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Sample records for anthracis bacteriophage-mediated ecological

  1. The secret life of the anthrax agent Bacillus anthracis: bacteriophage-mediated ecological adaptations.

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    Raymond Schuch

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecological and genetic factors that govern the occurrence and persistence of anthrax reservoirs in the environment are obscure. A central tenet, based on limited and often conflicting studies, has long held that growing or vegetative forms of Bacillus anthracis survive poorly outside the mammalian host and must sporulate to survive in the environment. Here, we present evidence of a more dynamic lifecycle, whereby interactions with bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, elicit phenotypic alterations in B. anthracis and the emergence of infected derivatives, or lysogens, with dramatically altered survival capabilities. Using both laboratory and environmental B. anthracis strains, we show that lysogeny can block or promote sporulation depending on the phage, induce exopolysaccharide expression and biofilm formation, and enable the long-term colonization of both an artificial soil environment and the intestinal tract of the invertebrate redworm, Eisenia fetida. All of the B. anthracis lysogens existed in a pseudolysogenic-like state in both the soil and worm gut, shedding phages that could in turn infect non-lysogenic B. anthracis recipients and confer survival phenotypes in those environments. Finally, the mechanism behind several phenotypic changes was found to require phage-encoded bacterial sigma factors and the expression of at least one host-encoded protein predicted to be involved in the colonization of invertebrate intestines. The results here demonstrate that during its environmental phase, bacteriophages provide B. anthracis with alternatives to sporulation that involve the activation of soil-survival and endosymbiotic capabilities.

  2. Effects of Noise on Ecological Invasion Processes: Bacteriophage-Mediated Competition in Bacteria

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    Joo, Jaewook; Harvill, Eric; Albert, Réka

    2007-07-01

    Pathogen-mediated competition, through which an invasive species carrying and transmitting a pathogen can be a superior competitor to a more vulnerable resident species, is one of the principle driving forces influencing biodiversity in nature. Using an experimental system of bacteriophage-mediated competition in bacterial populations and a deterministic model, we have shown in Joo et al. [ Proc. R. Soc. B 273,1843-1848 (2006)] that the competitive advantage conferred by the phage depends only on the relative phage pathology and is independent of the initial phage concentration and other phage and host parameters such as the infection-causing contact rate, the spontaneous and infection-induced lysis rates, and the phage burst size. Here we investigate the effects of stochastic fluctuations on bacterial invasion facilitated by bacteriophage, and examine the validity of the deterministic approach. We use both numerical and analytical methods of stochastic processes to identify the source of noise and assess its magnitude. We show that the conclusions obtained from the deterministic model are robust against stochastic fluctuations, yet deviations become prominently large when the phage are more pathological to the invading bacterial strain.

  3. Effects of Noise on Ecological Invasion Processes: Bacteriophage-mediated Competition in Bacteria

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    Joo, Jaewook; Eric, Harvill; Albert, Reka

    2007-03-01

    Pathogen-mediated competition, through which an invasive species carrying and transmitting a pathogen can be a superior competitor to a more vulnerable resident species, is one of the principle driving forces influencing biodiversity in nature. Using an experimental system of bacteriophage-mediated competition in bacterial populations and a deterministic model, we have shown in [Joo et al 2005] that the competitive advantage conferred by the phage depends only on the relative phage pathology and is independent of the initial phage concentration and other phage and host parameters such as the infection-causing contact rate, the spontaneous and infection-induced lysis rates, and the phage burst size. Here we investigate the effects of stochastic fluctuations on bacterial invasion facilitated by bacteriophage, and examine the validity of the deterministic approach. We use both numerical and analytical methods of stochastic processes to identify the source of noise and assess its magnitude. We show that the conclusions obtained from the deterministic model are robust against stochastic fluctuations, yet deviations become prominently large when the phage are more pathological to the invading bacterial strain.

  4. Ecological niche modeling of Bacillus anthracis on three continents: evidence for genetic-ecological divergence?

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    Jocelyn C Mullins

    Full Text Available We modeled the ecological niche of a globally successful Bacillus anthracis sublineage in the United States, Italy and Kazakhstan to better understand the geographic distribution of anthrax and potential associations between regional populations and ecology. Country-specific ecological-niche models were developed and reciprocally transferred to the other countries to determine if pathogen presence could be accurately predicted on novel landscapes. Native models accurately predicted endemic areas within each country, but transferred models failed to predict known occurrences in the outside countries. While the effects of variable selection and limitations of the genetic data should be considered, results suggest differing ecological associations for the B. anthracis populations within each country and may reflect niche specialization within the sublineage. Our findings provide guidance for developing accurate ecological niche models for this pathogen; models should be developed regionally, on the native landscape, and with consideration to population genetics. Further genomic analysis will improve our understanding of the genetic-ecological dynamics of B. anthracis across these countries and may lead to more refined predictive models for surveillance and proactive vaccination programs. Further studies should evaluate the impact of variable selection of native and transferred models.

  5. Ecological niche modeling of Bacillus anthracis on three continents: evidence for genetic-ecological divergence?

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    Mullins, Jocelyn C; Garofolo, Giuliano; Van Ert, Matthew; Fasanella, Antonio; Lukhnova, Larisa; Hugh-Jones, Martin E; Blackburn, Jason K

    2013-01-01

    We modeled the ecological niche of a globally successful Bacillus anthracis sublineage in the United States, Italy and Kazakhstan to better understand the geographic distribution of anthrax and potential associations between regional populations and ecology. Country-specific ecological-niche models were developed and reciprocally transferred to the other countries to determine if pathogen presence could be accurately predicted on novel landscapes. Native models accurately predicted endemic areas within each country, but transferred models failed to predict known occurrences in the outside countries. While the effects of variable selection and limitations of the genetic data should be considered, results suggest differing ecological associations for the B. anthracis populations within each country and may reflect niche specialization within the sublineage. Our findings provide guidance for developing accurate ecological niche models for this pathogen; models should be developed regionally, on the native landscape, and with consideration to population genetics. Further genomic analysis will improve our understanding of the genetic-ecological dynamics of B. anthracis across these countries and may lead to more refined predictive models for surveillance and proactive vaccination programs. Further studies should evaluate the impact of variable selection of native and transferred models.

  6. Ecological niche modelling of the Bacillus anthracis A1.a sub-lineage in Kazakhstan.

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    Mullins, Jocelyn; Lukhnova, Larissa; Aikimbayev, Alim; Pazilov, Yerlan; Van Ert, Matthew; Blackburn, Jason K

    2011-12-12

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a globally distributed zoonotic pathogen that continues to be a veterinary and human health problem in Central Asia. We used a database of anthrax outbreak locations in Kazakhstan and a subset of genotyped isolates to model the geographic distribution and ecological associations of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The aims of the study were to test the influence of soil variables on a previous ecological niche based prediction of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan and to determine if a single sub-lineage of B. anthracis occupies a unique ecological niche. The addition of soil variables to the previously developed ecological niche model did not appreciably alter the limits of the predicted geographic or ecological distribution of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The A1.a experiment predicted the sub-lineage to be present over a larger geographic area than did the outbreak based experiment containing multiple lineages. Within the geographic area predicted to be suitable for B. anthracis by all ten best subset models, the A1.a sub-lineage was associated with a wider range of ecological tolerances than the outbreak-soil experiment. Analysis of rule types showed that logit rules predominate in the outbreak-soil experiment and range rules in the A1.a sub-lineage experiment. Random sub-setting of locality points suggests that models of B. anthracis distribution may be sensitive to sample size. Our analysis supports careful consideration of the taxonomic resolution of data used to create ecological niche models. Further investigations into the environmental affinities of individual lineages and sub-lineages of B. anthracis will be useful in understanding the ecology of the disease at large and small scales. With model based predictions serving as approximations of disease risk, these efforts will improve the efficacy of public health interventions for anthrax prevention and control.

  7. Ecological Niche Modelling of the Bacillus anthracis A1.a sub-lineage in Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a globally distributed zoonotic pathogen that continues to be a veterinary and human health problem in Central Asia. We used a database of anthrax outbreak locations in Kazakhstan and a subset of genotyped isolates to model the geographic distribution and ecological associations of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The aims of the study were to test the influence of soil variables on a previous ecological niche based prediction of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan and to determine if a single sub-lineage of B. anthracis occupies a unique ecological niche. Results The addition of soil variables to the previously developed ecological niche model did not appreciably alter the limits of the predicted geographic or ecological distribution of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The A1.a experiment predicted the sub-lineage to be present over a larger geographic area than did the outbreak based experiment containing multiple lineages. Within the geographic area predicted to be suitable for B. anthracis by all ten best subset models, the A1.a sub-lineage was associated with a wider range of ecological tolerances than the outbreak-soil experiment. Analysis of rule types showed that logit rules predominate in the outbreak-soil experiment and range rules in the A1.a sub-lineage experiment. Random sub-setting of locality points suggests that models of B. anthracis distribution may be sensitive to sample size. Conclusions Our analysis supports careful consideration of the taxonomic resolution of data used to create ecological niche models. Further investigations into the environmental affinities of individual lineages and sub-lineages of B. anthracis will be useful in understanding the ecology of the disease at large and small scales. With model based predictions serving as approximations of disease risk, these efforts will improve the efficacy of public health interventions for anthrax prevention and control. PMID:22152056

  8. Redefining the Australian Anthrax Belt: Modeling the Ecological Niche and Predicting the Geographic Distribution of Bacillus anthracis.

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    Barro, Alassane S; Fegan, Mark; Moloney, Barbara; Porter, Kelly; Muller, Janine; Warner, Simone; Blackburn, Jason K

    2016-06-01

    The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP), historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies.

  9. A simple and novel modification of comet assay for determination of bacteriophage mediated bacterial cell lysis.

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    Khairnar, Krishna; Sanmukh, Swapnil; Chandekar, Rajshree; Paunikar, Waman

    2014-07-01

    The comet assay is the widely used method for in vitro toxicity testing which is also an alternative to the use of animal models for in vivo testing. Since, its inception in 1984 by Ostling and Johansson, it is being modified frequently for a wide range of application. In spite of its wide applicability, unfortunately there is no report of its application in bacteriophages research. In this study, a novel application of comet assay for the detection of bacteriophage mediated bacterial cell lysis was described. The conventional methods in bacteriophage research for studying bacterial lysis by bacteriophages are plaque assay method. It is time consuming, laborious and costly. The lytic activity of bacteriophage devours the bacterial cell which results in the release of bacterial genomic material that gets detected by ethidium bromide staining method by the comet assay protocol. The objective of this study was to compare efficacy of comet assay with different assay used to study phage mediated bacterial lysis. The assay was performed on culture isolates (N=80 studies), modified comet assay appear to have relatively higher sensitivity and specificity than other assay. The results of the study showed that the application of comet assay can be an economical, time saving and less laborious alternative to conventional plaque assay for the detection of bacteriophage mediated bacterial cell lysis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Quick bacteriophage-mediated bioluminescence assay for detecting Staphylococcus spp. in sonicate fluid of orthopaedic artificial joints.

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    Šuster, Katja; Podgornik, Aleš; Cör, Andrej

    2017-07-01

    Staphylococcus spp. accounts for up to two thirds of all microorganisms causing prosthetic joint infections, with Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis being the major cause. The present study describes a diagnostic model to detect staphylococci using a specific bacteriophage and bioluminescence detection, exploring the possibility of its use on sonicate fluid of orthopaedic artificial joints. Intracellular adenosine-5'-triphosphate release by bacteriophage mediated lysis of staphylococci was assessed to determine optimal parameters for detection. With the optimized method, a limit of detection of around 103 CFU/mL was obtained after incubation with bacteriophage for 2 h. Importantly, sonicate fluid did not prevent the ability of bacteriophage to infect bacteria and all simulated infected sonicate fluid as well as 6 clinical samples with microbiologically proven staphylococcal infection were detected as positive. The total assay took approximately 4 h. Collectively, the results indicate that the developed method promises a rapid, inexpensive and specific diagnostic detection of staphylococci in sonicate fluid of infected prosthetic joints. In addition, the unlimited pool of different existing bacteriophages, with different specificity for all kind of bacteria gives the opportunity for further investigations, improvements of the current model and implementation in other medical fields for the purpose of the establishment of a rapid diagnosis.

  11. Disinfection of Vegetative Cells of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-03-01

    Society for Microbiology ; New Orleans, LA, 2004. American Public Health Association. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater...Disinfection kinetics of vegetative cells of Bacillus anthracis in water with free available chlorine ([FAC] 2 mg/L) and monochloramine ([MC] 2 mg/L) were...anthracis. Bacillus anthracis cells Drinking water Chlorine demand-free (CDF

  12. Characterization of 21 Strains of Bacillus Anthracis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kournikakis, B

    2000-01-01

    Twenty-one strains of Bacillus anthracis currently held in the culture collection at DRES were characterized by colonial morphology, antibiotic sensitivity and BiologTM metabolic identification profiles...

  13. Distribution and molecular evolution of bacillus anthracis genotypes in Namibia.

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    Wolfgang Beyer

    Full Text Available The recent development of genetic markers for Bacillus anthracis has made it possible to monitor the spread and distribution of this pathogen during and between anthrax outbreaks. In Namibia, anthrax outbreaks occur annually in the Etosha National Park (ENP and on private game and livestock farms. We genotyped 384 B. anthracis isolates collected between 1983-2010 to identify the possible epidemiological correlations of anthrax outbreaks within and outside the ENP and to analyze genetic relationships between isolates from domestic and wild animals. The isolates came from 20 animal species and from the environment and were genotyped using a 31-marker multi-locus-VNTR-analysis (MLVA and, in part, by twelve single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP markers and four single nucleotide repeat (SNR markers. A total of 37 genotypes (GT were identified by MLVA, belonging to four SNP-groups. All GTs belonged to the A-branch in the cluster- and SNP-analyses. Thirteen GTs were found only outside the ENP, 18 only within the ENP and 6 both inside and outside. Genetic distances between isolates increased with increasing time between isolations. However, genetic distance between isolates at the beginning and end of the study period was relatively small, indicating that while the majority of GTs were only found sporadically, three genetically close GTs, accounting for more than four fifths of all the ENP isolates, appeared dominant throughout the study period. Genetic distances among isolates were significantly greater for isolates from different host species, but this effect was small, suggesting that while species-specific ecological factors may affect exposure processes, transmission cycles in different host species are still highly interrelated. The MLVA data were further used to establish a model of the probable evolution of GTs within the endemic region of the ENP. SNR-analysis was helpful in correlating an isolate with its source but did not elucidate

  14. Distribution and molecular evolution of bacillus anthracis genotypes in Namibia.

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    Beyer, Wolfgang; Bellan, Steve; Eberle, Gisela; Ganz, Holly H; Getz, Wayne M; Haumacher, Renate; Hilss, Karen A; Kilian, Werner; Lazak, Judith; Turner, Wendy C; Turnbull, Peter C B

    2012-01-01

    The recent development of genetic markers for Bacillus anthracis has made it possible to monitor the spread and distribution of this pathogen during and between anthrax outbreaks. In Namibia, anthrax outbreaks occur annually in the Etosha National Park (ENP) and on private game and livestock farms. We genotyped 384 B. anthracis isolates collected between 1983-2010 to identify the possible epidemiological correlations of anthrax outbreaks within and outside the ENP and to analyze genetic relationships between isolates from domestic and wild animals. The isolates came from 20 animal species and from the environment and were genotyped using a 31-marker multi-locus-VNTR-analysis (MLVA) and, in part, by twelve single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and four single nucleotide repeat (SNR) markers. A total of 37 genotypes (GT) were identified by MLVA, belonging to four SNP-groups. All GTs belonged to the A-branch in the cluster- and SNP-analyses. Thirteen GTs were found only outside the ENP, 18 only within the ENP and 6 both inside and outside. Genetic distances between isolates increased with increasing time between isolations. However, genetic distance between isolates at the beginning and end of the study period was relatively small, indicating that while the majority of GTs were only found sporadically, three genetically close GTs, accounting for more than four fifths of all the ENP isolates, appeared dominant throughout the study period. Genetic distances among isolates were significantly greater for isolates from different host species, but this effect was small, suggesting that while species-specific ecological factors may affect exposure processes, transmission cycles in different host species are still highly interrelated. The MLVA data were further used to establish a model of the probable evolution of GTs within the endemic region of the ENP. SNR-analysis was helpful in correlating an isolate with its source but did not elucidate epidemiological

  15. Interactions between Bacillus anthracis and plants may promote anthrax transmission.

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    Holly H Ganz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Environmental reservoirs are essential in the maintenance and transmission of anthrax but are poorly characterized. The anthrax agent, Bacillus anthracis was long considered an obligate pathogen that is dormant and passively transmitted in the environment. However, a growing number of laboratory studies indicate that, like some of its close relatives, B. anthracis has some activity outside of its vertebrate hosts. Here we show in the field that B. anthracis has significant interactions with a grass that could promote anthrax spore transmission to grazing hosts. Using a local, virulent strain of B. anthracis, we performed a field experiment in an enclosure within a grassland savanna. We found that B. anthracis increased the rate of establishment of a native grass (Enneapogon desvauxii by 50% and that grass seeds exposed to blood reached heights that were 45% taller than controls. Further we detected significant effects of E. desvauxii, B. anthracis, and their interaction on soil bacterial taxa richness and community composition. We did not find any evidence for multiplication or increased longevity of B. anthracis in bulk soil associated with grass compared to controls. Instead interactions between B. anthracis and plants may result in increased host grazing and subsequently increased transmission to hosts.

  16. Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes

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    2014-10-30

    effect of SWNTs in combination with antimicrobial chemicals on inactivation of B. anthracis spores; 4) the effect of CNTs coated surfaces on the...2010 31-May-2014 Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: (Life Science Division/ Biochemistry ) Inactivation of Bacillus... Biochemistry ) Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Using Carbon Nanotubes Report Title The Specific Aims of the project were to investigate: 1) the

  17. Real-Time PCR Identification of Unique Bacillus anthracis Sequences.

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    Cieślik, P; Knap, J; Kolodziej, M; Mirski, T; Joniec, J; Graniak, G; Zakowska, D; Winnicka, I; Bielawska-Drózd, A

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming, Gram-positive microorganism. It is a causative agent of anthrax, a highly infectious disease. It belongs to the "Bacillus cereus group", which contains other closely related species, including Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus mycoides, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, and Bacillus pseudomycoides. B. anthracis naturally occurs in soil environments. The BA5345 genetic marker was used for highly specific detection of B. anthracis with TaqMan probes. The detection limit of a real-time PCR assay was estimated at the level of 16.9 copies (CI95% - 37.4 to 37.86, SD = 0.2; SE = 0.118). Oligonucleotides designed for the targeted sequences (within the tested locus) revealed 100 % homology to B. anthracis strain reference sequences deposited in the database (NCBI) and high specificity to all tested B. anthracis strains. Additional in silico analysis of plasmid markers pag and cap genes with B. anthracis strains included in the database was carried out. Our study clearly indicates that the BA5345 marker can be used with success as a chromosomal marker in routine identification of B. anthracis; moreover, detection of plasmid markers indicates virulence of the examined strains.

  18. Identification of Proteins in the Exosporium of Bacillus Anthracis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Redmond, Caroline; Baillie, Leslie W. J; Hibbs, Stephen; Moir, Arthur J. G; Moir, Anne

    2004-01-01

    .... The protein profiles of SDS-PAGE-separated exosporium extracts were similar for all three. This suggests that avirulent variants lacking either or both plasmids are realistic models for studying the exosporium from spores of B. anthracis...

  19. Dendritic Cells Endocytose Bacillus Anthracis Spores: Implications for Anthrax Pathogenesis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Brittingham, Katherine C; Ruthel, Gordon; Panchal, Rekha G; Fuller, Claudette L; Ribot, Wilson J

    2005-01-01

    Phagocytosis of inhaled Bacillus anthracis spores and subsequent trafficking to lymph nodes are decisive events in the progression of inhaled anthrax because they initiate germination and dissemination of spores...

  20. Novel giant siphovirus from Bacillus anthracis features unusual genome characteristics.

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    Holly H Ganz

    Full Text Available Here we present vB_BanS-Tsamsa, a novel temperate phage isolated from Bacillus anthracis, the agent responsible for anthrax infections in wildlife, livestock and humans. Tsamsa phage is a giant siphovirus (order Caudovirales, featuring a long, flexible and non-contractile tail of 440 nm (not including baseplate structure and an isometric head of 82 nm in diameter. We induced Tsamsa phage in samples from two different carcass sites in Etosha National Park, Namibia. The Tsamsa phage genome is the largest sequenced Bacillus siphovirus, containing 168,876 bp and 272 ORFs. The genome features an integrase/recombinase enzyme, indicative of a temperate lifestyle. Among bacterial strains tested, the phage infected only certain members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group (B. anthracis, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis and exhibited moderate specificity for B. anthracis. Tsamsa lysed seven out of 25 B. cereus strains, two out of five B. thuringiensis strains and six out of seven B. anthracis strains tested. It did not lyse B. anthracis PAK-1, an atypical strain that is also resistant to both gamma phage and cherry phage. The Tsamsa endolysin features a broader lytic spectrum than the phage host range, indicating possible use of the enzyme in Bacillus biocontrol.

  1. Siderophores of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis.

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    Wilson, Melissa K; Abergel, Rebecca J; Raymond, Kenneth N; Arceneaux, Jean E L; Byers, B Rowe

    2006-09-15

    Three Bacillus anthracis Sterne strains (USAMRIID, 7702, and 34F2) and Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 excrete two catecholate siderophores, petrobactin (which contains 3,4-dihydroxybenzoyl moieties) and bacillibactin (which contains 2,3-dihydroxybenzoyl moieties). However, the insecticidal organism Bacillus thuringiensis ATCC 33679 makes only bacillibactin. Analyses of siderophore production by previously isolated [Cendrowski et al., Mol. Microbiol. 52 (2004) 407-417] B. anthracis mutant strains revealed that the B. anthracis bacACEBF operon codes for bacillibactin production and the asbAB gene region is required for petrobactin assembly. The two catecholate moieties also were synthesized by separate routes. PCR amplification identified both asbA and asbB genes in the petrobactin producing strains whereas B. thuringiensis ATCC 33679 retained only asbA. Petrobactin synthesis is not limited to the cluster of B. anthracis strains within the B. cereus sensu lato group (in which B. cereus, B. anthracis, and B. thuringiensis are classified), although petrobactin might be prevalent in strains with pathogenic potential for vertebrates.

  2. Novel giant siphovirus from Bacillus anthracis features unusual genome characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganz, Holly H; Law, Christina; Schmuki, Martina; Eichenseher, Fritz; Calendar, Richard; Loessner, Martin J; Getz, Wayne M; Korlach, Jonas; Beyer, Wolfgang; Klumpp, Jochen

    2014-01-01

    Here we present vB_BanS-Tsamsa, a novel temperate phage isolated from Bacillus anthracis, the agent responsible for anthrax infections in wildlife, livestock and humans. Tsamsa phage is a giant siphovirus (order Caudovirales), featuring a long, flexible and non-contractile tail of 440 nm (not including baseplate structure) and an isometric head of 82 nm in diameter. We induced Tsamsa phage in samples from two different carcass sites in Etosha National Park, Namibia. The Tsamsa phage genome is the largest sequenced Bacillus siphovirus, containing 168,876 bp and 272 ORFs. The genome features an integrase/recombinase enzyme, indicative of a temperate lifestyle. Among bacterial strains tested, the phage infected only certain members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group (B. anthracis, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis) and exhibited moderate specificity for B. anthracis. Tsamsa lysed seven out of 25 B. cereus strains, two out of five B. thuringiensis strains and six out of seven B. anthracis strains tested. It did not lyse B. anthracis PAK-1, an atypical strain that is also resistant to both gamma phage and cherry phage. The Tsamsa endolysin features a broader lytic spectrum than the phage host range, indicating possible use of the enzyme in Bacillus biocontrol.

  3. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Bacillus anthracis ...

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    Journal Article Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived from computed tomography (CT) or µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation-exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. Four different exposure scenarios were modeled in the rabbit based upon experimental inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulations were conducted at the highest exposure concentration used during the rabbit experimental exposures. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Despite the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the upper conducting airways of the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. This greater deposition of spores in the upper airways in the human resulted in lower penetration and deposition in the tracheobronchial airways and the deep lung than that predict

  4. [Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) site in Bacillus anthracis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zhiqi; Wang, Dongshu; Feng, Erling; Wang, Bingxiang; Hui, Yiming; Han, Shaobo; Jiao, Lei; Liu, Xiankai; Wang, Hengliang

    2014-11-04

    To investigate the polymorphism of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in Bacillu santhracis and the application to molecular typing based on the polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis. We downloaded the whole genome sequence of 6 B. anthracis strains and extracted the CRISPR sites. We designed the primers of CRISPR sites and amplified the CRISPR fragments in 193 B. anthracis strains by PCR and sequenced these fragments. In order to reveal the polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis, wealigned all the extracted sequences and sequenced results by local blasting. At the same time, we also analyzed the CRISPR sites in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. We did not find any polymorphism of CRISPR in B. anthracis. The molecular typing approach based on CRISPR polymorphism is not suitable for B. anthracis, but it is possible for us to distinguish B. anthracis from B. cereus and B. thuringiensis.

  5. Alleged B. anthracis exposure claims in a workers' compensation setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewell, Gregory; Dunning, Kari; Lockey, James E

    2006-01-01

    Workers' compensation insurance in some states may not provide coverage for medical evaluation costs of workplace exposures related to potential bioterrorism acts if there is no diagnosed illness or disease. Personal insurance also may not provide coverage for these exposures occurring at the workplace. Governmental entities, insurers, and employers need to consider how to address such situations and the associated costs. The objective of this study was to examine characteristics of workers and total costs associated with workers' compensation claims alleging potential exposure to the bioterrorism organism B. anthracis. We examined 192 claims referred for review to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (OBWC) from October 10, 2001, through December 20, 2004. Although some cases came from out-of-state areas where B. anthracis exposure was known to exist, no Ohio claim was associated with true B. anthracis exposure or B. anthracis-related illness. Of the 155 eligible claims, 126 included medical costs averaging dollar 219 and ranging from dollar 24 to dollar 3,126. There was no difference in mean cost for government and non-government employees (p = 0.202 Wilcoxon). The number of claims and associated medical costs for evaluation and treatment of potential workplace exposure to B. anthracis were relatively small. These results can be attributed to several factors, including no documented B. anthracis exposures and disease in Ohio and prompt transmission of recommended diagnostic and prophylactic treatment protocols to physicians. How employers, insurers, and jurisdictions address payment for evaluation and treatment of potential or documented exposures resulting from a potential terrorism-related event should be addressed proactively.

  6. Indirect Detection Of Bacillus Anthracis (Anthrax) Using Amplified Gamma Phage-Based Assays

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Reiman, Robert W

    2007-01-01

    The need for a simple, specific, sensitive, inexpensive, accurate, and rapid method to identify Bacillus anthracis became apparent during the Fall 2001 anthrax attacks which caused widespread panic...

  7. Anthrax Lethal Toxin Impairs Innate Immune Functions of Alveolar Macrophages and Facilitates Bacillus anthracis Survival

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ribot, Wilson J; Panchal, Rekha G; Brittingham, Katherine C; Ruthel, Gordon; Kenny, Tara A; Lane, Douglas; Curry, Bob; Hoover, Timothy A; Friedlander, Arthur M; Bavari, Sina

    2006-01-01

    .... Although several factors contribute to inhalational anthrax, we hypothesized that unimpeded infection of Bacillus anthracis is directly linked to disabling the innate immune functions contributed by AM...

  8. Literature Review of DNA-Based Subspecies Analysis of Bacillus Anthracis Burkholderia Pseudomallel Burkholderia Mallei, and Yersinia Pestis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Harvey, Steven

    1999-01-01

    ...; Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Burkholderia mallei, and Yersinia pestis. Considerable research has been accomplished for the identification of polymorphisms from the strains B. anthracis and B. pseudomallei. The B...

  9. DECONTAMINATION ASSESSMENT OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS, AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACTS USING A HYDROGEN PERIOXIDE GAS GENERATOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aims: To evaluate the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface materials using hydrogen peroxide gas. Methods and Results: B. anthracis, B. subtilis, and G. Stearothermophilus spores were dried on seven...

  10. Historical distribution and molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikembayev, Alim M; Lukhnova, Larissa; Temiraliyeva, Gulnara; Meka-Mechenko, Tatyana; Pazylov, Yerlan; Zakaryan, Sarkis; Denissov, Georgiy; Easterday, W Ryan; Van Ert, Matthew N; Keim, Paul; Francesconi, Stephen C; Blackburn, Jason K; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2010-05-01

    To map the distribution of anthrax outbreaks and strain subtypes in Kazakhstan during 1937-2005, we combined geographic information system technology and genetic analysis by using archived cultures and data. Biochemical and genetic tests confirmed the identity of 93 archived cultures in the Kazakhstan National Culture Collection as Bacillus anthracis. Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis genotyping identified 12 genotypes. Cluster analysis comparing these genotypes with previously published genotypes indicated that most (n = 78) isolates belonged to the previously described A1.a genetic cluster, 6 isolates belonged to the A3.b cluster, and 2 belonged to the A4 cluster. Two genotypes in the collection appeared to represent novel genetic sublineages; 1 of these isolates was from Krygystan. Our data provide a description of the historical, geographic, and genetic diversity of B. anthracis in this Central Asian region.

  11. Genotype Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Strains Circulating in Bangladesh.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzana Islam Rume

    Full Text Available In Bangladesh, anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is considered an endemic disease affecting ruminants with sporadic zoonotic occurrences in humans. Due to the lack of knowledge about risks from an incorrect removal of infected carcasses, the disease is not properly monitored, and because of the socio-economic conditions, the situation is under-reported and under-diagnosed. For sensitive species, anthrax represents a fatal outcome with sudden death and sometimes bleeding from natural orifices. The most common source of infection for ruminants is ingestion of spores during grazing in contaminated pastures or through grass and water contaminated with anthrax spores. Domestic cattle, sheep and goats can also become infected through contaminated bone meal (used as feed originating from anthrax-infected carcasses. The present investigation was conducted to isolate B. anthracis organisms from 169 samples (73 soil, 1 tissue, 4 bone and 91 bone meal samples collected from 12 different districts of Bangladesh. The sampling was carried out from 2012 to 2015. Twelve samples resulted positive for B. anthracis. Biomolecular analyses were conducted starting from the Canonical Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (CanSNP to analyze the phylogenetic origin of strains. The analysis of genotype, obtained through the Multiple Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA with the analysis of 15 Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR, demonstrated four different genotypes: two of them were previously identified in the district of Sirajganj. The sub-genotyping, conducted with Single Nucleotide Repeats analysis, revealed the presence of eight subgenotypes. The data of the present study concluded that there was no observed correlation between imported cattle feed and anthrax occurrence in Bangladesh and that the remarkable genetic variations of B. anthracis were found in the soil of numerous outbreaks in this country.

  12. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Edmonds

    Full Text Available The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening.

  13. New aspects of the infection mechanisms of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakowska, Dorota; Bartoszcze, Michał; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Kocik, Janusz

    2012-01-01

    Articles concerning new aspects of B. anthracis mechanisms of infection were reviewed. It was found, that the hair follicle plays an important role in the spore germination process. The hair follicle represent an important portal of entry in the course of the cutaneous form of disease infections. After mouse exposition to aerosol of spores prepared from B. anthracis strains, an increase in the level of TNF-α cytokines was observed. The TNF-α cytokines were produced after intrusion into the host by the microorganism. This process may play a significant role in the induced migration of infected cells APCs (Antigen Presenting Cells) via chemotactic signals to the lymph nodes. It was explained that IgG, which binds to the spore surface, activates the adaptive immune system response. As a result, the release C3b opsonin from the spore surface, and mediating of C3 protein fragments of B. anthracis spores phagocytosis by human macrophages, was observed. The genes coding germination spores protein in mutant strains of B. anthracis MIGD was a crucial discovery. According to this, it could be assumed that the activity of B. anthracis spores germination process is dependent upon the sleB, cwlJ1 and cwlJ2 genes, which code the GSLEs lithic enzymes. It was also discovered that the specific antibody for PA20, which binds to the PA20 antigenic determinant, are able to block further PA83 proteolytic fission on the surface of cells. This process neutralized PA functions and weakened the activity of free PA20, which is produced during the PA83 enzyme fission process. Interaction between PA63 monomer and LF may be helpful in the PA63 oligomerization and grouping process, and the creation of LF/PA63 complexes may be a part of an alternative process of assembling the anthrax toxin on the surface of cells. It was found that actin-dependent endocytosis plays an important role in the PA heptamerisation process and leads to blocking the toxin activity. Chaperones, a protein derived from

  14. A novel multiplex PCR discriminates Bacillus anthracis and its genetically related strains from other Bacillus cereus group species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirohito Ogawa

    Full Text Available Anthrax is an important zoonotic disease worldwide that is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogenic bacterium. A rapid and sensitive method to detect B. anthracis is important for anthrax risk management and control in animal cases to address public health issues. However, it has recently become difficult to identify B. anthracis by using previously reported molecular-based methods because of the emergence of B. cereus, which causes severe extra-intestinal infection, as well as the human pathogenic B. thuringiensis, both of which are genetically related to B. anthracis. The close genetic relation of chromosomal backgrounds has led to complexity of molecular-based diagnosis. In this study, we established a B. anthracis multiplex PCR that can screen for the presence of B. anthracis virulent plasmids and differentiate B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group species. Six sets of primers targeting a chromosome of B. anthracis and B. anthracis-like strains, two virulent plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, a bacterial gene, 16S rRNA gene, and a mammalian gene, actin-beta gene, were designed. The multiplex PCR detected approximately 3.0 CFU of B. anthracis DNA per PCR reaction and was sensitive to B. anthracis. The internal control primers also detected all bacterial and mammalian DNAs examined, indicating the practical applicability of this assay as it enables monitoring of appropriate amplification. The assay was also applied for detection of clinical strains genetically related to B. anthracis, which were B. cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infections in Japan, and field strains isolated in Zambia, and the assay differentiated B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group strains. Taken together, the results indicate that the newly developed multiplex PCR is a sensitive and practical method for detecting B. anthracis.

  15. Nitric Oxide as a Regulator of B. anthracis Pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serguei G Popov

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO is a key physiological regulator in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. It can cause a variety of biological effects by reacting with its targets or/and indirectly inducing oxidative stress. NO can also be produced by bacteria including the pathogenic B. anthracis; however its role in the infectious process only begins to emerge. NO incapacitates macrophages by S-nitrosylating the intracellular proteins and protects B. anthracis from oxidative stress. It is also implicated in the formation of toxic peroxynitrite. In this study we further assessed the effects of B. anthracis NO produced by the NO synthase (bNOS on bacterial metabolism and host cells in experiments with the bNOS knockout Sterne strain. The mutation abrogated accumulation of nitrite and nitrate as tracer products of NO in the culture medium and markedly attenuated growth in both aerobic and microaerobic conditions. The regulatory role of NO was also suggested by the abnormally high rate of nitrate denitrification by the mutant in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic regulation mediated by NO was reflected in reduced fermentation of glucose by the mutant correlating with the reduced toxicity of bacteria toward host cells in culture. The toxic effect of NO required permeabilization of the target cells as well as the activity of fermentation-derived metabolite in the conditions of reduced pH. The host cells demonstrated increased phosphorylation of major survivor protein kinase AKT correlating with reduced toxicity of the mutant in comparison with Sterne. Our global proteomic analysis of lymph from the lymph nodes of infected mice harboring bacteria revealed numerous changes in the pattern and levels of proteins associated with the activity of bNOS influencing key cell physiological processes relevant to energy metabolism, growth, signal transduction, stress response, septic shock and homeostasis. This is the first in vivo observation of the bacterial NO effect on the

  16. Identification of Bacillus anthracis specific chromosomal sequences by suppressive subtractive hybridization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Redkar Rajendra

    2004-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus are closely related members of the B. cereus-group of bacilli. Suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH was used to identify specific chromosomal sequences unique to B. anthracis. Results Two SSH libraries were generated. Genomic DNA from plasmid-cured B. anthracis was used as the tester DNA in both libraries, while genomic DNA from either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis served as the driver DNA. Progressive screening of the libraries by colony filter and Southern blot analyses identified 29 different clones that were specific for the B. anthracis chromosome relative not only to the respective driver DNAs, but also to seven other different strains of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis included in the process. The nucleotide sequences of the clones were compared with those found in genomic databases, revealing that over half of the clones were located into 2 regions on the B. anthracis chromosome. Conclusions Genes encoding potential cell wall synthesis proteins dominated one region, while bacteriophage-related sequences dominated the other region. The latter supports the hypothesis that acquisition of these bacteriophage sequences occurred during or after speciation of B. anthracis relative to B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This study provides insight into the chromosomal differences between B. anthracis and its closest phylogenetic relatives.

  17. Genome sequence of Bacillus cereus and comparative analysis with Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Natalia; Sorokin, Alexei; Anderson, Iain; Galleron, Nathalie; Candelon, Benjamin; Kapatral, Vinayak; Bhattacharyya, Anamitra; Reznik, Gary; Mikhailova, Natalia; Lapidus, Alla; Chu, Lien; Mazur, Michael; Goltsman, Eugene; Larsen, Niels; D'Souza, Mark; Walunas, Theresa; Grechkin, Yuri; Pusch, Gordon; Haselkorn, Robert; Fonstein, Michael; Ehrlich, S Dusko; Overbeek, Ross; Kyrpides, Nikos

    2003-05-01

    Bacillus cereus is an opportunistic pathogen causing food poisoning manifested by diarrhoeal or emetic syndromes. It is closely related to the animal and human pathogen Bacillus anthracis and the insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis, the former being used as a biological weapon and the latter as a pesticide. B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis are readily distinguished from B. cereus by the presence of plasmid-borne specific toxins (B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis) and capsule (B. anthracis). But phylogenetic studies based on the analysis of chromosomal genes bring controversial results, and it is unclear whether B. cereus, B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis are varieties of the same species or different species. Here we report the sequencing and analysis of the type strain B. cereus ATCC 14579. The complete genome sequence of B. cereus ATCC 14579 together with the gapped genome of B. anthracis A2012 enables us to perform comparative analysis, and hence to identify the genes that are conserved between B. cereus and B. anthracis, and the genes that are unique for each species. We use the former to clarify the phylogeny of the cereus group, and the latter to determine plasmid-independent species-specific markers.

  18. Germination and persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis in soil microcosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, A H

    2014-11-01

    Decontaminating large, outdoor spaces of Bacillus anthracis spores presents significant problems, particularly in soil. Proof was sought that the addition of germinant chemicals could cause spores of B. anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis, a commonly used simulant of the threat agent, to convert to the less resistant vegetative form in a microcosm. Nonsterile plant/soil microcosms were inoculated with spores of B. thuringiensis and two nonpathogenic strains of B. anthracis. A combination of L-alanine (100 mmol l(-1)) and inosine (10 mmol l(-1)) resulted in a 6 log decrease in spore numbers in both strains of B. anthracis over 2 weeks at 22°C; a 3 log decrease in B. anthracis Sterne spore numbers was observed after incubation for 2 weeks at 10°C. Negligible germination nor a decrease in viable count occurred in either strain when the concentration of L-alanine was decreased to 5 mmol l(-1). Germinated spores of B. thuringiensis were able to persist in vegetative form in the microcosms, whereas those of B. anthracis rapidly disappeared. The pleiotropic regulator PlcR, which B. anthracis lacks, does not contribute to the persistence of B. thuringiensis in vegetative form in soil. The principle of adding germinants to soil to trigger the conversion of spores to vegetative form has been demonstrated. Bacillus anthracis failed to persist in vegetative form or resporulate in the microcosms after it had been induced to germinate. The large scale, outdoor decontamination of B. anthracis spores may be facilitated by the application of simple, defined combinations of germinants. © 2014 Crown Copyright. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology This article is Published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and Queen's Printer for Scotland.

  19. Roles of the Bacillus anthracis Spore Protein ExsK in Exosporium Maturation and Germination

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    ligation of a DNA fragment bearing the green fluorescent protein ( GFP ) open reading frame (produced by digestion of pAS5 [28] with BamHI and HindIII...microscopy of B. anthracis (Sterne) sporangia. Phase-contrast (Phase) and fluorescence ( GFP , Hoechst, and Merge) images of B. anthracis exsK- gfp (A, C, E...visualized for GFP fluorescence and DNA staining with Hoechst 33352. VOL. 191, 2009 B. ANTHRACIS EXOSPORIUM MATURATION AND GERMINATION 7589 at U S A M R

  20. Structures of two superoxide dismutases from Bacillus anthracis reveal a novel active centre

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boucher, Ian W.; Kalliomaa, Anne K.; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; Fogg, Mark J.; Brannigan, James A.; Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2005-01-01

    The crystal structures of two manganese superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis were solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement. The BA4499 and BA5696 genes of Bacillus anthracis encode proteins homologous to manganese superoxide dismutase, suggesting that this organism has an expanded repertoire of antioxidant proteins. Differences in metal specificity and quaternary structure between the dismutases of prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes may be exploited in the development of therapeutic antibacterial compounds. Here, the crystal structure of two Mn superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis solved to high resolution are reported. Comparison of their structures reveals that a highly conserved residue near the active centre is substituted in one of the proteins and that this is a characteristic feature of superoxide dismutases from the B. cereus/B. anthracis/B. thuringiensis group of organisms

  1. Indirect Detection Of Bacillus Anthracis (Anthrax) Using Amplified Gamma Phage-Based Assays

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Reiman, Robert W

    2007-01-01

    ... and ultimately killed five individuals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently employs agar plate lysis by gamma phage and direct fluorescence assay to confirm the presence of Bacillus anthracis...

  2. Lethality of Bacillus Anthracis Spores Due to Short Duration Heating Measured Using Infrared Spectroscopy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Goetz, Kristina M

    2005-01-01

    In this research, Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to bursts of heat lasting on the order of one second in duration using a laser system to simulate the explosive environment from an agent defeat weapon...

  3. Pharmacokinetics-Pharmacodynamics of Gatifloxacin in a Lethal Murine Bacillus Anthracis Inhalation Infection Model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ambrose, Paul G; Forrest, Alan; Craig, William A; Rubino, Christopher M; Bhavnani, Sujata M; Drusano, George L; Heine, Henery S

    2007-01-01

    We determined the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) measure most predictive of gatifloxacin efficacy and the magnitude of this measure necessary for survival in a murine Bacillus anthracis inhalation infection model...

  4. Efficacy of Oritavancin in a Murine Model of Bacillus anthracis Spore Inhalation Anthrax

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Heine, H. S; Bassett, J; Miller, L; Bassett, A; Ivins, B. E; Lehous, D; Arhin, F. F; Parr, Jr., T. R; Moeck, G

    2008-01-01

    The inhaled form of Bacillus anthracis infection may be fatal to humans. The current standard of care for inhalational anthrax postexposure prophylaxis is ciprofloxacin therapy twice daily for 60 days...

  5. FORMALDEHYDE GAS INACTIVATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACE MATERIALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Research evaluated the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface material using formaldehyde gas. Spores were dried on seven types of indoor surfaces and exposed to 1100 ppm formaldehyde gas for 10 hr. Fo...

  6. Identification and Validation of Specific Markers of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Proteomics and Genomics Approaches*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R.; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L.; Becher, François

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  7. Identification of Bacillus anthracis by Using Monoclonal Antibody to Cell Wall Galactose-N-Acetylglucosamine Polysaccharide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-02-01

    Bacillus circulans ATCC 4513 b - - NR NT NT NT NT Bacillus coagulans ATCC 7050 b - - NR NT NT NT NT Bacillus eugilitis B-61 f - - NR NT NT NT NT...American Society for Microbiology W Identification of Bacillus anthracis by-U-sing Monoclonal Antibody CC to Cell Wall Galactose-N-Acetylglucosamine...Received 22 June 1989/Accepted 31 October 1989 ’ Guanidine extracts of crude Bacillus anthracis cell wall were used to vaccinate BALB/c mice and to

  8. The Bacillus anthracis chromosome contains four conserved, excision-proficient, putative prophages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sozhamannan Shanmuga

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis is considered to be a recently emerged clone within the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. The B. anthracis genome sequence contains four putative lambdoid prophages. We undertook this study in order to understand whether the four prophages are unique to B. anthracis and whether they produce active phages. Results More than 300 geographically and temporally divergent isolates of B. anthracis and its near neighbors were screened by PCR for the presence of specific DNA sequences from each prophage region. Every isolate of B. anthracis screened by PCR was found to produce all four phage-specific amplicons whereas none of the non-B. anthracis isolates, produced more than one phage-specific amplicon. Excision of prophages could be detected by a PCR based assay for attP sites on extra-chromosomal phage circles and for attB sites on phage-excised chromosomes. SYBR-green real-time PCR assays indicated that prophage excision occurs at very low frequencies (2 × 10-5 - 8 × 10-8/cell. Induction with mitomycin C increased the frequency of excision of one of the prophages by approximately 250 fold. All four prophages appear to be defective since, mitomycin C induced culture did not release any viable phage particle or lyse the cells or reveal any phage particle under electron microscopic examination. Conclusion The retention of all four putative prophage regions across all tested strains of B. anthracis is further evidence of the very recent emergence of this lineage and the prophage regions may be useful for differentiating the B. anthracis chromosome from that of its neighbors. All four prophages can excise at low frequencies, but are apparently defective in phage production.

  9. Green tea and epigallocatechin-3-gallate are bactericidal against Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falcinelli, Shane D; Shi, Maggie C; Friedlander, Arthur M; Chua, Jennifer

    2017-07-03

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is listed as a category A biothreat agent by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virulence of the organism is due to expression of two exotoxins and capsule, which interfere with host cellular signaling, alter host water homeostasis and inhibit phagocytosis of the pathogen, respectively. Concerns regarding the past and possible future use of B. anthracis as a bioterrorism agent have resulted in an impetus to develop more effective protective measures and therapeutics. In this study, green tea was found to inhibit the in vitro growth of B. anthracis. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound found abundantly in green tea, was shown to be responsible for this activity. EGCG was bactericidal against both the attenuated B. anthracis ANR and the virulent encapsulated B. anthracis Ames strain. This study highlights the antimicrobial activity of green tea and EGCG against anthrax and suggests the need for further investigation of EGCG as a therapeutic candidate against B. anthracis. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of FEMS 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  10. Pathogenomic sequence analysis of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis isolates closely related to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Cliff S; Xie, Gary; Challacombe, Jean F; Altherr, Michael R; Bhotika, Smriti S; Brown, Nancy; Bruce, David; Campbell, Connie S; Campbell, Mary L; Chen, Jin; Chertkov, Olga; Cleland, Cathy; Dimitrijevic, Mira; Doggett, Norman A; Fawcett, John J; Glavina, Tijana; Goodwin, Lynne A; Green, Lance D; Hill, Karen K; Hitchcock, Penny; Jackson, Paul J; Keim, Paul; Kewalramani, Avinash Ramesh; Longmire, Jon; Lucas, Susan; Malfatti, Stephanie; McMurry, Kim; Meincke, Linda J; Misra, Monica; Moseman, Bernice L; Mundt, Mark; Munk, A Christine; Okinaka, Richard T; Parson-Quintana, B; Reilly, Lee Philip; Richardson, Paul; Robinson, Donna L; Rubin, Eddy; Saunders, Elizabeth; Tapia, Roxanne; Tesmer, Judith G; Thayer, Nina; Thompson, Linda S; Tice, Hope; Ticknor, Lawrence O; Wills, Patti L; Brettin, Thomas S; Gilna, Paul

    2006-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis are closely related gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria of the B. cereus sensu lato group. While independently derived strains of B. anthracis reveal conspicuous sequence homogeneity, environmental isolates of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis exhibit extensive genetic diversity. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of the genomes of two members of the B. cereus group, B. thuringiensis 97-27 subsp. konkukian serotype H34, isolated from a necrotic human wound, and B. cereus E33L, which was isolated from a swab of a zebra carcass in Namibia. These two strains, when analyzed by amplified fragment length polymorphism within a collection of over 300 of B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis isolates, appear closely related to B. anthracis. The B. cereus E33L isolate appears to be the nearest relative to B. anthracis identified thus far. Whole-genome sequencing of B. thuringiensis 97-27and B. cereus E33L was undertaken to identify shared and unique genes among these isolates in comparison to the genomes of pathogenic strains B. anthracis Ames and B. cereus G9241 and nonpathogenic strains B. cereus ATCC 10987 and B. cereus ATCC 14579. Comparison of these genomes revealed differences in terms of virulence, metabolic competence, structural components, and regulatory mechanisms.

  11. Monitoramento Tecnológico de Biossensores para Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Garcia, Rômulo Santiago de Lima

    2017-01-01

    O Exército Brasileiro, por meio da Seção de Defesa Biológica do Instituto de Defesa Química, Biológica, Radiológica e Nuclear, realizou o monitoramento tecnológico de biossensores para Bacillus anthracis em bancos de dados de patentes, para aperfeiçoar as atividades de pesquisa e desenvolvimento de produtos de defesa e analisar as tendências tecnológicas relativas a esta área, especialmente no que se refere aos biosensores ópticos baseados no principio de ressonância de plásmons de superfície...

  12. Decontamination Options for Drinking Water Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raber, E; Burklund, A

    2010-02-16

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination options for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were: (1) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus); (2) spore concentration in suspension (10{sup 2} to 10{sup 6} spores/ml); (3) chemical characteristics of decontaminant [sodium dicholor-s-triazinetrione dihydrate (Dichlor), hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate (Oxone), sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS{reg_sign}]; (4) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%); and (5) decontaminant exposure time (10 min to 24 hr). Results from 162 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5%, and Dichlor and sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2%, were effective at spore inactivation regardless of spore type tested, spore exposure time, or spore concentration evaluated. This is the first reported study of Dichlor as an effective decontaminant for B. anthracis spore surrogates. Dichlor's desirable characteristics of high oxidation potential, high level of free chlorine, and more neutral pH than that of other oxidizers evaluated appear to make it an excellent alternative. All three oxidizers were effective against B. atrophaeus spores in meeting EPA's biocide standard of greater than a 6 log kill after a 10-minute exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS{reg_sign} and Oxone were less effective decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for biocides. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  13. Application of in vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean M Rollins

    Full Text Available In vivo induced antigen technology (IVIAT is an immuno-screening technique that identifies bacterial antigens expressed during infection and not during standard in vitro culturing conditions. We applied IVIAT to Bacillus anthracis and identified PagA, seven members of a N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase autolysin family, three P60 family lipoproteins, two transporters, spore cortex lytic protein SleB, a penicillin binding protein, a putative prophage holin, respiratory nitrate reductase NarG, and three proteins of unknown function. Using quantitative real-time PCR comparing RNA isolated from in vitro cultured B. anthracis to RNA isolated from BALB/c mice infected with virulent Ames strain B. anthracis, we confirmed induced expression in vivo for a subset of B. anthracis genes identified by IVIAT, including L-alanine amidases BA3767, BA4073, and amiA (pXO2-42; the bacteriophage holin gene BA4074; and pagA (pXO1-110. The exogenous addition of two purified putative autolysins identified by IVIAT, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases BA0485 and BA2446, to vegetative B. anthracis cell suspensions induced a species-specific change in bacterial morphology and reduction in viable bacterial cells. Many of the proteins identified in our screen are predicted to affect peptidoglycan re-modeling, and our results support significant cell wall structural remodeling activity during B. anthracis infection. Identification of L-alanine amidases with B. anthracis specificity may suggest new potential therapeutic targets.

  14. The structure of the major cell wall polysaccharide of Bacillus anthracis is species-specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Biswa; Leoff, Christine; Saile, Elke; Wilkins, Patricia; Quinn, Conrad P; Kannenberg, Elmar L; Carlson, Russell W

    2006-09-22

    In this report we describe the structure of the polysaccharide released from Bacillus anthracis vegetative cell walls by aqueous hydrogen fluoride (HF). This HF-released polysaccharide (HF-PS) was isolated and structurally characterized from the Ames, Sterne, and Pasteur strains of B. anthracis. The HF-PSs were also isolated from the closely related Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 strain, and from the B. cereus ATCC 14579 type strain and compared with those of B. anthracis. The structure of the B. anthracis HF-PS was determined by glycosyl composition and linkage analyses, matrix-assisted laser desorption-time of flight mass spectrometry, and one- and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The HF-PSs from all of the B. anthracis isolates had an identical structure consisting of an amino sugar backbone of -->6)-alpha-GlcNAc-(1-->4)-beta-ManNAc-(1-->4)-beta-GlcNAc-(1-->, in which the alpha-GlcNAc residue is substituted with alpha-Gal and beta-Gal at O-3 and O-4, respectively, and the beta-GlcNAc substituted with alpha-Gal at O-3. There is some variability in the presence of two of these three Gal substitutions. Comparison with the HF-PSs from B. cereus ATCC 10987 and B. cereus ATCC 14579 showed that the B. anthracis structure was clearly different from each of these HF-PSs and, furthermore, that the B. cereus ATCC 10987 HF-PS structure was different from that of B. cereus ATCC 14579. The presence of a B. anthracis-specific polysaccharide structure in its vegetative cell wall is discussed with regard to its relationship to those of other Bacillus species.

  15. Detection of Bacillus anthracis DNA in complex soil and air samples using next-generation sequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A Be

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is the potentially lethal etiologic agent of anthrax disease, and is a significant concern in the realm of biodefense. One of the cornerstones of an effective biodefense strategy is the ability to detect infectious agents with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity in the context of a complex sample background. The nature of the B. anthracis genome, however, renders specific detection difficult, due to close homology with B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. We therefore elected to determine the efficacy of next-generation sequencing analysis and microarrays for detection of B. anthracis in an environmental background. We applied next-generation sequencing to titrated genome copy numbers of B. anthracis in the presence of background nucleic acid extracted from aerosol and soil samples. We found next-generation sequencing to be capable of detecting as few as 10 genomic equivalents of B. anthracis DNA per nanogram of background nucleic acid. Detection was accomplished by mapping reads to either a defined subset of reference genomes or to the full GenBank database. Moreover, sequence data obtained from B. anthracis could be reliably distinguished from sequence data mapping to either B. cereus or B. thuringiensis. We also demonstrated the efficacy of a microbial census microarray in detecting B. anthracis in the same samples, representing a cost-effective and high-throughput approach, complementary to next-generation sequencing. Our results, in combination with the capacity of sequencing for providing insights into the genomic characteristics of complex and novel organisms, suggest that these platforms should be considered important components of a biosurveillance strategy.

  16. Novel Sample Preparation Method for Safe and Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Powders and Nasal Swabs

    OpenAIRE

    Luna, Vicki A.; King, Debra; Davis, Carisa; Rycerz, Tony; Ewert, Matthew; Cannons, Andrew; Amuso, Philip; Cattani, Jacqueline

    2003-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis spores have been used as a biological weapon in the United States. We wanted to develop a safe, rapid method of sample preparation that provided safe DNA for the detection of spores in environmental and clinical specimens. Our method reproducibly detects B. anthracis in samples containing

  17. Development and validation of a real-time quantitative PCR assay for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irenge, Léonid M; Durant, Jean-François; Tomaso, Herbert; Pilo, Paola; Olsen, Jaran S; Ramisse, Vincent; Mahillon, Jacques; Gala, Jean-Luc

    2010-11-01

    A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples. These samples often harbor Bacillus cereus bacteria closely related to B. anthracis, which may hinder its specific identification by resulting in false positive signals. The assay consists of two duplex real-time PCR: the first PCR allows amplification of a sequence specific of the B. cereus group (B. anthracis, B. cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, Bacillus pseudomycoides, and Bacillus mycoides) within the phosphoenolpyruvate/sugar phosphotransferase system I gene and a B. anthracis specific single nucleotide polymorphism within the adenylosuccinate synthetase gene. The second real-time PCR assay targets the lethal factor gene from virulence plasmid pXO1 and the capsule synthesis gene from virulence plasmid pXO2. Specificity of the assay is enhanced by the use of minor groove binding probes and/or locked nucleic acids probes. The assay was validated on 304 bacterial strains including 37 B. anthracis, 67 B. cereus group, 54 strains of non-cereus group Bacillus, and 146 Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria strains. The assay was performed on various environmental samples spiked with B. anthracis or B. cereus spores. The assay allowed an accurate identification of B. anthracis in environmental samples. This study provides a rapid and reliable method for improving rapid identification of B. anthracis in field operational conditions.

  18. Bacillus anthracis in China and its relationship to worldwide lineages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schupp James M

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The global pattern of distribution of 1033 B. anthracis isolates has previously been defined by a set of 12 conserved canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNP. These studies reinforced the presence of three major lineages and 12 sub-lineages and sub-groups of this anthrax-causing pathogen. Isolates that form the A lineage (unlike the B and C lineages have become widely dispersed throughout the world and form the basis for the geographical disposition of "modern" anthrax. An archival collection of 191 different B. anthracis isolates from China provides a glimpse into the possible role of Chinese trade and commerce in the spread of certain sub-lineages of this pathogen. Canonical single nucleotide polymorphism (canSNP and multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA typing has been used to examine this archival collection of isolates. Results The canSNP study indicates that there are 5 different sub-lineages/sub-groups in China out of 12 previously described world-wide canSNP genotypes. Three of these canSNP genotypes were only found in the western-most province of China, Xinjiang. These genotypes were A.Br.008/009, a sub-group that is spread across most of Europe and Asia; A.Br.Aust 94, a sub-lineage that is present in Europe and India, and A.Br.Vollum, a lineage that is also present in Europe. The remaining two canSNP genotypes are spread across the whole of China and belong to sub-group A.Br.001/002 and the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage, two closely related genotypes. MLVA typing adds resolution to the isolates in each canSNP genotype and diversity indices for the A.Br.008/009 and A.Br.001/002 sub-groups suggest that these represent older and established clades in China. Conclusion B. anthracis isolates were recovered from three canSNP sub-groups (A.Br.008/009, A.Br.Aust94, and A.Br.Vollum in the western most portion of the large Chinese province of Xinjiang. The city of Kashi in this province appears to have served as a crossroads

  19. [Ecology and ecologies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valera, Luca

    2011-01-01

    Ecology (from the Greek words οιχοσ, "house" and λογια "study of") is the science of the "house", since it studies the environments where we live. There are three main ways of thinking about Ecology: Ecology as the study of interactions (between humans and the environment, between humans and living beings, between all living beings, etc.), Ecology as the statistical study of interactions, Ecology as a faith, or rather as a science that requires a metaphysical view. The history of Ecology shows us how this view was released by the label of "folk sense" to gain the epistemological status of science, a science that strives to be interdisciplinary. So, the aim of Ecology is to study, through a scientific methodology, the whole natural world, answering to very different questions, that arise from several fields (Economics, Biology, Sociology, Philosophy, etc.). The plurality of issues that Ecology has to face led, during the Twentieth-century, to branch off in several different "ecologies". As a result, each one of these new approaches chose as its own field a more limited and specific portion of reality.

  20. Structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grenha, Rosa; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Fogg, Mark J.; Blagova, Elena V.; Brannigan, James A.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.; Wilson, Keith S.

    2005-01-01

    The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis was solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement and refined at a resolution of 2.24 Å. Protein structures from the causative agent of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) are being determined as part of a structural genomics programme. Amongst initial candidates for crystallographic analysis are enzymes involved in nucleotide biosynthesis, since these are recognized as potential targets in antibacterial therapy. Purine nucleoside phosphorylase is a key enzyme in the purine-salvage pathway. The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis has been solved by molecular replacement at 2.24 Å resolution and refined to an R factor of 18.4%. This is the first report of a DeoD structure from a Gram-positive bacterium

  1. Evaluation of DNA extraction methods for Bacillus anthracis spores isolated from spiked food samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, M C; Shields, M J; Hahn, K R; Janzen, T W; Goji, N; Amoako, K K

    2013-07-01

    Nine commercial DNA extraction kits were evaluated for the isolation of DNA from 10-fold serial dilutions of Bacillus anthracis spores using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). The three kits determined by qPCR to yield the most sensitive and consistent detection (Epicenter MasterPure Gram Positive; MoBio PowerFood; ABI PrepSeq) were subsequently tested for their ability to isolate DNA from trace amounts of B. anthracis spores (approx. 6·5 × 10(1) and 1·3 × 10(2)  CFU in 25 ml or 50 g of food sample) spiked into complex food samples including apple juice, ham, whole milk and bagged salad and recovered with immunomagnetic separation (IMS). The MasterPure kit effectively and consistently isolated DNA from low amounts of B. anthracis spores captured from food samples. Detection was achieved from apple juice, ham, whole milk and bagged salad from as few as 65 ± 14, 68 ± 8, 66 ± 4 and 52 ± 16 CFU, respectively, and IMS samples were demonstrated to be free of PCR inhibitors. Detection of B. anthracis spores isolated from food by IMS differs substantially between commercial DNA extraction kits; however, sensitive results can be obtained with the MasterPure Gram Positive kit. The extraction protocol identified herein combined with IMS is novel for B. anthracis and allows detection of low levels of B. anthracis spores from contaminated food samples. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada [2013]. Reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

  2. Alveolar macrophages infected with Ames or Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis elicit differential molecular expression patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicia D Langel

    Full Text Available Alveolar macrophages (AMs phagocytose Bacillus anthracis following inhalation and induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to mediate the activation of innate immunity. Ames, the virulent strain of B. anthracis, contains two plasmids that encode the antiphagocytic poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule and the lethal toxin. The attenuated Sterne strain of B. anthracis, which lacks the plasmid encoding capsule, is widely adapted as a vaccine strain. Although differences in the outcome of infection with the two strains may have originated from the presence or absence of an anti-phagocytic capsule, the disease pathogenesis following infection will be manifested via the host responses, which is not well understood. To gain understanding of the host responses at cellular level, a microarray analysis was performed using primary rhesus macaque AMs infected with either Ames or Sterne spores. Notably, 528 human orthologs were identified to be differentially expressed in AMs infected with either strain of the B. anthracis. Meta-analyses revealed genes differentially expressed in response to B. anthracis infection were also induced upon infections with multiple pathogens such as Francisella Novicida or Staphylococcus aureus. This suggests the existence of a common molecular signature in response to pathogen infections. Importantly, the microarray and protein expression data for certain cytokines, chemokines and host factors provide further insights on how cellular processes such as innate immune sensing pathways, anti-apoptosis versus apoptosis may be differentially modulated in response to the virulent or vaccine strain of B. anthracis. The reported differences may account for the marked difference in pathogenicity between these two strains.

  3. Whole genome protein microarrays for serum profiling of immunodominant antigens of Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Elizabeth Kempsell

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A commercial Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax whole genome protein microarray has been used to identify immunogenic Anthrax proteins using sera from groups of donors with (a confirmed B. anthracis naturally acquired cutaneous infection, (b confirmed B. anthracis intravenous drug use-acquired infection (c occupational exposure in a wool-sorters factory (d humans and rabbits vaccinated with the UK Anthrax protein vaccine and compared to naïve unexposed controls. Anti-IAP responses were observed for both IgG and IgA in the challenged groups; however the anti-IAP IgG response was more evident in the vaccinated group and the anti-IAP IgA response more evident in the B. anthracis-infected groups. Infected individuals appeared somewhat suppressed for their general IgG response, compared with other challenged groups.Immunogenic protein antigens were identified in all groups, some of which were shared between groups whilst others were specific for individual groups. The toxin proteins were immunodominant in all vaccinated, infected or other challenged groups. However a number of other chromosomally-located and plasmid encoded open reading frames were also recognised by infected or exposed groups in comparison to controls. Some of these antigens e.g. BA4182 are not recognised by vaccinated individuals, suggesting that there are proteins more specifically expressed by live Anthrax spores in vivo and are not currently found in the UK licensed Anthrax Vaccine (AVP. These may perhaps be preferentially expressed during infection and represent expression of alternative pathways in the B. anthracis ‘infectome’. These may make highly attractive candidates for diagnostic and vaccine biomarker development as they may be more specifically associated with the infectious phase of the pathogen. A number of B. anthracis small hypothetical protein targets have been synthesised, tested in mouse immunogenicity studies and validated in parallel using human sera from the

  4. Whole genome protein microarrays for serum profiling of immunodominant antigens of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempsell, Karen E.; Kidd, Stephen P.; Lewandowski, Kuiama; Elmore, Michael J.; Charlton, Sue; Yeates, Annemarie; Cuthbertson, Hannah; Hallis, Bassam; Altmann, Daniel M.; Rogers, Mitch; Wattiau, Pierre; Ingram, Rebecca J.; Brooks, Tim; Vipond, Richard

    2015-01-01

    A commercial Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax) whole genome protein microarray has been used to identify immunogenic Anthrax proteins (IAP) using sera from groups of donors with (a) confirmed B. anthracis naturally acquired cutaneous infection, (b) confirmed B. anthracis intravenous drug use-acquired infection, (c) occupational exposure in a wool-sorters factory, (d) humans and rabbits vaccinated with the UK Anthrax protein vaccine and compared to naïve unexposed controls. Anti-IAP responses were observed for both IgG and IgA in the challenged groups; however the anti-IAP IgG response was more evident in the vaccinated group and the anti-IAP IgA response more evident in the B. anthracis-infected groups. Infected individuals appeared somewhat suppressed for their general IgG response, compared with other challenged groups. Immunogenic protein antigens were identified in all groups, some of which were shared between groups whilst others were specific for individual groups. The toxin proteins were immunodominant in all vaccinated, infected or other challenged groups. However, a number of other chromosomally-located and plasmid encoded open reading frame proteins were also recognized by infected or exposed groups in comparison to controls. Some of these antigens e.g., BA4182 are not recognized by vaccinated individuals, suggesting that there are proteins more specifically expressed by live Anthrax spores in vivo that are not currently found in the UK licensed Anthrax Vaccine (AVP). These may perhaps be preferentially expressed during infection and represent expression of alternative pathways in the B. anthracis “infectome.” These may make highly attractive candidates for diagnostic and vaccine biomarker development as they may be more specifically associated with the infectious phase of the pathogen. A number of B. anthracis small hypothetical protein targets have been synthesized, tested in mouse immunogenicity studies and validated in parallel using human sera from

  5. Identification of a Bacillus anthracis specific indel in the yeaC gene and development of a rapid pyrosequencing assay for distinguishing B. anthracis from the B. cereus group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmod, Nadia Z; Gupta, Radhey S; Shah, Haroun N

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a potential source of bioterrorism. The existing assays for its identification lack specificity due to the close genetic relationship it exhibits to other members of the B. cereus group. Our comparative analyses of protein sequences from Bacillus species have identified a 24 amino acid deletion in a conserved region of the YeaC protein that is uniquely present in B. anthracis. PCR primers based on conserved regions flanking this indel in the Bacillus cereus group of species (viz. Bacillus cereus, B. anthracis, B. thuringiensis, B. mycoides, B. weihenstephnensis and B. pseudomycoides) specifically amplified a 282 bp fragment from all six reference B. anthracis strains, whereas a 354 bp fragment was amplified from 15 other B. cereus group of species/strains. These fragments, due to large size difference, are readily distinguished by means of agarose gel electrophoresis. In contrast to the B. cereus group, no PCR amplification was observed with any of the non-B. cereus group of species/strains. This indel was also used for developing a rapid pyrosequencing assay for the identification of B. anthracis. Its performance was evaluated by examining the presence or absence of this indel in a panel of 81 B. cereus-like isolates from various sources that included 39 B. anthracis strains. Based upon the sequence data from the pyrograms, the yeaC indel was found to be a distinctive characteristic of various B. anthracis strains tested and not found in any other species/strains from these samples. Therefore, this B. anthracis specific indel provides a robust and highly-specific chromosomal marker for the identification of this high-risk pathogen from other members of the B. cereus group independent of a strain's virulence. The pyrosequencing platform also allows for the rapid and simultaneous screening of multiple samples for the presence of this B. anthracis-specific marker. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Evaluation of the Efficacy of Methyl Bromide in the Decontamination of Building and Interior Materials Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendling, Morgan; Richter, William; Lastivka, Andrew; Mickelsen, Leroy

    2016-01-01

    The primary goal of this study was to determine the conditions required for the effective inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores on materials by using methyl bromide (MeBr) gas. Another objective was to obtain comparative decontamination efficacy data with three avirulent microorganisms to assess their potential for use as surrogates for B. anthracis Ames. Decontamination tests were conducted with spores of B. anthracis Ames and Geobacillus stearothermophilus, B. anthracis NNR1Δ1, and B. anthracis Sterne inoculated onto six different materials. Experimental variables included temperature, relative humidity (RH), MeBr concentration, and contact time. MeBr was found to be an effective decontaminant under a number of conditions. This study highlights the important role that RH has when fumigation is performed with MeBr. There were no tests in which a ≥6-log10 reduction (LR) of B. anthracis Ames was achieved on all materials when fumigation was done at 45% RH. At 75% RH, an increase in the temperature, the MeBr concentration, or contact time generally improved the efficacy of fumigation with MeBr. This study provides new information for the effective use of MeBr at temperatures and RH levels lower than those that have been recommended previously. The study also provides data to assist with the selection of an avirulent surrogate for B. anthracis Ames spores when additional tests with MeBr are conducted. PMID:26801580

  7. Application of high-throughput technologies to a structural proteomics-type analysis of Bacillus anthracis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Au, K.; Folkers, G.E.; Kaptein, R.

    2006-01-01

    A collaborative project between two Structural Proteomics In Europe (SPINE) partner laboratories, York and Oxford, aimed at high-throughput (HTP) structure determination of proteins from Bacillus anthracis, the aetiological agent of anthrax and a biomedically important target, is described. Based

  8. Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Assessment of Faropenem in a Lethal Murine Bacillus anthracis Inhalation Postexposure Prophylaxis Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    penem against B. anthracis on the basis of the data presented herein is consistent with values determined against S. pneu - moniae by Craig and Andes...in the neutropenic murine thigh infection model (8). Against 13 strains of Streptococcus pneu - moniae (MIC values, 0.008 to 2 g/ml), the mean

  9. Removal of Bacillus anthracis sterne spore from commercial unpasteurized liquid egg white using crossflow microfiltration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Current pasteurization technology used by the egg industry is ineffective for destruction of spores such as those of Bacillus anthracis (BA). The validity of a cross-flow microfiltration (MF) process for separation of the attenuated strain of BA (Sterne) spores from commercial unpasteurized liquid ...

  10. Isolation of Bacillus anthracis from dry cattle meat, skin and soil from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Isolation of Bacillus anthracis from dry cattle meat, skin and soil from the Western Province of Zambia. LM Tuchili, JB Muma, T Fujikura, GS Pandey, MM Musonda, G Bbalo, W Ulaya. Abstract. No Abstract Available Journal of Science and Technology Vol.1(2) 1997: 56-58. Published 2004. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL ...

  11. Identification of Bacillus anthracis PurE inhibitors with antimicrobial activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Anna; Wolf, Nina M; Zhu, Tian; Johnson, Michael E; Deng, Jiangping; Cook, James L; Fung, Leslie W-M

    2015-04-01

    N(5)-carboxy-amino-imidazole ribonucleotide (N(5)-CAIR) mutase (PurE), a bacterial enzyme in the de novo purine biosynthetic pathway, has been suggested to be a target for antimicrobial agent development. We have optimized a thermal shift method for high-throughput screening of compounds binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. We used a low ionic strength buffer condition to accentuate the thermal shift stabilization induced by compound binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. The compounds identified were then subjected to computational docking to the active site to further select compounds likely to be inhibitors. A UV-based enzymatic activity assay was then used to select inhibitory compounds. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were subsequently obtained for the inhibitory compounds against Bacillus anthracis (ΔANR strain), Escherichia coli (BW25113 strain, wild-type and ΔTolC), Francisella tularensis, Staphylococcus aureus (both methicillin susceptible and methicillin-resistant strains) and Yersinia pestis. Several compounds exhibited excellent (0.05-0.15μg/mL) MIC values against Bacillus anthracis. A common core structure was identified for the compounds exhibiting low MIC values. The difference in concentrations for inhibition and MIC suggest that another enzyme(s) is also targeted by the compounds that we identified. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. clpC operon regulates cell architecture and sporulation in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Lalit K; Dhasmana, Neha; Sajid, Andaleeb; Kumar, Prasun; Bhaduri, Asani; Bharadwaj, Mitasha; Gandotra, Sheetal; Kalia, Vipin C; Das, Taposh K; Goel, Ajay K; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Misra, Richa; Gerth, Ulf; Leppla, Stephen H; Singh, Yogendra

    2015-03-01

    The clpC operon is known to regulate several processes such as genetic competence, protein degradation and stress survival in bacteria. Here, we describe the role of clpC operon in Bacillus anthracis. We generated knockout strains of the clpC operon genes to investigate the impact of CtsR, McsA, McsB and ClpC deletion on essential processes of B. anthracis. We observed that growth, cell division, sporulation and germination were severely affected in mcsB and clpC deleted strains, while none of deletions affected toxin secretion. Growth defect in these strains was pronounced at elevated temperature. The growth pattern gets restored on complementation of mcsB and clpC in respective mutants. Electron microscopic examination revealed that mcsB and clpC deletion also causes defect in septum formation leading to cell elongation. These vegetative cell deformities were accompanied by inability of mutant strains to generate morphologically intact spores. Higher levels of polyhydroxybutyrate granules accumulation were also observed in these deletion strains, indicating a defect in sporulation process. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, the vital role played by McsB and ClpC in physiology of B. anthracis and open up further interest on this operon, which might be of importance to success of B. anthracis as pathogen. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Real-Time PCR Assay for a Unique Chromosomal Sequence of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-12-01

    13061 Neisseria lactamica .............................................................. 23970 Bacillus coagulans ...NEG Bacillus coagulane 7050 NEG NEG Bacillus cereus 13472 NEG NEG Bacillus licheniforms 12759 NEG NEG Bacillus cereus 13824 NEG NEG Bacillus ...Assay for a Unique Chromosomal Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Elizabeth Bode,1 William Hurtle,2† and David Norwood1* United States Army Medical

  14. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Bacillus anthracis Strains from Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valseth, Karoline; Nesbø, Camilla L; Easterday, W Ryan; Turner, Wendy C; Olsen, Jaran S; Stenseth, Nils C; Haverkamp, Thomas H A

    2016-08-25

    Bacillus anthracis strains K1 and K2 were isolated from two plains zebra anthrax carcasses in Etosha National Park, Namibia. These are draft genomes obtained by Illumina MiSeq sequencing of isolates collected from culture of blood-soaked soil from each carcass. Copyright © 2016 Valseth et al.

  15. The search and identification of the new immunodiagnostic targets of bacillus anthracis spore

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biketov, S.; Dunaytsev, I.; Baranova, E.; Marinin, L.; Dyatlov, I.

    2009-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis have been used as bio warfare agent to bio terrorize purposes. As efficiency of anti-epidemic measures included urgent prevention and treatment is determined by terms within which the bio agent is identified. Direct and rapid spore detection by antibodies based detection system is very attractive alternative to current PCR-based assays or routine phenotyping which are the most accurate but are also complex, time-consumption and expensive. The main difficulty with respect to such kind of anthrax spores detection is a cross-reaction with spores of closely related bacteria. For development of species-specific antibodies to anthrax spores recombinant scFvs or hybridoma technique were used. In both case surface spore antigens contained species-specific epitopes are need. Among exosporium proteins only ExsF(BxpB), ExsK and SoaA are specific to B.cereus group. On the surface of B. anthracis spores, a unique tetrasaccharides containing an novel monosaccharide - anthrose, was discovered. It was shown that anthrose can be serving as species-specific target for B. anthracis spores detection. We have revealed that EA1 isolated from spore of Russians strain STI-1 contain carbohydrate which formed species-specific epitopes and determine immunogenicity of this antigen. Antibodies to this antigen specifically recognized the surface target of B. anthracis spores and do not reacted with others Bacillus spore. Based on these antibodies we developed the test-systems in different formats for rapid direct detection and identification of B. anthracis spores. The results of trial these test-systems with using more than 50 different Bacillus strains were indicated that carbohydrate of EA1 isolated from spore is effective immunodiagnostic target for anthrax spores bio detection.(author)

  16. The use of germinants to potentiate the sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis spores to peracetic acid

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ozgur eCelebi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM and inosine (5 mM to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA required to inactivate B.anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p=0.0085 the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p=0.0009. To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B.anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 104 spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed one hour later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B.anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p<0.0001 in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B.anthracis spores contaminated sites.

  17. DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor based on gold nanoparticle amplification for Bacillus anthracis detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Rong-Zhang; Song, Hong-Bin; Zuo, Guo-Min; Yang, Rui-Fu; Wei, Hong-Ping; Wang, Dian-Bing; Cui, Zong-Qiang; Zhang, ZhiPing; Cheng, Zhen-Xing; Zhang, Xian-En

    2011-04-15

    The rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, has gained much attention since the anthrax spore bioterrorism attacks in the United States in 2001. In this work, a DNA probe functionalized quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) biosensor was developed to detect B. anthracis based on the recognition of its specific DNA sequences, i.e., the 168 bp fragment of the Ba813 gene in chromosomes and the 340 bp fragment of the pag gene in plasmid pXO1. A thiol DNA probe was immobilized onto the QCM gold surface through self-assembly via Au-S bond formation to hybridize with the target ss-DNA sequence obtained by asymmetric PCR. Hybridization between the target DNA and the DNA probe resulted in an increase in mass and a decrease in the resonance frequency of the QCM biosensor. Moreover, to amplify the signal, a thiol-DNA fragment complementary to the other end of the target DNA was functionalized with gold nanoparticles. The results indicate that the DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor could specifically recognize the target DNA fragment of B. anthracis from that of its closest species, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, and that the limit of detection (LOD) reached 3.5 × 10(2)CFU/ml of B. anthracis vegetative cells just after asymmetric PCR amplification, but without culture enrichment. The DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor demonstrated stable, pollution-free, real-time sensing, and could find application in the rapid detection of B. anthracis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. In Vitro and In Vivo Activity of Omadacycline Against Two Biothreat Pathogens: Bacillus Anthracis and Yersinia Pestis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-27

    vivo efficacy of omadacycline ( OMC ) were evaluated against the causative pathogen of anthrax and plague, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis...respectively. Methods: Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of OMC were determined by microbroth dilution according to CLSI guidelines for 30

  19. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B.thuringiensis Isolates Closely Related to Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Cliff S.; Xie, Gary; Challacombe, Jean F.; Altherr, MichaelR.; Smriti, B.; Bruce, David; Campbell, Connie S.; Campbell, Mary L.; Chen, Jin; Chertkov, Olga; Cleland, Cathy; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M.; Doggett, Norman A.; Fawcett, John J.; Glavina, Tijana; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Hill, Karen K.; Hitchcock, Penny; Jackson, Paul J.; Keim, Paul; Kewalramani, Avinash Ramesh; Longmire, Jon; Lucas, Susan; Malfatti,Stephanie; McMurry, Kim; Meincke, Linda J.; Misra, Monica; Moseman,Bernice L.; Mundt, Mark; Munk, A. Christine; Okinaka, Richard T.; Parson-Quintana, B.; Reilly, Lee P.; Richardson, Paul; Robinson, DonnaL.; Rubin, Eddy; Saunders, Elizabeth; Tapia, Roxanne; Tesmer, Judith G.; Thayer, Nina; Thompson, Linda S.; Tice, Hope; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Wills, Patti L.; Gilna, Payl; Brettin, Thomas S.

    2005-08-18

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B.cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including Banthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  20. Inhibiting Inosine Hydrolase and Alanine Racemase to Enhance the Germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne Spores: Potential Spore Decontamination Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-19

    2015): << Inhibiting inosine hydrolase and alanine racemase to enhance the germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores: potential spore...display a currently valid OMB control number. 1. REPORT DATE 02 OCT 2015 2. REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Inhibiting...inosine hydrolase and alanine racemase to enhance the germination of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores potential spore decontamination strategies 5a

  1. Ecological Schoolyards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danks, Sharon Gamson

    2000-01-01

    Presents design guidelines and organizational and site principles for creating schoolyards where students can learn about ecology. Principles for building schoolyard ecological systems are described. (GR)

  2. Discerning Viable from Nonviable Yersinia pestis pgm- and Bacillus anthracis Sterne using Propidium Monoazide in the Presence of White Powders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hess, Becky M.; Kaiser, Brooke LD; Sydor, Michael A.; Wunschel, David S.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-12-23

    ABSTRACT Aims To develop and optimize an assay to determine viability status of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and Yersinia pestis pgm- strains in the presence of white powders by coupling propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment with real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis. Methods and Results PMA selectively enters nonviable cells and binds DNA, thereby increasing qPCR assay cycle threshold (CT) values compared to untreated samples. Dye concentration, cell number and fitness, incubation time, inactivation methods, and assay buffer were optimized for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm-. Differences in CT values in nonviable cells compared to untreated samples were consistently > 9 for both B. anthracis Sterne vegetative cells and Y. pestis pgm- in the presence and absence of three different white powders. Our method eliminates the need for a DNA extraction step prior to detection by qPCR. Conclusions The developed assay enables simultaneous identification and viability assessment for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm- under laboratory conditions, even in the presence of white powders. Eliminating the DNA extraction step that is typically used reduces total assay time and labor requirements for sample analysis. Significance and Impact of the Study The method developed for simultaneous detection and viability assessment for B. anthracis and Y. pestis can be employed in forming decisions about the severity of a biothreat event or the safety of food. Keywords Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Propidium Monoazide, qPCR, White Powders, Rapid Viability Detection

  3. Variable Lymphocyte Receptor Recognition of the Immunodominant Glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirchdoerfer, Robert N.; Herrin, Brantley R.; Han, Byung Woo; Turnbough, Jr., Charles L.; Cooper, Max D.; Wilson, Ian A. (SNU); (Scripps); (Emory); (UAB); (Emory Vaccine)

    2012-07-25

    Variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) are the adaptive immune receptors of jawless fish, which evolved adaptive immunity independent of other vertebrates. In lieu of the immunoglobulin fold-based T and B cell receptors, lymphocyte-like cells of jawless fish express VLRs (VLRA, VLRB, or VLRC) composed of leucine-rich repeats and are similar to toll-like receptors (TLRs) in structure, but antibodies (VLRB) and T cell receptors (VLRA and VLRC) in function. Here, we present the structural and biochemical characterization of VLR4, a VLRB, in complex with BclA, the immunodominant glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis spores. Using a combination of crystallography, mutagenesis, and binding studies, we delineate the mode of antigen recognition and binding between VLR4 and BclA, examine commonalities in VLRB recognition of antigens, and demonstrate the potential of VLR4 as a diagnostic tool for the identification of B. anthracis spores.

  4. Laboratory Studies on Surface Sampling of Bacillus anthracis Contamination: Summary, Gaps, and Recommendations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2011-11-28

    This report summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and (2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed and recommendations are given for future studies.

  5. Transcriptional profiling of Bacillus anthracis Sterne (34F2 during iron starvation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul E Carlson

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Lack of available iron is one of many environmental challenges that a bacterium encounters during infection and adaptation to iron starvation is important for the pathogen to efficiently replicate within the host. Here we define the transcriptional response of B. anthracis Sterne (34F(2 to iron depleted conditions. Genome-wide transcript analysis showed that B. anthracis undergoes considerable changes in gene expression during growth in iron-depleted media, including the regulation of known and candidate virulence factors. Two genes encoding putative internalin proteins were chosen for further study. Deletion of either gene (GBAA0552 or GBAA1340 resulted in attenuation in a murine model of infection. This attenuation was amplified in a double mutant strain. These data define the transcriptional changes induced during growth in low iron conditions and illustrate the potential of this dataset in the identification of putative virulence determinants for future study.

  6. Sensitivity of Dormant and Germinating B, Anthracis Spores to Polycationic Compound

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-06-01

    practical problems such as food spoilage , degradation of industrial materials, and "sick building syndrome" resulting from colonization of ventilation systems...species of Clostridium and Bacillus are of concern to the food industry due to their potential for spoilage of or toxin production in improperly...1.2. While most spore-forming bacterial species are classified as non-pathogenic or opportunistically pathogenic, Bacillus anthracis is well-known a

  7. Micro-Etched Platforms for Thermal Inactivation of Bacillus Anthracis and Bacillus Thuringiensis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    gentlemen are approachable and extremely well versed in their fields. Dr. Burggraf’s passion for learning coupled with the patience necessary to allow...wide spread employment on civilian targets has increased. Indeed, the well known biological agent Anthrax, Bacillus anthracis (B.a.), was recently...reached at 0.5 seconds with the heat from the fireball lasting a total of 4 seconds ( Orson , J.A. 2003; 104). From this data, the short time-temperature

  8. Automated thermochemolysis reactor for detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Dan [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Rands, Anthony D.; Losee, Scott C. [Torion Technologies, American Fork, UT 84003 (United States); Holt, Brian C. [Department of Statistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Williams, John R. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Lammert, Stephen A. [Torion Technologies, American Fork, UT 84003 (United States); Robison, Richard A. [Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Tolley, H. Dennis [Department of Statistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States); Lee, Milton L., E-mail: milton_lee@byu.edu [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602 (United States)

    2013-05-02

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •An automated sample preparation system for Bacillus anthracis endospores was developed. •A thermochemolysis method was applied to produce and derivatize biomarkers for Bacillus anthracis detection. •The autoreactor controlled the precise delivery of reagents, and TCM reaction times and temperatures. •Solid phase microextraction was used to extract biomarkers, and GC–MS was used for final identification. •This autoreactor was successfully applied to the identification of Bacillus anthracis endospores. -- Abstract: An automated sample preparation system was developed and tested for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) for eventual use in the field. This reactor is capable of automatically processing suspected bio-threat agents to release and derivatize unique chemical biomarkers by thermochemolysis (TCM). The system automatically controls the movement of sample vials from one position to another, crimping of septum caps onto the vials, precise delivery of reagents, and TCM reaction times and temperatures. The specific operations of introduction of sample vials, solid phase microextraction (SPME) sampling, injection into the GC–MS system, and ejection of used vials from the system were performed manually in this study, although they can be integrated into the automated system. Manual SPME sampling is performed by following visual and audible signal prompts for inserting the fiber into and retracting it from the sampling port. A rotating carousel design allows for simultaneous sample collection, reaction, biomarker extraction and analysis of sequential samples. Dipicolinic acid methyl ester (DPAME), 3-methyl-2-butenoic acid methyl ester (a fragment of anthrose) and two methylated sugars were used to compare the performance of the autoreactor with manual TCM. Statistical algorithms were used to construct reliable bacterial endospore signatures, and 24

  9. Automated thermochemolysis reactor for detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Dan; Rands, Anthony D.; Losee, Scott C.; Holt, Brian C.; Williams, John R.; Lammert, Stephen A.; Robison, Richard A.; Tolley, H. Dennis; Lee, Milton L.

    2013-01-01

    Graphical abstract: -- Highlights: •An automated sample preparation system for Bacillus anthracis endospores was developed. •A thermochemolysis method was applied to produce and derivatize biomarkers for Bacillus anthracis detection. •The autoreactor controlled the precise delivery of reagents, and TCM reaction times and temperatures. •Solid phase microextraction was used to extract biomarkers, and GC–MS was used for final identification. •This autoreactor was successfully applied to the identification of Bacillus anthracis endospores. -- Abstract: An automated sample preparation system was developed and tested for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis endospores by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) for eventual use in the field. This reactor is capable of automatically processing suspected bio-threat agents to release and derivatize unique chemical biomarkers by thermochemolysis (TCM). The system automatically controls the movement of sample vials from one position to another, crimping of septum caps onto the vials, precise delivery of reagents, and TCM reaction times and temperatures. The specific operations of introduction of sample vials, solid phase microextraction (SPME) sampling, injection into the GC–MS system, and ejection of used vials from the system were performed manually in this study, although they can be integrated into the automated system. Manual SPME sampling is performed by following visual and audible signal prompts for inserting the fiber into and retracting it from the sampling port. A rotating carousel design allows for simultaneous sample collection, reaction, biomarker extraction and analysis of sequential samples. Dipicolinic acid methyl ester (DPAME), 3-methyl-2-butenoic acid methyl ester (a fragment of anthrose) and two methylated sugars were used to compare the performance of the autoreactor with manual TCM. Statistical algorithms were used to construct reliable bacterial endospore signatures, and 24

  10. Identification of the pXO1 plasmid in attenuated Bacillus anthracis vaccine strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Xudong; Zhang, Huijuan; Zhang, Enmin; Wei, Jianchun; Li, Wei; Wang, Bingxiang; Dong, Shulin; Zhu, Jin

    2016-07-03

    Anthrax toxins and capsule are the major virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis. They are encoded by genes located on the plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, respectively. The vaccine strain Pasteur II was produced from high temperature subcultures of B. anthracis, which resulted in virulence attenuation through the loss of the plasmid pXO1. However, it is unclear whether the high temperature culture completely abolishes the plasmid DNA or affects the replication of the plasmid pXO1. In this study, we tested 3 B. anthracis vaccine strains, including Pasteur II from France, Qiankefusiji II from Russia, and Rentian II from Japan, which were all generated from subcultures at high temperatures. Surprisingly, we detected the presence of pXO1 plasmid DNA using overlap PCR in all these vaccine strains. DNA sequencing analysis of overlap PCR products further confirmed the presence of pXO1. Moreover, the expression of the protective antigen (PA) encoded on pXO1 was determined by using SDS-PAGE and western blotting. In addition, we mimicked Pasteur's method and exposed the A16R vaccine strain, which lacks the pXO2 plasmid, to high temperature, and identified the pXO1 plasmid in the subcultures at high temperatures. This indicated that the high temperature treatment at 42.5°C was unable to eliminate pXO1 plasmid DNA from B. anthracis. Our results suggest that the attenuation of the Pasteur II vaccine strain is likely due to the impact of high temperature stress on plasmid replication, which in turn limits the copy number of pXO1. Our data provide new insights into the mechanisms of the remaining immunogenicity and toxicity of the vaccine strains.

  11. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J.; Liu, Shihui [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 (United States); Leppla, Stephen H., E-mail: sleppla@niaid.nih.gov [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892 (United States)

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Non-infectious and protease-deficient Bacillus anthracis protein expression system. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Successful expression and purification of a tumor-targeted fusion protein drug. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Very low endotoxin contamination of purified protein. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Efficient protein secretion simplifies purification. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functional anti-tumor fusion protein purified. -- Abstract: Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGF{alpha}). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGF{alpha}). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein.

  12. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J.; Liu, Shihui; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Non-infectious and protease-deficient Bacillus anthracis protein expression system. ► Successful expression and purification of a tumor-targeted fusion protein drug. ► Very low endotoxin contamination of purified protein. ► Efficient protein secretion simplifies purification. ► Functional anti-tumor fusion protein purified. -- Abstract: Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGFα). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein.

  13. Modeling the potential distribution of Bacillus anthracis under multiple climate change scenarios for Kazakhstan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Andrew Joyner

    Full Text Available Anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a zoonotic disease that persists throughout much of the world in livestock, wildlife, and secondarily infects humans. This is true across much of Central Asia, and particularly the Steppe region, including Kazakhstan. This study employed the Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP to model the current and future geographic distribution of Bacillus anthracis in Kazakhstan based on the A2 and B2 IPCC SRES climate change scenarios using a 5-variable data set at 55 km(2 and 8 km(2 and a 6-variable BioClim data set at 8 km(2. Future models suggest large areas predicted under current conditions may be reduced by 2050 with the A2 model predicting approximately 14-16% loss across the three spatial resolutions. There was greater variability in the B2 models across scenarios predicting approximately 15% loss at 55 km(2, approximately 34% loss at 8 km(2, and approximately 30% loss with the BioClim variables. Only very small areas of habitat expansion into new areas were predicted by either A2 or B2 in any models. Greater areas of habitat loss are predicted in the southern regions of Kazakhstan by A2 and B2 models, while moderate habitat loss is also predicted in the northern regions by either B2 model at 8 km(2. Anthrax disease control relies mainly on livestock vaccination and proper carcass disposal, both of which require adequate surveillance. In many situations, including that of Kazakhstan, vaccine resources are limited, and understanding the geographic distribution of the organism, in tandem with current data on livestock population dynamics, can aid in properly allocating doses. While speculative, contemplating future changes in livestock distributions and B. anthracis spore promoting environments can be useful for establishing future surveillance priorities. This study may also have broader applications to global public health surveillance relating to other diseases in addition to B

  14. Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis and Other Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    Impedance Measurements Could Accelerate Phage-Based Identification of Bacillus anthracis And Other Bacteria Thomas Brown, Salwa Shan, Teresa...infection can be detected as early as one hour after exposing as few as 105 CFU bacteria to the stressor. We predicted that similar responses could be used... bacteria to form confluent growth and for phage-induced plaques to appear. Techniques that permit faster detection of species-specific bacteria /phage

  15. Storage Effects on Sample Integrity of Environmental Surface Sampling Specimens with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, K Allison; O'Connell, Heather A; Rose, Laura J; Noble-Wang, Judith A; Arduino, Matthew J

    The effect of packaging, shipping temperatures and storage times on recovery of Bacillus anthracis . Sterne spores from swabs was investigated. Macrofoam swabs were pre-moistened, inoculated with Bacillus anthracis spores, and packaged in primary containment or secondary containment before storage at -15°C, 5°C, 21°C, or 35°C for 0-7 days. Swabs were processed according to validated Centers for Disease Control/Laboratory Response Network culture protocols, and the percent recovery relative to a reference sample (T 0 ) was determined for each variable. No differences were observed in recovery between swabs held at -15° and 5°C, (p ≥ 0.23). These two temperatures provided significantly better recovery than swabs held at 21°C or 35°C (all 7 days pooled, p ≤ 0.04). The percent recovery at 5°C was not significantly different if processed on days 1, 2 or 4, but was significantly lower on day 7 (day 2 vs. 7, 5°C, 10 2 , p=0.03). Secondary containment provided significantly better percent recovery than primary containment, regardless of storage time (5°C data, p ≤ 0.008). The integrity of environmental swab samples containing Bacillus anthracis spores shipped in secondary containment was maintained when stored at -15°C or 5°C and processed within 4 days to yield the optimum percent recovery of spores.

  16. Structural study and thermodynamic characterization of inhibitor binding to lumazine synthase from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morgunova, Ekaterina [Karolinska Institutet NOVUM, Center of Structural Biochemistry, Hälsovägen 7-9, 141 57 Huddinge (Sweden); Illarionov, Boris; Saller, Sabine [Institut für Lebensmittelchemie, Universität Hamburg, Grindelallee 117, 20146 Hamburg (Germany); Popov, Aleksander [European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble CEDEX 09 (France); Sambaiah, Thota [Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University (United States); Bacher, Adelbert [Chemistry Department, Technical University of Munich, 85747 Garching (Germany); Cushman, Mark [Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University (United States); Fischer, Markus [Institut für Lebensmittelchemie, Universität Hamburg, Grindelallee 117, 20146 Hamburg (Germany); Ladenstein, Rudolf, E-mail: rudolf.ladenstein@ki.se [Karolinska Institutet NOVUM, Center of Structural Biochemistry, Hälsovägen 7-9, 141 57 Huddinge (Sweden)

    2010-09-01

    Crystallographic studies of lumazine synthase, the penultimate enzyme of the riboflavin-biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis, provide a structural framework for the design of antibiotic inhibitors, together with calorimetric and kinetic investigations of inhibitor binding. The crystal structure of lumazine synthase from Bacillus anthracis was solved by molecular replacement and refined to R{sub cryst} = 23.7% (R{sub free} = 28.4%) at a resolution of 3.5 Å. The structure reveals the icosahedral symmetry of the enzyme and specific features of the active site that are unique in comparison with previously determined orthologues. The application of isothermal titration calorimetry in combination with enzyme kinetics showed that three designed pyrimidine derivatives bind to lumazine synthase with micromolar dissociation constants and competitively inhibit the catalytic reaction. Structure-based modelling suggested the binding modes of the inhibitors in the active site and allowed an estimation of the possible contacts formed upon binding. The results provide a structural framework for the design of antibiotics active against B. anthracis.

  17. Bacillus thuringiensis HD-1 Cry- : development of a safe, non-insecticidal simulant for Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, A H; Robinson, C V

    2014-09-01

    A representative simulant for spores of Bacillus anthracis is needed for field testing. Bacillus thuringiensis is gaining recognition as a suitable organism. A strain that does not form the insecticidal, parasporal crystals that are characteristic of this species is a more accurate physical representative of B. anthracis spores. We developed noninsecticidal derivatives of two isolates of B. thuringiensis HD-1. Two plasmid-cured derivatives of B. thuringiensis HD-1, unable to make crystal toxins ('Cry(-) '), were isolated. These isolates and the existing Cry(-) strain, B. thuringiensis Al Hakam, were probed with PCR assays against the known insecticidal genes cry, vip and cyt. Their genomic DNA was sequenced to demonstrate a lack of insecticidal genes. This was confirmed by bioassays against a number of invertebrate species. Real-time PCR assays were developed to identify the B. thuringiensis HD-1 Cry(-) derivatives and an effective differential and selective medium was assessed. All three Cry(-) isolates are devoid of known insecticidal determinants. The B. thuringiensis HD-1 Cry(-) derivatives can easily be recovered from soil and identified by PCR with some selectivity. The B. thuringiensis HD-1 Cry(-) derivatives represent accurate, nongenetically manipulated simulants for B. anthracis with excellent human and environmental safety records. © 2014 Crown Copyright. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology This article is published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

  18. Optimization of a sample processing protocol for recovery of Bacillus anthracis spores from soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvestri, Erin E.; Feldhake, David; Griffin, Dale; Lisle, John T.; Nichols, Tonya L.; Shah, Sanjiv; Pemberton, A; Schaefer III, Frank W

    2016-01-01

    Following a release of Bacillus anthracis spores into the environment, there is a potential for lasting environmental contamination in soils. There is a need for detection protocols for B. anthracis in environmental matrices. However, identification of B. anthracis within a soil is a difficult task. Processing soil samples helps to remove debris, chemical components, and biological impurities that can interfere with microbiological detection. This study aimed to optimize a previously used indirect processing protocol, which included a series of washing and centrifugation steps. Optimization of the protocol included: identifying an ideal extraction diluent, variation in the number of wash steps, variation in the initial centrifugation speed, sonication and shaking mechanisms. The optimized protocol was demonstrated at two laboratories in order to evaluate the recovery of spores from loamy and sandy soils. The new protocol demonstrated an improved limit of detection for loamy and sandy soils over the non-optimized protocol with an approximate matrix limit of detection at 14 spores/g of soil. There were no significant differences overall between the two laboratories for either soil type, suggesting that the processing protocol will be robust enough to use at multiple laboratories while achieving comparable recoveries.

  19. Identification and characterization of clinical Bacillus spp. isolates phenotypically similar to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beesley, Cari A; Vanner, Cynthia L; Helsel, Leta O; Gee, Jay E; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2010-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is a gram-positive, spore-forming rod, with colonies exhibiting a unique ground-glass appearance, and lacking hemolysis and motility. In addition to these phenotypes, several others traits are characteristic of B. anthracis such as susceptibility to gamma phage, the presence of two virulence plasmids (pX01 and pX02), and specific cell wall and capsular antigens that are commonly detected by direct fluorescent-antibody assays. We report on the identification and characterization of 14 Bacillus megaterium and four Bacillus sp. clinical isolates that are nonhemolytic, nonmotile, and produce a capsule antigenically similar to B. anthracis. This work furthers our understanding of Bacillus diversity and the limitations of the assays and phenotypes that are used to differentiate species in this genus. Further work is necessary to understand whether these strains are opportunistic pathogens or just contaminates. FEMS Microbiology Letters © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. No claim to original US government works.

  20. The human-bacterial pathogen protein interaction networks of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Dyer

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis are bacterial pathogens that can cause anthrax, lethal acute pneumonic disease, and bubonic plague, respectively, and are listed as NIAID Category A priority pathogens for possible use as biological weapons. However, the interactions between human proteins and proteins in these bacteria remain poorly characterized leading to an incomplete understanding of their pathogenesis and mechanisms of immune evasion.In this study, we used a high-throughput yeast two-hybrid assay to identify physical interactions between human proteins and proteins from each of these three pathogens. From more than 250,000 screens performed, we identified 3,073 human-B. anthracis, 1,383 human-F. tularensis, and 4,059 human-Y. pestis protein-protein interactions including interactions involving 304 B. anthracis, 52 F. tularensis, and 330 Y. pestis proteins that are uncharacterized. Computational analysis revealed that pathogen proteins preferentially interact with human proteins that are hubs and bottlenecks in the human PPI network. In addition, we computed modules of human-pathogen PPIs that are conserved amongst the three networks. Functionally, such conserved modules reveal commonalities between how the different pathogens interact with crucial host pathways involved in inflammation and immunity.These data constitute the first extensive protein interaction networks constructed for bacterial pathogens and their human hosts. This study provides novel insights into host-pathogen interactions.

  1. Fieldable genotyping of Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis based on 25-loci Multi Locus VNTR Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carattoli Alessandra

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anthrax and plague are diseases caused by Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis respectively. These bacteria are etiological agents for worldwide zoonotic diseases and are considered among the most feared potential bioterror agents. Strain differentiation is difficult for these microorganisms because of their high intraspecies genome homogeneity. Moreover, fast strain identification and comparison with known genotypes may be crucial for naturally occurring outbreaks versus bioterrorist events discrimination. Results Thirty-nine B. anthracis and ten Y. pestis strains, representative of the species genetic diversity, were genotyped by Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer using previously described Multiple Locus VNTR Analysis assays (MLVA. Results were compared to previous data obtained by standard genotyping system (capillary electrophoresis on automatic sequencer and, when necessary, direct amplicon sequencing. A reference comparison table containing actual fragment sizes, sequencer sizes and Agilent sizes was produced. Conclusion In this report an automated DNA electrophoresis apparatus which provides a cheaper alternative compared to capillary electrophoresis approaches was applied for genotyping of B. anthracis and Y. pestis. This equipment, uses pre-cast gels and provides easy transportation, low maintenance and overall general logistic requirements and costs, is easy to set up and provides rapid analysis. This platform is a candidate for on-site MLVA genotyping of biothreat agents as well as other bacterial pathogens. It is an alternative to the more expensive and demanding capillary electrophoresis methods, and to the less expensive but more time-consuming classical gel electrophoresis approach.

  2. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Valdez, Yolanda E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Shou, Yulin [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Yoshida, Thomas M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Marrone, Babetta L [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dunbar, John [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  3. Ecological Misconceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  4. Bacillus cereus Biovar Anthracis Causing Anthrax in Sub-Saharan Africa-Chromosomal Monophyly and Broad Geographic Distribution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kym S Antonation

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Through full genome analyses of four atypical Bacillus cereus isolates, designated B. cereus biovar anthracis, we describe a distinct clade within the B. cereus group that presents with anthrax-like disease, carrying virulence plasmids similar to those of classic Bacillus anthracis. We have isolated members of this clade from different mammals (wild chimpanzees, gorillas, an elephant and goats in West and Central Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo. The isolates shared several phenotypic features of both B. anthracis and B. cereus, but differed amongst each other in motility and their resistance or sensitivity to penicillin. They all possessed the same mutation in the regulator gene plcR, different from the one found in B. anthracis, and in addition, carry genes which enable them to produce a second capsule composed of hyaluronic acid. Our findings show the existence of a discrete clade of the B. cereus group capable of causing anthrax-like disease, found in areas of high biodiversity, which are possibly also the origin of the worldwide distributed B. anthracis. Establishing the impact of these pathogenic bacteria on threatened wildlife species will require systematic investigation. Furthermore, the consumption of wildlife found dead by the local population and presence in a domestic animal reveal potential sources of exposure to humans.

  5. The impact of inducing germination of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis spores on potential secondary decontamination strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omotade, T O; Bernhards, R C; Klimko, C P; Matthews, M E; Hill, A J; Hunter, M S; Webster, W M; Bozue, J A; Welkos, S L; Cote, C K

    2014-12-01

    Decontamination and remediation of a site contaminated by the accidental or intentional release of fully virulent Bacillus anthracis spores are difficult, costly and potentially damaging to the environment. Development of novel decontamination strategies that have minimal environmental impacts remains a high priority. Although ungerminated spores are amongst the most resilient organisms known, once exposed to germinants, the germinating spores, in some cases, become susceptible to antimicrobial environments. We evaluated the concept that once germinated, B. anthracis spores would be less hazardous and significantly easier to remediate than ungerminated dormant spores. Through in vitro germination and sensitivity assays, we demonstrated that upon germination, B. anthracis Ames spores and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores (serving as a surrogate for B. anthracis) become susceptible to environmental stressors. The majority of these germinated B. anthracis and B. thuringiensis spores were nonviable after exposure to a defined minimal germination-inducing solution for prolonged periods of time. Additionally, we examined the impact of potential secondary disinfectant strategies including bleach, hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde and artificial UV-A, UV-B and UV-C radiation, employed after a 60-min germination-induction step. Each secondary disinfectant employs a unique mechanism of killing; as a result, germination-induction strategies are better suited for some secondary disinfectants than others. These results provide evidence that the deployment of an optimal combination strategy of germination-induction/secondary disinfection may be a promising aspect of wide-area decontamination following a B. anthracis contamination event. By inducing spores to germinate, our data confirm that the resulting cells exhibit sensitivities that can be leveraged when paired with certain decontamination measures. This increased susceptibility could be exploited to devise more

  6. cis-Acting Elements That Control Expression of the Master Virulence Regulatory Gene atxA in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Dale, Jennifer L.; Raynor, Malik J.; Dwivedi, Prabhat; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2012-01-01

    Transcription of the Bacillus anthracis structural genes for the anthrax toxin proteins and biosynthetic operon for capsule is positively regulated by AtxA, a transcription regulator with unique properties. Consistent with the role of atxA in virulence factor expression, a B. anthracis atxA-null mutant is avirulent in a murine model for anthrax. In culture, multiple signals impact atxA transcript levels, and the timing and steady-state level of atxA expression are critical for optimal toxin a...

  7. [Valuation for usefulness of selected chromosomal markers for Bacillus anthracis identification. II. Valuation for markers SSH and rpoB].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasada, Aleksandra Anna; Jagielski, Marek

    2006-01-01

    The article presents results of valuation for B. anthracis-specificity and usefulness for its identification obtained for different chromosomal markers. In the second part of the study markers SSH241, SSH196, SSH163, SSH133 as well as a fragment of the house-keeping gene rpoB were analyzed. For the investigation MSSCP and multiplex-PCR assays were used. There were also tested different techniques of electrophoresis. The results gave an information about specificity of tested markers and their usefulness for B. anthracis identification.

  8. Bacillus anthracis: una mirada molecular a un patógeno célebre Bacillus anthracis: a molecular look at a famous pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María E Pavan

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis es un bacilo gram positivo del grupo Bacillus cereus, que posee un genoma extremadamente monomórfco y comparte gran similitud fsiológica y de estructura genética con B. cereus y Bacillus thuringiensis. En este artículo se describen nuevos métodos moleculares para la identifcación y tipifcación de B. anthracis, basados en repeticiones en tándem de número variable o en diferencias genéticas detectadas por secuenciación, desarrollados en los últimos años. Los aspectos moleculares de los factores de virulencia tradicionales, cápsula, antígeno protector, factor letal y factor edema se describen en profundidad, junto con factores de virulencia recientemente propuestos, como los sideróforos, petrobactina y bacilibactina, la adhesina de la capa S y la lipoproteína MntA. También se detalla la organización molecular de los megaplásmidos pXO1 y pXO2, incluyendo la isla de patogenicidad de pXO1. El esqueleto genético de estos plásmidos se ha encontrado en otras especies relacionadas, probablemente debido a eventos de transferencia lateral. Finalmente, se presentan los dos receptores celulares del antígeno protector, ANTXR1/TEM8 y ANTXR2/CMG2, esenciales en la interacción del patógeno con el hospedador. Los estudios moleculares realizados en los últimos años han permitido aumentar enormemente el conocimiento de los diferentes aspectos de este microorganismo y su relación con el hospedador, pero a la vez han abierto nuevos interrogantes sobre este notorio patógeno.Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive rod belonging to the Bacillus cereus group, has an extremely monomorphic genome, and presents high structural and physiological similarity with B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In this work, the new molecular methods for the identifcation and typing of B. anthracis developed in the last years, based on variable number tandem repeats or on genetic differences detected through sequencing, are described. The

  9. Comparison of sampling methods to recover germinated Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis endospores from surface coupons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mott, T M; Shoe, J L; Hunter, M; Woodson, A M; Fritts, K A; Klimko, C P; Quirk, A V; Welkos, S L; Cote, C K

    2017-05-01

    In an attempt to devise decontamination methods that are both effective and minimally detrimental to the environment, we evaluated germination induction as an enhancement to strategies for Bacillus anthracis spore decontamination. To determine an optimal method for the recovery of germinating spores from different matrices, it was critical to ensure that the sampling procedures did not negatively impact the viability of the germinating spores possibly confounding the results and downstream analyses of field trial data. Therefore, the two main objectives of this study were the following: (i) development of an effective processing protocol capable of recovering the maximum number of viable germinating or germinated spores from different surface materials; and (ii) using a model system of spore contamination, employ this protocol to evaluate the potential applicability of germination induction to wide-area decontamination of B. anthracis spores. We examined parameters affecting the sampling efficiencies of B. anthracis and the surrogate species Bacillus thuringiensis on nonporous and porous materials. The most efficient extraction from all matrices was observed using PBS with 0·01% Tween 80 extraction buffer. The addition of a sonication and/or extended vortex treatment did not yield significant increases in spore or germinated spore recovery. Our data demonstrate that previous germination-induction experiments performed in suspension can be reproduced when Bacillus spores are deposited onto reference surfaces materials. Our proof of concept experiment illustrated that a germination pretreatment step significantly improves conventional secondary decontamination strategies and remediation plans. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  10. Metal binding spectrum and model structure of the Bacillus anthracis virulence determinant MntA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigonsky, Elena; Fish, Inbar; Livnat-Levanon, Nurit; Ovcharenko, Elena; Ben-Tal, Nir; Lewinson, Oded

    2015-10-01

    The potentially lethal human pathogen Bacillus anthracis expresses a putative metal import system, MntBCA, which belongs to the large family of ABC transporters. MntBCA is essential for virulence of Bacillus anthracis: deletion of MntA, the system's substrate binding protein, yields a completely non-virulent strain. Here we determined the metal binding spectrum of MntA. In contrast to what can be inferred from growth complementation studies we find no evidence that MntA binds Fe(2+) or Fe(3+). Rather, MntA binds a variety of other metal ions, including Mn(2+), Zn(2+), Cd(2+), Co(2+), and Ni(2+) with affinities ranging from 10(-6) to 10(-8) M. Binding of Zn(2+) and Co(2+) have a pronounced thermo-stabilizing effect on MntA, with Mn(2+) having a milder effect. The thermodynamic stability of MntA, competition experiments, and metal binding and release experiments all suggest that Mn(2+) is the metal that is likely transported by MntBCA and is therefore the limiting factor for virulence of Bacillus anthracis. A homology-model of MntA shows a single, highly conserved metal binding site, with four residues that participate in metal coordination: two histidines, a glutamate, and an aspartate. The metals bind to this site in a mutually exclusive manner, yet surprisingly, mutational analysis shows that for proper coordination each metal requires a different subset of these four residues. ConSurf evolutionary analysis and structural comparison of MntA and its homologues suggest that substrate binding proteins (SBPs) of metal ions use a pair of highly conserved prolines to interact with their cognate ABC transporters. This proline pair is found exclusively in ABC import systems of metal ions.

  11. Genes of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis encoding proteins of the exosporium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Sarah J; Moir, Arthur J G; Johnson, Matt J; Moir, Anne

    2003-06-01

    The exosporium is the outermost layer of spores of Bacillus cereus and its close relatives Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis. For these pathogens, it represents the surface layer that makes initial contact with the host. To date, only the BclA glycoprotein has been described as a component of the exosporium; this paper defines 10 more tightly associated proteins from the exosporium of B. cereus ATCC 10876, identified by N-terminal sequencing of proteins from purified, washed exosporium. Likely coding sequences were identified from the incomplete genome sequence of B. anthracis or B. cereus ATCC 14579, and the precise corresponding sequence from B. cereus ATCC 10876 was defined by PCR and sequencing. Eight genes encode likely structural components (exsB, exsC, exsD, exsE, exsF, exsG, exsJ, and cotE). Several proteins of the exosporium are related to morphogenetic and outer spore coat proteins of B. subtilis, but most do not have homologues in B. subtilis. ExsE is processed from a larger precursor, and the CotE homologue appears to have been C-terminally truncated. ExsJ contains a domain of GXX collagen-like repeats, like the BclA exosporium protein of B. anthracis. Although most of the exosporium genes are scattered on the genome, bclA and exsF are clustered in a region flanking the rhamnose biosynthesis operon; rhamnose is part of the sugar moiety of spore glycoproteins. Two enzymes, alanine racemase and nucleoside hydrolase, are tightly adsorbed to the exosporium layer; they could metabolize small molecule germinants and may reduce the sensitivity of spores to these, limiting premature germination.

  12. Achieving consistent multiple daily low-dose Bacillus anthracis spore inhalation exposures in the rabbit model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy E Barnewall

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Repeated low-level exposures to Bacillus anthracis could occur before or after the remediation of an environmental release. This is especially true for persistent agents such as Bacillus anthracis spores, the causative agent of anthrax. Studies were conducted to examine aerosol methods needed for consistent daily low aerosol concentrations to deliver a low-dose (less than 106 colony forming units (CFU of B. anthracis spores and included a pilot feasibility characterization study, acute exposure study, and a multiple fifteen day exposure study. This manuscript focuses on the state-of-the-science aerosol methodologies used to generate and aerosolize consistent daily low aerosol concentrations and resultant low inhalation doses. The pilot feasibility characterization study determined that the aerosol system was consistent and capable of producing very low aerosol concentrations. In the acute, single day exposure experiment, targeted inhaled doses of 1 x 102, 1 x 103, 1 x 104, and 1 x 105 CFU were used. In the multiple daily exposure experiment, rabbits were exposed multiple days to targeted inhaled doses of 1 x 102, 1 x 103, and 1 x 104 CFU. In all studies, targeted inhaled doses remained fairly consistent from rabbit to rabbit and day to day. The aerosol system produced aerosolized spores within the optimal mass median aerodynamic diameter particle size range to reach deep lung alveoli. Consistency of the inhaled dose was aided by monitoring and recording respiratory parameters during the exposure with real-time plethysmography. Overall, the presented results show that the animal aerosol system was stable and highly reproducible between different studies and multiple exposure days.

  13. Mechanisms of DNA binding and regulation of Bacillus anthracis DNA primase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Subhasis B; Wydra, Eric; Biswas, Esther E

    2009-08-11

    DNA primases are pivotal enzymes in chromosomal DNA replication in all organisms. In this article, we report unique mechanistic characteristics of recombinant DNA primase from Bacillus anthracis. The mechanism of action of B. anthracis DNA primase (DnaG(BA)) may be described in several distinct steps as follows. Its mechanism of action is initiated when it binds to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) in the form of a trimer. Although DnaG(BA) binds to different DNA sequences with moderate affinity (as expected of a mobile DNA binding protein), we found that DnaG(BA) bound to the origin of bacteriophage G4 (G4ori) with approximately 8-fold higher affinity. DnaG(BA) was strongly stimulated (>or=75-fold) by its cognate helicase, DnaB(BA), during RNA primer synthesis. With the G4ori ssDNA template, DnaG(BA) formed short (primers in the absence of DnaB(BA). The presence of DnaB(BA) increased the rate of primer synthesis. The observed stimulation of primer synthesis by cognate DnaB(BA) is thus indicative of a positive effector role for DnaB(BA). By contrast, Escherichia coli DnaB helicase (DnaB(EC)) did not stimulate DnaG(BA) and inhibited primer synthesis to near completion. This observed effect of E. coli DnaB(EC) is indicative of a strong negative effector role for heterologous DnaB(EC). We conclude that DnaG(BA) is capable of interacting with DnaB proteins from both B. anthracis and E. coli; however, between DnaB proteins derived from these two organisms, only the homologous DNA helicase (DnaB(BA)) acted as a positive effector of primer synthesis.

  14. Disinfection methods for spores of Bacillus atrophaeus, B. anthracis, Clostridium tetani, C. botulinum and C. difficile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oie, Shigeharu; Obayashi, Akiko; Yamasaki, Hirofumi; Furukawa, Hiroyuki; Kenri, Tsuyoshi; Takahashi, Motohide; Kawamoto, Keiko; Makino, Sou-ichi

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate disinfection methods for environments contaminated with bioterrorism-associated microorganism (Bacillus anthracis), we performed the following experiments. First, the sporicidal effects of sodium hypochlorite on spores of five bacterial species were evaluated. Bacillus atrophaeus was the most resistant to hypochlorite, followed in order by B. anthracis, Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani, and Clostridium difficile. Subsequently, using B. atrophaeus spores that were the most resistant to hypochlorite, the sporicidal effects of hypochlorite at lower pH by adding vinegar were evaluated. Hypochlorite containing vinegar had far more marked sporicidal effects than hypochlorite alone. Cleaning with 0.5% (5000 ppm) hypochlorite containing vinegar inactivated B. atrophaeus spores attached to vinyl chloride and plywood plates within 15 s, while that not containing vinegar did not inactivate spores attached to cement or plywood plates even after 1 h. Therefore, the surfaces of cement or plywood plates were covered with gauze soaked in 0.5% hypochlorite containing vinegar, and the sporicidal effects were evaluated. B. atrophaeus spores attached to plywood plates were not inactivated even after 6 h, but those attached to cement plates were inactivated within 5 min. On the other hand, covering the surfaces of plywood plates with gauze soaked in 0.3% peracetic acid and gauze soaked in 2% glutaral inactivated B. atrophaeus spores within 5 min and 6 h, respectively. These results suggest that hypochlorite containing vinegar is effective for disinfecting vinyl chloride, tile, and cement plates contaminated with B. anthracis, and peracetic acid is effective for disinfecting plywood plates contaminated with such microorganism.

  15. Storage Effects on Sample Integrity of Environmental Surface Sampling Specimens with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, K. Allison; O’Connell, Heather A.; Rose, Laura J.; Noble-Wang, Judith A.; Arduino, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    The effect of packaging, shipping temperatures and storage times on recovery of Bacillus anthracis. Sterne spores from swabs was investigated. Macrofoam swabs were pre-moistened, inoculated with Bacillus anthracis spores, and packaged in primary containment or secondary containment before storage at −15°C, 5°C, 21°C, or 35°C for 0–7 days. Swabs were processed according to validated Centers for Disease Control/Laboratory Response Network culture protocols, and the percent recovery relative to a reference sample (T0) was determined for each variable. No differences were observed in recovery between swabs held at −15° and 5°C, (p ≥ 0.23). These two temperatures provided significantly better recovery than swabs held at 21°C or 35°C (all 7 days pooled, p ≤ 0.04). The percent recovery at 5°C was not significantly different if processed on days 1, 2 or 4, but was significantly lower on day 7 (day 2 vs. 7, 5°C, 102, p=0.03). Secondary containment provided significantly better percent recovery than primary containment, regardless of storage time (5°C data, p ≤ 0.008). The integrity of environmental swab samples containing Bacillus anthracis spores shipped in secondary containment was maintained when stored at −15°C or 5°C and processed within 4 days to yield the optimum percent recovery of spores. PMID:27213119

  16. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able......Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that deals with the mutual association between the spatial configuration and ecological functioning of landscapes, exploring and describing processes involved in the differentiation of spaces within landscapes......, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...

  17. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that deals with the mutual association between the spatial configuration and ecological functioning of landscapes, exploring and describing processes involved in the differentiation of spaces within landscapes......, and the ecological significance of the patterns which are generated by such processes. In landscape ecology, perspectives drawn from existing academic disciplines are integrated based on a common, spatially explicit mode of analysis developed from classical holistic geography, emphasizing spatial and landscape...... pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able...

  18. Protein profiles of field isolates ofBacillus anthracis from different endemic areas of Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Bhakti Poerwadikarta

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Sonicated cell-free extract proteins of 14 field isolates ofBacillus anthracis from six different endemic areas of Indonesia were analyzed by the use of sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE methods . The protein profiles of each field isolate tested demonstrated slightly different at the protein bands with molecular weights of 18, 37, 52, 65 and 70 kDa, and varied between the field isolates and vaccine strains. The variation could provide clues to the source of anthrax transmission whether it was originated from similar strain or not.

  19. Biochip for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Therapeutic Agents against Anthrax Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitalii Silin

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLMs have been used in many applications, including biosensing and membrane protein structure studies. This report describes a biosensor for anthrax toxins that was fabricated through the self-assembly of a tBLM with B. anthracis protective antigen ion channels that are both the recognition element and electrochemical transducer. We characterize the sensor and its properties with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance. The sensor shows a sensitivity similar to ELISA and can also be used to rapidly screen for molecules that bind to the toxins and potentially inhibit their lethal effects.

  20. Genomic analysis of three African strains of Bacillus anthracis demonstrates that they are part of the clonal expansion of an exclusively pathogenic bacterium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Rouli

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is classified as a ‘Category A’ biological weapon. Six complete genomes of B. anthracis (A0248, Ames, Ames Ancestor, CDC684, H0491, and Sterne are currently available. In this report, we add three African strain genomes: Sen2Col2, Sen3 and Gmb1. To study the pan‐genome of B. anthracis, we used bioinformatics tools, such as Cluster of Orthologous Groups, and performed phylogenetic analysis. We found that the three African strains contained the pX01 and pX02 plasmids, the nonsense mutation in the plcR gene and the four known prophages. These strains are most similar to the CDC684 strain and belong to the A cluster. We estimated that the B. anthracis pan‐genome has 2893 core genes (99% of the genome size and 85 accessory genes. We validated the hypothesis that B. anthracis has a closed pan‐genome and found that the three African strains carry the two plasmids associated with bacterial virulence. The pan‐genome nature of B. anthracis confirms its lack of exchange (similar to Clostridium tetani and supports its exclusively pathogenic role, despite its survival in the environment. Moreover, thanks to the study of the core content single nucleotide polymorphisms, we can see that our three African strains diverged very recently from the other B. anthracis strains.

  1. Localization and structural analysis of a conserved pyruvylated epitope in Bacillus anthracis secondary cell wall polysaccharides and characterization of the galactose-deficient wall polysaccharide from avirulent B. anthracis CDC 684.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsberg, L Scott; Abshire, Teresa G; Friedlander, Arthur; Quinn, Conrad P; Kannenberg, Elmar L; Carlson, Russell W

    2012-08-01

    Bacillus anthracis CDC 684 is a naturally occurring, avirulent variant and close relative of the highly pathogenic B. anthracis Vollum. Bacillus anthracis CDC 684 contains both virulence plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, yet is non-pathogenic in animal models, prompting closer scrutiny of the molecular basis of attenuation. We structurally characterized the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) of B. anthracis CDC 684 (Ba684) using chemical and NMR spectroscopy analysis. The SCWP consists of a HexNAc trisaccharide backbone having identical structure as that of B. anthracis Pasteur, Sterne and Ames, →4)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1 → 4)-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 6)-α-d-GlcpNAc-(1→. Remarkably, although the backbone is fully polymerized, the SCWP is the devoid of all galactosyl side residues, a feature which normally comprises 50% of the glycosyl residues on the highly galactosylated SCWPs from pathogenic strains. This observation highlights the role of defective wall assembly in virulence and indicates that polymerization occurs independently of galactose side residue attachment. Of particular interest, the polymerized Ba684 backbone retains the substoichiometric pyruvate acetal, O-acetate and amino group modifications found on SCWPs from normal B. anthracis strains, and immunofluorescence analysis confirms that SCWP expression coincides with the ability to bind the surface layer homology (SLH) domain containing S-layer protein extractable antigen-1. Pyruvate was previously demonstrated as part of a conserved epitope, mediating SLH-domain protein attachment to the underlying peptidoglycan layer. We find that a single repeating unit, located at the distal (non-reducing) end of the Ba684 SCWP, is structurally modified and that this modification is present in identical manner in the SCWPs of normal B. anthracis strains. These polysaccharides terminate in the sequence: (S)-4,6-O-(1-carboxyethylidene)-β-d-ManpNAc-(1 → 4)-[3-O-acetyl]-β-d-GlcpNAc-(1 → 6)-α-d-GlcpNH(2)-(1→.

  2. Landscape Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Andreas Aagaard; Brandt, Jesper; Svenningsen, Stig Roar

    2017-01-01

    pattern analysis and ecological interaction of land units. The landscape is seen as a holon: an assemblage of interrelated phenomena, both cultural and biophysical, that together form a complex whole. Enduring challenges to landscape ecology include the need to develop a systematic approach able...

  3. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A.; Hansen, Trine

    2013-01-01

    -layer, and prophage-lambda. Following a review of the literature, an in silico analysis of all signature sequences reported for identification of B. anthracis was conducted. Published primer and probe sequences were compared for specificity against 134 available Bacillus spp. genomes. Although many of the chromosomal...

  4. A Bivalent Anthrax–Plague Vaccine That Can Protect against Two Tier-1 Bioterror Pathogens, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pan Tao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Bioterrorism remains as one of the biggest challenges to global security and public health. Since the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001 in the United States, Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis, the causative agents of anthrax and plague, respectively, gained notoriety and were listed by the CDC as Tier-1 biothreat agents. Currently, there is no Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine against either of these threats for mass vaccination to protect general public, let alone a bivalent vaccine. Here, we report the development of a single recombinant vaccine, a triple antigen consisting of all three target antigens, F1 and V from Y. pestis and PA from B. anthracis, in a structurally stable context. Properly folded and soluble, the triple antigen retained the functional and immunogenicity properties of all three antigens. Remarkably, two doses of this immunogen adjuvanted with Alhydrogel® elicited robust antibody responses in mice, rats, and rabbits and conferred complete protection against inhalational anthrax and pneumonic plague. No significant antigenic interference was observed. Furthermore, we report, for the first time, complete protection of animals against simultaneous challenge with Y. pestis and the lethal toxin of B. anthracis, demonstrating that a single biodefense vaccine can protect against a bioterror attack with weaponized B. anthracis and/or Y. pestis. This bivalent anthrax–plague vaccine is, therefore, a strong candidate for stockpiling, after demonstration of its safety and immunogenicity in human clinical trials, as part of national preparedness against two of the deadliest bioterror threats.

  5. Draft Genome Sequences of Bacillus cereus E41 and Bacillus anthracis F34 Isolated from Algerian Salt Lakes

    OpenAIRE

    Daas, Mohamed Seghir; Rosana, Albert Remus R.; Acedo, Jeella Z.; Nateche, Farida; Kebbouche-Gana, Salima; Vederas, John C.; Case, Rebecca J.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Two strains of Bacillus, B.?cereus E41 and B.?anthracis F34, were isolated from a salt lake in A?n M?lila-Oum El Bouaghi, eastern Algeria, and Ain Baida-Ouargla, southern Algeria, respectively. Their genomes display genes for the production of several bioactive secondary metabolites, including polyhydroxyalkanoate, iron siderophores, lipopeptides, and bacteriocins.

  6. Improved Proteomic Analysis Following Trichloroacetic Acid Extraction of Bacillus anthracis Spore Proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaiser, Brooke LD; Wunschel, David S.; Sydor, Michael A.; Warner, Marvin G.; Wahl, Karen L.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-08-07

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Proteomic analysis is dependent upon efficient extraction of proteins from bacterial samples without introducing bias toward extraction of particular protein classes. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrich for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple and does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter. Our data reveal that for particularly challenging samples, such as B. anthracis Sterne spores, trichloroacetic acid extraction improved the number of proteins identified within a sample compared to bead beating (714 vs 660, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 103 known spore specific proteins whereas bead beating resulted in 49 unique proteins. Analysis of C. botulinum samples grown to 5 days, composed of vegetative biomass and spores, showed a similar trend with improved protein yields and identification using our method compared to bead beating. Interestingly, easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells, were equally as effectively processed via TCA and bead beating, but TCA extraction remains the easiest and most cost effective option. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may provide additional insight to the protein biology of the bacteria being studied.

  7. Forensic Application of Microbiological Culture Analysis To Identify Mail Intentionally Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beecher, Douglas J.

    2006-01-01

    The discovery of a letter intentionally filled with dried Bacillus anthracis spores in the office of a United States senator prompted the collection and quarantine of all mail in congressional buildings. This mail was subsequently searched for additional intentionally contaminated letters. A microbiological sampling strategy was used to locate heavy contamination within the 642 separate plastic bags containing the mail. Swab sampling identified 20 bags for manual and visual examination. Air sampling within the 20 bags indicated that one bag was orders of magnitude more contaminated than all the others. This bag contained a letter addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy that had been loaded with dried B. anthracis spores. Microbiological sampling of compartmentalized batches of mail proved to be efficient and relatively safe. Efficiency was increased by inoculating culture media in the hot zone rather than transferring swab samples to a laboratory for inoculation. All mail sampling was complete within 4 days with minimal contamination of the sampling environment or personnel. However, physically handling the intentionally contaminated letter proved to be exceptionally hazardous, as did sorting of cross-contaminated mail, which resulted in generation of hazardous aerosol and extensive contamination of protective clothing. Nearly 8 × 106 CFU was removed from the most highly cross-contaminated piece of mail found. Tracking data indicated that this and other heavily contaminated envelopes had been processed through the same mail sorting equipment as, and within 1 s of, two intentionally contaminated letters. PMID:16885280

  8. Type II topoisomerase mutations in Bacillus anthracis associated with high-level fluoroquinolone resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bast, Darrin J; Athamna, Abed; Duncan, Carla L; de Azavedo, Joyce C S; Low, Donald E; Rahav, Galia; Farrell, David; Rubinstein, Ethan

    2004-07-01

    To identify and characterize the mechanisms of high-level fluoroquinolone resistance in two strains of Bacillus anthracis following serial passage in increasing concentrations of fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolone-resistant isolates of the Sterne and Russian Anthrax Vaccine STi strains were obtained following serial passage in the presence of increasing concentrations of four different fluoroquinolones. The quinolone-resistance-determining regions of the type II topoisomerase genes from the resistant strains were amplified by PCR and characterized by DNA sequence analysis. The MICs in the presence and absence of reserpine were determined using broth microdilution as a means of detecting active efflux. Single and double amino acid substitutions in the GyrA (Ser-85-Leu; Glu-89-Arg/Gly/Lys) and GrlA (Ser-81-Tyr; Val-96-Ala; Asn-70-Lys) were most common. A single amino acid substitution in GyrB (Asp-430-Asn) was also identified. Efflux only applied to isolates selected for by either levofloxacin or ofloxacin. Specific amino acid substitutions in the type II topoisomerase enzymes significantly contributed to the development of high-level fluoroquinolone resistance in B. anthracis. However, notable differences between the strains and the drugs tested were identified including the role of efflux and the numbers and types of mutations identified.

  9. Identification of the immunogenic spore and vegetative proteins of Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiankai Liu

    Full Text Available Immunoproteomics was used to screen the immunogenic spore and vegetative proteins of Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R. The spore and vegetative proteins were separated by 2D gel electrophoresis and transferred to polyvinylidene difluoride membranes, and then western blotting was performed with rabbit immune serum against B.anthracis live spores. Immunogenic spots were cut and digested by trypsin. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry was performed to identify the proteins. As a result, 11 and 45 immunogenic proteins were identified in the spores and vegetative cells, respectively; 26 of which have not been reported previously. To verify their immunogenicity, 12 of the identified proteins were selected to be expressed, and the immune sera from the mice vaccinated by the 12 expressed proteins, except BA0887, had a specific western blot band with the A16R whole cellular lytic proteins. Some of these immunogenic proteins might be used as novel vaccine candidates themselves or for enhancing the protective efficacy of a protective-antigen-based vaccine.

  10. A Study on molecular characterization of Razi Bacillus anthracis Sterne 34F2 substrain in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tadayon, K.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax, a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, has affected humans since ancient times. For genomic characterization of Razi B. anthracis Sterne 34F2 substrain, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP genotyping method developed by Van Erth, variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR-8 analysis proposed by Keim, and multiple-locus VNTR analysis (MLVA-3 introduced by Levy were employed. In the SNPs typing system, where the nucleotide content of the genome at 13 evolutionary canonical loci was collectively analyzed, the originally South African 34F2 substrain was categorized in the A.Br.001/002 subgroup. In the VNTR-8 analysis, fragments with lengths of 314, 229, 162, 580, 532, 158, and 137 bp were identified at the following loci: vrrA, vrrB1, vrrB2, vrrC1, vrrC2, CG3, and pxO1, respectively. In addition, application of Levy's MLVA-3 genotyping method revealed that the genome of this strain carried 941, 451, and 864 bp fragments at AA03, AJ03, and AA07 loci, respectively. The present findings are undoubtedly helpful in meeting the requirements set by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE and World Health Organization (WHO for anthrax vaccine manufacturers including Razi Institute. However, further similar studies are required to promote the current epidemiological knowledge of anthrax in Iran.

  11. MICs of Selected Antibiotics for Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus mycoides From a Range of Clinical and Environmental Sources as Determined by the Etest

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Turnbull, Peter C; Sirianni, Nicky M; LeBron, Carlos I; Samaan, Marian N; Sutton, Felicia N; Reyes, Anatalio E; Peruski , Jr, Leonard F

    2004-01-01

    ...; based on these breakpoints, the B. anthracis isolates were all fully susceptible to ciprofloxacin and tetracycline, and all except four cultures, three of which had a known history of penicillin resistance and were thought...

  12. Community Ecology

    CERN Document Server

    1988-01-01

    This book presents the proceedings of a workshop on community ecology organized at Davis, in April, 1986, sponsored by the Sloan Foundation. There have been several recent symposia on community ecology (Strong et. al., 1984, Diamond and Case, 1987) which have covered a wide range of topics. The goal of the workshop at Davis was more narrow: to explore the role of scale in developing a theoretical approach to understanding communities. There are a number of aspects of scale that enter into attempts to understand ecological communities. One of the most basic is organizational scale. Should community ecology proceed by building up from population biology? This question and its ramifications are stressed throughout the book and explored in the first chapter by Simon Levin. Notions of scale have long been important in understanding physical systems. Thus, in understanding the interactions of organisms with their physical environment, questions of scale become paramount. These more physical questions illustrate the...

  13. The genome of a Bacillus isolate causing anthrax in chimpanzees combines chromosomal properties of B. cereus with B. anthracis virulence plasmids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke R Klee

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a fatal disease caused by strains of Bacillus anthracis. Members of this monophyletic species are non motile and are all characterized by the presence of four prophages and a nonsense mutation in the plcR regulator gene. Here we report the complete genome sequence of a Bacillus strain isolated from a chimpanzee that had died with clinical symptoms of anthrax. Unlike classic B. anthracis, this strain was motile and lacked the four prohages and the nonsense mutation. Four replicons were identified, a chromosome and three plasmids. Comparative genome analysis revealed that the chromosome resembles those of non-B. anthracis members of the Bacillus cereus group, whereas two plasmids were identical to the anthrax virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. The function of the newly discovered third plasmid with a length of 14 kbp is unknown. A detailed comparison of genomic loci encoding key features confirmed a higher similarity to B. thuringiensis serovar konkukian strain 97-27 and B. cereus E33L than to B. anthracis strains. For the first time we describe the sequence of an anthrax causing bacterium possessing both anthrax plasmids that apparently does not belong to the monophyletic group of all so far known B. anthracis strains and that differs in important diagnostic features. The data suggest that this bacterium has evolved from a B. cereus strain independently from the classic B. anthracis strains and established a B. anthracis lifestyle. Therefore we suggest to designate this isolate as "B. cereus variety (var. anthracis".

  14. Bacillus anthracis secretome time course under host-simulated conditions and identification of immunogenic proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Whittington Jessica

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The secretion time course of Bacillus anthracis strain RA3R (pXO1+/pXO2- during early, mid, and late log phase were investigated under conditions that simulate those encountered in the host. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by different software algorithms to characterize their predicted mode of secretion and cellular localization. In addition, immunogenic proteins were identified using sera from humans with cutaneous anthrax. Results A total of 275 extracellular proteins were identified by a combination of LC MS/MS and MALDI-TOF MS. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by SignalP, SecretomeP, PSORT, LipoP, TMHMM, and PROSITE to characterize their predicted mode of secretion, cellular localization, and protein domains. Fifty-three proteins were predicted by SignalP to harbor the cleavable N-terminal signal peptides and were therefore secreted via the classical Sec pathway. Twenty-three proteins were predicted by SecretomeP for secretion by the alternative Sec pathway characterized by the lack of typical export signal. In contrast to SignalP and SecretomeP predictions, PSORT predicted 171 extracellular proteins, 7 cell wall-associated proteins, and 6 cytoplasmic proteins. Moreover, 51 proteins were predicted by LipoP to contain putative Sec signal peptides (38 have SpI sites, lipoprotein signal peptides (13 have SpII sites, and N-terminal membrane helices (9 have transmembrane helices. The TMHMM algorithm predicted 25 membrane-associated proteins with one to ten transmembrane helices. Immunogenic proteins were also identified using sera from patients who have recovered from anthrax. The charge variants (83 and 63 kDa of protective antigen (PA were the most immunodominant secreted antigens, followed by charge variants of enolase and transketolase. Conclusion This is the first description of the time course of protein secretion for the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. Time course studies of protein secretion and

  15. Use of high-resolution melting and melting temperature-shift assays for specific detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis based on single nucleotide discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Mendy, Christiane; Laroche, Séverine; Madani, Nora

    2011-11-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are important diagnostic markers for the detection and differentiation of Bacillus anthracis. High-Resolution Melting (HRM) and Melting Temperature (Tm)-shift methods are two approaches that enable SNP detection without the need for expensive labeled probes. We evaluated the potential diagnostic capability of those methods to discriminate B. anthracis from the other members of the B. cereus group. Two assays targeting B. anthracis-specific SNPs in the plcR and gyrA genes were designed for each method and used to genotype a panel of 155 Bacilli strains. All B. anthracis isolates (n=65) were correctly and unambiguously identified. Assays also proved to be appropriate for the direct genotyping of biological samples. They could reliably detect B. anthracis in contaminated organs containing as little as 10(3)CFU/ml, corresponding to a few genome equivalents per reaction. The HRM and Tm-shift applications described here represent valuable tools for specific identification of B. anthracis at reduced cost. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillis, Annika; Mahillon, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteriophages (phages) have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here. PMID:25010767

  17. Amperometric Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores: A Portable, Low-Cost Approach to the ELISA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel D. Peckham

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Antibody-based detection assays are generally robust, a desirable characteristic for in-the-field use. However, to quantify the colorimetric or fluorescent signal, these assays require expensive and fragile instruments which are ill-suited to in-the-field use. Lateral flow devices (LFDs circumvent these barriers to portability but suffer from poor sensitivity and subjective interpretation. Here, an antibody-based method for detecting Bacillus anthracis spores via amperometric signal generation is compared to ELISA and LFDs. This amperometric immunoassay uses antibody conjugated to magnetic beads and glucose oxidase (GOX along with the electron mediator 2, 6-dichlorophenolindophenol (DCPIP for production of a measurable current from a 0.4 V bias voltage. With similar sensitivity to ELISA, the assay can be completed in about 75 minutes while being completely powered and operated from a laptop computer. Immunoassay amperometry holds promise for bringing low-cost, quantitative detection of hazardous agents to the field.

  18. Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Gillis

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Many bacteriophages (phages have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here.

  19. Esterase activity as a novel parameter of spore germination in Bacillus anthracis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferencko, Linda; Cote, Mindy A.; Rotman, Boris

    2004-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis were shown to produce esterase activity about 4 min after exposure to conventional germinants such as combinations of amino acids and purine ribosides. Neither amino acids nor ribosides alone induce germination and esterase activity. Expression of esterase activity was chloramphenicol resistant, and correlated with loss of spore refractivity, a traditional parameter of early germination. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that esterase activity could be used as a novel parameter for quantifying early events during spore germination. To test this hypothesis, we measured expression of esterase activity under a variety of germinating conditions. Using diacetyl fluorescein as fluorogenic substrate of esterases, we demonstrated that esterase activity was invariably induced whenever spores were triggered by known germinants. Moreover, D-alanine, an inhibitor of L-alanine-mediated germination, was found to significantly inhibit expression of esterase activity. In terms of molecular mechanisms, esterase expression could represent activation of proteases at the onset of spore germination

  20. Bacillus anthracis Overcomes an Amino Acid Auxotrophy by Cleaving Host Serum Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terwilliger, Austen; Swick, Michelle C.; Pflughoeft, Kathryn J.; Pomerantsev, Andrei; Lyons, C. Rick; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacteria sustain an infection by acquiring nutrients from the host to support replication. The host sequesters these nutrients as a growth-restricting strategy, a concept termed “nutritional immunity.” Historically, the study of nutritional immunity has centered on iron uptake because many bacteria target hemoglobin, an abundant circulating protein, as an iron source. Left unresolved are the mechanisms that bacteria use to attain other nutrients from host sources, including amino acids. We employed a novel medium designed to mimic the chemical composition of human serum, and we show here that Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, proteolyzes human hemoglobin to liberate essential amino acids which enhance its growth. This property can be traced to the actions of InhA1, a secreted metalloprotease, and extends to at least three other serum proteins, including serum albumin. The results suggest that we must also consider proteolysis of key host proteins to be a way for bacterial pathogens to attain essential nutrients, and we provide an experimental framework to determine the host and bacterial factors involved in this process. IMPORTANCE The mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens acquire nutrients during infection are poorly understood. Here we used a novel defined medium that approximates the chemical composition of human blood serum, blood serum mimic (BSM), to better model the nutritional environment that pathogens encounter during bacteremia. Removing essential amino acids from BSM revealed that two of the most abundant proteins in blood—hemoglobin and serum albumin—can satiate the amino acid requirement for Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. We further demonstrate that hemoglobin is proteolyzed by the secreted protease InhA1. These studies highlight that common blood proteins can be a nutrient source for bacteria. They also challenge the historical view that hemoglobin is solely an iron source for

  1. Nanoscale Structural and Mechanical Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Spores Inactivated with Rapid Dry Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felker, Daniel L.; Burggraf, Larry W.

    2014-01-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating. PMID:24375142

  2. Recovery efficiency and limit of detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne from environmental surface samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estill, Cheryl Fairfield; Baron, Paul A; Beard, Jeremy K; Hein, Misty J; Larsen, Lloyd D; Rose, Laura; Schaefer, Frank W; Noble-Wang, Judith; Hodges, Lisa; Lindquist, H D Alan; Deye, Gregory J; Arduino, Matthew J

    2009-07-01

    After the 2001 anthrax incidents, surface sampling techniques for biological agents were found to be inadequately validated, especially at low surface loadings. We aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores within a chamber to achieve very low surface loading (ca. 3, 30, and 200 CFU per 100 cm(2)). Steel and carpet coupons seeded in the chamber were sampled with swab (103 cm(2)) or wipe or vacuum (929 cm(2)) surface sampling methods and analyzed at three laboratories. Agar settle plates (60 cm(2)) were the reference for determining recovery efficiency (RE). The minimum estimated surface concentrations to achieve a 95% response rate based on probit regression were 190, 15, and 44 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling steel surfaces and 40, 9.2, and 28 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling carpet surfaces with swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively; however, these results should be cautiously interpreted because of high observed variability. Mean REs at the highest surface loading were 5.0%, 18%, and 3.7% on steel and 12%, 23%, and 4.7% on carpet for the swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively. Precision (coefficient of variation) was poor at the lower surface concentrations but improved with increasing surface concentration. The best precision was obtained with wipe samples on carpet, achieving 38% at the highest surface concentration. The wipe sampling method detected B. anthracis at lower estimated surface concentrations and had higher RE and better precision than the other methods. These results may guide investigators to more meaningfully conduct environmental sampling, quantify contamination levels, and conduct risk assessment for humans.

  3. Bacillus anthracis Prolyl 4-Hydroxylase Interacts with and Modifies Elongation Factor Tu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schnicker, Nicholas J. [Department; Razzaghi, Mortezaali [Department; Guha Thakurta, Sanjukta [Department; Chakravarthy, Srinivas [Biophysics; Dey, Mishtu [Department

    2017-10-17

    Prolyl hydroxylation is a very common post-translational modification and plays many roles in eukaryotes such as collagen stabilization, hypoxia sensing, and controlling protein transcription and translation. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that prokaryotes contain prolyl 4-hydroxylases (P4Hs) homologous to the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) enzymes that act on elongation factor Tu (EFTu) and are likely involved in the regulation of bacterial translation. Recent biochemical and structural studies with a PHD from Pseudomonas putida (PPHD) determined that it forms a complex with EFTu and hydroxylates a prolyl residue of EFTu. Moreover, while animal, plant, and viral P4Hs act on peptidyl proline, most prokaryotic P4Hs have been known to target free l-proline; the exceptions include PPHD and a P4H from Bacillus anthracis (BaP4H) that modifies collagen-like proline-rich peptides. Here we use biophysical and mass spectrometric methods to demonstrate that BaP4H recognizes full-length BaEFTu and a BaEFTu 9-mer peptide for site-specific proline hydroxylation. Using size-exclusion chromatography coupled small-angle X-ray scattering (SEC–SAXS) and binding studies, we determined that BaP4H forms a 1:1 heterodimeric complex with BaEFTu. The SEC–SAXS studies reveal dissociation of BaP4H dimeric subunits upon interaction with BaEFTu. While BaP4H is unusual within bacteria in that it is structurally and functionally similar to the animal PHDs and collagen P4Hs, respectively, this work provides further evidence of its promiscuous substrate recognition. It is possible that the enzyme might have evolved to hydroxylate a universally conserved protein in prokaryotes, similar to the PHDs, and implies a functional role in B. anthracis.

  4. Rapid detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis in food using pyrosequencing technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amoako, Kingsley K; Janzen, Timothy W; Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Thomas, Matthew C; Goji, Noriko

    2013-08-01

    The development of advanced methodologies for the detection of Bacillus anthracis has been evolving rapidly since the release of the anthrax spores in the mail in 2001. Recent advances in detection and identification techniques could prove to be an essential component in the defense against biological attacks. Sequence based such as pyrosequencing, which has the capability to determine short DNA stretches in real-time using biotinylated PCR amplicons, has potential biodefense applications. Using markers from the virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2) and chromosomal regions, we have demonstrated the power of this technology in the rapid, specific and sensitive detection of B. anthracis spores in food matrices including milk, juice, bottled water, and processed meat. The combined use of immunomagnetic separation and pyrosequencing showed positive detection when liquid foods (bottled water, milk, juice), and processed meat were experimentally inoculated with 6CFU/mL and 6CFU/g, respectively, without an enrichment step. Pyrosequencing is completed in about 60min (following PCR amplification) and yields accurate and reliable results with an added layer of confidence. The entire assay (from sample preparation to sequencing information) can be completed in about 7.5h. A typical run on food samples yielded 67-80bp reads with 94-100% identity to the expected sequence. This sequence based approach is a novel application for the detection of anthrax spores in food with potential application in foodborne bioterrorism response and biodefense involving the use of anthrax spores. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Updating a B. anthracis Risk Model with Field Data from a Bioterrorism Incident.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Tao; Gurian, Patrick L

    2015-06-02

    In this study, a Bayesian framework was applied to update a model of pathogen fate and transport in the indoor environment. Distributions for model parameters (e.g., release quantity of B. anthracis spores, risk of illness, spore setting velocity, resuspension rate, sample recovery efficiency, etc.) were updated by comparing model predictions with measurements of B. anthracis spores made after one of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks. The updating process, which was implemented by using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods, significantly reduced the uncertainties of inputs with uniformed prior estimates: total quantity of spores released, the amount of spores exiting the room, and risk to occupants. In contrast, uncertainties were not greatly reduced for inputs for which informed prior data were available: deposition rates, resuspension rates, and sample recovery efficiencies. This suggests that prior estimates of these quantities that were obtained from a review of the technical literature are consistent with the observed behavior of spores in an actual attack. Posterior estimates of mortality risk for people in the room, when the spores were released, are on the order of 0.01 to 0.1, which supports the decision to administer prophylactic antibiotics. Multivariate sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess how effective different measurements were at reducing uncertainty in the estimated risk for the prior scenario. This analysis revealed that if the size distribution of the released particulates is known, then environmental sampling can be limited to accurately characterizing floor concentrations; otherwise, samples from multiple locations, as well as particulate and building air circulation parameters, need to be measured.

  6. Recovery Efficiency and Limit of Detection of Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne from Environmental Surface Samples ▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estill, Cheryl Fairfield; Baron, Paul A.; Beard, Jeremy K.; Hein, Misty J.; Larsen, Lloyd D.; Rose, Laura; Schaefer, Frank W.; Noble-Wang, Judith; Hodges, Lisa; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Deye, Gregory J.; Arduino, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    After the 2001 anthrax incidents, surface sampling techniques for biological agents were found to be inadequately validated, especially at low surface loadings. We aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores within a chamber to achieve very low surface loading (ca. 3, 30, and 200 CFU per 100 cm2). Steel and carpet coupons seeded in the chamber were sampled with swab (103 cm2) or wipe or vacuum (929 cm2) surface sampling methods and analyzed at three laboratories. Agar settle plates (60 cm2) were the reference for determining recovery efficiency (RE). The minimum estimated surface concentrations to achieve a 95% response rate based on probit regression were 190, 15, and 44 CFU/100 cm2 for sampling steel surfaces and 40, 9.2, and 28 CFU/100 cm2 for sampling carpet surfaces with swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively; however, these results should be cautiously interpreted because of high observed variability. Mean REs at the highest surface loading were 5.0%, 18%, and 3.7% on steel and 12%, 23%, and 4.7% on carpet for the swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively. Precision (coefficient of variation) was poor at the lower surface concentrations but improved with increasing surface concentration. The best precision was obtained with wipe samples on carpet, achieving 38% at the highest surface concentration. The wipe sampling method detected B. anthracis at lower estimated surface concentrations and had higher RE and better precision than the other methods. These results may guide investigators to more meaningfully conduct environmental sampling, quantify contamination levels, and conduct risk assessment for humans. PMID:19429546

  7. Ecological macroeconomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2013-01-01

    by a more theoretical debate and increased interaction between the heterodox schools of ecological economics and post-Keynesian economics. In addition, both the degrowth community and the research community organized around sustainable transitions of socio-technical systems have contributed to discussions...... on how to reconcile environmental and social concerns. Based on this broad variety of pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, a new ecological macroeconomics is emerging, but the contours are still vague. This chapter seeks to outline some of this topography and to add a few pieces of its own by highlighting the need...... to shift resources from consumption to investment and describing the role of consumer-citizens in such a change. The chapter starts by identifying the problems and challenges for an ecological macroeconomics. The next section outlines some of the shortcomings of traditional macroeconomics...

  8. Information Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Ellen Tove

    2006-01-01

    The paper describes a pedagogical didactical paradigm for teaching student-designers how to deal with context issues. Form/context-relationships are conceptualized as information ecologies and described as behavioral settings using a key concept developed by social psychologist R.A. Baker...... in the 1960ties, and chosen here because it integrates cultural and psychological trajectories in a theory of living settings. The pedagogical-didactical paradigm comprises three distinct information ecologies, named after their intended outcome: the problem-setting, the exploration-setting, and the fit......-setting. It is specified how context issues can be treated within each of these information ecologies. The paper concludes by discussing the outcome of applying this paradigm with respect to the student-designers’ competence as reflective practitioners....

  9. Most Probable Number Rapid Viability PCR Method to Detect Viable Spores of Bacillus anthracis in Swab Samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Letant, S E; Kane, S R; Murphy, G A; Alfaro, T M; Hodges, L; Rose, L; Raber, E

    2008-05-30

    This note presents a comparison of Most-Probable-Number Rapid Viability (MPN-RV) PCR and traditional culture methods for the quantification of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in macrofoam swabs generated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a multi-center validation study aimed at testing environmental swab processing methods for recovery, detection, and quantification of viable B. anthracis spores from surfaces. Results show that spore numbers provided by the MPN RV-PCR method were in statistical agreement with the CDC conventional culture method for all three levels of spores tested (10{sup 4}, 10{sup 2}, and 10 spores) even in the presence of dirt. In addition to detecting low levels of spores in environmental conditions, the MPN RV-PCR method is specific, and compatible with automated high-throughput sample processing and analysis protocols.

  10. Bacterial Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenchel, Tom

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial ecology is concerned with the interactions between bacteria and their biological and nonbiological environments and with the role of bacteria in biogeochemical element cycling. Many fundamental properties of bacteria are consequences of their small size. Thus, they can efficiently exploit...

  11. Trash Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Georgia J.

    2004-01-01

    A hands on activity involving density, frequency and biomass using transects, quadrats and a local good deed by cleaning up the neighborhood while practicing important techniques in ecology is detailed. The activity is designed for KCC-STEP, whose primary goal is to expand the scientific knowledge and research experiences of their students, who…

  12. Ecological concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

    This volume contains three critical contributions on the application of modern technology from the ethical point of view. The peaceful use of nuclear power is rejected as a technical error, which is overwhelming humanity. Ethical bases of a preventive technological policy and ecological aims are developed for the 21st century, in economy, technology, politics, and consciousness. (HSCH) [de

  13. Technical Note: Simple, scalable, and sensitive protocol for retrieving Bacillus anthracis (and other live bacteria) from heroin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grass, Gregor; Ahrens, Bjoern; Schleenbecker, Uwe; Dobrzykowski, Linda; Wagner, Matthias; Krüger, Christian; Wölfel, Roman

    2016-02-01

    We describe a culture-based method suitable for isolating Bacillus anthracis and other live bacteria from heroin. This protocol was developed as a consequence of the bioforensic need to retrieve bacteria from batches of the drug associated with cases of injectional anthrax among heroin-consumers in Europe. This uncommon manifestation of infection with the notorious pathogen B. anthracis has resulted in 26 deaths between the years 2000 to 2013. Thus far, no life disease agent has been isolated from heroin during forensic investigations surrounding these incidences. Because of the conjectured very small number of disease-causing endospores in the contaminated drug it is likely that too few target sequences are available for molecular genetic analysis. Therefore, a direct culture-based approach was chosen here. Endospores of attenuated B. anthracis artificially spiked into heroin were successfully retrieved at 84-98% recovery rates using a wash solution consisting of 0.5% Tween 20 in water. Using this approach, 82 samples of un-cut heroin originating from the German Federal Criminal Police Office's heroin analysis program seized during the period between 2000 and 2014 were tested and found to be surprisingly poor in retrievable bacteria. Notably, while no B. anthracis was isolated from the drug batches, other bacteria were successfully cultured. The resulting methodical protocol is therefore suitable for analyzing un-cut heroin which can be anticipated to comprise the original microbiota from the drug's original source without interference from contaminations introduced by cutting. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Identification of potential drug targets by subtractive genome analysis of Bacillus anthracis A0248: An in silico approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Anisur; Noore, Sanaullah; Hasan, Anayet; Ullah, Rakib; Rahman, Hafijur; Hossain, Amzad; Ali, Yeasmeen; Islam, Saiful

    2014-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a gram positive, spore forming, rod shaped bacteria which is the etiologic agent of anthrax - cutaneous, pulmonary and gastrointestinal. A recent outbreak of anthrax in a tropical region uncovered natural and in vitro resistance against penicillin, ciprofloxacin, quinolone due to over exposure of the pathogen to these antibiotics. This fact combined with the ongoing threat of using B. anthracis as a biological weapon proves that the identification of new therapeutic targets is urgently needed. In this computational approach various databases and online based servers were used to detect essential proteins of B. anthracis A0248. Protein sequences of B. anthracis A0248 strain were retrieved from the NCBI database which was then run in CD-hit suite for clustering. NCBI BlastP against the human proteome and similarity search against DEG were done to find out essential human non-homologous proteins. Proteins involved in unique pathways were analyzed using KEGG genome database and PSORTb, CELLO v.2.5, ngLOC - these three tools were used to deduce putative cell surface proteins. Successive analysis revealed 116 proteins to be essential human non-homologs among which 17 were involved in unique metabolic pathways and 28 were predicted as membrane associated proteins. Both types of proteins can be exploited as they are unlikely to have homologous counterparts in the human host. Being human non-homologous, these proteins can be targeted for potential therapeutic drug development in future. Targets on unique metabolic and membrane-bound proteins can block cell wall synthesis, bacterial replication and signal transduction respectively. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores by super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunoassays based on "Road Closure".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dian-Bing; Tian, Bo; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Wang, Xu-Ying; Fleming, Joy; Bi, Li-Jun; Yang, Rui-Fu; Zhang, Xian-En

    2015-05-15

    Detection of Bacillus anthracis in the field, whether as a natural infection or as a biothreat remains challenging. Here we have developed a new lateral-flow immunochromatographic assay (LFIA) for B. anthracis spore detection based on the fact that conjugates of B. anthracis spores and super-paramagnetic particles labeled with antibodies will block the pores of chromatographic strips and form retention lines on the strips, instead of the conventionally reported test lines and control lines in classic LFIA. As a result, this new LFIA can simultaneously realize optical, magnetic and naked-eye detection by analyzing signals from the retention lines. As few as 500-700 pure B. anthracis spores can be recognized with CV values less than 8.31% within 5 min of chromatography and a total time of 20 min. For powdery sample tests, this LFIA can endure interference from 25% (w/v) milk, 10% (w/v) baking soda and 10% (w/v) starch without any sample pre-treatment, and has a corresponding detection limit of 6×10(4) spores/g milk powder, 2×10(5) spores/g starch and 5×10(5) spores/g baking soda. Compared with existing methods, this new approach is very competitive in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost and ease of operation. This proof-of-concept study can also be extended for detection of many other large-sized analytes. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Draft Genome Sequences of Bacillus cereus E41 and Bacillus anthracis F34 Isolated from Algerian Salt Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daas, Mohamed Seghir; Rosana, Albert Remus R.; Acedo, Jeella Z.; Nateche, Farida; Kebbouche-Gana, Salima; Vederas, John C.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Two strains of Bacillus, B. cereus E41 and B. anthracis F34, were isolated from a salt lake in Aïn M’lila-Oum El Bouaghi, eastern Algeria, and Ain Baida-Ouargla, southern Algeria, respectively. Their genomes display genes for the production of several bioactive secondary metabolites, including polyhydroxyalkanoate, iron siderophores, lipopeptides, and bacteriocins. PMID:28522726

  17. Rapid Detection of the Poly-γ-d-Glutamic Acid Capsular Antigen of Bacillus anthracis by Latex Agglutination

    Science.gov (United States)

    AuCoin, David P.; Sutherland, Marjorie D.; Percival, Ann L.; Lyons, C. Rick; Lovchik, Julie A.; Kozel, Thomas R.

    2009-01-01

    Latex agglutination has been used to detect capsular polysaccharides from a variety of bacteria in body fluids. A latex agglutination assay was constructed for detection of the poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (γdPGA) capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis in serum from animal models of pulmonary anthrax. The assay was able to detect γdPGA in serum from infected animals at concentrations of 100–200 ng/ml. PMID:19345041

  18. Ecological suitability modeling for anthrax in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenkamp, Pieter Johan; van Heerden, Henriette; van Schalkwyk, Ockert Louis

    2018-01-01

    The spores of the soil-borne bacterium, Bacillus anthracis, which causes anthrax are highly resistant to adverse environmental conditions. Under ideal conditions, anthrax spores can survive for many years in the soil. Anthrax is known to be endemic in the northern part of Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa (SA), with occasional epidemics spreading southward. The aim of this study was to identify and map areas that are ecologically suitable for the harboring of B. anthracis spores within the KNP. Anthrax surveillance data and selected environmental variables were used as inputs to the maximum entropy (Maxent) species distribution modeling method. Anthrax positive carcasses from 1988-2011 in KNP (n = 597) and a total of 40 environmental variables were used to predict and evaluate their relative contribution to suitability for anthrax occurrence in KNP. The environmental variables that contributed the most to the occurrence of anthrax were soil type, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and precipitation. Apart from the endemic Pafuri region, several other areas within KNP were classified as ecologically suitable. The outputs of this study could guide future surveillance efforts to focus on predicted suitable areas for anthrax, since the KNP currently uses passive surveillance to detect anthrax outbreaks.

  19. Modeling the Ecological Niche ofBacillus anthracisto Map Anthrax Risk in Kyrgyzstan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Matakarimov, Saitbek; Kozhokeeva, Sabira; Tagaeva, Zhyldyz; Bell, Lindsay K; Kracalik, Ian T; Zhunushov, Asankadyr

    2017-03-01

    AbstractAnthrax, caused by the environmental bacterium Bacillus anthracis , is an important zoonosis nearly worldwide. In Central Asia, anthrax represents a major veterinary and public health concern. In the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, ongoing anthrax outbreaks have been reported in humans associated with handling infected livestock and contaminated animal by-products such as meat or hides. The current anthrax situation has prompted calls for improved insights into the epidemiology, ecology, and spatial distribution of the disease in Kyrgyzstan to better inform control and surveillance. Disease control for both humans and livestock relies on annual livestock vaccination ahead of outbreaks. Toward this, we used a historic database of livestock anthrax reported from 1932 to 2006 mapped at high resolution to develop an ecological niche model-based prediction of B. anthracis across Kyrgyzstan and identified spatial clusters of livestock anthrax using a cluster morphology statistic. We also defined the seasonality of outbreaks in livestock. Cattle were the most frequently reported across the time period, with the greatest number of cases in late summer months. Our niche models defined four areas as suitable to support pathogen persistence, the plateaus near Talas and Bishkek, the valleys of western Kyrgyzstan along the Fergana Valley, and the low-lying areas along the shore of Lake Isyk-Kul. These areas should be considered "at risk" for livestock anthrax and subsequent human cases. Areas defined by the niche models can be used to prioritize anthrax surveillance and inform efforts to target livestock vaccination campaigns.

  20. Immunoassay for Capsular Antigen of Bacillus anthracis Enables Rapid Diagnosis in a Rabbit Model of Inhalational Anthrax.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcellene A Gates-Hollingsworth

    Full Text Available Inhalational anthrax is a serious biothreat. Effective antibiotic treatment of inhalational anthrax requires early diagnosis; the further the disease has progressed, the less the likelihood for cure. Current means for diagnosis such as blood culture require several days to a result and require advanced laboratory infrastructure. An alternative approach to diagnosis is detection of a Bacillus anthracis antigen that is shed into blood and can be detected by rapid immunoassay. The goal of the study was to evaluate detection of poly-γ-D-glutamic acid (PGA, the capsular antigen of B. anthracis, as a biomarker surrogate for blood culture in a rabbit model of inhalational anthrax. The mean time to a positive blood culture was 26 ± 5.7 h (mean ± standard deviation, whereas the mean time to a positive ELISA was 22 ± 4.2 h; P = 0.005 in comparison with blood culture. A lateral flow immunoassay was constructed for detection of PGA in plasma at concentrations of less than 1 ng PGA/ml. Use of the lateral flow immunoassay for detection of PGA in the rabbit model found that antigen was detected somewhat earlier than the earliest time point at which the blood culture became positive. The low cost, ease of use, and rapid time to result of the lateral flow immunoassay format make an immunoassay for PGA a viable surrogate for blood culture for detection of infection in individuals who have a likelihood of exposure to B. anthracis.

  1. Immunoassay for Capsular Antigen of Bacillus anthracis Enables Rapid Diagnosis in a Rabbit Model of Inhalational Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gates-Hollingsworth, Marcellene A; Perry, Mark R; Chen, Hongjing; Needham, James; Houghton, Raymond L; Raychaudhuri, Syamal; Hubbard, Mark A; Kozel, Thomas R

    2015-01-01

    Inhalational anthrax is a serious biothreat. Effective antibiotic treatment of inhalational anthrax requires early diagnosis; the further the disease has progressed, the less the likelihood for cure. Current means for diagnosis such as blood culture require several days to a result and require advanced laboratory infrastructure. An alternative approach to diagnosis is detection of a Bacillus anthracis antigen that is shed into blood and can be detected by rapid immunoassay. The goal of the study was to evaluate detection of poly-γ-D-glutamic acid (PGA), the capsular antigen of B. anthracis, as a biomarker surrogate for blood culture in a rabbit model of inhalational anthrax. The mean time to a positive blood culture was 26 ± 5.7 h (mean ± standard deviation), whereas the mean time to a positive ELISA was 22 ± 4.2 h; P = 0.005 in comparison with blood culture. A lateral flow immunoassay was constructed for detection of PGA in plasma at concentrations of less than 1 ng PGA/ml. Use of the lateral flow immunoassay for detection of PGA in the rabbit model found that antigen was detected somewhat earlier than the earliest time point at which the blood culture became positive. The low cost, ease of use, and rapid time to result of the lateral flow immunoassay format make an immunoassay for PGA a viable surrogate for blood culture for detection of infection in individuals who have a likelihood of exposure to B. anthracis.

  2. Political ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strohm, H.

    1979-01-01

    Using facts and examples, this didactically structures textbook gives an insight into the extent and consequences of the damage to the environment, with the subjects - fundamentals of ecology; - population and food problems; - the energy problem; - economic growth; scarcity of resources, recycling; - ground, water, and air pollution, - city and traffic problems; - work protection and medical care; - political alternatives and 'soft technologies'. The analysis of the political and economic reasons is combined with social and technical alternatives from which demands to be made and measures to be taken can be derived for individuals, citizens' interest groups, political groups and trade unions. Teaching models intend to help teachers to work on specific problems of ecology. (orig.) [de

  3. Political Ecology

    OpenAIRE

    DeFriez, Joshua; Larsen, Justine; Hilton, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    Environmental legislation is commonly accepted as an altruistic approach to land management. A closer examination however, reveals that political incentives and flawed arguments consistently shape U.S. environmental policy at high public costs. As student fellows at the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University, we have had the opportunity to research this subject under the direction of Professor Randy Simmons. Political Ecology is his upcoming book that explores a variety of en...

  4. Graphic Ecologies

    OpenAIRE

    Brook Weld Muller

    2014-01-01

    This essay describes strategic approaches to graphic representation associated with critical environmental engagement and that build from the idea of works of architecture as stitches in the ecological fabric of the city. It focuses on the building up of partial or fragmented graphics in order to describe inclusive, open-ended possibilities for making architecture that marry rich experience and responsive performance. An aphoristic approach to crafting drawings involves complex layering, cons...

  5. ECOLOGICAL EDUCATION

    OpenAIRE

    GABRIELA GYONGY MIHUT

    2011-01-01

    While in most emerging and developing countries, the population has a lower ecological footprint in the developed countries have a larger footprint.There is also an alarming contrast between a person perception of her liability for damages to its environment and its actual size. These misconceptions may have their source in the absence of awareness of risks from climate change, culture or religion.The purpose of this study is to analyze the situation at the international and Romanian level an...

  6. Terrestrial ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1977-01-01

    The main effort of the Terrestrial Ecology Division has been redirected to a comprehensive study of the Espiritu Santo Drainage Basin located in northeastern Puerto Rico. The general objective are to provide baseline ecological data for future environmental assessment studies at the local and regional levels, and to provide through an ecosystem approach data for the development of management alternatives for the wise utilization of energy, water, and land resources. The interrelationships among climate, vegetation, soils, and man, and their combined influence upon the hydrologic cycle will be described and evaluated. Environmental management involves planning and decision making, and both require an adequate data base. At present, little is known about the interworkings of a complete, integrated system such as a drainage basin. A literature survey of the main research areas confirmed that, although many individual ecologically oriented studies have been carried out in a tropical environment, few if any provide the data base required for environmental management. In view of rapidly changing socio-economic conditions and natural resources limitations, management urgently requires data from these systems: physical (climatological), biological, and cultural. This integrated drainage basin study has been designed to provide such data. The scope of this program covers the hydrologic cycle as it is affected by the interactions of the physical, biological, and cultural systems

  7. Construction of a high-efficiency cloning system using the Golden Gate method and I-SceI endonuclease for targeted gene replacement in Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tiantian; Wang, Dongshu; Lyu, Yufei; Feng, Erling; Zhu, Li; Liu, Chunjie; Wang, Yanchun; Liu, Xiankai; Wang, Hengliang

    2018-02-10

    To investigate gene function in Bacillus anthracis, a high-efficiency cloning system is required with an increased rate of allelic exchange. Golden Gate cloning is a molecular cloning strategy allowing researchers to simultaneously and directionally assemble multiple DNA fragments to construct target plasmids using type IIs restriction enzymes and T4 DNA ligase in the same reaction system. Here, a B. anthracis S-layer protein EA1 allelic exchange vector was successfully constructed using the Golden Gate method. No new restriction sites were introduced into this knockout vector, and seamless assembly of the DNA fragments was achieved. To elevate the efficiency of homologous recombination between the allelic exchange vector and chromosomal DNA, we introduced an I-SceI site into the allelic exchange vector. The eag gene was successfully knocked out in B. anthracis using this vector. Simultaneously, the allelic exchange vector construction method was developed into a system for generating B. anthracis allelic exchange vectors. To verify the effectiveness of this system, some other allelic exchange vectors were constructed and gene replacements were performed in B. anthracis. It is speculated that this gene knockout vector construction system and high-efficiency targeted gene replacement using I-SceI endonuclease can be applied to other Bacillus spp. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Comparison of false-negative rates and limits of detection following macrofoam-swab sampling of Bacillus anthracis surrogates via Rapid Viability PCR and plate culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchison, J R; Piepel, G F; Amidan, B G; Hess, B M; Sydor, M A; Deatherage Kaiser, B L

    2018-01-21

    We evaluated the effects of Bacillus anthracis surrogates, low surface concentrations, surface materials and assay methods on false-negative rate (FNR) and limit of detection (LOD 95 ) for recovering Bacillus spores using a macrofoam-swab sampling procedure. Bacillus anthracis Sterne or Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura spores were deposited over a range of low target concentrations (2-500 per coupon) onto glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile and plastic. Samples were assayed using a modified Rapid Viability-PCR (mRV-PCR) method and the traditional plate culture method to obtain FNR and LOD 95 results. Mean FNRs tended to be lower for mRV-PCR compared to culturing, and increased as spore concentration decreased for all surface materials. Surface material, but not B. anthracis surrogate, influenced FNRs with the mRV-PCR method. The mRV-PCR LOD 95 was lowest for glass and highest for vinyl tile. LOD 95 values overall were lower for mRV-PCR than for the culture method. This study adds to the limited data on FNR and LOD 95 for mRV-PCR and culturing methods with low concentrations of B. anthracis sampled from various surface materials by the CDC macrofoam-swab method. These are key inputs for planning characterization and clearance studies for low contamination levels of B. anthracis. © 2018 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  9. Comparison of false-negative rates and limits of detection following macrofoam-swab sampling of Bacillus anthracis surrogates via Rapid Viability PCR and plate culture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchison, Janine R.; Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hess, Becky M.; Sydor, Michael A.; Kaiser, Brooke LD

    2018-03-13

    Aims: We evaluated the effects of Bacillus anthracis surrogates, low surface concentrations, surface materials, and assay methods on false-negative rate (FNR) and limit of detection (LOD95) for recovering Bacillus spores using a macrofoam-swab sampling procedure. Methods and Results: Bacillus anthracis Sterne or Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura spores were deposited over a range of low target concentrations (2 – 500 coupon-1) onto glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic. Samples were assayed using a modified Rapid Viability-PCR (mRV-PCR) method and the traditional plate culture method to obtain FNR and LOD95 results. Conclusions: Mean FNRs tended to be lower for mRV-PCR compared to culturing, and increased as spore concentration decreased for all surface materials. Surface material, but not B. anthracis surrogate, influenced FNRs with the mRV-PCR method. The mRV-PCR LOD95 was lowest for glass and highest for vinyl tile. LOD95 values overall were lower for mRV-PCR than for the culture method. Significance and Impact of Study: This study adds to the limited data on FNR and LOD95 for mRV-PCR and culturing methods with low concentrations of B. anthracis sampled from various surface materials by the CDC macrofoam-swab method. These are key inputs for planning characterization and clearance studies for low contamination levels of B. anthracis.

  10. The genome sequence of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 reveals metabolic adaptations and a large plasmid related to Bacillus anthracis pXO1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasko, David A; Ravel, Jacques; Økstad, Ole Andreas; Helgason, Erlendur; Cer, Regina Z; Jiang, Lingxia; Shores, Kelly A; Fouts, Derrick E; Tourasse, Nicolas J; Angiuoli, Samuel V; Kolonay, James; Nelson, William C; Kolstø, Anne-Brit; Fraser, Claire M; Read, Timothy D

    2004-01-01

    We sequenced the complete genome of Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987, a non-lethal dairy isolate in the same genetic subgroup as Bacillus anthracis. Comparison of the chromosomes demonstrated that B.cereus ATCC 10987 was more similar to B.anthracis Ames than B.cereus ATCC 14579, while containing a number of unique metabolic capabilities such as urease and xylose utilization and lacking the ability to utilize nitrate and nitrite. Additionally, genetic mechanisms for variation of capsule carbohydrate and flagella surface structures were identified. Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987 contains a single large plasmid (pBc10987), of approximately 208 kb, that is similar in gene content and organization to B.anthracis pXO1 but is lacking the pathogenicity-associated island containing the anthrax lethal and edema toxin complex genes. The chromosomal similarity of B.cereus ATCC 10987 to B.anthracis Ames, as well as the fact that it contains a large pXO1-like plasmid, may make it a possible model for studying B.anthracis plasmid biology and regulatory cross-talk.

  11. Secondary cell wall polysaccharides of Bacillus anthracis are antigens that contain specific epitopes which cross-react with three pathogenic Bacillus cereus strains that caused severe disease, and other epitopes common to all the Bacillus cereus strains tested.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leoff, Christine; Saile, Elke; Rauvolfova, Jana; Quinn, Conrad P; Hoffmaster, Alex R; Zhong, Wei; Mehta, Alok S; Boons, Geert-Jan; Carlson, Russell W; Kannenberg, Elmar L

    2009-06-01

    The immunoreactivities of hydrogen fluoride (HF)-released cell wall polysaccharides (HF-PSs) from selected Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus strains were compared using antisera against live and killed B. anthracis spores. These antisera bound to the HF-PSs from B. anthracis and from three clinical B. cereus isolates (G9241, 03BB87, and 03BB102) obtained from cases of severe or fatal human pneumonia but did not bind to the HF-PSs from the closely related B. cereus ATCC 10987 or from B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579. Antiserum against a keyhole limpet hemocyanin conjugate of the B. anthracis HF-PS (HF-PS-KLH) also bound to HF-PSs and cell walls from B. anthracis and the three clinical B. cereus isolates, and B. anthracis spores. These results indicate that the B. anthracis HF-PS is an antigen in both B. anthracis cell walls and spores, and that it shares cross-reactive, and possibly pathogenicity-related, epitopes with three clinical B. cereus isolates that caused severe disease. The anti-HF-PS-KLH antiserum cross-reacted with the bovine serum albumin (BSA)-conjugates of all B. anthracis and all B. cereus HF-PSs tested, including those from nonclinical B. cereus ATCC 10987 and ATCC 14579 strains. Finally, the serum of vaccinated (anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA)) Rhesus macaques that survived inhalation anthrax contained IgG antibodies that bound the B. anthracis HF-PS-KLH conjugate. These data indicate that HF-PSs from the cell walls of the bacilli tested here are (i) antigens that contain (ii) a potentially virulence-associated carbohydrate antigen motif, and (iii) another antigenic determinant that is common to B. cereus strains.

  12. Graphic Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brook Weld Muller

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This essay describes strategic approaches to graphic representation associated with critical environmental engagement and that build from the idea of works of architecture as stitches in the ecological fabric of the city. It focuses on the building up of partial or fragmented graphics in order to describe inclusive, open-ended possibilities for making architecture that marry rich experience and responsive performance. An aphoristic approach to crafting drawings involves complex layering, conscious absence and the embracing of tension. A self-critical attitude toward the generation of imagery characterized by the notion of ‘loose precision’ may lead to more transformative and environmentally responsive architectures.

  13. Industrial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, C K

    1992-01-01

    Industrial ecology addresses issues that will impact future production, use, and disposal technologies; proper use of the concept should reduce significantly the resources devoted to potential remediation in the future. This cradle-to-reincarnation production philosophy includes industrial processes that are environmentally sound and products that are environmentally safe during use and economically recyclable after use without adverse impact on the environment or on the net cost to society. This will require an industry-university-government round table to set the strategy and agenda for progress. PMID:11607254

  14. Possible Use of Bacteriophages Active against Bacillus anthracis and Other B. cereus Group Members in the Face of a Bioterrorism Threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber-Dąbrowska, Beata; Borysowski, Jan; Górski, Andrzej

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is an infectious fatal disease with epidemic potential. Nowadays, bioterrorism using Bacillus anthracis is a real possibility, and thus society needs an effective weapon to neutralize this threat. The pathogen may be easily transmitted to human populations. It is easy to store, transport, and disseminate and may survive for many decades. Recent data strongly support the effectiveness of bacteriophage in treating bacterial diseases. Moreover, it is clear that bacteriophages should be considered a potential incapacitative agent against bioterrorism using bacteria belonging to B. cereus group, especially B. anthracis. Therefore, we have reviewed the possibility of using bacteriophages active against Bacillus anthracis and other species of the B. cereus group in the face of a bioterrorism threat. PMID:25247187

  15. The Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain shows protective effects against the B. anthracis LT toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontier-Bres, Rodolphe; Rampal, Patrick; Peyron, Jean-François; Munro, Patrick; Lemichez, Emmanuel; Czerucka, Dorota

    2015-10-30

    The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii) has been prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of several infectious diarrheal diseases. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes fatal systemic disease. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects conferred by Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain on polarized T84 columnar epithelial cells intoxicated by the lethal toxin (LT) of Bacillus anthracis. Exposure of polarized T84 cells to LT affected cell monolayer integrity, modified the morphology of tight junctions and induced the formation of actin stress fibers. Overnight treatment of cells with S. boulardii before incubation with LT maintained the integrity of the monolayers, prevented morphological modification of tight junctions, restricted the effects of LT on actin remodeling and delayed LT-induced MEK-2 cleavage. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that in the presence of S. boulardii, the medium is depleted of both LF and PA sub-units of LT and the appearance of a cleaved form of PA. Our study highlights the potential of the S. boulardii CNCM I-745 strain as a prophylactic agent against the gastrointestinal form of anthrax.

  16. The Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 Strain Shows Protective Effects against the B. anthracis LT Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolphe Pontier-Bres

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii has been prescribed for the prophylaxis and treatment of several infectious diarrheal diseases. Gastrointestinal anthrax causes fatal systemic disease. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects conferred by Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 strain on polarized T84 columnar epithelial cells intoxicated by the lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis. Exposure of polarized T84 cells to LT affected cell monolayer integrity, modified the morphology of tight junctions and induced the formation of actin stress fibers. Overnight treatment of cells with S. boulardii before incubation with LT maintained the integrity of the monolayers, prevented morphological modification of tight junctions, restricted the effects of LT on actin remodeling and delayed LT-induced MEK-2 cleavage. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that in the presence of S. boulardii, the medium is depleted of both LF and PA sub-units of LT and the appearance of a cleaved form of PA. Our study highlights the potential of the S. boulardii CNCM I-745 strain as a prophylactic agent against the gastrointestinal form of anthrax.

  17. Bacillus anthracis Co-Opts Nitric Oxide and Host Serum Albumin for Pathogenicity in Hypoxic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eSt John

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is a dangerous pathogen of humans and many animal species. Its virulence has been mainly attributed to the production of Lethal and Edema toxins as well as the antiphagocytic capsule. Recent data indicate that the nitric oxide (NO synthase (baNOS plays an important pathogenic role at the early stage of disease by protecting bacteria from the host reactive species and S-nytrosylating the mitochondrial proteins in macrophages. In this study we for the first time present evidence that bacteria-derived NO participates in the generation of highly reactive oxidizing species which could be abolished by the NOS inhibitor L-NAME, free thiols, and superoxide dismutase but not catalase. The formation of toxicants is likely a result of the simultaneous formation of NO and superoxide leading to a labile peroxynitrite and its stable decomposition product, nitrogen dioxide. The toxicity of bacteria could be potentiated in the presence of bovine serum albumin. This effect is consistent with the property of serum albumin to serves as a trap of a volatile NO accelerating its reactions. Our data suggest that during infection in the hypoxic environment of pre-mortal host the accumulated NO is expected to have a broad toxic impact on host cell functions.

  18. In Silico Genomic Fingerprints of the Bacillus anthracis Group Obtained by Virtual Hybridization

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    Hueman Jaimes-Díaz

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study we evaluate the capacity of Virtual Hybridization to identify between highly related bacterial strains. Eight genomic fingerprints were obtained by virtual hybridization for the Bacillus anthracis genome set, and a set of 15,264 13-nucleotide short probes designed to produce genomic fingerprints unique for each organism. The data obtained from each genomic fingerprint were used to obtain hybridization patterns simulating a DNA microarray. Two virtual hybridization methods were used: the Direct and the Extended method to identify the number of potential hybridization sites and thus determine the minimum sensitivity value to discriminate between genomes with 99.9% similarity. Genomic fingerprints were compared using both methods and phylogenomic trees were constructed to verify that the minimum detection value is 0.000017. Results obtained from the genomic fingerprints suggest that the distribution in the trees is correct, as compared to other taxonomic methods. Specific virtual hybridization sites for each of the genomes studied were also identified.

  19. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores from environmental water using bioluminescent reporter phage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, C; Makkar, R; Sharp, N J; Page, M A; Molineux, I J; Schofield, D A

    2017-11-01

    We investigated the ability of a temperate Bacillus anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2), which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells, to detect viable spores from deliberately contaminated environmental water samples. Environmental water was inoculated with spores and assayed with Wβ::luxAB-2. Bioluminescent signals directly correlated with input phage and spore concentrations. A limit of detection of 10 1 and 10 2 CFU per ml within 8 h was achieved from pond and lake water, respectively. Detection was greatly simplified by minimizing sample processing steps without spore extraction. The complex endogenous microbial flora and salt content of brackish water challenged the assay, extending the detection time to 12 h for a sensitivity of 10 2 CFU per ml. Phage-mediated bioluminescence was strictly dependent on bacterial physiology, being significantly reduced in mid/late log phase cells. This was shown to be due to an inability of the phage to adsorb. The reporter phage Wβ::luxAB-2 displays potential for simplified detection of viable spores from contaminated water samples within 12 h. A deliberate aerosol release of spores could lead to widespread contamination, leaving large areas uninhabitable until remediation. An essential requirement of this restoration process is the development of simplified detection assays in different environmental matrices. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  20. Micropatterned Macrophage Analysis Reveals Global Cytoskeleton Constraints Induced by Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trescos, Yannick; Tessier, Emilie; Rougeaux, Clémence; Goossens, Pierre L.

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis secretes the edema toxin (ET) that disrupts the cellular physiology of endothelial and immune cells, ultimately affecting the adherens junction integrity of blood vessels that in turn leads to edema. The effects of ET on the cytoskeleton, which is critical in cell physiology, have not been described thus far on macrophages. In this study, we have developed different adhesive micropatterned surfaces (L and crossbow) to control the shape of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) and primary peritoneal macrophages. We found that macrophage F-actin cytoskeleton adopts a specific polar organization slightly different from classical human HeLa cells on the micropatterns. Moreover, ET induced a major quantitative reorganization of F-actin within 16 h with a collapse at the nonadhesive side of BMDMs along the nucleus. There was an increase in size and deformation into a kidney-like shape, followed by a decrease in size that correlates with a global cellular collapse. The collapse of F-actin was correlated with a release of focal adhesion on the patterns and decreased cell size. Finally, the cell nucleus was affected by actin reorganization. By using this technology, we could describe many previously unknown macrophage cellular dysfunctions induced by ET. This novel tool could be used to analyze more broadly the effects of toxins and other virulence factors that target the cytoskeleton. PMID:26015478

  1. Rugged single domain antibody detection elements for Bacillus anthracis spores and vegetative cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott A Walper

    Full Text Available Significant efforts to develop both laboratory and field-based detection assays for an array of potential biological threats started well before the anthrax attacks of 2001 and have continued with renewed urgency following. While numerous assays and methods have been explored that are suitable for laboratory utilization, detection in the field is often complicated by requirements for functionality in austere environments, where limited cold-chain facilities exist. In an effort to overcome these assay limitations for Bacillus anthracis, one of the most recognizable threats, a series of single domain antibodies (sdAbs were isolated from a phage display library prepared from immunized llamas. Characterization of target specificity, affinity, and thermal stability was conducted for six sdAb families isolated from rounds of selection against the bacterial spore. The protein target for all six sdAb families was determined to be the S-layer protein EA1, which is present in both vegetative cells and bacterial spores. All of the sdAbs examined exhibited a high degree of specificity for the target bacterium and its spore, with affinities in the nanomolar range, and the ability to refold into functional antigen-binding molecules following several rounds of thermal denaturation and refolding. This research demonstrates the capabilities of these sdAbs and their potential for integration into current and developing assays and biosensors.

  2. New developments in vaccines, inhibitors of anthrax toxins, and antibiotic therapeutics for Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beierlein, J M; Anderson, A C

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent responsible for anthrax infections, poses a significant biodefense threat. There is a high mortality rate associated with untreated anthrax infections; specifically, inhalation anthrax is a particularly virulent form of infection with mortality rates close to 100%, even with aggressive treatment. Currently, a vaccine is not available to the general public and few antibiotics have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of inhalation anthrax. With the threat of natural or engineered bacterial resistance to antibiotics and the limited population for whom the current drugs are approved, there is a clear need for more effective treatments against this deadly infection. A comprehensive review of current research in drug discovery is presented in this article, including efforts to improve the purity and stability of vaccines, design inhibitors targeting the anthrax toxins, and identify inhibitors of novel enzyme targets. High resolution structural information for the anthrax toxins and several essential metabolic enzymes has played a significant role in aiding the structure-based design of potent and selective antibiotics.

  3. Evaluation of PCR Systems for Field Screening of Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozanich, Richard M.; Colburn, Heather A.; Victry, Kristin D.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Arce, Jennifer S.; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Jarman, Kristin; Kreuzer, Helen W.; Bruckner-Lea, Cynthia J.

    2017-02-01

    There is little published data on the performance of hand-portable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instruments that could be used by first responders to determine if a suspicious powder contains a potential biothreat agent. We evaluated five commercially available hand-portable PCR instruments for detection of Bacillus anthracis (Ba). We designed a cost-effective, statistically-based test plan that allows instruments to be evaluated at performance levels ranging from 0.85-0.95 lower confidence bound (LCB) on the probability of detection (POD) at confidence levels of 80-95%. We assessed specificity using purified genomic DNA from 13 Ba strains and 18 Bacillus near neighbors, interference with 22 common hoax powders encountered in the field, and PCR inhibition when Ba spores were spiked into these powders. Our results indicated that three of the five instruments achieved >0.95 LCB on the POD with 95% confidence at test concentrations of 2,000 genome equivalents/mL (comparable to 2,000 spores/mL), displaying more than sufficient sensitivity for screening suspicious powders. These instruments exhibited no false positive results or PCR inhibition with common hoax powders, and reliably detected Ba spores spiked into common hoax powders, though some issues with instrument controls were observed. Our testing approach enables efficient instrument performance testing to a statistically rigorous and cost-effective test plan to generate performance data that will allow users to make informed decisions regarding the purchase and use of biodetection equipment in the field.

  4. Measurements of the Ultraviolet Fluorescence Cross Sections and Spectra of Bacillus Anthracis Simulants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephens, J.R.

    1998-09-01

    Measurements of the ultraviolet autofluorescence spectra and absolute cross sections of the Bacillus anthracis (Ba) simulants Bacillus globigii (Bg), Bacillus megaterium (Bm), Bacillus subtilis (Bs), and Bacillus cereus (Bc) were measured. Fluorescence spectra and cross sections of pine pollen (Pina echinata) were measured for comparison. Both dried vegetative cells and spores separated from the sporulated vegetative material were studied. The spectra were obtained by suspending a small number (<10) of particles in air in our Single Particle Spectroscopy Apparatus (SPSA), illuminating the particles with light from a spectrally filtered arc lamp, and measuring the fluorescence spectra of the particles. The illumination was 280 nm (20 nm FWHM) and the fluorescence spectra was measured between 300 and 450 nm. The fluorescence cross section of vegetative Bg peaks at 320 nm with a maximum cross section of 5 X 10{sup -14} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle while the Bg spore fluorescence peaks at 310 nm with peak fluorescence of 8 X 10{sup -15} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle. Pine pollen particles showed a higher fluorescence peaking at 355 nm with a cross section of 1.7 X 10{sup -13} cm{sup 2}/sr-nm-particle. Integrated cross sections ranged from 3.0 X 10{sup -13} for the Bg spores through 2.25 X 10{sup -12} (cm{sup 2}/sr-particle) for the vegetative cells.

  5. Activities of different fluoroquinolones against Bacillus anthracis mutants selected in vitro and harboring topoisomerase mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grohs, Patrick; Podglajen, Isabelle; Gutmann, Laurent

    2004-08-01

    Three sets of mutants of Bacillus anthracis resistant to fluoroquinolones were selected on ciprofloxacin and moxifloxacin in a stepwise manner from a nalidixic acid-resistant but fluoroquinolone-susceptible plasmidless strain harboring a Ser85Leu GyrA mutation. A high level of resistance to fluoroquinolones could be obtained in four or five selection steps. In each case, ParC was the secondary target. However, in addition to the GyrA mutation, expression of high-level resistance required (i) in the first set of mutants, active drug efflux associated with a mutation in the QRDR of ParC; (ii) in the second set, two mutations in the QRDR of ParC associated with a mutation in GyrB; and (iii) in the third set, two QRDR mutations, one in ParC and one in GyrA. Interestingly, several selection steps occurred without obvious mutations in the QRDR of any topoisomerase, thereby implying the existence of other resistance mechanisms. Among the fluoroquinolones tested, garenoxacin showed the best activity.

  6. Structural analysis and evidence for dynamic emergence of Bacillus anthracis S-layer networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Delacroix, Hervé; Mignot, Tâm; Mesnage, Stéphane; Chami, Mohamed; Fouet, Agnès; Mosser, Gervaise

    2002-12-01

    Surface layers (S-layers), which form the outermost layers of many Bacteria and Archaea, consist of protein molecules arranged in two-dimensional crystalline arrays. Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, responsible for anthrax, synthesizes two abundant surface proteins: Sap and EA1. Regulatory studies showed that EA1 and Sap appear sequentially at the surface of the parental strain. Sap and EA1 can form arrays. The structural parameters of S-layers from mutant strains (EA1(-) and Sap(-)) were determined by computer image processing of electron micrographs of negatively stained regular S-layer fragments or deflated whole bacteria. Sap and EA1 projection maps were calculated on a p1 symmetry basis. The unit cell parameters of EA1 were a = 69 A, b = 83 A, and gamma = 106 degrees, while those of Sap were a = 184 A, b = 81 A, and gamma = 84 degrees. Freeze-etching experiments and the analysis of the peripheral regions of the cell suggested that the two S-layers have different settings. We characterized the settings of each network at different growth phases. Our data indicated that the scattered emergence of EA1 destabilizes the Sap S-layer.

  7. Rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dybwad, Marius; van der Laaken, Anton L; Blatny, Janet Martha; Paauw, Armand

    2013-09-01

    Rapid and reliable identification of Bacillus anthracis spores in suspicious powders is important to mitigate the safety risks and economic burdens associated with such incidents. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a rapid and reliable laboratory-based matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis method for identifying B. anthracis spores in suspicious powder samples. A reference library containing 22 different Bacillus sp. strains or hoax materials was constructed and coupled with a novel classification algorithm and standardized processing protocol for various powder samples. The method's limit of B. anthracis detection was determined to be 2.5 × 10(6) spores, equivalent to a 55-μg sample size of the crudest B. anthracis-containing powder discovered during the 2001 Amerithrax incidents. The end-to-end analysis method was able to successfully discriminate among samples containing B. anthracis spores, closely related Bacillus sp. spores, and commonly encountered hoax materials. No false-positive or -negative classifications of B. anthracis spores were observed, even when the analysis method was challenged with a wide range of other bacterial agents. The robustness of the method was demonstrated by analyzing samples (i) at an external facility using a different MALDI-TOF MS instrument, (ii) using an untrained operator, and (iii) using mixtures of Bacillus sp. spores and hoax materials. Taken together, the observed performance of the analysis method developed demonstrates its potential applicability as a rapid, specific, sensitive, robust, and cost-effective laboratory-based analysis tool for resolving incidents involving suspicious powders in less than 30 min.

  8. Multiplex PCR for species-level identification of Bacillus anthracis and detection of pXO1, pXO2, and related plasmids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riojas, Marco A; Kiss, Katalin; McKee, Marian L; Hazbón, Manzour Hernando

    2015-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 have critical implications for biosafety and select agent status. The proper identification and characterization of B. anthracis and its plasmid profile is important to the biodefense research community. Multiplex PCR was used to simultaneously detect a B. anthracis-specific chromosomal mutation, 4 targets distributed across pXO1, 3 targets distributed across pXO2, and highly conserved regions of the 16S gene, allowing an internal positive control for each sample. The multiplex PCR can produce as many as 9 easily separable and distinguishable amplicons, ranging in size from 188 to 555 bp. The PCR results were used to characterize DNA samples extracted from B. anthracis, other Bacillus species, and other bacterial species from many different genera. With the exception of 2 novel putative plasmids discovered, testing against inclusion and extensive exclusion panels showed 100% correlation to previously published and expected results. Upon testing 29 previously unpublished B. anthracis strains, 10 (34.5%) were pXO1(+)/pXO2(+), 9 (31.0%) were pXO1(+)/pXO2(-), 7 (24.1%) were pXO1(-)/pXO2(+), and 3 (10.3%) were pXO1(-)/pXO2(-). The present work presents a novel 9-target multiplex PCR assay capable of species-level identification of B. anthracis via a unique chromosomal marker and the detection of pXO1 and pXO2 via multiply redundant targets on each.

  9. Ecological Ethics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oughton, Deborah

    2013-01-01

    Deborah Oughton started with a view of the work in progress by the ICRP TG 94 on ethics, from the historical context and the principles-based ethics in RP, to continue with an overview of the ethical theories and with the main area of elaboration which concerns the common values, to conclude with considerations about the implementation in different area such as biomedicine, nuclear safety and workers, ecological aspects, and environmental health and society. By reading again the ICRP and IAEA publications on the ethical aspects in the protection of environment from the effects of ionizing radiation, the presentation covers the various and different cultures within the history of environmental ethics, the perception of Nature and the theories of environmental ethics, in particular by focusing on anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as philosophical worldwide views, and on conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, environmental justice and human dignity, as primary principles of environmental protection. The influence of western Christianity, with a view of man dominating over every creeping thing on earth, and of the non-western ideas, the human perception of Nature has been analyzed and discussed to conclude that, in reality then, the anthropocentrism, biocentrism and ecocentrism, as reflected in many cultures and religions, they all support the need to protect the environment and to recognise and preserve the diversity. Three challenges were then discussed in the presentation: the ecosystem approach and ecological economics, for example in the case of Fukushima by asking what is the economic cost of marine contamination; the ecosystem changes with attention to what harms, as in the case of the environment in the contaminated areas around Chernobyl; and the environmental consequences of remediation, which can be considered a source of controversy for environmental ethics and policy

  10. Rapid focused sequencing: a multiplexed assay for simultaneous detection and strain typing of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemary S Turingan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The intentional release of Bacillus anthracis in the United States in 2001 has heightened concern about the use of pathogenic microorganisms in bioterrorism attacks. Many of the deadliest bacteria, including the Class A Select Agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis, are highly infectious via the pulmonary route when released in aerosolized form. Hence, rapid, sensitive, and reliable methods for detection of these biothreats and characterization of their potential impact on the exposed population are of critical importance to initiate and support rapid military, public health, and clinical responses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have developed microfluidic multiplexed PCR and sequencing assays based on the simultaneous interrogation of three pathogens per assay and ten loci per pathogen. Microfluidic separation of amplified fluorescently labeled fragments generated characteristic electrophoretic signatures for identification of each agent. The three sets of primers allowed significant strain typing and discrimination from non-pathogenic closely-related species and environmental background strains based on amplicon sizes alone. Furthermore, sequencing of the 10 amplicons per pathogen, termed "Rapid Focused Sequencing," allowed an even greater degree of strain discrimination and, in some cases, can be used to determine virulence. Both amplification and sequencing assays were performed in microfluidic biochips developed for fast thermal cycling and requiring 7 µL per reaction. The 30-plex sequencing assay resulted in genotypic resolution of 84 representative strains belonging to each of the three biothreat species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The microfluidic multiplexed assays allowed identification and strain differentiation of the biothreat agents Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis, and Yersinia pestis and clear discrimination from closely-related species and several environmental

  11. Genotyping of Bacillus anthracis strains based on automated capillary 25-loci Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeats Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ciervo Alessandra

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genome of Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is highly monomorphic which makes differentiation between strains difficult. A Multiple Locus Variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR Analysis (MLVA assay based on 20 markers was previously described. It has considerable discrimination power, reproducibility, and low cost, especially since the markers proposed can be typed by agarose-gel electrophoresis. However in an emergency situation, faster genotyping and access to representative databases is necessary. Results Genotyping of B. anthracis reference strains and isolates from France and Italy was done using a 25 loci MLVA assay combining 21 previously described loci and 4 new ones. DNA was amplified in 4 multiplex PCR reactions and the length of the resulting 25 amplicons was estimated by automated capillary electrophoresis. The results were reproducible and the data were consistent with other gel based methods once differences in mobility patterns were taken into account. Some alleles previously unresolved by agarose gel electrophoresis could be resolved by capillary electrophoresis, thus further increasing the assay resolution. One particular locus, Bams30, is the result of a recombination between a 27 bp tandem repeat and a 9 bp tandem repeat. The analysis of the array illustrates the evolution process of tandem repeats. Conclusion In a crisis situation of suspected bioterrorism, standardization, speed and accuracy, together with the availability of reference typing data are important issues, as illustrated by the 2001 anthrax letters event. In this report we describe an upgrade of the previously published MLVA method for genotyping of B. anthracis and apply the method to the typing of French and Italian B. anthracis strain collections. The increased number of markers studied compared to reports using only 8 loci greatly improves the discrimination power of the technique. An Italian strain belonging to the

  12. A tandem repeats database for bacterial genomes: application to the genotyping of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denoeud France

    2001-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Some pathogenic bacteria are genetically very homogeneous, making strain discrimination difficult. In the last few years, tandem repeats have been increasingly recognized as markers of choice for genotyping a number of pathogens. The rapid evolution of these structures appears to contribute to the phenotypic flexibility of pathogens. The availability of whole-genome sequences has opened the way to the systematic evaluation of tandem repeats diversity and application to epidemiological studies. Results This report presents a database (http://minisatellites.u-psud.fr of tandem repeats from publicly available bacterial genomes which facilitates the identification and selection of tandem repeats. We illustrate the use of this database by the characterization of minisatellites from two important human pathogens, Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis. In order to avoid simple sequence contingency loci which may be of limited value as epidemiological markers, and to provide genotyping tools amenable to ordinary agarose gel electrophoresis, only tandem repeats with repeat units at least 9 bp long were evaluated. Yersinia pestis contains 64 such minisatellites in which the unit is repeated at least 7 times. An additional collection of 12 loci with at least 6 units, and a high internal conservation were also evaluated. Forty-nine are polymorphic among five Yersinia strains (twenty-five among three Y. pestis strains. Bacillus anthracis contains 30 comparable structures in which the unit is repeated at least 10 times. Half of these tandem repeats show polymorphism among the strains tested. Conclusions Analysis of the currently available bacterial genome sequences classifies Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis as having an average (approximately 30 per Mb density of tandem repeat arrays longer than 100 bp when compared to the other bacterial genomes analysed to date. In both cases, testing a fraction of these sequences for

  13. Ecological stability of landscape - ecological infrastructure - ecological management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The Field Workshop 'Ecological Stability of Landscape - Ecological Infrastructure - Ecological Management' was held within a State Environmental Programme financed by the Federal Committee for the Environment. The objectives of the workshop were to present Czech and Slovak approaches to the ecological stability of the landscape by means of examples of some case studies in the field, and to exchange ideas, theoretical knowledge and practical experience on implementing the concept of ecological infrastructure in landscape management. Out of 19 papers contained in the proceedings, 3 items were inputted to the INIS system. (Z.S.)

  14. Structural and functional characterization of microcin C resistance peptidase MccF from Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nocek, Boguslaw; Tikhonov, Anton; Babnigg, Gyorgy; Gu, Minyi; Zhou, Min; Makarova, Kira S; Vondenhoff, Gaston; Van Aerschot, Arthur; Kwon, Keehwan; Anderson, Wayne F; Severinov, Konstantin; Joachimiak, Andrzej

    2012-07-20

    Microcin C (McC) is heptapeptide adenylate antibiotic produced by Escherichia coli strains carrying the mccABCDEF gene cluster encoding enzymes, in addition to the heptapeptide structural gene mccA, necessary for McC biosynthesis and self-immunity of the producing cell. The heptapeptide facilitates McC transport into susceptible cells, where it is processed releasing a non-hydrolyzable aminoacyl adenylate that inhibits an essential aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. The self-immunity gene mccF encodes a specialized serine peptidase that cleaves an amide bond connecting the peptidyl or aminoacyl moieties of, respectively, intact and processed McC with the nucleotidyl moiety. Most mccF orthologs from organisms other than E. coli are not linked to the McC biosynthesis gene cluster. Here, we show that a protein product of one such gene, MccF from Bacillus anthracis (BaMccF), is able to cleave intact and processed McC, and we present a series of structures of this protein. Structural analysis of apo-BaMccF and its adenosine monophosphate complex reveals specific features of MccF-like peptidases that allow them to interact with substrates containing nucleotidyl moieties. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that several distinct subfamilies form the MccF clade of the large S66 family of bacterial serine peptidases. We show that various representatives of the MccF clade can specifically detoxify non-hydrolyzable aminoacyl adenylates differing in their aminoacyl moieties. We hypothesize that bacterial mccF genes serve as a source of bacterial antibiotic resistance. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Computational fluid dynamics modeling of Bacillus anthracis spore deposition in rabbit and human respiratory airways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabilan, S.; Suffield, S. R.; Recknagle, K. P.; Jacob, R. E.; Einstein, D. R.; Kuprat, A. P.; Carson, J. P.; Colby, S. M.; Saunders, J. H.; Hines, S. A.; Teeguarden, J. G.; Straub, T. M.; Moe, M.; Taft, S. C.; Corley, R. A.

    2016-09-01

    Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived respectively from computed tomography (CT) and µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation–exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. Two different exposure scenarios were modeled in the rabbit based upon experimental inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulations were conducted at the highest exposure concentration used during the rabbit experimental exposures. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Due to the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the nasal sinus compared to the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. In contrast, higher spore deposition was predicted in the lower conducting airways of the human compared to the rabbit lung due to differences in airway branching pattern. This information can be used to refine published and ongoing biokinetic models of inhalation anthrax spore exposures, which currently estimate deposited spore concentrations based solely upon exposure concentrations and inhaled doses that do not factor in species-specific anatomy and physiology for deposition.

  16. Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Bacillus anthracis Spore Deposition in Rabbit and Human Respiratory Airways

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kabilan, Senthil; Suffield, Sarah R.; Recknagle, Kurtis P.; Jacob, Rick E.; Einstein, Daniel R.; Kuprat, Andrew P.; Carson, James P.; Colby, Sean M.; Saunders, James H.; Hines, Stephanie; Teeguarden, Justin G.; Straub, Tim M.; Moe, M.; Taft, Sarah; Corley, Richard A.

    2016-09-30

    Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics and Lagrangian particle deposition models were developed to compare the deposition of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores in the respiratory airways of a human with that of the rabbit, a species commonly used in the study of anthrax disease. The respiratory airway geometries for each species were derived from computed tomography (CT) or µCT images. Both models encompassed airways that extended from the external nose to the lung with a total of 272 outlets in the human model and 2878 outlets in the rabbit model. All simulations of spore deposition were conducted under transient, inhalation-exhalation breathing conditions using average species-specific minute volumes. The highest exposure concentration was modeled in the rabbit based upon prior acute inhalation studies. For comparison, human simulation was also conducted at the same concentration. Results demonstrated that regional spore deposition patterns were sensitive to airway geometry and ventilation profiles. Due to the complex airway geometries in the rabbit nose, higher spore deposition efficiency was predicted in the upper conducting airways compared to the human at the same air concentration of anthrax spores. As a result, higher particle deposition was predicted in the conducting airways and deep lung of the human compared to the rabbit lung due to differences in airway branching pattern. This information can be used to refine published and ongoing biokinetic models of inhalation anthrax spore exposures, which currently estimate deposited spore concentrations based solely upon exposure concentrations and inhaled doses that do not factor in species-specific anatomy and physiology.

  17. Sound Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Duffy

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Discussions about what constitutes ‘the rural’ invariably focus on notions of spatial location – of inhabiting spaces apart from that of the metropolitan. Deeply embedded in our images of what it means to be Australian, nonetheless our intellectual framing of ‘the rural’ as something outback and beyond has significant implications for our relations with these spaces. The relatively recent phenomenon of sea- and tree-changes has struck many unawares, and not simply because a good latté is so hard to find. Although a frivolous remark, such an apparent lack does shift our focus to a bodily scale of the rural; how is rural place re/made through our experiences of it? This article originates out of on-going research that explores the practice of listening and sound and the ways in which the body can draw attention to the intuitive, emotional, and psychoanalytical processes of subjectivity and place-making. Drawing on Nigel Thrift’s concept of an ecology of place, I suggest that contemporary heightened concerns with regards to loss and lack in rural Australia has led to a nascent emotional economy – one in which individual and intimate connections to the rural require a rethinking of how we live community and belonging. In such a terrain, what does it mean to be rural?

  18. Sound ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duffy, Michelle

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Discussions about what constitutes ‘the rural’ invariably focus on notions of spatial location – of inhabiting spaces apart from that of the metropolitan. Deeply embedded in our images of what it means to be Australian, nonetheless our intellectual framing of ‘the rural’ as something outback and beyond has significant implications for our relations with these spaces. The relatively recent phenomenon of sea- and tree-changes has struck many unawares, and not simply because a good latté is so hard to find. Although a frivolous remark, such an apparent lack does shift our focus to a bodily scale of the rural; how is rural place re/made through our experiences of it? This article originates out of on-going research that explores the practice of listening and sound and the ways in which the body can draw attention to the intuitive, emotional, and psychoanalytical processes of subjectivity and place-making. Drawing on Nigel Thrift’s concept of an ecology of place, I suggest that contemporary heightened concerns with regards to loss and lack in rural Australia has led to a nascent emotional economy – one in which individual and intimate connections to the rural require a rethinking of how we live community and belonging. In such a terrain, what does it mean to be rural?

  19. Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and Modern Western Ecological ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Indigenous knowledge is often dismissed as 'traditional and outdated', and hence irrelevant to modern ecological assessment. This theoretical paper critically examines the arguments advanced to elevate modern western ecological knowledge over indigenous ecological knowledge, as well as the sources and uses of ...

  20. Human monoclonal antibodies against anthrax lethal factor and protective antigen act independently to protect against Bacillus anthracis infection and enhance endogenous immunity to anthrax

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albrecht, Mark T.; Li, Han; Williamson, E. Diane; LeButt, Chris S.; Flick-Smith, Helen C.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Westra, Hans; Galloway, Darrell; Mateczun, Alfred; Goldman, Stanley; Groen, Herman; Baillie, Les W. J.

    2007-01-01

    The unpredictable nature of bioterrorism and the absence of real-time detection systems have highlighted the need for an efficient postexposure therapy for Bacillus anthracis infection. One approach is passive immunization through the administration of antibodies that mitigate the biological action

  1. Characterization of the variable-number tandem repeats in vrrA from different Bacillus anthracis isolates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jackson, P.J.; Walthers, E.A.; Richmond, K.L. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)] [and others

    1997-04-01

    PCR analysis of 198 Bacillus anthracis isolates revealed a variable region of DNA sequence differing in length among the isolates. Five Polymorphisms differed by the presence Of two to six copies of the 12-bp tandem repeat 5{prime}-CAATATCAACAA-3{prime}. This variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) region is located within a larger sequence containing one complete open reading frame that encodes a putative 30-kDa protein. Length variation did not change the reading frame of the encoded protein and only changed the copy number of a 4-amino-acid sequence (QYQQ) from 2 to 6. The structure of the VNTR region suggests that these multiple repeats are generated by recombination or polymerase slippage. Protein structures predicted from the reverse-translated DNA sequence suggest that any structural changes in the encoded protein are confined to the region encoded by the VNTR sequence. Copy number differences in the VNTR region were used to define five different B. anthracis alleles. Characterization of 198 isolates revealed allele frequencies of 6.1, 17.7, 59.6, 5.6, and 11.1% sequentially from shorter to longer alleles. The high degree of polymorphism in the VNTR region provides a criterion for assigning isolates to five allelic categories. There is a correlation between categories and geographic distribution. Such molecular markers can be used to monitor the epidemiology of anthrax outbreaks in domestic and native herbivore populations. 22 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  2. Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) fuels the tricarboxylic acid cycle and de novo lipid biosynthesis during Bacillus anthracis sporulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadykov, Marat R; Ahn, Jong-Sam; Widhelm, Todd J; Eckrich, Valerie M; Endres, Jennifer L; Driks, Adam; Rutkowski, Gregory E; Wingerd, Kevin L; Bayles, Kenneth W

    2017-06-01

    Numerous bacteria accumulate poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) as an intracellular reservoir of carbon and energy in response to imbalanced nutritional conditions. In Bacillus spp., where PHB biosynthesis precedes the formation of the dormant cell type called the spore (sporulation), the direct link between PHB accumulation and efficiency of sporulation was observed in multiple studies. Although the idea of PHB as an intracellular carbon and energy source fueling sporulation was proposed several decades ago, the mechanisms underlying PHB contribution to sporulation have not been defined. Here, we demonstrate that PHB deficiency impairs Bacillus anthracis sporulation through diminishing the energy status of the cells and by reducing carbon flux into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and de novo lipid biosynthesis. Consequently, this metabolic imbalance decreased biosynthesis of the critical components required for spore integrity and resistance, such as dipicolinic acid (DPA) and the spore's inner membrane. Supplementation of the PHB deficient mutant with exogenous fatty acids overcame these sporulation defects, highlighting the importance of the TCA cycle and lipid biosynthesis during sporulation. Combined, the results of this work reveal the molecular mechanisms of PHB contribution to B. anthracis sporulation and provide valuable insight into the metabolic requirements for this developmental process in Bacillus species. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Molecular Basis for the Attachment of S-Layer Proteins to the Cell Wall of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sychantha, David; Chapman, Robert N; Bamford, Natalie C; Boons, Geert-Jan; Howell, P Lynne; Clarke, Anthony J

    2018-04-03

    Bacterial surface (S) layers are paracrystalline arrays of protein assembled on the bacterial cell wall that serve as protective barriers and scaffolds for housekeeping enzymes and virulence factors. The attachment of S-layer proteins to the cell walls of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato, which includes the pathogen Bacillus anthracis, occurs through noncovalent interactions between their S-layer homology domains and secondary cell wall polysaccharides. To promote these interactions, it is presumed that the terminal N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) residues of the secondary cell wall polysaccharides must be ketal-pyruvylated. For a few specific S-layer proteins, the O-acetylation of the penultimate N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is also required. Herein, we present the X-ray crystal structure of the SLH domain of the major surface array protein Sap from B. anthracis in complex with 4,6- O-ketal-pyruvyl-β-ManNAc-(1,4)-β-GlcNAc-(1,6)-α-GlcN. This structure reveals for the first time that the conserved terminal SCWP unit is the direct ligand for the SLH domain. Furthermore, we identify key binding interactions that account for the requirement of 4,6- O-ketal-pyruvyl-ManNAc while revealing the insignificance of the O-acetylation on the GlcNAc residue for recognition by Sap.

  4. Microevolution of Anthrax from a Young Ancestor (M.A.Y.A.) Suggests a Soil-Borne Life Cycle of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braun, Peter; Grass, Gregor; Aceti, Angela; Serrecchia, Luigina; Affuso, Alessia; Marino, Leonardo; Grimaldi, Stefania; Pagano, Stefania; Hanczaruk, Matthias; Georgi, Enrico; Northoff, Bernd; Schöler, Anne; Schloter, Michael; Antwerpen, Markus; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    During an anthrax outbreak at the Pollino National Park (Basilicata, Italy) in 2004, diseased cattle were buried and from these anthrax-foci Bacillus anthracis endospores still diffuse to the surface resulting in local accumulations. Recent data suggest that B. anthracis multiplies in soil outside the animal-host body. This notion is supported by the frequent isolation of B. anthracis from soil lacking one or both virulence plasmids. Such strains represent an evolutionary dead end, as they are likely no longer able to successfully infect new hosts. This loss of virulence plasmids is explained most simply by postulating a soil-borne life cycle of the pathogen. To test this hypothesis we investigated possible microevolution at two natural anthrax foci from the 2004 outbreak. If valid, then genotypes of strains isolated from near the surface at these foci should be on a different evolutionary trajectory from those below residing in deeper-laying horizons close to the carcass. Thus, the genetic diversity of B. anthracis isolates was compared conducting Progressive Hierarchical Resolving Assays using Nucleic Acids (PHRANA) and next generation Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). PHRANA was not discriminatory enough to resolve the fine genetic relationships between the isolates. Conversely, WGS of nine isolates from near-surface and nine from near-carcass revealed five isolate specific SNPs, four of which were found only in different near-surface isolates. In support of our hypothesis, one surface-isolate lacked plasmid pXO1 and also harbored one of the unique SNPs. Taken together, our results suggest a limited soil-borne life cycle of B. anthracis. PMID:26266934

  5. Identification of Bacillus anthracis by using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry and artificial neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasch, Peter; Beyer, Wolfgang; Nattermann, Herbert; Stämmler, Maren; Siegbrecht, Enrico; Grunow, Roland; Naumann, Dieter

    2009-11-01

    This report demonstrates the applicability of a combination of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) and chemometrics for rapid and reliable identification of vegetative cells of the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. Bacillus cultures were prepared under standardized conditions and inactivated according to a recently developed MS-compatible inactivation protocol for highly pathogenic microorganisms. MALDI-TOF MS was then employed to collect spectra from the microbial samples and to build up a database of bacterial reference spectra. This database comprised mass peak profiles of 374 strains from Bacillus and related genera, among them 102 strains of B. anthracis and 121 strains of B. cereus. The information contained in the database was investigated by means of visual inspection of gel view representations, univariate t tests for biomarker identification, unsupervised hierarchical clustering, and artificial neural networks (ANNs). Analysis of gel views and independent t tests suggested B. anthracis- and B. cereus group-specific signals. For example, mass spectra of B. anthracis exhibited discriminating biomarkers at 4,606, 5,413, and 6,679 Da. A systematic search in proteomic databases allowed tentative assignment of some of the biomarkers to ribosomal protein or small acid-soluble proteins. Multivariate pattern analysis by unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis further revealed a subproteome-based taxonomy of the genus Bacillus. Superior classification accuracy was achieved when supervised ANNs were employed. For the identification of B. anthracis, independent validation of optimized ANN models yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 100%.

  6. Failure of Sterne- and Pasteur-like strains of Bacillus anthracis to replicate and survive in the urban bluebottle blow fly Calliphora vicina under laboratory conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta von Terzi

    Full Text Available This study aimed to elucidate the bacteriological events occurring within the gut of Calliphora vicina, selected as the European representative of blow flies held responsible for the spread of anthrax during epidemics in certain parts of the world. Green-fluorescent-protein-carrying derivatives of Bacillus anthracis were used. These lacked either one of the virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2 and were infected, or not infected, with a worm intestine phage (Wip4 known to influence the phenotype and survival of the pathogen. Blood meals were prepared for the flies by inoculation of sheep blood with germinated and, in case of pXO2+ strains, encapsulated cells of the four B. anthracis strains. After being fed for 4 h an initial 10 flies were externally disinfected with peracetic acid to ensure subsequent quantitation representing ingested B. anthracis only. Following neutralization, they were crushed in sterile saline. Over each of the ensuing 7 to 10 days, 10 flies were removed and processed the same way. In the absence of Wip4, strains showed steady declines to undetectable in the total B. anthracis counts, within 7-9 days. With the phage infected strains, the falls in viable counts were significantly more rapid than in their uninfected counterparts. Spores were detectable in flies for longer periods than vegetative bacteria. In line with the findings in both biting and non-biting flies of early workers our results indicate that B. anthracis does not multiply in the guts of blow flies and survival is limited to a matter of days.

  7. CD4+ T cells targeting dominant and cryptic epitopes from Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eAscough

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is an endemic infection in many countries, particularly in the developing world. The causative agent, Bacillus anthracis, mediates disease through the secretion of binary exotoxins. Until recently, research into adaptive immunity targeting this bacterial pathogen has largely focused on the humoral response to these toxins. There is, however, growing recognition that cellular immune responses involving IFNγ producing CD4+ T cells also contribute significantly to a protective memory response. An established concept in adaptive immunity to infection is that during infection of host cells, new microbial epitopes may be revealed, leading to immune recognition of so called ‘cryptic’ or ‘subdominant’ epitopes. We analysed the response to both cryptic and immunodominant T cell epitopes derived from the toxin component lethal factor and presented by a range of HLA-DR alleles. Using IFNγ-ELISPOT assays we characterised epitopes that elicited a response following immunisation with synthetic peptide and the whole protein and tested their capacities to bind purified HLA-DR molecules in vitro. We found that DR1 transgenics demonstrated T cell responses to a greater number of domain III cryptic epitopes than other HLA-DR transgenics, and that this pattern was repeated with the immunodominant epitopes, a greater proportion of these epitopes induced a T cell response when presented within the context of the whole protein. Immunodominant epitopes LF457-476 and LF467-487 were found to induce a T cell response to the peptide, as well as to the whole native LF protein in DR1 and DR15, but not in DR4 trangenics. The analysis of Domain I revealed the presence of several unique cryptic epitopes all of which showed a strong to moderate relative binding affinity to HLA-DR4 molecules. However, none of the cryptic epitopes from either domain III or I displayed notably high binding affinities across all HLA-DR alleles assayed. These responses were

  8. Naturally acquired antibodies to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in vultures of southern Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. C.B. Turnbull

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available TURNBULLP, P.C.B. DIEKMANNM,M., KILIAN, J.W., VERSFELDW, W.,DE VOS, V., ARNTZENL, L.,WOLTER, K., BARTELS, P. & KOTZE, A. 2008.N aturally acquired antibodies to Bacillusa nthracisp rotective antigeni n vultureso f southern Africa. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, T5:95-102 Sera from 19 wild caught vultures in northern Namibia and 15 (12 wild caught and three captive bred but with minimal histories in North West Province, South Africa, were examined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbenats say( ELISAf or antibodiesto the Bacillus anthracis toxin protective antigen (PA. As assessed from the baseline established with a control group of ten captive reared vultures with well-documented histories, elevated titres were found in 12 of the 19 (63% wild caught Namibian birds as compared with none of the 15 South African ones. There was a highly significant difference between the Namibian group as a hole and the other groups (P 0.05. Numbers in the Namibian group were too small to determine any significances in species-, sex- or age-related differences within the raw data showing elevated titres in four out of six Cape Vultures, Gyps coprotheress, six out of ten Whitebacked Vultures, Gyps africanus, and one out of three Lappet-faced Vultures, Aegypiust racheliotus, or in five of six males versus three of seven females, and ten of 15 adults versus one of four juveniles. The results are in line with the available data on the incidence of anthrax in northern Namibia and South Africa and the likely contact of the vultures tested with anthrax carcasses. lt is not known whether elevated titre indicates infection per se in vultures or absorption of incompletely digested epitopes of the toxin or both. The results are discussed in relation to distances travelled by vultures as determined by new tracking techniques, how serology can reveal anthrax activity in an area and the issue of the role of vultures in transmission of anthrax.

  9. National validation study of a swab protocol for the recovery of Bacillus anthracis spores from surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, Lisa R; Rose, Laura J; O'Connell, Heather; Arduino, Matthew J

    2010-05-01

    Twelve Laboratory Response Network (LRN) affiliated laboratories participated in a validation study of a macrofoam swab protocol for the recovery, detection, and quantification of viable B. anthracis (BA) Sterne spores from steel surfaces. CDC personnel inoculated steel coupons (26cm(2)) with 1-4 log(10) BA spores and recovered them by sampling with pre-moistened macrofoam swabs. Phase 1 (P1) of the study evaluated swabs containing BA only, while dust and background organisms were added to swabs in Phase 2 (P2) to mimic environmental conditions. Laboratories processed swabs and enumerated spores by culturing eluted swab suspensions and counting colonies with morphology consistent with BA. Processed swabs were placed in enrichment broth, incubated 24h, and cultured by streaking for isolation. Real-time PCR was performed on selected colonies from P2 samples to confirm the identity of BA. Mean percent recovery (%R) of spores from the surface ranged from 15.8 to 31.0% (P1) and from 27.9 to 55.0% (P2). The highest mean percent recovery was 31.0% (sd 10.9%) for P1 (4 log(10) inoculum) and 55.0% (sd 27.6%) for P2 (1 log(10) inoculum). The overall %R was higher for P2 (44.6%) than P1 (24.1%), but the overall reproducibility (between-lab variability) was lower in P2 than in P1 (25.0 vs 16.5%CV, respectively). The overall precision (within-lab variability) was close to identical for P1 and P2 (44.0 and 44.1, respectively), but varied greatly between inoculum levels. The protocol demonstrated linearity in %R over the three inoculum levels and is able to detect between 26 and 5x10(6)spores/26cm(2). Sensitivity as determined by culture was >98.3% for both phases and all inocula, suggesting that the culture method maintains sensitivity in the presence of contaminants. The enrichment broth method alone was less sensitive for sampled swabs (66.4%) during P2, suggesting that the presence of background organisms inhibited growth or isolation of BA from the broth. The addition of

  10. Comparative genomics of Bacillus anthracis from the wool industry highlights polymorphisms of lineage A.Br.Vollum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Aguilar-Bultet, Lisandra; Frey, Joachim

    2016-12-01

    With the advent of affordable next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, major progress has been made in the understanding of the population structure and evolution of the B. anthracis species. Here we report the use of whole genome sequencing and computer-based comparative analyses to characterize six strains belonging to the A.Br.Vollum lineage. These strains were isolated in Switzerland, in 1981, during iterative cases of anthrax involving workers in a textile plant processing cashmere wool from the Indian subcontinent. We took advantage of the hundreds of currently available B. anthracis genomes in public databases, to investigate the genetic diversity existing within the A.Br.Vollum lineage and to position the six Swiss isolates into the worldwide B. anthracis phylogeny. Thirty additional genomes related to the A.Br.Vollum group were identified by whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis, including two strains forming a new evolutionary branch at the basis of the A.Br.Vollum lineage. This new phylogenetic lineage (termed A.Br.H9401) splits off the branch leading to the A.Br.Vollum group soon after its divergence to the other lineages of the major A clade (i.e. 6 SNPs). The available dataset of A.Br.Vollum genomes were resolved into 2 distinct groups. Isolates from the Swiss wool processing facility clustered together with two strains from Pakistan and one strain of unknown origin isolated from yarn. They were clearly differentiated (69 SNPs) from the twenty-five other A.Br.Vollum strains located on the branch leading to the terminal reference strain A0488 of the lineage. Novel analytic assays specific to these new subgroups were developed for the purpose of rapid molecular epidemiology. Whole genome SNP surveys greatly expand upon our knowledge on the sub-structure of the A.Br.Vollum lineage. Possible origin and route of spread of this lineage worldwide are discussed. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights

  11. A multiplex bead-based suspension array assay for interrogation of phylogenetically informative single nucleotide polymorphisms for Bacillus anthracis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thierry, Simon; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A.; Girault, Guillaume

    2013-01-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are abundant in genomes of all species and represent informative DNA markers extensively used to analyze phylogenetic relationships between strains. Medium to high throughput, open methodologies able to test many SNPs in a minimum time are therefore in great...... been modified and adapted for simultaneous interrogation of 13 biallelic canonical SNPs in a 13-plex assay. Changes made to the originally published method include the design of allele-specific dual-priming-oligonucleotides (DPOs) as competing detection probes (MOLigo probes) and use of asymmetric PCR...... laboratories. While cost-effective compared to other singleplex methods, the present MOL-PCR method offers a high degree of flexibility and scalability. It can easily accommodate newly identified SNPs to increase resolving power to the canSNP typing of B. anthracis....

  12. Gastric pH and Toxin Factors Modulate Infectivity and Disease Progression After Gastrointestinal Exposure to Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Tao; Rotstein, David; Sun, Chen; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M

    2017-12-12

    Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax is the most prevalent form of naturally acquired Bacillus anthracis infection, which is associated with exposure to vegetative bacteria in infected meat (carnivores) or to fermented rumen contents (herbivores). We assessed whether key host and pathogen factors modulate infectivity and progression of infection using a mouse model of GI infection. Gastric acid neutralization increases infectivity, but 30%-40% of mice succumb to infection without neutralization. Mice either fed or fasted before exposure showed similar infectivity rates. Finally, the pathogen's anthrax lethal factor is required to establish lethal infection, whereas its edema factor modulates progression and dissemination of infection. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  13. Evaluation of Immunoassays and General Biological Indicator Tests for Field Screening of Bacillus anthracis and Ricin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Arce, Jennifer S.; Engelmann, Heather E.; Heredia-Langner, Alejandro; Hofstad, Beth A.; Hutchison, Janine R.; Jarman, Kristin; Melville, Angela M.; Victry, Kristin D.; Bruckner-Lea, Cynthia J.

    2017-02-01

    The goal of this testing was to evaluate the ability of currently available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) biological indicator tests and immunoassays to detect Bacillus anthracis (Ba) spores and ricin. In general, immunoassays provide more specific identification of biological threats as compared to indicator tests [3]. Many of these detection products are widely used by first responders and other end users. In most cases, performance data for these instruments are supplied directly from the manufacturer, but have not been verified by an external, independent assessment [1]. Our test plan modules included assessments of inclusivity (ability to generate true positive results), commonly encountered hoax powders (which can cause potential interferences or false positives), and estimation of limit of detection (LOD) (sensitivity) testing.

  14. A strain-variable bacteriocin in Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus with repeated Cys-Xaa-Xaa motifs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haft Daniel H

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Bacteriocins are peptide antibiotics from ribosomally translated precursors, produced by bacteria often through extensive post-translational modification. Minimal sequence conservation, short gene lengths, and low complexity sequence can hinder bacteriocin identification, even during gene calling, so they are often discovered by proximity to accessory genes encoding maturation, immunity, and export functions. This work reports a new subfamily of putative thiazole-containing heterocyclic bacteriocins. It appears universal in all strains of Bacillus anthracis and B. cereus, but has gone unrecognized because it is always encoded far from its maturation protein operon. Patterns of insertions and deletions among twenty-four variants suggest a repeating functional unit of Cys-Xaa-Xaa. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Andrei Osterman and Lakshminarayan Iyer.

  15. Evaluation of New Dihydrophthalazine-Appended 2,4-Diaminopyrimidines against Bacillus anthracis: Improved Syntheses Using a New Pincer Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagendra Prasad Muddala

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The synthesis and evaluation of ten new dihydrophthalazine-appended 2,4-diaminopyrimidines as potential drugs to treat Bacillus anthracis is reported. An improved synthesis utilizing a new pincer catalyst, dichlorobis[1-(dicyclohexylphosphanyl-piperidine]palladium(II, allows the final Heck coupling to be performed at 90 °C using triethylamine as the base. These milder conditions have been used to achieve improved yields for new and previously reported substrates with functional groups that degrade or react at the normal 140 °C reaction temperature. An analytical protocol for separating the S and R enantiomers of two of the most active compounds is also disclosed. Finally, the X-ray structure for the most active enantiomer of the lead compound, (S-RAB1, is given.

  16. Baulamycins A and B, broad-spectrum antibiotics identified as inhibitors of siderophore biosynthesis in Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripathi, Ashootosh; Schofield, Michael M; Chlipala, George E; Schultz, Pamela J; Yim, Isaiah; Newmister, Sean A; Nusca, Tyler D; Scaglione, Jamie B; Hanna, Philip C; Tamayo-Castillo, Giselle; Sherman, David H

    2014-01-29

    Siderophores are high-affinity iron chelators produced by microorganisms and frequently contribute to the virulence of human pathogens. Targeted inhibition of the biosynthesis of siderophores staphyloferrin B of Staphylococcus aureus and petrobactin of Bacillus anthracis hold considerable potential as a single or combined treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and anthrax infection, respectively. The biosynthetic pathways for both siderophores involve a nonribosomal peptide synthetase independent siderophore (NIS) synthetase, including SbnE in staphyloferrin B and AsbA in petrobactin. In this study, we developed a biochemical assay specific for NIS synthetases to screen for inhibitors of SbnE and AsbA against a library of marine microbial-derived natural product extracts (NPEs). Analysis of the NPE derived from Streptomyces tempisquensis led to the isolation of the novel antibiotics baulamycins A (BmcA, 6) and B (BmcB, 7). BmcA and BmcB displayed in vitro activity with IC50 values of 4.8 μM and 19 μM against SbnE and 180 μM and 200 μM against AsbA, respectively. Kinetic analysis showed that the compounds function as reversible competitive enzyme inhibitors. Liquid culture studies with S. aureus , B. anthracis , E. coli , and several other bacterial pathogens demonstrated the capacity of these natural products to penetrate bacterial barriers and inhibit growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative species. These studies provide proof-of-concept that natural product inhibitors targeting siderophore virulence factors can provide access to novel broad-spectrum antibiotics, which may serve as important leads for the development of potent anti-infective agents.

  17. Ecologies of Learning, Ecologies of Creativity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, Helene

    in the light of the new Danish school reform. How can different learning institutions contribute to a “joint” ecology of learning? What would the benefits be from this in terms of young people’s literacies? On what theoretical basis can such an ecology and co-creation take place? And what kind of didactics...

  18. Bacteriophage - Mediated Micro Biome Manipulation: A Novel Venture in Fostering Infant Gut Health

    OpenAIRE

    Ebinesh A; Kailash T.V

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has been growing globally, posing threat to medical practice. Around this instance, environmental enteropathy remains one of the major causes of infant mortality. In the past few decades, great efforts have been laid to foster gut health. Efforts have been focused on understanding the role of exogenous factors such as sanitation, exclusive breast feeding, consumption of probiotic nutrition, etc. Antibiotics, while treating the disease successful...

  19. Forest Fire Ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucca, Carol; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Presents a model that integrates high school science with the needs of the local scientific community. Describes how a high school ecology class conducted scientific research in fire ecology that benefited the students and a state park forest ecologist. (MKR)

  20. Quantification of ecological debt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez Alier, Joan

    2005-01-01

    The discussion about ecological debt is important keeping in mind historical foreign trade, where natural resources exploitation and primary production exported didn't assessment the ecological damage or the environmental values of the interchange. This essay shows the debate of ecological debt on greenhouse emission, enterprise environmental debit, unequal international trade, toxic waste export, and b io piracy ; in order to present the necessity of a new ecological and equitable world economy

  1. Preliminary report for analysis of genome wide mutations from four ciprofloxacin resistant B. anthracis Sterne isolates generated by Illumina, 454 sequencing and microarrays for DHS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaing, Crystal [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Vergez, Lisa [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Hinckley, Aubree [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Thissen, James [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Gardner, Shea [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); McLoughlin, Kevin [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Jackson, Paul [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Ellingson, Sally [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Hauser, Loren [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Brettin, Tom [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Fofanov, Viacheslav [Eureka Genomics, Hercules, CA (United States); Koshinsky, Heather [Eureka Genomics, Hercules, CA (United States); Fofanov, Yuriy [Univ. of Houston, TX (United States)

    2011-06-21

    The objective of this project is to provide DHS a comprehensive evaluation of the current genomic technologies including genotyping, Taqman PCR, multiple locus variable tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), microarray and high-throughput DNA sequencing in the analysis of biothreat agents from complex environmental samples. As the result of a different DHS project, we have selected for and isolated a large number of ciprofloxacin resistant B. anthracis Sterne isolates. These isolates vary in the concentrations of ciprofloxacin that they can tolerate, suggesting multiple mutations in the samples. In collaboration with University of Houston, Eureka Genomics and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, we analyzed the ciprofloxacin resistant B. anthracis Sterne isolates by microarray hybridization, Illumina and Roche 454 sequencing to understand the error rates and sensitivity of the different methods. The report provides an assessment of the results and a complete set of all protocols used and all data generated along with information to interpret the protocols and data sets.

  2. Ecological restoration [book review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric J. Gustafson

    2010-01-01

    Ecological restoration has increased in prominence in recent years as environmental policies have slowed the rate of environmental degradation in many parts of the world and practitioners have looked for active ways to reverse the damage. Because of the vast number of types and contexts of degraded ecological systems, the field of ecological restoration is still very...

  3. Cloning and Expression of Fusion Genes of Domain A-1 Protective Antigen of Bacillus Anthracis and Shigella Enterotoxin B Subunit (Stxb In E. Coil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AH ahmadi

    2015-02-01

    Conclusion: The findings of the current study revealed that this antigen can be raised as an anti-cancer and recombinant vaccine candidate against types of Shigella, Escherichia coli and Bacillus anthracis which can be due to such factors as identification of antigen(PA by antibody PA20, its apoptosis induction properties, property of immunogenicity, adjuvant and delivery of STxB protein and high expression levels of Gb3 in human cancer cells.

  4. Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometric Analysis of Bacillus anthracis: From Fingerprint Analysis of the Bacterium to Quantification of its Toxins in Clinical Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolfitt, Adrian R.; Boyer, Anne E.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Kozel, Thomas R.; de, Barun K.; Gallegos, Maribel; Moura, Hercules; Pirkle, James L.; Barr, John R.

    A range of mass spectrometry-based techniques have been used to identify, characterize and differentiate Bacillus anthracis, both in culture for forensic applications and for diagnosis during infection. This range of techniques could usefully be considered to exist as a continuum, based on the degrees of specificity involved. We show two examples here, a whole-organism fingerprinting method and a high-specificity assay for one unique protein, anthrax lethal factor.

  5. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Direct in-situ Analysis of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Youngsu; Lee, Jonghee; Kim, Seongsoo [Agency for Defense Development, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-09-15

    The rapid and accurate identification of biological agents is a critical step in the case of bio-terror and biological warfare attacks. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been widely used for the identification of microorganisms. In this study, we describe a method for the rapid and accurate discrimination of Bacillus anthracis spores using MALDI-TOF MS. Our direct in-situ analysis of MALDI-TOF MS does not involve subsequent high-resolution mass analyses and sample preparation steps. This method allowed the detection of species-specific biomarkers from each Bacillus spores. Especially, B. anthracis spores had specific biomarker peaks at 2503, 3089, 3376, 6684, 6698, 6753, and 6840 m/z. Cluster and PCA analyses of the mass spectra of Bacillus spores revealed distinctively separated clusters and within-groups similarity. Therefore, we believe that this method is effective in the real-time identification of biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis as well as other microorganisms in the field.

  6. Discrimination of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Direct in-situ Analysis of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Youngsu; Lee, Jonghee; Kim, Seongsoo

    2013-01-01

    The rapid and accurate identification of biological agents is a critical step in the case of bio-terror and biological warfare attacks. Recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry has been widely used for the identification of microorganisms. In this study, we describe a method for the rapid and accurate discrimination of Bacillus anthracis spores using MALDI-TOF MS. Our direct in-situ analysis of MALDI-TOF MS does not involve subsequent high-resolution mass analyses and sample preparation steps. This method allowed the detection of species-specific biomarkers from each Bacillus spores. Especially, B. anthracis spores had specific biomarker peaks at 2503, 3089, 3376, 6684, 6698, 6753, and 6840 m/z. Cluster and PCA analyses of the mass spectra of Bacillus spores revealed distinctively separated clusters and within-groups similarity. Therefore, we believe that this method is effective in the real-time identification of biological warfare agents such as B. anthracis as well as other microorganisms in the field

  7. Comprehensive Laboratory Evaluation of a Highly Specific Lateral Flow Assay for the Presumptive Identification of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Suspicious White Powders and Environmental Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramage, Jason G; Prentice, Kristin W; DePalma, Lindsay; Venkateswaran, Kodumudi S; Chivukula, Sruti; Chapman, Carol; Bell, Melissa; Datta, Shomik; Singh, Ajay; Hoffmaster, Alex; Sarwar, Jawad; Parameswaran, Nishanth; Joshi, Mrinmayi; Thirunavkkarasu, Nagarajan; Krishnan, Viswanathan; Morse, Stephen; Avila, Julie R; Sharma, Shashi; Estacio, Peter L; Stanker, Larry; Hodge, David R; Pillai, Segaran P

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a comprehensive, multiphase laboratory evaluation of the Anthrax BioThreat Alert(®) test strip, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) for the rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The study, conducted at 2 sites, evaluated this assay for the detection of spores from the Ames and Sterne strains of B. anthracis, as well as those from an additional 22 strains. Phylogenetic near neighbors, environmental background organisms, white powders, and environmental samples were also tested. The Anthrax LFA demonstrated a limit of detection of about 10(6) spores/mL (ca. 1.5 × 10(5) spores/assay). In this study, overall sensitivity of the LFA was 99.3%, and the specificity was 98.6%. The results indicated that the specificity, sensitivity, limit of detection, dynamic range, and repeatability of the assay support its use in the field for the purpose of qualitatively evaluating suspicious white powders and environmental samples for the presumptive presence of B. anthracis spores.

  8. Rapid detection method for Bacillus anthracis using a combination of multiplexed real-time PCR and pyrosequencing and its application for food biodefense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janzen, Timothy W; Thomas, Matthew C; Goji, Noriko; Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Amoako, Kingsley K

    2015-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has the capacity to form highly resilient spores as part of its life cycle. The potential for the dissemination of these spores using food as a vehicle is a huge public health concern and, hence, requires the development of a foodborne bioterrorism response approach. In this work, we address a critical gap in food biodefense by presenting a novel, combined, sequential method involving the use of real-time PCR and pyrosequencing for the rapid, specific detection of B. anthracis spores in three food matrices: milk, apple juice, and bottled water. The food samples were experimentally inoculated with 40 CFU ml(-1), and DNA was extracted from the spores and analyzed after immunomagnetic separation. Applying the combination of multiplex real-time PCR and pyrosequencing, we successfully detected the presence of targets on both of the virulence plasmids and the chromosome. The results showed that DNA amplicons generated from a five-target multiplexed real-time PCR detection using biotin-labeled primers can be used for single-plex pyrosequencing detection. The combined use of multiplexed real-time PCR and pyrosequencing is a novel, rapid detection method for B. anthracis from food and provides a tool for accurate, quantitative identification with potential biodefense applications.

  9. Structures of an alanine racemase from Bacillus anthracis (BA0252) in the presence and absence of (R)-1-aminoethylphosphonic acid (l-Ala-P)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Au, Kinfai; Ren, Jingshan; Walter, Thomas S.; Harlos, Karl; Nettleship, Joanne E.; Owens, Raymond J.; Stuart, David I.; Esnouf, Robert M.

    2008-01-01

    Structures of BA0252, an alanine racemase from B. anthracis, in the presence and absence of the inhibitor (R)-1-aminoethylphosphonic acid (l-Ala-P) and determined by X-ray crystallography to resolutions of 2.1 and 1.47 Å, respectively, are described. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been targeted by the Oxford Protein Production Facility to validate high-throughput protocols within the Structural Proteomics in Europe project. As part of this work, the structures of an alanine racemase (BA0252) in the presence and absence of the inhibitor (R)-1-aminoethylphosphonic acid (l-Ala-P) have determined by X-ray crystallo@@graphy to resolutions of 2.1 and 1.47 Å, respectively. Difficulties in crystallizing this protein were overcome by the use of reductive methylation. Alanine racemase has attracted much interest as a possible target for anti-anthrax drugs: not only is d-alanine a vital component of the bacterial cell wall, but recent studies also indicate that alanine racemase, which is accessible in the exosporium, plays a key role in inhibition of germination in B. anthracis. These structures confirm the binding mode of l-Ala-P but suggest an unexpected mechanism of inhibition of alanine racemase by this compound and could provide a basis for the design of improved alanine racemase inhibitors with potential as anti-anthrax therapies

  10. Philosophy of ecology

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Bryson; Peacock, Kent A

    2011-01-01

    The most pressing problems facing humanity today - over-population, energy shortages, climate change, soil erosion, species extinctions, the risk of epidemic disease, the threat of warfare that could destroy all the hard-won gains of civilization, and even the recent fibrillations of the stock market - are all ecological or have a large ecological component. in this volume philosophers turn their attention to understanding the science of ecology and its huge implications for the human project. To get the application of ecology to policy or other practical concerns right, humanity needs a clear and disinterested philosophical understanding of ecology which can help identify the practical lessons of science. Conversely, the urgent practical demands humanity faces today cannot help but direct scientific and philosophical investigation toward the basis of those ecological challenges that threaten human survival. This book will help to fuel the timely renaissance of interest in philosophy of ecology that is now oc...

  11. Using ecological production functions to link ecological ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological production functions (EPFs) link ecosystems, stressors, and management actions to ecosystem services (ES) production. Although EPFs are acknowledged as being essential to improve environmental management, their use in ecological risk assessment has received relatively little attention. Ecological production functions may be defined as usable expressions (i.e., models) of the processes by which ecosystems produce ES, often including external influences on those processes. We identify key attributes of EPFs and discuss both actual and idealized examples of their use to inform decision making. Whenever possible, EPFs should estimate final, rather than intermediate, ES. Although various types of EPFs have been developed, we suggest that EPFs are more useful for decision making if they quantify ES outcomes, respond to ecosystem condition, respond to stressor levels or management scenarios, reflect ecological complexity, rely on data with broad coverage, have performed well previously, are practical to use, and are open and transparent. In an example using pesticides, we illustrate how EPFs with these attributes could enable the inclusion of ES in ecological risk assessment. The biggest challenges to ES inclusion are limited data sets that are easily adapted for use in modeling EPFs and generally poor understanding of linkages among ecological components and the processes that ultimately deliver the ES. We conclude by advocating for the incorporation into E

  12. [Development and comparative evaluation of up-converting phosphor technology based lateral flow assay for rapid detection of Yersinia pestis, Bacillus anthracis spore and Brucella spp].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chunfeng; Zhang, Pingping; Wang, Xiaoying; Liu, Xiao; Zhao, Yong; Sun, Chongyun; Wang, Chengbin; Yang, Ruifu; Zhou, Lei

    2015-01-01

    To develop an up-converting phosphor technology based lateral flow (UPT-LF) assay for rapid and quantitative detection of Yersinia pestis, Bacillus anthracis spore and Brucella spp.and make the comparison with BioThreat Alert (BTA) test strips (Tetracore Inc., USA). Using up-converting phosphor nano-particles (UCP-NPs) as the bio-marker, three double-antibody-sandwich model based UPT-LF strips including Plague-UPT-LF, Anthrax-UPT-LF, Brucella-UPT-LF were prepared and its sensitivity, accuracy, linearity and specificity were determined by detecting 10(10), 10(9), 10(8), 10(7), 10(6), 10(5) and 0 CFU/ml series of concentrations of Y.pestis, B.anthracis, Brucella standards and other 27 kinds of 10(9) CFU/ml series of contrations of bacteria strains.Furthermore, the speed, sensitivity and accuracy of bacteria standards and simulated sample detection were compared between UPT-LF and BTA system. The detection limit of Plague-UPT-LF, Anthrax-UPT-LF and Brucella-LF was 10(5) CFU/ml. The CV of series of bacteria concentrations was ≤ 15%, and the r between lg (T/C-cut-off) and lg (concentration) was 0.996,0.998 and 0.999 (F values were 1 647.57, 743.51 and 1 822.17. All the P values were Brucella-LF were excellent, while that of Anthrax-UPT-LF was a little bit regretful because of non-specific reaction with two isolates of B. subtilis and one B.cereus. On-site evaluation showed the detection time of UPT-LF for all Y.pestis, B.anthracis spore and Brucella spp.was 33, 36 and 37 min, while BTA was 115, 115 and 111 min, which revealed the higher detection speed and sensitivity of UPT-LF comparing with BTA. The negative rate of two methods for blank standard was both 5/5, the sensitivity of UPT-LF for Y.pestis,B.anthracis spore and Brucella spp. was all 10(5) CFU/ml, then BTA was 10(6), 10(6) and 10(5) CFU/ml, respectively. The detection rate of UPT-LF for all three bacteria analog positive samples was 16/16, while BTA for B.anthracis was 7/16 only. The good performance

  13. Characterization of the N-Acetyl-[alpha]-d-glucosaminyl l-Malate Synthase and Deacetylase Functions for Bacillithiol Biosynthesis in Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parsonage, Derek; Newton, Gerald L.; Holder, Robert C.; Wallace, Bret D.; Paige, Carleitta; Hamilton, Chris J.; Dos Santos, Patricia C.; Redinbo, Matthew R.; Reid, Sean D.; Claiborne, Al (Wake Forest); (UNC); (East Anglia); (UCSD)

    2012-02-21

    Bacillithiol (Cys-GlcN-malate, BSH) has recently been identified as a novel low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, Staphylococcus aureus, and several other Gram-positive bacteria lacking glutathione and mycothiol. We have now characterized the first two enzymes for the BSH biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis, which combine to produce {alpha}-D-glucosaminyl L-malate (GlcN-malate) from UDP-GlcNAc and L-malate. The structure of the GlcNAc-malate intermediate has been determined, as have the kinetic parameters for the BaBshA glycosyltransferase ({yields}GlcNAc-malate) and the BaBshB deacetylase ({yields}GlcN-malate). BSH is one of only two natural products reported to contain a malyl glycoside, and the crystal structure of the BaBshA-UDP-malate ternary complex, determined in this work at 3.3 {angstrom} resolution, identifies several active-site interactions important for the specific recognition of L-malate, but not other {alpha}-hydroxy acids, as the acceptor substrate. In sharp contrast to the structures reported for the GlcNAc-1-D-myo-inositol-3-phosphate synthase (MshA) apo and ternary complex forms, there is no major conformational change observed in the structures of the corresponding BaBshA forms. A mutant strain of B. anthracis deficient in the BshA glycosyltransferase fails to produce BSH, as predicted. This B. anthracis bshA locus (BA1558) has been identified in a transposon-site hybridization study as required for growth, sporulation, or germination [Day, W. A., Jr., Rasmussen, S. L., Carpenter, B. M., Peterson, S. N., and Friedlander, A. M. (2007) J. Bacteriol. 189, 3296-3301], suggesting that the biosynthesis of BSH could represent a target for the development of novel antimicrobials with broad-spectrum activity against Gram-positive pathogens like B. anthracis. The metabolites that function in thiol redox buffering and homeostasis in Bacillus are not well understood, and we present a composite picture based on this and other recent work.

  14. The ecological economics: An ecological economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castiblanco R, Carmenza

    2007-01-01

    Ecological Economics arise as a scientific discipline aimed to integrate concepts of economics, ecology, thermodynamics, ethic and other natural and social sciences in order to incorporate a biophysical and integrated perspective of the inter dependences between economies and environment, from a plural conception and a methodology beyond disciplines. Ecological Economics studies the black box of economic processes usually excluded of the traditional economics: thermodynamics and ecology. Although it is relatively a new field of study, it has been strengthening its theoretical framework with scientific basis and analytic principles that lead to its identification as a new discipline that show a whole new paradigm. The scope of this article is to show the conceptual and methodological bases, the main founders, approaches and central debates of this new discipline. This brief introduction is a preamble to the papers of the meeting Ecological Economics: a perspective for Colombia included in this number, that took place on September 22 - 27 of 2007, at the National University of Colombia at Bogota. During tree days national and international experts, professors, researchers, workers of environmental sector and people interested on environmental issues joined together to know the conceptual and methodological achievements reached of this discipline; as well as to analyse and evaluate the environmental problems of the country, from the systemic, interdisciplinary and general perspective that it promotes

  15. Development of Ecological Buildings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrius Keizikas

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The article presents research on ecological buildings and their influence on the constructional sphere. The aim of the paper is to reveal the essence of ecological architecture showing substantial progress and its potential to stimulate architectural and technological growth. The article also describes relations between the ideas of ecological buildings and the ‘passive house’ concepts and aspects of development as well as describes the possibilities of improving building sustainability and energy efficiency. Article in Lithuanian

  16. Ecological risk assessment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Suter, Glenn W; Barnthouse, L. W. (Lawrence W)

    2007-01-01

    Ecological risk assessment is commonly applied to the regulation of chemicals, the remediation of contaminated sites, the monitoring of importation of exotic organisms, the management of watersheds...

  17. Differential Binding of Co(II) and Zn(II) to Metallo-beta-Lactamase Bla2 from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hawk, M.; Breece, R; Hajdin, C; Bender, K; Hu, Z; Costello, A; Bennett, B; Tierney, D; Crowder, M

    2009-01-01

    In an effort to probe the structure, mechanism, and biochemical properties of metallo-{beta}-lactamase Bla2 from Bacillus anthracis, the enzyme was overexpressed, purified, and characterized. Metal analyses demonstrated that recombinant Bla2 tightly binds 1 equiv of Zn(II). Steady-state kinetic studies showed that mono-Zn(II) Bla2 (1Zn-Bla2) is active, while di-Zn(II) Bla2 (ZnZn-Bla2) was unstable. Catalytically, 1Zn-Bla2 behaves like the related enzymes CcrA and L1. In contrast, di-Co(II) Bla2 (CoCo-Bla2) is substantially more active than the mono-Co(II) analogue. Rapid kinetics and UV-vis, 1H NMR, EPR, and EXAFS spectroscopic studies show that Co(II) binding to Bla2 is distributed, while EXAFS shows that Zn(II) binding is sequential. To our knowledge, this is the first documented example of a Zn enzyme that binds Co(II) and Zn(II) via distinct mechanisms, underscoring the need to demonstrate transferability when extrapolating results on Co(II)-substituted proteins to the native Zn(II)-containing forms.

  18. Biochemical and Structural Analysis of an Eis Family Aminoglycoside Acetyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Green, Keith D.; Biswas, Tapan; Chang, Changsoo; Wu, Ruiying; Chen, Wenjing; Janes, Brian K.; Chalupska, Dominika; Gornicki, Piotr; Hanna, Philip C.; Tsodikov, Oleg V.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Garneau-Tsodikova, Sylvie

    2015-05-26

    Proteins from the enhanced intracellular survival (Eis) family are versatile acetyltransferases that acetylate amines at multiple positions of several aminoglycosides (AGs). Their upregulation confers drug resistance. Homologues of Eis are present in diverse bacteria, including many pathogens. Eis from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Eis_Mtb) has been well characterized. In this study, we explored the AG specificity and catalytic efficiency of the Eis family protein from Bacillus anthracis (Eis_Ban). Kinetic analysis of specificity and catalytic efficiency of acetylation of six AGs indicates that Eis_Ban displays significant differences from Eis_Mtb in both substrate binding and catalytic efficiency. The number of acetylated amines was also different for several AGs, indicating a distinct regiospecificity of Eis_Ban. Furthermore, most recently identified inhibitors of Eis_Mtb did not inhibit Eis_Ban, underscoring the differences between these two enzymes. To explain these differences, we determined an Eis_Ban crystal structure. The comparison of the crystal structures of Eis_Ban and Eis_Mtb demonstrates that critical residues lining their respective substrate binding pockets differ substantially, explaining their distinct specificities. Our results suggest that acetyltransferases of the Eis family evolved divergently to garner distinct specificities while conserving catalytic efficiency, possibly to counter distinct chemical challenges. The unique specificity features of these enzymes can be utilized as tools for developing AGs with novel modifications and help guide specific AG treatments to avoid Eis-mediated resistance.

  19. BLACK-BACKED JACKAL EXPOSURE TO RABIES VIRUS, CANINE DISTEMPER VIRUS, AND BACILLUS ANTHRACIS IN ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK, NAMIBIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellan, Steve E.; Cizauskas, Carrie A.; Miyen, Jacobeth; Ebersohn, Karen; Küsters, Martina; Prager, Katie; Van Vuuren, Moritz; Sabeta, Claude; Getz, Wayne M.

    2017-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) and rabies virus (RABV) occur worldwide in wild carnivore and domestic dog populations and pose threats to wildlife conservation and public health. In Etosha National Park (ENP), Namibia, anthrax is endemic and generates carcasses frequently fed on by an unusually dense population of black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas). Using serology and phylogenetic analyses (on samples obtained from February, 2009 to July, 2010), and historical mortality records (1975–2011), we assessed jackal exposure to Bacillus anthracis (BA; the causal bacterial agent of anthrax), CDV, and RABV. Seroprevalence to all three pathogens was relatively high with 95% (n = 86), 73% (n = 86), and 9% (n = 81) of jackals exhibiting antibodies to BA, CDV, and RABV, respectively. Exposure to BA, as assessed with an anti-Protective Antigen ELISA test, increased significantly with age and all animals >1 yr old tested positive. Seroprevalence of exposure to CDV also increased significantly with age, with similar age-specific trends during both years of the study. No significant effect of age was found on RABV seroprevalence. Three of the seven animals exhibiting immunity to RABV were monitored for more than one year after sampling and did not succumb to the disease. Mortality records revealed that rabid animals are destroyed nearly every year inside the ENP tourist camps. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that jackal RABV in ENP is part of the same transmission cycle as other dog-jackal RABV cycles in Namibia. PMID:22493112

  20. Effect of Phosphate Ion on the Structure of Lumazine Synthase, an Antigen Presentation System From Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yangjie; Wahome, Newton; Kumar, Prashant; Whitaker, Neal; Picking, Wendy L; Middaugh, C Russell

    2018-03-01

    Lumazine synthase (LS) is an oligomeric enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of riboflavin in microorganisms, fungi, and plants. LS has become of significant interest to biomedical science because of its critical biological role and attractive structural properties for antigen presentation in vaccines. LS derived from Bacillus anthracis (BaLS) consists of 60 identical subunits forming an icosahedron. Its crystal structure has been solved, but its dynamic conformational properties have not yet been studied. We investigated the conformation of BaLS in response to different stress conditions (e.g., chemical denaturants, pH, and temperature) using a variety of biophysical techniques. The physical basis for these thermal transitions was studied, indicating that a molten globular state was present during chemical unfolding by guanidine HCl. In addition, BaLS showed 2 distinct thermal transitions in phosphate-containing buffers. The first transition was due to the dissociation of phosphate ions from BaLS and the second one came from the dissociation and conformational alteration of its icosahedral structure. A small conformational alteration was induced by the binding/dissociation of phosphate ions to BaLS. This work provides a closer view of the conformational behavior of BaLS and provides important information for the formulation of vaccines which use this protein. Copyright © 2018 American Pharmacists Association®. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Black-backed jackal exposure to rabies virus, canine distemper virus, and Bacillus anthracis in Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellan, Steve E; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Miyen, Jacobeth; Ebersohn, Karen; Küsters, Martina; Prager, K C; Van Vuuren, Moritz; Sabeta, Claude; Getz, Wayne M

    2012-04-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) and rabies virus (RABV) occur worldwide in wild carnivore and domestic dog populations and pose threats to wildlife conservation and public health. In Etosha National Park (ENP), Namibia, anthrax is endemic and generates carcasses frequently fed on by an unusually dense population of black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas). Using serology, phylogenetic analyses (on samples obtained from February 2009-July 2010), and historical mortality records (1975-2011), we assessed jackal exposure to Bacillus anthracis (BA; the causal bacterial agent of anthrax), CDV, and RABV. Prevalence of antibodies against BA (95%, n = 86) and CDV (71%, n = 80) was relatively high, while that of antibodies against RABV was low (9%, n = 81). Exposure to BA increased significantly with age, and all animals >6 mo old were antibody-positive. As with BA, prevalence of antibodies against CDV increased significantly with age, with similar age-specific trends during both years of the study. No significant effect of age was found on the prevalence of antibodies against RABV. Three of the seven animals with antibodies against RABV were monitored for more than 1 yr after sampling and showed no signs of active infection. Mortality records revealed that rabid animals are destroyed nearly every year inside the ENP tourist camps. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that jackal RABV in ENP is part of the same transmission cycle as other dog-jackal RABV cycles in Namibia.

  2. Constant domains influence binding of mouse–human chimeric antibodies to the capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Mark A; Thorkildson, Peter; Kozel, Thomas R; AuCoin, David P

    2013-01-01

    Our laboratory previously described the binding characteristics of the murine IgG3 monoclonal antibody (MuAb) F26G3. This antibody binds the poly-glutamic acid capsule (PGA) of Bacillus anthracis, an essential virulence factor in the progression of anthrax. F26G3 IgG3 MuAb binds PGA with a relatively high functional affinity (10 nM), produces a distinct “rim” quellung reaction, and is protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. This study engineered an IgG subclass family of F26G3 mouse–human chimeric antibodies (ChAb). The F26G3 ChAbs displayed 9- to 20-fold decreases in functional affinity, as compared with the parent IgG3 MuAb. Additionally, the quellung reactions that were produced by the ChAbs all differed from the parent IgG3 MuAb in that they appeared “puffy” in nature. This study demonstrates that human constant domains may influence multiple facets of antibody binding to microbial capsular antigens despite their spatial separation from the traditional antigen-binding site. PMID:23863605

  3. Stereo-selective binding of monoclonal antibodies to the poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsular antigen of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Mark A; Thorkildson, Peter; Welch, William H; Kozel, Thomas R

    2013-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is surrounded by an anti-phagocytic capsule that is entirely composed of γ-linked D-glutamic acid (γDPGA). γDPGA is required for virulence and is produced in large quantities following spore germination. We have previously described the isolation of several γDPGA-reactive mAbs. The reagents are effective in both immunoprotection and diagnostic applications. The current work was done to further investigate the specificity of γDPGA-reactive mAbs. The specificity of each mAb was characterized using surface plasmon resonance. Our results indicate that each mAb is stereoselective for binding to D-glutamic acid oligomers, but to varying degrees. In particular, mAb F26G3 is highly selective for γDPGA; alterations in stereochemistry disrupted recognition. These differences in mAb reactivity suggest that binding of γDPGA by mAb F26G3 is more specific than non-directional ionic interactions between a negatively charged antigen and a positively charged antibody. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Constant domains influence binding of mouse-human chimeric antibodies to the capsular polypeptide of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubbard, Mark A; Thorkildson, Peter; Kozel, Thomas R; AuCoin, David P

    2013-08-15

    Our laboratory previously described the binding characteristics of the murine IgG3 monoclonal antibody (MuAb) F26G3. This antibody binds the poly-glutamic acid capsule (PGA) of Bacillus anthracis, an essential virulence factor in the progression of anthrax. F26G3 IgG3 MuAb binds PGA with a relatively high functional affinity (10 nM), produces a distinct "rim" quellung reaction, and is protective in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax. This study engineered an IgG subclass family of F26G3 mouse-human chimeric antibodies (ChAb). The F26G3 ChAbs displayed 9- to 20-fold decreases in functional affinity, as compared with the parent IgG3 MuAb. Additionally, the quellung reactions that were produced by the ChAbs all differed from the parent IgG3 MuAb in that they appeared "puffy" in nature. This study demonstrates that human constant domains may influence multiple facets of antibody binding to microbial capsular antigens despite their spatial separation from the traditional antigen-binding site.

  5. CAREERS IN ECOLOGY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many non-scientists treat "ecology" and "environmentalism" as roughly interchangeable words, thus the word "ecologist" commonly has come to signify a particular part of the political spectrum. As used in the scientific community and in this presentation, however, ecology is loos...

  6. Children's Ecology Books.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lussenhop, Martha

    Selected for this listing of children's books are fiction and non-fiction books which add to an understanding of ecology, broadly considered here as the study of the interrelationships of organisms to each other and their environment. General ecology, natural resources, man and his environment, evolution and adaptation, appreciation, survival,…

  7. Dynamics in artifact ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bødker, Susanne; Klokmose, Clemens Nylandsted

    2012-01-01

    artifacts influence the use of others. Understanding this interplay becomes more and more essential for interaction design as our artifact ecologies grow. This paper continues a recent discourse on artifact ecologies. Through interviews with iPhone users, we demonstrate that relationships between artifacts...

  8. Complex adaptive systems ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommerlund, Julie

    2003-01-01

    In the following, I will analyze two articles called Complex Adaptive Systems EcologyI & II (Molin & Molin, 1997 & 2000). The CASE-articles are some of the more quirkyarticles that have come out of the Molecular Microbial Ecology Group - a groupwhere I am currently making observational studies...

  9. Terrestrial Ecology Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, James W., Ed.; Hall, James A., Ed.

    This collection of study units focuses on the study of the ecology of land habitats. Considered are such topics as map reading, field techniques, forest ecosystem, birds, insects, small mammals, soils, plant ecology, preparation of terrariums, air pollution, photography, and essentials of an environmental studies program. Each unit contains…

  10. Ecology and economy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menard, M.; Bischoff, J.

    1980-01-01

    The green movement challenges workers' unions and socialists. Who are the 'Greens', and what do they want. Where do their theoretical fundamentals come from. Will an ecological economy be able to function. Are the 'Greens' leftists or dreamers fighting against progress. Arguments for trade unionists and socialists in the ecological controversy. (orig.) [de

  11. Ecological Soil Screening Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Eco-SSL derivation process is used to derive a set of risk-based ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) for many of the soil contaminants that are frequently of ecological concern for plants and animals at hazardous waste sites.

  12. Spatial ecology across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastings, Alan; Petrovskii, Sergei; Morozov, Andrew

    2011-04-23

    The international conference 'Models in population dynamics and ecology 2010: animal movement, dispersal and spatial ecology' took place at the University of Leicester, UK, on 1-3 September 2010, focusing on mathematical approaches to spatial population dynamics and emphasizing cross-scale issues. Exciting new developments in scaling up from individual level movement to descriptions of this movement at the macroscopic level highlighted the importance of mechanistic approaches, with different descriptions at the microscopic level leading to different ecological outcomes. At higher levels of organization, different macroscopic descriptions of movement also led to different properties at the ecosystem and larger scales. New developments from Levy flight descriptions to the incorporation of new methods from physics and elsewhere are revitalizing research in spatial ecology, which will both increase understanding of fundamental ecological processes and lead to tools for better management.

  13. Predictive systems ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Matthew R; Bithell, Mike; Cornell, Stephen J; Dall, Sasha R X; Díaz, Sandra; Emmott, Stephen; Ernande, Bruno; Grimm, Volker; Hodgson, David J; Lewis, Simon L; Mace, Georgina M; Morecroft, Michael; Moustakas, Aristides; Murphy, Eugene; Newbold, Tim; Norris, K J; Petchey, Owen; Smith, Matthew; Travis, Justin M J; Benton, Tim G

    2013-11-22

    Human societies, and their well-being, depend to a significant extent on the state of the ecosystems that surround them. These ecosystems are changing rapidly usually in response to anthropogenic changes in the environment. To determine the likely impact of environmental change on ecosystems and the best ways to manage them, it would be desirable to be able to predict their future states. We present a proposal to develop the paradigm of predictive systems ecology, explicitly to understand and predict the properties and behaviour of ecological systems. We discuss the necessary and desirable features of predictive systems ecology models. There are places where predictive systems ecology is already being practised and we summarize a range of terrestrial and marine examples. Significant challenges remain but we suggest that ecology would benefit both as a scientific discipline and increase its impact in society if it were to embrace the need to become more predictive.

  14. 5. Space and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondratiev, K. L.; Supmi, W.

    1989-08-01

    The Space and Ecology round table was attented by 73 persons and addressed by 27 speakers on topics bearing on major global ecological problems: biogeophysical exchanges of matter and energy: the key aspect of global ecology; current problems in exploring the World Ocean and the Earth's climate; dynamics of global systems and processes with the potential to control it in future; mutual influence of changes in natural resources and the environment as they occur in different regions on the globe; spaceborne observational systems: a means for revealing the dynamics of natural processes and a basis for making ecological predictions. Scientists and specialists in space ecology — Prof. I. Rasool (U.S.A.), R. Moore (U.S.A.), W. Suomi (U.S.A.), Academician K. Kondratiev (U.S.S.R.), Prof. Zavarzin, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences (U.S.S.R.), Prof. W. Peters (Denmark), Prof. B. Nei, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences (Poland), the Soviet cosmonauts G. Beregovoi, G. Grechko, B. Volynov, and other attendees of the round table on Space and Ecology stressed the immediate urgency of addressing vitally important ecological problems through widescale uses of space technologies. Wide-ranging international cooperative programme in space ecology have now been designed and started, bringing together space-related expertise from more than 70 countries. The round table participants made several suggestions for ways to enhanced cooperation and collaboration on ecological problems; one of these proposed setting up an International Organisation on Problems of Global Ecology. The discussion was held in an atmosphere of friendship, mutual understanding and further enhancement of cooperative effort in space for the sake of peace on Earth.

  15. What is dental ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuozzo, Frank P; Sauther, Michelle L

    2012-06-01

    Teeth have long been used as indicators of primate ecology. Early work focused on the links between dental morphology, diet, and behavior, with more recent years emphasizing dental wear, microstructure, development, and biogeochemistry, to understand primate ecology. Our study of Lemur catta at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar, has revealed an unusual pattern of severe tooth wear and frequent tooth loss, primarily the result of consuming a fallback food for which these primates are not dentally adapted. Interpreting these data was only possible by combining our areas of expertise (dental anatomy [FC] and primate ecology [MS]). By integrating theoretical, methodological, and applied aspects of both areas of research, we adopted the term "dental ecology"-defined as the broad study of how teeth respond to the environment. Specifically, we view dental ecology as an interpretive framework using teeth as a vehicle for understanding an organism's ecology, which builds upon earlier work, but creates a new synthesis of anatomy and ecology that is only possible with detailed knowledge of living primates. This framework includes (1) identifying patterns of dental pathology and tooth use-wear, within the context of feeding ecology, behavior, habitat variation, and anthropogenic change, (2) assessing ways in which dental development and biogeochemical signals can reflect habitat, environmental change and/or stress, and (3) how dental microstructure and macro-morphology are adapted to, and reflect feeding ecology. Here we define dental ecology, provide a short summary of the development of this perspective, and place our new work into this context. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Comparative evaluation of eleven commercial DNA extraction kits for real-time PCR detection of Bacillus anthracis spores in spiked dairy samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertens, Katja; Freund, Lisa; Schmoock, Gernot; Hänsel, Christoph; Melzer, Falk; Elschner, Mandy C

    2014-01-17

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis are highly resistant and can survive conditions used for food preservation. Sample size and complexity represent the major hurdles for pathogen detection in food-related settings. Eleven commercial DNA extraction kits were evaluated for detection of B. anthracis spores by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) in dairy products. DNA was extracted from serial dilutions of B. anthracis spores in milk powder, cream cheese, whole milk and buttermilk. Three kits (QIAamp DNA mini kit, Invisorb Food kit I and II) were determined to produce the lowest limit of detections (LODs) with equally good performance. These kits employed lysozyme and proteinase K treatments or proteinase K in combination with cethyltrimethylamonium bromide-mediated (CTAB) precipitation of cell debris for cell disruption and DNA release. The LODs for these three kits were determined as 10(2) spores/ml of distilled water, 10(3)s pores/20 mg of powdered milk and 10(4) spores/100 mg of cream cheese, respectively. Performance testing of the QIAamp DNA mini kit demonstrated a good reproducibility and appropriate detection limits from 10(3)/ml for butter milk, 10(4)/ml for whole milk and 10(4)/100 mg for low fat cream cheese. However, DNA extraction efficiency was strongly inhibited by cream cheese with higher fat contents with an increased LOD of 10(6)/100 mg spores. This study demonstrated that qPCR detection depends directly on the appropriate DNA extraction method for an individual food matrix and bacterial agent. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. False Negative Rates of a Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates via Real-Time PCR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sydor, Michael A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Kaiser, Brooke L.D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2016-06-01

    Surface sampling for Bacillus anthracis spores has traditionally relied on detection via bacterial cultivation methods. Although effective, this approach does not provide the level of organism specificity that can be gained through molecular techniques. False negative rates (FNR) and limits of detection (LOD) were determined for two B. anthracis surrogates with modified rapid viability-polymerase chain reaction (mRV-PCR) following macrofoam-swab sampling. This study was conducted in parallel with a previously reported study that analyzed spores using a plate-culture method. B. anthracis Sterne (BAS) or B. atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores were deposited onto four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic) at nine target concentrations (2 to 500 spores/coupon; 0.078 to 19.375 colony-forming units [CFU] per cm2). Mean FNR values for mRV-PCR analysis ranged from 0 to 0.917 for BAS and 0 to 0.875 for BG and increased as spore concentration decreased (over the concentrations investigated) for each surface material. FNRs based on mRV-PCR data were not statistically different for BAS and BG, but were significantly lower for glass than for vinyl tile. FNRs also tended to be lower for the mRV-PCR method compared to the culture method. The mRV-PCR LOD95 was lowest for glass (0.429 CFU/cm2 with BAS and 0.341 CFU/cm2 with BG) and highest for vinyl tile (0.919 CFU/cm2 with BAS and 0.917 CFU/cm2 with BG). These mRV-PCR LOD95 values were lower than the culture values (BAS: 0.678 to 1.023 CFU/cm2 and BG: 0.820 to 1.489 CFU/cm2). The FNR and LOD95 values reported in this work provide guidance for environmental sampling of Bacillus spores at low concentrations.

  18. Pyridine Nucleotide Complexes with Bacillus anthracis Coenzyme A-Disulfide Reductase: A Structural Analysis of Dual NAD(P)H Specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallen,J.; Paige, C.; Mallett, T.; Karplus, P.; Claiborne, A.

    2008-01-01

    We have recently reported that CoASH is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, and we have now characterized the kinetic and redox properties of the B. anthracis coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR, BACoADR) and determined the crystal structure at 2.30 Angstroms resolution. While the Staphylococcus aureus and Borrelia burgdorferi CoADRs exhibit strong preferences for NADPH and NADH, respectively, B. anthracis CoADR can use either pyridine nucleotide equally well. Sequence elements within the respective NAD(P)H-binding motifs correctly reflect the preferences for S. aureus and Bo. burgdorferi CoADRs, but leave questions as to how BACoADR can interact with both pyridine nucleotides. The structures of the NADH and NADPH complexes at ca. 2.3 Angstroms resolution reveal that a loop consisting of residues Glu180-Thr187 becomes ordered and changes conformation on NAD(P)H binding. NADH and NADPH interact with nearly identical conformations of this loop; the latter interaction, however, involves a novel binding mode in which the 2'-phosphate of NADPH points out toward solvent. In addition, the NAD(P)H-reduced BACoADR structures provide the first view of the reduced form (Cys42-SH/CoASH) of the Cys42-SSCoA redox center. The Cys42-SH side chain adopts a new conformation in which the conserved Tyr367'-OH and Tyr425'-OH interact with the nascent thiol(ate) on the flavin si-face. Kinetic data with Y367F, Y425F, and Y367, 425F BACoADR mutants indicate that Tyr425' is the primary proton donor in catalysis, with Tyr367' functioning as a cryptic alternate donor in the absence of Tyr425'.

  19. Genotyping of French Bacillus anthracis strains based on 31-loci multi locus VNTR analysis: epidemiology, marker evaluation, and update of the internet genotype database.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Thierry

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacillus anthracis is known to have low genetic variability. In spite of this lack of diversity, multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR analysis (MLVA and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs including the canonical SNPs assay (canSNP have proved to be highly effective to differentiate strains. Five different MLVA schemes based on a collection of 31 VNTR loci (MLVA8, MLVA15, MLVA20, MLVA25 and MLVA31 with increased resolving power have been described. RESULTS: MLVA31 was applied to characterize the French National Reference Laboratory collection. The total collection of 130 strains is resolved in 35 genotypes. The 119 veterinary and environmental strains collection in France were resolved into 26 genotypes belonging to three canSNP lineages and four MLVA clonal complexes (CCs with particular geographical clustering. A subset of seven loci (MLVA7 is proposed to constitute a first line assay. The loci are compatible with moderate resolution equipment such as agarose gel electrophoresis and show a good congruence value with MLVA31. The associated MLVA and SNP data was imported together with published genotyping data by taking advantage of major enhancements to the MLVAbank software and web site. CONCLUSIONS: The present report provides a wide coverage of the genetic diversity of naturally occurring B. anthracis strains in France as can be revealed by MLVA. The data obtained suggests that once such coverage is achieved, it becomes possible to devise optimized first-line MLVA assays comprising a sufficiently low number of loci to be typed either in one multiplex PCR or on agarose gels. Such a selection of seven loci is proposed here, and future similar investigations in additional countries will indicate to which extend the same selection can be used worldwide as a common minimum set. It is hoped that this approach will contribute to an efficient and low-cost routine surveillance of important pathogens for biosecurity such as

  20. Education in ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marek, R.

    1993-01-01

    It is not enough to convey knowledge, insights and attitudes if education in ecology is to have fruitful effects. Space and opportunity for action and creativity must be provided in addition. This includes personal consumer habits (eating, transport, hygiene, leisure activities etc.); an individual workplace - in this case school - that can be shaped according to ecological needs. Beyond this, ecological maturation should not be confined to, but should transcend school, for instance in youth groups, citizens' committees, political parties. If school does not inspire action - including action outside school -then education in ecology could be smothered by the Midas effect, where all life is reduced to material, to the curriculum in this case. This book presents ecological projects that have been tried at schools. They aim at an education in ecology that is oriented to the pupil and open to experience. They could be an incentive for colleagues to conduct similar projects at their schools. The projects work from the pupils' own experience and aim at concrete action and activities in his or her own environment. They should encourage teachers to venture outside the classroom with the pupils and teach ecology where it takes place. (orig.) [de

  1. Regulation of anthrax toxin activator gene (atxA) expression in Bacillus anthracis: temperature, not CO2/bicarbonate, affects AtxA synthesis.

    OpenAIRE

    Dai, Z; Koehler, T M

    1997-01-01

    Anthrax toxin gene expression in Bacillus anthracis is dependent on the presence of atxA, a trans-acting regulatory gene located on the resident 185-kb plasmid pXO1. In atxA+ strains, expression of the toxin genes (pag, lef, and cya) is enhanced by two physiologically significant signals: elevated CO2/bicarbonate and temperature. To determine whether increased toxin gene expression in response to these signals is associated with increased atxA expression, we monitored steady-state levels of a...

  2. Characterization of Potential Antimicrobial Targets in Bacillus spp. II. Branched-Chain Aminotransferase and Methionine Regeneration in B. cereus and B. anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-09-01

    canaline, un inhibiteur de transaminase, inhibait la croissance de B. cereus avec une C150 de 35 gM dans un milieu minimum et 760 pM dans un bouillon...Depuis quelques anndes, ii existe une croissance de la rdsistance naturelle du charbon A la pdnicilline et aux autres antibiotiques b~ta-lactamines...tabolisme du B. anthracis. L’inhibition de la croissance du B. cereus in vitro avec la transaminase inhibitrice de la canaline a montr6 que le compos6 a

  3. Quantitative plant ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Damgaard, Christian

    2014-01-01

    This e-book is written in the Wolfram' CDF format (download free CDF player from Wolfram.com) The objective of this e-book is to introduce the population ecological concepts for measuring and predicting the ecological success of plant species. This will be done by focusing on the measurement...... and statistical modelling of plant species abundance and the relevant ecological processes that control species abundance. The focus on statistical modelling and likelihood function based methods also means that more algorithm based methods, e.g. ordination techniques and boosted regression tress...

  4. Complex adaptive systems ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommerlund, Julie

    2003-01-01

    In the following, I will analyze two articles called Complex Adaptive Systems EcologyI & II (Molin & Molin, 1997 & 2000). The CASE-articles are some of the more quirkyarticles that have come out of the Molecular Microbial Ecology Group - a groupwhere I am currently making observational studies....... They are the result of acooperation between Søren Molin, professor in the group, and his brother, JanMolin, professor at Department of Organization and Industrial Sociology atCopenhagen Business School. The cooperation arises from the recognition that bothmicrobial ecology and sociology/organization theory works...

  5. [Parasitism and ecological parasitology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balashov, Iu S

    2011-01-01

    Parasitism as one of the life modes is a general biological phenomenon and is a characteristic of all viruses, many taxa of bacteria, fungi, protists, metaphytes, and metazoans. Zooparasitology is focused on studies of parasitic animals, particularly, on their taxonomy, anatomy, life cycles, host-parasite relations, biocoenotic connections, and evolution. Ecological parasitology is a component of ecology, as the scientific study of the relation of living organisms with each other and their surroundings. In the present paper, critical analysis of the problems, main postulates, and terminology of the modern ecological parasitology is given.

  6. Recent Developments in Ecological Economics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reader with published articles within the field of ecological economics, mostly from 1997 - 2007......Reader with published articles within the field of ecological economics, mostly from 1997 - 2007...

  7. Green Turtle Trophic Ecology

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — SWFSC is currently conducting a study of green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) trophic ecology in the eastern Pacific. Tissue samples and stable carbon and stable...

  8. Ecological Subsections of Minnesota

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This coverage provides information for the third level of the Ecological Classification System. The boundaries of the polygons of this coverage were derived from...

  9. Market Squid Ecology Dataset

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset contains ecological information collected on the major adult spawning and juvenile habitats of market squid off California and the US Pacific Northwest....

  10. Ecological Provinces of Minnesota

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This coverage provides information for the first level of the Ecological Classification System. The boundaries of the polygons of this coverage were derived from...

  11. Ecological Sections of Minnesota

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This coverage provides information for the second level of the Ecological Classification System. The boundaries of the polygons of this coverage were derived from...

  12. Rapid identification of genetic modifications in Bacillus anthracis using whole genome draft sequences generated by 454 pyrosequencing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter E Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The anthrax letter attacks of 2001 highlighted the need for rapid identification of biothreat agents not only for epidemiological surveillance of the intentional outbreak but also for implementing appropriate countermeasures, such as antibiotic treatment, in a timely manner to prevent further casualties. It is clear from the 2001 cases that survival may be markedly improved by administration of antimicrobial therapy during the early symptomatic phase of the illness; i.e., within 3 days of appearance of symptoms. Microbiological detection methods are feasible only for organisms that can be cultured in vitro and cannot detect all genetic modifications with the exception of antibiotic resistance. Currently available immuno or nucleic acid-based rapid detection assays utilize known, organism-specific proteins or genomic DNA signatures respectively. Hence, these assays lack the ability to detect novel natural variations or intentional genetic modifications that circumvent the targets of the detection assays or in the case of a biological attack using an antibiotic resistant or virulence enhanced Bacillus anthracis, to advise on therapeutic treatments. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We show here that the Roche 454-based pyrosequencing can generate whole genome draft sequences of deep and broad enough coverage of a bacterial genome in less than 24 hours. Furthermore, using the unfinished draft sequences, we demonstrate that unbiased identification of known as well as heretofore-unreported genetic modifications that include indels and single nucleotide polymorphisms conferring antibiotic and phage resistances is feasible within the next 12 hours. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Second generation sequencing technologies have paved the way for sequence-based rapid identification of both known and previously undocumented genetic modifications in cultured, conventional and newly emerging biothreat agents. Our findings have significant implications in

  13. Reverse-Phase Microarray Analysis Reveals Novel Targets in Lymph Nodes of Bacillus anthracis Spore-Challenged Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taissia G Popova

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a frequently fatal infection of many animal species and men. The causative agent Bacillus anthracis propagates through the lymphatic system of the infected host; however, the specific interactions of the host and microbe within the lymphatics are incompletely understood. We report the first description of the phosphoprotein signaling in the lymph nodes of DBA/2 mice using a novel technique combining the reverse-phase microarray with the laser capture microdissection. Mice were challenged into foot pads with spores of toxinogenic, unencapsulated Sterne strain. The spores quickly migrated to the regional popliteal lymph nodes and spread to the bloodstream as early as 3 h post challenge. All mice died before 72 h post challenge from the systemic disease accompanied by a widespread LN tissue damage by bacteria, including the hemorrhagic necrotizing lymphadenitis, infiltration of CD11b+ and CD3+ cells, and massive proliferation of bacteria in lymph nodes. A macrophage scavenger receptor CD68/macrosialin was upregulated and found in association with vegetative bacteria likely as a marker of their prior interaction with macrophages. The major signaling findings among the 65 tested proteins included the reduced MAPK signaling, upregulation of STAT transcriptional factors, and altered abundance of a number of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins with signaling properties opposing each other. Downregulation of ERK1/2 was associated with the response of CD11b+ macrophages/dendritic cells, while upregulation of the pro-apoptotic Puma indicated a targeting of CD3+ T-cells. A robust upregulation of the anti-apoptotic survivin was unexpected because generally it is not observed in adult tissues. Taken together with the activation of STATs it may reflect a new pathogenic mechanism aimed to delay the onset of apoptosis. Our data emphasize a notion that the net biological outcome of disease is determined by a cumulative impact of factors representing the

  14. Reverse-Phase Microarray Analysis Reveals Novel Targets in Lymph Nodes of Bacillus anthracis Spore-Challenged Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, Taissia G; Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A; Popov, Serguei G

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is a frequently fatal infection of many animal species and men. The causative agent Bacillus anthracis propagates through the lymphatic system of the infected host; however, the specific interactions of the host and microbe within the lymphatics are incompletely understood. We report the first description of the phosphoprotein signaling in the lymph nodes of DBA/2 mice using a novel technique combining the reverse-phase microarray with the laser capture microdissection. Mice were challenged into foot pads with spores of toxinogenic, unencapsulated Sterne strain. The spores quickly migrated to the regional popliteal lymph nodes and spread to the bloodstream as early as 3 h post challenge. All mice died before 72 h post challenge from the systemic disease accompanied by a widespread LN tissue damage by bacteria, including the hemorrhagic necrotizing lymphadenitis, infiltration of CD11b+ and CD3+ cells, and massive proliferation of bacteria in lymph nodes. A macrophage scavenger receptor CD68/macrosialin was upregulated and found in association with vegetative bacteria likely as a marker of their prior interaction with macrophages. The major signaling findings among the 65 tested proteins included the reduced MAPK signaling, upregulation of STAT transcriptional factors, and altered abundance of a number of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins with signaling properties opposing each other. Downregulation of ERK1/2 was associated with the response of CD11b+ macrophages/dendritic cells, while upregulation of the pro-apoptotic Puma indicated a targeting of CD3+ T-cells. A robust upregulation of the anti-apoptotic survivin was unexpected because generally it is not observed in adult tissues. Taken together with the activation of STATs it may reflect a new pathogenic mechanism aimed to delay the onset of apoptosis. Our data emphasize a notion that the net biological outcome of disease is determined by a cumulative impact of factors representing the microbial insult and

  15. Ecological thinking: Four qualities

    OpenAIRE

    Kelly, James G.

    2010-01-01

    The article proposes a journey on the ecological premises or attributes of ecological thinking. Identifies its four main qualities and probes to demonstrate how at present there is some empirical evidence upon which such premises may be anchored. The first is focused on the interdependencies of persons and social environments, the second is that research methodologies may be congruent with the culture of place, the third that to the community psychologist is required t...

  16. Ecological Perspectives in HCI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blevis, Eli; Bødker, Susanne; Flach, John

    The aim of the workshop is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to discuss the present and future of ecological perspectives in HCI. The participants will reflect on the current uses and interpretations of “ecology” and related concepts in the field. The workshop will assess...... the potential of ecological perspectives in HCI for supporting rich and meaningful analysis, as well as innovative design, of interactive technologies in real-life contexts...

  17. Translational ecology for hydrogeology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlesinger, William H

    2013-01-01

    Translational ecology--a special discipline aimed to improve the accessibility of science to policy makers--will help hydrogeologists contribute to the solution of pressing environmental problems. Patterned after translational medicine, translational ecology is a partnership to ensure that the right science gets done in a timely fashion, so that it can be communicated to those who need it. © 2013, National Ground Water Association.

  18. [Ecological niches of ectoparasites].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balashov, Iu S

    2005-01-01

    On mammals and birds communities of ectoparasites are present, which can include scores of ticks, mites and insects species. The parasitizing of arthropods terrestrial vertebrates appeared as far back a the Cretaceous period, and after 70-100 mil. years of the coevolution ectoparasites have assimilated all food resources and localities of the hosts' bodies. To the present only spatial and (to the less extent) trophic niches of parasitic insects, ticks and mites are studied completely enough. The main results these investigations are discussed in the present paper. A high abundance of the communities is reached because of their partition into the number of ecological niches. Host is complex of ecological niches for many ectoparasites species. These niches reiterate in the populations of a species closely related species of hosts and repeat from generation to generation. The each part of host (niche) being assimilated be certain parasite species is available potentially for other species. The partition of host into ecological niches is clearer than the structure of ecosystems including free-living organisms. A real extent of the ecological niches occupation by different species of ticks, mites and insects is considerably lower than a potential maximum. The degree of ecological niches saturation depends on the history of the coevolution of parasites community components, previous colonization be new ectoparasite species and many other ecological factors affecting host-parasite system. The use of the ecological niche conception in parasitology is proved to be rather promising. Ectoparasites communities because of their species diversity, different types of feeding and a number of habitats on host represent convenient models and study of them can contribute significantly to the developmeht of the general conception of ecological niche.

  19. Ecological Education of Society

    OpenAIRE

    Laizāne, I.

    2006-01-01

    Education has invaluable role in the promotion of sustainable development. Its important task is to promote the formation of understanding the environmental and development issues of every person. It is a necessity to achieve the change of orientation of personal values and to develop their abilities to solve the issues concerning sustainable development. One of the subjects that can help to perform the task is ecology. Ecology is a subject that could promote the understanding between human b...

  20. Morality problems in ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. M. Abakarova

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Having been defined the position of morality in the modern ecological space it was found that ecological crisis increases because of spirit crisis, education crisis and human crisis. Defining the different levels of human spirituality it is revealed that at the highest level the nature is perceived as a human value, a value just as for people living in it.

  1. Marine Ecological Environment Management Based on Ecological Compensation Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qunzhen Qu

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The level of marine environmental management is a key factor in the successful implementation of marine power strategies. The improvement in management levels of marine environments requires innovation in marine management. In other words, the transformation of marine environmental management into marine ecological environment management must be done in order to achieve sustainable development of the marine economy. As an environmental economic policy that combines both administrative and market measures, ecological compensation mechanisms have significant advantages in marine ecological environment management. Based on the study of the current development of ecological compensation mechanisms in China, through the analysis of the connotation of marine ecological civilization, existing marine ecological protection practices and marine environmental management methods, this paper posits that the current marine ecological environment management in China should be established on the basis of ecological compensation mechanisms. At present, a lack of laws and regulations for overall marine ecological environment management is the key factor restricting the practice of marine ecological environment management. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the current path of marine ecological environment management in China from the perspective of the construction of legal system of ecological compensation law, the establishment of ecological compensation fees, ecological taxes and ecological compensation fund systems, and the clear status for a marine ecological management and supervision body.

  2. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores and a model protein using PEMC sensors in a flow cell at 1 mL/min.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Gossett A; Mutharasan, Raj

    2006-07-15

    Piezoelectric-excited millimeter-sized cantilever (PEMC) sensors of 4mm(2) sensing area were immobilized with antibody specific to Bacillus anthracis (anti-BA) spores or bovine serum albumin (anti-BSA). Detection of pathogen (Bacillus anthracis (BA) at 300 spores/mL) and BSA (1 mg/mL) were investigated under both stagnant and flow conditions. Two flow cell designs were evaluated by characterizing flow-induced resonant frequency shifts. One of the flow cells labeled SFC-2 (hold-up volume of 0.3 mL), showed small fluctuations (+/-20 Hz) around a common resonant frequency response of 217 Hz in the flow rate range of 1-17 mL/min. The total resonant frequency change obtained for the binding of 300 spores/mL in 1h was 90+/-5 Hz (n=2), and 162+/-10 Hz (n=2) under stagnant and flow conditions, respectively. Binding of antibodies, anti-BA and anti-BSA, were more rapid under flow than under stagnant conditions. The sensor was repeatedly exposed to BSA with an intermediate release step. The first and second responses to BSA were nearly identical. The total resonant frequency response to BSA was 388+/-10 (n=2) Hz under flow conditions. Kinetic analysis is carried out to quantify the effect of flow rate on antibody immobilization and the two types of detection experiments.

  3. Test methods and response surface models for hot, humid air decontamination of materials contaminated with dirty spores of Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhr, T L; Young, A A; Barnette, H K; Minter, Z A; Kennihan, N L; Johnson, C A; Bohmke, M D; DePaola, M; Cora-Laó, M; Page, M A

    2015-11-01

    To develop test methods and evaluate survival of Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne or Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam on materials contaminated with dirty spore preparations after exposure to hot, humid air using response surface modelling. Spores (>7 log10 ) were mixed with humic acid + spent sporulation medium (organic debris) or kaolin (dirt debris). Spore samples were then dried on five different test materials (wiring insulation, aircraft performance coating, anti-skid, polypropylene, and nylon). Inoculated materials were tested with 19 test combinations of temperature (55, 65, 75°C), relative humidity (70, 80, 90%) and time (1, 2, 3 days). The slowest spore inactivation kinetics was on nylon webbing and/or after addition of organic debris. Hot, humid air effectively decontaminates materials contaminated with dirty Bacillus spore preparations; debris and material interactions create complex decontamination kinetic patterns; and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam is a realistic surrogate for B. anthracis. Response surface models of hot, humid air decontamination were developed which may be used to select decontamination parameters for contamination scenarios including aircraft. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  4. Benefits of ecological engineering practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van den Boomen, R.; Chaudhuri, N.; Heeb, J.; Jenssen, P.; Kalin, M.; Schönborn, A.; Brüll, A.; Van Bohemen, H.; Costanza, R.; Mitsch, W.J.

    2011-01-01

    With the intention to further promote the field of ecological engineering and the solutions it provides, a workshop on “Benefits of Ecological Engineering Practices” was held 3 Dec 2009. It was conducted by the International Ecological Engineering Society in Paris at the conference “Ecological

  5. Interim balance: Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kogon, E.; Jungk, R.

    1981-01-01

    Subjects: The ecology problem - world wide. Sectoral balances: The examples of energy, transportation, chemistry, agriculture and food industry, water supply. Destruction of nature and human discord. Conservatives in our political parties and their views on environmental protection. Alliance between reds and 'greens', integration between reds and greens. The Rhine initiative. Lead respects no borders, experiences of citizens' action groups in Lothringia and the Saar district. International airport Munich-II/comments by a protestant. 'Give priority to life'/A hearing on environmental protection. 4:96 - 'greens' in the Bremen Senate. Policy in a hard-hearing world/psychology of citizens' action groups. Critical ecological research and scientific establishment. Full productivity and ecology. The deluge to follow/Hints on how to build an ark. Symbiosis is more than coexistence/Ecologists' social theory. Throwing in two hundred elementary particles/on the way to an ecological concept of science. Scientific journals. Alternative literature. Teaching model for a teaching subject 'ecology'. (orig.) [de

  6. Marx, Engels and Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Löwy

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This is a brief survey of Marx and Engels’ views on ecology, from the viewpoint of their relevance for 21th Century ecosocialism. While there are some serious limitations in the way both consider the “development of productive forces”, there are powerfull insights in their discussion of the destructive consequences of capitalist expansion for the environment - an expansion that generates a disastrous metabolic rift in the exchanges between human societies and nature. Some ecological Marxists distinguish between “first stage ecosocialists” - who believe that Marx analyses on ecological issues are too incomplete and dated to be of real relevance today - and “second stage ecosocialists” that emphasize the contemporary methodological significance of Marx’s ecological critique of capitalism. This paper tries to argue for a third position (which probably could be accepted by several people of the two groups above: Marx and Engels discussion on ecological issues is incomplete and dated, but inspite these shortcomings, it has real relevance and methodological significance today.

  7. Making ecological models adequate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getz, Wayne M.; Marshall, Charles R.; Carlson, Colin J.; Giuggioli, Luca; Ryan, Sadie J.; Romañach, Stephanie; Boettiger, Carl; Chamberlain, Samuel D.; Larsen, Laurel; D'Odorico, Paolo; O'Sullivan, David

    2018-01-01

    Critical evaluation of the adequacy of ecological models is urgently needed to enhance their utility in developing theory and enabling environmental managers and policymakers to make informed decisions. Poorly supported management can have detrimental, costly or irreversible impacts on the environment and society. Here, we examine common issues in ecological modelling and suggest criteria for improving modelling frameworks. An appropriate level of process description is crucial to constructing the best possible model, given the available data and understanding of ecological structures. Model details unsupported by data typically lead to over parameterisation and poor model performance. Conversely, a lack of mechanistic details may limit a model's ability to predict ecological systems’ responses to management. Ecological studies that employ models should follow a set of model adequacy assessment protocols that include: asking a series of critical questions regarding state and control variable selection, the determinacy of data, and the sensitivity and validity of analyses. We also need to improve model elaboration, refinement and coarse graining procedures to better understand the relevancy and adequacy of our models and the role they play in advancing theory, improving hind and forecasting, and enabling problem solving and management.

  8. ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS VS ECONOMIC(AL ECOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Kharlamova

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Currently world faces the dilemma – ecological economy or economic(al ecology. The researchers produce hundreds of surveys on the topic. However the analyses of recent most cited simulations had shown the diversity of results. Thus, for some states the Kuznets environmental curve has place, for others – no. Same could be said about different years for the same state. It provokes the necessity of drawing new group analyses to reveal the tendencies and relationships between economic and environmental factors. Most flexible and mirror factor of environmental sustainability is the volume of CO2 emissions. The econometric analysis was used for detecting the economic impact on this indicator at the global level and in the spectra of group of states depending on their income. The hypothesis of the existence of environmental Kuznets curve for the analysed data is rejected. Real GDP per capita impact on carbon dioxide emissions is considered only at the global level. The impact of openness of the economy is weak. Rejection happened also to the hypothesis that for the developed countries there is a reverse dependence between the environmental pollution and economic openness. Indicator “energy consumption per capita” impacts on greenhouse gas emissions only in countries with high income. Whereby it should be noted that the more developed a country is, the more elastic is this influence. These results have a potential usage for environmental policy regulation and climate strategy.

  9. Urban Sound Ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Groth, Sanne Krogh; Samson, Kristine

    2013-01-01

    . The article concludes that the ways in which recent sound installations work with urban ecologies vary. While two of the examples blend into the urban environment, the other transfers the concert format and its mode of listening to urban space. Last, and in accordance with recent soundscape research, we point...... share the characteristics of site specificity. However, this article will consider the artwork in a broader context by re-examining how sound installations relate to the urban environment. For that purpose, this article brings together ecology terms from acoustic ecology of the sound theories...... to how artists working with new information and media technologies create inventive ways of inserting sound and image into urban environments....

  10. Ecological Perspectives in HCI

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blevis, Eli; Bødker, Susanne; Flach, John

    The aim of the workshop is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to discuss the present and future of ecological perspectives in HCI. The participants will reflect on the current uses and interpretations of “ecology” and related concepts in the field. The workshop will assess the p...... the potential of ecological perspectives in HCI for supporting rich and meaningful analysis, as well as innovative design, of interactive technologies in real-life contexts......The aim of the workshop is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to discuss the present and future of ecological perspectives in HCI. The participants will reflect on the current uses and interpretations of “ecology” and related concepts in the field. The workshop will assess...

  11. Ecological impact assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomas, J.M.; Eberhardt, L.L.

    1975-01-01

    Quantitative problems in accomplishing ecological impact assessment with particular reference to defining population effects are discussed with some comments on the two approaches most commonly used, e.g., the experimental and simulation models. Some alternatives are suggested because both methods will probably fail to detect real population effects mostly due to poor understanding of ecosystems or because of the limitations inherent in field census methods. Most judgments of ecological impact are not quantitatively defensible but are qualitative, subjective, or political in nature. An examination of aggregates of data from various nuclear power plant sites may be one way to obtain enough replication to judge ecological impact. Thus, currently available data from such studies as well as appropriate demographic, vegetation, census, and bibliographic material could offer an interesting challenge to computer professionals if such an undertaking were contemplated. Present research programs at PNL and computer involvement are described. Future possibilities and directions are discussed. (U.S.)

  12. Numerical ecology with R

    CERN Document Server

    Borcard, Daniel; Legendre, Pierre

    2018-01-01

    This new edition of Numerical Ecology with R guides readers through an applied exploration of the major methods of multivariate data analysis, as seen through the eyes of three ecologists. It provides a bridge between a textbook of numerical ecology and the implementation of this discipline in the R language. The book begins by examining some exploratory approaches. It proceeds logically with the construction of the key building blocks of most methods, i.e. association measures and matrices, and then submits example data to three families of approaches: clustering, ordination and canonical ordination. The last two chapters make use of these methods to explore important and contemporary issues in ecology: the analysis of spatial structures and of community diversity. The aims of methods thus range from descriptive to explanatory and predictive and encompass a wide variety of approaches that should provide readers with an extensive toolbox that can address a wide palette of questions arising in contemporary mul...

  13. Between Design and Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørn, Mona Chor

    current understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the design and dynamical changes in low resource requiring, colourful forb vegetation. Through literature and an experimental field study, this thesis contributes to new perspectives on the possibilities for and limitations of creating and managing...... such vegetation, based on concepts and theories in plant community ecology. If these communities are based on local forbs there is a continuum in anthropogenic intervention from designed and intensively maintained to semi-natural herbaceous vegetation. Results from a large field experiment show that, after three...... colonised by grasses and eventually woody species. This thesis adds useful basic knowledge in plant community ecology and species-specific growth, which are relevant to research and planning in landscape architecture and ecology....

  14. Application of ecological mapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherk, J.A.

    1982-01-01

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service has initiated the production of a comprehensive ecological inventory map series for use as a major new planning tool. Important species data along with special land use designations are displayed on 1:250,000 scale topographic base maps. Sets of maps have been published for the Atlantic and Pacific coastal areas of the United States. Preparation of a map set for the Gulf of Mexico is underway at the present time. Potential application of ecological inventory map series information to a typical land disposal facility could occur during the narrowing of the number of possible disposal sites, the design of potential disposal site studies of ecological resources, the preparation of the environmental report, and the regulatory review of license applications. 3 figures, 3 tables

  15. Ecological city planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Rueda

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available A territory, a city, a neighbourhood are all ecosystems; a mixture of chemico-physical and organic elements related to each other. That which defines an ecological system is the set of rules and characteristics which condition its relationships, and its duration in time is guaranteed by its efficiency and internal organization which applied to the city is translated in the reduction of the use of natural resources and in the increase of social organization. To increase the efficiency of the urban systems is the necessary condition for the formulation of ecological city planning favouring the maximum liveability of sites. Liveability is directly correlated to the optimization of numerous elements (public space, equipment, services, building techniques, innovative technology, social cohesion, biodiversity. To carry out such objectives, ecological city planning proposes a new model of town planning on three levels (subsoil, ground level, and upper level.

  16. Numerical ecology with r

    CERN Document Server

    Borcard, Daniel; Legendre, Pierre

    2018-01-01

    This new edition of Numerical Ecology with R guides readers through an applied exploration of the major methods of multivariate data analysis, as seen through the eyes of three ecologists. It provides a bridge between a textbook of numerical ecology and the implementation of this discipline in the R language. The book begins by examining some exploratory approaches. It proceeds logically with the construction of the key building blocks of most methods, i.e. association measures and matrices, and then submits example data to three families of approaches: clustering, ordination and canonical ordination. The last two chapters make use of these methods to explore important and contemporary issues in ecology: the analysis of spatial structures and of community diversity. The aims of methods thus range from descriptive to explanatory and predictive and encompass a wide variety of approaches that should provide readers with an extensive toolbox that can address a wide palette of questions arising in contemporary mul...

  17. Coevolutionary ecological economics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kallis, Giorgos [ICREA Researcher, ICTA, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, ETSE, QC/3095, 08193 Bellatera, Barcelona (Spain); Norgaard, Richard B. [Energy and Resources Group, University of California at Berkeley, 310 Barrows Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3050 (United States)

    2010-02-15

    This paper maps a coevolutionary research agenda for ecological economics. At an epistemological level coevolution offers a powerful logic for transcending environmental and social determinisms and developing a cross-disciplinary approach in the study of socio-ecological systems. We identify four consistent stories emerging out of coevolutionary studies in ecological economics, concerning: environmental degradation and development failure in peripheral regions; the lock-in of unsustainable production-consumption patterns; the vicious cycle between human efforts to control undesirable micro-organisms and the evolution of these organisms; and the adaptive advantages of other-regarding, cooperative behaviors and institutions. We identify challenges in the conceptualization of coevolutionary relationships in relation to: the interaction between different hierarchical levels of evolution; the role of space and social power; uneven rates of change and crises. We conclude with the political implications of a coevolutionary perspective based on the premises of pragmatism. (author)

  18. Ecology of gelatious plankton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jaspers, Cornelia

    as a result of this invasion and its ecological and economic impacts. In 2005, when M. leidyi was sighted in Northern Europe for the first time, similar consequences were feared. The aim of my PhD project was to understand the potential impact of M. leidyi on the Baltic Sea ecosystem and constrains on its...... in high and intermediate saline areas in Northern Europe. While the ecological impact of M. leidyi in the central Baltic appears to be limited concern, the environment in other European waters should be more favourable to their populations. In these areas, it is suggested that M. leidyi constitutes...

  19. Biosemiotics and ecological monitoring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruni, Luis Emilio

    2001-01-01

    of the qualitative and relational aspects that can only be grasped by considering the semiotic networks operative in complex ecological and cultural systems. In this paper, it is suggested that a biosemiotic approach to ecology may prove useful for the modelling process, which in turn will allow the construction...... models. The majority of “knowledge tools” that have been incorporated in the mainstream of this “techno-web” are amply based on a combination of mechanistic biology, genetic reductionism, economical determinism and neo-Darwinian cultural and biological perspectives. These approaches leave aside many...

  20. Beyond positivist ecology: toward an integrated ecological ethics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Bryan G

    2008-12-01

    A post-positivist understanding of ecological science and the call for an "ecological ethic" indicate the need for a radically new approach to evaluating environmental change. The positivist view of science cannot capture the essence of environmental sciences because the recent work of "reflexive" ecological modelers shows that this requires a reconceptualization of the way in which values and ecological models interact in scientific process. Reflexive modelers are ecological modelers who believe it is appropriate for ecologists to examine the motives for their choices in developing models; this self-reflexive approach opens the door to a new way of integrating values into public discourse and to a more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change. This reflexive building of ecological models is introduced through the transformative simile of Aldo Leopold, which shows that learning to "think like a mountain" involves a shift in both ecological modeling and in values and responsibility. An adequate, interdisciplinary approach to ecological valuation, requires a re-framing of the evaluation questions in entirely new ways, i.e., a review of the current status of interdisciplinary value theory with respect to ecological values reveals that neither of the widely accepted theories of environmental value-neither economic utilitarianism nor intrinsic value theory (environmental ethics)-provides a foundation for an ecologically sensitive evaluation process. Thus, a new, ecologically sensitive, and more comprehensive approach to evaluating ecological change would include an examination of the metaphors that motivate the models used to describe environmental change.

  1. Ecological aspects of parasitology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kennedy, Clive Russell

    1976-01-01

    ... of these habitats that enable them to cope with and overcome these difficulties. The third section is concerned with population ecology, and emphasises that although individual parasites have to face and overcome particular problems, parasitism is essentially a dynamic relationship between two species populations.

  2. Challenges of ecological restoration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halme, Panu; Allen, Katherine A.; Aunins, Ainars

    2013-01-01

    The alarming rate of ecosystem degradation has raised the need for ecological restoration throughout different biomes and continents. North European forests may appear as one of the least vulnerable ecosystems from a global perspective, since forest cover is not rapidly decreasing and many ecosys...

  3. Breeding Ecology of Birds

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/008/07/0022-0032. Keywords. Birds. nesting. territory; coloniality; heronries. ecology; nesting strategies. Author Affiliations. Abdul Jamil Urfi1. Department of Environmental Biology, School of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007. Resonance – Journal of Science ...

  4. Southwestern Grassland Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulette L. Ford; Deborah U. Potter; Rosemary Pendleton; Burton Pendleton; Wayne A. Robbie; Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

    This chapter provides a brief overview, and selected in-depth coverage, of the factors and processes that have formed, and continue to shape, our Southwestern grasslands. In general, this chapter looks at how distributions of grasslands are regulated by soils and climate, and modified by disturbance (natural and/or anthropogenic). The attendant ecological components of...

  5. Ecology under lake ice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hampton, Stephanie E.; Galloway, Aaron W. E.; Powers, Stephen M.; Ozersky, Ted; Woo, Kara H.; Batt, Ryan D.; Labou, Stephanie G.; O'Reilly, Catherine M.; Sharma, Sapna; Lottig, Noah R.; Stanley, Emily H.; North, Rebecca L.; Stockwell, Jason D.; Adrian, Rita; Weyhenmeyer, Gesa A.; Arvola, Lauri; Baulch, Helen M.; Bertani, Isabella; Bowman, Larry L., Jr.; Carey, Cayelan C.; Catalan, Jordi; Colom-Montero, William; Domine, Leah M.; Felip, Marisol; Granados, Ignacio; Gries, Corinna; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Haberman, Juta; Haldna, Marina; Hayden, Brian; Higgins, Scott N.; Jolley, Jeff C.; Kahilainen, Kimmo K.; Kaup, Enn; Kehoe, Michael J.; MacIntyre, Sally; Mackay, Anson W.; Mariash, Heather L.; Mckay, Robert M.; Nixdorf, Brigitte; Noges, Peeter; Noges, Tiina; Palmer, Michelle; Pierson, Don C.; Post, David M.; Pruett, Matthew J.; Rautio, Milla; Read, Jordan S.; Roberts, Sarah L.; Ruecker, Jacqueline; Sadro, Steven; Silow, Eugene A.; Smith, Derek E.; Sterner, Robert W.; Swann, George E. A.; Timofeyev, Maxim A.; Toro, Manuel; Twiss, Michael R.; Vogt, Richard J.; Watson, Susan B.; Whiteford, Erika J.; Xenopoulos, Marguerite A.

    Winter conditions are rapidly changing in temperate ecosystems, particularly for those that experi-ence periods of snow and ice cover. Relatively little is known of winter ecology in these systems,due to a historical research focus on summer ‘growing seasons’. We executed the first global

  6. THE AUTOIMMUNE ECOLOGY.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan-Manuel eAnaya

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Autoimmune diseases (ADs represent a heterogeneous group of disorders that affect specific target organs or multiple organ systems. These conditions share common immunopathogenic mechanisms (i.e., the autoimmune tautology, which explain the clinical similarities they have among them as well as their familial clustering (i.e., coaggregation. As part of the autoimmune tautology, the influence of environmental exposure on the risk of developing ADs is paramount (i.e., the autoimmune ecology. In fact, environment, more than genetics, shapes immune system. Autoimmune ecology is akin to exposome, that is all the exposures - internal and external - across the lifespan, interacting with hereditary factors (both genetics and epigenetics to favor or protect against autoimmunity and its outcomes. Herein we provide an overview of the autoimmune ecology, focusing on the immune response to environmental agents in general, and microbiota, cigarette smoking, alcohol and coffee consumption, socioeconomic status, gender and sex hormones, vitamin D, organic solvents and vaccines in particular. Inclusion of the autoimmune ecology in disease etiology and health will improve the way personalized medicine is currently conceived and applied.

  7. Towards ecological autarky

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    dr. Anne Nigten; Dr. Michel van Dartel

    2014-01-01

    While the notion of autarky is often contested in terms of feasibility and desirability, art and design projects that deal with autarky seem to moreover suggest positive socio-cultural and ecological effects of autarkic living. A social network model of autarky is introduced to unify these seemingly

  8. Biodiversity in Benthic Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friberg, Nikolai; Carl, J. D.

    Foreword: This proceeding is based on a set of papers presented at the second Nordic Benthological Meeting held in Silkeborg, November 13-14, 1997. The main theme of the meeting was biodiversity in benthic ecology and the majority of contributions touch on this subject. In addition, the proceeding...

  9. Art, Ecology and Institutions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Witzke, Anne Sophie

    2013-01-01

    and limits of the ecological, looking specifically at various international case studies, within the practice of curatorial and exhibition studies. The discussion begins with a reflection on ‘DON'T/PANIC’ in Durban and ‘Rethink – Contemporary Art and Climate Change’ in Copenhagen, exhibitions that were...

  10. Metabolomics in chemical ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlisch, Constanze; Pohnert, Georg

    2015-07-01

    Chemical ecology elucidates the nature and role of natural products as mediators of organismal interactions. The emerging techniques that can be summarized under the concept of metabolomics provide new opportunities to study such environmentally relevant signaling molecules. Especially comparative tools in metabolomics enable the identification of compounds that are regulated during interaction situations and that might play a role as e.g. pheromones, allelochemicals or in induced and activated defenses. This approach helps overcoming limitations of traditional bioassay-guided structure elucidation approaches. But the power of metabolomics is not limited to the comparison of metabolic profiles of interacting partners. Especially the link to other -omics techniques helps to unravel not only the compounds in question but the entire biosynthetic and genetic re-wiring, required for an ecological response. This review comprehensively highlights successful applications of metabolomics in chemical ecology and discusses existing limitations of these novel techniques. It focuses on recent developments in comparative metabolomics and discusses the use of metabolomics in the systems biology of organismal interactions. It also outlines the potential of large metabolomics initiatives for model organisms in the field of chemical ecology.

  11. Ecology and Sustainable Development

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 7; Issue 11. Ecology and Sustainable Development. M D Subash Chandran. Book Review Volume 7 Issue 11 November 2002 pp 80-81. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/007/11/0080-0081 ...

  12. Multivalent Chromosomal Expression of the Clostridium botulinum Serotype A Neurotoxin Heavy-Chain Antigen and the Bacillus anthracis Protective Antigen in Lactobacillus acidophilus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Flaherty, Sarah; Klaenhammer, Todd R

    2016-10-15

    Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis produce potent toxins that cause severe disease in humans. New and improved vaccines are needed for both of these pathogens. For mucosal vaccine delivery using lactic acid bacteria, chromosomal expression of antigens is preferred over plasmid-based expression systems, as chromosomal expression circumvents plasmid instability and the need for antibiotic pressure. In this study, we constructed three strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM expressing from the chromosome (i) the nontoxic host receptor-binding domain of the heavy chain of Clostridium botulinum serotype A neurotoxin (BoNT/A-Hc), (ii) the anthrax protective antigen (PA), and (iii) both the BoNT/A-Hc and the PA. The BoNT/A-Hc vaccine cassette was engineered to contain the signal peptide from the S-layer protein A from L. acidophilus and a dendritic-cell-targeting peptide. A chromosomal region downstream of lba0889 carrying a highly expressed enolase gene was selected for insertion of the vaccine cassettes. Western blot analysis confirmed the heterologous expression of the two antigens from plasmid and chromosome locations. Stability assays demonstrated loss of the vaccine cassettes from expression plasmids without antibiotic maintenance. RNA sequencing showed high expression of each antigen and that insertion of the vaccine cassettes had little to no effect on the transcription of other genes in the chromosome. This study demonstrated that chromosomal integrative recombinant strains are promising vaccine delivery vehicles when targeted into high-expression chromosomal regions. Levels of expression match high-copy-number plasmids and eliminate the requirement for antibiotic selective maintenance of recombinant plasmids. Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis produce potent neurotoxins that pose a biochemical warfare concern; therefore, effective vaccines against these bacteria are required. Chromosomal expression of antigens is preferred over plasmid

  13. False Negative Rates of a Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates via Real-Time PCR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sydor, Michael A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Deatherage Kaiser, Brooke L [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-05-01

    Surface sampling for Bacillus anthracis spores has traditionally relied on detection via bacterial cultivation methods. Although effective, this approach does not provide the level of organism specificity that can be gained through molecular techniques. False negative rates (FNR) and limits of detection (LOD) were determined for two B. anthracis surrogates with modified rapid viability-polymerase chain reaction (mRV-PCR) following macrofoam-swab sampling. This study was conducted in parallel with a previously reported study that analyzed spores using a plate-culture method. B. anthracis Sterne (BAS) or B. atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores were deposited onto four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic) at nine target concentrations (2 to 500 spores/coupon; 0.078 to 19.375 colony-forming units [CFU] per cm²). Mean FNR values for mRV-PCR analysis ranged from 0 to 0.917 for BAS and 0 to 0.875 for BG and increased as spore concentration decreased (over the concentrations investigated) for each surface material. FNRs based on mRV-PCR data were not statistically different for BAS and BG, but were significantly lower for glass than for vinyl tile. FNRs also tended to be lower for the mRV-PCR method compared to the culture method. The mRV-PCR LOD₉₅ was lowest for glass (0.429 CFU/cm² with BAS and 0.341 CFU/cm² with BG) and highest for vinyl tile (0.919 CFU/cm² with BAS and 0.917 CFU/cm² with BG). These mRV-PCR LOD₉₅ values were lower than the culture values (BAS: 0.678 to 1.023 CFU/cm² and BG: 0.820 to 1.489 CFU/cm²). The FNR and LOD₉₅ values reported in this work provide guidance for environmental sampling of Bacillus spores at low concentrations.

  14. Molecular ecological network analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Ye

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Understanding the interaction among different species within a community and their responses to environmental changes is a central goal in ecology. However, defining the network structure in a microbial community is very challenging due to their extremely high diversity and as-yet uncultivated status. Although recent advance of metagenomic technologies, such as high throughout sequencing and functional gene arrays, provide revolutionary tools for analyzing microbial community structure, it is still difficult to examine network interactions in a microbial community based on high-throughput metagenomics data. Results Here, we describe a novel mathematical and bioinformatics framework to construct ecological association networks named molecular ecological networks (MENs through Random Matrix Theory (RMT-based methods. Compared to other network construction methods, this approach is remarkable in that the network is automatically defined and robust to noise, thus providing excellent solutions to several common issues associated with high-throughput metagenomics data. We applied it to determine the network structure of microbial communities subjected to long-term experimental warming based on pyrosequencing data of 16 S rRNA genes. We showed that the constructed MENs under both warming and unwarming conditions exhibited topological features of scale free, small world and modularity, which were consistent with previously described molecular ecological networks. Eigengene analysis indicated that the eigengenes represented the module profiles relatively well. In consistency with many other studies, several major environmental traits including temperature and soil pH were found to be important in determining network interactions in the microbial communities examined. To facilitate its application by the scientific community, all these methods and statistical tools have been integrated into a comprehensive Molecular Ecological

  15. Valuation of ecological resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, M.J.; Bilyard, G.R.; Link, S.O.; Ricci, P.F.; Seely, H.E.; Ulibarri, C.A.; Westerdahl, H.E.

    1995-04-01

    Ecological resources are resources that have functional value to ecosystems. Frequently, these functions are overlooked in terms of the value they provide to humans. Environmental economics is in search of an appropriate analysis framework for such resources. In such a framework, it is essential to distinguish between two related subsets of information: (1) ecological processes that have intrinsic value to natural ecosystems; and (2) ecological functions that are values by humans. The present study addresses these concerns by identifying a habitat that is being displaced by development, and by measuring the human and ecological values associated with the ecological resources in that habitat. It is also essential to determine which functions are mutually exclusive and which are, in effect, complementary or products of joint production. The authors apply several resource valuation tools, including contingent valuation methodology (CVM), travel cost methodology (TCM), and hedonic damage-pricing (HDP). One way to derive upper-limit values for more difficult-to-value functions is through the use of human analogs, because human-engineered systems are relatively inefficient at supplying the desired services when compared with natural systems. Where data on the relative efficiencies of natural systems and human analogs exist, it is possible to adjust the costs of providing the human analog by the relative efficiency of the natural system to obtain a more realistic value of the function under consideration. The authors demonstrate this approach in an environmental economic case study of the environmental services rendered by shrub-steppe habitats of Benton County, Washington State.

  16. The redoubtable ecological periodic table

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological periodic tables are repositories of reliable information on quantitative, predictably recurring (periodic) habitat–community patterns and their uncertainty, scaling and transferability. Their reliability derives from their grounding in sound ecological principle...

  17. Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    This is the first step in a long-term effort to develop risk assessment guidelines for ecological effects. Its primary purpose is to offer a simple, flexible structure for conducting and evaluating ecological risk assessment within EPA.

  18. Experimental Design for a Macrofoam-Swab Study Relating the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to Low Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates on Four Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-12-05

    This report describes the experimental design for a laboratory study to quantify the recovery efficiencies and false negative rates of a validated, macrofoam-swab sampling method for low concentrations of Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus (BG) spores on four surface materials (stainless steel, glass, vinyl tile, plastic light cover panel). Two analytical methods (culture and polymerase chain reaction) will be used. Only one previous study has investigated how the false negative rate depends on test factors. The surrogates BAS and BG have not been tested together in the same study previously. Hence, this study will provide for completing gaps in the available information on the performance of macrofoam-swab sampling at low concentrations.

  19. Experimental Design for a Macrofoam Swab Study Relating the Recovery Efficiency and False Negative Rate to Low Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates on Four Surface Materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2014-04-16

    This report describes the experimental design for a laboratory study to quantify the recovery efficiencies and false negative rates of a validated, macrofoam swab sampling method for low concentrations of Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus (BG) spores on four surface materials (stainless steel, glass, vinyl tile, plastic light cover panel). Two analytical methods (plating/counting and polymerase chain reaction) will be used. Only one previous study has investigated false negative as a function of affecting test factors. The surrogates BAS and BG have not been tested together in the same study previously. Hence, this study will provide for completing gaps in the available information on the performance of macrofoam swab sampling at low concentrations.

  20. The mechanism of DNA ejection in the Bacillus anthracis spore-binding phage 8a revealed by cryo-electron tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Xiaofeng [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Walter, Michael H. [Department of Biology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614 (United States); Paredes, Angel [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030 (United States); Morais, Marc C., E-mail: mcmorais@utmb.edu [Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555 (United States); Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555 (United States); Liu, Jun, E-mail: Jun.Liu.1@uth.tmc.edu [Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX 77030 (United States)

    2011-12-20

    The structure of the Bacillus anthracis spore-binding phage 8a was determined by cryo-electron tomography. The phage capsid forms a T = 16 icosahedron attached to a contractile tail via a head-tail connector protein. The tail consists of a six-start helical sheath surrounding a central tail tube, and a structurally novel baseplate at the distal end of the tail that recognizes and attaches to host cells. The parameters of the icosahedral capsid lattice and the helical tail sheath suggest protein folds for the capsid and tail-sheath proteins, respectively, and indicate evolutionary relationships to other dsDNA viruses. Analysis of 2518 intact phage particles show four distinct conformations that likely correspond to four sequential states of the DNA ejection process during infection. Comparison of the four observed conformations suggests a mechanism for DNA ejection, including the molecular basis underlying coordination of tail sheath contraction and genome release from the capsid.

  1. A novel live attenuated anthrax spore vaccine based on an acapsular Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain with mutations in the htrA, lef and cya genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitlaru, Theodor; Israeli, Ma'ayan; Rotem, Shahar; Elia, Uri; Bar-Haim, Erez; Ehrlich, Sharon; Cohen, Ofer; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2017-10-20

    We recently reported the development of a novel, next-generation, live attenuated anthrax spore vaccine based on disruption of the htrA (High Temperature Requirement A) gene in the Bacillus anthracis Sterne veterinary vaccine strain. This vaccine exhibited a highly significant decrease in virulence in murine, guinea pig and rabbit animal models yet preserved the protective value of the parental Sterne strain. Here, we report the evaluation of additional mutations in the lef and cya genes, encoding for the toxin components lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF), to further attenuate the SterneΔhtrA strain and improve its compatibility for human use. Accordingly, we constructed seven B. anthracis Sterne-derived strains exhibiting different combinations of mutations in the htrA, cya and lef genes. The various strains were indistinguishable in growth in vitro and in their ability to synthesise the protective antigen (PA, necessary for the elicitation of protection). In the sensitive murine model, we observed a gradual increase (ΔhtrAattenuation - up to 10 8 -fold relative to the parental Sterne vaccine strain. Most importantly, all various SterneΔhtrA derivative strains did not differ in their ability to elicit protective immunity in guinea pigs. Immunisation of guinea pigs with a single dose (10 9 spores) or double doses (>10 7 spores) of the most attenuated triple mutant strain SterneΔhtrAlef MUT Δcya induced a robust immune response, providing complete protection against a subsequent respiratory lethal challenge. Partial protection was observed in animals vaccinated with a double dose of as few as 10 5 spores. Furthermore, protective immune status was maintained in all vaccinated guinea pigs and rabbits for at least 40 and 30weeks, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Construction and characterization of stable, constitutively expressed, chromosomal green and red fluorescent transcriptional fusions in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shengchang; Bangar, Hansraj; Saldanha, Roland; Pemberton, Adin; Aronow, Bruce; Dean, Gary E; Lamkin, Thomas J; Hassett, Daniel J

    2014-10-01

    Here, we constructed stable, chromosomal, constitutively expressed, green and red fluorescent protein (GFP and RFP) as reporters in the select agents, Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Using bioinformatic approaches and other experimental analyses, we identified P0253 and P1 as potent promoters that drive the optimal expression of fluorescent reporters in single copy in B. anthracis and Burkholderia spp. as well as their surrogate strains, respectively. In comparison, Y. pestis and its surrogate strain need two chromosomal copies of cysZK promoter (P2cysZK) for optimal fluorescence. The P0253-, P2cysZK-, and P1-driven GFP and RFP fusions were first cloned into the vectors pRP1028, pUC18R6KT-mini-Tn7T-Km, pmini-Tn7-gat, or their derivatives. The resultant constructs were delivered into the respective surrogates and subsequently into the select agent strains. The chromosomal GFP- and RFP-tagged strains exhibited bright fluorescence at an exposure time of less than 200 msec and displayed the same virulence traits as their wild-type parental strains. The utility of the tagged strains was proven by the macrophage infection assays and lactate dehydrogenase release analysis. Such strains will be extremely useful in high-throughput screens for novel compounds that could either kill these organisms, or interfere with critical virulence processes in these important bioweapon agents and during infection of alveolar macrophages. © 2014 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Nutrition, ecology and nutritional ecology: towardan integrated framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Steven J.; Mayntz, David

    2009-01-01

    1. The science of nutritional ecology spans a wide range of fields, including ecology, nutrition, behaviour, morphology, physiology, life history and evolutionary biology. But does nutritional ecology have a unique theoretical framework and research program and thus qualify as a field of research...... in its own right? 2. We suggest that the distinctive feature of nutritional ecology is its integrative nature, and that the field would benefit from more attention to formalizing a theoretical and quantitative framework for developing this. 3. Such a framework, we propose, should satisfy three minimal...... requirements: it should be nutritionally explicit, organismally explicit, and ecologically explicit. 4. We evaluate against these criteria four existing frameworks (Optimal Foraging Theory, Classical Insect Nutritional Ecology, the Geometric Framework for nutrition, and Ecological Stoichiometry), and conclude...

  4. Chasing Ecological Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordano, Pedro

    2016-09-01

    Basic research on biodiversity has concentrated on individual species-naming new species, studying distribution patterns, and analyzing their evolutionary relationships. Yet biodiversity is more than a collection of individual species; it is the combination of biological entities and processes that support life on Earth. To understand biodiversity we must catalog it, but we must also assess the ways species interact with other species to provide functional support for the Tree of Life. Ecological interactions may be lost well before the species involved in those interactions go extinct; their ecological functions disappear even though they remain. Here, I address the challenges in studying the functional aspects of species interactions and how basic research is helping us address the fast-paced extinction of species due to human activities.

  5. Socio-Ecological Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edgeman, Rick; Eskildsen, Jacob Kjær

    is part of the enterprise cultural fabric, is foundational to enterprise strategy, and contributes to the financial security of the enterprise. Innovation for Sustainability is innovation that is specifically targeted to address ecological and / or societal considerations. That is, Innovation......Socio‐Ecological Innovation or SEI is innovation resulting from strategic integration of sustainable innovation and innovation for sustainability. In particular SEI is regarded as critical to organizations intent on progressing toward Sustainable Enterprise Excellence (SEE) and, indeed, progressing...... toward the asymptotic goal of becoming a continuously relevant and responsible organization (CR2O). Sustainable Innovation is something that is attained only when innovation in an enterprise is regular, systematic, and systemic to the endeavors of the enterprise itself – that is – Sustainable Innovation...

  6. Crinoid Ecological Morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumiller, Tomasz K.

    2008-05-01

    Recent studies of crinoids reveal that their connective tissue, known to be mutable, is also contractile, and that certain stalked taxa are capable of crawling and subject to predation by cidaroid sea urchin. Aspects of crinoid functional morphology, ecology, and paleobiology are reviewed in the context of these findings. Mutability and contractility of ligament are important to autotomy, posture maintenance, and motility, and those, in turn, are shown to play a role in how crinoids acquire nutrients, select habitats and respond to predation pressure. A review of predation on crinoids supports the view that it is ecologically significant. Motility, a trait critical for handling predation pressure by stalkless crinoids, is shown to play an analogous role in stalked crinoids. The distribution of traits required for motility among extant and fossil crinoids reveals that their frequency increased dramatically following the Permo-Triassic extinction, with low values characterizing the Paleozoic and high values characterizing the post-Paleozoic.

  7. Fundamental ecology is fundamental.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courchamp, Franck; Dunne, Jennifer A; Le Maho, Yvon; May, Robert M; Thébaud, Christophe; Hochberg, Michael E

    2015-01-01

    The primary reasons for conducting fundamental research are satisfying curiosity, acquiring knowledge, and achieving understanding. Here we develop why we believe it is essential to promote basic ecological research, despite increased impetus for ecologists to conduct and present their research in the light of potential applications. This includes the understanding of our environment, for intellectual, economical, social, and political reasons, and as a major source of innovation. We contend that we should focus less on short-term, objective-driven research and more on creativity and exploratory analyses, quantitatively estimate the benefits of fundamental research for society, and better explain the nature and importance of fundamental ecology to students, politicians, decision makers, and the general public. Our perspective and underlying arguments should also apply to evolutionary biology and to many of the other biological and physical sciences. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Editorial: Pedagogical Media Ecologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothee M. Meister

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available From educational gaming through portable e-readers to cell phones, media are interpenetrating educational spaces and activities. Accordingly, understanding media in environmental or ecological terms has become increasingly important for education internationally. In North America, for example, the centenary of McLuhan’s birth has focused attention on approaches to media – whether oral, textual, electronic or digital– as a kind of environment in which education takes place. In parts of Europe, the so-called mediatic turn – following on the linguistic and iconic turns – has similarly emphasized the role of media as a condition for the possibility of educational activities and programs. With a few exceptions1 the papers in this special issue were first presented at the conference «Educational Media Ecologies: International Perspectives» which took place at the University of Paderborn, Germany, on March 27–28, 2012.2 The event was an interdisciplinary and transatlantic endeavor to bring together a wide range of perspectives on various issues relevant to educational media ecologies,3 and on related debates on mediation, medialization, mediatization, and mediality.4 The purpose of this volume, like the conference, is to foster and deepen international dialogue in the area of educational media. Areas of research and scholarship relevant to this dialogue include educational media, media literacy, educational philosophy, and media and cultural studies. The contributions, described below, put conceptual issues as well as social practices and applications at the center of the debate. Klaus Rummler opens the issue by clarifying the concept of ecology itself. Referencing a range of work over the past 50 years, Rummler describes how ecological models have been cast in sociological, semiotic, cultural, mediatic and other terms, and he explains the implications of these various perspectives for the study of educational contexts. Rummler also

  9. Moral hazard in ecology

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fayle, Tom Maurice

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 3, Article no. 3 (2015), s. 1-2 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA14-32302S Grant - others:Australian Research Council Discovery Grant(AU) DP140101541 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : economic crisis * moral hazard * power asymmetry Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fevo.2015.00003/full

  10. 2030 the ecological crisis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferone, G.

    2008-01-01

    The ecological crisis will happen on 2030. A combination of climatic change, energy problems, increase in population, will mix up. The author debates about true questions on the economy: how to get quickly towards renewable energies use, how much will it cost, must we generalize the carbon tax, what about economic giant as India and China, what about the technology development to solve the crisis? (A.L.B.)

  11. Groundwater ecology literature review

    OpenAIRE

    Maurice, L.

    2009-01-01

    Groundwater ecology is the study of ecosystems that occur in the subsurface within groundwater. Groundwater often contains a diverse range of organisms, and those that live in groundwater and generally do not live above the ground surface are called Stygobites. Stygobites species come from several different taxonomic groups of animals. Many animals found in groundwater are Crustaceans (Copepoda, Ostracoda, Amphipoda, Isopoda, Syncarida, Cladocera) but species of Oligocheata and...

  12. GNP - an ecological catastrophe?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lejon, E.

    1996-01-01

    In this chapter of the book author deals with the ecological aspects of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project (GNP) as well as other projects on the European rivers. Ground water levels profiles are presented. Effects of the GNP on the forests, flora, and fauna are discussed. The conditions for delta region protection are presented. Chemical and radioactive contamination, as well as their synergistic effects are discussed

  13. Resilience Through Ecological Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grazia Brunetta

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The paper explores the strategic role that urban biodiversity and ecosystem services management, natural infrastructure and adaptive governance approaches can play in making our economies and societies more resilient and in linking human societies and the natural environment. Resilience – a concept that entered the debate on urban governance – means the ability of urban systems, considered as linear-systems, to react to external disturbances by returning to some socio-ecological equilibrium steady-state by overcoming a crisis period (Gunderson & al. 2010, Newman & al. 2009. In this view, green infrastructures can assume a strategic role in restoring and enhancing the ecological and environmental livability in urban areas. Starting from the International and European context, the paper discusses innovative programs and interdisciplinary projects and practices (some cases in Turin Metropolitan Area to demonstrate how green infrastructures can increase the adaptive capacity of urban systems in term of resilience. They can contribute to increase the ability of European cities to adapt to climate change and to reduce their ecological footprints, to enhance security and life quality.

  14. Ecology for a changing earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, J.H.; Roughgarden, J.

    1990-01-01

    To forecast the ecological impact of global change, research initiatives are needed on the explicit role of humans in ecological systems, and on how ecological processes functioning at different spatial and temporal scales are coupled. Furthermore, to synthesize the results of ecological research for Congress, policymakers, and the general public, a new agency, called the United States Ecological Survey (USES) is urgently required. Also, a national commitment to environmental health, as exemplified by establishing a National Institutes of the Environment (NIE), should be a goal

  15. Ecology for a changing earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, J.H. (New Mexico Univ., Albuquerque, NM (United States)); Roughgarden, J. (Stanford Univ., CA (United States))

    1990-02-06

    To forecast the ecological impact of global change, research initiatives are needed on the explicit role of humans in ecological systems, and on how ecological processes functioning at different spatial and temporal scales are coupled. Furthermore, to synthesize the results of ecological research for Congress, policymakers, and the general public, a new agency, called the United States Ecological Survey (USES) is urgently required. Also, a national commitment to environmental health, as exemplified by establishing a National Institutes of the Environment (NIE), should be a goal.

  16. European ecological networks and greenways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart

    2004-01-01

    In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been...... renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks....... This complex interaction between cultural and natural features results in quite different ways for the elaboration of ecological networks and greenways....

  17. Statistical ecology comes of age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T.; Morgan, Byron J. T.; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M.; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M.; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1–4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data. PMID:25540151

  18. Statistical ecology comes of age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Olivier; Buckland, Stephen T; Morgan, Byron J T; Bez, Nicolas; Bertrand, Sophie; Choquet, Rémi; Dray, Stéphane; Etienne, Marie-Pierre; Fewster, Rachel; Gosselin, Frédéric; Mérigot, Bastien; Monestiez, Pascal; Morales, Juan M; Mortier, Frédéric; Munoz, François; Ovaskainen, Otso; Pavoine, Sandrine; Pradel, Roger; Schurr, Frank M; Thomas, Len; Thuiller, Wilfried; Trenkel, Verena; de Valpine, Perry; Rexstad, Eric

    2014-12-01

    The desire to predict the consequences of global environmental change has been the driver towards more realistic models embracing the variability and uncertainties inherent in ecology. Statistical ecology has gelled over the past decade as a discipline that moves away from describing patterns towards modelling the ecological processes that generate these patterns. Following the fourth International Statistical Ecology Conference (1-4 July 2014) in Montpellier, France, we analyse current trends in statistical ecology. Important advances in the analysis of individual movement, and in the modelling of population dynamics and species distributions, are made possible by the increasing use of hierarchical and hidden process models. Exciting research perspectives include the development of methods to interpret citizen science data and of efficient, flexible computational algorithms for model fitting. Statistical ecology has come of age: it now provides a general and mathematically rigorous framework linking ecological theory and empirical data.

  19. The Poly-γ-D-Glutamic Acid Capsule of Bacillus licheniformis, a Surrogate of Bacillus anthracis Capsule Induces Interferon-Gamma Production in NK Cells through Interactions with Macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hae-Ri; Jeon, Jun Ho; Rhie, Gi-Eun

    2017-05-28

    The poly-γ- D -glutamic acid (PGA) capsule, a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis , provides protection of the bacterium from phagocytosis and allows its unimpeded growth in the host. We investigated crosstalk between murine natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages stimulated with the PGA capsule of Bacillus licheniformis , a surrogate of the B. anthracis capsule. PGA induced interferon-gamma production from NK cells cultured with macrophages. This effect was dependent on macrophage-derived IL-12 and cell-cell contact interaction with macrophages through NK cell receptor NKG2D and its ligand RAE-1. The results showed that PGA could enhance NK cell activation by inducing IL-12 production in macrophages and a contact-dependent crosstalk with macrophages.

  20. Genetic evidence for the involvement of the S-layer protein gene sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in Phage AP50c infection of Bacillus anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaut, Roger D; Beaber, John W; Zemansky, Jason; Kaur, Ajinder P; George, Matroner; Biswas, Biswajit; Henry, Matthew; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A; Mokashi, Vishwesh; Hannah, Ryan M; Pope, Robert K; Read, Timothy D; Stibitz, Scott; Calendar, Richard; Sozhamannan, Shanmuga

    2014-03-01

    In order to better characterize the Bacillus anthracis typing phage AP50c, we designed a genetic screen to identify its bacterial receptor. Insertions of the transposon mariner or targeted deletions of the structural gene for the S-layer protein Sap and the sporulation genes spo0A, spo0B, and spo0F in B. anthracis Sterne resulted in phage resistance with concomitant defects in phage adsorption and infectivity. Electron microscopy of bacteria incubated with AP50c revealed phage particles associated with the surface of bacilli of the Sterne strain but not with the surfaces of Δsap, Δspo0A, Δspo0B, or Δspo0F mutants. The amount of Sap in the S layer of each of the spo0 mutant strains was substantially reduced compared to that of the parent strain, and incubation of AP50c with purified recombinant Sap led to a substantial reduction in phage activity. Phylogenetic analysis based on whole-genome sequences of B. cereus sensu lato strains revealed several closely related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains that carry sap genes with very high similarities to the sap gene of B. anthracis. Complementation of the Δsap mutant in trans with the wild-type B. anthracis sap or the sap gene from either of two different B. cereus strains that are sensitive to AP50c infection restored phage sensitivity, and electron microscopy confirmed attachment of phage particles to the surface of each of the complemented strains. Based on these data, we postulate that Sap is involved in AP50c infectivity, most likely acting as the phage receptor, and that the spo0 genes may regulate synthesis of Sap and/or formation of the S layer.

  1. Ecological alarm system for Itaipu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Faehser, L.

    1984-05-01

    At Itaipu, on the Rio Parana, Brazil and Paraguay are constructing the world's largest hydro-electric power plant with a capacity seven times as high as that of Assuan. An information system is intended to give fair warning in case of threatening ecological conditions. The computer-supported alarm system had four objectives: 1. presentation of the present ecological situation; 2. evaluation of the ecological risks; 3. warning about ecological deficits; 4. suggestions for establishing ecological stability. In a first step the available inventory data concerning soil, topography, vegetation and water were evaluated by expert groups according to their risk grade (0-4) and ecological weight (1-10). The product of these evaluations indicates the ecological deficit (0-40). At a threshold value of 30, the information system automatically signals ecological alarm and locates the centre of danger via computer-plotted maps and tables. The necessary data are supplied periodically by selected measurement stations. Quantification of ecological facts enables the persons who are responsible for decisions at Itaipu to recognize, avoid, or diminish elements of danger even if they have little or no ecological knowledge. The file of data that has been compiled so far should be extended parallel with the development in the Itaipu area. With the help of factor analysis connections of cause and effect can be detected in this extremely complex reservoir system which has hardly been explored yet.

  2. Terrestrial Ecology Section

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harris, W.F.

    1978-01-01

    Studies on ecological effects of coal combustion included the following: episodic air pollution stress; interaction of gaseous pollutants and acid precipitation; and brimstone: preliminary results from SO 2 effects on forest growth. Studies on fate and transport of contaminants included deposition of aerosol-associated trace elements to a deciduous forest; hydrologic source areas; and environmental behavior of mercury. The environmental research park is described and forest resource management is discussed. Ecosystem analysis studies included hydrology of Walker branch; water budget of an oak-hickory forest; nutrient release from decaying wood; transpiration of the tulip poplar; and atmospheric CO 2 and its interaction with biospheric changes

  3. Ecology Beyond Building

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peters, Terri

    2011-01-01

    As the designers of the WWf building in Zeist, The Netherslands a CO2-neutral, self-sufficient office complex, RAU has set the bar for sustainable research and design. Guesteditor Terri Peters visited the firm's studio in Amsterdam to talk to principal Thomas Rau. As Peters relates, Rau prefers t...... to put on the dwindling supply of raw materials rather than the immidiate problems of energy consumption for which there are solutions within reach. With the emphasis on a more far-reaching approach, he places buildings in a wider context of ecological thinking and systems....

  4. Ecology and basic laws

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mayer-Tasch, P.C.

    1980-01-01

    The author sketches the critical relation between ecology and basic law - critical in more than one sense. He points out the incompatibility of constitutional states and atomic states which is due to constitutional order being jeopardised by nuclear policy. He traces back the continuously rising awareness of pollution and the modern youth movement to their common root i.e. the awakening, the youth movement of the turn of the century. Eventually, he considers an economical, political, and social decentralization as a feasible alternative which would considerably relieve our basic living conditions from the threatening forms of civilization prevailing. (HSCH) [de

  5. Ecological and general systems an introduction to systems ecology

    CERN Document Server

    Odum, Howard T.

    1994-01-01

    Using an energy systems language that combines energetics, kinetics, information, cybernetics, and simulation, Ecological and General Systems compares models of many fields of science, helping to derive general systems principles. First published as Systems Ecology in 1983, Ecological and General Systems proposes principles of self-organization and the designs that prevail by maximizing power and efficiency. Comparisons to fifty other systems languages are provided. Innovative presentations are given on earth homeostasis (Gaia); the inadequacy of presenting equations without network relationships and energy constraints; the alternative interpretation of high entropy complexity as adaptive structure; basic equations of ecological economics; and the energy basis of scientific hierarchy.

  6. Ecological transfer mechanisms - Terrestrial

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, W.E.; Raines, Gilbert E.; Bloom, S.G.; Levin, A.A.

    1969-01-01

    Radionuclides produced by nuclear excavation detonations and released to the environment may enter a variety of biogeochemical cycles and follow essentially the same transfer pathways as their stable-element counterparts. Estimation of potential internal radiation doses to individuals and/or populations living in or near fallout-contaminated areas requires analysis of the food-chain and other ecological pathways by which radionuclides released to the environment may be returned to man. A generalized materials transfer diagram, applicable to the forest, agricultural, freshwater and marine ecosystems providing food and water to the indigenous population of Panama and Colombia in regions that could be affected by nuclear excavation of a sea-level canal between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is presented. Transfer mechanisms effecting the movement of stable elements and radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems are discussed, and methods used to simulate these processes by means of mathematical models are described to show how intake values are calculated for different radionuclides in the major ecological pathways leading to man. These data provide a basis for estimating potential internal radiation doses for comparison with the radiation protection criteria established by recognized authorities; and this, in turn, provides a basis for recommending measures to insure the radiological safety of the nuclear operation plan. (author)

  7. Dietary ecology of human

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minagawa, Masao

    1990-01-01

    The dietary life of humans varies with the environment where they live and has been changing with time. It has become possible to examine such changes by using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope composition as a chemical tool. The present report outlines recent developments in the application of this tool and compares the dietary ecologies of various human groups from the viewpoint of isotope geochemistry. The history of the application of this tool to dietary analysis is summarized first, and features of the carbon and nitrogen isotope composition in animals and their relations with the food chain are outlined. The dietary ecology of the current people is then discussed in relation to the isotope composition in food, the isotope composition in hair of the current people, and determination of food habit of specific groups of people from such isotope compositions. For prediction of dietary composition, the report presents a flow chart for an algorism which is based on the Monte Carlo method. It also outlines processes for analyzing food habits of people in the prehistoric age, focusing on distribution of isotope composition in humans over the world. (N.K.)

  8. ECOLOGICAL GROWTH BOUNDARIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna BLUSZCZ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The trends of the society for the continuous growth, combined with the demographic changes, today have led to the important ecological problems on a global scale, which include, among others: the increased use of non-renewable natu-ral resources, an increase of the greenhouse gas emissions, contamination of soil, water, air and the progressive degra-dation of ecosystems. In the face of such serious threats the global initiatives of all countries are important to limit the results of the excessive consumption. The aim of the article is to present the methods of measurement of the consump-tion level of natural resources by the societies and the examination of relationships between the level of development of the societies and the use of resources. The popular measure – the ecological footprint – was used as a measurement method for the consumption of the today’s generations in relation to the regenerative possibilities of the natural envi-ronment. On the other hand, as the assessment method for the level of development of societies – the Human Develop-ment Index (HDI, including three basic areas: the life expectancy, GDP level per capita and education was used. The results of the research indicate that the current trend of the unlimited consumption of the highly developed countries takes place at the expense of the future generations.

  9. Ecological Growth Boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bluszcz, Anna

    2017-03-01

    The trends of the society for the continuous growth, combined with the demographic changes, today have led to the important ecological problems on a global scale, which include, among others: the increased use of non-renewable natural resources, an increase of the greenhouse gas emissions, contamination of soil, water, air and the progressive degradation of ecosystems. In the face of such serious threats the global initiatives of all countries are important to limit the results of the excessive consumption. The aim of the article is to present the methods of measurement of the consumption level of natural resources by the societies and the examination of relationships between the level of development of the societies and the use of resources. The popular measure - the ecological footprint - was used as a measurement method for the consumption of the today's generations in relation to the regenerative possibilities of the natural environment. On the other hand, as the assessment method for the level of development of societies - the Human Development Index (HDI), including three basic areas: the life expectancy, GDP level per capita and education was used. The results of the research indicate that the current trend of the unlimited consumption of the highly developed countries takes place at the expense of the future generations.

  10. Energy and Ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dimitrov, Konstantin

    1996-01-01

    With the increase of standard of living of the people, the criteria for a comfortable, secure and foremost a healthy manner of living also increase. Thus arise the stressed importance and necessity of more attention for the issues of protection of the environment, for a better life of future generations, as well as for global problems which do not recognize borders. Republic of Macedonia also contributes in this direction within the frame of its possibilities. The creation of the National Ecological Action Plan /NEAP/, is currently being carried out by the Ministry of Construction, Urbanism and Ecology of Republic Macedonia, financed by the World Bank. The most significant part of the material prepared by the author in this project has been presented, also discussed in detail and worked through with the representatives of the World Bank because of the importance of the energy sector for the development of a state. An energy balance of Macedonia until the end of 1995 is presented here, as well as quantities of harmful effluents emitted through these transformations of energy. (author). 24 tabs., 2 ills

  11. Ecologically Enhancing Coastal Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mac Arthur, Mairi; Naylor, Larissa; Hansom, Jim; Burrows, Mike; Boyd, Ian

    2017-04-01

    Hard engineering structures continue to proliferate in the coastal zone globally in response to increasing pressures associated with rising sea levels, coastal flooding and erosion. These structures are typically plain-cast by design and function as poor ecological surrogates for natural rocky shores which are highly topographically complex and host a range of available microhabitats for intertidal species. Ecological enhancement mitigates some of these negative impacts by integrating components of nature into the construction and design of these structures to improve their sustainability, resilience and multifunctionality. In the largest UK ecological enhancement trial to date, 184 tiles (15x15cm) of up to nine potential designs were deployed on vertical concrete coastal infrastructure in 2016 at three sites across the UK (Saltcoats, Blackness and Isle of Wight). The surface texture and complexity of the tiles were varied to test the effect of settlement surface texture at the mm-cm scale of enhancement on the success of colonisation and biodiversity in the mid-upper intertidal zone in order to answer the following experimental hypotheses: • Tiles with mm-scale geomorphic complexity will have greater barnacle abundances • Tiles with cm-scale geomorphic complexity will have greater species richness than mm-scale tiles. A range of methods were used in creating the tile designs including terrestrial laser scanning of creviced rock surfaces to mimic natural rocky shore complexity as well as artificially generated complexity using computer software. The designs replicated the topographic features of high ecological importance found on natural rocky shores and promoted species recruitment and community composition on artificial surfaces; thus enabling us to evaluate biological responses to geomorphic complexity in a controlled field trial. At two of the sites, the roughest tile designs (cm scale) did not have the highest levels of barnacle recruits which were

  12. Ecological modernization of sustainable buildings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Ole; Gram-Hanssen, Kirsten

    2008-01-01

    This article will examine how the contemporary development of sustainable buildings has been influenced by the concept of ecological modernisation. Ecological modernisation is a policy concept describing how environmental considerations are increasingly being integrated into modern society...... driven by enthusiasts and grassroots to being a more widespread, generally obtainable and integrated product. We will discuss to what degree this can be understood within the ideas of ecological modernisation, and then discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this development. Based on the concepts...

  13. Ecosystem Management and Ecological Modeling

    OpenAIRE

    JØrgensen, S.E.

    2002-01-01

    It is the intention of this paper to demonstrate that environmental technology must be supplemented by other tools to be able to solve environmental problems properly. Five cases are used to illustrate the possibilities of ecological engineering, a new engineering field based on ecology, as chemical engineering is based on chemistry. It encompasses restoration of ecosystems, utilization of ecosystems to the benefit of both mankind and nature, construction of ecosystems, and ecologically sound...

  14. Framework for ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodier, D.; Norton, S.

    1992-02-01

    Increased interest in ecological issues such as global climate change, habitat loss, acid deposition, reduced biological diversity, and the ecological impacts of pesticides and toxic chemicals prompts this U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, A Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment ('Framework Report'). The report describes basic elements, or a framework, for evaluating scientific information on the adverse effects of physical and chemical stressors on the environment. The framework offers starting principles and a simple structure as guidance for current ecological risk assessments and as a foundation for future EPA proposals for risk assessment guidelines

  15. Sustainable ecological systems: Implementing an ecological approach to land management

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Wallace Covington; Leonard F. DeBano

    1994-01-01

    This conference brought together scientiests and managers from federal, state, and local agencies, along with private-sector interests, to examine key concepts involving sustainable ecological systems, and ways in which to apply these concepts to ecosystem management. Session topics were: ecological consequenses of land and water use changes, biology of rare and...

  16. Ecological Research Division Theoretical Ecology Program. [Contains abstracts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-10-01

    This report presents the goals of the Theoretical Ecology Program and abstracts of research in progress. Abstracts cover both theoretical research that began as part of the terrestrial ecology core program and new projects funded by the theoretical program begun in 1988. Projects have been clustered into four major categories: Ecosystem dynamics; landscape/scaling dynamics; population dynamics; and experiment/sample design.

  17. The ecology of an ecology project and some suggested adaptations ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mere dissemination of ecology teaching materials is likely to be ineffective in making the classroom teaching of ecology more meaningful. It may be necessary to take a more comprehensive view of the processes by which teachers change their practices. The article addresses both private sector and education department ...

  18. the ecology of an ecology project and some suggested adaptations

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mere dissemination of ecology teaching materials is likely to be ineffective in making the classroom teaching of ecology more meaningful. It may be necessary to take a more compre- hensive view of the ..... There is an argument that the movement toward professionalisation in fact does little to improve teachers• standing in ...

  19. Ecology and ecological quality of fish in lakes and reservoirs

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kubečka, Jan; Boukal S., David; Čech, Martin; Hickley, P.; Kitchell, J. F.; Ricard, Daniel; Rudstam, L.; Soukalová, Kateřina; Welcomme, R.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 173, January (2016), s. 1-3 ISSN 0165-7836 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : fish ecological quality * ecological potential * distribution * migration * bioindicators * management monitoring * food webs Subject RIV: GL - Fishing Impact factor: 2.185, year: 2016

  20. Civic Ecology: Linking Social and Ecological Approaches in Extension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasny, Marianne E.; Tidball, Keith G.

    2010-01-01

    Civic ecology refers to the philosophy and science of community forestry, community gardening, watershed enhancement, and other volunteer-driven restoration practices in cities and elsewhere. Such practices, although often viewed as initiatives to improve a degraded environment, also foster social attributes of resilient social-ecological systems,…

  1. Aquatic Ecology Section

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brocksen, R.W.

    1978-01-01

    Population studies were concerned with predicting long-term consequences of mortality imposed on animal populations by man's activities. These studies consisted of development of a generalized life cycle model and an empirical impingement model for use in impact analysis. Chemical effects studies were conducted on chlorine minimization; fouling by the Asiatic clam; identification of halogenated organics in cooling water; and effects of halogenated organics in cooling systems on aquatic organisms. Ecological transport studies were conducted on availability of sediment-bound 137 Cs and 60 Co to fish; 137 Cs and 60 Co in White Oak Lake fish; and chromium levels in fish from a lake chronically contaminated with chromates from cooling towers. Progress is also reported on the following: effects of irradiation on thermal tolerance of mosquito fish; toxicity of nickel to the developing eggs and larvae of carp; accumulation of selected heavy metals associated with fly ash; and environmental monitoring of aquatic ecosystems

  2. Ecological Functions of Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiryushin, V. I.

    2018-01-01

    Ecological functions of landscapes are considered a system of processes ensuring the development, preservation, and evolution of ecosystems and the biosphere as a whole. The concept of biogeocenosis can be considered a model that integrates biotic and environmental functions. The most general biogeocenotic functions specify the biodiversity, biotic links, self-organization, and evolution of ecosystems. Close interaction between biocenosis and the biotope (ecotope) is ensured by the continuous exchange of matter, energy, and information. Ecotope determines the biocenosis. The group of ecotopic functions includes atmospheric (gas exchange, heat exchange, hydroatmospheric, climate-forming), lithospheric (geodynamic, geophysical, and geochemical), hydrologic and hydrogeologic functions of landscape and ecotopic functions of soils. Bioecological functions emerge as a result of the biotope and ecotope interaction; these are the bioproductive, destructive, organoaccumulative, biochemical (gas, concentration, redox, biochemical, biopedological), pedogenetic, and energy functions

  3. Ecological Interface Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vicente, Kim J.; Rasmussen, Jens

    1992-01-01

    A theoretical framework for designing interfaces for complex human-machine systems is proposed. The framework, called ecological interface design (EID), is based on the skills, rules, knowledge taxonomy of cognitive control. The basic goal of EID is twofold: first, not to force processing....... Three prescriptive design principles are suggested to achieve this objective, each directed at supporting a particular level of cognitive control. Theoretical foundations of the framework are laid out. Particular attention is paid to presenting a coherent deductive argument justifying the principles...... of other approaches to interface design indicates that EID has a unique and significant contribution to make. Third, the results of an initial empirical evaluation also provide some preliminary support for the EID framework. Some issues for future research are outlined....

  4. Ecology of estuaries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kennish, M.J.

    1992-01-01

    Ecology of Estuaries: Anthropogenic Effects represents the most definitive and comprehensive source of reference information available on the human impact on estuarine ecosystems. The book discusses both acute and insidious pollution problems plaguing these coastal ecotones. It also provides a detailed examination of the deleterious and pervasive effects of human activities on biotic communities and sensitive habitat areas in estuaries. Specific areas covered include organic loading, oil pollution, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, heavy metals, dredging and dredge-spoil disposal, radionuclides, as well as other contaminants and processes. The diverse components of these anthropogenic influences are assembled in an organized framework and presented in a clear and concise style that will facilitate their understanding

  5. Ecological recovery in ERA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA Scientific Committee (Scientific Committee); Topping, Christopher John

    2016-01-01

    knowledge and data retrieved from the literature. Finally, the information presented in this opinion was reviewed by experts from the relevant EFSA Panels, European risk assessment bodies and through an open consultation requesting input from stakeholders. A conceptual framework was developed to address......EFSA performs environmental risk assessments (ERAs) for single potential stressors such as plant protection products, genetically modified organisms and feed additives and for invasive alien species that are harmful for plant health. In this risk assessment domain, the EFSA Scientific Committee...... recognises the importance of more integrated ERAs considering both the local and landscape scales, as well as the possible co-occurrence of multiple potential stressors that fall under the remit of EFSA, which are important when addressing ecological recovery. In this scientific opinion, the Scientific...

  6. Deep Ecology: Beyond Mere Environmentalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Suzanne

    1994-01-01

    Outlines the principles of deep ecology, a movement that questions the societal values that have resulted in damage to the earth's life-supporting biosphere. In contrast to shallow reform, deep ecology encourages individuals to examine their values and relationship to nature to address the environmental crisis. (LP)

  7. Ecology: From Individuals to Collectives

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 19; Issue 4. Ecology: From Individuals to Collectives: A Physicist's Perspective on Ecology. Vishwesha Guttal. Series Article Volume 19 Issue 4 April 2014 pp 368-375. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  8. The Future of Urban Ecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elle, Morten

    1998-01-01

    This article is discusing the basic conditions for a positive development of urban ecology in Denmark. A number of battles has to be won.......This article is discusing the basic conditions for a positive development of urban ecology in Denmark. A number of battles has to be won....

  9. Information Retrieval for Ecological Syntheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayliss, Helen R.; Beyer, Fiona R.

    2015-01-01

    Research syntheses are increasingly being conducted within the fields of ecology and environmental management. Information retrieval is crucial in any synthesis in identifying data for inclusion whilst potentially reducing biases in the dataset gathered, yet the nature of ecological information provides several challenges when compared with…

  10. Ecological fundamentals of environmental protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haber, W.

    1993-01-01

    The book reviews the state of the art of ecological knowledge. The emphasis is on ecosystem theory and in the interpretation of our environment with its irreversible anthropogenic changes. It is an important contribution to deeper knowledge about the ecological fundamentals of environmental protection and the factors that constitute nature's potential. (orig./BBR) [de

  11. Ecological networks in urban landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cook, E.A.

    2000-01-01

    This research focuses on the topic of ecological networks in urban landscapes. Analysis and planning of ecological networks is a relatively new phenomenon and is a response to fragmentation and deterioration of quality of natural systems. In agricultural areas and with existing nature

  12. SRS ecology: Environmental information document

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wike, L.D.; Shipley, R.W.; Bowers, J.A. [and others

    1993-09-01

    The purpose of this Document is to provide a source of ecological information based on the exiting knowledge gained from research conducted at the Savannah River Site. This document provides a summary and synthesis of ecological research in the three main ecosystem types found at SRS and information on the threatened and endangered species residing there.

  13. SRS ecology: Environmental information document

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wike, L.D.; Shipley, R.W.; Bowers, J.A.

    1993-09-01

    The purpose of this Document is to provide a source of ecological information based on the exiting knowledge gained from research conducted at the Savannah River Site. This document provides a summary and synthesis of ecological research in the three main ecosystem types found at SRS and information on the threatened and endangered species residing there

  14. Molecular ecology of aquatic microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

    Abstracts of reports are presented from a meeting on Molecular Ecology of Aquatic Microbes. Topics included: opportunities offered to aquatic ecology by molecular biology; the role of aquatic microbes in biogeochemical cycles; characterization of the microbial community; the effect of the environment on aquatic microbes; and the targeting of specific biological processes.

  15. Testing the ecological site group concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    The 2016 “Ecological Sites for Landscape Management” special issue of Rangelands recommended an update to our thinking of Ecological Sites, suggesting that in our desire to make Ecological Sites more quantitative, we abandoned consideration of Ecological Sites’ spatial context. In response, Ecologic...

  16. Use of ecological exposure units in ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferenbaugh, R.; Myers, O.; Gallegos, A.; Breshears, D.; Ebinger, M.

    1995-01-01

    The traditional approach to ecological risk assessment at hazardous waste sites that are being evaluated for cleanup under CERCLA or RCRA requirements is to focus on the immediate impacts at or adjacent to a site. While this may be acceptable in some situations, it is not ecologically defensible in situations where there are numerous contaminated sites in proximity to each other. In the latter case, transport from the sites, potential cumulative effects, and wide-ranging receptors must be considered. The concept of the Ecological Exposure Unit (EEU) has been proposed to address this situation. Ecological Exposure Units are defined on the basis of ecological considerations and each EEU may contain several to many contaminated sites. The initial steps involved in performing ecological risk assessments using the EEU approach include (1) selection of appropriate receptors and assessment endpoints, and (2) geographical definition of EEUs. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, receptors have been identified and EEUs have been defined for these receptors. GIS is being used as a tool to map EEUs. Receptors include representatives from threatened or endangered species, species reflecting status of ecological health, species with social or cultural relevance, and other species of concern. After definition of EEUs, cumulative impacts of all stressors at all sites within each EEU must be evaluated. The two major advantages to performing ecological risk assessments using this approach are that risk assessments are performed in a more scientifically defensible manner because they are performed on ecologically defined units and that resources are used optimally by minimizing redundant remedial activities

  17. Structural and Functional Properties of Exopolysaccharide Excreted by a NovelBacillus anthracis(Strain PFAB2) of Hot Spring Origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Aparna; Rudra, Shalini Gaur; Mazumder, Koushik; Nigam, Vinod; Bandopadhyay, Rajib

    2018-03-01

    Exopolysaccharide produced by a unique avirulent Bacillus anthracis strain PFAB2 of hot spring origin has been characterized and its functional properties are investigated which is a first report. Maximum yield of EPS is 7.66 g/l with 2% glucose and 1% peptone as optimum carbon and nitrogen source respectively. The EPS is found to be a homopolymer consisting of only glucose as principle monosaccharide component. Through 1 H NMR study, different dextran-like proton peaks are observed. Molecular weight of the EPS resembles low molecular weight bacterial origin polysaccharides. Melting transition of the EPS has started after 276 °C which indicates good thermal stability. The EPS also shows potent antioxidant activity in terms of DPPH and ABTS mediated free radical scavenging property compared to standard ascorbic acid. Emulsifying property of the EPS is also observed and has shown good emulsification of vegetable oils. The polysaccharide forms a thermo resistant gel during the heating phase, with G' higher than G″ indicating excellent shear-thinning behaviour and viscoelastic nature of the EPS.

  18. Response surface modeling for hot, humid air decontamination of materials contaminated with Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Response surface methodology using a face-centered cube design was used to describe and predict spore inactivation of Bacillus anthracis ∆Sterne and Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam spores after exposure of six spore-contaminated materials to hot, humid air. For each strain/material pair, an attempt was made to fit a first or second order model. All three independent predictor variables (temperature, relative humidity, and time) were significant in the models except that time was not significant for B. thuringiensis Al Hakam on nylon. Modeling was unsuccessful for wiring insulation and wet spores because there was complete spore inactivation in the majority of the experimental space. In cases where a predictive equation could be fit, response surface plots with time set to four days were generated. The survival of highly purified Bacillus spores can be predicted for most materials tested when given the settings for temperature, relative humidity, and time. These predictions were cross-checked with spore inactivation measurements. PMID:24949256

  19. Structure of the Bacillus anthracis dTDP- L -rhamnose-biosynthetic enzyme glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase (RfbA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baumgartner, Jackson; Lee, Jesi; Halavaty, Andrei S.; Minasov, George; Anderson, Wayne F.; Kuhn, Misty L. (NWU); (SFSU)

    2017-10-30

    L-Rhamnose is a ubiquitous bacterial cell-wall component. The biosynthetic pathway for its precursor dTDP-L-rhamnose is not present in humans, which makes the enzymes of the pathway potential drug targets. In this study, the three-dimensional structure of the first protein of this pathway, glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase (RfbA), fromBacillus anthraciswas determined. In other organisms this enzyme is referred to as RmlA. RfbA was co-crystallized with the products of the enzymatic reaction, dTDP-α-D-glucose and pyrophosphate, and its structure was determined at 2.3 Å resolution. This is the first reported thymidylyltransferase structure from a Gram-positive bacterium. RfbA shares overall structural characteristics with known RmlA homologs. However, RfbA exhibits a shorter sequence at its C-terminus, which results in the absence of three α-helices involved in allosteric site formation. Consequently, RfbA was observed to exhibit a quaternary structure that is unique among currently reported glucose-1-phosphate thymidylyltransferase bacterial homologs. These structural analyses suggest that RfbA may not be allosterically regulated in some organisms and is structurally distinct from other RmlA homologs.

  20. Reliable detection of Bacillus anthracis, Francisella tularensis and Yersinia pestis by using multiplex qPCR including internal controls for nucleic acid extraction and amplification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Rotterdam Bart J

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several pathogens could seriously affect public health if not recognized timely. To reduce the impact of such highly pathogenic micro-organisms, rapid and accurate diagnostic tools are needed for their detection in various samples, including environmental samples. Results Multiplex real-time PCRs were designed for rapid and reliable detection of three major pathogens that have the potential to cause high morbidity and mortality in humans: B. anthracis, F. tularensis and Y. pestis. The developed assays detect three pathogen-specific targets, including at least one chromosomal target, and one target from B. thuringiensis which is used as an internal control for nucleic acid extraction from refractory spores as well as successful DNA amplification. Validation of the PCRs showed a high analytical sensitivity, specificity and coverage of diverse pathogen strains. Conclusions The multiplex qPCR assays that were developed allow the rapid detection of 3 pathogen-specific targets simultaneously, without compromising sensitivity. The application of B. thuringiensis spores as internal controls further reduces false negative results. This ensures highly reliable detection, while template consumption and laboratory effort are kept at a minimum

  1. Ecological tax reform

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-12-31

    An environmental tax reform is seen by many as a possible solution to some crucial problems of modern society - pollution, excessive resource consumption and unemployment. Changes in the system of taxation are here seen as a long term process, one that must cheapen the costs of labour and make the costs of resource use more expensive - a process which can also create major changes in our society as to conceptions of quality, work, consumption etc. The conference presented proposals for an ecological tax and duty system that would contribute to: Changing technology so that it becomes more resource and energy effective. Changing the economic mechanisms so that resource consumption and pollution become more expensive while human resources become cheaper. Changing personal life styles and values so that material consumption becomes less decisive for our choices and priorities. An environmental tax reform is neither without problems nor painless. An economy and an industrial sector based on increasing consumption of energy and raw materials will, in the long run, lead to drawbacks that far outweigh those that are connected with an economic re-orientation whose driving force is another conception of nature. (EG)

  2. Ecological tax reform

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    An environmental tax reform is seen by many as a possible solution to some crucial problems of modern society - pollution, excessive resource consumption and unemployment. Changes in the system of taxation are here seen as a long term process, one that must cheapen the costs of labour and make the costs of resource use more expensive - a process which can also create major changes in our society as to conceptions of quality, work, consumption etc. The conference presented proposals for an ecological tax and duty system that would contribute to: Changing technology so that it becomes more resource and energy effective. Changing the economic mechanisms so that resource consumption and pollution become more expensive while human resources become cheaper. Changing personal life styles and values so that material consumption becomes less decisive for our choices and priorities. An environmental tax reform is neither without problems nor painless. An economy and an industrial sector based on increasing consumption of energy and raw materials will, in the long run, lead to drawbacks that far outweigh those that are connected with an economic re-orientation whose driving force is another conception of nature. (EG)

  3. Temporal ecology in the Anthropocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkovich, E M; Cook, B I; McLauchlan, K K; Davies, T J

    2014-11-01

    Two fundamental axes - space and time - shape ecological systems. Over the last 30 years spatial ecology has developed as an integrative, multidisciplinary science that has improved our understanding of the ecological consequences of habitat fragmentation and loss. We argue that accelerating climate change - the effective manipulation of time by humans - has generated a current need to build an equivalent framework for temporal ecology. Climate change has at once pressed ecologists to understand and predict ecological dynamics in non-stationary environments, while also challenged fundamental assumptions of many concepts, models and approaches. However, similarities between space and time, especially related issues of scaling, provide an outline for improving ecological models and forecasting of temporal dynamics, while the unique attributes of time, particularly its emphasis on events and its singular direction, highlight where new approaches are needed. We emphasise how a renewed, interdisciplinary focus on time would coalesce related concepts, help develop new theories and methods and guide further data collection. The next challenge will be to unite predictive frameworks from spatial and temporal ecology to build robust forecasts of when and where environmental change will pose the largest threats to species and ecosystems, as well as identifying the best opportunities for conservation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  4. Ecological periodic tables: Killer apps for translational ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    The chemical periodic table, the Linnaean system of classification and the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram are information organizing structures that have transformed chemistry, biology and astronomy, respectively. Ecological periodic tables are information organizing structures wit...

  5. The dimensionality of ecological networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eklöf, Anna; Jacob, Ute; Kopp, Jason

    2013-01-01

    How many dimensions (trait-axes) are required to predict whether two species interact? This unanswered question originated with the idea of ecological niches, and yet bears relevance today for understanding what determines network structure. Here, we analyse a set of 200 ecological networks......, including food webs, antagonistic and mutualistic networks, and find that the number of dimensions needed to completely explain all interactions is small (... the most to explaining network structure. We show that accounting for a few traits dramatically improves our understanding of the structure of ecological networks. Matching traits for resources and consumers, for example, fruit size and bill gape, are the most successful combinations. These results link...

  6. Conventional and ecological public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rayner, G

    2009-09-01

    This paper suggests that current models of public health are no longer sufficient as a means for understanding the health challenges of the anthropogenic age, and argues for an alternative based upon an ecological model. The roots of this perspective originated within the Victorian era, although it found only limited expression at that time. Ecological thinking in public health has only been revived relatively recently. Derived from an analysis of obesity, this paper proposes the development of an approach to ecological public health based on four dimensions of existence: the material, the physiological, the social and the cultural-cognitive. The implications for public policy are considered.

  7. Use of ecological regions in aquatic assessments of ecological condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoddard, John L

    2004-01-01

    Ecological regions are areas of similar climate, landform, soil, potential natural vegetation, hydrology, or other ecologically relevant variables. The makeup of aquatic biological assemblages (e.g., fish, macroinvertebrates, algae, riparian birds, etc.) varies dramatically over the landscape, as do the environmental stresses that affect the condition of those assemblages. Ecoregions delineate areas where similar assemblages are likely to occur and, therefore, where similar expectations can be established. For this reason, ecological regions have proven to be an important tool for use in the process of ecological assessment. This article describes four examples of the use of ecological regions in important aspects of environmental monitoring and assessment: (1) design of monitoring networks; (2) estimating expected conditions (criteria development); (3) reporting of results; (4) setting priorities for future monitoring and restoration. By delineating geographic areas with similar characteristics, ecological regions provide a framework for developing relevant indicators, setting expectations through the use of regional reference sites, establishing ecoregion-specific criteria and/or standards, presenting results, focusing models based on relationships between landscape and surface water metrics, and setting regional priorities for management and restoration. The Environmental Protection Agency and many state environmental departments currently use ecoregions to aid the development of environmental criteria, to illustrate current environmental condition, and to guide efforts to maintain and restore physical, chemical and biological integrity in lakes, streams, and rivers.

  8. Daugava hydroenergy and ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ivans, D.

    1997-01-01

    Daugava is forth largest river in Baltic sea basin and largest river of Latvia. Like Danube in Central Europe, Daugava is the river of Baltic civilization. Many folk songs, tales an myths we can read about this river in Latvian, Russian, Polish. There are the roots of Latvian culture. From ancient times Daugava is known as the 'ebonite river' Eridanus, Rubon, Wein, Dvina. From 5 century A. C. Daugava is a well know vikings water magistral from North to South. In 1939 was built first hydro electric power station, in 1965, second, in 1974, third on this river and was created Daugava damn system. Productivity from fishing falls down 2000 times, pollution was reason, why in 1987 building of forth Daugava HES was stopped. About future of Daugava hydro electric power stations damn system future Latvian society have discussions until this time. Ecological problem No. 1 on Daugava is pollution, because Daugava is the main resource of fresh water for 70% of Latvian population. Problem No. 2 is connected with safety of banks of Baltic sea, because 24 million t sand Daugava leaves on the bottom of artificial dames, not on sea cost. Problem No. 3 is loosing of recreative function of river and Daugava landscapes. Problem No. 4 - lack of Daugava monitoring system. In 1989, when after catastrophe on Belorussia chemical concern in Novopolock river was polluted wit 5 tons of cyanide. Latvia get know about it only after observing of death fishes in our territory. Other problem is Ignalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania - 30 km from banks of Daugava. What to do? One possibilities is destroying of damns, but it is unreal. Now in Latvia are founded Found of Daugava, which unite all self-governments, which are settled near the river. Fund of Daugava, supported by State, have a special recreative programme. Ministry of Environment of Latvia are working on Daugava monitoring system introducing. There are some plans together with Scandinavian countries to built new water cleaning

  9. Materials Testing - Digital Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth Wiley

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Access to credible building product performance information throughout the design and construction process is critical to enable project development, vet product selections, ensure as-built quality, and successfully complete construction. This is common knowledge and part of common practice for nearly all parties involved in design and construction. The sources of such information can range from vernacular to formal – from common practice to special reference. The focus of this paper is one of the more formal or specialized information sources, performance testing, as well as how such performance testing information can be better used. This paper’s goals are to familiarize the reader with performance testing and to depict a new kind of valuable informational tool (digital ecology. Reference to pertinent nomenclature, description of a real world example, and detailed description of such an informational tool’s values will be provided.The major content of this paper was developed during project-based work and firm-funded internal research at point b design, ltd. over approximately the previous 4 years. The phrase ‘digital ecology’ as herein used is a new concept proposed by the author. The analysis contained in this paper could be applied to the field of operations and maintenance as it is herein applied to design and construction; however, operations and maintenance is beyond the scope of this paper and may be addressed in future papers. It is my hope that this paper will contribute to tangible and real improvements of the built environment via continued, positive development within academic and professional practice.

  10. Nutritional Ecology and Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J

    2016-07-17

    In contrast to the spectacular advances in the first half of the twentieth century with micronutrient-related diseases, human nutrition science has failed to stem the more recent rise of obesity and associated cardiometabolic disease (OACD). This failure has triggered debate on the problems and limitations of the field and what change is needed to address these. We briefly review the two broad historical phases of human nutrition science and then provide an overview of the main problems that have been implicated in the poor progress of the field with solving OACD. We next introduce the field of nutritional ecology and show how its ecological-evolutionary foundations can enrich human nutrition science by providing the theory to help address its limitations. We end by introducing a modeling approach from nutritional ecology, termed nutritional geometry, and demonstrate how it can help to implement ecological and evolutionary theory in human nutrition to provide new direction and to better understand and manage OACD.

  11. An Ecological Diagnostic Classification Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurst, James C.; McKinley, Donna L.

    1988-01-01

    Discusses the value of diagnostic classification systems to counseling professionals. Describes the Ecological Diagnostic Classification Plan, an approach to diagnosis that includes the environment as a possible cause of pathology and target of intervention. (Author/KS)

  12. Ecology of Pathogen Groups: Fungi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hajek, Ann E.; Meyling, Nicolai Vitt

    2018-01-01

    Summary This chapter investigates the recent results of studies of the ecology of fungal pathogens, including ecological insights obtained by implementation of molecular tools. It spans a spectrum of invertebrates as hosts, although emphasis will be on pathogens of terrestrial insects, which have...... been the focus of most ecological research. Some taxa of invertebrate pathogenic fungi have evolved adaptations for utilizing living plants as substrates, and these lifestyles have recently received increased attention from researchers following the initial documentations of such plant associations...... by Beauveria and Metarhizium. This topic has recently been reviewed; the chapter mainly focuses on aspects of ecological relevance, including trophic interactions. Fungal pathogens are used to provide biological control in numerous ways. The primary type of biological control emphasized for fungal pathogens...

  13. Towards ecologically scaled landscape indices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, C.C.; Verboom, J.; Opdam, P.F.M.; Braak, ter C.J.F.

    2001-01-01

    Nature conservation is increasingly based on a landscape approach rather than a species approach. Landscape planning that includes nature conservation goals requires integrated ecological tools. However, species differ widely in their response to landscape change. We propose a framework of

  14. Chemical ecology of marine sponges

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Thakur, N.L.; Singh, A.

    in competition for space, defence against predator and prevention of epibiosis have received little attention. Knowledge of the ecological roles of sponge metabolites will contribute significantly to plan effective and sustainable wild harvests to obtain novel...

  15. Online ecological and environmental data

    CERN Document Server

    Baldwin, Virginia Ann

    2014-01-01

    Discover important Internet resources for research data made public individually and collectively by researchers from a variety of entities in the fields of environmental studies and ecology Online Ecological and Environmental Data explores innovative projects from a diverse array of institutions that have made environmental and ecological research information freely available online. You will find a wealth of Web site listings with URLs and complete descriptions, data field descriptions, controlled vocabulary examples, and Web screen shots that demonstrate how to use a specific site. The book will help you locate the data, procedures, instruments, notes, and other descriptive information that scientists and engineers need for replicating and building on the research of others. With Online Ecological and Environmental Data, you''ll gain a better understanding of: * the cooperative design, development, and management of interdisciplinary data * cataloging multidisciplinary environmental data * data netw...

  16. European ecological networks and greenways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristiansen, Ib; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Kulvik, Mart

    2004-01-01

    In the context of European integration, networks are becoming increasingly important in both social and ecological sense. Since the beginning of the 1990s, societal and scientific exchanges are being restructured as the conceptual approaches towards new nature conservation strategies have been...... renewed. Within the framework of nature conservation, the notion of an ecological network has become increasingly important. Throughout Europe, regional and national approaches are in different phases of development, which are all based on recent landscape ecological principles. Ecological networks...... are interpreted in a variety of ways depending on different historical roots of nature conservation, planning and scientific traditions, different geographical and administrative levels, different land uses, and in the end the political decision-making is dependent on actors with different land use interests...

  17. Civic Ecology: A Postmodern Approach to Ecological Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, V. L.

    2013-12-01

    Human agency is transforming the planetary processes at unprecedented rates risking damaging essential life-support systems. Climate change, massive species extinction, land degradation, resources depletion, overpopulation, poverty and social injustice are all the result of human choices and non-sustainable ways of life. The survival of our modern economic systems depends upon insatiable consumption - a simple way of life no longer satisfies most people. Detached, instrumental rationality has created an ideal of liberalism based on individual pursuit of self-interest, leading the way into unprecedented material progress but bringing with it human alienation, social injustice, and ecological degradation. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce a community-based systems response to a growing sense that the interlocked social-ecological crisis is as much a problem of human thought and behavior as it is about identifying carrying capacities and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This approach, referred to here as civic ecology, presents a new and important paradigm shift in sustainability practice that attempts to bring together and integrate ecological ideas and postmodern thinking. As such, it is as much a holistic, dynamic, and synergistic approach to ecological sustainability, as it is a philosophy of life and ethical perspective born of ecological understanding and insight. Civic ecology starts with the proposition that the key factor determining the health of the ecosphere is the behavior of human beings, and therefore many of the most important issues related to sustainability lie in the areas of human thought and culture. Thus, the quest for sustainability must include as a central concern the transformation of psychological and behavioral patterns that have become an imminent danger to planetary health. At the core of this understanding is a fundamental paradigm shift from the basic commitments of modern Western culture to its model of mechanism

  18. Structural elucidation of the nonclassical secondary cell wall polysaccharide from Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987. Comparison with the polysaccharides from Bacillus anthracis and B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579 reveals both unique and common structural features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leoff, Christine; Choudhury, Biswa; Saile, Elke; Quinn, Conrad P; Carlson, Russell W; Kannenberg, Elmar L

    2008-10-31

    Nonclassical secondary cell wall polysaccharides constitute a major cell wall structure in the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria. The structure of the secondary cell wall polysaccharide from Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987, a strain that is closely related to Bacillus anthracis, was determined. This polysaccharide was released from the cell wall with aqueous hydrogen fluoride (HF) and purified by gel filtration chromatography. The purified polysaccharide, HF-PS, was characterized by glycosyl composition and linkage analyses, mass spectrometry, and one- and two-dimensional NMR analysis. The results showed that the B. cereus ATCC 10987 HF-PS has a repeating oligosaccharide consisting of a -->6)-alpha-GalNAc-(1-->4)-beta-ManNAc-(1-->4)-beta-GlcNAc-(1--> trisaccharide that is substituted with beta-Gal at O3 of the alpha-GalNAc residue and nonstoichiometrically acetylated at O3 of the N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) residue. Comparison of this structure with that of the B. anthracis HF-PS and with structural data obtained for the HF-PS from B. cereus type strain ATCC 14579 revealed that each HF-PS had the same general structural theme consisting of three HexNAc and one Hex residues. A common structural feature in the HF-PSs from B. cereus ATCC 10987 and B. anthracis was the presence of a repeating unit consisting of a HexNAc(3) trisaccharide backbone in which two of the three HexNAc residues are GlcNAc and ManNAc and the third can be either GlcNAc or GalNAc. The implications of these results with regard to the possible functions of the HF-PSs are discussed.

  19. Ecological civilization and Chinese philosophy

    OpenAIRE

    Balchindorjieva O.B.

    2016-01-01

    the author raises the problem of the construction of ecological civilization in China in terms of the definition of «ecological civilization» in the context of traditional Chinese culture in its relationship with the traditional and the modern understanding of harmony and harmonious society, and the development of regulation in the sphere of environmental protection. In the article the analysis of philosophical aspects of this problem is given. The author demonstrates the approach developed b...

  20. Gene expression profiling of human alveolar macrophages infected by B. anthracis spores demonstrates TNF-α and NF-κb are key components of the innate immune response to the pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurst Robert E

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of anthrax, has recently been used as an agent of bioterrorism. The innate immune system initially appears to contain the pathogen at the site of entry. Because the human alveolar macrophage (HAM plays a key role in lung innate immune responses, studying the HAM response to B. anthracis is important in understanding the pathogenesis of the pulmonary form of this disease. Methods In this paper, the transcriptional profile of B. anthracis spore-treated HAM was compared with that of mock-infected cells, and differentially expressed genes were identified by Affymetrix microarray analysis. A portion of the results were verified by Luminex protein analysis. Results The majority of genes modulated by spores were upregulated, and a lesser number were downregulated. The differentially expressed genes were subjected to Ingenuity Pathway analysis, the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery (DAVID analysis, the Promoter Analysis and Interaction Network Toolset (PAINT and Oncomine analysis. Among the upregulated genes, we identified a group of chemokine ligand, apoptosis, and, interestingly, keratin filament genes. Central hubs regulating the activated genes were TNF-α, NF-κB and their ligands/receptors. In addition to TNF-α, a broad range of cytokines was induced, and this was confirmed at the level of translation by Luminex multiplex protein analysis. PAINT analysis revealed that many of the genes affected by spores contain the binding site for c-Rel, a member of the NF-κB family of transcription factors. Other transcription regulatory elements contained in many of the upregulated genes were c-Myb, CP2, Barbie Box, E2F and CRE-BP1. However, many of the genes are poorly annotated, indicating that they represent novel functions. Four of the genes most highly regulated by spores have only previously been associated with head and neck and lung carcinomas. Conclusion The

  1. Inactivation of Vegetative Cells, but Not Spores, of Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, and B. subtilis on Stainless Steel Surfaces Coated with an Antimicrobial Silver- and Zinc-Containing Zeolite Formulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galeano, Belinda; Korff, Emily; Nicholson, Wayne L.

    2003-01-01

    Stainless steel surfaces coated with paints containing a silver- and zinc-containing zeolite (AgION antimicrobial) were assayed in comparison to uncoated stainless steel for antimicrobial activity against vegetative cells and spores of three Bacillus species, namely, B. anthracis Sterne, B. cereus T, and B. subtilis 168. Under the test conditions (25°C and 80% relative humidity), the zeolite coating produced approximately 3 log10 inactivation of vegetative cells within a 5- to 24-h period, but viability of spores of the three species was not significantly affected. PMID:12839825

  2. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  3. [Ecological carrying capacity and Chongming Island's ecological construction].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Kaiyun; Zou, Chunjing; Kong, Zhenghong; Wang, Tianhou; Chen, Xiaoyong

    2005-12-01

    This paper overviewed the goals of Chongming Island's ecological construction and its background, analyzed the current eco-economic status and constraints of the Island, and put forward some scientific issues on its ecological construction. It was suggested that for the resources-saving and sustainable development of the Island, the researches on its ecological construction should be based on its ecological carrying capacity, fully take the regional characteristics into consideration, and refer the successful development modes at home and abroad. The carrying capacity study should ground on systemic and dynamic views, give a thorough evaluation of the Island's present carrying capacity, simulate its possible changes, and forecast its demands and risks. Operable countermeasures to promote the Island's carrying capacity should be worked out, new industry structure, population scale, and optimized distribution projects conforming to regional carrying capacity should be formulated, and effective ecological security alarming and control system should be built, with the aim of providing suggestions and strategic evidences for the decision-making of economic development and sustainable environmental resources use of the region.

  4. 36 CFR 219.20 - Ecological sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Ecological sustainability... Sustainability § 219.20 Ecological sustainability. To achieve ecological sustainability, the responsible official... diversity and species diversity are components of ecological sustainability. The planning process must...

  5. Squamation and ecology of thelodonts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humberto G Ferrón

    Full Text Available Thelodonts are an enigmatic group of Paleozoic jawless vertebrates that have been well studied from taxonomical, biostratigraphic and paleogeographic points of view, although our knowledge of their ecology and mode of life is still scant. Their bodies were covered by micrometric scales whose morphology, histology and the developmental process are extremely similar to those of extant sharks. Based on these similarities and on the well-recognized relationship between squamation and ecology in sharks, here we explore the ecological diversity and lifestyles of thelodonts. For this we use classic morphometrics and discriminant analysis to characterize the squamation patterns of a significant number of extant shark species whose ecology is well known. Multivariate analyses have defined a characteristic squamation pattern for each ecological group, thus establishing a comparative framework for inferring lifestyles in thelodonts. We then use this information to study the squamation of the currently described 147 species of thelodonts, known from both articulated and disarticulated remains. Discriminant analysis has allowed recognizing squamation patterns comparable to those of sharks and links them to specific ecological groups. Our results suggest a remarkable ecological diversity in thelodonts. A large number of them were probably demersal species inhabiting hard substrates, within caves and crevices in rocky environments or reefs, taking advantage of the flexibility provided by their micromeric squamations. Contrary to classical interpretations, only few thelodonts were placed among demersal species inhabiting sandy and muddy substrates. Schooling species with defensive scales against ectoparasites could be also abundant suggesting that social interactions and pressure of ectoparasites were present in vertebrates as early the Silurian. The presence of species showing scales suggestive of low to moderate speed and a lifestyle presumably associated

  6. Interdisciplinary Adventures in Perceptual Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocast, Christopher S.

    A portfolio dissertation that began as acoustic ecology and matured into perceptual ecology, centered on ecomusicology, bioacoustics, and translational audio-based media works with environmental perspectives. The place of music in Western eco-cosmology through time provides a basis for structuring an environmental history of human sound perception. That history suggests that music may stabilize human mental activity, and that an increased musical practice may be essential for the human project. An overview of recent antecedents preceding the emergence of acoustic ecology reveals structural foundations from 20th century culture that underpin modern sound studies. The contextual role that Aldo Leopold, Jacob von Uexkull, John Cage, Marshall McLuhan, and others played in anticipating the development of acoustic ecology as an interdiscipline is detailed. This interdisciplinary aspect of acoustic ecology is defined and defended, while new developments like soundscape ecology are addressed, though ultimately sound studies will need to embrace a broader concept of full-spectrum "sensory" or "perceptual" ecology. The bioacoustic fieldwork done on spawning sturgeon emphasized this necessity. That study yielded scientific recordings and spectrographic analyses of spawning sounds produced by lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, during reproduction in natural habitats in the Lake Winnebago watershed in Wisconsin. Recordings were made on the Wolf and Embarrass River during the 2011-2013 spawning seasons. Several specimens were dissected to investigate possible sound production mechanisms; no sonic musculature was found. Drumming sounds, ranging from 5 to 7 Hz fundamental frequency, verified the infrasonic nature of previously undocumented "sturgeon thunder". Other characteristic noises of sturgeon spawning including low-frequency rumbles and hydrodynamic sounds were identified. Intriguingly, high-frequency signals resembling electric organ discharges were discovered. These

  7. Squamation and ecology of thelodonts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrón, Humberto G; Botella, Héctor

    2017-01-01

    Thelodonts are an enigmatic group of Paleozoic jawless vertebrates that have been well studied from taxonomical, biostratigraphic and paleogeographic points of view, although our knowledge of their ecology and mode of life is still scant. Their bodies were covered by micrometric scales whose morphology, histology and the developmental process are extremely similar to those of extant sharks. Based on these similarities and on the well-recognized relationship between squamation and ecology in sharks, here we explore the ecological diversity and lifestyles of thelodonts. For this we use classic morphometrics and discriminant analysis to characterize the squamation patterns of a significant number of extant shark species whose ecology is well known. Multivariate analyses have defined a characteristic squamation pattern for each ecological group, thus establishing a comparative framework for inferring lifestyles in thelodonts. We then use this information to study the squamation of the currently described 147 species of thelodonts, known from both articulated and disarticulated remains. Discriminant analysis has allowed recognizing squamation patterns comparable to those of sharks and links them to specific ecological groups. Our results suggest a remarkable ecological diversity in thelodonts. A large number of them were probably demersal species inhabiting hard substrates, within caves and crevices in rocky environments or reefs, taking advantage of the flexibility provided by their micromeric squamations. Contrary to classical interpretations, only few thelodonts were placed among demersal species inhabiting sandy and muddy substrates. Schooling species with defensive scales against ectoparasites could be also abundant suggesting that social interactions and pressure of ectoparasites were present in vertebrates as early the Silurian. The presence of species showing scales suggestive of low to moderate speed and a lifestyle presumably associated with open water

  8. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important for the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread.

  9. Ecological niche of plant pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecaterina Fodor

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Disease ecology is a new approach to the understanding of the spread and dynamics of pathogens in natural and man-made environments. Defining and describing the ecological niche of the pathogens is one of the major tasks for ecological theory, as well as for practitioners preoccupied with the control and forecasting of established and emerging diseases. Niche theory has been periodically revised, not including in an explicit way the pathogens. However, many progresses have been achieved in niche modeling of disease spread, but few attempts were made to construct a theoretical frame for the ecological niche of pathogens. The paper is a review of the knowledge accumulated during last decades in the niche theory of pathogens and proposes an ecological approach in research. It quest for new control methods in what concerns forest plant pathogens, with a special emphasis on fungi like organisms of the genus Phytophthora. Species of Phytophthora are the most successful plant pathogens of the moment, affecting forest and agricultural systems worldwide, many of them being invasive alien organisms in many ecosystems. The hyperspace of their ecological niche is defined by hosts, environment and human interference, as main axes. To select most important variables within the hyperspace, is important the understanding of the complex role of pathogens in the ecosystems as well as for control programs. Biotic relationships within ecosystem of host-pathogen couple are depicted by ecological network and specific metrics attached to this. The star shaped network is characterized by few high degree nodes, by short path lengths and relatively low connectivity, premises for a rapid disturbance spread. 

  10. Ecological release in White Sands lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roches, S Des; Robertson, J M; Harmon, L J; Rosenblum, E B

    2011-12-01

    Ecological opportunity is any change that allows populations to escape selection from competition and predation. After encountering ecological opportunity, populations may experience ecological release: enlarged population size, broadened resource use, and/or increased morphological variation. We identified ecological opportunity and tested for ecological release in three lizard colonists of White Sands, New Mexico (Sceloporus undulatus, Holbrookia maculata, and Aspidoscelis inornata). First, we provide evidence for ecological opportunity by demonstrating reduced species richness and abundance of potential competitors and predators at White Sands relative to nearby dark soils habitats. Second, we characterize ecological release at White Sands by demonstrating density compensation in the three White Sands lizard species and expanded resource use in White Sands S. undulatus. Contrary to predictions from ecological release models, we observed directional trait change but not increased trait variation in S. undulatus. Our results suggest that ecological opportunity and ecological release can be identified in natural populations, especially those that have recently colonized isolated ecosystems.

  11. Recovery Efficiency, False Negative Rate, and Limit of Detection Performance of a Validated Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Kaiser, Brooke L. D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sydor, Michael A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Barrett, Christopher A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2016-06-16

    The performance of a macrofoam-swab sampling method was evaluated using Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores applied at nine low target amounts (2-500 spores) to positive-control plates and test coupons (2 in × 2 in) of four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic). Test results from cultured samples were used to evaluate the effects of surrogate, surface concentration, and surface material on recovery efficiency (RE), false negative rate (FNR), and limit of detection. For RE, surrogate and surface material had statistically significant effects, but concentration did not. Mean REs were the lowest for vinyl tile (50.8% with BAS, 40.2% with BG) and the highest for glass (92.8% with BAS, 71.4% with BG). FNR values ranged from 0 to 0.833 for BAS and 0 to 0.806 for BG, with values increasing as concentration decreased in the range tested (0.078 to 19.375 CFU/cm2, where CFU denotes ‘colony forming units’). Surface material also had a statistically significant effect. A FNR-concentration curve was fit for each combination of surrogate and surface material. For both surrogates, the FNR curves tended to be the lowest for glass and highest for vinyl title. The FNR curves for BG tended to be higher than for BAS at lower concentrations, especially for glass. Results using a modified Rapid Viability-Polymerase Chain Reaction (mRV-PCR) analysis method were also obtained. The mRV-PCR results and comparisons to the culture results are discussed in a separate report.

  12. Mapping the epitopes of a neutralizing antibody fragment directed against the lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis and cross-reacting with the homologous edema factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Thullier

    Full Text Available The lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis, composed of the protective antigen (PA and the lethal factor (LF, plays an essential role in anthrax pathogenesis. PA also interacts with the edema factor (EF, 20% identity with LF to form the edema toxin (ET, which has a lesser role in anthrax pathogenesis. The first recombinant antibody fragment directed against LF was scFv 2LF; it neutralizes LT by blocking the interaction between PA and LF. Here, we report that scFv 2LF cross-reacts with EF and cross-neutralizes ET, and we present an in silico method taking advantage of this cross-reactivity to map the epitope of scFv 2LF on both LF and EF. This method identified five epitope candidates on LF, constituted of a total of 32 residues, which were tested experimentally by mutating the residues to alanine. This combined approach precisely identified the epitope of scFv 2LF on LF as five residues (H229, R230, Q234, L235 and Y236, of which three were missed by the consensus epitope candidate identified by pre-existing in silico methods. The homolog of this epitope on EF (H253, R254, E258, L259 and Y260 was experimentally confirmed to constitute the epitope of scFv 2LF on EF. Other inhibitors, including synthetic molecules, could be used to target these epitopes for therapeutic purposes. The in silico method presented here may be of more general interest.

  13. Recovery Efficiency, False Negative Rate, and Limit of Detection Performance of a Validated Macrofoam-Swab Sampling Method with Low Surface Concentrations of Two Bacillus anthracis Surrogates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piepel, Gregory F. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Hutchison, Janine R. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Deatherage Kaiser, Brooke L [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Amidan, Brett G. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Sydor, Michael A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Barrett, Christopher A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-03-31

    The performance of a macrofoam-swab sampling method was evaluated using Bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAS) and Bacillus atrophaeus Nakamura (BG) spores applied at nine low target amounts (2-500 spores) to positive-control plates and test coupons (2 in. × 2 in.) of four surface materials (glass, stainless steel, vinyl tile, and plastic). Test results from cultured samples were used to evaluate the effects of surrogate, surface concentration, and surface material on recovery efficiency (RE), false negative rate (FNR), and limit of detection. For RE, surrogate and surface material had statistically significant effects, but concentration did not. Mean REs were the lowest for vinyl tile (50.8% with BAS, 40.2% with BG) and the highest for glass (92.8% with BAS, 71.4% with BG). FNR values ranged from 0 to 0.833 for BAS and 0 to 0.806 for BG, with values increasing as concentration decreased in the range tested (0.078 to 19.375 CFU/cm2, where CFU denotes ‘colony forming units’). Surface material also had a statistically significant effect. A FNR-concentration curve was fit for each combination of surrogate and surface material. For both surrogates, the FNR curves tended to be the lowest for glass and highest for vinyl title. The FNR curves for BG tended to be higher than for BAS at lower concentrations, especially for glass. Results using a modified Rapid Viability-Polymerase Chain Reaction (mRV-PCR) analysis method were also obtained. The mRV-PCR results and comparisons to the culture results will be discussed in a subsequent report.

  14. Decontamination Efficacy of Three Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Sporicidal Disinfectants on Medium-Sized Panels Contaminated with Surrogate Spores of Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabol, Jonathan P.

    2014-01-01

    In the event of a wide area release and contamination of a biological agent in an outdoor environment and to building exteriors, decontamination is likely to consume the Nation’s remediation capacity, requiring years to cleanup, and leading to incalculable economic losses. This is in part due to scant body of efficacy data on surface areas larger than those studied in a typical laboratory (5×10-cm), resulting in low confidence for operational considerations in sampling and quantitative measurements of prospective technologies recruited in effective cleanup and restoration response. In addition to well-documented fumigation-based cleanup efforts, agencies responsible for mitigation of contaminated sites are exploring alternative methods for decontamination including combinations of disposal of contaminated items, source reduction by vacuuming, mechanical scrubbing, and low-technology alternatives such as pH-adjusted bleach pressure wash. If proven effective, a pressure wash-based removal of Bacillus anthracis spores from building surfaces with readily available equipment will significantly increase the readiness of Federal agencies to meet the daunting challenge of restoration and cleanup effort following a wide-area biological release. In this inter-agency study, the efficacy of commercial-of-the-shelf sporicidal disinfectants applied using backpack sprayers was evaluated in decontamination of spores on the surfaces of medium-sized (∼1.2 m2) panels of steel, pressure-treated (PT) lumber, and brick veneer. Of the three disinfectants, pH-amended bleach, Peridox, and CASCAD evaluated; CASCAD was found to be the most effective in decontamination of spores from all three panel surface types. PMID:24940605

  15. Low-level detection of a bacillus anthracis simulant using Love-wave biosensors on 36 degrees YX LiTaO3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branch, Darren W; Brozik, Susan M

    2004-03-15

    We present an acoustic Love-wave biosensor for detection of the Bacillus anthracis simulant, Bacillus thuringiensis at or below inhalational infectious levels. The present work is an experimental study of 36 degrees YX cut LiTaO3 based Love-wave devices for detection of pathogenic spores in aqueous conditions. Given that the detection limit (D1) of Love-wave-based sensors is a strong function of the overlying waveguide, two waveguide materials have been investigated, which are polyimide and polystyrene. To determine the mass sensitivity of Love-wave sensor, bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein was injected into the Love-wave test cell while recording the magnitude and phase shift across each sensor. Polyimide had the lowest mass detection limit with an estimated value of 1.0-2.0 ng/cm2, as compared to polystyrene where D1 = 2.0 ng/cm2. Suitable chemistries were used to orient antibodies on the Love-wave sensor using protein G. The thickness of each biofilm was measured using ellipsometry from which the surface concentrations were calculated. The monoclonal antibody BD8 with a high degree of selectivity for anthrax spores was used to capture the non-pathogenic simulant B. thuringiensis B8 spores. Bacillus subtilis spores were used as a negative control to determine whether significant non-specific binding would occur. Spore aliquots were prepared using an optical counting method, which permitted removal of background particles for consistent sample preparation. This work demonstrates that Love-wave biosensors are promising for low-level detection for whole-cell biological pathogens.

  16. Evaluation of up-converting phosphor technology-based lateral flow strips for rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis Spore, Brucella spp., and Yersinia pestis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingping Zhang

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, Brucella spp., and Yersinia pestis are zoonotic pathogens and biowarfare- or bioterrorism-associated agents that must be detected rapidly on-site from various samples (e.g., viscera and powders. An up-converting phosphor technology-based lateral flow (UPT-LF strip was developed as a point-of-care testing (POCT to satisfy the requirements of first-level emergency response. We developed UPT-LF POCT to quantitatively detect the three pathogens within 15 min. Sample and operation-error tolerances of the assay were comprehensively evaluated. The sensitivity of UPT-LF assay to bacterial detection reached 10(4 cfu · mL(-1 (100 cfu/test, with a linear quantitative range of 4 to 6 orders of magnitude. Results revealed that the UPT-LF assay exhibited a high specificity with the absence of false-positive results even at 10(9 cfu · mL(-1 of non-specific bacterial contamination. The assay could tolerate samples with a wide pH range (2 to 12, high ion strengths (≥ 4 mol · L(-1 of NaCl, high viscosities (≤ 25 mg · mL(-1 of PEG20000 or ≥ 20% of glycerol, and high concentrations of bio-macromolecule (≤ 200 mg · mL(-1 of bovine serum albumin or ≥ 80 mg · mL(-1 of casein. The influence of various types of powders and viscera (fresh and decomposed on the performance of UPT-LF assay was determined. The operational error of liquid measurement exhibited few effects on sensitivity and specificity. The developed UPT-LF POCT assay is applicable under field conditions with excellent tolerance to sample complexity and operational error.

  17. Bacillus anthracis GrlAV96A topoisomerase IV, a quinolone resistance mutation that does not affect the water-metal ion bridge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldred, Katie J; Breland, Erin J; McPherson, Sylvia A; Turnbough, Charles L; Kerns, Robert J; Osheroff, Neil

    2014-12-01

    The rise in quinolone resistance is threatening the clinical use of this important class of broad-spectrum antibacterials. Quinolones kill bacteria by increasing the level of DNA strand breaks generated by the type II topoisomerases gyrase and topoisomerase IV. Most commonly, resistance is caused by mutations in the serine and acidic amino acid residues that anchor a water-metal ion bridge that facilitates quinolone-enzyme interactions. Although other mutations in gyrase and topoisomerase IV have been reported in quinolone-resistant strains, little is known regarding their contributions to cellular quinolone resistance. To address this issue, we characterized the effects of the V96A mutation in the A subunit of Bacillus anthracis topoisomerase IV on quinolone activity. The results indicate that this mutation causes an ∼ 3-fold decrease in quinolone potency and reduces the stability of covalent topoisomerase IV-cleaved DNA complexes. However, based on metal ion usage, the V96A mutation does not disrupt the function of the water-metal ion bridge. A similar level of resistance to quinazolinediones (which do not use the bridge) was seen. V96A is the first topoisomerase IV mutation distal to the water-metal ion bridge demonstrated to decrease quinolone activity. It also represents the first A subunit mutation reported to cause resistance to quinazolinediones. This cross-resistance suggests that the V96A change has a global effect on the structure of the drug-binding pocket of topoisomerase IV. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. Decontamination efficacy of three commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS sporicidal disinfectants on medium-sized panels contaminated with surrogate spores of Bacillus anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason M Edmonds

    Full Text Available In the event of a wide area release and contamination of a biological agent in an outdoor environment and to building exteriors, decontamination is likely to consume the Nation's remediation capacity, requiring years to cleanup, and leading to incalculable economic losses. This is in part due to scant body of efficacy data on surface areas larger than those studied in a typical laboratory (5×10-cm, resulting in low confidence for operational considerations in sampling and quantitative measurements of prospective technologies recruited in effective cleanup and restoration response. In addition to well-documented fumigation-based cleanup efforts, agencies responsible for mitigation of contaminated sites are exploring alternative methods for decontamination including combinations of disposal of contaminated items, source reduction by vacuuming, mechanical scrubbing, and low-technology alternatives such as pH-adjusted bleach pressure wash. If proven effective, a pressure wash-based removal of Bacillus anthracis spores from building surfaces with readily available equipment will significantly increase the readiness of Federal agencies to meet the daunting challenge of restoration and cleanup effort following a wide-area biological release. In this inter-agency study, the efficacy of commercial-of-the-shelf sporicidal disinfectants applied using backpack sprayers was evaluated in decontamination of spores on the surfaces of medium-sized (∼1.2 m2 panels of steel, pressure-treated (PT lumber, and brick veneer. Of the three disinfectants, pH-amended bleach, Peridox, and CASCAD evaluated; CASCAD was found to be the most effective in decontamination of spores from all three panel surface types.

  19. [Evolvement of ecological footprint model representing ecological carrying capacity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Shu-yan; Xie, Gao-di

    2007-06-01

    Ecological footprint (EF) is an important index of ecological carrying capacity. The original EF model is excellent in simplicity, aggregation, comparability, and lifelikeness in presenting results, but short in predictability, configuration, and applicability. To overcome these shortcomings, many researches were conducted to modify and promote the EF model, and developed it from static with single time scale to diversified ones, which included: 1) time series EF model, 2) input-output analysis based EF model, 3) integrated assessment incorporated EF model, 4) land disturbance degree based EF model, and 5) life cycle analysis based EF model, or component EF model. The function of EF as a measurement of ecological carrying capacity was significantly improved, but its accuracy and integrality still need to be advanced.

  20. Monitoring the ecology of Bacillus during Daqu incubation, a fermentation starter, using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Zheng; Zheng, Xiao-Wei; Han, Bei-Zhong; Han, Jian-Shu; Nout, M J Robert; Chen, Jing-Yu

    2013-05-01

    Daqu, a traditional fermentation starter, has been used to produce attractively flavored foods such as vinegar and Chinese liquor for thousands of years. Although Bacillus spp. are one of the dominant microorganisms in Daqu, more precise information is needed to reveal why and how Bacillus became dominant in Daqu, and next, to assess the impact of Bacillus sp. on Daqu and its derived products. We combined culture-dependent and culture-independent methods to study the ecology of Bacillus during Daqu incubation. Throughout the incubation, 67 presumptive Bacillus spp. isolates were obtained, 52 of which were confirmed by 16S rDNA sequencing. The identified organisms belonged to 8 Bacillus species: B. licheniformis, B. subtilis, B. amyloliquefaciens, B. cereus, B. circulans, B. megaterium, B. pumilus, and B. anthracis. A primer set specific for Bacillus and related genera was used in a selective PCR study, followed by a nested DGGE PCR targeting the V9 region of the 16S rDNA. Species identified from the PCR-DGGE fingerprints were related to B. licheniformis, B. subtilis, B. amyloliquefaciens, B. pumilus, B. benzoevorans, and B. foraminis. The predominant species was found to be B. licheniformis. Certain B. licheniformis strains exhibited potent antimicrobial activities. The greatest species diversity occurred at the Liangmei stage of Daqu incubation. To date, we lack sufficient knowledge of Bacillus distribution in Daqu. Elucidating the ecology of Bacillus during Daqu incubation would enable the impact of Bacillus on Daqu to be accessed, and the quality and stabilization of Daqu-derived products to be optimized.

  1. Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Keelah E. G.; Sng, Oliver; Neuberg, Steven L.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological features shape people’s goals, strategies, and behaviors. Our research suggests that social perceivers possess a lay understanding of ecology’s influence on behavior, resulting in ecology-driven stereotypes. Moreover, because race is confounded with ecology in the United States, Americans’ stereotypes about racial groups may actually reflect their stereotypes about these groups’ presumed home ecologies. In a series of studies, we demonstrate that (i) individuals possess ecology-dri...

  2. World-Ecology and Ireland: The Neoliberal Ecological Regime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharae Deckard

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, the socio-economic particularity of neoliberal capitalism in its Irish manifestation has increasingly been critiqued, but little attention has been paid to neoliberalism as ecology within Ireland. This article conducts an exploratory survey of the characteristics of the Irish neoliberal ecological regime during and after the Celtic Tiger, identifying the opening of new commodity frontiers (such as fracking, water, agro-biotechnology, and biopharma constituted in the neoliberal drive to appropriate and financialize nature. I argue for the usefulness of applying not only the tools of world-systems analysis, but also Jason W. Moore’s world-ecological paradigm, to analysis of Ireland as a semi-periphery. What is crucial to a macro-ecological understanding of Ireland’s role in the neoliberal regime of the world-ecology is the inextricability of its financial role as a tax haven and secrecy jurisdiction zone from its environmental function as a semi-peripheral pollution and water haven. We can adapt Jason W. Moore’s slogan that “Wall Street…becomes a way of organizing all of nature, characterized by the financialization of any income-generating activity” (Moore 2011b: 39 to say that to say that the “IFSC is a way of organizing nature,” with pernicious consequences for water, energy, and food systems in Ireland. Financial service centers and pharmaceutical factories, plantations and cattle ranches, tax havens and pollution havens, empires and common markets are all forms of environment-making that constellate human relations and extra-human processes into new ecological regimes. More expansive, dialectical understandings of “ecology” as comprising the whole of socio-ecological relations within the capitalist world-ecology—from farming to pharma to financialization—are crucial to forming configurations of knowledge able not only to take account of Ireland’s role in the environmental

  3. Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olff, Han; Alonso, David; Berg, Matty P.; Eriksson, B. Klemens; Loreau, Michel; Piersma, Theunis; Rooney, Neil

    2009-01-01

    In ecosystems, species interact with other species directly and through abiotic factors in multiple ways, often forming complex networks of various types of ecological interaction. Out of this suite of interactions, predator–prey interactions have received most attention. The resulting food webs, however, will always operate simultaneously with networks based on other types of ecological interaction, such as through the activities of ecosystem engineers or mutualistic interactions. Little is known about how to classify, organize and quantify these other ecological networks and their mutual interplay. The aim of this paper is to provide new and testable ideas on how to understand and model ecosystems in which many different types of ecological interaction operate simultaneously. We approach this problem by first identifying six main types of interaction that operate within ecosystems, of which food web interactions are one. Then, we propose that food webs are structured among two main axes of organization: a vertical (classic) axis representing trophic position and a new horizontal ‘ecological stoichiometry’ axis representing decreasing palatability of plant parts and detritus for herbivores and detrivores and slower turnover times. The usefulness of these new ideas is then explored with three very different ecosystems as test cases: temperate intertidal mudflats; temperate short grass prairie; and tropical savannah. PMID:19451126

  4. Ecological Challenges for Closed Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Mark; Dempster, William; Allen, John P.

    2012-07-01

    Closed ecological systems are desirable for a number of purposes. In space life support systems, material closure allows precious life-supporting resources to be kept inside and recycled. Closure in small biospheric systems facilitates detailed measurement of global ecological processes and biogeochemical cycles. Closed testbeds facilitate research topics which require isolation from the outside (e.g. genetically modified organisms; radioisotopes) so their ecological interactions and fluxes can be studied separate from interactions with the outside environment. But to achieve and maintain closure entails solving complex ecological challenges. These challenges include being able to handle faster cycling rates and accentuated daily and seasonal fluxes of critical life elements such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, water, macro- and mico-nutrients. The problems of achieving sustainability in closed systems for life support include how to handle atmospheric dynamics including trace gases, producing a complete human diet and recycling nutrients and maintaining soil fertility, the sustaining of healthy air and water and preventing the loss of crucial elements from active circulation. In biospheric facilities the challenge is also to produce analogues to natural biomes and ecosystems, studying processes of self-organization and adaptation in systems that allow specification or determination of state variables and cycles which may be followed through all interactions from atmosphere to soils. Other challenges include the dynamics and genetics of small populations, the psychological challenges for small isolated human groups and measures and options which may be necessary to ensure long-term operation of closed ecological systems.

  5. Editorial: Entropy in Landscape Ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel A. Cushman

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics are the central organizing principles of nature, but the ideas and implications of the second law are poorly developed in landscape ecology. The purpose of this Special Issue “Entropy in Landscape Ecology” in Entropy is to bring together current research on applications of thermodynamics in landscape ecology, to consolidate current knowledge and identify key areas for future research. The special issue contains six articles, which cover a broad range of topics including relationships between entropy and evolution, connections between fractal geometry and entropy, new approaches to calculate configurational entropy of landscapes, example analyses of computing entropy of landscapes, and using entropy in the context of optimal landscape planning. Collectively these papers provide a broad range of contributions to the nascent field of ecological thermodynamics. Formalizing the connections between entropy and ecology are in a very early stage, and that this special issue contains papers that address several centrally important ideas, and provides seminal work that will be a foundation for the future development of ecological and evolutionary thermodynamics.

  6. The ecology of religious beliefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botero, Carlos A; Gardner, Beth; Kirby, Kathryn R; Bulbulia, Joseph; Gavin, Michael C; Gray, Russell D

    2014-11-25

    Although ecological forces are known to shape the expression of sociality across a broad range of biological taxa, their role in shaping human behavior is currently disputed. Both comparative and experimental evidence indicate that beliefs in moralizing high gods promote cooperation among humans, a behavioral attribute known to correlate with environmental harshness in nonhuman animals. Here we combine fine-grained bioclimatic data with the latest statistical tools from ecology and the social sciences to evaluate the potential effects of environmental forces, language history, and culture on the global distribution of belief in moralizing high gods (n = 583 societies). After simultaneously accounting for potential nonindependence among societies because of shared ancestry and cultural diffusion, we find that these beliefs are more prevalent among societies that inhabit poorer environments and are more prone to ecological duress. In addition, we find that these beliefs are more likely in politically complex societies that recognize rights to movable property. Overall, our multimodel inference approach predicts the global distribution of beliefs in moralizing high gods with an accuracy of 91%, and estimates the relative importance of different potential mechanisms by which this spatial pattern may have arisen. The emerging picture is neither one of pure cultural transmission nor of simple ecological determinism, but rather a complex mixture of social, cultural, and environmental influences. Our methods and findings provide a blueprint for how the increasing wealth of ecological, linguistic, and historical data can be leveraged to understand the forces that have shaped the behavior of our own species.

  7. The feasibility of ecological taxation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paulus, A.T.G.

    1995-01-01

    The feasibility of ecological taxation in general and for the Netherlands in specific was analyzed within the context of one of the NRP research projects. The analysis shows that the feasibility of ecological taxes is generally determined by the tax design, the taxing authority by which these taxes are imposed and by the constitutional, institutional and fiscal structures into which they are embedded. In order to be feasible, the analysis shows that ecologically relevant taxes have to be imposed by a taxing authority which is clearly related to relevant ecological circumstances. Since normal taxing authorities tend to be political units which most of the times do not fit this description, institutional and constitutional changes are necessary to introduce and impose (additional) feasible types of ecological taxes in practice. Within the context of the Netherlands, the analysis shows that the currently changing intergovernmental and financial relationships in this country provide important starting points for municipalities, water authorities and provinces to introduce feasible types of such taxes. 225 refs

  8. The ecology of religious beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botero, Carlos A.; Gardner, Beth; Kirby, Kathryn R.; Bulbulia, Joseph; Gavin, Michael C.; Gray, Russell D.

    2014-01-01

    Although ecological forces are known to shape the expression of sociality across a broad range of biological taxa, their role in shaping human behavior is currently disputed. Both comparative and experimental evidence indicate that beliefs in moralizing high gods promote cooperation among humans, a behavioral attribute known to correlate with environmental harshness in nonhuman animals. Here we combine fine-grained bioclimatic data with the latest statistical tools from ecology and the social sciences to evaluate the potential effects of environmental forces, language history, and culture on the global distribution of belief in moralizing high gods (n = 583 societies). After simultaneously accounting for potential nonindependence among societies because of shared ancestry and cultural diffusion, we find that these beliefs are more prevalent among societies that inhabit poorer environments and are more prone to ecological duress. In addition, we find that these beliefs are more likely in politically complex societies that recognize rights to movable property. Overall, our multimodel inference approach predicts the global distribution of beliefs in moralizing high gods with an accuracy of 91%, and estimates the relative importance of different potential mechanisms by which this spatial pattern may have arisen. The emerging picture is neither one of pure cultural transmission nor of simple ecological determinism, but rather a complex mixture of social, cultural, and environmental influences. Our methods and findings provide a blueprint for how the increasing wealth of ecological, linguistic, and historical data can be leveraged to understand the forces that have shaped the behavior of our own species. PMID:25385605

  9. Ecological civilization and Chinese philosophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balchindorjieva O.B.

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available the author raises the problem of the construction of ecological civilization in China in terms of the definition of «ecological civilization» in the context of traditional Chinese culture in its relationship with the traditional and the modern understanding of harmony and harmonious society, and the development of regulation in the sphere of environmental protection. In the article the analysis of philosophical aspects of this problem is given. The author demonstrates the approach developed by the Chinese scholars to understanding of the ecological civilization as a new stage in the human society’s development coming after industrial society. In conclusion the author proposes to consider this approach a necessary civilizational choice that is to be made by the Chinese society.

  10. The Ecology of Human Mobility

    KAUST Repository

    Meekan, Mark G.

    2017-02-03

    Mobile phones and other geolocated devices have produced unprecedented volumes of data on human movement. Analysis of pooled individual human trajectories using big data approaches has revealed a wealth of emergent features that have ecological parallels in animals across a diverse array of phenomena including commuting, epidemics, the spread of innovations and culture, and collective behaviour. Movement ecology, which explores how animals cope with and optimize variability in resources, has the potential to provide a theoretical framework to aid an understanding of human mobility and its impacts on ecosystems. In turn, big data on human movement can be explored in the context of animal movement ecology to provide solutions for urgent conservation problems and management challenges.

  11. The Ecology of Human Mobility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meekan, Mark G; Duarte, Carlos M; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Thums, Michele; Sequeira, Ana M M; Harcourt, Rob; Eguíluz, Víctor M

    2017-03-01

    Mobile phones and other geolocated devices have produced unprecedented volumes of data on human movement. Analysis of pooled individual human trajectories using big data approaches has revealed a wealth of emergent features that have ecological parallels in animals across a diverse array of phenomena including commuting, epidemics, the spread of innovations and culture, and collective behaviour. Movement ecology, which explores how animals cope with and optimize variability in resources, has the potential to provide a theoretical framework to aid an understanding of human mobility and its impacts on ecosystems. In turn, big data on human movement can be explored in the context of animal movement ecology to provide solutions for urgent conservation problems and management challenges. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The microbial ecology of permafrost

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jansson, Janet; Tas, Neslihan

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost constitutes a major portion of the terrestrial cryosphere of the Earth and is a unique ecological niche for cold-adapted microorganisms. There is a relatively high microbial diversity in permafrost, although there is some variation in community composition across different permafrost......-gas emissions. This Review describes new data on the microbial ecology of permafrost and provides a platform for understanding microbial life strategies in frozen soil as well as the impact of climate change on permafrost microorganisms and their functional roles....

  13. ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY AND ECOLOGICAL CULTURE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalimat M. Alilova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aim. The aim of the research is to study environmental problems related to the decline of culture, the importance of philosophy in overcoming private and personal interests as well as the unilateral approach of man in his relationship to nature. The study shows how philosophy can participate in the formation of ecological culture, a new ecological consciousness in man, while ecological culture is called upon to resist technocratic stereotypes and the course of history was aimed at preventing the biosphere from becoming deserted. Discussion. On the basis of the analysis of literary sources, we used the method of socio-cultural and socio-natural approaches based on the possibility of philosophy to introduce a new life into culture, new ecological values and new ecological principles. To solve these problems, environmental philosophy develops new theories. Representatives of different cultures, ethnic groups, nations, religions must learn to coexist with each other. We consider philosophy as a means of teaching rapprochement between peoples and creating new opportunities for understanding and improving the environmental situation. Cultural development makes it possible to assess the level of a man’s knowledge of nature, himself and the world around him. Ecological culture is a way of connecting man with nature on the basis of deeper knowledge and understanding. Philosophy says that you cannot move away from nature and be lauded over it since this will destroy culture. Rational doctrines tend to put a person above other living beings so the synthesis of philosophy with culture can have a positive ecological meaning. Conclusion. The findings obtained can be recommended for practical use in schools, starting from primary school, as well as in secondary special educational institutions and universities. It is necessary to work on the motivation and values of people, develop a common and ecological culture. Only a cultured person can move from

  14. Nuclear power ecology: comparative analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trofimenko, A.P.; Lips'ka, A.Yi.; Pisanko, Zh.Yi.

    2005-01-01

    Ecological effects of different energy sources are compared. Main actions for further nuclear power development - safety increase and waste management, are noted. Reasons of restrained public position to nuclear power and role of social and political factors in it are analyzed. An attempt is undertaken to separate real difficulties of nuclear power from imaginary ones that appear in some mass media. International actions of environment protection are noted. Risk factors at different energy source using are compared. The results of analysis indicate that ecological influence and risk for nuclear power are of minimum

  15. Hollow Ecology: Ecological Modernization Theory and the Death of Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A. Ewing

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The last few decades have seen the rise of ‘ecological modernization theory’ (EMT as a “green capitalist” tradition extending modernization theory into environmental sociology. This article uses a synthesis of political economy, world-systems theory, and political, economic, and environmental sociology to demonstrate that the EMT presumption of growth and profit as economic priorities (alongside its neglect of core-periphery relations produces many feedback loops which fatally undermine the viability of EMT’s own political, technological, and social prescriptions, alongside creating problems for the fundamental EMT concept of ‘ecological rationality.’ Furthermore, this article attempts to explain why “green capitalist” approaches to environmental analysis have influence within policy and social science circles despite their inadequacies within environmental sociology. Finally, this article argues that in order to address the ecological challenges of our era, environmental sociology needs to reject “green capitalist” traditions like ‘ecological modernization theory’ which presuppose the desirability and maintenance of profit and growth as economic priorities (and predominantly fail to critique power imbalances between core and non-core nations, and instead return to the development of traditions willing to critique the fundamental traits of the capitalist world-system.

  16. Ecological forestry in the Southeast: Understanding the ecology of fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    R.J. Mitchell; J.K. Hiers; J. O’Brien; G. Starr

    2009-01-01

    Fire is a dominant disturbance within many forested ecosystems worldwide. Understanding the complex feedbacks among vegetation as a fuel for fire, the effects of fuels on fire behavior, and the impact of fire behavior on future vegetation are critical for sustaining biodiversity in fire-dependent forests. Nonetheless, understanding in fire ecology has been limited in...

  17. Anthropology - Ecology. [Project ECOLogy ELE Pak, Skidmore Pak].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skidmore, Margaret

    This is one of a series of units for environmental education developed by the Highline Public Schools. The unit may be used as an introduction to the study of anthropology, the influence of ecology on the study of anthropology, and an introduction to the physical school environment. For best results, it should be used at the beginning of the…

  18. Increasing connectivity between metapopulation ecology and landscape ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, Paige E; Muths, Erin; Hossack, Blake R; Sigafus, Brent H; Chandler, Richard B

    2018-02-17

    Metapopulation ecology and landscape ecology aim to understand how spatial structure influences ecological processes, yet these disciplines address the problem using fundamentally different modeling approaches. Metapopulation models describe how the spatial distribution of patches affects colonization and extinction, but often do not account for the heterogeneity in the landscape between patches. Models in landscape ecology use detailed descriptions of landscape structure, but often without considering colonization and extinction dynamics. We present a novel spatially explicit modeling framework for narrowing the divide between these disciplines to advance understanding of the effects of landscape structure on metapopulation dynamics. Unlike previous efforts, this framework allows for statistical inference on landscape resistance to colonization using empirical data. We demonstrate the approach using 11 yr of data on a threatened amphibian in a desert ecosystem. Occupancy data for Lithobates chiricahuensis (Chiricahua leopard frog) were collected on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR), Arizona, USA from 2007 to 2017 following a reintroduction in 2003. Results indicated that colonization dynamics were influenced by both patch characteristics and landscape structure. Landscape resistance increased with increasing elevation and distance to the nearest streambed. Colonization rate was also influenced by patch quality, with semi-permanent and permanent ponds contributing substantially more to the colonization of neighboring ponds relative to intermittent ponds. Ponds that only hold water intermittently also had the highest extinction rate. Our modeling framework can be widely applied to understand metapopulation dynamics in complex landscapes, particularly in systems in which the environment between habitat patches influences the colonization process. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. Ecology-driven stereotypes override race stereotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Keelah E. G.; Sng, Oliver; Neuberg, Steven L.

    2016-01-01

    Why do race stereotypes take the forms they do? Life history theory posits that features of the ecology shape individuals’ behavior. Harsh and unpredictable (“desperate”) ecologies induce fast strategy behaviors such as impulsivity, whereas resource-sufficient and predictable (“hopeful”) ecologies induce slow strategy behaviors such as future focus. We suggest that individuals possess a lay understanding of ecology’s influence on behavior, resulting in ecology-driven stereotypes. Importantly, because race is confounded with ecology in the United States, we propose that Americans’ stereotypes about racial groups actually reflect stereotypes about these groups’ presumed home ecologies. Study 1 demonstrates that individuals hold ecology stereotypes, stereotyping people from desperate ecologies as possessing faster life history strategies than people from hopeful ecologies. Studies 2–4 rule out alternative explanations for those findings. Study 5, which independently manipulates race and ecology information, demonstrates that when provided with information about a person’s race (but not ecology), individuals’ inferences about blacks track stereotypes of people from desperate ecologies, and individuals’ inferences about whites track stereotypes of people from hopeful ecologies. However, when provided with information about both the race and ecology of others, individuals’ inferences reflect the targets’ ecology rather than their race: black and white targets from desperate ecologies are stereotyped as equally fast life history strategists, whereas black and white targets from hopeful ecologies are stereotyped as equally slow life history strategists. These findings suggest that the content of several predominant race stereotypes may not reflect race, per se, but rather inferences about how one’s ecology influences behavior. PMID:26712013

  20. Methods of ecological capability evaluation of forest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hosseini, M.; Makhdoum, M.F.; Akbarnia, M.; Saghebtalebi, Kh.

    2000-01-01

    In this research common methods of ecological capability evaluation of forests were reviewed and limitations for performance were analysed. Ecological capability of forests is an index that show site potential in several role of wood production, soil conservation, flood control, biodiversity, conservation and water supply. This index is related to ecological characteristics of land, such as soil, micro climate, elevation, slope and aspect that affect potential of sites. Suitable method of ecological capability evaluation must be chosen according to the objective of forestry. Common methods for ecological capability evaluation include plant and animal diversity, site index curve, soil and land form, inter branches, index plants, leave analyses, analyses regeneration and ecological mapping

  1. Urban Climates and Human Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norwin, Jim

    1975-01-01

    The interconnections between urban climates and human ecology are discussed, strengthening the notion that man is not yet free of environmental constraints, especially climatic ones. Student learning activities are suggested to allow students to become aware of this area of geography and its relation to environmental education. (Author/JR)

  2. Interactions between ecology and economics

    OpenAIRE

    Bittig, Bernhard

    1983-01-01

    Interactions between economics and ecology are analyzed by means of a deductive approach as well as by means of an iteration model. Additional approaches are briefly touched upon, with the Black box approach being considered as particularly suitable. Finally, the limits of all thought models are defined.

  3. Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Han; Alonso, David; Berg, Matty P.; Eriksson, B. Klemens; Loreau, Michel; Piersma, Theunis; Rooney, Neil

    2009-01-01

    In ecosystems, species interact with other species directly and through abiotic factors in multiple ways, often forming complex networks of various types of ecological interaction. Out of this suite of interactions, predator-prey interactions have received most attention. The resulting food webs,

  4. Fynbos ecology: a preliminary synthesis

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Day, J

    1979-12-01

    Full Text Available of the region are outlined, with particular reference to local variation in water quality. Fire is a factor of considerable ecological and economic importance in the biome and information on fire incidence, seasonality, intensity and behaviour is summarized. A...

  5. Production ecology of Thuja occidentalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philip V. Hofmeyer; Robert S. Seymour; Laura S. Kenefic

    2010-01-01

    Equations to predict branch and tree leaf area, foliar mass, and stemwood volume were developed from 25 destructively sampled northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) trees, a species whose production ecology has not been studied. Resulting models were applied to a large sample of 296 cored trees from 60 sites stratified across a soil gradient...

  6. On Science, Ecology and Environmentalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulloch, Lynley

    2013-01-01

    Using ecological science as a backdrop for this discussion, the author applies Michel Foucault's historical genealogical strategy to an analysis of the processes through which sustainable development (SD) gained hegemonic acceptance in the West. She analyses some of the ideological mutations that have seen SD emerge from an environmentalist…

  7. Ecology of forest insect invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    E.G. Brockerhoff; A.M. Liebhold

    2017-01-01

    Forests in virtually all regions of the world are being affected by invasions of non-native insects. We conducted an in-depth review of the traits of successful invasive forest insects and the ecological processes involved in insect invasions across the universal invasion phases (transport and arrival, establishment, spread and impacts). Most forest insect invasions...

  8. Chemical Ecology of Stingless Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonhardt, Sara Diana

    2017-04-01

    Stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae: Meliponini) represent a highly diverse group of social bees confined to the world's tropics and subtropics. They show a striking diversity of structural and behavioral adaptations and are important pollinators of tropical plants. Despite their diversity and functional importance, their ecology, and especially chemical ecology, has received relatively little attention, particularly compared to their relative the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Here, I review various aspects of the chemical ecology of stingless bees, from communication over resource allocation to defense. I list examples in which functions of specific compounds (or compound groups) have been demonstrated by behavioral experiments, and show that many aspects (e.g., queen-worker interactions, host-parasite interactions, neuronal processing etc.) remain little studied. This review further reveals that the vast majority of studies on the chemical ecology of stingless bees have been conducted in the New World, whereas studies on Old World stingless bees are still comparatively rare. Given the diversity of species, behaviors and, apparently, chemical compounds used, I suggest that stingless bees provide an ideal subject for studying how functional context and the need for species specificity may interact to shape pheromone diversification in social insects.

  9. The Ecological Economics of Consumption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge; Reisch, Lucia A.

    In accordance with the transdisciplinary basis of ecological economics, this volume encompasses contributions from different perspectives, often cutting across disciplines. It is divided into three parts that group contributions on · problematizing consumption both as a concept and as an economic...

  10. Ecological materials for solar architecture

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zbasnik-Senegaenik, M.

    2000-01-01

    In general, materials which have been used in construction, have had a negative influence in all the phases of the life cycle. The effects can be seen in the form of tampering with the environment, overuse of electric power, harmful emissions, wastes and in the form of pollution with vapours, dust, fibres, poisonous and radioactive matter. Materials can be divided into three groups regarding their origin: natural materials, artificial mineral materials and synthetic materials. An assessment of separate influences on macro- and micro-environment shows a hierarchical scale of suitability of material use. Materials of natural origin (stone, clay, wood) and less artificial ones (brick, ceramic, metals, glass, lime, cement, concrete, mineral thermal-insulation materials) are most convenient for man and environment. Synthetic materials (plastics, polymers, synthetic thermal-insulation materials, synthetic pastes, composed synthetic materials) negatively influence macro- and micro-environment and therefore they should be used on an extremely selective and premeditated basis. Ecological structure of the future will demand the nowadays-established exploitation of natural sources of power and passive exploitation of natural resources. Introduction of ecological constructing is to be foreseen in planing of the future buildings. At present ecological constructing includes two principles ecological selection of materials and disintegration of composite materials and constructions. (au)

  11. Disturbance Ecology from nearby Supernovae

    OpenAIRE

    Hartmann, D. H.; Kretschmer, K.; Diehl, R.

    2002-01-01

    Monte Carlo simulations of Galactic Supernovae are carried out to study the rate of nearby events, which may have a direct effect on Earth's ecology though ionizing radiation and cosmic ray bombardment. A nearby supernova may have left a radioactive imprint (60Fe) in recent galactic history.

  12. Toward a Developmental Ecological Psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldfield, Eugene C.

    1997-01-01

    Discusses Adolph's research on locomotion with regard to the requirements of an ecological psychology, especially the use of control laws; her examination of individual styles and normative patterns as it reflects a dynamic systems perspective; and her use of cognitive processes of decision making in explaining why infants approach or avoid a…

  13. Ecological Dimensions of Information Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinerova, Jela

    2010-01-01

    Introduction: We examine relationships between information literacy and information ecology with regard to conceptual innovation in information science. We aim to expand our understanding of human information behaviour and relevance assessment in the electronic environment. Method: Conceptual analysis and conceptual mapping is used and…

  14. Evolutionary ecology of virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennehy, John J

    2017-02-01

    The cross-species transmission of viruses into new host populations, termed virus emergence, is a significant issue in public health, agriculture, wildlife management, and related fields. Virus emergence requires overlap between host populations, alterations in virus genetics to permit infection of new hosts, and adaptation to novel hosts such that between-host transmission is sustainable, all of which are the purview of the fields of ecology and evolution. A firm understanding of the ecology of viruses and how they evolve is required for understanding how and why viruses emerge. In this paper, I address the evolutionary mechanisms of virus emergence and how they relate to virus ecology. I argue that, while virus acquisition of the ability to infect new hosts is not difficult, limited evolutionary trajectories to sustained virus between-host transmission and the combined effects of mutational meltdown, bottlenecking, demographic stochasticity, density dependence, and genetic erosion in ecological sinks limit most emergence events to dead-end spillover infections. Despite the relative rarity of pandemic emerging viruses, the potential of viruses to search evolutionary space and find means to spread epidemically and the consequences of pandemic viruses that do emerge necessitate sustained attention to virus research, surveillance, prophylaxis, and treatment. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  15. Ecological Footprints in transnational media

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Lars Kjerulf

    2013-01-01

    planning in administrative bodies to broadcast media reporting how countries are ranked in the newest index of corruption, wealth, or happiness. The question this paper rises is how sustainable development indicators, and more specifically the Ecological Footprint is represented and at work in public media...

  16. Reverse genetics in ecological research.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens Schwachtje

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available By precisely manipulating the expression of individual genetic elements thought to be important for ecological performance, reverse genetics has the potential to revolutionize plant ecology. However, untested concerns about possible side-effects of the transformation technique, caused by Agrobacterium infection and tissue culture, on plant performance have stymied research by requiring onerous sample sizes. We compare 5 independently transformed Nicotiana attenuata lines harboring empty vector control (EVC T-DNA lacking silencing information with isogenic wild types (WT, and measured a battery of ecologically relevant traits, known to be important in plant-herbivore interactions: phytohormones, secondary metabolites, growth and fitness parameters under stringent competitive conditions, and transcriptional regulation with microarrays. As a positive control, we included a line silenced in trypsin proteinase inhibitor gene (TPI expression, a potent anti-herbivore defense known to exact fitness costs in its expression, in the analysis. The experiment was conducted twice, with 10 and 20 biological replicates per genotype. For all parameters, we detected no difference between any EVC and WT lines, but could readily detect a fitness benefit of silencing TPI production. A statistical power analyses revealed that the minimum sample sizes required for detecting significant fitness differences between EVC and WT was 2-3 orders of magnitude larger than the 10 replicates required to detect a fitness effect of TPI silencing. We conclude that possible side-effects of transformation are far too low to obfuscate the study of ecologically relevant phenotypes.

  17. Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    The 4th edition of Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry Edited by Eldor Paul continues in the vein of the 3rd edition by providing an excellent, broad-reaching introduction to soil biology. The new edition improves on the previous by providing extensive supplementary materials, links to outs...

  18. Health Behavior in Ecological Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons-Morton, Bruce

    2013-01-01

    Health is best understood within an ecological context. Accordingly, health promotion involves processes that foster supportive environments and healthful behavior. Thus, effective health promotion programs are typically multilevel, focusing not only on the population at risk but also on the environmental conditions that contribute so importantly…

  19. Ecology-A Pocket Guide

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 8. Ecology – A Pocket Guide. Renee M Borges. Book Review Volume 5 Issue 8 August 2000 pp 99-102. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/08/0099-0102. Author Affiliations.

  20. Freshwater sculpins: phylogenetics to ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan B. Adams; David A. Schmetterling

    2007-01-01

    Freshwater sculpins (Cottidae) are a diverse and ecologically important component of cool- and coldwater ecosystems throughout the northern hemisphere. More than 60 sculpin species occur in a variety of habitats, and sculpin distributions range from highly localized to widespread. Despite the frequently high biomass of sculpins and their numerous ecosystem functions,...

  1. Environmental Attitude and Ecological Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, Florian G.; And Others

    This paper establishes environmental attitude, a construct in environmental psychology, as a powerful predictor of ecological behavior. Based on Ajzen's theory of planned behavior, this study uses a unified concept of attitude and a probabilistic measurement approach. Questionnaire data from members of two ideologically different Swiss…

  2. Ecological ethics and creation faith

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich Körtner

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Over past decades a concept of ecological ethics has taken root, which is often equated with environmental ethics. Church and theology have also responded to the environmental crisis. In the last third of the past century an intense discourse about the concerns and extent of a so called creation ethics was conducted. In connection with the question of a creation ethics, and the global responsibility of humans for the biosphere of our planet, the topic of creation has also gained new attention in dogmatics. In this way, ecology has also become a topic of systematic theology. The article focuses on the debate in the German speaking context. Occasionally, a quasi-religious elevation of ecology to the status of a doctrine of salvation is observable. Because theology always also has a function of critique of religion, it must also critically engage the sometimes open and sometimes hidden religious contents and claims of eco-ethical concepts. For this purpose, the first step of the present contribution is to more precisely determine the concepts of creation and nature. Thereafter, the problem of anthropocentrism is analysed. In a further step, the concept of sustainability is analysed. In conclusion, the main features of a responsibility-ethics model of ecological ethics are outlined.

  3. Ecology: From Individuals to Collectives

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    cus being very different. In fact, the term `emergent properties', implying collective properties arising from fine-scale interactions, made its way from ecology and evolutionary biology to physics [4]. Research over the last two decades shows that we can learn a lot about flocking birds and their movement by thinking of them as.

  4. Weed ecology and population dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    A global rise in herbicide resistant weed genotypes, coupled with a growing demand for food produced with minimal external synthetic inputs, is driving producer interest in reducing reliance on herbicides for weed management. An improved understanding of weed ecology can support the design of weed s...

  5. ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS AND LITERARY COMMUNICATION ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GRACE

    Abstract. This paper is focused on a reading of Ifeanyi Izuka's Travails of the Black. Gold (Black Gold) from the ambience of literary communication in order to examine the encoding stratagems contrived in the fictional narrative to convey causal chains of economics and ecology as informational content compatible.

  6. Ecological palaeoecology: a missing link between ecology and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rull, V.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Palaeoecology is more than a palaeoenvironmental discipline; it is a science that is well-suited for supplying the empirical evidence necessary to test ecological hypotheses and contributes to our understanding of the interface of ecology and evolution. A critical time frame in palaeoecology is the often-overlooked Q-time dimension (centuries to millennia, which tends to be the most appropriate time dimension to examine ecology–evolution interactions. This paper discusses these topics from a conceptual perspective and provides examples of the contributions of palaeoecology to the study of ecology–evolution interactions. It also admonishes researchers about the threats of overlooking palaeoecology. Specifically, this paper argues that the neglect of palaeoecology may result in the loss of empirical support for ecology and its interactions with evolution as DNA-based phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies become more and more prevalent. The main concepts discussed are the time continuum, the notion of ecological palaeoecology and the empirical nature of palaeoecology in the face of more hypothetical approaches. More practically speaking, several examples are provided that highlight the utility of ecological palaeoecology for understanding a variety of processes, including ecological succession, community– environment equilibria, community assembly, biotic responses to environmental change, speciation and extinction, and biodiversity conservation. The ecology–evolution interface is analysed using two processes in which these disciplines interact intensively: ecological succession and long-range migration. This work concludes that both ecological palaeoecology (including ancient DNA records and DNA-based phylogenetics and phylogeography are needed to better understand the biosphere ecologically and the processes occurring at the ecology–evolution interface.La paleoecología es más que una disciplina ambiental, ya que proporciona las

  7. ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in epithelial cells lining Bacillus anthracis' three sites of entry: implications for the pathogenesis of anthrax infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonuccelli, Gloria; Sotgia, Federica; Frank, Philippe G; Williams, Terence M; de Almeida, Cecilia J; Tanowitz, Herbert B; Scherer, Philipp E; Hotchkiss, Kylie A; Terman, Bruce I; Rollman, Brent; Alileche, Abdelkrim; Brojatsch, Jürgen; Lisanti, Michael P

    2005-06-01

    Anthrax is a disease caused by infection with spores from the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. These spores enter the body, where they germinate into bacteria and secrete a tripartite toxin that causes local edema and, in systemic infections, death. Recent studies identified the cellular receptor for anthrax toxin (ATR), a type I membrane protein. ATR is one of the splice variants of the tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) gene. ATR and TEM8 are identical throughout their extracellular and transmembrane sequence, and both proteins function as receptors for the toxin. ATR/TEM8 function and expression have been associated with development of the vascular system and with tumor angiogenesis. TEM8 is selectively upregulated in endothelial cells during blood vessel formation and tumorigenesis. However, selective expression of TEM8 in endothelial cells contradicts the presumably ubiquitous expression of the receptor. To resolve this controversial issue, we evaluated the distribution of ATR/TEM8 in a variety of tissues. For this purpose, we generated and characterized a novel anti-ATR/TEM8 polyclonal antibody. Here, we show that this novel antibody recognizes all three ATR/TEM8 isoforms, which are widely and differentially expressed in various tissue types. We found that ATR/TEM8 expression is not only associated with tumor endothelial cells, as previously described. Indeed, ATR/TEM8 is highly and selectively expressed in the epithelial cells lining those organs that constitute the anthrax toxin's sites of entry, i.e., the lung, the skin, and the intestine. In fact, we show that ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in the respiratory epithelium of the bronchi of the lung and is particularly abundant in the ciliated epithelial cells coating the bronchi. Furthermore, immunostaining of skin biopsies revealed that ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in the keratinocytes of the epidermis. Finally, we show that the epithelial cells lining the small intestine strongly express ATR/TEM8 isoforms. This

  8. Inhibition of the adenylyl cyclase toxin, edema factor, from Bacillus anthracis by a series of 18 mono- and bis-(M)ANT-substituted nucleoside 5'-triphosphates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Hesham; Dove, Stefan; Geduhn, Jens; König, Burkhard; Shen, Yuequan; Tang, Wei-Jen; Seifert, Roland

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax disease and exerts its deleterious effects by the release of three exotoxins, i.e. lethal factor, protective antigen and edema factor (EF), a highly active calmodulin-dependent adenylyl cyclase (AC). Conventional antibiotic treatment is ineffective against either toxaemia or antibiotic-resistant strains. Thus, more effective drugs for anthrax treatment are needed. Our previous studies showed that EF is differentially inhibited by various purine and pyrimidine nucleotides modified with N-methylanthraniloyl (MANT)- or anthraniloyl (ANT) groups at the 2'(3')-O-ribosyl position, with the unique preference for the base cytosine (Taha et al., Mol Pharmacol 75:693 (2009)). MANT-CTP was the most potent EF inhibitor (K (i), 100 nM) among 16 compounds studied. Here, we examined the interaction of EF with a series of 18 2',3'-O-mono- and bis-(M)ANT-substituted nucleotides, recently shown to be very potent inhibitors of the AC toxin from Bordetella pertussis, CyaA (Geduhn et al., J Pharmacol Exp Ther 336:104 (2011)). We analysed purified EF and EF mutants in radiometric AC assays and in fluorescence spectroscopy studies and conducted molecular modelling studies. Bis-MANT nucleotides inhibited EF competitively. Propyl-ANT-ATP was the most potent EF inhibitor (K (i), 80 nM). In contrast to the observations made for CyaA, introduction of a second (M)ANT-group decreased rather than increased inhibitor potency at EF. Activation of EF by calmodulin resulted in effective fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) from tryptophan and tyrosine residues located in the vicinity of the catalytic site to bis-MANT-ATP, but FRET to bis-MANT-CTP was only small. Mutations N583Q, K353A and K353R differentially altered the inhibitory potencies of bis-MANT-ATP and bis-MANT-CTP. The nucleotide binding site of EF accommodates bulky bis-(M)ANT-substituted purine and pyrimidine nucleotides, but the fit is suboptimal compared to CyaA. These data provide a basis

  9. The ecological impacts of marine debris

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rochman, Chelsea M.; Browne, Mark Anthony; Underwood, A.J.; Franeker, Van Jan A.; Thompson, Richard C.; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A.

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic debris contaminates marine habitats globally, leading to several perceived ecological impacts. Here, we critically and systematically review the literature regarding impacts of debris from several scientific fields to understand the weight of evidence regarding the ecological

  10. A quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quantitative approaches to measure and assess resilience are needed to bridge gaps between science, policy, and management. In this paper, we suggest a quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience. Ecological resilience as an emergent ecosystem phenomenon can be dec...

  11. Integrative ecology: from molecules to ecosystems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Woodward, G

    2010-01-01

    .... As such, none of these chapters are typical representatives of any single traditional field in ecology, as between them they attempt to forge new links from molecular biology to ecosystems ecology...

  12. A recirculating stream aquarium for ecological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon H. Reeves; Fred H. Everest; Carl E. McLemore

    1983-01-01

    Investigations of the ecological behavior of fishes often require studies in both natural and artificial stream environments. We describe a large, recirculating stream aquarium and its controls, constructed for ecological studies at the Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Corvallis.

  13. Statistical Physics Approaches to Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj

    The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.

  14. Eco-logical successes : January 2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    This document identifies and explains each Eco-Logical signatory agency's strategic environmental programs, projects, and efforts that are either directly related to or share the vision set forth in Eco-Logical. A brief description of an agency's key...

  15. Introductory guide to integrated ecological framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-01

    This guide introduces the Integrated Ecological Framework (IEF) to Texas Department of Transportation : (TxDOT) engineers and planners. IEF is step-by-step approach to integrating ecological and : transportation planning with the goal of avoiding imp...

  16. Reconciling ecology and economy in modern commons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ozinga, W.A.; Schrijver, R.

    2013-01-01

    Keywords: heathland ecology, cultural history, vegetation ecology, heathland fauna, ecotourism, stake-holder analysis, cost-benefit analysis, food production, ecosystem services, heathland management, land use, agriculture, Europe, Natura 2000

  17. Waianae Ecological Characterization Oahu, Hawaii 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Waianae Ecological Characterization is a digital synthesis of historical and current physical, ecological, and cultural information about the Waianae moku, which...

  18. From Ecological Sounding Artifacts Towards Sonic Artifact Ecologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erkut, Cumhur; Serafin, Stefania

    2016-01-01

    The discipline of sonic interaction design has been focused on the interaction between a single user and an artifact. This strongly limits one of the fundamental aspects of music as a social and interactive experience. In this paper we propose sonic artifact ecologies as a mean to examine...... interactions between one or many users with one or many artifacts. Case studies from a recently run workshop on product sound design are examined....

  19. Cognitive ecology: ecological factors, life-styles, and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mettke-Hofmann, Claudia

    2014-05-01

    Cognitive ecology integrates cognition, ecology, and neurobiology in one topic and has recently broadened into an exciting diversity of themes covering the entire range of cognition and ecological conditions. The review identifies three major environmental factors interacting with cognition: environmental variation (predictable and unpredictable), environmental complexity and predation. Generally, variable environments favor cognitive abilities such as exploration, learning, innovation, memory and also result in larger brains as compared to stable environments. Likewise, cognition is enhanced in complex versus simple environments, whereas the relationship between predation and cognitive abilities can be positive or negative. However, organisms have often evolved entire life-styles (e.g., residency versus migration, food-caching versus noncaching, generalism versus specialism) to deal with these environmental factors. Considering cognition within this framework provides a much more diverse picture of how cognitive abilities evolved in conjunction with other adaptations to environmental challenges. This integrated approach identifies gaps of knowledge and allows the formulation of hypotheses for future testing. Several recently emerged approaches study cognitive abilities at a new and in part highly integrated level. For example, the effect that environment has on the development of cognitive abilities during ontogeny will improve our understanding about cause and effect and gene-environment interactions. Together with two recently emerged highly integrative approaches that link personality and pace-of-life syndromes with cognitive ecology these new directions will improve insight how cognition is interlinked with other major organizational processes. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The author has declared no conflicts of interest for this article. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. The Encyclical Laudato Si': integral ecology, gender and deep ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Eustáquio Diniz Alves

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio released the "Encyclical Laudato Si': on the care of common home" on June 18, 2015, the same day that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA has shown that the temperature of Earth continues increasing and that May of 2015 was Earth's warmest month, since 1880. By endorsing the scientific knowledge in relation to anthropogenic factors on global warming and by defending actions to confront the causes of climate change and ecosystem degradation, the Holy See has taken a key step to put Catholics at the forefront of global ecological struggle and to encourage the signing of the global treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21, that will take place in December in Paris. But the encyclical of Pope Francis proposes a larger task that is to protect the poorest of the poor countries, addressing jointly the human environment and the natural environment from the perspective of an integral ecology. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the advances and limitations of the propositions of the encyclical Laudato Si ' and to expand the dialogue on gender relations and deep ecology.

  1. Ecological research at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1977-05-01

    Research is organized around two major programs: thermal and aquatic stress and mineral cycling. These programs are strengthened by a previously established foundation of basic ecological knowledge. Research in basic ecology continues to be a major component of all SREL environmental programs. Emphasis in all programs has been placed upon field-oriented research relating to regional and local problems having broad ecological significance. For example, extensive research has been conducted in the Par Pond reservoir system and the Savannah River swamp, both of which have received thermal effluent, heavy metals, and low levels of radioisotopes. Furthermore, the availability of low levels of plutonium and uranium in both terrestrial and aquatic environments on the Savannah River Plant (SRP) has provided an unusual opportunity for field research in this area. The studies seek to document the effects, to determine the extent of local environmental problems, and to establish predictable relationships which have general applicability. In order to accomplish this objective it has been imperative that studies be carried out in the natural, environmentally unaffected areas on the SRP as a vital part of the overall program. Progress is reported in forty-nine studies.

  2. Historical ecology: past, present and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Péter

    2015-11-01

    The term 'historical ecology' has been used with various meanings since the first half of the 20th century. Studies labelled as historical ecology have been produced in at least four academic disciplines: history, ecology, geography and anthropology. Although all those involved seem to agree that historical ecology concerns the historical interconnectedness of nature and human culture, this field of study has no unified methodology, specialized institutional background and common publication forums. Knowledge of the development of historical ecology is also limited. As a result, the current multitude of definitions of historical ecology is accompanied by divergent opinions as to where the origins of the field are to be sought. In this review, I follow the development of historical ecology from the 18th century to the present. In the first part, I briefly describe some early examples of historical ecological investigations, followed by a description of the various scientific strands in the 20th century that contributed to the formation of historical ecology. In the second part, I discuss the past five decades of historical ecological investigations in more detail, focusing mostly (but not exclusively) on works that their respective authors identified as historical ecology. I also examine the appearance and interconnectedness of the two main trends (ecological and anthropological) in historical ecological research. In the last part, I attempt to outline the future of historical ecology based on common features in existing research. It appears that at present historical ecology is at a crossroads. With rapidly growing interest in historical ecological research, it may move towards institutionalization or remain an umbrella term. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  3. Incorporating ecological sustainability into landscape planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Termorshuizen, J.W.; Opdam, P.F.M.; Brink, van den A.

    2007-01-01

    The ecological component is crucial in landscape planning according to the principles of sustainable development. We define ¿ecologically sustainable landscape¿ and develop a tool to measure how ecological sustainability is incorporated in landscape plans. This method acknowledges the critical role

  4. Quantifying ecological thresholds from response surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather E. Lintz; Bruce McCune; Andrew N. Gray; Katherine A. McCulloh

    2011-01-01

    Ecological thresholds are abrupt changes of ecological state. While an ecological threshold is a widely accepted concept, most empirical methods detect them in time or across geographic space. Although useful, these approaches do not quantify the direct drivers of threshold response. Causal understanding of thresholds detected empirically requires their investigation...

  5. Effective Exercises in Teaching Landscape Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott M. Pearson; Monica G. Turner; Dean L. Urban

    1999-01-01

    The development of landscape ecology and its many applications to land management created a need for courses that address both the conceptual and practical sides of the discipline. Graduate seminars and full-fledged courses in landscape ecology are now featured at many colleges and universities; undergraduate ecology courses may include an introduction to principles...

  6. The Ecological Education of Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolaeva, S. N.

    2008-01-01

    The system of ecological education of preschool children includes multiple interconnected blocks that cover all aspects of the ecological pedagogical process in a preschool institution: the content of the ecological education, the ways it is conducted (methods and technologies), and the organization and management of the process.

  7. The Principle of Ecological Culture Development Continuity

    OpenAIRE

    Kira Stetsyuk

    2013-01-01

    The article deals with continuity principle features in ecological education in order to optimize ecological culture development process. Every man studies throughout life and the society has to provide such opportunity. Continuity principle must become one of the strategic lines of educational policy in order to form integral ecological culture

  8. Ecological units of the Northern Region: Subsections

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Nesser; Gary L. Ford; C. Lee Maynard; Debbie Dumroese

    1997-01-01

    Ecological units are described at the subsection level of the Forest Service National Hierarchical Framework of Ecological Units. A total of 91 subsections are delineated on the 1996 map "Ecological Units of the Northern Region: Subsections," based on physical and biological criteria. This document consists of descriptions of the climate, geomorphology,...

  9. Conjugative plasmid pAW63 brings new insights into the genesis of the Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmid pXO2 and of the Bacillus thuringiensis plasmid pBT9727

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahillon Jacques

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bacillus cereus, Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis belong to the genetically close-knit Bacillus cereus sensu lato group, a family of rod-shaped Gram-positive bacteria. pAW63 is the first conjugative plasmid from the B. cereus group to be completely sequenced. Results The 71,777 bp nucleotide sequence of pAW63 reveals a modular structure, including a 42 kb tra region encoding homologs of the Type IV secretion systems components VirB11, VirB4 and VirD4, as well as homologs of Gram-positive conjugation genes from Enterococcus, Lactococcus, Listeria, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species. It also firmly establishes the existence of a common backbone between pAW63, pXO2 from Bacillus anthracis and pBT9727 from the pathogenic Bacillus thuringiensis serovar konkukian strain 97-27. The alignment of these three plasmids highlights the presence of well conserved segments, in contrast to distinct regions of high sequence plasticity. The study of their specific differences has provided a three-point reference framework that can be exploited to formulate solid hypotheses concerning the functionalities and the molecular evolution of these three closely related plasmids. This has provided insight into the chronology of their divergence, and led to the discovery of two Type II introns on pAW63, matching copies of the mobile element IS231L in different loci of pXO2 and pBT9727, and the identification on pXO2 of a 37 kb pathogenicity island (PAI containing the anthrax capsule genes. Conclusion The complete sequence determination of pAW63 has led to a functional map of the plasmid yielding insights into its conjugative apparatus, which includes T4SS-like components, as well as its resemblance to other large plasmids of Gram-positive bacteria. Of particular interest is the extensive homology shared between pAW63 and pXO2, the second virulence plasmid of B. anthracis, as well as pBT9727 from the pathogenic strain B. thuringiensis

  10. The chemical ecology of copepods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heuschele, Jan; Selander, Erik

    2014-01-01

    molecules. The review illustrates the importance of chemical interactions in many aspects of copepod ecology and identifies gaps in our knowledge, such as the lack of identified infochemicals and electrophysiological studies to confirm the function of sensory structures. We suggest approaches......An increasing number of studies show the importance of chemical interactions in the aquatic environment. Our understanding of the role of chemical cues and signals in larger crustaceans has advanced in the last decades. However, for copepods, the most abundant metazoan zooplankton and essential...... for the functioning of the marine food web, much is still unknown. We synthesize current knowledge about chemical ecology of copepods including foraging, survival and reproduction. We also compile information on the sensory apparatus and new analytical approaches that may facilitate the identification of signal...

  11. 100 Areas CERCLA ecological investigations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landeen, D.S.; Sackschewsky, M.R.; Weiss, S.

    1993-09-01

    This document reports the results of the field terrestrial ecological investigations conducted by Westinghouse Hanford Company during fiscal years 1991 and 1992 at operable units 100-FR-3, 100-HR-3, 100-NR-2, 100-KR-4, and 100-BC-5. The tasks reported here are part of the Remedial Investigations conducted in support of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 studies for the 100 Areas. These ecological investigations provide (1) a description of the flora and fauna associated with the 100 Areas operable units, emphasizing potential pathways for contaminants and species that have been given special status under existing state and/or federal laws, and (2) an evaluation of existing concentrations of heavy metals and radionuclides in biota associated with the 100 Areas operable units

  12. Ecological economics and institutional change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krall, Lisi; Klitgaard, Kent

    2011-02-01

    Ecological economics remains unfinished in its effort to provide a framework for transforming the economy so that it is compatible with biophysical limits. Great strides have been made in valuing natural capital and ecosystem services and recognizing the need to limit the scale of economic activity, but the question of how to effectively transform the economy to limit the scale of economic activity remains unclear. To gain clarity about the institutional changes necessary to limit the scale of economic activity, it is essential that ecological economics understands the limitations of its neoclassical roots and expands its theoretical framework to include how markets are embedded in social and institutional structures. This has long been the domain of institutional economics and heterodox political economy. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  13. Malaria ecology and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCord, G. C.

    2016-05-01

    Understanding the costs that climate change will exact on society is crucial to devising an appropriate policy response. One of the channels through while climate change will affect human society is through vector-borne diseases whose epidemiology is conditioned by ambient ecology. This paper introduces the literature on malaria, its cost on society, and the consequences of climate change to the physics community in hopes of inspiring synergistic research in the area of climate change and health. It then demonstrates the use of one ecological indicator of malaria suitability to provide an order-of-magnitude assessment of how climate change might affect the malaria burden. The average of Global Circulation Model end-of-century predictions implies a 47% average increase in the basic reproduction number of the disease in today's malarious areas, significantly complicating malaria elimination efforts.

  14. Yeast ecology of Kombucha fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teoh, Ai Leng; Heard, Gillian; Cox, Julian

    2004-09-01

    Kombucha is a traditional fermentation of sweetened tea, involving a symbiosis of yeast species and acetic acid bacteria. Despite reports of different yeast species being associated with the fermentation, little is known of the quantitative ecology of yeasts in Kombucha. Using oxytetracycline-supplemented malt extract agar, yeasts were isolated from four commercially available Kombucha products and identified using conventional biochemical and physiological tests. During the fermentation of each of the four products, yeasts were enumerated from both the cellulosic pellicle and liquor of the Kombucha. The number and diversity of species varied between products, but included Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. While these yeast species are known to occur in Kombucha, the enumeration of each species present throughout fermentation of each of the four Kombucha cultures demonstrated for the first time the dynamic nature of the yeast ecology. Kombucha fermentation is, in general, initiated by osmotolerant species, succeeded and ultimately dominated by acid-tolerant species.

  15. Ecological Stoichiometry of Ocean Plankton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Allison R.; Martiny, Adam C.

    2018-01-01

    Marine plankton elemental stoichiometric ratios can deviate from the Redfield ratio (106C:16N:1P); here, we examine physiological and biogeochemical mechanisms that lead to the observed variation across lineages, regions, and seasons. Many models of ecological stoichiometry blend together acclimative and adaptive responses to environmental conditions. These two pathways can have unique molecular mechanisms and stoichiometric outcomes, and we attempt to disentangle the two processes. We find that interactions between environmental conditions and cellular growth are key to understanding stoichiometric regulation, but the growth rates of most marine plankton populations are poorly constrained. We propose that specific physiological mechanisms have a strong impact on plankton and community stoichiometry in nutrient-rich environments, whereas biogeochemical interactions are important for the stoichiometry of the oligotrophic gyres. Finally, we outline key areas with missing information that is needed to advance understanding of the present and future ecological stoichiometry of ocean plankton.

  16. Bayesian inference with ecological applications

    CERN Document Server

    Link, William A

    2009-01-01

    This text is written to provide a mathematically sound but accessible and engaging introduction to Bayesian inference specifically for environmental scientists, ecologists and wildlife biologists. It emphasizes the power and usefulness of Bayesian methods in an ecological context. The advent of fast personal computers and easily available software has simplified the use of Bayesian and hierarchical models . One obstacle remains for ecologists and wildlife biologists, namely the near absence of Bayesian texts written specifically for them. The book includes many relevant examples, is supported by software and examples on a companion website and will become an essential grounding in this approach for students and research ecologists. Engagingly written text specifically designed to demystify a complex subject Examples drawn from ecology and wildlife research An essential grounding for graduate and research ecologists in the increasingly prevalent Bayesian approach to inference Companion website with analyt...

  17. 100 Areas CERCLA ecological investigations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Landeen, D.S.; Sackschewsky, M.R.; Weiss, S.

    1993-09-01

    This document reports the results of the field terrestrial ecological investigations conducted by Westinghouse Hanford Company during fiscal years 1991 and 1992 at operable units 100-FR-3, 100-HR-3, 100-NR-2, 100-KR-4, and 100-BC-5. The tasks reported here are part of the Remedial Investigations conducted in support of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 studies for the 100 Areas. These ecological investigations provide (1) a description of the flora and fauna associated with the 100 Areas operable units, emphasizing potential pathways for contaminants and species that have been given special status under existing state and/or federal laws, and (2) an evaluation of existing concentrations of heavy metals and radionuclides in biota associated with the 100 Areas operable units.

  18. Ecology scientific and practical approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Medori, P.; Devaux, J.; Faurie, C.; Ferra, Ch.

    1998-01-01

    In this work devoted to ecology and ecosystems, is a chapter relative to the nuclear power and its pollutions in environment. From the nuisances of operating nuclear facilities to the problem of radioactive wastes management, each kind of risk is studied. The fact that any problem can become a world problem, and the example of Chernobyl accident proved it, gives a particular dimension to nuclear energy use. (N.C.)

  19. Bayesian Inference: with ecological applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Link, William A.; Barker, Richard J.

    2010-01-01

    This text provides a mathematically rigorous yet accessible and engaging introduction to Bayesian inference with relevant examples that will be of interest to biologists working in the fields of ecology, wildlife management and environmental studies as well as students in advanced undergraduate statistics.. This text opens the door to Bayesian inference, taking advantage of modern computational efficiencies and easily accessible software to evaluate complex hierarchical models.

  20. Integrated Ecological-Economic Models

    OpenAIRE

    John Tschirhart

    2009-01-01

    Scientific evidence suggests that economic activity is threatening global biodiversity in ways that could severely degrade nature's flow of ecosystem services. Yet, there is relatively little work in economics that addresses biodiversity loss. Some economists have called for better integration of economic and ecological models to address biodiversity and the attendant ecosystem services. Current integrated approaches in economics are discussed, and they take in ecosystem services, ecosystem e...