Torres, A M; Kini, R M; Selvanayagam, N; Kuchel, P W
A high-resolution solution structure of bucandin, a neurotoxin from Malayan krait (Bungarus candidus), was determined by (1)H-NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics. The average backbone root-mean-square deviation for the 20 calculated structures and the mean structure is 0.47 A (1 A=0.1 nm) for all residues and 0.24 A for the well-defined region that spans residues 23-58. Secondary-structural elements include two antiparallel beta-sheets characterized by two and four strands. According to recent X-ray analysis, bucandin adopts a typical three-finger loop motif and yet it has some peculiar characteristics that set it apart from other common alpha-neurotoxins. The presence of a fourth strand in the second antiparallel beta-sheet had not been observed before in three-finger toxins, and this feature was well represented in the NMR structure. Although the overall fold of the NMR structure is similar to that of the X-ray crystal structure, there are significant differences between the two structures that have implications for the pharmacological action of the toxin. These include the extent of the beta-sheets, the conformation of the region spanning residues 42-49 and the orientation of some side chains. In comparison with the X-ray structure, the NMR structure shows that the hydrophobic side chains of Trp(27) and Trp(36) are stacked together and are orientated towards the tip of the middle loop. The NMR study also showed that the two-stranded beta-sheet incorporated in the first loop, as defined by residues 1-22, and the C-terminus from Asn(59), is probably flexible relative to the rest of the molecule. On the basis of the dispositions of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic side chains, the structure of bucandin is clearly different from those of cytotoxins. PMID:11736642
Kuch, Ulrich; Sharma, Sanjib Kumar; Alirol, Emilie; Chappuis, François
The Lesser Black Krait (Bungarus lividus) is a small, secretive, nocturnal elapid snake inhabiting Nepal, Bangladesh and India. We report a case of B. lividus bite in Nepal resulting in burning sensation at the bite site and over the whole body, abdominal pain, vomiting, slurred speech, ptosis, and progressive generalized neuromuscular paralysis leading to respiratory distress and death. Only one other case of fatal envenomation by this species has been reported previously in India. This demonstrates that B. lividus contributes to snakebite mortality in South Asia. As few snakebite victims in this region kill and bring the snake and because the clinical syndromes appear similar, envenomation by B. lividus may be misdiagnosed as envenomation by Common Kraits (Bungarus caeruleus). External morphology characters that distinguish B. lividus from B. caeruleus and other krait species are illustrated.
Silva, Anjana; Maduwage, Kalana; Sedgwick, Michael; Pilapitiya, Senaka; Weerawansa, Prasanna; Dahanayaka, Niroshana J.; Buckley, Nicholas A.; Johnston, Christopher; Siribaddana, Sisira; Isbister, Geoffrey K.
Objective We aimed to investigate neurophysiological and clinical effects of common krait envenoming, including the time course and treatment response. Methodology Patients with definite common krait (Bungarus caeruleus) bites were recruited from a Sri Lankan hospital. All patients had serial neurological examinations and stimulated concentric needle single-fibre electromyography (sfEMG) of orbicularis oculi in hospital at 6wk and 6–9mth post-bite. Principal Findings There were 33 patients enrolled (median age 35y; 24 males). Eight did not develop neurotoxicity and had normal sfEMG. Eight had mild neurotoxicity with ptosis, normal sfEMG; six received antivenom and all recovered within 20–32h. Seventeen patients developed severe neurotoxicity with rapidly descending paralysis, from ptosis to complete ophthalmoplegia, facial, bulbar and neck weakness. All 17 received Indian polyvalent antivenom a median 3.5h post-bite (2.8–7.2h), which cleared unbound venom from blood. Despite this, the paralysis worsened requiring intubation and ventilation within 7h post-bite. sfEMG showed markedly increased jitter and neuromuscular blocks within 12h. sfEMG abnormalities gradually improved over 24h, corresponding with clinical recovery. Muscle recovery occurred in ascending order. Myotoxicity was not evident, clinically or biochemically, in any of the patients. Patients were extubated a median 96h post-bite (54–216h). On discharge, median 8 days (4–12days) post-bite, patients were clinically normal but had mild sfEMG abnormalities which persisted at 6wk post-bite. There were no clinical or neurophysiological abnormalities at 6–9mth. Conclusions Common krait envenoming causes rapid onset severe neuromuscular paralysis which takes days to recover clinically consistent with sfEMG. Subclinical neuromuscular dysfunction lasts weeks but was not permanent. Antivenom effectively cleared venom but did not prevent worsening or reverse neuromuscular paralysis. PMID:26829229
Faiz, Abul; Ghose, Aniruddha; Ahsan, Farid; Rahman, Ridwanur; Amin, Robed; Hassan, Mahtab Uddin; Chowdhury, A Wahed; Kuch, Ulrich; Rocha, Thalita; Harris, John B; Theakston, R David G; Warrell, David A
Prospective studies of snake bite patients in Chittagong, Bangladesh, included five cases of bites by greater black kraits (Bungarus niger), proven by examination of the snakes that had been responsible. This species was previously known only from India, Nepal, Bhutan and Burma. The index case presented with descending flaccid paralysis typical of neurotoxic envenoming by all Bungarus species, but later developed generalized rhabdomyolysis (peak serum creatine kinase concentration 29,960 units/l) with myoglobinuria and acute renal failure from which he succumbed. Among the other four patients, one died of respiratory paralysis in a peripheral hospital and three recovered after developing paralysis, requiring mechanical ventilation in one patient. One patient suffered severe generalized myalgia and odynophagia associated with a modest increase in serum creatine kinase concentration. These are the first cases of Bungarus niger envenoming to be reported from any country. Generalized rhabdomyolysis has not been previously recognized as a feature of envenoming by any terrestrial Asian elapid snake, but a review of the literature suggests that venoms of some populations of Bungarus candidus and Bungarus multicinctus in Thailand and Vietnam may also have this effect in human victims. To investigate this unexpected property of Bungarus niger venom, venom from the snake responsible for one of the human cases of neuro-myotoxic envenoming was injected into one hind limb of rats and saline into the other under buprenorphine analgesia. All animals developed paralysis of the venom-injected limb within two hours. Twenty-four hours later, the soleus muscles were compared histopathologically and cytochemically. Results indicated a predominantly pre-synaptic action (β-bungarotoxins) of Bungarus niger venom at neuromuscular junctions, causing loss of synaptophysin and the degeneration of the terminal components of the motor innervation of rat skeletal muscle. There was oedema and
Ahmed, Mushtaq; Rocha, João Batista T; Mazzanti, Cinthia M; Morsch, André L B; Cargnelutti, Denise; Corrêa, Maísa; Loro, Vânia; Morsch, Vera Maria; Schetinger, Maria R C
Carbofuran and malathion, well known pesticides, and paraquat, a world widely used herbicide, were tested on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) from Bungarus sindanus venom and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) from human serum. The calculated IC(50 )values for inhibition of venom enzyme by malathion, carbofuran and paraquat were 2.5, 0.14, and 0.16 microM, respectively. The values for inhibition of serum butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) were 3.5, 0.09 and 0.18 microM, respectively. Analysis of kinetic data indicated that the inhibition caused by malathion, carbofuran and paraquat was mixed for venom AChE. For BChE from human serum, the inhibition caused by malathion and paraquat was mixed and for carbofuran it was uncompetitive. The present results suggest a commercial paraquat preparation (a popular herbicide) inhibits cholinesterases with similar or higher potency than classical pesticide inhibitors. Furthermore, this inhibition was observed both in human serum and snake venom, a newly studied source of AChE.
Identification of alpha-bungarotoxin (A31) as the major postsynaptic neurotoxin, and complete nucleotide identity of a genomic DNA of Bungarus candidus from Java with exons of the Bungarus multicinctus alpha-bungarotoxin (A31) gene.
Kuch, Ulrich; Molles, Brian E; Omori-Satoh, Tamotsu; Chanhome, Lawan; Samejima, Yuji; Mebs, Dietrich
The Malayan krait (Bungarus candidus) is one of the most medically significant snake species in Southeast Asia. No specific antivenom exists to treat envenoming by this species. Death within 30 min after its bite has been reported from Java, suggesting the presence of highly lethal postsynaptic neurotoxins in the venom of these snakes. We purified and identified the major postsynaptic toxin in the venom of B. candidus from Java. The toxin was indistinguishable from alpha-bungarotoxin (A31), a toxin originally isolated from Bungarus multicinctus, in its mass (7983.75 Da), LD50 (0.23 microg/g in mice i.p.), affinity to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and by its 40 N-terminal amino acid residues as determined by Edman degradation. Identity with alpha-bungarotoxin was confirmed by cloning and sequencing a genomic DNA from B. candidus which encodes the 74 amino acid sequence of alpha-bungarotoxin (A31) and part of its signal peptide, revealing complete identity to the alpha-bungarotoxin (A31) gene in exon and 98.9% identity in intron sequences. The entire mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of the krait species B. candidus from Java and B. multicinctus from Taiwan was sequenced for comparison, suggesting that these snakes are phylogenetically closely related. alpha-Bungarotoxin appears to be widely present and conserved in Southeast and East Asian black-and-white kraits across populations and taxa.
Law, Arjun Datt; Agrawal, Anshu Kumar; Bhalla, Ashish
Neuroparalytic snake bite is a common emergency situation encountered in India. Common krait (Bungarus caeruleus) and cobra (Naja naja) are important snakes causing neuroparalysis in North India. Despite severe neuroparalysis, patients who receive antivenin and ventilator support in time recover completely. Autonomic disturbances resulting in resting tachycardia, labile hypertension and sweating have been described in common krait envenomation. We present a case of common krait (B. caeruleus) envenomation presenting in the locked-in state and severe hypertension that remained in such a state for over 96 h before a gradual and sustained recovery.
Rusmili, Muhamad Rusdi Ahmad; Tee, Ting Yee; Mustafa, Mohd Rais; Othman, Iekhsan; Hodgson, Wayne C
Bungarus fasciatus is one of three species of krait found in Malaysia. Envenoming by B. fasciatus results in neurotoxicity due to the presence of presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins. Antivenom, either monovalent or polyvalent, is the treatment of choice in systemically envenomed patients. In this study, we have isolated a postsynaptic neurotoxin which we named α-elapitoxin-Bf1b. This toxin has an approximate molecular weight of 6.9 kDa, with LCMS/MS data showing that it is highly homologous with Neurotoxin 3FTx-RI, a toxin identified in the Bungarus fasciatus venom gland transcriptome. α-Elapitoxin-Bf1b also shared similarity with short-chain neurotoxins from Laticauda colubrina and Pseudechis australis. α-Elapitoxin-Bf1b produced concentration- and time-dependent neurotoxicity in the indirectly-stimulated chick biventer cervicis muscle preparation, an effect partially reversible by repetitive washing of the preparation. The pA2 value for α-elapitoxin-Bf1b of 9.17 ± 0.64, determined by examining the effects of the toxin on cumulative carbacol concentration-response curves, indicated that the toxin is more potent than tubocurarine and α-bungarotoxin. Pre-incubation of Bungarus fasciatus monovalent and neuro polyvalent antivenom failed to prevent the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Bf1b in the chick biventer cervicis muscle preparation. In conclusion, the isolation of a postsynaptic neurotoxin that cannot be neutralized by either monovalent and polyvalent antivenoms may indicate the presence of isoforms of postsynaptic neurotoxins in Malaysian B. fasciatus venom.
Lillywhite, Harvey B; Tu, Ming-Chung
Recent studies have shown that sea kraits (Laticauda spp.)--amphibious sea snakes--dehydrate without a source of fresh water, drink only fresh water or very dilute brackish water, and have a spatial distribution of abundance that correlates with freshwater sites in Taiwan. The spatial distribution correlates with sites where there is a source of fresh water in addition to local precipitation. Here we report six years of longitudinal data on the abundance of sea kraits related to precipitation at sites where these snakes are normally abundant in the coastal waters of Lanyu (Orchid Island), Taiwan. The number of observed sea kraits varies from year-to-year and correlates positively with previous 6-mo cumulative rainfall, which serves as an inverse index of drought. Grouped data for snake counts indicate that mean abundance in wet years is nearly 3-fold greater than in dry years, and this difference is significant. These data corroborate previous findings and suggest that freshwater dependence influences the abundance or activity of sea kraits on both spatial and temporal scales. The increasing evidence for freshwater dependence in these and other marine species have important implications for the possible impact of climate change on sea snake distributions.
Bonnet, Xavier; Brischoux, François; Bonnet, Christophe; Plichon, Patrice; Fauvel, Thomas
Destruction and pollution of coral reefs threaten these marine biodiversity hot stops which shelter more than two thirds of sea snake species. Notably, in many coral reef ecosystems of the Western Pacific Ocean, large populations of sea kraits (amphibious sea snakes) have drastically declined during the past three decades. Protecting remaining healthy populations is thus essential. In New Caledonia, coral reefs shelter numerous sea krait colonies spread throughout an immense lagoon (24,000 km2). Sea kraits feed on coral fish but lay their eggs on land. However, ecological information on reproduction and juveniles is extremely fragmentary, precluding protection of key habitats for reproduction. Our 10 years mark recapture study on Yellow sea kraits (L. saintgironsi >8,700 individuals marked) revealed that most neonates aggregate in highly localized coastal sites, where they feed and grow during several months before dispersal. Hundreds of females emigrate seasonally from remote populations (>50 km away) to lay their eggs in these coastal nurseries, and then return home. Protecting these nurseries is a priority to maintain recruitment rate, and to retain sea krait populations in the future.
Bonnet, Xavier; Brischoux, François; Bonnet, Christophe; Plichon, Patrice; Fauvel, Thomas
Destruction and pollution of coral reefs threaten these marine biodiversity hot stops which shelter more than two thirds of sea snake species. Notably, in many coral reef ecosystems of the Western Pacific Ocean, large populations of sea kraits (amphibious sea snakes) have drastically declined during the past three decades. Protecting remaining healthy populations is thus essential. In New Caledonia, coral reefs shelter numerous sea krait colonies spread throughout an immense lagoon (24,000 km2). Sea kraits feed on coral fish but lay their eggs on land. However, ecological information on reproduction and juveniles is extremely fragmentary, precluding protection of key habitats for reproduction. Our 10 years mark recapture study on Yellow sea kraits (L. saintgironsi >8,700 individuals marked) revealed that most neonates aggregate in highly localized coastal sites, where they feed and grow during several months before dispersal. Hundreds of females emigrate seasonally from remote populations (>50 km away) to lay their eggs in these coastal nurseries, and then return home. Protecting these nurseries is a priority to maintain recruitment rate, and to retain sea krait populations in the future. PMID:24670985
Heatwole, Harold; Grech, Alana; Monahan, John F; King, Susan; Marsh, Helene
Temperature probably had no direct effect on the evolution of sea kraits within their center of origin, a geologically stable thermal zone straddling the equator, but may have indirectly affected expansions and contractions in distributions beyond that zone through global fluctuations that caused alternation of higher and lower sea levels. The northern limit of the Laticauda colubrina complex seems to be the 20°C isotherm; in the south, the range does not reach that isotherm because there is no land (also a habitat requirement of sea kraits) within the zone of suitable temperature. The relationship of temperature to the pattern of geographic variation in morphology supports either the hypothesis of peripheral convergence or the developmental hypothesis but does not distinguish between them. Quadratic surfaces relating cumulative scores for coloration and morphological characters to global position showed a strong latitudinal component and an even stronger longitudinal one in which the direction of the latitudinal effect was reversed between east and west. A multivariate analysis revealed that while morphological characters vary significantly by location and climate when tested separately, when the influence of location on morphology is taken into account, no residual relationship between climate and morphology remains. Most marine snakes have mean upper temperature tolerances between 39°C and 40°C and operate at temperatures much nearer their upper thermal limits than their lower limits but still avoid deleterious extremes by diving from excessively hot water to deeper, cooler strata, and by surfacing when water is cold. At the surface in still water in sunlight, Pelamis can maintain its body temperature slightly above that of the water, but whether this is significant in nature is questionable. As temperature falls below 18-20°C, survival time is progressively reduced, accompanied by the successive occurrence of cessation of feeding, cessation of swimming, and
Lu, Jia; Yang, Hailong; Yu, Haining; Gao, Weikai; Lai, Ren; Liu, Jingze; Liang, Xingcai
By Sephadex G-50 gel filtration, cation-exchange CM-Sephadex C-25 chromatography and reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), a novel serine protease inhibitor named bungaruskunin was purified and characterized from venom of Bungarus fasciatus. Its cDNA was also cloned from the cDNA library of B. fasciatus venomous glands. The predicted precursor is composed of 83 amino acid (aa) residues including a 24-aa signal peptide and a 59-aa mature bungaruskunin. Bungaruskunin showed maximal similarity (64%) with the predicted serine protease inhibitor blackelin deduced from the cDNA sequence of the red-bellied black snake Pseudechis porphyriacus. Bungaruskunin is a Kunitz protease inhibitor with a conserved Kunitz domain and could exert inhibitory activity against trypsin, chymotrypsin, and elastase. By screening the cDNA library, two new B chains of beta-bungarotoxin are also identified. The overall structures of bungaruskunin and beta-bungarotoxin B chains are similar; especially they have highly conserved signal peptide sequences. These findings strongly suggest that snake Kunitz/BPTI protease inhibitors and neurotoxic homologs may have originated from a common ancestor.
Da Silva, Mari-Ann O; Kortegaard, Hanne E; Choong, Siew Shean; Arnbjerg, Jens; Bertelsen, Mads F
Facial abscessation and osteomyelitis due to dental disease is commonly seen in the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), but little is known about the prevalence or etiology of these lesions. To determine the prevalence of dental ailments, 56 skulls and mandibles of deceased Malayan tapirs were visually and radiographically evaluated. Dental lesions were scored according to severity, and individuals were classified according to their age (juvenile/ young adult/adult) and origin (captive/free ranging). All of the lesions identified were of a resorptive nature. seemingly originating at the cementoenamel junction and burrowing towards the center of the tooth. Overall, 27% of the investigated skulls presented radiolucent dental lesions. The prevalence among captive animals was 52% (13/25), while only 6% (2/31) of the free-ranging tapirs had dental lesions. The second, third, and fourth premolars and first molar were the teeth most commonly affected, and the mandibular teeth were more often involved than the maxillary dentition. This study demonstrates a high prevalence of resorptive dental lesions in captive Malayan tapirs and provides a strong indication that age and captivity are significant risk factors in the development of these lesions. Dental disease, Malayan tapir, radiology, resorptive lesions, Tapirus indicus.
Gherghel, Iulian; Papeş, Monica; Brischoux, François; Sahlean, Tiberiu; Strugariu, Alexandru
The genus Laticauda (Reptilia: Elapidae), commonly known as sea kraits, comprises eight species of marine amphibious snakes distributed along the shores of the Western Pacific Ocean and the Eastern Indian Ocean. We review the information available on the geographic range of sea kraits and analyze their distribution patterns. Generally, we found that south and south-west of Japan, Philippines Archipelago, parts of Indonesia, and Vanuatu have the highest diversity of sea krait species. Further, we compiled the information available on sea kraits' occurrences from a variety of sources, including museum records, field surveys, and the scientific literature. The final database comprises 694 occurrence records, with Laticauda colubrina having the highest number of records and Laticauda schistorhyncha the lowest. The occurrence records were georeferenced and compiled as a database for each sea krait species. This database can be freely used for future studies.
Chanhome, L; Cox, M J; Wilde, H; Jintakoon, P; Chaiyabutr, N; Sitprija, V
Thailand has an abundance of venomous snakes. Among the neurotoxic family Elapidae, there are three species of the genus Naja (cobras), three of the genus Bungarus (kraits), and the king cobra of the genus Ophiophagus. Other Elapidae snakes in Thailand include sea snakes and Asian coral snakes of the genus Calliophis. They have potent venoms but rarely bite humans. Tissue and hemotoxic snakes are represented by family Viperidae, subfamilies Viperinae and Crotalinae. They remain an occupational hazard for farmers and rubber tappers, causing serious morbidity but only rare deaths, since competent treatment is now widely available throughout Thailand. Purified equine antivenin is manufactured locally for the monocled and Siamese spitting cobras (Naja kaouthia and N. siamensis), king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus), most green pit vipers (Trimeresurus sp.), Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma), and the Siamese Russell's viper (Daboia russelli siamensis).
Iswadi, M.I.; Ann, Z.F.; Hafiz, M.M.; Hafiz, M.D.; Fahrul, F.J.; Hajarian, H.; Wahid, H.; Zawawi, I.; Khairiah, M.S.; Mazni, O.A.
The Malayan gaur (Bos gaurus hubbacki) or Seladang is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The Malayan gaur is mainly distributed in the tropical woodlands of Peninsular Malaysia and Southern Thailand. The aim of this study was to collect, analyze and cryopreserve the semen of wild Malayan gaur. Transrectal massage (TM) and electroejaculation (EEJ) technique was applied in semen collection of the Malayan gaur. The semen was then cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen using slow freezing technique. Makler counting chamber was used to evaluate sperm concentration and motility, while the sperm viability and morphology of fresh and post-thaw sperm was determined using eosin-nigrosin staining protocol. As a result, we have successfully collected the Malayan gaur semen using EEJ technique. Sperm motility, viability and morphological changes of the post-thaw semen of Malayan gaur were found undesirable due to the complication of the cryopreservation process. On the basis of current study it can be concluded that Malayan gaur bulls semen can be obtain by EEJ with no evidence of rectal trauma. Optimization of the process of cryopreservation for Malayan gaur sperm is needed to maintain the cryoviability of the good sperm quality. The data generated in this study would be useful in conservation of genetic diversity program for Malayan gaur. PMID:26623302
Liu, Yu-Ling; Chen, Yi-Huei; Lillywhite, Harvey B; Tu, Ming-Chung
Three species of amphibious sea kraits (Laticauda spp.) spend variable time at sea and require fresh water for water balance. Both the rate of cutaneous evaporative water loss and the extent of terrestriality are known to differ among them. Laticauda semifasciata has the greatest rate of water loss and the least extent of terrestriality, whereas L. colubrina exhibits the reverse and L. laticaudata is intermediate. These sea kraits tend to be more abundant at places where there are sources of fresh water, but other factors also influence their distribution. To further clarify the habitat requirements, we investigated the abundance of each species of sea krait at six different habitats and the availability of each type of habitat on Orchid Island, Taiwan. The six habitats were high coral reef without fresh water (HR) and with fresh water (HRF); low coral reef without fresh water (LR) and with fresh water (LRF); sand or gravel coast, which has no coral reef, without fresh water (NR) and with fresh water (NRF). The extent of safety judged from the relative availability of retreat sites, from high to low, was HR, LR, and NR among these habitats. More than 75% of individuals counted for each species were found in HRF. We found no sea kraits in NRF and NR. The most available habitat was LR, but no L. laticaudata or L. semifasciata were found in this habitat. We found 3.3% and 16.7% of L. colubrina in LR and HR, respectively. For L. colubrina, the second abundant habitat was HR, whereas for L. laticaudata and L. semifasciata, the second abundant habitat was LRF. We conclude that both safety (availability of retreat sites) and fresh water are important to the habitat selection of sea kraits. Compared with other species, L. colubrina is characterized by a greater extent of terrestrial habit and possibly greater variety of access to sources of fresh water.
Gherghel, Iulian; Papeş, Monica; Brischoux, François; Sahlean, Tiberiu; Strugariu, Alexandru
Abstract The genus Laticauda (Reptilia: Elapidae), commonly known as sea kraits, comprises eight species of marine amphibious snakes distributed along the shores of the Western Pacific Ocean and the Eastern Indian Ocean. We review the information available on the geographic range of sea kraits and analyze their distribution patterns. Generally, we found that south and south-west of Japan, Philippines Archipelago, parts of Indonesia, and Vanuatu have the highest diversity of sea krait species. Further, we compiled the information available on sea kraits’ occurrences from a variety of sources, including museum records, field surveys, and the scientific literature. The final database comprises 694 occurrence records, with Laticauda colubrina having the highest number of records and Laticauda schistorhyncha the lowest. The occurrence records were georeferenced and compiled as a database for each sea krait species. This database can be freely used for future studies. PMID:27110155
Ophiotaenia bungari n. sp. (Cestoda), a parasite of Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider) (Ophidia: Elapidae) from Vietnam, with comments on relative ovarian size as a new and potentially useful diagnostic character for proteocephalidean tapeworms.
de Chambrier, Alain; Binh, Tran Thi; Scholz, Tomáš
Ophiotaenia bungari n. sp. (Cestoda: Proteocephalidea) is described from the intestine of the banded krait Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider) (Ophidia: Elapidae) in Vietnam. The new species differs from all but three Ophiotaenia species parasitic in Asian reptiles in the possession of a glandular apical organ. It differs from O. andersoni Jensen, Schmidt & Kuntz, 1983 in the position of the vagina in relation to the cirrus-sac (anterior and posterior in O. bungari versus anterior only in the latter species), in the cirrus-sac/proglottis width ratio (29-38 versus 50%) and by having more testes (100-150 versus 42-116 in O. andersoni); from O. chattoraji Srivastava, 1980 in the number of uterine diverticula (50-65 versus 10-26) and in the cirrus-sac/proglottis width ratio (29-38 versus 22%); and from O. rhabdophidis (Burt, 1937) by having more uterine diverticula (50-65 versus 30-45), by the cirrus-sac/proglottis width ratio (29-38 versus 20-25%) and by the width of the scolex (360-420 versus 130-187 μm). The taxonomic importance of the relative size of the ovary (i.e. the ratio of the ovarian size in relation to that of the entire proglottis), a character previously not used in the systematics of proteocephalidean cestodes, is discussed. Comparison of measurements of all of the nominal species of Ophiotaenia La Rue, 1911 and Proteocephalus Weinland, 1858 (c.135 species) has shown that the ovary of species parasitic in snakes in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia is not only considerably smaller than that of congeneric species from European hosts, but also smaller than in all species of Proteocephalus parasitic in teleost fishes throughout the world.
Brischoux, François; Tingley, Reid; Shine, Richard; Lillywhite, Harvey B.
The physiological costs of living in seawater likely influenced the secondary evolutionary transitions to marine life in tetrapods. However, these costs are alleviated for species that commute between the land and the sea, because terrestrial habitats can provide frequent access to fresh water. Here, we investigate how differences in the ecology and physiology of three sea krait species (Laticauda spp.) interact to determine their environmental tolerances and geographic distributions. These three species vary in their relative use of terrestrial versus marine environments, and they display concomitant adaptations to life on land versus at sea. A species with relatively high dehydration rates in seawater (Laticauda colubrina) occupied oceanic areas with low mean salinities, whereas a species with comparatively high rates of transcutaneous evaporative water loss on land (Laticauda semifasciata) occupied regions with low mean temperatures. A third taxon (Laticauda laticaudata) was intermediate in both of these traits, and yet occupied the broadest geographic range. Our results suggest that the abilities of sea kraits to acquire fresh water on land and tolerate dehydration at sea determine their environmental tolerances and geographic distributions. This finding supports the notion that speciation patterns within sea kraits have been driven by interspecific variation in the degree of reliance upon terrestrial versus marine habitats. Future studies could usefully examine the effects of osmotic challenges on diversification rates in other secondarily marine tetrapod species.
Vest, D K; Kardong, K V
Following an accidental bite inflicted by a juvenile Malayan pit viper (Agkistrodon rhodostoma), the progress of envenomation was carefully monitored and subsequent laboratory work performed to determine the amount and quality of venom injected. Even a very small amount of venom from this species is capable of inducing noticeable local symptoms including edema, subcutaneous bleeding, and throbbing. Constitutional symptoms were present but minimal. The extent of inflammation present at any given time following envenomation was found to be a more accurate diagnostic signal than the speed with which it developed. This case is similar to that of bites by juveniles of other species of viperines and crotalines and may serve to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of bites by juvenile specimens of serpents in these families.
Lambeth, R R; Dart, A J; Vogelnest, L; Dart, C M; Hodgson, D R
A captive Malayan tapir was observed to have inappetence, weight loss, signs of depression, mild dehydration and diarrhoea. Haematological and serum biochemical tests showed anaemia, hypoproteinaemia, hyperfibrinogenaemia and neutrophilia with a left shift. Ultrasonic examination of the abdomen under anaesthesia revealed a well-encapsulated abscess. The abscess was marsupialised to the ventral body wall. Culture of the pus produced a mixed bacterial growth. Antimicrobial therapy was based on bacterial sensitivity results. Follow-up ultrasonic examinations showed resolution of the abscess. Ninety-one days after surgery the tapir began regurgitating food and water. An abscess originating from the stomach and occluding the lumen of the duodenum was identified at surgery. The abscess ruptured during surgical manipulations and the tapir was euthanased.
Heatwole, Harold; Lillywhite, Harvey; Grech, Alana
Recent, more accurate delineation of the distributions of sea kraits and prior dubious use of proxy temperatures and mean values in correlative studies requires re-assessment of the relationships of temperature and salinity as determinants of the size of the geographic ranges of sea kraits. Correcting the sizes of geographic ranges resolved the paradox of lack of correspondence of size of range with degree of terrestrialism, but did not form a definitive test of the theory. Recent ecological, physiological, and behavioural studies provide an example of the kind of approach likely to either validate or refute present theory.
Prasarnpun, S; Walsh, J; Awad, S S; Harris, J B
Beta-bungarotoxin, a neurotoxic phospholipase A2 is a major fraction of the venom of kraits. The toxin was inoculated into one hind limb of young adult rats. The inoculated hind limb was paralysed within 3 h, and remained paralysed for 2 days. The paralysis was associated with the loss of synaptic vesicles from motor nerve terminal boutons, a decline in immunoreactivity of synaptophysin, SNAP-25 and syntaxin, a loss of muscle mass and the upregulation of NaV(1.5) mRNA and protein. Between 3 and 6 h after the inoculation of toxin, some nerve terminal boutons exhibited clear signs of degeneration. Others appeared to be in the process of withdrawing from the synaptic cleft and some boutons were fully enwrapped in terminal Schwann cell processes. By 12 h all muscle fibres were denervated. Re-innervation began at 3 days with the appearance of regenerating nerve terminals, a return of neuromuscular function in some muscles and a progressive increase in the immunoreactivity of synaptophysin, SNAP-25 and syntaxin. Full recovery occurred at 7 days. The data were compared with recently published clinical data on envenoming bites by kraits and by extrapolation we suggest that the acute, reversible denervation caused by beta-bungarotoxin is a credible explanation for the clinically important, profound treatment-resistant neuromuscular paralysis seen in human subjects bitten by these animals.
Brischoux, François; Briand, Marine J; Billy, Gopal; Bonnet, Xavier
Marine tetrapods evolved specific excretory structures (e.g. salt glands) that maintain salt concentrations within a narrow range of variation. However, recent investigations showed that in some lineages (sea snakes), individuals dehydrate in seawater and cannot equilibrate their hydromineral balance without access to fresh water. How these marine species cope with salt gain is therefore puzzling. We sampled two species of amphibious sea kraits (Laticauda saintgironsi and L. laticaudata) in the field. We also experimentally investigated patterns of salt regulation, specifically variations in natremia (plasma sodium) and body mass (net water flow), in individuals transferred first to fresh water and then to seawater. Our results show that free-ranging sea kraits display hypernatremia (up to 205mmol·l(-1)). Experimental data showed that natremia markedly decreased in snakes exposed to fresh water and increased when they were transferred to saltwater, thereby demonstrating a marked flexibility in their relation to environmental conditions. A literature survey indicated that all free-ranging marine snake species usually display hypernatremia despite having functional salt glands. Overall, sea snakes exhibit a marked tolerance to salt load compared to other marine tetrapods and apparently trigger substantial salt excretion only once natremia exceeds a high threshold. We hypothesise that this high tolerance significantly decreases energetic costs linked to salt gland functioning.
Shin, I.; Wachtel, E.; Roth, E.; Bon, C.; Silman, I.; Weiner, L.
A monomeric form of acetylcholinesterase from the venom of Bungarus fasciatus is converted to a partially unfolded molten globule species by thermal inactivation, and subsequently aggregates rapidly. To separate the kinetics of unfolding from those of aggregation, single molecules of the monomeric enzyme were encapsulated in reverse micelles of Brij 30 in 2,2,4-trimethylpentane, or in large unilamellar vesicles of egg lecithin/cholesterol at various protein/micelle (vesicle) ratios. The first-order rate constant for thermal inactivation at 45°C, of single molecules entrapped within the reverse micelles (0.031 min−1), was higher than in aqueous solution (0.007 min−1) or in the presence of normal micelles (0.020 min−1). This clearly shows that aggregation does not provide the driving force for thermal inactivation of BfAChE. Within the large unilamellar vesicles, at average protein/vesicle ratios of 1:1 and 10:1, the first-order rate constants for thermal inactivation of the encapsulated monomeric acetylcholinesterase, at 53°C, were 0.317 and 0.342 min−1, respectively. A crosslinking technique, utilizing the photosensitive probe, hypericin, showed that thermal denaturation produces a distribution of species ranging from dimers through to large aggregates. Consequently, at a protein/vesicle ratio of 10:1, aggregation can occur upon thermal denaturation. Thus, these experiments also demonstrate that aggregation does not drive the thermal unfolding of Bungarus fasciatus acetylcholinesterase. Our experimental approach also permitted monitoring of recovery of enzymic activity after thermal denaturation in the absence of a competing aggregation process. Whereas no detectable recovery of enzymic activity could be observed in aqueous solution, up to 23% activity could be obtained for enzyme sequestered in the reverse micelles. PMID:12142456
Nisa', C; Agungpriyono, S; Kitamura, N; Sasaki, M; Yamada, J; Sigit, K
The morphology of the stomach of Malayan pangolin, Manis javanica was studied at macroscopic, light microscopic, and scanning electron microscopic levels. The stomach of M. javanica was C-shaped with short lesser curvature. At the oesophageal junction, the inner smooth muscle was thickened in the greater curvature side. The entire stomach was lined by a thick cornified stratified squamous epithelium, except at the duct orifices of glands and in the pyloric gland region. The wall of the fundus was thin and devoid of glands. The gastric glands consisted of mucous, oxyntic, and pyloric glands. The mucous glands were observed in the lesser curvature (Mg-L), in the greater curvature (Mg-G), and in the pyloric canal (Mg-C) respectively. The oxyntic glands were organized into gland mass, making an oval mound elevated to the gastric lumen, in the middle of the greater curvature. The oxyntic gland mass has a single common duct with opening directed to the pyloric side. This duct was surrounded by mucus gland (Mg-G). The pyloric glands were located caudal to the pylorus. There was no sphincter at the pyloric-duodenal junction. Large mucosal protuberance, the torus pyloricus was observed in the side of the lesser curvature of the pyloric canal. In the lumen of pyloric canal region, numerous spines and small pebbles were observed. The muscle layers in the wall of this region were considerably thickened. The present results on the stomach of M. javanica are thought to be closely related to the toothless and eating habits of this animal species.
Rusmili, Muhamad Rusdi Ahmad; Yee, Tee Ting; Mustafa, Mohd Rais; Hodgson, Wayne C; Othman, Iekhsan
Presynaptic neurotoxins are one of the major components in Bungarus venom. Unlike other Bungarus species that have been studied, β-bungarotoxin has never been isolated from Bungarus fasciatus venom. It was hypothesized that the absence of β-bungarotoxin in this species was due to divergence during evolution prior to evolution of β-bungarotoxin. In this study, we have isolated a β-bungarotoxin isoform we named P-elapitoxin-Bf1a by using gel filtration, cation-exchange and reverse-phase chromatography from Malaysian B. fasciatus venom. The toxin consists of two heterogeneous subunits, subunit A and subunit B. LCMS/MS data showed that subunit A was homologous to acidic phospholipase A2 subunit A3 from Bungarus candidus and B. multicinctus venoms, whereas subunit B was homologous with subunit B1 from B. fasciatus venom that was previously detected by cDNA cloning. The toxin showed concentration- and time-dependent reduction of indirect-twitches without affecting contractile responses to ACh, CCh or KCl at the end of experiment in the chick biventer preparation. Toxin modification with 4-BPB inhibited the neurotoxic effect suggesting the importance of His-48. Tissue pre-incubation with monovalent B. fasciatus (BFAV) or neuro-polyvalent antivenom (NPV), at the recommended titer, was unable to inhibit the twitch reduction induced by the toxin. This study indicates that Malaysian B. fasciatus venom has a unique β-bungarotoxin isoform which was not neutralized by antivenoms. This suggests that there might be other presynaptic neurotoxins present in the venom and there is a variation in the enzymatic neurotoxin composition in venoms from different localities.
du Preez, L H; Lim, L H
Neopolystoma liewi sp. n. is described from the conjunctival cavity of the Malayan box turtle Cuora amboinensis (Daudin, 1802), in Peninsular Malaysia. This is the first record of Neopolystoma in Malaysia and the fourth polystomatid species described from C. amboinensis. Of the 27 Malayan box turtles examined, 8 were found to be infected. A maximum of 2 parasites per eye and 4 individuals per host was recorded. N. liewi sp. n. differs from all other members of the genus by possessing few and short genital spines and small marginal hooks. The oncomiracidium has 64 ciliated cells arranged symmetrically about the sagittal axis.
Miller, C L; Templeton, R S; Karpinski, L
An oral mass was observed in a Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus). Squamous cell carcinoma was diagnosed by histologic examination of a biopsy specimen. A series of intralesional injections using fluorouracil resulted in complete regression of the neoplasm with no recognized adverse effects.
Jurczynski, Kerstin; Lyashchenko, Konstantin P; Gomis, David; Moser, Irmgard; Greenwald, Rena; Moisson, Pierre
In the last 7 yr, three different species of terrestrial mammals were diagnosed with Mycobacterium pinnipedii either within one collection or through the introduction of an infected animal from another zoo. The affected species included the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus bactrianus), and crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata). In the first zoo, all of these were living in exhibits adjacent to a group of South American sea lions (Otariaflavescens) and were cared for by the same keeper. One infected tapir was transferred to a different zoo and transmitted M. pinnipedii infection to three other Malayan tapirs. The tapirs were tested with various diagnostic methods, including comparative intradermal tuberculin test, PCR and culture of sputum samples, Rapid Test (RT), and multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA). The M. pinnipedii infection was confirmed at postmortem examination in all animals. RT and MAPIA showed the diagnostic potential for rapid antemortem detection of this important zoonotic disease.
Karpinski, Lorraine G; Miller, Christine L
A 26-year-old, wild caught, male Malayan tapir at the Miami Metrozoo with bilateral corneal papillomas was serially immobilized and given subconjunctival injections of fluorouracil. Over the course of 17 weeks five bilateral injections of 25 mg fluorouracil were given. This treatment caused regression of the corneal lesions as evidenced by decreased lesion diameter, decreased corneal vascularity, increased corneal clarity, and improved visual function. No adverse drug effects were observed.
Chao, Zhi; Liao, Jing; Liang, Zhenbiao; Huang, Suhua; Zhang, Liang; Li, Junde
Objective: To test the feasibility of DNA barcoding for accurate identification of Jinqian Baihua She and its adulterants. Materials and Methods: Standard cytochrome C oxidase subunit I (COI) gene fragments were sequenced for DNA barcoding of 39 samples from 9 snake species, including Bungarus multicinctus, the officially recognized origin animal by Chinese Pharmacopoeia, and other 8 adulterate species. The aligned sequences, 658 base pairs in length, were analyzed for divergence using the Kimura-2-parameter (K2P) distance model with MEGA5.0. Results: The mean intraspecific K2P distance was 0.0103 and the average interspecific genetic distance was 0.2178 in B. multicinctus, far greater than the minimal interspecific genetic distance of 0.027 recommended for species identification. A neighbor-joining (NJ) tree was constructed, in which each species formed a monophyletic clade with bootstrap supports of 100%. All the data were submitted to Barcode of Life Data system version 3.0 (BOLD, http://www.barcodinglife.org) under the project title “DNA barcoding Bungarus multicinctus and its adulterants”. Ten samples of commercially available crude drugs of JBS were identified using the identification engine provided by BOLD. All the samples were clearly identified at the species level, among which five were found to be the adulterants and identified as Dinodon rufozonatum. Conclusion: DNA barcoding using the standard COI gene fragments provides an effective and accurate means for JBS identification and authentication. PMID:25422545
Background Snakebites are considered a neglected tropical disease that affects thousands of people worldwide. Although antivenom is the only treatment available, it is associated with several side effects. As an alternative, plants have been extensively studied in order to obtain an alternative treatment. In folk medicine, Azima tetracantha Lam. is usually used to treat snakebites. The present study aims to provide a scientific explanation for the use of this plant against snakebite. The extracts of shade dried leaves of A. tetracantha were tested for in vitro inhibitory activity on toxic venom enzymes like phosphomonoesterase, phosphodiesterase, acetylcholinesterase, hyaluronidase etc. from Bungarus caeruleus and Vipera russelli venoms. Results The ethylacetate extract rendered a significant inhibitory effect on the phosphomonoesterase, phosphodiesterase, phospholipase A2 and acetylcholinesterase enzymes. Conclusions The present study suggests that ethylacetate extract of A. tetracantha leaves possesses compounds that inhibit the activity of toxic enzymes from Bungarus caeruleus and Vipera russelli venom. Further pharmacological and in vivo studies would provide evidence that this substance may lead to a potential treatment against these venoms. PMID:24690426
Chen, Ying-Jung; Tsai, Chia-Yu; Hu, Wan-Ping; Chang, Long-Sen
Bungarus multicinctus α-bungarotoxin (α-Bgt) and Naja atra cardiotoxins (CTXs) share a common structural scaffold, and their tertiary structures adopt three-fingered loop motifs. Four DNA aptamers against α-Bgt have been reported previously. Given that the binding of aptamers with targeted proteins depends on structural complementarity, in this study, we investigated whether DNA aptamers against α-Bgt could also recognize CTXs. It was found that N. atra cardiotoxin 3 (CTX3) reduced the electrophoretic mobility of aptamers against α-Bgt. Analysis of the changes in the fluorescence intensity of carboxyfluorescein-labeled aptamers upon binding toxin molecules revealed that CTX3 and α-Bgt could bind the tested aptamers. Moreover, the aptamers inhibited the membrane-damaging activity and cytotoxicity of CTX3. In addition to CTX3, other N. atra CTX isotoxins also bound to the aptamer against α-Bgt. Taken together, our data indicate that aptamers against α-Bgt show cross-reactivity with CTXs. The findings that aptamers against α-Bgt also suppress the biological activities of CTX3 highlight the potential utility of aptamers in regard to the broad inhibition of snake venom three-fingered proteins.
Cousin, X; Bon, S; Duval, N; Massoulié, J; Bon, C
As deduced from cDNA clones, the catalytic domain of Bungarus fasciatus venom acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is highly homologous to those of other AChEs. It is, however, associated with a short hydrophilic carboxyl-terminal region, containing no cysteine, that bears no resemblance to the alternative COOH-terminal peptides of the GPI-anchored molecules (H) or of other homomeric or heteromeric tailed molecules (T). Expression of complete and truncated AChE in COS cells showed that active hydrophilic monomers are produced and secreted in all cases, and that cleavage of a very basic 8-residue carboxyl-terminal fragment occurs upon secretion. The COS cells produced Bungarus AChE about 30 times more efficiently than an equivalent secreted monomeric rat AChE. The recombinant Bungarus AChE, like the natural venom enzyme, showed a distinctive ladder pattern in nondenaturing electrophoresis, probably reflecting a variation in the number of sialic acids. By mutagenesis, we showed that two differences (methionine instead of tyrosine at position 70; lysine instead of aspartate or glutamate at position 285) explain the low sensitivity of Bungarus AChE to peripheral site inhibitors, compared to the Torpedo or mammalian AChEs. These results illustrate the importance of both the aromatic and the charged residues, and the fact that peripheral site ligands (propidium, gallamine, D-tubocurarine, and fasciculin 2) interact with diverse subsets of residues.
Zhou, Zhao-Min; Zhao, Hong; Zhang, Zhong-Xu; Wang, Ze-Hui; Wang, Han
Pangolins are unique mammals in that they possess scales that serve a protective biological function. As an important raw material of traditional medicine, illegal trades of these scales are frequent and difficult to investigate or prosecute. We used allometric models of dry weight of scales to compare 35 Chinese pangolins (Manis pentadactyla) and 119 Malayan pangolins (Manis javanica). Our results showed that the dry weight of scales increases significantly faster with the length of head and body in Malayan pangolins (P=0.005), while dry weight of scales is positive (slope=3.725) in Malayan pangolins but isometric (slope=3.105) in Chinese pangolins. The differences in morphology between these species may reflect an evolutionary adaptation to different environments; Malayan pangolins in tropical regions appear to suffer from greater predation pressure than Chinese pangolins in temperate regions. We advise the conversion standards between dry weight of scales and number of individuals as 573.47 g in Chinese pangolins and 360.51 g in Malayan pangolins respectively, and when two are mixed together, average above two parameters of the median at 466.99 g. We propose these measurements be used as judicial evidences in forensic identification of related cases.
Schneider, Marion; Nogge, Gunther; Kolter, Lydia
Bears in the wild spend large proportions of time in foraging activities. In zoos their time budgets differ markedly from those of their wild counterparts. Feeding enrichment has been documented to increase foraging behavior and to reduce stereotypies. But in general these procedures have no long-term effects and result in habituation. As can be expected by the predictions of the optimal foraging theory, foraging activities are restricted as long as the availability of food is predictable. To quantify the effect of spatial unpredictability, three feeding methods have been designed to stimulate functional foraging behavior in captive Malayan sun bears in the long-term. In order to examine if habituation occurs, the most effective method was tested for 12 consecutive days. Activities of four adult sun bears at the Cologne Zoo were recorded by focal animal recording of foraging behaviors and time sampling of activities for a total of 360 hr. Implementing unpredictability significantly increased the time the bears spent foraging and led to a higher diversity of foraging behaviors. The effects lasted throughout the entire day and no habituation occurred in the course of 12 consecutive days. The study shows how functional species typical behavior in captive Malayan sun bears can be stimulated in the long-term by simulating natural characteristics of food availability.
Lilia, K; Rosnina, Y; Abd Wahid, H; Zahari, Z Z; Abraham, M
The Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) is the largest among the four tapir species and is listed as an endangered species. Ultrasound examination and description of the external anatomy of the female reproductive system of three adult females were performed, whereas the internal anatomy was investigated in necropsied samples of four adult females and one subadult female. Descriptions of the male external genitalia were conducted on one adult male. Gross examination revealed the presence of a bicornuate uterus. The uterine cervix is firm and muscular with projections towards its lumen, which is also evident on ultrasonography. The elongated and relatively small ovaries, which have a smooth surface, could not be imaged on ultrasonography, due to their anatomical position. The testes are located inside a slightly pendulous scrotum that is sparsely covered with soft, short hairs. The penis has one dorsal and two lateral penile projections just proximal to the glans penis.
Simpson, Boyd K.; Shukor, M. N.; Magintan, David
A study on the selection of food plants by captive Malayan tapirs (Tapirus indicus) was undertaken in a 30 hectare natural forest enclosure at the Sungai Dusun Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia. Tapirs browsed on 217 species of plants (from 99 genera and 49 families) from a total of the 1142 specimens collected and identified. Food plants were heavily dominated by sapling trees and shrubs which comprised 93% of all plants taken, with the remainder comprising woody lianas, vines and herbaceous plants. Although tapirs browsed on a wide variety of plant species, the top 30 species consumed represented more than 60% of all the plants selected, whilst the vast majority of species were rarely eaten. More than 80 species of trees and shrubs were available, but not eaten at all. The most readily consumed species were the sub-canopy and understorey trees Xerospermum noronhianum, Aporosa prainiana and Baccaurea parviflora, while Aporosa, Knema and Xerospermum were the dominant plant genera. The Phyllanthaceae (leaf flowers), Myristicaceae (nutmegs) and Sapindaceae (rambutans) were the most commonly selected families comprising 45% of the diet. Tapirs fed on saplings trees up to 8.3 m in height, while plants taller than about 1.6 m were bent, broken or pushed to the ground to gain access to the foliage. Sapling stems up to 4.2 cm in diameter could be snapped by biting, while larger trees to 7 cm diameter could be pushed down. Tapirs typically fed on the newer leaves and shoots, however, often only consuming half of the available foliage on a plant. This study documents 160 new plant species suitable as Malayan tapir food, and is consistent with the generalist, but selective browsing nature of the Tapirus species in general.
Rose, Paul E; Roffe, Sarah M
The Malayan, or Asian, tapir (Tapirus indicus) has a diminishing wild population and is becoming more common in captivity as zoos attempt to manage sustainable ex situ populations. Tapirs can be relatively easy to maintain and breed, but captive animals appear to suffer from reduced activity budgets, obesity, and poor public image. A questionnaire-based survey was designed and sent specifically to 10 collections around the world that exhibit Malayan tapirs, with the aim of assessing husbandry regimes to determine prevalence of standardized practices as well as highlighting any key differences, and to showcase good practice, thus providing information beneficial to those maintaining this species in their zoo. Twenty-five animals were included in the survey from collections across four continents. The research's major conclusions show differing dietary make-up, with a lack of forage provision, contrasting with a diverse array of enrichment protocols used. Significant differences were noted between zoos for total amount of food offered (P = 0.000) as well as ratios of forage to concentrate pellet offered (P = 0.004). Comparing food offered to male and female tapirs with published requirements for an "average" of either gender shows not all zoos providing the amount suggested in husbandry guidelines. Intelligently designed and original enrichment was provided to all animals but differences between zoos were noted in the application and "usefulness" of enrichment for individual tapir. Overall, animals are benefiting from enrichment but welfare could be further improved via consistent feeding of ad libitum forage and regular use of browse as a constituent part of daily rations.
Pachiappan, A; Thwin, M M; Manikandan, J; Gopalakrishnakone, P
Candoxin (PDB #1JGK), a three-finger neurotoxin from Bungarus candidus venom, inhibits post-synaptic neuromuscular and neuronal alpha7nACh-receptors, and induces delayed cell-death throughout the glial population. When applied to cultured human glial cell lines, candoxin (CDX) induced cell death in a concentration (EC(50) approximately 1muM) and time dependent manner. Results of TUNEL-histochemistry further confirm CDX-induced brain (hippocampus, frontal cortex, and temporal regions) damage when administered intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v) in adult mice. In this study, we explored differential gene expression profiles following exposure of human glial (Hs 683) cell lines to CDX at various time intervals using Affymetrix-GeneChips. By means of MAS and GeneSpring analyses, 105 genes whose expression was significantly (P<0.01) altered by at least 3-fold were selected. Results of the genome analysis reveal that the potential role of CDX at molecular level involves the regulation of genes in signal transduction, ubiquitin-inflammation, mitochondrial-dysfunction, and damage-response pathways. In addition, using QRT-PCR and rationally designed specific CDX-binding peptide (P-NT.II), we identified the genes-IL7R, IL13RA2, IL-1beta, TNFRSF12A, GADD45A, CD44 and IFI44-that might play an important role in CDX-induced glial inflammation, DNA-damage and degeneration. These findings reveal new insight into the molecular mechanisms of glial-driven neurodegeneration after exposure to neurotoxins.
Hoyer, M J; van Engeldorp Gastelaars, H M D
This study was conducted to establish representative curves that allow evaluation of fetal growth and estimation of gestational age from measurement of fetal structures by ultrasound in Malayan tapirs (Tapirus indicus). Three pregnancies (i.e. 3 fetuses) were examined in one female Malayan tapir. Transabdominal ultrasonographic examination was performed without anesthesia from 79 ± 8 days to 281 ± 48 days (mean ± S.D.) post mating. To assess fetal growth attempts were made to measure biparietal diameter (BPD), head length (HL), thorax diameter A (TDA), thorax height A (THA), thorax diameter B (TDB), thorax height B (THB), abdomen diameter (AD), abdomen height (AH), humerus length (HUL) and Crown rump length (CRL). The value of each parameter as an estimator of gestational age was assessed by ease of observation and the length of time the parameter was measurable throughout gestation. The most precise predictors for gestational age in this study were BPD and CRL (weeks 10-20 of gestation), as well as AD and AH (weeks 14-43 of gestation). The parameters TDB, THB and HUL (weeks 15-41 of gestation) gave almost as good predictions. Fetal viability was assessed by identifying a fetal heartbeat and movement. All pregnancies resulted in normal deliveries and healthy offspring. The ultrasound examination was well tolerated by the female. The gestation lengths (399 ± 3 days) were within reported ranges. The serial transabdominal ultrasound, without the need for anesthesia, was an effective method to evaluate fetal growth, development and well being in a Malayan tapir.
Ali, Md Eaqub; Asing; Hamid, Sharifah Bee Abd; Razzak, Md Abdur; Rashid, Nur Raifana Abd; Al Amin, Md; Mustafa, Shuhaimi
Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) has been a wildlife-protected vulnerable turtle species in Malaysia since 2005. However, because of its purported usage in traditional medicine, tonic foods and feeds, clandestine black market trade is rampant. Several polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for the taxonomic detection and classification of turtle species have been proposed. These assays are based on long-length target amplicons which are assumed to break down under compromised states and, hence, might not be suitable for the forensic tracing and tracking of turtle trafficking. For the first time this paper develops a very short-amplicon-length PCR assay (120 bp) for the detection of Malayan box turtle meat in raw, processed and mixed matrices, and experimental evidence is produced that such an assay is not only more stable and reliable but also more sensitive than those previously published. We checked the assay specificity against 20 different species and no cross-species detection was observed. The possibility of any false-negative detection was eliminated by a universal endogenous control for eukaryotes. The assay detection limit was 0.0001 ng of box turtle DNA from pure meat and 0.01% turtle meat in binary and ternary admixtures and commercial meatballs. Superior target stability and sensitivity under extreme treatments of boiling, autoclaving and microwave cooking suggested that this newly developed assay would be suitable for any forensic and/or archaeological identification of Malayan box turtle species, even in severely degraded specimens. Further, in silico studies indicated that the assay has the potential to be used as a universal probe for the detection of nine Cuora species, all of which are critically endangered.
Nisa, C; Kitamura, N; Sasaki, M; Agungpriyono, S; Choliq, C; Budipitojo, T; Yamada, J; Sigit, K
The distribution and relative frequency of six kinds of endocrine cells in the stomach of the Malayan pangolin, Manis javanica were studied immunohistochemically using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex method. The stomach of the pangolin has three regions of mucous gland, one oxyntic gland and one pyloric gland. Cells immunoreactive for chromogranin, serotonin, somatostatin, BPP and glucagon were detected in all of the gastric glands, while gastrin-immunoreactive cells were found in the entire gastric gland except for the oxyntic gland. The distribution pattern of endocrine cells in the mucous gland and pyloric gland was mainly from the middle to apical portions of the glands. The endocrine cells were rare or not detected in the basal portion of all of the mucous glands and pyloric gland, but they were also found in the basal portion of the oxyntic gland. The distribution pattern of the endocrine cells in the mucous and pyloric glands suggested that this position facilitates a quick response to the luminal ingesta. The wide distribution of gastrin-immunoreactive cells in all of the mucous glands and pyloric gland was the most remarkable finding. This distribution suggests a major function of gastrin-immunoreactive cells for the digestive process in the Malayan pangolin stomach.
Tan, H M; Ong, S M; Langat, G; Bahaman, A R; Sharma, R S K; Sumita, S
The effect of enclosure design on diurnal activity and stereotypic behaviour was assessed in 17 adult Malayan Sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), kept either in barren indoor enclosures or relatively enriched outdoor enclosures. Locomotion was the most frequent activity observed in the indoor bears, followed by resting. In contrast, conspecifics housed outdoors spent most of the time resting. Eleven forms of stereotypic behaviours were recorded in the bears, with pacing being the most common. The frequency and repertoire of stereotypies were significantly higher in the indoor bears irrespective of enclosure size. Novel forms of locomotor (forward-reverse pacing) and oral (allo-sucking) stereotypies were recorded. Oral stereotypies were predominant in the bears housed indoors, while patrolling was confined to the outdoor bears. Enclosure complexity significantly influences activity budget and occurrence of stereotypic behaviours, highlighting the importance of appropriate enclosure design and enrichment for the welfare of captive bears.
Theakston, R D; Phillips, R E; Looareesuwan, S; Echeverria, P; Makin, T; Warrell, D A
Venom and oropharyngeal swabs from freshly captured Malayan pit vipers (Calloselasma rhodostoma) in southern Thailand and captive specimens in England were cultured aerobically and anaerobically to identify the bacterial flora which might contaminate wounds inflicted by bites of this species. The snakes' mouths contained a wider range of organisms than their venoms, especially gut-related Gram-negative rods such as Enterobacter and Pseudomonas species and some staphylococci and clostridia. There were fewer positive cultures from captive snakes. C. rhodostoma venom inhibited the growth of group A streptococci and, to a lesser extent, that of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium perfringens but not that of 2 Gram-negative organisms. Secondary bacterial infection is an important complication of snake bite, especially of necrotic wounds. A combination of gentamicin with benzyl penicillin would have prevented infection with, or treated, most of the bacteria isolated from snake venoms and mouths in Thailand.
Byrnes, Greg; Lim, Norman T.-L; Spence, Andrew J
Arboreal animals negotiate a highly three-dimensional world that is discontinuous on many spatial scales. As the scale of substrate discontinuity increases, many arboreal animals rely on leaping or gliding locomotion between distant supports. In order to successfully move through their habitat, gliding animals must actively modulate both propulsive and aerodynamic forces. Here we examined the take-off and landing kinetics of a free-ranging gliding mammal, the Malayan colugo (Galeopterus variegatus) using a custom-designed three-dimensional accelerometry system. We found that colugos increase the propulsive impulse to affect longer glides. However, we also found that landing forces are negatively associated with glide distance. Landing forces decrease rapidly as glide distance increases from the shortest glides, then level off, suggesting that the ability to reorient the aerodynamic forces prior to landing is an important mechanism to reduce velocity and thus landing forces. This ability to substantially alter the aerodynamic forces acting on the patagial wing in order to reorient the body is a key to the transition between leaping and gliding and allows gliding mammals to travel long distances between trees with reduced risk of injury. Longer glides may increase the access to distributed resources and reduce the exposure to predators in the canopy or on the forest floor. PMID:18252673
Nie, Wenhui; Wang, Jinhuan; Su, Weiting; Wang, Yingxiang; Yang, Fengtang
The Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), a representative species of the order Pholidota, has been enlisted in the mammalian whole-genome sequencing project mainly because of its phylogenetic importance. Previous studies showed that the diploid number of M. pentadactyla could vary from 2n = 36 to 42. To further characterize the genome organization of M. pentadactyla and to elucidate chromosomal mechanism underlying the karyotype diversity of Pholidota, we flow-sorted the chromosomes of 2n = 40 M. pentadactyla, and generated a set of chromosome-specific probes by DOP-PCR amplification of flow-sorted chromosomes. A comparative chromosome map between M. pentadactyla and the Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica, 2n = 38), as well as between human and M. pentadactyla, was established by chromosome painting for the first time. Our results demonstrate that seven Robertsonian rearrangements, together with considerable variations in the quantity of heterochromatin and in the number of nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) differentiate the karyotypes of 2n = 38 M. javanica and 2n = 40 M. pentadactyla. Moreover, we confirm that the M. javanica Y chromosome bears one NOR. Comparison of human homologous segment associations found in the genomes of M. javanica and M. pentadactyla revealed seven shared associations (HSA 1q/11, 2p/5, 2q/10q, 4p+q/20, 5/13, 6/19p and 8q/10p) that could constitute the potential Pholidota-specific signature rearrangements.
Wolf, Tiffany M; Wünschmann, Arno; Morningstar-Shaw, Brenda; Pantlin, Gayle C; Rasmussen, James M; Thompson, Rachel L
An outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype Choleraesuis enteritis occurred in two juvenile goitered gazelles and an adult Malayan tapir over a period of 5 wk at the Minnesota Zoo. Diagnosis was made postmortem on one gazelle and one tapir, and a second gazelle was diagnosed via fecal culture. The death of the tapir was attributed to S. enterica serovar Choleraesuis septicemia, while salmonellosis was considered to be a contributing factor besides ostertagiasis for the death of one goitered gazelle and for the diarrhea of another goitered gazelle. A third gazelle became ill in the same time period, but Salmonella infection was not confirmed by culture. All exhibited the clinical signs of profuse, watery diarrhea. The gazelles developed a protein-losing enteropathy, and the tapir showed signs of sepsis and endotoxemia. Serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed the Salmonella isolates to be indistinguishable from each other. One year prior to this outbreak, Salmonella sp. was cultured from a Visayan warty pig (Sus cebifrons) housed in the same building as the tapir. After further investigation into the outbreak, spread of this pathogen was speculated to be associated with human movement across animal areas.
Geographic genetic structure in two laticaudine sea kraits, Laticauda laticaudata and Laticauda semifasciata (Serpentes: Elapidae), in the Ryukyu-Taiwan region as inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences.
Tandavanitj, Nontivich; Ota, Hidetoshi; Cheng, Yuan-Cheng; Toda, Mamoru
The Ryukyu-Taiwan region is an island arch with intervening waters of varying distances and depths. This study examines the geographic genetic structure of two sympatric sea kraits, Laticauda laticaudata and L. semifasciata, in the region, to infer factors affecting the extent of dispersal and other biogeographical traits of these amphibious reptiles. Sequence analyses of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene revealed four and 16 haplotypes for L. laticaudata (136 individuals) and L. semifasciata (177 individuals), respectively. For both species, population pairwise F ST analyses revealed significant genetic differentiations among islands and island groups, which are separated by deep straits, suggesting that deep waters serve as obstacles for dispersal in both species. Significant genetic differentiation was detected even among islands of the same basin in L. laticaudata, but not in L. semifasciata, and the isolation by distance analyses revealed no significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances in the former species. These results further suggest that L. laticaudata has stronger site fidelity or degree of philopatry than L. semifasciata. Based on the geographic genetic patterns, the historical biogeography of the two species in the Ryukyu-Taiwan region is also discussed.
Hassan, Marina; Sulaiman, Muhammad Hafiz; Lian, Chong Ju
A parasitological survey of 16 pangolins, confiscated from the Department of Wildlife and Nature Park Peninsular Malaysia (DWNP) at Kelantan and Pulau Pinang, Malaysia was conducted in 2011. Amblyomma javanense (family: Ixodidae) was the only ectoparasite found on the pangolins. The prevalence, intensity and life cycle of A. javanense were observed together with the respective pangolins' age and sex. It was found that 68.8% of the pangolins were infected, and significant difference, χ(2)(1, N=16)=4.02, p=0.05 were observed with males higher in infestation (88.9%) as compared to the females (42.9%). However, the mean intensity was higher on females (72) as compared to males (31.6). In addition, significant difference, χ(2) (2, N=16)=6.73, p=0.05 was recorded between adults and juveniles with juveniles found to be 100% infected as compared to adult (63.6%). Nevertheless, the mean intensity was slightly higher on adults (47) than juveniles (35). Adult ticks were found in higher numbers as compared to the nymph and larvae with number of male ticks higher (236) as compared to the females (53). Similarly, a high significant difference χ(2)(2, N=469)=203.47, p=0.05 was recorded in the composition of the tick's life stages with a higher number of adult ticks (61.6%) followed by nymph (30.3%) and larvae (8.1%). As such, the results of this study revealed a picture of the A. javanense life cycle which is related to the age and gender of the Malayan Pangolin.
Seimon, T A; McAloose, D; Raphael, B; Honkavuori, K S; Chang, T; Hirschberg, D L; Lipkin, W I
The mountain peacock pheasant (Polyplectron inopinatum), the Malayan peacock pheasant (Polyplectron malacense), and the Congo peafowl (Afropavo congensis) are all listed as vulnerable to extinction under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. Here the authors report fatal infection with a novel herpesvirus in all 3 species of birds. DNA was extracted from the livers of birds with hepatocellular necrosis and intranuclear eosinophilic inclusions consistent with herpesvirus infection. Based on degenerate herpesvirus primers and polymerase chain reaction, 220- and 519-base pair products of the herpes DNA polymerase and DNA terminase genes, respectively, were amplified. Sequence analysis revealed that all birds were likely infected with the same virus. At the nucleotide level, the pheasant herpesvirus had 92% identity with gallid herpesvirus 3 and 77.7% identity with gallid herpesvirus 2. At the amino acid level, the herpes virus had 93.8% identity with gallid herpesvirus 3 and 89.4% identity with gallid herpesvirus 2. These findings indicate that the closest relative to this novel herpesvirus is gallid herpesvirus 3, a nonpathogenic virus used widely in a vaccine against Marek's disease. In situ hybridization using probes specific to the peacock pheasant herpesvirus DNA polymerase revealed strong intranuclear staining in the necrotic liver lesions of an infected Malayan peacock pheasant but no staining in normal liver from an uninfected bird. The phasianid herpesvirus reported here is a novel member of the genus Mardivirus of the subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae and is distinct from other galliform herpesviruses.
Paleontology to policy: the Quaternary history of Southeast Asian tapirs (Tapiridae) in relation to large mammal species turnover, with a proposal for conservation of Malayan tapir by reintroduction to Borneo.
of Cranbrook, Earl; Piper, Philip J
The Southeast Asian zoogeographical region is divided into Indochinese, Sundaic and Philippine subregions. Two clades of tapirs, Tapirus spp., have been recognized in Quaternary Southeast Asia. A review of sites at which they occurred shows that representatives of both clades, one of which was the ancestral Malayan tapir Tapirus indicus, co-existed with a diversity of other Pleistocene mammal megafauna. The process of replacement of archaic large mammals was progressive and prolonged through the Quaternary. Zooarcheological investigation has extended knowledge of the former occurrence and distribution of tapirs and other large mammals of the region, with discoveries beyond the outer limits of their previously known ranges. These large mammals were subjected to paleoenvironmental changes as a consequence of the Quaternary cycles of glacial and interglacial periods. Archeological evidence suggests that hunting pressure has intensified the effects of altered environments, leading ultimately to the local disappearance of the Malayan tapir in most of Southeast Asia, including Borneo. The survival of the Malayan tapir through the Quaternary until the present shows that the species is both resilient to environmental change and flexible in its ecological re'uirements and, given proper protection, could continue to inhabit tropical Southeast Asia. To assist the species conservation, reintroduction is proposed from the remaining range of Malayan tapir in the wild, to suitable sites of past occurrence in Borneo, where these ancient survivors of the Quaternary megafauna can be accommodated and safeguarded alongside other forms of land usage.
Suntrarachun, S; Pakmanee, N; Tirawatnapong, T; Chanhome, L; Sitprija, V
A PCR technique was used in this study to identify and distinguish monocellate cobra snake bites using snake venoms and swab specimens from snake bite-sites in mice from bites by other common Thai snakes. The sequences of nucleotide primers were selected for the cobrotoxin-encoding gene from the Chinese cobra (Naja atra) since the sequences of monocellate cobra (Naja kaouthia) venom are still unknown. However, the 113-bp fragment of cDNA of the cobrotoxin-encoding gene was detected in the monocellate cobra venom using RT-PCR. This gene was not found in the venoms of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra), Bungarus fasciatus (banded krait), Daboia russelii siamensis (Siamese Russell's Viper, and Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan pit viper). Moreover, direct PCR could detect a 665-bp fragment of the cobrotoxin-encoding gene in the monocellate cobra venom but not the other snake venoms. Likewise, this gene was only observed in swab specimens from cobra snake bite-sites in mice. This is the first report demonstrating the ability of PCR to detect the cobrotoxin-encoding gene from snake venoms and swab specimens. Further studies are required for identification of this and other snakes from the bite-sites on human skin.
Expression pattern of three-finger toxin and phospholipase A2 genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii: comparison of evolution of these toxins in land snakes, sea kraits and sea snakes
Pahari, Susanta; Bickford, David; Fry, Bryan G; Kini, R Manjunatha
Background Snake venom composition varies widely both among closely related species and within the same species, based on ecological variables. In terrestrial snakes, such variation has been proposed to be due to snakes' diet. Land snakes target various prey species including insects (arthropods), lizards (reptiles), frogs and toads (amphibians), birds (aves), and rodents (mammals), whereas sea snakes target a single vertebrate class (fishes) and often specialize on specific types of fish. It is therefore interesting to examine the evolution of toxins in sea snake venoms compared to that of land snakes. Results Here we describe the expression of toxin genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus (Spine-bellied Sea Snake) and Acalyptophis peronii (Horned Sea Snake), two members of a large adaptive radiation which occupy very different ecological niches. We constructed cDNA libraries from their venom glands and sequenced 214 and 192 clones, respectively. Our data show that despite their explosive evolutionary radiation, there is very little variability in the three-finger toxin (3FTx) as well as the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes, the two main constituents of Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii venom. To understand the evolutionary trends among land snakes, sea snakes and sea kraits, pairwise genetic distances (intraspecific and interspecific) of 3FTx and PLA2 sequences were calculated. Results show that these proteins appear to be highly conserved in sea snakes in contrast to land snakes or sea kraits, despite their extremely divergent and adaptive ecological radiation. Conclusion Based on these results, we suggest that streamlining in habitat and diet in sea snakes has possibly kept their toxin genes conserved, suggesting the idea that prey composition and diet breadth may contribute to the diversity and evolution of venom components. PMID:17900344
Asing; Ali, Md Eaqub; Abd Hamid, Sharifah Bee; Hossain, M A Motalib; Mustafa, Shuhaimi; Kader, Md Abdul; Zaidul, I S M
The Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) (MBT) is a vulnerable and protected turtle species, but it is a lucrative item in the illegal wildlife trade because of its great appeal as an exotic food item and in traditional medicine. Although several polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to identify MBT by various routes have been documented, their applicability for forensic authentication remains inconclusive due to the long length of the amplicon targets, which are easily broken down by natural decomposition, environmental stresses or physiochemical treatments during food processing. To address this research gap, we developed, for the first time, a species-specific PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay with a very short target length (120 bp) to detect MBT in the food chain; this authentication ensured better security and reliability through molecular fingerprints. The PCR-amplified product was digested with Bfa1 endonuclease, and distinctive restriction fingerprints (72, 43 and 5 bp) for MBT were found upon separation in a microfluidic chip-based automated electrophoresis system, which enhances the resolution of short oligos. The chances of any false negative identifications were eliminated through the use of a universal endogenous control for eukaryotes, and the limit of detection was 0.0001 ng DNA or 0.01% of the meat under admixed states. Finally, the optimized PCR-RFLP assay was validated for the screening of raw and processed commercial meatballs, burgers and frankfurters, which are very popular in most countries. The optimized PCR-RFLP assay was further used to screen MBT materials in 153 traditional Chinese medicines of 17 different brands and 62 of them were found MBT positive; wherein the ingredients were not declared in product labels. Overall, the novel assay demonstrated sufficient merit for use in any forensic and/or archaeological authentication of MBT, even under a state of decomposition.
Meyer, W.; Liumsiricharoen, M.; Suprasert, A.; Fleischer, L.G.; Hewicker-Trautwein, M.
Using immunohistochemistry, the study demonstrates the distribution of keratins (pankeratin with CK1-8, 10, 14-16, 19; keratins CK1, 5, 6, 9, 10; hair keratins AE13, AE14) in the epidermis of the Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica). A varying reaction spectrum was observed for pan-keratin, with body region-dependent negative to very strong reaction intensities. The dorsolateral epidermis exhibited positive reactions only in its vital layers, whereas the abdominal epidermis showed strong positive reactions in the soft two outer strata. The single acidic and basic-to-neutral (cyto)keratins produced clear variations compared to the pan-keratin tinging. For example, CK1 appeared in all epidermal layers of both body regions, except for the ventral stratum corneum, whereas CK5, 6, 9, 10 were restricted to the soft ventral epidermis. Here, distinctly positive reactions were confined to the stratum granulosum, except for CK6 that appeared in the soft stratum corneum. A different staining pattern was obvious for the hair keratins, i.e., positive reactions of AE13 concentrated only in the granular layer of the dorsal epidermis. In the abdominal epidermis, remarkable tinging for AE14 was visible in the stratum basale, decreasing toward the corneal layer, but was also found in the outer root sheath cells of the hair follicles in the ventral body part. Our findings are discussed related to the evolution of the horny dorsal scales of the pangolin, which may have started from the tail root, projecting forward to the head. PMID:24085276
Asing; Ali, Md. Eaqub; Abd Hamid, Sharifah Bee; Hossain, M. A. Motalib; Mustafa, Shuhaimi; Kader, Md. Abdul; Zaidul, I. S. M.
The Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) (MBT) is a vulnerable and protected turtle species, but it is a lucrative item in the illegal wildlife trade because of its great appeal as an exotic food item and in traditional medicine. Although several polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to identify MBT by various routes have been documented, their applicability for forensic authentication remains inconclusive due to the long length of the amplicon targets, which are easily broken down by natural decomposition, environmental stresses or physiochemical treatments during food processing. To address this research gap, we developed, for the first time, a species-specific PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay with a very short target length (120 bp) to detect MBT in the food chain; this authentication ensured better security and reliability through molecular fingerprints. The PCR-amplified product was digested with Bfa1 endonuclease, and distinctive restriction fingerprints (72, 43 and 5 bp) for MBT were found upon separation in a microfluidic chip-based automated electrophoresis system, which enhances the resolution of short oligos. The chances of any false negative identifications were eliminated through the use of a universal endogenous control for eukaryotes, and the limit of detection was 0.0001 ng DNA or 0.01% of the meat under admixed states. Finally, the optimized PCR-RFLP assay was validated for the screening of raw and processed commercial meatballs, burgers and frankfurters, which are very popular in most countries. The optimized PCR-RFLP assay was further used to screen MBT materials in 153 traditional Chinese medicines of 17 different brands and 62 of them were found MBT positive; wherein the ingredients were not declared in product labels. Overall, the novel assay demonstrated sufficient merit for use in any forensic and/or archaeological authentication of MBT, even under a state of decomposition. PMID:27716792
Meyer, W; Liumsiricharoen, M; Suprasert, A; Fleischer, L G; Hewicker-Trautwein, M
Using immunohistochemistry, the study demonstrates the distribution of keratins (pan-keratin with CK1-8, 10, 14-16, 19; keratins CK1, 5, 6, 9, 10; hair keratins AE13, AE14) in the epidermis of the Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica). A varying reaction spectrum was observed for pan-keratin, with body region-dependent negative to very strong reaction intensities. The dorsolateral epidermis exhibited positive reactions only in its vital layers, whereas the abdominal epidermis showed strong positive reactions in the soft two outer strata. The single acidic and basic-to-neutral (cyto)keratins produced clear variations compared to the pan-keratin tinging. E.g., CK1 appeared in all epidermal layers of both body regions, except for the ventral stratum corneum, whereas CK5, 6, 9, 10 were restricted to the soft ventral epidermis. Here, distinctly positive reactions were confined to the stratum granulosum, except for CK6 that appeared in the soft stratum corneum. A different staining pattern was obvious for the hair keratins, i.e., positive reactions of AE13 concentrated only in the granular layer of the dorsal epidermis. In the abdominal epidermis, remarkable tinging for AE14 was visible in the stratum basale, decreasing toward the corneal layer, but was also found in the outer root sheath cells of the hair follicles in the ventral body part. Our findings are discussed related to the evolution of the horny dorsal scales of the pangolin, which may have started from the tail root, projecting forward to the head.
Burks, Roger A.; Masner, Lubomír; Johnson, Norman F.; Austin, Andrew D.
Abstract The Indo-Malayan and Palearctic species of Oxyscelio (Hymenoptera: Platygastridae s.l.) are revised. A total of 90 species are recognized as valid, 19 of which are redescribed - Oxyscelio acutiventris (Kieffer), Oxyscelio brevinervis (Kieffer), Oxyscelio carinatus (Kieffer), Oxyscelio ceylonensis (Dodd), Oxyscelio consobrinus (Kieffer), Oxyscelio crassicornis (Kieffer), Oxyscelio cupularis (Kieffer), Oxyscelio dorsalis (Kieffer), Oxyscelio excavatus (Kieffer), Oxyscelio flavipennis (Kieffer), Oxyscelio florus Kononova, Oxyscelio foveatus Kieffer, Oxyscelio kiefferi Dodd, Oxyscelio magnus (Kieffer), Oxyscelio marginalis (Kieffer), Oxyscelio naraws Kozlov & Lê, Oxyscelio perpensus Kononova, Oxyscelio rugosus (Kieffer) and Oxyscelio spinosiceps (Kieffer), and 71 which are described as new - Oxyscelio aclavae Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio amrichae Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio anguli Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio angustifrons Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio angustinubbin Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio arcus Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio arvi Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio asperi Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio aureamediocritas Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio bipunctuum Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio brevidentis Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio caesitas Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio capilli Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio capitis Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio cavinetrion Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio chimaerae Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio codae Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio convergens Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio cordis Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio crateris Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio crebritas Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio crustum Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio cuculli Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio cyrtomesos Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio dasymesos Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio dasynoton Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio dermatoglyphes Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio doumao Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio fistulae Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio flabellae Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio flaviventris Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio fodiens Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio fossarum Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio fossularum Burks, sp. n., Oxyscelio
Asing; Ali, Eaqub; Hamid, Sharifah Bee Abd; Hossain, Motalib; Ahamad, Mohammad Nasir Uddin; Hossain, S M Azad; Naquiah, Nina; Zaidul, I S M
The Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) (MBT) is a vulnerable and protected species widely used in exotic foods and traditional medicines. Currently available polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to identify MBT lack automation and involve long targets which break down in processed or denatured tissue. This SYBR Green duplex real-time PCR assay has addressed this research gap for the first time through the combination of 120- and 141-bp targets from MBT and eukaryotes for the quantitative detection of MBT DNA in food chain and herbal medicinal preparations. This authentication ensures better security through automation, internal control and short targets that were stable under the processing treatments of foods and medicines. A melting curve clearly demonstrated two peaks at 74.63 ± 0.22 and 78.40 ± 0.31°C for the MBT and eukaryotic products, respectively, under pure, admixed and commercial food matrices. Analysis of 125 reference samples reflected a target recovery of 93.25-153.00%, PCR efficiency of 99-100% and limit of detection of 0.001% under various matrices. The quantification limits were 0.00001, 0.00170 ± 0.00012, 0.00228 ± 0.00029, 0.00198 ± 0.00036 and 0.00191 ± 0.00043 ng DNA for the pure meat, binary mixtures, meatball, burger and frankfurter products, respectively. The assay was used to screen 100 commercial samples of traditional Chinese herbal jelly powder from eight different brands; 22% of them were found to be MBT-positive (5.37 ± 0.50-7.00 ± 0.34% w/w), which was reflected through the Ct values (26.37 ± 0.32-28.90 ± 0.42) and melting curves (74.63-78.65 ± 0.22°C) of the amplified MBT target (120 bp), confirming the speculation that MBT materials are widely used in Chinese herbal desserts, exotic dishes consumed with the hope of prolonging life and youth.
Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de L M; Silva, Débora A; Ho, Paulo L; Leitão-de-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Sanz, Libia; Foguel, Débora; Zingali, Russolina Benedeta; Calvete, Juan J
The venom proteomes of Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus were analyzed by combining snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic surveys. In both coral snake species, 3FTx and PLA(2) were the most abundant and diversified toxin families. 33 different 3FTxs and 13 PLA(2) proteins, accounting respectively for 79.5% and 13.7% of the total proteins, were identified in the venom of M. altirostris. The venom of M. corallinus comprised 10 3FTx (81.7% of the venom proteome) and 4 (11.9%) PLA(2) molecules. Transcriptomic data provided the full-length amino acid sequences of 18 (M. altirostris) and 10 (M. corallinus) 3FTxs, and 3 (M. altirostris) and 1 (M. corallinus) novel PLA(2) sequences. In addition, venom from each species contained single members of minor toxin families: 3 common (PIII-SVMP, C-type lectin-like, L-amino acid oxidase) and 4 species-specific (CRISP, Kunitz-type inhibitor, lysosomal acid lipase in M. altirostris; serine proteinase in M. corallinus) toxin classes. The finding of a lipase (LIPA) in the venom proteome and in the venom gland transcriptome of M. altirostris supports the view of a recruitment event predating the divergence of Elapidae and Viperidae more than 60 Mya. The toxin profile of both M. altirostris and M. corallinus venoms points to 3FTxs and PLA(2) molecules as the major players of the envenoming process. In M. altirostris venom, all major, and most minor, 3FTxs display highest similarity to type I α-neurotoxins, suggesting that these postsynaptically acting toxins may play the predominant role in the neurotoxic effect leading to peripheral paralysis, respiratory arrest, and death. M. corallinus venom posesses both, type I α-neurotoxins and a high-abundance (26% of the venom proteome) protein of subfamily XIX of 3FTxs, exhibiting similarity to bucandin from Malayan krait, Bungarus candidus, venom, which enhances acetylcholine release presynaptically. This finding may explain the presynaptic neurotoxicity of M. corallinus venom
A. WHY MALAYA It may be argued that the origins of the insurrection in Malaya should be sought in the economic and social conditions of the time...blended control, information, political, economic , and social measures. The counter insurgency (C-I) was managed on a daily basis by a unified civil...shore up the MCP for the anticipated fight with the Japanese.27 However, internal memos and post-insurgency interviews indicate that the MCP
Norman, M D; Finn, J; Tregenza, T
During research dives in Indonesia (Sulawesi and Bali), we filmed a distinctive long-armed octopus, which is new to science. Diving over 24 h periods revealed that the 'mimic octopus' emerges during daylight hours to forage on sand substrates in full view of pelagic fish predators. We observed nine individuals of this species displaying a repertoire of postures and body patterns, several of which are clearly impersonations of venomous animals co-occurring in this habitat. This 'dynamic mimicry' avoids the genetic constraints that may limit the diversity of genetically polymorphic mimics but has the same effect of decreasing the frequency with which predators encounter particular mimics. Additionally, our observations suggest that the octopus makes decisions about the most appropriate form of mimicry to use, allowing it to enhance further the benefits of mimicking toxic models by employing mimicry according to the nature of perceived threats.
Kularatne, S A M; Senanayake, Nimal
Neurologic dysfunction due to natural neurotoxins is an important, but neglected, public health hazard in many parts of the world, particularly in the tropics. These toxins are produced by or found among a variety of live forms that include venomous snakes, arthropods such as scorpions, spiders, centipedes, stinging insects (Hymenoptera), ticks, certain poisonous fish, shellfish, crabs, cone shells, skin secretions of dart-poison frogs, and bacterial poisons such as botulinum toxin. These toxins commonly act on neuromuscular transmission at the neuromuscular junction where acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter, but in certain situations the toxins interfere with neurotransmitters such as GABA, noradrenaline, adrenaline, dopamine, and γ-aminobutyrate. Of the toxins, α-toxins and κ-toxins (e.g., Chinese krait, Bungarus multicinctus) act on the postsynaptic membrane, blocking the receptors, whilst β-toxin (e.g., common krait, B. caeruleus) acts on the presynaptic membrane, causing impairment of acetylcholine release. Conversely, dendrotoxins of the African mamba enhance acetylcholine release. The toxins of scorpions and spiders commonly interfere with voltage-gated ion channels. Clinically, the cardinal manifestation is muscle paralysis. In severe cases respiratory paralysis could be fatal. Effective antivenoms are the mainstay of treatment of envenoming, but their lack of availability is the major concern in the regions of the globe where they are desperately needed. Interestingly, some toxins have proved to be valuable pharmaceutical agents, while some others are widely exploited to study neuromuscular physiology and pathology.
Mohamed Yusoff, Aini; Tan, Tze King; Hari, Ranjeev; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Wee, Wei Yee; Antunes, Agostinho; Sitam, Frankie Thomas; Rovie-Ryan, Jeffrine Japning; Karuppannan, Kayal Vizi; Wong, Guat Jah; Lipovich, Leonard; Warren, Wesley C; O'Brien, Stephen J; Choo, Siew Woh
Pangolins are scale-covered mammals, containing eight endangered species. Maintaining pangolins in captivity is a significant challenge, in part because little is known about their genetics. Here we provide the first large-scale sequencing of the critically endangered Manis javanica transcriptomes from eight different organs using Illumina HiSeq technology, yielding ~75 Giga bases and 89,754 unigenes. We found some unigenes involved in the insect hormone biosynthesis pathway and also 747 lipids metabolism-related unigenes that may be insightful to understand the lipid metabolism system in pangolins. Comparative analysis between M. javanica and other mammals revealed many pangolin-specific genes significantly over-represented in stress-related processes, cell proliferation and external stimulus, probably reflecting the traits and adaptations of the analyzed pregnant female M. javanica. Our study provides an invaluable resource for future functional works that may be highly relevant for the conservation of pangolins.
Saha, N; Mak, J W; Tay, J S; Liu, Y; Tan, J A; Low, P S; Singh, M
A population genetic study was undertaken to provide gene frequency data on the additional blood genetic markers in the Semai and to estimate the genetic relations between the Semai and their neighboring and linguistically related populations by genetic distance and principal components analyses. Altogether 10 polymorphic and 7 monomorphic blood genetic markers (plasma proteins and red cell enzymes) were studied in a group of 349 Senoi Semai from 11 aboriginal settlements (villages) in the Pahang State of western Malaysia. Both the red cell glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (PGD) loci reveal the presence of polymorphic frequencies of a nondeficient slow allele at the G6PD locus and a fast allele at the PGD locus. The Semai are characterized by high prevalences of ahaptoglobinemia and G6PD deficiency, high frequencies of HP*1, HB*E, RH*R1, ACP*C, GLO1*1, PGM1*2+, and GC*1F and corresponding low frequencies of ABO*A, HbCoSp, HB*B0, TF*D, CHI, and GC*2. Genetic distance analyses by both cluster and principal components models were performed between the Semai and 14 other populations (Malay; Javanese; Khmer; Veddah; Tamils of Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India; Sinhalese; Oraon; Toda and Irula of India; Chinese; Japanese; Koreans) on the basis of 30 alleles at 7 polymorphic loci. A more detailed analysis using 53 alleles at 13 polymorphic loci with 10 populations was carried out. Both analyses give genetic evidence of a close relationship between the Semai and the Khmer of Cambodia. Furthermore, the Semai are more closely related to the Javanese than to their close neighbors--the Malay, Chinese, and Tamil Indians. There is no evidence for close genetic relationship between the Semai and the Veddah or other Indian tribes. The evidence fits well with the linguistic relationship of the Semai with the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austro-Asiatic language family.
Mohamed Yusoff, Aini; Tan, Tze King; Hari, Ranjeev; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Wee, Wei Yee; Antunes, Agostinho; Sitam, Frankie Thomas; Rovie-Ryan, Jeffrine Japning; Karuppannan, Kayal Vizi; Wong, Guat Jah; Lipovich, Leonard; Warren, Wesley C.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Choo, Siew Woh
Pangolins are scale-covered mammals, containing eight endangered species. Maintaining pangolins in captivity is a significant challenge, in part because little is known about their genetics. Here we provide the first large-scale sequencing of the critically endangered Manis javanica transcriptomes from eight different organs using Illumina HiSeq technology, yielding ~75 Giga bases and 89,754 unigenes. We found some unigenes involved in the insect hormone biosynthesis pathway and also 747 lipids metabolism-related unigenes that may be insightful to understand the lipid metabolism system in pangolins. Comparative analysis between M. javanica and other mammals revealed many pangolin-specific genes significantly over-represented in stress-related processes, cell proliferation and external stimulus, probably reflecting the traits and adaptations of the analyzed pregnant female M. javanica. Our study provides an invaluable resource for future functional works that may be highly relevant for the conservation of pangolins. PMID:27618997
Kishida, Takushi; Hayano, Azusa; Inoue-Murayama, Miho; Hikida, Tsutomu
Olfaction-based reproductive isolation is widely observed in animals, but little is known about the genetic basis of such isolation mechanisms. Two species of sibling amphibious sea snakes, Laticauda colubrina and L. frontalis live in Vanuatu sympatrically and syntopically, but no natural hybrids have been reported. Adult females of both taxa possess distinctive lipids in the skin, and male L. frontalis distinguishes conspecific females based on olfactory cues. To shed light on the molecular basis of the evolution of olfaction-based isolation mechanisms, olfactory receptor (OR) gene repertoires of both taxa were identified using pyrosequencing-based technology, and orthologous OR gene sets were identified. Few species-specific gene duplications or species-specific gene losses were found. However, the nonsynonymous-to-synonymous substitution rate ratio was relatively higher between orthologous OR genes of L. frontalis and L. colubrina, indicating that L. frontalis and L. colubrina have evolved to possess different olfactory senses. We suggest that L. frontalis and L. colubrina have evolved allopatrically, and this may be a byproduct of the allopatric evolution, and that this dissimilarity may function as a premating isolation barrier, since L. frontalis has returned to the ancestral range (Vanuatu).
New and already known acanthocephalans from amphibians and reptiles in Vietnam, with keys to species of Pseudoacanthocephalus Petrochenko, 1956 (Echinorhynchidae) and Sphaerechinorhynchus Johnston and Deland, 1929 (Plagiorhynchidae).
Amin, Omar M; Ha, Ngyuen Van; Heckmann, Richard A
Adults of 2 new species in 2 orders of acanthocephalans obtained from the intestines of terrestrial amphibians and reptiles collected between 1998 and 2004 in Vietnam are described here. Pseudoacanthocephalus nguyenthileae n. sp. (Palaeacnthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) was collected from 5 species of terrestrial amphibians: (1) the common Sunda toad Bufo melanostictus Schneider (Bufonidae); (2) Paa verucospinosa (Bourret); (3) Gunther's Amoy frog Rana guentheri Boulenger; (4) Taipei frog R. taipehensis Denburgh (Ranidae), and (5) the Burmese whipping frog Polypedates mutus (Smith) (Racophoridae); as well as from the Chinese cobra Naja atra Cantor (Reptilia: Elapidae) and house gecko Hemidactylus frenatus Dumeril and Bibron (Reptilia: Gekkonidae). Sphaerechinorhynchus maximesospinus n. sp. (Plagiorhynchidae: Sphaerechinorhynchinae) was isolated from a king cobra Ophiophagus hannah (cantor) (Reptilia: Elapidae). Cystacanths of Porrorchis houdemeri (Joyeux and Baer, 1935) Schmidt and Kuntz, 1967 (Plagiorhynchidae: Porrorchinae) obtained from the mesenteries of banded krait Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider) (Reptilia: Elapidae), a paratenic host, are reported for the first time. Keys to the species of Pseudoacanthocephalus and Sphaerechinorhynchus are included. Characteristic features distinguishing the new species from related taxa include: P. nguyenthileae has 15-19 (usually 16-18) proboscis hook rows, each with 5-6 hooks that progressively increase in length and size posteriorly. The largest, intermediate, and smallest proboscis hooks of S. maximesospinus are the middle, anterior, and posterior hooks, respectively; the proboscis and neck are enclosed in a membrane. Morphometric characteristics of P. nguyenthileae show host-related variability.
Sharma, Sanjib Kumar; Kuch, Ulrich; Höde, Patrick; Bruhse, Laura; Pandey, Deb P.; Ghimire, Anup; Chappuis, François; Alirol, Emilie
Snakebite is an important medical emergency in rural Nepal. Correct identification of the biting species is crucial for clinicians to choose appropriate treatment and anticipate complications. This is particularly important for neurotoxic envenoming which, depending on the snake species involved, may not respond to available antivenoms. Adequate species identification tools are lacking. This study used a combination of morphological and molecular approaches (PCR-aided DNA sequencing from swabs of bite sites) to determine the contribution of venomous and non-venomous species to the snakebite burden in southern Nepal. Out of 749 patients admitted with a history of snakebite to one of three study centres, the biting species could be identified in 194 (25.9%). Out of these, 87 had been bitten by a venomous snake, most commonly the Indian spectacled cobra (Naja naja; n = 42) and the common krait (Bungarus caeruleus; n = 22). When both morphological identification and PCR/sequencing results were available, a 100% agreement was noted. The probability of a positive PCR result was significantly lower among patients who had used inadequate “first aid” measures (e.g. tourniquets or local application of remedies). This study is the first to report the use of forensic genetics methods for snake species identification in a prospective clinical study. If high diagnostic accuracy is confirmed in larger cohorts, this method will be a very useful reference diagnostic tool for epidemiological investigations and clinical studies. PMID:27105074
Vulfius, Catherine A; Kasheverov, Igor E; Starkov, Vladislav G; Osipov, Alexey V; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Filkin, Sergey Yu; Gorbacheva, Elena V; Astashev, Maxim E; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N
Phospholipases A2 represent the most abundant family of snake venom proteins. They manifest an array of biological activities, which is constantly expanding. We have recently shown that a protein bitanarin, isolated from the venom of the puff adder Bitis arietans and possessing high phospholipolytic activity, interacts with different types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and with the acetylcholine-binding protein. To check if this property is characteristic to all venom phospholipases A2, we have studied the capability of these enzymes from other snakes to block the responses of Lymnaea stagnalis neurons to acetylcholine or cytisine and to inhibit α-bungarotoxin binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and acetylcholine-binding proteins. Here we present the evidence that phospholipases A2 from venoms of vipers Vipera ursinii and V. nikolskii, cobra Naja kaouthia, and krait Bungarus fasciatus from different snake families suppress the acetylcholine- or cytisine-elicited currents in L. stagnalis neurons and compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to muscle- and neuronal α7-types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, as well as to acetylcholine-binding proteins. As the phospholipase A2 content in venoms is quite high, under some conditions the activity found may contribute to the deleterious venom effects. The results obtained suggest that the ability to interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors may be a general property of snake venom phospholipases A2, which add a new target to the numerous activities of these enzymes.
Simpson, Ian D; Norris, Robert L
Snakebites continue to be a major medical concern in India. However, there is very little hard evidence of a numerical nature to enable us to understand which species are responsible for mortality and morbidity. For many decades, the concept of the "Big 4" Snakes of Medical Importance has reflected the view that 4 species are responsible for Indian snakebite mortality--the Indian cobra (Naja naja), the common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), the Russell's viper (Daboia russelii) and the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus). However, a recent discovery that another species, the hump-nosed pit viper (Hypnale hypnale), is capable of causing lethal envenomation, and that this problem was being concealed by systematic misidentification of this species as the saw-scaled viper, has necessitated a review of the concept of the "Big 4." The concept of the "Big 4" snakes is reviewed to demonstrate its failure to include all currently known snakes of medical significance in India, and its negative effects related to clinical management of snakebite. The emergence of the hump-nosed pit viper (Hypnale hypnale) as a snake of medical significance has rendered the "Big 4" obsolete in terms of completeness. The concept of the "Big 4" is restricting sound epidemiological work and the development of effective snake antivenoms. It should be replaced by the model introduced in the 1980s by the World Health Organization, which has not received adequate circulation and implementation.
Ande, Sudharsana Rao; Fussi, Heike; Knauer, Heide; Murkovic, Michael; Ghisla, Sandro; Fröhlich, Kai-Uwe; Macheroux, Peter
Here we report for the first time that L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO), a major component of snake venom, induces apoptosis in yeast. The causative agent for induction of apoptosis has been shown to be hydrogen peroxide, produced by the enzymatic activity of LAAO. However, the addition of catalase, a specific hydrogen peroxide scavenger, does not prevent cell demise completely. Intriguingly, depletion of leucine from the medium by LAAO and the interaction of LAAO with yeast cells are shown to be the major factors responsible for cell demise in the presence of catalase.
Chotwiwatthanakun, C; Pratanaphon, R; Akesowan, S; Sriprapat, S; Ratanabanangkoon, K
The purpose of this study was to prepare a potent polyvalent antivenom against three elapids namely, the Thai cobra (Naja kaouthia, NK), the King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah, OH) and the banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus, BF). Two groups of horses were immunized. Group 1, comprising five horses, was immunized twice with a mixture of postsynaptic neurotoxins followed by an additional six immunizations with a mixture of crude venoms of the three elapids. Group 2, comprising four horses, was immunized with a mixture of crude venoms throughout the course. For the first immunization, the immunogens were emulsified in Complete Freund's adjuvant and injected using a low dose, low volume multi-site immunization protocol previously developed in this laboratory (Pratanaphon, R., Akesowan, S., Khow, O., Sriprapat, S. and Ratanabanangkoon, K. (1997) Production of highly potent horse antivenom against the Thai cobra (Naja kaouthia). Vaccine 15, 1523-1528). The second immunization was carried out with the immunogens in Incomplete Freund's adjuvant. Blood was drawn to assay the antibody titer by ELISA. Sera at the peak of ELISA titers were pooled and assayed for the median effective dose (ED(50)). The ED(50)'s of antivenom from Group 1 horses against NK, OH and BF venoms were 1.44, 0.22 and 0.23 ml serum/mg venom, respectively, while those from Group 2 horse sera were 0.88, 0.20 and 0.49 ml serum/mg venom, respectively. The potency of sera from Group 2 against BF venom was significantly higher, while the potencies against NK and OH venoms were comparable to those of the corresponding monovalent antivenoms produced under the same protocol. This potent, truly polyvalent antivenom should be useful in saving lives of victims envenomed by these elapids and the immunization protocol should be useful in the production of potent polyvalent antivenoms against other medically important elapids.
Grant, G A; Luetje, C W; Summers, R; Xu, X L
kappa-Bungarotoxin, a kappa-neurotoxin derived from the venom of the banded Krait, Bungarus multicinctus, is a homodimeric protein composed of subunits of 66 amino acid residues containing five disulfide bonds. kappa-Bungarotoxin is a potent, selective, and slowly reversible antagonist of alpha3 beta2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. kappa-Bungarotoxin is structurally related to the alpha-neurotoxins, such as alpha-bungarotoxin derived from the same snake, which are monomeric in solution and which effectively antagonize muscle type receptors (alpha1 beta1 gamma delta) and the homopentameric neuronal type receptors (alpha7, alpha8, and alpha9). Like the kappa-neurotoxins, the long alpha-neurotoxins contain the same five conserved disulfide bonds, while the short alpha-neurotoxins only contain four of the five. Systematic removal of single disulfide bonds in kappa-bungarotoxin by site-specific mutagenesis reveals a differential role for each of the disulfide bonds. Removal of either of the two disulfides connecting elements of the carboxy terminal loop of this toxin (Cys 46-Cys 58 and Cys 59-Cys 64) interferes with the ability of the toxin to fold. In contrast, removal of each of the other three disulfides does not interfere with the general folding of the toxin and yields molecules with biological activity. In fact, when either C3-C21 or C14-C42 are removed individually, no loss in biological activity is seen. However, removing both produces a polypeptide chain which fails to fold properly. Removal of the C27-C31 disulfide only reduces the activity of the toxin 46.6-fold. This disulfide may play a role in specific interaction of the toxin with specific neuronal receptors.
Prospective, consecutive case series of 158 snakebite patients treated at Savannakhet provincial hospital, Lao People's Democratic Republic with high incidence of anaphylactic shock to horse derived F(ab')2 antivenom.
Vongphoumy, Inthanomchanh; Chanthilat, Phankham; Vilayvong, Phongmany; Blessmann, Joerg
Snakebites are a seriously neglected public health problem in Lao PDR. Community-based cross-sectional surveys in two districts of Savannakhet province in Southern Laos revealed an incidence of up to 1105 snakebites per 100,000 persons per year. In contrast the number of snakebite patients treated in district and provincial hospitals are low. In order to improve health care for snakebite victims, antivenom was introduced to Savannakhet provincial hospital in July 2013 and medical staff has been trained in management of venomous snakebites at the same time. After the intervention the number of snakebite patients treated at the provincial hospital increased significantly from 4 patients in 2012 to 158 snakebite patients between July 2013 and November 2015. They were included into a prospective, consecutive case series. Median age was 32 years (range 1.5-70 years) and male-to-female ratio 2.2:1. Forty patients were bitten by Malayan pit vipers, 26 by green pit vipers, 24 by cobras, including 3 cases of venom ophthalmia, 5 by kraits, 8 by non-venomous species and in 55 cases the snake could not be identified. Forty-three out of 158 patients received horse derived F(ab')2 antivenom from Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (QSMI) in Bangkok. Twenty-three patients (53%) developed early adverse reactions (EARs) within one hour after antivenom administration, including 13 patients (30%) with severe anaphylaxis. This extremely high rate of severe EARs turns the use of antivenom into a risky intervention. In contrast a retrospective chart review from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok found only 3.5% early reactions including 1.2% severe anaphylactic reactions using the same antivenom from QSMI between 1997 and 2006. The reason for this enormous difference remains unclear. A better understanding of the aetiology and pathophysiology behind antivenom induced anaphylaxis is crucial in order to identify patients at risk and to improve safety of antivenom administration.
Armugam, A; Earnest, L; Chung, M C; Gopalakrishnakone, P; Tan, C H; Tan, N H; Jeyaseelan, K
cDNAs encoding three phospholipase A2 (PLA2) isoforms in Naja naja sputatrix were cloned and characterized. One of them encoded an acidic PLA2 (APLA) while the others encoded neutral PLA2 (NPLA-1 and NPLA-2). The specific characteristics of APLA and NPLA were attributed to mutations at nt139 and nt328 from G to C and G to A, respectively, resulting in amino acid substitutions from Asp20 and 83 in APLA to His20 and Asn83 in NPLA. Amino acid sequencing of purified protein also showed the presence of this Asp20 and His20 in APLA and NPLA, respectively. The cDNA encoding one of the PLA2 (NAJPLA-2A), when expressed in Escherichia coli, yielded a protein that exhibited PLA2 activity.
Moh, Heng Hing; Chong, Ving Ching; Sasekumar, A.
Three sympatric species of mud lobsters are spatially distributed along the mangrove shore of Langat estuary, occurring in combinations of Thalassina anomala with either Thalassina kelanang or Thalassina gracilis. The aim of the study was to investigate how these species are distributed in relation to the environmental variables. Environmental and biotic samplings were made from the lower to upper shore at three study sites located on the coast and upper estuary. Spatial partitioning of these species is strongly driven by environmental factors such as tidal inundation, salinity and substrate characteristics. Competitive exclusion is hypothesized with the more aggressive species T. kelanang on the lower shore and T. anomala on the upper shore. T. gracilis genetically closest to T. kelanang is spatially partitioned from the former by its greater tolerance to high salinity fluctuations in the mid-estuary where it occupies a similar elevation as T. kelanang, and similarly coexisting with T. anomala living on higher ground. T. anomala may prefer more silty and organically rich substrates. This preference and its physiological requirements to survive in drier exposed substrates may explain T. anomala's simpler and deeper burrow to reach the water table, while the frequent need to feed on less organically rich, sandy-mud substrates by T. kelanang and T. gracilis results in more complex network of burrows near the surface.
Bawaskar, Himmatrao S; Bawaskar, Parag H; Bawaskar, Pramodini H
Dilated nonreacting pupils are routinely taken as a sign of irreversible brain damage. Alpha-receptor stimulation (scorpion sting) and presynaptic acetylcholine receptor blocker (krait bite) may result in dilation of pupils without involvement of the brain. This study was aimed to clinically evaluate the response of pupils in scorpion sting and krait bite. Victims of scorpion sting and krait bite were chosen from Raigad district. Scorpion sting and krait bite cases were admitted to hospital and were clinically evaluated in detail regarding neurological manifestations. Both cases had nonreacting dilation of pupils, complete neurological recovery accompanied with reverse of pupillary size and its response to light. In scorpion sting and krait bite poisoning, dilated nonreacting pupils are not the signs of irreversible brain damage. PMID:28300747
chloroquine, chlorpromazine, dexamethasone, and piracetam with respect to reducing the toxicity in mice of Bungarus caeruleus venom, Bungarus...toxic. Dexamethasone was similarly effective against the lethality of 0. scutellatus venom and taipoxin. Piracetam was without effect on the lethality of...KEYWORDS snake venom; neurotoxin; chloroquine; chlorpromazine; dexamethasone; piracetam ; therapy INTRODUCTION Antivenoms are the pharmacological
Indonesians, Malayans , European mixed-blood mestizos, and Chinese. The Negritos, the initial inhabitants from New Guinea who lived in the mountains of most...islands, had some 2 tribal names. The Indonesians, divided into 6 tribal groups, resided primarily on the island of Mindanao. The Malayans , by far... Malayans were classified into several groups: Visayans— 2.6 million, Tagalogs—.7 million, Bicols—58,000, Ilocanos—442,000, Pangasinans—366,000
13 of 129 CHAPTER 3.0 MALAYA Historical Sketch The Malayan Emergency was declared in 1948 in response to a series of attacks on labourers and...marginalise the MRLA both physically and politically. This politico- military success enabled the declaration of Malayan independence in 1957 and the...affected by the country’s ethnic division: the ethnic- Chinese, who were disenfranchised and barred from acquiring Malayan nationality, rallied to the
Leadership is critical to adaptation. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Future Conflict, NATO, Counterinsurgency, Malayan Emergency, Second Lebanon War, Adaptation...Indian and British Army Jungle Warfare Doctrines for Burma, 1943-5, and the Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960,” in Big Wars and Small Wars: The British Army...for units and personnel involved in the Malayan Emergency did the British Army adjust their training. Since establishing this school constituted a
Lillywhite, Harvey B; Brischoux, François; Sheehy, Coleman M; Pfaller, Joseph B
Recent investigations of water balance in sea snakes demonstrated that amphibious sea kraits (Laticauda spp.) dehydrate in seawater and require fresh water to restore deficits in body water. Here, we report similar findings for Pelamis platurus, a viviparous, pelagic, entirely marine species of hydrophiine ("true") sea snake. We sampled snakes at Golfo de Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica and demonstrated they do not drink seawater but fresh water at variable deficits of body water incurred by dehydration. The threshold dehydration at which snakes first drink fresh water is -18.3 ± 1.1 % (mean ± SE) loss of body mass, which is roughly twice the magnitude of mass deficit at which sea kraits drink fresh water. Compared to sea kraits, Pelamis drink relatively larger volumes of water and make up a larger percentage of the dehydration deficit. Some dehydrated Pelamis also were shown to drink brackish water up to 50% seawater, but most drank at lower brackish values and 20% of the snakes tested did not drink at all. Like sea kraits, Pelamis dehydrate when kept in seawater in the laboratory. Moreover, some individuals drank fresh water immediately following capture, providing preliminary evidence that Pelamis dehydrate at sea. Thus, this widely distributed pelagic species remains subject to dehydration in marine environments where it retains a capacity to sense and to drink fresh water. In comparison with sea kraits, however, Pelamis represents a more advanced stage in the evolutionary transition to a fully marine life and appears to be less dependent on fresh water.
treated as a second-order problem. In fact, ic was largely due to the study and reconnendations of Sir Robert Thompson himself that both US and Vietnamese...Malayan Government’s back. In fact, SI had to draft Malayan defense papers and letters in ics dealings with the British Government on defense aid.) By...special Emergency tasks were recruited (mostly on a contract basis) to work within the regular administrative machine . Never was there any question at any
Meerow, Alan W; Wisser, Randall J; Brown, J Steven; Kuhn, David N; Schnell, Raymond J; Broschat, Timothy K
Using 15 simple sequence repeat (SSR) microsatellite DNA loci, we analyzed genetic variation within Cocos nucifera germplasm collections at two locations in south Florida, representing eight cultivars. The loci were also used in a parentage analysis of progeny of the 'Fiji Dwarf' variety at both locations. A total of 67 alleles were detected, with eight the highest number at any one locus. These loci identified 83 of the 110 individual palms. Gene diversity of the 15 loci ranged from 0.778 to 0.223, with a mean of 0.574. 'Fiji Dwarf', 'Malayan Dwarf', 'Green Niño' and 'Red Spicata' cultivars resolve as distinct clusters in a neighbor joining tree using modified Rogers distance, while the tall varieties form two aggregates. The highest gene diversity was found in the tall cultivars (H = 0.583 cumulatively), and the lowest in the 'Malayan Dwarf' (H = 0.202). After the tall coconuts, the 'Fiji Dwarf' was most genetically diverse (H = 0.436), and had the largest number of unique alleles. Genetic identity is highest among the 'Malayan Dwarf' phenotypes, and between the tall varieties. The 'Red Malayan Dwarf' is genetically distinct from the 'Green' and 'Yellow Malayan Dwarf' phenotypes, which cannot be distinguished with the SSR loci used. Off-type 'Malayan Dwarf' phenotypes (putative hybrids with talls) can be identified genotypically. Parentage analyses of 30 'Fiji Dwarf' progeny propagated from five adults surrounded by other cultivars estimate that only 20% of the progeny were out-crossed to the other varieties, while 40-46% were possible selfs. This suggests that a seed-production orchard of the variety maintained at reasonable distance from other varieties, will likely yield only 'Fiji Dwarf' genotypes. Our data are discussed in the context of hypotheses of coconut dissemination around the world.
Brischoux, F.; Bonnet, X.; Cherel, Y.; Shine, R.
A predator's species, sex and body size can influence the types of prey that it consumes, but why? Do such dietary divergences result from differences in foraging habitats, or reflect differential ability to locate, capture or ingest different types of prey? That question is difficult to answer if foraging occurs in places that preclude direct observation. In New Caledonia, amphibious sea kraits ( Laticauda laticaudata and L. saintgironsi) mostly eat eels—but the species consumed differ between snake species and vary with snake body size and sex. Because the snakes capture eels within crevices on the sea floor, it is not possible to observe snake foraging on any quantitative basis. We used stable isotopes to investigate habitat-divergence and ontogenetic shifts in feeding habits of sympatric species of sea kraits. Similarities in δ15 N (~10.5‰) values suggest that the two snake species occupy similar trophic levels in the coral-reef foodweb. However, δ13C values differed among the eight eel species consumed by snakes, as well as between the two snake species, and were linked to habitat types. Specifically, δ13C differed between soft- vs. hard-substrate eel species, and consistently differed between the soft-bottom forager L. laticaudata (~ -14.7‰) and the hard-bottom forager L. saintgironsi (~ -12.5‰). Differences in isotopic signatures within and between the two sea krait species and their prey were consistent with the hypothesis of habitat-based dietary divergence. Isotopic composition varied with body size within each of the snake species and varied with body size within some eel species, reflecting ontogenetic shifts in feeding habits of both the sea kraits and their prey. Our results support the findings of previous studies based on snake stomach contents, indicating that further studies could usefully expand these isotopic analyses to a broader range of trophic levels, fish species and spatial scales.
Sharma, Rupinder; Dogra, Varundeep; Sharma, Gurudutt; Chauhan, Vivek
Introduction: In North India snake bite deaths are predominantly seen with neurotoxic envenomations (NEs) whereas in South India the hemotoxic envenomation (HE) is more common. Krait is responsible for most deaths in North India. It bites people sleeping on the floors, mostly at night. We describe the profile of venomous snake bites over 1 year in 2013. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in a rural tertiary care hospital in North India. Demographics, circumstances of bite, envenomation, first aid, delay, consultation, treatment, anti-venom, and outcomes were recorded for all victims of snake bite. We included all consecutive adult (>18 years) venomous snake bite victims admitted from January to December 2013. Results: A total of 91 patients with venomous snake bites were included in the study. Pure NEs were 41 (45.1%), pure HE in 31 (34.1%), 7 (7.7%) had mixed NE + HE, and 12 (13.2%) had only local swelling. Forty patients (44%) were bitten during sleep presenting as NE (92.5%), NE + HE (5%), and HE (2.5%). Findings in the 51 patients (56%) bitten during activity were HE (58.8%), local swelling (23.5%), NE + HE (9.8%), and NE (7.8%) (P < 0.0001). First aid was sought by 24 NE patients out of which 23 (96%) went to alternate practitioners or religious healers. Conclusion: Almost all (97.5%) bites during sleep resulted in NE in our study. About 96% of NE sought first aid from alternate practitioners or religious healers in hope of some magical treatment. Thus, a deadly combination of krait bite during sleep and wrong health seeking behavior is responsible for high mortality krait bites in this region. Mass public awareness regarding krait bites can prevent mortality in many such cases. PMID:27722112
Crowe-Riddell, Jenna M.; Watson, Amy P.; Suh, Anton Kyuseop; Partridge, Julian C.; Sanders, Kate L.
Scale sensilla are small tactile mechanosensory organs located on the head scales of many squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). In sea snakes and sea kraits (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae), these scale organs are presumptive scale sensilla that purportedly function as both tactile mechanoreceptors and potentially as hydrodynamic receptors capable of sensing the displacement of water. We combined scanning electron microscopy, silicone casting of the skin and quadrate sampling with a phylogenetic analysis to assess morphological variation in sensilla on the postocular head scale(s) across four terrestrial, 13 fully aquatic and two semi-aquatic species of elapids. Substantial variation exists in the overall coverage of sensilla (0.8–6.5%) among the species sampled and is broadly overlapping in aquatic and terrestrial lineages. However, two observations suggest a divergent, possibly hydrodynamic sensory role of sensilla in sea snake and sea krait species. First, scale sensilla are more protruding (dome-shaped) in aquatic species than in their terrestrial counterparts. Second, exceptionally high overall coverage of sensilla is found only in the fully aquatic sea snakes, and this attribute appears to have evolved multiple times within this group. Our quantification of coverage as a proxy for relative ‘sensitivity’ represents the first analysis of the evolution of sensilla in the transition from terrestrial to marine habitats. However, evidence from physiological and behavioural studies is needed to confirm the functional role of scale sensilla in sea snakes and sea kraits. PMID:27278646
Crowe-Riddell, Jenna M; Snelling, Edward P; Watson, Amy P; Suh, Anton Kyuseop; Partridge, Julian C; Sanders, Kate L
Scale sensilla are small tactile mechanosensory organs located on the head scales of many squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). In sea snakes and sea kraits (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae), these scale organs are presumptive scale sensilla that purportedly function as both tactile mechanoreceptors and potentially as hydrodynamic receptors capable of sensing the displacement of water. We combined scanning electron microscopy, silicone casting of the skin and quadrate sampling with a phylogenetic analysis to assess morphological variation in sensilla on the postocular head scale(s) across four terrestrial, 13 fully aquatic and two semi-aquatic species of elapids. Substantial variation exists in the overall coverage of sensilla (0.8-6.5%) among the species sampled and is broadly overlapping in aquatic and terrestrial lineages. However, two observations suggest a divergent, possibly hydrodynamic sensory role of sensilla in sea snake and sea krait species. First, scale sensilla are more protruding (dome-shaped) in aquatic species than in their terrestrial counterparts. Second, exceptionally high overall coverage of sensilla is found only in the fully aquatic sea snakes, and this attribute appears to have evolved multiple times within this group. Our quantification of coverage as a proxy for relative 'sensitivity' represents the first analysis of the evolution of sensilla in the transition from terrestrial to marine habitats. However, evidence from physiological and behavioural studies is needed to confirm the functional role of scale sensilla in sea snakes and sea kraits.
Giacobini Robecchi, M G; Garelli, M; Filogamo, G
Muscle fibres binding with 125I alpha-bungarotoxine from Bungarus Multicinctus, after treatment with saponine, shows (in electron microscope autoradiography) intracellular binding sites identifying sites of acetylcholine receptor synthesis. In innervated muscle, the acetylcholine receptor is located only at the neuromuscular junction. In denervated muscle the receptor is distributed along the whole sarcolemma; in this situation the acetylcholine receptor is synthesized "ex novo" in the membrane system over the whole length of the muscle fibre.
ground. Actions taken under this plan involved resettlement to strategic hamlets , relocating over five hundred thousand people by 1953...Malayan Emergency: 1948-1960, (New York: Bantam Books, 1971(1987)) Chapter 2 “The Man who Loved Shakespeare , the turning of Osman China.” 215-229
Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) is a tephritid fruit fly native to the Indo-Malayan region. Its distribution, though, has extended to include Africa, temperate Asia, and a number of Pacific islands. It became established in Japan in 1919 in the Yaeyama Islands and spread north in the Southwestern...
some good information about the leadership in the organization. 23 Ian Beckett , The Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960 (Junior Command and Staff Course...British Army Review 139 (Spring 2006):16. 48 Sun Tzu, The Art of War, (Translated and with an Introduction by Samuel B. Griffith, Oxford University
Tjørnelund, Karen B; Jonsson, Lena M; Kortegaard, Hanne; Arnbjerg, Jens; Nielsen, Søren S; Bertelsen, Mads F
Dental ailments, mandibular swelling, and dentoalveolar abscesses are common in tapirs, but knowledge about prevalence or etiology of these lesions in the Tapiridae family in general, and in lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) in particular, is scarce. A recent study identified resorptive lesions of unknown etiology as a common problem in the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus). In order to investigate the type and prevalence of dental lesions occurring in lowland tapirs, and to compare these with findings with the Malayan tapir, skulls and teeth from 46 deceased lowland tapirs were visually and radiographically examined. The specimens were divided into subpopulations according to age (juveniles, young adults, adults) and origin (free-range or captive). Dental lesions were identified in 24% (11/46) of the study population. The most common pathologic findings were complicated dental fractures with associated periapical reaction (15%) and periapical reactions of various degrees without associated detectable dental pathology (13%). All these lesions likely originated from dental trauma. As in Malayan tapirs, juveniles had significantly fewer lesions than adults. This study shows that dental lesions present frequent problems for lowland tapirs, occurring both in captive and in free-ranging individuals, and indicates that increasing age should be considered a risk factor for the development of these lesions. Notably, the predominant dental problems in lowland tapirs and Malayan tapirs are not the same.
Jangoux, Michel; De Ridder, Chantal; Massin, Claude; Darsono, Prapto
Together the holothuroids, echinoids and asteroids collected by the Snellius-II Expedition represent 144 different species (40 species of holothuroids, 45 species of echinoids and 59 species of asteroids). The collection includes 14 species new to science. Among the remaining 130 species there are five new records for the Austro-Malayan region and 13 new records for the Indonesian seas.
Examined language choice for three bilingual families in the context of Singapore's bilingual policy for preschool children. Found that Chinese families prefer English for all activities; Malay families prefer the Malayan language for worship and interaction with family; and Tamil families choose the Tamil language for worship but prefer English…
Saravu, Kavitha; Somavarapu, Vasanth; Shastry, Ananthkrishna B.; Kumar, Rishikesh
Objective: We undertook this study to assess the clinical profile and outcome determinants of different snake envenomation as well as to assign species-specific severity grade to different cases based on clinico – laboratory evidence scale. Materials and Methods: A prospective clinico – epidemiologic evaluation for outcome determinants of snakebite envenomation was carried out based on a clinico – laboratory severity grading scale, among 76 patients over a period of 2 years, in a tertiary care hospital in southern India. Results: Majority of patients were male agricultural workers (53.9%) followed by housewives (19.7%), and students (9.2%). Occurrence of viper snake envenomation with hemotoxic syndrome (73.68%) was highest followed by cobra and krait envenomation with neurotoxic (19.73%) and hemo – neurotoxic (5.3%) syndrome, respectively. On the contrary, maximum mortality and severity was seen in krait (60%) followed by cobra (13.33%) and viper (8.9%) envenomation. The average dose of anti-snake venom (ASV) administered varied from 9.83 (±7.22) to 20.25 (±4.92) vials throughout grade I to IV in all snake species envenomation. An increase in severity grade, ASV dose, and mortality were observed with the corresponding delay in ‘bite to needle time.’ Also, initial traditional treatments and krait species envenomation were significantly associated with higher grades of severity and mortality. Conclusion: There is an urgent need to spread awareness among the community for avoidance of traditional treatment and any delay in medical intervention in snakebite incidents. PMID:23559724
Syaukani, Syaukani; Thompson, Graham J.; Zettel, Herbert; Pribadi, Teguh
Abstract A new species of open-air processional column termite is here described based on the soldier and worker castes from eight colonies in north Barito, central Kalimantan. Hospitalitermes nigriantennalis sp. n. is readily distinguished in the field from related Hospitalitermes spp. by the light brown to orangish coloration of the soldier head capsule that, further, is with vertex yellowish and nasus brownish. The soldier antenna and the maxillary and labial palps are blackish. By contrast, soldiers from other species of Hospitalitermes from this region have a uniformly black head capsule and antennae. Finally, Hospitalitermes nigriantennalis sp. n. has a minute indentation in the middle of the posterior part of head capsule, which further helps to differentiate this new species from other Hospitalitermes from the Indo-Malayan and Austro-Malayan regions. PMID:26877678
Cambodian, Bangladeshi, Malayan, Hmong, Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Northern Mariana Islander, Guamanian, and Fijian . (20:192-193) - Although the Asian...MATHEMATICS, MEDICINE , and ACADEMIA: Jokichi Takamine (chemist, first to isolate adrenaline); Hideyo Murayama (isolated syphilis germ); Dr. An Wang (computer...Department shuttle mission in January 1985 and later died aboard Challenger in 1986); Har Gobind Khorana (1968 Nobel Prize for medicine ); Im Proum (Cambodian
toxicity. Admini- stration of the anticoagulants heparin, acetylsalicylic acid , Malayan pit viper venom, streptokinase, and warfarin in a previous study by...transported into the cell via the bile acid transporters in the cell membrane. Deformation of the cells by Microcystis toxin is blocked by addition of sodium...deoxycholate to the medium. The blocking effect also shows a dose response, with increasing concentration of toxin requiring a higher bile acid
Malayan Emergency, Summary. 14 Timothy K. Deady, “Lessons from a Successful Counterinsurgency: The Philippines, 1899–1902,” Parameters 1 (Spring...disposal systems, and vaccines for malaria , smallpox, cholera, and typhoid for their communities.38 The same is dynamic is cited in Baker’s...Monterey, August 1, 2011. 21 would come and build schools, wells, and clinics . If the local population realized that the reason ISAF was not doing
nature of civil -military relations, and the relative development of state-of-the-art technology all shape wartime mobilization. By combining and...winning the global war on terrorism. Although the joint team has technologically superior weapons, command and control systems, and re- connaissance...Coordination by Charles N. Cardinal, Timber P. Pangonas, and Edward Marks 54 Civil -Military Operations: Joint Doctrine and the Malayan Emergency by
The British had already begun to cede government control back to the Malayan states following WWII, establishing a system whereby the states...international condemnation. While the army was able to make significant tactical gains against the FLN with its subsequent employment of a system of...Leading a socialist insurgency in Cuba beginning in 1956, Fidel Castro presented himself as aiming to restore a legitimate democratic system on the
1874, when the British government finalised a series of treaties with local Malay rulers. In 1896, some of these areas were merged to form the...movement, fighting for Malayan independence. Pushed out of Malaya by the Japanese, the British government backed the MCP’s initiative and – mostly from...squatters with every incentive to cooperate with the government forces, resulting in a steady flow of intelligence on MRLA whereabouts and activities
Wong, Suet-Pick; Chong, Kam-Weng; Lim, Kuan-Hon; Lim, Siew-Huah; Low, Yun-Yee; Kam, Toh-Seok
Two new monoterpene indole alkaloids, characterized by previously unencountered natural product skeletons, viz., arborisidine (1), incorporating indolizidine and cyclohexanone moieties fused to an indole unit, and arbornamine (2), incorporating an unprecedented 6/5/6/5/6 "arbornane" skeleton (distinct from the eburnan or tacaman skeleton), were isolated from a Malayan Kopsia arborea. The structures of the alkaloids were determined based on analysis of the NMR and MS data. Possible biogenetic pathways to these alkaloids from a common pericine precursor (3) are presented.
Bartlett , Report From Malaya (New York: Criterion Books, 1955), 30 This small land bridge and British control of the coastline restricted the...34 (Galula 1964), 36 The Chinese workers living in 35 ( Bartlett 1955), 85, 87 36 (Beckett 2001), 96 37 ( Bartlett 1955), 23 38 (Ibid 1955), 33...compelled to act. “The Malayan Emergency began in the spring of 1948, when the MCP realized that it would not succeed in gaining power by 41 ( Bartlett
NEP the Malaysian economy underwent a great diversifi cation that reduced its dependence on overseas commodities markets. Palm oil, tropical ...to the Malayan frontier . Pattani, always a troublesome region with very few Thais or Buddhists among its residents, remained a part of Siam. The...connection between Jemaah Islamiyah and the ASG aside from a limited degree of joint training in MILF camps in Mindanao. 244 Judith Bird , “Indonesia in 1997
evidence of cruelty , this finding did little to placate the increasing condemnation from those organizations. The insurgents quickly learned the...and pack animals to cargo trucks. In addition to supplies, the North Vietnamese provided the Viet Cong advisory assistance and training. This...Pan-Malayan Islamic Party.258F54 The animated political campaigning leading up to the 1955 federal election significantly boosted the
Nicholas A. Murray, DPhil. Accepted this 10th day of June 2011 by: , Director, Graduate Degree Programs Robert F. Baumann, Ph.D...included are Sir Robert Thompson and General Sir Frank Kitson. Thompson served as a civil servant during the Malayan Emergency, 1948 to 1960, and as...colonial expansion into northern Africa beginning around 1830. Yet, when Marshal Thomas- Robert Bugeaud, a veteran of the Peninsular Wars, arrived as
Pukazhenthi, Budhan; Quse, Viviana; Hoyer, Mark; van Engeldorp Gastelaars, Heleen; Sanjur, Oris; Brown, Janine L
Tapirs (Tapirus sp.) have been studied extensively in the wild, yet little is known about their fundamental reproductive biology, information that is critical to establishing self-sustaining populations in captivity as a hedge against extinction. This paper reviews information on the reproductive biology of the 4 species of tapirs: Baird's (Tapirus bairdii), lowland (T terrestris), mountain (T pinchaque) and Malayan (T indicus). Both sexes reach puberty between 14 and 48 months of age. Behaviorally, tapirs display few overt signs of estrus, and external signs of pregnancy are not evident until approximately 2 months before parturition. Immunoassay techniques to measure reproductive hormones in blood and urine have been validated for tapirs, which allow monitoring of ovarian cycle activity and pregnancy. Data indicate that females are polyestrous, with an estrous cycle length of approximately 30 days. The exception is the Malayan tapir, which exhibits 2 types of cycles: short (approximately 1 month) and long (approximately 2 months). Gestation length is approximately 13 months and females can conceive at the first post-partum cycle within 1 month after birth. Good quality ejaculates have been obtained via electroejaculation in the Baird's and Malayan tapir and the sperm from Baird's tapir cryopreserved using standard cryodiluents, although more work is needed to optimize these protocols. Given that all 4 species of tapir most likely will continue to be maintained in captivity, effective genetic management is vital for long-term survival. Optimization of assisted reproductive technologies, including sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination, could benefit the genetic management of tapirs.
Chauhan, Vivek; Thakur, Suman
Snake bite envenomations are common in rural areas and the incidence peaks during monsoons in India. Prominent venomous species have been traditionally labeled as the ‘big four’ that includes Cobra, Krait, Russel's viper and Saw scaled viper. Systematic attempts for identification and classification of prevalent snakes in various states of India are missing till now and there is no concrete data on this aspect. The published literature however shows that some species of snakes are more prevalent in a particular region than the other parts of India e.g. Saw scaled vipers in Rajasthan. We reviewed the published literature from various parts of India and found that there is a North-South divide in the snake bite profile from India. Neurotoxic envenomations are significantly higher in North India compared to South India where Hematotoxic envenomations are prevalent. Russel's viper causes local necrosis, gangrene and compartment syndrome. These manifestations have never been reported in North Indian snake bite profile in the published literature. Early morning neuroparalysis caused by Krait is a common problem in North India leading to high mortality after snake bite. This review presents supporting evidence for the North-South divide and proposes a way forward in formulation and revision of guidelines for snake bite in India. PMID:27904261
Guo, Xiao-Xi; Zeng, Lin; Lee, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Yun; Jin, Yang
A 50 kDa fibrinogenolytic protease, ohagin, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah was isolated by a combination of gel filtration, ion-exchange and heparin affinity chromatography. Ohagin specifically degraded the alpha-chain of human fibrinogen and the proteolytic activity was completely abolished by EDTA, but not by PMSF, suggesting it is a metalloproteinase. It dose-dependently inhibited platelet aggregation induced by ADP, TMVA and stejnulxin. The full sequence of ohagin was deduced by cDNA cloning and confirmed by protein sequencing and peptide mass fingerprinting. The full-length cDNA sequence of ohagin encodes an open reading frame of 611 amino acids that includes signal peptide, proprotein and mature protein comprising metalloproteinase, disintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains, suggesting it belongs to P-III class metalloproteinase. In addition, P-III class metalloproteinases from the venom glands of Naja atra, Bungarus multicinctus and Bungarus fasciatus were also cloned in this study. Sequence analysis and phylogenetic analysis indicated that metalloproteinases from elapid snake venoms form a new subgroup of P-III SVMPs.
Wang, Fumin; Zhou, Lihua; Gong, Shiping; Deng, Yanzhong; Zou, Jiejian; Wu, Jun; Liu, Wenhua; Hou, Fanghui
Wild-caught snakes are a popular and traditional food in China. However, little known to the public, snakes are also intermediate hosts of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, a food- and water-borne pathogen of sparganosis. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of S. erinaceieuropaei in 10 popular species of wild-caught snakes in Guangzhou City (Guangdong Province) between July 2009 and July 2010. One hundred and twenty-four specimens of 10 species (including Enhydris plumbea, Zoacys dhumnades, Elaphe radiate, Elaphe taeniura, Elaphe carinata, Ptyas mucosus, Ptyas korros, Naja naja atra, Bungarus fasciatus, and Bungarus multicinctus) were randomly selected from a total of 1,160 wild-caught snakes. They were obtained from food markets in 5 representative districts (Huadou, Panyu, Tianhe, Haizhu, and Conghua). The specimens were killed, necropsied, and examined for parasitic helminths. Of the snakes examined, 29.8% were infected by spargana and the worm burden per infected snake ranged from 1 to 221. Most species were infected except for En. plumbea, B. fasciatus, and B. multicinctus. Prevalence even reached 100% in Zoacys dhumnades. More than half (53.5%) of the spargana were located in muscular tissue, 36.4% in subcutaneous tissue, and 10.1% in the coelomic cavity. The study revealed the potential risk for the zoonotic sparganosis by eating wild-caught snakes and will be helpful in arousing public health concern about the consumption of snake meat.
Brauer, Hans; Wagner, Annemarie; Boman, Johan; Viet Binh, Doan
The concentration of trace elements in tissues of several animals collected in the Ha Nam province, approximately 40 km south of Hanoi, Vietnam, has been investigated using total-reflection X-ray fluorescence analysis. We find that the freshwater mussel is probably the optimal choice of biomonitor for the pollution situation in Vietnam, but the freshwater crab, the toad and the catfish are also good candidates. The krait is probably also well suited for this purpose. It is shown that since several elements show a more or less pronounced accumulation tendency in a particular tissue it can be of great use to determine the levels in different tissues. When selecting an organism to be used as a biomonitor, other factors besides the mere concentration of trace elements must be considered, for instance the abundance and feeding habits.
Gillett, Amber K; Flint, Mark; Mills, Paul C
Marine snakes of the subfamily Hydrophiinae are obligate ocean dwellers, unlike their amphibious counterparts, the sea kraits (Laticaudinae), and as such they are often referred to as 'true' sea snakes. This specialization means that the presence of a true sea snake on a beach is atypical and likely indicates disease or injury. Traumatic injuries such as eye, jaw, and spinal lesions have been observed in stranded sea snakes and may present as acute injury or progress to chronic debilitation. Diseases, such as neoplasia, leukemia, and parasite overburden, have also been seen in wild sea snakes, and these animals may present similarly. Sick, moribund, or deceased sea snakes are intermittently found washed ashore along Australian beaches, and these specimens may prove valuable as bioindicators of marine health. This review is intended as a guide to the diagnostic investigation of sick or injured sea snakes by suitably qualified people.
Tamiya, Toru; Fujimi, Takahiko J
The venom of the sea krait, Laticauda semifasciata, consists primarily of two toxic proteins, phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) and a three-finger-structure toxin. We have cloned both toxic protein genes, including the upstream region. PLA(2) genes contain three types of inserted sequences: an AG-rich region, a chicken repeat 1-like long interspersed nucleotide element sequence and an intron II 3' side repeat sequence. The molecular divergence of L. semifasciata PLA(2) genes was defined on the basis of the inserted sequences and their sequence homology. The length of intron I in the three-finger-structure toxin genes differs from species to species. The alignment analysis of intron I of the three-finger-structure toxin genes revealed that the intron I sequence of the ancestral gene comprised ten genetic regions. A hypothetical evolutionary process for the three-finger-structure toxin genes has also been developed.
Clauss, Marcus; Lang-Deuerling, Stefanie; Müller, Dennis W H; Kienzle, Ellen; Steuer, Patrick; Hummel, Jürgen
The retention of ingesta in the digestive tract is a major characteristic of herbivorous animals. We measured particle and fluid mean retention times (MRT) in 13 lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) and 5 Malayan tapirs (Tapirus indicus) from five zoological institutions on their usual zoo diet and 2 lowland and 4 Malayan tapirs additionally on roughage-only diets (total n of trials=24) with cobalt-EDTA as fluid and chromium-mordanted fibre (<2 mm) as particle markers. MRT for fluid and particles averaged 42+/-16 h and 55+/-18 h in lowland and 40+/-13 h and 56+/-14 h in Malayan tapirs. In a General Linear Model, neither Tapir species, body mass or diet (characterised by the proportion of roughage) was significantly related to MRT, but dry matter intake was, with a steep decline in MRT with higher intake levels. Compared to other hindgut fermenters, tapirs have a low defecation frequency, which might be linked to their comparatively low food intake. Their gastrointestinal capacity (in dry matter: 1.63+/-0.63% of body mass) is similar to that calculated for horses. A comparison of the difference in fluid and particle MRT in large hindgut fermenters (horses, rhinoceroses, elephants, and the tapirs of this study) shows that longer absolute particle MRT are linked to shorter relative fluid MRT, possibly indicating a more thorough 'washing' of particulate ingesta with digestive fluids at longer particle MRT. The only outlier to this general pattern, with an exceptionally high difference between fluid and particle MRT, indicating a particularly efficient ingesta washing, is the white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). If possible, results of this study should be compared to findings in tapirs on natural diets.
Helmick, Kelly E; Milne, Victoria E
Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) was diagnosed in two captive female neonatal Malayan tapirs (Tapirus indicus) at separate institutions. Both calves had unremarkable exams and normal blood parameters within the first 3 days of life. Microcytic hypochromic anemia (hematocrit, HCT= 20%; mean corpuscular volume, MCV = 32.8 fl; mean corpuscular hemoglobin, MCH = 10.5 pg) was diagnosed at day 66 of age in calf EPZ-1. Iron dextran (10 mg/kg i.m.) was administered at day 71. A normal HCT (33%) with microcytosis and hypochromasia (MCV = 33.0 fl; MCH = 11.7 pg) was identified at day 80. No further concerns were noted through 610 days of age. Microcytic hypochromic anemia (HCT = 16%; MCV = 38.4 fl; MCH = 13.3 pg; mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, MCHC= 34.6 g/dl) with thrombocytosis (platelets= 1018 10(3)/UL) and poikilocytosis was diagnosed at day 38 of age in calf WPZ-1 by samples obtained through operant conditioning. Iron dextran (10 mg/kg i.m.) was administered at day 40 and day 68. Improving hematocrit (32%) and low serum iron (45 micorg/dl) was identified at day 88; total iron binding capacity (TIBC; 438 microg/dl) and percentage saturation (10%) were also measured. No further concerns were noted through day 529 of age. Retrospective evaluation identified presumptive IDA in two male siblings of calf WPZ-1. One calf died at day 40 (iron = 40 microg/dl; TIBC = 482 microg/dl; percentage saturation = 4%) and another at day 72 (HCT = 11%; iron = 26 microg/dl; TIBC = 470 microg/dl; percentage saturation = 6%). Death in both calves was attributed to disseminated intravascular coagulation and bacterial septicemia. IDA can develop in Malayan tapirs between day 38 and day 72 of age and may be a significant precursor to bacterial septicemia and death in neonatal Malayan tapirs.
Wang, Xiao-Jing; Wang, Xiao-Xing; Wang, Ya-Jun; Wang, Xi-Zhong; He, Guang-Xin; Chen, Hong-Wei; Fei, Li-Song
Activin, which is included in the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF beta) superfamily of proteins and receptors, is known to have broad-ranging effects in the creatures. The mature peptide of beta A subunit of this gene, one of the most highly conserved sequence, can elevate the basal secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the pituitary and FSH is pivotal to organism's reproduction. Reproduction block is one of the main reasons which cause giant panda to extinct. The sequence of Activin beta A subunit gene mature peptides has been successfully amplified from giant panda, red panda and malayan sun bear's genomic DNA by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with a pair of degenerate primers. The PCR products were cloned into the vector pBlueScript+ of Esherichia coli. Sequence analysis of Activin beta A subunit gene mature peptides shows that the length of this gene segment is the same (359 bp) and there is no intron in all three species. The sequence encodes a peptide of 119 amino acid residues. The homology comparison demonstrates 93.9% DNA homology and 99% homology in amino acid among these three species. Both GenBank blast search result and restriction enzyme map reveal that the sequences of Activin beta A subunit gene mature peptides of different species are highly conserved during the evolution process. Phylogeny analysis is performed with PHYLIP software package. A consistent phylogeny tree has been drawn with three different methods. The software analysis outcome accords with the academic view that giant panda has a closer relationship to the malayan sun bear than the red panda. Giant panda should be grouped into the bear family (Uersidae) with the malayan sun bear. As to the red panda, it would be better that this animal be grouped into the unique family (red panda family) because of great difference between the red panda and the bears (Uersidae).
Coca-leaf habituation has affected millions of Andean natives for over 400 years. In the last half-century it has also involved millions more Malayans. Coca leaf, from which cocaine and extracts for some commercial carbonated soft drinks are obtained, remains relatively unknown by the medical and allied professions elsewhere. A review of the original medical, historical and other pertinent literature of the last 350 years illustrates the origins of the use of coca leaf, its spread, the isolation of cocaine and its first uses, as well as some of the euphoric and other effects of both substances. PMID:5318484
Lass, Piotr; Szarszewski, Adam; Gaworska-Krzemińska, Aleksandra; Sławek, Jarosław
The authors overviewed the biographies of 29 medical doctors who became the heads of the state or the prime ministers of their countries. Most of them ruled in a countries of fresh or unstable democracies, most often in Asia, Africa and Latin America, three of them were bloody dictators. With the exemptions of Georges Clemenceau and Sun-Yat-Sen they were not famous as historical figures, although some were good administrators like the prime minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Malayan prime minister Mahatir bin Mohamad, Brasilian and Chilean presidents, Juscelino Kubitschek and Veronica Bachelet. Regarding specialisation was mostly general medics or they specialised in public health.
Jiang, Chao; Yuan, Yuan; Liu, Libing; Hou, Jingyi; Jin, Yan; Huang, Luqi
A label-free, homogenous and sensitive one-step method for the molecular authentication of medicinal snakes has been developed by combining a rapid PCR technique with water-soluble cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes (CCPs). Three medicinal snake materials (Deinagkistrodon acutus, Zaocys dhumnades and Bungarus multicinctus; a total of 35 specimens) and 48 snake specimens with similar morphologies and textures were clearly distinguished by the naked eye by utilizing a CCP-based assay in a high-throughput manner. The identification of medicinal snakes in patented Chinese drugs was successfully performed using this detection system. In contrast to previous fluorescence-labeled oligonucleotide detection and direct DNA stain hybridization assays, this method does not require designing dye-labeled primers, and unfavorable dimer fluorescence is avoided in this homogenous method. PMID:26537289
Jiang, Chao; Yuan, Yuan; Liu, Libing; Hou, Jingyi; Jin, Yan; Huang, Luqi
A label-free, homogenous and sensitive one-step method for the molecular authentication of medicinal snakes has been developed by combining a rapid PCR technique with water-soluble cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes (CCPs). Three medicinal snake materials (Deinagkistrodon acutus, Zaocys dhumnades and Bungarus multicinctus; a total of 35 specimens) and 48 snake specimens with similar morphologies and textures were clearly distinguished by the naked eye by utilizing a CCP-based assay in a high-throughput manner. The identification of medicinal snakes in patented Chinese drugs was successfully performed using this detection system. In contrast to previous fluorescence-labeled oligonucleotide detection and direct DNA stain hybridization assays, this method does not require designing dye-labeled primers, and unfavorable dimer fluorescence is avoided in this homogenous method.
Chen, Kang; Jiang, Chao; Yuan, Yuan; Huang, Lu-Qi; Li, Man
To obtained an accurate, rapid and efficient method for authenticate medicinal snakes listed in Chinese Pharmacopoeia (Zaocysd humnades, Bungarus multicinctus, Agkistrodon acutus), a rapid PCR method for authenticate snakes and its adulterants was established based on the classic molecular authentication methods. DNA was extracted by alkaline lysis and the specific primers were amplified by two-steps PCR amplification method. The denatured and annealing temperature and cycle numbers were optimized. When 100 x SYBR Green I was added in the PCR product, strong green fluorescence was visualized under 365 nm UV whereas adulterants without. The whole process can complete in 30-45 minutes. The established method provides the technical support for authentication of the snakes on field.
Tan, Choo Hock; Liew, Jia Lee; Tan, Kae Yi; Tan, Nget Hong
Serum Anti Ular Bisa (SABU) is the only snake antivenom produced locally in Indonesia; however, its effectiveness has not been rigorously evaluated. This study aimed to assess the protein composition and neutralization efficacy of SABU. SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, size-exclusion liquid chromatography and shotgun proteomics revealed that SABU consists of F(ab’)2 but a significant amount of dimers, protein aggregates and contaminant albumins. SABU moderately neutralized Calloselasma rhodostoma venom (potency of 12.7 mg venom neutralized per ml antivenom, or 121.8 mg venom per g antivenom protein) and Bungarus fasciatus venom (0.9 mg/ml; 8.5 mg/g) but it was weak against the venoms of Naja sputatrix (0.3 mg/ml; 2.9 mg/g), Naja sumatrana (0.2 mg/ml; 1.8 mg/g) and Bungarus candidus (0.1 mg/ml; 1.0 mg/g). In comparison, NPAV, the Thai Neuro Polyvalent Antivenom, outperformed SABU with greater potencies against the venoms of N. sputatrix (0.6 mg/ml; 8.3 mg/g), N. sumatrana (0.5 mg/ml; 7.1 mg/g) and B. candidus (1.7 mg/ml; 23.2 mg/g). The inferior efficacy of SABU implies that a large antivenom dose is required clinically for effective treatment. Besides, the antivenom contains numerous impurities e.g., albumins that greatly increase the risk of hypersensitivity. Together, the findings indicate that the production of SABU warrants further improvement. PMID:27869134
Tan, Choo Hock; Liew, Jia Lee; Tan, Kae Yi; Tan, Nget Hong
Serum Anti Ular Bisa (SABU) is the only snake antivenom produced locally in Indonesia; however, its effectiveness has not been rigorously evaluated. This study aimed to assess the protein composition and neutralization efficacy of SABU. SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, size-exclusion liquid chromatography and shotgun proteomics revealed that SABU consists of F(ab')2 but a significant amount of dimers, protein aggregates and contaminant albumins. SABU moderately neutralized Calloselasma rhodostoma venom (potency of 12.7 mg venom neutralized per ml antivenom, or 121.8 mg venom per g antivenom protein) and Bungarus fasciatus venom (0.9 mg/ml; 8.5 mg/g) but it was weak against the venoms of Naja sputatrix (0.3 mg/ml; 2.9 mg/g), Naja sumatrana (0.2 mg/ml; 1.8 mg/g) and Bungarus candidus (0.1 mg/ml; 1.0 mg/g). In comparison, NPAV, the Thai Neuro Polyvalent Antivenom, outperformed SABU with greater potencies against the venoms of N. sputatrix (0.6 mg/ml; 8.3 mg/g), N. sumatrana (0.5 mg/ml; 7.1 mg/g) and B. candidus (1.7 mg/ml; 23.2 mg/g). The inferior efficacy of SABU implies that a large antivenom dose is required clinically for effective treatment. Besides, the antivenom contains numerous impurities e.g., albumins that greatly increase the risk of hypersensitivity. Together, the findings indicate that the production of SABU warrants further improvement.
Jones, Diana S
Currently, 279 barnacle species are recognized in Australia waters. The barnacle fauna of tropical Australia exhibits high species diversity (221), with a high incidence of tropical species (87 Indo-west Pacific [IWP], 16 West Pacific and 65 Indo-Malayan), a low species endemicity (8), and 44 cosmopolitan and 1 Australasian species. Conversely, that of temperate Australia shows lower species diversity (129), with a lower incidence of tropical species (26 IWP, 10 West Pacific and 25 Indo-Malayan), higher species endemicity (23), 37 cosmopolitan, 6 Australasian species, and 3 Australasian/Antarctic species. Distributions corroborate the general patterns demonstrated by the shallow-water biota of northern tropical and southern temperate Australian biogeographic provinces. Tropical and temperate provinces grade into each other in a broad overlap zone along both the western and eastern Australian coasts. This overlap zone is essentially a transitional region, with the gradual replacement of a tropical barnacle fauna in the north by a predominantly temperate barnacle fauna in the south. Both western and eastern Australian coasts are bounded by major poleward-flowing warm currents that have considerable influence on the marine flora and fauna, distributing tropical species of many taxa much farther south than could be predicted by latitude. Currently, 16 barnacle species introduced into Australian waters are identified, although this number may increase in the future due to new port developments and increased shipping arrivals.
Within recorded history, most Southeast Asian peoples have been of "southern Mongoloid" physical type, whether they speak Austroasiatic, Tibeto-Burman, Austronesian, Tai-Kadai, or Hmong-Mien languages. However, population distributions suggest that this is a post-Pleistocene phenomenon and that for tens of millennia before the last glaciation ended Greater Mainland Southeast Asia, which included the currently insular world that rests on the Sunda Shelf, was peopled by short, dark-skinned, frizzy-haired foragers whose descendants in the Philippines came to be labeled by the sixteenth-century Spanish colonizers as "negritos," a term that has since been extended to similar groups throughout the region. There are three areas in which these populations survived into the present so as to become part of written history: the Philippines, the Malay Peninsula, and the Andaman Islands. All Philippine negritos speak Austronesian languages, and all Malayan negritos speak languages in the nuclear Mon-Khmer branch of Austroasiatic, but the linguistic situation in the Andamans is a world apart. Given prehistoric language shifts among both Philippine and Malayan negritos, the prospects of determining whether disparate negrito populations were once a linguistically or culturally unified community would appear hopeless. Surprisingly, however, some clues to a common negrito past do survive in a most unexpected way.
Officer, Kirsty; Lan, Nguyen Thi; Wicker, Leanne; Hoa, Nguyen Thi; Weegenaar, Annemarie; Robinson, Jill; Ryoji, Yamaguchi; Loukopoulos, Panayiotis
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, debilitating, and globally significant viral disease typically affecting cloven-hoofed hosts. The diagnosis of FMD in bears in Vietnam is described. The current study describes a confirmed case of FMD in a bear species, and the clinical signs compatible with FMD in a Malayan sun bear. Thirteen Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) and 1 Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) were apparently affected. In August 2011, an adult bear became lethargic, and developed footpad vesicles. Over 15 days, 14 out of 17 bears developed similar signs; the remaining 3 co-housed bears and another 57 resident bears did not. All affected bears developed vesicles on all footpads, and most were lethargic for 24-48 hr. Nasal and oral lesions were noted in 6 and 3 cases, respectively. Within 1 month, all looked normal. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, classified as serotype O, and isolated by virus isolation techniques. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated clustering of 3 bear isolates, in a branch distinct from other FMDV type O isolates. The outbreak likely occurred due to indirect contact with livestock, and was facilitated by the high density of captive bears. It showed that Asiatic black bears are capable of contracting FMDV and developing clinical disease, and that the virus spreads easily between bears in close contact.
Bobrov, V V
Central Asian area above 2000 m was studied to test the independence of the Central Asian Mountain region in the herpetogeographical map of the Palearctic Region and the neighboring Sahara-Gobi Desert region. According to the range and origin similarity, all species inhabiting this area were assigned to several groups: mountain Central Asian species (the bulk of the range lies within the studied area), Western Asian upland species (the bulk of the range lies in the Near Eastern uplands), plain desert species (the bulk of the range is below 2000 m), Indo-Malayan species (the bulk of the range lies within the Indo-Malayan Kingdom), European species (the bulk of the range lies in the forest and steppe zones of Europe and West Siberia), and mountain desert species (equal parts of the range lie in the deserts and mountains of Central Asia). The distribution of species density was mapped by range superposition for each group. The dominance (over 50% of the total number of species) of mountain Central Asian or other species groups allowed us to assign the studied area to either the Central Asian mountain region or Sahara-Gobi desert region. The areas where neither of the specified groups exceeded the 50% threshold were recognized as transitional. Considering a large number of endemic species (28% of the total fauna), the Central Asian mountain area should be recognized as an independent region rather than a subregion of the Sahara-Gobi Desert region.
Janssens, Steven B; Vandelook, Filip; De Langhe, Edmond; Verstraete, Brecht; Smets, Erik; Vandenhouwe, Ines; Swennen, Rony
Tropical Southeast Asia, which harbors most of the Musaceae biodiversity, is one of the most species-rich regions in the world. Its high degree of endemism is shaped by the region's tectonic and climatic history, with large differences between northern Indo-Burma and the Malayan Archipelago. Here, we aim to find a link between the diversification and biogeography of Musaceae and geological history of the Southeast Asian subcontinent. The Musaceae family (including five Ensete, 45 Musa and one Musella species) was dated using a large phylogenetic framework encompassing 163 species from all Zingiberales families. Evolutionary patterns within Musaceae were inferred using ancestral area reconstruction and diversification rate analyses. All three Musaceae genera - Ensete, Musa and Musella - originated in northern Indo-Burma during the early Eocene. Musa species dispersed from 'northwest to southeast' into Southeast Asia with only few back-dispersals towards northern Indo-Burma. Musaceae colonization events of the Malayan Archipelago subcontinent are clearly linked to the geological and climatic history of the region. Musa species were only able to colonize the region east of Wallace's line after the availability of emergent land from the late Miocene onwards.
Silva, Anjana; Hodgson, Wayne C.; Isbister, Geoffrey K.
There is limited information on the cross-neutralisation of neurotoxic venoms with antivenoms. Cross-neutralisation of the in vitro neurotoxicity of four Asian and four Australian snake venoms, four post-synaptic neurotoxins (α-bungarotoxin, α-elapitoxin-Nk2a, α-elapitoxin-Ppr1 and α-scutoxin; 100 nM) and one pre-synaptic neurotoxin (taipoxin; 100 nM) was studied with five antivenoms: Thai cobra antivenom (TCAV), death adder antivenom (DAAV), Thai neuro polyvalent antivenom (TNPAV), Indian Polyvalent antivenom (IPAV) and Australian polyvalent antivenom (APAV). The chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation was used for this study. Antivenom was added to the organ bath 20 min prior to venom. Pre- and post-synaptic neurotoxicity of Bungarus caeruleus and Bungarus fasciatus venoms was neutralised by all antivenoms except TCAV, which did not neutralise pre-synaptic activity. Post-synaptic neurotoxicity of Ophiophagus hannah was neutralised by all antivenoms, and Naja kaouthia by all antivenoms except IPAV. Pre- and post-synaptic neurotoxicity of Notechis scutatus was neutralised by all antivenoms, except TCAV, which only partially neutralised pre-synaptic activity. Pre- and post-synaptic neurotoxicity of Oxyuranus scutellatus was neutralised by TNPAV and APAV, but TCAV and IPAV only neutralised post-synaptic neurotoxicity. Post-synaptic neurotoxicity of Acanthophis antarcticus was neutralised by all antivenoms except IPAV. Pseudonaja textillis post-synaptic neurotoxicity was only neutralised by APAV. The α-neurotoxins were neutralised by TNPAV and APAV, and taipoxin by all antivenoms except IPAV. Antivenoms raised against venoms with post-synaptic neurotoxic activity (TCAV) cross-neutralised the post-synaptic activity of multiple snake venoms. Antivenoms raised against pre- and post-synaptic neurotoxic venoms (TNPAV, IPAV, APAV) cross-neutralised both activities of Asian and Australian venoms. While acknowledging the limitations of adding antivenom prior to
Melon Fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae), Infestation in Host Fruits in the Southwestern Islands of Japan Before the Initiation of Island-wide Population Suppression, as Recorded in Publications of Japanese Public Institutions
McQuate, Grant T.; Teruya, Tadashi
Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) is a tephritid fruit fly native to the Indo-Malayan region. Its distribution, though, has extended to include Africa, temperate Asia, and a number of Pacific islands. It became established in Japan in 1919 in the Yaeyama Islands and spread north in the Southwestern Islands of Japan. It was subsequently eradicated from these islands by an eradication program that extended from 1972 to 1993. As part of an effort to develop a worldwide database on the status of fruits as hosts of melon fly, the infestation data gathered from host fruits collected in this eradication program, before the initiation of suppression activities, are summarized here. Bactrocera cucurbitae infestation was documented in 24 plant taxa of four plant families (Caricaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Moraceae, and Solanaceae), with the following four new hosts identified: Ficus erecta Thunb., F. pumila L. (Moraceae), Solanum erianthum D. Don (Solanaceae), and Zehneria liukiuensis Jeffrey ex Walker (Cucurbitaceae). PMID:26816487
Bleeding following bites by the Malayan Pit Viper can either be local or systemic. Bleeding at the site of the bite is due to the local action of the venom as a vasculotoxin. Systemic bleeding occurs with severe poisoning and appears to be mainly dependent on platelet deficiency and the co-existing defibrination syndrome appears to play a minor role in the initiation of bleeding. Thus in the clinical situation non-clotting blood with no overt bleeding can continue up to weeks when specific antivenene is not given. Assessment of the severity of poisoning can easily be made at the bedside. Specific viper antivenene rapidly corrects the spontaneous bleeding and clotting defect of severe systemic poisoning but has no effect on local poisoning.
We present the first global assessment of extinction risk for a major group of freshwater invertebrates, caridean shrimps. The risk of extinction for all 763 species was assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria that include geographic ranges, habitats, ecology and past and present threats. The Indo-Malayan region holds over half of global species diversity, with a peak in Indo-China and southern China. Shrimps primarily inhabit flowing water; however, a significant subterranean component is present, which is more threatened than the surface fauna. Two species are extinct with a further 10 possibly extinct, and almost one third of species are either threatened or Near Threatened (NT). Threats to freshwater shrimps include agricultural and urban pollution impact over two-thirds of threatened and NT species. Invasive species and climate change have the greatest overall impact of all threats (based on combined timing, scope and severity of threats). PMID:25807292
Tänzler, Rene; Toussaint, Emmanuel F A; Suhardjono, Yayuk R; Balke, Michael; Riedel, Alexander
The fauna of Bali, situated immediately west of Wallace's Line, is supposedly of recent Javanese origin and characterized by low levels of endemicity. In flightless Trigonopterus weevils, however, we find 100% endemism for the eight species here reported for Bali. Phylogeographic analyses show extensive in situ differentiation, including a local radiation of five species. A comprehensive molecular phylogeny and ancestral area reconstruction of Indo-Malayan-Melanesian species reveals a complex colonization pattern, where the three Balinese lineages all arrived from the East, i.e. all of them transgressed Wallace's Line. Although East Java possesses a rich fauna of Trigonopterus, no exchange can be observed with Bali. We assert that the biogeographic picture of Bali has been dominated by the influx of mobile organisms from Java, but different relationships may be discovered when flightless invertebrates are studied. Our results highlight the importance of in-depth analyses of spatial patterns of biodiversity.
Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Leanpolchareanchai, Jiraporn; Saparpakorn, Patchreenart
Snakebite envenomations cause severe local tissue necrosis and the venom metalloproteinases are thought to be the key toxins involved. In this study, the ethanolic extract from seed kernels of Thai mango (Mangifera indica L. cv. 'Fahlun') (Anacardiaceae) and its major phenolic principle (pentagalloylglucopyranose) exhibited potent and dose-dependent inhibitory effects on the caseinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities of Malayan pit viper and Thai cobra venoms in in vitro tests. molecular docking studies revealed that the binding orientations of the phenolic principles were in the binding pockets of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The phenolic principles could form hydrogen bonds with the three histidine residues in the conserved zinc-binding motif and could chelate the Zn(2+) atom of the SVMPs, which could potentially result in inhibition of the venom enzymatic activities and thereby inhibit tissue necrosis.
Melon Fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae), Infestation in Host Fruits in the Southwestern Islands of Japan Before the Initiation of Island-wide Population Suppression, as Recorded in Publications of Japanese Public Institutions.
McQuate, Grant T; Teruya, Tadashi
Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) is a tephritid fruit fly native to the Indo-Malayan region. Its distribution, though, has extended to include Africa, temperate Asia, and a number of Pacific islands. It became established in Japan in 1919 in the Yaeyama Islands and spread north in the Southwestern Islands of Japan. It was subsequently eradicated from these islands by an eradication program that extended from 1972 to 1993. As part of an effort to develop a worldwide database on the status of fruits as hosts of melon fly, the infestation data gathered from host fruits collected in this eradication program, before the initiation of suppression activities, are summarized here. Bactrocera cucurbitae infestation was documented in 24 plant taxa of four plant families (Caricaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Moraceae, and Solanaceae), with the following four new hosts identified: Ficus erecta Thunb., F. pumila L. (Moraceae), Solanum erianthum D. Don (Solanaceae), and Zehneria liukiuensis Jeffrey ex Walker (Cucurbitaceae).
Adyla, M. N. Nurul; Ikhwan, Z.; Zuhairi, M.; Ngah, Shukor, M. N.
A series of camera trapping surveys were conducted to study the diversity and distribution of wildlife within the catchment of Hulu Terengganu Hydroelectric Dam. A total of 124 camera traps were deployed at nine study sites, continuously from June 2014 until December 2015. The total effort of camera trap surveys from all the study sites during the 18-month sampling period was 29,128 night traps, from which a total of 32 species of wildlife representing nine Orders were recorded. The most common species were Eurasian Wild Pig (Sus scrofa), Barking Deer (Munticus muntjak), and Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus). Camera trap data on activity patterns show that Gallus gallus, Muntiacus muntjak and Sus scrofa are diurnal animals, whereas Tapirus indicus, Elephas maximus and Helarctos malayanus are nocturnal animals.
Bonar, Christopher J; Trupkiewicz, John G; Toddes, Barbara; Lewandowski, Albert H
Recent studies of serum iron and iron binding capacity have indicated that tapirs could be at risk of developing hemochromatosis. However, in recent surveys of pathologic findings in tapirs, hemochromatosis was not reported as a cause of death. This study reviews necropsy reports from three species of tapir (Baird's tapir [Tapirus bairdii], Malayan tapir [Tapirus indicus], and Brazilian tapir [Tapirus terrestris]) at the Philadelphia Zoological Garden between 1902 and 1994. Twelve cases of hemosiderosis, including fatal hemochromatosis in two Baird's tapirs, were found among 19 cases examined histologically. Hemochromatosis has previously been reported in the horse, rhinoceros, and in one Brazilian tapir. Dietary factors were investigated but could not be confirmed to have contributed to the incidence of hemosiderosis and hemochromatosis in the three species of tapir in the Philadelphia Zoological Garden collection.
Zug, George R.; Gotte, Steve W.; Jacobs, Jeremy F.
Short-tailed pythons, Python curtus species group, occur predominantly in the Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. The discovery of an adult female in Mon State, Myanmar, led to a review of the distribution of all group members (spot-mapping of all localities of confirmed occurrence) and an examination of morphological variation in P. brongersmai. The resulting maps demonstrate a limited occurrence of these pythons within peninsular Malaya, Sumatra, and Borneo with broad absences in these regions. Our small samples limit the recognition of regional differentiation in the morphology of P. brongersmai populations; however, the presence of unique traits in the Myanmar python and its strong allopatry indicate that it is a unique genetic lineage, and it is described as Python kyaiktiyo new species.
Gadallah, Neveen S; Yefremova, Zoya A; Yegorenkova, Ekaterina N; Soliman, Ahmed M; El-Ghiet, Usama M Abu; Edmardash, Yusuf A; Edmardash, Yusuf A
A checklist of Eulophidae (excluding Entiinae) is presented based primarily on a total of 155 specimens collected from 23 localities in Egypt during the period of April 2012 to June 2014, mostly by sweep net. Altogether, 55 species in 22 genera and 3 subfamilies (Entedoninae, Eulophinae and Tetrastichinae) are recorded, of which 6 genera (Dicladocerus Westwood, Euplectrus Westwood, Entedon Dalman, Neotrichoporoides Girault, Sigmophora Rondani and Sympiesis Förster) and 33 species (60%) are newly reported for Egypt. The valid name and world distribution of each species are given; local distributions and host records for species previously recorded from Egypt are also given. Most of the species have a distribution characterized as Palaearctic, Afrotropical, or Indo-Malayan. About 4% are cosmopolitan in distribution.
Lim, Jun-Lee; Sim, Kae-Shin; Yong, Kien-Thai; Loong, Bi-Juin; Ting, Kang-Nee; Lim, Siew-Huah; Low, Yun-Yee; Kam, Toh-Seok
Four alkaloids comprising two vallesamine, one strychnan, and one pyranopyridine alkaloid, in addition to 32 other known alkaloids were isolated from two Malayan Alstonia species, Alstonia pneumatophora and Alstonia rostrata. The structures of these alkaloids were determined using NMR and MS analyses, and in one instance, confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. The nor-6,7-secovallesamine alkaloid, pneumatophorine, is notable for an unusual incorporation of a 3-ethylpyridine moiety in a monoterpenoid indole. The rhazinilam-type alkaloids (rhazinicine, nor-rhazinicine, rhazinal, and rhazinilam) showed strong cytotoxicity toward human KB, HCT-116, MDA-MB-231, and MRC-5 cells, while pneumatophorine, the uleine alkaloid undulifoline, and the strychnan alkaloids, N4-demethylalstogustine and echitamidine, induced concentration dependent relaxation in phenylephrine-precontracted rat aortic rings.
Wharton, R. H.; Eyles, Don E.; Warren, M.; Moorhouse, D. E.; Sandosham, A. A.
Although mosquitos of the Anopheles umbrosus group have long been recognized as important vectors of human malaria in Malaya, there have been doubts about the origin of some of the malaria infections found, especially in A. umbrosus and A. letifer. Investigations have accordingly been carried out in the Malayan swamp-forest, in conjunction with laboratory studies, into the nature of malaria infections in wild-caught mosquitos, the biting behaviour of anophelines and the presence of malaria infection in man and animals. The authors conclude from the results reported in this paper that A. umbrosus is a vector of mouse deer malaria and rarely, if ever, transmits primate malaria; that A. letifer transmits both human and mouse deer malaria; and that A. baezai and A. roperi are probably vectors of mouse deer malaria. ImagesFIG. 3FIG. 4FIG. 5FIG. 6 PMID:14058228
Harrison, Tara M; Harrison, Scott H; Sikarskie, James G; Armstrong, Douglas
The current feline vaccine with a single strain of calicivirus has been used for captive tigers, yet it may not protect against virulent systemic calicivirus infections. A cross-institutional study investigated the humoral response to a new dual-strain, killed-virus calicivirus vaccine for nine captive tigers. The subspecies of these tigers were Amur (Panthera tigris altaica), Bengal (Panthera tigris tigris), and Malayan (Panthera tigris jacksoni). Serum neutralization titers for virulent feline calicivirus strain FCV-DD1 were higher following dual-strain vaccine administration. There were no reports of adverse vaccine reactions. Dual-strain vaccination may afford broadened cross-protection against different calicivirus strains and is desirable to reduce the risk of virulent systemic calicivirus disease in tigers.
De Grave, Sammy; Smith, Kevin G; Adeler, Nils A; Allen, Dave J; Alvarez, Fernando; Anker, Arthur; Cai, Yixiong; Carrizo, Savrina F; Klotz, Werner; Mantelatto, Fernando L; Page, Timothy J; Shy, Jhy-Yun; Villalobos, José Luis; Wowor, Daisy
We present the first global assessment of extinction risk for a major group of freshwater invertebrates, caridean shrimps. The risk of extinction for all 763 species was assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria that include geographic ranges, habitats, ecology and past and present threats. The Indo-Malayan region holds over half of global species diversity, with a peak in Indo-China and southern China. Shrimps primarily inhabit flowing water; however, a significant subterranean component is present, which is more threatened than the surface fauna. Two species are extinct with a further 10 possibly extinct, and almost one third of species are either threatened or Near Threatened (NT). Threats to freshwater shrimps include agricultural and urban pollution impact over two-thirds of threatened and NT species. Invasive species and climate change have the greatest overall impact of all threats (based on combined timing, scope and severity of threats).
Endo, H; Cuisin, J; Nadee, N; Nabhitabhata, J; Suyanto, A; Kawamoto, Y; Nishida, T; Yamada, J
Geographical variation was examined morphologically in the common tree shrew (Tupaia glis) in some Indochinese and Malayan regions. Osteometrical examination and principal component analysis elucidated the morphological differences among various populations. The populations from southern and western Thailand were distinguished morphologically from the other populations. Variation in males from south Thailand and Kuala Lumpur suggests that the Isthmus of Kra may have an influence on the variation of skull morphology. However, the Isthmus of Kra was not completely considered as a factor of geographical separation in this species, because we could not confirm the separation in skull size and shape between the localities at least in females. While, the Kanchanaburi population in western Thailand was significantly smaller than the other population in skull size, and constituted the morphologically separable group in our study.
Tkach, Vasyl V; Platt, Thomas R; Greiman, Stephen E
Opisthioglyphe sharmai n. sp. is described from the gall bladder of the Malayan box turtle, Cuora amboinensis, and the black marsh turtle, Siebenrockiella crassicollis, in Malaysia. The new species is morphologically similar to Opisthioglyphe ranae and some other members of the genus parasitic in amphibians and reptiles. Opisthioglyphe sharmai n. sp. is easily differentiated from all other members of the genus by the cirrus sac extending posterior to the ventral sucker, while in all previously known species the cirrus sac is entirely or mostly preacetabular with the base of the structure not reaching beyond mid-line of the ventral sucker. Despite the overall stable morphology, O. sharmai n. sp. is characterized by highly variable arrangement of testes, from tandem to opposite. It is only the second representative of the genus described from turtles and the first species of Opisthioglyphe parasitic in gall bladder, while all previously described members of the genus are parasitic in the intestine of their hosts.
Natchev, Nikolay; Heiss, Egon; Lemell, Patrick; Stratev, Daniel; Weisgram, Josef
This study examines the kinematics and morphology of the feeding apparatus of two geoemydid chelonians, the Malayan (Amboina) box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) and the yellow-margined box turtle (Cuora flavomarginata). Both species are able to feed on land as well as in water. Feeding patterns were analysed by high-speed cinematography. The main focus of the present study is on the terrestrial feeding strategies in both Asian box turtles, because feeding on land has probably evolved de novo within the ancestrally aquatic genus Cuora. During terrestrial feeding (analysed for both species), the initial food prehension is always done by the jaws, whereas intraoral food transport and pharyngeal packing actions are tongue-based. The food uptake modes in Cuoras differ considerably from those described for purely terrestrial turtles. Lingual food prehension is typical of all tortoises (Testudinidae), but is absent in C. amboinensis and C. flavomarginata. A previous study on Terrapene carolina shows that this emydid turtle protrudes the tongue during ingestion on land, but that the first contact with the food item occurs by the jaws. Both Asian box turtles investigated here have highly movable, fleshy tongues; nonetheless, the hyolingual complex remains permanently retracted during initial prey capture. In aquatic feeding (analysed for C. amboinensis only), the prey is captured by a fast forward strike of the head (ram feeding). As opposed to ingestion on land, in the underwater grasp the hyoid protracts prior to jaw opening. The head morphology of the investigated species differs. In contrast to the Malayan box turtle, C. flavomarginata exhibits a more complexly structured dorsal lingual epithelium, a considerable palatal vault, weaker jaw adductor muscles and a simplified trochlear complex. The differences in the hyolingual morphology reflect the kinematic patterns of the terrestrial feeding transport.
Johnson, Warren E; van der Walt, Joelle; Martenson, Janice; Yuhki, Naoya; Miquelle, Dale G; Uphyrkina, Olga; Goodrich, John M; Quigley, Howard B; Tilson, Ronald; Brady, Gerald; Martelli, Paolo; Subramaniam, Vellayan; McDougal, Charles; Hean, Sun; Huang, Shi-Qiang; Pan, Wenshi; Karanth, Ullas K; Sunquist, Melvin; Smith, James L. D
Eight traditional subspecies of tiger (Panthera tigris), of which three recently became extinct, are commonly recognized on the basis of geographic isolation and morphological characteristics. To investigate the species' evolutionary history and to establish objective methods for subspecies recognition, voucher specimens of blood, skin, hair, and/or skin biopsies from 134 tigers with verified geographic origins or heritage across the whole distribution range were examined for three molecular markers: (1) 4.0 kb of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence; (2) allele variation in the nuclear major histocompatibility complex class II DRB gene; and (3) composite nuclear microsatellite genotypes based on 30 loci. Relatively low genetic variation with mtDNA, DRB, and microsatellite loci was found, but significant population subdivision was nonetheless apparent among five living subspecies. In addition, a distinct partition of the Indochinese subspecies P. t. corbetti into northern Indochinese and Malayan Peninsula populations was discovered. Population genetic structure would suggest recognition of six taxonomic units or subspecies: (1) Amur tiger P. t. altaica; (2) northern Indochinese tiger P. t. corbetti; (3) South China tiger P. t. amoyensis; (4) Malayan tiger P. t. jacksoni, named for the tiger conservationist Peter Jackson; (5) Sumatran tiger P. t. sumatrae; and (6) Bengal tiger P. t. tigris. The proposed South China tiger lineage is tentative due to limited sampling. The age of the most recent common ancestor for tiger mtDNA was estimated to be 72,000–108,000 y, relatively younger than some other Panthera species. A combination of population expansions, reduced gene flow, and genetic drift following the last genetic diminution, and the recent anthropogenic range contraction, have led to the distinct genetic partitions. These results provide an explicit basis for subspecies recognition and will lead to the improved management and conservation of these recently
Otero-Colina, G; González-Gómez, R; Martínez-Bolaños, L; Otero-Prevost, L G; López-Buenfil, J A; Escobedo-Graciamedrano, R M
The mite Raoiella indica Hirst was recently introduced into America, where it has shown amazing ability to disseminate and broaden its range of hosts. An experiment was conducted in Cancún, Mexico, to determine infestation levels of this mite on plants recorded as hosts: coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) of cultivars Pacific Tall and Malayan Dwarf, oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) hybrids Deli x Ghana and Deli x Nigeria, Dwarf Giant banana (Musa acuminata, AAA subgroup Cavendish), Horn plantain (M. acuminata x Musa balbisiana, AAB subgroup Plantain), lobster claw (Heliconia bihai), and red ginger (Alpinia purpurata). Nursery plants of these host species or cultivars were artificially infested with R. indica in February 2011. In the four replications of 10 plants, each plant was infested with 200 R. indica specimens, and the numbers of infesting mites were recorded for 6 months. A maximum of 18,000 specimens per plant were observed on coconut Pacific Tall and Malayan Dwarf, followed by lobster claw, with a maximum of 1000 specimens per plant. Infestations were minimal for the remaining plants. Mite numbers on all plants declined naturally during the rainy season. All plant materials sustained overlapping mite generations, indicating that they are true hosts. Complementarily, infestation level was determined in backyard bananas and plantains. Correlations of infestation with plant height, distance from coconuts, and exposure to direct sunlight were estimated. Both bananas and plantains were infested by R. indica even when situated far from infested coconut palms. A Spearman correlation was found between infestation and plant height, although it was significant only for Silk plantain.
Luo, Shu-Jin; Kim, Jae-Heup; Johnson, Warren E; van der Walt, Joelle; Martenson, Janice; Yuhki, Naoya; Miquelle, Dale G; Uphyrkina, Olga; Goodrich, John M; Quigley, Howard B; Tilson, Ronald; Brady, Gerald; Martelli, Paolo; Subramaniam, Vellayan; McDougal, Charles; Hean, Sun; Huang, Shi-Qiang; Pan, Wenshi; Karanth, Ullas K; Sunquist, Melvin; Smith, James L D; O'Brien, Stephen J
Eight traditional subspecies of tiger (Panthera tigris),of which three recently became extinct, are commonly recognized on the basis of geographic isolation and morphological characteristics. To investigate the species' evolutionary history and to establish objective methods for subspecies recognition, voucher specimens of blood, skin, hair, and/or skin biopsies from 134 tigers with verified geographic origins or heritage across the whole distribution range were examined for three molecular markers: (1) 4.0 kb of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence; (2) allele variation in the nuclear major histocompatibility complex class II DRB gene; and (3) composite nuclear microsatellite genotypes based on 30 loci. Relatively low genetic variation with mtDNA,DRB,and microsatellite loci was found, but significant population subdivision was nonetheless apparent among five living subspecies. In addition, a distinct partition of the Indochinese subspecies P. t. corbetti in to northern Indochinese and Malayan Peninsula populations was discovered. Population genetic structure would suggest recognition of six taxonomic units or subspecies: (1) Amur tiger P. t. altaica; (2) northern Indochinese tiger P. t. corbetti; (3) South China tiger P. t. amoyensis; (4) Malayan tiger P. t. jacksoni, named for the tiger conservationist Peter Jackson; (5) Sumatran tiger P. t. sumatrae; and (6) Bengal tiger P. t. tigris. The proposed South China tiger lineage is tentative due to limited sampling. The age of the most recent common ancestor for tiger mtDNA was estimated to be 72,000-108,000 y, relatively younger than some other Panthera species. A combination of population expansions, reduced gene flow, and genetic drift following the last genetic diminution, and the recent anthropogenic range contraction, have led to the distinct genetic partitions. These results provide an explicit basis for subspecies recognition and will lead to the improved management and conservation of these recently isolated
Lillywhite, Harvey B; Babonis, Leslie S; Sheehy, Coleman M; Tu, Ming-Chung
Dehydration and procurement of water are key problems for vertebrates that have secondarily invaded marine environments. Sea snakes and other marine reptiles are thought to remain in water balance without consuming freshwater, owing to the ability of extrarenal salt glands to excrete excess salts obtained either from prey or from drinking seawater directly. Contrary to this long-standing dogma, we report that three species of sea snake actually dehydrate in marine environments. We investigated dehydration and drinking behaviors in three species of amphibious sea kraits (Laticauda spp.) representing a range of habits from semiterrestrial to very highly marine. Snakes that we dehydrated either in air or in seawater refused to drink seawater but drank freshwater or very dilute brackish water (10%-30% seawater) to remain in water balance. We further show that Laticauda spp. can dehydrate severely in the wild and are far more abundant at sites where there are sources of freshwater. A more global examination of all sea snakes demonstrates that species richness correlates positively with mean annual precipitation within the Indo-West Pacific tropical region. The dependence of Laticauda spp. on freshwater might explain the characteristically patchy distributions of these reptiles and is relevant to understanding patterns of extinctions and possible future responses to changes in precipitation related to global warming. In particular, metapopulation dynamics of the Laticauda group of sea snakes are expected to change in relation to projected reductions of tropical dry-season precipitation.
Ariaratnam, C A; Thuraisingam, V; Kularatne, S A M; Sheriff, M H R; Theakston, R D G; de Silva, A; Warrell, D A
In a prospective study of snake bites involving 10 hospitals in Sri Lanka, 302 (35%) of 860 patients with bites by identified snakes proved to have been bitten by hump-nosed pit vipers (301 by Hypnale hypnale and 1 by H. nepa). Most victims were males aged between 11 years and 50 years who had been bitten on their feet or ankles while walking at night close to their homes. There was local swelling in 276 (91%) and local necrosis in 48 (16%). Eleven (4%) required amputation of fingers or toes and 12 (4%) received skin grafts. In 117 patients (39%) blood incoagulability was first detected between 15 min and 48 h after the bite, and in 116 of them this was present on admission to hospital. Spontaneous systemic bleeding was observed in 55 patients (18%). Acute renal failure developed in 10%, five of whom died to give an overall case fatality rate of 1.7%. Thus, bites by hump-nosed pit vipers can cause debilitating local and fatal systemic envenoming. In Sri Lanka and southwestern India where bites by these snakes are common, the only available antivenoms (raised against cobra, krait, Russell's viper and saw-scaled viper venoms) are ineffective and carry a high risk of reactions.
Sakthivel, G.; Dey, Amitabha; Nongalleima, Kh.; Chavali, Murthy; Rimal Isaac, R. S.; Singh, N. Surjit; Deb, Lokesh
The present study emphasizes to reveal the antivenom activity of Aristolochia bracteolata Lam., Tylophora indica (Burm.f.) Merrill, and Leucas aspera S. which were evaluated against venoms of Daboia russelli russelli (Russell's viper) and Naja naja (Indian cobra). The aqueous extracts of leaves and roots of the above-mentioned plants and their polyherbal (1 : 1 : 1) formulation at a dose of 200 mg/kg showed protection against envenomed mice with LD50 doses of 0.44 mg/kg and 0.28 mg/kg against Russell's viper and cobra venom, respectively. In in vitro antioxidant activities sample extracts showed free radical scavenging effects in dose dependent manner. Computational drug design and docking studies were carried out to predict the neutralizing principles of type I phospholipase A2 (PLA2) from Indian common krait venom. This confirmed that aristolochic acid and leucasin can neutralize type I PLA2 enzyme. Results suggest that these plants could serve as a source of natural antioxidants and common antidote for snake bite. However, further studies are needed to identify the lead molecule responsible for antidote activity. PMID:23533518
Brischoux, François; Shine, Richard
We investigated morphological adaptations to aquatic life within animals that exhibit a structurally simple, elongate body form, i.e., snakes. This linear body plan should impose different biomechanical constraints than the classical streamlined body shape associated with propulsion by fins, feet, or wings. Our measurements of general body shape of terrestrial, amphibious, and marine snakes (all from the same phylogenetic lineage, the Elapidae) show that seasnakes display specialized morphological attributes for life in water. Most notably, the cross-sectional body shape is circular in terrestrial snakes but dorso-ventrally elongated in seasnakes (due to a prominent ventral keel); amphibious species (sea kraits) exhibit an intermediate shape. The tail of amphibious and marine species (a major propulsive structure during swimming) is higher and thinner than in terrestrial snakes (i.e., paddle-shaped) but shorter relative to body length. The evolution of a laterally compressed shape has been achieved by an increase in body height rather than a decrease in body width, possibly reflecting selection for more effective propulsive thrust, and for an ability to maintain hydrodynamic efficiency despite the minor bodily distension inevitably caused by prey items and developing offspring.
Kumar, R. Barani; Suresh, M. Xavier; Priya, B. Shanmuga
Background: The alpha-delta bungartoxin-4 (α-δ-Bgt-4) is a potent neurotoxin produced by highly venomous snake species, Bungarus caeruleus, mainly targeting neuronal acetylcholine receptors (nAchRs) and producing adverse biological malfunctions leading to respiratory paralysis and mortality. Objective: In this study, we predicted the three-dimensional structure of α-δ-Bgt-4 using homology modeling and investigated the conformational changes and the key residues responsible for nAchRs inhibiting activity. Materials and Methods: From the selected plants, which are traditionally used for snake bites, the active compounds are taken and performed molecular interaction studies and also used for modern techniques like pharmacophore modeling and mapping and absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and toxicity analysis which may increase the possibility of success. Results: Moreover, 100's of drug-like compounds were retrieved and analyzed through computational virtual screening and allowed for pharmacokinetic profiling, molecular docking and dynamics simulation. Conclusion: Finally the top five drug-like compounds having competing level of inhibition toward α-δ-Bgt-4 toxin were suggested based on their interaction with α-δ-Bgt-4 toxin. PMID:26109766
Xia, Xi; Zhang, Lin; Wang, Yizhen
Resistance is increasing to several critical antimicrobials used to treat Salmonella typhimurium infection, urging people to search for new antimicrobial agents. In this work, we reported the possibility of a potent antimicrobial peptide cathelicidin-BF found in the venom of the snake Bungarus fasciatus in treating Salmonella typhimurium infection. We tested its activity in biological fluids and in vivo using a mouse model of Salmonella typhimurium infection, and examined the effect of cathelicidin-BF on Salmonella invasion to epithelial cells. In addition, the biodistribution of cathelicidin-BF was evaluated by using in vivo optical imaging. The results revealed that cathelicidin-BF was unstable in gastrointestinal tract, but retained substantially active in murine serum. Cathelicidin-BF attenuated the clinical symptoms of Salmonella infected-mice, significantly reduced the number of internalized Salmonella and attenuated Salmonella-induced decreases in TER in epithelial cells. Our results provide a first indication for the potential of cathelicidin-BF as a novel therapeutic option for salmonellosis.
Ariaratnam, Christeine A; Sheriff, Mohamed H Rezvi; Arambepola, Carukshi; Theakston, R David G; Warrell, David A
Of 860 snakes brought to 10 hospitals in Sri Lanka with the patients they had bitten, 762 (89%) were venomous. Russell's vipers (Daboia russelii) and hump-nosed pit vipers (Hypnale hypnale) were the most numerous and H. hypnale was the most widely distributed. Fifty-one (6%) were misidentified by hospital staff, causing inappropriate antivenom treatment of 13 patients. Distinctive clinical syndromes were identified to aid species diagnosis in most cases of snake bite in Sri Lanka where the biting species is unknown. Diagnostic sensitivities and specificities of these syndromes for envenoming were 78% and 96% by Naja naja, 66% and 100% by Bungarus caeruleus, 14% and 100% by Daboia russelii, and 10% and 97% by Hypnale hypnale, respectively. Although only polyspecific antivenoms are used in Sri Lanka, species diagnosis remains important to anticipate life-threatening complications such as local necrosis, hemorrhage and renal and respiratory failure and to identify likely victims of envenoming by H. hypnale who will not benefit from existing antivenoms. The technique of hospital-based collection, labeling and preservation of dead snakes brought by bitten patients is recommended for rapid assessment of a country's medically-important herpetofauna.
Zhao, Hui; Gan, Tong-Xiang; Liu, Xiao-Dong; Jin, Yang; Lee, Wen-Hui; Shen, Ji-Hong; Zhang, Yun
Three cDNA sequences coding for elapid cathelicidins were cloned from constructed venom gland cDNA libraries of Naja atra, Bungarus fasciatus and Ophiophagus hannah. The open reading frames of the cloned elapid cathelicidins were all composed of 576bp and coded for 191 amino acid residue protein precursors. Each of the deduced elapid cathelicidin has a 22 amino acid residue signal peptide, a conserved cathelin domain of 135 amino acid residues and a mature antimicrobial peptide of 34 amino acid residues. Unlike the highly divergent cathelicidins in mammals, the nucleotide and deduced protein sequences of the three cloned elapid cathelicidins were remarkably conserved. All the elapid mature cathelicidins were predicted to be cleaved at Valine157 by elastase. OH-CATH, the deduced mature cathelicidin from king cobra, was chemically synthesized and it showed strong antibacterial activity against various bacteria with minimal inhibitory concentration of 1-20microg/ml in the presence of 1% NaCl. Meanwhile, the synthetic peptide showed no haemolytic activity toward human red blood cells even at a high dose of 200microg/ml. Phylogenetic analysis of cathelicidins from vertebrate suggested that elapid and viperid cathelicidins were grouped together in the tree. Snake cathelicidins were evolutionary closely related to the neutrophilic granule proteins (NGPs) from mouse, rat and rabbit. Snake cathelicidins also showed a close relationship with avian fowlicidins (1-3) and chicken myeloid antimicrobial peptide 27. Elapid cathelicidins might be used as models for the development of novel therapeutic drugs.
Jin, Yang; Lee, Wen-Hui; Zeng, Lin; Zhang, Yun
An L-amino acid oxidase from Ophiophagus hannah snake venom (Oh-LAAO) was purified by successive gel filtration, ion-exchange and heparin chromatography. Oh-LAAO did not induce platelet aggregation; however, it had potent inhibitory activity on platelet aggregation induced by ADP and U46619, but showed no effect on platelet aggregation induced by thrombin, mucetin, ristocetin and stejnulxin. By RT-PCR and 5'-RACE methods, the complete Oh-LAAO cDNA was cloned from the venom gland total RNA preparations. The cDNA sequence contains an open-reading frame (ORF) of 1476-bp, which encodes a protein of 491 amino acids comprising a signal peptide of 25 amino acids and 466-residue mature protein. The predicted protein sequence of Oh-LAAO was confirmed by N-terminal and trypsin-digested internal peptides sequencing together with peptide mass fingerprinting. cDNAs encoding for ORF of LAAOs from Bungarus fasciatus and B. multicinctus were cloned and reported in this study. In addition, partial cDNA encoding for Naja atra LAAO was also reported. Oh-LAAO shared approximately 50% protein sequence identity with other known snake venom LAAOs. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that Oh-LAAO is evolutionary distant to other snake venom LAAOs.
Chiou, J Y; Chang, L S; Chen, L N; Chang, C C
A novel phospholipase A2, designated as Oh-DE-2, was isolated from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) by successive chromatography on SP-Sephadex C-25, DE-52, and Q-Sepharose columns. Oh-DE-2 with pI 5.1 showed an apparent molecular weight of 14 kD as revealed by SDS-PAGE and gel filtration. The amino acid sequence was homologous with those of PLA2S from Elapidae venoms. Oh-DE-2 was effectively inactivated by p-bromophenacyl bromide, indicating that the conserved His-48 is essential for its enzymatic activity. However, modification of the conserved Trp-19 did not cause a precipitous drop in the enzymatic activity of Oh-DE-2 as observed with PLA2S from Naja naja atra and Bungarus multicinctus venoms. A quenching study showed that the microenvironment of Trp in Oh-DE-2 was inaccessible to acrylamide, iodide, or cesium, a finding which was different from those observed with PLA2S from N. naja atra and B. multicinctus venoms. These results might suggest that, unlike other PLA2 enzymes, Trp-19 in Oh-DE-2 is not directly involved in its enzymatic mechanisms.
Supikamolseni, A; Ngaoburanawit, N; Sumontha, M; Chanhome, L; Suntrarachun, S; Peyachoknagul, S; Srikulnath, K
DNA barcodes of mitochondrial COI and Cytb genes were constructed from 54 specimens of 16 species for species identification. Intra- and interspecific sequence divergence of the COI gene (10 times) was greater than that of the Cytb gene (4 times), which suggests that the former gene may be a better marker than the latter for species delimitation in snakes. The COI barcode cut-off scores differed by more than 3% between most species, and the minimum interspecific divergence was greater than the maximum intraspecific divergence. Clustering analysis indicated that most species fell into monophyletic clades. These results suggest that these species could be reliably differentiated using COI DNA barcodes. Moreover, a novel species-specific multiplex PCR assay was developed to distinguish between Naja spp, Ophiophagus hannah, Trimeresurus spp, Hydrophiinae, Daboia siamensis, Bungarus fasciatus, and Calloselasma rhodostoma. Antivenom for these species is produced and kept by the Thai Red Cross for clinical use. Our novel PCR assay could easily be applied to venom and saliva samples and could be used effectively for the rapid and accurate identification of species during forensic work, conservation study, and medical research.
Hiremath, Vilas; Nanjaraj Urs, A N; Joshi, Vikram; Suvilesh, K N; Savitha, M N; Urs Amog, Prathap; Rudresha, G V; Yariswamy, M; Vishwanath, B S
Snakebite is a global health problem affecting millions of people. According to WHO, India has the highest mortality and/or morbidity due to snakebite. In spite of commendable research on Indian BIG FOUR venomous species; Naja naja and Bungarus caeruleus (elapid); Daboia russelii and Echis carinatus (viperid), no significant progress has been achieved in terms of diagnosis and management of biting species with appropriate anti-snake venom. Major hurdle is identification of offending species. Present study aims at differentiation of Indian BIG FOUR snake venoms based on their distinguish action on rodent blood coagulation. Assessment of coagulation alterations by elapid venoms showed negligible effect on re-calcification time, prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time and factors assay (I, II, V, VIII and X) both in vitro and in vivo. However, viperid venoms demonstrated significant anticoagulant status due to their remarkable fibrinogen degradation potentials as supported by fibrinogenolytic activity, fibrinogen zymography and rotational thromboelastometry. Though results provide hint on probable alterations of Indian BIG FOUR snake venoms on blood coagulation, the study however needs validation from human victim's samples to ascertain its reliability for identification of biting snake species.
Gao, Jian-Fang; Wang, Jin; Qu, Yan-Fu; Ma, Xiao-Mei; Ji, Xiang
We studied the immunoreactivity between venoms and commercial antiserums in four Chinese venomous snakes, Bungarus multicinctus, Naja atra, Deinagkistrodon acutus and Gloydius brevicaudus. Venoms from the four snakes shared common antigenic components, and most venom components expressed antigenicity in the immunological reaction between venoms and antiserums. Antiserums cross-reacted with heterologous venoms. Homologous venom and antiserum expressed the highest reaction activity in all cross-reactions. Species-specific antibodies (SSAbs) were obtained from four antiserums by immunoaffinity chromatography: the whole antiserum against each species was gradually passed through a medium system coated with heterologous venoms, and the cross-reacting components in antiserum were immunoabsorbed by the common antigens in heterologous venoms; the unbound components (i.e., SSAbs) were collected, and passed through Hitrap G protein column and concentrated. The SSAbs were found to have high specificity by western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A 6-well ELISA strip coated with SSAbs was used to assign a venom sample and blood and urine samples from the envenomed rats to a given snake species. Our detections could differentiate positive and negative samples, and identify venoms of a snake species in about 35 min. The ELISA strips developed in this study are clinically useful in rapid and reliable identification of venoms from the above four snake species.
Li, Hongli; Yuan, Mingwei; Yuan, Minglong
Cathelicidin-BF-30 (BF-30), a water-soluble peptide isolated from the snake venom of Bungarus fasciatus containing 30 amino acid residues, was incorporated in poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) 75∶25 microspheres (MS) prepared by a water in oil in water W/O/W emulsification solvent extraction method. The aim of this work was to investigate the stability of BF-30 after encapsulation. D-trehalose was used as an excipient to stabilize the peptide. The MS obtained were mostly under 2 µm in size and the encapsulation efficiency was 88.50±1.29%. The secondary structure of the peptide released in vitro was determined to be nearly the same as the native peptide using Circular Dichroism (CD). The ability of BF-30 to inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli was also maintained. The cellular relative growth and hemolysis rates were 92.16±3.55% and 3.52±0.45% respectively. PMID:24963652
Wang, W.; Lu, H.; Sothea, K.
Precipitation is a key input variable for a hydrological model. In this study, the newest released satellite-based precipitation product-Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) IMERGE data is evaluated with a distributed hydrological model-Geomorphology Based Hydrological Model (GBHM) over the Mekong River Basin(MRB), which is the most important trans boundary river in Southeast Asia. Compared with Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), GPM IMERGE has a higher temporal and spatial resolution (0.1°, 30mins). Firstly, a comparison between GPM IMERGE and TRMM 3B42 is carried out at grids during 2014/3/12-10/31 at MRB. It is found that, GPM IMERGE stays quite consistent with TRMM, but GPM is more sensitive to small rainfall events especially during dry seasons, which means GPM may have a better performance in dry seasons. Then GBHM is set up and calibrated at MRB, and the model is driven by GPM IMERGE and TRMM 3B42 respectively to simulate hydrology cycle between Chiang Saen and Krait, in order to remove the influences of dam operation in upstream. The simulated streamflow is compared against the observed daily time series at five gauges on mainstream. Generally, the simulated streamflow driven by GPM is closer to observation at gauges located downstream while those driven by TRMM 3B42 have a better performance at upstream gauges. On the other hand these two results stay agreement with each other and both of them have a quite good performance with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency higher than 0.75 and relative bias less than 10%. This study demonstrates that for daily scale application, TRMM and GPM have almost the same performance. But GPM is more promising to be applied at fine temporal and spatial scales owing to its advantage of finer temporal and spatial resolution and ability to catch small rainfall events.
Falcao, C B; de La Torre, B G; Pérez-Peinado, C; Barron, A E; Andreu, D; Rádis-Baptista, G
Cathelicidins are phylogenetically ancient, pleiotropic host defense peptides-also called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs)-expressed in numerous life forms for innate immunity. Since even the jawless hagfish expresses cathelicidins, these genetically encoded host defense peptides are at least 400 million years old. More recently, cathelicidins with varying antipathogenic activities and cytotoxicities were discovered in the venoms of poisonous snakes; for these creatures, cathelicidins may also serve as weapons against prey and predators, as well as for innate immunity. We report herein the expression of orthologous cathelicidin genes in the venoms of four different South American pit vipers (Bothrops atrox, Bothrops lutzi, Crotalus durissus terrificus, and Lachesis muta rhombeata)-distant relatives of Asian cobras and kraits, previously shown to express cathelicidins-and an elapid, Pseudonaja textilis. We identified six novel, genetically encoded peptides: four from pit vipers, collectively named vipericidins, and two from the elapid. These new venom-derived cathelicidins exhibited potent killing activity against a number of bacterial strains (S. pyogenes, A. baumannii, E. faecalis, S. aureus, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and P. aeruginosa), mostly with relatively less potent hemolysis, indicating their possible usefulness as lead structures for the development of new anti-infective agents. It is worth noting that these South American snake venom peptides are comparable in cytotoxicity (e.g., hemolysis) to human cathelicidin LL-37, and much lower than other membrane-active peptides such as mastoparan 7 and melittin from bee venom. Overall, the excellent bactericidal profile of vipericidins suggests they are a promising template for the development of broad-spectrum peptide antibiotics.
Maduwage, Kalana; Silva, Anjana; O’Leary, Margaret A.; Hodgson, Wayne C.; Isbister, Geoffrey K.
In vitro antivenom efficacy studies were compared to rodent lethality studies to test two Indian snake antivenoms (VINS and BHARAT) against four Sri Lankan snakes. In vitro efficacy was tested at venom concentrations consistent with human envenoming. Efficacy was compared statistically for one batch from each manufacturer where multiple vials were available. In binding studies EC50 for all VINS antivenoms were less than BHARAT for D. russelii [553 μg/mL vs. 1371 μg/mL;p = 0.016), but were greater for VINS antivenoms compared to BHARAT for N. naja [336 μg/mL vs. 70 μg/mL;p < 0.0001]. EC50 of both antivenoms was only slighty different for E. carinatus and B. caeruleus. For procoagulant activity neutralisation, the EC50 was lower for VINS compared to BHARAT - 60 μg/mL vs. 176 μg/mL (p < 0.0001) for Russell’s viper and 357 μg/mL vs. 6906μg/mL (p < 0.0001) for Saw-scaled viper. Only VINS antivenom neutralized in vitro neurotoxicity of krait venom. Both antivenoms partially neutralized cobra and didn’t neutralize Russell’s viper neurotoxicity. Lethality studies found no statistically significant difference in ED50 values between VINS and BHARAT antivenoms. VINS antivenoms appeared superior to BHARAT at concentrations equivalent to administering 10 vials antivenom, based on binding and neutralisation studies. Lethality studies were inconsistent suggesting rodent death may not measure relevant efficacy outcomes in humans. PMID:27231196
Modahl, Cassandra M; Mukherjee, Ashis K; Mackessy, Stephen P
Venoms of snakes of the family Elapidae (cobras, kraits, mambas, and relatives) are predominantly composed of numerous phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) and three-finger toxins (3FTxs), some of which are lethal while others are not significantly toxic. Currently, the only identified prey-specific toxins are several nonconventional 3FTxs, and given the large diversity of 3FTxs within Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia) venom, it was hypothesized that several 3FTxs, previously found to be non-toxic or weakly toxic 3FTxs in murine models, could potentially be toxic towards non-murine prey. Additionally, it was hypothesized that ontogenetic dietary shifts will be correlated with observable changes in specific 3FTx isoform abundance. Adult and juvenile N. kaouthia venom composition was investigated using ion-exchange FPLC, 1D and 2D SDS-PAGE, mass spectrometry, and various enzymatic and LD50 assays. Alpha-cobratoxin (α-elapitoxin) was the only significantly toxic (LD50 < 1 μg/g) 3FTx found in N. kaouthia venom and was equally toxic toward both lizard and mouse models. The abundance and diversity of 3FTxs and most enzyme activities did not vary between adult and juvenile cobra venoms; however, total venom PLA2 activity and specific PLA2 isoforms did vary, with juveniles lacking several of the least acidic PLA2s, and these differences could have both biological (related to predation) and clinical (antivenom efficacy) implications. Nevertheless, the ubiquitous presence of α-cobratoxin in both adult and juvenile cobra venoms, with high toxicity toward both reptiles and mammals, represents a venom compositional strategy wherein a single potent toxin effectively immobilizes a variety of prey types encountered across life history stages.
Influence of dietary fiber type and amount on energy and nutrient digestibility, fecal characteristics, and fecal fermentative end-product concentrations in captive exotic felids fed a raw beef-based diet.
Kerr, K R; Morris, C L; Burke, S L; Swanson, K S
Little nutritional or metabolic information has been collected from captive exotic cats fed raw diets. In particular, fiber types and concentrations for use in raw meat-based diets for captive exotic felids have not been well studied. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of fiber type and concentration on apparent total tract energy and macronutrient digestibility, fecal characteristics, and fecal fermentative end-products in captive exotic felids. Four animals of each captive exotic species (jaguar (Panthera onca), cheetah (Acinonyz jubatus), Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), and Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) were randomized in four 4 × 4 Latin square designs (1 Latin square per species) to 1 of the 4 raw beef-based dietary treatments (94.7 to 96.7% beef trimmings): 2 or 4% cellulose or 2 or 4% beet pulp. Felid species, fiber type, and fiber concentration all impacted digestibility and fecal fermentative end-products. Inclusion of beet pulp increased (P ≤ 0.05) fecal short-chain fatty acids and fecal output in all cats. Inclusion of 2 and 4% cellulose, and 4% beet pulp increased (P ≤ 0.05) fecal bulk and diluted fecal branched-chain fatty acid concentrations compared with 2% beet pulp. Apparent total tract DM, OM, fat, and GE digestibility coefficients decreased (P ≤ 0.05) linearly with BW of cats. Additionally, fecal moisture, fecal score, and concentrations of fermentative end-products increased (P ≤ 0.05) with BW. Although the response of many outcomes was dependent on cat size, in general, beet pulp increased wet fecal weight, fecal scores, and fecal metabolites, and reduced fecal pH. Cellulose generally reduced DM and OM digestibility, but increased dry fecal weight and fecal percent DM. Although beet pulp and cellulose fibers were tested individually in this study, these data indicate that the optimum fiber type and concentration for inclusion in captive exotic felid diets is likely a combination of fermentable and
Bourne, Yves; Renault, Ludovic; Marchot, Pascale
The acetylcholinesterase found in the venom of Bungarus fasciatus (BfAChE) is produced as a soluble, non-amphiphilic monomer with a canonical catalytic domain but a distinct C terminus compared with the other vertebrate enzymes. Moreover, the peripheral anionic site of BfAChE, a surface site located at the active site gorge entrance, bears two substitutions altering sensitivity to cationic inhibitors. Antibody Elec410, generated against Electrophorus electricus acetylcholinesterase (EeAChE), inhibits EeAChE and BfAChE by binding to their peripheral sites. However, both complexes retain significant residual catalytic activity, suggesting incomplete gorge occlusion by bound antibody and/or high frequency back door opening. To explore a novel acetylcholinesterase species, ascertain the molecular bases of inhibition by Elec410, and document the determinants and mechanisms for back door opening, we solved a 2.7-Å resolution crystal structure of natural BfAChE in complex with antibody fragment Fab410. Crystalline BfAChE forms the canonical dimer found in all acetylcholinesterase structures. Equally represented open and closed states of a back door channel, associated with alternate positions of a tyrosine phenol ring at the active site base, coexist in each subunit. At the BfAChE molecular surface, Fab410 is seated on the long Ω-loop between two N-glycan chains and partially occludes the gorge entrance, a position that fully reflects the available mutagenesis and biochemical data. Experimentally based flexible molecular docking supports a similar Fab410 binding mode onto the EeAChE antigen. These data document the molecular and dynamic peculiarities of BfAChE with high frequency back door opening, and the mode of action of Elec410 as one of the largest peptidic inhibitors targeting the acetylcholinesterase peripheral site. PMID:25411244
Shi, Yi-Jun; Chen, Ying-Jung; Hu, Wan-Ping; Chang, Long-Sen
This study presents an adenosine (A)-based molecular beacon (MB) for selective detection of Naja atra cardiotoxin (CTX) that functions by utilizing the competitive binding between CTX and the poly(A) stem of MB to coralyne. The 5'- and 3'-end of MB were labeled with a reporter fluorophore and a non-fluorescent quencher, respectively. Coralyne induced formation of the stem-loop MB structure through A₂-coralyne-A₂ coordination, causing fluorescence signal turn-off due to fluorescence resonance energy transfer between the fluorophore and quencher. CTX3 could bind to coralyne. Moreover, CTX3 alone induced the folding of MB structure and quenching of MB fluorescence. Unlike that of snake venom α-neurotoxins, the fluorescence signal of coralyne-MB complexes produced a bell-shaped concentration-dependent curve in the presence of CTX3 and CTX isotoxins; a turn-on fluorescence signal was noted when CTX concentration was ≤80 nM, while a turn-off fluorescence signal was noted with a further increase in toxin concentrations. The fluorescence signal of coralyne-MB complexes yielded a bell-shaped curve in response to varying concentrations of N. atra crude venom but not those of Bungarus multicinctus and Protobothrops mucrosquamatus venoms. Moreover, N. nigricollis venom also functioned as N. atra venom to yield a bell-shaped concentration-dependent curve of MB fluorescence signal, again supporting that the hairpin-shaped MB could detect crude venoms containing CTXs. Taken together, our data validate that a platform composed of coralyne-induced stem-loop MB structure selectively detects CTXs.
Zhou, Huimin; Dou, Jie; Wang, Jing; Chen, Lili; Wang, Hui; Zhou, Weidong; Li, Yunman; Zhou, Changlin
Cathelicidin-BF (BF-30) is found in the venom of the snake Bungarus fasciatus and exhibits broad antimicrobial activity against bacteria and fungi. Nevertheless, its antibacterial activity in vivo and antibacterial mechanism is unknown. In the present study, we examined the antibacterial activity of BF-30 in vitro against drug-resistant Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, first identifying its protection against P. aeruginosa in infected burns and then delineating the antimicrobial mechanism of BF-30. The data showed that BF-30 had stronger antimicrobial activities against a broad spectrum of microorganisms than gentamicin, ampicillin or bacitracin. The killing curves of BF-30 against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus showed that CFU counts rapidly decreased by almost 2 logs within 6min, and it took just less than 2h to kill all the bacteria. In addition, we investigated whether BF-30 had antibacterial activity in a burn/acute infection rat model. Dose-response (0.75, 3, 12mg/kg/day) studies indicated that BF-30 significantly reduced the colonization of P. aeruginosa in the burn eschars, lungs and liver of burn injured rats and that it could prevent subsequent systemic infection and development of inflammation. The peptide induced chaotic membrane morphology and cell debris, as determined by electron microscopy, and caused the cytoplasmic membrane to crack, resulting in β-galactosidase leakage and EtBr accumulation. This suggests that the antimicrobial activity of BF-30 is based on cytoplasmic membrane permeability. Taken together, our data demonstrate that antibacterial activity of BF-30 has potential therapeutic value for the prevention and treatment of burn and wound infections.
Gowtham, Yashonandana J; Kumar, M S; Girish, K S; Kemparaju, K
Unlike Naja naja, Bungarus caeruleus, Echis carinatus, and Daboia/Vipera russellii venoms, Ophiophagus hannah venom is medically ignored in the Indian subcontinent. Being the biggest poisonous snake, O. hannah has been presumed to inject several lethal doses of venom in a single bite. Lack of therapeutic antivenom to O. hannah bite in India makes any attempt to save the victim a difficult exercise. This study was initiated to compare O. hannah venom with the above said venoms for possible interference in hemostasis. Ophiophagus hannah venom was found to actively interfere in hemostatic stages such as fibrin clot formation, platelet activation/aggregation, and fibrin clot dissolution. It decreased partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT), and thrombin clotting time (TCT). These activities are similar to that shown by E. carinatus and D. russellii venoms, and thus O. hannah venom was found to exert procoagulant activity through the common pathway of blood coagulation, while N. naja venom increased aPTT and TCT but not PT, and hence it was found to exert anticoagulant activity through the intrinsic pathway. Venoms of O. hannah, E. carinatus, and D. russellii lack plasminogen activation property as they do not hydrolyze azocasein, while they all show plasmin-like activity by degrading the fibrin clot. Although N. naja venom did not degrade azocasein, unlike other venoms, it showed feeble plasmin-like activity on fibrin clot. Venom of E. carinatus induced clotting of human platelet rich plasma (PRP), while the other three venoms interfered in agonist-induced platelet aggregation in PRP. Venom of O. hannah least inhibited the ADP induced platelet aggregation as compared to D. russellii and N. naja venoms. All these three venoms showed complete inhibition of epinephrine-induced aggregation at varied doses. However, O. hannah venom was unique in inhibiting thrombin induced aggregation.
Shi, Yi-Jun; Chen, Ying-Jung; Hu, Wan-Ping; Chang, Long-Sen
This study presents an adenosine (A)-based molecular beacon (MB) for selective detection of Naja atra cardiotoxin (CTX) that functions by utilizing the competitive binding between CTX and the poly(A) stem of MB to coralyne. The 5′- and 3′-end of MB were labeled with a reporter fluorophore and a non-fluorescent quencher, respectively. Coralyne induced formation of the stem-loop MB structure through A2-coralyne-A2 coordination, causing fluorescence signal turn-off due to fluorescence resonance energy transfer between the fluorophore and quencher. CTX3 could bind to coralyne. Moreover, CTX3 alone induced the folding of MB structure and quenching of MB fluorescence. Unlike that of snake venom α-neurotoxins, the fluorescence signal of coralyne-MB complexes produced a bell-shaped concentration-dependent curve in the presence of CTX3 and CTX isotoxins; a turn-on fluorescence signal was noted when CTX concentration was ≤80 nM, while a turn-off fluorescence signal was noted with a further increase in toxin concentrations. The fluorescence signal of coralyne-MB complexes yielded a bell-shaped curve in response to varying concentrations of N. atra crude venom but not those of Bungarus multicinctus and Protobothrops mucrosquamatus venoms. Moreover, N. nigricollis venom also functioned as N. atra venom to yield a bell-shaped concentration-dependent curve of MB fluorescence signal, again supporting that the hairpin-shaped MB could detect crude venoms containing CTXs. Taken together, our data validate that a platform composed of coralyne-induced stem-loop MB structure selectively detects CTXs. PMID:28067855
Backues, K A; Hill, M; Palmenberg, A C; Miller, C; Soike, K F; Aguilar, R
Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), has caused the deaths of many species of animals in zoological parks and research institutions. The Audubon Park Zoo, (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) attempted vaccination of several species with a killed EMCV vaccine with mixed results. This paper reports an attempt at vaccination against EMCV using a genetically engineered, live attenuated Mengo virus (vMC0) at the Audubon Park Zoo and Miami Metro Zoo, (Miami, Florida, USA) from December 1996 to June 1997. Several species of animals were vaccinated with vMC0, which is serologically indistinguishable from the field strain of EMCV. Serum samples were taken at the time of vaccination and again 21 days later, then submitted for serum neutralization titers against EMCV. The vaccinate species included red capped mangebey (Cercocebus torquatus), colobus (Colobus guereza), angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), ruffed lemur (Lemur variegatus ruber and Lemur variegatus variegatus), back lemur (Lemur macaco), ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), diana guenon (Cercopithicus diana), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), talapoin monkey (Cercopithecus talapoin), Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris), Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii), Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius), bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), guanaco (Lama glama guanicoe), black duiker (Cephalophus niger), Vietnamese potbellied pig (Sus scrofa), babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa), collard peccary (Tayass tajacu), and African crested porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis). The vaccine response was variable, with high virus neutralizing antibody titer responses in some primate species and mixed to poor responses for other species. No ill effects were seen with vaccination.
Zhang, Zhi-Min; Wang, Hui-Juan; Liu, Zhong-Lai; Xiong, Guo-Mei
Using our lab's improved protocol for faecal DNA extraction, the entire 753-bp DNA coding sequence of the nuclear brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene was cloned for the first time from Asiatic Black Bear Selenarctos thibetanus faecal samples with primers based on the reported sequence of the Malayan Bear BDNF gene. Hair was used as a positive control and the experiments were repeated several times to obtain reliable and identical results. Sequence analysis showed that the BDNF gene of Asiatic Black Bear was highly conserved compared to those of human and giant panda, with an identity of 94.5% and 98.9%, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequence of the mature protein was found to be identical to those of all the reported mammalians. According to gene sequence alignment, the giant panda appeared to be phylogenetically closer to Asiatic Black Bear than the lesser panda. This study represents the first time that a non-invasive method such as faecal sampling was used to analyze a functional nuclear BDNF gene of Asiatic Black Bear. It will not only provide important reference for the conservation and breeding of Asiatic Black Bear and open up new avenues of non-invasive sampling in the study of endangered wildlife, but also provide another molecular evidence for the study of relationship of Asiatic Black Bear and its related species.
Suraprasit, Kantapon; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Chavasseau, Olivier; Yamee, Chotima; Tian, Pannipa; Panha, Somsak
Abstract The fluviatile terrace deposits of Khok Sung, Nakhon Ratchasima province, have yielded more than one thousand fossils, making this the richest Pleistocene vertebrate fauna of Thailand. The excellent preservation of the specimens allows precise characterization of the faunal composition. The mammalian fauna consists of fifteen species in thirteen genera, including a primate, a canid, a hyaenid, proboscideans, rhinoceroses, a suid, cervids, and bovids. Most species correspond to living taxa but globally (Stegodon cf. orientalis) and locally (Crocuta crocuta ultima, Rhinoceros unicornis, Sus barbatus, and Axis axis) extinct taxa were also present. The identification of Axis axis in Khok Sung, a chital currently restricted to the Indian Subcontinent, represents the first record of the species in Southeast Asia. Three reptilian taxa: Crocodylus cf. siamensis, Python sp., and Varanus sp., are also identified. Faunal correlations with other Southeast Asian sites suggest a late Middle to early Late Pleistocene age for the Khok Sung assemblage. However, the Khok Sung mammalian fauna is most similar to that of Thum Wiman Nakin, dated to older than 169 ka. The Khok Sung large mammal assemblage mostly comprises mainland Southeast Asian taxa that migrated to Java during the latest Middle Pleistocene, supporting the hypothesis that Thailand was a biogeographic pathway for the Sino-Malayan migration event from South China to Java. PMID:27667928
Howard, R.J.; Uni, S.; Aikawa, M.; Aley, S.B.; Leech, J.H.; Lew, A.M.; Wellems, T.E.; Rener, J.; Taylor, D.W.
Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IRBCs) synthesis several histidine-rich proteins (HRPs) that accumulate high levels of (/sup 3/H)histidine but very low levels of amino acids such as (/sup 3/H)isoleucine or (/sup 35/S)methionine. The authors prepared a monoclonal antibody which reacts specifically with one of these HRPs (Pf HRP II) and studied the location and synthesis of this protein during the parasite's intracellular growth. With the knob-positive Malayan Camp strain of P. falciparum, the monoclonal antibody identified a multiplet of protein of protein bands with major species at M/sub r/ 72,000 and 69,000. Pf HRP II synthesis began with immature parasites (rings) and continued through the trophozoite stage. The M/sub r/ 72,000 band of Pf HRP II, but not the faster moving bands of the multiplet, was recovered as a water-soluble protein from the culture supernatant of intact IRBCs. Approximately 50% of the total (/sup 3/H)histidine radioactivity incorporated into the M/sub r/ 72,000 band was extracellular between 2 and 24 h of culture. Immunofluorescence and cryothin-section immunoelectron microscopy localized Pf HRP II to several cell compartments including the parasite cytoplasm, as concentrated packets in the host erythrocyte cytoplasm and at the IRBC membrane. The results provide evidence for an intracellular route of transport for a secreted malarial protein from the parasite through several membranes and the host cell cytoplasm.
Villa, C; Persson, L; Alexandersen, V; Lynnerup, N
A human skull with mandible from the Ngada District on the island of Flores, Indonesia, is described in order to contribute to the knowledge of variation in cranial architecture, which is important in interpretations of evolutionary cerebralisation. The skull was excavated in 1924 and sent to the National Museum in Copenhagen. The "Copenhagen Flores" (CF) male skull is radiocarbon-dated and of modern age. The cranium is small, but larger than e.g. Liang Bua skull (LB1) in every measurement. The (CT-scan based) cranial capacity of 1258 ml is normal for modern humans, but somewhat lower than values from the middle or upper Palaeolithics. The metric cranial data analysed in FORDISC, characterize the skull as a male Vietnamese rather than a Chinese or White individual. Tooth morphology shows the sundadont pattern and tooth size corresponds to that of teeth from Bali, Java and Malayan Orang Asli. Remarkable are the marked asymmetries in the dentition with rotation of an upper premolar and congenital absence of a third molar. In these respects the CF skull is similar to dentitions belonging to the pygmoid villagers of Rampasasa, a village not far from the Liang Bua cave, and to LB1.
Smith, C. E. Gordon; Turner, L. H.
One of the factors on which the incidence of leptospirosis is dependent is the survival time of shed leptospires in surface water or soil water, and this time is in turn affected by the acidity or alkalinity of the water. The authors have therefore studied the survival of four leptospiral serotypes in buffered distilled water at pH's ranging from 5.3 to 8.0. All survived longer in alkaline than in acid water, and significant differences between the serotypes were found in response to pH. Survival at pH's under 7.0 ranged from 10 to 117 days and at pH's over 7.0 from 21 to 152 days. Survival was also studied in aqueous extracts of soil samples from different areas in Malaya; no correlation was found between pH and survival time. It was also noted that in a group of Malayan ricefields a low incidence of leptospirosis in man was accompanied by a high infection rate among rodents, and when it was found that this phenomenon could not be explained by pH or salinity, attention was turned to the soil. Bentonite clay, similar to the montmorrillonite clay of the ricefields, was found to adsorb about half the leptospires in suspension. The authors recommend that field study of this laboratory observation be undertaken. PMID:20604084
dos Santos, C. F.; Ferreira-Caliman, M. J.; Nascimento, F. S.
Sexual selection predicts that individuals competing for access to sexual partners should maximize their chances of mating by looking for sites where the chances of finding partners are more likely to occur. However, males of stingless bees have been observed sharing nonspecific reproductive aggregations. This uncommon behavior appears to confer no obvious increase of individual fitness. It has been suggested that this reproductive strategy is due to the similarity between male odors common to different stingless bee species. Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are candidate odors of interest because their nonvolatile pheromone nature allows them to play an important role in sexual behavior and species recognition. Here, we review the literature to evaluate whether any phylogenetic patterns exist among male stingless bees that aggregate with closely or distantly related species. We also compared the CHC profiles of males of Neotropical stingless bee species (Plebeia sp. Schwarz, Trigona spinipes (F.), Tetragona clavipes (F.), Nannotrigona testaceicornis (Lepeletier), Scaptotrigona aff. depilis (Moure), Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille), and Melipona subnitida (Ducke) to reveal any chemical similarities among their male odors. We found males of 21 stingless bee species involved in interspecific interactions mainly from Neotropical and Indo-Malayan/Australasian regions. Alien males did not necessarily visit host aggregations of closely related species. Furthermore, the CHC profiles of different studied species were very distinct from each other and do not overlapped at all. It is unclear yet why this apparently nonadaptive behavior carried out by some stingless bee males. PMID:26518220
Dos Santos, C F; Ferreira-Caliman, M J; Nascimento, F S
Sexual selection predicts that individuals competing for access to sexual partners should maximize their chances of mating by looking for sites where the chances of finding partners are more likely to occur. However, males of stingless bees have been observed sharing nonspecific reproductive aggregations. This uncommon behavior appears to confer no obvious increase of individual fitness. It has been suggested that this reproductive strategy is due to the similarity between male odors common to different stingless bee species. Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are candidate odors of interest because their nonvolatile pheromone nature allows them to play an important role in sexual behavior and species recognition. Here, we review the literature to evaluate whether any phylogenetic patterns exist among male stingless bees that aggregate with closely or distantly related species. We also compared the CHC profiles of males of Neotropical stingless bee species (Plebeia sp. Schwarz, Trigona spinipes (F.), Tetragona clavipes (F.), Nannotrigona testaceicornis (Lepeletier), Scaptotrigona aff. depilis (Moure), Tetragonisca angustula (Latreille), and Melipona subnitida (Ducke) to reveal any chemical similarities among their male odors. We found males of 21 stingless bee species involved in interspecific interactions mainly from Neotropical and Indo-Malayan/Australasian regions. Alien males did not necessarily visit host aggregations of closely related species. Furthermore, the CHC profiles of different studied species were very distinct from each other and do not overlapped at all. It is unclear yet why this apparently nonadaptive behavior carried out by some stingless bee males.
Lim, Kuan-Hon; Raja, Vijay J; Bradshaw, Tracey D; Lim, Siew-Huah; Low, Yun-Yee; Kam, Toh-Seok
Six new indole alkaloids, viz., cononusine (1, a rare example of an iboga-pyrrolidone conjugate), ervaluteine (2), vincamajicine (3), tacamonidine (4), 6-oxoibogaine (5), and N(4)-chloromethylnorfluorocurarine chloride (6), and two new vobasinyl-iboga bisindole alkaloids, ervatensines A (7) and B (8), in addition to other known alkaloids, were isolated from the stem-bark extract of the Malayan Tabernaemontana corymbosa. The structures of these alkaloids were established on the basis of NMR and MS analyses and, in one instance (7), confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. Vincamajicine (3) showed appreciable activity in reversing multidrug resistance in vincristine-resistant KB cells (IC50 2.62 μM), while ervatensines A (7) and B (8) and two other known bisindoles displayed pronounced in vitro growth inhibitory activity against human KB cells (IC50 < 2 μM). Compounds 7 and 8 also showed good growth inhibitory activity against A549, MCF-7, MDA-468, HCT-116, and HT-29 cells (IC50 0.70-4.19 μM). Cell cycle and annexin V-FITC apoptosis assays indicated that compounds 7 and 8 inhibited proliferation of HCT-116 and MDA-468 cells, evoking apoptotic and necrotic cell death.
Sangster, George; King, Ben F; Verbelen, Philippe; Trainor, Colin R
The avifauna of Indonesia is one of the richest in the world but the taxonomic status of many species remains poorly documented. The sole species of scops owl known from Lombok has long been assigned to the widespread Moluccan Scops Owl Otus magicus on the basis of superficial similarities in morphology. Field work in 2003 has shown that the territorial song of the scops owls inhabiting the foothills of Gunung Rinjani differs dramatically from that of O. magicus and is more similar to those of Rufescent Scops Owl O. rufescens and Singapore Scops Owl O. cnephaeus. Detailed comparisons of sound recordings and museum specimens with those of other scops owls in Wallacea and the Indo-Malayan region have confirmed the distinctiveness of the Lombok population. We describe Otus jolandae as a new species, the Rinjani Scops Owl. It is locally common at elevations from 25-1350 m. and occurs within Gunung Rinjani National Park. The new species is known from seven specimens collected by Alfred Everett in 1896. Otus jolandae represents the first endemic bird species from Lombok.
Ng, Y F; Mound, L A
The survey of Thysanoptera in peninsular Malaysia has been concentrated largely in areas growing crops and flowers around Kuala Lumpur, and the Cameron Highlands, and there are few records of these insects from native forests particularly in the northern part of the country. The two species described here were collected during a recent visit to Belum-Temengor Forest Complex, in Perak State, part of the second largest forested area on the peninsular, and connected to the Bang Lang National Park, in Yala Province, Thailand. This forest has been well known as home to a number of endangered animals, including Malayan tigers and Asian elephants, as well as remarkable plant species such as Rafflesia with the world's largest flowers (Abdullah et al. 2011). Despite this, forest areas are facing a major challenge from the insatiable demand for timber, palm oil and minerals, with an 80% increase in deforestation rate in Malaysia between 1990 and 2005 (FAO 2010). Forested land in peninsular Malaysia has been estimated at 5.88 million-ha or 44% of total area, but the coverage of reserved virgin forest is about 0.40 % or 23,002-ha (Dahlan 2008).
Choo, Siew Woh; Rayko, Mike; Tan, Tze King; Hari, Ranjeev; Komissarov, Aleksey; Wee, Wei Yee; Yurchenko, Andrey A; Kliver, Sergey; Tamazian, Gaik; Antunes, Agostinho; Wilson, Richard K; Warren, Wesley C; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Minx, Patrick; Krasheninnikova, Ksenia; Kotze, Antoinette; Dalton, Desire L; Vermaak, Elaine; Paterson, Ian C; Dobrynin, Pavel; Sitam, Frankie Thomas; Rovie-Ryan, Jeffrine J; Johnson, Warren E; Yusoff, Aini Mohamed; Luo, Shu-Jin; Karuppannan, Kayal Vizi; Fang, Gang; Zheng, Deyou; Gerstein, Mark B; Lipovich, Leonard; O'Brien, Stephen J; Wong, Guat Jah
Pangolins, unique mammals with scales over most of their body, no teeth, poor vision, and an acute olfactory system, comprise the only placental order (Pholidota) without a whole-genome map. To investigate pangolin biology and evolution, we developed genome assemblies of the Malayan (Manis javanica) and Chinese (M. pentadactyla) pangolins. Strikingly, we found that interferon epsilon (IFNE), exclusively expressed in epithelial cells and important in skin and mucosal immunity, is pseudogenized in all African and Asian pangolin species that we examined, perhaps impacting resistance to infection. We propose that scale development was an innovation that provided protection against injuries or stress and reduced pangolin vulnerability to infection. Further evidence of specialized adaptations was evident from positively selected genes involving immunity-related pathways, inflammation, energy storage and metabolism, muscular and nervous systems, and scale/hair development. Olfactory receptor gene families are significantly expanded in pangolins, reflecting their well-developed olfaction system. This study provides insights into mammalian adaptation and functional diversification, new research tools and questions, and perhaps a new natural IFNE-deficient animal model for studying mammalian immunity.
Tan, Tze King; Tan, Ka Yun; Hari, Ranjeev; Mohamed Yusoff, Aini; Wong, Guat Jah; Siow, Cheuk Chuen; Mutha, Naresh V R; Rayko, Mike; Komissarov, Aleksey; Dobrynin, Pavel; Krasheninnikova, Ksenia; Tamazian, Gaik; Paterson, Ian C; Warren, Wesley C; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Choo, Siew Woh
Pangolins (order Pholidota) are the only mammals covered by scales. We have recently sequenced and analyzed the genomes of two critically endangered Asian pangolin species, namely the Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica) and the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla). These complete genome sequences will serve as reference sequences for future research to address issues of species conservation and to advance knowledge in mammalian biology and evolution. To further facilitate the global research effort in pangolin biology, we developed the Pangolin Genome Database (PGD), as a future hub for hosting pangolin genomic and transcriptomic data and annotations, and with useful analysis tools for the research community. Currently, the PGD provides the reference pangolin genome and transcriptome data, gene sequences and functional information, expressed transcripts, pseudogenes, genomic variations, organ-specific expression data and other useful annotations. We anticipate that the PGD will be an invaluable platform for researchers who are interested in pangolin and mammalian research. We will continue updating this hub by including more data, annotation and analysis tools particularly from our research consortium.Database URL: http://pangolin-genome.um.edu.my.
Trifonov, Vladimir A; Stanyon, Roscoe; Nesterenko, Anastasia I; Fu, Beiyuan; Perelman, Polina L; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Stone, Gary; Rubtsova, Nadezhda V; Houck, Marlys L; Robinson, Terence J; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Dobigny, Gauthier; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Yang, Fengtang
The order Perissodactyla, the group of odd-toed ungulates, includes three extant families: Equidae, Tapiridae, and Rhinocerotidae. The extremely rapid karyotypic diversification in perissodactyls has so far prevented the establishment of genome-wide homology maps between these three families by traditional cytogenetic approaches. Here we report the first genome-wide comparative chromosome maps of African rhinoceroses, four tapir species, four equine species, and humans. These maps were established by multidirectional chromosome painting, with paint probes derived from flow-sorted chromosomes of Equus grevyi, Tapirus indicus, and Ceratotherium simum as well as painting probes from horse and human. The Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), Baird's tapir (T. bairdii), mountain tapir (T. pinchaque), lowland tapir (T. terrestris), and onager (E. hemionus onager), were studied by cross-species chromosome painting for the first time. Our results, when integrated with previously published comparative chromosome maps of the other perissodactyl species, have enabled the reconstruction of perissodactyl, ceratomorph, and equid ancestral karyotypes, and the identification of the defining evolutionary chromosomal rearrangements along each lineage. Our results allow a more reliable estimate of the mode and tempo of evolutionary chromosomal rearrangements, revealing a striking switch between the slowly evolving ceratomorphs and extremely rapidly evolving equids.
Schwerdtner Máñez, Kathleen; Ferse, Sebastian C A
The Malayan term trepang describes a variety of edible holothurians commonly known as sea cucumbers. Although found in temperate and tropical marine waters all over the world, the centre of species diversity and abundance are the shallow coastal waters of Island Southeast Asia. For at least 300 years, trepang has been a highly priced commodity in the Chinese market. Originally, its fishing and trade was a specialized business, centred on the town of Makassar in South Sulawesi (Indonesia). The rise of trepang fishing in the 17(th) century added valuable export merchandize to the rich shallow seas surrounding the islands of Southeast Asia. This enabled local communities to become part of large trading networks and greatly supported their economic development. In this article, we follow Makassan trepang fishing and trading from its beginning until the industrialization of the fishery and worldwide depletion of sea cucumbers in the 20(th) century. Thereby, we identify a number of characteristics which trepang fishing shares with the exploitation of other marine resources, including (1) a strong influence of international markets, (2) the role of patron-client relationships which heavily influence the resource selection, and (3) the roving-bandit-syndrome, where fishermen exploit local stocks of valuable resources until they are depleted, and then move to another area. We suggest that understanding the similarities and differences between historical and recent exploitation of marine resources is an important step towards effective management solutions.
Tan, Tze King; Tan, Ka Yun; Hari, Ranjeev; Mohamed Yusoff, Aini; Wong, Guat Jah; Siow, Cheuk Chuen; Mutha, Naresh V.R.; Rayko, Mike; Komissarov, Aleksey; Dobrynin, Pavel; Krasheninnikova, Ksenia; Tamazian, Gaik; Paterson, Ian C.; Warren, Wesley C.; Johnson, Warren E.; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Choo, Siew Woh
Pangolins (order Pholidota) are the only mammals covered by scales. We have recently sequenced and analyzed the genomes of two critically endangered Asian pangolin species, namely the Malayan pangolin (Manis javanica) and the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla). These complete genome sequences will serve as reference sequences for future research to address issues of species conservation and to advance knowledge in mammalian biology and evolution. To further facilitate the global research effort in pangolin biology, we developed the Pangolin Genome Database (PGD), as a future hub for hosting pangolin genomic and transcriptomic data and annotations, and with useful analysis tools for the research community. Currently, the PGD provides the reference pangolin genome and transcriptome data, gene sequences and functional information, expressed transcripts, pseudogenes, genomic variations, organ-specific expression data and other useful annotations. We anticipate that the PGD will be an invaluable platform for researchers who are interested in pangolin and mammalian research. We will continue updating this hub by including more data, annotation and analysis tools particularly from our research consortium. Database URL: http://pangolin-genome.um.edu.my PMID:27616775
Siti Shafiyyah, C O; Jamaiah, I; Rohela, M; Lau, Y L; Siti Aminah, F
A survey was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of intestinal and blood parasites among wild rats in urban area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total of 137 stool and blood samples were collected from wild rats from Sentul and Chow Kit areas. Five species of rats were captured and supplied by Kuala Lumpur City Hall. The most common was Rattus rattus diardii (Malayan Black rat), 67%, followed by Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat), 10%, Rattus argentiventer (rice-field rat), 10%, Rattus tiomanicus (Malaysian field rat), 9% and Rattus exulans (Polynesian rat), 4%. Rattus rattus diardii is commonly known to live in human environment and they are normally identified as pests to human community. More male rats were captured (61%) compared to female (39%). Out of 137 samples, 81.8% samples were positive with intestinal parasites, with 86.2% from Sentul area and 78.5% from Chow Kit area. Six different parasites were detected. The most common intestinal helminth parasite detected was Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (80.3%), followed by Hymenolepis nana (23.4%), Capillaria hepatica (13.9%) and Hymenolepis diminuta (2.9%). Intestinal protozoan detected was Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar (8.8%). Trypanosoma lewisi (1.5%) was the only blood parasite detected.
Schwerdtner Máñez, Kathleen; Ferse, Sebastian C. A.
The Malayan term trepang describes a variety of edible holothurians commonly known as sea cucumbers. Although found in temperate and tropical marine waters all over the world, the centre of species diversity and abundance are the shallow coastal waters of Island Southeast Asia. For at least 300 years, trepang has been a highly priced commodity in the Chinese market. Originally, its fishing and trade was a specialized business, centred on the town of Makassar in South Sulawesi (Indonesia). The rise of trepang fishing in the 17th century added valuable export merchandize to the rich shallow seas surrounding the islands of Southeast Asia. This enabled local communities to become part of large trading networks and greatly supported their economic development. In this article, we follow Makassan trepang fishing and trading from its beginning until the industrialization of the fishery and worldwide depletion of sea cucumbers in the 20th century. Thereby, we identify a number of characteristics which trepang fishing shares with the exploitation of other marine resources, including (1) a strong influence of international markets, (2) the role of patron-client relationships which heavily influence the resource selection, and (3) the roving-bandit-syndrome, where fishermen exploit local stocks of valuable resources until they are depleted, and then move to another area. We suggest that understanding the similarities and differences between historical and recent exploitation of marine resources is an important step towards effective management solutions. PMID:20613871
Shukla, Anumeha; Mehrotra, R. C.; Guleria, J. S.
Climate has played a crucial role in assigning a different kind of topography to Rajasthan and Gujarat since the Cenozoic time. Evidently, three genera, namely, Dipterocarpus Gaert. f., Hopea Roxb. and Shorea Roxb. of the Dipterocarpaceae are described from the Neogene sediments of western India (Rajasthan and Gujarat). These taxa are marked by their complete absence in the region today. The presence of Dipterocarpaceae in western India has been noticed from the Early Eocene up to the Plio-Pleistocene in deep time. The family is usually a dominant component of the humid tropical and subtropical flora of the Indo-Malayan region and its discovery, along with earlier described fossils from western India indicates existence of ancient tropical rain forests in western India. A change in the climate affected warm and humid conditions occurring there during the Cenozoic resulting in arid to semi-arid climate at present which is responsible for the ultimate extinction of Dipterocarpaceae in the region. In addition, the palaeobiogeography of Dipterocarpaceae is reviewed.
Tyner, Cath; Barber, Galt P; Casper, Jonathan; Clawson, Hiram; Diekhans, Mark; Eisenhart, Christopher; Fischer, Clayton M; Gibson, David; Gonzalez, Jairo Navarro; Guruvadoo, Luvina; Haeussler, Maximilian; Heitner, Steve; Hinrichs, Angie S; Karolchik, Donna; Lee, Brian T; Lee, Christopher M; Nejad, Parisa; Raney, Brian J; Rosenbloom, Kate R; Speir, Matthew L; Villarreal, Chris; Vivian, John; Zweig, Ann S; Haussler, David; Kuhn, Robert M; Kent, W James
Since its 2001 debut, the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/) team has provided continuous support to the international genomics and biomedical communities through a web-based, open source platform designed for the fast, scalable display of sequence alignments and annotations landscaped against a vast collection of quality reference genome assemblies. The browser's publicly accessible databases are the backbone of a rich, integrated bioinformatics tool suite that includes a graphical interface for data queries and downloads, alignment programs, command-line utilities and more. This year's highlights include newly designed home and gateway pages; a new 'multi-region' track display configuration for exon-only, gene-only and custom regions visualization; new genome browsers for three species (brown kiwi, crab-eating macaque and Malayan flying lemur); eight updated genome assemblies; extended support for new data types such as CRAM, RNA-seq expression data and long-range chromatin interaction pairs; and the unveiling of a new supported mirror site in Japan.
Tyner, Cath; Barber, Galt P.; Casper, Jonathan; Clawson, Hiram; Diekhans, Mark; Eisenhart, Christopher; Fischer, Clayton M.; Gibson, David; Gonzalez, Jairo Navarro; Guruvadoo, Luvina; Haeussler, Maximilian; Heitner, Steve; Hinrichs, Angie S.; Karolchik, Donna; Lee, Brian T.; Lee, Christopher M.; Nejad, Parisa; Raney, Brian J.; Rosenbloom, Kate R.; Speir, Matthew L.; Villarreal, Chris; Vivian, John; Zweig, Ann S.; Haussler, David; Kuhn, Robert M.; Kent, W. James
Since its 2001 debut, the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/) team has provided continuous support to the international genomics and biomedical communities through a web-based, open source platform designed for the fast, scalable display of sequence alignments and annotations landscaped against a vast collection of quality reference genome assemblies. The browser's publicly accessible databases are the backbone of a rich, integrated bioinformatics tool suite that includes a graphical interface for data queries and downloads, alignment programs, command-line utilities and more. This year's highlights include newly designed home and gateway pages; a new ‘multi-region’ track display configuration for exon-only, gene-only and custom regions visualization; new genome browsers for three species (brown kiwi, crab-eating macaque and Malayan flying lemur); eight updated genome assemblies; extended support for new data types such as CRAM, RNA-seq expression data and long-range chromatin interaction pairs; and the unveiling of a new supported mirror site in Japan. PMID:27899642
Andersen, Alan N; Hoffmann, Benjamin D; Oberprieler, Stefanie
Although ants are an ecologically dominant and extensively studied faunal group throughout the tropics, there is a poor understanding of tropical ant diversity and distribution at large spatial scales. Here we use a collection developed from 3 decades of ant surveys to present the first analysis of ant diversity and biogeography of a large tropical region. Our objective was to document the species richness, composition, and biogeographic distributions of the ant fauna of the 400 000 km(2) "Top End" of Australia's Northern Territory. The known Top End ant fauna comprises 901 native species from 59 genera. The richest genera are Pheidole (90 species), Melophorus (83), Monomorium (83), Camponotus (71), Meranoplus (63), Polyrhachis (57), Rhytidoponera (50), Tetramorium (43), Cerapachys (32), and Iridomyrmex (31). The fauna is the center of diverse radiations within species-groups of genera such as Meranoplus, Rhytidoponera, and Leptogenys. It also includes IndoMalayan species that have likely bypassed the normal dispersal route into Australia through Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland. Faunistic similarity with other regions of far northern Australia is associated more with rainfall than with geographic proximity. Most (60%) of Top End ant species have not been recorded elsewhere, and, despite uncertainties relating to species delimitation and sampling intensity, this appears to be a credible estimate of the level of endemism. Such exceptionally high endemism can be attributed to the Top End's geographic isolation from other regions of northern Australia with comparably high rainfall.
Luo, Shu-Jin; Johnson, Warren E; Martenson, Janice; Antunes, Agostinho; Martelli, Paolo; Uphyrkina, Olga; Traylor-Holzer, Kathy; Smith, James L D; O'Brien, Stephen J
Tigers (Panthera tigris) are disappearing rapidly from the wild, from over 100,000 in the 1900s to as few as 3000. Javan (P.t. sondaica), Bali (P.t. balica), and Caspian (P.t. virgata) subspecies are extinct, whereas the South China tiger (P.t. amoyensis) persists only in zoos. By contrast, captive tigers are flourishing, with 15,000-20,000 individuals worldwide, outnumbering their wild relatives five to seven times. We assessed subspecies genetic ancestry of 105 captive tigers from 14 countries and regions by using Bayesian analysis and diagnostic genetic markers defined by a prior analysis of 134 voucher tigers of significant genetic distinctiveness. We assigned 49 tigers to one of five subspecies (Bengal P.t. tigris, Sumatran P.t. sumatrae, Indochinese P.t. corbetti, Amur P.t. altaica, and Malayan P.t. jacksoni tigers) and determined 52 had admixed subspecies origins. The tested captive tigers retain appreciable genomic diversity unobserved in their wild counterparts, perhaps a consequence of large population size, century-long introduction of new founders, and managed-breeding strategies to retain genetic variability. Assessment of verified subspecies ancestry offers a powerful tool that, if applied to tigers of uncertain background, may considerably increase the number of purebred tigers suitable for conservation management.
Xu, Xiao; Sun, Xin; Hu, Xue-Song; Zhuang, Yan; Liu, Yue-Chen; Meng, Hao; Miao, Lin; Yu, He; Luo, Shu-Jin
Domestic cats exhibit abundant variations in tail morphology and serve as an excellent model to study the development and evolution of vertebrate tails. Cats with shortened and kinked tails were first recorded in the Malayan archipelago by Charles Darwin in 1868 and remain quite common today in Southeast and East Asia. To elucidate the genetic basis of short tails in Asian cats, we built a pedigree of 13 cats segregating at the trait with a founder from southern China and performed linkage mapping based on whole genome sequencing data from the pedigree. The short-tailed trait was mapped to a 5.6 Mb region of Chr E1, within which the substitution c. 5T > C in the somite segmentation-related gene HES7 was identified as the causal mutation resulting in a missense change (p.V2A). Validation in 245 unrelated cats confirmed the correlation between HES7-c. 5T > C and Chinese short-tailed feral cats as well as the Japanese Bobtail breed, indicating a common genetic basis of the two. In addition, some of our sampled kinked-tailed cats could not be explained by either HES7 or the Manx-related T-box, suggesting at least three independent events in the evolution of domestic cats giving rise to short-tailed traits. PMID:27560986
Rayko, Mike; Tan, Tze King; Hari, Ranjeev; Komissarov, Aleksey; Wee, Wei Yee; Yurchenko, Andrey A.; Kliver, Sergey; Tamazian, Gaik; Antunes, Agostinho; Wilson, Richard K.; Warren, Wesley C.; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Minx, Patrick; Krasheninnikova, Ksenia; Kotze, Antoinette; Dalton, Desire L.; Vermaak, Elaine; Paterson, Ian C.; Dobrynin, Pavel; Sitam, Frankie Thomas; Rovie-Ryan, Jeffrine J.; Johnson, Warren E.; Yusoff, Aini Mohamed; Luo, Shu-Jin; Karuppannan, Kayal Vizi; Fang, Gang; Zheng, Deyou; Gerstein, Mark B.; Lipovich, Leonard; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Wong, Guat Jah
Pangolins, unique mammals with scales over most of their body, no teeth, poor vision, and an acute olfactory system, comprise the only placental order (Pholidota) without a whole-genome map. To investigate pangolin biology and evolution, we developed genome assemblies of the Malayan (Manis javanica) and Chinese (M. pentadactyla) pangolins. Strikingly, we found that interferon epsilon (IFNE), exclusively expressed in epithelial cells and important in skin and mucosal immunity, is pseudogenized in all African and Asian pangolin species that we examined, perhaps impacting resistance to infection. We propose that scale development was an innovation that provided protection against injuries or stress and reduced pangolin vulnerability to infection. Further evidence of specialized adaptations was evident from positively selected genes involving immunity-related pathways, inflammation, energy storage and metabolism, muscular and nervous systems, and scale/hair development. Olfactory receptor gene families are significantly expanded in pangolins, reflecting their well-developed olfaction system. This study provides insights into mammalian adaptation and functional diversification, new research tools and questions, and perhaps a new natural IFNE-deficient animal model for studying mammalian immunity. PMID:27510566
Suraprasit, Kantapon; Jaeger, Jean-Jacques; Chaimanee, Yaowalak; Chavasseau, Olivier; Yamee, Chotima; Tian, Pannipa; Panha, Somsak
The fluviatile terrace deposits of Khok Sung, Nakhon Ratchasima province, have yielded more than one thousand fossils, making this the richest Pleistocene vertebrate fauna of Thailand. The excellent preservation of the specimens allows precise characterization of the faunal composition. The mammalian fauna consists of fifteen species in thirteen genera, including a primate, a canid, a hyaenid, proboscideans, rhinoceroses, a suid, cervids, and bovids. Most species correspond to living taxa but globally (Stegodon cf. orientalis) and locally (Crocuta crocuta ultima, Rhinoceros unicornis, Sus barbatus, and Axis axis) extinct taxa were also present. The identification of Axis axis in Khok Sung, a chital currently restricted to the Indian Subcontinent, represents the first record of the species in Southeast Asia. Three reptilian taxa: Crocodylus cf. siamensis, Python sp., and Varanus sp., are also identified. Faunal correlations with other Southeast Asian sites suggest a late Middle to early Late Pleistocene age for the Khok Sung assemblage. However, the Khok Sung mammalian fauna is most similar to that of Thum Wiman Nakin, dated to older than 169 ka. The Khok Sung large mammal assemblage mostly comprises mainland Southeast Asian taxa that migrated to Java during the latest Middle Pleistocene, supporting the hypothesis that Thailand was a biogeographic pathway for the Sino-Malayan migration event from South China to Java.
Xu, Xiao; Sun, Xin; Hu, Xue-Song; Zhuang, Yan; Liu, Yue-Chen; Meng, Hao; Miao, Lin; Yu, He; Luo, Shu-Jin
Domestic cats exhibit abundant variations in tail morphology and serve as an excellent model to study the development and evolution of vertebrate tails. Cats with shortened and kinked tails were first recorded in the Malayan archipelago by Charles Darwin in 1868 and remain quite common today in Southeast and East Asia. To elucidate the genetic basis of short tails in Asian cats, we built a pedigree of 13 cats segregating at the trait with a founder from southern China and performed linkage mapping based on whole genome sequencing data from the pedigree. The short-tailed trait was mapped to a 5.6 Mb region of Chr E1, within which the substitution c. 5T > C in the somite segmentation-related gene HES7 was identified as the causal mutation resulting in a missense change (p.V2A). Validation in 245 unrelated cats confirmed the correlation between HES7-c. 5T > C and Chinese short-tailed feral cats as well as the Japanese Bobtail breed, indicating a common genetic basis of the two. In addition, some of our sampled kinked-tailed cats could not be explained by either HES7 or the Manx-related T-box, suggesting at least three independent events in the evolution of domestic cats giving rise to short-tailed traits.
Mohd Zain, Siti Nursheena; Amdan, Syed Arnez Syed Khalil; Braima, Kamil A; Abdul-Aziz, Noraishah M; Wilson, John-James; Sithambaran, Paramesvaran; Jeffery, John
A considerable number of rat-borne ectoparasite studies have been conducted since the early 1930s in the Malayan Peninsula (now known as peninsular Malaysia). The majority of studies were field surveys and collections of specimens across the region, and were conducted primarily to catalogue the ectoparasite host distribution and discover novel species. This has generated a signification amount of information, particularly on the diversity and host distribution; other aspects such as morphology, host distribution and medical significance have also been investigated. Amongst the four main groups (mites, fleas, ticks, lice), rat-borne mites have received the most attention with a particular emphasis on chiggers, due to their medical importance. More recent studies have examined the distribution of ectoparasites in rats from different habitat type simplicating a high prevalence of zoonotic species infesting rat populations. Despite being capable of transmitting dangerous pathogens to human, the health risks of rat-borne ectoparasites appear to be small with no serious outbreaks of diseases recorded. Although an extensive number of works have been published, there remain gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed, such as, the distribution of under studied ectoparasite groups (listrophorids and myobiids), determining factors influencing infestation, and understanding changes to the population distribution over time.
Swamp forests may be important refuges for primates and felids where these taxa are threatened with habitat loss. Mangrove and peat swamp forests, impenetrable, wet habitats, inaccessible and uninhabitable for humans, may, in some regions, be the most significant remaining habitats for threatened species. They are nevertheless neglected in field studies compared to relatively species-rich, terrestrial tropical forests probably, in part, because of the difficulties associated with surveying them. As a result, maps of mammal distributions may overlook swamp forests although camera-trapping is gradually rectifying this gap. I have compiled and mapped records of over 60 primate and 20 felid taxa reported to use mangrove and peat swamp forests in Africa and Asia at 47 sites, of which 21 are Afrotropical mangrove, 25 are Indo-Malayan mangrove or peat swamp forest, and 1 is an outlying mangrove site in Japan. Eleven of these are designated Ramsar Sites. I highlight key sites of conservation priority on the basis of primate and felid species richness and composite 'threat scores'. Petit Loango in Gabon and Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesia emerged as top priority sites in Africa and Asia, respectively. Further research on the role of swamp forests in the ecology and persistence of threatened mammals is needed.
Sangster, George; King, Ben F.; Verbelen, Philippe; Trainor, Colin R.
The avifauna of Indonesia is one of the richest in the world but the taxonomic status of many species remains poorly documented. The sole species of scops owl known from Lombok has long been assigned to the widespread Moluccan Scops Owl Otus magicus on the basis of superficial similarities in morphology. Field work in 2003 has shown that the territorial song of the scops owls inhabiting the foothills of Gunung Rinjani differs dramatically from that of O. magicus and is more similar to those of Rufescent Scops Owl O. rufescens and Singapore Scops Owl O. cnephaeus. Detailed comparisons of sound recordings and museum specimens with those of other scops owls in Wallacea and the Indo-Malayan region have confirmed the distinctiveness of the Lombok population. We describe Otus jolandae as a new species, the Rinjani Scops Owl. It is locally common at elevations from 25–1350 m. and occurs within Gunung Rinjani National Park. The new species is known from seven specimens collected by Alfred Everett in 1896. Otus jolandae represents the first endemic bird species from Lombok. PMID:23418422
Sever, David M; Freeborn, Layla R
The anterior testicular ducts of squamates transport sperm from the seminiferous tubules to the ductus deferens. These ducts consist of the rete testis, ductuli efferentes, and ductus epididymis. Many histological and a few ultrastructural studies of the squamate reproductive tract exist, but none concern the Hydrophiidae, the sea snakes and sea kraits. In this study, we describe the anterior testicular ducts of six species of hydrophiid snakes as well as representatives from the Elapidae, Homolapsidae, Leptotyphlopidae, and Uropeltidae. In addition, we examine the ultrastructure of these ducts in the yellow-bellied Sea Snake, Pelamis platurus, only the third such study on snakes. The anterior testicular ducts are similar in histology in all species examined. The rete testis is simple squamous or cuboidal epithelium and transports sperm from the seminiferous tubules to the ductuli efferentes in the extratesticular epididymal sheath. The ductuli efferentes are branched, convoluted tubules composed of simple cuboidal, ciliated epithelium, and many species possess periodic acid-Schiff+ granules in the cytoplasm. The ductus epididymis at the light microscopy level appears composed of pseudostratified columnar epithelium. At the ultrastructural level, the rete testis and ductuli efferentes of P. platurus possess numerous small coated vesicles and lack secretory vacuoles. Apocrine blebs in the ductuli efferentes, however, indicate secretory activity, possibly by a constitutive pathway. Ultrastructure reveals three types of cells in the ductus epididymis of P. platurus: columnar principal cells, squamous basal cells, and mitochondria-rich apical cells. This is the first report of apical cells in a snake. In addition, occasional principal cells possess a single cilium, which has not been reported in reptiles previously but is known in some birds. Finally, the ductus epididymis of P. platurus differs from other snakes that have been studied in possession of apical, biphasic
Chang, C. C.; Chen, T. F.; Chuang, Sing-Tai
1. α-Bungarotoxin isolated from the venom of Bungarus multicinctus was acetylated with [3H] acetic anhydride and N-[3H] acetyl imidazole. Tri-N-acetyl and hexa-N-acetyl derivatives were obtained from the former, and N,O-di, N,N,O-tri and N,N,N,O-tetraacetyl derivatives from the latter reaction, respectively. 2. There were parallel decreases in both neuromuscular blocking action in the phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation of rats and depression of acetylcholine response of the rectus abdominis muscle of frogs with increased acetylation. Also, a parallel but greater decrease of toxicity in mice was found. 3. N,O-Di and N,N,O-triacetyl toxins were localized mostly in the motor endplate region of the rat diaphragm, whereas a slight nonspecific binding along the whole muscle fibre in addition to the peak in the endplate region was observed with N,N,N,O-tetraacetyl and tri-N-acetyl toxins. In contrast, there was a marked nonspecific binding with hexa-N-acetyl toxin and no peak was observed at the endplate zone. 4. The specific binding was saturable and irreversible. The number of toxin-receptive sites in one endplate was 1·9-2·2 × 107 for all of the labelled toxins irrespective of their potency. 5. (+)-Tubocurarine protected effectively against the binding as well as the irreversible neuromuscular blocking effect of the toxins. 6. Denervation of the rat diaphragm caused an increase of toxin-receptive sites beginning from the endplate zone at 1-2 days and then along the whole muscle fibre, reaching the maximum at about 18 days. The total receptive sites increased by about 30-fold. 7. The significance of the findings is discussed and it is concluded that N,O-di and N,N,O-tri-[3H] acetyl α-bungarotoxins are specific and irreversible labelling agents for the cholinergic receptors of skeletal muscle. PMID:4717015
Liu, Kuang-Kai; Chen, Mei-Fang; Chen, Po-Yi; Lee, Tony J. F.; Cheng, Chia-Liang; Chang, Chia-Ching; Ho, Yen-Peng; Chao, Jui-I.
Biological molecules conjugating with nanoparticles are valuable for applications including bio-imaging, bio-detection, and bio-sensing. Nanometer-sized diamond particles have excellent electronic and chemical properties for bio-conjugation. In this study, we manipulated the carboxyl group produced on the surface of nanodiamond (carboxylated nanodiamond, cND) for conjugating with alpha-bungarotoxin (α-BTX), a neurotoxin derived from Bungarus multicinctus with specific blockade of alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR). The electrostatic binding of cND-α-BTX was mediated by the negative charge of the cND and the positive charge of the α-BTX in physiological pH conditions. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel analysis and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI/TOF-MS) spectra displayed that α-BTX proteins were conjugated with cND particles via non-covalent bindings. The green fluorescence of the cND particles combining with the red fluorescence of tetramethylrhodamine-labeled α-BTX presented a yellow color at the same location, which indicated that α-BTX proteins were conjugated with cND particles. Xenopus laevis's oocytes expressed the human α7-nAChR proteins by microinjection with α7-nAChR mRNA. The cND-α-BTX complexes were bound to α7-nAChR locating on the cell membrane of oocytes and human lung A549 cancer cells analyzed by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The choline-evoked α7-nAChR-mediated inward currents of the oocytes were blocked by cND-α-BTX complexes in a concentration-dependent manner using two-electrode voltage-clamp recording. Furthermore, the fluorescence intensity of cND-α-BTX binding on A549 cells could be quantified by flow cytometry. These results indicate that cND-conjugated α-BTX still preserves its biological activity in blocking the function of α7-nAChR, and provide a visual system showing the binding of α-BTX to α7-nAChR.
Liu, Kuang-Kai; Chen, Mei-Fang; Chen, Po-Yi; Lee, Tony J F; Cheng, Chia-Liang; Chang, Chia-Ching; Ho, Yen-Peng; Chao, Jui-I
Biological molecules conjugating with nanoparticles are valuable for applications including bio-imaging, bio-detection, and bio-sensing. Nanometer-sized diamond particles have excellent electronic and chemical properties for bio-conjugation. In this study, we manipulated the carboxyl group produced on the surface of nanodiamond (carboxylated nanodiamond, cND) for conjugating with alpha-bungarotoxin (α-BTX), a neurotoxin derived from Bungarus multicinctus with specific blockade of alpha7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7-nAChR). The electrostatic binding of cND-α-BTX was mediated by the negative charge of the cND and the positive charge of the α-BTX in physiological pH conditions. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel analysis and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI/TOF-MS) spectra displayed that α-BTX proteins were conjugated with cND particles via non-covalent bindings. The green fluorescence of the cND particles combining with the red fluorescence of tetramethylrhodamine-labeled α-BTX presented a yellow color at the same location, which indicated that α-BTX proteins were conjugated with cND particles. Xenopus laevis's oocytes expressed the human α7-nAChR proteins by microinjection with α7-nAChR mRNA. The cND-α-BTX complexes were bound to α7-nAChR locating on the cell membrane of oocytes and human lung A549 cancer cells analyzed by laser scanning confocal microscopy. The choline-evoked α7-nAChR-mediated inward currents of the oocytes were blocked by cND-α-BTX complexes in a concentration-dependent manner using two-electrode voltage-clamp recording. Furthermore, the fluorescence intensity of cND-α-BTX binding on A549 cells could be quantified by flow cytometry. These results indicate that cND-conjugated α-BTX still preserves its biological activity in blocking the function of α7-nAChR, and provide a visual system showing the binding of α-BTX to α7-nAChR.
Nautiyal, C. S.; Hegde, S. V.; van Berkum, P.
The pigeon pea strains of Bradyrhizobium CC-1, CC-8, UASGR(S), and F4 were evaluated for nodulation, effectiveness for N2 fixation, and H2 oxidation with homologous and nonhomologous host plants. Strain CC-1 nodulated Macroptilium atropurpureum, Vigna unguiculata, Glycine max, and G. soja but did not nodulate Pisum sativum, Phaseolus vulgaris, Trigonella foenum-graecum, and Trifolium repens. Strain F4 nodulated G. max cv. Peking and PI 434937 (Malayan), but the symbioses formed were poor. Similarly, G. max cv. Peking, cv. Bragg, PI 434937, PR 13-28-2-8-7, and HM-1 were nodulated by strain CC-1, and symbioses were also poor. G. max cv. Williams and cv. Clark were not nodulated. H2 uptake activity was expressed with pigeon pea and cowpea, but not with soybean. G. max cv. Bragg grown in Bangalore, India, in local soil not previously exposed to Bradyrhizobium japonicum formed nodules with indigenous Bradyrhizobium spp. Six randomly chosen isolates, each originating from a different nodule, formed effective symbioses with pigeon pea host ICPL-407, nodulated PR 13-28-2-8-7 soybean forming moderately effective symbioses, and did not nodulate Williams soybean. These results indicate the six isolates to be pigeon pea strains although they originated from soybean nodules. Host-determined nodulation of soybean by pigeon pea Bradyrhizobium spp. may depend upon the ancestral backgrounds of the cultivars. The poor symbioses formed by the pigeon pea strains with soybean indicate that this crop should be inoculated with B. japonicum for its cultivation in soils containing only pigeon pea Bradyrhizobium spp. PMID:16347542
Nejat, Naghmeh; Cahill, David M; Vadamalai, Ganesan; Ziemann, Mark; Rookes, James; Naderali, Neda
Invasive phytoplasmas wreak havoc on coconut palms worldwide, leading to high loss of income, food insecurity and extreme poverty of farmers in producing countries. Phytoplasmas as strictly biotrophic insect-transmitted bacterial pathogens instigate distinct changes in developmental processes and defence responses of the infected plants and manipulate plants to their own advantage; however, little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying host-phytoplasma interactions. Further, phytoplasma-mediated transcriptional alterations in coconut palm genes have not yet been identified. This study evaluated the whole transcriptome profiles of naturally infected leaves of Cocos nucifera ecotype Malayan Red Dwarf in response to yellow decline phytoplasma from group 16SrXIV, using RNA-Seq technique. Transcriptomics-based analysis reported here identified genes involved in coconut innate immunity. The number of down-regulated genes in response to phytoplasma infection exceeded the number of genes up-regulated. Of the 39,873 differentially expressed unigenes, 21,860 unigenes were suppressed and 18,013 were induced following infection. Comparative analysis revealed that genes associated with defence signalling against biotic stimuli were significantly overexpressed in phytoplasma-infected leaves versus healthy coconut leaves. Genes involving cell rescue and defence, cellular transport, oxidative stress, hormone stimulus and metabolism, photosynthesis reduction, transcription and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites were differentially represented. Our transcriptome analysis unveiled a core set of genes associated with defence of coconut in response to phytoplasma attack, although several novel defence response candidate genes with unknown function have also been identified. This study constitutes valuable sequence resource for uncovering the resistance genes and/or susceptibility genes which can be used as genetic tools in disease resistance breeding.
Fuchs, Jérôme; Pons, Jean-Marc
The pied woodpecker assemblage historically included the widespread genera Picoides and Dendrocopos. The assignment of species to either of these two genera has for long puzzled systematists due to their overall plumage similarity. Recent molecular studies not only suggested that both of these genera are not monophyletic, but also that four other genera, the African Dendropicos the South American Veniliornis and two Asian monospecific genera (Hypopicus and Sapheopipo) are nested within the Dendrocopos-Picoides clade. Yet, our current understanding of the phylogeny and taxonomy of this group is still very partial because several distinctive Old World species that have been assigned to different genera throughout their taxonomic history have not been sampled yet. Here, using DNA sequence data gathered from four loci, we reconstructed a species level phylogeny of the Indo-Malayan and Palearctic Pied Woodpeckers to understand the phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history of the Eurasian species with respect to African and New World lineages. Our phylogenetic analyses revealed nine strongly supported clades within the Dendropicini. Noticeably, two species that had disputed affinities at the genus level clustered in clades with species from the same biogeographical region: the Brown-backed Woodpecker (D. obsoletus) is nested in Dendropicos and the Arabian Woodpecker (D. dorae) is related to two Eurasian species, the Brown-fronted (D. auriceps) and Middle-spotted woodpeckers (D. medius). The nine clades have a strong biogeographic component and very few dispersal event among bioregions occurred. For example, the African species formed a clade, suggesting that only one dispersal event is needed to explain the presence of Dendropicini in Africa. Based on our phylogenetic results, we propose a new classification of the Dendropicini that recognizes nine genera.
Stattersfield, Alison J; Bennun, Leon A; Shutes, Sue M; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Baillie, Jonathan E. M; Stuart, Simon N; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Mace, Georgina M
The rapid destruction of the planet's biodiversity has prompted the nations of the world to set a target of achieving a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010. However, we do not yet have an adequate way of monitoring progress towards achieving this target. Here we present a method for producing indices based on the IUCN Red List to chart the overall threat status (projected relative extinction risk) of all the world's bird species from 1988 to 2004. Red List Indices (RLIs) are based on the number of species in each Red List category, and on the number changing categories between assessments as a result of genuine improvement or deterioration in status. The RLI for all bird species shows that their overall threat status has continued to deteriorate since 1988. Disaggregated indices show that deteriorations have occurred worldwide and in all major ecosystems, but with particularly steep declines in the indices for Indo-Malayan birds (driven by intensifying deforestation of the Sundaic lowlands) and for albatrosses and petrels (driven by incidental mortality in commercial longline fisheries). RLIs complement indicators based on species population trends and habitat extent for quantifying global trends in the status of biodiversity. Their main weaknesses are that the resolution of status changes is fairly coarse and that delays may occur before some status changes are detected. Their greatest strength is that they are based on information from nearly all species in a taxonomic group worldwide, rather than a potentially biased subset. At present, suitable data are only available for birds, but indices for other taxonomic groups are in development, as is a sampled index based on a stratified sample from all major taxonomic groups. PMID:15510230
The snake venom, rhodocytin, from the Malayan viper, Calloselasma rhodostoma, and the endogenous podoplanin are identified as ligands for the C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2). The snakebites caused by Calloselasma rhodostoma cause a local reaction with swelling, bleeding and eventually necrosis, together with a systemic effect on blood coagulation with distant bleedings that can occur in many different organs. This clinical picture suggests that toxins in the venom have effects on endothelial cells and vessel permeability, extravasation and, possibly, activation of immunocompetent cells, as well as effects on platelets and the coagulation cascade. Based on the available biological studies, it seems likely that ligation of CLEC-2 contributes to local extravasation, inflammation and, possibly, local necrosis, due to microthrombi and ischemia, whereas other toxins may be more important for the distant hemorrhagic complications. However, the venom contains several toxins and both local, as well as distant, symptoms are probably complex reactions that cannot be explained by the effects of rhodocytin and CLEC-2 alone. The in vivo reactions to rhodocytin are thus examples of toxin-induced crosstalk between coagulation (platelets), endothelium and inflammation (immunocompetent cells). Very few studies have addressed this crosstalk as a part of the pathogenesis behind local and systemic reactions to Calloselasma rhodostoma bites. The author suggests that detailed biological studies based on an up-to-date methodology of local and systemic reactions to Calloselasma rhodostoma bites should be used as a hypothesis-generating basis for future functional studies of the CLEC-2 receptor. It will not be possible to study the effects of purified toxins in humans, but the development of animal models (e.g., cutaneous injections of rhodocytin to mimic snakebites) would supplement studies in humans. PMID:23594438
Smales, L R
Malayan, and Western Pacific Regions, including the 3 found in Australia, may reflect a degree of evolutionary affinity.
Butchart, Stuart H M; Stattersfield, Alison J; Bennun, Leon A; Shutes, Sue M; Akçakaya, H Resit; Baillie, Jonathan E M; Stuart, Simon N; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Mace, Georgina M
The rapid destruction of the planet's biodiversity has prompted the nations of the world to set a target of achieving a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010. However, we do not yet have an adequate way of monitoring progress towards achieving this target. Here we present a method for producing indices based on the IUCN Red List to chart the overall threat status (projected relative extinction risk) of all the world's bird species from 1988 to 2004. Red List Indices (RLIs) are based on the number of species in each Red List category, and on the number changing categories between assessments as a result of genuine improvement or deterioration in status. The RLI for all bird species shows that their overall threat status has continued to deteriorate since 1988. Disaggregated indices show that deteriorations have occurred worldwide and in all major ecosystems, but with particularly steep declines in the indices for Indo-Malayan birds (driven by intensifying deforestation of the Sundaic lowlands) and for albatrosses and petrels (driven by incidental mortality in commercial longline fisheries). RLIs complement indicators based on species population trends and habitat extent for quantifying global trends in the status of biodiversity. Their main weaknesses are that the resolution of status changes is fairly coarse and that delays may occur before some status changes are detected. Their greatest strength is that they are based on information from nearly all species in a taxonomic group worldwide, rather than a potentially biased subset. At present, suitable data are only available for birds, but indices for other taxonomic groups are in development, as is a sampled index based on a stratified sample from all major taxonomic groups.
Bain, Odile; Junker, Kerstin
Trichospirura aethiopica n. sp. is described from unidentified tubular structures (pancreatic ducts?) near the stomach of the murid Malacomys longipes Milne-Edwards, 1877 in Gabon. The extremely long and narrow buccal capsule, posterior position of the vulva, unequal spicules and absence of caudal alae readily identified the specimens as belonging to Trichospirura Smith & Chitwood, 1967, but a combination of several characters distinguished them from the described species in this genus. Males of the new species are characterized by the absence of precloacal papillae, the presence of four pairs of postcloacal papillae and a left spicule length of 165–200 μm. With only five nominal and one unnamed species, the host range of Trichospirura extends into the Neotropical, Indo-Malayan and Ethiopian Realms and comprises three classes of vertebrates, Amphibia, Reptilia and Mammalia, suggesting a larger species diversity than that currently recorded. Detection is difficult as predilection sites are often outside the gut lumen. It was noted that, irrespective of their geographic origin, species from mammals share certain characters (shorter left spicule and absence of precloacal papillae) that oppose them to those from amphibians and reptiles. A hypothesis for the origin of Trichospirura in mammals through a remote host-switching event in tupaiids in southern Asia, likely facilitated by the intermediate hosts, and for their subsequent migration to the Ethiopian and finally Neotropical Realm is proposed. Regarding the two species from anurans and saurians in the Antilles, one or two host-switching events are considered equally possible, based on morphological characters. PMID:23369432
Groppo, Milton; Kallunki, Jacquelyn A.; Pirani, José Rubens; Antonelli, Alexandre
Abstract The position of the plant genus Pitavia within an infrafamilial phylogeny of Rutaceae (rue, or orange family) was investigated with the use of two non-coding regions from cpDNA, the trnL-trnF region and the rps16 intron. The only species of the genus, Pitavia punctata Molina, is restricted to the temperate forests of the Coastal Cordillera of Central-Southern Chile and threatened by loss of habitat. The genus traditionally has been treated as part of tribe Zanthoxyleae (subfamily Rutoideae) where it constitutes the monogeneric tribe Pitaviinae. This tribe and genus are characterized by fruits of 1 to 4 fleshy drupelets, unlike the dehiscent fruits typical of the subfamily. Fifty-five taxa of Rutaceae, representing 53 genera (nearly one-third of those in the family) and all subfamilies, tribes, and almost all subtribes of the family were included. Parsimony and Bayesian inference were used to infer the phylogeny; six taxa of Meliaceae, Sapindaceae, and Simaroubaceae, all members of Sapindales, were also used as out-groups. Results from both analyses were congruent and showed Pitavia as sister to Flindersia and Lunasia, both genera with species scattered through Australia, Philippines, Moluccas, New Guinea and the Malayan region, and phylogenetically far from other Neotropical Rutaceae, such as the Galipeinae (Galipeeae, Rutoideae) and Pteleinae (Toddalieae, former Toddalioideae). Additionally, a new circumscription of the subfamilies of Rutaceae is presented and discussed. Only two subfamilies (both monophyletic) are recognized: Cneoroideae (including Dictyolomatoideae, Spathelioideae, Cneoraceae, and Ptaeroxylaceae) and Rutoideae (including not only traditional Rutoideae but also Aurantioideae, Flindersioideae, and Toddalioideae). As a consequence, Aurantioideae (Citrus and allies) is reduced to tribal rank as Aurantieae. PMID:23717188
Sisunandar; Sopade, Peter A; Samosir, Yohannes M S; Rival, Alain; Adkins, Steve W
Cryopreservation of coconut can be used as a strategy to back up the establishment of living collections which are expensive to maintain and are under constant threat from biotic and abiotic factors. Unfortunately, cryopreservation protocols still need to be developed that are capable of producing a sizeable number of field-grown plants. Therefore, we report on the development of an improved cryopreservation protocol which can be used on a wide range of coconut cultivars. The cryopreservation of zygotic embryos and their recovery to soil-growing plants was achieved through the application of four optimised steps viz.: (i) rapid dehydration; (ii) rapid cooling; (iii) rapid warming and recovery in vitro and (iv) acclimatization and soil-supported growth. The thermal properties of water within the embryos were monitored using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) in order to ensure that the freezable component was kept to a minimum. The feasibility of the protocol was assessed using the Malayan Yellow Dwarf (MYD) cultivar in Australia and then tested on a range of cultivars which were freshly harvested and studied in Indonesia. The most efficient protocol was one based on an 8-h rapid dehydration step followed by rapid cooling step. Best recovery percentages were obtained when a rapid warming step and an optimised in vitro culture step were used. Following this protocol, 20% (when cryopreserved 12 days after harvesting) and 40% (when cryopreserved at the time of harvest) of all MYD embryos cryopreserved could be returned to normal seedlings growing in soil. DSC showed that this protocol induced a drop in embryo fresh weight to 19% and significantly reduced the amount of water remaining that could produce ice crystals (0.1%). Of the 20 cultivars tested, 16 were found to produce between 10% and 40% normal seedlings while four cultivars generated between 0% and 10% normal seedlings after cryopreservation. This new protocol is applicable to a wide range of coconut
Vester, Brittany M; Beloshapka, Alison N; Middelbos, Ingmar S; Burke, Sarah L; Dikeman, Cheryl L; Simmons, Lee G; Swanson, Kelly S
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of feeding commercially available beef- and horse-based diets on nutrient digestibility and fecal characteristics of large captive exotic felids and domestic cats. Four species of large exotic felids including cheetahs, Malayan tigers, jaguars, and Amur tigers, and domestic cats were utilized in a crossover design. Raw meat diets included a beef-based diet (57% protein; 28% fat) and a horse-based diet (51% protein; 30% fat). All cats were acclimated to the diet for 16 days followed by a 4 day collection period, where total feces, including one fresh sample, were collected. All feces were scored on collection. Intake did not differ due to diet, but fecal output was greater when cats consumed the horse-based diet. Total tract apparent dry matter (DM) digestibility was higher (P<0.05) and organic matter (OM) and crude protein (CP) digestibilities were lower (P<0.05) when cats were fed the beef-based diet compared with the horse-based diet. CP digestibility was similar in domestic cats and cheetahs, and greater (P<0.05) than Amur tigers. Fecal scores were lower and fecal DM was greater (P<0.05) when cats consumed the horse-based diet compared with the beef-based diet. Domestic cats had lower (P<0.05) fecal ammonia concentrations compared with all other species. Fecal ammonia concentrations were lowest (P<0.05) when cats were fed the horse-based diet. Fecal total short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), branched-chain fatty acid (BCFA), and butyrate concentrations were higher (P<0.05) when cats consumed the beef-based diet. Our results suggest that the domestic cat serves as an appropriate model for large exotic felid species, but differences among the species exist. Decreased nutrient digestibility by tigers and jaguars should be considered when developing feeding recommendations for these species based on domestic cat data.
Zhang, Qiyong; Cai, Zeping; Xu, Xucai
This paper deals with population identification of Parargyrops edita Tanaka. Samples of spawning stocks were collected from Niushan-Penghu, Minnan-Taiwan shoal (Southern Fujian-Taiwan shoal) and Beibu Gulf during the spawning period 1981 1982. Morphological characters, both meristic and morphometric, are counted and measured respectively. The stock concept and intraspecific categories have been discussed. Some meristic characters as the number of left or right ventral fin spine, right ventral fin rays and abdominal vertebrae of this fish may be constant, others as the numbers of left or right pectoral fin rays and gill-rakers may have obvious geographical variation. Morphological characters have not attained the level of subspecific distinctness, no sub-species could be found among these stocks by means of coefficient of difference (C.D.). Basing upon the comparative analysis of M diff, the authors consider that stocks of Minnan-Taiwan shoal and Niushan-Penghu belong to the same local population, Taiwan Strait local population. By means of the discriminant function analysis and linear relationship analysis, statistical differences will be found to exist in meristic characters between the stock of Minnan-Taiwan shoal and that of Niushan-Penghu, so that the two are virtually different stocks or subpopulations. The stock of Beibu Gulf belongs to another called the Beibu Gulf local population. These two local populations are of allopatric distribution and show statistically significant difference between themselves. Among these stocks, the Minnan-Taiwan shoal stock is strongly influenced by the much more complicated environmental conditions of the mixed boundary region of the subtropical Sino-Japanese Subregion in the north and the tropical Indo-Malayan Subregion in the south. Thus its coefficient of variability (C.V.) is greater than those of the other two in the mean values of various meristic characters.
Fuchs, Jérôme; Pons, Jean-Marc; Bowie, Rauri C K
The dynamics of species accumulation of African terrestrial vertebrates over time remains underexplored in comparison with those in the New World, despite Africa hosting about 25% of the world's avian diversity. This lack of knowledge hampers our understanding of the fundamental processes that drive biodiversity and the dynamics of speciation. To begin to address this gap, we reconstructed species-level phylogenies of two unrelated clades of African woodpeckers (12 species of Geocolaptes/Campethera and 13 species of Chloropicus/Mesopicos/Dendropicos/Ipophilus) that diverged from their closest Indo-Malayan relatives at similar times. Our results demonstrate that the current taxonomy is misleading: three (Campethera, Dendropicos and Mesopicos) out of four polytpic genera/subgenera are not monophyletic. Our results also show that current estimates of diversity at the species level are significantly understated, as up to 18 species for the 'Campethera clade' and 19 for the 'Dendropicos clade' could be recognized. The first splits within both clades involve species that are largely restricted to the Guineo-Congolian biogeographic regions, followed by later adaptations to particular habitats (forest versus savannah) and colonization of other regions (e.g. Southern Africa), each of which occurred multiple times in both clades. Assuming a conservative species delimitation scheme, our results indicate that diversification rates are decreasing through time for both clades. Applying a more extreme species recognition scheme (18 and 19 species for the Campethera and Dendropicos clades, respectively), our results support a decrease in diversification rates only for the Dendropicos clade and thus underline the importance of the number of species included in our diversification analyses. Greater ecological diversity of the Campethera clade where multiple species exhibit either an arboreal or terrestrial foraging strategy might explain the constant diversification rates through
Matsuura, Hiroyuki; Nishida, Shuhei; Nishikawa, Jun
The relationships between water-column structure, species diversity and patterns of vertical distribution were examined in the copepod genus Euaugaptilus in the Sulu and Celebes Seas. Euaugaptilus is among the most species-rich single genus of all calanoid copepods and is characterized by the specialized 'button setae' in their mouth appendages. The Sulu Sea is a semi-enclosed equatorial basin located in the center of the Indo-Malayan Archipelago, rimmed by sills shallower than 420 m, and characterized by homogeneous, warm water (ca. 10 °C) from the mesopelagic zone to the sea bottom of ca. 5000 m, while the adjacent Celebes Sea is of more typical oceanic conditions. Plankton samples were collected at two stations both day and night from 16 discrete layers in the upper 1000 m. A total of 29 species of Euaugaptilus were collected in the Celebes Sea, which is among the largest numbers for the genus so far reported from a single restricted sea area, but only 8 species were collected in the Sulu Sea. These 8 species occurred in the upper mesopelagic zone in the Celebes Sea, while in the Sulu Sea many of them extended their ranges and/or shifted into deeper zones. An additional 15 net tows to depths deeper than 1000 m added 6 species from the Celebes Sea and 8 species from the Sulu Sea, with all the deep Sulu species, except E. hyperboreus, being found above 1000 m in the Celebes Sea. This drastic reduction of species number in the Sulu Sea is attributed to the homogenous high-temperature deep water, which may have prevented settlement of many deep-water species from outside areas and co-existence of species sharing similar ecological niches. The species in the Sulu Sea showed discrete vertical distribution patterns according to the species or species groups, despite the essential absence of vertical gradients of temperature and salinity in the mesopelagic zone. The species pairs that showed similar vertical distributions in the Sulu Sea showed marked differences in
From epidemiological point of view, Indonesia is an extremely interesting area owing its insular structure and ecological, anthropological, cultural and economical diversity. As everywhere, vector-borne diseases are the result of complex and variable epidemiological systems, subject both to biogeographical rules and human activity. Two main arboviroses are present in Indonesia: dengue and Japanese encephalitis. Dengue appears as an endemoepidemic disease and is mostly circumscribed to urban areas. Haemorrhagic cases were first observed in 1968; since then, the incidence has been constantly increasing and the disease is now one of the principal causes of child lethality. Japanese encephalitis is a rural endemic disease transmitted by rice-field mosquitoes; its incidence remains relatively low since pigs, which are usual link-hosts for the virus, are uncommon in this mainly Muslem country. Human clinical cases are recorded from non-Muslem islands such as Bali or Irian Jaya which raises the question of immunisation for travellers. Recently, Japanese encephalitis was observed on east of the Wallace line which had been considered as the eastern cut-off line. Malaria is common throughout the country, Plasmodium vivax being the most frequent species. Some of the Anopheline vectors are related to brackish water as are coastal species; others have been favoured by rice growing. Several species bite and rest outdoors, rendering control measures complex. Moreover, chloroquine resistance is increasing in both P. falciparum and P. vivax. All three filaria species responsible for human lymphatic filariasis exist in Indonesia. Bancroft filariasis is present in rather limited foci on most of the islands; malayan filariasis is very prevalent on many islands, mostly in coastal areas, and Timor filariasis exist only on a few small islands. These parasitic diseases are cumulative and do not practically endanger the health of travellers. In the past, plague was common on Java island
Pitchappan, R M; Balakrishnan, K; Sudarsen, V; Brahmajothi, V; Mahendran, V; Amalraj, S; Santhakumari, R; Vijayakumar, K; Sivalingam, P; Ramasamy, S
Two endogamous tribes of Tamil Nadu, South India, the Irula of the Nilgiri hills and the Malayali of the Shevroy hills, were studied for their sociobiology and HLA polymorphism. For sociobiological studies 166 marriages in the Irula and 368 marriages in the Malayali were recorded. The number and spatial distribution of patrilineal clans and their marriageable range (number of clans from which the brides came) were studied. Eight clans in the Irula and 16 clans in the Malayali were identified. Of these the Kuppar of the Irula and the Malayan of Malayali were the largest clans, and both of them had the greatest marriageable range. The numerical strength and the resultant spatial distribution correlated well with the marriageable range. HLA-A, B, and DR polymorphism was studied on 191 Irula and 42 Malayali following standard procedures. HLA typing revealed high frequencies (> 10%) of alleles HLA-A2, A9, A11, B17, B35, B40, DR2, and DR7 in both tribes, but the Irula had elevated HLA-A10, B8, and DR8 frequencies and the Malayali had elevated HLA-A31, B7, DR4, and DR5 frequencies. Two-locus haplotypes A10-B8 and A2-B5 were identified in both tribes, but A11-B40 and A2-B53 were present only in the Irula and A33-B44 and B15-DR6 were present only in the Malayali. The sociobiology of the Irula was correlated to the HLA genetic profile. The Irula sample was stratified based on clan and HLA data; The Kuppar clan was closer to the Kalkatti, the second largest clan, than to the Pungar and the Sambar clans. Thus the numerical strength and spatial distribution of various exogamous clans, presumably a result of migration during different periods of history, is reflected in the marriageable range and thus in the genetic distance. In studying HLA or any other genetic polymorphism of an endogamous tribe or caste, one needs to consider the social structure, spatial distribution, and marriageable range.
Kerr, K R; Beloshapka, A N; Morris, C L; Parsons, C M; Burke, S L; Utterback, P L; Swanson, K S
Our objective was to evaluate raw meat diets for captive exotic and domestic carnivores containing traditional and alternative raw meat sources, specifically, beef trimmings, bison trimmings, elk muscle meat, and horse trimmings. We aimed to examine diet composition and protein quality; apparent total tract energy and macronutrient digestibility in domestic cats, African wildcats, jaguars, and Malayan tigers; and ME and fecal fermentative end-products in domestic cats. Because of variation in the meat sources, dietary proximate, AA, and long-chain fatty acid composition were variable. Our analyses indicated that all diets had essential fatty acid deficiencies, and the elk diet (i.e., trimmed muscle meat) was deficient in total fat. Standardized AA digestibilities measured using the cecectomized rooster assay were high (>87%). Using the NRC minimum requirements for the growth of kittens, the first limiting AA of all diets was the combined requirement of Met and Cys (AA score: 81 to 95; protein digestibility corrected AA score: 75 to 90). All diets were highly digestible (88 to 89% OM digestibility). There was no effect of diet or felid species on DM (85 to 87%), OM, and GE (90 to 91%) digestibilities. Apparent CP digestibility was greater (P≤0.05) in cats fed elk (97%) compared with those fed bison (96%), and greater (P≤0.05) in wildcats (97%) and domestic cats (97%) compared with tigers (95%). The diet and species interaction (P≤0.05) was observed for apparent fat digestibility. In domestic cats, the fresh fecal pH and proportions of acetate and butyrate were altered (P≤0.05) due to diet. Diet also affected (P≤0.05) fresh fecal concentrations of total branched-chain fatty acids, valerate, and Lactobacillus genus. In conclusion, although the raw meat diets were highly digestible, because of variation in raw meat sources the nutrient composition of the diets was variable. Thus, compositional analysis of raw meat sources is necessary for proper diet
Ratanabanangkoon, Kavi; Tan, Kae Yi; Eursakun, Sukanya; Tan, Choo Hock; Simsiriwong, Pavinee; Pamornsakda, Teeraporn; Wiriyarat, Witthawat; Klinpayom, Chaiya; Tan, Nget Hong
Snakebite envenomation is a serious medical problem in many tropical developing countries and was considered by WHO as a neglected tropical disease. Antivenom (AV), the rational and most effective treatment modality, is either unaffordable and/or unavailable in many affected countries. Moreover, each AV is specific to only one (monospecific) or a few (polyspecific) snake venoms. This demands that each country to prepare AV against its local snake venoms, which is often not feasible. Preparation of a 'pan-specific' AV against many snakes over a wide geographical area in some countries/regions has not been possible. If a 'pan-specific' AV effective against a variety of snakes from many countries could be prepared, it could be produced economically in large volume for use in many countries and save many lives. The aim of this study was to produce a pan-specific antiserum effective against major medically important elapids in Asia. The strategy was to use toxin fractions (TFs) of the venoms in place of crude venoms in order to reduce the number of antigens the horses were exposed to. This enabled inclusion of a greater variety of elapid venoms in the immunogen mix, thus exposing the horse immune system to a diverse repertoire of toxin epitopes, and gave rise to antiserum with wide paraspecificity against elapid venoms. Twelve venom samples from six medically important elapid snakes (4 Naja spp. and 2 Bungarus spp.) were collected from 12 regions/countries in Asia. Nine of these 12 venoms were ultra-filtered to remove high molecular weight, non-toxic and highly immunogenic proteins. The remaining 3 venoms were not ultra-filtered due to limited amounts available. The 9 toxin fractions (TFs) together with the 3 crude venoms were emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant and used to immunize 3 horses using a low dose, low volume, multisite immunization protocol. The horse antisera were assayed by ELISA and by in vivo lethality neutralization in mice. The findings were: a
Ratanabanangkoon, Kavi; Tan, Kae Yi; Eursakun, Sukanya; Tan, Choo Hock; Simsiriwong, Pavinee; Pamornsakda, Teeraporn; Wiriyarat, Witthawat; Klinpayom, Chaiya; Tan, Nget Hong
Snakebite envenomation is a serious medical problem in many tropical developing countries and was considered by WHO as a neglected tropical disease. Antivenom (AV), the rational and most effective treatment modality, is either unaffordable and/or unavailable in many affected countries. Moreover, each AV is specific to only one (monospecific) or a few (polyspecific) snake venoms. This demands that each country to prepare AV against its local snake venoms, which is often not feasible. Preparation of a ‘pan-specific’ AV against many snakes over a wide geographical area in some countries/regions has not been possible. If a ‘pan-specific’ AV effective against a variety of snakes from many countries could be prepared, it could be produced economically in large volume for use in many countries and save many lives. The aim of this study was to produce a pan-specific antiserum effective against major medically important elapids in Asia. The strategy was to use toxin fractions (TFs) of the venoms in place of crude venoms in order to reduce the number of antigens the horses were exposed to. This enabled inclusion of a greater variety of elapid venoms in the immunogen mix, thus exposing the horse immune system to a diverse repertoire of toxin epitopes, and gave rise to antiserum with wide paraspecificity against elapid venoms. Twelve venom samples from six medically important elapid snakes (4 Naja spp. and 2 Bungarus spp.) were collected from 12 regions/countries in Asia. Nine of these 12 venoms were ultra-filtered to remove high molecular weight, non-toxic and highly immunogenic proteins. The remaining 3 venoms were not ultra-filtered due to limited amounts available. The 9 toxin fractions (TFs) together with the 3 crude venoms were emulsified in complete Freund’s adjuvant and used to immunize 3 horses using a low dose, low volume, multisite immunization protocol. The horse antisera were assayed by ELISA and by in vivo lethality neutralization in mice. The findings
van Huijgevoort, Marjolein; van Loon, Anne; te Brake, Bram; Dijksma, Roel
occurrence of mangrove species common in Southeast Asia. This classification was then tested for several sites, natural and disturbed, in Indonesia. Validation of the classification in the natural sites showed that classes derived from the classification were very similar to the expected classes based on the observed vegetation for the different sites. Application of the classification to disturbed sites learned that within abandoned shrimp ponds large differences exist in hydrological suitability for mangrove species. Therefore, the classification can give important information about which species to plant at which location if reforestation is desired, but also about how the restore the hydrology to natural conditions to improve natural regeneration. Since the hydrological classification needs relatively little data, i.e. good results can already be obtained using water levels for a period of only one tidal cycle, it can be a very useful tool in improving the effectiveness of mangrove rehabilitation projects. Watson, J.G., 1928. Mangrove forests of the Malay Peninsula. Malayan Forest Records No. 6, Forest Department, Federated Malay States, Kuala Lumpur.
Kim, Hee Kwan; Seo, Byong Seol
Since Senoo and Lincicome (1951) first have brought up for attention to the existence of malayan filariasis in Korea, several reports on the epidemiological investigations of the disease had already been made by many workers. However it is little known what kind of mosquitoes are involved as the major vectors in main endemic areas. In Cheju-Do, known as one of main endemic areas in Korea, Aedes togoi is most likely suspected as an important vector because of their abundant collections and vigorous biting attack to human. As a part of studies on filariasis in Korea, an essential preliminary is to determiine whether this mosquito, Aedes togoi collected in the above areas is receptive to the microfilariae of B. malayi. Therefore, the present paper is concerned chiefly with the development of B. malayi in A. togoi. It is also hoped that the studies on the larval morphology in the mosquito host and the structure of microfilariae will provide the base line data required for later investigation of the different vector hosts. The studies were summarized as follows: 1)The measurements of the fixed points in percentage of the body length of microfilariae from the Giemsa stained thick films were made, and they showed that cephalic space was 8 %,cephalic space length to width, 1.3:1, nerve ring, 21.2 %, excretory pore, 30.8 %, excretory cell, 36.5 %, R1 cell, 66. 5 %, anus 80.4 % and body length 202 micro(l81-228 micro) maximun width 7.6 micro. 2)A study on the development of microfilaria malayi in the mosquito, Aedes togoi was carried out at room temperature (24-30 degrees C). Mosquitoes used in this experiment were reared from larvae collected from the tide water rock pool in the coastal areas of Cheju-Do and they were fed with a blood meal of carrier donors whose microfilaria densities were in the range from 0.5 to 0.7 per cmm of blood. 3)All of the microfilariae ingested by mosquito exsheathed in stomach, penetrated into the body cavity and then migrated into the thoracic