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Sample records for anthrax lethal toxin

  1. The Effects of Anthrax Lethal Toxin on Host Barrier Function

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    David M. Frucht

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The pathological actions of anthrax toxin require the activities of its edema factor (EF and lethal factor (LF enzyme components, which gain intracellular access via its receptor-binding component, protective antigen (PA. LF is a metalloproteinase with specificity for selected mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MKKs, but its activity is not directly lethal to many types of primary and transformed cells in vitro. Nevertheless, in vivo treatment of several animal species with the combination of LF and PA (termed lethal toxin or LT leads to morbidity and mortality, suggesting that LT-dependent toxicity is mediated by cellular interactions between host cells. Decades of research have revealed that a central hallmark of this toxicity is the disruption of key cellular barriers required to maintain homeostasis. This review will focus on the current understanding of the effects of LT on barrier function, highlighting recent progress in establishing the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects.

  2. Cardiac-specific catalase overexpression rescues anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction: role of oxidative stress and autophagy

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    Kandadi, Machender R; Yu, Xuejun; Frankel, Arthur E; Ren, Jun

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Lethal and edema toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis during anthrax infection were found to incite serious cardiovascular complications. However, the underlying mechanisms in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac anomalies remain unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of antioxidant enzyme catalase in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Methods Wild type (WT) and cardiac-specific catalase overexpression mice were challenged...

  3. Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2–Dependent Lethal Toxin Killing In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scobie, Heather M; Wigelsworth, Darran J; Marlett, John M; Thomas, Diane; Rainey, G. Jonah A; Lacy, D. Borden; Manchester, Marianne; Collier, R. John; Young, John A. T

    2006-01-01

    Anthrax toxin receptors 1 and 2 (ANTXR1 and ANTXR2) have a related integrin-like inserted (I) domain which interacts with a metal cation that is coordinated by residue D683 of the protective antigen (PA) subunit of anthrax toxin. The receptor-bound metal ion and PA residue D683 are critical for ANTXR1-PA binding. Since PA can bind to ANTXR2 with reduced affinity in the absence of metal ions, we reasoned that D683 mutant forms of PA might specifically interact with ANTXR2. We show here that this is the case. The differential ability of ANTXR1 and ANTXR2 to bind D683 mutant PA proteins was mapped to nonconserved receptor residues at the binding interface with PA domain 2. Moreover, a D683K mutant form of PA that bound specifically to human and rat ANTXR2 mediated killing of rats by anthrax lethal toxin, providing strong evidence for the physiological importance of ANTXR2 in anthrax disease pathogenesis. PMID:17054395

  4. Comparative toxicity and efficacy of engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants with broad anti-tumor activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, Diane E.; Hoover, Benjamin; Cloud, Loretta Grey; Liu, Shihui; Molinolo, Alfredo A.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Bugge, Thomas H.

    2014-01-01

    We have previously designed and characterized versions of anthrax lethal toxin that are selectively cytotoxic in the tumor microenvironment and which display broad and potent anti-tumor activities in vivo. Here, we have performed the first direct comparison of the safety and efficacy of three engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants requiring activation by either matrix-metalloproteinases (MMPs), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) or co-localized MMP/uPA activities. C57BL/6J mice were challenged with six doses of engineered toxins via intraperitoneal (I.P.) or intravenous (I.V.) dose routes to determine the maximum tolerated dose for six administrations (MTD6) and dose-limiting toxicities. Efficacy was evaluated using the B16-BL6 syngraft model of melanoma; mice bearing established tumors were treated with six I.P. doses of toxin and tumor measurements and immunohistochemistry, paired with terminal blood work, were used to elaborate upon the anti-tumor mechanism and relative efficacy of each variant. We found that MMP-, uPA- and dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxins exhibited the same dose-limiting toxicity; dose-dependent GI toxicity. In terms of efficacy, all three toxins significantly reduced primary B16-BL6 tumor burden, ranging from 32% to 87% reduction, and they also delayed disease progression as evidenced by dose-dependent normalization of blood work values. While target organ toxicity and effective doses were similar amongst the variants, the dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin exhibited the highest I.P. MTD6 and was 1.5–3-fold better tolerated than the single MMP- and uPA-activated toxins. Overall, we demonstrate that this dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin can be administered safely and is highly effective in a preclinical model of melanoma. This modified bacterial cytotoxin is thus a promising candidate for further clinical development and evaluation for use in treating human cancers. - Highlights: • Toxicity and anti

  5. Comparative toxicity and efficacy of engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants with broad anti-tumor activities

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    Peters, Diane E. [Proteases and Tissue Remodeling Section, Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Program of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA (United States); Hoover, Benjamin [Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Cloud, Loretta Grey [Proteases and Tissue Remodeling Section, Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Liu, Shihui [Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Molinolo, Alfredo A. [Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Leppla, Stephen H. [Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States); Bugge, Thomas H., E-mail: thomas.bugge@nih.go [Proteases and Tissue Remodeling Section, Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (United States)

    2014-09-01

    We have previously designed and characterized versions of anthrax lethal toxin that are selectively cytotoxic in the tumor microenvironment and which display broad and potent anti-tumor activities in vivo. Here, we have performed the first direct comparison of the safety and efficacy of three engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants requiring activation by either matrix-metalloproteinases (MMPs), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) or co-localized MMP/uPA activities. C57BL/6J mice were challenged with six doses of engineered toxins via intraperitoneal (I.P.) or intravenous (I.V.) dose routes to determine the maximum tolerated dose for six administrations (MTD6) and dose-limiting toxicities. Efficacy was evaluated using the B16-BL6 syngraft model of melanoma; mice bearing established tumors were treated with six I.P. doses of toxin and tumor measurements and immunohistochemistry, paired with terminal blood work, were used to elaborate upon the anti-tumor mechanism and relative efficacy of each variant. We found that MMP-, uPA- and dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxins exhibited the same dose-limiting toxicity; dose-dependent GI toxicity. In terms of efficacy, all three toxins significantly reduced primary B16-BL6 tumor burden, ranging from 32% to 87% reduction, and they also delayed disease progression as evidenced by dose-dependent normalization of blood work values. While target organ toxicity and effective doses were similar amongst the variants, the dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin exhibited the highest I.P. MTD6 and was 1.5–3-fold better tolerated than the single MMP- and uPA-activated toxins. Overall, we demonstrate that this dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin can be administered safely and is highly effective in a preclinical model of melanoma. This modified bacterial cytotoxin is thus a promising candidate for further clinical development and evaluation for use in treating human cancers. - Highlights: • Toxicity and anti

  6. Comparative toxicity and efficacy of engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants with broad anti-tumor activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Diane E; Hoover, Benjamin; Cloud, Loretta Grey; Liu, Shihui; Molinolo, Alfredo A; Leppla, Stephen H; Bugge, Thomas H

    2014-09-01

    We have previously designed and characterized versions of anthrax lethal toxin that are selectively cytotoxic in the tumor microenvironment and which display broad and potent anti-tumor activities in vivo. Here, we have performed the first direct comparison of the safety and efficacy of three engineered anthrax lethal toxin variants requiring activation by either matrix-metalloproteinases (MMPs), urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) or co-localized MMP/uPA activities. C57BL/6J mice were challenged with six doses of engineered toxins via intraperitoneal (I.P.) or intravenous (I.V.) dose routes to determine the maximum tolerated dose for six administrations (MTD6) and dose-limiting toxicities. Efficacy was evaluated using the B16-BL6 syngraft model of melanoma; mice bearing established tumors were treated with six I.P. doses of toxin and tumor measurements and immunohistochemistry, paired with terminal blood work, were used to elaborate upon the anti-tumor mechanism and relative efficacy of each variant. We found that MMP-, uPA- and dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxins exhibited the same dose-limiting toxicity; dose-dependent GI toxicity. In terms of efficacy, all three toxins significantly reduced primary B16-BL6 tumor burden, ranging from 32% to 87% reduction, and they also delayed disease progression as evidenced by dose-dependent normalization of blood work values. While target organ toxicity and effective doses were similar amongst the variants, the dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin exhibited the highest I.P. MTD6 and was 1.5-3-fold better tolerated than the single MMP- and uPA-activated toxins. Overall, we demonstrate that this dual MMP/uPA-activated anthrax lethal toxin can be administered safely and is highly effective in a preclinical model of melanoma. This modified bacterial cytotoxin is thus a promising candidate for further clinical development and evaluation for use in treating human cancers. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Cardiac-specific catalase overexpression rescues anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction: role of oxidative stress and autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandadi, Machender R; Yu, Xuejun; Frankel, Arthur E; Ren, Jun

    2012-11-07

    Lethal and edema toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis during anthrax infection were found to incite serious cardiovascular complications. However, the underlying mechanisms in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac anomalies remain unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of antioxidant enzyme catalase in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Wild type (WT) and cardiac-specific catalase overexpression mice were challenged with lethal toxin (2 μg/g, intraperotineally (i.p.)). Cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) properties were assessed 18 h later using an IonOptix edge-detection system. Proteasome function was assessed using chymotrypsin-like and caspase-like activities. GFP-LC3 puncta and Western blot analysis were used to evaluate autophagy and protein ubiquitination. Lethal toxin exposure suppressed cardiomyocyte contractile function (suppressed peak shortening, maximal velocity of shortening/re-lengthening, prolonged duration of shortening/re-lengthening, and impaired intracellular Ca(2+) handling), the effects of which were alleviated by catalase. In addition, lethal toxin triggered autophagy, mitochondrial and ubiquitin-proteasome defects, the effects of which were mitigated by catalase. Pretreatment of cardiomyocytes from catalase mice with the autophagy inducer rapamycin significantly attenuated or ablated catalase-offered protection against lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte dysfunction. On the other hand, the autophagy inhibitor 3-MA ablated or significantly attenuated lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile anomalies. Our results suggest that catalase is protective against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca(2+) anomalies, possibly through regulation of autophagy and mitochondrial function.

  8. Cardiac-specific catalase overexpression rescues anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac contractile dysfunction: role of oxidative stress and autophagy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kandadi Machender R

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lethal and edema toxins secreted by Bacillus anthracis during anthrax infection were found to incite serious cardiovascular complications. However, the underlying mechanisms in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiac anomalies remain unknown. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of antioxidant enzyme catalase in anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile dysfunction. Methods Wild type (WT and cardiac-specific catalase overexpression mice were challenged with lethal toxin (2 μg/g, intraperotineally (i.p.. Cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ properties were assessed 18 h later using an IonOptix edge-detection system. Proteasome function was assessed using chymotrypsin-like and caspase-like activities. GFP-LC3 puncta and Western blot analysis were used to evaluate autophagy and protein ubiquitination. Results Lethal toxin exposure suppressed cardiomyocyte contractile function (suppressed peak shortening, maximal velocity of shortening/re-lengthening, prolonged duration of shortening/re-lengthening, and impaired intracellular Ca2+ handling, the effects of which were alleviated by catalase. In addition, lethal toxin triggered autophagy, mitochondrial and ubiquitin-proteasome defects, the effects of which were mitigated by catalase. Pretreatment of cardiomyocytes from catalase mice with the autophagy inducer rapamycin significantly attenuated or ablated catalase-offered protection against lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte dysfunction. On the other hand, the autophagy inhibitor 3-MA ablated or significantly attenuated lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile anomalies. Conclusions Our results suggest that catalase is protective against anthrax lethal toxin-induced cardiomyocyte contractile and intracellular Ca2+ anomalies, possibly through regulation of autophagy and mitochondrial function.

  9. Highly predictive support vector machine (SVM) models for anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF) inhibitors.

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    Zhang, Xia; Amin, Elizabeth Ambrose

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a highly lethal, acute infectious disease caused by the rod-shaped, Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The anthrax toxin lethal factor (LF), a zinc metalloprotease secreted by the bacilli, plays a key role in anthrax pathogenesis and is chiefly responsible for anthrax-related toxemia and host death, partly via inactivation of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK) enzymes and consequent disruption of key cellular signaling pathways. Antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones are capable of clearing the bacilli but have no effect on LF-mediated toxemia; LF itself therefore remains the preferred target for toxin inactivation. However, currently no LF inhibitor is available on the market as a therapeutic, partly due to the insufficiency of existing LF inhibitor scaffolds in terms of efficacy, selectivity, and toxicity. In the current work, we present novel support vector machine (SVM) models with high prediction accuracy that are designed to rapidly identify potential novel, structurally diverse LF inhibitor chemical matter from compound libraries. These SVM models were trained and validated using 508 compounds with published LF biological activity data and 847 inactive compounds deposited in the Pub Chem BioAssay database. One model, M1, demonstrated particularly favorable selectivity toward highly active compounds by correctly predicting 39 (95.12%) out of 41 nanomolar-level LF inhibitors, 46 (93.88%) out of 49 inactives, and 844 (99.65%) out of 847 Pub Chem inactives in external, unbiased test sets. These models are expected to facilitate the prediction of LF inhibitory activity for existing molecules, as well as identification of novel potential LF inhibitors from large datasets. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Immunization of Mice with Anthrax Protective Antigen Limits Cardiotoxicity but Not Hepatotoxicity Following Lethal Toxin Challenge

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    T. Scott Devera

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Protective immunity against anthrax is inferred from measurement of vaccine antigen-specific neutralizing antibody titers in serum samples. In animal models, in vivo challenges with toxin and/or spores can also be performed. However, neither of these approaches considers toxin-induced damage to specific organ systems. It is therefore important to determine to what extent anthrax vaccines and existing or candidate adjuvants can provide organ-specific protection against intoxication. We therefore compared the ability of Alum, CpG DNA and the CD1d ligand α-galactosylceramide (αGC to enhance protective antigen-specific antibody titers, to protect mice against challenge with lethal toxin, and to block cardiotoxicity and hepatotoxicity. By measurement of serum cardiac Troponin I (cTnI, and hepatic alanine aminotransferase (ALT, and aspartate aminotransferase (AST, it was apparent that neither vaccine modality prevented hepatic intoxication, despite high Ab titers and ultimate survival of the subject. In contrast, cardiotoxicity was greatly diminished by prior immunization. This shows that a vaccine that confers survival following toxin exposure may still have an associated morbidity. We propose that organ-specific intoxication should be monitored routinely during research into new vaccine modalities.

  11. Anthrax lethal toxin disrupts intestinal barrier function and causes systemic infections with enteric bacteria.

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    Chen Sun

    Full Text Available A variety of intestinal pathogens have virulence factors that target mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK signaling pathways, including Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax lethal toxin (LT has specific proteolytic activity against the upstream regulators of MAPKs, the MAPK kinases (MKKs. Using a murine model of intoxication, we show that LT causes the dose-dependent disruption of intestinal epithelial integrity, characterized by mucosal erosion, ulceration, and bleeding. This pathology correlates with an LT-dependent blockade of intestinal crypt cell proliferation, accompanied by marked apoptosis in the villus tips. C57BL/6J mice treated with intravenous LT nearly uniformly develop systemic infections with commensal enteric organisms within 72 hours of administration. LT-dependent intestinal pathology depends upon its proteolytic activity and is partially attenuated by co-administration of broad spectrum antibiotics, indicating that it is both a cause and an effect of infection. These findings indicate that targeting of MAPK signaling pathways by anthrax LT compromises the structural integrity of the mucosal layer, serving to undermine the effectiveness of the intestinal barrier. Combined with the well-described immunosuppressive effects of LT, this disruption of the intestinal barrier provides a potential mechanism for host invasion via the enteric route, a common portal of entry during the natural infection cycle of Bacillus anthracis.

  12. Ligand-induced expansion of the S1' site in the anthrax toxin lethal factor

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    Maize, Kimberly M.; Kurbanov, Elbek K.; Johnson, Rodney L.; Amin, Elizabeth Ambrose; Finzel, Barry C. (UMM)

    2016-07-05

    The Bacillus anthracis lethal factor (LF) is one component of a tripartite exotoxin partly responsible for persistent anthrax cytotoxicity after initial bacterial infection. Inhibitors of the zinc metalloproteinase have been investigated as potential therapeutic agents, but LF is a challenging target because inhibitors lack sufficient selectivity or possess poor pharmaceutical properties. These structural studies reveal an alternate conformation of the enzyme, induced upon binding of specific inhibitors, that opens a previously unobserved deep pocket termed S1'* which might afford new opportunities to design selective inhibitors that target this subsite.

  13. Genetically modified anthrax lethal toxin safely delivers whole HIV protein antigens into the cytosol to induce T cell immunity

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    Lu, Yichen; Friedman, Rachel; Kushner, Nicholas; Doling, Amy; Thomas, Lawrence; Touzjian, Neal; Starnbach, Michael; Lieberman, Judy

    2000-07-01

    Bacillus anthrax lethal toxin can be engineered to deliver foreign proteins to the cytosol for antigen presentation to CD8 T cells. Vaccination with modified toxins carrying 8-9 amino acid peptide epitopes induces protective immunity in mice. To evaluate whether large protein antigens can be used with this system, recombinant constructs encoding several HIV antigens up to 500 amino acids were produced. These candidate HIV vaccines are safe in animals and induce CD8 T cells in mice. Constructs encoding gag p24 and nef stimulate gag-specific CD4 proliferation and a secondary cytotoxic T lymphocyte response in HIV-infected donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro. These results lay the foundation for future clinical vaccine studies.

  14. Tumor therapy with a urokinase plasminogen activator-activated anthrax lethal toxin alone and in combination with paclitaxel.

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    Wein, Alexander N; Liu, Shihui; Zhang, Yi; McKenzie, Andrew T; Leppla, Stephen H

    2013-02-01

    PA-U2, an engineered anthrax protective antigen that is activated by urokinase was combined with wildtype lethal factor in the treatment of Colo205 colon adenocarcinoma in vitro and B16-BL6 mouse melanoma in vitro and in vivo. This therapy was also tested in combination with the small molecule paclitaxel, based on prior reports suggesting synergy between ERK1/2 inhibition and chemotherapeutics. Colo205 was sensitive to PA-U2/LF while B16-BL6 was not. For the combination treatment of B16-BL6, paclitaxel showed a dose response in vitro, but cells remained resistant to PA-U2/LF even in the presence of paclitaxel. In vivo, each therapy slowed tumor progression, and an additive effect between the two was observed. Since LF targets tumor vasculature while paclitaxel is an antimitotic, it is possible the agents were acting against different cells in the stroma, precluding a synergistic effect. The engineered anthrax toxin PA-U2/LF warrants further development and testing, possibly in combination with an antiangiogenesis therapy such as sunitinib or sorafinib.

  15. Anthrax lethal toxin inhibits translation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and causes decreased tolerance to hypoxic stress.

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    Ouyang, Weiming; Torigoe, Chikako; Fang, Hui; Xie, Tao; Frucht, David M

    2014-02-14

    Hypoxia is considered to be a contributor to the pathology associated with administration of anthrax lethal toxin (LT). However, we report here that serum lactate levels in LT-treated mice are reduced, a finding inconsistent with the anaerobic metabolism expected to occur during hypoxia. Reduced lactate levels are also observed in the culture supernatants of LT-treated cells. LT inhibits the accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, a subunit of HIF-1, the master regulator directing cellular responses to hypoxia. The toxin has no effect on the transcription or protein turnover of HIF-1α, but instead it acts to inhibit HIF-1α translation. LT treatment diminishes phosphorylation of eIF4B, eIF4E, and rpS6, critical components of the intracellular machinery required for HIF-1α translation. Moreover, blockade of MKK1/2-ERK1/2, but not p38 or JNK signaling, lowers HIF-1α protein levels in both normoxic and hypoxic conditions, consistent with a role for MKK1 and MKK2 as the major targets of LT responsible for the inhibition of HIF-1α translation. The physiological importance of the LT-induced translation blockade is demonstrated by the finding that LT treatment decreases the survival of hepatocyte cell lines grown in hypoxic conditions, an effect that is overcome by preinduction of HIF-1α. Taken together, these data support a role for LT in dysregulating HIF-1α and thereby disrupting homeostatic responses to hypoxia, an environmental characteristic of certain tissues at baseline and/or during disseminated infection with Bacillus anthracis.

  16. Tumor therapy with a urokinase plasminogen activator-activated anthrax lethal toxin alone and in combination with paclitaxel

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    Wein, Alexander N.; Liu, Shihui; Zhang, Yi; McKenzie, Andrew T.; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    PA-U2, an engineered anthrax protective antigen that is activated by urokinase was combined with wild-type lethal factor in the treatment of Colo205 colon adenocarcinoma in vitro and B16-BL6 mouse melanoma in vitro and in vivo. This therapy was also tested in combination with the small molecule paclitaxel, based on prior reports suggesting synergy between ERK1/2 inhibition and chemotherapeutics. Colo205 was sensitive to PA-U2/LF while B16-BL6 was not. For the combination treatment of B16-BL6,...

  17. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin

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    Christopher Bachran

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associated proteases. This initial idea of re-targeting anthrax toxin to tumor cells was further elaborated in recent years and resulted in the design of many modifications of anthrax toxin, which resulted in successful tumor therapy in animal models. These modifications include the combination of different toxin variants that require activation by two different tumor-associated proteases for increased specificity of toxin activation. The anthrax toxin system has proved to be a versatile system for drug delivery of several enzymatic moieties into cells. This highly efficient delivery system has recently been further modified by introducing ubiquitin as a cytosolic cleavage site into lethal factor fusion proteins. This review article describes the latest developments in this field of tumor targeting and drug delivery.

  18. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin.

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    Bachran, Christopher; Leppla, Stephen H

    2016-07-01

    Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associated proteases. This initial idea of re-targeting anthrax toxin to tumor cells was further elaborated in recent years and resulted in the design of many modifications of anthrax toxin, which resulted in successful tumor therapy in animal models. These modifications include the combination of different toxin variants that require activation by two different tumor-associated proteases for increased specificity of toxin activation. The anthrax toxin system has proved to be a versatile system for drug delivery of several enzymatic moieties into cells. This highly efficient delivery system has recently been further modified by introducing ubiquitin as a cytosolic cleavage site into lethal factor fusion proteins. This review article describes the latest developments in this field of tumor targeting and drug delivery.

  19. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Bachran, Christopher; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associ...

  20. Potent antitumor activity of a urokinase-activated engineered anthrax toxin

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    Liu, Shihui; Aaronson, Hannah; Mitola, David J.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Bugge, Thomas H.

    2003-01-01

    The acquisition of cell-surface urokinase plasminogen activator activity is a hallmark of malignancy. We generated an engineered anthrax toxin that is activated by cell-surface urokinase in vivo and displays limited toxicity to normal tissue but broad and potent tumoricidal activity. Native anthrax toxin protective antigen, when administered with a chimeric anthrax toxin lethal factor, Pseudomonas exotoxin fusion protein, was extremely toxic to mice, causing rapid and fatal organ damage. Replacing the furin activation sequence in anthrax toxin protective antigen with an artificial peptide sequence efficiently activated by urokinase greatly attenuated toxicity to mice. In addition, the mutation conferred cell-surface urokinase-dependent toxin activation in vivo, as determined by using a panel of plasminogen, plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator receptor, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-deficient mice. Surprisingly, toxin activation critically depended on both urokinase plasminogen activator receptor and plasminogen in vivo, showing that both proteins are essential cofactors for the generation of cell-surface urokinase. The engineered toxin displayed potent tumor cell cytotoxicity to a spectrum of transplanted tumors of diverse origin and could eradicate established solid tumors. This tumoricidal activity depended strictly on tumor cell-surface plasminogen activation. The data show that a simple change of protease activation specificity converts anthrax toxin from a highly lethal to a potent tumoricidal agent.

  1. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-30

    capsule and toxins. Hemorrhagic edema and necrosis of mediastinal lymph nodes ensue. Alveoli show a hemorrhagic exudate and only rarely bacilli...follow cutaneous anthrax and, almost invariably, accompanies inhalational and gastrointestinal anthrax. Vascular injury may result from the proliferation

  2. Tumor endothelium marker-8 based decoys exhibit superiority over capillary morphogenesis protein-2 based decoys as anthrax toxin inhibitors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chenguang Cai

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis. The toxin consists of three protein subunits: protective antigen (PA, lethal factor, and edema factor. Inhibition of PA binding to its receptors, tumor endothelium marker-8 (TEM8 and capillary morphogenesis protein-2 (CMG2 can effectively block anthrax intoxication, which is particularly valuable when the toxin has already been overproduced at the late stage of anthrax infection, thus rendering antibiotics ineffectual. Receptor-like agonists, such as the mammalian cell-expressed von Willebrand factor type A (vWA domain of CMG2 (sCMG2, have demonstrated potency against the anthrax toxin. However, the soluble vWA domain of TEM8 (sTEM8 was ruled out as an anthrax toxin inhibitor candidate due to its inferior affinity to PA. In the present study, we report that L56A, a PA-binding-affinity-elevated mutant of sTEM8, could inhibit anthrax intoxication as effectively as sCMG2 in Fisher 344 rats. Additionally, pharmacokinetics showed that L56A and sTEM8 exhibit advantages over sCMG2 with better lung-targeting and longer plasma retention time, which may contribute to their enhanced protective ability in vivo. Our results suggest that receptor decoys based on TEM8 are promising anthrax toxin inhibitors and, together with the pharmacokinetic studies in this report, may contribute to the development of novel anthrax drugs.

  3. Delayed Toxicity Associated with Soluble Anthrax Toxin Receptor Decoy-Ig Fusion Protein Treatment

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    Cote, Christopher; Welkos, Susan; Manchester, Marianne; Young, John A. T.

    2012-01-01

    Soluble receptor decoy inhibitors, including receptor-immunogloubulin (Ig) fusion proteins, have shown promise as candidate anthrax toxin therapeutics. These agents act by binding to the receptor-interaction site on the protective antigen (PA) toxin subunit, thereby blocking toxin binding to cell surface receptors. Here we have made the surprising observation that co-administration of receptor decoy-Ig fusion proteins significantly delayed, but did not protect, rats challenged with anthrax lethal toxin. The delayed toxicity was associated with the in vivo assembly of a long-lived complex comprised of anthrax lethal toxin and the receptor decoy-Ig inhibitor. Intoxication in this system presumably results from the slow dissociation of the toxin complex from the inhibitor following their prolonged circulation. We conclude that while receptor decoy-Ig proteins represent promising candidates for the early treatment of B. anthracis infection, they may not be suitable for therapeutic use at later stages when fatal levels of toxin have already accumulated in the bloodstream. PMID:22511955

  4. Anthrax toxin: the long and winding road that leads to the kill.

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    Abrami, Laurence; Reig, Nuria; van der Goot, F Gisou

    2005-02-01

    The past five years have led to a tremendous increase in our molecular understanding of the mode of action of the anthrax toxin, one of the two main virulence factors produced by Bacillus anthracis. The structures of each of the three components of the toxin--lethal factor (LF), edema factor (EF) and protective antigen (PA)--have been solved not only in their monomeric forms but, depending on the subunit, in a heptameric form, bound to their substrate, co-factor or receptor. The endocytic route followed by the toxin has also been unraveled and the enzymatic mechanisms of EF and LF elucidated.

  5. Investigation of a panel of monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal sera against anthrax toxins resulted in identification of an anti-lethal factor antibody with disease-enhancing characteristics.

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    Kulshreshtha, Parul; Tiwari, Ashutosh; Priyanka; Joon, Shikha; Sinha, Subrata; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-12-01

    Hybridomas were created using spleen of mice that were actively immunized with rLFn (recombinant N-terminal domain of lethal factor). Later on, separate group of mice were immunized with rLFn to obtain a polyclonal control for passive immunization studies of monoclonal antibodies. This led to the identification of one cohort of rLFn-immnized mice that harboured disease-enhancing polyclonal antibodies. At the same time, the monoclonal antibodies secreted by all the hybridomas were being tested. Two hybridomas secreted monoclonal antibodies (H10 and H8) that were cross-reactive with EF (edema factor) and LF (lethal factor), while the other two hybridomas secreted LF-specific antibodies (H7 and H11). Single chain variable fragment (LETscFv) was derived from H10 hybridoma. H11 was found to have disease-enhancing property. Combination of H11 with protective monoclonal antibodies (H8 and H10) reduced its disease enhancing nature. This in vitro abrogation of disease-enhancement provides the proof of concept that in polyclonal sera the disease enhancing character of a fraction of antibodies is overshadowed by the protective nature of the rest of the antibodies generated on active immunization. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the vWA domain of human anthrax toxin receptor 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cai, Chenguang; Zhao, Ying; Tong, Xiaohang; Fu, Sheng; Li, Yuanyuan; Wu, Yang; Li, Xumei; Lou, Zhiyong

    2010-01-01

    The vWA domain of human anthrax toxin receptor 1 was overexpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 1.8 Å resolution. The Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax by secreting anthrax toxin, which consists of protective antigen (PA), lethal factor and oedema factor. Binding of PA to receptors triggers the multi-step process of anthrax toxin entry into target cells. Two distinct cellular receptors, ANTXR1 (also known as tumour endothelial marker 8; TEM8) and ANTXR2 (also known as capillary morphogenesis protein 2; CMG2), for anthrax toxin have been identified. Although the crystal structure of the extracellular von Willebrand factor A (vWA) domain of CMG2 has been reported, the difference between the vWA domains of TEM8 and CMG2 remains unclear because there are no structural data for the TEM8 vWA domain. In this report, the TEM8 vWA domain was expressed, purified and crystallized. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.8 Å resolution from a single crystal, which belonged to space group P1 with unit-cell parameters a = 65.9, b = 66.1, c = 74.4 Å, α = 63.7, β = 88.2, γ = 59.9°

  7. Noninvasive imaging technologies reveal edema toxin as a key virulence factor in anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumetz, Fabien; Jouvion, Grégory; Khun, Huot; Glomski, Ian Justin; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Rougeaux, Clémence; Tang, Wei-Jen; Mock, Michèle; Huerre, Michel; Goossens, Pierre Louis

    2011-06-01

    Powerful noninvasive imaging technologies enable real-time tracking of pathogen-host interactions in vivo, giving access to previously elusive events. We visualized the interactions between wild-type Bacillus anthracis and its host during a spore infection through bioluminescence imaging coupled with histology. We show that edema toxin plays a central role in virulence in guinea pigs and during inhalational infection in mice. Edema toxin (ET), but not lethal toxin (LT), markedly modified the patterns of bacterial dissemination leading, to apparent direct dissemination to the spleen and provoking apoptosis of lymphoid cells. Each toxin alone provoked particular histological lesions in the spleen. When ET and LT are produced together during infection, a specific temporal pattern of lesion developed, with early lesions typical of LT, followed at a later stage by lesions typical of ET. Our study provides new insights into the complex spatial and temporal effects of B. anthracis toxins in the infected host, suggesting a greater role than previously suspected for ET in anthrax and suggesting that therapeutic targeting of ET contributes to protection. Copyright © 2011 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Peptide Probes Reveal a Hydrophobic Steric Ratchet in the Anthrax Toxin Protective Antigen Translocase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colby, Jennifer M; Krantz, Bryan A

    2015-11-06

    Anthrax toxin is a tripartite virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis during infection. Under acidic endosomal pH conditions, the toxin's protective antigen (PA) component forms a transmembrane channel in host cells. The PA channel then translocates its two enzyme components, lethal factor and edema factor, into the host cytosol under the proton motive force. Protein translocation under a proton motive force is catalyzed by a series of nonspecific polypeptide binding sites, called clamps. A 10-residue guest/host peptide model system, KKKKKXXSXX, was used to functionally probe polypeptide-clamp interactions within wild-type PA channels. The guest residues were Thr, Ala, Leu, Phe, Tyr, and Trp. In steady-state translocation experiments, the channel blocked most tightly with peptides that had increasing amounts of nonpolar surface area. Cooperative peptide binding was observed in the Trp-containing peptide sequence but not the other tested sequences. Trp substitutions into a flexible, uncharged linker between the lethal factor amino-terminal domain and diphtheria toxin A chain expedited translocation. Therefore, peptide-clamp sites in translocase channels can sense large steric features (like tryptophan) in peptides, and while these steric interactions may make a peptide translocate poorly, in the context of folded domains, they can make the protein translocate more rapidly presumably via a hydrophobic steric ratchet mechanism. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. The medicinal chemistry of botulinum, ricin and anthrax toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Rickey P; Hartell, Mark G; Nichols, Daniel A; Bhattacharjee, Apurba K; van Hamont, John E; Skillman, Donald R

    2005-01-01

    The potential use of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological or chemical) by terrorist organizations represents a major threat to world peace and safety. Only a limited number of vaccines are available to protect the general population from the medical consequences of these weapons. In addition there are major health concerns associated with a pre-exposure mass vaccination of the general population. To reduce or eliminate the impact of these terrible threats, new drugs must be developed to safely treat individuals exposed to these agents. A review of all therapeutic agents under development for the treatment of the illnesses and injuries that result from exposure to nuclear, biological or chemical warfare agents is beyond the scope of any single article. The intent here is to provide a focused review for medicinal and organic chemists of three widely discussed and easily deployed biological warfare agents, botulinum neurotoxin and ricin toxins and the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax will be addressed because of its similarity in both structure and mechanism of catalytic activity with botulinum toxin. The common feature of these three agents is that they exhibit their biological activity via toxin enzymatic hydrolysis of a specific bond in their respective substrate molecules. A brief introduction to the history of each of the biological warfare agents is presented followed by a discussion on the mechanisms of action of each at the molecular level, and a review of current potential inhibitors under investigation.

  10. In vitro evaluation, biodistribution and scintigraphic imaging in mice of radiolabeled anthrax toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Rivera, Johanna; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Nakouzi, Antonio; Cahill, Sean M.; Blumenstein, Michael; Xiao, Hui; Rykunov, Dmitry; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

    Introduction: There is a lot of interest towards creating therapies and vaccines for Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium which causes anthrax in humans and which spores can be made into potent biological weapons. Systemic injection of lethal factor (LF), edema factor (EF) and protective antigen (PA) in mice produces toxicity, and this protocol is commonly used to investigate the efficacy of specific antibodies in passive protection and vaccine studies. Availability of toxins labeled with imageable radioisotopes would allow to demonstrate their tissue distribution after intravenous injection at toxin concentration that are below pharmacologically significant to avoid masking by toxic effects. Methods: LF, EF and PA were radiolabeled with 188 Re and 99m Tc, and their performance in vitro was evaluated by macrophages and Chinese hamster ovary cells toxicity assays and by binding to macrophages. Scintigraphic imaging and biodistribution of intravenously (IV) injected 99m Tc-and 123 I-labeled toxins was performed in BALB/c mice. Results: Radiolabeled toxins preserved their biological activity. Scatchard-type analysis of the binding of radiolabeled PA to the J774.16 macrophage-like cells revealed 6.6x10 4 binding sites per cell with a dissociation constant of 6.7 nM. Comparative scintigraphic imaging of mice injected intravenously with either 99m Tc-or 123 I-labeled PA, EF and LF toxins demonstrated similar biodistribution patterns with early localization of radioactivity in the liver, spleen, intestines and excretion through kidneys. The finding of renal excretion shortly after IV injection strongly suggests that toxins are rapidly degraded which could contribute to the variability of mouse toxigenic assays. Biodistribution studies confirmed that all three toxins concentrated in the liver and the presence of high levels of radioactivity again implied rapid degradation in vivo. Conclusions: The availability of 188 Re and 99m Tc-labeled PA, LF and EF toxins allowed us to

  11. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... it's most commonly seen in grazing animals like sheep, pigs, cattle, horses, and goats, anthrax also can ... at first, but it rapidly turns into severe pneumonia and requires hospitalization. It usually takes fewer than ...

  12. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... site may get infected. Exams and Tests The health care provider will perform a physical examination. The tests to diagnose anthrax depend on the type of disease that is suspected. A culture of the skin, and sometimes a biopsy , are ...

  13. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin disrupts TCR signaling in CD1d-restricted NKT cells leading to functional anergy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil K Joshi

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Exogenous CD1d-binding glycolipid (alpha-Galactosylceramide, alpha-GC stimulates TCR signaling and activation of type-1 natural killer-like T (NKT cells. Activated NKT cells play a central role in the regulation of adaptive and protective immune responses against pathogens and tumors. In the present study, we tested the effect of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT on NKT cells both in vivo and in vitro. LT is a binary toxin known to suppress host immune responses during anthrax disease and intoxicates cells by protective antigen (PA-mediated intracellular delivery of lethal factor (LF, a potent metalloprotease. We observed that NKT cells expressed anthrax toxin receptors (CMG-2 and TEM-8 and bound more PA than other immune cell types. A sub-lethal dose of LT administered in vivo in C57BL/6 mice decreased expression of the activation receptor NKG2D by NKT cells but not by NK cells. The in vivo administration of LT led to decreased TCR-induced cytokine secretion but did not affect TCR expression. Further analysis revealed LT-dependent inhibition of TCR-stimulated MAP kinase signaling in NKT cells attributable to LT cleavage of the MAP kinase kinase MEK-2. We propose that Bacillus anthracis-derived LT causes a novel form of functional anergy in NKT cells and therefore has potential for contributing to immune evasion by the pathogen.

  14. Design of monodisperse and well-defined polypeptide-based polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patke, Sanket; Boggara, Mohan; Maheshwari, Ronak; Srivastava, Sunit K; Arha, Manish; Douaisi, Marc; Martin, Jacob T; Harvey, Ian B; Brier, Matthew; Rosen, Tania; Mogridge, Jeremy; Kane, Ravi S

    2014-07-28

    The design of polyvalent molecules, presenting multiple copies of a specific ligand, represents a promising strategy to inhibit pathogens and toxins. The ability to control independently the valency and the spacing between ligands would be valuable for elucidating structure-activity relationships and for designing potent polyvalent molecules. To that end, we designed monodisperse polypeptide-based polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax toxin in which multiple copies of an inhibitory toxin-binding peptide were separated by flexible peptide linkers. By tuning the valency and linker length, we designed polyvalent inhibitors that were over four orders of magnitude more potent than the corresponding monovalent ligands. This strategy for the rational design of monodisperse polyvalent molecules may not only be broadly applicable for the inhibition of toxins and pathogens, but also for controlling the nanoscale organization of cellular receptors to regulate signaling and the fate of stem cells. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Anthrax lethal factor as an immune target in humans and transgenic mice and the impact of HLA polymorphism on CD4+ T cell immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascough, Stephanie; Ingram, Rebecca J; Chu, Karen K; Reynolds, Catherine J; Musson, Julie A; Doganay, Mehmet; Metan, Gökhan; Ozkul, Yusuf; Baillie, Les; Sriskandan, Shiranee; Moore, Stephen J; Gallagher, Theresa B; Dyson, Hugh; Williamson, E Diane; Robinson, John H; Maillere, Bernard; Boyton, Rosemary J; Altmann, Daniel M

    2014-05-01

    Bacillus anthracis produces a binary toxin composed of protective antigen (PA) and one of two subunits, lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF). Most studies have concentrated on induction of toxin-specific antibodies as the correlate of protective immunity, in contrast to which understanding of cellular immunity to these toxins and its impact on infection is limited. We characterized CD4+ T cell immunity to LF in a panel of humanized HLA-DR and DQ transgenic mice and in naturally exposed patients. As the variation in antigen presentation governed by HLA polymorphism has a major impact on protective immunity to specific epitopes, we examined relative binding affinities of LF peptides to purified HLA class II molecules, identifying those regions likely to be of broad applicability to human immune studies through their ability to bind multiple alleles. Transgenics differing only in their expression of human HLA class II alleles showed a marked hierarchy of immunity to LF. Immunogenicity in HLA transgenics was primarily restricted to epitopes from domains II and IV of LF and promiscuous, dominant epitopes, common to all HLA types, were identified in domain II. The relevance of this model was further demonstrated by the fact that a number of the immunodominant epitopes identified in mice were recognized by T cells from humans previously infected with cutaneous anthrax and from vaccinated individuals. The ability of the identified epitopes to confer protective immunity was demonstrated by lethal anthrax challenge of HLA transgenic mice immunized with a peptide subunit vaccine comprising the immunodominant epitopes that we identified.

  16. The Disulfide Bond Cys255-Cys279 in the Immunoglobulin-Like Domain of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 Is Required for Membrane Insertion of Anthrax Protective Antigen Pore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Jacquez

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin receptors act as molecular clamps or switches that control anthrax toxin entry, pH-dependent pore formation, and translocation of enzymatic moieties across the endosomal membranes. We previously reported that reduction of the disulfide bonds in the immunoglobulin-like (Ig domain of the anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2 inhibited the function of the protective antigen (PA pore. In the present study, the disulfide linkage in the Ig domain was identified as Cys255-Cys279 and Cys230-Cys315. Specific disulfide bond deletion mutants were achieved by replacing Cys residues with Ala residues. Deletion of the disulfide bond C255-C279, but not C230-C315, inhibited the PA pore-induced release of the fluorescence dyes from the liposomes, suggesting that C255-C279 is essential for PA pore function. Furthermore, we found that deletion of C255-C279 did not affect PA prepore-to-pore conversion, but inhibited PA pore membrane insertion by trapping the PA membrane-inserting loops in proteinaceous hydrophobic pockets. Fluorescence spectra of Trp59, a residue adjacent to the PA-binding motif in von Willebrand factor A (VWA domain of ANTXR2, showed that deletion of C255-C279 resulted in a significant conformational change on the receptor ectodomain. The disulfide deletion-induced conformational change on the VWA domain was further confirmed by single-particle 3D reconstruction of the negatively stained PA-receptor heptameric complexes. Together, the biochemical and structural data obtained in this study provides a mechanistic insight into the role of the receptor disulfide bond C255-C279 in anthrax toxin action. Manipulation of the redox states of the receptor, specifically targeting to C255-C279, may become a novel strategy to treat anthrax.

  17. Monitoring the kinetics of the pH-driven transition of the anthrax toxin prepore to the pore by biolayer interferometry and surface plasmon resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naik, Subhashchandra; Brock, Susan; Akkaladevi, Narahari; Tally, Jon; McGinn-Straub, Wesley; Zhang, Na; Gao, Phillip; Gogol, E P; Pentelute, B L; Collier, R John; Fisher, Mark T

    2013-09-17

    Domain 2 of the anthrax protective antigen (PA) prepore heptamer unfolds and refolds during endosome acidification to generate an extended 100 Å β barrel pore that inserts into the endosomal membrane. The PA pore facilitates the pH-dependent unfolding and translocation of bound toxin enzymic components, lethal factor (LF) and/or edema factor, from the endosome to the cytoplasm. We constructed immobilized complexes of the prepore with the PA-binding domain of LF (LFN) to monitor the real-time prepore to pore kinetic transition using surface plasmon resonance and biolayer interferometry (BLI). The kinetics of this transition increased as the solution pH was decreased from 7.5 to 5.0, mirroring acidification of the endosome. Once it had undergone the transition, the LFN-PA pore complex was removed from the BLI biosensor tip and deposited onto electron microscopy grids, where PA pore formation was confirmed by negative stain electron microscopy. When the soluble receptor domain (ANTRX2/CMG2) binds the immobilized PA prepore, the transition to the pore state was observed only after the pH was lowered to early (pH 5.5) or late (pH 5.0) endosomal pH conditions. Once the pore formed, the soluble receptor readily dissociated from the PA pore. Separate binding experiments with immobilized PA pores and the soluble receptor indicate that the receptor has a weakened propensity to bind to the transitioned pore. This immobilized anthrax toxin platform can be used to identify or validate potential antimicrobial lead compounds capable of regulating and/or inhibiting anthrax toxin complex formation or pore transitions.

  18. Monitoring the kinetics of the pH driven transition of the anthrax toxin prepore to the pore by biolayer interferometry and surface plasmon resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naik, Subhashchandra; Brock, Susan; Akkaladevi, Narahari; Tally, Jon; Mcginn-Straub, Wesley; Zhang, Na; Gao, Phillip; Gogol, E. P.; Pentelute, B. L.; Collier, R. John; Fisher, Mark T.

    2013-01-01

    Domain 2 of the anthrax protective antigen (PA) prepore heptamer unfolds and refolds during endosome acidification to generate an extended 100 Å beta barrel pore that inserts into the endosomal membrane. The PA pore facilitates the pH dependent unfolding and translocation of bound toxin enzymic components, lethal factor (LF) and/or edema factor (EF), from the endosome into the cytoplasm. We constructed immobilized complexes of the prepore with the PA-binding domain of LF (LFN) to monitor the real-time prepore to pore kinetic transition using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and bio-layer interferometry (BLI). The kinetics of this transition increased as the solution pH was decreased from pH 7.5 to pH 5.0, mirroring acidification of the endosome. Once transitioned, the LFN-PA pore complex was removed from the BLI biosensor tip and deposited onto EM grids, where the PA pore formation was confirmed by negative stain electron microscopy. When the soluble receptor domain (ANTRX2/CMG2) binds the immobilized PA prepore, the transition to the pore state was observed only after the pH was lowered to early or late endosomal pH conditions (5.5 to 5.0 respectively). Once the pore formed, the soluble receptor readily dissociated from the PA pore. Separate binding experiments with immobilized PA pores and soluble receptor indicate that the receptor has a weakened propensity to bind to the transitioned pore. This immobilized anthrax toxin platform can be used to identify or validate potential antimicrobial lead compounds capable of regulating and/or inhibiting anthrax toxin complex formation or pore transitions. PMID:23964683

  19. Functions of phenylalanine residues within the beta-barrel stem of the anthrax toxin pore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wang

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available A key step of anthrax toxin action involves the formation of a protein-translocating pore within the endosomal membrane by the Protective Antigen (PA moiety. Formation of this transmembrane pore by PA involves interaction of the seven 2beta2-2beta3 loops of the heptameric precursor to generate a 14-strand transmembrane beta barrel.We examined the effects on pore formation, protein translocation, and cytotoxicity, of mutating two phenylalanines, F313 and F314, that lie at the tip the beta barrel, and a third one, F324, that lies part way up the barrel.Our results show that the function of these phenylalanine residues is to mediate membrane insertion and formation of stable transmembrane channels. Unlike F427, a key luminal residue in the cap of the pore, F313, F314, and F324 do not directly affect protein translocation through the pore. Our findings add to our knowledge of structure-function relationships of a key virulence factor of the anthrax bacillus.

  20. Effective antiprotease-antibiotic treatment of experimental anthrax

    OpenAIRE

    Popov, Serguei G; Popova, Taissia G; Hopkins, Svetlana; Weinstein, Raymond S; MacAfee, Rebecca; Fryxell, Karl J; Chandhoke, Vikas; Bailey, Charles; Alibek, Ken

    2005-01-01

    Abstract Background Inhalation anthrax is characterized by a systemic spread of the challenge agent, Bacillus anthracis. It causes severe damage, including multiple hemorrhagic lesions, to host tissues and organs. It is widely believed that anthrax lethal toxin secreted by proliferating bacteria is a major cause of death, however, the pathology of intoxication in experimental animals is drastically different from that found during the infectious process. In order to close a gap between our un...

  1. Serology and anthrax in humans, livestock and Etosha National Park wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, P C; Doganay, M; Lindeque, P M; Aygen, B; McLaughlin, J

    1992-04-01

    Results are presented from a number of epidemiological studies using enzyme immunoassays (EIA) based on the purified anthrax toxin antigens, protective antigen, lethal factor and oedema factor. Studies on sera from a group of 62 human anthrax patients in Turkey and from cattle in Britain following two unrelated outbreaks of anthrax show that EIA using protective antigen can be a useful diagnostic aid and will detect subclinical infections in appropriate circumstances. A serological survey on wildlife in the Etosha National Park, Namibia, where anthrax is endemic, showed that naturally acquired anthrax-specific antibodies are rare in herbivores but common in carnivores; in carnivores, titres appear to reflect the prevalence of anthrax in their ranges. Problems, as yet unresolved, were encountered in studies on sera from pigs following an outbreak of anthrax on a farm in Wales. Clinical details, including treatment, of the human and one of the bovine outbreaks are summarized and discussed in relation to the serological findings.

  2. Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin kills mice by inducing a major increase in lung vascular permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geny, Blandine; Khun, Huot; Fitting, Catherine; Zarantonelli, Leticia; Mazuet, Christelle; Cayet, Nadège; Szatanik, Marek; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Cavaillon, Jean-Marc; Huerre, Michel; Popoff, Michel R

    2007-03-01

    When intraperitoneally injected into Swiss mice, Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin reproduces the fatal toxic shock syndrome observed in humans and animals after natural infection. This animal model was used to study the mechanism of lethal toxin-induced death. Histopathological and biochemical analyses identified lung and heart as preferential organs targeted by lethal toxin. Massive extravasation of blood fluid in the thoracic cage, resulting from an increase in lung vascular permeability, generated profound modifications such as animal dehydration, increase in hematocrit, hypoxia, and finally, cardiorespiratory failure. Vascular permeability increase induced by lethal toxin resulted from modifications of lung endothelial cells as evidenced by electron microscopy. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that VE-cadherin, a protein participating in intercellular adherens junctions, was redistributed from membrane to cytosol in lung endothelial cells. No major sign of lethal toxin-induced inflammation was observed that could participate in the toxic shock syndrome. The main effect of the lethal toxin is the glucosylation-dependent inactivation of small GTPases, in particular Rac, which is involved in actin polymerization occurring in vivo in lungs leading to E-cadherin junction destabilization. We conclude that the cells most susceptible to lethal toxin are lung vascular endothelial cells, the adherens junctions of which were altered after intoxication.

  3. Differential dependence on N-glycosylation of anthrax toxin receptors CMG2 and TEM8.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Friebe

    Full Text Available ANTXR 1 and 2, also known as TEM8 and CMG2, are two type I membrane proteins, which have been extensively studied for their role as anthrax toxin receptors, but with a still elusive physiological function. Here we have analyzed the importance of N-glycosylation on folding, trafficking and ligand binding of these closely related proteins. We find that TEM8 has a stringent dependence on N-glycosylation. The presence of at least one glycan on each of its two extracellular domains, the vWA and Ig-like domains, is indeed necessary for efficient trafficking to the cell surface. In the absence of any N-linked glycans, TEM8 fails to fold correctly and is recognized by the ER quality control machinery. Expression of N-glycosylation mutants reveals that CMG2 is less vulnerable to sugar loss. The absence of N-linked glycans in one of the extracellular domains indeed has little impact on folding, trafficking or receptor function of the wild type protein expressed in tissue culture cells. N-glycans do, however, seem required in primary fibroblasts from human patients. Here, the presence of N-linked sugars increases the tolerance to mutations in cmg2 causing the rare genetic disease Hyaline Fibromatosis Syndrome. It thus appears that CMG2 glycosylation provides a buffer towards genetic variation by promoting folding of the protein in the ER lumen.

  4. Disulfide bonds in the ectodomain of anthrax toxin receptor 2 are required for the receptor-bound protective-antigen pore to function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianjun Sun

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cell-surface receptors play essential roles in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity anchor and self-assembly site on the plasma membrane, mediating the toxin entry into cells through endocytosis, and shifting the pH threshold for prepore-to-pore conversion of anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA to a more acidic pH, thereby inhibiting premature pore formation. Each of the two known anthrax toxin receptors, ANTXR1 and ANTXR2, has an ectodomain comprised of an N-terminal von Willebrand factor A domain (VWA, which binds PA, and an uncharacterized immunoglobulin-like domain (Ig that connects VWA to the membrane-spanning domain. Potential roles of the receptor Ig domain in anthrax toxin action have not been investigated heretofore. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We expressed and purified the ANTXR2 ectodomain (R2-VWA-Ig in E. coli and showed that it contains three disulfide bonds: one in R2-VWA and two in R2-Ig. Reduction of the ectodomain inhibited functioning of the pore, as measured by K(+ release from liposomes or Chinese hamster ovary cells or by PA-mediated translocation of a model substrate across the plasma membrane. However, reduction did not affect binding of the ectodomain to PA or the transition of ectodomain-bound PA prepore to the pore conformation. The inhibitory effect depended specifically on reduction of the disulfides within R2-Ig. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that disulfide integrity within R2-Ig is essential for proper functioning of receptor-bound PA pore. This finding provides a novel venue to investigate the mechanism of anthrax toxin action and suggests new strategies for inhibiting toxin action.

  5. Regulatory mechanisms of anthrax toxin receptor 1-dependent vascular and connective tissue homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besschetnova, Tatiana Y; Ichimura, Takaharu; Katebi, Negin; St Croix, Brad; Bonventre, Joseph V; Olsen, Bjorn R

    2015-03-01

    It is well known that angiogenesis is linked to fibrotic processes in fibroproliferative diseases, but insights into pathophysiological processes are limited, due to lack of understanding of molecular mechanisms controlling endothelial and fibroblastic homeostasis. We demonstrate here that the matrix receptor anthrax toxin receptor 1 (ANTXR1), also known as tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8), is an essential component of these mechanisms. Loss of TEM8 function in mice causes reduced synthesis of endothelial basement membrane components and hyperproliferative and leaky blood vessels in skin. In addition, endothelial cell alterations in mutants are almost identical to those of endothelial cells in infantile hemangioma lesions, including activated VEGF receptor signaling in endothelial cells, increased expression of the downstream targets VEGF and CXCL12, and increased numbers of macrophages and mast cells. In contrast, loss of TEM8 in fibroblasts leads to increased rates of synthesis of fiber-forming collagens, resulting in progressive fibrosis in skin and other organs. Compromised interactions between TEM8-deficient endothelial and fibroblastic cells cause dramatic reduction in the activity of the matrix-degrading enzyme MMP2. In addition to insights into mechanisms of connective tissue homeostasis, our data provide molecular explanations for vascular and connective tissue abnormalities in GAPO syndrome, caused by loss-of-function mutations in ANTXR1. Furthermore, the loss of MMP2 activity suggests that fibrotic skin abnormalities in GAPO syndrome are, in part, the consequence of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying syndromes (NAO, Torg and Winchester) with multicentric skin nodulosis and osteolysis caused by homozygous loss-of-function mutations in MMP2. Copyright © 2014 International Society of Matrix Biology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. One-pot synthesis of strongly fluorescent DNA-CuInS2 quantum dots for label-free and ultrasensitive detection of anthrax lethal factor DNA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Ziping; Su, Xingguang

    2016-01-01

    Herein, high quality DNA-CuInS 2 QDs are facilely synthesized through a one-pot hydrothermal method with fluorescence quantum yield as high as 23.4%, and the strongly fluorescent DNA-CuInS 2 QDs have been utilized as a novel fluorescent biosensor for label-free and ultrasensitive detection of anthrax lethal factor DNA. L-Cysteine (L-Cys) and a specific-sequence DNA are used as co-ligands to stabilize the CuInS 2 QDs. The specific-sequence DNA consists of two domains: phosphorothiolates domain (sulfur-containing variants of the usual phosphodiester backbone) controls the nanocrystal passivation and serves as a ligand, and the functional domain (non-phosphorothioates) controls the biorecognition. The as-prepared DNA-CuInS 2 QDs have high stability, good water-solubility and low toxicity. Under the optimized conditions, a linear correlation was established between the fluorescence intensity ratio I/I 0 (I 0 is the original fluorescence intensity of DNA-CuInS 2 QDs, and I is the fluorescence intensity of DNA-CuInS 2 QDs/GO with the addition of various concentrations of anthrax lethal factor DNA) and the concentration of anthrax lethal factor DNA in the range of 0.029–0.733 nmol L −1 with a detection limit of 0.013 nmol L −1 . The proposed method has been successfully applied to the determination of anthrax lethal factor DNA sequence in human serum samples with satisfactory results. Because of low toxicity and fine biocompatibility, DNA-CuInS 2 QDs also hold potential applications in bioimaging. - Highlights: • Strongly fluorescent DNA-QDs were successfully prepared by a one-pot hydrothermal method with quantum yield up to 23.4%. • A biosensor for label-free detection of anthrax lethal factor DNA was established based on the as-prepared DNA-QDs. • The DNA sensor took advantage of the feature that ssDNA binds to GO with significantly higher affinity than dsDNA. • Good sensitivity and selectivity were obtained. • This method was utilized to detect

  7. One-pot synthesis of strongly fluorescent DNA-CuInS{sub 2} quantum dots for label-free and ultrasensitive detection of anthrax lethal factor DNA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Ziping; Su, Xingguang, E-mail: suxg@jlu.edu.cn

    2016-10-26

    Herein, high quality DNA-CuInS{sub 2} QDs are facilely synthesized through a one-pot hydrothermal method with fluorescence quantum yield as high as 23.4%, and the strongly fluorescent DNA-CuInS{sub 2} QDs have been utilized as a novel fluorescent biosensor for label-free and ultrasensitive detection of anthrax lethal factor DNA. L-Cysteine (L-Cys) and a specific-sequence DNA are used as co-ligands to stabilize the CuInS{sub 2} QDs. The specific-sequence DNA consists of two domains: phosphorothiolates domain (sulfur-containing variants of the usual phosphodiester backbone) controls the nanocrystal passivation and serves as a ligand, and the functional domain (non-phosphorothioates) controls the biorecognition. The as-prepared DNA-CuInS{sub 2} QDs have high stability, good water-solubility and low toxicity. Under the optimized conditions, a linear correlation was established between the fluorescence intensity ratio I/I{sub 0} (I{sub 0} is the original fluorescence intensity of DNA-CuInS{sub 2} QDs, and I is the fluorescence intensity of DNA-CuInS{sub 2} QDs/GO with the addition of various concentrations of anthrax lethal factor DNA) and the concentration of anthrax lethal factor DNA in the range of 0.029–0.733 nmol L{sup −1} with a detection limit of 0.013 nmol L{sup −1}. The proposed method has been successfully applied to the determination of anthrax lethal factor DNA sequence in human serum samples with satisfactory results. Because of low toxicity and fine biocompatibility, DNA-CuInS{sub 2} QDs also hold potential applications in bioimaging. - Highlights: • Strongly fluorescent DNA-QDs were successfully prepared by a one-pot hydrothermal method with quantum yield up to 23.4%. • A biosensor for label-free detection of anthrax lethal factor DNA was established based on the as-prepared DNA-QDs. • The DNA sensor took advantage of the feature that ssDNA binds to GO with significantly higher affinity than dsDNA. • Good sensitivity and selectivity were

  8. Antibodies to Anthrax Toxin in Humans and Guinea Pigs and Their Relevance to Protective Immunity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Turnbull, P

    1988-01-01

    ... stimulation of more than just production of antibody to PA. Titers to the three components in sera of individuals with histories of clinically diagnosed anthrax as well as from human vaccinees are included in the report.

  9. Impact of Dendrimer Terminal Group Chemistry on Blockage of the Anthrax Toxin Channel: A Single Molecule Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamini, Goli; Kalu, Nnanya; Nestorovich, Ekaterina M

    2016-11-15

    Nearly all the cationic molecules tested so far have been shown to reversibly block K⁺ current through the cation-selective PA 63 channels of anthrax toxin in a wide nM-mM range of effective concentrations. A significant increase in channel-blocking activity of the cationic compounds was achieved when multiple copies of positively charged ligands were covalently linked to multivalent scaffolds, such as cyclodextrins and dendrimers. Even though multivalent binding can be strong when the individual bonds are relatively weak, for drug discovery purposes we often strive to design multivalent compounds with high individual functional group affinity toward the respective binding site on a multivalent target. Keeping this requirement in mind, here we perform a single-channel/single-molecule study to investigate kinetic parameters of anthrax toxin PA 63 channel blockage by second-generation (G2) poly(amido amine) (PAMAM) dendrimers functionalized with different surface ligands, including G2-NH₂, G2-OH, G2-succinamate, and G2-COONa. We found that the previously reported difference in IC 50 values of the G2-OH/PA 63 and G2-NH₂/PA 63 binding was determined by both on- and off-rates of the reversible dendrimer/channel binding reaction. In 1 M KCl, we observed a decrease of about three folds in k o n and a decrease of only about ten times in t r e s with G2-OH compared to G2-NH₂. At the same time for both blockers, k o n and t r e s increased dramatically with transmembrane voltage increase. PAMAM dendrimers functionalized with negatively charged succinamate, but not carboxyl surface groups, still had some residual activity in inhibiting the anthrax toxin channels. At 100 mV, the on-rate of the G2-succinamate binding was comparable with that of G2-OH but showed weaker voltage dependence when compared to G2-OH and G2-NH₂. The residence time of G2-succinamate in the channel exhibited opposite voltage dependence compared to G2-OH and G2-NH₂, increasing with the cis

  10. Effective antiprotease-antibiotic treatment of experimental anthrax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MacAfee Rebecca

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inhalation anthrax is characterized by a systemic spread of the challenge agent, Bacillus anthracis. It causes severe damage, including multiple hemorrhagic lesions, to host tissues and organs. It is widely believed that anthrax lethal toxin secreted by proliferating bacteria is a major cause of death, however, the pathology of intoxication in experimental animals is drastically different from that found during the infectious process. In order to close a gap between our understanding of anthrax molecular pathology and the most prominent clinical features of the infectious process we undertook bioinformatic and experimental analyses of potential proteolytic virulence factors of B. anthracis distinct from lethal toxin. Methods Secreted proteins (other than lethal and edema toxins produced by B. anthracis were tested for tissue-damaging activity and toxicity in mice. Chemical protease inhibitors and rabbit immune sera raised against B. anthracis proteases were used to treat mice challenged with B. anthracis (Sterne spores. Results B. anthracis strain delta Ames (pXO1-, pXO2- producing no lethal and edema toxins secrets a number of metalloprotease virulence factors upon cultivation under aerobic conditions, including those with hemorrhagic, caseinolytic and collagenolytic activities, belonging to M4 and M9 thermolysin and bacterial collagenase families, respectively. These factors are directly toxic to DBA/2 mice upon intratracheal administration at 0.5 mg/kg and higher doses. Chemical protease inhibitors (phosphoramidon and 1, 10-phenanthroline, as well as immune sera against M4 and M9 proteases of B. anthracis, were used to treat mice challenged with B. anthracis (Sterne spores. These substances demonstrate a substantial protective efficacy in combination with ciprofloxacin therapy initiated as late as 48 h post spore challenge, compared to the antibiotic alone. Conclusion Secreted proteolytic enzymes are important pathogenic

  11. Small molecule inhibitors of anthrax edema factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Moayeri, Mahtab; Thai, April; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; O'Malley, Sean; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2018-01-15

    Anthrax is a highly lethal disease caused by the Gram-(+) bacteria Bacillus anthracis. Edema toxin (ET) is a major contributor to the pathogenesis of disease in humans exposed to B. anthracis. ET is a bipartite toxin composed of two proteins secreted by the vegetative bacteria, edema factor (EF) and protective antigen (PA). Our work towards identifying a small molecule inhibitor of anthrax edema factor is the subject of this letter. First we demonstrate that the small molecule probe 5'-Fluorosulfonylbenzoyl 5'-adenosine (FSBA) reacts irreversibly with EF and blocks enzymatic activity. We then show that the adenosine portion of FSBA can be replaced to provide more drug-like molecules which are up to 1000-fold more potent against EF relative to FSBA, display low cross reactivity when tested against a panel of kinases, and are nanomolar inhibitors of EF in a cell-based assay of cAMP production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Direct proteolytic cleavage of NLRP1B is necessary and sufficient for inflammasome activation by anthrax lethal factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Chavarría-Smith

    Full Text Available Inflammasomes are multimeric protein complexes that respond to infection by recruitment and activation of the Caspase-1 (CASP1 protease. Activated CASP1 initiates immune defense by processing inflammatory cytokines and by causing a rapid and lytic cell death called pyroptosis. Inflammasome formation is orchestrated by members of the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR or AIM2-like receptor (ALR protein families. Certain NLRs and ALRs have been shown to function as direct receptors for specific microbial ligands, such as flagellin or DNA, but the molecular mechanism responsible for activation of most NLRs is still poorly understood. Here we determine the mechanism of activation of the NLRP1B inflammasome in mice. NLRP1B, and its ortholog in rats, is activated by the lethal factor (LF protease that is a key virulence factor secreted by Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. LF was recently shown to cleave mouse and rat NLRP1 directly. However, it is unclear if cleavage is sufficient for NLRP1 activation. Indeed, other LF-induced cellular events have been suggested to play a role in NLRP1B activation. Surprisingly, we show that direct cleavage of NLRP1B is sufficient to induce inflammasome activation in the absence of LF. Our results therefore rule out the need for other LF-dependent cellular effects in activation of NLRP1B. We therefore propose that NLRP1 functions primarily as a sensor of protease activity and thus could conceivably detect a broader spectrum of pathogens than just B. anthracis. By adding proteolytic cleavage to the previously established ligand-receptor mechanism of NLR activation, our results illustrate the remarkable flexibility with which the NLR architecture can be deployed for the purpose of pathogen-detection and host defense.

  13. A modified anthrax toxin-based enzyme-linked immunospot assay reveals robust T cell responses in symptomatic and asymptomatic Ebola virus exposed individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Bobby Brooke; Hamel, Donald J; Oshun, Philip; Akinsola, Rolake; Akanmu, Alani S; Chang, Charlotte A; Eromon, Philomena; Folarin, Onikepe; Adeyemi, Kayode T; Happi, Christian T; Lu, Yichen; Ogunsola, Folasade; Kanki, Phyllis J

    2018-05-01

    Ebola virus (EBOV) caused more than 11,000 deaths during the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa without approved vaccines or immunotherapeutics. Despite its high lethality in some individuals, EBOV infection can produce little to no symptoms in others. A better understanding of the immune responses in individuals who experienced minimally symptomatic and asymptomatic infection could aid the development of more effective vaccines and antivirals against EBOV and related filoviruses. Between August and November 2017, blood samples were collected from 19 study participants in Lagos, Nigeria, including 3 Ebola virus disease (EVD) survivors, 10 individuals with documented close contact with symptomatic EVD patients, and 6 control healthcare workers for a cross-sectional serosurvey and T cell analysis. The Lagos samples, as well as archived serum collected from healthy individuals living in surrounding areas of the 1976 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) epidemic, were tested for EBOV IgG using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and Western blots. We detected antibodies in 3 out of 3 Lagos survivors and identified 2 seropositive individuals not known to have ever been infected. Of the DRC samples tested, we detected antibodies in 9 out of 71 (12.7%). To characterize the T cell responses in the Lagos samples, we developed an anthrax toxin-based enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay. The seropositive asymptomatic individuals had T cell responses against EBOV nucleoprotein, matrix protein, and glycoprotein 1 that were stronger in magnitude compared to the survivors. Our data provide further evidence of EBOV exposure in individuals without EVD-like illness and, for the first time, demonstrate that these individuals have T cell responses that are stronger in magnitude compared to severe cases. These findings suggest that T cell immunity may protect against severe EVD, which has important implications for vaccine development.

  14. A Dual Role for the Bacillus anthracis Master Virulence Regulator AtxA: Control of Sporulation and Anthrax Toxin Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Jennifer L; Raynor, Malik J; Ty, Maureen C; Hadjifrangiskou, Maria; Koehler, Theresa M

    2018-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is an endemic soil bacterium that exhibits two different lifestyles. In the soil environment, B. anthracis undergoes a cycle of saprophytic growth, sporulation, and germination. In mammalian hosts, the pathogenic lifestyle of B. anthracis is spore germination followed by vegetative cell replication, but cells do not sporulate. During infection, and in specific culture conditions, transcription of the structural genes for the anthrax toxin proteins and the biosynthetic operon for capsule synthesis is positively controlled by the regulatory protein AtxA. A critical role for the atxA gene in B. anthracis virulence has been established. Here we report an inverse relationship between toxin production and sporulation that is linked to AtxA levels. During culture in conditions favoring sporulation, B. anthracis produces little to no AtxA. When B. anthracis is cultured in conditions favoring toxin gene expression, AtxA is expressed at relatively high levels and sporulation rate and efficiency are reduced. We found that a mutation within the atxA promoter region resulting in AtxA over-expression leads to a marked sporulation defect. The sporulation phenotype of the mutant is dependent upon pXO2-0075 , an atxA -regulated open reading frame located on virulence plasmid pXO2. The predicted amino acid sequence of the pXO2-0075 protein has similarity to the sensor domain of sporulation sensor histidine kinases. It was shown previously that pXO2-0075 overexpression suppresses sporulation. We have designated pXO2-0075 " skiA " for "sporulation kinase inhibitor." Our results indicate that in addition to serving as a positive regulator of virulence gene expression, AtxA modulates B. anthracis development.

  15. 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

    Alveolar macrophages (AM) are very important for pulmonary innate immune responses against invading inhaled pathogens because they directly kill the organisms and initiate a cascade of innate and adaptive immune responses...

  16. A Viral Nanoparticle with Dual Function as an Anthrax Antitoxin and Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manayani, Darly J; Thomas, Diane; Dryden, Kelly A; Reddy, Vijay; Siladi, Marc E; Marlett, John M; Rainey, G. Jonah A; Pique, Michael E; Scobie, Heather M; Yeager, Mark; Young, John A. T; Manchester, Marianne; Schneemann, Anette

    2007-01-01

    The recent use of Bacillus anthracis as a bioweapon has stimulated the search for novel antitoxins and vaccines that act rapidly and with minimal adverse effects. B. anthracis produces an AB-type toxin composed of the receptor-binding moiety protective antigen (PA) and the enzymatic moieties edema factor and lethal factor. PA is a key target for both antitoxin and vaccine development. We used the icosahedral insect virus Flock House virus as a platform to display 180 copies of the high affinity, PA-binding von Willebrand A domain of the ANTXR2 cellular receptor. The chimeric virus-like particles (VLPs) correctly displayed the receptor von Willebrand A domain on their surface and inhibited lethal toxin action in in vitro and in vivo models of anthrax intoxication. Moreover, VLPs complexed with PA elicited a potent toxin-neutralizing antibody response that protected rats from anthrax lethal toxin challenge after a single immunization without adjuvant. This recombinant VLP platform represents a novel and highly effective, dually-acting reagent for treatment and protection against anthrax. PMID:17922572

  17. Sub-Lethal Dose of Shiga toxin 2 from Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Affects Balance and Cerebellar Cythoarquitecture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana eD’Alessio

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli may damage the central nervous system before or concomitantly to manifested hemolytic uremic syndrome symptoms. The cerebellum is frequently damaged during this syndrome, however the deleterious effects of Shiga toxin 2 has never been integrally reported by ultrastructural, physiological and behavioral means. The aim of this study was to determine the cerebellar compromise after intravenous administration of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin 2 by measuring the cerebellar blood brain barrier permeability, behavioral task of cerebellar functionality (inclined plane test, and ultrastructural analysis (transmission electron microscope. Intravenous administration of vehicle (control group, sub-lethal dose of 0.5 ηg and 1 ηg of Stx2 per mouse were tested for behavioral and ultrastructural studies. A set of three independent experiments were performed for each study (n=6. Blood–Brain Barrier resulted damaged and consequently its permeability was significantly increased. Lower scores obtained in the inclined plane task denoted poor cerebellar functionality in comparison to their controls. The most significant lower score was obtained after 5 days of 1ηg of toxin administration. Transmission electron microscope micrographs from the Stx2-treated groups showed neurons with a progressive neurodegenerative condition in a dose dependent manner. As sub-lethal intravenous Shiga toxin 2 altered the blood brain barrier permeability in the cerebellum the toxin penetrated the cerebellar parenchyma and produced cell damaged with significant functional implications in the test balance.

  18. [Detection of the functionally active domains in the molecule of the lethal factor of the anthrax exotoxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noskov, A N; Kravchenko, T B; Noskova, V P

    1996-01-01

    Three functional domains were revealed in the molecule of the lethal factor of B. anthracis. They are located in the linear structure of the molecula as follows: the associative domain occupies the area from Lys39 to Met242, the stabilizing domain from Leu517 to Lys614, and the effector domain still further to the COOH-terminal Lys mino acid.

  19. A Biologically-Based Computational Approach to Drug Repurposing for Anthrax Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane P. F. Bai

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Developing drugs to treat the toxic effects of lethal toxin (LT and edema toxin (ET produced by B. anthracis is of global interest. We utilized a computational approach to score 474 drugs/compounds for their ability to reverse the toxic effects of anthrax toxins. For each toxin or drug/compound, we constructed an activity network by using its differentially expressed genes, molecular targets, and protein interactions. Gene expression profiles of drugs were obtained from the Connectivity Map and those of anthrax toxins in human alveolar macrophages were obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus. Drug rankings were based on the ability of a drug/compound’s mode of action in the form of a signaling network to reverse the effects of anthrax toxins; literature reports were used to verify the top 10 and bottom 10 drugs/compounds identified. Simvastatin and bepridil with reported in vitro potency for protecting cells from LT and ET toxicities were computationally ranked fourth and eighth. The other top 10 drugs were fenofibrate, dihydroergotamine, cotinine, amantadine, mephenytoin, sotalol, ifosfamide, and mefloquine; literature mining revealed their potential protective effects from LT and ET toxicities. These drugs are worthy of investigation for their therapeutic benefits and might be used in combination with antibiotics for treating B. anthracis infection.

  20. Anthrax: Diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Diagnosis Language: English (US) Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Doctors in the United States rarely see a patient with anthrax. CDC Guidance and case definitions are available to help doctors diagnose anthrax, take ...

  1. Progress and novel strategies in vaccine development and treatment of anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chitlaru, Theodor; Altboum, Zeev; Reuveny, Shaul; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2011-01-01

    The lethal anthrax disease is caused by spores of the gram-positive Bacillus anthracis, a member of the cereus group of bacilli. Although the disease is very rare in the Western world, development of anthrax countermeasures gains increasing attention due to the potential use of B. anthracis spores as a bio-terror weapon. Protective antigen (PA), the non-toxic subunit of the bacterial secreted exotoxin, fulfills the role of recognizing a specific receptor and mediating the entry of the toxin into the host target cells. PA elicits a protective immune response and represents the basis for all current anthrax vaccines. Anti-PA neutralizing antibodies are useful correlates for protection and for vaccine efficacy evaluation. Post exposure anti-toxemic and anti-bacteremic prophylactic treatment of anthrax requires prolonged antibiotic administration. Shorter efficient postexposure treatments may require active or passive immunization, in addition to antibiotics. Although anthrax is acknowledged as a toxinogenic disease, additional factors, other than the bacterial toxin, may be involved in the virulence of B. anthracis and may be needed for the long-lasting protection conferred by PA immunization. The search for such novel factors is the focus of several high throughput genomic and proteomic studies that are already leading to identification of novel targets for therapeutics, for vaccine candidates, as well as biomarkers for detection and diagnosis. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  2. Sub-lethal effects of Vip3A toxin on survival, development and fecundity of Heliothis virescens and Plutella xylostella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulzar, Asim; Wright, Denis J

    2015-11-01

    The assessment of sub-lethal effects is important to interpret the overall insecticide efficacy in controlling insect pest populations. In addition to the lethal effect, sub-lethal effects may also occur in exposed insects. Vegetative insecticidal proteins (Vips) have shown a broad spectrum of insecticidal activity against many insect pest species. In this study the sub-lethal effects of the Bacillus thuringiensis vegetative insecticidal toxin Vip3A on the development and reproduction of Heliothis virescens F. and Plutella xylostella L. were evaluated in the laboratory. The results indicated that the sub-lethal concentration of Vip3A increased the duration of the larval and pupal stages as compared with the control treatment for both species. The percent pupation and percent adult emergence were significantly lower for Vip3A-treated insects. The proportion of pairs that produced eggs and the longevity of adults were not significantly different between treatments. H. virescens and P. xylostella treated with Vip3A showed an 11 and 17 % decrease in their intrinsic rate of increase (rm) respectively compared with untreated insects. The results from this study will be helpful to develop the strategy to incorporate Vip 3A containing crops in an integrated pest management programme.

  3. Transcriptome dysregulation by anthrax lethal toxin plays a key role in induction of human endothelial cell cytotoxicity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rolando, M

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available . They show that knock-down of cortactin and rhophilin-2 under conditions of calponin-1 expression defines the minimal set of genes regulated by LT for actin cable formation. Together their data establish that the modulation of the cell transcriptome by LT...

  4. Anthrax Remembered

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2015-08-03

    Dr. John Jernigan and Dr. D. Peter Drotman recall the 2001 anthrax attacks and rapid publication of the landmark paper reporting the initial cases of inhalational anthrax.  Created: 8/3/2015 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 8/3/2015.

  5. Standardization of anti-lethal toxin potency test of antivenoms prepared from two different Agkistrodon halys venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. H. Lee

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In Korea, antivenoms for the treatment of patients bitten by venomous snakes have been imported from Japan or China. Although there is cross-reactivity between these antibodies and venoms from snakes indigenous to Korea (e.g. Agkistrodon genus, protection is not optimal. Antivenoms specifically prepared to neutralize Korean snake venoms could be more effective, with fewer side effects. To this end, we established an infrastructure to develop national standards and created a standardized method to evaluate the efficacy of two horse-derived antivenoms using mouse lethal toxin test. Additionally, we determined the antivenoms neutralizing activity against lethal doses (LD50 of Agkistrodon halys (from Japan and Jiangzhe Agkistrodon halys (from China venoms. We also performed cross-neutralization tests using probit analysis on each pairing of venom and antivenom in order to check the possibility of using Jiangzhe A. halys venom as a substitute for A. halys venom, the current standard. Slope of A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 10.2 and that of A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 9.6. However, Slope of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 4.7 while that of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 11.5. Therefore, the significant difference in slope patterns suggests that Jiangzhe A. halys venom cannot be used as a substitute for the standard venom to test the anti-lethal toxin activity of antivenoms (p<0.05.

  6. MHC Class II and Non-MHC Class II Genes Differentially Influence Humoral Immunity to Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Protective Antigen

    OpenAIRE

    Garman, Lori; Dumas, Eric K.; Kurella, Sridevi; Hunt, Jonathan J.; Crowe, Sherry R.; Nguyen, Melissa L.; Cox, Philip M.; James, Judith A.; Farris, A. Darise

    2012-01-01

    Anthrax Lethal Toxin consists of Protective Antigen (PA) and Lethal Factor (LF), and current vaccination strategies focus on eliciting antibodies to PA. In human vaccination, the response to PA can vary greatly, and the response is often directed toward non-neutralizing epitopes. Variable vaccine responses have been shown to be due in part to genetic differences in individuals, with both MHC class II and other genes playing roles. Here, we investigated the relative contribution of MHC class I...

  7. Role of visible light-activated photocatalyst on the reduction of anthrax spore-induced mortality in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyh-Hwa Kau

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Photocatalysis of titanium dioxide (TiO(2 substrates is primarily induced by ultraviolet light irradiation. Anion-doped TiO(2 substrates were shown to exhibit photocatalytic activities under visible-light illumination, relative environmentally-friendly materials. Their anti-spore activity against Bacillus anthracis, however, remains to be investigated. We evaluated these visible-light activated photocatalysts on the reduction of anthrax spore-induced pathogenesis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Standard plating method was used to determine the inactivation of anthrax spore by visible light-induced photocatalysis. Mouse models were further employed to investigate the suppressive effects of the photocatalysis on anthrax toxin- and spore-mediated mortality. We found that anti-spore activities of visible light illuminated nitrogen- or carbon-doped titania thin films significantly reduced viability of anthrax spores. Even though the spore-killing efficiency is only approximately 25%, our data indicate that spores from photocatalyzed groups but not untreated groups have a less survival rate after macrophage clearance. In addition, the photocatalysis could directly inactivate lethal toxin, the major virulence factor of B. anthracis. In agreement with these results, we found that the photocatalyzed spores have tenfold less potency to induce mortality in mice. These data suggest that the photocatalysis might injury the spores through inactivating spore components. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Photocatalysis induced injuries of the spores might be more important than direct killing of spores to reduce pathogenicity in the host.

  8. LETHAL MUSHROOM TOXINS: ANALYSIS OF THE AMANITINS AND APPLICATION OF LATERAL FLOW IMMUNOASSAY

    OpenAIRE

    KAYA, Ertuğrul

    2018-01-01

    Deaths from mushroom poisoning, due to the ingestionofmushrooms containing amatoxins, seem to be increasingboth in Turkey andworldwide. The amatoxinsfound in Amanita phalloides (also called thedeath capmushroom) are most toxic agents, and they are responsible for more than 95% ofthe cases of deadlymushroom poisoning. Alpha amanitin is best known toxin ofthis group. Alpha amanitin analysis can be carried out with special methodssuch as chromatography and ELISA. ELISA method is suitable in orde...

  9. Anthrax blood test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthrax serology test; Antibody test for anthrax; Serologic test for B. anthracis ... This test may be performed when the health care provider suspects you have anthrax infection. The bacteria that cause ...

  10. Binding of superantigen toxins into the CD28 homodimer interface is essential for induction of cytokine genes that mediate lethal shock.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gila Arad

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial superantigens, a diverse family of toxins, induce an inflammatory cytokine storm that can lead to lethal shock. CD28 is a homodimer expressed on T cells that functions as the principal costimulatory ligand in the immune response through an interaction with its B7 coligands, yet we show here that to elicit inflammatory cytokine gene expression and toxicity, superantigens must bind directly into the dimer interface of CD28. Preventing access of the superantigen to CD28 suffices to block its lethality. Mice were protected from lethal superantigen challenge by short peptide mimetics of the CD28 dimer interface and by peptides selected to compete with the superantigen for its binding site in CD28. Superantigens use a conserved β-strand/hinge/α-helix domain of hitherto unknown function to engage CD28. Mutation of this superantigen domain abolished inflammatory cytokine gene induction and lethality. Structural analysis showed that when a superantigen binds to the T cell receptor on the T cell and major histocompatibility class II molecule on the antigen-presenting cell, CD28 can be accommodated readily as third superantigen receptor in the quaternary complex, with the CD28 dimer interface oriented towards the β-strand/hinge/α-helix domain in the superantigen. Our findings identify the CD28 homodimer interface as a critical receptor target for superantigens. The novel role of CD28 as receptor for a class of microbial pathogens, the superantigen toxins, broadens the scope of pathogen recognition mechanisms.

  11. Mechanism of Diphtheria Toxin Catalytic Domain Delivery to the Eukaryotic Cell Cytosol and the Cellular Factors that Directly Participate in the Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Research on diphtheria and anthrax toxins over the past three decades has culminated in a detailed understanding of their structure function relationships (e.g., catalytic (C), transmembrane (T), and receptor binding (R) domains), as well as the identification of their eukaryotic cell surface receptor, an understanding of the molecular events leading to the receptor-mediated internalization of the toxin into an endosomal compartment, and the pH triggered conformational changes required for pore formation in the vesicle membrane. Recently, a major research effort has been focused on the development of a detailed understanding of the molecular interactions between each of these toxins and eukaryotic cell factors that play an essential role in the efficient translocation of their respective catalytic domains through the trans-endosomal vesicle membrane pore and delivery into the cell cytosol. In this review, I shall focus on recent findings that have led to a more detailed understanding of the mechanism by which the diphtheria toxin catalytic domain is delivered to the eukaryotic cell cytosol. While much work remains, it is becoming increasingly clear that the entry process is facilitated by specific interactions with a number of cellular factors in an ordered sequential fashion. In addition, since diphtheria, anthrax lethal factor and anthrax edema factor all carry multiple coatomer I complex binding motifs and COPI complex has been shown to play an essential role in entry process, it is likely that the initial steps in catalytic domain entry of these divergent toxins follow a common mechanism. PMID:22069710

  12. A 2011 Risk/Benefit Analysis of the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-10

    filled with botulinum toxin, 10 with anthrax, and 2 with aflatoxin.‖18 In 1992, Ken Alibek, a senior Russian bioweapons program manager defected...William K. Honner, Rosha A. Loach , Cynthia A. Moore, and J. David Erickson. ―Birth Defects Among Infants Born to Women Who Received Anthrax Vaccine In

  13. The use of anthrax and orthopox therapeutic antibodies from human origin in biodefense

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stienstra, S.

    2009-01-01

    It is impossible to protect whole nations from the effects of bioterrorism by preventive vaccination; there are too many possible agents, costs would be exorbitantly high, and the health risks associated with complex mass vaccination programs would be unacceptable. Adequate protection, however, could be provided via a combination of rapid detection and diagnosis and the treatment of those exposed with drugs which would be beneficial in all stages of disease. Monoclonal antibodies, preferably from human origin to prevent severe complications, which neutralize or block the pathological effects of biological agents, are the optimal candidates to be deployed in case of biological warfare or a bioterrorist event. The human body is one of the better and most suitably equipped places for the generation of monoclonal antibodies which are to be used effectively in humans for treatment. Such antibodies will be of optimal physiological specificity, affinity, and pharmacological properties. In addition, the chances on severe adverse effects and cross-reactivity with human tissues will be slim. Therefore the human immune response is used by the Dutch company IQ Therapeutics, a spin-off of the Groningen University, as a basis for selecting the antibodies. People, immunised against or infected with the agent in question, donate blood cells voluntarily, which are used to generate fully human monoclonal antibodies. In this way effective therapeutics against the protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) toxin components of Bacillus anthracis are developed and currently antibodies against orthopox viruses are generated as well from donors, which have been immunized with vaccinia. Other projects are the development of therapeutic antibodies for MRSA (antibiotics resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and Enterococcus spp. Both human antibodies against the anthrax toxin components are efficacious in vitro and in pre- and post-exposure settings in mice and rabbits. The anti-LF antibody

  14. The Tip of the Four N-Terminal α-Helices of Clostridium sordellii Lethal Toxin Contains the Interaction Site with Membrane Phosphatidylserine Facilitating Small GTPases Glucosylation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Varela Chavez

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin (TcsL is a powerful virulence factor responsible for severe toxic shock in man and animals. TcsL belongs to the large clostridial glucosylating toxin (LCGT family which inactivates small GTPases by glucosylation with uridine-diphosphate (UDP-glucose as a cofactor. Notably, TcsL modifies Rac and Ras GTPases, leading to drastic alteration of the actin cytoskeleton and cell viability. TcsL enters cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis and delivers the N-terminal glucosylating domain (TcsL-cat into the cytosol. TcsL-cat was found to preferentially bind to phosphatidylserine (PS-containing membranes and to increase the glucosylation of Rac anchored to the lipid membrane. We have previously reported that the N-terminal four helical bundle structure (1–93 domain recognizes a broad range of lipids, but that TcsL-cat specifically binds to PS and phosphatidic acid. Here, we show using mutagenesis that the PS binding site is localized on the tip of the four-helix bundle which is rich in positively-charged amino acids. Residues Y14, V15, F17, and R18 on loop 1, between helices 1 and 2, in coordination with R68 from loop 3, between helices 3 and 4, form a pocket which accommodates L-serine. The functional PS-binding site is required for TcsL-cat binding to the plasma membrane and subsequent cytotoxicity. TcsL-cat binding to PS facilitates a high enzymatic activity towards membrane-anchored Ras by about three orders of magnitude as compared to Ras in solution. The PS-binding site is conserved in LCGTs, which likely retain a common mechanism of binding to the membrane for their full activity towards membrane-bound GTPases.

  15. 2014 Anthrax epidemic in Koubia prefecture, Guinea-Conakry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sow, M S; Boushab, M B; Balde, H; Camara, A; Sako, F B; Traoré, F A; Diallo, M O S; Diallo, M D; Keita, M; Sylla, A O; Tounkara, T M; Cissé, M

    2016-11-01

    Anthrax disease is an anthropozoonosis caused by a Gram-positive bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. Our objective was to describe the epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic features of the 2014 epidemic in Koubia prefecture. This retrospective study examined all of the anthrax cases reported in Fafaya, Koubia Prefecture. In March and April 2014, there were 39 cases of human anthrax reported, for an incidence of 1.135%. The mean age was 20.9 (± 18.3) with a sex ratio of 2.54 (28/11) in favor of men. Seventy-six percent (23/39) were single. More than one half were students (53.8%). The main clinical signs were fever in 71, 8% (n = 28 /), papules 59% (n = 23), vesicles of 59% (n = 23) Digestive and cutaneous signs represented 35.9 % and 64.1% respectively; 35% had ingested contaminated meat and 17.95% were in direct contact with a sick animal. We didn't find any correlation between the mode of infection and onset of signs. The fatality rate was 28.21%. The 2014 epidemic of anthrax disease in the Koubia prefecture was marked by a high incidence and lethality. Clinical manifestations were cutaneaous and digestive. These results may serve further interventions to fight against anthrax disease. They should mainly focus on an awareness of peasants, surveillance and vaccination of cattle. Other studies seem to be necessary.

  16. Anthrax of the eyelids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amraoui, A.; Tabbara, K. F.; Zaghloul, K.

    1992-01-01

    Anthrax is a disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. The disease affects primarily herbivores including sheep, cattle, horses, and other domestic animals. Humans may rarely be affected. We examined one male and two female patients with a localised itchy erythematous papule of the eyelid. A necrotising ulcer formed in each of the three cases resulting in a black lesion. Scraping in each case showed Gram positive rods and culture grew Bacillus anthracis. All three patients responded to the intravenous administration of penicillin G, and the lesion resolved leaving scars in two cases. Anthrax is a rare disease but should be considered in the differential diagnosis of ulcers or pustules of the eyelids. Images PMID:1486081

  17. [Anthrax due to deliberate infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dissel, J.T. van; Kullberg, B.J.; Berg, P.C. van den; Steenbergen, J.E. van

    2001-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonosis which is particularly prevalent in cattle, goats and sheep and is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore forming aerobic microorganism. The endospores can survive outside of the body for many decades. The natural form of anthrax has a cutaneous, pulmonary and

  18. A STUDY OF IMMUNOGENIC AND PROTECTIVE PROPERTIES OF THE HEAT-STABLE LETHAL TOXIN OF YERSINIA PSEUDOTUBERCULOSIS AND ITS EFFECTS UPON HEMATOLOGICAL AND BLOOD CYTOKINE PARAMETERS OF LABORATORY MICE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Tsybulsky

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The article presents some data concerning antigenic and immunogenic properties of the lethal heat-stable toxin (HST from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, a protein with molecular weight of 45 kDa. The mice,following double immunization with HST at a dose of 0.1 mg per mouse, displayed higher antibody production, in comparison with a dose of 0.01 mg/mouse. The appropriate differences were revealed with regard ofleukocyte responses, i.e., development of leukopenia, neutropenia, lymphopenia upon immunization with the 0.01 mg of HST per mouse, whereas leukocytosis, and increase in lymphocytes and monocytes was detected after a dose of 0.1 mg/mouse. We detected some doseependent differences in cytokine-modulating activity. I.e., at HST dose of 0.01 mg per mouse, we detected mostly proinflammatory, acutehase responses, whereas a dose of 0.1 mg/mice caused induction of . IFNγ and cytokines promoting lymphocyte proliferation and antibody production by day +17. Upon double immunization of mice, the toxin showed protective properties when injecting them with lethal dose of Y. pseudotuberculosis. A lagging activation of antibody producers duringHST response suggests a need for searching effective adjuvant tools of enhancement and acceleration of specific humoral immune reactions against this antigen.

  19. Identification and characterization of two novel toxins expressed by the lethal honey bee pathogen Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fünfhaus, Anne; Poppinga, Lena; Genersch, Elke

    2013-11-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen causing the epizootic American foulbrood in honey bee larvae. Four so-called enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) genotypes of P. larvae exist with P. larvae genotypes ERIC I and ERIC II being responsible for disease outbreaks all over the world. Very few molecular data on the pathogen, on pathogenesis or on virulence factors exist. We now identified two genomic loci in P. larvae ERIC I coding for two binary AB toxins, Plx1 and Plx2. In silico analyses revealed that Plx1 is the third member of an enigmatic family of AB toxins so far only comprising MTX1 of Lysinibacillus sphaericus and pierisin-like toxins expressed by several butterflies. Plx2 is also remarkable because the A-domain is highly similar to C3 exoenzymes, which normally are single domain proteins, while the B-domain is homologous to B-domains of C2-toxins. We constructed P. larvae mutants lacking expression of Plx1, Plx2 or both toxins and demonstrated that these toxins are important virulence factors for P. larvae ERIC I. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Role of the Antigen Capture Pathway in the Induction of a Neutralizing Antibody Response to Anthrax Protective Antigen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Verma

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Toxin neutralizing antibodies represent the major mode of protective immunity against a number of toxin-mediated bacterial diseases, including anthrax; however, the cellular mechanisms that lead to optimal neutralizing antibody responses remain ill defined. Here we show that the cellular binding pathway of anthrax protective antigen (PA, the binding component of anthrax toxin, determines the toxin neutralizing antibody response to this antigen. PA, which binds cellular receptors and efficiently enters antigen-presenting cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis, was found to elicit robust anti-PA IgG and toxin neutralizing antibody responses. In contrast, a receptor binding-deficient mutant of PA, which does not bind receptors and only inefficiently enters antigen-presenting cells by macropinocytosis, elicited very poor antibody responses. A chimeric protein consisting of the receptor binding-deficient PA mutant tethered to the binding subunit of cholera toxin, which efficiently enters cells using the cholera toxin receptor rather than the PA receptor, elicited an anti-PA IgG antibody response similar to that elicited by wild-type PA; however, the chimeric protein elicited a poor toxin neutralizing antibody response. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the antigen capture pathway can dictate the magnitudes of the total IgG and toxin neutralizing antibody responses to PA as well as the ratio of the two responses.

  1. Identification and validation of a linear protective neutralizing epitope in the β-pore domain of alpha toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oscherwitz, Jon; Cease, Kemp B

    2015-01-01

    The plethora of virulence factors associated with Staphylococcus aureus make this bacterium an attractive candidate for a molecularly-designed epitope-focused vaccine. This approach, which necessitates the identification of neutralizing epitopes for incorporation into a vaccine construct, is being evaluated for pathogens where conventional approaches have failed to elicit protective humoral responses, like HIV-1 and malaria, but may also hold promise for pathogens like S. aureus, where the elicitation of humoral immunity against multiple virulence factors may be required for development of an effective vaccine. Among the virulence factors employed by S. aureus, animal model and epidemiological data suggest that alpha toxin, a multimeric β-pore forming toxin like protective antigen from Bacillus anthracis, is particularly critical, yet no candidate neutralizing epitopes have been delineated in alpha toxin to date. We have previously shown that a linear determinant in the 2β2-2β3 loop of the pore forming domain of B. anthracis protective antigen is a linear neutralizing epitope. Antibody against this site is highly potent for neutralizing anthrax lethal toxin in vitro and for protection of rabbits in vivo from virulent B. anthracis. We hypothesized that sequences in the β-pore of S. aureus alpha toxin that share structural and functional homology to β-pore sequences in protective antigen would contain a similarly critical neutralizing epitope. Using an in vivo mapping strategy employing peptide immunogens, an optimized in vitro toxin neutralization assay, and an in vivo dermonecrosis model, we have now confirmed the presence of this epitope in alpha toxin, termed the pore neutralizing determinant. Antibody specific for this determinant neutralizes alpha toxin in vitro, and is highly effective for mitigating dermonecrosis and bacterial growth in a mouse model of S. aureus USA300 skin infection. The delineation of this linear neutralizing determinant in alpha

  2. Identification and validation of a linear protective neutralizing epitope in the β-pore domain of alpha toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Oscherwitz

    Full Text Available The plethora of virulence factors associated with Staphylococcus aureus make this bacterium an attractive candidate for a molecularly-designed epitope-focused vaccine. This approach, which necessitates the identification of neutralizing epitopes for incorporation into a vaccine construct, is being evaluated for pathogens where conventional approaches have failed to elicit protective humoral responses, like HIV-1 and malaria, but may also hold promise for pathogens like S. aureus, where the elicitation of humoral immunity against multiple virulence factors may be required for development of an effective vaccine. Among the virulence factors employed by S. aureus, animal model and epidemiological data suggest that alpha toxin, a multimeric β-pore forming toxin like protective antigen from Bacillus anthracis, is particularly critical, yet no candidate neutralizing epitopes have been delineated in alpha toxin to date. We have previously shown that a linear determinant in the 2β2-2β3 loop of the pore forming domain of B. anthracis protective antigen is a linear neutralizing epitope. Antibody against this site is highly potent for neutralizing anthrax lethal toxin in vitro and for protection of rabbits in vivo from virulent B. anthracis. We hypothesized that sequences in the β-pore of S. aureus alpha toxin that share structural and functional homology to β-pore sequences in protective antigen would contain a similarly critical neutralizing epitope. Using an in vivo mapping strategy employing peptide immunogens, an optimized in vitro toxin neutralization assay, and an in vivo dermonecrosis model, we have now confirmed the presence of this epitope in alpha toxin, termed the pore neutralizing determinant. Antibody specific for this determinant neutralizes alpha toxin in vitro, and is highly effective for mitigating dermonecrosis and bacterial growth in a mouse model of S. aureus USA300 skin infection. The delineation of this linear neutralizing

  3. Anthrax, People and Dead Hippos

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-11-07

    Epidemiologist, Dr. Melissa Marx, discuses anthrax deaths in people who ate dead hippos.  Created: 11/7/2017 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 11/7/2017.

  4. Monalysin, a novel ß-pore-forming toxin from the Drosophila pathogen Pseudomonas entomophila, contributes to host intestinal damage and lethality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onya Opota

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas entomophila is an entomopathogenic bacterium that infects and kills Drosophila. P. entomophila pathogenicity is linked to its ability to cause irreversible damages to the Drosophila gut, preventing epithelium renewal and repair. Here we report the identification of a novel pore-forming toxin (PFT, Monalysin, which contributes to the virulence of P. entomophila against Drosophila. Our data show that Monalysin requires N-terminal cleavage to become fully active, forms oligomers in vitro, and induces pore-formation in artificial lipid membranes. The prediction of the secondary structure of the membrane-spanning domain indicates that Monalysin is a PFT of the ß-type. The expression of Monalysin is regulated by both the GacS/GacA two-component system and the Pvf regulator, two signaling systems that control P. entomophila pathogenicity. In addition, AprA, a metallo-protease secreted by P. entomophila, can induce the rapid cleavage of pro-Monalysin into its active form. Reduced cell death is observed upon infection with a mutant deficient in Monalysin production showing that Monalysin plays a role in P. entomophila ability to induce intestinal cell damages, which is consistent with its activity as a PFT. Our study together with the well-established action of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins suggests that production of PFTs is a common strategy of entomopathogens to disrupt insect gut homeostasis.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Radiologic findings of the anthrax: focus on alimentary anthrax

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Sung Woo; Kim, Won Ho; Yang, Geun Seok; Kim, Tae Hun; Kang, Duk Sik

    1995-01-01

    To evaluate the radiologic findings of alimentary anthrax. 19 patients with alimentary anthrax, which was caused by ingestion of contaminated beef, were included in this study. The diagnosis was made by demonstration of Bacillus anthracis in smear and culture of the contaminated meat. We evaluated the clinical manifestations and the findings of thoracic, abdominal radiographs, cervical, abdominal ultrasonograms and abdominal CT scans. Out of the 19 patients with the alimentary infection, 9 had oropharyngeal form, 18 had abdominal form and 8 had combination of oropharyngeal and abdominal form. The patients had general symptoms and signs such as fever, chill, myalgia. Clinical symptoms and signs were sore throat, throat injection, throat ulcer and patch in oropharyngeal form, and nausea, vomiting abdominal pain, diarrhea, and gross GI bleeding in abdominal form. Radiologic findings included enlarged cervical lymph nodes (36%) in oropharyngeal form, and paralytic ileus (26%), ascites (26%), hepatomegaly (21%), enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes (26%), small bowel wall thickening (5%) in abdominal form. In two patients, late complications occurred as intestinal obstruction due to ileal stricture with perforation, and inflammatory changes of pelvic cavity due to ileovesical fistula. Radiologic findings of alimentary anthrax are difficult in differentiation from those of other inflammatory bowel disease, but those radiologic findings with clinical manifestations may be helpful in diagnosis and evaluation of disease process in patients with alimentary anthrax

  8. Orbito-Maxillofacial Cutaneous Anthrax

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and development of a black eschar were reviewed. Occupational history, falls and/or contact with animal meat was ... and oral ciprofloxacin (500mg BD for 21 days). The culture results isolated Bacillus anthracis highly ... The clinical evolution of cutaneous anthrax is typical with the initial development of minute red macules.

  9. 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.

  10. Evaluation of cutaneous anthrax cases during an outbreak in the east region of Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kural Ünüvar, Esra; Akgün Karapınar, Deniz Bahar; Dizen Namdar, Nazlı

    2016-11-17

    Anthrax is a zoonotic infection caused by Bacillus anthracis. We aimed to retrospectively evaluate cutaneous anthrax cases that occurred during an outbreak in eastern Turkey (Hakkari-Yüksekova), where people mostly earn their living from animal husbandry. Forty-six cutaneous anthrax patients that were admitted to the hospital during a very short duration of 3 months (June-August 2011) were evaluated. Out of 46 patients, 27 (52%) were women and 19 (48%) were men. The mean age was 37 ± 13 years. The distribution of occupations was 1 butcher, 1 cook, 5 farmers, 27 housewives, 11 shepherds, and 1 teacher. Multiple lesions were seen in 7 patients (15%) and the rest of the patients had only 1 lesion. We observed significant clinical differences among the cases and noted which particular symptoms were associated with the various skin lesions. We treated our patients with intramuscular procaine penicillin or oral ciprofloxacin/doxycycline. Anthrax is an important health problem that can cause lethal outbreaks. Therefore, one should think about anthrax when faced with a patient with history of animal contact that has a painless ulcer with edema and/or vesicles, especially in endemic countries like Turkey.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    enter 26 Figure 3.0 Model of anthrax toxin entry into eukaryotic cells 27 the lungs and into the mucus membrane...extract from porcine and mixture meat and milk peptones, 2.0 g D(+) glucose, 5.0 g NaCl and 2.5 g disodium phosphate) and TSB (g/L: 17.0 pancreatic...are present in blood serum, lymph fluid, gastric secretions, milk , and saliva. Serum antibody concentrations are commonly determined using the

  12. The anthrax letters: a medical detective story

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cole, Leonard A

    2003-01-01

    .... Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Cole, Leonard A., 1933The anthrax letters : a medical detective story / Leonard A. Cole. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-08881-X - ISBN 0-309-52584-5 (PDF) 1. Bioterrorism- United States. 2. Anthrax- United States. 3. Postal service- United States. 4. Victims of...

  13. Treatment of Anthrax Disease Frequently Asked Questions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judd, Kathleen S.; Young, Joan E.; Lesperance, Ann M.; Malone, John D.

    2010-05-14

    This document provides a summary of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the treatment of anthrax disease caused by a wide-area release of Bacillus anthracis spores as an act bioterrorism. These FAQs are intended to provide the public health and medical community, as well as others, with guidance and communications to support the response and long-term recovery from an anthrax event.

  14. Stool C difficile toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... toxin; Colitis - toxin; Pseudomembranous - toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin ... be analyzed. There are several ways to detect C difficile toxin in the stool sample. Enzyme immunoassay ( ...

  15. Evaluation of clinical and serological findings for diagnosis of cutaneous anthrax infection after an outbreak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulseren, Duygu; Süzük-Yıldız, Serap; Çelebi, Bekir; Kılıç, Selçuk

    2017-09-01

    Anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is one of the oldest documented infectious diseases in both livestock and humans. We aimed to evaluate clinical findings and risk factors of patients with cutaneous anthrax infection and report anti-lethal factor (LF) IgG and anti-protective antigen (PA) IgG titers in the serologic diagnosis of disease. In this study, serum samples of 18 cutaneous anthrax patients were collected and anti-LF IgG and anti-PA IgG titers were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Twelve (67%) males and 6 (33%) females, with a mean age of 36.06 ± 16.58 years were included in the study. Risk factors identified in the patient population studied were slaughtering (28%), flaying (56%), chopping meat (67%), burying diseased animal corpses (17%) and milking (6%) livestock. Black eschar formation (94%), pruritus (78%) and painful lymphadenopathy (61%) were first three common clinical signs and symptoms, respectively. Fourteen (78%) patients produced a positive IgG response against PA, 11 (61%) patients produced against LF. Three (17%) patients had no response to either antigen. A detailed history of contact with sick animals or animal products along with clinical findings should be taken at the first step for the diagnosis of cutaneous anthrax infection. Serologic detection of anti-LF IgG and anti-PA IgG with ELISA may be useful auxillary method for establishing the diagnosis.

  16. Anthrax Meningitis - Report Of An Autopsied Case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahadevan A

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a rare cause of hemorrhagic meningitis in man. This report illustrates the characteristic hemorrhagic manifestations in the brain of a patient dying of anthrax meningitis secondary to overwhelming bacteremia. Gross examination of the brain revealed a thick dense subarachnoid hemorrhage with numerous petechial hemorrhages in the cortex. Histologically, meningoencephalitis with vascular necrosis, edema, perivascular cortical hemorrhages and clumps of Gram positive bacilli in the vascular lumen and invading vessel wall were the salient features. The anthrax bacillus was isolated from CSF and brain tissue and further its pathogenecity was confirmed by animal inoculation.

  17. Monoclonal antibodies and toxins--a perspective on function and isotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Siu-Kei; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-06-01

    Antibody therapy remains the only effective treatment for toxin-mediated diseases. The development of hybridoma technology has allowed the isolation of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with high specificity and defined properties, and numerous mAbs have been purified and characterized for their protective efficacy against different toxins. This review summarizes the mAb studies for 6 toxins--Shiga toxin, pertussis toxin, anthrax toxin, ricin toxin, botulinum toxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)--and analyzes the prevalence of mAb functions and their isotypes. Here we show that most toxin-binding mAbs resulted from immunization are non-protective and that mAbs with potential therapeutic use are preferably characterized. Various common practices and caveats of protection studies are discussed, with the goal of providing insights for the design of future research on antibody-toxin interactions.

  18. Lethal Epistaxis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byard, Roger W

    2016-09-01

    Epistaxis or nosebleed refers to bleeding from the nostrils, nasal cavity, or nasopharynx. Occasional cases may present with torrential lethal hemorrhage. Three cases are reported to demonstrate particular features: Case 1: A 51-year-old woman with lethal epistaxis with no obvious bleeding source; Case 2: A 77-year-old man with treated nasopharyngeal carcinoma who died from epistaxis arising from a markedly neovascularized tumor bed; Case 3: A 2-year-old boy with hemophilia B who died from epistaxis with airway obstruction in addition to gastrointestinal bleeding. Epistaxis may be associated with trauma, tumors, vascular malformations, bleeding diatheses, infections, pregnancy, endometriosis, and a variety of different drugs. Careful dissection of the nasal cavity is required to locate the site of hemorrhage and to identify any predisposing conditions. This may be guided by postmortem computerized tomographic angiography (PCTA). Despite careful dissection, however, a source of bleeding may never be identified. © 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  19. Frequent and seasonally variable sublethal anthrax infections are accompanied by short-lived immunity in an endemic system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cizauskas, Carrie A; Bellan, Steven E; Turner, Wendy C; Vance, Russell E; Getz, Wayne M

    2014-09-01

    Few studies have examined host-pathogen interactions in wildlife from an immunological perspective, particularly in the context of seasonal and longitudinal dynamics. In addition, though most ecological immunology studies employ serological antibody assays, endpoint titre determination is usually based on subjective criteria and needs to be made more objective. Despite the fact that anthrax is an ancient and emerging zoonotic infectious disease found world-wide, its natural ecology is not well understood. In particular, little is known about the adaptive immune responses of wild herbivore hosts against Bacillus anthracis. Working in the natural anthrax system of Etosha National Park, Namibia, we collected 154 serum samples from plains zebra (Equus quagga), 21 from springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) and 45 from African elephants (Loxodonta africana) over 2-3 years, resampling individuals when possible for seasonal and longitudinal comparisons. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to measure anti-anthrax antibody titres and developed three increasingly conservative models to determine endpoint titres with more rigourous, objective mensuration. Between 52 and 87% of zebra, 0-15% of springbok and 3-52% of elephants had measurable anti-anthrax antibody titres, depending on the model used. While the ability of elephants and springbok to mount anti-anthrax adaptive immune responses is still equivocal, our results indicate that zebra in ENP often survive sublethal anthrax infections, encounter most B. anthracis in the wet season and can partially booster their immunity to B. anthracis. Thus, rather than being solely a lethal disease, anthrax often occurs as a sublethal infection in some susceptible hosts. Though we found that adaptive immunity to anthrax wanes rapidly, subsequent and frequent sublethal B. anthracis infections cause maturation of anti-anthrax immunity. By triggering host immune responses, these common sublethal infections may act as

  20. Use of an Electrostatic Spraying System or the Sprayed Lethality in Container Method To Deliver Antimicrobial Agents onto the Surface of Beef Subprimals To Control Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stella, J Max; Luchansky, John B; Miller, Kelsey; Shoyer, Bradley A; Shane, Laura E; McGeary, Lianna; Osoria, Manuela; Stahler, Laura J; Sevart, Nicholas J; Phebus, Randall K; Thippareddi, Harshavardhan; Porto-Fett, Anna C S

    2017-08-01

    The efficacy of an electrostatic spraying system (ESS) and/or the sprayed lethality in container (SLIC) method to deliver antimicrobial agents onto the surface of beef subprimals to reduce levels of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) was evaluated. Beef subprimals were surface inoculated (lean side; ca. 5.8 log CFU per subprimal) with 2 mL of an eight-strain cocktail comprising single strains of rifampin-resistant (100 μg/mL) STEC (O26:H11, O45:H2, O103:H2, O104:H4, O111:H - , O121:H19, O145:NM, and O157:H7). Next, inoculated subprimals were surface treated with lauric arginate (LAE; 1%), peroxyacetic acid (PAA; 0.025%), or cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC; 0.4%) by passing each subprimal, with the inoculated lean side facing upward, through an ESS cabinet or via SLIC. Subprimals were then vacuum packaged and stored at 4°C. One set of subprimals was sampled after an additional 2 h, 3 days, or 7 days of refrigerated storage, whereas another set was retreated via SLIC after 3 days of storage with a different one of the three antimicrobial agents (e.g., a subprimal treated with LAE on day 0 was then treated with PAA or CPE on day 3). Retreated subprimals were sampled after 2 h or 4 days of additional storage at 4°C. A single initial application of LAE, PAA, or CPC via ESS or SLIC resulted in STEC reductions of ca. 0.3 to 1.3 log CFU per subprimal after 7 days of storage. However, when subprimals were initially treated with LAE, PAA, or CPC via ESS or SLIC and then separately retreated with a different one of these antimicrobial agents via SLIC on day 3, additional STEC reductions of 0.4 to 1.0 log CFU per subprimal were observed after an additional 4 days of storage. Application of LAE, PAA, or CPC, either alone or in combination, via ESS or SLIC is effective for reducing low levels (ca. 0.3 to 1.6 log CFU) of STEC that may be naturally present on the surface of beef subprimals.

  1. The Medicinal Chemistry of Botulinum, Ricin and Anthrax Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    workers 68 reported that the natural peptide determined that upon complexation with BABIM, the active buforin I, isolated From the stomach of the...active site by the BABIM and is then concentrations. Buforin I consists of 39 amino acid residues, transported to another region of the protein. The IC50...cleavage site [79]. Similar analysis of buforin I S, subsite of BoNT/B that recognizes the Glu [76] residue suggest that it exists as a helix-turn

  2. Detecting Anthrax, Botulinum Toxin, and Ricin – Immunoassay Test Strips

    Science.gov (United States)

    This assay is listed as Tier I for presumptive analysis of BoNTs in drinking water samples and Tier II for presumptive analysis of BoNTs in other environmental sample types. The lateral flow immunochromatographic assay uses two antibodies in combination to

  3. Detailed Safety Review of Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2001-01-01

    To date, 18 human studies have assessed the safety of anthrax vaccination. These studies, some stretching back almost 50 years, reported adverse events after vaccination in varying degrees of detail...

  4. Vaccines and bioterrorism: smallpox and anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimmel, Sanford R; Mahoney, Martin C; Zimmerman, Richard K

    2003-01-01

    Because of the success of vaccination and the ring strategy in eradicating smallpox from the world, smallpox vaccine has not been recommended for the United States civilian populations for decades. Given the low but possible threat of bioterrorism, smallpox vaccination is now recommended for those teams investigating potential smallpox cases and for selected personnel of acute-care hospitals who would be needed to care for victims in the event of a terrorist attack. Treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis for anthrax are ciprofloxacin or doxycycline. Anthrax vaccine alone is not effective for post-exposure prevention of anthrax; vaccination is accompanied by 60 days of antibiotic therapy. In addition to military use, anthrax vaccine is recommended for pre-exposure use in those persons whose work involves repeated exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores.

  5. The central nervous system as target of Bacillus anthracis toxin independent virulence in rabbits and guinea pigs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

    Full Text Available Infection of the central nervous system is considered a complication of Anthrax and was reported in humans and non-human primates. Previously we have reported that Bacillus anthracis possesses a toxin-independent virulent trait that, like the toxins, is regulated by the major virulence regulator, AtxA, in the presence of pXO2. This toxin-independent lethal trait is exhibited in rabbits and Guinea pigs following significant bacteremia and organ dissemination. Various findings, including meningitis seen in humans and primates, suggested that the CNS is a possible target for this AtxA-mediated activity. In order to penetrate into the brain tissue, the bacteria have to overcome the barriers isolating the CNS from the blood stream. Taking a systematic genetic approach, we compared intracranial (IC inoculation and IV/SC inoculation for the outcome of the infection in rabbits/GP, respectively. The outstanding difference between the two models is exhibited by the encapsulated strain VollumΔpXO1, which is lethal when injected IC, but asymptomatic when inoculated IV/SC. The findings demonstrate that there is an apparent bottleneck in the ability of mutants to penetrate into the brain. Any mutant carrying either pXO1 or pXO2 will kill the host upon IC injection, but only those carrying AtxA either on pXO1 or in the chromosome in the background of pXO2 can penetrate into the brain following peripheral inoculation. The findings were corroborated by histological examination by H&E staining and immunofluorescence of rabbits' brains following IV and IC inoculations. These findings may have major implications on future research both on B. anthracis pathogenicity and on vaccine development.

  6. 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

  7. Human and animal anthrax in Ethiopia: A retrospective record ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    26,737 animal anthrax cases (human to animal ratio 1:5) were reported from 2009 to 2013 ... respectively) This data analysis revealed that less number of human anthrax cases ..... quality to reach to strong conclusions and recommendations.

  8. Anthrax in Vintage Animal-hair Shaving Brushes

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-08-08

    Dr. Kate Hendricks, a CDC anthrax expert, discusses anthrax in vintage shaving brushes.  Created: 8/8/2017 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 8/8/2017.

  9. MHC Class II and Non-MHC Class II Genes Differentially Influence Humoral Immunity to Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Protective Antigen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith A. James

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax Lethal Toxin consists of Protective Antigen (PA and Lethal Factor (LF, and current vaccination strategies focus on eliciting antibodies to PA. In human vaccination, the response to PA can vary greatly, and the response is often directed toward non-neutralizing epitopes. Variable vaccine responses have been shown to be due in part to genetic differences in individuals, with both MHC class II and other genes playing roles. Here, we investigated the relative contribution of MHC class II versus non-MHC class II genes in the humoral response to PA and LF immunization using three immunized strains of inbred mice: A/J (H-2k at the MHC class II locus, B6 (H-2b, and B6.H2k (H-2k. IgG antibody titers to LF were controlled primarily by the MHC class II locus, whereas IgG titers to PA were strongly influenced by the non-MHC class II genetic background. Conversely, the humoral fine specificity of reactivity to LF appeared to be controlled primarily through non-MHC class II genes, while the specificity of reactivity to PA was more dependent on MHC class II. Common epitopes, reactive in all strains, occurred in both LF and PA responses. These results demonstrate that MHC class II differentially influences humoral immune responses to LF and PA.

  10. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    chest radiograph will almost always exhibit a widened mediastinal contour that includes unilat- eral or bilateral hilar enlargement , as. well as...express B-Iactamase variants, peni - cillinases and cephalosporinases, which would undermine a lone-penicillin therapy (Lightfoot et ai., 1990

  11. Forecasting of interaction between bee propolis and protective antigenic domain in anthrax using the software and bioinformatics web servers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elmira Mohammadi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Protective antigen of anthrax toxin, after touching the cell receptors, plays an important role in the pathogenesis of toxin. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction of anthrax toxin protective antigen and four great combination propolis included caffeic acid, benzyl caffeate, cinnamic acid and kaempferol using the softwares and bioinformatics web servers. Methods: Three-dimensional structure of protective antigen (receptor obtains from Protein Data Bank (PDB. Four of the main components from propolis were selected          as ligand and their 3D-structures were obtained from ChemSpider and ZINC     compound database. The interaction of each ligand and receptor was assessed                   by SwissDock server (http://www.swissdock.ch/ and BSP-SLIM server (http://zhanglab.ccmb.med.umich.edu/BSP-SLIM. Docking results appears with Fullfitness numbers (in kcal/mol. Identification of amino acids involved in ligand and receptor interaction, was performed using the Chimera software; UCSF Chimera program (http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/. Results: The results of interaction between propolis components and protective antigen by BSP-SLIM server showed that the most interaction was related with benzyl caffeate, caffeic acid, kaempferol and cinnamic acid, respectively. Results for the desired ligand Interaction with protective antigen genes using SwissDock server showed that the caffeic acid had ΔG equals -9.10 kcal/mol and FullFitness equal to -993.16 kcal/mol respectively. The analysis of interaction between ligands with amino-acids of protective antigen indicated that the interaction of Caffeic acid whit Glutamic acid 117 had energy -15.5429 kcal/mol. Conclusion: Finding strong and safe inhibitors for anthrax toxin is very useful method for inhibiting its toxicity to cell. In this study the binding ability of four flavonoids to protective antigen was studied. Glutamic acid 117 is very effective

  12. Botulinum toxin: bioweapon & magic drug.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-11-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility . It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin.

  13. Toxin-independent virulence of Bacillus anthracis in rabbits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

    Full Text Available The accepted paradigm states that anthrax is both an invasive and toxinogenic disease and that the toxins play a major role in pathogenicity. In the guinea pig (GP model we have previously shown that deletion of all three toxin components results in a relatively moderate attenuation in virulence, indicating that B. anthracis possesses an additional toxin-independent virulence mechanism. To characterize this toxin-independent mechanism in anthrax disease, we developed a new rabbit model by intravenous injection (IV of B. anthracis encapsulated vegetative cells, artificially creating bacteremia. Using this model we were able to demonstrate that also in rabbits, B. anthracis mutants lacking the toxins are capable of killing the host within 24 hours. This virulent trait depends on the activity of AtxA in the presence of pXO2, as, in the absence of the toxin genes, deletion of either component abolishes virulence. Furthermore, this IV virulence depends mainly on AtxA rather than the whole pXO1. A similar pattern was shown in the GP model using subcutaneous (SC administration of spores of the mutant strains, demonstrating the generality of the phenomenon. The virulent strains showed higher bacteremia levels and more efficient tissue dissemination; however our interpretation is that tissue dissemination per se is not the main determinant of virulence whose exact nature requires further elucidation.

  14. Military Hospitalizations among Deployed US Service Members Following Anthrax Vaccination, 1998-2001

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wells, Timothy S; Sato, Paul A; Smith, Tyler C; Wang, Linda Z; Reed, Robert J; Kappel Ryan, Margaret A

    2006-01-01

    .... To determine if anthrax vaccination was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization, a historical cohort study utilizing pre- and post-anthrax-vaccination hospitalizations was undertaken...

  15. Meningoencephalitis due to anthrax: CT and MR findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yildirim, Hanefi; Koc, Mustafa; Murat, Ayse [Firat University, Department of Radiology, Elazig (Turkey); Kabakus, Nimet; Incekoey Girgin, Feyza [Firat University, Department of Paediatric Neurology, Elazig (Turkey)

    2006-11-15

    Anthrax is primarily a disease of herbivores, but it also causes cutaneous, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections in humans. Bacillus anthracis is an uncommon cause of meningitis and generally produces a haemorrhagic meningoencephalitis. We present the CT and MR findings of anthrax meningoencephalitis due to the cutaneous form of anthrax in a 12-year-old boy. They showed focal intracerebral haemorrhage with leptomeningeal enhancement. (orig.)

  16. Human anthrax as a re-emerging disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doganay, Mehmet; Demiraslan, Hayati

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is primarily a disease of herbivores and the etiological agent is B. anthracis which is a gram-positive, aerobic, spore-forming, and rod shaped bacterium. Bacillus anthracis spores are highly resistant to heat, pressure, ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, chemical agents and disinfectants. For these reasons, B. anthracis spores are an attractive choice as biological agents for the use of bioweapon and/or bioterrorism. Soil is the main reservoir for the infectious agent. The disease most commonly affects wild and domestic mammals. Human are secondarily infected by contact with infected animals and contaminated animal products or directly expose to B. anthracis spores. Anthrax occurs worldwide. This infection is still endemic or hyperendemic in both animals and humans in some part of areas of the world; particularly in Middle East, West Africa, Central Asia, some part of India, South America. However, some countries are claiming free of anthrax, and anthrax has become a re-emerging disease in western countries with the intentional outbreak. Currently, anthrax is classified according to its setting as (1) naturally occurring anthrax, (2) bioterrorism-related anthrax. Vast majority of human anthrax are occurring as naturally occurring anthrax in the world. It is also a threaten disease for western countries. The aim of this paper is to review the relevant patents, short historical perspective, microbiological and epidemiological features, clinical presentations and treatment.

  17. Polyamine toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strømgaard, Kristian; Jensen, Lars S; Vogensen, Stine B

    2005-01-01

    Polyamine toxins, isolated from spiders and wasps, have been used as pharmacological tools for the study of ionotropic receptors, but their use have so far been hampered by their lack of selectivity. In this mini-review, we describe how careful synthetic modification of native polyamine toxins ha...

  18. Pharmacophore selection and redesign of non-nucleotide inhibitors of anthrax edema factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schein, Catherine H; Chen, Deliang; Ma, Lili; Kanalas, John J; Gao, Jian; Jimenez, Maria Estrella; Sower, Laurie E; Walter, Mary A; Gilbertson, Scott R; Peterson, Johnny W

    2012-11-08

    Antibiotic treatment may fail to protect individuals, if not started early enough, after infection with Bacillus anthracis, due to the continuing activity of toxins that the bacterium produces. Stable and easily stored inhibitors of the edema factor toxin (EF), an adenylyl cyclase, could save lives in the event of an outbreak, due to natural causes or a bioweapon attack. The toxin's basic activity is to convert ATP to cAMP, and it is thus in principle a simple phosphatase, which means that many mammalian enzymes, including intracellular adenylcyclases, may have a similar activity. While nucleotide based inhibitors, similar to its natural substrate, ATP, were identified early, these compounds had low activity and specificity for EF. We used a combined structural and computational approach to choose small organic molecules in large, web-based compound libraries that would, based on docking scores, bind to residues within the substrate binding pocket of EF. A family of fluorenone-based inhibitors was identified that inhibited the release of cAMP from cells treated with EF. The lead inhibitor was also shown to inhibit the diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) in a murine model, perhaps by serving as a quorum sensor. These inhibitors are now being tested for their ability to inhibit Anthrax infection in animal models and may have use against other pathogens that produce toxins similar to EF, such as Bordetella pertussis or Vibrio cholera.

  19. Why do we study animal toxins?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ZHANG, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  20. A FRET-based high throughput screening assay to identify inhibitors of anthrax protective antigen binding to capillary morphogenesis gene 2 protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael S Rogers

    Full Text Available Anti-angiogenic therapies are effective for the treatment of cancer, a variety of ocular diseases, and have potential benefits in cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and psoriasis. We have previously shown that anthrax protective antigen (PA, a non-pathogenic component of anthrax toxin, is an inhibitor of angiogenesis, apparently as a result of interaction with the cell surface receptors capillary morphogenesis gene 2 (CMG2 protein and tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8. Hence, molecules that bind the anthrax toxin receptors may be effective to slow or halt pathological vascular growth. Here we describe development and testing of an effective homogeneous steady-state fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET high throughput screening assay designed to identify molecules that inhibit binding of PA to CMG2. Molecules identified in the screen can serve as potential lead compounds for the development of anti-angiogenic and anti-anthrax therapies. The assay to screen for inhibitors of this protein-protein interaction is sensitive and robust, with observed Z' values as high as 0.92. Preliminary screens conducted with a library of known bioactive compounds identified tannic acid and cisplatin as inhibitors of the PA-CMG2 interaction. We have confirmed that tannic acid both binds CMG2 and has anti-endothelial properties. In contrast, cisplatin appears to inhibit PA-CMG2 interaction by binding both PA and CMG2, and observed cisplatin anti-angiogenic effects are not mediated by interaction with CMG2. This work represents the first reported high throughput screening assay targeting CMG2 to identify possible inhibitors of both angiogenesis and anthrax intoxication.

  1. Two anthrax cases with soft tissue infection, severe oedema and sepsis in Danish heroin users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Russell, Lene; Pedersen, Michael; Jensen, Andreas V

    2013-01-01

    Anthrax had become extremely rare in Europe, but in 2010 an outbreak of anthrax among heroin users in Scotland increased awareness of contaminated heroin as a source of anthrax. We present the first two Danish cases of injectional anthrax and discuss the clinical presentations, which included both...

  2. Detection of anthrax lef with DNA-based photonic crystal sensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bailin; Dallo, Shatha; Peterson, Ralph; Hussain, Syed; Weitao, Tao; Ye, Jing Yong

    2011-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis has posed a threat of becoming biological weapons of mass destruction due to its virulence factors encoded by the plasmid-borne genes, such as lef for lethal factor. We report the development of a fast and sensitive anthrax DNA biosensor based on a photonic crystal structure used in a total-internal-reflection configuration. For the detection of the lef gene, a single-stranded DNA lef probe was biotinylated and immobilized onto the sensor via biotin-streptavidin interactions. A positive control, lef-com, was the complementary strand of the probe, while a negative control was an unrelated single-stranded DNA fragment from the 16S rRNA gene of Acinetobacter baumannii. After addition of the biotinylated lef probe onto the sensor, significant changes in the resonance wavelength of the sensor were observed, resulting from binding of the probe to streptavidin on the sensor. The addition of lef-com led to another significant increase as a result of hybridization between the two DNA strands. The detection sensitivity for the target DNA reached as low as 0.1 nM. In contrast, adding the unrelated DNAs did not cause an obvious shift in the resonant wavelength. These results demonstrate that detection of the anthrax lef by the photonic crystal structure in a total-internal-reflection sensor is highly specific and sensitive.

  3. Botulinum toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigam P

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C 1 , C 2 , D, E, F and G. All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice.

  4. Pharmacophore Selection and Redesign of Non-nucleotide Inhibitors of Anthrax Edema Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Estrella Jimenez

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Antibiotic treatment may fail to protect individuals, if not started early enough, after infection with Bacillus anthracis, due to the continuing activity of toxins that the bacterium produces. Stable and easily stored inhibitors of the edema factor toxin (EF, an adenylyl cyclase, could save lives in the event of an outbreak, due to natural causes or a bioweapon attack. The toxin’s basic activity is to convert ATP to cAMP, and it is thus in principle a simple phosphatase, which means that many mammalian enzymes, including intracellular adenylcyclases, may have a similar activity. While nucleotide based inhibitors, similar to its natural substrate, ATP, were identified early, these compounds had low activity and specificity for EF. We used a combined structural and computational approach to choose small organic molecules in large, web-based compound libraries that would, based on docking scores, bind to residues within the substrate binding pocket of EF. A family of fluorenone-based inhibitors was identified that inhibited the release of cAMP from cells treated with EF. The lead inhibitor was also shown to inhibit the diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC in a murine model, perhaps by serving as a quorum sensor. These inhibitors are now being tested for their ability to inhibit Anthrax infection in animal models and may have use against other pathogens that produce toxins similar to EF, such as Bordetella pertussis or Vibrio cholera.

  5. Screen-printed fluorescent sensors for rapid and sensitive anthrax biomarker detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Inkyu; Oh, Wan-Kyu; Jang, Jyongsik

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •We fabricated flexible anthrax sensors with a simple screen-printing method. •The sensors selectively detected B. anthracis biomarker. •The sensors provide the visible alarm against anthrax attack. -- Abstract: Since the 2001 anthrax attacks, efforts have focused on the development of an anthrax detector with rapid response and high selectivity and sensitivity. Here, we demonstrate a fluorescence sensor for detecting anthrax biomarker with high sensitivity and selectivity using a screen-printing method. A lanthanide–ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid complex was printed on a flexible polyethersulfone film. Screen-printing deposition of fluorescent detecting moieties produced fluorescent patterns that acted as a visual alarm against anthrax

  6. The anthrax vaccine: is it safe? does it work?

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of the Anthrax Vaccine, Medical Follow-Up Agency

    2002-01-01

    ...), was licensed in 1970. It was initially used to protect people who might be exposed to anthrax where they worked, such as veterinarians and textile plant workers who process animal hair. When the U...

  7. 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...

  8. [Anthrax meningoencephalitis: a case report and review of Turkish literature].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metan, Gökhan; Uysal, Burcu; Coşkun, Ramazan; Perçin, Duygu; Doğanay, Mehmet

    2009-10-01

    The incidence of anthrax is decreasing in Turkey, however, it is still endemic in some regions of the country. Although central nervous system involvement is rare in cases with anthrax, high mortality rates are significant. Here, we report a 46-years old woman who was anthrax meningoencephalitis. The patient was from Yozgat located in Central Anatolia, Turkey. Her history revealed that following peeling the skin of sheeps and consuming their meat a week ago, a lesion developed in her left forearm and she had been treated with penicilin G with the diagnosis of cutaneous anthrax in a local health center. The patient was admitted to the emergency room of our hospital due to increased headache and loss of conciousness and diagnosed as anthrax meningitis. Crytallized penicilin G (24 MU/day IV) and vancomycin (2 g/day IV) were initiated. The macroscopy of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sample was haemorrhagic, white blood cell count was 40/mm3 (80% of neutrophil) and Gram staining of CSF yielded abundant gram-positive bacilli. The diagnosis was confirmed by the isolation of Bacillus anthracis from CSF culture. Although the isolate was susceptible to penicillin and dexamethasone was added to the treatment, the patient died. Review of the Turkish literature revealed seven cases of anthrax with central nervous system involvement between 1980-2008. One of the patients was an 11-years old boy and the others were adults aged between 19 and 64 years. The source of the infection was skin in four patients and inhalation in one patient. The most common findings in all of the patients were inhabitance in rural area, haemorrhagic CSF and loss of all patients despite appropriate antibiotic therapy. In conclusion, anthrax meningitis and meningoencephalitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of haemorrhagic meningitis in areas where anthrax is endemic and high rate of mortality despite appropriate therapy should always be kept in mind.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Therapeutic Approaches of Botulinum Toxin in Gynecology

    OpenAIRE

    Marius Alexandru Moga; Oana Gabriela Dimienescu; Andreea Bălan; Ioan Scârneciu; Barna Barabaș; Liana Pleș

    2018-01-01

    Botulinum toxins (BoNTs) are produced by several anaerobic species of the genus Clostridium and, although they were originally considered lethal toxins, today they find their usefulness in the treatment of a wide range of pathologies in various medical specialties. Botulinum neurotoxin has been identified in seven different isoforms (BoNT-A, BoNT-B, BoNT-C, BoNT-D, BoNT-E, BoNT-F, and BoNT-G). Neurotoxigenic Clostridia can produce more than 40 different BoNT subtypes and, recently, a new BoNT...

  12. CD28: Direct and Critical Receptor for Superantigen Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziv Rotfogel

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Every adaptive immune response requires costimulation through the B7/CD28 axis, with CD28 on T-cells functioning as principal costimulatory receptor. Staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigen toxins hyperstimulate the T-cell-mediated immune response by orders of magnitude, inducing a lethal cytokine storm. We show that to elicit an inflammatory cytokine storm and lethality, superantigens must bind directly to CD28. Blocking access of the superantigen to its CD28 receptor with peptides mimicking the contact domains in either toxin or CD28 suffices to protect mice effectively from lethal shock. Our finding that CD28 is a direct receptor of superantigen toxins broadens the scope of microbial pathogen recognition mechanisms.

  13. A Medical Research and Evaluation Facility (MREF) and Studies Supporting the Medical Chemical Defense Program. Evaluation of the Passive Protection Against Five Serotypes of Botulinum Toxin Provided by Botulinum Human Immune Globulin in an Animal Model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Olson, Carl

    1998-01-01

    Pentavalent (ABCDE) botulinum toxoid vaccine is intended for use as a prophylactic measure to protect combat troops against the lethal effects of botulinum toxins A-E, a group of toxins considered to be a serious biological warfare threat...

  14. Sverdlovsk Anthrax Outbreak: An Educational Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, S. J.; van der Vink, G.

    2002-05-01

    In April and May of 1979 an Anthrax epidemic broke out in the city of Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg) in the former Soviet Union. Sixty-four people were reported to have died from the outbreak, although there is still debate concerning the actual number of victims. While Soviet officials initially attributed this outbreak to contaminated meat, the US Government maintained that the outbreak was due to a leakage from a biological weapons facility. We have created and implemented an undergraduate educational exercise based on the forensic analysis of this event. Students were provided case data of the victims, area satellite images and meteorological data. One goal of the exercise was for students to reconstruct the most probable scenario of events through valid inference based on the limited information and uncertainties associated with the data set. Another goal was to make students sensitive to issues of biological weapons and bioterrorism. The exercise was highly rated by students even before the events of September 11. There is a clear need to educate students, particularly in the sciences, to be aware of the signatures of terrorist activities. Evidence of terrorist activities is more likely to appear from unintended discoveries than from active intelligence gathering. We believe our national security can be enhanced by sensitizing those that monitor the natural environment to the signatures of terrorist activities through the types of educational exercises that we have developed.

  15. Factors associated with repeated outbreak of anthrax in Bangladesh: qualitative and quantitative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayedul Hassan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis is an acute, febrile disease of warm blooded animals including humans. Social norms and poverty in addition to climatic factors such as soil conditions, seasons of year, ambient temperature and rainfall influence the persistence of the B. anthracis and anthrax outbreaks. The present study was designed to reveal the factors influencing the repeated outbreak of anthrax in Bangladesh. Considering the previous outbreaks of anthrax, Sirajganj, Bogra, Kushtia, Tangail and Mymensingh districts of Bangladesh were selected for this study. To elucidate the factors, qualitative data relating to the animal management, knowledge and behavior of the people; and quantitative data relating to soil conditions, ambient temperature and rainfall were acquired, and analyzed critically. Based on the outbreak histories, a year was divided into two seasons, anthrax prone season (May-November and anthrax dry season (December-April. Anthrax spores could be isolated from 11.67% (n=14/120 of the soil samples collected from the study areas. The present study revealed that poor knowledge, lack of awareness, improper carcass disposal, inadequate vaccination, high Ca content and moisture in the soil along with high ambient temperature and rainfall during the anthrax prone season were the possible influencing factors of repeated outbreaks of anthrax in the study areas. Intensive propaganda to create public awareness of anthrax together with proper vaccination may reduce anthrax outbreaks in Bangladesh.

  16. Inhibition of Clostridium difficile toxin A and B by 1,2-cyclohexanedione modification of an arginine residue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balfanz, J; Rautenberg, P

    1989-12-29

    Toxin A (enterotoxin) and toxin B (cytotoxin) of Clostridium difficile were both inactivated by the arginine specific reagent 1,2-cyclohexanedione. Molecular stability during the inactivation process was demonstrated by SDS-PAGE analysis showing the same migration rates for modified and unmodified forms of the 230 kDa toxin A and of the 250 kDa toxin B. Cytotoxicity of both toxins as well as mouse lethality of the enterotoxin were drastically decreased as a result of the arginine modification. The reaction followed pseudo-first-order kinetics. Analysis of the data suggested that modification of a single arginine residue was sufficient to abolish the activity of both toxins.

  17. Obiltoxaximab Prevents Disseminated Bacillus anthracis Infection and Improves Survival during Pre- and Postexposure Prophylaxis in Animal Models of Inhalational Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Brent J.; Shadiack, Annette M.; Carpenter, Sarah; Sanford, Daniel; Henning, Lisa N.; Gonzales, Nestor; O'Connor, Edward; Casey, Leslie S.

    2016-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adjunctive antitoxins when systemic anthrax is suspected. Obiltoxaximab, a monoclonal antibody against protective antigen (PA), is approved for treatment of inhalational anthrax in combination with antibiotics and for prophylaxis when alternative therapies are not available. The impact of toxin neutralization with obiltoxaximab during pre- and postexposure prophylaxis was explored, and efficacy results that supported the prophylaxis indication are presented here. New Zealand White rabbits and cynomolgus macaques received obiltoxaximab as a single intramuscular or intravenous dose of 2 to 16 mg/kg of body weight at various times relative to Bacillus anthracis aerosol spore challenge. The primary endpoint was survival, and effect of treatment timing was explored. In rabbits, obiltoxaximab administration 9 h postchallenge singly or combined with a 5-day levofloxacin regimen protected 89% to 100% of animals compared to 33% with levofloxacin monotherapy. In cynomolgus macaques, a single intramuscular dose of 16 mg/kg obiltoxaximab led to 100% survival when given 1 to 3 days preexposure and 83% to 100% survival when given 18 to 24 h postexposure and prior to systemic bacteremia onset. Obiltoxaximab administration after bacteremia onset resulted in lower (25% to 50%) survival rates reflective of treatment setting. Prophylactic administration of obiltoxaximab before spore challenge or to spore-challenged animals before systemic bacterial dissemination is efficacious in promoting survival, ameliorating toxemia, and inhibiting bacterial spread to the periphery. PMID:27431219

  18. Micromotors to capture and destroy anthrax simulant spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orozco, Jahir; Pan, Guoqing; Sattayasamitsathit, Sirilak; Galarnyk, Michael; Wang, Joseph

    2015-03-07

    Towards addressing the need for detecting and eliminating biothreats, we describe a micromotor-based approach for screening, capturing, isolating and destroying anthrax simulant spores in a simple and rapid manner with minimal sample processing. The B. globilli antibody-functionalized micromotors can recognize, capture and transport B. globigii spores in environmental matrices, while showing non-interactions with excess of non-target bacteria. Efficient destruction of the anthrax simulant spores is demonstrated via the micromotor-induced mixing of a mild oxidizing solution. The new micromotor-based approach paves a way to dynamic multifunctional systems that rapidly recognize, isolate, capture and destroy biological threats.

  19. [Efficacy of enterocin S760 in treatment of mice with anthrax infection due to Bacillus anthracis M-71].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svetoch, E A; Borzilov, A I; Eruslanov, B V; Korobova, O V; Kombarova, T I; Levchuk, V P; Teĭmurazov, M G; Stepanshin, Iu G; Marinin, L I; Diatlov, I A

    2011-01-01

    The therapeutic efficacy of enterocin S760, a broad spectrum antimicrobial peptide produced by Enterococcus faecium LWP760 was tested on mice infected with Bacillus anthracis M-71 to induce anthrax (second Tsenkovsky's vaccine). Intraperitoneal four-, two- or one-fold administration of the peptide in a dose of 25 mg/kg for 10 days for prophylactic (1 hour after the contamination) and therapeutic (24 hours after the contamination) purposes prevented or cured the infection in 90-100% of the mice versus the 100-percent lethality in the control (untreated animals). The antimicrobial activity of enterocin S760 against B. anthracis M-71 in vivo correlated with activity in vitro. Enterocin S760 is considered a novel promising antimicrobial for the treatment of grampositive and gramnegative infections.

  20. Growth medium for the rapid isolation and identification of anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Johnathan L.; Parker, Jill E.; Grubbs, Teri R.; Alls, John L.

    2000-07-01

    Anthrax has been recognized as a highly likely biological warfare or terrorist agent. The purpose of this work was to design a culture technique to rapidly isolate and identify `live' anthrax. In liquid or solid media form, 3AT medium (3-amino-L-tyrosine, the main ingredient) accelerated germination and growth of anthrax spores in 5 to 6 hours to a point expected at 18 to 24 hours with ordinary medium. During accelerated growth, standard definitive diagnostic tests such as sensitivity to lysis by penicillin or bacteriophage can be run. During this time, the bacteria synthesized a fluorescent and thermochemiluminescent polymer. Bacteria captured by specific antibody are, therefore, already labeled. Because living bacteria are required to generate the polymer, the test converts immunoassays for anthrax into viability assays. Furthermore, the polymer formation leads to the death of the vegetative form and non-viability of the spores produced in the medium. By altering the formulation of the medium, other microbes and even animal and human cells can be grown in it and labeled (including viruses grown in the animal or human cells).

  1. Non-Replicating Adenovirus-Vectored Anthrax Vaccine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Kampen, K. R.; Zhang, J.; Jex, E.; Tang, D. C.

    2007-01-01

    As bioterrorism is emerging as a national threat, it is urgent to develop a new generation of anthrax vaccines that can be rapidly produced and mass administered in an emergency setting. We have demonstrated that protective immunity against anthrax spores could be elicited in mice by intranasal administration of a non-replicating human adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5)-derived vector encoding Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) in a single-dose regimen. The potency of an Ad5 vector encoding PA was remarkably enhanced by codon optimization of the PA gene to match the tRNA pool found in human cells. This nasal vaccine can be mass-administered by non-medical personnel during a bioterrorist attack. In addition, replication-competent adenovirus (RCA)-free Ad5-vectored anthrax vaccines can be mass produced in PER.C6 cells in serum-free wave bioreactors and purified by column chromatography to meet a surge in demand. The non-replicating nature of this new generation of anthrax vaccine ensures an excellent safety profile for vaccines and the environment.(author)

  2. Transient Co-Expression of Post-Transcriptional Gene Silencing Suppressors for Increased in Planta Expression of a Recombinant Anthrax Receptor Fusion Protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kittipong Rattanaporn

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Potential epidemics of infectious diseases and the constant threat of bioterrorism demand rapid, scalable, and cost-efficient manufacturing of therapeutic proteins. Molecular farming of tobacco plants provides an alternative for the recombinant production of therapeutics. We have developed a transient production platform that uses Agrobacterium infiltration of Nicotiana benthamiana plants to express a novel anthrax receptor decoy protein (immunoadhesin, CMG2-Fc. This chimeric fusion protein, designed to protect against the deadly anthrax toxins, is composed of the von Willebrand factor A (VWA domain of human capillary morphogenesis 2 (CMG2, an effective anthrax toxin receptor, and the Fc region of human immunoglobulin G (IgG. We evaluated, in N. benthamiana intact plants and detached leaves, the expression of CMG2-Fc under the control of the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter, and the co-expression of CMG2-Fc with nine different viral suppressors of post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS: p1, p10, p19, p21, p24, p25, p38, 2b, and HCPro. Overall, transient CMG2-Fc expression was higher on intact plants than detached leaves. Maximum expression was observed with p1 co-expression at 3.5 days post-infiltration (DPI, with a level of 0.56 g CMG2-Fc per kg of leaf fresh weight and 1.5% of the total soluble protein, a ten-fold increase in expression when compared to absence of suppression. Co-expression with the p25 PTGS suppressor also significantly increased the CMG2-Fc expression level after just 3.5 DPI.

  3. Transient co-expression of post-transcriptional gene silencing suppressors for increased in planta expression of a recombinant anthrax receptor fusion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arzola, Lucas; Chen, Junxing; Rattanaporn, Kittipong; Maclean, James M; McDonald, Karen A

    2011-01-01

    Potential epidemics of infectious diseases and the constant threat of bioterrorism demand rapid, scalable, and cost-efficient manufacturing of therapeutic proteins. Molecular farming of tobacco plants provides an alternative for the recombinant production of therapeutics. We have developed a transient production platform that uses Agrobacterium infiltration of Nicotiana benthamiana plants to express a novel anthrax receptor decoy protein (immunoadhesin), CMG2-Fc. This chimeric fusion protein, designed to protect against the deadly anthrax toxins, is composed of the von Willebrand factor A (VWA) domain of human capillary morphogenesis 2 (CMG2), an effective anthrax toxin receptor, and the Fc region of human immunoglobulin G (IgG). We evaluated, in N. benthamiana intact plants and detached leaves, the expression of CMG2-Fc under the control of the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter, and the co-expression of CMG2-Fc with nine different viral suppressors of post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS): p1, p10, p19, p21, p24, p25, p38, 2b, and HCPro. Overall, transient CMG2-Fc expression was higher on intact plants than detached leaves. Maximum expression was observed with p1 co-expression at 3.5 days post-infiltration (DPI), with a level of 0.56 g CMG2-Fc per kg of leaf fresh weight and 1.5% of the total soluble protein, a ten-fold increase in expression when compared to absence of suppression. Co-expression with the p25 PTGS suppressor also significantly increased the CMG2-Fc expression level after just 3.5 DPI.

  4. Centrifugal microfluidic platform for ultrasensitive detection of Botulinum Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxin – a global public health threat and category A bioterrorism agent - is the most toxic substance known and one of the most challenging toxins to detect due to its lethality at extremely low concentrations. Hence the live-mouse bioassay because of its superior sensitivity, remains...

  5. First Autochthonous Coinfected Anthrax in an Immunocompetent Patient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parvaneh Afshar

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Cutaneous anthrax has a mortality rate of 20% if no antibacterial treatment is applied. The clinical manifestations of cutaneous anthrax are obviously striking, but coinfection may produce atypical lesions and mask the clinical manifestations and proper laboratory diagnosis. Anthrax is known to be more common in the Middle East and Iran is one of the countries in which the zoonotic form of anthrax may still be encountered. We report a case of a 19-years-old male who used to apply Venetian ceruse on his skin. Venetian ceruse (also known as Spirits of Saturn is an old cosmetic product used for skin whitening traditionally made from sheep’s spinal cord. The patient referred to the Referral Laboratory, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran, with atypical dermatosis, pronounced pain, and oedema of the affected tissue. It was confirmed by both conventional and molecular analysis that culture was a mixture of Bacillus anthracis and Trichophyton interdigitale. The patient was initially treated with ceftriaxone (1000 mg/day for two weeks, gentamicin (1.5–2 mg/kg/day, terbinafine (200 mg/week for one month, and 1% clotrimazole cream (5 weeks two times per day which resulted in gradual improvement. No relapse could be detected after one-year follow-up. Anthrax infection might present a broader spectrum of symptoms than expected by clinicians. These unfamiliar characteristics may lead to delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment, and higher mortality rate. Clinicians need to be aware of this issue in order to have successful management over this infection.

  6. Tityus serrulatus venom--A lethal cocktail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Longhim, Heloisa Tavoni; Cremonez, Caroline Marroni; Oliveira, Guilherme Honda; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2015-12-15

    Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is the main scorpion species of medical importance in Brazil. Ts venom is composed of several compounds such as mucus, inorganic salts, lipids, amines, nucleotides, enzymes, kallikrein inhibitor, natriuretic peptide, proteins with high molecular mass, peptides, free amino acids and neurotoxins. Neurotoxins are considered the most responsible for the envenoming syndrome due to their pharmacological action on ion channels such as voltage-gated sodium (Nav) and potassium (Kv) channels. The major goal of this review is to present important advances in Ts envenoming research, correlating both the crude Ts venom and isolated toxins with alterations observed in all human systems. The most remarkable event lies in the Ts induced massive releasing of neurotransmitters influencing, directly or indirectly, the entire body. Ts venom proved to extremely affect nervous and muscular systems, to modulate the immune system, to induce cardiac disorders, to cause pulmonary edema, to decrease urinary flow and to alter endocrine, exocrine, reproductive, integumentary, skeletal and digestive functions. Therefore, Ts venom possesses toxins affecting all anatomic systems, making it a lethal cocktail. However, its low lethality may be due to the low venom mass injected, to the different venom compositions, the body characteristics and health conditions of the victim and the local of Ts sting. Furthermore, we also described the different treatments employed during envenoming cases. In particular, throughout the review, an effort will be made to provide information from an extensive documented studies concerning Ts venom in vitro, in animals and in humans (a total of 151 references). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Cationic PAMAM dendrimers as pore-blocking binary toxin inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Förstner, Philip; Bayer, Fabienne; Kalu, Nnanya; Felsen, Susanne; Förtsch, Christina; Aloufi, Abrar; Ng, David Y W; Weil, Tanja; Nestorovich, Ekaterina M; Barth, Holger

    2014-07-14

    Dendrimers are unique highly branched macromolecules with numerous groundbreaking biomedical applications under development. Here we identified poly(amido amine) (PAMAM) dendrimers as novel blockers for the pore-forming B components of the binary anthrax toxin (PA63) and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin (C2IIa). These pores are essential for delivery of the enzymatic A components of the internalized toxins from endosomes into the cytosol of target cells. We demonstrate that at low μM concentrations cationic PAMAM dendrimers block PA63 and C2IIa to inhibit channel-mediated transport of the A components, thereby protecting HeLa and Vero cells from intoxication. By channel reconstitution and high-resolution current recording, we show that the PAMAM dendrimers obstruct transmembrane PA63 and C2IIa pores in planar lipid bilayers at nM concentrations. These findings suggest a new potential role for the PAMAM dendrimers as effective polyvalent channel-blocking inhibitors, which can protect human target cells from intoxication with binary toxins from pathogenic bacteria.

  8. Staphylococcus aureus α-Toxin: Nearly a Century of Intrigue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan J. Berube

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus secretes a number of host-injurious toxins, among the most prominent of which is the small β-barrel pore-forming toxin α-hemolysin. Initially named based on its properties as a red blood cell lytic toxin, early studies suggested a far greater complexity of α-hemolysin action as nucleated cells also exhibited distinct responses to intoxication. The hemolysin, most aptly referred to as α-toxin based on its broad range of cellular specificity, has long been recognized as an important cause of injury in the context of both skin necrosis and lethal infection. The recent identification of ADAM10 as a cellular receptor for α-toxin has provided keen insight on the biology of toxin action during disease pathogenesis, demonstrating the molecular mechanisms by which the toxin causes tissue barrier disruption at host interfaces lined by epithelial or endothelial cells. This review highlights both the historical studies that laid the groundwork for nearly a century of research on α-toxin and key findings on the structural and functional biology of the toxin, in addition to discussing emerging observations that have significantly expanded our understanding of this toxin in S. aureus disease. The identification of ADAM10 as a proteinaceous receptor for the toxin not only provides a greater appreciation of truths uncovered by many historic studies, but now affords the opportunity to more extensively probe and understand the role of α-toxin in modulation of the complex interaction of S. aureus with its human host.

  9. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox - larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography - guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy - guided botulinum toxin treatment; ...

  10. Defense against Toxin Weapons

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Franz, David

    1998-01-01

    .... We typically fear what we do not understand. Although un- derstanding toxin poisoning is less useful in a toxin attack than knowledge of cold injury on an Arctic battlefield, information on any threat reduces its potential to harm...

  11. 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

  12. Semicarbazone EGA Inhibits Uptake of Diphtheria Toxin into Human Cells and Protects Cells from Intoxication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonie Schnell

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Diphtheria toxin is a single-chain protein toxin that invades human cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis. In acidic endosomes, its translocation domain inserts into endosomal membranes and facilitates the transport of the catalytic domain (DTA from endosomal lumen into the host cell cytosol. Here, DTA ADP-ribosylates elongation factor 2 inhibits protein synthesis and leads to cell death. The compound 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenylsemicarbazone (EGA has been previously shown to protect cells from various bacterial protein toxins which deliver their enzymatic subunits from acidic endosomes to the cytosol, including Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin and the binary clostridial actin ADP-ribosylating toxins C2, iota and Clostridium difficile binary toxin (CDT. Here, we demonstrate that EGA also protects human cells from diphtheria toxin by inhibiting the pH-dependent translocation of DTA across cell membranes. The results suggest that EGA might serve for treatment and/or prevention of the severe disease diphtheria.

  13. Evaluation of the house fly Musca domestica as a mechanical vector for an anthrax.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Fasanella

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a disease of human beings and animals caused by the encapsulated, spore-forming, Bacillus anthracis. The potential role of insects in the spread of B. anthracis to humans and domestic animals during an anthrax outbreak has been confirmed by many studies. Among insect vectors, the house fly Musca domestica is considered a potential agent for disease transmission. In this study, laboratory-bred specimens of Musca domestica were infected by feeding on anthrax-infected rabbit carcass or anthrax contaminated blood, and the presence of anthrax spores in their spots (faeces and vomitus was microbiologically monitored. It was also evaluated if the anthrax spores were able to germinate and replicate in the gut content of insects. These results confirmed the role of insects in spreading anthrax infection. This role, although not major, given the huge size of fly populations often associated with anthrax epidemics in domestic animals, cannot be neglected from an epidemiological point of view and suggest that fly control should be considered as part of anthrax control programs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pieter Johan Steenkamp

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. Integrated MOSFET-Embedded-Cantilever-Based Biosensor Characteristic for Detection of Anthrax Simulant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mostafa, Salwa [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Lee, Ida [ORNL; Islam, Syed K [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Eliza, Sazia A. [University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK); Shekhawat, Gajendra [Northwestern University, Evanston; Dravid, Vinayak [Northwestern University, Evanston; Tulip, Fahmida S [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    In this work, MOSFET-embedded cantilevers are configured as microbial sensors for detection of anthrax simulants, Bacillus thuringiensis. Anthrax simulants attached to the chemically treated gold-coated cantilever cause changes in the MOSFET drain current due to the bending of the cantilever which indicates the detection of anthrax simulant. Electrical properties of the anthrax simulant are also responsible for the change in the drain current. The test results suggest a detection range of 10 L of stimulant test solution (a suspension population of 1.3 107 colony-forming units/mL diluted in 40% ethanol and 60% deionized water) with a linear response of 31 A/ L.

  16. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  17. [Anthrax in the canton of Zurich between 1878 and 2005].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandes Ammann, A; Brandl, H

    2007-07-01

    Historical records reporting cases of animal anthrax in the canton of Zurich between 1878 and 2005 were analysed on the level of political communities regarding occurrence and number of cases, animals affected, and number of communities affected. Data were correlated with industrial activities (tanning, wool and horse hair processing) in a community and to the prevailing meteorological conditions. A total of 830 cases of animal anthrax has been recorded in 140 of 171 communities. Occurrence correlated with industrial activities in a community such as companies handling potentially contaminated materials (hides, fur, wool, hair, meat, or bone meal). The influence of wool processing companies (P = 0. 004) and tanneries (P = 0. 032) was significant whereas horse hair processing had no effect. However, a statistical relationship between the number of cases reported and meteorological data (rainfall, mean temperature) was not found.

  18. Three Models of Anthrax Toxin Effects on the MAP-Kinase Pathway and Macrophage Survival

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schneider, Daniel J

    2008-01-01

    .... This research modifies three published MAPK models to reflect this signal inhibition and to estimate a first-order reaction rate by fitting the models to published viability data for two macrophage...

  19. Three Models of Anthrax Toxin Effects on the MAP-Kinase Pathway and Macrophage Survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    2005). Apic, Gordana, Tijana Ignjatovic, Scott Boyer , and Robert B. Russell. “Illuminating drug discovery with biological pathways,” FEBS Letters...Molecular Biology Reviews, 68(2): 320–344 (June 2004). Sauro, Herbert M. and Boris N. Kholodenko. “Quantitative analysis of signaling networks

  20. Histopathological effects of lethal and sub-lethal concentrations of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The histopathological effects of lethal and sub-lethal concentrations of glyphosate on African catfish Clarias gariepinus were investigated. C. gariepinus juveniles were assessed in a static renewal bioassay for 96 hours (acute toxicity) and 28 days (chronic toxicity) using varying concentrations (0.0 mg/l 20.0 mg/l, 30.0 mg/l, ...

  1. [Anthrax meningoencephalitis: a case following a cutaneous lesion in Morocco].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziadi, A; Hachimi, A; Soraa, N; Tassi, N; Nejmi, H; Elkhayari, M; Samkaoui, M A

    2014-05-01

    Anthrax meningoencephalitis is very rare especially following skin location. We report a case of meningoencephalitis secondary to skin lesion. The diagnosis is based on clinical presentation and confirmed by microbiological tests. Its evolution remains fatal despite aggressive resuscitation. Copyright © 2014 Société française d’anesthésie et de réanimation (Sfar). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. America’s Food: Does Anthrax Pose A Threat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-04-01

    a 1996 JAMA article, “Unexplained Severe Illness Possibly Associated with Consumption of Kombucha Tea - Iowa 1995.”13 For clarification, the... Kombucha “mush- room” is a “ symbiotic colony of several species of yeast and bacteria that are bound to- gether by a surrounding membrane.”14 Dr. Sadjadi...described an outbreak in Iran of cuta- 9 neous anthrax related to the Kombucha mushroom. In 1996 in a village on the outskirts of Tehran, 20 people

  3. Occurrence and sequestration of toxins in food chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mebs, D

    1998-11-01

    Animals may acquire toxicity by absorbing toxic compounds from their food, e.g. from plants or other animals. Sequestration and accumulation of toxins may provide protection from predators, which learn to avoid this prey because of unpleasant experiences such as bitter taste. This is a common phenomenon in marine as well as in terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, toxins may enter food chains where they accumulate reaching high, often lethal concentrations. Palytoxin which had been primarily detected in marine zoanthids (Palythoa sp.), occurs also in a wide range of other animals, e.g. in sponges, corals, shellfish, polychaetes and crustaceans, but also in fish, which feed on crustaceans and zoanthids as well. These animals exhibit a high resistance to the toxin's action. The mechanisms which protect the Na+, K+-ATPase of their cell membranes, the primary target of palytoxin, is unknown. Sequestration of the toxin by other animals may cause health problems due to food poisoning.

  4. Suicide Lethality: A Concept Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBastiani, Summer; De Santis, Joseph P

    2018-02-01

    Suicide is a significant health problem internationally. Those who complete suicide may have different behaviors and risk factors than those who attempt a non-fatal suicide. The purpose of this article is to analyze the concept of suicide lethality and propose a clear definition of the concept through the identification of antecedents, attributes, and consequences. A literature search for articles published in the English language between 1970 and 2016 was conducted using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, Pubmed, Psychlit, Ovid, PsycINFO, and Proquest. The bibliographies of all included studies were also reviewed to identify additional relevant citations. A concept analysis was conducted on the literature findings using six stages of Walker and Avant's method. The concept analysis differentiated between suicide, lethality, suicidal behavior, and suicide lethality. Presence of a suicide plan or a written suicide note was not found to be associated with the majority of completed suicides included in the definition of suicide lethality. There are a few scales that measure the lethality of a suicide attempt, but none that attempt to measure the concept of suicide lethality as described in this analysis. Clarifying the concept of suicide lethality encourages awareness of the possibility of different suicidal behaviors associated with different suicide outcomes and will inform the development of future nursing interventions. A clearer definition of the concept of suicide lethality will guide clinical practice, research, and policy development aimed at suicide prevention.

  5. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J. [Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L. [Ouro Preto Univ., MG (Brazil). Escola de Farmacia. Lab. de Fisiologia e Bioquimica de Microorganismos; Lima, M.E. de [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Bioquimica e Imunologia; Nicoli, J.R. [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Microbiologia

    1999-11-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na {sup 125} I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The {sup 125} I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author) 5 refs., 3 figs.; e-mail: nevesmj at urano.cdtn.br

  6. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J.; Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L.; Lima, M.E. de; Nicoli, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na 125 I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The 125 I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author)

  7. Modeling the Ecological Niche of Bacillus anthracis to 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.

  8. The pattern of anthrax cases on livestock in West Nusa Tenggara Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enymartindah

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available A retrospective study on anthrax in endemic area was carried out from 1984 to 1994 in West Nusa Tenggara Province (NTB to uncover the occurrence of anthrax and the pattern of the disease in livestock. Data of anthrax incidence had been compiled for the 11 years from Animal Health Section and Type B Laboratory of the Livestock Service Office, NTB Province in Mataram. This was done to get the information about locations and times when the cases occurred, and the vaccination status of livestock in the anthrax area. The pattern of anthrax in livestock was analyzed by using time series analysis, and the long term trend was then illustrated by linier regression . During the years, anthrax cases in livestock were reported high in Sumbawa island, while the cases in Lombok island were relatively low. There were no anthrax cases reported from East Lombok District . The long term trend of anthrax occurrence in livestock from 1984 to 1994 tended to decrease (Y= 6,04 - 0,0162 X.

  9. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon. © 2015 MEDPRESS.

  10. Phase I study of safety and immunogenicity of an Escherichia coli-derived recombinant protective antigen (rPA) vaccine to prevent anthrax in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Bruce K; Cox, Josephine; Gillis, Anita; VanCott, Thomas C; Marovich, Mary; Milazzo, Mark; Antonille, Tanya Santelli; Wieczorek, Lindsay; McKee, Kelly T; Metcalfe, Karen; Mallory, Raburn M; Birx, Deborah; Polonis, Victoria R; Robb, Merlin L

    2010-11-05

    The fatal disease caused by Bacillus anthracis is preventable with a prophylactic vaccine. The currently available anthrax vaccine requires a lengthy immunization schedule, and simpler and more immunogenic options for protection against anthrax are a priority for development. In this report we describe a phase I clinical trial testing the safety and immunogenicity of an anthrax vaccine using recombinant Escherichia coli-derived, B. anthracis protective antigen (rPA). A total of 73 healthy adults ages 18-40 were enrolled and 67 received 2 injections separated by 4 weeks of either buffered saline placebo, or rPA formulated with or without 704 µg/ml Alhydrogel® adjuvant in increasing doses (5, 25, 50, 100 µg) of rPA. Participants were followed for one year and safety and immunologic data were assessed. Tenderness and warmth were the most common post-injection site reactions. No serious adverse events related to the vaccine were observed. The most robust humoral immune responses were observed in subjects receiving 50 µg of rPA formulated with Alhydrogel® with a geometric mean concentration of anti-rPA IgG antibodies of 283 µg/ml and a toxin neutralizing geometric 50% reciprocal geometric mean titer of 1061. The highest lymphoproliferative peak cellular response (median Lymphocyte Stimulation Index of 29) was observed in the group receiving 25 µg Alhydrogel®-formulated rPA. The vaccine was safe, well tolerated and stimulated a robust humoral and cellular response after two doses. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00057525.

  11. Palytoxin: a new marine toxin from a coelenterate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, R E; Scheuer, P J

    1971-04-30

    Palytoxin has been isolated from the zoanthids "limu-make-o-Hana" (Tentatively identified as Palythoa sp.) as a noncrystalline, chromatographically pure entity. Apart from polypeptide and protein toxins, it is the most highly toxic substance known, with a lethal dose (LD(59)) in mice of 0.15 microgram per kilogram by intravenous injection. Unlike the potent toxins batrachotoxin, saxitoxin, and tetrodotoxin which have molecular weights of 500 or less, palytoxin has an estimated molecular weight of 3300 and contains no repetitive amino acid or sugar units.

  12. Structure, Function and Evolution of Clostridium botulinum C2 and C3 Toxins: Insight to Poultry and Veterinary Vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chellapandi, Paulchamy; Prisilla, Arokiyasamy

    2017-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum group III strains are able to produce cytotoxins, C2 toxin and C3 exotoxin, along with botulinum neurotoxin types C and D. C2 toxin and C3 exotoxin produced by this organism are the most important members of bacterial ADP-ribosyltransferase superfamily. Both toxins have distinct pathophysiological functions in the avian and mammalian hosts. The members of this superfamily transfer an ADP-ribose moiety of NAD+ to specific eukaryotic target proteins. The present review describes the structure, function and evolution aspects of these toxins with a special emphasis to the development of veterinary vaccines. C2 toxin is a binary toxin that consists of a catalytic subunit (C2I) and a translocation subunit (C2II). C2I component is structurally and functionally similar to the VIP2 and iota A toxin whereas C2II component shows a significant homology with the protective antigen from anthrax toxin and iota B. Unlike C2 toxin, C3 toxin is devoid of translocation/binding subunit. Extensive studies on their sequence-structure-function link spawn additional efforts to understand the catalytic mechanisms and target recognition. Structural and functional relationships with them are often determined by using evolutionary constraints as valuable biological measures. Enzyme-deficient mutants derived from these toxins have been used as drug/protein delivery systems in eukaryotic cells. Thus, current knowledge on their molecular diversity is a well-known perspective to design immunotoxin or subunit vaccine for C. botulinum infection. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  13. Evaluation of Inhaled Versus Deposited Dose Using the Exponential Dose-Response Model for Inhalational Anthrax in Nonhuman Primate, Rabbit, and Guinea Pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutting, Bradford W; Rukhin, Andrey; Mackie, Ryan S; Marchette, David; Thran, Brandolyn

    2015-05-01

    The application of the exponential model is extended by the inclusion of new nonhuman primate (NHP), rabbit, and guinea pig dose-lethality data for inhalation anthrax. Because deposition is a critical step in the initiation of inhalation anthrax, inhaled doses may not provide the most accurate cross-species comparison. For this reason, species-specific deposition factors were derived to translate inhaled dose to deposited dose. Four NHP, three rabbit, and two guinea pig data sets were utilized. Results from species-specific pooling analysis suggested all four NHP data sets could be pooled into a single NHP data set, which was also true for the rabbit and guinea pig data sets. The three species-specific pooled data sets could not be combined into a single generic mammalian data set. For inhaled dose, NHPs were the most sensitive (relative lowest LD50) species and rabbits the least. Improved inhaled LD50 s proposed for use in risk assessment are 50,600, 102,600, and 70,800 inhaled spores for NHP, rabbit, and guinea pig, respectively. Lung deposition factors were estimated for each species using published deposition data from Bacillus spore exposures, particle deposition studies, and computer modeling. Deposition was estimated at 22%, 9%, and 30% of the inhaled dose for NHP, rabbit, and guinea pig, respectively. When the inhaled dose was adjusted to reflect deposited dose, the rabbit animal model appears the most sensitive with the guinea pig the least sensitive species. © 2014 Society for Risk Analysis.

  14. DUST-BATHING BEHAVIORS OF AFRICAN HERBIVORES AND THE POTENTIAL RISK OF INHALATIONAL ANTHRAX.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barandongo, Zoe R; Mfune, John K E; Turner, Wendy C

    2018-01-01

    :  Anthrax in herbivorous wildlife and livestock is generally assumed to be transmitted via ingestion or inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores. Although recent studies have highlighted the importance of the ingestion route for anthrax transmission, little is known about the inhalational route in natural systems. Dust bathing could aerosolize soilborne pathogens such as B. anthracis, exposing dust-bathing individuals to inhalational infections. We investigated the potential role of dust bathing in the transmission of inhalational anthrax to herbivorous wildlife in Etosha National Park, Namibia, an area with endemic seasonal anthrax outbreaks. We 1) cultured soils from dust-bathing sites for the presence and concentration of B. anthracis spores, 2) monitored anthrax carcass sites, the locations with the highest B. anthracis concentrations, for evidence of dust bathing, including a site where a zebra died of anthrax on a large dust bath, and 3) characterized the ecology and seasonality of dust bathing in plains zebra ( Equus quagga), blue wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus), and African savanna elephant ( Loxodonta africana) using a combination of motion-sensing camera traps and direct observations. Only two out of 83 dust-bath soils were positive for B. anthracis, both with low spore concentrations (≤20 colony-forming units per gram). We also detected no evidence of dust baths occurring at anthrax carcass sites, perhaps due to carcass-induced changes in soil composition that may deter dust bathing. Finally, despite observing some seasonal variation in dust bathing, preliminary evidence suggests that the seasonality of dust bathing and anthrax mortalities are not correlated. Thus, although dust bathing creates a dramatic cloud of aerosolized soil around an individual, our microbiologic, ecologic, and behavioral results in concert demonstrate that dust bathing is highly unlikely to transmit inhalational anthrax infections.

  15. Mapping the Distribution of Anthrax in Mainland China, 2005-2013.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wan-Jun Chen

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax, a global re-emerging zoonotic disease in recent years is enzootic in mainland China. Despite its significance to the public health, spatiotemporal distributions of the disease in human and livestock and its potential driving factors remain poorly understood.Using the national surveillance data of human and livestock anthrax from 2005 to 2013, we conducted a retrospective epidemiological study and risk assessment of anthrax in mainland China. The potential determinants for the temporal and spatial distributions of human anthrax were also explored. We found that the majority of human anthrax cases were located in six provinces in western and northeastern China, and five clustering areas with higher incidences were identified. The disease mostly peaked in July or August, and males aged 30-49 years had higher incidence than other subgroups. Monthly incidence of human anthrax was positively correlated with monthly average temperature, relative humidity and monthly accumulative rainfall with lags of 0-2 months. A boosted regression trees (BRT model at the county level reveals that densities of cattle, sheep and human, coverage of meadow, coverage of typical grassland, elevation, coverage of topsoil with pH > 6.1, concentration of organic carbon in topsoil, and the meteorological factors have contributed substantially to the spatial distribution of the disease. The model-predicted probability of occurrence of human cases in mainland China was mapped at the county level.Anthrax in China was characterized by significant seasonality and spatial clustering. The spatial distribution of human anthrax was largely driven by livestock husbandry, human density, land cover, elevation, topsoil features and climate. Enhanced surveillance and intervention for livestock and human anthrax in the high-risk regions, particularly on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, is the key to the prevention of human infections.

  16. Using Common Spatial Distributions of Atoms to Relate Functionally Divergent Influenza Virus N10 and N11 Protein Structures to Functionally Characterized Neuraminidase Structures, Toxin Cell Entry Domains, and Non-Influenza Virus Cell Entry Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weininger, Arthur; Weininger, Susan

    2015-01-01

    The ability to identify the functional correlates of structural and sequence variation in proteins is a critical capability. We related structures of influenza A N10 and N11 proteins that have no established function to structures of proteins with known function by identifying spatially conserved atoms. We identified atoms with common distributed spatial occupancy in PDB structures of N10 protein, N11 protein, an influenza A neuraminidase, an influenza B neuraminidase, and a bacterial neuraminidase. By superposing these spatially conserved atoms, we aligned the structures and associated molecules. We report spatially and sequence invariant residues in the aligned structures. Spatially invariant residues in the N6 and influenza B neuraminidase active sites were found in previously unidentified spatially equivalent sites in the N10 and N11 proteins. We found the corresponding secondary and tertiary structures of the aligned proteins to be largely identical despite significant sequence divergence. We found structural precedent in known non-neuraminidase structures for residues exhibiting structural and sequence divergence in the aligned structures. In N10 protein, we identified staphylococcal enterotoxin I-like domains. In N11 protein, we identified hepatitis E E2S-like domains, SARS spike protein-like domains, and toxin components shared by alpha-bungarotoxin, staphylococcal enterotoxin I, anthrax lethal factor, clostridium botulinum neurotoxin, and clostridium tetanus toxin. The presence of active site components common to the N6, influenza B, and S. pneumoniae neuraminidases in the N10 and N11 proteins, combined with the absence of apparent neuraminidase function, suggests that the role of neuraminidases in H17N10 and H18N11 emerging influenza A viruses may have changed. The presentation of E2S-like, SARS spike protein-like, or toxin-like domains by the N10 and N11 proteins in these emerging viruses may indicate that H17N10 and H18N11 sialidase-facilitated cell

  17. Microalgal toxin(s): characteristics and importance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prokaryotic and eukaryotic microalgae produce a wide array of compounds with biological activities. These include antibiotics, algicides, toxins, pharmaceutically active compounds and plant growth regulators. Toxic microalgae, in this sense, are common only among the cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates. The microalgal ...

  18. Defining Moments in MMWR History: CDC's Response to Intentional Release of Anthrax - 2001

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    On October 4, 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, DC, the Palm Beach County Health Department, the Florida State Department of Health, and CDC reported a case of anthrax in a 63-year-old man from Florida. This case was first reported in MMWR and marked the beginning of a series of anthrax cases that resulted from intentional delivery of Bacillus anthracis spores sent through the mail. In this podcast, Dr. Sherif Zaki recalls CDC's investigation and response to the anthrax attacks.

  19. Rabies virus glycoprotein as a carrier for anthrax protective antigen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Mary Ellen; Koser, Martin; Xiao Sa; Siler, Catherine; McGettigan, James P.; Calkins, Catherine; Pomerantz, Roger J.; Dietzschold, Bernhard; Schnell, Matthias J.

    2006-01-01

    Live viral vectors expressing foreign antigens have shown great promise as vaccines against viral diseases. However, safety concerns remain a major problem regarding the use of even highly attenuated viral vectors. Using the rabies virus (RV) envelope protein as a carrier molecule, we show here that inactivated RV particles can be utilized to present Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) domain-4 in the viral membrane. In addition to the RV glycoprotein (G) transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, a portion of the RV G ectodomain was required to express the chimeric RV G anthrax PA on the cell surface. The novel antigen was also efficiently incorporated into RV virions. Mice immunized with the inactivated recombinant RV virions exhibited seroconversion against both RV G and anthrax PA, and a second inoculation greatly increased these responses. These data demonstrate that a viral envelope protein can carry a bacterial protein and that a viral carrier can display whole polypeptides compared to the limited epitope presentation of previous viral systems

  20. Therapeutic Approaches of Botulinum Toxin in Gynecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moga, Marius Alexandru; Dimienescu, Oana Gabriela; Bălan, Andreea; Scârneciu, Ioan; Barabaș, Barna; Pleș, Liana

    2018-04-21

    Botulinum toxins (BoNTs) are produced by several anaerobic species of the genus Clostridium and, although they were originally considered lethal toxins, today they find their usefulness in the treatment of a wide range of pathologies in various medical specialties. Botulinum neurotoxin has been identified in seven different isoforms (BoNT-A, BoNT-B, BoNT-C, BoNT-D, BoNT-E, BoNT-F, and BoNT-G). Neurotoxigenic Clostridia can produce more than 40 different BoNT subtypes and, recently, a new BoNT serotype (BoNT-X) has been reported in some studies. BoNT-X has not been shown to actually be an active neurotoxin despite its catalytically active LC, so it should be described as a putative eighth serotype. The mechanism of action of the serotypes is similar: they inhibit the release of acetylcholine from the nerve endings but their therapeutically potency varies. Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A) is the most studied serotype for therapeutic purposes. Regarding the gynecological pathology, a series of studies based on the efficiency of its use in the treatment of refractory myofascial pelvic pain, vaginism, dyspareunia, vulvodynia and overactive bladder or urinary incontinence have been reported. The current study is a review of the literature regarding the efficiency of BoNT-A in the gynecological pathology and on the long and short-term effects of its administration.

  1. Therapeutic Approaches of Botulinum Toxin in Gynecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Alexandru Moga

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxins (BoNTs are produced by several anaerobic species of the genus Clostridium and, although they were originally considered lethal toxins, today they find their usefulness in the treatment of a wide range of pathologies in various medical specialties. Botulinum neurotoxin has been identified in seven different isoforms (BoNT-A, BoNT-B, BoNT-C, BoNT-D, BoNT-E, BoNT-F, and BoNT-G. Neurotoxigenic Clostridia can produce more than 40 different BoNT subtypes and, recently, a new BoNT serotype (BoNT-X has been reported in some studies. BoNT-X has not been shown to actually be an active neurotoxin despite its catalytically active LC, so it should be described as a putative eighth serotype. The mechanism of action of the serotypes is similar: they inhibit the release of acetylcholine from the nerve endings but their therapeutically potency varies. Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A is the most studied serotype for therapeutic purposes. Regarding the gynecological pathology, a series of studies based on the efficiency of its use in the treatment of refractory myofascial pelvic pain, vaginism, dyspareunia, vulvodynia and overactive bladder or urinary incontinence have been reported. The current study is a review of the literature regarding the efficiency of BoNT-A in the gynecological pathology and on the long and short-term effects of its administration.

  2. Theories of Lethal Mutagenesis: From Error Catastrophe to Lethal Defection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejero, Héctor; Montero, Francisco; Nuño, Juan Carlos

    2016-01-01

    RNA viruses get extinct in a process called lethal mutagenesis when subjected to an increase in their mutation rate, for instance, by the action of mutagenic drugs. Several approaches have been proposed to understand this phenomenon. The extinction of RNA viruses by increased mutational pressure was inspired by the concept of the error threshold. The now classic quasispecies model predicts the existence of a limit to the mutation rate beyond which the genetic information of the wild type could not be efficiently transmitted to the next generation. This limit was called the error threshold, and for mutation rates larger than this threshold, the quasispecies was said to enter into error catastrophe. This transition has been assumed to foster the extinction of the whole population. Alternative explanations of lethal mutagenesis have been proposed recently. In the first place, a distinction is made between the error threshold and the extinction threshold, the mutation rate beyond which a population gets extinct. Extinction is explained from the effect the mutation rate has, throughout the mutational load, on the reproductive ability of the whole population. Secondly, lethal defection takes also into account the effect of interactions within mutant spectra, which have been shown to be determinant for the understanding the extinction of RNA virus due to an augmented mutational pressure. Nonetheless, some relevant issues concerning lethal mutagenesis are not completely understood yet, as so survival of the flattest, i.e. the development of resistance to lethal mutagenesis by evolving towards mutationally more robust regions of sequence space, or sublethal mutagenesis, i.e., the increase of the mutation rate below the extinction threshold which may boost the adaptability of RNA virus, increasing their ability to develop resistance to drugs (including mutagens). A better design of antiviral therapies will still require an improvement of our knowledge about lethal

  3. A toxin-binding alkaline phosphatase fragment synergizes Bt toxin Cry1Ac against susceptible and resistant Helicoverpa armigera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenbo Chen

    Full Text Available Evolution of resistance by insects threatens the continued success of pest control using insecticidal crystal (Cry proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt in sprays and transgenic plants. In this study, laboratory selection with Cry1Ac yielded five strains of cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, with resistance ratios at the median lethal concentration (LC50 of activated Cry1Ac ranging from 22 to 1700. Reduced activity and reduced transcription of an alkaline phosphatase protein that binds Cry1Ac was associated with resistance to Cry1Ac in the four most resistant strains. A Cry1Ac-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase from H. armigera (HaALP1f was not toxic by itself, but it increased mortality caused by Cry1Ac in a susceptible strain and in all five resistant strains. Although synergism of Bt toxins against susceptible insects by toxin-binding fragments of cadherin and aminopeptidase N has been reported previously, the results here provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by a toxin-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase. The results here also provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by any toxin-binding peptide against resistant insects.

  4. Selective effects of an octopus toxin on action potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulhunty, Angela; Gage, Peter W.

    1971-01-01

    1. A lethal, water soluble toxin (Maculotoxin, MTX) with a molecular weight less than 540, can be extracted from the salivary glands of an octopus (Hapalochlaena maculosa). 2. MTX blocks action potentials in sartorius muscle fibres of toads without affecting the membrane potential. Delayed rectification is not inhibited by the toxin. 3. At low concentrations (10-6-10-5 g/ml.) MTX blocks action potentials only after a certain number have been elicited. The number of action potentials, which can be defined accurately, depends on the concentration of MTX and the concentration of sodium ions in the extracellular solution. 4. The toxin has no post-synaptic effect at the neuromuscular junction and it is concluded that it blocks neuromuscular transmission by inhibiting action potentials in motor nerve terminals. PMID:4330930

  5. Topical botulinum toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Ashley; Nasir, Adnan

    2010-03-01

    Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing discipline that capitalizes on the unique properties of matter engineered on the nanoscale. Vehicles incorporating nanotechnology have led to great strides in drug delivery, allowing for increased active ingredient stability, bioavailability, and site-specific targeting. Botulinum toxin has historically been used for the correction of neurological and neuromuscular disorders, such as torticollis, blepharospasm, and strabismus. Recent dermatological indications have been for the management of axillary hyperhydrosis and facial rhytides. Traditional methods of botulinum toxin delivery have been needle-based. These have been associated with increased pain and cost. Newer methods of botulinum toxin formulation have yielded topical preparations that are bioactive in small pilot clinical studies. While there are some risks associated with topical delivery, the refinement and standardization of delivery systems and techniques for the topical administration of botulinum toxin using nanotechnology is anticipated in the near future.

  6. Whole Genome Analysis of Injectional Anthrax Identifies Two Disease Clusters Spanning More Than 13 Years

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Keim

    2015-11-01

    Lay Person Interpretation: Injectional anthrax has been plaguing heroin drug users across Europe for more than 10 years. In order to better understand this outbreak, we assessed genomic relationships of all available injectional anthrax strains from four countries spanning a >12 year period. Very few differences were identified using genome-based analysis, but these differentiated the isolates into two distinct clusters. This strongly supports a hypothesis of at least two separate anthrax spore contamination events perhaps during the drug production processes. Identification of two events would not have been possible from standard epidemiological analysis. These comprehensive data will be invaluable for classifying future injectional anthrax isolates and for future geographic attribution.

  7. Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Constanze; Zimmermann, Fee; Biek, Roman; Kuehl, Hjalmar; Nowak, Kathrin; Mundry, Roger; Agbor, Anthony; Angedakin, Samuel; Arandjelovic, Mimi; Blankenburg, Anja; Brazolla, Gregory; Corogenes, Katherine; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Deschner, Tobias; Dieguez, Paula; Dierks, Karsten; Düx, Ariane; Dupke, Susann; Eshuis, Henk; Formenty, Pierre; Yuh, Yisa Ginath; Goedmakers, Annemarie; Gogarten, Jan F; Granjon, Anne-Céline; McGraw, Scott; Grunow, Roland; Hart, John; Jones, Sorrel; Junker, Jessica; Kiang, John; Langergraber, Kevin; Lapuente, Juan; Lee, Kevin; Leendertz, Siv Aina; Léguillon, Floraine; Leinert, Vera; Löhrich, Therese; Marrocoli, Sergio; Mätz-Rensing, Kerstin; Meier, Amelia; Merkel, Kevin; Metzger, Sonja; Murai, Mizuki; Niedorf, Svenja; De Nys, Hélène; Sachse, Andreas; van Schijndel, Joost; Thiesen, Ulla; Ton, Els; Wu, Doris; Wieler, Lothar H; Boesch, Christophe; Klee, Silke R; Wittig, Roman M; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Leendertz, Fabian H

    2017-08-02

    Anthrax is a globally important animal disease and zoonosis. Despite this, our current knowledge of anthrax ecology is largely limited to arid ecosystems, where outbreaks are most commonly reported. Here we show that the dynamics of an anthrax-causing agent, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis, in a tropical rainforest have severe consequences for local wildlife communities. Using data and samples collected over three decades, we show that rainforest anthrax is a persistent and widespread cause of death for a broad range of mammalian hosts. We predict that this pathogen will accelerate the decline and possibly result in the extirpation of local chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) populations. We present the epidemiology of a cryptic pathogen and show that its presence has important implications for conservation.

  8. Enhancement of an Analytical Method for the Determination of Squalene in Anthrax Vaccine Absorbed Formulations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Spanggord, Ronald J; Sun, Meg; Lim, Peter; Ellis, William Y

    2006-01-01

    Specific lots of anthrax vaccine adsorbed administered to members of the U.S. Armed Forces have been alleged to contain squalene, a chemical purported to be associated with illnesses of Gulf War veterans...

  9. 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...

  10. Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Constanze; Zimmermann, Fee; Biek, Roman; Kuehl, Hjalmar; Nowak, Kathrin; Mundry, Roger; Agbor, Anthony; Angedakin, Samuel; Arandjelovic, Mimi; Blankenburg, Anja; Brazolla, Gregory; Corogenes, Katherine; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Deschner, Tobias; Dieguez, Paula; Dierks, Karsten; Düx, Ariane; Dupke, Susann; Eshuis, Henk; Formenty, Pierre; Yuh, Yisa Ginath; Goedmakers, Annemarie; Gogarten, Jan F.; Granjon, Anne-Céline; McGraw, Scott; Grunow, Roland; Hart, John; Jones, Sorrel; Junker, Jessica; Kiang, John; Langergraber, Kevin; Lapuente, Juan; Lee, Kevin; Leendertz, Siv Aina; Léguillon, Floraine; Leinert, Vera; Löhrich, Therese; Marrocoli, Sergio; Mätz-Rensing, Kerstin; Meier, Amelia; Merkel, Kevin; Metzger, Sonja; Murai, Mizuki; Niedorf, Svenja; de Nys, Hélène; Sachse, Andreas; van Schijndel, Joost; Thiesen, Ulla; Ton, Els; Wu, Doris; Wieler, Lothar H.; Boesch, Christophe; Klee, Silke R.; Wittig, Roman M.; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Leendertz, Fabian H.

    2017-08-01

    Anthrax is a globally important animal disease and zoonosis. Despite this, our current knowledge of anthrax ecology is largely limited to arid ecosystems, where outbreaks are most commonly reported. Here we show that the dynamics of an anthrax-causing agent, Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis, in a tropical rainforest have severe consequences for local wildlife communities. Using data and samples collected over three decades, we show that rainforest anthrax is a persistent and widespread cause of death for a broad range of mammalian hosts. We predict that this pathogen will accelerate the decline and possibly result in the extirpation of local chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) populations. We present the epidemiology of a cryptic pathogen and show that its presence has important implications for conservation.

  11. The Importance of Health Risk Communication in the Creation of the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Freeman, Bradley

    2001-01-01

    ... press. This paper suggests that a more proactive educational program with a greater utilization of health risk communication techniques would have reduced much of the negative reaction to the anthrax vaccine...

  12. Soil geochemical parameters influencing the spatial distribution of anthrax in Northwest Minnesota, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nath, Samuel; Dere, Ashlee

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the pathogenic bacterium that causes anthrax, which dwells in soils as highly resilient endospores. B. anthracis spore viability in soil is dependent upon environmental conditions, but the soil properties necessary for spore survival are unclear. In this study we used a range of soil geochemical and physical parameters to predict the spatial distribution of B. anthracis in northwest Minnesota, where 64 cases of anthrax in livestock were reported from 2000 to 2013. Two modeling approaches at different spatial scales were used to identify the soil conditions most correlated to known anthrax cases using both statewide and locally collected soil data. Ecological niche models were constructed using the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) approach and included 11 soil parameters as environmental inputs and recorded anthrax cases as known presences. One ecological niche model used soil data and anthrax presences for the entire state while a second model used locally sampled soil data (n = 125) and a subset of anthrax presences, providing a test of spatial scale. In addition, simple logistic regression models using the localized soil data served as an independent measure of variable importance. Maxent model results indicate that at a statewide level, soil calcium and magnesium concentrations, soil pH, and sand content are the most important properties for predicting soil suitability for B. anthracis while at the local level, clay and sand content along with phosphorous and strontium concentrations are most important. These results also show that the spatial scale of analysis is important when considering soil parameters most important for B. anthracis spores. For example, at a broad scale, B. anthracis spores may require Ca-rich soils and an alkaline pH, but may also concentrate in microenvironments with high Sr concentrations. The study is also one of the first ecological niche models that demonstrates the major importance of soil texture for defining

  13. [Properties of live antibiotics-resistant anthrax vaccine STI-PR after long-term storage].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aksenova, L Iu; Buravtseva, N P; Kogotkova, O I; Eremenko, E I; Tsygankova, O I

    2007-01-01

    Study showed that cultural, morphologic, genetic, immunologic characteristics, and resistance to antibiotics of STI-PR anthrax vaccine did not change after storage during 20 years in lyophilized condition. It has been shown that medium for lyophilization plays important role in preservation of vitality of anthrax spores. Optimal preservative properties have been observed for thioureal and sucrose-gelatinous media for lyophilization. Obtained results give reasons for prolongation of shelf live of STI-PR vaccine from 2 - 3 to 5 - 8 years.

  14. CD44 Promotes intoxication by the clostridial iota-family toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigelsworth, Darran J; Ruthel, Gordon; Schnell, Leonie; Herrlich, Peter; Blonder, Josip; Veenstra, Timothy D; Carman, Robert J; Wilkins, Tracy D; Van Nhieu, Guy Tran; Pauillac, Serge; Gibert, Maryse; Sauvonnet, Nathalie; Stiles, Bradley G; Popoff, Michel R; Barth, Holger

    2012-01-01

    Various pathogenic clostridia produce binary protein toxins associated with enteric diseases of humans and animals. Separate binding/translocation (B) components bind to a protein receptor on the cell surface, assemble with enzymatic (A) component(s), and mediate endocytosis of the toxin complex. Ultimately there is translocation of A component(s) from acidified endosomes into the cytosol, leading to destruction of the actin cytoskeleton. Our results revealed that CD44, a multifunctional surface protein of mammalian cells, facilitates intoxication by the iota family of clostridial binary toxins. Specific antibody against CD44 inhibited cytotoxicity of the prototypical Clostridium perfringens iota toxin. Versus CD44(+) melanoma cells, those lacking CD44 bound less toxin and were dose-dependently resistant to C. perfringens iota, as well as Clostridium difficile and Clostridium spiroforme iota-like, toxins. Purified CD44 specifically interacted in vitro with iota and iota-like, but not related Clostridium botulinum C2, toxins. Furthermore, CD44 knockout mice were resistant to iota toxin lethality. Collective data reveal an important role for CD44 during intoxication by a family of clostridial binary toxins.

  15. Cutaneous anthrax in the northeast of Iran: A case report and review of the literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohsen Karbalaei Zadeh Babaki

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is an aerobic, gram-positive, and spore-forming Bacillus species. The most common form of anthrax infection is the cutaneous form. The infection usually develops several days after exposure to products of infected animals and manifest as black sore with severe swelling on the skin.A 52-year-old female with a black and swollen lesion on her index finger presented to Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad, Iran, in October 2015. Biopsy and swab culture were performed immediately. Cutaneous anthrax was characterized by microscopic examination of B. anthracis spore using Gram staining. The patient was then treated with antibiotics after diagnosis.According to the reports of Provincial Health Center of Khorasan Razavi, northeast of Iran, no cases of anthrax have been reported in humans since 2013. There were neither occupational risk factors, nor any routine predisposing factors for acquiring anthrax in this woman. Although this patient is the first case reported with cutaneous anthrax since the past three years, two cases of sheep anthrax have been reported in Khorasan Razavi Province during 2013-2015. This patient had a history of contact with the skull of a slaughtered sheep. The patient was treated after making correct and rapid diagnosis and sufficient antibiotic therapy.

  16. Proteinaceous toxins from three species of scorpaeniform fish (lionfish Pterois lunulata, devil stinger Inimicus japonicus and waspfish Hypodytes rubripinnis): close similarity in properties and primary structures to stonefish toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiriake, Aya; Suzuki, Yasuko; Nagashima, Yuji; Shiomi, Kazuo

    2013-08-01

    The crude toxins from three species of venomous fish (lionfish Pterois lunulata, devil stinger Inimicus japonicus and waspfish Hypodytes rubripinnis) belonging to the order Scorpaeniformes exhibited mouse-lethal, hemolytic, edema-forming and nociceptive activities. In view of the antigenic cross-reactivity with the stonefish toxins, the primary structures of the stonefish toxin-like toxins from the three scorpaeniform fish were determined by cDNA cloning using primers designed from the highly conserved sequences of the stonefish toxins. Based on the data obtained in gel filtration, immunoblotting and cDNA cloning, each toxin was judged to be a 160 kDa heterodimer composed of 80 kDa α- and β-subunits. The three scorpaeniform fish toxins contain a B30.2/SPRY domain (∼200 amino acid residues) in the C-terminal region of each subunit, as reported for the toxins from two species of lionfish and two species of stonefish. With respect to the amino acid sequence similarity, the scorpaeniform fish toxins are divided into the following two groups: toxins from three species of lionfish and those from devil stinger, two species of stonefish and waspfish. The phylogenetic tree generated also clearly supports the classification of the toxins. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Non-Lethal Weapons Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheets Frequently Asked Questions Non-Lethal Weapons FAQs Active Denial System FAQs Human Electro -Muscular Incapacitation FAQs Related Links Business Opportunities Contact JNLWD Congressional Engagement , Wednesday, Sept 20, 2017. The Active Denial System, blunt-impact munitions, dazzling lasers, LRAD 100X

  18. Pathology of wild-type and toxin-independent Bacillus anthracis meningitis in rabbits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Assa Sittner

    Full Text Available Hemorrhagic meningitis is considered a complication of anthrax and was reported in about 50% of deadly cases in humans and non-human primates (NHP. Recently we demonstrated in Guinea pigs and rabbits that 100% of the B. anthracis-infected animals presented histopathology of meningitis at the time of death, some without any sign of hemorrhage. A similar pathology was observed in animals that succumbed following infection with the toxin deficient mutant, thus indicating that anthrax meningitis is a toxin-independent phenomenon. In this manuscript we describe a histopathological study of the B. anthracis infection of the central nervous system (CNS. Though we could find sporadic growth of the bacteria around blood vessels in the cortex, we report that the main infiltration route is the choroid plexus. We found massive destruction of entire sections of the choroid plexus coupled with massive aggregation of bacilli in the ventricles, in close proximity to the parenchyma. The choroid plexus also contained significant amounts of intravascular bacterial aggregates, often enclosed in what appear to be fibrin-like clots. The high concentration of these aggregates in areas of significant tissue destruction combined with the fact that capsular B. anthracis bacteria have a low tendency to adhere to endothelial cells, might suggest that these clots are used as an adherence mechanism by the bacteria. The major histopathological finding is meningitis. We find massive bacterial growth in the meninges without evidence of encephalitis, even when the bacteria emerge from a parenchymal blood vessel. Erythrocytes were present within the meningeal space but no clear vasculitis could be detected. Histology of the brain stem indicates meningitis, edema and hemorrhages that might explain death from suffocation due to direct damage to the respiratory center. All of these processes are toxin-independent, since they were observed following infection with either the wild

  19. Anthrax Cases Associated with Animal-Hair Shaving Brushes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szablewski, Christine M; Hendricks, Kate; Bower, William A; Shadomy, Sean V; Hupert, Nathaniel

    2017-05-01

    During the First World War, anthrax cases in the United States and England increased greatly and seemed to be associated with use of new shaving brushes. Further investigation revealed that the source material and origin of shaving brushes had changed during the war. Cheap brushes of imported horsehair were being made to look like the preferred badger-hair brushes. Unfortunately, some of these brushes were not effectively disinfected and brought with them a nasty stowaway: Bacillus anthracis. A review of outbreak summaries, surveillance data, and case reports indicated that these cases originated from the use of ineffectively disinfected animal-hair shaving brushes. This historical information is relevant to current public health practice because renewed interest in vintage and animal-hair shaving brushes has been seen in popular culture. This information should help healthcare providers and public health officials answer questions on this topic.

  20. Temporal dynamics in microbial soil communities at anthrax carcass sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-26

    Anthrax is a globally distributed disease affecting primarily herbivorous mammals. It is caused by the soil-dwelling and spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The dormant B. anthracis spores become vegetative after ingestion by grazing mammals. After killing the host, B. anthracis cells return to the soil where they sporulate, completing the lifecycle of the bacterium. Here we present the first study describing temporal microbial soil community changes in Etosha National Park, Namibia, after decomposition of two plains zebra (Equus quagga) anthrax carcasses. To circumvent state-associated-challenges (i.e. vegetative cells/spores) we monitored B. anthracis throughout the period using cultivation, qPCR and shotgun metagenomic sequencing. The combined results suggest that abundance estimation of spore-forming bacteria in their natural habitat by DNA-based approaches alone is insufficient due to poor recovery of DNA from spores. However, our combined approached allowed us to follow B. anthracis population dynamics (vegetative cells and spores) in the soil, along with closely related organisms from the B. cereus group, despite their high sequence similarity. Vegetative B. anthracis abundance peaked early in the time-series and then dropped when cells either sporulated or died. The time-series revealed that after carcass deposition, the typical semi-arid soil community (e.g. Frankiales and Rhizobiales species) becomes temporarily dominated by the orders Bacillales and Pseudomonadales, known to contain plant growth-promoting species. Our work indicates that complementing DNA based approaches with cultivation may give a more complete picture of the ecology of spore forming pathogens. Furthermore, the results suggests that the increased vegetation biomass production found at carcass sites is due to both added nutrients and the proliferation of microbial taxa that can be beneficial for plant growth. Thus, future B. anthracis transmission events at carcass sites may be

  1. The evaluation of clinical and laboratory findings of 63 inpatient with cutaneous anthrax: Characteristics of cutaneous anthrax in Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hatice Uce Özkol

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Background and Design: Despite a very uncommon disease in developed countries, cutaneous anthrax (CA is currently endemic in our countries. In this study, we aimed to bring out characteristic of anthrax of Turkey by comparing our results and the other CA reports in Turkey. Materials and Methods: Sixty three inpatients with CA between October 2009 and December 2012 were investigated retrospectively. All patients were diagnosed CA by clinical finding and/or microbiological examination. The demographic characteristics patient, routine tests, wound culture and gram staining results were recorded. Results were recorded on statistical program of SPSS 13.0 and were written using percent (%. Results: There were 63 inpatients (41 female (65.1%, 22 male (34.9%, mean age 35.9 years range10-83. Forty nine patients (77.8% had a history of contact with animals or animal product. Thirty-eight (60.3% and twenty-one (33.3% patients were found in the summer and fall season, respectively. Gram staining and culture were performed in 51 patients. Gram-positive bacilli were detected in 17 patients (33.3% by gram smear. Bacillus anthracis bacilli were produced in 11 patients (21.5% in cultures test. The lesions were mostly seen on the left hand (30.2%. Penicillin was most frequently preferred in treatment of CA (87.3%. Conclusion: CA is still endemic in Eastern Anatolia and continues to increase in recent years. Women living in the villages in which income is obtained from buying and selling of animals constitute the most important risk group. Preventive actions such as training of the risky society, vaccination of animals, and obstructing of illegal animal entries across the border, will reduce the incidence of CA.

  2. Marine and freshwater toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hungerford, James M

    2006-01-01

    In a very busy and exciting year, 2005 included First Action approval of a much needed official method for paralytic shellfish toxins and multiple international toxin symposia highlighted by groundbreaking research. These are the first-year milestones and activities of the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force and Analytical Community. Inaugurated in 2004 and described in detail in last year's General Referee Report (1) this international toxins group has grown to 150 members from many regions and countries. Perhaps most important they are now making important and global contributions to food safety and to providing alternatives to animal-based assays. Official Method 2005.06 was first approved in late 2004 by the Task Force and subsequently Official First Action in 2005 (2) by the Methods Committee on Natural Toxins and Food Allergens and the Official Methods Board. This nonproprietary method (3) is a precolumn oxidation, liquid chromatographic method that makes good use of fluorescence detection to provide high sensitivity detection of the saxitoxins. It has also proven to be rugged enough for regulatory use and the highest level of validation. As pointed out in the report of method principle investigator and Study Director James Lawrence, approval of 2005.06 now provides the first official alternative to the mouse bioassay after many decades of shellfish monitoring. This past year in April 2005 the group also held their first international conference, "Marine and Freshwater Toxins Analysis: Ist Joint Symposium and AOAC Task Force Meeting," in Baiona, Spain. The 4-day conference consisted of research and stakeholder presentations and symposium-integrated subgroup sessions on ciguatoxins, saxitoxin assays and liquid chromatography (LC) methods for saxitoxins and domoic acids, okadaiates and azaspiracids, and yessotoxins. Many of these subgroups were recently formed in 2005 and are working towards their goals of producing officially validated analytical methods

  3. Assessment of listing and categorisation of animal diseases within the framework of the Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) No 2016/429): anthrax

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare; More, Simon J.; Bøtner, Anette

    2017-01-01

    Anthrax has been assessed according to the criteria of the Animal Health Law (AHL), in particular criteria of Article 7 on disease profile and impacts, Article 5 on the eligibility of anthrax to be listed, Article 9 for the categorisation of anthrax according to disease prevention and control rul...... species to be listed for anthrax according to Article 8(3) are several species of mammals, birds and reptiles, and susceptible herbivores and pigs as reservoir....

  4. Lethal mechanisms in gastric volvulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omond, Kimberley J; Byard, Roger W

    2017-01-01

    A 55-year-old wheelchair-bound woman with severe cerebral palsy was found at autopsy to have marked distention of the stomach due to a volvulus. The stomach was viable, and filled with air and fluid and had pushed the left dome of the diaphragm upwards causing marked compression of the left lung with a mediastinal shift to the right (including the heart). There was no evidence of gastric perforation, ischaemic necrosis or peritonitis. Removal of the organ block revealed marked kyphoscoliosis. Histology confirmed the viability of the stomach and biochemistry showed no dehydration. Death in cases of acute gastric volvulus usually occurs because of compromise of the gastric blood supply resulting in ischaemic necrosis with distention from swallowed air and fluid resulting in perforation with lethal peritonitis. Hypovolaemic shock may also occur. However, the current case demonstrates an alternative lethal mechanism, that of respiratory compromise due to marked thoracic organ compression.

  5. Historical evolution of human anthrax from occupational disease to potentially global threat as bioweapon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amelio, Enrico; Gentile, Bernardina; Lista, Florigio; D'Amelio, Raffaele

    2015-12-01

    Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, which can naturally infect livestock, wildlife and occupationally exposed humans. However, for its resistance due to spore formation, ease of dissemination, persistence in the environment and high virulence, B. anthracis has been considered the most serious bioterrorism agent for a long time. During the last century anthrax evolved from limited natural disease to potentially global threat if used as bioweapon. Several factors may mitigate the consequences of an anthrax attack, including 1. the capability to promptly recognize and manage the illness and its public health consequences; 2. the limitation of secondary contamination risk through an appropriate decontamination; and 3. the evolution of genotyping methods (for microbes characterization at high resolution level) that can influence the course and/or focus of investigations, impacting the response of the government to an attack. A PubMed search has been done using the key words “bioterrorism anthrax”. Over one thousand papers have been screened and the most significant examined to present a comprehensive literature review in order to discuss the current knowledge and strategies in preparedness for a possible deliberate release of B. anthracis spores and to indicate the most current and complete documents in which to deepen. The comprehensive analysis of the two most relevant unnatural anthrax release events, Sverdlovsk in the former Soviet Union (1979) and the contaminated letters in the USA (2001), shows that inhalational anthrax may easily and cheaply be spread resulting in serious consequences. The damage caused by an anthrax attack can be limited if public health organization, first responders, researchers and investigators will be able to promptly manage anthrax cases and use new technologies for decontamination methods and in forensic microbiology.

  6. Monte Carlo N-particle simulation of neutron-based sterilisation of anthrax contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, B; Xu, J; Liu, T; Ouyang, X

    2012-10-01

    To simulate the neutron-based sterilisation of anthrax contamination by Monte Carlo N-particle (MCNP) 4C code. Neutrons are elementary particles that have no charge. They are 20 times more effective than electrons or γ-rays in killing anthrax spores on surfaces and inside closed containers. Neutrons emitted from a (252)Cf neutron source are in the 100 keV to 2 MeV energy range. A 2.5 MeV D-D neutron generator can create neutrons at up to 10(13) n s(-1) with current technology. All these enable an effective and low-cost method of killing anthrax spores. There is no effect on neutron energy deposition on the anthrax sample when using a reflector that is thicker than its saturation thickness. Among all three reflecting materials tested in the MCNP simulation, paraffin is the best because it has the thinnest saturation thickness and is easy to machine. The MCNP radiation dose and fluence simulation calculation also showed that the MCNP-simulated neutron fluence that is needed to kill the anthrax spores agrees with previous analytical estimations very well. The MCNP simulation indicates that a 10 min neutron irradiation from a 0.5 g (252)Cf neutron source or a 1 min neutron irradiation from a 2.5 MeV D-D neutron generator may kill all anthrax spores in a sample. This is a promising result because a 2.5 MeV D-D neutron generator output >10(13) n s(-1) should be attainable in the near future. This indicates that we could use a D-D neutron generator to sterilise anthrax contamination within several seconds.

  7. Toxins of filamentous fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Deepak; Yu, Jiujiang; Ehrlich, Kenneth C

    2002-01-01

    Mycotoxins are low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites of fungi. The most significant mycotoxins are contaminants of agricultural commodities, foods and feeds. Fungi that produce these toxins do so both prior to harvest and during storage. Although contamination of commodities by toxigenic fungi occurs frequently in areas with a hot and humid climate (i.e. conditions favorable for fungal growth), they can also be found in temperate conditions. Production of mycotoxins is dependent upon the type of producing fungus and environmental conditions such as the substrate, water activity (moisture and relative humidity), duration of exposure to stress conditions and microbial, insect or other animal interactions. Although outbreaks of mycotoxicoses in humans have been documented, several of these have not been well characterized, neither has a direct correlation between the mycotoxin and resulting toxic effect been well established in vivo. Even though the specific modes of action of most of the toxins are not well established, acute and chronic effects in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, including humans have been reported. The toxicity of the mycotoxins varies considerably with the toxin, the animal species exposed to it, and the extent of exposure, age and nutritional status. Most of the toxic effects of mycotoxins are limited to specific organs, but several mycotoxins affect many organs. Induction of cancer by some mycotoxins is a major concern as a chronic effect of these toxins. It is nearly impossible to eliminate mycotoxins from the foods and feed in spite of the regulatory efforts at the national and international levels to remove the contaminated commodities. This is because mycotoxins are highly stable compounds, the producing fungi are ubiquitous, and food contamination can occur both before and after harvest. Nevertheless, good farm management practices and adequate storage facilities minimize the toxin contamination problems. Current research is

  8. Diminished but Not Abolished Effect of Two His351 Mutants of Anthrax Edema Factor in a Murine Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Taoran; Zhao, Xinghui; Liu, Ju; Meng, Yingying; Feng, Yingying; Fang, Ting; Zhang, Jinlong; Yang, Xiuxu; Li, Jianmin; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Edema toxin (ET), which is composed of a potent adenylate cyclase (AC), edema factor (EF), and protective antigen (PA), is one of the major toxicity factors of Bacillus anthracis. In this study, we introduced mutations in full-length EF to generate alanine EF(H351A) and arginine EF(H351R) variants. In vitro activity analysis displayed that the adenylyl cyclase activity of both the mutants was significantly diminished compared with the wild-type EF. When the native and mutant toxins were administered subcutaneously in a mouse footpad edema model, severe acute swelling was evoked by wild-type ET, while the symptoms induced by mutant toxins were very minor. Systemic administration of these EF variants caused non-lethal hepatotoxicity. In addition, EF(H351R) exhibited slightly higher activity in causing more severe edema than EF(H351A). Our findings demonstrate that the toxicity of ET is not abolished by substitution of EF residue His351 by alanine or arginine. These results also indicate the potential of the mouse footpad edema model as a sensitive method for evaluating both ET toxicity and the efficacy of candidate therapeutic agents. PMID:26848687

  9. Mass Spectrometric Identification and Differentiation of Botulinum Neurotoxins through Toxin Proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Barr, John R

    2013-08-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the disease botulism, which can be lethal if untreated. There are seven known serotypes of BoNT, A-G, defined by their response to antisera. Many serotypes are distinguished into differing subtypes based on amino acid sequence and immunogenic properties, and some subtypes are further differentiated into toxin variants. Toxin characterization is important as different types of BoNT can respond differently to medical countermeasures for botulism, and characterization of the toxin can aid in epidemiologic and forensic investigations. Proteomic techniques have been established to determine the serotype, subtype, or toxin variant of BoNT. These techniques involve digestion of the toxin into peptides, tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analysis of the peptides, and database searching to identify the BoNT protein. These techniques demonstrate the capability to detect BoNT and its neurotoxin-associated proteins, and differentiate the toxin from other toxins which are up to 99.9% identical in some cases. This differentiation can be accomplished from toxins present in a complex matrix such as stool, food, or bacterial cultures and no DNA is required.

  10. Headache and botulinum toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Porta, M.; Camerlingo, M.

    2005-01-01

    The authors discuss clinical and international experience about botulinum toxins (BTX types A and B) in headache treatment. Data from literature suggest good results for the treatment of tensiontype headache, migraine and chronic tension–type headache. In the present paper mechanisms of action and injection sites will also be discussed.

  11. Botulinum Toxin for Rhinitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozcan, Cengiz; Ismi, Onur

    2016-08-01

    Rhinitis is a common clinical entity. Besides nasal obstruction, itching, and sneezing, one of the most important symptoms of rhinitis is nasal hypersecretion produced by nasal glands and exudate from the nasal vascular bed. Allergic rhinitis is an IgE-mediated inflammatory reaction of nasal mucosa after exposure to environmental allergens. Idiopathic rhinitis describes rhinitis symptoms that occur after non-allergic, noninfectious irritants. Specific allergen avoidance, topical nasal decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, immunotherapy, and sinonasal surgery are the main treatment options. Because the current treatment modalities are not enough for reducing rhinorrhea in some patients, novel treatment options are required to solve this problem. Botulinum toxin is an exotoxin generated by Clostridium botulinum. It disturbs the signal transmission at the neuromuscular and neuroglandular junction by inhibiting the acetylcholine release from the presynaptic nerve terminal. It has been widely used in neuromuscular, hypersecretory, and autonomic nerve system disorders. There have been a lot of published articles concerning the effect of this toxin on rhinitis symptoms. Based on the results of these reports, intranasal botulinum toxin A administration appears to be a safe and effective treatment method for decreasing rhinitis symptoms in rhinitis patients with a long-lasting effect. Botulinum toxin type A will be a good treatment option for the chronic rhinitis patients who are resistant to other treatment methods.

  12. Diffusion of Botulinum Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A. Brodsky

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: It is generally agreed that diffusion of botulinum toxin occurs, but the extent of the spread and its clinical importance are disputed. Many factors have been suggested to play a role but which have the most clinical relevance is a subject of much discussion.Methods: This review discusses the variables affecting diffusion, including protein composition and molecular size as well as injection factors (e.g., volume, dose, injection method. It also discusses data on diffusion from comparative studies in animal models and human clinical trials that illustrate differences between the available botulinum toxin products (onabotulinumtoxinA, abobotulinumtoxinA, incobotulinumtoxinA, and rimabotulinumtoxinB.Results: Neither molecular weight nor the presence of complexing proteins appears to affect diffusion; however, injection volume, concentration, and dose all play roles and are modifiable. Both animal and human studies show that botulinum toxin products are not interchangeable, and that some products are associated with greater diffusion and higher rates of diffusion-related adverse events than others.Discussion: Each of the botulinum toxins is a unique pharmacologic entity. A working knowledge of the different serotypes is essential to avoid unwanted diffusion-related adverse events. In addition, clinicians should be aware that the factors influencing diffusion may range from properties intrinsic to the drug to accurate muscle selection as well as dilution, volume, and dose injected.

  13. Topical Botulinum Toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Collins, Ashley; Nasir, Adnan

    2010-01-01

    Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing discipline that capitalizes on the unique properties of matter engineered on the nanoscale. Vehicles incorporating nanotechnology have led to great strides in drug delivery, allowing for increased active ingredient stability, bioavailability, and site-specific targeting. Botulinum toxin has historically been used for the correction of neurological and neuromuscular disorders, such as torticollis, blepharospasm, and strabismus. Recent dermatological indicati...

  14. Anthrax does not forgive mistakes: the information assessment following the yamal peninsula outbreak in the summer of 2016

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. V. Shestakova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available For the first time in a long time period the sources of actual information about anthrax in Russia and in the world are systematized. The essence of the problem, features of epidemiology and clinical manifestations of the current forms of anthrax disease are analyzed. The upgraded classification of anthrax is presented, the clinical manifestations of oro-oropharyngeal varieties of intestinal form and injectable form of anthrax are described, according to extensive literature data and international guidelines and recommendations. The recommendations for clinical management of patients and diagnosis of disease are given. The need for strict compliance to the vaccination requirements of anthrax among animals and persons from risk groups is proven.

  15. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee Shen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6, which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.

  16. Modeling the environmental suitability of anthrax in Ghana and estimating populations at risk: Implications for vaccination and control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kracalik, Ian T; Kenu, Ernest; Ayamdooh, Evans Nsoh; Allegye-Cudjoe, Emmanuel; Polkuu, Paul Nokuma; Frimpong, Joseph Asamoah; Nyarko, Kofi Mensah; Bower, William A; Traxler, Rita; Blackburn, Jason K

    2017-10-01

    Anthrax is hyper-endemic in West Africa. Despite the effectiveness of livestock vaccines in controlling anthrax, underreporting, logistics, and limited resources makes implementing vaccination campaigns difficult. To better understand the geographic limits of anthrax, elucidate environmental factors related to its occurrence, and identify human and livestock populations at risk, we developed predictive models of the environmental suitability of anthrax in Ghana. We obtained data on the location and date of livestock anthrax from veterinary and outbreak response records in Ghana during 2005-2016, as well as livestock vaccination registers and population estimates of characteristically high-risk groups. To predict the environmental suitability of anthrax, we used an ensemble of random forest (RF) models built using a combination of climatic and environmental factors. From 2005 through the first six months of 2016, there were 67 anthrax outbreaks (851 cases) in livestock; outbreaks showed a seasonal peak during February through April and primarily involved cattle. There was a median of 19,709 vaccine doses [range: 0-175 thousand] administered annually. Results from the RF model suggest a marked ecological divide separating the broad areas of environmental suitability in northern Ghana from the southern part of the country. Increasing alkaline soil pH was associated with a higher probability of anthrax occurrence. We estimated 2.2 (95% CI: 2.0, 2.5) million livestock and 805 (95% CI: 519, 890) thousand low income rural livestock keepers were located in anthrax risk areas. Based on our estimates, the current anthrax vaccination efforts in Ghana cover a fraction of the livestock potentially at risk, thus control efforts should be focused on improving vaccine coverage among high risk groups.

  17. Modeling the environmental suitability of anthrax in Ghana and estimating populations at risk: Implications for vaccination and control.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian T Kracalik

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is hyper-endemic in West Africa. Despite the effectiveness of livestock vaccines in controlling anthrax, underreporting, logistics, and limited resources makes implementing vaccination campaigns difficult. To better understand the geographic limits of anthrax, elucidate environmental factors related to its occurrence, and identify human and livestock populations at risk, we developed predictive models of the environmental suitability of anthrax in Ghana. We obtained data on the location and date of livestock anthrax from veterinary and outbreak response records in Ghana during 2005-2016, as well as livestock vaccination registers and population estimates of characteristically high-risk groups. To predict the environmental suitability of anthrax, we used an ensemble of random forest (RF models built using a combination of climatic and environmental factors. From 2005 through the first six months of 2016, there were 67 anthrax outbreaks (851 cases in livestock; outbreaks showed a seasonal peak during February through April and primarily involved cattle. There was a median of 19,709 vaccine doses [range: 0-175 thousand] administered annually. Results from the RF model suggest a marked ecological divide separating the broad areas of environmental suitability in northern Ghana from the southern part of the country. Increasing alkaline soil pH was associated with a higher probability of anthrax occurrence. We estimated 2.2 (95% CI: 2.0, 2.5 million livestock and 805 (95% CI: 519, 890 thousand low income rural livestock keepers were located in anthrax risk areas. Based on our estimates, the current anthrax vaccination efforts in Ghana cover a fraction of the livestock potentially at risk, thus control efforts should be focused on improving vaccine coverage among high risk groups.

  18. Anthrax Sampling and Decontamination: Technology Trade-Offs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Price, Phillip N.; Hamachi, Kristina; McWilliams, Jennifer; Sohn, Michael D.

    2008-09-12

    The goal of this project was to answer the following questions concerning response to a future anthrax release (or suspected release) in a building: 1. Based on past experience, what rules of thumb can be determined concerning: (a) the amount of sampling that may be needed to determine the extent of contamination within a given building; (b) what portions of a building should be sampled; (c) the cost per square foot to decontaminate a given type of building using a given method; (d) the time required to prepare for, and perform, decontamination; (e) the effectiveness of a given decontamination method in a given type of building? 2. Based on past experience, what resources will be spent on evaluating the extent of contamination, performing decontamination, and assessing the effectiveness of the decontamination in abuilding of a given type and size? 3. What are the trade-offs between cost, time, and effectiveness for the various sampling plans, sampling methods, and decontamination methods that have been used in the past?

  19. Naturally acquired anthrax antibodies in a cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in Botswana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Good, Kyle M; Houser, Annmarie; Arntzen, Lorraine; Turnbull, Peter C B

    2008-07-01

    An outbreak of anthrax in the Jwana Game Reserve in Jwaneng, Botswana, was first observed when three cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) died of the disease in November 2004. In the aftermath of this event, banked serum samples collected from 23 wild-caught cheetahs were examined, by the inhibition enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), for antibodies to the protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis. Of the 23 cheetahs, 16 regularly accessed the reserve. Antibodies to PA were detected in one cheetah collected in May 2004, indicating the disease was occurring well before it was first noticed. This appears to be the first demonstration of naturally acquired anthrax antibodies in cheetahs. The finding of one antibody-positive animal amongst at least 16 potentially exposed individuals is consistent with existing reports that it is uncommon for cheetahs to develop natural immunity to anthrax.

  20. Recombinant protective antigen 102 (rPA102): profile of a second-generation anthrax vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keitel, Wendy A

    2006-08-01

    Recent terrorist attacks involving the use of Bacillus anthracis spores have stimulated interest in the development of new vaccines for anthrax prevention. Studies of the pathogenesis of anthrax and of the immune responses following infection and immunization underscore the pivotal role that antibodies to the protective antigen play in protection. The most promising vaccine candidates contain purified recombinant protective antigen. Clinical trials of one of these, recombinant protective antigen (rPA)102, are underway. Initial results suggest that rPA102 is well tolerated and immunogenic. Additional trials are necessary to identify optimal formulations and immunization regimens for pre- and postexposure prophylaxis. Future licensure of these and other candidate vaccines will depend on their safety and immunogenicity profiles in humans, and their ability to confer protection in animal models of inhalational anthrax.

  1. Patient and family physician preferences for care and communication in the eventuality of anthrax terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahan, Ernesto; Fogelman, Yacov; Kitai, Eliezer; Vinker, Shlomo

    2003-08-01

    The threat of bioterrorism consequent to the September 11, 2001 attack in the USA generated suggestions for improved medical response mainly through hospital preparedness. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of this period of tension on patients' first choice for care and for receiving relevant information, and on primary care doctors' feelings of responsibility in the eventuality of an anthrax attack. During October 11-31, 2001, 500 patients from 30 clinics throughout Israel were asked to complete a questionnaire on their awareness of the anthrax threat, measures taken to prepare for it, and preferred sources of care and information. Their 30 physicians, and an additional 20, completed a questionnaire on knowledge about anthrax and anthrax-related patient behaviours and clinic visits. The outstanding finding was the low rate (30%) of patients who chose the hospital emergency department as their first choice for care or information if they were worried about an anthrax attack or the media communicated that an attack was in progress. The other two-thirds preferred their family doctor or the health authorities. Most of the physicians (89%) felt it was their responsibility to treat anthrax-infected patients and that they should therefore be supplied with appropriate guidelines. This study suggests that in Israel, a country with a high degree of awareness of civil defence aspects, both patients and primary care doctors believe that family physicians should have a major role in the case of bioterrorist attacks. This must be seriously considered during formulation of relevant health services programmes.

  2. Electroshock weapons can be lethal!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundquist, Marjorie

    2008-03-01

    Electroshock weapons (EWs)-stun guns, tasers, riot shields-are electroconductive devices designed to safely incapacitate healthy men neuromuscularly, so they are called nonlethal or less-lethal. EW firms seeking large nonmilitary markets targeted law enforcement and corrections personnel, who began using EWs in prisons/jails and on public patrol in 1980 in the USA. This shifted the EW-shocked population from healthy soldiers to a heterogeneous mix of both sexes, ages 6-92, in a wide variety of health conditions! An EW operates by disrupting normal physiological processes, producing transient effects in healthy people. But if a person's health is sufficiently compromised, the margin of safety can be lost, resulting in death or permanent health problems. 325 people have died after EW shock since 1980. Did the EW cause these deaths? Evidence indicates that EWs do play a causal role in most such deaths. EWs can be lethal for people in diabetic shock^1 (hypoglycemia), which may be why Robert Dziekanski-a Polish immigrant to Canada-died so quickly after he was tasered at Vancouver Airport: not having eaten for over 10 hours, he likely was severely hypoglycemic. The EW death rate in North America is 30 times higher than need be, because EW users have not been properly trained to use EWs on a heterogeneous population safely! ^1J. Clinical Engineering 30(3):111(2005).

  3. An insecticidal toxin from Nephila clavata spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Lin; Fang, Mingqian; Chen, Mengrou; Zhou, Chunling; Ombati, Rose; Hakim, Md Abdul; Mo, Guoxiang; Lai, Ren; Yan, Xiuwen; Wang, Yumin; Yang, Shilong

    2017-07-01

    Spiders are the most successful insect predators given that they use their venom containing insecticidal peptides as biochemical weapons for preying. Due to the high specificity and potency of peptidic toxins, discoveries of insecticidal toxins from spider venom have provided an opportunity to obtain natural compounds for agricultural applications without affecting human health. In this study, a novel insecticidal toxin (μ-NPTX-Nc1a) was identified and characterized from the venom of Nephila clavata. Its primary sequence is GCNPDCTGIQCGWPRCPGGQNPVMDKCVSCCPFCPPKSAQG which was determined by automated Edman degradation, cDNA cloning, and MS/MS analysis. BLAST search indicated that Nc1a shows no similarity with known peptides or proteins, indicating that Nc1a belongs to a novel family of insecticidal peptide. Nc1a displayed inhibitory effects on Na V and K V channels in cockroach dorsal unpaired median neurons. The median lethal dose (LD50) of Nc1a on cockroach was 573 ng/g. Herein, a study that identifies a novel insecticidal toxin, which can be a potential candidate and/or template for the development of bioinsecticides, is presented.

  4. Toxins and drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. Copyright © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Effect of lethal and sub-lethal concentrations of tobacco (Nicotiana ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lethal and sub-lethal bioassays on Clarias gariepinus were conducted to evaluate the toxicity of tobacco (Nicotiana tobaccum) leaf dust on weight gain and haematological indices of Clarias gariepinus (mean weight 10.5±0.70g) in glass aquaria with aeration system. The concentrations used during the lethal exposure are: ...

  6. Defining Moments in MMWR History: CDC’s Response to Intentional Release of Anthrax - 2001

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-10-12

    On October 4, 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, DC, the Palm Beach County Health Department, the Florida State Department of Health, and CDC reported a case of anthrax in a 63-year-old man from Florida. This case was first reported in MMWR and marked the beginning of a series of anthrax cases that resulted from intentional delivery of Bacillus anthracis spores sent through the mail. In this podcast, Dr. Sherif Zaki recalls CDC’s investigation and response to the anthrax attacks.  Created: 10/12/2017 by MMWR.   Date Released: 10/12/2017.

  7. The anthrax vaccine and research: reactions from postal workers and public health professionals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Sandra Crouse; Thomas, Tammy; Kumar, Supriya

    2008-12-01

    During the 2001 anthrax attacks, public health agencies faced operational and communication decisions about the use of antibiotic prophylaxis and the anthrax vaccine with affected groups, including postal workers. This communication occurred within an evolving situation with incomplete and uncertain data. Guidelines for prophylactic antibiotics changed several times, contributing to confusion and mistrust. At the end of 60 days of taking antibiotics, people were offered an additional 40 days' supply of antibiotics, with or without the anthrax vaccine, the former constituting an investigational new drug protocol. Using data from interviews and focus groups with 65 postal workers in 3 sites and structured interviews with 16 public health professionals, this article examines the challenges for public health professionals who were responsible for communication with postal workers about the vaccine. Multiple factors affected the response, including a lack of trust, risk perception, disagreement about the recommendation, and the controversy over the military's use of the vaccine. Some postal workers reacted with suspicion to the vaccine offer, believing that they were the subjects of research, and some African American workers specifically drew an analogy to the Tuskegee syphilis study. The consent forms required for the protocol heightened mistrust. Postal workers also had complex and ambivalent responses to additional research on their health. The anthrax attacks present us with an opportunity to understand the challenges of communication in the context of uncertain science and suggest key strategies that may improve communications about vaccines and other drugs authorized for experimental use in future public health emergencies.

  8. Analysis of anthrax and plague biowarfare vaccine interactions with human monocyte-derived dendritic cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Skowera, Anna; de Jong, Esther C.; Schuitemaker, Joost H. N.; Allen, Jennifer S.; Wessely, Simon C.; Griffiths, Gareth; Kapsenberg, Martien; Peakman, Mark

    2005-01-01

    The anti-biowarfare anthrax and plague vaccines require repeated dosing to achieve adequate protection. To test the hypothesis that this limited immunogenicity results from the nature of vaccine interactions with the host innate immune system, we investigated molecular and cellular interactions

  9. Anthrax in America: A Chronology and Analysis of the Fall 2001 Attacks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-11-01

    Glenville, CT, 55 miles west of Oxford. • Officials confirm that the anthrax spores in a letter received by Santiago, Chile pediatrician Antonio Barfi were...process of opening the Leahy letter after two weeks of planning and rehearsals. In charge is John Ezzell , a man described by the Weekend Australian as

  10. AN ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY VERIFICATION (ETV) TESTING OF THREE IMMUNOASSAY TEST KITS FOR ANTHRAX, BOTULINUM TOXIN AND RICIN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immunoassay test kits are based on immunoassay methods, where specific antibodies are used to detect and measure the contaminants of interest. Immunoassay test kits rely on the reaction of a contaminant or antigen with a selective antibody to give a product that can be measures....

  11. The toxins of Cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patocka, J

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacteria, formerly called "blue-green algae", are simple, primitive photosynthetic microorganism wide occurrence in fresh, brackish and salt waters. Forty different genera of Cyanobacteria are known and many of them are producers of potent toxins responsible for a wide array of human illnesses, aquatic mammal and bird morbidity and mortality, and extensive fish kills. These cyanotoxins act as neurotoxins or hepatotoxins and are structurally and functionally diverse, and many are derived from unique biosynthetic pathways. All known cyanotoxins and their chemical and toxicological characteristics are presented in this article.

  12. Antiradiation Vaccine: Immunological neutralization of Radiation Toxins at Acute Radiation Syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Introduction: Current medical management of the Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) does not include immune prophylaxis based on the Antiradiation Vaccine. Existing principles for the treatment of acute radiation syndromes are based on the replacement and supportive therapy. Haemotopoietic cell transplantation is recomended as an important method of treatment of a Haemopoietic form of the ARS. Though in the different hospitals and institutions, 31 pa-tients with a haemopoietic form have previously undergone transplantation with stem cells, in all cases(100%) the transplantants were rejected. Lethality rate was 87%.(N.Daniak et al. 2005). A large amount of biological substances or antigens isolated from bacterias (flagellin and derivates), plants, different types of venom (honeybees, scorpions, snakes) have been studied. This biological active substances can produce a nonspecific stimulation of immune system of mammals and protect against of mild doses of irradiation. But their radioprotection efficacy against high doses of radiation were not sufficient. Relative radioprotection characteristics or adaptive properties of antioxidants were expressed only at mild doses of radiation. However antioxidants demonstrated a very low protective efficacy at high doses of radiation. Some ex-periments demonstrated even a harmful effect of antioxidants administered to animals that had severe forms of the ARS. Only Specific Radiation Toxins roused a specific antigenic stim-ulation of antibody synthesis. An active immunization by non-toxic doses of radiation toxins includes a complex of radiation toxins that we call the Specific Radiation Determinant (SRD). Immunization must be provided not less than 24 days before irradiation and it is effective up to three years and more. Active immunization by radiation toxins significantly reduces the mortality rate (100%) and improves survival rate up to 60% compare with the 0% sur-vival rate among the irradiated animals in control groups

  13. Lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, C.G.; Armstrong, G.D. (Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton (Canada))

    1990-12-01

    We have investigated human T-lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin by affinity isolation and photoaffinity labeling procedures. T lymphocytes were obtained from peripheral human blood, surface iodinated, and solubilized in Triton X-100. The iodinated mixture was then passed through pertussis toxin-agarose, and the fractions were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Autoradiography of the fixed, dried gels revealed several bands in the pertussis toxin-bound fraction that were not observed in fractions obtained from histone or fetuin-agarose. Further investigations employed a photoaffinity labeling reagent, sulfosuccinimidyl 2-(p-azido-salicylamido)-1,3'-dithiopropionate, to identify pertussis toxin receptors in freshly isolated peripheral blood monocytic cells, T lymphocytes, and Jurkat cells. In all three cell systems, the pertussis toxin affinity probe specifically labeled a single protein species with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000 that was not observed when the procedure was performed in the presence of excess unmodified pertussis toxin. A protein comparable in molecular weight to the one detected by the photoaffinity labeling technique was also observed among the species that bound to pertussis toxin-agarose. The results suggest that pertussis toxin may bind to a 70,000-Da receptor in human T lymphocytes.

  14. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Benhar

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin.

  15. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  16. A simple electroelution method for rapid protein purification: isolation and antibody production of alpha toxin from Clostridium septicum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena Vázquez-Iglesias

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium septicum produces a number of diseases in human and farm animals which, in most of the cases, are fatal without clinical intervention. Alpha toxin is an important agent and the unique lethal virulent factor produced by Clostridium septicum. This toxin is haemolytic, highly lethal and necrotizing activities but is being used as an antigen to develop animal vaccines. The aim of this study was to isolate the alpha toxin of Clostridium septicum and produce highly specific antibodies against it. In this work, we have developed a simple and efficient method for alpha toxin purification, based on electroelution that can be used as a time-saving method for purifying proteins. This technique avoids contamination by other proteins that could appear during other protein purification techniques such chromatography. The highly purified toxin was used to produce polyclonal antibodies. The specificity of the antibodies was tested by western blot and these antibodies can be applied to the quantitative determination of alpha toxin by slot blot.

  17. Development of a recombinant toxin fragment vaccine for Clostridium difficile infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karczewski, Jerzy; Zorman, Julie; Wang, Su; Miezeiewski, Matthew; Xie, Jinfu; Soring, Keri; Petrescu, Ioan; Rogers, Irene; Thiriot, David S; Cook, James C; Chamberlin, Mihaela; Xoconostle, Rachel F; Nahas, Debbie D; Joyce, Joseph G; Bodmer, Jean-Luc; Heinrichs, Jon H; Secore, Susan

    2014-05-19

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis, a disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The disease is mostly of nosocomial origin, with elderly patients undergoing anti-microbial therapy being particularly at risk. C. difficile produces two large toxins: Toxin A (TcdA) and Toxin B (TcdB). The two toxins act synergistically to damage and impair the colonic epithelium, and are primarily responsible for the pathogenesis associated with CDI. The feasibility of toxin-based vaccination against C. difficile is being vigorously investigated. A vaccine based on formaldehyde-inactivated Toxin A and Toxin B (toxoids) was reported to be safe and immunogenic in healthy volunteers and is now undergoing evaluation in clinical efficacy trials. In order to eliminate cytotoxic effects, a chemical inactivation step must be included in the manufacturing process of this toxin-based vaccine. In addition, the large-scale production of highly toxic antigens could be a challenging and costly process. Vaccines based on non-toxic fragments of genetically engineered versions of the toxins alleviate most of these limitations. We have evaluated a vaccine assembled from two recombinant fragments of TcdB and explored their potential as components of a novel experimental vaccine against CDI. Golden Syrian hamsters vaccinated with recombinant fragments of TcdB combined with full length TcdA (Toxoid A) developed high titer IgG responses and potent neutralizing antibody titers. We also show here that the recombinant vaccine protected animals against lethal challenge with C. difficile spores, with efficacy equivalent to the toxoid vaccine. The development of a two-segment recombinant vaccine could provide several advantages over toxoid TcdA/TcdB such as improvements in manufacturability. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Filaggrin-dependent secretion of sphingomyelinase protects against staphylococcal α-toxin-induced keratinocyte death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauweiler, Anne M; Bin, Lianghua; Kim, Byung Eui; Oyoshi, Michiko K; Geha, Raif S; Goleva, Elena; Leung, Donald Y M

    2013-02-01

    The skin of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) has defects in keratinocyte differentiation, particularly in expression of the epidermal barrier protein filaggrin. AD skin lesions are often exacerbated by Staphylococcus aureus-mediated secretion of the virulence factor α-toxin. It is unknown whether lack of keratinocyte differentiation predisposes to enhanced lethality from staphylococcal toxins. We investigated whether keratinocyte differentiation and filaggrin expression protect against cell death induced by staphylococcal α-toxin. Filaggrin-deficient primary keratinocytes were generated through small interfering RNA gene knockdown. RNA expression was determined by using real-time PCR. Cell death was determined by using the lactate dehydrogenase assay. Keratinocyte cell survival in filaggrin-deficient (ft/ft) mouse skin biopsies was determined based on Keratin 5 staining. α-Toxin heptamer formation and acid sphingomyelinase expression were determined by means of immunoblotting. We found that filaggrin expression, occurring as the result of keratinocyte differentiation, significantly inhibits staphylococcal α-toxin-mediated pathogenicity. Furthermore, filaggrin plays a crucial role in protecting cells by mediating the secretion of sphingomyelinase, an enzyme that reduces the number of α-toxin binding sites on the keratinocyte surface. Finally, we determined that sphingomyelinase enzymatic activity directly prevents α-toxin binding and protects keratinocytes against α-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. The current study introduces the novel concept that S aureus α-toxin preferentially targets and destroys filaggrin-deficient keratinocytes. It also provides a mechanism to explain the increased propensity for S aureus-mediated exacerbation of AD skin disease. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Clostridium difficile chimeric toxin receptor binding domain vaccine induced protection against different strains in active and passive challenge models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jing-Hui; Glenn, Gregory; Flyer, David; Zhou, Bin; Liu, Ye; Sullivan, Eddie; Wu, Hua; Cummings, James F; Elllingsworth, Larry; Smith, Gale

    2017-07-24

    Clostridium difficile is the number one cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea in developed countries. Historically, pathogenesis was attributed two homologous glucosylating toxins, toxin-A (TcdA) and toxin-B (TcdB). Over the past decade, however, highly virulent epidemic strains of C. difficile (B1/NAP1/027) have emerged and are linked to an increase in morbidity and mortality. Increased virulence is attributed to multiple factors including: increased production of A- and B-toxins; production of binary toxin (CDT); and the emergence of more toxic TcdB variants (TcdB (027) ). TcdB (027) is more cytotoxicity to cells; causes greater tissue damage and toxicity in animals; and is antigenically distinct from historical TcdB (TcdB (003) ). Broadly protective vaccines and therapeutic antibody strategies, therefore, may target TcdA, TcdB variants and CDT. To facilitate the generation of multivalent toxin-based C. difficile vaccines and therapeutic antibodies, we have generated fusion proteins constructed from the receptor binding domains (RBD) of TcdA, TcdB (003) , TcdB (027) and CDT. Herein, we describe the development of a trivalent toxin (T-toxin) vaccine (CDTb/TcdB (003) /TcdA) and quadravalent toxin (Q-toxin) vaccine (CDTb/TcB (003) /TcdA/TcdB (027) ) fusion proteins that retain the protective toxin neutralizing epitopes. Active immunization of mice or hamsters with T-toxin or Q-toxin fusion protein vaccines elicited the generation of toxin neutralizing antibodies to each of the toxins. Hamsters immunized with the Q-toxin vaccine were broadly protected against spore challenge with historical C. difficile 630 (toxinotype 0/ribotype 003) and epidemic NAP1 (toxinotype III/ribotype 027) strains. Fully human polyclonal antitoxin IgG was produced by immunization of transgenic bovine with these fusion proteins. In passive transfer studies, mice were protected against lethal toxin challenge. Hamsters treated with human antitoxin IgG were completely protected when

  20. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L.

    1990-01-01

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site

  1. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L. (Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Bethesda, MD (USA))

    1990-07-03

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site.

  2. Awareness and attitudes towards anthrax and meat consumption practices among affected communities in Zambia: A mixed methods approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doreen Chilolo Sitali

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In Zambia, human anthrax cases often occur following cases of animal anthrax. Human behaviour has been implicated in this transmission. The objective of the study was to explore human behavioural patterns that may contribute to outbreaks of anthrax among affected communities.A mixed methods study was conducted in four districts of Zambia from November 2015 to February 2016. A cross sectional survey involving 1,127 respondents, six focus group discussions and seven key informant interviews with professional staff were conducted. Descriptive statistics on socio-demographic characteristics, awareness of anthrax, attitudes towards cattle vaccination and risk factors for anthrax and vaccination practices were run using STATA 12 for analysis.Overall, 88% of respondents heard about anthrax, 85.1% were aware that anthrax is transmitted by eating infected meat and 64.2% knew that animals and humans can be infected with anthrax. However, qualitative data suggested that awareness of anthrax varied across communities. Qualitative findings also indicated that, in Western and Muchinga provinces, human anthrax was transmitted by eating infected beef and hippo (Hippopotamus amphibious meat, respectively. Although survey data indicated that 62.2% of respondents vaccinated their animals, qualitative interviews and annual vaccination reports indicated low vaccination rates, which were attributed to inadequate veterinary service provision and logistical challenges. While 82% of respondents indicated that they reported animal deaths to veterinary officers, only 13.5% of respondents buried infected carcasses. Majority (78.1% of respondents either ate, sold or shared meat from dead animals with other community members. Poverty, lack of access to meat protein and economic reasons were cited as drivers for consuming infected meat.Health education campaigns must be intensified to reduce the risk of human exposure. Veterinary extension services should be strengthened and

  3. Factors influencing circadian rhythms in acetaminophen lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, R C; Bozigian, H P; Davies, M H; Merrick, B A; Park, K S; McMillan, D A

    1984-01-01

    Experiments were conducted to examine the effects of changes in lighting schedules and food consumption on circadian rhythms in acetaminophen lethality and hepatic glutathione levels in male mice. Under a normal lighting schedule (light: 06.00-18.00 h), male mice exhibited a circadian rhythm in acetaminophen lethality (peak: 18.00 h; nadir: 06.00, 10.00 h) and an inverse rhythm in hepatic glutathione concentrations (peak: 06.00, 10.00 h; nadir: 18.00 h). Under a reversed lighting schedule (light: 18.00-06.00 h) the glutathione rhythm was reversed and the rhythm in acetaminophen lethality was altered showing greater sensitivity to the drug. Under continuous light, there was a shift in the acetaminophen lethality and the hepatic glutathione rhythms. Under continuous dark, both rhythms were abolished. Under a normal lighting regimen, hepatic glutathione levels were closely correlated with food consumption; i.e., both were increased during the dark phase and decreased during the light phase. Fasting the mice for 12 h abolished the rhythms in acetaminophen lethality and hepatic glutathione levels; moreover, the lethality was increased and the hepatic glutathione levels were decreased. These experiments show that both lighting schedules and feeding can alter the circadian rhythms in acetaminophen lethality and hepatic glutathione levels in male mice.

  4. Rapid generation of an anthrax immunotherapeutic from goats using a novel non-toxic muramyl dipeptide adjuvant

    OpenAIRE

    Kelly, Cassandra D; O'Loughlin, Chris; Gelder, Frank B; Peterson, Johnny W; Sower, Laurie E; Cirino, Nick M

    2007-01-01

    Background There is a clear need for vaccines and therapeutics for potential biological weapons of mass destruction and emerging diseases. Anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, has been used as both a biological warfare agent and bioterrorist weapon previously. Although antibiotic therapy is effective in the early stages of anthrax infection, it does not have any effect once exposed individuals become symptomatic due to B. anthracis exotoxin accumulation. The bipartite exotoxin...

  5. Collaborative study for establishment of the European Pharmacopoeia BRP batch 1 for diphtheria toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sesardic, D; Prior, C; Daas, A; Buchheit, K H

    2003-07-01

    A stable liquid candidate Biological Reference Preparation (BRP) for diphtheria toxin was prepared in peptone buffer (nominal content of diphtheria toxin: 1 Lf/ml, 0.4 micro g/ml), filled in ampoules (filling volume: 1 ml) and characterised in a collaborative study. The toxin is to be used in the test "Absence of toxin and irreversibility of toxoid" as described in the current European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) monograph Diphtheria Vaccine (Adsorbed) (2002:0443). Eleven laboratories assessed the specific activity of the preparation by in vivo and in vitro assays. The material is assumed to have satisfactory stability with a calculated predicted loss of activity of LD( 50)/ml (lethal challenge) and >75 000 Lr/Lf (intradermal challenge). The candidate BRP was successfully used in nine laboratories and confirmed suitable for use in the Vero cell test for "Absence of toxin and irreversibility of toxoid" as described in the Ph. Eur. monograph 2002:0443; i.e., concentrations of 5 x 10( -5) Lf/ml and below caused cytotoxic effects in the Vero cell test. Due to its liquid nature, the stability of the material will be monitored at regular intervals and preparation of a stable freeze-dried formulation will be considered for long-term use. Additional studies will be performed to confirm suitability of this BRP for other applications. The candidate BRP was adopted as the Ph. Eur. reference material for Diphtheria Toxin Batch 1 by the Ph. Eur. Commission at its session in March 2003.

  6. Changing patterns of human anthrax in Azerbaijan during the post-Soviet and preemptive livestock vaccination eras.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian Kracalik

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We assessed spatial and temporal changes in the occurrence of human anthrax in Azerbaijan during 1984 through 2010. Data on livestock outbreaks, vaccination efforts, and human anthrax incidence during Soviet governance, post-Soviet governance, preemptive livestock vaccination were analyzed. To evaluate changes in the spatio-temporal distribution of anthrax, we used a combination of spatial analysis, cluster detection, and weighted least squares segmented regression. Results indicated an annual percent change in incidence of (+11.95% from 1984 to 1995 followed by declining rate of -35.24% after the initiation of livestock vaccination in 1996. Our findings also revealed geographic variation in the spatial distribution of reporting; cases were primarily concentrated in the west early in the study period and shifted eastward as time progressed. Over twenty years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the distribution of human anthrax in Azerbaijan has undergone marked changes. Despite decreases in the incidence of human anthrax, continued control measures in livestock are needed to mitigate its occurrence. The shifting patterns of human anthrax highlight the need for an integrated "One Health" approach that takes into account the changing geographic distribution of the disease.

  7. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  8. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Stories Español Eye Health / Eye Health A-Z Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Sections Botulinum Toxin (Botox) ... Facial Wrinkles How Does Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Work? Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Leer en Español: La ...

  9. An Alternative Approach to Combination Vaccines: Intradermal Administration of Isolated Components for Control of Anthrax, Botulism, Plague and Staphylococcal Toxic Shock

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Morefield, Garry L; Tammariello, Ralph F; Purcell, Bret K; Worsham, Patricia L; Chapman, Jennifer; Smith, Leonard A; Alarcon, Jason B; Mikszta, John A; Ulrich, Robert G

    2008-01-01

    ... incompatible vaccine mixtures. Intradermally administered arrays of vaccines for protection from anthrax, botulism, plague, and staphylococcal toxic shock were biocompatible in vivo, retained potent antibody responses...

  10. Transporting Patients with Lethal Contagious Infections

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Swartz, Colleen

    2002-01-01

    .... The AIT is a unique military medical team capable of worldwide air evacuation and management of a limited number of patients who are potentially exposed to known and unknown lethal communicable...

  11. Experiences in therapy for lethal midline granuloma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tosaka, Kaoru; Ishikawa, Takeru

    1982-01-01

    Four cases of the lethal midline granuloma or malignant granuloma of the nose were treated by irradiation and chemotherapy, which are generally prescribed for malignant lymphomas. Clinical, histological and laboratory examination indicated that they were the lethal midline granuloma and clearly differentiated from Wegener's granulomatosis or malignant lymphoma. All of the cases exhibited primary remission. The four cases were observed up to 38, 22, 14, and 10 months since the beginning of the therapy, showing no local or general recurrence. (author)

  12. Bio Warfare and Terrorism: Toxins and Other Mid-Spectrum Agents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Madsen, James M

    2005-01-01

    ... counterparts are still by definition toxins. Related terms include phycotoxins (toxins from algae), mycotoxins (fungal toxins), phytotoxins (plant toxins), and venoms (toxins from animals, especially vertebrates...

  13. Botulinum toxin in trigeminal neuralgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Álvarez, Federico; Hernando de la Bárcena, Ignacio; Marzo-Sola, María Eugenia

    2017-01-06

    Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most disabling facial pain syndromes, with a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Pharmacotherapy is the first choice for treatment but cases of drug resistance often require new strategies, among which various interventional treatments have been used. In recent years a new therapeutic strategy consisting of botulinum toxin has emerged, with promising results. We reviewed clinical cases and case series, open-label studies and randomized clinical trials examining the use of botulinum toxin for drug-refractory trigeminal neuralgia published in the literature. The administration of botulinum toxin has proven to be a safe and effective therapeutic strategy in patients with drug-refractory idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia, but many questions remain unanswered as to the precise role of botulinum toxin in the treatment of this disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  14. [PERSPECTIVES OF DEVELOPMENT OF LIVE RECOMBINANT ANTHRAX VACCINES BASED ON OPPORTUNISTIC AND APATHOGENIC MICROORGANISMS].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popova, P Yu; Mikshis, N I

    2016-01-01

    Live genetic engineering anthrax vaccines on the platform of avirulent and probiotic micro-organisms are a safe and adequate alternative to preparations based on attenuated Bacillus anthracis strains. Mucosal application results in a direct contact of the vaccine preparations with mucous membranes in those organs arid tissues of the macro-organisms, that are exposed to the pathogen in the first place, resulting in a development of local and systemic immune response. Live recombinant anthrax vaccines could be used both separately as well as in a prime-boost immunization scheme. The review focuses on immunogenic and protective properties of experimental live genetic engineering prearations, created based on members of geni of Salmonella, Lactobacillus and adenoviruses.

  15. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Itai Benhar; Assaf Shapira

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmac...

  16. The scorpion toxin Bot IX is a potent member of the α-like family and has a unique N-terminal sequence extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Salvatierra, Juan; Bosmans, Frank; Bougis, Pierre E

    2016-09-01

    We report the detailed chemical, immunological and pharmacological characterization of the α-toxin Bot IX from the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom. Bot IX, which consists of 70 amino acids, is a highly atypical toxin. It carries a unique N-terminal sequence extension and is highly lethal in mice. Voltage clamp recordings on oocytes expressing rat Nav1.2 or insect BgNav1 reveal that, similar to other α-like toxins, Bot IX inhibits fast inactivation of both variants. Moreover, Bot IX belongs to the same structural/immunological group as the α-like toxin Bot I. Remarkably, radioiodinated Bot IX competes efficiently with the classical α-toxin AaH II from Androctonus australis, and displays one of the highest affinities for Nav channels. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  17. Environmental T4-Family Bacteriophages Evolve to Escape Abortive Infection via Multiple Routes in a Bacterial Host Employing "Altruistic Suicide" through Type III Toxin-Antitoxin Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bihe; Akusobi, Chidiebere; Fang, Xinzhe; Salmond, George P C

    2017-01-01

    Abortive infection is an anti-phage mechanism employed by a bacterium to initiate its own death upon phage infection. This reduces, or eliminates, production of viral progeny and protects clonal siblings in the bacterial population by an act akin to an "altruistic suicide." Abortive infection can be mediated by a Type III toxin-antitoxin system called ToxIN Pa consisting of an endoribonuclease toxin and RNA antitoxin. ToxIN Pa is a heterohexameric quaternary complex in which pseudoknotted RNA inhibits the toxicity of the toxin until infection by certain phages causes destabilization of ToxIN Pa , leading to bacteriostasis and, eventually, lethality. However, it is still unknown why only certain phages are able to activate ToxIN Pa . To try to address this issue we first introduced ToxIN Pa into the Gram-negative enterobacterium, Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 ( S 39006) and then isolated new environmental S 39006 phages that were scored for activation of ToxIN Pa and abortive infection capacity. We isolated three T4-like phages from a sewage treatment outflow point into the River Cam, each phage being isolated at least a year apart. These phages were susceptible to ToxIN Pa -mediated abortive infection but produced spontaneous "escape" mutants that were insensitive to ToxIN Pa . Analysis of these resistant mutants revealed three different routes of escaping ToxIN Pa , namely by mutating asiA (the product of which is a phage transcriptional co-activator); by mutating a conserved, yet functionally unknown, orf84 ; or by deleting a 6.5-10 kb region of the phage genome. Analysis of these evolved escape mutants may help uncover the nature of the corresponding phage product(s) involved in activation of ToxIN Pa .

  18. Catastrophic Incident Recovery: Long-Term Recovery from an Anthrax Event Symposium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lesperance, Ann M.

    2008-06-30

    On March 19, 2008, policy makers, emergency managers, and medical and Public Health officials convened in Seattle, Washington, for a workshop on Catastrophic Incident Recovery: Long-Term Recovery from an Anthrax Event. The day-long symposium was aimed at generating a dialogue about restoration and recovery through a discussion of the associated challenges that impact entire communities, including people, infrastructure, and critical systems.

  19. Anthrax outbreak in a Swedish beef cattle herd - 1st case in 27 years: Case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Granberg Malin

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract After 27 years with no detected cases, an outbreak of anthrax occurred in a beef cattle herd in the south of Sweden. The outbreak was unusual as it occurred in winter, in animals not exposed to meat-and-bone meal, in a non-endemic country. The affected herd consisted of 90 animals, including calves and young stock. The animals were kept in a barn on deep straw bedding and fed only roughage. Seven animals died during 10 days, with no typical previous clinical signs except fever. The carcasses were reportedly normal in appearance, particularly as regards rigor mortis, bleeding and coagulation of the blood. Subsequently, three more animals died and anthrax was suspected at necropsy and confirmed by culture and PCR on blood samples. The isolated strain was susceptible to tetracycline, ciprofloxacin and ampicillin. Subtyping by MLVA showed the strain to cluster with isolates in the A lineage of Bacillus anthracis. Environmental samples from the holding were all negative except for two soil samples taken from a spot where infected carcasses had been kept until they were picked up for transport. The most likely source of the infection was concluded to be contaminated roughage, although this could not be substantiated by laboratory analysis. The suspected feed was mixed with soil and dust and originated from fields where flooding occurred the previous year, followed by a dry summer with a very low water level in the river allowing for the harvesting on soil usually not exposed. In the early 1900s, animal carcasses are said to have been dumped in this river during anthrax outbreaks and it is most likely that some anthrax spores could remain in the area. The case indicates that untypical cases in non-endemic areas may be missed to a larger extent than previously thought. Field tests allowing a preliminary risk assessment of animal carcasses would be helpful for increased sensitivity of detection and prevention of further exposure to the causative

  20. Harvesting Venom Toxins from Assassin Bugs and Other Heteropteran Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrew Allan; Rosenthal, Max; Undheim, Eivind E A; King, Glenn F

    2018-04-21

    Heteropteran insects such as assassin bugs (Reduviidae) and giant water bugs (Belostomatidae) descended from a common predaceous and venomous ancestor, and the majority of extant heteropterans retain this trophic strategy. Some heteropterans have transitioned to feeding on vertebrate blood (such as the kissing bugs, Triatominae; and bed bugs, Cimicidae) while others have reverted to feeding on plants (most Pentatomomorpha). However, with the exception of saliva used by kissing bugs to facilitate blood-feeding, little is known about heteropteran venoms compared to the venoms of spiders, scorpions and snakes. One obstacle to the characterization of heteropteran venom toxins is the structure and function of the venom/labial glands, which are both morphologically complex and perform multiple biological roles (defense, prey capture, and extra-oral digestion). In this article, we describe three methods we have successfully used to collect heteropteran venoms. First, we present electrostimulation as a convenient way to collect venom that is often lethal when injected into prey animals, and which obviates contamination by glandular tissue. Second, we show that gentle harassment of animals is sufficient to produce venom extrusion from the proboscis and/or venom spitting in some groups of heteropterans. Third, we describe methods to harvest venom toxins by dissection of anaesthetized animals to obtain the venom glands. This method is complementary to other methods, as it may allow harvesting of toxins from taxa in which electrostimulation and harassment are ineffective. These protocols will enable researchers to harvest toxins from heteropteran insects for structure-function characterization and possible applications in medicine and agriculture.

  1. False alarms, real challenges--one university's communication response to the 2001 anthrax crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Christopher E; Chess, Caron

    2006-01-01

    Considerable research exists on how government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels communicated during the fall 2001 anthrax attacks. However, there is little research on how other institutions handled this crisis, in terms of their response to potential anthrax contamination (aka "white powder scares") and their approach to disseminating important health and safety information. In this article, we investigate a major university's communication response to the anthrax crisis. First, we describe its communication experiences relating to a large white powder scare that occurred in October 2001. Second, we describe the university's broader communication efforts in terms of several important elements of risk communication research, including influence of source attributes, key messages, preferred channels, responses to information requests, and organizational influences. This study underlines that an institution does not have to be directly affected by a crisis to find itself on the communication "front lines." Moreover, other institutions may find it useful to learn from the experiences of this university, so that they may communicate more effectively during future crises.

  2. Confirmation of acute nitrate poisoning differentiating from anthrax in three Indian indigenous cattle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumaresan Nagarajan

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This article reports cases of nitrate poisoning in Indian indigenous cattle breeds comprising two Gir cows aging 4 years each, and one Barugur cow at 1.5 years of age. The cattle with case history of sudden death and oozing of partially clotted blood from the anal opening were brought to the Central University Laboratory (CUL, Center for Animal Health Studies (CAHS, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS for diagnostic investigation with a suspicion of anthrax. According to anamnesis, all the animals were clinically normal and did not reveal any abnormality on the previous day. The animals were fed with recently harvested sorghum leaves and stalks. Smears examined for anthrax were found negative. Biological test (mice inoculation for anthrax was also negative. Gross lesions on necropsy examination of the carcases were suggestive of nitrate intoxication. Finally, nitrate intoxication of these cattle was confirmed by chemical and toxicological analysis of fodder, rumen content, aqueous humor, liver, kidney and urine.

  3. Anthrax and the Geochemistry of Soils in the Contiguous United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dale W. Griffin

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Soil geochemical data from sample sites in counties that reported occurrences of anthrax in wildlife and livestock since 2000 were evaluated against counties within the same states (MN, MT, ND, NV, OR, SD and TX that did not report occurrences. These data identified the elements, calcium (Ca, manganese (Mn, phosphorus (P and strontium (Sr, as having statistically significant differences in concentrations between county type (anthrax occurrence versus no occurrence. Tentative threshold values of the lowest concentrations of each of these elements (Ca = 0.43 wt %, Mn = 142 mg/kg, P = 180 mg/kg and Sr = 51 mg/kg and average concentrations (Ca = 1.3 wt %, Mn = 463 mg/kg, P = 580 mg/kg and Sr = 170 mg/kg were identified from anthrax-positive counties as prospective investigative tools in determining whether an outbreak had “potential” or was “likely” at any given geographic location in the contiguous United States.

  4. Keeping the wolves at bay: antitoxins of prokaryotic type II toxin-antitoxin systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wai Ting eChan

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In their initial stages of discovery, prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin (TA systems were confined to bacterial plasmids where they function to mediate the maintenance and stability of usually low- to medium-copy number plasmids through the post-segregational killing of any plasmid-free daughter cells that developed. Their eventual discovery as nearly ubiquitous and repetitive elements in bacterial chromosomes led to a wealth of knowledge and scientific debate as to their diversity and functionality in the prokaryotic lifestyle. Currently categorized into six different types designated types I – VI, type II TA systems are the best characterized. These generally comprised of two genes encoding a proteic toxin and its corresponding proteic antitoxin, respectively. Under normal growth conditions, the stable toxin is prevented from exerting its lethal effect through tight binding with the less stable antitoxin partner, forming a non-lethal TA protein complex. Besides binding with its cognate toxin, the antitoxin also plays a role in regulating the expression of the type II TA operon by binding to the operator site, thereby repressing transcription from the TA promoter. In most cases, full repression is observed in the presence of the TA complex as binding of the toxin enhances the DNA binding capability of the antitoxin. TA systems have been implicated in a gamut of prokaryotic cellular functions such as being mediators of programmed cell death as well as persistence or dormancy, biofilm formation, as defensive weapons against bacteriophage infections and as virulence factors in pathogenic bacteria. It is thus apparent that these antitoxins, as DNA-binding proteins, play an essential role in modulating the prokaryotic lifestyle whilst at the same time preventing the lethal action of the toxins under normal growth conditions, i.e., keeping the proverbial wolves at bay. In this review, we will cover the diversity and characteristics of various type II TA

  5. Gastrointestinal helminths may affect host susceptibility to anthrax through seasonal immune trade-offs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cizauskas, Carrie A; Turner, Wendy C; Wagner, Bettina; Küsters, Martina; Vance, Russell E; Getz, Wayne M

    2014-11-12

    Most vertebrates experience coinfections, and many pathogen-pathogen interactions occur indirectly through the host immune system. These interactions are particularly strong in mixed micro-macroparasite infections because of immunomodulatory effects of helminth parasites. While these trade-offs have been examined extensively in laboratory animals, few studies have examined them in natural systems. Additionally, many wildlife pathogens fluctuate seasonally, at least partly due to seasonal host immune changes. We therefore examined seasonality of immune resource allocation, pathogen abundance and exposure, and interactions between infections and immunity in plains zebra (Equus quagga) in Etosha National Park (ENP), Namibia, a system with strongly seasonal patterns of gastrointestinal (GI) helminth infection intensity and concurrent anthrax outbreaks. Both pathogens are environmentally transmitted, and helminth seasonality is driven by environmental pressures on free living life stages. The reasons behind anthrax seasonality are currently not understood, though anthrax is less likely directly driven by environmental factors. We measured a complex, interacting set of variables and found evidence that GI helminth infection intensities, eosinophil counts, IgE and IgGb antibody titers, and possibly IL-4 cytokine signaling were increased in wetter seasons, and that ectoparasite infestations and possibly IFN-γ cytokine signaling were increased in drier seasons. Monocyte counts and anti-anthrax antibody titers were negatively associated with wet season eosinophilia, and monocytes were negatively correlated with IgGb and IgE titers. Taken together, this supports the hypothesis that ENP wet seasons are characterized by immune resource allocation toward Th-2 type responses, while Th1-type immunity may prevail in drier seasons, and that hosts may experience Th1-Th2 trade-offs. We found evidence that this Th2-type resource allocation is likely driven by GI parasite infections

  6. Lethality Index 2008-2014: Less shootings, same lethality, more opacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Silva Forné

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This article evaluates the use of lethal force by Mexican federal security forces during shootings with presumed members of organized crime from 2008-2014. The authors use official data and press reports on deaths and wounded in shootings to construct indicators such as the number of dead civilians over the number of dead officials from the federal security forces and the number of dead civilians over the number of wounded civilians. In a context where certain factors that contribute to an excessive use of force become more common, the results of the study show a growing use of lethal force. This raises questions over the possible excessive use of lethal force as a normal or systematic practice. The study also shows a growing context of opacity in the information available to evaluate the use of lethal force and the general lack of a legal framework to regulate the use of lethal force in Mexico.

  7. Edema toxin impairs anthracidal phospholipase A2 expression by alveolar macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit Raymond

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, is a spore-forming gram-positive bacterium. Infection with this pathogen results in multisystem dysfunction and death. The pathogenicity of B. anthracis is due to the production of virulence factors, including edema toxin (ET. Recently, we established the protective role of type-IIA secreted phospholipase A2 (sPLA2-IIA against B. anthracis. A component of innate immunity produced by alveolar macrophages (AMs, sPLA2-IIA is found in human and animal bronchoalveolar lavages at sufficient levels to kill B. anthracis. However, pulmonary anthrax is almost always fatal, suggesting the potential impairment of sPLA2-IIA synthesis and/or action by B. anthracis factors. We investigated the effect of purified ET and ET-deficient B. anthracis strains on sPLA2-IIA expression in primary guinea pig AMs. We report that ET inhibits sPLA2-IIA expression in AMs at the transcriptional level via a cAMP/protein kinase A-dependent process. Moreover, we show that live B. anthracis strains expressing functional ET inhibit sPLA2-IIA expression, whereas ET-deficient strains induced this expression. This stimulatory effect, mediated partly by the cell wall peptidoglycan, can be counterbalanced by ET. We conclude that B. anthracis down-regulates sPLA2-IIA expression in AMs through a process involving ET. Our study, therefore, describes a new molecular mechanism implemented by B. anthracis to escape innate host defense. These pioneering data will provide new molecular targets for future intervention against this deadly pathogen.

  8. Botulinum toxin in pain treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colhado, Orlando Carlos Gomes; Boeing, Marcelo; Ortega, Luciano Bornia

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) is one of the most potent bacterial toxins known and its effectiveness in the treatment of some pain syndromes is well known. However, the efficacy of some of its indications is still in the process of being confirmed. The objective of this study was to review the history, pharmacological properties, and clinical applications of BTX in the treatment of pain of different origins. Botulinum toxin is produced by fermentation of Clostridium botulinum, a Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium. Commercially, BTX comes in two presentations, types A and B. Botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin with high affinity for cholinergic synapses, blocks the release of acetylcholine by nerve endings without interfering with neuronal conduction of electrical signals or synthesis and storage of acetylcholine. It has been proven that BTX can selectively weaken painful muscles, interrupting the spasm-pain cycle. Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of BTX-A in the treatment of tension headaches, migraines, chronic lumbar pain, and myofascial pain. Botulinum toxin type A is well tolerated in the treatment of chronic pain disorders in which pharmacotherapy regimens can cause side effects. The reduction in the consumption of analgesics and length of action of 3 to 4 months per dose represent other advantages of its use. However, further studies are necessary to establish the efficacy of BTX-A in chronic pain disorders and its exact mechanism of action, as well as its potential in multifactorial treatments.

  9. Entry of Shiga toxin into cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvig, Kirsten; van Deurs, Bo

    1994-01-01

    Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport......Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport...

  10. Inhibition of cholera toxin and other AB toxins by polyphenolic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    All AB-type protein toxins have intracellular targets despite an initial extracellular location. These toxins use different methods to reach the cytosol and have different effects on the target cell. Broad-spectrum inhibitors against AB toxins are therefore hard to develop because the toxins use dif...

  11. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  12. Genetics Home Reference: Amish lethal microcephaly

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 1 in 500 newborns in the Old Order Amish population of Pennsylvania. It has not been found outside this population. Related Information What information about a genetic condition can statistics provide? Why are some genetic ... gene cause Amish lethal microcephaly . The SLC25A19 gene provides instructions for ...

  13. The evolution of lethal intergroup violence

    OpenAIRE

    Kelly, Raymond C.

    2005-01-01

    Recent findings and analyses in evolutionary biology, archaeology, and ethnology provide a favorable conjuncture for examining the evolution of lethal intergroup violence among hominids during the 2.9-million-year Paleolithic time span. Here, I seek to identify and investigate the main turning points in this evolutionary trajectory and to delineate the periodization that follows from this inquiry.

  14. The evolution of lethal intergroup violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Raymond C

    2005-10-25

    Recent findings and analyses in evolutionary biology, archaeology, and ethnology provide a favorable conjuncture for examining the evolution of lethal intergroup violence among hominids during the 2.9-million-year Paleolithic time span. Here, I seek to identify and investigate the main turning points in this evolutionary trajectory and to delineate the periodization that follows from this inquiry.

  15. A new lethal sclerosing bone dysplasia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kingston, H.M.; Freeman, J.S.; Hall, C.M.

    1991-01-01

    A neonate is described with a lethal sclerosing bone dysplasia associated with prenatal fractures and craniofacial abnormalities including microcephaly, exophthalmos, hypoplastic nose and mid-face, small jaw and nodular hyperplasia of the gums. Parental consanguinity suggests that an autosomal recessive mutation is the likely aetiology. (orig.)

  16. Staphylococcus aureus β-Toxin Mutants Are Defective in Biofilm Ligase and Sphingomyelinase Activity, and Causation of Infective Endocarditis and Sepsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Alfa; Vu, Bao G; Stach, Christopher S; Merriman, Joseph A; Horswill, Alexander R; Salgado-Pabón, Wilmara; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2016-05-03

    β-Toxin is an important virulence factor of Staphylococcus aureus, contributing to colonization and development of disease [Salgado-Pabon, W., et al. (2014) J. Infect. Dis. 210, 784-792; Huseby, M. J., et al. (2010) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 14407-14412; Katayama, Y., et al. (2013) J. Bacteriol. 195, 1194-1203]. This cytotoxin has two distinct mechanisms of action: sphingomyelinase activity and DNA biofilm ligase activity. However, the distinct mechanism that is most important for its role in infective endocarditis is unknown. We characterized the active site of β-toxin DNA biofilm ligase activity by examining deficiencies in site-directed mutants through in vitro DNA precipitation and biofilm formation assays. Possible conformational changes in mutant structure compared to that of wild-type toxin were assessed preliminarily by trypsin digestion analysis, retention of sphingomyelinase activity, and predicted structures based on the native toxin structure. We addressed the contribution of each mechanism of action to producing infective endocarditis and sepsis in vivo in a rabbit model. The H289N β-toxin mutant, lacking sphingomyelinase activity, exhibited lower sepsis lethality and infective endocarditis vegetation formation compared to those of the wild-type toxin. β-Toxin mutants with disrupted biofilm ligase activity did not exhibit decreased sepsis lethality but were deficient in infective endocarditis vegetation formation compared to the wild-type protein. Our study begins to characterize the DNA biofilm ligase active site of β-toxin and suggests β-toxin functions importantly in infective endocarditis through both of its mechanisms of action.

  17. Approval of raxibacumab for the treatment of inhalation anthrax under the US Food and Drug Administration Animal rule

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Wei eTsai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available On December 14, 2012, the FDA approved raxibacumab, the first product developed under Project BioShield to achieve this milestone, and the first biologic product to be approved through the FDA animal efficacy rule (or Animal Rule. Raxibacumab is approved for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with inhalational anthrax due to Bacillus anthracis in combination with appropriate antibiotic drugs and for prophylaxis of inhalational anthrax when alternative therapies are not available or are not appropriate. The approval of Raxibacumab illustrates many of the challenges that product developers may encounter when pursuing approval under the Animal Rule and highlights a number of important regulatory and policy issues.

  18. Estimating the location and spatial extent of a covert anthrax release.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Legrand

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly identifying the features of a covert release of an agent such as anthrax could help to inform the planning of public health mitigation strategies. Previous studies have sought to estimate the time and size of a bioterror attack based on the symptomatic onset dates of early cases. We extend the scope of these methods by proposing a method for characterizing the time, strength, and also the location of an aerosolized pathogen release. A back-calculation method is developed allowing the characterization of the release based on the data on the first few observed cases of the subsequent outbreak, meteorological data, population densities, and data on population travel patterns. We evaluate this method on small simulated anthrax outbreaks (about 25-35 cases and show that it could date and localize a release after a few cases have been observed, although misspecifications of the spore dispersion model, or the within-host dynamics model, on which the method relies can bias the estimates. Our method could also provide an estimate of the outbreak's geographical extent and, as a consequence, could help to identify populations at risk and, therefore, requiring prophylactic treatment. Our analysis demonstrates that while estimates based on the first ten or 15 observed cases were more accurate and less sensitive to model misspecifications than those based on five cases, overall mortality is minimized by targeting prophylactic treatment early on the basis of estimates made using data on the first five cases. The method we propose could provide early estimates of the time, strength, and location of an aerosolized anthrax release and the geographical extent of the subsequent outbreak. In addition, estimates of release features could be used to parameterize more detailed models allowing the simulation of control strategies and intervention logistics.

  19. [Environmental toxins in breast milk].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratlid, Dag

    2009-12-17

    Breast milk is very important to ensure infants a well-composed and safe diet during the first year of life. However, the quality of breast milk seems to be affected by an increasing amount of environmental toxins (particularly so-called Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxins [PBTs]). Many concerns have been raised about the negative effects this may have on infant health. The article is a review of literature (mainly review articles) identified through a non-systematic search in PubMed. The concentration of PBTs in breast milk is mainly caused by man's position as the terminal link in the nutritional chain. Many breast-fed infants have a daily intake of such toxins that exceed limits defined for the population in general. Animal studies demonstrate effects on endocrine function and neurotoxicity in the offspring, and a number of human studies seem to point in the same direction. However the "original" optimal composition of breast milk still seems to protect against long-term effects of such toxicity. There is international consensus about the need to monitor breast milk for the presence of PBTs. Such surveillance will be a good indicator of the population's general exposure to these toxins and may also contribute to identifying groups as risk who should not breast-feed their children for a long time.

  20. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rex Munday

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved.

  1. Food irradiation and bacterial toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tranter, H.S.; Modi, N.K.; Hambleton, P.; Melling, J.; Rose, S.; Stringer, M.F.

    1987-01-01

    The authors' findings indicate that irradiation confers no advantage over heat processing in respect of bacterial toxins (clostridium botulinum, neurotoxin A and staphylococcal enterotoxin A). It follows that irradiation at doses less than the ACINF recommended upper limit of 10 kGy could not be used to improve the ambient temperature shelf life on non-acid foods. (author)

  2. Botulinum toxin for vaginismus treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Juliana Rocha; Souza, Renan Pedra

    2012-01-01

    Vaginismus is characterized by recurrent or persistent involuntary contraction of the perineal muscles surrounding the outer third of the vagina when penile, finger, tampon, or speculum penetration is attempted. Recent results have suggested the use of botulinum toxin for the treatment of vaginismus. Here, we assessed previously published data to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of botulinum toxin for vaginismus. We have carried out a systematic review followed by a meta-analysis. Our results indicate that botulinum toxin is an effective therapeutic option for patients with vaginismus (pooled odds ratio of 8.723 with 95% confidence interval limits of 1.942 and 39.162, p = 0.005). This may hold particularly true in treatment-refractory patients because most of the studies included in this meta-analysis have enrolled these subjects in their primary analysis. Botulinum toxin appears to bea reasonable intervention for vaginismus. However, this conclusion should be read carefully because of the deficiency of placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials and the quality issues presented in the existing ones.

  3. Shigella Sonnei and Shiga Toxin

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2016-07-28

    Katherine Lamba, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health, discusses Shiga Toxin producing Shigella sonnei.  Created: 7/28/2016 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 7/28/2016.

  4. Multiagent vaccines vectored by Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus replicon elicits immune responses to Marburg virus and protection against anthrax and botulinum neurotoxin in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, John S; Groebner, Jennifer L; Hadjipanayis, Angela G; Negley, Diane L; Schmaljohn, Alan L; Welkos, Susan L; Smith, Leonard A; Smith, Jonathan F

    2006-11-17

    The development of multiagent vaccines offers the advantage of eliciting protection against multiple diseases with minimal inoculations over a shorter time span. We report here the results of using formulations of individual Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus replicon-vectored vaccines against a bacterial disease, anthrax; a viral disease, Marburg fever; and against a toxin-mediated disease, botulism. The individual VEE replicon particles (VRP) expressed mature 83-kDa protective antigen (MAT-PA) from Bacillus anthracis, the glycoprotein (GP) from Marburg virus (MBGV), or the H(C) fragment from botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT H(C)). CBA/J mice inoculated with a mixture of VRP expressing BoNT H(C) serotype C (BoNT/C H(C)) and MAT-PA were 80% protected from a B. anthracis (Sterne strain) challenge and then 100% protected from a sequential BoNT/C challenge. Swiss mice inoculated with individual VRP or with mixtures of VRP vaccines expressing BoNT H(C) serotype A (BoNT/A H(C)), MAT-PA, and MBGV-GP produced antibody responses specific to the corresponding replicon-expressed protein. Combination of the different VRP vaccines did not diminish the antibody responses measured for Swiss mice inoculated with formulations of two or three VRP vaccines as compared to mice that received only one VRP vaccine. Swiss mice inoculated with VRP expressing BoNT/A H(C) alone or in combination with VRP expressing MAT-PA and MBGV GP, were completely protected from a BoNT/A challenge. These studies demonstrate the utility of combining individual VRP vaccines into multiagent formulations for eliciting protective immune responses to various types of diseases.

  5. [Genodiagnosis and molecular typing of the pathogens for plague, cholera, and anthrax].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutyrev, V V; Smirnova, N I

    2003-01-01

    The paper contains a survey of published data about the use of DNA-diagnostics in indicating and identifying the causative agents of highly dangerous infections like plague, cholera and anthrax. A discussion of data about the genetic relationship between strains of the mentioned causative agents isolated from different sources by using the molecular-typing methods as well as about the evolution ties between strains of different origins is in the focus of attention. Results of comparative studies of nucleotide sequences of genomes or of individual genomes in different Yersinia pestis, Vibrio cholerae and Bacillus anthracis strains, which are indicative of the evolution of their pathogenicity, are also under discussion.

  6. Lethal neonatal short-limbed dwarfism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Ok Hwa; Yim, Chung Ik; Bahk, Yong Whee

    1986-01-01

    We have detailed our experiences on 6 cases of neonatal lethal short-limbed dwarfism and reviewed the articles. They include, achondrogenesis, thanatophoric dysplasia, asphyxiating thoracic dysplasia, osteogenesis imperfect a congenita, and hypophosphatasia lethals. Five babies were born alive but died soon after birth and one was a stillbirth. The main cause of failure to thrive was respiratory insufficiency. Each case was having quite characteristic radiologic findings, even if the general appearances were similar to the achondroplasts clinically. Precise diagnosis is very important for genetic counselling of the parents and alarm to them the possibility of bone dysplasias to the next offsprings. For this purpose, the radiologists play major role for the correct diagnosis. We stress that when the baby is born with short-limbed dwarfism, whole body radiogram should be taken including lateral view and postmortem radiogram is also very precious.

  7. Lethal neonatal short-limbed dwarfism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Ok Hwa; Yim, Chung Ik; Bahk, Yong Whee [Catholic Medical College, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    1986-02-15

    We have detailed our experiences on 6 cases of neonatal lethal short-limbed dwarfism and reviewed the articles. They include, achondrogenesis, thanatophoric dysplasia, asphyxiating thoracic dysplasia, osteogenesis imperfect a congenita, and hypophosphatasia lethals. Five babies were born alive but died soon after birth and one was a stillbirth. The main cause of failure to thrive was respiratory insufficiency. Each case was having quite characteristic radiologic findings, even if the general appearances were similar to the achondroplasts clinically. Precise diagnosis is very important for genetic counselling of the parents and alarm to them the possibility of bone dysplasias to the next offsprings. For this purpose, the radiologists play major role for the correct diagnosis. We stress that when the baby is born with short-limbed dwarfism, whole body radiogram should be taken including lateral view and postmortem radiogram is also very precious.

  8. Mining of lethal recessive genetic variation in Danish cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Das, Ashutosh

    2015-01-01

    in fertility. The primary objective of this PhD projekt was to identify recessive lethal gentic variants in the main Danish dairy cattle breed. Holstein-Friesian utilzing next generation sequencing (NGS) data. This study shows a potential for the use of the NGS-based reverse genetic approach in identifying...... lethal or semi-lethal recessive gentic variation...

  9. Lethal midline granuloma syndrome: a diagnostic dilemma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ribeiro, Bruno Niemeyer de Freitas; Bahia, Paulo Roberto Valle; Oliveira, Ana Luiza Vianna Sobral de Magalhaes; Marchon Junior, Joao Luiz

    2012-01-01

    The rare lethal midline granuloma syndrome is difficult to diagnose because of the wide array of related diseases and lack of knowledge by the majority of physicians. In the present report, the authors describe the case of a patient with this disease, caused by squamous cell carcinoma, drawing attention to differential diagnoses and to clinical and radiological findings that may be useful to define the diagnosis. (author)

  10. Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene

    OpenAIRE

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-P?rez, Ana; Pablos, Adri?n; Mart?nez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M.; G?mez-Olivencia, Asier; Berm?dez de Castro, Jos? Mar?a; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force ...

  11. Lethal midline granuloma syndrome: a diagnostic dilemma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, Bruno Niemeyer de Freitas; Bahia, Paulo Roberto Valle [Radiology, Hospital Universitario Clementino Fraga Filho - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (HUCFF-UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Oliveira, Ana Luiza Vianna Sobral de Magalhaes [Resident of Medical Practice, Hospital Federal da Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Marchon Junior, Joao Luiz [Unit of Computed Tomography, Hospital Federal da Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2012-11-15

    The rare lethal midline granuloma syndrome is difficult to diagnose because of the wide array of related diseases and lack of knowledge by the majority of physicians. In the present report, the authors describe the case of a patient with this disease, caused by squamous cell carcinoma, drawing attention to differential diagnoses and to clinical and radiological findings that may be useful to define the diagnosis. (author)

  12. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nohemi Sala

    Full Text Available Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  13. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pantoja-Pérez, Ana; Pablos, Adrián; Martínez, Ignacio; Quam, Rolf M; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death. Here we report the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record. Cranium 17 recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site shows two clear perimortem depression fractures on the frontal bone, interpreted as being produced by two episodes of localized blunt force trauma. The type of injuries, their location, the strong similarity of the fractures in shape and size, and the different orientations and implied trajectories of the two fractures suggest they were produced with the same object in face-to-face interpersonal conflict. Given that either of the two traumatic events was likely lethal, the presence of multiple blows implies an intention to kill. This finding shows that the lethal interpersonal violence is an ancient human behavior and has important implications for the accumulation of bodies at the site, supporting an anthropic origin.

  14. Patients' request for and emergency physicians' prescription of antimicrobial prophylaxis for anthrax during the 2001 bioterrorism-related outbreak

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aber Robert C

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inappropriate use of antibiotics by individuals worried about biological agent exposures during bioterrorism events is an important public health concern. However, little is documented about the extent to which individuals with self-identified risk of anthrax exposure approached physicians for antimicrobial prophylaxis during the 2001 bioterrorism attacks in the United States. Methods We conducted a telephone survey of randomly selected members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians to assess patients' request for and emergency physicians' prescription of antimicrobial agents during the 2001 anthrax attacks. Results Ninety-seven physicians completed the survey. Sixty-four (66% respondents had received requests from patients for anthrax prophylaxis; 16 (25% of these physicians prescribed antibiotics to a total of 23 patients. Ten physicians prescribed ciprofloxacin while 8 physicians prescribed doxycycline. Conclusion During the 2001 bioterrorist attacks, the majority of the emergency physicians we surveyed encountered patients who requested anthrax prophylaxis. Public fears may lead to a high demand for antibiotic prophylaxis during bioterrorism events. Elucidation of the relationship between public health response to outbreaks and outcomes would yield insights to ease burden on frontline clinicians and guide strategies to control inappropriate antibiotic allocation during bioterrorist events.

  15. 9 CFR 310.9 - Anthrax; carcasses not to be eviscerated; disposition of affected carcasses; hides, hoofs, horns...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... have handled anthrax material is thorough cleansing of the hands and arms with liquid soap and running... Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND... request to the Scientific Services, Meat and Poultry Inspection, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S...

  16. 9 CFR 309.7 - Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ...; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways. 309.7 Section 309.7 Animals and Animal... INSPECTION § 309.7 Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and... followed immediately by a thorough disinfection of the exposed premises by soaking the ground, fences...

  17. A Supramolecular Sensing Platform for Phosphate Anions and an Anthrax Biomarker in a Microfluidic Device

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurriaan Huskens

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available A supramolecular platform based on self-assembled monolayers (SAMs has been implemented in a microfluidic device. The system has been applied for the sensing of two different analyte types: biologically relevant phosphate anions and aromatic carboxylic acids, which are important for anthrax detection. A Eu(III-EDTA complex was bound to β-cyclodextrin monolayers via orthogonal supramolecular host-guest interactions. The self-assembly of the Eu(III-EDTA conjugate and naphthalene β-diketone as an antenna resulted in the formation of a highly luminescent lanthanide complex on the microchannel surface. Detection of different phosphate anions and aromatic carboxylic acids was demonstrated by monitoring the decrease in red emission following displacement of the antenna by the analyte. Among these analytes, adenosine triphosphate (ATP and pyrophosphate, as well as dipicolinic acid (DPA which is a biomarker for anthrax, showed a strong response. Parallel fabrication of five sensing SAMs in a single multichannel chip was performed, as a first demonstration of phosphate and carboxylic acid screening in a multiplexed format that allows a general detection platform for both analyte systems in a single test run with µM and nM detection sensitivity for ATP and DPA, respectively.

  18. Trimethyl Chitosan Nanoparticles Encapsulated Protective Antigen Protects the Mice Against Anthrax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anshu Malik

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is an era old deadly disease against which there are only two currently available licensed vaccines named anthrax vaccine adsorbed and precipitated (AVP. Though they can provide a protective immunity, their multiple side-effects owing to their ill-defined composition and presence of toxic proteins (LF and EF of Bacillus anthracis, the causative organism of anthrax, in the vaccine formulation makes their widespread use objectionable. Hence, an anthrax vaccine that contains well-defined and controlled components would be highly desirable. In this context, we have evaluated the potential of various vaccine formulations comprising of protective antigen (PA encapsulated trimethyl-chitosan nanoparticles (TMC-PA in conjunction with either CpG-C ODN 2395 (CpG or Poly I:C. Each formulation was administered via three different routes, viz., subcutaneous (SC, intramuscular (IM, and intraperitoneal in female BALB/c mice. Irrespective of the route of immunization, CpG or Poly I:C adjuvanted TMC-PA nanoparticles induced a significantly higher humoral response (total serum IgG and its isotypes viz., IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b, compared to their CpG or Poly I:C PA counterparts. This clearly demonstrates the synergistic behavior of CpG and Poly I:C with TMC nanoparticles. The adjuvant potential of TMC nanoparticles could be observed in all the three routes as the TMC-PA nanoparticles by themselves induced IgG titers (1–1.5 × 105 significantly higher than both CpG PA and Poly I:C PA groups (2–8 × 104. The effect of formulations on T-helper (Th cell development was assessed by quantifying the Th1-dependant (TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-2, Th2-dependant (IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10, and Th17-type (IL-17A cytokines. Adjuvanation with CpG and Poly I:C, the TMC-PA nanoparticles triggered a Th1 skewed immune response, as suggested by an increase in the levels of total IgG2a along with IFN-γ cytokine production. Interestingly, the TMC-PA group showed a Th2-biased

  19. Structure and action of the binary C2 toxin from Clostridium botulinum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleberger, Christian; Hochmann, Henrike; Barth, Holger; Aktories, Klaus; Schulz, Georg E

    2006-12-08

    C2 toxin from Clostridium botulinum is composed of the enzyme component C2-I, which ADP-ribosylates actin, and the binding and translocation component C2-II, responsible for the interaction with eukaryotic cell receptors and the following endocytosis. Three C2-I crystal structures at resolutions of up to 1.75 A are presented together with a crystal structure of C2-II at an appreciably lower resolution and a model of the prepore formed by fragment C2-IIa. The C2-I structure was determined at pH 3.0 and at pH 6.1. The structural differences are small, indicating that C2-I does not unfold, even at a pH value as low as 3.0. The ADP-ribosyl transferase activity of C2-I was determined for alpha and beta/gamma-actin and related to that of Iota toxin and of mutant S361R of C2-I that introduced the arginine observed in Iota toxin. The substantial activity differences between alpha and beta/gamma-actin cannot be explained by the protein structures currently available. The structure of the transport component C2-II at pH 4.3 was established by molecular replacement using a model of the protective antigen of anthrax toxin at pH 6.0. The C-terminal receptor-binding domain of C2-II could not be located but was present in the crystals. It may be mobile. The relative orientation and positions of the four other domains of C2-II do not differ much from those of the protective antigen, indicating that no large conformational changes occur between pH 4.3 and pH 6.0. A model of the C2-IIa prepore structure was constructed based on the corresponding assembly of the protective antigen. It revealed a surprisingly large number of asparagine residues lining the pore. The interaction between C2-I and C2-IIa and the translocation of C2-I into the target cell are discussed.

  20. Role of Food Insecurity in Outbreak of Anthrax Infections among Humans and Hippopotamuses Living in a Game Reserve Area, Rural Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehman, Mark W; Craig, Allen S; Malama, Constantine; Kapina-Kany'anga, Muzala; Malenga, Philip; Munsaka, Fanny; Muwowo, Sergio; Shadomy, Sean; Marx, Melissa A

    2017-09-01

    In September 2011, a total of 511 human cases of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) infection and 5 deaths were reported in a game management area in the district of Chama, Zambia, near where 85 hippopotamuses (Hippopotamus amphibious) had recently died of suspected anthrax. The human infections generally responded to antibiotics. To clarify transmission, we conducted a cross-sectional, interviewer-administered household survey in villages where human anthrax cases and hippopotamuses deaths were reported. Among 284 respondents, 84% ate hippopotamus meat before the outbreak. Eating, carrying, and preparing meat were associated with anthrax infection. Despite the risk, 23% of respondents reported they would eat meat from hippopotamuses found dead again because of food shortage (73%), lack of meat (12%), hunger (7%), and protein shortage (5%). Chronic food insecurity can lead to consumption of unsafe foods, leaving communities susceptible to zoonotic infection. Interagency cooperation is necessary to prevent outbreaks by addressing the root cause of exposure, such as food insecurity.

  1. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Paola G. Ojeda; David Ramírez; Jans Alzate-Morales; Julio Caballero; Quentin Kaas; Wendy González

    2017-01-01

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics t...

  2. Collaborative Research Program on Seafood Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-08-14

    Crystallographic Structures of Saxitoxins Cl and C2 Appendix C: Collaborative Research Program an Seafcod Toxins Progress Report on Ciguatera and Related...radioimmunoassay for PSP were also evalumted. The Hokama stick test for ciguatera toxin was also evaluated. 4. initiate Studies on the Accumulation...tco•d which caie a form of b-mnn poisoning referred to as ciguatera . The respcnsible toxins originate from ll1ular rine algae of the division

  3. Deadly hairs, lethal feathers--convergent evolution of poisonous integument in mammals and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plikus, Maksim V; Astrowski, Aliaksandr A

    2014-07-01

    Hairs and feathers are textbook examples of the convergent evolution of the follicular appendage structure between mammals and birds. While broadly recognized for their convergent thermoregulatory, camouflage and sexual display functions, hairs and feathers are rarely thought of as deadly defence tools. Several recent studies, however, show that in some species of mammals and birds, the integument can, in fact, be a de facto lethal weapon. One mammalian example is provided by African crested rats, which seek for and chew on the bark of plants containing the highly potent toxin, ouabain. These rats then coat their fur with ouabain-containing saliva. For efficient toxin retention, the rodents have evolved highly specialized fenestrated and mostly hollow hair shafts that soak up liquids, which essentially function as wicks. On the avian side of the vertebrate integumental variety spectrum, several species of birds of New Guinea have evolved resistance to highly potent batrachotoxins, which they acquire from their insect diet. While the mechanism of bird toxicity remains obscure, in a recently published issue of the journal, Dumbacher and Menon explore the intriguing idea that to achieve efficient storage of batrachotoxins in their skin, some birds exploit the basic permeability barrier function of their epidermis. Batrachotoxins become preferentially sequestered in their epidermis and are then transferred to feathers, likely through the exploitation of specialized avian lipid-storing multigranular body organelles. Here, we discuss wider implications of this intriguing concept. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. PREDICTION OF AEROSOL HAZARDS ARISING FROM THE OPENING OF AN ANTHRAX-TAINTED LETTER IN AN OPEN OFFICE ENVIRONMENT USING COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

    OpenAIRE

    FUE-SANG LIEN; HUA JI; EUGENE YEE; BILL KOURNIKAKIS

    2010-01-01

    Early experimental work, conducted at Defence R&D Canada–Suffield, measured and characterized the personal and environmental contamination associated with simulated anthrax-tainted letters under a number of different scenarios in order to obtain a better understanding of the physical and biological processes for detecting, assessing, and formulating potential mitigation strategies for managing the risks associated with opening an anthrax-tainted letter. These experimental investigations have ...

  5. Failure of botulinum toxin injection for neurogenic detrusor overactivity: Switch of toxin versus second injection of the same toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyronnet, Benoit; Castel-Lacanal, Evelyne; Manunta, Andréa; Roumiguié, Mathieu; Marque, Philippe; Rischmann, Pascal; Gamé, Xavier

    2015-12-01

    To evaluate the efficacy of a second injection of the same toxin versus switching to a different botulinum toxin A after failure of a first detrusor injection in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity. The charts of all patients who underwent detrusor injections of botulinum toxin A (either abobotulinumtoxinA or onabotulinumtoxinA) for the management of neurogenic detrusor overactivity at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patients in whom a first detrusor injection had failed were included in the present study. They were managed by a second injection of the same toxin at the same dosage or by a new detrusor injection using a different botulinum toxin A. Success was defined as a resolution of urgency, urinary incontinence and detrusor overactivity in a patient self-catheterizing seven times or less per 24 h. A total of 58 patients were included for analysis. A toxin switch was carried out in 29 patients, whereas the other 29 patients received a reinjection of the same toxin at the same dose. The success rate was higher in patients who received a toxin switch (51.7% vs. 24.1%, P = 0.03). Patients treated with a switch from abobotulinumtoxinA to onabotulinumtoxinA and those treated with a switch from onabotulinumtoxinA to abobotulinumtoxinA had similar success rates (52.9% vs. 50%, P = 0.88). After failure of a first detrusor injection of botulinum toxin for neurogenic detrusor overactivity, a switch to a different toxin seems to be more effective than a second injection of the same toxin. The replacement of onabotulinumtoxin by abobotulinumtoxin or the reverse provides similar results. © 2015 The Japanese Urological Association.

  6. Bacillus anthracis-derived edema toxin (ET counter-regulates movement of neutrophils and macromolecules through the endothelial paracellular pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nguyen Chinh

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A common finding amongst patients with inhalational anthrax is a paucity of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs in infected tissues in the face of abundant circulating PMNs. A major virulence determinant of anthrax is edema toxin (ET, which is formed by the combination of two proteins produced by the organism, edema factor (EF, which is an adenyl cyclase, and protective antigen (PA. Since cAMP, a product of adenyl cyclase, is known to enhance endothelial barrier integrity, we asked whether ET might decrease extravasation of PMNs into tissues through closure of the paracellular pathway through which PMNs traverse. Results Pretreatment of human microvascular endothelial cell(ECs of the lung (HMVEC-L with ET decreased interleukin (IL-8-driven transendothelial migration (TEM of PMNs with a maximal reduction of nearly 60%. This effect required the presence of both EF and PA. Conversely, ET did not diminish PMN chemotaxis in an EC-free system. Pretreatment of subconfluent HMVEC-Ls decreased transendothelial 14 C-albumin flux by ~ 50% compared to medium controls. Coadministration of ET with either tumor necrosis factor-α or bacterial lipopolysaccharide, each at 100 ng/mL, attenuated the increase of transendothelial 14 C-albumin flux caused by either agent alone. The inhibitory effect of ET on TEM paralleled increases in protein kinase A (PKA activity, but could not be blocked by inhibition of PKA with either H-89 or KT-5720. Finally, we were unable to replicate the ET effect with either forskolin or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, two agents known to increase cAMP. Conclusions We conclude that ET decreases IL-8-driven TEM of PMNs across HMVEC-L monolayers independent of cAMP/PKA activity.

  7. Venomics, lethality and neutralization of Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) venoms from three different geographical regions of Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Kae Yi; Tan, Choo Hock; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2015-04-29

    Previous studies showed that venoms of the monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia from Thailand and Malaysia are substantially different in their median lethal doses. The intraspecific venom variations of N. kaouthia, however, have not been fully elucidated. Here we investigated the venom proteomes of N. kaouthia from Malaysia (NK-M), Thailand (NK-T) and Vietnam (NK-V) through reverse-phase HPLC, SDS-PAGE and tandem mass spectrometry. The venom proteins comprise 13 toxin families, with three-finger toxins being the most abundant (63-77%) and the most varied (11-18 isoforms) among the three populations. NK-T has the highest content of neurotoxins (50%, predominantly long neurotoxins), followed by NK-V (29%, predominantly weak neurotoxins and some short neurotoxins), while NK-M has the least (18%, some weak neurotoxins but less short and long neurotoxins). On the other hand, cytotoxins constitute the main bulk of toxins in NK-M and NK-V venoms (up to 45% each), but less in NK-T venom (27%). The three venoms show different lethal potencies that generally reflect the proteomic findings. Despite the proteomic variations, the use of Thai monovalent and Neuro polyvalent antivenoms for N. kaouthia envenomation in the three regions is appropriate as the different venoms were neutralized by the antivenoms albeit at different degrees of effectiveness. Biogeographical variations were observed in the venom proteome of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Thai N. kaouthia venom is particularly rich in long neurotoxins, while the Malaysian and Vietnamese specimens were predominated with cytotoxins. The differentially expressed toxin profile accounts for the discrepancy in the lethal dose of the venom from different populations. Commercially available Thai antivenoms (monovalent and polyvalent) were able to neutralize the three venoms at different effective doses, hence supporting their uses in the three regions. While dose adjustment according to

  8. Antiradiation Antitoxin IgG : Immunological neutralization of Radiation Toxins at Acute Radiation Syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    radiation toxins to induce hyperimmune serum: Group A -Toxoid form of CV ARS toxins ( SRD-1); Group B-Toxoid form of CR ARS (SRD-2)toxins ; Group C -Toxoid form of GI ARS (SRD-3); Group D -Toxoid form of HP ARS (SRD-4). After the hyperimmune serum was pooled from several animals, purified, and concentrated, the IgG fraction was separated. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of the hyper-immune serum had revealed high titers of IgG with specific binding to radi-ation toxins. The antiradiation IgG preparation was injected into laboratory animals one hour before and three hours after irradiation, and was evaluated for its ability to protect inoculated animals against the development of acute radiation syndromes. Results: Animals that were inoculated with specific antiradiation antibodies before and after receiving lethal irradiation at LD 100/30 exhibited 60-75% survival rate within 30 days. Also, these animals inoculated with the Antiradiation Antitoxin had exhibited markedly reduced clinical symptoms of the ARS, even those ones that did not survive irradiation. Discussion: The results of our experiments have demonstrated that the rabbit hyperimmune IgG preparations directed against SRD toxins provide a significant protection against high doses of radiation. In comparison, the mortality rate of irradiated control animals was 100% in the same time period. The mortality rates of animals treated by the hyperimmune IgG antidote have varied in the different groups of ani-mals and different forms of the ARS. However, significant radioprotection was observed in each group treated with the IgGs. The specific antiradiation antidote IGg isolated from hyperim-mune serum of immunized horses is under study. The specific antiradiation antidote contains antibodies to neurotoxins -SAAN IgG includes 50% IgG to Cv ARS, 25% IgG to Cr ARS and 25 % IgG to Gi ARS. The other type of the Specific antiradiation antidote containes antibodies to hematotoxins -SAAH IgG -100%. A combined variant is under

  9. Detection and effects of harmful algal toxins in Scottish harbour seals and potential links to population decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Silje-Kristin; Lacaze, Jean-Pierre; Hermann, Guillaume; Kershaw, Joanna; Brownlow, Andrew; Turner, Andrew; Hall, Ailsa

    2015-04-01

    Over the past 15 years or so, several Scottish harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations have declined in abundance and several factors have been considered as possible causes, including toxins from harmful algae. Here we explore whether a link could be established between two groups of toxins, domoic acid (DA) and saxitoxins (STXs), and the decline in the harbour seal populations in Scotland. We document the first evidence that harbour seals are exposed to both DA and STXs from consuming contaminated fish. Both groups of toxins were found in urine and faeces sampled from live captured (n = 162) and stranded animals (n = 23) and in faecal samples collected from seal haul-out sites (n = 214) between 2008 and 2013. The proportion of positive samples and the toxins levels measured in the excreta were significantly higher in areas where harbour seal abundance is in decline. There is also evidence that DA has immunomodulatory effects in harbour seals, including lymphocytopenia and monocytosis. Scottish harbour seals are exposed to DA and STXs through contaminated prey at potentially lethal levels and with this evidence we suggest that exposure to these toxins are likely to be important factors driving the harbour seal decline in some regions of Scotland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Lethal congenital contracture syndrome (LCCS) and other lethal arthrogryposes in Finland--an epidemiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakkasjärvi, Niklas; Ritvanen, Annukka; Herva, Riitta; Peltonen, Leena; Kestilä, Marjo; Ignatius, Jaakko

    2006-09-01

    Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita is a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by multiple contractures with an estimated frequency of 1 in 3,000 births. With improving diagnostic methods, increasing numbers of fetuses with arthrogryposis are found. The pathogenetic mechanisms are relatively well known but the epidemiology and genetics of the prenatally lethal forms of arthrogryposis are less well known. In this study we collected all cases of a multiple contractures diagnosed in Finland during 1987-2002 including live born infants, stillbirths, and terminated pregnancies. Ninety-two cases of 214 suffered intrauterine demise (68 selective pregnancy terminations and 24 stillbirths) and 58 died in infancy. In 141 out of these cases the diagnosis could be included within lethal arthrogryposes, with a prevalence of 1 in 6,985 (1.43/10,000) births. Of these, 59 had spinal cord pathology at autopsy and thus were of neurogenic origin. Thirty-nine cases had lethal congenital contracture syndrome (LCCS) clinically characterized by total immobility of the fetus at all ultrasound examinations (12 weeks or later), multiple joint contractures in both upper and lower limbs, hydrops, and fetal death before the 32nd week of pregnancy. LCCS is noted as a unique Finnish disorder with a prevalence of 1 in 25,250 (0.40/10,000) births and is a major cause of lethal arthrogryposis in Finland.

  11. Suicide Intent and Accurate Expectations of Lethality: Predictors of Medical Lethality of Suicide Attempts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gregory K.; Henriques, Gregg R.; Sosdjan, Daniella; Beck, Aaron T.

    2004-01-01

    The degree of intent to commit suicide and the severity of self-injury were examined in individuals (N = 180) who had recently attempted suicide. Although a minimal association was found between the degree of suicide intent and the degree of lethality of the attempt, the accuracy of expectations about the likelihood of dying was found to moderate…

  12. Potentially lethal damage and its repair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Utsumi, Hiroshi

    1989-01-01

    Two forms termed fast-and slow-potentially lethal lethal damage (PLD) are introduced and discussed. The effect on the survival of x-irradiated Chinese hamster cells (V79) of two different post-treatments is examined in plateau- and in log-phases of growth. The postirradiation treatments used : a) incubation in hypertonic solution, and b) incubation in conditioned medium obtained from plateau-phase. Similar reduction in survival was caused by postirradiation treatment with hypertonic phosphate buffered saline, and similar increased in survival was effected by treatment in conditioned medium in plateau- and in log-phases cells. However, repair of PLD sensitive to hypertonic treatment was faster (half time, 5-10 min)(f-PLD repair) and independent from the repair of PLD (half time, 1-2 hour)(s-PLD repair) observed in conditioned medium. The results indicate the induction of two forms of PLD by radiation. Induction of both PLD was found to decrease with increasing LET of the radiation used. Identification of the molecular processes underlying repair and fixation of PLD is a task of particular interest, since it may allow replacement of a phenomenological definition with a molecular definition. Evidence is reviewed indicating the DNA double strand breaks (directly or indirectly induced) may be the DNA lesions underlying PLD. (author)

  13. Lethal domestic violence in eastern North Carolina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliland, M G; Spence, P R; Spence, R L

    2000-01-01

    Strategies for preventing domestic violence can be tailored to a particular geographic or socioeconomic area if the patterns of domestic violence in the area are known. National statistics, although widely available, may not be applicable to a specific region. We reviewed homicide deaths in Eastern North Carolina between 1978 and 1999 to identify patterns in this rural area. Approximately 20% of the homicide deaths in eastern North Carolina are caused by intimate partners. Women accounted for 53% of the victims in 1976, similar to national figures but not rising to 72% as seen nationally in 1998. Latinos are an increasing presence in the area, but had only one recorded episode of lethal violence against an intimate partner. Gunshots accounted for most of the deaths (59% in men, 72% in women). Knowledge of such patterns can assist in selecting prevention strategies for this particular area. Over the last 25 years increasing attention has been devoted to domestic violence (DV), initially defined as abuse committed against a spouse, former spouse, fiancée, boy- or girlfriend, or cohabitant. As time has passed, the definition has been broadened to include other family members--elders, children, and siblings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now uses the term "intimate partner violence" for intentional emotional or physical abuse inflicted by a spouse, ex-spouse, a present or former boy- or girlfriend, or date. For the purposes of this paper, we consider DV interchangeable with intimate partner violence. There has been a national concern that abusive events are under-reported. The National Crime Victimization Survey, an anonymous household survey, indicated nearly 1 million incidents of non-lethal intimate partner violence per year between 1992 and 1996. The number decreased from 1.1 million in 1993 to 840,000 in 1996. Attempts to validate such data for a given geographic area often require subjects to violate anonymity--this may account for lower

  14. Botulinum toxin in bruxism treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Piech

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Bruxism is defined as abnormal, fixed, unconscious chewing organ function, deviating qualitatively and quantitatively from normal function. Another definition speaks of motor dysfunction in the mouth, characterized by grinding and clenching of the teeth, occurring during sleep. The etiology of this disorder has not been explained until now, but it is believed to be related to localized, mental, nervous and neurotransmitter disorders. Purpose: The aim of the study is to review literature and knowledge about the use of botulinum toxin in the treatment of bruxism. Methods of treatment: The patient reports to the physician usually after a distressing, difficult to locate pain. The basis for proper treatment is to detect parafunctions and to make the patient aware of their existence. Diagnostic symptoms include dentinal lesions, recesses, enamel cracks and abfractive cavities, as well as changes in the mucosal area of the cheeks. Treatment begins with the use of an occlusive therapy to relax muscles, reduce parafunction and relieve pain. In the form of severe pain, NSAIDs are introduced and, if necessary, anxiolytics, sedatives and antidepressants. In the absence of response to the treatment used, botulinum toxin type A injections are used. The dose of the agent depends on the initial muscle tone and the effect of decrease in its activity is maintained for 4 to 6 months. Conclusions: The use of botulinum toxin makes it possible to selectively exclude overactive muscles, which is a great advantage over other techniques. An additional benefit of this therapy is achieved good cosmetic effect, reversible effect and minimal amount of side effects.

  15. Facilitation of risk communication during the anthrax attacks of 2001: the organizational backstory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chess, Caron; Clarke, Lee

    2007-09-01

    The anthrax attacks of 2001 created risk communication problems that cannot be fully understood without appreciating the dynamics among organizations. Case studies of communication in New Jersey, consisting of interviews with a range of participants, found that existing organizational and professional networks facilitated trust among decisionmakers. This interpersonal trust improved communication among agencies and thereby risk communication with the public. For example, "white powder scares" were a problem even in places without contamination. Professionals' trust in each other was vital for responding productively. Conversely, organizational challenges, including conflict among agencies, hindered communication with key audiences. Although centralization and increased control are often seen as the remedy for communicative confusion, they also can quash the improvisational responses needed during crises.

  16. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shilpa, P S; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases.

  17. Synthesis and biology of cyclic imine toxins, an emerging class of potent, globally distributed marine toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stivala, Craig E; Benoit, Evelyne; Aráoz, Rómulo; Servent, Denis; Novikov, Alexei; Molgó, Jordi; Zakarian, Armen

    2015-03-01

    From a small group of exotic compounds isolated only two decades ago, Cyclic Imine (CI) toxins have become a major class of marine toxins with global distribution. Their distinct chemical structure, biological mechanism of action, and intricate chemistry ensures that CI toxins will continue to be the subject of fascinating fundamental studies in the broad fields of chemistry, chemical biology, and toxicology. The worldwide occurrence of potent CI toxins in marine environments, their accumulation in shellfish, and chemical stability are important considerations in assessing risk factors for human health. This review article aims to provide an account of chemistry, biology, and toxicology of CI toxins from their discovery to the present day.

  18. Initiating informatics and GIS support for a field investigation of Bioterrorism: The New Jersey anthrax experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skinner Ric

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The investigation of potential exposure to anthrax spores in a Trenton, New Jersey, mail-processing facility required rapid assessment of informatics needs and adaptation of existing informatics tools to new physical and information-processing environments. Because the affected building and its computers were closed down, data to list potentially exposed persons and map building floor plans were unavailable from the primary source. Results Controlling the effects of anthrax contamination required identification and follow-up of potentially exposed persons. Risk of exposure had to be estimated from the geographic relationship between work history and environmental sample sites within the contaminated facility. To assist in establishing geographic relationships, floor plan maps of the postal facility were constructed in ArcView Geographic Information System (GIS software and linked to a database of personnel and visitors using Epi Info and Epi Map 2000. A repository for maintaining the latest versions of various documents was set up using Web page hyperlinks. Conclusions During public health emergencies, such as bioterrorist attacks and disease epidemics, computerized information systems for data management, analysis, and communication may be needed within hours of beginning the investigation. Available sources of data and output requirements of the system may be changed frequently during the course of the investigation. Integrating data from a variety of sources may require entering or importing data from a variety of digital and paper formats. Spatial representation of data is particularly valuable for assessing environmental exposure. Written documents, guidelines, and memos important to the epidemic were frequently revised. In this investigation, a database was operational on the second day and the GIS component during the second week of the investigation.

  19. Vaccine-induced protection against anthrax in cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, P C B; Tindall, B W; Coetzee, J D; Conradie, C M; Bull, R L; Lindeque, P M; Huebschle, O J B

    2004-09-03

    Institution of a policy of vaccination in endangered species with a vaccine not previously administered to it cannot be undertaken lightly. This applies even more in the case of cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) with their unusually monomorphic gene pool and the potential restrictions this places on their immune responses. However, the recently observed mortalities from anthrax in these animals in the Etosha National Park, Namibia, made it imperative to evaluate vaccination. Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), another endangered species in the park, have been vaccinated for over three decades but the effectiveness of this has never been evaluated. Passive protection tests in A/J mice using sera from 12 cheetahs together with enzyme immunoassay indicated that cheetah are able to mount seemingly normal primary and secondary humoral immune responses to the Sterne 34F2 live spore livestock vaccine. Overall protection rates in mice injected with the sera rose and fell in concert with rises and declines in antibody titres, although fine analysis showed that the correlation between titre and protection was complex. Once a high level of protection (96% of mice 1 month after a second booster in the cheetahs) had been achieved, the duration of substantial protection appeared good (60% of the mice 5 months after the second booster). Protection conferred on mice by sera from three of four vaccinated rhino was almost complete, but, obscurely, none of the mice receiving serum from the fourth rhino were protected. Sera from three park lions with naturally acquired high antibody titres, included as controls, also conferred high levels of protection. For the purposes of wildlife management, the conclusions were that vaccination of cheetah with the standard animal anthrax vaccine causes no observable ill effect in the animals and does appear to confer protective immunity. At least one well-separated booster does appear to be desirable. Vaccination of rhino also appears to be justified

  20. A Quantitative Electrochemiluminescence Assay for Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Merrill, Gerald A; Rivera, Victor R; Neal, Dwayne D; Young, Charles; Poli, Mark A

    2006-01-01

    .... Biotinylated antibodies to C. perfringens alpha toxin bound to streptavidin paramagnetic beads specifically immunoadsorbed soluble sample alpha toxin which subsequently selectively immunoadsorbed ruthenium (Ru...

  1. Toxin-Antitoxin Battle in Bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cataudella, Ilaria

    This PhD thesis consists of three research projects revolving around the common thread of investigation of the properties and biological functions of Toxin-Antitoxin loci. Toxin-Antitoxin (TA) loci are transcriptionally regulated via an auto-inhibition mechanism called conditional cooperativity, ...

  2. Plant insecticidal toxins in ecological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-04-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects' vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  3. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien Ibanez

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology.

  4. Stealth and mimicry by deadly bacterial toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yates, S.P.; Jørgensen, Rene; Andersen, Gregers Rom

    2006-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin and exotoxin A are well-characterized members of the ADP-ribosyltransferase toxin family that serve as virulence factors in the pathogenic bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  New high-resolution structural data of the Michaelis complex...

  5. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio

    2006-01-01

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  6. Interplay between toxin transport and flotillin localization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pust, Sascha; Dyve, Anne Berit; Torgersen, Maria L

    2010-01-01

    The flotillin proteins are localized in lipid domains at the plasma membrane as well as in intracellular compartments. In the present study, we examined the importance of flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 for the uptake and transport of the bacterial Shiga toxin (Stx) and the plant toxin ricin and we...... for flotillin-1 or -2. However, the Golgi-dependent sulfation of both toxins was significantly reduced in flotillin knockdown cells. Interestingly, when the transport of ricin to the ER was investigated, we obtained an increased mannosylation of ricin in flotillin-1 and flotillin-2 knockdown cells. The toxicity...... of both toxins was twofold increased in flotillin-depleted cells. Since BFA (Brefeldin A) inhibits the toxicity even in flotillin knockdown cells, the retrograde toxin transport is apparently still Golgi-dependent. Thus, flotillin proteins regulate and facilitate the retrograde transport of Stx and ricin....

  7. Crystallization of isoelectrically homogeneous cholera toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spangler, B.D.; Westbrook, E.M.

    1989-01-01

    Past difficulty in growing good crystals of cholera toxin has prevented the study of the crystal structure of this important protein. The authors have determined that failure of cholera toxin to crystallize well has been due to its heterogeneity. They have now succeeded in overcoming the problem by isolating a single isoelectric variant of this oligomeric protein (one A subunit and five B subunits). Cholera toxin purified by their procedure readily forms large single crystals. The crystal form has been described previously. They have recorded data from native crystals of cholera toxin to 3.0-angstrom resolution with our electronic area detectors. With these data, they have found the orientation of a 5-fold symmetry axis within these crystals, perpendicular to the screw dyad of the crystal. They are now determining the crystal structure of cholera toxin by a combination of multiple heavy-atom isomorphous replacement and density modification techniques, making use of rotational 5-fold averaging of the B subunits

  8. Immunotoxins: The Role of the Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David FitzGerald

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Immunotoxins are antibody-toxin bifunctional molecules that rely on intracellular toxin action to kill target cells. Target specificity is determined via the binding attributes of the chosen antibody. Mostly, but not exclusively, immunotoxins are purpose-built to kill cancer cells as part of novel treatment approaches. Other applications for immunotoxins include immune regulation and the treatment of viral or parasitic diseases. Here we discuss the utility of protein toxins, of both bacterial and plant origin, joined to antibodies for targeting cancer cells. Finally, while clinical goals are focused on the development of novel cancer treatments, much has been learned about toxin action and intracellular pathways. Thus toxins are considered both medicines for treating human disease and probes of cellular function.

  9. Snake venomics of Crotalus tigris: the minimalist toxin arsenal of the deadliest Nearctic rattlesnake venom. Evolutionary Clues for generating a pan-specific antivenom against crotalid type II venoms [corrected].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvete, Juan J; Pérez, Alicia; Lomonte, Bruno; Sánchez, Elda E; Sanz, Libia

    2012-02-03

    We report the proteomic and antivenomic characterization of Crotalus tigris venom. This venom exhibits the highest lethality for mice among rattlesnakes and the simplest toxin proteome reported to date. The venom proteome of C. tigris comprises 7-8 gene products from 6 toxin families; the presynaptic β-neurotoxic heterodimeric PLA(2), Mojave toxin, and two serine proteinases comprise, respectively, 66 and 27% of the C. tigris toxin arsenal, whereas a VEGF-like protein, a CRISP molecule, a medium-sized disintegrin, and 1-2 PIII-SVMPs each represent 0.1-5% of the total venom proteome. This toxin profile really explains the systemic neuro- and myotoxic effects observed in envenomated animals. In addition, we found that venom lethality of C. tigris and other North American rattlesnake type II venoms correlates with the concentration of Mojave toxin A-subunit, supporting the view that the neurotoxic venom phenotype of crotalid type II venoms may be described as a single-allele adaptation. Our data suggest that the evolutionary trend toward neurotoxicity, which has been also reported for the South American rattlesnakes, may have resulted by pedomorphism. The ability of an experimental antivenom to effectively immunodeplete proteins from the type II venoms of C. tigris, Crotalus horridus , Crotalus oreganus helleri, Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus, and Sistrurus catenatus catenatus indicated the feasibility of generating a pan-American anti-Crotalus type II antivenom, suggested by the identification of shared evolutionary trends among South and North American Crotalus species.

  10. Sensitivity of cancer cells to truncated diphtheria toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yi Zhang

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Diphtheria toxin (DT has been utilized as a prospective anti-cancer agent for the targeted delivery of cytotoxic therapy to otherwise untreatable neoplasia. DT is an extremely potent toxin for which the entry of a single molecule into a cell can be lethal. DT has been targeted to cancer cells by deleting the cell receptor-binding domain and combining the remaining catalytic portion with targeting proteins that selectively bind to the surface of cancer cells. It has been assumed that "receptorless" DT cannot bind to and kill cells. In the present study, we report that "receptorless" recombinant DT385 is in fact cytotoxic to a variety of cancer cell lines.In vitro cytotoxicity of DT385 was measured by cell proliferation, cell staining and apoptosis assays. For in vivo studies, the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM system was used to evaluate the effect of DT385 on angiogenesis. The CAM and mouse model system was used to evaluate the effect of DT385 on HEp3 and Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC tumor growth, respectively.Of 18 human cancer cell lines tested, 15 were affected by DT385 with IC(50 ranging from 0.12-2.8 microM. Furthermore, high concentrations of DT385 failed to affect growth arrested cells. The cellular toxicity of DT385 was due to the inhibition of protein synthesis and induction of apoptosis. In vivo, DT385 diminished angiogenesis and decreased tumor growth in the CAM system, and inhibited the subcutaneous growth of LLC tumors in mice.DT385 possesses anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor activity and may have potential as a therapeutic agent.

  11. Computed tomography of lethal medline granuloma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Ho Suk; Kim, Tae Ho; Suh, Kyung Jin; Kim, Tae Hun; Kim, Yong Joo; Kang, Duk Sik

    1991-01-01

    In order to clarify the CT findings of lethal midline granuloma (LMG) diagnosed clinically or histopathologically, the authors retrospectively analyzed 12 patients who were seen at Kyungpook National University Hospital from February 1985 to August 1989. CT showed nasal mucosal thickening and / or soft tissue mass (9 case), spreading of the lesions along the facial subcutaneous fat plane (8 cases), invasion into the paranasal sinuses (5 cases), bone destruction (5 cases), nasopharyngeal mass lesion (2 cases), and extension of the lesion into the infratemporal fossa (1 case). In spite of the fact that CT does not make definitive diagnosis of LMG, it permits evaluation of the extent of the lesion, detection of the combined lesion, differential diagnosis, and close monitoring of its evolution under treatment

  12. Gluconeogenesis in lethally X-irradiated rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paulikova, E.; Ahlers, I.; Praslicka, M.

    1983-01-01

    The in vivo incorporation of U- 14 C-alanine into blood glucose and liver glycogen was measured in rats irradiated with a single whole body lethal dose of X-rays. Changes in gluconeogenic enzyme activities were studied in the liver. Increased incorporation of 14 C-alanine into blood glucose and liver glycogen were found after irradiation. Liver phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glycogenic activity underwent almost parallel changes and were significantly elevated from the 6th to the 48th hour, with resultant accumulation of glycogen. Glucose-6-phosphatase activity was depressed and there was a negative correlation between it and liver glycogen concentration. Maximum fructose-1,6-diphosphatase activity was found at 48 hours. The results show that glycogen accumulation in the liver and the raised blood glucose level in X-irradiated rats are based on raised gluconeogenesis. (author)

  13. Gluconeogenesis in lethally X-irradiated rats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paulikova, E.; Ahlers, I.; Praslicka, M. (Univerzita P.J. Safarika, Kosice (Czechoslovakia). Katedra Vseobecnej Biologie)

    1983-02-01

    The in vivo incorporation of U-/sup 14/C-alanine into blood glucose and liver glycogen was measured in rats irradiated with a single whole body lethal dose of X-rays. Changes in gluconeogenic enzyme activities were studied in the liver. Increased incorporation of /sup 14/C-alanine into blood glucose and liver glycogen were found after irradiation. Liver phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glycogenic activity underwent almost parallel changes and were significantly elevated from the 6th to the 48th hour, with resultant accumulation of glycogen. Glucose-6-phosphatase activity was depressed and there was a negative correlation between it and liver glycogen concentration. Maximum fructose-1,6-diphosphatase activity was found at 48 hours. The results show that glycogen accumulation in the liver and the raised blood glucose level in X-irradiated rats are based on raised gluconeogenesis.

  14. Ants defend aphids against lethal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Charlotte; Agrawal, Anurag A.; Hajek, Ann E.

    2010-01-01

    Social insects defend their own colonies and some species also protect their mutualist partners. In mutualisms with aphids, ants typically feed on honeydew produced by aphids and, in turn guard and shelter aphid colonies from insect natural enemies. Here we report that Formica podzolica ants tending milkweed aphids, Aphis asclepiadis, protect aphid colonies from lethal fungal infections caused by an obligate aphid pathogen, Pandora neoaphidis. In field experiments, bodies of fungal-killed aphids were quickly removed from ant-tended aphid colonies. Ant workers were also able to detect infective conidia on the cuticle of living aphids and responded by either removing or grooming these aphids. Our results extend the long-standing view of ants as mutualists and protectors of aphids by demonstrating focused sanitizing and quarantining behaviour that may lead to reduced disease transmission in aphid colonies. PMID:19923138

  15. Lethal photosensitization of biofilm-grown bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Michael

    1997-12-01

    Antibacterial agents are increasingly being used for the prophylaxis and treatment of oral diseases. As these agents can be rendered ineffective by resistance development in the target organisms there is a need to develop alternative antimicrobial approaches. Light-activated antimicrobial agents release singlet oxygen and free radicals which can kill adjacent bacteria and a wide range of cariogenic and periodontopathogenic bacteria has been shown to be susceptible to such agents. In the oral cavity these organisms are present as biofilms (dental plaques) which are less susceptible to traditional antimicrobial agents than bacterial suspensions. The results of these studies have shown that biofilm-grown oral bacteria are also susceptible to lethal photosensitization although the light energy doses required are grater than those needed to kill the organisms when they are grown as aqueous suspensions.

  16. Comparison of the Structural Stability and Dynamic Properties of Recombinant Anthrax Protective Antigen and its 2-Fluorohistidine Labeled Analogue

    OpenAIRE

    Hu, Lei; Joshi, Sangeeta B.; Andra, Kiran K.; Thakkar, Santosh V.; Volkin, David B.; Bann, James G.; Middaugh, C. Russell

    2012-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA) is the primary protein antigenic component of both the currently used anthrax vaccine and related recombinant vaccines under development. An analogue of recombinant PA (2-FHis rPA) has been recently shown to block the key steps of pore formation in the process of inducing cytotoxicity in cells, and thus can potentially be used as an antitoxin or a vaccine. This rPA analogue was produced by fermentation to incorporate the unnatural amino acid 2-fluorohistidine (2-FHis)....

  17. Quinoid radio-toxin (QRT) induced metabolic changes in mice: An ex vivo and in vivo EPR investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibragimova, M.I.; Petukhov, V.Yu.; Zheglov, E.P.; Khan, N.; Hou, H.; Swartz, H.M.; Konjukhov, G.V.; Nizamov, R.N.

    2013-01-01

    Radio-toxins are toxic metabolites produced by ionizing irradiation and have toxic effects similar to those caused by direct irradiation. We have investigated the effect of a quinoid radio-toxin (QRT) obtained from γ-irradiated potato tuber on various organs in mice using ex vivo and in vivo EPR spectroscopy. Results indicate a decrease in the activity of ribonucleotide reductase enzyme in spleen of mice treated with 0.2 mg QRT. A dose of 2 mg QRT was fatal to mice within 45–60 min of treatment. Nitrosyl hemoglobin complexes α-(Fe2+–NO)α-(Fe2+)β-(Fe2+)2 were detected from spleen, blood, liver, kidney, heart, and lung tissue samples of mice treated with lethal doses of QRT. A significant decrease of pO2 in liver and brain was observed after administration of QRT at the lethal dose. The time of the appearance of the nitrosyl hemoglobin complex and its intensity varied with the dose of QRT and the type of tissue. These results indicate that the effect of the QRT is more prominent in spleen and to a lesser extent in liver and blood. The QRT action at the lethal doses resulted in an increased hypoxia over time with disruption of compensatory adaptive response. The results indicate similar outcome of QRT as observed with γ-irradiation. PMID:18230367

  18. 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.

  19. Neutralization of Bacterial YoeBSpn Toxicity and Enhanced Plant Growth in Arabidopsis thaliana via Co-Expression of the Toxin-Antitoxin Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Yeo, Chew Chieng; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have various cellular functions, including as part of the general stress response. The genome of the Gram-positive human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae harbors several putative TA systems, including yefM-yoeBSpn, which is one of four systems that had been demonstrated to be biologically functional. Overexpression of the yoeBSpn toxin gene resulted in cell stasis and eventually cell death in its native host, as well as in Escherichia coli. Our previous work showed that induced expression of a yoeBSpn toxin-Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) fusion gene apparently triggered apoptosis and was lethal in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effects of co-expression of the yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic A. thaliana. When co-expressed in Arabidopsis, the YefMSpn antitoxin was found to neutralize the toxicity of YoeBSpn-GFP. Interestingly, the inducible expression of both yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic hybrid Arabidopsis resulted in larger rosette leaves and taller plants with a higher number of inflorescence stems and increased silique production. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a prokaryotic antitoxin neutralizing its cognate toxin in plant cells. PMID:27104531

  20. Neutralization of Bacterial YoeBSpn Toxicity and Enhanced Plant Growth in Arabidopsis thaliana via Co-Expression of the Toxin-Antitoxin Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fauziah Abu Bakar

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA systems have various cellular functions, including as part of the general stress response. The genome of the Gram-positive human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae harbors several putative TA systems, including yefM-yoeBSpn, which is one of four systems that had been demonstrated to be biologically functional. Overexpression of the yoeBSpn toxin gene resulted in cell stasis and eventually cell death in its native host, as well as in Escherichia coli. Our previous work showed that induced expression of a yoeBSpn toxin-Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP fusion gene apparently triggered apoptosis and was lethal in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effects of co-expression of the yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic A. thaliana. When co-expressed in Arabidopsis, the YefMSpn antitoxin was found to neutralize the toxicity of YoeBSpn-GFP. Interestingly, the inducible expression of both yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic hybrid Arabidopsis resulted in larger rosette leaves and taller plants with a higher number of inflorescence stems and increased silique production. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a prokaryotic antitoxin neutralizing its cognate toxin in plant cells.

  1. Chronic exposure of corals to fine sediments: lethal and sub-lethal impacts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florita Flores

    Full Text Available Understanding the sedimentation and turbidity thresholds for corals is critical in assessing the potential impacts of dredging projects in tropical marine systems. In this study, we exposed two species of coral sampled from offshore locations to six levels of total suspended solids (TSS for 16 weeks in the laboratory, including a 4 week recovery period. Dose-response relationships were developed to quantify the lethal and sub-lethal thresholds of sedimentation and turbidity for the corals. The sediment treatments affected the horizontal foliaceous species (Montipora aequituberculata more than the upright branching species (Acropora millepora. The lowest sediment treatments that caused full colony mortality were 30 mg l(-1 TSS (25 mg cm(-2 day(-1 for M. aequituberculata and 100 mg l(-1 TSS (83 mg cm(-2 day(-1 for A. millepora after 12 weeks. Coral mortality generally took longer than 4 weeks and was closely related to sediment accumulation on the surface of the corals. While measurements of damage to photosystem II in the symbionts and reductions in lipid content and growth indicated sub-lethal responses in surviving corals, the most reliable predictor of coral mortality in this experiment was long-term sediment accumulation on coral tissue.

  2. Chronic Exposure of Corals to Fine Sediments: Lethal and Sub-Lethal Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Florita; Hoogenboom, Mia O.; Smith, Luke D.; Cooper, Timothy F.; Abrego, David; Negri, Andrew P.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the sedimentation and turbidity thresholds for corals is critical in assessing the potential impacts of dredging projects in tropical marine systems. In this study, we exposed two species of coral sampled from offshore locations to six levels of total suspended solids (TSS) for 16 weeks in the laboratory, including a 4 week recovery period. Dose-response relationships were developed to quantify the lethal and sub-lethal thresholds of sedimentation and turbidity for the corals. The sediment treatments affected the horizontal foliaceous species (Montipora aequituberculata) more than the upright branching species (Acropora millepora). The lowest sediment treatments that caused full colony mortality were 30 mg l−1 TSS (25 mg cm−2 day−1) for M. aequituberculata and 100 mg l−1 TSS (83 mg cm−2 day−1) for A. millepora after 12 weeks. Coral mortality generally took longer than 4 weeks and was closely related to sediment accumulation on the surface of the corals. While measurements of damage to photosystem II in the symbionts and reductions in lipid content and growth indicated sub-lethal responses in surviving corals, the most reliable predictor of coral mortality in this experiment was long-term sediment accumulation on coral tissue. PMID:22662225

  3. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Codd, Geoffrey A.; Morrison, Louise F.; Metcalf, James S.

    2005-01-01

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles

  4. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Paola G; Ramírez, David; Alzate-Morales, Jans; Caballero, Julio; Kaas, Quentin; González, Wendy

    2017-12-22

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  5. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola G. Ojeda

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  6. Botulinum toxin for the treatment of bruxism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinastepe, Neslihan; Küçük, Burcu Bal; Oral, Koray

    2015-10-01

    Botulinum toxin, the most potent biological toxin, has been shown to be effective for a variety of disorders in several medical conditions, when used both therapeutically and cosmetically. In recent years, there has been a rising trend in the use of this pharmacological agent to control bruxing activity, despite its reported adverse effects. The aim of this review was to provide a brief overview to clarify the underlying essential ideas for the use of botulinum toxin in bruxism based on available scientific papers. An electronic literature search was performed to identify publications related to botulinum toxin and its use for bruxism in PubMed. Hand searching of relevant articles was also made to identify additional studies. Of the eleven identified studies, only two were randomized controlled trials, compared with the effectiveness of botulinum toxins on the reduction in the frequency of bruxism events and myofascial pain after injection. The authors of these studies concluded that botulinum toxin could be used as an effective treatment for reducing nocturnal bruxism and myofascial pain in patients with bruxism. Evidence-based research was limited on this topic. More randomized controlled studies are needed to confirm that botulinum toxin is safe and reliable for routine clinical use in bruxism.

  7. Engineering toxins for 21st century therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaddock, John A; Acharya, K Ravi

    2011-04-01

    'Engineering Toxins for 21st Century Therapies' (9-10 September 2010) was part of the Royal Society International Seminar series held at the Kavli International Centre, UK. Participants were assembled from a range of disciplines (academic, industry, regulatory, public health) to discuss the future potential of toxin-based therapies. The meeting explored how the current structural and mechanistic knowledge of toxins could be used to engineer future toxin-based therapies. To date, significant progress has been made in the design of novel recombinant biologics based on domains of natural toxins, engineered to exhibit advantageous properties. The meeting concluded, firstly that future product development vitally required the appropriate combination of creativity and innovation that can come from the academic, biotechnology and pharma sectors. Second, that continued investigation into understanding the basic science of the toxins and their targets was essential in order to develop new opportunities for the existing products and to create new products with enhanced properties. Finally, it was concluded that the clinical potential for development of novel biologics based on toxin domains was evident. © 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 FEBS.

  8. Ciprofloxacin causes persister formation by inducing the TisB toxin in Escherichia coli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Dörr

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria induce stress responses that protect the cell from lethal factors such as DNA-damaging agents. Bacterial populations also form persisters, dormant cells that are highly tolerant to antibiotics and play an important role in recalcitrance of biofilm infections. Stress response and dormancy appear to represent alternative strategies of cell survival. The mechanism of persister formation is unknown, but isolated persisters show increased levels of toxin/antitoxin (TA transcripts. We have found previously that one or more components of the SOS response induce persister formation after exposure to a DNA-damaging antibiotic. The SOS response induces several TA genes in Escherichia coli. Here, we show that a knockout of a particular SOS-TA locus, tisAB/istR, had a sharply decreased level of persisters tolerant to ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic that causes DNA damage. Step-wise administration of ciprofloxacin induced persister formation in a tisAB-dependent manner, and cells producing TisB toxin were tolerant to multiple antibiotics. TisB is a membrane peptide that was shown to decrease proton motive force and ATP levels, consistent with its role in forming dormant cells. These results suggest that a DNA damage-induced toxin controls production of multidrug tolerant cells and thus provide a model of persister formation.

  9. Stabilization of a recombinant ricin toxin A subunit vaccine through lyophilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassett, Kimberly J; Cousins, Megan C; Rabia, Lilia A; Chadwick, Chrystal M; O'Hara, Joanne M; Nandi, Pradyot; Brey, Robert N; Mantis, Nicholas J; Carpenter, John F; Randolph, Theodore W

    2013-10-01

    Lyophilization was used to prepare dry, glassy solid vaccine formulations of recombinant ricin toxin A-chain containing suspensions of colloidal aluminum hydroxide adjuvant. Four lyophilized formulations were prepared by using combinations of rapid or slow cooling during lyophilization and one of two buffers, histidine or ammonium acetate. Trehalose was used as the stabilizing excipient. Aggregation of the colloidal aluminum hydroxide suspension was reduced in formulations processed with a rapid cooling rate. Aluminum hydroxide particle size distributions, glass transition temperatures, water contents, and immunogenicities of lyophilized vaccines were independent of incubation time at 40 °C for up to 15 weeks. Mice immunized with reconstituted ricin toxin subunit A (RTA) vaccines produced RTA-specific antibodies and toxin-neutralizing antibodies (TNAs) regardless of the length of high temperature vaccine storage or the degree of aluminum adjuvant aggregation that occurred during lyophilization. In murine studies, lyophilized formulations of vaccines conferred protection against exposure to lethal doses of ricin, even after the lyophilized formulations had been stored at 40 °C for 4 weeks. A corresponding liquid formulation of vaccine stored at 40 °C elicited RTA-specific antibody titers but failed to confer immunity during a ricin challenge. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Role of Botulinum Toxin in Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsaik, Ajay K; Mascarenhas, Sonia S; Hashmi, Aqeel; Prokop, Larry J; John, Vineeth; Okusaga, Olaoluwa; Singh, Balwinder

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this review was to consolidate the evidence concerning the efficacy of botulinum toxin type A (onabotulinumtoxinA) in depression. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and Scopus through May 5, 2014, for studies evaluating the efficacy of botulinum toxin A in depression. Only randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. A pooled mean difference in primary depression score, and pooled odds ratio for response and remission rate with 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated using the random-effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed using Cochran Q test and χ statistic. Of the 639 articles that were initially retrieved, 5 studies enrolling 194 subjects (age 49±9.6 y) were included in the systematic review, and 3 randomized controlled trials enrolling 134 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis showed a significant decrease in mean primary depression scores among patients who received botulinum toxin A compared with placebo (-9.80; 95% CI, -12.90 to -6.69) with modest heterogeneity between the studies (Cochran Q test, χ=70). Response and remission rates were 8.3 and 4.6 times higher, respectively, among patients receiving botulinum toxin A compared with placebo, with no heterogeneity between the studies. The 2 studies excluded from the meta-analysis also found a significant decrease in primary depression scores in patients after receiving botulinum toxin A. A few subjects had minor side effects, which were similar between the groups receiving botulinum toxin and those receiving placebo. This study suggests that botulinum toxin A can produce significant improvement in depressive symptoms and is a safe adjunctive treatment for patients receiving pharmacotherapy for depression. Future trials are needed to evaluate the antidepressant effect per se of botulinum toxin A and to further elucidate the underlying antidepressant mechanism of botulinum toxin A.

  11. Botulinum toxin: yesterday, today, tomorrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Artemenko

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin (BoNT is a bacterial neurotoxin presented with seven serotypes that inhibit neurotransmitter release from nerve endings. The serotypes of BoNT are antigenically dissimilar, act via different, but interconnected mechanisms, and are not interchangeable. The activity of BoNT is associated with impaired neuroexocytosis occurring in several steps: from the binding of BoNT to its specific receptor on the axon terminal membrane to the proteolytic enzymatic cleavage of SNARE substrate. The effect of BoNT is considered to be restricted to the peripheral nervous system, but when given in particularly high doses, it has been recently shown to affect individual brain structures. In addition, by modulating peripheral afferentation, BoNT may influence the excitability of central neuronal structures at both spinal and cortical levels. Only BoNT serotypes A and B are used in clinical practice and aesthetic medicine. The type A has gained the widest acceptance as a therapeutic agent for more than 100 abnormalities manifesting themselves as muscular hyperactivity, hyperfunction of endocrine gland, and chronic pain. The effect of BoNT preparations shows itself 2-5 days after injection, lasts 3 months or more, and gradually decreases with as a result of pharmacokinetic and intracellular reparative processes. Biotechnology advances and potentialities allow purposefully modification of the protein molecular structure of BoNT, which expands the use and efficiency of performed therapy with neurotoxins. Recombinant technologies provide a combination of major therapeutic properties of each used BoNT serotype and expand indications for recombinant chimeric toxins.

  12. Toxin production in Dinophysis and the fate of these toxins in marine mussels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lasse Tor

    Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) poses a considerable threat to food safety and to the economy of shellfish fishers and farmers in many parts of the world. Thousands of DSP intoxications have been reported, and bivalve harvesting can sometimes be closed down several months in a row. The toxins....... acuta. I grew the two species in laboratory cultures at different irradiances (7-130 μmol photons m-2 s-1) and with different food availability. The results showed that irradiance had no effects on toxin profiles, and only limited effects of the cellular toxin contents. Rather, toxin production rates...... are primarily produced by the marine mixotrophic dinoflagellates Dinophysis spp., known to occur in most parts of the world. Dinophysis can, along with other planktonic organisms, be consumed by filter-feeding bivalves, and thus the toxins can accumulate. Dinophysis can produce the three toxin groups, okadaic...

  13. Conditional Toxin Splicing Using a Split Intein System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alford, Spencer C; O'Sullivan, Connor; Howard, Perry L

    2017-01-01

    Protein toxin splicing mediated by split inteins can be used as a strategy for conditional cell ablation. The approach requires artificial fragmentation of a potent protein toxin and tethering each toxin fragment to a split intein fragment. The toxin-intein fragments are, in turn, fused to dimerization domains, such that addition of a dimerizing agent reconstitutes the split intein. These chimeric toxin-intein fusions remain nontoxic until the dimerizer is added, resulting in activation of intein splicing and ligation of toxin fragments to form an active toxin. Considerations for the engineering and implementation of conditional toxin splicing (CTS) systems include: choice of toxin split site, split site (extein) chemistry, and temperature sensitivity. The following method outlines design criteria and implementation notes for CTS using a previously engineered system for splicing a toxin called sarcin, as well as for developing alternative CTS systems.

  14. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of five pesticides used in rice farming on the earthworm Eisenia fetida

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rico, Andreu; Sabater, Consuelo; Castillo, María Ángeles

    2016-01-01

    The toxicity of five pesticides typically used in rice farming (trichlorfon, dimethoate, carbendazim, tebuconazole and prochloraz) was evaluated on different lethal and sub-lethal endpoints of the earthworm Eisenia fetida. The evaluated endpoints included: avoidance behaviour after an exposure

  15. Acute Oral Toxicity of Tetrodotoxin in Mice: Determination of Lethal Dose 50 (LD50 and No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Abal

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Tetrodotoxin (TTX is starting to appear in molluscs from the European waters and is a hazard to seafood consumers. This toxin blocks sodium channels resulting in neuromuscular paralysis and even death. As a part of the risk assessment process leading to a safe seafood level for TTX, oral toxicity data are required. In this study, a 4-level Up and Down Procedure was designed in order to determine for the first time the oral lethal dose 50 (LD50 and the No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL in mice by using an accurate well-characterized TTX standard.

  16. Lethal endomyocarditis caused by chronic "Krokodil" intoxication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorrentino, Antonella; Trotta, Silvia; Colucci, Anna Pia; Aventaggiato, Lucia; Marzullo, Andrea; Solarino, Biagio

    2018-03-19

    "Krokodil" is a home-made opioid drug obtained by synthesizing desomorphine from codeine and combining it with other low-cost additives. Initially introduced in the former Soviet countries, it was then imported to Western Europe as a heroin substitute. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an Italian case of lethal krokodil abuse, that occurred in a 39-year-old man, who died suddenly after transportation to the Emergency Department (ED) for hyperthermia associated with sweating, dyspnoea and tachycardia. Post-mortem examination revealed extensive necrotic ulcerative lesions on the forearms, and autopsy showed a hypertrophic heart with ample endocardial vegetation on the aortic valve and patency of the foramen ovale. Histopathological examination of the heart showed ulcero-vegetative lesions of the aortic valve with an abscess on the annulus and extension to the periaortic adipose tissue, as well as diffuse myocardial interstitial inflammatory neutrophilic infiltrates. Toxicological analysis demonstrated a desomorphine metabolite in urine. On the basis of all these findings the cause of death was ruled to be congestive heart failure caused by endocarditis and myocarditis, correlated with chronic abuse of krokodil.

  17. Tumor clone dynamics in lethal prostate cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreira, Suzanne; Romanel, Alessandro; Goodall, Jane; Grist, Emily; Ferraldeschi, Roberta; Miranda, Susana; Prandi, Davide; Lorente, David; Frenel, Jean-Sebastien; Pezaro, Carmel; Omlin, Aurelius; Rodrigues, Daniel Nava; Flohr, Penelope; Tunariu, Nina; S de Bono, Johann; Demichelis, Francesca; Attard, Gerhardt

    2014-09-17

    It is unclear whether a single clone metastasizes and remains dominant over the course of lethal prostate cancer. We describe the clonal architectural heterogeneity at different stages of disease progression by sequencing serial plasma and tumor samples from 16 ERG-positive patients. By characterizing the clonality of commonly occurring deletions at 21q22, 8p21, and 10q23, we identified multiple independent clones in metastatic disease that are differentially represented in tissue and circulation. To exemplify the clinical utility of our studies, we then showed a temporal association between clinical progression and emergence of androgen receptor (AR) mutations activated by glucocorticoids in about 20% of patients progressing on abiraterone and prednisolone or dexamethasone. Resistant clones showed a complex dynamic with temporal and spatial heterogeneity, suggesting distinct mechanisms of resistance at different sites that emerged and regressed depending on treatment selection pressure. This introduces a management paradigm requiring sequential monitoring of advanced prostate cancer patients with plasma and tumor biopsies to ensure early discontinuation of agents when they become potential disease drivers. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Human cooperation by lethal group competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egas, Martijn; Kats, Ralph; van der Sar, Xander; Reuben, Ernesto; Sabelis, Maurice W

    2013-01-01

    Why humans are prone to cooperate puzzles biologists, psychologists and economists alike. Between-group conflict has been hypothesized to drive within-group cooperation. However, such conflicts did not have lasting effects in laboratory experiments, because they were about luxury goods, not needed for survival ("looting"). Here, we find within-group cooperation to last when between-group conflict is implemented as "all-out war" (eliminating the weakest groups). Human subjects invested in helping group members to avoid having the lowest collective pay-off, whereas they failed to cooperate in control treatments with random group elimination or with no subdivision in groups. When the game was repeated, experience was found to promote helping. Thus, not within-group interactions alone, not random group elimination, but pay-off-dependent group elimination was found to drive within-group cooperation in our experiment. We suggest that some forms of human cooperation are maintained by multi-level selection: reciprocity within groups and lethal competition among groups acting together.

  19. NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis - 2015. In this Table, provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases (≥1,000 cases reported during the preceding...

  20. Toxins and antimicrobial peptides: interactions with membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlamadinger, Diana E.; Gable, Jonathan E.; Kim, Judy E.

    2009-08-01

    The innate immunity to pathogenic invasion of organisms in the plant and animal kingdoms relies upon cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as the first line of defense. In addition to these natural peptide antibiotics, similar cationic peptides, such as the bee venom toxin melittin, act as nonspecific toxins. Molecular details of AMP and peptide toxin action are not known, but the universal function of these peptides to disrupt cell membranes of pathogenic bacteria (AMPs) or a diverse set of eukaryotes and prokaryotes (melittin) is widely accepted. Here, we have utilized spectroscopic techniques to elucidate peptide-membrane interactions of alpha-helical human and mouse AMPs of the cathelicidin family as well as the peptide toxin melittin. The activity of these natural peptides and their engineered analogs was studied on eukaryotic and prokaryotic membrane mimics consisting of resistant pathogens.

  1. Bacterial toxins as pathogen weapons against phagocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana edo Vale

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial toxins are virulence factors that manipulate host cell functions and take over the control of vital processes of living organisms to favour microbial infection. Some toxins directly target innate immune cells, thereby annihilating a major branch of the host immune response. In this review we will focus on bacterial toxins that act from the extracellular milieu and hinder the function of macrophages and neutrophils. In particular, we will concentrate on toxins from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria that manipulate cell signalling or induce cell death by either imposing direct damage to the host cells cytoplasmic membrane or enzymatically modifying key eukaryotic targets. Outcomes regarding pathogen dissemination, host damage and disease progression will be discussed.

  2. How Parkinsonian Toxins Dysregulate the Autophagy Machinery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruben K. Dagda

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Since their discovery, Parkinsonian toxins (6-hydroxydopamine, MPP+, paraquat, and rotenone have been widely employed as in vivo and in vitro chemical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD. Alterations in mitochondrial homeostasis, protein quality control pathways, and more recently, autophagy/mitophagy have been implicated in neurotoxin models of PD. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms by which different PD toxins dysregulate autophagy/mitophagy and how alterations of these pathways play beneficial or detrimental roles in dopamine neurons. The convergent and divergent effects of PD toxins on mitochondrial function and autophagy/mitophagy are also discussed in this review. Furthermore, we propose new diagnostic tools and discuss how pharmacological modulators of autophagy/mitophagy can be developed as disease-modifying treatments for PD. Finally, we discuss the critical need to identify endogenous and synthetic forms of PD toxins and develop efficient health preventive programs to mitigate the risk of developing PD.

  3. Botulinum toxin type a for chronic migraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazi, Avi

    2010-03-01

    Chronic migraine (CM) is the leading cause of chronic daily headache, a common and debilitating headache syndrome. The management of CM patients is challenging, with only limited benefit from available oral preventive medications. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) has been used extensively to treat disorders associated with increased muscle tone. More recent scientific data support an analgesic effect of the toxin. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of BoNT make it an appealing candidate for migraine prevention. Results from older clinical trials on the efficacy of the toxin in CM were inconclusive. However, recent trials using more stringent inclusion criteria have shown positive results, supporting the use of the toxin in some patients with this disorder. This review summarizes the scientific data on the analgesic properties of BoNT, as well as the clinical data on the efficacy of the toxin in treating CM.

  4. NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — NNDSS - Table II. Shiga toxin to Shigellosis - 2016. In this Table, provisional* cases of selected† notifiable diseases (≥1,000 cases reported during the preceding...

  5. Updates on tetanus toxin: a fundamental approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Ahaduzzaman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium tetani is an anaerobic bacterium that produces second most poisonous protein toxins than any other bacteria. Tetanus in animals is sporadic in nature but difficult to combat even by using antibiotics and antiserum. It is crucial to understand the fundamental mechanisms and signals that control toxin production for advance research and medicinal uses. This review was intended for better understanding the basic patho-physiology of tetanus and neurotoxins (TeNT among the audience of related field.

  6. Clinical Study of New Tetravalent (Type A, B, E, and F) Botulinum Toxoid Vaccine Derived from M Toxin in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torii, Yasushi; Sugimoto, Nakaba; Kohda, Tomoko; Kozaki, Shunji; Morokuma, Kazunori; Horikawa, Yoshikane; Ginnaga, Akihiro; Yamamoto, Akihiko; Takahashi, Motohide

    2017-07-24

    Botulinum toxin is the most poisonous substance known, and is believed to be a highly lethal as a biological weapon; researchers of the toxin are exposed to this hazard. Botulinum toxoid vaccines have been produced and used in Japan. However, since clinical studies involving these vaccines were conducted before establishment of the Ethical Guidelines for Clinical Research in Japan, their immunogenicity and safety were not systematically assessed. In this study, we produced a new tetravalent (type A, B, E, and F) botulinum toxoid vaccine, the first ever to be derived from M toxin, and conducted quality control tests with reference to the Minimum Requirements in Japan for adsorbed tetanus toxoid vaccine. Subsequently, a clinical study using the new vaccine in 48 healthy adult volunteers was conducted according to the guidelines in Japan. No clinically serious adverse event was noted. Neutralizing antibody titers for each type of toxin in the participants' sera, 1 month after the 4th injection were more than 0.25 IU/mL, indicating sufficient protection. This study demonstrated that the vaccine has marked immunogenicity and is safe for use in humans.

  7. Botulinum toxin therapy for limb dystonias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, D M; Aminoff, M J; Olney, R K

    1992-03-01

    We investigated the effectiveness of botulinum toxin in 17 patients with limb dystonias (10 with occupational cramps, three with idiopathic dystonia unrelated to activity, and two each with post-stroke and parkinsonian dystonia) in a placebo-controlled, blinded study. We identified affected muscles clinically and by recording the EMG from implanted wire electrodes at rest and during performance of tasks that precipitated abnormal postures. There were three injections given with graded doses of toxin (average doses, 5 to 10, 10 to 20, and 20 to 40 units per muscle) and one with placebo, in random order. Subjective improvement occurred after 53% of injections of botulinum toxin, and this was substantial in 24%. Only one patient (7%) improved after placebo injection. Subjective improvement occurred in 82% of patients with at least one dose of toxin, lasting for 1 to 4 months. Response rates were similar between clinical groups. Objective evaluation failed to demonstrate significant improvement following treatment with toxin compared with placebo. The major side effect was transient focal weakness after 53% of injections of toxin.

  8. Botulinum toxin for the treatment of strabismus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Fiona J; Noonan, Carmel P

    2017-03-02

    The use of botulinum toxin as an investigative and treatment modality for strabismus is well reported in the medical literature. However, it is unclear how effective it is in comparison to other treatment options for strabismus. The primary objective was to examine the efficacy of botulinum toxin therapy in the treatment of strabismus compared with alternative conservative or surgical treatment options. This review sought to ascertain those types of strabismus that particularly benefit from the use of botulinum toxin as a treatment option (such as small angle strabismus or strabismus with binocular potential, i.e. the potential to use both eyes together as a pair). The secondary objectives were to investigate the dose effect and complication rates associated with botulinum toxin. We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Trials Register) (2016, Issue 6), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to July 2016), Embase (January 1980 to July 2016), Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences (LILACS) (January 1982 to July 2016), the ISRCTN registry (www.isrctn.com/editAdvancedSearch), ClinicalTrials.gov (www.clinicaltrials.gov), and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (www.who.int/ictrp/search/en). We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 11 July 2016. We handsearched the British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, Australian Orthoptic Journal, proceedings of the European Strabismological Association (ESA), International Strabismological Association (ISA) and International Orthoptic Association (IOA) (www.liv.ac.uk/orthoptics/research/search.htm) and American Academy of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus meetings (AAPOS). We contacted researchers who are active in this field for information about further

  9. In trans complementation of lethal factor reveal roles in colonization and dissemination in a murine mouse model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Lowe

    Full Text Available Lethal factor (LF is a component of the B. anthracis exotoxin and critical for pathogenesis. The roles of LF in early anthrax pathogenesis, such as colonization and dissemination from the initial site of infection, are poorly understood. In mice models of infection, LF-deficient strains either have altered dissemination patterns or do not colonize, precluding analysis of the role of LF in colonization and dissemination from the portal of entry. Previous reports indicate rabbit and guinea pig models infected with LF-deficient strains have decreased virulence, yet the inability to use bioluminescent imaging techniques to track B. anthracis growth and dissemination in these hosts makes analysis of early pathogenesis challenging. In this study, the roles of LF early in infection were analyzed using bioluminescent signature tagged libraries of B. anthracis with varying ratios of LF-producing and LF-deficient clones. Populations where all clones produced LF and populations where only 40% of clones produce LF were equally virulent. The 40% LF-producing clones trans complimented the LF mutants and permitted them to colonize and disseminate. Decreases of the LF producing strains to 10% or 0.3% of the population led to increased host survival and decreased trans complementation of the LF mutants. A library with 10% LF producing clones could replicate and disseminate, but fewer clones disseminated and the mutant clones were less competitive than wild type. The inoculum with 0.3% LF producing clones could not colonize the host. This strongly suggests that between 10% and 0.3% of the population must produce LF in order to colonize. In total, these findings suggest that a threshold of LF must be produced in order for colonization and dissemination to occur in vivo. These observations suggest that LF has a major role in the early stages of colonization and dissemination.

  10. Clostridium Perfringens Epsilon Toxin Binds to Membrane Lipids and Its Cytotoxic Action Depends on Sulfatide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carles Gil

    Full Text Available Epsilon toxin (Etx is one of the major lethal toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens types B and D, being the causal agent of fatal enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep and goats. Etx is synthesized as a non-active prototoxin form (proEtx that becomes active upon proteolytic activation. Etx exhibits a cytotoxic effect through the formation of a pore in the plasma membrane of selected cell targets where Etx specifically binds due to the presence of specific receptors. However, the identity and nature of host receptors of Etx remain a matter of controversy. In the present study, the interactions between Etx and membrane lipids from the synaptosome-enriched fraction from rat brain (P2 fraction and MDCK cell plasma membrane preparations were analyzed. Our findings show that both Etx and proEtx bind to lipids extracted from lipid rafts from the two different models as assessed by protein-lipid overlay assay. Lipid rafts are membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids. Binding of proEtx to sulfatide, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol (3-phosphate and phosphatidylinositol (5-phosphate was detected. Removal of the sulphate groups via sulfatase treatment led to a dramatic decrease in Etx-induced cytotoxicity, but not in proEtx-GFP binding to MDCK cells or a significant shift in oligomer formation, pointing to a role of sulfatide in pore formation in rafts but not in toxin binding to the target cell membrane. These results show for the first time the interaction between Etx and membrane lipids from host tissue and point to a major role for sulfatides in C. perfringens epsilon toxin pathophysiology.

  11. Development of a Zealand white rabbit deposition model to study inhalation anthrax

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asgharian, Bahman; Price, Owen; Kabilan, Senthil; Jacob, Richard E.; Einstein, Daniel R.; Kuprat, Andrew P.; Corley, Richard A.

    2016-01-28

    Despite using rabbits in several inhalation exposure experiments to study diseases such as anthrax, there is a lack of understanding regarding deposition characteristics and fate of inhaled particles (bio-aerosols and viruses) in the respiratory tracts of rabbits. Such information allows dosimetric extrapolation to humans to inform human outcomes. The lung geometry of the New Zealand white rabbit (referred to simply as rabbits throughout the article) was constructed using recently acquired scanned images of the conducting airways of rabbits and available information on its acinar region. In addition, functional relationships were developed for the lung and breathing parameters of rabbits as a function of body weight. The lung geometry and breathing parameters were used to extend the existing deposition model for humans and several other species to rabbits. Evaluation of the deposition model for rabbits was made by comparing predictions with available measurements in the literature. Deposition predictions in the lungs of rabbits indicated smaller deposition fractions compared to those found in humans across various particle diameter ranges. The application of the deposition model for rabbits was demonstrated by extrapolating deposition predictions in rabbits to find equivalent human exposure concentrations assuming the same dose-response relationship between the two species. Human equivalent exposure concentration levels were found to be much smaller than those for rabbits.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Development of a Zealand White Rabbit Deposition Model to Study Inhalation Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgharian, Bahman; Price, Owen; Kabilan, Senthil; Jacob, Richard E.; Einstein, Daniel R.; Kuprat, A.P.; Corley, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Despite using rabbits in several inhalation exposure experiments to study diseases such as anthrax, there is a lack of understanding regarding deposition characteristics and fate of inhaled particles (bio-aerosols and viruses) in the respiratory tracts of rabbits. Such information allows dosimetric extrapolation to humans to inform human outcomes. The lung geometry of the New Zealand white rabbit (referred to simply as rabbits throughout the article) was constructed using recently acquired scanned images of the conducting airways of rabbits and available information on its acinar region. In addition, functional relationships were developed for the lung and breathing parameters of rabbits as a function of body weight. The lung geometry and breathing parameters were used to extend the existing deposition model for humans and several other species to rabbits. Evaluation of the deposition model for rabbits was made by comparing predictions with available measurements in the literature. Deposition predictions in the lungs of rabbits indicated smaller deposition fractions compared to those found in humans across various particle diameter ranges. The application of the deposition model for rabbits was demonstrated by extrapolating deposition predictions in rabbits to find equivalent human exposure concentrations assuming the same dose-response relationship between the two species. Human equivalent exposure concentration levels were found to be much smaller than those for rabbits. PMID:26895308

  14. Fatal attraction: vegetation responses to nutrient inputs attract herbivores to infectious anthrax carcass sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Wendy C; Kausrud, Kyrre L; Krishnappa, Yathin S; Cromsigt, Joris P G M; Ganz, Holly H; Mapaure, Isaac; Cloete, Claudine C; Havarua, Zepee; Küsters, Martina; Getz, Wayne M; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2014-11-22

    Parasites can shape the foraging behaviour of their hosts through cues indicating risk of infection. When cues for risk co-occur with desired traits such as forage quality, individuals face a trade-off between nutrient acquisition and parasite exposure. We evaluated how this trade-off may influence disease transmission in a 3-year experimental study of anthrax in a guild of mammalian herbivores in Etosha National Park, Namibia. At plains zebra (Equus quagga) carcass sites we assessed (i) carcass nutrient effects on soils and grasses, (ii) concentrations of Bacillus anthracis (BA) on grasses and in soils, and (iii) herbivore grazing behaviour, compared with control sites, using motion-sensing camera traps. We found that carcass-mediated nutrient pulses improved soil and vegetation, and that BA is found on grasses up to 2 years after death. Host foraging responses to carcass sites shifted from avoidance to attraction, and ultimately to no preference, with the strength and duration of these behavioural responses varying among herbivore species. Our results demonstrate that animal carcasses alter the environment and attract grazing hosts to parasite aggregations. This attraction may enhance transmission rates, suggesting that hosts are limited in their ability to trade off nutrient intake with parasite avoidance when relying on indirect cues. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  15. Affinity chromatography of tetanus toxin, tetanus toxoid, and botulinum A toxin on synaptosomes, and differentiation of their acceptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habermann, E [Giessen Univ. (Germany, F.R.). Pharmakologisches Inst.

    1976-01-01

    /sup 125/I-labelled tetanus toxin and /sup 125/I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin are known to be specifically bound to brain synaptosomes. In order to discriminate between active toxin and inactive admixtures present in the starting material or arising during iodination, synaptosome columns were prepared using bromacetylcellulose and/or kieselgur (Celite) as carriers. Both types of columns adsorb the toxins from low ionic strength medium and release them if the pH and ionic strength are raised. Botulinum toxin was eluted with lower ionic strength than tetanus toxin, and could be freed from nontoxic admixtures. Analysis by affinity chromatography disclosed partially toxoided tetanus toxin in both labelled and unlabelled toxin samples. High concentrations of formaldehyde (0.5%) destroyed both toxicity and affinity to the synaptosomes of tetanus toxin. Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0.05%) yielded a derivative of low toxicity which was still, however less firmly, bound to synaptosomes. Tetanus and botulinum toxin differ by their acceptors. Whereas unlabelled botulinum toxin is unable to compete with labelled tetanus toxin, unlabelled tetanus toxin slightly competes with botulinum toxin. Both labelled toxins display anomalous binding behaviour in that they cannot be displaced completely even with a large excess of unlabelled toxin.

  16. Affinity chromatography of tetanus toxin, tetanus toxoid, and botulinum A toxin on synaptosomes, and differentiation of their acceptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Habermann, E.

    1976-01-01

    125 I-labelled tetanus toxin and 125 I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin are known to be specifically bound to brain synaptosomes. In order to discriminate between active toxin and inactive admixtures present in the starting material or arising during iodination, synaptosome columns were prepared using bromacetylcellulose and/or kieselgur (Celite) as carriers. Both types of columns adsorb the toxins from low ionic strength medium and release them if the pH and ionic strength are raised. Botulinum toxin was eluted with lower ionic strength than tetanus toxin, and could be freed from nontoxic admixtures. Analysis by affinity chromatography disclosed partially toxoided tetanus toxin in both labelled and unlabelled toxin samples. High concentrations of formaldehyde (0.5%) destroyed both toxicity and affinity to the synaptosomes of tetanus toxin. Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0.05%) yielded a derivative of low toxicity which was still, however less firmly, bound to synaptosomes. Tetanus and botulinum toxin differ by their acceptors. Whereas unlabelled botulinum toxin is unable to compete with labelled tetanus toxin, unlabelled tetanus toxin slightly competes with botulinum toxin. Both labelled toxins display anomalous binding behaviour in that they cannot be displaced completely even with a large excess of unlabelled toxin. (orig.) [de

  17. Botulinum toxin in parkinsonism: The when, how, and which for botulinum toxin injections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Francisco

    2018-06-01

    The aim of this article is to provide a review of the use of injections of botulinum toxin in the management of selected symptoms and signs of Parkinson's disease and other forms of parkinsonism. Sialorrhea is defined as inability to control oral secretions, resulting in excessive saliva in the oropharynx. There is a high level of evidence for the treatment of sialorrhea in parkinsonism with injections of different forms of botulinum toxin type A as well as botulinum toxin type B. Tremor can be improved by the use of botulinum toxin injections but improved tremor control often leads to concomitant motor weakness, limiting its use. Levodopa induced dyskinesias are difficult to treat with botulinum toxin injections because of their variable frequency and direction. Apraxia of eyelid opening, a sign more commonly seen in progressive supranuclear palsy and other tauopathies, often improves after botulinum toxin injections. Recent data suggest that regardless of the underlying mechanism, pain in parkinsonism can be alleviated by botulinum toxin injections. Finally, freezing of gait, camptocormia and Pisa syndrome in parkinsonism almost invariably fail to respond to botulinum toxin injections. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. A new type of lethal short-limbed dwarfism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nairn, E.R.; Chapman, S.

    1989-01-01

    Details are presented of a most unusual osteo-chondrodysplasia which presents with lethal neonatal short-limbed dwarfism, defective ossification and nodular calcification with cartilage. The features resemble one case previously described in the literature. (orig.)

  19. Back to the future: revisiting HIV-1 lethal mutagenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dapp, Michael J.; Patterson, Steven E.; Mansky, Louis M.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of eliminating HIV-1 infectivity by elevating the viral mutation rate was first proposed over a decade ago, even though the general concept had been conceived earlier for RNA viruses. Lethal mutagenesis was originally viewed as a novel chemotherapeutic approach for treating HIV-1 infection in which use of a viral mutagen would over multiple rounds of replication lead to the lethal accumulation of mutations, rendering the virus population non infectious – known as the slow mutation accumulation model. There have been limitations in obtaining good efficacy data with drug leads, leaving some doubt into clinical translation. More recent studies of the APOBEC3 proteins as well as new progress in the use of nucleoside analogs for inducing lethal mutagenesis have helped to refocus attention on rapid induction of HIV-1 lethal mutagenesis in a single or limited number of replication cycles leading to a rapid mutation accumulation model. PMID:23195922

  20. New type of lethal short-limbed dwarfism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nairn, E.R.; Chapman, S.

    1989-05-01

    Details are presented of a most unusual osteo-chondrodysplasia which presents with lethal neonatal short-limbed dwarfism, defective ossification and nodular calcification with cartilage. The features resemble one case previously described in the literature.

  1. Single toxin dose-response models revisited

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demidenko, Eugene, E-mail: eugened@dartmouth.edu [Department of Biomedical Data Science, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH03756 (United States); Glaholt, SP, E-mail: sglaholt@indiana.edu [Indiana University, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, IN47405 (United States); Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH03755 (United States); Kyker-Snowman, E, E-mail: ek2002@wildcats.unh.edu [Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH03824 (United States); Shaw, JR, E-mail: joeshaw@indiana.edu [Indiana University, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Bloomington, IN47405 (United States); Chen, CY, E-mail: Celia.Y.Chen@dartmouth.edu [Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH03755 (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to offer a rigorous analysis of the sigmoid shape single toxin dose-response relationship. The toxin efficacy function is introduced and four special points, including maximum toxin efficacy and inflection points, on the dose-response curve are defined. The special points define three phases of the toxin effect on mortality: (1) toxin concentrations smaller than the first inflection point or (2) larger then the second inflection point imply low mortality rate, and (3) concentrations between the first and the second inflection points imply high mortality rate. Probabilistic interpretation and mathematical analysis for each of the four models, Hill, logit, probit, and Weibull is provided. Two general model extensions are introduced: (1) the multi-target hit model that accounts for the existence of several vital receptors affected by the toxin, and (2) model with a nonzero mortality at zero concentration to account for natural mortality. Special attention is given to statistical estimation in the framework of the generalized linear model with the binomial dependent variable as the mortality count in each experiment, contrary to the widespread nonlinear regression treating the mortality rate as continuous variable. The models are illustrated using standard EPA Daphnia acute (48 h) toxicity tests with mortality as a function of NiCl or CuSO{sub 4} toxin. - Highlights: • The paper offers a rigorous study of a sigmoid dose-response relationship. • The concentration with highest mortality rate is rigorously defined. • A table with four special points for five morality curves is presented. • Two new sigmoid dose-response models have been introduced. • The generalized linear model is advocated for estimation of sigmoid dose-response relationship.

  2. Perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease presenting as hydrops fetalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    BenHamida, Emira; Ayadi, Imene; Ouertani, Ines; Chammem, Maroua; Bezzine, Ahlem; BenTmime, Riadh; Attia, Leila; Mrad, Ridha; Marrakchi, Zahra

    2015-01-01

    Perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease is very rare and is considered a variant of type 2 Gaucher disease that occurs in the neonatal period. The most distinct features of perinatal-lethal Gaucher disease are non-immune hydrops fetalis. Less common signs of the disease are hepatosplenomegaly, ichthyosis and arthrogryposis. We report a case of Gaucher's disease (type 2) diagnosed in a newborn who presented with Hydrops Fetalis.

  3. Conflict Without Casualties: Non-Lethal Weapons in Irregular Warfare

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    the body,” and the Geneva Protocol of 1925, bans the use of chemical and biological weapons .11 On 8 April 1975, President Ford issued Executive...E Funding – PE 63851M) (accessed 15 December 2006). The American Journal of Bioethics . “Medical Ethics and Non-Lethal Weapons .” Bioethics.net...CASUALTIES: NON-LETHAL WEAPONS IN IRREGULAR WARFARE by Richard L. Scott September 2007 Thesis Advisor: Robert McNab Second Reader

  4. Non-Lethal Weapons: Opportunities for R&D

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-12-01

    during the Vietnam War. US; emulsifying agents are used in food processing, drilling fluids, cosmetics , pharmaceuticals, heavy- duty cleaners, textile...conducted in a professional manner, with no threat to public safety or the environment. 11 References [1] Fenton , G., (2001). NLW Technology Taxonomy...W.A., Mason, R.L., Collins, K.R., (2000). Non-Lethal Applicants of Slippery Substances. NDIA Non-Lethal Defense IV. [24] Fenton , G., (2000). Overview

  5. Lethal synergy involving bicyclomycin: an approach for reviving old antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Muhammad; Li, Liping; Zhao, Xilin; Kerns, Robert J; Berger, James M; Drlica, Karl

    2014-12-01

    One way to address the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance is to revive old compounds that may have intrinsic lethal activity that is obscured by protective factors. Bicyclomycin is an old inhibitor of the Rho transcription terminator that by itself shows little rapid lethal activity. However, bicyclomycin participates in bacteriostatic synergy, which raises the possibility that conditions for lethal synergy may exist, perhaps through a suppression of protective factors. Bicyclomycin was combined with bacteriostatic inhibitors of gene expression, and bactericidal activity was measured with several cultured Gram-negative pathogens. When used alone, bicyclomycin failed to rapidly kill growing cultures of Escherichia coli; however, the additional presence of bacteriostatic concentrations of tetracycline, chloramphenicol or rifampicin led to rapid killing. Four other pathogen species, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium and Shigella dysenteriae, also exhibited enhanced killing when bicyclomycin was combined with tetracycline or rifampicin. This lethal synergy was achieved at low concentrations (slightly above the MIC) for all agents tested in combinations. Follow-up work with E. coli indicated that lethal synergy arose from a blockage of transcription elongation. Moreover, lethal synergy was reduced when bicyclomycin was added 60 min before tetracycline, suggesting that bicyclomycin induces a protective factor. The action of bicyclomycin illustrates the potential present in a largely abandoned antibacterial agent; it exhibits lethal synergy when coadministered with known, bacteriostatic inhibitors of gene expression. The identification of protective factors, which are currently uncharacterized, may reveal new ways to promote the lethal action of some old antibiotics. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved

  6. Sonographic features of lethal multiple pterygium syndrome at 14 weeks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Min; Chan, Gavin Shueng Wai; Lee, Chin Peng; Tang, Mary Hoi Yin

    2005-06-01

    Lethal multiple pterygium syndrome is a rare inherited disorder. Previous reports suggest that the diagnosis may be based on prenatal sonographic demonstration of severe limb flexion, absence of fetal motion, and a large cystic hygroma in the second and third trimesters. We present the sonographic features and postmortem features of a fetus with lethal multiple pterygium syndrome at 13 weeks of gestation, which shows that the condition can possibly be diagnosed in the first trimester of pregnancy.

  7. Botulinum Toxin in Management of Limb Tremor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elina Zakin

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Essential tremor is characterized by persistent, usually bilateral and symmetric, postural or kinetic activation of agonist and antagonist muscles involving either the distal or proximal upper extremity. Quality of life is often affected and one’s ability to perform daily tasks becomes impaired. Oral therapies, including propranolol and primidone, can be effective in the management of essential tremor, although adverse effects can limit their use and about 50% of individuals lack response to oral pharmacotherapy. Locally administered botulinum toxin injection has become increasingly useful in the management of essential tremor. Targeting of select muscles with botulinum toxin is an area of active research, and muscle selection has important implications for toxin dosing and functional outcomes. The use of anatomical landmarks with palpation, EMG guidance, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound has been studied as a technique for muscle localization in toxin injection. Earlier studies implemented a standard protocol for the injection of (predominantly wrist flexors and extensors using palpation and EMG guidance. Targeting of muscles by selection of specific activators of tremor (tailored to each patient using kinematic analysis might allow for improvement in efficacy, including functional outcomes. It is this individualized muscle selection and toxin dosing (requiring injection within various sites of a single muscle that has allowed for success in the management of tremors.

  8. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chumbler, Nicole M.; Rutherford, Stacey A.; Zhang, Zhifen; Farrow, Melissa A.; Lisher, John P.; Farquhar, Erik; Giedroc, David P.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Melnyk, Roman A.; Lacy, D. Borden

    2016-01-11

    Clostridium difficile infection is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea and pseudomembranous colitis. Disease is mediated by the actions of two toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which cause the diarrhoea, as well as inflammation and necrosis within the colon. The toxins are large (308 and 270 kDa, respectively), homologous (47% amino acid identity) glucosyltransferases that target small GTPases within the host. The multidomain toxins enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and, upon exposure to the low pH of the endosome, insert into and deliver two enzymatic domains across the membrane. Eukaryotic inositol-hexakisphosphate (InsP6) binds an autoprocessing domain to activate a proteolysis event that releases the N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain into the cytosol. Here, we report the crystal structure of a 1,832-amino-acid fragment of TcdA (TcdA1832), which reveals a requirement for zinc in the mechanism of toxin autoprocessing and an extended delivery domain that serves as a scaffold for the hydrophobic α-helices involved in pH-dependent pore formation. A surface loop of the delivery domain whose sequence is strictly conserved among all large clostridial toxins is shown to be functionally important, and is highlighted for future efforts in the development of vaccines and novel therapeutics.

  9. Array biosensor for detection of toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligler, Frances S.; Taitt, Chris Rowe; Shriver-Lake, Lisa C.; Sapsford, Kim E.; Shubin, Yura; Golden, Joel P.

    2003-01-01

    The array biosensor is capable of detecting multiple targets rapidly and simultaneously on the surface of a single waveguide. Sandwich and competitive fluoroimmunoassays have been developed to detect high and low molecular weight toxins, respectively, in complex samples. Recognition molecules (usually antibodies) were first immobilized in specific locations on the waveguide and the resultant patterned array was used to interrogate up to 12 different samples for the presence of multiple different analytes. Upon binding of a fluorescent analyte or fluorescent immunocomplex, the pattern of fluorescent spots was detected using a CCD camera. Automated image analysis was used to determine a mean fluorescence value for each assay spot and to subtract the local background signal. The location of the spot and its mean fluorescence value were used to determine the toxin identity and concentration. Toxins were measured in clinical fluids, environmental samples and foods, with minimal sample preparation. Results are shown for rapid analyses of staphylococcal enterotoxin B, ricin, cholera toxin, botulinum toxoids, trinitrotoluene, and the mycotoxin fumonisin. Toxins were detected at levels as low as 0.5 ng mL(-1).

  10. Integrated microfluidic technology for sub-lethal and behavioral marine ecotoxicity biotests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yushi; Reyes Aldasoro, Constantino Carlos; Persoone, Guido; Wlodkowic, Donald

    2015-06-01

    Changes in behavioral traits exhibited by small aquatic invertebrates are increasingly postulated as ethically acceptable and more sensitive endpoints for detection of water-born ecotoxicity than conventional mortality assays. Despite importance of such behavioral biotests, their implementation is profoundly limited by the lack of appropriate biocompatible automation, integrated optoelectronic sensors, and the associated electronics and analysis algorithms. This work outlines development of a proof-of-concept miniaturized Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) platform for rapid water toxicity tests based on changes in swimming patterns exhibited by Artemia franciscana (Artoxkit M™) nauplii. In contrast to conventionally performed end-point analysis based on counting numbers of dead/immobile specimens we performed a time-resolved video data analysis to dynamically assess impact of a reference toxicant on swimming pattern of A. franciscana. Our system design combined: (i) innovative microfluidic device keeping free swimming Artemia sp. nauplii under continuous microperfusion as a mean of toxin delivery; (ii) mechatronic interface for user-friendly fluidic actuation of the chip; and (iii) miniaturized video acquisition for movement analysis of test specimens. The system was capable of performing fully programmable time-lapse and video-microscopy of multiple samples for rapid ecotoxicity analysis. It enabled development of a user-friendly and inexpensive test protocol to dynamically detect sub-lethal behavioral end-points such as changes in speed of movement or distance traveled by each animal.

  11. Non-lethal Clostridium sordellii bacteraemia in an immunocompromised patient with pleomorphic sarcoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnecaze, Alex K; Stephens, Sarah Ellen Elza; Miller, Peter John

    2016-08-03

    Clostridium sordellii is a spore-forming anaerobic Gram-positive rod that has rarely been reported to cause disease in humans. Resultant mortality from infection is estimated at nearly 70% and is most often correlated with gynaecological procedures, intravenous drug abuse or trauma. C. sordellii infection often presents similarly to toxic shock syndrome (TSS); notable features of infection include refractory hypotension, haemoconcentration and marked leucocytosis. Although clinically similar to TSS, a notable difference is C. sordellii infections rarely involve fever. The organism's major toxins include haemorrhagic (TcsH) and lethal factor (TcsL), which function to disrupt cytoskeletal integrity. Current literature suggests treating C. sordelli infection with a broad-spectrum penicillin, metronidazole and clindamycin. We present a case of C. sordellii bacteraemia and septic shock in an immunocompromised patient who was recently diagnosed with pleomorphic gluteal sarcoma. Despite presenting in critical condition, the patient improved after aggressive hemodynamic resuscitation, source control and intravenous antibiotic therapy. 2016 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.

  12. Diabetes susceptibility of BALB/cBOM mice treated with streptozotocin. Inhibition by lethal irradiation and restoration by splenic lymphocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paik, S.G.; Blue, M.L.; Fleischer, N.; Shin, S.

    1982-01-01

    In genetically susceptible strains of mice, repeated injections of a subdiabetogenic dose of streptozotocin induces the development of progressive insulin-dependent hyperglycemia. We showed previously that host T-cell functions play an obligatory etiologic role in this experimental disease by demonstrating that the athymic nude mouse is resistant to diabetes induction unless its T-cell functions are reconstituted by thymus graft. Here we show that lethal irradiation of euthymic (+/nu) mice of BALB/cBOM background causes selective resistance of the mice to the diabetogenic effects of the multiple low doses of streptozotocin without affecting their sensitivity to a high pharmacologic dose of the toxin. We also show that reconstitution of the irradiated mice with splenic lymphocytes causes the restoration of diabetes susceptibility. Lethally irradiated mice thus represent a useful experimental model for analyzing the host functions involved in the development of this disease. These results provide an additional support for the hypothesis that the induction of diabetes in this model system is mediated by an autoimmune amplification mechanism

  13. Efficacy of a potential trivalent vaccine based on Hc fragments of botulinum toxins A, B, and E produced in a cell-free expression system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zichel, R; Mimran, A; Keren, A; Barnea, A; Steinberger-Levy, I; Marcus, D; Turgeman, A; Reuveny, S

    2010-05-01

    Botulinum toxins produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum are the most potent biological toxins in nature. Traditionally, people at risk are immunized with a formaldehyde-inactivated toxin complex. Second generation vaccines are based on the recombinant carboxy-terminal heavy-chain (Hc) fragment of the neurotoxin. However, the materialization of this approach is challenging, mainly due to the high AT content of clostridial genes. Herein, we present an alternative strategy in which the native genes encoding Hc proteins of botulinum toxins A, B, and E were used to express the recombinant Hc fragments in a cell-free expression system. We used the unique property of this open system to introduce different combinations of chaperone systems, protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), and reducing/oxidizing environments directly to the expression reaction. Optimized expression conditions led to increased production of soluble Hc protein, which was successfully scaled up using a continuous exchange (CE) cell-free system. Hc proteins were produced at a concentration of more than 1 mg/ml and purified by one-step Ni(+) affinity chromatography. Mice immunized with three injections containing 5 microg of any of the in vitro-expressed, alum-absorbed, Hc vaccines generated a serum enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) titer of 10(5) against the native toxin complex, which enabled protection against a high-dose toxin challenge (10(3) to 10(6) mouse 50% lethal dose [MsLD(50)]). Finally, immunization with a trivalent HcA, HcB, and HcE vaccine protected mice against the corresponding trivalent 10(5) MsLD(50) toxin challenge. Our results together with the latest developments in scalability of the in vitro protein expression systems offer alternative routes for the preparation of botulinum vaccine.

  14. Mechanism of Shiga Toxin Clustering on Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pezeshkian, Weria; Gao, Haifei; Arumugam, Senthil

    2017-01-01

    between them. The precise mechanism by which this clustering occurs remains poorly defined. Here, we used vesicle and cell systems and computer simulations to show that line tension due to curvature, height, or compositional mismatch, and lipid or solvent depletion cannot drive the clustering of Shiga...... toxin molecules. By contrast, in coarse-grained computer simulations, a correlation was found between clustering and toxin nanoparticle-driven suppression of membrane fluctuations, and experimentally we observed that clustering required the toxin molecules to be tightly bound to the membrane surface...... molecules (several nanometers), and persist even beyond. This force is predicted to operate between manufactured nanoparticles providing they are sufficiently rigid and tightly bound to the plasma membrane, thereby suggesting a route for the targeting of nanoparticles to cells for biomedical applications....

  15. Update on botulinum toxin and dermal fillers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berbos, Zachary J; Lipham, William J

    2010-09-01

    The art and science of facial rejuvenation is an ever-evolving field of medicine, as evidenced by the continual development of new surgical and nonsurgical treatment modalities. Over the past 10 years, the use of botulinum toxin and dermal fillers for aesthetic purposes has risen sharply. Herein, we discuss properties of several commonly used injectable products and provide basic instruction for their use toward the goal of achieving facial rejuvenation. The demand for nonsurgical injection-based facial rejuvenation products has risen enormously in recent years. Used independently or concurrently, botulinum toxin and dermal filler agents offer an affordable, minimally invasive approach to facial rejuvenation. Botulinum toxin and dermal fillers can be used to diminish facial rhytides, restore facial volume, and sculpt facial contours, thereby achieving an aesthetically pleasing, youthful facial appearance.

  16. Anti-lipopolysaccharide toxin therapy for whole body X-irradiation overdose

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gaffin, S.L.; Wells, M.; Jordan, J.P.

    1985-09-01

    Death in humans from ionising radiation overexposure in the 3-8 Gy (300-800 rad) range is in part due to the toxaemia caused by the entry of gram-negative bacteria and/or their lipopolysaccharide toxin (LPS) into the blood circulation through the walls of partially denuded gut. Anti-LPS hyperimmune equine plasma was evaluated for its ability to lower irradiation-induced lethality. Mice were irradiated with 6.3 Gy (630 rad) and six days later received equine Anti-LPS hyperimmune plasma, control plasma or saline. Mortalities in the three groups were 58%, 92% and 79% (p < 0.01) respectively. Thus Anti-LPS may prove useful as an adjunct to conventional therapy in treating radiation sickness.

  17. Anti-lipopolysaccharide toxin therapy for whole body X-irradiation overdose

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaffin, S.L.; Wells, M.; Jordan, J.P.

    1985-01-01

    Death in humans from ionising radiation overexposure in the 3-8 Gy (300-800 rad) range is in part due to the toxaemia caused by the entry of gram-negative bacteria and/or their lipopolysaccharide toxin (LPS) into the blood circulation through the walls of partially denuded gut. Anti-LPS hyperimmune equine plasma was evaluated for its ability to lower irradiation-induced lethality. Mice were irradiated with 6.3 Gy (630 rad) and six days later received equine Anti-LPS hyperimmune plasma, control plasma or saline. Mortalities in the three groups were 58%, 92% and 79% (p<0.01) respectively. Thus Anti-LPS may prove useful as an adjunct to conventional therapy in treating radiation sickness. (author)

  18. Marine toxins and their toxicological significance: An overview

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarkar, A.

    , Hemolysins-1 and hemolysin-2, saxitoxin, neosaxitoxin, gonyautoxin, tetrodotoxin, ptychodiscus brevis toxin and theonellamide F. According to their mode of action, these toxins are classified into different categories such as cytotoxin, enterotoxin...

  19. Vth Pan American Symposium on Animal, Plant and Microbial Toxins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ownby, Charlotte

    1996-01-01

    .... Presentations on arthropod toxins included work on scorpion neurotoxins, K+ channel-blocking peptides, lice and wasp proteins, stinging insect venom allergens and Australian funnel-web spider toxins...

  20. Pyrethroids and Nectar Toxins Have Subtle Effects on the Motor Function, Grooming and Wing Fanning Behaviour of Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Caitlin J; Softley, Samantha; Williamson, Sally M; Stevenson, Philip C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-01-01

    Sodium channels, found ubiquitously in animal muscle cells and neurons, are one of the main target sites of many naturally-occurring, insecticidal plant compounds and agricultural pesticides. Pyrethroids, derived from compounds found only in the Asteraceae, are particularly toxic to insects and have been successfully used as pesticides including on flowering crops that are visited by pollinators. Pyrethrins, from which they were derived, occur naturally in the nectar of some flowering plant species. We know relatively little about how such compounds--i.e., compounds that target sodium channels--influence pollinators at low or sub-lethal doses. Here, we exposed individual adult forager honeybees to several compounds that bind to sodium channels to identify whether these compounds affect motor function. Using an assay previously developed to identify the effect of drugs and toxins on individual bees, we investigated how acute exposure to 10 ng doses (1 ppm) of the pyrethroid insecticides (cyfluthrin, tau-fluvalinate, allethrin and permethrin) and the nectar toxins (aconitine and grayanotoxin I) affected honeybee locomotion, grooming and wing fanning behaviour. Bees exposed to these compounds spent more time upside down and fanning their wings. They also had longer bouts of standing still. Bees exposed to the nectar toxin, aconitine, and the pyrethroid, allethrin, also spent less time grooming their antennae. We also found that the concentration of the nectar toxin, grayanotoxin I (GTX), fed to bees affected the time spent upside down (i.e., failure to perform the righting reflex). Our data show that low doses of pyrethroids and other nectar toxins that target sodium channels mainly influence motor function through their effect on the righting reflex of adult worker honeybees.

  1. Cellular Entry of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaya Takehara

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin are composed of two non-linked proteins, one being the enzymatic component and the other being the binding/translocation component. These latter components recognize specific receptors and oligomerize in plasma membrane lipid-rafts, mediating the uptake of the enzymatic component into the cytosol. Enzymatic components induce actin cytoskeleton disorganization through the ADP-ribosylation of actin and are responsible for cell rounding and death. This review focuses upon the recent advances in cellular internalization of clostridial binary toxins.

  2. Cellular Entry of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takehara, Masaya; Takagishi, Teruhisa; Seike, Soshi; Oda, Masataka; Sakaguchi, Yoshihiko; Hisatsune, Junzo; Ochi, Sadayuki; Kobayashi, Keiko; Nagahama, Masahiro

    2017-08-11

    Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin are composed of two non-linked proteins, one being the enzymatic component and the other being the binding/translocation component. These latter components recognize specific receptors and oligomerize in plasma membrane lipid-rafts, mediating the uptake of the enzymatic component into the cytosol. Enzymatic components induce actin cytoskeleton disorganization through the ADP-ribosylation of actin and are responsible for cell rounding and death. This review focuses upon the recent advances in cellular internalization of clostridial binary toxins.

  3. Inhalation Anthrax (Ames aerosol) in Naive and Vaccinated New Zealand Rabbits: Characterizing the Spread of Bacteria from Lung Deposition to Bacteremia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-28

    Lond.) 51, 372–385. Henderson, D. W., Peacock , S., and Belton, F. C. (1956). Observations on the prophylaxis of experimental pulmonary anthrax in...terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums

  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. 77 FR 9888 - Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-21

    ... Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Certain Raw Beef Products AGENCY: Food Safety and Inspection Service... toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145). This new date..., that are contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O26, O45, O103, O111, O121...

  6. Military Importance of Natural Toxins and Their Analogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitschmann, Vladimír; Hon, Zdeněk

    2016-04-28

    Toxin weapon research, development, production and the ban on its uses is an integral part of international law, with particular attention paid to the protection against these weapons. In spite of this, hazards associated with toxins cannot be completely excluded. Some of these hazards are also pointed out in the present review. The article deals with the characteristics and properties of natural toxins and synthetic analogs potentially constituting the basis of toxin weapons. It briefly describes the history of military research and the use of toxins from distant history up to the present age. With respect to effective disarmament conventions, it mentions certain contemporary concepts of possible toxin applications for military purposes and the protection of public order (suppression of riots); it also briefly refers to the question of terrorism. In addition, it deals with certain traditional as well as modern technologies of the research, synthesis, and use of toxins, which can affect the continuing development of toxin weapons. These are, for example, cases of new toxins from natural sources, their chemical synthesis, production of synthetic analogs, the possibility of using methods of genetic engineering and modern biotechnologies or the possible applications of nanotechnology and certain pharmaceutical methods for the effective transfer of toxins into the organism. The authors evaluate the military importance of toxins based on their comparison with traditional chemical warfare agents. They appeal to the ethics of the scientific work as a principal condition for the prevention of toxin abuse in wars, military conflicts, as well as in non-military attacks.

  7. Empirical complexities in the genetic foundations of lethal mutagenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, James J; Joyce, Paul; Gladstone, Eric; Molineux, Ian J

    2013-10-01

    From population genetics theory, elevating the mutation rate of a large population should progressively reduce average fitness. If the fitness decline is large enough, the population will go extinct in a process known as lethal mutagenesis. Lethal mutagenesis has been endorsed in the virology literature as a promising approach to viral treatment, and several in vitro studies have forced viral extinction with high doses of mutagenic drugs. Yet only one empirical study has tested the genetic models underlying lethal mutagenesis, and the theory failed on even a qualitative level. Here we provide a new level of analysis of lethal mutagenesis by developing and evaluating models specifically tailored to empirical systems that may be used to test the theory. We first quantify a bias in the estimation of a critical parameter and consider whether that bias underlies the previously observed lack of concordance between theory and experiment. We then consider a seemingly ideal protocol that avoids this bias-mutagenesis of virions-but find that it is hampered by other problems. Finally, results that reveal difficulties in the mere interpretation of mutations assayed from double-strand genomes are derived. Our analyses expose unanticipated complexities in testing the theory. Nevertheless, the previous failure of the theory to predict experimental outcomes appears to reside in evolutionary mechanisms neglected by the theory (e.g., beneficial mutations) rather than from a mismatch between the empirical setup and model assumptions. This interpretation raises the specter that naive attempts at lethal mutagenesis may augment adaptation rather than retard it.

  8. A multivariate model of stakeholder preference for lethal cat management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wald, Dara M; Jacobson, Susan K

    2014-01-01

    Identifying stakeholder beliefs and attitudes is critical for resolving management conflicts. Debate over outdoor cat management is often described as a conflict between two groups, environmental advocates and animal welfare advocates, but little is known about the variables predicting differences among these critical stakeholder groups. We administered a mail survey to randomly selected stakeholders representing both of these groups (n=1,596) in Florida, where contention over the management of outdoor cats has been widespread. We used a structural equation model to evaluate stakeholder intention to support non-lethal management. The cognitive hierarchy model predicted that values influenced beliefs, which predicted general and specific attitudes, which in turn, influenced behavioral intentions. We posited that specific attitudes would mediate the effect of general attitudes, beliefs, and values on management support. Model fit statistics suggested that the final model fit the data well (CFI=0.94, RMSEA=0.062). The final model explained 74% of the variance in management support, and positive attitudes toward lethal management (humaneness) had the largest direct effect on management support. Specific attitudes toward lethal management and general attitudes toward outdoor cats mediated the relationship between positive (pstakeholder intention to support non-lethal cat management. Our findings suggest that stakeholders can simultaneously perceive both positive and negative beliefs about outdoor cats, which influence attitudes toward and support for non-lethal management.

  9. Recent outbreak of cutaneous anthrax in Bangladesh: clinico-demographic profile and treatment outcome of cases attended at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital

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    Siddiqui Muhammad

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human cutaneous anthrax results from skin exposure to B. anthracis, primarily due to occupational exposure. Bangladesh has experienced a number of outbreaks of cutaneous anthrax in recent years. The last episode occurred from April to August, 2011 and created mass havoc due to its dreadful clinical outcome and socio-cultural consequences. We report here the clinico-demographic profile and treatment outcome of 15 cutaneous anthrax cases attended at the Dermatology Outpatient Department of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh between April and August, 2011 with an aim to create awareness for early case detection and management. Findings Anthrax was suspected primarily based on cutaneous manifestations of typical non-tender ulcer with black eschar, with or without oedema, and a history of butchering, or dressing/washing of cattle/goat or their meat. Diagnosis was established by demonstration of large gram-positive rods, typically resembling B. anthracis under light microscope where possible and also by ascertaining therapeutic success. The mean age of cases was 21.4 years (ranging from 3 to 46 years, 7 (46.7% being males and 8 (53.3% females. The majority of cases were from lower middle socioeconomic status. Types of exposures included butchering (20%, contact with raw meat (46.7%, and live animals (33.3%. Malignant pustule was present in upper extremity, both extremities, face, and trunk at frequencies of 11 (73.3%, 2 (13.3%, 1 (6.7% and 1 (6.7% respectively. Eight (53.3% patients presented with fever, 7 (46.7% had localized oedema and 5 (33.3% had regional lymphadenopathy. Anthrax was confirmed in 13 (86.7% cases by demonstration of gram-positive rods. All cases were cured with 2 months oral ciprofloxacin combined with flucoxacillin for 2 weeks. Conclusions We present the findings from this series of cases to reinforce the criteria for clinical diagnosis and to urge prompt therapeutic measures to treat

  10. Prevention, detection, and response to anthrax outbreak in Northern Tanzania using one health approach: A case study of Selela ward in Monduli district

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    Elibariki R. Mwakapeje

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Anthrax is an infectious fatal zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax outbreak was confirmed in samples of wild animals following rumors of the outbreak in wild animals, livestock, and humans in Selela ward, Monduli district of Northern Tanzania. Therefore, a multi-sectorial team was deployed for outbreak response in the affected areas. Objectives: The aim of the response was to manage the outbreak in a One Health approach and specifically: (i To determine the magnitude of anthrax outbreak in humans, livestock, and wild animals in Selela ward, (ii to assess the outbreak local response capacity, (iii to establish mechanisms for safe disposal of animal carcasses in the affected areas, and (iv to mount effective control and preventive strategies using One Health approach in the affected areas. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional field survey using: (i Active searching of suspected human cases at health facilities and community level, (ii physical counting and disposal of wild animal carcasses in the affected area, (iii collection of specimens from suspected human cases and animal carcasses for laboratory analysis, and (iv meetings with local animal and human health staff, political, and traditional leaders at local levels. We analyzed data by STATA software, and a map was created using Quantum GIS software. Results: A total of 21 humans were suspected, and most of them (62% being from Selela ward. The outbreak caused deaths of 10 cattle, 26 goats, and three sheep, and 131 wild animal carcasses were discarded the majority of them being wildebeest (83%. Based on laboratory results, three blood smears tested positive for anthrax using Giemsa staining while two wildebeest samples tested positive and five human blood samples tested negative for anthrax using quantitative polymerase chain reaction techniques. Clinical forms of anthrax were also observed in humans and livestock which suggest that wild animals may

  11. Passive therapy with humanized anti-staphylococcal enterotoxin B antibodies attenuates systemic inflammatory response and protects from lethal pneumonia caused by staphylococcal enterotoxin B-producing Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karau, Melissa J; Tilahun, Mulualem E; Krogman, Ashton; Osborne, Barbara A; Goldsby, Richard A; David, Chella S; Mandrekar, Jayawant N; Patel, Robin; Rajagopalan, Govindarajan

    2017-10-03

    Drugs such as linezolid that inhibit bacterial protein synthesis may be beneficial in treating infections caused by toxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. As protein synthesis inhibitors have no effect on preformed toxins, neutralization of pathogenic exotoxins with anti-toxin antibodies may be beneficial in conjunction with antibacterial therapy. Herein, we evaluated the efficacy of human-mouse chimeric high-affinity neutralizing anti-staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) antibodies in the treatment of experimental pneumonia caused by SEB-producing S. aureus. Since HLA class II transgenic mice mount a stronger systemic immune response following challenge with SEB and are more susceptible to SEB-induced lethal toxic shock than conventional mice strains, HLA-DR3 transgenic mice were used. Lethal pneumonia caused by SEB-producing S. aureus in HLA-DR3 transgenic mice was characterized by robust T cell activation and elevated systemic levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Prophylactic administration of a single dose of linezolid 30 min prior to the onset of infection attenuated the systemic inflammatory response and protected from mortality whereas linezolid administered 60 min after the onset of infection failed to confer significant protection. Human-mouse chimeric high-affinity neutralizing anti-SEB antibodies alone, but not polyclonal human IgG, mitigated this response and protected from death when administered immediately after initiation of infection. Further, anti-SEB antibodies as well as intact polyclonal human IgG, but not its Fab or Fc fragments, protected from lethal pneumonia when followed with linezolid therapy 60 min later. In conclusion, neutralization of superantigens with high-affinity antibodies may have beneficial effects in pneumonia.

  12. Effects of lethal and non-lethal malaria on the mononuclear phagocyte system

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    Carlos Eduardo Tosta

    1983-03-01

    Full Text Available The effects ofone non-lethal species ofmalarialparasite, Plasmodium yoelii, and one lethal species, P. berghei, on the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS of BALB/c mice were studied. P. yoelii caused a greater and more sustained expansion and activation of the MPS, and the two major populations of spleen phagocytic cells-red pulp and marginal zone macrophages - exhibited a greater increase in numbers in this infection. During the course of P. berghei mataria, the spleen was progressively occupied by haematopoietic tissue and, at the terminal stage of infection, an extensive depletion of lymphocytes and macrophages was apparent. The possibility was suggested that the outcome of mataria may be inftuenced by the particular way the parasite interacts with the MPS.Estudou-se o efeito da infecção causada por espécie letal (Plasmodium berghei e não- letal (P. yoelii de plasmódio sobre o sistema de fagócitos mononucleares de camundongo BALB/c. O P. yoelii causou maior e mais prolongada expansão e ativação do sistema de macrófagos. As duas mais importantes populações de fagócitos esplênicos - macrófagos de polpa vermelha e da zona marginal - exibiam maior aumento do número de células nesta infecção. Durante a evolução da malária por P. berghei, o baço foi progressivamente ocupado por tecido hematopoiético e, na fase terminal da infecção, observou-se significativa depleção dos linfócitos e macrófagos esplênicos. Os dados apresentados indicam que a evolução da malária depende do tipo de interação entre o plasmódio e o sistema de fagócitos mononucleares.

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

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    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. Analysis of time of death of prenatally lethal Steeloid mutations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rinchik, E.M.; Cummings, C.C.; Bangham, J.W.; Hunsicker, P.R.; Phipps, E.L.; Stelzner, K.F.

    1987-01-01

    Deletion mutations have been extremely useful in initiating the functional and molecular dissections of regions of the mouse genome. For the d-se and c regions, for example, it was observed that radiation mutations carrying lethal factors separable, by complementation analysis, from the primary d, se, or c mutation itself, could often be associated at both the genetic and molecular levels with multilocus chromosomal deletions. Since many of the Oak Ridge Sld mutations arose in radiation mutagenesis experiments, a substantial number may carry chromosomal deletions that involve the Sl locus in chromosome 10. Because of the great value of deletion mutations for the genetic and molecular analysis of chromosomal regions and complex genetic loci, they have initiated a series of experiments designed to test whether radiation-induced Sld mutations carry other lethal factors, in addition to the lethality caused by severe alleles of the Sl locus itself, as one prescreen for identifying Sld's that are caused by deletions

  15. Fate of Fusarium Toxins during Brewing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habler, Katharina; Geissinger, Cajetan; Hofer, Katharina; Schüler, Jan; Moghari, Sarah; Hess, Michael; Gastl, Martina; Rychlik, Michael

    2017-01-11

    Some information is available about the fate of Fusarium toxins during the brewing process, but only little is known about the single processing steps in detail. In our study we produced beer from two different barley cultivars inoculated with three different Fusarium species, namely, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium sporotrichioides, and Fusarium avenaceum, producing a wide range of mycotoxins such as type B trichothecenes, type A trichothecenes, and enniatins. By the use of multi-mycotoxin LC-MS/MS stable isotope dilution methods we were able to follow the fate of Fusarium toxins during the entire brewing process. In particular, the type B trichothecenes deoxynivalenol, 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol, and 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol showed similar behaviors. Between 35 and 52% of those toxins remained in the beer after filtration. The contents of the potentially hazardous deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside and the type A trichothecenes increased during mashing, but a rapid decrease of deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside content was found during the following steps of lautering and wort boiling. The concentration of enniatins greatly decreased with the discarding of spent grains or finally with the hot break. The results of our study show the retention of diverse Fusarium toxins during the brewing process and allow for assessing the food safety of beer regarding the monitored Fusarium mycotoxins.

  16. Botulinum Toxin in Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity

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    Carlos Arturo Levi D'Ancona

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose To evaluate the effects of botulinum toxin on urodynamic parameters and quality of life in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity. Methods Thirty four adult patients with spinal cord injury and detrusor overactivity were selected. The patients received 300 units of botulinum toxin type A. The endpoints evaluated with the episodes of urinary incontinence and measured the maximum cystometric capacity, maximum amplitude of detrusor pressure and bladder compliance at the beginning and end of the study (24 weeks and evaluated the quality of life by applying the Qualiveen questionnaire. Results A significant decrease in the episodes of urinary incontinence was observed. All urodynamic parameters presented a significant improvement. The same was observed in the quality of life index and the specific impact of urinary problems scores from the Qualiveen questionnaire. Six patients did not complete the study, two due to incomplete follow-up, and four violated protocol and were excluded from the analyses. No systemic adverse events of botulinum toxin type A were reported. Conclusions A botulinum toxin type A showed a significantly improved response in urodynamics parameters and specific and general quality of life.

  17. Bioengineered kidney tubules efficiently excrete uremic toxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, Jitske; Fedecostante, M.; Wilmer, M.; Peters, J.G.; Kreuser, U.M.; Broek, P.H.; Mensink, R.A.; Boltje, T.J.; Stamatialis, Dimitrios; Wetzels, J.F.; van der Heuvel, L.P.; Hoenderop, J.G.; Masereeuw, R.

    2016-01-01

    The development of a biotechnological platform for the removal of waste products (e.g. uremic toxins), often bound to proteins in plasma, is a prerequisite to improve current treatment modalities for patients suffering from end stage renal disease (ESRD). Here, we present a newly designed

  18. Treatment diary for botulinum toxin spasticity treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Biering-Sørensen, Bo; Iversen, Helle K; Frederiksen, Inge M S

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study is to develop a treatment diary for patients receiving spasticity treatment including botulinum toxin injection and physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy. The diary focuses on problems triggered by skeletal muscle overactivity; agreed goals for treatment and the patient...

  19. Diffusion, spread, and migration of botulinum toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Castaneda, Juan; Jankovic, Joseph; Comella, Cynthia; Dashtipour, Khashayar; Fernandez, Hubert H; Mari, Zoltan

    2013-11-01

    Botulinum toxin (BoNT) is an acetylcholine release inhibitor and a neuromuscular blocking agent used for the treatment of a variety of neurologic and medical conditions. The efficacy and safety of BoNT depends on accurate selection and identification of intended targets but also may be determined by other factors, including physical spread of the molecule from the injection site, passive diffusion, and migration to distal sites via axonal or hematogenous transport. The passive kinetic dispersion of the toxin away from the injection site in a gradient-dependent manner may also play a role in toxin spread. In addition to unique properties of the various BoNT products, volume and dilution may also influence local and systemic distribution of BoNT. Most of the local and remote complications of BoNT injections are thought to be due to unwanted spread or diffusion of the toxin's biologic activity into adjacent and distal muscles. Despite widespread therapeutic and cosmetic use of BoNT over more than three decades, there is a remarkable paucity of published data on the mechanisms of distribution and its effects on clinical outcomes. The primary aim of this article is to critically review the available experimental and clinical literature and place it in the practical context. © 2013 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  20. Specific egg yolk immunoglobulin as a new preventive approach for Shiga-toxin-mediated diseases.

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    Paola Neri

    Full Text Available Shiga toxins (Stxs are involved in the development of severe systemic complications associated with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC infection. Various neutralizing agents against Stxs are under investigation for management of EHEC infection. In this study, we immunized chickens with formalin-inactivated Stx-1 or Stx-2, and obtained immunoglobulin Y (IgY from the egg yolk. Anti-Stx-1 IgY and anti-Stx-2 IgY recognized the corresponding Stx A subunit and polymeric but not monomeric B subunit. Anti-Stx-1 IgY and anti-Stx-2 IgY suppressed the cytotoxicity of Stx-1 and Stx-2 to HeLa 229 cells, without cross-suppressive activity. The suppressive activity of these IgY was abrogated by pre-incubation with the corresponding recombinant B subunit, which suggests that the antibodies directed to the polymeric B subunits were predominantly involved in the suppression. In vivo, the intraperitoneal or intravenous administration of these IgY rescued mice from death caused by intraperitoneal injection of the corresponding toxin at a lethal dose. Moreover, oral administration of anti-Stx-2 IgY reduced the mortality of mice infected intestinally with EHEC O157:H7. Our results therefore suggest that anti-Stx IgY antibodies may be considered as preventive agents for Stx-mediated diseases in EHEC infection.

  1. Early events of lethal action by tobramycin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raulston, J.E.

    1988-01-01

    The immediate activities of the aminoglycoside antibiotic, tobramycin, were investigated in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The influence of carbon growth substate and the antibiotic exposure environment in the magnitude of activity were examined. Lethality by 8 μg/ml tobramycin occurred rapidly (1 to 3 minutes). The release of specific cellular components into the supernatant was associated with lethality. This material was initially detected as an increase in UV-absorbance. Magnesium in the reaction mixture provided protection against lethality and leakage, but did not reverse lethal damage after a 3 minute tobramycin treatment. Also, uptake of 3 H-tobramycin was reduced in the presence of magnesium. Cells grown with glucose as a carbon source were more susceptible than organic acid grown cells as was the rapidity and amount of cell damage. Analyses of the leakage material revealed a 2-fold increase of protein in the supernatant after a 1-3 minute treatment which paralleled lethality. A prominent 29 kDa protein was observed by SDS-PAGE in the released material, which has been identified as the periplasmic enzyme, β-lactamase. The immediate activities of tobramycin did not involve (i) release of overall cell protein, (ii) massive loss of total pool amino acids, (iii) cell lysis, (iv) inhibition of proline uptake, (v) release of lipopolysaccharide, or (vi) leakage of ATP. Electron microscopy showed no apparent damage after a 3 minute exposure. 40% inhibition of protein synthesis had occurred by 3 minutes of exposure, while release of UV-absorbing material and lethality were detectable after only 1 minute. Resistant cystic fibrosis isolates of P. aeruginosa did not leak under the same experimental conditions, but one of two susceptible strains examined did show increased UV-absorbance following treatment

  2. Impact of acute alcohol consumption on lethality of suicide methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, C Hyung Keun; Yoo, Seong Ho; Lee, Jaewon; Cho, Sung Joon; Shin, Min-Sup; Kim, Eun Young; Kim, Se Hyun; Ham, Keunsoo; Ahn, Yong Min

    2017-05-01

    The influence of acute alcohol consumption on the factors related to suicide remains understudied. Thus, the present study investigated the relationship between blood alcohol content (BAC) and the lethality of suicide methods. Autopsy data on 315 South Korean suicide completers with a positive BAC were collected from a nationwide pool between May 2015 and November 2015, and the methods were dichotomised as suicide methods of low lethality (SMLL; drug/chemical overdose and sharp objects, n=67) and suicide methods of high lethality (SMHL; everything else, n=243). BAC at the time of autopsy and various suicide-related factors of these two groups were compared with logistic regression analyses. Compared to suicide completers with a BAC in the lowest range of 0.011-0.049%, suicide completers with a BAC in the range of 0.150-0.199% were more likely to use SMHL (odds ratio [OR]: 3.644, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.221-10.874). Additionally, the adoption of SMHL was significantly associated with the absence of a psychiatric illness (OR: 0.433, 95% CI: 0.222-0.843) and a younger age; the OR for high BAC among subjects in their 40s was 0.266 (95% CI: 0.083-0.856); in their 50s, 0.183 (95% CI: 0.055-0.615); and in their 60s, 0.057 (95% CI: 0.015-0.216). The relationship between BAC and suicide method lethality was represented by a bell-shaped pattern in which suicide methods of high lethality were more likely to be used by suicide completers with mid-range BAC levels. The increased impulsivity and impairments in particular executive functions, including planning and organization, associated with acute alcohol use may influence the selection of a particular suicide method based on its lethality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Mutant with diphtheria toxin receptor and acidification function but defective in entry of toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kohno, Kenji; Hayes, H.; Mekada, Eisuke; Uchida, Tsuyoshi

    1987-01-01

    A mutant of Chinese hamster ovary cells, GE1, that is highly resistant to diphtheria toxin was isolated. The mutant contains 50% ADP-ribosylatable elongation factor 2, but its protein synthesis was not inhibited by the toxin even at concentrations above 100 μg/ml. 125 I-labeled diphtheria toxin was associated with GE1 cells as well as with the parent cells but did not block protein synthesis of GE1 cells even when the cells were exposed to low pH in the presence or absence of NH 4 Cl. The infections of GE1 cells and the parent cells by vesicular stomatitis virus were similar. GE1 cells were cross-resistant to Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A and so were about 1,000 times more resistant to this toxin than the parent cells. Hybrids of GE1 cells and the parent cells or mutant cells lacking a functional receptor were more sensitive to diphtheria toxin than GE1 cells. These results suggest that entry of diphtheria toxin into cells requires a cellular factor(s) in addition to those involved in receptor function and acidification of endosomes and that GE1 cells do not express this cellular factor. This character is recessive in GE1 cells

  4. Higher cytotoxicity of divalent antibody-toxins than monovalent antibody-toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Won, JaeSeon; Nam, PilWon; Lee, YongChan; Choe, MuHyeon

    2009-01-01

    Recombinant antibody-toxins are constructed via the fusion of a 'carcinoma-specific' antibody fragment to a toxin. Due to the high affinity and high selectivity of the antibody fragments, antibody-toxins can bind to surface antigens on cancer cells and kill them without harming normal cells [L.H. Pai, J.K. Batra, D.J. FitzGerald, M.C. Willingham, I. Pastan, Anti-tumor activities of immunotoxins made of monoclonal antibody B3 and various forms of Pseudomonas exotoxin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88 (1991) 3358-3362]. In this study, we constructed the antibody-toxin, Fab-SWn-PE38, with SWn (n = 3, 6, 9) sequences containing n-time repeated (G 4 S) between the Fab fragment and PE38 (38 kDa truncated form of Pseudomonas exotoxin A). The SWn sequence also harbored one cysteine residue that could form a disulfide bridge between two Fab-SWn-PE38 monomers. We assessed the cytotoxicity of the monovalent (Fab-SWn-PE38), and divalent ([Fab-SWn-PE38] 2 ) antibody-toxins. The cytotoxicity of the dimer against the CRL1739 cell line was approximately 18.8-fold higher than that of the monomer on the ng/ml scale, which was approximately 37.6-fold higher on the pM scale. These results strongly indicate that divalency provides higher cytotoxicity for an antibody-toxin.

  5. Chimeric anti-staphylococcal enterotoxin B antibodies and lovastatin act synergistically to provide in vivo protection against lethal doses of SEB.

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    Mulualem E Tilahun

    Full Text Available Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB is one of a family of toxins secreted by Staphylococcus aureus that act as superantigens, activating a large fraction of the T-cell population and inducing production of high levels of inflammatory cytokines that can cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS and death. Extracellular engagement of the TCR of T-cells and class II MHC of antigen presenting cells by SEB triggers the activation of many intracellular signaling processes. We engineered chimeric antibodies to block the extracellular engagement of cellular receptors by SEB and used a statin to inhibit intracellular signaling. Chimeric human-mouse antibodies directed against different neutralizing epitopes of SEB synergistically inhibited its activation of human T-cells in vitro. In the in vivo model of lethal toxic shock syndrome (TSS in HLA-DR3 transgenic mice, two of these antibodies conferred significant partial protection when administered individually, but offered complete protection in a synergistic manner when given together. Similarly, in vivo, lovastatin alone conferred only partial protection from TSS similar to single anti-SEB antibodies. However, used in combination with one chimeric neutralizing anti-SEB antibody, lovastatin provided complete protection against lethal TSS in HLA-DR3 transgenic mice. These experiments demonstrate that in vivo protection against lethal doses of SEB can be achieved by a statin of proven clinical safety and chimeric human-mouse antibodies, agents now widely used and known to be of low immunogenicity in human hosts.

  6. Effects of ionizing radiation on crotoxin (toxin of Crotalus durissus terrificus venom): molecular studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Souza Filho, J.N. de.

    1988-01-01

    It is know that the ionizing radiation is able to change significantly the biological and antigenic response of a toxin depending of the dose and irradiation's conditions, probable by structural alterations caused by radiation. In this work, the crotoxin, principal neurotoxin of the South American rattlesnake venom, was isolated using molecular exclusion chromatography with Sephadex G-75 and follwed by precipitation on the isoelectric point. Fractions in the concentration of 2 mg of protein/m1 0.85% NaCl were irradiated in a source of sup(60)Co GAMMACELL with dose rate of 1100 Gy/h using doses of 250, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 Gy. It was determinated for these samples, the proteic concentration (Lowry's method), the content sulphydryl (Ellman's method), the profile electrophoretic (SDS-PAGE), the toxicity by lethal dose 50% in mice and the antigenic response using crotalic antiserum by the diffusion imunoassay (Ouchterlony's method). The results showed the formation of aggregates and loss of protein in solution by precipitation. In the dose of 1000 Gy and higher it was possible to observe the presence of sulphydryl groups indicating the breakage of S-S bridges. The lethal dose 50% increased 2 times for the dose of 1000 Gy and 3.5 times for 1500 Gy shoding a detoxication. By the other hand, the antigenic response seems to be still intact at doses up to 1000 Gy. (author)

  7. Lethals induced by γ-radiation in drosophila somatic cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ivanov, A.I.

    1989-01-01

    Exposure of 3-hour drosophila male embryos to γ-radiation during the topographic segregation of the germ anlage nuclei caused recessive sex-linked lethals in somatic cells only. The selectivity of the screening was determined by the ratio of mutation frequencies induced in embryos and adult males. Analysis of lethal mutations shows that a minimal rate of the divergence between germinal and somatic patterns of the cell development is observed in the embryogenesis, the 3d instar larva and prepupa, and maximal in the 1st and 2nd larva and pupa

  8. Effective lethal mutagenesis of influenza virus by three nucleoside analogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauly, Matthew D; Lauring, Adam S

    2015-04-01

    Lethal mutagenesis is a broad-spectrum antiviral strategy that exploits the high mutation rate and low mutational tolerance of many RNA viruses. This approach uses mutagenic drugs to increase viral mutation rates and burden viral populations with mutations that reduce the number of infectious progeny. We investigated the effectiveness of lethal mutagenesis as a strategy against influenza virus using three nucleoside analogs, ribavirin, 5-azacytidine, and 5-fluorouracil. All three drugs were active against a panel of seasonal H3N2 and laboratory-adapted H1N1 strains. We found that each drug increased the frequency of mutations in influenza virus populations and decreased the virus' specific infectivity, indicating a mutagenic mode of action. We were able to drive viral populations to extinction by passaging influenza virus in the presence of each drug, indicating that complete lethal mutagenesis of influenza virus populations can be achieved when a sufficient mutational burden is applied. Population-wide resistance to these mutagenic agents did not arise after serial passage of influenza virus populations in sublethal concentrations of drug. Sequencing of these drug-passaged viral populations revealed genome-wide accumulation of mutations at low frequency. The replicative capacity of drug-passaged populations was reduced at higher multiplicities of infection, suggesting the presence of defective interfering particles and a possible barrier to the evolution of resistance. Together, our data suggest that lethal mutagenesis may be a particularly effective therapeutic approach with a high genetic barrier to resistance for influenza virus. Influenza virus is an RNA virus that causes significant morbidity and mortality during annual epidemics. Novel therapies for RNA viruses are needed due to the ease with which these viruses evolve resistance to existing therapeutics. Lethal mutagenesis is a broad-spectrum strategy that exploits the high mutation rate and the low

  9. Characterization of Hemagglutinin Negative Botulinum Progenitor Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne R. Kalb

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Botulism is a disease involving intoxication with botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs, toxic proteins produced by Clostridium botulinum and other clostridia. The 150 kDa neurotoxin is produced in conjunction with other proteins to form the botulinum progenitor toxin complex (PTC, alternating in size from 300 kDa to 500 kDa. These progenitor complexes can be classified into hemagglutinin positive or hemagglutinin negative, depending on the ability of some of the neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs to cause hemagglutination. The hemagglutinin positive progenitor toxin complex consists of BoNT, nontoxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNH, and three hemagglutinin proteins; HA-70, HA-33, and HA-17. Hemagglutinin negative progenitor toxin complexes contain BoNT and NTNH as the minimally functional PTC (M-PTC, but not the three hemagglutinin proteins. Interestingly, the genome of hemagglutinin negative progenitor toxin complexes comprises open reading frames (orfs which encode for three proteins, but the existence of these proteins has not yet been extensively demonstrated. In this work, we demonstrate that these three proteins exist and form part of the PTC for hemagglutinin negative complexes. Several hemagglutinin negative strains producing BoNT/A, /E, and /F were found to contain the three open reading frame proteins. Additionally, several BoNT/A-containing bivalent strains were examined, and NAPs from both genes, including the open reading frame proteins, were associated with BoNT/A. The open reading frame encoded proteins are more easily removed from the botulinum complex than the hemagglutinin proteins, but are present in several BoNT/A and /F toxin preparations. These are not easily removed from the BoNT/E complex, however, and are present even in commercially-available purified BoNT/E complex.

  10. Differential neutralizing activities of a single domain camelid antibody (VHH specific for ricin toxin's binding subunit (RTB.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Herrera

    Full Text Available Ricin, a member of the A-B family of ribosome-inactivating proteins, is classified as a Select Toxin by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of its potential use as a biothreat agent. In an effort to engineer therapeutics for ricin, we recently produced a collection of alpaca-derived, heavy-chain only antibody VH domains (VHH or "nanobody" specific for ricin's enzymatic (RTA and binding (RTB subunits. We reported that one particular RTB-specific VHH, RTB-B7, when covalently linked via a peptide spacer to different RTA-specific VHHs, resulted in heterodimers like VHH D10/B7 that were capable of passively protecting mice against a lethal dose challenge with ricin. However, RTB-B7 itself, when mixed with ricin at a 1 ∶ 10 toxin:antibody ratio did not afford any protection in vivo, even though it had demonstrable toxin-neutralizing activity in vitro. To better define the specific attributes of antibodies associated with ricin neutralization in vitro and in vivo, we undertook a more thorough characterization of RTB-B7. We report that RTB-B7, even at 100-fold molar excess (toxin:antibody was unable to alter the toxicity of ricin in a mouse model. On the other hand, in two well-established cytotoxicity assays, RTB-B7 neutralized ricin with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50 that was equivalent to that of 24B11, a well-characterized and potent RTB-specific murine monoclonal antibody. In fact, RTB-B7 and 24B11 were virtually identical when compared across a series of in vitro assays, including adherence to and neutralization of ricin after the toxin was pre-bound to cell surface receptors. RTB-B7 differed from both 24B11 and VHH D10/B7 in that it was relatively less effective at blocking ricin attachment to receptors on host cells and was not able to form high molecular weight toxin:antibody complexes in solution. Whether either of these activities is important in ricin toxin neutralizing activity in vivo remains to be determined.

  11. Evaluation of personal inhalable aerosol samplers with different filters for use during anthrax responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinshpun, Sergey A; Weber, Angela M; Yermakov, Michael; Indugula, Reshmi; Elmashae, Yousef; Reponen, Tiina; Rose, Laura

    2017-08-01

    Risk of inhalation exposure to viable Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) spores has primarily been assessed using short-term, stationary sampling methods which may not accurately characterize the concentration of inhalable-sized spores reaching a person's breathing zone. While a variety of aerosol sampling methods have been utilized during previous anthrax responses, no consensus has yet been established for personal air sampling. The goal of this study was to determine the best sampler-filter combination(s) for the collection and extraction of B. anthracis spores. The study was designed to (1) evaluate the performance of four filter types (one mixed cellulose ester, MCE (pore size = 3 µm), two polytetrafluoroethylene, PTFE (1 and 3 µm), and one polycarbonate, PC (3 µm)); and (2) evaluate the best performing filters in two commercially available inhalable aerosol samplers (IOM and Button). Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki [Bt(k)], a simulant for B. anthracis, served as the aerosol challenge. The filters were assessed based on criteria such as ability to maintain low pressure drop over an extended sampling period, filter integrity under various environmental conditions, spore collection and extraction efficiencies, ease of loading and unloading the filters into the samplers, cost, and availability. Three of the four tested collection filters-except MCE-were found suitable for efficient collection and recovery of Bt(k) spores sampled from dry and humid as well as dusty and clean air environments for up to 8 hr. The PC (3 µm) filter was identified as the best performing filter in this study. The PTFE (3 µm) demonstrated a comparable performance, but it is more expensive. Slightly higher concentrations were measured with the IOM inhalable sampler which is the preferred sampler's performance criterion when detecting a highly pathogenic agent with no established "safe" inhalation exposure level. Additional studies are needed to address the effects of

  12. Discovery of novel bacterial toxins by genomics and computational biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doxey, Andrew C; Mansfield, Michael J; Montecucco, Cesare

    2018-06-01

    Hundreds and hundreds of bacterial protein toxins are presently known. Traditionally, toxin identification begins with pathological studies of bacterial infectious disease. Following identification and cultivation of a bacterial pathogen, the protein toxin is purified from the culture medium and its pathogenic activity is studied using the methods of biochemistry and structural biology, cell biology, tissue and organ biology, and appropriate animal models, supplemented by bioimaging techniques. The ongoing and explosive development of high-throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatic approaches have set in motion a revolution in many fields of biology, including microbiology. One consequence is that genes encoding novel bacterial toxins can be identified by bioinformatic and computational methods based on previous knowledge accumulated from studies of the biology and pathology of thousands of known bacterial protein toxins. Starting from the paradigmatic cases of diphtheria toxin, tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, this review discusses traditional experimental approaches as well as bioinformatics and genomics-driven approaches that facilitate the discovery of novel bacterial toxins. We discuss recent work on the identification of novel botulinum-like toxins from genera such as Weissella, Chryseobacterium, and Enteroccocus, and the implications of these computationally identified toxins in the field. Finally, we discuss the promise of metagenomics in the discovery of novel toxins and their ecological niches, and present data suggesting the existence of uncharacterized, botulinum-like toxin genes in insect gut metagenomes. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Radioimmunoassay for yeast killer toxin from Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siddiqui, F.A.; Bussey, H.

    1981-01-01

    A radioimmunoassay was developed for the K1 killer toxin from strain T158C/S14a of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Iodine 125-labelled toxin was made to a specific activity of 100 μCi/mg of protein. Antibody to purified toxin was prepared in rabbits using toxin cross-linked to itself. These antibodies, partially purified by 50 percent ammonium sulfate precipitation and Sepharose CL-6B column chromatography, produced one precipitation band with killer toxin and bound 125 I-labelled toxin in a radioimmunoassay. The antibody preparation also bound with the toxins from another K1 killer, A364A, and three chromosomal superkiller mutants derived from it. (auth)

  14. General synthesis of β-alanine-containing spider polyamine toxins and discovery of nephila polyamine toxins 1 and 8 as highly potent inhibitors of ionotropic glutamate receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lucas, Simon; Poulsen, Mette H; Nørager, Niels G

    2012-01-01

    Certain spiders contain large pools of polyamine toxins, which are putative pharmacological tools awaiting further discovery. Here we present a general synthesis strategy for this class of toxins and prepare five structurally varied polyamine toxins. Electrophysiological testing at three ionotrop...

  15. Botulinum Toxin: Pharmacology and Therapeutic Roles in Pain States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Shilpadevi; Willett, Olga; Thompkins, Terin; Hermann, Robert; Ramanathan, Sathish; Cornett, Elyse M; Fox, Charles J; Kaye, Alan David

    2016-03-01

    Botulinum toxin, also known as Botox, is produced by Clostridium botulinum, a gram-positive anaerobic bacterium, and botulinum toxin injections are among the most commonly practiced cosmetic procedures in the USA. Although botulinum toxin is typically associated with cosmetic procedures, it can be used to treat a variety of other conditions, including pain. Botulinum toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine from nerve endings to paralyze muscles and to decrease the pain response. Botulinum toxin has a long duration of action, lasting up to 5 months after initial treatment which makes it an excellent treatment for chronic pain patients. This manuscript will outline in detail why botulinum toxin is used as a successful treatment for pain in multiple conditions as well as outline the risks associated with using botulinum toxin in certain individuals. As of today, the only FDA-approved chronic condition that botulinum toxin can be used to treat is migraines and this is related to its ability to decrease muscle tension and increase muscle relaxation. Contraindications to botulinum toxin treatments are limited to a hypersensitivity to the toxin or an infection at the site of injection, and there are no known drug interactions with botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin is an advantageous and effective alternative pain treatment and a therapy to consider for those that do not respond to opioid treatment. In summary, botulinum toxin is a relatively safe and effective treatment for individuals with certain pain conditions, including migraines. More research is warranted to elucidate chronic and long-term implications of botulinum toxin treatment as well as effects in pregnant, elderly, and adolescent patients.

  16. Perforated appendicitis presenting as a thigh abscess: A lethal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Typical cases of acute appendicitis have excellent treatment outcomes, if managed appropriately.1 We discuss an unusual case of perforated retrocaecal appendicitis that presented as a right thigh abscess without prominent abdominal symptoms, which highlights the lethal nature of advanced appendicitis even when ...

  17. Dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Generoso, W.M.

    1983-01-01

    Chromosome aberrations are a major component of radiation or chemically induced genetic damage in mammalian germ cells. The types of aberration produced are dependent upon the mutagen used and the germ-cell stage treated. For example, in male meiotic and postmeiotic germ cells certain alkylating chemicals induce both dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations while others induce primarily dominant-lethal mutations. Production of these two endpoints appears to be determined by the stability of alkylation products with the chromosomes. If the reaction products are intact in the male chromosomes at the time of sperm entry, they may be repaired in fertilized eggs. If repair is not effected and the alkylation products persist to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication, they lead to chromatid-type aberrations and eventually to dominant-lethality. The production of heritable translocations, on the other hand, requires a transformation of unstable alkylation products into suitable intermediate lesions. The process by which these lesions are converted into chromosome exchange within the male genome takes place after sperm enters the egg but prior to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication (i.e., chromosome-type). Thus, dominant-lethal mutations result from both chromatid- and chromosome-type aberrations while heritable translocations result primarily from the latter type. DNA target sites associated with the production of these two endpoints are discussed

  18. The "Lethal Chamber": Further Evidence of the Euthanasia Option.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elks, Martin A.

    1993-01-01

    Historical discussions of the euthanasia or "lethal chamber" option in relation to people with mental retardation are presented. The paper concludes that eugenic beliefs in the primacy of heredity over environment and the positive role of natural selection may have condoned the poor conditions characteristic of large, segregated institutions and…

  19. Papaya Lethal Yellowing Virus (PLYV) Infects Vasconcellea cauliflora

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amaral, P.P.R.; Resende, de R.O.; Souza, M.T.

    2006-01-01

    Papaya lethal yellowing virus (PLYV) é um dos três vírus descritos infectando mamoeiros (Carica papaya L.) no Brasil. Vasconcellea cauliflora (Jacq.) A. DC., antes denominada de Carica cauliflora (Jacq.), é uma reconhecida fonte de resistência natural ao Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), causador da

  20. Dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations in mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Generoso, W.M.

    1983-01-01

    Chromosome aberrations are a major component of radiation or chemically induced genetic damage in mammalian germ cells. The types of aberration produced are dependent upon the mutagen used and the germ-cell stage treated. For example, in male meiotic and postmeiotic germ cells certain alkylating chemicals induce both dominant-lethal mutations and heritable translocations while others induce primarily dominant-lethal mutations. Production of these two endpoints appears to be determined by the stability of alkylation products with the chromosomes. If the reaction products are intact in the male chromosomes at the time of sperm entry, they may be repaired in fertilized eggs. If repair is not effected and the alkylation products persist to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication, they lead to chromatid-type aberrations and eventually to dominant-lethality. The production of heritable translocations, on the other hand, requires a transformation of unstable alkylation products into suitable intermediate lesions. The process by which these lesions are converted into chromosome exchange within the male genome takes place after sperm enters the egg but prior to the time of pronuclear chromosome replication (i.e., chromosome-type). Thus, dominant-lethal mutations result from both chromatid- and chromosome-type aberrations while heritable translocations result primarily from the latter type. DNA target sites associated with the production of these two endpoints are discussed.

  1. Fighting Lethal Yellowing Disease for Coconut Farmers (CIFSRF ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Copra is the dried kernel of the coconut, which is used to extract coconut oil. Coconut is the main income source for the coastal region's poor farmers. Over the past 10 years, Côte d'Ivoire lethal yellowing disease has destroyed more than 350 hectares of coconut and caused losses of 12,000 tons of copra per year.

  2. Why the United States Must Adopt Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-25

    intelligence , Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems, energy production, energy storage, three-dimensional printing , bandwidth improvements, computer...views on the morality of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technology. Eastern culture sees artificial intelligence as an economic savior...capable of improving their society. In contrast, Western culture regards artificial intelligence with paranoia, anxiety, and skepticism. As Eastern

  3. The Effector Domain Region of the Vibrio vulnificus MARTX Toxin Confers Biphasic Epithelial Barrier Disruption and Is Essential for Systemic Spread from the Intestine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah E Gavin

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Vibrio vulnificus causes highly lethal bacterial infections in which the Multifunctional Autoprocessing Repeats-in-Toxins (MARTX toxin product of the rtxA1 gene is a key virulence factor. MARTX toxins are secreted proteins up to 5208 amino acids in size. Conserved MARTX N- and C-terminal repeat regions work in concert to form pores in eukaryotic cell membranes, through which the toxin's central region of modular effector domains is translocated. Upon inositol hexakisphosphate-induced activation of the of the MARTX cysteine protease domain (CPD in the eukaryotic cytosol, effector domains are released from the holotoxin by autoproteolytic activity. We previously reported that the native MARTX toxin effector domain repertoire is dispensable for epithelial cellular necrosis in vitro, but essential for cell rounding and apoptosis prior to necrotic cell death. Here we use an intragastric mouse model to demonstrate that the effector domain region is required for bacterial virulence during intragastric infection. The MARTX effector domain region is essential for bacterial dissemination from the intestine, but dissemination occurs in the absence of overt intestinal tissue pathology. We employ an in vitro model of V. vulnificus interaction with polarized colonic epithelial cells to show that the MARTX effector domain region induces rapid intestinal barrier dysfunction and increased paracellular permeability prior to onset of cell lysis. Together, these results negate the inherent assumption that observations of necrosis in vitro directly predict bacterial virulence, and indicate a paradigm shift in our conceptual understanding of MARTX toxin function during intestinal infection. Results implicate the MARTX effector domain region in mediating early bacterial dissemination from the intestine to distal organs-a key step in V. vulnificus foodborne pathogenesis-even before onset of overt intestinal pathology.

  4. Influence of temperature and pressure on the lethality of ultrasound

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raso, J.; Pagan, R.; Condon, S.; Sala, F.J.

    1998-01-01

    A specially designed resistometer was constructed, and the lethal effect on Yersinia enterocolitica of ultrasonic waves (UW) at different static pressures (manosonication [MS]) and of combined heat-UW under pressure treatments (manothermosonication [MTS]) was investigated. During MS treatments at 30 degrees C and 200 kPa, the increase in the amplitude of UW of 20 kHz from 21 to 150 micrometers exponentially decreased decimal reduction time values (D(MS)) from 4 to 0.37 min. When pressure was increased from 0 to 600 kPa at a constant amplitude (150 micrometers) and temperature (30 degrees C), D(MS) values decreased from 1.52 to 0.20 min. The magnitude of this decrease in D(MS) declined progressively as pressure was increased. The influence of pressure on D(MS) values was greater with increased amplitude of UW. Pressure alone of as much as 600 kPa did not influence the heat resistance of Y. enterocolitica (D60 = 0.094; zeta = 5.65). At temperatures of as much as 58 degrees C, the lethality of UW under pressure was greater than that of heat treatment alone at the same temperature. At higher temperatures, this difference disappeared. Heat and UW under pressure seemed to act independently. The lethality of MTS treatments appeared to result from the added effects of UW under pressure and the lethal effect of heat. The individual contributions of heat and of UW under pressure to the total lethal effect of MTS depended on temperature. The inactivating effect of UW was not due to titanium particles eroded from the sonication horn. The addition to the MS media of cysteamine did not increase the resistance of Y. enterocolitica to MS treatment. MS treatment caused cell disruption

  5. Annotating novel genes by integrating synthetic lethals and genomic information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faty Mahamadou

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large scale screening for synthetic lethality serves as a common tool in yeast genetics to systematically search for genes that play a role in specific biological processes. Often the amounts of data resulting from a single large scale screen far exceed the capacities of experimental characterization of every identified target. Thus, there is need for computational tools that select promising candidate genes in order to reduce the number of follow-up experiments to a manageable size. Results We analyze synthetic lethality data for arp1 and jnm1, two spindle migration genes, in order to identify novel members in this process. To this end, we use an unsupervised statistical method that integrates additional information from biological data sources, such as gene expression, phenotypic profiling, RNA degradation and sequence similarity. Different from existing methods that require large amounts of synthetic lethal data, our method merely relies on synthetic lethality information from two single screens. Using a Multivariate Gaussian Mixture Model, we determine the best subset of features that assign the target genes to two groups. The approach identifies a small group of genes as candidates involved in spindle migration. Experimental testing confirms the majority of our candidates and we present she1 (YBL031W as a novel gene involved in spindle migration. We applied the statistical methodology also to TOR2 signaling as another example. Conclusion We demonstrate the general use of Multivariate Gaussian Mixture Modeling for selecting candidate genes for experimental characterization from synthetic lethality data sets. For the given example, integration of different data sources contributes to the identification of genetic interaction partners of arp1 and jnm1 that play a role in the same biological process.

  6. Diphtheria toxin translocation across cellular membranes is regulated by sphingolipids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spilsberg, Bjorn; Hanada, Kentaro; Sandvig, Kirsten

    2005-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin is translocated across cellular membranes when receptor-bound toxin is exposed to low pH. To study the role of sphingolipids for toxin translocation, both a mutant cell line lacking the first enzyme in de novo sphingolipid synthesis, serine palmitoyltransferase, and a specific inhibitor of the same enzyme, myriocin, were used. The serine palmitoyltransferase-deficient cell line (LY-B) was found to be 10-15 times more sensitive to diphtheria toxin than the genetically complemented cell line (LY-B/cLCB1) and the wild-type cell line (CHO-K1), both when toxin translocation directly across the plasma membrane was induced by exposing cells with surface-bound toxin to low pH, and when the toxin followed its normal route via acidified endosomes into the cytosol. Toxin binding was similar in these three cell lines. Furthermore, inhibition of serine palmitoyltransferase activity by addition of myriocin sensitized the two control cell lines (LY-B/cLCB1 and CHO-K1) to diphtheria toxin, whereas, as expected, no effect was observed in cells lacking serine palmitoyltransferase (LY-B). In conclusion, diphtheria toxin translocation is facilitated by depletion of membrane sphingolipids

  7. Biliatresone, a Reactive Natural Toxin from Dysphania glomulifera and D. littoralis: Discovery of the Toxic Moiety 1,2-Diaryl-2-Propenone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, Kyung A; Lorent, Kristin; Gong, Weilong; Windsor, Peter; Whittaker, Stephen J; Pack, Michael; Wells, Rebecca G; Porter, John R

    2015-08-17

    We identified a reactive natural toxin, biliatresone, from Dysphania glomulifera and D. littoralis collected in Australia that produces extrahepatic biliary atresia in a zebrafish model. Three additional isoflavonoids, including the known isoflavone betavulgarin, were also isolated. Biliatresone is in the very rare 1,2-diaryl-2-propenone class of isoflavonoids. The α-methylene of the 1,2-diaryl-2-propenone of biliatresone spontaneously reacts via Michael addition in the formation of water and methanol adducts. The lethal dose of biliatresone in a zebrafish assay was 1 μg/mL, while the lethal dose of synthetic 1,2-diaryl-2-propen-1-one was 5 μg/mL, suggesting 1,2-diaryl-2-propenone as the toxic Michael acceptor.

  8. Toxins for Transgenic Resistance to Hemipteran Pests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chougule, Nanasaheb P.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2012-01-01

    The sap sucking insects (Hemiptera), which include aphids, whiteflies, plant bugs and stink bugs, have emerged as major agricultural pests. The Hemiptera cause direct damage by feeding on crops, and in some cases indirect damage by transmission of plant viruses. Current management relies almost exclusively on application of classical chemical insecticides. While the development of transgenic crops expressing toxins derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has provided effective plant protection against some insect pests, Bt toxins exhibit little toxicity against sap sucking insects. Indeed, the pest status of some Hemiptera on Bt-transgenic plants has increased in the absence of pesticide application. The increased pest status of numerous hemipteran species, combined with increased prevalence of resistance to chemical insecticides, provides impetus for the development of biologically based, alternative management strategies. Here, we provide an overview of approaches toward transgenic resistance to hemipteran pests. PMID:22822455

  9. Linking ciguatera poisoning to spatial ecology of fish: a novel approach to examining the distribution of biotoxin levels in the great barracuda by combining non-lethal blood sampling and biotelemetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Toole, Amanda C; Dechraoui Bottein, Marie-Yasmine; Danylchuk, Andy J; Ramsdell, John S; Cooke, Steven J

    2012-06-15

    Ciguatera in humans is typically caused by the consumption of reef fish that have accumulated Ciguatoxins (CTXs) in their flesh. Over a six month period, we captured 38 wild adult great barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda), a species commonly associated with ciguatera in The Bahamas. We sampled three tissues (i.e., muscle, liver, and blood) and analysed them for the presence of ciguatoxins using a functional in vitro N2A bioassay. Detectable concentrations of ciguatoxins found in the three tissue types ranged from 2.51 to 211.74pg C-CTX-1 equivalents/g. Blood and liver toxin concentrations were positively correlated (ρ=0.86, P=0.003), indicating that, for the first time, blood sampling provides a non-lethal method of detecting ciguatoxin in wild fish. Non-lethal blood sampling also presents opportunities to couple this approach with biotelemetry and biologging techniques that enable the study of fish distribution and movement. To demonstrate the potential for linking ciguatoxin occurrence with barracuda spatial ecology, we also present a proof-of-concept case study where blood samples were obtained from 20 fish before releasing them with acoustic transmitters and tracking them in the coastal waters using a fixed acoustic telemetry array covering 44km(2). Fish that tested positive for CTX may have smaller home ranges than non-toxic fish (median distance travelled, U=2.21, P=0.03). Results presented from this study may help identify high risk areas and source-sink dynamics of toxins, potentially reducing the incidence and human health risk of ciguatera fish poisoning. Moreover, development of the non-lethal sampling approach and measurement of ciguatera from blood provide future opportunities to understand the mechanistic relationship between toxins and the spatial ecology of a broad range of marine fish species. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Addressing the Federal-State-Local Interface Issues During a Catastrophic Event Such as an Anthrax Attack

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stein, Steven L.; Lesperance, Ann M.; Upton, Jaki F.

    2010-02-01

    On October 9, 2008, federal, state and local policy makers, emergency managers, and medical and public health officials convened in Seattle, Washington, for a workshop on Addressing the Federal-State-Local Interface Issues During a Catastrophic Event Such as an Anthrax Attack. The day-long symposium was aimed at generating a dialogue about recovery and restoration through a discussion of the associated challenges that impact entire communities, including people, infrastructure, and critical systems. The Principal Federal Official (PFO) provided an overview of the role of the PFO in a catastrophic event. A high-level summary of an anthrax scenario was presented. The remainder of the day was focused on interactive discussions among federal, state and local emergency management experts in the areas of: • Decision-making, prioritization, and command and control • Public health/medical services • Community resiliency and continuity of government. Key topics and issues that resulted from discussions included: • Local representation in the Joint Field Office (JFO) • JFO transition to the Long-Term Recovery Office • Process for prioritization of needs • Process for regional coordination • Prioritization - process and federal/military intervention • Allocation of limited resources • Re-entry decision and consistency • Importance of maintaining a healthy hospital system • Need for a process to establish a consensus on when it is safe to re-enter. This needs to be across all jurisdictions including the military. • Insurance coverage for both private businesses and individuals • Interaction between the government and industry. The symposium was sponsored by the Interagency Biological Restoration Demonstration, a collaborative regional program jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense. To aid the program’s efforts and inform the development of blueprint for recovery from a biological incident

  11. Prolonged protection against Intranasal challenge with influenza virus following systemic immunization or combinations of mucosal and systemic immunizations with a heat-labile toxin mutant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Fengmin; Goodsell, Amanda; Uematsu, Yasushi; Vajdy, Michael

    2009-04-01

    Seasonal influenza virus infections cause considerable morbidity and mortality in the world, and there is a serious threat of a pandemic influenza with the potential to cause millions of deaths. Therefore, practical influenza vaccines and vaccination strategies that can confer protection against intranasal infection with influenza viruses are needed. In this study, we demonstrate that using LTK63, a nontoxic mutant of the heat-labile toxin from Escherichia coli, as an adjuvant for both mucosal and systemic immunizations, systemic (intramuscular) immunization or combinations of mucosal (intranasal) and intramuscular immunizations protected mice against intranasal challenge with a lethal dose of live influenza virus at 3.5 months after the second immunization.

  12. The Biology of the Cytolethal Distending Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Frisan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs, produced by a variety of Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria, are the first bacterial genotoxins described, since they cause DNA damage in the target cells. CDT is an A-B2 toxin, where the CdtA and CdtC subunits are required to mediate the binding on the surface of the target cells, allowing internalization of the active CdtB subunit, which is functionally homologous to the mammalian deoxyribonuclease I. The nature of the surface receptor is still poorly characterized, however binding of CDT requires intact lipid rafts, and its internalization occurs via dynamin-dependent endocytosis. The toxin is retrograde transported through the Golgi complex and the endoplasmic reticulum, and subsequently translocated into the nuclear compartment, where it exerts the toxic activity. Cellular intoxication induces DNA damage and activation of the DNA damage responses, which results in arrest of the target cells in the G1 and/or G2 phases of the cell cycle and activation of DNA repair mechanisms. Cells that fail to repair the damage will senesce or undergo apoptosis. This review will focus on the well-characterized aspects of the CDT biology and discuss the questions that still remain unanswered.

  13. Perfringolysin O: The Underrated Clostridium perfringens Toxin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verherstraeten, Stefanie; Goossens, Evy; Valgaeren, Bonnie; Pardon, Bart; Timbermont, Leen; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Ducatelle, Richard; Deprez, Piet; Wade, Kristin R; Tweten, Rodney; Van Immerseel, Filip

    2015-05-14

    The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens expresses multiple toxins that promote disease development in both humans and animals. One such toxin is perfringolysin O (PFO, classically referred to as θ toxin), a pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC). PFO is secreted as a water-soluble monomer that recognizes and binds membranes via cholesterol. Membrane-bound monomers undergo structural changes that culminate in the formation of an oligomerized prepore complex on the membrane surface. The prepore then undergoes conversion into the bilayer-spanning pore measuring approximately 250-300 Å in diameter. PFO is expressed in nearly all identified C. perfringens strains and harbors interesting traits that suggest a potential undefined role for PFO in disease development. Research has demonstrated a role for PFO in gas gangrene progression and bovine necrohemorrhagic enteritis, but there is limited data available to determine if PFO also functions in additional disease presentations caused by C. perfringens. This review summarizes the known structural and functional characteristics of PFO, while highlighting recent insights into the potential contributions of PFO to disease pathogenesis.

  14. Perfringolysin O: The Underrated Clostridium perfringens Toxin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Verherstraeten

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens expresses multiple toxins that promote disease development in both humans and animals. One such toxin is perfringolysin O (PFO, classically referred to as θ toxin, a pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC. PFO is secreted as a water-soluble monomer that recognizes and binds membranes via cholesterol. Membrane-bound monomers undergo structural changes that culminate in the formation of an oligomerized prepore complex on the membrane surface. The prepore then undergoes conversion into the bilayer-spanning pore measuring approximately 250–300 Å in diameter. PFO is expressed in nearly all identified C. perfringens strains and harbors interesting traits that suggest a potential undefined role for PFO in disease development. Research has demonstrated a role for PFO in gas gangrene progression and bovine necrohemorrhagic enteritis, but there is limited data available to determine if PFO also functions in additional disease presentations caused by C. perfringens. This review summarizes the known structural and functional characteristics of PFO, while highlighting recent insights into the potential contributions of PFO to disease pathogenesis.

  15. Identification and characterization of B-cell epitopes of 3FTx and PLA(2) toxins from Micrurus corallinus snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, K L; Duarte, C G; Ramos, H R; Machado de Avila, R A; Schneider, F S; Oliveira, D; Freitas, C F; Kalapothakis, E; Ho, P L; Chávez-Olortegui, C

    2015-01-01

    The main goal of this work was to develop a strategy to identify B-cell epitopes on four different three finger toxins (3FTX) and one phospholipase A2 (PLA2) from Micrurus corallinus snake venom. 3FTx and PLA2 are highly abundant components in Elapidic venoms and are the major responsibles for the toxicity observed in envenomation by coral snakes. Overlapping peptides from the sequence of each toxin were prepared by SPOT method and three different anti-elapidic sera were used to map the epitopes. After immunogenicity analysis of the spot-reactive peptides by EPITOPIA, a computational method, nine sequences from the five toxins were chemically synthesized and antigenically and immunogenically characterized. All the peptides were used together as immunogens in rabbits, delivered with Freund's adjuvant for a first cycle of immunization and Montanide in the second. A good antibody response against individual synthetic peptides and M. corallinus venom was achieved. Anti-peptide IgGs were also cross-reactive against Micrurus frontalis and Micrurus lemniscatus crude venoms. In addition, anti-peptide IgGs inhibits the lethal and phospholipasic activities of M. corallinus crude venom. Our results provide a rational basis to the identification of neutralizing epitopes on coral snake toxins and show that their corresponding synthetic peptides could improve the generation of immuno-therapeutics. The use of synthetic peptide for immunization is a reasonable approach, since it enables poly-specificity, low risk of toxic effects and large scale production. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. EGA Protects Mammalian Cells from Clostridium difficile CDT, Clostridium perfringens Iota Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, Leonie; Mittler, Ann-Katrin; Sadi, Mirko; Popoff, Michel R; Schwan, Carsten; Aktories, Klaus; Mattarei, Andrea; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Montecucco, Cesare; Barth, Holger

    2016-04-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum produce the binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins CDT, iota and C2, respectively. These toxins are composed of a transport component (B) and a separate enzyme component (A). When both components assemble on the surface of mammalian target cells, the B components mediate the entry of the A components via endosomes into the cytosol. Here, the A components ADP-ribosylate G-actin, resulting in depolymerization of F-actin, cell-rounding and eventually death. In the present study, we demonstrate that 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)semicarbazone (EGA), a compound that protects cells from multiple toxins and viruses, also protects different mammalian epithelial cells from all three binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. In contrast, EGA did not inhibit the intoxication of cells with Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, indicating a possible different entry route for this toxin. EGA does not affect either the binding of the C2 toxin to the cells surface or the enzyme activity of the A components of CDT, iota and C2, suggesting that this compound interferes with cellular uptake of the toxins. Moreover, for C2 toxin, we demonstrated that EGA inhibits the pH-dependent transport of the A component across cell membranes. EGA is not cytotoxic, and therefore, we propose it as a lead compound for the development of novel pharmacological inhibitors against clostridial binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins.

  17. EGA Protects Mammalian Cells from Clostridium difficile CDT, Clostridium perfringens Iota Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, Leonie; Mittler, Ann-Katrin; Sadi, Mirko; Popoff, Michel R.; Schwan, Carsten; Aktories, Klaus; Mattarei, Andrea; Tehran, Domenico Azarnia; Montecucco, Cesare; Barth, Holger

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum produce the binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins CDT, iota and C2, respectively. These toxins are composed of a transport component (B) and a separate enzyme component (A). When both components assemble on the surface of mammalian target cells, the B components mediate the entry of the A components via endosomes into the cytosol. Here, the A components ADP-ribosylate G-actin, resulting in depolymerization of F-actin, cell-rounding and eventually death. In the present study, we demonstrate that 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)semicarbazone (EGA), a compound that protects cells from multiple toxins and viruses, also protects different mammalian epithelial cells from all three binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. In contrast, EGA did not inhibit the intoxication of cells with Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, indicating a possible different entry route for this toxin. EGA does not affect either the binding of the C2 toxin to the cells surface or the enzyme activity of the A components of CDT, iota and C2, suggesting that this compound interferes with cellular uptake of the toxins. Moreover, for C2 toxin, we demonstrated that EGA inhibits the pH-dependent transport of the A component across cell membranes. EGA is not cytotoxic, and therefore, we propose it as a lead compound for the development of novel pharmacological inhibitors against clostridial binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. PMID:27043629

  18. [Botulinum toxin: An important complement for facial rejuvenation surgery].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Louarn, C

    2017-10-01

    The improved understanding of the functional anatomy of the face and of the action of the botulinum toxin A leads us to determine a new injection procedure which consequently decreases the risk of eyebrow and eyelid ptosis and increases the toxin's injection possibilities and efficiencies. With less units of toxin, the technique herein described proposes to be more efficient on more muscles: variable toxin injections concentration adapted to each injected muscle are used. Thanks to a new procedure in the upper face, toxin A injection can be quite close to an endoscopic surgical action. In addition, interesting results are achievable to rejuvenate the lateral canthus with injection on the upper lateral tarsus, to rejuvenate the nose with injection at the alar base, the jawline and the neck region. Lastly, a smoothing effect on the skin (meso botox) is obtained by the anticholinergic action of the toxin A on the dermal receptors. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  19. AB toxins: a paradigm switch from deadly to desirable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odumosu, Oludare; Nicholas, Dequina; Yano, Hiroshi; Langridge, William

    2010-07-01

    To ensure their survival, a number of bacterial and plant species have evolved a common strategy to capture energy from other biological systems. Being imperfect pathogens, organisms synthesizing multi-subunit AB toxins are responsible for the mortality of millions of people and animals annually. Vaccination against these organisms and their toxins has proved rather ineffective in providing long-term protection from disease. In response to the debilitating effects of AB toxins on epithelial cells of the digestive mucosa, mechanisms underlying toxin immunomodulation of immune responses have become the focus of increasing experimentation. The results of these studies reveal that AB toxins may have a beneficial application as adjuvants for the enhancement of immune protection against infection and autoimmunity. Here, we examine similarities and differences in the structure and function of bacterial and plant AB toxins that underlie their toxicity and their exceptional properties as immunomodulators for stimulating immune responses against infectious disease and for immune suppression of organ-specific autoimmunity.

  20. Recent Insights into Clostridium perfringens Beta-Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Nagahama

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens beta-toxin is a key mediator of necrotizing enterocolitis and enterotoxemia. It is a pore-forming toxin (PFT that exerts cytotoxic effect. Experimental investigation using piglet and rabbit intestinal loop models and a mouse infection model apparently showed that beta-toxin is the important pathogenic factor of the organisms. The toxin caused the swelling and disruption of HL-60 cells and formed a functional pore in the lipid raft microdomains of sensitive cells. These findings represent significant progress in the characterization of the toxin with knowledge on its biological features, mechanism of action and structure-function having been accumulated. Our aims here are to review the current progresses in our comprehension of the virulence of C. perfringens type C and the character, biological feature and structure-function of beta-toxin.

  1. A Retrospective Study on the Epidemiology of Anthrax, Foot and Mouth Disease, Haemorrhagic Septicaemia, Peste des Petits Ruminants and Rabies in Bangladesh, 2010-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, Shankar P.; Yamage, Mat

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax, foot and mouth disease (FMD), haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS), peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and rabies are considered to be endemic in Bangladesh. This retrospective study was conducted to understand the geographic and seasonal distribution of these major infectious diseases in livestock based on data collected through passive surveillance from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012. Data analysis for this period revealed 5,937 cases of anthrax, 300,333 of FMD, 13,436 of HS, 247,783 of PPR and 14,085 cases of dog bite/rabies. While diseases were reported in almost every district of the country, the highest frequency of occurrence corresponded to the susceptible livestock population in the respective districts. There was no significant difference in the disease occurrences between districts bordering India/Myanmar and non-border districts (p>0.05). Significantly higher (pBangladesh. PMID:25101836

  2. Perturbing Tandem Energy Transfer in Luminescent Heterobinuclear Lanthanide Coordination Polymer Nanoparticles Enables Real-Time Monitoring of Release of the Anthrax Biomarker from Bacterial Spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Nan; Zhang, Yunfang; Huang, Pengcheng; Xiang, Zhehao; Wu, Fang-Ying; Mao, Lanqun

    2018-06-05

    Lanthanide-based luminescent sensors have been widely used for the detection of the anthrax biomarker dipicolinic acid (DPA). However, mainly based on DPA sensitization to the lanthanide core, most of them failed to realize robust detection of DPA in bacterial spores. We proposed a new strategy for reliable detection of DPA by perturbing a tandem energy transfer in heterobinuclear lanthanide coordination polymer nanoparticles simply constructed by two kinds of lanthanide ions, Tb 3+ and Eu 3+ , and guanosine 5'-monophosphate. This smart luminescent probe was demonstrated to exhibit highly sensitive and selective visual luminescence color change upon exposure to DPA, enabling accurate detection of DPA in complex biosystems such as bacterial spores. DPA release from bacterial spores on physiological germination was also successfully monitored in real time by confocal imaging. This probe is thus expected to be a powerful tool for efficient detection of bacterial spores in responding to anthrax threats.

  3. A quick method for testing recessive lethal damage with a diploid strain of Aspergillus nidulans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morpurgo, G.; Puppo, S.; Gualandi, G.; Conti, L.

    1978-01-01

    A simple method capable of detecting recessive lethal damage in a diploid strain of Aspergillus nidulans is described. The method scores the recessive lethals on the 1st, the 3rd and the 5th chromosomes, which represent about 40% of the total map of A. nidulans. Two examples of induced lethals, with ultraviolet irradiation and methyl methanesulfonate are shown. The frequency of lethals may reach 36% of the total population with UV irradiation. (Auth.)

  4. Humanitarian Algorithms : A Codified Key Safety Switch Protocol for Lethal Autonomy

    OpenAIRE

    Nyagudi, Nyagudi Musandu

    2014-01-01

    With the deployment of lethal autonomous weapons, there is the requirement that any such platform complies with the precepts of International Humanitarian Law. Humanitarian Algorithms[9: p. 9] ensure that lethal autonomous weapon systems perform military/security operations, within the confines of International Humanitarian Law. Unlike other existing techniques of regulating lethal autonomy this scheme advocates for an approach that enables Machine Learning. Lethal autonomous weapons must be ...

  5. Cnidarian Toxins Acting on Voltage-Gated Ion Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M. Greenberg

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: Voltage-gated ion channels generate electrical activity in excitable cells. As such, they are essential components of neuromuscular and neuronal systems, and are targeted by toxins from a wide variety of phyla, including the cnidarians. Here, we review cnidarian toxins known to target voltage-gated ion channels, the specific channel types targeted, and, where known, the sites of action of cnidarian toxins on different channels.

  6. Bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems: more than selfish entities?

    OpenAIRE

    Laurence Van Melderen; Manuel Saavedra De Bast

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial toxin?antitoxin (TA) systems are diverse and widespread in the prokaryotic kingdom. They are composed of closely linked genes encoding a stable toxin that can harm the host cell and its cognate labile antitoxin, which protects the host from the toxin's deleterious effect. TA systems are thought to invade bacterial genomes through horizontal gene transfer. Some TA systems might behave as selfish elements and favour their own maintenance at the expense of their host. As a consequence,...

  7. Military Importance of Natural Toxins and Their Analogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vladimír Pitschmann

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Toxin weapon research, development, production and the ban on its uses is an integral part of international law, with particular attention paid to the protection against these weapons. In spite of this, hazards associated with toxins cannot be completely excluded. Some of these hazards are also pointed out in the present review. The article deals with the characteristics and properties of natural toxins and synthetic analogs potentially constituting the basis of toxin weapons. It briefly describes the history of military research and the use of toxins from distant history up to the present age. With respect to effective disarmament conventions, it mentions certain contemporary concepts of possible toxin applications for military purposes and the protection of public order (suppression of riots; it also briefly refers to the question of terrorism. In addition, it deals with certain traditional as well as modern technologies of the research, synthesis, and use of toxins, which can affect the continuing development of toxin weapons. These are, for example, cases of new toxins from natural sources, their chemical synthesis, production of synthetic analogs, the possibility of using methods of genetic engineering and modern biotechnologies or the possible applications of nanotechnology and certain pharmaceutical methods for the effective transfer of toxins into the organism. The authors evaluate the military importance of toxins based on their comparison with traditional chemical warfare agents. They appeal to the ethics of the scientific work as a principal condition for the prevention of toxin abuse in wars, military conflicts, as well as in non-military attacks.

  8. PREDICTION OF AEROSOL HAZARDS ARISING FROM THE OPENING OF AN ANTHRAX-TAINTED LETTER IN AN OPEN OFFICE ENVIRONMENT USING COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FUE-SANG LIEN

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Early experimental work, conducted at Defence R&D Canada–Suffield, measured and characterized the personal and environmental contamination associated with simulated anthrax-tainted letters under a number of different scenarios in order to obtain a better understanding of the physical and biological processes for detecting, assessing, and formulating potential mitigation strategies for managing the risks associated with opening an anthrax-tainted letter. These experimental investigations have been extended in the present study to simulate numerically the contamination from the opening of anthrax-tainted letters in an open office environment using computational fluid dynamics (CFD. A quantity of 0.1 g of Bacillus atropheus (formerly referred to as Bacillus subtilis var globigii (BG spores in dry powder form, which was used here as a surrogate species for Bacillus anthracis (anthrax, was released from an opened letter in the experiment. The accuracy of the model for prediction of the spatial distribution of BG spores in the office from the opened letter is assessed qualitatively (and to the extent possible, quantitatively by detailed comparison with measured BG concentrations obtained under a number of different scenarios, some involving people moving within the office. The observed discrepancy between the numerical predictions and experimental measurements of concentration was probably the result of a number of physical processes which were not accounted for in the numerical simulation. These include air flow leakage from cracks and crevices of the building shell; the dispersion of BG spores in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC system; and, the effect of deposition and re-suspension of BG spores from various surfaces in the office environment.

  9. Analysing the spatial patterns of livestock anthrax in Kazakhstan in relation to environmental factors: a comparison of local (Gi* and morphology cluster statistics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian T. Kracalik

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available We compared a local clustering and a cluster morphology statistic using anthrax outbreaks in large (cattle and small (sheep and goats domestic ruminants across Kazakhstan. The Getis-Ord (Gi* statistic and a multidirectional optimal ecotope algorithm (AMOEBA were compared using 1st, 2nd and 3rd order Rook contiguity matrices. Multivariate statistical tests were used to evaluate the environmental signatures between clusters and non-clusters from the AMOEBA and Gi* tests. A logistic regression was used to define a risk surface for anthrax outbreaks and to compare agreement between clustering methodologies. Tests revealed differences in the spatial distribution of clusters as well as the total number of clusters in large ruminants for AMOEBA (n = 149 and for small ruminants (n = 9. In contrast, Gi* revealed fewer large ruminant clusters (n = 122 and more small ruminant clusters (n = 61. Significant environmental differences were found between groups using the Kruskall-Wallis and Mann- Whitney U tests. Logistic regression was used to model the presence/absence of anthrax outbreaks and define a risk surface for large ruminants to compare with cluster analyses. The model predicted 32.2% of the landscape as high risk. Approximately 75% of AMOEBA clusters corresponded to predicted high risk, compared with ~64% of Gi* clusters. In general, AMOEBA predicted more irregularly shaped clusters of outbreaks in both livestock groups, while Gi* tended to predict larger, circular clusters. Here we provide an evaluation of both tests and a discussion of the use of each to detect environmental conditions associated with anthrax outbreak clusters in domestic livestock. These findings illustrate important differences in spatial statistical methods for defining local clusters and highlight the importance of selecting appropriate levels of data aggregation.

  10. Pacman dysplasia: a lethal skeletal dysplasia with variable radiographic features

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, S.F. [Dept. of Radiology, Children' s Hospital of the King' s Daughters, Norfolk (United States); Proud, V.K. [Dept. of Genetics, Children' s Hospital of the King' s Daughters, Norfolk (United States); Werner, A.L. [Dept. of Pathology, Children' s Hospital of the King' s Daughters, Norfolk (United States); Field, F.M.; Wilcox, W.F.; Lachman, R.S.; Rimoin, D.L. [International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles (United States)

    2003-04-01

    Background: Punctate or stippled cartilaginous calcifications are associated with many conditions, including chromosomal, infectious, endocrine, and teratogenic etiologies. Some of these conditions are clinically mild, while others are lethal. Accurate diagnosis can prove instrumental in clinical management and in genetic counseling. Objective: To describe the diagnostic radiographic features seen in Pacman dysplasia, a distinct autosomal recessive, lethal skeletal dysplasia. Materials and methods: We present the fourth reported case of Pacman dysplasia and compare the findings seen in our patient with the three previously described patients. Results: Invariable and variable radiographic findings were seen in all four cases of histologically proven Pacman dysplasia. Conclusion: Pacman dysplasia presents both constant and variable diagnostic radiographic features. (orig.)

  11. Neonatal lethal dwarfism with distinct skeletal malformations - a separate entity?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosendahl, K.; Maurseth, K.; Olsen, Oe.E. [Dept. of Paediatric Radiology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen (Norway); Halvorsen, O.J. [Dept. of Pathology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen (Norway); Gjelland, K. [Dept. of Gynaecology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen (Norway); Engebretsen, L. [Dept. of Genetics, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen (Norway)

    2001-09-01

    We describe a case of neonatal lethal dwarfism characterised by short trunk, short, stick-like tubular bones, deficient ossification of the axial skeleton and broad, sclerotic horizontal ribs. Two similar cases have previously been reported as examples of the Neu-Laxova syndrome. However, the radiological findings of the Neu-Laxova syndrome, as reported in 16 out of 40 documented cases, show a heterogeneous pattern of minor features, which differ distinctively from those found in the previous two cases and by us. A literature research did not reveal similar cases, and we therefore suggest that our case, together with the two previous cases, may represent a new distinctive form of neonatal lethal dwarfism. (orig.)

  12. Neonatal lethal dwarfism with distinct skeletal malformations - a separate entity?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosendahl, K.; Maurseth, K.; Olsen, Oe.E.; Halvorsen, O.J.; Gjelland, K.; Engebretsen, L.

    2001-01-01

    We describe a case of neonatal lethal dwarfism characterised by short trunk, short, stick-like tubular bones, deficient ossification of the axial skeleton and broad, sclerotic horizontal ribs. Two similar cases have previously been reported as examples of the Neu-Laxova syndrome. However, the radiological findings of the Neu-Laxova syndrome, as reported in 16 out of 40 documented cases, show a heterogeneous pattern of minor features, which differ distinctively from those found in the previous two cases and by us. A literature research did not reveal similar cases, and we therefore suggest that our case, together with the two previous cases, may represent a new distinctive form of neonatal lethal dwarfism. (orig.)

  13. Hematologic syndrome in man modeled from mammalian lethality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, T.D.

    1981-01-01

    Data on acute radiation lethality due to failure of the hematologic system in rats, mice, dogs, swine, monkeys and man are analyzed. Based on the available data, the mortality incidences for 1-100% levels can be computed directly if one has only an estimate of the dose lethal to 50% of the population (LD 50 ) for the mammalian strain and radiation environment of interest. The sole restriction is that the dose profile to the marrow be moderately uniform. If an LD 50 for any exposure situation has been measured, then one can readily scale to any desired situation through implicit-biological and empirical-physical relationships. The LD 50 for man, exposed to an isotropic cloud of photons, and knowledge of the bone-marrow dose profiles readily permit evaluation of the model for other levels of human mortality from different irradiating particles, partial body irradiation and spatially dependent and/or mixed radiation environments. (author)

  14. Chemical and radiation induced late dominant lethal effects in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Favor, J.; Crenshaw, J.W. Jr.; Soares, E.R.

    1978-01-01

    Although theoretically expected, experimental data to date have not shown dominant lethal expression to occur throughout the developmental period. Specifically, late post-implantation effects have not been demonstrated. The authors routinely use an experimental technique in which parental females mated to mutagenically treated males are allowed to give birth and wean their litter, and their uterine horns are then inspected for uterine scars indicative of live and dead embryos. In a number of experiments in which males were mutagenically treated with either chemicals or X-irradiation, a discrepancy was observed between the number of live embryos as determined by the scar technique and the number of live observed at birth, suggesting the possibility of embryonic losses at a late stage in development. Initial analyses showed that mutagenic treatment increased the percentage of these late losses. These differences were statistically significant in 2 of 3 analyses. Factors affecting statistical significance and an understanding of dominant lethal mutations are discussed. (Auth.)

  15. An improved brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Mu, Jun; Han, Jinyuan; Gu, Xiaojie

    2012-01-01

    This article described an improved brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test method. A simply designed connecting vessel with alternative photoperiod was used to culture and collect high yield of active Artemia parthenogenetica nauplii for brine shrimp larvae lethality microwell test. Using this method, pure A. parthenogenetica nauplii suspension was easily cultured and harvested with high density about 100-150 larvae per milliliter and the natural mortality was reduced to near zero by elimination of unnecessary artificial disturbance. And its sensitivity was validated by determination of LC(50)-24 h of different reference toxicants including five antitumor agents, two pesticides, three organic pollutants, and four heavy metals salts, most of which exhibited LC(50)-24 h between 0.07 and 58.43 mg/L except for bleomycin and mitomycin C with LC(50)-24 h over 300 mg/L.

  16. Dominant lethals following administration of tritium (THO) to rat males

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yagova, A.; Baev, I.; Bajrakova, A.

    1976-01-01

    Adult rat males were given a single intraperitoneal tritium (THO) injection at 0,01 or 0,001 mCi/g body weight (1/100 or 1/1000 of LDsub(50/30), respectively). Twelve days after treatment each male was mated to 3-5 intact females, and the latter were replaced by fresh ones every 12 following days over a 120-day period. Mated females were killed to score conceptions, corpora lutea, and live and dead embryos. Estimations were made of F 1 prenatal death rate (according to Bateman, 1958) and the frequency of induction of dominant lethal mutations (according to Roehrborn, 1970). The results observed indicated paternal exposure to tritium (THO) to produce dominant lethals both in pre- and post-meiotic germ cells in the rat. The extent of the genetic damage studied was found to depend on the amount of activity administered as well as on the time interval between treatment and conception. (author)

  17. Toxins That Affect Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yonghua

    2017-10-26

    Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are critical in generation and conduction of electrical signals in multiple excitable tissues. Natural toxins, produced by animal, plant, and microorganisms, target VGSCs through diverse strategies developed over millions of years of evolutions. Studying of the diverse interaction between VGSC and VGSC-targeting toxins has been contributing to the increasing understanding of molecular structure and function, pharmacology, and drug development potential of VGSCs. This chapter aims to summarize some of the current views on the VGSC-toxin interaction based on the established receptor sites of VGSC for natural toxins.

  18. Temperature Effects Explain Continental Scale Distribution of Cyanobacterial Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantzouki, Evanthia; Lürling, Miquel; Fastner, Jutta; de Senerpont Domis, Lisette; Wilk-Woźniak, Elżbieta; Koreivienė, Judita; Seelen, Laura; Teurlincx, Sven; Verstijnen, Yvon; Krztoń, Wojciech; Walusiak, Edward; Karosienė, Jūratė; Kasperovičienė, Jūratė; Savadova, Ksenija; Vitonytė, Irma; Cillero-Castro, Carmen; Budzyńska, Agnieszka; Goldyn, Ryszard; Kozak, Anna; Rosińska, Joanna; Szeląg-Wasielewska, Elżbieta; Domek, Piotr; Jakubowska-Krepska, Natalia; Kwasizur, Kinga; Messyasz, Beata; Pełechaty, Aleksandra; Pełechaty, Mariusz; Kokocinski, Mikolaj; García-Murcia, Ana; Real, Monserrat; Romans, Elvira; Noguero-Ribes, Jordi; Duque, David Parreño; Fernández-Morán, Elísabeth; Karakaya, Nusret; Häggqvist, Kerstin; Demir, Nilsun; Beklioğlu, Meryem; Filiz, Nur; Levi, Eti E.; Iskin, Uğur; Bezirci, Gizem; Tavşanoğlu, Ülkü Nihan; Özhan, Koray; Gkelis, Spyros; Panou, Manthos; Fakioglu, Özden; Avagianos, Christos; Kaloudis, Triantafyllos; Çelik, Kemal; Yilmaz, Mete; Marcé, Rafael; Catalán, Nuria; Bravo, Andrea G.; Buck, Moritz; Colom-Montero, William; Mustonen, Kristiina; Pierson, Don; Yang, Yang; Raposeiro, Pedro M.; Gonçalves, Vítor; Antoniou, Maria G.; Tsiarta, Nikoletta; McCarthy, Valerie; Perello, Victor C.; Feldmann, Tõnu; Laas, Alo; Panksep, Kristel; Tuvikene, Lea; Gagala, Ilona; Mankiewicz-Boczek, Joana; Yağcı, Meral Apaydın; Çınar, Şakir; Çapkın, Kadir; Yağcı, Abdulkadir; Cesur, Mehmet; Bilgin, Fuat; Bulut, Cafer; Uysal, Rahmi; Obertegger, Ulrike; Boscaini, Adriano; Flaim, Giovanna; Salmaso, Nico; Cerasino, Leonardo; Richardson, Jessica; Visser, Petra M.; Verspagen, Jolanda M. H.; Karan, Tünay; Soylu, Elif Neyran; Maraşlıoğlu, Faruk; Napiórkowska-Krzebietke, Agnieszka; Ochocka, Agnieszka; Pasztaleniec, Agnieszka; Antão-Geraldes, Ana M.; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Morais, João; Vale, Micaela; Köker, Latife; Akçaalan, Reyhan; Albay, Meriç; Špoljarić Maronić, Dubravka; Stević, Filip; Žuna Pfeiffer, Tanja; Fonvielle, Jeremy; Straile, Dietmar; Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto; Hansson, Lars-Anders; Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Bláha, Luděk; Geriš, Rodan; Fránková, Markéta; Koçer, Mehmet Ali Turan; Alp, Mehmet Tahir; Remec-Rekar, Spela; Elersek, Tina; Triantis, Theodoros; Zervou, Sevasti-Kiriaki; Hiskia, Anastasia; Haande, Sigrid; Skjelbred, Birger; Madrecka, Beata; Nemova, Hana; Drastichova, Iveta; Chomova, Lucia; Edwards, Christine; Sevindik, Tuğba Ongun; Tunca, Hatice; Önem, Burçin; Aleksovski, Boris; Krstić, Svetislav; Vucelić, Itana Bokan; Nawrocka, Lidia; Salmi, Pauliina; Machado-Vieira, Danielle; de Oliveira, Alinne Gurjão; Delgado-Martín, Jordi; García, David; Cereijo, Jose Luís; Gomà, Joan; Trapote, Mari Carmen; Vegas-Vilarrúbia, Teresa; Obrador, Biel; Grabowska, Magdalena; Karpowicz, Maciej; Chmura, Damian; Úbeda, Bárbara; Gálvez, José Ángel; Özen, Arda; Christoffersen, Kirsten Seestern; Warming, Trine Perlt; Kobos, Justyna; Mazur-Marzec, Hanna; Pérez-Martínez, Carmen; Ramos-Rodríguez, Eloísa; Arvola, Lauri; Alcaraz-Párraga, Pablo; Toporowska, Magdalena; Pawlik-Skowronska, Barbara; Niedźwiecki, Michał; Pęczuła, Wojciech; Leira, Manel; Hernández, Armand; Moreno-Ostos, Enrique; Blanco, José María; Rodríguez, Valeriano; Montes-Pérez, Jorge Juan; Palomino, Roberto L.; Rodríguez-Pérez, Estela; Carballeira, Rafael; Camacho, Antonio; Picazo, Antonio; Rochera, Carlos; Santamans, Anna C.; Ferriol, Carmen; Romo, Susana; Soria, Juan Miguel; Dunalska, Julita; Sieńska, Justyna; Szymański, Daniel; Kruk, Marek; Kostrzewska-Szlakowska, Iwona; Jasser, Iwona; Žutinić, Petar; Gligora Udovič, Marija; Plenković-Moraj, Anđelka; Frąk, Magdalena; Bańkowska-Sobczak, Agnieszka; Wasilewicz, Michał; Özkan, Korhan; Maliaka, Valentini; Kangro, Kersti; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Paerl, Hans W.; Carey, Cayelan C.; Ibelings, Bas W.

    2018-04-13

    Insight into how environmental change determines the production and distribution of cyanobacterial toxins is necessary for risk assessment. Management guidelines currently focus on hepatotoxins (microcystins). Increasing attention is given to other classes, such as neurotoxins (e.g., anatoxin-a) and cytotoxins (e.g., cylindrospermopsin) due to their potency. Most studies examine the relationship between individual toxin variants and environmental factors, such as nutrients, temperature and light. In summer 2015, we collected samples across Europe to investigate the effect of nutrient and temperature gradients on the variability of toxin production at a continental scale. Direct and indirect effects of temperature were the main drivers of the spatial distribution in the toxins produced by the cyanobacterial community, the toxin concentrations and toxin quota. Generalized linear models showed that a Toxin Diversity Index (TDI) increased with latitude, while it decreased with water stability. Increases in TDI were explained through a significant increase in toxin variants such as MC-YR, anatoxin and cylindrospermopsin, accompanied by a decreasing presence of MC-LR. While global warming continues, the direct and indirect effects of increased lake temperatures will drive changes in the distribution of cyanobacterial toxins in Europe, potentially promoting selection of a few highly toxic species or strains.

  19. Botulinum toxin for treatment of glandular hypersecretory disorders.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Laing, T A

    2012-02-03

    SUMMARY: The use of botulinum toxin to treat disorders of the salivary glands is increasing in popularity in recent years. Recent reports of the use of botulinum toxin in glandular hypersecretion suggest overall favourable results with minimal side-effects. However, few randomised clinical trials means that data are limited with respect to candidate suitability, treatment dosages, frequency and duration of treatment. We report a selection of such cases from our own department managed with botulinum toxin and review the current data on use of the toxin to treat salivary gland disorders such as Frey\\'s syndrome, excessive salivation (sialorrhoea), focal and general hyperhidrosis, excessive lacrimation and chronic rhinitis.

  20. Gene therapy for carcinoma of the breast: Genetic toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vassaux, Georges; Lemoine, Nick R

    2000-01-01

    Gene therapy was initially envisaged as a potential treatment for genetically inherited, monogenic disorders. The applications of gene therapy have now become wider, however, and include cardiovascular diseases, vaccination and cancers in which conventional therapies have failed. With regard to oncology, various gene therapy approaches have been developed. Among them, the use of genetic toxins to kill cancer cells selectively is emerging. Two different types of genetic toxins have been developed so far: the metabolic toxins and the dominant-negative class of toxins. This review describes these two different approaches, and discusses their potential applications in cancer gene therapy

  1. Temperature Effects Explain Continental Scale Distribution of Cyanobacterial Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evanthia Mantzouki

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Insight into how environmental change determines the production and distribution of cyanobacterial toxins is necessary for risk assessment. Management guidelines currently focus on hepatotoxins (microcystins. Increasing attention is given to other classes, such as neurotoxins (e.g., anatoxin-a and cytotoxins (e.g., cylindrospermopsin due to their potency. Most studies examine the relationship between individual toxin variants and environmental factors, such as nutrients, temperature and light. In summer 2015, we collected samples across Europe to investigate the effect of nutrient and temperature gradients on the variability of toxin production at a continental scale. Direct and indirect effects of temperature were the main drivers of the spatial distribution in the toxins produced by the cyanobacterial community, the toxin concentrations and toxin quota. Generalized linear models showed that a Toxin Diversity Index (TDI increased with latitude, while it decreased with water stability. Increases in TDI were explained through a significant increase in toxin variants such as MC-YR, anatoxin and cylindrospermopsin, accompanied by a decreasing presence of MC-LR. While global warming continues, the direct and indirect effects of increased lake temperatures will drive changes in the distribution of cyanobacterial toxins in Europe, potentially promoting selection of a few highly toxic species or strains.

  2. Dysport: pharmacological properties and factors that influence toxin action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickett, Andy

    2009-10-01

    The pharmacological properties of Dysport that influence toxin action are reviewed and compared with other botulinum toxin products. In particular, the subject of diffusion is examined and discussed based upon the evidence that currently exists, both from laboratory studies and from clinical data. Diffusion of botulinum toxin products is not related to the size of the toxin complex in the product since the complex dissociates under physiological conditions, releasing the naked neurotoxin to act. The active neurotoxin in Type A products is the same and therefore diffusion is equal when equal doses are administered.

  3. Non-Lethal Weaponry: A Framework for Future Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-04-01

    community, but was widely popularized by John Naisbitt in his 1982 work, Megatrends . In short, it asserts that much may be learned about a dynamic, but...Notes 1 John Naisbitt, Megatrends : Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives (New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc., 1982), 3-5. 2 Robert J. Bunker...lethals by opponents of biological and chemical weapons. The use of chemical agents…is seen as a Trojan Horse to circumvent the Chemical Weapons

  4. Genome Replikin Count Predicts Increased Infectivity/Lethality of Viruses

    OpenAIRE

    Samuel Bogoch; Elenore S. Bogoch

    2012-01-01

    The genomes of all groups of viruses whose sequences are listed on Pubmed, specimens since 1918, analyzed by a software from Bioradar UK Ltd., contain Replikins which range in concentration from a Replikin Count (number of Replikins per 100 amino acids) of less than 1 to 30 (see accompanying communications for higher Counts in tuberculosis, malaria, and cancer, associated with higher lethality). Counts of less than 4.0 were found in ‘resting’ virus states; Counts greater than 4....

  5. Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita. A cause of lethal neonatal dwarfism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macpherson, R.I.; Wood, B.P.

    1980-07-01

    Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita is a form of primarily short trunk dwarfism, that is manifest at birth but generally has not been regarded as a cause of lethal neonatal dwarfism. Seven neonates with severe dwarfism are presented. The first survived the newborn period, but the other six were early neonatal deaths. All displayed the clinical and radiologic features of spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita. The striking similarities between spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita and achondrogenesis type 2 are discussed.

  6. Torrance type of lethal neonatal short-limbed platyspondylic dwarfism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaibara, N.; Yokoyama, K.; Nakano, H.

    1983-01-01

    A rare case of lethal neonatal short-limbed platyspondylic dwarfism is described. Roentgenographic features of this case, distinctly different from those of the classical thanatophoric dysplasia, are indistinguishable from the other three types of short-limbed platyspondylic dwarfism. Histologic features of the cartilage in this case are not very different from those of the Torrance type, but the presence of focal disruption of column formation in this case suggests a wider spectrum for this entity. (orig.)

  7. Torrance type of lethal neonatal short-limbed platyspondylic dwarfism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaibara, N.; Yokoyama, K.; Nakano, H.

    1983-06-01

    A rare case of lethal neonatal short-limbed platyspondylic dwarfism is described. Roentgenographic features of this case, distinctly different from those of the classical thanatophoric dysplasia, are indistinguishable from the other three types of short-limbed platyspondylic dwarfism. Histologic features of the cartilage in this case are not very different from those of the Torrance type, but the presence of focal disruption of column formation in this case suggests a wider spectrum for this entity.

  8. First diagnosed lethal case of lyssavirus infection in Primorsky krai

    OpenAIRE

    Leonova, G.; Chentsova, I.; Petukhova, S.; Somova, L.; Belikov, S.; Kondratov, I.; Kryilova, N.; Plekhova, N.; Pavlenko, E.; Romanova, E.; Matsak, V.; Smirnov, G.; Novikov, D.

    2010-01-01

    The paper provides data of comprehensive study of lethal case of lyssavirus infection first diagnosed in Yakovlevsky municipal district in Primorsky Krai. The data of epidemiologic analysis (contact with a rattle mouse), clinical picture and results of virologic, morphological and molecular genetic tests allow attributing this case to lyssavirus infection. This is the first diagnosed case of lyssavirus infection in the Siberia and Far East.

  9. Transplantation of bone marrow cells into lethally irradiated mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Viktora, L.; Hermanova, E.

    1978-01-01

    Morphological changes were studied of megakaryocytes in the bone marrow and spleen of lethally irradiated mice (0.2 C/kg) after transplantation of living bone marrow cells. It was observed that functional trombopoietic megakaryocytes occur from day 15 after transplantation and that functional active megakaryocytes predominate in bone marrow and spleen from day 20. In addition, other types of cells, primarily granulocytes, were detected in some megakaryocytes. (author)

  10. Lethal mutagenesis: targeting the mutator phenotype in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Edward J; Loeb, Lawrence A

    2010-10-01

    The evolution of cancer and RNA viruses share many similarities. Both exploit high levels of genotypic diversity to enable extensive phenotypic plasticity and thereby facilitate rapid adaptation. In order to accumulate large numbers of mutations, we have proposed that cancers express a mutator phenotype. Similar to cancer cells, many viral populations, by replicating their genomes with low fidelity, carry a substantial mutational load. As high levels of mutation are potentially deleterious, the viral mutation frequency is thresholded at a level below which viral populations equilibrate in a traditional mutation-selection balance, and above which the population is no longer viable, i.e., the population undergoes an error catastrophe. Because their mutation frequencies are fine-tuned just below this error threshold, viral populations are susceptible to further increases in mutational load and, recently this phenomenon has been exploited therapeutically by a concept that has been termed lethal mutagenesis. Here we review the application of lethal mutagenesis to the treatment of HIV and discuss how lethal mutagenesis may represent a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of solid cancers. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Emergence of Escherichia coli encoding Shiga toxin 2f in human Shiga toxin-producing E-coli (STEC) infections in the Netherlands, January 2008 to December 2011

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friesema, I.; van der Zwaluw, K.; Schuurman, T.; Kooistra-Smid, M.; Franz, E.; van Duynhoven, Y.; van Pelt, W.

    2014-01-01

    The Shiga toxins of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) can be divided into Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) and Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) with several sub-variants. Variant Stx(2f) is one of the latest described, but has been rarely associated with symptomatic human infections. In the enhanced STEC

  12. Lethal and Sub-lethal Effects of Four Insecticides on the Aphidophagous Coccinellid Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Depalo, Laura; Lanzoni, Alberto; Masetti, Antonio; Pasqualini, Edison; Burgio, Giovanni

    2017-12-05

    Conventional insecticide assays, which measure the effects of insecticide exposure on short-term mortality, overlook important traits, including persistence of toxicity or sub-lethal effects. Therefore, such approaches are especially inadequate for prediction of the overall impact of insecticides on beneficial arthropods. In this study, the side effects of four modern insecticides (chlorantraniliprole, emamectin benzoate, spinosad, and spirotetramat) on Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were evaluated under laboratory conditions by exposition on treated potted plants. In addition to investigation of acute toxicity and persistence of harmful activity in both larvae and adults of A. bipunctata, demographic parameters were evaluated, to provide a comprehensive picture of the nontarget effects of these products. Field doses of the four insecticides caused detrimental effects to A. bipunctata; but in different ways. Overall, spinosad showed the best toxicological profile among the products tested. Emamectin benzoate could be considered a low-risk insecticide, but had high persistence. Chlorantraniliprole exhibited lethal effects on early instar larvae and adults, along with a long-lasting activity, instead spirotetramat showed a low impact on larval and adult mortality and can be considered a short-lived insecticide. However, demographic analysis demonstrated that chlorantraniliprole and spirotetramat caused sub-lethal effects. Our findings highlight that sole assessment of mortality can lead to underestimation of the full impact of pesticides on nontarget insects. Demographic analysis was demonstrated to be a sensitive method for detection of the sub-lethal effects of insecticides on A. bipunctata, and this approach should be considered for evaluation of insecticide selectivity. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Botulinum toxin for treatment of restrictive strabismus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Pilar S; Vera, Rebeca E; Mariñas, Laura G; Gómez de Liaño, Pilar S; Escribano, Jose V

    To study the types of acquired restrictive strabismus treated in a tertiary hospital and the outcome of treatment with botulinum toxin. We performed a 10-year retrospective study of patients with restrictive strabismus aged ≥18 years who were treated with botulinum toxin. Treatment was considered successful if the final vertical deviation was ≤5 PD, horizontal deviation ≤10 PD, with no head turn or diplopia. We included 27 cases (mean age, 61.9 years). Horizontal strabismus was diagnosed in 11.1%, vertical in 51.9%, and mixed in 37%. Strabismus was secondary to cataract surgery in 6 cases, high myopia in 6, orbital fractures in 5, retinal surgery in 5, Graves ophthalmopathy in 4, and repair of conjunctival injury in 1 case. Diplopia was diagnosed in all patients, head turn in 33.3%. The initial deviation was 14 PD (range, 2-40), the mean number of injections per patient was 1.6 (range, 1-3), and the mean dose was 9.5 IU (range, 2.5-22.5). At the end of follow-up, diplopia was recorded in 59.3%, head turn in 18.5%, surgical treatment in 51.9%, and need for prism glasses in 14.8%. Outcome was successful in 37% of patients (4 high myopia, 3 orbital fractures, 2 post-surgical retinal detachment, and 1 post-cataract surgery). Mean follow-up was 3±1.8 years. Vertical deviation was observed in half of the sample. The most frequent deviation was secondary to cataract surgery and high myopia. Treatment with botulinum toxin was successful in one-third of the patients at the end of follow-up. Copyright © 2016 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  14. Ultrasound-guided botulinum toxin injections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. E. Khatkova

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the key conditions for achieving the desirable result during botulinum toxin therapy for muscular dystonia, spasticity, and other diseases accompanied by spasm, pain, and autonomic dysfunction (dystonias, spasticity, etc. is the proper administration of the agent into the muscles directly involved in the pathological process. The exact entry of botulinum toxin into the target muscles is essential for successful and safe treatment because its injection into a normal muscle may cause side effects. The most common errors are the incorrect depth and incorrect direction of a needle on insertion. Therefore, the exact injection of the agent particularly into the shallow and deep muscles is a difficult task even for an experienced specialist and requires the use of controlling methods.The European Consensus on Botulinum Toxin Therapy points out that various injection techniques are needed for the better identification of necessary muscles. However, there are currently no reports on the clear advantage of any technique. In our country, injections using palpation and anatomical landmarks have been widely used in routine practice so far; electromyographic monitoring and electrostimulation have been less frequently applied. In recent years, the new method ultrasound-guided injection has continued to grow more popular. This effective, accessible, and easy-to-use method makes it possible to manage a real-time injection process and to ensure the exact entry of the agent into the muscle. This paper is dedicated to a comparative analysis of different injection methods and to a description of the ultrasound-guided technique and its advantages over others. 

  15. Prevention, control and detection of Fusarial toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nešić Ksenija D.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The past couple of decades have provided considerable details on fungi and the toxins that they produce, as well on the mechanism of toxin action, toxicity and effects on animal and human health. But, since they are natural contaminants, their presence is often inevitable. Fusaria are widespread in all cereal-growing territories of the world, but they are especially common in our geographic area. Therefore, special attention is paid to the prevention and control, and also to the improvement of methods for their detection. Although all collected data were critical for understanding this worldwide problem, managing the impact of these toxins on the feed and food safety is still great practical challenge. There are a number of approaches that can be taken to minimize mycotoxin contamination in this chain: prevention of fungal growth and thus mycotoxin formation, strategies to reduce or eliminate mycotoxins from contaminated feedstuffs or diverting the contaminated products to low risk uses. A control program for mycotoxins from field to table should in­volve the criteria of an HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points approach. It requires an understanding of the important aspects of the interactions of the toxigenic fungi with crop plants, the on-farm production and harvest methods for crops, the production of livestock using grains and processed feeds, including diagnostic capabilities for mycotoxicoses, and all the way to the development of processed foods for human consumption, as well as understanding the marketing and trade channels including storage and delivery of foods to the consumer’s table. A good testing protocol for mycotoxins is necessary to manage all of the control points and in order to be able to ensure a food supply free of toxic levels of mycotoxins for the consumer. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III 46009

  16. Binding of Diphtheria Toxin to Phospholipids in Liposomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alving, Carl R.; Iglewski, Barbara H.; Urban, Katharine A.; Moss, Joel; Richards, Roberta L.; Sadoff, Jerald C.

    1980-04-01

    Diphtheria toxin bound to the phosphate portion of some, but not all, phospholipids in liposomes. Liposomes consisting of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol did not bind toxin. Addition of 20 mol% (compared to dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine) of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid, dicetyl phosphate, phosphatidylinositol phosphate, cardiolipin, or phosphatidylserine in the liposomes resulted in substantial binding of toxin. Inclusion of phosphatidylinositol in dimyristol phosphatidylcholine / cholesterol liposomes did not result in toxin binding. The calcium salt of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid was more effective than the sodium salt, and the highest level of binding occurred with liposomes consisting only of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid (calcium salt) and cholesterol. Binding of toxin to liposomes was dependent on pH, and the pattern of pH dependence varied with liposomes having different compositions. Incubation of diphtheria toxin with liposomes containing dicetyl phosphate resulted in maximal binding at pH 3.6, whereas binding to liposomes containing phosphatidylinositol phosphate was maximal above pH 7. Toxin did not bind to liposomes containing 20 mol% of a free fatty acid (palmitic acid) or a sulfated lipid (3-sulfogalactosylceramide). Toxin binding to dicetyl phosphate or phosphatidylinositol phosphate was inhibited by UTP, ATP, phosphocholine, or p-nitrophenyl phosphate, but not by uracil. We conclude that (a) diphtheria toxin binds specifically to the phosphate portion of certain phospholipids, (b) binding to phospholipids in liposomes is dependent on pH, but is not due only to electrostatic interaction, and (c) binding may be strongly influenced by the composition of adjacent phospholipids that do not bind toxin. We propose that a minor membrane phospholipid (such as phosphatidylinositol phosphate or phosphatidic acid), or that some other phosphorylated membrane molecule (such as a phosphoprotein) may be important in the initial binding of

  17. Uptake and bioaccumulation of Cry toxins by an aphidophagous predator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paula, Débora P.; Andow, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Uptake of Cry toxins by insect natural enemies has rarely been considered and bioaccumulation has not yet been demonstrated. Uptake can be demonstrated by the continued presence of Cry toxin after exposure has stopped and gut contents eliminated. Bioaccumulation can be demonstrated by showing uptake and that the concentration of Cry toxin in the natural enemy exceeds that in its food. We exposed larvae of the aphidophagous predator, Harmonia axyridis, to Cry1Ac and Cry1F through uniform and constant tritrophic exposure via an aphid, Myzus persicae, and looked for toxin presence in the pupae. We repeated the experiment using only Cry1F and tested newly emerged adults. Both Cry toxins were detected in pupae, and Cry1F was detected in recently emerged, unfed adults. Cry1Ac was present 2.05 times and Cry1F 3.09 times higher in predator pupae than in the aphid prey. Uptake and bioaccumulation in the third trophic level might increase the persistence of Cry toxins in the food web and mediate new exposure routes to natural enemies. - Highlights: • Uptake and bioaccumulation of two Cry toxins by a larval coccinellid was tested. • Uptake was demonstrated by presence of the toxins in pupae and adults. • Bioaccumulation was shown by higher toxin concentration in pupae than prey. • Cry1Ac was present 2.05× and Cry1F 3.09× higher in predator pupae than prey. • This might increase persistence of Cry toxins in food webs with new exposure routes. - Immatures of the predaceous coccinellid Harmonia axyridis can uptake and bioaccumulate Cry toxins delivered via their aphid prey.

  18. A retrospective study on the epidemiology of anthrax, foot and mouth disease, haemorrhagic septicaemia, peste des petits ruminants and rabies in Bangladesh, 2010-2012.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shankar P Mondal

    Full Text Available Anthrax, foot and mouth disease (FMD, haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS, peste des petits ruminants (PPR and rabies are considered to be endemic in Bangladesh. This retrospective study was conducted to understand the geographic and seasonal distribution of these major infectious diseases in livestock based on data collected through passive surveillance from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012. Data analysis for this period revealed 5,937 cases of anthrax, 300,333 of FMD, 13,436 of HS, 247,783 of PPR and 14,085 cases of dog bite/rabies. While diseases were reported in almost every district of the country, the highest frequency of occurrence corresponded to the susceptible livestock population in the respective districts. There was no significant difference in the disease occurrences between districts bordering India/Myanmar and non-border districts (p>0.05. Significantly higher (p<0.01 numbers of anthrax (84.5%, FMD (88.3%, HS (84.9% and dog bite/rabies (64.3% cases were reported in cattle than any other species. PPR cases were reported mostly (94.8% in goats with only isolated cases (5.2% in sheep. The diseases occur throughout the year with peak numbers reported during June through September and lowest during December through April, with significant differences (p<0.01 between the months. The annual usages of vaccines for anthrax, FMD, HS and PPR were only 7.31%, 0.61%, 0.84% and 11.59% of the susceptible livestock population, respectively. Prophylactic vaccination against rabies was 21.16% of cases. There were significant differences (p<0.01 in the administration of anthrax, FMD and HS vaccines between border and non-border districts, but not PPR or rabies vaccines. We recommend that surveillance and reporting of these diseases need to be improved throughout the country. Furthermore, all suspected clinical cases should be confirmed by laboratory examination. The findings of this study can be used in the formulation of more effective disease

  19. Isolation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli harboring variant Shiga toxin genes from seafood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreepriya Prakasan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC are important pathogens of global significance. STEC are responsible for numerous food-borne outbreaks worldwide and their presence in food is a potential health hazard. The objective of the present study was to determine the incidence of STEC in fresh seafood in Mumbai, India, and to characterize STEC with respect to their virulence determinants. Materials and Methods: A total of 368 E. coli were isolated from 39 fresh seafood samples (18 finfish and 21 shellfish using culture-based methods. The isolates were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR for the genes commonly associated with STEC. The variant Shiga toxin genes were confirmed by Southern blotting and hybridization followed by DNA sequencing. Results: One or more Shiga toxins genes were detected in 61 isolates. Of 39 samples analyzed, 10 (25.64% samples harbored STEC. Other virulence genes, namely, eaeA (coding for an intimin and hlyA (hemolysin A were detected in 43 and 15 seafood isolates, respectively. The variant stx1 genes from 6 isolates were sequenced, five of which were found to be stx1d variants, while one sequence varied considerably from known stx1 sequences. Southern hybridization and DNA sequence analysis suggested putative Shiga toxin variant genes (stx2 in at least 3 other isolates. Conclusion: The results of this study showed the occurrence of STEC in seafood harboring one or more Shiga toxin genes. The detection of STEC by PCR may be hampered due to the presence of variant genes such as the stx1d in STEC. This is the first report of stx1d gene in STEC isolated from Indian seafood.

  20. [Bladder tumor lethality. Results in the autonomous community of Rioja between 1975-1991].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández Fernández, A; Gil Fabra, J; Fernández Ruíz, M; Angulo Castellanos, M G; Blanco Martín, E; Otero Mauricio, G

    1998-01-01

    Between 1975-1991, a total of 557 cases of bladder carcinoma were identified in the Autonomous Community of La Rioja (CAR) which were followed up to December 1994. The overall lethality was 21.9%. 492 cases with 22.35% lethality were identified in males. In females, however, there was 65 cases with 18.46% lethality. The comparison of males and females lethality resulted in p = 0.525. Lethality between cases diagnosed within each 5-year period analyzed is: 1975-1981: 177 cases, lethality 23.72%. 1982-1986: 168 cases, lethality 30.95%. 1987-1991: 212 cases, lethality 13.20%. Between the first and the second 5-year periods, p = 0.132; between the first and third 5-year periods p = 0.007 and between the second and third 5-year periods p CAR for a 22.35% lethality. Lethality is higher in males that in females but the difference is not statistically significant. In the last 5-year period assessed, 1987-1991, a reduction of lethality from bladder neoplasms has been documented.