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Sample records for praomys mastomys natalensis

  1. Mastomys natalensis and Lassa fever, West Africa.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1971-01-01

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

  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. Fluctuation of abundance and Lassa virus prevalence in Mastomys natalensis in Guinea, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Lecompte, Emilie; Koivogui, Lamine; Soropogui, Barré; Doré, Amadou; Kourouma, Fodé; Sylla, Oumar; Daffis, Stéphane; Koulémou, Kékoura; Ter Meulen, Jan

    2007-01-01

    Based on empiric surveillance data, the incidence of human Lassa fever (LF) cases in Guinea and other West African countries has been reported to increase during the dry season compared to the rainy season. To investigate possible links with the ecology of the rodent reservoir of the virus, we conducted a 2-year longitudinal survey of Mastomys natalensis in a region of high human Lassa virus (LASV) seropositivity in Guinea. Standardized rodent trapping with similar trapping efforts between seasons was performed in three villages and 53.5% (601/1123) of the animals were identified as M. natalensis using morphometric and molecular criteria. Mean trapping success (TS) of M. natalensis was always higher inside houses than in proximal cultivations. In the dry season, mean TS increased 2-fold inside houses and decreased up to 10-fold outside (p < 0.0001), suggesting aggregation of rodents inside houses due to restricted food supply. 14.5% (80/553) of M. natalensis were tested positive for Lassa virus by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR; range, 5%-30%) and prevalence of the virus was two to three times higher in rodents captured in the rainy season than in the dry season (p < 0.05). Inside houses, however, the LASV prevalence fluctuated nonsignificantly with season. These data suggest that in Guinea the risk of LASV transmission from rodents to humans is present both in the rainy and the dry season, reflected by the occurrence of LF cases throughout the year. In the dry season, however, the increased risk of humans encountering Mastomys and their excreta inside of houses may result in an increase of human Lassa fever cases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    The commensal rodent Mastomys natalensis is the natural reservoir of Lassa arenavirus (LASV), which causes hemorrhagic fever in West Africa. To study a possible effect of the virus on phenotypic and genotypic variation of its persistently infected host, we compared LASV-positive and non-infected wild-caught M. natalensis. The LASV effects on the phenotypic variation were explored using standard external morphometric measurements, geometric morphometric analyses of the cranial size and shape, and brain case volume. The genetic variability of M. natalensis specimens was assessed using 9 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Independent of sex and age, LASV-infected animals had smaller external body measurements, reproductive organs, skull size and brain case volume. Cranial shape differences between the 2 groups are represented by a lateral constriction of the entire skull. The genetic variability revealed consanguinity only among the LASV-positive rodents. We hypothesize that growth impairment may result in a selective disadvantage for LASV-infected M. natalensis, leading to a preferably commensal lifestyle in areas where the LAVS is endemic and, thereby, increasing the risk of LASV transmission to humans. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  8. 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.

  9. Reproductive characteristics of Mastomys natalensis and Lassa virus prevalence in Guinea, West Africa.

    PubMed

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Lecompte, Emilie; Koivogui, Lamine; Daffis, Stéphane; ter Meulen, Jan

    2008-01-01

    We recently reported increased prevalence of Lassa virus (LASV) infection in Mastomys natalensis during the rainy season in Guinea, West Africa. Here, the association of LASV prevalence with fecundity, fertility, and the age structure of the rodent population was analyzed using data from the previous study. The animals reproduced throughout the year, but highest fecundity was observed during the rainy season. Accordingly, the rodent population was aged at the beginning and young at the end of the rainy season. Lassa virus infection was observed in all age groups, including the very young, which is compatible with vertical transmission. However, since the prevalence of infection showed a trend with increasing age in the younger age groups, horizontal transmission by yet unknown mechanisms may also play a role in LASV transmission. Multivariate analysis did not show an association of LASV prevalence with any demographic variable studied. Rodent behavior influencing virus transmissibility and contaminated environment may therefore be responsible for spatial and seasonal variations in LASV prevalence in M. natalensis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  11. Density thresholds for Mopeia virus invasion and persistence in its host Mastomys natalensis.

    PubMed

    Goyens, J; Reijniers, J; Borremans, B; Leirs, H

    2013-01-21

    Well-established theoretical models predict host density thresholds for invasion and persistence of parasites with a density-dependent transmission. Studying such thresholds in reality, however, is not obvious because it requires long-term data for several fluctuating populations of different size. We developed a spatially explicit and individual-based SEIR model of Mopeia virus in multimammate mice Mastomys natalensis. This is an interesting model system for studying abundance thresholds because the host is the most common African rodent, populations fluctuate considerably and the virus is closely related to Lassa virus but non-pathogenic to humans so can be studied safely in the field. The simulations show that, while host density clearly is important, sharp thresholds are only to be expected for persistence (and not for invasion), since at short time-spans (as during invasion), stochasticity is determining. Besides host density, also the spatial extent of the host population is important. We observe the repeated local occurrence of herd immunity, leading to a decrease in transmission of the virus, while even a limited amount of dispersal can have a strong influence in spreading and re-igniting the transmission. The model is most sensitive to the duration of the infectious stage, the size of the home range and the transmission coefficient, so these are important factors to determine experimentally in the future.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-29

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The role of endogenous gastrin in the development of enterochromaffin-like cell carcinoid tumors in Mastomys natalensis: a study with the specific gastrin receptor antagonist AG-041R.

    PubMed

    Chiba, T; Kinoshita, Y; Sawada, M; Kishi, K; Baba, A; Hoshino, E

    1998-01-01

    We examined the effects of a newly synthesized gastrin receptor antagonist, AG-041R, on the growth of enterochromaffin-like (ECL) carcinoid tumors in Mastomys natalensis both in vitro and in vivo. AG-041R was as potent as the well known gastrin antagonist L365,260 in inhibiting not only the gastrin-induced release of histamine from but also histidine decarboxylase (HDC) gene expression in the ECL carcinoid tumor cells. AG-041R also inhibited gastrin-induced DNA synthesis and c-fos gene expression in the tumor cells. Furthermore, AG-041R significantly inhibited the growth of the transplanted Mastomys ECL carcinoid tumors in vivo. From these data, it is concluded that endogenous gastrin is involved in the growth of ECL carcinoid tumors in Mastomys natalensis. Moreover, AG-041R is shown to have a potential as an anti-neoplastic agent for ECL carcinoid tumor of the stomach.

  17. The role of endogenous gastrin in the development of enterochromaffin-like cell carcinoid tumors in Mastomys natalensis: a study with the specific gastrin receptor antagonist AG-041R.

    PubMed Central

    Chiba, T.; Kinoshita, Y.; Sawada, M.; Kishi, K.; Baba, A.; Hoshino, E.

    1998-01-01

    We examined the effects of a newly synthesized gastrin receptor antagonist, AG-041R, on the growth of enterochromaffin-like (ECL) carcinoid tumors in Mastomys natalensis both in vitro and in vivo. AG-041R was as potent as the well known gastrin antagonist L365,260 in inhibiting not only the gastrin-induced release of histamine from but also histidine decarboxylase (HDC) gene expression in the ECL carcinoid tumor cells. AG-041R also inhibited gastrin-induced DNA synthesis and c-fos gene expression in the tumor cells. Furthermore, AG-041R significantly inhibited the growth of the transplanted Mastomys ECL carcinoid tumors in vivo. From these data, it is concluded that endogenous gastrin is involved in the growth of ECL carcinoid tumors in Mastomys natalensis. Moreover, AG-041R is shown to have a potential as an anti-neoplastic agent for ECL carcinoid tumor of the stomach. Images Figure 1 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:10461356

  18. Renal physiology of two southern African Mastomys species (Rodentia: Muridae): a salt-loading experiment to assess concentrating ability.

    PubMed

    Ntshotsho, Phumza; van Aarde, Rudi J; Nicolson, Sue W; Jackson, Tim P

    2004-12-01

    Aspects of renal physiology were examined to test the hypothesis that two cryptic species of the genus Mastomys (Mastomys natalensis and Mastomys coucha) are geographically separated by differences in aridity tolerance. Laboratory-bred females of each species were subjected to different levels of salinity in their water source (distilled water, 0.9% NaCl, and 1.5% NaCl; 10 conspecifics in each group) from weaning until sexual maturity. Individuals of the two species exhibited similar rates of water consumption and urine production. The salinity treatments caused sodium diuresis in both species, evident in increased urine volume, decreased osmolality and increased osmotic output. Urine concentration, kidney mass and kidney relative medullary area (RMA) did not differ between species. The results of our study do not support the hypothesis that differences in osmoregulatory ability separate these two cryptic species. Nor do they support the use of salt loading to elicit maximum urine concentrations in mammals.

  19. The susceptibility of rodents to schistosome infection, with special reference to Schistosoma haematobium.

    PubMed

    Gear, J H; Davis, D H; Pitchford, R J

    1966-01-01

    In this investigation the susceptibility of several species of rodents-Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis, Saccostomus campestris, Arvicanthus niloticus, Aethomys chrysophilus, Tatera brantsi and the white mouse (SAIMR 200 strain)-to Schistosoma haematobium was determined and the pathology studied. From the results it is clear that these rodents are susceptible to infection with Schistosoma haematobium. For various reasons, notably adaptability to laboratory conditions, the most suitable as laboratory animals for the study of bilharziasis are Saccostomus campestris, Arvicanthus niloticus and Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis. These three species breed readily in the laboratory and show a high susceptibility to S. haematobium, with characteristic lesions involving several organs, including the lungs, liver, spleen, pancreas and intestine.

  20. Rodent host cell/Lassa virus interactions: evolution and expression of α-Dystroglycan, LARGE-1 and LARGE-2 genes, with special emphasis on the Mastomys genus.

    PubMed

    Tayeh, Ashraf; Tatard, Caroline; Kako-Ouraga, Sandrine; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Dobigny, Gauthier

    2010-12-01

    Arenaviruses are usually rodent-borne viruses that constitute a major threat for human health. Among them, Lassa Fever Virus (LFV) occurs in Western Africa where it infects hundreds of thousands of people annually. According to the most recent surveys, LFV is hosted by one of the multimammate rats, Mastomys natalensis, but has never been detected in its sibling and sometimes sympatric species Mastomys erythroleucus. This pattern suggests that intrinsic, i.e. genetic properties underlie such a drastic epidemiological difference (M. natalensis as a reservoir vs. M. erythroleucus as a non-reservoir species). Here we investigate genomic differences between these two closely related rodent species by focusing on three genes that have recently been described as pivotal for LFV/human cell interactions: Dystroglycan (the LFV cellular receptor), LARGE-1 and LARGE-2 (two enzymes that are essential to Dystroglycan functioning). For all three genes, sequence analyses showed that amino-acid chains undergo extremely strong purifying selective pressures, and indicated that no nucleotide (therefore no tertiary structure) change can be advocated to explain species-specific differences in LFV-cellular mediation. Nevertheless, preliminary studies of kidney-specific expression profiles suggested that important species-specific differences exist between Mastomys species. Taking into account current knowledge about LFV-human cell interactions, our results may point towards a possible role for LARGE-1 and LARGE-2 enzymes at the intracellular replication level of the virus, rather than at the LFV-host cell receptor binding step.

  1. The susceptibility of rodents to schistosome infection, with special reference to Schistosoma haematobium

    PubMed Central

    Gear, J. H. S.; Davis, D. H. S.; Pitchford, R. J.

    1966-01-01

    In this investigation the susceptibility of several species of rodents—Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis, Saccostomus campestris, Arvicanthus niloticus, Aethomys chrysophilus, Tatera brantsi and the white mouse (SAIMR 200 strain)—to Schistosoma haematobium was determined and the pathology studied. From the results it is clear that these rodents are susceptible to infection with Schistosoma haematobium. For various reasons, notably adaptability to laboratory conditions, the most suitable as laboratory animals for the study of bilharziasis are Saccostomus campestris, Arvicanthus niloticus and Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis. These three species breed readily in the laboratory and show a high susceptibility to S. haematobium, with characteristic lesions involving several organs, including the lungs, liver, spleen, pancreas and intestine. ImagesFIG. 1FIG. 2FIG. 3FIG. 4FIG. 5FIG. 6FIG. 7FIG. 8FIG. 9FIG. 10FIG. 16FIG. 17FIG. 18FIG. 19FIG. 20FIG. 11FIG. 12FIG. 13FIG. 14FIG. 15 PMID:5297005

  2. Hidden heterochromatin: Characterization in the Rodentia species Cricetus cricetus, Peromyscus eremicus (Cricetidae) and Praomys tullbergi (Muridae)

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The use of in situ restriction endonuclease (RE) (which cleaves DNA at specific sequences) digestion has proven to be a useful technique in improving the dissection of constitutive heterochromatin (CH), and in the understanding of the CH evolution in different genomes. In the present work we describe in detail the CH of the three Rodentia species, Cricetus cricetus, Peromyscus eremicus (family Cricetidae) and Praomys tullbergi (family Muridae) using a panel of seven REs followed by C-banding. Comparison of the amount, distribution and molecular nature of C-positive heterochromatin revealed molecular heterogeneity in the heterochromatin of the three species. The large number of subclasses of CH identified in Praomys tullbergi chromosomes indicated that the karyotype of this species is the more derived when compared with the other two genomes analyzed, probably originated by a great number of complex chromosomal rearrangements. The high level of sequence heterogeneity identified in the CH of the three genomes suggests the coexistence of different satellite DNA families, or variants of these families in these genomes. PMID:21637647

  3. Lassa serology in natural populations of rodents and horizontal transmission.

    PubMed

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Koivogui, Lamine; Günther, Stephan

    2014-09-01

    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.

  4. Mastomys (rodentia: muridae) species distinguished by hemoglobin pattern differences.

    PubMed

    Robbins, C B; Krebs, J W; Johnson, K M

    1983-05-01

    Hemoglobin electrophoresis patterns were found to be reliable markers for distinguishing two species of Mastomys in Sierra Leone having 32 and 38 chromosomes. All 32-chromosome animals exhibited a single hemoglobin pattern, whereas those with 38-chromosomes had four distinguishable patterns. Both karyotypes were present throughout Sierra Leone. The 38-chromosome species was more prevalent in the Guinea savanna zone to the north, while the 32-chromosome species was most dominant in human-modified high forest areas of the eastern and southern parts of the country. In almost all situations the 32-chromosome species was more common in houses than in bush habitats; the reverse was true for Mastomys having 38 chromosomes. Analysis of hemoglobin patterns thus becomes useful for species identification, and is necessary to understand the roles of the different Mastomys forms as reservoirs of human diseases, such as Lassa fever in West Africa.

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

    PubMed

    Diouf, Malick; Quilichini, Yann; Granjon, Laurent; Bâ, Cheikh Tidiane; Marchand, Bernard

    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. © M. Diouf et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2013.

  6. 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

  7. Furoquinoline alkaloids from the southern African Rutaceae Teclea natalensis.

    PubMed

    Tarus, Paul K; Coombes, Philip H; Crouch, Neil R; Mulholland, Dulcie A; Moodley, B

    2005-03-01

    The chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of the leaves of Teclea natalensis have yielded two furoquinoline alkaloids, 6-[(2,3-epoxy-3-methylbutyl)oxy]-4,7-dimethoxyfuro[2,3-b]quinoline and 4,7-dimethoxy-6-[(3-methyl-2-butenyl)oxy]furo[2,3-b]quinoline, and the known alkaloids 4,7-dimethoxy-8-[(3-methyl-2-butenyl)oxy]furo[2,3-b]quinoline, flindersiamine and dictamnine.

  8. 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.

  9. Directional vibration sensing in the termite Macrotermes natalensis.

    PubMed

    Hager, Felix A; Kirchner, Wolfgang H

    2014-07-15

    Although several behavioural studies demonstrate the ability of insects to localise the source of vibrations, it is still unclear how insects are able to perceive directional information from vibratory signals on solid substrates, because time-of-arrival and amplitude difference between receptory structures are thought to be too small to be processed by insect nervous systems. The termite Macrotermes natalensis communicates using vibrational drumming signals transmitted along subterranean galleries. When soldiers are attacked by predators, they tend to drum with their heads against the substrate and create a pulsed vibration. Workers respond by a fast retreat into the nest. Soldiers in the vicinity start to drum themselves, leading to an amplification and propagation of the signal. Here we show that M. natalensis makes use of a directional vibration sensing in the context of colony defence. In the field, soldiers are recruited towards the source of the signal. In arena experiments on natural nest material, soldiers are able to localise the source of vibration. Using two movable platforms allowing us to vibrate the legs of the left and right sides of the body with a time delay, we show that the difference in time-of-arrival is the directional cue used for orientation. Delays as short as 0.2 ms are sufficient to be detected. Soldiers show a significant positive tropotaxis to the platform stimulated earlier, demonstrating for the first time perception of time-of-arrival delays and vibrotropotaxis on solid substrates in insects.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Bulbine natalensis and Bulbine frutescens promote cutaneous wound healing.

    PubMed

    Pather, Nalini; Kramer, Beverley

    2012-12-18

    The gel from the leaves of Bulbine natalensis (BN) and Bulbine frutescens (BF) is commonly used as a traditional medicine in South Africa for the treatment of skin wounds and burns. Treatment with both leaf gel extracts has previously been demonstrated to increase tensile strength and protein and DNA content in pig dermal wounds. This study examined the effect of the leaf gel extracts in vivo on histology of wound healing in pigs to elucidate the mechanism of increased tensile strength. Mirror imaged wounds on the dorsum of 12 post weaning female pigs were treated with either BN or BF, biopsied at days 2, 4, 7, 10 and 16 post-wounding and fixed. Sections of wound tissue were then stained with haematoxylin and eosin and Mallory's stain to analyse the general morphology and collagen arrangement; and smooth muscle actin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) receptors were immunolocalised. Histological analysis of the wound tissue in the study indicated earlier wound contraction and collagen deposition in both treatment groups with re-organisation of the collagen (indicating collagen maturation) evident as early as at day 10. The results of this study suggests that the leaf extracts increase tensile strength by increasing fibroplasia, differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, and increased collagen deposition and maturation. This study further validates the use of the Bulbine leaf gels for the treatment of skin wounds. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Demographic aspects of the island syndrome in two Afrotropical Mastomys rodent species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespin, Laurent; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Granjon, Laurent

    2012-02-01

    The island syndrome is the name given to the particularities of the behavioural, morphological and demographical characteristics of island populations. As concerns demography, the island syndrome model states that densities and survival are greater in island than in mainland populations. Most previous studies aimed at confirming this prediction for small mammals have addressed species from the North Temperate Zone. Here, we tested the demographic expectations of the island syndrome using data gathered over two years for island and mainland populations of two African rodent species, Mastomys erytholeucus and Mastomys huberti, at two different sites in Senegal. Capture-Mark-Recapture methods allowing for variation in catchability of the individuals were used to yield estimates of both abundance (or density) and probability of survival and seniority (which is a demographic parameter inversely related to recruitment). As predicted from the island syndrome, survival and densities were indeed higher in island populations for the two study sites; however, only for the population with stronger island syndrome was the difference in survival biologically important. Estimates of the probability of seniority were similar for island and mainland populations at the two sites. Our findings provide support for the demographic expectations of the model of island syndrome in an Afrotropical context and thus confirm the general applicability of this syndrome while revealing differences according to particular insular situations.

  15. Efficient synthesis of a peculiar vicinal diamine semiochemical from Streptomyces natalensis.

    PubMed

    Morin, Jesse B; Sello, Jason K

    2010-08-06

    The pimaricin-inducing (PI) factor, produced by Streptomyces natalensis is a proposed pheromone with a peculiar vicinal diamine structure. The first synthesis of this molecule is reported. It features oxidative dimerization of an aci-nitro anion derived from tris(hydroxymethyl)nitromethane and disproportionation catalyst-facilitated hydrogenation of the resulting vicinal tertiary dinitro compound. As the synthesis requires only four steps with no chromatographic separations, it provides a convenient route to prepare PI factor for biological studies and industrial applications.

  16. Circulating oxidative stress caused by Psoroptes natalensis infestation in Indian water buffaloes.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Sumit; Panigrahi, Padma Nibash; Dey, Sahadeb; Dan, Ananya; Kumar, Akhilesh; Mahendran, K; Maurya, P S

    2017-09-01

    The present study reports the circulating oxidative stress associated with Psoroptes natalensis infestation in Indian water buffaloes. Three non-descriptive water buffaloes, age ranging between 4 and 9 years, presented to Referral Veterinary Polyclinic, IVRI, for treatment served as clinical subject. The infested animals were treated with Ivermectin subcutaneously and Amitraz topically along with antioxidant like ascorbic acid, Vitamin E and selenium. The level of lipid peroxidase was significantly higher (3.94 ± 0.34) in Psoroptes infested buffalo and was reduced significantly (P ≤ 0.05) after treatment (1.56 ± 0.40). The significantly higher levels of MDA before treatment signify the role of lipid peroxide mediated skin lesions in P. natalensis infested buffaloes. Similarly the activities of the body antioxidant like GSH and CAT were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) after treatment. The less level of the body antioxidant (GSH) and reduced activities of the antioxidant enzymes like CAT and SOD before treatment imply that Psoroptes mite-infested buffaloes were in a state of significant oxidative stress. The study provides information on oxidative stress indices in P. natalensis infested buffaloes and gives additional insight regarding the pathogenesis of the disease and its management.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2014-05-07

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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. © The Author(s) 2013.

  1. Pinpointing the vesper bat transposon revolution using the Miniopterus natalensis genome.

    PubMed

    Platt, Roy N; Mangum, Sarah F; Ray, David A

    2016-01-01

    Around 40 million years ago DNA transposons began accumulating in an ancestor of bats in the family Vespertilionidae. Since that time, Class II transposons have been continuously reinvading and accumulating in vespertilionid genomes at a rate that is unprecedented in mammals. Miniopterus (Miniopteridae), a genus of long-fingered bats that was recently elevated from Vespertilionidae, is the sister taxon to the vespertilionids and is often used as an outgroup when studying transposable elements in vesper bats. Previous wet-lab techniques failed to identify Helitrons, TcMariners, or hAT transposons in Miniopterus. Limitations of those methods and ambiguous results regarding the distribution of piggyBac transposons left some questions as to the distribution of Class II elements in this group. The recent release of the Miniopterus natalensis genome allows for transposable element discovery with a higher degree of precision. Here we analyze the transposable element content of M. natalensis to pinpoint with greater accuracy the taxonomic distribution of Class II transposable elements in bats. These efforts demonstrate that, compared to the vespertilionids, Class II TEs are highly mutated and comprise only a small portion of the M. natalensis genome. Despite the limited Class II content, M. natalensis possesses a limited number of lineage-specific, low copy number piggyBacs and shares several TcMariner families with vespertilionid bats. Multiple efforts to identify Helitrons, one of the major TE components of vesper bat genomes, using de novo repeat identification and structural based searches failed. These observations combined with previous results inform our understanding of the events leading to the unique Class II element acquisition that characterizes vespertilionids. While it appears that a small number of TcMariner and piggyBac elements were deposited in the ancestral Miniopterus + vespertilionid genome, these elements are not present in M. natalensis genome at

  2. Effect of non target snails on some biological of Lymnaea natalensis snails and their infection to Fasciola gigantica.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; Hamdi, Salwa A H

    2006-12-01

    The influence of non-target freshwater snails (Melanoides tuberculata and Planorbis planorbis) on the capacity of Fasciola egg production F. gigantica miracidia to infect Lymnaea natalensis and their effect on mortality and growth rates showed that the snails exhibited a competitive ability against L. natalensis. The mortality rate existed in mixed cultures with snails was greatly increased, and increased with increase of snails number. The egg production and growth rate were negatively affected by the presence of M. tuberculata and P. planorbis which was more pronounced when snails were at higher ratio lL: 10D. Also, the snails showed significant degree of reduction in infection rate of L. natalensis with F. gigantica miracidia.

  3. Influence of fungal elicitors on biosynthesis of natamycin by Streptomyces natalensis HW-2.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dahong; Yuan, Jiangfeng; Gu, Shaobin; Shi, Qiang

    2013-06-01

    To investigate the effect of fungal elicitors on biosynthesis of natamycin in the cultures of Streptomyces natalensis HW-2, the biomass and filtrate of the broth from Aspergillus niger AS 3.6472, Penicillium chrysogenum AS 3.5163, A. oryzae AS 3.2068, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae AS 2.2081 were used to induce natamycin production in S. natalensis HW-2. The results showed that the biomass of P. chrysogenum AS 3.5163 could enhance the yield of natamycin from 0.639 to 0.875 g l(-1). The elicitor from the fermentation broth of P. chrysogenum AS 3.5163 showed the highest inducing efficiency with the yield of natamycin enhanced from 0.632 to 1.84 g l(-1). The elicitor that was cultured for 2 days showed the strongest inducing activity during the fermentation of S. natalensis HW-2 for 24 h, and the yield of natamycin was enhanced from 0.637 to 2.12 g l(-1). The biochemical parameters were examined at the end of fermentation and the results demonstrated that both the growth of cells and the concentration of residual sugar could be influenced. The residual sugar decreased from 5.03 to 4.27 g l(-1), and the biomass decreased from 10.26 to 6.87 g l(-1). Finally, the elicitor was identified as a low molecular weight substance with a similar polarity to that of butyl alcohol by primary qualitative analysis.

  4. 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.

  5. Molluscicidal activities of aqueous extract of the sea anemone Parasicyonis actinostoloides against vector snails Bulinus truncatus and Lymnaea natalensis.

    PubMed

    el-Sayed, Kamelia Abass

    2006-08-01

    The aqueous extract of the sea anemone Parasicyonis actinostoloides showed molluscicidal effect against vector snails of Schistosoma hacematobium and Fasciola gigantica after 24 hours of exposure. LC50) and LC90 values for P. actinostoloides were 40 & 78.6 ppm for B. runcatus and 46.6 & 86.5 ppm for L. natalensis respectively. The effect of continuously exposure of B. truncatits and L. naltlensis to sublethal aqueous extract concentrations (LC0, LC10 & LC25) on survival rate, egg production and on infectivity of miracidia to infection with S. haematobium and F. gigantica were studied. The data showed that no B. truncatus survived more than 42, 32 & 27 days after exposure with a mean life span of 18.5, 13.3 & 11.1 days respectively. The death rate of B. truncatus with LC0 was highly significant as compared to treatment with LC10 & LC25 (p < 0.01). L. natalensis were more susceptible to the effect of aqueous extract than B. truncatus. LC0, LC10 & LC25, extract killed all L. natalensis through 32, 27 & 22 days. The mean life span of those exposed to LC0 was 12.37 days, high significant when compared with treated LC10 & LC25 ones (p < 0.01). The cumulative mortality rates of B. truncatus and L. natalensis in controls during the experimental study (52 days) was 60% & 75%, respectively. Egg production of B. truncatius and L. natalensis was not affected by sublethal concentrations. Control snails layed significantly higher no. of eggs than treated ones. B. truncatus stopped egg laying 17 days after exposure to LC25. those treated with LC10 & LC0 ceased to deposit eggs after 22 & 27 days respectively. The percent reduction in egg laying capacity of B. truncatus treated with LC0, LC10 & LC25 compared to controls was 77.1%, 93.2% & 92.8% respectively (p < 0.01). Similar reduction in egg production of treated L. natalensis cornpared to controls occurred, the percent reduction in egg production of snails treated with LC0, LC10 & LC25 in relation to controls was 78.4%, 92

  6. 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

  7. Influence of photon beam irradiation on Lymnaea natalensis snails infected with Fasciola gigantica.

    PubMed

    Said, Doaa E; Rostom, Yousry A

    2006-04-01

    Lymnaea natalensis is the intermediate host of Fasciola gigantica in Egypt. The effect of photon beam irradiation on the ability of the laboratory reared L. natalensis to support the larval development of F. gigantica has been studied. 120 snails were divided into two groups: The control infected non irradiated group (GI) and the experimental infected irradiated group (GII). The later group was subdivided into two subgroups: GIIa: snails irradiated before infection and GIIb: snails irradiated after infection. Photon beam irradiation had non significant effect on the survival rate between the all groups at the 30th day post infection. The life span, the number of infected snails and the length of the shedding period were significantly decreased in the two irradiated subgroups than the control group. The effect was more obvious on GIIb without significant difference. The number of metacercariae significantly decreased in the 2 irradiated subgroups than the control one. Also, it was significantly decreased in GIIb when compared with GIIa. So, photon beam irradiation has a great role on retarding larval development of F. gigantica inside the snail. This opens the way to a new strategy for fascioliasis control of in Egypt.

  8. The third dimension of bat migration: evidence for elevational movements of Miniopterus natalensis along the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

    PubMed

    Voigt, Christian C; Helbig-Bonitz, Maria; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; Kalko, Elisabeth K V

    2014-03-01

    Bats are important ecosystem service providers, and therefore most relevant for both lowland and highland habitats, particularly in the tropics. Yet, it is poorly understood to what extent they perform large-scale movements, especially movements along mountain slopes. Here, we studied the movement ecology of the potentially migratory species Miniopterus natalensis at Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. We analysed stable isotope ratios of C (δ(13)C), N (δ(15)N) and H (δ(2)H) in keratin of sedentary frugivorous and insectivorous bats captured between 800 and 2,400 m above sea level to establish elevational gradients of stable isotope ratios in consumer tissues. We expected correlations between stable isotope ratios of the non-exchangeable portion of H in fur keratin and the elevation of capture site, but not necessarily for δ(13)C and δ(15)N. Yet, in bats of both feeding ensembles, we found δ(15)N of fur keratin to correlate positively with the elevation of capture sites but not δ(2)H. In frugivorous bats, δ(13)C increased with increasing capture elevation as well. By looking at intra-individual variation of δ(13)C and δ(15)N in fur keratin and wing membrane tissues of sedentary Rhinolophus cf. clivosus and of the potentially migratory species M. natalensis, we gathered evidence that M. natalensis migrates seasonally between low and high elevations along the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Finally, based on an isoscape origin model we estimated that M. natalensis captured before and after the cold period at around 1,800 m above sea level originated from around 1,400 m a.s.l. or lower. Thus, we received convergent results in support of seasonal elevational movements of M. natalensis, probably in search for cold hibernacula at higher elevations of Mount Kilimanjaro.

  9. Anabolic and androgenic activities of Bulbine natalensis stem in male Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Yakubu, Musa T; Afolayan, Anthony J

    2010-05-01

    Aqueous extract of Bulbine natalensis Baker (Asphodelaceae) stem at 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight was investigated for anabolic and androgenic effects in male Wistar rats. Sixty male rats were grouped into four (A-D) consisting of 15 each. Group A (control) was orally treated with 0.5 mL of distilled water for 14 days while groups B, C and D were treated like the control except they received 0.5 mL containing 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg body weight of the extract respectively. All the doses of the extract increased (P <0.05) the testicular-body weight ratio as well as alkaline phosphatase activity, glycogen, sialic acid, protein, and cholesterol content of the testes except the single administration of 100 mg/kg body weight which compared well (P>0.05) with the controls for glycogen and cholesterol. The testicular and serum testosterone concentration were increased except in the 100 mg/kg body weight where the effect on the tissue and serum hormone did not manifest until after the first and seven daily doses respectively. Testicular acid phosphatase activity, serum follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormone concentrations also increased at all the doses except in the 100 mg/kg body weight where the effect on the enzyme and the hormone did not manifest until after seven days. The increases were most pronounced in the 50 mg/kg body weight extract treated animals. The results indicate anabolic and androgenic activities of Bulbine natalensis stem in male rat testes with the 50 mg/kg body weight of the extract exhibiting the highest anabolizing and androgenic activities. These activities further support the folkloric use of the plant most especially at 50 mg/kg body weight in the management of male sexual dysfunction in South Africa.

  10. Morphological and ecological studies on Lymnaea natalensis the snail vector of Fasciola gigantica in Egypt.

    PubMed

    el-Dafrawy, Shadia M

    2002-08-01

    Lymnaea natalensis were collected from several localities in Giza Governorate (El-Mansouria, Kafr Hakim and The Nile). The collected snails were examined for cercarial shedding and measurement of shell was carried out using a virner caliper. A total of 217 Lymnaea was collected from all habitats and 24 snails were found to shed Fasciola gigantica cercariae with infection rate 11.1%. The ratio of shell height to shell width (H/W) ranged 1.7-2.1. The ratio between length of aperture to shell height (A/H) was almost constant ranged 0.7-0.8. While the ratio between length of aperture and shell width (A/W) ranged from to 1.8. There was a significant positive correlation between shell height and both shell width and length of aperture (p<0.001). The same relation was clearly indicated between shell width and length of aperture. Also, when the aperture length increased the ratio between height and width increased (p<0.05). While, the following ratios (H/W), (A/H) and (A/W) remained somewhat constant irrespective to the number of whorls. There was a positive correlation between number of whorls and each of aperture length, shell length and shell height. On maintaining L. natalensis in different pH values, the results showed that at pH 3 and pH 11, all snails maintained at these pH values died after one day of maintenance. While snails survived and laid eggs in the range of pH 5-9.

  11. The CCK(2) receptor antagonist, YF476, inhibits Mastomys ECL cell hyperplasia and gastric carcinoid tumor development.

    PubMed

    Kidd, M; Siddique, Z-L; Drozdov, I; Gustafsson, B I; Camp, R L; Black, J W; Boyce, M; Modlin, I M

    2010-06-08

    YF476 is a potent and highly selective cholecystokin 2 (CCK(2)) receptor antagonist of the benzodiazepine class. It inhibits gastric neuroendocrine enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cell secretion, proliferation and spontaneous formation of gastric neuroendocrine tumors (carcinoids) in cotton rats. The Mastomys rodent species exhibits a genetic predisposition to gastric ECL neuroendocrine tumor formation which can be accelerated by acid suppression and induction of hypergastrinemia. In this respect, it mimics the human condition of atrophic gastritis, hypergastrinemia and gastric carcinoid development. We investigated whether YF476 could inhibit acid suppression-induced ECL cell hyperplasia and neoplasia in this model. In addition, we examined whether YF476 could reverse established ECL cell hyperplasia and neoplasia. Targeting the CCK(2) receptor during Loxtidine-induced hypergastrinemia resulted in a reduction in ECL cell secretion (plasma and mucosal histamine, and histidine decarboxylase (HDC) transcripts, p<0.05) and proliferation (numbers of HDC-positive cells, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and cyclin D1 transcription). This was associated with a decrease in ECL cell hyperplasia and a 60% reduction in gastric ECL cell microcarcinoid (tumors <0.3mm in size) formation. YF476 inhibited ECL cell neoplasia (gastric carcinoid) in animals with hyperplasia, inhibited the formation of ECL cell tumors when co-administered with Loxtidine and reversed the growth and developement of gastric ECL cell carcinoids in long-term acid suppressed Mastomys. Variable importance analysis using a logistic multinomial regression model indicated the effects of YF476 were specific to the ECL cell and alterations in ECL cell function reflected inhibition of transcripts for HDC, Chromogranin A (CgA), CCK(2) and the autocrine growth factor, CTGF. We conclude that specifically targeting the CCK(2) receptor inhibits gastrin-mediated ECL cell secretion and ECL cell proliferation and tumor

  12. The fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis harbors bacillaene-producing Bacillus sp. that inhibit potentially antagonistic fungi

    PubMed Central

    Um, Soohyun; Fraimout, Antoine; Sapountzis, Panagiotis; Oh, Dong-Chan; Poulsen, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The ancient fungus-growing termite (Mactrotermitinae) symbiosis involves the obligate association between a lineage of higher termites and basidiomycete Termitomyces cultivar fungi. Our investigation of the fungus-growing termite Macrotermes natalensis shows that Bacillus strains from M. natalensis colonies produce a single major antibiotic, bacillaene A (1), which selectively inhibits known and putatively antagonistic fungi of Termitomyces. Comparative analyses of the genomes of symbiotic Bacillus strains revealed that they are phylogenetically closely related to Bacillus subtilis, their genomes have high homology with more than 90% of ORFs being 100% identical, and the sequence identities across the biosynthetic gene cluster for bacillaene are higher between termite-associated strains than to the cluster previously reported in B. subtilis. Our findings suggest that this lineage of antibiotic-producing Bacillus may be a defensive symbiont involved in the protection of the fungus-growing termite cultivar. PMID:24248063

  13. A comparative study of haemocytes from resistant and susceptible Lymnaea natalensis snails exposed to Fasciola gigantica miracidia.

    PubMed

    El-Sayed, Kamelia A; El-Din, Abdel-hakim saad; Gad EL-KAarim, Rasha M

    2014-12-01

    Effect ot infection with Fasciola gigantica on total and differential haemocytes count of resistant and susceptible Lymnaea natalensis snails were studied. Exposure of L. natalensis resistant and susceptible strains to F. gigantica on miracidia caused gradual increase in the number of circulating haemocytes at the same time of exposure. In susceptible strain, the increase in the number of circulating haemocytes became significant at the second week post exposure being 2560 cell/ml (pnatalensis snails revealed that haemolymph contained three morphological types of haemocytes, designated as round small, round large (hyalinoctyes) and granulocytes spreading. Their average percentage was 12.3±5.5%, 81.0±4.6% and 6.7±2.1% of total cells respectively. Data indicated that by the second day post exposure infected snails had significantly higher percentage of granulocytes than controls.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  15. Helicobacter pylori lipopolysaccharide alters ECL cell DNA synthesis via a CD14 receptor and polyamine pathway in mastomys.

    PubMed

    Kidd, M; Tang, L H; Schmid, S; Lauffer, J; Louw, J A; Modlin, I M

    2000-01-01

    Chronic Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with alterations in gastric mucosal cell proliferation. Despite the recognition that bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is present in biologically active quantities in the gastric mucosa, the mechanisms by which it stimulates cells are largely unknown. We have previously established a gastric enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cell neoplasia model in the African rodent species Mastomys and identified that tumor ECL cell proliferation is associated with polyamine biosynthesis and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity. In addition, we have shown that H. pylori LPS exhibits a specific mitogenic effect on naive ECL cells in vitro. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether H. pylori has a direct effect on tumor ECL cell proliferation in vitro and further to evaluate the possible molecular mechanisms for this effect. ECL cell neoplasia was generated in Mastomys by endogenous hypergastrinemia induced by H(2) blockade (loxtidine 1 g/kg/day) and tumor ECL cells prepared. The DNA synthesis in 24-hour cultured tumor cells was measured by bromodeoxyuridine uptake and ODC activity by (14)CO(2) formation from (14)C-ornithine. The putative LPS receptor, CD14, was evaluated by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Our results demonstrated: (1) H. pylori LPS (10(-12) to 10(-7) M) stimulated basal DNA synthesis (2.2-fold) with an estimated EC(50) of 10(-10) M; (2) this proliferative response correlated with an increase in ODC activity (1.4-fold, EC(50) approximately 10(-10) M) which could be inhibited by a specific ODC inhibitor, difluoromethyl ornithine, at 10(-9) M; (3) the CD14 receptor was identified in both naive and transformed ECL cells by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, and (4) the effects of LPS were inhibited by blocking the CD14 receptor with its specific monoclonal antibody (1:100). Thus, H. pylori LPS appears to influence tumor ECL cell proliferation by activation of the intracellular

  16. Comparison of morphological characteristics of Streptomyces natalensis by image analysis and focused beam reflectance measurement.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Alan P; Glennon, Brian; Kieran, Patricia M

    2003-01-01

    A morphological interpretation is presented for data collected during growth of a filamentous organism, using a focused beam reflectance measurement (FBRM) system. The morphology of the organism was also obtained using conventional semiautomatic image analysis to support the interpretation of the FBRM data. The model organism employed is the filamentous soil-borne actinomycete Streptomyces natalensis, which produces the antifungal agent pimaricin. The organism was cultivated both in shake flasks and in a bench-scale stirred tank bioreactor. It was found that FBRM could be used to track changes in the morphology of the organism throughout the course of its growth on both scales. These changes were highlighted using both the median chord length and length-weighted mean chord length obtained from the chord length distribution measured with the FBRM probe. The ability of the FBRM probe to respond to changes in both the size and morphology of mycelial aggregates was supported by standard image analysis parameters, including equivalent diameter, convex area, and compactness.

  17. Effects of Fasciola gigantica experimental infection on some inorganic elements in the snail host Lymnaea natalensis.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, Osama Mohammad Sayed

    2008-04-01

    Flame atomic absorption spectrometry was performed to determine the alteration in the concentrations of metallic ion Pb, Zn, K, Na, Fe, Cu and Co in the soft parts of the Lymnaea natalensis snails shedding Fasciola gigantica cercariae and to determine the alteration in the concentration of Ca in the soft parts and shells of the same snails. The Co was found to be present at concentration level below the detection limits of the analytical method used. Regarding detected elements, three elements Zn, K and Cu were found to be present at significantly higher concentrations in cercariae-shedding snails compared with uninfected snails. Two elements, Pb and Na, showed significant decrease in cercariae-shedding snails compared to uninfected ones. The concentration of Fe showed non-significant increase. The results showed significant lowering in the calcium content of the shells and soft parts of cercariae-shedding snails relative to the calcium content in the uninfected ones. The obtained results and the hypothesis of hypercalcification in shells of infected snails were discussed.

  18. Intestinal parasites of conventionally maintained BALB/c mice and Mastomys coucha and the effects of a concomitant schistosome infection.

    PubMed

    Higgins-Opitz, S B; Dettman, C D; Dingle, C E; Anderson, C B; Becker, P J

    1990-07-01

    A longitudinal study was carried out to identify the spectrum of intestinal parasites present in conventionally maintained BALB/c mice and Mastomys coucha and to determine the effects of concomitant schistosome infections on their parasite status. Six parasites were observed during the course of the study, namely the nematodes Aspiculuris tetraptera and Syphacia obvelata, Entamoeba muris and the flagellates Trichomonas muris, Spironucleus muris and Chilomastix spp. Although the 2 rodents shared common facilities, the overall prevalences of S. obvelata, T. muris and S. muris were significantly higher in M. coucha than BALB/c mice. BALB/c mice with concomitant schistosome infection had increased prevalences of E. muris, T. muris and S. muris. In M. coucha, in contrast, there were no significant increases in parasite prevalences. Infection intensities of T. muris and S. muris were significantly greater in M. coucha than BALB/c mice. Concomitant schistosome infection resulted in increased intensities of T. muris infection in BALB/c mice only. The influence of immune status in determining the susceptibilities of rodents to environmentally transmitted parasites is discussed.

  19. Immunization of Mastomys coucha with Brugia malayi recombinant trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase results in significant protection against homologous challenge infection.

    PubMed

    Kushwaha, Susheela; Singh, Prashant Kumar; Rana, Ajay Kumar; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2013-01-01

    Development of a vaccine to prevent or reduce parasite development in lymphatic filariasis would be a complementary approach to existing chemotherapeutic tools. Trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase of Brugia malayi (Bm-TPP) represents an attractive vaccine target due to its absence in mammals, prevalence in the major life stages of the parasite and immunoreactivity with human bancroftian antibodies, especially from endemic normal subjects. We have recently reported on the cloning, expression, purification and biochemical characterization of this vital enzyme of B. malayi. In the present study, immunoprophylactic evaluation of Bm-TPP was carried out against B. malayi larval challenge in a susceptible host Mastomys coucha and the protective ability of the recombinant protein was evaluated by observing the adverse effects on microfilarial density and adult worm establishment. Immunization caused 78.4% decrease in microfilaremia and 71.04% reduction in the adult worm establishment along with sterilization of 70.06% of the recovered live females. The recombinant protein elicited a mixed Th1/Th2 type of protective immune response as evidenced by the generation of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4 and an increased production of antibody isotypes IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b and IgA. Thus immunization with Bm-TPP conferred considerable protection against B. malayi establishment by engendering a long-lasting effective immune response and therefore emerges as a potential vaccine candidate against lymphatic filariasis (LF).

  20. Leptospirosis Survey of Rodents and Domestic Animals in Ethiopia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-08-01

    and Acomys were negative. Earlier studics in Egypt (Brownlow and Dedeaux, 1964) revealed an I 8.3% seropositivity and a 0.23% culture positivity on...natalensis 56 51 - 47 Acomys cahirnus 8 5 - 8 Leuphoromys flavoptntttus 3 3 - 3 Praomys natalensis I 1 - 1 TOTAL 276 - 352 326 10 TABLE 2 Domestic

  1. Immunization of Mastomys coucha with Brugia malayi Recombinant Trehalose-6-Phosphate Phosphatase Results in Significant Protection against Homologous Challenge Infection

    PubMed Central

    Kushwaha, Susheela; Singh, Prashant Kumar; Rana, Ajay Kumar; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2013-01-01

    Development of a vaccine to prevent or reduce parasite development in lymphatic filariasis would be a complementary approach to existing chemotherapeutic tools. Trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase of Brugia malayi (Bm-TPP) represents an attractive vaccine target due to its absence in mammals, prevalence in the major life stages of the parasite and immunoreactivity with human bancroftian antibodies, especially from endemic normal subjects. We have recently reported on the cloning, expression, purification and biochemical characterization of this vital enzyme of B. malayi. In the present study, immunoprophylactic evaluation of Bm-TPP was carried out against B. malayi larval challenge in a susceptible host Mastomys coucha and the protective ability of the recombinant protein was evaluated by observing the adverse effects on microfilarial density and adult worm establishment. Immunization caused 78.4% decrease in microfilaremia and 71.04% reduction in the adult worm establishment along with sterilization of 70.06% of the recovered live females. The recombinant protein elicited a mixed Th1/Th2 type of protective immune response as evidenced by the generation of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4 and an increased production of antibody isotypes IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b and IgA. Thus immunization with Bm-TPP conferred considerable protection against B. malayi establishment by engendering a long-lasting effective immune response and therefore emerges as a potential vaccine candidate against lymphatic filariasis (LF). PMID:24015262

  2. Redescription of Ateleopus japonicus Bleeker 1853, a senior synonym of Ateleopus natalensis Regan 1921 (Teleostei: Ateleopodiformes: Ateleopodidae).

    PubMed

    Kaga, Tatsuya

    2017-03-06

    Ateleopus natalensis Regan 1921, described from off the coast of Natal, South Africa, has been regarded as a valid species. Regan (1921) stated that the difference between the two species is the condition of the lower-jaw teeth: toothless in A. natalensis vs. teeth present in Ateleopus japonicus Bleeker 1853. However, the condition of lower-jaw teeth of Ateleopus has been proved an unreliable character because the lower-jaw teeth are very deciduous. Although Regan (1921) also implied that the differences between the two species include several body proportions, my examination of two syntypes and non-type specimens of A. natalensis from the western Indian Ocean revealed their close similarity to the range of many specimens of A. japonicus. Ateleopus japonicus is redescribed as a senior synonym of A. natalensis.

  3. Floral volatiles, pollinator sharing and diversification in the fig–wasp mutualism: insights from Ficus natalensis, and its two wasp pollinators (South Africa)

    PubMed Central

    Cornille, A.; Underhill, J. G.; Cruaud, A.; Hossaert-McKey, M.; Johnson, S. D.; Tolley, K. A.; Kjellberg, F.; van Noort, S.; Proffit, M.

    2012-01-01

    Combining biogeographic, ecological, morphological, molecular and chemical data, we document departure from strict specialization in the fig-pollinating wasp mutualism. We show that the pollinating wasps Elisabethiella stuckenbergi and Elisabethiella socotrensis form a species complex of five lineages in East and Southern Africa. Up to two morphologically distinct lineages were found to co-occur locally in the southern African region. Wasps belonging to a single lineage were frequently the main regional pollinators of several Ficus species. In South Africa, two sister lineages, E. stuckenbergi and E. socotrensis, pollinate Ficus natalensis but only E. stuckenbergi also regularly pollinates Ficus burkei. The two wasp species co-occur in individual trees of F. natalensis throughout KwaZulu-Natal. Floral volatile blends emitted by F. natalensis in KwaZulu-Natal were similar to those emitted by F. burkei and different from those produced by other African Ficus species. The fig odour similarity suggests evolutionary convergence to attract particular wasp species. The observed pattern may result from selection for pollinator sharing among Ficus species. Such a process, with one wasp species regionally pollinating several hosts, but several wasp species pollinating a given Ficus species across its geographical range could play an important role in the evolutionary dynamics of the Ficus-pollinating wasp association. PMID:22130605

  4. Floral volatiles, pollinator sharing and diversification in the fig-wasp mutualism: insights from Ficus natalensis, and its two wasp pollinators (South Africa).

    PubMed

    Cornille, A; Underhill, J G; Cruaud, A; Hossaert-McKey, M; Johnson, S D; Tolley, K A; Kjellberg, F; van Noort, S; Proffit, M

    2012-05-07

    Combining biogeographic, ecological, morphological, molecular and chemical data, we document departure from strict specialization in the fig-pollinating wasp mutualism. We show that the pollinating wasps Elisabethiella stuckenbergi and Elisabethiella socotrensis form a species complex of five lineages in East and Southern Africa. Up to two morphologically distinct lineages were found to co-occur locally in the southern African region. Wasps belonging to a single lineage were frequently the main regional pollinators of several Ficus species. In South Africa, two sister lineages, E. stuckenbergi and E. socotrensis, pollinate Ficus natalensis but only E. stuckenbergi also regularly pollinates Ficus burkei. The two wasp species co-occur in individual trees of F. natalensis throughout KwaZulu-Natal. Floral volatile blends emitted by F. natalensis in KwaZulu-Natal were similar to those emitted by F. burkei and different from those produced by other African Ficus species. The fig odour similarity suggests evolutionary convergence to attract particular wasp species. The observed pattern may result from selection for pollinator sharing among Ficus species. Such a process, with one wasp species regionally pollinating several hosts, but several wasp species pollinating a given Ficus species across its geographical range could play an important role in the evolutionary dynamics of the Ficus-pollinating wasp association.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Factors associated with flea infestation among the different rodent species in Mbulu and Karatu districts, northern Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Haule, Martin; Lyamuya, Eligius F; Matee, Mecky I; Kilonzo, Bukheti S; Hang'ombe, Bernard M

    2013-07-01

    Flea infection with the bacterium, Yersinia pestis is acquired from reservoirs which include several rodents and other small mammals. In areas that are endemic of plague, reservoirs of Y. pestis and various flea vectors are responsible for perpetuating existence of the disease. The objective of this cross sectional study was to investigate the magnitude and factors associated with flea infestation among different rodent species of northern Tanzania, where outbreaks of plague have been recently reported. House rodents were trapped with box traps, while field and forest rodents were trapped with Sherman live traps. Fleas were removed from the rodents by using shoe-shining brush and were identified to genus level. Among the captured rodents, Rattus rattus (26.5%), Lophuromys flavopunctatus (16.5%), Praomys delectorum (16.2%) and Mastomys natalensis (32.3%) were most abundant rodent species, accounting for 91% of all species. Altogether, 805 fleas belonging to nine species were collected from 61% of the captured rodents. The most common fleas were Xenopsylla spp.; Dinopsyllus spp and Ctenophthalmus spp. Fleas were found to be highly abundant in M. natalensis, R. rattus, P. delectorum and L .flavopunctatus. Most of rodents were heavily infested with various flea species. These flea species probably play an important role in the transmission of plague in these two districts. We conclude that rodent species was the most important risk factor associating with flea infestation among the rodent population. Therefore, measures for control and prevention of plague in this area should particularly target rodents associated with high intensity of flea infestation.

  10. Impact of various salts on biology, physiology and tissue soluble proteins (SDS-PAGE) of Lymnaea natalensis and their infection with Fasciola gigantica miracidia.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Moamena Bayoumi

    2006-08-01

    The effect of sublethal concentrations of magnesium sulphate (MgSo4), sodium chloride (NaCl), potassium chloride (KCl), calcium sulphate (CaSo4) and sodium carbonate (Na2Co3) on survival, fecundity, Lymnaea natalensis infection with Fasciola gigantica miracidia and the activities of certain enzymes in tissue homogenate of these snails were evaluated. Tissue soluble proteins of the snails were analyzed by SDS-PAGE. The results indicated that Na2Co3 was more toxic to L. natalensis than the other salts. Egg laying capacity was declined after two weeks of continuous exposure to Na2Co3 (0.38 eggs/snail/week) compared to (13.85 eggs/snail/week) for controls. The lowest infection rate was among snails exposed to MgSo4 (31.25%) with a significant variation from controls (64.28%). The salts supperssed cercarial production of infected snails (14.6 metacercariae/ snail/stimulant) at MgSo4 compared to (59.3 metacercariae/ snail/stimulant) for controls. The maintenance of L. natalensis in the salts solutions for four successive weeks reduced the total protein content in their tissues (13.2 mg/g) at Na2Co3 (100 ppm) compared to (21.47 mg/g) for controls. The activity of alkaline phosphatase was significantly reduced in treated snails than controls. The electrophoretic data revealed a common band between controls and treated snails with a molecular weight of 79.42 to 80.55 kDa. There were bands in treated snails but not in controls (41.2 & 45 kDa). A band was detected for snails treated with each salt but not with controls or the other treated groups (28.68 kDa at NaCl, 100.75 kDa at CaSo4 & 205 Kda at KCl).

  11. Responses of Mastomys coucha, that have been infected with Brugia malayi and treated with diethylcarbamazine or albendazole, to re-exposure to infection.

    PubMed

    Khan, M A; Gaur, R L; Dixit, S; Saleemuddin, M; Murthy, P K

    2004-12-01

    The responses of Mastomys coucha to re-exposure to infection with homologous infective larvae (L(3)) of Brugia malayi were investigated, after initial infections with the nematode had been treated subcutaneously for 5 days with diethylcarbamazine (DEC; 150 mg citrate/kg. day) or albendazole (ALB; 50 mg/kg. day). The parasite burdens, serum concentrations of IgG reacting with a soluble somatic extract of adult B. malayi (BmAS), and cytokine and lymphocyte-proliferative responses to filarial antigen (BmAS) or mitogen (concanavilin A or lipopolysaccharide) were studied. The results demonstrated, for the first time, that re-infection with L(3) was only successful in the DEC-treated animals, not the ALB-treated ones. When the ALB-treated animals were re-exposed, interferon-gamma production decreased, lymphocyte-proliferative responses either remained the same (with concanavilin A) or decreased (with BmAS), and concentrations of specific IgG decreased. When the DEC-treated animals were re-exposed, microfilaraemias re-appeared and, although production of interferon-gamma decreased, there were no detectable lymphocyte proliferative responses, and concentrations of specific IgG remained unchanged. Taken together, the results indicate that, at least in the M. coucha model of human filariasis, ALB but not DEC treatment may help to prevent the development of re-infections.

  12. 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.

  13. Immunization with Brugia malayi Myosin as Heterologous DNA Prime Protein Boost Induces Protective Immunity against B. malayi Infection in Mastomys coucha

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Jyoti; Misra, Sweta; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2016-01-01

    The current control strategies employing chemotherapy with diethylcarbamazine, ivermectin and albendazole have reduced transmission in some filaria-endemic areas, there is growing interest for complementary approaches, such as vaccines especially in light of threat of parasite developing resistance to mainstay drugs. We earlier demonstrated recombinant heavy chain myosin of B. malayi (Bm-Myo) as a potent vaccine candidate whose efficacy was enhanced by heterologous DNA prime/protein boost (Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo) vaccination in BALB/c mice. BALB/c mouse though does not support the full developmental cycle of B. malayi, however, the degree of protection may be studied in terms of transformation of challenged infective larvae (L3) to next stage (L4) with an ease of delineating the generated immunological response of host. In the current investigation, DNA vaccination with Bm-Myo was therefore undertaken in susceptible rodent host, Mastomys coucha (M. coucha) which sustains the challenged L3 and facilitates their further development to sexually mature adult parasites with patent microfilaraemia. Immunization schedule consisted of Myo-pcD and Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo followed by B. malayi L3 challenge and the degree of protection was evaluated by observing microfilaraemia as well as adult worm establishment. Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo immunized animals not only developed 78.5% reduced blood microfilarial density but also decreased adult worm establishment by 75.3%. In addition, 75.4% of the recovered live females revealed sterilization over those of respective control animals. Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo triggered higher production of specific IgG and its isotypes which induced marked cellular adhesion and cytotoxicity (ADCC) to microfilariae (mf) and L3 in vitro. Both Th1 and Th2 cytokines were significantly up-regulated displaying a mixed immune response conferring considerable protection against B. malayi establishment by engendering a long-lasting effective immune response and therefore emerges as a

  14. Recovery of a Lassa-related arenavirus in Zimbabwe.

    PubMed

    Johnson, K M; Taylor, P; Elliott, L H; Tomori, O

    1981-11-01

    Immunofluorescent antibodies to "Mozambique" virus, a close relative of Lassa virus, were found in 11 of 55 Mastomys natalensis and 1 of 13 Aethomys chrysophilus rodents captured near Que Que and Chiredzi, Zimbabwe. Six strains of Mozambique virus, identified by use of specific monoclonal antibodies to the agent, were recovered from visceral tissues of M. natalensis rodents. All Mastomys having virus or antibodies to this agent were of the chromosomal form 2N = 32 (M. natalensis). These data extend the area of geographic occurrence of this virus, which was initially recognized in Mozambique and which may represent a naturally attenuated antigenic variant of human pathogenic West African Lassa virus.

  15. PimT, an amino acid exporter controls polyene production via secretion of the quorum sensing pimaricin-inducer PI-factor in Streptomyces natalensis

    PubMed Central

    Vicente, Cláudia M; Santos-Aberturas, Javier; Guerra, Susana M; Payero, Tamara D; Martín, Juan F; Aparicio, Jesús F

    2009-01-01

    Background Polyenes represent a major class of antifungal agents characterised by the presence of a series of conjugated double bonds in their planar hydroxylated macrolide ring structure. Despite their general interest, very little is known about the factors that modulate their biosynthesis. Among these factors, we have recently discovered a new inducing compound (PI-factor) in the pimaricin producer Streptomyces natalensis, which elicits polyene production in a manner characteristic of quorum sensing. Here, we describe the involvement of an amino-acid exporter from S. natalensis in modulating the expression of pimaricin biosynthetic genes via secretion of the quorum-sensing pimaricin-inducer PI-factor. Results Adjacent to the pimaricin gene cluster lies a member of the RhtB family of amino-acid exporters. Gene deletion and complementation experiments provided evidence for a role for PimT in the export of L-homoserine, L-serine, and L-homoserine lactone. Expression of the gene was shown to be induced by homoserine and by the quorum-sensing pimaricin-inducer PI-factor. Interestingly, the mutant displayed 65% loss of pimaricin production, and also 50% decrease in the production of PI, indicating that PimT is used as PI-factor exporter, and suggesting that the effect in antifungal production might be due to limited secretion of the inducer. Conclusion This report describes the involvement of an amino acid exporter (encoded by pimT in the vicinity of the pimaricin cluster) in modulating the expression of antibiotic biosynthetic genes via secretion of the quorum-sensing pimaricin-inducer PI-factor. The discovery of the participation of amino acid exporters in a signal transduction cascade for the production of polyene macrolides is unexpected, and represents an important step forward towards understanding the regulatory network for polyene regulation. Additionally, this finding constitutes the first detailed characterization of an amino-acid exporter in an Actinomycete

  16. A comparison of metal levels and antioxidant enzymes in freshwater snails, Lymnaea natalensis, exposed to sediment and water collected from Wright Dam and Lower Mguza Dam, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

    PubMed

    Siwela, A H; Nyathi, C B; Naik, Y S

    2010-10-01

    We compared the bioaccumulation of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and iron (Fe) with antioxidant enzyme activity in tissues of the snails, Lymnaea natalensis, exposed to elements of two differently polluted dams. 45 snails were exposed to sediment and water collected from Wight Dam (reference) whilst another 45 snails were also exposed to sediment and water collected from Lower Mguza Dam (polluted dam). Except for Fe in sediment and Pb in water, metal concentrations were statistically higher in sediment and water collected from Lower Mguza Dam. Lead, Cd and Zn were two times higher in tissues of snails exposed to Lower Mguza Dam elements. On one hand, superoxide dismutase (SOD), diphosphotriphosphodiaphorase (DTD) and catalase (CAT) activities were significantly lower whilst malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were significantly higher in tissues of snails exposed to Lower Mguza Dam sediment and water. On the other hand, selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase (Se-GPX) activity was significantly elevated in tissues of snails exposed to Lower Mguza Dam sediment and water. Snails exposed to Lower Mguza Dam elements seem to have responded to pollution by increasing CAT and Se-GPX specific activity in an effort to detoxify peroxides produced as a result of metal induced oxidative stress.

  17. Glycerol, ethylene glycol and propanediol elicit pimaricin biosynthesis in the PI-factor-defective strain Streptomyces natalensis npi287 and increase polyene production in several wild-type actinomycetes.

    PubMed

    Recio, Eliseo; Aparicio, Jesús F; Rumbero, Angel; Martín, Juan F

    2006-10-01

    Production of pimaricin by Streptomyces natalensis ATCC 27448 is elicited by the PI-factor, an autoinducer secreted by the producer strain during the rapid growth phase. Exogenous PI-factor restored pimaricin production in a mutant strain npi287 defective in PI-factor biosynthesis. During purification of the PI-factor, a second pimaricin-inducing fraction different from PI-factor was isolated from the culture broth of wild-type S. natalensis ATCC 27448. After purification by HPLC and analysis by MS and NMR, this active fraction was shown to contain glycerol and lactic acid. Pure glycerol restored pimaricin production in liquid cultures of the autoinducer-defective npi287 mutant. A similar effect was exerted by ethylene glycol, 1,2-propanediol and 1,3-propanediol but not by higher polyalcohols or by glycerol acetate or glycerol lactate esters. Glycerol stimulated (30-270 %) the production of six different polyene macrolide antibiotics by their respective producer strains. Addition of glycerol to the inducer-defective npi287 strain restored pimaricin production but did not result in extracellular or intracellular accumulation of PI-factor. Exogenously added PI-factor was internalized by the cells in the presence of glycerol, and a mixture of both PI-factor and glycerol produced a slightly higher inducing effect on pimaricin production than PI-factor alone. In summary, glycerol, ethylene glycol and propanediol exert a bypass of the PI-factor inducing effect on pimaricin biosynthesis.

  18. 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

  19. Novel arenavirus, Zambia.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  20. Two novel arenaviruses detected in pygmy mice, Ghana.

    PubMed

    Kronmann, Karl C; Nimo-Paintsil, Shirley; Guirguis, Fady; Kronmann, Lisha C; Bonney, Kofi; Obiri-Danso, Kwasi; Ampofo, William; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth

    2013-11-01

    Two arenaviruses were detected in pygmy mice (Mus spp.) by screening 764 small mammals in Ghana. The Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis), the known Lassa virus reservoir, was the dominant indoor rodent species in 4 of 10 sites, and accounted for 27% of all captured rodents. No rodent captured indoors tested positive for an arenavirus.

  1. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Flowers as a reservoir of yeast diversity: description of Wickerhamiella nectarea f.a. sp. nov., and Wickerhamiella natalensis f.a. sp. nov. from South African flowers and pollinators, and transfer of related Candida species to the genus Wickerhamiella as new combinations.

    PubMed

    de Vega, Clara; Albaladejo, Rafael G; Guzmán, Beatriz; Steenhuisen, Sandy-Lynn; Johnson, Steven D; Herrera, Carlos M; Lachance, Marc-André

    2017-08-01

    Flowers offer favourable microenvironments for yeast growth, and are increasingly recognised as a rich source of novel yeast species. Independent surveys of yeasts associated with flowers and pollinators in South Africa led to the discovery of 38 strains of two new species. Physiological profiles and analysis of the internal transcribed spacer and the D1/D2 domains of the large subunit rRNA gene showed that they represent two novel species that belong to the Wickerhamiella clade. We describe the species as Wickerhamiella nectarea f.a. sp. nov. (type strain EBDCdVSA11-1T, CBS 14162T, NRRL Y-63791T) and W. natalensis f.a. sp. nov. (type strain EBDCdVSA7-1T, CBS 14161T, NRRL Y-63790T). We extend the known range of flower-associated Wickerhamiella species to South Africa and discuss the ecology and phylogenetic relationships of the clade in relation to its host species and biogeography. Examination of growth characteristics supports that the Wickerhamiella clade exhibits a high degree of evolutionary lability, and that specialisation to different niches may occur rapidly. We review the current status of floral yeast biodiversity and nectar as a reservoir of species diversity, and the importance of pollinators and biogeography. In addition, 18 species formerly assigned to the genus Candida are reassigned formally to the genus Wickerhamiella. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. 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

  4. Ecology of plague in Africa: response of indigenous wild rodents to experimental plague infection

    PubMed Central

    Isaäcson, Margaretha; Taylor, Paul; Arntzen, Lorraine

    1983-01-01

    The Mastomys natalensis species complex, subdivided into genetically distinct species having diploid chromosome numbers 2n = 32 and 2n = 36, is a reservoir for several zoonoses including Lassa fever and plague. This report describes a study to determine whether these sibling species and three other rodent species have different potential as reservoirs for plague. It was found that M. natalensis (2n = 32) was significantly more resistant to experimental plague infection (50% survived inoculation with 120 000 Yersinia pseudotuberculosis subsp. pestis) than was M. coucha (2n = 36) (none of which survived doses of 190 Y. pseudotuberculosis subsp.pestis). In descending order of resistance were M. natalensis, Aethomys chrysophilus, M. coucha, Tatera leucogaster and A. namaquensis. No A. namaquensis survived inoculation of 10 or more plague bacilli. Previous reports on susceptibility to plague or other infections, which were based exclusively on findings in the universally distributed laboratory-bred Mastomys, are thus not necessarily applicable to the M. natalensis species as a whole but probably only to M. coucha. The Y. pseudotuberculosis subsp. pestis fraction-1 passive haemagglutination test appeared to be relatively insensitive in that only 5 out of 47 animals surviving experimental plague infection showed specific antibodies 6 weeks after challenge. The geographic distribution of human plague in southern Africa corresponds closely with that of the plague-susceptible species, M. coucha, while the resistant species, M. natalensis, predominates in areas where human plague has not been recorded. The role of A. namaquensis in the ecology of plague needs to be carefully studied and its possible importance in plague research should be investigated further. PMID:6345015

  5. Ecology of plague in Africa: response of indigenous wild rodents to experimental plague infection.

    PubMed

    Isaäcson, M; Taylor, P; Arntzen, L

    1983-01-01

    The Mastomys natalensis species complex, subdivided into genetically distinct species having diploid chromosome numbers 2n = 32 and 2n = 36, is a reservoir for several zoonoses including Lassa fever and plague. This report describes a study to determine whether these sibling species and three other rodent species have different potential as reservoirs for plague. It was found that M. natalensis (2n = 32) was significantly more resistant to experimental plague infection (50% survived inoculation with 120 000 Yersinia pseudotuberculosis subsp. pestis) than was M. coucha (2n = 36) (none of which survived doses of 190 Y. pseudotuberculosis subsp.pestis). In descending order of resistance were M. natalensis, Aethomys chrysophilus, M. coucha, Tatera leucogaster and A. namaquensis. No A. namaquensis survived inoculation of 10 or more plague bacilli.Previous reports on susceptibility to plague or other infections, which were based exclusively on findings in the universally distributed laboratory-bred Mastomys, are thus not necessarily applicable to the M. natalensis species as a whole but probably only to M. coucha. The Y. pseudotuberculosis subsp. pestis fraction-1 passive haemagglutination test appeared to be relatively insensitive in that only 5 out of 47 animals surviving experimental plague infection showed specific antibodies 6 weeks after challenge.The geographic distribution of human plague in southern Africa corresponds closely with that of the plague-susceptible species, M. coucha, while the resistant species, M. natalensis, predominates in areas where human plague has not been recorded. The role of A. namaquensis in the ecology of plague needs to be carefully studied and its possible importance in plague research should be investigated further.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

    2016-05-03

    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.

  9. Whipworm diversity in West African rodents: a molecular approach and the description of Trichuris duplantieri n. sp. (Nematoda: Trichuridae).

    PubMed

    Ribas, Alexis; Diagne, Christophe; Tatard, Caroline; Diallo, Mamoudou; Poonlaphdecha, Srisupaph; Brouat, Carine

    2017-04-01

    Whipworms were collected from rodents (Muridae) from six West African countries: Burkina-Faso, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and the Republics of Benin, Guinea, Mali and Senegal. Molecular sequences (ITS-1, 5.8S and ITS-2 of the ribosomal DNA gene) and morphometric characters were analysed in Trichuris (Nematoda: Trichuridae) specimens found in seven host species: Arvicanthis niloticus, Gerbilliscus gambianus, Gerbillus gerbillus, G. tarabuli, Mastomys erythroleucus, M. huberti and M. natalensis. Phylogenetic analyses revealed three clades, one recognised as Trichuris mastomysi, previously recorded in M. natalensis from Tanzania, and the other two previously undescribed. A new species named Trichuris duplantieri n. sp., found in Gerbillus spp. from Mauritania, was characterised using molecular and morphometric methods.

  10. When Viruses Don’t Go Viral: The Importance of Host Phylogeographic Structure in the Spatial Spread of Arenaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Baird, Stuart J. E.; Goüy de Bellocq, Joëlle

    2017-01-01

    Many emerging infections are RNA virus spillovers from animal reservoirs. Reservoir identification is necessary for predicting the geographic extent of infection risk, but rarely are taxonomic levels below the animal species considered as reservoir, and only key circumstances in nature and methodology allow intrinsic virus-host associations to be distinguished from simple geographic (co-)isolation. We sampled and genetically characterized in detail a contact zone of two subtaxa of the rodent Mastomys natalensis in Tanzania. We find two distinct arenaviruses, Gairo and Morogoro virus, each spatially confined to a single M. natalensis subtaxon, only co-occurring at the contact zone’s centre. Inter-subtaxon hybridization at this centre and a continuum of quality habitat for M. natalensis show that both viruses have the ecological opportunity to spread into the other substaxon’s range, but do not, strongly suggesting host-intrinsic barriers. Such barriers could explain why human cases of another M. natalensis-borne arenavirus, Lassa virus, are limited to West Africa. PMID:28076397

  11. Comparative tests for detection of plague antigen and antibody in experimentally infected wild rodents.

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, A J; Hummitzsch, D E; Leman, P A; Swanepoel, R; Searle, L A

    1986-01-01

    The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was compared with other standard tests for detection of plague (Yersinia pestis) antibody and antigen in multimammate mice (Mastomys coucha and M. natalensis) which were experimentally infected and then killed at daily intervals postinoculation. For detection of antibody in sera from M. natalensis, the immunoglobulin G (IgG) ELISA was equivalent in sensitivity to passive hemagglutination and more sensitive than the IgM ELISA and complement fixation. Antibody was first detected on postinfection day 6 by all four tests, but IgM ELISA titers had declined to undetectable levels after 8 weeks. For detection of fraction 1 Y. pestis antigen in rodent organs, the ELISA was less sensitive than fluorescent antibody but more sensitive than complement fixation or immunodiffusion. Plague fraction 1 antigen was detected in 16 of 34 bacteremic sera from M. coucha and M. natalensis. The threshold sensitivity of the ELISA was approximately 10(5) Y. pestis per ml. PMID:3097065

  12. 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.

  13. Molecular surveillance and phylogenetic analysis of Old World arenaviruses in Zambia.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Akihiro; Thomas, Yuka; Moonga, Ladslav; Nakamura, Ichiro; Ohnuma, Aiko; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Takada, Ayato; Mweene, Aaron S; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2012-10-01

    In order to survey arenaviruses in the Republic of Zambia, we captured 335 rodents from three cities between 2010 and 2011. Eighteen Luna virus (LUNV) and one lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)-related virus RNAs were detected by one-step RT-PCR from Mastomys natalensis and Mus minutoides, respectively. Four LUNV strains and one LCMV-related virus were isolated, and the whole genome nucleotide sequence was determined by pyrosequencing. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the LUNV clade consists of two branches that are distinguished by geographical location and that the LCMV-related virus belongs to the LCMV clade, but diverges from the typical LCMVs. Comparison of nucleoprotein amino acid sequences indicated that the LCMV-related virus could be designated a novel arenavirus, which was tentatively named as the Lunk virus. Amino acid sequences of the GP, NP, Z and L proteins showed poor similarity among the three Zambian arenavirus strains, i.e. Luna, Lunk and Lujo virus.

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

    PubMed

    2004-10-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Immunoreactive proteins of Acanthocheilonema viteae (Nematoda: Filarioidea) adults: solubilization in various detergents.

    PubMed

    Misra, S; Singh, D P; Fatma, N; Chatterjee, R K

    1993-01-01

    For optimal solubilization of immunoreactive proteins of filarial parasites, adult worms of Acanthocheilonema viteae were extracted in different detergents including anionic, cationic, nonionic and zwitterionic agents under varying incubation periods. Each preparation was then analysed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting using pooled sera from Mastomys natalensis infected with A. viteae. Amongst the detergents used, maximum immunoreactive proteins were exposed by sodium dodecylsulphate (SDS), closely followed by sodium deoxycholate (DOC). Nevertheless, a few additional protein bands were recognized by infected sera in DOC preparations, but not in SDS, and vice versa. Most of the proteins were completely or partially dissolved within 2 hrs extraction time. It is felt that DOC may be used in place of SDS because of the strong denaturing character of the latter.

  2. 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.

  3. Complementary DNA sequences encoding the multimammate rat MHC class II DQ alpha and beta chains and cross-species sequence comparison in rodents.

    PubMed

    de Bellocq, J Goüy; Leirs, H

    2009-09-01

    Sequences of the complete open reading frame (ORF) for rodents major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II genes are rare. Multimammate rat (Mastomys natalensis) complementary DNA (cDNA) encoding the alpha and beta chains of MHC class II DQ gene was cloned from a rapid amplifications of cDNA Emds (RACE) cDNA library. The ORFs consist of 801 and 771 bp encoding 266 and 256 amino acid residues for DQB and DQA, respectively. The genomic structure of Mana-DQ genes is globally analogous to that described for other rodents except for the insertion of a serine residue in the signal peptide of Mana-DQB, which is unique among known rodents.

  4. Impact of mining and forest regeneration on small mammal biodiversity in the Western Region of Ghana.

    PubMed

    Attuquayefio, Daniel K; Owusu, Erasmus H; Ofori, Benjamin Y

    2017-05-01

    Much of the terrestrial biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa is supported by tropical rainforest. Natural resource development, particularly surface mining in the rainforest, poses great risks to the region's rich and endemic biodiversity. Here, we assessed the impact of surface mining and the success of forest rehabilitation on small mammal diversity in the Western Region of Ghana. We surveyed small mammals in the project area and two adjoining forest reserves (control sites) before the mining operation and 10 years after mine closure and forest rehabilitation (topsoil replacement and revegetation). The forest reserves recorded higher species abundance than the mining areas. Majority of the species captured in the forest reserves, including Hylomyscus alleni, Praomys tullbergi, Malacomys cansdalei, and Hybomys trivirgatus, are forest obligate species. Only one individual each of H. alleni and P. tullbergi was captured in the naturally regenerated areas (core areas of mining activities that were allowed to revegetate naturally), while 32 individuals belonging to four species (Lophuromys sikapusi, Mus musculoides, Mastomys erythroleucus, and Crocidura olivieri) were recorded in the rehabilitated areas. Our data suggested negative effects of mining on small mammal diversity and the restoration of species diversity and important ecological processes after rehabilitation of altered habitats. We strongly encourage deliberate conservation efforts, particularly the development of management plans that require the restoration of degraded land resulting from mining activities.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2016-07-13

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Spatial segregation between invasive and native commensal rodents in an urban environment: a case study in Niamey, Niger.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-02

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. The Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, is a possible reservoir host of visceral leishmaniasis in eastern Sudan.

    PubMed

    Elnaiem, D A; Hassan, M M; Maingon, R; Nureldin, G H; Mekawi, A M; Miles, M; Ward, R D

    2001-05-01

    Investigations were made on possible reservoir hosts of Leishmania donovani in 2 zoonotic foci of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Dinder National Park (DNP) and the peri-domestic habitats of adjacent villages of eastern Sudan. Animals were captured, in November 1997-1998 and April-May 1999 and examined for L. donovani infection using light microscopy and 2 sensitive Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) systems. Microscopy and PCR investigations were also used to determine the infection rates of L. donovani in Phlebotomus orientalis captured from the uninhabited site of DNP. Infections of L. donovani were detected in 2 out of 14 Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon), 1 out of 168 Arviconthus niloticus and 1 out of 8 Mastomys natalensis. Samples from 68 other animals captured from the study area were all negative for the infection. Active zoonotic transmission of L. donovani at the time of animal sampling in the uninhabited site of DNP was demonstrated by finding the parasite in 3.4% (7 out of 184) and 3.2% (5 out of 157) of flies collected in March 1998 and May 1999, respectively. We suggest that the Egyptian mongoose is a possible reservoir host of L. donovani. The importance of other animals in maintaining the infection is also discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

  17. Advanced vaccine candidates for Lassa fever.

    PubMed

    Lukashevich, Igor S

    2012-10-29

    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.

  18. 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.

  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.

  20. Lassa fever: review of epidemiology and epizootiology

    PubMed Central

    Monath, T. P.

    1975-01-01

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

  1. Novel arenavirus sequences in Hylomyscus sp. and Mus (Nannomys) setulosus from Côte d'Ivoire: implications for evolution of arenaviruses in Africa.

    PubMed

    Coulibaly-N'Golo, David; Allali, Bernard; Kouassi, Stéphane K; Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Rieger, Toni; Olschläger, 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Lassa fever: review of epidemiology and epizootiology.

    PubMed

    Monath, T P

    1975-01-01

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

  5. Advanced Vaccine Candidates for Lassa Fever

    PubMed Central

    Lukashevich, Igor S.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1989-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Experimental plague infection in South African wild rodents.

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, A. J.; Leman, P. A.; Hummitzsch, D. E.

    1986-01-01

    Susceptibility studies were undertaken to determine the response of some South African wild rodent species to experimental plague (Yersinia pestis) infection. A degree of plague resistance was found in three gerbil species captured in the plague enzootic region of the northern Cape Province, these being the Namaqua gerbil, Desmodillus auricularis, (LD50 1 X 10(6) organisms), the bushveld gerbil, Tatera leucogaster, (LD50 9.1 X 10(5)) and the highveld gerbil, T. brantsii (LD50 4 X 10(2)). Animals from a population of the four-striped mouse, Rhabdomys pumilio, captured in the plague area of Port Elizabeth, proved moderately resistant to experimental plague infection (LD50 1.3 X 10(4)) while those from another population of the same species captured in a plague-free area of the Orange Free State were extremely susceptible (LD50, 5 organisms). The response of both populations however was a heterogeneous one. Marked differences in susceptibility were also found between two populations of multimammate mice, Mastomys natalensis (2n = 32) although both originated from areas outwith the known distribution of plague in southern Africa. The 50% infectious dose was relatively high in T. leucogaster (3.2 X 10(2)) and D. auricularis (1.7 X 10(3)), but was low (2-16 organisms) in the other rodent species tested. The plague antibody response, determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), was extremely short-lived in T. leucogaster, only 10% of inoculated animals remaining seropositive at low titres after 11 weeks. Antibodies persisted for only slightly longer in the sera of T. brantsii which were reinoculated with 2 X 10(3) plague organisms 6 weeks after initial challenge. The demonstration of the existence of both susceptible and resistant populations of R. pumilio and M. natalensis indicates that these species must be considered as potential plague reservoir hosts in parts of South Africa. The results suggest that resistance to plague infection in previously epizootic

  10. 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. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  11. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  12. 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

  13. Isolation and characterization of flagellates from rodents and canids in Masinga, Machakos District, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Githure, John I.; Anjili, Christopher O.; Ngumbi, Philip M.; Mwanyumba, Panuel M.; Lugalia, Reuben; Koech, Davy K.; Kinoti, George K.

    1995-11-01

    A total of 728 animals comprising of 633 rodents and 95 canids were examined for leishmanial parasites. Flagellates were isolated from 67 out of 111 (60.4%) Acomys subspinosus (spiny mouse), 12 out of 143 (8.4% ) Mastomys natalensis (multimammate rat), 2 out of 50 (4.0%) Lemniscomys striatus (striped mouse), 2 out of 6 (33.3%) Herpestes sanguineus (slender mongoose), 1 of 1 Helogale parvula (dwarf mongoose) and 1 out of 84 Canis familiaris (domestic dog). All isolates were characterized by Isoenzyme analysis using nine enzymes, namely, malate dehydrogenase (MDH), phosphoglucomutase (PGM), glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI), isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICD), nucleoside hydrolase (NH), glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), malic enzyme (ME), 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (GPGD) and mannose phosphate isomerase (MPI). Enzyme profiles of these isolates were compared with those of five WHO Leishmania reference strains and five well characterized rodent trypanosomes of the subgenus Herpetosoma. The profiles of the isolates were found to be different from those of the Leishmania and Trypanosoma reference strains but the parasites were morphologically similar to rodent trypanosomes. These results suggest that Leishmania parasites were not among the isolates. The enzymes profiles of the three mongoose isolates were identical but differed from profiles of isolates from rodents and dog. This is the first time in Kenya that a high prevalence of nonpathogenic trypanosomes is reported in rodents and canids. From the epidemiological point of view, these trypanosomes must be differentiated from the pathogenic species of trypanosomes and Leishmania that infect man and other animals. The results of this study suggest that rodents do not seem to play a role as reservoirs of Leishmania parasites in Masinga Location, Kenya.

  14. Isolation of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense from Cured and Relapsed Sleeping Sickness Patients and Adaptation to Laboratory Mice

    PubMed Central

    Pyana, Patient Pati; Ngay Lukusa, Ipos; Mumba Ngoyi, Dieudonné; Van Reet, Nick; Kaiser, Marcel; Karhemere Bin Shamamba, Stomy; Büscher, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Background Sleeping sickness due to Trypanosoma brucei (T.b.) gambiense is still a major public health problem in some central African countries. Historically, relapse rates around 5% have been observed for treatment with melarsoprol, widely used to treat second stage patients. Later, relapse rates of up to 50% have been recorded in some isolated foci in Angola, Sudan, Uganda and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Previous investigations are not conclusive on whether decreased sensitivity to melarsoprol is responsible for these high relapse rates. Therefore we aimed to establish a parasite collection isolated from cured as well as from relapsed patients for downstream comparative drug sensitivity profiling. A major constraint for this type of investigation is that T.b. gambiense is particularly difficult to isolate and adapt to classical laboratory rodents. Methodology/Principal Findings From 360 patients treated in Dipumba hospital, Mbuji-Mayi, D.R. Congo, blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was collected before treatment. From patients relapsing during the 24 months follow-up, the same specimens were collected. Specimens with confirmed parasite presence were frozen in liquid nitrogen in a mixture of Triladyl, egg yolk and phosphate buffered glucose solution. Isolation was achieved by inoculation of the cryopreserved specimens in Grammomys surdaster, Mastomys natalensis and SCID mice. Thus, 85 strains were isolated from blood and CSF of 55 patients. Isolation success was highest in Grammomys surdaster. Forty strains were adapted to mice. From 12 patients, matched strains were isolated before treatment and after relapse. All strains belong to T.b. gambiense type I. Conclusions and Significance We established a unique collection of T.b. gambiense from cured and relapsed patients, isolated in the same disease focus and within a limited period. This collection is available for genotypic and phenotypic characterisation to investigate the mechanism behind

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. Plague in Africa from 1935 to 1949

    PubMed Central

    Davis, D. H. S.

    1953-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  19. 77 FR 29543 - Natamycin; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-18

    ... from the common soil microorganisms, Streptomyces natalensis, Streptomyces lydicus, and Streptomyces chattanoogensis. Natamycin was originally discovered in Streptomyces natalensis in South Africa in the early... Streptomyces lydicus and Streptomyces chattanoogensis. It is commercially produced by a submerged oxygen-based...

  20. 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.

  1. 16S rRNA Amplicon Sequencing for Epidemiological Surveys of Bacteria in Wildlife

    PubMed Central

    Razzauti, Maria; Bard, Emilie; Bernard, Maria; Brouat, Carine; Charbonnel, Nathalie; Dehne-Garcia, Alexandre; Loiseau, Anne; Tatard, Caroline; Tamisier, Lucie; Vayssier-Taussat, Muriel; Vignes, Helene

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human impact on natural habitats is increasing the complexity of human-wildlife interactions and leading to the emergence of infectious diseases worldwide. Highly successful synanthropic wildlife species, such as rodents, will undoubtedly play an increasingly important role in transmitting zoonotic diseases. We investigated the potential for recent developments in 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to facilitate the multiplexing of the large numbers of samples needed to improve our understanding of the risk of zoonotic disease transmission posed by urban rodents in West Africa. In addition to listing pathogenic bacteria in wild populations, as in other high-throughput sequencing (HTS) studies, our approach can estimate essential parameters for studies of zoonotic risk, such as prevalence and patterns of coinfection within individual hosts. However, the estimation of these parameters requires cleaning of the raw data to mitigate the biases generated by HTS methods. We present here an extensive review of these biases and of their consequences, and we propose a comprehensive trimming strategy for managing these biases. We demonstrated the application of this strategy using 711 commensal rodents, including 208 Mus musculus domesticus, 189 Rattus rattus, 93 Mastomys natalensis, and 221 Mastomys erythroleucus, collected from 24 villages in Senegal. Seven major genera of pathogenic bacteria were detected in their spleens: Borrelia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, Streptobacillus, and Orientia. Mycoplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, Streptobacillus, and Orientia have never before been detected in West African rodents. Bacterial prevalence ranged from 0% to 90% of individuals per site, depending on the bacterial taxon, rodent species, and site considered, and 26% of rodents displayed coinfection. The 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing strategy presented here has the advantage over other molecular surveillance tools of dealing with a large spectrum of bacterial

  2. Risk maps of Lassa fever in West Africa.

    PubMed

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Rogers, David John

    2009-01-01

    Lassa fever is caused by a viral haemorrhagic arenavirus that affects two to three million people in West Africa, causing a mortality of between 5,000 and 10,000 each year. The natural reservoir of Lassa virus is the multi-mammate rat Mastomys natalensis, which lives in houses and surrounding fields. With the aim of gaining more information to control this disease, we here carry out a spatial analysis of Lassa fever data from human cases and infected rodent hosts covering the period 1965-2007. Information on contemporary environmental conditions (temperature, rainfall, vegetation) was derived from NASA Terra MODIS satellite sensor data and other sources and for elevation from the GTOPO30 surface for the region from Senegal to the Congo. All multi-temporal data were analysed using temporal Fourier techniques to generate images of means, amplitudes and phases which were used as the predictor variables in the models. In addition, meteorological rainfall data collected between 1951 and 1989 were used to generate a synoptic rainfall surface for the same region. Three different analyses (models) are presented, one superimposing Lassa fever outbreaks on the mean rainfall surface (Model 1) and the other two using non-linear discriminant analytical techniques. Model 2 selected variables in a step-wise inclusive fashion, and Model 3 used an information-theoretic approach in which many different random combinations of 10 variables were fitted to the Lassa fever data. Three combinations of absenceratiopresence clusters were used in each of Models 2 and 3, the 2 absenceratio1 presence cluster combination giving what appeared to be the best result. Model 1 showed that the recorded outbreaks of Lassa fever in human populations occurred in zones receiving between 1,500 and 3,000 mm rainfall annually. Rainfall, and to a much lesser extent temperature variables, were most strongly selected in both Models 2 and 3, and neither vegetation nor altitude seemed particularly important

  3. Risk Maps of Lassa Fever in West Africa

    PubMed Central

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Rogers, David John

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Parasites of the Nile rat in rural and urban regions of Sudan.

    PubMed

    Fagir, Dina M; El-Rayah, El-Amin

    2009-06-01

    ). Xenopsylla cheopis is the most important vector of plague and the rickettsial infection murine typhus (Gratz 1999). Man can also acquire the infection through direct contact with infected animals' tissues (WHO 1987). Arvicanthis niloticus, Mastomys natalensis and Rattus rattus are probably the most important and widespread reservoirs of plague in Kenya: 10 percent of all Rattus rattus tested were found to be positive as compared to 12% of the Arvicanthis niloticus (Gratz 1999).

  6. 78 FR 39307 - National Environmental Policy Act: Implementing Procedures; Addition to Categorical Exclusions...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-01

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

  7. Lassa fever in Guinea: II. Distribution and prevalence of Lassa virus infection in small mammals.

    PubMed

    Demby, A H; Inapogui, A; Kargbo, K; Koninga, J; Kourouma, K; Kanu, J; Coulibaly, M; Wagoner, K D; Ksiazek, T G; Peters, C J; Rollin, P E; Bausch, D G

    2001-01-01

    Rodents of the genus Mastomys form the reservoir for Lassa virus (LV), an arenavirus that causes a potentially severe hemorrhagic illness, Lassa fever (LF). Although Mastomys rodents exist throughout sub-Saharan Africa, areas of human LF appear to be quite focal. The distribution of small mammals and LV-infected Mastomys has been assessed in only a few countries. We conducted a survey of small mammals in selected regions of Guinea to assess the degree to which LV poses a public health risk in that country. A total of 1,616 small mammals, including 956 (59%) Mastomys, were captured from 444 households and seven bush sites. Mastomys made up > 90% of the captured animals in the savannah, savannah-forest transition, and forest regions of Guinea, while Mus musculus dominated in coastal and urban sites. Animals were analyzed via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for LV-specific antigen (blood and spleen homogenate) and IgG antibody (blood only). Virus isolation from spleen homogenates was also performed on a subset of animals. Lassa antibody and antigen were found in 96 (11%) and 46 (5%), respectively, of 884 tested Mastomys. Antibody and antigen were essentially mutually exclusive and showed profiles consistent with vertical transmission of both LV and antibody. LV was isolated only from Mastomys. ELISA antigen constituted an acceptable surrogate for virus isolation, with a sensitivity and specificity when performed on blood of 78% (95% confidence interval: 68-83%) and 98% (95-99%), respectively. The proportion of LV-infected Mastomys per region ranged from 0 to 9% and was highest in the savannah and forest zones. The proportion of infected animals per village varied considerably, even between villages in close proximity. Infected animals tended to cluster in relatively few houses, suggesting the existence of focal "hot spots" of LV-infected Mastomys that may account for the observed heterogeneous distribution of LF.

  8. Spot light survey on fresh-water snails of medical importance in Al Fayoum Governorate, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Abo-Madyan, Ahmed A; Morsy, Tosson A; Motawea, Saad M; El Garhy, Manal F; Massoud, Ahmed M A

    2005-04-01

    In a survey carried out during Summer and Autumn of 2004, for snails of medical importance, nine species were recovered. These were Biomphalaria alexandrina, B. glabrata, B. pfeifferi, Bulinus truncatus, B. forskalii, Lymnaea natalensis, Bellamya (=Vivipara) unicolor, Physa acuta and Hydrobia musaensis. Parasitological examination revealed that B. alexandrina, B. glabrata and L. natalensis harboured immature stages of their concerned trematode parasites. Moreover, P. acuta harboured the immature stage of the nematode parasite Parastrongylus cantonensis.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Detection and characterization of a novel polyomavirus in wild rodents.

    PubMed

    Orba, Yasuko; Kobayashi, Shintaro; Nakamura, Ichiro; Ishii, Akihiro; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Mweene, Aaron S; Thomas, Yuka; Kimura, Takashi; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2011-04-01

    To investigate polyomavirus infection in wild rodents, we analysed DNA samples from the spleens of 100 wild rodents from Zambia using a broad-spectrum PCR-based assay. A previously unknown polyomavirus genome was identified in a sample from a multimammate mouse (Mastomys species) and the entire viral genome of 4899 bp was subsequently sequenced. This viral genome contained potential ORFs for the capsid proteins, VP1, VP2 and VP3, and early proteins, small t antigen and large T antigen. Phylogenetic analysis showed that it was a novel member of the family Polyomaviridae, and thus the virus was tentatively named mastomys polyomavirus. After transfection of the viral genome into several mammalian cell lines, transient expression of the VP1 and large T antigen proteins was confirmed by immunoblotting and immunocytochemical analyses. Comparison of large T antigen function in mastomys polyomavirus with that in rhesus monkey polyomavirus SV40 and human polyomavirus JC virus revealed that the large T antigen from mastomys polyomavirus interacted with the tumour suppressor protein pRb, but not with p53.

  12. Fasciola immature stages sought in Lymnaea species and Biomphalaria species in the water bodies of Dakahlia Governorate.

    PubMed

    el-Shazly, Atef M; Helmy, Moshira M F; Haridy, Fouad M; el-Sharkawy, Eman M A; Morsy, Tosson A

    2002-04-01

    Examination of the five different water bodies in Dakahlia governorate, revealed four species of Lymnaea. These were L. natalensis (68.4%). L. truncatula (16%), L. stagnalis (12.2%) and L. columella (3.4%). Also, two species of Biomphalaria were recovered. These were B. alexandrina (54.7%) and B. glabrata (45.3%). Examination of all these snails showed natural infection with immature stages of Fasciola sp. in 5.5% of L. natalensis (= cailliaudi), 3.1% in L. truncatula and 0.67% in B. alexandrina. The importance of these snails in dissemination and spreading of fascioliasis was discussed.

  13. Molecular Characterization of Pneumococcal Isolates from Pets and Laboratory Animals

    PubMed Central

    van der Linden, Mark; Al-Lahham, Adnan; Nicklas, Werner; Reinert, Ralf René

    2009-01-01

    Background Between 1986 and 2008 Streptococcus pneumoniae was isolated from 41 pets/zoo animals (guinea pigs (n = 17), cats (n = 12), horses (n = 4), dogs (n = 3), dolphins (n = 2), rat (n = 2), gorilla (n = 1)) treated in medical veterinary laboratories and zoos, and 44 laboratory animals (mastomys (multimammate mice; n = 32), mice (n = 6), rats (n = 4), guinea pigs (n = 2)) during routine health monitoring in an animal facility. S. pneumoniae was isolated from nose, lung and respiratory tract, eye, ear and other sites. Methodology/Principal Findings Carriage of the same isolate of S. pneumoniae over a period of up to 22 weeks was shown for four mastomys. Forty-one animals showed disease symptoms. Pneumococcal isolates were characterized by optochin sensitivity, bile solubility, DNA hybridization, pneumolysin PCR, serotyping and multilocus sequence typing. Eighteen of the 32 mastomys isolates (56%) were optochin resistant, all other isolates were optochin susceptible. All mastomys isolates were serotype 14, all guinea pig isolates serotype 19F, all horse isolates serotype 3. Rats had serotypes 14 or 19A, mice 33A or 33F. Dolphins had serotype 23F, the gorilla serotype 14. Cats and dogs had many different serotypes. Four isolates were resistant to macrolides, three isolates also to clindamycin and tetracyclin. Mastomys isolates were sequence type (ST) 15 (serotype 14), an ST/serotype combination commonly found in human isolates. Cats, dogs, pet rats, gorilla and dolphins showed various human ST/serotype combinations. Lab rats and lab mice showed single locus variants (SLV) of human STs, in human ST/serotype combinations. All guinea pig isolates showed the same completely new combination of known alleles. The horse isolates showed an unknown allele combination and three new alleles. Conclusions/Significance The isolates found in mastomys, mice, rats, cats, dogs, gorilla and dolphins are most likely identical to human

  14. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ...) Python molurus (including P. molurus molurus (Indian python) and P. molurus bivittatus (Burmese python). (3) Python sebae (Northern African python or African rock python). (4) Python natalensis (Southern African python or African rock python). (5) Eunectes notaeus (yellow anaconda). (b) Upon the filing of...

  15. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ...) Python molurus (including P. molurus molurus (Indian python) and P. molurus bivittatus (Burmese python). (3) Python sebae (Northern African python or African rock python). (4) Python natalensis (Southern African python or African rock python). (5) Eunectes notaeus (yellow anaconda). (b) Upon the filing of...

  16. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ...) Python molurus (including P. molurus molurus (Indian python) and P. molurus bivittatus (Burmese python). (3) Python sebae (Northern African python or African rock python). (4) Python natalensis (Southern African python or African rock python). (5) Eunectes notaeus (yellow anaconda). (b) Upon the filing of...

  17. Distributed Pheromone-Based Swarming Control of Unmanned Air and Ground Vehicles for RSTA

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-20

    Bellicositermes Natalensis Et Cubitermes Sp. La Théorie De La Stigmergie: Essai D’interprétation Du Comportement Des Termites Constructeurs. Insectes Sociaux...and Trinkle, G. Joint Concept Development and Experimentation . in Proceedings of Swarming: Network Enabled C4ISR. 2003. Tysons Corner, VA: ASD C3I

  18. 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. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. Huanglongbing increases Diplodia Stem End Rot in Citrus sinensis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. A cryptic new species of Miniopterus from south-eastern Africa based on molecular and morphological characters.

    PubMed

    Monadjem, Ara; Goodman, Steven M; Stanley, William T; Appleton, Belinda

    2013-12-10

    Resolving species limits within the genus Miniopterus has traditionally been complicated by the presence of cryptic species with overlapping morphological features. We use molecular techniques, cranio-dental characters and tragus shape to describe a new species of Miniopterus from Mozambique, M. mossambicus. Miniopterus mossambicus shows > 12% divergence in cytochrome-b sequence from its nearest congeners (the Malagasy M. gleni and M. griveaudi) and > 15% divergence from the morphologically similar M. natalensis, M. fraterculus and M. minor (all of which occur in southern and eastern Africa). There is considerable overlap in cranio-dental characters of the southern African species, particularly M. natalensis and M. mossambicus. However, tragus shape and multivariate comparisons of skull measurements can be used to separate these species. Based on morphological comparisons of museum specimens, this species may also be present in neighbouring Malawi and Zimbabwe, suggesting that it is probably distributed widely in south-central Africa. 

  4. 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.

  5. Chemical constituents and antifilarial activity of Lantana camara against human lymphatic filariid Brugia malayi and rodent filariid Acanthocheilonema viteae maintained in rodent hosts.

    PubMed

    Misra, Namita; Sharma, Mithilesh; Raj, Kanwal; Dangi, Anil; Srivastava, Sudhir; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2007-02-01

    Lymphatic filariasis continues to be a major health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. A macrofilaricidal agent capable of eliminating adult filarial parasites is urgently needed. In the present study, we report the antifilarial activity in the extract of stem portion of the plant Lantana camara. The crude extract at 1 g/kg for 5 days by oral route killed 43.05% of the adult Brugia malayi parasites and sterilized 76% of surviving female worms in the rodent model Mastomys coucha. A 34.5% adulticidal activity along with sterilization of 66% of female worms could be demonstrated in the chloroform fraction. Remarkable antifilarial activity was observed in the adult B. malayi transplanted gerbil model where up to 80% of the adult worms could be killed at the same dose and all the surviving female parasites were found sterilized. The extract was also found effective against a subcutaneous rodent filariid Acanthocheilonema viteae maintained in Mastomys coucha, where it exerted strong microfilaricidal (95.04%) and sterilization (60.66%) efficacy with mild macrofilaricidal action. Two compounds, oleanonic acid and oleanolic acid, isolated from hexane and chloroform fractions showed LC100 at 31.25 and 62.5 mug/ml, respectively, on B. malayi in vitro. This is the first ever report on the antifilarial efficacy of Lantana camara.

  6. The in vitro anti-plasmodial and in vivo anti-malarial efficacy of combinations of some medicinal plants used traditionally for treatment of malaria by the Meru community in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Gathirwa, J W; Rukunga, G M; Njagi, E N M; Omar, S A; Mwitari, P G; Guantai, A N; Tolo, F M; Kimani, C W; Muthaura, C N; Kirira, P G; Ndunda, T N; Amalemba, G; Mungai, G M; Ndiege, I O

    2008-01-17

    The use of herbal drugs as combinations has existed for centuries in several cultural systems. However, the safety and efficacy of such combinations have not been validated. In this study, the toxicity, anti-plasmodial and antimalarial efficacy of several herbal drug combinations were investigated. Lannea schweinfurthii, Turraea robusta and Sclerocarya birrea, used by traditional health practitioners in Meru community, were tested for in vitro anti-plasmodial and in vivo anti-malarial activity singly against Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei, respectively. Methanolic extract of Turraea robusta was the most active against Plasmodium falciparum D6 strain. Aqueous extracts of Lannea schweinfurthii had the highest anti-plamodial activity followed by Turraea robusta and Sclerocarya birrea. D6 was more sensitive to the plant extracts than W2 strain. Lannea schweinfurthii extracts had the highest anti-malarial activity in mice followed by Turraea robusta and Sclerocarya birrea with the methanol extracts being more active than aqueous ones. Combinations of aqueous extracts of the three plants and two others (Boscia salicifolia and Rhus natalensis) previously shown to exhibit anti-plasmodial and anti-malarial activity singly were tested in mice. Marked synergy and additive interactions were observed when combinations of the drugs were assayed in vitro. Different combinations of Turraea robusta and Lannea schweinfurthii exhibited good in vitro synergistic interactions. Combinations of Boscia salicifolia and Sclerocarya birrea; Rhus natalensis and Turraea robusta; Rhus natalensis and Boscia salicifolia; Turraea robusta and Sclerocarya birrea; and Lannea schweinfurthii and Boscia salicifolia exhibited high malaria parasite suppression (chemo-suppression >90%) in vivo when tested in mice. The findings are a preliminary demonstration of the usefulness of combining several plants in herbal drugs, as a normal practice of traditional health practitioners.

  7. 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

  8. Use of focussed beam reflectance measurement (FBRM) for monitoring changes in biomass concentration.

    PubMed

    Whelan, Jessica; Murphy, Eilis; Pearson, Alan; Jeffers, Paul; Kieran, Patricia; McDonnell, Susan; Raposo, Sara; Lima-Costa, Ma Emília; Glennon, Brian

    2012-08-01

    The potential of focussed beam reflectance measurement (FBRM) as a tool to monitor changes in biomass concentration was investigated in a number of biological systems. The measurement technique was applied to two morphologically dissimilar plant cell suspension cultures, Morinda citrifolia and Centaurea calcitrapa, to a filamentous bacteria, Streptomyces natalensis, to high density cultures of Escherichia coli and to a murine Sp2/0 hybridoma suspension cell line, 3-2.19. In all cases, the biomass concentration proved to be correlated with total FBRM counts. The nature of the correlation varied between systems and was influenced by the concentration, nature, size and morphology of the particle under investigation.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Laboratory assessment of the molluscicidal and cercaricidal activities of the Egyptian weed, Solanum nigrum L.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, A H; Ramzy, R M

    1997-12-01

    The molluscicidal properties of Solanum nigrum L. were tested against three Egyptian snail species (Biomphalaria alexandrina, Bulinus truncatus and Lymnaea natalensis), each an intermediate host of parasites causing human schistosomiasis or fascioliasis. The plant was collected in two regions within Egypt: Fayium and Giza. Snails were exposed for 24 and 48 h, to the dry powdered fruits and leaves or to crude water extracts of the powders, and mortality was recorded. The water extract of the leaves collected in Fayium (FLWE) had the highest molluscicidal activity, with median lethal concentrations (LC50) of 18.6 mg/litre for Bi. alexandrina, 14.5 mg/litre for Bu. truncatus and 17.7 mg/litre for L. natalensis. When Bi. alexandrina infected with Schistosoma mansoni were exposed to FLWE (20 or 25 mg/litre), they shed significantly fewer cercariae than unexposed snails (P < 0.02). The cercaricidal properties of FLWE were directly tested against S. haematobium, S. mansoni and Fasciola gigantica cercariae and a time-concentration relationship was observed; the concentrations needed to kill all cercariae (LC100) within 30 min of exposure were 30 mg/litre for both S. haematobium and S. mansoni and 40 mg/litre for F. gigantica.

  12. Fasciola hepatica infections in cattle and the freshwater snail Galba truncatula from Dakhla Oasis, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Arafa, W M; Hassan, A I; Snousi, S A M; El-Dakhly, Kh M; Holman, P J; Craig, T M; Aboelhadid, S M

    2017-02-06

    Infection by Fasciola species was investigated in seven districts of Dakhla Oasis, Egypt, through abattoir inspection of cattle livers for adult worms and sedimentation of faecal samples from local cattle to detect Fasciola eggs. In addition, lymnaeid snails collected from the study area were examined microscopically for developmental stages of Fasciola spp. Abattoir inspection revealed that 51 out of 458 cattle livers (11.1%) contained adult flukes, which were identified morphologically as Fasciola hepatica. Examination of the cattle faecal samples revealed that 142 out of 503 (28.2%) contained Fasciola eggs. The collected snails, identified as Galba truncatula and Radix natalensis, showed larval stages of Fasciola in 71 out of 731 (9.7%) G. truncatula, while R. natalensis showed no infection. Specific duplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the mitochondrial cox1 gene of F. hepatica and Fasciola gigantica was carried out on DNA extracted from pooled infected snails and adult worms. The F. hepatica size amplicon (1031 bp) was obtained from both the infected G. truncatula and the adult worms isolated from cattle livers from different districts. The amplicon sequences were identical to the published sequences of F. hepatica mitochondrial cox1 gene. In conclusion, the zoonotic importance of Fasciola infection and appropriate hygienic measures must be taken into consideration in Dakhla Oasis, Egypt.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-25

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

  14. Antimicrobial activity of medicinal plants against oral microorganisms.

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Antiplasmodial, anti-trypanosomal, anti-leishmanial and cytotoxicity activity of selected Tanzanian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Malebo, H M; Tanja, W; Cal, M; Swaleh, S A M; Omolo, M O; Hassanali, A; Séquin, U; Hamburger, M; Brun, R; Ndiege, I O

    2009-10-01

    The antiplasmodial, anti-trypanosomal and anti-leishmanial activity of 25 plant extracts obtained from seven Tanzanian medicinal plants: Annickia (Enantia) kummeriae (Annonaceae), Artemisia annua (Asteraceae), Pseudospondias microcarpa (Anacardiaceae), Drypetes natalensis (Euphorbiaceae), Acridocarpus chloropterus (Malpighiaceae), Maytenus senegalensis (Celastraceae) and Neurautanenia mitis (Papilonaceae), were evaluated in vitro against Plasmodium falciparum K1, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense STIB 900 and axenic Leishmania donovani MHOM-ET-67/82. Out of the 25 extracts tested, 17 showed good antiplasmodial activity (IC50 0.04-5.0 microg/ml), 7 exhibited moderate anti-trypanosomal activity (IC50 2.3-2.8 microg/ml), while 5 displayed mild anti-leishmanial activity (IC50 8.8-9.79 microg/ml). A. kummeriae, A. annua, P. microcarpa, D. natalensis, M. senegalensis and N. mitis extracts had good antiplasmodial activity (IC50 0.04-2.1 microg/ml) and selectivity indices (29.2-2,250 microg/ml). The high antiplasmodial, moderate anti-trypanosomal and mild anti-leishmanial activity make these plants good candidates for bioassay-guided isolation of anti-protozoal compounds which could serve as new lead structures for drug development.

  17. Experimental chemotherapy of mammalian coccidiosis with Bay g 7183.

    PubMed

    Haberkorn, A; Schulz, H P

    1981-01-01

    Bay g 7183, a substituted sym. triazintrione derivative has a known high efficacy against poultry coccidia. Experimental investigations using the mouse coccidia E. falciformis indicated an activity also against mammalian coccidia. Minimum effective daily doses range between 0.25 to 10 mg/kg. Eimeria species used: E. falciformis (mouse(, E. contorta (rat), E. chinchillae (Mastomys), E. irresidua, E. magna, E. media, E. perforans, E. stiedae (rabbit), E. ashata, E. arloingi, E. faurei, E. ninakohlyakimovi, E. parva (sheep). A very appropriate mode of treatment, e.g. for rabbits is the dermal one (pour on) beside the oral route by using a stomach tube or with medicated food. Bay g 7183 is active both on schizogonic stages and gamonts. This explains the high efficacy even of single doses. If given e.g. once weekly it prevents or stops development of even massive experimental infections and their clinical symptoms. The value of E. falciformis as a test model is discussed.

  18. The systematic position of some Ethiopian Nippostrongylinae (Nematoda, Trichostrongylina, Heligmosomoidea) from the National Collection of Animal Helminths, Onderstepoort, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Durette-Desset, M C; Digiani, M C

    2005-03-01

    The taxonomic status of some nippostrongyline nematodes deposited in the National Collection of Animal Helminths, Onderstepoort, is revised. Heligmonina boomkeri n. sp. is described from Aethomys chrysophilus from South Africa. The most closely related species by the body measurements and the pattern of the caudal bursa is Heligmonina bignonensis Diouf, Bâ & Durette-Desset, 1997, a parasite of Mastomys erythroleucus from Senegal. It differs from the new species mainly in the number of ventral cuticular ridges at mid-body (four versus five) and the left ala in the male is shorter than the body diameter. The systematic position of Heligmonina spira (Ortlepp, 1939) and Neoheligmonella capensis (Ortlepp, 1939) is confirmed here through their synlophe, which was not previously studied.

  19. Improvement in the antifilarial efficacy of doxycycline and rifampicin by combination therapy and drug delivery approach.

    PubMed

    Dangi, Anil; Dwivedi, Varun; Vedi, Satish; Owais, Mohammad; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2010-06-01

    The present investigation deals with the evaluation of antifilarial efficacy of liposome entrapped antiwolbachial antibiotics doxycycline and rifampicin (5 doses at 10 mg/kg, subcutaneously for 15 days) alone and/or in combination with standard filaricide diethylcarbamazine (DEC) against human lymphatic filariid Brugia malayi in rodent host Mastomys coucha. The delivery system maintained the sustained release of antibiotics up to 48 h and significantly (P < 0.05) augmented the antifilarial potential of these antibiotics over their free administration. A combination of DEC with each entrapped antibiotics significantly (P<0.05) improved microfilaricidal efficacy, while marginal enhancement was noticed in adulticidal activity. Combination of both antibiotics formulation with DEC demonstrated marginal increase in macrofilaricidal efficacy; however, it was highest ( approximately 75%).

  20. Ectoparasites (sucking lice, fleas and ticks) of small mammals in southeastern Kenya

    PubMed Central

    OGUGE, N. O.; DURDEN, L. A.; KEIRANS, J. E.; BALAMI, H. D.; SCHWAN, T. G.

    2013-01-01

    During 1998–2000, at least 14 species (n = 309) of small mammals were live-trapped and examined for ectoparasites in moist forests of the Taita and Shimba Hills and drier savannah habitats of Nguruman, southeastern Kenya. Ectoparasites were recorded from 11 species of mammals. Five species of sucking lice [Hoplopleura inexpectans Johnson, H. intermedia Kellogg & Ferris, Polyplax reclinata (Nitzsch), P. waterstoni Bedford and Schizophthirus graphiuri Ferris], six species of fleas (Ctenophthalmus leptodactylous Hubbard, Dinopsyllus grypurus Jordan & Rothschild, D. lypusus Jordan & Rothschild, Hypsophthalmus campestris Jordan & Rothschild, Listropsylla basilewskyi Smit and Xiphiopsylla lippa Jordan) and at least six species of ticks (Amblyomma sp., Haemaphysalis sp., Ixodes sp., I. alluaudi Neumann, I. cumulatimpunctatus Schulze, I. muniensis Arthur & Burrow and Rhipicephalus sp.) were recorded from these hosts. Four of the five species of sucking lice were host specific whereas P. reclinata was recorded from two different species of white-toothed shrews, Crocidura spp. Although fleas and ticks were less host specific, C. leptodactylous, D. grypurus and I. cumulatimpunctatus were only recorded from the murid rodent Praomys delectorum (Thomas), Amblyomma sp. was only recorded from the nesomyid rodent Beamys hindei Thomas, Rhipicephalus sp. was only recorded from the murid Lemniscomys striatus (L.) and I. muniensis was only recorded from the dormouse Graphiurus microtis (Noack). More species of ectoparasites and significantly greater infestation prevalences were recorded from small mammals in moist habitats compared with those from the savannah habitat. At least one of the fleas recorded, D. lypusus, is a known vector of Yersinia pestis Lehmann & Neumann, the causative agent of plague, which is present in the region. PMID:19941604

  1. 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

  2. Description of a new species of the costata-group (Cladocera, Chydoridae, Aloninae) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Francisco Diogo R; Santos, Sandro; Güntzel, Adriana Maria; Diniz, Leidiane Pereira; De Melo Júnior, Mauro; Elmoor-Loureiro, Lourdes M A

    2015-11-12

    The aim of this study is to describe a new species of the costata-group from Brazil. Alona margipluma sp. nov. shares morphological traits with A. costata Sars, 1862, A. natalensis Sinev, 2008, and A. cheni Sinev, 1999, but differs from them in: (i) thin setulae between the marginal setae on the valves, (ii) setae 4-5 on the exopodite of limb III long and different in length, (iii) bottle-shaped sensillum on the basal endite of limb IV. For identification of Alona margipluma sp. nov. it is necessary to check carefully the main head pores and postabdomen characters since the former superficially resemble A. iheringula, A. setigera and Alona guttata.

  3. 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.

  4. Antineoplastic constituents of some Southern African plants.

    PubMed

    Charlson, A J

    1980-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Experimental infections with Fasciola in snails, mice and rabbits.

    PubMed

    Hussein, Abdel-Nasser A; Khalifa, R M A

    2008-05-01

    Experimental infection trails of Lymnaea (cailliaudi) natalensis snails with miracidia of Fasciola hepatica revealed neither cercariae nor larval stages shed. Infection of white mice with metacercariae from field-collected snails proved to be negative for Fasciola eggs and immature juveniles or adults after 84 days post infection. The infection of eight rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has succeeded; two rabbits were infected, with a very low infection rate. Faeces of rabbits were negative for eggs. The worm burden was one and three worms from 40 fed metacercariae. The obtained fluke measures 23 mm in length by 4 mm in width. The tegument is covered with sharp-ending spines. The uterus contains few eggs. The intrauterine eggs measured 158 microm x 80 microm. According to the morphological characters of these flukes, they belong to F. gigantica.

  7. 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

  8. Stable isotope evidence for dietary overlap between alien and native gastropods in coastal lakes of northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Nelson A F; Perissinotto, Renzo

    2012-01-01

    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. 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. 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. Complementary stable isotope and gut content analysis can provide

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. Serum dependent cell-mediated immune reactions to Brugia pahangi infective larvae.

    PubMed

    Chandrashekar, R; Rao, U R; Subrahmanyam, D

    1985-11-01

    Fresh normal rat serum (fNRS) promoted adherence and cytotoxicity of albino rat neutrophils and macrophages to Brugia pahangi infective larvae (L3) in vitro. EDTA and not EGTA abolished the adherence activity suggesting the involvement of complement components via the alternate pathway. C3 molecules were detected on the surface of the parasite by immunofluorescence. fNRS depleted of complement by treatment with Zymosan A or of factor B by heating at 50 degrees C for 20 min, failed to promote cell adherence to the parasite. fNRS and cells from albino rat were more potent in inducing cytotoxicity to L3 than those from jird or Mastomys which may reflect the greater resistance offered by the albino rat to B. pahangi infection. In the presence of IgG and a heat labile factor, possibly complement, of immune serum, neutrophils and macrophages and to a lesser extent eosinophils adhered to and killed the larvae. Immune sera raised against microfilariae of different filarial parasites promoted cell-mediated cytotoxicity to B. pahangi L3 suggesting sharing of antigens between the two stages.

  15. Cofactor Independent Phosphoglycerate Mutase of Brugia malayi Induces a Mixed Th1/Th2 Type Immune Response and Inhibits Larval Development in the Host

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Prashant K.; Kushwaha, Susheela; Rana, Ajay K.; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2014-01-01

    Lymphatic filariasis is a major debilitating disease, endemic in 72 countries putting more than 1.39 billion people at risk and 120 million are already infected. Despite the significant progress in chemotherapeutic advancements, there is still need for other measures like development of an effective vaccine or discovery of novel drug targets. In this study, structural and immunological characterization of independent phosphoglycerate mutase of filarial parasite Brugia malayi was carried out. Protein was found to be expressed in all major parasite life stages and as an excretory secretory product of adult parasites. Bm-iPGM also reacted to all the categories of human bancroftian patient's sera including endemic normals. In vivo immunological behaviour of protein was determined in immunized BALB/c mice followed by prophylactic analysis in BALB/c mice and Mastomys coucha. Immunization with Bm-iPGM led to generation of a mixed Th1/Th2 type immune response offering 58.2% protection against larval challenge in BALB/c and 65–68% protection in M. coucha. In vitro studies confirmed participation of anti-Bm-iPGM antibodies in killing of B. malayi infective larvae and microfilariae through ADCC mechanism. The present findings reveal potential immunoprotective nature of Bm-iPGM advocating its worth as an antifilarial vaccine candidate. PMID:25061608

  16. Parasites and invasions: changes in gastrointestinal helminth assemblages in invasive and native rodents in Senegal.

    PubMed

    Diagne, Christophe; Ribas, Alexis; Charbonnel, Nathalie; Dalecky, Ambroise; Tatard, Caroline; Gauthier, Philippe; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Fossati-Gaschignard, Odile; Bâ, Khalilou; Kane, Mamadou; Niang, Youssoupha; Diallo, Mamoudou; Sow, Aliou; Piry, Sylvain; Sembène, Mbacké; Brouat, Carine

    2016-12-01

    Understanding why some exotic species become widespread and abundant in their colonised range is a fundamental issue that still needs to be addressed. Among many hypotheses, newly established host populations may benefit from a parasite loss ("enemy release" hypothesis) through impoverishment of their original parasite communities or reduced infection levels. Moreover, the fitness of competing native hosts may be negatively affected by the acquisition of exotic taxa from invaders ("parasite spillover") and/or by an increased transmission risk of native parasites due to their amplification by invaders ("parasite spillback"). We focused on gastrointestinal helminth communities to determine whether these predictions could explain the ongoing invasion success of the commensal house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) and black rat (Rattus rattus), as well as the associated decrease in native Mastomys spp., in Senegal. For both invasive species, our results were consistent with the predictions of the enemy release hypothesis. A decrease in overall gastrointestinal helminth prevalence and infracommunity species richness was observed along the invasion gradients as well as lower specific prevalence/abundance (Aspiculuris tetraptera in Mus musculus domesticus, Hymenolepis diminuta in Rattus rattus) on the invasion fronts. Conversely, we did not find strong evidence of GIH spillover or spillback in invasion fronts, where native and invasive rodents co-occurred. Further experimental research is needed to determine whether and how the loss of gastrointestinal helminths and reduced infection levels along invasion routes may result in any advantageous effects on invader fitness and competitive advantage.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Correlating rodent community structure with ecological integrity, Tussen-die-Riviere Nature Reserve, Free State province, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Avenant, Nico L; Cavallini, Paolo

    2007-12-01

    Rodents form a vital component of Free State ecosystems and monitoring them may be a relatively quick and inexpensive method of indicating healthy or unhealthy ecosystem functioning. Using removal trapping, we have studied rodent seasonal abundance, species richness, Shannon diversity, and evenness of rodents in four habitats in the Tussen-die-Riviere Nature Reserve, inspected the most successful sampling method for these habitats, and report on their community structure and how it is related to an Ecological Index (≅ EI value of grassland). Both species richness and Shannon diversity increased significantly with EI value. The indicator species Mastomys coucha occurred at all plots, but contributed the largest proportion of the total captures (ca. 80%) at the plot with lowest EI value. Other results important for small mammal monitoring and collecting are that trap success and species richness was highest in autumn. This study also confirms that four days and nights continuous trapping is essential for the effective sampling of rodent communities in Free State grasslands. Our results partially support expectations that the number of specialist species increases with succession, M. coucha dominance acts as an indicator of habitat disturbance, rodent species richness conforms to Tilman's hump-shaped curve model, and adds to a baseline of diversity indices in a variety of grassland habitats.

  20. 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. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. Antifilarial activity of Zoanthus species (Phylum Coelenterata, Class Anthzoa) against human lymphatic filaria, Brugia malayi.

    PubMed

    Lakshmi, V; Saxena, A; Pandey, K; Bajpai, Preeti; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2004-07-01

    The chloroform methanol (1:1) extract of an unidentified green zoanthus (Phylum Coelenterata, Class Anthozoa) showed promising in vitro adulticidal activity with a lethal concentration of 125 microg/ml on Brugia malayi. This extract brought about a 52.2% reduction in circulating microfilariae of B. malayi when administered to infected Mastomys coucha at 250 mg/kg, orally for 5 consecutive days. Further fractionation of the extract led to the recovery of four fractions, which were evaluated simultaneously in both in vitro and in vivo systems against B. malayi. The chloroform fraction at 250 mg/kg orally for 5 days exhibited the highest macrofilaricidal action (42.5%), closely followed by the insoluble n-butanol fraction (34.3%), the soluble hexane fraction (32.4%), and the soluble n-butanol fraction (20.4%). In addition, the hexane soluble fraction caused 44.3% sterilization of the surviving female parasites. Two compounds isolated were found devoid of antifilarial activity. Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Preference of goats (Capra hircus L.) for tanniniferous browse species available in semi-arid areas in Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Mengistu, G; Bezabih, M; Hendriks, W H; Pellikaan, W F

    2016-11-29

    The objectives were to determine browse species preference of goats using dry matter intake (DMI) as a proxy, to compare preference when offered in combination with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and to establish relationships between browse species intake and chemical compositional data. Air-dried leaves of Acacia etbaica, Cadaba farinosa, Capparis tomentosa, Dichrostachys cinerea, Dodonaea angustifolia, Euclea racemosa, Maerua angolensis, Maytenus senegalensis, Rhus natalensis and Senna singueana were used. Two cafeteria trials, each lasting 10 days, were conducted using four local mature male goats of 2-2.5 years receiving a daily ration of grass hay (4% of body weight) and 200 g wheat bran. In trial 1, goats were offered 25 g of each browse species for a total of 30 min with intake, time spent on consumption and the number of visits to specific browse species recorded at 10-min intervals. In trial 2, the same procedure was followed except that 25 g of PEG 4000 was added to the daily wheat bran ration. Crude protein and neutral detergent fibre in browse species ranged from 69.0-245.5 to 159.8-560.6 g/kg dry matter (DM) respectively. Total phenols and total tannins contents ranged between 3.7-70.6 and 2.5-68.1 mg tannic acid equivalent/g DM, respectively, and condensed tannins 1.7-18.4 Abs550 nm /g DM. Preference indicators measured in the first 10 min of browse species intake differed significantly among browse species and with PEG (p < 0.0001). Principal components explained 69.9% of the total variation in browse species DMI. Despite the high tannin levels, D. cinerea, R. natalensis and A. etbaica were the most preferred species regardless of PEG presence. Tannin levels at the observed browse species DMI did not determine preference, instead, preference appeared to be based on hemicellulose. Determining browse species preference is essential to exploit them to improve nutrient utilization and control parasites in goats.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2016-02-24

    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).

  8. Modelling spatial distribution of snails transmitting parasitic worms with importance to human and animal health and analysis of distributional changes in relation to climate.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Ulrik B; Midzi, Nicholas; Mduluza, Takafira; Soko, White; Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Vennervald, Birgitte J; Mukaratirwa, Samson; Kristensen, Thomas K

    2014-05-01

    The environment, the on-going global climate change and the ecology of animal species determine the localisation of habitats and the geographical distribution of the various species in nature. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of such changes on snail species not only of interest to naturalists but also of importance to human and animal health. The spatial distribution of freshwater snail intermediate hosts involved in the transmission of schistosomiasis, fascioliasis and paramphistomiasis (i.e. Bulinus globosus, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis) were modelled by the use of a maximum entropy algorithm (Maxent). Two snail observation datasets from Zimbabwe, from 1988 and 2012, were compared in terms of geospatial distribution and potential distributional change over this 24-year period investigated. Climate data, from the two years were identified and used in a species distribution modelling framework to produce maps of predicted suitable snail habitats. Having both climate- and snail observation data spaced 24 years in time represent a unique opportunity to evaluate biological response of snails to changes in climate variables. The study shows that snail habitat suitability is highly variable in Zimbabwe with foci mainly in the central Highveld but also in areas to the South and West. It is further demonstrated that the spatial distribution of suitable habitats changes with variation in the climatic conditions, and that this parallels that of the predicted climate change.

  9. Variation in hunting behaviour in neighbouring chimpanzee communities in the Budongo forest, Uganda.

    PubMed

    Hobaiter, Catherine; Samuni, Liran; Mullins, Caroline; Akankwasa, Walter John; Zuberbühler, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Hunting and sharing of meat is seen across all chimpanzee sites, with variation in prey preferences, hunting techniques, frequencies, and success rates. Here, we compared hunting and meat-eating behaviour in two adjacent chimpanzee communities (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) of Budongo Forest, Uganda: the Waibira and Sonso communities. We observed consistent between-group differences in prey-species preferences and in post-hunting behaviour. Sonso chimpanzees show a strong prey preference for Guereza colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza occidentalis; 74.9% hunts), and hunt regularly (1-2 times a month) but with large year-to-year and month-to-month variation. Waibira chimpanzee prey preferences are distributed across primate and duiker species, and resemble those described in an early study of Sonso hunting. Waibira chimpanzees (which include ex-Sonso immigrants) have been observed to feed on red duiker (Cephalophus natalensis; 25%, 9/36 hunts), a species Sonso has never been recorded to feed on (18 years data, 27 years observations), despite no apparent differences in prey distribution; and show less rank-related harassment of meat possessors. We discuss the two most likely and probably interrelated explanations for the observed intergroup variation in chimpanzee hunting behaviour, that is, long-term disruption of complex group-level behaviour due to human presence and possible socially transmitted differences in prey preferences.

  10. Variation in hunting behaviour in neighbouring chimpanzee communities in the Budongo forest, Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Hobaiter, Catherine; Samuni, Liran; Mullins, Caroline; Akankwasa, Walter John; Zuberbühler, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Hunting and sharing of meat is seen across all chimpanzee sites, with variation in prey preferences, hunting techniques, frequencies, and success rates. Here, we compared hunting and meat-eating behaviour in two adjacent chimpanzee communities (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) of Budongo Forest, Uganda: the Waibira and Sonso communities. We observed consistent between-group differences in prey-species preferences and in post-hunting behaviour. Sonso chimpanzees show a strong prey preference for Guereza colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza occidentalis; 74.9% hunts), and hunt regularly (1–2 times a month) but with large year-to-year and month-to-month variation. Waibira chimpanzee prey preferences are distributed across primate and duiker species, and resemble those described in an early study of Sonso hunting. Waibira chimpanzees (which include ex-Sonso immigrants) have been observed to feed on red duiker (Cephalophus natalensis; 25%, 9/36 hunts), a species Sonso has never been recorded to feed on (18 years data, 27 years observations), despite no apparent differences in prey distribution; and show less rank-related harassment of meat possessors. We discuss the two most likely and probably interrelated explanations for the observed intergroup variation in chimpanzee hunting behaviour, that is, long-term disruption of complex group-level behaviour due to human presence and possible socially transmitted differences in prey preferences. PMID:28636646

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

    PubMed Central

    Shiff, C. J.

    1966-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Predicting the influence of multiple components on microbial inhibition using a logistic response model - a novel approach

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There are several synergistic methods available. However, there is a vast discrepancy in the interpretation of the synergistic results. Also, these synergistic methods do not assess the influence the tested components (drugs, plant and natural extracts), have upon one another, when more than two components are combined. Methods A modified checkerboard method was used to evaluate the synergistic potential of Heteropyxis natalensis, Melaleuca alternifolia, Mentha piperita and the green tea extract known as TEAVIGO™. The synergistic combination was tested against the oral pathogens, Streptococcus mutans, Prevotella intermedia and Candida albicans. Inhibition data obtained from the checkerboard method, in the form of binary code, was used to compute a logistic response model with statistically significant results (p < 0.05). This information was used to construct a novel predictive inhibition model. Results Based on the predictive inhibition model for each microorganism, the oral pathogens tested were successfully inhibited (at 100% probability) with their respective synergistic combinations. The predictive inhibition model also provided information on the influence that different components have upon one another, and on the overall probability of inhibition. Conclusions Using the logistic response model negates the need to ‘calculate’ synergism as the results are statistically significant. In successfully determining the influence multiple components have upon one another and their effect on microbial inhibition, a novel predictive model was established. This ability to screen multiple components may have far reaching effects in ethnopharmacology, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. PMID:24928297

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLVII. Ticks of tortoises and other reptiles.

    PubMed

    Horak, I G; McKay, I J; Henen, B T; Heyne, Heloise; Hofmeyr, Margaretha D; De Villiers, A L

    2006-09-01

    A total of 586 reptiles, belonging to 35 species and five subspecies, were examined in surveys aimed at determining the species spectrum and geographic distribution of ticks that infest them. Of these reptiles 509 were tortoises, 28 monitor or other lizards, and 49 snakes. Nine ixodid tick species, of which seven belonged to the genus Amblyomma, and one argasid tick, Ornithodoros compactus were recovered. Seven of the ten tick species are parasites of reptiles. Amongst these seven species Amblyomma marmoreum was most prevalent and numerous on leopard tortoises, Geochelone pardalis; Amblyomma nuttalliwas present only on Bell's hinged tortoises, Kinixys belliana; and most Amblyomma sylvaticum were collected from angulate tortoises, Chersina angulata. Amblyomma exornatum (formerly Aponomma exornatum) was only recovered from monitor lizards, Varanus spp.; most Amblyomma latum (formerly Aponomma latum) were from snakes; and a single nymph of Amblyomma transversale (formerly Aponomma transversale) was collected from a southern African python, Python natalensis. All 30 Namaqualand speckled padloper tortoises, Homopus signatus signatus, examined were infested with O. compactus. The seasonal occurrence of A. sylvaticum and the geographic distribution of this tick and of A. marmoreum, A. nuttalli, A. exornatum, A. latum and O. compactus are illustrated.

  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. Reduced growth of Listeria monocytogenes in two model cheese microcosms is not associated with individual microbial strains.

    PubMed

    Imran, Muhammad; Bré, Jean-Michel; Guéguen, Marielle; Vernoux, Jean-Paul; Desmasures, Nathalie

    2013-02-01

    Two model antilisterial microbial communities consisting of two yeasts, two Gram positive and two Gram negative bacteria, and originating from Livarot cheese smear were previously designed. They were used in the present study to analyse the impact of microbial population dynamics on growth of Listeria monocytogenes in cheese microcosm. Specific culture media and PCR primers were developed for simultaneous culture-dependent and real-time PCR quantification of strains belonging to Marinomonas sp., Paenibacillus sp., Staphylococcus equorum, Arthrobacter arilaitensis, Pseudomonas putida, Serratia liquefaciens, Candida natalensis, and Geotrichum candidum, in cheese microcosms. All strains were enumerated after 3, 5, 8 and 14 days at 15 °C. They established well at high counts in all cheese microcosms. Growth dynamics for all strains in presence of L. monocytogenes WSLC 1685 were compared to those of microbial communities obtained by omitting in turn one of the six members of the initial community. The growth of the microbial strains was neither markedly disturbed by Listeria presence nor by the removal of each strain in turn. Furthermore, these communities had a significant reducing effect on growth of L. monocytogenes independently of pH, as confirmed by mathematical modelling. A barrier effect was observed, that could be explained by specific competition for nutrients.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  3. Modular architecture of the conjugative plasmid pSVH1 from Streptomyces venezuelae.

    PubMed

    Reuther, Jens; Wohlleben, Wolfgang; Muth, Günther

    2006-05-01

    The conjugative rolling circle replication (RCR) type plasmid pSVH1 from the chloramphenicol producer Streptomyces venezuelae was characterized by DNA sequence analysis and insertion/deletion analysis. Nucleotide sequence of the 12,652 bp pSVH1 revealed 11 open reading frames with high coding probability for which putative functions could be assigned. Beside the replication initiator gene rep for RCR, pSVH1 contained only genes involved in conjugative transfer. The transfer gene traB encoding the septal DNA translocator TraB is regulated by the GntR-type transcriptional regulator TraR. Six spd genes involved in intra-mycelial plasmid spreading are organized in two operons, consisting of two and three translationally coupled genes. Subcloning experiments demonstrated that the transfer gene traB represents a kill function and localized the pSVH1 minimal replicon consisting of rep and the dso origin to a 2072-bp fragment. Plasmid pSVH1 showed a modular architecture. Its replication region resembled that of the Streptomyces natalensis plasmid pSNA1, while the transfer and spread regions involved in conjugative plasmid transfer were highly similar to the corresponding regions of the Streptomyces ghanaensis plasmid pSG5.

  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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. Comparative sperm ultrastructure of twelve leptodactylid frog species with insights into their phylogenetic relationships.

    PubMed

    Santos, Julio Sérgio; Introíni, Gisele Orlandi; Veiga-Menoncello, Ana Cristina Prado; Blasco, Ailin; Rivera, Miryan; Recco-Pimentel, Shirlei Maria

    2016-12-01

    The spermatozoa of representatives of three Neotropical frog subfamilies, Leiuperinae, Leptodactylinae and Paratelmatobiinae, were observed using Transmission Electron Microscopy, with the aim of identifying ultrastructural traits that provide insights into the phylogenetic relationships among these anurans, which are currently unclear. In the leiuperines, spermatozoa of Physalaemus albifrons, P. cicada, P. deimaticus and P. feioi were characterized by an acrosomal vesicle covering the subacrosomal cone that was not observed in the spermatozoa of Physalaemus centralis and P. cuvieri. The tail of the spermatozoa of P. albifrons, P. centralis, P. cicada, P. cuvieri, P. deimaticus, and P. feioi presented a long undulating membrane, whereas Engystomops petersi and E. freibergi, which form a sister clade to Physalaemus, had an axial fiber, which were absent in Physalaemus. Other leiuperine, E. puyango had an abaxonemal bulb-like swelling distally to the paraxonemal rod, which were also absent in Physalaemus. These differences support the revalidation of Engystomops as a true taxon, distinct from Physalaemus. The tail of the spermatozoa of E. petersi and E. freibergi was similar to that of Paratelmatobius poecilogaster (Paratelmatobiinae). The spermatozoa of Leptodactylus natalenis (Leptodactylinae) had undulating membrane and axial fiber, in contrast with Adenomera marmorata, which lacked these structures. Morphological differences between A. marmorata and L. natalensis sperm cells appeared to validate the allocation of A. marmorata into a genus distinct from Leptodactylus. Overall, dissimilarities in the spermatozoa of the leptodactylids provided an important phylogenetic signal for the understanding of their taxonomic relationships.

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

    PubMed Central

    MEVE, ULRICH; LIEDE, SIGRID

    2004-01-01

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

  9. The distribution of Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica within southern Tanzania--constraints associated with the intermediate host.

    PubMed

    Walker, S M; Makundi, A E; Namuba, F V; Kassuku, A A; Keyyu, J; Hoey, E M; Prödohl, P; Stothard, J R; Trudgett, A

    2008-04-01

    In East Africa, Fasciola gigantica is generally the causative agent of fasciolosis but there have been reports of F. hepatica in cattle from highland regions of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zaire. The topography of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania provides an environment where the climatic conditions exist for the sustenance of lymnaeid species capable of supporting both Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. Theoretically this would allow interaction between fasciolid species and the possible creation of hybrids. In this report we present molecular data confirming the existence of the snail, Lymnaea truncatula, at high altitude on the Kitulo Plateau of the Southern Highlands, Tanzania, along with morphometric and molecular data confirming the presence of F. hepatica in the corresponding area. At lower altitudes, where climatic conditions were unfavourable for the existence of L. truncatula, the presence of its sister species L. natalensis was confirmed by molecular data along with its preferred fasciolid parasite, F. gigantica. Analysis based on a 618 bp sequence of the 28S rRNA gene did not reveal the presence of hybrid fasciolids in our fluke samples.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  17. The n-hexane and chloroform fractions of Piper betle L. trigger different arms of immune responses in BALB/c mice and exhibit antifilarial activity against human lymphatic filarid Brugia malayi.

    PubMed

    Singh, Meghna; Shakya, Shilpy; Soni, Vishal Kumar; Dangi, Anil; Kumar, Nikhil; Bhattacharya, Shailja-Misra

    2009-06-01

    Modulation of immune functions by using herbal plants and their products has become fundamental regime of therapeutic approach. Piper betle Linn. (Piperaceae) is a widely distributed plant in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world and has been attributed as traditional herbal remedy for many diseases. We have recently reported the antifilarial and antileishmanial efficacy in the leaf extract of Bangla Mahoba landrace of P. betle which is a female plant. The present report describes the in vivo immunomodulatory efficacy of the crude methanolic extract and its n-hexane, chloroform, n-butanol fractions of the female plant at various dose levels ranging between 0.3 and 500 mg/kg in BALB/c. Attempts were also made to observe antifilarial activity of the active extracts and correlate it with the antigen specific immune responses in another rodent Mastomys coucha infected with human lymphatic filarial parasite Brugia malayi. The crude methanol extract and n-hexane fraction were found to potentiate significant (p<0.001) enhancement of both humoral (plaque forming cells, hemagglutination titre) as well as cell-mediated (lymphoproliferation, macrophage activation, delayed type hypersensitivity) immune responses in mice. The flow cytometric analysis of splenocytes of treated mice indicated enhanced population of T-cells (CD4(+), CD8(+)) and B-cells (CD19(+)). The n-hexane fraction (3 mg/kg) was found to induce biased type 2 cytokine response as revealed by increased IL-4(+) and decreased IFN-gamma(+) T-cell population while the chloroform fraction (10 mg/kg) produced a predominant type 1 cytokines. Crude methanolic extract (100 mg/kg) demonstrated a mixed type 1 and type 2 cytokine responses thus suggesting a remarkable immunomodulatory property in this plant. The induction of differential T-helper cell immune response appears ideal to overcome immunosuppression as observed in case of lymphatic, filarial Brugia malayi infection which may also be extended to other

  18. Untangling the roles of fire, grazing and rainfall on small mammal communities in grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Yarnell, R W; Scott, D M; Chimimba, C T; Metcalfe, D J

    2007-11-01

    In grassland systems across the globe, ecologists have been attempting to understand the complex role of fire, grazing and rainfall in creating habitat heterogeneity and the consequences of anthropogenic control of these factors on ecosystem integrity and functioning. Using a South African grassland ecosystem as a model, we investigated the impact of fire and grazing pressure on small mammal communities during three differing periods of a rainfall cycle. Over 2 years, 15,203 trap nights revealed 1598 captures of 11 species (nine rodents, one macroscelid and one insectivore). Results highlighted the importance of the interplay between factors and showed that the role of fire, grazing and rainfall in determining small mammal abundance was species-dependant. While no two species were affected by the same environmental variables, grass cover or height was important to 56% of species. Considered independently, high rainfall had a positive influence on small mammal abundance and diversity, although the lag period in population response was species-specific. High grazing negatively affected overall abundance, but specifically in Mastomys coucha; fire alone had little immediate impact on small mammal diversity. Six months after the fire, vegetation cover had recovered to similar levels as unburned areas, although small mammal diversity and richness were higher in burned areas than unburned areas. Grazing levels influenced the rate of vegetation recovery. In conclusion, low-level grazing and burning can help to maintain small mammal biodiversity, if conducted under appropriate rainfall levels. A too high grazing pressure, combined with fire, and/or fire conducted under drought conditions can have a negative impact on small mammal biodiversity. To maintain small mammal diversity in grassland ecosystems, the combined effects of the previous year's rainfall and existing population level as well as the inhibition of vegetation recovery via grazing pressure need to be taken into

  19. Homology modeling of NAD+-dependent DNA ligase of the Wolbachia endosymbiont of Brugia malayi and its drug target potential using dispiro-cycloalkanones.

    PubMed

    Shrivastava, Nidhi; Nag, Jeetendra K; Pandey, Jyoti; Tripathi, Rama Pati; Shah, Priyanka; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2015-07-01

    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.

  20. Prior killing of intracellular bacteria Wolbachia reduces inflammatory reactions and improves antifilarial efficacy of diethylcarbamazine in rodent model of Brugia malayi.

    PubMed

    Shakya, Shilpy; Bajpai, Preeti; Sharma, Sharad; Misra-Bhattacharya, Shailja

    2008-04-01

    The discovery of the endosymbiont Wolbachia, which has a mutualistic relationship with filarial nematodes, and its importance in filarial parasite biology has provided a lead for developing novel chemotherapeutic agents against human filariasis. Wolbachia also appears to be involved in immunopathological responses as well as adverse reactions after antifilarial therapy. The aim of the present study was to explore the potential of administering anti-Wolbachial therapy before antifilarial treatment to improve the filaricidal efficacy of the present-day filaricide diethylcarbamazine. An additional objective was to minimize host inflammatory reactions using a rodent model Mastomys coucha and Meriones unguiculatus infected with human lymphatic filariid Brugia malayi. We observed: (1) a 40-day treatment schedule of tetracycline alone resulted in delayed reduction in microfilaraemia and a low degree of macrofilaricidal efficacy; (2) tetracycline therapy followed by 100 mg/kg diethylcarbamazine (DEC) x5 days led to marked reduction in microfilaraemia from day 48 onward after initiation of treatment. The combination treatment also brought about approximately 70% death of adult B. malayi and sterilization of 82.3% of the surviving female worms, thus exhibiting remarkable enhancement in the antifilarial activity of DEC; (3) tissue inflammatory reactions and pathogenesis were significantly reduced as observed by histopathology, and peritoneal macrophage mediated oxidative burst shown by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis using dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA); and (4) the characteristic filarial antigen-specific and mitogen-specific cellular unresponsiveness was significantly reversed, possibly due to marked clearance of microfilaraemia. It is therefore advisable to give an anti-Wolbachial antibiotic trial before starting antifilarial therapy to achieve maximum benefits.

  1. Epidemiological studies of Fasciola gigantica infections in cattle in the highveld and lowveld communal grazing areas of Zimbabwe.

    PubMed

    Pfukenyi, D M; Mukaratirwa, S; Willingham, A L; Monrad, J

    2006-03-01

    During the period between January 1999 and December 2000, the distribution and seasonal patterns of Fasciola gigantica infections in cattle in the highveld and lowveld communal grazing areas of Zimbabwe were determined through monthly coprological examination. Cattle faecal samples were collected from 12 and nine dipping sites in the highveld and lowveld communal grazing areas respectively. Patterns of distribution and seasonal fluctuations of the intermediate host-snail populations and the climatic factors influencing the distribution were also determined by sampling at monthly intervals for a period of 24 months (November 1998 to October 2000) in six dams and six streams in the highveld and in nine dams in the lowveld communal grazing areas. Each site was sampled for relative snail density and the vegetation cover and type, physical and chemical properties of water, and mean monthly rainfall and temperature were recorded. Aquatic vegetation and grass samples 0-1 m from the edges of the snail habitats were collected monthly to determine the presence or absence of F. gigantica metacercariae. Snails collected at the same time were individually checked for the emergence of larval stages of F. gigantica. A total of 16264 (calves 5418; weaners 5461 and adults 5385) faecal samples were collected during the entire period of the study and 2500 (15.4%) of the samples were positive for F. gigantica eggs. Significantly higher prevalences were found in the highveld compared to the lowveld (P < 0.001), for adult cattle than calves (P < 0.01) and in the wet season over the dry season (P < 0.01). Faecal egg output peaked from August/September to March/April for both years of the study. Lymnaea natalensis, the snail intermediate host of F. gigantica was recorded from the study sites with the highveld having a significantly higher abundance of the snail species than the lowveld (P < 0.01). The snail population was low between December and March and started to increase in April

  2. 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.

  3. Observations on the epidemiology of plague in Tanzania during the period 1974-1988.

    PubMed

    Kilonzo, B S

    1992-09-01

    Field and commensal rodents and shrews were live-trapped from selected areas in each of the six zones of the Republic, namely North-eastern, Eastern, Central-western, South-western, Southern and Seaports. The captured animals, small ruminants, humans and small carnivores were serologically tested for specific plague antibodies, using the Passive haemagglutination (PHA) and Passive haemagglutination Inhibition (PHAI) techniques. Taxonomic studies and population densities of rodents and their ectoparasasites were carried out. A total of 5638 animals were captured and 79.9% of them were tested for plague. Of those tested, 2.4% contained agglutinating plague antibodies at serum dilutions of 1:20 and above. The positive rodents were found in Lushoto, Mbulu, Chunya and Monduli districts, as well as at Tanga seaport. These include R. rattus, M. natalensis, A. niloticus and Otomys spp. A total of 7480 human, 293 carnivorous and 425 small ruminant sera were also tested for plague. Seven (2.4%) of the carnivores were positive at serum titres of 1:20-1:80. All the small ruminants were negative. Likewise, 1.4% of the tested human sera contained specific plague antibodies at titres ranging from 1:20-1:60. Out of 6480 fleas collected from the captured small mammals, 5476 were identified. Of these, 34.5%, 20.4%, and 17.8% were X. brasiliensis, D. lypusus and X. cheopis respectively. It was generally concluded that plague was still endemic in several parts of the country, that some foci were active, and that there was a potential risk of accidental introduction and/or transfer of the disease into or out of the country. Establishment and maintenance of surveillance services and facilitating research and control programmes of the disease were recommended.

  4. Antidiabetic activity of Terminalia sericea constituents.

    PubMed

    Nkobole, Nolitha; Houghton, Peter James; Hussein, Ahmed; Lall, Namrita

    2011-11-01

    Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disorder that affects more than 100 million people worldwide. South African plants namely Terminalia sericea, Euclea natalensis, Warbugia salutaris, Aloe ferox, Artemisia afra, Sclerocarya birrea, Spirostachys africana and Psidium guajava were investigated for their in vitro alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase properties, and antioxidant activities. Terminalia sericea stem bark extract showed the best results against alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase enzymes. Bioassay-guided fractionation of an acetone extract of T. sericea stem bark led to the isolation of four known compounds namely beta-sitosterol (1), beta-sitosterol-3-acetate (2), lupeol (3), and stigma-4-ene-3-one (4), in addition to two inseparable sets of mixtures of isomers [epicatechin-catechin (M1), and gallocatechin-epigallocatechin (M2). 1 and 3 showed the best inhibitory activity on alpha-glucosidase (IC50:54.5 and 66.5 microM). Bio-evaluation of the inhibitory activity of the purified compounds on alpha-amylase showed that 3 and 1 exhibited IC50 values of 140.7 and 216.02 microM, respectively against alpha-amylase. Compounds 2, M1, 3 and M2 were found to be non-toxic to Vero cells. This study is the first to report alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase activity of M1, M2, 2 and 4 isolated from T. sericea, which validated the traditional use of the bark of T. sericea for diabetes in South Africa.

  5. Molecular Control of Polyene Macrolide Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Aberturas, Javier; Vicente, Cláudia M.; Guerra, Susana M.; Payero, Tamara D.; Martín, Juan F.; Aparicio, Jesús F.

    2011-01-01

    Control of polyene macrolide production in Streptomyces natalensis is mediated by the transcriptional activator PimM. This regulator, which combines an N-terminal PAS domain with a C-terminal helix-turn-helix motif, is highly conserved among polyene biosynthetic gene clusters. PimM, truncated forms of the protein without the PAS domain (PimMΔPAS), and forms containing just the DNA-binding domain (DBD) (PimMDBD) were overexpressed in Escherichia coli as GST-fused proteins. GST-PimM binds directly to eight promoters of the pimaricin cluster, as demonstrated by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Assays with truncated forms of the protein revealed that the PAS domain does not mediate specificity or the distinct recognition of target genes, which rely on the DBD domain, but significantly reduces binding affinity up to 500-fold. Transcription start points were identified by 5′-rapid amplification of cDNA ends, and the binding regions of PimMDBD were investigated by DNase I protection studies. In all cases, binding took place covering the −35 hexamer box of each promoter, suggesting an interaction of PimM and RNA polymerase to cause transcription activation. Information content analysis of the 16 sequences protected in target promoters was used to deduce the structure of the PimM-binding site. This site displays dyad symmetry, spans 14 nucleotides, and adjusts to the consensus TVGGGAWWTCCCBA. Experimental validation of this binding site was performed by using synthetic DNA duplexes. Binding of PimM to the promoter region of one of the polyketide synthase genes from the Streptomyces nodosus amphotericin cluster containing the consensus binding site was also observed, thus proving the applicability of the findings reported here to other antifungal polyketides. PMID:21187288

  6. 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

  7. Ecological filtering by a dominant herb selects for shade tolerance in the tree seedling community of coastal dune forest.

    PubMed

    Tsvuura, Zivanai; Griffiths, Megan E; Gunton, Richard M; Franks, Peter J; Lawes, Michael J

    2010-12-01

    The regeneration niche is commonly partitioned along a gradient from shade-tolerant to shade-intolerant species to explain plant community assembly in forests. We examined the shade tolerance of tree seedlings in a subtropical coastal forest to determine whether the ecological filtering effect of a dominant, synchronously monocarpic herb (Isoglossa woodii) selects for species at either end of the light response continuum during the herb's vegetative and reproductive phases. Photosynthetic characteristics of seedlings of 20 common tree species and the herb were measured. Seedlings were grown in the greenhouse at 12-14% irradiance, and their light compensation points measured using an open-flow gas exchange system. The light compensation points for the tree species were low, falling within a narrow range from 2.1 ± 0.8 μmol m(-2) s(-1) in Celtis africana to 6.4 ± 0.7 μmol m(-2) s(-1) in Allophylus natalensis, indicating general shade tolerance, consistent with a high and narrow range of apparent quantum yield among species (0.078 ± 0.002 mol CO(2) mol(-1) photon). Rates of dark respiration were significantly lower in a generalist pioneer species (Acacia karroo) than in a forest pioneer (C. africana), or in late successional phase forest species. We argue that the general shade tolerance, and phenotypic clustering of shade tolerance, in many tree species from several families in this system, is a result of ecological filtering by the prevailing low light levels beneath the I. woodii understorey, which excludes most light-demanding species from the seedling community.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Identification of five phytosterols from Aloe vera gel as anti-diabetic compounds.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Miyuki; Misawa, Eriko; Ito, Yousuke; Habara, Noriko; Nomaguchi, Kouji; Yamada, Muneo; Toida, Tomohiro; Hayasawa, Hirotoshi; Takase, Mitunori; Inagaki, Masanori; Higuchi, Ryuuichi

    2006-07-01

    The genus Aloe in the family Liliaceae is a group of plants including Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis MILLER) and Aloe arborescens (Aloe arborescens MILLER var. natalensis BERGER) that are empirically known to have various medical efficacies. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-hyperglycemic effect of Aloe vera gel and isolated a number of compounds from the gel. On the basis of spectroscopic data, these compounds were identified as lophenol, 24-methyl-lophenol, 24-ethyl-lophenol, cycloartanol, and 24-methylene-cycloartanol. These five phytosterols were evaluated for their anti-hyperglycemic effects in type 2 diabetic BKS.Cg-m(+/+)Lepr(db/J) (db/db) mice. In comparison with the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels of vehicle-treated mice, statistically significant decreases of 15 to 18% in HbA1c levels were observed in mice treated with 1 mug of the five phytosterols. Considering the ability to reduce blood glucose in vivo, there were no differences between the five phytosterols. Administration of beta-sitosterol did not reduce the blood glucose levels in db/db mice. After administration of the five phytosterols for 28 d, fasting blood glucose levels decreased to approximately 64%, 28%, 47%, 51%, and 55% of control levels, respectively. Severe diabetic mice treated with phytosterols derived from Aloe vera gel did not suffer weight reduction due to glucose loss in the urine. These findings suggest that Aloe vera gel and phytosterols derived from Aloe vera gel have a long-term blood glucose level control effect and would be useful for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

  10. Epidemiologic survey on lung cancer with respect to cigarette smoking and plant diet.

    PubMed

    Sakai, R

    1989-06-01

    This case-control study of lung cancer was based on a cross-sectional questionnaire survey of inpatients at 5 general hospitals in Okinawa, Japan, from 1982 to 1987. The purpose of the study was to clarify the relations of lung cancer to cigarette smoking and plant diet. Ingestion frequencies of 17 major dietary plants and/or herbs were obtained by means of a questionnaire interview. As eligible subjects for a case-control analysis, there were 673 respondents aged over 30 years with clear smoking history, age, sex and diagnosis. Psychiatric patients were excluded. Odds ratios of newly diagnosed lung cancer were calculated by the Mantel-Haenszel procedure. A pair consisted of a case and two controls which were selected randomly by using multivariate caliper matching. Sixty-four pairs matched for age (+/- 5) and sex showed a significantly high odds ratio of 2.9 (P less than 0.0005). However, three male groups who were categorized by the number of cigarettes smoked did not exhibit dose-dependency of lung cancer on smoking. Lung cancer was more prevalent in ex-smokers than in current smokers. Case-control analyses by male generations revealed that lung cancer incidence was age-dependent, and there was a clear dose-response relationship between smoking and lung cancer in males in their sixties. A case-control analysis of each of 17 edible plants based on 44 pairs who were matched for age (+/- 5), sex and smoking history demonstrated that the odds ratio of aloe (Aloe arborescens Mill var. natalensis Berger) was 0.5 (P less than 0.1), suggesting that the aloe may prevent human carcinogenesis at various sites.

  11. Active edible coating and γ-irradiation as cold combined treatments to assure the safety of broccoli florets (Brassica oleracea L.).

    PubMed

    Ben-Fadhel, Yosra; Saltaji, Sabrina; Khlifi, Mohamed Ali; Salmieri, Stephane; Dang Vu, Khanh; Lacroix, Monique

    2017-01-16

    The antimicrobial activity of essential oils (EOs), organic acid (OA) salts and natamycin, a natural antifungal produced during fermentation by the bacterium Streptomyces natalensis, was assessed against four pathogens (Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium and Aspergillus niger). The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of each antimicrobial (AM) was assessed to determine their efficiency on tested microbial species in order to select the most efficient. Then, the interactions between different antimicrobial compounds showing the lowest MIC were determined by the checkerboard method. The most effective antimicrobial formulation showing synergistic or additive effects was then encapsulated in an alginate matrix to protect the antimicrobial efficiency during storage. The effectiveness of the formulation was then evaluated in situ using broccoli as a food model. A combined treatment of active coating and γ-irradiation (0.4 and 0.8kGy) was also done in order to evaluate the possible synergistic effect between treatments. The results of this study allowed the selection of 4 EOs, one OA salt and the natamycin as an antifungal agent exhibiting lower MIC values. The interactive antimicrobial effects between them showed that an antimicrobial formulation composed of 300ppm of lemongrass EO, 5000ppm of sodium diacetate and 80ppm of natamycin resulted in an additive effect against A. niger, E. coli and S. Typhimurium and showing synergistic effect against L. monocytogenes. Finally, in situ analyses showed a synergistic antimicrobial activity between active coating and γ-irradiation and allowed the extension of the shelf-life of ready-to-eat (RTE) broccoli during storage at 4°C.

  12. Synergistic Antimycobacterial Actions of Knowltonia vesicatoria (L.f) Sims

    PubMed Central

    Labuschagné, Antoinette; Hussein, Ahmed A.; Rodríguez, Benjamín; Lall, Namrita

    2012-01-01

    Euclea natalensis A.DC., Knowltonia vesicatoria (L.f) Sims, and Pelargonium sidoides DC. are South African plants traditionally used to treat tuberculosis. Extracts from these plants were used in combination with isoniazid (INH) to investigate the possibility of synergy with respect to antimycobacterial activity. The ethanol extract of K. vesicatoria was subjected to fractionation to identify the active compounds. The activity of the Knowltonia extract remained superior to the fractions with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 625.0 μg/mL against Mycobacterium smegmatis and an MIC of 50.00 μg/mL against M. tuberculosis. The K. vesicatoria extract was tested against two different drug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis, which resulted in an MIC of 50.00 μg/mL on both strains. The combination of K. vesicatoria with INH exhibited the best synergistic antimycobacterial activity with a fractional inhibitory concentration index of 0.25 (a combined concentration of 6.28 μg/mL). A fifty percent inhibitory concentration of this combination against U937 cells was 121.0 μg/mL. Two compounds, stigmasta-5,23-dien-3-ol (1) and 5-(hydroxymethyl)furan-2(5H)-one (2), were isolated from K. vesicatoria as the first report of isolation for both compounds from this plant and the first report of antimycobacterial activity. Compound (1) was active against drug-sensitive M. tuberculosis with an MIC of 50.00 μg/mL. PMID:22611433

  13. 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.

  14. Specific Paucity of Unmyelinated C-Fibers in Cutaneous Peripheral Nerves of the African Naked-Mole Rat: Comparative Analysis Using Six Species of Bathyergidae

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Ewan S; Purfürst, Bettina; Grigoryan, Tamara; Park, Thomas J; Bennett, Nigel C; Lewin, Gary R

    2012-01-01

    In mammalian peripheral nerves, unmyelinated C-fibers usually outnumber myelinated A-fibers. By using transmission electron microscopy, we recently showed that the saphenous nerve of the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber) has a C-fiber deficit manifested as a substantially lower C:A-fiber ratio compared with other mammals. Here we determined the uniqueness of this C-fiber deficit by performing a quantitative anatomical analysis of several peripheral nerves in five further members of the Bathyergidae mole-rat family: silvery (Heliophobius argenteocinereus), giant (Fukomys mechowii), Damaraland (Fukomys damarensis), Mashona (Fukomys darlingi), and Natal (Cryptomys hottentotus natalensis) mole-rats. In the largely cutaneous saphenous and sural nerves, the naked mole-rat had the lowest C:A-fiber ratio (∼1.5:1 compared with ∼3:1), whereas, in nerves innervating both skin and muscle (common peroneal and tibial) or just muscle (lateral/medial gastrocnemius), this pattern was mostly absent. We asked whether lack of hair follicles alone accounts for the C-fiber paucity by using as a model a mouse that loses virtually all its hair as a consequence of conditional deletion of the β-catenin gene in the skin. These β-catenin loss-of function mice (β-cat LOF mice) displayed only a mild decrease in C:A-fiber ratio compared with wild-type mice (4.42 compared with 3.81). We suggest that the selective cutaneous C-fiber deficit in the cutaneous nerves of naked mole-rats is unlikely to be due primarily to lack of skin hair follicles. Possible mechanisms contributing to this unique peripheral nerve anatomy are discussed. J. Comp. Neurol. 520:2785–2803, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:22528859

  15. Correlation between snails and fish in fish ponds of World Fish Center (ICLARM) with special reference to snail vectors of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Nahed M M; El Gamal, Abd El Rahman A

    2003-08-01

    The abundance of snail species in earthen fish ponds, irrigation and drainage canals at World Fish Center (ICLARM) in descending order was Bellamya unicolor (50.89%) > Physa acuta (18.94%) > Cleopatra bulimoides (7.6%) > Lanistes carinatus (6.73%) > Bulinus truncatus (5.19%) > Melanoides tuberculata (4.83%) > Lymnaea natalensis (3.14%) > Gabbiella senaariensis (0.9%) > Biomphalaria alexandrina (0.55%) > Lym naea truncatula (0.4%) > Planorbis planorbis and Succinea cleopatra (0.33%) > Ferrissia isseli (0.18%). Dead snails constituted about 5.19% of all the collected specimens. There were dramatic decrease in the total number of pulmonates in fish ponds which contained only Tilapia sp., and a very small number of cat fish, whereas the numbers of prosobranchia snails were much higher in these ponds. In fish ponds which accommodated a variety of fish species, the most dominant snail was B. unicolor followed by L. carinatus. However, pulmonate snails were absent in these ponds. B. truncatus was the only snail species found in concrete tank which contained only young tilapias with a very small size (5-8 cm in standard length). In irrigation canals, the number of snails and diversity was much higher than those in fish ponds. Out of 191 snails collected from inlet irrigation canal, 71 were dead, but in the outside irrigation canals, seven out of 564 snails were dead. P. acuta was absent in all examined fish ponds, but it was alive and in a high number (497 snails) in the outside irrigation canals. The number of snails collected from Bahnasawy drain was remarkably low (128 snails), however the diversity of snails was much higher compared to those in fish ponds and irrigation canals. Snail populations were stable with constant recruitment of young to adult snails for all the studied species.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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'.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Rangeland dynamics of southern Ethiopia: (2). Assessment of woody vegetation structure in relation to land use and distance from water in semi-arid Borana rangelands.

    PubMed

    Tefera, Solomon; Snyman, H A; Smit, G N

    2007-10-01

    The structure and advancement of woody vegetation was studied in a semi-arid rangeland of southern Ethiopia under three land-use systems (communal land, a government ranch and a traditional grazing reserve enclosure) and along a distance gradient (near, middle and far) from water sources. A total of 54 woody plant species were identified. Based on the subjective opinions of the pastoralists, 85% of the identified woody plants have forage values to livestock. Cadaba farinsoa, Ormocarpum trichocarpum, Rhus natalensis, Acacia brevispica, Cordia gharaf and Hibiscus sparseaculeatus were reported to have fair to good palatability. Tree equivalent (TE) density of all woody plants combined was greater (P <0.01) in the government ranch (1) 188 TE ha(-1)) and the communal land (1083 TE ha(-1)) than in the traditional grazing reserve (419 TE ha(-1)), whereas this did not vary significantly (P >0.05) along the distance gradient from water. The most important encroaching woody plant species in the study areas were in descending order: Commiphora africana, Acacia drepanolobium, A. brevispica, Acacia. tortilis, Grewia tembensis and Lannea floccosa. The density of individual encroaching woody plant species along the distance gradient from water was not consistent. All encroaching woody species had the highest TE density in the communal land. The prevalence of these species followed the pattern of intensity of use within the communal grazing area. Most of the woody species had the highest abundance in the height class >0-2m regardless of land use and distance gradient from water. This study investigated the advance of severe woody encroachment in the communal and government sites as well as along the distance gradient from water. Some of the important contributing factors that can be suggested are heavy grazing pressure (in both the communal and government sites), expansion of cultivation and reduced mobility of livestock due to settlement of the pastoralists in the communal land.

  2. Foraging in space and time structure an African small mammal community.

    PubMed

    Abu Baker, Mohammad A; Brown, Joel S

    2014-06-01

    We used live-trapping and foraging to test for the effect of habitat selection and diet on structuring a community of six small mammals and one bird within the Soutpansberg, South Africa. We established grids that straddled adjacent habitats: woodland, rocky hillside, and grassland. Trapping and foraging were used to estimate abundance, habitat use, and species-specific foraging costs. The species with the highest abundance and foraging activity in a habitat, activity time, or food was considered the most efficient and presumed to have a competitive advantage. All species exhibited distinct patterns of spatial and temporal habitat preference which provided the main mechanism of coexistence, followed by diet selection. The study species were organized into three assemblages (α diversity): grassland, Rhabdomys pumilio, Dendromus melanotis, and Mus minutoides.; woodland, Aethomys ineptus and Micaelamys namaquensis; and rock-dwelling, M. namaquensis and Elephantulus myurus. Francolinus natalensis foraged in open rocky areas and under wooded islands within the grassland. Species organization across the habitats suggested that feeding opportunities are available within all habitats; however, distinct habitat preferences resulted from differing foraging aptitudes and efficiencies of the competing species. At Lajuma, species distribution and coexistence are promoted through distinct habitat preferences that were shaped by competition and species-specific foraging costs. The combination of trapping and foraging provided a mechanistic approach that integrates behavior into community ecology by 'asking' the animal to reveal its perspective of the environment. Using spatial and temporal foraging decisions-as behavioral indicators-enables us to guide our understanding for across-taxa species coexistence.

  3. Antifilarial activity of diterpenoids from Taxodium distichum.

    PubMed

    Kushwaha, Vikas; Saxena, Kirti; Verma, Richa; Verma, Shiv K; Katoch, Deepali; Kumar, Neeraj; Lal, Brij; Murthy, P Kalpana; Singh, Bikram

    2016-05-31

    Lymphatic filariasis caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and B. timori, is a debilitating disease with an adverse social and economic impact. The infection remains unabated in spite of treatment with existing antifilarial drugs diethylcarbamazine (DEC) and ivermectin which are chiefly microfilaricides. There is therefore, need for macrofilaricides, embryostatic agents and better microfilaricides. In the present study we explored the antifilarial potential of crude extract and its molecular fractions of the plant Taxodium distichum using in vitro assay systems and rodent models of B. malayi infection. Ethanolic extract (A001) of aerial parts of T. distichum was solvent fractionated and sub-fractionated. Four molecules, 3-Acetoxylabda-8(20), 13-diene-15-oic acid (K001), Beta-sitosterol (K002), labda-8(20),13-diene-15-oic acid (K003) and Metasequoic acid A (K004) were isolated from the fractions and their structure determined by spectroscopic analysis. The extract, subfractions and molecules were evaluated for antifilarial activity against B. malayi by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction and motility assays in vitro and in two animal models, Meriones unguiculatus and Mastomys coucha, harbouring B. malayi infection. A001 was effective in killing microfilariae (mf) and adult worms in vitro. The diterpenoid K003 produced 100 % reduction in motility of both mf and adult worms and > 80 % inhibition in MTT reduction potential of adult female worms. In B. malayi-M. unguiculatus model, A001 killed all the adult worms in > 80 % of infected animals. K003 was embryostatic (> 95 %) in this model. In the B. malayi-M. coucha model, K003 killed ~54 % of adult worms (macrofilaricidal activity) and rendered > 36 % female worms sterile; it also stopped any further rise in microfilaraemia after day 42 post-initiation of treatment. Ethanolic extract of aerial parts of the plant T. distichum possesses potent

  4. 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

    2016-06-06

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  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. Review of the genera of Mycetophagidae (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea) with descriptions of new genera and a world generic key.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, John F; Escalona, Hermes E; Leschen, Richard A B; Slipiński, Adam

    2014-06-27

    The world genera of Mycetophagidae are reviewed and four new genera described. Several adult features of Mycetophagidae are discussed, and some newly discovered secondary sexual characters are described and illustrated. A key is given to the adults of all mycetophagid genera. The following new genera and species are proposed: Afrotyphaeola gen. n. (South Africa), A. natalensis sp. n. (South Africa), Neotriphyllus gen. n. (southwestern USA to Central America), Nototriphyllus gen. n. (New Zealand, Madagascar, Chile and Argentina), N. araucania sp. n. (Chile, Argentina), Zeclaviger gen. n. (New Zealand) and Z. explanatus sp. n. (New Zealand). The following synonymies are proposed: Litargus Erichson, 1846 (= Catopius Sharp, 1902) syn. n., Litargus balteatus LeConte, 1856 (= Triphyllus minor Lea, 1895) syn. n., Mycetophagus confusus Horn, 1878 (= Triphyllus perfectus Sharp, 1902) syn. n. The following new combinations are proposed: Litargops intricatus (Blackburn, 1891) (Triphyllus, Litargus) comb. n., L. multiguttatus (Lea, 1895) (Triphyllus, Litargus) comb. n., Litargus irregularis (Sharp) (Catopius) comb. n., Mycetophagus (Paralitargus) didesmus (Say) (Litargus) comb. n., Neotriphyllus confusus (Horn) (Mycetophagus) comb. n. Nototriphyllus aciculatus (Broun, 1880) (Cryptophagus) comb. n., N. adspersus (Broun, 1880) (Cryptophagus) comb. n., N. constans (Broun, 1914) comb. n., N. fuliginosus (Broun, 1880) (Cryptophagus) comb. n., N. hispidellus (Broun, 1880) (Cryptophagus) comb. n., N. integritus (Broun, 1893) comb. n., N. pubescens (Broun, 1909) comb. n., N. madagascariensis (Fairmaire, 1898) (Triphyllus) comb. n., N. punctulatus (Broun, 1880) (Cryptophagus) comb. n., N. rubicundus (Sharp, 1886) (Triphyllus) comb. n., N. serratus (Broun, 1880) (Cryptophagus) comb. n., N. substriatus (Broun, 1880) (Cryptophagus) comb. n. The larva of Nototriphyllus araucania is briefly described and compared with other known myceophagid larvae. The genus Nesolathrus Scott (1922

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

    PubMed

    Olaokun, Oyinlola O; McGaw, Lyndy J; Eloff, Jacobus N; Naidoo, Vinny

    2013-05-04

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

  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. Modelling climate change impact on the spatial distribution of fresh water snails hosting trematodes in Zimbabwe.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Ulrik B; Stendel, Martin; Midzi, Nicholas; Mduluza, Takafira; Soko, White; Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Vennervald, Birgitte J; Mukaratirwa, Samson; Kristensen, Thomas K

    2014-12-12

    Freshwater snails are intermediate hosts for a number of trematodes of which some are of medical and veterinary importance. The trematodes rely on specific species of snails to complete their life cycle; hence the ecology of the snails is a key element in transmission of the parasites. More than 200 million people are infected with schistosomes of which 95% live in sub-Saharan Africa and many more are living in areas where transmission is on-going. Human infection with the Fasciola parasite, usually considered more of veterinary concern, has recently been recognised as a human health problem. Many countries have implemented health programmes to reduce morbidity and prevalence of schistosomiasis, and control programmes to mitigate food-borne fascioliasis. As these programmes are resource demanding, baseline information on disease prevalence and distribution becomes of great importance. Such information can be made available and put into practice through maps depicting spatial distribution of the intermediate snail hosts. A biology driven model for the freshwater snails Bulinus globosus, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis was used to make predictions of snail habitat suitability by including potential underlying environmental and climatic drivers. The snail observation data originated from a nationwide survey in Zimbabwe and the prediction model was parameterised with a high resolution Regional Climate Model. Georeferenced prevalence data on urinary and intestinal schistosomiasis and fascioliasis was used to calibrate the snail habitat suitability predictions to produce binary maps of snail presence and absence. Predicted snail habitat suitability across Zimbabwe, as well as the spatial distribution of snails, is reported for three time slices representative for present (1980-1999) and future climate (2046-2065 and 2080-2099). It is shown from the current study that snail habitat suitability is highly variable in Zimbabwe, with distinct high- and low

  12. Traditional herbal antimalarial therapy in Kilifi district, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Gathirwa, J W; Rukunga, G M; Mwitari, P G; Mwikwabe, N M; Kimani, C W; Muthaura, C N; Kiboi, D M; Nyangacha, R M; Omar, S A

    2011-03-24

    To identify plant species used by the traditional health practitioners (THPs) in treatment of malaria, carry out cytotoxicity and efficacy evaluation of the identified plants and to evaluate combination effects. Thirteen plants were selected through interviews with traditional healers. In vitro antiplasmodial testing was done by measuring ability of the test sample to inhibit the incorporation of radio-labelled hypoxanthine into the malaria parasite. The extracts were tested singly and then in combination using the standard fixed ratio analysis to evaluate synergism. In vivo bioassay was done in mice using Peter's 4-days suppressive test and cytotoxicity evaluated in vitro using Vero E6 cells. Of the plants tested in vitro, 25% were highly active (IC(50)<10 μg/ml), 46% moderately active (IC(50) 10-50 μg/ml), 16% had weak activity of 50-100 μg/ml while 13% were not active IC(50) >100 μg/ml. Methanolic extracts of Azadirachta indica, Premna chrysoclada and Uvaria acuminata were the most active (IC(50)<10μg/ml) against both the chloroquine (CQ) sensitive (D6) and the CQ resistant (W2) Plasmodium falciparum clones. When tested in vivo in a mouse model, Azadirachta indica, Rhus natalensis and Grewia plagiophylla depicted the highest percent parasite clearance and chemo suppression of 89%, 82% and 78%, respectively. Evaluating effect of combining some of these extracts with one another against a multi-drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum (W2) clone revealed synergism among some combinations. The highest synergy was between Uvaria acuminata and Premna chrysoclada. The interaction between Grewia plagiophylla and Combretum illairii was largely antagonistic. Impressive cytotoxicity results were obtained with most of the plants tested revealing high selectivity indices an indication of enabling achievement of therapeutic doses at safe concentrations. Uvaria acuminata was, however, toxic to the cultured cells. Mild cytotoxicity was also observed in Hoslundia opposita and

  13. A multi-locus species phylogeny of African forest duikers in the subfamily Cephalophinae: evidence for a recent radiation in the Pleistocene

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Duikers in the subfamily Cephalophinae are a group of tropical forest mammals believed to have first originated during the late Miocene. However, knowledge of phylogenetic relationships, pattern and timing of their subsequent radiation is poorly understood. Here we present the first multi-locus phylogeny of this threatened group of tropical artiodactyls and use a Bayesian uncorrelated molecular clock to estimate divergence times. Results A total of 4152 bp of sequence data was obtained from two mitochondrial genes and four nuclear introns. Phylogenies were estimated using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis of concatenated mitochondrial, nuclear and combined datasets. A relaxed molecular clock with two fossil calibration points was used to estimate divergence times. The first was based on the age of the split between the two oldest subfamilies within the Bovidae whereas the second was based on the earliest known fossil appearance of the Cephalophinae and molecular divergence time estimates for the oldest lineages within this group. Findings indicate strong support for four major lineages within the subfamily, all of which date to the late Miocene/early Pliocene. The first of these to diverge was the dwarf duiker genus Philantomba, followed by the giant, eastern and western red duiker lineages, all within the genus Cephalophus. While these results uphold the recognition of Philantomba, they do not support the monotypic savanna-specialist genus Sylvicapra, which as sister to the giant duikers leaves Cephalophus paraphyletic. BEAST analyses indicate that most sister species pairs originated during the Pleistocene, suggesting that repeated glacial cycling may have played an important role in the recent diversification of this group. Furthermore, several red duiker sister species pairs appear to be either paraphyletic (C.callipygus/C. ogilbyi and C. harveyi/C. natalensis) or exhibit evidence of mitochondrial admixture (C. nigrifrons

  14. Retinoic acid-independent expression of Meis2 during autopod patterning in the developing bat and mouse limb.

    PubMed

    Mason, Mandy K; Hockman, Dorit; Curry, Lyle; Cunningham, Thomas J; Duester, Gregg; Logan, Malcolm; Jacobs, David S; Illing, Nicola

    2015-01-01

    The bat has strikingly divergent forelimbs (long digits supporting wing membranes) and hindlimbs (short, typically free digits) due to the distinct requirements of both aerial and terrestrial locomotion. During embryonic development, the morphology of the bat forelimb deviates dramatically from the mouse and chick, offering an alternative paradigm for identifying genes that play an important role in limb patterning. Using transcriptome analysis of developing Natal long-fingered bat (Miniopterus natalensis) fore- and hindlimbs, we demonstrate that the transcription factor Meis2 has a significantly higher expression in bat forelimb autopods compared to hindlimbs. Validation by reverse transcriptase and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and whole mount in situ hybridisation shows that Meis2, conventionally known as a marker of the early proximal limb bud, is upregulated in the bat forelimb autopod from CS16. Meis2 expression is localised to the expanding interdigital webbing and the membranes linking the wing to the hindlimb and tail. In mice, Meis2 is also expressed in the interdigital region prior to tissue regression. This interdigital Meis2 expression is not activated by retinoic acid (RA) signalling as it is present in the retained interdigital tissue of Rdh10 (trex/trex) mice, which lack RA. Additionally, genes encoding RA-synthesising enzymes, Rdh10 and Aldh1a2, and the RA nuclear receptor Rarβ are robustly expressed in bat fore- and hindlimb interdigital tissues indicating that the mechanism that retains interdigital tissue in bats also occurs independently of RA signalling. Mammalian interdigital Meis2 expression, and upregulation in the interdigital webbing of bat wings, suggests an important role for Meis2 in autopod development. Interdigital Meis2 expression is RA-independent, and retention of interdigital webbing in bat wings is not due to the suppression of RA-induced cell death. Rather, RA signalling may play a role in the thinning

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Water-use dynamics of a peat swamp forest and a dune forest in Maputaland, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clulow, A. D.; Everson, C. S.; Price, J. S.; Jewitt, G. P. W.; Scott-Shaw, B. C.

    2013-02-01

    monitored in the same way in the dune forest and the water-use found to be highly seasonal. Over the entire measurement period, the water-use was highest for an emergent Mimusops caffra (5 to 45 L d-1), whereas the water-use of the Eugenia natalitia (2 to 28 L d-1) and Drypetes natalensis (1 to 4 L d-1) was lower. At the dune forest, the water-use was highest in the wetter summer due to the reliance of the trees on rainfall to recharge the soil water. A split-line regression showed that on average, soil water limited tree water-use 64% of the time over the measurement period at the dune forest. For modeling tree water-use at the dune forest, it was concluded that a two-stage model, taking soil water content into account (from multiple sampling points), would be necessary.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-16

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

  19. Phytochemistry and pharmacology of the genus Drypetes: A review.

    PubMed

    Wansi, Jean Duplex; Wandji, Jean; Sewald, Norbert; Nahar, Lutfun; Martin, Claire; Sarker, Satyajit Dey

    2016-08-22

    Traditional medicinal use of species of the genus Drypetes is widespread in the tropical regions. The aim of this review is to systematically appraise the literature available to date on phytochemistry, ethnopharmacology, toxicology and bioactivity (in vitro and in vivo) of crude extracts and purified compounds. Plants of the genus Drypetes (Putranjivaceae) are used in the Subsaharan African and Asian traditional medicines to treat a multitude of disorders, like dysentery, gonorrhoea, malaria, rheumatism, sinusitis, tumours, as well as for the treatment of wounds, headache, urethral problems, fever in young children, typhoid and several other ailments. Some Drypetes species are used to protect food against pests, as an aphrodisiac, a stimulant/depressant, a rodenticide and a fish poison, against insect bites, to induce conception and for general healing. This review deals with updated information on the ethnobotany, phytochemistry, and biological activities of ethnomedicinally important Drypetes species, in order to provide an input for the future research opportunities. An extensive review of the literature available in various recognized databases e.g., Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, SciFinder, Web of Science, www.theplantlist.org and www.gbif.org, as well as the Herbier National du Cameroun (Yaoundé) and Botanic Gardens of Limbe databases on the uses and bioactivity of various species of the Drypetes was undertaken. The literature provided information on ethnopharmacological uses of the Subsaharan African and Asian species of the genus Drypetes, e.g., Drypetes aubrévillii, D. capillipes, D. chevalieri, D. gerrardii, D. gossweileri, D. ivorensis, D. klainei, D. natalensis, D. pellegrini (all endemic to Africa) and D. roxburghii (Asian species), for the treatment of multiple disorders. From a total of 19 species, more than 140 compounds including diterpenes, sesquiterpenes, triterpenes (friedelane, oleanane, lupane and hopane-type), flavonoids, lignans

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Water-use dynamics of a peat swamp forest and a dune forest in Maputaland, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clulow, A. D.; Everson, C. S.; Price, J. S.; Jewitt, G. P. W.; Scott-Shaw, B. C.

    2013-05-01

    in the same way in the dune forest and the water use found to be highly seasonal. Over the entire measurement period, the water use was highest for an emergent Mimusops caffra (5 to 45 L d-1), whereas the water use of the Eugenia natalitia (2 to 28 L d-1) and Drypetes natalensis (1 to 4 L d-1) was lower. At the dune forest, the water use was highest in the wetter summer due to the reliance of the trees on rainfall to recharge the soil water. A split-line regression showed that on average, soil water limited tree water use 64% of the time over the measurement period at the dune forest. For modelling tree water use at the dune forest, it was concluded that a two-stage model, taking soil water content into account (from multiple sampling points), would be necessary.