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Sample records for anthrax lethal toxin

  1. Anthrax lethal and edema toxins in anthrax pathogenesis.

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    Liu, Shihui; Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H

    2014-06-01

    The pathophysiological effects resulting from many bacterial diseases are caused by exotoxins released by the bacteria. Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming bacterium, is such a pathogen, causing anthrax through a combination of bacterial infection and toxemia. B. anthracis causes natural infection in humans and animals and has been a top bioterrorism concern since the 2001 anthrax attacks in the USA. The exotoxins secreted by B. anthracis use capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2) as the major toxin receptor and play essential roles in pathogenesis during the entire course of the disease. This review focuses on the activities of anthrax toxins and their roles in initial and late stages of anthrax infection.

  2. Anthrax toxin receptor 2-dependent lethal toxin killing in vivo.

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    Heather M Scobie

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Suppressive effects of anthrax lethal toxin on megakaryopoiesis.

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    Po-Kong Chen

    Full Text Available Anthrax lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. LT challenge suppresses platelet counts and platelet function in mice, however, the mechanism responsible for thrombocytopenia remains unclear. LT inhibits cellular mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs, which are vital pathways responsible for cell survival, differentiation, and maturation. One of the MAPKs, the MEK1/2-extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway, is particularly important in megakaryopoiesis. This study evaluates the hypothesis that LT may suppress the progenitor cells of platelets, thereby inducing thrombocytopenic responses. Using cord blood-derived CD34(+ cells and mouse bone marrow mononuclear cells to perform in vitro differentiation, this work shows that LT suppresses megakaryopoiesis by reducing the survival of megakaryocytes. Thrombopoietin treatments can reduce thrombocytopenia, megakaryocytic suppression, and the quick onset of lethality in LT-challenged mice. These results suggest that megakaryocytic suppression is one of the mechanisms by which LT induces thrombocytopenia. These findings may provide new insights for developing feasible approaches against anthrax.

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

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

    2014-09-01

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

  5. The Potential Contributions of Lethal and Edema Toxins to the Pathogenesis of Anthrax Associated Shock

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    Peter Q. Eichacker

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Outbreaks of Bacillus anthracis in the US and Europe over the past 10 years have emphasized the health threat this lethal bacteria poses even for developed parts of the world. In contrast to cutaneous anthrax, inhalational disease in the US during the 2001 outbreaks and the newly identified injectional drug use form of disease in the UK and Germany have been associated with relatively high mortality rates. One notable aspect of these cases has been the difficulty in supporting patients once shock has developed. Anthrax bacilli produce several different components which likely contribute to this shock. Growing evidence indicates that both major anthrax toxins may produce substantial cardiovascular dysfunction. Lethal toxin (LT can alter peripheral vascular function; it also has direct myocardial depressant effects. Edema toxin (ET may have even more pronounced peripheral vascular effects than LT, including the ability to interfere with the actions of conventional vasopressors. Additionally, ET also appears capable of interfering with renal sodium and water retention. Importantly, the two toxins exert their actions via quite different mechanisms and therefore have the potential to worsen shock and outcome in an additive fashion. Finally, both toxins have the ability to inhibit host defense and microbial clearance, possibly contributing to the very high bacterial loads noted in patients dying with anthrax. This last point is clinically relevant since emerging data has begun to implicate other bacterial components such as anthrax cell wall in the shock and organ injury observed with infection. Taken together, accumulating evidence regarding the potential contribution of LT and ET to anthrax-associated shock supports efforts to develop adjunctive therapies that target both toxins in patients with progressive shock.

  6. Quantitative Determination of Lethal Toxin Proteins in Culture Supernatant of Human Live Anthrax Vaccine Bacillus anthracis A16R.

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    Zai, Xiaodong; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Ju; Liu, Jie; Li, Liangliang; Yin, Ying; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2016-02-25

    Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) is the etiological agent of anthrax affecting both humans and animals. Anthrax toxin (AT) plays a major role in pathogenesis. It includes lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are formed by the combination of protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF), respectively. The currently used human anthrax vaccine in China utilizes live-attenuated B. anthracis spores (A16R; pXO1+, pXO2-) that produce anthrax toxin but cannot produce the capsule. Anthrax toxins, especially LT, have key effects on both the immunogenicity and toxicity of human anthrax vaccines. Thus, determining quantities and biological activities of LT proteins expressed by the A16R strain is meaningful. Here, we explored LT expression patterns of the A16R strain in culture conditions using another vaccine strain Sterne as a control. We developed a sandwich ELISA and cytotoxicity-based method for quantitative detection of PA and LF. Expression and degradation of LT proteins were observed in culture supernatants over time. Additionally, LT proteins expressed by the A16R and Sterne strains were found to be monomeric and showed cytotoxic activity, which may be the main reason for side effects of live anthrax vaccines. Our work facilitates the characterization of anthrax vaccines components and establishment of a quality control standard for vaccine production which may ultimately help to ensure the efficacy and safety of the human anthrax vaccine A16R.

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

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    Silin, Vitalii; Kasianowicz, John J.; Michelman-Ribeiro, Ariel; Panchal, Rekha G.; Bavari, Sina; Robertson, Joseph W. F.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27348008

  8. Select human anthrax protective antigen (PA) epitope-specific antibodies provide protection from lethal toxin challenge

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    Crowe, Sherry R.; Ash, Linda L.; Engler, Renata J. M.; Ballard, Jimmy D.; Harley, John B.; Farris, A. Darise; James, Judith A.

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis remains a serious bioterrorism concern, and the currently licensed vaccine remains an incomplete solution for population protection from inhalation anthrax and has been associated with concerns regarding efficacy and safety. Thus, understanding how to generate long lasting protective immunity with reduced immunizations or providing protection through post exposure immunotherapeutics are long sought goals. Through evaluation of a large military cohort, we characterized the levels of antibodies against protective antigen and found that over half of anthrax vaccinees had low levels of in vitro toxin neutralization capacity in their sera. Using solid phase epitope mapping and confirmatory assays, we identified several neutralization-associated humoral epitopes and demonstrated that select anti-peptide responses mediated protection in vitro. Finally, passively transferred antibodies specific for select epitopes provided protection in an in vivo lethal toxin mouse model. Identification of these antigenic regions has important implications for vaccine design and the development of directed immunotherapeutics. PMID:20533877

  9. Erythropoiesis suppression is associated with anthrax lethal toxin-mediated pathogenic progression.

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    Hsin-Hou Chang

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which results in high mortality in animals and humans. Although some of the mechanisms are already known such as asphyxia, extensive knowledge of molecular pathogenesis of this disease is deficient and remains to be further investigated. Lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of B. anthracis and a specific inhibitor/protease of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKKs. Anthrax LT causes lethality and induces certain anthrax-like symptoms, such as anemia and hypoxia, in experimental mice. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs are the downstream pathways of MAPKKs, and are important for erythropoiesis. This prompted us to hypothesize that anemia and hypoxia may in part be exacerbated by erythropoietic dysfunction. As revealed by colony-forming cell assays in this study, LT challenges significantly reduced mouse erythroid progenitor cells. In addition, in a proteolytic activity-dependent manner, LT suppressed cell survival and differentiation of cord blood CD34(+-derived erythroblasts in vitro. Suppression of cell numbers and the percentage of erythroblasts in the bone marrow were detected in LT-challenged C57BL/6J mice. In contrast, erythropoiesis was provoked through treatments of erythropoietin, significantly ameliorating the anemia and reducing the mortality of LT-treated mice. These data suggested that suppressed erythropoiesis is part of the pathophysiology of LT-mediated intoxication. Because specific treatments to overcome LT-mediated pathogenesis are still lacking, these efforts may help the development of effective treatments against anthrax.

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

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    Kandadi Machender R

    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.

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

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    Zhang, Xia; Amin, Elizabeth Ambrose

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Devera, T Scott; Prusator, Dawn K; Joshi, Sunil K; Ballard, Jimmy D; Lang, Mark L

    2015-06-25

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

  13. Anthrax lethal toxin suppresses high glucose induced VEGF over secretion through a post-translational mechanism

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    Wei-Wei; Zhang; Xin; Wang; Ping; Xie; Song-Tao; Yuan; Qing-Huai; Liu

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To prove anthrax lethal toxin(Le Tx) blocks the mitogen activated protein kinases(MAPKs) activation by degrading the MAPK/ERK kinases(MEKs) to suppress vascular endothelial growth factor(VEGF) secretion.METHODS: Human adult retinal pigmented epithelium(ARPE) cells were cultured and treated with normal glucose, high glucose or high glucose with Le Tx for additional 24, 48 or 72 h for viable cell count. Total RNA from the ARPE was isolated for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR). The conditioned medium of ARPE cells treated in different group for 48 h was filtered and diluted to detect the concentration of VEGF by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays.Evaluate the role of MEK/MAPK pathway in the secretion of VEGF by immunoblotting. RESULTS: In this study, we proved high glucose induced activation of the MAPK extracellular signal-regulated kinase(ERK1/2) and p38 in the ARPE cell line was blocked by anthrax Le Tx. Le Tx also inhibited high glucose induced ARPE cell over proliferation.CONCLUSION: Le Tx suppressed high glucose induced VEGF over secretion in the ARPE cells, mainly through a post-translational mechanism.

  14. Blocking anthrax lethal toxin at the protective antigen channel by using structure-inspired drug design

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    Karginov, Vladimir A.; Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2005-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis secretes three polypeptides: protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF), which interact at the surface of mammalian cells to form toxic complexes. LF and EF are enzymes that target substrates within the cytosol; PA provides a heptameric pore to facilitate LF and EF transport into the cytosol. Other than administration of antibiotics shortly after exposure, there is currently no approved effective treatment for inhalational anthrax. Here we demonstrat...

  15. Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum-Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1 Anthrax Lethal Toxin Cytototoxity Assay

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    2005-12-01

    Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum - Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1 Anthrax Lethal Toxin...activity of colostrum -derived, polyclonal, bovine antibodies. Antibodies against lethal factor and protective antigen were found to protect...APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE Assessment of Neutralising Activity of Colostrum - Derived, Polyclonal, Bovine Antibodies: Use of the J774A.1

  16. Anthrax lethal toxin-mediated killing of human and murine dendritic cells impairs the adaptive immune response.

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    Abdelkrim Alileche

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Many pathogens have acquired strategies to combat the immune response. Bacillus anthracis interferes with host defenses by releasing anthrax lethal toxin (LT, which inactivates mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, rendering dendritic cells (DCs and T lymphocytes nonresponsive to immune stimulation. However, these cell types are considered resistant to killing by LT. Here we show that LT kills primary human DCs in vitro, and murine DCs in vitro and in vivo. Kinetics of LT-mediated killing of murine DCs, as well as cell death pathways induced, were dependent upon genetic background: LT triggered rapid necrosis in BALB/c-derived DCs, and slow apoptosis in C57BL/6-derived DCs. This is consistent with rapid and slow killing of LT-injected BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, respectively. We present evidence that anthrax LT impairs adaptive immunity by specifically targeting DCs. This may represent an immune-evasion strategy of the bacterium, and contribute to anthrax disease progression. We also established that genetic background determines whether apoptosis or necrosis is induced by LT. Finally, killing of C57BL/6-derived DCs by LT mirrors that of human DCs, suggesting that C57BL/6 DCs represent a better model system for human anthrax than the prototypical BALB/c macrophages.

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

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

    2016-07-05

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

  18. Effect of delayed anthrax vaccine dose on Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG response and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

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    Pittman, Phillip R; Fisher, Diana; Quinn, Xiaofei; Schmader, Trevor; Barrera-Oro, Julio G

    2013-10-17

    We describe the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen IgG antibody response and the B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity to a delayed dose of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA, BioThrax(®)) using validated assays. 373 individuals received 1, 2, or 3 priming doses, 18-24 months afterward, they received a delayed dose of AVA. Overall, 23.6% of subjects showed detectable anti-PA IgG before the boost, compared to 99.2% (P<0.0001) 28 days after the boost. Geometric mean anti-PA IgG concentration (GMC) was 1.66 μg/mL before and 887.82 μg/mL after the boost (P<0.0001). The proportion of individuals with four-fold increase in GMC following the boost ranged from 93.8% to 100%. Robust anti-PA IgG levels and B. anthracis lethal toxin neutralization activity are induced when an AVA dose is delayed as long as two years. These data support continuing with the vaccination schedule when a dose is delayed as long as two years rather than restarting the series.

  19. Erythrocytic mobilization enhanced by the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is associated with reduced anthrax-lethal-toxin-induced mortality in mice.

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    Hsin-Hou Chang

    Full Text Available Anthrax lethal toxin (LT, one of the primary virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis, causes anthrax-like symptoms and death in animals. Experiments have indicated that levels of erythrocytopenia and hypoxic stress are associated with disease severity after administering LT. In this study, the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF was used as a therapeutic agent to ameliorate anthrax-LT- and spore-induced mortality in C57BL/6J mice. We demonstrated that G-CSF promoted the mobilization of mature erythrocytes to peripheral blood, resulting in a significantly faster recovery from erythrocytopenia. In addition, combined treatment using G-CSF and erythropoietin tended to ameliorate B. anthracis-spore-elicited mortality in mice. Although specific treatments against LT-mediated pathogenesis remain elusive, these results may be useful in developing feasible strategies to treat anthrax.

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

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    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.

  1. Designing Inhibitors of Anthrax Toxin

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    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Present-day rational drug design approaches are based on exploiting unique features of the target biomolecules, small- or macromolecule drug candidates, and physical forces that govern their interactions. The 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded “for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems” once again demonstrated the importance of the tailored drug discovery that reduces the role of the trial and error approach to a minimum. The “rational drug design” term is rather comprehensive as it includes all contemporary methods of drug discovery where serendipity and screening are substituted by the information-guided search for new and existing compounds. Successful implementation of these innovative drug discovery approaches is inevitably preceded by learning the physics, chemistry, and physiology of functioning of biological structures under normal and pathological conditions. Areas covered This article provides an overview of the recent rational drug design approaches to discover inhibitors of anthrax toxin. Some of the examples include small-molecule and peptide-based post-exposure therapeutic agents as well as several polyvalent compounds. The review also directs the reader to the vast literature on the recognized advances and future possibilities in the field. Expert opinion Existing options to combat anthrax toxin lethality are limited. With the only anthrax toxin inhibiting therapy (PA-targeting with a monoclonal antibody, raxibacumab) approved to treat inhalational anthrax, in our view, the situation is still insecure. The FDA’s animal rule for drug approval, which clears compounds without validated efficacy studies on humans, creates a high level of uncertainty, especially when a well-characterized animal model does not exist. Besides, unlike PA, which is known to be unstable, LF remains active in cells and in animal tissues for days. Therefore, the effectiveness of the post-exposure treatment of the individuals

  2. Antiplatelet activities of anthrax lethal toxin are associated with suppressed p42/44 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in the platelets.

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    Kau, Jyh-Hwa; Sun, Der-Shan; Tsai, Wei-Jern; Shyu, Huey-Fen; Huang, Hsin-Hsien; Lin, Hung-Chi; Chang, Hsin-Hou

    2005-10-15

    Anthrax lethal toxin (LT) is the major virulence factor produced by Bacillus anthracis, but the mechanism by which it induces high mortality remains unclear. We found that LT treatment could induce severe hemorrhage in mice and significantly suppress human whole-blood clotting and platelet aggregation in vitro. In addition, LT could inhibit agonist-induced platelet surface P-selectin expression, resulting in the inhibition of platelet-endothelial cell engagements. Data from Western blot analysis indicated that LT treatment resulted in the suppression of p42/44 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in platelets. Combined treatments with LT and antiplatelet agents such as aspirin and the RGD-containing disintegrin rhodostomin significantly increased mortality in mice. Our data suggest that platelets are a pathogenic target for anthrax LT.

  3. Secretory expression and efficient purification of recombinant anthrax toxin lethal factor with full biological activity in E. coli.

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    Liu, Ju; Cai, Chenguang; Guo, Qiang; Zhang, Jun; Dong, Dayong; Li, Guanlin; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2013-05-01

    Lethal factor (LF), a virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, plays key roles in anthrax pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. The detailed mechanisms by which LF contributes to infection are still under investigation. While these studies require pure, homogeneous and reliable LF preparations, most methods reported for production of recombinant LF (rLF) in B. anthracis or Escherichia coli either are complicated or add extra residues to the protein. In this work, we modified our previous method by codon optimization and chromatograph workflow refinement and developed an improved strategy for efficient production of rLF from the periplasm of E. coli. We were able to obtain fully functional rLF with a purity above 95% and with a considerable yield of 5 mg/L. The preparation was characterized by SDS-PAGE, Western blot, and N-terminal sequencing, and the activity was validated by intoxication of macrophages and Fischer 344 rats. Our final product is suitable for most research involving drug development and mechanism analysis of anthrax pathogenesis.

  4. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 1: Discovery of potent lethal factor inhibitors with in vivo efficacy.

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    Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Moayeri, Mahtab; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2010-11-15

    Sub-nanomolar small molecule inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor have been identified using SAR and Merck L915 (4) as a model compound. One of these compounds (16) provided 100% protection in a rat lethal toxin model of anthrax disease.

  5. Anthrax toxins cooperatively inhibit endocytic recycling by the Rab11/Sec15 exocyst

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guichard, Annabel; McGillivray, Shauna M.; Cruz-Moreno, Beatriz; van Sorge, Nina M.; Nizet, Victor; Bier, Ethan

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax in humans and other mammals(1,2). In lethal systemic anthrax, proliferating bacilli secrete large quantities of the toxins lethal factor (LF) and oedema factor (EF), leading to widespread vascular leakage and shock. Whereas host targets of LF (mit

  6. Cytoskeleton as an Emerging Target of Anthrax Toxins

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    Jean-Nicolas Tournier

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis, the agent of anthrax, has gained virulence through its exotoxins produced by vegetative bacilli and is composed of three components forming lethal toxin (LT and edema toxin (ET. So far, little is known about the effects of these toxins on the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Here, we provide an overview on the general effects of toxin upon the cytoskeleton architecture. Thus, we shall discuss how anthrax toxins interact with their receptors and may disrupt the interface between extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton. We then analyze what toxin molecular effects on cytoskeleton have been described, before discussing how the cytoskeleton may help the pathogen to corrupt general cell processes such as phagocytosis or vascular integrity.

  7. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin reduces human alveolar epithelial barrier function.

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    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin; Metcalf, Jordan Patrick

    2012-12-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness.

  8. Lethal factor, but not edema factor, is required to cause fatal anthrax in cynomolgus macaques after pulmonary spore challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutt, Julie A; Lovchik, Julie A; Drysdale, Melissa; Sherwood, Robert L; Brasel, Trevor; Lipscomb, Mary F; Lyons, C Rick

    2014-12-01

    Inhalational anthrax is caused by inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores. The ability of B. anthracis to cause anthrax is attributed to the plasmid-encoded A/B-type toxins, edema toxin (edema factor and protective antigen) and lethal toxin (lethal factor and protective antigen), and a poly-d-glutamic acid capsule. To better understand the contribution of these toxins to the disease pathophysiology in vivo, we used B. anthracis Ames strain and isogenic toxin deletion mutants derived from the Ames strain to examine the role of lethal toxin and edema toxin after pulmonary spore challenge of cynomolgus macaques. Lethal toxin, but not edema toxin, was required to induce sustained bacteremia and death after pulmonary challenge with spores delivered via bronchoscopy. After intravenous challenge with bacilli to model the systemic phase of infection, lethal toxin contributed to bacterial proliferation and subsequent host death to a greater extent than edema toxin. Deletion of protective antigen resulted in greater loss of virulence after intravenous challenge with bacilli than deletion of lethal toxin or edema toxin alone. These findings are consistent with the ability of anti-protective antigen antibodies to prevent anthrax and suggest that lethal factor is the dominant toxin that contributes to the escape of significant numbers of bacilli from the thoracic cavity to cause anthrax after inhalation challenge with spores.

  9. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 2: structural modifications leading to improved in vivo efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seongjin; Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2011-04-01

    New anthrax lethal factor inhibitors (LFIs) were designed based upon previously identified potent inhibitors 1a and 2. Combining the new core structures with modifications to the C2-side chain yielded analogs with improved efficacy in the rat lethal toxin model.

  10. Anthrax toxin-induced rupture of artificial lipid bilayer membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nablo, Brian J.; Panchal, Rekha G.; Bavari, Sina; Nguyen, Tam L.; Gussio, Rick; Ribot, Wil; Friedlander, Art; Chabot, Donald; Reiner, Joseph E.; Robertson, Joseph W. F.; Balijepalli, Arvind; Halverson, Kelly M.; Kasianowicz, John J.

    2013-08-01

    We demonstrate experimentally that anthrax toxin complexes rupture artificial lipid bilayer membranes when isolated from the blood of infected animals. When the solution pH is temporally acidified to mimic that process in endosomes, recombinant anthrax toxin forms an irreversibly bound complex, which also destabilizes membranes. The results suggest an alternative mechanism for the translocation of anthrax toxin into the cytoplasm.

  11. Passive Immunotherapy Protects against Enteric Invasion and Lethal Sepsis in a Murine Model of Gastrointestinal Anthrax.

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    Huang, Bruce; Xie, Tao; Rotstein, David; Fang, Hui; Frucht, David M

    2015-09-29

    The principal portal for anthrax infection in natural animal outbreaks is the digestive tract. Enteric exposure to anthrax, which is difficult to detect or prevent in a timely manner, could be exploited as an act of terror through contamination of human or animal food. Our group has developed a novel animal model of gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax for evaluation of disease pathogenesis and experimental therapeutics, utilizing vegetative Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) administered to A/J mice (a complement-deficient strain) by oral gavage. We hypothesized that a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody (mAb) * that neutralizes the protective antigen (PA) component of B. anthracis lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET) could be an effective treatment. Although the efficacy of this anti-anthrax PA mAb has been shown in animal models of inhalational anthrax, its activity in GI infection had not yet been ascertained. We hereby demonstrate that passive immunotherapy with anti-anthrax PA mAb, administered at the same time as gastrointestinal exposure to B. anthracis, prevents lethal sepsis in nearly all cases (>90%), while a delay of up to forty-eight hours in treatment still greatly reduces mortality following exposure (65%). Moreover, passive immunotherapy protects against enteric invasion, associated mucosal injury and subsequent dissemination by gastrointestinal B. anthracis, indicating that it acts to prevent the initial stages of infection. * Expired raxibacumab being cycled off the Strategic National Stockpile; biological activity confirmed by in vitro assay.

  12. Anthrax Toxin-Expressing Bacillus cereus Isolated from an Anthrax-Like Eschar.

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    Chung K Marston

    Full Text Available Bacillus cereus isolates have been described harboring Bacillus anthracis toxin genes, most notably B. cereus G9241, and capable of causing severe and fatal pneumonias. This report describes the characterization of a B. cereus isolate, BcFL2013, associated with a naturally occurring cutaneous lesion resembling an anthrax eschar. Similar to G9241, BcFL2013 is positive for the B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes, has a multi-locus sequence type of 78, and a pagA sequence type of 9. Whole genome sequencing confirms the similarity to G9241. In addition to the chromosome having an average nucleotide identity of 99.98% when compared to G9241, BcFL2013 harbors three plasmids with varying homology to the G9241 plasmids (pBCXO1, pBC210 and pBFH_1. This is also the first report to include serologic testing of patient specimens associated with this type of B. cereus infection which resulted in the detection of anthrax lethal factor toxemia, a quantifiable serum antibody response to protective antigen (PA, and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

  13. Anthrax Toxin-Expressing Bacillus cereus Isolated from an Anthrax-Like Eschar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marston, Chung K; Ibrahim, Hisham; Lee, Philip; Churchwell, George; Gumke, Megan; Stanek, Danielle; Gee, Jay E; Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Barr, John R; Li, Han; Boulay, Darbi; Cronin, Li; Quinn, Conrad P; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus isolates have been described harboring Bacillus anthracis toxin genes, most notably B. cereus G9241, and capable of causing severe and fatal pneumonias. This report describes the characterization of a B. cereus isolate, BcFL2013, associated with a naturally occurring cutaneous lesion resembling an anthrax eschar. Similar to G9241, BcFL2013 is positive for the B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes, has a multi-locus sequence type of 78, and a pagA sequence type of 9. Whole genome sequencing confirms the similarity to G9241. In addition to the chromosome having an average nucleotide identity of 99.98% when compared to G9241, BcFL2013 harbors three plasmids with varying homology to the G9241 plasmids (pBCXO1, pBC210 and pBFH_1). This is also the first report to include serologic testing of patient specimens associated with this type of B. cereus infection which resulted in the detection of anthrax lethal factor toxemia, a quantifiable serum antibody response to protective antigen (PA), and lethal toxin neutralization activity.

  14. Development of a cytotoxicity-based method for detection of anthrax toxin lethal factor in blood%利用细胞毒性实验检测血液中炭疽毒素致死因子的方法学研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘炬; 郭强; 张军; 吴诗坡; 董大勇; 李亮亮; 付玲; 徐俊杰; 陈薇

    2013-01-01

    Objective To establish a simple , rapid and sensitive method for detection of anthrax lethal factor in blood . Methods J774A. 1 Cell, which is highly sensitive to anthrax lethal toxin , was used as an indicator to detect LF in blood. The protective antigen (PA) and blood plasma concentration was optimized to yield higher sensitivity in the assay . Verification was carried out with the samples from Fischer rats injected with anthrax lethal factor . Results The PA and blood plas -ma concentration was optimized and a cytotoxicity -based method , which could detect as low as 5 ng/ml LF in the plasma, was established. Samples from Fischer rats injected with anthrax lethal factor could be measured accurately and the half life of LF in the blood of rats was estimated at 4. 8 -6. 5 h. Conclusion A cytotoxicity-based method for detection of anthrax toxin lethal factor in the blood plasma is developed , which exhibits advantages in sensitivity , economy, and practice while facilitating clinical detection of anthrax toxins , therapy and basic research of anthrax.%目的 探索利用炭疽毒素致死因子(lethal factor,LF)的细胞毒性检测血液中LF的可行性,为炭疽的临床检测、治疗及相关研究提供支持.方法 利用小鼠巨噬细胞系J774A.1对LF细胞毒性的高度敏感性,检测血液中LF的浓度,对实验条件进行优化,并利用Fischer 344大鼠模型验证该方法的可行性.结果 细胞毒性实验能够检测到血浆中的LF浓度可低至5 ng/ml,该方法操作简单,灵敏度高,并在大鼠模型中得到了验证,利用本法测定LF在大鼠血液中的半衰期为4.8~6.5 h.结论 初步建立了利用细胞毒性实验检测血液中LF的方法,该方法在灵敏性、经济性和实用性等方面具备一定优势,为炭疽相关研究及临床检测提供了新的选择.

  15. Atomic structure of anthrax protective antigen pore elucidates toxin translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jiansen; Pentelute, Bradley L; Collier, R John; Zhou, Z Hong

    2015-05-28

    Anthrax toxin, comprising protective antigen, lethal factor, and oedema factor, is the major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, an agent that causes high mortality in humans and animals. Protective antigen forms oligomeric prepores that undergo conversion to membrane-spanning pores by endosomal acidification, and these pores translocate the enzymes lethal factor and oedema factor into the cytosol of target cells. Protective antigen is not only a vaccine component and therapeutic target for anthrax infections but also an excellent model system for understanding the mechanism of protein translocation. On the basis of biochemical and electrophysiological results, researchers have proposed that a phi (Φ)-clamp composed of phenylalanine (Phe)427 residues of protective antigen catalyses protein translocation via a charge-state-dependent Brownian ratchet. Although atomic structures of protective antigen prepores are available, how protective antigen senses low pH, converts to active pore, and translocates lethal factor and oedema factor are not well defined without an atomic model of its pore. Here, by cryo-electron microscopy with direct electron counting, we determine the protective antigen pore structure at 2.9-Å resolution. The structure reveals the long-sought-after catalytic Φ-clamp and the membrane-spanning translocation channel, and supports the Brownian ratchet model for protein translocation. Comparisons of four structures reveal conformational changes in prepore to pore conversion that support a multi-step mechanism by which low pH is sensed and the membrane-spanning channel is formed.

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

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    Kathleen M Averette

    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.

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

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    Chenguang Cai

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

  18. Delayed toxicity associated with soluble anthrax toxin receptor decoy-Ig fusion protein treatment.

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    Diane Thomas

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Purification and biophysical characterization of the core protease domain of anthrax lethal factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkazonis, Petros V; Dalkas, Georgios A; Chasapis, Christos T; Vlamis-Gardikas, Alexios; Bentrop, Detlef; Spyroulias, Georgios A

    2010-06-04

    Anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) stands for the major virulence factor of the anthrax disease. It comprises a 90kDa highly specific metalloprotease, the anthrax lethal factor (LF). LF possesses a catalytic Zn(2+) binding site and is highly specific against MAPK kinases, thus representing the most potent native biomolecule to alter and inactivate MKK [MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) kinases] signalling pathways. Given the importance of the interaction between LF and substrate for the development of anti-anthrax agents as well as the potential treatment of nascent tumours, the analysis of the structure and dynamic properties of the LF catalytic site are essential to elucidate its enzymatic properties. Here we report the recombinant expression and purification of a C-terminal part of LF (LF(672-776)) that harbours the enzyme's core protease domain. The biophysical characterization and backbone assignments ((1)H, (13)C, (15)N) of the polypeptide revealed a stable, well folded structure even in the absence of Zn(2+), suitable for high resolution structural analysis by NMR.

  20. 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.

  1. Certhrax toxin, an anthrax-related ADP-ribosyltransferase from Bacillus cereus.

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    Visschedyk, Danielle; Rochon, Amanda; Tempel, Wolfram; Dimov, Svetoslav; Park, Hee-Won; Merrill, A Rod

    2012-11-30

    We identified Certhrax, the first anthrax-like mART toxin from the pathogenic G9241 strain of Bacillus cereus. Certhrax shares 31% sequence identity with anthrax lethal factor from Bacillus anthracis; however, we have shown that the toxicity of Certhrax resides in the mART domain, whereas anthrax uses a metalloprotease mechanism. Like anthrax lethal factor, Certhrax was found to require protective antigen for host cell entry. This two-domain enzyme was shown to be 60-fold more toxic to mammalian cells than anthrax lethal factor. Certhrax localizes to distinct regions within mouse RAW264.7 cells by 10 min postinfection and is extranuclear in its cellular location. Substitution of catalytic residues shows that the mART function is responsible for the toxicity, and it binds NAD(+) with high affinity (K(D) = 52.3 ± 12.2 μM). We report the 2.2 Å Certhrax structure, highlighting its structural similarities and differences with anthrax lethal factor. We also determined the crystal structures of two good inhibitors (P6 (K(D) = 1.7 ± 0.2 μM, K(i) = 1.8 ± 0.4 μM) and PJ34 (K(D) = 5.8 ± 2.6 μM, K(i) = 9.6 ± 0.3 μM)) in complex with Certhrax. As with other toxins in this family, the phosphate-nicotinamide loop moves toward the NAD(+) binding site with bound inhibitor. These results indicate that Certhrax may be important in the pathogenesis of B. cereus.

  2. Combination of two candidate subunit vaccine antigens elicits protective immunity to ricin and anthrax toxin in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vance, David J; Rong, Yinghui; Brey, Robert N; Mantis, Nicholas J

    2015-01-09

    In an effort to develop combination vaccines for biodefense, we evaluated a ricin subunit antigen, RiVax, given in conjunction with an anthrax protective antigen, DNI. The combination led to high endpoint titer antibody response, neutralizing antibodies, and protective immunity against ricin and anthrax lethal toxin. This is a natural combination vaccine, since both antigens are recombinant subunit proteins that would be given to the same target population.

  3. Anthrax toxins induce shock in rats by depressed cardiac ventricular function.

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    Linley E Watson

    Full Text Available Anthrax infections are frequently associated with severe and often irreversible hypotensive shock. The isolated toxic proteins of Bacillus anthracis produce a non-cytokine-mediated hypotension in rats by unknown mechanisms. These observations suggest the anthrax toxins have direct cardiovascular effects. Here, we characterize these effects. As a first step, we administered systemically anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx and edema toxin (EdTx to cohorts of three to twelve rats at different doses and determined the time of onset, degree of hypotension and mortality. We measured serum concentrations of the protective antigen (PA toxin component at various time points after infusion. Peak serum levels of PA were in the microg/mL range with half-lives of 10-20 minutes. With doses that produced hypotension with delayed lethality, we then gave bolus intravenous infusions of toxins to groups of four to six instrumented rats and continuously monitored blood pressure by telemetry. Finally, the same doses used in the telemetry experiments were given to additional groups of four rats, and echocardiography was performed pretreatment and one, two, three and twenty-four hours post-treatment. LeTx and EdTx each produced hypotension. We observed a doubling of the velocity of propagation and 20% increases in left ventricular diastolic and systolic areas in LeTx-treated rats, but not in EdTx-treated rats. EdTx-but not LeTx-treated rats showed a significant increase in heart rate. These results indicate that LeTx reduced left ventricular systolic function and EdTx reduced preload. Uptake of toxins occurs readily into tissues with biological effects occurring within minutes to hours of serum toxin concentrations in the microg/mL range. LeTx and EdTx yield an irreversible shock with subsequent death. These findings should provide a basis for the rational design of drug interventions to reduce the dismal prognosis of systemic anthrax infections.

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

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Anthrax lethal factor cleavage of Nlrp1 is required for activation of the inflammasome.

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    Jonathan L Levinsohn

    Full Text Available NOD-like receptor (NLR proteins (Nlrps are cytosolic sensors responsible for detection of pathogen and danger-associated molecular patterns through unknown mechanisms. Their activation in response to a wide range of intracellular danger signals leads to formation of the inflammasome, caspase-1 activation, rapid programmed cell death (pyroptosis and maturation of IL-1β and IL-18. Anthrax lethal toxin (LT induces the caspase-1-dependent pyroptosis of mouse and rat macrophages isolated from certain inbred rodent strains through activation of the NOD-like receptor (NLR Nlrp1 inflammasome. Here we show that LT cleaves rat Nlrp1 and this cleavage is required for toxin-induced inflammasome activation, IL-1 β release, and macrophage pyroptosis. These results identify both a previously unrecognized mechanism of activation of an NLR and a new, physiologically relevant protein substrate of LT.

  6. Revisiting the Concept of Targeting Only Bacillus anthracis Toxins as a Treatment for Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glinert, Itai; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Weiss, Shay; Schlomovitz, Josef; Ben-Shmuel, Amir; Mechaly, Adva; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David; Levy, Haim

    2016-08-01

    Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are effective in preventing the development of fatal anthrax disease both in humans and in relevant animal models. The Bacillus anthracis toxins lethal toxin (lethal factor [LF] plus PA) and edema toxin (edema factor [EF] plus PA) are essential for the establishment of the infection, as inactivation of these toxins results in attenuation of the pathogen. Since the toxins reach high toxemia levels at the bacteremic stages of the disease, the CDC's recommendations include combining antibiotic treatment with antitoxin (anti-PA) immunotherapy. We demonstrate here that while treatment with a highly potent neutralizing monoclonal antibody was highly efficient as postexposure prophylaxis treatment, it failed to protect rabbits with any detectable bacteremia (≥10 CFU/ml). In addition, we show that while PA vaccination was effective against a subcutaneous spore challenge, it failed to protect rabbits against systemic challenges (intravenous injection of vegetative bacteria) with the wild-type Vollum strain or a toxin-deficient mutant. To test the possibility that additional proteins, which are secreted by the bacteria under pathogenicity-stimulating conditions in vitro, may contribute to the vaccine's potency, we immunized rabbits with a secreted protein fraction from a toxin-null mutant. The antiserum raised against the secreted fraction reacts with the bacteria in an immunofluorescence assay. Immunization with the secreted protein fraction did not protect the rabbits against a systemic challenge with the fully pathogenic bacteria. Full protection was obtained only by a combined vaccination with PA and the secreted protein fraction. Therefore, these results indicate that an effective antiserum treatment in advanced stages of anthrax must include toxin-neutralizing antibodies in combination with antibodies against bacterial cell targets.

  7. Protein- and DNA-based anthrax toxin vaccines confer protection in guinea pigs against inhalational challenge with Bacillus cereus G9241.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, John; Bell, Matt; Darko, Christian; Barnewall, Roy; Keane-Myers, Andrea

    2014-11-01

    In the past decade, several Bacillus cereus strains have been isolated from otherwise healthy individuals who succumbed to bacterial pneumonia presenting symptoms resembling inhalational anthrax. One strain was indistinguishable from B. cereus G9241, previously cultured from an individual who survived a similar pneumonia-like illness and which was shown to possess a complete set of plasmid-borne anthrax toxin-encoding homologs. The finding that B. cereus G9241 pathogenesis in mice is dependent on pagA1-derived protective antigen (PA) synthesis suggests that an anthrax toxin-based vaccine may be effective against this toxin-encoding B. cereus strain. Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs were immunized with protein- and DNA-based anthrax toxin-based vaccines, immune responses were evaluated and survival rates were calculated after lethal aerosol exposure with B. cereus G9241 spores. Each vaccine induced seroconversion with the protein immunization regimen eliciting significantly higher serum levels of antigen-specific antibodies at the prechallenge time-point compared with the DNA-protein prime-boost immunization schedule. Complete protection against lethal challenge was observed in all groups with a detectable prechallenge serum titer of toxin neutralizing antibodies. For the first time, we demonstrated that the efficacy of fully defined anthrax toxin-based vaccines was protective against lethal B. cereus G9241 aerosol challenge in the guinea pig animal model.

  8. Cytolethal distending toxin B as a cell-killing component of tumor-targeted anthrax toxin fusion proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachran, C; Hasikova, R; Leysath, C E; Sastalla, I; Zhang, Y; Fattah, R J; Liu, S; Leppla, S H

    2014-01-16

    Cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) is produced by Gram-negative bacteria of several species. It is composed of three subunits, CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC, with CdtB being the catalytic subunit. We fused CdtB from Haemophilus ducreyi to the N-terminal 255 amino acids of Bacillus anthracis toxin lethal factor (LFn) to design a novel, potentially potent antitumor drug. As a result of this fusion, CdtB was transported into the cytosol of targeted cells via the efficient delivery mechanism of anthrax toxin. The fusion protein efficiently killed various human tumor cell lines by first inducing a complete cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase, followed by induction of apoptosis. The fusion protein showed very low toxicity in mouse experiments and impressive antitumor effects in a Lewis Lung carcinoma model, with a 90% cure rate. This study demonstrates that efficient drug delivery by a modified anthrax toxin system combined with the enzymatic activity of CdtB has great potential as anticancer treatment and should be considered for the development of novel anticancer drugs.

  9. Cross-reactivity of anthrax and C2 toxin: protective antigen promotes the uptake of botulinum C2I toxin into human endothelial cells.

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    Angelika Kronhardt

    Full Text Available Binary toxins are among the most potent bacterial protein toxins performing a cooperative mode of translocation and exhibit fatal enzymatic activities in eukaryotic cells. Anthrax and C2 toxin are the most prominent examples for the AB(7/8 type of toxins. The B subunits bind both host cell receptors and the enzymatic A polypeptides to trigger their internalization and translocation into the host cell cytosol. C2 toxin is composed of an actin ADP-ribosyltransferase (C2I and C2II binding subunits. Anthrax toxin is composed of adenylate cyclase (EF and MAPKK protease (LF enzymatic components associated to protective antigen (PA binding subunit. The binding and translocation components anthrax protective antigen (PA(63 and C2II of C2 toxin share a sequence homology of about 35%, suggesting that they might substitute for each other. Here we show by conducting in vitro measurements that PA(63 binds C2I and that C2II can bind both EF and LF. Anthrax edema factor (EF and lethal factor (LF have higher affinities to bind to channels formed by C2II than C2 toxin's C2I binds to anthrax protective antigen (PA(63. Furthermore, we could demonstrate that PA in high concentration has the ability to transport the enzymatic moiety C2I into target cells, causing actin modification and cell rounding. In contrast, C2II does not show significant capacity to promote cell intoxication by EF and LF. Together, our data unveiled the remarkable flexibility of PA in promoting C2I heterologous polypeptide translocation into cells.

  10. 抗炭疽毒素的小分子药物研究进展%Recent advances in development of small molecule inhibitors of anthrax toxin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘家阔; 顾为; 聂爱华

    2011-01-01

    炭疽是由炭疽芽孢杆菌引起的一种人畜共患烈性传染病.炭疽菌主要通过释放炭疽毒素使宿主致病.炭疽毒素包括致死毒素和水肿毒素,这两种毒素是使炭疽感染者死亡的主要因素.该文综述了抗炭疽毒素小分子药物的研究进展.%Anthrax is a severe epidemic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, and acts mainly by releasing anthrax toxin that consists of two toxins, lethal toxin (LT) and edema toxin (ET), which are the primary factors of death. In this review the recent advances in the development of small molecule inhibitors of anthrax toxin are discussed.

  11. Anthrax vaccination induced anti-lethal factor IgG: fine specificity and neutralizing capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowe, Sherry R; Garman, Lori; Engler, Renata J M; Farris, A Darise; Ballard, Jimmy D; Harley, John B; James, Judith A

    2011-05-09

    The efficacy biomarker of the currently licensed anthrax vaccine (AVA) is based on quantity and neutralizing capacity of anti-protective antigen (anti-PA) antibodies. However, animal studies have demonstrated that antibodies to lethal factor (LF) can provide protection against in vivo bacterial spore challenges. Improved understanding of the fine specificities of humoral immune responses that provide optimum neutralization capacity may enhance the efficacy of future passive immune globulin preparations to treat and prevent inhalation anthrax morbidity and mortality. This study (n=1000) was designed to identify AVA vaccinated individuals who generate neutralizing antibodies and to determine what specificities correlate with protection. The number of vaccine doses, years post vaccination, and PA titer were associated with in vitro neutralization, reinforcing previous reports. In addition, African American individuals had lower serologic neutralizing activity than European Americans, suggesting a genetic role in the generation of these neutralizing antibodies. Of the vaccinated individuals, only 69 (6.9%) had moderate levels of anti-LF IgG compared to 244 (24.4%) with low and 687 (68.7%) with extremely low levels of IgG antibodies to LF. Using overlapping decapeptide analysis, we identified six common LF antigenic regions targeted by those individuals with moderate levels of antibodies to LF and high in vitro toxin neutralizing activity. Affinity purified antibodies directed against antigenic epitopes within the PA binding and ADP-ribotransferase-like domains of LF were able to protect mice against lethal toxin challenge. Findings from these studies have important implications for vaccine design and immunotherapeutic development.

  12. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    antigen (P A) using immunoglobulin G (lgG) antibodies in response to the bioterrorist anthrax plot in 2001. ELISA proved extremely useful in the...essential for binding to P A. Fusion of this highly conserved N-terminal sequence to other toxins, such as Shiga and diphtheria , can cause toxic...assay, blood cultures, motility tests, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays ( ELISA ), and fluorescent covalent microsphere immunoassay (FCMIA

  13. Anthrax Pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Leppla, Stephen H; Vrentas, Catherine; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Liu, Shihui

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming, gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The bacterium's major virulence factors are (a) the anthrax toxins and (b) an antiphagocytic polyglutamic capsule. These are encoded by two large plasmids, the former by pXO1 and the latter by pXO2. The expression of both is controlled by the bicarbonate-responsive transcriptional regulator, AtxA. The anthrax toxins are three polypeptides-protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF)-that come together in binary combinations to form lethal toxin and edema toxin. PA binds to cellular receptors to translocate LF (a protease) and EF (an adenylate cyclase) into cells. The toxins alter cell signaling pathways in the host to interfere with innate immune responses in early stages of infection and to induce vascular collapse at late stages. This review focuses on the role of anthrax toxins in pathogenesis. Other virulence determinants, as well as vaccines and therapeutics, are briefly discussed.

  14. Prediction of Protein-Peptide Interactions: Application of the XPairIT to Anthrax Lethal Factor and Substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    Prediction of Protein-Peptide Interactions: Application of the XPairIt API to Anthrax Lethal Factor and Substrates by Margaret M. Hurley and...Peptide Interactions: Application of the XPairIt API to Anthrax Lethal Factor and Substrates Margaret M. Hurley and Michael S. Sellers Weapons and...Prediction of Protein-Peptide Interactions: Application of the XPairIt API to Anthrax Lethal Factor and Substrates 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER ORAUW911QX-04-C

  15. The sepsis model: an emerging hypothesis for the lethality of inhalation anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Lupu, Florea; Ballard, Jimmy; Metcalf, Jordan P; James, Judith A; Farris, Darise; Kurosawa, Shinichiro

    2013-07-01

    Inhalation anthrax is often described as a toxin-mediated disease. However, the toxaemia model does not account for the high mortality of inhalation anthrax relative to other forms of the disease or for the pathology present in inhalation anthrax. Patients with inhalation anthrax consistently show extreme bacteraemia and, in contrast to animals challenged with toxin, signs of sepsis. Rather than toxaemia, we propose that death in inhalation anthrax results from an overwhelming bacteraemia that leads to severe sepsis. According to our model, the central role of anthrax toxin is to permit the vegetative bacteria to escape immune detection. Other forms of B. anthracis infection have lower mortality because their overt symptoms early in the course of disease cause patients to seek medical care at a time when the infection and its sequelae can still be reversed by antibiotics. Thus, the sepsis model explains key features of inhalation anthrax and may offer a more complete understanding of disease pathology for researchers as well as those involved in the care of patients.

  16. 炭疽毒素及其致病机制的研究进展%Progress in research on anthrax toxins and their pathogenesis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    武利涛; 魏建春; 海荣

    2012-01-01

    Anthrax toxins include edema toxin (ET) and lethal toxin (LT) which are critical pathogenic factors produced by Bacillus anthracis. ET is composed of protective antigen (PA) and edema factor (EF) , while a mixture of PA and lethal factor (LF) form LT. This review summaries the progress in research on anthrax toxins and their pathogenesis from the aspects of the gene, structure and biological activity and the scientific significance of the research in the prevention and control of anthrax.%炭疽毒素包括水肿毒素( edema toxin,ET)和致死毒素(lethal toxin,LT),是炭疽芽胞杆菌产生的重要致病因子.ET由保护性抗原(protective antigen,PA)和水肿因子(edema factor,EF)组成,LT由PA和致死因子(lethal factor,LF)组成.本文从基因、结构及生物学活性等方面概述了炭疽毒素各组分在炭疽芽胞杆菌致病机制中的作用方式,并阐述了其对炭疽防治措施的科学指导意义.

  17. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cote, Christopher K; Welkos, Susan L

    2015-08-17

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions.

  18. Antidotes to anthrax lethal factor intoxication. Part 3: Evaluation of core structures and further modifications to the C2-side chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiao, Guan-Sheng; Kim, Seongjin; Moayeri, Mahtab; Crown, Devorah; Thai, April; Cregar-Hernandez, Lynne; McKasson, Linda; Sankaran, Banumathi; Lehrer, Axel; Wong, Teri; Johns, Lisa; Margosiak, Stephen A; Leppla, Stephen H; Johnson, Alan T

    2012-03-15

    Four core structures capable of providing sub-nanomolar inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor (LF) were evaluated by comparing the potential for toxicity, physicochemical properties, in vitro ADME profiles, and relative efficacy in a rat lethal toxin (LT) model of LF intoxication. Poor efficacy in the rat LT model exhibited by the phenoxyacetic acid series (3) correlated with low rat microsome and plasma stability. Specific molecular interactions contributing to the high affinity of inhibitors with a secondary amine in the C2-side chain were revealed by X-ray crystallography.

  19. Anthrax toxin receptor 2 determinants that dictate the pH threshold of toxin pore formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M Scobie

    Full Text Available The anthrax toxin receptors, ANTXR1 and ANTXR2, act as molecular clamps to prevent the protective antigen (PA toxin subunit from forming pores until exposure to low pH. PA forms pores at pH approximately 6.0 or below when it is bound to ANTXR1, but only at pH approximately 5.0 or below when it is bound to ANTXR2. Here, structure-based mutagenesis was used to identify non-conserved ANTXR2 residues responsible for this striking 1.0 pH unit difference in pH threshold. Residues conserved between ANTXR2 and ANTXR1 that influence the ANTXR2-associated pH threshold of pore formation were also identified. All of these residues contact either PA domain 2 or the neighboring edge of PA domain 4. These results provide genetic evidence for receptor release of these regions of PA as being necessary for the protein rearrangements that accompany anthrax toxin pore formation.

  20. Anthrax toxin receptor 2a controls mitotic spindle positioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castanon, I; Abrami, L; Holtzer, L; Heisenberg, C P; van der Goot, F G; González-Gaitán, M

    2013-01-01

    Oriented mitosis is essential during tissue morphogenesis. The Wnt/planar cell polarity (Wnt/PCP) pathway orients mitosis in a number of developmental systems, including dorsal epiblast cell divisions along the animal-vegetal (A-V) axis during zebrafish gastrulation. How Wnt signalling orients the mitotic plane is, however, unknown. Here we show that, in dorsal epiblast cells, anthrax toxin receptor 2a (Antxr2a) accumulates in a polarized cortical cap, which is aligned with the embryonic A-V axis and forecasts the division plane. Filamentous actin (F-actin) also forms an A-V polarized cap, which depends on Wnt/PCP and its effectors RhoA and Rock2. Antxr2a is recruited to the cap by interacting with actin. Antxr2a also interacts with RhoA and together they activate the diaphanous-related formin zDia2. Mechanistically, Antxr2a functions as a Wnt-dependent polarized determinant, which, through the action of RhoA and zDia2, exerts torque on the spindle to align it with the A-V axis.

  1. Molecular determinants for a cardiovascular collapse in anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brojatsch, Jurgen; Casadevall, Arturo; Goldman, David L

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis releases two bipartite proteins, lethal toxin and edema factor, that contribute significantly to the progression of anthrax-associated shock. As blocking the anthrax toxins prevents disease, the toxins are considered the main virulence factors of the bacterium. The anthrax bacterium and the anthrax toxins trigger multi-organ failure associated with enhanced vascular permeability, hemorrhage and cardiac dysfunction in animal challenge models. A recent study using mice that either lacked the anthrax toxin receptor in specific cells and corresponding mice expressing the receptor in specific cell types demonstrated that cardiovascular cells are critical for disease mediated by anthrax lethal toxin. These studies are consistent with involvement of the cardiovascular system, and with an increase of cardiac failure markers observed in human anthrax and in animal models using B. anthracis and anthrax toxins. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of anthrax and tries to provide a mechanistic model and molecular determinants for the circulatory shock in anthrax.

  2. Antibodies against recombinant catalytic domain of lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii neutralize lethal toxin toxicity in HeLa cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arya, Preetika; Ponmariappan, S; Singh, Lokendra; Prasad, G B K S

    2013-02-01

    Lethal toxin of Clostridium sordellii (MLD 150 ng/kg) is one of the most potent Clostridial toxins and is responsible for most of the diseases including sudden death syndrome in cattle, sheep and toxic shock syndrome, necrotizing faciitis, neonatal omphalitis and gangrene in humans. Lethal toxin (TcsL) is a single chain protein of about 270 kDa. In the present study, 1.6 kb DNA fragment encoding for the catalytic domain of TcsL was PCR amplified, cloned in pQE30 UA vector and expressed in E. coli SG 13009. The expression of recombinant lethal toxin protein (rTcsL) was optimized and it was purified under native conditions using a single step Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The purified recombinant protein was used for the production of polyclonal antibodies in mice and rabbit. The raised antibodies reacted specifically with the purified rTcsL and intact native lethal toxin on Western blot. The biological activity of the recombinant protein was tested in HeLa cells where it showed the cytotoxicity. Further, the polyclonal antibodies were used for in-vitro neutralization of purified rTcsL, acid precipitated C. sordellii and C. difficile native toxins in HeLa cells. Mice and rabbit anti-rTcsL sera effectively neutralized the cytotoxicity of rTcsL and C. sordellii native toxin but it did not neutralize the cytotoxicity of C. difficile toxin in HeLa cells.

  3. PROGRESS ON THE ANTHRAX TOXIN AND THE CELLULAR CLONE RECEPTOR FOR ANTHRAX TOXIN%炭疽毒素及其克隆受体的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘承宜; 李艳玲; 段锐; 李燕; 蔡雄伟; 黄平

    2002-01-01

    综述炭疽毒素研究的最新进展.炭疽毒素由3种蛋白组成:致死因子(Lethal factor,LF),水肿因子(edema factor,EF)和保护性抗原(protective antigen,PA).本文主要讲述了炭疽毒素的关键致病因子--致死因子(LF)的结构和功能,炭疽毒素受体(anthrax toxin receptor,ATR)的结构及其特征性功能基团,介绍了通过基因互补对ATR进行克隆的方法,并讨论了ATR和ATR的cDNA克隆在炭疽治疗的可能应用.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil K Joshi

    2009-09-01

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

  5. A heterodimer of a VHH (variable domains of camelid heavy chain-only) antibody that inhibits anthrax toxin cell binding linked to a VHH antibody that blocks oligomer formation is highly protective in an anthrax spore challenge model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Leysath, Clinton E; Tremblay, Jacqueline M; Vrentas, Catherine; Crown, Devorah; Leppla, Stephen H; Shoemaker, Charles B

    2015-03-06

    Anthrax disease is caused by a toxin consisting of protective antigen (PA), lethal factor, and edema factor. Antibodies against PA have been shown to be protective against the disease. Variable domains of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies (VHHs) with affinity for PA were obtained from immunized alpacas and screened for anthrax neutralizing activity in macrophage toxicity assays. Two classes of neutralizing VHHs were identified recognizing distinct, non-overlapping epitopes. One class recognizes domain 4 of PA at a well characterized neutralizing site through which PA binds to its cellular receptor. A second neutralizing VHH (JKH-C7) recognizes a novel epitope. This antibody inhibits conversion of the PA oligomer from "pre-pore" to its SDS and heat-resistant "pore" conformation while not preventing cleavage of full-length 83-kDa PA (PA83) by cell surface proteases to its oligomer-competent 63-kDa form (PA63). The antibody prevents endocytosis of the cell surface-generated PA63 subunit but not preformed PA63 oligomers formed in solution. JKH-C7 and the receptor-blocking VHH class (JIK-B8) were expressed as a heterodimeric VHH-based neutralizing agent (VNA2-PA). This VNA displayed improved neutralizing potency in cell assays and protected mice from anthrax toxin challenge with much better efficacy than the separate component VHHs. The VNA protected virtually all mice when separately administered at a 1:1 ratio to toxin and protected mice against Bacillus anthracis spore infection. Thus, our studies show the potential of VNAs as anthrax therapeutics. Due to their simple and stable nature, VNAs should be amenable to genetic delivery or administration via respiratory routes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Cholera- and anthrax-like toxins are among several new ADP-ribosyltransferases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Fieldhouse

    Full Text Available Chelt, a cholera-like toxin from Vibrio cholerae, and Certhrax, an anthrax-like toxin from Bacillus cereus, are among six new bacterial protein toxins we identified and characterized using in silico and cell-based techniques. We also uncovered medically relevant toxins from Mycobacterium avium and Enterococcus faecalis. We found agriculturally relevant toxins in Photorhabdus luminescens and Vibrio splendidus. These toxins belong to the ADP-ribosyltransferase family that has conserved structure despite low sequence identity. Therefore, our search for new toxins combined fold recognition with rules for filtering sequences--including a primary sequence pattern--to reduce reliance on sequence identity and identify toxins using structure. We used computers to build models and analyzed each new toxin to understand features including: structure, secretion, cell entry, activation, NAD+ substrate binding, intracellular target binding and the reaction mechanism. We confirmed activity using a yeast growth test. In this era where an expanding protein structure library complements abundant protein sequence data--and we need high-throughput validation--our approach provides insight into the newest toxin ADP-ribosyltransferases.

  9. Statistical pattern matching facilitates the design of polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax and cholera toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rai, Prakash; Padala, Chakradhar; Poon, Vincent; Saraph, Arundhati; Basha, Saleem; Kate, Sandesh; Tao, Kevin; Mogridge, Jeremy; Kane, Ravi S

    2006-05-01

    Numerous biological processes involve the recognition of a specific pattern of binding sites on a target protein or surface. Although ligands displayed by disordered scaffolds form stochastic rather than specific patterns, theoretical models predict that recognition will occur between patterns that are characterized by similar or "matched" statistics. Endowing synthetic biomimetic structures with statistical pattern matching capabilities may improve the specificity of sensors and resolution of separation processes. We demonstrate that statistical pattern matching enhances the potency of polyvalent therapeutics. We functionalized liposomes with an inhibitory peptide at different densities and observed a transition in potency at an interpeptide separation that matches the distance between ligand-binding sites on the heptameric component of anthrax toxin. Pattern-matched polyvalent liposomes inhibited anthrax toxin in vitro at concentrations four orders of magnitude lower than the corresponding monovalent peptide, and neutralized this toxin in vivo. Statistical pattern matching also enhanced the potency of polyvalent inhibitors of cholera toxin. This facile strategy should be broadly applicable to the detection and neutralization of toxins and pathogens.

  10. Chloroquine derivatives block the translocation pores and inhibit cellular entry of Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin and Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidler, Anna-Maria; Benz, Roland; Barth, Holger

    2017-03-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium botulinum and Bacillus anthracis produce the binary protein toxins C2 and lethal toxin (LT), respectively. These toxins consist of a binding/transport (B7) component that delivers the separate enzyme (A) component into the cytosol of target cells where it modifies its specific substrate and causes cell death. The B7 components of C2 toxin and LT, C2IIa and PA63, respectively, are ring-shaped heptamers that bind to their cellular receptors and form complexes with their A components C2I and lethal factor (LF), respectively. After receptor-mediated endocytosis of the toxin complexes, C2IIa and PA63 insert into the membranes of acidified endosomes and form trans-membrane pores through which C2I and LF translocate across endosomal membranes into the cytosol. C2IIa and PA63 also form channels in planar bilayer membranes, and we used this approach earlier to identify chloroquine as a potent blocker of C2IIa and PA63 pores. Here, a series of chloroquine derivatives was investigated to identify more efficient toxin inhibitors with less toxic side effects. Chloroquine, primaquine, quinacrine, and fluphenazine blocked C2IIa and PA63 pores in planar lipid bilayers and in membranes of living epithelial cells and macrophages, thereby preventing the pH-dependent membrane transport of the A components into the cytosol and protecting cells from intoxication with C2 toxin and LT. These potent inhibitors of toxin entry underline the central role of the translocation pores for cellular uptake of binary bacterial toxins and as relevant drug targets, and might be lead compounds for novel pharmacological strategies against severe enteric diseases and anthrax.

  11. Studies of the Biological and Molecular Basis of the Inhibition of Activity of Phagocytic Cells by Anthrax Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-03-01

    activity of the anthrax toxin which could provide clues to the nature of its antiphagocytic effect and its contribution to virulence of B. anthracs...ccmponents makes this unlikely. Early observations on the nature of this toxin tended to emphasize the requirement for cooperative action of the three...with oxidizable substances in the ocmplex system. evidently, endogenous amines. especially taurine , are the most active of the available receptors, and

  12. Progress on the Anthrax Toxin and Its Receptor%炭疽毒素及其细胞受体的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李艳玲; 刘承宜

    2002-01-01

    炭疽毒素由3种蛋白组成:保护性抗原(protective antigen,PA)、致死因子(lethal factor,LF)和水肿因子(edema factor,EF).综述炭疽毒素研究的最新进展.主要介绍炭疽毒素的关键致病因子--LF的结构与功能,炭疽毒素膜转运成分PA的结构及其受体(anthrax toxin receptor,ATR)和其cDNA克隆的结构,并讨论了在炭疽的治疗、预防和毒素在肿瘤治疗中的可能应用.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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.

  14. Anthrax - past, present and future

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madle-Samardžija Nadežda D.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available History Anthrax has been known since ancient times. Besides some references in the Old Testament, there is evidence of plagues in ancient Egypt, as well as descriptions of the disease by the Roman poet Virgil. Etiology Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, unmovable, aerobic, gram-positive rods. It forms spores, which can survive for years in the environment. Pathogenesis Capsular polypeptide and anthrax toxin are the principal virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax toxin consists of three proteins called protective antigen, edema factor, and lethal factor. It is thought that the inflammatory mediator - lethal factor is stored within the macrophage during the early stage of infection. It is rapidly released in large amounts into the blood stream and once the threshold for lysis is reached, it may be the cause of sudden death. Epidemiology Grass-eating animals are usually infected by the bacilli from grass and ground. The disease is transmitted to people by contact with the sick animals or their products, such as wool skin, meat etc. Clinical features Two clinical forms exist: outer cutaneous and inner, including inhalation and gastrointestinal anthrax. While cutaneous anthrax is easily cured, the inner forms have high mortality rates. Diagnosis and differential diagnosis 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 arise suspicion of anthrax. Therapy Hospitalization of patients is mandatory. Bacillus anthracis is susceptible to a number of antibiotics, including penicillin, erythromycin tetracyclines, cephalosporins etc. Prevention General veterinary prevention including vaccination of livestock and control of products is very important. The vaccine consists of anthrax bacillus that is attenuated. The endangered population, such as animal workers and military personnel should be vaccinated

  15. Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like Attenuated Toxigenic Nonencapsulated B. anthracis Sterne in Rabbits and Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-01

    Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like...G9241 for mice requires the presence of both plasmids. The Bacillus cereus group, of which Bacillus anthracis, Bacil- lus thuringiensis , and B... Bacillus cereus G9241 Makes Anthrax Toxin and Capsule like Highly Virulent B. anthracis Ames but Behaves like Attenuated Toxigenic Nonencapsulated B

  16. Recent Developments in Anti-dotes Against Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhasmana, Neha; Singh, Lalit K; Bhaduri, Asani; Misra, Richa; Singh, Yogendra

    2014-01-01

    The etiologic agent of disease anthrax, Bacillus anthracis, causes recurrent outbreaks among the livestock and intermittent infections in humans across the world. Controlling animal infections by vaccination can minimize the incidence of disease in humans. Prevention of anthrax in occupationally exposed personnel is achieved through vaccination with either live spores or precipitates of culture supernatants from attenuated strains of B. anthracis. However, anthrax vaccination of the large human population is impractical as well as inappropriate. Broad-range antibiotics like amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, streptomycin, and penicillin G are recommended for the treatment of human anthrax infections, but the threat of antibiotic resistant strains always remains. Moreover, in the absence of any specific symptom (s) during early infection, the diagnosis of anthrax is delayed causing elevated levels of anthrax toxin component which could be fatal. For these reasons, there is a need to develop new antimicrobial agents against virulent B. anthracis to effectively combat this fatal pathogen. Over the last two decades, extensive studies have been carried out to develop specific inhibitors against virulence factors of B. anthracis such as capsule, protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor. Research has also been focused in developing inhibitors of anthrax toxin receptors (including the use of receptor decoys) and host furin endoproteases which are required for activation of toxin. This review highlights the recent progress made in developing the diverse countermeasures for anthrax infections targeting B. anthracis virulence factors and their counterparts in host.

  17. Recombinant expression of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin components of Indian isolate in Escherichia coli and determination of its acute toxicity level in mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagendra, Suryanarayana; Vanlalhmuaka; Verma, Sarika; Tuteja, Urmil; Thavachelvam, Kulanthaivel

    2015-12-15

    Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LeTx) is the principle factor responsible for toxaemia and anthrax related death. Lethal toxin consist of two proteins viz protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor which combines in a typical fashion similar to other toxins belonging to A-B toxin super family. The amount of LeTx required to kill a particular organism generally differs among strains owing to their geographical distributions and genetic variation. In the present study, we have cloned PA and LF genes from B. anthracis clinical isolate of Indian origin and expressed them in soluble form employing Escherichia coli expression system. Both the proteins were purified to near homogeneity level using Immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). Further we have used equal ratio of both the proteins to form LeTx and determined its acute toxicity level in Balb/c mice by graphical method of Miller and Tainter. The LD50 value of LeTx by intravenous (i.v) route was found to be 0.97 ± 0.634 mg kg(-1) Balb/c mice. This study highlights the expression of recombinant LeTx from E. coli and assessing its acute toxicity level in experimental mouse model.

  18. Prediction of protein-peptide interactions: application of the XPairIt API to anthrax lethal factor and substrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurley, Margaret M.; Sellers, Michael S.

    2013-05-01

    As software and methodology develop, key aspects of molecular interactions such as detailed energetics and flexibility are continuously better represented in docking simulations. In the latest iteration of the XPairIt API and Docking Protocol, we perform a blind dock of a peptide into the cleavage site of the Anthrax lethal factor (LF) metalloprotein. Molecular structures are prepared from RCSB:1JKY and we demonstrate a reasonably accurate docked peptide through analysis of protein motion and, using NCI Plot, visualize and characterize the forces leading to binding. We compare our docked structure to the 1JKY crystal structure and the more recent 1PWV structure, and discuss both captured and overlooked interactions. Our results offer a more detailed look at secondary contact and show that both van der Waals and electrostatic interactions from peptide residues further from the enzyme's catalytic site are significant.

  19. Metal Ion Activation of Clostridium sordellii Lethal Toxin and Clostridium difficile Toxin B

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    Harald Genth

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Lethal Toxin from Clostridium sordellii (TcsL and Toxin B from Clostridium difficile (TcdB belong to the family of the “Large clostridial glycosylating toxins.” These toxins mono-O-glucosylate low molecular weight GTPases of the Rho and Ras families by exploiting UDP-glucose as a hexose donor. TcsL is casually involved in the toxic shock syndrome and the gas gangrene. TcdB—together with Toxin A (TcdA—is causative for the pseudomembranous colitis (PMC. Here, we present evidence for the in vitro metal ion activation of the glucosyltransferase and the UDP-glucose hydrolysis activity of TcsL and TcdB. The following rating is found for activation by divalent metal ions: Mn2+ > Co2+ > Mg2+ >> Ca2+, Cu2+, Zn2+. TcsL and TcdB thus require divalent metal ions providing an octahedral coordination sphere. The EC50 values for TcsL were estimated at about 28 µM for Mn2+ and 180 µM for Mg2+. TcsL and TcdB further require co-stimulation by monovalent K+ (not by Na+. Finally, prebound divalent metal ions were dispensible for the cytopathic effects of TcsL and TcdB, leading to the conclusion that TcsL and TcdB recruit intracellular metal ions for activation of the glucosyltransferase activity. With regard to the intracellular metal ion concentrations, TcsL and TcdB are most likely activated by K+ and Mg2+ (rather than Mn2+ in mammalian target cells.

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

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    Sarah Friebe

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

  1. Neutron-based sterilization of anthrax contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bin; Wang, Qingfei

    2006-05-01

    With the anthrax threat becoming a reality, it is very important to have an effective way to sterilize areas contaminated by anthrax. Anthrax spores are the dormant form of the anthrax bacteria. They can germinate in tissues, producing new bacteria that release lethal toxins. Neutrons can be a powerful tool in our defense against anthrax contamination. Neutrons are elementary particles that have no charge, which allows them to be very penetrating, killing the anthrax spores on the surface and inside the containers. So neutrons have an advantage over other forms of radiation if deep penetration is required to kill biological organisms. A Cf neutron source allows for a low cost method of decontamination. It emits most neutrons in the 100 keV to 2 MeV energy regions, and a neutron in this energy region is 20 times more deadly than electrons or gamma rays in killing anthrax spores. If we just consider the first neutron collision with anthrax spores and that all the anthrax spores will not survive at the dose level above 2.0 x 10 Gy, our calculations show that a 0.5-g Cf neutron source within 20 min can generate 1.11 x 10 m fluence neutrons, which is good enough to kill the anthrax spores on the sample. An experimental confirmation of the above results may prove that to achieve 1.11 x 10 m fluence neutrons on the anthrax spore sample, the neutron irradiation time may be reduced dramatically or the Cf neutron source reduced to 0.1 g level or even less. The aim of this paper is to evaluate a feasible way to sterilize the anthrax contamination by using a Cf neutron source. Presently, we are mainly concentrating on the theoretical estimation of neutron fluence to see if the Cf neutron source can deliver enough neutron irradiation dose to kill the anthrax spores. Our future work will focus on experimental confirmation and Monte Carlo simulation by using Geant4 or MCNP codes. At that time, we will consider the effects of the real experimental setup, the shielding materials

  2. Activated protein C ameliorates Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin-induced lethal pathogenesis in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kau Jyh-Hwa

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lethal toxin (LT is a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. Sprague Dawley rats manifest pronounced lung edema and shock after LT treatments, resulting in high mortality. The heart failure that is induced by LT has been suggested to be a principal mechanism of lung edema and mortality in rodents. Since LT-induced death occurs more rapidly in rats than in mice, suggesting that other mechanisms in addition to the heart dysfunction may be contributed to the fast progression of LT-induced pathogenesis in rats. Coagulopathy may contribute to circulatory failure and lung injury. However, the effect of LT on coagulation-induced lung dysfunction is unclear. Methods To investigate the involvement of coagulopathy in LT-mediated pathogenesis, the mortality, lung histology and coagulant levels of LT-treated rats were examined. The effects of activated protein C (aPC on LT-mediated pathogenesis were also evaluated. Results Fibrin depositions were detected in the lungs of LT-treated rats, indicating that coagulation was activated. Increased levels of plasma D-dimer and thrombomodulin, and the ameliorative effect of aPC further suggested that the activation of coagulation-fibrinolysis pathways plays a role in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. Reduced mortality was associated with decreased plasma levels of D-dimer and thrombomodulin following aPC treatments in rats with LT-mediated pathogenesis. Conclusions These findings suggest that the activation of coagulation in lung tissue contributes to mortality in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. In addition, anticoagulant aPC may help to develop a feasible therapeutic strategy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    after their inception. Since these early begin- nings, additional medical history linked to B. anthracis coincides in many ways with vac- cines that...by vaccination. Hopefully, the reader will be challenged to think of how existing anthrax vaccines, especially those meant for humans, can be...improved with available knowledge/technology. The many current anthrax vaccines are linked to Louis Pasteur’s seminal experiments at Pouilly Ie-Fort in

  4. Affinity binding of antibodies to supermacroporous cryogel adsorbents with immobilized protein A for removal of anthrax toxin protective antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingavle, Ganesh C; Baillie, Les W J; Zheng, Yishan; Lis, Elzbieta K; Savina, Irina N; Howell, Carol A; Mikhalovsky, Sergey V; Sandeman, Susan R

    2015-05-01

    Polymeric cryogels are efficient carriers for the immobilization of biomolecules because of their unique macroporous structure, permeability, mechanical stability and different surface chemical functionalities. The aim of the study was to demonstrate the potential use of macroporous monolithic cryogels for biotoxin removal using anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA), the central cell-binding component of the anthrax exotoxins, and covalent immobilization of monoclonal antibodies. The affinity ligand (protein A) was chemically coupled to the reactive hydroxyl and epoxy-derivatized monolithic cryogels and the binding efficiencies of protein A, monoclonal antibodies to the cryogel column were determined. Our results show differences in the binding capacity of protein A as well as monoclonal antibodies to the cryogel adsorbents caused by ligand concentrations, physical properties and morphology of surface matrices. The cytotoxicity potential of the cryogels was determined by an in vitro viability assay using V79 lung fibroblast as a model cell and the results reveal that the cryogels are non-cytotoxic. Finally, the adsorptive capacities of PA from phosphate buffered saline (PBS) were evaluated towards a non-glycosylated, plant-derived human monoclonal antibody (PANG) and a glycosylated human monoclonal antibody (Valortim(®)), both of which were covalently attached via protein A immobilization. Optimal binding capacities of 108 and 117 mg/g of antibody to the adsorbent were observed for PANG attached poly(acrylamide-allyl glycidyl ether) [poly(AAm-AGE)] and Valortim(®) attached poly(AAm-AGE) cryogels, respectively, This indicated that glycosylation status of Valortim(®) antibody could significantly increase (8%) its binding capacity relative to the PANG antibody on poly(AAm-AGE)-protien-A column (p PBS through PANG or Valortim bound poly(AAm-AGE) cryogel were significantly (p PBS over 60 min of circulation. The high adsorption capacity towards anthrax toxin PA of the

  5. NMR conformational properties of an Anthrax Lethal Factor domain studied by multiple amino acid-selective labeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vourtsis, Dionysios J.; Chasapis, Christos T.; Pairas, George [Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, GR-26504 Patras (Greece); Bentrop, Detlef [Institute of Physiology II, University of Freiburg, D-79104 Freiburg (Germany); Spyroulias, Georgios A., E-mail: G.A.Spyroulias@upatras.gr [Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras, GR-26504 Patras (Greece)

    2014-07-18

    Highlights: • A polypeptide, N-ALF{sub 233}, was overexpressed in E. coli and successfully isolated. • We produced {sup 2}H/{sup 15}N/{sup 13}C labeled protein samples. • Amino acid selective approaches were applied. • We acquired several heteronuclear NMR spectra, to complete the backbone assignment. • Prediction of the secondary structure was performed. - Abstract: NMR-based structural biology urgently needs cost- and time-effective methods to assist both in the process of acquiring high-resolution NMR spectra and their subsequent analysis. Especially for bigger proteins (>20 kDa) selective labeling is a frequently used means of sequence-specific assignment. In this work we present the successful overexpression of a polypeptide of 233 residues, corresponding to the structured part of the N-terminal domain of Anthrax Lethal Factor, using Escherichia coli expression system. The polypeptide was subsequently isolated in pure, soluble form and analyzed structurally by solution NMR spectroscopy. Due to the non-satisfying quality and resolution of the spectra of this 27 kDa protein, an almost complete backbone assignment became feasible only by the combination of uniform and novel amino acid-selective labeling schemes. Moreover, amino acid-type selective triple-resonance NMR experiments proved to be very helpful.

  6. Lethal factor and anti-protective antigen IgG levels associated with inhalation anthrax, Minnesota, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprenkle, Mark D; Griffith, Jayne; Marinelli, William; Boyer, Anne E; Quinn, Conrad P; Pesik, Nicki T; Hoffmaster, Alex; Keenan, Joseph; Juni, Billie A; Blaney, David D

    2014-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis was identified in a 61-year-old man hospitalized in Minnesota, USA. Cooperation between the hospital and the state health agency enhanced prompt identification of the pathogen. Treatment comprising antimicrobial drugs, anthrax immune globulin, and pleural drainage led to full recovery; however, the role of passive immunization in anthrax treatment requires further evaluation.

  7. 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

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

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    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.

  9. Protective Antigen (PA) and Toxin Neutralization (TNA) Antibody Patterns in Anthrax Vaccinees Undergoing Serial Plasmapheresis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-28

    Undergoing Serial Plasmapheresis Phillip R. Pittman,1 Susan F. Leitman,2 Julio G. Barrera Oro,3 Sarah L. Norris,4 Nina M. Marano,5 Manmohan V. Ranadive...plasmapheresis on serum proteins and immunoglobulins. Transfusion 15:467–472. 12. Gold, H. 1936 . Studies on anthrax. Clinical report of ten human cases

  10. Anthrax: Diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Search The CDC Cancel Submit Search The CDC Anthrax Note: Javascript is disabled or is not supported ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Anthrax Basic Information Types of Anthrax Cutaneous Anthrax Inhalation ...

  11. Three eyelid localized cutaneous anthrax cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esmer, Oktay; Karadag, Remzi; Bilgili, Serap Gunes; Gultepe, Bilge; Bayramlar, Huseyin; Karadag, Ayse Serap

    2014-12-01

    Anthrax is primarily seen in the developing countries, but it can be a worldwide medical concern due to bioterrorism threats. Palpebral anthrax is a rare form of cutaneous anthrax. Untreated cutaneous anthrax can be lethal. Patients with palpebral anthrax can develop complications including cicatrisation and ectropion. Thus, anthrax should be considered in differential diagnosis for patients presenting with preseptal cellulitis in high-risk regions. Herein, we report three anthrax cases (with different age) involving eyelids that were cured without any complications due to early diagnosis and treatment.

  12. Assembly of the small outer capsid protein, Soc, on bacteriophage T4: a novel system for high density display of multiple large anthrax toxins and foreign proteins on phage capsid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qin; Shivachandra, Sathish B; Zhang, Zhihong; Rao, Venigalla B

    2007-07-27

    Bacteriophage T4 capsid is a prolate icosahedron composed of the major capsid protein gp23*, the vertex protein gp24*, and the portal protein gp20. Assembled on its surface are 810 molecules of the non-essential small outer capsid protein, Soc (10 kDa), and 155 molecules of the highly antigenic outer capsid protein, Hoc (39 kDa). In this study Soc, a "triplex" protein that stabilizes T4 capsid, is targeted for molecular engineering of T4 particle surface. Using a defined in vitro assembly system, anthrax toxins, protective antigen, lethal factor and their domains, fused to Soc were efficiently displayed on the capsid. Both the N and C termini of the 80 amino acid Soc polypeptide can be simultaneously used to display antigens. Proteins as large as 93 kDa can be stably anchored on the capsid through Soc-capsid interactions. Using both Soc and Hoc, up to 1662 anthrax toxin molecules are assembled on the phage T4 capsid under controlled conditions. We infer from the binding data that a relatively high affinity capsid binding site is located in the middle of the rod-shaped Soc, with the N and C termini facing the 2- and 3-fold symmetry axes of the capsid, respectively. Soc subunits interact at these interfaces, gluing the adjacent capsid protein hexamers and generating a cage-like outer scaffold. Antigen fusion does interfere with the inter-subunit interactions, but these interactions are not essential for capsid binding and antigen display. These features make the T4-Soc platform the most robust phage display system reported to date. The study offers insights into the architectural design of bacteriophage T4 virion, one of the most stable viruses known, and how its capsid surface can be engineered for novel applications in basic molecular biology and biotechnology.

  13. Deletion modification enhances anthrax specific immunity and protective efficacy of a hepatitis B core particle-based anthrax epitope vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Ying; Zhang, Sheng; Cai, Chenguang; Zhang, Jun; Dong, Dayong; Guo, Qiang; Fu, Ling; Xu, Junjie; Chen, Wei

    2014-02-01

    Protective antigen (PA) is one of the major virulence factors of anthrax and is also the major constituent of the current anthrax vaccine. Previously, we found that the 2β2-2β3 loop of PA contains a dominant neutralizing epitope, the SFFD. We successfully inserted the 2β2-2β3 loop of PA into the major immunodominant region (MIR) of hepatitis B virus core (HBc) protein. The resulting fusion protein, termed HBc-N144-PA-loop2 (HBcL2), can effectively produce anthrax specific protective antibodies in an animal model. However, the protective immunity caused by HBcL2 could still be improved. In this research, we removed amino acids 79-81 from the HBc MIR of the HBcL2. This region was previously reported to be the major B cell epitope of HBc, and in keeping with this finding, we observed that the short deletion in the MIR not only diminished the intrinsic immunogenicity of HBc but also stimulated a higher titer of anthrax specific immunity. Most importantly, this deletion led to the full protection of the immunized mice against a lethal dose anthrax toxin challenge. We supposed that the conformational changes which occurred after the short deletion and foreign insertion in the MIR of HBc were the most likely reasons for the improvement in the immunogenicity of the HBc-based anthrax epitope vaccine.

  14. Anthrax Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    What is anthrax?Anthrax is a serious disease that can affect both animals and humans. It is caused by bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. People can get anthrax from contact with infected animals, wool, meat, or ...

  15. Anthrax Basics

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir What is anthrax? Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by ... or flu. How do animals get infected with anthrax? Domestic and wild animals such as cattle, sheep, ...

  16. Protective-antigen (PA) based anthrax vaccines confer protection against inhalation anthrax by precluding the establishment of a systemic infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkel, Tod J; Perera, Pin-Yu; Lee, Gloria M; Verma, Anita; Hiroi, Toyoko; Yokote, Hiroyuki; Waldmann, Thomas A; Perera, Liyanage P

    2013-09-01

    An intense effort has been launched to develop improved anthrax vaccines that confer rapid, long lasting protection preferably with an extended stability profile amenable for stockpiling. Protective antigen (PA)-based vaccines are most favored as immune responses directed against PA are singularly protective, although the actual protective mechanism remains to be unraveled. Herein we show that contrary to the prevailing view, an efficacious PA-based vaccine confers protection against inhalation anthrax by preventing the establishment of a toxin-releasing systemic infection. Equally importantly, antibodies measured by the in vitro lethal toxin neutralization activity assay (TNA) that is considered as a reliable correlate of protection, especially for PA protein-based vaccines adjuvanted with aluminum salts appear to be not absolutely essential for this protective immune response.

  17. Detection of anthrax protective antigen (PA) using europium labeled anti-PA monoclonal antibody and time-resolved fluorescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoddard, Robyn A; Quinn, Conrad P; Schiffer, Jarad M; Boyer, Anne E; Goldstein, Jason; Bagarozzi, Dennis A; Soroka, Stephen D; Dauphin, Leslie A; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2014-06-01

    Inhalation anthrax is a rare but acute infectious disease following adsorption of Bacillus anthracis spores through the lungs. The disease has a high fatality rate if untreated, but early and correct diagnosis has a significant impact on case patient recovery. The early symptoms of inhalation anthrax are, however, non-specific and current anthrax diagnostics are primarily dependent upon culture and confirmatory real-time PCR. Consequently, there may be a significant delay in diagnosis and targeted treatment. Rapid, culture-independent diagnostic tests are therefore needed, particularly in the context of a large scale emergency response. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of monoclonal antibodies to detect anthrax toxin proteins that are secreted early in the course of B. anthracis infection using a time-resolved fluorescence (TRF) immunoassay. We selected monoclonal antibodies that could detect protective antigen (PA), as PA83 and also PA63 and LF in the lethal toxin complex. The assay reliable detection limit (RDL) was 6.63×10(-6)μM (0.551ng/ml) for PA83 and 2.51×10(-5)μM (1.58ng/ml) for PA63. Despite variable precision and accuracy of the assay, PA was detected in 9 out of 10 sera samples from anthrax confirmed case patients with cutaneous (n=7), inhalation (n=2), and gastrointestinal (n=1) disease. Anthrax Immune Globulin (AIG), which has been used in treatment of clinical anthrax, interfered with detection of PA. This study demonstrates a culture-independent method of diagnosing anthrax through the use of monoclonal antibodies to detect PA and LF in the lethal toxin complex.

  18. Prolonged pretreatment of mice with cholera toxin, but not isoproterenol, alleviates acute lethal systemic inflammatory response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jingyang; Guo, Xiangrui; Cao, Junxia; Zhang, Xueying; Zhang, Jiyan; Sun, Dejun; Wang, Qingyang

    2014-11-01

    Isoproterenol, a synthetic non-selective β-adrenergic agonist, is often used during the immediate postoperative period after open heart surgery for its chronotropic and vasodilatory effects. It has been demonstrated that isoproterenol pretreatment followed by immediate LPS administration leads to reduced tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) response in vivo. However, sepsis never happens immediately after the surgery, but rather severe immune dysfunction occurs at least 24h later. It remains elusive what effects isoproterenol might exert to innate immunity during the period. In this scenario, we investigated the effects of 24-h isoproterenol pretreatment on septic shock induced by experimental endotoxemia and bacterial peritonitis, with cholera toxin as another cAMP elevator. Unexpectedly, we found that isoproterenol and cholera toxin exhibited distinct effects in acute lethal systemic inflammatory response. Isoproterenol worsened liver injury without enhancing NK/NKT activity. Meanwhile, cholera toxin but not isoproterenol showed dramatically reduced TNF-α response in LPS induced septic shock. Our data provide a caution for the clinical use of isoproterenol and suggest that isoproterenol has cAMP-independent functions.

  19. 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.

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

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    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.

  1. Sub-Lethal Dose of Shiga Toxin 2 from Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Affects Balance and Cerebellar Cytoarchitecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Alipio; Cangelosi, Adriana; Geoghegan, Patricia A.; Tironi-Farinati, Carla; Brener, Gabriela J.; Goldstein, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    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 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 1 ηg 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. PMID:26904009

  2. 炭疽毒素受体结构和功能研究进展%Progress in Structure and Function of Anthrax Toxin Receptors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张连成; 高丽华; 郗永义; 邵勇; 贾康杰; 胡显文; 陈惠鹏

    2013-01-01

    肿瘤血管内皮标志物8(TEMS)和毛细血管形态发生蛋白2(CMG2)是已知的两个炭疽毒素受体,它们的主要功能是当炭疽杆菌侵染细胞时介导炭疽毒素进入宿主细胞.这两个受体都是涉及到细胞外基质动态平衡的I型跨膜蛋白,并且都因为它们在血管生成或血管内皮细胞中表达增强而被发现.有研究发现TEM8能够调节内皮细胞迁移和血管形成,而CMG2则在内皮细胞增殖过程中起重要作用.进一步的研究显示它们与整联蛋白同源性较高,但它们确切的生理功能和作用机制尚不明确.本文中,主要讨论这两种蛋白的结构和它们作为炭疽毒素受体介导炭疽毒素进入细胞的分子机制,然后我们简单探讨一下TEM8在靶向肿瘤血管内皮细胞的抗血管生成和抗肿瘤疗法方面的研究进展,最后我们展望了下一步炭疽毒素受体研究的热点-它们的配体及生理功能研究.%Tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) and capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2) are the two anthrax toxin receptors,which function as mediating anthrax toxin entry into host cells when Bacillus anthracis infected cells.These two receptors are the type Ⅰ transmembrane proteins related to the dynamic equilibrium of the extracellular matrix,and they were originally identified as a gene upregulated during angiogenesis.Some studies had found that TEM8 was able to regulate endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis,while CMG2 played an important role in the process of endothelial cell proliferation.Further studies had shown that they shares interesting similarities with integrins,however their exact physiological function and mechanism is unclear.In this article,we mainly discuss the structures of these two proteins and their function and molecular mechanism as anthrax toxin receptor mediating anthrax toxin into cells,and then we briefly explore the progress of TEM8 in anti-angiogenesis and anti-tumor therapy research

  3. 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.

  4. Anthrax: Symptoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... EID Journal Articles Anthrax-Related MMWRs Medscape Commentaries Symptoms Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook Tweet ... cause severe illness and even death. Cutaneous anthrax symptoms can include: A group of small blisters or ...

  5. Specific, sensitive, and quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for human immunoglobulin G antibodies to anthrax toxin protective antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Conrad P; Semenova, Vera A; Elie, Cheryl M; Romero-Steiner, Sandra; Greene, Carolyn; Li, Han; Stamey, Karen; Steward-Clark, Evelene; Schmidt, Daniel S; Mothershed, Elizabeth; Pruckler, Janet; Schwartz, Stephanie; Benson, Robert F; Helsel, Leta O; Holder, Patricia F; Johnson, Scott E; Kellum, Molly; Messmer, Trudy; Thacker, W Lanier; Besser, Lilah; Plikaytis, Brian D; Taylor, Thomas H; Freeman, Alison E; Wallace, Kelly J; Dull, Peter; Sejvar, Jim; Bruce, Erica; Moreno, Rosa; Schuchat, Anne; Lingappa, Jairam R; Martin, Sandra K; Walls, John; Bronsdon, Melinda; Carlone, George M; Bajani-Ari, Mary; Ashford, David A; Stephens, David S; Perkins, Bradley A

    2002-10-01

    The bioterrorism-associated human anthrax epidemic in the fall of 2001 highlighted the need for a sensitive, reproducible, and specific laboratory test for the confirmatory diagnosis of human anthrax. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed, optimized, and rapidly qualified an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) in human serum. The qualified ELISA had a minimum detection limit of 0.06 micro g/mL, a reliable lower limit of detection of 0.09 micro g/mL, and a lower limit of quantification in undiluted serum specimens of 3.0 micro g/mL anti-PA IgG. The diagnostic sensitivity of the assay was 97.8%, and the diagnostic specificity was 97.6%. A competitive inhibition anti-PA IgG ELISA was also developed to enhance diagnostic specificity to 100%. The anti-PA ELISAs proved valuable for the confirmation of cases of cutaneous and inhalational anthrax and evaluation of patients in whom the diagnosis of anthrax was being considered.

  6. 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.

  7. Anthrax vaccine adsorbed: further evidence supporting continuing the vaccination series rather than restarting the series when doses are delayed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Phillip R; Cavicchia, M A; Kingsbury, J L; Johnson, N A; Barrera-Oro, J G; Schmader, T; Korman, L; Quinn, X; Ranadive, M

    2014-09-03

    Whether to restart or continue the series when anthrax vaccine doses are missed is a frequent medical management problem. We applied the noninferiority analysis model to this prospective study comparing the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen (PA) IgG antibody response and lethal toxin neutralization activity at day 28 to the anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) (Biothrax®) administered on schedule or delayed. A total of 600 volunteers were enrolled: 354 in the on-schedule cohort; 246 in the delayed cohort. Differences were noted in immune responses between cohorts (panthrax vaccine are delayed as long as 5 or more years.

  8. [Production and characteristics of monoclonal antibodies to the diphtheria toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valiakina, T I; Lakhtina, O E; Komaleva, R L; Simonova, M A; Samokhvalova, L V; Shoshina, N S; Kalinina, N A; Rubina, A Iu; Filippova, M A; Vertiev, Iu V; Grishin, E V

    2009-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies to the diphtheria toxin were produced without cross reactivity with the thermolabile toxin (LT) from Escherichia coli; ricin; choleraic toxin; the SeA, SeB, SeE, SeI, and SeG toxins of staphylococcus; the lethal factor of the anthrax toxin; and the protective antigen of the anthrax toxin. A pair of antibodies for the quantitative determination of the diphtheria toxin in the sandwich variation of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was chosen. The determination limit of the toxin was 0.7 ng/ml in plate and 1.6 ng/ml in microchip ELISA. The presence of a secretion from the nasopharynx lavage did not decrease the sensitivity of the toxin determination by sandwich ELISA. The immunization of mice with the diphtheria toxin and with a conjugate of the diphtheria toxin with polystyrene microspheres demonstrated that the conjugate immunization resulted in the formation of hybridoma clones which produced antibodies only to the epitopes of the A fragment of the diphtheria toxin. The immunization with the native toxin caused the production of hybridoma clones which predominantly produced antibodies to the epitopes of the B fragment.

  9. Advances in Anthrax Detection: Overview of Bioprobes and Biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Joungmok; Gedi, Vinayakumar; Lee, Sang-Choon; Cho, Jun-Haeng; Moon, Ji-Young; Yoon, Moon-Young

    2015-06-01

    Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Although anthrax commonly affects domestic and wild animals, it causes a rare but lethal infection in humans. A variety of techniques have been introduced and evaluated to detect anthrax using cultures, polymerase chain reaction, and immunoassays to address the potential threat of anthrax being used as a bioweapon. The high-potential harm of anthrax in bioterrorism requires sensitive and specific detection systems that are rapid, field-ready, and real-time monitoring. Here, we provide a systematic overview of anthrax detection probes with their potential applications in various ultra-sensitive diagnostic systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulzar, Asim; Wright, Denis J

    2015-11-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Adenoviral Expression of a Bispecific VHH-Based Neutralizing Agent That Targets Protective Antigen Provides Prophylactic Protection from Anthrax in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moayeri, Mahtab; Tremblay, Jacqueline M; Debatis, Michelle; Dmitriev, Igor P; Kashentseva, Elena A; Yeh, Anthony J; Cheung, Gordon Y C; Curiel, David T; Leppla, Stephen; Shoemaker, Charles B

    2016-01-06

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, secretes three polypeptides, which form the bipartite lethal and edema toxins (LT and ET, respectively). The common component in these toxins, protective antigen (PA), is responsible for binding to cellular receptors and translocating the lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF) enzymatic moieties to the cytosol. Antibodies against PA protect against anthrax. We previously isolated toxin-neutralizing variable domains of camelid heavy-chain-only antibodies (VHHs) and demonstrated their in vivo efficacy. In this work, gene therapy with an adenoviral (Ad) vector (Ad/VNA2-PA) (VNA, VHH-based neutralizing agents) promoting the expression of a bispecific VHH-based neutralizing agent (VNA2-PA), consisting of two linked VHHs targeting different PA-neutralizing epitopes, was tested in two inbred mouse strains, BALB/cJ and C57BL/6J, and found to protect mice against anthrax toxin challenge and anthrax spore infection. Two weeks after a single treatment with Ad/VNA2-PA, serum VNA2-PA levels remained above 1 μg/ml, with some as high as 10 mg/ml. The levels were 10- to 100-fold higher and persisted longer in C57BL/6J than in BALB/cJ mice. Mice were challenged with a lethal dose of LT or spores at various times after Ad/VNA2-PA administration. The majority of BALB/cJ mice having serum VNA2-PA levels of >0.1 μg/ml survived LT challenge, and 9 of 10 C57BL/6J mice with serum levels of >1 μg/ml survived spore challenge. Our findings demonstrate the potential for genetic delivery of VNAs as an effective method for providing prophylactic protection from anthrax. We also extend prior findings of mouse strain-based differences in transgene expression and persistence by adenoviral vectors.

  14. Immunization with a Recombinant, Pseudomonas fluorescens-Expressed, Mutant Form of Bacillus anthracis-Derived Protective Antigen Protects Rabbits from Anthrax Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Reed

    Full Text Available Protective antigen (PA, one of the components of the anthrax toxin, is the major component of human anthrax vaccine (Biothrax. Human anthrax vaccines approved in the United States and Europe consist of an alum-adsorbed or precipitated (respectively supernatant material derived from cultures of toxigenic, non-encapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Approved vaccination schedules in humans with either of these vaccines requires several booster shots and occasionally causes adverse injection site reactions. Mutant derivatives of the protective antigen that will not form the anthrax toxins have been described. We have cloned and expressed both mutant (PA SNKE167-ΔFF-315-E308D and native PA molecules recombinantly and purified them. In this study, both the mutant and native PA molecules, formulated with alum (Alhydrogel, elicited high titers of anthrax toxin neutralizing anti-PA antibodies in New Zealand White rabbits. Both mutant and native PA vaccine preparations protected rabbits from lethal, aerosolized, B. anthracis spore challenge subsequent to two immunizations at doses of less than 1 μg.

  15. Immunization with a Recombinant, Pseudomonas fluorescens-Expressed, Mutant Form of Bacillus anthracis-Derived Protective Antigen Protects Rabbits from Anthrax Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Matthew D; Wilder, Julie A; Mega, William M; Hutt, Julie A; Kuehl, Philip J; Valderas, Michelle W; Chew, Lawrence L; Liang, Bertrand C; Squires, Charles H

    2015-01-01

    Protective antigen (PA), one of the components of the anthrax toxin, is the major component of human anthrax vaccine (Biothrax). Human anthrax vaccines approved in the United States and Europe consist of an alum-adsorbed or precipitated (respectively) supernatant material derived from cultures of toxigenic, non-encapsulated strains of Bacillus anthracis. Approved vaccination schedules in humans with either of these vaccines requires several booster shots and occasionally causes adverse injection site reactions. Mutant derivatives of the protective antigen that will not form the anthrax toxins have been described. We have cloned and expressed both mutant (PA SNKE167-ΔFF-315-E308D) and native PA molecules recombinantly and purified them. In this study, both the mutant and native PA molecules, formulated with alum (Alhydrogel), elicited high titers of anthrax toxin neutralizing anti-PA antibodies in New Zealand White rabbits. Both mutant and native PA vaccine preparations protected rabbits from lethal, aerosolized, B. anthracis spore challenge subsequent to two immunizations at doses of less than 1 μg.

  16. Cutaneous anthrax (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis . While anthrax commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep and goats, humans may get sick from anthrax, too. The most common type of anthrax infection ...

  17. Antibody microarrays for native toxin detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Victor C; Havenstrite, Karen L; Herr, Amy E

    2005-04-15

    We have developed antibody-based microarray techniques for the multiplexed detection of cholera toxin beta-subunit, diphtheria toxin, anthrax lethal factor and protective antigen, Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B, and tetanus toxin C fragment in spiked samples. Two detection schemes were investigated: (i) a direct assay in which fluorescently labeled toxins were captured directly by the antibody array and (ii) a competition assay that employed unlabeled toxins as reporters for the quantification of native toxin in solution. In the direct assay, fluorescence measured at each array element is correlated with labeled toxin concentration to yield baseline binding information (Langmuir isotherms and affinity constants). Extending from the direct assay, the competition assay yields information on the presence, identity, and concentration of toxins. A significant advantage of the competition assay over reported profiling assays is the minimal sample preparation required prior to analysis because the competition assay obviates the need to fluorescently label native proteins in the sample of interest. Sigmoidal calibration curves and detection limits were established for both assay formats. Although the sensitivity of the direct assay is superior to that of the competition assay, detection limits for unmodified toxins in the competition assay are comparable to values reported previously for sandwich-format immunoassays of antibodies arrayed on planar substrates. As a demonstration of the potential of the competition assay for unlabeled toxin detection, we conclude with a straightforward multiplexed assay for the differentiation and identification of both native S. aureus enterotoxin B and tetanus toxin C fragment in spiked dilute serum samples.

  18. 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.

  19. Targeted delivery of an ADP-ribosylating bacterial toxin into cancer cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahaf , N.-I.; Lang, A. E.; Kaiser, L.; Fichter, C. D.; Lassmann, S.; McCluskey, A.; Augspach, A.; Aktories, K.; Schmidt, G.

    2017-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton is an attractive target for bacterial toxins. The ADP-ribosyltransferase TccC3 from the insect bacterial pathogen Photorhabdus luminescence modifies actin to force its aggregation. We intended to transport the catalytic part of this toxin preferentially into cancer cells using a toxin transporter (Protective antigen, PA) which was redirected to Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (EGFR) or to human EGF receptors 2 (HER2), which are overexpressed in several cancer cells. Protective antigen of anthrax toxin forms a pore through which the two catalytic parts (lethal factor and edema factor) or other proteins can be transported into mammalian cells. Here, we used PA as a double mutant (N682A, D683A; mPA) which cannot bind to the two natural anthrax receptors. Each mutated monomer is fused either to EGF or to an affibody directed against the human EGF receptor 2 (HER2). We established a cellular model system composed of two cell lines representing HER2 overexpressing esophageal adenocarcinomas (EACs) and EGFR overexpressing esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs). We studied the specificity and efficiency of the re-directed anthrax pore for transport of TccC3 toxin and established Photorhabdus luminescence TccC3 as a toxin suitable for the development of a targeted toxin selectively killing cancer cells. PMID:28128281

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Translational Murine Model of Sub-Lethal Intoxication with Shiga Toxin 2 Reveals Novel Ultrastructural Findings in the Brain Striatum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tironi-Farinati, Carla; Geoghegan, Patricia A.; Cangelosi, Adriana; Pinto, Alipio; Loidl, C. Fabian; Goldstein, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23383285

  4. Mass Spectrometric Detection of Bacterial Protein Toxins and Their Enzymatic Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Boyer, Anne E; Barr, John R

    2015-08-31

    Mass spectrometry has recently become a powerful technique for bacterial identification. Mass spectrometry approaches generally rely upon introduction of the bacteria into a matrix-assisted laser-desorption time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometer with mass spectrometric recognition of proteins specific to that organism that form a reliable fingerprint. With some bacteria, such as Bacillus anthracis and Clostridium botulinum, the health threat posed by these organisms is not the organism itself, but rather the protein toxins produced by the organisms. One such example is botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), a potent neurotoxin produced by C. botulinum. There are seven known serotypes of BoNT, A-G, and many of the serotypes can be further differentiated into toxin variants, which are up to 99.9% identical in some cases. Mass spectrometric proteomic techniques have been established to differentiate the serotype or toxin variant of BoNT produced by varied strains of C. botulinum. Detection of potent biological toxins requires high analytical sensitivity and mass spectrometry based methods have been developed to determine the enzymatic activity of BoNT and the anthrax lethal toxins produced by B. anthracis. This enzymatic activity, unique for each toxin, is assessed with detection of the toxin-induced cleavage of strategically designed peptide substrates by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry offering unparalleled specificity. Furthermore, activity assays allow for the assessment of the biological activity of a toxin and its potential health risk. Such methods have become important diagnostics for botulism and anthrax. Here, we review mass spectrometry based methods for the enzymatic activity of BoNT and the anthrax lethal factor toxin.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gila Arad

    2011-09-01

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

  7. A Comparison of the Adaptive Immune Response between Recovered Anthrax Patients and Individuals Receiving Three Different Anthrax Vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Thomas R; Kuchuloria, Tinatin; Chitadze, Nazibriola; Little, Stephen F; Webster, Wendy M; Debes, Amanda K; Saginadze, Salome; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Chubinidze, Mariam; Rivard, Robert G; Tsanava, Shota; Dyson, Edward H; Simpson, Andrew J H; Hepburn, Matthew J; Trapaidze, Nino

    2016-01-01

    Several different human vaccines are available to protect against anthrax. We compared the human adaptive immune responses generated by three different anthrax vaccines or by previous exposure to cutaneous anthrax. Adaptive immunity was measured by ELISPOT to count cells that produce interferon (IFN)-γ in response to restimulation ex vivo with the anthrax toxin components PA, LF and EF and by measuring circulating IgG specific to these antigens. Neutralising activity of antisera against anthrax toxin was also assayed. We found that the different exposures to anthrax antigens promoted varying immune responses. Cutaneous anthrax promoted strong IFN-γ responses to all three antigens and antibody responses to PA and LF. The American AVA and Russian LAAV vaccines induced antibody responses to PA only. The British AVP vaccine produced IFN-γ responses to EF and antibody responses to all three antigens. Anti-PA (in AVA and LAAV vaccinees) or anti-LF (in AVP vaccinees) antibody titres correlated with toxin neutralisation activities. Our study is the first to compare all three vaccines in humans and show the diversity of responses against anthrax antigens.

  8. A Comparison of the Adaptive Immune Response between Recovered Anthrax Patients and Individuals Receiving Three Different Anthrax Vaccines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas R Laws

    Full Text Available Several different human vaccines are available to protect against anthrax. We compared the human adaptive immune responses generated by three different anthrax vaccines or by previous exposure to cutaneous anthrax. Adaptive immunity was measured by ELISPOT to count cells that produce interferon (IFN-γ in response to restimulation ex vivo with the anthrax toxin components PA, LF and EF and by measuring circulating IgG specific to these antigens. Neutralising activity of antisera against anthrax toxin was also assayed. We found that the different exposures to anthrax antigens promoted varying immune responses. Cutaneous anthrax promoted strong IFN-γ responses to all three antigens and antibody responses to PA and LF. The American AVA and Russian LAAV vaccines induced antibody responses to PA only. The British AVP vaccine produced IFN-γ responses to EF and antibody responses to all three antigens. Anti-PA (in AVA and LAAV vaccinees or anti-LF (in AVP vaccinees antibody titres correlated with toxin neutralisation activities. Our study is the first to compare all three vaccines in humans and show the diversity of responses against anthrax antigens.

  9. Acceleration of epithelial cell syndecan-1 shedding by anthrax hemolytic virulence factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandhoke Vikas

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been recently reported that major pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa accelerate a normal process of cell surface syndecan-1 (Synd1 ectodomain shedding as a mechanism of host damage due to the production of shedding-inducing virulence factors. We tested if acceleration of Synd1 shedding takes place in vitro upon treatment of epithelial cells with B. anthracis hemolysins, as well as in vivo during anthrax infection in mice. Results The isolated anthrax hemolytic proteins AnlB (sphingomyelinase and AnlO (cholesterol-binding pore-forming factor, as well as ClnA (B. cereus homolog of B. anthracis phosphatidyl choline-preferring phospholipase C cause accelerated shedding of Synd1 and E-cadherin from epithelial cells and compromise epithelial barrier integrity within a few hours. In comparison with hemolysins in a similar range of concentrations, anthrax lethal toxin (LT also accelerates shedding albeit at slower rate. Individual components of LT, lethal factor and protective antigen are inactive with regard to shedding. Inhibition experiments favor a hypothesis that activities of tested bacterial shedding inducers converge on the stimulation of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases of the Syk family, ultimately leading to activation of cellular sheddase. Both LT and AnlO modulate ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK signaling pathways, while JNK pathway seems to be irrelevant to accelerated shedding. Accelerated shedding of Synd1 also takes place in DBA/2 mice challenged with Bacillus anthracis (Sterne spores. Elevated levels of shed ectodomain are readily detectable in circulation after 24 h. Conclusion The concerted acceleration of shedding by several virulence factors could represent a new pathogenic mechanism contributing to disruption of epithelial or endothelial integrity, hemorrhage, edema and abnormal cell signaling during anthrax infection.

  10. Comprehensive analysis and selection of anthrax vaccine adsorbed immune correlates of protection in rhesus macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ligong; Schiffer, Jarad M; Dalton, Shannon; Sabourin, Carol L; Niemuth, Nancy A; Plikaytis, Brian D; Quinn, Conrad P

    2014-11-01

    Humoral and cell-mediated immune correlates of protection (COP) for inhalation anthrax in a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) model were determined. The immunological and survival data were from 114 vaccinated and 23 control animals exposed to Bacillus anthracis spores at 12, 30, or 52 months after the first vaccination. The vaccinated animals received a 3-dose intramuscular priming series (3-i.m.) of anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA) (BioThrax) at 0, 1, and 6 months. The immune responses were modulated by administering a range of vaccine dilutions. Together with the vaccine dilution dose and interval between the first vaccination and challenge, each of 80 immune response variables to anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) at every available study time point was analyzed as a potential COP by logistic regression penalized by least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) or elastic net. The anti-PA IgG level at the last available time point before challenge (last) and lymphocyte stimulation index (SI) at months 2 and 6 were identified consistently as a COP. Anti-PA IgG levels and lethal toxin neutralization activity (TNA) at months 6 and 7 (peak) and the frequency of gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-secreting cells at month 6 also had statistically significant positive correlations with survival. The ratio of interleukin 4 (IL-4) mRNA to IFN-γ mRNA at month 6 also had a statistically significant negative correlation with survival. TNA had lower accuracy as a COP than did anti-PA IgG response. Following the 3-i.m. priming with AVA, the anti-PA IgG responses at the time of exposure or at month 7 were practicable and accurate metrics for correlating vaccine-induced immunity with protection against inhalation anthrax.

  11. A novel sperm-delivered toxin causes late-stage embryo lethality and transmission ratio distortion in C. elegans.

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    Hannah S Seidel

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary fate of an allele ordinarily depends on its contribution to host fitness. Occasionally, however, genetic elements arise that are able to gain a transmission advantage while simultaneously imposing a fitness cost on their hosts. We previously discovered one such element in C. elegans that gains a transmission advantage through a combination of paternal-effect killing and zygotic self-rescue. Here we demonstrate that this element is composed of a sperm-delivered toxin, peel-1, and an embryo-expressed antidote, zeel-1. peel-1 and zeel-1 are located adjacent to one another in the genome and co-occur in an insertion/deletion polymorphism. peel-1 encodes a novel four-pass transmembrane protein that is expressed in sperm and delivered to the embryo via specialized, sperm-specific vesicles. In the absence of zeel-1, sperm-delivered PEEL-1 causes lethal defects in muscle and epidermal tissue at the 2-fold stage of embryogenesis. zeel-1 is expressed transiently in the embryo and encodes a novel six-pass transmembrane domain fused to a domain with sequence similarity to zyg-11, a substrate-recognition subunit of an E3 ubiquitin ligase. zeel-1 appears to have arisen recently, during an expansion of the zyg-11 family, and the transmembrane domain of zeel-1 is required and partially sufficient for antidote activity. Although PEEL-1 and ZEEL-1 normally function in embryos, these proteins can act at other stages as well. When expressed ectopically in adults, PEEL-1 kills a variety of cell types, and ectopic expression of ZEEL-1 rescues these effects. Our results demonstrate that the tight physical linkage between two novel transmembrane proteins has facilitated their co-evolution into an element capable of promoting its own transmission to the detriment of organisms carrying it.

  12. Periorbital cellulitis due to cutaneous anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliland, Grant; Starks, Victoria; Vrcek, Ivan; Gilliland, Connor

    2015-12-01

    Virgil's plague of the ancient world, Bacillus anthracis, is rare in developed nations. Unfortunately rural communities across the globe continue to be exposed to this potentially lethal bacterium. Herein we report a case of periorbital cutaneous anthrax infection in a 3-year-old girl from the rural area surrounding Harare, Zimbabwe with a brief review of the literature.

  13. Generation of protective immune response against anthrax by oral immunization with protective antigen plant-based vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorantala, Jyotsna; Grover, Sonam; Rahi, Amit; Chaudhary, Prerna; Rajwanshi, Ravi; Sarin, Neera Bhalla; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2014-04-20

    In concern with frequent recurrence of anthrax in endemic areas and inadvertent use of its spores as biological weapon, the development of an effective anthrax vaccine suitable for both human and veterinary needs is highly desirable. A simple oral delivery through expression in plant system could offer promising alternative to the current methods that rely on injectable vaccines extracted from bacterial sources. In the present study, we have expressed protective antigen (PA) gene in Indian mustard by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and in tobacco by plastid transformation. Putative transgenic lines were verified for the presence of transgene and its expression by molecular analysis. PA expressed in transgenic lines was biologically active as evidenced by macrophage lysis assay. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) and oral immunization with plant PA in murine model indicated high serum PA specific IgG and IgA antibody titers. PA specific mucosal immune response was noted in orally immunized groups. Further, antibodies indicated lethal toxin neutralizing potential in-vitro and conferred protection against in-vivo toxin challenge. Oral immunization experiments demonstrated generation of immunoprotective response in mice. Thus, our study examines the feasibility of oral PA vaccine expressed in an edible plant system against anthrax.

  14. 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.

  15. Use of air-assisted electrostatic spraying system (ESS)or the sprayed lethality in container(SLIC) method to deliver anticmicrobials onto the surface of beef subprimals to ... shiga toxin-producing cells of Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    We evaluated the efficacy of an air-assisted electrostatic spraying system (ESS) and/or the Sprayed Lethality in Container (SLIC) method to deliver antimicrobials onto the surface of beef subprimals to reduce levels of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Beef subprimals were surface inocu...

  16. Effect of antimicrobials applied on the surface of beef subprimals via an air-assisted electrostatic spraying system(ESS)or the Sprayed Lethality in Container(SLIC)method to control Shiga toxin-producing cells of Escherichia

    Science.gov (United States)

    We evaluated the efficacy of an air-assisted electrostatic spraying system (ESS) and/or the Sprayed Lethality in Container (SLIC®) method to deliver antimicrobials onto the surface of beef subprimals to reduce levels of Shiga toxin-producing cells of Escherichia coli (STEC). In brief, beef subprimal...

  17. Development of a simple method for the rapid identification of organisms causing anthrax by coagglutination test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumithra, T G; Chaturvedi, V K; Gupta, P K; Siju, S J; Susan, C; Bincy, J; Laxmi, U; Sunita, S C; Rai, A K

    2014-11-01

    A protective antigen (PA) based coagglutination test was optimized in the present study for the specific and sensitive identification of bacteria causing anthrax in a cost effective and less risky manner. The test showed 100% specificity and sensitivity up to 9 × 10(3) formalinized vegetative cells or 11 ng of PA. The optimized test also detected anthrax toxin directly from the serum as well as blood of anthrax infected animals indicating the potential application for direct diagnosis of anthrax under field conditions.

  18. Bithionol blocks pathogenicity of bacterial toxins, ricin, and Zika virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, William; Zilbermintz, Leeor; Cheng, Luisa W.; Zozaya, Josue; Tran, Sharon H.; Elliott, Jeffrey H.; Polukhina, Kseniya; Manasherob, Robert; Li, Amy; Chi, Xiaoli; Gharaibeh, Dima; Kenny, Tara; Zamani, Rouzbeh; Soloveva, Veronica; Haddow, Andrew D.; Nasar, Farooq; Bavari, Sina; Bassik, Michael C.; Cohen, Stanley N.; Levitin, Anastasia; Martchenko, Mikhail

    2016-01-01

    Diverse pathogenic agents often utilize overlapping host networks, and hub proteins within these networks represent attractive targets for broad-spectrum drugs. Using bacterial toxins, we describe a new approach for discovering broad-spectrum therapies capable of inhibiting host proteins that mediate multiple pathogenic pathways. This approach can be widely used, as it combines genetic-based target identification with cell survival-based and protein function-based multiplex drug screens, and concurrently discovers therapeutic compounds and their protein targets. Using B-lymphoblastoid cells derived from the HapMap Project cohort of persons of African, European, and Asian ancestry we identified host caspases as hub proteins that mediate the lethality of multiple pathogenic agents. We discovered that an approved drug, Bithionol, inhibits host caspases and also reduces the detrimental effects of anthrax lethal toxin, diphtheria toxin, cholera toxin, Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A, Botulinum neurotoxin, ricin, and Zika virus. Our study reveals the practicality of identifying host proteins that mediate multiple disease pathways and discovering broad-spectrum therapies that target these hub proteins. PMID:27686742

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela Chavez, Carolina; Haustant, Georges Michel; Baron, Bruno; England, Patrick; Chenal, Alexandre; Pauillac, Serge; Blondel, Arnaud; Popoff, Michel-Robert

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin (TcsL) is a powerful virulence factor responsible for severe toxic shock in man and animals. TcsL belongs to the large clostridial glucosylating toxin (LCGT) family which inactivates small GTPases by glucosylation with uridine-diphosphate (UDP)-glucose as a cofactor. Notably, TcsL modifies Rac and Ras GTPases, leading to drastic alteration of the actin cytoskeleton and cell viability. TcsL enters cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis and delivers the N-terminal glucosylating domain (TcsL-cat) into the cytosol. TcsL-cat was found to preferentially bind to phosphatidylserine (PS)-containing membranes and to increase the glucosylation of Rac anchored to the lipid membrane. We have previously reported that the N-terminal four helical bundle structure (1–93 domain) recognizes a broad range of lipids, but that TcsL-cat specifically binds to PS and phosphatidic acid. Here, we show using mutagenesis that the PS binding site is localized on the tip of the four-helix bundle which is rich in positively-charged amino acids. Residues Y14, V15, F17, and R18 on loop 1, between helices 1 and 2, in coordination with R68 from loop 3, between helices 3 and 4, form a pocket which accommodates L-serine. The functional PS-binding site is required for TcsL-cat binding to the plasma membrane and subsequent cytotoxicity. TcsL-cat binding to PS facilitates a high enzymatic activity towards membrane-anchored Ras by about three orders of magnitude as compared to Ras in solution. The PS-binding site is conserved in LCGTs, which likely retain a common mechanism of binding to the membrane for their full activity towards membrane-bound GTPases. PMID:27023605

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Varela Chavez

    2016-03-01

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

  1. Molecular Motions as a Drug Target: Mechanistic Simulations of Anthrax Toxin Edema Factor Function Led to the Discovery of Novel Allosteric Inhibitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnaud Blondel

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Edema Factor (EF is a component of Bacillus anthracis toxin essential for virulence. Its adenylyl cyclase activity is induced by complexation with the ubiquitous eukaryotic cellular protein, calmodulin (CaM. EF and its complexes with CaM, nucleotides and/or ions, have been extensively characterized by X-ray crystallography. Those structural data allowed molecular simulations analysis of various aspects of EF action mechanism, including the delineation of EF and CaM domains through their association energetics, the impact of calcium binding on CaM, and the role of catalytic site ions. Furthermore, a transition path connecting the free inactive form to the CaM-complexed active form of EF was built to model the activation mechanism in an attempt to define an inhibition strategy. The cavities at the surface of EF were determined for each path intermediate to identify potential sites where the binding of a ligand could block activation. A non-catalytic cavity (allosteric was found to shrink rapidly at early stages of the path and was chosen to perform virtual screening. Amongst 18 compounds selected in silico and tested in an enzymatic assay, 6 thiophen ureidoacid derivatives formed a new family of EF allosteric inhibitors with IC50 as low as 2 micromolars.

  2. Anthrax undervalued zoonosis

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Anthrax is a non-contagious disease, known since ancient times but it became a matter of global public interest after the bioterrorist attacks in the U.S.A. during the autumn of 2001. The concern of politicians and civil authorities everywhere towards this emergency necessitated a significant research effort and the prevention of new bioterrorist acts. But anthrax is primarily a disease that affects livestock and wildlife; its distribution is worldwide; and it can represen...

  3. Antitoxin Treatment of Inhalation Anthrax: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Eileen; Pillai, Satish K; Bower, William A; Hendricks, Katherine A; Guarnizo, Julie T; Hoyle, Jamechia D; Gorman, Susan E; Boyer, Anne E; Quinn, Conrad P; Meaney-Delman, Dana

    2015-01-01

    Concern about use of anthrax as a bioweapon prompted development of novel anthrax antitoxins for treatment. Clinical guidelines for the treatment of anthrax recommend antitoxin therapy in combination with intravenous antimicrobials; however, a large-scale or mass anthrax incident may exceed antitoxin availability and create a need for judicious antitoxin use. We conducted a systematic review of antitoxin treatment of inhalation anthrax in humans and experimental animals to inform antitoxin recommendations during a large-scale or mass anthrax incident. A comprehensive search of 11 databases and the FDA website was conducted to identify relevant animal studies and human reports: 28 animal studies and 3 human cases were identified. Antitoxin monotherapy at or shortly after symptom onset demonstrates increased survival compared to no treatment in animals. With early treatment, survival did not differ between antimicrobial monotherapy and antimicrobial-antitoxin therapy in nonhuman primates and rabbits. With delayed treatment, antitoxin-antimicrobial treatment increased rabbit survival. Among human cases, addition of antitoxin to combination antimicrobial treatment was associated with survival in 2 of the 3 cases treated. Despite the paucity of human data, limited animal data suggest that adjunctive antitoxin therapy may improve survival. Delayed treatment studies suggest improved survival with combined antitoxin-antimicrobial therapy, although a survival difference compared with antimicrobial therapy alone was not demonstrated statistically. In a mass anthrax incident with limited antitoxin supplies, antitoxin treatment of individuals who have not demonstrated a clinical benefit from antimicrobials, or those who present with more severe illness, may be warranted. Additional pathophysiology studies are needed, and a point-of-care assay correlating toxin levels with clinical status may provide important information to guide antitoxin use during a large-scale anthrax

  4. Development of a Sterne-based Complement Fixation Test to monitor the humoral response induced by anthrax vaccines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosanna eAdone

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis spore-forming bacterium. Since it is primarily a disease of animals, the control in animals and humans depends on the prevention in livestock, principally cattle, sheep and goats. Most veterinary vaccines utilize the toxigenic, uncapsulated (pXO1+/pXO2– B.anthracis strain 34F2 which affords protection through the production of neutralizing antibodies directed to the toxin components Protective Antigen (PA, Lethal Factor (LF and Edema Factor (EF. The titration of specific antibodies in sera of vaccinated animals is crucial to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccination and to obtain epidemiological information for an effective anthrax surveillance. In this study, we developed a Sterne-based Complement Fixation Test to detect specific antibodies induced in animals vaccinated with Sterne 34F2 . We assessed its efficacy in laboratory animals and under field conditions by monitoring the humoral response induced by vaccination in cattle. The results indicated that the Sterne-based CFT is able to identify vaccinated animals with a good sensitivity and specificity offering many benefits especially with regard to costs, standardization and reproducibility of the assay procedure.

  5. Development of a Sterne-Based Complement Fixation Test to Monitor the Humoral Response Induced by Anthrax Vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adone, Rosanna; Sali, Michela; Francia, Massimiliano; Iatarola, Michela; Donatiello, Adelia; Fasanella, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis spore-forming bacterium. Since it is primarily a disease of animals, the control in animals, and humans depend on the prevention in livestock, principally cattle, sheep, and goats. Most veterinary vaccines utilize the toxigenic, uncapsulated (pXO1+/pXO2–) B. anthracis strain 34F2 which affords protection through the production of neutralizing antibodies directed to the toxin components Protective Antigen (PA), Lethal Factor (LF), and Edema Factor (EF). The titration of specific antibodies in sera of vaccinated animals is crucial to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccination and to obtain epidemiological information for an effective anthrax surveillance. In this study, we developed a Sterne-based Complement Fixation Test (CFT) to detect specific antibodies induced in animals vaccinated with Sterne 34F2. We assessed its efficacy in laboratory animals and under field conditions by monitoring the humoral response induced by vaccination in cattle. The results indicated that the Sterne-based CFT is able to correctly identify vaccinated animals. It proved to be a very sensitive and specific test. Moreover, the Sterne-based CFT offers many benefits with regard to costs, standardization and reproducibility of the assay procedure. PMID:26858700

  6. Anthrax (Lecture Aids) - USSR .

    Science.gov (United States)

    1961-08-14

    utions (phenol, lysol , etc.) and dies at a temperature of 60-70 C. As opposed to the vegetative form, the anthrax spore is extremely resistant to...external influences. Ord- inary disinfectant solutions (corrosive sublimate, carbolic acid, lysol ) are not used, since they have little effect on

  7. Heroin-associated anthrax with minimal morbidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Heather; Chapman, Ann; Inverarity, Donald; Sinha, Satyajit

    2017-03-08

    In 2010, during an outbreak of anthrax affecting people who inject drugs, a heroin user aged 37 years presented with soft tissue infection. He subsequently was found to have anthrax. We describe his management and the difficulty in distinguishing anthrax from non-anthrax lesions. His full recovery, despite an overall mortality of 30% for injectional anthrax, demonstrates that some heroin-related anthrax cases can be managed predominately with oral antibiotics and minimal surgical intervention.

  8. Methods for neutralizing anthrax or anthrax spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloan, Mark A; Vivekandanda, Jeevalatha; Holwitt, Eric A; Kiel, Johnathan L

    2013-02-26

    The present invention concerns methods, compositions and apparatus for neutralizing bioagents, wherein bioagents comprise biowarfare agents, biohazardous agents, biological agents and/or infectious agents. The methods comprise exposing the bioagent to an organic semiconductor and exposing the bioagent and organic semiconductor to a source of energy. Although any source of energy is contemplated, in some embodiments the energy comprises visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, radiofrequency, microwave, laser radiation, pulsed corona discharge or electron beam radiation. Exemplary organic semiconductors include DAT and DALM. In certain embodiments, the organic semiconductor may be attached to one or more binding moieties, such as an antibody, antibody fragment, or nucleic acid ligand. Preferably, the binding moiety has a binding affinity for one or more bioagents to be neutralized. Other embodiments concern an apparatus comprising an organic semiconductor and an energy source. In preferred embodiments, the methods, compositions and apparatus are used for neutralizing anthrax spores.

  9. Pediatric anthrax clinical management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, John S; Peacock, Georgina; Krug, Steven E; Bower, William A; Cohn, Amanda C; Meaney-Delman, Dana; Pavia, Andrew T

    2014-05-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which has multiple routes of infection in humans, manifesting in different initial presentations of disease. Because B anthracis has the potential to be used as a biological weapon and can rapidly progress to systemic anthrax with high mortality in those who are exposed and untreated, clinical guidance that can be quickly implemented must be in place before any intentional release of the agent. This document provides clinical guidance for the prophylaxis and treatment of neonates, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults up to the age of 21 (referred to as "children") in the event of a deliberate B anthracis release and offers guidance in areas where the unique characteristics of children dictate a different clinical recommendation from adults.

  10. Bacillus anthracis Capsular Conjugates Elicit Chimpanzee Polyclonal Antibodies That Protect Mice from Pulmonary Anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhaochun; Schneerson, Rachel; Lovchik, Julie A; Dai, Zhongdong; Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Agulto, Liane; Leppla, Stephen H; Purcell, Robert H

    2015-08-01

    The immunogenicity of Bacillus anthracis capsule (poly-γ-D-glutamic acid [PGA]) conjugated to recombinant B. anthracis protective antigen (rPA) or to tetanus toxoid (TT) was evaluated in two anthrax-naive juvenile chimpanzees. In a previous study of these conjugates, highly protective monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against PGA were generated. This study examines the polyclonal antibody response of the same animals. Preimmune antibodies to PGA with titers of >10(3) were detected in the chimpanzees. The maximal titer of anti-PGA was induced within 1 to 2 weeks following the 1st immunization, with no booster effects following the 2nd and 3rd immunizations. Thus, the anti-PGA response in the chimpanzees resembled a secondary immune response. Screening of sera from nine unimmunized chimpanzees and six humans revealed antibodies to PGA in all samples, with an average titer of 10(3). An anti-PA response was also observed following immunization with PGA-rPA conjugate, similar to that seen following immunization with rPA alone. However, in contrast to anti-PGA, preimmune anti-PA antibody titers and those following the 1st immunization were ≤300, with the antibodies peaking above 10(4) following the 2nd immunization. The polyclonal anti-PGA shared the MAb 11D epitope and, similar to the MAbs, exerted opsonophagocytic killing of B. anthracis. Most important, the PGA-TT-induced antibodies protected mice from a lethal challenge with virulent B. anthracis spores. Our data support the use of PGA conjugates, especially PGA-rPA targeting both toxin and capsule, as expanded-spectrum anthrax vaccines.

  11. Anti-bacterial and anti-toxic immunity induced by a killed whole-cell-cholera toxin B subunit cholera vaccine is essential for protection against lethal bacterial infection in mouse pulmonary cholera model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, S-S; Yang, J S; Kim, K W; Yun, C-H; Holmgren, J; Czerkinsky, C; Han, S H

    2013-07-01

    The lack of appropriate animal model for studying protective immunity has limited vaccine development against cholera. Here, we demonstrate a pulmonary cholera model conferred by intranasal administration of mice with live Vibrio cholerae. The bacterial components, but not cholera toxin, caused lethal and acute pneumonia by inducing massive inflammation. Intranasal immunization with Dukoral, comprising killed whole bacteria and recombinant cholera toxin B subunit (rCTB), developed both mucosal and systemic antibody responses with protection against the lethal challenge. Either rCTB-free Dukoral or rCTB alone partially protected the mice against the challenge. However, reconstitution of rCTB-free Dukoral with rCTB restored full protection. Parenteral immunization with Dukoral evoked strong systemic immunity without induction of mucosal immunity or protection from the challenge. These results suggest that both anti-bacterial and anti-toxic immunity are required for protection against V. cholerae-induced pneumonia, and this animal model is useful for pre-clinical evaluation of candidate cholera vaccines.

  12. Anthrax Spores under a microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    Anthrax spores are inactive forms of Bacillus anthracis. They can survive for decades inside a spore's tough protective coating; they become active when inhaled by humans. A result of NASA- and industry-sponsored research to develop small greenhouses for space research is the unique AiroCide TiO2 system that kills anthrax spores and other pathogens.

  13. [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 intes

  14. Impedance spectroscopy for the detection and identification of unknown toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, B. C.; Plopper, G. E.; Paluh, J. L.; Phamduy, T. B.; Corr, D. T.; Chrisey, D. B.

    2012-06-01

    Advancements in biological and chemical warfare has allowed for the creation of novel toxins necessitating a universal, real-time sensor. We have used a function-based biosensor employing impedance spectroscopy using a low current density AC signal over a range of frequencies (62.5 Hz-64 kHz) to measure the electrical impedance of a confluent epithelial cell monolayer at 120 sec intervals. Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) epithelial cells were grown to confluence on thin film interdigitated gold electrodes. A stable impedance measurement of 2200 Ω was found after 24 hrs of growth. After exposure to cytotoxins anthrax lethal toxin and etoposide, the impedance decreased in a linear fashion resulting in a 50% drop in impedance over 50hrs showing significant difference from the control sample (~20% decrease). Immunofluorescent imaging showed that apoptosis was induced through the addition of toxins. Similarities of the impedance signal shows that the mechanism of cellular death was the same between ALT and etoposide. A revised equivalent circuit model was employed in order to quantify morphological changes in the cell monolayer such as tight junction integrity and cell surface area coverage. This model showed a faster response to cytotoxin (2 hrs) compared to raw measurements (20 hrs). We demonstrate that herein that impedance spectroscopy of epithelial monolayers serves as a real-time non-destructive sensor for unknown pathogens.

  15. Health Risk Communication in the Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program: Lessons for the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-04-01

    percent lethal if not treated before the onset of symptoms. Once the flu-like symp- toms appear, there is no effective cure . Anthrax has no smell or...like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, autism , or illnesses among Gulf War veterans. Any illness following a shot may be erro- neously attributed to the

  16. Anthrax receptors position the spindle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minc, Nicolas; Piel, Matthieu

    2013-01-01

    Spindle orientation plays a pivotal role in tissue morphogenesis. An asymmetric anthrax receptor cap is revealed to promote activation of a formin to orient the spindle along the planar cell polarity (PCP) axis in zebrafish dorsal epiblast cells.

  17. ATP Depletion Via Mitochondrial F1F0 Complex by Lethal Factor is an Early Event in B. Anthracis-Induced Sudden Cell Death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitchell W. Woodberry

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis’ primary virulence factor is a tripartite anthrax toxin consisting of edema factor (EF, lethal factor (LF and protective antigen (PA. In complex with PA, EF and LF are internalized via receptor-mediated endocytosis. EF is a calmodulin- dependent adenylate cyclase that induces tissue edema. LF is a zinc-metalloprotease that cleaves members of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases. Lethal toxin (LT: PA plus LF-induced death of macrophages is primarily attributed to expression of the sensitive Nalp1b allele, inflammasome formation and activation of caspase-1, but early events that initiate these processes are unknown. Here we provide evidence that an early essential event in pyroptosis of alveolar macrophages is LF-mediated depletion of cellular ATP. The underlying mechanism involves interaction of LF with F1F0-complex gamma and beta subunits leading to increased ATPase activity in mitochondria. In support, mitochondrial DNA-depleted MH-S cells have decreased F1F0 ATPase activity due to the lack of F06 and F08 polypeptides and show increased resistance to LT. We conclude that ATP depletion is an important early event in LT-induced sudden cell death and its prevention increases survival of toxin-sensitive cells.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Cutaneous anthrax cases leading compartment syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emine Parlak

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax. Anthrax is a zoonotic disease with three clinical forms. Clinical forms are skin, gastrointestinal and inhalational anthrax. Cutaneous anthrax is 95% of the cases. Cutaneous anthrax frequently defines itself. Clinical presentation of anthrax may be severe and complicated in some cases. There may seem complications like meningitis, septic shock and compartment syndrome. Compartment Syndrome is a rare complication of cutaneous anthrax and it is life threatening. Physicians working in the endemic area should be aware of this form. In this study, three cases were shown which developed compartment syndrome following cutaneous anthrax. J Microbiol Infect Dis 2013;3(4: 214-217

  1. Anthrax: A Guide for Biology Teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Eric J.

    2002-01-01

    Presents facts about anthrax so that biology teachers can communicate them to others. Defines anthrax and the nature of bacterial spores. Discusses transmission and clinical presentation as well as prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Explores the use of anthrax as a biological warfare agent. (Contains 27 references.) (DDR)

  2. Anthrax - Multiple Languages: MedlinePlus

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Are Here: Home → Multiple Languages → All Health Topics → Anthrax URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/languages/anthrax.html Other topics A-Z A B C ... V W XYZ List of All Topics All Anthrax - Multiple Languages To use the sharing features on ...

  3. Investigation of inhalation anthrax case, United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Jayne; Blaney, David; Shadomy, Sean; Lehman, Mark; Pesik, Nicki; Tostenson, Samantha; Delaney, Lisa; Tiller, Rebekah; DeVries, Aaron; Gomez, Thomas; Sullivan, Maureen; Blackmore, Carina; Stanek, Danielle; Lynfield, Ruth

    2014-02-01

    Inhalation anthrax occurred in a man who vacationed in 4 US states where anthrax is enzootic. Despite an extensive multi-agency investigation, the specific source was not detected, and no additional related human or animal cases were found. Although rare, inhalation anthrax can occur naturally in the United States.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Onya Opota

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opota, Onya; Vallet-Gély, Isabelle; Vincentelli, Renaud; Kellenberger, Christine; Iacovache, Ioan; Gonzalez, Manuel Rodrigo; Roussel, Alain; van der Goot, Françoise-Gisou; Lemaitre, Bruno

    2011-09-01

    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.

  6. Airing Out Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    The AiroCide TiO2 is an air-purifier that kills 93.3 percent of airborne pathogens that pass through it, including Bacillus anthraci, more commonly known as anthrax. It is essentially a spinoff of KES Science & Technology, Inc.'s Bio-KES system, a highly effective device used by the produce industry for ethylene gas removal to aid in preserving the freshness of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The TiO2-based ethylene removal technology that is incorporated into the company's AiroCide TiO2 and Bio-KES products was first integrated into a pair of plant-growth chambers known as ASTROCULTURE(TM) and ADVANCED ASTROCULTURE(TM). Both chambers have housed commercial plant growth experiments in space on either the Space Shuttle or the International Space Station. The AiroCide TiO2 also has a proven record of destroying 98 percent of other airborne pathogens, such as microscopic dust mites, molds, and fungi. Moreover, the device is a verified killer of Influenza A (flu), E. coli, Staphylococcus aureas, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, among many other harmful viruses.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Anthrax - Pasteur to the Present

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-01-01

    Hausler, Jr., H. J. Shadomy (ed.l, ASM Manual of Clinical Microbiology , 4th Edition , American Society for Microbiology , Washington, D.C. 4. Dutz, W. and E...Harrison, L. 14ý et at. 1986. Application of an electro- phoretic iAaunotransblot method for the serologic diagnosis of anthrax. 26th Inttrsci. Conf

  10. 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.

  11. Methods of Eradicating Anthrax - USSR -

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    case of other zoonoses ( brucellosis , rabies, foot- and-mouth disease). Such frequent cases of infection of persons from sick animals indicates an...the diagnosis of anthrax in man« As shown by an analysis of available data, the- overwhelming majority of cases in man have not been confirmed by...bacteriological examination and the diagnosis has been based on clinical and epidemiological or simply clinical data» If the measures indicated are

  12. Oculocutaneous anthrax: detection and treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarada David

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Sarada David1, Jayanthi Peter1, Renu Raju2, P Padmaja2, Promila Mohanraj21Department of Ophthalmology, Schell Eye Hospital, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, India; 2Department of Microbiology, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, IndiaAbstract: Anthrax, a zoonotic disease that primarily affects herbivores, has received recent attention as a potential agent of bioterrorism. We report a patient who presented with a 4-day history of pain, watering and difficulty in opening the left upper and lower eyelids, and fever. Clinical examination revealed brawny nonpitting edema with serosanguinous discharge. The history of the death of his sheep 1 week prior to the illness provided the clue to the diagnosis. Although standard cultures of the blood and the serous fluid from the lesion were negative, probably as a result of prior treatment, the diagnosis of cutaneous anthrax was made by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR test of the serous fluid. Serial photographs demonstrating resolution of the lesion with appropriate antibiotic therapy are presented.Keywords: anthrax, polymerase chain reaction, treatment

  13. Human Cutaneous Anthrax, Georgia 2010–2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kracalik, Ian; Malania, Lile; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Manvelyan, Julietta; Bakanidze, Lela; Imnadze, Paata; Tsanava, Shota

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the occurrence of human cutaneous anthrax in Georgia during 2010–-2012 by examining demographic and spatial characteristics of reported cases. Reporting increased substantially, as did clustering of cases near urban centers. Control efforts, including education about anthrax and livestock vaccination, can be directed at areas of high risk. PMID:24447721

  14. 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.

  15. Anthrax vaccine associated deaths in miniature horses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wobeser, Bruce K

    2015-04-01

    During a widespread anthrax outbreak in Canada, miniature horses were vaccinated using a live spore anthrax vaccine. Several of these horses died from an apparent immune-mediated vasculitis temporally associated with this vaccination. During the course of the outbreak, other miniature horses from different regions with a similar vaccination history, clinical signs, and necropsy findings were found.

  16. Human cutaneous anthrax, Georgia 2010-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kracalik, Ian; Malania, Lile; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Manvelyan, Julietta; Bakanidze, Lela; Imnadze, Paata; Tsanava, Shota; Blackburn, Jason K

    2014-02-01

    We assessed the occurrence of human cutaneous anthrax in Georgia during 2010--2012 by examining demographic and spatial characteristics of reported cases. Reporting increased substantially, as did clustering of cases near urban centers. Control efforts, including education about anthrax and livestock vaccination, can be directed at areas of high risk.

  17. Anthrax Vaccines: Pasteur to the Present

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    muco- sal immunity would result in superior protection [83, 84]. Strategies to elicit mucosal immunity to anthrax include oral vaccination with...Tafaro, A., Fischer, R., Leppla, S. H., Fujihashi, K. and McGhee, J. R. (2003) Effective mucosal immunity to anthrax: neutralizing antibodies and

  18. Anthrax Outbreaks in Bangladesh, 2009–2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, Apurba; Khan, Salah Uddin; Hasnat, Mohammed Abul; Parveen, Shahana; Islam, M. Saiful; Mikolon, Andrea; Chakraborty, Ranjit Kumar; Ahmed, Be-Nazir; Ara, Khorsed; Haider, Najmul; Zaki, Sherif R.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Rahman, Mahmudur; Luby, Stephen P.; Hossain, M. Jahangir

    2012-01-01

    During August 2009–October 2010, a multidisciplinary team investigated 14 outbreaks of animal and human anthrax in Bangladesh to identify the etiology, pathway of transmission, and social, behavioral, and cultural factors that led to these outbreaks. The team identified 140 animal cases of anthrax and 273 human cases of cutaneous anthrax. Ninety one percent of persons in whom cutaneous anthrax developed had history of butchering sick animals, handling raw meat, contact with animal skin, or were present at slaughtering sites. Each year, Bacillus anthracis of identical genotypes were isolated from animal and human cases. Inadequate livestock vaccination coverage, lack of awareness of the risk of anthrax transmission from animal to humans, social norms and poverty contributed to these outbreaks. Addressing these challenges and adopting a joint animal and human health approach could contribute to detecting and preventing such outbreaks in the future. PMID:22492157

  19. Anthrax Prank Against Teacher Backfires

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梅德名

    2001-01-01

    911事件在美国人心中投下的巨大阴影尚未消失,炭疽热(anthrax)恐怖接踵而至!我国的有关部门已经发布行政命令:禁止邮寄白色粉末。值此“杯弓蛇影”之际,美国佛罗里达州的一位中学生居然“顶风行事”:上课前在讲台上撒了白色粉末……

  20. Anthrax Meningitis - Report Of An Autopsied Case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahadevan A

    1999-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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 ( ...

  4. Inhalation anthrax in a home craftsman.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suffin, S C; Carnes, W H; Kaufmann, A F

    1978-09-01

    Inhalation anthrax with complicating subarachnoid hemorrhage due to simultaneous infection with two capsular biotypes of Bacillus anthracis of different virulence for the mouse is reported. The patient, a home craftsman, acquired his infection from imported animal-origin yarn.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith A. James

    2012-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    North Korea that botulism is the accurate diagnosis. Similar entities such and Syria are believed to be actively involved in the as Guillain - Barre ...Utniversitv ol"Liege. Liege, Belgium) Zbigniew J. Witezak (Wilkes University, Wilkes- Barre , LISA) Subscriptions: Current Medicinal Chemistry (ISSN: 0929-8673

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Haim; Glinert, Itai; Weiss, Shay; Bar-David, Elad; Sittner, Assa; Schlomovitz, Josef; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

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

  11. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-11-21

    rate, and congested hmorrhagic mucosae (1). Other symptoms -7- may Include ruminal stasis, anorexia, abortion in pregnant cows, discolored or blood...calcareous soils, subject to periodic flooding and formation of small pools which contain decaying plant matter, provide suitable conditions for growth of the

  12. Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Feb. 25, ... N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2006. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=366&Sectionid=39825485. ...

  13. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated. 113.66 Section 113.66 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE... REQUIREMENTS Live Bacterial Vaccines § 113.66 Anthrax Spore Vaccine—Nonencapsulated. Anthrax Spore...

  14. Serological anthrax surveillance in wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Ukraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagamian, Karoun H; Skrypnyk, Artem; Rodina, Yana; Bezymennyi, Maksym; Nevolko, Oleg; Skrypnyk, Valeriy; Blackburn, Jason K

    2014-08-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, is an acute disease affecting wildlife, livestock, and humans worldwide, although its impact on these populations is underappreciated. In Ukraine, surveillance is passive, and anthrax is often detected in livestock. However, wildlife is not subject to surveillance, although anthrax deaths (such as in wild boar, Sus scrofa) have been documented. The wild boar is a plentiful and widespread species in Ukraine and is frequently hunted. We initiated a screening study testing Ukrainian wild boar blood samples for antibodies to B. anthracis. We mapped results relative to known livestock anthrax hotspots. We discovered evidence of exposure in wild boar up to 35 km from livestock anthrax hotspots and over 400 km from previous anthrax reports in boars. We make recommendations about using wildlife species as biosentinels for anthrax in Ukraine.

  15. Diagnostic performance characteristics of a rapid field test for anthrax in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Janine; Gwozdz, Jacek; Hodgeman, Rachel; Ainsworth, Catherine; Kluver, Patrick; Czarnecki, Jill; Warner, Simone; Fegan, Mark

    2015-07-01

    Although diagnosis of anthrax can be made in the field with a peripheral blood smear, and in the laboratory with bacterial culture or molecular based tests, these tests require either considerable experience or specialised equipment. Here we report on the evaluation of the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of a simple and rapid in-field diagnostic test for anthrax, the anthrax immunochromatographic test (AICT). The AICT detects the protective antigen (PA) component of the anthrax toxin present within the blood of an animal that has died from anthrax. The test provides a result in 15min and offers the advantage of avoiding the necessity for on-site necropsy and subsequent occupational risks and environmental contamination. The specificity of the test was determined by testing samples taken from 622 animals, not infected with Bacillus anthracis. Diagnostic sensitivity was estimated on samples taken from 58 animals, naturally infected with B. anthracis collected over a 10-year period. All samples used to estimate the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the AICT were also tested using the gold standard of bacterial culture. The diagnostic specificity of the test was estimated to be 100% (99.4-100%; 95% CI) and the diagnostic sensitivity was estimated to be 93.1% (83.3-98.1%; 95% CI) (Clopper-Pearson method). Four samples produced false negative AICT results. These were among 9 samples, all of which tested positive for B. anthracis by culture, where there was a time delay between collection and testing of >48h and/or the samples were collected from animals that were >48h post-mortem. A statistically significant difference (P48h post-mortem 5 of 9 Se=56% (21-86.3%; 95% CI) (Clopper-Pearson method). Based upon these results a post hoc cut-off for use of the AICT of 48h post-mortem was applied, Se=100% (92.8-100%; 95% CI) and Sp=100% (99.4-100%; 95% CI). The high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity and the simplicity of the AICT enables it to be used for

  16. Targeting the inflammasome and adenosine type-3 receptors improves outcome of antibiotic therapy in murine anthrax

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Serguei; G; Popov; Taissia; G; Popova; Fatah; Kashanchi; Charles; Bailey

    2011-01-01

    AIM:To establish whether activation of adenosine type-3 receptors(A3Rs)and inhibition of interleukin- 1β-induced inflammation is beneficial in combination with antibiotic therapy to increase survival of mice challenged with anthrax spores. METHODS:DBA/2 mice were challenged with Bacillus anthracis spores of the toxigenic Sterne strain 43F2. Survival of animals was monitored for 15 d.Ciprofloxacin treatment(50 mg/kg,once daily,intraperitoneally) was initiated at day+1 simultaneously with the ad- ministration of inhibitors,and continued for 10 d.Two doses(2.5 mg/kg and 12.5 mg/kg)of acetyl-tyrosylvalyl-alanyl-aspartyl-chloromethylketone(YVAD)and three doses(0.05,0.15 and 0.3 mg/kg)of 1-[2-Chloro- 6-[[(3-iodophenyl)methyl]amino]-9H-purin-9-yl]-1- deoxy-N-methyl-β-D-ribofuranuronamide(Cl-IB-MECA) were tested.Animals received YVAD on days 1-4,and Cl-IB-MECA on days 1-10 once daily,subcutaneously. Human lung epithelial cells in culture were challenged with spores or edema toxin and the effects of IB-MECAon phosphorylation of AKT and generation of cAMP were tested. RESULTS:We showed that the outcome of antibiotic treatment in a murine anthrax model could be substantially improved by co-administration of the caspase-1/4 inhibitor YVAD and the A3R agonist Cl-IB-MECA.Combination treatment with these substances and ciprofloxacin resulted in up to 90%synergistic protection.All untreated mice died,and antibiotic alone protected only 30% of animals.We conclude that both substances target the aberrant host signaling that underpins anthrax mortality. CONCLUSION:Our findings suggest new possibilities for combination therapy of anthrax with antibiotics,A3R agonists and caspase-1 inhibitors.

  17. Exoproteome analysis of a novel strain of Bacillus cereus implicated in disease resembling cutaneous anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Neha; Goel, Ajay Kumar; Alam, Syed Imteyaz

    2014-03-01

    Bacillus cereus belongs to B. cereus sensu lato group, shared by six other related species including Bacillus anthracis. B. anthracis is the causative agent for serious illness affecting a wide range of animals as well as humans and is a category A Biological and Toxin Warfare (BTW) agent. Recent studies indicate that a Bacillus species other than B. anthracis can cause anthrax-like disease and role of anthrax virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2) on the pathogenicity of B. cereus has been documented. B. cereus strain TF5 was isolated from the tissue fluid of cutaneous anthrax-like skin lesions of a human patient from an anthrax endemic area in India. The strain harboured a PA gene, however, presence of pXO1 or pXO2-like plasmids could not be ascertained using reported primers. Abundant exoproteome of the strain in the early stationary phase was elucidated using a 2-DE MS approach and compared with that from a reference B. cereus strain. Analysis of proteins showing qualitative and quantitative differences between the two strains indicated an altered regulatory mechanism and putative role of S-layer protein and sphingomyelinase in the pathogenesis of strain TF5. Phylogenetic analysis of the S-layer protein indicated close affiliation of the strain with anthracis-like B. cereus strains such as B. cereus var. anthracis strain CI; whereas sphingomyelinase exhibited specific relationship with all the strains of B. anthracis apart from that with anthracis-like B. cereus strains.

  18. Botulinum toxin: bioweapon & magic drug.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  19. [Female patient with cutaneous anthrax in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gyssens, I.C.J.; Weyns, D.; Kullberg, B.J.; Ursi, J.P.

    2001-01-01

    A 23-year-old Turkish woman was admitted with an infection of the left thumb. The clinical picture was typical for cutaneous anthrax. Microbiological tests confirmed the diagnosis 'infection by Bacillus anthracis'. She recovered when treated with penicillin, although later tests revealed that the ba

  20. An old friend: Anthrax in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koene, M.G.J.; Rosa, De M.; Spierenburg, M.A.H.; Jacobi, A.; Roest, H.I.J.

    2015-01-01

    In November 2013, bones covered with quicklime were discovered at a construction site near Nijmegen. According to regulations samples were sent to the national reference laboratory (Central Veterinary Institute, CVI), based on the suspicion of anthrax. Laboratory testing confirmed the presence of Ba

  1. Botulinum Toxin; Bioterror and Biomedicinal Agent

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiri Patocka

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin is a group of seven homologous, highly poisonous proteins isolated fromfermentation of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which naturally occurs in soiland can grow on many meats and vegetables. Botulinum toxin causes neuromuscular disordercalled botulism, which is a potentially lethal disease. There are three types of botulism: Food,wound, and infant botulism. It can lead to death unless appropriate therapy is done. Due to theseverity and potency of botulinum toxin, its importance as a biological weapon is of majorconcern to public health officials. Nevertheless, botulinum toxin is also medicament.

  2. Efficacy of ETI-204 monoclonal antibody as an adjunct therapy in a New Zealand white rabbit partial survival model for inhalational anthrax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biron, Bethany; Beck, Katie; Dyer, David; Mattix, Marc; Twenhafel, Nancy; Nalca, Aysegul

    2015-04-01

    Inhalational anthrax is characterized by extensive bacteremia and toxemia as well as nonspecific to mild flu-like symptoms, until the onset of hypotension, shock, and mortality. Without treatment, the mortality rate approaches 100%. Antibiotic treatment is not always effective, and alternative treatments are needed, such as monotherapy for antibiotic-resistant inhalational anthrax or as an adjunct therapy in combination with antibiotics. The Bacillus anthracis antitoxin monoclonal antibody (MAb) ETI-204 is a high-affinity chimeric deimmunized antibody which targets the anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA). In this study, a partial protection New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit model was used to evaluate the protective efficacy of the adjunct therapy with the MAb. Following detection of PA in the blood, NZW rabbits were administered either an antibiotic (doxycycline) alone or the antibiotic in conjunction with ETI-204. Survival was evaluated to compare the efficacy of the combination adjunct therapy with that of an antibiotic alone in treating inhalational anthrax. Overall, the results from this study indicate that a subtherapeutic regimen consisting of an antibiotic in combination with an anti-PA MAb results in increased survival compared to the antibiotic alone and would provide an effective therapeutic strategy against symptomatic anthrax in nonvaccinated individuals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-04

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karuppanan, Kalimuthu; Duhra-Gill, Sifti; Kailemia, Muchena J.; Phu, My L.; Lebrilla, Carlito B.; Dandekar, Abhaya M.; Rodriguez, Raymond L.; Nandi, Somen; McDonald, Karen A.

    2017-01-01

    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(Xyl)Man3(Fuc)GlcNAc2 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. PMID:28054967

  5. A CpG-Ficoll Nanoparticle Adjuvant for Anthrax Protective Antigen Enhances Immunogenicity and Provides Single-Immunization Protection against Inhaled Anthrax in Monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kachura, Melissa A; Hickle, Colin; Kell, Sariah A; Sathe, Atul; Calacsan, Carlo; Kiwan, Radwan; Hall, Brian; Milley, Robert; Ott, Gary; Coffman, Robert L; Kanzler, Holger; Campbell, John D

    2016-01-01

    Nanoparticulate delivery systems for vaccine adjuvants, designed to enhance targeting of secondary lymphoid organs and activation of APCs, have shown substantial promise for enhanced immunopotentiation. We investigated the adjuvant activity of synthetic oligonucleotides containing CpG-rich motifs linked to the sucrose polymer Ficoll, forming soluble 50-nm particles (DV230-Ficoll), each containing >100 molecules of the TLR9 ligand, DV230. DV230-Ficoll was evaluated as an adjuvant for a candidate vaccine for anthrax using recombinant protective Ag (rPA) from Bacillus anthracis. A single immunization with rPA plus DV230-Ficoll induced 10-fold higher titers of toxin-neutralizing Abs in cynomolgus monkeys at 2 wk compared with animals immunized with equivalent amounts of monomeric DV230. Monkeys immunized either once or twice with rPA plus DV230-Ficoll were completely protected from challenge with 200 LD50 aerosolized anthrax spores. In mice, DV230-Ficoll was more potent than DV230 for the induction of innate immune responses at the injection site and draining lymph nodes. DV230-Ficoll was preferentially colocalized with rPA in key APC populations and induced greater maturation marker expression (CD69 and CD86) on these cells and stronger germinal center B and T cell responses, relative to DV230. DV230-Ficoll was also preferentially retained at the injection site and draining lymph nodes and produced fewer systemic inflammatory responses. These findings support the development of DV230-Ficoll as an adjuvant platform, particularly for vaccines such as for anthrax, for which rapid induction of protective immunity and memory with a single injection is very important.

  6. 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.)

  7. Anthrax as an example of the One Health concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bengis, R G; Frean, J

    2014-08-01

    Anthrax is a peracute, acute or subacute multispecies bacterial infection that occurs on many continents. It is one of the oldest infectious diseases known; the biblical fifth and sixth plagues (Exodus chapters 7 to 9) that affected first livestock and then humans were probably anthrax. From the earliest historical records until development of an effective vaccine midway through the 20th Century, anthrax was one of the foremost causes of uncontrolled mortality in cattle, sheep, goats, horses and pigs, with 'spill over' into humans, worldwide. With the development of the Sterne spore vaccine, a sharp decline in anthrax outbreaks in livestock occurred during the 1930-1980 era. There were successful national vaccination programmes in many countries during this period, complemented by the liberal use of antibiotics and the implementation of quarantine regulations and carcass disposal. However, a resurgence of this disease in livestock has been reported recently in some regions, where complacency and a false sense of security have hindered vaccination programmes. The epidemiology of anthrax involves an environmental component, as well as livestock, wildlife and human components. This makes anthrax an ideal example for discussion in the One Health context. Many outbreaks of anthrax in wildlife are undetected or unreported, owing to surveillance inadequacies and difficulties. Human disease is generally acquired accidentally during outbreaks of anthrax in domestic livestock and wildlife. The exception is deliberate targeting of humans with anthrax in the course of biowarfare or bioterrorism.

  8. Human anthrax as a re-emerging disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doganay, Mehmet; Demiraslan, Hayati

    2015-01-01

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

  9. New insights into gastrointestinal anthrax infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Jennifer L; Yang, Tao; Mohamadzadeh, Mansour

    2015-03-01

    Bacterial infections are the primary cause of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in both developing and developed countries, and are particularly dangerous for infants and children. Bacillus anthracis is the 'archetype zoonotic' pathogen; no other infectious disease affects such a broad range of species, including humans. Importantly, there are more case reports of GI anthrax infection in children than inhalational disease. Early diagnosis is difficult and widespread systemic disease develops rapidly. This review highlights new findings concerning the roles of the gut epithelia, commensal microbiota, and innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) in initiation of disease and systemic dissemination in animal models of GI anthrax, the understanding of which is crucial to designing alternative therapies that target the establishment of infection.

  10. Challenges in Disposing of Anthrax Waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lesperance, Ann M.; Stein, Steven L.; Upton, Jaki F.; Toomey, Christopher

    2011-09-01

    Disasters often create large amounts of waste that must be managed as part of both immediate response and long-term recovery. While many federal, state, and local agencies have debris management plans, these plans often do not address chemical, biological, and radiological contamination. The Interagency Biological Restoration Demonstration’s (IBRD) purpose was to holistically assess all aspects of an anthrax incident and assist the development of a plan for long-term recovery. In the case of wide-area anthrax contamination and the follow-on response and recovery activities, a significant amount of material will require decontamination and disposal. Accordingly, IBRD facilitated the development of debris management plans to address contaminated waste through a series of interviews and workshops with local, state, and federal representatives. The outcome of these discussion was the identification of three primary topical areas that must be addressed: 1) Planning; 2) Unresolved research questions, and resolving regulatory issues.

  11. Anthrax phylogenetic structure in Northern Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corrò Michela

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Anthrax has almost disappeared from mainland Europe, except for the Mediterranean region where cases are still reported. In Central and South Italy, anthrax is enzootic, but in the North there are currently no high risk areas, with only sporadic cases having been registered in the last few decades. Regional genetic and molecular characterizations of anthrax in these regions are still lacking. To investigate the potential molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Northern Italy, canonical Single nucleotide polymorphism (canSNP and Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA genotyping was performed against all isolates from animal outbreaks registered in the last twenty years in the region. Findings Six B. anthracis strains were analyzed. The canSNP analysis indicates the presence of three sublineages/subgroups each of which belong to one of the 12 worldwide CanSNP genotypes: B.Br.CNEVA (3 isolates, A.Br.005/006 (1 isolates and A.008/009 (2 isolate. The latter is the dominant canSNP genotype in Italy. The 15-loci MLVA analysis revealed five different genotypes among the isolates. Conclusions The major B branch and the A.Br.005/006 were recovered in the Northeast region. The genetic structure of anthrax discovered in this area differs from the rest of the country, suggesting the presence of a separate and independent B. anthracis molecular evolution niche. Although the isolates analyzed in this study are limited in quantity and representation, these results indicate that B. anthracis genetic diversity changes around the Alps.

  12. An Outbreak Of Human Anthrax : A Report Of 15 Cases Of Cutaneous Anthrax

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thappa Devinder Mohan

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax, a zoonotic illness of herbivorous animals has caused epidemics in livestock and in man since antiquity. In India, the disease continues to be endemic, resulting in a few sporadic cases and outbreaks in human population. Such an outbreak was noted at our institute. Clinical and laboratory data of 15 cases of cutaneous anthrax recorded between July 1998 to June 2000 at the Department of Dermatology and STD. JIPMER hospital, Pondicherry was reviewed. There were 8 males and 7 females in our series of 15, with a mean age of 20.3 years (range 11 months to 56 years. The children (10 outnumbered the adults (5. In most of the cases (9 there was history of death of cattle, sheep or goat in the house or in the neighbourhood. The commonest site of cutaneous anthrax was face (7 cases. Regional lymphadenitis occurred in one case and systemic features like fever in four cases. Majority of our cases responded favourably to crystalline penicillin. Smear taken from the vesicle fluid and eschar demonstrated typical large and thick Gram positive bacilli singly or in short chains. The organism could be cultured from cutaneous lesion in six cases only and blood culture was positive for Bacillus anthracis in one case. Cutaneous anthrax is the commonest form of human anthrax. There is increasing evidence to suggest that files and mosquitoes play a role in the transmission of Bacillus anthracis to human beings. Since 20% of untreated cases of cutaneous anthrax develop bacteraemia which leads to rapid death, it is important that the disease is recognized and treated earnestly.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    Dendritic Cells Endocytose Bacillus anthracis Spores: Implications for Anthrax Pathogenesis1 Katherine C. Brittingham,* Gordon Ruthel,* Rekha G...germination and dissemination of spores. Found in high frequency throughout the respiratory track, dendritic cells (DCs) routinely take up foreign...COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dendritic cells endocytose Bacillus anthracis spores: implications for anthrax pathogenesis, The Journal of

  14. 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...

  15. Pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekura, R.D.; Moss, J.; Vaughan, M.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 13 selections. Some of the titles are: Genetic and Functional Studies of Pertussis Toxin Substrates; Effect of Pertussis Toxin on the Hormonal Responsiveness of Different Tissues; Extracellular Adenylate Cyclase of Bordetella pertussis; and GTP-Regulatory Proteins are Introcellular Messagers: A Model for Hormone Action.

  16. 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 have...

  17. The Effect of Anthrax Bioterrorism on Emergency Department Presentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodriguez, Robert M

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Study Objective: From September through December 2001, 22 Americans were diagnosed with anthrax, prompting widespread national media attention and public concern over bioterrorism. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the threat of anthrax bioterrorism on patient presentation to a West Coast emergency department (ED. Methods: This survey was conducted at an urban county ED in Oakland, CA between December 15, 2001 and February 15, 2002. During random 8-hour blocks, all adult patients presenting for flu or upper respiratory infection (URI symptoms were surveyed using a structured survey instrument that included standard visual numerical and Likert scales. Results: Eighty-nine patients were interviewed. Eleven patients (12% reported potential exposure risk factors. Eighty percent of patients watched television, read the newspaper, or listened to the radio daily, and 83% of patients had heard about anthrax bioterrorism. Fifty-five percent received a chest x-ray, 10% received either throat or blood cultures, and 28% received antibiotics. Twenty-one percent of patients surveyed were admitted to the hospital. Most patients were minimally concerned that they may have contracted anthrax (mean=3.3±3.3 where 0=no concern and 10=extremely concerned. Patient concern about anthrax had little influence on their decision to visit the ED (mean=2.8±3.0 where 0=no influence and 10=greatly influenced. Had they experienced their same flu or URI symptoms one year prior to the anthrax outbreak, 91% of patients stated they would have sought medical attention. Conclusions: After considerable exposure to media reports about anthrax, most patients in this urban West Coast ED population were not concerned about anthrax infection. Fear of anthrax had little effect on decisions to come to the ED, and most would have sought medical help prior to the anthrax outbreak.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...Contracting Agency : Tasking Agency: 9. ORIGINATORS DOCUMENT NO. Technical Report DRES-TR- 2001-048 10. CONTRACT GRANT AND/OR PROJECT NO. 11

  1. 炭疽受体CMG2-Fc融合蛋白在CHO细胞中的表达、纯化与鉴定%Expression,Purification and Identification of Anthrax Receptor CMG2-Fc Fusion Protein in CHO Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郗永义; 胥照平; 高丽华; 邵勇; 胡显文; 陈惠鹏

    2011-01-01

    目的:构建炭疽受体CMG2和人IgG1 Fc片段融合基因载体,转染CHO细胞并通过毒素中和试验检测CMG2-Fc拮抗炭疽毒素(PA+LF)的能力.方法:将含有CMG2胞外区1-217AA片度基因和人IgG1的Fc片段基因共同连接入pcDNA3.1载体转染CHO细胞并筛选高表达CMG2-Fc的CHO细胞系,通过小鼠RAW264.7巨噬细胞保护试验检测 CMG2-Fc拮抗炭疽毒素的能力.结果:获得了表达CMG2-Fc的细胞株,毒素中和实验显示该蛋白可以有效抑制炭疽毒素引起的细胞损伤.结论:CMG2-Fc能够保护小鼠巨噬细胞免受炭疽毒素攻击,提示其可以作为抗毒素治疗炭疽感染.%Objective: To construct fusion gene vector of anthrax receptor CMG2 and human IgG1 Fc fragent, transfect CHO cell and to testify the inhibit ability of CMG2-Fc on anthrax toxin (PA and LF) by toxin neutralization assay.Methods: An expression vector including CMG2 (1-225AA) gene and Fc fragment of human immunoglobulin G (IgG) were constructed, and CHO cell line with higher CMG2-Fc expression were got.The effect of CMG2-Fc on inhibiting anthrax toxin was detected by mouse macrophage protection assay.Result: The CHO cell line expressing CMG2-Fc protein were got, and toxin neutralization assay showed that CMG2-Fc could protect mouse RAW264.7 macrophage cell against anthrax toxins.Conclusion: CMG2-Fc can protect mouse macrophage against anthrax toxin challenge, which indicated that it maybe used as drugs against anthrax in future.

  2. Injectional anthrax - new presentation of an old disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, T; Kassirer, M; Aran, A A

    2014-08-14

    Bacillus anthracis infection (anthrax) has three distinct clinical presentations depending on the route of exposure: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and inhalational anthrax. Each of these can lead to secondary bacteraemia and anthrax meningitis. Since 2009,anthrax has emerged among heroin users in Europe,presenting a novel clinical manifestation, 'injectional anthrax', which has been attributed to contaminated heroin distributed throughout Europe; before 2009 only one case was reported. During 2012 and 2013,new cases of injectional anthrax were diagnosed in Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.Here we present a comprehensive review of the literature and information derived from different reporting systems until 31 December 2013. Overall 70 confirmed cases were reported, with 26 fatalities (37% case fatality rate).The latest two confirmed cases occurred in March 2013. Thirteen case reports have been published,describing 18 confirmed cases. Sixteen of these presented as a severe soft tissue infection that differed clinically from cutaneous anthrax, lacked the characteristic epidemiological history of animal contact and ten cases required complimentary surgical debridement. These unfamiliar characteristics have led to delays of three to 12 days in diagnosis, inadequate treatment and a high fatality rate. Clinicians' awareness of this recently described clinical entity is key for early 'and successful management of patients.

  3. A Case of Fatal Gastrointestinal Anthrax in North Eastern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seyed Ahmad Hashemi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Bacillus species are aerobic or facultative anaerobic, gram-positive, or gram-variable spore-forming rods. They are ubiquitous in the environmental sources. Bacillus anthracis may usually cause three forms of anthrax: inhalation, gastrointestinal, and cutaneous. The gastrointestinal (GI anthrax develops after eating contaminated meat. In this paper we report septic intestinal anthrax. Case Presentation. We report an isolation of Bacillus anthracis from blood culture of patient with intestinal anthrax. Bacillus anthracis was isolated from a blood culture of a 34-year-old man who had a history of severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, sweating, and lethargy within 4 to 5 days after eating the meat of domestic goat. He had evidence of severe infection and septic shock and did not respond to treatments and subsequently expired 9 hours after hospitalization. Conclusion. Gastrointestinal anthrax is characterized by rapid onset, fever, and septicemia. Rapid diagnosis and prompt initiation of antibiotic therapy can help in survival. Most of previous cases of septicemic anthrax were related to injection drug users but, in our case, septicemia occurred after gastrointestinal anthrax.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Estrella Jimenez

    2012-11-01

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

  5. Lethal Midline Granuloma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghosh S.N

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available Midline granuloma is a term with several synonyms: Stewart’s granuloma, granuloma gangraenescens nasi, lethal granuloma, polymorphous reticulosis 2-4 The conditiin is characterized by localized inflammation, destruction and often mutilation of tissues of the upper respiratory tract and face and, unless treated, it ends fatally within 12 to 18 months of onset. The pathological changes are those of nonspecific chronic inflammation to necrotizing vasculitis and granulomatosis. A case of lethal midline granuloma is reported.

  6. 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.

  7. Human anthrax outbreak associated with livestock exposure: Georgia, 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navdarashvili, A; Doker, T J; Geleishvili, M; Haberling, D L; Kharod, G A; Rush, T H; Maes, E; Zakhashvili, K; Imnadze, P; Bower, W A; Walke, H T; Shadomy, S V

    2016-01-01

    Human anthrax cases reported in the country of Georgia increased 75% from 2011 (n = 81) to 2012 (n = 142). This increase prompted a case-control investigation using 67 culture- or PCR-confirmed cases and 134 controls matched by residence and gender to investigate risk factor(s) for infection during the month before case onset. Independent predictors most strongly associated with disease in the multivariable modelling were slaughtering animals [odds ratio (OR) 7·3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·9-18·1, P 1 km; 15 (12%) of 125 had sick livestock; and 11 (9%) of 128 respondents reported finding dead livestock. We recommend joint public health and veterinary anthrax case investigations to identify areas of increased risk for livestock anthrax outbreaks, annual anthrax vaccination of livestock in those areas, and public awareness education.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Inkyu; Oh, Wan-Kyu; Jang, Jyongsik, E-mail: jsjang@plaza.snu.ac.kr

    2013-05-15

    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.

  9. Public health and bioterrorism: renewed threat of anthrax and smallpox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallin, Arūne; Luksiene, Zivile; Zagminas, Kestutis; Surkiene, Gene

    2007-01-01

    Bioterrorism is one of the main public health categorical domains. According to sociological analytics, in postmodern society terrorism is one of the real threats of the 21st century. While rare, the use of biological weapons has a long history. Recently, anthrax has been evaluated as one of the most dangerous biological weapons. Naturally occurring anthrax in humans is a disease acquired from contact with anthrax-infected animals or anthrax-contaminated animal products. Usually anthrax infection occurs in humans by three major routes: inhalational, cutaneous, and gastrointestinal. Inhalational anthrax is expected to account for most serious morbidity and most mortality. The clinical presentation of inhalation anthrax has been described as a two-stage illness. Many factors contribute to the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis. Antibiotics, anthrax globulin, corticosteroids, mechanical ventilation, vaccine are possible tools of therapy. Smallpox existed in two forms: variola major, which accounted for most morbidity and mortality, and a milder form, variola minor. Smallpox spreads from person to person primarily by droplet nuclei or aerosols expelled from the oropharynx of infected persons and by direct contact. In the event of limited outbreak with few cases, patients should be admitted to the hospital and confined to rooms that are under negative pressure and equipped with high-efficiency particulate air filtration. In larger outbreaks, home isolation and care should be the objective for most patients. Progress in detection, suitable vaccines, postexposure prophylaxis, infection control, and decontamination might be serious tools in fight against the most powerful biological weapon. To assure that the public health and healthcare system can respond to emergencies, the government should direct resources to strengthen the emergency-response system, create medication stockpiles, and improve the public health infrastructure.

  10. Expression and purification of lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis in Escherichia coli%炭疽芽胞杆菌致死因子在大肠埃希菌中的表达与纯化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏建春; 张恩民; 张慧娟; 张建华

    2012-01-01

    目的 在大肠埃希菌中表达炭疽致死因子,获得纯化蛋白,用于炭疽快速诊断方法以及炭疽致病机制研究.方法 PCR方法扩增炭疽致死因子,构建表达质粒pET-LF,转化大肠埃希菌BL21(DE3),IPTG诱导重组蛋白表达,通过Ni离子金属螯合树脂进行纯化,Western blot(WB)试验检查免疫原性,MTT方法检查生物学活性.结果 获得重组炭疽致死因子,WB结果显示重组蛋白具有良好的免疫反应性,MTT方法进行的生物学活性测定表明致死因子与保护性抗原联合,细胞毒性与文献报道相比有明显降低.结论 所获得的重组炭疽致死因子,对于发展炭疽快速诊断方法,以及研究炭疽毒素的作用机制具有一定的促进作用.%Objective To acquire the purified recombinant lethal factor (rLF) of Bacillus anthracis and investigate its use in the rapid diagnosis of anthrax and in the study of the mechanism of the disease. Methods The lethal factor gene was cloned into the Escherichia coli expression vector pET-30a(+) and expressed as a fusion protein in E. coli BL21(DE3). rLF was purification of rLF by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The purified rLF was subjected to immunogenicity and biological activity analysis by Western blot assay and MTT assay. Results rLF was expressed and purified. Western blot results suggested that recombinant proteins reacted specifically with anti-B. anthracis serum. The cytotoxicity analysis showed the rLF was fully functional. And rLF combined with PA could significantly decrease cytotoxicity compared with previous study. Conclusion rLF protein has tremendous potential both for the diagnosis of B. anthracis infection and for the study of the mechanism of anthrax toxin.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-01-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    as a prophylaxis for anthrax infection. Instead, the CDC encourages the use of antibiotics, such as penicillin , ciprofloxacin, and doxycycline, as...discovered “ hypersensitivity pneumonitis following anthrax vaccination,” warning physicians to be attentive to “vaccine related complications” (Timmer...anthrax vaccine as a possible cause of hypersensitivity pneumonitis after anthrax vaccination (Oransky, 2003, p. 543). In summary, while some literature

  13. 9 CFR 311.10 - Anaplasmosis, anthrax, babesiosis, bacillary hemoglobinuria in cattle, blackleg, bluetongue...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Anaplasmosis, anthrax, babesiosis... DISPOSAL OF DISEASED OR OTHERWISE ADULTERATED CARCASSES AND PARTS § 311.10 Anaplasmosis, anthrax... condemned: (1) Anthrax. (2) Blackleg. (3) Unhealed vaccine lesions (vaccinia). (4) Strangles. (5)...

  14. Investigation and control of anthrax outbreak at the human-animal interface, Bhutan, 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thapa, Nirmal K; Tenzin; Wangdi, Karma; Dorji, Tshering; Migma; Dorjee, Jambay; Marston, Chung K; Hoffmaster, Alex R

    2014-09-01

    In 2010, we investigated anthrax outbreak in Bhutan. A total of 43 domestic animals died, and cutaneous anthrax developed in 9 persons, and 1 died. All affected persons had contact with the carcasses of infected animals. Comprehensive preparedness and response guidelines are needed to increase public awareness of anthrax in Bhutan.

  15. CD28: Direct and Critical Receptor for Superantigen Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziv Rotfogel

    2013-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Toxicity of staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 in rabbits.

    OpenAIRE

    de Azavedo, J C; Arbuthnott, J P

    1984-01-01

    Strains of Staphylococcus aureus associated with toxic shock syndrome produce toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST 1), which is lethal to conventional rabbits and acts synergistically with gram-negative lipopolysaccharide. The lethal effect of TSST 1 was examined in specific-pathogen-free rabbits on the basis that these rabbits, being less colonized by gram-negative bacteria, would be less susceptible than conventional animals. Although there was no significant difference in mortality between s...

  18. 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.

  19. Crash Lethality Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-02-05

    26,800 400 Ethyl Benzene 0.121 40,900 4,900 Ethyl Ether 0.094 33,800 3,200 Gasoline 0.055 43,700 2,400 Hexane 0.074 44,700 3,300 Heptane 0.101...the product of projectile diameter and target weight. The animal lethality data were entered into MATLAB© and the function cftool() was used to...generate a logistic function. The x-axis represents a ratio of kinetic energy to the product of projectile diameter and target weight as defined by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chellapandi, P; Prisilla, A

    2016-12-01

    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 from 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 of 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 to eukaryotic cells. Thus, current knowledge on their molecular diversity is a well-known perspective to design immunotoxin or subunit vaccine for C. botulinum infection.

  1. Derivation of Human Lethal Doses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-19

    Hardman, JG; Limbird, LE; Goodman Gilman , A, (editors). (2001) Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. New York, NY: McGraw... Goodman and Gilman’s N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50 for rat or mouse NIOSH N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50...Basis of Therapeutics– Goodman and Gilman’s N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal dose for humans; no LD50 for rat or mouse NIOSH N/A No LDLo, MLD, or lethal

  2. Space Technology to Device that Destroys Pathogens Such As Anthrax

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    This is a photo of a technician at KES Science and Technology Inc., in Kernesaw, Georgia, assembling the AiroCide Ti02, an anthrax-killing device about the size of a small coffee table. The anthrax-killing air scrubber, AiroCide Ti02, is a tabletop-size metal box that bolts to office ceilings or walls. Its fans draw in airborne spores and airflow forces them through a maze of tubes. Inside, hydroxyl radicals (OH-) attack and kill pathogens. Most remaining spores are destroyed by high-energy ultraviolet photons. Building miniature greenhouses for experiments on the International Space Station has led to the invention of this device that annihilates anthrax, a bacteria that can be deadly when inhaled. The research enabling the invention started at the University of Wisconsin's (Madison) Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR), one of 17 NASA Commercial Space Centers. A special coating technology used in this anthrax-killing invention is also being used inside WCSAR-built plant growth units on the International Space Station. This commercial research is managed by the Space Product Development Program at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

  3. Cutaneous anthrax of the hand: Some clinical observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuncali Dogan

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available CONTEXT: Anthrax is a very rare disease in Europe and the United States. AIM: A case of cutaneous anthrax of the hand with a wide skin defect is presented and some clinical observations highlighted. CASE REPORT: A 56-year-old male patient with cutaneous anthrax attended our infectious diseases department with a swelling up to the upper arm. An urgent fasciotomy was undertaken with a diagnosis of compartment syndrome. A black eschar had formed on the dorsal surface of the hand. A superficial tangential escharectomy was performed. RESULTS: Viable fibrous tissue, about 4 to 5 mm in thickness over the extensor tendons, was found under the eschar. At the postoperative 2-year follow-up, remarkable healing was observed via skin grafting. CONCLUSIONS: Hand surgeons should be cautious against the compartment syndrome that may accompany cutaneous anthrax of the hand. A consistent viable fibrous tissue can be found below the eschar. The mechanism for the involvement of the hand dorsum needs further concern.

  4. AN OUTBREAK OF CUTANEOUS ANTHRAX IN TRIBAL AREAS OF VISAKHAPATNAM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Ajay Kumar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND Anthrax is a disease of herbivorous animals. Humans incidentally acquire the cutaneous disease by handling infected dead animals and their products. Sporadic cases of human anthrax have been reported from Southern India. METHODS Fifteen tribal men, one woman, one child from various places near Paderu presented with painless ulcers associated with vesiculation and oedema 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 - 2 weeks prior to the development of skin lesions. Three days later another 19 members came from the same area with same complaints. 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 antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics. Appropriate health authorities were alerted and proper control measures were employed. RESULTS Smears from the cutaneous lesions of some patients were found to be positive for Bacillus anthracis and this was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. All the cases responded to antibiotics. CONCLUSION We report thirty six cases of cutaneous anthrax in a non-endemic district, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-04-01

    1.htm. 17 Jernigan. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. 21 Borio, Luciana ; et al. “Death Due to Bioterrorism-Related Inhalational Anthrax.” JAMA, Vol...13 December 2001. On-line. Internet, 4 March 2002. Available from http://www.ift.org/press/releases/terrorism/shtml. Borio, Luciana ; et al. “Death

  7. Kinetics of appearance of intestinal lesions in mice mono-associated with a lethal or non-lethal strain of Clostridium difficile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castex, F; Jouvert, S; Bastide, M; Corthier, G

    1994-02-01

    The kinetics of the appearance of intestinal lesions induced by orogastric inoculation of gnotobiotic mice with a lethal strain of Clostridium difficile (VPI) that produced toxins A and B in vivo and in vitro was studied and compared with the lesions induced by non-lethal C. difficile strain 786 that produced toxins A and B in vitro but only toxin B in measurable amounts in vivo. Different portions of the intestine were removed 12, 20, 26 and 30 h after inoculation and studied by scanning electronmicroscopy. The remaining portions were homogenised for enumeration of C. difficile and quantification of toxin A by enzyme immunoassay and toxin B by cytotoxicity. The results showed that, following inoculation: (i) measurable amounts of both toxins were necessary to produce lesions; (ii) with strain VPI, the caecum and the colon were rapidly impaired and completely destroyed after 1 day, whereas the small intestine was damaged to a lesser extent; (iii) C. difficile strain 786 did not cause mucosal damage but induced mucus-like or serum-like secretion and morphological changes in the caecal enterocytes only.

  8. Centers for disease control and prevention expert panel meetings on prevention and treatment of anthrax in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendricks, Katherine A; Wright, Mary E; Shadomy, Sean V; Bradley, John S; Morrow, Meredith G; Pavia, Andy T; Rubinstein, Ethan; Holty, Jon-Erik C; Messonnier, Nancy E; Smith, Theresa L; Pesik, Nicki; Treadwell, Tracee A; Bower, William A

    2014-02-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened panels of anthrax experts to review and update guidelines for anthrax postexposure prophylaxis and treatment. The panels included civilian and military anthrax experts and clinicians with experience treating anthrax patients. Specialties represented included internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, infectious disease, emergency medicine, critical care, pulmonology, hematology, and nephrology. Panelists discussed recent patients with systemic anthrax; reviews of published, unpublished, and proprietary data regarding antimicrobial drugs and anthrax antitoxins; and critical care measures of potential benefit to patients with anthrax. This article updates antimicrobial postexposure prophylaxis and antimicrobial and antitoxin treatment options and describes potentially beneficial critical care measures for persons with anthrax, including clinical procedures for infected nonpregnant adults. Changes from previous guidelines include an expanded discussion of critical care and clinical procedures and additional antimicrobial choices, including preferred antimicrobial drug treatment for possible anthrax meningitis.

  9. Bacterial glycosyltransferase toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins are Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to the Clostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Photorhabdus and Legionella species produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research.

  10. 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.

  11. Centrifugal microfluidic platform for ultrasensitive detection of Botulinum Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. First chemical synthesis of a scorpion alpha-toxin affecting sodium channels: the Aah I toxin of Androctonus australis hector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    M'Barek, Sarrah; Fajloun, Ziad; Cestèle, Sandrine; Devaux, Christiane; Mansuelle, Pascal; Mosbah, Amor; Jouirou, Besma; Mantegazza, Massimo; Van Rietschoten, Jurphaas; El Ayeb, Mohamed; Rochat, Hervé; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Sampieri, François

    2004-11-01

    Aah I is a 63-residue alpha-toxin isolated from the venom of the Buthidae scorpion Androctonus australis hector, which is considered to be the most dangerous species. We report here the first chemical synthesis of Aah I by the solid-phase method, using a Fmoc strategy. The synthetic toxin I (sAah I) was renatured in DMSO-Tris buffer, purified and subjected to thorough analysis and comparison with the natural toxin. The sAah I showed physico-chemical (CD spectrum, molecular mass, HPLC elution), biochemical (amino-acid composition, sequence), immunochemical and pharmacological properties similar to those of the natural toxin. The synthetic toxin was recognized by a conformation-dependent monoclonal anti-Aah I antibody, with an IC50 value close to that for the natural toxin. Following intracerebroventricular injection, the synthetic and the natural toxins were similarly lethal to mice. In voltage-clamp experiments, Na(v) 1.2 sodium channel inactivation was inhibited by the application of sAah I or of the natural toxin in a similar way. This work describes a simple protocol for the chemical synthesis of a scorpion alpha-toxin, making it possible to produce structural analogues in time.

  13. Adsorption and Insecticidal Activity of Toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis on Rectorite

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Xue-Yong; HUANG Qiao-Yun; CAI Peng; YU Zi-Niu

    2007-01-01

    The adsorption and desorption of the toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis strain WG-001 on rectorite were studied at different toxin and/or rectorite concentrations, pH values and temperatures. The insecticidal activity of the adsorbed toxin was evaluated by determining the lethal concentration to kill 50% of the larvae of Heliothis armigera (Lcso). The adsorption of the toxin on rectorite in sodium carbonate buffer (pH 9) reached equilibrium within 0.5-1.0 h and the adsorption isotherm of the toxin followed the Langmuir equation (R2>0.99). In the pH range from 9 to 11 (carbonate buffer), the adsorbed toxin decreased with increasing pH. The adsorption amounts decreased with increasing rectoritettoxin ratio. The adsorption was not significantly affected by the temperature between 10 and 50 °C. The X-ray diffraction analysis indicated occurrence of the intercalation of the rectorite by the toxin. The infrared absorption spectrum showed that the binding of the toxin did not alter its structure. The Lcgo values of the adsorbed toxin were smaller than those of the free toxin. The rectorite protected the toxin from ultraviolet irradiation damage. The desorption of the adsorbed toxin in water ranged from 37.5% to 56.4% and from 27.4% to 41.8% in a carbonate buffer. The desorption percentage also decreased with increasing rectorite:toxin ratio.

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Clinical and epidemiological investigation of a fatal anthrax case in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Haiying; Bao, Wanguo; Wang, Yang; Zhang, Kaiyu; Wang, Feng

    2015-02-19

    Anthrax is a recessive infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, and is primarily a zoonotic disease. Until recently, Bacillus anthracis infections were relatively infrequent and confined to agrarian communities in underdeveloped countries. No anthrax cases were reported in Changchun City in the past few decades until a male patient from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region presented the anthrax disease manifestation. This paper describes an anthrax patient's diagnosis, isolation and treatment which involved institutions in two different Chinese provinces; the foci epidemiological investigation alongside with the outbreak management process, which is of great significance to control the spread of the recessive infection is also described.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-14

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

  19. 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

  20. Evaluation of mucoadhesive carrier adjuvant: toward an oral anthrax vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangal, Sharad; Pawar, Dilip; Agrawal, Udita; Jain, Arvind K; Vyas, Suresh P

    2014-02-01

    The aim of present study was to evaluate the potential of mucoadhesive alginate-coated chitosan microparticles (A-CHMp) for oral vaccine against anthrax. The zeta potential of A-CHMp was -29.7 mV, and alginate coating could prevent the burst release of antigen in simulated gastric fluid. The results indicated that A-CHMp was mucoadhesive in nature and transported it to the peyer's patch upon oral delivery. The immunization studies indicated that A-CHMp resulted in the induction of potent systemic and mucosal immune responses, whereas alum-adjuvanted rPA could induce only systemic immune response. Thus, A-CHMp represents a promising acid carrier adjuvant for oral immunization against anthrax.

  1. 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.

  2. Botulinum Toxin Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... care Kids’ zone Video library Find a dermatologist Botulinum toxin therapy Overview Before treatment: This woman disliked her deep frown lines. Botulinum toxin therapy: Overview Also called botulinum rejuvenation Brand names: ...

  3. Appropriation and commercialization of the Pasteur anthrax vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassier, Maurice

    2005-12-01

    Whereas Pasteur patented the biotechnological processes that he invented between 1857 and 1873 in the agro-food domain, he did not file any patents on the artificial vaccine preparation processes that he subsequently developed. This absence of patents can probably be explained by the 1844 patent law in France that established the non-patentable status of pharmaceutical preparations and remedies, including those for use in veterinary medicine. Despite the absence of patents, the commercial exploitation of the anthrax vaccine in the 1880s and 1890s led to a technical and commercial monopoly by Pasteur's laboratory as well as the founding of a commercial company to diffuse the vaccine abroad. Pasteur repeatedly refused to transfer his know-how and anthrax vaccine production methods to foreign laboratories, on the grounds that he wished to control the quality of the vaccines produced. Indeed, it was relatively difficult to transfer a method that was not yet perfectly stabilized in the early 1880s. Pasteur also wanted to maintain the monopoly of his commercial company and to increase the profits from vaccine sales so that the Institut Pasteur could be financially independent. The 'Pasteur anthrax vaccine' operating licences are described and analysed in detail in this article.

  4. Anthrax kills wild chimpanzees in a tropical rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leendertz, Fabian H; Ellerbrok, Heinz; Boesch, Christophe; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Mätz-Rensing, Kerstin; Hakenbeck, Regine; Bergmann, Carina; Abaza, Pola; Junglen, Sandra; Moebius, Yasmin; Vigilant, Linda; Formenty, Pierre; Pauli, Georg

    2004-07-22

    Infectious disease has joined habitat loss and hunting as threats to the survival of the remaining wild populations of great apes. Nevertheless, relatively little is known about the causative agents. We investigated an unusually high number of sudden deaths observed over nine months in three communities of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Taï National Park, Ivory Coast. Here we report combined pathological, cytological and molecular investigations that identified Bacillus anthracis as the cause of death for at least six individuals. We show that anthrax can be found in wild non-human primates living in a tropical rainforest, a habitat not previously known to harbour B. anthracis. Anthrax is an acute disease that infects ruminants, but other mammals, including humans, can be infected through contacting or inhaling high doses of spores or by consuming meat from infected animals. Respiratory and gastrointestinal anthrax are characterized by rapid onset, fever, septicaemia and a high fatality rate without early antibiotic treatment. Our results suggest that epidemic diseases represent substantial threats to wild ape populations, and through bushmeat consumption also pose a hazard to human health.

  5. Injectional anthrax at a Scottish district general hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inverarity, D J; Forrester, V M; Cumming, J G R; Paterson, P J; Campbell, R J; Brooks, T J G; Carson, G L; Ruddy, J P

    2015-04-01

    This retrospective, descriptive case-series reviews the clinical presentations and significant laboratory findings of patients diagnosed with and treated for injectional anthrax (IA) since December 2009 at Monklands Hospital in Central Scotland and represents the largest series of IA cases to be described from a single location. Twenty-one patients who fulfilled National Anthrax Control Team standardized case definitions of confirmed, probable or possible IA are reported. All cases survived and none required limb amputation in contrast to an overall mortality of 28% being experienced for this condition in Scotland. We document the spectrum of presentations of soft tissue infection ranging from mild cases which were managed predominantly with oral antibiotics to severe cases with significant oedema, organ failure and coagulopathy. We describe the surgical management, intensive care management and antibiotic management including the first description of daptomycin being used to treat human anthrax. It is noted that some people who had injected heroin infected with Bacillus anthracis did not develop evidence of IA. Also highlighted are biochemical and haematological parameters which proved useful in identifying deteriorating patients who required greater levels of support and surgical debridement.

  6. Human Anthrax Transmission at the Urban-Rural Interface, Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kracalik, Ian; Malania, Lile; Imnadze, Paata; Blackburn, Jason K

    2015-12-01

    Human anthrax has increased dramatically in Georgia and was recently linked to the sale of meat in an urban market. We assessed epidemiological trends and risk factors for human anthrax at the urban-rural interface. We reviewed epidemiologic records (2000-2012) that included the place of residence (classified as urban, peri-urban, or rural), age, gender, and self-reported source of infection (handling or processing animal by-products and slaughtering or butchering livestock). To estimate risk, we used a negative binomial regression. The average incidence per 1 million population in peri-urban areas (24.5 cases) was > 2-fold higher compared with rural areas and > 3-fold higher compared with urban area. Risk from handling or purchasing meat was nearly 2-fold higher in urban areas and > 4-fold higher in peri-urban areas compared with rural area. Our findings suggest a high risk of anthrax in urban and peri-urban areas likely as a result of spillover from contaminated meat and animal by-products. Consumers should be warned to purchase meat only from licensed merchants.

  7. 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.

  8. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-03-01

    of critical signal transduction pathways changes the macrophage and immune system responses and allows the survival of many pathogens: Brucella ...infections during the twentieth century were from occupational activities, occurring among wool sorters in textile mills, goat hide and hair processing...known historically as Woolsorters’ disease due to its prevalence among this high-risk population (USAMRIID, 2005:36). As described in the

  10. Anthrax toxin receptor 2 gene (ANTXR2) rs4333130 is associated with ankylosing spondylitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Yanjuan

    2015-01-01

    Results of recent published studies on the association between the ANTXR2 rs4333130 polymorphism and the risk of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) have often been conflicting. To make a more precise estimation of the potential relationship, a meta-analysis was performed. We conducted a comprehensive search in the electronic database of PubMed and Embase to retrieve relevant articles. Nine studies including 14,523 cases and 34,421 controls were finally selected in this meta-analysis. ANTXR2 rs4333130 was significantly associated with a decreased risk of AS (OR=0.87; 95% CI, 0.84-0.90; P<0.00001). In the subgroup analysis by race, ANTXR2 rs4333130 was significantly associated with a decreased risk of AS in both Asian (OR=0.80; 95% CI, 0.65-0.99; P=0.04) and Caucasian (OR=0.87; 95% CI, 0.84-0.90; P<0.00001). In the subgroup analysis by HLA-B27 status, HLA-B27 positive individuals with ANTXR2 rs4333130 showed decreased AS risk (OR=0.89; 95% CI, 0.83-0.96; P=0.002). However, HLA-B27 negative individuals with this polymorphism did not showed decreased AS risk (OR=0.96; 95% CI, 0.88-1.06; P=0.44). In conclusion, this meta-analysis suggested a significant association between ANTXR2 rs4333130 polymorphism and AS risk.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-08-01

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

  12. 9 CFR 309.7 - Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Livestock affected with anthrax... INSPECTION § 309.7 Livestock affected with anthrax; cleaning and disinfection of infected livestock pens and driveways. (a) Any livestock found on ante-mortem inspection to be affected with anthrax shall be...

  13. 76 FR 34994 - Vaccine To Protect Children From Anthrax-Public Engagement Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-15

    ... HUMAN SERVICES Vaccine To Protect Children From Anthrax--Public Engagement Workshop AGENCY: Office of... workshop on July 7, 2011, to discuss vaccine to protect children from anthrax. This meeting is open to the... vaccine to protect children would be to use an investigational new drug (IND) clinical protocol....

  14. Effect of Aluminum Hydroxide Adjuvant and Formaldehyde in the Formulation of rPA Anthrax Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-02

    dose, the recom- ended maximum concentration for anthrax vaccines based pon rPA is 500 g per dose. Our first experiment exam- ned the serological...anthrax. Infect Immun 2006;74:1016–24. 48] Herrmann JE, Wang S, Zhang C, Panchal RG, Bavari S, Lyons CR, et al. Passive immunotherapy of Bacillus anthracis

  15. Case Report of an Anthrax Presentation Relevant to Special Operations Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winkler, Stephen; Enzenauer, Robert W; Karesh, James W; Pasteur, Nshimyimana; Eisnor, Derek L; Painter, Rex B; Calvano, Christopher J

    2016-01-01

    Special Operations Forces (SOF) medical personnel function worldwide in environments where endemic anthrax (caused by Bacillus anthracis infection) may present in one of three forms: cutaneous, pulmonary, or gastrointestinal. This report presents a rare periocular anthrax case from Haiti to emphasize the need for heightened diagnostic suspicion of unusual lesions likely to be encountered in SOF theaters.

  16. 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.

  17. Use of medical simulation to teach bioterrorism preparedness: the anthrax example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Martin E

    2013-01-01

    The 2001 anthrax bioterrorism attacks demonstrated vulnerability for future similar attacks. This article describes mechanisms that can be used to prepare the medical community and healthcare facilities for the diagnosis and management of a subsequent bioterrorism attack should such an event occur and the fundamentals of medical simulation and its use in teaching learners about the diagnosis of management of anthrax exposure.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

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

  1. Gene-trap mutagenesis identifies mammalian genes contributing to intoxication by Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan E Ivie

    Full Text Available The Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin is an extremely potent toxin associated with lethal toxemias in domesticated ruminants and may be toxic to humans. Intoxication results in fluid accumulation in various tissues, most notably in the brain and kidneys. Previous studies suggest that the toxin is a pore-forming toxin, leading to dysregulated ion homeostasis and ultimately cell death. However, mammalian host factors that likely contribute to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity are poorly understood. A library of insertional mutant Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK cells, which are highly susceptible to the lethal affects of ε-toxin, was used to select clones of cells resistant to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. The genes mutated in 9 surviving resistant cell clones were identified. We focused additional experiments on one of the identified genes as a means of validating the experimental approach. Gene expression microarray analysis revealed that one of the identified genes, hepatitis A virus cellular receptor 1 (HAVCR1, KIM-1, TIM1, is more abundantly expressed in human kidney cell lines than it is expressed in human cells known to be resistant to ε-toxin. One human kidney cell line, ACHN, was found to be sensitive to the toxin and expresses a larger isoform of the HAVCR1 protein than the HAVCR1 protein expressed by other, toxin-resistant human kidney cell lines. RNA interference studies in MDCK and in ACHN cells confirmed that HAVCR1 contributes to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. Additionally, ε-toxin was shown to bind to HAVCR1 in vitro. The results of this study indicate that HAVCR1 and the other genes identified through the use of gene-trap mutagenesis and RNA interference strategies represent important targets for investigation of the process by which ε-toxin induces cell death and new targets for potential therapeutic intervention.

  2. 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.

  3. Marked enhancement of the immune response to BioThrax® (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) by the TLR9 agonist CPG 7909 in healthy volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rynkiewicz, Dianna; Rathkopf, Melinda; Sim, Iain; Waytes, A Thomas; Hopkins, Robert J; Giri, Lallan; DeMuria, Deborah; Ransom, Janet; Quinn, James; Nabors, Gary S; Nielsen, Carl J

    2011-08-26

    Immunization with BioThrax(®) (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) is a safe and effective means of preventing anthrax. Animal studies have demonstrated that the addition of CpG DNA adjuvants to BioThrax can markedly increase the immunogenicity of the vaccine, increasing both serum anti-protective antigen (PA) antibody and anthrax toxin-neutralizing antibody (TNA) concentrations. The immune response to CpG-adjuvanted BioThrax in animals was not only stronger, but was also more rapid and led to higher levels of protection in spore challenge models. The B-class CpG DNA adjuvant CPG 7909, a 24-base synthetic, single-strand oligodeoxynucleotide, was evaluated for its safety profile and adjuvant properties in a Phase 1 clinical trial. A double-blind study was performed in which 69 healthy subjects, age 18-45 years, were randomized to receive three doses of either: (1) BioThrax alone, (2) 1 mg of CPG 7909 alone or (3) BioThrax plus 1 mg of CPG 7909, all given intramuscularly on study days 0, 14 and 28. Subjects were monitored for IgG to PA by ELISA and for TNA titers through study day 56 and for safety through month 6. CPG 7909 increased the antibody response by 6-8-fold at peak, and accelerated the response by 3 weeks compared to the response seen in subjects vaccinated with BioThrax alone. No serious adverse events related to study agents were reported, and the combination was considered to be reasonably well tolerated. The marked acceleration and enhancement of the immune response seen by combining BioThrax and CPG 7909 offers the potential to shorten the course of immunization and reduce the time to protection, and may be particularly useful in the setting of post-exposure prophylaxis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce K Brown

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

  5. Mucosal priming of newborn mice with S. Typhi Ty21a expressing anthrax protective antigen (PA) followed by parenteral PA-boost induces B and T cell-mediated immunity that protects against infection bypassing maternal antibodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Karina; Ditamo, Yanina; Galen, James E.; Baillie, Les W. J.; Pasetti, Marcela F.

    2010-01-01

    The currently licensed anthrax vaccine has several limitations and its efficacy has been proven only in adults. Effective immunization of newborns and infants requires adequate stimulation of their immune system, which is competent but not fully activated. We explored the use of the licensed live attenuated S. Typhi vaccine strain Ty21a expressing Bacillus anthracis protective antigen [Ty21a(PA)] followed PA-alum as a strategy for immunizing the pediatric population. Newborn mice primed with a single dose of Ty21a(PA) exhibited high frequencies of mucosal IgA-secreting B cells and IFN-γ-secreting T cells during the neonatal period, none of which was detected in newborns immunized with a single dose of PA-alum. Priming with Ty21a(PA) followed by PA-boost resulted in high levels of PA-specific IgG, toxin-neutralizing and opsonophagocytic antibodies and increased frequency of bone marrow IgG plasma cells and memory B cells compared with repeated immunization with PA-alum alone. Robust B and T cell responses developed even in the presence of maternal antibodies. The prime-boost protected against systemic and respiratory infection. Mucosal priming with a safe and effective S. Typhi-based anthrax vaccine followed by PA-boost could serve as a practical and effective prophylactic approach to prevent anthrax early in life. PMID:20619377

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  8. Cluster analysis of toxins profile pattern as a tool for tracing shellfish contaminated with PSP-toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Chun-Kwan; Hung, Patricia; Ng, Henry C C; Lee, Siu-Yuen; Kam, Kai-Man

    2011-11-01

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is one of the most lethal biotoxin-induced diseases worldwide, which may pose serious public health threat and potential devastating economic damage on fisheries industry in the affected region(s). To prevent the importation of PSP contaminated shellfish to a community, detailed documentation on the supply chain and routine surveillance systems are, in principle, crucial measures to protect people from this intoxication. However, difficulties have always been encountered on the traceability of the source/origin of contaminated shellfish. In the present study, we reported the potential application of PSP-toxins profiles with similarity analysis that can be used to identify epidemiological linkage between shellfish samples collected from markets and patients during a PSP outbreak. PSP-toxins were identified and quantified by ion-pair chromatographic separation followed by post-column oxidation to fluorescent imino purine derivatives. Samples from a PSP incident and other surveillance samples collected in our past 7-year record were also compared for their similarity in PSP-toxins profiles patterns. Molar distributions (nmol%) of 10 PSP-toxins were analyzed by Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetric averages (UPGMA). Three prominent clusters emerged with similarity levels reaching over 80% for each, suggesting that each group of samples probably originated from a same source/batch. The PSP-toxins profiles and toxicities determined from surveillance samples could provide premonitory clues on the occurrences of PSP incident and outbreak with corresponding toxin profiles in the later time. Due to species-specific characteristics of PSP-toxins composition and profile in shellfish under varieties of environmental and physiological conditions, PSP-toxins profile can be a specific and useful biochemical indicator for tracing PSP contaminated shellfish provided that spatio-temporal occurrence patterns of toxins profiles are available

  9. Keeping the Air Clean and Safe: An Anthrax Smoke Detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Scientists at work in the Planetary Protection division at NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) sterilize everything before blasting it to the Red Planet. They take great pains to ensure that all spacecraft are void of bacterial life, especially the microscopic bacteria that can live hundreds of years in their spore states. No one is quite sure what Earthly germs would do on Mars, but scientists agree that it is safest to keep the Martian terrain as undisturbed as possible. Errant Earth germs would also render useless the instruments placed on exploration rovers to look for signs of life, as the life that they registered would be life that came with them from Earth. A team at JPL, headed by Dr. Adrian Ponce, developed a bacterial spore-detection system that uses a simple and robust chemical reaction that visually alerts Planetary Protection crews. It is a simple air filter that traps micron-sized bacterial spores and then submits them to the chemical reaction. When the solution is then viewed under an ultraviolet light, the mixture will glow green if it is contaminated by bacteria. Scientists can then return to the scrubbing and cleaning stages of the sterilization process to remove these harmful bacteria. The detection system is the space-bound equivalent of having your hands checked for cleanliness before being allowed to the table; and although intended to keep terrestrial germs from space, this technology has awesome applications here on Mother Earth. The bacterial spore-detection unit can recognize anthrax and other harmful, spore-forming bacteria and alert people of the impending danger. As evidenced in the anthrax mailings of fall 2001 in the United States, the first sign of anthrax exposure was when people experienced flu-like symptoms, which unfortunately, can take as much as a week to develop after contamination. Anthrax cost 5 people their lives and infected 19 others; and the threat of bioterrorism became a routine concern, with new threats popping up

  10. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Anthrax in a backyard domestic dog in Ukraine: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Skrypnyk, Artem; Bagamian, Karoun H; Nikolich, Mikeljon P; Bezymennyi, Maksym; Skrypnyk, Valeriy

    2014-08-01

    Anthrax has been reported in domestic and wild dogs throughout much of the world. Generally, canids are considered resistant to anthrax, although there are several reports of anthrax deaths in both wild and domestic canid populations. Prior to 2012, anthrax had not been reported in dogs in Ukraine, despite a long history in livestock and wildlife. An outbreak involving at least one cow and one dog was reported from a backyard setting in southern Ukraine in August of 2012. Laboratory results and epizootic data were compiled from official investigation reports of regional and state veterinary services involved in the case response. A single dog died after being fed meat and bones from an illegally slaughtered heifer that died of anthrax 5 days earlier. On the evening of the dog's death, the dog refused food or water; however, there were no other clinical signs. Laboratory tests of dog tissue included traditional bacteriology for Bacillus anthracis, a small rodent bioassay for virulence, and immunoprecipitation tests (IPT). IPT was positive, viable B. anthracis colonies were cultured, and a bioassay confirmed virulence. This was the first confirmed case of canid anthrax in Ukraine. This case report serves to remind veterinary officials that anthrax can affect a wide number of species. We advise surveillance systems remain flexible and include animals that might not otherwise be tested.

  12. Military hospitalizations among deployed US service members following anthrax vaccination, 1998-2001.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Timothy Steven; Sato, Paul A; Smith, Tyler Clain; Wang, Linda Zhenling; Reed, Robert John; Ryan, Margaret Angela Kappel

    2006-01-01

    Safety concerns have confronted the Department of Defense Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program since inception in 1998. To determine if anthrax vaccination was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization, a historical cohort study utilizing pre- and post-anthrax-vaccination hospitalizations was undertaken and analyzed with Cox proportional hazards models. The study population consisted of 170,723 active duty US service members who were anthrax-vaccinated and deployed during the time period January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2001. Study outcomes included hospitalizations due to any-cause, 14 broad International Classification of Diseases diagnostic categories, autoimmune organ specific and organ non-specific hospitalizations, and asthma. After adjustment, anthrax vaccination was associated with significantly fewer hospitalizations for any-cause, diseases of the blood and blood forming organs, and diseases of the respiratory system. Comparing anthrax post-vaccination hospitalization experience with the pre-vaccination period resulted in no significant increased hazard for any of the hospitalization outcomes studied. Although there was no apparent increase in risk of morbidity in this study population, the relationship between anthrax vaccine and deployment on health outcomes among US service members needs further study.

  13. 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.

  14. Chorea caused by toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyasaki, Janis M

    2011-01-01

    Chorea is uncommonly caused by toxins. Anecdotal evidence from cases of toxin-induced chorea assists in our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases associated with chorea. Beginning in medieval Europe with ergotism and the "fire that twisted people," spanning to crack dancing in contemporary times and the coexistence of alcohol abuse with chorea, toxins may exert direct effects to enhance mesolimbic dopamine transmission or indirect effects through gamma-aminobutyric acid modulation. The following chapter will discuss toxins associated with chorea and the presumed pathophysiology underlying the movement disorders in these case series.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Md. Saiful; Hossain, M. Jahangir; Mikolon, Andrea; Parveen, Shahana; Khan, M. Salah Uddin; Haider, Najmul; Chakraborty, Apurba; Titu, Abu Mohammad Naser; Rahman, M. Waliur; Sazzad, Hossain M. S.; Rahman, Mahmudur; Gurley, Emily S.; Luby, Stephen P.

    2013-01-01

    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 financial incentives

  16. 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

  17. [Characteristics of anthrax: its description and biblical name--Shehin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Noun, Liubov

    2002-05-01

    The illness known as Anthrax is very rare in the west. In developing countries relatively significant numbers of cases are found, particularly in animals. However, biological terrorist acts could cause it to spread. In Hebrew, the illness is now called Gahelet or Gameret. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the illness is described in the Bible, and if so, to present that description and provide a broader survey of the features of this illness. The word Gahelet appears in the Bible, but not indicating a disease, while the source of Gameret is in the Talmud. In the Bible, Shehin is mentioned as the sixth of the ten plagues in Egypt, and also as the disease that affected Job. The natural course of the condition, as described in the Bible, matches the clinical symptoms of Anthrax, as we know it today. The Hebrew Language Academy is therefore advised to adopt the findings of this paper, and confirm the name of the illness in Israel--Shehin.

  18. Epidemiology of Human Anthrax in China, 1955−2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yu; Yin, Wenwu; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Wang, Liping; Mu, Di; Ren, Xiang; Zeng, Lingjia; Chen, Qiulan; Li, Wei; Wei, Jianchun; Lai, Shengjie; Zhou, Hang

    2017-01-01

    Using national surveillance data for 120,111 human anthrax cases recorded during 1955−2014, we analyzed the temporal, seasonal, geographic, and demographic distribution of this disease in China. After 1978, incidence decreased until 2013, when it reached a low of 0.014 cases/100,000 population. The case-fatality rate, cumulatively 3.6% during the study period, has also decreased since 1990. Cases occurred throughout the year, peaking in August. Geographic distribution decreased overall from west to east, but the cumulative number of affected counties increased during 2005−2014. The disease has shifted from industrial to agricultural workers; 86.7% of cases occurred in farmers and herdsmen. Most (97.7%) reported cases were the cutaneous form. Although progress has been made in reducing incidence, this study highlights areas that need improvement. Adequate laboratory diagnosis is lacking; only 7.6% of cases received laboratory confirmation. Geographic expansion of the disease indicates that livestock control programs will be essential in eradicating anthrax. PMID:27983489

  19. 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.

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    Arthur Weininger

    Full Text Available 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

  20. Antimicrobial Treatment for Systemic Anthrax: Analysis of Cases from 1945 to 2014 Identified Through a Systematic Literature Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillai, Satish K; Huang, Eileen; Guarnizo, Julie T; Hoyle, Jamechia D; Katharios-Lanwermeyer, Stefan; Turski, Theresa K; Bower, William A; Hendricks, Katherine A; Meaney-Delman, Dana

    2015-01-01

    Systemic anthrax is associated with high mortality. Current national guidelines, developed for the individualized treatment of systemic anthrax, outline the use of combination intravenous antimicrobials for a minimum of 2 weeks, bactericidal and protein synthesis inhibitor antimicrobials for all cases of systemic anthrax, and at least 3 antimicrobials with good blood-brain barrier penetration for anthrax meningitis. However, in an anthrax mass casualty incident, large numbers of anthrax cases may create challenges in meeting antimicrobial needs. To further inform our understanding of the role of antimicrobials in treating systemic anthrax, a systematic review of the English-language literature was conducted to identify cases of systemic anthrax treated with antimicrobials for which a clinical outcome was recorded. A total of 149 cases of systemic anthrax were identified. Among the identified 59 cases of cutaneous anthrax, 33 were complicated by meningitis (76% mortality), while 26 simply had evidence of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (4% mortality); 21 of 26 (81%) of this latter group received monotherapy. Subsequent analysis regarding combination antimicrobial therapy was restricted to the remaining 123 cases of more severe anthrax (overall 67% mortality). Recipients of combination bactericidal and protein synthesis inhibitor therapy had a 45% survival versus 28% in the absence of combination therapy (p = 0.07). For meningitis cases (n = 77), survival was greater for those receiving 3 or more antimicrobials over the course of treatment (3 of 4; 75%), compared to receipt of 1 or 2 antimicrobials (12 of 73; 16%) (p = 0.02). Median parenteral antimicrobial duration was 14 days. Combination bactericidal and protein synthesis inhibitor therapy may be appropriate in severe anthrax disease, particularly anthrax meningitis, in a mass casualty incident.

  1. Purification, amino-acid sequence and partial characterization of two toxins with anti-insect activity from the venom of the South American scorpion Tityus bahiensis (Buthidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimenta, A M; Martin-Eauclaire, M; Rochat, H; Figueiredo, S G; Kalapothakis, E; Afonso, L C; De Lima, M E

    2001-07-01

    We report here the isolation by a two-step chromatographic procedure of two new toxins from the South American scorpion Tityus bahiensis. Their amino-acid sequences and some of their biological features were established. The two toxins have different biological properties. Toxin TbIT-I had almost no activity or pharmacological effects in vertebrate tissues whereas it was lethal to house flies (LD50 80.0 ng/house fly). In contrast, Tb2-II was active against both mammals (intracerebroventricular injection of 100 ng/mouse was lethal) and insects (LD50 40.0 ng/house fly). The amino-acid sequences of these toxins were established and found to be similar (60-95%) to previously described beta-toxins from the Tityus genus. Based on the available comparative information, this study attempts identify possible structure-function relationships that may be responsible for the differences in bioactivity displayed by these toxins.

  2. Protection against Shiga Toxins

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    Simona Kavaliauskiene

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Shiga toxins consist of an A-moiety and five B-moieties able to bind the neutral glycosphingolipid globotriaosylceramide (Gb3 on the cell surface. To intoxicate cells efficiently, the toxin A-moiety has to be cleaved by furin and transported retrogradely to the Golgi apparatus and to the endoplasmic reticulum. The enzymatically active part of the A-moiety is then translocated to the cytosol, where it inhibits protein synthesis and in some cell types induces apoptosis. Protection of cells can be provided either by inhibiting binding of the toxin to cells or by interfering with any of the subsequent steps required for its toxic effect. In this article we provide a brief overview of the interaction of Shiga toxins with cells, describe some compounds and conditions found to protect cells against Shiga toxins, and discuss whether they might also provide protection in animals and humans.

  3. Continuous evolution of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins overcomes insect resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badran, Ahmed H; Guzov, Victor M; Huai, Qing; Kemp, Melissa M; Vishwanath, Prashanth; Kain, Wendy; Nance, Autumn M; Evdokimov, Artem; Moshiri, Farhad; Turner, Keith H; Wang, Ping; Malvar, Thomas; Liu, David R

    2016-05-05

    The Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxins (Bt toxins) are widely used insecticidal proteins in engineered crops that provide agricultural, economic, and environmental benefits. The development of insect resistance to Bt toxins endangers their long-term effectiveness. Here we have developed a phage-assisted continuous evolution selection that rapidly evolves high-affinity protein-protein interactions, and applied this system to evolve variants of the Bt toxin Cry1Ac that bind a cadherin-like receptor from the insect pest Trichoplusia ni (TnCAD) that is not natively bound by wild-type Cry1Ac. The resulting evolved Cry1Ac variants bind TnCAD with high affinity (dissociation constant Kd = 11-41 nM), kill TnCAD-expressing insect cells that are not susceptible to wild-type Cry1Ac, and kill Cry1Ac-resistant T. ni insects up to 335-fold more potently than wild-type Cry1Ac. Our findings establish that the evolution of Bt toxins with novel insect cell receptor affinity can overcome insect Bt toxin resistance and confer lethality approaching that of the wild-type Bt toxin against non-resistant insects.

  4. Cloning, expression and purification of binding domains of lethal factor and protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis in Escherichia coli and evaluation of their related murine antibody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaee, Mehdi; Honari, Hossein; Kooshk, Mohammad Reza Ashrafi

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is common disease between human and animals caused by Bacillus anthracis. The cell binding domain of protective antigen (PAD4) and the binding domain of lethal factor (LFD1) have high immunogenicity potential and always were considered as a vaccine candidate against anthrax. The aims of this study are cloning and expressing of PAD4 and LFD1 in Escherichia coli, purification of the recombinant proteins and determination of their immunogenicity through evaluating of the relative produced polyclonal antibodies in mice. PAD4 and LFD1 genes were cloned in pET28a(+) vector and expressed in E. coli Bl21(DE3)PlysS. Expression and purification of the two recombinant proteins were confirmed by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting techniques. The PAD4 and LFD1 were purified using Ni(+)-NTA affinity chromatography (95-98 %), yielding 37.5 and 45 mg/l of culture, respectively. The antigens were injected three times into mice and production of relative antibodies was evaluated by ELISA test. The results showed that both PAD4 and LFD1 are immunogenic, but LFD1 has higher potential to stimulate Murine immune system. With regard to the high level of LFD1 and PAD4 expression and also significant increment in produced polyclonal antibodies, these recombinant proteins can be considered as a recombinant vaccine candidate against anthrax.

  5. 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.

  6. Targeting the inflammasome and adenosine type-3 receptors improves outcome of antibiotic therapy in murine anthrax

    OpenAIRE

    Popov, Serguei G.; Popova, Taissia G.; Kashanchi, Fatah; Bailey, Charles

    2011-01-01

    AIM: To establish whether activation of adenosine type-3 receptors (A3Rs) and inhibition of interleukin-1β-induced inflammation is beneficial in combination with antibiotic therapy to increase survival of mice challenged with anthrax spores.

  7. Anthrax in injecting drug users: the need for increased vigilance in the clinic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascough, Stephanie; Altmann, Daniel Martin

    2015-06-01

    The emergence of a previously unrecognized route of Bacillus anthracis infection over the last few years has led to concern: sporadic anthrax outbreaks among heroin users in northern Europe have demonstrated the severe pathology associated with the newly described 'injectional anthrax'. With a high case fatality rate and non-specific early symptoms, this is a novel clinical manifestation of an old disease. Lack of awareness of this syndrome among emergency room clinicians can lead to a delayed diagnosis among heroin users; indeed, for many health workers in developed countries, where infection by B. anthracis is rare, this may be the first time they have encountered anthrax infections. As the putative route of contamination of the heroin supply is potentially ongoing, it is important that clinicians and public health workers remain vigilant for early signs of injectional anthrax.

  8. Selected scorpion toxin exposures induce cytokine release in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corzo, Gerardo; Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel

    2017-03-01

    A cytokine screening on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated with selected scorpion toxins (ScTx's) was performed in order to evaluate their effect on human immune cells. The ScTx's chosen for this report were three typical buthid scorpion venom peptides, one with lethal effects on mammals Centruroides suffussus suffusus toxin II (CssII), another, with lethal effects on insects and crustaceans Centruroides noxius toxin 5 (Cn5), and one more without lethal effects Tityus discrepans toxin (Discrepin). A Luminex multiplex analysis was performed in order to determine the amounts chemokines and cytokines IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12-p40, IL-13, interferon alpha (IFN-α), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha TNF-α, and interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10) secreted from human PBMCs exposed to these toxins. Although, the ScTx Cn5 is not lethal for mammals, it was able to induce the secretion of cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, IL-10 and IP-10 in comparison to the lethal CssII, which was able to induce only IP-10 secretion. Discrepin also was able to induce only IP-10. Interestingly, only low amounts of interferons α and β were induced in the presence of the ScTx's assayed. In a synergic experiment, the combination of Discrepin and Cn5 displayed considerable reverse effects on induction of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α, but they had a slight synergic effect on IP-10 cytokine production in comparison with the single effect obtained with the Cn5 alone. Thus, the results obtained suggest that the profile of secreted cytokines promoted by ScTx Cn5 is highly related with a cytokine storm event, and also it suggests that the mammalian lethal neurotoxins are not solely responsible of the scorpion envenomation symptomatology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wenbo; Liu, Chenxi; Xiao, Yutao; Zhang, Dandan; Zhang, Yongdong; Li, Xianchun; Tabashnik, Bruce E; Wu, Kongming

    2015-01-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Enhancement of the Anthrax AVA Vaccine with CpG ODN’s

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-08-28

    NUMBER OF PAGES 20. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT UL - 28-Aug-2005 Final Report on ACCELERATE ANTHRAX: CpG 7909 Vaccine Adjuvant Program Report Title...Vaccine Adsorbed (BioThrax?) Combined with CPG 7909 in Normal Volunteers” was completed and presented at the 2005 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial...Agents and Chemotherapy in a poster entitled “Marked Enhancement Of Antibody Response To Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed With CPG 7909 In Healthy

  13. Lessons for control of heroin-associated anthrax in Europe from 2009-2010 outbreak case studies, London, UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbara, Aula; Brooks, Tim; Taylor, Graham P; Nolan, Marianne; Donaldson, Hugo; Manikon, Maribel; Holmes, Alison

    2014-07-01

    Outbreaks of serious infections associated with heroin use in persons who inject drugs (PWIDs) occur intermittently and require vigilance and rapid reporting of individual cases. Here, we give a firsthand account of the cases in London during an outbreak of heroin-associated anthrax during 2009-2010 in the United Kingdom. This new manifestation of anthrax has resulted in a clinical manifestation distinct from already recognized forms. During 2012-13, additional cases of heroin-associated anthrax among PWIDs in England and other European countries were reported, suggesting that anthrax-contaminated heroin remains in circulation. Antibacterial drugs used for serious soft tissue infection are effective against anthrax, which may lead to substantial underrecognition of this novel illness. The outbreak in London provides a strong case for ongoing vigilance and the use of serologic testing in diagnosis and serologic surveillance schemes to determine and monitor the prevalence of anthrax exposure in the PWID community.

  14. NON-LETHAL WEAPONS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Non-lethal weapons, also called less-lethal weapons, less-than lethal weapons, non-deadly weapons, compliance weapons, or pain-inducing weapons are weapons intended to be less likely to kill a living target than conventional weapons. It is often understood that accidental, incidental, and correlative casualties are risked wherever force is applied, but non-lethal weapons try to minimise the risk as much as possible. Non-lethal weapons are used in combat situations to limit the escalation of c...

  15. Protective Antigen-Specific Memory B Cells Persist Years after Anthrax Vaccination and Correlate with Humoral Immunity

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    Lori Garman

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA generates short-lived protective antigen (PA specific IgG that correlates with in vitro toxin neutralization and protection from Bacillus anthracis challenge. Animal studies suggest that when PA-specific IgG has waned, survival after spore challenge correlates with an activation of PA-specific memory B cells. Here, we characterize the quantity and the longevity of AVA-induced memory B cell responses in humans. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs from individuals vaccinated ≥3 times with AVA (n = 50 were collected early (3–6 months, n = 27 or late after their last vaccination (2–5 years, n = 23, pan-stimulated, and assayed by ELISPOT for total and PA-specific memory B cells differentiated into antibody secreting cells (ASCs. PA-specific ASC percentages ranged from 0.02% to 6.25% (median: 1.57% and did not differ between early and late post-vaccination individuals. PA-specific ASC percentages correlated with plasma PA-specific IgG (r = 0.42, p = 0.03 and toxin neutralization (r = 0.52, p = 0.003 early post vaccination. PA-specific ASC percentages correlated with supernatant anti-PA both early (r = 0.60, p = 0.001 and late post vaccination (r = 0.71, p < 0.0001. These data suggest PA-specific memory B cell responses are long-lived and can be estimated after recent vaccination by the magnitude and neutralization capacity of the humoral response.

  16. Understanding malarial toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starkl Renar, Katarina; Iskra, Jernej; Križaj, Igor

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed.

  17. Animal models of human anthrax: the Quest for the Holy Grail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goossens, Pierre L

    2009-12-01

    Anthrax is rare among humans, few data can be collected from infected individuals and they provide a fragmentary view of the dynamics of infection and human host-pathogen interactions. Therefore, the development of animal models is necessary. Anthrax has the particularity of being a toxi-infection, a combination of infection and toxemia. The ideal animal model would explore these two different facets and mimic human disease as much as possible. In the past decades, the main effort has been focused on modelling of inhalational anthrax and the perception of specific aspects of the infection has evolved in recent years. In this review, we consider criteria which can lead to the most appropriate choice of a given animal species for modelling human anthrax. We will highlight the positive input and limitations of different models and show that they are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, their contribution to anthrax research can be more rewarding when taken in synergy. We will also present a reappraisal of inhalational anthrax and propose reflections on key points, such as portal of entry, connections between mediastinal lymph nodes, pleura and lymphatic drainage.

  18. Investigation of Anthrax Cases in North-East China, 2010-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Wei; Sun, Yang; Zhu, Lingwei; Zhou, Bo; Liu, Jun; Ji, Xue; Wang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Nan; Gu, Guibo; Feng, Shuzhang; Qian, Jun; Guo, Xuejun

    2015-01-01

    We determined the genotypes of seven Bacillus anthracis strains that were recovered from nine anthrax outbreaks in North-East China from 2010 to 2014, and two approved vaccine strains that are currently in use in China. The causes of these cases were partly due to local farmers being unaware of the presence of anthrax, and butchers with open wounds having direct contact with anthrax-contaminated meat products. The genotype of five of the seven recovered strains was A.Br.001/002 sub-lineage, which was concordant with previously published research. The remaining two cases belongs to the A.Br.Ames sub-lineage. Both of these strains displayed an identical SNR pattern, which was the first time that this genotype was identified in North-East China. Strengthening education in remote villages of rural China is an important activity aimed at fostering attempts to prevent and control anthrax. The genotype of the vaccine strain Anthrax Spore Vaccine No.II was A.Br.008/009 and A.Br.001/002 for the vaccine strain Anthrax Spore Vaccine Non-capsulated. Further studies of their characteristics are clearly warranted.

  19. Interferon-γ Protects from Staphylococcal Alpha Toxin-Induced Keratinocyte Death through Apolipoprotein L1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauweiler, Anne M; Goleva, Elena; Leung, Donald Y M

    2016-03-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterial pathogen that frequently infects the skin, causing lesions and cell destruction through its primary virulence factor, alpha toxin. Here we show that interferon gamma (IFN-?) protects human keratinocytes from cell death induced by staphylococcal alpha toxin. We find that IFN-? prevents alpha toxin binding and reduces expression of the alpha toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10). We determine that the mechanism for IFN-?-mediated resistance to alpha toxin involves the induction of autophagy, a process of cellular adaptation to sublethal damage. We find that IFN-? potently stimulates activation of the primary autophagy effector, light chain 3 (LC3). This process is dependent on upregulation of apolipoprotein L1. Depletion of apolipoprotein L1 by small interfering RNA significantly increases alpha toxin-induced lethality and inhibits activation of light chain 3. We conclude that IFN-? plays a significant role in protecting human keratinocytes from the lethal effects of staphylococcal alpha toxin through apolipoprotein L1-induced autophagy.

  20. In silico design of smart binders to anthrax PA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Michael; Hurley, Margaret M.

    2012-06-01

    The development of smart peptide binders requires an understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of recognition which has remained an elusive grail of the research community for decades. Recent advances in automated discovery and synthetic library science provide a wealth of information to probe fundamental details of binding and facilitate the development of improved models for a priori prediction of affinity and specificity. Here we present the modeling portion of an iterative experimental/computational study to produce high affinity peptide binders to the Protective Antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis. The result is a general usage, HPC-oriented, python-based toolkit based upon powerful third-party freeware, which is designed to provide a better understanding of peptide-protein interactions and ultimately predict and measure new smart peptide binder candidates. We present an improved simulation protocol with flexible peptide docking to the Anthrax Protective Antigen, reported within the context of experimental data presented in a companion work.

  1. Urokinase-targeted recombinant bacterial protein toxins-a rationally designed and engineered anticancer agent for cancer therapy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yizhen LIU; Shi-Yan LI

    2009-01-01

    Urokinase-targeted recombinant bacterial protein toxins are a sort of rationally designed and engineered anticancer recombinant fusion proteins representing a novel class of agents for cancer therapy.Bacterial protein toxins have long been known as the primary virulence factor(s) for a variety of pathogenic bacteria and are the most powerful human poisons.On the other hand,it has been well documented that urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR),making up the uPA system,are overexpressed in a variety of human tumors and tumor cell lines.The expression of uPA system is highly correlated with tumor invasion and metastasis.To exploit these characteristics in the design of tumor cell-selective cytotoxins,two prominent bacterial protein toxins,i.e.,the diphtheria toxin and anthrax toxin are deliberately engineered through placing a sequence targeted specifically by the uPA system to form anticancer recombinant fusion proteins.These uPA system-targeted bacterial protein toxins are activated selectively on the surface of uPA systemexpressing tumor cells,thereby killing these cells.This article provides a review on the latest progress in the exploitation of these recombinant fusion proteins as potent tumoricidal agents.It is perceptible that the strategies for cancer therapy are being innovated by this novel therapeutic approach.

  2. Staphylococcus aureus toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Michael

    2014-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a dangerous pathogen that causes a variety of severe diseases. The virulence of S. aureus is defined by a large repertoire of virulence factors, among which secreted toxins play a preeminent role. Many S. aureus toxins damage biological membranes, leading to cell death. In particular, S. aureus produces potent hemolysins and leukotoxins. Among the latter, some were recently identified to lyse neutrophils after ingestion, representing an especially powerful weapon against bacterial elimination by innate host defense. Furthermore, S. aureus secretes many factors that inhibit the complement cascade or prevent recognition by host defenses. Several further toxins add to this multi-faceted program of S. aureus to evade elimination in the host. This review will give an overview over S. aureus toxins focusing on recent advances in our understanding of how leukotoxins work in receptor-mediated or receptor-independent fashions.

  3. Monitoring Method of Cow Anthrax Based on Gis and Spatial Statistical Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lin; Yang, Yong; Wang, Hongbin; Dong, Jing; Zhao, Yujun; He, Jianbin; Fan, Honggang

    Geographic information system (GIS) is a computer application system, which possesses the ability of manipulating spatial information and has been used in many fields related with the spatial information management. Many methods and models have been established for analyzing animal diseases distribution models and temporal-spatial transmission models. Great benefits have been gained from the application of GIS in animal disease epidemiology. GIS is now a very important tool in animal disease epidemiological research. Spatial analysis function of GIS can be widened and strengthened by using spatial statistical analysis, allowing for the deeper exploration, analysis, manipulation and interpretation of spatial pattern and spatial correlation of the animal disease. In this paper, we analyzed the cow anthrax spatial distribution characteristics in the target district A (due to the secret of epidemic data we call it district A) based on the established GIS of the cow anthrax in this district in combination of spatial statistical analysis and GIS. The Cow anthrax is biogeochemical disease, and its geographical distribution is related closely to the environmental factors of habitats and has some spatial characteristics, and therefore the correct analysis of the spatial distribution of anthrax cow for monitoring and the prevention and control of anthrax has a very important role. However, the application of classic statistical methods in some areas is very difficult because of the pastoral nomadic context. The high mobility of livestock and the lack of enough suitable sampling for the some of the difficulties in monitoring currently make it nearly impossible to apply rigorous random sampling methods. It is thus necessary to develop an alternative sampling method, which could overcome the lack of sampling and meet the requirements for randomness. The GIS computer application software ArcGIS9.1 was used to overcome the lack of data of sampling sites.Using ArcGIS 9.1 and GEODA

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hatice Uce Özkol

    2014-12-01

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

  5. A One Health, participatory epidemiology assessment of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) management in Western Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coffin, Jeanne L; Monje, Fred; Asiimwe-Karimu, Grace; Amuguni, Hellen Janetrix; Odoch, Terence

    2015-03-01

    Sporadic anthrax outbreaks have occurred in and around Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP) for years, affecting wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. Reported outbreaks (2004-2005 and 2010) in QENP collectively killed over 500 wild animals and over 400 domestic animals. A 2011 outbreak in Sheema district temporarily froze local markets while killing two humans and seven bovines. One Health is multidisciplinary at its core, yet studies sometimes focus on the effects of animals on human health to the detriment of investigating the surrounding ecological and cultural contexts. Participatory methods connect problems - such as disease - to their context. A multidisciplinary team used participatory epidemiology and conventional structured questionnaires to investigate the impacts of anthrax on human livelihoods and the related perceptions of conservation, public health, and veterinary health efforts in the QENP area. Proximities to previous anthrax outbreaks and to QENP were treated as risk factors in the collection and evaluation of data. Participants' feedback indicates that anthrax prevalence may be greater than officially reported. Community member perceptions about anthrax and other diseases appear to be more closely related to their proximity to QENP than their proximity to anthrax outbreaks. Neither risk factor had a strong effect on knowledge of disease, nor any effect on behaviors associated with disease response or control. Instead, participants reported that social pressures, the economics of poverty, and the lack of health and veterinary infrastructure highly influenced responses to disease. The complex connections between the social needs and the economic context of these communities seem to be undermining current anthrax control and education measures. This livelihood-based decision-making may be unlikely to respond to educational intervention alone. This study provides a strong base for further research and for improvements in effective disease

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torabi, Elham; Behdani, Mahdi; Hosseininejad Chafi, Mohammad; Moazzami, Reza; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Khalaj, Vahid; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Pooshang Bagheri, Kamran

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28335389

  7. An endogenous antitoxin to the lethal venom of the funnel web spider, Atrax robustus, in rabbit sera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheumack, D D; Comis, A; Claassens, R; Mylecharane, E J; Spence, I; Howden, M E

    1991-01-01

    1. An endogenous antitoxin fraction was isolated from non-immune rabbit sera by affinity chromatography with robustoxin bound to the solid support. 2. Robustoxin is the sole lethal toxin in the venom of the male funnel web spider, Atrax robustus. 3. The fraction was found to contain IgG and IgM immunoglobulins. 4. This fraction prevented or reversed the lethal actions of the crude venom in newborn mice, in mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm preparations, and in anaesthetized monkeys. 5. The antitoxin fraction is of potential value in the therapy of human envenomation by A. robustus.

  8. Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Matters NIH Research Matters July 29, 2013 Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin Structure of typhoid toxin, showing the 2 A subunits ( ... to cultured cells. The scientists next determined the structure of the typhoid toxin. The toxin was already ...

  9. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Stories Español Eye Health / Eye Health A-Z Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Sections Botulinum Toxin (Botox) ... Facial Wrinkles How Does Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Work? Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Written by: Kierstan Boyd ...

  10. Evidence of local persistence of human anthrax in the country of georgia associated with environmental and anthropogenic factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian T Kracalik

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Anthrax is a soil-borne disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and is considered a neglected zoonosis. In the country of Georgia, recent reports have indicated an increase in the incidence of human anthrax. Identifying sub-national areas of increased risk may help direct appropriate public health control measures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the spatial distribution of human anthrax and identify environmental/anthropogenic factors associated with persistent clusters. METHODS/FINDINGS: A database of human cutaneous anthrax in Georgia during the period 2000-2009 was constructed using a geographic information system (GIS with case data recorded to the community location. The spatial scan statistic was used to identify persistence of human cutaneous anthrax. Risk factors related to clusters of persistence were modeled using a multivariate logistic regression. Areas of persistence were identified in the southeastern part of the country. Results indicated that the persistence of human cutaneous anthrax showed a strong positive association with soil pH and urban areas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Anthrax represents a persistent threat to public and veterinary health in Georgia. The findings here showed that the local level heterogeneity in the persistence of human cutaneous anthrax necessitates directed interventions to mitigate the disease. High risk areas identified in this study can be targeted for public health control measures such as farmer education and livestock vaccination campaigns.

  11. Evidence of Local Persistence of Human Anthrax in the Country of Georgia Associated with Environmental and Anthropogenic Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kracalik, Ian T.; Malania, Lile; Tsertsvadze, Nikoloz; Manvelyan, Julietta; Bakanidze, Lela; Imnadze, Paata; Tsanava, Shota; Blackburn, Jason K.

    2013-01-01

    Background Anthrax is a soil-borne disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and is considered a neglected zoonosis. In the country of Georgia, recent reports have indicated an increase in the incidence of human anthrax. Identifying sub-national areas of increased risk may help direct appropriate public health control measures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the spatial distribution of human anthrax and identify environmental/anthropogenic factors associated with persistent clusters. Methods/Findings A database of human cutaneous anthrax in Georgia during the period 2000–2009 was constructed using a geographic information system (GIS) with case data recorded to the community location. The spatial scan statistic was used to identify persistence of human cutaneous anthrax. Risk factors related to clusters of persistence were modeled using a multivariate logistic regression. Areas of persistence were identified in the southeastern part of the country. Results indicated that the persistence of human cutaneous anthrax showed a strong positive association with soil pH and urban areas. Conclusions/Significance Anthrax represents a persistent threat to public and veterinary health in Georgia. The findings here showed that the local level heterogeneity in the persistence of human cutaneous anthrax necessitates directed interventions to mitigate the disease. High risk areas identified in this study can be targeted for public health control measures such as farmer education and livestock vaccination campaigns. PMID:24040426

  12. 9 CFR 310.9 - Anthrax; carcasses not to be eviscerated; disposition of affected carcasses; hides, hoofs, horns...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Anthrax; carcasses not to be...-MORTEM INSPECTION § 310.9 Anthrax; carcasses not to be eviscerated; disposition of affected carcasses...; general cleanup and disinfection. (a) Carcasses found before evisceration to be affected with...

  13. Genome Sequence of Historical Bacillus anthracis Strain Tyrol 4675 Isolated from a Bovine Anthrax Case in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwerpen, Markus; Wölfel, Roman

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT In 1988, an outbreak of anthrax occurred among cattle in the Austrian state of Tyrol. Since then, Austria has been declared anthrax-free. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of one of these last outbreak strains, Bacillus anthracis Tyrol 4675, isolated from a diseased cow. PMID:28280006

  14. Bayes, Bugs, and Bioterrorists: Lessons Learned from the Anthrax Attacks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-04-01

    surveillance.” Examples of agents currently in Category B: Brucellosis (Brucella species), Epsilon toxin of Clostridium perfringens, Food safety threats...race. Primarily, a disease of animals that eat vegetation—cattle, sheep, goats , camels, antelopes, etc., human exposure primarily comes from contact

  15. Staphylococcus aureus in vitro secretion of alpha toxin (hla correlates with the affiliation to clonal complexes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Monecke

    Full Text Available The alpha toxin of Staphylococcus aureus is a pore forming toxin that penetrates host cell membranes causing osmotic swelling, rupture, lysis and subsequently cell death. Haemolysin alpha is toxic to a wide range of different mammalian cells; i.e., neurotoxic, dermonecrotic, haemolytic, and it can cause lethality in a wide variety of animals. In this study, the in vitro alpha toxin production of 648 previously genotyped isolates of S. aureus was measured quantitatively using antibody microarrays. Isolates originated from medical and veterinary settings and were selected in order to represent diverse clonal complexes and defined clinical conditions. Generally, the production of alpha toxin in vitro is related to the clonal complex affiliation. For clonal complexes CC22, CC30, CC45, CC479, CC705 and others, invariably no alpha toxin production was noted under the given in vitro conditions, while others, such as CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15 or CC96 secreted variable or high levels of alpha toxin. There was no correlation between alpha toxin yield and clinical course of the disease, or between alpha toxin yield and host species.

  16. Staphylococcus aureus in vitro secretion of alpha toxin (hla) correlates with the affiliation to clonal complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monecke, Stefan; Müller, Elke; Büchler, Joseph; Stieber, Bettina; Ehricht, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    The alpha toxin of Staphylococcus aureus is a pore forming toxin that penetrates host cell membranes causing osmotic swelling, rupture, lysis and subsequently cell death. Haemolysin alpha is toxic to a wide range of different mammalian cells; i.e., neurotoxic, dermonecrotic, haemolytic, and it can cause lethality in a wide variety of animals. In this study, the in vitro alpha toxin production of 648 previously genotyped isolates of S. aureus was measured quantitatively using antibody microarrays. Isolates originated from medical and veterinary settings and were selected in order to represent diverse clonal complexes and defined clinical conditions. Generally, the production of alpha toxin in vitro is related to the clonal complex affiliation. For clonal complexes CC22, CC30, CC45, CC479, CC705 and others, invariably no alpha toxin production was noted under the given in vitro conditions, while others, such as CC1, CC5, CC8, CC15 or CC96 secreted variable or high levels of alpha toxin. There was no correlation between alpha toxin yield and clinical course of the disease, or between alpha toxin yield and host species.

  17. 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?

  18. Comparisons of native Shiga toxins (Stxs type 1 and 2 with chimeric toxins indicate that the source of the binding subunit dictates degree of toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa M Russo

    Full Text Available Shiga toxin (Stx-producing E. coli (STEC cause food-borne outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis. The main virulence factor expressed by STEC, Stx, is an AB5 toxin that has two antigenically distinct forms, Stx1a and Stx2a. Although Stx1a and Stx2a bind to the same receptor, globotriaosylceramide (Gb3, Stx2a is more potent than Stx1a in mice, whereas Stx1a is more cytotoxic than Stx2a in cell culture. In this study, we used chimeric toxins to ask what the relative contribution of individual Stx subunits is to the differential toxicity of Stx1a and Stx2a in vitro and in vivo. Chimeric stx1/stx2 operons were generated by PCR such that the coding regions for the A2 and B subunits of one toxin were combined with the coding region for the A1 subunit of the heterologous toxin. The toxicities of purified Stx1a, Stx2a, and the chimeric Stxs were determined on Vero and HCT-8 cell lines, while polarized HCT-8 cell monolayers grown on permeable supports were used to follow toxin translocation. In all in vitro assays, the activity of the chimeric toxin correlated with that of the parental toxin from which the B subunit originated. The origin of the native B subunit also dictated the 50% lethal dose of toxin after intraperitoneal intoxication of mice; however, the chimeric Stxs exhibited reduced oral toxicity and pH stability compared to Stx1a and Stx2a. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that the differential toxicity of the chimeric toxins for cells and mice is determined by the origin of the B subunit.

  19. Pathogenic ecology: Where have all the pathogens gone? Anthrax: a classic case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiel, Johnathan; Walker, Wes W.; Andrews, Carrie J.; De Los Santos, Amy; Adams, Roy N.; Bucholz, Matthew W.; McBurnett, Shelly D.; Fuentes, Vladimir; Rizner, Karon E.; Blount, Keith W.

    2009-05-01

    Pathogenic ecology is the natural relationship to animate and inanimate components of the environment that support the sustainment of a pathogen in the environment or prohibit its sustainment, or their interactions with an introduced pathogen that allow for the establishment of disease in a new environment. The anthrax bacterium in the spore form has been recognized as a highly likely biological warfare or terrorist agent. The purpose of this work was to determine the environmental reservoir of Bacillus anthracis between outbreaks of anthrax and to examine the potential factors influencing the conversion of the Bacillus anthracis from a quiescent state to the disease causing state. Here we provide environmental and laboratory data for the cycling of Bacillus anthracis in plants to reconcile observations that contradict the soil borne hypothesis of anthrax maintenance in the environment.

  20. 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.

  1. Human Cutaneous Anthrax, the East Anatolian Region of Turkey 2008-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parlak, Emine; Parlak, Mehmet

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. While anthrax is rare in developed countries, it is endemic in Turkey. The names of the different forms of the disease refer to the manner of entry of the spores into the body-cutaneous, gastrointestinal, inhalation, and injection. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics, epidemiological history, treatment, and outcomes of patients with anthrax. Eighty-two cases of anthrax hospitalized at Atatürk University Faculty of Medicine Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology in 2008-2014 were examined retrospectively. Gender, age, occupation, year, history, clinical characteristics, character of lesions, length of hospitalization, and outcomes were recorded. Thirty (36.6%) patients were female and 52 (63.4%) patients were male; ages were 18-69 and mean age was 43.77 ± 13.05. The mean incubation period was 4.79 ± 3.76 days. Cases were largely identified in August (41.5%) and September (25.6%). Sixty-nine (84.1%) of the 82 patients had been given antibiotics before presentation. Lesions were most common on the fingers and arms. The most common occupational groups were housewives (36.6%) and people working in animal husbandry (31.7%). All patients had histories of contact with diseased animals and animal products. Penicillin-group antibiotics (78%) were most commonly used in treatment. One patient (1.2%) died from anthrax meningitis. The mean length of hospitalization was 8.30 ± 5.36 days. Anthrax is an endemic disease of economic and social significance for the region. Effective public health control measures, risk group education, vaccination of animals, and decontamination procedures will reduce the number of cases.

  2. Lethal entanglement in baleen whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassoff, Rachel M; Moore, Kathleen M; McLellan, William A; Barco, Susan G; Rotsteins, David S; Moore, Michael J

    2011-10-06

    Understanding the scenarios whereby fishing gear entanglement of large whales induces mortality is important for the development of mitigation strategies. Here we present a series of 21 cases involving 4 species of baleen whales in the NW Atlantic, describing the available sighting history, necropsy observations, and subsequent data analyses that enabled the compilation of the manners in which entanglement can be lethal. The single acute cause of entanglement mortality identified was drowning from entanglement involving multiple body parts, with the animal's inability to surface. More protracted causes of death included impaired foraging during entanglement, resulting in starvation after many months; systemic infection arising from open, unresolved entanglement wounds; and hemorrhage or debilitation due to severe gear-related damage to tissues. Serious gear-induced injury can include laceration of large vessels, occlusion of the nares, embedding of line in growing bone, and massive periosteal proliferation of new bone in an attempt to wall off constricting, encircling lines. These data show that baleen whale entanglement is not only a major issue for the conservation of some baleen whale populations, but is also a major concern for the welfare of each affected individual.

  3. [Protein toxins of Staphylococcus aureus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamsutdinov, A F; Tiurin, Iu A

    2014-01-01

    Main scientific-research studies regarding protein bacterial toxins of the most widespread bacteria that belong to Staphylococcus spp. genus and in particular the most pathogenic species for humans--Staphylococcus aureus, are analyzed. Structural and biological properties of protein toxins that have received the name of staphylococcus pyrogenic toxins (PTSAg) are presented. Data regarding genetic regulation of secretion and synthesis of these toxins and 3 main regulatory genetic systems (agr--accessory gene regulator, xpr--extracellular protein regulator, sar--staphylococcal accessory regulator) that coordinate synthesis of the most important protein toxins and enzymes for virulence of S. aureus, are presented.

  4. 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.

  5. Immunoproteomically identified GBAA_0345, alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C is a potential target for multivalent anthrax vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yeon Hee; Kim, Kyung Ae; Kim, Yu-Ri; Choi, Min Kyung; Kim, Hye Kyeong; Choi, Ki Ju; Chun, Jeong-Hoon; Cha, Kiweon; Hong, Kee-Jong; Lee, Na Gyong; Yoo, Cheon-Kwon; Oh, Hee-Bok; Kim, Tae Sung; Rhie, Gi-eun

    2014-01-01

    Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which has been used as a weapon for bioterrorism. Although current vaccines are effective, they involve prolonged dose regimens and often cause adverse reactions. High rates of mortality associated with anthrax have made the development of an improved vaccine a top priority. To identify novel vaccine candidates, we applied an immunoproteomics approach. Using sera from convalescent guinea pigs or from human patients with anthrax, we identified 34 immunogenic proteins from the virulent B. anthracis H9401. To evaluate vaccine candidates, six were expressed as recombinant proteins and tested in vivo. Two proteins, rGBAA_0345 (alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C) and rGBAA_3990 (malonyl CoA-acyl carrier protein transacylase), have afforded guinea pigs partial protection from a subsequent virulent-spore challenge. Moreover, combined vaccination with rGBAA_0345 and rPA (protective antigen) exhibited an enhanced ability to protect against anthrax mortality. Finally, we demonstrated that GBAA_0345 localizes to anthrax spores and bacilli. Our results indicate that rGBAA_0345 may be a potential component of a multivalent anthrax vaccine, as it enhances the efficacy of rPA vaccination. This is the first time that sera from patients with anthrax have been used to interrogate the proteome of virulent B. anthracis vegetative cells.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alassane S Barro

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Affinity purification of staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and its pathologic effects in rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, M W; Arko, R J; Chandler, F W; Bridges, N B

    1986-01-01

    Toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) was purified to apparent homogeneity by chromatofocusing and affinity chromatography. The amino acid composition of the toxin was very similar to that reported for TSST-1 by other investigators. The amino-terminal amino acid was serine. A partial specific volume of 0.73 ml/g was calculated for the toxin from the amino acid data, and a molecular weight of 19,200 +/- 1,300 was determined by hydrodynamic methods. New Zealand white rabbits of both sexes were equally susceptible to the lethal effects of the toxin; however, older rabbits (greater than 12 months) were far more susceptible than young adults or weanlings. The 50% lethal dose of TSST-1 in older rabbits was 50 to 60 micrograms/kg when injected subcutaneously and 20 to 30 micrograms/kg when injected intravenously. Enhancement of lethal endotoxin shock by TSST-1 could not be demonstrated when both toxins were injected subcutaneously; however, lethal shock did occur when endotoxin (10 micrograms/kg) was injected intravenously after TSST-1 had been injected by either the subcutaneous (50 to 60 micrograms/kg) or the intravenous (20 to 30 micrograms/kg) route. Endotoxin alone was not lethal at a dose of 500 micrograms/kg of body weight when injected subcutaneously. When injected intravenously, endotoxin at a dose of 500 micrograms/kg was not lethal in weanling males or in females in any age group; however, young (6 to 7 months) and adult (greater than 12 months) males were killed by endotoxin doses as low as 45 to 50 micrograms/kg. Histopathologic studies of rabbits by both sexes which died as a result of TSST-1 alone or in combination with endotoxin showed extensive damage to organs rich in lymphoid and mononuclear phagocytic cells such as the thymus, mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. Severe congestion of these organs as well as erythrophagocytosis and lymphoid depletion in the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes were noted. Congestion and hemorrhage were also found in

  8. Cytolethal distending toxin in Escherichia coli O157:H7 : spectrum of conservation, structure, and endothelial toxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friedrich, Alexander W; Lu, Shan; Bielaszewska, Martina; Prager, Rita; Bruns, Phillip; Xu, Jian-Guo; Tschäpe, Helmut; Karch, Helge

    2006-01-01

    We identified the cytolethal distending toxin V (CDT-V) gene cluster in 19 (4.9%) of 391 enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7. cdt-V+ strains belonged to five phage types (PTs) and were most frequent within PTs 14 and 34. CDT-V was expressed in all but two cdt-V+ strains and was lethal to cult

  9. Use of immunofluorescence and animal tests to detect growth and toxin production by Clostridum botulinum type E in food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Midura, T; Taclindo, C; Nygaard, G S; Bodily, H L; Wood, R M

    1968-01-01

    The appearance of Clostridium botulinum type E organisms and of toxin in experimentally inoculated packages of turkey roll was followed to study the time relationship between the presence of vegetative cells and the demonstration of toxin. The presence of vegetative cells was determined by immunofluorescence, and animal tests were used to assay toxin production. Growth initiated from detoxified spores of C. botulinum type E resulted in toxin formation within 24 hr. Presence of fluorescing vegetative cells and of toxin coincided from 1 to 14 days of incubation. Beginning with the next testing date, day 21, differences were observed. Toxin could be detected for a longer time than vegetative cells. Neither toxin nor organisms could be found after 56 days of incubation. The mouse lethal dose tests (MLD per gram of turkey roll) showed fluctuations in the amount of toxin present throughout the period of testing. Maximal amounts of toxin were present during the period when fluorescing organisms were also more numerous. The applications of immunofluorescence in the study and in the diagnosis of botulism is discussed.

  10. Characterization of six toxins from the venom of the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus mardochei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, O; Martin, M F; Rochat, H

    1987-02-02

    When the venom of the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus mardochei was submitted to a combination of several chromatographic steps (including gel-filtration and ion-exchange chromatographies), seven proteins were obtained, six being lethal to mice. These proteins have been characterized by their chemical, immunological and toxic properties. The amino acid sequence (66 residues) of Bom III, the most noteworthy toxin of the venom as for its amino acid composition, is proposed following automatic sequencing of the reduced and S-methylated protein and of chymotryptic peptides. It was obvious that this sequence is somewhat different from those of toxins belonging to the same structural and immunological group (Bom III was found to be immunologically related to Buthus occitanus tunetanus toxins I and II which both share with it 56% of homology. Furthermore, Bom III was found to be unable to compete (as does Bot I) with toxin II of Androctonus australis Hector (an alpha-type toxin) for neurotoxin binding site 3 on the sodium channel of rat brain synaptosomes. Bom III was also unable to compete with toxin II of Centruroides suffusus suffusus (a beta-type toxin) to neurotoxin binding site 4 of the same channel.

  11. Tissue-specific patterning of host innate immune responses by Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Russell E N; Berube, Bryan J; Sampedro, Georgia R; DeDent, Andrea C; Bubeck Wardenburg, Juliane

    2014-01-01

    Immunomodulatory cytotoxins are prominent virulence factors produced by Staphylococcus aureus, a leading cause of bacterial sepsis, skin infection, and pneumonia. S. aureus α-toxin is a pore-forming toxin that utilizes a widely expressed receptor, ADAM10, to injure the host epithelium, endothelium, and immune cells. As each host tissue is characterized by a unique composition of resident cells and recruited immune cells, the outcome of α-toxin-mediated injury may depend on the infected tissue environment. Utilizing myeloid lineage-specific Adam10 knockout mice, we show that α-toxin exerts tissue-specific effects on innate immunity to staphylococcal infection. Loss of ADAM10 expression exacerbates skin infection, yet affords protection against lethal pneumonia. These diverse outcomes are not related to altered immune cell recruitment, but rather correlate with a defect in toxin-induced IL-1β production. Extension of these studies through analysis of ADAM10 double-knockout mice affecting both the myeloid lineage and either the skin or lung epithelium highlight the prominence of toxin-induced injury to the epithelium in governing the outcome of infection. Together, these studies provide evidence of tissue specificity of pore-forming cytotoxin action in the modulation of host immunity, and illustrate that the outcome of infection is a collective manifestation of all effects of the toxin within the tissue microenvironment.

  12. Molecular Investigation of the Aum Shinrikyo Anthrax Release in Kameido, Japan

    OpenAIRE

    2001-01-01

    In 1993, the Aum Shinrikyo cult aerosolized Bacillus anthracis spores over Kameido, Japan. Spore samples were obtained from the release site, cultured, and characterized by molecular genetic typing. The isolates were consistent with strain Sterne 34F2, which is used in Japan for animal prophylaxis against anthrax.

  13. Potentiation of anthrax vaccines using protective antigen-expressing viral replicon vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hai-Chao; An, Huai-Jie; Yu, Yun-Zhou; Xu, Qing

    2015-02-01

    DNA vaccines require improvement for human use because they are generally weak stimulators of the immune system in humans. The efficacy of DNA vaccines can be improved using a viral replicon as vector to administer antigen of pathogen. In this study, we comprehensively evaluated the conventional non-viral DNA, viral replicon DNA or viral replicon particles (VRP) vaccines encoding different forms of anthrax protective antigen (PA) for specific immunity and protective potency against anthrax. Our current results clearly suggested that these viral replicon DNA or VRP vaccines derived from Semliki Forest virus (SFV) induced stronger PA-specific immune responses than the conventional non-viral DNA vaccines when encoding the same antigen forms, which resulted in potent protection against challenge with the Bacillus anthracis strain A16R. Additionally, the naked PA-expressing SFV replicon DNA or VRP vaccines without the need for high doses or demanding particular delivery regimens elicited robust immune responses and afforded completely protective potencies, which indicated the potential of the SFV replicon as vector of anthrax vaccines for use in clinical application. Therefore, our results suggest that these PA-expressing SFV replicon DNA or VRP vaccines may be suitable as candidate vaccines against anthrax.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eker, Bilge; Yilmaz, Mahmut Deniz; Schlautmann, Stefan; Gardeniers, Johannes G.E.; Huskens, Jurriaan

    2011-01-01

    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 detecti

  15. Protective Immunization Against Inhalational Anthrax: A Comparison of Minimally Invasive Delivery Platforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-12-15

    associ- ated with the technique. Intranasal (inl) delivery is another alternative to im delivery. It has the potential to induce mucosal immunity [21–26...Leppla SH, Fujihashi K, McGhee JR. Effective mucosal immunity to anthrax: neutralizing antibodies and Th cell responses following nasal immunization

  16. Prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin systems: novel regulations of the toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuka, Yuichi

    2016-05-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are widely conserved in prokaryotic plasmids and chromosomes and are linked to many roles in cell physiology, including plasmid maintenance, stress response, persistence and protection from phage infection. A TA system is composed of a stable toxin and a labile antitoxin that inhibits a harmful effect of the cognate toxin. When gene expression from the TA loci is repressed under certain conditions such as nutrient starvation, the toxin is freed from the rapidly degrading antitoxin and obstructs an essential cellular process, such as DNA replication, translation and peptidoglycan synthesis, which subsequently causes growth arrest. TA systems are classified into five types according to the nature and the function of antitoxins, and the activity of toxins is tightly regulated in a variety of ways. This short-review highlights several novel regulatory mechanisms for Escherichia coli toxins that we recently discovered.

  17. Immunochromatographic purification of a nematocyst toxin from the cnidarian Chironex fleckeri (sea wasp).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, C E; Pockl, E E; Calton, G J; Burnett, J W

    1984-01-01

    A cardiotoxin from "milked venom" of the sea wasp (Chironex fleckeri) was purified by immunochromatography on an immobilized mouse monoclonal anti-Portuguese man-o'war (Physalia physalis) venom antibody column. The 20,000 molecular weight toxin caused bradycardia followed by cell lysis when applied to cultured chick embryonic cardiocytes at concentrations higher than 1.7 micrograms protein per ml and was lethal to mice at 0.04 micrograms protein per g. The toxin affected ion permeability in lipid bilayer membranes by forming monovalent cation channels.

  18. [Cytolethal distending toxins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curová, K; Kmeťová, M; Siegfried, L

    2014-06-01

    Cytolethal distending toxins (CDT) are intracellularly acting proteins which interfere with the eukaryotic cell cycle. They are produced by Gram-negative bacteria with affinity to mucocutaneous surfaces and could play a role in the pathogenesis of various mammalian diseases. The functional toxin is composed of three proteins: CdtB entering the nucleus and by its nuclease activity inducing nuclear fragmentation and chromatin disintegration, CdtA, and CdtC, the two latter being responsible for toxin attachment to the surface of the target cell. Cytotoxic effect of CDT leads to the cell cycle arrest before the cell enters mitosis and to further changes (cell distension and death, apoptosis) depending on the cell type. Thus, CDT may function as a virulence factor in pathogenic bacteria that produce it and thus may contribute to the initiation of certain diseases. Most important are inflammatory bowel diseases caused by intestinal bacteria, periodontitis with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans as the aetiologic agent and ulcus molle where Haemophilus ducreyi is the causative agent.

  19. Method for detecting biological toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  1. Recombinant Toxins for Cancer Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastan, Ira; Fitzgerald, David

    1991-11-01

    Recombinant toxins target cell surface receptors and antigens on tumor cells. They kill by mechanisms different from conventional chemotherapy, so that cross resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents should not be a problem. Furthermore, they are not mutagens and should not induce secondary malignancies or accelerate progression of benign malignancies. They can be mass-produced cheaply in bacteria as homogeneous proteins. Either growth factor-toxin fusions or antibody-toxin fusions can be chosen, depending on the cellular target.

  2. Pore formation by Cry toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soberón, Mario; Pardo, Liliana; Muñóz-Garay, Carlos; Sánchez, Jorge; Gómez, Isabel; Porta, Helena; Bravo, Alejandra

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria produce insecticidal Cry and Cyt proteins used in the biological control of different insect pests. In this review, we will focus on the 3d-Cry toxins that represent the biggest group of Cry proteins and also on Cyt toxins. The 3d-Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins that induce cell death by forming ionic pores into the membrane of the midgut epithelial cells in their target insect. The initial steps in the mode of action include ingestion of the protoxin, activation by midgut proteases to produce the toxin fragment and the interaction with the primary cadherin receptor. The interaction of the monomeric CrylA toxin with the cadherin receptor promotes an extra proteolytic cleavage, where helix alpha-1 of domain I is eliminated and the toxin oligomerization is induced, forming a structure of 250 kDa. The oligomeric structure binds to a secondary receptor, aminopeptidase N or alkaline phosphatase. The secondary receptor drives the toxin into detergent resistant membrane microdomains formingpores that cause osmotic shock, burst of the midgut cells and insect death. Regarding to Cyt toxins, these proteins have a synergistic effect on the toxicity of some Cry toxins. Cyt proteins are also proteolytic activated in the midgut lumen of their target, they bind to some phospholipids present in the mosquito midgut cells. The proposed mechanism of synergism between Cry and Cyt toxins is that Cyt1Aa function as a receptor for Cry toxins. The Cyt1A inserts into midgut epithelium membrane and exposes protein regions that are recognized by Cry11Aa. It was demonstrated that this interaction facilitates the oligomerization of Cry11Aa and also its pore formation activity.

  3. Immunological dynamics in response to two anthrax vaccines in mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    In order to understand the variation of humoral and cellular immune responses to A16R live spore and AVA vaccine and to identify efficient immunological parameters for the early evaluation of post immu- nization in mice, we dynamically monitored the antibody production and cellular responses after the vaccination of Balb/C mice with the anthrax vaccines. The results show that both anti-AVA and anti-Spore antibodies were detectable in the A16R live spore vaccinated group while high titers of anti-AVA antibodies but not anti-Spore antibodies existed in the AVA-immunized group. IgG1 and IgG2 were the major subtypes of IgG in both of the two groups. However, the IgG2a level was significantly higher in the A16R group than in the AVA group. At the cellular level, responses of antigen-specific TH2, TH1 and plasma cells were detected. The peripheral TH2 responses could be seen on day 5 after vac- cination, and remained at a high level throughout the experiment (from day 5 post primary immuniza- tion to day 60 post the tertiary immunization); the TH1 responses to A16R vaccine appeared on day 5, while the responses to AVA could only be detected by day 7 after the secondary immunization; a low level of TH1 responses could be observed at the end of the experiment. Antigen-specific plasma cells could be found in the peripheral blood of both the immunized groups, however, the responses in the A16R group appeared earlier, lasted longer, and shown an ascending tendency until the end of the ex- periment when the plasma cell responses in the AVA group were reduced to a very low level. The re- sults suggest that the multiple antigen containing A16R live spore vaccine induces better immune re- sponses than AVA. Combined with serum antibody titers, TH2, TH1 and plasma cell responses could be used as immunological parameters for the evaluation of vaccine efficacy. These findings may afford new insight into the early evaluation of vaccination as well as being a powerful strategy for

  4. Immunological dynamics in response to two anthrax vaccines in mice

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    L(U) Jin; HE Rui; DONG Mei; ZHANG LiangYan; WANG XiLiang

    2008-01-01

    In order to understand the variation of humoral and cellular immune responses to A16R live spore and AVA vaccine and to identify efficient immunological parameters for the early evaluation of post immu-nization in mice, we dynamically monitored the antibody production and cellular responses after the vaccination of Balb/C mice with the anthrax vaccines. The results show that both anti-AVA and anti-Spore antibodies were detectable in the A16R live spore vaccinated group while high titers of anti-AVA antibodies but not anti-Spore antibodies existed in the AVA-immunized group, IgG1 and IgG2 were the major subtypes of IgG in both of the two groups. However, the IgG2a level was significantly higher in the A16R group than in the AVA group. At the cellular level, responses of antigen-specific TH2, TH1 and plasma cells were detected. The peripheral TH2 responses could be seen on day 5 after vac-cination, and remained at a high level throughout the experiment (from day 5 post primary immuniza-tion to day 60 post the tertiary immunization); the TH1 responses to A16R vaccine appeared on day 5, while the responses to AVA could only be detected by day 7 after the secondary immunization; a low level of TH1 responses could be observed at the end of the experiment. Antigen-specific plasma cells could be found in the peripheral blood of both the immunized groups, however, the responses in the A16R group appeared earlier, lasted longer, and shown an ascending tendency until the end of the ex-periment when the plasma cell responses in the AVA group were reduced to a very low level. The re-sults suggest that the multiple antigen containing A16R live spore vaccine induces better immune re-sponses than AVA. Combined with serum antibody titers, TH2, TH1 and plasma cell responses could be used as immunological parameters for the evaluation of vaccine efficacy, These findings may afford new insight into the early evaluation of vaccination as well as being a powerful strategy for vaccine

  5. Chironex fleckeri (box jellyfish) venom proteins: expansion of a cnidarian toxin family that elicits variable cytolytic and cardiovascular effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Diane L; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; McInerney, Bernie V; Mulvenna, Jason; Seymour, Jamie E; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2014-02-21

    The box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri produces extremely potent and rapid-acting venom that is harmful to humans and lethal to prey. Here, we describe the characterization of two C. fleckeri venom proteins, CfTX-A (∼40 kDa) and CfTX-B (∼42 kDa), which were isolated from C. fleckeri venom using size exclusion chromatography and cation exchange chromatography. Full-length cDNA sequences encoding CfTX-A and -B and a third putative toxin, CfTX-Bt, were subsequently retrieved from a C. fleckeri tentacle cDNA library. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the new toxins belong to a small family of potent cnidarian pore-forming toxins that includes two other C. fleckeri toxins, CfTX-1 and CfTX-2. Phylogenetic inferences from amino acid sequences of the toxin family grouped CfTX-A, -B, and -Bt in a separate clade from CfTX-1 and -2, suggesting that the C. fleckeri toxins have diversified structurally and functionally during evolution. Comparative bioactivity assays revealed that CfTX-1/2 (25 μg kg(-1)) caused profound effects on the cardiovascular system of anesthetized rats, whereas CfTX-A/B elicited only minor effects at the same dose. Conversely, the hemolytic activity of CfTX-A/B (HU50 = 5 ng ml(-1)) was at least 30 times greater than that of CfTX-1/2. Structural homology between the cubozoan toxins and insecticidal three-domain Cry toxins (δ-endotoxins) suggests that the toxins have a similar pore-forming mechanism of action involving α-helices of the N-terminal domain, whereas structural diversification among toxin members may modulate target specificity. Expansion of the cnidarian toxin family therefore provides new insights into the evolutionary diversification of box jellyfish toxins from a structural and functional perspective.

  6. THE SYNERGY OF BACTERIAL TOXINS,

    Science.gov (United States)

    TOXINS AND ANTITOXINS, STRENGTH(PHYSIOLOGY), BACTERIA, CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS, CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI , CLOSTRIDIUM , STAPHYLOCOCCUS, ESCHERICHIA COLI, PROTEUS, ETIOLOGY, ANTIGENS, ANTIBODIES, AMINO ACIDS.

  7. Retrospective review of the case of cutaneous anthrax-malignant pustule from 1995 in 15-year old girl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajfasz, Piotr; Bartoszcze, Michał; Borkowski, Piotr Karol; Basiak, Wojciech

    2014-01-01

    A 15-year-old girl was admitted to our Department with cutaneous lesion resembling black eschar. Anamnesis revealed that before getting ill she was wearing pullover made of rough sheep's wool and ornaments made of leather like straps. Cutaneous anthrax was confirmed by identification of B. anthracis in specimens from weeping ulceration, culture from black eschar, thermoprecipitation test, and bioassay on guinea pig. The girl was treated with crystalline Penicillin. She responded well to the therapy and recovered after 28 days. What attracts attention in presented case is the fact that the girl didn't belong to high risk group of human anthrax, which might lead to misdiagnosis. In 1990-1999, Poland there were reported 22 cases of anthrax - it was almost exclusively cutaneous form. In the years following 1999 antrax was reported even less often - in the period 1991-2013 it was recorded a total of 26 cutaneous anthrax cases.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-01

    findings from the study of the accidental 1979 Sverdlovsk anthrax release in Russia , researchers have predicted that a 1- kg release of an anthrax...Equivalent Professional.” 167 Clare Stroud et al., “Commissioned Paper: A Cost and Speed Analysis of Strategies,” National Center for Biotechnology ...Bass. “Commissioned Paper: A Cost and Speed Analysis of Strategies.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2011. http

  10. Evidence for the involvement of nematocidal toxins of Purpureocillium lilacinum 6029 cultured on Karanja deoiled cake liquid medium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Abhishek; Sharma, Satyawati; Mittal, Aditya; Naik, S N

    2016-05-01

    In present study, in vitro nematocidal bioassays, FT-IR and HPLC analysis were employed to demonstrate the involvement of toxins of Purpureocillium lilacinum in killing root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita). During growth study, maximum mycelial biomass (10.52 g/l) in de-oiled Karanja cake medium was achieved on 8th day while complete mortality of nematodes was obtained by 6th day filtrate (FKSM). Maximum production of crude nematocidal toxin was recorded on 7th day suggesting that the toxin production was paralleled with growth of the fungus. The median lethal concentration (LC50) determined for the crude toxin from 6th day to 10th day ranged from 89.41 to 43.21 ppm. The median lethal time (LT50) for the crude toxin of FKSM was found to be 1.46 h. This is the first report of implementing a comparative infra-red spectroscopy coupled with HPLC analysis to predict the presence of nematocidal toxin in the fungal filtrate cultured on Karanja deoiled cake liquid medium.

  11. Australian venomous jellyfish, envenomation syndromes, toxins and therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibballs, James

    2006-12-01

    The seas and oceans around Australia harbour numerous venomous jellyfish. Chironex fleckeri, the box jellyfish, is the most lethal causing rapid cardiorespiratory depression and although its venom has been characterised, its toxins remain to be identified. A moderately effective antivenom exists which is also partially effective against another chirodropid, Chiropsalmus sp. Numerous carybdeids, some unidentified, cause less severe illness, including Carybdea rastoni whose toxins CrTX-A and CrTX-B are large proteins. Carukia barnesi, another small carybdeid is one cause of the 'Irukandji' syndrome which includes delayed pain from severe muscle cramping, vomiting, anxiety, restlessness, sweating and prostration, and occasionally severe hypertension and acute cardiac failure. The syndrome is in part caused by release of catecholamines but the cause of heart failure is undefined. The venom contains a sodium channel modulator. Two species of Physalia are present and although one is potentially lethal, has not caused death in Australian waters. Other significant genera of jellyfish include Tamoya, Pelagia, Cyanea, Aurelia and Chyrosaora.

  12. Staphylococcus aureus α toxin potentiates opportunistic bacterial lung infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Taylor S; Hilliard, Jamese J; Jones-Nelson, Omari; Keller, Ashley E; O'Day, Terrence; Tkaczyk, Christine; DiGiandomenico, Antonio; Hamilton, Melissa; Pelletier, Mark; Wang, Qun; Diep, Binh An; Le, Vien T M; Cheng, Lily; Suzich, JoAnn; Stover, C Kendall; Sellman, Bret R

    2016-03-01

    Broad-spectrum antibiotic use may adversely affect a patient's beneficial microbiome and fuel cross-species spread of drug resistance. Although alternative pathogen-specific approaches are rationally justified, a major concern for this precision medicine strategy is that co-colonizing or co-infecting opportunistic bacteria may still cause serious disease. In a mixed-pathogen lung infection model, we find that the Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor α toxin potentiates Gram-negative bacterial proliferation, systemic spread, and lethality by preventing acidification of bacteria-containing macrophage phagosomes, thereby reducing effective killing of both S. aureus and Gram-negative bacteria. Prophylaxis or early treatment with a single α toxin neutralizing monoclonal antibody prevented proliferation of co-infecting Gram-negative pathogens and lethality while also promoting S. aureus clearance. These studies suggest that some pathogen-specific, antibody-based approaches may also work to reduce infection risk in patients colonized or co-infected with S. aureus and disparate drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial opportunists.

  13. Botulinum toxin the poison that heals: A brief review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Shubha Ranjan; Passi, Deepak; Singh, Mahinder; Singh, Purnima; Sharma, Sarang; Sharma, Abhimanyu

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram-positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. This paper aims at discussing botulinum neurotoxin, its structure, mechanism of action, pharmacology, its serotypes and the reasons for wide use of type A, the various indications and contraindications of the use of botulinum neurotoxin and finally the precautions taken when botulinum neurotoxin is used as a treatment approach. We have searched relevant articles on this subject in various medical databases including Google Scholar, PubMed Central, ScienceDirect, Wiley Online Library, Scopus, and Copernicus. The search resulted in more than 2669 articles, out of which a total of 187 were reviewed. However, the review has been further constricted into only 54 articles as has been presented in this manuscript keeping in mind the page limitation and the limitation to the number of references. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin (BT) is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle-associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. A fascinating aspect of BT research in recent years has been the development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility. It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for the treatment of human diseases. The present review focuses on both warfare potential as well as medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin.

  14. Capsules, toxins and AtxA as virulence factors of emerging Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brézillon, Christophe; Haustant, Michel; Dupke, Susann; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E; Klee, Silke R; Goossens, Pierre L

    2015-04-01

    Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain) and Côte d'Ivoire (CI strain). These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA) capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have emerged.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kracalik, Ian; Abdullayev, Rakif; Asadov, Kliment; Ismayilova, Rita; Baghirova, Mehriban; Ustun, Narmin; Shikhiyev, Mazahir; Talibzade, Aydin; Blackburn, Jason K

    2014-07-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-19

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

  18. Genetic diversity within Clostridium botulinum serotypes, botulinum neurotoxin gene clusters and toxin subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Karen K; Smith, Theresa J

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum is a species of spore-forming anaerobic bacteria defined by the expression of any one or two of seven serologically distinct botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) designated BoNT/A-G. This Gram-positive bacterium was first identified in 1897 and since then the paralyzing and lethal effects of its toxin have resulted in the recognition of different forms of the intoxication known as food-borne, infant, or wound botulism. Early microbiological and biochemical characterization of C. botulinum isolates revealed that the bacteria within the species had different characteristics and expressed different toxin types. To organize the variable bacterial traits within the species, Group I-IV designations were created. Interestingly, it was observed that isolates within different Groups could express the same toxin type and conversely a single Group could express different toxin types. This discordant phylogeny between the toxin and the host bacteria indicated that horizontal gene transfer of the toxin was responsible for the variation observed within the species. The recent availability of multiple C. botulinum genomic sequences has offered the ability to bioinformatically analyze the locations of the bont genes, the composition of their toxin gene clusters, and the genes flanking these regions to understand their variation. Comparison of the genomic sequences representing multiple serotypes indicates that the bont genes are not in random locations. Instead the analyses revealed specific regions where the toxin genes occur within the genomes representing serotype A, B, C, E, and F C. botulinum strains and C. butyricum type E strains. The genomic analyses have provided evidence of horizontal gene transfer, site-specific insertion, and recombination events. These events have contributed to the variation observed among the neurotoxins, the toxin gene clusters and the bacteria that contain them, and has supported the historical microbiological, and biochemical

  19. A recombinant carboxy-terminal domain of alpha-toxin protects mice against Clostridium perfringens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagahama, Masahiro; Oda, Masataka; Kobayashi, Keiko; Ochi, Sadayuki; Takagishi, Teruhisa; Shibutani, Masahiro; Sakurai, Jun

    2013-05-01

    Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin (CP, 370 residues) is one of the main agents involved in the development of gas gangrene. In this study, the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the C-terminal domain (CP251-370) of the toxin and phospholipase C (PLC; CB, 372 residues) of Clostridum bifermentans isolated from cases of clostridium necrosis were examined. The recombinant proteins were expressed as glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins. Antibodies that cross-reacted with alpha-toxin were produced after immunization with recombinant proteins including GST-CP251-370, GST-CP281-370, GST-CP311-370, CB1-372 and GST-CB251-372. Anti-GST-CP251-370, anti-GST-CP281-370 and anti-GST-CP311-370 sera neutralized both the PLC and hemolytic activities of alpha-toxin, whereas anti-CB1-372 and anti-GST-CB251-372 weakly neutralized these activities. Immunization with GST-CP251-370 and GST-CP281-370 provided protection against the lethal effects of the toxin and C. perfringens type A NCTC8237. Partial protection from the toxin and C. perfringens was elicited by immunization with GST-CP311-370 and CB1-372. GST-CP251-370 and GST-CP281-370 are promising candidates for vaccines for clostridial-induced gas gangrene.

  20. The adherens junctions control susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Lauren M; Marceau, Caleb D; Starkl, Philipp M; Lumb, Jennifer H; Shah, Jimit; Guerrera, Diego; Cooper, Rachel L; Merakou, Christina; Bouley, Donna M; Meng, Wenxiang; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Takeichi, Masatoshi; Galli, Stephen J; Bagnoli, Fabio; Citi, Sandra; Carette, Jan E; Amieva, Manuel R

    2015-11-17

    Staphylococcus aureus is both a transient skin colonizer and a formidable human pathogen, ranking among the leading causes of skin and soft tissue infections as well as severe pneumonia. The secreted bacterial α-toxin is essential for S. aureus virulence in these epithelial diseases. To discover host cellular factors required for α-toxin cytotoxicity, we conducted a genetic screen using mutagenized haploid human cells. Our screen identified a cytoplasmic member of the adherens junctions, plekstrin-homology domain containing protein 7 (PLEKHA7), as the second most significantly enriched gene after the known α-toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10). Here we report a new, unexpected role for PLEKHA7 and several components of cellular adherens junctions in controlling susceptibility to S. aureus α-toxin. We find that despite being injured by α-toxin pore formation, PLEKHA7 knockout cells recover after intoxication. By infecting PLEKHA7(-/-) mice with methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 LAC strain, we demonstrate that this junctional protein controls disease severity in both skin infection and lethal S. aureus pneumonia. Our results suggest that adherens junctions actively control cellular responses to a potent pore-forming bacterial toxin and identify PLEKHA7 as a potential nonessential host target to reduce S. aureus virulence during epithelial infections.

  1. A lethal combination of toxins and biofilms aids soft tissue fossilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKenzie, L. A.; Hinman, N. W.; Kohn, M. J.; Olin, P. H.

    2012-12-01

    Biofilms, thin microbial communities encased in extracellular polymeric substances, are thought to aid in fossilization, particularly in cases of extraordinary preservation of soft tissues in Konservat-Lagerstätten deposits. The mechanisms by which this occurs, however, are poorly understood. Modern marine biofilms take up trace elements (e.g., Cu, P, Fe, Zn, Cd), some of which are toxic. In this study we investigated trace element patterns across worm fossils from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang biota (Yunnan, China) to explore whether toxic metals preferentially accumulated in soft tissues, retarding biodegradation and promoting extraordinary preservation. This biota is the oldest of the Burgess Shale Type (BST) Lagerstätten, which preserve soft-bodied fossils that range in age from early Cambrian to Ordovician. Concentrations of 24 light elements, transition metals, heavy metals, actinides and lanthanides were measured using laser-ablation ICP-MS in 2-4 mm long transects across rock matrix and 1-2 mm wide fossils to create matrix-worm-matrix geochemical profiles. Spatial and compositional resolutions were ~50 μm and ~1ppm. Six worm fossils were analyzed, and all show higher concentrations of P, Sc, V, Cr, Fe, Ni, Cu, Mo, Sb, Th, and U than the matrix. Increases in Na, Mg, Al, K, Ca, Mn, Co, Sr, Ba, Ce, and Pb were found in some, but not all samples. None of the samples showed significant increases in Ti. Abiotic processes cannot explain increased concentrations of all of these elements, which include both redox-sensitive and immobile elements. Instead we propose that biofilms formed on the surface of the organisms shortly after death (hours to days). Bioaccumulation of toxic trace elements sealed the worms under a thin, deadly trace-element-rich film that prevented further degradation. This process allowed diagenetic cements to form a rigid rock matrix and preserve these delicate fossils. If so, trace element accumulation by biofilms may provide the key for understanding the occurrence of soft tissues in the fossil record, such as BST deposits and other Lagerstätten.

  2. Producing, controlling, and stabilizing Pasteur's anthrax vaccine: creating a new industry and a health market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassier, Maurice

    2008-06-01

    When Pasteur and Chamberland hastily set up their small biological industry to meet the agricultural demand for the anthrax vaccine, their methods for preparation and production had not yet been stabilized. The process of learning how to standardize biological products was accelerated in 1882 when vaccination accidents required the revision of production norms as the first hypotheses on fixity, inalterability, and transportability of vaccines were invalidated and replaced by procedures for continuous monitoring of the calibration of vaccines and the renewal of vaccine strains. Initially, the incompleteness and ongoing development of production standards justified Pasteur's monopoly on the production of the anthrax vaccine under his immediate supervision. Later on, the Pasteur Institute maintained control of these standards in the framework of a commercial monopoly that it established on the veterinary vaccines first sent and then cultivated abroad by the Société de Vulgarisation du Vaccin Charbonneux Pasteur, founded in 1886.

  3. Protocol for Real-Time PCR Identification of Anthrax Spores from Nasal Swabs after Broth Enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oggioni, Marco R.; Meacci, Francesca; Carattoli, Alessandra; Ciervo, Alessandra; Orru, Germano; Cassone, Antonio; Pozzi, Gianni

    2002-01-01

    A mass-screening protocol for the diagnosis of anthrax from nasal swabs based on an enrichment step in liquid medium was devised. Incubation for growth was performed in autoclavable vials and racks which allow real-time PCR analysis of sterilized cultures. A dual-color PCR was set up with primers and probes for the chromosomal marker rpoB and the plasmid marker lef. Specific primer and probe sets were designed for the differentiation of Bacillus anthracis from B. cereus and for the differentiation of the Sterne vaccine strain from field isolates and the Ames strain, which was used in the recent anthrax bioterrorist attack. The present protocol thus combines the high specificity and sensitivity of real-time PCR with excellent biosafety and the low hands-on time necessary for the processing of large numbers of samples, which is extremely important during control programs involving the processing of large numbers of samples. PMID:12409358

  4. Special considerations for prophylaxis for and treatment of anthrax in pregnant and postpartum women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meaney-Delman, Dana; Zotti, Marianne E; Creanga, Andreea A; Misegades, Lara K; Wako, Etobssie; Treadwell, Tracee A; Messonnier, Nancy E; Jamieson, Denise J

    2014-02-01

    In August 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, convened a meeting of national subject matter experts to review key clinical elements of anthrax prevention and treatment for pregnant, postpartum, and lactating (P/PP/L) women. National experts in infectious disease, obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatrics, and pharmacy attended the meeting, as did representatives from professional organizations and national, federal, state, and local agencies. The meeting addressed general principles of prevention and treatment for P/PP/L women, vaccines, antimicrobial prophylaxis and treatment, clinical considerations and critical care issues, antitoxin, delivery concerns, infection control measures, and communication. The purpose of this meeting summary is to provide updated clinical information to health care providers and public health professionals caring for P/PP/L women in the setting of a bioterrorist event involving anthrax.

  5. Modeling Tool for Decision Support during Early Days of an Anthrax Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meltzer, Martin I.; Shadomy, Sean; Bower, William A.; Hupert, Nathaniel

    2017-01-01

    Health officials lack field-implementable tools for forecasting the effects that a large-scale release of Bacillus anthracis spores would have on public health and hospitals. We created a modeling tool (combining inhalational anthrax caseload projections based on initial case reports, effects of variable postexposure prophylaxis campaigns, and healthcare facility surge capacity requirements) to project hospitalizations and casualties from a newly detected inhalation anthrax event, and we examined the consequences of intervention choices. With only 3 days of case counts, the model can predict final attack sizes for simulated Sverdlovsk-like events (1979 USSR) with sufficient accuracy for decision making and confirms the value of early postexposure prophylaxis initiation. According to a baseline scenario, hospital treatment volume peaks 15 days after exposure, deaths peak earlier (day 5), and recovery peaks later (day 23). This tool gives public health, hospital, and emergency planners scenario-specific information for developing quantitative response plans for this threat. PMID:27983505

  6. An efficient method for the purification of proteins from four distinct toxin-antitoxin modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterckx, Yann G-J; De Gieter, Steven; Zorzini, Valentina; Hadži, San; Haesaerts, Sarah; Loris, Remy; Garcia-Pino, Abel

    2015-04-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules are stress response elements that are ubiquitous in the genomes of bacteria and archaea. Production and subsequent purification of individual TA proteins is anything but straightforward as over-expression of the toxin gene is lethal to bacterial and eukaryotic cells and over-production of the antitoxin leads to its proteolytic degradation because of its inherently unstructured nature. Here we describe an effective production and purification strategy centered on an on-column denaturant-induced dissociation of the toxin-antitoxin complex. The success of the method is demonstrated by its application on four different TA families, encoding proteins with distinct activities and folds. A series of biophysical and in vitro activity tests show that the purified proteins are of high quality and suitable for structural studies.

  7. Purification, amino-acid sequence and partial characterization of two toxins with anti-insect activity from the venom of the South American scorpion Tityus bahiensis (Buthidae).

    OpenAIRE

    2001-01-01

    We report here the isolation by a two-step chromatographic procedure of two new toxins from the South American scorpion Tityus bahiensis. Their amino-acid sequences and some of their biological features were established. The two toxins have different biological properties. Toxin TbIT-I had almost no activity or pharmacological effects in vertebrate tissues whereas it was lethal to house ¯ies (LD50 80.0 ng/house ¯y). In contrast, Tb2-II was active against both mammals (intracerebroventricular ...

  8. Roles of Macrophages and Neutrophils in the Early Host Response to Bacillus anthracis Spores in a Mouse Model of Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    basophil and lymphocyte populations. In some experiments, control mice were pretreated with saline, and in others, rat IgG (reagent grade, from serum... International . REFERENCES 1. Abalakin, V. A., E. G. Sirina, and T. D. Cherkasova. 1990. The effect of lethal anthrax toxin on the functional activity of...The structure of spores as revealed by mechanical disruption. J. Bacteriol. 66:312–319. 16. Friedlander, A. M. 2000. Anthrax: clinical features

  9. 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 th

  10. 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.

  11. 炭疽病研究进展%Research advance in anthrax

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王刚; 刘玉峰

    2003-01-01

    @@ 2001年发生在美国的恐怖袭击事件使炭疽病(Anthrax)再次受到广泛的关注,该事件使5名受害者死于吸入性炭疽,并在全世界范围内造成了一定程度的恐慌[1,2].

  12. The Anthrax Terror. DOD’s Number-One Biological Threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    large quantities of anthrax and glanders organisms were grown. A Ger­ man agent, Capt Frederick Hinsch, used these to inoculate horses in Baltimore...program began receiv­ ing scrutiny under President F. W. de Klerk in the early 1990s, which led to the firing of nu­ merous scientists working the program...Rise of CB Weapons (New York: Humanities Press, 1971), 216; and Frederick R. Sidell, Ernest T. Takafuji, and David R. Franz, eds., Textbook of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-21

    considered to be a treat- ment of choice for anthrax, numerous reports of -lactamase- producing strains and of treatment failures have appeared in the...model of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection (28), and in a rat model of S. aureus granuloma pouch infection (27). Mice ( female CD-1; body weight, 19...may have resulted from the expression of a cryptic or inducible -lactamase (37). DISCUSSION Oritavancin, a lipoglycopeptide antibiotic that is

  14. [Vaccines against anthrax in animals, from Louis Pasteur to our day].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shlyakhov, E; Blancou, J; Rubinstein, E

    1996-09-01

    The authors outline the history of vaccination against anthrax in animals, from the end of the 19th century to the present time. The three main steps in the production of specific vaccines are described in detail: production of vaccines from live, encapsulated bacteria, followed by vaccines from live, unencapsulated bacteria and, finally, subunit vaccines. Advantages and disadvantages of these three types of vaccine, some of which are still in use today, are described and discussed.

  15. Cholesterol Metabolism and Prostate Cancer Lethality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stopsack, Konrad H; Gerke, Travis A; Sinnott, Jennifer A; Penney, Kathryn L; Tyekucheva, Svitlana; Sesso, Howard D; Andersson, Swen-Olof; Andrén, Ove; Cerhan, James R; Giovannucci, Edward L; Mucci, Lorelei A; Rider, Jennifer R

    2016-08-15

    Cholesterol metabolism has been implicated in prostate cancer pathogenesis. Here, we assessed the association of intratumoral mRNA expression of cholesterol synthesis enzymes, transporters, and regulators in tumor specimen at diagnosis and lethal prostate cancer, defined as mortality or metastases from prostate cancer in contrast to nonlethal disease without evidence of metastases after at least 8 years of follow-up. We analyzed the prospective prostate cancer cohorts within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n = 249) and the Physicians' Health Study (n = 153) as well as expectantly managed patients in the Swedish Watchful Waiting Study (n = 338). The expression of squalene monooxygenase (SQLE) was associated with lethal cancer in all three cohorts. Men with high SQLE expression (>1 standard deviation above the mean) were 8.3 times (95% confidence interval, 3.5 to 19.7) more likely to have lethal cancer despite therapy compared with men with the mean level of SQLE expression. Absolute SQLE expression was associated with lethal cancer independently from Gleason grade and stage, as was a SQLE expression ratio in tumor versus surrounding benign prostate tissue. Higher SQLE expression was tightly associated with increased histologic markers of angiogenesis. Collectively, this study establishes the prognostic value of intratumoral cholesterol synthesis as measured via SQLE, its second rate-limiting enzyme. SQLE expression at cancer diagnosis is prognostic for lethal prostate cancer both after curative-intent prostatectomy and in a watchful waiting setting, possibly by facilitating micrometastatic disease. Cancer Res; 76(16); 4785-90. ©2016 AACR.

  16. 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.

  17. The necrophagous fly anthrax transmission pathway: empirical and genetic evidence from wildlife epizootics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Jason K; Van Ert, Matthew; Mullins, Jocelyn C; Hadfield, Ted L; Hugh-Jones, Martin E

    2014-08-01

    Early studies confirmed Bacillus anthracis in emesis and feces of flies under laboratory conditions, but there is little empirical field evidence supporting the roles of flies in anthrax transmission. We collected samples during outbreaks of anthrax affecting livestock and native and exotic wildlife on two ranches in West Texas (2009-2010). Sampling included animal carcasses, maggots, adult flies feeding on or within several meters of carcasses, and leaves from surrounding vegetation. Microbiology and PCR were used to detect B. anthracis in the samples. Viable B. anthracis and/or PCR-positive results were obtained from all represented sample types. Genetic analysis of B. anthracis samples using multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) confirmed that each ranch represented a distinct genetic lineage. Within each ranch, we detected the same genotype of B. anthracis from carcasses, maggots, and adult flies. The results of this study provide evidence supporting a transmission cycle in which blowflies contaminate vegetation near carcasses that may then infect additional browsing animals during anthrax outbreaks in the shrubland environment of West Texas.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumaresan Nagarajan

    2015-03-01

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

  19. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, safety and immunogenicity study of 4 formulations of Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed plus CPG 7909 (AV7909) in healthy adult volunteers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Robert J; Daczkowski, Nancy F; Kaptur, Paulina E; Muse, Derek; Sheldon, Eric; LaForce, Craig; Sari, Suha; Rudge, Thomas L; Bernton, Edward

    2013-06-26

    A new anthrax vaccine that could accelerate the immune response and possibly reduce the number of injections needed for protection would be desirable in a post-exposure setting. This Phase 1 study compared the safety and immunogenicity of 2 IM doses (Days 0 and 14) of 4 formulations of AV7909 (AVA plus CPG 7909) with 2 IM doses of BioThrax(®) (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed) and 2 IM doses of saline placebo administered on Days 0 and 14. A total of 105 healthy adults 18-50 years of age were randomized to 1 of 6 study groups: BioThrax (0.5 mL), AV7909 Formulation 1 (0.5 mL AVA+0.5mg CPG 7909), AV7909 Formulation 2 (0.5 mL AVA+0.25mg CPG 7909), AV7909 Formulation 3 (0.25 mL AVA+0.5mg CPG 7909), AV7909 Formulation 4 (0.25 mL AVA+0.25mg CPG 7909), or saline placebo (0.5 mL). All randomized subjects received at least 1 vaccination, and 100 subjects completed the trial. After 2 doses, mean peak normalized toxin neutralizing antibody responses (TNA NF50) in the AV7909 groups were higher than in the BioThrax group. Differences among the 4 AV7909 groups were not statistically significant. Subjects who received AV7909 reached peak titers on Day 28 vs. Day 35 in the BioThrax group. The most common adverse events (AEs) in the BioThrax and AV7909 groups assessed as related to vaccination were injection site reactions. Transient lymphopenia was observed after the first dose in each AV7909 group. Frequencies of injection site and systemic reactions recorded by subjects in diaries for 7 days after each injection were highest with AV7909 Formulation 1. No AEs of special interest (autoimmune events) were observed in the study. Further studies of doses and dosing regimens are planned to assess the immunogenicity and reactogenicity of AV7909.

  20. Efficacy and safety of AVP-21D9, an anthrax monoclonal antibody, in animal models and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malkevich, Nina V; Hopkins, Robert J; Bernton, Edward; Meister, Gabriel T; Vela, Eric M; Atiee, George; Johnson, Virginia; Nabors, Gary S; Aimes, Ronald T; Ionin, Boris; Skiadopoulos, Mario H

    2014-07-01

    Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Timely administration of antibiotics approved for the treatment of anthrax disease may prevent associated morbidity and mortality. However, any delay in initiating antimicrobial therapy may result in increased mortality, as inhalational anthrax progresses rapidly to the toxemic phase of disease. An anthrax antitoxin, AVP-21D9, also known as Thravixa (fully human anthrax monoclonal antibody), is being developed as a therapeutic agent against anthrax toxemia. The efficacy of AVP-21D9 in B. anthracis-infected New Zealand White rabbits and in cynomolgus macaques was evaluated, and its safety and pharmacokinetics were assessed in healthy human volunteers. The estimated mean elimination half-life values of AVP-21D9 in surviving anthrax-challenged rabbits and nonhuman primates (NHPs) ranged from approximately 2 to 4 days and 6 to 11 days, respectively. In healthy humans, the mean elimination half-life was in the range of 20 to 27 days. Dose proportionality was observed for the maximum serum concentration (Cmax) of AVP-21D9 and the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC). In therapeutic efficacy animal models, treatment with AVP-21D9 resulted in survival of up to 92% of the rabbits and up to 67% of the macaques. Single infusions of AVP-21D9 were well tolerated in healthy adult volunteers across all doses evaluated, and no serious adverse events were reported. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT01202695.).

  1. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  3. Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Allen; Youngster, Ilan; McAdam, Alexander J

    2015-06-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is among the common causes of foodborne gastroenteritis. STEC is defined by the production of specific toxins, but within this pathotype there is a diverse group of organisms. This diversity has important consequences for understanding the pathogenesis of the organism, as well as for selecting the optimum strategy for diagnostic testing in the clinical laboratory. This review includes discussions of the mechanisms of pathogenesis, the range of manifestations of infection, and the several different methods of laboratory detection of Shiga toxin-producing E coli.

  4. Epsilon toxin: a fascinating pore-forming toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popoff, Michel R

    2011-12-01

    Epsilon toxin (ETX) is produced by strains of Clostridium perfringens classified as type B or type D. ETX belongs to the heptameric β-pore-forming toxins including aerolysin and Clostridium septicum alpha toxin, which are characterized by the formation of a pore through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells consisting in a β-barrel of 14 amphipatic β strands. By contrast to aerolysin and C. septicum alpha toxin, ETX is a much more potent toxin and is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep. ETX induces perivascular edema in various tissues and accumulates in particular in the kidneys and brain, where it causes edema and necrotic lesions. ETX is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the release of glutamate, which accounts for the symptoms of nervous excitation observed in animal enterotoxemia. At the cellular level, ETX causes rapid swelling followed by cell death involving necrosis. The precise mode of action of ETX remains to be determined. ETX is a powerful toxin, however, it also represents a unique tool with which to vehicle drugs into the central nervous system or target glutamatergic neurons.

  5. Advax-adjuvanted recombinant protective antigen provides protection against inhalational anthrax that is further enhanced by addition of murabutide adjuvant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinen, Brandon; Petrovsky, Nikolai; Verma, Anita; Merkel, Tod J

    2014-04-01

    Subunit vaccines against anthrax based on recombinant protective antigen (PA) potentially offer more consistent and less reactogenic anthrax vaccines but require adjuvants to achieve optimal immunogenicity. This study sought to determine in a murine model of pulmonary anthrax infection whether the polysaccharide adjuvant Advax or the innate immune adjuvant murabutide alone or together could enhance PA immunogenicity by comparison to an alum adjuvant. A single immunization with PA plus Advax adjuvant afforded significantly greater protection against aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain 7702 than three immunizations with PA alone. Murabutide had a weaker adjuvant effect than Advax when used alone, but when murabutide was formulated together with Advax, an additive effect on immunogenicity and protection was observed, with complete protection after just two doses. The combined adjuvant formulation stimulated a robust, long-lasting B-cell memory response that protected mice against an aerosol challenge 18 months postimmunization with acceleration of the kinetics of the anamnestic IgG response to B. anthracis as reflected by ∼4-fold-higher anti-PA IgG titers by day 2 postchallenge versus mice that received PA with Alhydrogel. In addition, the combination of Advax plus murabutide induced approximately 3-fold-less inflammation than Alhydrogel as measured by in vivo imaging of cathepsin cleavage resulting from injection of ProSense 750. Thus, the combination of Advax and murabutide provided enhanced protection against inhalational anthrax with reduced localized inflammation, making this a promising next-generation anthrax vaccine adjuvanting strategy.

  6. 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

  7. Mining of lethal recessive genetic variation in Danish cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Das, Ashutosh

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 ...

  9. 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)

  10. Brine shrimp lethality assay of Bacopa monnieri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Prashanth; Deepak, Mundkinajeddu; Rani, Padmaja; Kadamboor, Sandhya; Mathew, Anjana; Chandrashekar, Arun P; Agarwal, Amit

    2002-03-01

    Successive petroleum ether, chloroform, ethanol and water extracts, a saponin rich fraction (SRF) and bacoside A isolated from Bacopa monnieri were tested for brine shrimp lethality. Successive ethanol extracts and SRF showed potent activity. Bacoside A showed the maximum activity with a LC(50) of 38.3 microg/mL. The results confirmed the previous reports of an anticancer effect of Bacopa monnieri and suggest bacoside A as the active constituent.

  11. 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.

  12. Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nohemi Sala

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

  13. Complement component 5 promotes lethal thrombosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuno, Tomohiro; Yoshioka, Kengo; Mizuno, Masashi; Shimizu, Mie; Nagano, Fumihiko; Okuda, Tomoyuki; Tsuboi, Naotake; Maruyama, Shoichi; Nagamatsu, Tadashi; Imai, Masaki

    2017-01-01

    Extracellular histones promote platelet aggregation and thrombosis; this is followed by induction of coagulation disorder, which results in exhaustion of coagulation factors. Complement component 5 (C5) is known to be associated with platelet aggregation and coagulation system activation. To date, the pathological mechanism underlying liver injury has remained unclear. Here, we investigated whether C5 promotes liver injury associated with histone-induced lethal thrombosis. C5-sufficient and C5-deficient mice received single tail vein injections of purified, unfractionated histones obtained from calf thymus (45–75 μg/g). Subsequently, the mice were monitored for survival for up to 72 h. Based on the survival data, the 45 μg/g dose was used for analysis of blood cell count, liver function, blood coagulation ability, and promotion of platelet aggregation and platelet/leukocyte aggregate (PLA) production by extracellular histones. C5-deficient mice were protected from lethal thrombosis and had milder thrombocytopenia, consumptive coagulopathy, and liver injury with embolism and lower PLA production than C5-sufficient mice. These results indicate that C5 is associated with coagulation disorders, PLA production, and embolism-induced liver injury. In conclusion, C5 promotes liver injury associated with histone-induced lethal thrombosis. PMID:28205538

  14. Residues involved in the pore-forming activity of the Clostridium perfringens iota toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Oliver; Maier, Elke; Waltenberger, Eva; Mazuet, Christelle; Benz, Roland; Popoff, Michel R

    2015-02-01

    Clostridium perfringens iota toxin is a binary toxin that is organized into enzyme (Ia) and binding (Ib) components. Ib forms channels in lipid bilayers and mediates the transport of Ia into the target cells. Here we show that Ib residues 334-359 contain a conserved pattern of alternating hydrophobic and hydrophilic residues forming two amphipathic β-strands involved in membrane insertion and channel formation. This stretch of amino acids shows remarkable structural and functional analogies with the β-pore-forming domain of C. perfringens epsilon toxin. Several mutations within the two amphipathic β-strands affected pore formation, single-channel conductance and ion selectivity (S339E-S341E, Q345H N346E) confirming their involvement in channel formation. F454 of Ib corresponds to the Φ-clamp F427 of anthrax protective antigen and F428 of C2II binary toxins. The mutation F454A resulted in a loss of cytotoxicity and strong increase in single-channel conductance (500 pS as compared with 85 pS in 1 M KCl) with a slight decrease in cation selectivity, indicating that the Φ-clamp is highly conserved and crucial for binary toxin activity. In contrast, the mutants Q367D, N430D, L443E had no or only minor effects on Ib properties, while T360I, T360A and T360W caused a dramatic effect on ion selectivity and single-channel conductance, indicating gross disturbance of the oligomer structure. This suggests that, at least in the iota toxin family, T360 has a structural role in the pore organization. Moreover, introduction of charged residues within the channel (S339E-S341E) or in the vestibule (Q367D, N430D and L443E) had virtually no effect on chloroquine or Ia binding, whereas F454A, T360I, T360A and T360W strongly decreased the chloroquine and Ia affinity to Ib. These results support that distinct residues within the vestibule interact with chloroquine and Ia or are responsible for channel structure, while the channel lining amino acids play a less important role.

  15. Amino acid sequence of versutoxin, a lethal neurotoxin from the venom of the funnel-web spider Atrax versutus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M R; Sheumack, D D; Tyler, M I; Howden, M E

    1988-03-01

    The complete amino acid sequence of versutoxin, a lethal neurotoxic polypeptide isolated from the venom of male and female funnel-web spiders of the species Atrax versutus, was determined. Sequencing was performed in a gas-phase protein sequencer by automated Edman degradation of the S-carboxymethylated toxin and fragments of it produced by reaction with CNBr. Versutoxin consisted of a single chain of 42 amino acid residues. It was found to have a high proportion of basic residues and of cystine. The primary structure showed marked homology with that of robustoxin, a novel neurotoxin recently isolated from the venom of another funnel-web-spider species, Atrax robustus.

  16. Antibody-based biological toxin detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menking, D.E.; Goode, M.T. [Army Edgewood Research, Development and Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Fiber optic evanescent fluorosensors are under investigation in our laboratory for the study of drug-receptor interactions for detection of threat agents and antibody-antigen interactions for detection of biological toxins. In a direct competition assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin, Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B or ricin were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) - labeled toxins. In the indirect competition assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified anti-toxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or anti-toxin IgG in a dose dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  17. Scorpion toxins prefer salt solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikouee, Azadeh; Khabiri, Morteza; Cwiklik, Lukasz

    2015-11-01

    There is a wide variety of ion channel types with various types of blockers, making research in this field very complicated. To reduce this complexity, it is essential to study ion channels and their blockers independently. Scorpion toxins, a major class of blockers, are charged short peptides with high affinities for potassium channels. Their high selectivity and inhibitory properties make them an important pharmacological tool for treating autoimmune or nervous system disorders. Scorpion toxins typically have highly charged surfaces and-like other proteins-an intrinsic ability to bind ions (Friedman J Phys Chem B 115(29):9213-9223, 1996; Baldwin Biophys J 71(4):2056-2063, 1996; Vrbka et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103(42):15440-15444, 2006a; Vrbka et al. J Phys Chem B 110(13):7036-43, 2006b). Thus, their effects on potassium channels are usually investigated in various ionic solutions. In this work, computer simulations of protein structures were performed to analyze the structural properties of the key residues (i.e., those that are presumably involved in contact with the surfaces of the ion channels) of 12 scorpion toxins. The presence of the two most physiologically abundant cations, Na(+) and K(+), was considered. The results indicated that the ion-binding properties of the toxin residues vary. Overall, all of the investigated toxins had more stable structures in ionic solutions than in water. We found that both the number and length of elements in the secondary structure varied depending on the ionic solution used (i.e., in the presence of NaCl or KCl). This study revealed that the ionic solution should be chosen carefully before performing experiments on these toxins. Similarly, the influence of these ions should be taken into consideration in the design of toxin-based pharmaceuticals.

  18. Bt toxin modification for enhanced efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deist, Benjamin R; Rausch, Michael A; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J; Bonning, Bryony C

    2014-10-22

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance.

  19. 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.

  20. Mutation induced extinction in finite populations: lethal mutagenesis and lethal isolation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Scott Wylie

    Full Text Available Reproduction is inherently risky, in part because genomic replication can introduce new mutations that are usually deleterious toward fitness. This risk is especially severe for organisms whose genomes replicate "semi-conservatively," e.g. viruses and bacteria, where no master copy of the genome is preserved. Lethal mutagenesis refers to extinction of populations due to an unbearably high mutation rate (U, and is important both theoretically and clinically, where drugs can extinguish pathogens by increasing their mutation rate. Previous theoretical models of lethal mutagenesis assume infinite population size (N. However, in addition to high U, small N can accelerate extinction by strengthening genetic drift and relaxing selection. Here, we examine how the time until extinction depends jointly on N and U. We first analytically compute the mean time until extinction (τ in a simplistic model where all mutations are either lethal or neutral. The solution motivates the definition of two distinct regimes: a survival phase and an extinction phase, which differ dramatically in both how τ scales with N and in the coefficient of variation in time until extinction. Next, we perform stochastic population-genetics simulations on a realistic fitness landscape that both (i features an epistatic distribution of fitness effects that agrees with experimental data on viruses and (ii is based on the biophysics of protein folding. More specifically, we assume that mutations inflict fitness penalties proportional to the extent that they unfold proteins. We find that decreasing N can cause phase transition-like behavior from survival to extinction, which motivates the concept of "lethal isolation." Furthermore, we find that lethal mutagenesis and lethal isolation interact synergistically, which may have clinical implications for treating infections. Broadly, we conclude that stably folded proteins are only possible in ecological settings that support sufficiently

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  2. Detecting anthrax in the palm of your hand: applications of a smartphone microscope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erikson, Rebecca L.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-11-14

    Bacillus anthracis is a bacterial pathogen that causes the disease anthrax. In 2001, B. anthracis was used in a bioterrorism attack in the United States that resulted in 22 individuals becoming infected, 5 of whom died as a result of this attack. A great deal of attention has been dedicated to responding to bioterrorism events to reduce the potential loss of lives. One such area of research has focused on the development of new technologies to detect and respond to the intentional release of bacterial pathogens such as B. anthracis.

  3. Anthrax immunization of free-ranging Roan Antelope Hippotragus Equinus in the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. de Vos

    1973-07-01

    Full Text Available An aerial method of immunization is presented as afeasible means of vaccinating free-ranging roan antelope Hippotragus equinus against anthrax in the Kruger National Park. Themethod is described in detail and the results, obtained aftertwo consecutive years of application, are noted, tabulated andevaluated. A helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft were success-fully utilized in the location of widely dispersed roan antelopeherds and to bring the operator within effective firing rangeof the animal to be darted. A disposable projectile syringe,which simultaneously administers vaccine and effectively marksthe animal for later identification, is considered a vital part inthe successful implementation of the aerial method of immunization.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pincus, Seth H.; Bhaskaran, Manoj; Brey, Robert N.; Didier, Peter J.; Doyle-Meyers, Lara A.; Roy, Chad J.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26067369

  6. 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.

  7. Entry of Shiga toxin into cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvig, Kirsten; van Deurs, Bo

    1994-01-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. A novel toxin homologous to large clostridial cytotoxins found in culture supernatant of Clostridium perfringens type C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amimoto, Katsuhiko; Noro, Taichi; Oishi, Eiji; Shimizu, Mitsugu

    2007-04-01

    An unknown cytotoxin was identified in the culture supernatant of Clostridium perfringens type C. The cytotoxin, named TpeL, which was purified using mAb-based affinity chromatography, had a lethal activity of 62 minimum lethal dose (MLD) mg(-1) in mice and a cytotoxic activity of 6.2x10(5) cytotoxic units (CU) mg(-1) in Vero cells. The nucleotide sequence of TpeL was determined. The entire ORF had a length of 4953 bases, and the same nucleotide sequence was not recorded in the GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ databases. The molecular mass calculated from the deduced amino acid sequence was 191 kDa, and a signal peptide region was not found within the ORF. The deduced amino acid sequence exhibited 30-39 % homology to Clostridium difficile toxins A (TcdA) and B (TcdB), Clostridium sordellii lethal toxin (TcsL) and Clostridium novyi alpha-toxin (TcnA). The amino acid sequence of TpeL is shorter than these toxins, and the homologous region was located at the N-terminal site. Eighteen strains of C. perfringens types A, B and C were surveyed for the presence of the tpeL gene by PCR. The tpeL gene was detected in all type B (one strain) and C strains (five strains), but not in any type A strains (12 strains). TpeL was detected in culture filtrates of the five type C strains by dot-blot analysis, but not in the type B strain. It was concluded that TpeL is a novel toxin similar to the known large clostridial cytotoxins. Furthermore, the data indicated that TpeL is produced by many C. perfringens type C strains.

  10. Molecular identification of poisonous mushrooms using nuclear ITS region and peptide toxins: a retrospective study on fatal cases in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnmen, Sittiporn; Sikaphan, Sujitra; Leudang, Siriwan; Boonpratuang, Thitiya; Rangsiruji, Achariya; Naksuwankul, Khwanruan

    2016-02-01

    Cases of mushroom poisoning in Thailand have increased annually. During 2008 to 2014, the cases reported to the National Institute of Health included 57 deaths; at least 15 died after ingestion of amanitas, the most common lethal wild mushrooms inhabited. Hence, the aims of this study were to identify mushroom samples from nine clinically reported cases during the 7-year study period based on nuclear ITS sequence data and diagnose lethal peptide toxins using a reversed phase LC-MS method. Nucleotide similarity was identified using BLAST search of the NCBI database and the Barcode of Life Database (BOLD). Clade characterization was performed by maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic approaches. Based on BLAST and BOLD reference databases our results yielded high nucleotide similarities of poisonous mushroom samples to A. exitialis and A. fuliginea. Detailed phylogenetic analyses showed that all mushroom samples fall into their current classification. Detection of the peptide toxins revealed the presence of amatoxins and phallotoxins in A. exitialis and A. fuliginea. In addition, toxic α-amanitin was identified in a new provisional species, Amanita sp.1, with the highest toxin quantity. Molecular identification confirmed that the mushrooms ingested by the patients were members of the lethal amanitas in the sections Amanita and Phalloideae. In Thailand, the presence of A. exitialis was reported here for the first time and all three poisonous mushroom species provided new and informative data for clinical studies.

  11. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Potential lethal and non-lethal effects of predators on dispersal of spider mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuki, Hatsune; Yano, Shuichi

    2014-11-01

    Predators can affect prey dispersal lethally by direct consumption or non-lethally by making prey hesitate to disperse. These lethal and non-lethal effects are detectable only in systems where prey can disperse between multiple patches. However, most studies have drawn their conclusions concerning the ability of predatory mites to suppress spider mites based on observations of their interactions on a single patch or on heavily infested host plants where spider mites could hardly disperse toward intact patches. In these systems, specialist predatory mites that penetrate protective webs produced by spider mites quickly suppress the spider mites, whereas generalist predators that cannot penetrate the webs were ineffective. By using a connected patch system, we revealed that a generalist ant, Pristomyrmex punctatus Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), effectively prevented dispersal of spider mites, Tetranychus kanzawai Kishida (Acari: Tetranychidae), by directly consuming dispersing individuals. We also revealed that a generalist predatory mite, Euseius sojaensis Ehara (Acari: Phytoseiidae), prevented between-patch dispersal of T. kanzawai by making them hesitate to disperse. In contrast, a specialist phytoseiid predatory mite, Neoseiulus womersleyi Schicha, allowed spider mites to escape an initial patch, increasing the number of colonized patches within the system. Our results suggest that ants and generalist predatory mites can effectively suppress Tetranychus species under some conditions, and should receive more attention as agents for conservation biological control in agroecosystems.

  14. Operational Art and the Incident Command System: Public Health’s Bridge in Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    from botulinum toxins), Francisella tularensis (Tularemia), and Filoviruses and Arenaviruses like Ebola virus and Lassa virus (Viral Hemorrhagic fevers...an extremely fragile virus , but anthrax spores can “shelter in place” indefinitely). Virulence (lethality) refers to the agent’s ability to produce

  15. Toxins from the box-jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endean, R; Monks, S A; Cameron, A M

    1993-04-01

    Two myotoxins (T1 and T2) with mol. wts of approximately 600,000 and 150,000, respectively, and a haemolysin (T3) with a mol. wt of approximately 70,000 were isolated from the crude nematocyst venom of C. fleckeri by the use of Sephadex G-200 chromatography. A neurotoxic fraction (T4) and a haemolytic fraction (T5) containing proteins with apparent mol. wts of approximately 150,000 and 70,000, respectively, were also isolated by Sephadex chromatography from crude extracts of tentacular material from which nematocysts had been removed. The three nematocyst toxins and the two toxic fractions from tentacle extracts were lethal to mice on i.v. injection. After SDS-PAGE the myotoxins T1 and T2 yielded similar major bands corresponding with mol. wts different from those yielded by T3 and the toxic tentacle fractions. T1 and T2 appeared to be comprised of aggregations of subunits with mol. wts of approximately 18,000. On HPLC, crude nematocyst venom and the nematocyst toxins T1 and T2 lost their myotoxic properties. The need for thorough removal of extraneous tentacular material from isolated nematocysts, the need for effective rupture of nematocysts, the need to counter the lability of the nematocyst venom and the need to use myotoxicity as a criterion of venom activity if the active components of the venom are to be purified and characterized are emphasized.

  16. Autophagy mediates tolerance to Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Katie; Reyes-Robles, Tamara; Alonzo, Francis; Durbin, Joan; Torres, Victor J; Cadwell, Ken

    2015-04-01

    Resistance and tolerance are two defense strategies employed by the host against microbial threats. Autophagy-mediated degradation of bacteria has been extensively described as a major resistance mechanism. Here we find that the dominant function of autophagy proteins during infections with the epidemic community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus USA300 is to mediate tolerance rather than resistance. Atg16L1 hypomorphic mice (Atg16L1(HM)), which have reduced autophagy, were highly susceptible to lethality in both sepsis and pneumonia models of USA300 infection. Autophagy confers protection by limiting the damage caused by α-toxin, particularly to endothelial cells. Remarkably, Atg16L1(HM) mice display enhanced survival rather than susceptibility upon infection with α-toxin-deficient S. aureus. These results identify an essential role for autophagy in tolerance to Staphylococcal disease and highlight how a single virulence factor encoded by a pathogen can determine whether a given host factor promotes tolerance or resistance.

  17. Binding of cholera toxin to Giardia lamblia.

    OpenAIRE

    McCardell, B. A.; Madden, J M; Stanfield, J T; Tall, B D; Stephens, M. J.

    1987-01-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to Giardia lamblia was demonstrated by two slightly different methods: an immunofluorescence technique using antibody to cholera toxin and anti-rabbit immunoglobulin G conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate, and a one-step fluorescence method in which G. lamblia was incubated with the B subunit of cholera toxin conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Bacillus bombysepticus α-Toxin Binding to G Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 2 Regulates cAMP/PKA Signaling Pathway to Induce Host Death.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping Lin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial pathogens and their toxins target host receptors, leading to aberrant behavior or host death by changing signaling events through subversion of host intracellular cAMP level. This is an efficient and widespread mechanism of microbial pathogenesis. Previous studies describe toxins that increase cAMP in host cells, resulting in death through G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR signaling pathways by influencing adenylyl cyclase or G protein activity. G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2 has a central role in regulation of GPCR desensitization. However, little information is available about the pathogenic mechanisms of toxins associated with GRK2. Here, we reported a new bacterial toxin-Bacillus bombysepticus (Bb α-toxin that was lethal to host. We showed that Bb α-toxin interacted with BmGRK2. The data demonstrated that Bb α-toxin directly bound to BmGRK2 to promote death by affecting GPCR signaling pathways. This mechanism involved stimulation of Gαs, increase level of cAMP and activation of protein kinase A (PKA. Activated cAMP/PKA signal transduction altered downstream effectors that affected homeostasis and fundamental biological processes, disturbing the structural and functional integrity of cells, resulting in death. Preventing cAMP/PKA signaling transduction by inhibitions (NF449 or H-89 substantially reduced the pathogenicity of Bb α-toxin. The discovery of a toxin-induced host death specifically linked to GRK2 mediated signaling pathway suggested a new model for bacterial toxin action. Characterization of host genes whose expression and function are regulated by Bb α-toxin and GRK2 will offer a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases caused by pathogens that elevate cAMP.

  1. 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.

  2. Rapid homogenous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF) immunoassay for anthrax detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Noam; Mechaly, Adva; Mazor, Ohad; Fisher, Morly; Zahavy, Eran

    2014-05-01

    Infection with Bacillus anthracsis spores induces an acute anthrax disease that can cause casualties and death in untreated cases. Thus rapid diagnosis of anthrax at early stage of the disease is essential to allow an effective treatment. Here we present the development of rapid and sensitive homogenous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF) immunoassays based on the energy transfer process of europium cryptate (EuK) donor to AlexaFluor647 acceptor. The energy transfer process is limited to d bacteremia in infected hosts, using two monoclonal anti-PA antibodies that specifically recognize two different epitopes on the PA molecule. The assay was sensitive enabling detection of 2 ng/ml PA in the serum of B. anthracsis-infected rabbits in only 15 min assay. Additionally, HTRF assay was developed for the detection of bacterial spores using polyclonal anti-spore antibodies that recognize many epitopes on the bacterial surface. The assay enabled the detection of 2 × 10(6) spores/ml in 30 min assay and was specific, showing no cross reactivity with closely related non-virulent bacillus cereus strain. This study describes the use of the HTRF assay for the detection of both singled-epitope (proteins) and multi-epitope (particles) as rapid, simple and sensitive method that can be used at the time that fast results are needed to allow an effective medical care.

  3. The Mountain Meadows Massacre and "poisoned springs": scientific testing of the more recent, anthrax theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perego, Ugo A; Achilli, Alessandro; Ekins, Jayne E; Milani, Lucio; Lari, Martina; Pilli, Elena; Brown, Alexis; Price, Erin P; Wolken, Spenser R; Matthews, Molly; Allen, Christina A; Pearson, Talima R; Angerhofer, Norman; Caramelli, David; Kupferschmid, Tim; Keim, Paul S; Woodward, Scott R

    2013-01-01

    It has been recorded that one of the possible causes that eventually escalated into the 1857 manslaughter at Mountain Meadows in Southern Utah was the poisoning of an open spring by the Fancher-Baker party as they crossed the Utah territory on their way from Arkansas to California. Historical accounts report that a number of cattle died, followed by human casualties from those that came in contact with the dead animals. Even after the Arkansas party departed, animals continued to perish and people were still afflicted by some unknown plague. Proctor Hancock Robison, a local 14-year-old boy, died shortly after skinning one of the "poisoned" cows. A careful review of the historical records, along with the more recent scientific literature, seems to exclude the likelihood of actual poisoning in favor of a more recent theory that would point to the bacterium Bacillus anthracis as the possible cause of human and animal deaths. In order to test this hypothesis, Proctor's remains were exhumed, identified through mitochondrial DNA analysis, and tested for the presence of anthrax spores. Although preliminary testing of remains and soil was negative, description of the clinical conditions that affected Proctor and other individuals does not completely rule out the hypothesis of death by anthrax.

  4. Examining the CDCynergy Event Assessment Tool: an investigation of the anthrax crisis in Boca Raton, Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, J J; Venette, Steven

    2006-09-01

    This paper examines the dependability of the Event Assessment Tool over time. The latter is part of a CD-ROM--Emergency Risk Communication CDCynergy--distributed primarily to public information officers in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Event Assessment Tool is designed to aid emergency professionals in identifying the magnitude of a crisis event and to suggest appropriate actions to confront such a situation. Applied twice during the 2001 anthrax bioterrorism crisis in Boca Raton, Florida, the tool functioned in a binary manner by first indicating a moderate crisis level (on 4 October) and then four days later (on 8 October) a highly intense crisis, suggesting that it is time sensitive. This anthrax event provides an opportunity for crisis and disaster managers to understand the dynamic nature of crises. Rapid changes during these types of events suggest that any metric used to predict intensity must account for this variability. Additional limitations and implications of the tool are discussed.

  5. Synthetic lethal approaches for assessing combinatorial efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Rebecca A; Chen, Ee Sin

    2016-06-01

    The recent advances in pharmacogenomics have made personalized medicine no longer a pipedream but a precise and powerful way to tailor individualized cancer treatment strategies. Cancer is a devastating disease, and contemporary chemotherapeutic strategies now integrate several agents in the treatment of some types of cancer, with the intent to block more than one target simultaneously. This constitutes the premise of synthetic lethality, an attractive therapeutic strategy already demonstrating clinical success in patients with breast and ovarian cancers. Synthetic lethal combinations offer the potential to also target the hitherto "undruggable" mutations that have challenged the cancer field for decades. However, synthetic lethality in clinical cancer therapy is very much still in its infancy, and selecting the most appropriate combinations-or synthetic lethal pairs-is not always an intuitive process. Here, we review some of the recent progress in identifying synthetic lethal combinations and their potential for therapy and highlight some of the tools through which synthetic lethal pairs are identified.

  6. 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.

  7. Maintaining U.S. Government Business Operations within the National Capital Region after an Aerosolized Anthrax Attack

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-28

    Association, Volume 287, Number 17, 2237. 18 John G. Bartlett, Thomas V. Ingelsby, Jr., and Luciana Borio, “Management of Anthrax,” October 1, 2002...Human Services and the Secretary of Homeland Security, September 20, 2007. 46 Inglesby, 2244. 47 Luciana L. Borio, M.D., “CBN Report: Immunological

  8. 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.

  9. Polymer antidotes for toxin sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisman, Adam; Chou, Beverly; O'Brien, Jeffrey; Shea, Kenneth J

    2015-08-01

    Toxins delivered by envenomation, secreted by microorganisms, or unintentionally ingested can pose an immediate threat to life. Rapid intervention coupled with the appropriate antidote is required to mitigate the threat. Many antidotes are biological products and their cost, methods of production, potential for eliciting immunogenic responses, the time needed to generate them, and stability issues contribute to their limited availability and effectiveness. These factors exacerbate a world-wide challenge for providing treatment. In this review we evaluate a number of polymer constructs that may serve as alternative antidotes. The range of toxins investigated includes those from sources such as plants, animals and bacteria. The development of polymeric heavy metal sequestrants for use as antidotes to heavy metal poisoning faces similar challenges, thus recent findings in this area have also been included. Two general strategies have emerged for the development of polymeric antidotes. In one, the polymer acts as a scaffold for the presentation of ligands with a known affinity for the toxin. A second strategy is to generate polymers with an intrinsic affinity, and in some cases selectivity, to a range of toxins. Importantly, in vivo efficacy has been demonstrated for each of these strategies, which suggests that these approaches hold promise as an alternative to biological or small molecule based treatments.

  10. 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.

  11. Food irradiation and bacterial toxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1987-07-04

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

  12. Novel receptors for bacterial protein toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Gudula; Papatheodorou, Panagiotis; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-02-01

    While bacterial effectors are often directly introduced into eukaryotic target cells by various types of injection machines, toxins enter the cytosol of host cells from endosomal compartments or after retrograde transport via Golgi from the ER. A first crucial step of toxin-host interaction is receptor binding. Using optimized protocols and new methods novel toxin receptors have been identified, including metalloprotease ADAM 10 for Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin, laminin receptor Lu/BCAM for Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor CNF1, lipolysis stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR) for Clostridium difficile transferase CDT and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) 1 for Clostridium perfringens TpeL toxin.

  13. Biosecurity of Select Agents and Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

    Engineering News., June 17, 2002. 13 S. Block (2001). "The Growing Threat of Biological Weapons". The American Scientist . Vol. 89, Number 1. Block a...34 American Scientist . May-June 2004.Accessed on 15 June 2004 at http://www.americanscientist.org/template/BookReviewTypeDetail/assetid/32687. that her...34. The American Scientist . Vol. 89, Number 1. 43 L. Cole (2003) The Anthrax Letters: A Medical Detective Story. Washington: John Henry Press. Page vii

  14. 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.

  15. Alleged lethal sorcery in East Timor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollanen, Michael S

    2004-01-01

    A wide range of cultural and social perspectives exists on the concept of sudden and unexpected death. In countries, without a formal system of death investigation, sudden death is shrouded in mysticism often based on traditional belief systems. This cultural perspective on sudden death is often at variance with medical and forensic concepts and may include explanations such as sorcery, magic, and voodoo. In this case report, the postmortem findings in an alleged victim of lethal 'black magic', known as ema halo by the indigenous people of East Timor, is described. The alleged victim died suddenly in front of witnesses. At autopsy, marked dilation of a bicuspid aortic valve with annuloaortic ectasia and a sinus of Valsalva aneurysm was found after exhumation of the body. The findings mitigated the local belief in witchcraft and established a natural manner of death.

  16. Cardiovascular effects of toxins isolated from the cnidarian Chironex fleckeri Southcott.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, S E; Turner, R J

    1971-01-01

    1. Two unstable high molecular weight toxins have been isolated from tentacles of Chironex fleckeri by exclusion chromatography. Both are cardiotoxic; the lower molecular weight fraction is also a potent haemolysin.2. Both toxins reduce the rate, amplitude of contraction and coronary flow in the isolated, perfused guinea-pig heart. Relative to the mouse lethal dose the haemolytic fraction is less potent in this preparation than the purely cardiotoxic fraction.3. Both toxins cause a rise in arterial pressure in anaesthetized rats and rabbits by a direct action on the vascular musculature. This is followed by hypotension, bradycardia and cardiac irregularity. An increase in respiratory rate is followed by apnoea of variable duration, which is associated with a rise in arterial pressure. Animals frequently show arterial pressure oscillations with periods of apnoea interspersed with hyperpnoea.4. The carotid occlusion reflex is depressed during hypotensive periods after both toxins, although (-)-noradrenaline can still elicit a marked pressor response. Bilateral cervical vagotomy has but little effect on the response to either toxin, save to prevent hyperpnoea, but radical denervation of sinoaortic afferents reduces the arterial pressure fall after the initial hypertensive response, suggesting that this fall is due to a combination of baroreceptor stimulation and a fall in cardiac output. Blood pressure oscillations are still seen, possibly due to central stimulation by hypercapnia.5. Interference with the efferent arm of the vasomotor reflex arc with hexamethonium, bretylium or phenoxybenzamine either abolishes or markedly reduces the blood pressure oscillations without affecting the initial hypertensive response.6. The cardiovascular effects of the two toxins are thought to be due to direct vasoconstriction, cardiotoxicity, baroreceptor stimulation and possibly depression of the vasomotor centre. The resultant disordering of the feed-back system regulating vasomotor

  17. Induction of neutralizing antibodies in mice immunized with scorpion toxins detoxified by liposomal entrapment

    OpenAIRE

    1997-01-01

    The possibility of producing neutralizing antibodies against the lethal effects of scorpion toxins was evaluated in the mouse model by immunization with an immunogen devoid of toxicity. A toxic fraction (5 mg) from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus was entrapped in sphingomyelin-cholesterol liposomes. The liposomes were treated for 1 h at 37oC with a 1% (w/w) trypsin solution in 0.2 M sodium carbonate buffer, pH 8.3. This treatment led to a strong reduction in venom toxicity. Immuni...

  18. A pharmacological study of the toxin in a Cnidarian, Chironex fleckeri Southcott.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, S E; Turner, R J

    1969-03-01

    1. A study has been made of the pharmacological actions of toxic preparations obtained from the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri Southcott. Two toxin preparations were used. One was a tentacle extract which was partially purified by Sephadex gel filtration; the second was obtained by a process analogous to snake milking, and is probably similar in composition to the material injected into victims.2. All preparations were extremely toxic; death in animals, following minimally lethal doses, occurred in minutes. Respiratory arrest of central origin appeared to be the terminal event in all species tested. This was accompanied by marked signs of cardiotoxicity. The heart was slowed, irregular, and showed varying degrees of conduction delay. Terminally it showed atrioventricular block.3. Blood pressure changes were biphasic. An initial rise in carotid pressure was followed by a profound fall; a second rise to an above normal level frequently followed this. These blood pressure oscillations were damped down by prior treatment with hexamethonium but the hypertensive response remained.4. Blood samples taken before terminal apnoea showed a variable degree of haemolysis and a raised K(+) level.5. Experiments with isolated organ preparations suggested that the toxin had a non-specific lytic effect on cells, but did not contain pharmacologically active substances of small molecular weight such as 5-hydroxytryptamine.6. It is suggested that the toxin(s) act by altering membrane permeability; the signs at death may reflect the sensitivity of the target organs to such a change.

  19. Partial Agonist and Antagonist Activities of a Mutant Scorpion β-Toxin on Sodium Channels*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karbat, Izhar; Ilan, Nitza; Zhang, Joel Z.; Cohen, Lior; Kahn, Roy; Benveniste, Morris; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A.; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion β-toxin 4 from Centruroides suffusus suffusus (Css4) enhances the activation of voltage-gated sodium channels through a voltage sensor trapping mechanism by binding the activated state of the voltage sensor in domain II and stabilizing it in its activated conformation. Here we describe the antagonist and partial agonist properties of a mutant derivative of this toxin. Substitution of seven different amino acid residues for Glu15 in Css4 yielded toxin derivatives with both increased and decreased affinities for binding to neurotoxin receptor site 4 on sodium channels. Css4E15R is unique among this set of mutants in that it retained nearly normal binding affinity but lost its functional activity for modification of sodium channel gating in our standard electrophysiological assay for voltage sensor trapping. More detailed analysis of the functional effects of Css4E15R revealed weak voltage sensor trapping activity, which was very rapidly reversed upon repolarization and therefore was not observed in our standard assay of toxin effects. This partial agonist activity of Css4E15R is observed clearly in voltage sensor trapping assays with brief (5 ms) repolarization between the conditioning prepulse and the test pulse. The effects of Css4E15R are fit well by a three-step model of toxin action involving concentration-dependent toxin binding to its receptor site followed by depolarization-dependent activation of the voltage sensor and subsequent voltage sensor trapping. Because it is a partial agonist with much reduced efficacy for voltage sensor trapping, Css4E15R can antagonize the effects of wild-type Css4 on sodium channel activation and can prevent paralysis by Css4 when injected into mice. Our results define the first partial agonist and antagonist activities for scorpion toxins and open new avenues of research toward better understanding of the structure-function relationships for toxin action on sodium channel voltage sensors and toward potential toxin

  20. Partial agonist and antagonist activities of a mutant scorpion beta-toxin on sodium channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karbat, Izhar; Ilan, Nitza; Zhang, Joel Z; Cohen, Lior; Kahn, Roy; Benveniste, Morris; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael

    2010-10-01

    potential toxin-based therapeutics to prevent lethality from scorpion envenomation.

  1. Differentiation of lethal and non lethal prostate cancer:PSA and PSA isoforms and kinetics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    H Ballentine Carter

    2012-01-01

    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer has led to a decrease in cancer mortality.However,the high prevalence of low-grade prostate cancer and its long natural history,competing causes of death in older men and treatment patterns of prostate cancer,have led to dramatic overtreatment of the disease.Improved markers of prostate cancer lethality are needed to reduce the overtreatment of prostate cancer that leads to a reduced quality of life without extending life for a high proportion of men.The PSA level prior to treatment is routinely used in multivariable models to predict prostate cancer aggressiveness.PSA isoforms and PSA kinetics have been associated with more aggressive phenotypes,but are not routinely employed as part of prediction tools prior to treatment.PSA kinetics is a valuable marker of lethality post treatment and routinely used in determining the need for salvage therapy.

  2. Mutation Induced Extinction in Finite Populations: Lethal Mutagenesis and Lethal Isolation

    OpenAIRE

    C Scott Wylie; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2012-01-01

    Reproduction is inherently risky, in part because genomic replication can introduce new mutations that are usually deleterious toward fitness. This risk is especially severe for organisms whose genomes replicate “semi-conservatively,” e.g. viruses and bacteria, where no master copy of the genome is preserved. Lethal mutagenesis refers to extinction of populations due to an unbearably high mutation rate (U), and is important both theoretically and clinically, where drugs can extinguish pathoge...

  3. Syn-lethality: an integrative knowledge base of synthetic lethality towards discovery of selective anticancer therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xue-juan; Mishra, Shital K; Wu, Min; Zhang, Fan; Zheng, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic lethality (SL) is a novel strategy for anticancer therapies, whereby mutations of two genes will kill a cell but mutation of a single gene will not. Therefore, a cancer-specific mutation combined with a drug-induced mutation, if they have SL interactions, will selectively kill cancer cells. While numerous SL interactions have been identified in yeast, only a few have been known in human. There is a pressing need to systematically discover and understand SL interactions specific to human cancer. In this paper, we present Syn-Lethality, the first integrative knowledge base of SL that is dedicated to human cancer. It integrates experimentally discovered and verified human SL gene pairs into a network, associated with annotations of gene function, pathway, and molecular mechanisms. It also includes yeast SL genes from high-throughput screenings which are mapped to orthologous human genes. Such an integrative knowledge base, organized as a relational database with user interface for searching and network visualization, will greatly expedite the discovery of novel anticancer drug targets based on synthetic lethality interactions. The database can be downloaded as a stand-alone Java application.

  4. 40 CFR 798.5450 - Rodent dominant lethal assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Rodent dominant lethal assay. 798.5450 Section 798.5450 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES... lethality, high pregnancy frequency and high implant numbers are recommended. (ii) Age. Healthy,...

  5. Toxins-antitoxins: diversity, evolution and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Finbarr; Van Melderen, Laurence

    2011-10-01

    Genes for toxin-antitoxin (TA) complexes are widespread in prokaryote genomes, and species frequently possess tens of plasmid and chromosomal TA loci. The complexes are categorized into three types based on genetic organization and mode of action. The toxins universally are proteins directed against specific intracellular targets, whereas the antitoxins are either proteins or small RNAs that neutralize the toxin or inhibit toxin synthesis. Within the three types of complex, there has been extensive evolutionary shuffling of toxin and antitoxin genes leading to considerable diversity in TA combinations. The intracellular targets of the protein toxins similarly are varied. Numerous toxins, many of which are sequence-specific endoribonucleases, dampen protein synthesis levels in response to a range of stress and nutritional stimuli. Key resources are conserved as a result ensuring the survival of individual cells and therefore the bacterial population. The toxin effects generally are transient and reversible permitting a set of dynamic, tunable responses that reflect environmental conditions. Moreover, by harboring multiple toxins that intercede in protein synthesis in response to different physiological cues, bacteria potentially sense an assortment of metabolic perturbations that are channeled through different TA complexes. Other toxins interfere with the action of topoisomersases, cell wall assembly, or cytoskeletal structures. TAs also play important roles in bacterial persistence, biofilm formation and multidrug tolerance, and have considerable potential both as new components of the genetic toolbox and as targets for novel antibacterial drugs.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 pe

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Bacterial protein toxins in human cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosadi, Francesca; Fiorentini, Carla; Fabbri, Alessia

    2016-02-01

    Many bacteria causing persistent infections produce toxins whose mechanisms of action indicate that they could have a role in carcinogenesis. Some toxins, like CDT and colibactin, directly attack the genome by damaging DNA whereas others, as for example CNF1, CagA and BFT, impinge on key eukaryotic processes, such as cellular signalling and cell death. These bacterial toxins, together with other less known toxins, mimic carcinogens and tumour promoters. The aim of this review is to fulfil an up-to-date analysis of toxins with carcinogenic potential that have been already correlated to human cancers. Bacterial toxins-induced carcinogenesis represents an emerging aspect in bacteriology, and its significance is increasingly recognized.

  13. Selectivity and self-assembly in the control of a bacterial toxin by an antitoxic noncoding RNA pseudoknot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Francesca L; Pei, Xue Y; Blower, Tim R; Ong, Shue-Li; Fineran, Peter C; Luisi, Ben F; Salmond, George P C

    2013-01-15

    Bacterial small RNAs perform numerous regulatory roles, including acting as antitoxic components in toxin-antitoxin systems. In type III toxin-antitoxin systems, small processed RNAs directly antagonize their toxin protein partners, and in the systems characterized the toxin and antitoxin components together form a trimeric assembly. In the present study, we sought to define how the RNA antitoxin, ToxI, inhibits its potentially lethal protein partner, ToxN. We show through cross-inhibition experiments with the ToxIN systems from Pectobacterium atrosepticum (ToxIN(Pa)) and Bacillus thuringiensis (ToxIN(Bt)) that ToxI RNAs are highly selective enzyme inhibitors. Both systems have an "addictive" plasmid maintenance phenotype. We demonstrate that ToxI(Pa) can inhibit ToxN(Pa) in vitro both in its processed form and as a repetitive precursor RNA, and this inhibition is linked to the self-assembly of the trimeric complex. Inhibition and self-assembly are both mediated entirely by the ToxI(Pa) RNA, with no requirement for cellular factors or exogenous energy. Finally, we explain the origins of ToxI antitoxin selectivity through our crystal structure of the ToxIN(Bt) complex. Our results show how a processed RNA pseudoknot can inhibit a deleterious protein with exquisite molecular specificity and how these self-contained and addictive RNA-protein pairs can confer different adaptive benefits in their bacterial hosts.

  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. Isolation and primary structure of a potent toxin from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pete, M J; Conlon, J M; Murphy, R F

    1992-12-01

    A potent toxin has been purified from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing using the ion-exchange resin CM-Sepharose CL-6B at basic pH. The toxin, designated CsE M1, comprised 65 amino acid residues and its primary structure was established as: Lys-Glu-Gly-Tyr-Leu-Val-Asn-Ser-Tyr-Thr10-Gly-Cys-Lys-Tyr-Glu-Cys- Leu-Lys-Leu- Gly20-Asp-Asn-Asp-Tyr-Cys-Leu-Arg-Glu-Cys-Arg30-Gln-Gln-Tyr- Gly-Lys-Ser-Gly-Gly - Tyr-Cys40-Tyr-Ala-Phe-Ala-Cys-Trp-Cys-Thr-His-Leu50-Tyr-Glu- Gln-Ala-Val-Val-Trp - Pro-Leu-Pro60-Asn-Lys-Thr-Cys-Asn. CsE M1 is the most lethal protein to be identified in C. sculpturatus venom and the LD50 of the toxin, determined by subcutaneous injection into Swiss mice, is 87 micrograms/kg. CsE M1 shows strong structural similarity (92% positional identity) to the most potent beta-toxin, Css II, from the Mexican scorpion, Centruroides suffusus suffusus but is quite dissimilar to the previously characterized toxins with low potency isolated from C. sculpturatus Ewing.

  16. Rho-modifying bacterial protein toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Rho proteins are targets of numerous bacterial protein toxins, which manipulate the GTP-binding proteins by covalent modifications, including ADP ribosylation, glycosylation, adenylylation, proteolytic cleavage and deamidation. Bacterial toxins are important virulence factors but are also potent and efficient pharmacological tools to study the physiological functions of their eukaryotic targets. Recent studies indicate that amazing variations exist in the molecular mechanisms by which toxins attack Rho proteins, which are discussed here.

  17. Perfringolysin O: the underrated Clostridium perfringens toxin?

    OpenAIRE

    Stefanie Verherstraeten; Evy Goossens; Bonnie Valgaeren; Bart Pardon; Leen Timbermont; Freddy Haesebrouck; Richard Ducatelle; Piet Deprez; Kristin R. Wade; Rodney Tweten; Filip Van Immerseel

    2015-01-01

    The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens expresses multiple toxins that promote disease development in both humans and animals. One such toxin is perfringolysin O (PFO, classically referred to as theta toxin), a pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC). PFO is secreted as a water-soluble monomer that recognizes and binds membranes via cholesterol. Membrane-bound monomers undergo structural changes that culminate in the formation of an oligomerized prepore complex on the membr...

  18. Collaborative Research Program on Seafood Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-08-14

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Application of botulinum toxin in pain management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Woo Seog

    2011-03-01

    Botulinum toxin has been used for the treatment of many clinical disorders by producing temporary skeletal muscle relaxation. In pain management, botulinum toxin has demonstrated an analgesic effect by reducing muscular hyperactivity, but recent studies suggest this neurotoxin could have direct analgesic mechanisms different from its neuromuscular actions. At the moment, botulinum toxin is widely investigated and used in many painful diseases such as myofascial syndrome, headaches, arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Further studies are needed to understand the exact analgesic mechanisms, efficacy and complications of botulinum toxin in chronic pain disorders.

  2. Hemolytic anemia caused by chemicals and toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... This list is not all-inclusive. Alternative Names Anemia - hemolytic - caused by chemicals or toxins References Michel M. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Schafer ...

  3. 2000~2009年广西炭疽流行病学分析%Epidemiological analysis of anthrax in Guangxi Province from 2000 to 2009

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梁江明; 邓秋云; 曾竣; 廖驰真; 吴秀玲

    2011-01-01

    Aim To analyse the epidemiological features of anthrax in Guangxi Province from 2000 to 2009 and provide scientific basis for prevention and control of the disease. Methods The The data concerning prevalence and control of anthrax in Guangxi from 2000 to 2009 were collected and analyzed. Results The prevalence of anthrax occurred in Guangxi every year,and the prevalence of anthrax in livestock often frequently occurred prior to the epidemic in human beings. The anthrax in Guangxi was of the agricultural type and was widespread without apparent periodic characteristic,most of the anthrax eases were farmers and were infected by slaughtering and eating the sick livestock. The incidence of anthrax was from 0.0015/100 000 to 0.22/100 000 population. Most of the anthrax cases were cutaneous anthrax. Conclusion To educate people not slaughter or eat or sell sick livestock and process correctly the corpses of sick livestock are the key measures for prevention and control the anthrax..%目的 了解广西炭疽流行病学特征,为预防与控制本病提供科学依据.方法 对2000~2009年广西炭疽疫情报告及其相关资料进行回顾性分析.结果 广西炭疽病例每年均有发生.人间炭疽流行常继发于畜间炭疽流行,以局部暴发为主,流行类型属农业型,分布广泛.流行无明显的周期性,发病率在0.0015/10万~0.22/10万之间.受害者主要是农民,大多数都是由于剖食病死家畜而感染,以皮肤型炭疽最为多见.结论 认真做好炭疽防治知识的宣传教育工作.做到不剖杀、不分食、不出售病死家畜,并妥善处理好病死家畜尸体是防治本病的关键.

  4. 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.

  5. Are high-lethality suicide attempters with bipolar disorder a distinct phenotype?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oquendo, Maria A; Carballo, Juan Jose; Rajouria, Namita; Currier, Dianne; Tin, Adrienne; Merville, Jessica; Galfalvy, Hanga C; Sher, Leo; Grunebaum, Michael F; Burke, Ainsley K; Mann, J John

    2009-01-01

    Because Bipolar Disorder (BD) individuals making highly lethal suicide attempts have greater injury burden and risk for suicide, early identification is critical. BD patients were classified as high- or low-lethality attempters. High-lethality attempts required inpatient medical treatment. Mixed effects logistic regression models and permutation analyses examined correlations between lethality, number, and order of attempts. High-lethality attempters reported greater suicidal intent and more previous attempts. Multiple attempters showed no pattern of incremental lethality increase with subsequent attempts, but individuals with early high-lethality attempts more often made high-lethality attempts later. A subset of high-lethality attempters make only high-lethality attempts. However, presence of previous low-lethality attempts does not indicate that risk for more lethal, possibly successful, attempts is reduced.

  6. Marine toxins and their toxicological significance: An overview

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarkar, A.

    , hemorrhagic toxin, hepatotoxin, nephrotoxins, presynaptic and postsynaptic neurotoxins, ion-channel and sodiumion binding toxins. It provides an insight into analytical techniques for isolation of toxins and their structural elucidation by different...

  7. Induction of neutralizing antibodies in mice immunized with scorpion toxins detoxified by liposomal entrapment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.G. Fonseca

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available The possibility of producing neutralizing antibodies against the lethal effects of scorpion toxins was evaluated in the mouse model by immunization with an immunogen devoid of toxicity. A toxic fraction (5 mg from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus was entrapped in sphingomyelin-cholesterol liposomes. The liposomes were treated for 1 h at 37oC with a 1% (w/w trypsin solution in 0.2 M sodium carbonate buffer, pH 8.3. This treatment led to a strong reduction in venom toxicity. Immunization was performed as follows: mice were injected sc with 20 µg of the liposome-entrapped toxic fraction on days 1 and 21 and a final injection (20 µg was administered ip on day 36. After injection of the immunogen, all mice developed an IgG response which was shown to be specific for the toxic antigen. The antibodies were measured 10 days after the end of the immunization protocol. In an in vitro neutralization assay we observed that pre-incubation of a lethal dose of the toxic fraction with immune serum strongly reduced its toxicity. In vivo protection assays showed that mice with anti-toxin antibodies could resist the challenge with the toxic fraction, which killed, 30 min after injection, all non-immune control mice

  8. Full characterization of three toxins from the Androctonus amoreuxi scorpion venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Najwa; Legros, Christian; Ceard, Brigitte; Belghazi, Maya; Hamon, Alain; Bougis, Pierre E; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France

    2009-09-15

    In this study, we have characterized the immunological and pharmacological properties of the three major alpha-type toxins from the scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi, AamH1, AamH2 and AamH3, which were previously described as putative toxins from cDNAs [Chen, T. et al., 2003. Regul. Pept. 115, 115-121]. The immunological tests (ELISA, RIA) have demonstrated that AamH1, AamH2 and AamH3 belong to the immunological groups 3 and 4 of alpha-type toxins. Analysis of the three toxin effects on currents through rat brain (rNav1.2), rat muscle (rNav1.4) and Drosophila (DmNav1) sodium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes revealed that AamH1 and AamH2, but not AamH3, have anti-insect and anti-mammal activities and can be classified as alpha-like toxins. While AamH1 removes fast inactivation only in neuronal rNav1.2 channel and has no effect on muscular rNav1.4 channel, AamH2 affects both neuronal rNav1.2 and muscular rNav1.4 channels. AamH3 was lethal to mice by intracerebroventricular injection despite its lack of activity on the neuronal rNav1.2 channel. Finally, we have shown that the A. amoreuxi venom was better neutralized by the antiserum raised against the venom of Buthus occitanus tunetanus than by the antisera raised against scorpion venoms from the same genus Androctonus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abal, Paula; Louzao, M. Carmen; Antelo, Alvaro; Alvarez, Mercedes; Cagide, Eva; Vilariño, Natalia; Vieytes, Mercedes R.; Botana, Luis M.

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28245573

  10. Lethal and sub-lethal responses of native freshwater mussels exposed to granular Bayluscide®, a sea lamprey larvicide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Teresa; Boogaard, Michael A.; Gray, Brian R.; Hubert, Terrance D.; Schloesser, Nicholas

    2017-01-01

    The invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) poses a substantial threat to fish communities in the Great Lakes. Efforts to control sea lamprey populations typically involve treating tributary streams with lampricides on a recurring cycle. The presence of a substantial population of larval sea lampreys in the aquatic corridor between Lakes Huron and Erie prompted managers to propose a treatment using the granular formulation of Bayluscide® that targets larval sea lampreys that reside in sediments. However, these treatments could cause adverse effects on native freshwater mussels—imperiled animals that also reside in sediments. We estimated the risk of mortality and sub-lethal effects among eight species of adult and sub-adult mussels exposed to Bayluscide® for durations up to 8 h to mimic field applications. Mortality was appreciable in some species, especially in sub-adults (range, 23–51%). The lethal and sub-lethal effects were positively associated with the duration of exposure in most species and life stage combinations. Estimates of the median time of exposure that resulted in lethal and sub-lethal effects suggest that sub-adults were often affected by Bayluscide® earlier than adults. Siphoning activity and burrowing position of mussels during exposure may have moderated the uptake of Bayluscide® and may have influenced lethal and sub-lethal responses. Given that the various species and life stages were differentially affected, it will be difficult to predict the effects of Bayluscide® treatments on mussels.

  11. Computational Modeling of Aerosol Hazard Arising from the Opening of an Anthrax Letter in an Open-Office Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lien, F. S.; Ji, H.; Yee, E.

    Early experimental work, conducted at Defence R&D Canada — Suffield, measured and characterized the personal and environmental contamination associated with the simulated opening of anthrax-tainted letters under a number of different scenarios. A better understanding of the physical and biological processes is considerably significant for detecting, assessing, and formulating potential mitigation strategies for managing these risks. These preliminary experimental investigations have been extended to simulate the contamination from the opening of anthrax-tainted letters in an Open-Office environment using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Bacillus globigii (BG) was used as a biological simulant for anthrax, with 0.1 gram of the simulant released from opened letters in the experiments conducted. The accuracy of the model for prediction of the spatial distribution of BG spores in the office is first assessed quantitatively by comparison with measured SF6 concentrations (the baseline experiment), and then qualitatively by comparison with measured BG concentrations obtained under a number of scenarios, some involving people moving within various offices.

  12. Randomized, double-blind, active-controlled study evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of three vaccination schedules and two dose levels of AV7909 vaccine for anthrax post-exposure prophylaxis in healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Robert J; Kalsi, Gurdyal; Montalvo-Lugo, Victor M; Sharma, Mona; Wu, Yukun; Muse, Derek D; Sheldon, Eric A; Hampel, Frank C; Lemiale, Laurence

    2016-04-19

    AV7909 vaccine being developed for post-exposure prophylaxis of anthrax disease may require fewer vaccinations and reduced amount of antigen to achieve an accelerated immune response over BioThrax(®) (Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed). A phase 2, randomized, double-blind, BioThrax vacccine-controlled study was conducted to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of three intramuscular vaccination schedules and two dose levels of AV7909 in 168 healthy adults. Subjects were randomized at a 4:3:2:4:2 ratio to 5 groups: (1) AV7909 on Days 0/14; (2) AV7909 on Days 0/28; (3) AV7909 on Days 0/14/28; (4) half dose AV7909 on Days 0/14/28; and (5) BioThrax vaccine on Days 0/14/28. Vaccinations in all groups were well tolerated. The incidences of adverse events (AEs) were 79% for AV7909 subjects and 65% for BioThrax subjects; 92% of AV7909 subjects and 87% of BioThrax subjects having AEs reported Grade 1-2 AEs. No serious AEs were assessed as potentially vaccine-related, and no AEs of potential autoimmune etiology were reported. There was no discernible pattern indicative of a safety concern across groups in the incidence or severity of reactogenicity events. Groups 2-4 achieved success for the primary endpoint, demonstrated by a lower 95% confidence limit of the percentage of subjects with protective toxin neutralizing antibody NF50 values (≥0.56) to be ≥40% at Day 63. Group 1 marginally missed the criterion (lower bound 95% confidence limit of 39.5%). Immune responses were above this threshold for Groups 1, 3 and 4 at Day 28 and all groups at Day 42. Further study of an AV7909 two-dose schedule given 2 weeks apart is warranted in light of the favorable tolerability profile and immunogenicity response relative to three doses of BioThrax vaccine, as well as preliminary data from nonclinical studies indicating similar immune responses correlate with higher survival for AV7909 than BioThrax vaccine.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    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...... were prepared against the exfoliative toxin from strain 1289D-88. The in vivo activity of the exfoliative toxin could be neutralized by antibodies. It was shown that polyclonal as well as monoclonal antibodies only reacted with the toxin produced by two of nine well-defined virulent strains of S...

  15. Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Your Health Resources Drugs, Procedures & Devices Procedures & Devices Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms Botulinum Toxin Injections: A Treatment for Muscle Spasms Drugs, Procedures & ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Lowe

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

  17. Fentanyl-Laced 'Norco' Is Lethal, Report Warns

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160158.html Fentanyl-Laced 'Norco' Is Lethal, Report Warns New street ... study involving the drug. The street drug combines fentanyl -- the synthetic opioid painkiller linked to the death ...

  18. Testicular trauma secondary to less-lethal kinetic energy munitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavoussi, Parviz K; Hermans, Michael R

    2006-06-01

    Many cases of testicular trauma secondary to munitions have been reported. We report a case of a 37-year-old man who suffered testicular trauma as a result of a less-lethal munition projectile. With the advent, and increased use, of less-lethal munitions by the military and law enforcement agencies, more of these new subsets of genitourinary trauma patients who will require care are sure to result.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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...