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Sample records for anthrax lethal toxin

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

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  2. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  4. Anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) neutralization by PA domain specific antisera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Monika; Suryanarayana, Nagendra; Tuteja, Urmil; Thavachelvam, Kulanthaivel; Rao, M K; Bhargava, Rakesh; Shukla, Sangeeta

    2017-12-01

    Anthrax associated causalities in humans and animals are implicated mainly due to the action of two exotoxins that are secreted by the bacterium Bacillus antharcis during the infection. These exotoxins comprise of three protein components namely protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). The protective antigen is the common toxin component required to form both lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx). The LeTx is formed, when PA combines with LF and EdTx is formed when PA combines with EF. Therapeutic interventions aiming to neutralize these key effectors of anthrax pathology would therefore, provide an effective means to counter the toxicity imposed by the anthrax toxins on the host. The present work describes the lethal toxin neutralization potential of polyclonal antisera developed against the individual domains of the protective antigen component of the anthrax toxin. The individual domains were produced as recombinant proteins in E. coli and validated with peptide mass fingerprinting by MALDI-TOF analysis and corresponding mice polyclonal antisera by western blotting. Each domain specific antibody titre and isotype was ascertained by ELISA. The isotyping revealed the predominance of IgG1 isotype. The toxin neutralizing potential of these domain specific antisera were evaluated by in-vitro cell viability MTT assay, employing J774.1 mouse macrophage cell line against LeTx (0.25 μg ml -1 PA and 0.125 μg ml -1 LF concentrations). Among the four domain specific antisera, the antiserum against PA domain IV could neutralize LeTx with high efficiency. No significant neutralization of LeTx was observed with other domain specific antibodies. Results indicate that antibodies to r-PA domain IV could be explored further as therapeutic anti toxin molecule along with appropriate antibiotic regimens against anthrax. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Vitalii Silin

    2016-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Development of an in Vitro Potency Assay for Anti-anthrax Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Antibodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sjoerd Rijpkema

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Lethal toxin (LT of Bacillus anthracis reduces the production of a number of inflammatory mediators, including transcription factors, chemokines and cytokines in various human cell lines, leading to down-regulation of the host inflammatory response. Previously we showed that the reduction of interleukin-8 (IL-8 is a sensitive marker of LT-mediated intoxication in human neutrophil-like NB-4 cells and that IL-8 levels are restored to normality when therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb with toxin-neutralising (TN activity are added. We used this information to develop cell-based assays that examine the effects of TN therapeutic mAbs designed to treat LT intoxication and here we extend these findings. We present an in vitro assay based on human endothelial cell line HUVEC jr2, which measures the TN activity of therapeutic anti-LT mAbs using IL-8 as a marker for intoxication. HUVEC jr2 cells have the advantage over NB-4 cells that they are adherent, do not require a differentiation step and can be used in a microtitre plate format and therefore can facilitate high throughput analysis. This human cell-based assay provides a valid alternative to the mouse macrophage assay as it is a more biologically relevant model of the effects of toxin-neutralising antibodies in human infection.

  14. 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.

  15. Anthrax lethal toxin rapidly reduces c-Jun levels by inhibiting c-Jun gene transcription and promoting c-Jun protein degradation.

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    Ouyang, Weiming; Guo, Pengfei; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M

    2017-10-27

    Anthrax is a life-threatening disease caused by infection with Bacillus anthracis , which expresses lethal factor and the receptor-binding protective antigen. These two proteins combine to form anthrax lethal toxin (LT), whose proximal targets are mitogen-activated kinase kinases (MKKs). However, the downstream mediators of LT toxicity remain elusive. Here we report that LT exposure rapidly reduces the levels of c-Jun, a key regulator of cell proliferation and survival. Blockade of proteasome-dependent protein degradation with the 26S proteasome inhibitor MG132 largely restored c-Jun protein levels, suggesting that LT promotes degradation of c-Jun protein. Using the MKK1/2 inhibitor U0126, we further show that MKK1/2-Erk1/2 pathway inactivation similarly reduces c-Jun protein, which was also restored by MG132 pre-exposure. Interestingly, c-Jun protein rebounded to normal levels 4 h following U0126 exposure but not after LT exposure. The restoration of c-Jun in U0126-exposed cells was associated with increased c-Jun mRNA levels and was blocked by inactivation of the JNK1/2 signaling pathway. These results indicate that LT reduces c-Jun both by promoting c-Jun protein degradation via inactivation of MKK1/2-Erk1/2 signaling and by blocking c-Jun gene transcription via inactivation of MKK4-JNK1/2 signaling. In line with the known functions of c-Jun, LT also inhibited cell proliferation. Ectopic expression of LT-resistant MKK2 and MKK4 variants partially restored Erk1/2 and JNK1/2 signaling in LT-exposed cells, enabling the cells to maintain relatively normal c-Jun protein levels and cell proliferation. Taken together, these findings indicate that LT reduces c-Jun protein levels via two distinct mechanisms, thereby inhibiting critical cell functions, including cellular proliferation.

  16. [Screening of full human anthrax lethal factor neutralizing antibody in transgenic mice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaolin; Chi, Xiangyang; Liu, Ju; Liu, Weicen; Liu, Shuling; Qiu, Shunfang; Wen, Zhonghua; Fan, Pengfei; Liu, Kun; Song, Xiaohong; Fu, Ling; Zhang, Jun; Yu, Changming

    2016-11-25

    Anthrax is a highly lethal infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The major virulence factor of B. anthracis consists of protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). PA binds with LF to form lethal toxin (LT), and PA binds with EF to form edema toxin (ET). Antibiotics is hard to work in advanced anthrax infections, because injuries and deaths of the infected are mainly caused by lethal toxin (LT). Thus, the therapeutic neutralizing antibody is the most effective treatment of anthrax. Currently most of the anthrax toxin antibodies are monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) for PA and US FDA has approved ABTHRAX humanized PA monoclonal antibody for the treatment of inhalational anthrax. Once B. anthracis was artificially reconstructed or PA had mutations within recognized neutralization epitopes, anti-PA MAbs would no longer be effective. Therefore, anti-LF MAbs is an important supplement for anthrax treatment. Most of the anti-LF antibodies are murine or chimeric antibodies. By contrast, fully human MAbs can avoid the high immunogenicity of murine antibodies. First, we used LF to immunize the transgenic mice and used fluorescent cell sorting to get antigen-specific memory B cells from transgenic mice spleen lymphocytes. By single cell PCR method, we quickly found two strains of anti-LF MAbs with binding activity, 1D7 and 2B9. Transiently transfected Expi 293F cells to obtain MAbs protein after purification. Both 1D7 and 2B9 efficiently neutralized LT in vitro, and had good synergistic effect when mixed with anti-PA MAbs. In summary, combining the advantages of transgenic mice, fluorescent cell sorting and single-cell PCR methods, this study shows new ideas and methods for the rapid screening of fully human monoclonal antibodies.

  17. Anthrax lethal toxin induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization and cytosolic cathepsin release is Nlrp1b/Nalp1b-dependent.

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    Kathleen M Averette

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available NOD-like receptors (NLRs are a group of cytoplasmic molecules that recognize microbial invasion or 'danger signals'. Activation of NLRs can induce rapid caspase-1 dependent cell death termed pyroptosis, or a caspase-1 independent cell death termed pyronecrosis. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT, is recognized by a subset of alleles of the NLR protein Nlrp1b, resulting in pyroptotic cell death of macrophages and dendritic cells. Here we show that LT induces lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP. The presentation of LMP requires expression of an LT-responsive allele of Nlrp1b, and is blocked by proteasome inhibitors and heat shock, both of which prevent LT-mediated pyroptosis. Further the lysosomal protease cathepsin B is released into the cell cytosol and cathepsin inhibitors block LT-mediated cell death. These data reveal a role for lysosomal membrane permeabilization in the cellular response to bacterial pathogens and demonstrate a shared requirement for cytosolic relocalization of cathepsins in pyroptosis and pyronecrosis.

  18. 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

  19. Detection of anthrax toxin genetic sequences by the solid phase oligo-probes

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    K C Addanki

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: There is an urgent need to detect a rapid field-based test to detect anthrax. We have developed a rapid, highly sensitive DNA-based method to detect the anthrax toxin lethal factor gene located in pXO1, which is necessary for the pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis. Materials and Methods: We have adopted the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA so that instead of capturing antibodies we capture the DNA of the target sequence by a rapid oligo-based hybridization and then detect the captured DNA with another oligoprobe that binds to a different motif of the captured DNA sequences at a dissimilar location. We chose anthrax lethal factor endopeptidase sequences located in pXO1 and used complementary oligoprobe, conjugated with biotin, to detect the captured anthrax specific sequence by the streptavidin-peroxidase-based colorimetric assay. Result: Our system can detect picomoles (pMoles of anthrax (approximately 33 spores of anthrax and is >1000 times more sensitive than the current ELISA, which has a detection range of 0.1 to 1.0 ng/mL. False positive results can be minimized when various parameters and the colour development steps are optimized. Conclusion: Our results suggest that this assay can be adapted for the rapid detection of minuscule amounts of the anthrax spores that are aerosolized in the case of a bioterrorism attack. This detection system does not require polymerase chain reaction (PCR step and can be more specific than the antibody method. This method can also detect genetically engineered anthrax. Since, the antibody method is so specific to the protein epitope that bioengineered versions of anthrax may not be detected.

  20. Crystallographic Studies of the Anthrax Lethal Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    Unclassified Unlimited NSN 7540-01-280-5500 Standard Form 298 (Rev. 2-89) Prescribed by ANSI Std. Z39-18 YnTC QUETJTT7 uT_(yr’t7mn 298-102 FOREWORD Opinions...text. *•Rsym = Y-Y-i I<I> - IjI /I <I>. tRiso = I I Fph - Fp I/Z IFp1. TRcullis = Y_ I IFph ± FpI - Fhc/ I X IFph ± FpI for centric reflections. ¶ R

  1. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    was more often the result of contact with goat hair or alpaca than wool. In 1850, Pierre -Francoise Olive Rayer (Rayer, 1850) and Casimir-Joseph...kinase-kinase by anthrax lethal factor. Science 280: 734-7. During, R.L., Li, W., Hao, B., Koenig , J.M., Stephens, D.S., Quinn, c.P., Southwick, F.S

  2. T Cell Targeting by Anthrax Toxins: Two Faces of the Same Coin

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    Silvia Rossi Paccani

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, similar to other bacterial pathogens, has evolved effective immune evasion strategies to prolong its survival in the host, thus ensuring the unchecked spread of the infection. This function is subserved by lethal (LT and edema (ET toxins, two exotoxins produced by vegetative anthrax bacilli following germination of the spores. The structure of these toxins and the mechanism of cell intoxication are topics covered by other reviews in this issue. Here we shall discuss how B. anthracis uses LT and ET to suppress the immune defenses of the host, focusing on T lymphocytes, the key players in adaptive immunity. We shall also summarize recent findings showing that, depending on its concentration, ET has the ability not only to suppress T cell activation but also to promote the polarization of CD4+ T cells to the Th2 and Th17 subsets, highlighting the potential use of this toxin as an immunomodulator.

  3. Anthrax--an overview.

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    Oncü, Serkan; Oncü, Selcen; Sakarya, Serhan

    2003-11-01

    Anthrax, a disease of mammals (including humans), is caused by a spore-forming Gram-positive bacilli called Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax is one of the oldest threats to humanity, and remains endemic in animals in many parts of the world. The incidence of anthrax has decreased in developed countries, but it remains a considerable health problem in developing countries. The disease is transmitted to humans by contact with sick animals or their products, such as wool, skin, meat etc. Capsular polypeptide and anthrax toxin are the principal virulence factors of B. anthracis. Anthrax toxin consists of three proteins called protective antigen, edema factor, and lethal factor, each of which is nontoxic but acts synergistically. Human anthrax has three major clinical forms: cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal. The diagnosis is easily established in cutaneous cases, characterized by black eschar. Severe intoxication and collapse during the course of bronchopneumonia or hemorrhagic enteritis should prompt suspicion of anthrax. Treatment with antibiotics is mandatory. If untreated, anthrax in all forms can lead to septicemia and death. Recently, considerable attention has been focused on the potential for B. anthracis to be used in acts of biological terrorism. The ease of laboratory production and its dissemination via aerosol led to its adoption by terrorists, as shown by recent events in the USA. A good knowledge of anthrax, its epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical forms and potential as a biological weapon is essential for timely prevention and treatment. This review summarizes the current knowledge on anthrax.

  4. 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

  5. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-30

    occur. Gastrointestinal Anthrax Oropharyngeal and intestinal anthrax follow ingestion of poorly cooked, contaminated meat [6]. An ulcer in the... stomach , terminal ileum, or cecum may be present, and hemorrhage and edema of regional lymphatics occurs. Septicemic Anthrax Generalized sepsis may...few days, the clear, vesicular fluid becomes blue-black from hemorrhage. The papule ulcerates , developing a black eschar by the fifth to seventh

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beierlein, J M; Anderson, A C

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Ascough

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. Dynamic Phenylalanine Clamp Interactions Define Single-Channel Polypeptide Translocation through the Anthrax Toxin Protective Antigen Channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosal, Koyel; Colby, Jennifer M; Das, Debasis; Joy, Stephen T; Arora, Paramjit S; Krantz, Bryan A

    2017-03-24

    Anthrax toxin is an intracellularly acting toxin where sufficient detail is known about the structure of its channel, allowing for molecular investigations of translocation. The toxin is composed of three proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF). The toxin's translocon, PA, translocates the large enzymes, LF and EF, across the endosomal membrane into the host cell's cytosol. Polypeptide clamps located throughout the PA channel catalyze the translocation of LF and EF. Here, we show that the central peptide clamp, the ϕ clamp, is a dynamic site that governs the overall peptide translocation pathway. Single-channel translocations of a 10-residue, guest-host peptide revealed that there were four states when peptide interacted with the channel. Two of the states had intermediate conductances of 10% and 50% of full conductance. With aromatic guest-host peptides, the 50% conducting intermediate oscillated with the fully blocked state. A Trp guest-host peptide was studied by manipulating its stereochemistry and prenucleating helix formation with a covalent linkage in the place of a hydrogen bond or hydrogen-bond surrogate (HBS). The Trp peptide synthesized with ʟ-amino acids translocated more efficiently than peptides synthesized with D- or alternating D,ʟ-amino acids. HBS stapled Trp peptide exhibited signs of steric hindrance and difficulty translocating. However, when mutant ϕ clamp (F427A) channels were tested, the HBS peptide translocated normally. Overall, peptide translocation is defined by dynamic interactions between the peptide and ϕ clamp. These dynamics require conformational flexibility, such that the peptide productively forms both extended-chain and helical states during translocation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Anthrax, Toxins and Vaccines: A 125-Year Journey Targeting Bacillus anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    efforts today by many aca- demic, government and industrial groups to generate new anthrax vaccines incorporating PA with or without other pertinent...response. More promising, perhaps, is the use of probiotics generally regarded as safe, such as Lactobacillus spp. expressing PA fused to a peptide that...considered for human anthrax vaccines as a mixed, defined inocu lum. • New - generation vaccines for anthrax should elicit both humoral and T-cell

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Purification and characterization of a lethal toxin from the venom of Heloderma horridum horridum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komori, Y; Nikai, T; Sugihara, H

    1988-07-29

    A lethal toxin was isolated from the venom of Heloderma h. horridum by gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography. Molecular weight of the purified toxin was determined to be 28 kDa under reducing and nonreducing conditions. Biological activity, assayed by i.v. routes of injection, shows an LD50 for this preparation of 0.135 micrograms/g. Additionally, the toxin possesses an inhibitory effect on direct electrical stimulation of the isolated mouse hemi-diaphragm. However, neither hemorrhagic nor hemolytic activities were detected. Phospholipase A2 activity, proteolytic activity and arginine esterolytic activity were absent. The amino acid composition of the lethal toxin and the NH2-terminal sequence up to residue number 33 were determined. Neither show similarities to other components from H. h. horridum venom.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Dai, Z; Koehler, T M

    1997-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Compared chemical properties of dermonecrotic and lethal toxins from spiders of the genus Loxosceles (Araneae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbaro, K C; Sousa, M V; Morhy, L; Eickstedt, V R; Mota, I

    1996-05-01

    Loxosceles spider venom usually causes a typical dermonecrotic lesion in bitten patients, but it may also cause systemic effects that may be lethal. Gel filtration on Sephadex G-100 of Loxosceles gaucho, L. laeta, or L. intermedia spider venoms resulted in three fractions (A, containing higher molecular mass components. B containing intermediate molecular mass components, and C with lower molecular mass components). The dermonecrotic and lethal activities were detected exclusively in fraction A of all three species. Analysis by SDS-PAGE showed that the major protein contained in fraction A has molecular weight approximately 35 kDa in L. gaucho and L. intermedia, but 32 kDa in L. laeta venom. These toxins were isolated from venoms of L. gaucho, L. laeta, and L. intermedia by SDS-PAGE followed by blotting to PVDF membrane and sequencing. A database search showed a high level of identity between each toxin and a fragment of the L. reclusa (North American spider) toxin. A multiple sequence alignment of the Loxosceles toxins showed many common identical residues in their N-terminal sequences. Identities ranged from 50.0% (L. gaucho and L. reclusa) to 61.1% (L. intermedia and L. reclusa). The purified toxins were also submitted to capillary electrophoresis peptide mapping after in situ partial hydrolysis of the blotted samples. The results obtained suggest that L. intermedia protein is more similar to L. laeta toxin than L. gaucho toxin and revealed a smaller homology between L. intermedia and L. gaucho. Altogether these findings suggest that the toxins responsible for most important activities of venoms of Loxosceles species have a molecular mass of 32-35 kDa and are probably homologous proteins.

  1. Lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii is associated with fatal equine atypical myopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unger-Torroledo, Lucia; Straub, Reto; Lehmann, Andrea D; Graber, Franziska; Stahl, Christina; Frey, Joachim; Gerber, Vinzenz; Hoppeler, Hans; Baum, Oliver

    2010-08-26

    The lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii (TcsL) evokes severe, mostly fatal disease patterns like toxic shock syndrome in humans and animals. Since this large clostridial toxin-induced severe muscle damaging when injected intramuscularly into mice, we hypothesized that TcsL is also associated with equine atypical myopathy (EAM), a fatal myodystrophy of hitherto unknown etiology. Transmission electron microscopy revealed skeletal and heart muscles of EAM-affected horses to undergo degeneration ultrastructurally similar to the damage found in TcsL-treated mice. Performing immunohistochemistry, myofibers of EAM-affected horses specifically reacted with sera derived from horses with EAM as well as an antibody specific for the N-terminal part of TcsL, while both antibodies failed to bind to the myofibers of either healthy horses or those with other myopathies. The presence of TcsL in myofibers of horses with EAM suggests that it plays a role as trigger or even as lethal factor in this disease. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. A viral nanoparticle with dual function as an anthrax antitoxin and vaccine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darly J Manayani

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. 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

  4. [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.

  5. 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.

  6. Anthrax Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... anthrax vaccine causes long-term health problems.Independent civilian committees have not found anthrax vaccination to be ... doctor, or get the person to a doctor right away. Tell your doctor what happened, the date ...

  7. 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.

  8. Antibacterial Properties of Visible-Light-Responsive Carbon-Containing Titanium Dioxide Photocatalytic Nanoparticles against Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Der-Shan; Kau, Jyh-Hwa; Huang, Hsin-Hsien; Tseng, Yao-Hsuan; Wu, Wen-Shiang; Chang, Hsin-Hou

    2016-01-01

    The bactericidal activity of conventional titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalyst is effective only on irradiation by ultraviolet light, which restricts the applications of TiO2 for use in living environments. Recently, carbon-containing TiO2 nanoparticles [TiO2(C) NP] were found to be a visible-light-responsive photocatalyst (VLRP), which displayed significantly enhanced antibacterial properties under visible light illumination. However, whether TiO2(C) NPs exert antibacterial properties against Bacillus anthracis remains elusive. Here, we evaluated these VLRP NPs in the reduction of anthrax-induced pathogenesis. Bacteria-killing experiments indicated that a significantly higher proportion (40%–60%) of all tested Bacillus species, including B. subtilis, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, were considerably eliminated by TiO2(C) NPs. Toxin inactivation analysis further suggested that the TiO2(C) NPs efficiently detoxify approximately 90% of tested anthrax lethal toxin, a major virulence factor of anthrax. Notably, macrophage clearance experiments further suggested that, even under suboptimal conditions without considerable bacterial killing, the TiO2(C) NP-mediated photocatalysis still exhibited antibacterial properties through the reduction of bacterial resistance against macrophage killing. Our results collectively suggested that TiO2(C) NP is a conceptually feasible anti-anthrax material, and the relevant technologies described herein may be useful in the development of new strategies against anthrax. PMID:28335365

  9. Antibacterial Properties of Visible-Light-Responsive Carbon-Containing Titanium Dioxide Photocatalytic Nanoparticles against Anthrax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Der-Shan Sun

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The bactericidal activity of conventional titanium dioxide (TiO2 photocatalyst is effective only on irradiation by ultraviolet light, which restricts the applications of TiO2 for use in living environments. Recently, carbon-containing TiO2 nanoparticles [TiO2(C NP] were found to be a visible-light-responsive photocatalyst (VLRP, which displayed significantly enhanced antibacterial properties under visible light illumination. However, whether TiO2(C NPs exert antibacterial properties against Bacillus anthracis remains elusive. Here, we evaluated these VLRP NPs in the reduction of anthrax-induced pathogenesis. Bacteria-killing experiments indicated that a significantly higher proportion (40%–60% of all tested Bacillus species, including B. subtilis, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis, were considerably eliminated by TiO2(C NPs. Toxin inactivation analysis further suggested that the TiO2(C NPs efficiently detoxify approximately 90% of tested anthrax lethal toxin, a major virulence factor of anthrax. Notably, macrophage clearance experiments further suggested that, even under suboptimal conditions without considerable bacterial killing, the TiO2(C NP-mediated photocatalysis still exhibited antibacterial properties through the reduction of bacterial resistance against macrophage killing. Our results collectively suggested that TiO2(C NP is a conceptually feasible anti-anthrax material, and the relevant technologies described herein may be useful in the development of new strategies against anthrax.

  10. Electrochemical immunosensor based on bismuth nanocomposite film and cadmium ions functionalized titanium phosphates for the detection of anthrax protective antigen toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Mukesh K; Narayanan, J; Upadhyay, Sanjay; Goel, Ajay K

    2015-12-15

    Bacillus anthracis is a bioterrorism agent classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Herein, a novel electrochemical immunosensor for the sensitive, specific and easy detection of anthrax protective antigen (PA) toxin in picogram concentration was developed. The immunosensor consists of (i) a Nafion-multiwall carbon nanotubes-bismuth nanocomposite film modified glassy carbon electrodes (BiNPs/Nafion-MWCNTs/GCE) as a sensing platform and (ii) titanium phosphate nanoparticles-cadmium ion-mouse anti-PA antibodies (TiP-Cd(2+)-MαPA antibodies) as signal amplification tags. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), thermogravimmetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform-infra red spectroscopy (FT-IR), zeta-potential analysis, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) were employed to characterize the synthesized TiP nanoparticles and modified electrode surfaces. The immunosensing performance of BiNPs/Nafion-MWCNTs/GCE was evaluated based on sandwich immunoassay protocol. A square wave voltammetry (SWV) scan from -1.2 to -0.3 V in HAc-NaAc buffer solution (pH 4.6) without stripping process was performed to record the electrochemical responses at -0.75 V corresponding to high content of Cd(2+) ions loaded in TiP nanoparticles for the measurement of PA toxin. Under optimal conditions, the currents increased with increasing PA toxin concentrations in spiked human serum samples and showed a linear range from 0.1 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml. The limit of detection of developed immunosensor was found to be 50 pg/ml at S/N=3. The total time of analysis was 35 min. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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 stream_source_info Mhlanga_2010.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 109 Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 stream_name Mhlanga_2010.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 /var...

  13. Microalbuminuria and early renal response to lethal dose Shiga toxin type 2 in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ochoa F

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Federico Ochoa1, Gisela Oltra1, Elizabeth Gerhardt1, Ricardo Hermes2, Lilian Cohen2, Alicia E Damiano3, Cristina Ibarra1, Nestor R Lago4, Elsa Zotta11Departamento de Fisiologia, Facultad de Medicina UBA, 2Laboratorio Análisis Clínicos, Hospital Juan A Fernández, 3Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, UBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; 4Departamento de Patología, Facultad de Medicina UBA, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaAbstract: In Argentina, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS constitutes the most frequent cause of acute renal failure in children. Approximately 2%–4% of patients die during the acute phase, and one-third of the 96% who survive are at risk of chronic renal sequelae. Little information is available about the direct effect of Shiga toxin type 2 (Stx2 on the onset of proteinuria and the evolution of toxin-mediated glomerular or tubular injury. In this work, rats were injected intraperitoneally with recombinant Escherichia coli culture supernatant containing Stx2 (sStx2; 20 µg/kg body weight to induce HUS. Functional, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry studies were carried out to determine alterations in slit diaphragm proteins and the proximal tubule endocytic system at 48 hours post-inoculation. We detected a significant increase in microalbuminuria, without changes in the proteinuria values compared to the control rats. In immunoperoxidase studies, the renal tubules and glomerular mesangium showed an increased expression of transforming growth factor ß1(TGF-ß1. The expression of megalin was decreased by immunoperoxidase and the cytoplasm showed a granular pattern of megalin expression by immunofluorescence techniques. Western blot analysis performed in the renal cortex from sStx2-treated and control rats using anti-nephrin and anti-podocalyxin antibodies showed a decreased expression of these proteins. We suggest that the alterations in slit diaphragm proteins and megalin expression could be related

  14. 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.

  15. Anthrax Basics

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Although it is rare in ... do animals get infected with anthrax? Domestic and wild animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer ...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Toxins also include some medicines that are helpful in small doses, but poisonous in large amounts. Most toxins that cause problems ...

  19. 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...

  20. The Lethal Toxin from Australian Funnel-Web Spiders Is Encoded by an Intronless Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy Steffany; Wilson, David; Mattick, John S.; King, Glenn F.

    2012-01-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome. PMID:22928020

  1. The lethal toxin from Australian funnel-web spiders is encoded by an intronless gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandy Steffany Pineda

    Full Text Available Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome.

  2. A translational murine model of sub-lethal intoxication with Shiga toxin 2 reveals novel ultrastructural findings in the brain striatum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Tironi-Farinati

    Full Text Available Infection by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli causes hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS, acute renal failure, and also central nervous system complications in around 30% of the children affected. Besides, neurological deficits are one of the most unrepairable and untreatable outcomes of HUS. Study of the striatum is relevant because basal ganglia are one of the brain areas most commonly affected in patients that have suffered from HUS and since the deleterious effects of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin have never been studied in the striatum, the purpose of this study was to attempt to simulate an infection by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in a murine model. To this end, intravenous administration of a sub-lethal dose of Shiga toxin 2 (0.5 ηg per mouse was used and the correlation between neurological manifestations and ultrastructural changes in striatal brain cells was studied in detail. Neurological manifestations included significant motor behavior abnormalities in spontaneous motor activity, gait, pelvic elevation and hind limb activity eight days after administration of the toxin. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the toxin caused early perivascular edema two days after administration, as well as significant damage in astrocytes four days after administration and significant damage in neurons and oligodendrocytes eight days after administration. Interrupted synapses and mast cell extravasation were also found eight days after administration of the toxin. We thus conclude that the chronological order of events observed in the striatum could explain the neurological disorders found eight days after administration of the toxin.

  3. Intramuscular delivery of adenovirus serotype 5 vector expressing humanized protective antigen induces rapid protection against anthrax that may bypass intranasally originated preexisting adenovirus immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Shipo; Zhang, Zhe; Yu, Rui; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ying; Song, Xiaohong; Yi, Shaoqiong; Liu, Ju; Chen, Jianqin; Yin, Ying; Xu, Junjie; Hou, Lihua; Chen, Wei

    2014-02-01

    Developing an effective anthrax vaccine that can induce a rapid and sustained immune response is a priority for the prevention of bioterrorism-associated anthrax infection. Here, we developed a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus serotype 5-based vaccine expressing the humanized protective antigen (Ad5-PAopt). A single intramuscular injection of Ad5-PAopt resulted in rapid and robust humoral and cellular immune responses in Fisher 344 rats. Animals intramuscularly inoculated with a single dose of 10⁸ infectious units of Ad5-PAopt achieved 100% protection from challenge with 10 times the 50% lethal dose (LD₅₀) of anthrax lethal toxin 7 days after vaccination. Although preexisting intranasally induced immunity to Ad5 slightly weakened the humoral and cellular immune responses to Ad5-PAopt via intramuscular inoculation, 100% protection was achieved 15 days after vaccination in Fisher 344 rats. The protective efficacy conferred by intramuscular vaccination in the presence of preexisting intranasally induced immunity was significantly better than that of intranasal delivery of Ad5-PAopt and intramuscular injection with recombinant PA and aluminum adjuvant without preexisting immunity. As natural Ad5 infection often occurs via the mucosal route, the work here largely illuminates that intramuscular inoculation with Ad5-PAopt can overcome the negative effects of immunity induced by prior adenovirus infection and represents an efficient approach for protecting against emerging anthrax.

  4. Anthrax - blood test

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003534.htm Anthrax blood test To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The anthrax blood test is used to measure substances (proteins) called antibodies , ...

  5. 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

  6. Quantitative Mass Spectrometry for Bacterial Protein Toxins — A Sensitive, Specific, High-Throughput Tool for Detection and Diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne Kalb

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Matrix-assisted laser-desorption time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS is a valuable high-throughput tool for peptide analysis. Liquid chromatography electrospray ionization (LC-ESI tandem-MS provides sensitive and specific quantification of small molecules and peptides. The high analytic power of MS coupled with high-specificity substrates is ideally suited for detection and quantification of bacterial enzymatic activities. As specific examples of the MS applications in disease diagnosis and select agent detection, we describe recent advances in the analyses of two high profile protein toxin groups, the Bacillus anthracis toxins and the Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins. The two binary toxins produced by B. anthracis consist of protective antigen (PA which combines with lethal factor (LF and edema factor (EF, forming lethal toxin and edema toxin respectively. LF is a zinc-dependent endoprotease which hydrolyzes specific proteins involved in inflammation and immunity. EF is an adenylyl cyclase which converts ATP to cyclic-AMP. Toxin-specific enzyme activity for a strategically designed substrate, amplifies reaction products which are detected by MALDI-TOF-MS and LC-ESI-MS/MS. Pre-concentration/purification with toxin specific monoclonal antibodies provides additional specificity. These combined technologies have achieved high specificity, ultrasensitive detection and quantification of the anthrax toxins. We also describe potential applications to diseases of high public health impact, including Clostridium difficile glucosylating toxins and the Bordetella pertussis adenylyl cyclase.

  7. 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

  8. DNA Vaccines Against Anthrax

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Galloway, Darrell R; Baillie, Les

    2004-01-01

    DNA vaccination is vaccination at its simplest. Due to renewed interest in vaccination against anthrax and other biothreat agents, a genetic immunisation approach offers attractive possibilities for rapid, responsive vaccine development...

  9. The Role of Russian Scientists in the Development of Anthrax Vaccines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.V. Supotnytskyi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In Russia in the second half of the XIX century, research schools developing anthrax vaccines for agriculture were formed. According to their level, they are not inferior to similar Western schools. At the end of the 1930s, Soviet military scientists were the first in the world to create the anthrax vaccine on the basis of the spores of unencapsulated live strains of Bacillus anthracis for medical use. In the 1940–1960s, domestic scientists determined the principles of the development of anthrax vaccines, which enabled to avoid failures of their Western colleagues, when developing the vaccines capable of protecting the population from biological weapons with anthrax spores as the harmful agent. Russian military scientists in the 1990s managed to keep the vaccine strains of anthrax bacteria and to restore the technological capability for their manufacture, which helps to protect the population of the Russian Federation from natural anthrax outbreaks and from biological terror. At a time when there is a need in creating immunity in humans against infection caused by inhalation of anthrax spores, the most reasonable decision for the upcoming decades is to use the domestic combined vaccine that combines unencapsulated live strains of B.anthracis and anthrax toxin protective antigen.

  10. 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

  11. [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

  12. Recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccine improves survival when administered as a postexposure prophylaxis countermeasure with antibiotic in the New Zealand white rabbit model of inhalation anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leffel, Elizabeth K; Bourdage, James S; Williamson, E Diane; Duchars, Matthew; Fuerst, Thomas R; Fusco, Peter C

    2012-08-01

    Inhalation anthrax is a potentially lethal form of disease resulting from exposure to aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores. Over the last decade, incidents spanning from the deliberate mailing of B. anthracis spores to incidental exposures in users of illegal drugs have highlighted the importance of developing new medical countermeasures to protect people who have been exposed to "anthrax spores" and are at risk of developing disease. The New Zealand White rabbit (NZWR) is a well-characterized model that has a pathogenesis and clinical presentation similar to those seen in humans. This article reports how the NZWR model was adapted to evaluate postexposure prophylaxis using a recombinant protective antigen (rPA) vaccine in combination with an oral antibiotic, levofloxacin. NZWRs were exposed to multiples of the 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) of B. anthracis spores and then vaccinated immediately (day 0) and again on day 7 postexposure. Levofloxacin was administered daily beginning at 6 to 12 h postexposure for 7 treatments. Rabbits were evaluated for clinical signs of disease, fever, bacteremia, immune response, and survival. A robust immune response (IgG anti-rPA and toxin-neutralizing antibodies) was observed in all vaccinated groups on days 10 to 12. Levofloxacin plus either 30 or 100 μg rPA vaccine resulted in a 100% survival rate (18 of 18 per group), and a vaccine dose as low as 10 μg rPA resulted in an 89% survival rate (16 of 18) when used in combination with levofloxacin. In NZWRs that received antibiotic alone, the survival rate was 56% (10 of 18). There was no adverse effect on the development of a specific IgG response to rPA in unchallenged NZWRs that received the combination treatment of vaccine plus antibiotic. This study demonstrated that an accelerated two-dose regimen of rPA vaccine coadministered on days 0 and 7 with 7 days of levofloxacin therapy results in a significantly greater survival rate than with antibiotic treatment alone. Combination of

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Orbito-Maxillofacial Cutaneous Anthrax

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    School of Dental Sciences, University of Nairobi. Correspondence to: Dr Kamau. P.O Box 24221-00502, Kenya. Email:mrtnkamau@yahoo.com. Background. Anthrax is a ... microbiologic gram staining. All cases were treated with antibiotics and resolution of the initial cutaneous lesions was noted within three weeks.

  19. 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.

  20. Neutralization of dermonecrotic and lethal activities and differences among 32-35 kDa toxins of medically important Loxosceles spider venoms in Brazil revealed by monoclonal antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilherme, P; Fernandes, I; Barbaro, K C

    2001-09-01

    Neutralization of dermonecrotic and lethal activities and differences among the principal toxic proteins (32-35 kDa) of medically important Loxosceles spider venoms in Brazil (Loxosceles gaucho, Loxosceles laeta and Loxosceles intermedia) were studied using monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) produced against the dermonecrotic component (35 kDa) of L. gaucho venom. MAb titers were 512,000 to homologous venom, between 2000 and 64,000 for L. intermedia venom and between 1000 and 64,000 for L. laeta venom. By Western blotting, MAbs could recognize mainly the 35 kDa protein of L. gaucho venom and with less intensity the 35 kDa protein of L. intermedia venom. These MAbs also recognized weakly or did not recognize the 32 kDa component of L. laeta venom. Only MoALg1 showed high affinity for L. gaucho venom and neutralized in vivo 90-97% of the dermonecrotic activity, besides delaying the lethality induced by homologous venom. MoALg1 maintained its capacity to neutralize the dermonecrotic activity, even when administered (i.v.) 6h after envenoming (i.d.). All MAbs obtained failed to neutralize the toxic activities of the heterologous venoms.These results suggest that different epitopes are present in the protein responsible for the dermonecrotic activity of Loxosceles venoms, and confirm the participation of other venom components during the local reaction process. This study also confirms the importance of antibodies for neutralization of dermonecrotic activity, even when administered some hours after envenoming, and emphasizes the differences of composition and toxicity of medically important Loxosceles venoms. These findings must be considered in order to improve loxoscelism immunotherapy.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. A Cell-Based Approach for the Biosynthesis/Screening of Cyclic Peptide Libraries against Bacterial Toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camarero, J A; Kimura, R; Woo, Y; Cantor, J; Steenblock, E

    2007-10-24

    Available methods for developing and screening small drug-like molecules able to knockout toxins or pathogenic microorganisms have some limitations. In order to be useful, these new methods must provide high-throughput analysis and identify specific binders in a short period of time. To meet this need, we are developing an approach that uses living cells to generate libraries of small biomolecules, which are then screened inside the cell for activity. Our group is using this new, combined approach to find highly specific ligands capable of disabling anthrax Lethal Factor (LF) as proof of principle. Key to our approach is the development of a method for the biosynthesis of libraries of cyclic peptides, and an efficient screening process that can be carried out inside the cell.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Progress toward the Development of a NEAT Protein Vaccine for Anthrax Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balderas, Miriam A; Nguyen, Chinh T Q; Terwilliger, Austen; Keitel, Wendy A; Iniguez, Angelina; Torres, Rodrigo; Palacios, Frederico; Goulding, Celia W; Maresso, Anthony W

    2016-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a sporulating Gram-positive bacterium that is the causative agent of anthrax and a potential weapon of bioterrorism. The U.S.-licensed anthrax vaccine is made from an incompletely characterized culture supernatant of a nonencapsulated, toxigenic strain (anthrax vaccine absorbed [AVA]) whose primary protective component is thought to be protective antigen (PA). AVA is effective in protecting animals and elicits toxin-neutralizing antibodies in humans, but enthusiasm is dampened by its undefined composition, multishot regimen, recommended boosters, and potential for adverse reactions. Improving next-generation anthrax vaccines is important to safeguard citizens and the military. Here, we report that vaccination with recombinant forms of a conserved domain (near-iron transporter [NEAT]), common in Gram-positive pathogens, elicits protection in a murine model of B. anthracis infection. Protection was observed with both Freund's and alum adjuvants, given subcutaneously and intramuscularly, respectively, with a mixed composite of NEATs. Protection correlated with an antibody response against the NEAT domains and a decrease in the numbers of bacteria in major organs. Anti-NEAT antibodies promote opsonophagocytosis of bacilli by alveolar macrophages. To guide the development of inactive and safe NEAT antigens, we also report the crystal structure of one of the NEAT domains (Hal) and identify critical residues mediating its heme-binding and acquisition activity. These results indicate that we should consider NEAT proteins in the development of an improved antianthrax vaccine. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  8. [Molecular aspects of anthrax pathogenesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noskov, A N

    2014-01-01

    A model of anthrax infection with the role determined for main pathogenicity factors of Bacillus anthracis exotoxin and capsule is presented. After spore phagocytosis by macrophages, synthesis of the main exotoxin component begins - a protective antigen that in oligomeric form disrupts phagosome membrane. This accelerates the transition of the pathogen from phagosome into the macrophage cytoplasm. Poly-D-glutamine capsule synthesized by the pathogen triggers the exit (exocytosis) of vegetative cells from macrophages and protects them from re-phagocytosis in lymphatic node lumen. The vegetative cells, that actively and freely replicate in lymphatic node, secret an exotoxin that disrupts endothelial septum between lymph and blood due to cytotoxic activity. As a result the vegetative cells get into blood and bacteremia develops. Pathogenetic pattern during anthrax (multiple hemorrhages in various organs etc.) is associated with local microcirculation disorders of various organs caused by the effect of bacterial exoproteases via activation of Willebrand factor. This results in a rapid local increase of microbial mass and consequent powerful cytotoxic effect of exotoxin on the tissue cells of the affected organ. Death of the infected organism takes place at the final stage of infec- tion due to toxic shock caused by the exotoxin. A reduction of body temperature takes place after death and the process of spore formation begins in the dead animal: capsule depolymerization, chain shortening, peptidoglycan cortex formation. Spores in this form are the prolonged source of infectious agent conservation and spread of infection in nature.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. List of Contractors to Support Anthrax Remediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judd, Kathleen S.; Lesperance, Ann M.

    2010-05-14

    This document responds to a need identified by private sector businesses for information on contractors that may be qualified to support building remediation efforts following a wide-area anthrax release.

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    metalloprotease) inhibitors , activity [40]. The process of enzymatic hydrolysis of captopril and phosphoramidon, do not inhibit the catalytic thermolysin ...followed by a discussion on the mechanisms of action of each at the molecular level, and a review of current potential inhibitors under investigation...methodologies used to develop inhibitors of other enzymes of which there are seven different serotypes, are some of the may be employed to develop

  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. 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.

  16. Combination therapy with antibiotics and anthrax immune globulin intravenous (AIGIV is potentially more effective than antibiotics alone in rabbit model of inhalational anthrax.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivas Kammanadiminti

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We have evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of AIGIV when given in combination with levofloxacin and the effective window of treatment to assess the added benefit provided by AIGIV over standard antibiotic treatment alone in a New Zealand white rabbit model of inhalational anthrax. METHODS: Rabbits were exposed to lethal dose of aerosolized spores of Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain and treated intravenously with either placebo, (normal immune globulin intravenous, IGIV or 15 U/kg of AIGIV, along with oral levofloxacin treatment at various time points (30-96 hours after anthrax exposure. RESULTS: The majority of treated animals (>88% survived in both treatment groups when treatment was initiated within 60 hours of post-exposure. However, reduced survival of 55%, 33% and 25% was observed for placebo + levofloxacin group when the treatment was initiated at 72, 84 and 96 hours post-exposure, respectively. Conversely, a survival rate of 65%, 40% and 71% was observed in the AIGIV + levofloxacin treated groups at these time points. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of AIGIV with antibiotics provided an improvement in survival compared to levofloxacin treatment alone when treatment was delayed up to 96 hours post-anthrax exposure. Additionally, AIGIV treatment when given as an adjunct therapy at any of the time points tested did not interfere with the efficacy of levofloxacin.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Cutaneous Anthrax in an Unestimated Area of Body

    OpenAIRE

    Guclu, Ertugrul; Tuna, Nazan; Karabay, Oguz

    2015-01-01

    Ertugrul Guclu, Nazan Tuna, Oguz Karabay Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. cutaneous anthrax is the most commonly seen form of anthrax. Skin lesions usually occur on the most exposed areas of the body, such as the face, neck, hand or upper extremity. The aim of this paper is to report a case of cutaneous anthrax form which was occurred on an unexpected area of the body of a slaughter-house worker.

  20. Cutaneous Anthrax in an Unestimated Area of Body

    OpenAIRE

    Guclu, Ertugrul; Tuna, Nazan; Karabay, Oguz

    2012-01-01

    Ertugrul Guclu, Nazan Tuna, Oguz Karabay Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. cutaneous anthrax is the most commonly seen form of anthrax. Skin lesions usually occur on the most exposed areas of the body, such as the face, neck, hand or upper extremity. The aim of this paper is to report a case of cutaneous anthrax form which was occurred on an unexpected area of the body of a slaughter-house worker.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-20

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

  2. Cutaneous anthrax on an unexpected area of body

    OpenAIRE

    Ertuğrul Güçlü; Nazan Tuna; Oğuz Karabay

    2012-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Cutaneous anthrax is the most commonly seen form of anthrax.Skin lesions usually occur on the most exposed areas of the body, such as the face, neck, hand or upper extremity.The aim of this paper is to report a case of cutaneous anthrax form which was occurred on an unexpected area of thebody of a slaughter-house worker. J Microbiol Infect Dis 2012;2(4): 163-164Key words: Anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, cutaneous

  3. TNF receptor 1, IL-1 receptor, and iNOS genetic knockout mice are not protected from anthrax infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalns, John; Scruggs, Julie; Millenbaugh, Nancy; Vivekananda, Jeeva; Shealy, David; Eggers, Jeffrey; Kiel, Johnathan

    2002-03-22

    Anthrax produces at least two toxins that cause an intense systemic inflammatory response, edema, shock, and eventually death. The relative contributions of various elements of the immune response to mortality and course of disease progression are poorly understood. We hypothesized that knockout mice missing components of the immune system will have an altered response to infection. Parent strain mice and knockouts were challenged with LD95 of anthrax spores (5 x 10(6)) administered subcutaneously. Our results show that all genetic knockouts succumbed to anthrax infection at the same frequency as the parent. TNF antibody delayed death but TNF receptor 1 knockout had no effect. IL-1 receptor or iNOS knockouts died sooner. Anthrax was more abundant in the injection site of TNF-alpha and iNOS knockouts compared to parent suggesting that attenuated cellular response increases rate of disease progression. With the exception of edema and necrosis at the injection site pathological changes in internal organs were not observed. (C)2002 Elsevier Science (USA).

  4. Expression, Purification, and Biophysical Characterization of a Secreted Anthrax Decoy Fusion Protein in Nicotiana benthamiana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalimuthu Karuppanan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin receptor-mediated drug development for blocking anthrax toxin action has received much attention in recent decades. In this study, we produced a secreted anthrax decoy fusion protein comprised of a portion of the human capillary morphogenesis gene-2 (CMG2 protein fused via a linker to the fragment crystallizable (Fc domain of human immunoglobulin G1 in Nicotiana benthamiana plants using a transient expression system. Using the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV 35S promoter and co-expression with the p19 gene silencing suppressor, we were able to achieve a high level of recombinant CMG2-Fc-Apo (rCMG2-Fc-Apo protein accumulation. Production kinetics were observed up to eight days post-infiltration, and maximum production of 826 mg/kg fresh leaf weight was observed on day six. Protein A affinity chromatography purification of the rCMG2-Fc-Apo protein from whole leaf extract and apoplast wash fluid showed the homodimeric form under non-reducing gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry analysis confirmed the molecular integrity of the secreted protein. The N-glycosylation pattern of purified rCMG2-Fc-Apo protein was analysed; the major portion of N-glycans consists of complex type structures in both protein samples. The most abundant (>50% N-glycan structure was GlcNAc2(XylMan3(FucGlcNAc2 in rCMG2-Fc-Apo recovered from whole leaf extract and apoplast wash fluid. High mannose N-glycan structures were not detected in the apoplast wash fluid preparation, which confirmed the protein secretion. Altogether, these findings demonstrate that high-level production of rCMG2-Fc-Apo can be achieved by transient production in Nicotiana benthamiana plants with apoplast targeting.

  5. Immunogenicity and tolerance of ascending doses of a recombinant protective antigen (rPA102) anthrax vaccine: a randomized, double-blinded, controlled, multicenter trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorse, Geoffrey J; Keitel, Wendy; Keyserling, Harry; Taylor, David N; Lock, Michael; Alves, Katia; Kenner, Julie; Deans, Lynne; Gurwith, Marc

    2006-08-14

    We report the results of a phase I dose escalation, safety and immunogenicity trial of a new recombinant protective antigen (rPA102) anthrax vaccine. Hundred healthy volunteers were randomized in a 4:1 ratio to receive intramuscular doses of rPA102 in the following formulations: 5, 25, 50, or 75 microg of rPA102 in 82.5 microg aluminum hydroxide adjuvant at 0, 4, and 8 weeks; or the US licensed Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) at weeks 0 and 4. Local reactogenicity (mostly pain) was more common with AVA than with rPA102 following the first (94.7% versus 44.4%; p < 0.001) and the second (84.2% versus 35.4%; p < 0.001) vaccinations. Systemic reactogenicity (mostly headache) was more common among rPA102 vaccinees, but only following the first vaccination (49.4% versus 15.8%; p = 0.025). A dose-response relationship for anti-PA antibodies was present after the 2nd and 3rd vaccinations. Two weeks following the 2nd vaccination, the geometric mean titers (GMT) for lethal toxin neutralization activity (TNA), for the 5, 25, 50 and 75 microg rPA102 and AVA groups were 38.6, 75.4, 373.9, 515.3, and 855.2, respectively. The geometric mean concentrations (GMC) measured by anti-PA IgG ELISA were 3.7, 11.5, 25.9, 44.1, and 171.6, respectively. Two weeks following the 3rd vaccination, TNA GMTs for the four rPA102 groups, were: 134.7, 719.7, 2116.6, 2422.4; and ELISA GMCs were: 22.9, 104.7, 196.4, and 262.6, respectively. No clinically serious or dose-related toxicity or reactogenicity was observed. The TNA response after two injections of the 75 microg dose of rPA102 was similar to the response after two injections of AVA. The third rPA102 vaccination substantially increased the antibody response.

  6. Quantitative Prediction of Multivalent Ligand-Receptor Binding Affinities for Influenza, Cholera, and Anthrax Inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liese, Susanne; Netz, Roland R

    2018-03-05

    Multivalency achieves strong, yet reversible binding by the simultaneous formation of multiple weak bonds. It is a key interaction principle in biology and promising for the synthesis of high-affinity inhibitors of pathogens. We present a molecular model for the binding affinity of synthetic multivalent ligands onto multivalent receptors consisting of n receptor units arranged on a regular polygon. Ligands consist of a geometrically matching rigid polygonal core to which monovalent ligand units are attached via flexible linker polymers, closely mimicking existing experimental designs. The calculated binding affinities quantitatively agree with experimental studies for cholera toxin ( n = 5) and anthrax receptor ( n = 7) and allow to predict optimal core size and optimal linker length. Maximal binding affinity is achieved for a core that matches the receptor size and for linkers that have an equilibrium end-to-end distance that is slightly longer than the geometric separation between ligand core and receptor sites. Linkers that are longer than optimal are greatly preferable compared to shorter linkers. The angular steric restriction between ligand unit and linker polymer is shown to be a key parameter. We construct an enhancement diagram that quantifies the multivalent binding affinity compared to monovalent ligands. We conclude that multivalent ligands against influenza viral hemagglutinin ( n = 3), cholera toxin ( n = 5), and anthrax receptor ( n = 7) can outperform monovalent ligands only for a monovalent ligand affinity that exceeds a core-size dependent threshold value. Thus, multivalent drug design needs to balance core size, linker length, as well as monovalent ligand unit affinity.

  7. 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.)

  8. Unusual cause of fatal anthrax meningitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parlak, Emine; Parlak, Mehmet; Atli, Seval Bilgiç

    2015-03-01

    We report the case of fatal anthrax meningoencephalitis in the province of Muş located in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. The organism isolated from cerebrospinal fluid was identified as Bacillus anthracis. The patient was treated with crystallized penicillin G (24 MU/day IV) and ciprofloxacin (2 × 400/day IV), but died 5 days after hospitalization. Although it is a rare case, we consider that the patients who have skin, respiratory and neurological systems might also have hemorrhagic meningitis.

  9. Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-09-01

    risk. Résumé Depuis quelques années, il arrive de plus en plus souvent que des lettres censées contenir l’agent de la maladie du charbon (ou...Depuis quelques années, il arrive de plus en plus souvent que des lettres censées contenir l’agent de la maladie du charbon (ou anthrax) soient

  10. Risk factors associated with anthrax in cattle on smallholdings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Biswas, P. K.; Islam, Md Zohorul; Shil, S. K.

    2012-01-01

    Unprecedented high rates of anthrax outbreaks have been observed recently in cattle and humans in Bangladesh, with 607 human cases in 2010. By enrolling 15 case and 15 control cattle smallholdings in the spatial zone in July-September 2010, we conducted a case-control study, data of which were an...... independent risk factors for anthrax in cattle....

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Terbium Functionalized Micelle Nanoprobe for Ratiometric Fluorescence Detection of Anthrax Spore Biomarker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luan, Ke; Meng, Ruiqian; Shan, Changfu; Cao, Jing; Jia, Jianguo; Liu, Weisheng; Tang, Yu

    2018-03-06

    Rapid, sensitive, and selective quantitative detection of pyridine dicarboxylic acid (DPA) as biomarker of anthrax spores is in great demand since anthrax spores are highly lethal to human beings and animals and also potential biological warfare agents. Herein, we prepared a ratiometric fluorescence lanthanide functionalized micelle nanoprobe by "one-pot" self-assembly, with an amphiphilic ligand containing β-diketone derivative which can "immobilize" terbium ions through the coordination interaction and a fluorophore as fluorescence reference (FR). The detection strategy was ascribed to Tb 3+ ions in lanthanide functionalized micelle, which can be sensitized to emit the intrinsic luminescence upon addition of DPA due to the presence of energy transfer when DPA chromophore coordinated with Tb 3+ ion. The fluorescence intensity of FR remained essentially constant, leading to ratiometric fluorescence response toward DPA. The results demonstrate that the terbium functionalized micelle was able to sensitively detect DPA with a linear relation in the range of 0 μM to 7.0 μM in aqueous solution, which also showed remarkable selectivity to DPA over other aromatic ligands. Our work paves a new way in the design of ratiometric fluorescence lanthanide functionalized micelle nanoprobes which can be promising for selective and sensitive detection of bacterial spores or biomolecules.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of the Anthrax Vaccine; Joellenbeck, Lois M

    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...

  19. [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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Dances with anthrax: wolves (Canis lupus) kill anthrax bacteremic plains bison (Bison bison bison) in southwestern Montana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Asher, Valpa; Stokke, Stephen; Hunter, David L; Alexander, Kathleen A

    2014-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the cause of anthrax, was recovered from two plains bison (Bison bison bison) cows killed by wolves (Canis lupus) in Montana, USA, without associated wolf mortality in July 2010. This bison herd experienced an epizootic in summer 2008, killing ∼ 8% of the herd, the first documented in the region in several decades. No wolf deaths were associated with the 2008 event. Surveillance has continued since 2008, with research, ranch, and wildlife personnel diligent during summer. As part of this, we tested wolf-killed bison and elk (Cervus elaphus) for anthrax during the 2010 summer using lateral flow immunochromatographic assays (LFIA). Two bison cows were positive for protective antigen, confirming active bacteremia. The LFIA results were confirmed with traditional bacteriology recovering viable B. anthracis. No wolf fatalities were associated with the bison deaths, despite consuming the meat. Low-level anthrax occurrence in large, rough terrain landscapes remains difficult to detect, particularly if mortality in the herbivore host is not a consequence of infection. In these instances, surveillance of predators with large home ranges may provide a more sensitive indicator of anthrax emergence or reemergence in such systems. Though speculative, it is also possible that anthrax infection in the bison increased predation risk. These results also suggest B. anthracis remains a threat to wildlife and associated livestock in southwestern Montana.

  6. ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in epithelial cells lining Bacillus anthracis' three sites of entry: implications for the pathogenesis of anthrax infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonuccelli, Gloria; Sotgia, Federica; Frank, Philippe G; Williams, Terence M; de Almeida, Cecilia J; Tanowitz, Herbert B; Scherer, Philipp E; Hotchkiss, Kylie A; Terman, Bruce I; Rollman, Brent; Alileche, Abdelkrim; Brojatsch, Jürgen; Lisanti, Michael P

    2005-06-01

    Anthrax is a disease caused by infection with spores from the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. These spores enter the body, where they germinate into bacteria and secrete a tripartite toxin that causes local edema and, in systemic infections, death. Recent studies identified the cellular receptor for anthrax toxin (ATR), a type I membrane protein. ATR is one of the splice variants of the tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) gene. ATR and TEM8 are identical throughout their extracellular and transmembrane sequence, and both proteins function as receptors for the toxin. ATR/TEM8 function and expression have been associated with development of the vascular system and with tumor angiogenesis. TEM8 is selectively upregulated in endothelial cells during blood vessel formation and tumorigenesis. However, selective expression of TEM8 in endothelial cells contradicts the presumably ubiquitous expression of the receptor. To resolve this controversial issue, we evaluated the distribution of ATR/TEM8 in a variety of tissues. For this purpose, we generated and characterized a novel anti-ATR/TEM8 polyclonal antibody. Here, we show that this novel antibody recognizes all three ATR/TEM8 isoforms, which are widely and differentially expressed in various tissue types. We found that ATR/TEM8 expression is not only associated with tumor endothelial cells, as previously described. Indeed, ATR/TEM8 is highly and selectively expressed in the epithelial cells lining those organs that constitute the anthrax toxin's sites of entry, i.e., the lung, the skin, and the intestine. In fact, we show that ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in the respiratory epithelium of the bronchi of the lung and is particularly abundant in the ciliated epithelial cells coating the bronchi. Furthermore, immunostaining of skin biopsies revealed that ATR/TEM8 is highly expressed in the keratinocytes of the epidermis. Finally, we show that the epithelial cells lining the small intestine strongly express ATR/TEM8 isoforms. This

  7. Anthrax and the Geochemistry of Soils in the Contiguous ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Journal Article Soil geochemical data from sample sites located in counties that reported cases or outbreaks of anthrax since 2000 were evaluated against counties within the same states (MN, MT, ND, NV, OR, SD and TX) that did not report cases or outbreaks. These data identified the elements Ca, Mn, P and Sr as having statistically significant differences in concentrations between county type (anthrax occurrence versus no occurrence) within the total data set or in a majority of the states. Preliminary elemental threshold values present prospective investigative tools that can be refined through future high-resolution studies and present a path forward for understanding the geochemical constraints of other pathogens.

  8. 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.

  9. Structure of the Anthrax Research Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    Karypis G, Han EH, Kumar V. Chameleon : A hierarchical clustering algorithm using dynamic modeling. IEEE Computer: Special Issue on Data Analysis and...PCR amplification on a microarray of gel-immobilized oligonucleotides: Detection of bacterial toxin- and drug-resistant genes and their mutations ...nonsense mutation in Bacillus anthracis 220 Sequence analysis of the genes encoding for the major virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis vaccine

  10. 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...

  11. An Investigation into a Human Anthrax Outbreak in Maragua District ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An outbreak of human anthrax occurred in Maragua district between December 2005 and January 2006 and an investigation was undertaken through visits and interviews with the District Veterinary (DVO) and Public Health Officers, owners of cattle that had died, people who had butchered or eaten the meat from dead ...

  12. 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)

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The human prevalence was high in May followed by February (0.20 and 0.15 per 100,000 populations per year respectively) This data analysis revealed that less number of human anthrax cases were reported than animal cases (ratio 1:5) in Ethiopia. The pastoralist areas where humans and animals co-exist closely did not ...

  14. The Roles of AtxA Orthologs in Virulence of Anthrax-like Bacillus cereus G9241

    OpenAIRE

    Scarff, Jennifer M.; Raynor, Malik J.; Seldina, Yuliya I.; Ventura, Christy L.; Koehler, Theresa M.; O’Brien, Alison D.

    2016-01-01

    AtxA is a critical transcriptional regulator of plasmid-encoded virulence genes in Bacillus anthracis. Bacillus cereus G9241, which caused an anthrax-like infection, has two virulence plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBC210, that each harbor toxin genes and a capsule locus. G9241 also produces two orthologs of AtxA: AtxA1, encoded on pBCXO1, and AtxA2, encoded on pBC210. The amino acid sequence of AtxA1 is identical to that of AtxA from B. anthracis, while the sequences of AtxA1 and AtxA2 are 79% identic...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-12

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Reiman, Robert W

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasanella, Antonio; Scasciamacchia, Silvia; Garofolo, Giuliano; Giangaspero, Annunziata; Tarsitano, Elvira; Adone, Rosanna

    2010-08-17

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. [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.

  4. Economic Impacts of a Wide Area Release of Anthrax

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judd, Kathleen S.; Olson, Jarrod; Stein, Steven L.; Lesperance, Ann M.

    2009-05-29

    This analysis explores economic impacts that might result from a wide-area release of anthrax. The intent is not to provide a quantitative analysis of such a disaster, but to: 1. Define the general categories of economic impacts that the region should be concerned about; and, 2. Explore what types of private sector businesses or industries, if any, may have the greatest impact on speeding the economic recovery of the region.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly H Ganz

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    Musser and DeLeo, 2005); Plasmodium parasites that cause murine (rodent) malaria (Fraunholz, 2005); Helicobacter pylori , the bacteria that cause...Klamt, Thilo Kähne1, and Michael Naumann. “Host-pathogen systems biology: Logical modelling of hepatocyte growth factor and Helicobacter pylori ...Introduction……………………………………………………………………….......... 1 Motivation……………………………………………………………………….........1 Biological Weapons History and Increasing Threat

  9. 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

  10. 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, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berube, Bryan J.; Bubeck Wardenburg, Juliane

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23888516

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Awareness and attitude toward zoonoses with particular reference to anthrax among cattle owners in selected rural communities of Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikerema, S M; Matope, G; Pfukenyi, D M

    2013-04-01

    We conducted a cross-sectional study to assess cattle owners' awareness, perceptions, and attitudes toward zoonoses, with particular emphasis regarding anthrax. Data on awareness of zoonoses, clinical signs of anthrax in animals and human, its routes of transmission and methods of prevention, the families' consumption habits of anthrax-infected carcasses, and other family activities that increase exposure to anthrax were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. A total of 41.4% (135/326) of the farmers were from high-anthrax-risk districts, whereas 28.5% and 30.1% were from medium- and low-risk districts, respectively. Overall, the level of awareness amongst the farmers for the named zoonoses were rabies (88.7%), anthrax (71.5%), and brucellosis (20.9%). Except for anthrax, awareness of other zoonoses did not differ significantly (p>0.05) among the district categories. Farmers from anthrax high-risk districts were significantly more aware of anthrax compared to those from moderate- (p=0.000) and low- (p=0.000) risk districts. All of the farmers were aware that anthrax occurs in cattle, and 73% indicated the presence of unclotting blood oozing from natural orifices as a consistent finding in cattle that died of anthrax, whereas 86.7% of them indicated the presence of skin lesions as the most common sign of the disease in humans. The good efficacy of human anthrax treatment (58.3%), slaughter of moribund cattle and selling of meat from cattle found dead to unsuspecting consumers (59.8%), reluctance to lose animals (47.9%), and forgetting about anthrax (41.1%) were cited as the major reasons for consuming anthrax-infected carcasses. Given that 75.2% of cattle owners indicated that they would not consume meat from cattle found dead, because they were discouraged by veterinary authorities, introducing meat inspection services is likely to have a positive impact in preventing human anthrax outbreaks in Zimbabwe.

  17. [Immunoenzimatic detection of the Clostridium tetani bacterial toxin: an alternative to mice bioassays].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, Fernando; León, Guillermo; Hernández-Chavarría, Francisco

    2006-06-01

    Cell-free extracts from 20 strains of Clostridium tetani isolated from soil samples, were tested for tetanus toxin production using an enzyme immunoassay. All the extracts were classified as positive for the toxin presence, and eight of them showed absorbance values corresponding to tetanus toxin concentrations between 3.2 and 88 ng/ml; thus, they fell within the linear absorbance range (0.135-0.317). All dilutions of toxin used to obtain the calibration curve (0.0071 to 1.1 ng) were lethal for mice.

  18. 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.

  19. Zebra migration strategies and anthrax in Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zidon, Royi; Garti, Shimon; Getz, Wayne M; Saltz, David

    2017-08-01

    Partial seasonal migration is ubiquitous in many species. We documented this phenomenon in plains zebra ( Equus burchelli ) in Etosha National Park, Namibia (ENP), and provided a cost-benefit analysis as it relates to the spatial distribution of water, vegetation and endemic anthrax. This analysis draws upon two years of ENP zebra movement data that reveal two sub-populations: migrators and non-migrators. Migrators are shown to be behaviorally dominant in the way they utilize space and use water holes. We raise the possibility that the co-existence of these two groups reflects an evolutionary process, and the size of each group maintains evolutionary equilibrium.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  1. Okadaic Acid: More than a Diarrheic Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josefina Méndez

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Okadaic acid (OA is one of the most frequent and worldwide distributed marine toxins. It is easily accumulated by shellfish, mainly bivalve mollusks and fish, and, subsequently, can be consumed by humans causing alimentary intoxications. OA is the main representative diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP toxin and its ingestion induces gastrointestinal symptoms, although it is not considered lethal. At the molecular level, OA is a specific inhibitor of several types of serine/threonine protein phosphatases and a tumor promoter in animal carcinogenesis experiments. In the last few decades, the potential toxic effects of OA, beyond its role as a DSP toxin, have been investigated in a number of studies. Alterations in DNA and cellular components, as well as effects on immune and nervous system, and even on embryonic development, have been increasingly reported. In this manuscript, results from all these studies are compiled and reviewed to clarify the role of this toxin not only as a DSP inductor but also as cause of alterations at the cellular and molecular levels, and to highlight the relevance of biomonitoring its effects on human health. Despite further investigations are required to elucidate OA mechanisms of action, toxicokinetics, and harmful effects, there are enough evidences illustrating its toxicity, not related to DSP induction, and, consequently, supporting a revision of the current regulation on OA levels in food.

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. Serum paraoxonase activity and oxidative stress levels in patients with cutaneous anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karadas, S; Aslan, M; Ceylan, M R; Sunnetcioglu, M; Bozan, N; Kara, H; Demir, H

    2017-07-01

    Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by the aerobic sporeforming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It has been suggested that oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of B. anthracis. The aim of this study was to investigate serum paraoxonase 1 (PON1) activity, catalase activity, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels in patients with cutaneous anthrax. Fifteen patients with cutaneous anthrax and 15 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. The serum MDA levels, SOD levels, paraoxonase, arylesterase, and catalase activities were measured using a spectrophotometer. The serum SOD levels, paraoxonase, arylesterase, and catalase activities were significantly lower in patients with cutaneous anthrax than in controls (for all, p paraoxonase activity, arylesterase activity, SOD levels, and MDA levels (all, p > 0.05) in patients with cutaneous anthrax. The current study was the first to show decreased antioxidant levels and increased oxidant levels in patients with cutaneous anthrax. Therefore, decreased PON1 activity may play a role in the pathogenesis of cutaneous anthrax.

  5. Surveillance and control of anthrax and rabies in wild herbivores and carnivores in Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, H H

    1993-03-01

    Anthrax has been studied intensively in Etosha National Park, Namibia since 1966; in addition, since 1975, mortality due to rabies and all other causes has been recorded, totalling 6,190 deaths. Standard diagnostic procedures demonstrated that at least 811 deaths (13%) were due to anthrax and 115 deaths (2%) were caused by rabies. Of the total number of deaths due to anthrax, 97% occurred in zebra (Equus burchelli), elephant (Loxodonta africana), wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) and springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) while 96% of rabies deaths occurred in kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), jackal (Canis mesomelas), bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis) and lion (Panthera leo). Anthrax deaths were highest in the rainy season for zebra, wildebeest and springbok, while elephant mortality peaked during dry seasons. No statistical relationship existed between seasonal rainfall and overall incidence of either anthrax or rabies. Control of anthrax is limited to prophylactic inoculation when rare or endangered species are threatened. Incineration of anthrax carcasses and chemical disinfection of drinking water are not feasible at Etosha. Rabies control consists of the destruction of rabid animals and incineration of their carcasses when possible.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Risk practices for animal and human anthrax in Bangladesh: an exploratory study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md. Saiful Islam

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: From August 2009 to October 2010, International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh and the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research together investigated 14 outbreaks of anthrax which included 140 animal and 273 human cases in 14 anthrax-affected villages. Our investigation objectives were to explore the context in which these outbreaks occurred, including livestock rearing practices, human handling of sick and dead animals, and the anthrax vaccination program. Methods: Field anthropologists used qualitative data-collection tools, including 15 hours of unstructured observations, 11 key informant interviews, 32 open-ended interviews, and 6 group discussions in 5 anthrax-affected villages. Results: Each cattle owner in the affected communities raised a median of six ruminants on their household premises. The ruminants were often grazed in pastures and fed supplementary rice straw, green grass, water hyacinth, rice husk, wheat bran, and oil cake; lactating cows were given dicalcium phosphate. Cattle represented a major financial investment. Since Islamic law forbids eating animals that die from natural causes, when anthrax-infected cattle were moribund, farmers often slaughtered them on the household premises while they were still alive so that the meat could be eaten. Farmers ate the meat and sold it to neighbors. Skinners removed and sold the hides from discarded carcasses. Farmers discarded the carcasses and slaughtering waste into ditches, bodies of water, or open fields. Cattle in the affected communities did not receive routine anthrax vaccine due to low production, poor distribution, and limited staffing for vaccination. Conclusion: Slaughtering anthrax-infected animals and disposing of butchering waste and carcasses in environments where ruminants live and graze, combined with limited vaccination, provided a context that permitted repeated anthrax outbreaks in animals and humans. Because of strong

  9. Pre-Columbian origins for North American anthrax.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo J Kenefic

    Full Text Available Disease introduction into the New World during colonial expansion is well documented and had a major impact on indigenous populations; however, few diseases have been associated with early human migrations into North America. During the late Pleistocene epoch, Asia and North America were joined by the Beringian Steppe ecosystem which allowed animals and humans to freely cross what would become a water barrier in the Holocene. Anthrax has clearly been shown to be dispersed by human commerce and trade in animal products contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores. Humans appear to have brought B. anthracis to this area from Asia and then moved it further south as an ice-free corridor opened in central Canada approximately 13,000 ybp. In this study, we have defined the evolutionary history of Western North American (WNA anthrax using 2,850 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs and 285 geographically diverse B. anthracis isolates. Phylogeography of the major WNA B. anthracis clone reveals ancestral populations in northern Canada with progressively derived populations to the south; the most recent ancestor of this clonal lineage is in Eurasia. Our phylogeographic patterns are consistent with B. anthracis arriving with humans via the Bering Land Bridge. This northern-origin hypothesis is highly consistent with our phylogeographic patterns and rates of SNP accumulation observed in current day B. anthracis isolates. Continent-wide dispersal of WNA B. anthracis likely required movement by later European colonizers, but the continent's first inhabitants may have seeded the initial North American populations.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. Ecology and epidemiology of anthrax in cattle and humans in Zambia

    OpenAIRE

    Siamudaala, Victor M.; Bwalya, John M.; Munang'andu, Hetron M.; Sinyangwe, Peter G.; Banda, Fred; Mweene, Aaron S.; Takada, Ayato; Kida, Hiroshi

    2006-01-01

    Anthrax is endemic in Western and North-western Provinces of Zambia. The disease occurs throughout the year and impacts negatively on the economy of the livestock industry and public health in Zambia. During 1989-1995, there were 1,626 suspected cases of anthrax in cattle in Western province and of these51were confirmed. There were 220 cases of human anthrax cases in 1990 alone and 248 cases during 1991-1998 with 19.1% and 7.7% case fatality rates, respectively. Interplay of...

  12. 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.

  13. Rates and risk factors for human cutaneous anthrax in the country of Georgia: National surveillance data, 2008-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasradze, Ana; Echeverria, Diana; Zakhashvili, Khatuna; Bautista, Christian; Heyer, Nicholas; Imnadze, Paata; Mitrskhulava, Veriko

    2018-01-01

    Anthrax is endemic in the country of Georgia. The most common cutaneous anthrax form accounts for 95% of anthrax cases and often is self-resolving. Humans are infected from processing contaminated animal products, contacting sick animals, or by insect bites. We aimed to describe the burden of human cutaneous anthrax and associated risk factors using the national surveillance data. We extracted all human cutaneous anthrax cases from Electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance System (EIDSS) from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2015. We conducted descriptive analyses to characterize the number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases by age groups, gender, ethnicity, year and geographic area. Out of 911 reported cutaneous anthrax cases, 299 (33%) were rejected. Out of remaining 612 cases, 437 (71%), 172 (28%), and 3 (national livestock vaccination in 2008 coupled with weakened human and animal national health systems which were disrupted after the Soviet Union collapsed. Our analysis identifies living near pastoralist routes, handling animal products and travel to endemic areas within two weeks before the disease onset as risk factors for cutaneous anthrax. The evidence underscores the importance of One Health recommendations to activate anthrax awareness campaigns, supervise the destruction of known anthrax carcasses, record global position system coordinates of sites and disinfect infected soils and introduce a participatory health education tool on anthrax.

  14. Detection of warfare agents in liquid foods using the brine shrimp lethality assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumor, Stephen E; Diez-Gonzalez, Francisco; Labuza, Theodore P

    2011-01-01

    The brine shrimp lethality assay (BSLA) was used for rapid and non-specific detection of biological and chemical warfare agents at concentrations considerably below that which will cause harm to humans. Warfare agents detected include T-2 toxin, trimethylsilyl cyanide, and commercially available pesticides such as dichlorvos, diazinon, dursban, malathion, and parathion. The assay was performed by introducing 50 μL of milk or orange juice contaminated with each analyte into vials containing 10 freshly hatched brine shrimp nauplii in seawater. This was incubated at 28 °C for 24 h, after which mortality was determined. Mortality was converted to probits and the LC(50) was determined for each analyte by plotting probits of mortality against analyte concentration (log(10)). Our findings were the following: (1) the lethal effects of toxins dissolved in milk were observed, with T-2 toxin being the most lethal and malathion being the least, (2) except for parathion, the dosage (based on LC(50)) of analyte in a cup of milk (200 mL) consumed by a 6-y-old (20 kg) was less than the respective published rat LD(50) values, and (3) the BSLA was only suitable for detecting toxins dissolved in orange juice if incubation time was reduced to 6 h. Our results support the application of the BSLA for routine, rapid, and non-specific prescreening of liquid foods for possible sabotage by an employee or an intentional bioterrorist act. Practical Application: The findings of this study strongly indicate that the brine shrimp lethality assay can be adapted for nonspecific detection of warfare agents or toxins in food at any point during food production and distribution.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Anthrax Vaccination in the Millennium Cohort. Validation and Measures of Health

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Smith, Besa; Leard, Cynthia A; Smith, Tyler C; Reed, Robert J; Ryan, Margaret A

    2007-01-01

    Between September 2005 and February 2006 self-reported anthrax vaccination was compared to electronic records for 67,018 participants enrolled in the Millennium Cohort Study between 2001 and 2003 using kappa statistics...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. Isolation of a Toxin from Venom of Wagler’s Pit Viper Trimeresurus wagleri

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-31

    activity was performed following the protocol of MARINETTI (1965). Hemolytic activity was assayed by using rat erythrocytes accoding to the method of...activity ( MARINETTI , 1965) detected weak PLA activity in the Superose 12 lethal pool. Bio-Rex 70 isolation of lethal toxin from Suoerose-12 pool...head of bacteriophage T4. Nature 227, 680-685. MARINETTI , G. V. (1965). The action of phospholipase A on lipoproteins. Biochimie Biophys. Acta .98

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Clinical presentation of inhalational anthrax following bioterrorism exposure: report of 2 surviving patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, T A; Bersoff-Matcha, S; Murphy, C; Earls, J; Harper, S; Pauze, D; Nguyen, M; Rosenthal, J; Cerva, D; Druckenbrod, G; Hanfling, D; Fatteh, N; Napoli, A; Nayyar, A; Berman, E L

    2001-11-28

    The use of anthrax as a weapon of biological terrorism has moved from theory to reality in recent weeks. Following processing of a letter containing anthrax spores that had been mailed to a US senator, 5 cases of inhalational anthrax have occurred among postal workers employed at a major postal facility in Washington, DC. This report details the clinical presentation, diagnostic workup, and initial therapy of 2 of these patients. The clinical course is in some ways different from what has been described as the classic pattern for inhalational anthrax. One patient developed low-grade fever, chills, cough, and malaise 3 days prior to admission, and then progressive dyspnea and cough productive of blood-tinged sputum on the day of admission. The other patient developed progressively worsening headache of 3 days' duration, along with nausea, chills, and night sweats, but no respiratory symptoms, on the day of admission. Both patients had abnormal findings on chest radiographs. Non-contrast-enhanced computed tomography of the chest showing mediastinal adenopathy led to a presumptive diagnosis of inhalational anthrax in both cases. The diagnoses were confirmed by blood cultures and polymerase chain reaction testing. Treatment with antibiotics, including intravenous ciprofloxacin, rifampin, and clindamycin, and supportive therapy appears to have slowed the progression of inhalational anthrax and has resulted to date in survival.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Overcoming Resistance to Change: An Analysis to the Department of Defense’s Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-06-01

    database searches using key words such as “anthrax illnesses”, “anthrax reports”, “anthrax experiences”, were conducted through First Search, EBSCO , and...p. 124). Rousseau, et al. (1998) defined trust as “a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based on the positive...trust is a psychological state represented by a ‘willingness’ to behave or act. Second, vulnerability, uncertainty and risk are important components

  9. 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 ...

  10. Ante- and postmortem diagnostic techniques for anthrax: rethinking pathogen exposure and the geographic extent of the disease in wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagamian, Karoun H; Alexander, Kathleen A; Hadfield, Ted L; Blackburn, Jason K

    2013-10-01

    Although antemortem approaches in wildlife disease surveillance are common for most zoonoses, they have been used infrequently in anthrax surveillance. Classically, anthrax is considered a disease with extremely high mortality. This is because anthrax outbreaks are often detected ex post facto through wildlife or livestock fatalities or spillover transmission to humans. As a result, the natural prevalence of anthrax infection in animal populations is largely unknown. However, in the past 20 yr, antemortem serologic surveillance in wildlife has indicated that not all species exposed succumb to infection, and anthrax exposure may be more widespread than originally appreciated. These studies brought about a multitude of new questions, many of which can be addressed by increased antemortem serologic surveillance in wildlife populations. To fully understand anthrax transmission dynamics and geographic extent, it is important to identify exposure in wildlife hosts and associated factors and, in turn, understand how these influences may drive environmental reservoir dynamics and concurrent disease risk in livestock and humans. Here we review our current understanding of the serologic response to anthrax among wildlife hosts and serologic diagnostic assays used to augment traditional postmortem anthrax surveillance strategies. We also provide recommendations for the use of serology and sentinel species surveillance approaches in anthrax research and management.

  11. MIDLINE LETHAL GRANULOMA COMPLICATING PREGNANCY ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kateee

    East African Medical Journal Vol. 80. No. 7 July 2003. MIDLINE LETHAL GRANULOMA COMPLICATING PREGNANCY: CASE REPORT. B.D.O. Saheeb, BDS, FWACS, FICS, FDS, RCS (Edin) Senior Lecturer/Consultant, and M.A. Ojo, BDS, MMed Sc, Dip Maxfac Rad, Associate Professor/Consultant. Department of oral ...

  12. [The "lethal white foal" syndrome].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blendinger, C; Müller, G; Bostedt, H

    1994-06-01

    The lethal white foal syndrome (congenital intestinal aganglionosis) was diagnosed by history, clinical signs and pathological findings in a female foal, born in March 1992, that was an offspring of two overo-spotted paint horses. The syndrome is a congenital innervation defect of the gastrointestinal tract. A literature review of this condition, relatively unknown in Germany, is given.

  13. 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.

  14. Comparative Measurement of In Vitro T-2 Toxin Cytotoxicity using Three Different Cytotoxicity Assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidari, Mahnaz; Ghazi-Khansari, Mahmmoud; Khoshnoodi, Jalal; Shokri, Fazel

    2003-01-01

    T-2 toxin is a secondary fungal metabolite produced by various species of fusarium. In this study, the in vitro cytotoxicity of T-2 toxin in the human hepatoma cell line (HepG2) was determined using three methods, including neutral red dye adsorption, trypan blue dye exclusion, and uptake of radiolabeled 3 H-thymidine. The 50% lethal concentration of T-2 toxin was found to be similar for all three, accounting for 2.39, 2.96, and 3.44 ng/mL, respectively, as determined by these assays. Significant correlations were also observed among the three methods (p objectivity.

  15. Monitoring Anthrax Vaccine Safety in US Military Service Members on Active Duty: Surveillance of Hospitalizations in Temporal Association with Immunization 1998

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sato, Paul

    2000-01-01

    .... military personnel on active duty in 1998. Anthrax immunization, demographic, and hospitalization data were linked and analyzed using Cox proportional hazards modeling for hospitalization within 42 days of an anthrax vaccine dose...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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....

  19. Risk communication at a major university : an anthrax case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clarke, C.E. [New Jersey Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry, New Brunswick, NJ (United States). School of Public Health; Chess, C. [Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States). Dept. of Human Ecology

    2005-07-01

    This paper discussed risk communication strategies used by Rutgers University to communicate with faculty, students, staff and community about issues concerning anthrax and mail safety. Several issues were considered in this paper, including: incident specific communication and participant responses to false alarms; general communication issues; and any recommendations that may be applicable to other institutions. A literature review guided the development of an interview protocol. Two groups of individuals were interviewed for approximately 30 minutes about their experiences with, and views on risk communication at Rutgers. Groups included information providers such as members of departments that develop and disseminate health and safety information, and information recipients, such as faculty, staff and students. Two sets of questions were developed for both general and incident-specific communications. Either one or both sets of interview questions were used. Data was analyzed using codes based on the selected risk communication concepts. Data related to specific incidents was also coded to explore the sequence of events and perceptions of those involved. Findings included information on incident specific communications; perceptions of information providers; perceptions of information recipients; and communication with the larger university community. Various recommendations were made as well as a summary of findings. Incident-specific communication recommendations included using an on-scene spokesperson to provide updated information as often as possible; determining and addressing key concerns and questions of participants; providing access to rest room facilities as well as food and water; explaining the limitations in providing information to a variety of audiences at the same time; and allowing individuals access to personal items that may be quarantined during an emergency. General communications findings were also presented, with reference to the fact

  20. Effect of sulfhydryl group modification on the neurotoxic action of a sea snake toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishizaki, H; Allen, M; Tu, A T

    1984-01-01

    Pelamis toxin alpha is a major neurotoxin isolated from the venom of Pelamis platurus (yellow-bellied sea snake). The effect of sulfhydryl group modification by NN'-1,4-phenylenedimaleimide on the neurotoxic action of Pelamis toxin alpha has been investigated. The cross-linked toxin having a molecular weight of 11 000 was formed without significant structural changes in the toxin. Lethality tests on the modified toxin indicated that it retained considerable toxicity, although its potency was weaker than that of the native toxin. Binding studies with the acetylcholine receptor isolated from the electroplax of Torpedo californica indicated that the modified toxin binds to the receptor but less effectively than the native toxin. These results suggest that the decreases in toxicity and binding to the receptor are due to a decrease in accessibility of cross-linked neurotoxin to the receptor. This leads us to the conclusion that the region of the neurotoxin containing the sulfhydryl group is not essential for its biological activity. Analysis of the structure and function relationships of the modified toxin suggests that the neurotoxin-acetylcholine receptor interaction requires the proper orientation of the neurotoxin molecule.

  1. Effect of environmental stresses on the survival and cytotoxicity of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) causes serious illnesses leading to hospitalizations in the United States. Since bacteria exposed to sub-lethal treatment during food processing may exhibit enhanced virulence and resistance to subsequent processing, the present study attempts to investi...

  2. An outbreak of anthrax in endangered Rothschild’s giraffes in Mwea National Reserve, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaitho T

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Titus Kaitho,1 David Ndeereh,1 Bernard Ngoru21Veterinary, Capture and Captive Wildlife Management Department, Wildlife Conservation Division, Kenya Wildlife Service, Nairobi, Kenya; 2Ecological Monitoring, Bio-Prospecting and Biodiversity Information Management Department, Biodiversity Research and Monitoring Division, Kenya Wildlife Service, Nairobi, KenyaAbstract: An anthrax outbreak occurred at the Mwea National Reserve between May 2011 and July 2011. This outbreak affected endangered Rothschild’s giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis ssp. rothschildi. Eleven giraffe carcasses were found during the 3-month period. One lesser kudu (Ammelaphus imberbis, the only one of its species in the national reserve, also succumbed to the illness. An investigation was carried out, and the presence of anthrax was rapidly confirmed using bacteriological methods. To stop the occurrence of more deaths of this endangered species, a total of 20 giraffes were vaccinated against anthrax and black quarter. The giraffe carcasses that were found were completely burned; this was done to decontaminate the environment. For a period of 2 years postvaccination, no anthrax-related mortalities in Rothschild’s giraffes were reported at the Mwea National Reserve.Keywords: anthrax outbreak, burning of carcasses, Rothschild’s giraffes, vaccination

  3. 9 CFR 309.7 - Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... vaccines (live organisms) within 6 weeks, and those bearing evidence of reaction to such treatment, such as... which do not contain living anthrax organisms, may be slaughtered and presented for post-mortem... other official designated by the area supervisor. No anthrax vaccine (live organisms) shall be used on...

  4. 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?

  5. Evidence of the protective immunogenicity of native and recombinant Clostridium haemolyticum phospholipase C (beta toxin) in guinea pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauer, Paul J; Yeary, Teresa J; Rosenbusch, Ricardo F

    2006-01-12

    The immunogenic effects of the beta toxin of Clostridium haemolyticum were investigated in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs passively immunized with toxin-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies were protected from a 100 LD(50) spore challenge that was lethal to nonvaccinated controls. Guinea pigs actively immunized with varying doses of immunoaffinity-purified native beta toxin were similarly protected. In a third experiment, a recombinant toxoid was prepared from E. coli expressing the beta toxin gene. Guinea pigs immunized three times with recombinant toxoid also were protected against challenge. In each experiment, protection was correlated to the presence of anti-beta toxin antibodies in the serum. Taken together, these results indicate that a neutralizing antibody response to the beta toxin is a key component of protective immunity to C. haemolyticum in guinea pigs.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ecology and epidemiology of anthrax in the Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindeque, P M; Turnbull, P C

    1994-03-01

    Analysis of mortality records has revealed distinct patterns in the incidence of anthrax in elephant and plains ungulates. The seasonal peak among the former is in November at the end of the dry season, while among the latter it occurs in March towards the end of the rainy season. Among elephants, there has been a notable spread of the disease to the west of the Park. Age and sex analyses indicate that, except for zebra, proportionally greater numbers of adult males die of anthrax among the species predominantly affected; however, zebra carcases are difficult to sex. In a study to identify possible environmental sources of infection, B. anthracis was detected in 3.3% of 92 water and 3.0% of 230 soil samples collected at different times of the year from 23 sites not associated with known cases of anthrax. Slight seasonal differences were noted with 5.7% positives occurring in the cold-dry period (May to August), 3.5% in the hot-dry season (September to December) and 1.4% in the hot-wet season (January to April). Higher rates (26.0% of 73 samples) were found in water from waterholes in the western part of the Park at the time of an outbreak in elephants. The possible importance of scavenger faeces was confirmed with > 50% of vulture, jackal and hyaena faeces collected from the vicinity of confirmed anthrax carcases yielding B. anthracis, sometimes in substantial numbers, while no spores were found in faeces not associated with known anthrax carcases. Despite terminal B. anthracis levels of usually > 10(7) cfu/milliliters in the blood of animals dying of anthrax, spore levels in soil contaminated by such blood at sites of anthrax carcases ranged from undetectable to a few tens of thousands. The rapid loss of viability in soil and water of anthrax bacilli was monitored experimentally and the importance of soil type demonstrated. Survival and extent of sporulation of the bacilli in water were shown to be dependent on the rate at which the blood was diluted out. Other

  10. 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).

  11. Relationship of bacteriophages to alpha toxin production in Clostridium novyi types A and B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklund, M W; Poysky, F T; Peterson, M E; Meyers, J A

    1976-09-01

    The relationship of specific bacteriophages to the production of the lethal alpha toxin in Clostridium novyi types A and B was investigated. When type A strain 5771 reverted to the phage-sensitive state, it ceased to produce alpha toxin but continued to produce the gamma and epsilon antigens. This "nontoxigenic" culture, therefore, more closely resembled C. botulinum types C and D than the other C. novyi types. Phage-sensitive type B strains also ceased to produce the alpha toxin but continued to produce the beta toxin, and therefore very colesly resembled C. novyi type D (C. haemolyticum). Alpha toxin was again produced when the phage-sensitive cultures were reinfected with the respective tox+ phages. Alpha toxin production could also be induced in the "nontoxigenic" phage-sensitive derivatives from type B strain 8024 by tox+ phages isolated from other strains of type B. tox- phages were also isolated, but they did not affect alpha toxin production. The tox+ phages also caused a marked change in the colonial morphology of type B strains. In this report we present evidence that alpha toxin production by C. novyi type A strain 5771 and type B strain 8024 depends upon the continued presence and participation of specific bacteriophages designated as NA1tox+ and NB1tox+, respectively.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  14. Carbohydrate inhibitors of cholera toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vajinder; Turnbull, W Bruce

    2018-01-01

    Cholera is a diarrheal disease caused by a protein toxin released by Vibrio cholera in the host's intestine. The toxin enters intestinal epithelial cells after binding to specific carbohydrates on the cell surface. Over recent years, considerable effort has been invested in developing inhibitors of toxin adhesion that mimic the carbohydrate ligand, with particular emphasis on exploiting the multivalency of the toxin to enhance activity. In this review we introduce the structural features of the toxin that have guided the design of diverse inhibitors and summarise recent developments in the field.

  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. Temporal and spatial distribution of cattle anthrax outbreaks in Zimbabwe between 1967 and 2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikerema, Silvester Maravanyika; Pfukenyi, D M; Matope, Gift; Bhebhe, E

    2012-01-01

    This retrospective study aimed to assess the spatial and temporal distribution of anthrax and to identify risk areas in Zimbabwe. The data were extracted from the monthly and annual reports of the Division of Livestock Production and Veterinary Services for the period 1967 to 2006. The data were analyzed in relation to temporal and spatial factors. The hot-dry season was found to be significantly (X (2)=847.8, Pdisease was found to be approximately three times more likely to occur during this season compared to other seasons. Anthrax outbreaks demonstrated a gradual temporal increase from an annual mean of three outbreaks for the 5-year period (1967-1971) to 42 for the 5-year period (2002-2006). Similarly, the data demonstrated a spatial increase in the number of districts affected by anthrax between 1967 and 2006, with 12 districts affected for the 10-year period (1967-1976) that expanded to 42 districts for the 10-year period (1997-2006). The majority of outbreaks (83.7%) were recorded in rural areas, and 11 districts were found to be at a higher risk than others. There is need to develop differential vaccination strategy, other control strategies and preventive recommendations to reduce anthrax in high-risk districts. In the medium- to low-risk districts, maintenance of effective surveillance systems and improvement of awareness is very important to detect and contain outbreaks early.

  17. 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

  18. An outbreak of cutaneous anthrax in a non-endemic district - Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohanraj Promila

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Anthrax is a disease of herbivorous animals, and humans incidentally acquire the disease by handling infected dead animals and their products. Sporadic cases of human anthrax have been reported from Southern India. METHODS: Five tribal men presented with painless ulcers with vesiculation and edema of the surrounding skin on the extremities without any constitutional symptoms. There was a history of slaughtering and consumption of a dead goat ten days prior to the development of skin lesions. Clinically cutaneous anthrax was suspected and smears, swabs and punch biopsies were taken for culture and identification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR. All the cases were treated with intravenous followed by oral antibiotics. Appropriate health authorities were alerted and proper control measures were employed. RESULTS: Smears from the cutaneous lesions of all five patients were positive for Bacillus anthracis and this was confirmed by a positive culture and PCR of the smears in four of the five cases. All the cases responded to antibiotics. CONCLUSION: We report five cases of cutaneous anthrax in a non-endemic district, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, for the first time.

  19. Molecular Epidemiologic Investigation of an Anthrax Outbreak among Heroin Users, Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Erin P.; Seymour, Meagan L.; Sarovich, Derek S.; Latham, Jennie; Wolken, Spenser R.; Mason, Joanne; Vincent, Gemma; Drees, Kevin P.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen M.; Phillippy, Adam M.; Koren, Sergey; Okinaka, Richard T.; Chung, Wai-Kwan; Schupp, James M.; Wagner, David M.; Vipond, Richard; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Bergman, Nicholas H.; Burans, James; Pearson, Talima; Brooks, Tim

    2012-01-01

    In December 2009, two unusual cases of anthrax were diagnosed in heroin users in Scotland. A subsequent anthrax outbreak in heroin users emerged throughout Scotland and expanded into England and Germany, sparking concern of nefarious introduction of anthrax spores into the heroin supply. To better understand the outbreak origin, we used established genetic signatures that provided insights about strain origin. Next, we sequenced the whole genome of a representative Bacillus anthracis strain from a heroin user (Ba4599), developed Ba4599-specific single-nucleotide polymorphism assays, and genotyped all available material from other heroin users with anthrax. Of 34 case-patients with B. anthracis–positive PCR results, all shared the Ba4599 single-nucleotide polymorphism genotype. Phylogeographic analysis demonstrated that Ba4599 was closely related to strains from Turkey and not to previously identified isolates from Scotland or Afghanistan, the presumed origin of the heroin. Our results suggest accidental contamination along the drug trafficking route through a cutting agent or animal hides used to smuggle heroin into Europe. PMID:22840345

  20. Molecular epidemiologic investigation of an anthrax outbreak among heroin users, Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Erin P; Seymour, Meagan L; Sarovich, Derek S; Latham, Jennie; Wolken, Spenser R; Mason, Joanne; Vincent, Gemma; Drees, Kevin P; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen M; Phillippy, Adam M; Koren, Sergey; Okinaka, Richard T; Chung, Wai-Kwan; Schupp, James M; Wagner, David M; Vipond, Richard; Foster, Jeffrey T; Bergman, Nicholas H; Burans, James; Pearson, Talima; Brooks, Tim; Keim, Paul

    2012-08-01

    In December 2009, two unusual cases of anthrax were diagnosed in heroin users in Scotland. A subsequent anthrax outbreak in heroin users emerged throughout Scotland and expanded into England and Germany, sparking concern of nefarious introduction of anthrax spores into the heroin supply. To better understand the outbreak origin, we used established genetic signatures that provided insights about strain origin. Next, we sequenced the whole genome of a representative Bacillus anthracis strain from a heroin user (Ba4599), developed Ba4599-specific single-nucleotide polymorphism assays, and genotyped all available material from other heroin users with anthrax. Of 34 case-patients with B. anthracis-positive PCR results, all shared the Ba4599 single-nucleotide polymorphism genotype. Phylogeographic analysis demonstrated that Ba4599 was closely related to strains from Turkey and not to previously identified isolates from Scotland or Afghanistan, the presumed origin of the heroin. Our results suggest accidental contamination along the drug trafficking route through a cutting agent or animal hides used to smuggle heroin into Europe.

  1. Anthrax Vaccine as a Component of the Strategic National Stockpile: A Dilemma for Homeland Security

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    Finally, “reports of fatalities included sudden cardiac arrest (2), myocardial infarction with polyarteritis nodosa (1), aplastic anemia (1), suicide (1... tobacco in the fight against anthrax. Environmental Health Perspectives, 114(6), a364. Retrieved November 28, 2009, from http://proquest.umi.com

  2. 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.

  3. 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: ...

  4. Airborne movement of anthrax spores from carcass sites in the Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turnbull, P C; Lindeque, P M; Le Roux, J; Bennett, A M; Parks, S R

    1998-04-01

    Tests for airborne movement of anthrax spores downwind from three heavily contaminated carcass sites were carried out under a range of wind conditions. Anthrax spores were detected in just three of 43 cyclone or gelatin filter air samples taken at distances of 6, 12 and 18 m from the sites. In addition, nine positives resulted during sampling sessions in which the site was mechanically disturbed, with a further five positives being found in sessions subsequent to those in which the site had been disturbed. The three positive samples not related to man-made disturbance were associated with the highest winds experienced during the study. Despite colony counts exceeding 100 on the culture plates in three instances, calculations showed that these represented very low worst case probable spore inhalation rates for animals or humans exposed to such levels. The low number of positives, the clear pattern of rapidly declining numbers of anthrax spores with distance downwind from the centres of the sites apparent on settle plates, and the persisting levels of contamination despite wind and rain, collectively suggest that the anthrax spores were associated with fairly heavy particles, although this was not seen by electron microscopy on soil samples from the sites. Overall, the findings are interpreted as indicating that it is very unlikely that Etosha animals contract anthrax by the inhalation route while simply in transit near or across a carcass site. The significance of the observations in relation to weather conditions in the Etosha, other studies on particulate aerosols in the region, and reports of long-distance airborne movement of microbes, is discussed.

  5. Nigritoxin is a bacterial toxin for crustaceans and insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labreuche, Yannick; Chenivesse, Sabine; Jeudy, Alexandra; Le Panse, Sophie; Boulo, Viviane; Ansquer, Dominique; Pagès, Sylvie; Givaudan, Alain; Czjzek, Mirjam; Le Roux, Frédérique

    2017-11-01

    The Tetraconata (Pancrustacea) concept proposes that insects are more closely related to aquatic crustaceans than to terrestrial centipedes or millipedes. The question therefore arises whether insects have kept crustacean-specific genetic traits that could be targeted by specific toxins. Here we show that a toxin (nigritoxin), originally identified in a bacterial pathogen of shrimp, is lethal for organisms within the Tetraconata and non-toxic to other animals. X-ray crystallography reveals that nigritoxin possesses a new protein fold of the α/β type. The nigritoxin N-terminal domain is essential for cellular translocation and likely encodes specificity for Tetraconata. Once internalized by eukaryotic cells, nigritoxin induces apoptotic cell death through structural features that are localized in the C-terminal domain of the protein. We propose that nigritoxin will be an effective means to identify a Tetraconata evolutionarily conserved pathway and speculate that nigritoxin holds promise as an insecticidal protein.

  6. accessions resistants to lethal yellowing disease

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    2007-02-19

    Feb 19, 2007 ... One of the problems faced in coconut cultivation is the lethal yellowing disease. Experimental trials, conducted in endemic region, showed that the Vanuatu Tall and Sri-Lanka Green Dwarf genotypes were tolerant while the West African Tall appeared susceptible to the lethal yellowing disease. Genetic.

  7. Using a Structured Medical Note for Determining the Safety Profile of Anthrax Vaccine for US Soldiers in Korea

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hoffman, Kenneth; Costello, Cory; Menich, Mark; Grabenstein, John D; Engler, Renata J. M

    2003-01-01

    .... The objective of this analysis is to capture the experience of soldiers receiving anthrax vaccine to assist in better patient-provider communications and clarify the safety profile of the vaccine...

  8. Rapid, High-Throughput Identification of Anthrax-Causing and Emetic Bacillus cereus Group Genome Assemblies via BTyper, a Computational Tool for Virulence-Based Classification of Bacillus cereus Group Isolates by Using Nucleotide Sequencing Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Laura M.; Miller, Rachel A.; Wiedmann, Martin

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Bacillus cereus group comprises nine species, several of which are pathogenic. Differentiating between isolates that may cause disease and those that do not is a matter of public health and economic importance, but it can be particularly challenging due to the high genomic similarity within the group. To this end, we have developed BTyper, a computational tool that employs a combination of (i) virulence gene-based typing, (ii) multilocus sequence typing (MLST), (iii) panC clade typing, and (iv) rpoB allelic typing to rapidly classify B. cereus group isolates using nucleotide sequencing data. BTyper was applied to a set of 662 B. cereus group genome assemblies to (i) identify anthrax-associated genes in non-B. anthracis members of the B. cereus group, and (ii) identify assemblies from B. cereus group strains with emetic potential. With BTyper, the anthrax toxin genes cya, lef, and pagA were detected in 8 genomes classified by the NCBI as B. cereus that clustered into two distinct groups using k-medoids clustering, while either the B. anthracis poly-γ-d-glutamate capsule biosynthesis genes capABCDE or the hyaluronic acid capsule hasA gene was detected in an additional 16 assemblies classified as either B. cereus or Bacillus thuringiensis isolated from clinical, environmental, and food sources. The emetic toxin genes cesABCD were detected in 24 assemblies belonging to panC clades III and VI that had been isolated from food, clinical, and environmental settings. The command line version of BTyper is available at https://github.com/lmc297/BTyper. In addition, BMiner, a companion application for analyzing multiple BTyper output files in aggregate, can be found at https://github.com/lmc297/BMiner. IMPORTANCE Bacillus cereus is a foodborne pathogen that is estimated to cause tens of thousands of illnesses each year in the United States alone. Even with molecular methods, it can be difficult to distinguish nonpathogenic B. cereus group isolates from their

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Monitoring water supplies for weaponized bacteria and bacterial toxins using rapid fluorescence-based viability and affinity assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Tassell, Roger L.; Evans, Mishell

    2004-03-01

    The rapid detection of weaponized bacteria and toxins is a major problem during a biological attack. Although sensitive detection formats exist for many biowarfare agents, they often require advanced training and complex procedures. Luna has developed simple, rapid means for determining the presence of pathogens and bacterial toxins in water supplies using fluorescence-based assays that can be adapted for field use. The batteries of rapid assays are designed for i) determining cell viability and bacterial loads by exploiting metabolic markers (e.g., acid-production, redox potentials, etc) and ii) detecting bacterial toxins using fluorescent, polymerized affinity liposomes (fluorosomes). The viability assays were characterized using E. coli, S. aureus and the anthrax simulant, B. globigii. The viability assays detected bacterial loads of ~ 104 CFU/ml and with simple filtration ~ 100CFU/ml could be detected. The affinity fluorosomes were characterized using cholera toxin (CT). Affinity liposomes displaying GM1 and anti-CT antibodies could detect CT at water susceptible to sabotage could be easily monitored and confirmed for specific agents using simple, general and specific fluorescence-based detection schemes based on metabolism and ligand-target interactions.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Command and Control for Distributed Lethality

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-01

    communications over vast distances, and the need for near-real-time coordination means that stakeholders for the distributed lethality concept can encompass a...and methods of effective communication systems. 14. SUBJECT TERMS command and control (C2) distributed lethality system of systems (SOS) model...refinement through simulations of the C2 structure and further research into technologies and methods of effective communication systems. vi THIS PAGE

  16. Experiences in therapy for lethal midline granuloma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tosaka, K.; Ishikawa, T. (Kumamoto Univ. (Japan). School of Medicine)

    1982-03-01

    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.

  17. 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

  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. Critical Factors for Parameterisation of Disease Diagnosis Modelling for Anthrax, Plague and Smallpox

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-01

    A pandemic ( H1N1 ) 2009 virus infection, People Republic of China, 2009. Emerg Infect Dis. 2009, Sep; 15(9): 1418- 22. 27.Treanor JJ. Influenza ...anthrax and its comparison with influenza pneumonia, pneumococcal pneumonia and pneumonic plague are detailed in Table 2. 2.4 Differential Diagnosis ...implicated include influenza virus (pneumonia) and bacterial causes of severe community acquired pneumonia, including pneumococcal pneumonia. 2.5

  20. Inhalational anthrax after bioterrorism exposure: spectrum of imaging findings in two surviving patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earls, James P; Cerva, Donald; Berman, Elise; Rosenthal, Jonathan; Fatteh, Naaz; Wolfe, Pierre P; Clayton, Ronald; Murphy, Cecele; Pauze, Denis; Mayer, Thom; Bersoff-Matcha, Susan; Urban, Bruce

    2002-02-01

    The radiographic and computed tomographic (CT) findings in two patients with documented inhalational anthrax resulting from bioterrorism exposure are presented. Chest radiographs demonstrated mediastinal widening, adenopathy, pleural effusions, and air-space disease. Chest CT images revealed enlarged hyperattenuating mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes and edema of mediastinal fat. Chest CT findings are helpful for making the initial diagnosis. To the authors' knowledge, the spectrum and follow-up of CT findings have not been previously described.

  1. 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.

  2. Health-related quality of life in the CDC Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed Human Clinical Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Brock; Rose, Charles E; Tokars, Jerome I; Martin, Stacey W; Keitel, Wendy A; Keyserling, Harry L; Babcock, Janiine; Parker, Scott D; Jacobson, Robert M; Poland, Gregory A; McNeil, Michael M

    2012-08-31

    After the Department of Defense implemented a mandatory anthrax vaccination program in 1998 concerns were raised about potential long-term safety effects of the current anthrax vaccine. The CDC multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) Human Clinical Trial to evaluate route change and dose reduction collected data on participants' quality of life. Our objective is to assess the association between receipt of AVA and changes in health-related quality of life, as measured by the SF-36 health survey (Medical Outcomes Trust, Boston, MA), over 42 months after vaccination. 1562 trial participants completed SF-36v2 health surveys at 0, 12, 18, 30 and 42 months. Physical and mental summary scores were obtained from the survey results. We used Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) analyses to assess the association between physical and mental score difference from baseline and seven study groups receiving either AVA at each dose, saline placebo at each dose, or a reduced AVA schedule substituting saline placebo for some doses. Overall, mean physical and mental scores tended to decrease after baseline. However, we found no evidence that the score difference from baseline changed significantly differently between the seven study groups. These results do not favor an association between receipt of AVA and an altered health-related quality of life over a 42-month period. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. The road to toxin-targeted therapeutic antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozel, Thomas R

    2014-07-08

    Once an infection by a toxin-producing bacterium is well established, therapies such as antibiotics that target bacterial growth may have little impact on the ultimate patient outcome. In such cases, toxin-neutralizing antibodies offer an opportunity to block key virulence factors. New work by A. K. Varshney, X. Wang, J. L. Aguilar, M. D. Scharff, and B. C. Fries [mBio 5(3):e01007-14, 2014, doi:10.1128/mBio.01007-14] highlights the role of the antibody isotype in determining the efficacy of toxin-neutralizing antibodies in vivo. Varshney et al. examined the role of antibody isotype for protection in murine models of staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)-induced lethal shock and sepsis produced by SEB-producing Staphylococcus aureus. Murine antibodies of the IgG2a isotype were more protective than antibodies of the IgG1 and IgG2b isotypes that have identical variable regions and binding activity. These results add to the complexity inherent in the selection and optimization of antibodies for anti-infective passive immunization and emphasize the need to use relevant in vivo models to evaluate potential therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Copyright © 2014 Kozel.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Toxins: State of Journal Report, 2016

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vernon L. Tesh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In the “Message from the Editor-in-Chief” posted on the Toxins website (see www.mdpi.com/journal/toxins/toxins-flyer.pdf, we wrote: “The editorial board and staff of Toxins are dedicated to providing a timely, peer-reviewed outlet for exciting, innovative primary research articles and concise, informative reviews from investigators in the myriad of disciplines contributing to our knowledge on toxins. [...

  13. 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...

  14. 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 .

  15. Plesiomonas shigelloides exports a lethal cytotoxic-enterotoxin (LCE) by membrane vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludovico, Marilucia Santos; Martins, Luciano Moura; Bianco, Juares Ednaldo Romero; Andrade, Célia Guadalupe Tardelli de Jesus; Falcon, Rosabel; Joazeiro, Paulo Pinto; Gatti, Maria Silvia Viccari; Yano, Tomomasa

    Plesiomonas shigelloides isolated from water in Brazil was previously described as a hemorrhagic heat-labile cytotoxic-enterotoxin producer. We purified this toxin from culture supernatants using ion metallic affinity chromatography (IMAC) followed by molecular exclusion chromatography. The pure toxin presented molecular mass of 50kDa and isoelectric point (pI) around 6.9 by 2D electrophoresis. When injected intravenously, the purified cytotoxic-enterotoxin induced also severe spasms followed by sudden death of mice. Hence, we entitled it as lethal cytotoxic-enterotoxin (LCE). The presence of membrane vesicles (MVs) on cell surfaces of P. shigelloides was observed by scan electron microscopy (SEM). From these MVs the LCE toxin was extracted and confirmed by biological and serological assays. These data suggest that P. shigelloides also exports this cytotoxic-enterotoxin by membrane vesicles, a different mechanism of delivering extra cellular virulence factors, so far not described in this bacterium. Copyright © 2016 Sociedade Brasileira de Infectologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Guidebook for non-lethal experimentation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paulissen, J.J.M.; Rahimi, R.

    2011-01-01

    In the 2009-2011 timeframe, NATO conducts a capability based assessment of Non-Lethal Weapon (NLW) systems. The work, performed by the RTO study team SAS-078, involves the development of NLW requirement descriptions, which are put against a set of NLW systems. Gaps are likely to occur, indicating

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.)

  1. 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

  2. Genomic copy number variants: evidence for association with antibody response to anthrax vaccine adsorbed.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael I Falola

    Full Text Available Anthrax and its etiologic agent remain a biological threat. Anthrax vaccine is highly effective, but vaccine-induced IgG antibody responses vary widely following required doses of vaccinations. Such variation can be related to genetic factors, especially genomic copy number variants (CNVs that are known to be enriched among genes with immunologic function. We have tested this hypothesis in two study populations from a clinical trial of anthrax vaccination.We performed CNV-based genome-wide association analyses separately on 794 European Americans and 200 African-Americans. Antibodies to protective antigen were measured at week 8 (early response and week 30 (peak response using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We used DNA microarray data (Affymetrix 6.0 and two CNV detection algorithms, hidden markov model (PennCNV and circular binary segmentation (GeneSpring to determine CNVs in all individuals. Multivariable regression analyses were used to identify CNV-specific associations after adjusting for relevant non-genetic covariates.Within the 22 autosomal chromosomes, 2,943 non-overlapping CNV regions were detected by both algorithms. Genomic insertions containing HLA-DRB5, DRB1 and DQA1/DRA genes in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC region (chromosome 6p21.3 were moderately associated with elevated early antibody response (β = 0.14, p = 1.78×10(-3 among European Americans, and the strongest association was observed between peak antibody response and a segmental insertion on chromosome 1, containing NBPF4, NBPF5, STXMP3, CLCC1, and GPSM2 genes (β = 1.66, p = 6.06×10(-5. For African-Americans, segmental deletions spanning PRR20, PCDH17 and PCH68 genes on chromosome 13 were associated with elevated early antibody production (β = 0.18, p = 4.47×10(-5. Population-specific findings aside, one genomic insertion on chromosome 17 (containing NSF, ARL17 and LRRC37A genes was associated with elevated peak antibody

  3. 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.

  4. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of copper to the african catfish ( clarias ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lethal and sub-lethal effects of copper on Clarias gariepinus were studied using a 96-hour static bioassay. Copper (as copper chloride, CuCl2 . H2O) was used to prepare the stock solution from which five standard concentrations 0.0, 1.8, 3.2, 5.6, and 10.0 mg/L were prepared (coded A – E). 15 juvenile C. gariepinus fish ...

  5. C3larvin toxin, an ADP-ribosyltransferase from Paenibacillus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krska, Daniel; Ravulapalli, Ravikiran; Fieldhouse, Robert J; Lugo, Miguel R; Merrill, A Rod

    2015-01-16

    C3larvin toxin was identified by a bioinformatic strategy as a putative mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase and a possible virulence factor from Paenibacillus larvae, which is the causative agent of American Foulbrood in honey bees. C3larvin targets RhoA as a substrate for its transferase reaction, and kinetics for both the NAD(+) (Km = 34 ± 12 μm) and RhoA (Km = 17 ± 3 μm) substrates were characterized for this enzyme from the mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase C3 toxin subgroup. C3larvin is toxic to yeast when expressed in the cytoplasm, and catalytic variants of the enzyme lost the ability to kill the yeast host, indicating that the toxin exerts its lethality through its enzyme activity. A small molecule inhibitor of C3larvin enzymatic activity was discovered called M3 (Ki = 11 ± 2 μm), and to our knowledge, is the first inhibitor of transferase activity of the C3 toxin family. C3larvin was crystallized, and its crystal structure (apoenzyme) was solved to 2.3 Å resolution. C3larvin was also shown to have a different mechanism of cell entry from other C3 toxins. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  6. C3larvin Toxin, an ADP-ribosyltransferase from Paenibacillus larvae*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krska, Daniel; Ravulapalli, Ravikiran; Fieldhouse, Robert J.; Lugo, Miguel R.; Merrill, A. Rod

    2015-01-01

    C3larvin toxin was identified by a bioinformatic strategy as a putative mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase and a possible virulence factor from Paenibacillus larvae, which is the causative agent of American Foulbrood in honey bees. C3larvin targets RhoA as a substrate for its transferase reaction, and kinetics for both the NAD+ (Km = 34 ± 12 μm) and RhoA (Km = 17 ± 3 μm) substrates were characterized for this enzyme from the mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase C3 toxin subgroup. C3larvin is toxic to yeast when expressed in the cytoplasm, and catalytic variants of the enzyme lost the ability to kill the yeast host, indicating that the toxin exerts its lethality through its enzyme activity. A small molecule inhibitor of C3larvin enzymatic activity was discovered called M3 (Ki = 11 ± 2 μm), and to our knowledge, is the first inhibitor of transferase activity of the C3 toxin family. C3larvin was crystallized, and its crystal structure (apoenzyme) was solved to 2.3 Å resolution. C3larvin was also shown to have a different mechanism of cell entry from other C3 toxins. PMID:25477523

  7. 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.

  8. Anthrax surrogate spores are destroyed by PDT mediated by phenothiazinium dyes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demidova, Tatiana N.; Hamblin, Michael R.

    2005-04-01

    Some Gram-positive bacteria (including the causative agent of anthrax - Bacillus anthracis) survive conditions of stress and starvation by producing dormant stage spores. The spore"s multilayered capsule consists of inner and outer membranes, cortex, proteinaceous spore coat, and in some species an exosporium. These outer layers enclose dehydrated and condensed DNA, saturated with small, acid-soluble proteins. These protective structures make spores highly resistant to damage by heat, radiation, and commonly employed anti-bacterial agents. Previously Bacillus spores have been shown to be resistant to photodynamic inactivation (PDI) using dyes and light that easily destroy the corresponding vegetative bacteria, but recently we have discovered that they are susceptible to PDI. Photoinactivation, however, is only possible if phenothiazinium dyes are used. Dimethylmethylene blue, methylene blue, new methylene blue and toluidine blue O are all effective photosensitizers. Alternative photosensitizers such as Rose Bengal, polylysine chlorin(e6) conjugate, a tricationic porphyrin and benzoporphyrin derivative are ineffective against spores even though they can easily kill vegetative cells. Spores of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis are most susceptible, B. subtilis and B. atrophaeus are also killed, while B. megaterium is resistant. Photoinactivation is most effective when excess dye is washed from the spores showing that the dye binds to the spores and that excess dye in solution can quench light delivery. The relatively mild conditions needed for spore killing could have applications for treating wounds contaminated by anthrax spores and for which conventional sporicides would have unacceptable tissue toxicity.

  9. Activated entomopathogenic nematode infective juveniles release lethal venom proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dihong Lu

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs are unique parasites due to their symbiosis with entomopathogenic bacteria and their ability to kill insect hosts quickly after infection. It is widely believed that EPNs rely on their bacterial partners for killing hosts. Here we disproved this theory by demonstrating that the in vitro activated infective juveniles (IJs of Steinernema carpocapsae (a well-studied EPN species release venom proteins that are lethal to several insects including Drosophila melanogaster. We confirmed that the in vitro activation is a good approximation of the in vivo process by comparing the transcriptomes of individual in vitro and in vivo activated IJs. We further analyzed the transcriptomes of non-activated and activated IJs and revealed a dramatic shift in gene expression during IJ activation. We also analyzed the venom proteome using mass spectrometry. Among the 472 venom proteins, proteases and protease inhibitors are especially abundant, and toxin-related proteins such as Shk domain-containing proteins and fatty acid- and retinol-binding proteins are also detected, which are potential candidates for suppressing the host immune system. Many of the venom proteins have conserved orthologs in vertebrate-parasitic nematodes and are differentially expressed during IJ activation, suggesting conserved functions in nematode parasitism. In summary, our findings strongly support a new model that S. carpocapsae and likely other Steinernema EPNs have a more active role in contributing to the pathogenicity of the nematode-bacterium complex than simply relying on their symbiotic bacteria. Furthermore, we propose that EPNs are a good model system for investigating vertebrate- and human-parasitic nematodes, especially regarding the function of excretory/secretory products.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000590.htm Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins is a lack ...

  13. (AJST) DETECTION AND QUANTIFICATION OF TOXINS IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    -, hepato- and neuro-toxins ..... risk assessment of cyanobacterial toxins. In: Hester,. R.E. and Harrison, R.M. (Eds.) Agricultural chemicals and the environment. Issues in Environmental. Science and Technology 5. The Royal Society of.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Toxin yet not toxic: Botulinum toxin in dentistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Archana M.S.

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Paracelsus contrasted poisons from nonpoisons, stating that “All things are poisons, and there is nothing that is harmless; the dose alone decides that something is a poison”. Living organisms, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms, constitute a huge source of pharmaceutically useful medicines and toxins. Depending on their source, toxins can be categorized as phytotoxins, mycotoxins, or zootoxins, which include venoms and bacterial toxins. Any toxin can be harmful or beneficial. Within the last 100 years, the perception of botulinum neurotoxin (BTX has evolved from that of a poison to a versatile clinical agent with various uses. BTX plays a key role in the management of many orofacial and dental disorders. Its indications are rapidly expanding, with ongoing trials for further applications. However, despite its clinical use, what BTX specifically does in each condition is still not clear. The main aim of this review is to describe some of the unclear aspects of this potentially useful agent, with a focus on the current research in dentistry.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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)

  20. Non-Lethal Weapons (NLW) Reference Book

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    exist regarding the use of a Optical Distractors (e.g., Dazzling Lasers )? ANSWER: Strict laws, SECDEF guidance, and ROE exist to control the use of...National Guard Bureau (NGB) 1 Domestic Operations Kits (DOK) Joint Non-Lethal Warning Munitions (JNLWM) 2 Green Lasers 2...Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. Paris, 13 January 1993. 16. UNCCW Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons (Protocol IV to the 1980

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Clinical and Pathological Findings Associated with Aerosol Exposure of Macaques to Ricin Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth H. Pincus

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Ricin is a potential bioweapon that could be used against civilian and military personnel. Aerosol exposure is the most likely route of contact to ricin toxin that will result in the most severe toxicity. Early recognition of ricin exposure is essential if specific antidotes are to be applied. Initial diagnosis will most likely be syndromic, i.e., fitting clinical and laboratory signs into a pattern which then will guide the choice of more specific diagnostic assays and therapeutic interventions. We have studied the pathology of ricin toxin in rhesus macaques exposed to lethal and sublethal ricin aerosols. Animals exposed to lethal ricin aerosols were followed clinically using telemetry, by clinical laboratory analyses and by post-mortem examination. Animals exposed to lethal aerosolized ricin developed fever associated with thermal instability, tachycardia, and dyspnea. In the peripheral blood a marked neutrophilia (without immature bands developed at 24 h. This was accompanied by an increase in monocytes, but depletion of lymphocytes. Red cell indices indicated hemoconcentration, as did serum chemistries, with modest increases in sodium and blood urea nitrogen (BUN. Serum albumin was strikingly decreased. These observations are consistent with the pathological observations of fluid shifts to the lungs, in the form of hemorrhages, inflammatory exudates, and tissue edema. In macaques exposed to sublethal aerosols of ricin, late pathologic consequences included chronic pulmonary fibrosis, likely mediated by M2 macrophages. Early administration of supportive therapy, specific antidotes after exposure or vaccines prior to exposure have the potential to favorably alter this outcome.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Development of a Cell-Based Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Reporter for Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor Protease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kimura, R H; Steenblock, E R; Camarero, J A

    2007-03-22

    We report the construction of a cell-based fluorescent reporter for anthrax lethal factor (LF) protease activity using the principle of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). This was accomplished by engineering an Escherichia coli cell line to express a genetically encoded FRET reporter and LF protease. Both proteins were encoded in two different expression plasmids under the control of different tightly controlled inducible promoters. The FRET-based reporter was designed to contain a LF recognition sequence flanked by the FRET pair formed by CyPet and YPet fluorescent proteins. The length of the linker between both fluorescent proteins was optimized using a flexible peptide linker containing several Gly-Gly-Ser repeats. Our results indicate that this FRET-based LF reporter was readily expressed in E. coli cells showing high levels of FRET in vivo in the absence of LF. The FRET signal, however, decreased 5 times after inducing LF expression in the same cell. These results suggest that this cell-based LF FRET reporter may be used to screen genetically encoded libraries in vivo against LF.

  7. Inactivation of allergens and toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandini, Piero

    2010-11-30

    Plants are replete with thousands of proteins and small molecules, many of which are species-specific, poisonous or dangerous. Over time humans have learned to avoid dangerous plants or inactivate many toxic components in food plants, but there is still room for ameliorating food crops (and plants in general) in terms of their allergens and toxins content, especially in their edible parts. Inactivation at the genetic rather than physical or chemical level has many advantages and classical genetic approaches have resulted in significant reduction of toxin content. The capacity, offered by genetic engineering, of turning off (inactivating) specific genes has opened up the possibility of altering the plant content in a far more precise manner than previously available. Different levels of intervention (genes coding for toxins/allergens or for enzymes, transporters or regulators involved in their metabolism) are possible and there are several tools for inactivating genes, both direct (using chemical and physical mutagens, insertion of transposons and other genetic elements) and indirect (antisense RNA, RNA interference, microRNA, eventually leading to gene silencing). Each level/strategy has specific advantages and disadvantages (speed, costs, selectivity, stability, reversibility, frequency of desired genotype and regulatory regime). Paradigmatic examples from classical and transgenic approaches are discussed to emphasize the need to revise the present regulatory process. Reducing the content of natural toxins is a trade-off process: the lesser the content of natural toxins, the higher the susceptibility of a plant to pests and therefore the stronger the need to protect plants. As a consequence, more specific pesticides like Bt are needed to substitute for general pesticides. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Zygocin, a secreted antifungal toxin of the yeast Zygosaccharomyces bailii, and its effect on sensitive fungal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiler, Frank; Schmitt, Manfred J

    2003-03-01

    Zygocin, a protein toxin produced and secreted by a killer virus-infected strain of the osmotolerant yeast Zygosaccharomyces bailii, kills a great variety of human and phytopathogenic yeasts and filamentous fungi. Toxicity of the viral toxin is envisaged in a two-step receptor-mediated process in which the toxin interacts with cell surface receptors at the level of the cell wall and the plasma membrane. Zygocin receptors were isolated and partially purified from the yeast cell wall mannoprotein fraction and could be successfully used as biospecific ligand for efficient one-step purification of the 10-kDa protein toxin by receptor-mediated affinity chromatography. Evidence is presented that zygocin-treated yeast cells are rapidly killed by the toxin, and intensive propidium iodide staining of zygocin-treated cells indicated that the toxin is affecting cytoplasmic membrane function, most probably by lethal ion channel formation. The presented findings suggest that zygocin has potential as a novel antimycotic in combating fungal infections.

  9. Mechanism of Shiga Toxin Clustering on Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pezeshkian, Weria; Gao, Haifei; Arumugam, Senthil

    2017-01-01

    The bacterial Shiga toxin interacts with its cellular receptor, the glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3 or CD77), as a first step to entering target cells. Previous studies have shown that toxin molecules cluster on the plasma membrane, despite the apparent lack of direct interactions...... 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....... The most likely interpretation of these findings is that a membrane fluctuation-induced force generates an effective attraction between toxin molecules. Such force would be of similar strength to the electrostatic force at separations around 1 nm, remain strong at distances up to the size of toxin...

  10. Intramuscular Delivery of Adenovirus Serotype 5 Vector Expressing Humanized Protective Antigen Induces Rapid Protection against Anthrax That May Bypass Intranasally Originated Preexisting Adenovirus Immunity

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Shipo; Zhang, Zhe; Yu, Rui; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ying; Song, Xiaohong; Yi, Shaoqiong; Liu, Ju; Chen, Jianqin; Yin, Ying; Xu, Junjie; Hou, Lihua; Chen, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Developing an effective anthrax vaccine that can induce a rapid and sustained immune response is a priority for the prevention of bioterrorism-associated anthrax infection. Here, we developed a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus serotype 5-based vaccine expressing the humanized protective antigen (Ad5-PAopt). A single intramuscular injection of Ad5-PAopt resulted in rapid and robust humoral and cellular immune responses in Fisher 344 rats. Animals intramuscularly inoculated with a s...

  11. Brave New Warfare: Autonomy in Lethal UAVs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    Executions,” United Nations General Assembly, May 28, 2010, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/ bodies /hrcouncil/docs/14session/A.HRC.14.24.Add6.pdf. 34 Rique...capability 40 The Army’s Future Combat Sytems (FCS) program was canceled in May 2009 as part of... bodies /hrcouncil/docs/14session/A.HRC.14.24.Ad d6.pdf. Arkin, Ronald. Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2009. doi

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Co-infection of an animal with more than one genotype can occur in anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, W; Turnbull, P C B

    2013-10-01

    During the routine fingerprinting of outbreak strains of Bacillus anthracis of European and African origin by means of a 31-marker multi-locus variable number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA), four cultures, two from the Etosha National Park (ENP), Namibia, and two from an outbreak in the Pyrenees in 1997, were found to harbour different genotypes (GTs). To investigate this further, isolates from 10 samples of blood-soaked soil from beneath anthrax carcasses and 18 clinical swabs taken from carcasses in the ENP were examined by a 31-marker MLVA. While only a single GT was found in any one of the 10 soil samples, four of the 18 swabs (22%) yielded different GTs. Two GTs were isolated from each of a zebra and a springbok and three GTs from each of a second zebra and an elephant. These animals had died in a region of the ENP where deaths caused by anthrax regularly occur every year. The results confirm the indications noted previously that co-infection with more than one GT is probably not especially uncommon. The results show that, for the purpose of analysing genotypes involved in an outbreak, it is important to examine more than a single colony from a clinical sample. Multi-locus variable number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA)-based fingerprinting techniques have been used in many studies worldwide to characterize the occurrence of different genotypes of Bacillus anthracis in outbreaks of wildlife or livestock and to draw conclusions about the source, the possible routes of spread and the temporal and spatial distribution of outbreak strains. Simultaneous isolation of different genotypes from the same host revealed in our study by MLVA highlights the importance of examining more than a single colony from a clinical sample. This conclusion is not specific for MLVA but holds true for every high-resolution method, including full-genome sequencing. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  16. Issues surrounding lethal injection as a means of capital punishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanelli, Frank; Whisman, Tyler; Fink, Joseph L

    2008-12-01

    Lethal injection as a method of state-sanctioned capital punishment was initially proposed in the United States in 1977 and used for the first time in 1982. Most lethal injection protocols use a sequential drug combination of sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride. Lethal injection was originally introduced as a more humane form of execution compared with existing mechanical methods such as electrocution, toxic gassing, hanging, or firing squad. Lethal injection has not, however, been without controversy. Several states are considering whether lethal injection meets constitutional scrutiny forbidding cruel and unusual punishment. Recently in the case of Ralph Baze and Thomas C. Bowling, Petitioners, v John D. Rees, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Corrections et al, the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the lethal injection protocol as carried out in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Most of the debate has surrounded the dosing and procedures used in lethal injection and whether the drug combinations and measures for administering the drugs truly produce a timely, pain-free, and fail-safe death. Many have also raised issues regarding the "medicalization" of execution and the ethics of health care professionals' participation in any part of the lethal injection process. As a result of all these issues, the future of lethal injection as a means of execution in the United States is under significant scrutiny. Outcomes of ongoing legislative and judicial reviews might result in cessation of lethal injection in totality or in alterations involving specific drug combinations or administration procedures.

  17. Exfoliative Toxins of Staphylococcus aureus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Bukowski

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen of humans and livestock. It causes a diverse array of diseases, ranging from relatively harmless localized skin infections to life-threatening systemic conditions. Among multiple virulence factors, staphylococci secrete several exotoxins directly associated with particular disease symptoms. These include toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1, enterotoxins, and exfoliative toxins (ETs. The latter are particularly interesting as the sole agents responsible for staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome (SSSS, a disease predominantly affecting infants and characterized by the loss of superficial skin layers, dehydration, and secondary infections. The molecular basis of the clinical symptoms of SSSS is well understood. ETs are serine proteases with high substrate specificity, which selectively recognize and hydrolyze desmosomal proteins in the skin. The fascinating road leading to the discovery of ETs as the agents responsible for SSSS and the characterization of the molecular mechanism of their action, including recent advances in the field, are reviewed in this article.

  18. 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.

  19. Vibrio cholerae hemolysin is required for lethality, developmental delay, and intestinal vacuolation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hediye Nese Cinar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cholera toxin (CT and toxin-co-regulated pili (TCP are the major virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 strains that contribute to the pathogenesis of disease during devastating cholera pandemics. However, CT and TCP negative V. cholerae strains are still able to cause severe diarrheal disease in humans through mechanisms that are not well understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To determine the role of other virulence factors in V. cholerae pathogenesis, we used a CT and TCP independent infection model in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and identified the hemolysin A (hlyA gene as a factor responsible for animal death and developmental delay. We demonstrated a correlation between the severity of infection in the nematode and the level of hemolytic activity in the V. cholerae biotypes. At the cellular level, V. cholerae infection induces formation of vacuoles in the intestinal cells in a hlyA dependent manner, consistent with the previous in vitro observations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data strongly suggest that HlyA is a virulence factor in C. elegans infection leading to lethality and developmental delay presumably through intestinal cytopathic changes.

  20. 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.

  1. Shiga Toxin Therapeutics: Beyond Neutralization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Hall

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Ribotoxic Shiga toxins are the primary cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS in patients infected with Shiga toxin-producing enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (STEC, a pathogen class responsible for epidemic outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease around the globe. HUS is a leading cause of pediatric renal failure in otherwise healthy children, resulting in a mortality rate of 10% and a chronic morbidity rate near 25%. There are currently no available therapeutics to prevent or treat HUS in STEC patients despite decades of work elucidating the mechanisms of Shiga toxicity in sensitive cells. The preclinical development of toxin-targeted HUS therapies has been hindered by the sporadic, geographically dispersed nature of STEC outbreaks with HUS cases and the limited financial incentive for the commercial development of therapies for an acute disease with an inconsistent patient population. The following review considers potential therapeutic targeting of the downstream cellular impacts of Shiga toxicity, which include the unfolded protein response (UPR and the ribotoxic stress response (RSR. Outcomes of the UPR and RSR are relevant to other diseases with large global incidence and prevalence rates, thus reducing barriers to the development of commercial drugs that could improve STEC and HUS patient outcomes.

  2. 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

  3. A Chemically Synthesized Capture Agent Enables the Selective, Sensitive, and Robust Electrochemical Detection of Anthrax Protective Antigen

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-08-01

    strategy, such as electroactive nanoparticles or liposomes loaded with electrochemically active molecules.38 CONCLUSIONS To implement a detection assay in...no loss of performance after extended storage at 40 °C. The engineered stability and specificity of this assay should be extendable to other cases in...anthracis spores, has a very high environmental stability . These attributesmake thedetectionof anthrax a priority with regards to issues ranging from

  4. The Evaluation of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Models for Use in the Event of an Aerosolized Anthrax Attack

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    by the October 2001 anthrax attacks that lingered fresh in the minds of an anxious and frightened nation, still psychologically bruised and battered...databases including EBSCO , Wiley, Francis and Taylor, Medline Plus and PubMed. The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) was also searched for...analysis of proposed and currently employed PEP acquisition models, and psychological and sociological factors effecting political and social acceptance of

  5. 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...... followed growth rates, thus giving stable toxin contents. Food availability also did not change the toxin profiles of either species, but starvation did increase the cellular contents of each of the toxins present. The observation that toxin production continued for several weeks after the ciliate food...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Lethal fish hook attachment - An unusual occurrence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byard, Roger W

    2013-02-01

    A 39-year-old fisherman is reported who was dragged into the water from a boat after he became entangled in fishing line. His death was attributed to salt water drowning. At autopsy the cause of death was confirmed and the mechanism of the lethal event elucidated. Specifically, a large fish hook attached to line was embedded in his right wrist. The hook had passed beneath flexor tendons and had firmly attached him to fishing line that was being dropped from the vessel. There were no other significant injuries or underlying diseases present. This case demonstrates another rare situation in the commercial fishing industry that may result in a victim being dragged from a boat and drowned. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.

  12. Immunopathologic responses to non-lethal sepsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebong, S J; Call, D R; Bolgos, G; Newcomb, D E; Granger, J I; O'Reilly, M; Remick, D G

    1999-08-01

    Although sepsis causes significant morbidity and mortality, its basic pathology is still not well understood. We investigated the inflammatory and physiologic alterations of non-lethal sepsis using cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), a model that induces peritonitis due to mixed intestinal flora, reproducing the complex immunology of sepsis. Groups of mice were subjected to CLP (25G needle) or sham surgery, had minimitters implanted to continuously monitor temperature and activity, and were sacrificed daily for 6 days. There was significant hypothermia (6-13 hrs post-surgery), and decreases in activity (to day 4) and weight (to day 3) but no mortality in the CLP group. Blood analyses of the CLP-treated mice showed reduced hemoglobin, platelets, lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils, compared to sham animals. Both groups had nearly equivalent neutrophil influx into the peritoneum. Plasma and peritoneal G-CSF, IL-6, as well as the murine chemokines KC and MIP2-alpha were significantly higher in the CLP-treated mice at day 1. Plasma and peritoneal TNF were low (<70 pg/mL). While there was elevated IL-1beta in the peritoneum of the CLP-treated mice, this cytokine was not detected in the plasma in either treatment group. Cytokines were not detected in the pulmonary airspace of the CLP-treated mice and PMNs were not recruited to this site. Our data shows altered immunopathology in non-lethal sepsis with significant blood and cytokine alterations. Since there was 100% survival, the inflammatory response was appropriate and probably even protective.

  13. Effects of lethal and non-lethal malaria on the mononuclear phagocyte system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Mtx toxins synergize Bacillus sphaericus and Cry11Aa against susceptible and insecticide-resistant Culex quinquefasciatus larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirth, Margaret C; Yang, Yangkun; Walton, William E; Federici, Brian A; Berry, Colin

    2007-10-01

    Two mosquitocidal toxins (Mtx) of Bacillus sphaericus, which are produced during vegetative growth, were investigated for their potential to increase toxicity and reduce the expression of insecticide resistance through their interactions with other mosquitocidal proteins. Mtx-1 and Mtx-2 were fused with glutathione S-transferase and produced in Escherichia coli, after which lyophilized powders of these fusions were assayed against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. Both Mtx proteins showed a high level of activity against susceptible C. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, with 50% lethal concentrations (LC(50)) of Mtx-1 and Mtx-2 of 0.246 and 4.13 microg/ml, respectively. The LC(50)s were 0.406 to 0.430 microg/ml when Mtx-1 or Mtx-2 was mixed with B. sphaericus, and synergy improved activity and reduced resistance levels. When the proteins were combined with a recombinant Bacillus thuringiensis strain that produces Cry11Aa, the mixtures were highly active against Cry11A-resistant larvae and resistance was also reduced. The mixture of two Mtx toxins and B. sphaericus was 10 times more active against susceptible mosquitoes than B. sphaericus alone, demonstrating the influence of relatively low concentrations of these toxins. These results show that, similar to Cyt toxins from B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, Mtx toxins can increase the toxicity of other mosquitocidal proteins and may be useful for both increasing the activity of commercial bacterial larvicides and managing potential resistance to these substances among mosquito populations.

  15. 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

  16. Difference in F-Actin Depolymerization Induced by Toxin B from the Clostridium difficile Strain VPI 10463 and Toxin B from the Variant Clostridium difficile Serotype F Strain 1470

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harald Genth

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium difficile toxin A (TcdA and toxin B (TcdB are the causative agent of the C. difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD and its severe form, the pseudomembranous colitis (PMC. TcdB from the C. difficile strain VPI10463 mono-glucosylates (thereby inactivates the small GTPases Rho, Rac, and Cdc42, while Toxin B from the variant C. difficile strain serotype F 1470 (TcdBF specifically mono-glucosylates Rac but not Rho(A/B/C. TcdBF is related to lethal toxin from C. sordellii (TcsL that glucosylates Rac1 but not Rho(A/B/C. In this study, the effects of Rho-inactivating toxins on the concentrations of cellular F-actin were investigated using the rhodamine-phalloidin-based F-actin ELISA. TcdB induces F-actin depolymerization comparable to the RhoA-inactivating exoenzyme C3 from C. limosum (C3-lim. In contrast, the Rac-glucosylating toxins TcdBF and TcsL did not cause F-actin depolymerization. These observations led to the conclusion that F-actin depolymerization depends on the toxin’s capability of glucosylating RhoA. Furthermore, the integrity of focal adhesions (FAs was analyzed using paxillin and p21-activated kinase (PAK as FA marker proteins. Paxillin dephosphorylation was observed upon treatment of cells with TcdB, TcdBF, or C3-lim. In conclusion, the Rho-inactivating toxins induce loss of cell shape by either F-actin depolymerization (upon RhoA inactivation or the disassembly of FAs (upon Rac1 inactivation.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Vth Pan American Symposium on Animal, Plant and Microbial Toxins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ownby, Charlotte

    1996-01-01

    ..., cardiotoxins, and antihemorrhagic factors. Presentations on plant and microbial toxins include work done on ricin, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin, cone snail peptides, sea anemone toxins, proteinase inhibitors and maitotoxin...

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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, ...

  4. Botulinum toxin — therapeutic effect in cosmetology

    OpenAIRE

    Morrison A.V.; Bocharova Y.M.; Morrison V.V.

    2016-01-01

    This review presents the data from published literatures and the research works conducted by the authors about mechanisms of action of botulinum toxin and its use in the practical medicine (particularly in dermatology and cosmetology). Indications and contraindications of botulinum toxin use in cosmetology are also considered in this work.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Botulinum toxin for masseter hypertrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorowicz, Zbys; van Zuuren, Esther J; Schoones, Jan

    2013-09-09

    Benign masseter muscle hypertrophy is an uncommon clinical phenomenon of uncertain aetiology which is characterised by a soft swelling near the angle of the mandible. The swelling may on occasion be associated with facial pain and can be prominent enough to be considered cosmetically disfiguring. Varying degrees of success have been reported for some of the treatment options for masseter hypertrophy, which range from simple pharmacotherapy to more invasive surgical reduction. Injection of botulinum toxin type A into the masseter muscle is generally considered a less invasive modality and has been advocated for cosmetic sculpting of the lower face. Botulinum toxin type A is a powerful neurotoxin which is produced by the anaerobic organism Clostridium botulinum and when injected into a muscle causes interference with the neurotransmitter mechanism producing selective paralysis and subsequent atrophy of the muscle.This review is an update of a previously published Cochrane review. To assess the efficacy and safety of botulinum toxin type A compared to placebo or no treatment, for the management of benign bilateral masseter hypertrophy. We searched the following databases from inception to April 2013: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); MEDLINE (via PubMed); EMBASE (via embase.com); Web of Science; CINAHL; Academic Search Premier (via EBSCOhost); ScienceDirect; LILACS (via BIREME); PubMed Central and Google Scholar (from 1700 to 19 April 2013). We searched two bibliographic databases of regional journals (IndMED and Iranmedex) which were expected to contain relevant trials. We also searched reference lists of relevant articles and contacted investigators to identify additional published and unpublished studies. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) comparing intra-masseteric injections of botulinum toxin versus placebo administered for cosmetic facial sculpting in individuals of any age with bilateral benign

  8. 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

  9. 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....

  10. Pore-forming toxins in Cnidaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podobnik, Marjetka; Anderluh, Gregor

    2017-12-01

    The ancient phylum of Cnidaria contains many aquatic species with peculiar lifestyle. In order to survive, these organisms have evolved attack and defense mechanisms that are enabled by specialized cells and highly developed venoms. Pore-forming toxins are an important part of their venomous arsenal. Along some other types, the most representative are examples of four protein families that are commonly found in other kingdoms of life: actinoporins, Cry-like proteins, aerolysin-like toxins and MACPF/CDC toxins. Some of the homologues of pore-forming toxins may serve other functions, such as in food digestion, development and response against pathogenic organisms. Due to their interesting physico-chemical properties, the cnidarian pore-forming toxins may also serve as tools in medical research and nanobiotechnological applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Studies of muscarinic neurotransmission with antimuscarinic toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Lincoln T; Flynn, Donna D; Liang, Jing-Sheng; McCollum, Mark H

    2004-01-01

    M1 and M4 muscarinic receptors are the most prevalent receptors for acetylcholine in the brain, and m1-toxin1 and m4-toxin are the most specific ligands yet found for their extracellular faces. Both toxins are antagonists. These toxins and their derivatives with biotin, radioiodine and fluorophores are useful for studying M1- and M4-linked neurotransmission. We have used the rat striatum for many studies because this tissue express exceptionally high concentrations of both receptors, the striatum regulates movement, and movement is altered by antimuscarinic agents, M1-knockout and M4-knockout. These toxins and their derivatives may also be used for studies of M1 and M4 receptors in the hippocampus and cortex.

  12. Crystallization of isoelectrically homogeneous cholera toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spangler, B.D.; Westbrook, E.M. (Argonne National Laboratory, IL (USA))

    1989-02-07

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Isolation and characterization of horridum toxin with arginine ester hydrolase activity from Heloderma horridum (beaded lizard) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikai, T; Imai, K; Sugihara, H; Tu, A T

    1988-07-01

    A hemorrhagic toxin with lethal and arginine ester hydrolytic activities was isolated from Heloderma horridum (beaded lizard) venom by Sephadex G-75, DEAE-Sephacel, and Q-Sepharose column chromatography. The hemorrhagic toxin was shown to be homogeneous as demonstrated by a single band on acrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunodiffusion. Its molecular weight is approximately 31,000 with an isoelectric point of 3.9. Hemorrhagic, lethal, and benzoyl-L-arginine ethyl ester hydrolytic activities of this preparation were inhibited by diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP), N-bromosuccinimide, and beta-mercaptoethanol, suggesting that serine, tryptophan, and disulfide bonds are involved in these activities. Also there was an increase in creatine kinase activity in mice serum which is an indicator that the toxin is involved in muscle damage. This protein was stable to heat and pH ranges between 2 and 11. The Michaelis constant (Km), for benzoyl-L-arginine ethyl ester, and inhibition constant (Ki), for DFP, were found to be 6.9 X 10(-3) and 1.93 X 10(-4) M, respectively.

  1. 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.

  2. Non lethal Raine syndrome and differential diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elalaoui, Siham Chafai; Al-Sheqaih, Nada; Ratbi, Ilham; Urquhart, Jill E; O'Sullivan, James; Bhaskar, Sanjeev; Williams, Simon S; Elalloussi, Mustapha; Lyahyai, Jaber; Sbihi, Leila; Cherkaoui Jaouad, Imane; Sbihi, Abdelhafid; Newman, William G; Sefiani, Abdelaziz

    2016-11-01

    Raine syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive bone dysplasia characterized by characteristic facial features with exophthalmos and generalized osteosclerosis. Amelogenesis imperfecta, hearing loss, seizures, and intracerebral calcification are apparent in some affected individuals. Originally, Raine syndrome was originally reported as a lethal syndrome. However, recently a milder phenotype, compatible with life, has been described. Biallelic variants inFAM20C, encoding aGolgi casein kinase involved in biomineralisation, have been identified in affected individuals. We report here a consanguineous Moroccan family with two affected siblingsa girl aged 18 and a boy of 15years. Clinical features, including learning disability, seizures and amelogenesis imperfecta, initially suggested a diagnosis of Kohlschutter-Tonz syndrome. However,a novel homozygous FAM20Cvariantc.676T > A, p.(Trp226Arg) was identified in the affected siblings. Our report reinforces that Raine syndrome is compatible with life, and that mild hypophosphatemia and amelogenesis imperfecta are key features of the attenuated form. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Mining of lethal recessive genetic variation in Danish cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Das, Ashutosh

    2015-01-01

    The widespread use of artificial insemination in cattle breeding Worldwide leads to reduced effective population sizes and increased inbreeding levels. Increased inbreeding result in increased probalility of expression of recessive defective alleles, which probably is reflected in a decline...... 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. Identification of the first functional toxin-antitoxin system in Streptomyces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Sevillano

    Full Text Available Toxin-antitoxin (TA systems are widespread among the plasmids and genomes of bacteria and archaea. This work reports the first description of a functional TA system in Streptomyces that is identical in two species routinely used in the laboratory: Streptomyces lividans and S. coelicolor. The described system belongs to the YefM/YoeB family and has a considerable similarity to Escherichia coli YefM/YoeB (about 53% identity and 73% similarity. Lethal effect of the S. lividans putative toxin (YoeBsl was observed when expressed alone in E. coli SC36 (MG1655 ΔyefM-yoeB. However, no toxicity was obtained when co-expression of the antitoxin and toxin (YefM/YoeBsl was carried out. The toxic effect was also observed when the yoeBsl was cloned in multicopy in the wild-type S. lividans or in a single copy in a S. lividans mutant, in which this TA system had been deleted. The S. lividans YefM/YoeBsl complex, purified from E. coli, binds with high affinity to its own promoter region but not to other three random selected promoters from Streptomyces. In vivo experiments demonstrated that the expression of yoeBsl in E. coli blocks translation initiation processing mRNA at three bases downstream of the initiation codon after 2 minutes of induction. These results indicate that the mechanism of action is identical to that of YoeB from E. coli.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Active Shiga-Like Toxin Produced by Some Aeromonas spp., Isolated in Mexico City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma-Martínez, Ingrid; Guerrero-Mandujano, Andrea; Ruiz-Ruiz, Manuel J; Hernández-Cortez, Cecilia; Molina-López, José; Bocanegra-García, Virgilio; Castro-Escarpulli, Graciela

    2016-01-01

    Shiga-like toxins (Stx) represent a group of bacterial toxins involved in human and animal diseases. Stx is produced by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae type 1, Citrobacter freundii , and Aeromonas spp.; Stx is an important cause of bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The aim of this study was to identify the stx 1 /stx 2 genes in clinical strains and outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) of Aeromonas spp., 66 strains were isolated from children who live in Mexico City, and Stx effects were evaluated in Vero cell cultures. The capacity to express active Stx1 and Stx2 toxins was determined in Vero cell cultures and the concentration of Stx was evaluated by 50% lethal dose (LD 50 ) assays, observing inhibition of damaged cells by specific monoclonal antibodies. The results obtained in this study support the hypothesis that the stx gene is another putative virulence factor of Aeromonas , and since this gene can be transferred horizontally through OMVs this genus should be included as a possible causal agents of gastroenteritis and it should be reported as part of standard health surveillance procedures. Furthermore, these results indicate that the Aeromonas genus might be a potential causative agent of HUS.

  13. Molecular cloning of Clostridium septicum vaccine strain alpha toxin gene in E. coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bozorgkhoo

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium septicum a Gram positive anaerobic bacterium produces several toxins including alpha, beta, gamma and delta. C. septicum alpha toxin is lethal and is responsible for a serious disease known as gas gangrene. The aim of the present study was to molecular cloning and sequencing of C. septicum vaccine strain alpha toxin gene. Genomic DNA was extracted using standard phenol and chloroform extraction method, and the target gene was amplified through PCR by specific primers. Quality and quantity of PCR product was evaluated using agarose gel electrophoresis and confirmed with spectrophotometry. The PCR product was purified and was ligated in pJET1.2blunt cloning vector and was used for E. coli/TOP10 competent cells transformation. pJETαsep recombinant plasmid was purified and sequenced using universal primers. Sequencing and BLAST analysis of csa showed over 99% identity to other previously deposited csa in the GenBank. The csa sequence was deposited in the GenBank under accession number JN793989. E. coli/TOP10/pJETαsep as a recombinant bacterium could be used for purifying of recombinant csa gene and its expression in the suitable prokaryotic hosts.

  14. Genetics Home Reference: platyspondylic lethal skeletal dysplasia, Torrance type

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... cause platyspondylic lethal skeletal dysplasia, torrance type, and define a novel subfamily within the type 2 collagenopathies. ... for Links Data Files & API Site Map Subscribe Customer Support USA.gov Copyright Privacy Accessibility FOIA Viewers & ...

  15. Differential Function of Lip Residues in the Mechanism and Biology of an Anthrax Hemophore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ekworomadu, MarCia T.; Poor, Catherine B.; Owens, Cedric P.; Balderas, Miriam A.; Fabian, Marian; Olson, John S.; Murphy, Frank; Balkabasi, Erol; Honsa, Erin S.; He, Chuan; Goulding, Celia W.; Maresso, Anthony W. (Baylor); (UCI); (Cornell); (Rice); (UC)

    2014-10-02

    To replicate in mammalian hosts, bacterial pathogens must acquire iron. The majority of iron is coordinated to the protoporphyrin ring of heme, which is further bound to hemoglobin. Pathogenic bacteria utilize secreted hemophores to acquire heme from heme sources such as hemoglobin. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, secretes two hemophores, IsdX1 and IsdX2, to acquire heme from host hemoglobin and enhance bacterial replication in iron-starved environments. Both proteins contain NEAr-iron Transporter (NEAT) domains, a conserved protein module that functions in heme acquisition in Gram-positive pathogens. Here, we report the structure of IsdX1, the first of a Gram-positive hemophore, with and without bound heme. Overall, IsdX1 forms an immunoglobin-like fold that contains, similar to other NEAT proteins, a 3{sub 10}-helix near the heme-binding site. Because the mechanistic function of this helix in NEAT proteins is not yet defined, we focused on the contribution of this region to hemophore and NEAT protein activity, both biochemically and biologically in cultured cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and adjacent to the helix identified residues important for heme and hemoglobin association, with some mutations affecting both properties and other mutations affecting only heme stabilization. IsdX1 with mutations that reduced the ability to associate with hemoglobin and bind heme failed to restore the growth of a hemophore-deficient strain of B. anthracis on hemoglobin as the sole iron source. These data indicate that not only is the 3{sub 10}-helix important for NEAT protein biology, but also that the processes of hemoglobin and heme binding can be both separate as well as coupled, the latter function being necessary for maximal heme-scavenging activity. These studies enhance our understanding of NEAT domain and hemophore function and set the stage for structure-based inhibitor design to block NEAT domain interaction with

  16. Center on Survivability and Lethality (CSL) Research Faculty

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    NPS has a strong history in teaching and research in aircraft survivability and air defense lethality. On Jan. 30, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) announced the creation of the Center for Survivability and Lethality. The new center builds upon the pioneering work of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Robert Ball, who founded the first and only course on all aspects of aircraft combat survivability at NPS in the 1970s and wrote the field’s ‘bible,’ The Fundamentals of Aircraft Comba...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Molecular Epidemiology Investigation of Obesity and Lethal Prostate Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    compelling evidence linking obesity to aggressive prostate cancer, but the underlying causes of this relationship are unclear. In this study we used whole...1 AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0250 TITLE: Molecular Epidemiology Investigation of Obesity and Lethal Prostate Cancer PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Ericka...TITLE AND SUBTITLE Molecular Epidemiology Investigation of Obesity and Lethal Prostate Cancer 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0250

  20. Botulinum A toxin utilizations in obstetric palsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atakan Aydin

    2012-12-01

    Conclusion: We conclude that with the help of botulinum A toxin and physyotherapy, obstetrical palsy patient with cocontractions can significantly improve movements and may have less surgery. [Hand Microsurg 2012; 1(3.000: 89-94

  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. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Toxicological Perspective on Climate Change: Aquatic Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botana, Luis M

    2016-04-18

    In recent years, our group and several others have been describing the presence of new, not previously reported, toxins of high toxicity in vectors that may reach the human food chain. These include tetrodotoxin in gastropods in the South of Europe, ciguatoxin in fish in the South of Spain, palytoxin in mussels in the Mediterranean Sea, pinnatoxin all over Europe, and okadaic acid in the south of the U.S. There seem to be new marine toxins appearing in areas that are heavy producers of seafood, and this is a cause of concern as most of these new toxins are not included in current legislation and monitoring programs. Along with the new toxins, new chemical analogues are being reported. The same phenomenom is being recorded in freshwater toxins, such as the wide appearance of cylindrospermopsin and the large worldwide increase of microcystin. The problem that this phenomenon, which may be linked to climate warming, poses for toxicologists is very important not only because there is a lack of chronic studies and an incomplete comprehension of the mechanism driving the production of these toxins but also because the lack of a legal framework for them allows many of these toxins to reach the market. In some cases, it is very difficult to control these toxins because there are not enough standards available, they are not always certified, and there is an insufficient understanding of the toxic equivalency factors of the different analogues in each group. All of these factors have been revealed and grouped through the massive increase in the use of LC-MS as a monitoring tool, legally demanded, creating more toxicological problems.

  6. Dinoflagellate Toxins Responsible for Ciguatera Food Poisoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-03-30

    Virgin Gorda Prorocu’nt~um lirna 885 Little Lameshur Bay, St. John Prorocentrum lima 838 Unknown (cold water form) Prorocontrum lima 62, 105, 142... Prorocentrum concavum, Conference on Natural Toxins from Aquatic and Marine Environments. 4. Tindall, D.R. and Miller, D.M., (1987) Two potent tox-is fiom...NO. NO. N. ACCESSION NO. 11. TITLE (iclude Security Classification) DINOFLAGELLATE TOXINS RESPONSIBLE FOR CIGUATERA POISONING 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S

  7. 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

  8. Purified Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin Complex Formed in Vitro and During Infection Exhibits Functional and Biological Activity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Panchal, Rekha G; Halverson, Kelly M; Ribot, Wilson; Lane, Douglas; Kenny, Tara

    2005-01-01

    .... Purified LF complexed with PA63 heptamer was able to cleave both a synthetic peptide substrate and endogenous mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase substrates and kill susceptible macrophage...

  9. 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.

  10. [Botulinum toxin therapy for spasticity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masakado, Yoshihisa

    2014-09-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) administered as an adjunct to other interventions for spasticity can act as a useful and effective therapeutic tool for treating patients disabled by spasticity. Presence of other non-reflex motor disorders (muscle stiffness, shortness, and contracture) can complicate the clinical course and disturb rehabilitative process of patients with spasticity. Treatment of spasticity using BTX can improve paralysis by correcting muscular imbalance that follows these diseases. In patients with chronic severe spasticity, we also have to address unique and difficult-to-treat clinical conditions such as abnormal posture and movement disorders. The effectiveness of BTX in treating some of these conditions is discussed. Because patients with neurological disabilities can show complex dysfunctions, specific functional limitations, goals, and expected outcomes of treatment should be evaluated and discussed with the patient, family members, and caregivers, prior to initiating BTX therapy. BTX therapy might improve not only care, passive function, but also motor functions in these patients by supplementing intensive rehabilitation with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial direct-current stimulation, peripheral electrical stimulation, muscle stretching, and other rehabilitation strategies.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Spatio-temporal analysis and visualisation of the anthrax epidemic situation in livestock in Kazakhstan over the period 1933-2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdrakhmanov, Sarsenbay K; Mukhanbetkaliyev, Yersyn Y; Korennoy, Fedor I; Karatayev, Bolat Sh; Mukhanbetkaliyeva, Aizada A; Abdrakhmanova, Aruzhan S

    2017-11-13

    An analysis of the anthrax epidemic situation among livestock animals in the Republic of Kazakhstan over the period 1933-2016 is presented. During this time, 4,064 anthrax outbreaks (mainly in cattle, small ruminants, pigs and horses) were recorded. They fall into five historical periods of increase and decrease in the annual anthrax incidence (1933-1953; 1954-1968; 1969-1983; 1984- 2001; and 2002-2016), which has been associated with changes in economic activity and veterinary surveillance. To evaluate the temporal trends of incidence variation for each of these time periods, the following methods were applied: i) spatio-temporal analysis using a space-time cube to assess the presence of hotspots (i.e., areas of outbreak clustering) and the trends of their emergence over time; and ii) a linear regression model that was used to evaluate the annual numbers of outbreaks as a function of time. The results show increasing trends during the first two periods followed by a decreasing trend up to now. The peak years of anthrax outbreaks occurred in 1965-1968 but outbreaks still continue with an average annual number of outbreaks of 1.2 (95% confidence interval: 0.6-1.8). The space-time analysis approach enabled visualisation of areas with statistically significant increasing or decreasing trends of outbreak clustering providing a practical opportunity to inform decision-makers and allowing the veterinary services to concentrate their efforts on monitoring the possible risk factors in the identified locations.

  14. Lethal means access and assessment among suicidal emergency department patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betz, Marian E.; Miller, Matthew; Barber, Catherine; Beaty, Brenda; Miller, Ivan; Camargo, Carlos A.; Boudreaux, Edwin D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Reducing access to lethal means (especially firearms) might prevent suicide, but counseling of at-risk individuals about this strategy may not be routine. Among emergency department (ED) patients with suicidal ideation or attempts (SI/SA), we sought to describe home firearm access and examine ED provider assessment of access to lethal means. Methods This secondary analysis used data from the Emergency Department Safety Assessment and Follow-up Evaluation, a 3-phase, 8-center study of adult ED patients with SI/SA (2010-2013). Research staff surveyed participants about suicide-related factors (including home firearms) and later reviewed the ED chart (including documented assessment of lethal means access). Results Among 1358 patients with SI/SA, 11% (95%CI 10-13%) reported ≥1 firearm at home; rates varied across sites (range: 6% to 26%) but not over time. On chart review, 50% (95%CI 47-52%) of patients had documentation of lethal means access assessment. Frequency of documented assessment increased over study phases (40% to 60%, pfirearm ownership rates. Among the 337 (25%, 95%CI 23-27%) patients discharged to home, 55% (95%CI 49-60%) had no documentation of lethal means assessment; of these, 13% (95%CI 8-19; n=24) actually had ≥1 firearm at home. Among all those reporting ≥1 home firearm to study staff, only half (50%, 95%CI 42-59) had provider documentation of assessment of lethal means access. Conclusions Among these ED patients with SI/SA, many did not have documented assessment of home access to lethal means, including patients who were discharged home and had ≥1 firearm at home. PMID:26989850

  15. Recent outbreak of cutaneous anthrax in Bangladesh: clinico-demographic profile and treatment outcome of cases attended at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. Prevention, detection, and response to anthrax outbreak in Northern Tanzania using one health approach: A case study of Selela ward in Monduli district

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  17. 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.

  18. Development & validation of a quantitative anti-protective antigen IgG enzyme linked immunosorbent assay for serodiagnosis of cutaneous anthrax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Ghosh

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Anthrax caused by Bacillus anthracis is primarily a disease of herbivorous animals, although several mammals are vulnerable to it. ELISA is the most widely accepted serodiagnostic assay for large scale surveillance of cutaneous anthrax. The aims of this study were to develop and evaluate a quantitative ELISA for determination of IgG antibodies against B. anthracis protective antigen (PA in human cutaneous anthrax cases. Methods: Quantitative ELISA was developed using the recombinant PA for coating and standard reference serum AVR801 for quantification. A total of 116 human test and control serum samples were used in the study. The assay was evaluated for its precision, accuracy and linearity. Results: The minimum detection limit and lower limit of quantification of the assay for anti-PA IgG were 3.2 and 4 µg/ml, respectively. The serum samples collected from the anthrax infected patients were found to have anti-PA IgG concentrations of 5.2 to 166.3 µg/ml. The intra-assay precision per cent CV within an assay and within an operator ranged from 0.99 to 7.4 per cent and 1.7 to 3.9 per cent, respectively. The accuracy of the assay was high with a per cent error of 6.5 - 24.1 per cent. The described assay was found to be linear between the range of 4 to 80 ng/ml (R [2] =0.9982; slope=0.9186; intercept = 0.1108. Interpretation & conclusions: The results suggested that the developed assay could be a useful tool for quantification of anti-PA IgG response in human after anthrax infection or vaccination.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silke R Klee

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

  20. Animal Toxins: How is Complexity Represented in Databases?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungo, Florence; Estreicher, Anne; Bairoch, Amos; Bougueleret, Lydie; Xenarios, Ioannis

    2010-02-01

    Peptide toxins synthesized by venomous animals have been extensively studied in the last decades. To be useful to the scientific community, this knowledge has been stored, annotated and made easy to retrieve by several databases. The aim of this article is to present what type of information users can access from each database. ArachnoServer and ConoServer focus on spider toxins and cone snail toxins, respectively. UniProtKB, a generalist protein knowledgebase, has an animal toxin-dedicated annotation program that includes toxins from all venomous animals. Finally, the ATDB metadatabase compiles data and annotations from other databases and provides toxin ontology.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. Cyanobacterial Toxin Degrading Bacteria: Who Are They?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantinos Ar. Kormas

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous in nature and are both beneficial and detrimental to humans. Benefits include being food supplements and producing bioactive compounds, like antimicrobial and anticancer substances, while their detrimental effects are evident by toxin production, causing major ecological problems at the ecosystem level. To date, there are several ways to degrade or transform these toxins by chemical methods, while the biodegradation of these compounds is understudied. In this paper, we present a meta-analysis of the currently available 16S rRNA and mlrA (microcystinase genes diversity of isolates known to degrade cyanobacterial toxins. The available data revealed that these bacteria belong primarily to the Proteobacteria, with several strains from the sphingomonads, and one from each of the Methylobacillus and Paucibacter genera. Other strains belonged to the genera Arthrobacter, Bacillus, and Lactobacillus. By combining the ecological knowledge on the distribution, abundance, and ecophysiology of the bacteria that cooccur with toxic cyanobacterial blooms and newly developed molecular approaches, it is possible not only to discover more strains with cyanobacterial toxin degradation abilities, but also to reveal the genes associated with the degradation of these toxins.

  4. Effects of lethal and non-lethal malaria on the mononuclear phagocyte system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Crossover suppressors and balanced recessive lethals in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herman, R.K.

    1978-01-01

    Two dominant suppressors of crossing over have been identified following x-ray treatment of the small nematode C. elegans. They suppress crossing over in linkage group II (LGII) about 100-fold and 50-fold and are both tightly linked to LGII markers. One, called C1, segregates independently of all other linkage groups and is homozygous fertile. The other is a translocation involving LGII and X. The translocation also suppresses crossing over along the right half of X and is homozygous lethal. C1 has been used as a balancer of LGII recessive lethal and sterile mutations induced by EMS. The frequencies of occurrence of lethals and steriles were approximately equal. Fourteen mutations were assigned to complementation groups and mapped. They tended to map in the same region where LGII visibles are clustered

  6. 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

  7. Prenatal diagnosis of lethal osteogenesis imperfecta in twin pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, L R; Herlicoviez, M; Loisel, J C; Jacob, B; Feuilly, C; Stanescu, V

    1991-06-01

    Lethal osteogenesis imperfecta was diagnosed at 27 weeks amenorrea in one fetus of a bichorial twin pregnancy. Sonographic findings included: short-limb dwarfism, hypotrophy and hypoechoic bones. The affected fetus was so translucent that only the normal fetus could be seen on plain in utero radiography. The affected fetus died immediately after birth. Postmortem radiography and histology were typical of lethal osteogenesis imperfecta of type IIA. Aids to the etiological diagnosis of in utero dwarfism are presented. Sonographic features correlated with neonatal death are described.

  8. Helicobacter pylori Vacuolating Toxin and Gastric Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClain, Mark S.; Beckett, Amber C.; Cover, Timothy L.

    2017-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori VacA is a channel-forming toxin unrelated to other known bacterial toxins. Most H. pylori strains contain a vacA gene, but there is marked variation among strains in VacA toxin activity. This variation is attributable to strain-specific variations in VacA amino acid sequences, as well as variations in the levels of VacA transcription and secretion. In this review, we discuss epidemiologic studies showing an association between specific vacA allelic types and gastric cancer, as well as studies that have used animal models to investigate VacA activities relevant to gastric cancer. We also discuss the mechanisms by which VacA-induced cellular alterations may contribute to the pathogenesis of gastric cancer. PMID:29023421

  9. 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.

  10. Clostridium perfringens delta toxin is sequence related to beta toxin, NetB, and Staphylococcus pore-forming toxins, but shows functional differences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Manich

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens produces numerous toxins, which are responsible for severe diseases in man and animals. Delta toxin is one of the three hemolysins released by a number of C. perfringens type C and possibly type B strains. Delta toxin was characterized to be cytotoxic for cells expressing the ganglioside G(M2 in their membrane. Here we report the genetic characterization of Delta toxin and its pore forming activity in lipid bilayers. Delta toxin consists of 318 amino acids, its 28 N-terminal amino acids corresponding to a signal peptide. The secreted Delta toxin (290 amino acids; 32619 Da is a basic protein (pI 9.1 which shows a significant homology with C. perfringens Beta toxin (43% identity, with C. perfringens NetB (40% identity and, to a lesser extent, with Staphylococcus aureus alpha toxin and leukotoxins. Recombinant Delta toxin showed a preference for binding to G(M2, in contrast to Beta toxin, which did not bind to gangliosides. It is hemolytic for sheep red blood cells and cytotoxic for HeLa cells. In artificial diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine membranes, Delta and Beta toxin formed channels. Conductance of the channels formed by Delta toxin, with a value of about 100 pS to more than 1 nS in 1 M KCl and a membrane potential of 20 mV, was higher than those formed by Beta toxin and their distribution was broader. The results of zero-current membrane potential measurements and single channel experiments suggest that Delta toxin forms slightly anion-selective channels, whereas the Beta toxin channels showed a preference for cations under the same conditions. C. perfringens Delta toxin shows a significant sequence homolgy with C. perfringens Beta and NetB toxins, as well as with S. aureus alpha hemolysin and leukotoxins, but exhibits different channel properties in lipid bilayers. In contrast to Beta toxin, Delta toxin recognizes G(M2 as receptor and forms anion-selective channels.

  11. 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.

  12. Marine toxins and their toxicological significance: An overview

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarkar, A.

    This article presents an overview of various types of marine toxins and their toxicological significance in the context of biotechnological research and development. The characteristics and toxic potentials of different marine toxins highlighted...

  13. 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...

  14. Regulation of Toxin Production in Clostridium perfringens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaori Ohtani

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens is widely distributed in nature, especially in soil and the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals. C. perfringens causes gas gangrene and food poisoning, and it produces extracellular enzymes and toxins that are thought to act synergistically and contribute to its pathogenesis. A complicated regulatory network of toxin genes has been reported that includes a two-component system for regulatory RNA and cell-cell communication. It is necessary to clarify the global regulatory system of these genes in order to understand and treat the virulence of C. perfringens. We summarize the existing knowledge about the regulatory mechanisms here.

  15. 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.

  16. Staphylococcus hyicus exfoliative toxin: Purification and demonstration of antigenic diversity among toxins from virulent strains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Lars Ole; Bille-Hansen, Vivi; Wegener, Henrik Caspar

    1997-01-01

    The exfoliative toxin produced by Staphylococcus hyicus strain 1289D-88 was purified as a single protein of approximately 30 kDa. Extracellular proteins of S. hyicus grown under small scale fermentation conditions were precipitated with ammonium sulfate. Separation of proteins was performed...... of 0.5 mM CuSO4 to the purified toxin resulted in more intense skin alterations comparable to lesions caused by precipitated culture supernatant diluted 1:10. These results indicated that the activity of the exfoliative toxin was dependent on the presence of Cu2+. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies...

  17. Chimeric anti-staphylococcal enterotoxin B antibodies and lovastatin act synergistically to provide in vivo protection against lethal doses of SEB.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Health-related quality of life in the Anthrax Vaccination Program for workers in the Laboratory Response Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Brock; Zhang, Yujia; Rose, Charles E; Tokars, Jerome I; Martin, Stacey W; Franzke, Laura H; McNeil, Michael M

    2012-02-27

    In 2002 CDC initiated the Anthrax Vaccination Program (AVP) to provide voluntary pre-exposure vaccination with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA) for persons at high risk of exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores. There has been concern that AVA could be associated with long term impairment of physical and/or mental health. To ascertain whether physical and mental functional status, as measured by the SF-36v2 health survey (Medical Outcomes Trust, Boston, MA), of AVA recipients and controls changed differently over time. We enrolled 437 exposed (received AVA) and 139 control subjects. The exposed group received AVA under then-current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations. SF-36v2 surveys were completed at 0, 12, and 30 months. SF-36v2 physical and mental scores both range from 0 to 100 with an estimated national average of 50 points. For physical scores, the average change from baseline was -0.53 for exposed vs. -0.67 for controls at 12 months (p=0.80) and -1.09 for exposed vs. -1.97 for controls at 30 months (p=0.23). For mental scores, the average change from baseline was -1.50 for exposed vs. -1.64 for controls at 12 months (p=0.86) and -2.11 for exposed vs. -0.24 for controls at 30 months (p=0.06). In multivariable analysis, the difference in mental score change between exposed vs. controls at 30 months was less pronounced (p=0.37) but other findings were similar to univariate analyses. These results do not favor an association between receipt of AVA and an altered health related quality of life over a 30-month period. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  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. 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 ...

  2. Perinatal lethal type II osteogenesis imperfecta: a case report | Ayadi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We report a new case of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) type II which is a perinatal lethal form. First trimester ultrasound didn't identified abnormalities. Second trimester ultrasound showed incurved limbs, narrow chest, with hypomineralization and multiple fractures of ribs and long bones. Parents refused pregnancy ...

  3. 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…

  4. [Generalized and lethal pentastomiasis due to Armillifer grandis (Hett, 1915)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cagnard, V; Nicolas-Randegger, J; Dago Akribi, A; Rain, B; Nozais, J P; Essoh Nomel, P; Ette, M; Doucet, J; Assale N'Dri, G

    1979-01-01

    The authors described a case of generalised and lethal Pentastomiasis by a five years old girl. The most heavy parasitised organs are the lungs and the brain. Considering the age of the child and the uncommon density of the parasites, the authors suggest that the symptoms may follow the casual ingestion of a gravid female worm.

  5. Lethality of the aqeous extracts of Acacia nilotica, Guiera ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cytotoxic activity indicated by lethal effects (that is mortality rate) of aqueous extracts of fruits of Acacia nilotica, stem bark of Kigelia africana, roots of Securidaca longepedunculata, and leaves of Guiera senegalensis on the culex mosquito larva was investigated by direct contact method. Larvicidal effects were observed with ...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Brine shrimp lethality bioassay of selected Indian medicinal plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmaja, R; Arun, P C; Prashanth, D; Deepak, M; Amit, A; Anjana, M

    2002-10-01

    Ethanolic extracts of six Indian medicinal plants, piperine, guggulsterone E and guggulsterone Z were tested for cytotoxicity using brine shrimp lethality test. Piper longum showed most potent cytotoxic activity. Piperine, guggulsterone E and guggulsterone Z showed potent activity with LC(50) 2.4, 8.9 and 4.9, respectively. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.

  9. 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

  10. Median lethal dose (LD 50 ) evaluation of some polyherbal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The polyherbal preparations reported here are traditionally used in Northern Nigeria for the treatment of wide range of illnesses. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute toxicity potential of 70% ethanol extracts of forty polyherbal products by determining their median lethal dose (LD50) estimates intraperitoneally and ...

  11. Brine shrimp lethality and antimicrobial studies on the seeds of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Garcinia kola (Family, Guttiferae) is employed in a variety of therapies ranging from skin, gastrointestinal, chest to tumour problems. Preparations of the stem and roots are used as antitumour in traditional medicine but the potential of the seeds as antitumour had not yet been investigated hence the brine-shrimp lethality and ...

  12. Brine Shrimp Lethality of Alkaloids from Croton sylvaticus Hoechst ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Euphorbiaceae) and evaluated for their brine shrimp lethality. Julocrotine, a glutarimide alkaloid, was very toxic in vitro with a LC50 (95% confidence interval) value of 0.074 (0.052-0.105) μg/ml. Lupeol and penduliflaworosin were not toxic. The structures ...

  13. Drosophila simulans Lethal hybrid rescue mutation (Lhr) rescues ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 86; Issue 3. Drosophila simulans Lethal hybrid rescue mutation (Lhr) rescues inviable hybrids by restoring X chromosomal dosage compensation and causes fluctuating asymmetry of development. R. N. Chatterjee P. Chatterjee A. Pal M. Pal-Bhadra. Research Article Volume 86 ...

  14. Drosophila simulans Lethal hybrid rescue mutation (Lhr) rescues ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    in the hybrids. Materials and methods. Fly stocks .... toradiography following usual methods (see Chatterjee and. Mukherjee 1981). ... vigor as their sisters. It, therefore, appears that Lhr can sup- press the larval male lethality caused by presence of only melanogaster X chromosome in the hybrid genome. In re- ciprocal cross ...

  15. Radiographic and prenatal ultrasound features of perinatal lethal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Hypophosphatasia is a genetic disorder that is characterised by deficient activity of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase. Clinically, it can present as a lethal infantile form, an intermediate childhood form with rachitic changes and premature deciduous tooth loss or a mild adult form with a tendency for fractures and bone pain.

  16. The Lethal "Femme Fatale" in the Noir Tradition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boozer, Jack

    2000-01-01

    Traces the lethal seductress through Hollywood's "noir" history from "Double Indemnity" (1944) to "The Last Seduction" (1996). Examines how this figure largely abjures traditional romance and passive domesticity, choosing instead to apply her sexuality to homicidal plots toward greed. Argues that her narrative…

  17. Characterisation of cholera toxin by liquid chromatography - Electrospray mass spectrometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baar, B.L.M. van; Hulst, A.G.; Wils, E.R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Cholera toxin, one of the toxins that may be generated by various strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, can be considered as a substance possibly used in biological warfare. The possibilities of characterising the toxin by liquid chromatography electrospray mass spectrometry (LC-ES-MS) were

  18. 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...

  19. EFFECTS OF MARINE ALGAL TOXINS ON THERMOREGULATION IN MICE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hypothermia is often seen in mice and rats exposed acutely to marine algal toxins, but the mechanism of action of these toxins on thermoregulation is not well understood. Our laboratory has assessed the thermoregulatory mechanisms of two marine algal toxins, maitotoxin and brevet...

  20. Regulations for marine microalgal toxins: Towards harmonization of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    However, there are disparities in current regulations regarding methods and applied limits for toxin control. Inconsistencies are especially evident for Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) toxins. Epidemiological and toxicological data are necessary to assess risk, and to establish safe limits for the different groups of toxins.

  1. Novel cholix toxin variants, ADP-ribosylating toxins in Vibrio cholerae non-O1/non-O139 strains, and their pathogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awasthi, Sharda Prasad; Asakura, Masahiro; Chowdhury, Nityananda; Neogi, Sucharit Basu; Hinenoya, Atsushi; Golbar, Hossain M; Yamate, Jyoji; Arakawa, Eiji; Tada, Toshiji; Ramamurthy, T; Yamasaki, Shinji

    2013-02-01

    Cholix toxin (ChxA) is a recently discovered exotoxin in Vibrio cholerae which has been characterized as a third member of the eukaryotic elongation factor 2-specific ADP-ribosyltransferase toxins, in addition to exotoxin A of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and diphtheria toxin of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. These toxins consist of three characteristic domains for receptor binding, translocation, and catalysis. However, there is little information about the prevalence of chxA and its genetic variations and pathogenic mechanisms. In this study, we screened the chxA gene in a large number (n = 765) of V. cholerae strains and observed its presence exclusively in non-O1/non-O139 strains (27.0%; 53 of 196) and not in O1 (n = 485) or O139 (n = 84). Sequencing of these 53 chxA genes generated 29 subtypes which were grouped into three clusters designated chxA I, chxA II, and chxA III. chxA I belongs to the prototype, while chxA II and chxA III are newly discovered variants. ChxA II and ChxA III had unique receptor binding and catalytic domains, respectively, in comparison to ChxA I. Recombinant ChxA I (rChxA I) and rChxA II but not rChxA III showed variable cytotoxic effects on different eukaryotic cells. Although rChxA II was more lethal to mice than rChxA I when injected intravenously, no enterotoxicity of any rChxA was observed in a rabbit ileal loop test. Hepatocytes showed coagulation necrosis in rChxA I- or rChxA II-treated mice, seemingly the major target for ChxA. The present study illustrates the potential of ChxA as an important virulence factor in non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae, which may be associated with extraintestinal infections rather than enterotoxicity.

  2. Resveratrol Antagonizes Antimicrobial Lethality and Stimulates Recovery of Bacterial Mutants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanli Liu

    Full Text Available Reactive oxygen species (ROS; superoxide, peroxide, and hydroxyl radical are thought to contribute to the rapid bactericidal activity of diverse antimicrobial agents. The possibility has been raised that consumption of antioxidants in food may interfere with the lethal action of antimicrobials. Whether nutritional supplements containing antioxidant activity are also likely to interfere with antimicrobial lethality is unknown. To examine this possibility, resveratrol, a popular antioxidant dietary supplement, was added to cultures of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus that were then treated with antimicrobial and assayed for bacterial survival and the recovery of mutants resistant to an unrelated antimicrobial, rifampicin. Resveratrol, at concentrations likely to be present during human consumption, caused a 2- to 3-fold reduction in killing during a 2-hr treatment with moxifloxacin or kanamycin. At higher, but still subinhibitory concentrations, resveratrol reduced antimicrobial lethality by more than 3 orders of magnitude. Resveratrol also reduced the increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS characteristic of treatment with quinolone (oxolinic acid. These data support the general idea that the lethal activity of some antimicrobials involves ROS. Surprisingly, subinhibitory concentrations of resveratrol promoted (2- to 6-fold the recovery of rifampicin-resistant mutants arising from the action of ciprofloxacin, kanamycin, or daptomycin. This result is consistent with resveratrol reducing ROS to sublethal levels that are still mutagenic, while the absence of resveratrol allows ROS levels to high enough to kill mutagenized cells. Suppression of antimicrobial lethality and promotion of mutant recovery by resveratrol suggests that the antioxidant may contribute to the emergence of resistance to several antimicrobials, especially if new derivatives and/or formulations of resveratrol markedly increase bioavailability.

  3. 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 (p<0.05) and negative cat-related impact beliefs (p<0.05) and support for management. These results supported the specificity hypothesis and the use of the cognitive hierarchy to assess stakeholder 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. PMID:24736744

  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. Specific egg yolk immunoglobulin as a new preventive approach for Shiga-toxin-mediated diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. A family of indoles regulate virulence and Shiga toxin production in pathogenic E. coli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Bommarius

    Full Text Available Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC, enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC are intestinal pathogens that cause food and water-borne disease in humans. Using biochemical methods and NMR-based comparative metabolomics in conjunction with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we developed a bioassay to identify secreted small molecules produced by these pathogens. We identified indole, indole-3-carboxaldehyde (ICA, and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA, as factors that only in combination are sufficient to kill C. elegans. Importantly, although lethal to C. elegans, these molecules downregulate several bacterial processes important for pathogenesis in mammals. These include motility, biofilm formation and production of Shiga toxins. Some pathogenic E. coli strains are known to contain a Locus of Enterocyte Effacement (LEE, which encodes virulence factors that cause "attaching and effacing" (A/E lesions in mammals, including formation of actin pedestals. We found that these indole derivatives also downregulate production of LEE virulence factors and inhibit pedestal formation on mammalian cells. Finally, upon oral administration, ICA inhibited virulence and promoted survival in a lethal mouse infection model. In summary, the C. elegans model in conjunction with metabolomics has facilitated identification of a family of indole derivatives that broadly regulate physiology in E. coli, and virulence in pathogenic strains. These molecules may enable development of new therapeutics that interfere with bacterial small-molecule signaling.

  8. 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)

  9. 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

  10. Botulinum Toxin in Neurogenic Detrusor Overactivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Surgery and botulinum toxin in congenital esotropia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Miguel F; Alvarez, María T; Sánchez-Garrido, Carmen M; Hernáez, José M; Rodríguez, José M

    2004-10-01

    In a previous study we investigated the advantages and drawbacks of early and delayed injection of botulinum toxin as primary treatment of infantile esotropia with nystagmus in abduction (IENA). We carried out a further study to investigate the role and efficacy of surgery in this condition and to determine the possible effect of previous injection of both medial recti with botulinum toxin in patients requiring a final horizontal surgical correction. Review of the records of 44 patients (24 girls and 20 boys) with IENA seen between 1979 and 1998 who had undergone at least one horizontal surgical procedure. The outcomes in the 16 patients who had previously received botulinum toxin were compared with those in the 28 patients for whom surgery was the primary treatment. There was a negative correlation between the pretreatment esotropic angle and age (Pearson's r = -0.45, p IENA with delayed diagnosis and in cases associated with unsteadiness of binocular vision or with nonhorizontal deviations. Initial treatment with botulinum toxin, injected into both medial recti, is effective, reducing the amount of further horizontal surgery and favouring postoperative stability, except in children under 18 months, in whom injection of 5 units induces unbalanced dissociated vertical deviation.

  12. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Rune Micha; Nielsen, Marc Trunjer Kusk; Möller, Sören

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) causes diarrhoeal disease, bloody diarrhoea and haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The aim of this study was to describe the incidence of STEC and the clinical features of STEC patients from a well-defined Danish population in which all fecal...

  13. Immunogenicity of toxins during Staphylococcus aureus infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    N.J. Verkaik (Nelianne); O. Dauwalder (Olivier); K. Antri (Kenza); I. Boubekri (Ilhem); C.P. de Vogel (Corné); C. Badiou (Cédric); M. Bes (Michèle); F. Vandenesch (François); M. Tazir (Mohammed); H. Hooijkaas (Herbert); H.A. Verbrugh (Henri); A.F. van Belkum (Alex); J. Etienne (Jerome); G. Lina (Gérard); N. Ramdani-Bouguessa (Nadjia); W.J.B. van Wamel (Willem)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractAB - BACKGROUND: Toxins are important Staphylococcus aureus virulence factors, but little is known about their immunogenicity during infection. Here, additional insight is generated. METHODS: Serum samples from 206 S. aureus-infected patients and 201 hospital-admitted control subjects

  14. 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 <200-nm bilayer vesicles composed of anionic and neutral lipids as well as cholesterol. Vesicle disruption, or peptide potency, was monitored with a sensitive fluorescence leakage assay. Detailed molecular information on peptidemembrane interactions and peptide structure was further gained through vibrational spectroscopy combined with circular dichroism. Finally, steady-state fluorescence experiments yielded insight into the local environment of native or engineered tryptophan residues in melittin and human cathelicidin embedded in bilayer vesicles. Collectively, our results provide clues to the functional structures of the engineered and toxic peptides and may impact the design of synthetic antibiotic peptides that can be used against the growing number of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Spatio-temporal analysis and visualisation of the anthrax epidemic situation in livestock in Kazakhstan over the period 1933-2016

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarsenbay K. Abdrakhmanov

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available An analysis of the anthrax epidemic situation among livestock animals in the Republic of Kazakhstan over the period 1933-2016 is presented. During this time, 4,064 anthrax outbreaks (mainly in cattle, small ruminants, pigs and horses were recorded. They fall into five historical periods of increase and decrease in the annual anthrax incidence (1933-1953; 1954-1968; 1969-1983; 1984- 2001; and 2002-2016, which has been associated with changes in economic activity and veterinary surveillance. To evaluate the temporal trends of incidence variation for each of these time periods, the following methods were applied: i spatio-temporal analysis using a space-time cube to assess the presence of hotspots (i.e., areas of outbreak clustering and the trends of their emergence over time; and ii a linear regression model that was used to evaluate the annual numbers of outbreaks as a function of time. The results show increasing trends during the first two periods followed by a decreasing trend up to now. The peak years of anthrax outbreaks occurred in 1965-1968 but outbreaks still continue with an average annual number of outbreaks of 1.2 (95% confidence interval: 0.6-1.8. The space-time analysis approach enabled visualisation of areas with statistically significant increasing or decreasing trends of outbreak clustering providing a practical opportunity to inform decision-makers and allowing the veterinary services to concentrate their efforts on monitoring the possible risk factors in the identified locations.

  20. Rapid, Sensitive, and Specific Lateral-Flow Immunochromatographic Device To Measure Anti-Anthrax Protective Antigen Immunoglobulin G in Serum and Whole Blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biagini, Raymond E.; Sammons, Deborah L.; Smith, Jerome P.; MacKenzie, Barbara A.; Striley, Cynthia A. F.; Snawder, John E.; Robertson, Shirley A.; Quinn, Conrad P.

    2006-01-01

    Evidence from animals suggests that anti-anthrax protective antigen (PA) immunoglobulin G (IgG) from vaccination with anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) is protective against Bacillus anthracis infection. Measurement of anti-PA IgG in human sera can be performed using either enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or fluorescent covalent microsphere immunoassay (ELISA) (R. E. Biagini, D. L. Sammons, J. P. Smith, B. A. MacKenzie, C. A. Striley, V. Semenova, E. Steward-Clark, K. Stamey, A. E. Freeman, C. P. Quinn, and J. E. Snawder, Clin. Diagn. Lab. Immunol. 11:50-55, 2004). Both these methods are laboratory based. We describe the development of a rapid lateral-flow immunochromatographic assay (LFIA) test kit for the measurement of anti-PA IgG in serum or whole-blood samples (30-μl samples) using colloidal gold nanoparticles as the detection reagent and an internal control. Using sera from 19 anthrax AVA vaccinees (anti-PA IgG range, 2.4 to 340 μg/ml) and 10 controls and PA-supplemented whole-blood samples, we demonstrated that the LFIA had a sensitivity of approximately 3 μg/ml anti-PA IgG in serum and ∼14 μg/ml anti-PA IgG in whole blood. Preabsorption of sera with PA yielded negative anti-PA LFIAs. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the assay were 100% using ELISA-measured anti-PA IgG as the standard. This kit has utility in determining anti-PA antibody reactivity in the sera of individuals vaccinated with AVA or individuals with clinical anthrax. PMID:16682473

  1. An Overview of Crowd Control Theory and Considerations for the Employment of Non-Lethal Weapons

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Grieger, Dion

    2003-01-01

    .... In campaigns such as these, there is a case for the use of non-lethal weapons to complement the existing range of traditional weapons in order to help bridge the gap between responding with lethal...

  2. 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...

  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. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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)

  7. Brine shrimp lethality bioassay of selected Centaurea L. species (Asteraceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janaćković P.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Ether extracts of 15 Centaurea L. species (Asteraceae methanol extracts of 12species, and cnicin isolated from C. derventana were tested for general bioactivity using the brine shrimp lethality test. Cnicin showed the most potent activity with LC50 0.2. Also, ether extract of C. splendens showed significant activity with LC50 7.3, as did methanol extract of C. arenaria with LC50 12.4.

  8. Toxins for Transgenic Resistance to Hemipteran Pests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryony C. Bonning

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. Insecticidal toxins from black widow spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohou, A; Nield, J; Ushkaryov, Y A

    2007-03-15

    The biological effects of Latrodectus spider venom are similar in animals from different phyla, but these symptoms are caused by distinct phylum-specific neurotoxins (collectively called latrotoxins) with molecular masses ranging from 110 to 140 kDa. To date, the venom has been found to contain five insecticidal toxins, termed alpha, beta, gamma, delta and epsilon-latroinsectotoxins (LITs). There is also a vertebrate-specific neurotoxin, alpha-latrotoxin (alpha-LTX), and one toxin affecting crustaceans, alpha-latrocrustatoxin (alpha-LCT). These toxins stimulate massive release of neurotransmitters from nerve terminals and act (1) by binding to specific receptors, some of which mediate an exocytotic signal, and (2) by inserting themselves into the membrane and forming ion-permeable pores. Specific receptors for LITs have yet to be identified, but all three classes of vertebrate receptors known to bind alpha-LTX are also present in insects. All LTXs whose structures have been elucidated (alpha-LIT, delta-LIT, alpha-LTX and alpha-LCT) are highly homologous and have a similar domain architecture, which consists of a unique N-terminal sequence and a large domain composed of 13-22 ankyrin repeats. Three-dimensional (3D) structure analysis, so far done for alpha-LTX only, has revealed its dimeric nature and an ability to form symmetrical tetramers, a feature probably common to all LTXs. Only tetramers have been observed to insert into membranes and form pores. A preliminary 3D reconstruction of a delta-LIT monomer demonstrates the spatial similarity of this toxin to the monomer of alpha-LTX.

  10. 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

  11. Sea Anemone (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Actiniaria Toxins: An Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agostinho Antunes

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The Cnidaria phylum includes organisms that are among the most venomous animals. The Anthozoa class includes sea anemones, hard corals, soft corals and sea pens. The composition of cnidarian venoms is not known in detail, but they appear to contain a variety of compounds. Currently around 250 of those compounds have been identified (peptides, proteins, enzymes and proteinase inhibitors and non-proteinaceous substances (purines, quaternary ammonium compounds, biogenic amines and betaines, but very few genes encoding toxins were described and only a few related protein three-dimensional structures are available. Toxins are used for prey acquisition, but also to deter potential predators (with neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity effects and even to fight territorial disputes. Cnidaria toxins have been identified on the nematocysts located on the tentacles, acrorhagi and acontia, and in the mucous coat that covers the animal body. Sea anemone toxins comprise mainly proteins and peptides that are cytolytic or neurotoxic with its potency varying with the structure and site of action and are efficient in targeting different animals, such as insects, crustaceans and vertebrates. Sea anemones toxins include voltage-gated Na+ and K+ channels toxins, acid-sensing ion channel toxins, Cytolysins, toxins with Kunitz-type protease inhibitors activity and toxins with Phospholipase A2 activity. In this review we assessed the phylogentic relationships of sea anemone toxins, characterized such toxins, the genes encoding them and the toxins three-dimensional structures, further providing a state-of-the-art description of the procedures involved in the isolation and purification of bioactive toxins.

  12. Bioengineered kidney tubules efficiently excrete uremic toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, J; Fedecostante, M; Wilmer, M J; Peters, J G; Kreuser, U M; van den Broek, P H; Mensink, R A; Boltje, T J; Stamatialis, D; Wetzels, J F; van den Heuvel, L P; Hoenderop, J G; Masereeuw, R

    2016-05-31

    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 bioengineered renal tubule capable of active uremic toxin secretion through the concerted action of essential renal transporters, viz. organic anion transporter-1 (OAT1), breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) and multidrug resistance protein-4 (MRP4). Three-dimensional cell monolayer formation of human conditionally immortalized proximal tubule epithelial cells (ciPTEC) on biofunctionalized hollow fibers with maintained barrier function was demonstrated. Using a tailor made flow system, the secretory clearance of human serum albumin-bound uremic toxins, indoxyl sulfate and kynurenic acid, as well as albumin reabsorption across the renal tubule was confirmed. These functional bioengineered renal tubules are promising entities in renal replacement therapies and regenerative medicine, as well as in drug development programs.

  13. The Biology of the Cytolethal Distending Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, Lina; Cortes-Bratti, Ximena; Guidi, Riccardo; Frisan, Teresa

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22069704

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. [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.

  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. Overview of Scorpion Species from China and Their Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhijian Cao

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Scorpions are one of the most ancient groups of terrestrial animals. They have maintained a steady morphology over more than 400 million years of evolution. Their venom arsenals for capturing prey and defending against predators may play a critical role in their ancient and conservative appearance. In the current review, we present the scorpion fauna of China: 53 species covering five families and 12 genera. We also systematically list toxins or genes from Chinese scorpion species, involving eight species covering four families. Furthermore, we review the diverse functions of typical toxins from Chinese scorpion species, involving Na+ channel modulators, K+ channel blockers, antimicrobial peptides and protease inhibitors. Using scorpion species and their toxins from China as an example, we build the bridge between scorpion species and their toxins, which helps us to understand the molecular and functional diversity of scorpion venom arsenal, the dynamic and functional evolution of scorpion toxins, and the potential relationships of scorpion species and their toxins.

  20. Differential Requirement for the Translocation of Clostridial Binary Toxins: Iota Toxin Requires a Membrane Potential Gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-02-28

    chlorpromazin (Chp), filipinIII, nigericin (Ni), con- canamycin (Con), ammonium chloride, and nocodazole were from Sig- ma. 2.2. Bacterial strains and toxin...fluid before recording the radioactivity. Results are expressed as a percentage of inhibited protein synthesis rel- ative to control preparations not...5 nM) (D) as measured by inhibition of protein synthesis in Vero cells. Data are means ± S.D. (n = 5). 10-9 10-7 0 20 40 60 80 100 C2 toxin (log M) F

  1. Beneficial effects of botulinum toxin type A in trigeminal neuralgia

    OpenAIRE

    Zúñiga,Carlos; Díaz,Sergio; Piedimonte,Fabián; Micheli,Federico

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum toxin has been thoroughly studied as a potential tool in the treatment of several pain syndromes. Therefore, we assessed the clinical effects of botulinum toxin type A injections in 12 patients with otherwise unresponsive idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. Patients were infiltrated with 20-50 units of botulinum toxin in trigger zones. Those who presented with mandibular involvement were also infiltrated in the masseter muscle. The patients were assessed on a weekly basis using the Vis...

  2. ClanTox: a classifier of short animal toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Naamati, Guy; Askenazi, Manor; Linial, Michal

    2009-01-01

    Toxins are detected in sporadic species along the evolutionary tree of the animal kingdom. Venomous animals include scorpions, snakes, bees, wasps, frogs and numerous animals living in the sea such as the stonefish, snail, jellyfish, hydra and more. Interestingly, proteins that share a common scaffold with animal toxins also exist in non-venomous species. However, due to their short length and primary sequence diversity, these, toxin-like proteins remain undetected by classical search engines...

  3. 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.

  4. Glassy-state stabilization of a dominant negative inhibitor anthrax vaccine containing aluminum hydroxide and glycopyranoside lipid A adjuvants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassett, Kimberly J; Vance, David J; Jain, Nishant K; Sahni, Neha; Rabia, Lilia A; Cousins, Megan C; Joshi, Sangeeta; Volkin, David B; Middaugh, C Russell; Mantis, Nicholas J; Carpenter, John F; Randolph, Theodore W

    2015-02-01

    During transport and storage, vaccines may be exposed to temperatures outside of the range recommended for storage, potentially causing efficacy losses. To better understand and prevent such losses, dominant negative inhibitor (DNI), a recombinant protein antigen for a candidate vaccine against anthrax, was formulated as a liquid and as a glassy lyophilized powder with the adjuvants aluminum hydroxide and glycopyranoside lipid A (GLA). Freeze-thawing of the liquid vaccine caused the adjuvants to aggregate and decreased its immunogenicity in mice. Immunogenicity of liquid vaccines also decreased when stored at 40°C for 8 weeks, as measured by decreases in neutralizing antibody titers in vaccinated mice. Concomitant with efficacy losses at elevated temperatures, changes in DNI structure were detected by fluorescence spectroscopy and increased deamidation was observed by capillary isoelectric focusing (cIEF) after only 1 week of storage of the liquid formulation at 40°C. In contrast, upon lyophilization, no additional deamidation after 4 weeks at 40°C and no detectable changes in DNI structure or reduction in immunogenicity after 16 weeks at 40°C were observed. Vaccines containing aluminum hydroxide and GLA elicited higher immune responses than vaccines adjuvanted with only aluminum hydroxide, with more mice responding to a single dose. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the American Pharmacists Association.

  5. The Anthrax Protective Antigen (PA63) Bound Conformation of a Peptide Inhibitor of the Binding of Lethal Factor to PA63: As Determined by trNOESY NMR and Molecular Modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    correlation spectroscopy. of members of the tachykinin family of neuropeptides.2 .3 5 J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1982, 104, 3731. Molecular Electrostatic Potentials...and antagonists of the mammalian tachykinin NK1 to skeletal troponium C. J. Mol. Biol. 1991, 222, 405. receptor. J. Med. Chem. 1998, 41, 1497-1506. (29

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 9 CFR 121.4 - Overlap select agents and toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ...; Brucella abortus; Brucella melitensis; Brucella suis; Burkholderia mallei; Burkholderia pseudomallei... toxins must be reported within 24 hours by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail: Bacillus anthracis, Brucella...

  10. Nanoparticle-detained toxins for safe and effective vaccination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Che-Ming J.; Fang, Ronnie H.; Luk, Brian T.; Zhang, Liangfang

    2013-12-01

    Toxoid vaccines--vaccines based on inactivated bacterial toxins--are routinely used to promote antitoxin immunity for the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections. Following chemical or heat denaturation, inactivated toxins can be administered to mount toxin-specific immune responses. However, retaining faithful antigenic presentation while removing toxin virulence remains a major challenge and presents a trade-off between efficacy and safety in toxoid development. Here, we show a nanoparticle-based toxin-detainment strategy that safely delivers non-disrupted pore-forming toxins for immune processing. Using erythrocyte membrane-coated nanoparticles and staphylococcal α-haemolysin, we demonstrate effective virulence neutralization via spontaneous particle entrapment. Compared with vaccination with heat-denatured toxin, mice vaccinated with the nanoparticle-detained toxin showed superior protective immunity against toxin-mediated adverse effects. We find that the non-disruptive detoxification approach benefited the immunogenicity and efficacy of toxoid vaccines. We anticipate that this study will open new possibilities in the preparation of antitoxin vaccines against the many virulence factors that threaten public health.

  11. Antiangiogenic Resistance and Cancer Metabolism: Opportunities for Synthetic Lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lord, Simon; Funes, Juan M; Harris, Adrian L; Quintela-Fandino, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Antiangiogenic resistance is a major problem in cancer therapeutics. Preclinical research has identified several compensatory proangiogenic pathways that arise upon vascular endothelial growth factor inhibition, several of which have led to the development of novel drugs. However, the combination of two or more targeted agents in the angiogenesis system is hampered by toxicity, as the system is involved in normal physiology. We propose a different approach for improving the efficacy of this drug class, which takes advantage of aberrant cancer metabolism. Several features distinguish cancer metabolism from that of normal cells, including increased glycolysis, glutaminolysis, and pentose-phosphate shunt, as well as an anaplerotic shift of the Krebs cycle. In addition, these aberrations are driven by most of the common mutations that can be targeted by drugs. Antiangiogenics may hamper the ability of cancer to sustain aberrant metabolism due to their impacts on nutrient and oxygen supplies, and thus they may induce some metabolic pathways to become essential for tumor survival (induced essentiality or contextual lethality, a type of synthetic lethality). Thus, some metabolic and signaling pathways that are otherwise nonessential may induce synthetic lethality when inhibited in combination with antiangiogenics. The key problems, however, are interpatient and intratumor heterogeneity, as not all patients with the same tumor type show the same metabolic traits and the same metabolic reprogramming in response to antiangiogenics. With each cancer there are heterogeneous hypoxic areas. Integrating dynamic tracking of metabolism may allow us to tailor our choices of companion drugs with antiangiogenics, taking advantage of window-of-opportunity designs.

  12. Left ventricular function during lethal and sublethal endotoxemia in swine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldfarb, R.D.; Nightingale, L.M.; Kish, P.; Weber, P.B.; Loegering, D.J.

    1986-01-01

    Previous studies suggested that after a median lethal dose (LD 50 ) of endotoxin, cardiac contractility was depressed in nonsurviving dogs. The canine cardiovascular system is unlike humans in that dogs have a hepatic vein sphincter that is susceptible to adrenergic stimulation capable of raising hepatic and splanchnic venous pressures. The authors retested the hypothesis that lethality after endotoxin administration is associated with cardiac contractile depression in pigs, because of the hepatic circulation in this species is similar to that of humans. They compared cardiac mechanical function of pigs administered a high dose (250 μg/kg) or a low dose (100 μg/kg) endotoxin by use of the slope of the end-systolic pressure-diameter relationship (ESPDR) as well as other measurements of cardiac performance. In all the pigs administered a high dose, ESPDR demonstrated a marked, time-dependent depression whereas we observed no significant ESPDR changes after low endotoxin doses. The other cardiodynamic variables were uninterpretable, due to the significant changes in heart rate, end-diastolic diameter (preload), and aortic diastolic pressure (afterload). Plasma myocardia depressant factor activity accumulated in all endotoxin-administered animals, tending to be greater in the high-dose group. In this group, both subendocardial blood flow and global function were depressed, whereas pigs administered the low dose endotoxin demonstrated slight, but nonsignificant, increases in flow and function. These observations indicate that myocardial contractile depression is associated with a lethal outcome to high doses of endotoxin. Myocardial perfusion was measured using radiolabeled microspheres infused into the left atria

  13. Entry of diphtheria toxin into cells: possible existence of cellular factor(s) for entry of diphtheria toxin into cells was studied in somatic cell hybrids and hybrid toxins

    OpenAIRE

    1984-01-01

    Ehrlich ascites tumor cells were found to be very insensitive to diphtheria toxin. We formed 37 hybrids from Ehrlich tumor cells and diphtheria toxin-sensitive human fibroblasts. The effects of diphtheria toxin on protein synthesis in those hybrids were examined. The hybrids were divided into three groups on the basis of toxin sensitivity. Group A hybrids were as sensitive to diphtheria toxin as human fibroblasts, Group C were as resistant as Ehrlich tumor cells, and Group B had intermediate ...

  14. Lethal subarachnoid bleeding under immunosuppressive therapy due to mycotic arteritis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weigel, S.; Kloska, S.; Freund, M. [Dept. of Clinical Radiology, Univ. Hospital of Muenster, Muenster (Germany); Kehl, H.G. [Dept. of Pediatric Cardiology, Univ. Hospital of Muenster, Muenster (Germany)

    2003-12-01

    A subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) occurred 67 days after cardiac transplantation in 10-year-old girl with consecutive immunocompromising therapy. Neither digital subtraction angiography (DSA) nor computed tomographic angiography showed signs of intracranial vascular malformations. One month before the lethal SAH occurred, she had developed arterial hypertension and attacks of severe headache with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis while CT scans showed an infarct of the left thalamus. Pathologic findings established the rare diagnosis of SAH due to aspergillosis-related mycotic arteritis. Imaging characteristics are presented. (orig.)

  15. Lethal and Legal The Ethics of Drone Strikes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    of warfare.6 Key rationales for the use of armed drones are that they are legal, effective, and ethical. According to White House spokesman James ...journalist James Foley in August 2014 was in retalia- tion for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.98 These medium- and long-term second order effects caused by lethal...20Security%20 Detention%20in%20Non-International%20Armed%20Conflict.pdf. 36. Benjamin Wittes , “Amnesty International Responds,” Law- fare, October

  16. EXCALIBIR - A space experiment in orbital debris lethality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culp, Robert D.; Dickey, Michael R.

    1991-01-01

    The study proposes a space experiment using extended Space Shuttle external tanks to test the impact of orbital debris. The External Tank Calibrated Impact Response test, EXCALIBIR, is a low-cost low-risk, high-payoff approach to investigating the threat to resident space objects posed by untrackable orbital debris, to provide lethality data to the kinetic energy weapons community, and to aid in the testing of space and missile interceptor technology. This experiment is a feasible use of existing assets - the external tank, observation and data collection facilities, launch facilities, and interceptor technology and tests planned for other programs.

  17. Perinatal lethal type II osteogenesis imperfecta: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayadi, Imene Dahmane; Hamida, Emira Ben; Rebeh, Rania Ben; Chaouachi, Sihem; Marrakchi, Zahra

    2015-01-01

    We report a new case of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) type II which is a perinatal lethal form. First trimester ultrasound didn't identified abnormalities. Second trimester ultrasound showed incurved limbs, narrow chest, with hypomineralization and multiple fractures of ribs and long bones. Parents refused pregnancy termination; they felt that the diagnosis was late. At birth, the newborn presented immediate respiratory distress. Postnatal examination and bone radiography confirmed the diagnosis of OI type IIA. Death occurred on day 25 of life related to respiratory failure.

  18. Ultraviolet-B lethal damage on Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Degiorgi, C.F.; Fernandez, R.O.; Pizarro, R.A.

    1996-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa has shown an increased sensitivity compared with that of Escherichia coli and Enterobacter cloacae, when they were exposed to 0.4 kJ/m2 of ultraviolet-B radiation. The rapid decay in cell viability observed in Pseudomonas aeruginosa after the irradiation was influenced by factors such as culture media and the presence of pyocyanine during the irradiation. The radioinduced lethal damage could be prevented by photoreactivating treatment, indicating that pyrimidine dimer formation was the mechanism causing bacterial death. The results indicate that several environmental conditions may act as protective agents against ultraviolet-B-induced damage

  19. 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

  20. 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. 

  1. 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

  2. Tetanus toxin : primary structure, expression in E. coli, and homology with botulinum toxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eisel, Ulrich; Jarausch, Wolfgang; Goretzki, Karin; Henschen, Agnes; Engels, Joachim; Weller, Ulrich; Hudel, Martina; Habermann, Ernst; Niemann, Heiner; Rott, R.

    1986-01-01

    A pool of synthetic oligonucleotides was used to identify the gene encoding tetanus toxin on a 75-kbp plasmid from a toxigenic non-sporulating strain of Clostridium tetani. The nucleotide sequence contained a single open reading frame coding for 1315 amino acids corresponding to a polypeptide with a

  3. Staphylococcus hyicus exfoliative toxin: Purification and demonstration of antigenic diversity among toxins from virulent strains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andresen, Lars Ole; Bille-Hansen, Vivi; Wegener, Henrik Caspar

    1997-01-01

    The exfoliative toxin produced by Staphylococcus hyicus strain 1289D-88 was purified as a single protein of approximately 30 kDa. Extracellular proteins of S. hyicus grown under small scale fermentation conditions were precipitated with ammonium sulfate. Separation of proteins was performed...

  4. 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.

    1980-01-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. Crystal structures of an intrinsically active cholera toxin mutant yield insight into the toxin activation mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neal, Claire J; Amaya, Edward I; Jobling, Michael G; Holmes, Randall K; Hol, Wim G J

    2004-04-06

    Cholera toxin (CT) is a heterohexameric bacterial protein toxin belonging to a larger family of A/B ADP-ribosylating toxins. Each of these toxins undergoes limited proteolysis and/or disulfide bond reduction to form the enzymatically active toxic fragment. Nicking and reduction render both CT and the closely related heat-labile enterotoxin from Escherichia coli (LT) unstable in solution, thus far preventing a full structural understanding of the conformational changes resulting from toxin activation. We present the first structural glimpse of an active CT in structures from three crystal forms of a single-site A-subunit CT variant, Y30S, which requires no activational modifications for full activity. We also redetermined the structure of the wild-type, proenzyme CT from two crystal forms, both of which exhibit (i) better geometry and (ii) a different A2 "tail" conformation than the previously determined structure [Zhang et al. (1995) J. Mol. Biol. 251, 563-573]. Differences between wild-type CT and active CTY30S are observed in A-subunit loop regions that had been previously implicated in activation by analysis of the structure of an LT A-subunit R7K variant [van den Akker et al. (1995) Biochemistry 34, 10996-11004]. The 25-36 activation loop is disordered in CTY30S, while the 47-56 active site loop displays varying degrees of order in the three CTY30S structures, suggesting that disorder in the activation loop predisposes the active site loop to a greater degree of flexibility than that found in unactivated wild-type CT. On the basis of these six new views of the CT holotoxin, we propose a model for how the activational modifications experienced by wild-type CT are communicated to the active site.

  7. Monoclonal antibody fragment from combinatorial phage display library neutralizes alpha-latrotoxin activity and abolishes black widow spider venom lethality, in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugli, Francesca; Graffeo, Rosalia; Paroni Sterbini, Francesco; Torelli, Riccardo; Masucci, Luca; Sali, Michela; Grasso, Alfonso; Rufini, Stefano; Ricci, Enzo; Fadda, Giovanni; Pescatori, Mario

    2008-03-15

    Alpha-latrotoxin (alpha-ltx), a component of the venom of black widow spiders (BWSV), binds to higher vertebrates presynaptic nerve terminals, stimulating massive neurotransmitter release. This neurotoxic protein is responsible for most of the symptoms elicited in men by the bite of black widow spider (BWS), i.e. a neurological syndrome named latrodectism. By reasoning that targeting this single component would abrogate most of the effect of BWS envenomation, we took advantage of the antibody phage display technology to generate monoclonal Fab fragments able to bind and neutralize the alpha-ltx. To this aim, we immunized Balb/c mice with purified toxin and cloned their antibody repertoire in the pCombIII phage display vector. By combining a high-stringency affinity selection with a sensitive 45Ca(2+) uptake assay, we isolated a Fab fragment (FM1) able to bind the alpha-ltx in the low nM range and neutralize its ionophore activity, in vitro and in vivo. After the onset of overt symptomatology, administration of FM1 to experimentally envenomed mice induced remission of symptoms and prevented lethality. Since alpha-ltx is the only molecule responsible for the great toxicity of BWS bites in mammals, the FM1 Fab, highly effective in neutralizing the toxin in vivo, represents a promising immunotherapy reagent for treating latrodectic patients.

  8. Synthetically lethal nanoparticles for treatment of endometrial cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebeid, Kareem; Meng, Xiangbing; Thiel, Kristina W.; Do, Anh-Vu; Geary, Sean M.; Morris, Angie S.; Pham, Erica L.; Wongrakpanich, Amaraporn; Chhonker, Yashpal S.; Murry, Daryl J.; Leslie, Kimberly K.; Salem, Aliasger K.

    2018-01-01

    Uterine serous carcinoma, one of the most aggressive types of endometrial cancer, is characterized by poor outcomes and mutations in the tumour suppressor p53. Our objective was to engender synthetic lethality to paclitaxel (PTX), the frontline treatment for endometrial cancer, in tumours with mutant p53 and enhance the therapeutic efficacy using polymeric nanoparticles (NPs). First, we identified the optimal NP formulation through comprehensive analyses of release profiles and cellular-uptake and cell viability studies. Not only were PTX-loaded NPs superior to PTX in solution, but the combination of PTX-loaded NPs with the antiangiogenic molecular inhibitor BIBF 1120 (BIBF) promoted synthetic lethality specifically in cells with the loss-of-function (LOF) p53 mutation. In a xenograft model of endometrial cancer, this combinatorial therapy resulted in a marked inhibition of tumour progression and extended survival. Together, our data provide compelling evidence for future studies of BIBF- and PTX-loaded NPs as a therapeutic opportunity for LOF p53 cancers.

  9. Investigation of hexachlorophene for dominant lethal effects in the mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, G L; Arnold, D W; Keplinger, M L; Calandra, J C

    1975-11-01

    Hexachlorophene (HCP) was studied for mutagenic effects in the dominant lethal test on mice. Groups of male mice were treated with either 2.5 or 5.0 mg hexachlorophene per kg body weight as a single intraperitoneal injection. Control animals were treated with the propylene glycol vehicle. Each male was mated with 3 untreated females for each of 8 consecutive weeks with the uterus of the females examined at mid-pregnancy for signs of early embryonic death. Treatment did not alter mating capacity and fertility of the males. The administration of hexachlorophene had no influence on pre- or post-implantation losses. An increase in early resorptions among female mice bred to males treated with the reference compound, methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) given a single i.p. injection of 100 mg/kg, indicated the susceptibility of the mouse strain used to a known mutagen. It is concluded that hexachlorophene at maximally tolerated doses is not mutagenic in the dominant lethal test in mice.

  10. Killing Range: Explaining Lethality Variance within a Terrorist Organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asal, Victor; Gill, Paul; Rethemeyer, R Karl; Horgan, John

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents an analysis of the Provisional Irish Republican Army's (PIRA) brigade level behavior during the Northern Ireland Conflict (1970-1998) and identifies the organizational factors that impact a brigade's lethality as measured via terrorist attacks. Key independent variables include levels of technical expertise, cadre age, counter-terrorism policies experienced, brigade size, and IED components and delivery methods. We find that technical expertise within a brigade allows for careful IED usage, which significantly minimizes civilian casualties (a specific strategic goal of PIRA) while increasing the ability to kill more high value targets with IEDs. Lethal counter-terrorism events also significantly affect a brigade's likelihood of killing both civilians and high-value targets but in different ways. Killing PIRA members significantly decreases IED fatalities but also significantly decreases the possibility of zero civilian IED-related deaths in a given year. Killing innocent Catholics in a Brigade's county significantly increases total and civilian IED fatalities. Together the results suggest the necessity to analyze dynamic situational variables that impact terrorist group behavior at the sub-unit level.

  11. Brine shrimp lethality bioassay of selected gymnosperm and angiosperm species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janaćković Peđa T.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Methanol extracts of selected species of flowering plants Anthemis cotula, A. ruthenica, Centaurea dubia (Asteraceae, Ajuga genevensis, A. chamaepitys, A. reptans, Micromeria albanica, M. cristata, M. dalmatica, M. juliana, Thymus tosevii (Lamiaceae and conifers - Abies alba, Picea omorika, Pinus heldreichii (Pinaceae and Taxus baccata (Taxaceae, as well as diethyl ether extracts of ten species Anthemis cotula, A. ruthenica, Centaurea dubia, Ajuga genevensis, A. chamaepitys, A. reptans, Micromeria albanica, M. cristata, M. dalmatica and M. juliana from two flowering plant families (Asteraceae and Lamiaceae were tested for general bioactivity using brine shrimp (Artemia salina lethality test. Lethal concentration (LC50 and 95% confidence intervals were determined by computer program LdP line. Out of fifteen tested methanol extracts, three possessed cytotoxic effect. Taxus baccata methanol extract showed the highest effect (LC50 = 18.60 μg/ml, while Thymus tosevii methanol extract expressed the lowest (LC50 = 842.50 μg/ml. All other analyzed species did not express significant cytotoxicity. Also, diethyl ether extracts of all tested species did not show significant cytotoxicity. The obtained results for methanol extracts which show certain cytotoxic effect could be guide for further phytochemical and pharmacological investigations. [Project of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Grant no. 173029

  12. Treatment of lethal acetylsalicylic acid poisoning without hemodialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Masahito; Oda, Jun; Soeda, Hiroshi; Uesugi, Hirotaka; Ueno, Keiko; Fujise, Yo; Yukioka, Tetsuo

    2015-04-01

    A woman aged in her 20s ingested approximately 99 g acetylsalicylic acid, and was transported to our hospital 2 h later. She was lucid, but complained of hearing loss and tinnitus. We performed gastric lavage and gave her activated charcoal several times. We attempted to maintain the urinary pH at 7.5 and output above 100 mL/h while preparing for urgent hemodialysis. It was revealed after discharge that the blood concentration of acetylsalicylic acid was 103.8 mg/dL on admission (lethal dose level) and had decreased to 35.4 mg/dL by the next morning. The half-life was 8.5 h. Hemodialysis is strongly recommended for patients who take a lethal dose of acetylsalicylic acid. However, by carefully evaluating the vital signs and urinary output and pH, while preparing for emergency hemodialysis, we consider that it is possible to treat acetylsalicylic acid poisoning by alkaline diuresis and critical supportive care.

  13. Lethal action of thermal neutron to living cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawai, Kenichi; Akahoshi, Mitsuhiko

    1975-01-01

    Using Amoeba Proteus (DNA content was 5x10 -10 g/cell), action mechanism of thermal neutron was described by using death of cells as an index. Using mononuclear type (M-type) and polynuclear type (P-type) of Amoeba, investigation was made as to whether the number of nucleus contained in cell was related to death of cell by radiation. As compared to gamma-ray, marked difference between sensitivity of both types of Amoeba was not recognized. It was suggested that nucleus was important as a place of death of cell by thermal neutron. In order to demonstrate that reaction of 31 P(n, γ) 32 Pwas a main cause of lethality, the following experiment was carried out. 1) In order to investigate that radical reaction was not a main cause of lethal action by thermal neutron, increase and decrease of radical reaction were observed by adding AET, Cysteine and BudR. As to thermal neutron action, effect of its chemical factors did not appeared. 2) In order to demonstrate that nuclear reaction of constituent atom of living body played an important part in death of cell, increase and decrease of nuclear reaction within cell were observed by taking Na 2 , B 4 and O 7 into Amoeba. It was suggested that nuclear reaction of cell constituent atom itself was important in death of cell. 3) Potentiation effect of gamma-ray and thermal neutron was investigated and its mechanism was discussed. (K. Serizawa)

  14. An outbreak of lethal adenovirus infection among different otariid species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoshima, Yasuo; Murakami, Tomoaki; Ishiguro, Naotaka; Hasegawa, Kazuhiro; Kasamatsu, Masahiko

    2013-08-30

    An outbreak of fatal fulminant hepatitis at a Japanese aquarium involved 3 otariids: a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), a South African fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) and a South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens). In a span of about a week in February 2012, 3 otariids showed diarrhea and were acutely low-spirited; subsequently, all three animals died within a period of 3 days. Markedly increased aspartate amino transferase and alanine amino transferase activities were observed. Necrotic hepatitis and eosinophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies in liver hepatocytes and intestinal epithelial cells were observed in the South American sea lion on histological examination. Otarine adenovirus DNA was detected from the livers of all three animals by polymerase chain reaction and determination of the sequences showed that all were identical. These results suggest that a single otarine adenovirus strain may have been the etiological agent of this outbreak of fatal fulminant hepatitis among the different otariid species, and it may be a lethal threat to wild and captive otariids. This is the first evidence of an outbreak of lethal adenovirus infection among different otariid species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Experimental evaluation of the relationship between lethal or non-lethal virulence and transmission success in malaria parasite infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nithiuthai S

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary theory suggests that the selection pressure on parasites to maximize their transmission determines their optimal host exploitation strategies and thus their virulence. Establishing the adaptive basis to parasite life history traits has important consequences for predicting parasite responses to public health interventions. In this study we examine the extent to which malaria parasites conform to the predicted adaptive trade-off between transmission and virulence, as defined by mortality. The majority of natural infections, however, result in sub-lethal virulent effects (e.g. anaemia and are often composed of many strains. Both sub-lethal effects and pathogen population structure have been theoretically shown to have important consequences for virulence evolution. Thus, we additionally examine the relationship between anaemia and transmission in single and mixed clone infections. Results Whereas there was a trade-off between transmission success and virulence as defined by host mortality, contradictory clone-specific patterns occurred when defining virulence by anaemia. A negative relationship between anaemia and transmission success was found for one of the parasite clones, whereas there was no relationship for the other. Notably the two parasite clones also differed in a transmission phenotype (gametocyte sex ratio that has previously been shown to respond adaptively to a changing blood environment. In addition, as predicted by evolutionary theory, mixed infections resulted in increased anaemia. The increased anaemia was, however, not correlated with any discernable parasite trait (e.g. parasite density or with increased transmission. Conclusions We found some evidence supporting the hypothesis that there is an adaptive basis correlating virulence (as defined by host mortality and transmission success in malaria parasites. This confirms the validity of applying evolutionary virulence theory to biomedical

  16. Testing the "toxin hypothesis of allergy": Mast cells, IgE, and innate and acquired immune responses to venoms*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Mindy; Starkl, Philipp; Marichal, Thomas; Galli, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Work in mice indicates that innate functions of mast cells, particularly degradation of venom toxins by mast cell-derived proteases, can enhance resistance to certain arthropod or reptile venoms. Recent reports indicate that acquired Th2 immune responses associated with the production of IgE antibodies, induced by Russell’s viper venom or honeybee venom, or by a component of honeybee venom, bee venom phospholipase 2 (bvPLA2), can increase the resistance of mice to challenge with potentially lethal doses of either of the venoms or bvPLA2. These findings support the conclusion that, in contrast to the detrimental effects associated with allergic Th2 immune responses, mast cells and IgE-dependent immune responses to venoms can contribute to innate and adaptive resistance to venom-induced pathology and mortality. PMID:26210895

  17. The Influence of the Toxin/Antitoxin mazEF on Growth and Survival of Listeria monocytogenes under Stress

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Curtis, Thomas; Takeuchi, Ippei; Gram, Lone

    2017-01-01

    A major factor in the resilience of Listeria monocytogenes is the alternative sigma factor B (σB). Type II Toxin/Antitoxin (TA) systems are also known to have a role in the bacterial stress response upon activation via the ClpP or Lon proteases. Directly upstream of the σB operon in L....... monocytogenes is the TA system mazEF, which can cleave mRNA at UACMU sites. In this study, we showed that the mazEF TA locus does not affect the level of persister formation during treatment with antibiotics in lethal doses, but exerts different effects according to the sub-inhibitory stress added. Growth...... it is not analogous to the system of S. aureus, suggesting a novel mode of action for MazEF in L. monocytogenes....

  18. Studying aerococci impact on colonization of intestinal mucous membrane with vibrions and ability to destroy staphilococus toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stepanskyi D.О.

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available One of the promising methods of prevention and treatment of intestinal infections is the use of probiotics. A series of experiments was carried out to study the protective effect of A. viridans vibrio in experimental vibroinfection and the introduction of staphylococcus toxin. In the intestine of animals receiving aerococcus competitive colonization takes place. Results of experiments on colonization in experimental animals which survived without signs of NAG infection showed that vibrios in the intestinal wall were almost absent, but a large number of aerococcus was found (2,5±0,2 *105. In cases of infectious process development, but in a mild form, aerococci prevailed over vibrios: (2,7±0,6 *104, and (2,0±0.2 *103 respectively. Aerococci injected subcutaneously can maintain livelihoods for several hours, destroying totally or partially introduced staphylococcus exotoxin, reducing the strength of its lethal activity

  19. Characteristics and Lethality of a Novel Recombinant  Dermonecrotic Venom Phospholipase D from  Hemiscorpius lepturus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elham Torabi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Hemoscorpius lepturus is the most medically important scorpion in Iran. The clinical signs of H. lepturus envenomation are remarkably similar to those reported for brown spiders, including dermonecrosis, hematuria, renal failure and even death. The lethality and toxicity of brown spiders’ venom have been attributed to its phospholipase D activity. This study aims to identify a phospholipase D with possible lethality and dermonecrotic activity in H. lepturus venom. In this study, a cDNA library of the venom glands was generated by Illumina RNA sequencing. Phospholipase D (PLD from H. lepturus was characterized according to its significant similarity with PLDs from brown spiders. The main chain designated as Hl‐RecPLD1 (the first recombinant isoform of H. lepturus PLD was cloned, expressed and purified. Sphingomyelinase, dermonecrotic and lethal activities were examined. Hl‐PLD1 showed remarkable sequence similarity and structural homology with PLDs of brown spiders. The conformation of Hl‐PLD1 was predicted as a “TIM beta/alpha‐barrel”. The lethal dose 50 (LD50 and dermonecrotic activities of Hl‐RecPLD1 were determined as 3.1 μg/mouse and 0.7 cm2 at 1 μg respectively. It is the first report indicating that a similar molecular evolutionary mechanism has occurred in both American brown spiders and this Iranian scorpion. In conclusion, Hl‐RecPLD1 is a highly active phospholipase D, which would be considered as the lethal dermonecrotic toxin in H. lepturus venom.

  20. Comparisons of the humoral and cellular immunity induced by live A16R attenuated spore and AVA-like anthrax vaccine in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Jin; Zhang, Ying-Ying; Lu, Xun; Zhang, Hao; Wei, Lin; Gao, Jun; Hu, Bin; Hu, Wen-Wei; Hu, Dun-Zhong; Jia, Na; Feng, Xin

    2017-03-01

    The live attenuated anthrax vaccine and anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) are two main types of anthrax vaccines currently used in human. However, the immunoprotective mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study, we compared humoral and cellular immunity induced by live A16R spore vaccine and A16R strain derived AVA-like vaccine in mice peripheral blood, spleen and bone marrow. Both A16R spores and AVA-like vaccines induced a sustained IgG antibody response with IgG1/IgG2b subtype dominance. However, A16R spores vaccine induced higher titer of IgG2a compared with AVA-like vaccine, indicating a stronger Th1 response to A16R spores. Using antigen-specific ELISpot assay, we observed a significant response of ASCs (antibody secreting cells) and IL4-CSCs (cytokine secreting cells) in mice. Specially, there was a positive correlation between the frequencies of antigen specific ASCs and IL4-CSCs in bone marrow derived cells, either by A16R spore or AVA-like vaccine vaccination. Moreover, we also found A16R spore vaccine, not AVA-like vaccine, could induce sustained frequency of IFN-γ-CSCs in bone marrow derived cells. Collectively, both the vaccines induced a mixed Th1/Th2 response with Th2 dominance in mice and A16R spore vaccine might provide a more comprehensive protection because of humoral and cellular immunity induced in bone marrow. Copyright © 2017 International Alliance for Biological Standardization. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.