negative correlations accounted for roughly one third of the total edges in the free-living communities at all depths, while they decreased with depth in the particle associated communities where they amounted for roughly 10% of the total in the last part of the epipelagic zone. Co-occurrence networks of bacteria with phototrophic micro-eukaryotes were not taxon-specific, and dominated by mutual exclusion (~60%). The data show a high degree of specialization to micro-environments in the water column and highlight the importance of interdependencies particularly between free-living bacteria in the upper layers of the epipelagic zone.

  9. Levels of cadmium and mercury in the hair of Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Svalbard, Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Wiig, O.; Renzoni, A.; Gjertz, I.

    1999-08-01

    Hair samples of 15 adult male Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) collected from anesthetized individuals at Svalbard, Norway, were analyzed for cadmium and total mercury. The mean level of cadmium was 0.860 {+-} 0.321 {micro}g/g dry weight and the mean level of mercury was 0.235 {+-} 0.100 {micro}g/g dry weight. Levels of cadmium and mercury in hair of walruses from other areas are not known. Both cadmium and mercury levels in hair of walruses from Svalbard are relatively low compared to the levels found in the hair of other marine mammal species. It has been documented from a number of marine species, including marine mammals such as ringed seals and polar bears, that both cadmium and mercury levels of Svalbard are lower than in other areas. It is uncertain as to what degree levels in hair reflect levels in internal organs in walruses. In rare and highly endangered species or populations tissue samples can be difficult to collect. In walruses, it is possible to collect hair from anesthetized individuals or at the haul-out sites during molt, to monitor heavy metal levels of the population.

  10. Mother-calf vocal communication in Atlantic walrus: a first field experimental study.

    PubMed

    Charrier, Isabelle; Aubin, Thierry; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2010-05-01

    In all colonial pinnipeds studied, mother-young vocal recognition exists and allows rapid and reliable meetings in spite of the confusing environment of the breeding colony. The efficiency of this recognition process guarantees pup survival, especially in species where females alternate foraging sea trips and lactation periods on land. The Atlantic Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) is a highly gregarious pinniped with females attending their calves for an extended period of time (2-3 years). Although we expect mother-calf vocal recognition to occur in this species due to the high density of individuals packed in herds, it has never been experimentally demonstrated. Here, we assessed the individual stereotypy of both mother and calf barks recorded in the wild by measuring frequency and temporal acoustic parameters. Both discriminant function and artificial neural network analyses resulted in high correct classification rates, underlying a well-defined individual stereotypy in parameters related to frequency modulation and frequency values. Playback experiments showed that mothers were more responsive to the barks of their own calf than to those of unrelated young. Finally, propagation experiments revealed that barks propagate at greater distances over water surface than over ice, acoustic features such as frequency modulation and frequency spectrum being highly resistant to degradation during propagation. Thus, acoustic analysis and propagation experiments suggest that these frequency parameters might be the key acoustic features involved in the individual identification process. This experimental study clearly demonstrates that Atlantic walrus has developed a highly reliable mother-calf vocal communication allowing such strong social bond. PMID:19960216

  11. Mother-calf vocal communication in Atlantic walrus: a first field experimental study.

    PubMed

    Charrier, Isabelle; Aubin, Thierry; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2010-05-01

    In all colonial pinnipeds studied, mother-young vocal recognition exists and allows rapid and reliable meetings in spite of the confusing environment of the breeding colony. The efficiency of this recognition process guarantees pup survival, especially in species where females alternate foraging sea trips and lactation periods on land. The Atlantic Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) is a highly gregarious pinniped with females attending their calves for an extended period of time (2-3 years). Although we expect mother-calf vocal recognition to occur in this species due to the high density of individuals packed in herds, it has never been experimentally demonstrated. Here, we assessed the individual stereotypy of both mother and calf barks recorded in the wild by measuring frequency and temporal acoustic parameters. Both discriminant function and artificial neural network analyses resulted in high correct classification rates, underlying a well-defined individual stereotypy in parameters related to frequency modulation and frequency values. Playback experiments showed that mothers were more responsive to the barks of their own calf than to those of unrelated young. Finally, propagation experiments revealed that barks propagate at greater distances over water surface than over ice, acoustic features such as frequency modulation and frequency spectrum being highly resistant to degradation during propagation. Thus, acoustic analysis and propagation experiments suggest that these frequency parameters might be the key acoustic features involved in the individual identification process. This experimental study clearly demonstrates that Atlantic walrus has developed a highly reliable mother-calf vocal communication allowing such strong social bond.

  12. Towards a Better Understanding of the Effects of UV on Atlantic Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus: A Study Combining Histological Data with Local Ecological Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M.; Furgal, Chris M.; Hammill, Mike O.; Burness, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus, play a key role in the Arctic ecosystem, including northern Indigenous communities, which are reliant upon walruses for aspects of their diet and culture. However, walruses face varied environmental threats including rising sea-water temperatures and decreasing ice cover. An underappreciated threat may be the large amount of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) that continues to reach the Arctic as a result of ozone loss. UV has been shown to negatively affect whales. Like whales, walrus skin is unprotected by fur, but in contrast, walruses spend long periods of time hauled-out on land. In this study, we combined the results of histological analyses of skin sections from five Atlantic walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, collected in Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) with qualitative data obtained through the interviews of 33 local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders. Histological analyses allowed us to explore UV-induced cellular lesions and interviews with experienced walrus hunters and Elders helped us to study the incidences and temporal changes of UV-induced gross lesions in walruses. At the microscopic scale, we detected a range of skin abnormalities consistent with UV damage. However, currently such UV effects do not seem to be widely observed at the whole-animal level (i.e., absence of skin blistering, erythema, eye cataract) by individuals interviewed. Although walruses may experience skin damage under normal everyday UV exposure, the long-term data from local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders did not report a relation between the increased sun radiation secondary to ozone loss and walrus health. PMID:27049757

  13. Towards a Better Understanding of the Effects of UV on Atlantic Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus: A Study Combining Histological Data with Local Ecological Knowledge.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M; Furgal, Chris M; Hammill, Mike O; Burness, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus, play a key role in the Arctic ecosystem, including northern Indigenous communities, which are reliant upon walruses for aspects of their diet and culture. However, walruses face varied environmental threats including rising sea-water temperatures and decreasing ice cover. An underappreciated threat may be the large amount of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) that continues to reach the Arctic as a result of ozone loss. UV has been shown to negatively affect whales. Like whales, walrus skin is unprotected by fur, but in contrast, walruses spend long periods of time hauled-out on land. In this study, we combined the results of histological analyses of skin sections from five Atlantic walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, collected in Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) with qualitative data obtained through the interviews of 33 local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders. Histological analyses allowed us to explore UV-induced cellular lesions and interviews with experienced walrus hunters and Elders helped us to study the incidences and temporal changes of UV-induced gross lesions in walruses. At the microscopic scale, we detected a range of skin abnormalities consistent with UV damage. However, currently such UV effects do not seem to be widely observed at the whole-animal level (i.e., absence of skin blistering, erythema, eye cataract) by individuals interviewed. Although walruses may experience skin damage under normal everyday UV exposure, the long-term data from local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders did not report a relation between the increased sun radiation secondary to ozone loss and walrus health. PMID:27049757

  14. Towards a Better Understanding of the Effects of UV on Atlantic Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus: A Study Combining Histological Data with Local Ecological Knowledge.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M; Furgal, Chris M; Hammill, Mike O; Burness, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus, play a key role in the Arctic ecosystem, including northern Indigenous communities, which are reliant upon walruses for aspects of their diet and culture. However, walruses face varied environmental threats including rising sea-water temperatures and decreasing ice cover. An underappreciated threat may be the large amount of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) that continues to reach the Arctic as a result of ozone loss. UV has been shown to negatively affect whales. Like whales, walrus skin is unprotected by fur, but in contrast, walruses spend long periods of time hauled-out on land. In this study, we combined the results of histological analyses of skin sections from five Atlantic walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, collected in Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) with qualitative data obtained through the interviews of 33 local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders. Histological analyses allowed us to explore UV-induced cellular lesions and interviews with experienced walrus hunters and Elders helped us to study the incidences and temporal changes of UV-induced gross lesions in walruses. At the microscopic scale, we detected a range of skin abnormalities consistent with UV damage. However, currently such UV effects do not seem to be widely observed at the whole-animal level (i.e., absence of skin blistering, erythema, eye cataract) by individuals interviewed. Although walruses may experience skin damage under normal everyday UV exposure, the long-term data from local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders did not report a relation between the increased sun radiation secondary to ozone loss and walrus health.

  15. Free-living nematode species (Nematoda) dwelling in hydrothermal sites of the North Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchesunov, Alexei V.

    2015-12-01

    Morphological descriptions of seven free-living nematode species from hydrothermal sites of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge are presented. Four of them are new for science: Paracanthonchus olgae sp. n. (Chromadorida, Cyatholaimidae), Prochromadora helenae sp. n. (Chromadorida, Chromadoridae), Prochaetosoma ventriverruca sp. n. (Desmodorida, Draconematidae) and Leptolaimus hydrothermalis sp. n. (Plectida, Leptolaimidae). Two species have been previously recorded in hydrothermal habitats, and one species is recorded for the first time in such an environment. Oncholaimus scanicus (Enoplida, Oncholaimidae) was formerly known from only the type locality in non-hydrothermal shallow milieu of the Norway Sea. O. scanicus is a very abundant species in Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike and Lost City hydrothermal sites, and population of the last locality differs from other two in some morphometric characteristics. Desmodora marci (Desmodorida, Desmodoridae) was previously known from other remote deep-sea hydrothermal localities in south-western and north-eastern Pacific. Halomonhystera vandoverae (Monhysterida, Monhysteridae) was described and repeatedly found in mass in Snake Pit hydrothermal site. The whole hydrothermal nematode assemblages are featured by low diversity in comparison with either shelf or deep-sea non-hydrothermal communities. The nematode species list of the Atlantic hydrothermal vents consists of representatives of common shallow-water genera; the new species are also related to some shelf species. On the average, the hydrothermal species differ from those of slope and abyssal plains of comparable depths by larger sizes, diversity of buccal structures, presence of food content in the gut and ripe eggs in uteri.

  16. Discovery of free-living Fe-oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emerson, D.; Scott, J.; MacDonald, D.; Findlay, A.; Luther, G. W.

    2013-12-01

    Chemolithoautotrophic Fe-oxidizing bacteria play an essential role in the iron cycle on the Earth. Thus far, the majority of marine Fe-oxidizers have been associated with a novel class, Zetaproteobacteria, within the phylum Proteobacteria. Fe-oxidizing communities have been found at volcanically-active seamounts, crustal spreading centers, and in coastal waters. One conspicuous absence is at hydrothermal systems associated with the slow-crustal spreading center along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). We used the DSV Jason to visit three well-known hydrothermal vents at the MAR: Rainbow, TAG, and Snakepit, to determine if Fe-oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria were present. Small, diffuse flow venting areas with high Fe(II) concentrations, and rust-colored microbial mats were observed at all three sites proximal to black smoker chimneys. A novel, syringe-based precision sampler was used to collect multiple, individual microbial iron mats at all three sites. Morphologically, sheath-forming Fe-oxidizers were observed at all sites, although the degree of mineralization varied substantially between the samples. Tagged pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene from these samples revealed that Zetaproteobacteria were the most abundant class of any bacterial group in all the samples (5.1-92.0%; m=55.2%). Beta diversity estimates showed that there was as much variability between microbial mats at a specific vent site as there was between different vent fields. Principal component analysis revealed two distinct clusters of samples dominated by five different Zeta operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Single cell genome analysis of two representative samples was also dominated by Zetas, and confirmed the pyrosequencing results. We are in the process of associating community diversity data with in situ geochemical analysis to determine what geochemical factor(s) might be driving these patterns of diversity and community assembly. Together these data confirm that Fe-oxidizing Zetaproteobacteria

  17. The late Wisconsinan and Holocene record of Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) from North America: A review with new data from Arctic and Atlantic Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dyke, A.S.; Hooper, J.; Harington, C.R.; Savelle, J.M.

    1999-01-01

    The Late Wisconsinan and Holocene record of the Atlantic walrus is known from numerous collections of bones and tusks from Arctic Canada and south to North Carolina, as well as from many archaeological sites in the Arctic and Subarctic. In contrast, the Pacific walrus has no dated Late Wisconsinan or early Holocene record in North America, and it may have been displaced into the northwest Pacific at Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The Atlantic walrus rapidly exploited newly deglaciated territory, moving northward from its LGM refugium and reaching the Bay of Fundy by 12800 B.P., the Grand Banks by 12500 B.P., southern Labrador by 11500 B.P., and the central Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) by 9700 B.P. Its southern range limit may have retracted to the Bay of Fundy by ca. 7500 B.P. Within the CAA, walrus remains cluster in two main age groups: 9700 to 8500 B.P. and 5000 to 4/3000 B.P. This pattern strongly resembles the distribution of bowhead whale radiocarbon ages from the same area, which suggests a common control by sea-ice conditions. Walrus remains occur in Indian culture archaeological sites as old as 7500 B.P. and, in some cases (Namu, British Columbia, and Mackinac Island, Michigan), they evidently represent long-distance human transport. They are much more common in Paleoeskimo and Neoeskimo culture sites. However, they occur in very low abundances, and generally as debitage, in sites older than Dorset (2500 B.P.). The walrus, therefore, may not have been hunted by early Paleoeskimos. Beginning with Early Dorset, walrus remains occur in definite diet-related contexts. Middle Dorset (2300 to 1500 B.P.) and late Thule (<400 B.P.) sites are missing from the High Arctic, and there may be a similar gap in the middle Pre-Dorset (3400 to 2600 B.P.). Sea-ice conditions at these times may have adversely affected availability of walrus and other marine mammal resources. Walrus is a prominent faunal element in Middle Dorset sites on the Labrador coast; this is

  18. Free-living ixodid ticks in an urban Atlantic Forest fragment, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Michele da Costa; Lourenço, Elizabete Captivo; Patrício, Priscilla Maria Peixoto; Sá-Hungaro, Iwine Joyce Barbosa de; Famadas, Kátia Maria

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of the importance of ticks in forests in protected areas, was conducted survey of species of free-living ticks in the Natural Park Municipal Curió, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Monthly samples were taken by dragging method, dry ice traps and visual search in two transects. Adults and nymphs of Amblyomma cajennense (n= 147), Amblyomma brasiliense (n= 4) and Amblyomma parvum (n= 1) were collected. This is the first occurrence of A. parvum in the state. No correlation was found between the abundance of stages of A. cajennense and rainfall, temperature and relative humidity. The highest abundances of adults were in the months of January and May, and nymphs in September and October. The low diversity of parasites on Curió Park can be attributed to the proximity of households with pets, which would also explain the higher abundance of A. cajennense that is commonly found in areas impacted by anthropogenic pressure. PMID:25054511

  19. Free-living ixodid ticks in an urban Atlantic Forest fragment, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Michele da Costa; Lourenço, Elizabete Captivo; Patrício, Priscilla Maria Peixoto; Sá-Hungaro, Iwine Joyce Barbosa de; Famadas, Kátia Maria

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of the importance of ticks in forests in protected areas, was conducted survey of species of free-living ticks in the Natural Park Municipal Curió, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Monthly samples were taken by dragging method, dry ice traps and visual search in two transects. Adults and nymphs of Amblyomma cajennense (n= 147), Amblyomma brasiliense (n= 4) and Amblyomma parvum (n= 1) were collected. This is the first occurrence of A. parvum in the state. No correlation was found between the abundance of stages of A. cajennense and rainfall, temperature and relative humidity. The highest abundances of adults were in the months of January and May, and nymphs in September and October. The low diversity of parasites on Curió Park can be attributed to the proximity of households with pets, which would also explain the higher abundance of A. cajennense that is commonly found in areas impacted by anthropogenic pressure.

  20. Demographic inferences using short-read genomic data in an approximate Bayesian computation framework: in silico evaluation of power, biases and proof of concept in Atlantic walrus.

    PubMed

    Shafer, Aaron B A; Gattepaille, Lucie M; Stewart, Robert E A; Wolf, Jochen B W

    2015-01-01

    Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) is a powerful tool for model-based inference of demographic histories from large genetic data sets. For most organisms, its implementation has been hampered by the lack of sufficient genetic data. Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) provides cheap genome-scale data to fill this gap, but its potential has not fully been exploited. Here, we explored power, precision and biases of a coalescent-based ABC approach where GBS data were modelled with either a population mutation parameter (θ) or a fixed site (FS) approach, allowing single or several segregating sites per locus. With simulated data ranging from 500 to 50 000 loci, a variety of demographic models could be reliably inferred across a range of timescales and migration scenarios. Posterior estimates were informative with 1000 loci for migration and split time in simple population divergence models. In more complex models, posterior distributions were wide and almost reverted to the uninformative prior even with 50 000 loci. ABC parameter estimates, however, were generally more accurate than an alternative composite-likelihood method. Bottleneck scenarios proved particularly difficult, and only recent bottlenecks without recovery could be reliably detected and dated. Notably, minor-allele-frequency filters - usual practice for GBS data - negatively affected nearly all estimates. With this in mind, we used a combination of FS and θ approaches on empirical GBS data generated from the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), collectively providing support for a population split before the last glacial maximum followed by asymmetrical migration and a high Arctic bottleneck. Overall, this study evaluates the potential and limitations of GBS data in an ABC-coalescence framework and proposes a best-practice approach. PMID:25482153

  1. Demographic inferences using short-read genomic data in an approximate Bayesian computation framework: in silico evaluation of power, biases and proof of concept in Atlantic walrus.

    PubMed

    Shafer, Aaron B A; Gattepaille, Lucie M; Stewart, Robert E A; Wolf, Jochen B W

    2015-01-01

    Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) is a powerful tool for model-based inference of demographic histories from large genetic data sets. For most organisms, its implementation has been hampered by the lack of sufficient genetic data. Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) provides cheap genome-scale data to fill this gap, but its potential has not fully been exploited. Here, we explored power, precision and biases of a coalescent-based ABC approach where GBS data were modelled with either a population mutation parameter (θ) or a fixed site (FS) approach, allowing single or several segregating sites per locus. With simulated data ranging from 500 to 50 000 loci, a variety of demographic models could be reliably inferred across a range of timescales and migration scenarios. Posterior estimates were informative with 1000 loci for migration and split time in simple population divergence models. In more complex models, posterior distributions were wide and almost reverted to the uninformative prior even with 50 000 loci. ABC parameter estimates, however, were generally more accurate than an alternative composite-likelihood method. Bottleneck scenarios proved particularly difficult, and only recent bottlenecks without recovery could be reliably detected and dated. Notably, minor-allele-frequency filters - usual practice for GBS data - negatively affected nearly all estimates. With this in mind, we used a combination of FS and θ approaches on empirical GBS data generated from the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), collectively providing support for a population split before the last glacial maximum followed by asymmetrical migration and a high Arctic bottleneck. Overall, this study evaluates the potential and limitations of GBS data in an ABC-coalescence framework and proposes a best-practice approach.

  2. Molecular method for determining sex of walruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, A.S.; Jay, C.V.; Jackson, J.V.; Andersen, L.W.; Sage, G.K.; Talbot, S.L.

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated the ability of a set of published trans-species molecular sexing primers and a set of walrus-specific primers, which we developed, to accurately identify sex of 235 Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The trans-species primers were developed for mammals and targeted the X- and Y-gametologs of the zinc finger protein genes (ZFX, ZFY). We extended this method by using these primers to obtain sequence from Pacific and Atlantic walrus (0. r. rosmarus) ZFX and ZFY genes to develop new walrus-specific primers, which yield polymerase chain reaction products of distinct lengths (327 and 288 base pairs from the X- and Y-chromosome, respectively), allowing them to be used for sex determination. Both methods yielded a determination of sex in all but 1-2% of samples with an accuracy of 99.6-100%. Our walrus-specific primers offer the advantage of small fragment size and facile application to automated electrophoresis and visualization.

  3. [Cultivation of pathogenic free-living amoebae].

    PubMed

    Peng, Heng; Zhu, Huai-Min

    2009-08-01

    The isolation and culture of pathogenic free-living amoebae are useful in the diagnosis and research. This review focuses on the methods of isolation and cultivation of pathogenic free-living amoebae, including sample treatment, culture conditions, passage culture, pathogen detection, and maintenance.

  4. Microorganisms resistant to free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2004-04-01

    Free-living amoebae feed on bacteria, fungi, and algae. However, some microorganisms have evolved to become resistant to these protists. These amoeba-resistant microorganisms include established pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, Legionella spp., Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycobacterium avium, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Francisella tularensis, and emerging pathogens, such as Bosea spp., Simkania negevensis, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, and Legionella-like amoebal pathogens. Some of these amoeba-resistant bacteria (ARB) are lytic for their amoebal host, while others are considered endosymbionts, since a stable host-parasite ratio is maintained. Free-living amoebae represent an important reservoir of ARB and may, while encysted, protect the internalized bacteria from chlorine and other biocides. Free-living amoebae may act as a Trojan horse, bringing hidden ARB within the human "Troy," and may produce vesicles filled with ARB, increasing their transmission potential. Free-living amoebae may also play a role in the selection of virulence traits and in adaptation to survival in macrophages. Thus, intra-amoebal growth was found to enhance virulence, and similar mechanisms seem to be implicated in the survival of ARB in response to both amoebae and macrophages. Moreover, free-living amoebae represent a useful tool for the culture of some intracellular bacteria and new bacterial species that might be potential emerging pathogens.

  5. Microorganisms Resistant to Free-Living Amoebae

    PubMed Central

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2004-01-01

    Free-living amoebae feed on bacteria, fungi, and algae. However, some microorganisms have evolved to become resistant to these protists. These amoeba-resistant microorganisms include established pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, Legionella spp., Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycobacterium avium, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Francisella tularensis, and emerging pathogens, such as Bosea spp., Simkania negevensis, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, and Legionella-like amoebal pathogens. Some of these amoeba-resistant bacteria (ARB) are lytic for their amoebal host, while others are considered endosymbionts, since a stable host-parasite ratio is maintained. Free-living amoebae represent an important reservoir of ARB and may, while encysted, protect the internalized bacteria from chlorine and other biocides. Free-living amoebae may act as a Trojan horse, bringing hidden ARB within the human “Troy,” and may produce vesicles filled with ARB, increasing their transmission potential. Free-living amoebae may also play a role in the selection of virulence traits and in adaptation to survival in macrophages. Thus, intra-amoebal growth was found to enhance virulence, and similar mechanisms seem to be implicated in the survival of ARB in response to both amoebae and macrophages. Moreover, free-living amoebae represent a useful tool for the culture of some intracellular bacteria and new bacterial species that might be potential emerging pathogens. PMID:15084508

  6. Ecology of free-living metacercariae (Trematoda).

    PubMed

    Morley, Neil J

    2015-06-01

    The presence of trematodes with a free-living metacercarial stage is a common feature of most habitats and includes important species such as Fasciola hepatica, Parorchis acanthus and Zygocotyle lunata. These trematodes encyst on the surface of an animal or plant that can act as a transport host, which form the diet of the target definitive host. Although these species are often considered individually, they display common characteristics in their free-living biology indicating a shared transmission strategy, yet in comparison to species with penetrative cercariae this aspect of their life cycles remains much overlooked. This review integrates the diverse data and presents a novel synthesis of free-living metacercariae using epibiosis as the basis of a new framework to describe the relationship between transport hosts and parasites. All aspects of their biology during the period that they are metabolically independent of a host are considered, from cercarial emergence to metacercarial excystment.

  7. Chlamydial infections in free-living birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, C.J.

    1989-01-01

    Most studies of chlamydial infections in free-living wild birds have been limited to surveys for the presence of Chlamydia psittaci or antibody to C psittaci and have largely been done in association with the identification of chlamydiosis in human beings, commercial fowl, or pet birds. The emphasis of these studies has been to determine the prevalence of infection and the potential role of wild birds in the spread of chlamydiae to domestic birds and human beings. Little is known about the epizootiology of chlamydiosis in free-living birds or its affect on their population dynamics. The following article is a summary of reported studies of chlamydiosis in free-living wild birds in relation to host range, ecologic aspects of transmission and maintenance, and the prevalence of disease.

  8. Spatial variation and low diversity in the major histocompatibility complex in walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Fales, Krystal; Jay, Chadwick V.; Sage, George K.; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2014-01-01

    Increased global temperature and associated changes to Arctic habitats will likely result in the northward advance of species, including an influx of pathogens novel to the Arctic. How species respond to these immunological challenges will depend in part on the adaptive potential of their immune response system. We compared levels of genetic diversity at a gene associated with adaptive immune response [Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC), DQB exon 2] between populations of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), a sea ice-dependent Arctic species. Walrus was represented by only five MHC DQB alleles, with frequency differences observed between Pacific and Atlantic populations. MHC DQB alleles appear to be under balancing selection, and most (80 %; n = 4/5) of the alleles were observed in walruses from both oceans, suggesting broad scale differences in the frequency of exposure and diversity of pathogens may be influencing levels of heterozygosity at DQB in walruses. Limited genetic diversity at MHC, however, suggests that walrus may have a reduced capacity to respond to novel immunological challenges associated with shifts in ecological communities and environmental stressors predicted for changing climates. This is particularly pertinent for walrus, since reductions in summer sea ice may facilitate both northward expansion of marine species and associated pathogens from more temperate regions, and exchange of marine mammals and associated pathogens through the recently opened Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the Canadian high Arctic.

  9. Temporal and spatial trends of persistent organochlorines in Greenland walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Muir, D C; Born, E W; Koczansky, K; Stern, G A

    2000-01-17

    Persistent organochlorines [PCBs, DDT and chlordane related compounds, dieldrin, toxaphene, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), chlorobenzenes] were determined in blubber of Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in 1978 and 1988 from the Avanersuaq (Thule) region of north-west Greenland and in 1989 from Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund) in east Greenland. Lowest concentrations of organochlorines (OCs) were found in the samples from the Avanersuaq region while much higher levels of all compounds, except HCH isomers and mono/dichlorobiphenyls (CB5/8), were observed in samples (all males) from Ittoqqortoormiit. Total PCBs (sigma PCB) averaged 246 ng/g (wet wt.) male walrus from Avanersuaq and 2860 ng/g in samples from Ittoqqortoormiit. DDT isomers showed the greatest difference between the two locations, 50 x for p,p'-DDE and 69 x higher for p,p'-DDT. Ittoqqortoormiit walrus showed the pattern of OCs characteristic of seal-eating animals although the consumption of other organisms cannot be ruled out. The higher levels of OCs in east Greenland compared to north-west Greenland animals were consistent with results for polar bears, seals and gulls from the same regions. Principal components analysis showed that the pattern of OCs in Ittoqqortoormiit walrus was very similar to that in walrus from Inukjuaq in east Hudson Bay, which have previously been reported to be seal eaters, and quite distinct from the Avanersuaq walrus. No significant differences in mean concentrations of any OCs were found between male walrus from 1978 and 1988. For females, there were significantly higher levels of CB5/8, trichlorobiphenyls, dieldrin, toxaphene and alpha HCH as well as sigma HCH but not for sigma PCBs or DDT compounds. The data for Greenland walrus from the 1970s and late 1980s provide a baseline for future trend monitoring in walrus.

  10. Behavioral sleep in the walrus.

    PubMed

    Pryaslova, Julia P; Lyamin, Oleg I; Siegel, Jerome M; Mukhametov, Lev M

    2009-07-19

    In this study we examined behavioral sleep in the walrus, the only living species of the family Odobenidae. The behavior of four 1.5-2-year-old captive walruses was videotaped continuously for 7-17 days and scored in 1-min epochs. When walruses had access to water and land, behavioral sleep, the combined amount of quiet and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, occupied on average 17+/-4% of 24 h (n=4) with the majority of sleep occurring on land. All walruses alternated periods of almost continuous swimming lasting for 40-84 h with periods of rest on land lasting for 2-19 h. When in water they were predominantly awake (88-99% of the time). On land walruses were asleep on average 40-74% of the time. The total sleep time varied between 0 and 60% of 24h with the daily amount of REM sleep ranging from 0 to 5% of 24 h. In water, walruses slept while floating at the surface, lying on the bottom or standing and leaning against the pool wall. REM sleep in water occurred in all positions. On land the breathing pattern was regular during quiet sleep (most pauses were <30s) and arrhythmic in REM sleep (apneas lasted up to 160 s). While in water the irregularity of breathing further increased (apneas were >4 min) and all REM sleep episodes occurred during a single apnea. Data indicate that the pattern of sleep and breathing in walruses is similar to the Otariidae seals while on land and the Phocidae seals while in water. PMID:19428620

  11. Behavioral sleep in the walrus.

    PubMed

    Pryaslova, Julia P; Lyamin, Oleg I; Siegel, Jerome M; Mukhametov, Lev M

    2009-07-19

    In this study we examined behavioral sleep in the walrus, the only living species of the family Odobenidae. The behavior of four 1.5-2-year-old captive walruses was videotaped continuously for 7-17 days and scored in 1-min epochs. When walruses had access to water and land, behavioral sleep, the combined amount of quiet and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, occupied on average 17+/-4% of 24 h (n=4) with the majority of sleep occurring on land. All walruses alternated periods of almost continuous swimming lasting for 40-84 h with periods of rest on land lasting for 2-19 h. When in water they were predominantly awake (88-99% of the time). On land walruses were asleep on average 40-74% of the time. The total sleep time varied between 0 and 60% of 24h with the daily amount of REM sleep ranging from 0 to 5% of 24 h. In water, walruses slept while floating at the surface, lying on the bottom or standing and leaning against the pool wall. REM sleep in water occurred in all positions. On land the breathing pattern was regular during quiet sleep (most pauses were <30s) and arrhythmic in REM sleep (apneas lasted up to 160 s). While in water the irregularity of breathing further increased (apneas were >4 min) and all REM sleep episodes occurred during a single apnea. Data indicate that the pattern of sleep and breathing in walruses is similar to the Otariidae seals while on land and the Phocidae seals while in water.

  12. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms.

    PubMed

    Martín-Durán, José María; Egger, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny

  13. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny

  14. Infections with free-living amebae.

    PubMed

    Visvesvara, Govinda S

    2013-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Naegleria fowleri are mitochondria-bearing, free-living eukaryotic amebae that have been known to cause infections of the central nervous system (CNS) of humans and other animals. Several species of Acanthamoeba belonging to several different genotypes cause an insidious and chronic disease, granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE), principally in immunocompromised hosts including persons infected with HIV/AIDS. Acanthamoeba spp., belonging to mostly group 2, also cause infection of the human cornea, Acanthamoeba keratitis. Balamuthia mandrillaris causes GAE in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts mostly in the very young or very old individuals. Both Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris also cause a disseminated disease including the lungs, skin, kidneys, and uterus. Naegleria fowleri, on the other hand, causes an acute and fulminating, necrotizing infection of the CNS called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in children and young adults with a history of recent exposure to warm fresh water. Additionally, another free-living ameba Sappinia pedata, previously described as S. diploidea, also has caused a single case of amebic meningoencephalitis. In this review the biology of these amebae, clinical manifestations, molecular and immunological diagnosis, and epidemiological features associated with GAE and PAM are discussed. PMID:23829906

  15. Epidemiology of free-living ameba infections.

    PubMed

    Visvesvara, G S; Stehr-Green, J K

    1990-01-01

    Small free-living amebas belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba and Naegleria occur world-wide. They have been isolated from a variety of habitats including fresh water, thermal discharges of power plants, soil, sewage and also from the nose and throats of patients with respiratory illness as well as healthy persons. Although the true incidence of human infections with these amebas is not known, it is believed that as many as 200 cases of central nervous system infections due to these amebas have occurred worldwide. A majority (144) of these cases have been due to Naegleria fowleri which causes an acute, fulminating disease, primary amebic meningoencephalitis. The remaining 56 cases have been reported as due either to Acanthamoeba or some other free-living ameba which causes a subacute and/or chronic infection called granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE). Acanthamoeba, in addition to causing GAE, also causes nonfatal, but nevertheless painful, vision-threatening infections of the human cornea, Acanthamoeba keratitis. Infections due to Acanthamoeba have also been reported in a variety of animals. These observations, together with the fact that Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, and Hartmannella sp. can harbor pathogenic microorganisms such as Legionella and or mycobacteria indicate the public health importance of these amebas. PMID:2258827

  16. Infections with free-living amebae.

    PubMed

    Visvesvara, Govinda S

    2013-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Naegleria fowleri are mitochondria-bearing, free-living eukaryotic amebae that have been known to cause infections of the central nervous system (CNS) of humans and other animals. Several species of Acanthamoeba belonging to several different genotypes cause an insidious and chronic disease, granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE), principally in immunocompromised hosts including persons infected with HIV/AIDS. Acanthamoeba spp., belonging to mostly group 2, also cause infection of the human cornea, Acanthamoeba keratitis. Balamuthia mandrillaris causes GAE in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts mostly in the very young or very old individuals. Both Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris also cause a disseminated disease including the lungs, skin, kidneys, and uterus. Naegleria fowleri, on the other hand, causes an acute and fulminating, necrotizing infection of the CNS called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in children and young adults with a history of recent exposure to warm fresh water. Additionally, another free-living ameba Sappinia pedata, previously described as S. diploidea, also has caused a single case of amebic meningoencephalitis. In this review the biology of these amebae, clinical manifestations, molecular and immunological diagnosis, and epidemiological features associated with GAE and PAM are discussed.

  17. New Calicivirus isolated from walrus.

    PubMed

    Ganova-Raeva, Lilia; Smith, Alvin W; Fields, Howard; Khudyakov, Yury

    2004-06-15

    The nucleotide sequence and genome organization of a new member of Caliciviridae was determined. Cell culture inoculated with fecal matter from walrus was used to recover fragments of a new virus by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH). The isolate was identified as a member of the Vesivirus genus of Caliciviridae and designated the name Walrus Calicivirus (WCV). Sets of PCR primers spanning the entire putative genome were designed using known sequences of other vesiviruses. The assembled genome was 8289 nucleotides (nt) long and shared no more than 87% identity with sequences of the other members of the genus Vesivirus. The largest open reading frame (ORF1) between positions 4-5646 encoded a polyprotein. ORF2, found at position 5652-7778, encoded a putative capsid protein. ORF3 overlapped ORF2 and encoded a small basic protein. Comparative analysis of multiple caliciviral capsid proteins was performed to propose a uniform capsid structural organization for this viral family.

  18. Free-living, amphizoic and opportunistic amebas.

    PubMed

    Martinez, A J; Visvesvara, G S

    1997-01-01

    Amebas belonging to the genera Naegleria, Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia are free-living, amphizoic and opportunistic protozoa that are ubiquitous in nature. These amebas are found in soil, water and air samples from all over the world. Human infection due to these amebas involving brain, skin, lung and eyes has increased significantly during the last 10 years. The epidemiology, immunology, protozoology, pathology, and clinical features of the infections produced by these protozoa differ strikingly. Infection by the pathogenic Naegleria fowleri is acquired by exposure to polluted water in ponds, swimming pools and man-made lakes. Raised temperatures during the hot summer months or warm water from power plants facilitate the growth of N. fowleri. N. fowleri is a thermophilic ameba that grows well in tropical and subtropical climates. The CNS infection, called Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM), produced by N. fowleri is characterized by an acute fulminant meningoencephalitis leading to death 3-7 days after exposure. Victims are healthy, young individuals with a history of recent water-related sport activities. The portal of entry is the olfactory neuroepithelium. The pathologic changes are an acute hemorrhagic necrotizing meningoencephalitis with modest purulent exudate, mainly at the base of the brain, brain-stem and cerebellum. Trophozoites can be seen within the CNS lesions located mainly around blood vessels. Thus far 179 cases have been reported; 81 in the USA alone. Balamuthia mandrillaris and several species of Acanthamoeba are pathogenic "opportunistic" free-living amebas which cause Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis (GAE) in humans and animals. GAE is an infection, usually seen in debilitated, malnourished individuals, in patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy for organ transplants and in Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The granulomatous component is negligible, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. Pathologically these amebas

  19. Free-living amebic meningoencephalitides: comparative study.

    PubMed

    Martínez, A J

    1977-01-01

    Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is an infectious disease essentially confined to the central nervous system (CNS) and caused by free-living ameboflagellates of the genus Naegleria (N) and Acanthamoeba (A). N produces an acute fulminant, usually fatal hemorrhagic-necrotizing meningoencephalitis, associated with an inflammatory reaction composed of neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages and a few lymphocytes. The incubation period is between 3-7 days. Typically, PAM occurs in healthy, young individuals, who frequently have a history of swimming or washing their face in infested waters. The portal of entry into the CNS is through the olfactory neuroepithelium, at the level of the cribriform plate and invasion of the amyelinic submucosal nervous plexus. Trophozoites are the only amebic forms found in the lesions. By contrast, A produces a sub-acute or chronic granulamotous meningoencephalitis (AM) with multinucleated foreign body giant cells, lymphocytes and monocytes. Cysts and trophozoites may be present in the lesions. AM have been reported in chronically ill debilitated individuals, some of them under immunosuppressive therapy, without history of recent swimming. The portal of entry into the CNS appears to be by hematogenous route. The incubation period is unknown, but perhaps more than 10 days. This comparison indicates that infection due to Naegleria produces a clearly defined clinco-pathological entity, which differs significantly from that due to Acanthamoeba, and both species of amebus should be considered in the differential diagnosis of amebic meningoencephalitis. PMID:616542

  20. Free-living amoebae: Health concerns in the indoor environment

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Ironside, K.S.

    1990-01-01

    Free-living amoebae are the most likely protozoa implicated in health concerns of the indoor environment. These amoebae can be the source of allergic reactions, eye infections or, on rare occasions, encephalitis. While too large to be effectively aerosolized, free- living amoebae can support the multiplication of pathogens such as Legionella which are easily aerosolized and infectious via the pulmonary route. Traditional detection methods for free-living amoebae are laborious and time consuming. Newer techniques for rapidly detecting and quantitating free-living amoebae such as monoclonal antibodies, flow cytometry, gene probes, and laser optics have or could be employed. 25 refs.

  1. Hemosporidian parasites of free-living birds in the São Paulo Zoo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Chagas, Carolina Romeiro Fernandes; Guimarães, Lilian de Oliveira; Monteiro, Eliana Ferreira; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Katayama, Michele Viana; Santos, Stéfanie Vanessa; Guida, Fernanda Junqueira Vaz; Simões, Roseli França; Kirchgatter, Karin

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies addressed the diversity of bird Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites. However, a few have been carried out in continental avian hotspot regions such as Brazil, a country with markedly different biomes, including Amazon, Brazilian Savanna, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Pantanal, and Pampas. We present the first study on hemosporidian (Haemosporida) parasites in free-living birds from an Atlantic Forest fragment where more than 80 avian species have been reported. Within this area, the São Paulo Zoo locates, and it is the fourth largest zoo in the world and the largest in Latin America. A total of 133 free-living bird samples representing 12 species were collected in the zoo, with the overall hemosporidian prevalence of 18 % by PCR-based diagnostics. Twenty-four positive PCR signals were reported from four different bird species, including migratory ones. Columba livia, an urban species, considered nowadays a pest in big cities, showed 100 % prevalence of Haemoproteus spp., mainly Haemoproteus columbae. We discuss the epidemiological importance of new parasites introduced by migratory birds in the São Paulo Zoo area and the risk it poses to the captive species, which are natives or exotics. We also warn about the influence these parasites can have on the biodiversity and the structure of host populations by altering the competitive interaction between the free-living and the captive birds. PMID:26677094

  2. Hemosporidian parasites of free-living birds in the São Paulo Zoo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Chagas, Carolina Romeiro Fernandes; Guimarães, Lilian de Oliveira; Monteiro, Eliana Ferreira; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Katayama, Michele Viana; Santos, Stéfanie Vanessa; Guida, Fernanda Junqueira Vaz; Simões, Roseli França; Kirchgatter, Karin

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies addressed the diversity of bird Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites. However, a few have been carried out in continental avian hotspot regions such as Brazil, a country with markedly different biomes, including Amazon, Brazilian Savanna, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Pantanal, and Pampas. We present the first study on hemosporidian (Haemosporida) parasites in free-living birds from an Atlantic Forest fragment where more than 80 avian species have been reported. Within this area, the São Paulo Zoo locates, and it is the fourth largest zoo in the world and the largest in Latin America. A total of 133 free-living bird samples representing 12 species were collected in the zoo, with the overall hemosporidian prevalence of 18 % by PCR-based diagnostics. Twenty-four positive PCR signals were reported from four different bird species, including migratory ones. Columba livia, an urban species, considered nowadays a pest in big cities, showed 100 % prevalence of Haemoproteus spp., mainly Haemoproteus columbae. We discuss the epidemiological importance of new parasites introduced by migratory birds in the São Paulo Zoo area and the risk it poses to the captive species, which are natives or exotics. We also warn about the influence these parasites can have on the biodiversity and the structure of host populations by altering the competitive interaction between the free-living and the captive birds.

  3. Assessment of the extirpated Maritimes walrus using morphological and ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Brenna A; Frasier, Timothy R; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic. PMID:24924490

  4. Assessment of the Extirpated Maritimes Walrus Using Morphological and Ancient DNA Analysis

    PubMed Central

    McLeod, Brenna A.; Frasier, Timothy R.; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic. PMID:24924490

  5. Assessment of the extirpated Maritimes walrus using morphological and ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Brenna A; Frasier, Timothy R; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic.

  6. Blood protozoa of free-living birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.; McDiarmid, Archibald

    1969-01-01

    Blood protozoa were first reported from wild birds in 1884. Since then numerous surveys throughout the world have demonstrated their presence in a wide variety of hosts and localities with continuing designations of new species. Taxonomic determinations include parasites in the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Babesia, Lankesterella and Trypanosoma. Transmission of Plasmodium by mosquitoes was demonstrated with a bird parasite before these insects were proven as vectors of human malaria. All the genera under consideration require an insect vector to complete their life-cycles and susceptible vectors have been demonstrated. Most experimental work on the blood protozoa of birds has been carried on with captive birds. An extensive volume of research has been conducted on Plasmodium because of its close similarity to malaria in man. Field studies that would provide information on the epizootiology of occurrence of these parasites in wild populations have been very limited, mainly confined to single blood film surveys. Such data are inadequate to provide an understanding of true prevalence or incidence or of factual knowledge of their impact on the wild population. Mechanisms for procuring such information are available in some cases and can be developed to fit other situations. Isodiagnosis, inoculation of blood from wild birds into susceptible captive hosts, has revealed a prevalence of over 60 % for Plasmodium in situations where microscope examination of single peripheral blood preparations yielded less than 1 %. Culture of bone marrow collected by biopsy demonstrates high prevalence of trypanosomes even when none are evident from microscopic examination of blood. Often preparations of tissues collected at necropsy reveal Leucocytozoon and Lankesterella when examination of peripheral blood gave no indication of infection. Methods developed by bird ringers provide techniques for obtaining repeat examinations of free-living birds that can yield further

  7. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    PubMed Central

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. PMID:26273273

  8. Pacific Walrus Response to Arctic Sea Ice Losses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2008-01-01

    Sea ice plays an important role in the life of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are seeking to understand how losses of sea ice during summer over important foraging grounds in the Chukchi Sea will affect walruses. USGS scientists recently modified a remotely deployed satellite radio-tag that will aid in studying walrus foraging habitats and behaviors. Information from the tags will help USGS understand how walruses are responding to their changing environment.

  9. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  10. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  11. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  12. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  13. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  14. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  15. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  16. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  17. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  18. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  19. Free-living amoebae as vectors of cryptosporidia.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Patrick L; Schwarzenberger, Rafael

    2011-08-01

    In the present article, the study to examine the ability of free-living amoebae (FLA) to serve as vectors of cryptosporidia is presented. Ten strains of different free-living amoebae of the FLA collection of the Parasitology Lab at Koblenz were cultivated in the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. After phagocytosis and ingestion, the oocysts could be found in food vacuoles within the cytoplasm of the trophozoites of two different FLA strains. The uptake and the transport of the oocysts within the trophozoites could be demonstrated in an Acanthamoeba sp. (group II) strain (maximum, three oocysts; average, one oocyst) as well as in a Thecamoeba quadrilineata strain (maximum, 15 oocysts; average, eight oocysts), with the help of light microscopy. We found that these free-living amoebae can temporarily harbour cryptosporidia, thus supporting the suggestion that FLA may act as carriers and vehicles for cryptosporidia. However, proliferation did not take place within the host amoebae. No cryptosporidium oocysts were found within the cysts of the amoebae. To our knowledge, this is the first study to determine the "host range" of free-living amoebae as vectors and vehicles of cryptosporidia. Free-living amoebae appear able to act as carriers or vectors of the oocysts and thus may play a certain role in the transmission of cryptosporidia.

  20. Free-living flatworms under the knife: past and present

    PubMed Central

    Gschwentner, Robert; Rieger, Reinhard

    2006-01-01

    Traditionally, regeneration research has been closely tied to flatworm research, as flatworms (Plathelminthes) were among the first animals where the phenomenon of regeneration was discovered. Since then, the main focus of flatworm regeneration research was on triclads, for which various phenomena were observed and a number of theories developed. However, free-living flatworms encompass a number of other taxa where regeneration was found to be possible. This review aims to display and to compare regeneration in all major free-living flatworm taxa, with special focus on a new player in the field of regeneration, Macrostomum lignano (Macrostomorpha). Findings on the regeneration capacity of this organism provide clues for links between regeneration and (post-)embryonic development, starvation, and asexual reproduction. The role of the nervous system and especially the brain for regeneration is discussed, and similarities as well as particularities in regeneration among free-living flatworms are pointed out. PMID:17146688

  1. Free-living flatworms under the knife: past and present.

    PubMed

    Egger, Bernhard; Gschwentner, Robert; Rieger, Reinhard

    2007-02-01

    Traditionally, regeneration research has been closely tied to flatworm research, as flatworms (Plathelminthes) were among the first animals where the phenomenon of regeneration was discovered. Since then, the main focus of flatworm regeneration research was on triclads, for which various phenomena were observed and a number of theories developed. However, free-living flatworms encompass a number of other taxa where regeneration was found to be possible. This review aims to display and to compare regeneration in all major free-living flatworm taxa, with special focus on a new player in the field of regeneration, Macrostomum lignano (Macrostomorpha). Findings on the regeneration capacity of this organism provide clues for links between regeneration and (post-)embryonic development, starvation, and asexual reproduction. The role of the nervous system and especially the brain for regeneration is discussed, and similarities as well as particularities in regeneration among free-living flatworms are pointed out. PMID:17146688

  2. Inactivation and Removal of Free-Living Amoebae.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous protozoan that are predominantly harmless to humans. There are a few genera that cause disease in humans, Balamuthia, Naegleria, and Acanthamoeba. These organisms are not easily removed by physical means or inactivated by chemic...

  3. Accuracy of Step Recording in Free-Living Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrens, Timothy K.; Dinger, Mary K.; Vesely, Sara K.; Fields, David A.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate how accurately free-living adults record their pedometer steps on step logs. Researchers used three different methods to examine the accuracy of participant-recorded steps: tests of equivalence, correlation coefficients, and Bland-Altman plots. Findings indicate that participant-recorded steps…

  4. Study of sleep in a walrus.

    PubMed

    Lyamin, O I; Kosenko, P O; Vyssotski, A L; Lapierre, J L; Siegel, J M; Mukhametov, L M

    2012-01-01

    Several behavioral and physiological adaptations have been developed in evolution of Pinnipeds allowing them to sleep both on land and in water. To date sleep has been examined in detail in eared and true seals (the families of Otariidae and Phocidae). The aim of this study was to examine sleep in another semiaquatic mammal - the walrus, which is the only extant representative of the family Odobenidae. Slow wave and paradoxical sleep (SWS and PS) in the examined walrus (2 year old female, weight 130 kg) averaged 19.4 ± 2.0 and 6.9 ± 1.1% of 24-h when on land, and 20.5 ± 0.8% of 24-h and 1.1 ± 0.6% when in water, respectively. The average duration of PS episode was 6.4 ± 0.6 min (maximum 23 min) when on land and 1.8 ± 0.1 min (maximum 3.3 min) when in water. In water, sleep occurred predominantly while the walrus submerged and lay on the bottom of the pool (89% of total sleep time). The walrus usually woke up while emerging to the surface for breathing. Most often EEG slow waves developed synchronously in both cortical hemispheres (90% of SWS time when on land and 97% when in water). Short episodes of interhemispheric EEG asymmetry usually coincided with brief opening of one eye. The pattern of sleep in the walrus was similar to the pattern of sleep in the Otariidae seals while on land (predominantly bilateral SWS, accompanied by regular breathing) and to the pattern of sleep in the Phocidae while in water (sleep during apneas both in depth and at the surface, interrupted by brief arousal when emerging for breathing). PMID:22760621

  5. Study of sleep in a walrus.

    PubMed

    Lyamin, O I; Kosenko, P O; Vyssotski, A L; Lapierre, J L; Siegel, J M; Mukhametov, L M

    2012-01-01

    Several behavioral and physiological adaptations have been developed in evolution of Pinnipeds allowing them to sleep both on land and in water. To date sleep has been examined in detail in eared and true seals (the families of Otariidae and Phocidae). The aim of this study was to examine sleep in another semiaquatic mammal - the walrus, which is the only extant representative of the family Odobenidae. Slow wave and paradoxical sleep (SWS and PS) in the examined walrus (2 year old female, weight 130 kg) averaged 19.4 ± 2.0 and 6.9 ± 1.1% of 24-h when on land, and 20.5 ± 0.8% of 24-h and 1.1 ± 0.6% when in water, respectively. The average duration of PS episode was 6.4 ± 0.6 min (maximum 23 min) when on land and 1.8 ± 0.1 min (maximum 3.3 min) when in water. In water, sleep occurred predominantly while the walrus submerged and lay on the bottom of the pool (89% of total sleep time). The walrus usually woke up while emerging to the surface for breathing. Most often EEG slow waves developed synchronously in both cortical hemispheres (90% of SWS time when on land and 97% when in water). Short episodes of interhemispheric EEG asymmetry usually coincided with brief opening of one eye. The pattern of sleep in the walrus was similar to the pattern of sleep in the Otariidae seals while on land (predominantly bilateral SWS, accompanied by regular breathing) and to the pattern of sleep in the Phocidae while in water (sleep during apneas both in depth and at the surface, interrupted by brief arousal when emerging for breathing).

  6. Ocean environmental effects on walrus communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denes, Samuel L.

    This work aimed to develop source characteristics and transmission effects for the acoustic breeding displays of male Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Pacific walrus breeding activities occur in late winter in the Bering Sea, an area renowned for extreme weather conditions and high biological productivity. During the breeding season, males perform acoustic displays while swimming in the vicinity of females hauled out on ice. Underwater vocalizations heard by individuals hauled out on ice may be important in the mate selection process. The extreme environment in which walrus breeding activities occur precludes direct observation of these animals during this important period and has resulted in a lack of data. A combination of remote-sensing data, captive animal research, controlled environment experiment, and computational modeling was used to increase our understanding of the acoustic displays of Pacific walrus. Analysis of recordings of captive and wild male Pacific walrus vocalizations during breeding season provided quantification of source characteristics. Working with a captive animal provided the ability to make direct observations of a male producing breeding vocalizations and the direct calculation of source level. The mean peak to peak source level of the impulsive knocks produced by the captive male was 183 dB (re: 1 microPa) with the middle 95% of the knocks between 168 dB and 195 dB. The broadband knock signals contained significant acoustic energy up to 13 kHz. To estimate source level from wild vocalizations, the location of the source walrus first needed to be determined. Using a method of relative multipath arrival time, more than 37,000 knocks were localized from six years of data from autonomous recorders deployed in the Bering Sea. The mean peak-peak source level from the wild recordings was 177 dB (re: 1 microPa) with 95% of the knocks between 163 dB and 189 dB. For both wild and captive vocalizations, a significant relationship

  7. [Free-living amoebae as vehicles of pathogenic bacteria].

    PubMed

    Derda, Monika; Sułek-Stankiewicz, Anna; Hadaś, Edward

    2006-01-01

    The free-living amoebae are ubiquitous organisms. They are found in humid soil and all water reservoirs, i.e. fresh, sea, freezing and hot water. They mainly feed on bacteria. Pathogenic properties of amoebae and the mechanisms underlying pathological changes induced during human infection have not yet been fully elucidated. They are the causative agents of primary amoebic meningo-encephalitis (PAM), granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE), a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system, amebic keratitis (AK), a chronic eye infection; amebic pneumitis (AP), a chronic lung infection, and skin infection. Only a few isolates are strongly and permanently pathogenic to humans. Some isolates lose their pathogenic properties after one passage. It has been assumed that such "temporary", unstable pathogenic properties of the amoebae may be caused by internal factors carried by them. It is generally known that the free-living amoebae may be naturally infected with pathogenic bacteria, which have the ability to survive for a long time and to proliferate in the amoebae cells. The role of the amoeba in the process of maintaining, propagating and transmitting human pathogens has not been well recognized. It has been suggested that some infections can be acquired by inhaling aerosols containing amoebae cells filled with bacteria. The presence of bacteria inside the free-living amoebae possess a great challenge to organisations responsible for testing and inspecting the quality and cleanliness of surface waters, swimming pools and drinking water intakes.

  8. Application of airborne thermal imagery to surveys of Pacific walrus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burn, D.M.; Webber, M.A.; Udevitz, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    We conducted tests of airborne thermal imagery of Pacific walrus to determine if this technology can be used to detect walrus groups on sea ice and estimate the number of walruses present in each group. In April 2002 we collected thermal imagery of 37 walrus groups in the Bering Sea at spatial resolutions ranging from 1-4 m. We also collected high-resolution digital aerial photographs of the same groups. Walruses were considerably warmer than the background environment of ice, snow, and seawater and were easily detected in thermal imagery. We found a significant linear relation between walrus group size and the amount of heat measured by the thermal sensor at all 4 spatial resolutions tested. This relation can be used in a double-sampling framework to estimate total walrus numbers from a thermal survey of a sample of units within an area and photographs from a subsample of the thermally detected groups. Previous methods used in visual aerial surveys of Pacific walrus have sampled only a small percentage of available habitat, resulting in population estimates with low precision. Results of this study indicate that an aerial survey using a thermal sensor can cover as much as 4 times the area per hour of flight time with greater reliability than visual observation.

  9. Muscle metabolic function and free-living physical activity.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Gary R; Larson-Meyer, D Enette; Sirikul, Bovorn; Newcomer, Bradley R

    2006-11-01

    We have previously shown that muscle metabolic function measured during exercise is related to exercise performance and subsequent 1-yr weight gain. Because it is well established that physical activity is important in weight maintenance, we examined muscle function relationships with free-living energy expenditure and physical activity. Subjects were 71 premenopausal black and white women. Muscle metabolism was evaluated by (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy during 90-s isometric plantar flexion contractions (45% maximum). Free-living energy expenditure (TEE) was measured using doubly labeled water, activity-related energy expenditure (AEE) was calculated as 0.9 x TEE - sleeping energy expenditure from room calorimetry, and free-living physical activity (ARTE) was calculated by dividing AEE by energy cost of standard physical activities. At the end of exercise, anaerobic glycolytic rate (ANGLY) and muscle concentration of phosphomonoesters (PME) were negatively related to TEE, AEE, and ARTE (P < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that both PME (partial r = -0.29, <0.02) and ANGLY (partial r = -0.24, P < 0.04) were independently related to ARTE. PME, primarily glucose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate, was significantly related to ratings of perceived exertion (r = 0.21, P < or = 0.05) during a maximal treadmill test. PME was not related to ARTE after inclusion of RPE in the multiple regression model, suggesting that PME may be obtaining its relationship with ARTE through an increased perception of effort during physical activity. In conclusion, physically inactive individuals tend to be more dependent on anaerobic glycolysis during exercise while relying on a glycolytic pathway that may not be functioning optimally. PMID:16825516

  10. Muscle metabolic function and free-living physical activity.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Gary R; Larson-Meyer, D Enette; Sirikul, Bovorn; Newcomer, Bradley R

    2006-11-01

    We have previously shown that muscle metabolic function measured during exercise is related to exercise performance and subsequent 1-yr weight gain. Because it is well established that physical activity is important in weight maintenance, we examined muscle function relationships with free-living energy expenditure and physical activity. Subjects were 71 premenopausal black and white women. Muscle metabolism was evaluated by (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy during 90-s isometric plantar flexion contractions (45% maximum). Free-living energy expenditure (TEE) was measured using doubly labeled water, activity-related energy expenditure (AEE) was calculated as 0.9 x TEE - sleeping energy expenditure from room calorimetry, and free-living physical activity (ARTE) was calculated by dividing AEE by energy cost of standard physical activities. At the end of exercise, anaerobic glycolytic rate (ANGLY) and muscle concentration of phosphomonoesters (PME) were negatively related to TEE, AEE, and ARTE (P < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that both PME (partial r = -0.29, <0.02) and ANGLY (partial r = -0.24, P < 0.04) were independently related to ARTE. PME, primarily glucose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate, was significantly related to ratings of perceived exertion (r = 0.21, P < or = 0.05) during a maximal treadmill test. PME was not related to ARTE after inclusion of RPE in the multiple regression model, suggesting that PME may be obtaining its relationship with ARTE through an increased perception of effort during physical activity. In conclusion, physically inactive individuals tend to be more dependent on anaerobic glycolysis during exercise while relying on a glycolytic pathway that may not be functioning optimally.

  11. Identifying endosymbiont bacteria associated with free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Goñi, Pilar; Fernández, María Teresa; Rubio, Encarnación

    2014-02-01

    The association between free-living amoebae and pathogenic bacteria is an issue that has gained great importance due to the environmental and health consequences that it implies. In this paper, we analyse the techniques to follow an epidemiological study to identify associations between genera, species, genotypes and subgenotypes of amoebae with pathogenic bacteria, analysing their evolution and considering their usefulness. In this sense, we highlight the combination of microscopic and molecular techniques as the most appropriate way to obtain fully reliable results as well as the need to achieve the standardization of these techniques to allow the comparison of both environmental and clinical results.

  12. Pathogenic free-living amoebae: epidemiology and clinical review.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, H; Dendana, F; Sellami, A; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Neji, S; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2012-12-01

    Free-living amoebae are widely distributed in soil and water. Small number of them was implicated in human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Sappinia diploidea. Some of the infections were opportunistic, occurring mainly in immunocompromised hosts (Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia encephalitis) while others are non opportunistic (Acanthamoeba keratitis, Naegleria meningoencephalitis and some cases of Balamuthia encephalitis). Although, the number of infections caused by these amoebae is low, their diagnosis was still difficult to confirm and so there was a higher mortality, particularly, associated with encephalitis. In this review, we present some information about epidemiology, ecology and the types of diseases caused by these pathogens amoebae. PMID:22520593

  13. Pathogenic free-living amoebae: epidemiology and clinical review.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, H; Dendana, F; Sellami, A; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Neji, S; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2012-12-01

    Free-living amoebae are widely distributed in soil and water. Small number of them was implicated in human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Sappinia diploidea. Some of the infections were opportunistic, occurring mainly in immunocompromised hosts (Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia encephalitis) while others are non opportunistic (Acanthamoeba keratitis, Naegleria meningoencephalitis and some cases of Balamuthia encephalitis). Although, the number of infections caused by these amoebae is low, their diagnosis was still difficult to confirm and so there was a higher mortality, particularly, associated with encephalitis. In this review, we present some information about epidemiology, ecology and the types of diseases caused by these pathogens amoebae.

  14. Interaction of Pasteurella multocida with free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Hundt, Matthew J; Ruffolo, Carmel G

    2005-09-01

    Pasteurella multocida is a highly infectious, facultative intracellular bacterium which causes fowl cholera in birds. This study reports, for the first time, the observed interaction between P. multocida and free-living amoebae. Amoebal trophozoites were coinfected with fowl-cholera-causing P. multocida strain X-73 that expressed the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Using confocal fluorescence microscopy, GFP expressing X-73 was located within the trophozoite. Transmission electron microscopy of coinfection preparations revealed clusters of intact X-73 cells in membrane-bound vacuoles within the trophozoite cytoplasm. A coinfection assay employing gentamicin to kill extracellular bacteria was used to assess the survival and replication of P. multocida within amoebae. In the presence of amoebae, the number of recoverable intracellular X-73 cells increased over a 24-h period; in contrast, X-73 cultured alone in assay medium showed a consistent decline in growth. Cytotoxicity assays and microscopy showed that X-73 was able to lyse and exit the amoebal cells approximately 18 h after coinfection. The observed interaction between P. multocida and amoebae can be considered as an infective process as the bacterium was able to invade, survive, replicate, and lyse the amoebal host. This raises the possibility that similar interactions occur in vivo between P. multocida and host cells. Free-living amoebae are ubiquitous within water and soil environments, and P. multocida has been observed to survive within these same ecosystems. Thus, our findings suggest that the interaction between P. multocida and amoebae may occur within the natural environment.

  15. Cocultivation of Legionella pneumophila and free-living amoebae

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Domingue, E.L.

    1982-10-01

    Studies of the interaction of Legionella pneumophila with free-living amoebae showed that Naegleria lovaniensis and Acanthamoeba royreba could use L. pneumophia as a sole food source. However, growth of the amoebae on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with L. pneumophila was slower than growth on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. On inoculation of L. pneumophila into axenic cultures of N. lovaniensis and A. roryba, 99.9% of the L. pneumophila was destroyed within 24 h. After several weeks, however, some amoeba cultures became chronically infected and supported the growth of L. pneumophila. Amoebae exposed to L. pneumophila and containing adhered L. pneumophila, L. pneumophila antigens, or both, showed no increased pathogenic potential on intranasal inoculation of weanling mice. Similarly, L. pneumophila propagated in chronically infected amoeba cultures showed no increase in virulence on intraperitoneal inoculation of guinea pigs relative to L. pneumophila grown in yeast extract broth. 20 references, 1 figure, 4 tables.

  16. Intestinal proteases of free-living and parasitic astigmatid mites.

    PubMed

    Holt, Deborah C; Burgess, Stewart T G; Reynolds, Simone L; Mahmood, Wajahat; Fischer, Katja

    2013-02-01

    Among arthropod pests, mites are responsible for considerable damage to crops, humans and other animals. However, detailed physiological data on these organisms remain sparse, mainly because of their small size but possibly also because of their extreme diversity. Focusing on intestinal proteases, we draw together information from three distinct mite species that all feed on skin but have separately adapted to a free-living, a strictly ecto-parasitic and a parasitic lifestyle. A wide range of studies involving immunohistology, molecular biology, X-ray crystallography and enzyme biochemistry of mite gut proteases suggests that these creatures have diverged considerably as house dust mites, sheep scab mites and scabies mites. Each species has evolved a particular variation of a presumably ancestral repertoire of digestive enzymes that have become specifically adapted to their individual environmental requirements.

  17. Genetic variation in the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    PubMed

    Pélandakis, M; De Jonckheere, J F; Pernin, P

    1998-08-01

    In this study, 30 strains of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri were investigated by using the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) method. The present study confirmed our previous finding that RAPD variation is not correlated with geographical origin. In particular, Mexican strains belong to the variant previously detected in Asia, Europe, and the United States. In France, surprisingly, strains from Cattenom gave RAPD patterns identical to those of the Japanese strains. In addition, all of these strains, together with an additional French strain from Chooz, exhibited similarities to South Pacific strains. The results also confirmed the presence of numerous variants in Europe, whereas only two variants were detected in the United States. The two variants found in the United States were different from the South Pacific variants. These findings do not support the previous hypothesis concerning the origin and modes of dispersal of N. fowleri.

  18. Naegleria fowleri: a free living amoeba of emerging medical importance.

    PubMed

    Parija, S C; Jayakeerthee, S R

    1999-09-01

    Naegleria fowleri, a free-living amoeba is ubiquitous and word-wide in distribution. Infection is due to inhalation or aspiration of aerosols containing cysts found in the environment. Of late, the amoeba is emerging as a pathogen of medical importance causing primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in humans. The diagnosis of the condition is mainly parasitic which depends on the detection and identification of Naegleria trophozoites in the cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) or biopsied brain tissue. Serological tests are not useful in the diagnosis of PAM. Most cases are fatal and various amoebicidal agents have been tried unsuccessfully. The present paper provides a review of the recent information on the biology and epidemiology of the disease caused by the amoeba Approaches in the diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment of the condition are also discussed.

  19. Viruses in close associations with free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Patrick

    2015-11-01

    As both groups of organisms, free-living amoebae (FLA) and viruses, can be found in aquatic environments side by side, it appears obvious that there are multiple interactions with respect to host-endocytobiont relationships. Several relationships between viruses and protozoan hosts are described and it was the discovery of the so called "giant viruses," associated with amoebae, which gave another dimension to these interactions. Mimiviruses, Pandoraviruses and Pithoviruses are examples for interesting viral endocytobionts within FLA. In the Mimivirus viral factories, viral DNA undergoes replication and transcription, and the DNA is prepared to be packed in procapsids. Theses Mimivirus factories can be considered as efficient "production lines" where, at any given moment, all stages of viral generation including membrane biogenesis, capsid assembly and genome encapsidation, are occurring concomitantly. There are some hints that similar replication factories are involved as well during the Pandoravirus development. Some scientists favour the assumption that the giant viruses have received many of their genes from their hosts or from sympatric occurring endocytobionts via lateral gene transfer. This hypothesis would mean that this type of transfer has been an important process in the evolution of genomes in the context of the intracellular parasitic or endocytobiotic lifestyle. In turn, that would migitate against hypothesizing development of a new branch in the tree of life. Based on the described scenarios to explain the presence of genes related to translation, it is also possible that earlier ancestors of today's DNA viruses were involved in the origin of eukaryotes. That possibly could in turn support the idea that cellular organisms could have evolved from viruses with growing autarkic properties. In future we expect the discovery of further (giant) viruses within free-living amoebae and other protozoa through genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses.

  20. Viruses in close associations with free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Patrick

    2015-11-01

    As both groups of organisms, free-living amoebae (FLA) and viruses, can be found in aquatic environments side by side, it appears obvious that there are multiple interactions with respect to host-endocytobiont relationships. Several relationships between viruses and protozoan hosts are described and it was the discovery of the so called "giant viruses," associated with amoebae, which gave another dimension to these interactions. Mimiviruses, Pandoraviruses and Pithoviruses are examples for interesting viral endocytobionts within FLA. In the Mimivirus viral factories, viral DNA undergoes replication and transcription, and the DNA is prepared to be packed in procapsids. Theses Mimivirus factories can be considered as efficient "production lines" where, at any given moment, all stages of viral generation including membrane biogenesis, capsid assembly and genome encapsidation, are occurring concomitantly. There are some hints that similar replication factories are involved as well during the Pandoravirus development. Some scientists favour the assumption that the giant viruses have received many of their genes from their hosts or from sympatric occurring endocytobionts via lateral gene transfer. This hypothesis would mean that this type of transfer has been an important process in the evolution of genomes in the context of the intracellular parasitic or endocytobiotic lifestyle. In turn, that would migitate against hypothesizing development of a new branch in the tree of life. Based on the described scenarios to explain the presence of genes related to translation, it is also possible that earlier ancestors of today's DNA viruses were involved in the origin of eukaryotes. That possibly could in turn support the idea that cellular organisms could have evolved from viruses with growing autarkic properties. In future we expect the discovery of further (giant) viruses within free-living amoebae and other protozoa through genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. PMID

  1. RNA editing in the free-living bodonid Bodo saltans.

    PubMed

    Blom, D; de Haan, A; van den Berg, M; Sloof, P; Jirku, M; Lukes, J; Benne, R

    1998-03-01

    In parasitic kinetoplastid protozoa, mitochondrial (mt) mRNAs are post-transcriptionally edited by insertion and deletion of uridylate residues, the information being provided by guide (g) RNAs. In order to further explore the role and evolutionary history of this process, we searched for editing in mt RNAs of the free-living bodonid Bodo saltans. We found extensive editing in the transcript for NADH dehydrogenase (ND) subunit 5, which is unedited in trypanosomatids. In contrast, B.saltans cytochrome c oxidase (cox) subunit 2 and maxicircle unidentified reading frame (MURF) 2 RNAs display limited editing in the same regions as their trypanosomatid counterparts. A putative intramolecular cox2 gRNA and the gene for gMURF2-I directing the insertion of only one U in the 5' editing domain of MURF2 RNA, are conserved in B.saltans. This lends (further) evolutionary support to the proposed role of these sequences as gRNAs. Phylogenetic analysis showed that B.saltans is more closely related to trypanosomatids than the cryptobiids Trypanoplasma borreli and Cryptobia helicis, in line with the trypanosomatid-like cox2 and MURF2 RNA editing patterns. Nevertheless, other features like the apparent absence of a catenated mtDNA network, are shared with bodonid and cryptobiid species. ND5 RNA editing may represent yet another example of editing 'on the way out' during kinetoplastid evolution, but in view of the fact that cox2 RNA is unedited in T. borreli and C.helicis, we infer that the editing of this RNA may have arisen relatively recently. Our results provide the first examples of RNA editing in a free-living kinetoplastid, indicating that there is no direct link between U-insertion/deletion editing and a parasitic lifestyle.

  2. RNA editing in the free-living bodonid Bodo saltans.

    PubMed Central

    Blom, D; de Haan, A; van den Berg, M; Sloof, P; Jirku, M; Lukes, J; Benne, R

    1998-01-01

    In parasitic kinetoplastid protozoa, mitochondrial (mt) mRNAs are post-transcriptionally edited by insertion and deletion of uridylate residues, the information being provided by guide (g) RNAs. In order to further explore the role and evolutionary history of this process, we searched for editing in mt RNAs of the free-living bodonid Bodo saltans. We found extensive editing in the transcript for NADH dehydrogenase (ND) subunit 5, which is unedited in trypanosomatids. In contrast, B.saltans cytochrome c oxidase (cox) subunit 2 and maxicircle unidentified reading frame (MURF) 2 RNAs display limited editing in the same regions as their trypanosomatid counterparts. A putative intramolecular cox2 gRNA and the gene for gMURF2-I directing the insertion of only one U in the 5' editing domain of MURF2 RNA, are conserved in B.saltans. This lends (further) evolutionary support to the proposed role of these sequences as gRNAs. Phylogenetic analysis showed that B.saltans is more closely related to trypanosomatids than the cryptobiids Trypanoplasma borreli and Cryptobia helicis, in line with the trypanosomatid-like cox2 and MURF2 RNA editing patterns. Nevertheless, other features like the apparent absence of a catenated mtDNA network, are shared with bodonid and cryptobiid species. ND5 RNA editing may represent yet another example of editing 'on the way out' during kinetoplastid evolution, but in view of the fact that cox2 RNA is unedited in T. borreli and C.helicis, we infer that the editing of this RNA may have arisen relatively recently. Our results provide the first examples of RNA editing in a free-living kinetoplastid, indicating that there is no direct link between U-insertion/deletion editing and a parasitic lifestyle. PMID:9469817

  3. Feeding enrichment methods for Pacific walrus calves.

    PubMed

    Kastelein, Ronald A; Jennings, Nancy; Postma, Jacobus

    2007-05-01

    In the wild, walrus calves are occupied with many behaviors necessary for survival. In captivity there is usually less to occupy them. Therefore it is necessary to develop other ways to occupy the animals to prevent negative behavior. In the present study, food in four different types of dispensers were tested on two walrus calves: fish in ice, fish in a nine-hole container, fish in a two-hole container, and fish in ice in a one-hole container. All four methods of offering fish had an effect on the animals' behavior. There were differences in the way the two animals responded to each of the four dispensers. The dispensers occupied one animal on average between 32-95% of the 90-min test periods, and the other animal for between 14-57% of the test periods. Due to the effect of learning and rapid development of the calves, which were shifting from a 100% formula diet to a 100% fish diet during the study period, the four methods cannot be compared. Besides the time feeding methods occupy animals, the practicality of a dispenser determines how often it will be used by the keepers. Of the four dispenser types tested in the present study, the nine-hole container was the most practical and was still used frequently by the keepers years after the study. Zoo Biol 0:1-12, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. Diagnosis of infections caused by pathogenic free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    da Rocha-Azevedo, Bruno; Tanowitz, Herbert B; Marciano-Cabral, Francine

    2009-01-01

    Naegleria fowleri, Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Sappinia sp. are pathogenic free-living amoebae. N. fowleri causes Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, a rapidly fatal disease of the central nervous system, while Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris cause chronic granulomatous encephalitis. Acanthamoeba spp. also can cause cutaneous lesions and Amoebic Keratitis, a sight-threatening infection of the cornea that is associated with contact lens use or corneal trauma. Sappinia pedata has been identified as the cause of a nonlethal case of amoebic encephalitis. In view of the potential health consequences due to infection with these amoebae, rapid diagnosis is critical for early treatment. Microscopic examination and culture of biopsy specimens, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), and corneal scrapings have been used in the clinical laboratory. For amoebic keratitis, confocal microscopy has been used to successfully identify amoebae in corneal tissue. More recently, conventional and real-time PCR assays have been developed that are sensitive and specific for the amoebae. In addition, multiplex PCR assays are available for the rapid identification of these pathogens in biopsy tissue, CSF, and corneal specimens.

  5. Dispersal and gene flow in free-living marine nematodes.

    PubMed

    Derycke, Sofie; Backeljau, Thierry; Moens, Tom

    2013-01-01

    Dispersal and gene flow determine connectivity among populations, and can be studied through population genetics and phylogeography. We here review the results of such a framework for free-living marine nematodes. Although field experiments have illustrated substantial dispersal in nematodes at ecological time scales, analysis of the genetic diversity illustrated the importance of priority effects, founder effects and genetic bottlenecks for population structuring between patches <1 km apart. In contrast, only little genetic structuring was observed within an estuary (<50 km), indicating that these small scale fluctuations in genetic differentiation are stabilized over deeper time scales through extensive gene flow. Interestingly, nematode species with contrasting life histories (extreme colonizers vs persisters) or with different habitat preferences (algae vs sediment) show similar, low genetic structuring. Finally, historical events have shaped the genetic pattern of marine nematodes and show that gene flow is restricted at large geographical scales. We also discuss the presence of substantial cryptic diversity in marine nematodes, and end with highlighting future important steps to further unravel nematode evolution and diversity. PMID:23356547

  6. Light pollution disrupts sleep in free-living animals.

    PubMed

    Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2015-09-04

    Artificial lighting can alter individual behaviour, with often drastic and potentially negative effects on biological rhythms, daily activity and reproduction. Whether this is caused by a disruption of sleep, an important widespread behaviour enabling animals to recover from daily stress, is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that light pollution disrupts sleep by recording individual sleep behaviour of great tits, Parus major, that were roosting in dark nest-boxes and were exposed to light-emitting diode light the following night. Their behaviour was compared to that of control birds sleeping in dark nest-boxes on both nights. Artificial lighting caused experimental birds to wake up earlier, sleep less (-5%) and spent less time in the nest-box as they left their nest-box earlier in the morning. Experimental birds did not enter the nest-box or fall asleep later than controls. Although individuals in lit nest-boxes did not wake up more often nor decreased the length of their sleep bouts, females spent a greater proportion of the night awake. Our study provides the first direct proof that light pollution has a significant impact on sleep in free-living animals, in particular in the morning, and highlights a mechanism for potential effects of light pollution on fitness.

  7. Nutrient compensatory foraging in a free-living social insect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Keri L.; Gallacher, Anthony P.; Martin, Lizzie; Tong, Desmond; Elgar, Mark A.

    2010-10-01

    The geometric framework model predicts that animal foraging decisions are influenced by their dietary history, with animals targeting a combination of essential nutrients through compensatory foraging. We provide experimental confirmation of nutrient-specific compensatory foraging in a natural, free-living population of social insects by supplementing their diet with sources of protein- or carbohydrate-rich food. Colonies of the ant Iridomyrmex suchieri were provided with feeders containing food rich in either carbohydrate or protein for 6 days, and were then provided with a feeder containing the same or different diet. The patterns of recruitment were consistent with the geometric framework: while feeders with a carbohydrate diet typically attracted more workers than did feeders with protein diet, the difference in recruitment between the two nutrients was smaller if the colonies had had prior access to carbohydrate than protein. Further, fewer ants visited feeders if the colony had had prior access to protein than to carbohydrates, suggesting that the larvae play a role in worker foraging behaviour.

  8. Dispersal and gene flow in free-living marine nematodes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Dispersal and gene flow determine connectivity among populations, and can be studied through population genetics and phylogeography. We here review the results of such a framework for free-living marine nematodes. Although field experiments have illustrated substantial dispersal in nematodes at ecological time scales, analysis of the genetic diversity illustrated the importance of priority effects, founder effects and genetic bottlenecks for population structuring between patches <1 km apart. In contrast, only little genetic structuring was observed within an estuary (<50 km), indicating that these small scale fluctuations in genetic differentiation are stabilized over deeper time scales through extensive gene flow. Interestingly, nematode species with contrasting life histories (extreme colonizers vs persisters) or with different habitat preferences (algae vs sediment) show similar, low genetic structuring. Finally, historical events have shaped the genetic pattern of marine nematodes and show that gene flow is restricted at large geographical scales. We also discuss the presence of substantial cryptic diversity in marine nematodes, and end with highlighting future important steps to further unravel nematode evolution and diversity. PMID:23356547

  9. In Silico Ionomics Segregates Parasitic from Free-Living Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Greganova, Eva; Steinmann, Michael; Mäser, Pascal; Fankhauser, Niklaus

    2013-01-01

    Ion transporters are fundamental to life. Due to their ancient origin and conservation in sequence, ion transporters are also particularly well suited for comparative genomics of distantly related species. Here, we perform genome-wide ion transporter profiling as a basis for comparative genomics of eukaryotes. From a given predicted proteome, we identify all bona fide ion channels, ion porters, and ion pumps. Concentrating on unicellular eukaryotes (n = 37), we demonstrate that clustering of species according to their repertoire of ion transporters segregates obligate endoparasites (n = 23) on the one hand, from free-living species and facultative parasites (n = 14) on the other hand. This surprising finding indicates strong convergent evolution of the parasites regarding the acquisition and homeostasis of inorganic ions. Random forest classification identifies transporters of ammonia, plus transporters of iron and other transition metals, as the most informative for distinguishing the obligate parasites. Thus, in silico ionomics further underscores the importance of iron in infection biology and suggests access to host sources of nitrogen and transition metals to be selective forces in the evolution of parasitism. This finding is in agreement with the phenomenon of iron withholding as a primordial antimicrobial strategy of infected mammals. PMID:24048281

  10. Oxalate nephropathy in free-living American bullfrog tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Tokiwa, Toshihiro; Kadekaru, Sho; Ito, Masao; Yoshida, Makoto; Une, Yumi

    2015-10-27

    In February 2014, wild American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus tadpoles from an artificial pond in the Kyusyu region, Japan, presented with coelomic and subcutaneous edema and erythema within the skin. A pathological examination of 57 tadpoles of American bullfrogs in the region was conducted to evaluate the disease. Crystal deposition of varying degrees was found in the kidneys of 35 tadpoles (61.4%). The crystals were transparent, pleomorphic in shape, highly birefringent in polarized light, and arranged in a radial pattern within the renal tubular lumen. Using Alizarin Red S stain and liquid chromatography, these crystals were identified as calcium oxalate. Severe coelomic and subcutaneous edema was observed in 7 of these 35 tadpoles (20.0%). Ammonia levels in coelomic fluid were extremely elevated (>1000 µg dl(-1)) in 4 tadpoles examined. These findings suggest that oxalate deposition in kidneys causes metabolic disorder with renal nephropathy. The source of the oxalate could not be determined; however, the presence of calcium oxalates in pond sediments, as revealed by liquid chromatography, suggested that the deposition was most likely due to ingestion of oxalate materials from the environment. This is the first report of oxalate nephropathy in free-living amphibians. PMID:26503774

  11. Survival of freezing by free-living Antarctic soil nematodes.

    PubMed

    Convey, P; Worland, M R

    2000-01-01

    Free-living microbivorous nematodes become numerically dominant in Antarctic terrestrial faunas as environmental conditions become more severe, while also reaching very high levels of abundance in moist, vegetated habitats. Nematodes have little resistance to freezing via exogenous ice nucleation, such as would occur as their microhabitat freezes. We report the results of experiments testing the ability of seven maritime Antarctic nematode taxa to survive freezing in small water droplets at high sub-zero temperatures. Isolated individuals of these species possessed supercooling characteristics similar to those previously reported (supercooling points -6 to -25 degree C). When frozen in water at -3 to -6 degree C, most showed high (> 70%) survival both (i) after rapid cooling (1 degree C/min) to c. -60 degree C followed by immediate rewarming, and (ii) when held for 7-12 h at either -10 or -30 degree C, although the proportions surviving varied between species. We propose that the ability to survive freezing while fully hydrated at high sub-zero temperatures is one of the most important aspects of these species' survival tactics.

  12. Light pollution disrupts sleep in free-living animals.

    PubMed

    Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    Artificial lighting can alter individual behaviour, with often drastic and potentially negative effects on biological rhythms, daily activity and reproduction. Whether this is caused by a disruption of sleep, an important widespread behaviour enabling animals to recover from daily stress, is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that light pollution disrupts sleep by recording individual sleep behaviour of great tits, Parus major, that were roosting in dark nest-boxes and were exposed to light-emitting diode light the following night. Their behaviour was compared to that of control birds sleeping in dark nest-boxes on both nights. Artificial lighting caused experimental birds to wake up earlier, sleep less (-5%) and spent less time in the nest-box as they left their nest-box earlier in the morning. Experimental birds did not enter the nest-box or fall asleep later than controls. Although individuals in lit nest-boxes did not wake up more often nor decreased the length of their sleep bouts, females spent a greater proportion of the night awake. Our study provides the first direct proof that light pollution has a significant impact on sleep in free-living animals, in particular in the morning, and highlights a mechanism for potential effects of light pollution on fitness. PMID:26337732

  13. Light pollution disrupts sleep in free-living animals

    PubMed Central

    Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    Artificial lighting can alter individual behaviour, with often drastic and potentially negative effects on biological rhythms, daily activity and reproduction. Whether this is caused by a disruption of sleep, an important widespread behaviour enabling animals to recover from daily stress, is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that light pollution disrupts sleep by recording individual sleep behaviour of great tits, Parus major, that were roosting in dark nest-boxes and were exposed to light-emitting diode light the following night. Their behaviour was compared to that of control birds sleeping in dark nest-boxes on both nights. Artificial lighting caused experimental birds to wake up earlier, sleep less (–5%) and spent less time in the nest-box as they left their nest-box earlier in the morning. Experimental birds did not enter the nest-box or fall asleep later than controls. Although individuals in lit nest-boxes did not wake up more often nor decreased the length of their sleep bouts, females spent a greater proportion of the night awake. Our study provides the first direct proof that light pollution has a significant impact on sleep in free-living animals, in particular in the morning, and highlights a mechanism for potential effects of light pollution on fitness. PMID:26337732

  14. Timing in free-living rufous hummingbirds, Selasphorus rufus.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Jonathan; Hurly, T Andrew; Bateson, Melissa; Healy, Susan D

    2006-03-01

    Animals organize their lives around circannual and circadian rhythms, but little is known of their use of much shorter intervals. In the laboratory, some animals can learn the specific duration (seconds or minutes) between periods of food access. It has been supposed that wild nectarivores, such as hummingbirds, might also learn short time intervals so as to avoid revisiting emptied flowers until the nectar has been replenished. We provided free-living, territorial rufous hummingbirds each with eight artificial flowers containing sucrose solution. Four flowers were refilled 10 min after the bird emptied them, and the other four were refilled 20 min after being emptied. Throughout the day, birds revisited the 10 min flowers significantly sooner than they revisited the 20 min flowers, and return visits to the flowers matched their refill schedules. Hummingbirds remembered the locations and timing of eight rewards, updating this information throughout the day. Not only is this the first time that this degree of timing ability has been shown in wild animals, but these hummingbirds also exhibit two of the fundamental aspects of episodic-like memory (where and when), the kind of memory for specific events often thought to be exclusive to humans.

  15. Oxalate nephropathy in free-living American bullfrog tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Tokiwa, Toshihiro; Kadekaru, Sho; Ito, Masao; Yoshida, Makoto; Une, Yumi

    2015-10-27

    In February 2014, wild American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus tadpoles from an artificial pond in the Kyusyu region, Japan, presented with coelomic and subcutaneous edema and erythema within the skin. A pathological examination of 57 tadpoles of American bullfrogs in the region was conducted to evaluate the disease. Crystal deposition of varying degrees was found in the kidneys of 35 tadpoles (61.4%). The crystals were transparent, pleomorphic in shape, highly birefringent in polarized light, and arranged in a radial pattern within the renal tubular lumen. Using Alizarin Red S stain and liquid chromatography, these crystals were identified as calcium oxalate. Severe coelomic and subcutaneous edema was observed in 7 of these 35 tadpoles (20.0%). Ammonia levels in coelomic fluid were extremely elevated (>1000 µg dl(-1)) in 4 tadpoles examined. These findings suggest that oxalate deposition in kidneys causes metabolic disorder with renal nephropathy. The source of the oxalate could not be determined; however, the presence of calcium oxalates in pond sediments, as revealed by liquid chromatography, suggested that the deposition was most likely due to ingestion of oxalate materials from the environment. This is the first report of oxalate nephropathy in free-living amphibians.

  16. Diagnosis of Infections Caused by Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae

    PubMed Central

    da Rocha-Azevedo, Bruno; Tanowitz, Herbert B.; Marciano-Cabral, Francine

    2009-01-01

    Naegleria fowleri, Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Sappinia sp. are pathogenic free-living amoebae. N. fowleri causes Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, a rapidly fatal disease of the central nervous system, while Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris cause chronic granulomatous encephalitis. Acanthamoeba spp. also can cause cutaneous lesions and Amoebic Keratitis, a sight-threatening infection of the cornea that is associated with contact lens use or corneal trauma. Sappinia pedata has been identified as the cause of a nonlethal case of amoebic encephalitis. In view of the potential health consequences due to infection with these amoebae, rapid diagnosis is critical for early treatment. Microscopic examination and culture of biopsy specimens, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), and corneal scrapings have been used in the clinical laboratory. For amoebic keratitis, confocal microscopy has been used to successfully identify amoebae in corneal tissue. More recently, conventional and real-time PCR assays have been developed that are sensitive and specific for the amoebae. In addition, multiplex PCR assays are available for the rapid identification of these pathogens in biopsy tissue, CSF, and corneal specimens. PMID:19657454

  17. Cosmopolitan metapopulations of free-living microbial eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Finlay, Bland J; Fenchel, Tom

    2004-06-01

    Metapopulations of macroscopic organisms tend to be geographically restricted, but free-living protists and other microbial eukaryotes present a different picture. Here we show that most organisms smaller than 1 mm occur worldwide wherever their required habitats are realised. This is a consequence of ubiquitous dispersal driven by huge population sizes, and the consequently low probability of local extinction. Organisms larger than 10 mm are much less abundant, and rarely cosmopolitan. The supporting data, together with the discovery that the 1-10 mm size range accommodates a transition from cosmopolitan to regionally-restricted distribution, were derived from extensive inventories of eukaryotic species in a freshwater pond (1278 species), and a shallow marine bay (785 species). All accessible records were examined to establish the extent of global coverage by these species. Some groups of microbial eukaryotes are severely undersampled (e.g. naked amoebae; marine meiofauna in the southern hemisphere) but this fails to weaken evidence that metapopulations of microbial eukaryotes are cosmopolitan.

  18. Cosmopolitan metapopulations of free-living microbial eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Finlay, Bland J; Fenchel, Tom

    2004-06-01

    Metapopulations of macroscopic organisms tend to be geographically restricted, but free-living protists and other microbial eukaryotes present a different picture. Here we show that most organisms smaller than 1 mm occur worldwide wherever their required habitats are realised. This is a consequence of ubiquitous dispersal driven by huge population sizes, and the consequently low probability of local extinction. Organisms larger than 10 mm are much less abundant, and rarely cosmopolitan. The supporting data, together with the discovery that the 1-10 mm size range accommodates a transition from cosmopolitan to regionally-restricted distribution, were derived from extensive inventories of eukaryotic species in a freshwater pond (1278 species), and a shallow marine bay (785 species). All accessible records were examined to establish the extent of global coverage by these species. Some groups of microbial eukaryotes are severely undersampled (e.g. naked amoebae; marine meiofauna in the southern hemisphere) but this fails to weaken evidence that metapopulations of microbial eukaryotes are cosmopolitan. PMID:15305798

  19. Divergent movements of walrus and sea ice in the Nothern Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Kwok, Ron; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens is a large Arctic pinniped of the Chukchi and Bering Seas. Reductions of sea ice projected to occur in the Arctic by mid-century raise concerns for conservation of the Pacific walrus. To understand the significance of sea ice loss to the viability of walruses, it would be useful to better understand the spatial associations between the movements of sea ice and walruses. We investigated whether local-scale (~1 to 100 km) walrus movements correspond to movements of sea ice in the Bering Sea in early spring, using locations from radio-tracked walruses and measures of ice floe movements from processed synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery. We used generalized linear mixed-effects models to analyze the angle between walrus and ice floe movement vectors and the distance between the final geographic position of walruses and their associated ice floes (displacement), as functions of observation duration, proportion of time the walrus was in water, and geographic region. Analyses were based on 121 walrus-ice vector pairs and observations lasting 12 to 36 h. Angles and displacements increased with observation duration, proportion of time the walrus spent in the water, and varied among regions (regional mean angles ranged from 40° to 81° and mean displacements ranged from 15 to 35 km). Our results indicated a lack of correspondence between walruses and their initially associated ice floes, suggesting that local areas of walrus activities were independent of the movement of ice floes.

  20. Free living amoebae as opportunistic parasites in immunocompromised hosts.

    PubMed

    el-Fakahany, A F; Fahmy, R R; Mohamed, A S

    1997-08-01

    The acquisition of invasiveness of mammalian tissue by free living amoebae (FLA) is an extremely noteworthy phenomenon. Many factors may be responsible for this evolutionary change in their physiology. The present work aimed to clarify the host factors in this problem. Albino mice were the laboratory animals used in this work. Non-pathogenic strains of FLA were isolated from ear, nose and pharyngeal swabs and from contact lenses of patients attending out patient clinics in Benha University Hospitals. Isolation was done by cultivation of non-nutrient agar at 37 & 43 degrees C and identification was made by flagellation test. The degree of pathogenicity of isolated strains was assessed by using animal pathogenicity test. Endoxan (0.7 mg/kg) and Prednisolone (2 mg/kg) were used for 15 days orally to suppress the immunity of clean mice before their inoculation intranasally with the isolated strains. All groups were observed for 3 weeks post-infection. Mortality rates recorded were higher in Endoxan or Prednisolone treated and Naegleria infected groups A I & B I (20 & 15% respectively) than Endoxan or Prednisolone treated and acanthamoeba infected groups A II & B II (10%) and drug control (10%). Histopathological examination of brain and meninges revealed severe changes in form of severe meningoencephalitis, severe vacuolar degeneration, and moderate haemorrhage and necrosis in brains of groups AI & BI and less severe changes in groups AII & BII (10%) form of-non granulomatous encephalitis. Drug control groups showed negligible changes. Great attention must be paid to reveal the presence of FLA before using immunosuppressive drugs in human cases. PMID:9257991

  1. Body temperature and fever in a free-living bird.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders Pape

    2010-05-01

    Fever is an adaptive physiological response that animals use to fight infections by microorganisms. Although used routinely by veterinary and medical doctors for assessment of health status, there are hardly any studies of fever in free-living animals. Body temperature in a sample of more than 500 adult barn swallows Hirundo rustica varied considerably, but was consistent among capture events. Body temperature increased during the day, and reached a minimum in the middle of the breeding season. A normal quantile plot revealed that 4.5% of adults constituted a separate population that had fever. There were only marginal effects of handling on body temperature. Body temperature increased by 2.6 standard deviations following injection with LPS, showing that body temperature indeed increased with an immune challenge. Body temperature was negatively related to abundance of feather mites, but was not related to abundance of other ectoparasites or size of the uropygial gland. Barn swallows with high body temperatures also had large body mass and showed weak stress responses as reflected by their tonic immobility. Barn swallows in large colonies had lower body temperatures than solitary or less colonial individuals. Body temperature was not related to arrival date, timing of breeding, annual fecundity or adult survival. However, individuals that were easier to catch had higher body temperatures. These findings suggest that body temperature is a consistent physiological parameter of individuals, a small fraction of individuals has fever, and that febrile individuals have specific parasite loads, body mass, social environment and ability to escape capture. PMID:20188208

  2. Microbiome of free-living amoebae isolated from drinking water.

    PubMed

    Delafont, Vincent; Brouke, Amélie; Bouchon, Didier; Moulin, Laurent; Héchard, Yann

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa that can be found in water networks where they prey on bacteria within biofilms. Most bacteria are digested rapidly by phagocytosis, however some are able to survive within amoebae and some are even able to multiply, as it is the case for Legionella pneumophila. These resisting bacteria are a potential health problem as they could also resist to macrophage phagocytosis. Several publications already reported intra-amoebal bacteria but the methods of identification did not allow metagenomic analysis and are partly based on co-culture with one selected amoebal strain. The aim of our study was to conduct a rRNA-targeted metagenomic analysis on amoebae and intra-amoebal bacteria found in drinking water network, to provide the first FLA microbiome in environmental strains. Three sites of a water network were sampled during four months. Culturable FLA were isolated and total DNA was prepared, allowing purification of both amoebal and bacterial DNA. Metagenomic studies were then conducted through 18S or 16S amplicons sequencing. Hartmannella was by far the most represented genus of FLA. Regarding intra-amoebal bacteria, 54 genera were identified, among which 21 were newly described intra-amoebal bacteria, underlying the power of our approach. There were high differences in bacterial diversity between the three sites. Several genera were highly represented and/or found at least in two sites, underlying that these bacteria could be able to multiply within FLA. Our method is therefore useful to identify FLA microbiome and could be applied to other networks to have a more comprehensive view of intra-amoebal diversity.

  3. Diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system

    EPA Science Inventory

    Free-living amoebae are known to facilitate the growth of water associated pathogens. This study, for the first time, explored the diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system in Rouse Hill NSW, Australia. Water and biofilm samples w...

  4. Arctic trichinosis: two Alaskan outbreaks from walrus meat.

    PubMed

    Margolis, H S; Middaugh, J P; Burgess, R D

    1979-01-01

    The arctic form of Trichinella spiralis that infects terrestrial and marine mammals is of importance in public health because persons living in arctic regions still depend on wild animals for economic subsistence. In 1975, an extended common-source epidemic of trichinosis attributed to consumption of walrus meat involved 29 persons in Barrow, Alaska. Of those persons eating this meat, 64% became ill, and the rate of infection of persons eating meat prepared with little or no cooking was four times as great as that of persons eating cooked meat. One year later a second outbreak occurred when a family ate partially cooked meat from an infected walrus. Clinical illness differed little from the disease acquired in temperature climates; however, only 70% had a positive bentonite flocculation titer, whereas 96% had eosinophilia. These epidemics of trichinosis are the first reported in Alaska to be associated with the consumption of walrus meat.

  5. Pacific Walrus and climate change: observations and predictions.

    PubMed

    Maccracken, James G

    2012-08-01

    The extent and duration of sea-ice habitats used by Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are diminishing resulting in altered walrus behavior, mortality, and distribution. I document changes that have occurred over the past several decades and make predictions to the end of the 21st century. Climate models project that sea ice will monotonically decline resulting in more ice-free summers of longer duration. Several stressors that may impact walruses are directly influenced by sea ice. How these stressors materialize were modeled as most likely-case, worst-case, and best-case scenarios for the mid- and late-21st century, resulting in four comprehensive working hypotheses that can help identify and prioritize management and research projects, identify comprehensive mitigation actions, and guide monitoring programs to track future developments and adjust programs as needed. In the short term, the most plausible hypotheses predict a continuing northward shift in walrus distribution, increasing use of coastal haulouts in summer and fall, and a population reduction set by the carrying capacity of the near shore environment and subsistence hunting. Alternatively, under worst-case conditions, the population will decline to a level where the probability of extinction is high. In the long term, walrus may seasonally abandon the Bering and Chukchi Seas for sea-ice refugia to the northwest and northeast, ocean warming and pH decline alter walrus food resources, and subsistence hunting exacerbates a large population decline. However, conditions that reverse current trends in sea ice loss cannot be ruled out. Which hypothesis comes to fruition depends on how the stressors develop and the success of mitigation measures. Best-case scenarios indicate that successful mitigation of unsustainable harvests and terrestrial haulout-related mortalities can be effective. Management and research should focus on monitoring, elucidating effects, and mitigation, while ultimately

  6. Pacific Walrus and climate change: observations and predictions

    PubMed Central

    MacCracken, James G

    2012-01-01

    The extent and duration of sea-ice habitats used by Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are diminishing resulting in altered walrus behavior, mortality, and distribution. I document changes that have occurred over the past several decades and make predictions to the end of the 21st century. Climate models project that sea ice will monotonically decline resulting in more ice-free summers of longer duration. Several stressors that may impact walruses are directly influenced by sea ice. How these stressors materialize were modeled as most likely-case, worst-case, and best-case scenarios for the mid- and late-21st century, resulting in four comprehensive working hypotheses that can help identify and prioritize management and research projects, identify comprehensive mitigation actions, and guide monitoring programs to track future developments and adjust programs as needed. In the short term, the most plausible hypotheses predict a continuing northward shift in walrus distribution, increasing use of coastal haulouts in summer and fall, and a population reduction set by the carrying capacity of the near shore environment and subsistence hunting. Alternatively, under worst-case conditions, the population will decline to a level where the probability of extinction is high. In the long term, walrus may seasonally abandon the Bering and Chukchi Seas for sea-ice refugia to the northwest and northeast, ocean warming and pH decline alter walrus food resources, and subsistence hunting exacerbates a large population decline. However, conditions that reverse current trends in sea ice loss cannot be ruled out. Which hypothesis comes to fruition depends on how the stressors develop and the success of mitigation measures. Best-case scenarios indicate that successful mitigation of unsustainable harvests and terrestrial haulout-related mortalities can be effective. Management and research should focus on monitoring, elucidating effects, and mitigation, while ultimately

  7. Pacific Walrus and climate change: observations and predictions.

    PubMed

    Maccracken, James G

    2012-08-01

    The extent and duration of sea-ice habitats used by Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are diminishing resulting in altered walrus behavior, mortality, and distribution. I document changes that have occurred over the past several decades and make predictions to the end of the 21st century. Climate models project that sea ice will monotonically decline resulting in more ice-free summers of longer duration. Several stressors that may impact walruses are directly influenced by sea ice. How these stressors materialize were modeled as most likely-case, worst-case, and best-case scenarios for the mid- and late-21st century, resulting in four comprehensive working hypotheses that can help identify and prioritize management and research projects, identify comprehensive mitigation actions, and guide monitoring programs to track future developments and adjust programs as needed. In the short term, the most plausible hypotheses predict a continuing northward shift in walrus distribution, increasing use of coastal haulouts in summer and fall, and a population reduction set by the carrying capacity of the near shore environment and subsistence hunting. Alternatively, under worst-case conditions, the population will decline to a level where the probability of extinction is high. In the long term, walrus may seasonally abandon the Bering and Chukchi Seas for sea-ice refugia to the northwest and northeast, ocean warming and pH decline alter walrus food resources, and subsistence hunting exacerbates a large population decline. However, conditions that reverse current trends in sea ice loss cannot be ruled out. Which hypothesis comes to fruition depends on how the stressors develop and the success of mitigation measures. Best-case scenarios indicate that successful mitigation of unsustainable harvests and terrestrial haulout-related mortalities can be effective. Management and research should focus on monitoring, elucidating effects, and mitigation, while ultimately

  8. Detection and Identification of Free-living Amoeba from Environmental Water in Taiwan by PCR Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, H. F.; Hsu, B. M.; Huang, K. H.; She, C. Y.; Kao, P. M.; Shen, S. M.; Tseng, S. F.; Chen, J. S.

    2012-04-01

    Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Balamuthia and Hartmannella all belong to free-living amoebae that are present ubiquitously in the environment including water, soil, and air. Free-living amoebae are parasites which can infect humans and can lead to serious illness and even death. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of free-living amoebae in aquatic environment in Taiwan, and to compare the differences between Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in diverse cultivation methods and conditions. In this study, we used molecular method by PCR amplification with specific primers to analyze the occurrence of free-living amoebae. We collected 176 samples from environmental water including drinking water treatment plants, stream water, and hot spring recreational areas in Taiwan. Based on the results of PCR, 43 water samples (24.4%) were detected positive for free-living amoebae. The most common Acanthamoeba genotype isolated from samples including T2, T4, T5, T12, and T15. N. australiensis and N. lovaniensis were also identified by molecular biology techniques. Furthermore, we found that both Acanthamoeba and Naegleria can be cultured by PYG in 30° C, but not all free-living amoebae can be isolated and enriched by using storage-cultivation method. Because of the widespread presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in aquatic environments, the water quality and safety of aquatic environments should be more conscious in Taiwan and worldwide. Keywords: free-living amoebae; Acanthamoeba; Naegleria; Balamuthia; Hartmannella; PCR

  9. Results and evaluation of a survey to estimate Pacific walrus population size, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Speckman, S.G.; Chernook, V.I.; Burn, D.M.; Udevitz, M.S.; Kochnev, A.A.; Vasilev, A.; Jay, C.V.; Lisovsky, A.; Fischbach, A.S.; Benter, R.B.

    2011-01-01

    In spring 2006, we conducted a collaborative U.S.-Russia survey to estimate abundance of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The Bering Sea was partitioned into survey blocks, and a systematic random sample of transects within a subset of the blocks was surveyed with airborne thermal scanners using standard strip-transect methodology. Counts of walruses in photographed groups were used to model the relation between thermal signatures and the number of walruses in groups, which was used to estimate the number of walruses in groups that were detected by the scanner but not photographed. We also modeled the probability of thermally detecting various-sized walrus groups to estimate the number of walruses in groups undetected by the scanner. We used data from radio-tagged walruses to adjust on-ice estimates to account for walruses in the water during the survey. The estimated area of available habitat averaged 668,000 km2 and the area of surveyed blocks was 318,204 km2. The number of Pacific walruses within the surveyed area was estimated at 129,000 with 95% confidence limits of 55,000-507,000 individuals. Poor weather conditions precluded surveying in other areas; therefore, this value represents the number of Pacific walruses within about half of potential walrus habitat. ?? 2010 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  10. Walrus distributional and foraging response to changing ice and benthic conditions in the Chukchi Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2012-01-01

    Arctic species such as the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are facing a rapidly changing environment. Walruses are benthic foragers and may shift their spatial patterns of foraging in response to changes in prey distribution. We used data from satellite radio-tags attached to walruses in 2009-2010 to map walrus foraging locations with concurrent sampling of benthic infauna to examine relationships between distributions of dominant walrus prey and spatial patterns of walrus foraging. Walrus foraging was concentrated offshore in the NE Chukchi Sea, and coastal areas of northwestern Alaska when sea ice was sparse. Walrus foraging areas in August-September were coincident with the biomass of two dominant bivalve taxa (Tellinidae and Nuculidae) and sipunculid worms. Walrusforaging costs associated with increased travel time to higher biomass food patches from land may be significantly higher than the costs from sea ice haul-outs and result in reduced energy storesin walruses. Identifying what resources are selected by walruses and how those resources are distributed in space and time will improve our ability to forecast how walruses might respond to a changing climate.

  11. Comparative analyses of semen and endocrine characteristics of free-living versus captive jaguars (Panthera onca).

    PubMed

    Morato, R G; Conforti, V A; Azevedo, F C; Jacomo, A T; Silveira, L; Sana, D; Nunes, A L; Guimarães, M A; Barnabe, R C

    2001-11-01

    Semen and blood samples were obtained from free-living (n = 6) and captive (n = 8) jaguars (Panthera onca) to compare reproductive characteristics between the two populations. Semen samples were analysed for volume (ml), percentage of motile spermatozoa, rate of forward progression (0-5), concentration (10(6) ml(-1)), total sperm count (10(6)) and sperm morphology. Serum testosterone concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay. Although ejaculate volume was greater in captive jaguars (n = 47 samples) than in free-living jaguars (n = 7 samples) (P < 0.05), the free-living jaguars produced more total spermatozoa (59.3 +/- 12.8 versus 152.0 +/- 88.0 x 10(6), respectively; not significant) with better viability and forward progression (2.8 +/- 0.1 versus 3.5 +/- 0.2, respectively; P < 0.05) and more spermatozoa with normal morphology (73.5 +/- 3.9 versus 5.0 +/- 1.1%, respectively; P < 0.05). Serum testosterone concentrations were similar for captive and free-living male jaguars (3.1 +/- 0.7 and 2.1 +/- 0.8 ng ml(-1), respectively). In summary, the data showed that semen may be collected successfully from free-living jaguars and evaluated under field conditions to establish normative reproductive values in this species. The results also indicate that jaguars maintained in zoos show inferior seminal characteristics compared with free-living animals.

  12. Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae Isolated From Contact Lenses of Keratitis Patients

    PubMed Central

    HAJIALILO, Elham; NIYYATI, Maryam; SOLAYMANI, Mohammad; REZAEIAN, Mostafa

    2015-01-01

    Background: Free-living amoeba (FLA)-related keratitis is a progressive infection of the cornea with poor prognosis. The present study aimed to investigates the contact lenses of patients with keratitis for pathogenic free-living amoebae. Methods: Overall, 62 contact lenses and their paraphernalia of patients with keratitis cultured and tested for the presence of free-living amoebae using morphological criteria. Unusual plates including plates containing mix amoebae and Vermamoeba were submitted to molecular analysis. Results: Out of 62 plates, 11 revealed the outgrowth of free living amoeba of which 9 were Acanthamoeba, one plates contained mix amoebae including Acanthamoeba and Vermamoeba and one showed the presence of Vermamoeba. These two latter plates belonged to patients suffered from unilateral keratitis due to the misused of soft contact lenses. One of the patients had mix infection of Acanthamoeba (T4) and V. vermiformis meanwhile the other patient was infected with the V. vermiformis. Conclusion: Amoebic keratitis continues to rise in Iran and worldwide. To date, various genera of free-living amoebae such as Vermamoeba could be the causative agent of keratitis. Soft contact lens wearers are the most affected patients in the country, thus awareness of high-risk people for preventing free-living amoebae related keratitis is of utmost importance. PMID:26811719

  13. Comparative analyses of semen and endocrine characteristics of free-living versus captive jaguars (Panthera onca).

    PubMed

    Morato, R G; Conforti, V A; Azevedo, F C; Jacomo, A T; Silveira, L; Sana, D; Nunes, A L; Guimarães, M A; Barnabe, R C

    2001-11-01

    Semen and blood samples were obtained from free-living (n = 6) and captive (n = 8) jaguars (Panthera onca) to compare reproductive characteristics between the two populations. Semen samples were analysed for volume (ml), percentage of motile spermatozoa, rate of forward progression (0-5), concentration (10(6) ml(-1)), total sperm count (10(6)) and sperm morphology. Serum testosterone concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay. Although ejaculate volume was greater in captive jaguars (n = 47 samples) than in free-living jaguars (n = 7 samples) (P < 0.05), the free-living jaguars produced more total spermatozoa (59.3 +/- 12.8 versus 152.0 +/- 88.0 x 10(6), respectively; not significant) with better viability and forward progression (2.8 +/- 0.1 versus 3.5 +/- 0.2, respectively; P < 0.05) and more spermatozoa with normal morphology (73.5 +/- 3.9 versus 5.0 +/- 1.1%, respectively; P < 0.05). Serum testosterone concentrations were similar for captive and free-living male jaguars (3.1 +/- 0.7 and 2.1 +/- 0.8 ng ml(-1), respectively). In summary, the data showed that semen may be collected successfully from free-living jaguars and evaluated under field conditions to establish normative reproductive values in this species. The results also indicate that jaguars maintained in zoos show inferior seminal characteristics compared with free-living animals. PMID:11690535

  14. Genetic diversity of free-living Symbiodinium in the Caribbean: the importance of habitats and seasons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granados-Cifuentes, Camila; Neigel, Joseph; Leberg, Paul; Rodriguez-Lanetty, Mauricio

    2015-09-01

    Although reef corals are dependent of the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium, the large majority of corals spawn gametes that do not contain their vital symbiont. This suggests the existence of a pool of Symbiodinium in the environment, of which surprisingly little is known. Reefs around Curaçao (Caribbean) were sampled for free-living Symbiodinium at three time periods (summer 2009, summer 2010, and winter 2010) to characterize different habitats (water column, coral rubble, sediment, the macroalgae Halimeda spp., Dictyota spp., and Lobophora variegata, and the seagrass Thalassia testudinum) that could serve as environmental sources of symbionts for corals. We detected the common clades of Symbiodinium that engage in symbiosis with Caribbean coral hosts A, B, and C using Symbiodinium-specific primers of the hypervariable region of the chloroplast 23S ribosomal DNA gene. We also discovered clade G and, for the first time in the Caribbean, the presence of free-living Symbiodinium clades F and H. Additionally, this study expands the habitat range of free-living Symbiodinium as environmental Symbiodinium was detected in T. testudinum seagrass beds. The patterns of association between free-living Symbiodinium types and habitats were shown to be complex. An interesting, strong association was seen between some clade A sequence types and sediment, suggesting that sediment could be a niche where clade A radiated from a free-living ancestor. Other interesting relationships were seen between sequence types of Symbiodinium clade C with Halimeda spp. and clades B and F with T. testudinium. These relationships highlight the importance of some macroalgae and seagrasses in hosting free-living Symbiodinium. Finally, studies spanning beyond a 1-yr cycle are needed to further expand on our results in order to better understand the variation of Symbiodinium in the environment through time. All together, results presented here showed that the great diversity of free-living Symbiodinium has

  15. Nutritional status of institutionalized and free-living elderly in Alexandria.

    PubMed

    Shabayek, M M; Saleh, S I

    2000-01-01

    Because of an increase in the number of elderly and the problems of nutrition associated with them, it is of interest to study the nutritional status of elderly persons in Alexandria City. The purpose of this study was to assess the nutritional status of elderly population and to compare between the nutritional status of those institutionalized and those living free. The study was conducted on 240 elderly persons (120 institutionalized and 120 free living) selected randomly from institutions and from different sites. The basic data, weight, height, body mass index (BMI) of each were recorded. Dietary intake study was done by using 24 hours recall for 3 consecutive days and food frequency were used to obtain the best estimate of food intake. Energy and nutrient intakes were obtained and compared with the recommended dietary allowance (RDAs). The main findings of the study revealed that the mean age of the institutionalized elderly was greater than those living free. Percent of obesity among females was 71.7% among free living and 45% among institutionalized. Under-nutrition was present in 11.7% and 8.3% of institutionalized males and females respectively. Food habits showed that institutionalized subjects consume more amounts of many food items than free-living. Total daily energy intake was found to be below the recommendation for all subjects, with higher intake among institutionalized than free living. Nutrient intakes among institutionalized and free living elderly were inadequate except thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin C and iron. The nutrients least adequately supplied in the diets of elderly are vitamin A and calcium along with energy deficits. In conclusion both institutionalized and free living are at risk for developing nutrient deficiencies. Deficient energy, calcium and vitamin A are common problems among most subjects. The composition of the diet among free living subjects seem to be also poor in some micronutrients. We recommended a nutrition intervention

  16. Indication of two Pacific walrus stocks from whole tooth elemental analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Outridge, P.M.; Garlich-Miller, J. L.

    2008-01-01

    The Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) is considered to be a single panmictic population for management purposes. However, studies on population structuring in this species are limited; in part, because portions of the population's range are often inaccessible. Therefore, alternative and complementary methods for investigating stock structure in the Pacific walrus are of particular interest. We used measures of elemental concentrations in whole tooth sections from ICP-MS in a discriminant analysis to investigate evidence of stock separation between walruses from two of three known breeding areas (S.E. Bering, St Lawrence, and Anadyr Gulf). Elemental compositions of teeth from female and male walruses from the S.E. Bering and St Lawrence breeding areas were significantly different, providing evidence of separate stocks. We also obtained insights into the potential relation of walruses from non-breeding areas to walruses from these breeding groups based on similarities in their dental elemental profiles. ?? 2008 Springer-Verlag.

  17. Detection and identification of free-living amoeba from aquatic environment in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiun Tzeng, Kai; Che Tung, Min; Hsu, Bing Mu; Tsai, Hsiu Feng; Huang, Po Hsiang; Hao Huang, Kuan; Kao, Po Min; Shen, Shu Min; Chen, Jung Sheng

    2013-04-01

    Free-living amoebae including Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Balamuthia and Hartmannella are widely distributed in water, soil, and air. They can infect humans and can lead to serious illness even death. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of free-living amoebae from aquatic environment in Taiwan, and to compare the differences between Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in different cultivation methods and conditions. In this study, we used molecular method with specific primers by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to amplify and to analyze the occurrence of free-living amoebae in aquatic environment. We collected 92 samples from environmental water in Taiwan. The results show that 33 water samples (35.9%) and 11 water samples (12.0%) were detected positive for Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, respectively. Furthermore, both Acanthamoeba and Naegleria can be cultured by PYG in 30° C, but not all free-living amoebae can be enriched and isolated by using storage-cultivation method. Due to the presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in aquatic environment, the water quality monitoring should be more conscious. Keywords: free-living amoebae; Acanthamoeba; Naegleria; Balamuthia; Hartmannella; PCR

  18. Results and evaluation of a survey to estimate Pacific walrus population size, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Speckman, Suzann G.; Chernook, Vladimir I.; Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; Vasilev, Alexander; Jay, Chadwick V.; Lisovsky, Alexander; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2011-01-01

    In spring 2006, we conducted a collaborative U.S.-Russia survey to estimate abundance of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The Bering Sea was partitioned into survey blocks, and a systematic random sample of transects within a subset of the blocks was surveyed with airborne thermal scanners using standard strip-transect methodology. Counts of walruses in photographed groups were used to model the relation between thermal signatures and the number of walruses in groups, which was used to estimate the number of walruses in groups that were detected by the scanner but not photographed. We also modeled the probability of thermally detecting various-sized walrus groups to estimate the number of walruses in groups undetected by the scanner. We used data from radio-tagged walruses to adjust on-ice estimates to account for walruses in the water during the survey. The estimated area of available habitat averaged 668,000 km2 and the area of surveyed blocks was 318,204 km2. The number of Pacific walruses within the surveyed area was estimated at 129,000 with 95% confidence limits of 55,000 to 507,000 individuals. This value can be used by managers as a minimum estimate of the total population size.

  19. Functional ecology of free-living nitrogen fixation: A contemporary perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Sasha C.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Townsend, Alan R.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) availability is thought to frequently limit terrestrial ecosystem processes, and explicit consideration of N biogeochemistry, including biological N2 fixation, is central to understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change. Yet, the importance of free-living N2 fixation—a process that occurs on a wide variety of substrates, is nearly ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems, and may often represent the dominant pathway for acquiring newly available N—is often underappreciated. Here, we draw from studies that investigate free-living N2 fixation from functional, physiological, genetic, and ecological perspectives. We show that recent research and analytical advances have generated a wealth of new information that provides novel insight into the ecology of N2 fixation as well as raises new questions and priorities for future work. These priorities include a need to better integrate free-living N2 fixation into conceptual and analytical evaluations of the N cycle's role in a variety of global change scenarios.

  20. A Common Scaling Rule for Abundance, Energetics, and Production of Parasitic and Free-Living Species

    PubMed Central

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andy P.; Brown, James H.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2011-01-01

    The metabolic theory of ecology uses the scaling of metabolism with body size and temperature to explain the causes and consequences of species abundance. However, the theory and its empirical tests have never simultaneously examined parasites alongside free-living species. This is unfortunate because parasites represent at least half of species diversity. We show that metabolic scaling theory could not account for the abundance of parasitic or free-living species in three estuarine food webs until accounting for trophic dynamics. Analyses then revealed that the abundance of all species uniformly scaled with body mass to the −¾ power. This result indicates “production equivalence,” where biomass production within trophic levels is invariant of body size across all species and functional groups: invertebrate or vertebrate, ectothermic or endothermic, and free-living or parasitic. PMID:21778398

  1. A common scaling rule for abundance, energetics, and production of parasitic and free-living species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andy P.; Brown, James H.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2011-01-01

    The metabolic theory of ecology uses the scaling of metabolism with body size and temperature to explain the causes and consequences of species abundance. However, the theory and its empirical tests have never simultaneously examined parasites alongside free-living species. This is unfortunate because parasites represent at least half of species diversity. We show that metabolic scaling theory could not account for the abundance of parasitic or free-living species in three estuarine food webs until accounting for trophic dynamics. Analyses then revealed that the abundance of all species uniformly scaled with body mass to the - 3/4 power. This result indicates "production equivalence," where biomass production within trophic levels is invariant of body size across all species and functional groups: invertebrate or vertebrate, ectothermic or endothermic, and free-living or parasitic.

  2. Effects of Holothuroid Ichtyotoxic Saponins on the Gills of Free-Living Fishes and Symbiotic Pearlfishes.

    PubMed

    Eeckhaut, Igor; Caulier, Guillaume; Brasseur, Lola; Flammang, Patrick; Gerbaux, Pascal; Parmentier, Eric

    2015-06-01

    Several carapid fishes, known as pearlfishes, are endosymbiotic in holothuroids and asteroids. These echinoderms contain a strong concentration of saponins that are efficient membranolytic repellents to predators. We compared the effects of exposure to saponins from the sea cucumber body wall and from the Cuvierian tubules on the behavior and gill ultrastructure of pearlfishes and free-living fishes. Saponins were extracted from the body wall of two holothuroids, the Mediterranean Holothuria forskali and the tropical Bohadschia atra, and from the water surrounding the Cuvierian tubules of B. atra. Five species of carapids that live in symbiosis with holothuroids and seven species of free-living fishes were exposed to these extracts. The free-living fishes exhibited a stress response and died about 45 times faster than pearlfishes when exposed to the same quantity of saponins. Cuvierian tubules and saponins extracted from the body wall were lethal to the free-living fishes, whereas the carapids were much less sensitive. The carapids did not exhibit a stress response. The high toxicity shown by Cuvierian tubules was not explained by the nature of the saponins that were identified by mass spectrometry, but it is likely due to the higher concentration of saponins in the tubules. Histology and scanning and transmission electron microscopy of the gills of the free-living fishes and pearlfishes showed that saponins act at the level of the secondary lamellae where they induce the detachment of the epithelia, create edema at the level of the epithelia, and induce pores in the epithelial cells that lead to their destruction and the invasion of inner cells (pillar cells and red blood cells). This sequence of events happens 5 min after saponin exposure in free-living fishes and after 1 h in carapids. PMID:26124451

  3. Effects of Holothuroid Ichtyotoxic Saponins on the Gills of Free-Living Fishes and Symbiotic Pearlfishes.

    PubMed

    Eeckhaut, Igor; Caulier, Guillaume; Brasseur, Lola; Flammang, Patrick; Gerbaux, Pascal; Parmentier, Eric

    2015-06-01

    Several carapid fishes, known as pearlfishes, are endosymbiotic in holothuroids and asteroids. These echinoderms contain a strong concentration of saponins that are efficient membranolytic repellents to predators. We compared the effects of exposure to saponins from the sea cucumber body wall and from the Cuvierian tubules on the behavior and gill ultrastructure of pearlfishes and free-living fishes. Saponins were extracted from the body wall of two holothuroids, the Mediterranean Holothuria forskali and the tropical Bohadschia atra, and from the water surrounding the Cuvierian tubules of B. atra. Five species of carapids that live in symbiosis with holothuroids and seven species of free-living fishes were exposed to these extracts. The free-living fishes exhibited a stress response and died about 45 times faster than pearlfishes when exposed to the same quantity of saponins. Cuvierian tubules and saponins extracted from the body wall were lethal to the free-living fishes, whereas the carapids were much less sensitive. The carapids did not exhibit a stress response. The high toxicity shown by Cuvierian tubules was not explained by the nature of the saponins that were identified by mass spectrometry, but it is likely due to the higher concentration of saponins in the tubules. Histology and scanning and transmission electron microscopy of the gills of the free-living fishes and pearlfishes showed that saponins act at the level of the secondary lamellae where they induce the detachment of the epithelia, create edema at the level of the epithelia, and induce pores in the epithelial cells that lead to their destruction and the invasion of inner cells (pillar cells and red blood cells). This sequence of events happens 5 min after saponin exposure in free-living fishes and after 1 h in carapids.

  4. Phenotypic and Genotypic Comparison of Symbiotic and Free-Living Cyanobacteria from a Single Field Site

    PubMed Central

    West, N. J.; Adams, D. G.

    1997-01-01

    PCR amplification techniques were used to compare cyanobacterial symbionts from a cyanobacterium-bryophyte symbiosis and free-living cyanobacteria from the same field site. Thirty-one symbiotic cyanobacteria were isolated from the hornwort Phaeoceros sp. at several closely spaced locations, and 40 free-living cyanobacteria were isolated from the immediate vicinity of the same plants. One of the symbiotic isolates was a species of Calothrix, a genus not previously known to form bryophyte symbioses, and the remainder were Nostoc spp. Of the free-living strains, two were Calothrix spp., three were Chlorogloeopsis spp. and the rest were Nostoc spp. All of the symbiotic and all but one of the free-living strains were able to reconstitute the symbiosis with axenic cultures of both Phaeoceros and the liverwort Blasia sp. Axenic cyanobacterial strains were compared by DNA amplification using PCR with either short arbitrary primers or primers specific for the regions flanking the 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer. With one exception, the two techniques produced complementary results and confirmed for the first time that a diversity of symbiotic cyanobacteria infect Phaeoceros in the field. Symbionts from adjacent colonies were different as often as they were the same, showing that the same thallus could be infected with many different cyanobacterial strains. Strains found to be identical by the techniques employed here were often found as symbionts in different thalli at the same locale but were never found free-living. Only one of the free-living strains, and none of the symbiotic strains, was found at more than one sample site, implying a highly localized distribution of strains. PMID:16535734

  5. Relationships between free living amoebae and Exophiala dermatitidis: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Cateau, Estelle; Mergey, Tiphaine; Kauffmann-Lacroix, Catherine; Rodier, Marie-Helene

    2009-02-01

    Free living amoebae can play a role as reservoirs for pathogens isolated from hospital water. We have investigated the potential interactions between two protozoa (Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmanella vermiformis) that may be recovered from hospital water tips and Exophiala dermatitidis, a black yeast often recovered from water sources. We showed that the presence of trophozoites or supernatants of culture of H. vermiformis increased fungal growth, whereas the same phenomenon was observed only with the supernatant of A. castellanii cultures. These preliminary results highlight the fact that the recovering of free-living amoebae in hospital water taps could lead to the development of fungal nosocomial pathogens.

  6. Free-living amoebae: Biological by-passes in water treatment.

    PubMed

    Loret, Jean-François; Greub, Gilbert

    2010-06-01

    Free-living amoebae constitute reservoirs for many bacteria including not only well-known pathogens but also emerging pathogens responsible for respiratory diseases, and contribute to the protection, survival and dissemination of these bacteria in water systems, despite the application of disinfection or thermal treatments. In this article we review the available information on the presence of free-living amoebae and amoebae-resisting bacteria in drinking water systems, on the factors that contribute to their presence in the water and/or the biofilms, on the possible control measures and their effectiveness, and we identify some gaps in current knowledge needing further research.

  7. Free-living marine nematodes from San Antonio Bay (Río Negro, Argentina).

    PubMed

    Villares, Gabriela; Lo Russo, Virginia; Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    The dataset of free-living marine nematodes of San Antonio Bay is based on sediment samples collected in February 2009 during doctoral theses funded by CONICET grants. A total of 36 samples has been taken at three locations in the San Antonio Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for benthic biodiversity assessment of Patagonian nematodes as this area remains one of the least known regions. In total 7,743 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to two classes, eight orders, 37 families, 94 genera and 104 species were collected. PMID:27110176

  8. Free-living marine nematodes from San Antonio Bay (Río Negro, Argentina).

    PubMed

    Villares, Gabriela; Lo Russo, Virginia; Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    The dataset of free-living marine nematodes of San Antonio Bay is based on sediment samples collected in February 2009 during doctoral theses funded by CONICET grants. A total of 36 samples has been taken at three locations in the San Antonio Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for benthic biodiversity assessment of Patagonian nematodes as this area remains one of the least known regions. In total 7,743 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to two classes, eight orders, 37 families, 94 genera and 104 species were collected.

  9. Meningoencephalitis and brain abscess due to a free-living amoeba.

    PubMed

    Duma, R J; Helwig, W B; Martinez, A J

    1978-04-01

    A 47-year-old diabetic woman developed fatal meningoencephalitis due to a free-living amoeba. The responsible organism appeared to be neither Naegleria nor Acanthamoeba-Hartmannella. Both acute and chronic (granulomatous) inflammatory reactions of the brain were present, and both cysts and trophozoite forms were readily visualized. The latest classification and methods of identification of such amoebae are reviewed and their threat to public health underscored. It should be realized that a variety of free-living amoebae exist in nature, which potentially can produce meningoencephalitis in humans, and that none of these organisms should be labeled or considered as "avirulent" or "nonpathogenic" until proved otherwise. PMID:637425

  10. Free-living ameba contamination in natural hot springs in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Lekkla, Amorn; Sutthikornchai, Chantira; Bovornkitti, Somchai; Sukthana, Yaowalark

    2005-01-01

    Thermo tolerant free-living ameba, Naegleria spp and Acanthamoeba spp contamination in natural hot springs in Thailand were carried out from 13 provinces. The temperature of hot springs water varied from 28 degrees-65 degrees C and pH from 6-8. We found that 38.2 % (26/68) of water samples were positive, Acanthamoeba was 13.2% (9/68) whilst Naegleria was 35.3% (24/68). Contamination by free-living ameba in natural hot springs may pose a significant health risk to people who use such water for recreation activities.

  11. Free-living marine nematodes from San Antonio Bay (Río Negro, Argentina)

    PubMed Central

    Villares, Gabriela; Lo Russo, Virginia; Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The dataset of free-living marine nematodes of San Antonio Bay is based on sediment samples collected in February 2009 during doctoral theses funded by CONICET grants. A total of 36 samples has been taken at three locations in the San Antonio Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for benthic biodiversity assessment of Patagonian nematodes as this area remains one of the least known regions. In total 7,743 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to two classes, eight orders, 37 families, 94 genera and 104 species were collected. PMID:27110176

  12. Vocal learning in seals, sea lions, and walruses.

    PubMed

    Reichmuth, Colleen; Casey, Caroline

    2014-10-01

    The pinnipeds provide a variety of clues to those interested in the vocal learning capabilities of non-human animals. Observational and experimental studies of seals, sea lions, and walruses reveal elements of vocal development, contextual control, plasticity in expression and learning, and even imitation of complex sounds. Consideration of the factors that influence the expression of these capabilities informs understanding of the behavioral and structural mechanisms that support vocal learning in mammals and the evolutionary forces shaping these capabilities. PMID:25042930

  13. Summer diving behavior of male walruses in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Farley, Sean D.; Garner, G.W.

    2001-01-01

    Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) make trips from ice or land haul-out sites to forage for benthic prey. We describe dive and trip characteristics from time-depth-recorder data collected over a one-month period during summer from four male Pacific walruses in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Dives were classified into four types. Shallow (4 m), short (2.7 min), square-shaped dives accounted for 11% of trip time, and many were probably associated with traveling. Shallow (2 m) and very short (0.5 min) dives composed only 1% of trip time. Deep (41 m), long (7.2 min), square-shaped dives accounted for 46% of trip time and were undoubtedly associated with benthic foraging. V-shaped dives ranged widely in depth, were of moderate duration (4.7 min), and composed 3% of trip time. These dives may have been associated with navigation or exploration of the seafloor for potential prey habitat. Surface intervals between dives were similar among dive types, and generally lasted 1-2 min. Total foraging time was strongly correlated with trip duration and there was no apparent diel pattern of diving in any dive type among animals. We found no correlation between dive duration and postdive surface interval within dive types, suggesting that diving occurred within aerobic dive limits. Trip duration varied considerably within and among walruses (0.3-9.4 d), and there was evidence that some of the very short trips were unrelated to foraging. Overall, walruses were in the water for 76.6% of the time, of which 60.3% was spent diving.

  14. Vocal learning in seals, sea lions, and walruses.

    PubMed

    Reichmuth, Colleen; Casey, Caroline

    2014-10-01

    The pinnipeds provide a variety of clues to those interested in the vocal learning capabilities of non-human animals. Observational and experimental studies of seals, sea lions, and walruses reveal elements of vocal development, contextual control, plasticity in expression and learning, and even imitation of complex sounds. Consideration of the factors that influence the expression of these capabilities informs understanding of the behavioral and structural mechanisms that support vocal learning in mammals and the evolutionary forces shaping these capabilities.

  15. Investigational drug available directly from CDC for the treatment of infections with free-living amebae.

    PubMed

    2013-08-23

    Infections caused by free-living amebae (FLA) are severe and life-threatening. These infections include primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by Naegleria fowleri and granulomatous amebic encephalitis caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba species. Although several drugs have in vitro activity against FLA, mortality from these infections remains>90% despite treatment with combinations of drugs. PMID:23965830

  16. Sensitivity of free-living amoeba trophozoites and cysts to water disinfectants.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, Mathieu; Berne, Florence; Herbelin, Pascaline; Binet, Marie; Berthelot, Nelsie; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Soreau, Sylvie; Héchard, Yann

    2014-03-01

    Free-living amoebae are naturally present in water. These protozoa could be pathogenic and could also shelter pathogenic bacteria. Thus, they are described as a potential hazard for health. Also, free-living amoebae have been described to be resistant to biocides, especially under their cyst resistant form. There are several studies on amoeba treatments but none of them compare sensitivity of trophozoites and cysts from different genus to various water disinfectants. In our study, we tested chlorine, monochloramine and chlorine dioxide on both cysts and trophozoites from three strains, belonging to the three main genera of free-living amoebae. The results show that, comparing cysts to trophozoites inactivation, only the Acanthamoeba cysts were highly more resistant to treatment than trophozoites. Comparison of the disinfectant efficiency led to conclude that chlorine dioxide was the most efficient treatment in our conditions and was particularly efficient against cysts. In conclusion, our results would help to adapt water treatments in order to target free-living amoebae in water networks.

  17. Biofilms augment the number of free-living amoebae in dental unit waterlines.

    PubMed

    Barbeau, J; Buhler, T

    2001-10-01

    Freshwater amoebae are ubiquitous. Some species can cause infections in humans while others can ingest and protect opportunistic bacteria. Although the presence of free-living amoebae in various water sources has been reported, few studies have looked at their concentration, which may be clinically relevant, especially if they are present in healthcare devices. A simple technique was used to detect, observe, and evaluate the concentration of free-living amoebae in dental unit and tap water samples. Fifty-three water samples were collected from 35 dental units (air/water syringes) and 18 water taps. The technique was based on the ability of waterborne bacteria to create a biofilm and serve as substratum for the development of amoebae naturally present in the water samples. Laboratory-grown freshwater biofilms support the proliferation of a wide variety of free-living amoebae. All the dental unit water samples tested contained amoebae at concentrations up to 330/mL, or more than 300 times the concentration in tap water from the same source. Hartmanella, Vanella, and Vahlkampfia spp. were the most frequently encountered. Naegleria and Acanthamoeba spp. were also present in 40% of the samples. Four of the samples collected from dental units, but none from water taps, contained amoebae able to proliferate at 44 degrees C. Biofilms that form inside some dental instruments can considerably increase the concentration of free-living amoebae, some of which are potential human pathogens.

  18. Dietary Adherence Monitoring Tool for Free-living, Controlled Feeding Studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Objective: To devise a dietary adherence monitoring tool for use in controlled human feeding trials involving free-living study participants. Methods: A scoring tool was devised to measure and track dietary adherence for an 8-wk randomized trial evaluating the effects of two different dietary patter...

  19. Endosymbiotic heterocystous cyanobacteria synthesize different heterocyst glycolipids than free-living heterocystous cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Schouten, Stefan; Villareal, Tracy A; Hopmans, Ellen C; Mets, Anchelique; Swanson, Kathleen M; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S

    2013-01-01

    The heterocysts of limnetic nitrogen-fixing filamentous cyanobacteria contain unique glycolipids in their cell wall that create the distinctive gas impermeability of the heterocyst cell wall as well as serve as biomarker lipids for these microbes. It has been assumed that marine free-living and endosymbiotic cyanobacteria synthesize the same glycolipids although they have not been investigated in any detail. Here we report the glycolipid composition of several marine free-living heterocystous cyanobacteria as well as the heterocystous endosymbiont Richelia intracellularis found in the biogeochemically important diatoms Hemiaulus hauckii and Hemiaulus membranaceus. In the marine cyanobacteria Nostoc muscorum and Calothrix sp., we detected the same glycolipids as found in freshwater representatives of these genera. However, we did not detect these glycolipids in the Hemiaulus-Richelia association. Instead, we identified glycolipids which comprised a C₅ sugar, ribose, rather than the C₆ sugars normally encountered in glycolipids of free-living cyanobacteria. In addition, the glycolipids had slightly longer chain lengths (C₃₀ and C₃₂ versus C₂₆ and C₂₈) in the aglycone moiety. The different glycolipid composition of the marine endosymbotic heterocystous cyanobacteria compared to their free-living counterparts may be an adaptation to the high intracellular O₂ concentrations within their host. These glycolipids may provide unique tracers for the presence of these microbes in marine environments and permit exploration of the evolutionary origins of these symbioses.

  20. Persistence of free-living protozoan communities across rearing cycles in commercial poultry houses.

    PubMed

    Baré, Julie; Houf, Kurt; Verstraete, Tine; Vaerewijck, Mario; Sabbe, Koen

    2011-03-01

    The introduction and survival of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in poultry farming have been linked to bacterial association with free-living protozoa. To date, however, no information is available on the persistence of protozoan communities in these environments across consecutive rearing cycles and how it is affected by farm- and habitat-specific characteristics and management strategies. We therefore investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of free-living protozoa in three habitats (pipeline, water, and miscellaneous samples) in three commercial poultry houses across three rearing cycles by using the molecular fingerprinting technique denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Our study provides strong evidence for the long-term (ca. 6-month) persistence of protozoa in broiler houses across consecutive rearing cycles. Various free-living protozoa (flagellates, ciliates, and amoebae), including known vectors of bacterial pathogens, were observed during the down periods in between rearing cycles. In addition, multivariate analysis and variation partitioning showed that the protozoan community structure in the broiler houses showed almost no change across rearing cycles and remained highly habitat and farm specific. Unlike in natural environments, protozoan communities inside broiler houses are therefore not seasonal. Our results imply that currently used biosecurity measures (cleaning and disinfection) applied during the down periods are not effective against many protozoans and therefore cannot prevent potential cross-contamination of bacterial pathogens via free-living protozoa between rearing cycles.

  1. TOXOPLASMA GONDII : UPTAKE AND SURVIVAL OF OOCYSTS IN FREE-LIVING AMOEBAE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Waterborne transmission of the oocyst stage of Toxoplasma gondii can cause outbreaks of clinical toxoplasmosis in humans and infection of marine mammals. In water-related environments and soil, free-living amoebae are considered potential carriers of various pathogens, but knowledge on interactions ...

  2. Influence of Activity Monitor Location and Bout Duration on Free-Living Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heil, Daniel P.; Bennett, Gary G.; Bond, Kathleen S.; Webster, Michael D.; Wolin, Kathleen Y.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of the location (ankle, hip, wrist) where an activity monitor (AM) is worn and of the minimum bout duration (BD) on physical activity (PA) variables during free-living monitoring. Study 1 participants wore AMs at three locations for 1 day while wearing the Intelligent Device for Energy…

  3. Serologic survey of free-living nestling prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus) for selected pathogens.

    PubMed

    Morishita, T Y; McFadzen, M E; Mohan, R; Aye, P P; Brooks, D L

    1998-03-01

    Serum samples from 34 free-living nestling prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus) in southwestern Idaho were negative for antibodies to avian influenza virus, Newcastle disease virus, and three Aspergillus species. Serum from a single bird had hemagglutinating inhibition activity in response to Mycoplasma synoviae, and another bird's serum had slight activity in response to M. gallisepticum.

  4. Quantifying the effect of fire disturbance on free-living nitrogen fixation in tropical ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Oliveira Bomfim, B.; Silva, L. C. R.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Marimon, B.; Horwath, W. R.; Neves, L.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical forests and savannas are among the most important biomes on Earth, supporting more than half of all plant and animal species on the planet. Despite growing interest in biogeochemical processes that affect tropical forest dynamics, many, including biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), are still poorly understood. Free-living N-fixers are thought to play a key role in tropical ecosystems, alleviating N and P limitation, supporting above and below ground biomass production, as well as carbon storage in plants and soil, but this influence has yet to be quantified. Of particular interest, the spatial distribution and identity of free-living BNF under disturbance regimes that commonly lead to the conversion of forests to savannas is currently unknown. To address this critical gap in knowledge, we measured free-living BNF quantifying rates of N fixation under contrasting fire regimes in the Amazon-Cerrado transition of central Brazil. Samples were collected in 4 ha of floodable forests affected by fire and 1 ha of unburned (seasonally flooded) forest located at the Araguaia State Park, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Free-living N-fixation rates were measured by both 15N2 (98 atom% 15N) and acethylene reduction assay (ARA). Samples were incubated in the field and left in the dark at room temperature for 12 hours. In the next few weeks we will quantify N fixation rates that will be presented in the upcoming AGU meeting.

  5. Biogeography of free-living soil nematodes from the perspective of plate tectonics.

    PubMed

    Ferris, V R; Goseco, C G; Ferris, J M

    1976-08-01

    In this first biogeographical synthesis based on the morphology and known distribution of a group of free-living soil nematodes, data indicate a pre-Jurassic origin followed by West Gondwanaland radiation for some genera and Laurasian radiation for others.

  6. Comparison of Yamax pedometer and GT3X accelerometer steps in a free-living sample

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our objective was to compare steps detected by the Yamax pedometer (PEDO) versus the GT3X accelerometer (ACCEL) in free-living adults. Daily PEDO and ACCEL steps were collected from a sample of 23 overweight and obese participants (18 females; mean +/- sd: age = 52.6 +/- 8.4 yr.; body mass index = 3...

  7. Focal palatine erosion in captive and free-living cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and other felid species.

    PubMed

    Zordan, Martýn; Deem, Sharon L; Sanchez, Carlos R

    2012-01-01

    We examined 1,092 skulls of captive and free-living individuals, representing 33 felid species, to determine the prevalence of focal palatine erosion (FPE). FPE was detected in 3.2% of cats evaluated, including cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and 14 other felid species. The prevalence of FPE between cheetah (9.4%; n = 64) and non-cheetah species (2.8%; n = 1,028) (χ(2) test; P = 0.004) and between captive (5.7%; n = 246) and free-living (2.4%; n = 824) individuals (χ(2) test; P = 0.010) were significantly different, with prevalence between captive (19%; n = 21) and free-living (2.9%; n = 34) cheetahs approaching significance (Fisher's exact test; P = 0.064). FPE was diagnosed with equal prevalence in skulls from individuals in which the lower molars did not meet the palatine bone (60.6%) and individuals in which it did (39.4%; n = 33) (χ(2) test; P = 0.139). In cheetahs with FPE, one was a captive animal in Germany, one a free-living cheetah from Mali, one captive cheetah from Kenya, and three captive cheetahs of unknown origin. Additionally, we evaluated the medical records of 49 captive cheetahs in Namibia. Of these cheetahs, 48 (98.0%) had clinical signs consistent with FPE, although only 16 of these 48 (39.6%) had perforation of the palatine bone. Based on physical examinations, FPE was diagnosed in two caracals (Caracal caracal) and one fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) from a North American Zoo. Results from this study confirm FPE in cheetahs outside of Namibia, in a minimum of 15 felid species, and a higher FPE prevalence in captive individuals than free-living ones. Clinical implications of these findings and recommendations for future studies are provided.

  8. Sub-Regional Sea Ice Preferences of Pacific Walrus in the Bering Sea Using SAR Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacco, A.; Mahoney, A. R.; Eicken, H.; Johnson, M. A.; Ray, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Pacific walrus (O. r. divergens) uses winter sea ice in the Bering Sea for numerous parts of its natural history including courtship, foraging, and migration. Recent and predicted loss of sea ice has caused the Pacific walrus to be considered for an elevated status under the Endangered Species Act. Study of the ice conditions during this period is required to investigate changes in the Bering Sea ice pack and its effects on walrus sustainability. Using Radarsat-1 data and second-order texture statistics, a classification system was devised to separate sea ice into three distinguishable classes based on walrus needs of open water availability in the pack ice: discontinuous pack ice, continuous pack ice, and open water. Classifications are performed on sub-regional image areas to facilitate classification of heterogeneous seascapes which are thought to be distinguishable by walrus. Spatial, as well as temporal, changes in the seascape cover, based on the classification, are achieved. These results are then combined with ship-based observations of walrus to quantify walrus habitat preference. The three-class algorithm has a success rate of 94% for the discontinuous ice and continuous pack ice. Radarsat-1 images from 2004 - 2008 were analyzed for changes in seasonal and annual discontinuous ice extent. After classification, the spatial extent of discontinuous ice was found to vary throughout 2004 - 2008 in the Bering Sea shelf. Walrus are also shown to prefer discontinuous pack far from the southernmost ice edge. Maps of walrus habitat preference and persistent areas of sea ice seascapes are created and then can be used for the walrus' status consideration under the Endangered Species Act in addition to general species management issues.

  9. Detection and identification of free-living amoeba from aquatic environment in different seasons in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzeng, K.; Hsu, B.; Tsai, H.; Huang, P.; Tsai, J.; Kao, P.; Huang, K.; Chen, J.

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba includes Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, which are widely distributed in water and soil. Human infection with free-living amoeba leads to serious illness, even lethal. For example, central nervous system infection will cause amoebic meningoencephalitis, and infections will cause amoebic keratitis. The presence of free-living amoeba in environment water can be used as a water quality indicator in ecosystem assessment. In Taiwan, reservoirs are indispensable because of the water source are limited by the steep terrain and the short river flow. Therefore, we need to pay more attention in the quality control of reservoirs water. The aims of this study are to investigate the presence of free-living amoeba in Taiwan reservoirs, and to compare the differences among seasons. At last, the identification and genotyping of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria are investigated. In this study, we use polymerase chain reaction with specific primers to analyze the presence of free-living amoeba in aquatic environment. We collected total 60 samples from reservoirs in Taiwan. The water samples are divided into two parts for both direct concentration method and culture method. The results show the different detection rates among seasons. For Acanthamoeba, the detection rates were 28.3% (17 of 60 water samples), 21.7% (13 of 60 water samples) and 8.3% (5 of 60 water samples) in autumn, winter and spring, respectively. For Naegleria, the detection rates were 6.7% (4 of 60 water samples), 0% (0 of 60 water samples) and 0% (0 of 60 water samples) were detected positive in autumn, winter and spring, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that the major genotypes in Acanthamoeba were T3, T4, T10 and T11 in autumn, T2, T4 and T10 in winter, T4 in spring. Due to the presences of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in reservoirs, we should pay more attention in water quality monitoring to prevent the potential risks of diseases. Keywords: free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, polymerase

  10. Toxoplasma gondii: uptake and survival of oocysts in free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Winiecka-Krusnell, Jadwiga; Dellacasa-Lindberg, Isabel; Dubey, J P; Barragan, Antonio

    2009-02-01

    Waterborne transmission of the oocyst stage of Toxoplasma gondii can cause outbreaks of clinical toxoplasmosis in humans and infection of marine mammals. In water-related environments and soil, free-living amoebae are considered potential carriers of various pathogens, but knowledge on interactions with parasitic protozoa remains elusive. In the present study, we assessed whether the free-living Acanthamoeba castellanii, due to its phagocytic activity, can interact with T. gondii oocysts. We report that amoebae can internalize T. gondii oocysts by active uptake. Intracellular oocysts in amoebae rarely underwent phagocytic lysis, retained viability and established infection in mice. Interaction of T. gondii with amoebae did not reduce the infectivity and pathogenicity of oocysts even after prolonged co-cultivation. Our results show that uptake of oocysts by A. castellanii does not restrain the transmission of T. gondii in a murine infection model.

  11. A new pentaplex-nested PCR to detect five pathogenic bacteria in free living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Calvo, L; Gregorio, I; García, A; Fernández, M T; Goñi, P; Clavel, A; Peleato, M L; Fillat, M F

    2013-02-01

    Changes in water use and anthropogenic activity have major impacts on the quality of natural aquatic ecosystems, water distribution and wastewater plants. One of the main problems is the presence of some pathogenic microorganisms that are resistant to disinfection procedures when they are hosted by free living amoeba and that in many cases are hardly detectable by culture-based procedures. In this work we report a sensitive, low-cost procedure consisting of a pentaplex-nested PCR that allows simultaneous detection of Legionella pneumophila, Mycobacterium spp., Pseudomonas spp., Vibrio cholerae and the microcystin-producing cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa. The method has been used to detect the presence of these pathogenic bacteria in water and inside free living amoeba. Its validation in 72 samples obtained from different water sources from Aragon (Spain) evidences that Mycobacterium and Pseudomonas spp are prevailing as amoeba-resistant bacteria.

  12. Free-living amoebae, a training field for macrophage resistance of mycobacteria.

    PubMed

    Salah, I B; Ghigo, E; Drancourt, M

    2009-10-01

    Mycobacterium species evolved from an environmental recent common ancestor by reductive evolution and lateral gene transfer. Strategies selected through evolution and developed by mycobacteria resulted in resistance to predation by environmental unicellular protists, including free-living amoebae. Indeed, mycobacteria are isolated from the same soil and water environments as are amoebae, and experimental models using Acanthamoeba spp. and Dictyostelium discoideum were exploited to analyse the mechanisms for intracellular survival. Most of these mechanisms have been further reproduced in macrophages for mycobacteria regarded as opportunistic and obligate pathogens. Amoebal cysts may protect intracellular mycobacteria against adverse conditions and may act as a vector for mycobacteria. The latter hypothesis warrants further environmental and clinical studies to better assess the role of free-living amoebae in the epidemiology of infections caused by mycobacteria.

  13. Streptococcus pyogenes Infection in a Free-Living European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).

    PubMed

    Franklinos, Lydia H V; Efstratiou, Androulla; Macgregor, Shaheed K; John, Shinto K; Hopkins, Timothy; Cunningham, Andrew A; Lawson, Becki

    2015-12-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes, a common pathogen of humans, was isolated from the carcass of a free-living European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) found in northern England in June 2014. The animal had abscessation of the deep right cervical lymph node, mesenteric lymph nodes and liver. The S. pyogenes strain isolated from the lesions, peritoneal and pleural cavities was characterised as emm 28, which can be associated with invasive disease in humans. This is the first known report of S. pyogenes in a hedgehog and in any free-living wild animal that has been confirmed by gene sequencing. As close associations between wild hedgehogs and people in England are common, we hypothesise that this case might have resulted from anthroponotic infection.

  14. Free-living marine nematodes from San Julián Bay (Santa Cruz, Argentina)

    PubMed Central

    Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Lo Russo, Virginia; Villares, Gabriela; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The free-living marine nematodes of San Julián Bay dataset is based on sediment samples collected in January 2009 during the project PICT AGENCIA-FONCYT 2/33345-2005. A total of 36 samples have been taken at three locations in the San Julián Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for the nematode benthic biodiversity assessment as this area remains one of the least known regions in Patagonia. In total 10,030 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to 2 classes, 9 orders, 35 families, 78 genera and 125 species were collected. The San Julián city site presented a very high species richness. PMID:25878534

  15. Free-living marine nematodes from San Julián Bay (Santa Cruz, Argentina).

    PubMed

    Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Lo Russo, Virginia; Villares, Gabriela; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2015-01-01

    The free-living marine nematodes of San Julián Bay dataset is based on sediment samples collected in January 2009 during the project PICT AGENCIA-FONCYT 2/33345-2005. A total of 36 samples have been taken at three locations in the San Julián Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for the nematode benthic biodiversity assessment as this area remains one of the least known regions in Patagonia. In total 10,030 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to 2 classes, 9 orders, 35 families, 78 genera and 125 species were collected. The San Julián city site presented a very high species richness. PMID:25878534

  16. Distribution of free-living amoebae in James River, Virginia, USA.

    PubMed

    Ettinger, Matthew R; Webb, Stanley R; Harris, Shelley A; McIninch, Stephen P; C Garman, Gregory; Brown, Bonnie L

    2003-01-01

    A comprehensive survey to document the presence of free-living amoebae was conducted along 58 km of James River, near Richmond, Virginia, USA. Sites included tidal and non-tidal freshwater areas, near 40 combined sewer outflows, three municipal wastewater treatment plant release sites, and thermal discharge from a coal-fired power plant. Amoebae were present on all collection dates, spring through autumn, and at all sites ( n=330). Five genera, Naegleria, Vannella, Acanthamoeba, Vahlkampfia, and Hartmannella were present in both the water column and sediment. The most common isolates from the water column were Naegleria and Vannella. Water conditions conducive to the presence of large quantities of fecal coliform bacteria were correlated with the prevalence of free-living amoebae. Some of the amoebae in this complex ecosystem can act as opportunistic pathogens, may play a role in diseases of aquatic organisms in this heavily urbanized river, and may present a risk to human health. PMID:12474037

  17. Pigment composition and adaptation in free-living and symbiotic strains of Acaryochloris marina.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yi-Wah; Nenninger, Anja; Clokie, Samuel J H; Mann, Nicholas H; Scanlan, David J; Whitworth, Anna L; Clokie, Martha R J

    2007-07-01

    Acaryochloris marina strains have been isolated from several varied locations and habitats worldwide demonstrating a diverse and dynamic ecology. In this study, the whole cell photophysiologies of strain MBIC11017, originally isolated from a colonial ascidian, and the free-living epilithic strain CCMEE5410 are analyzed by absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subsequent protein analysis. We demonstrate pigment adaptation in MBIC11017 and CCMEE5410 under different light regimes. We show that the higher the incident growth light intensity for both strains, the greater the decrease in their chlorophyll d content. However, the strain MBIC11017 loses its phycobiliproteins relative to its chlorophyll d content when grown at light intensities of 40 microE m(-2) s(-1) without shaking and 100 microE m(-2) s(-1) with shaking. We also conclude that phycobiliproteins are absent in the free-living strain CCMEE5410.

  18. Pathogenic and free-living protozoa cultured from the nasopharyngeal and oral regions of dental patients.

    PubMed

    Rivera, F; Medina, F; Ramírez, P; Alcocer, J; Vilaclara, G; Robles, E

    1984-04-01

    Protozoa of nose, mouth, and pharynx of 30 randomly chosen female caries patients at an odontological clinic of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, were surveyed by culture from swabs. Culture tubes of swabs from each patient were observed every other day during 5 weeks. Pathogenic protozoa found included Entamoeba histolytica Schaudinn, 1903; Naegleria fowleri Carter, 1970; Acanthamoeba castelanii Douglas, 1930; Acanthamoeba culbertsoni Singh & Das, 1970; and Balantidium coli (Malmsten, 1857) Stein, 1862. This isolation of pathogens suggests that healthy patients may be healthy carriers of cysts of protozoa, mainly amoebae, responsible for several diseases, including primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. Small pathogenic free-living amoebae have not been isolated before from females in Mexico. Many species of free-living protozoa were also cultured from swabs from the patients. PMID:6370674

  19. Free-living amoebae isolated from water-hyacinth root (Eichhornia crassipes).

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Elizabeth; Robles, Esperanza; Martinez, Blanca

    2010-09-01

    Free-living amoebae are widely distributed in aquatic environments and their hygienic, medical and ecological relationships to man are increasingly important. The purpose of this study was to isolate free-living amoebae from water-hyacinth root (Eichhornia crassipes) and the water of an urban lake in Mexico City. Five grams of wet root were seeded on non-nutritive agar with Enterobacter aerogenes (NNE). Water samples were concentrated by centrifugation at 1200g for 15min and the pellet was seeded on NNE. Of the 16 isolated genera, 10 were detected in both habitats. The most frequent were Vannella in root and Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in water. The total number of isolates and genera isolated from root was higher than that isolated from water. The differences between root and water are probably due to the morphological characteristics of water-hyacinth root, which provides a large habitat and refuge area for many organisms.

  20. Cadmium, lead, and mercury exposure assessment among croatian consumers of free-living game.

    PubMed

    Lazarus, Maja; Prevendar Crnić, Andreja; Bilandžić, Nina; Kusak, Josip; Reljić, Slaven

    2014-09-01

    Free-living game can be an important source of dietary cadmium and lead; the question is whether exposure to these two elements is such that it might cause adverse health effects in the consumers. The aim of this study was to estimate dietary exposure to cadmium, lead, and mercury from free-living big game (fallow deer, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, and brown bear), and to mercury from small game (pheasant and hare), hunted in Croatia from 1990 to 2012. The exposure assessment was based on available literature data and our own measurements of metal levels in the tissues of the game, by taking into account different consumption frequencies (four times a year, once a month and once a week). Exposure was expressed as percentage of (provisional) tolerable weekly intake [(P)TWI] values set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Consumption of game meat (0.002-0.5 % PTWI) and liver (0.005-6 % PTWI) assumed for the general population (four times a year) does not pose a health risk to consumers from the general population, nor does monthly (0.02-6 % PTWI) and weekly (0.1-24 % PTWI) consumption of game meat. However, because of the high percentage of free-living game liver and kidney samples exceeding the legislative limits for cadmium (2-99 %) and lead (1-82 %), people should keep the consumption of certain game species' offal as low as possible. Children and pregnant and lactating women should avoid eating game offal altogether. Free-living game liver could be an important source of cadmium if consumed on a monthly basis (3-74 % TWI), and if consumed weekly (11-297 % TWI), it could even give rise to toxicological concern. PMID:25205692

  1. Amoebic meningo-encephalitis due to a free-living amoeba. A case report.

    PubMed

    Rutherfoord, G S

    1986-01-01

    A 47-year-old man developed an undiagnosed encephalitic illness and died within 12 days. Autopsy showed focal granulomatous lesions associated with a necrotizing vasculitis. Light microscopy revealed the presence of free-living amoebae morphologically resembling Acanthamoeba species. The pathology of this form of meningo-encephalitis is contrasted with that caused by Naegleria fowleri infection, and attention is drawn to its existence within the RSA. PMID:3941944

  2. Free-living monitoring of Parkinson's disease: Lessons from the field.

    PubMed

    Del Din, Silvia; Godfrey, Alan; Mazzà, Claudia; Lord, Sue; Rochester, Lynn

    2016-09-01

    Wearable technology comprises miniaturized sensors (eg, accelerometers) worn on the body and/or paired with mobile devices (eg, smart phones) allowing continuous patient monitoring in unsupervised, habitual environments (termed free-living). Wearable technologies are revolutionizing approaches to health care as a result of their utility, accessibility, and affordability. They are positioned to transform Parkinson's disease (PD) management through the provision of individualized, comprehensive, and representative data. This is particularly relevant in PD where symptoms are often triggered by task and free-living environmental challenges that cannot be replicated with sufficient veracity elsewhere. This review concerns use of wearable technology in free-living environments for people with PD. It outlines the potential advantages of wearable technologies and evidence for these to accurately detect and measure clinically relevant features including motor symptoms, falls risk, freezing of gait, gait, functional mobility, and physical activity. Technological limitations and challenges are highlighted, and advances concerning broader aspects are discussed. Recommendations to overcome key challenges are made. To date there is no fully validated system to monitor clinical features or activities in free-living environments. Robust accuracy and validity metrics for some features have been reported, and wearable technology may be used in these cases with a degree of confidence. Utility and acceptability appears reasonable, although testing has largely been informal. Key recommendations include adopting a multidisciplinary approach for standardizing definitions, protocols, and outcomes. Robust validation of developed algorithms and sensor-based metrics is required along with testing of utility. These advances are required before widespread clinical adoption of wearable technology can be realized. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  3. Free-living monitoring of Parkinson's disease: Lessons from the field.

    PubMed

    Del Din, Silvia; Godfrey, Alan; Mazzà, Claudia; Lord, Sue; Rochester, Lynn

    2016-09-01

    Wearable technology comprises miniaturized sensors (eg, accelerometers) worn on the body and/or paired with mobile devices (eg, smart phones) allowing continuous patient monitoring in unsupervised, habitual environments (termed free-living). Wearable technologies are revolutionizing approaches to health care as a result of their utility, accessibility, and affordability. They are positioned to transform Parkinson's disease (PD) management through the provision of individualized, comprehensive, and representative data. This is particularly relevant in PD where symptoms are often triggered by task and free-living environmental challenges that cannot be replicated with sufficient veracity elsewhere. This review concerns use of wearable technology in free-living environments for people with PD. It outlines the potential advantages of wearable technologies and evidence for these to accurately detect and measure clinically relevant features including motor symptoms, falls risk, freezing of gait, gait, functional mobility, and physical activity. Technological limitations and challenges are highlighted, and advances concerning broader aspects are discussed. Recommendations to overcome key challenges are made. To date there is no fully validated system to monitor clinical features or activities in free-living environments. Robust accuracy and validity metrics for some features have been reported, and wearable technology may be used in these cases with a degree of confidence. Utility and acceptability appears reasonable, although testing has largely been informal. Key recommendations include adopting a multidisciplinary approach for standardizing definitions, protocols, and outcomes. Robust validation of developed algorithms and sensor-based metrics is required along with testing of utility. These advances are required before widespread clinical adoption of wearable technology can be realized. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. PMID:27452964

  4. Reliability of Pedometer-Determined Free-Living Physical Activity Data in College Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felton, Gwen M.; Tudor-Locke, Catrine; Burkett, Lee

    2006-01-01

    This study examined stability and reliability of free-living physical activity assessed by pedometer in 69 young female college students (M age = 18.7 years, SD = 1.2, range: 18-25 years; body mass index = 23.2 kg/m[superscript 2], SD = 0.6) for two complete weeks (Week 1 and Week 2) separated by 12 weeks. During Week 1, participants took an…

  5. Distribution of free-living amoebae in a treatment system of textile industrial wastewater.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Elizabeth; Robles, Esperanza; Martinez, Blanca; Ayala, Reynaldo; Sainz, Guadalupe; Martinez, Maria Elena; Gonzalez, Maria Elena

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae have been found in soil, air and a variety of aquatic environments, but few studies have been conducted on industrial wastewater and none on wastewater from the textile industry. The aim of this study was to determine the presence and distribution of free-living amoebae in a biological treatment system that treats textile industrial wastewater. Samples were taken from input, aeration tank, sedimentation tank and output. Samples were centrifuged at 1200g for 15min, the sediment was seeded on non-nutritive agar with Enterobacter aerogenes (NNE) and the plates were incubated at 30 and 37°C. Free-living amoebae were present in all stages of the treatment system. The highest number of amoebic isolates was found in the aeration tank and no seasonal distribution was observed during the year. A total of 14 amoeba genera were isolated: Acanthamoeba, Echinamoeba, Korotnevella, Mayorella, Naegleria, Platyamoeba, Saccamoeba, Stachyamoeba, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella, Vermamoeba, Vexillifera and Willaertia. The most frequently found amoebae were Acanthamoeba and Vermamoeba which were found in all treatment system stages. The constant presence and diversity of free-living amoebae in the treatment system were important findings due to the characteristics of the wastewater from the textile plant in terms of the residue content from colorants, fixers, carriers, surfactants, etc., used in fabric dyeing and finishing processes. The factors that determined the presence and distribution of amoebae in the activated sludge system were their capacity to form cysts, which allowed them to resist adverse conditions; food availability; an average temperature of 27-33°C; dissolved oxygen in average concentrations above 2mg/L, and pH in a range of 5.9-7.1.

  6. Noninvasive Tuberculosis Screening in Free-Living Primate Populations in Gombe National Park, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Tiffany M; Sreevatsan, Srinand; Singer, Randall S; Lipende, Iddi; Collins, Anthony; Gillespie, Thomas R; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V; Travis, Dominic A

    2016-03-01

    Recent advances in noninvasive detection methods for mycobacterial infection in primates create new opportunities for exploring the epidemiology of tuberculosis in free-living species. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and baboons (Papio anubis) in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, were screened for infection with pathogens of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex using Fecal IS6110 PCR; none was positive. This study demonstrates the feasibility of large-scale mycobacterial screening in wild primates. PMID:26419483

  7. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage in different free-living wild animal species in Spain.

    PubMed

    Porrero, M Concepción; Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Gómez-Barrero, Susana; Navarro-Gonzalez, Nora; Serrano, Emmanuel; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Marco, Ignasi; Fernández-Garayzabal, José-Francisco; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Domínguez, Lucas

    2013-10-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a life-threatening pathogen in humans and its presence in animals is a public health concern. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of MRSA in free-living wild animals. Samples from red deer (n=273), Iberian ibex (n=212), Eurasian Griffon vulture (n=40) and wild boar (n=817) taken from different areas in Spain between June 2008 and November 2011 were analyzed. Characterization of the isolates was performed by spa typing, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A low prevalence of MRSA was found with 13 isolates obtained from 12 animals (0.89%; 95% CI: 0.46-1.56). All MRSA sequence types belonged to ST398 (t011 and t1451) and ST1 (t127). Genotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns (tetracycline resistance in ST398 and clindamycin-erythromycin-tetracycline resistance in ST1) suggest that the MRSA found probably originated in livestock (ST398) or humans (ST1). This is the first report of MRSA carriers in free-living wild animals in Europe. Although our data showed that MRSA prevalence is currently low, free-living wild animals might act as reservoir and represent a potential risk for human health.

  8. Variation in biofilm formation among symbiotic and free-living strains of Vibrio fischeri.

    PubMed

    Chavez-Dozal, Alba; Nishiguchi, Michele K

    2011-10-01

    Persistence and survival under various environmental stresses has been attributed to the capacity of most bacteria to form biofilms. In aquatic environments, the symbiotic bacterium Vibrio fischeri survives variable abiotic conditions during its free-living stage that dictates its ability to colonize the squid host. In the present study, the influence of different abiotic factors such as salt concentration, temperature, static/dynamic conditions, and carbon source availability were tested to determine whether biofilm formation occurred in 26 symbiotic and free-living V. fischeri strains. Statistical analysis indicate that most strains examined were strong biofilm producers under salinity concentrations that ranged between 1-5%, mesophilic temperatures (25-30 °C) and static conditions. Moreover, free-living strains are generally better biofilm formers than the symbiotically competent ones. Geographical location (strain origin) also correlated with biofilm formation. These findings provide evidence that abiotic growth conditions are important for determining whether mutualistic V. fischeri have the capacity to produce complex biofilms, allowing for increased competency and specificity during symbiosis. PMID:21656812

  9. Optimizing culture conditions for free-living stages of the nematode parasite Strongyloides ratti.

    PubMed

    Dulovic, Alex; Puller, Vadim; Streit, Adrian

    2016-09-01

    The rat parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti (S. ratti) has recently emerged as a model system for various aspects of parasite biology and evolution. In addition to parasitic parthenogenetic females, this species can also form facultative free-living generations of sexually reproducing adults. These free-living worms are bacteriovorous and grow very well when cultured in the feces of their host. However, in fecal cultures the worms are rather difficult to find for observation and experimental manipulation. Therefore, it has also been attempted to raise S. ratti on Nematode Growth Media (NGM) plates with Escherichia coli OP50 as food, exactly as described for the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Whilst worms did grow on these plates, their longevity and reproductive output compared to fecal cultures were dramatically reduced. In order to improve the culture success we tested other plates occasionally used for C. elegans and, starting from the best performing one, systematically varied the plate composition, the temperature and the food in order to further optimize the conditions. Here we present a plate culturing protocol for free-living stages of S. ratti with strongly improved reproductive success and longevity. PMID:27334397

  10. Characterization of Salmonella isolated from captive and free-living snakes in Germany.

    PubMed

    Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth; Stenkat, Julia; Szabo, Istvan; Ortlieb, Falk; Blindow, Irmgard; Neul, Ann-Kathrin; Pees, Michael; Schmidt, Volker

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are well-known reservoirs of Salmonella spp. and cases of reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) are increasing since reptiles are becoming more popular as pets. In the present study, the presence, distribution and prevalence of serovars of Salmonella was investigated in captive snakes (n = 87) and in free-living snakes (n = 87) in Germany. A total of 43 S. enterica-isolates were recovered from organ samples and cloacal swabs, predominantly belonging to the subspecies diarizonae (IIIb) (n = 27), enterica (I) (n = 7) and houtenae (IV) (n = 6). S. enterica subsp. enterica (I) serovar Paratyphi B (n = 4) and S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (IIIb) serovar 47:l,v:z (n = 3) were the most frequently isolated serotypes. Nevertheless, the fact that most serotypes were only represented by a single isolate points out the high diversity of Salmonella present among snakes. Salmonella enterica subsp. diarizonae (IIIb) serotype 40:i:z53, which was isolated twice from two free-living Eurasian adders (Vipera berus) captured at different locations, has not been previously described. Our results confirm the role of both free-living and captive snakes as reservoirs of S. enterica in Germany.

  11. Toward Objective Monitoring of Ingestive Behavior in Free-living Population

    PubMed Central

    Sazonov, Edward S.; Schuckers, Stephanie A.C.; Lopez-Meyer, Paulo; Makeyev, Oleksandr; Melanson, Edward L.; Neuman, Michael R.; Hill, James O.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding of eating behaviors associated with obesity requires objective and accurate monitoring of food intake patterns. Accurate methods are available for measuring total energy expenditure and its components in free-living populations, but methods for measuring food intake in free-living people are far less accurate and involve self-reporting or subjective monitoring. We suggest that chews and swallows can be used for objective monitoring of ingestive behavior. This hypothesis was verified in a human study involving 20 subjects. Chews and swallows were captured during periods of quiet resting, talking, and meals of varying size. The counts of chews and swallows along with other derived metrics were used to build prediction models for detection of food intake, differentiation between liquids and solids, and for estimation of the mass of ingested food. The proposed prediction models were able to detect periods of food intake with >95% accuracy and a fine time resolution of 30 s, differentiate solid foods from liquids with >91% accuracy, and predict mass of ingested food with >91% accuracy for solids and >83% accuracy for liquids. In earlier publications, we have shown that chews and swallows can be captured by noninvasive sensors that could be developed into a wearable device. Thus, the proposed methodology could lead to the development of an innovative new way of assessing human eating behavior in free-living conditions. PMID:19444225

  12. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area.

  13. Cooling and freezing of sperm from captive, free-living and endangered squirrel monkey species.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Karol G; Santos, Regiane R; Leão, Danuza L; Brito, Adriel B; Lima, Julianne S; Sampaio, Wlaísa V; Domingues, Sheyla F S

    2016-06-01

    Germoplasm banking is an important tool for the preservation of genetic material from Neotropical primates in captivity, and from free living species, especially the endangered ones like Saimiri vanzolinii (Black-headed squirrel monkey), a primate with a low incidence area (870 km(2) of floodplains) in the southern part of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil. Therefore, in the present study we aimed to develop a sperm cryopreservation protocol comparing sperm cooling in presence (T1) and absence (T2) of egg yolk, and to test freezing protocols to preserve semen from captive (Saimiri collinsi), and free-living (Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri cassiquiarensis and Saimiri macrodon) New World primates. Cooling preserved sperm of S. collinsi in all evaluated microscopic parameters, except for sperm motility. No differences were observed among the treatments, indicating that semen of this species can be cooled without egg yolk. Freezing did not affect sperm quality of S. collinsi, except plasma membrane integrity that was negatively affected. Generally, a good maintenance rate was observed between cooling and thawing of semen for the four species, showing the positive translational application of protocols from S. collinsi to the free-living species. Developed freezing protocol proved to be useful for sperm cryopreservation of S. collinsi and in field conditions. PMID:26994833

  14. The phylogenetic structure of microbial biofilms and free-living bacteria in a small stream.

    PubMed

    Brablcová, Lenka; Buriánková, Iva; Badurová, Pavlína; Rulík, Martin

    2013-05-01

    The phylogenetic composition, bacterial biomass, and biovolume of both planktonic and biofilm communities were studied in a low-order Bystřice stream near Olomouc City, in the Czech Republic. The aim of the study was to compare the microbial communities colonizing different biofilm substrata (stream aggregates, stream sediment, underwater tree roots, stream stones, and aquatic macrophytes) to those of free-living bacteria. The phylogenetic composition was analyzed using fluorescence in situ hybridization for main phylogenetic groups. All phylogenetic groups studied were detected in all sample types. The stream stone was the substratum where nearly all phylogenetic groups were the most abundant, while the lowest proportion to the DAPI-stained cells was found for free-living bacteria. The probe specific for the domain Bacteria detected 20.6 to 45.8 % of DAPI-stained cells while the probe specific for the domain Archaea detected 4.3 to 17.9 %. The most abundant group of Proteobacteria was Alphaproteobacteria with a mean of 14.2 %, and the least abundant was Betaproteobacteria with a mean of 11.4 %. The average value of the Cytophaga-Flavobacteria group was 10.5 %. Total cell numbers and bacterial biomass were highest in sediment and root biofilm. The value of cell biovolume was highest in stone biofilm and lowest in sediment. Overall, this study revealed relevant differences in phylogenetic composition, bacterial biomass, and biovolume between different stream biofilms and free-living bacteria.

  15. Evolutionary Analysis of Mitogenomes from Parasitic and Free-Living Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D. Timothy J.; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids. PMID:25793530

  16. Evolutionary analysis of mitogenomes from parasitic and free-living flatworms.

    PubMed

    Solà, Eduard; Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids.

  17. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area. PMID:27010275

  18. Variation in biofilm formation among symbiotic and free-living strains of Vibrio fischeri

    PubMed Central

    Chavez-Dozal, Alba; Nishiguchi, Michele K.

    2013-01-01

    Persistence and survival under various environmental stresses has been attributed to the capacity of most bacteria to form biofilms. In aquatic environments, the symbiotic bacterium Vibrio fischeri survives variable abiotic conditions during its free-living stage that dictates its ability to colonize the squid host. In the present study, the influence of different abiotic factors such as salt concentration, temperature, static/dynamic conditions, and carbon source availability were tested to determine whether biofilm formation occurred in 26 symbiotic and free-living V. fischeri strains. Statistical analysis indicate that most strains examined were strong biofilm producers under salinity concentrations that ranged between 1–5%, mesophilic temperatures (25–30 °C) and static conditions. Moreover, free-living strains are generally better biofilm formers than the symbiotically competent ones. Geographical location (strain origin) also correlated with biofilm formation. These findings provide evidence that abiotic growth conditions are important for determining whether mutualistic V. fischeri have the capacity to produce complex biofilms, allowing for increased competency and specificity during symbiosis. PMID:21656812

  19. Cooling and freezing of sperm from captive, free-living and endangered squirrel monkey species.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Karol G; Santos, Regiane R; Leão, Danuza L; Brito, Adriel B; Lima, Julianne S; Sampaio, Wlaísa V; Domingues, Sheyla F S

    2016-06-01

    Germoplasm banking is an important tool for the preservation of genetic material from Neotropical primates in captivity, and from free living species, especially the endangered ones like Saimiri vanzolinii (Black-headed squirrel monkey), a primate with a low incidence area (870 km(2) of floodplains) in the southern part of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil. Therefore, in the present study we aimed to develop a sperm cryopreservation protocol comparing sperm cooling in presence (T1) and absence (T2) of egg yolk, and to test freezing protocols to preserve semen from captive (Saimiri collinsi), and free-living (Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri cassiquiarensis and Saimiri macrodon) New World primates. Cooling preserved sperm of S. collinsi in all evaluated microscopic parameters, except for sperm motility. No differences were observed among the treatments, indicating that semen of this species can be cooled without egg yolk. Freezing did not affect sperm quality of S. collinsi, except plasma membrane integrity that was negatively affected. Generally, a good maintenance rate was observed between cooling and thawing of semen for the four species, showing the positive translational application of protocols from S. collinsi to the free-living species. Developed freezing protocol proved to be useful for sperm cryopreservation of S. collinsi and in field conditions.

  20. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the Northern Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Jay, Chadwick V; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M; Fischbach, Anthony S; McDonald, Trent L; Cooper, Lee W; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea. PMID:24717979

  1. Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) Resource Selection in the Northern Bering Sea

    PubMed Central

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; McDonald, Trent L.; Cooper, Lee W.; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea. PMID:24717979

  2. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the Northern Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Jay, Chadwick V; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M; Fischbach, Anthony S; McDonald, Trent L; Cooper, Lee W; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea.

  3. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the northern Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; McDonald, Trent L.; Cooper, Lee W.; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea.

  4. Walrus areas of use in the Chukchi Sea during sparse sea ice cover

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.

    2012-01-01

    The Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens feeds on benthic invertebrates on the continental shelf of the Chukchi and Bering Seas and rests on sea ice between foraging trips. With climate warming, ice-free periods in the Chukchi Sea have increased and are projected to increase further in frequency and duration. We radio-tracked walruses to estimate areas of walrus foraging and occupancy in the Chukchi Sea from June to November of 2008 to 2011, years when sea ice was sparse over the continental shelf in comparison to historical records. The earlier and more extensive sea ice retreat in June to September, and delayed freeze-up of sea ice in October to November, created conditions for walruses to arrive earlier and stay later in the Chukchi Sea than in the past. The lack of sea ice over the continental shelf from September to October caused walruses to forage in nearshore areas instead of offshore areas as in the past. Walruses did not frequent the deep waters of the Arctic Basin when sea ice retreated off the shelf. Walruses foraged in most areas they occupied, and areas of concentrated foraging generally corresponded to regions of high benthic biomass, such as in the northeastern (Hanna Shoal) and southwestern Chukchi Sea. A notable exception was the occurrence of concentrated foraging in a nearshore area of northwestern Alaska that is apparently depauperate in walrus prey. With increasing sea ice loss, it is likely that walruses will increase their use of coastal haul-outs and nearshore foraging areas, with consequences to the population that are yet to be understood.

  5. Sustaining a healthy human-walrus relationship in a dynamic environment: challenges for comanagement.

    PubMed

    Metcalf, Vera; Robards, Martin

    2008-03-01

    Native communities in the Bering and Chukchi seas have long relied on walrus for a multitude of nutritional, social, and cultural needs. Impacts to walrus in the past have resulted in profound consequences to these communities. For example, on St. Lawrence Island during the 1878-1880 "Great Famine" as many as 2000 people (> 90% of the island's population) starved after the walrus herds were decimated by Yankee whalers. Loss of walrus was further confounded by a wave of fatal contagion and difficult hunting conditions attributable to short-term climatic changes. Today, the ability of coastal hunters to access, harvest, transport, store, and utilize walrus is still affected by a dynamic suite of endogenous and exogenous factors, including ecological, social, economic, and political conditions. Impacts specifically as a result of changing climate will affect Native Alaskan hunters within the context of these diverse and sometimes global factors. The Eskimo Walrus Commission (EWC) works within a comanagement agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to address these challenges. However, the EWC's goals may differ from the USFWS within the current comanagement and policy context. Whereas the USFWS is primarily interested in walrus population health (assessed through estimates of population size and native harvest), EWC is primarily interested in a broader scope, encompassing the health of the human-walrus relationship. New scientific tools associated with the study and management of linked human-ecological systems may provide a framework within which to address these goals. Here we present an overview of the challenges, needs, and research relating to climate change that are of interest to the EWC and in particular, the sustained health of the human-walrus relationship.

  6. An improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus signatures in airborne thermal imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Speckman, Suzann G.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2009-10-01

    In recent years, application of remote sensing to marine mammal surveys has been a promising area of investigation for wildlife managers and researchers. In April 2006, the United States and Russia conducted an aerial survey of Pacific walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus divergens) using thermal infrared sensors to detect groups of animals resting on pack ice in the Bering Sea. The goal of this survey was to estimate the size of the Pacific walrus population. An initial analysis of the U.S. data using previously-established methods resulted in lower detectability of walrus groups in the imagery and higher variability in calibration models than was expected based on pilot studies. This paper describes an improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus groups in airborne thermal imagery. Thermal images were first subdivided into smaller 200 × 200 pixel "tiles." We calculated three statistics to represent characteristics of walrus signatures from the temperature histogram for each tile. Tiles that exhibited one or more of these characteristics were examined further to determine if walrus signatures were present. We used cluster analysis on tiles that contained walrus signatures to determine which pixels belonged to each group. We then calculated a thermal index value for each walrus group in the imagery and used generalized linear models to estimate detection functions (the probability of a group having a positive index value) and calibration functions (the size of a group as a function of its index value) based on counts from matched digital aerial photographs. The new method described here improved our ability to detect walrus groups at both 2 m and 4 m spatial resolution. In addition, the resulting calibration models have lower variance than the original method. We anticipate that the use of this new procedure will greatly improve the quality of the population estimate derived from these data. This procedure may also have broader applicability to thermal

  7. An improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus signatures in airborne thermal imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Speckman, Suzann G.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, application of remote sensing to marine mammal surveys has been a promising area of investigation for wildlife managers and researchers. In April 2006, the United States and Russia conducted an aerial survey of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) using thermal infrared sensors to detect groups of animals resting on pack ice in the Bering Sea. The goal of this survey was to estimate the size of the Pacific walrus population. An initial analysis of the U.S. data using previously-established methods resulted in lower detectability of walrus groups in the imagery and higher variability in calibration models than was expected based on pilot studies. This paper describes an improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus groups in airborne thermal imagery. Thermal images were first subdivided into smaller 200 x 200 pixel "tiles." We calculated three statistics to represent characteristics of walrus signatures from the temperature histogram for each the. Tiles that exhibited one or more of these characteristics were examined further to determine if walrus signatures were present. We used cluster analysis on tiles that contained walrus signatures to determine which pixels belonged to each group. We then calculated a thermal index value for each walrus group in the imagery and used generalized linear models to estimate detection functions (the probability of a group having a positive index value) and calibration functions (the size of a group as a function of its index value) based on counts from matched digital aerial photographs. The new method described here improved our ability to detect walrus groups at both 2 m and 4 m spatial resolution. In addition, the resulting calibration models have lower variance than the original method. We anticipate that the use of this new procedure will greatly improve the quality of the population estimate derived from these data. This procedure may also have broader applicability to thermal infrared

  8. The effect of elevated temperature and substrate on free-living Symbiodinium cultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitschke, M. R.; Davy, S. K.; Cribb, T. H.; Ward, S.

    2015-03-01

    Elevated temperatures can produce a range of serious, deleterious effects on marine invertebrate— Symbiodinium symbioses. The responses of free-living Symbiodinium to elevated temperature, however, have been little studied, especially in the context of their natural habitat. In this study, we investigated physiological responses of two Symbiodinium cultures to elevated temperature, an exclusively free-living ITS2 clade A (strain HI-0509) and the symbiosis-forming ITS2 type A1 (strain CCMP2467). Free-living Symbiodinium strains have recently been isolated from benthic sediments, and both cultures were therefore grown with or without a microhabitat of carbonate sediment at 25, 28 or 31 °C. Maximum quantum yield of photosystem II ( F v/ F m) and specific growth rate were measured as response variables. In culture, Symbiodinium cells exhibit motility in a helical swimming pattern, and therefore, revolutions per minute (RPM) were also measured with video microscopy. The exclusively free-living clade A was physiologically superior to Symbiodinium A1 across all measured variables and treatment combinations. F v/ F m remained relatively stable through time (at approximately 0.55) and was not substantially affected by temperature or the presence or the absence of sediment. Populations of the exclusively free-living Symbiodinium A reproduced faster with sediment than without and exhibited high levels of motility across all treatments (surpassing 300 RPM). In contrast, the F v/ F m of A1 dropped to 0.42 in sediment (relative to cultures without sediment) and exhibited dramatic declines in cell concentration, most severely at 31 °C. A > 50 % reduction in motility was also observed at 31 °C. Even in the absence of sediment, elevated temperature was observed to reduce population growth and cell motility of type A1. We suggest that vital behaviours linked to motility (such as vertical migration and the locating of potential hosts) may become impaired during future thermal

  9. Coccidioidomycosis in a Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Todd L; Procter, Diana G

    2014-03-01

    An 11 yr-old female Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) demonstrated decreased appetite and weight loss approximately 4 wk after truck transport from a northern California facility to a southern California facility. An initial blood analysis revealed a leukocytosis of 22,800 white blood cells (WBC)/microl, with a left shift, low iron (58 microg/dl), and mild hyperglobulinemia (4.3 g/dl). Empiric antibiotic therapy was started with amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (14 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.). Clinical improvement was observed initially; however, follow-up blood analysis demonstrated a persistent leukocytosis (24,000 WBC/microl), with left shift and progressive hyperglobulinemia (6.7 mg/dl). As a result of the relapse of clinical signs on antibiotic therapy, aggressive antifungal therapy was initiated with voriconazole (1.8 mg/kg p.o. s.i.d.). Concurrent fungal immunodiffusion antibody assays and complement fixation were repetitively positive for coccidioidomycosis. The walrus improved clinically over the next 3 mo and is currently stable on antifungal therapy at its originating facility in northern California. PMID:24712180

  10. Toxoplasmosis in captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Mergl, J; Gehring, E; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; Kwok, O C H; Grigg, M E; Su, C; Martineau, D

    2009-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii infection was detected in captive marine mammals at a sea aquarium in Canada. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all 7 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) tested. Two of these dolphins, as well as a walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) at the facility, died. Encephalitis and T. gondii tissue cysts were identified in histological sections of the brain of 1 dolphin (dolphin no. 1). Another dolphin (dolphin no. 2) had mild focal encephalitis without visible organisms, but viable T. gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice and cats from its brain and skeletal muscle; this strain was designated TgDoCA1. The PCR-RFLP typing using 11 markers (B1, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) identified a Type II strain. The DNA sequencing of B1 and SAG1 alleles amplified from TgDoCA1 and directly from the brains of dolphin no. 1 and the walrus showed archetypal alleles consistent with infection by a Type II strain. No unique polymorphisms were detected. This is apparently the first report of isolation of T. gondii from a marine mammal in Canada. PMID:19245284

  11. Toxoplasmosis in captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Mergl, J; Gehring, E; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; Kwok, O C H; Grigg, M E; Su, C; Martineau, D

    2009-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii infection was detected in captive marine mammals at a sea aquarium in Canada. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all 7 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) tested. Two of these dolphins, as well as a walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) at the facility, died. Encephalitis and T. gondii tissue cysts were identified in histological sections of the brain of 1 dolphin (dolphin no. 1). Another dolphin (dolphin no. 2) had mild focal encephalitis without visible organisms, but viable T. gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice and cats from its brain and skeletal muscle; this strain was designated TgDoCA1. The PCR-RFLP typing using 11 markers (B1, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) identified a Type II strain. The DNA sequencing of B1 and SAG1 alleles amplified from TgDoCA1 and directly from the brains of dolphin no. 1 and the walrus showed archetypal alleles consistent with infection by a Type II strain. No unique polymorphisms were detected. This is apparently the first report of isolation of T. gondii from a marine mammal in Canada.

  12. Viral and bacterial serology of free-ranging Pacific walrus.

    PubMed

    Calle, Paul P; Seagars, Dana J; McClave, Catherine; Senne, Dennis; House, Carol; House, James A

    2002-01-01

    Serum or heparinized plasma samples were obtained between 1994 and 1996 from 20 male and 20 female adult free-ranging Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) from St. Lawrence Island and Round Island, Alaska. Samples were screened for antibodies to some potentially pathogenic bacteria and viruses. No sample had detectable antibody to Brucella spp. Three of 40 (8%) had low antibody titers to Leptospira interrogans serovars. Phocine distemper virus antibodies were not detected. Serologic responses to one or more caliciviruses (San Miguel sea lion virus 12 or vesicular exanthema of swine serotypes E54, F55, G55, 1934B) were detected in 18% (seven of 40) walrus. Antibodies to one or more subtypes of influenza A virus (H10, N2, N3, N5, N6, N7) were detected in 21% (eight of 38). Periodic screening of free-ranging populations for exposure to infectious diseases has become an important component of bio-monitoring programs to facilitate understanding and detecting trends in marine mammal populations.

  13. Coccidioidomycosis in a Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Todd L; Procter, Diana G

    2014-03-01

    An 11 yr-old female Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) demonstrated decreased appetite and weight loss approximately 4 wk after truck transport from a northern California facility to a southern California facility. An initial blood analysis revealed a leukocytosis of 22,800 white blood cells (WBC)/microl, with a left shift, low iron (58 microg/dl), and mild hyperglobulinemia (4.3 g/dl). Empiric antibiotic therapy was started with amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (14 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.). Clinical improvement was observed initially; however, follow-up blood analysis demonstrated a persistent leukocytosis (24,000 WBC/microl), with left shift and progressive hyperglobulinemia (6.7 mg/dl). As a result of the relapse of clinical signs on antibiotic therapy, aggressive antifungal therapy was initiated with voriconazole (1.8 mg/kg p.o. s.i.d.). Concurrent fungal immunodiffusion antibody assays and complement fixation were repetitively positive for coccidioidomycosis. The walrus improved clinically over the next 3 mo and is currently stable on antifungal therapy at its originating facility in northern California.

  14. Ecology of the free-living stages of major trichostrongylid parasites of sheep.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Lauren J; Walkden-Brown, Stephen W; Kahn, Lewis P

    2006-11-30

    Significant developments over recent decades make it timely to review the ecology of the major gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) species of sheep. These include the relentless development and spread of anthelmintic resistance in all of the major sheep production regions of the world, and the consequent drive towards integrated parasite management (IPM) systems incorporating non-chemotherapeutic strategies such as grazing management. The success of such programs is dependent on a detailed understanding of the environmental influences on the free-living stages of the nematode lifecycle. Major reviews of the subject were conducted prior to 1980, however considerable work has been completed since, including the development of mathematical models describing the epidemiology of GIN infection. Knowledge of the temperature thresholds for free-living development has also improved, while investigations of moisture influences and interactions with temperature have allowed more effective exploitation of environmental effects for IPM. This review re-evaluates our understanding of the factors that determine the success or failure of the free-living phases of the lifecycle in light of these developments. Temperature and moisture are the dominant influences on the free-living stages of Haemonchus contortus, Teladorsagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus colubriformis, with the effects of pasture conditions playing a significant modulating role. Early in the free-living phase, the developmental success of the three GIN species is limited by susceptibility to cold temperatures. In general, H. contortus is most susceptible, followed by T. colubriformis and then T. circumcincta. The length of the development cycle is dependent largely on temperature, with development rate increasing at warmer temperatures. However, in order for development to proceed to the infective larval stage, addition of moisture is generally required. There has been considerably less work quantifying the effects

  15. A preliminary investigation on the infectivity of Trichinella larvae in traditional preparations of walrus meat.

    PubMed

    Leclair, Daniel; Forbes, Lorry B; Suppa, Sandy; Proulx, Jean-François; Gajadhar, Alvin A

    2004-08-01

    This study evaluated the infectivity of Trichinella nativa in freshly frozen walrus meat and traditionally aged walrus meat (igunaq) associated with two human outbreaks of trichinellosis in the Canadian Arctic. Trichinella larvae recovered from walrus meat stored at -20 degrees C for up to 20 months remained infective for guinea pigs inoculated with 135 or 716 larval doses. However, none of the 4-5 and 10-month-old igunaq preparations contained infective T. nativa larvae as measured by bioassays using mice and guinea pigs at inoculation doses ranging from 6 to 500 larvae. This indicates that the degradation process that occurred in the field can be sufficient to either kill Trichinella larvae or render them non-infective for mice and guinea pigs. Further research is needed to evaluate the food safety risk of traditional walrus igunaq aged under different field conditions and storage times.

  16. Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Winer, J N; Arzi, B; Leale, D M; Kass, P H; Verstraete, F J M

    2016-01-01

    Maxillae and/or mandibles from 76 walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria. The museum specimens were acquired between 1932 and 2014. Forty-five specimens (59.2%) were from male animals, 29 (38.2%) from female animals and two (2.6%) from animals of unknown sex, with 58 adults (76.3%) and 18 young adults (23.7%) included in this study. The number of teeth available for examination was 830 (33.6%); 18.5% of teeth were absent artefactually, 3.3% were deemed to be absent due to acquired tooth loss and 44.5% were absent congenitally. The theoretical complete dental formula was confirmed to be I 3/3, C 1/1, P 4/3, M 2/2, while the most probable dental formula is I 1/0, C 1/1, P 3/3, M 0/0; none of the specimens in this study possessed a full complement of theoretically possible teeth. The majority of teeth were normal in morphology; only five teeth (0.6% of available teeth) were malformed. Only one tooth had an aberrant number of roots and only one supernumerary tooth was encountered. No persistent deciduous teeth were found in any of the young adult or adult specimens, nor were any specimens affected by enamel hypoplasia. The majority of teeth (85.5%) displayed attrition/abrasion. Of the adult and young adult specimens, 90.8% showed some degree of attrition/abrasion on at least one tooth. Tooth fractures were noted in eight walruses, affecting 10.5% of specimens and 1.3% of the total number of teeth, nearly three-quarters of which were maxillary canine teeth (tusks). Three specimens (3.9%), all adult males, displayed overt periapical disease. The majority (99.2%) of dental alveoli did not have bony changes indicative of periodontitis, with only five specimens (6.6%) affected by periodontitis. Lesions consistent with temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) were found in 46 specimens (60.5%) and TMJ-OA was significantly more common in adults than young adults and males than females. Although the clinical

  17. Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Winer, J N; Arzi, B; Leale, D M; Kass, P H; Verstraete, F J M

    2016-01-01

    Maxillae and/or mandibles from 76 walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria. The museum specimens were acquired between 1932 and 2014. Forty-five specimens (59.2%) were from male animals, 29 (38.2%) from female animals and two (2.6%) from animals of unknown sex, with 58 adults (76.3%) and 18 young adults (23.7%) included in this study. The number of teeth available for examination was 830 (33.6%); 18.5% of teeth were absent artefactually, 3.3% were deemed to be absent due to acquired tooth loss and 44.5% were absent congenitally. The theoretical complete dental formula was confirmed to be I 3/3, C 1/1, P 4/3, M 2/2, while the most probable dental formula is I 1/0, C 1/1, P 3/3, M 0/0; none of the specimens in this study possessed a full complement of theoretically possible teeth. The majority of teeth were normal in morphology; only five teeth (0.6% of available teeth) were malformed. Only one tooth had an aberrant number of roots and only one supernumerary tooth was encountered. No persistent deciduous teeth were found in any of the young adult or adult specimens, nor were any specimens affected by enamel hypoplasia. The majority of teeth (85.5%) displayed attrition/abrasion. Of the adult and young adult specimens, 90.8% showed some degree of attrition/abrasion on at least one tooth. Tooth fractures were noted in eight walruses, affecting 10.5% of specimens and 1.3% of the total number of teeth, nearly three-quarters of which were maxillary canine teeth (tusks). Three specimens (3.9%), all adult males, displayed overt periapical disease. The majority (99.2%) of dental alveoli did not have bony changes indicative of periodontitis, with only five specimens (6.6%) affected by periodontitis. Lesions consistent with temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) were found in 46 specimens (60.5%) and TMJ-OA was significantly more common in adults than young adults and males than females. Although the clinical

  18. Interaction of a free-living soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, with surrogates of foodborne pathogenic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Gary L; Caldwell, Krishaun N; Beuchat, Larry R; Williams, Phillip L

    2003-09-01

    Free-living nematodes may harbor, protect, and disperse bacteria, including those ingested and passed in viable form in feces. These nematodes are potential vectors for human pathogens and may play a role in foodborne diseases associated with fruits and vegetables eaten raw. In this study, we evaluated the associations between a free-living soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Escherichia coli, an avirulent strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, Listeria welshimeri, and Bacillus cereus. On an agar medium, young adult worms quickly moved toward colonies of all four bacteria; over 90% of 3-day-old adult worms entered colonies within 16 min after inoculation. After 48 h, worms moved in and out of colonies of L. welshimeri and B. cereus but remained associated with E. coli and Salmonella Typhimurium colonies for at least 96 h. Young adult worms fed on cells of the four bacteria suspended in K medium. Worms survived and reproduced with the use of nutrients derived from all test bacteria, as determined for eggs laid by second-generation worms after culturing for 96 h. Development was slightly slower for worms fed gram-positive bacteria than for worms fed gram-negative bacteria. Worms that fed for 24 h on bacterial lawns formed on tryptic soy agar dispersed bacteria over a 3-h period when they were transferred to a bacteria-free agar surface. The results of this study suggest that C. elegans and perhaps other free-living nematodes are potential vectors for both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including foodborne pathogens in soil.

  19. Survey of pathogenic free-living amoebae and Legionella spp. in mud spring recreation area.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Bing-Mu; Lin, Che-Li; Shih, Feng-Cheng

    2009-06-01

    Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, and Naegleria are free-living amoebae, ubiquitous in aquatic environments. Several species within these genera are recognized as potential human pathogens. These free-living amoebae may facilitate the proliferation of their parasitical bacteria, such as Legionella. In this study, we identified Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, Naegleria, and Legionella using various analytical procedures and investigated their occurrence at a mud spring recreation area in Taiwan. We investigated factors potentially associated with the prevalence of the pathogens, including various water types, and physical and microbiological water quality parameters. Spring water was collected from 34 sites and Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, Naegleria, and Legionella were detected in 8.8%, 35.3%, 14.7%, and 47.1%, respectively. The identified species of Acanthamoeba included Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Nearly all the Hartmannella isolates are identified as Hartmannella vermiformis. The Naegleria species included Naegleria australiensis and its sister groups, and two other isolates referred to a new clade of Naegleria genotypes. The Legionella species identified included unnamed Legionella genotypes, Legionella pneumophila serotype 6, uncultured Legionella spp., Legionella lytica, Legionella drancourtii, and Legionella waltersii. Significant differences (Mann-Whitney U test, P<0.05) were observed between the presence/absence of Hartmannella and total coliforms, between the presence/absence of Naegleria and heterotrophic plate counts, and between the presence/absence of Legionella and heterotrophic plate counts. This survey confirms that pathogenic free-living amoebae and Legionella are prevalent in this Taiwanese mud spring recreation area. The presence of pathogens should be considered a potential health threat when associated with human activities in spring water.

  20. Histories of host shifts and cospeciation among free-living parasitoids of Rhagoletis flies.

    PubMed

    Hamerlinck, G; Hulbert, D; Hood, G R; Smith, J J; Forbes, A A

    2016-09-01

    Host shifts by specialist insects can lead to reproductive isolation between insect populations that use different hosts, promoting diversification. When both a phytophagous insect and its ancestrally associated parasitoid shift to the same novel host plant, they may cospeciate. However, because adult parasitoids are free living, they can also colonize novel host insects and diversify independent of their ancestral host insect. Although shifts of parasitoids to new insect hosts have been documented in ecological time, the long-term importance of such shifts to parasitoid diversity has not been evaluated. We used a genus of flies with a history of speciation via host shifting (Rhagoletis [Diptera: Tephritidae]) and three associated hymenopteran parasitoid genera (Diachasma, Coptera and Utetes) to examine cophylogenetic relationships between parasitoids and their host insects. We inferred phylogenies of Rhagoletis, Diachasma, Coptera and Utetes and used distance-based cophylogenetic methods (ParaFit and PACo) to assess congruence between fly and parasitoid trees. We used an event-based method with a free-living parasitoid cost model to reconstruct cophylogenetic histories of each parasitoid genus and Rhagoletis. We found that the current species diversity and host-parasitoid associations between the Rhagoletis flies and parasitoids are the primary result of ancient cospeciation events. Parasitoid shifts to ancestrally unrelated hosts primarily occur near the branch tips, suggesting that host shifts contribute to recent parasitoid species diversity but that these lineages may not persist over longer time periods. Our analyses also stress the importance of biologically informed cost models when investigating the coevolutionary histories of hosts and free-living parasitoids.

  1. Variation in plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity in free-living European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Kordonowy, Lauren L; McMurtry, John P; Williams, Tony D

    2010-03-01

    Leptin, a protein hormone secreted by fat cells, is best known for its role as an adiposity signal; however, leptin has diverse physiological roles ranging from regulation of feeding behavior and body weight, to effects on reproduction and immune function. Although leptin has been extensively studied in mammals, the identification and function of leptin in birds remains controversial, and studies have focused on captive or domesticated species. Here, we describe changes in plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity during the reproductive and non-reproductive seasons in free-living female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity was high during egg-laying (27.8+/-2.4 ng/mL) and clutch completion (23.8+/-1.6 ng/mL), decreased during incubation (13.0+/-1.6 ng/mL) and chick-rearing (12.0+/-1.3 ng/mL), but was elevated again in non-breeders in November (23.7+/-1.1 ng/mL). Although there was marked and consistent variation in total body mass and body composition with breeding stage and season in this population, plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity did not parallel changes in body mass or body composition. These data suggest that the strong positive relationship between plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity and body mass reported for captive birds and mammals does not hold for free-living birds. Rather, among free-living female European starlings, variation in plasma leptin-like immunoreactivity is associated with breeding stage or seasonal variation per se, and we discuss possible mechanisms underlying this variation, focusing on ovarian function and egg production. PMID:19796643

  2. Histories of host shifts and cospeciation among free-living parasitoids of Rhagoletis flies.

    PubMed

    Hamerlinck, G; Hulbert, D; Hood, G R; Smith, J J; Forbes, A A

    2016-09-01

    Host shifts by specialist insects can lead to reproductive isolation between insect populations that use different hosts, promoting diversification. When both a phytophagous insect and its ancestrally associated parasitoid shift to the same novel host plant, they may cospeciate. However, because adult parasitoids are free living, they can also colonize novel host insects and diversify independent of their ancestral host insect. Although shifts of parasitoids to new insect hosts have been documented in ecological time, the long-term importance of such shifts to parasitoid diversity has not been evaluated. We used a genus of flies with a history of speciation via host shifting (Rhagoletis [Diptera: Tephritidae]) and three associated hymenopteran parasitoid genera (Diachasma, Coptera and Utetes) to examine cophylogenetic relationships between parasitoids and their host insects. We inferred phylogenies of Rhagoletis, Diachasma, Coptera and Utetes and used distance-based cophylogenetic methods (ParaFit and PACo) to assess congruence between fly and parasitoid trees. We used an event-based method with a free-living parasitoid cost model to reconstruct cophylogenetic histories of each parasitoid genus and Rhagoletis. We found that the current species diversity and host-parasitoid associations between the Rhagoletis flies and parasitoids are the primary result of ancient cospeciation events. Parasitoid shifts to ancestrally unrelated hosts primarily occur near the branch tips, suggesting that host shifts contribute to recent parasitoid species diversity but that these lineages may not persist over longer time periods. Our analyses also stress the importance of biologically informed cost models when investigating the coevolutionary histories of hosts and free-living parasitoids. PMID:27234648

  3. Pacific walrus coastal haulout database, 1852-2016— Background report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, Anthony S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; Garlich-Miller, Joel L.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2016-01-01

    Walruses are large benthic predators that rest out of water between foraging bouts. Coastal “haulouts” (places where walruses rest) are formed by adult males in summer and sometimes by females and young when sea ice is absent, and are often used repeatedly across seasons and years. Understanding the geography and historical use of haulouts provides a context for conservation efforts. We summarize information on Pacific walrus haulouts from available reports (n =151), interviews with coastal residents and aviators, and personal observations of the authors. We provide this in the form of a georeferenced database that can be queried and displayed with standard geographic information system and database management software. The database contains 150 records of Pacific walrus haulouts, with a summary of basic characteristics on maximum haulout aggregation size, age-sex composition, season of use, and decade of most recent use. Citations to reports are provided in the appendix and as a bibliographic database. Haulouts were distributed across the coasts of the Pacific walrus range; however, the largest (maximum >10,000 walruses) of the haulouts reported in the recent 4 decades (n=19) were concentrated on the Russian shores in regions near the Bering Strait and northward into the western Chukchi Sea (n=17). Haulouts of adult female and young walruses primarily occurred in the Bering Strait region and areas northward, with others occurring in the central Bering Sea, Gulf of Anadyr, and Saint Lawrence Island regions. The Gulf of Anadyr was the only region to contain female and young walrus haulouts, which formed after the northward spring migration and prior to autumn ice formation.

  4. Cellular, biochemical, and molecular changes during encystment of free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Fouque, Emilie; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Thomas, Vincent; Hartemann, Philippe; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Héchard, Yann

    2012-04-01

    Free-living amoebae are protozoa found in soil and water. Among them, some are pathogenic and many have been described as potential reservoirs of pathogenic bacteria. Their cell cycle is divided into at least two forms, the trophozoite and the cyst, and the differentiation process is named encystment. As cysts are more resistant to disinfection treatments than trophozoites, many studies focused on encystment, but until recently, little was known about cellular, biochemical, and molecular modifications operating during this process. Important signals and signaling pathways at play during encystment, as well as cell responses at the molecular level, have been described. This review summarizes our knowledge and focuses on new findings.

  5. Effects of a subminiature radiocollar on activity of free-living white-footed mice

    SciTech Connect

    Ormiston, B.G.

    1984-07-01

    The effects of a subminiature (1.1 g) radiocollar on activity of free-living Peromyscus leucopus were examined by comparing recapture frequency, persistence, apparent reproduction, body weight, and ranging activity of 43 collared and 304 uncollared mice. Although some differences between collar treatment groups were noted for most measures, no significant deleterious effects of wearing the radiocollar were detected. Collared juveniles weighing from 12 to 16 g appeared to grow and mature similarly relative to uncollared juveniles. The results suggest that this radiocollar-package can be used to provide reliable information about the natural acitivity of both immature and adult P. leucopus. 14 references, 2 tables.

  6. Monitoring of Yersinia enterocolitica strains from free-living animals using different methods.

    PubMed

    Syczyło, K; Platt-Samoraj, A; Bancerz-Kisiel, A; Szczerba-Turek, A; Lipczyńska, K; Jabłoński, A; Procajło, Z; Szweda, W

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to monitor Y. enterocolitica strains from free-living animals captured during 2011-2014 hunting seasons in Poland using warm (ITC) and cold (PSB) enrichment and molecular examination. Over 1600 samples have been cultured. After ITC/PSB enrichment 237 strains presenting features characteristic for Y. enterocolitica were isolated. Molecular examination using multiplex PCR revealed 140 isolates from PSB and 78 from ITC. The concentration of pathogenic Yersinia in asymptomatic carriers is low and the PCR detection should be preceded by bacteriological examination.

  7. Epidemiologic determinants of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in Virginia.

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Sleeman, Jonathan M; Elvinger, François

    2003-10-01

    Epidemiologic determinants of 46 cases of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (Virginia, USA) from 1991 to 2000 were evaluated. County human population density, year and season of admission, weight, and sex did not affect the risk for box turtles to develop aural abscessation. Counties with cases of aural abscessation were not randomly distributed, but rather were clustered into two multi-county regions. Geographic location was the only risk factor associated with aural abscessation in box turtles found in this study. Possible etiologies could include chronic infectious disease, malnutrition, or chronic exposure to environmental contamination with organochlorine compounds.

  8. Monitoring of Yersinia enterocolitica strains from free-living animals using different methods.

    PubMed

    Syczyło, K; Platt-Samoraj, A; Bancerz-Kisiel, A; Szczerba-Turek, A; Lipczyńska, K; Jabłoński, A; Procajło, Z; Szweda, W

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to monitor Y. enterocolitica strains from free-living animals captured during 2011-2014 hunting seasons in Poland using warm (ITC) and cold (PSB) enrichment and molecular examination. Over 1600 samples have been cultured. After ITC/PSB enrichment 237 strains presenting features characteristic for Y. enterocolitica were isolated. Molecular examination using multiplex PCR revealed 140 isolates from PSB and 78 from ITC. The concentration of pathogenic Yersinia in asymptomatic carriers is low and the PCR detection should be preceded by bacteriological examination. PMID:27096808

  9. Free-living jackals (Canis mesomelas)-potential reservoir hosts for Ehrlichia canis in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Price, J E; Karstad, L H

    1980-10-01

    Using a modified cell culture test, Ehrlichia canis was found in eight of 15 free-living jackals (Canis mesomelas) and 14 of 31 dogs owned by pastoral communities in the same areas of Kenya. Two cross-bred puppies inoculated with blood from infected jackals developed mild, transient clinical disease, and E. canis was recovered from the puppies. Tick species found on the jackals were similar to those found on the infected dogs. Ehrlichia canis was not found in eight spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) from these areas.

  10. Isolation of Yersinia enterocolitica serovar O8 from free-living small rodents in Japan.

    PubMed Central

    Iinuma, Y; Hayashidani, H; Kaneko, K; Ogawa, M; Hamasaki, S

    1992-01-01

    Yersinia species were isolated from 65 of 223 free-living small mammals trapped in 10 regions on Honshu Island in Japan. Of the 65 strains isolated, 1 was Yersinia enterocolitica serovar O3, 8 were Y. enterocolitica O5, 6 were Y. enterocolitica O8, 3 were Y. enterocolitica O9, and 1 was Yersinia pseudotuberculosis 4b. Of the six Y. enterocolitica O8 strains, five were positive for autoagglutination, Ca2+ dependence, and the 45-MDa virulence plasmid and showed high pathogenicity for mice. PMID:1734061

  11. Free-living amoebae in Egypt. 1. Naegleria gruberi and Naegleria fowleri.

    PubMed

    Nashed, N N; Youssef, F G; Mansour, N S

    1991-04-01

    Two Naegleria species were isolated and identified from various water sources in Lower and Upper Egypt. Identification was based on the morphology, nuclear division and the excystation and flagellation tests. The trophic, cystic and flagellate forms of N. gruberi are larger than those of N. fowleri and the cyst of the former species has one or more pores while that of the latter species has no pores and has an outer gelatinous layer. The size and the morphological characteristics of these two free-living amoebae from Egypt were in complete agreement with those previously described for amoebae of this same genus and species endemic to other geographical areas.

  12. Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Changes during Encystment of Free-Living Amoebae

    PubMed Central

    Fouque, Emilie; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Thomas, Vincent; Hartemann, Philippe; Rodier, Marie-Hélène

    2012-01-01

    Free-living amoebae are protozoa found in soil and water. Among them, some are pathogenic and many have been described as potential reservoirs of pathogenic bacteria. Their cell cycle is divided into at least two forms, the trophozoite and the cyst, and the differentiation process is named encystment. As cysts are more resistant to disinfection treatments than trophozoites, many studies focused on encystment, but until recently, little was known about cellular, biochemical, and molecular modifications operating during this process. Important signals and signaling pathways at play during encystment, as well as cell responses at the molecular level, have been described. This review summarizes our knowledge and focuses on new findings. PMID:22366126

  13. Interactions among roots, mycorrhizas and free-living microbial communities differentially impact soil carbon processes

    DOE PAGES

    Moore, Jessica A. M.; Jiang, Jiang; Patterson, Courtney M.; Mayes, Melanie A.; Wang, Gangsheng; Classen, Aimée T.

    2015-10-20

    Plant roots, their associated microbial community and free-living soil microbes interact to regulate the movement of carbon from the soil to the atmosphere, one of the most important and least understood fluxes of terrestrial carbon. Our inadequate understanding of how plant-microbial interactions alter soil carbon decomposition may lead to poor model predictions of terrestrial carbon feedbacks to the atmosphere. Roots, mycorrhizal fungi and free-living soil microbes can alter soil carbon decomposition through exudation of carbon into soil. Exudates of simple carbon compounds can increase microbial activity because microbes are typically carbon limited. When both roots and mycorrhizal fungi are presentmore » in the soil, they may additively increase carbon decomposition. However, when mycorrhizas are isolated from roots, they may limit soil carbon decomposition by competing with free-living decomposers for resources. We manipulated the access of roots and mycorrhizal fungi to soil insitu in a temperate mixed deciduous forest. We added 13C-labelled substrate to trace metabolized carbon in respiration and measured carbon-degrading microbial extracellular enzyme activity and soil carbon pools. We used our data in a mechanistic soil carbon decomposition model to simulate and compare the effects of root and mycorrhizal fungal presence on soil carbon dynamics over longer time periods. Contrary to what we predicted, root and mycorrhizal biomass did not interact to additively increase microbial activity and soil carbon degradation. The metabolism of 13C-labelled starch was highest when root biomass was high and mycorrhizal biomass was low. These results suggest that mycorrhizas may negatively interact with the free-living microbial community to influence soil carbon dynamics, a hypothesis supported by our enzyme results. Our steady-state model simulations suggested that root presence increased mineral-associated and particulate organic carbon pools, while mycorrhizal

  14. Interactions among roots, mycorrhizas and free-living microbial communities differentially impact soil carbon processes

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, Jessica A. M.; Jiang, Jiang; Patterson, Courtney M.; Mayes, Melanie A.; Wang, Gangsheng; Classen, Aimée T.

    2015-10-20

    Plant roots, their associated microbial community and free-living soil microbes interact to regulate the movement of carbon from the soil to the atmosphere, one of the most important and least understood fluxes of terrestrial carbon. Our inadequate understanding of how plant-microbial interactions alter soil carbon decomposition may lead to poor model predictions of terrestrial carbon feedbacks to the atmosphere. Roots, mycorrhizal fungi and free-living soil microbes can alter soil carbon decomposition through exudation of carbon into soil. Exudates of simple carbon compounds can increase microbial activity because microbes are typically carbon limited. When both roots and mycorrhizal fungi are present in the soil, they may additively increase carbon decomposition. However, when mycorrhizas are isolated from roots, they may limit soil carbon decomposition by competing with free-living decomposers for resources. We manipulated the access of roots and mycorrhizal fungi to soil insitu in a temperate mixed deciduous forest. We added 13C-labelled substrate to trace metabolized carbon in respiration and measured carbon-degrading microbial extracellular enzyme activity and soil carbon pools. We used our data in a mechanistic soil carbon decomposition model to simulate and compare the effects of root and mycorrhizal fungal presence on soil carbon dynamics over longer time periods. Contrary to what we predicted, root and mycorrhizal biomass did not interact to additively increase microbial activity and soil carbon degradation. The metabolism of 13C-labelled starch was highest when root biomass was high and mycorrhizal biomass was low. These results suggest that mycorrhizas may negatively interact with the free-living microbial community to influence soil carbon dynamics, a hypothesis supported by our enzyme results. Our steady-state model simulations suggested that root presence increased mineral-associated and particulate organic carbon pools, while

  15. Extrapolating laboratory avian toxicity data to free-living birds: Comparison of the toxicity of parathion to captive and free-living European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Rattner, B.A.; Bunck, C.M.

    1993-01-01

    In 1985 and 1986, we captured nesting wild female European starlings with young 8-10 days of age. Birds were weighted, banded, and given one of four dosages of the OP insecticide parathion (50, 72, 104 or 150 mg/kg dissolved in corn oil) or pure corn-oil (control). and their young weighed. Nest boxes (7- 12/treatment) were observed and young re-weighed 2-3 days postdose to determine presence/absence of the females. If necessary, males were captured and fate of young used to confirm female response. Brain ChE inhibition in dosed birds (based on a pilot study) was 55-74%. EC50's (failure to return to nest box) for the females was 74 mg/kg in 1985 and 92 mg/kg in 1986. Confidence limit (95%) for these estimates overlapped LD50's for captive female starlings dosed with the OP in spring and early summer 1987 (136, 128 mg/kg, respectively). Results suggest that responses of captive and free-living birds to potentially lethal concentrations of OP's are similar, despite the additional stresses in the wild.

  16. Object-Oriented Analysis of Sea Ice Fragmentation Using SAR Imagery to Determine Pacific Walrus Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigham, C.; Kolkowitz, I.; Dolson, M.; Rudy, J.; Brooks, A.; Hiatt, C.; Schmidt, C. L.; Skiles, J.

    2006-12-01

    Changes in climate are causing alterations in sea ice formation resulting in a changing habitat for Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Students from NASA Ames Research Center's DEVELOP Internship Program worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Alaska to assess the use of satellite imagery for studying walrus habitat on sea ice. Few studies use satellite imagery to observe marine mammal habitats in polar regions because of the difficulty in obtaining imagery and georeferenced data points of species location for the same time period. This study used a method for sea ice image analysis that incorporated remote sensing segmentation and classification techniques with RADARSAT1 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imagery. Results were correlated with ground point data to determine the relationships of sea ice features to walrus' preferred habitat. MODIS data were utilized, where possible, to verify the classifications of sea ice surfaces obtained by RADARSAT1. The goal of the study was to define geophysical information from radar images that correlate with georeferenced species data points for the same time period. The students determined that walrus prefer thin to medium ice thicknesses. This finding means that aircraft census of walrus populations will not need to be done over areas of thick ice, saving flight time and allowing USFWS personnel to concentrate on locations where walrus populations can be expected to be found.

  17. BESMEX: Bering Sea marine mammal experiment. [with the primary target species being the walrus and bowhead whale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, G. C.; Wartzok, D.

    1974-01-01

    Predictive ecological models are being studied for the management and conservation of the walrus, and the bowhead whale in the Bering Sea. The influence of sea ice on the distribution, and carrying capacity of the area for these two mammals is to be investigated with the primary target species being the walrus. Remote sensing and radio tracking is considered a requirement for assessing the walrus ecosystem.

  18. Emerging trends in free-living amebic infections of the brain: implications for organ transplantation.

    PubMed

    Diaz, James H; Boudreaux, J Philip

    2013-01-01

    This epidemiological review analyzed cases of Naegleria fowleri primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) and Balamuthia mandrillaris granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE) for behavioral and demographic risk factors for pathogen exposures and potential transmission by organ transplantation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Naegleria Workgroup Registry provided 121 cases of laboratory-confirmed PAM over the period, 1937-2007. The CDC and the California Encephalitis Project provided 28 cases of GAE over the period, 1994-2010. There was a statistically significant increase in clusters of PAM cases between the periods, 1937-1996 and 1997-2007. Risk factors for PAM included male gender, freshwater exposures, summer exposures, and exposures in southern-tier US (United States) states. Risk factors for GAE included male gender, exposures in southern-tier US states, Hispanic ethnicity in California, occupational or recreational contacts with soil, and recent organ transplantation. Fatal free-living amebic infections of the brain are increasing today due to more frequent environmental, recreational, and occupational exposures; organ transplantation; and unanticipated clusters of PAM due to N. fowleri inoculations following nasal sinus irrigation using neti pots filled with municipal tap water. Potential organ donors dying from meningoencephalitis of unexplained causes should be screened for free-living amebic infections of the brain capable of hematogenous dissemination in organ recipients. PMID:25073256

  19. A validation of extraction methods for noninvasive sampling of glucocorticoids in free-living ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Mateo, Jill M; Cavigelli, Sonia A

    2005-01-01

    Fecal hormone assays provide a powerful tool for noninvasive monitoring of endocrine status in wild animals. In this study we validated a protocol for extracting and measuring glucocorticoids in free-living and captive Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi). We first compared two commonly used extraction protocols to determine which performed better with commercially available antibodies. We next verified the preferred extraction method by correlating circulating and fecal glucocorticoid measures from a group of individuals over time. For this comparison, we used both a cortisol and a corticosterone antibody to determine which had greater affinity to the fecal metabolites. Cortisol was the primary circulating glucocorticoid, but both hormones were present in well above detectable concentrations in the blood, which does not occur in other sciurids. In addition, the cortisol antibody showed greater binding with the fecal extracts than did the corticosterone antibody. Finally, we used adrenocorticotropic hormone and dexamethasone challenges to demonstrate that changes in adrenal functioning are reflected in changing fecal corticoid levels. These results suggest that our extraction protocol provides a fast, reliable assay of stress hormones in free-living ground squirrels without the confounding influence of short-term rises in glucocorticoid concentrations caused by handling and restraint stress and that it can facilitate ecological and evolutionary studies of stress in wild species. PMID:16228945

  20. Seasonal glucocorticoid responses to capture in wild free-living mammals.

    PubMed

    Romero, L Michael; Meister, Cecile J; Cyr, Nicole E; Kenagy, G J; Wingfield, John C

    2008-02-01

    We determined baseline and capture-induced glucocorticoid concentrations during two different seasons in three species of wild free-living rodents: brown lemmings (Lemmus trimucronatus), golden-mantled ground squirrels (Spermophilus saturatus), and yellow-pine chipmunks (Tamias amoenus). Initial blood samples were obtained within 3 min of capture, so that initial glucocorticoid levels reflect baseline titers of undisturbed animals. Animals were held for an additional 30 min, when a second blood sample was taken to measure stress-induced glucocorticoid titers. The primary glucocorticoid differed in each species. Lemmings secreted extremely large amounts of corticosterone (as high as 8,000 ng/ml). These high concentrations were accompanied by high corticosterone-binding globulin capacity and resistance to negative feedback. Squirrels and chipmunks secreted a mixture of cortisol and corticosterone (10-400 ng/ml). In males of all three species and female squirrels and chipmunks, glucocorticoid levels were significantly elevated 30 min after capture. Baseline and 30-min glucocorticoid levels differed seasonally in each species. Levels were higher during summer (with no snow cover) than in spring (with approximately 60% snow cover) in female lemmings, higher during breeding than before hibernation in squirrels, and higher postreproductively than during breeding in chipmunks. Together, these data indicate that glucocorticoid responses to stress in these free-living species are similar to those in laboratory species, but the magnitude of the response appears to depend on life-history features specific to each species. PMID:18094060

  1. Response of Plant Parasitic and Free Living Soil Nematodes to Composted Animal Manure Soil Amendments

    PubMed Central

    Renčo, M.; Kováčik, P.

    2012-01-01

    In an outside pot experiment, dry pig manure processed on pine sawdust litter and fermented for seven days by house fly larvae (fermented manure), and pine sawdust applied alone, and in combination with a spring application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer were used to determine their effects on plant parasitic and free-living soil nematodes on sugar beets (cv. Antek). Non amended soil was used as a control. All treatments with fermented pig manure and sawdust with nitrogen fertilizer decreased number of plant parasitic nematodes and also root-fungal feeding nematodes compared to the untreated control. Sawdust applied alone had no effect on plant parasitic and root-fungal feeding nematode suppression. Free-living nematodes which were mainly bacteriovores and fungivores were significantly more abundant in soil amended with fermented pig manure, while the sawdust had no effect on these nematodes. The effect of all tested treatments on omnivores-predators was rather random, and in general, the number of these nematodes decreased after soil amendment applications compared to the untreated control. PMID:23482503

  2. Isolation and molecular characterization of free-living amoebae from different water sources in Italy.

    PubMed

    Montalbano Di Filippo, Margherita; Santoro, Maristella; Lovreglio, Piero; Monno, Rosa; Capolongo, Carmen; Calia, Carla; Fumarola, Luciana; D'Alfonso, Rossella; Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David

    2015-03-24

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7%) of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively). Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1%) Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15) and 21 (45.6%) Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans.

  3. Growth ability of Gram negative bacteria in free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Zeybek, Zuhal; Binay, Ali Rıza

    2014-11-01

    When bacteria and free-living amoebae (FLAs) live both in natural waters and man-made aquatic systems, they constantly interact with each other. Some bacteria can survive and grow within FLAs. Therefore, it has recently been thought that FLAs play an important role in spreading pathogenic bacteria in aquatic systems. In this study we investigated the intracellular growing ability of 7 different Gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas putida, Pasteurella pneumotropica, Aeromonas salmonicida, Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, L. pneumophila serogroup 3, L. pneumophila serogroup 6) in four different FLA isolates (A1-A4). Among these, four bacterial isolates (P. fluorescens, P.putida, P.pneumotropica, A.salmonicida) and two free-living amoebae isolates (A3, A4) were isolated from the tap water in our city (Istanbul). It was found that 4 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A1, 2 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A2, 4 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A3, 1 Gram-negative bacterium could grow in A4. In conclusion, we think that this ability of growth could vary according to the characteristics of both bacteria and FLA isolates. Also, other factors such as environmental temperature, bacterial concentration, and extended incubation period may play a role in these interactions. This situation can be clarified with future studies.

  4. Nematofauna in the Adriatic Sea: review and check-list of free-living nematode species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travizi, Ana; Vidaković, Jasna

    1998-02-01

    The present paper presents a collection and synthesis of data found in numerous publications on Adriatic Sea nematofauna, as well as unpublished, data mentioned in annotations. For this purpose, a chronological order of investigations and a general survey of the species that occurred in the Adriatic Sea are given. In all, 281 free-living nematode species comprised in 133 genera and 34 families were discerned and listed in a taxonomic review, according to their spatial distribution. In special cases, descriptions of habitat features were noted. The position of species characterized by high population densities, their importance, and contribution to the faunistic composition of certain parts of the Adriatic were also discussed. The summary of the results, of prevailing research on free-living marine nematodes serves as a tool for making distinctions concerning the research level and state of nematofauna knowledge in different parts of the Adriatic Sea. Northern Adriatic nematofauna has been considerably more intensively investigated than that of the Central and South Adriatic.

  5. Free-living nematodes in the freshwater food web: a review.

    PubMed

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-03-01

    Free-living nematodes are well-recognized as an abundant and ubiquitous component of benthic communities in inland waters. Compelling evidence from soil and marine ecosystems has highlighted the importance of nematodes as trophic intermediaries between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the paucity of empirical evidence of their role in freshwater ecosystems has hampered their inclusion in our understanding of freshwater food web functioning. This literature survey provides an overview of research efforts in the field of freshwater nematode ecology and of the complex trophic interactions between free-living nematodes and microbes, other meiofauna, macro-invertebrates, and fishes. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an appreciation of the potential of emerging approaches for the evaluation of nematode trophic ecology, we point out research gaps and recommend relevant directions for further research. The latter include (i) interactions of nematodes with protozoans and fungi; (ii) nonconsumptive effects of nematodes on microbial activity and the effects of nematodes on associated key ecosystem processes (decomposition, primary production); and (iii) the feeding selectivity and intraspecific feeding variability of nematodes and their potential impacts on the structure of benthic communities. PMID:25861114

  6. Free-living nematodes in the freshwater food web: a review.

    PubMed

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-03-01

    Free-living nematodes are well-recognized as an abundant and ubiquitous component of benthic communities in inland waters. Compelling evidence from soil and marine ecosystems has highlighted the importance of nematodes as trophic intermediaries between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the paucity of empirical evidence of their role in freshwater ecosystems has hampered their inclusion in our understanding of freshwater food web functioning. This literature survey provides an overview of research efforts in the field of freshwater nematode ecology and of the complex trophic interactions between free-living nematodes and microbes, other meiofauna, macro-invertebrates, and fishes. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an appreciation of the potential of emerging approaches for the evaluation of nematode trophic ecology, we point out research gaps and recommend relevant directions for further research. The latter include (i) interactions of nematodes with protozoans and fungi; (ii) nonconsumptive effects of nematodes on microbial activity and the effects of nematodes on associated key ecosystem processes (decomposition, primary production); and (iii) the feeding selectivity and intraspecific feeding variability of nematodes and their potential impacts on the structure of benthic communities.

  7. A pharmacological study of NLP-12 neuropeptide signaling in free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Peeters, Lise; Janssen, Tom; De Haes, Wouter; Beets, Isabel; Meelkop, Ellen; Grant, Warwick; Schoofs, Liliane

    2012-03-01

    NLP-12a and b have been identified as cholecystokinin/sulfakinin-like neuropeptides in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. They are suggested to play an important role in the regulation of digestive enzyme secretion and fat storage. This study reports on the identification and characterization of an NLP-12-like peptide precursor gene in the rat parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti. The S. ratti NLP-12 peptides are able to activate both C. elegans CKR-2 receptor isoforms in a dose-dependent way with affinities in the same nanomolar range as the native C. elegans NLP-12 peptides. The C-terminal RPLQFamide sequence motif of the NLP-12 peptides is perfectly conserved between free-living and parasitic nematodes. Based on systemic amino acid replacements the Arg-, Leu- and Phe- residues appear to be critical for high-affinity receptor binding. Finally, a SAR analysis revealed the essential pharmacophore in C. elegans NLP-12b to be the pentapeptide RPLQFamide.

  8. A model of extracellular enzymes in free-living microbes: which strategy pays off?

    PubMed

    Traving, Sachia J; Thygesen, Uffe H; Riemann, Lasse; Stedmon, Colin A

    2015-11-01

    An initial modeling approach was applied to analyze how a single, nonmotile, free-living, heterotrophic bacterial cell may optimize the deployment of its extracellular enzymes. Free-living cells live in a dilute and complex substrate field, and to gain enough substrate, their extracellular enzymes must be utilized efficiently. The model revealed that surface-attached and free enzymes generate unique enzyme and substrate fields, and each deployment strategy has distinctive advantages. For a solitary cell, surface-attached enzymes are suggested to be the most cost-efficient strategy. This strategy entails potential substrates being reduced to very low concentrations. Free enzymes, on the other hand, generate a radically different substrate field, which suggests significant benefits for the strategy if free cells engage in social foraging or experience high substrate concentrations. Swimming has a slight positive effect for the attached-enzyme strategy, while the effect is negative for the free-enzyme strategy. The results of this study suggest that specific dissolved organic compounds in the ocean likely persist below a threshold concentration impervious to biological utilization. This could help explain the persistence and apparent refractory state of oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM). Microbial extracellular enzyme strategies, therefore, have important implications for larger-scale processes, such as shaping the role of DOM in ocean carbon sequestration.

  9. Free-living amoebae used to isolate consortia capable of degrading trichloroethylene

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Katz, D.S.; Little, C.D.; Kennedy, J.R.

    1991-12-31

    The interaction of protozoa with prokaryotes is well documented. These interactions can be either ecto- or endosymbiotic. An example of photosynthetic symbiosis is the well-defined interaction between paramecium and entrapped Chlorella. Paramecium can also form symbiotic relationships with gram-negative heterotrophic bacteria. Jeon has described an interaction between amoebae and engulfed bacteria, that eventuated into a dependency of the amoebae on the presence of the engulfed bacterium. Free-living amoebae and tetrahymena can engulf and subsequently provide the necessary niche for the replication of Legionella. Acanthamoebae trophozoites and cysts can harbor and support the replication of unidentified gram-negative bacteria. King has recently shown that bacteria associated with free-living amoebae are more resistant to toxic environments. Assuming that methylotrophic bacteria in situ are a part of a mixed community, and based on our observations that bacteria associated with protozoa may not be easily isolated by standard techniques, we attempted to use protozoa as a tool to isolate TCE-degrading bacteria.

  10. Presence of free-living amoebae in portable and stationary eye wash stations

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Lyle, M.M.; Ironside, K.S.

    1987-11-01

    Portable and stationary eye wash stations were tested for the presence of free-living amoebae. Such amoebae may be found in potable waters, and at least one genera, the Acanthamoebae, can cause severe infections when introduced into traumatized eyes. Concentrates or filtrates of water from eye wash stations were placed on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. Resultant outgrowths of free-living amoebae, which were morphologically identified as mixtures of Hartmannella and Acanthamoebae, were inoculated intranasally into weanling mice. Subsequently, brain and lung tissues from inject mice were tested for amoebae as an indication of persistent infection. Acanthamoebae and Hartmannella were detected in some eye wash stations at each of four test sites. Both portable and stationary stations harbored Acanthamoebae. Some of the isolates caused persistent pulmonary infection but were not isolated from brain tissue. Flushing stationary eye wash stations temporarily reduced the number of stations positive for amoebae. Treatment of portable stations with 25 ppm of free chlorine also reduced the number of stations harboring amoebae but caused corrosion in some of the stations.

  11. Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Free-Living Amoebae from Different Water Sources in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Montalbano Di Filippo, Margherita; Santoro, Maristella; Lovreglio, Piero; Monno, Rosa; Capolongo, Carmen; Calia, Carla; Fumarola, Luciana; D’Alfonso, Rossella; Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David

    2015-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7%) of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively). Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1%) Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15) and 21 (45.6%) Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans. PMID:25811766

  12. The field energetics and water fluxes of free-living wombats (Marsupialia: Vombatidae).

    PubMed

    Evans, Murray; Green, Brian; Newgrain, Keith

    2003-10-01

    Wombats are large, fossorial, herbivorous marsupials exhibiting physical and behavioural characteristics indicative of extreme energy conservation. Previous energetics studies have been limited to their basal metabolism under laboratory conditions; little is known of the energetics of free-living wombats. We measured seasonal field metabolic rates (FMR) and water fluxes in the three species of free-living wombat using the doubly labelled water technique, to further investigate the extent of energy conservation in the Vombatidae. Measurements were taken during the wet and dry annual extremes of their characteristically harsh environments, which corresponded to seasonal extremes of food and water availability. Seasonal FMRs for all wombat species were lower than that recorded for other marsupials and well below that predicted for herbivorous mammals. Dry-season FMR of Lasiorhinus kreftii was 40% of that predicted for a mammal. Wombats maintained energy balance during the poor season by reducing FMR to about half that of the good season. Water flux rates during the dry season for the arid-adapted Lasiorhinus are amongst the lowest recorded for mammals, being only 25% of that predicted for a similarly sized herbivorous mammal. These low water flux rates enable wombats in semi-arid areas to maintain water balance without drinking. Estimated food and nitrogen intake rates were also low. We conclude that the energetically frugal lifestyle of the Vombatidae is amongst the most extreme for mammals. PMID:12883985

  13. Selective disappearance of individuals with high levels of glycated haemoglobin in a free-living bird.

    PubMed

    Récapet, Charlotte; Sibeaux, Adélaïde; Cauchard, Laure; Doligez, Blandine; Bize, Pierre

    2016-08-01

    Although disruption of glucose homeostasis is a hallmark of ageing in humans and laboratory model organisms, we have little information on the importance of this process in free-living animals. Poor control of blood glucose levels leads to irreversible protein glycation. Hence, levels of protein glycation are hypothesized to increase with age and to be associated with a decline in survival. We tested these predictions by measuring blood glycated haemoglobin in 274 adult collared flycatchers of known age and estimating individual probability of recapture in the following 2 years. Results show a strong decrease in glycated haemoglobin from age 1 to 5 years and an increase thereafter. Individuals with high levels of glycated haemoglobin had a lower probability of recapture, even after controlling for effects of age and dispersal. Altogether, our findings suggest that poor control of glucose homoeostasis is associated with lower survival in this free-living bird population, and that the selective disappearance of individuals with the highest glycation levels could account for the counterintuitive age-related decline in glycated haemoglobin in the early age categories. PMID:27555645

  14. Interaction of free-living marine nematodes in the artificial mangrove environment (Southeast Coast of India).

    PubMed

    Ansari, K G Mohamed Thameemul; Manokaran, S; Raja, S; Lyla, P S; Khan, S Ajmal

    2014-01-01

    Free-living marine nematode diversity was analyzed between Avicennia marina and Rhizophora mucronata mangrove covers of the Vellar Estuary (southeast coast of India). A total of 4,976 specimens of free-living marine nematodes were collected in 56 species. Comparatively, a higher species richness was obtained for A. marina (52 species) than for R. mucronata (44 species), whereas 40 species commonly existed in both mangrove covers. A higher density of nematodes was found in sediments of sandy nature, whereas there was lower total organic carbon compared to silt/clay composition; epigrowth feeders were dominant over the other feeding groups based on organic enrichment in surface sediments. Principal component analysis clearly explained the relationship between the environmental parameters of various months. Higher R values of analysis of similarities revealed significant differences in nematode assemblages between months, and it was quite evident by non-metric multidimensional scaling. Diversity indices showed higher values in the dry months. RELATE analysis explained serial changes in nematode species composition between months, and a relationship between biotic and abiotic variables was clarified using the BIO-ENV procedure. Viscosia spp., Metachromadora spp., Theristus spp., and Sphaerolaimus spp. were candidate species of A. marina leaf interaction by observation.

  15. A Model of Extracellular Enzymes in Free-Living Microbes: Which Strategy Pays Off?

    PubMed Central

    Thygesen, Uffe H.; Riemann, Lasse; Stedmon, Colin A.

    2015-01-01

    An initial modeling approach was applied to analyze how a single, nonmotile, free-living, heterotrophic bacterial cell may optimize the deployment of its extracellular enzymes. Free-living cells live in a dilute and complex substrate field, and to gain enough substrate, their extracellular enzymes must be utilized efficiently. The model revealed that surface-attached and free enzymes generate unique enzyme and substrate fields, and each deployment strategy has distinctive advantages. For a solitary cell, surface-attached enzymes are suggested to be the most cost-efficient strategy. This strategy entails potential substrates being reduced to very low concentrations. Free enzymes, on the other hand, generate a radically different substrate field, which suggests significant benefits for the strategy if free cells engage in social foraging or experience high substrate concentrations. Swimming has a slight positive effect for the attached-enzyme strategy, while the effect is negative for the free-enzyme strategy. The results of this study suggest that specific dissolved organic compounds in the ocean likely persist below a threshold concentration impervious to biological utilization. This could help explain the persistence and apparent refractory state of oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM). Microbial extracellular enzyme strategies, therefore, have important implications for larger-scale processes, such as shaping the role of DOM in ocean carbon sequestration. PMID:26253668

  16. [Comparative characteristics of free-living ultramicroscopical bacteria obtained from extremal biotopes].

    PubMed

    Suzina, N E; Esikova, T Z; Oleinikov, R R; Gafarov, B; Shorokhov, A P; Polivtseva, V N; Ross, D V; Abashina, T N; Duda, V I; Boronin, A M

    2015-01-01

    We isolated 50 strains of free-living ultrasmall bacteria with a cell volume that varies from 0.02 to 1.3 microm3 from a range of extremal natural biotopes, namely permafrost soils, oil slime, soils, lake silt, thermal swamp moss, and the skin integuments of the clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Of them, 15 isolates, characterized by a cell size of less than 0.1 microm3 and a genome size from 1.5 to 2.4 Mb, were subsumed to ultramicrobacteria belonging to different philogenetic groups (Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria) and genera (Kaistia, Chryseobacterium, Microbacterium, Leucobacter, Leifsonia, and Agrococcus) of the Bacteria domain. They are free-living mesophilic heterotrophic aerobic bacteria. The representatives of Kaistia and Chryseobacterium genera were capable of facultative parasitism on other species of chemo-organotrophic bacteria and cyanobacteria. The ultramicrobacteria differed in their morpholgy, cell ultrastructural organization, and physiological and biochemical features. According to the fine structure of their cell walls, the isolates were subdivided into two groups, namely Gram-positive and Gram-negative forms. PMID:26027350

  17. A Validation of Extraction Methods for Noninvasive Sampling of Glucocorticoids in Free-Living Ground Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Mateo, Jill M.; Cavigelli, Sonia A.

    2008-01-01

    Fecal hormone assays provide a powerful tool for noninvasive monitoring of endocrine status in wild animals. In this study we validated a protocol for extracting and measuring glucocorticoids in free-living and captive Belding’s ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi). We first compared two commonly used extraction protocols to determine which performed better with commercially available antibodies. We next verified the preferred extraction method by correlating circulating and fecal glucocorticoid measures from a group of individuals over time. For this comparison, we used both a cortisol and a corticosterone antibody to determine which had greater affinity to the fecal metabolites. Cortisol was the primary circulating glucocorticoid, but both hormones were present in well above detectable concentrations in the blood, which does not occur in other sciurids. In addition, the cortisol antibody showed greater binding with the fecal extracts than did the corticosterone antibody. Finally, we used adrenocorticotropic hormone and dexamethasone challenges to demonstrate that changes in adrenal functioning are reflected in changing fecal corticoid levels. These results suggest that our extraction protocol provides a fast, reliable assay of stress hormones in free-living ground squirrels without the confounding influence of short-term rises in glucocorticoid concentrations caused by handling and restraint stress and that it can facilitate ecological and evolutionary studies of stress in wild species. PMID:16228945

  18. Genetic Correlates of Individual Differences in Sleep Behavior of Free-Living Great Tits (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    Stuber, Erica F.; Baumgartner, Christine; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Kempenaers, Bart; Mueller, Jakob C.

    2016-01-01

    Within populations, free-living birds display considerable variation in observable sleep behaviors, reflecting dynamic interactions between individuals and their environment. Genes are expected to contribute to repeatable between-individual differences in sleep behaviors, which may be associated with individual fitness. We identified and genotyped polymorphisms in nine candidate genes for sleep, and measured five repeatable sleep behaviors in free-living great tits (Parus major), partly replicating a previous study in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Microsatellites in the CLOCK and NPAS2 clock genes exhibited an association with sleep duration relative to night length, and morning latency to exit the nest box, respectively. Furthermore, microsatellites in the NPSR1 and PCSK2 genes associated with relative sleep duration and proportion of time spent awake at night, respectively. Given the detection rate of associations in the same models run with random markers instead of candidate genes, we expected two associations to arise by chance. The detection of four associations between candidate genes and sleep, however, suggests that clock genes, a clock-related gene, or a gene involved in the melanocortin system, could play key roles in maintaining phenotypic variation in sleep behavior in avian populations. Knowledge of the genetic architecture underlying sleep behavior in the wild is important because it will enable ecologists to assess the evolution of sleep in response to selection. PMID:26739645

  19. Granulomatous encephalitis, intracranial arteritis, and mycotic aneurysm due to a free-living ameba.

    PubMed

    Martínez, A J; Sotelo-Avila, C; Alcalá, H; Willaert, E

    1980-01-01

    Primary amebic meningoencephalitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis are well recognized clinicopathological entities caused by free-living amebas. Associated arteritis and "mycotic aneurysms" with infiltration of intracranial arteries by lymphocytes, amebic trophozoites and cysts have not been previously reported. A 26-month-old girl had a 3-week history of encephalitis, characterized, initially, by vomiting and low-grade fever. Subsequently, she developed ataxia, generalized weakness, lethargy, and esotropia. The first CSF showed 490 RBC/microliters, 705 WBC/microliters with 90% mononuclears. Her pupils reacted briskly to light. Moderate nuchal rigidity, nystagmus, fixed downward gaze, anisocoria, bilateral 6th nerve palsy, left arm monoparesis and left Babinski were present. CAT scan revealed slight symmetrical dilatation of anterior horns of lateral ventricles and an area of abnormal enhancement above the 3rd ventricle. She died 14 days after admission, 5 weeks after onset of symptoms. The brain showed focal necrotizing encephalopathy, involving thalami, cerebellum, brain stem, and cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord. Numerous free-living amebic trophozoites and cysts were present within a chronic granulomatous encephalitis. There were trombosis of basilar, posterior cerebral, and vertebral arteries with profuse chronic panarteritis, fibrinoid necrosis, and mycotic aneurysms. PMID:6892586

  20. Changes in free-living bacterial community diversity reflect the magnitude of environmental variability.

    PubMed

    Ortmann, Alice C; Ortell, Natalie

    2014-01-01

    A 2-year study was undertaken to compare patterns in the diversity of free-living bacteria in a river-dominated estuary and offshore, on the shelf, to determine whether changes in the free-living bacterial community could be related to differences in environmental seasonality and variability. Although the environmental conditions inshore were significantly more variable than those on the shelf and demonstrated clear seasonal patterns, there were no significant differences in the alpha diversity of the communities based on richness, evenness, or phylogenetic diversity. Comparison of communities using Bray-Curtis similarity indicated no significant differences in the magnitude of change between sequential samples from inshore and on the shelf. Seasonal differences were detected both inshore and on the shelf. However, analysis using the weighted UniFrac distance indicated significantly lower overall change between shelf samples with no significant seasonal differences. These findings suggest different patterns of change between the two sites. Inshore, changes in the relative abundance of distantly related bacterial species reflect the larger environmental variability, while on the shelf, changes in the relative abundance of closely related bacterial species or strains may result in a more functionally stable community. Thus, the magnitude of environmental change can alter patterns of bacterial diversity in marine systems.

  1. Apoptosis as a mechanism of cytolysis of tumor cells by a pathogenic free-living amoeba.

    PubMed

    Alizadeh, H; Pidherney, M S; McCulley, J P; Niederkorn, J Y

    1994-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that trophozoites of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii rapidly lysed a variety of tumor cells in vitro. Tumor cells undergoing parasite-mediated lysis displayed characteristic cell membrane blebbing reminiscent of apoptosis. The present investigation examined the role of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in Acanthamoeba-mediated tumor cell lysis. The results showed that more than 70% of tumor cell DNA was fragmented following exposure to Acanthamoeba cell extracts. By contrast, only 7% of untreated control cells underwent DNA fragmentation. DNA fragmentation increased significantly in a dose-dependent fashion following concentration of the parasite extract. Apoptosis was also confirmed by DNA ladder formation. Characteristic DNA ladders, consisting of multimers of approximately 180 to 200 bp, were produced by tumor cells exposed to Acanthamoeba cell extracts. The morphology of tumor cell lysis was examined by light and scanning electron microscopy. Tumor cells exposed to parasite extract displayed morphological features characteristic of apoptosis including cell shrinkage, cell membrane blebbing, formation of apoptotic bodies, and nuclear condensation. By contrast, similar effects were not found in tumor cells exposed to extract similarly prepared from normal mammalian cells (i.e., human keratocytes). The results suggest that at least one species of pathogenic free-living amoeba is able to lyse tumor cells by a process that culminates in apoptosis. PMID:8132336

  2. Pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri, and Sappinia diploidea.

    PubMed

    Visvesvara, Govinda S; Moura, Hercules; Schuster, Frederick L

    2007-06-01

    Among the many genera of free-living amoebae that exist in nature, members of only four genera have an association with human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri and Sappinia diploidea. Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris are opportunistic pathogens causing infections of the central nervous system, lungs, sinuses and skin, mostly in immunocompromised humans. Balamuthia is also associated with disease in immunocompetent children, and Acanthamoeba spp. cause a sight-threatening infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis, mostly in contact-lens wearers. Of more than 30 species of Naegleria, only one species, N. fowleri, causes an acute and fulminating meningoencephalitis in immunocompetent children and young adults. In addition to human infections, Acanthamoeba, Balamuthia and Naegleria can cause central nervous system infections in animals. Because only one human case of encephalitis caused by Sappinia diploidea is known, generalizations about the organism as an agent of disease are premature. In this review we summarize what is known of these free-living amoebae, focusing on their biology, ecology, types of disease and diagnostic methods. We also discuss the clinical profiles, mechanisms of pathogenesis, pathophysiology, immunology, antimicrobial sensitivity and molecular characteristics of these amoebae.

  3. Isolation, identification and antibiotic resistance of Campylobacter strains isolated from domestic and free-living pigeons.

    PubMed

    Dudzic, A; Urban-Chmiel, R; Stępień-Pyśniak, D; Dec, M; Puchalski, A; Wernicki, A

    2016-04-01

    1. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in domestic and free-living pigeons and to evaluate the antibiotic resistance profiles. 2. The material consisted of cloacal swabs obtained from 108 homing pigeons and fresh faeces from 72 wild birds from Lublin and its vicinity. The identification of strains isolated on differential/selective media for Campylobacter spp. was carried out by MALDI-TOF and PCR. The susceptibility to antibiotics was evaluated by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) in Mueller-Hinton broth. 3. A total of 35 strains of Campylobacter spp. were isolated; 27 were identified as Campylobacter jejuni and 8 as Campylobacter coli. Over half of the isolates were resistant to erythromycin and streptomycin, 40% of strains were resistant to tetracycline and ampicillin and 37% isolates were resistant to amoxicillin. Resistance to two or more antibiotics was observed in all strains tested. 4. The results indicate that both domestic and free-living pigeons are reservoirs for bacteria of the genus Campylobacter, which are characterised by varied and growing resistance to commonly used antibiotics.

  4. Insights into the genome sequence of a free-living Kinetoplastid: Bodo saltans (Kinetoplastida: Euglenozoa)

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Andrew P; Quail, Michael A; Berriman, Matthew

    2008-01-01

    Background Bodo saltans is a free-living kinetoplastid and among the closest relatives of the trypanosomatid parasites, which cause such human diseases as African sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. A B. saltans genome sequence will provide a free-living comparison with parasitic genomes necessary for comparative analyses of existing and future trypanosomatid genomic resources. Various coding regions were sequenced to provide a preliminary insight into the bodonid genome sequence, relative to trypanosomatid sequences. Results 0.4 Mbp of B. saltans genome was sequenced from 12 distinct regions and contained 178 coding sequences. As in trypanosomatids, introns were absent and %GC was elevated in coding regions, greatly assisting in gene finding. In the regions studied, roughly 60% of all genes had homologs in trypanosomatids, while 28% were Bodo-specific. Intergenic sequences were typically short, resulting in higher gene density than in trypanosomatids. Although synteny was typically conserved for those genes with trypanosomatid homologs, strict colinearity was rarely observed because gene order was regularly disrupted by Bodo-specific genes. Conclusion The B. saltans genome contains both sequences homologous to trypanosomatids and sequences never seen before. Structural similarities suggest that its assembly should be solvable, and, although de novo assembly will be necessary, existing trypanosomatid projects will provide some guide to annotation. A complete genome sequence will provide an effective ancestral model for understanding the shared and derived features of known trypanosomatid genomes, but it will also identify those kinetoplastid genome features lost during the evolution of parasitism. PMID:19068121

  5. Diversity and Habitat Specificity of Free-Living Protozoa in Commercial Poultry Houses▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Baré, Julie; Sabbe, Koen; Van Wichelen, Jeroen; van Gremberghe, Ineke; D'hondt, Sofie; Houf, Kurt

    2009-01-01

    Despite stringent biosecurity measures, infections by bacterial food pathogens such as Campylobacter are a recurrent problem in industrial poultry houses. As the main transmission route remains unclear, persistence of these infections has been linked to bacterial survival and possibly multiplication within protozoan vectors. To date, however, virtually no information is available on the diversity and occurrence of free-living protozoa in these environments. Using a combination of microscopic analyses of enrichment cultures and molecular methods (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis [DGGE]) on natural samples, we show that, despite strict hygiene management, free-living protozoa are common and widespread throughout a 6-week rearing period in both water and dry samples from commercial poultry houses. Protozoan communities were highly diverse (over 90 morphotaxa and 22 unique phylotypes from sequenced bands) and included several facultative pathogens and known bacterial vectors. Water samples were consistently more diverse than dry ones and harbored different communities, mainly dominated by flagellates. The morphology-based and molecular methods yielded markedly different results: amoebic and, to a lesser degree, ciliate diversity was seriously underestimated in the DGGE analyses, while some flagellate groups were not found in the microscopic analyses. Some recommendations for improving biosecurity measures in commercial poultry houses are suggested. PMID:19124593

  6. Comparative Metabolism of Free-living Bodo saltans and Parasitic Trypanosomatids.

    PubMed

    Opperdoes, Fred R; Butenko, Anzhelika; Flegontov, Pavel; Yurchenko, Vyacheslav; Lukeš, Julius

    2016-09-01

    Comparison of the genomes of free-living Bodo saltans and those of parasitic trypanosomatids reveals that the transition from a free-living to a parasitic life style has resulted in the loss of approximately 50% of protein-coding genes. Despite this dramatic reduction in genome size, B. saltans and trypanosomatids still share a significant number of common metabolic traits: glycosomes; a unique set of the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway genes; an ATP-PFK which is homologous to the bacterial PPi -PFKs rather than to the canonical eukaryotic ATP-PFKs; an alternative oxidase; three phosphoglycerate kinases and two GAPDH isoenzymes; a pyruvate kinase regulated by fructose-2,6-bisphosphate; trypanothione as a substitute for glutathione; synthesis of fatty acids via a unique set of elongase enzymes; and a mitochondrial acetate:succinate coenzyme A transferase. B. saltans has lost the capacity to synthesize ubiquinone. Among genes that are present in B. saltans and lost in all trypanosomatids are those involved in the degradation of mureine, tryptophan and lysine. Novel acquisitions of trypanosomatids are components of pentose sugar metabolism, pteridine reductase and bromodomain-factor proteins. In addition, only the subfamily Leishmaniinae has acquired a gene for catalase and the capacity to convert diaminopimelic acid to lysine.

  7. Hematological, protein electrophoresis and cholinesterase values of free-living nestling peregrine falcons in Spain.

    PubMed

    Lanzarot, M P; Montesinos, A; San Andrés, M I; Rodríguez, C; Barahona, M V

    2001-01-01

    Protein electrophoresis, hematological and cholinesterase values were determined in 32 nestling free-living peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) (15- to 27-days-old) in order to establish normal reference values for this population. The following values (mean +/- SD) were observed: prealbumin 0.31 +/- 0.04 g/dl, albumin 1.25 +/- 0.06 g/dl, alpha1 and alpha2-globulin 0.23 +/- 0.02 and 0.16 +/- 0.02 g/dl respectively, beta-globulin 1.02 +/- 0.05 g/dl, gamma-globulin 0.060 +/- 0.08 g/dl, total protein 3.79 +/- 0.18 g/dl, 21.26 +/- 1.30 white blood cells/microl (1 x 10(3)), 2.17 +/- 0.07 red blood cells/microl (1 x 10(6)), packed cell volume 37.58 +/- 0.82%, hemoglobin 20.96 +/- 0.29 g/dl, heterophils 61.14 +/- 2.50% and cholinesterase 1,184 +/- 75 IU/L. There were no difference in any of these parameters among males and females. The hematological values obtained could be considered as representative values in free-living nestling peregrine falcons.

  8. Free-Living Nematodes in the Freshwater Food Web: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Free-living nematodes are well-recognized as an abundant and ubiquitous component of benthic communities in inland waters. Compelling evidence from soil and marine ecosystems has highlighted the importance of nematodes as trophic intermediaries between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the paucity of empirical evidence of their role in freshwater ecosystems has hampered their inclusion in our understanding of freshwater food web functioning. This literature survey provides an overview of research efforts in the field of freshwater nematode ecology and of the complex trophic interactions between free-living nematodes and microbes, other meiofauna, macro-invertebrates, and fishes. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an appreciation of the potential of emerging approaches for the evaluation of nematode trophic ecology, we point out research gaps and recommend relevant directions for further research. The latter include (i) interactions of nematodes with protozoans and fungi; (ii) nonconsumptive effects of nematodes on microbial activity and the effects of nematodes on associated key ecosystem processes (decomposition, primary production); and (iii) the feeding selectivity and intraspecific feeding variability of nematodes and their potential impacts on the structure of benthic communities. PMID:25861114

  9. Specific Hopanoid Classes Differentially Affect Free-Living and Symbiotic States of Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Gargi; Busset, Nicolas; Molinaro, Antonio; Gargani, Daniel; Chaintreuil, Clemence; Silipo, Alba

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A better understanding of how bacteria resist stresses encountered during the progression of plant-microbe symbioses will advance our ability to stimulate plant growth. Here, we show that the symbiotic system comprising the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens and the legume Aeschynomene afraspera requires hopanoid production for optimal fitness. While methylated (2Me) hopanoids contribute to growth under plant-cell-like microaerobic and acidic conditions in the free-living state, they are dispensable during symbiosis. In contrast, synthesis of extended (C35) hopanoids is required for growth microaerobically and under various stress conditions (high temperature, low pH, high osmolarity, bile salts, oxidative stress, and antimicrobial peptides) in the free-living state and also during symbiosis. These defects might be due to a less rigid membrane resulting from the absence of free or lipidA-bound C35 hopanoids or the accumulation of the C30 hopanoid diploptene. Our results also show that C35 hopanoids are necessary for symbiosis only with the host Aeschynomene afraspera but not with soybean. This difference is likely related to the presence of cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides in Aeschynomene nodules that induce drastic modification in bacterial morphology and physiology. The study of hopanoid mutants in plant symbionts thus provides an opportunity to gain insight into host-microbe interactions during later stages of symbiotic progression, as well as the microenvironmental conditions for which hopanoids provide a fitness advantage. PMID:26489859

  10. The field energetics and water fluxes of free-living wombats (Marsupialia: Vombatidae).

    PubMed

    Evans, Murray; Green, Brian; Newgrain, Keith

    2003-10-01

    Wombats are large, fossorial, herbivorous marsupials exhibiting physical and behavioural characteristics indicative of extreme energy conservation. Previous energetics studies have been limited to their basal metabolism under laboratory conditions; little is known of the energetics of free-living wombats. We measured seasonal field metabolic rates (FMR) and water fluxes in the three species of free-living wombat using the doubly labelled water technique, to further investigate the extent of energy conservation in the Vombatidae. Measurements were taken during the wet and dry annual extremes of their characteristically harsh environments, which corresponded to seasonal extremes of food and water availability. Seasonal FMRs for all wombat species were lower than that recorded for other marsupials and well below that predicted for herbivorous mammals. Dry-season FMR of Lasiorhinus kreftii was 40% of that predicted for a mammal. Wombats maintained energy balance during the poor season by reducing FMR to about half that of the good season. Water flux rates during the dry season for the arid-adapted Lasiorhinus are amongst the lowest recorded for mammals, being only 25% of that predicted for a similarly sized herbivorous mammal. These low water flux rates enable wombats in semi-arid areas to maintain water balance without drinking. Estimated food and nitrogen intake rates were also low. We conclude that the energetically frugal lifestyle of the Vombatidae is amongst the most extreme for mammals.

  11. Increased Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Disease Prevalence in Domestic Hybrids Among Free-Living Wild Boar.

    PubMed

    Goedbloed, Daniel J; van Hooft, Pim; Lutz, Walburga; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; van Wieren, Sip E; Ydenberg, Ron C; Prins, Herbert H T

    2015-12-01

    Wildlife immune genes are subject to natural selection exerted by pathogens. In contrast, domestic immune genes are largely protected from pathogen selection by veterinary care. Introgression of domestic alleles into the wild could lead to increased disease susceptibility, but observations are scarce due to low introgression rates, low disease prevalence and reduced survival of domestic hybrids. Here we report the first observation of a deleterious effect of domestic introgression on disease prevalence in a free-living large mammal. A fraction of 462 randomly sampled free-living European wild boar (Sus scrofa) was genetically identified as recent wild boar-domestic pig hybrids based on 351 SNP data. Analysis of antibody prevalence against the bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (Mhyo) showed an increased Mhyo prevalence in wild-domestic hybrids. We argue that the most likely mechanism explaining the observed association between domestic hybrid status and Mhyo antibody prevalence would be introgression of deleterious domestic alleles. We hypothesise that large-scale use of antibiotics in the swine breeding sector may have played a role in shaping the relatively deleterious properties of domestic swine immune genes and that domestic introgression may also lead to increased wildlife disease susceptibility in the case of other species.

  12. Molecular phylogeny of litostome ciliates (Ciliophora, Litostomatea) with emphasis on free-living haptorian genera.

    PubMed

    Strüder-Kypke, Michaela C; Wright, Andre-Denis G; Foissner, Wilhelm; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Lynn, Denis H

    2006-08-01

    The monophyly of the litostomes was tested using nine newly sequenced and four previously unpublished small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSrRNA) gene sequences from free-living Haptoria as well as from endosymbiotic Trichostomatia: the vestibuliferids Balantidium coli and Isotricha prostoma, the cyclotrichiid Mesodinium pulex, and the haptorids Loxophyllum rostratum, Dileptus sp., Enchelyodon sp., Enchelys polynucleata, Epispathidium papilliferum (isolates A and B), Spathidium stammeri, Arcuospathidium muscorum, Arcuospathidium cultriforme, and the unusual Teuthophrys trisulca. Phylogenetic analyses depicted the litostomes as a monophyletic group consisting of the trichostomes (subclass Trichostomatia) and the free-living haptorians (subclass Haptoria). The cyclotrichiids Mesodinium and Myrionecta (order Cyclotrichiida) branched either basally within or outside the Litostomatea. In most analyses, the haptorians did not receive support as a monophyletic group. Instead, Dileptus branched basally to all litostome taxa, and Epispathidium papilliferum grouped with the Subclass Trichostomatia. Some subgroupings, however, of haptorian genera corresponded to suggested superfamilial taxa (e.g., orders Spathidiida and Pleurostomatida). Within the monophyletic trichostomes, we can distinguish three clades: (1) an Australian clade; (2) the order Entodiniomorphida; and (3) the order Vestibuliferida. However, Balantidium, currently classified in the Vestibuliferida, did not group with the other vestibuliferids, suggesting that this order may be paraphyletic. PMID:16843062

  13. Resistance training increases total energy expenditure and free-living physical activity in older adults.

    PubMed

    Hunter, G R; Wetzstein, C J; Fields, D A; Brown, A; Bamman, M M

    2000-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine what effects 26 wk of resistance training have on resting energy expenditure (REE), total free-living energy expenditure (TEE), activity-related energy expenditure (AEE), engagement in free-living physical activity as measured by the activity-related time equivalent (ARTE) index, and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) in 61- to 77-yr-old men (n = 8) and women (n = 7). Before and after training, body composition (four-compartment model), strength, REE, TEE (doubly labeled water), AEE (TEE - REE + thermic response to meals), and ARTE (AEE adjusted for energy cost of standard activities) were evaluated. Strength (36%) and fat-free mass (2 kg) significantly increased, but body weight did not change. REE increased 6.8%, whereas resting RER decreased from 0.86 to 0.83. TEE (12%) and ARTE (38%) increased significantly, and AEE (30%) approached significance (P = 0.06). The TEE increase remained significant even after adjustment for the energy expenditure of the resistance training. In response to resistance training, TEE increased and RER decreased. The increase in TEE occurred as a result of increases in both REE and physical activity. These results suggest that resistance training may have value in increasing energy expenditure and lipid oxidation rates in older adults, thereby improving their metabolic profiles.

  14. Response of plant parasitic and free living soil nematodes to composted animal manure soil amendments.

    PubMed

    Renčo, M; Kováčik, P

    2012-12-01

    In an outside pot experiment, dry pig manure processed on pine sawdust litter and fermented for seven days by house fly larvae (fermented manure), and pine sawdust applied alone, and in combination with a spring application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer were used to determine their effects on plant parasitic and free-living soil nematodes on sugar beets (cv. Antek). Non amended soil was used as a control. All treatments with fermented pig manure and sawdust with nitrogen fertilizer decreased number of plant parasitic nematodes and also root-fungal feeding nematodes compared to the untreated control. Sawdust applied alone had no effect on plant parasitic and root-fungal feeding nematode suppression. Free-living nematodes which were mainly bacteriovores and fungivores were significantly more abundant in soil amended with fermented pig manure, while the sawdust had no effect on these nematodes. The effect of all tested treatments on omnivores-predators was rather random, and in general, the number of these nematodes decreased after soil amendment applications compared to the untreated control.

  15. Inertial measurements of free-living activities: assessing mobility to predict falls.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kejia; Lovell, Nigel H; Del Rosario, Michael B; Liu, Ying; Wang, Jingjing; Narayanan, Michael R; Brodie, Matthew A D; Delbaere, Kim; Menant, Jasmine; Lord, Stephen R; Redmond, Stephen J

    2014-01-01

    An exploratory analysis was conducted into how simple features, from acceleration at the lower back and ankle during simulated free-living walking, stair ascent and descent, correlate with age, the overall fall risk from a clinically validated Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA), and its sub-components. Inertial data were captured from 92 older adults aged 78-95 (42 female, mean age 84.1, standard deviation 3.9 years). The dominant frequency, peak width from Welch's power spectral density estimate, and signal variance along each axis, from each sensor location and for each activity were calculated. Several correlations were found between these features and the physiological risk factors. The strongest correlations were from the dominant frequency at the ankle along the mediolateral direction during stair ascent (Spearman's correlation coefficient p = - 0.45) with anterioposterior sway, and signal variance of the anterioposterior acceleration at the lower back during stair descent (p = - 0.45) with age. These findings should aid future attempts to classify activities and predict falls in older adults, based on true free-living data from a range of activities.

  16. Isolation, identification and increasing importance of 'free-living' amoebae causing human disease.

    PubMed

    Szénási, Z; Endo, T; Yagita, K; Nagy, E

    1998-01-01

    Amphizoic small amoebic protozoa are capable of existing both in 'free-living' and in 'parasitic' form depending on the actual conditions. Two genera (Naegleria and Acanthamoeba) have become recognised as opportunist human parasites. Since the first description in 1965 of a lethal case of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by Naegleria, many more (mostly lethal) cases have been reported, while granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), as well as eye (keratinitis, conjunctivitis, etc.), ear, nose, skin and internal organ infections caused by Acanthamoeba have also occurred in rapidly increasing numbers. Both pathogenic and non-pathogenic species of Naegleria and Acanthamoeba are found worldwide in water, soil and dust, where they provide a potential source of infection. Successful differential diagnosis and appropriate (specific) therapy depends on precise laboratory identification of the 'free-living' amoebae. In most cases, isolation from the environment can be achieved, but identification and differentiation of the pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains is not easy. The methods presently available do not fulfil completely the requirements for specificity, sensitivity and reliability. Morphological criteria are inadequate, while thermophilic character, pH dependency and even virulence in infected mice, are not unambiguous features of pathogenicity of the different strains. More promising are molecular methods, such as restriction endonuclease digestion of whole-cell DNA or mitochondrial DNA, as well as iso-enzyme profile analysis after iso-electric focusing and staining for acid phosphatase and propionyl esterase activity. Use of appropriate monoclonal antibodies has also yielded promising results in the differentiation of human pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains. However, quicker, simpler, more specific and reliable methods are still highly desirable. The significance of endosymbiosis (especially with Legionella strains) is not well understood

  17. The prospects for biological control of the free-living stages of nematode parasites of livestock.

    PubMed

    Waller, P J; Faedo, M

    1996-01-01

    Control of nematode parasites of livestock is focused almost entirely on the parasitic stages within the host. Current methods rely on anthelmintic drugs, but these are under increasing threat with the development of resistance covering the whole spectrum of anthelmintics amongst the important nematode species of a range of livestock. However, invariably the greatest proportion of the parasite biomass resides not within the animal hosts, but in the external environment-commonly on pasture. It is in this environment that the free-living stages are vulnerable to a range of abiotic factors (extremes in temperature and desiccation) and biotic factors (macro- and micro-organisms) that may decimate their numbers. Of the latter, there are organisms, which exert their effects either indirectly by rendering faecal deposits inimical for the development of nematode eggs through to infective larvae, or directly by acting as pathogens or by exploiting the free-living stages as a food source. Within this vast assemblage of organisms, which include microarthropods, protozoa, viruses, bacteria and fungi, could well emerge a variety of biological control agents of nematode parasites. At present, greatest interest lies with the nematode-destroying fungi. Work has progressed from Petri dishes, to plots, to paddocks with several species of the genus Arthrobotrys and Duddingtonia flagrans. These studies indicate that the voracious nematophagous capabilities of these fungi, clearly demonstrated in vitro, translate to reductions in the number of infective larvae on pasture and indicate that levels of control, comparable to conventional schemes using anthelmintics, can be achieved. The challenge now lies in developing methods of administration of fungi to animals which can be applied under practical farm conditions. However, the pursuit of candidates for biological control of nematode parasites of livestock should not involve just a few species of nematophagous fungi. More than 100

  18. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2014-01-01

    Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully understanding potential population-level impacts. We analyzed long-term longitudinal data sets of caloric consumption and body mass from nine female Pacific walruses housed at six aquaria using a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify relative energetic demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. By examining body mass fluctuations in response to food consumption, the model explicitly uncoupled caloric demand from caloric intake. This is important for pinnipeds because they sequester and deplete large quantities of lipids throughout their lifetimes. Model outputs were scaled to account for activity levels typical of free-ranging Pacific walruses, averaging 83% of the time active in water and 17% of the time hauled-out resting. Estimated caloric requirements ranged from 26,900 kcal d(-1) for 2-yr-olds to 93,370 kcal d(-1) for simultaneously lactating and pregnant walruses. Daily consumption requirements were higher for pregnancy than lactation, reflecting energetic demands of increasing body size and lipid deposition during pregnancy. Although walruses forage during lactation, fat sequestered during pregnancy sustained 27% of caloric requirements during the first month of lactation, suggesting that walruses use a mixed strategy of capital and income breeding. Ultimately, this model will aid in our understanding of the energetic and population consequences of sea ice loss. PMID:25461648

  19. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noren, Shawn R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2014-01-01

    Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully understanding potential population-level impacts. We analyzed long-term longitudinal data sets of caloric consumption and body mass from nine female Pacific walruses housed at six aquaria using a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify relative energetic demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. By examining body mass fluctuations in response to food consumption, the model explicitly uncoupled caloric demand from caloric intake. This is important for pinnipeds because they sequester and deplete large quantities of lipids throughout their lifetimes. Model outputs were scaled to account for activity levels typical of free-ranging Pacific walruses, averaging 83% of the time active in water and 17% of the time hauled-out resting. Estimated caloric requirements ranged from 26,900 kcal d−1 for 2-yr-olds to 93,370 kcal d−1 for simultaneously lactating and pregnant walruses. Daily consumption requirements were higher for pregnancy than lactation, reflecting energetic demands of increasing body size and lipid deposition during pregnancy. Although walruses forage during lactation, fat sequestered during pregnancy sustained 27% of caloric requirements during the first month of lactation, suggesting that walruses use a mixed strategy of capital and income breeding. Ultimately, this model will aid in our understanding of the energetic and population consequences of sea ice loss.

  20. Projected status of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the twenty-first century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Marcot, B.G.; Douglas, D.C.

    2011-01-01

    Extensive and rapid losses of sea ice in the Arctic have raised conservation concerns for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), a large pinniped inhabiting arctic and subarctic continental shelf waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas. We developed a Bayesian network model to integrate potential effects of changing environmental conditions and anthropogenic stressors on the future status of the Pacific walrus population at four periods through the twenty-first century. The model framework allowed for inclusion of various sources and levels of knowledge, and representation of structural and parameter uncertainties. Walrus outcome probabilities through the century reflected a clear trend of worsening conditions for the subspecies. From the current observation period to the end of century, the greatest change in walrus outcome probabilities was a progressive decrease in the outcome state of robust and a concomitant increase in the outcome state of vulnerable. The probabilities of rare and extirpated states each progressively increased but remained >10% through the end of the century. The summed probabilities of vulnerable, rare, and extirpated (P(v,r,e)) increased from a current level of 10% in 2004 to 22% by 2050 and 40% by 2095. The degree of uncertainty in walrus outcomes increased monotonically over future periods. In the model, sea ice habitat (particularly for summer/fall) and harvest levels had the greatest influence on future population outcomes. Other potential stressors had much smaller influences on walrus outcomes, mostly because of uncertainty in their future states and our current poor understanding of their mechanistic influence on walrus abundance. ?? 2011 US Government.

  1. Projected status of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the twenty-first century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Douglas, David C.

    2011-01-01

    Extensive and rapid losses of sea ice in the Arctic have raised conservation concerns for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), a large pinniped inhabiting arctic and subarctic continental shelf waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas. We developed a Bayesian network model to integrate potential effects of changing environmental conditions and anthropogenic stressors on the future status of the Pacific walrus population at four periods through the twenty-first century. The model framework allowed for inclusion of various sources and levels of knowledge, and representation of structural and parameter uncertainties. Walrus outcome probabilities through the century reflected a clear trend of worsening conditions for the subspecies. From the current observation period to the end of century, the greatest change in walrus outcome probabilities was a progressive decrease in the outcome state of robust and a concomitant increase in the outcome state of vulnerable. The probabilities of rare and extirpated states each progressively increased but remained <10% through the end of the century. The summed probabilities of vulnerable, rare, and extirpated (P(v,r,e)) increased from a current level of 10% in 2004 to 22% by 2050 and 40% by 2095. The degree of uncertainty in walrus outcomes increased monotonically over future periods. In the model, sea ice habitat (particularly for summer/fall) and harvest levels had the greatest influence on future population outcomes. Other potential stressors had much smaller influences on walrus outcomes, mostly because of uncertainty in their future states and our current poor understanding of their mechanistic influence on walrus abundance.

  2. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2014-01-01

    Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully understanding potential population-level impacts. We analyzed long-term longitudinal data sets of caloric consumption and body mass from nine female Pacific walruses housed at six aquaria using a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify relative energetic demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. By examining body mass fluctuations in response to food consumption, the model explicitly uncoupled caloric demand from caloric intake. This is important for pinnipeds because they sequester and deplete large quantities of lipids throughout their lifetimes. Model outputs were scaled to account for activity levels typical of free-ranging Pacific walruses, averaging 83% of the time active in water and 17% of the time hauled-out resting. Estimated caloric requirements ranged from 26,900 kcal d(-1) for 2-yr-olds to 93,370 kcal d(-1) for simultaneously lactating and pregnant walruses. Daily consumption requirements were higher for pregnancy than lactation, reflecting energetic demands of increasing body size and lipid deposition during pregnancy. Although walruses forage during lactation, fat sequestered during pregnancy sustained 27% of caloric requirements during the first month of lactation, suggesting that walruses use a mixed strategy of capital and income breeding. Ultimately, this model will aid in our understanding of the energetic and population consequences of sea ice loss.

  3. A Reevaluation of the Morphology, Paleoecology, and Phylogenetic Relationships of the Enigmatic Walrus Pelagiarctos

    PubMed Central

    Boessenecker, Robert W.; Churchill, Morgan

    2013-01-01

    Background A number of aberrant walruses (Odobenidae) have been described from the Neogene of the North Pacific, including specialized suction-feeding and generalist fish-eating taxa. At least one of these fossil walruses has been hypothesized to have been a specialized predator of other marine mammals, the middle Miocene walrus Pelagiarctos thomasi from the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed of California (16.1–14.5 Ma). Methodology/Principal Findings A new specimen of Pelagiarctos from the middle Miocene “Topanga” Formation of southern California (17.5–15 Ma) allows a reassessment of the morphology and feeding ecology of this extinct walrus. The mandibles of this new specimen are robust with large canines, bulbous premolars with prominent paraconid, metaconid, hypoconid cusps, crenulated lingual cingula with small talonid basins, M2 present, double-rooted P3–M1, single-rooted P1 and M2, and a P2 with a bilobate root. Because this specimen lacks a fused mandibular symphysis like Pelagiarctos thomasi, it is instead referred to Pelagiarctos sp. This specimen is more informative than the fragmentary holotype of Pelagiarctos thomasi, permitting Pelagiarctos to be included within a phylogenetic analysis for the first time. Analysis of a matrix composed of 90 cranial, dental, mandibular and postcranial characters indicates that Pelagiarctos is an early diverging walrus and sister to the late Miocene walrus Imagotaria downsi. We reevaluate the evidence for a macropredatory lifestyle for Pelagiarctos, and we find no evidence of specialization towards a macrophagous diet, suggesting that Pelagiarctos was a generalist feeder with the ability to feed on large prey. Conclusions/Significance This new specimen of Pelagiarctos adds to the knowledge of this problematic taxon. The phylogenetic analysis conclusively demonstrates that Pelagiarctos is an early diverging walrus. Pelagiarctos does not show morphological specializations associated with macrophagy, and was likely a

  4. When the lights go out: the evolutionary fate of free-living colorless green algae.

    PubMed

    Figueroa-Martinez, Francisco; Nedelcu, Aurora M; Smith, David R; Adrian, Reyes-Prieto

    2015-05-01

    The endosymbiotic origin of plastids was a launching point for eukaryotic evolution. The autotrophic abilities bestowed by plastids are responsible for much of the eukaryotic diversity we observe today. But despite its many advantages, photosynthesis has been lost numerous times and in disparate lineages throughout eukaryote evolution. For example, among green algae, several groups have lost photosynthesis independently and in response to different selective pressures; these include the parasitic/pathogenic trebouxiophyte genera Helicosporidium and Prototheca, and the free-living chlamydomonadalean genera Polytomella and Polytoma. Here, we examine the published data on colorless green algae and argue that investigations into the different evolutionary routes leading to their current nonphotosynthetic lifestyles provide exceptional opportunities to understand the ecological and genomic factors involved in the loss of photosynthesis. PMID:26042246

  5. Atypical Toxoplasma gondii strain from a free-living jaguar (Panthera onca) in French Guiana.

    PubMed

    Demar, M; Ajzenberg, D; Serrurier, B; Dardé, M L; Carme, B

    2008-02-01

    Like domestic cats, wild felids are involved in the complete infective cycle of Toxoplasma gondii because they can host in their gastrointestinal tract sexually mature parasites and shed infective oocysts in their feces. We report, to our knowledge, the first isolation and molecular characterization of a T. gondii strain from the heart tissue of a free-living jaguar (Panthera onca) in French Guiana. Sequencing at six polymorphic markers indicated that the jaguar isolate had an atypical genotype, including an allele at TgM-A previously found only in isolates from South America, and an allele at GRA6, which was previously reported only in Californian sea otter isolates. These findings are consistent with the recent description of atypical T. gondii strains involved in severe toxoplasmoses in immunocompetent patients in French Guiana that seemed to be linked to a neotropical forest-based cycle involving wild cats and their prey.

  6. Free-living amoebae: what part do they play in healthcare-associated infections?

    PubMed

    Cateau, E; Delafont, V; Hechard, Y; Rodier, M H

    2014-07-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous protozoa that do not require a host organism for survival. They are found in natural environments such as water or soil, and man-made environments including tap water or swimming pools, where they may interact with other micro-organisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. FLA can harbour micro-organisms including those found in hospital water systems, offering them protection against hostile conditions, providing a vehicle of dissemination, and enabling them to prepare for subsequent survival in macrophages. The interaction between Legionella pneumophila and FLA has been studied extensively; subsequent investigations have shown that FLA may serve as a reservoir for other bacteria including mycobacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, or even fungi and viruses. Amoebae found in hospital water systems can serve as a reservoir of potential pathogens and thus be indirectly related to healthcare-associated infections.

  7. [Regulation of cortical cytoskeleton dynamics during migration of free-living amoebae].

    PubMed

    Kłopocka, Wanda; Redowicz, Maria Jolanta; Wasik, Anna

    2009-01-01

    Amoeba proteus and smaller by an order of magnitude (and evolutionary younger) Acanthamoeba castellanii have been for many years model cells for studies of amoeboidal (crawling) type of movement, characteristic also for some of metazoan cells such as fibroblasts, granulocytes and macrophages. Amoeboidal migration is indispensable of organization and dynamics of actin-based cytoskeleton. While there is a number of data on molecular mechanisms of motility of A. castellanii, there is very little known about bases of migration of A. proteus. Noteworthy, a large A. proteus (length approximately 600 microm) have been from over a century an object for studies on biology and physiology of cellular migration. This review describes the current knowledge on molecular aspects of force generation required for migration of these two amoebae and attempts to compare the functioning and regulation of actin cytoskeleton in these free-living unicellular species.

  8. Bioinformatic exploration of RIO protein kinases of parasitic and free-living nematodes.

    PubMed

    Breugelmans, Bert; Jex, Aaron R; Korhonen, Pasi K; Mangiola, Stefano; Young, Neil D; Sternberg, Paul W; Boag, Peter R; Hofmann, Andreas; Gasser, Robin B

    2014-10-01

    Despite right open reading frame kinases (RIOKs) being essential for life, their functions, substrates and cellular pathways remain enigmatic. In the present study, gene structures were characterised for 26 RIOKs from draft genomes of parasitic and free-living nematodes. RNA-seq transcription profiles of riok genes were investigated for selected parasitic nematodes and showed that these kinases are transcribed in developmental stages that infect their mammalian host. Three-dimensional structural models of Caenorhabditis elegans RIOKs were predicted, and elucidated functional domains and conserved regions in nematode homologs. These findings provide prospects for functional studies of riok genes in C. elegans, and an opportunity for the design and validation of nematode-specific inhibitors of these enzymes in socioeconomic parasitic worms.

  9. Response of free-living marine nematodes to the southern Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass.

    PubMed

    Xu, Man; Liu, Qinghe; Zhang, Zhinan; Liu, Xiaoshou

    2016-04-15

    The Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass is a remarkable seasonal hydrographic event in the bottom water of the Yellow Sea. In order to reveal the response of free-living marine nematodes to this event, community structure and biodiversity indices of nematodes were studied in June and November 2013. The dominant species were Dorylaimopsis rabalaisi, Spilophorella sp., Daptonema sp., Sabatieria sp. and Parasphaerolaimus sp. In terms of trophic structure, epigrowth feeders were the most dominant group. Correlation analysis showed that Shannon-Wiener diversity index had significantly negative correlation with sediment silt-clay percentage, organic matter content and water content. Results of BIOENV indicated that sediment phaeophorbide content, water content, bottom water salinity and temperature were the most important factors related to nematode community. In conclusion, community structure and biodiversity indices of nematodes were consistent in the two sampling seasons. PMID:26965091

  10. The in vitro efficacy of antimicrobial agents against the pathogenic free-living amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Arine F; Heaselgrave, Wayne; Andrew, Peter W; Kilvington, Simon

    2013-01-01

    The free-living amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris causes usually fatal encephalitis in humans and animals. Only limited studies have investigated the efficacy of antimicrobial agents against the organism. Assay methods were developed to assess antimicrobial efficacy against both the trophozoite and cyst stage of B. mandrillaris (ATCC 50209). Amphotericin B, ciclopirox olamine, miltefosine, natamycin, paromomycin, pentamidine isethionate, protriptyline, spiramycin, sulconazole and telithromycin had limited activity with amoebacidal levels of > 135-500 μM. However, diminazene aceturate (Berenil(®) ) was amoebacidal at 7.8 μM and 31.3-61.5 μM for trophozoites and cysts, respectively. Assays for antimicrobial testing may improve the prognosis for infection and aid in the development of primary selective culture isolation media.

  11. Ecosystem energetic implications of parasite and free-living biomass in three estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuris, Armand M.; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Shaw, Jenny C.; Whitney, Kathleen L.; Aguirre-Macedo, Leopoldina; Boch, Charlie A.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Dunham, Eleca J.; Fredensborg, Brian L.; Huspeni, Todd C.; Lorda, Julio; Mababa, Luzviminda; Mancini, Frank T.; Mora, Adrienne B.; Pickering, Maria; Talhouk, Nadia L.; Torchin, Mark E.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2008-01-01

    Parasites can have strong impacts but are thought to contribute little biomass to ecosystems. We quantified the biomass of free-living and parasitic species in three estuaries on the Pacific coast of California and Baja California. Here we show that parasites have substantial biomass in these ecosystems. We found that parasite biomass exceeded that of top predators. The biomass of trematodes was particularly high, being comparable to that of the abundant birds, fishes, burrowing shrimps and polychaetes. Trophically transmitted parasites and parasitic castrators subsumed more biomass than did other parasitic functional groups. The extended phenotype biomass controlled by parasitic castrators sometimes exceeded that of their uninfected hosts. The annual production of free-swimming trematode transmission stages was greater than the combined biomass of all quantified parasites and was also greater than bird biomass. This biomass and productivity of parasites implies a profound role for infectious processes in these estuaries.

  12. Rhabdomyosarcoma of the pectoral muscles of a free-living European robin (Erithacus rubecula).

    PubMed

    Manarolla, G; Radaelli, E; Pisoni, G; Sironi, G; Rampin, T

    2008-06-01

    An adult free-living European robin (Erithacus rubecula) with a large, firm, subcutaneous mass on the pectoral muscle was examined. The bird was unable to fly and died spontaneously. Necropsy revealed a yellowish, bilobate mass almost completely replacing the pectoral muscles with extensive osteolysis of the keel bone. Histopathology revealed a poorly demarcated, highly cellular sarcomatous tumour with metastases to the lungs, pulmonary blood vessels and heart. Immunohistochemistry was negative for neuron-specific enolase, S-100 protein and the p-27 major capsid protein of avian leukosis viruses. The homogeneously positive immunolabelling for vimentin and scattered positivity for myoglobin and desmin suggested a diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma. A retrospective examination of the records for 194 birds of the thrush family, including 64 robins submitted over a 20-year period, showed no diagnoses of neoplasia.

  13. Epizootic mortality of free-living green turtles, Chelonia mydas, due to coccidiosis.

    PubMed

    Gordon, A N; Kelly, W R; Lester, R J

    1993-07-01

    At least 70 wild green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, died in the Moreton Bay area of southeast Queensland, Australia over 6 wk in spring 1991. Based on the necropsy of 24 turtles, there was a severe enteritis or encephalitis associated with Caryospora cheloniae, a coccidial pathogen previously recorded only in farm-reared Ch. mydas hatchlings. Infection was characterized by the presence of coccidia in extra-intestinal lesions. Oocysts were observed to sporulate, after which sporozoites escaped into seawater to form a novel stellate configuration. We conclude that C. cheloniae is pathogenic for life stages other than hatchling Ch. mydas and that naturally-occurring coccidiosis is a significant disease of free-living Ch. mydas.

  14. Differentiation of Staphylococcus sciuri strains isolated from free-living rodents and insectivores.

    PubMed

    Hauschild, T; Schwarz, S

    2003-06-01

    Twenty-nine Staphylococcus sciuri strains isolated from free-living insectivores and rodents were comparatively analysed for their biochemical capacities and their SmaI macrorestriction patterns. The 29 S. sciuri isolates represented 21 different biotypes and 22 different SmaI macrorestriction types. This observation confirmed that S. sciuri isolates obtained from insectivores and rodents living in natural environments constituted a heterogeneous population. Cluster analysis revealed that the macrorestriction patterns and the biochemical profiles matched in some cases. However, S. sciuri isolates that exhibited the same or closely related biochemical profiles were also found to be associated with different macrorestriction patterns. Analysis of the 29 S. sciuri isolates for their plasmid content and their sensitivity to antimicrobial agents showed that most of the isolates were plasmid-free and susceptible to all antimicrobial agents tested.

  15. Effect of flagellates on free-living bacterial abundance in an organically contaminated aquifer.

    PubMed

    Kinner, N E; Harvey, R W; Kazmierkiewicz-Tabaka, M

    1997-07-01

    Little is known about the role of protists in the saturated subsurface. Porous media microcosms, containing bacteria and protists, were used to determine whether flagellates from an organically contaminated aquifer could substantively affect the number of free-living bacteria (FLB). When flagellates were present, the 3-40% maximum breakthrough of fluorescently labelled FLB injected into the microcosms was much lower than the 60-130% observed for killed controls. Grazing and clearance rates (3-27 FLB flag-1 h-1 and 12-23 nl flag-1 h-1, respectively) calculated from the data were in the range reported for flagellates in other aqueous environments. The data provide evidence that flagellate bacterivory is an important control on groundwater FLB populations.

  16. Effect of flagellates on free-living bacterial abundance in an organically contaminated aquifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinner, N.E.; Harvey, R.W.; Kazmierkiewicz-Tabaka, M.

    1997-01-01

    Little is known about the role of protists in the saturated subsurface. Porous media microcosms containing bacteria and protists, were used to determine whether flagellates from an organically contaminated aquifer could substantively affect the number of free- living bacteria (FLB). When flagellates were present, the 3-40% maximum breakthrough of fluorescent y labelled FLB injected into the microcosms was much lower than the 60-130% observed for killed controls Grazing and clearance rates (3-27 FLB flag-1 h-1 and 12-23 nI flag-1 h-1, respectively) calculated from the data were in the range reported for flagellates in other aqueous environments. The data provide evidence that flagellate bacterivory is an important control on groundwater FLB populations.

  17. Frequency of the sit to stand task: An observational study of free-living adults.

    PubMed

    Dall, Philippa M; Kerr, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    The sit to stand movement is a key determinant of functional independence. Knowledge of the frequency with which the sit to stand movement is performed throughout the day could inform workplace ergonomics, but has rarely been examined. Healthy adults (n=140) were recruited from the general population. Free-living activity for each participant was reported using an activity monitor. On average, participants performed 60 (+/-22) sit to stand movements each day. Participants in indoor sedentary occupations performed significantly more sit to stand movements per day than participants in outdoor active occupations (66 vs. 54; n=102; p=0.003). Participants (n=33) performed significantly more sit to stand movements on working days than on non-working days (65 vs. 55; p=0.018). This analysis provides contemporary data for sit to stand frequency in a predominantly working population, and demonstrates that work and employment have a significant effect on that frequency. PMID:19450792

  18. Energetic Assessment of the Nonexercise Activities under Free-Living Conditions

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Nonexercise activities (NAs) are common types of physical activity in daily life and critical component in energy expenditure. However, energetic assessment of NA, particularly in free-living subjects, is a technical challenge. In this study, mechanical modeling and portable device were used to evaluate five common types of NA in daily life: sit to stand, lie to sit, bowing while standing, squat, and right leg over left. A human indirect calorimeter was used to measure the activity energy expenditure of NA. Mechanical work and mechanical efficiency of NA were calculated for mechanical modeling. Thirty-two male subjects were recruited for the study (20 subjects for the development of models and 12 subjects for evaluation of models). The average (mean ± SD) mechanical work of 5 NAs was 2.31 ± 0.50, 2.88 ± 0.57, 1.75 ± 0.55, 3.96 ± 1.25, and 1.25 ± 0.51 J/kg·m, respectively. The mean mechanical efficiencies of those activities were 22.0 ± 3.3%, 26.5 ± 5.1%, 19.8 ± 3.7%, 24.0 ± 5.5%, and 26.3 ± 5.5%. The activity energy expenditure estimated by the models was not significantly different from the measurements by the calorimeter (p > 0.05) with accuracies of 102.2 ± 20.7%, 103.7 ± 25.8%, 105.6 ± 14.6%, 101.1 ± 28.0%, and 95.8 ± 20.7%, respectively, for those activities. These findings suggest that the mechanical models combined with a portable device can provide an alternative method for the energetic analysis of nonexercise activities under free-living condition. PMID:27493966

  19. Short communication: Patterns of dairy consumption in free-living children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Green, Benjamin P; Turner, Louise; Stevenson, Emma; Rumbold, Penny L S

    2015-06-01

    According to national survey data, dairy food consumption has fallen in recent years and declines further with age, especially from childhood to adolescence. Dietary surveys typically rely on retrospective dietary assessment methods and use broad age groupings (4-10 yr; 11-18 yr), making it challenging to differentiate between middle-childhood and adolescence. Consequently, there is a need to assess dairy food consumption during middle-childhood and adolescence using more robust dietary assessment tools. Therefore, the present study aimed to describe and compare patterns of dairy consumption throughout middle-childhood and adolescence. Dairy food consumption was assessed during school term-time over 4 consecutive days, including 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days, in a sample of free-living children (9-11 yr, n=40) and adolescents (15-18 yr, n=35). For children, free-living dairy intake was evaluated through parental-weighed food records, and for adolescents, a combined weighed self-reported food record and 24-h dietary recall technique was utilized. Food records were explored to determine types, amounts, and frequency of dairy food consumption, and were analyzed for differences between middle-childhood and adolescence using a between group 2×2 (age×sex) ANOVA. Descriptive data suggested that milk was the most popular dairy product consumed by both children and adolescents. Statistical analysis revealed a main effect for sex on total milk consumption (mL) and number of daily milk portions consumed. No interaction or main effect was present for any other variable. The present study indicates that independent of age, boys consumed greater amounts of milk compared with girls. Contrary to existing literature, findings suggest no difference in milk-based dairy consumption between middle-childhood and adolescence.

  20. Nervous system immunohistochemistry of the parasitic cnidarian Polypodium hydriforme at its free-living stage.

    PubMed

    Raikova, Ekaterina V; Raikova, Olga I

    2016-04-01

    Polypodium hydriforme, the only species in Polypodiozoa, which is currently considered a class of Cnidaria, and likely a sister group to Medusozoa (together with Myxozoa), is a cnidarian adapted to intracellular parasitism inside sturgeon oocytes. Free-living P. hydriforme lives on river bottoms; it walks on supporting tentacles and uses sensory tentacles to capture food and bring it to the mouth. The nervous system of free-living P. hydriforme was studied by confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry using antibodies to FMRF-amide and α-tubulin combined with phalloidin-staining of F-actin fibres. A sensory FMRF-amide immunoreactive (IR) nerve net and an α-tubulin IR nerve net have been identified. The FMRF-amide IR nerve net underlies the epidermis along the tentacles and around the mouth; it consists of neurites emanating from epidermal sensory cells and basiepidermal ganglion cells, and it connects with cnidocytes. A deeper-lying α-tubulin IR nerve net occurs only in tentacles and looks like chains of different-sized beads crossing the mesoglea and entwining muscles. Anti-α-tubulin staining also reveals microtubules in muscle cells following the longitudinal muscle fibres or the thin circular F-actin fibres of the tentacles. Cnidocytes in the tentacles are embedded in a regular hexagonal non-neural network formed by the tubulin IR cytoskeleton of epidermal cells. Cnidocils of the cnidocytes around the mouth and in walking tentacles are identical, but those in sensory tentacles differ in length and width. The possible homology of the tubulin IR nerve net with motor nerve nets of cnidarians is discussed. The absence of a classic nerve ring around the mouth and the lack of specialised sense organs are considered to be plesiomorphic characters for Cnidaria.

  1. Polynucleobacter cosmopolitanus sp. nov., free-living planktonic bacteria inhabiting freshwater lakes and rivers.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Martin W; Lang, Elke; Brandt, Ulrike; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Wu, Qinglong L; Stackebrandt, Erko

    2010-01-01

    Five heterotrophic, aerobic, catalase- and oxidase-positive, non-motile strains were characterized from freshwater habitats located in Austria, France, Uganda, P. R. China and New Zealand. The strains shared 16S rRNA gene similarities of >/=99.3 %. The novel strains grew on NSY medium over a temperature range of 10-35 degrees C (two strains also grew at 5 degrees C and one strain grew at 38 degrees C) and a NaCl tolerance range of 0.0-0.3 % (four strains grew up to 0.5 % NaCl). The predominant fatty acids were C(16 : 0), C(18 : 1)omega7c, C(12 : 0) 3-OH, and summed feature 3 (including C(16 : 1)omega7c). The DNA G+C content of strain MWH-MoIso2(T) was 44.9 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated that the five new strains formed a monophyletic cluster closely related to Polynucleobacter necessarius (96-97 % sequence similarity). This cluster also harboured other isolates as well as environmental sequences which have been obtained from several habitats. Investigations with taxon-specific FISH probes demonstrated that the novel bacteria dwell as free-living, planktonic cells in freshwater systems. Based on the revealed phylogeny and pronounced chemotaxonomic differences to P. necessarius (presence of >7 % C(12 : 0) 3-OH and absence of C(12 : 0) and C(12 : 0) 2-OH), the new strains are suggested to represent a novel species, for which the name Polynucleobacter cosmopolitanus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is MWH-MoIso2(T) (=DSM 21490(T)=CIP 109840(T)=LMG 25212(T)). The novel species belongs to the minority of described species of free-living bacteria for which both in situ data from their natural environments and culture-based knowledge are available.

  2. Energetic Assessment of the Nonexercise Activities under Free-Living Conditions.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shijie; Tang, Qiang; Quan, Haiying; Lu, Qi; Sun, Ming; Zhang, Kuan

    2016-01-01

    Nonexercise activities (NAs) are common types of physical activity in daily life and critical component in energy expenditure. However, energetic assessment of NA, particularly in free-living subjects, is a technical challenge. In this study, mechanical modeling and portable device were used to evaluate five common types of NA in daily life: sit to stand, lie to sit, bowing while standing, squat, and right leg over left. A human indirect calorimeter was used to measure the activity energy expenditure of NA. Mechanical work and mechanical efficiency of NA were calculated for mechanical modeling. Thirty-two male subjects were recruited for the study (20 subjects for the development of models and 12 subjects for evaluation of models). The average (mean ± SD) mechanical work of 5 NAs was 2.31 ± 0.50, 2.88 ± 0.57, 1.75 ± 0.55, 3.96 ± 1.25, and 1.25 ± 0.51 J/kg·m, respectively. The mean mechanical efficiencies of those activities were 22.0 ± 3.3%, 26.5 ± 5.1%, 19.8 ± 3.7%, 24.0 ± 5.5%, and 26.3 ± 5.5%. The activity energy expenditure estimated by the models was not significantly different from the measurements by the calorimeter (p > 0.05) with accuracies of 102.2 ± 20.7%, 103.7 ± 25.8%, 105.6 ± 14.6%, 101.1 ± 28.0%, and 95.8 ± 20.7%, respectively, for those activities. These findings suggest that the mechanical models combined with a portable device can provide an alternative method for the energetic analysis of nonexercise activities under free-living condition. PMID:27493966

  3. Nervous system immunohistochemistry of the parasitic cnidarian Polypodium hydriforme at its free-living stage.

    PubMed

    Raikova, Ekaterina V; Raikova, Olga I

    2016-04-01

    Polypodium hydriforme, the only species in Polypodiozoa, which is currently considered a class of Cnidaria, and likely a sister group to Medusozoa (together with Myxozoa), is a cnidarian adapted to intracellular parasitism inside sturgeon oocytes. Free-living P. hydriforme lives on river bottoms; it walks on supporting tentacles and uses sensory tentacles to capture food and bring it to the mouth. The nervous system of free-living P. hydriforme was studied by confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry using antibodies to FMRF-amide and α-tubulin combined with phalloidin-staining of F-actin fibres. A sensory FMRF-amide immunoreactive (IR) nerve net and an α-tubulin IR nerve net have been identified. The FMRF-amide IR nerve net underlies the epidermis along the tentacles and around the mouth; it consists of neurites emanating from epidermal sensory cells and basiepidermal ganglion cells, and it connects with cnidocytes. A deeper-lying α-tubulin IR nerve net occurs only in tentacles and looks like chains of different-sized beads crossing the mesoglea and entwining muscles. Anti-α-tubulin staining also reveals microtubules in muscle cells following the longitudinal muscle fibres or the thin circular F-actin fibres of the tentacles. Cnidocytes in the tentacles are embedded in a regular hexagonal non-neural network formed by the tubulin IR cytoskeleton of epidermal cells. Cnidocils of the cnidocytes around the mouth and in walking tentacles are identical, but those in sensory tentacles differ in length and width. The possible homology of the tubulin IR nerve net with motor nerve nets of cnidarians is discussed. The absence of a classic nerve ring around the mouth and the lack of specialised sense organs are considered to be plesiomorphic characters for Cnidaria. PMID:26897553

  4. A year long study of the presence of free living amoeba in Spain.

    PubMed

    Magnet, A; Fenoy, S; Galván, A L; Izquierdo, F; Rueda, C; Fernandez Vadillo, C; Del Aguila, C

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba such as Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia mandrillaris can act as opportunistic parasites on a wide range of vertebrates and they are becoming a serious threat to human health due to the resistance of their cysts to harsh environmental conditions, disinfectants, some water treatment practices and their ubiquitous distribution. This work was carried out in order to study the presence of these free-living amoebae (FLA) and their possible seasonality in a continental-Mediterranean climate in different types of water. For this purpose, a total of 223 water samples were collected during one year from four drinking water treatment plants (DWTP), seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and six locations of influence (LI) on four river basins from Spain. Water samples were concentrated using the IDEXX Filta-Max(®) system and analyzed by a triplex real time PCR that detects Acanthamoeba, B. mandrillaris and Naegleria fowleri. Agar plates were also seeded for Acanthamoeba culture. From the three FLA studied, N. fowleri was not detected in any sample while B. mandrillaris was found at the entrance of a DWTP; this being, to our knowledge, the first report of these protozoa in water worldwide. On the other hand, the presence of Acanthamoeba observed was higher, 94.6% of the studied points were positive by real time PCR and 85.2% by culture, resulting in 99.1% positive for Acanthamoeba with both methods. All genetically analyzed Acanthamoeba were genotype T4 but nine different T4/DF3 sequences were observed, three of them being described for the first time, assigning new codes. No seasonal distribution of Acanthamoeba was found. These facts should serve as a warning to contact lens wearers of the risk of a poor hygiene when handling their contact lenses. It should also serve as a signal to physicians to consider FLA as a possible causative agent of nervous system infections as well as Acanthamoeba keratitis due to their high environmental presence shown in this

  5. Occurrence of free-living amoebae in communities of low and high endemicity for Buruli ulcer in southern Benin.

    PubMed

    Eddyani, Miriam; De Jonckheere, Johan F; Durnez, Lies; Suykerbuyk, Patrick; Leirs, Herwig; Portaels, Françoise

    2008-11-01

    Buruli ulcer or Mycobacterium ulcerans disease occurs mainly in areas in proximity to standing or slowly running freshwater, habitats in which free-living amoebae occur. For this reason, a possible link between the habitat of M. ulcerans and free-living amoebae was investigated. Free-living amoebae and mycobacteria were isolated from water and biofilm specimens taken from protected and unprotected sources of water in villages known to have either high or low endemicity for Buruli ulcer in Benin. Amoebae were isolated from 78.8% of samples. A greater proportion of water bodies in areas of high endemicity had amoebae than in areas of low endemicity (83.3% versus 66.7%). Protected sources of water were significantly more likely to contain amoebae in areas of high endemicity than in areas of low endemicity (88.0% versus 11.1%). Several pathogenic free-living amoebae and mycobacteria were isolated. However, no M. ulcerans was isolated and no specimen was positive for IS2404 PCR. Our results show that the study area has a water hygiene problem, which is greater in areas of high Buruli ulcer endemicity than in areas of low endemicity. Our observations indicate that additional studies are required to explore the possible link between free-living amoebae and mycobacteria.

  6. Comparison of Extracellular Enzyme Activities and Community Composition of Attached and Free-Living Bacteria in Porous Media Columns

    SciTech Connect

    Lehman, Richard Michael

    2002-04-01

    Free-living and surface-associated microbial communities in sand-packed columns perfused with groundwater were compared by examination of compositional and functional characteristics. The composition of the microbial communities was assessed by bulk DNA extraction, PCR amplification of 16S ribosomal DNA fragments, separation of these fragments by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and sequence analysis. Community function was assessed by measurement of ß-glucosidase and aminopeptidase extracellular enzyme activities. Free-living populations in the aqueous phase exhibited a greater diversity of phylotypes than populations associated with the solid phase. The attached bacterial community displayed significantly greater ß-glucosidase and aminopeptidase enzyme activities per volume of porous medium than those of the free-living community. On a per-cell basis, the attached community had a significantly higher cell-specific aminopeptidase enzyme activity (1.07 x 10-7 nmol cell-1 h-1) than the free-living community (5.02 x 10-8 nmol cell-1 h-1). Conversely, the free-living community had a significantly higher cell-specific ß-glucosidase activity (1.92 x 10-6 nmol cell-1 h-1) than the surface-associated community (6.08 x 10-7 nmol cell-1 h-1). The compositional and functional differences observed between these two communities may reflect different roles for these distinct but interacting communities in the decomposition of natural organic matter or biodegradation of xenobiotics in aquifers.

  7. Occurrence of Free-Living Amoebae in Communities of Low and High Endemicity for Buruli Ulcer in Southern Benin▿

    PubMed Central

    Eddyani, Miriam; De Jonckheere, Johan F.; Durnez, Lies; Suykerbuyk, Patrick; Leirs, Herwig; Portaels, Françoise

    2008-01-01

    Buruli ulcer or Mycobacterium ulcerans disease occurs mainly in areas in proximity to standing or slowly running freshwater, habitats in which free-living amoebae occur. For this reason, a possible link between the habitat of M. ulcerans and free-living amoebae was investigated. Free-living amoebae and mycobacteria were isolated from water and biofilm specimens taken from protected and unprotected sources of water in villages known to have either high or low endemicity for Buruli ulcer in Benin. Amoebae were isolated from 78.8% of samples. A greater proportion of water bodies in areas of high endemicity had amoebae than in areas of low endemicity (83.3% versus 66.7%). Protected sources of water were significantly more likely to contain amoebae in areas of high endemicity than in areas of low endemicity (88.0% versus 11.1%). Several pathogenic free-living amoebae and mycobacteria were isolated. However, no M. ulcerans was isolated and no specimen was positive for IS2404 PCR. Our results show that the study area has a water hygiene problem, which is greater in areas of high Buruli ulcer endemicity than in areas of low endemicity. Our observations indicate that additional studies are required to explore the possible link between free-living amoebae and mycobacteria. PMID:18776024

  8. Estimating age ratios and size of pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging.

    PubMed

    Monson, Daniel H; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010-2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m(2) (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03-0.06) and we documented ∼30,000 animals along ∼1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0-2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species. PMID:23936106

  9. Estimating age ratios and size of Pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Monson, Daniel H.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010–2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m2 (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03–0.06) and we documented ~30,000 animals along ~1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0–2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species.

  10. Estimating age ratios and size of pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging.

    PubMed

    Monson, Daniel H; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010-2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m(2) (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03-0.06) and we documented ∼30,000 animals along ∼1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0-2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species.

  11. Estimating Age Ratios and Size of Pacific Walrus Herds on Coastal Haulouts using Video Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Monson, Daniel H.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010–2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m2 (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03–0.06) and we documented ∼30,000 animals along ∼1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0–2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species. PMID:23936106

  12. Decadal Bering Sea seascape change: consequences for Pacific walruses and indigenous hunters.

    PubMed

    Ray, G Carleton; Hufford, Gary L; Overland, James E; Krupnik, Igor; McCormick-Ray, Jerry; Frey, Karen; Labunski, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The most significant factors currently affecting the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) population are climate change and consequent changes in sea-ice morphology and dynamics. This paper integrates recent physical sea-ice change in the Bering Sea with biological and ecological conditions of walruses in their winter-spring reproductive habitat. Historically, walrus in winter-spring depended on a critical mass of sea-ice habitat to optimize social networking, reproductive fitness, feeding behavior, migration, and energetic efficiency. During 2003-2013, our cross-disciplinary, multiscale analysis from shipboard observations, satellite imagery, and ice-floe tracking, reinforced by information from indigenous subsistence hunters, documented change of sea-ice structure from a plastic continuum to a "mixing bowl" of ice floes moving more independently. This fragmentation of winter habitat preconditions the walrus population toward dispersal mortality and will also negatively affect the availability of resources for indigenous communities. We urge an expanded research and management agenda that integrates walrus natural history and habitat more completely with changing sea-ice morphology and dynamics at multiple scales, while also meeting the needs of local communities. PMID:27039507

  13. Modeling haul-out behavior of walruses in Bering Sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Udevitz, M.S.; Jay, C.V.; Fischbach, A.S.; Garlich-Miller, J. L.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding haul-out behavior of ice-associated pinnipeds is essential for designing and interpreting popula-tion surveys and for assessing effects of potential changes in their ice environments. We used satellite-linked transmitters to obtain sequential information about location and haul-out state for Pacific walruses, Odobenus rosmarus divergens (Il-liger, 1815), in the Bering Sea during April of 2004, 2005, and 2006. We used these data in a generalized mixed model of haul-out bout durations and a hierarchical Bayesian model of haul-out probabilities to assess factors related to walrus haul-out behavior, and provide the first predictive model of walrus haul-out behavior in sea ice habitat. Average haul-out bout duration was 9 h, but durations of haul-out bouts tended to increase with durations of preceding in-water bouts. On aver-age, tagged walruses spent only about 17% of their time hauled out on sea ice. Probability of being hauled out decreased with wind speed, increased with temperature, and followed a diurnal cycle with the highest values in the evening. Our haul-out probability model can be used to estimate the proportion of the population that is unavailable for detection in spring surveys of Pacific walruses on sea ice.

  14. Decadal Bering Sea seascape change: consequences for Pacific walruses and indigenous hunters.

    PubMed

    Ray, G Carleton; Hufford, Gary L; Overland, James E; Krupnik, Igor; McCormick-Ray, Jerry; Frey, Karen; Labunski, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The most significant factors currently affecting the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) population are climate change and consequent changes in sea-ice morphology and dynamics. This paper integrates recent physical sea-ice change in the Bering Sea with biological and ecological conditions of walruses in their winter-spring reproductive habitat. Historically, walrus in winter-spring depended on a critical mass of sea-ice habitat to optimize social networking, reproductive fitness, feeding behavior, migration, and energetic efficiency. During 2003-2013, our cross-disciplinary, multiscale analysis from shipboard observations, satellite imagery, and ice-floe tracking, reinforced by information from indigenous subsistence hunters, documented change of sea-ice structure from a plastic continuum to a "mixing bowl" of ice floes moving more independently. This fragmentation of winter habitat preconditions the walrus population toward dispersal mortality and will also negatively affect the availability of resources for indigenous communities. We urge an expanded research and management agenda that integrates walrus natural history and habitat more completely with changing sea-ice morphology and dynamics at multiple scales, while also meeting the needs of local communities.

  15. Novel sound production through contingency learning in the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Schusterman, Ronald J; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2008-04-01

    Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are highly vocal amphibious mammals with a range of anatomical specializations that can provide plasticity to their sound emissions. The objective of this descriptive study was to determine whether contingency learning could be used to increase variability and induce novelty in the acoustic behavior of walruses. The subjects were two twelve-year-old captive walruses, a male and a female that had previously been conditioned using food reinforcement to produce several specific sounds in response to different discriminative cues. In the current task, these individuals were encouraged to produce novel sounds and novel sound combinations in air by withholding reinforcement for sounds previously emitted in a given session and providing reinforcement only for qualitative differences in emitted sounds. Following training in air, the walruses were tested under water with the same reinforcement contingency. The subjects responded as they had done in air, by varying their underwater sound emissions until reinforcement was provided. Many of the sounds and sound combinations produced by the subjects during underwater testing were quite different from those produced during training in air and those produced under water during baseline observations. Both the male and female spontaneously emitted knocks and soft bells which are components of the songs known to be emitted by mature male walruses during the breeding season. The finding that reinforced variability can induce creativity in sound production is consistent with recent experiments on budgerigar birds showing that vocal topographies, like motor responses, may be influenced by contingency learning.

  16. Effect of climatic warming on the Pacific walrus, and potential modification of its helminth fauna.

    PubMed

    Rausch, Robert L; George, John C; Brower, Harry K

    2007-10-01

    The decreasing extent of sea-ice in the arctic basin as a consequence of climatic warming is modifying the behavior and diets of pagophilic pinnipeds, including the Pacific walrus, Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger, the species emphasized here. Mammals such as the walrus and bearded seal, Erignathus barbatus (Erxleben), cannot remain associated with the sea-ice, and continue to feed on their usual diet of benthic invertebrates inhabiting coastal waters to a depth of approximately 100 m, when the northwestward retreating ice reaches deep waters beyond the margins of the continental shelf. With reduction of their customary substrate (ice), the walrus has become more pelagic and preys more often on ringed seals, Phoca hispida Schreber. Dietary changes, with modifications of helminth faunas, may be induced by various factors. Increased consumption of mammals or their remains by walruses may lead to a higher prevalence of trichinellosis in them and to more frequent occurrence in indigenous peoples inhabiting the arctic coasts. To assess predicted effects on the composition of helminth fauna of the walrus, we recommend systematic surveys of their helminths as part of research on effects of climatic warming.

  17. Estimation of walrus populations on sea ice with infrared imagery and aerial photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Udevitz, M.S.; Burn, D.M.; Webber, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    Population sizes of ice-associated pinnipeds have often been estimated with visual or photographic aerial surveys, but these methods require relatively slow speeds and low altitudes, limiting the area they can cover. Recent developments in infrared imagery and its integration with digital photography could allow substantially larger areas to be surveyed and more accurate enumeration of individuals, thereby solving major problems with previous survey methods. We conducted a trial survey in April 2003 to estimate the number of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) hauled out on sea ice around St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. The survey used high altitude infrared imagery to detect groups of walruses on strip transects. Low altitude digital photography was used to determine the number of walruses in a sample of detected groups and calibrate the infrared imagery for estimating the total number of walruses. We propose a survey design incorporating this approach with satellite radio telemetry to estimate the proportion of the population in the water and additional low-level flights to estimate the proportion of the hauled-out population in groups too small to be detected in the infrared imagery. We believe that this approach offers the potential for obtaining reliable population estimates for walruses and other ice-associated pinnipeds. ?? 2007 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  18. 78 FR 23284 - Marine Mammal Protection Act; Draft Revised Stock Assessment Reports for the Pacific Walrus and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-18

    ... Pacific Walrus and Three Northern Sea Otters AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice... walrus stock and for each of the following three northern sea otter stocks in Alaska: Southwest... (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) stock and for each of the following three northern sea otter (Enhydra...

  19. Status of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Subhani, Faysal; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-06-01

    The ability of pathogenic free-living amoebae to produce infections is a growing concern. In this study, we investigated the presence of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. Fifty-two domestic tap water samples were examined. Amoebae were identified by morphological characteristics and polymerase chain reaction. Thirty percent of the examined samples were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., 8% for N. fowleri while B. mandrillaris were not recovered. Additionally we examined secretory IgA antibody to Acanthamoeba and B. mandrillaris. Acanthamoeba antibody prevalence rate was 100% in both males and females, while B. mandrillaris antibody prevalence rate was 5.5% in males only (females were negative). Our findings suggest that free-living amoebae are a potential health hazard in domestic water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. PMID:23708583

  20. Status of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Subhani, Faysal; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-06-01

    The ability of pathogenic free-living amoebae to produce infections is a growing concern. In this study, we investigated the presence of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. Fifty-two domestic tap water samples were examined. Amoebae were identified by morphological characteristics and polymerase chain reaction. Thirty percent of the examined samples were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., 8% for N. fowleri while B. mandrillaris were not recovered. Additionally we examined secretory IgA antibody to Acanthamoeba and B. mandrillaris. Acanthamoeba antibody prevalence rate was 100% in both males and females, while B. mandrillaris antibody prevalence rate was 5.5% in males only (females were negative). Our findings suggest that free-living amoebae are a potential health hazard in domestic water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

  1. Cardiorespiratory fitness estimation using wearable sensors: Laboratory and free-living analysis of context-specific submaximal heart rates.

    PubMed

    Altini, Marco; Casale, Pierluigi; Penders, Julien; Ten Velde, Gabrielle; Plasqui, Guy; Amft, Oliver

    2016-05-01

    In this work, we propose to use pattern recognition methods to determine submaximal heart rate (HR) during specific contexts, such as walking at a certain speed, using wearable sensors in free living, and using context-specific HR to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). CRF of 51 participants was assessed by a maximal exertion test (V̇o2 max). Participants wore a combined accelerometer and HR monitor during a laboratory-based simulation of activities of daily living and for 2 wk in free living. Anthropometrics, HR while lying down, and walking at predefined speeds in laboratory settings were used to estimate CRF. Explained variance (R(2)) was 0.64 for anthropometrics, and increased up to 0.74 for context-specific HR (0.73-0.78 when including fat-free mass). Next, we developed activity recognition and walking speed estimation algorithms to determine the same contexts (i.e., lying down and walking) in free living. Context-specific HR in free living was highly correlated with laboratory measurements (Pearson's r = 0.71-0.75). R(2) for CRF estimation was 0.65 when anthropometrics were used as predictors, and increased up to 0.77 when including free-living context-specific HR (i.e., HR while walking at 5.5 km/h). R(2) varied between 0.73 and 0.80 when including fat-free mass among the predictors. Root mean-square error was reduced from 354.7 to 281.0 ml/min by the inclusion of context-specific HR parameters (21% error reduction). We conclude that pattern recognition techniques can be used to contextualize HR in free living and estimated CRF with accuracy comparable to what can be obtained with laboratory measurements of HR response to walking.

  2. Organochlorine compounds and aliphatic hydrocarbons in Pacific walrus blubber.

    PubMed

    Seagars, D J; Garlich-Miller, J

    2001-01-01

    Blubber samples were collected from 8 male and 19 female Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) taken during a 1991 joint USA/USSR cruise traveling widely through the Bering Sea. Dieldrin was found at a level similar to that reported 10 years earlier; oxychlordane was found at a slightly higher concentration than reported previously (Taylor et aL, 1989). Heptachlor epoxide was detected for the first time and found at a low concentration. An initial testing for alpha-, beta- and gamma-HCH detected concentrations similar to those in other Bering Sea pinnipeds. Mean summation of PCB was 0.45 microg g(-1) wet weight in males and 0.16 microg g(-1) in females; only one sample was > 1 microg g(-1). Traces of aliphatic hydrocarbons were detected in all sampled animals, only pristane (x = 0.48 microg g(-1)) was found in concentrations > 1 microg g(-1). Small sample sizes, a lack of samples from immature animals, and uniformly low concentrations of contaminants precluded meaningful analysis of age-related effects and regional differences.

  3. Movements of walruses radio-tagged in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Hills, S.

    2005-01-01

    Satellite radio-location data from 57 adult male Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) were used to estimate haul-out fidelity, broadly describe seasonal foraging distributions, and determine the approximate timing of autumn migration from Bristol Bay, Alaska. Data were collected intermittently during 1987-91 and 1995-2000, primarily during the period from May to October. Transmitter longevity ranged from less than 1 day to 560 days (median 75 d). The four tagging sites were the only haul-outs that were commonly used in the bay from spring through autumn. Mean fidelity, defined as the chance that an animal will return to an area where it previously hauled out, was 0.56 (SE = 0.09). However, small sample sizes precluded comparisons of fidelity among years and among haul-outs by season. No tagged animals migrated out of the bay between spring and early autumn. Combined monthly locations suggest that foraging occurred primarily in the southern and eastern areas of the bay in spring and gradually shifted towards northwestern areas in late autumn and winter. Ninety-eight percent of the in-water locations were in waters under 60 m deep, which account for 76% of the study area. Some animals migrated out of the bay in late autumn and winter; others remained within the bay throughout the year. Those making long-range migrations departed the bay during November and December. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

  4. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, D.; Udevitz, M.; Atwood, T.; Jay, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  5. A year long study of the presence of free living amoeba in Spain.

    PubMed

    Magnet, A; Fenoy, S; Galván, A L; Izquierdo, F; Rueda, C; Fernandez Vadillo, C; Del Aguila, C

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba such as Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia mandrillaris can act as opportunistic parasites on a wide range of vertebrates and they are becoming a serious threat to human health due to the resistance of their cysts to harsh environmental conditions, disinfectants, some water treatment practices and their ubiquitous distribution. This work was carried out in order to study the presence of these free-living amoebae (FLA) and their possible seasonality in a continental-Mediterranean climate in different types of water. For this purpose, a total of 223 water samples were collected during one year from four drinking water treatment plants (DWTP), seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and six locations of influence (LI) on four river basins from Spain. Water samples were concentrated using the IDEXX Filta-Max(®) system and analyzed by a triplex real time PCR that detects Acanthamoeba, B. mandrillaris and Naegleria fowleri. Agar plates were also seeded for Acanthamoeba culture. From the three FLA studied, N. fowleri was not detected in any sample while B. mandrillaris was found at the entrance of a DWTP; this being, to our knowledge, the first report of these protozoa in water worldwide. On the other hand, the presence of Acanthamoeba observed was higher, 94.6% of the studied points were positive by real time PCR and 85.2% by culture, resulting in 99.1% positive for Acanthamoeba with both methods. All genetically analyzed Acanthamoeba were genotype T4 but nine different T4/DF3 sequences were observed, three of them being described for the first time, assigning new codes. No seasonal distribution of Acanthamoeba was found. These facts should serve as a warning to contact lens wearers of the risk of a poor hygiene when handling their contact lenses. It should also serve as a signal to physicians to consider FLA as a possible causative agent of nervous system infections as well as Acanthamoeba keratitis due to their high environmental presence shown in this

  6. Effects of harmful cyanobacteria on the freshwater pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    PubMed

    Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Agha, Ramsy; Cirés, Samuel; Lezcano, María Ángeles; Sánchez-Contreras, María; Waara, Karl-Otto; Utkilen, Hans; Quesada, Antonio

    2013-04-15

    Grazing is a major regulating factor in cyanobacterial population dynamics and, subsequently, considerable effort has been spent on investigating the effects of cyanotoxins on major metazoan grazers. However, protozoan grazers such as free-living amoebae can also feed efficiently on cyanobacteria, while simultaneously posing a major threat for public health as parasites of humans and potential reservoirs of opportunistic pathogens. In this study, we conducted several experiments in which the freshwater amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was exposed to pure microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and six cyanobacterial strains, three MC-producing strains (MC-LR, MC-RR, MC-YR, MC-WR, [Dha7] MC-RR) and three strains containing other oligopeptides such as anabaenopeptins and cyanopeptolins. Although the exposure to high concentrations of pure MC-LR yielded no effects on amoeba, all MC-producing strains inflicted high mortality rates on amoeba populations, suggesting that toxic effects must be mediated through the ingestion of toxic cells. Interestingly, an anabaenopeptin-producing strain caused the greatest inhibition of amoeba growth, indicating that toxic bioactive compounds other than MCs are of great importance for amoebae grazers. Confocal scanning microscopy revealed different alterations in amoeba cytoskeleton integrity and as such, the observed declines in amoeba densities could have indeed been caused via a cascade of cellular events primarily triggered by oligopeptides with protein-phosphatase inhibition capabilities such as MCs or anabaenopeptins. Moreover, inducible-defense mechanisms such as the egestion of toxic, MC-producing cyanobacterial cells and the increase of resting stages (encystation) in amoebae co-cultivated with all cyanobacterial strains were observed in our experiments. Consequently, cyanobacterial strains showed different susceptibilities to amoeba grazing which were possibly influenced by the potentiality of their toxic secondary metabolites. Hence, this

  7. A model for the dynamics of the free-living stages of equine cyathostomins.

    PubMed

    Leathwick, Dave M; Donecker, John M; Nielsen, Martin K

    2015-04-30

    Anthelmintic resistance in strongyle nematode parasites of horses is an expanding global problem and steps need to be taken to slow its development before control becomes more problematic. A move away from traditional deworming programmes, involving frequent whole-herd treatments with broad spectrum anthelmintics, to a more strategic or targeted use of chemicals is required. However, anthelmintic resistance management strategies which also maintain effective control are invariably more complicated and often require a greater understanding of both nematode epidemiology and grazing management, than does the simple routine use of chemicals. Here, as a first step in applying a modelling approach to resistance management in horses, a model is proposed to describe the dynamics on pasture of the free-living stages of equine cyathostomins. Firstly, the development and survival of the pre-infective stages is considered as a single process driven by temperature, and secondly, two populations of infective stage larvae (L3) are considered; those within the faecal pat and those on the herbage. Both are modelled using the box-car train approach which allows for variable development rates within a cohort of individuals and full overlap of generations. Uniquely, L3 survival is modelled as an ageing process where larvae progress through physiological age classes at a rate determined by temperature and rainfall. Model output reflects the dynamics of free-living stages under a range of environments. Under extreme cold, there is no development to L3 but eggs can survive for long periods to develop if conditions become favourable, while L3 survival is reduced under repeated freeze-thaw cycles. Under tropical conditions, development is rapid and a large number of L3 can be produced but survival of L3 is short. In temperate climates development tends to be slower, with large numbers of L3 produced over the warmer months but fewer over winter, and L3 survival tends to be higher all year

  8. Atherosclerosis with multifocal myocardial infarction in a Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger).

    PubMed

    Gruber, Achim D; Peters, Martin; Knieriem, Andreas; Wohlsein, Peter

    2002-06-01

    A 25-yr-old male captive walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger) died after suffering from periods of inactivity, anorexia, and weight loss for 8 wk. Necropsy revealed prominent, generalized atherosclerosis of cardiac arteries with widespread chronic myocardial infarction. Severe disseminated myocardial fibrosis most likely resulted in insidious cardiac failure that was ultimately the cause of death. Bouts of abdominal pain and disseminated cutaneous ulcers that had been observed 3 and 4 days before death, respectively, were attributed to circulatory failure and thrombosis. The cause of the vascular lesions remains unknown. When compared with humans, atherosclerosis is rare in animals and has not been described in a walrus.

  9. Gray whale and walrus feeding excavation on the Bering Shelf, Alaska.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Johnson, K.R.; Barber, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    The gray whales (average mouth length, 2.0 m), when suction feeding on infaunal amphipods, create shallow pits in the sea floor, typically 2.5m x 1.5m x 10cm deep, which are distinct and mappable on sidescan sonographs. Similarly, walrus, when foraging for shallow clams, create long, linear feeding furrows that average 47 x 0.4 x 0.1m (length-width-depth). The whale feeding pits are commonly enlarged and oriented by seasonal storm-related scour. Walrus-feeding features are smaller, formed in higher-energy environments, and modified more rapidly than whale-feeding pits. -from Authors

  10. Do free-living amoebae in treated drinking water systems present an emerging health risk?

    PubMed

    Thomas, Jacqueline M; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2011-02-01

    There is an expanding body of evidence that free-living amoebae (FLA) increase both the numbers and virulence of water-based, human-pathogenic, amoeba-resisting microorganisms (ARM). Legionella spp., Mycobacterium spp., and other opportunistic human pathogens are known to be both ARM and also the etiologic agents of potentially fatal human lung infections. However, comparatively little is known about the FLA that may facilitate ARM growth in drinking water. This review examines the available literature on FLA in treated drinking water systems; in total 26 studies from 18 different countries. FLA were reported to breakthrough the water treatment barrier and enter distribution systems, in addition to the expected post-treatment system ingress. Once in the distribution system there is evidence of FLA colonization and regrowth especially in reservoirs and in-premise plumbing storage tanks. At the point of use the average FLA detection rate was 45% but highly variable (n = 16, σ = 31) due to both differences in both assay methods and the type of water systems examined. This review reveals that FLA are consistently detected in treated drinking water systems around the world and present a yet unquantified emerging health risk. However, more research is urgently required before accurate risks assessments can be undertaken to assess the impacts on human health, in households and institutions, due to exposure to FLA facilitated pathogenic ARM. PMID:21194220

  11. Isolation and identification of free-living amoebae from tap water in Sivas, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Ozçelik, Semra; Tutar, Lütfi; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks. PMID:23971043

  12. Abundance, diversity and community composition of free-living protozoa on vegetable sprouts.

    PubMed

    Chavatte, N; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2016-05-01

    Interactions with free-living protozoa (FLP) have been implicated in the persistence of pathogenic bacteria on food products. In order to assess the potential involvement of FLP in this contamination, detailed knowledge on their occurrence, abundance and diversity on food products is required. In the present study, enrichment and cultivation methods were used to inventory and quantify FLP on eight types of commercial vegetable sprouts (alfalfa, beetroot, cress, green pea, leek, mung bean, red cabbage and rosabi). In parallel, total aerobic bacteria and Escherichia coli counts were performed. The vegetable sprouts harbored diverse communities of FLP, with Tetrahymena (ciliate), Bodo saltans and cercomonads (flagellates), and Acanthamoeba and Vannella (amoebae) as the dominant taxa. Protozoan community composition and abundance significantly differed between the sprout types. Beetroot harbored the most abundant and diverse FLP communities, with many unique species such as Korotnevella sp., Vannella sp., Chilodonella sp., Podophrya sp. and Sphaerophrya sp. In contrast, mung bean sprouts were species-poor and had low FLP numbers. Sampling month and company had no significant influence, suggesting that seasonal and local factors are of minor importance. Likewise, no significant relationship between protozoan community composition and bacterial load was observed.

  13. Do free-living amoebae in treated drinking water systems present an emerging health risk?

    PubMed

    Thomas, Jacqueline M; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2011-02-01

    There is an expanding body of evidence that free-living amoebae (FLA) increase both the numbers and virulence of water-based, human-pathogenic, amoeba-resisting microorganisms (ARM). Legionella spp., Mycobacterium spp., and other opportunistic human pathogens are known to be both ARM and also the etiologic agents of potentially fatal human lung infections. However, comparatively little is known about the FLA that may facilitate ARM growth in drinking water. This review examines the available literature on FLA in treated drinking water systems; in total 26 studies from 18 different countries. FLA were reported to breakthrough the water treatment barrier and enter distribution systems, in addition to the expected post-treatment system ingress. Once in the distribution system there is evidence of FLA colonization and regrowth especially in reservoirs and in-premise plumbing storage tanks. At the point of use the average FLA detection rate was 45% but highly variable (n = 16, σ = 31) due to both differences in both assay methods and the type of water systems examined. This review reveals that FLA are consistently detected in treated drinking water systems around the world and present a yet unquantified emerging health risk. However, more research is urgently required before accurate risks assessments can be undertaken to assess the impacts on human health, in households and institutions, due to exposure to FLA facilitated pathogenic ARM.

  14. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae isolated from hospital wards with immunodeficient patients in Tehran, Iran.

    PubMed

    Lasjerdi, Zohreh; Niyyati, Maryam; Haghighi, Ali; Shahabi, Saed; Biderouni, Farid Tahvildar; Taghipour, Niloofar; Eftekhar, Mohamad; Nazemalhosseini Mojarad, Ehsan

    2011-09-01

    This study investigated the occurrence of free-living amoebae (FLA) in immunodeficiency wards of hospitals in Tehran, Iran. A total of 70 dust and biofilm samples from wards serving transplant, pediatric (malignancies), HIV, leukemia and oncology patients of five university hospitals were collected and examined for the presence of FLA using culturing and molecular approaches. Based on the morphology of the amoebae in plate cultures, primer sets were applied for molecular identification of Acanthamoeba, vahlkampfiid amoebae and Hartmannella. Out of 70 samples, 37 (52.9%) were positive for FLA. Acanthamoeba belonged to the T4 genotype was the most prevalent isolate. Presence of the T4 genotype on medical instruments, including an oxygen mask in an isolation room of an immunodeficiency pediatric ward, should be of concern for health authorities. Acanthamoeba T5 genotypes, Hartmannella vermiformis, and Vahlkampfia avara were also present. These results highlight a clear need for greater attention to improved disinfection, especially where susceptible patients, such as those who are immune-suppressed, are served. To our knowledge, this is the first report of these FLA in immunodeficiency wards in Iran, and also the first to identify Acanthamoeba T5, Hartmannella, and Vahlkampfia in moist habitats, such as biofilms, in this country.

  15. Occurrence of free-living amoebae in streams of the Mexico Basin.

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Lemus, Patricia; Caballero Villegas, Adán S; Carmona Jiménez, Javier; Lugo Vázquez, Alfonso

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa that are widely distributed in nature. They are important in the cycling of nutrients in aquatic food chains, but their distribution in natural aquatic environments is not well known. We conducted a survey to determine the presence and distribution of FLA and their relation to some physicochemical parameters in streams of the Mexico Basin in Central Mexico. Thirty-two sites from 18 streams were sampled. Samples were centrifuged and cultured onto NNA-media to isolate amoebae. Identifications were based on morphology. The pathogenicity of Acanthamoeba isolates was tested. Oxygen saturation, temperature, pH, specific conductance, water flow, dissolved reactive phosphorus, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and coliforms were determined. One hundred-and-twenty FLA representing 18 genera were identified. The most frequent genera were Vannella, Rosculus and Acanthamoeba. The frequency of potentially pathogenic FLA was low and only 3 Acanthamoeba isolates were invasive in mice. The highest species richness of FLA was found in streams located into agriculture activity areas and those close to small villages that discharge wastewater into them. Water temperatures were always below 17°C. Oxygen saturation and pH were within the limits for the growth of most FLA. The presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria was low; nevertheless, they include potentially pathogenic species and can act as vectors and reservoirs for microbial pathogens and can produce human infections.

  16. Free-living freshwater amoebae differ in their susceptibility to the pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila.

    PubMed

    Dey, Rafik; Bodennec, Jacques; Mameri, Mouh Oulhadj; Pernin, Pierre

    2009-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as a facultative intracellular parasite of free-living soil and freshwater amoebae, of which several species have been shown to support the growth of the pathogenic bacteria. We report for the first time the behaviour of two strains (c2c and Z503) of the amoeba Willaertia magna towards different strains of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 and compared it with Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis, known to be L. pneumophila permissive. In contrast to the results seen with other amoebae, W. magna c2c inhibited the growth of one strain of Legionella (L. pneumophila, Paris), but not of others belonging to the same serogroup (L. pneumophila, Philadelphia and L. pneumophila, Lens). Also, the different L. pneumophila inhibited cell growth and induced cell death in A. castellanii, H. vermiformis and W. magna Z503 within 3-4 days while W. magna c2c strain remained unaffected even up to 7 days. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the formation of numerous replicative phagosomes observed within Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella is rarely seen in W. magna c2c cocultured with L. pneumophila. Moreover, the morphological differences were observed between L. pneumophila cultured either with Willaertia or other amoebae. These observations show that amoebae are not all equally permissive to L. pneumophila and highlight W. magna c2c as particularly resistant towards some strains of this bacterium.

  17. Free-living amoebae as opportunistic and non-opportunistic pathogens of humans and animals.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Frederick L; Visvesvara, Govinda S

    2004-08-01

    Knowledge that free-living amoebae are capable of causing human disease dates back some 50 years, prior to which time they were regarded as harmless soil organisms or, at most, commensals of mammals. First Naegleria fowleri, then Acanthamoeba spp. and Balamuthia mandrillaris, and finally Sappinia diploidea have been recognised as etiologic agents of encephalitis; Acanthamoeba spp. are also responsible for amoebic keratitis. Some of the infections are opportunistic, occurring mainly in immunocompromised hosts (Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia encephalitides), while others are non-opportunistic (Acanthamoeba keratitis, Naegleria meningoencephalitis, and cases of Balamuthia encephalitis occurring in immunocompetent humans). The amoebae have a cosmopolitan distribution in soil and water, providing multiple opportunities for contacts with humans and animals, as evidenced by antibody titers in surveyed human populations. Although, the numbers of infections caused by these amoebae are low in comparison to other protozoal parasitoses (trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, malaria, etc.), the difficulty in diagnosing them, the challenge of finding optimal antimicrobial treatments and the morbidity and relatively high mortality associated with, in particular, the encephalitides have been a cause for concern for clinical and laboratory personnel and parasitologists. This review presents information about the individual amoebae: their morphologies and life-cycles, laboratory cultivation, ecology, epidemiology, nature of the infections and appropriate antimicrobial therapies, the immune response, and molecular diagnostic procedures that have been developed for identification of the amoebae in the environment and in clinical specimens.

  18. Relevance of free-living amoebae as hosts for phylogenetically diverse microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Patrick

    2014-07-01

    In addition to their role as parasites, free-living amoebae (FLA) can act as hosts of and vehicles for phylogentically diverse microorganisms while some of them replicate intracellularly. These microorganisms are adapted to the intracellular conditions in the amoeba, find suitable conditions and protection from negative environmental influences and take advantage of the dispersal in the environment by their amoebic host. It is expedient to call these organisms "endocytobionts", at least during the initial steps of any studies. By doing so, it is not necessary to go into potential characteristics of these relationships such as parasitism, phoresy, zoochory, or mutualism at an early stage of study. Among those organisms resisting the lysis within their amoebic host, there are obligate and facultative pathogenic microorganisms affecting the health of humans or animals. FLA-endocytobiont relationships are not only important for the tenacity of the involved microorganisms. Especially if FLA are present in biofilms and there are close ties with many other microorganisms, the odds are for some of these microorganisms to develop human pathogenic properties. Here, the amoebic passage seems to be a prerequisite for the development of virulence factors and it may have an impact on evolutionary processes.

  19. Ophthalmology hospital wards contamination to pathogenic free living Amoebae in Iran.

    PubMed

    Lasjerdi, Zohreh; Niyyati, Maryam; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Haghighi, Ali; Taghipour, Niloofar

    2015-09-01

    The present study was conducted to determine the occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoeba in ophthalmology wards in reference hospitals in Iran. Since an increasing number of Acanthamoeba Keratitis cases after eye surgery and eye trauma have been recently observed in this country, it could be possible that the disinfection procedures undertaken in the clinical setting may not have a good hygiene and disinfection procedures, hence the aim of this study. Therefore, 42 dust and biofilm samples were collected from different areas of ophthalmology wards and checked for the presence of FLA using morphological criteria, PCR based analysis and DNA sequencing. Of the 42 samples from dust and biofilm sources, 18(42.86%) isolates were found to contain FLA and 12(92.3%) isolates belonged to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype. Isolation of the pathogenic genotype T4 from medical instruments, including slit lamp in corneal wards, may be a threat for patients undergoing eye surgery in these wards. Other FLA isolated in this study included Acanthamoeba genotype T5, Vahlkampfia sp, Naegleria australiensis, Vermamoeba vermiformis and Echinamoeba exudans. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the presence of potentially pathogenic FLA in ophthalmology wards in Iran. Improved disinfection methods and monitoring of hospitals ward are thus necessary in this area in order to minimize the risk of infection in patients.

  20. Isolation and identification of free-living amoebae from tap water in Sivas, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Ozçelik, Semra; Tutar, Lütfi; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks.

  1. Screening of Swiss hot spring resorts for potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Gianinazzi, Christian; Schild, Marc; Zumkehr, Beatrice; Wüthrich, Fritz; Nüesch, Irina; Ryter, Regula; Schürch, Nadia; Gottstein, Bruno; Müller, Norbert

    2010-09-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) belonging to Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Sappinia pedata are known to cause infections in humans and animals leading to severe brain pathologies. Worldwide, warm aquatic environments have been found to be suitable habitats for pathogenic FLA. The present study reports on screening for potentially pathogenic FLA in four hot spring resorts in Switzerland. Water samples were taken from water filtration units and from the pools, respectively. Amoebae isolated from samples taken during, or before, the filtration process were demonstrated to be morphologically and phylogenetically related to Stenoamoeba sp., Hartmannella vermiformis, Echinamoeba exundans, and Acanthamoeba healyi. With regard to the swimming pools, FLA were isolated only in one resort, and the isolate was identified as non-pathogenic and as related to E. exundans. Further investigations showed that the isolates morphologically and phylogenetically related to A. healyi displayed a pronounced thermotolerance, and exhibited a marked in vitro cytotoxicity upon 5-day exposure to murine L929 fibroblasts. Experimental intranasal infection of Rag2-immunodeficient mice with these isolates led to severe brain pathologies, and viable trophozoites were isolated from the nasal mucosa, brain tissue, and lungs post mortem. In summary, isolates related to A. healyi were suggestive of being potentially pathogenic to immunocompromised persons. However, the presence of these isolates was limited to the filtration units, and an effective threat for health can therefore be excluded.

  2. Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae in bat guano, an extreme habitat.

    PubMed

    Mulec, Janez; Dietersdorfer, Elisabeth; Üstüntürk-Onan, Miray; Walochnik, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Several representatives of the so-called free-living amoebae (FLA) are of medical relevance, not only as facultative pathogens but also as vehicles for pathogenic bacteria. Some FLA can survive and even grow under extreme environmental conditions. Bat guano is an exceptional habitat, the conditions becoming gradually more extreme with aging. In the current study, samples of bat guano of different ages from five caves in Slovenia were screened for the presence of FLA. FLA were isolated from almost all guano samples, including guano with a pH of 3.5. Only the two samples that had been drawn from >20-year-old guano were negative for FLA. Generally, FLA diversity correlated to high concentrations of cultivable bacteria (∼10(8) CFU/g) and fungi (∼10(5) CFU/g). Interestingly, the absence of FLA in seasoned guanos was mirrored by the presence of dictyostelid slime moulds. The isolated amoebae were identified as belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Copromyxa, Naegleria, Sappinia, Tetramitus, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella and Vermamoeba. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the diversity of FLA in guano.

  3. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) isolated in Spanish wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    García, A; Goñi, P; Clavel, A; Lobez, S; Fernandez, M T; Ormad, M P

    2011-10-01

    This work studies the characterization of pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) from sewage effluents. Some of them, such as Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmannella, Sappinia, Balamuthia and Paravahlkampfia have been reported as a cause of diseases in humans. Therefore, the study of their habitats and their pathogenicity has become necessary. The population of potentially pathogenic FLA was analysed in five Spanish wastewater treatment plants. Five of the seven FLA isolated were identified as genus Acanthamoeba genotypes T3, T4, T7 and T9. Hartmannella and Naegleria were also isolated. Acanthamoeba demonstrated great thermotolerance and osmotolerance. It was also observed that treatment with sodium hypochlorite showed no significative reduction in the number of amoeba at concentrations of 0-100 ppm. The high resistance of FLA cysts to disinfection methods is a trojan horse for public health insofar as they colonize water systems and allow the survival of intracellular microorganisms resistant to FLA. The results of this work advance current knowledge of the FLA population.

  4. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo; de la Garza, Mireya

    2013-01-01

    The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms.

  5. Free-living amoebae (FLA) co-occurring with legionellae in industrial waters.

    PubMed

    Scheikl, Ute; Sommer, Regina; Kirschner, Alexander; Rameder, Alexandra; Schrammel, Barbara; Zweimüller, Irene; Wesner, Wolfgang; Hinker, Manfred; Walochnik, Julia

    2014-08-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease and free-living amoebae (FLA) can serve as vehicles for legionellae. The aim of this study was to screen industrial waters for the occurrence of FLA and their co-occurrence with legionellae. A total of 201 water samples, including 129 cooling waters and 72 process waters, and 30 cooling lubricants were included in the study. Treated waters were screened periodically, pre and post treatment. Altogether, 72.6% of the water samples were positive for FLA, acanthamoebae being most prevalent (in 23.9% of the samples) followed by Vermamoeba vermiformis (19.4%). Only one cooling lubricant was positive (Acanthamoeba genotype T4). Legionella spp. were detected in 34.8% of the water samples and in 15% in high concentrations (>1000 CFU/100 ml). Altogether, 81.4% of the Legionella-positive samples were positive for FLA by standard methods. By applying a highly sensitive nested PCR to a representative set of random samples it was revealed that Legionella spp. always co-occurred with Acanthamoeba spp. Although the addition of disinfectants did influence amoebal density and diversity, treated waters showed no difference concerning FLA in the interphases of disinfection. It appears that FLA can re-colonize treated waters within a short period of time.

  6. Free-living amoebae and their intracellular pathogenic microorganisms: risks for water quality.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Vincent; McDonnell, Gerald; Denyer, Stephen P; Maillard, Jean-Yves

    2010-05-01

    An increasing number of microorganisms, including bacteria but also viruses and eukaryotes, have been described as benefiting from interaction with free-living amoebae (FLA). Beneficial interaction can be due to resistance to predation conferring ecological advantage, intracellular survival and/or intracellular proliferation. This review highlights the potential risk associated with amoebae by listing all known pathogenic microbial species for which growth and/or survival promotion by FLA (mainly Acanthamoeba spp.) has been demonstrated. It focuses on the susceptibility of amoebal and intra-amoebal bacteria to various categories of biocides, the known mechanisms of action of these biocides against trophozoites and cysts and the various methods used to demonstrate efficacy of treatments against FLA. Brief descriptions of FLA ecology and prevalence in domestic/institutional water systems and their intrinsic pathogenicity are also presented. The intention is to provide an informed opinion on the environmental risks associated with the presence of FLA and on the survival of cysts following biocidal treatments, while also highlighting the need to conduct research on the roles of amoebae in aquatic ecosystems.

  7. Abundance, diversity and community composition of free-living protozoa on vegetable sprouts.

    PubMed

    Chavatte, N; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2016-05-01

    Interactions with free-living protozoa (FLP) have been implicated in the persistence of pathogenic bacteria on food products. In order to assess the potential involvement of FLP in this contamination, detailed knowledge on their occurrence, abundance and diversity on food products is required. In the present study, enrichment and cultivation methods were used to inventory and quantify FLP on eight types of commercial vegetable sprouts (alfalfa, beetroot, cress, green pea, leek, mung bean, red cabbage and rosabi). In parallel, total aerobic bacteria and Escherichia coli counts were performed. The vegetable sprouts harbored diverse communities of FLP, with Tetrahymena (ciliate), Bodo saltans and cercomonads (flagellates), and Acanthamoeba and Vannella (amoebae) as the dominant taxa. Protozoan community composition and abundance significantly differed between the sprout types. Beetroot harbored the most abundant and diverse FLP communities, with many unique species such as Korotnevella sp., Vannella sp., Chilodonella sp., Podophrya sp. and Sphaerophrya sp. In contrast, mung bean sprouts were species-poor and had low FLP numbers. Sampling month and company had no significant influence, suggesting that seasonal and local factors are of minor importance. Likewise, no significant relationship between protozoan community composition and bacterial load was observed. PMID:26742616

  8. Free-living spirochetes from Cape Cod microbial mats detected by electron microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teal, T. H.; Chapman, M.; Guillemette, T.; Margulis, L.

    1996-01-01

    Spirochetes from microbial mats and anaerobic mud samples collected in salt marshes were studied by light microscopy, whole mount and thin section transmission electron microscopy. Enriched in cellobiose-rifampin medium, selective for Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, seven distinguishable spirochete morphotypes were observed. Their diameters ranged from 0.17 micron to > 0.45 micron. Six of these morphotypes came from southwest Cape Cod, Massachusetts: five from Microcoleus-dominated mat samples collected at Sippewissett salt marsh and one from anoxic mud collected at School Street salt marsh (on the east side of Eel Pond). The seventh morphotype was enriched from anoxic mud sampled from the north central Cape Cod, at the Sandy Neck salt marsh. Five of these morphotypes are similar or identical to previously described spirochetes (Leptospira, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi and Treponema), whereas the other two have unique features that suggest they have not been previously described. One of the morphotypes resembles Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi (the largest free-living spirochete described), in its large variable diameter (0.4-3.0 microns), cytoplasmic granules, and spherical (round) bodies with composite structure. This resemblance permits its tentative identification as a Sippewissett strain of Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi. Microbial mats samples collected in sterile Petri dishes and stored dry for more than four years yielded many organisms upon rewetting, including small unidentified spirochetes in at least 4 out of 100 enrichments.

  9. Associations of free-living bacteria and dissolved organic compounds in a plume of contaminated groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvey, R.W.; Barber, L.B.; ,

    1992-01-01

    Associations of free-living bacteria (FLB) and dissolved organic contaminants in a 4-km-long plume of sewage-contaminated groundwater were investigated. Abundance of FLB in the core of the plume (as delineated by maximum specific conductance) steadily decreased in the direction of flow from a point 0.25 km downgradient from the source to the toe of the plume. At 0.25 km downgradient, FLB comprised up to 31% of the total bacterial population, but constituted < 7% of the population at 2 km downgradient. Abundance of FLB correlated strongly (r = 0.80 n = 23) with total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in contaminated groundwater between 0.64 and 2.1 km downgradient, although distributions of individual contaminants such as di-, tri- and tetrachloroethene were highly variable, and their association with FLB less clear. Numbers of FLB in the downgradient portion of the plume which is contaminated with branched-chain alkylbenzenesulfonate (ABS) surfactants were low (< 5??108/L) in spite of relatively high levels of DOC (up to 4 mg/L). However, abundance of FLB correlated strongly with non-surfactant DOC along vertical transects through the plume. The ratio of FLB to DOC and the ratio of FLB to attached bacteria generally decreased in the direction of flow and, consequently, with the age of the organic contaminants.

  10. Seasonal patterns in body temperature of free-living rock hyrax (Procavia capensis).

    PubMed

    Brown, Kelly J; Downs, Colleen T

    2006-01-01

    Rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) are faced with large daily fluctuations in ambient temperature during summer and winter. In this study, peritoneal body temperature of free-living rock hyrax was investigated. During winter, when low ambient temperatures and food supply prevail, rock hyrax maintained a lower core body temperature relative to summer. In winter body temperatures during the day were more variable than at night. This daytime variability is likely a result of body temperatures being raised from basking in the sun. Body temperatures recorded during winter never fell to low levels recorded in previous laboratory studies. During summer ambient temperatures exceeded the thermoneutral zone of the rock hyrax throughout most of the day, while crevice temperatures remained within the thermoneutral zone of rock hyrax. However, in summer variation in core body temperature was small. Minimum and maximum body temperatures did not coincide with minimum and maximum ambient temperatures. Constant body temperatures were also recorded when ambient temperatures reached lethal limits. During summer it is likely that rock hyrax select cooler refugia to escape lethal temperatures and to prevent excessive water loss. Body temperature of rock hyrax recorded in this study reflects the adaptability of this animal to the wide range of ambient temperatures experienced in its natural environment.

  11. BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES (IN VITRO) EXHIBITED BY FREE-LIVING AND SYMBIOTIC VIBRIO ISOLATES

    PubMed Central

    NAIR, V.; NISHIGUCHI, M. K.

    2010-01-01

    Adhesion and biofilm forming ability of symbiotic bacteria play a crucial role in host colonization and tissue infection. Bacteria benefit by adhering to their host in a manner that allows them to successfully maintain contact for the exchange of nutrients, hormones, or other necessary products. This study examined pili morphology, motility, and biofilm formation exhibited by Vibrio fischeri strains (free-living and symbiotic). Since these symbiotic factors contribute in some fashion to the interaction between V. fischeri and their squid host, variation between strains may be a contributing factor that leads to specificity among different hosts. V. fischeri strains examined in this study demonstrated considerable variation in their biological properties when observed in vitro. In addition to differences observed between strains isolated from several different host species, we observed variation between strains isolated from the same host species from diverse geographical locations. This study suggests that subtle differences in the biological properties of closely related V. fischeri strains may influence the nature of the interaction among V. fischeri and their sepiolid hosts. PMID:20725603

  12. Body temperatures of free-living African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) and bank cormorants (Phalacrocorax neglectus).

    PubMed

    Wilson, R P; Grémillet, D

    1996-10-01

    Two free-living seabirds (the African penguin Spheniscus demersus and the bank cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus) were equipped with stomach temperature-loggers to study body temperature changes during foraging. Body temperature in these endotherms was environmentally and activity-dependent and varied in the case of the cormorant by over 5 degrees C. Considerations of heat flux show that such flexibility confers considerable energetic advantages: by allowing body temperature to drop when the heat loss to the environment is high, such as in water, birds may save the energy that would normally be necessary to compensate for this drop. It appears that, in cormorants, low body temperature resulting from extended time in water can subsequently be elevated using solar energy when birds return to land in a manner similar to that of ectotherms. In the better-insulated penguins, muscle-generated heat during swimming is used to re-elevate low body temperature. Continued swimming eventually causes body temperature to rise above normal resting levels so that metabolic rate could theoretically be dramatically reduced immediately post-exercise when the temperature drops to some critical level before any increase in metabolism is necessary to correct it.

  13. Biodiversity of free-living marine nematodes in the southern Yellow Sea, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiaoshou; Xu, Man; Hua, Er; Zhang, Zhinan

    2016-02-01

    Biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes were studied using specific, taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity measures in the southern Yellow Sea, China. The results showed that the average of Shannon-Wiener diversity index ( H') in the study area was 3.17. The higher values were distributed in the east part of Shandong coastal waters and north part of Jiangsu coastal waters, while the lower values were distributed in the southern Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM). The average of taxonomic diversity ( Δ) was 62.09 in the study region. The higher values were distributed in the transitional areas between the coastal areas and the southern YSCWM, while the lower values were distributed near the north part of Jiangsu coastal waters and the YSCWM. Results of correlation analysis of species diversity and taxonomic diversity showed that some of the two kinds of diversity index were independent, which suggested that combining the two kinds of diversity indices can reflect the ecological characteristics better. A test for 95% probability funnels of average taxonomic distinctness and variation in taxonomic distinctness suggested that Station 8794 (in the YSCWM) was outside of the 95% probability funnels, which may be due to the environmental stress. Results of correlation analysis between marine nematodes biodiversity and environmental variables showed that the sediment characteristics (Mdø and Silt-clay fraction) and phaeophorbide a (Pha- a) were the most important factors to determine the biodiversity patterns of marine nematodes.

  14. Clinical pathology and parasitologic evaluation of free-living nestlings of the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus).

    PubMed

    Allgayer, M C; Guedes, N M R; Chiminazzo, C; Cziulik, M; Weimer, T A

    2009-10-01

    This study evaluated the health status and established hematologic and serum biochemistry parameters for free-living nestlings of the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) from the Brazilian Pantanal (19 degrees 51'-19 degrees 58'S; 56 degrees 17'-56 degrees 24'W), for four consecutive years (from December 2003 through December 2006). Physical examinations indicated that all the birds were in good health. Endoparasites and blood parasites were not detected in any of the nestlings, and ectoparasites seemed to be limited to Philornis sp. (Diptera: Muscidae). Significantly higher levels of total white blood cells and heterophils, glucose, total protein, triglycerides, and phosphorus were observed in females. In females, higher cholesterol levels and packed cell volumes were observed in older birds, and total white blood cell and heterophil counts were higher in young animals. In males, uric acid levels were higher in older individuals. Wild Pantanal Hyacinth Macaws feed on only two species of palm nuts (Acrocomia totai and Scheelea phalerta). This limited food habit has a strong impact on population size and may alter the clinical pathology parameters of these birds. Therefore, knowledge of blood levels in normal individuals is essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild macaws, to assess the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation strategies of this endangered species.

  15. Aspects of nitrogen-fixing Actinobacteria, in particular free-living and symbiotic Frankia.

    PubMed

    Sellstedt, Anita; Richau, Kerstin H

    2013-05-01

    Studies of nitrogen-fixing properties among the Gram-positive Actinobacteria revealed that some species of Arthrobacter, Agromyces, Corynebacterium, Mycobacterium, Micromonospora, Propionibacteria and Streptomyces have nitrogen-fixing capacity. This is also valid for Frankia that fix nitrogen both in free-living and in symbiotic conditions. Frankia symbiosis results from interaction between the Frankia bacteria and dicotyledonous plants, that is, actinorhiza. These plants, which are important in forestry and agroforestry, form, together with the legumes (Fabales), a single nitrogen-fixing clade. It has been shown that a receptor-like kinase gene, SymRK, is necessary for nodulation in actinorhizal plants as well as in legumes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Recently, the involvement of isoflavonoids as signal molecules during nodulation of an actinorhizal plant was shown. The genome sizes of three Frankia species, Frankia EANpec, ACN14a and CcI3, are different, revealing a relationship between genome size and geographical distribution. Recent genomic sequencing data of Frankia represent genomes from cluster I to IV, indicating that the genome of DgI is one of the smallest genomes in Frankia. In addition, nonsymbiotic Frankiales such as Acidothermus cellulolyticus, Blastococcus saxoobsidens, Geodermatophilus obscurus and Modestobacter marinus have a variety of genome sizes ranging from 2.4 to 5.57 Mb. PMID:23461635

  16. Functional thioredoxin reductase from pathogenic and free-living Leptospira spp.

    PubMed

    Sasoni, Natalia; Iglesias, Alberto A; Guerrero, Sergio A; Arias, Diego G

    2016-08-01

    Low molecular mass thiols and antioxidant enzymes have essential functions to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species maintaining cellular redox balance. The metabolic pathways for redox homeostasis in pathogenic (Leptospira interrogans) and free-living (Leptospira biflexa) leptospires species were not functionally characterized. We performed biochemical studies on recombinantly produced proteins to in depth analyze kinetic and structural properties of thioredoxin reductase (LinTrxR) and thioredoxin (LinTrx) from L. interrogans, and two TrxRs (LbiTrxR1 and LbiTrxR2) from L. biflexa. All the TrxRs were characterized as homodimeric flavoproteins, with LinTrxR and LbiTrxR1 catalyzing the NADPH dependent reduction of LinTrx and DTNB. The thioredoxin system from L. interrogans was able to use glutathione disulfide, lipoamide disulfide, cystine and bis-γ-glutamyl cysteine and homologous peroxiredoxin as substrates. Classic TrxR activity of LinTrxR2 had not been evidenced in vitro, but recombinant Escherichia coli cells overexpressing LbiTrxR2 showed high tolerance to oxidative stress. The enzymatic systems herein characterized could play a key role for the maintenance of redox homeostasis and the function of defense mechanisms against reactive oxidant species in Leptospira spp. Our results contribute to the general knowledge about redox biochemistry in these bacteria, positioning TrxR as a critical molecular target for the development of new anti-leptospiral drugs. PMID:27178006

  17. Metabolic Capacity of Mitochondrion-related Organelles in the Free-living Anaerobic Stramenopile Cantina marsupialis.

    PubMed

    Noguchi, Fumiya; Shimamura, Shigeru; Nakayama, Takuro; Yazaki, Euki; Yabuki, Akinori; Hashimoto, Tetsuo; Inagaki, Yuji; Fujikura, Katsunori; Takishita, Kiyotaka

    2015-11-01

    Functionally and morphologically degenerate mitochondria, so-called mitochondrion-related organelles (MROs), are frequently found in eukaryotes inhabiting hypoxic or anoxic environments. In the last decade, MROs have been discovered from a phylogenetically broad range of eukaryotic lineages and these organelles have been revealed to possess diverse metabolic capacities. In this study, the biochemical characteristics of an MRO in the free-living anaerobic protist Cantina marsupialis, which represents an independent lineage in stramenopiles, were inferred based on RNA-seq data. We found transcripts for proteins known to function in one form of MROs, the hydrogenosome, such as pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase, iron-hydrogenase, acetate:succinate CoA-transferase, and succinyl-CoA synthase, along with transcripts for acetyl-CoA synthetase (ADP-forming). These proteins possess putative mitochondrial targeting signals at their N-termini, suggesting dual ATP generation systems through anaerobic pyruvate metabolism in Cantina MROs. In addition, MROs in Cantina were also shown to share several features with canonical mitochondria, including amino acid metabolism and an "incomplete" tricarboxylic acid cycle. Transcripts for all four subunits of complex II (CII) of the electron transport chain were detected, while there was no evidence for the presence of complexes I, III, IV, or F1Fo ATPase. Cantina MRO biochemistry challenges the categories of mitochondrial organelles recently proposed.

  18. Behavioral correlates of heart rates of free-living Greater White-fronted Geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ely, C.R.; Ward, D.H.; Bollinger, K.S.

    1999-01-01

    We simultaneously monitored the heart rate and behavior of nine free-living Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) on their wintering grounds in northern California. Heart rates of wild geese were monitored via abdominally-implanted radio transmitters with electrodes that received electrical impulses of the heart and emitted a radio signal with each ventricular contraction. Post-operative birds appeared to behave normally, readily rejoining flocks and flying up to 15 km daily from night-time roost sites to feed in surrounding agricultural fields. Heart rates varied significantly among individuals and among behaviors, and ranged from less than 100 beats per minute (BPM) during resting, to over 400 BPM during flight. Heart rates varied from 80 to 140 BPM during non-strenuous activities such as walking, feeding, and maintenance activities, to about 180 BPM when birds became alert, and over 400 BPM when birds were startled, even if they did not take flight. Postflight heart rate recovery time averaged < 10 sec. During agonistic encounters, heart rate exceeded 400 BPM; heart rates during social interactions were not predictable solely from postures, as heart rates were context-dependent, and were highest in initial encounters among individuals. Instantaneous measures of physiological parameters, such as heart rate, are often better indicators of the degree of response to external stimuli than visual observations and can be used to improve estimates of energy expenditure based solely on activity data.

  19. Leptospira borgpetersenii from free-living white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris): first isolation in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Sérgio; Hartleben, Cláudia P; Seixas, Fabiana K; Coimbra, Marco A A; Stark, Cledir B; Larrondo, Adriana G; Amaral, Marta G; Albano, Ana Paula N; Minello, Luiz F; Dellagostin, Odir A; Brod, Claudiomar S

    2012-11-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that occurs all over the world, caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. Marsupial and didelphidae families are considered susceptible to infection caused by a wide range of Leptospira serovars for which they serve as reservoirs. Thirty-three free-living white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris) were captured in Southern Brazil and bodily fluids were collected. From the urine samples it was possible to obtain an isolate identified as Leptospira borgpetersenii by rpoB gene sequencing and belonging to serovar Castellonis by Multilocus Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Analysis. This is the first report of the isolation of Leptospira spp. from the white-eared opossum in Brazil. In addition, the new strain was also virulent in the hamster model of lethal leptospirosis. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was used for detecting the presence of antibodies against Leptospira spp. in white-eared opossum, human, cattle and canine sera using a panel of 59 Leptospira strains that included the new isolate. The inclusion of the new strain in the MAT battery increased the MAT sensitivity for canine sera. These findings suggest that the white-eared opossum is an important reservoir of pathogenic Leptospira spp.

  20. Long-term viral serology of semi-free-living and captive ungulates.

    PubMed

    Frölich, K; Flach, E J

    1998-06-01

    Between 1973 and 1994, blood samples were collected at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park (UK) from three ungulate species kept in enclosures, including 28 European bison (Bison bonasus), 37 scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), and 49 Père David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus), and also from 144 semi-free-living Chinese water deer (Hydropotes inermis). These samples were tested for the presence of antibodies against three bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)-like strains, three alpha-herpesvirus strains, enzootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) of deer, bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), bovine adenovirus 3 (BAV-3), and enzootic bovine leucosis virus (EBLV). Thirty-three individuals (13.1%) had antibodies to one or more of the three BVDV-like viruses, with titers ranging from 1:5 to 1:16, and 17 individuals (6.6%) were positive for antibodies to one or more of the three alpha-herpesviruses, with titers between 1:4 and 1:80. The highest titers and greatest proportion of seropositivity were against SH9/11, a recently isolated cytopathogenic pestivirus from wild roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). There were no positive reactors to BRSV and EHDV, and there was only one BAV-3 positive reactor, a scimitar-horned oryx, and one EBLV reactor, a European bison. There is no serologic evidence that semi-free-ranging Chinese water deer are important reservoirs or transmitters of the viral diseases investigated. PMID:9732031

  1. Longitudinal gonadal steroid excretion in free-living male and female meerkats (Suricata suricatta).

    PubMed

    Moss, A M; Clutton-Brock, T H; Monfort, S L

    2001-05-01

    Slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are small, diurnal, cooperatively breeding mongooses of the family Herpestidae. A prerequisite to fully understanding the mating system of meerkats is the development of a normative reproductive-endocrine database. This study examined longitudinal gonadal steroid excretion in all adult and juvenile individuals of both sexes within a social group of free-living meerkats sampled across an entire breeding season. The specific objectives of this study were to (1) validate noninvasive (fecal and urinary) gonadal steroid hormone monitoring techniques in male (testosterone) and female (estrogens, progestagens) meerkats; (2) test the feasibility of using these noninvasive methods under field conditions; (3) characterize the endocrine correlates associated with the female reproductive cycle, including estrus, gestation, and postpartum estrus; (4) examine longitudinal androgen excretion in males; and (5) determine whether social status (i.e., dominant versus subordinate) affected gonadal steroid excretion. In females, the results demonstrated the physiological validity of noninvasive monitoring in meerkats by corresponding excretory hormone concentrations to major reproductive events (i.e., estrous, pregnancy, parturition). Hormone excretory patterns during estrous intervals suggested possible mechanisms whereby reproductive suppression may operate in female meerkats. In males, androgen excretion did not correspond to changes in reproductive and aggressive behaviors, suggesting that dominance, and hence breeding access to females, was not regulated strictly by gonadal steroid production. The consistency in androgen excretion among male meerkats indicated that reproductive suppression may be mediated by behavioral (i.e., intermale aggression) rather than physiological (i.e., depressed spermatogenesis) mechanisms.

  2. Wild, free-living rufous hummingbirds do not use geometric cues in a spatial task.

    PubMed

    Hornsby, Mark A W; Hurly, T Andrew; Hamilton, Caitlin E; Pritchard, David J; Healy, Susan D

    2014-10-01

    In the laboratory, many species orient themselves using the geometric properties of an enclosure or array and geometric information is often preferred over visual cues. Whether animals use geometric cues when relocating rewarded locations in the wild, however, has rarely been investigated. We presented free-living rufous hummingbirds with a rectangular array of four artificial flowers to investigate learning of rewarded locations using geometric cues. In one treatment, we rewarded two of four flowers at diagonally opposite corners. In a second treatment, we provided a visual cue to the rewarded flower by connecting the flowers with "walls" consisting of four dowels (three white, one blue) laid on the ground connecting each of the flowers. Neither treatment elicited classical geometry results; instead, hummingbirds typically chose one particular flower over all others. When we exchanged that flower with another, hummingbirds tended to visit the original flower. These results suggest that (1) hummingbirds did not use geometric cues, but instead may have used a visually derived cue on the flowers themselves, and (2) using geometric cues may have been more difficult than using visual characteristics. Although hummingbirds typically prefer spatial over visual information, we hypothesize that they will not use geometric cues over stable visual features but that they make use of small, flower-specific visual cues. Such cues may play a more important role in foraging decisions than previously thought.

  3. Free-living freshwater amoebae differ in their susceptibility to the pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila.

    PubMed

    Dey, Rafik; Bodennec, Jacques; Mameri, Mouh Oulhadj; Pernin, Pierre

    2009-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as a facultative intracellular parasite of free-living soil and freshwater amoebae, of which several species have been shown to support the growth of the pathogenic bacteria. We report for the first time the behaviour of two strains (c2c and Z503) of the amoeba Willaertia magna towards different strains of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 and compared it with Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis, known to be L. pneumophila permissive. In contrast to the results seen with other amoebae, W. magna c2c inhibited the growth of one strain of Legionella (L. pneumophila, Paris), but not of others belonging to the same serogroup (L. pneumophila, Philadelphia and L. pneumophila, Lens). Also, the different L. pneumophila inhibited cell growth and induced cell death in A. castellanii, H. vermiformis and W. magna Z503 within 3-4 days while W. magna c2c strain remained unaffected even up to 7 days. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the formation of numerous replicative phagosomes observed within Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella is rarely seen in W. magna c2c cocultured with L. pneumophila. Moreover, the morphological differences were observed between L. pneumophila cultured either with Willaertia or other amoebae. These observations show that amoebae are not all equally permissive to L. pneumophila and highlight W. magna c2c as particularly resistant towards some strains of this bacterium. PMID:19016880

  4. Occurrence and diversity of free-living protozoa on butterhead lettuce.

    PubMed

    Vaerewijck, Mario J M; Sabbe, Koen; Baré, Julie; Houf, Kurt

    2011-05-27

    The occurrence and diversity of free-living protozoa (FLP) on butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) was investigated using four different sampling techniques (washing, swabbing, homogenization, and excising). FLP were recovered from all leaf samples (n=64), and cultures were FLP-positive after 1 week. Identification of FLP was performed by light microscopy and sequencing of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)-separated 18S rRNA gene fragments. Bodo saltans, Spumella (-like) spp. and Cercozoa were the most common heterotrophic nanoflagellates. Amoebae belonged mainly to the Vannellida and Tubulinida. Colpoda steinii and Cyclidium glaucoma were the most common ciliates. The total number of FLP on middle leaves estimated by the Most Probable Number method ranged from 9.3 × 10(2)MPN/g to 2.4 × 10(5)MPN/g leaf, with flagellates (92 MPN/g to 2.4 ×10(5)MPN/g) being more abundant than amoebae (<3 MPN/g to 9.3 × 10(3)MPN/g) and ciliates (<3 MPN/g to 9.3 × 10(2)MPN/g). Washing or rinsing leaves followed by spin-drying in a household salad spinner reduced the protozoan number with maximum one log unit. Our survey shows that FLP on lettuce leaves are a common and diverse but largely unexplored group of microorganisms.

  5. [Mitosis in the free-living flagellate Bodo saltans strain PS+ (Kinetoplastidea, Bodonida)].

    PubMed

    Malysheva, M N; Karpova, M S; Frolov, A O

    2007-01-01

    The mitosis in the free-living flagellate Bodo saltans Ps+ with prokaryotic cytobionts in perinuclear space has been studied. The nuclear division in B. saltans Ps+ occurs by closed mitosis type without condensation of chromosomes. Two spatially separated mitotic spindles begin to form consistently at the initial stages of nuclear division. The spindle including about 20 microtubules appears first and later the second spindle with half the number of microtubules comes at the angle of 30-40 degrees. Both spindles rest their ends against the inner nuclear membrane and form 4 distinct poles. The microtubules of the first spindle are associated with 4 pairs of kinetochores, the microtubules of the second one are associated with 2 pairs of kinetochores. The divergence of the kinetochores towards the poles occurs independently in each spindle. The equatorial phase is not revealed in B. saltans Ps+. The poles of both spindles unite in pairs at the elongation phase of mitosis and form the integrated bipolar structure. At this stage of the nuclear division, the kinetochores reach the poles of subspindles and become indistinguishable. Then the nucleus takes the shape of a dumbbell. The inner nuclear membranes of just formed nuclei have layers of condensed chromatin characteristic of the interphase nuclei of kinetoplastidea. The daughter nuclei separate at the phase of reorganization. There are 1-2 prokaryotic endocytobionts in the perinuclear space of the interphase nuclei in B. saltans Ps+. The symbionts multiply during mitosis and their number reaches more than 20 specimens par nucleus.

  6. Rickettsia parkeri infecting free-living Amblyomma triste ticks in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Melo, Andréia L T; Alves, Alvair S; Nieri-Bastos, Fernanda A; Martins, Thiago F; Witter, Rute; Pacheco, Thábata A; Soares, Herbert S; Marcili, Arlei; Chitarra, Cristiane S; Dutra, Valéria; Nakazato, Luciano; Pacheco, Richard C; Labruna, Marcelo B; Aguiar, Daniel M

    2015-04-01

    The present study evaluated the infection of rickettsiae in 151 Rhipicephalus sanguineus, 59 Amblyomma ovale, 166 Amblyomma triste, one Amblyomma dissimile and four Amblyomma dubitatum ticks collected in the municipality of Poconé, State of Mato Grosso, within the Pantanal biome of Brazil. Ticks were individually processed by the hemolymph test with Gimenez staining, isolation of rickettsia in Vero cell culture by the shell vial technique, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the citrate synthase rickettsial gene. Through the shell vial technique, rickettsiae were successfully isolated and established in Vero cell culture from one free-living A. triste female tick, which previously showed to contain Rickettsia-like organisms by the hemolymph test. Molecular characterization of the rickettsial isolate was achieved through DNA partial sequences of three rickettsial genes (gltA, ompA, ompB), which showed to be all 100% identical to Rickettsia parkeri. After testing all ticks by PCR, the frequency of R. parkeri infection was 7.23% (12/166) in A. triste adult ticks. The remaining ticks were negative by PCR. This is the first report of in vitro isolation of R. parkeri in the Pantanal biome, confirming the occurrence of this emerging rickettsial pathogen in this natural area of South America.

  7. Wild, free-living rufous hummingbirds do not use geometric cues in a spatial task.

    PubMed

    Hornsby, Mark A W; Hurly, T Andrew; Hamilton, Caitlin E; Pritchard, David J; Healy, Susan D

    2014-10-01

    In the laboratory, many species orient themselves using the geometric properties of an enclosure or array and geometric information is often preferred over visual cues. Whether animals use geometric cues when relocating rewarded locations in the wild, however, has rarely been investigated. We presented free-living rufous hummingbirds with a rectangular array of four artificial flowers to investigate learning of rewarded locations using geometric cues. In one treatment, we rewarded two of four flowers at diagonally opposite corners. In a second treatment, we provided a visual cue to the rewarded flower by connecting the flowers with "walls" consisting of four dowels (three white, one blue) laid on the ground connecting each of the flowers. Neither treatment elicited classical geometry results; instead, hummingbirds typically chose one particular flower over all others. When we exchanged that flower with another, hummingbirds tended to visit the original flower. These results suggest that (1) hummingbirds did not use geometric cues, but instead may have used a visually derived cue on the flowers themselves, and (2) using geometric cues may have been more difficult than using visual characteristics. Although hummingbirds typically prefer spatial over visual information, we hypothesize that they will not use geometric cues over stable visual features but that they make use of small, flower-specific visual cues. Such cues may play a more important role in foraging decisions than previously thought. PMID:25452077

  8. Free-living amoebae (FLA) co-occurring with legionellae in industrial waters☆

    PubMed Central

    Scheikl, Ute; Sommer, Regina; Kirschner, Alexander; Rameder, Alexandra; Schrammel, Barbara; Zweimüller, Irene; Wesner, Wolfgang; Hinker, Manfred; Walochnik, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease and free-living amoebae (FLA) can serve as vehicles for legionellae. The aim of this study was to screen industrial waters for the occurrence of FLA and their co-occurrence with legionellae. A total of 201 water samples, including 129 cooling waters and 72 process waters, and 30 cooling lubricants were included in the study. Treated waters were screened periodically, pre and post treatment. Altogether, 72.6% of the water samples were positive for FLA, acanthamoebae being most prevalent (in 23.9% of the samples) followed by Vermamoeba vermiformis (19.4%). Only one cooling lubricant was positive (Acanthamoeba genotype T4). Legionella spp. were detected in 34.8% of the water samples and in 15% in high concentrations (>1000 CFU/100 ml). Altogether, 81.4% of the Legionella-positive samples were positive for FLA by standard methods. By applying a highly sensitive nested PCR to a representative set of random samples it was revealed that Legionella spp. always co-occurred with Acanthamoeba spp. Although the addition of disinfectants did influence amoebal density and diversity, treated waters showed no difference concerning FLA in the interphases of disinfection. It appears that FLA can re-colonize treated waters within a short period of time. PMID:25062389

  9. Functional thioredoxin reductase from pathogenic and free-living Leptospira spp.

    PubMed

    Sasoni, Natalia; Iglesias, Alberto A; Guerrero, Sergio A; Arias, Diego G

    2016-08-01

    Low molecular mass thiols and antioxidant enzymes have essential functions to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species maintaining cellular redox balance. The metabolic pathways for redox homeostasis in pathogenic (Leptospira interrogans) and free-living (Leptospira biflexa) leptospires species were not functionally characterized. We performed biochemical studies on recombinantly produced proteins to in depth analyze kinetic and structural properties of thioredoxin reductase (LinTrxR) and thioredoxin (LinTrx) from L. interrogans, and two TrxRs (LbiTrxR1 and LbiTrxR2) from L. biflexa. All the TrxRs were characterized as homodimeric flavoproteins, with LinTrxR and LbiTrxR1 catalyzing the NADPH dependent reduction of LinTrx and DTNB. The thioredoxin system from L. interrogans was able to use glutathione disulfide, lipoamide disulfide, cystine and bis-γ-glutamyl cysteine and homologous peroxiredoxin as substrates. Classic TrxR activity of LinTrxR2 had not been evidenced in vitro, but recombinant Escherichia coli cells overexpressing LbiTrxR2 showed high tolerance to oxidative stress. The enzymatic systems herein characterized could play a key role for the maintenance of redox homeostasis and the function of defense mechanisms against reactive oxidant species in Leptospira spp. Our results contribute to the general knowledge about redox biochemistry in these bacteria, positioning TrxR as a critical molecular target for the development of new anti-leptospiral drugs.

  10. Particle-Associated Differ from Free-Living Bacteria in Surface Waters of the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Rieck, Angelika; Herlemann, Daniel P R; Jürgens, Klaus; Grossart, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    Many studies on bacterial community composition (BCC) do not distinguish between particle-associated (PA) and free-living (FL) bacteria or neglect the PA fraction by pre-filtration removing most particles. Although temporal and spatial gradients in environmental variables are known to shape BCC, it remains unclear how and to what extent PA and FL bacterial diversity responds to such environmental changes. To elucidate the BCC of both bacterial fractions related to different environmental settings, we studied surface samples of three Baltic Sea stations (marine, mesohaline, and oligohaline) in two different seasons (summer and fall/winter). Amplicon sequencing of the 16 S rRNA gene revealed significant differences in BCC of both bacterial fractions among stations and seasons, with a particularly high number of PA operational taxonomic units (OTUs at genus-level) at the marine station in both seasons. "Shannon and Simpson indices" showed a higher diversity of PA than FL bacteria at the marine station in both seasons and at the oligohaline station in fall/winter. In general, a high fraction of bacterial OTUs was found exclusively in the PA fraction (52% of total OTUs). These findings indicate that PA bacteria significantly contribute to overall bacterial richness and that they differ from FL bacteria. Therefore, to gain a deeper understanding on diversity and dynamics of aquatic bacteria, PA and FL bacteria should be generally studied independently. PMID:26648911

  11. Occurrence and diversity of free-living protozoa on butterhead lettuce.

    PubMed

    Vaerewijck, Mario J M; Sabbe, Koen; Baré, Julie; Houf, Kurt

    2011-05-27

    The occurrence and diversity of free-living protozoa (FLP) on butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) was investigated using four different sampling techniques (washing, swabbing, homogenization, and excising). FLP were recovered from all leaf samples (n=64), and cultures were FLP-positive after 1 week. Identification of FLP was performed by light microscopy and sequencing of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)-separated 18S rRNA gene fragments. Bodo saltans, Spumella (-like) spp. and Cercozoa were the most common heterotrophic nanoflagellates. Amoebae belonged mainly to the Vannellida and Tubulinida. Colpoda steinii and Cyclidium glaucoma were the most common ciliates. The total number of FLP on middle leaves estimated by the Most Probable Number method ranged from 9.3 × 10(2)MPN/g to 2.4 × 10(5)MPN/g leaf, with flagellates (92 MPN/g to 2.4 ×10(5)MPN/g) being more abundant than amoebae (<3 MPN/g to 9.3 × 10(3)MPN/g) and ciliates (<3 MPN/g to 9.3 × 10(2)MPN/g). Washing or rinsing leaves followed by spin-drying in a household salad spinner reduced the protozoan number with maximum one log unit. Our survey shows that FLP on lettuce leaves are a common and diverse but largely unexplored group of microorganisms. PMID:21513995

  12. Evidence for free-living Bacteroides in Cladophora along the shores of the Great Lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitman, Richard L.; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Spoljaric, Ashley; Przybyla-Kelly, Katarzyna; Shively, Dawn A.; Nevers, Meredith

    2014-01-01

    Bacteroides is assumed to be restricted to the alimentary canal of animals and humans and is considered to be non-viable in ambient environments. We hypothesized that Bacteroides could persist and replicate within beach-stranded Cladophora glomerata mats in southern Lake Michigan, USA. Mean Bacteroides concentration (per GenBac3 Taqman quantitative PCR assay) during summer 2012 at Jeorse Park Beach was 5.2 log calibrator cell equivalents (CCE) g-1 dry weight (dw), ranging from 3.7 to 6.7. We monitored a single beach-stranded mat for 3 wk; bacterial concentrations increased by 1.6 log CCE g-1 dw and correlated significantly with ambient temperature (p = 0.003). Clonal growth was evident, as observed by >99% nucleotide sequence similarity among clones. In in vitro studies, Bacteroides concentrations increased by 5.5 log CCE g-1 after 7 d (27°C) in fresh Cladophora collected from rocks. Partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene of 36 clones from the incubation experiment showed highly similar genotypes (≥97% sequence overlap). The closest enteric Bacteroides spp. from the National Center for Biotechnology Information database were only 87 to 91% similar. Genomic similarity, clonality, growth, and persistence collectively suggest that putative, free-living Bacteroides inhabit Cladophora mats of southern Lake Michigan. These findings may have important biological, medical, regulatory, microbial source tracking, and public health implications.

  13. Detection of free-living amoebae by using multiplex quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Le Calvez, Thomas; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Humeau, Philippe; Moletta-Denat, Marina; Frère, Jacques; Héchard, Yann

    2012-06-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa found worldwide in soil and aquatic environments, which are able to colonize man-made water networks. Some FLA have the potential to be pathogenic and others might harbour pathogenic bacteria. Indeed, FLA feed on bacteria, but some bacteria could resist phagocytosis and either survive in FLA or even multiply within FLA. These bacteria are collectively named amoeba resistant bacteria (ARB). The best characterized example is Legionella pneumophila, for which FLA is the main reservoir in the environment. Not only could FLA be a reservoir that protects ARB, some bacteria might become more resistant to treatment and be more virulent. Thus, it is of medical significance to quantify FLA populations in soil, water or the environment. The main limitation for the quantification of FLA is that classical culture is not efficient and reliable for many genera and 'strains'. Thus, several PCR-based quantification methods have been published for various FLA. However, thus far, no method has been published to simultaneously quantify the main FLA genera in the same PCR reaction. In this study, we developed a multiplex qPCR method to detect both Amoebozoan (i.e. Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella and Echinamoeba) and Vahlkampfiidae (i.e. Vahlkampfia and Naegleria) using 18S ribosomal RNA as the target gene. This method was shown to be specific, reliable and sensitive, could be used for the quantification of FLA and is likely to be useful to anticipate risks due to FLA or pathogenic bacteria, such as L. pneumophila.

  14. Occurrence, costs and heritability of delayed selfing in a free-living flatworm.

    PubMed

    Ramm, S A; Vizoso, D B; Schärer, L

    2012-12-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that in the absence of outcrossing opportunities, simultaneously hermaphroditic organisms should eventually switch to self-fertilization as a form of reproductive assurance. Here, we report the existence of facultative self-fertilization in the free-living flatworm Macrostomum hystrix, a species in which outcrossing occurs via hypodermic insemination of sperm into the parenchyma of the mating partner. First, we show that isolated individuals significantly delay the onset of reproduction compared with individuals with outcrossing opportunities ('delayed selfing') as predicted by theory. Second, consistent with the idea of M. hystrix being a preferential outcrosser under natural conditions, we report likely costs of selfing manifested via reduced hatchling production and offspring survival. Third, we demonstrate that selfing propensity has a genetic basis in this species, with a heritability estimated at 0.43 ± 0.11. Variation in selfing propensity could arise due to differing costs of inbreeding among families; despite marked inter-family variation in apparent costs of inbreeding, we found no evidence for such a link. Alternatively, selfing propensity might differ across families because of heritable variation in reproductive traits that determine the likelihood of selfing. We speculate that adaptations to hypodermic insemination under outcrossing, most notably a highly modified copulatory stylet (male copulatory organ) and reduced sperm complexity, could also facilitate facultative selfing in this species.

  15. The control of food intake of free-living humans: putting the pieces back together.

    PubMed

    de Castro, John M

    2010-07-14

    The control of food intake has been studied using reductionism; by separately investigating environmental, physiological, and genetic variables. The general model of intake regulation attempts to reassemble the pieces into an organized whole. It postulates that intake is influenced by sets of both physiological factors which have negative feedback loops to intake and environmental factors which do not. Data and behavioral genetic analysis on a number of environmental, psychological, dietary, and social variables demonstrate that they have large impacts on the intake of free-living humans in their everyday environments and their magnitude and impact on intake are influenced by heredity. Recent evidence of built environment influences on activity and intake further indicate the profound influence of environmental circumstances on both intake and expenditure. A computer simulation of the general model of intake regulation demonstrates that the model predicts different maintained levels of intake and body weight depending upon the external environment and that change in the environment can produce new sustained levels. It is suggested that eating is influenced by a myriad of physiological and non-physiological factors and that total intake results from the integral of their influences. It is concluded that recombining the components broken down in the reductionistic process results in a functional whole that can well describe human behavior in natural environments. The paper represents an invited review by a symposium, award winner or keynote speaker at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior [SSIB] Annual Meeting in Portland, July 2009.

  16. Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae in bat guano, an extreme habitat.

    PubMed

    Mulec, Janez; Dietersdorfer, Elisabeth; Üstüntürk-Onan, Miray; Walochnik, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Several representatives of the so-called free-living amoebae (FLA) are of medical relevance, not only as facultative pathogens but also as vehicles for pathogenic bacteria. Some FLA can survive and even grow under extreme environmental conditions. Bat guano is an exceptional habitat, the conditions becoming gradually more extreme with aging. In the current study, samples of bat guano of different ages from five caves in Slovenia were screened for the presence of FLA. FLA were isolated from almost all guano samples, including guano with a pH of 3.5. Only the two samples that had been drawn from >20-year-old guano were negative for FLA. Generally, FLA diversity correlated to high concentrations of cultivable bacteria (∼10(8) CFU/g) and fungi (∼10(5) CFU/g). Interestingly, the absence of FLA in seasoned guanos was mirrored by the presence of dictyostelid slime moulds. The isolated amoebae were identified as belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Copromyxa, Naegleria, Sappinia, Tetramitus, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella and Vermamoeba. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the diversity of FLA in guano. PMID:26678653

  17. Dietary energy density is associated with increased intake in free-living humans.

    PubMed

    de Castro, John M

    2004-02-01

    Dietary energy density markedly influences the daily dietary intake of humans. The present study examined the relation of energy density to dietary intake and body size in 371 male and 581 female adults. The subjects were free-living and provided a detailed record of their everyday food and drink intake in 7-d food diaries. The reported diets were analyzed for the relation of energy density to body size and to per-meal, daily, and weekly dietary intake. High energy density was associated with greater (P < 0.001) total intake, especially of fat, when intake was correlated with energy density (r = 0.26, P < 0.001) and when the daily intake of individual participants was correlated with their daily dietary density (r = 0.66, P < 0.001). These results occurred regardless of sex, low reporting, or the inclusion of drinks in the energy density calculations. High energy density was also associated with a high rate of intake (r = 0.46, P < 0.001) and large meal sizes (r = 0.61, P < 0.001). However, energy density was not correlated with body size, height, weight, or body mass index. High energy density appears to be related to greater overall intake in the short-term, but there may be compensation over the long term, with no net effect on body size. PMID:14747669

  18. Comparison of total energy expenditure assessed by two devices in controlled and free-living conditions.

    PubMed

    Rousset, Sylvie; Fardet, Anthony; Lacomme, Philippe; Normand, Sylvie; Montaurier, Christophe; Boirie, Yves; Morio, Béatrice

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the validity of total energy expenditure (TEE) provided by Actiheart and Armband. Normal-weight adult volunteers wore both devices either for 17 hours in a calorimetric chamber (CC, n = 49) or for 10 days in free-living conditions (FLC) outside the laboratory (n = 41). The two devices and indirect calorimetry or doubly labelled water, respectively, were used to estimate TEE in the CC group and FLC group. In the CC, the relative value of TEE error was not significant (p > 0.05) for Actiheart but significantly different from zero for Armband, showing TEE underestimation (-4.9%, p < 0.0001). However, the mean absolute values of errors were significantly different between Actiheart and Armband: 8.6% and 6.7%, respectively (p = 0.05). Armband was more accurate for estimating TEE during sleeping, rest, recovery periods and sitting-standing. Actiheart provided better estimation during step and walking. In FLC, no significant error in relative value was detected. Nevertheless, Armband produced smaller errors in absolute value than Actiheart (8.6% vs. 12.8%). The distributions of differences were more scattered around the means, suggesting a higher inter-individual variability in TEE estimated by Actiheart than by Armband. Our results show that both monitors are appropriate for estimating TEE. Armband is more effective than Actiheart at the individual level for daily light-intensity activities. PMID:25141769

  19. Post-hatching dynamics of plasma biochemistry in free-living European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    PubMed

    Juráni, Marián; Výboh, Pavel; Zeman, Michal; Lamosová, Dalma; Kost'ál, L'ubor; Blazícek, Pavol

    2004-05-01

    This is the first study of plasma biochemical parameters in free-living altricial birds during an entire developmental period in a nest, represented by European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Dynamics of postnatal changes from hatching until close to fledging (days 1 to 15) were registered. Parameters of protein metabolism represented by total proteins, albumin and globulin concentrations increased continuously during the observed developmental period. There were two peaks in uric acid concentration on days 5 and 11. To the contrary, the creatinine content did not change throughout the observed period and increased only on day 15. Creatine kinase activity gradually increased until day 11 and then fell before fledging. Parameters of lipid metabolism (concentration of total lipids, triacylglycerols and nonesterified fatty acids) in plasma increased gradually reaching a plateau between days 8 and 11 and then declined on day 15. The cholesterol concentration pattern was similar to maximum value on day 11, then consecutively decreased. Concentration of glucose increased until day 8 and remained unchanged until fledging. Whereas calcium reached the highest concentration during days 8 and 11, phosphorus peaked earlier on day 5. The activity of alkaline phosphatase was similar to the pattern found in calcium concentration. Presented data showed an increase in both protein and lipid metabolism during the phase of rapid growth. A remarkable decrease in parameters of lipid metabolism before fledging may reflect increased physical activity and changes in nutrition. PMID:15165575

  20. Secretome of the free-living mycelium from the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Delphine; Kohler, Annegret; Claverol, Stephane; Solier, Emilie; Joets, Johann; Gibon, Julien; Lebrun, Marc-Henri; Plomion, Christophe; Martin, Francis

    2012-01-01

    The ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor has a dual lifestyle with a transitory soil saprotrophic phase and a longer mutualistic interaction with tree roots. Recent evidence suggests that secreted proteins play key roles in host plant colonisation and symbiosis development. However, a limited number of secreted proteins have been characterized, and the full spectrum of effectors involved in the mycobiont invasion and survival remains unknown. We analyzed the extracellular proteins secreted in growth medium by free-living mycelium of L. bicolor as a proxy for its saprotrophic phase. The proteomic analyses (two-dimensional electrophoresis and shotgun proteomics) were substantiated by whole-genome expression transcript profiling on ectomycorrhizal roots. Among the 224 proteins identified were carbohydrate-acting enzymes likely involved in the cell wall remodelling linked to hyphal growth as well as secreted proteases possibly digesting soil organic compounds and/or fending off competitors, pathogens, and predators. Evidence of gene expression was found in ectomycorrhizal roots for 210 of them. These findings provide the first global view of the secretome of a mutualistic symbiont and shed some light on the mechanisms controlling cell wall remodelling during the hyphal growth. They also revealed many novel putative secreted proteins of unknown function, including one mycorrhiza-induced small secreted protein.

  1. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms. PMID:23476670

  2. Isolation of Free-Living Amoebae from Sarein Hot Springs in Ardebil Province, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Badirzadeh, A; Niyyati, M; Babaei, Z; Amini, H; Badirzadeh, H; Rezaeian, M

    2011-01-01

    Background Free-living amoebae (FLA) are a group of ubiquitous protozoan, which are distributed in the natural and artificial environment sources. The main aim of the current study was to identify the presence of FLA in the recreational hot springs of Sarein in Ardebil Province of Iran. Methods Seven recreational hot springs were selected in Sarein City and 28 water samples (four from each hot spring) were collected using 500 ml sterile plastic bottles during three month. Filtration of water samples was performed, and culture was done in non-nutrient agar medium enriched with Escherichia coli. Identification of the FLA was based on morphological criteria of cysts and trophozoites. Genotype identification of Acanthamoeba positive samples were also performed using sequencing based method. Results Overall, 12 out of 28 (42.9%) samples were positive for FLA which Acanthamoeba and Vahlkampfiid amoebae were found in one (3.6%) and 11 (39.3%) samples, respectively. Sequence analysis of the single isolate of Acanthamoeba revealed potentially pathogenic T4 genotype corresponding to A. castellanii. Conclusion Contamination of hot springs to FLA, such as Acanthamoeba T4 genotype (A. castellanii) and Vahlkampfiid amoebae, could present a sanitary risk for high risk people, and health authorities must be aware of FLA presence. PMID:22347281

  3. Isolation and Identification of Free-Living Amoebae from Tap Water in Sivas, Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Özçelik, Semra; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks. PMID:23971043

  4. Development of a nested PCR assay to detect the pathogenic free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    PubMed

    Réveiller, Fabienne L; Cabanes, Pierre-André; Marciano-Cabral, Francine

    2002-05-01

    Naegleria fowleri is the causative agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a fatal disease of the central nervous system that is acquired while swimming or diving in freshwater. A cDNA clone designated Mp2C15 obtained from N. fowleri was used as a probe to distinguish N. fowleri from other free-living amoebae. The Mp2C15 probe hybridized to genomic DNA from pathogenic N. fowleri and antigenically related non-pathogenic N. lovaniensis. Mp2C15 was digested with the restriction enzyme XbaI, resulting in two fragments, Mp2C15.G and Mp2C15.P. Four species of Naegleria and four species of Acanthamoeba were examined for reactivity with Mp2C15.P. Mp2C15.P was specific for N. fowleri and was used in the development of a nested PCR assay which is capable of detecting as little as 5 pg of N. fowleri DNA or five intact N. fowleri amoebae. In summary, a rapid, sensitive, and specific assay for the detection of N. fowleri was developed.

  5. Low-molecular-mass thiol compounds from a free-living highly pathogenic amoeba, Naegleria fowleri.

    PubMed

    Ondarza, Raúl N; Iturbe, Angélica; Hernández, Eva; Hurtado, Gerardo

    2003-04-01

    Acid extracts labelled with the fluorescent reagent monobromobimane and separated by HPLC have enabled the detection of low-molecular-mass thiol compounds in Naegleria fowleri for the first time. The amounts detected are expressed in nmol/1 x 10(6) trophozoites cultivated at various stages of growth in the appropriate culture medium. N. fowleri is a highly pathogenic free-living amoeba, in which we found important thiol compounds, some of them in their reduced and oxidized forms. Unlike cysteine and glutathione, a number of these are not represented in normal human lymphocytes. Some of these thiol compounds from Naegleria must have their respective disulphide reductases, although the presence of thiol-disulphide exchange reactions must be considered. Ovothiol A, with antioxidant properties, is an example of a compound that is kept reduced by trypanothione in trypanosomatids, although no disulphide reductase for ovothiol A has yet been discovered. In our case we were unable to detect this biothiol in Naegleria. The presence of thiol compounds that seem to be particular to this pathogen and which are not present in human lymphocytes opens the possibility of searching for disulphide-reducing enzymes that can serve as drug targets.

  6. Longitudinal gonadal steroid excretion in free-living male and female meerkats (Suricata suricatta).

    PubMed

    Moss, A M; Clutton-Brock, T H; Monfort, S L

    2001-05-01

    Slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are small, diurnal, cooperatively breeding mongooses of the family Herpestidae. A prerequisite to fully understanding the mating system of meerkats is the development of a normative reproductive-endocrine database. This study examined longitudinal gonadal steroid excretion in all adult and juvenile individuals of both sexes within a social group of free-living meerkats sampled across an entire breeding season. The specific objectives of this study were to (1) validate noninvasive (fecal and urinary) gonadal steroid hormone monitoring techniques in male (testosterone) and female (estrogens, progestagens) meerkats; (2) test the feasibility of using these noninvasive methods under field conditions; (3) characterize the endocrine correlates associated with the female reproductive cycle, including estrus, gestation, and postpartum estrus; (4) examine longitudinal androgen excretion in males; and (5) determine whether social status (i.e., dominant versus subordinate) affected gonadal steroid excretion. In females, the results demonstrated the physiological validity of noninvasive monitoring in meerkats by corresponding excretory hormone concentrations to major reproductive events (i.e., estrous, pregnancy, parturition). Hormone excretory patterns during estrous intervals suggested possible mechanisms whereby reproductive suppression may operate in female meerkats. In males, androgen excretion did not correspond to changes in reproductive and aggressive behaviors, suggesting that dominance, and hence breeding access to females, was not regulated strictly by gonadal steroid production. The consistency in androgen excretion among male meerkats indicated that reproductive suppression may be mediated by behavioral (i.e., intermale aggression) rather than physiological (i.e., depressed spermatogenesis) mechanisms. PMID:11316421

  7. Particle-Associated Differ from Free-Living Bacteria in Surface Waters of the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Rieck, Angelika; Herlemann, Daniel P. R.; Jürgens, Klaus; Grossart, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    Many studies on bacterial community composition (BCC) do not distinguish between particle-associated (PA) and free-living (FL) bacteria or neglect the PA fraction by pre-filtration removing most particles. Although temporal and spatial gradients in environmental variables are known to shape BCC, it remains unclear how and to what extent PA and FL bacterial diversity responds to such environmental changes. To elucidate the BCC of both bacterial fractions related to different environmental settings, we studied surface samples of three Baltic Sea stations (marine, mesohaline, and oligohaline) in two different seasons (summer and fall/winter). Amplicon sequencing of the 16 S rRNA gene revealed significant differences in BCC of both bacterial fractions among stations and seasons, with a particularly high number of PA operational taxonomic units (OTUs at genus-level) at the marine station in both seasons. “Shannon and Simpson indices” showed a higher diversity of PA than FL bacteria at the marine station in both seasons and at the oligohaline station in fall/winter. In general, a high fraction of bacterial OTUs was found exclusively in the PA fraction (52% of total OTUs). These findings indicate that PA bacteria significantly contribute to overall bacterial richness and that they differ from FL bacteria. Therefore, to gain a deeper understanding on diversity and dynamics of aquatic bacteria, PA and FL bacteria should be generally studied independently. PMID:26648911

  8. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 dolphins from free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá (...

  9. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living Amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 dolphins from free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá (...

  10. Assessment of metabolic modulation in free-living versus endosymbiotic Symbiodinium using synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Peng, Shao-En; Chen, Chii-Shiarng; Song, Yen-Fang; Huang, Huai-Ting; Jiang, Pei-Luen; Chen, Wan-Nan U; Fang, Lee-Shing; Lee, Yao-Chang

    2012-06-23

    The endosymbiotic relationship between coral hosts and dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium is critical for the growth and productivity of coral reef ecosystems. Here, synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopy was applied to examine metabolite concentration differences between endosymbiotic (within the anemone Aiptasia pulchella) and free-living Symbiodinium over the light-dark cycle. Significant differences in levels of lipids, nitrogenous compounds, polysaccharides and putative cell wall components were documented. Compared with free-living Symbiodinium, total lipids, unsaturated lipids and polysaccharides were relatively enriched in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium during both light and dark photoperiods. Concentrations of cell wall-related metabolites did not vary temporally in endosymbiotic samples; in contrast, the concentrations of these metabolites increased dramatically during the dark photoperiod in free-living samples, possibly reflecting rhythmic cell-wall synthesis related to light-driven cell proliferation. The level of nitrogenous compounds in endosymbiotic cells did not vary greatly across the light-dark cycle and in general was significantly lower than that observed in free-living samples collected during the light. Collectively, these data suggest that nitrogen limitation is a factor that the host cell exploits to induce the biosynthesis of lipids and polysaccharides in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium. PMID:22090199

  11. Monoaminergic signaling as a target for anthelmintic drug discovery: receptor conservation among the free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Komuniecki, Richard; Law, Wen Jing; Jex, Aaron; Geldhof, Peter; Gray, John; Bamber, Bruce; Gasser, Robin B

    2012-05-01

    This review is designed to summarize the information on monoamine-dependent paralysis as a target for anthelmintic development, examine the conservation of monoamine receptors in the genomes of both free-living and parasitic nematodes, and highlight the utility of the Caenorhabditis elegans model system for dissecting the monoaminergic modulation of locomotory decision-making. PMID:22343182

  12. CHARACTERIZATION OF AMINOPEPTIDASE IN THE FREE-LIVING NEMATODE PANAGRELLUS REDIVIVUS: SUBCELLULAR DISTRIBUTION AND POSSIBLE ROLE IN NEUROPEPTIDE METABOLISM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aminopeptidase was detected in homogenates of the free-living nematode Panagrellus redivivus with the aminoacyl substrate L-alanine-4-nitroanilide (Ala-4-NA). Subcellular distribution of the enzyme was unequal, with approximately 80 percent of total aminopeptidase in the soluble fraction and the rem...

  13. Bilateral microphthalmia and aphakia associated with multiple eye abnormalities in a free-living European red deer calf (Cervus elaphus).

    PubMed

    Mutinelli, Franco; Vercelli, Antonella; Carminato, Antonio; Luchesa, Lucio; Pasolli, Claudio; Cova, Mariapia; Marchioro, Wendy; Melchiotti, Erica; Vascellari, Marta

    2012-04-01

    A free-living European red deer calf (Cervus elaphus) was euthanized due to bilateral microphthalmia. Lens was missing, replaced by proliferating squamous epithelial cells; hyperplastic squamous cells, sebaceous and mucinous glands were observed within the cornea with the characteristics of inclusion cyst. Findings were consistent with congenital microphthalmia/aphakia, with multiple eye abnormalities.

  14. Assessment of metabolic modulation in free-living versus endosymbiotic Symbiodinium using synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Peng, Shao-En; Chen, Chii-Shiarng; Song, Yen-Fang; Huang, Huai-Ting; Jiang, Pei-Luen; Chen, Wan-Nan U; Fang, Lee-Shing; Lee, Yao-Chang

    2012-06-23

    The endosymbiotic relationship between coral hosts and dinoflagellates of the genus Symbiodinium is critical for the growth and productivity of coral reef ecosystems. Here, synchrotron radiation-based infrared microspectroscopy was applied to examine metabolite concentration differences between endosymbiotic (within the anemone Aiptasia pulchella) and free-living Symbiodinium over the light-dark cycle. Significant differences in levels of lipids, nitrogenous compounds, polysaccharides and putative cell wall components were documented. Compared with free-living Symbiodinium, total lipids, unsaturated lipids and polysaccharides were relatively enriched in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium during both light and dark photoperiods. Concentrations of cell wall-related metabolites did not vary temporally in endosymbiotic samples; in contrast, the concentrations of these metabolites increased dramatically during the dark photoperiod in free-living samples, possibly reflecting rhythmic cell-wall synthesis related to light-driven cell proliferation. The level of nitrogenous compounds in endosymbiotic cells did not vary greatly across the light-dark cycle and in general was significantly lower than that observed in free-living samples collected during the light. Collectively, these data suggest that nitrogen limitation is a factor that the host cell exploits to induce the biosynthesis of lipids and polysaccharides in endosymbiotic Symbiodinium.

  15. Monoaminergic signaling as a target for anthelmintic drug discovery: receptor conservation among the free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Komuniecki, Richard; Law, Wen Jing; Jex, Aaron; Geldhof, Peter; Gray, John; Bamber, Bruce; Gasser, Robin B

    2012-05-01

    This review is designed to summarize the information on monoamine-dependent paralysis as a target for anthelmintic development, examine the conservation of monoamine receptors in the genomes of both free-living and parasitic nematodes, and highlight the utility of the Caenorhabditis elegans model system for dissecting the monoaminergic modulation of locomotory decision-making.

  16. Hematologic and Total Plasma Protein Values in Free-Living Red-tailed Amazon Parrot Nestlings (Amazona brasiliensis) in Paraná State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Frederico F; Locatelli-Dittrich, Rosangela; Sipinski, Elenise A B; Abbud, Maria C; Sezerban, Rafael M; Schmidt, Elizabeth M S; Dittrich, Jaqueline; Cavalheiro, Maria L

    2015-09-01

    The red-tailed Amazon parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) is an endangered psittacid species that is endemic in the south and southeast Brazilian Atlantic coastal region. Hematologic evaluation is important to monitor the health of these birds, and information about laboratory values for this species is scarce. Hematologic and total plasma protein profiles were determined for 33 free-living nestling parrots in Paraná state, Brazil. Parrots were temporarily removed from the nest and manually restrained to record body weight and collect blood samples. Mean body weight was <400 g in 13 birds (group 1) and >400 g in 20 birds (group 2). Significantly higher levels of mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations, white blood cell counts, monocytes, and basophils were observed in younger birds (group 1). A stress leukogram (high white blood cell and heterophil count) was found in all nestlings, suggesting stress induced by capture and restraint. Parameters obtained in this study will be essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild parrots, to evaluate the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation efforts of this endangered species. PMID:26378664

  17. Hematologic and Total Plasma Protein Values in Free-Living Red-tailed Amazon Parrot Nestlings (Amazona brasiliensis) in Paraná State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Frederico F; Locatelli-Dittrich, Rosangela; Sipinski, Elenise A B; Abbud, Maria C; Sezerban, Rafael M; Schmidt, Elizabeth M S; Dittrich, Jaqueline; Cavalheiro, Maria L

    2015-09-01

    The red-tailed Amazon parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) is an endangered psittacid species that is endemic in the south and southeast Brazilian Atlantic coastal region. Hematologic evaluation is important to monitor the health of these birds, and information about laboratory values for this species is scarce. Hematologic and total plasma protein profiles were determined for 33 free-living nestling parrots in Paraná state, Brazil. Parrots were temporarily removed from the nest and manually restrained to record body weight and collect blood samples. Mean body weight was <400 g in 13 birds (group 1) and >400 g in 20 birds (group 2). Significantly higher levels of mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations, white blood cell counts, monocytes, and basophils were observed in younger birds (group 1). A stress leukogram (high white blood cell and heterophil count) was found in all nestlings, suggesting stress induced by capture and restraint. Parameters obtained in this study will be essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild parrots, to evaluate the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation efforts of this endangered species.

  18. Response of Pacific walruses to disturbances from capture and handling activities at a haul-out in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Olson, T.L.; Garner, G.W.; Ballachey, B.E.

    1998-01-01

    Observations were made on hems of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) to study their response during the capturing and handling of adult males in summer 1995 at a haul-out at Cape Peirce in southwestern Alaska. Three behaviors (alertness, displacement, and dispersal) were quantified from 16 capture sessions. Herd sizes ranged from 622 to 5,289 walruses. Handling of an immobilized walrus consisted of attempts to attach telemetry devices to the tusks and collect various biological samples. Handling activities resulted in an average of about 10-fold or greater levels of behavior in alertness, displacement, and dispersal than during precapture and darting periods. High levels of behavior usually occurred within the first 45 min of handling. In 8 of 10 capture sessions, walruses returned to predisturbance levels of behavior within 40 min of cessation of the handling disturbance. Alertness and displacement were moderately and negatively correlated with herd size during the handling period, which may reflect an effect of a threshold distance from the point of disturbance to responding individuals. Observations of walruses tagged with VHF radio transmitters indicated that the activities from a given capture session did not preclude tagged walruses from using the haul-out over a subsequent 11-wk monitoring period. Moreover, non-tagged walruses continued to extensively use the haul-out during and after the period in which capture sessions were conducted.

  19. Data logging of body temperatures provides precise information on phenology of reproductive events in a free-living arctic hibernator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, C.T.; Sheriff, M.J.; Schmutz, J.A.; Kohl, F.; Toien, O.; Buck, C.L.; Barnes, B.M.

    2011-01-01

    Precise measures of phenology are critical to understanding how animals organize their annual cycles and how individuals and populations respond to climate-induced changes in physical and ecological stressors. We show that patterns of core body temperature (T b) can be used to precisely determine the timing of key seasonal events including hibernation, mating and parturition, and immergence and emergence from the hibernacula in free-living arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). Using temperature loggers that recorded T b every 20 min for up to 18 months, we monitored core T b from three females that subsequently gave birth in captivity and from 66 female and 57 male ground squirrels free-living in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range Alaska. In addition, dates of emergence from hibernation were visually confirmed for four free-living male squirrels. Average T b in captive females decreased by 0.5–1.0°C during gestation and abruptly increased by 1–1.5°C on the day of parturition. In free-living females, similar shifts in T b were observed in 78% (n = 9) of yearlings and 94% (n = 31) of adults; females without the shift are assumed not to have given birth. Three of four ground squirrels for which dates of emergence from hibernation were visually confirmed did not exhibit obvious diurnal rhythms in T b until they first emerged onto the surface when T b patterns became diurnal. In free-living males undergoing reproductive maturation, this pre-emergence euthermic interval averaged 20.4 days (n = 56). T b-loggers represent a cost-effective and logistically feasible method to precisely investigate the phenology of reproduction and hibernation in ground squirrels.

  20. Genetic diversity of free-living Symbiodinium in surface water and sediment of Hawai`i and Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takabayashi, M.; Adams, L. M.; Pochon, X.; Gates, R. D.

    2012-03-01

    Marine dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are primarily known for their symbiotic associations with invertebrates and protists, although they are also found free-living in nanoplankton and microphytobenthic communities. Free-living Symbiodinium are necessary for hosts that must acquire their symbionts anew each generation and for the possible reestablishment of endosymbiosis in bleached adults. The diversity and ecology of free-living Symbiodinium are not well studied by comparison with their endosymbiotic counterparts, and as a result, our understanding of the linkages between free-living and endosymbiotic Symbiodinium is poor. Here, we begin to address this knowledge gap by describing the genetic diversity of Symbiodinium in the surface water and reef sediments of Hawai`i and Florida using Symbiodinium-specific primers for the hypervariable region of the chloroplast 23S domain V (cp23S-HVR). In total, 29 Symbiodinium sequence types were detected, 16 of which were novel. The majority of Symbiodinium sequence types in free-living environments belonged to clades A and B, but smaller numbers of sequence types belonging to clades C, D, and G were also detected. The majority of sequences recovered from Hawai`i belonged to clades A and C and those from Florida to clade B. Such distribution patterns are consistent with the endosymbiotic diversity previously reported for these two regions. The ancestral sequence types in each clade were typically recovered from surface water and sediments both in Hawai`i and Florida and have been previously reported as endosymbionts of a range of invertebrates, suggesting that these types have the capacity to exploit a range of very different habitats. More derived sequence types in clades A, B, C, and G were not recovered here, suggesting they are potentially restricted to endosymbiotic environments.

  1. Heterothermy of free-living Arabian sand gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa marica) in a desert environment.

    PubMed

    Ostrowski, Stéphane; Williams, Joseph B

    2006-04-01

    To test whether free-living desert ungulates employ heterothermy to reduce water loss, we measured core body temperature (T(b)) of six free-living Arabian sand gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa marica), a small desert antelope (12-20 kg) that lives in the deserts of Saudi Arabia, where air temperature (T(a)) often exceeds 40 degrees C. We found that the mean daily T(b) varied by 2.6+/-0.8 degrees C during summer (June-July) and 1.7+/-0.3 degrees C during winter (January-February); over both seasons, mean T(b) was 39.5+/-0.2 degrees C. During the day, in summer, T(b) increased by more than 2 degrees C when T(a)>T(b) and declined at night when T(a)

  2. Tick-borne bacteria in free-living jaguars (Panthera onca) in Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Widmer, Cynthia E; Azevedo, Fernando C C; Almeida, Aliny P; Ferreira, Fernando; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2011-08-01

    Tick-borne bacteria were investigated in 10 free-living jaguars and their ticks in the Pantanal biome, Brazil. Jaguar sera were tested by indirect fluorescent antibody assays using Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri, Rickettsia amblyommii, Rickettsia rhipicephali, Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia bellii, Ehrlichia canis, and Coxiella burnetii as crude antigens. All 10 jaguar sera reacted (titer ≥ 64) to at least one Rickettsia species; 4 and 3 sera reacted with E. canis and C. burnetii, respectively. One jaguar presented antibody titer to R. parkeri at least fourfold higher than those to any of the other five Rickettsia antigens, suggesting that this animal was infected by R. parkeri. Ticks collected from jaguars included the species Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma triste, and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. No Rickettsia DNA was detected in jaguar blood samples, but an A. triste specimen collected on a jaguar was shown by PCR to be infected by R. parkeri. The blood of two jaguars and samples of A. triste, A. cajennense, and Amblyomma sp. yielded Ehrlichia DNA by PCR targeting the ehrlichial genes 16S rRNA and dsb. Partial DNA sequences obtained from PCR products resulted in a new ehrlichial strain, here designated as Ehrlichia sp. strain Jaguar. A partial DNA sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of this novel strain showed to be closest (99.0%) to uncultured strains of Ehrlichia sp. from Japan and Russia and 98.7% identical to different strains of Ehrlichia ruminantium. The ehrlichial dsb partial sequence of strain jaguar showed to be at most 80.7% identical to any Ehrlichia species or genotype available in GenBank. Through phylogenetic analysis, Ehrlichia sp. strain jaguar grouped in a cluster, albeit distantly, with different genotypes of E. ruminantium. Results highlight risks for human and animal health, considering that cattle ranching and ecotourism are major economic activities in the Pantanal region of Brazil.

  3. Hibernation and circadian rhythms of body temperature in free-living Arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Williams, Cory T; Barnes, Brian M; Richter, Melanie; Buck, C Loren

    2012-01-01

    In mammals, the circadian master clock generates daily rhythms of body temperature (T(b)) that act to entrain rhythms in peripheral circadian oscillators. The persistence and function of circadian rhythms during mammalian hibernation is contentious, and the factors that contribute to the reestablishment of rhythms after hibernation are unclear. We collected regular measures of core T(b) (every 34 min) and ambient light conditions (every 30 s) before, during, and following hibernation in free-living male arctic ground squirrels. Free-running circadian T(b) rhythms at euthermic levels of T(b) persisted for up to 10 d in constant darkness after animals became sequestered in their hibernacula in fall. During steady state torpor, T(b) was constant and arrhythmic for up to 13 d (within the 0.19°C resolution of loggers). In spring, males ended heterothermy but remained in their burrows at euthermic levels of T(b) for 22-26 d; patterns of T(b) were arrhythmic for the first 10 d of euthermia. One of four squirrels exhibited a significant free-running T(b) rhythm (τ = 22.1 h) before emergence; this squirrel had been briefly exposed to low-amplitude light before emergence. In all animals, diurnal T(b) rhythms were immediately reestablished coincident with emergence to the surface and the resumption of surface activity. Our results support the hypothesis that clock function is inhibited during hibernation and reactivated by exposure to light, although resumption of extended surface activity does not appear to be necessary to reinitiate T(b) cycles.

  4. Morphological and molecular identification of free living amoeba isolated from hospital water in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Houaida; Dendana, F; Neji, S; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are opportunistic and ubiquitous protozoa that are widely found in various environmental sources. They are known to cause serious human infections. The aim of our study was to detect FLA and Acanthamoeba spp. in hospital water circuits. Eighty-four water samples were collected over a period of 4 months (September-December 2011) from different wards of the Sfax University Hospital (surgical services, intensive care unit, operating theater, and water storage tanks). FLA were detected in 53.5 % of samples as follows: surgical services (80 %), operating theater and surgical intensive care unit (13.3 %), medical intensive care unit (0 %), water storage tanks (6.6 %). The predominant morphotype was the acanthopodial (89 %). The others morphotypes were as follows: monopodial (40 %), dactylopodial (22 %), rugosa (62 %), eruptive (24 %), fan shaped (18 %), and polypodial (18 %). Acanthamoeba was found in 40 samples (47.6 %). 64.2 % of isolates were identified as Acanthamoeba spp. by PCR, using primers to amplify a region of 18S rDNA which showed variation in the product length. Sequence analysis of five PCR products identified Acanthamoeba sp. These isolates belong to T4, T10, and T11 genotypes, and to our knowledge this is the first report of the T10 and T11 genotype in Tunisia.The occurrence of potentially pathogenic FLA in the hospital environment may represent a health risk for patients, since these organisms can cause severe opportunistic illness and also can harbor pathogenic agents. Thus, increased awareness regarding these parasites and recognition of their importance, particularly in immunocompromised patients is crucial. PMID:26468150

  5. Interrelated effects of mycorrhiza and free-living nitrogen fixers cascade up to aboveground herbivores.

    PubMed

    Khaitov, Botir; Patiño-Ruiz, José David; Pina, Tatiana; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-09-01

    Aboveground plant performance is strongly influenced by belowground microorganisms, some of which are pathogenic and have negative effects, while others, such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, usually have positive effects. Recent research revealed that belowground interactions between plants and functionally distinct groups of microorganisms cascade up to aboveground plant associates such as herbivores and their natural enemies. However, while functionally distinct belowground microorganisms commonly co-occur in the rhizosphere, their combined effects, and relative contributions, respectively, on performance of aboveground plant-associated organisms are virtually unexplored. Here, we scrutinized and disentangled the effects of free-living nitrogen-fixing (diazotrophic) bacteria Azotobacter chroococcum (DB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Glomus mosseae (AMF) on host plant choice and reproduction of the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae on common bean plants Phaseolus vulgaris. Additionally, we assessed plant growth, and AMF and DB occurrence and density as affected by each other. Both AMF alone and DB alone increased spider mite reproduction to similar levels, as compared to the control, and exerted additive effects under co-occurrence. These effects were similarly apparent in host plant choice, that is, the mites preferred leaves from plants with both AMF and DB to plants with AMF or DB to plants grown without AMF and DB. DB, which also act as AMF helper bacteria, enhanced root colonization by AMF, whereas AMF did not affect DB abundance. AMF but not DB increased growth of reproductive plant tissue and seed production, respectively. Both AMF and DB increased the biomass of vegetative aboveground plant tissue. Our study breaks new ground in multitrophic belowground-aboveground research by providing first insights into the fitness implications of plant-mediated interactions between interrelated belowground fungi

  6. Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by free-living wild animals in Spain.

    PubMed

    Porrero, M Concepción; Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Fernández-Garayzábal, José-Francisco; Domínguez, Lucas

    2014-08-01

    The presence of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) was analyzed in different free-living wild animals to assess the genetic diversity and predominant genotypes on each animal species. Samples were taken from the skin and/or nares, and isolates were characterized by spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The proportion of MSSA carriers were 5.00, 22.93, 19.78, and 17.67% in Eurasian griffon vulture, Iberian ibex, red deer, and wild boar, respectively (P = 0.057). A higher proportion of isolates (P = 0.000) were recovered from nasal samples (78.51%) than skin samples (21.49%), but the 9.26% of red deer and 18.25% of wild boar would have been undetected if only nasal samples had been tested. Sixty-three different spa types were identified, including 25 new spa types. The most common were t528 (43.59%) in Iberian ibex, t548 and t11212 (15.79% and 14.04%) in red deer, and t3750 (36.11%) in wild boar. By MLST, 27 STs were detected, of which 12 had not been described previously. The most frequent were ST581 for Iberian ibex (48.72%), ST425 for red deer (29.82%), and ST2328 for wild boar (42.36%). Isolates from Eurasian griffon vulture belong to ST133. Host specificity has been observed for the most frequent spa types and STs (P = 0.000). The highest resistance percentage was found against benzylpenicillin (average, 22.2%), although most of the S. aureus isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobial tested. Basically, MSSA isolates were different from those MRSA isolates previously detected in the same animal species.

  7. Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by Free-Living Wild Animals in Spain

    PubMed Central

    Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Fernández-Garayzábal, José-Francisco; Domínguez, Lucas

    2014-01-01

    The presence of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) was analyzed in different free-living wild animals to assess the genetic diversity and predominant genotypes on each animal species. Samples were taken from the skin and/or nares, and isolates were characterized by spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The proportion of MSSA carriers were 5.00, 22.93, 19.78, and 17.67% in Eurasian griffon vulture, Iberian ibex, red deer, and wild boar, respectively (P = 0.057). A higher proportion of isolates (P = 0.000) were recovered from nasal samples (78.51%) than skin samples (21.49%), but the 9.26% of red deer and 18.25% of wild boar would have been undetected if only nasal samples had been tested. Sixty-three different spa types were identified, including 25 new spa types. The most common were t528 (43.59%) in Iberian ibex, t548 and t11212 (15.79% and 14.04%) in red deer, and t3750 (36.11%) in wild boar. By MLST, 27 STs were detected, of which 12 had not been described previously. The most frequent were ST581 for Iberian ibex (48.72%), ST425 for red deer (29.82%), and ST2328 for wild boar (42.36%). Isolates from Eurasian griffon vulture belong to ST133. Host specificity has been observed for the most frequent spa types and STs (P = 0.000). The highest resistance percentage was found against benzylpenicillin (average, 22.2%), although most of the S. aureus isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobial tested. Basically, MSSA isolates were different from those MRSA isolates previously detected in the same animal species. PMID:24907325

  8. Osteoarthritis of the temporo-mandibular joint in free-living Soay sheep on St Kilda.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Colin; Watt, Kathryn; Nussey, Daniel H; Pemberton, Josephine M; Pilkington, Jill G; Herman, Jeremy S; Timmons, Zena L; Clements, Dylan N; Scott, Philip R

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative disease of synovial joints with the potential to cause pathology and welfare issues in both domestic and wild ruminants. Previous work has identified OA of the elbow joint in domestic sheep, but the prevalence of OA of the jaw and in particular the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) has not been previously reported. Following up a previous report of a single case of TMJ OA in a free-living population of Soay sheep on St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides, an archive of 2736 jaw bones collected from this population between 1985 and 2010 was surveyed. Evidence of TMJ OA was found in 35 sheep. Of these, 15 cases were unilateral (11 right side, 4 left side) and the remaining 20 were bilateral. TMJ pathology was much more common in females than males: only 3/35 cases were in males, with overall prevalence at 2.3% for females and 0.2% in males. Radiographic examination of TMJ with OA revealed extensive bone re-modelling with osteophytosis, particularly of the condyle of the mandible. There was a highly significant age-dependence in TMJ OA incidence among age classes: 30/35 cases occurred in geriatric sheep (aged 7 years or more; 11.1% prevalence within this age class), four in adults (2-6 years old; 0.9% prevalence), one in yearlings (0.3% prevalence) and none in lambs. The low incidence in males was confounded by sex differences in longevity: while 18% of females sampled died in the geriatric age class, only 2% of males did so. Although the low prevalence of the pathology limited the ability to test its association with other traits, it was possible to examine relationships with reproductive performance measures amongst geriatric females with and without TMJ OA. Although there were trends towards lower fecundity and lower lamb birth weight in the breeding season prior to death, these were not statistically significant.

  9. Tick-borne bacteria in free-living jaguars (Panthera onca) in Pantanal, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Widmer, Cynthia E; Azevedo, Fernando C C; Almeida, Aliny P; Ferreira, Fernando; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2011-08-01

    Tick-borne bacteria were investigated in 10 free-living jaguars and their ticks in the Pantanal biome, Brazil. Jaguar sera were tested by indirect fluorescent antibody assays using Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri, Rickettsia amblyommii, Rickettsia rhipicephali, Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia bellii, Ehrlichia canis, and Coxiella burnetii as crude antigens. All 10 jaguar sera reacted (titer ≥ 64) to at least one Rickettsia species; 4 and 3 sera reacted with E. canis and C. burnetii, respectively. One jaguar presented antibody titer to R. parkeri at least fourfold higher than those to any of the other five Rickettsia antigens, suggesting that this animal was infected by R. parkeri. Ticks collected from jaguars included the species Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma triste, and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. No Rickettsia DNA was detected in jaguar blood samples, but an A. triste specimen collected on a jaguar was shown by PCR to be infected by R. parkeri. The blood of two jaguars and samples of A. triste, A. cajennense, and Amblyomma sp. yielded Ehrlichia DNA by PCR targeting the ehrlichial genes 16S rRNA and dsb. Partial DNA sequences obtained from PCR products resulted in a new ehrlichial strain, here designated as Ehrlichia sp. strain Jaguar. A partial DNA sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of this novel strain showed to be closest (99.0%) to uncultured strains of Ehrlichia sp. from Japan and Russia and 98.7% identical to different strains of Ehrlichia ruminantium. The ehrlichial dsb partial sequence of strain jaguar showed to be at most 80.7% identical to any Ehrlichia species or genotype available in GenBank. Through phylogenetic analysis, Ehrlichia sp. strain jaguar grouped in a cluster, albeit distantly, with different genotypes of E. ruminantium. Results highlight risks for human and animal health, considering that cattle ranching and ecotourism are major economic activities in the Pantanal region of Brazil. PMID:21612532

  10. Interrelated effects of mycorrhiza and free-living nitrogen fixers cascade up to aboveground herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Khaitov, Botir; Patiño-Ruiz, José David; Pina, Tatiana; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground plant performance is strongly influenced by belowground microorganisms, some of which are pathogenic and have negative effects, while others, such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, usually have positive effects. Recent research revealed that belowground interactions between plants and functionally distinct groups of microorganisms cascade up to aboveground plant associates such as herbivores and their natural enemies. However, while functionally distinct belowground microorganisms commonly co-occur in the rhizosphere, their combined effects, and relative contributions, respectively, on performance of aboveground plant-associated organisms are virtually unexplored. Here, we scrutinized and disentangled the effects of free-living nitrogen-fixing (diazotrophic) bacteria Azotobacter chroococcum (DB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Glomus mosseae (AMF) on host plant choice and reproduction of the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae on common bean plants Phaseolus vulgaris. Additionally, we assessed plant growth, and AMF and DB occurrence and density as affected by each other. Both AMF alone and DB alone increased spider mite reproduction to similar levels, as compared to the control, and exerted additive effects under co-occurrence. These effects were similarly apparent in host plant choice, that is, the mites preferred leaves from plants with both AMF and DB to plants with AMF or DB to plants grown without AMF and DB. DB, which also act as AMF helper bacteria, enhanced root colonization by AMF, whereas AMF did not affect DB abundance. AMF but not DB increased growth of reproductive plant tissue and seed production, respectively. Both AMF and DB increased the biomass of vegetative aboveground plant tissue. Our study breaks new ground in multitrophic belowground–aboveground research by providing first insights into the fitness implications of plant-mediated interactions between interrelated belowground fungi

  11. Disruption of MDCK cell tight junctions by the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    PubMed

    Shibayama, Mineko; Martínez-Castillo, Moisés; Silva-Olivares, Angélica; Galindo-Gómez, Silvia; Navarro-García, Fernando; Escobar-Herrera, Jaime; Sabanero, Myrna; Tsutsumi, Víctor; Serrano-Luna, Jesús

    2013-02-01

    Naegleria fowleri is the aetiological agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. This parasite invades its host by penetrating the olfactory mucosa. However, the mechanism of epithelium penetration is not well understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of N. fowleri trophozoites and the non-pathogenic Naegleria gruberi on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) tight junction proteins, including claudin-1, occludin and ZO-1, as well as on the actin cytoskeleton. Trophozoites from each of the free-living amoeba species were co-cultured with MDCK cells in a 1 : 1 ratio for 1, 3, 6 or 10 h. Light microscopy revealed that N. fowleri caused morphological changes as early as 3 h post-infection in an epithelial MDCK monolayer. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that after 10 h of co-culture, N. fowleri trophozoites induced epithelial cell damage, which was characterized by changes in the actin apical ring and disruption of the ZO-1 and claudin-1 proteins but not occludin. Western blot assays revealed gradual degradation of ZO-1 and claudin-1 as early as 3 h post-infection. Likewise, there was a drop in transepithelial electrical resistance that resulted in increased epithelial permeability and facilitated the invasion of N. fowleri trophozoites by a paracellular route. In contrast, N. gruberi did not induce alterations in MDCK cells even at 10 h post-infection. Based on these results, we suggest that N. fowleri trophozoites disrupt epithelial monolayers, which could enable their penetration of the olfactory epithelium and subsequent invasion of the central nervous system.

  12. Presence of Legionella and free-living Amoebae in composts and bioaerosols from composting facilities.

    PubMed

    Conza, Lisa; Pagani, Simona Casati; Gaia, Valeria

    2013-01-01

    Several species of Legionella cause Legionnaires' disease (LD). Infection may occur through inhalation of Legionella or amoebal vesicles. The reservoirs of Legionella are water, soil, potting soil and compost. Some species of free-living amoebae (FLA) that are naturally present in water and soil were described as hosts for Legionella. This study aimed to understand whether or not the composting facilities could be sources of community-acquired Legionella infections after development of bioaerosols containing Legionella or FLA. We looked for the presence of Legionella (by co-culture) and FLA (by culture) in composts and bioaerosols collected at four composting facilities located in southern Switzerland. We investigated the association between the presence of Legionella and compost and air parameters and presence of FLA. Legionella spp. (including L. pneumophila) were detected in 69.3% (61/88) of the composts and FLA (mainly Acanthamoeba, Vermamoeba, Naegleria and Stenamoeba) in 92.0% (81/88). L. pneumophila and L. bozemanii were most frequently isolated. FLA as potential host for Legionella spp. were isolated from 40.9% (36/88) of the composts in all facilities. In Legionella-positive samples the temperature of compost was significantly lower (P = 0.012) than in Legionella-negative samples. Of 47 bioaerosol samples, 19.1% (9/47) were positive for FLA and 10.6% (5/47) for L. pneumophila. Composts (62.8%) were positive for Legionella and FLA contemporaneously, but both microorganisms were never detected simultaneously in bioaerosols. Compost can release bioaerosol containing FLA or Legionella and could represent a source of infection of community-acquired Legionella infections for workers and nearby residents.

  13. Uncovering Different Masking Factors on Wrist Skin Temperature Rhythm in Free-Living Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Nicolas, Antonio; Ortiz-Tudela, Elisabet; Rol, Maria Angeles; Madrid, Juan Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Most circadian rhythms are controlled by a major pacemaker located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. Some of these rhythms, called marker rhythms, serve to characterize the timing of the internal temporal order. However, these variables are susceptible to masking effects as the result of activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep. Recently, wrist skin temperature (WT) has been proposed as a new index for evaluating circadian system status. In light of previous evidence suggesting the important relationship between WT and core body temperature regulation, the aim of this work was to purify the WT pattern in order to obtain its endogenous rhythm with the application of multiple demasking procedures. To this end, 103 subjects (18–24 years old) were recruited and their WT, activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep were recorded under free-living conditions for 1 week. WT demasking by categories or intercepts was applied to simulate a “constant routine” protocol (awakening, dim light, recumbent position, low activity and warm environmental temperature). Although the overall circadian pattern of WT was similar regardless of the masking effects, its amplitude was the rhythmic parameter most affected by environmental conditions. The acrophase and mesor were determined to be the most robust parameters for characterizing this rhythm. In addition, a circadian modulation of the masking effect was found for each masking variable. WT rhythm exhibits a strong endogenous component, despite the existence of multiple external influences. This was evidenced by simultaneously eliminating the influence of activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep. We therefore propose that it could be considered a valuable and minimally-invasive means of recording circadian physiology in ambulatory conditions. PMID:23577201

  14. Uncovering different masking factors on wrist skin temperature rhythm in free-living subjects.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Nicolas, Antonio; Ortiz-Tudela, Elisabet; Rol, Maria Angeles; Madrid, Juan Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Most circadian rhythms are controlled by a major pacemaker located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. Some of these rhythms, called marker rhythms, serve to characterize the timing of the internal temporal order. However, these variables are susceptible to masking effects as the result of activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep. Recently, wrist skin temperature (WT) has been proposed as a new index for evaluating circadian system status. In light of previous evidence suggesting the important relationship between WT and core body temperature regulation, the aim of this work was to purify the WT pattern in order to obtain its endogenous rhythm with the application of multiple demasking procedures. To this end, 103 subjects (18-24 years old) were recruited and their WT, activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep were recorded under free-living conditions for 1 week. WT demasking by categories or intercepts was applied to simulate a "constant routine" protocol (awakening, dim light, recumbent position, low activity and warm environmental temperature). Although the overall circadian pattern of WT was similar regardless of the masking effects, its amplitude was the rhythmic parameter most affected by environmental conditions. The acrophase and mesor were determined to be the most robust parameters for characterizing this rhythm. In addition, a circadian modulation of the masking effect was found for each masking variable. WT rhythm exhibits a strong endogenous component, despite the existence of multiple external influences. This was evidenced by simultaneously eliminating the influence of activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep. We therefore propose that it could be considered a valuable and minimally-invasive means of recording circadian physiology in ambulatory conditions.

  15. Feeding by heterotrophic dinoflagellates and ciliates on the free-living dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. (Clade E).

    PubMed

    Jeong, Hae Jin; Lim, An Suk; Yoo, Yeong Du; Lee, Moo Joon; Lee, Kyung Ha; Jang, Tae Young; Lee, Kitack

    2014-01-01

    To investigate heterotrophic protists grazing on Symbiodinium sp., we tested whether the common heterotrophic dinoflagellates Gyrodinium dominans, Gyrodinium moestrupii, Gyrodinium spirale, Oblea rotundata, Oxyrrhis marina, and Polykrikos kofoidii and the ciliates Balanion sp. and Parastrombidinopsis sp. preyed on the free-living dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. (clade E). We measured the growth and ingestion rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. as a function of prey concentration. Furthermore, we compared the results to those obtained for other algal prey species. In addition, we measured the growth and ingestion rates of other predators at single prey concentrations at which these rates of O. marina and G. dominans were saturated. All predators tested in the present study, except Balanion sp., preyed on Symbiodinium sp. The specific growth rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. increased rapidly with increasing mean prey concentration < ca. 740-815 ng C/ml (7,400-8,150 cells/ml), but became saturated at higher concentrations. The maximum growth rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. (0.87 and 0.61/d) were much higher than those of G. moestrupii and P. kofoidii (0.11 and 0.04/d). Symbiodinium sp. did not support positive growth of G. spirale, O. rotundata, and Parastrombidinopsis sp. However, the maximum ingestion rates of P. kofoidii and Parastrombidinopsis sp. (6.7-10.0 ng C/predator/d) were much higher than those of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. (1.9-2.1 ng C/predator/d). The results of the present study suggest that Symbiodinium sp. may increase or maintain the populations of some predators.

  16. Osteoarthritis of the temporo-mandibular joint in free-living Soay sheep on St Kilda.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Colin; Watt, Kathryn; Nussey, Daniel H; Pemberton, Josephine M; Pilkington, Jill G; Herman, Jeremy S; Timmons, Zena L; Clements, Dylan N; Scott, Philip R

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative disease of synovial joints with the potential to cause pathology and welfare issues in both domestic and wild ruminants. Previous work has identified OA of the elbow joint in domestic sheep, but the prevalence of OA of the jaw and in particular the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) has not been previously reported. Following up a previous report of a single case of TMJ OA in a free-living population of Soay sheep on St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides, an archive of 2736 jaw bones collected from this population between 1985 and 2010 was surveyed. Evidence of TMJ OA was found in 35 sheep. Of these, 15 cases were unilateral (11 right side, 4 left side) and the remaining 20 were bilateral. TMJ pathology was much more common in females than males: only 3/35 cases were in males, with overall prevalence at 2.3% for females and 0.2% in males. Radiographic examination of TMJ with OA revealed extensive bone re-modelling with osteophytosis, particularly of the condyle of the mandible. There was a highly significant age-dependence in TMJ OA incidence among age classes: 30/35 cases occurred in geriatric sheep (aged 7 years or more; 11.1% prevalence within this age class), four in adults (2-6 years old; 0.9% prevalence), one in yearlings (0.3% prevalence) and none in lambs. The low incidence in males was confounded by sex differences in longevity: while 18% of females sampled died in the geriatric age class, only 2% of males did so. Although the low prevalence of the pathology limited the ability to test its association with other traits, it was possible to examine relationships with reproductive performance measures amongst geriatric females with and without TMJ OA. Although there were trends towards lower fecundity and lower lamb birth weight in the breeding season prior to death, these were not statistically significant. PMID:25458883

  17. Morphological and molecular identification of free living amoeba isolated from hospital water in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Houaida; Dendana, F; Neji, S; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are opportunistic and ubiquitous protozoa that are widely found in various environmental sources. They are known to cause serious human infections. The aim of our study was to detect FLA and Acanthamoeba spp. in hospital water circuits. Eighty-four water samples were collected over a period of 4 months (September-December 2011) from different wards of the Sfax University Hospital (surgical services, intensive care unit, operating theater, and water storage tanks). FLA were detected in 53.5 % of samples as follows: surgical services (80 %), operating theater and surgical intensive care unit (13.3 %), medical intensive care unit (0 %), water storage tanks (6.6 %). The predominant morphotype was the acanthopodial (89 %). The others morphotypes were as follows: monopodial (40 %), dactylopodial (22 %), rugosa (62 %), eruptive (24 %), fan shaped (18 %), and polypodial (18 %). Acanthamoeba was found in 40 samples (47.6 %). 64.2 % of isolates were identified as Acanthamoeba spp. by PCR, using primers to amplify a region of 18S rDNA which showed variation in the product length. Sequence analysis of five PCR products identified Acanthamoeba sp. These isolates belong to T4, T10, and T11 genotypes, and to our knowledge this is the first report of the T10 and T11 genotype in Tunisia.The occurrence of potentially pathogenic FLA in the hospital environment may represent a health risk for patients, since these organisms can cause severe opportunistic illness and also can harbor pathogenic agents. Thus, increased awareness regarding these parasites and recognition of their importance, particularly in immunocompromised patients is crucial.

  18. Identifying and Characterizing Alternative Molecular Markers for the Symbiotic and Free-Living Dinoflagellate Genus Symbiodinium

    PubMed Central

    Pochon, Xavier; Putnam, Hollie M.; Burki, Fabien; Gates, Ruth D.

    2012-01-01

    Dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are best known as endosymbionts of corals and other invertebrate as well as protist hosts, but also exist free-living in coastal environments. Despite their importance in marine ecosystems, less than 10 loci have been used to explore phylogenetic relationships in this group, and only the multi-copy nuclear ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions 1 and 2 have been used to characterize fine-scale genetic diversity within the nine clades (A–I) that comprise the genus. Here, we describe a three-step molecular approach focused on 1) identifying new candidate genes for phylogenetic analysis of Symbiodinium spp., 2) characterizing the phylogenetic relationship of these candidate genes from DNA samples spanning eight Symbiodinium clades (A–H), and 3) conducting in-depth phylogenetic analyses of candidate genes displaying genetic divergences equal or higher than those within the ITS-2 of Symbiodinium clade C. To this end, we used bioinformatics tools and reciprocal comparisons to identify homologous genes from 55,551 cDNA sequences representing two Symbiodinium and six additional dinoflagellate EST libraries. Of the 84 candidate genes identified, 7 Symbiodinium genes (elf2, coI, coIII, cob, calmodulin, rad24, and actin) were characterized by sequencing 23 DNA samples spanning eight Symbiodinium clades (A–H). Four genes displaying higher rates of genetic divergences than ITS-2 within clade C were selected for in-depth phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that calmodulin has limited taxonomic utility but that coI, rad24, and actin behave predictably with respect to Symbiodinium lineage C and are potential candidates as new markers for this group. The approach for targeting candidate genes described here can serve as a model for future studies aimed at identifying and testing new phylogenetically informative genes for taxa where transcriptomic and genomics data are available. PMID:22238660

  19. Genome sequence of the Fleming strain of Micrococcus luteus, a simple free- living actinobacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Michael; Artsatbanov, Vladislav; Beller, Harry R.; Chandra, Govind; Chater, Keith F.; Dover, Lynn G.; Goh, Ee-Been; Kahan, Tamar; Kaprelyants, Arseny S.; Kyrpides, Nikos; Lapidus, Alla; Lowry, Stephen R.; Lykidis, Athanasios; Mahillon, Jacques; Markowitz, Viktor; Mavrommatis, Konstantinos; Mukamolova, Galina V.; Oren, Aharon; Rokem, J. Stefan; Smith, Margaret C. M.; Young, Danielle I.; Greenblatt, Charles L.

    2009-11-01

    Micrococcus luteus (NCTC2665, Fleming strain) has one of the smallest genomes of free living actinobacteria sequenced to date, comprising a single circular chromosome of 2,501,097 bp (G+C content 73%) predicted to encode 2403 proteins. The genome shows extensive synteny with that of the closely related organism, Kocuria rhizophila, from which it was taxonomically separated relatively recently. Despite its small size, the genome harbors 73 IS elements, almost all of which are closely related to elements found in other actinobacteria. An IS element is inserted into the rrs gene of one of only two rrn operons found in M. luteus. The genome encodes only four sigma factors and fourteen response regulators, indicative of adaptation to a rather strict ecological niche (mammalian skin). The high sensitivity of M. luteus to {Beta}-lactam antibiotics may result from the presence of a reduced set of penicillin binding proteins and the absence of a wblC gene, which plays an important role in antibiotic resistance in other actinobacteria. Consistent with the restricted range of compounds it can use as a sole source of carbon for energy and growth, M. luteus has a minimal complement of genes concerned with carbohydrate transport and metabolism and its inability to utilize glucose as a sole carbon source may be due to the apparent absence of a gene encoding glucokinase. Uniquely among characterized bacteria, M. luteus appears to be able to metabolize glycogen only via trehalose, and to make trehalose only via glycogen. It has very few genes associated with secondary metabolism. In contrast to other actinobacteria, M. luteus encodes only one resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf) required for emergence from dormancy and its complement of other dormancy-related proteins is also much reduced. M. luteus is capable of long-chain alkene biosynthesis, which is of interest for advanced biofuel production; a three gene cluster essential for this metabolism has been identified in the genome.

  20. Antibodies to marine caliciviruses in the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger).

    PubMed

    Barlough, J E; Berry, E S; Skilling, D E; Smith, A W; Fay, F H

    1986-04-01

    Sera from 155 Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger), sampled in the Chukchi Sea during the summer of 1983, were tested for serum neutralizing (SN) antibodies to six marine calicivirus serotypes. Serotypes tested included San Miguel sea lion virus (SMSV) types 1, 5, 8, and 10, previously isolated from northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus Linné) in the Bering Sea; walrus calicivirus (WCV), previously isolated from walrus feces collected off sea ice in the Chukchi Sea; and Tillamook calicivirus (TCV), a bovine isolate from Oregon of suspected marine origin. No antibodies were found to SMSV-1, SMSV-10, or TCV. Antibodies to SMSV-5 were found in two animals (titers 1:20 and 1:160); antibodies to SMSV-8 were found in four animals (all 1:20); and antibodies to WCV were found in one animal (titer 1:40). Antibodies to WCV have been found in the Pacific walrus previously; however, this represents the first report of antibodies to any of the SMSV serotypes in this marine mammal. PMID:3712641

  1. Persistent organic pollutants in Alaskan ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kucklick, John R.; Krahn, Margaret M.; Becker, Paul R.; Porter, Barbara J.; Schantz, Michele M.; York, Geoffrey S.; O'Hara, Todd M.; Wise, Stephen A.

    2006-01-01

    Since 1987, the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) has collected tissues from 18 marine mammal species. Specimens are archived in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NIST-NBSB). AMMTAP has collected blubber, liver and/or kidney specimens from a number of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from the areas near Nome and Barrow, Alaska and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) from several locations in the Bering Sea. Thirty-three ringed seal and 15 walrus blubber samples from the NIST-NBSB were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The compounds determined included PCBs (28 congeners or congener groups), DDT and related compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seal blubber were significantly higher in Barrow than in Nome when statistically accounting for the interaction of age and gender; HCB, however, was not statistically different between the two locations. Unlike males, POP concentrations and age were not significantly correlated in females probably as a result of lactational loss. POP concentrations in walrus blubber were lower than in ringed seal blubber for ΣPCBs, chlordanes, and HCHs, but higher for dieldrin and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seals and walrus from Alaska provide further evidence that the western Arctic tends to have lower or similar POP concentrations compared to the eastern Canadian Arctic.

  2. Persistent organic pollutants in Alaskan ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kucklick, J.R.; Krahn, M.M.; Becker, P.R.; Porter, B.J.; Schantz, M.M.; York, G.S.; O'Hara, T. M.; Wise, S.A.

    2006-01-01

    Since 1987, the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) has collected tissues from 18 marine mammal species. Specimens are archived in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NIST-NBSB). AMMTAP has collected blubber, liver and/or kidney specimens from a number of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from the areas near Nome and Barrow, Alaska and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) from several locations in the Bering Sea. Thirty-three ringed seal and 15 walrus blubber samples from the NIST-NBSB were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The compounds determined included PCBs (28 congeners or congener groups), DDT and related compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seal blubber were significantly higher in Barrow than in Nome when statistically accounting for the interaction of age and gender; HCB, however, was not statistically different between the two locations. Unlike males, POP concentrations and age were not significantly correlated in females probably as a result of lactational loss. POP concentrations in walrus blubber were lower than in ringed seal blubber for ??PCBs, chlordanes, and HCHs, but higher for dieldrin and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seals and walrus from Alaska provide further evidence that the western Arctic tends to have lower or similar POP concentrations compared to the eastern Canadian Arctic. ?? The Royal Society of Chemistry 2006.

  3. Antibodies to marine caliciviruses in the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger).

    PubMed

    Barlough, J E; Berry, E S; Skilling, D E; Smith, A W; Fay, F H

    1986-04-01

    Sera from 155 Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger), sampled in the Chukchi Sea during the summer of 1983, were tested for serum neutralizing (SN) antibodies to six marine calicivirus serotypes. Serotypes tested included San Miguel sea lion virus (SMSV) types 1, 5, 8, and 10, previously isolated from northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus Linné) in the Bering Sea; walrus calicivirus (WCV), previously isolated from walrus feces collected off sea ice in the Chukchi Sea; and Tillamook calicivirus (TCV), a bovine isolate from Oregon of suspected marine origin. No antibodies were found to SMSV-1, SMSV-10, or TCV. Antibodies to SMSV-5 were found in two animals (titers 1:20 and 1:160); antibodies to SMSV-8 were found in four animals (all 1:20); and antibodies to WCV were found in one animal (titer 1:40). Antibodies to WCV have been found in the Pacific walrus previously; however, this represents the first report of antibodies to any of the SMSV serotypes in this marine mammal.

  4. Persistent organic pollutants in Alaskan ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber.

    PubMed

    Kucklick, John R; Krahn, Margaret M; Becker, Paul R; Porter, Barbara J; Schantz, Michele M; York, Geoffrey S; O'Hara, Todd M; Wise, Stephen A

    2006-08-01

    Since 1987, the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) has collected tissues from 18 marine mammal species. Specimens are archived in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NIST-NBSB). AMMTAP has collected blubber, liver and/or kidney specimens from a number of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from the areas near Nome and Barrow, Alaska and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) from several locations in the Bering Sea. Thirty-three ringed seal and 15 walrus blubber samples from the NIST-NBSB were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The compounds determined included PCBs (28 congeners or congener groups), DDT and related compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seal blubber were significantly higher in Barrow than in Nome when statistically accounting for the interaction of age and gender; HCB, however, was not statistically different between the two locations. Unlike males, POP concentrations and age were not significantly correlated in females probably as a result of lactational loss. POP concentrations in walrus blubber were lower than in ringed seal blubber for SigmaPCBs, chlordanes, and HCHs, but higher for dieldrin and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seals and walrus from Alaska provide further evidence that the western Arctic tends to have lower or similar POP concentrations compared to the eastern Canadian Arctic.

  5. Demography of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens): 1974-2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Global climate change may fundamentally alter population dynamics of many species for which baseline population parameter estimates are imprecise or lacking. Historically, the Pacific walrus is thought to have been limited by harvest, but it may become limited by global warming-induced reductions in sea ice. Loss of sea ice, on which walruses rest between foraging bouts, may reduce access to food, thus lowering vital rates. Rigorous walrus survival rate estimates do not exist, and other population parameter estimates are out of date or have well-documented bias and imprecision. To provide useful population parameter estimates we developed a Bayesian, hidden process demographic model of walrus population dynamics from 1974 through 2006 that combined annual age-specific harvest estimates with five population size estimates, six standing age structure estimates, and two reproductive rate estimates. Median density independent natural survival was high for juveniles (0.97) and adults (0.99), and annual density dependent vital rates rose from 0.06 to 0.11 for reproduction, 0.31 to 0.59 for survival of neonatal calves, and 0.39 to 0.85 for survival of older calves, concomitant with a population decline. This integrated population model provides a baseline for estimating changing population dynamics resulting from changing harvests or sea ice.

  6. Bioenergetics model for estimating food requirements of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noren, S.R.; Udevitz, M.S.; Jay, C.V.

    2012-01-01

    Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens use sea ice as a platform for resting, nursing, and accessing extensive benthic foraging grounds. The extent of summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea has decreased substantially in recent decades, causing walruses to alter habitat use and activity patterns which could affect their energy requirements. We developed a bioenergetics model to estimate caloric demand of female walruses, accounting for maintenance, growth, activity (active in-water and hauled-out resting), molt, and reproductive costs. Estimates for non-reproductive females 0–12 yr old (65−810 kg) ranged from 16359 to 68960 kcal d−1 (74−257 kcal d−1 kg−1) for years with readily available sea ice for which we assumed animals spent 83% of their time in water. This translated into the energy content of 3200–5960 clams per day, equivalent to 7–8% and 14–9% of body mass per day for 5–12 and 2–4 yr olds, respectively. Estimated consumption rates of 12 yr old females were minimally affected by pregnancy, but lactation had a large impact, increasing consumption rates to 15% of body mass per day. Increasing the proportion of time in water to 93%, as might happen if walruses were required to spend more time foraging during ice-free periods, increased daily caloric demand by 6–7% for non-lactating females. We provide the first bioenergetics-based estimates of energy requirements for walruses and a first step towards establishing bioenergetic linkages between demography and prey requirements that can ultimately be used in predicting this population’s response to environmental change.

  7. On the cultivation of free-living marine and estuarine nematodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moens, T.; Vincx, M.

    1998-06-01

    Although a large body of literature exists on the systematics and ecology of free-living marine and brackish-water nematodes, key questions on the nature and magnitude of interactions between nematodes and other organisms in the benthos remain unanswered. Relatively few authors have investigated live nematodes in food web studies or in experiments dealing with the nematodes’ response to a varying environment. It is mainly for the latter purpose that attempts have been made to maintain, rear and cultivate selected species. This paper describes the methodology used for the maintenance, rearing, and eventual permanent agnotobiotic cultivation of a variety of estuarine nematodes. Spot plates, where small samples of sediment or macrophyte material are inoculated on a sloppy agar layer, have been used for the purpose of maintenance and initial cultivation. Those species that reproduce on spot plates are then selected for monospecific cultivation on agar layers with different nutrient enrichments and with micro-organisms cotransferred from the spot plates as food. Mixtures of bacto and nutrient agar prepared in artificial seawater were specifically suitable for the xenic cultivation of nine bacterivorous and, when supplied with Erdschreiber nutrients, two algivorous/bacterivorous nematode species. Up to three generations of five other nematode species have been reared under laboratory conditions, and several more were kept alive and active for variable periods of time on agar. Generation times observed on spot plates for Adoncholaimus fuscus and Oncholaimus oxyuris were substantially shorter than previously published estimates and suggest a correspondingly higher predatory and scavenging potency for these and related enoplids. A procedure for the long-term storage of nematodes at -80°C with glycerol as a cryoprotectant was successfully used for Diplolaimella dievengatensis, Panagrolaimus sp. 1, and Pellioditis marina, but not for Diplolaimelloides meyli. The authors

  8. Detection of free living amoebae, Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, in swimming pools, Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Init, I; Lau, Y L; Arin Fadzlun, A; Foead, A I; Neilson, R S; Nissapatorn, V

    2010-12-01

    This study reports the detection of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species in 14 swimming pools around Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sampling was carried out at 4 sites (the platforms (P), wall (W), 1 meter from the wall (1) and middle (2)) of each swimming pool. These free living amoebae (FLA) were detected under light and inverted microscopes after being cultured on the surface of non-nutrient agar lawned with Escherichia coli. Acanthamoeba species were detected in higher number of culture plates from all sampling sites of all the swimming pools. While Naegleria, were detected in fewer culture plates at 3 sampling sites (absent at site P) of 8 swimming pools. This suggested that the thick double-walled cysts of Acanthamoeba were more resistant, thus remaining viable in the dry-hot areas of the platforms and in chlorinated water of the swimming pools whereas Naegleria cysts, that are fragile and susceptible to desiccation, preferred watery or moist areas for growth and proliferation. The prevalence of both FLA was highest at site W (76.2%), followed by site 1 (64.7%), lowest at site 2 (19.4%), and could be detected at all 3 sampling levels (top, middle and bottom) of these 3 sites. The surface of site W might act as a bio-film that accumulated all kinds of microbes providing sufficient requirement for the FLA to develop and undergo many rounds of life cycles as well as moving from top to bottom in order to graze food. Other factors such as human activities, the circulating system which was fixed at all swimming pools, blowing wind which might carry the cysts from surroundings and the swimming flagellate stage of Naegleria could also contribute to the distribution of the FLA at these sampling sites. Both FLA showed highest growth (80.4%) at room temperature (25-28 ºC) and lesser (70.0%) at 37 ºC which might be due to the overgrowth of other microbes (E. coli, fungi, algae, etc). While at 44 ºC, only Acanthamoeba species could survive thus showing that

  9. Diversity of the free-living marine and freshwater Copepoda (Crustacea) in Costa Rica: a review

    PubMed Central

    Morales-Ramírez, Álvaro; Suárez-Morales, Eduardo; Corrales-Ugalde, Marco; Garrote, Octavio Esquivel

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The studies on marine copepods of Costa Rica started in the 1990’s and focused on the largest coastal-estuarine systems in the country, particularly along the Pacific coast. Diversity is widely variable among these systems: 40 species have been recorded in the Culebra Bay influenced by upwelling, northern Pacific coast, only 12 in the Gulf of Nicoya estuarine system, and 38 in Golfo Dulce, an anoxic basin in the southern Pacific coast of the country. Freshwater environments of Costa Rica are known to harbor a moderate diversity of continental copepods (25 species), which includes 6 calanoids, 17 cyclopoids and only two harpacticoids. Of the +100 freshwater species recorded in Central America, six are known only from Costa Rica, and one appears to be endemic to this country. The freshwater copepod fauna of Costa Rica is clearly the best known in Central America. Overall, six of the 10 orders of Copepoda are reported from Costa Rica. A previous summary by 2001 of the free-living copepod diversity in the country included 80 marine species (67 pelagic, 13 benthic). By 2009, the number of marine species increased to 209: 164 from the Pacific (49% of the copepod fauna from the Eastern Tropical Pacific) and 45 from the Caribbean coast (8% of species known from the Caribbean Basin). Both the Caribbean and Pacific species lists are growing. Additional collections of copepods at Cocos Island, an oceanic island 530 km away of the Pacific coast, have revealed many new records, including five new marine species from Costa Rica. Currently, the known diversity of marine copepods of Costa Rica is still in development and represents up to 52.6% of the total marine microcrustaceans recorded in the country. Future sampling and taxonomic efforts in the marine habitats should emphasize oceanic environments including deep waters but also littoral communities. Several Costa Rican records of freshwater copepods are likely to represent undescribed species. Also, the

  10. Population dynamics of free living, nitrogen fixing bacteria Azospirillum in Manakkudi mangrove ecosystem, India.

    PubMed

    Ravikumar, S; Gnanadesigan, M; Ignatiammal, S Thadedus Maria; Sumaya, S

    2012-05-01

    Seasonal variations of population dynamics of free living nitrogen fixing bacteria, Azospirillum in relation to chemical parameters in Manakkudi mangrove ecosystem was assessed in root and rhizosphere soil samples of mangroves and mangrove associated plants. In rhizosphere soil and root samples, the counts of Azospirillum were recorded maximum in Acrostichum aureum as 8.63 +/- 0.92 x 10(4) and 115.48 +/- 17.36 x 10(4) CFU g(-1), respectively. The counts of Azospirillum in non-rhizosphere soil varied from 0.01 +/- 0.001 x 10(4) to 5.77 +/- 0.92 x 10(4) CFU g(-1) and found maximum in February and minimum in March and September. Azospirillum counts in water samples were found maximum (2.24 x 10(4) CFU l(-1)) in February. During seasonal variations maximum counts of Azospirillum were recorded during southwest monsoon season in Avicennia officinalis (1.40 x 10(4) CFU g(-1)) followed by Rhizophora mucronata (1.07 x 10(4) CFU g(-1)). The average maximum population density of Azospirillum counts was found during non monsoon season (9.73 x 10(4) CFU g(-1)) and the average maximum population density of Azospirillum counts was found with the mangrove associated root samples (13.73 x 10(4) CFU g(-1)). Of the selected isolates Azospirillum lipoferum (60%) was found to be predominant followed by Azospirillum brasilense (25%), Azospirillum irakense (5%), Azospirillum halopraeferens (5%) and Azospirillum amazonense (5%). Of the isolated species, A. halopraeferens exhibited better growth at 35 g l(-1) NaCl. The level of Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn were varied from 0.91 to 15.93 ppm. The level of Mn (12.13 ppm) was found maximum during non-monsoon of rhizosphere soil sample. Highest rainfall (192.80 mm) and atmospheric temperature (25.10 degrees C) were recorded during south west monsoon and non monsoon seasons. The increased population density was greatly influenced by the pH (r = +0.686). The present finding provides enough information on the nitrogen flow through biological process in

  11. Differentiation of free-living Anabaena and Nostoc cyanobacteria on the basis of fatty acid composition.

    PubMed

    Caudales, R; Wells, J M

    1992-04-01

    The cellular fatty acids of free-living, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria belonging to the genera Anabaena and Nostoc were analyzed to differentiate the genera. The fatty acid compositions of 10 Anabaena strains and 10 Nostoc strains that were grown for 12 days on BG-11o medium were determined by gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Of the 53 fatty acids detected, 17 were major components; the average level for each of these 17 fatty acids was at least 0.9% of the total fatty acids (in at least one of the genera). These fatty acids included (with mean percentages in the Anabaena and Nostoc strains, respectively) the saturated fatty acids 16:0 (30.55 and 23.23%) and 18:0 (0.77 and 1.27%); several unsaturated fatty acids, including 14:1 cis-7 (2.50 and 0.11%), 14:1 cis-9 (3.10 and 3.41%), a polyunsaturated 16-carbon (sites undetermined) fatty acid with an equivalent chain length of 15.30 (1.20 and 1.03%), 16:4 cis-4 (0.95 and 0.87%), 16:3 cis-6 (2.16 and 1.51%), 16:1 cis-7 (1.44 and 0.36%), 16:1 cis-9 (6.53 and 18.76%), 16:1 trans-9 (4.02 and 1.35%), 16:1 cis-11 (1.62 and 0.42%), 18:2 cis-9 (10.16 and 12.44%), 18:3 cis-9 (18.19 and 17.25%), 18:1 cis-9 (4.01 and 5.10%), and 18:1 trans-9 (0.92 and 1.94%); and the branched-chain fatty acids iso-16:0 (2.50 and 1.14%) and iso-15:1 (0.34 and 2.05%).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1581185

  12. Free living energy expenditure in post menopausal women before and after exercise training.

    PubMed

    Keytel, L R; Lambert, M I; Johnson, J; Noakes, T D; Lambert, E V

    2001-06-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the effects of 8 weeks of moderate exercise training, on 24-hour free living energy expenditure in previously sedentary post-menopausal women. The experimental group (EX) included 9 women. Ten non-exercising control subjects (CON) were recruited to undergo pre- and post-testing. Estimated total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), total 24-hour heart beats (HB), total energy intake (TEI), resting metabolic rate, maximal oxygen consumption (VáO2max), body composition, and submaximal heart rate were measured before and after the exercise intervention. Body composition did not change (body fat % in CON 34.0 +/- 4.0% vs. 33.9 +/- 3.6% and EX 34.1 +/- 4.0% vs. 34.0 +/- 3.4%). Mean submaximal heart rate during steady-state exercise in EX was lower after training compared to CON (p < .05); however, VáO2max did not increase significantly (CON 1.96 +/- 0.23 vs. 1.99 +/- 0.24 l L O2/min and EX 1.86 +/- 0.39 vs. 1.94 +/- 0.30 L O2/min). Neither estimated TDEE (CON, 11.6 +/- 2.0 vs. 11.4 +/- 2.78 MJ; and EX 11.4 +/- 3.3 vs. 11.5 +/- 2.5 MJ, pre vs. post, respectively), RMR (CON 134.2 +/- 9.4 vs. 136.9 +/- 15.0 KJ/kgFFM/day, and EX 138.4 +/- 6.4 vs. 140.7 +/- 14.2 KJ/kgFFM/day, pre vs. post, respectively), TEI (CON 7.9 +/- 2.2 vs. 8.2 +/- 2.5 MJ, and EX 9.4 +/-1.6 vs. 8.3 +/- 2.8 MJ), nor HB (CON 110,808 +/- 12,574 vs. 107,366 +/- 12,864 beats, and EX 110,188 +/- 9,219 vs. 114,590 +/- 12,750 beats) change over 8 weeks in either group. These data suggest that a moderate exercise program may not impact on TDEE, RMR, TEI, or HB in previously sedentary, older women.

  13. Pilot project to investigate over-wintering of free-living gastrointestinal nematode larvae of sheep in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Falzon, Laura C; Menzies, Paula I; VanLeeuwen, John; Shakya, Krishna P; Jones-Bitton, Andria; Avula, Jacob; Jansen, Jocelyn T; Peregrine, Andrew S

    2014-08-01

    This study investigated the overwintering survival and infectivity of free-living gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) stages on pasture. The presence of GIN larvae was assessed on 3 sheep farms in Ontario with a reported history of clinical haemonchosis, by collecting monthly pasture samples over the winter months of 2009/2010. The infectivity of GIN larvae on spring pastures was evaluated using 16 tracer lambs. Air and soil temperature and moisture were recorded hourly. Free-living stages of Trichostrongylus spp. and Nematodirus spp. were isolated from herbage samples. Gastrointestinal nematodes were recovered from all tracer lambs on all farms; Teladorsagia sp. was the predominant species. Very low levels of Haemonchus contortus were recovered from 1 animal on 1 farm. The results suggest that Haemonchus larvae do not survive well on pasture, while Teladorsagia sp., Trichostrongylus spp. and Nematodirus spp. are able to overwinter on pasture in Ontario and are still infective for sheep in the spring. PMID:25082990

  14. Exposure of free-living jaguars to Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Onuma, Selma Samiko Miyazaki; Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé; Kantek, Daniel Luis Zanella; Crawshaw-Junior, Peter Gransden; Morato, Ronaldo Gonçalves; May-Júnior, Joares Adenílson; Pacheco, Thábata dos Anjos; Aguiar, Daniel Moura de

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona are related apicomplexan parasites that cause reproductive and neurological disorders in a wide range of domestic and wild animals. In the present study, the immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was used to investigate the presence of antibodies against T. gondii, N. caninum and S. neurona in the sera of 11 free-living jaguars (Panthera onca) in two protected areas in the Pantanal region of Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Ten jaguars (90.9%) showed seropositivity for T. gondii, eight (72.7%) for S. neurona, and seven (63.6%) for N. caninum antigens. Our findings reveal exposure of jaguars to these related coccidian parasites and circulation of these pathogens in this wild ecosystem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first serological detection of N. caninum and S. neurona in free-living jaguars.

  15. Pilot project to investigate over-wintering of free-living gastrointestinal nematode larvae of sheep in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Falzon, Laura C; Menzies, Paula I; VanLeeuwen, John; Shakya, Krishna P; Jones-Bitton, Andria; Avula, Jacob; Jansen, Jocelyn T; Peregrine, Andrew S

    2014-08-01

    This study investigated the overwintering survival and infectivity of free-living gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) stages on pasture. The presence of GIN larvae was assessed on 3 sheep farms in Ontario with a reported history of clinical haemonchosis, by collecting monthly pasture samples over the winter months of 2009/2010. The infectivity of GIN larvae on spring pastures was evaluated using 16 tracer lambs. Air and soil temperature and moisture were recorded hourly. Free-living stages of Trichostrongylus spp. and Nematodirus spp. were isolated from herbage samples. Gastrointestinal nematodes were recovered from all tracer lambs on all farms; Teladorsagia sp. was the predominant species. Very low levels of Haemonchus contortus were recovered from 1 animal on 1 farm. The results suggest that Haemonchus larvae do not survive well on pasture, while Teladorsagia sp., Trichostrongylus spp. and Nematodirus spp. are able to overwinter on pasture in Ontario and are still infective for sheep in the spring.

  16. Clinical Mycoplasma sp. Infections in Free-living Three-toed Box Turtles ( Terrapene carolina triunguis) in Missouri, USA.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Jamie L; Blake, Stephen; Wellehan, James F X; Childress, April L; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-04-28

    Mycoplasma species, which can cause upper respiratory tract disease (URTD), are significant pathogens of birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles. Mycoplasmosis is of high concern for chelonian conservation, with the most well-documented cases in gopher and desert tortoises. Mycoplasma sp. infections have been reported in captive and free-living box turtles ( Terrapene spp.). We documented URTD associated with Mycoplasma sp. in two free-living, three-toed box turtles ( Terrapene carolina triunguis) in Missouri, US. Both turtles were Mycoplasma sp. positive by PCR and had URTD-like clinical signs, including nasal and ocular discharge, palpebral edema, lethargy, and weight loss, during a 6-8-wk period between June and September 2014. PMID:27124328

  17. Determination of Hydrogenase in Free-living Cultures of Rhizobium japonicum and Energy Efficiency of Soybean Nodules 1

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Soo T.

    1978-01-01

    A sensitive tritium exchange assay was applied to the Rhizobium system for measuring the expression of uptake hydrogenase in free-living cultures of Rhizobium japonicum. Hydrogenase was detected about 45 hours after inoculation of cultures maintained under microaerophilic conditions (about 0.1% O2). The tritium exchange assay was used to screen a variety of different strains of R. japonicum (including major production strains) with the findings that about 30% of the strains expressed hydrogenase activity with identical results being observed using an alternative assay based on uptake of H2. The relative efficiency of intact soybean nodules inoculated with 10 different rhizobial strains gave results identical to those obtained using free-living cultures. The tritium exchange assay provides an easy, quick, and accurate assessment of H2 uptake efficiency of intact nodules. PMID:16660568

  18. Exposure of free-living jaguars to Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Onuma, Selma Samiko Miyazaki; Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé; Kantek, Daniel Luis Zanella; Crawshaw-Junior, Peter Gransden; Morato, Ronaldo Gonçalves; May-Júnior, Joares Adenílson; Pacheco, Thábata dos Anjos; Aguiar, Daniel Moura de

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona are related apicomplexan parasites that cause reproductive and neurological disorders in a wide range of domestic and wild animals. In the present study, the immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was used to investigate the presence of antibodies against T. gondii, N. caninum and S. neurona in the sera of 11 free-living jaguars (Panthera onca) in two protected areas in the Pantanal region of Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Ten jaguars (90.9%) showed seropositivity for T. gondii, eight (72.7%) for S. neurona, and seven (63.6%) for N. caninum antigens. Our findings reveal exposure of jaguars to these related coccidian parasites and circulation of these pathogens in this wild ecosystem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first serological detection of N. caninum and S. neurona in free-living jaguars. PMID:25517539

  19. Tolerance to cadmium of free-living and associated with marine animals and eelgrass marine gamma-proteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, Elena P; Kurilenko, Valerie V; Kurilenko, Arcady V; Gorshkova, Nataliya M; Shubin, Felix N; Nicolau, Dan V; Chelomin, Viktor P

    2002-05-01

    The tolerance to Cd2+ and possible mechanisms of Cd2+ detoxification by 178 free-living bacteria isolated from sea water, associated with marine animals (a mussel Crenomytilus grayanus, a scallop Patinopecten yessoensis), and eelgrass Zostera marina collected in The Sea of Japan and The Sea of Okhotsk have been studied. The concentrations of 25 and 50 mg Cd2+/L were highly toxic and inhibited the growth from 54% to 78% of the total bacteria studied. The free-living bacteria isolated from seawater samples (up to 50%) were tolerant to high concentrations of cadmium. Marine gamma-proteobacteria tolerated Cd2+ by the activation of different detoxifying mechanisms. The strain Halomonas sp. KMM 734 isolated from seawater prevented the uptake of Cd2+ into bacterial cells. The chromosomal cadmium resistance system of Pseudoalteromonas citrea KMM 461 and Marinobacter sp. KMM 181 was found to be similar to class III metallothioneins (also known as phytochelatins).

  20. Killing the dead: chemotherapeutic strategies against free-living cyst-forming protists (Acanthamoeba sp. and Balamuthia mandrillaris).

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Aqeel, Yousuf; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-01-01

    The opportunist free-living protists such as Acanthamoeba spp. and Balamuthia mandrillaris have become a serious threat to human life. As most available drugs target functional aspects of pathogens, the ability of free-living protists to transform into metabolically inactive cyst forms presents a challenge in treatment. It is hoped, that the development of broad spectrum antiprotist agents acting against multiple cyst-forming protists to provide target-directed inhibition will offer a viable drug strategy in the treatment of these rare infections. Here, we present a comprehensive report on upcoming drug targets, with emphasis on cyst wall biosynthesis along with the related biochemistry of encystment pathways, as we strive to bring ourselves a step closer to being able to combat these deadly diseases.

  1. Sea-ice habitat preference of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the Bering Sea: A multiscaled approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacco, Alexander Edward

    The goal of this thesis is to define specific parameters of mesoscale sea-ice seascapes for which walruses show preference during important periods of their natural history. This research thesis incorporates sea-ice geophysics, marine-mammal ecology, remote sensing, computer vision techniques, and traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous subsistence hunters in order to quantitatively study walrus preference of sea ice during the spring migration in the Bering Sea. Using an approach that applies seascape ecology, or landscape ecology to the marine environment, our goal is to define specific parameters of ice patch descriptors, or mesoscale seascapes in order to evaluate and describe potential walrus preference for such ice and the ecological services it provides during an important period of their life-cycle. The importance of specific sea-ice properties to walrus occupation motivates an investigation into how walruses use sea ice at multiple spatial scales when previous research suggests that walruses do not show preference for particular floes. Analysis of aerial imagery, using image processing techniques and digital geomorphometric measurements (floe size, shape, and arrangement), demonstrated that while a particular floe may not be preferred, at larger scales a collection of floes, specifically an ice patch (< 4 km2), was preferred. This shows that walruses occupy ice patches with distinct ice features such as floe convexity, spatial density, and young ice and open water concentration. Ice patches that are occupied by adult and juvenile walruses show a small number of characteristics that vary from those ice patches that were visually unoccupied. Using synthetic aperture radar imagery, we analyzed co-located walrus observations and statistical texture analysis of radar imagery to quantify seascape preferences of walruses during the spring migration. At a coarse resolution of 100 -- 9,000 km2, seascape analysis shows that, for the years 2006 -- 2008

  2. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): a lumped rainfall-runoff model for catchments with shallow groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Teuling, A. J.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-02-01

    We present the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS), a novel rainfall-runoff model to fill the gap between complex, spatially distributed models which are often used in lowland catchments and simple, parametric (conceptual) models which have mostly been developed for mountainous catchments. WALRUS explicitly accounts for processes that are important in lowland areas, notably (1) groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, (2) wetness-dependent flow routes, (3) groundwater-surface water feedbacks and (4) seepage and surface water supply. WALRUS consists of a coupled groundwater-vadose zone reservoir, a quickflow reservoir and a surface water reservoir. WALRUS is suitable for operational use because it is computationally efficient and numerically stable (achieved with a flexible time step approach). In the open source model code default relations have been implemented, leaving only four parameters which require calibration. For research purposes, these defaults can easily be changed. Numerical experiments show that the implemented feedbacks have the desired effect on the system variables.

  3. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): a lumped rainfall-runoff model for catchments with shallow groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Teuling, A. J.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-10-01

    We present the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS), a novel rainfall-runoff model to fill the gap between complex, spatially distributed models which are often used in lowland catchments and simple, parametric (conceptual) models which have mostly been developed for sloping catchments. WALRUS explicitly accounts for processes that are important in lowland areas, notably (1) groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, (2) wetness-dependent flow routes, (3) groundwater-surface water feedbacks and (4) seepage and surface water supply. WALRUS consists of a coupled groundwater-vadose zone reservoir, a quickflow reservoir and a surface water reservoir. WALRUS is suitable for operational use because it is computationally efficient and numerically stable (achieved with a flexible time step approach). In the open source model code default relations have been implemented, leaving only four parameters which require calibration. For research purposes, these defaults can easily be changed. Numerical experiments show that the implemented feedbacks have the desired effect on the system variables.

  4. Not all are free-living: high-throughput DNA metabarcoding reveals a diverse community of protists parasitizing soil metazoa.

    PubMed

    Geisen, S; Laros, I; Vizcaíno, A; Bonkowski, M; de Groot, G A

    2015-09-01

    Protists, the most diverse eukaryotes, are largely considered to be free-living bacterivores, but vast numbers of taxa are known to parasitize plants or animals. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches now commonly replace cultivation-based approaches in studying soil protists, but insights into common biases associated with this method are limited to aquatic taxa and samples. We created a mock community of common free-living soil protists (amoebae, flagellates, ciliates), extracted DNA and amplified it in the presence of metazoan DNA using 454 HTS. We aimed at evaluating whether HTS quantitatively reveals true relative abundances of soil protists and at investigating whether the expected protist community structure is altered by the co-amplification of metazoan-associated protist taxa. Indeed, HTS revealed fundamentally different protist communities from those expected. Ciliate sequences were highly over-represented, while those of most amoebae and flagellates were under-represented or totally absent. These results underpin the biases introduced by HTS that prevent reliable quantitative estimations of free-living protist communities. Furthermore, we detected a wide range of nonadded protist taxa probably introduced along with metazoan DNA, which altered the protist community structure. Among those, 20 taxa most closely resembled parasitic, often pathogenic taxa. Therewith, we provide the first HTS data in support of classical observational studies that showed that potential protist parasites are hosted by soil metazoa. Taken together, profound differences in amplification success between protist taxa and an inevitable co-extraction of protist taxa parasitizing soil metazoa obscure the true diversity of free-living soil protist communities.

  5. Not all are free-living: high-throughput DNA metabarcoding reveals a diverse community of protists parasitizing soil metazoa.

    PubMed

    Geisen, S; Laros, I; Vizcaíno, A; Bonkowski, M; de Groot, G A

    2015-09-01

    Protists, the most diverse eukaryotes, are largely considered to be free-living bacterivores, but vast numbers of taxa are known to parasitize plants or animals. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches now commonly replace cultivation-based approaches in studying soil protists, but insights into common biases associated with this method are limited to aquatic taxa and samples. We created a mock community of common free-living soil protists (amoebae, flagellates, ciliates), extracted DNA and amplified it in the presence of metazoan DNA using 454 HTS. We aimed at evaluating whether HTS quantitatively reveals true relative abundances of soil protists and at investigating whether the expected protist community structure is altered by the co-amplification of metazoan-associated protist taxa. Indeed, HTS revealed fundamentally different protist communities from those expected. Ciliate sequences were highly over-represented, while those of most amoebae and flagellates were under-represented or totally absent. These results underpin the biases introduced by HTS that prevent reliable quantitative estimations of free-living protist communities. Furthermore, we detected a wide range of nonadded protist taxa probably introduced along with metazoan DNA, which altered the protist community structure. Among those, 20 taxa most closely resembled parasitic, often pathogenic taxa. Therewith, we provide the first HTS data in support of classical observational studies that showed that potential protist parasites are hosted by soil metazoa. Taken together, profound differences in amplification success between protist taxa and an inevitable co-extraction of protist taxa parasitizing soil metazoa obscure the true diversity of free-living soil protist communities. PMID:25966360

  6. Effects of thermal additions on the presence of pathogenic and nonpathogenic free-living amoebae at the Savannah River Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.

    1980-01-01

    A study of the effect of thermal additions on the presence of free-living thermophilic amoeba at the Savannah River site was undertaken. Seasonality effects and the influence of varied degrees of thermal enrichment on the numbers and types of thermophilic pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoeba were determined. In addition, the ability of thermophilic nonpathogenic Naegleria to competitively inhibit the growth of the pathogenic Naegleria was defined and related to water quality differences.

  7. Blood selenium and glutathione peroxidase levels and dietary selenium of free-living and institutionalized elderly subjects.

    PubMed

    Lane, H W; Warren, D C; Taylor, B J; Stool, E

    1983-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the selenium status of healthy free-living and institutionalized elderly people. For the 36 free-living elderly dietary selenium intake averaged 94 +/- 44 micrograms Se/day and a positive correlation coefficient was found between dietary selenium and dietary calories (r = 0.46; P less than 0.05), dietary protein (r = 0.60; P less than 0.01), and dietary fat (r = 0.43; P less than 0.05). Diet histories from the institutionalized subjects revealed a strong correlation coefficient between selenium and carbohydrate (r = 0.51; P less than 0.005) and selenium and calories (r = 0.44; P less than 0.05). Mean erythrocyte and plasma selenium levels for the free-living subjects were 0.20 +/- 0.06 micrograms/ml and 0.10 +/- 0.03 micrograms/ml, respectively, while mean erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity was 27.5 +/- 5.0 units/g protein. For the free-living subjects positive correlation was found between dietary selenium and erythrocyte selenium levels (r = 0.38; P less than 0.05) but no correlation existed between dietary selenium and plasma selenium (r = 0.13; P greater than 0.05) and RBC GSH-Px (r = -0.15; P greater than 0.05). The dietary selenium levels and blood selenium and GSH-Px levels were above the levels found in populations proposed to be at risk for selenium deficiency. Thus, these elderly appear to have adequate selenium status.

  8. Free-Living and Particle-Associated Bacterioplankton in Large Rivers of the Mississippi River Basin Demonstrate Biogeographic Patterns.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Colin R; Millar, Justin J; Payne, Jason T; Ochs, Clifford A

    2014-12-01

    The different drainage basins of large rivers such as the Mississippi River represent interesting systems in which to study patterns in freshwater microbial biogeography. Spatial variability in bacterioplankton communities in six major rivers (the Upper Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, and Arkansas) of the Mississippi River Basin was characterized using Ion Torrent 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. When all systems were combined, particle-associated (>3 μm) bacterial assemblages were found to be different from free-living bacterioplankton in terms of overall community structure, partly because of differences in the proportional abundance of sequences affiliated with major bacterial lineages (Alphaproteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, and Planctomycetes). Both particle-associated and free-living communities ordinated by river system, a pattern that was apparent even after rare sequences or those affiliated with Cyanobacteria were removed from the analyses. Ordination of samples by river system correlated with environmental characteristics of each river, such as nutrient status and turbidity. Communities in the Upper Mississippi and the Missouri and in the Ohio and the Tennessee, pairs of rivers that join each other, contained similar taxa in terms of presence-absence data but differed in the proportional abundance of major lineages. The most common sequence types detected in particle-associated communities were picocyanobacteria in the Synechococcus/Prochlorococcus/Cyanobium (Syn/Pro) clade, while free-living communities also contained a high proportion of LD12 (SAR11/Pelagibacter)-like Alphaproteobacteria. This research shows that while different tributaries of large river systems such as the Mississippi River harbor distinct bacterioplankton communities, there is also microhabitat variation such as that between free-living and particle-associated assemblages.

  9. Shedding light on microbial dark matter: a TM6 bacterium as natural endosymbiont of a free-living amoeba.

    PubMed

    Delafont, Vincent; Samba-Louaka, Ascel; Bouchon, Didier; Moulin, Laurent; Héchard, Yann

    2015-12-01

    The TM6 phylum belongs to the so-called microbial dark matter that gathers uncultivated bacteria detected only via DNA sequencing. Recently, the genome sequence of a TM6 bacterium (TM6SC1) has led to suggest that this bacterium would adopt an endosymbiotic life. In the present paper, free-living amoebae bearing a TM6 strain were isolated from a water network. The amoebae were identified as Vermamoeba vermiformis and the presence of a TM6 strain was detected by polymerase chain reaction and microscopy. The partial sequence of its 16S rRNA gene showed this strain to be closely related to the sequenced TM6SC1 strain. These bacteria displayed a pyriform shape and were found within V. vermiformis. Therefore, these bacteria were named Vermiphilus pyriformis. Interactions studies showed that V. pyriformis was highly infectious and that its relation with V. vermiformis was specific and highly stable. Finally, it was found that V. pyriformis inhibited the encystment of V. vermiformis. Overall, this study describes for the first time an endosymbiotic relationship between a TM6 bacterium and a free-living amoeba in the environment. It suggests that other bacteria of the TM6 phylum might also be endosymbiotic bacteria and may be found in other free-living amoebae or other organisms.

  10. Composition and enzymatic function of particle-associated and free-living bacteria: a coastal/offshore comparison

    PubMed Central

    D'Ambrosio, Lindsay; Ziervogel, Kai; MacGregor, Barbara; Teske, Andreas; Arnosti, Carol

    2014-01-01

    We compared the function and composition of free-living and particle-associated microbial communities at an inshore site in coastal North Carolina and across a depth profile on the Blake Ridge (offshore). Hydrolysis rates of six different polysaccharide substrates were compared for particle-associated (>3 μm) and free-living (<3 to 0.2 μm) microbial communities. The 16S rRNA- and rDNA-based clone libraries were produced from the same filters used to measure hydrolysis rates. Particle-associated and free-living communities resembled one another; they also showed similar enzymatic hydrolysis rates and substrate preferences. All six polysaccharides were hydrolyzed inshore. Offshore, only a subset was hydrolyzed in surface water and at depths of 146 and 505 m; just three polysaccharides were hydrolyzed at 505 m. The spectrum of bacterial taxa changed more subtly between inshore and offshore surface waters, but changed greatly with depth offshore. None of the OTUs occurred at all sites: 27 out of the 28 major OTUs defined in this study were found either exclusively in a surface or in a mid-depth/bottom water sample. This distinction was evident with both 16S rRNA and rDNA analyses. At the offshore site, despite the low community overlap, bacterial communities maintained a degree of functional redundancy on the whole bacterial community level with respect to hydrolysis of high-molecular-weight substrates. PMID:24763371

  11. Endosymbiosis in statu nascendi: close phylogenetic relationship between obligately endosymbiotic and obligately free-living Polynucleobacter strains (Betaproteobacteria).

    PubMed

    Vannini, Claudia; Pöckl, Matthias; Petroni, Giulio; Wu, Qinglong L; Lang, Elke; Stackebrandt, Erko; Schrallhammer, Martina; Richardson, Paul M; Hahn, Martin W

    2007-02-01

    Bacterial strains affiliated to the phylogenetically shallow subcluster C (PnecC) of the Polynucleobacter cluster, which is characterized by a minimal 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of approximately 98.5%, have been reported to occur as obligate endosymbionts of ciliates (Euplotes spp.), as well as to occur as free-living cells in the pelagic zone of freshwater habitats. We investigated if these two groups of closely related bacteria represent strains fundamentally differing in lifestyle, or if they simply represent different stages of a facultative endosymbiotic lifestyle. The phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene and 16S-23S ITS sequences of five endosymbiont strains from two different Euplotes species and 40 pure culture strains demonstrated host-species-specific clustering of the endosymbiont sequences within the PnecC subcluster. The sequences of the endosymbionts showed characteristics indicating an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle. Cultivation experiments revealed fundamental differences in physiological adaptations, and determination of the genome sizes indicated a slight size reduction in endosymbiotic strains. We conclude that the two groups of PnecC bacteria represent obligately free-living and obligately endosymbiotic strains, respectively, and do not represent different stages of the same complex life cycle. These closely related strains occupy completely separated ecological niches. To our best knowledge, this is the closest phylogenetic relationship between obligate endosymbionts and obligately free-living bacteria ever revealed.

  12. Effects of the integration of sunn hemp and soil solarization on plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes.

    PubMed

    Marahatta, Sharadchandra P; Wang, Koon-Hui; Sipes, Brent S; Hooks, Cerruti R R

    2012-03-01

    Sunn hemp (SH), Crotolaria juncea, is known to suppress Rotylenchulus reniformis and weeds while enhancing free-living nematodes involved in nutrient cycling. Field trials were conducted in 2009 (Trial I) and 2010 (Trial II) to examine if SH cover cropping could suppress R. reniformis and weeds while enhancing free-living nematodes if integrated with soil solarization (SOL). Cover cropping of SH, soil solarization, and SH followed by SOL (SHSOL) were compared to weedy fallow control (C). Rotylenchulus reniformis population was suppressed by SHSOL at the end of cover cropping or solarization period (Pi) in Trial I, but not in Trial II. However, SOL and SHSOL did not suppress R. reniformis compared to SH in either trial. SH enhanced abundance of bacterivores and suppressed the % herbivores only at Pi in Trial II. At termination of the experiment, SH resulted in a higher enrichment index indicating greater soil nutrient availability, and a higher structure index indicating a less disturbed nematode community compared to C. SOL suppressed bacterivores and fungivores only in Trial II but not in Trial I. On the other hand, SHSOL enhanced bacterivores and fungivores only at Pi in Trial I. Weeds were suppressed by SH, SOL and SHSOL throughout the experiment. SHSOL suppressed R. reniformis and enhanced free-living nematodes better than SOL, and suppressed weeds better than SH.

  13. Examining the utility of a bite-count-based measure of eating activity in free-living human beings.

    PubMed

    Scisco, Jenna L; Muth, Eric R; Hoover, Adam W

    2014-03-01

    The obesity epidemic has triggered a need for novel methods for measuring eating activity in free-living settings. Here, we introduce a bite-count method that has the potential to be used in long-term investigations of eating activity. The purpose of our observational study was to describe the relationship between bite count and energy intake and determine whether there are sex and body mass index group differences in kilocalories per bite in free-living human beings. From October 2011 to February 2012, 77 participants used a wrist-worn device for 2 weeks to measure bite count during 2,975 eating activities. An automated self-administered 24-hour recall was completed daily to provide kilocalorie estimates for each eating activity. Pearson's correlation indicated a moderate, positive correlation between bite count and kilocalories (r=0.44; P<0.001) across all 2,975 eating activities. The average per-individual correlation was 0.53. A 2 (sex)×3 (body mass index group: normal, overweight, obese) analysis of variance indicated that men consumed 6 kcal more per bite than women on average. However, there were no body mass index group differences in kilocalories per bite. This was the longest study of a body-worn sensor for monitoring eating activity of free-living human beings to date, which highlights the strong potential for this method to be used in future, long-term investigations.

  14. A fatal case of meningoencephalitis due to a free-living amoeba of uncertain identity--probably acanthamoeba sp.

    PubMed

    Carter, R F; Cullity, G J; Ojeda, V J; Silberstein, P; Willaert, E

    1981-01-01

    There are 2 main types of meningoencephalitis caused by free-living amoebae. The first is a well-defined acutely fatal disease resembling fulminating bacterial meningitis. It is caused by the single species Naegleria fowleri. The second is a more poorly defined disease that runs a subacute or chronic course and is characterized by focal granulomatous lesions in the brain. The causative organisms are probably Acanthamoeba sp. in most cases, but it is possible that other genera may be involved. The first case of the subacute form of the disease to be recognized in Australia is described. A 2 1/2-yr-old, previously well girl presented with ataxia and lower motor neurone paralyses. The cerebrospinal fluid was pleocytic and she was thought to be suffering from a relatively minor viral brain-stem encephalitis. Her symptoms persisted in a peculiarly fluctuating way for 30 d when she suddenly collapsed and died from an intracranial haemorrhage. Necropsy showed focal granulomatous lesions associated with necrotizing vasculitis in the basal regions of the brain. The lesions contained well preserved free-living amoebae which were morphologically different from N. fowleri and most closely resembled Acanthamoeba sp. The ultrastructure of the organisms was particularly well preserved and is described in some detail. Immunohistological studies also excluded N. fowleri but were inconclusive for Acanthamoeba or other genera of free-living amoebae. Difficulties with the diagnosis and treatment of this disease are discussed and some practical suggestions are made. PMID:6261208

  15. Seasonal Variation in Population Density and Heterotrophic Activity of Attached and Free-Living Bacteria in Coastal Waters

    PubMed Central

    Iriberri, Juan; Unanue, Marian; Barcina, Isabel; Egea, Luis

    1987-01-01

    The abundance and heterotrophic activity of attached and free-living bacteria were examined seasonally in coastal water. Heterotrophic activity was determined by the uptake of [14C]glucose. The density of attached bacteria was always minor, not showing a seasonal variation, whereas the free-living bacteria were more numerous and showed a marked seasonal variation, their density being higher under warmer conditions. The contribution of the attached bacteria to the total assimilation of [14C]glucose (from 10 to 38%) was lower than that of the free-living bacteria, neither of them showing a seasonal variation. On a cellular basis, attached bacteria were more active, since they assimilated more [14C]glucose and showed, under warmer conditions, a higher cellular volume (0.102 versus 0.047 μm3). We consider that the factors responsible for these observations were the amount and quality of the particulate material, the different availability of organic matter for the two types of bacteria, and in a fundamental way, the variation in water temperature. PMID:16347451

  16. Occurrence of Ehrlichia canis in free-living primates of the genus Callithrix.

    PubMed

    Mafra, Claudio; Barcelos, Rafael Mazioli; Mantovani, Cynthia; Carrizo, Juliana; Soares, Adriano Carlos; Moreira, Higo Nasser Sant'Anna; Maia, Natasha Lagos; da Silva, Fernanda de Fátima Rodrigues; e Silva, Vinícius Herold Dornelas; Boere, Vanner; e Silva, Ita de Oliveira

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria of the genus Ehrlichia are Gram-negative and coccoid-shaped microorganisms that cause ehrlichiosis - a serious infectious disease that often leads to death. These bacteria present a strong zoonotic potential and primates may act as reservoir hosts. This study involved a molecular analysis to detect these microorganisms in blood samples collected from nineteen primates of the genus Callithrix living free in an Atlantic Forest fragment in the municipality of Viçosa, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. One of the 19 primates was found to be infected with Ehrlichia canis. This finding points to a new wild host of E. canis with a strong potential for transmission to humans because of its increasing contact with people. This is the first report of Ehrlichia spp. in primate of the genus Callithrix. PMID:25909257

  17. Cryptic diversity of free-living parabasalids, Pseudotrichomonas keilini and Lacusteria cypriaca n. g., n. sp., as inferred from small subunit rDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Yubuki, Naoji; Céza, Vít; Cepicka, Ivan; Yabuki, Akinori; Inagaki, Yuji; Nakayama, Takeshi; Inouye, Isao; Leander, Brian S

    2010-01-01

    Ultrastructural and molecular phylogenetic evidence indicate that the Parabasalia consists of seven main subgroups: the Trichomonadida, Honigbergiellida, Hypotrichomonadida, Tritrichomonadida, Cristamonadida, Spirotrichonymphida, and Trichonymphida. Only five species of free-living parabasalids are known: Monotrichomonas carabina, Ditrichomonas honigbergii, Honigbergiella sp., Tetratrichomonas undula, and Pseudotrichomonas keilini. Phylogenetic analyses show that free-living species do not form a clade and instead branch in several different positions within the context of their parasitic relatives. Because the diversity of free-living parabasalids is poorly understood, the systematics of these lineages is in a significant state of disarray. In order to better understand the phylogenetic distribution of free-living parabasalids, we sequenced the small subunit rDNA from three different strains reminiscent of P. keilini; the strains were isolated from different geographical locations: (1) mangrove sediments in Japan and (2) sediments in Cyprus. These data demonstrated that the free-living parabasalids P. keilini and Lacusteria cypriaca n. g., n. sp., form a paraphyletic assemblage near the origin of a clade consisting mostly of parasitic trichomonadids (e.g. Trichomonas vaginalis). This paraphyletic distribution of similar morphotypes indicates that free-living trichomonadids represent a compelling example of morphostasis that provides insight into the suite of features present in the most recent free-living ancestor of their parasitic relatives. PMID:20880033

  18. Bacterial Production and Growth Rate Estimation from [3H]Thymidine Incorporation for Attached and Free-Living Bacteria in Aquatic Systems

    PubMed Central

    Iriberri, Juan; Unanue, Marian; Ayo, Begoña; Barcina, Isabel; Egea, Luis

    1990-01-01

    Production and specific growth rates of attached and free-living bacteria were estimated in an oligotrophic marine system, La Salvaje Beach, Vizcaya, Spain, and in a freshwater system having a higher nutrient concentration, Butron River, Vizcaya, Spain. Production was calculated from [methyl-3H]thymidine incorporation by estimating specific conversion factors (cells or micrograms of C produced per mole of thymidine incorporated) for attached and free-living bacteria, respectively, in each system. Conversion factors were not statistically different between attached and free-living bacteria: 6.812 × 1011 and 8.678 × 1011 μg of C mol−1 for free-living and attached bacteria in the freshwater system, and 1.276 × 1011 and 1.354 × 1011 μg of C mol−1 for free-living and attached bacteria in the marine system. Therefore, use of a unique conversion factor for the mixed bacterial population is well founded. However, conversion factors were higher in the freshwater system than in the marine system. This could be due to the different trophic conditions of the two systems. Free-living bacteria contributed the most to production in the two systems (85% in the marine system and 67% in the freshwater system) because of their greater contribution to total biomass. Specific growth rates calculated from production data and biomass data were similar for attached and free-living bacteria. PMID:16348123

  19. Bacterial production and growth rate estimation from ( sup 3 H)thymidine incorporation for attached and free-living bacteria in aquatic systems

    SciTech Connect

    Iriberri, J.; Unanue, M.; Ayo, B.; Barcina, I., Egea, L. )

    1990-02-01

    Production and specific growth rates of attached and free-living bacteria were estimated in an oligotrophic marine system, La Salvaje Beach, Vizcaya, Spain, and in a freshwater system having a higher nutrient concentration, Butron River, Vizcaya, Spain. Production was calculated from (methyl-{sup 3}H)thymidine incorporation by estimating specific conversion factors (cells or micrograms of C produced per mole of thymidine incorporated) for attached and free-living bacteria, respectively, in each system. Conversion factors were not statistically different between attached and free-living bacteria: 6.812 {times} 10{sup 11} and 8.678 {times} 10{sup 11} {mu}g of C mol{sup {minus}1} for free-living and attached bacteria in the freshwater system, and 1.276 {times} 10{sup 11} and 1.354 {times} 10{sup 11} {mu}g of C mol{sup {minus}1} for free-living and attached bacteria in the marine system. Therefore, use of a unique conversion factor for the mixed bacterial population is well founded. However, conversion factors were higher in the freshwater system than in the marine system. This could be due to the different tropic conditions of the two systems. Free-living bacteria contributed the most to production in the two systems (85% in the marine system and 67% in the freshwater system) because of their greater contribution to total biomass. Specific growth rates calculated from production data and biomass data were similar for attached and free-living bacteria.

  20. New deep-sea large free-living nematodes from macrobenthos in the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench (the North-Western Pacific)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadeeva, Natalia; Mordukhovich, Vladimir; Zograf, Julia

    2015-01-01

    The composition of deep-sea nematode assemblages of the North-Western (NW) Pacific is poorly-studied. According to the available literature data more than 700 valid species of nematodes were reported from the depth of 400 m and deeper, out of that only 6 species were registered in the NW Pacific: 2 species from the coast of the Japanese Islands and 4 from the Sea of Japan. Ecological studies of the deep-sea nematode communities of this region are scanty and represent very scarce and fragmentary information. The first recent study of free-living nematodes collected from the abyssal plain adjacent to the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench has revealed more than 50 species of nematodes in macrobenthic samples. Families Anticomidae, Comesomatidae, Desmodoridae, Leptosomatidae, Oncholaimidae, Oxystominidae, Phanodermatidae, Siphonolaimidae and Thoracostomopsidae were the most abundant and diverse. Such taxonomic composition differs greatly from previously described meiobenthical nematode communities of NW Pacific and even World Ocean and similar to macrofaunal nematode assemblages of the Atlantic and Arctic regions. Several genera of nematodes can be considered as new records for the NW Pacific region. Micoletzkyia kamchatika sp. nov., Metaphanoderma improvisa sp. nov., and Phylloncholaimus palmaris sp. nov. are described from the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench. Micoletzkyia kamchatika sp. nov. is particularly characterized by a developed cuticular cephalic capsule underlying amphids, relatively small amphids, and the shape of the gubernaculum. Metaphanoderma improvisa sp. nov. is particularly characterized by a developed cuticular cephalic capsule, relatively large amphids, and the absence of pigmented eye spots. Phylloncholaimus palmaris sp. nov. is similar to the type species in many measurements but may be differentiated from that by the smaller amphid, shape of spicules and gubernaculums and by large precloacal papillae with four setae.

  1. Temporal association of serum progesterone concentrations and vaginal cytology in walruses (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, K; Kiwata, M; Kuwano, R; Sato, N; Tanaka, T; Nagata, M; Taira, H; Kusunoki, H

    2012-03-15

    Concentrations of serum estradiol-17β and progesterone were monitored in six female walruses using an enzyme immunoassay. Progesterone concentrations increased from March to May in females aged 6 y or older, and subsequently declined (October). No significant elevation of estradiol-17β concentration was detected before an elevation of progesterone concentration. Vaginal smears from four females were examined with Papanicolaou staining. In all females, most epithelial cells were basophilic intermediate-superficial cells; no color change from basophilic to eosinophilic of the cells was detected. Meanwhile, the percentage of anucleate cells in vaginal smears reached its highest value before the elevation of progesterone concentration, followed by an increase in the percentage of leukocytes. We inferred that the change in populations of anucleate cells and leukocytes in vaginal smears reflected ovarian status and CL formation in female walruses. PMID:22153266

  2. Temporal association of serum progesterone concentrations and vaginal cytology in walruses (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, K; Kiwata, M; Kuwano, R; Sato, N; Tanaka, T; Nagata, M; Taira, H; Kusunoki, H

    2012-03-15

    Concentrations of serum estradiol-17β and progesterone were monitored in six female walruses using an enzyme immunoassay. Progesterone concentrations increased from March to May in females aged 6 y or older, and subsequently declined (October). No significant elevation of estradiol-17β concentration was detected before an elevation of progesterone concentration. Vaginal smears from four females were examined with Papanicolaou staining. In all females, most epithelial cells were basophilic intermediate-superficial cells; no color change from basophilic to eosinophilic of the cells was detected. Meanwhile, the percentage of anucleate cells in vaginal smears reached its highest value before the elevation of progesterone concentration, followed by an increase in the percentage of leukocytes. We inferred that the change in populations of anucleate cells and leukocytes in vaginal smears reflected ovarian status and CL formation in female walruses.

  3. Carnivora: the primary structure of the Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens, Pinnipedia) hemoglobin.

    PubMed

    Lin, H X; Kleinschmidt, T; Johnson, M L; Braunitzer, G

    1989-02-01

    The primary structure of the alpha- and beta-chains of the hemoglobin from the Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens, Pinnipedia) is presented. Sequence analysis revealed only one hemoglobin component whereas two bands were found in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The globin chains were separated by high-performance liquid chromatography and the sequences determined by automatic liquid- and gas-phase sequencing of the chains and their tryptic peptides. The alpha-chains show 20 and the beta-chains 12 exchanges compared to the corresponding human chains. In the alpha-chains one heme- and two alpha 1/beta 1-contacts were exchanged whereas in the beta-chains one alpha 1/beta 1-, one alpha 1/beta 2-and one heme-contact are substituted. Compared to Harbour Seal (Phoca vitulina) the Walrus hemoglobin shows 9 amino-acid replacements in the alpha-chains and 5 in the beta-chains. The relation between Pinnipedia and Arctoidea is discussed.

  4. Walrus foraging marks on the seafloor in Bristol Bay, Alaska: a reconnaissance survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bornhold, Brian D.; Jay, Chadwick V.; McConnaughey, Robert; Rathwell, Glenda; Rhynas, Karl; Collins, William

    2005-11-01

    A reconnaissance sidescan sonar survey in Bristol Bay, Alaska revealed extensive areas of seafloor with features related to walrus foraging. They are similar to those seen in areas such as the outer Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea. Two types of feature were observed: (a) small (≪1 m diameter) shallow pits, often in clusters ranging in density from 5 pits per hectare to 35 pits per hectare; and, (b) more abundant, narrow, sinuous furrows, typically 5 to 10 m long with some reaching 20 m or more. Most foraging marks were in less than 60 m water depth in areas of sandy seafloor that were smooth, hummocky or characterized by degraded bedforms; the absence of foraging marks in other areas may be related, in part, to their more dynamic nature. The distribution of foraging marks was consistent in a general way with walrus locations from satellite telemetry studies.

  5. Walrus foraging marks on the seafloor in Bristol Bay, Alaska: A reconnaissance survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bornhold, B.D.; Jay, C.V.; McConnaughey, R.; Rathwell, G.; Rhynas, K.; Collins, W.

    2005-01-01

    A reconnaissance sidescan sonar survey in Bristol Bay, Alaska revealed extensive areas of seafloor with features related to walrus foraging. They are similar to those seen in areas such as the outer Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea. Two types of feature were observed: (a) small (??? 1 m diameter) shallow pits, often in clusters ranging in density from 5 pits per hectare to 35 pits per hectare; and, (b) more abundant, narrow, sinuous furrows, typically 5 to 10 m long with some reaching 20 m or more. Most foraging marks were in less than 60 m water depth in areas of sandy seafloor that were smooth, hummocky or characterized by degraded bedforms; the absence of foraging marks in other areas may be related, in part, to their more dynamic nature. The distribution of foraging marks was consistent in a general way with walrus locations from satellite telemetry studies. ?? Springer-Verlag 2005.

  6. Walrus foraging marks on the seafloor in Bristol Bay, Alaska: a reconnaissance survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bornhold, B.D.; Jay, C.V.; McConnaughey, R.; Rathwell, G.; Rhynas, K.; Collins, W.

    2005-01-01

    A reconnaissance sidescan sonar survey in Bristol Bay, Alaska revealed extensive areas of seafloor with features related to walrus foraging. They are similar to those seen in areas such as the outer Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea. Two types of feature were observed: (a) small (<<1 m diameter) shallow pits, often in clusters ranging in density from 5 to 35 pits per hectare; and, (b) more abundant, narrow, sinuous furrows, typically 5 to 10 m long with some reaching 20 m or more. Most foraging marks were in less than 60 m water depth in areas of sandy seafloor that were smooth, hummocky or characterized by degraded bedforms; the absence of foraging marks in other areas may be related, in part, to their more dynamic nature. The distribution of foraging marks was consistent in a general way with walrus locations from satellite telemetry studies.

  7. 137Cs and 210Po in Pacific Walrus and Bearded Seal from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, T F; Seagars, D J; Jokela, T; Layton, D

    2005-02-02

    The activity concentration of Cesium-137 ({sup 137}Cs) and naturally-occurring Polonium-210 ({sup 210}Po) were measured in the muscle tissue, kidney and liver of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) collected by native hunters from the Bering Sea. The mean {sup 137}Cs concentrations in muscle, liver and kidney of Pacific walrus were 0.07, 0.09 and 0.07 Bq kg{sup -1} (N= 5, wet weight), respectively, and 0.17, 0.10, and 0.17 Bq kg{sup -1} (N=2, wet weight), respectively, in bearded seal. In general, {sup 137}Cs tissue concentrations are significantly lower than those previously reported for mammals from other regions. By comparison, {sup 210}Po activity concentrations appear to be higher than those reported elsewhere but a larger variation. The mean {sup 210}Po concentration in the muscle tissue, liver and kidney of Pacific walrus (N=5, wet weight) were 28.7, 189, and 174 Bq kg{sup -1}, respectively. This compares with {sup 210}Po concentration values (N=2, wet weight) of 27, 207, and 68 Bq kg{sup -1} measured in the muscle tissue, liver and kidney, of bearded seal, respectively. Estimated bioaccumulation factors--as defined by the radionuclide concentration ratio between the target tissue to that in sea water--were two to three orders of magnitude higher for {sup 210}Po that those of {sup 137}Cs. We conclude from radiological dose estimates that ingestion of {sup 137}Cs in foods derived from walrus and seal will pose no threat to human health. This work has important implications for assessing health risks to Alaskan coastal communities concerned about the dumping of nuclear waste in the Russia Arctic.

  8. Rapid maturation of the muscle biochemistry that supports diving in Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Jay, Chadwick V; Burns, Jennifer M; Fischbach, Anthony S

    2015-10-01

    Physiological constraints dictate animals' ability to exploit habitats. For marine mammals, it is important to quantify physiological limits that influence diving and their ability to alter foraging behaviors. We characterized age-specific dive limits of walruses by measuring anaerobic (acid-buffering capacity) and aerobic (myoglobin content) capacities of the muscles that power hind (longissimus dorsi) and fore (supraspinatus) flipper propulsion. Mean buffering capacities were similar across muscles and age classes (a fetus, five neonatal calves, a 3 month old and 20 adults), ranging from 41.31 to 54.14 slykes and 42.00 to 46.93 slykes in the longissimus and supraspinatus, respectively. Mean myoglobin in the fetus and neonatal calves fell within a narrow range (longissimus: 0.92-1.68 g 100 g(-1) wet muscle mass; supraspinatus: 0.88-1.64 g 100 g(-1) wet muscle mass). By 3 months post-partum, myoglobin in the longissimus increased by 79%, but levels in the supraspinatus remained unaltered. From 3 months post-partum to adulthood, myoglobin increased by an additional 26% in the longissimus and increased by 126% in the supraspinatus; myoglobin remained greater in the longissimus compared with the supraspinatus. Walruses are unique among marine mammals because they are born with a mature muscle acid-buffering capacity and attain mature myoglobin content early in life. Despite rapid physiological development, small body size limits the diving capacity of immature walruses and extreme sexual dimorphism reduces the diving capacity of adult females compared with adult males. Thus, free-ranging immature walruses likely exhibit the shortest foraging dives while adult males are capable of the longest foraging dives. PMID:26347559

  9. Sex-Specific Energetics of Pacific Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) during the Nursing Interval.

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2016-01-01

    Habitat use and activity patterns of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) have changed with climate-induced reductions in sea ice. Increases in the time active in water could result in negative energy balance, precluding females from sustaining lactation, which could impact population demographics. Little is known about lactation costs in walruses. We examined the energetics of 0-2-yr-old walrus calves by using Bayesian hierarchical models based on longitudinal husbandry records of growth (n = 6 females and 7 males) and caloric intake (n = 5 females and 6 males) as a proxy for maternal lactation costs. Males and females had similar growth patterns; mean mass increased from 68 kg at birth to 301 kg by 2 yr. Females had a 2,000 kcal kg(-1) higher mass storage (growth) cost than males; females typically synthesize and deposit greater amounts of adipose, which is more energy dense than lean tissue. In contrast, males had higher metabolic (basal and activity) costs, ranging from 600 to 1,800 kcal d(-1) greater than similarly sized females; males are typically leaner, and muscle is more metabolically active than adipose. Yet total daily energy requirements (storage plus metabolic components) were similar across sexes, summing to approximately 190,000 kcal over the first month postpartum. Based on these estimates and assuming that 8,103 kcal is recovered from 1 kg of mass loss in adult female walruses, suckling calves could deplete 23 kg of their mother's body mass over the first month after parturition if none of the lactation costs is met through ingested prey. PMID:27082720

  10. Sex-specific energetics of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) during the nursing interval

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noren, Shawn R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat use and activity patterns of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) have changed with climate-induced reductions in sea ice. Increases in the time active in water could result in negative energy balance, precluding females from sustaining lactation, which could impact population demographics. Little is known about lactation costs in walruses. We examined the energetics of 0–2-yr-old walrus calves by using Bayesian hierarchical models based on longitudinal husbandry records of growth (n = 6 females and 7 males) and caloric intake (n = 5 females and 6 males) as a proxy for maternal lactation costs. Males and females had similar growth patterns; mean mass increased from 68 kg at birth to 301 kg by 2 yr. Females had a 2,000 kcal kg−1 higher mass storage (growth) cost than males; females typically synthesize and deposit greater amounts of adipose, which is more energy dense than lean tissue. In contrast, males had higher metabolic (basal and activity) costs, ranging from 600 to 1,800 kcal d−1 greater than similarly sized females; males are typically leaner, and muscle is more metabolically active than adipose. Yet total daily energy requirements (storage plus metabolic components) were similar across sexes, summing to approximately 190,000 kcal over the first month postpartum. Based on these estimates and assuming that 8,103 kcal is recovered from 1 kg of mass loss in adult female walruses, suckling calves could deplete 23 kg of their mother’s body mass over the first month after parturition if none of the lactation costs is met through ingested prey.

  11. Rapid maturation of the muscle biochemistry that supports diving in Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Norem, Shawn R.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Burns, Jennifer M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2015-01-01

    Physiological constraints dictate animals’ ability to exploit habitats. For marine mammals, it is important to quantify physiological limits that influence diving and their ability to alter foraging behaviors. We characterized age-specific dive limits of walruses by measuring anaerobic (acid-buffering capacity) and aerobic (myoglobin content) capacities of the muscles that power hind (longissimus dorsi) and fore (supraspinatus) flipper propulsion. Mean buffering capacities were similar across muscles and age classes (a fetus, five neonatal calves, a 3 month old and 20 adults), ranging from 41.31 to 54.14 slykes and 42.00 to 46.93 slykes in the longissimus and supraspinatus, respectively. Mean myoglobin in the fetus and neonatal calves fell within a narrow range (longissimus: 0.92–1.68 g 100 g−1 wet muscle mass; supraspinatus: 0.88–1.64 g 100 g−1 wet muscle mass). By 3 months post-partum, myoglobin in the longissimus increased by 79%, but levels in the supraspinatus remained unaltered. From 3 months post-partum to adulthood, myoglobin increased by an additional 26% in the longissimus and increased by 126% in the supraspinatus; myoglobin remained greater in the longissimus compared with the supraspinatus. Walruses are unique among marine mammals because they are born with a mature muscle acid-buffering capacity and attain mature myoglobin content early in life. Despite rapid physiological development, small body size limits the diving capacity of immature walruses and extreme sexual dimorphism reduces the diving capacity of adult females compared with adult males. Thus, free-ranging immature walruses likely exhibit the shortest foraging dives while adult males are capable of the longest foraging dives.

  12. 137Cs and 210Po in Pacific walrus and bearded seal from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Terry; Seagars, Dana; Jokela, Terry; Layton, David

    2008-06-01

    The activity concentration of Cesium-137 ((137)Cs) and naturally-occurring Polonium-210 ((210)Po) were measured in the muscle tissue, kidney and liver of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) collected by native hunters from the Bering Sea during May 1996. The mean (137)Cs concentrations in muscle, liver and kidney of Pacific walrus were 0.07, 0.09 and 0.07 Bq kg(-1) (n=5, wet weight), respectively, and 0.17, 0.10, and 0.17 Bq kg(-1) (n=2, wet weight), respectively, in bearded seal. In general, (137)Cs tissue concentrations are significantly lower than those previously reported for mammals from other regions. By comparison, (210)Po activity concentrations are more variable and appear to be higher level compared with mammal data from other regions. The mean (210)Po concentration in the muscle tissue, liver and kidney of Pacific walrus (n=5, wet weight) were 28.7, 189, and 174 Bq kg(-1), respectively. This compares with (210)Po concentration values (n=2, wet weight) of 27, 207 and 68 Bq kg(-1) measured in the muscle tissue, liver and kidney, of bearded seal, respectively. Estimated concentration factors--as defined by the radionuclide concentration ratio between the target tissue to that in sea water--were two to three orders of magnitude higher for (210)Po that those of (137)Cs. We conclude from radiological dose estimates that ingestion of (137)Cs in foods derived from walrus and seal will pose no threat to human health. This work has important implications for assessment of risks of Alaskan coastal communities concerned about the dumping of nuclear waste in the Russia Arctic.

  13. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): application to the Hupsel Brook catchment and Cabauw polder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Teuling, A. J.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-02-01

    The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS) is a new parametric (conceptual) rainfall-runoff model which accounts explicitly for processes that are important in lowland areas, such as groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, wetness-dependent flowroutes, groundwater-surface water feedbacks, and seepage and surface water supply (see companion paper by Brauer et al., 2014). Lowland catchments can be divided into slightly sloping, freely draining catchments and flat polders with controlled water levels. Here, we apply WALRUS to two contrasting Dutch catchments: the Hupsel Brook catchment and Cabauw polder. In both catchments, WALRUS performs well: Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies obtained after calibration on one year of discharge observations are 0.87 for the Hupsel Brook catchment and 0.83 for the Cabauw polder, with values of 0.74 and 0.76 for validation. The model also performs well during floods and droughts and can forecast the effect of control operations. Through the dynamic division between quick and slow flowroutes controlled by a wetness index, temporal and spatial variability in groundwater depths can be accounted for, which results in adequate simulation of discharge peaks as well as low flows. The performance of WALRUS is most sensitive to the parameter controlling the wetness index and the groundwater reservoir constant, and to a lesser extent to the quickflow reservoir constant. The effects of these three parameters can be identified in the discharge time series, which indicates that the model is not overparameterised (parsimonious). Forcing uncertainty was found to have a larger effect on modelled discharge than parameter uncertainty and uncertainty in initial conditions.

  14. Sex-Specific Energetics of Pacific Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) during the Nursing Interval.

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2016-01-01

    Habitat use and activity patterns of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) have changed with climate-induced reductions in sea ice. Increases in the time active in water could result in negative energy balance, precluding females from sustaining lactation, which could impact population demographics. Little is known about lactation costs in walruses. We examined the energetics of 0-2-yr-old walrus calves by using Bayesian hierarchical models based on longitudinal husbandry records of growth (n = 6 females and 7 males) and caloric intake (n = 5 females and 6 males) as a proxy for maternal lactation costs. Males and females had similar growth patterns; mean mass increased from 68 kg at birth to 301 kg by 2 yr. Females had a 2,000 kcal kg(-1) higher mass storage (growth) cost than males; females typically synthesize and deposit greater amounts of adipose, which is more energy dense than lean tissue. In contrast, males had higher metabolic (basal and activity) costs, ranging from 600 to 1,800 kcal d(-1) greater than similarly sized females; males are typically leaner, and muscle is more metabolically active than adipose. Yet total daily energy requirements (storage plus metabolic components) were similar across sexes, summing to approximately 190,000 kcal over the first month postpartum. Based on these estimates and assuming that 8,103 kcal is recovered from 1 kg of mass loss in adult female walruses, suckling calves could deplete 23 kg of their mother's body mass over the first month after parturition if none of the lactation costs is met through ingested prey.

  15. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): application to the Hupsel Brook catchment and the Cabauw polder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Teuling, A. J.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-10-01

    The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS) is a new parametric (conceptual) rainfall-runoff model which accounts explicitly for processes that are important in lowland areas, such as groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, wetness-dependent flowroutes, groundwater-surface water feedbacks, and seepage and surface water supply (see companion paper by Brauer et al., 2014). Lowland catchments can be divided into slightly sloping, freely draining catchments and flat polders with controlled water levels. Here, we apply WALRUS to two contrasting Dutch catchments: the Hupsel Brook catchment and the Cabauw polder. In both catchments, WALRUS performs well: Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies obtained after calibration on 1 year of discharge observations are 0.87 for the Hupsel Brook catchment and 0.83 for the Cabauw polder, with values of 0.74 and 0.76 for validation. The model also performs well during floods and droughts and can forecast the effect of control operations. Through the dynamic division between quick and slow flowroutes controlled by a wetness index, temporal and spatial variability in groundwater depths can be accounted for, which results in adequate simulation of discharge peaks as well as low flows. The performance of WALRUS is most sensitive to the parameter controlling the wetness index and the groundwater reservoir constant, and to a lesser extent to the quickflow reservoir constant. The effects of these three parameters can be identified in the discharge time series, which indicates that the model is not overparameterised (parsimonious). Forcing uncertainty was found to have a larger effect on modelled discharge than parameter uncertainty and uncertainty in initial conditions.

  16. Rapid maturation of the muscle biochemistry that supports diving in Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Jay, Chadwick V; Burns, Jennifer M; Fischbach, Anthony S

    2015-10-01

    Physiological constraints dictate animals' ability to exploit habitats. For marine mammals, it is important to quantify physiological limits that influence diving and their ability to alter foraging behaviors. We characterized age-specific dive limits of walruses by measuring anaerobic (acid-buffering capacity) and aerobic (myoglobin content) capacities of the muscles that power hind (longissimus dorsi) and fore (supraspinatus) flipper propulsion. Mean buffering capacities were similar across muscles and age classes (a fetus, five neonatal calves, a 3 month old and 20 adults), ranging from 41.31 to 54.14 slykes and 42.00 to 46.93 slykes in the longissimus and supraspinatus, respectively. Mean myoglobin in the fetus and neonatal calves fell within a narrow range (longissimus: 0.92-1.68 g 100 g(-1) wet muscle mass; supraspinatus: 0.88-1.64 g 100 g(-1) wet muscle mass). By 3 months post-partum, myoglobin in the longissimus increased by 79%, but levels in the supraspinatus remained unaltered. From 3 months post-partum to adulthood, myoglobin increased by an additional 26% in the longissimus and increased by 126% in the supraspinatus; myoglobin remained greater in the longissimus compared with the supraspinatus. Walruses are unique among marine mammals because they are born with a mature muscle acid-buffering capacity and attain mature myoglobin content early in life. Despite rapid physiological development, small body size limits the diving capacity of immature walruses and extreme sexual dimorphism reduces the diving capacity of adult females compared with adult males. Thus, free-ranging immature walruses likely exhibit the shortest foraging dives while adult males are capable of the longest foraging dives.

  17. Tracking of Pacific walruses in the Chukchi Sea using a single hydrophone.

    PubMed

    Mouy, Xavier; Hannay, David; Zykov, Mikhail; Martin, Bruce

    2012-02-01

    The vocal repertoire of Pacific walruses includes underwater sound pulses referred to as knocks and bell-like calls. An extended acoustic monitoring program was performed in summer 2007 over a large region of the eastern Chukchi Sea using autonomous seabed-mounted acoustic recorders. Walrus knocks were identified in many of the recordings and most of these sounds included multiple bottom and surface reflected signals. This paper investigates the use of a localization technique based on relative multipath arrival times (RMATs) for potential behavior studies. First, knocks are detected using a semi-automated kurtosis-based algorithm. Then RMATs are matched to values predicted by a ray-tracing model. Walrus tracks with vertical and horizontal movements were obtained. The tracks included repeated dives between 4.0 m and 15.5 m depth and a deep dive to the sea bottom (53 m). Depths at which bell-like sounds are produced, average knock production rate and source levels estimates of the knocks were determined. Bell sounds were produced at all depths throughout the dives. Average knock production rates varied from 59 to 75 knocks/min. Average source level of the knocks was estimated to 177.6 ± 7.5 dB re 1 μPa peak @ 1 m. PMID:22352508

  18. Tracking of Pacific walruses in the Chukchi Sea using a single hydrophone.

    PubMed

    Mouy, Xavier; Hannay, David; Zykov, Mikhail; Martin, Bruce

    2012-02-01

    The vocal repertoire of Pacific walruses includes underwater sound pulses referred to as knocks and bell-like calls. An extended acoustic monitoring program was performed in summer 2007 over a large region of the eastern Chukchi Sea using autonomous seabed-mounted acoustic recorders. Walrus knocks were identified in many of the recordings and most of these sounds included multiple bottom and surface reflected signals. This paper investigates the use of a localization technique based on relative multipath arrival times (RMATs) for potential behavior studies. First, knocks are detected using a semi-automated kurtosis-based algorithm. Then RMATs are matched to values predicted by a ray-tracing model. Walrus tracks with vertical and horizontal movements were obtained. The tracks included repeated dives between 4.0 m and 15.5 m depth and a deep dive to the sea bottom (53 m). Depths at which bell-like sounds are produced, average knock production rate and source levels estimates of the knocks were determined. Bell sounds were produced at all depths throughout the dives. Average knock production rates varied from 59 to 75 knocks/min. Average source level of the knocks was estimated to 177.6 ± 7.5 dB re 1 μPa peak @ 1 m.

  19. Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook — A Collaboration to Benefit Both Stakeholders and Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creek, K. R.

    2015-12-01

    Started in 2010, the Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO, http://www.arcus.org/search-program/siwo) is a collaborative effort between stakeholders, forecasters, and researchers. An annual project that runs roughly from April to June, dependent on ice conditions, SIWO serves as a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters and coastal communities. It provides weekly reports with information on sea ice conditions relevant to walrus in the Northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska. Weather and ice forecasters at the National Weather Service provide ten-day outlooks on upcoming conditions, climate scientists and sea-ice researchers at NOAA and the University of Alaska contribute their perspectives and in-situ observations, the Eskimo Walrus Commission provides connections with local communities, and Alaska Native sea-ice experts submit on-the-ground observations. The project is managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS, with funding from the National Science Foundation's Division of Arctic Sciences). The goal of the SIWO project is to assist village communities while simultaneously evaluating the accuracy of scientific forecasts. Originally conceptualized by stakeholders themselves, various organizations and researchers became involved to fulfill and support its different roles. Stakeholders have used data from the project both to help plan hunting trips and also to assist in obtaining a declaration of emergency status after a particularly poor hunting season.

  20. Geochemistry and Mixing Drive the Spatial Distribution of Free-Living Archaea and Bacteria in Yellowstone Lake.

    PubMed

    Kan, Jinjun; Clingenpeel, Scott; Dow, Charles L; McDermott, Timothy R; Macur, Richard E; Inskeep, William P; Nealson, Kenneth H

    2016-01-01

    Yellowstone Lake, the largest subalpine lake in the United States, harbors great novelty and diversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Size-fractionated water samples (0.1-0.8, 0.8-3.0, and 3.0-20 μm) were collected from surface photic zone, deep mixing zone, and vent fluids at different locations in the lake by using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Quantification with real-time PCR indicated that Bacteria dominated free-living microorganisms with Bacteria/Archaea ratios ranging from 4037:1 (surface water) to 25:1 (vent water). Microbial population structures (both Bacteria and Archaea) were assessed using 454-FLX sequencing with a total of 662,302 pyrosequencing reads for V1 and V2 regions of 16S rRNA genes. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analyses indicated that strong spatial distribution patterns existed from surface to deep vents for free-living Archaea and Bacteria in the lake. Along with pH, major vent-associated geochemical constituents including CH4, CO2, H2, DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon), DOC (dissolved organic carbon), SO4 (2-), O2 and metals were likely the major drivers for microbial population structures, however, mixing events occurring in the lake also impacted the distribution patterns. Distinct Bacteria and Archaea were present among size fractions, and bigger size fractions included particle-associated microbes (> 3 μm) and contained higher predicted operational taxonomic unit richness and microbial diversities (genus level) than free-living ones (<0.8 μm). Our study represents the first attempt at addressing the spatial distribution of Bacteria and Archaea in Yellowstone Lake, and our results highlight the variable contribution of Archaea and Bacteria to the hydrogeochemical-relevant metabolism of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur.

  1. Glycaemic Profiles of Children With Overweight and Obesity in Free-living Conditions in Association With Cardiometabolic Risk.

    PubMed

    Rijks, Jesse; Karnebeek, Kylie; van Dijk, Jan-Willem; Dorenbos, Elke; Gerver, Willem-Jan; Stouthart, Pauline; Plat, Jogchum; Vreugdenhil, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Insulin resistance is common among children with overweight and obesity. However, knowledge about glucose fluctuations in these children is scarce. This study aims to evaluate glycaemic profiles in children with overweight and obesity in free-living conditions, and to examine the association between glycaemic profiles with insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk parameters. One hundred eleven children with overweight and obesity were included. 48-hour sensor glucose concentrations in free-living conditions, fasting plasma and post-glucose load concentrations, serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and blood pressure were evaluated. Hyperglycaemic glucose excursions (≥7.8 mmol/L) were observed in 25% (n = 28) of the children. The median sensor glucose concentration was 5.0 (2.7-7.3) mmol/L, and correlated with fasting plasma glucose concentrations (rs = 0.190, p = 0.046), serum insulin concentrations (rs = 0.218, p = 0.021), and HOMA-IR (rs = 0.230, p = 0.015). The hyperglycaemic area under the curve (AUC) correlated with waist circumference z-score (rs = 0.455, p = 0.025), triacylglycerol concentrations (rs = 0.425, p = 0.024), and HOMA-IR (rs = 0.616, p < 0.001). In conclusion, hyperglycaemic glucose excursions are frequently observed in children with overweight and obesity in free-living conditions. Children with insulin resistance had higher median sensor glucose concentrations and a larger hyperglycaemic sensor glucose AUC, which are both associated with specific parameters predicting cardiovascular disease risk.

  2. Interspecies variation in yolk selenium concentrations among eggs of free-living birds: The effect of phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Pappas, Athanasios C; Karadas, Filiz; Surai, Peter F; Wood, Nicholas A R; Cassey, Phillip; Bortolotti, Gary R; Speake, Brian K

    2006-01-01

    Birds deposit the trace element selenium (Se) into their eggs because an adequate supply of this micronutrient is essential for embryonic development. Although there is considerable interest in egg Se with regard to topics as diverse as poultry nutrition and environmental pollution, data on the natural levels of Se in eggs of free-living avian species are currently very limited. To address this lack of information, we measured the yolk Se concentrations in eggs of 14 avian species collected in the wild. The concentrations (ng/g wet yolk) varied from 394 to 2238, with a mean value of 1040. Values (means+/-SD) for eggs from the UK, Canada and New Zealand were, respectively, 522+/-192 (3 species), 1194+/-584 (8 species) and 1147+/-200 (3 species). However, analysis by appropriate statistical models indicates that the effect of phylogenetic relatedness among these species is so significant that it removes any effect of geographical location. In particular, species belonging to the order Passeriformes displayed significantly higher yolk Se levels than Non-Passeriforme species. In marked contrast to the free-living species, our previously published data indicate that the Se concentration in egg yolk of the domestic chicken is only about 100 ng/g wet yolk when the birds are maintained on a basal commercial diet without supplementary Se. The results reveal an extensive interspecies variation in yolk Se (across a 6-fold range) for eggs collected from the wild. Nevertheless, the Se concentrations in the yolks of all the free-living species were far higher (4-21-fold) than that achieved in the yolk of the domestic chicken consuming a standard basal diet.

  3. Geochemistry and Mixing Drive the Spatial Distribution of Free-Living Archaea and Bacteria in Yellowstone Lake.

    PubMed

    Kan, Jinjun; Clingenpeel, Scott; Dow, Charles L; McDermott, Timothy R; Macur, Richard E; Inskeep, William P; Nealson, Kenneth H

    2016-01-01

    Yellowstone Lake, the largest subalpine lake in the United States, harbors great novelty and diversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Size-fractionated water samples (0.1-0.8, 0.8-3.0, and 3.0-20 μm) were collected from surface photic zone, deep mixing zone, and vent fluids at different locations in the lake by using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Quantification with real-time PCR indicated that Bacteria dominated free-living microorganisms with Bacteria/Archaea ratios ranging from 4037:1 (surface water) to 25:1 (vent water). Microbial population structures (both Bacteria and Archaea) were assessed using 454-FLX sequencing with a total of 662,302 pyrosequencing reads for V1 and V2 regions of 16S rRNA genes. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analyses indicated that strong spatial distribution patterns existed from surface to deep vents for free-living Archaea and Bacteria in the lake. Along with pH, major vent-associated geochemical constituents including CH4, CO2, H2, DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon), DOC (dissolved organic carbon), SO4 (2-), O2 and metals were likely the major drivers for microbial population structures, however, mixing events occurring in the lake also impacted the distribution patterns. Distinct Bacteria and Archaea were present among size fractions, and bigger size fractions included particle-associated microbes (> 3 μm) and contained higher predicted operational taxonomic unit richness and microbial diversities (genus level) than free-living ones (<0.8 μm). Our study represents the first attempt at addressing the spatial distribution of Bacteria and Archaea in Yellowstone Lake, and our results highlight the variable contribution of Archaea and Bacteria to the hydrogeochemical-relevant metabolism of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur. PMID:26973602

  4. Glycaemic Profiles of Children With Overweight and Obesity in Free-living Conditions in Association With Cardiometabolic Risk

    PubMed Central

    Rijks, Jesse; Karnebeek, Kylie; van Dijk, Jan-Willem; Dorenbos, Elke; Gerver, Willem-Jan; Stouthart, Pauline; Plat, Jogchum; Vreugdenhil, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Insulin resistance is common among children with overweight and obesity. However, knowledge about glucose fluctuations in these children is scarce. This study aims to evaluate glycaemic profiles in children with overweight and obesity in free-living conditions, and to examine the association between glycaemic profiles with insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk parameters. One hundred eleven children with overweight and obesity were included. 48-hour sensor glucose concentrations in free-living conditions, fasting plasma and post-glucose load concentrations, serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and blood pressure were evaluated. Hyperglycaemic glucose excursions (≥7.8 mmol/L) were observed in 25% (n = 28) of the children. The median sensor glucose concentration was 5.0 (2.7–7.3) mmol/L, and correlated with fasting plasma glucose concentrations (rs = 0.190, p = 0.046), serum insulin concentrations (rs = 0.218, p = 0.021), and HOMA-IR (rs = 0.230, p = 0.015). The hyperglycaemic area under the curve (AUC) correlated with waist circumference z-score (rs = 0.455, p = 0.025), triacylglycerol concentrations (rs = 0.425, p = 0.024), and HOMA-IR (rs = 0.616, p < 0.001). In conclusion, hyperglycaemic glucose excursions are frequently observed in children with overweight and obesity in free-living conditions. Children with insulin resistance had higher median sensor glucose concentrations and a larger hyperglycaemic sensor glucose AUC, which are both associated with specific parameters predicting cardiovascular disease risk. PMID:27534260

  5. Geochemistry and Mixing Drive the Spatial Distribution of Free-Living Archaea and Bacteria in Yellowstone Lake

    PubMed Central

    Kan, Jinjun; Clingenpeel, Scott; Dow, Charles L.; McDermott, Timothy R.; Macur, Richard E.; Inskeep, William P.; Nealson, Kenneth H.

    2016-01-01

    Yellowstone Lake, the largest subalpine lake in the United States, harbors great novelty and diversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Size-fractionated water samples (0.1–0.8, 0.8–3.0, and 3.0–20 μm) were collected from surface photic zone, deep mixing zone, and vent fluids at different locations in the lake by using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Quantification with real-time PCR indicated that Bacteria dominated free-living microorganisms with Bacteria/Archaea ratios ranging from 4037:1 (surface water) to 25:1 (vent water). Microbial population structures (both Bacteria and Archaea) were assessed using 454-FLX sequencing with a total of 662,302 pyrosequencing reads for V1 and V2 regions of 16S rRNA genes. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analyses indicated that strong spatial distribution patterns existed from surface to deep vents for free-living Archaea and Bacteria in the lake. Along with pH, major vent-associated geochemical constituents including CH4, CO2, H2, DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon), DOC (dissolved organic carbon), SO42-, O2 and metals were likely the major drivers for microbial population structures, however, mixing events occurring in the lake also impacted the distribution patterns. Distinct Bacteria and Archaea were present among size fractions, and bigger size fractions included particle-associated microbes (> 3 μm) and contained higher predicted operational taxonomic unit richness and microbial diversities (genus level) than free-living ones (<0.8 μm). Our study represents the first attempt at addressing the spatial distribution of Bacteria and Archaea in Yellowstone Lake, and our results highlight the variable contribution of Archaea and Bacteria to the hydrogeochemical-relevant metabolism of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur. PMID:26973602

  6. Conserved miRNAs are candidate post-transcriptional regulators of developmental arrest in free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Rina; Chang, Zisong; Younis, Abuelhassan Elshazly; Langnick, Claudia; Li, Na; Chen, Wei; Brattig, Norbert; Dieterich, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Animal development is complex yet surprisingly robust. Animals may develop alternative phenotypes conditional on environmental changes. Under unfavorable conditions, Caenorhabditis elegans larvae enter the dauer stage, a developmentally arrested, long-lived, and stress-resistant state. Dauer larvae of free-living nematodes and infective larvae of parasitic nematodes share many traits including a conserved endocrine signaling module (DA/DAF-12), which is essential for the formation of dauer and infective larvae. We speculated that conserved post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism might also be involved in executing the dauer and infective larvae fate. We used an unbiased sequencing strategy to characterize the microRNA (miRNA) gene complement in C. elegans, Pristionchus pacificus, and Strongyloides ratti. Our study raised the number of described miRNA genes to 257 for C. elegans, tripled the known gene set for P. pacificus to 362 miRNAs, and is the first to describe miRNAs in a Strongyloides parasite. Moreover, we found a limited core set of 24 conserved miRNA families in all three species. Interestingly, our estimated expression fold changes between dauer versus nondauer stages and infective larvae versus free-living stages reveal that despite the speed of miRNA gene set evolution in nematodes, homologous gene families with conserved "dauer-infective" expression signatures are present. These findings suggest that common post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms are at work and that the same miRNA families play important roles in developmental arrest and long-term survival in free-living and parasitic nematodes.

  7. Glycaemic Profiles of Children With Overweight and Obesity in Free-living Conditions in Association With Cardiometabolic Risk.

    PubMed

    Rijks, Jesse; Karnebeek, Kylie; van Dijk, Jan-Willem; Dorenbos, Elke; Gerver, Willem-Jan; Stouthart, Pauline; Plat, Jogchum; Vreugdenhil, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Insulin resistance is common among children with overweight and obesity. However, knowledge about glucose fluctuations in these children is scarce. This study aims to evaluate glycaemic profiles in children with overweight and obesity in free-living conditions, and to examine the association between glycaemic profiles with insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk parameters. One hundred eleven children with overweight and obesity were included. 48-hour sensor glucose concentrations in free-living conditions, fasting plasma and post-glucose load concentrations, serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and blood pressure were evaluated. Hyperglycaemic glucose excursions (≥7.8 mmol/L) were observed in 25% (n = 28) of the children. The median sensor glucose concentration was 5.0 (2.7-7.3) mmol/L, and correlated with fasting plasma glucose concentrations (rs = 0.190, p = 0.046), serum insulin concentrations (rs = 0.218, p = 0.021), and HOMA-IR (rs = 0.230, p = 0.015). The hyperglycaemic area under the curve (AUC) correlated with waist circumference z-score (rs = 0.455, p = 0.025), triacylglycerol concentrations (rs = 0.425, p = 0.024), and HOMA-IR (rs = 0.616, p < 0.001). In conclusion, hyperglycaemic glucose excursions are frequently observed in children with overweight and obesity in free-living conditions. Children with insulin resistance had higher median sensor glucose concentrations and a larger hyperglycaemic sensor glucose AUC, which are both associated with specific parameters predicting cardiovascular disease risk. PMID:27534260

  8. Can seal eating explain elevated levels of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in walrus blubber from eastern Hudson Bay (Canada)?

    PubMed

    Muir, D C; Segstro, M D; Hobson, K A; Ford, C A; Stewart, R E; Olpinski, S

    1995-01-01

    Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber samples from Inukjuak and Akulivik (East Hudson Bay), Foxe Basin (Igloolik and Hall Beach) and Loks Land (East Baffin Island) were analysed for PCB congeners (ortho and non-ortho substituted) and other persistent organochlorines (DDT, toxaphene, chlordanes, dieldrin, mirex), as well as chlorinated dioxins/furans, to document spatial trends in contaminants in Canadian Arctic marine biota. Samples from 19 of 53 individuals had concentrations of SigmaPCBs greater than 1000 ng g(-1) (wet wt); the remaining individuals had much lower concentrations (50-600 ng g(-1)). Highest concentrations were found in samples from Inukjuak where average concentrations in blubber of females (N = 9) were 1450 +/- 954 ng g(-1) toxaphene, 2750 +/- 1780 ng g(-1) SigmaCHLOR, 2160 +/- 925 ng g(-1) SigmaDDT and 4790 +/- 2380 ng g(-1) SigmaPCB. SigmaPCB and SigmaDDT concentrations greater than 1000 ng g(-1) were unexpected based on previous studies of walrus from Greenland and Alaska. Local contamination was ruled out because levels of all organochlorines were elevated in each animal from Inukjuak, and elevated levels were also found in animals from Akulivik and Loks Land. Walrus from Inukjuak had sigma13C and sigma15N values in muscle intermediate between those of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and those of walrus from Akulivik with low organochlorine levels. There was a weak but significant correlation between and sigma15N and (log)SigmaPCB. The Inukjuak walrus also had higher proportions of highly chlorinated PCB congeners, and higher DDE/SigmaDDT ratios than walrus from Igloolik or Akulivik. The results suggest that the walrus with elevated organochlorines are feeding at a higher trophic level than those with low levels and are probably utilizing ringed seals for a portion of their diet.

  9. Survey for the presence of specific free-living amoebae in cooling waters from Belgian power plants.

    PubMed

    Behets, Jonas; Declerck, Priscilla; Delaedt, Yasmine; Verelst, Lieve; Ollevier, Frans

    2007-05-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are distributed ubiquitously in aquatic environments with increasing importance in hygienic, medical and ecological relationships to man. In this study, water samples from Belgian industrial cooling circuits were quantitatively surveyed for the presence of FLA. Isolated, thermotolerant amoebae were identified morphologically as well as using the following molecular methods: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and isoenzyme electrophoresis and PCR. Thermophilic amoebae were present at nearly all collection sites, and the different detection methods gave similar results. Naegleria fowleri was the most frequently encountered thermotolerant species, and concentrations of thermotolerant FLA were correlated with higher temperatures.

  10. Assessment of free-living physical activity in humans: an overview of currently available and proposed new measures.

    PubMed

    Schutz, Y; Weinsier, R L; Hunter, G R

    2001-06-01

    The number of physical activity measures and indexes used in the human literature is large and may result in some difficulty for the average investigator to choose the most appropriate measure. Accordingly, this review is intended to provide information on the utility and limitations of the various measures. Its primary focus is the objective assessment of free-living physical activity in humans based on physiological and biomechanical methods. The physical activity measures have been classified into three categories: Measures based on energy expenditure or oxygen uptake, such as activity energy expenditure, activity-related time equivalent, physical activity level, physical activity ratio, metabolic equivalent, and a new index of potential interest, daytime physical activity level. Measures based on heart rate monitoring, such as net heart rate, physical activity ratio heart rate, physical activity level heart rate, activity-related time equivalent, and daytime physical activity level heart rate. Measures based on whole-body accelerometry (counts/U time). Quantification of the velocity and duration of displacement in outdoor conditions by satellites using the Differential Global Positioning System may constitute a surrogate for physical activity, because walking is the primary activity of man in free-living conditions. A general outline of the measures and indexes described above is presented in tabular form, along with their respective definition, usual applications, advantages, and shortcomings. A practical example is given with typical values in obese and non-obese subjects. The various factors to be considered in the selection of physical activity methods include experimental goals, sample size, budget, cultural and social/environmental factors, physical burden for the subject, and statistical factors, such as accuracy and precision. It is concluded that no single current technique is able to quantify all aspects of physical activity under free-living

  11. [Comparative study of the pathogenicity of free-living amoebae in mice and their cytopathogenic effect in vitro].

    PubMed

    Grillot, R; Ambroise-Thomas, P

    1981-01-01

    The study of the experimental pathogenic effect on the mouse of 47 strains of free-living amoebas (Vahlkampfia, Naegleria, Hartmannella and Acanthamoeba) showed that 5 strains belonging all to the species A. polyphaga could induce a fatal meningo-encephalitis in the mouse. After axenisation of 12 strains of Acanthamoeba, the study of the cytopathogenic effect in vitro showed that all the strains studied were able to induce, sooner or later, the destruction of the cellular layer. But, using the same inoculum, the strains pathogenic for the animal, seemed to have a quicker cytopathogenic effect in vitro. PMID:6454465

  12. Stress Management in Cyst-Forming Free-Living Protists: Programmed Cell Death and/or Encystment

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Iqbal, Junaid

    2015-01-01

    In the face of harsh conditions and given a choice, a cell may (i) undergo programmed cell death, (ii) transform into a cancer cell, or (iii) enclose itself into a cyst form. In metazoans, the available evidence suggests that cellular machinery exists only to execute or avoid programmed cell death, while the ability to form a cyst was either lost or never developed. For cyst-forming free-living protists, here we pose the question whether the ability to encyst was gained at the expense of the programmed cell death or both functions coexist to counter unfavorable environmental conditions with mutually exclusive phenotypes. PMID:25648302

  13. Stress management in cyst-forming free-living protists: programmed cell death and/or encystment.

    PubMed

    Khan, Naveed Ahmed; Iqbal, Junaid; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah

    2015-01-01

    In the face of harsh conditions and given a choice, a cell may (i) undergo programmed cell death, (ii) transform into a cancer cell, or (iii) enclose itself into a cyst form. In metazoans, the available evidence suggests that cellular machinery exists only to execute or avoid programmed cell death, while the ability to form a cyst was either lost or never developed. For cyst-forming free-living protists, here we pose the question whether the ability to encyst was gained at the expense of the programmed cell death or both functions coexist to counter unfavorable environmental conditions with mutually exclusive phenotypes.

  14. The Naegleria genome: a free-living microbial eukaryote lends unique insights into core eukaryotic cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Fritz-Laylin, Lillian K.; Ginger, Michael L.; Walsh, Charles; Dawson, Scott C.; Fulton, Chandler

    2016-01-01

    Naegleria gruberi, a free-living protist, has long been treasured as a model for basal body and flagellar assembly due to its ability to differentiate from crawling amoebae into swimming flagellates. The full genome sequence of Naegleria gruberi has recently been used to estimate gene families ancestral to all eukaryotes and to identify novel aspects of Naegleria biology, including likely facultative anaerobic metabolism, extensive signaling cascades, and evidence for sexuality. Distinctive features of the Naegleria genome and nuclear biology provide unique perspectives for comparative cell biology, including cell division, RNA processing and nucleolar assembly. We highlight here exciting new and novel aspects of Naegleria biology identified through genomic analysis. PMID:21392573

  15. Free-living Acanthamoeba and Naegleria spp. amebae in water sources of León, Nicaragua.

    PubMed

    Leiva, Byron; Clasdotter, Emma; Linder, Ewert; Winiecka-Krusnell, Jadwiga

    2008-06-01

    Free-living amebae (FLA) are known to occur worldwide in water-related biotopes, but only limited information is available on these organisms in developing countries and so far no information on their presence is available from Nicaragua. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. and Naegleria spp. in different water sources to which the population of Le6n municipality is exposed. Since pathogenic amebae are thermotolerant, we were especially interested in the occurrence of FLA in geothermal areas. Water samples were collected from Le6n area in Nicaragua: 88 samples were from rivers and springs, 111 from wells, 74 from water taps and 21 from water tanks in urban and suburban Le6n and from three nearby geothermal areas of San Jacinto, Posoltega and Tipitapa. Amebae were identified using morphological and physiological criteria, immunohistochemical staining procedures and molecular methods. Indirect immunofluorescent test was performed on cysts and trophozoites fixed on microscopical slides and incubated for 30 min at room temperature in separate experiments with the following antibodies: rabbit-anti N fowleri/N lovanensis (Nf-Pab), mouse monoclonal antibody anti N. fowleri (Nf-5D12u), rabbit antibodies against Acanthamoeba spp. And fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed using 18S rRNA-targeted fluorescent oligonucleotide probes. Probes: GSP for the detection of Acanthamoeba and NAEG1088 for the detection of Naegleria. Free-living amebae were recovered from approximately 43 % of the samples. Acanthamoeba spp was found in 21% of samples from León municipality and in 2% of samples from geothermal areas. Amoeboflagellates were found in 10 % of samples from Le6n and in 19% in geothermal areas. Fifty three percent of tested wells in the geothermal area contained thermotolerant amoeboflagellates. Naegleria spp. was identified in 24 out of 39 (61.5 %) of isolated amoeboflagellates. Twelve of them were

  16. Free-living protozoa in the gastrointestinal tract and feces of pigs: Exploration of an unknown world and towards a protocol for the recovery of free-living protozoa.

    PubMed

    Chavatte, N; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2016-07-30

    Associations with free-living protozoa (FLP) have been implicated in the persistence of foodborne pathogenic bacteria in food-related environments. To date however no information is available on the presence of FLP in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of pigs, which represents an important reservoir for zoonotic foodborne bacteria and hence a potential location for associations with FLP. This is at least partly due to the lack of adequate protocols to recover FLP from intestinal content and feces. In the present study different protocols to recover FLP from the porcine GIT and feces were tested. The most effective protocols were then applied to explore the presence of live FLP in the pig GIT and feces. A filtration based protocol was identified as the most suitable method to recover viable FLP from the porcine GIT and feces. Cultivable FLP were recovered from different parts of the GIT, suggesting at least a transient presence of FLP in this habitat. Free-living amoebae species (Acanthamoeba spp., Hyperamoeba sp., Vannella sp., Vermamoeba vermiformis, hartmannellids and vahlkampfiids) but also ciliates (Colpoda sp. and Tetrahymena/Glaucoma lookalike) and flagellates (cercomonads, bodonids and glissomonads) were recovered and cultured from pig intestinal content. Acanthamoeba hatchetti and Filamoeba sinensis were isolated for the first time from pig intestinal content. Despite high gastric acidity, non-cyst forming amoeba species were also detected which suggests survival of their trophozoites in the animal GIT. PMID:27369581

  17. Free-living protozoa in the gastrointestinal tract and feces of pigs: Exploration of an unknown world and towards a protocol for the recovery of free-living protozoa.

    PubMed

    Chavatte, N; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2016-07-30

    Associations with free-living protozoa (FLP) have been implicated in the persistence of foodborne pathogenic bacteria in food-related environments. To date however no information is available on the presence of FLP in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of pigs, which represents an important reservoir for zoonotic foodborne bacteria and hence a potential location for associations with FLP. This is at least partly due to the lack of adequate protocols to recover FLP from intestinal content and feces. In the present study different protocols to recover FLP from the porcine GIT and feces were tested. The most effective protocols were then applied to explore the presence of live FLP in the pig GIT and feces. A filtration based protocol was identified as the most suitable method to recover viable FLP from the porcine GIT and feces. Cultivable FLP were recovered from different parts of the GIT, suggesting at least a transient presence of FLP in this habitat. Free-living amoebae species (Acanthamoeba spp., Hyperamoeba sp., Vannella sp., Vermamoeba vermiformis, hartmannellids and vahlkampfiids) but also ciliates (Colpoda sp. and Tetrahymena/Glaucoma lookalike) and flagellates (cercomonads, bodonids and glissomonads) were recovered and cultured from pig intestinal content. Acanthamoeba hatchetti and Filamoeba sinensis were isolated for the first time from pig intestinal content. Despite high gastric acidity, non-cyst forming amoeba species were also detected which suggests survival of their trophozoites in the animal GIT.

  18. Underwater Acoustic Localization and Tracking of Pacific Walruses in the Northeastern Chukchi Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rideout, Brendan Pearce

    This thesis develops and demonstrates an approach for estimating the three-dimensional (3D) location of a vocalizing underwater marine mammal using acoustic arrival time measurements at three spatially separated receivers while providing rigorous location uncertainties. To properly account for uncertainty in the measurements of receiver parameters (e.g., 3D receiver locations and synchronization times) and environmental parameters (water depth and sound speed correction), these quantities are treated as unknowns constrained with prior estimates and prior uncertainties. While previous localization algorithms have solved for an unknown scaling factor on the prior uncertainties as part of the inversion, in this work unknown scaling factors on both the prior and arrival time uncertainties are estimated. Maximum a posteriori estimates for sound source locations and times, receiver parameters, and environmental parameters are calculated simultaneously. Posterior uncertainties for all unknowns are calculated and incorporate both arrival time and prior uncertainties. Simulation results demonstrated that, for the case considered here, linearization errors are generally small and that the lack of an accurate sound speed profile does not necessarily cause large uncertainties or biases in the estimated positions. The primary motivation for this work was to develop an algorithm for locating underwater Pacific walruses in the coastal waters around Alaska. In 2009, an array of approximately 40 underwater acoustic receivers was deployed in the northeastern Chukchi Sea (northwest of Alaska) from August to October to record the vocalizations of marine mammals including Pacific walruses and bowhead whales. Three of these receivers were placed in a triangular arrangement approximately 400 m apart near the Hanna Shoal (northwest of Wainwright, Alaska). A sequence of walrus knock vocalizations from this data set was processed using the localization algorithm developed in this thesis

  19. Detection and Molecular Characterization of Potentially Pathogenic Free-living Amoebae from Water Sources in Kish Island, Southern Iran.

    PubMed

    Niyyati, Maryam; Lasgerdi, Zohreh; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Amoebic keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection, mainly occurs in contact lens wearers who wash their eyes with tap water. The present research was conducted to identify the occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) in tap water sources on Kish Island, a tourist region in Iran. Amoebae were detected using a culture-enriched method and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/sequencing of the diagnostic fragment 3 region of the 18S rRNA gene of Acanthamoeba. In the case of other free-living amoebae species, PCR/sequencing analysis of the 18S rDNA was conducted. Results of this study showed the presence of Acanthamoeba belonging to T3, T4, T5, and T11 genotypes in tap water sources. Additionally, Vermamoebae vermiformis was detected in three water samples. This is the first report of the Acanthamoeba genotypes T3, T4, T5, and T11 and V. vermiformis species in tap water sources in a tourist region in Iran.

  20. Detection of free-living amoebae using amoebal enrichment in a wastewater treatment plant of Gauteng Province, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Muchesa, P; Mwamba, O; Barnard, T G; Bartie, C

    2014-01-01

    Free-living amoebae pose a potential health risk in water systems as they may be pathogenic and harbor potential pathogenic bacteria known as amoebae resistant bacteria. Free-living amoebae were observed in 150 (87.2%) of the environmental water samples. In particular, Acanthamoeba sp. was identified in 22 (12.8%) using amoebal enrichment and confirmed by molecular analysis. FLA were isolated in all 8 stages of the wastewater treatment plant using the amoebal enrichment technique. A total of 16 (9.3%) samples were positive for FLA from influent, 20 (11.6%) from bioreactor feed, 16 (9.3%) from anaerobic zone, 16 (9.3%) from anoxic zone, 32 (18.6%) from aerators, 16 (9.3%) from bioreactor effluent, 11 (6.4%) from bioreactor final effluent, and 45 (26.2%) from maturation pond. This study provides baseline information on the occurrence of amoebae in wastewater treatment plant. This has health implications on receiving water bodies as some FLA are pathogenic and are also involved in the transmission and dissemination of pathogenic bacteria.

  1. Thermoregulatory changes anticipate hibernation onset by 45 days: data from free-living arctic ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Sheriff, Michael J; Williams, Cory T; Kenagy, G J; Buck, C Loren; Barnes, Brian M

    2012-08-01

    Hibernation is a strategy of reducing energy expenditure, body temperature (T(b)) and activity used by endotherms to escape unpredictable or seasonally reduced food availability. Despite extensive research on thermoregulatory adjustments during hibernation, less is known about transitions in thermoregulatory state, particularly under natural conditions. Laboratory studies on hibernating ground squirrels have demonstrated that thermoregulatory adjustments may occur over short intervals when animals undergo several brief, preliminary torpor bouts prior to entering multiday torpor. These short torpor bouts have been suggested to reflect a resetting of hypothalamic regions that control T(b) or to precondition animals before they undergo deep, multiday torpor. Here, we examined continuous records of T(b) in 240 arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii) prior to hibernation in the wild and in captivity. In free-living squirrels, T(b) began to decline 45 days prior to hibernation, and average T(b) had decreased 4.28 °C at the onset of torpor. Further, we found that 75 % of free-living squirrels and 35 % of captive squirrels entered bouts of multiday torpor with a single T(b) decline and without previously showing short preliminary bouts. This study provides evidence that adjustments in the thermoregulatory component of hibernation begin far earlier than previously demonstrated. The gradual reduction in T(b) is likely a component of the suite of metabolic and behavioral adjustments, controlled by an endogenous, circannual rhythm, that vary seasonally in hibernating ground squirrels.

  2. Artificial light at night affects body mass but not oxidative status in free-living nestling songbirds: an experimental study

    PubMed Central

    Raap, Thomas; Casasole, Giulia; Costantini, David; AbdElgawad, Hamada; Asard, Han; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Artificial light at night (ALAN), termed light pollution, is an increasingly important anthropogenic environmental pressure on wildlife. Exposure to unnatural lighting environments may have profound effects on animal physiology, particularly during early life. Here, we experimentally investigated for the first time the impact of ALAN on body mass and oxidative status during development, using nestlings of a free-living songbird, the great tit (Parus major), an important model species. Body mass and blood oxidative status were determined at baseline (=13 days after hatching) and again after a two night exposure to ALAN. Because it is very difficult to generalise the oxidative status from one or two measures we relied on a multi-biomarker approach. We determined multiple metrics of both antioxidant defences and oxidative damage: molecular antioxidants GSH, GSSG; antioxidant enzymes GPX, SOD, CAT; total non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity and damage markers protein carbonyls and TBARS. Light exposed nestlings showed no increase in body mass, in contrast to unexposed individuals. None of the metrics of oxidative status were affected. Nonetheless, our study provides experimental field evidence that ALAN may negatively affect free-living nestlings’ development and hence may have adverse consequences lasting throughout adulthood. PMID:27759087

  3. Heligmosomoides polygyrus reduces infestation of Ixodes ricinus in free-living yellow-necked mice, Apodemus flavicollis.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, N; Cattadori, I M; Rizzoli, A; Hudson, P J

    2009-03-01

    Free-living animals are usually inhabited by a community of parasitic species that can interact with each other and alter both host susceptibility and parasite transmission. In this study we tested the prediction that an increase in the gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus would increase the infestation of the tick Ixodes ricinus, in free-living yellow-necked mice, Apodemus flavicollis. An extensive cross-sectional trapping survey identified a negative relationship between H. polygyrus and I. ricinus counter to the prediction. An experimental reduction of the nematode infection through anthelmintic treatment resulted in an increase in tick infestation, suggesting that this negative association was one of cause and effect. Host characteristics (breeding condition and age) and habitat variables also contributed to affect tick infestation. While these results were counter to the prediction, they still support the hypothesis that interactions between parasite species can shape parasite community dynamics in natural systems. Laboratory models may act differently from natural populations and the mechanism generating the negative association is discussed. PMID:19154651

  4. Seasonal breeding drives the incidence of a chronic bacterial infection in a free-living herbivore population.

    PubMed

    Pathak, A K; Boag, B; Poss, M; Harvill, E T; Cattadori, I M

    2011-08-01

    Understanding seasonal changes in age-related incidence of infections can be revealing for disentangling how host heterogeneities affect transmission and how to control the spread of infections between social groups. Seasonal forcing has been well documented in human childhood diseases but the mechanisms responsible for age-related transmission in free-living and socially structured animal populations are still poorly known. Here we studied the seasonal dynamics of Bordetella bronchiseptica in a free-living rabbit population over 5 years and discuss the possible mechanisms of infection. This bacterium has been isolated in livestock and wildlife where it causes respiratory infections that rapidly spread between individuals and persist as subclinical infections. Sera were collected from rabbits sampled monthly and examined using an ELISA. Findings revealed that B. bronchiseptica circulates in the rabbit population with annual prevalence ranging between 88% and 97%. Both seroprevalence and antibody optical density index exhibited 1-year cycles, indicating that disease outbreaks were seasonal and suggesting that long-lasting antibody protection was transient. Intra-annual dynamics showed a strong seasonal signature associated with the recruitment of naive offspring during the breeding period. Infection appeared to be mainly driven by mother-to-litter contacts rather than by interactions with other members of the community. By age 2 months, 65% of the kittens were seropositive.

  5. Blood chemistry and hematologic values in free-living nestlings of Montagu's harriers (Circus pygargus) in a natural habitat.

    PubMed

    Limiñana, Ruben; López-Olvera, Jorge R; Gallardo, Miguel; Fordham, Margaret; Urios, Vicente

    2009-12-01

    The establishment of reference intervals for hematologic and blood chemistry values in a given species is essential for subsequent diagnosis of disease at rehabilitation facilities and in captive breeding programs. In this study, blood samples were obtained from nestlings (18 males and 22 females) of a natural-vegetation breeding population of Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus) in eastern Spain in order to establish reference intervals for blood values. This is the first study documenting hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for free-living Montagu's harriers. The studied population may reflect typical blood values for the species, since it is a free-living population that seems not to be constrained by food availability, as it is the population of Montagu's harriers with the highest productivity within Europe. Differences related to sex, year, clutch size, brood size, and number of fledglings were analyzed. Packed cell volume and hemoglobin were significantly lower from nests with five chicks compared to values from nests with fewer chicks, indicating that the cost of rearing more than four chicks in this species may be excessive. Total protein, calcium (Ca), and phosphorus (P) were significantly lower in the year with lowest mean rainfall, which correlates with the worst breeding success rate since the population has been monitored. No gender differences were found; this is likely a result of the prepubertal age of the animals sampled.

  6. Endosymbiosis In Statu Nascendi: Close Phylogenetic RelationshipBetween Obligately Endosymbiotic and Obligately Free-LivingPolynucleobacter Strains (Betaproteobacteria)

    SciTech Connect

    Vannini, Claudia; Pockl, Matthias; Petroni, Giulio; Wu, Qinglong; Lang, Elke; Stackebrandt, Erko; Schrallhammer, Martina; Richardson, PaulM.; Hahn, Martin W.

    2006-07-21

    Bacterial strains affiliated to the phylogenetically shallowsubcluster C (PnecC) of the 28 Polynucleobacter cluster, which ischaracterized by a minimal 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of approx.98.5 percent, have been reported to occur as obligate endosymbionts of 30ciliates (Euplotes spp.), as well as to occur as free-living cells in thepelagic zone of freshwater habitats. We investigated if these two groupsof closely related bacteria represent 32 strains fundamentally differingin lifestyle, or if they simply represent different stages of afacultative endosymbiotic lifestyle. The phylogenetic analysis of 16SrRNA gene and 16S34 23S ITS sequences of five endosymbiont strains fromtwo different Euplotes species and 40 pure culture strains demonstratedhost-species-specific clustering of the endosymbiont 36 sequences withinthe PnecC subcluster. The sequences of the endosymbionts showedcharacteristics indicating an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle.Cultivation experiments 38 revealed fundamental differences inphysiological adaptations, and determination of the genome sizesindicated a slight size reduction in endosymbiotic strains. We concludethat the 40 two groups of PnecC bacteria represent obligately free-livingand obligately endosymbiotic strains, respectively, and do not representdifferent stages of the same complex lifecycle. 42 These closely relatedstrains occupy completely separated ecological niches. To our bestknowledge, this is the closest phylogenetic relationship between obligateendosymbionts and 44 obligately free-living bacteria everrevealed.

  7. Evaluation of antibiotics as a methodological procedure to inhibit free-living and biofilm bacteria in marine zooplankton culture.

    PubMed

    Agostini, Vanessa O; Macedo, Alexandre J; Muxagata, Erik

    2016-01-01

    There is a problem with keeping culture medium completely or partially free from bacteria. The use of prokaryotic metabolic inhibitors, such as antibiotics, is suggested as an alternative solution, although such substances should not harm non-target organisms. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments in inhibiting free-living and biofilm bacteria and their half-life in artificial marine environment using the copepod Acartia tonsa as bioindicador of non-harmful antibiotic combinations. Regarding to results, the application of 0.025 g L-1 penicillin G potassium + 0.08 g L-1 streptomycin sulphate + 0.04 g L-1 neomycin sulphate showed great potential for use in marine cultures and scientific experiments without lethal effects to non-target organisms. The effect of this combination starts within the first six hours of exposure and reduces up to 93 % the bacterial density, but the half-life is short, requiring replacement. No adverse changes in water quality were observed within 168 hours of exposure. As a conclusion, we can infer that this treatment was an effective procedure for zooplankton cultures and scientific experiments with the aim of measuring the role of free-living and biofilm in the marine community.

  8. Energy budget in free-living animals: a novel approach based on the doubly labeled water method.

    PubMed

    Kam, M; Degen, A A

    1997-04-01

    We provide a theoretical and practical model for the calculation of energy balance of free-living animals using the doubly labeled water method. Energy expenditure, metabolizable energy intake, and body energy balance (energy retention, negative or positive) of animals are estimated using CO2 production, water influx, and dietary habits. This model accounts for CO2 produced from the 1) oxidation of dietary substrates, 2) catabolism of body tissue, and 3) deposition of body energy. We examined the model using data from studies on five homeotherms reported in the literature. The ratios between daily energy expenditure using our model and that presented in the reports ranged between 0.76 and 1.18. Metabolizable energy intakes were as low as 43% of energy expenditure in negative energy-balanced hummingbirds and as high as 245% of energy expenditure in positive energy-balanced koala bears. This model is the first that allows theoretical calculation of all energy budget components, including energy retention, in free-living animals using the doubly labeled water method. PMID:9140038

  9. Overproduction of Indole-3-Acetic Acid in Free-Living Rhizobia Induces Transcriptional Changes Resembling Those Occurring in Nodule Bacteroids.

    PubMed

    Defez, Roberto; Esposito, Roberta; Angelini, Claudia; Bianco, Carmen

    2016-06-01

    Free-living bacteria grown under aerobic conditions were used to investigate, by next-generation RNA sequencing analysis, the transcriptional profiles of Sinorhizobium meliloti wild-type 1021 and its derivative, RD64, overproducing the main auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Among the upregulated genes in RD64 cells, we detected the main nitrogen-fixation regulator fixJ, the two intermediate regulators fixK and nifA, and several other genes known to be FixJ targets. The gene coding for the sigma factor RpoH1 and other genes involved in stress response, regulated in a RpoH1-dependent manner in S. meliloti, were also induced in RD64 cells. Under microaerobic condition, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the genes fixJL and nifA were up-regulated in RD64 cells as compared with 1021 cells. This work provided evidence that the overexpression of IAA in S. meliloti free-living cells induced many of the transcriptional changes that normally occur in nitrogen-fixing root nodule. PMID:27003799

  10. Preliminary study on applicability of microsatellite DNA primers from parasite protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi in free-living protozoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wenjing; Yu, Yuhe; Shen, Yunfen; Miao, Wei; Feng, Weisong

    2004-04-01

    In this paper, we took the lead in studying on specificity of the microsatellite DNA loci and applicability of microsatellite DNA primers in protozoa. In order to study characters of microsatellites in free-living protozoa, eight microsatellite loci primers developed from Trypanosoma cruzi (MCLE01, SCLE10, MCLE08, SCLE11, MCLF10, MCLG10, MCL03, MCL05) were employed to amplify microsatellite in four free-living protozoa, including Bodo designis, Euglena gracilis FACHB848, Paramecium bruzise and Tetrahymena thermophila BF1. In the amplification systems of P. bruzise, four loci (SCLE10, SCLE11, MCLF10, MCL03) were amplified successfully, and four amplification fragments were in proper size. In genome of E. gracilis FACHB848, five of eight primers brought five clear amplification bands. In B. designis, three (No.4, 5 and 7) of eight loci produced clear and sharp products without stutter bands, whereas no bands appeared in T. thermophila BF1. Further, eight 300 500 bp amplification fragments were cloned and sequenced. Nevertheless, all sequenced products did not contain corresponding microsatellite sequence, although Bodo is in the same order and has the nearest phylogenetic relation with Trypanosoma among these four species. Thus, the microsatellite DNA primers can not be applied among order or more far taxa, and the specificity of microsatellite DNA is very high in protozoa. The results of this study will contribute to our understanding of microsatellite DNA in protozoa.

  11. Detection and Molecular Characterization of Potentially Pathogenic Free-living Amoebae from Water Sources in Kish Island, Southern Iran

    PubMed Central

    Niyyati, Maryam; Lasgerdi, Zohreh; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Amoebic keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection, mainly occurs in contact lens wearers who wash their eyes with tap water. The present research was conducted to identify the occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) in tap water sources on Kish Island, a tourist region in Iran. Amoebae were detected using a culture-enriched method and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/sequencing of the diagnostic fragment 3 region of the 18S rRNA gene of Acanthamoeba. In the case of other free-living amoebae species, PCR/sequencing analysis of the 18S rDNA was conducted. Results of this study showed the presence of Acanthamoeba belonging to T3, T4, T5, and T11 genotypes in tap water sources. Additionally, Vermamoebae vermiformis was detected in three water samples. This is the first report of the Acanthamoeba genotypes T3, T4, T5, and T11 and V. vermiformis species in tap water sources in a tourist region in Iran. PMID:25922581

  12. Evaluation of antibiotics as a methodological procedure to inhibit free-living and biofilm bacteria in marine zooplankton culture.

    PubMed

    Agostini, Vanessa O; Macedo, Alexandre J; Muxagata, Erik

    2016-01-01

    There is a problem with keeping culture medium completely or partially free from bacteria. The use of prokaryotic metabolic inhibitors, such as antibiotics, is suggested as an alternative solution, although such substances should not harm non-target organisms. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments in inhibiting free-living and biofilm bacteria and their half-life in artificial marine environment using the copepod Acartia tonsa as bioindicador of non-harmful antibiotic combinations. Regarding to results, the application of 0.025 g L-1 penicillin G potassium + 0.08 g L-1 streptomycin sulphate + 0.04 g L-1 neomycin sulphate showed great potential for use in marine cultures and scientific experiments without lethal effects to non-target organisms. The effect of this combination starts within the first six hours of exposure and reduces up to 93 % the bacterial density, but the half-life is short, requiring replacement. No adverse changes in water quality were observed within 168 hours of exposure. As a conclusion, we can infer that this treatment was an effective procedure for zooplankton cultures and scientific experiments with the aim of measuring the role of free-living and biofilm in the marine community. PMID:27168369

  13. Free-Living and Plankton-Associated Vibrios: Assessment in Ballast Water, Harbor Areas, and Coastal Ecosystems in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Rivera, Irma N. G.; Souza, Keili M. C.; Souza, Claudiana P.; Lopes, Rubens M.

    2013-01-01

    Ballast water (BW) is a major transport vector of exotic aquatic species and pathogenic microorganisms. The wide-ranging spread of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 from harbor areas has been frequently ascribed to discharge of contaminated BW into eutrophic coastal environments, such as during the onset of the seventh cholera pandemic in South America in the early 1990s. To determine the microbiological hazards of BWs transported to Brazilian ports, we evaluated water and plankton samples taken from (i) BW tanks of recently arrived ships, (ii) port areas along the Brazilian coastline from ∼1 to 32°S and (iii) three coastal areas in São Paulo State. Vibrio concentration and toxigenic V. cholerae O1 occurrence were analyzed. Plankton-associated vibrios were more abundant than free-living vibrios in all studied environments. V. cholerae was found in 9.5% of ballast tanks and 24.2% of port samples, both as free-living and attached forms and, apart from the Santos harbor, was absent off São Paulo State. Toxigenic V. cholerae O1 isolates (ctxA+, tcpA+), involved in cholera disease, were found in BW (2%) and harbor (2%) samples. These results confirm that BW is an important carrier of pathogenic organisms, and that monitoring of vibrios and other plankton-attached bacteria is of paramount importance in BW management programs. PMID:23335920

  14. Genome-wide analysis of RING finger proteins in the smallest free-living photosynthetic eukaryote Ostreococus tauri.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yan; Li, Ming-Yi; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Yan-Cui; Xie, Qiu-Jiao; Chen, Dong-Hong

    2016-04-01

    RING finger proteins and ubiquitination marks are widely involved in diverse aspects of growth and development, biological processes, and stress or environmental responses. As the smallest free-living photosynthetic eukaryote known so far, the green alga Ostreococus tauri has become an excellent model for investigating the origin of different gene families in the green lineage. Here, 65 RING domains in 65 predicted proteins were identified from O. tauri and on the basis of one or more substitutions at the metal ligand positions and spacing between them they were divided into eight canonical or modified types (RING-CH, -H2, -v, -C2, -C3HCHC2, -C2HC5, -C3GC3S, and -C2SHC4), in which the latter four were newly identified and might represent the intermediate states between RING domain and other similar domains, respectively. RING finger proteins were classified into eight classes based on the presence of additional domains, including RING-Only, -Plus, -C3H1, -PHD, -WD40, -PEX, -TM, and -DEXDc classes. These RING family genes usually lack introns and are distributed over 17 chromosomes. In addition, 29 RING-finger proteins in O. tauri share different degrees of homology with those in the model flowering plant Arabidopsis, indicating they might be necessary for the basic survival of free-living eukaryotes. Therefore, our results provide new insight into the general classification and evolutionary conservation of RING domain-containing proteins in O. tauri. PMID:26751716

  15. The genealogic tree of mycobacteria reveals a long-standing sympatric life into free-living protozoa.

    PubMed

    Lamrabet, Otmane; Merhej, Vicky; Pontarotti, Pierre; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2012-01-01

    Free-living protozoa allow horizontal gene transfer with and between the microorganisms that they host. They host mycobacteria for which the sources of transferred genes remain unknown. Using BLASTp, we searched within the genomes of 15 mycobacteria for homologous genes with 34 amoeba-resistant bacteria and the free-living protozoa Dictyostelium discoideum. Subsequent phylogenetic analysis of these sequences revealed that eight mycobacterial open-reading frames (ORFs) were probably acquired via horizontal transfer from beta- and gamma-Proteobacteria and from Firmicutes, but the transfer histories could not be reliably established in details. One further ORF encoding a pyridine nucleotide disulfide oxidoreductase (pyr-redox) placed non-tuberculous mycobacteria in a clade with Legionella spp., Francisella spp., Coxiella burnetii, the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila and D. discoideum with a high reliability. Co-culturing Mycobacterium avium and Legionella pneumophila with the amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga demonstrated that these two bacteria could live together in amoebae for five days, indicating the biological relevance of intra-amoebal transfer of the pyr-redox gene. In conclusion, the results of this study support the hypothesis that protists can serve as a source and a place for gene transfer in mycobacteria.

  16. Ancient weapons for attack and defense: the pore-forming polypeptides of pathogenic enteric and free-living amoeboid protozoa.

    PubMed

    Leippe, Matthias; Herbst, Rosa

    2004-01-01

    Pore-forming polypeptides have been purified from several amoeboid protozoans that are well-known human pathogens. Obligate enteric parasites, such as Entamoeba histolytica, and free-living but potentially highly pathogenic species, such as Naegleria fowleri, contain these cytolytic molecules inside cytoplasmic granules. Comprehensive functional and structural studies have been conducted that include isolation of the proteins from their natural sources, monitoring of their biological activity towards different targets, and molecular cloning of the genes of their precursors. In the case of the most prominent member of the protein family, with respect to protozoans, the three-dimensional structure of amoebapore A was solved recently. The amoebic pore-forming polypeptides can rapidly perforate human cells. The antibacterial activity of amoebapores and of related polypetides from free-living protozoa points to a more vital function of these molecules: inside the digestive vacuoles they combat growth of phagocytosed bacteria which are killed when their cytoplasmic membranes are permeabilized. The concommitant activity of these proteins towards host cells may be due to a coincidental selection for an efficient effector molecule. Nonetheless, several lines of evidence indicate that these factors are involved in pathogenesis of fatal diseases induced by amoeboid protozoa.