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Sample records for praomys mastomys natalensis

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

    PubMed Central

    Isaäcson, Margaretha

    1975-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gill, J E; Redfern, R

    1979-10-01

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

  3. The biology, behaviour, and ecology of Mastomys natalensis in southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Coetzee, Cornelius G.

    1975-01-01

    The multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, is the most widespread and common rodent in Africa south of the Sahara. It is an ideal carrier of normally non-human diseases to the domestic environment, not only because of its semi-commensal habit but also because of a combination of other behavioural and ecological factors. Of these, the most important is an exceptionally high propagation rate. PMID:1085219

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

    PubMed Central

    Gill, J. E.; Redfern, R.

    1979-01-01

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

  5. Gairo virus, a novel arenavirus of the widespread Mastomys natalensis: Genetically divergent, but ecologically similar to Lassa and Morogoro viruses.

    PubMed

    Gryseels, Sophie; Rieger, Toni; Oestereich, Lisa; Cuypers, Bart; Borremans, Benny; Makundi, Rhodes; Leirs, Herwig; Günther, Stephan; Goüy de Bellocq, Joëlle

    2015-02-01

    Despite its near pan-African range, the Natal multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, carries the human pathogen Lassa virus only in West Africa, while the seemingly non-pathogenic arenaviruses Mopeia, Morogoro, and Luna have been detected in this semi-commensal rodent in Mozambique/Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia, respectively. Here, we describe a novel arenavirus in M. natalensis from Gairo district of central Tanzania, for which we propose the name "Gairo virus". Surprisingly, the virus is not closely related with Morogoro virus that infects M. natalensis only 90km south of Gairo, but clusters phylogenetically with Mobala-like viruses that infect non-M. natalensis host species in Central African Republic and Ethiopia. Despite the evolutionary distance, Gairo virus shares basic ecological features with the other M. natalensis-borne viruses Lassa and Morogoro. Our data show that M. natalensis, carrying distantly related viruses even in the same geographical area, is a potent reservoir host for a variety of arenaviruses.

  6. Polymorphism in vkorc1 Gene of Natal Multimammate Mice, Mastomys natalensis, in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Gryseels, Sophie; Leirs, Herwig; Makundi, Rhodes; Goüy de Bellocq, Joëlle

    2015-01-01

    Resistance of rodents to anticoagulant rodenticides has emerged in several areas across the world. Single nucleotide mutations in the vkorc1 gene have been shown to elicit various levels of anticoagulant resistance, and these mutations are prevalent in several Rattus and Mus musculus populations. In sub-Saharan Africa, the Natal multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, is one of the most damaging pests to crops, and anticoagulant poisons such as bromadiolone are frequently used to control these rodents in agricultural fields. Here, we investigate if vkorc1 shows any polymorphism in natural populations of M. natalensis. We sequenced the third exon of vkorc1 of 162 M. natalensis captured from 14 different agricultural sites in Morogoro Region, Tanzania. In addition to 6 SNPs in the noncoding flanking region, we detected 3 nonsynonymous SNPs in this exon: 10 animals (6.2%) carried a Leu108Val variant, 2 animals (1.2%) an Ala140Thr variant, and 1 animal (0.6 %) an Arg100His variant, all 3 in heterozygous form. Ala140Thr is just one residue from a mutation known to be involved in anticoagulant resistance in Rattus and Mus. While in vitro or in vivo experiments are needed to link vkorc1 genetic polymorphisms to level of VKOR activity and anticoagulant susceptibility, our results suggest that M. natalensis individuals may vary in their response to anticoagulant rodenticides. This is the first vkorc1 sequence data from a species outside the Rattus or Mus genera, and for the first time from a rodent species endemic to Africa. PMID:26223233

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Shedding dynamics of Morogoro virus, an African arenavirus closely related to Lassa virus, in its natural reservoir host Mastomys natalensis

    PubMed Central

    Borremans, Benny; Vossen, Raphaël; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Gryseels, Sophie; Hughes, Nelika; Van Gestel, Mats; Van Houtte, Natalie; Günther, Stephan; Leirs, Herwig

    2015-01-01

    Arenaviruses can cause mild to severe hemorrhagic fevers. Humans mainly get infected through contact with infected rodents or their excretions, yet little is known about transmission dynamics within rodent populations. Morogoro virus (MORV) is an Old World arenavirus closely related to Lassa virus with which it shares the same host species Mastomys natalensis. We injected MORV in its host, and sampled blood and excretions at frequent intervals. Infection in adults was acute; viral RNA disappeared from blood after 18 days post infection (dpi) and from excretions after 39 dpi. Antibodies were present from 7 dpi and never disappeared. Neonatally infected animals acquired a chronic infection with RNA and antibodies in blood for at least 3 months. The quantified excretion and antibody patterns can be used to inform mathematical transmission models, and are essential for understanding and controlling transmission in the natural rodent host populations. PMID:26022445

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1979-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Care of Mastomys in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Scholz, Jodi; Wilson, Steven

    2016-05-20

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

  15. Lassa Serology in Natural Populations of Rodents and Horizontal Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Koivogui, Lamine; Günther, Stephan

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Lassa virus causes hemorrhagic fever in West Africa. Previously, we demonstrated by PCR screening that only the multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, hosts Lassa virus in Guinea. In the present study, we used the same specimen collection from 17 villages in Coastal, Upper, and Forest Guinea to investigate the Lassa virus serology in the rodent population. The aim was to determine the dynamics of antibody development in M. natalensis and to detect potential spillover infections in other rodent species. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody screening was performed using the indirect immunofluorescence assay with the Guinean Lassa virus strain Bantou 289 as antigen. The overall seroprevalence was 8% (129/1551) with the following rodents testing positive: 109 M. natalensis, seven Mastomys erythroleucus, four Lemniscomys striatus, four Praomys daltoni, three Mus minutoides, and two Praomys rostratus. Nearly all of them (122/129) originated from Bantou, Tanganya, and Gbetaya, where Lassa virus is highly endemic in M. natalensis. The antibody seroprevalence in M. natalensis from this high-endemic area (27%; 108/396) depended on the village, habitat, host age, and host abundance. A main positive factor was age; the maximum seroprevalence reached 50% in older animals. Our data fit with a model implicating that most M. natalensis rodents become horizontally infected, clear the virus within a period significantly shorter than their life span, and develop antibodies. In addition, the detection of antibodies in other species trapped in the habitats of M. natalensis suggests spillover infections. PMID:25229705

  16. Pterygodermatites (Mesopectines) quentini (Nematoda, Rictulariidae), a parasite of Praomys rostratus (Rodentia, Muridae) in Mali: scanning electron and light microscopy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Pterygodermatites (Mesopectines) quentini n. sp. (Nematoda, Rictulariidae) is described from the murine host Praomys rostratus in the south of the Republic of Mali. It differs from other species of the subgenus by the morphology of the head, which bears four simple cephalic papillae and a nearly axial oral opening, the number of caudal papillae, the number of precloacal cuticular formations, unequal spicules and the ratio of spicule lengths/body length. The use of scanning electron microscopy in combination with conventional light microscopy enabled us to give a detailed description of the morphological characters of this new species. PMID:24025692

  17. Commiphora molmol extracts as plant molluscicide against Lymnaea natalensis.

    PubMed

    Massoud, Ahmad M; El-Shazly, Atef M; Nagaty, Ibrahim Maged; Morsy, Tosson A

    2007-08-01

    Two extracts from the herbal plant, Commiphora molmol showed a high molluscicidal effect against Lymnaea natalensis. The oil extract was more potent than the oleo-resin. A concentration of 10 ppm of the oil extract killed 100% of L. natalensis after 5th day, but the oleo-resin extract killed 100% of them at a concentration 20 ppm after 5th day. PMID:17985579

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Ultrastructure of ECL cells in Mastomys after long-term treatment with H2 receptor antagonist loxtidine.

    PubMed

    Vigen, Reidar Alexander; Kidd, Mark; Modlin, Irvin M; Chen, Duan; Zhao, Chun-Mei

    2012-06-01

    Gastric ECL-cell hyperplasia and carcinoids (ECLoma) develop after 1 year in rats treated with omeprazole or 2 months in Mastomys treated with loxtidine. The aim of this study was to examine the ultrastructure of ECL cells in Mastomys after loxtidine treatment with an attempt to evaluate whether an impairment of autophagy was involved in the tumorigenesis. Mastomys were given loxtidine for 8 or 27 weeks. Morphological analysis of ECL cells showed that (1) cell size was not increased after 8 or 27 weeks; (2) secretory vesicles, a hallmark feature of welldifferentiated ECL cells, were unchanged after 8 weeks but reduced after 27 weeks; (3) granules were reduced after 8 or 27 weeks; (4) microvesicles were unchanged after the treatment; and (5) vacuoles and lipofuscin bodies were found occasionally after 8 weeks but not at 27 weeks. In addition, the appearance of ECL-cell ultrastructure differed between loxtidine-treated Mastomys and rats treated with omeprazole or subjected to antrectomy, but was similar between Mastomys treated with loxtidine for 27 weeks and mice deficient in CCK(2) receptor. We suggest that the ultrastructure of ECL cells in Mastomys after long-term treatment with loxtidine displayed an impaired formation of vacuoles and lipofuscin bodies, markers of the autophagic pathway.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Presumptive horizontal symbiont transmission in the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis.

    PubMed

    de Fine Licht, H H; Boomsma, J J; Aanen, D K

    2006-10-01

    All colonies of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis studied so far are associated with a single genetically variable lineage of Termitomyces symbionts. Such limited genetic variation of symbionts and the absence of sexual fruiting bodies (mushrooms) on M. natalensis mounds would be compatible with clonal vertical transmission, as is known to occur in Macrotermes bellicosus. We investigated this hypothesis by analysing DNA sequence polymorphisms as codominant SNP markers of four single-copy gene fragments of Termitomyces isolates from 31 colonies of M. natalensis. A signature of free recombination was found, indicative of frequent sexual horizontal transmission. First, all 31 strains had unique multilocus genotypes. Second, SNP markers (n = 55) were largely in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (90.9%) and almost all possible pairs of SNPs between genetically unlinked loci were in linkage equilibrium (96.7%). Finally, extensive intragenic recombination was found, especially in the EF1alpha fragment. Substantial genetic variation and a freely recombining population structure can only be explained by frequent horizontal and sexual transmission of Termitomyces. The apparent variation in symbiont transmission mode among Macrotermes species implies that vertical symbiont transmission can evolve rapidly. The unexpected finding of horizontal transmission makes the apparent absence of Termitomyces mushrooms on M. natalensis mounds puzzling. To our knowledge, this is the first detailed study of the genetic population structure of a single lineage of Termitomyces.

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

    PubMed

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

    1989-01-01

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

  4. Biologically active constituents of leaves and roots of Aloe arborescens var. natalensis.

    PubMed

    Hirata, T; Suga, T

    1977-01-01

    Several biologically active substances, such as aloenin (1), magnesium lactate, aloe-emodin (4), barbaloin (5), and succinic acid, were found to be contained in the leaf juice of Aloe arborescens Mill. var. natalensis Berger, which has widely been used in domestic medicines. Aloenin (1) and magnesium lactate were elucidated to exhibit an inhibitory action on the gastric juice secretion of rats. Various constituents other than the above bioactive substances were found in the leaves and the roots of the plant.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Pollinators, "mustard oil" volatiles, and fruit production in flowers of the dioecious tree Drypetes natalensis (Putranjivaceae).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Steven D; Griffiths, Megan E; Peter, Craig I; Lawes, Michael J

    2009-11-01

    The Putranjivaceae is an enigmatic family, notable for being the only lineage outside the Capparales to possess the glucosinolate biochemical pathway, which forms the basis of an induced chemical defense system against herbivores (the "mustard oil bomb"). We investigated the pollination biology and floral scent chemistry of Drypetes natalensis (Putranjivaceae), a dioecious subcanopy tree with flowers borne on the stem (cauliflory). Flowering male trees were more abundant than female ones and produced about 10-fold more flowers. Flowers of both sexes produce copious amounts of nectar on disc-like nectaries accessible to short-tongued insects. The main flower visitors observed were cetoniid beetles, bees, and vespid wasps. Pollen load analysis indicated that these insects exhibit a high degree of fidelity to D. natalensis flowers. Insects effectively transfer pollen from male to female plants resulting in about 31% of female flowers developing fruits with viable seeds. Cetoniid beetles showed significant orientation toward the scent of D. natalensis flowers in a Y-maze olfactometer. The scents of male and female flowers are similar in chemical composition and dominated by fatty acid derivatives and isothiocyanates from the glucosinolate pathway. The apparent constitutive emission of isothiocyanates raises interesting new questions about their functional role in flowers. PMID:21622327

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-10-01

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

  11. Influence of certain fertilizers on the activity of some molluscicides against Biomphalaria alexandrina and Lymnaea natalensis snails.

    PubMed

    Ragab, Fawzy; Shoukry, Nahla M

    2006-12-01

    Effect of the fertilizers (ammonium nitrate, potassium sulphate and urea) on molluscicidal activity of the molluscicides (copper sulphate, niclosamide & mollutox) against B. alexandrina and L. natalensis was investigated. The molluscicides were more potant than fertilizers. Snails were exposed for 24 hr to a fertilizers using LC0 (1/10 & LC50) then, to molluscicides. Pre-exposure to potassium sulphate caused a synergistic action with copper sulphate, niclosamide and mollutox on L. natalen-sis. Pre-exposure to urea caused an additive effect with niclo-samide and mollutox against L. natalensis and B. alexandrina respectively. Pre-exposure to ammonium nitrate caused an additive action to niclosamide on L. natalensis. Snails were exposed for 24hr to one molluscicide, then exposed to fertilizers, showed that pre-exposure to niclosamide or mollutox caused an additive effect with ammonium nitrate and potassium sulphate. Pre-exposure to mollutox caused an additive effect with urea on the two snails' sp. juvenile or adult B. alexandrina were ex-posed to LC0 of molluscicide-fertilizer mixture, showed that urea when mixed with each molluscicides showed greatly reduced on the growth rate percent (0.00), survival rate and snail fecundity. Molluscicides and fertilizers mixed at different ratios of LC (40:10, 30:20, 25:25, 20:30 & 10:40), the toxicity of the mixtures caused antagonistic effect on adult B. alexandrina, but a mixture of niclosamide-ammonium nitrate caused a potent effect (synergism or additive) except at ratio 20:30 which showed an antagonism on L. natalensis. Mixtures of copper sulphatepotassium sulphate (10:40), niclosamide-potassium sulphate (20:30), mollutox-ammonium nitrate (25:25) revealed an additive effect on L. natalensis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Small mammal distribution and diversity in a plague endemic area in West Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Ralaizafisoloarivony, Njaka A; Kimaro, Didas N; Kihupi, Nganga I; Mulungu, Loth S; Leirs, Herwig; Msanya, Balthazar M; Deckers, Jozef A; Gulinck, Hubert

    2014-07-01

    Small mammals play a role in plague transmission as hosts in all plague endemic areas. Information on distribution and diversity of small mammals is therefore important for plague surveillance and control in such areas. The objective of this study was to investigate small mammals' diversity and their distribution in plague endemic area in the West Usambara Mountains in north-eastern Tanzania. Landsat images and field surveys were used to select trapping locations in different landscapes. Three landscapes with different habitats were selected for trapping of small mammals. Three types of trap were used in order to maximise the number of species captured. In total, 188 animals and thirteen species were captured in 4,905 trap nights. Praomys delectorum and Mastomys natalensis both reported as plague hosts comprised 50% of all the animals trapped. Trap success increased with altitude. Species diversity was higher in plantation forest followed by shrub, compared to other habitats, regardless of landscape type. It would therefore seem that chances of plague transmission from small mammals to humans are much higher under shrub, natural and plantation forest habitats.

  17. Plague in Tanzania: an overview.

    PubMed

    Ziwa, Michael H; Matee, Mecky I; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Lyamuya, Eligius F; Kilonzo, Bukheti S

    2013-10-01

    Human plague remains a public health concern in Tanzania despite its quiescence in most foci for years, considering the recurrence nature of the disease. Despite the long-standing history of this problem, there have not been recent reviews of the current knowledge on plague in Tanzania. This work aimed at providing a current overview of plague in Tanzania in terms of its introduction, potential reservoirs, possible causes of plague persistence and repeated outbreaks in the country. Plague is believed to have been introduced to Tanzania from the Middle East through Uganda with the first authentication in 1886. Xenopsylla brasiliensis, X. cheopis, Dinopsyllus lypusus, and Pulex irritans are among potential vectors while Lophuromys spp, Praomys delectorum, Graphiurus murinus, Lemniscomys striatus, Mastomys natalensis, and Rattus rattus may be the potential reservoirs. Plague persistence and repeated outbreaks in Tanzania are likely to be attributable to a complexity of factors including cultural, socio-economical, environmental and biological. Minimizing or preventing people's proximity to rodents is probably the most effective means of preventing plague outbreaks in humans in the future. In conclusion, much has been done on plague diagnosis in Tanzania. However, in order to achieve new insights into the features of plague epidemiology in the country, and to reorganize an effective control strategy, we recommend broader studies that will include the ecology of the pathogen, vectors and potential hosts, identifying the reservoirs, dynamics of infection and landscape ecology.

  18. Vegetation habitats and small mammals in a plague endemic area in Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Ralaizafisoloarivony, Njaka A; Kimaro, Didas N; Kihupi, Nganga I; Mulungu, Loth S; Leirs, Herwig; Msanya, Balthazar M; Deckers, Jozef A; Gulinck, Hubert

    2014-07-01

    Human plague still exists in different parts of the world, including some landscapes in north-eastern Tanzania. Wherever the hotspot of plague, small mammals seem to play a key role as host. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between vegetation habitats types and small mammals in a plague endemic area of Lushoto District in Tanzania. A combination of field survey and Landsat images was used to identify the vegetation habitats. Small mammals were trapped in the mapped vegetation units, and identified. In total, six main types of vegetation habitats were investigated. A total of 13 small mammal species, potentially related to plague were trapped. Results show that annual cultivated crops habitat accounted for 80% of Mastomys natalensis while natural forest accounted for 60% of Praomys delectorum. These findings have shed new light on the diversity of rodents in different habitats of natural and semi-natural vegetations, and agricultural crops in the study area, which is an important intermediate step in unravelling the complex human plague system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. Characterization of the polyene macrolide P450 epoxidase from Streptomyces natalensis that converts de-epoxypimaricin into pimaricin

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    The biosynthesis of the antifungal agent pimaricin by Streptomyces natalensis has been proposed to involve a cytochrome P450 encoded by the gene pimD. Pimaricin is derived from its immediate precursor de-epoxypimaricin by epoxidation of the C-4–C-5 double bond on the macrolactone ring. We have overproduced PimD with a N-terminal His6 affinity tag in Escherichia coli and purified the enzyme for kinetic analysis. The protein showed a reduced CO-difference spectrum with a Soret maximum at 450 nm, indicating that it is a cytochrome P450. Purified PimD was shown to catalyse the in vitro C-4–C-5 epoxidation of 4,5-de-epoxypimaricin to pimaricin. The enzyme was dependent on NADPH for activity with optimal pH at 7.5, and the temperature optimum was 30 °C. The kcat value for the epoxidation of de-epoxypimaricin was similar to the values reported for other macrolide oxidases. Enzyme activity was inhibited at high substrate concentration. This is the first time that a polyene macrolide P450 mono-oxygenase has been expressed heterologously and studied. The unique specificity of this epoxidase should be useful for the oxidative modification of novel polyene macrolide antibiotics. PMID:15228385

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  3. Fasciola gigantica: cercarial shedding pattern from Lymnaea natalensis after long-term exposure to cadmium at different temperatures.

    PubMed

    Soliman, Maha F M

    2009-04-01

    Little is known about the response of Fasciola spp., inside its snail host to pollutant toxicity. The effect of long-term exposure of Lymnaea natalensis to 0.1 microg/l, 10 microg/l, or 100 microg/l cadmium (Cd) on the infection rates with F. gigantica, percentage of cercariae-shedding snails and cercariae shedding pattern was investigated. The snails were exposed to Cd for 7 days either pre-infection with single Fasciola miracidium or during the late pre-patent period of the infection. The possible interaction between metal exposure and acclimatization temperature was also studied in three ranges; 16-18 degrees C, 23-25 degrees C and 30-32 degrees C. Results clearly showed that host exposure to 100 microg/l Cd significantly affected the pattern of Fasciola development inside its snail host, and that the acclimatization temperature was a key factor affecting the role played by Cd. Pre-infection exposure to Cd caused a significant reduction in the infection rates where the effect was temperature-dependent. Post-infection exposure to Cd significantly increased the percentage of cercariae-shedding snails; the effect was temperature-independent. Interestingly, post-infection exposure significantly altered the differential cercarial output pattern, while no clear impact on the total was found. The alteration in the differential cercarial output was represented as a significantly higher proportion of floating metacercaria as compared to fixed ones and also higher proportion of dead cercariae which may directly reduce the transmission of Fasciola to the final host. The mechanisms of cadmium impact are briefly discussed. PMID:19101545

  4. Uptake and distribution of copper sulfate and its effect on the respiration rate of the hemocyanin-producing freshwater snail Lymnaea natalensis

    SciTech Connect

    Wolmarans, C.T.; Yssel, E.

    1988-08-01

    Copper sulfate was one of the earliest compounds suggested as a molluscicide and although several new compounds have since been developed, copper sulfate is still widely used against freshwater snail intermediate hosts of trematode parasites causing bilharzia. However, the toxic effect that copper sulfate may have on these species has not yet been investigated adequately. This incomplete picture of the action of copper sulfate on freshwater snails is further complicated by the fact that some of these snail species have hemocyanin (a protein containing copper) as respiration pigment. Because of the existence of a copper metabolic pathway, these species may handle external copper differently from those species with hemoglobin as respiration pigment. In the present study, the uptake of external copper in the form of copper sulfate, as well as the effect of this ion on respiration rate, was investigated in Lymnaea natalensis, the intermediate host of Fasciola gigantica. This snail possesses hemocyanin as respiratory pigment.

  5. Observations on a lesser-known monogenean, Udonella myliobati, from a copepod parasite, Lepeophtheirus natalensis, parasitizing the spotted ragged-tooth shark, Carcharias taurus, from South African waters.

    PubMed

    Olivier, P A; Dippenaar, S M; Khalil, L F; Mokgalong, N M

    2000-06-01

    The phylogeny of the genus Udonella has been disputed for quite some time, but recent phylogenetic analysis of molecular data confirms that the genus is a monopisthocotylean monogenean. Specimens of Udonella myliobati parasitizing the copepod Lepeophtheirus natalensis, an ectoparasite of the spotted ragged-tooth shark, (Carcharias taurus), were collected and studied. A total of 771 monogenean specimens were recovered from 54 infected copepods examined, with a mean intensity of 14,3 worms per copepod. Most of the monogeneans were found attached to the dorsal surface of the lateral and frontal marginal membranes of the copepod carapace. Eggs, with filaments and adhesive discs, were found ventrally on the host, mainly attached to the maxillae and maxillipeds, in clusters of 12-14. Observations on the morphology, distribution and behaviour of this monogenean are presented with the aid of light and scanning electron microscopy.

  6. Novel Arenavirus, Zambia

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Yuka; Moonga, Ladslav; Nakamura, Ichiro; Ohnuma, Aiko; Hang’ombe, Bernard; Takada, Ayato; Mweene, Aaron; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2011-01-01

    To investigate arenavirus in Zambia, we characterized virus from the kidneys of 5 arenavirus RNA–positive rodents (Mastomys natalensis) among 263 captured. Full-genome sequences of the viruses suggested that they were new strains similar to Lassa virus–related arenaviruses. Analyzing samples from additional rodents and other species can elucidate epizootiologic aspects of arenaviruses. PMID:22000372

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  8. Evaluation of demographic parameters of native rodent populations and implications for control

    PubMed Central

    French, Norman R.

    1975-01-01

    The ecology of the multimammate mouse ,Mastomys natalensis, is reviewed and approximations are derived for the parameters governing population growth. By means of computer simulation, the relative importance of the timing of reproduction, the age class distribution or age structure of the population, the competition between Mastomys and Rattus, and the interaction with a predator are evaluated. Although each of these demographic or ecological factors modifies the fate of the Mastomys population, the greatest single impact results from a reproductive season that is divided into two parts rather than a single continuous reproductive season. Division into two parts, correlated with a similar distribution of rainfall, allows time for maturing of the young born early in the season and for production of young by them, thus adding to the momentum of population increase. The interaction of density-dependent factors controlling population growth, competition with another rodent, or predation by a Viverrid predator, may increase the growth rate of the Mastomys population or may depress population growth rate, even to the point of extinction. These simulation studies demonstrate the necessity for critical evaluation of the demographic parameters and ecological characteristics of a particular Mastomys population before an effective control programme can be designed. They also demonstrate, however, that if the programme is based upon sound ecological theory control can be effected. PMID:1085223

  9. New Hosts of The Lassa Virus.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. New Hosts of The Lassa Virus

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Canine oral papillomavirus genomic sequence: a unique 1.5-kb intervening sequence between the E2 and L2 open reading frames.

    PubMed

    Delius, H; Van Ranst, M A; Jenson, A B; zur Hausen, H; Sundberg, J P

    1994-10-01

    The canine oral papillomavirus (COPV) is associated with oropharyngeal papillomatosis in dogs, coyotes, and wolves. We have determined the complete nucleotide sequence of COPV, the largest of all known PV genomes (8607 bp). The genomic architecture of the COPV genome is similar to that of other PVs except for a unique and large noncoding region of 1.5 kb between the end of the early region (E2) and the beginning of the late region (L2) and a small (345 bp) upstream regulatory region between the end of L1 and the beginning of E6. Although COPV displays a primarily mucosal tropism, the COPV nucleotide sequence showed the highest overall similarity to cutaneous papillomaviruses such as HPV-1, HPV-63, CRPV (cottontail rabbit PV), FdPV (Felis domesticus PV), and MnPV (Mastomys natalensis PV). PMID:8091677

  12. Sequence variability and geographic distribution of Lassa virus, Sierra Leone.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    BANTIHUN, Getachew; BEKELE, Afework

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. Small mammals as hosts of immature ixodid ticks.

    PubMed

    Horak, I G; Fourie, L J; Braack, L E O

    2005-09-01

    Two hundred and twenty-five small mammals belonging to 16 species were examined for ticks in Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces, South Africa, and 18 ixodid tick species, of which two could only be identified to genus level, were recovered. Scrub hares, Lepus saxatilis, and Cape hares, Lepus capensis, harboured the largest number of tick species. In Free State Province Namaqua rock mice, Aethomys namaquensis, and four-striped grass mice, Rhabdomys pumilio, were good hosts of the immature stages of Haemaphysalis leachi and Rhipicephalus gertrudae, while in Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces red veld rats, Aethomys chrysophilus, Namaqua rock mice and Natal multimammate mice, Mastomys natalensis were good hosts of H. leachi and Rhipicephalus simus. Haemaphysalis leachi was the only tick recovered from animals in all three provinces.

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

    PubMed

    Bantihun, Getachew; Bekele, Afework

    2015-03-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Recent isolations of Lassa virus from Nigerian rodents

    PubMed Central

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

    1975-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1980-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1980-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  8. Effect of Leaf Extracts of Aloe arborescens Mill subsp. natalensis Berger on Growth of Trichophyton mentagrophytes

    PubMed Central

    Fujita, Keisuke; Yamada, Yasuo; Azuma, Keizou; Hirozawa, Susumu

    1978-01-01

    The antifungal activity of a lyophilized powder containing aloe leaf homogenate (whole-leaf powder) against Trichophyton mentagrophytes was investigated. The minimal inhibitory concentration was 25 mg/ml by the agar dilution method, using Sabouraud glucose agar medium. At subinhibitory concentrations, the powder exerted its main effect on colony growth by prolongation of the lag phase and inhibition of growth rate. Homogenates of fresh whole leaf were filtered through Whatman GF/A paper, and the filtrate was dialyzed and concentrated by molecular filtration using an Amicon hollow-fiber dialyzer concentrator DC-2, and a powder containing components with molecular weights higher than 10,000 (high-molecular-weight component powder) was prepared by lyophilization. The minimal inhibitory concentrations against three strains of T. mentagrophytes were all 10 mg/ml. The inhibitory activity was fungicidal and was lost by heating at 100°C for 30 min. Both the whole-leaf powder and the high-molecular-weight component powder induced various morphological abnormalities in spores and hyphae by the inhibition of spore germination and development of hyphae. Images PMID:686703

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Mapping the zoonotic niche of Lassa fever in Africa

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-02

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  18. Prevalence and diversity of small mammal-associated Bartonella species in rural and urban Kenya.

    PubMed

    Halliday, Jo E B; Knobel, Darryn L; Agwanda, Bernard; Bai, Ying; Breiman, Robert F; Cleaveland, Sarah; Njenga, M Kariuki; Kosoy, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Several rodent-associated Bartonella species are human pathogens but little is known about their epidemiology. We trapped rodents and shrews around human habitations at two sites in Kenya (rural Asembo and urban Kibera) to determine the prevalence of Bartonella infection. Bartonella were detected by culture in five of seven host species. In Kibera, 60% of Rattus rattus were positive, as compared to 13% in Asembo. Bartonella were also detected in C. olivieri (7%), Lemniscomys striatus (50%), Mastomys natalensis (43%) and R. norvegicus (50%). Partial sequencing of the citrate synthase (gltA) gene of isolates showed that Kibera strains were similar to reference isolates from Rattus trapped in Asia, America, and Europe, but that most strains from Asembo were less similar. Host species and trapping location were associated with differences in infection status but there was no evidence of associations between host age or sex and infection status. Acute febrile illness occurs at high incidence in both Asembo and Kibera but the etiology of many of these illnesses is unknown. Bartonella similar to known human pathogens were detected in small mammals at both sites and investigation of the ecological determinants of host infection status and of the public health significance of Bartonella infections at these locations is warranted. PMID:25781015

  19. Innocuity studies of SAG-2 oral rabies vaccine in various Zimbabwean wild non-target species.

    PubMed

    Bingham, J; Schumacher, C L; Aubert, M F; Hill, F W; Aubert, A

    1997-06-01

    The SAG-2 modified live rabies vaccine was tested for innocuity when administered by the oral route in several potential wild non-target bait-consuming species, as follows: ten chacma baboons (Papio ursinus), six African civets (Civettictis civetta), six slender mongooses (Galerella sanguinea), six honey badgers (Mellivora capensis), six large-spotted genets (Genetta tigrina), 39 multi-mammate mice (Mastomys natalensis), 26 bushveld gerbils (Tatera leucogaster) and six pied crows (Corvus albus). At least 9.0 log10 median tissue culture infectious doses (TCID50), given in a volume of 1 ml, was administered orally to each of the animals, except the rodents which received 8.0 log10 TCID50, given in 0.1 ml. All the animals were observed for not < 90 days for signs of vaccine-induced rabies. Most of the species were also tested for vaccine virus replication in the oral cavity and persistent virus infection in the brain, salivary gland and tonsil. None of the animals died of rabies and no persistent infection was found. Rabies virus which was pathologically and serotypically indistinguishable from the vaccinal strain was isolated from the saliva of one genet 1 day after vaccine administration. From this study it was concluded that SAG-2 rabies vaccine would be safe for use in most situations where oral vaccination campaigns for jackals are required in Zimbabwe. PMID:9261938

  20. Prevalence and diversity of small mammal-associated Bartonella species in rural and urban Kenya.

    PubMed

    Halliday, Jo E B; Knobel, Darryn L; Agwanda, Bernard; Bai, Ying; Breiman, Robert F; Cleaveland, Sarah; Njenga, M Kariuki; Kosoy, Michael

    2015-03-01

    Several rodent-associated Bartonella species are human pathogens but little is known about their epidemiology. We trapped rodents and shrews around human habitations at two sites in Kenya (rural Asembo and urban Kibera) to determine the prevalence of Bartonella infection. Bartonella were detected by culture in five of seven host species. In Kibera, 60% of Rattus rattus were positive, as compared to 13% in Asembo. Bartonella were also detected in C. olivieri (7%), Lemniscomys striatus (50%), Mastomys natalensis (43%) and R. norvegicus (50%). Partial sequencing of the citrate synthase (gltA) gene of isolates showed that Kibera strains were similar to reference isolates from Rattus trapped in Asia, America, and Europe, but that most strains from Asembo were less similar. Host species and trapping location were associated with differences in infection status but there was no evidence of associations between host age or sex and infection status. Acute febrile illness occurs at high incidence in both Asembo and Kibera but the etiology of many of these illnesses is unknown. Bartonella similar to known human pathogens were detected in small mammals at both sites and investigation of the ecological determinants of host infection status and of the public health significance of Bartonella infections at these locations is warranted.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

  2. Advanced vaccine candidates for Lassa fever.

    PubMed

    Lukashevich, Igor S

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Population dynamics of small mammals in semi-arid regions: a comparative study of demographic variability in two rodent species.

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Mauricio; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Leirs, Herwig; Jaksic, Fabián M

    2003-01-01

    The seasonally determined demographic structure of two semi-arid rodents, both agricultural pest species (the leaf-eared mouse (Phyllotis darwini) in Chile and the multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) in Tanzania), is analysed using capture-mark-recapture (CMR) statistical models and measures for elasticity (the relative change in the growth rate due to a relative unit change in the parameter of concern) derived from projection linear matrix models. We demonstrate that reproduction and survival during the breeding season contribute approximately equally to population growth in the leaf-eared mouse, whereas the multimammate mouse is characterized by a more clearly defined seasonal structure into breeding and non-breeding seasons and that reproduction contributes far more than survival during the breeding season. On this basis, we discuss evolutionary and applied (pest control) issues. Regarding the evolution of life histories (leading to a maximization of the overall net annual growth rate), we suggest that for the leaf-eared mouse, features favouring survival throughout the year will provide selective value, but that during the main breeding season, features favouring reproduction and survival are about equally favourable. For the multimammate mouse, features favouring survival are particularly important outside the breeding season, whereas during the breeding season features favouring reproduction are more important. Regarding pest control (aiming at reducing the overall net annual growth rate), we suggest that (ignoring economic considerations) affecting survival outside the main breeding season is particularly effective for the leaf-eared mouse, a feature that is even more the case for the multimammate mouse. In sum, we demonstrate through this comparative study that much is to be learnt from studying the dynamics of fluctuating small rodents-a focal issue within much of population ecology. PMID:14561287

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Wei; Bai, Jinhe; McCollum, Greg

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Evidence for eight tandem and five centric fusions in the evolution of the karyotype of Aethomys namaquensis A. Smith (Rodentia: Muridae).

    PubMed

    Baker, R J; Qumsiyeh, M B; Rautenbach, I L

    1988-06-30

    G- and C-banded chromosomes of Aethomys namaquensis (2n = 24), A. chrysophilus (2n = 44), and Praomys coucha (2n = 36) are compared and contrasted with published material on Australian Muridae and North American Sigmodontidae. Direction and types of chromosomal rearrangements are established using cladistic methodology. An acrocentric morphology for chromosomes 5, 14, 15 and 20 (numbering system from Peromyscus) are proposed as primitive for the common ancestor of the Muridae and Sigmodontidae rodent lineages. Reduced diploid number of Aethomys namaquensis is derived by eight tandem and five centric fusions since divergence from the common ancestor with A. chrysophilus. The two species of Aethomys share one derived metacentric chromosome that distinguishes them from Praomys. Praomys has unique chromosomes which can be derived from the proposed primitive condition by five centric fusions and five pericentric inversions. It is concluded that karyotypic orthoselection for tandem and centric fusions is best explained by cellular or biochemical mechanisms rather than variation in population characteristics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Tomohiro

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Huanglongbing increases Diplodia Stem End Rot in Citrus sinensis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Susceptibility of rodents to infection with Schistosoma mansoni in Richard-Toll (Senegal).

    PubMed

    Sène, M; Duplantier, J M; Marchand, B; Hervé, J P

    1996-12-01

    The susceptibility of Arvicanthis niloticus, Mastomys huberti, Mastomys erythroleucus and Mus musculus was studied to assess the capacity of these rodents to transmit Schistosoma mansoni. The susceptibility was determined by the percentage of adult schistosomes recovered, the number of eggs per gramme of faeces, the viability of these eggs and the capacity of the rodents to maintain the life cycle of Schistosoma mansoni. The percentages of adult worms recovered were respectively 18%, 11.5%, 8.4% and 20.5% in A. niloticus, M. huberti, M. erythroleucus and M. musculus. After infection, they liberate in the environment viable eggs whose miracidia are infectious for the intermediate host (Biomphalaria pfeifferi). The mean egg load was 300 +/- 327.8 in A. niloticus; 664 +/- 673.5 in M. huberti; 240 +/- 304.8 in M. erythroleucus; 400 +/- 361.5 in M. musculus.

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

    PubMed Central

    Molla, Eshetu; Giday, Mirutse; Erko, Berhanu

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Phytochemical screening and molluscicidal potency of some Zairean medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Chifundera, K; Baluku, B; Mashimango, B

    1993-12-01

    A total number of 48 plants used in the Zairean pharmacopoeia were tested against molluscan intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts from five plants: Maesa lanceolata, Chenopodium ugandae, Asparagus racemosus, Phyllanthus nummulariifolius and Crinum zeylanicum, exhibited high mortality rate (100%) against Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis. Their LC50 was respectively 0.1, 5, 5, 10 and 50 mg ml-1 for B. pfeifferi and 0.5, 5, 1, 10 and 10 mg ml-1 for L. natalensis. The activities are attributed to the presence of terpenoids, steroids and saponins in the plant extracts. Except for the extracts from Ch. ugandae however, the plants have shown toxic effect on fishes and aquatic insects. PMID:8140033

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lall, N; Meyer, J J

    1999-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. The genus Coleodactylus (Sphaerodactylinae, Gekkota) revisited: a molecular phylogenetic perspective.

    PubMed

    Geurgas, Silvia Rodrigues; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Moritz, Craig

    2008-10-01

    Nucleotide sequence data from a mitochondrial gene (16S) and two nuclear genes (c-mos, RAG-1) were used to evaluate the monophyly of the genus Coleodactylus, to provide the first phylogenetic hypothesis of relationships among its species in a cladistic framework, and to estimate the relative timing of species divergences. Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analyses of the combined data sets retrieved Coleodactylus as a monophyletic genus, although weakly supported. Species were recovered as two genetically and morphological distinct clades, with C. amazonicus populations forming the sister taxon to the meridionalis group (C. brachystoma, C. meridionalis, C. natalensis, and C. septentrionalis). Within this group, C. septentrionalis was placed as the sister taxon to a clade comprising the rest of the species, C. meridionalis was recovered as the sister species to C. brachystoma, and C. natalensis was found nested within C. meridionalis. Divergence time estimates based on penalized likelihood and Bayesian dating methods do not support the previous hypothesis based on the Quaternary rain forest fragmentation model proposed to explain the diversification of the genus. The basal cladogenic event between major lineages of Coleodactylus was estimated to have occurred in the late Cretaceous (72.6+/-1.77 Mya), approximately at the same point in time than the other genera of Sphaerodactylinae diverged from each other. Within the meridionalis group, the split between C. septentrionalis and C. brachystoma+C. meridionalis was placed in the Eocene (46.4+/-4.22 Mya), and the divergence between C. brachystoma and C. meridionalis was estimated to have occurred in the Oligocene (29.3+/-4.33 Mya). Most intraspecific cladogenesis occurred through Miocene to Pliocene, and only for two conspecific samples and for C. natalensis could a Quaternary differentiation be assumed (1.9+/-1.3 Mya).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Identification of Ebola virus sequences present as RNA or DNA in organs of terrestrial small mammals of the Central African Republic.

    PubMed

    Morvan, J M; Deubel, V; Gounon, P; Nakouné, E; Barrière, P; Murri, S; Perpète, O; Selekon, B; Coudrier, D; Gautier-Hion, A; Colyn, M; Volehkov, V

    1999-12-01

    The life cycle of the Ebola (EBO) virus remains enigmatic. We tested for EBO virus in the organs of 242 small mammals captured during ecological studies in the Central African Republic. EBO virus glycoprotein or polymerase gene sequences were detected by reverse transcription PCR in RNA extracts of the organs of seven animals and by PCR in DNA extract of one animal. Neither live virus nor virus antigen was detected in any organ sample. Direct sequencing of amplicons identified the virus as being of the Zaire/Gabon subtype. Virus-like nucleocapsids were observed by electron microscopy in the cytoplasm of the spleen cells of one animal. The animals belonged to two genera of rodents (Muridae; Mus setulosus, Praomys sp1 and P. sp2) and one species of shrew (Soricidae; Sylvisorex ollula). These preliminary results provide evidence that common terrestrial small mammals living in peripheral forest areas have been in contact with the EBO virus and demonstrate the persistence of EBO virus RNA and DNA in the organs of the animals. Our findings should lead to better targeting of research into the life cycle of the EBO virus. PMID:10580275

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

    PubMed

    Paço, Ana; Adega, Filomena; Chaves, Raquel

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  9. Celoporthe dispersa gen. et sp. nov. from native Myrtales in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Nakabonge, Grace; Gryzenhout, Marieka; Roux, Jolanda; Wingfield, Brenda D.; Wingfield, Michael J.

    2006-01-01

    In a survey for Cryphonectria and Chrysoporthe species on Myrtales in South Africa, a fungus resembling the stem canker pathogen Chrysoporthe austroafricana was collected from native Syzygium cordatum near Tzaneen (Limpopo Province), Heteropyxis canescens near Lydenburg (Mpumalanga Province) and exotic Tibouchina granulosa in Durban (KwaZulu-Natal Province). The fungus was associated with dying branches and stems on S. cordatum, H. canescens and T. granulosa. However, morphological differences were detected between the unknown fungus from these three hosts and known species of Chrysoporthe. The aim of this study was to characterise the fungus using DNA sequence comparisons and morphological features. Pathogenicity tests were also conducted to assess its virulence on Eucalyptus (ZG 14 clones), H. natalensis and T. granulosa. Plants of H. canescens were not available for inoculation. Results showed distinct morphological differences between the unknown fungus and Chrysoporthe spp. Phylogenetic analysis showed that isolates reside in a clade separate from Chrysoporthe and other related genera. Celoporthe dispersa gen. et sp. nov. is, therefore, described to accommodate this fungus. Pathogenicity tests showed that C. dispersa is not pathogenic to H. natalensis, but that it is a potential pathogen of Eucalyptus and Tibouchina spp. PMID:18490984

  10. Bartonella spp. in Small Mammals, Benin.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Bartonella spp. in Small Mammals, Benin.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Screening of some Nigerian plants for molluscicidal activity.

    PubMed

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  17. Response of the mesozooplankton community of the St Lucia estuary, South Africa, to a mouth-opening event during an extended drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jerling, Hendrik L.; Vivier, Leon; Cyrus, Digby P.

    2010-03-01

    Mesozooplankton samples were collected between March 2005 and November 2008 in St Lucia, the largest estuarine lake system in South Africa. St Lucia experienced an extended period of drought before and during the present study. This drought led to natural closing of the estuary mouth as a result of flood-tide marine sediment deposition in 2002. In March 2007 the mouth was washed open by exceptionally high tidal and wave conditions. This resulted in an influx of a large volume of seawater. The mouth closed again in August 2007. Before opening of the mouth salinities in the Estuary were below 10 and large parts of North Lake dried up while South Lake retained a relatively stable waterbody with salinities between 10 and 30. When the mouth opened seawater flooded the system and salinities changed to about 35. After the mouth had closed again in August 2007 salinities increased in the lakes and decreased in the Estuary. The mesozooplankton community was dominated by copepods during all sampling sessions, especially by the estuarine calanoids Pseudodiaptomus stuhlmanni and Acartia natalensis. Mean mesozooplankton densities were significantly higher in South Lake before the mouth opened in March 2007. While zooplankton density decreased when the mouth opened species richness increased with the influx of coastal marine species, especially in the Estuary. Overall zooplankton densities declined progressively as salinity increased to hypersaline levels after mouth closure. Multivariate analyses supported significant differences between the lakes and the Estuary in terms of mesozooplankton community composition. Taxa mostly responsible for the similarities within and dissimilarity between sections of the system were the copepods P. stuhlmanni and A. natalensis with the meroplankton, crab zoeae and mollusc larvae, also contributing significantly after the mouth-opening event.

  18. Stable Isotope Evidence for Dietary Overlap between Alien and Native Gastropods in Coastal Lakes of Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Nelson A. F.; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2012-01-01

    Background Tarebia granifera (Lamarck, 1822) is originally from South-East Asia, but has been introduced and become invasive in many tropical and subtropical parts of the world. In South Africa, T. granifera is rapidly invading an increasing number of coastal lakes and estuaries, often reaching very high population densities and dominating shallow water benthic invertebrate assemblages. An assessment of the feeding dynamics of T. granifera has raised questions about potential ecological impacts, specifically in terms of its dietary overlap with native gastropods. Methodology/Principal Findings A stable isotope mixing model was used together with gut content analysis to estimate the diet of T. granifera and native gastropod populations in three different coastal lakes. Population density, available biomass of food and salinity were measured along transects placed over T. granifera patches. An index of isotopic (stable isotopes) dietary overlap (IDO, %) aided in interpreting interactions between gastropods. The diet of T. granifera was variable, including contributions from microphytobenthos, filamentous algae (Cladophora sp.), detritus and sedimentary organic matter. IDO was significant (>60%) between T. granifera and each of the following gastropods: Haminoea natalensis (Krauss, 1848), Bulinus natalensis (Küster, 1841) and Melanoides tuberculata (Müller, 1774). However, food did not appear to be limiting. Salinity influenced gastropod spatial overlap. Tarebia granifera may only displace native gastropods, such as Assiminea cf. ovata (Krauss, 1848), under salinity conditions below 20. Ecosystem-level impacts are also discussed. Conclusion/Significance The generalist diet of T. granifera may certainly contribute to its successful establishment. However, although competition for resources may take place under certain salinity conditions and if food is limiting, there appear to be other mechanisms at work, through which T. granifera displaces native gastropods

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 August 2009-30 September 2009.

    PubMed

    Abdoullaye, Doukary; Acevedo, I; Adebayo, Abisola A; Behrmann-Godel, Jasminca; Benjamin, R C; Bock, Dan G; Born, Céline; Brouat, Carine; Caccone, Adalgisa; Cao, Ling-Zhen; Casado-Amezúa, P; Catanéo, J; Correa-Ramirez, M M; Cristescu, Melania E; Dobigny, Gauthier; Egbosimba, Emmanuel E; Etchberger, Lianna K; Fan, Bin; Fields, Peter D; Forcioli, D; Furla, P; Garcia de Leon, F J; García-Jiménez, R; Gauthier, Philippe; Gergs, René; González, Clementina; Granjon, Laurent; Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Carla; Havill, Nathan P; Helsen, P; Hether, Tyler D; Hoffman, Eric A; Hu, Xiangyang; Ingvarsson, Pär K; Ishizaki, S; Ji, Heyi; Ji, X S; Jimenez, M L; Kapil, R; Karban, R; Keller, Stephen R; Kubota, S; Li, Shuzhen; Li, Wansha; Lim, Douglas D; Lin, Haoran; Liu, Xiaochun; Luo, Yayan; Machordom, A; Martin, Andrew P; Matthysen, E; Mazzella, Maxwell N; McGeoch, Mélodie A; Meng, Zining; Nishizawa, M; O'Brien, Patricia; Ohara, M; Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Ortu, M F; Pedersen, Amy B; Preston, L; Ren, Qin; Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto; Sackett, Loren C; Sang, Qing; Sawyer, G M; Shiojiri, K; Taylor, Douglas R; Van Dongen, S; Van Vuuren, Bettine Jansen; Vandewoestijne, S; Wang, H; Wang, J T; Wang, L E; Xu, Xiang-Li; Yang, Guang; Yang, Yongping; Zeng, Y Q; Zhang, Qing-Wen; Zhang, Yongping; Zhao, Y; Zhou, Yan

    2010-01-01

    This article documents the addition of 238 microsatellite marker loci and 72 pairs of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) sequencing primers to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Adelges tsugae, Artemisia tridentata, Astroides calycularis, Azorella selago, Botryllus schlosseri, Botrylloides violaceus, Cardiocrinum cordatum var. glehnii, Campylopterus curvipennis, Colocasia esculenta, Cynomys ludovicianus, Cynomys leucurus, Cynomys gunnisoni, Epinephelus coioides, Eunicella singularis, Gammarus pulex, Homoeosoma nebulella, Hyla squirella, Lateolabrax japonicus, Mastomys erythroleucus, Pararge aegeria, Pardosa sierra, Phoenicopterus ruber ruber and Silene latifolia. These loci were cross-tested on the following species: Adelges abietis, Adelges cooleyi, Adelges piceae, Pineus pini, Pineus strobi, Tubastrea micrantha, three other Tubastrea species, Botrylloides fuscus, Botrylloides simodensis, Campylopterus hemileucurus, Campylopterus rufus, Campylopterus largipennis, Campylopterus villaviscensio, Phaethornis longuemareus, Florisuga mellivora, Lampornis amethystinus, Amazilia cyanocephala, Archilochus colubris, Epinephelus lanceolatus, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, Symbiodinium temperate-A clade, Gammarus fossarum, Gammarus roeselii, Dikerogammarus villosus and Limnomysis benedeni. This article also documents the addition of 72 sequencing primer pairs and 52 allele specific primers for Neophocaena phocaenoides. PMID:21565018

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Therapeutic efficacy of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles encapsulated ivermectin (nano-ivermectin) against brugian filariasis in experimental rodent model.

    PubMed

    Ali, Mohammad; Afzal, Mohammad; Verma, Meenakshi; Bhattacharya, Shailja Misra; Ahmad, F J; Samim, Mohammad; Abidin, M Z; Dinda, A K

    2014-02-01

    The present study reports on the antifilarial activity of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles encapsulated ivermectin (nano-IVM) against human lymphatic filariid Brugia malayi in rodent host Mastomys coucha. Nano-IVM was prepared and optimized by nanoprecipitation method. The selected nano-IVM (F5) showed a uniform spherical shape with 96 nm diameter and 74.12 % entrapment efficiency, and when used at a suboptimal dose of 100 μg/kg body weight, completely eliminated filarial parasites from systemic circulation on 60 days post-infection in animals inflicted with B. malayi. In contrast, the coadministration of nano-IVM (F5) along with standard filaricide diethylcarbamazine (DEC) was found to be competent enough to suppress microfilarial stage of parasites and successfully eliminated microfilaria at 45 days posttreatment. However, the free form of both the drugs alone or in combination was unable to impart such suppression and followed by recurrence of the infection. Interestingly, nano-IVM (F5) was also found to be effective against adult stage parasites causing 36.67 % worm mortality and 75.89 % in combination with DEC; however, female sterilization remain almost similar. Thus, the combination of entrapped IVM with DEC exhibited enhanced microfilaricidal and marginally better macrofilaricidal efficacy than any of the single formulation or drugs combination.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Identification of an antifungal metabolite produced by a potential biocontrol Actinomyces strain A01.

    PubMed

    Lu, Cai Ge; Liu, Wei Cheng; Qiu, Ji Yan; Wang, Hui Min; Liu, Ting; De Liu, Wen

    2008-10-01

    Actinomyces strain A01 was isolated from soil of a vegetable field in the suburb of Beijing, China. According to the morphological, cultural, physiological and biochemical characteristics, and 16S rDNA sequence analysis, strain A01 was identified as Streptomyces lydicus. In the antimicrobial spectrum test strain A01 presented a stable and strong inhibitory activity against several plant pathogenic fungi such as Fusarium oxysporum, Botrytis cinerea, Monilinia laxa, etc. However, no antibacterial activity was found. In pot experiments in greenhouse, the development of tomato gray mold was markedly suppressed by treatment with the fermentation broth of the strain A01, and the control efficacy was higher than those of Pyrimethanil and Polyoxin. A main antifungal compound (purity 99.503%) was obtained from the fermentation broth of strain A01 using column chromatography and HPLC. The chemical structural analysis with U V, IR, MS, and NMR confirmed that the compound produced by the strain A01 is natamycin, a polyene antibiotic produced by S. chattanovgensis, S. natalensis, and S. gilvosporeus, widely used as a natural biological preservative for food according to previous reports. The present study revealed a new producing strain of natamycin and its potential application as a biological control agent for fungal plant diseases.

  9. The isotopic ecology of African mole rats informs hypotheses on the evolution of human diet.

    PubMed

    Yeakel, Justin D; Bennett, Nigel C; Koch, Paul L; Dominy, Nathaniel J

    2007-07-22

    The diets of Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus robustus are hypothesized to have included C4 plants, such as tropical grasses and sedges, or the tissues of animals which themselves consumed C4 plants. Yet inferences based on the craniodental morphology of A. africanus and P. robustus indicate a seasonal diet governed by hard, brittle foods. Such mechanical characteristics are incompatible with a diet of grasses or uncooked meat, which are too tough for efficient mastication by flat, low-cusped molars. This discrepancy, termed the C4 conundrum, has led to the speculation that C4 plant underground storage organs (USOs) were a source of nutrition for hominin species. We test this hypothesis by examining the isotopic ecology of African mole rats, which consume USOs extensively. We measured delta18O and delta13C of enamel and bone apatite from fossil and modern species distributed across a range of habitats. We show that delta18O values vary little and that delta13C values vary along the C3 to C4/CAM-vegetative axis. Relatively high delta13C values exist in modern Cryptomys hottentotus natalensis and Cryptomys spp. recovered from hominin-bearing deposits. These values overlap those reported for A. africanus and P. robustus and we conclude that the USO hypothesis for hominin diets retains certain plausibility.

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

    PubMed

    Tava, Aldo; Avato, Pinarosa

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  17. Associations between trematode infections in cattle and freshwater snails in highland and lowland areas of Iringa Rural District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Nzalawahe, Jahashi; Kassuku, Ayub A; Stothard, J Russell; Coles, Gerald C; Eisler, Mark C

    2015-09-01

    The epidemiology of trematode infections in cattle was investigated within highland and lowland areas of Iringa Rural District, in southern Tanzania. Fecal samples were collected from 450 cattle in 15 villages at altitudes ranging from 696 to 1800 m above the sea level. Freshwater snails were collected from selected water bodies and screened for emergence of cercariae. The infection rates in cattle were Fasciola gigantica 28·2%, paramphistomes 62·8% and Schistosoma bovis 4·8%. Notably, prevalence of trematode infections in cattle was much higher in highland (altitude > 1500 m) as compared with lowland (altitude < 1500 m) areas and was statistically significant (P-value = 0·000) for F. gigantica and paramphistomes but not for S. bovis. The snails collected included Lymnaea natalensis, Bulinus africanus, Bulinus tropicus, Bulinus forskali, Biomphalaria pfeifferi, Melanoides tuberculata and Bellamya constricta with a greater proportion of highland (75%) than lowland (36%) water bodies harbouring snails. Altitude is a major factor shaping the epidemiology of F. gigantica and paramphistomes infections in cattle in Iringa Rural District with greater emphasis upon control needed in highland areas.

  18. Environmental impact evaluation of the stem bark extract of Maesa lanceolata used in Democratic Republic of Congo.

    PubMed

    Bagalwa, M; Chifundera, K

    2007-12-01

    This study has been carried out in order to evaluate new chemical drugs from plants for biocidal activity before use to avoid noxious effect on human beings and animals or plants and also to prevent the worsing of environment. In fact, many natural products endowed with biological active principles are obtained from plant material used in the holistic medicines. Presently, scientists pay attention to the study of plant extracts hoping to discover cheaper and efficient new drugs for health care and for pest control. On this point of view, the safety tests of extract from Maesa lanceolata (Myrsinaceae) candidate for snails control in the Democratic Republic of Congo, were undertaken. Portion of powdered steam barks was extracted with EtOH to obtain saponins that were submitted to tests. Saponins were fractionated by using TLC techniques and biocidal activity tests were performed on fishes, molluscs and mousquitoes. Saponins exhibited powerful biocidal activity against aquatic adult insects (Aeschnidae, Coenagrionidae, Hydrobidae), moustiquitoes (Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles funestus, Culex sp), snails (Biomphalaria pfeiffeiri and Lymnae natalensis), furcocercariae of Schistosoma mansoni and fish (Haplochromis sp, Oreochromis nilotica and Oreochromis macrochi)r. As results, Maesa lanceolata (Myrsinaceae) contains a saponin-mixture endowed with molluscicidal activity at a dose of 1mg/l. It may be a real candidate for snail control programs but it is harmful to aquatic biota. Attention must be paid to its utilization to avoid the ecological disturbance in the environment, especially when indigenous populations use it for fishing during the dry season. PMID:17928180

  19. Identification of an antifungal metabolite produced by a potential biocontrol Actinomyces strain A01

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Cai Ge; Liu, Wei Cheng; Qiu, Ji Yan; Wang, Hui Min; Liu, Ting; De Liu, Wen

    2008-01-01

    Actinomyces strain A01 was isolated from soil of a vegetable field in the suburb of Beijing, China. According to the morphological, cultural, physiological and biochemical characteristics, and 16S rDNA sequence analysis, strain A01 was identified as Streptomyces lydicus. In the antimicrobial spectrum test strain A01 presented a stable and strong inhibitory activity against several plant pathogenic fungi such as Fusarium oxysporum, Botrytis cinerea, Monilinia laxa, etc. However, no antibacterial activity was found. In pot experiments in greenhouse, the development of tomato gray mold was markedly suppressed by treatment with the fermentation broth of the strain A01, and the control efficacy was higher than those of Pyrimethanil and Polyoxin. A main antifungal compound (purity 99.503%) was obtained from the fermentation broth of strain A01 using column chromatography and HPLC. The chemical structural analysis with U V, IR, MS, and NMR confirmed that the compound produced by the strain A01 is natamycin, a polyene antibiotic produced by S. chattanovgensis, S. natalensis, and S. gilvosporeus, widely used as a natural biological preservative for food according to previous reports. The present study revealed a new producing strain of natamycin and its potential application as a biological control agent for fungal plant diseases. PMID:24031293

  20. New records of marine algae in Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Transcriptomic and epigenomic characterization of the developing bat wing

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Multiple gene analyses of caligid copepods indicate that the reduction of a thoracic appendage in Pseudocaligus represents convergent evolution

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Caligidae is a family of parasitic copepods containing over 30 recognised genera. They are commercially important parasites as they cause disease in numerous finfish aquaculture facilities globally. Morphological features are used to distinguish between the genera and Pseudocaligus has traditionally been differentiated from Caligus solely by the presence of a much reduced form of the fourth thoracic leg. Currently there are numerous DNA sequences available for Caligus spp. but only the type species, Pseudocaligus brevipedis, has molecular data available, so systematic studies using molecular phylogenetic analyses have been limited. Methods Three gene regions, SSU rDNA, 16S and CO1, for Pseudocaligus fugu from puffer fish from Japan and Pseudocaligus uniartus from rabbit fish from Indonesia are sequenced and molecular phylogenetic analyses performed in order to infer phylogenetic relationships between Pseudocaligus and other caligid copepods. Results The analysis revealed that there was no discrete grouping of Pseudocaligus spp. and that they had a polyphyletic distribution within Caligus taxa. Pseudocaligus fugu grouped with Caligus elongatus and contained a unique synapomorphy in the SSU rDNA region only seen in members of that clade. Pseudocaligus uniartus formed a well-supported group, in the SSU rDNA analyses, with a Caligus sp. that also infects rabbit fish, but was unresolved in the other analyses. Pseudocaligus brevipedis consistently and robustly grouped with Caligus curtus and C. centrodonti in all analyses. The majority of Lepeophtheirus spp. form a monophyletic sister group to the Caligus clade; however, L. natalensis is unresolved in all analyses and does not form part of the main Lepeophtheirus clade. Conclusions These findings do not support the morphological-based distinction between Pseudocaligus and Caligus, suggesting that the reduced fourth leg is a feature that has evolved on multiple occasions throughout caligid evolution

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. A newly-identified lineage of Schistosoma.

    PubMed

    Morgan, Jess A T; DeJong, Randall J; Kazibwe, Francis; Mkoji, Gerald M; Loker, Eric S

    2003-08-01

    Because of their role in causing schistosomiasis, flukes of the genus Schistosoma are the best known of all digeneans. The genus has traditionally been divided into four familiar species groups. Here we report on three poorly known species of Schistosoma, one of which, Schistosoma hippopotami, is known from the hippopotamus, one of which is provisionally identified as Schistosoma edwardiense, another hippo parasite, and a third that has not previously been described. All were collected from freshwater snails obtained from Lake Edward, western Uganda, the type locality for both known hippo schistosomes. The three different kinds of schistosome cercariae differ from one another in size, and all are readily differentiated by their long tail stems from the cercariae of human-infecting species. Furthermore, each was recovered from a different genus of snail host, Biomphalaria sudanica, Bulinus truncatus or Ceratophallus natalensis. Molecular analysis, based on 8350 bases of combined nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, groups these three long tail-stem cercariae into a well supported clade that does not associate with any of the recognised species groups. The placement of this clade, basal to all African species plus several Asian species, suggests that there has been an ancient association between Schistosoma and hippos. This new African Schistosoma clade advocates the need for further modification of the traditional species group-based classification. Two of the four species groups are paraphyletic. It also suggests that Schistosoma has been remarkably plastic with respect to adapting to snail hosts-three distantly related genera of planorbid snails have been exploited by worms within a single clade. Finally, it adds a new layer of complexity to deciphering the origins of Schistosoma, often considered to be African but recently challenged as being Asian. In the late Cenozoic the distribution of hippo species straddled both Africa and Asia and they may have provided a means

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Hierarchical Control on Polyene Macrolide Biosynthesis: PimR Modulates Pimaricin Production via the PAS-LuxR Transcriptional Activator PimM

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Aberturas, Javier; Vicente, Cláudia M.; Payero, Tamara D.; Martín-Sánchez, Lara; Cañibano, Carmen; Martín, Juan F.; Aparicio, Jesús F.

    2012-01-01

    Control of polyene macrolide production in Streptomyces natalensis is mediated by the transcriptional activator PimR. This regulator combines an N-terminal domain corresponding to the Streptomyces antibiotic regulatory protein (SARP) family of transcriptional activators with a C-terminal half homologous to guanylate cyclases and large ATP-binding regulators of the LuxR family. The PimR SARP domain (PimRSARP) was expressed in Escherichia coli as a glutathione S-transferase (GST)–fused protein. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that GST-PimRSARP binds a single target, the intergenic region between the regulatory genes pimR and pimMs in the pimaricin cluster. The PimRSARP-binding site was investigated by DNaseI protection studies, revealing that it contains three heptameric direct repeats adjusting to the consensus 5′-CGGCAAG-3′. Transcription start points of pimM and pimR promoters were identified by 5′-RACE, revealing that unlike other SARPs, PimRSARP does not interact with the -35 region of its target promoter. Quantitative transcriptional analysis of these regulatory genes on mutants on each of them has allowed the identification of the pimM promoter as the transcriptional target for PimR. Furthermore, the constitutive expression of pimM restored pimaricin production in a pimaricin-deficient strain carrying a deletion mutant of pimR. These results reveal that PimR exerts its positive effect on pimaricin production by controlling pimM expression level, a regulator whose gene product activates transcription from eight different promoters of pimaricin structural genes directly. PMID:22693644

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Alternative nursery habitat for estuarine associated marine fish during prolonged closure of the St Lucia estuary, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivier, Leon; Cyrus, Digby P.

    2009-10-01

    The Mfolozi estuary, located on the east coast of South Africa, was historically directly linked to the adjacent St Lucia estuarine system, the largest estuarine system in Africa and a World Heritage Site. The Mfolozi used to be the main feeder system to maintain lake levels in St Lucia, but increased siltation from sugar cane farming in the Mfolozi floodplain led to artificial separation of the two systems in 1950. Reduced freshwater inflow due to drought conditions caused the St Lucia mouth to remain closed from June 2002 to present, coinciding with low lake levels and hypersaline conditions, except for a brief period during 2007 after the St Lucia mouth breached. These conditions led to disruption of larval recruitment into the system and major changes in biotic communities. Due to the importance of the St Lucia - Mfolozi System link, a study was initiated in 2007 on the fish community of the Mfolozi system, which was sampled using seine and gill nets. The 48 species recorded were dominated by juveniles of marine spawners, particularly Leiognathus equula and Valamugil cunnesius and the estuarine spawners Ambassis dussumieri and Ambassis natalensis. Estuarine dependent marine spawning species formed 68% of both the species numbers and CPUE, an indication of the regional importance of the Mfolozi estuary as an alternate refuge for juvenile marine fish during periods when the St Lucia system remained closed. Post-larval recruits of marine spawning species were particularly abundant, but low zoobenthic densities caused a rapid decline in numbers of benthic feeders shortly after their recruitment into the system. The importance of the Mfolozi estuary in maintaining marine brood stocks of estuarine dependent marine fish is discussed with particular reference to estuarine degradation and the ecological integrity of the St Lucia system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, Nicola K.; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Robert N.; Rodda, Gordon H.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Antidiabetic effects of dietary administration of Aloe arborescens Miller components on multiple low-dose streptozotocin-induced diabetes in mice: investigation on hypoglycemic action and systemic absorption dynamics of aloe components.

    PubMed

    Beppu, Hidehiko; Shimpo, Kan; Chihara, Takeshi; Kaneko, Takaaki; Tamai, Ikuko; Yamaji, Sachiyo; Ozaki, Sayaka; Kuzuya, Hiroshi; Sonoda, Shigeru

    2006-02-20

    We carried out three experimental trials to determine antidiabetic effects of Aloe arborescens Miller components. Firstly, ICR mice which received frequent injections of streptozotocin (Sz) in small doses (low-dose Sz-induced diabetes mice) were fed ad libitum with basal diets supplemented with components of Aloe arborescens Miller var. natalensis Berger (Kidachi aloe) and Aloe vera Linne from 31 days before to 73 days after the Sz injections. Variation in blood glucose levels, incidence rates of insulitis and blood insulin levels were examined during the trial. As a result, groups receiving diets supplemented at the rate of 2% with whole leaf of Kidachi aloe and 10 KDa fraction powder (a fraction with less than 10 KDa molecular weight derived from Kidachi aloe leaf skin juice by ultra filtration) significantly suppressed the elevation of blood sugar as compared to a control group receiving basal diet. In contrast, there was no significant effect with Aloe vera leaf pulp powder. Insulitis emerged at the rate of 87% in the basal diet group. On the contrary, the whole aloe leaf and 10 KDa fraction groups significantly decreased the incidence of insulitis and incidence rates of whole aloe leaf and 10 KDa fraction powder were 51 and 38%, respectively. While insulin levels in the basal diet group averaged at 0.05 ng, more than four times the insulin level was observed in the 10 KDa group relative to the basal diet group. Secondary, the inhibitory effects of test materials on intestinal glucose absorption were observed using the jejunum of rats. A strong inhibitory action on intestinal glucose absorption was observed in the 10 KDa fraction powder group. Thirdly, phenol compounds derived from aloe in the blood serum and organs were quantitatively measured by a HPLC following forced administration of aloe components to rats to determine absorption kinetics of aloe components inside the body. The primary component of aloe phenol compounds is the same component of the 10 KDa

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Effect of three dormant oils on schistosomiasis and fascioliasis vector snails and its relation with some non-target snails.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, Bayaumy B

    2006-12-01

    Three oils were tested for their molluscicidal activity, Caple-2, Kemasol and Super-max. Super-max had the strongest toxic effect on B. alexandrina and other snail species. Its LC50 was 0.53 ppm, meanwhile LC50 of Kemasol 3.2 ppm and 4.21 ppm for Caple 2. The LC50 & LC90 of the oils were lower in Lymneae natalensis as compared to B. alexandrina. The LC50 & LC90 of the oils against non-target snails (Physa acuta, Helisoma duryi, Planorbis planorbis and Melanoides tuberculata) were higher as compared to B. alexandrina. Hatchability of snails' eggs exposed to Super-max (3.0 & 5.0 ppm) was stopped completely and l.0 ppm showed the lower percent of egg hatchability 22.7 %. Caple 2 and Kemasol did not affect eggs hatchability. Supermax had the strongest harmful effect on both miracidia and cercariae of S. mansoni. 100% mortality values were obtained for both larval stages after 8 & 9 minutes respectively when maintained at LC50. 100% mortality of miracidia occurred after 35 & 155 minutes when maintained at LC50 of Kemasol & Caple 2 respectively. The infection rate of B. alexandrina with S. mansoni miracidia was greatly reduced by the sublethal concentrations of the oils. The reduction of infection rate was higher in snails treated with Supermax (42.9%). A highly significant reduction of total cercarial production per snail was in the experimental groups as compared with controls. The prepatent period of treated snails was prolonged compared to control. Moreover, Total protein content and enzyme activities of snails treated with LC10 of oils showed a significant reduction as compared with control in haemolymyph. There was an increase of protein contents in the tissue. AlkP enzyme activity was slightly increased in haemolymph of experimental groups than controls and was significantly higher in the tissues as compared to control. ALT enzyme activity in haemolymph of experimental groups was higher than control, but lower in tissue. AST enzyme activity was higher in

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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