WorldWideScience

Sample records for free-living pheasants phasianus

  1. An outbreak of Newcastle disease in free-living pheasants (Phasianus colchicus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Poul Henrik; Handberg, Kurt; Ahrens, Peter;

    1999-01-01

    The epidemiology of an outbreak of Newcastle disease in a population of approximately 12 000 free-living pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) on the island of Faeno in Denmark in 1996 is described. The mortality epizootic demonstrated over an observation period of 3 weeks. A total of 70 avian paramyxo......The epidemiology of an outbreak of Newcastle disease in a population of approximately 12 000 free-living pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) on the island of Faeno in Denmark in 1996 is described. The mortality epizootic demonstrated over an observation period of 3 weeks. A total of 70 avian...

  2. The effect of an indirect anthelmintic treatment on parasites and breeding success of free-living pheasants Phasianus colchicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draycott, R A H; Woodburn, M I A; Ling, D E; Sage, R B

    2006-12-01

    In Great Britain free-living common pheasants Phasianus colchicus are often managed at high densities owing to their popularity as a quarry species. They are prone to infection by a range of parasite species including Heterakis gallinarum, Capillaria spp. and Syngamus trachea. In 1995 the efficacy of an indirect anthelmintic technique for controlling parasitic worm burdens of pheasants was determined in a pilot study on a shooting estate in the south of England. Between 2000 and 2003 a large-scale field experiment was conducted on nine estates in eastern England to determine the effect of the technique on parasite burden and pheasant breeding success. In the absence of anthelmintic treatment worm burdens increased rapidly through March and April, whereas birds given anthelmintic-treated grain had lower worm burdens during the same period. The breeding success of pheasants was significantly higher on plots provided with anthelmintic treatment, although no long-term increases in population densities were observed. The burdens of the most common parasite H. gallinarum were significantly lower in pheasants from treatment plots six weeks after the anthelmintic treatment had ceased, but spring treatment did not influence parasite burden in the following winter.

  3. Characteristics of reared game pheasant (Phasianus colchicus’s egg

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luigi Guidobono Cavalchini

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemical and physical characteristics of game pheasant (Phasianus colchicus’s egg were studied and compared with domesticfowl (Gallus gallus domesticus’s egg. The birds were housed in individual cages in a environmentally controlled room(T=18÷20°C; 16L:8D and fed ad libitum standard breeder diet. A sample of thirty eggs was analysed for each phase of thelaying period (beginning, peak and end. The following chemico-physical parameters: egg, albumen, yolk and shell weight;yolk colour; egg and shell dry matter (DM; shell thickness (blunt end, pointed end and middle part were measured. Theprotein, lipid, and cholesterol content was evaluated; the fatty acid (FA profile analysed. We observed: egg weight averageof 34.5g ; a high proportion of yolk (37% in the whole egg (Y/E, consequently, a high lipid content of 13.9%; a protein contentDM of 44.3%; the fatty acid composition was similar to that of chicken egg and the oleic acid (36.4% was the majorproportion of the total fatty acids, as in the domestic fowl. The rearing pheasant’s egg has a high nutritive concentration, dueto high ratio yolk/whole egg, with biological and nutritional characteristics similar to domestic fowl’s egg.

  4. [Cuclotogaster heterographus (Mallophaga: Lipeuridae) infestation on ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in Konya].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dik, Bilal; Uslu, Uğur

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to detect ectoparasites on ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in Konya. On the Research and Experimental Farm of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Selcuk University, 55 ring-necked pheasants were observed to be infested with ectoparasites. Because of this, the pheasants were put into a large cartoon-box, the bottom of which was covered with a white paper and were treated with propoxur for a few minutes. The ectoparasites that had fallen on the paper were transferred to a tube containing 70% ethyl alcohol. After being cleared in lactophenol for a few days, they were mounted on slides in Faure-Forte medium. All of the ectoparasites were identified as the chewing lice (Mallophaga), Cuclotogaster heterographus. This is the first study that has recorded the presence of C. heterographus on ring-necked pheasants in Turkey.

  5. Determination of ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) serum protein concentrations by refractometry and the biuret method

    OpenAIRE

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of hand-held refractometer in determining serum protein concentrations in ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) as compared with the standard biuret method. The results indicated that serum protein values may be accurately determined in ring-necked pheasants with a hand-held refractometer. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2008.

  6. Demonstration of Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale in pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) with pneumonia and airsacculitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Welchman, D. de B.; Ainsworth, H. L.; Jensen, Tim Kåre

    2013-01-01

    Outbreaks of respiratory disease were investigated in reared pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) aged approximately 18 to 32 weeks, released into the semi-wild on four shooting estates in southern England. The clinical signs in the affected birds included swelling of the face and eyes, loss of condit......Outbreaks of respiratory disease were investigated in reared pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) aged approximately 18 to 32 weeks, released into the semi-wild on four shooting estates in southern England. The clinical signs in the affected birds included swelling of the face and eyes, loss...... of condition, gasping respirations and coughing. The gross pathology findings included sinusitis, airsacculitis, pleural oedema and lung lesions. The histopathological findings in the affected lungs were characterized by a granulomatous pneumonia. Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT) was isolated from....... The localization of ORT within the lung tissue was demonstrated by fluorescent in-situ hybridization in the bronchial exudate of three cases, although not within the granulomatous lesions themselves. In each case, ORT was identified as part of a complex of other respiratory agents including avian paramyxovirus...

  7. Selenium toxicity in breeding ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latshaw, J D; Morishita, T Y; Sarver, C F; Thilsted, J

    2004-12-01

    A flock of breeding ring-necked pheasants received feed with a high selenium content. Within 4 days of eating the toxic feed, the rate of egg production began to decrease, and bird aggression increased. Approximately 12% of the hens died within a week. Necropsy of the hens revealed colorless fluid around the heart and a friable, but otherwise normal, liver. The rapid onset of the problem and signs noted at necropsy suggested toxicosis. Based on analysis, the feed contained 9.3 ppm of selenium. Selenium toxicity was consistent with the histologic diagnosis of degenerative cardiomyopathy, vacuolar degeneration of hepatocytes, and centrilobular hepatic necrosis. After 8 days, the toxic feed was removed and replaced with fresh feed. Egg production, which had dropped to 50%, returned to normal within 10 days of feed replacement. Hatchability of eggs laid from days 8 to 14 after delivery of the toxic feed was 35%. Approximately 10% of the chicks that hatched had deformed beaks and abnormal eyes. Many of the chicks that died in the shell had deformities, bringing the total to more than 50% of all embryos that developed. The selenium content of eggs that had no embryonic development was 2.05 ppm. Hatchability of eggs laid from days 21 to 28 after the toxic feed was delivered was almost 80%, which was slightly lower than normal. The selenium content of these eggs was 0.30 ppm. These results show the rapid onset and correction of selenium toxicity and suggest that specific embryologic defects are diagnostic for selenium toxicity.

  8. Safety of fenbendazole in Chinese ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, R; Yaeger, M; Hostetter, S; Tell, L A; Wetzlich, S; Vickroy, T; Lillie, B; MacFarlane, W; Laudenslager, T; Whitley, E; Dzikamunhenga, R; Larson, W

    2014-03-01

    Ring-necked pheasants raised on propagation farms can be severely parasitized with Syngamus trachea (gapeworm) and other parasitic worms. Fenbendazole is a highly effective benzimidazole-class anthelmintic that is not currently approved for game bird species in the United States. The objective of this work was to provide target animal safety data to support a label claim for fenbendazole in pheasants at 100 parts per million (ppm) in the feed for 7 consecutive days. Demonstration of safety in young pheasants and a separate demonstration of reproductive safety in adult birds were required. In the young bird study, 160 Chinese ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus, 80 males and 80 females) were fed a commercial game bird starter ration containing no antibiotics, growth promoters, or coccidiostats until day 0 of the study (approximately 21 days of age). On day 0 the birds were placed on their respective study diets containing fenbendazole at 0, 100, 300, and 500 ppm for 21 days (three times the normal treatment duration). Clinical observations were recorded twice daily. Feed consumption, feed conversion rate, and body weights were determined for each pen. Three birds from each pen were randomly selected for necropsy, histopathology, and clinical pathology. Birds were carefully examined for feathering abnormalities immediately following euthanasia. The remaining birds in each pen were submitted for drug concentration analysis so that concentrations (for low vs. high treatment levels) could be correlated with clinical observations, clinical pathology, and histologic findings. There no morbidities or mortalities after study day--1. There were no statistically significant treatment-related differences in feed consumption, feed conversion rates, body weights, serum biochemistry profiles, hematologic profiles, gross necropsy findings, histopathologic examination, and feathering. Allowable liver and muscle concentrations of fenbendazole sulfone in turkeys are 6 and 2

  9. EVALUATION OF HEAVY METALS ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION BASED ON THEIR CONCENTRATIONS IN TISSUES OF WILD PHEASANT (PHASIANUS COLCHICUS L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Małgorzata Dżugan

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to determine the level of heavy metals (cadmium and lead in pheasants tissues (Phasianus colchicus L. and their impact on other essential metals metabolism. The samples of liver, kidneys, testes, breast muscle, heart and feet were collected from pheasants (n=6 shot in the area of Rzeszow and analyzed using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS method. The accumulation of both toxic metals was observed mainly in kidney (P<0.05, followed in liver. Specific distribution of lead in birds feet was observed. Traces of heavy metals were found in heart and breast muscle, whereas high level of lead and cadmium in testes were determined. The concentration of microelements (zinc, manganese and calcium in the examined organs did not exceed physiological levels reported in the literature for other animals. However, certain significant correlations between toxic and essential metals were observed in examined tissues.

  10. Distribution, density and biological breeding of white wing pheasant (Phasianus colchicus principalis, Sclater, 1885 in Northeast of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasrin Kayvanfar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus, Linnaeus, 1758 is an endemic naturally distributed in the Palearctic regions. White wing pheasant (P. c. principalis is distributed from Turkmenistan and north of Afghanistan along to Harir-Rud river in northeast of Iran. This study was the first attempt to determine the geographical range, density and breeding biology of white wing pheasant populations in northeast of Iran. To do so, 36 stations were defined in the breeding range of the species in two cities, namely Sarakhs and Dargaz in northeast of Iran. The breeding behaviors including egg lying, hatching and feeding behavior of chicks' were monitored and photographed using camera traps in 14 active nests in 10 stations. Collected data showed that white wing pheasant had a simple nest shape breeding season started in early April hatching began end of May and lasted 24±1 days (based on 14 active nests and finally enjoiyed little parental caring, particularly for the males. Comparative morphometrical data for eggs (length and width, nest and clutch size showed that there was a significant variation between the studied populations (P<0.05, ANOVA, in which the populations could be separated based on discriminant function analysis and the euclidean eendrogram. Comparision of morphometrical data of eggs in captive and wild nests showed that there was a significant length variation between them (P<0.05.

  11. Detection of Caliciviruses in young pheasants (Phasianus colchicus with enteritis in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilaria Capua

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available During June 2004 a severe enteritis was reported in a farm of 21-28 day old pheasants reared in intensive conditions in North-Eastern Italy. Mortality in the flock had reached 25%. Virological investigations on cell culture of the gut content yielded reoviruses while electron microscopy examination revealed viral particles morphologically related to calicivirus in association with parvovirus-like and rod shaped virus-like particles.

  12. Influence of storage conditions and shotshell wounding on the hygienic condition of hunted, uneviscerated pheasant (Phasianus colchicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulsen, P; Nagy, J; Popelka, P; Ledecky, V; Marcincák, S; Pipová, M; Smulders, F J M; Hofbauer, P; Lazar, P; Dicakova, Z

    2008-01-01

    The effects of shot wounds on the hygienic conditions of pheasants (particularly those in the body cavity) were studied. Slaughtered (n = 33) and hunted pheasants (31 specimens with, and 33 specimens without shots in the body cavity) were stored uneviscerated at 0 and 4 degrees C. Specimens were taken at d 0, 3, 7, and 14. Hunted pheasants differed from slaughtered pheasants with respect to muscular hemorrhages and blood and fecal matter in the body cavity but also with regard to the presence of Escherichia coli in breast and thigh muscles. In addition, a higher thigh muscle pH (P 0.05) increase observed during storage. Concentrations of biogenic amines in muscle tissue remained below the determination limit of 1 mg/kg for 90% of samples analyzed, with the maximum concentration for the remaining 10% of samples reaching 5.7 mg/kg, indicating a low incidence of contaminant bacteria. The observed changes in pH values and levels of biogenic amines failed to correlate with the presence or absence of shot lesions in the body cavity or abdominal region. Total aerobic counts increased significantly during storage, but the absolute numbers were consistently below 10(6) log(10) cfu/g. Although E. coli were <1 log(10) cfu/g in muscles of hunted pheasants on d 3 at 4 degrees C, counts of up to 3.7 log(10) cfu/g on d 7 at 4 degrees C indicated a loss of hygienic quality. Therefore, it is recommended that hunted, uneviscerated pheasants be stored 3 d at 4 degrees C, but not longer than 7 d after the hunt.

  13. Bioserotypes and virulence markers of Yersinia enterocolitica strains isolated from mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bancerz-Kisiel, Agata; Szczerba-Turek, Anna; Lipczyńska, Karolina; Stenzel, Tomasz; Szweda, Wojciech

    2012-12-01

    Yersinia enterocolitica is the causative agent of yersiniosis in different animal species and in humans. Food contaminated with Y. enterocolitica is the main source of infection for humans, and swine plays a major role in the transmission of the disease. There are a limited number of reports of the prevalence of Y. enterocolitica in wild animals and birds. This study characterized virulence markers associated with Y. enterocolitica isolates recovered from mallards and pheasants. Y. enterocolitica strains were isolated from 5 (11.11%) of 45 mallards originating from a cold culture (peptone, sorbitol, and bile salts medium) belonging to biotype 1A. Serotyping showed that three of these five serotypes represented serotype O:8, one belonged to serotype O:5, and one did not agglutinate with any of the sera and was classified as nonidentified. Molecular analysis for virulence markers detected the ystB gene, which encodes an enterotoxin, in five isolates. Y. enterocolitica was not detected in any of the 16 examined pheasants.

  14. Changes in parasite transmission stage excretion after pheasant release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanúa, D; Acevedo, P; Höfle, U; Rodríguez, O; Gortázar, C

    2006-09-01

    The production of parasite transmission stages was investigated in the faeces of 77 farm-bred ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). Coccidian oocysts (Eimeria sp.), and nematode eggs (Heterakis sp., and Capillaria-like eggs) were recovered before and after release but all birds were treated prior to release. Treatment with fenbendazole significantly reduced the abundance of transmission-stage excretion for all parasites, and reduced the prevalence in the case of Eimeria sp. and Heterakis sp. Nonetheless, a significant increase in the excretion abundance for all parasites and in the prevalence of Eimeria sp. and Heterakis sp. was found after release. Eggs of Ascaridia sp. were found only after releasing, suggesting infection ocurred in the wild. A negative relationship was found between the pheasant body condition and Heterakis excretion abundance and a higher abundance of Capillaria sp. eggs in female birds. No significant relationship was found between parasite excretion abundance and pheasant survival. Despite this, results suggest that an increase in the excretion of parasite transmission stages follows the release of captive pheasants into the wild. This can in part explain restocking failures, but also means that autochtonous free-living birds may become exposed to new and potentially harmful pathogens. To avoid these risks it is proposed that improved prophylactic measures should be taken.

  15. Polymorphic microsatellites developed by cross-species amplifications in common pheasant breeds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baratti, M.; Alberti, A.; Groenen, M.A.M.; Veenendaal, T.; Fulgheri, F.D.

    2001-01-01

    Genetic variability was analysed in two common breeds of pheasant (Phasianus colchicus L. 1758) by means of cross-species amplifications of microsatellite loci: 154 chicken, Gallus gallus and 32 turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, primers were tested for amplification of pheasant DNA. Thirty-six primers (2

  16. Changes in parasite transmission stage excretion after pheasant release

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    The production of parasite transmission stages was investigated in the faeces of 77 farm-bred ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). Coccidian oocysts (Eimeria sp.), and nematode eggs (Heterakis sp., and Capillaria-like eggs) were recovered before and after release but all birds were treated prior to release. Treatment with fenbendazole significantly reduced the abundance of trans-mission-stage excretion for all parasites, and reduced the prevalence in the case of Eimeria sp. and Hetera...

  17. Minnesota Pheasant Range

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This dataset delineates the spatial range of wild pheasant populations in Minnesota as of 2002 by dividing the MN state boundary into 2 units: pheasant range and...

  18. Molecular cloning and comparative analysis of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes from Phasianus colchicus, Meleagris gallopavo, and Coturnix japonica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jin Won; Kim, Jin-Kyoo; Seo, Hee Won; Cho, Byung Wook; Song, Gwonhwa; Han, Jae Yong

    2010-08-15

    To date, immunoglobulin (Ig) genes have only been fully characterized in a small number of aves, which pose a major obstacle to understanding Ig evolution. Thus, we cloned the cDNAs of three immunoglobulin classes, IgA, IgM, and IgY, from Phasianus colchicus, Coturnix japonica, and Meleagris gallopavo. Multiple sequence alignments revealed that the highest degree of sequence homology in all Ig classes was observed between pheasant and turkey whereas the degree of homology between the galliforms and non-galliforms was relatively low compared to that among the galliforms. When the constant region domains of the four human Ig classes were compared with the corresponding regions in aves, the average percent homology between human CH2 and avian CH3, and between human CH3 and avian CH4, was greater than between identical domains in IgA and IgY, which are in partial agreement with the hypothesis that the avian CH2 domain evolved to form the mammalian hinge via domain condensation. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the galliform Ig heavy chain constant regions were divided into quail and the common ancestor of chicken, turkey, and pheasant, and that chicken was separated from turkey and pheasant, which were grouped together. These results add to our knowledge of galliform Igs and the diversification of these genes.

  19. Long-term and widespread changes in agricultural practices influence ring-necked pheasant abundance in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Howe, Kristy B.; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Dwight, Ian; Connelly, Daniel P.; Meshriy, Matt G.; Gardner, Scott C.

    2017-01-01

    Declines in bird populations in agricultural regions of North America and Europe have been attributed to agricultural industrialization, increases in use of agrochemical application, and increased predation related to habitat modification. Based on count data compiled from Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) from 1974 to 2012, Christmas Bird Count (CBC) collected from 1914 to 2013, and hunter data from Annual Game Take Survey (AGTS) for years 1948–2010, ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in California have experienced substantial declines in agricultural environments. Using a modeling approach that integrates all three forms of survey data into a joint response abundance index, we found pheasant abundance was related to the amount of harvested and unharvested crop land, types of crops produced, amount of total pesticide applied, minimum temperature, precipitation, and numbers of avian competitors and predators. Specifically, major changes in agricultural practices over the last three decades were associated with declines in pheasant numbers and likely reflected widespread loss of habitat. For example, increases in cropland were associated with increased pheasant abundance during early years of study but this effect decreased through time, such that no association in recent years was evidenced. A post hoc analysis revealed that crops beneficial to pheasant abundance (e.g., barley) have declined substantially in recent decades and were replaced by less advantageous crops (e.g., nut trees). An additional analysis using a restricted data set (1990–2013) indicated recent negative impacts on pheasant numbers associated with land use practices were also associated with relatively high levels of pesticide application. Our results may provide valuable information for management policies aimed at reducing widespread declines in pheasant populations in California and may be applicable to other avian species within agricultural settings. Furthermore, this general

  20. Pheasant sexual ornaments reflect nutritional conditions during early growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlsson, Thomas; Smith, Henrik G; Råberg, Lars; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2002-01-01

    Differences in growth conditions during early life have been suggested to cause long-lasting effects on morphology and quality of adult birds. We experimentally investigated the effect of early growth conditions on the expression of sexual ornaments later in life in male ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). We also investigated the effects on immune function, as it could be a functional link between early nutrition and ornament expression. We manipulated the dietary protein intake during the first eight weeks post hatching. Males receiving fodder with 27% protein during the first three weeks of life grew larger and more colourful wattles when sexually mature than males receiving a low-protein diet (20.5% protein). Spur length was unaffected by diet treatment. Manipulation of food protein levels during weeks 4-8 after hatching had no effect on the development of ornaments. The different protein treatments had no long-term effect on either humoral or cell-mediated immune responses. There was, however, a positive relationship between spur length and cell-mediated immune responsiveness. Our study shows that expression of a sexual ornament in adult pheasants reflects nutritional conditions early in life. Because the expression of secondary sexual ornaments is affected by conditions during early growth, by selecting more ornamented males, females would choose mates that are superior at handling early nutritional stress. If the susceptibility to early nutritional stress also has a hereditary basis, females may benefit by obtaining 'good genes'.

  1. Declining ring-necked pheasants in the Klamath Basin, California: I. Insecticide exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Robert A.; Buhler, D.R.; Henny, Charles J.; Drew, A.D.

    1998-01-01

    A study of organophosphorus (OP) insecticide exposure was conducted on a declining population of ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) associated with agricultural lands at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge (TLNWR) during the summers of 1990a??92. Findings at TLNWR were compared with a nearby pheasant population at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (LKNWR) not subjected to intensive farming or OP insecticide applications. Direct toxicity of anticholinesterase (antiChE) compounds (in this case methamidophos) killed 2 young pheasants (91 and 92% brain acetylcholinesterase [AChE] inhibition), but no deaths of adult radio-equipped hens were ascribed to direct insecticide intoxication. However, within 20 days postspray of OP insecticides, 68% (28 of 41) of the adult pheasants collected at TLNWR were exposed to antiChE insecticides, and exhibited brain AChE inhibition of 19a??62%, with 15% (6 of 41) showing >55% brain AChE inhibition. The lack of radio-equipped hens dying was unexpected because >50% brain AChE inhibition has been frequently used as a diagnostic tool for evaluating cause of death from antiChE insecticides. No young were radio-equipped, so the extent of the effects of insecticide exposure on the survivorship of young was unknown. It is concluded that insecticide exposure was not the major factor impacting the pheasant population (see Grove et al., in press), although some young were acutely intoxicated. However, the loss of insects killed by insecticide use may have contributed to food shortages of young pheasants, indirectly influencing survival.

  2. First report of five nematode species in Phasianus colchicus Linnaeus (Aves, Galliformes, Phasianidae in Brazil Primeiro registro de cinco espécies de nematóides em Phasianus colchicus Linnaeus (Aves, Galliformes, Phasianidae no Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Magalhães Pinto

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with the first report of the nematodes Dispharynx nasuta (Rudolphi, 1819 Stiles & Hassall, 1920, Gongylonema ingluvicola Ransom, 1904, Oxyspirura mansoni (Cobbold, 1879 Ransom, 1904, Subulura brumpti (Lopez-Neyra, 1922 Cram, 1923 and Tetrameres fissipina (Diesing, 1860 Travassos, 1914, parasitizing the ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus Linnaeus, 1758 in Brazil. Morphological data on the parasites as well as on the prevalence, mean intensity, mean abundance and range of intensity of the nematodes in the infected birds are provided.O presente trabalho diz respeito à primeira referência dos nematóides Dispharynx nasuta (Rudolphi, 1819 Stiles & Hassall, 1920, Gongylonema ingluvicola Ransom, 1904, Oxyspirura mansoni (Cobbold, 1879 Ransom, 1904, Subulura brumpti (Lopez-Neyra, 1922 Cram, 1923 e Tetrameres fissipina (Diesing, 1860 Travassos, 1914, parasitando o faisão-coleira, Phasianus colchicus Linnaeus, 1758 no Brasil. São fornecidos dados morfológicos sobre os parasitos, bem como sobre a prevalência, intensidade média, abundância média e amplitude de variação da intensidade de infecção dos nematóides nas aves parasitadas.

  3. [Cultivation of pathogenic free-living amoebae].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Heng; Zhu, Huai-Min

    2009-08-01

    The isolation and culture of pathogenic free-living amoebae are useful in the diagnosis and research. This review focuses on the methods of isolation and cultivation of pathogenic free-living amoebae, including sample treatment, culture conditions, passage culture, pathogen detection, and maintenance.

  4. An unusual case of coccidiosis in laboratory-reared pheasants resulting from a breach in biosecurity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerhold, R W; Williams, S M; Fuller, A L; McDougald, L R

    2010-09-01

    An outbreak of coccidiosis in laboratory-reared Chinese ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) resulted in high morbidity and moderate mortality. The outbreak was associated with a breach in biosecurity caused by the cleaning of a sewer line with a mechanical device, resulting in extensive splattering of fecal material throughout the "clean room" where birds were held prior to use in coccidiosis experiments. Mortality and morbidity in the affected birds were seen exactly 5 days after the incident, after birds had been moved to another room for experimental use, corresponding closely with the known prepatent or preclinical period of Eimeria phasiani and Eimeria colchici. Gross lesions in the affected birds varied from dehydration to intestinal and ventricular hemorrhage. Microscopic examination confirmed a diagnosis of severe intestinal coccidiosis. This report underscores the ease of contamination of experimental birds leading to coccidiosis outbreaks during breaches of management and biosecurity.

  5. Trichurid nematodes in ring-necked pheasants from backyard flocks of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: frequency and pathology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Magalhães Pinto

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The present investigation is related to the frequency of infection and to the gross and microscopic lesions associated to the presence of trichurid worms in 50 ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus from backyard flocks in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the investigated birds, the overall infection rate was of 74%, with the presence of Eucoleus perforans with 72% of prevalence and 21.2 of mean intensity, in the esophageal and crop mucosa and rarely in the junction of the proventriculus and esophagus, E. annulatus with 2% and 3 in the crop mucosa, Capillaria phasianina, with 12% and 4.3 in the cecum and small intestine and Baruscapillaria obsignata, for the first time referred in this host, with 2% and 1 in the small intestine. Clinical signs were absent. The gross lesions observed in the crop and esophagus of 14 (38.9% pheasants parasitized with E. perforans were thickening, small nodules, congestion, and petechial haemorrhages in the mucosa. These birds presented a mean infection of 37.5 and a range of infection of 10-82. The microscopic lesions revealed chronic esophagitis with diffuse inflammatory process in the lamina propria characterized mostly by a mononuclear cell infiltrate and also with the presence of granulocytes. In the case of the parasitism of pheasants with C. phasianina, the gross lesions were absent; microscopic lesions were characterized by chronic typhlitis with mononuclear infiltrate. Gross and microscopic lesions were absent in the pheasants parasitized with E. annulatus and B. obsignata.

  6. Microorganisms resistant to free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2004-04-01

    Free-living amoebae feed on bacteria, fungi, and algae. However, some microorganisms have evolved to become resistant to these protists. These amoeba-resistant microorganisms include established pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, Legionella spp., Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycobacterium avium, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Francisella tularensis, and emerging pathogens, such as Bosea spp., Simkania negevensis, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, and Legionella-like amoebal pathogens. Some of these amoeba-resistant bacteria (ARB) are lytic for their amoebal host, while others are considered endosymbionts, since a stable host-parasite ratio is maintained. Free-living amoebae represent an important reservoir of ARB and may, while encysted, protect the internalized bacteria from chlorine and other biocides. Free-living amoebae may act as a Trojan horse, bringing hidden ARB within the human "Troy," and may produce vesicles filled with ARB, increasing their transmission potential. Free-living amoebae may also play a role in the selection of virulence traits and in adaptation to survival in macrophages. Thus, intra-amoebal growth was found to enhance virulence, and similar mechanisms seem to be implicated in the survival of ARB in response to both amoebae and macrophages. Moreover, free-living amoebae represent a useful tool for the culture of some intracellular bacteria and new bacterial species that might be potential emerging pathogens.

  7. Ecology of free-living metacercariae (Trematoda).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, Neil J

    2015-06-01

    The presence of trematodes with a free-living metacercarial stage is a common feature of most habitats and includes important species such as Fasciola hepatica, Parorchis acanthus and Zygocotyle lunata. These trematodes encyst on the surface of an animal or plant that can act as a transport host, which form the diet of the target definitive host. Although these species are often considered individually, they display common characteristics in their free-living biology indicating a shared transmission strategy, yet in comparison to species with penetrative cercariae this aspect of their life cycles remains much overlooked. This review integrates the diverse data and presents a novel synthesis of free-living metacercariae using epibiosis as the basis of a new framework to describe the relationship between transport hosts and parasites. All aspects of their biology during the period that they are metabolically independent of a host are considered, from cercarial emergence to metacercarial excystment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Microorganisms Resistant to Free-Living Amoebae

    OpenAIRE

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2004-01-01

    Free-living amoebae feed on bacteria, fungi, and algae. However, some microorganisms have evolved to become resistant to these protists. These amoeba-resistant microorganisms include established pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, Legionella spp., Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycobacterium avium, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Francisella tularensis, and emerging pathogens, such as Bosea spp., Simkania negevensis, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, and Legionella-like amoe...

  9. Cadmium, lead, and mercury exposure assessment among croatian consumers of free-living game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarus, Maja; Prevendar Crnić, Andreja; Bilandžić, Nina; Kusak, Josip; Reljić, Slaven

    2014-09-29

    Free-living game can be an important source of dietary cadmium and lead; the question is whether exposure to these two elements is such that it might cause adverse health effects in the consumers. The aim of this study was to estimate dietary exposure to cadmium, lead, and mercury from free-living big game (fallow deer, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, and brown bear), and to mercury from small game (pheasant and hare), hunted in Croatia from 1990 to 2012. The exposure assessment was based on available literature data and our own measurements of metal levels in the tissues of the game, by taking into account different consumption frequencies (four times a year, once a month and once a week). Exposure was expressed as percentage of (provisional) tolerable weekly intake [(P)TWI] values set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Consumption of game meat (0.002-0.5 % PTWI) and liver (0.005-6 % PTWI) assumed for the general population (four times a year) does not pose a health risk to consumers from the general population, nor does monthly (0.02-6 % PTWI) and weekly (0.1-24 % PTWI) consumption of game meat. However, because of the high percentage of free-living game liver and kidney samples exceeding the legislative limits for cadmium (2-99 %) and lead (1-82 %), people should keep the consumption of certain game species' offal as low as possible. Children and pregnant and lactating women should avoid eating game offal altogether. Free-living game liver could be an important source of cadmium if consumed on a monthly basis (3-74 % TWI), and if consumed weekly (11-297 % TWI), it could even give rise to toxicological concern.

  10. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Durán, José María; Egger, Bernhard

    2012-03-19

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny

  11. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín-Durán José

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features

  12. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny

  13. Pheasant hunting on the Monte Vista NWR

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This letter to the Alamosa/Monte Vista NWR Refuge Manager discusses the need to alter management of pheasants in the area to halt the continued decline in population...

  14. Free-living amoebae: pathogenicity and immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrante, A

    1991-01-01

    Free-living amoebae causes three well-defined disease entities: (i) primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, caused by Naegleria fowleri, (ii) granulomatous amoebic encephalitis and (iii) chronic amoebic keratitis, caused by species of Acanthamoeba. Both Naegleria infections and chronic amoebic keratitis occur in healthy individuals while granulomatous amoebic encephalitis is often associated with patients with acquired immunodeficiencies. The different pathogenic behaviour of these organisms is associated with differences in life cycle, amoeboidal locomotion, enzyme composition (such as phospholipase A), and cytotoxins, as well as natural host immunity. Immunity against these amoebae (whether acquired or natural) involves a combination of complement, antibody and cell-mediated immunity. Evidence suggests that the major mechanisms of immunity against these amoebae is activation of phagocytic cells, especially neutrophils, by lymphokines and opsonization of the amoebae by antibody which promote an antibody dependent cellular destruction of the organism.

  15. Free-living amoebae: Health concerns in the indoor environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tyndall, R.L.; Ironside, K.S.

    1990-01-01

    Free-living amoebae are the most likely protozoa implicated in health concerns of the indoor environment. These amoebae can be the source of allergic reactions, eye infections or, on rare occasions, encephalitis. While too large to be effectively aerosolized, free- living amoebae can support the multiplication of pathogens such as Legionella which are easily aerosolized and infectious via the pulmonary route. Traditional detection methods for free-living amoebae are laborious and time consuming. Newer techniques for rapidly detecting and quantitating free-living amoebae such as monoclonal antibodies, flow cytometry, gene probes, and laser optics have or could be employed. 25 refs.

  16. Pathology and first occurrence of the kidney trematode Paratanaisia bragai (Santos, 1934 Freitas, 1959 (Digenea: Eucotylidae in Phasianus colchicus L., 1758, from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delir Corrêa Gomes

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The kidney trematode Paratanaisia bragai is reported for the first time parasitizing the ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus L., 1758 and the pathological alterations associated to the parasitism are referred on the basis of 50 specimens of this bird from backyard flocks in 11 counties of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after clinical examination, necropsies, and histopathological analysis. The counting of the kidney flukes was based on worms recovered from one of the kidneys, since the other was fixed in 10% formalin and then routinely processed for histopathological procedures. The prevalence of P. bragai was of 22%, with a mean intensity of 44.3, mean abundance of 9.7, and range of infection of 3-153. Parasitized birds did not present with clinical signs and kidney gross lesions. Microscopic lesions were mild and characterized by dilatation of the renal medullary collecting ducts, occasional flattening of the lining epithelium of the ducts and inflammatory reaction of variable intensity with granulocytes around the ureter branches and medullary collecting ducts. The severity and pattern of the microscopic lesions seem not to be associated to the size of the worm burden and could be related to the mechanic action of the parasites, without traumatism, in despite of the presence of the tegumentar spines in specimens of P. bragai.

  17. Blood protozoa of free-living birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.; McDiarmid, Archibald

    1969-01-01

    Blood protozoa were first reported from wild birds in 1884. Since then numerous surveys throughout the world have demonstrated their presence in a wide variety of hosts and localities with continuing designations of new species. Taxonomic determinations include parasites in the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Babesia, Lankesterella and Trypanosoma. Transmission of Plasmodium by mosquitoes was demonstrated with a bird parasite before these insects were proven as vectors of human malaria. All the genera under consideration require an insect vector to complete their life-cycles and susceptible vectors have been demonstrated. Most experimental work on the blood protozoa of birds has been carried on with captive birds. An extensive volume of research has been conducted on Plasmodium because of its close similarity to malaria in man. Field studies that would provide information on the epizootiology of occurrence of these parasites in wild populations have been very limited, mainly confined to single blood film surveys. Such data are inadequate to provide an understanding of true prevalence or incidence or of factual knowledge of their impact on the wild population. Mechanisms for procuring such information are available in some cases and can be developed to fit other situations. Isodiagnosis, inoculation of blood from wild birds into susceptible captive hosts, has revealed a prevalence of over 60 % for Plasmodium in situations where microscope examination of single peripheral blood preparations yielded less than 1 %. Culture of bone marrow collected by biopsy demonstrates high prevalence of trypanosomes even when none are evident from microscopic examination of blood. Often preparations of tissues collected at necropsy reveal Leucocytozoon and Lankesterella when examination of peripheral blood gave no indication of infection. Methods developed by bird ringers provide techniques for obtaining repeat examinations of free-living birds that can yield further

  18. Embryotoxicity of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in the ring-necked pheasant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nosek, J.A.; Craven, S.R. (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Dept. of Wildlife Ecology); Sullivan, J.R. (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources); Gendron-Fitzpatrick, A. (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Research Animal Veterinarian and Research Animal Resource Committee); Peterson, R.E. (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). School of Pharmacy and Environmental Toxicology Center)

    1993-07-01

    Fertilized eggs of ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) were injected into the albumin or yolk with vehicle or graded doses of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), on day 0 of embryonic development and toxicity was assessed in 1-d-old hatchlings and 28-d-old chicks. The most sensitive effect of in ovo TCDD exposure was induction of hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity in 1-d-old hatchlings. The ED50 for this response was 312 pg TCDD/g egg. Embryo mortality was the most sensitive sign of toxicity. The TCDD dose that caused 50% mortality above control (LD50) when injected into the egg albumin or yolk was 1,354 and 2,182 pg TCDD/g egg, respectively. At egg TCDD doses up to and including 1,000 pg TCDD/g egg, no effect was detected in 1-d-old hatchlings and 28-d-old chicks in body growth, organ weights, carcass morphometrices, incidence of edema, or incidence of histological alterations in the liver, spleen, heart, Bursa of Fabricius, or thymus. Egg TCDD doses as high as 1,000 pg TCDD/g egg also had no effect on cardiac morphometrices or incidence of cardiac malformations in 1-d-old hatchlings, or on antibody-mediated immunity in 28-d-old chicks. The authors conclude that embryo mortality is the most sensitive sign of TCDD toxicity in the ring-necked pheasant following in ovo exposure.

  19. Genetic diversity of pheasants from natural habitat and farm ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Roman

    2013-05-01

    May 1, 2013 ... 1Department of Biological Basis of Animal Production, Faculty of Animals' Biology and Breeding, ... Pheasants living in the natural environment were ... habitat is the farm, and the present genetic variation between the two ... wildlife management with respect to pheasants in Poland ..... Wiley-Liss, New York.

  20. Free-living amoebae as vectors of cryptosporidia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheid, Patrick L; Schwarzenberger, Rafael

    2011-08-01

    In the present article, the study to examine the ability of free-living amoebae (FLA) to serve as vectors of cryptosporidia is presented. Ten strains of different free-living amoebae of the FLA collection of the Parasitology Lab at Koblenz were cultivated in the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. After phagocytosis and ingestion, the oocysts could be found in food vacuoles within the cytoplasm of the trophozoites of two different FLA strains. The uptake and the transport of the oocysts within the trophozoites could be demonstrated in an Acanthamoeba sp. (group II) strain (maximum, three oocysts; average, one oocyst) as well as in a Thecamoeba quadrilineata strain (maximum, 15 oocysts; average, eight oocysts), with the help of light microscopy. We found that these free-living amoebae can temporarily harbour cryptosporidia, thus supporting the suggestion that FLA may act as carriers and vehicles for cryptosporidia. However, proliferation did not take place within the host amoebae. No cryptosporidium oocysts were found within the cysts of the amoebae. To our knowledge, this is the first study to determine the "host range" of free-living amoebae as vectors and vehicles of cryptosporidia. Free-living amoebae appear able to act as carriers or vectors of the oocysts and thus may play a certain role in the transmission of cryptosporidia.

  1. Free-living flatworms under the knife: past and present.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egger, Bernhard; Gschwentner, Robert; Rieger, Reinhard

    2007-02-01

    Traditionally, regeneration research has been closely tied to flatworm research, as flatworms (Plathelminthes) were among the first animals where the phenomenon of regeneration was discovered. Since then, the main focus of flatworm regeneration research was on triclads, for which various phenomena were observed and a number of theories developed. However, free-living flatworms encompass a number of other taxa where regeneration was found to be possible. This review aims to display and to compare regeneration in all major free-living flatworm taxa, with special focus on a new player in the field of regeneration, Macrostomum lignano (Macrostomorpha). Findings on the regeneration capacity of this organism provide clues for links between regeneration and (post-)embryonic development, starvation, and asexual reproduction. The role of the nervous system and especially the brain for regeneration is discussed, and similarities as well as particularities in regeneration among free-living flatworms are pointed out.

  2. Fungi associated with free-living soil nematodes in Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karabörklü Salih

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Free-living soil nematodes have successfully adapted world-wide to nearly all soil types from the highest to the lowest of elevations. In the current study, nematodes were isolated from soil samples and fungi associated with these free-living soil nematodes were determined. Large subunit (LSU rDNAs of nematode-associated fungi were amplified and sequenced to construct phylogenetic trees. Nematode-associated fungi were observed in six nematode strains belonging to Acrobeloides, Steinernema and Cephalobus genera in different habitats. Malassezia and Cladosporium fungal strains indicated an association with Acrobeloides and Cephalobus nematodes, while Alternaria strains demonstrated an association with the Steinernema strain. Interactions between fungi and free-living nematodes in soil are discussed. We suggest that nematodes act as vectors for fungi.

  3. Acute oral toxicity of the herbicide BUREX EKO in pheasants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legáth, J; Mlynarcíková, H; Svický, E; Lenhardt, L; Kacmár, P; Benová, K; Kovác, G

    1996-12-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the acute LD50, clinical symptoms and pathological changes of acute BUREX EKO intoxication in pheasants according to OECD No 205. Medium lethal dose (LD50) of BUREX EKO in pheasant is 3.84 ml/kg body weight with the upper level of reliability 4.50 ml and lower level of reliability 3.27 ml/kg body weight. As far as the calculation to the effective substance is concerned it is 1077 mg of chloridazone per kg body weight with the interval of reliability from 919 to 1263 mg/kg body weight. Calculated the effective substance of chloridazone (3.84 ml is LD50 of BUREX EKO which contains 1077 mg of chloridazone) BUREX EKO can be classified as the moderately toxic substance to pheasants. There were following clinical symptoms of the BUREX EKO intoxication in pheasants: apathy, drowsiness, incapability to move, ruffled feathers, slight diarrhoea, strenuous respiration, tonico-clonical cramps before death, decease with the head expressively bent rearwards. There was a relatively fast beginning of rigor mortis in dead pheasants. Pathologico-anatomical dissection of the pheasants obtained under conditions of acute intoxication did not reveal any changes on the organs of both experimental and control pheasants which would be immediately connected with the effect of the administered substance. Hyperaemia was recorded by histologico-pathological investigation of the liver and kidneys. No changes on the brain and intestine wall were recorded.

  4. Inactivation and Removal of Free-Living Amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous protozoan that are predominantly harmless to humans. There are a few genera that cause disease in humans, Balamuthia, Naegleria, and Acanthamoeba. These organisms are not easily removed by physical means or inactivated by chemic...

  5. Trichomonosis in a free-living Stock Dove (Columba oenas)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hegemann, Arne; Hegemann, Ernst Dieter; Krone, Oliver

    2007-01-01

    In October 2004, a free-living Stock Dove (Columba oenas) was found infected with Trichomonas spp. in the district of Soest, North Rhine- Westphalia, Germany. A huge buccal nodular lesion caused an occlusion of the esophagus and an external swelling. The bone of the mandibula was already softened an

  6. Quail, pheasant, & turkey brood survey 2012 : performance report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Performance report for the 2012 quail, ring-necked pheasant, and wild turkey statewide survey. This survey provides Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism...

  7. [Free-living amoebae as vehicles of pathogenic bacteria].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derda, Monika; Sułek-Stankiewicz, Anna; Hadaś, Edward

    2006-01-01

    The free-living amoebae are ubiquitous organisms. They are found in humid soil and all water reservoirs, i.e. fresh, sea, freezing and hot water. They mainly feed on bacteria. Pathogenic properties of amoebae and the mechanisms underlying pathological changes induced during human infection have not yet been fully elucidated. They are the causative agents of primary amoebic meningo-encephalitis (PAM), granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE), a chronic progressive disease of the central nervous system, amebic keratitis (AK), a chronic eye infection; amebic pneumitis (AP), a chronic lung infection, and skin infection. Only a few isolates are strongly and permanently pathogenic to humans. Some isolates lose their pathogenic properties after one passage. It has been assumed that such "temporary", unstable pathogenic properties of the amoebae may be caused by internal factors carried by them. It is generally known that the free-living amoebae may be naturally infected with pathogenic bacteria, which have the ability to survive for a long time and to proliferate in the amoebae cells. The role of the amoeba in the process of maintaining, propagating and transmitting human pathogens has not been well recognized. It has been suggested that some infections can be acquired by inhaling aerosols containing amoebae cells filled with bacteria. The presence of bacteria inside the free-living amoebae possess a great challenge to organisations responsible for testing and inspecting the quality and cleanliness of surface waters, swimming pools and drinking water intakes.

  8. The evolution of sperm morphometry in pheasants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immler, S; Saint-Jalme, M; Lesobre, L; Sorci, G; Roman, Y; Birkhead, T R

    2007-05-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection is thought to be a potent evolutionary force driving the diversification of sperm shape and function across species. In birds, insemination and fertilization are separated in time and sperm storage increases the duration of sperm-female interaction and hence the opportunity for sperm competition and cryptic female choice. We performed a comparative study of 24 pheasant species (Phasianidae, Galliformes) to establish the relative importance of sperm competition and the duration of sperm storage for the evolution of sperm morphometry (i.e. size of different sperm traits). We found that sperm size traits were negatively associated with the duration of sperm storage but were independent of the risk of sperm competition estimated from relative testis mass. Our study emphasizes the importance of female reproductive biology for the evolution of sperm morphometry particularly in sperm-storing taxa.

  9. Cadmium toxicity in the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Popham, J.D.; Webster, J.M.

    1979-10-01

    The effect of cadmium on the fecundity, growth, and fine structure of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was studied. High concentrations of cadmium significantly decreased the fecundity and growth of these organisms. Electron microscopy showed that cadmium modifies the structure of the mitochondria in the esophagus and intestine, causes the formation of inclusion bodies in the nucleus of esophageal cells, and alters the morphology of cytosomes in the intestinal cells. The results suggest that the decreased fecundity and growth of cadmium-exposed C. elegans may be due to cadmium interfering with nutrient uptake or assimilation or both.

  10. Identifying endosymbiont bacteria associated with free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goñi, Pilar; Fernández, María Teresa; Rubio, Encarnación

    2014-02-01

    The association between free-living amoebae and pathogenic bacteria is an issue that has gained great importance due to the environmental and health consequences that it implies. In this paper, we analyse the techniques to follow an epidemiological study to identify associations between genera, species, genotypes and subgenotypes of amoebae with pathogenic bacteria, analysing their evolution and considering their usefulness. In this sense, we highlight the combination of microscopic and molecular techniques as the most appropriate way to obtain fully reliable results as well as the need to achieve the standardization of these techniques to allow the comparison of both environmental and clinical results.

  11. Pathogenic free-living amoebae: epidemiology and clinical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabelsi, H; Dendana, F; Sellami, A; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Neji, S; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2012-12-01

    Free-living amoebae are widely distributed in soil and water. Small number of them was implicated in human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Sappinia diploidea. Some of the infections were opportunistic, occurring mainly in immunocompromised hosts (Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia encephalitis) while others are non opportunistic (Acanthamoeba keratitis, Naegleria meningoencephalitis and some cases of Balamuthia encephalitis). Although, the number of infections caused by these amoebae is low, their diagnosis was still difficult to confirm and so there was a higher mortality, particularly, associated with encephalitis. In this review, we present some information about epidemiology, ecology and the types of diseases caused by these pathogens amoebae.

  12. Repertoire of free-living protozoa in contact lens solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchoucha, Ibtissem; Aziz, Aurore; Hoffart, Louis; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-10-29

    The repertoire of free-living protozoa in contact lens solutions is poorly known despite the fact that such protozoa may act as direct pathogens and may harbor intra-cellular pathogens. Between 2009 and 2014, the contact lens solutions collected from patients presenting at our Ophthalmology Department for clinically suspected keratitis, were cultured on non-nutrient agar examined by microscope for the presence of free-living protozoa. All protozoa were identified by 18S rRNA gene sequencing. A total of 20 of 233 (8.6 %) contact lens solution specimens collected from 16 patients were cultured. Acanthamoeba amoeba in 16 solutions (80 %) collected from 12 patients and Colpoda steini, Cercozoa sp., Protostelium sp. and a eukaryotic more closely related to Vermamoeba sp., were each isolated in one solution. Cercozoa sp., Colpoda sp., Protostelium sp. and Vermamoeba sp. are reported for the first time as contaminating contact lens solutions. The repertoire of protozoa in contact lens solutions is larger than previously known.

  13. Interaction of Pasteurella multocida with free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hundt, Matthew J; Ruffolo, Carmel G

    2005-09-01

    Pasteurella multocida is a highly infectious, facultative intracellular bacterium which causes fowl cholera in birds. This study reports, for the first time, the observed interaction between P. multocida and free-living amoebae. Amoebal trophozoites were coinfected with fowl-cholera-causing P. multocida strain X-73 that expressed the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Using confocal fluorescence microscopy, GFP expressing X-73 was located within the trophozoite. Transmission electron microscopy of coinfection preparations revealed clusters of intact X-73 cells in membrane-bound vacuoles within the trophozoite cytoplasm. A coinfection assay employing gentamicin to kill extracellular bacteria was used to assess the survival and replication of P. multocida within amoebae. In the presence of amoebae, the number of recoverable intracellular X-73 cells increased over a 24-h period; in contrast, X-73 cultured alone in assay medium showed a consistent decline in growth. Cytotoxicity assays and microscopy showed that X-73 was able to lyse and exit the amoebal cells approximately 18 h after coinfection. The observed interaction between P. multocida and amoebae can be considered as an infective process as the bacterium was able to invade, survive, replicate, and lyse the amoebal host. This raises the possibility that similar interactions occur in vivo between P. multocida and host cells. Free-living amoebae are ubiquitous within water and soil environments, and P. multocida has been observed to survive within these same ecosystems. Thus, our findings suggest that the interaction between P. multocida and amoebae may occur within the natural environment.

  14. Cultivation of Pathogenic and Opportunistic Free-Living Amebas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Frederick L.

    2002-01-01

    Free-living amebas are widely distributed in soil and water, particularly members of the genera Acanthamoeba and Naegleria. Since the early 1960s, they have been recognized as opportunistic human pathogens, capable of causing infections of the central nervous system (CNS) in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. Naegleria is the causal agent of a fulminant CNS condition, primary amebic meningoencephalitis; Acanthamoeba is responsible for a more chronic and insidious infection of the CNS termed granulomatous amebic encephalitis, as well as amebic keratitis. Balamuthia sp. has been recognized in the past decade as another ameba implicated in CNS infections. Cultivation of these organisms in vitro provides the basis for a better understanding of the biology of these amebas, as well as an important means of isolating and identifying them from clinical samples. Naegleria and Acanthamoeba can be cultured axenically in cell-free media or on tissue culture cells as feeder layers and in cultures with bacteria as a food source. Balamuthia, which has yet to be isolated from the environment, will not grow on bacteria. Instead, it requires tissue culture cells as feeder layers or an enriched cell-free medium. The recent identification of another ameba, Sappinia diploidea, suggests that other free-living forms may also be involved as causal agents of human infections. PMID:12097243

  15. Naegleria fowleri: a free living amoeba of emerging medical importance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parija, S C; Jayakeerthee, S R

    1999-09-01

    Naegleria fowleri, a free-living amoeba is ubiquitous and word-wide in distribution. Infection is due to inhalation or aspiration of aerosols containing cysts found in the environment. Of late, the amoeba is emerging as a pathogen of medical importance causing primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in humans. The diagnosis of the condition is mainly parasitic which depends on the detection and identification of Naegleria trophozoites in the cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) or biopsied brain tissue. Serological tests are not useful in the diagnosis of PAM. Most cases are fatal and various amoebicidal agents have been tried unsuccessfully. The present paper provides a review of the recent information on the biology and epidemiology of the disease caused by the amoeba Approaches in the diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment of the condition are also discussed.

  16. Genetic variation in the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pélandakis, M; De Jonckheere, J F; Pernin, P

    1998-08-01

    In this study, 30 strains of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri were investigated by using the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) method. The present study confirmed our previous finding that RAPD variation is not correlated with geographical origin. In particular, Mexican strains belong to the variant previously detected in Asia, Europe, and the United States. In France, surprisingly, strains from Cattenom gave RAPD patterns identical to those of the Japanese strains. In addition, all of these strains, together with an additional French strain from Chooz, exhibited similarities to South Pacific strains. The results also confirmed the presence of numerous variants in Europe, whereas only two variants were detected in the United States. The two variants found in the United States were different from the South Pacific variants. These findings do not support the previous hypothesis concerning the origin and modes of dispersal of N. fowleri.

  17. Cocultivation of Legionella pneumophila and free-living amoebae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tyndall, R.L.; Domingue, E.L.

    1982-10-01

    Studies of the interaction of Legionella pneumophila with free-living amoebae showed that Naegleria lovaniensis and Acanthamoeba royreba could use L. pneumophia as a sole food source. However, growth of the amoebae on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with L. pneumophila was slower than growth on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. On inoculation of L. pneumophila into axenic cultures of N. lovaniensis and A. roryba, 99.9% of the L. pneumophila was destroyed within 24 h. After several weeks, however, some amoeba cultures became chronically infected and supported the growth of L. pneumophila. Amoebae exposed to L. pneumophila and containing adhered L. pneumophila, L. pneumophila antigens, or both, showed no increased pathogenic potential on intranasal inoculation of weanling mice. Similarly, L. pneumophila propagated in chronically infected amoeba cultures showed no increase in virulence on intraperitoneal inoculation of guinea pigs relative to L. pneumophila grown in yeast extract broth. 20 references, 1 figure, 4 tables.

  18. Intestinal proteases of free-living and parasitic astigmatid mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Deborah C; Burgess, Stewart T G; Reynolds, Simone L; Mahmood, Wajahat; Fischer, Katja

    2013-02-01

    Among arthropod pests, mites are responsible for considerable damage to crops, humans and other animals. However, detailed physiological data on these organisms remain sparse, mainly because of their small size but possibly also because of their extreme diversity. Focusing on intestinal proteases, we draw together information from three distinct mite species that all feed on skin but have separately adapted to a free-living, a strictly ecto-parasitic and a parasitic lifestyle. A wide range of studies involving immunohistology, molecular biology, X-ray crystallography and enzyme biochemistry of mite gut proteases suggests that these creatures have diverged considerably as house dust mites, sheep scab mites and scabies mites. Each species has evolved a particular variation of a presumably ancestral repertoire of digestive enzymes that have become specifically adapted to their individual environmental requirements.

  19. Using cadence to study free-living ambulatory behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tudor-Locke, Catrine; Rowe, David A

    2012-05-01

    The health benefits of a physically active lifestyle across a person's lifespan have been established. If there is any single physical activity behaviour that we should measure well and promote effectively, it is ambulatory activity and, more specifically, walking. Since public health physical activity guidelines include statements related to intensity of activity, it follows that we need to measure and promote free-living patterns of ambulatory activity that are congruent with this intent. The purpose of this review article is to present and summarize the potential for using cadence (steps/minute) to represent such behavioural patterns of ambulatory activity in free-living. Cadence is one of the spatio-temporal parameters of gait or walking speed. It is typically assessed using short-distance walks in clinical research and practice, but free-living cadence can be captured with a number of commercially available accelerometers that possess time-stamping technology. This presents a unique opportunity to use the same metric to communicate both ambulatory performance (assessed under testing conditions) and behaviour (assessed in the real world). Ranges for normal walking cadence assessed under laboratory conditions are 96-138 steps/minute for women and 81-135 steps/minute for men across their lifespan. The correlation between mean cadence and intensity (assessed with indirect calorimetry and expressed as metabolic equivalents [METs]) based on five treadmill/overground walking studies, is r = 0.93 and 100 steps/minute is considered to be a reasonable heuristic value indicative of walking at least at absolutely-defined moderate intensity (i.e. minimally, 3 METs) in adults. The weighted mean cadence derived from eight studies that have observed pedestrian cadence under natural conditions was 115.2 steps/minute, demonstrating that achieving 100 steps/minute is realistic in specific settings that occur in real life. However, accelerometer data collected in a large

  20. Viruses in close associations with free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheid, Patrick

    2015-11-01

    As both groups of organisms, free-living amoebae (FLA) and viruses, can be found in aquatic environments side by side, it appears obvious that there are multiple interactions with respect to host-endocytobiont relationships. Several relationships between viruses and protozoan hosts are described and it was the discovery of the so called "giant viruses," associated with amoebae, which gave another dimension to these interactions. Mimiviruses, Pandoraviruses and Pithoviruses are examples for interesting viral endocytobionts within FLA. In the Mimivirus viral factories, viral DNA undergoes replication and transcription, and the DNA is prepared to be packed in procapsids. Theses Mimivirus factories can be considered as efficient "production lines" where, at any given moment, all stages of viral generation including membrane biogenesis, capsid assembly and genome encapsidation, are occurring concomitantly. There are some hints that similar replication factories are involved as well during the Pandoravirus development. Some scientists favour the assumption that the giant viruses have received many of their genes from their hosts or from sympatric occurring endocytobionts via lateral gene transfer. This hypothesis would mean that this type of transfer has been an important process in the evolution of genomes in the context of the intracellular parasitic or endocytobiotic lifestyle. In turn, that would migitate against hypothesizing development of a new branch in the tree of life. Based on the described scenarios to explain the presence of genes related to translation, it is also possible that earlier ancestors of today's DNA viruses were involved in the origin of eukaryotes. That possibly could in turn support the idea that cellular organisms could have evolved from viruses with growing autarkic properties. In future we expect the discovery of further (giant) viruses within free-living amoebae and other protozoa through genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses.

  1. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego-Rasilla, Francisco J.; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Pérez-Cembranos, Ana

    2017-04-01

    Several species of vertebrates exhibit spontaneous longitudinal body axis alignment relative to the Earth's magnetic field (i.e., magnetic alignment) while they are performing different behavioural tasks. Since magnetoreception is still not fully understood, studying magnetic alignment provides evidence for magnetoreception and broadens current knowledge of magnetic sense in animals. Furthermore, magnetic alignment widens the roles of magnetic sensitivity in animals and may contribute to shed new light on magnetoreception. In this context, spontaneous alignment in two species of lacertid lizards ( Podarcis muralis and Podarcis lilfordi) during basking periods was monitored. Alignments in 255 P. muralis and 456 P. lilfordi were measured over a 5-year period. The possible influence of the sun's position (i.e., altitude and azimuth) and geomagnetic field values corresponding to the moment in which a particular lizard was observed on lizards' body axis orientation was evaluated. Both species exhibited a highly significant bimodal orientation along the north-northeast and south-southwest magnetic axis. The evidence from this study suggests that free-living lacertid lizards exhibit magnetic alignment behaviour, since their body alignments cannot be explained by an effect of the sun's position. On the contrary, lizard orientations were significantly correlated with geomagnetic field values at the time of each observation. We suggest that this behaviour might provide lizards with a constant directional reference while they are sun basking. This directional reference might improve their mental map of space to accomplish efficient escape behaviour. This study is the first to provide spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living reptiles.

  2. Protein and Overtraining: Potential Applications for Free-Living Athletes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowery, Lonnie; Forsythe, Cassandra E

    2006-01-01

    Despite a more than adequate protein intake in the general population, athletes have special needs and situations that bring it to the forefront. Overtraining is one example. Hard-training athletes are different from sedentary persons from the sub-cellular to whole-organism level. Moreover, competitive, "free-living" (less-monitored) athletes often encounter negative energy balance, sub-optimal dietary variety, injuries, endocrine exacerbations and immune depression. These factors, coupled with "two-a-day" practices and in-season demands require that protein not be dismissed as automatically adequate or worse, deleterious to health. When applying research to practice settings, one should consider methodological aspects such as population specificity and control variables such as energy balance. This review will address data pertinent to the topic of athletic protein needs, particularly from a standpoint of overtraining and soft tissue recovery. Research-driven strategies for adjusting nutrition and exercise assessments will be offered for consideration. Potentially helpful nutrition interventions for preventing and treating training complications will also be presented. PMID:18500962

  3. Diagnosis of infections caused by pathogenic free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Rocha-Azevedo, Bruno; Tanowitz, Herbert B; Marciano-Cabral, Francine

    2009-01-01

    Naegleria fowleri, Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Sappinia sp. are pathogenic free-living amoebae. N. fowleri causes Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, a rapidly fatal disease of the central nervous system, while Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris cause chronic granulomatous encephalitis. Acanthamoeba spp. also can cause cutaneous lesions and Amoebic Keratitis, a sight-threatening infection of the cornea that is associated with contact lens use or corneal trauma. Sappinia pedata has been identified as the cause of a nonlethal case of amoebic encephalitis. In view of the potential health consequences due to infection with these amoebae, rapid diagnosis is critical for early treatment. Microscopic examination and culture of biopsy specimens, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), and corneal scrapings have been used in the clinical laboratory. For amoebic keratitis, confocal microscopy has been used to successfully identify amoebae in corneal tissue. More recently, conventional and real-time PCR assays have been developed that are sensitive and specific for the amoebae. In addition, multiplex PCR assays are available for the rapid identification of these pathogens in biopsy tissue, CSF, and corneal specimens.

  4. Diagnosis of Infections Caused by Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno da Rocha-Azevedo

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Naegleria fowleri, Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Sappinia sp. are pathogenic free-living amoebae. N. fowleri causes Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, a rapidly fatal disease of the central nervous system, while Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris cause chronic granulomatous encephalitis. Acanthamoeba spp. also can cause cutaneous lesions and Amoebic Keratitis, a sight-threatening infection of the cornea that is associated with contact lens use or corneal trauma. Sappinia pedata has been identified as the cause of a nonlethal case of amoebic encephalitis. In view of the potential health consequences due to infection with these amoebae, rapid diagnosis is critical for early treatment. Microscopic examination and culture of biopsy specimens, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF, and corneal scrapings have been used in the clinical laboratory. For amoebic keratitis, confocal microscopy has been used to successfully identify amoebae in corneal tissue. More recently, conventional and real-time PCR assays have been developed that are sensitive and specific for the amoebae. In addition, multiplex PCR assays are available for the rapid identification of these pathogens in biopsy tissue, CSF, and corneal specimens.

  5. Nutrient compensatory foraging in a free-living social insect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Keri L.; Gallacher, Anthony P.; Martin, Lizzie; Tong, Desmond; Elgar, Mark A.

    2010-10-01

    The geometric framework model predicts that animal foraging decisions are influenced by their dietary history, with animals targeting a combination of essential nutrients through compensatory foraging. We provide experimental confirmation of nutrient-specific compensatory foraging in a natural, free-living population of social insects by supplementing their diet with sources of protein- or carbohydrate-rich food. Colonies of the ant Iridomyrmex suchieri were provided with feeders containing food rich in either carbohydrate or protein for 6 days, and were then provided with a feeder containing the same or different diet. The patterns of recruitment were consistent with the geometric framework: while feeders with a carbohydrate diet typically attracted more workers than did feeders with protein diet, the difference in recruitment between the two nutrients was smaller if the colonies had had prior access to carbohydrate than protein. Further, fewer ants visited feeders if the colony had had prior access to protein than to carbohydrates, suggesting that the larvae play a role in worker foraging behaviour.

  6. Protein and Overtraining: Potential Applications for Free-Living Athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Forsythe Cassandra E

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Despite a more than adequate protein intake in the general population, athletes have special needs and situations that bring it to the forefront. Overtraining is one example. Hard-training athletes are different from sedentary persons from the sub-cellular to whole-organism level. Moreover, competitive, "free-living" (less-monitored athletes often encounter negative energy balance, sub-optimal dietary variety, injuries, endocrine exacerbations and immune depression. These factors, coupled with "two-a-day" practices and in-season demands require that protein not be dismissed as automatically adequate or worse, deleterious to health. When applying research to practice settings, one should consider methodological aspects such as population specificity and control variables such as energy balance. This review will address data pertinent to the topic of athletic protein needs, particularly from a standpoint of overtraining and soft tissue recovery. Research-driven strategies for adjusting nutrition and exercise assessments will be offered for consideration. Potentially helpful nutrition interventions for preventing and treating training complications will also be presented.

  7. Short-term dietary compensation in free-living adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKiernan, F; Hollis, J H; Mattes, R D

    2008-03-18

    Evidence suggests that compensatory behaviors operate in infants and pre-school children, such that the high variance characteristic of single eating occasions is much reduced over the day. However, the concept has not been fully explored in adults. The present within-subject, observational study investigated short-term dietary compensation patterns in fifty, weight-stable, normal weight (n=27), overweight (n=14), and obese (n=9) free-living adults (11 M, 39 F; age 30+/-11 y; BMI 26.3+/-5.9). Twenty four-hour diet recalls were obtained for 7 consecutive days, by the multi-pass technique. Each 24-h period was divided into 7 eating occasions. The coefficient of variation for energy intake was calculated for each adult, for each eating occasion, and over each 24-h period. Sub-group variability was assessed by BMI and frequency of consumption of sweetened energy-yielding beverages. The mean coefficient of variation for energy intake for the 7 eating occasions was 110.5%, compared to 28.9% for the day as a whole. Correlations between energy intakes at successive eating events were uniformly negative. No significant differences were noted in the sub-group analyses. Significantly greater variation in energy intake was noted for snacks compared to meals (Pindividual eating occasions, similar to the pattern previously observed in children. Further studies of compensatory responses by larger sub-groups of individuals at risk for weight gain are warranted.

  8. Study Regarding the Correlation between Body Mass and spur Length in Hunting Pheasant (males, in November

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenie Grigoroiu

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a study on the correlation between body mass and spur length in November 2009.November is the month when the pheasant hunting begins. The structure per ages of pheasant cocks is not well known, but we may consider that over 80% are pheasants eclosed during the current year, from the first, second or the third mating, so that the body mass and spur length were different according to age.

  9. Study Regarding the Correlation between Body Mass and Spur Length in Hunting Pheasant (Males, in October

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugenie Grigoroiu

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a study on the correlation between body mass and spur length in October 2009.October is the month when the pheasant hunting begins. The structure per ages of pheasant cocks is not well known, but we may consider that over 80% are pheasants eclosed during the current year, from the first, second or the third mating, so that the body mass and spur length were different according to age.

  10. Microbiome of free-living amoebae isolated from drinking water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delafont, Vincent; Brouke, Amélie; Bouchon, Didier; Moulin, Laurent; Héchard, Yann

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa that can be found in water networks where they prey on bacteria within biofilms. Most bacteria are digested rapidly by phagocytosis, however some are able to survive within amoebae and some are even able to multiply, as it is the case for Legionella pneumophila. These resisting bacteria are a potential health problem as they could also resist to macrophage phagocytosis. Several publications already reported intra-amoebal bacteria but the methods of identification did not allow metagenomic analysis and are partly based on co-culture with one selected amoebal strain. The aim of our study was to conduct a rRNA-targeted metagenomic analysis on amoebae and intra-amoebal bacteria found in drinking water network, to provide the first FLA microbiome in environmental strains. Three sites of a water network were sampled during four months. Culturable FLA were isolated and total DNA was prepared, allowing purification of both amoebal and bacterial DNA. Metagenomic studies were then conducted through 18S or 16S amplicons sequencing. Hartmannella was by far the most represented genus of FLA. Regarding intra-amoebal bacteria, 54 genera were identified, among which 21 were newly described intra-amoebal bacteria, underlying the power of our approach. There were high differences in bacterial diversity between the three sites. Several genera were highly represented and/or found at least in two sites, underlying that these bacteria could be able to multiply within FLA. Our method is therefore useful to identify FLA microbiome and could be applied to other networks to have a more comprehensive view of intra-amoebal diversity.

  11. Effects of chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides upon quail and pheasants

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWitt, J.B.

    1955-01-01

    Previous studies had shown that heavy or repeated applications of DDT resulted in decreases.in bird populations, but long-range effects of this and other chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides had not been fully evaluated. Experiments were conducted to determine toxiCitY to quail and pheasants of aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, and strobane, and to determine effects of these compounds upon survival, growth, and reproduction....Feeding of diets containing 0.02% DDT to breeding quail resulted in significant decreases in hatchability of eggs and in viability of chiCks. Similar results were obtained by feeding 0.001% dieldrin, but effects upon reproduct.ion of short-term feeding of aldrin and endrin could not be determined....Aldrin, dieldrin, and endrin were lethal to both male and female quail when fed at levels of 0.0005% in the diets. Female pheasants appeared more resistant than males to the effects of these compounds.

  12. Diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free-living amoebae are known to facilitate the growth of water associated pathogens. This study, for the first time, explored the diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system in Rouse Hill NSW, Australia. Water and biofilm samples w...

  13. Free-living fungal symbionts (Lepiotaceae) of fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vo, Tanya L; Mueller, Ulrich G; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2009-01-01

    Surveys of leucocoprinaceous fungi (Lepiotaceae, Agaricales, Basidiomycota) in the rainforests of Panama and Brazil revealed several free-living counterparts of fungi cultivated by primitive attine ants (the lower Attini, Formicidae, Hymenoptera), adding to two such collections identified in a survey by Mueller et al (1998). The accumulated evidence supports the hypothesis that perhaps all fungi of lower attine ants have close free-living relatives. Free-living counterparts of ant-cultivated fungi are collected most readily during the early rainy season; in particular these are free-living mushrooms of fungal counterparts that are cultivated as yeasts in gardens of ants in the Cyphomyrmex rimosus group. Free-living and symbiotic fungi of these yeast-cultivating ant species might represent a promising study system to compare the biology of sympatric, conspecific fungi existing outside versus inside the attine symbiosis.

  14. Chronic toxicity to quail and pheasants of some chlorinated insecticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeWitt, J.B.

    1956-01-01

    Quantitative report of tests. 'Inclusion of 1 p.p.m, of aldrin, dieldrin, or endrin in diets fed growing quail resulted in high mortality rates, but the birds survived on diets containing 100 p.p.m, of DDT or 50 p.p.m. of strobane. Young pheasants survived on diets containing 50 p.p.m, of DDT or strobane, but failed to survive on diets containing 5 p.p.m, of aldrin, dieldrin, or endrin. No ill effects were noted when quail were fed winter diets containing 50 p.p.m, of strobane, or 1 p.p.m, of dieldrin or endrin, but nearly all birds died when fed diets containing 0.5 p.p.m, of aldrin. Mortality rates among pheasants fed 50 p.p.m, and of quail fed 100 p.p.m. of DDT were higher than for birds receiving normal diets, but none of the birds displayed symptoms characteristic of DDT poisoning. Egg production, fertility, and hatchability were relatively unaffected by inclusion of insecticides in diets fed breeding quail, but chicks from these matings showed high mortality rates even when reared on insecticide-free diets. Lowered viability of quail chicks was most pronounced in groups receiving DDT and strobane in the reproduction diets. Hatchability of pheasant eggs and viability of chicks were adversely affected by inclusion of aldrin, dieldrin, or endrin in the reproduction diets.'

  15. Detection and Identification of Free-living Amoeba from Environmental Water in Taiwan by PCR Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, H. F.; Hsu, B. M.; Huang, K. H.; She, C. Y.; Kao, P. M.; Shen, S. M.; Tseng, S. F.; Chen, J. S.

    2012-04-01

    Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Balamuthia and Hartmannella all belong to free-living amoebae that are present ubiquitously in the environment including water, soil, and air. Free-living amoebae are parasites which can infect humans and can lead to serious illness and even death. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of free-living amoebae in aquatic environment in Taiwan, and to compare the differences between Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in diverse cultivation methods and conditions. In this study, we used molecular method by PCR amplification with specific primers to analyze the occurrence of free-living amoebae. We collected 176 samples from environmental water including drinking water treatment plants, stream water, and hot spring recreational areas in Taiwan. Based on the results of PCR, 43 water samples (24.4%) were detected positive for free-living amoebae. The most common Acanthamoeba genotype isolated from samples including T2, T4, T5, T12, and T15. N. australiensis and N. lovaniensis were also identified by molecular biology techniques. Furthermore, we found that both Acanthamoeba and Naegleria can be cultured by PYG in 30° C, but not all free-living amoebae can be isolated and enriched by using storage-cultivation method. Because of the widespread presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in aquatic environments, the water quality and safety of aquatic environments should be more conscious in Taiwan and worldwide. Keywords: free-living amoebae; Acanthamoeba; Naegleria; Balamuthia; Hartmannella; PCR

  16. Food chromium content, dietary chromium intake and related biological variables in French free-living elderly

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Roussel, Anne-Marie; Andriollo-Sanchez, Maud; Ferry, Monique; Bryden, Noella A; Anderson, Richard A

    2007-01-01

    .... We measured the food Cr content and daily Cr intake of freely chosen diets for 3 d in twelve French free-living elderly people and their Cr excretion and plasma hormonal related variables, leptin, insulin and cortisol...

  17. Interaction of a Free-Living Soil Nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, with Surrogates of Foodborne Pathogenic Bacteria

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Anderson G.L; Caldwell K.N; Beuchat L.R; Williams P.L

    2003-01-01

    .... In this study, we evaluated the associations between a free-living soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Escherichia coli, an avirulent strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, Listeria welshimeri, and Bacillus cereus...

  18. Free-living copepods of the Arabian Sea: Distributions and research perspectives

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Madhupratap, M.

    11500 known species in this subclass. This paper briefly outlines the distribution, abundances and general feeding habitats of free-living copepods from the Arabian Sea. The role of taxonomy in biodiversity studies, estimates of grazing and production...

  19. Life history of a free-living marine nematode Daptonema normandicum reared in laboratory

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Singh, R.; Ingole, B.S.

    Life history of a free-living meiobenthic nematode Daptonema normandicum (DeMan, 1890) was studied in the laboratory. Live specimens were primarily collected from the sewage outlet site near the mouth of the Mandovi estuary, Goa. This species...

  20. Free-Living Tube Worm Endosymbionts Found at Deep-Sea Vents▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmer, Tara L.; Rotjan, Randi D.; Nussbaumer, Andrea D.; Bright, Monika; Ng, Andrew W.; DeChaine, Eric G.; Cavanaugh, Colleen M.

    2008-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that deep-sea vestimentiferan tube worms acquire their endosymbiotic bacteria from the environment each generation; thus, free-living symbionts should exist. Here, free-living tube worm symbiont phylotypes were detected in vent seawater and in biofilms at multiple deep-sea vent habitats by PCR amplification, DNA sequence analysis, and fluorescence in situ hybridization. These findings support environmental transmission as a means of symbiont acquisition for deep-sea tube worms. PMID:18408062

  1. Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae Isolated From Contact Lenses of Keratitis Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elham HAJIALILO

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Free-living amoeba (FLA-related keratitis is a progressive infection of the cornea with poor prognosis. The present study aimed to investigates the con­tact lenses of patients with keratitis for pathogenic free-living amoebae.Methods: Overall, 62 contact lenses and their paraphernalia of patients with kerati­tis cultured and tested for the presence of free-living amoebae using morphological criteria. Unusual plates including plates containing mix amoebae and Vermamoeba were submitted to molecular analysis. Results: Out of 62 plates, 11 revealed the outgrowth of free living amoeba of which 9 were Acanthamoeba, one plates contained mix amoebae including Acan­thamoeba and Vermamoeba and one showed the presence of Vermamoeba. These two latter plates belonged to patients suffered from unilateral keratitis due to the mis­used of soft contact lenses. One of the patients had mix infection of Acanthamoeba (T4 and V. vermiformis meanwhile the other patient was infected with the V. vermiformis. Conclusion: Amoebic keratitis continues to rise in Iran and worldwide. To date, various genera of free-living amoebae such as Vermamoeba could be the causative agent of keratitis. Soft contact lens wearers are the most affected patients in the country, thus awareness of high-risk people for preventing free-living amoebae re­lated keratitis is of utmost importance.

  2. Comparative analyses of semen and endocrine characteristics of free-living versus captive jaguars (Panthera onca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morato, R G; Conforti, V A; Azevedo, F C; Jacomo, A T; Silveira, L; Sana, D; Nunes, A L; Guimarães, M A; Barnabe, R C

    2001-11-01

    Semen and blood samples were obtained from free-living (n = 6) and captive (n = 8) jaguars (Panthera onca) to compare reproductive characteristics between the two populations. Semen samples were analysed for volume (ml), percentage of motile spermatozoa, rate of forward progression (0-5), concentration (10(6) ml(-1)), total sperm count (10(6)) and sperm morphology. Serum testosterone concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay. Although ejaculate volume was greater in captive jaguars (n = 47 samples) than in free-living jaguars (n = 7 samples) (P < 0.05), the free-living jaguars produced more total spermatozoa (59.3 +/- 12.8 versus 152.0 +/- 88.0 x 10(6), respectively; not significant) with better viability and forward progression (2.8 +/- 0.1 versus 3.5 +/- 0.2, respectively; P < 0.05) and more spermatozoa with normal morphology (73.5 +/- 3.9 versus 5.0 +/- 1.1%, respectively; P < 0.05). Serum testosterone concentrations were similar for captive and free-living male jaguars (3.1 +/- 0.7 and 2.1 +/- 0.8 ng ml(-1), respectively). In summary, the data showed that semen may be collected successfully from free-living jaguars and evaluated under field conditions to establish normative reproductive values in this species. The results also indicate that jaguars maintained in zoos show inferior seminal characteristics compared with free-living animals.

  3. Performance of Activity Classification Algorithms in Free-Living Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Jeffer Eidi; Hickey, Amanda M; Staudenmayer, John W; John, Dinesh; Kent, Jane A; Freedson, Patty S

    2016-05-01

    The objective of this study is to compare activity type classification rates of machine learning algorithms trained on laboratory versus free-living accelerometer data in older adults. Thirty-five older adults (21 females and 14 males, 70.8 ± 4.9 yr) performed selected activities in the laboratory while wearing three ActiGraph GT3X+ activity monitors (in the dominant hip, wrist, and ankle; ActiGraph, LLC, Pensacola, FL). Monitors were initialized to collect raw acceleration data at a sampling rate of 80 Hz. Fifteen of the participants also wore GT3X+ in free-living settings and were directly observed for 2-3 h. Time- and frequency-domain features from acceleration signals of each monitor were used to train random forest (RF) and support vector machine (SVM) models to classify five activity types: sedentary, standing, household, locomotion, and recreational activities. All algorithms were trained on laboratory data (RFLab and SVMLab) and free-living data (RFFL and SVMFL) using 20-s signal sampling windows. Classification accuracy rates of both types of algorithms were tested on free-living data using a leave-one-out technique. Overall classification accuracy rates for the algorithms developed from laboratory data were between 49% (wrist) and 55% (ankle) for the SVMLab algorithms and 49% (wrist) to 54% (ankle) for the RFLab algorithms. The classification accuracy rates for SVMFL and RFFL algorithms ranged from 58% (wrist) to 69% (ankle) and from 61% (wrist) to 67% (ankle), respectively. Our algorithms developed on free-living accelerometer data were more accurate in classifying the activity type in free-living older adults than those on our algorithms developed on laboratory accelerometer data. Future studies should consider using free-living accelerometer data to train machine learning algorithms in older adults.

  4. Comparison of serum hormone levels of captive and free-living maned wolves Chrysocyon brachyurus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.B. Maia

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Serum hormone levels were compared between captive and free-living maned wolves and seasonal variations of sex hormones were studied. Blood samples were collected from 16 male and 26 female adult animals from Brazilian zoos, and from 30 male and 24 female free-living adults to determine serum progesterone and testosterone by radioimmunoassay. Serum testosterone concentrations varied (P 0.05. Sixteen captive males showed higher testosterone concentration during winter and spring compared with 30 free-living animals (P < 0.05. Progesterone concentration varied among seasons in 26 captive females (P < 0.05, being higher in autumn (15.3 ± 3.1 ng/mL than in summer (6.6 ± 1.5 ng/mL, winter (5.3 ± 3.1 ng/mL and spring (4.3 ± 0.7 ng/mL. Progesterone concentration of 24 free-living females varied between autumn (17.1 ± 6.0 ng/mL and winter (1.7 ± 0.3 ng/mL (P < 0.05, but we could not obtain data for spring or summer. No difference in progesterone levels was observed between captive and free-living females in autumn and winter.

  5. Detection and identification of free-living amoeba from aquatic environment in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiun Tzeng, Kai; Che Tung, Min; Hsu, Bing Mu; Tsai, Hsiu Feng; Huang, Po Hsiang; Hao Huang, Kuan; Kao, Po Min; Shen, Shu Min; Chen, Jung Sheng

    2013-04-01

    Free-living amoebae including Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Balamuthia and Hartmannella are widely distributed in water, soil, and air. They can infect humans and can lead to serious illness even death. The aim of this study is to investigate the presence of free-living amoebae from aquatic environment in Taiwan, and to compare the differences between Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in different cultivation methods and conditions. In this study, we used molecular method with specific primers by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to amplify and to analyze the occurrence of free-living amoebae in aquatic environment. We collected 92 samples from environmental water in Taiwan. The results show that 33 water samples (35.9%) and 11 water samples (12.0%) were detected positive for Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, respectively. Furthermore, both Acanthamoeba and Naegleria can be cultured by PYG in 30° C, but not all free-living amoebae can be enriched and isolated by using storage-cultivation method. Due to the presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in aquatic environment, the water quality monitoring should be more conscious. Keywords: free-living amoebae; Acanthamoeba; Naegleria; Balamuthia; Hartmannella; PCR

  6. Characteristics of Skeletal Musculature of Pheasants Hatched from Eggs of Different Eggshell Colour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragan Zikic

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper was to examine morphodinamics of development of skeletal musculature of pheasants hatched from eggs of different eggshell colour. Four groups of pheasant eggs (dark brown, light brown, brown/green and blue/green were incubated. Samples of skeletal musculature of leg and breast were taken during the embryonic and neonatal period of development. From taken samples histological preparations were made. In pheasants hatched from blue/green eggs the smaller diameter of leg and breast muscle cells and the higher volume density of connective tissue in leg and breast muscles were recorded. It was concluded that pheasants hatched from blue/green eggs had the weakest development of skeletal musculature, which can be related to structural differences of eggshell of various colour.

  7. Nutrition of pheasants under conditions of intensive agricultural production in the Vojvodina province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jovanović Vojislav P.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available We examined the content of crops in 672 pheasants of both sexes. The pheasants have been shot at all seasons of the year in different hunting grounds in the Vojvodina Province. Out of total number of pheasants, 145 were shot in the spring, 128 in the summer, 229 in the fall and 179 in the winter. The examined pheasant crops contained mostly the seeds of weeds and grasses (62.2%, culminating in the fall (67.7%, and green feed (61.6%, culminating in winter and spring (79.8% and 70.4%, respectively, while the other kinds of feed were found in a considerably smaller number of pheasants. According to the average number of consumed particles, the seeds of weed and grass were in the first place (374 pheasants, culminating in the fall (431 pheasants while the numbers of particles of other feeds were considerably lower, from 78% to 93%. According to quantity, corn was in the first place with the annual average of 8.4 g that culminated in the winter (11.3 g. The average proportion between the herbal and animal parts in feed was 99.6: 0.4 g in favor of the herbal feed, with seasonal variations from 99.2: 0.8 g in the summer to 99.9: 0.1 g in the winter. Analyzing herbal proportions in feed we saw that generative plant parts prevailed over the vegetative parts (92.0 g and 7.6 g, respectively. The percentage of animal parts present in the rations of pheasants was reduced over last 30 years from 33.5% to 0.4%.

  8. Functional ecology of free-living nitrogen fixation: A contemporary perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Sasha C.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Townsend, Alan R.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) availability is thought to frequently limit terrestrial ecosystem processes, and explicit consideration of N biogeochemistry, including biological N2 fixation, is central to understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change. Yet, the importance of free-living N2 fixation—a process that occurs on a wide variety of substrates, is nearly ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems, and may often represent the dominant pathway for acquiring newly available N—is often underappreciated. Here, we draw from studies that investigate free-living N2 fixation from functional, physiological, genetic, and ecological perspectives. We show that recent research and analytical advances have generated a wealth of new information that provides novel insight into the ecology of N2 fixation as well as raises new questions and priorities for future work. These priorities include a need to better integrate free-living N2 fixation into conceptual and analytical evaluations of the N cycle's role in a variety of global change scenarios.

  9. Free-living amoebae: Biological by-passes in water treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loret, Jean-François; Greub, Gilbert

    2010-06-01

    Free-living amoebae constitute reservoirs for many bacteria including not only well-known pathogens but also emerging pathogens responsible for respiratory diseases, and contribute to the protection, survival and dissemination of these bacteria in water systems, despite the application of disinfection or thermal treatments. In this article we review the available information on the presence of free-living amoebae and amoebae-resisting bacteria in drinking water systems, on the factors that contribute to their presence in the water and/or the biofilms, on the possible control measures and their effectiveness, and we identify some gaps in current knowledge needing further research.

  10. Relationships between free living amoebae and Exophiala dermatitidis: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cateau, Estelle; Mergey, Tiphaine; Kauffmann-Lacroix, Catherine; Rodier, Marie-Helene

    2009-02-01

    Free living amoebae can play a role as reservoirs for pathogens isolated from hospital water. We have investigated the potential interactions between two protozoa (Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmanella vermiformis) that may be recovered from hospital water tips and Exophiala dermatitidis, a black yeast often recovered from water sources. We showed that the presence of trophozoites or supernatants of culture of H. vermiformis increased fungal growth, whereas the same phenomenon was observed only with the supernatant of A. castellanii cultures. These preliminary results highlight the fact that the recovering of free-living amoebae in hospital water taps could lead to the development of fungal nosocomial pathogens.

  11. Unraveling fabrication and calibration of wearable gas monitor for use under free-living conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue Deng; Cheng Chen; Tsow, Francis; Xiaojun Xian; Forzani, Erica

    2016-08-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic chemicals that have high vapor pressure at regular conditions. Some VOC could be dangerous to human health, therefore it is important to determine real-time indoor and outdoor personal exposures to VOC. To achieve this goal, our group has developed a wearable gas monitor with a complete sensor fabrication and calibration protocol for free-living conditions. Correction factors for calibrating the sensors, including sensitivity, aging effect, and temperature effect are implemented into a Quick Response Code (QR code), so that the pre-calibrated quartz tuning fork (QTF) sensor can be used with the wearable monitor under free-living conditions.

  12. Free-living marine nematodes from San Antonio Bay (Río Negro, Argentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villares, Gabriela; Lo Russo, Virginia; Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    The dataset of free-living marine nematodes of San Antonio Bay is based on sediment samples collected in February 2009 during doctoral theses funded by CONICET grants. A total of 36 samples has been taken at three locations in the San Antonio Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for benthic biodiversity assessment of Patagonian nematodes as this area remains one of the least known regions. In total 7,743 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to two classes, eight orders, 37 families, 94 genera and 104 species were collected.

  13. Sensitivity of free-living amoeba trophozoites and cysts to water disinfectants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupuy, Mathieu; Berne, Florence; Herbelin, Pascaline; Binet, Marie; Berthelot, Nelsie; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Soreau, Sylvie; Héchard, Yann

    2014-03-01

    Free-living amoebae are naturally present in water. These protozoa could be pathogenic and could also shelter pathogenic bacteria. Thus, they are described as a potential hazard for health. Also, free-living amoebae have been described to be resistant to biocides, especially under their cyst resistant form. There are several studies on amoeba treatments but none of them compare sensitivity of trophozoites and cysts from different genus to various water disinfectants. In our study, we tested chlorine, monochloramine and chlorine dioxide on both cysts and trophozoites from three strains, belonging to the three main genera of free-living amoebae. The results show that, comparing cysts to trophozoites inactivation, only the Acanthamoeba cysts were highly more resistant to treatment than trophozoites. Comparison of the disinfectant efficiency led to conclude that chlorine dioxide was the most efficient treatment in our conditions and was particularly efficient against cysts. In conclusion, our results would help to adapt water treatments in order to target free-living amoebae in water networks.

  14. TOXOPLASMA GONDII : UPTAKE AND SURVIVAL OF OOCYSTS IN FREE-LIVING AMOEBAE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waterborne transmission of the oocyst stage of Toxoplasma gondii can cause outbreaks of clinical toxoplasmosis in humans and infection of marine mammals. In water-related environments and soil, free-living amoebae are considered potential carriers of various pathogens, but knowledge on interactions ...

  15. Biofilms augment the number of free-living amoebae in dental unit waterlines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbeau, J; Buhler, T

    2001-10-01

    Freshwater amoebae are ubiquitous. Some species can cause infections in humans while others can ingest and protect opportunistic bacteria. Although the presence of free-living amoebae in various water sources has been reported, few studies have looked at their concentration, which may be clinically relevant, especially if they are present in healthcare devices. A simple technique was used to detect, observe, and evaluate the concentration of free-living amoebae in dental unit and tap water samples. Fifty-three water samples were collected from 35 dental units (air/water syringes) and 18 water taps. The technique was based on the ability of waterborne bacteria to create a biofilm and serve as substratum for the development of amoebae naturally present in the water samples. Laboratory-grown freshwater biofilms support the proliferation of a wide variety of free-living amoebae. All the dental unit water samples tested contained amoebae at concentrations up to 330/mL, or more than 300 times the concentration in tap water from the same source. Hartmanella, Vanella, and Vahlkampfia spp. were the most frequently encountered. Naegleria and Acanthamoeba spp. were also present in 40% of the samples. Four of the samples collected from dental units, but none from water taps, contained amoebae able to proliferate at 44 degrees C. Biofilms that form inside some dental instruments can considerably increase the concentration of free-living amoebae, some of which are potential human pathogens.

  16. Persistence of free-living protozoan communities across rearing cycles in commercial poultry houses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baré, Julie; Houf, Kurt; Verstraete, Tine; Vaerewijck, Mario; Sabbe, Koen

    2011-03-01

    The introduction and survival of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in poultry farming have been linked to bacterial association with free-living protozoa. To date, however, no information is available on the persistence of protozoan communities in these environments across consecutive rearing cycles and how it is affected by farm- and habitat-specific characteristics and management strategies. We therefore investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of free-living protozoa in three habitats (pipeline, water, and miscellaneous samples) in three commercial poultry houses across three rearing cycles by using the molecular fingerprinting technique denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Our study provides strong evidence for the long-term (ca. 6-month) persistence of protozoa in broiler houses across consecutive rearing cycles. Various free-living protozoa (flagellates, ciliates, and amoebae), including known vectors of bacterial pathogens, were observed during the down periods in between rearing cycles. In addition, multivariate analysis and variation partitioning showed that the protozoan community structure in the broiler houses showed almost no change across rearing cycles and remained highly habitat and farm specific. Unlike in natural environments, protozoan communities inside broiler houses are therefore not seasonal. Our results imply that currently used biosecurity measures (cleaning and disinfection) applied during the down periods are not effective against many protozoans and therefore cannot prevent potential cross-contamination of bacterial pathogens via free-living protozoa between rearing cycles.

  17. A linear programming model of diet choice of free-living beavers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolet, BA; VanderVeer, PJ; Evers, EGJ; Ottenheim, MM

    1995-01-01

    Linear programming has been remarkably successful in predicting the diet choice of generalist herbivores. We used this technique to test the diet choice of free-living beavers (Castor fiber) in the Biesbosch (The Netherlands) under different Foraging goals, i.e. maximization of intake of energy,

  18. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in contact lenses of the asymptomatic contact lens wearers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Niyyati

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Free-living amoebae (FLA including Acanthamoeba spp. and Hartmannella spp. are the causative agents of serious corneal infection especially within contact lens wearers. Thus contact lenses and their storage case could be a suitable niche for potentially pathogenic amoebae. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the contamination of contact lenses to free living amoebae using morphological and sequencing based methods.Overall, 90 volunteers provided their contact lenses. All volunteers wore soft contact lenses. Both lenses were cultured in the same plate. Forty-eight of the volunteers were medical and dentistry student and 42 were ophthalmology attendees of hospitals in Tehran, Iran. All of the samples were inoculated to non-nutrient medium and monitored daily for the outgrowth of the amoebae. PCR and sequencing were performed using various primer pairs.Of the 90 volunteers, 9 (10% were positive for free-living amoebae outgrowth. Morphological analysis revealed that 3 isolates were belonged to Hartmannella genus according to small round cysts and 6 isolates were belonged to Acanthamoeba genus based on the star shape of endocysts. Sequencing revealed that Acanthamoeba belonged to T4, T3 and T5 genotype. Hartmannella were also belonged to vermiformis species.The presence of potentially pathogenic free living amoebae including Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella could be a high risk for people using soft contact lenses. These results revealed that improved clarification and professional recommendations for contact lens wearers is of utmost importance.

  19. Endosymbiotic heterocystous cyanobacteria synthesize different heterocyst glycolipids than free-living heterocystous cyanobacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, S.; Villareal, T.A.; Hopmans, E.C.; Mets, A.; Swanson, K.M.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.

    2013-01-01

    The heterocysts of limnetic nitrogen-fixing filamentous cyanobacteria contain unique glycolipids in their cell wall that create the distinctive gas impermeability of the heterocyst cell wall as well as serve as biomarker lipids for these microbes. It has been assumed that marine free-living and

  20. ENERGY BUDGETS IN FREE-LIVING GREEN IGUANAS IN A SEASONAL ENVIRONMENT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    LICHTENBELT, WDV; WESSELINGH, RA; VOGEL, JT; ALBERS, KBM

    1993-01-01

    Using a variety of techniques we estimated energy expenditure and allocation of energy in free-living green iguanas (Iguana iguana) in a seasonal environment on Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. 1) Daily energy expenditure (DEE) was measured by means of the doubly labeled water (DLW) technique, using O

  1. Endosymbiotic heterocystous cyanobacteria synthesize different heterocyst glycolipids than free-living heterocystous cyanobacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schouten, S.; Villareal, T.A.; Hopmans, E.C.; Mets, A.; Swanson, K.M.; Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.

    2013-01-01

    The heterocysts of limnetic nitrogen-fixing filamentous cyanobacteria contain unique glycolipids in their cell wall that create the distinctive gas impermeability of the heterocyst cell wall as well as serve as biomarker lipids for these microbes. It has been assumed that marine free-living and endo

  2. Biogeography of free-living soil nematodes from the perspective of plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferris, V R; Goseco, C G; Ferris, J M

    1976-08-01

    In this first biogeographical synthesis based on the morphology and known distribution of a group of free-living soil nematodes, data indicate a pre-Jurassic origin followed by West Gondwanaland radiation for some genera and Laurasian radiation for others.

  3. Comparison of Yamax pedometer and GT3X accelerometer steps in a free-living sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Our objective was to compare steps detected by the Yamax pedometer (PEDO) versus the GT3X accelerometer (ACCEL) in free-living adults. Daily PEDO and ACCEL steps were collected from a sample of 23 overweight and obese participants (18 females; mean +/- sd: age = 52.6 +/- 8.4 yr.; body mass index = 3...

  4. Restless roosts: Light pollution affects behavior, sleep, and physiology in a free-living songbird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouyang, Jenny Q.; de Jong, Maaike; van Grunsven, Roy H. A.; Matson, Kevin D.; Haussmann, Mark F.; Meerlo, Peter; Visser, Marcel E.; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2017-01-01

    The natural nighttime environment is increasingly polluted by artificial light. Several studies have linked artificial light at night to negative impacts on human health. In free-living animals, light pollution is associated with changes in circadian, reproductive, and social behavior, but whether

  5. Quantifying the effect of fire disturbance on free-living nitrogen fixation in tropical ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Oliveira Bomfim, B.; Silva, L. C. R.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Marimon, B.; Horwath, W. R.; Neves, L.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical forests and savannas are among the most important biomes on Earth, supporting more than half of all plant and animal species on the planet. Despite growing interest in biogeochemical processes that affect tropical forest dynamics, many, including biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), are still poorly understood. Free-living N-fixers are thought to play a key role in tropical ecosystems, alleviating N and P limitation, supporting above and below ground biomass production, as well as carbon storage in plants and soil, but this influence has yet to be quantified. Of particular interest, the spatial distribution and identity of free-living BNF under disturbance regimes that commonly lead to the conversion of forests to savannas is currently unknown. To address this critical gap in knowledge, we measured free-living BNF quantifying rates of N fixation under contrasting fire regimes in the Amazon-Cerrado transition of central Brazil. Samples were collected in 4 ha of floodable forests affected by fire and 1 ha of unburned (seasonally flooded) forest located at the Araguaia State Park, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Free-living N-fixation rates were measured by both 15N2 (98 atom% 15N) and acethylene reduction assay (ARA). Samples were incubated in the field and left in the dark at room temperature for 12 hours. In the next few weeks we will quantify N fixation rates that will be presented in the upcoming AGU meeting.

  6. A linear programming model of diet choice of free-living beavers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolet, BA; VanderVeer, PJ; Evers, EGJ; Ottenheim, MM

    1995-01-01

    Linear programming has been remarkably successful in predicting the diet choice of generalist herbivores. We used this technique to test the diet choice of free-living beavers (Castor fiber) in the Biesbosch (The Netherlands) under different Foraging goals, i.e. maximization of intake of energy, nit

  7. Focal palatine erosion in captive and free-living cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and other felid species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zordan, Martýn; Deem, Sharon L; Sanchez, Carlos R

    2012-01-01

    We examined 1,092 skulls of captive and free-living individuals, representing 33 felid species, to determine the prevalence of focal palatine erosion (FPE). FPE was detected in 3.2% of cats evaluated, including cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and 14 other felid species. The prevalence of FPE between cheetah (9.4%; n = 64) and non-cheetah species (2.8%; n = 1,028) (χ(2) test; P = 0.004) and between captive (5.7%; n = 246) and free-living (2.4%; n = 824) individuals (χ(2) test; P = 0.010) were significantly different, with prevalence between captive (19%; n = 21) and free-living (2.9%; n = 34) cheetahs approaching significance (Fisher's exact test; P = 0.064). FPE was diagnosed with equal prevalence in skulls from individuals in which the lower molars did not meet the palatine bone (60.6%) and individuals in which it did (39.4%; n = 33) (χ(2) test; P = 0.139). In cheetahs with FPE, one was a captive animal in Germany, one a free-living cheetah from Mali, one captive cheetah from Kenya, and three captive cheetahs of unknown origin. Additionally, we evaluated the medical records of 49 captive cheetahs in Namibia. Of these cheetahs, 48 (98.0%) had clinical signs consistent with FPE, although only 16 of these 48 (39.6%) had perforation of the palatine bone. Based on physical examinations, FPE was diagnosed in two caracals (Caracal caracal) and one fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) from a North American Zoo. Results from this study confirm FPE in cheetahs outside of Namibia, in a minimum of 15 felid species, and a higher FPE prevalence in captive individuals than free-living ones. Clinical implications of these findings and recommendations for future studies are provided. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Tree species control rates of free-living nitrogen fixation in a tropical rain forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Sasha C; Cleveland, Cory C; Townsend, Alan R

    2008-10-01

    Tropical rain forests represent some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth, yet mechanistic links between tree species identity and ecosystem function in these forests remains poorly understood. Here, using free-living nitrogen (N) fixation as a model, we explore the idea that interspecies variation in canopy nutrient concentrations may drive significant local-scale variation in biogeochemical processes. Biological N fixation is the largest "natural" source of newly available N to terrestrial ecosystems, and estimates suggest the highest such inputs occur in tropical ecosystems. While patterns of and controls over N fixation in these systems remain poorly known, the data we do have suggest that chemical differences among tree species canopies could affect free-living N fixation rates. In a diverse lowland rain forest in Costa Rica, we established a series of vertical, canopy-to-soil profiles for six common canopy tree species, and we measured free-living N fixation rates and multiple aspects of chemistry of live canopy leaves, senesced canopy leaves, bulk leaf litter, and soil for eight individuals of each tree species. Free-living N fixation rates varied significantly among tree species for all four components, and independent of species identity, rates of N fixation ranged by orders of magnitude along the vertical profile. Our data suggest that variations in phosphorus (P) concentration drove a significant fraction of the observed species-specific variation in free-living N fixation rates within each layer of the vertical profile. Furthermore, our data suggest significant links between canopy and forest floor nutrient concentrations; canopy P was correlated with bulk leaf litter P below individual tree crowns. Thus, canopy chemistry may affect a suite of ecosystem processes not only within the canopy itself, but at and beneath the forest floor as well.

  9. Blood lipids and fatty acid composition of abdominal fat in castrated and intact male common pheasant (Colchicus colchicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petar Džaja

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The study was undertaken to examine the effects of castration on plasma lipids and on the fatty acid profile of abdominal fat in male pheasants. Thirty pheasants reared in a commercial pheasantry were included in the experiment. Half the pheasants were castrated at 8 weeks of age and the other half underwent sham surgery at the same age. Plasma levels of triglycerides and high density lipoproteins (HDL were significantly higher in the castrated pheasants. Values for cholesterol tended to be higher in castrated pheasants although without statistical significance. The fatty acid content of the abdominal fat from castrated and intact pheasants were primarily composed of oleic acid (42.58%-40.33%, followed by palmitic acid (25.25%-27.33%, linoleic (14.05%-12.65% and stearic acid (8.95%-9.40%. Castration also significantly influenced the fatty acid composition of abdominal fat. Compared to the intact pheasants, the fatty acid content of abdominal fat from castrated pheasants contained higher values for saturated fatty acids (SFA and lower values for unsaturated fatty acids (UFA, unsaturated to saturated fatty acids ratio (UFA/SFA and polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids ratio (PUFA/SFA.

  10. 78 FR 61946 - Pheasant Run Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-07

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Pheasant Run Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market- Based Rate...-referenced proceeding, of Pheasant Run Wind, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with...

  11. 78 FR 61946 - Pheasant Run Wind II, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-07

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Pheasant Run Wind II, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based... above-referenced proceeding, of Pheasant Run Wind II, LLC's application for market-based rate...

  12. Detection and identification of free-living amoeba from aquatic environment in different seasons in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzeng, K.; Hsu, B.; Tsai, H.; Huang, P.; Tsai, J.; Kao, P.; Huang, K.; Chen, J.

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba includes Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, which are widely distributed in water and soil. Human infection with free-living amoeba leads to serious illness, even lethal. For example, central nervous system infection will cause amoebic meningoencephalitis, and infections will cause amoebic keratitis. The presence of free-living amoeba in environment water can be used as a water quality indicator in ecosystem assessment. In Taiwan, reservoirs are indispensable because of the water source are limited by the steep terrain and the short river flow. Therefore, we need to pay more attention in the quality control of reservoirs water. The aims of this study are to investigate the presence of free-living amoeba in Taiwan reservoirs, and to compare the differences among seasons. At last, the identification and genotyping of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria are investigated. In this study, we use polymerase chain reaction with specific primers to analyze the presence of free-living amoeba in aquatic environment. We collected total 60 samples from reservoirs in Taiwan. The water samples are divided into two parts for both direct concentration method and culture method. The results show the different detection rates among seasons. For Acanthamoeba, the detection rates were 28.3% (17 of 60 water samples), 21.7% (13 of 60 water samples) and 8.3% (5 of 60 water samples) in autumn, winter and spring, respectively. For Naegleria, the detection rates were 6.7% (4 of 60 water samples), 0% (0 of 60 water samples) and 0% (0 of 60 water samples) were detected positive in autumn, winter and spring, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that the major genotypes in Acanthamoeba were T3, T4, T10 and T11 in autumn, T2, T4 and T10 in winter, T4 in spring. Due to the presences of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in reservoirs, we should pay more attention in water quality monitoring to prevent the potential risks of diseases. Keywords: free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, polymerase

  13. Pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin and marbofloxacin in Japanese quails and common pheasants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lashev, L D; Dimitrova, D J; Milanova, A; Moutafchieva, R G

    2015-04-01

    The pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin and marbofloxacin was studied in Japanese quails and common pheasants. Healthy mature birds from both species and both genders were treated intravenously and orally with enrofloxacin (10 mg/kg) and marbofloxacin (5 mg/kg). After intravenous administration enrofloxacin was extensively metabolised to ciprofloxacin. Metabolites of marbofloxacin were not detected. Values of volume of distribution were respectively 4.63 l/kg and 3.67 l/kg for enrofloxacin and 1.56 l/kg and 1.43 l/kg for marbofloxacin. In quails, total body clearance values were higher than those in pheasants and other avian species. After oral application enrofloxacin was rapidly absorbed in quails, more rapidly than marbofloxacin. Pheasants absorbed both antimicrobials at a lower rate. Higher bioavailability was observed for marbofloxacin (118%). Relatively low bioavailability was established in quails for enrofloxacin (26.4%), accompanied by extensive conversion to ciprofloxacin. Generally, quails absorbed and eliminated both fluoroquinolones more rapidly than pheasants; the latter showed pharmacokinetics similar to poultry. Because of favourable pharmacokinetic properties, marbofloxacin should be preferred for oral administration in Japanese quails and pheasants for treatment of infections caused by equally susceptible pathogens.

  14. Free-living protozoa in drinking water supplies: community composition and role as hosts for Legionella pneumophila

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valster, R.M.

    2011-01-01

    Free-living protozoa in drinking water supplies: community composition and role as hosts for Legionella pneumophila
    Free-living protozoa, which feed on bacteria, play an important role in the communities of microorganisms and invertebrates in drinking water supplies and in (warm) tap water i

  15. Streptococcus pyogenes Infection in a Free-Living European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklinos, Lydia H V; Efstratiou, Androulla; Macgregor, Shaheed K; John, Shinto K; Hopkins, Timothy; Cunningham, Andrew A; Lawson, Becki

    2015-12-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes, a common pathogen of humans, was isolated from the carcass of a free-living European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) found in northern England in June 2014. The animal had abscessation of the deep right cervical lymph node, mesenteric lymph nodes and liver. The S. pyogenes strain isolated from the lesions, peritoneal and pleural cavities was characterised as emm 28, which can be associated with invasive disease in humans. This is the first known report of S. pyogenes in a hedgehog and in any free-living wild animal that has been confirmed by gene sequencing. As close associations between wild hedgehogs and people in England are common, we hypothesise that this case might have resulted from anthroponotic infection.

  16. Free-living amoebae isolated from water-hyacinth root (Eichhornia crassipes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Elizabeth; Robles, Esperanza; Martinez, Blanca

    2010-09-01

    Free-living amoebae are widely distributed in aquatic environments and their hygienic, medical and ecological relationships to man are increasingly important. The purpose of this study was to isolate free-living amoebae from water-hyacinth root (Eichhornia crassipes) and the water of an urban lake in Mexico City. Five grams of wet root were seeded on non-nutritive agar with Enterobacter aerogenes (NNE). Water samples were concentrated by centrifugation at 1200g for 15min and the pellet was seeded on NNE. Of the 16 isolated genera, 10 were detected in both habitats. The most frequent were Vannella in root and Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in water. The total number of isolates and genera isolated from root was higher than that isolated from water. The differences between root and water are probably due to the morphological characteristics of water-hyacinth root, which provides a large habitat and refuge area for many organisms.

  17. Toxoplasma gondii: uptake and survival of oocysts in free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winiecka-Krusnell, Jadwiga; Dellacasa-Lindberg, Isabel; Dubey, J P; Barragan, Antonio

    2009-02-01

    Waterborne transmission of the oocyst stage of Toxoplasma gondii can cause outbreaks of clinical toxoplasmosis in humans and infection of marine mammals. In water-related environments and soil, free-living amoebae are considered potential carriers of various pathogens, but knowledge on interactions with parasitic protozoa remains elusive. In the present study, we assessed whether the free-living Acanthamoeba castellanii, due to its phagocytic activity, can interact with T. gondii oocysts. We report that amoebae can internalize T. gondii oocysts by active uptake. Intracellular oocysts in amoebae rarely underwent phagocytic lysis, retained viability and established infection in mice. Interaction of T. gondii with amoebae did not reduce the infectivity and pathogenicity of oocysts even after prolonged co-cultivation. Our results show that uptake of oocysts by A. castellanii does not restrain the transmission of T. gondii in a murine infection model.

  18. Free-living amoebae, a training field for macrophage resistance of mycobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salah, I B; Ghigo, E; Drancourt, M

    2009-10-01

    Mycobacterium species evolved from an environmental recent common ancestor by reductive evolution and lateral gene transfer. Strategies selected through evolution and developed by mycobacteria resulted in resistance to predation by environmental unicellular protists, including free-living amoebae. Indeed, mycobacteria are isolated from the same soil and water environments as are amoebae, and experimental models using Acanthamoeba spp. and Dictyostelium discoideum were exploited to analyse the mechanisms for intracellular survival. Most of these mechanisms have been further reproduced in macrophages for mycobacteria regarded as opportunistic and obligate pathogens. Amoebal cysts may protect intracellular mycobacteria against adverse conditions and may act as a vector for mycobacteria. The latter hypothesis warrants further environmental and clinical studies to better assess the role of free-living amoebae in the epidemiology of infections caused by mycobacteria.

  19. Mercury poisoning in a free-living northern river otter (Lontra canadensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeman, Jonathan M; Cristol, Daniel A; White, Ariel E; Evers, David C; Gerhold, R W; Keel, Michael K

    2010-07-01

    A moribund 5-year-old female northern river otter (Lontra canadensis) was found on the bank of a river known to be extensively contaminated with mercury. It exhibited severe ataxia and scleral injection, made no attempt to flee, and died shortly thereafter of drowning. Tissue mercury levels were among the highest ever reported for a free-living terrestrial mammal: kidney, 353 microg/g; liver, 221 microg/g; muscle, 121 microg/g; brain (three replicates from cerebellum), 142, 151, 151 microg/g (all dry weights); and fur, 183 ug/g (fresh weight). Histopathologic findings including severe, diffuse, chronic glomerulosclerosis and moderate interstitial fibrosis were the presumptive cause of clinical signs and death. This is one of a few reports to document the death of a free-living mammal from presumed mercury poisoning.

  20. Comparison of three generations of ActiGraph activity monitors under free-living conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grydeland, May; Hansen, Bjørge Herman; Ried-Larsen, M.

    2014-01-01

    + in children in free-living conditions. The generations GT1M and GT3X+ provided comparable outputs. The differences between the old and the newer monitors were more complex when investigating time spent at different intensities. Comparisons of data assessed by the AM7164 with data assessed by newer generations......BACKGROUND: A recent review concludes that the agreement of data across ActiGraph accelerometer models for children and youth still is uncertain. The aim of this study was to evaluate the agreement of three generations of ActiGraph accelerometers in children in a free-living condition. METHODS......: Sixteen 9-year-olds wore the ActiGraph AM7164, GT1M and GT3X+ simultaneously for three consecutive days. We compared mean counts per minute (mcpm) and time spent at different intensities from the three generations of monitors, and the agreement of outputs were evaluated by intra-class correlation...

  1. Detection of Hartmannella sp, a free-living amoeba from Sungai Setiu, Terengganu.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mat Amin, Nakisah; Najmiah Mustaffa, Nurul; Md Arshad, Norlieyana

    2004-12-01

    Hartmannella sp is one of the free-living amoebae that have the ability to infect animal tissues because it has been found in human's nasal mucosa, dog's bronchial and turkey's intestine. Treatment for diseases inflicted by free-living amoebae is difficult because most of them infect and damage the host's tissues, so preventive measures are better to take rather than to cure the diseases. In this study, water taken from several stations namely Kampung Padang, Kampung Besut, Ibu Bekalan Setiu, Kampung Tasik, Kampung Guntung, Kampung Nyatoh, Kampung Penarik and Kampung Mangkok) along Sungai Setiu, Terengganu was examined for the presence of Hartmannella sp. The results of this study indicated that only Ibu Bekalan Setiu station was found positive to have the amoeba. Detail results on the water quality and nutrient contents measured in relation to the distribution of the amoeba at Ibu Bekalan Setiu station are presented and discussed.

  2. A new pentaplex-nested PCR to detect five pathogenic bacteria in free living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, L; Gregorio, I; García, A; Fernández, M T; Goñi, P; Clavel, A; Peleato, M L; Fillat, M F

    2013-02-01

    Changes in water use and anthropogenic activity have major impacts on the quality of natural aquatic ecosystems, water distribution and wastewater plants. One of the main problems is the presence of some pathogenic microorganisms that are resistant to disinfection procedures when they are hosted by free living amoeba and that in many cases are hardly detectable by culture-based procedures. In this work we report a sensitive, low-cost procedure consisting of a pentaplex-nested PCR that allows simultaneous detection of Legionella pneumophila, Mycobacterium spp., Pseudomonas spp., Vibrio cholerae and the microcystin-producing cyanobacteria Microcystis aeruginosa. The method has been used to detect the presence of these pathogenic bacteria in water and inside free living amoeba. Its validation in 72 samples obtained from different water sources from Aragon (Spain) evidences that Mycobacterium and Pseudomonas spp are prevailing as amoeba-resistant bacteria.

  3. Response of Plant Parasitic and Free Living Soil Nematodes to Composted Animal Manure Soil Amendments

    OpenAIRE

    Renčo, M.; Kováčik, P.

    2012-01-01

    In an outside pot experiment, dry pig manure processed on pine sawdust litter and fermented for seven days by house fly larvae (fermented manure), and pine sawdust applied alone, and in combination with a spring application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer were used to determine their effects on plant parasitic and free-living soil nematodes on sugar beets (cv. Antek). Non amended soil was used as a control. All treatments with fermented pig manure and sawdust with nitrogen fertilizer decreas...

  4. Hip and Wrist Accelerometer Algorithms for Free-Living Behavior Classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, Katherine; Kerr, Jacqueline; Godbole, Suneeta; Staudenmayer, John; Lanckriet, Gert

    2016-05-01

    Accelerometers are a valuable tool for objective measurement of physical activity (PA). Wrist-worn devices may improve compliance over standard hip placement, but more research is needed to evaluate their validity for measuring PA in free-living settings. Traditional cut-point methods for accelerometers can be inaccurate and need testing in free living with wrist-worn devices. In this study, we developed and tested the performance of machine learning (ML) algorithms for classifying PA types from both hip and wrist accelerometer data. Forty overweight or obese women (mean age = 55.2 ± 15.3 yr; BMI = 32.0 ± 3.7) wore two ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers (right hip, nondominant wrist; ActiGraph, Pensacola, FL) for seven free-living days. Wearable cameras captured ground truth activity labels. A classifier consisting of a random forest and hidden Markov model classified the accelerometer data into four activities (sitting, standing, walking/running, and riding in a vehicle). Free-living wrist and hip ML classifiers were compared with each other, with traditional accelerometer cut points, and with an algorithm developed in a laboratory setting. The ML classifier obtained average values of 89.4% and 84.6% balanced accuracy over the four activities using the hip and wrist accelerometer, respectively. In our data set with average values of 28.4 min of walking or running per day, the ML classifier predicted average values of 28.5 and 24.5 min of walking or running using the hip and wrist accelerometer, respectively. Intensity-based cut points and the laboratory algorithm significantly underestimated walking minutes. Our results demonstrate the superior performance of our PA-type classification algorithm, particularly in comparison with traditional cut points. Although the hip algorithm performed better, additional compliance achieved with wrist devices might justify using a slightly lower performing algorithm.

  5. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selene Dall'Acqua Coutinho

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57% and 18/107 (17% animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1% and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27. The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations.

  6. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. PMID:26273273

  7. Distribution of free-living amoebae in a treatment system of textile industrial wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Elizabeth; Robles, Esperanza; Martinez, Blanca; Ayala, Reynaldo; Sainz, Guadalupe; Martinez, Maria Elena; Gonzalez, Maria Elena

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae have been found in soil, air and a variety of aquatic environments, but few studies have been conducted on industrial wastewater and none on wastewater from the textile industry. The aim of this study was to determine the presence and distribution of free-living amoebae in a biological treatment system that treats textile industrial wastewater. Samples were taken from input, aeration tank, sedimentation tank and output. Samples were centrifuged at 1200g for 15min, the sediment was seeded on non-nutritive agar with Enterobacter aerogenes (NNE) and the plates were incubated at 30 and 37°C. Free-living amoebae were present in all stages of the treatment system. The highest number of amoebic isolates was found in the aeration tank and no seasonal distribution was observed during the year. A total of 14 amoeba genera were isolated: Acanthamoeba, Echinamoeba, Korotnevella, Mayorella, Naegleria, Platyamoeba, Saccamoeba, Stachyamoeba, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella, Vermamoeba, Vexillifera and Willaertia. The most frequently found amoebae were Acanthamoeba and Vermamoeba which were found in all treatment system stages. The constant presence and diversity of free-living amoebae in the treatment system were important findings due to the characteristics of the wastewater from the textile plant in terms of the residue content from colorants, fixers, carriers, surfactants, etc., used in fabric dyeing and finishing processes. The factors that determined the presence and distribution of amoebae in the activated sludge system were their capacity to form cysts, which allowed them to resist adverse conditions; food availability; an average temperature of 27-33°C; dissolved oxygen in average concentrations above 2mg/L, and pH in a range of 5.9-7.1.

  8. Genome-wide identification of pathogenicity factors of the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    OpenAIRE

    Zysset-Burri, Denise Corinne; Müller, Norbert; Beuret, Christian; Heller, Manfred; Schürch, Nadia; Gottstein, Bruno; Wittwer, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND The free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri is the causative agent of the rapidly progressing and typically fatal primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in humans. Despite the devastating nature of this disease, which results in > 97% mortality, knowledge of the pathogenic mechanisms of the amoeba is incomplete. This work presents a comparative proteomic approach based on an experimental model in which the pathogenic potential of N. fowleri trophozoites is influenced by the com...

  9. Free-living monitoring of Parkinson's disease: Lessons from the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Din, Silvia; Godfrey, Alan; Mazzà, Claudia; Lord, Sue; Rochester, Lynn

    2016-09-01

    Wearable technology comprises miniaturized sensors (eg, accelerometers) worn on the body and/or paired with mobile devices (eg, smart phones) allowing continuous patient monitoring in unsupervised, habitual environments (termed free-living). Wearable technologies are revolutionizing approaches to health care as a result of their utility, accessibility, and affordability. They are positioned to transform Parkinson's disease (PD) management through the provision of individualized, comprehensive, and representative data. This is particularly relevant in PD where symptoms are often triggered by task and free-living environmental challenges that cannot be replicated with sufficient veracity elsewhere. This review concerns use of wearable technology in free-living environments for people with PD. It outlines the potential advantages of wearable technologies and evidence for these to accurately detect and measure clinically relevant features including motor symptoms, falls risk, freezing of gait, gait, functional mobility, and physical activity. Technological limitations and challenges are highlighted, and advances concerning broader aspects are discussed. Recommendations to overcome key challenges are made. To date there is no fully validated system to monitor clinical features or activities in free-living environments. Robust accuracy and validity metrics for some features have been reported, and wearable technology may be used in these cases with a degree of confidence. Utility and acceptability appears reasonable, although testing has largely been informal. Key recommendations include adopting a multidisciplinary approach for standardizing definitions, protocols, and outcomes. Robust validation of developed algorithms and sensor-based metrics is required along with testing of utility. These advances are required before widespread clinical adoption of wearable technology can be realized. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  10. Accuracy of three Android-based pedometer applications in laboratory and free-living settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, Jia Yan; Wong, Jyh Eiin

    2017-01-01

    This study examines the accuracy of three popular, free Android-based pedometer applications (apps), namely, Runtastic (RT), Pacer Works (PW), and Tayutau (TY) in laboratory and free-living settings. Forty-eight adults (22.5 ± 1.4 years) completed 3-min bouts of treadmill walking at five incremental speeds while carrying a test smartphone installed with the three apps. Experiment was repeated thrice, with the smartphone placed either in the pants pockets, at waist level, or secured to the left arm by an armband. The actual step count was manually counted by a tally counter. In the free-living setting, each of the 44 participants (21.9 ± 1.6 years) carried a smartphone with installed apps and a reference pedometer (Yamax Digi-Walker CW700) for 7 consecutive days. Results showed that TY produced the lowest mean absolute percent error (APE 6.7%) and was the only app with acceptable accuracy in counting steps in a laboratory setting. RT consistently underestimated steps with APE of 16.8% in the laboratory. PW significantly underestimated steps when the smartphone was secured to the arm, but overestimated under other conditions (APE 19.7%). TY was the most accurate app in counting steps in a laboratory setting with the lowest APE of 6.7%. In the free-living setting, the APE relative to the reference pedometer was 16.6%, 18.0%, and 16.8% for RT, PW, and TY, respectively. None of the three apps counted steps accurately in the free-living setting.

  11. Free-living marine nematodes from San Antonio Bay (Río Negro, Argentina)

    OpenAIRE

    Villares, Gabriela; Lo Russo, Virginia; Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The dataset of free-living marine nematodes of San Antonio Bay is based on sediment samples collected in February 2009 during doctoral theses funded by CONICET grants. A total of 36 samples has been taken at three locations in the San Antonio Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for benthic biodiversity assessment of Patagonian nematodes as this area remains one of the least known regions. I...

  12. On the cultivation of free-living marine and estuarine nematodes

    OpenAIRE

    T. Moens; Vincx, M.

    1998-01-01

    Although a large body of literature exists on the systematics and ecology of free-living marine and brackish-water nematodes, key questions on the nature and magnitude of interactions between nematodes and other organisms in the benthos remain unanswered. Relatively few authors have investigated live nematodes in food web studies or in experiments dealing with the nematodes' response to a varying environment. It is mainly for the latter purpose that attempts have been made to maintain, rear a...

  13. Causes of morbidity and mortality in free-living birds in an urban environment in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenkat, Julia; Krautwald-Junghanns, M-E; Schmidt, Volker

    2013-12-01

    Free-living birds are often presented to veterinarians at rehabilitation centers as well as in private practice. Information about disease processes and causes of death of indigenous free-living birds can aid the clinician in establishing proper treatment and in the assessment of potential zoonotic risks. For the present study, pathogens as causes of morbidity and mortality were determined by performing a complete necropsy on free-living birds presented to the Clinic for Birds and Reptiles of the University of Leipzig (Germany) that died shortly after admission or were euthanized due to an unfavorable prognosis. Over a 2-year period, 251 birds representing 13 families (Accipitridae, Apodidae, Columbidae, Corvidae, Falconidae, Fringillidae, Hirundinidae, Paridae, Passeridae, Picidae, Strigidae, Sturnidae and Turdidae) were examined. Trauma (62%), including several bite injuries inducing bacterial septicemia caused by Pasteurella multocida, was the most common cause of morbidity. Parasitic disease (18%) was mainly caused by Trichomonas gallinae, Eucoleus dispar and Syngamus trachea. Metabolic disease (13%), including fibrous osteodystrophy, was almost exclusively limited to juvenile specimens. Different Enterobacteriaceae including E. coli, Salmonella Typhimurium DT040 as well as Mycobacterium avium ssp. avium were identified as causal agents of primary bacterial disease (5%). Primary bacterial infection as cause of death or disease was of major importance in nestlings. Viral infections, mycoses and intoxication had minor significance as causes of morbidity.

  14. ISOLATION AND GENOTYPING OF CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS FROM FREE-LIVING SOUTH AMERICAN COATI (NASUA NASUA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Rodrigo O S; Almeida, Lara R; Oliveira Junior, Carlos A; Lima, Paula C S; Soares, Danielle F M; Pereira, Pedro L L; Silva, Israel J; Lobato, Francisco C F

    2016-03-01

    The importance of Clostridium perfringens for most wild animal species remains unclear. This study aimed to isolate and genotype C. perfringens in stool samples from free-living South American coati (Nasua nasua) in Brazil. Forty-six free-living N. nasua were trapped and stool samples were collected. Two different protocols for C. perfringens isolation were tested: direct plating onto selective agar and pre-enrichment in broth followed by plating in selective agar. Clostridium perfringens type A was isolated from 15 (32.6%) animals by direct plating and 36 (78.3%) animals by broth PE, and the rate of isolation was significantly different between these two methods (P < 0.01). Twelve of the 36 (33.3%) isolated strains by the PE protocol were positive for the β-2 toxin-encoding gene (cpb2) whereas the enterotoxin-encoding gene (cpe) and necrotic enteritis like-B toxin gene (netb) were not found. These results suggest that C. perfringens is commonly part of the microbiota of free-living coatis. Additionally, the use of a PE protocol appears to be essential for studies on C. perfringens in this species.

  15. Cooling and freezing of sperm from captive, free-living and endangered squirrel monkey species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Karol G; Santos, Regiane R; Leão, Danuza L; Brito, Adriel B; Lima, Julianne S; Sampaio, Wlaísa V; Domingues, Sheyla F S

    2016-06-01

    Germoplasm banking is an important tool for the preservation of genetic material from Neotropical primates in captivity, and from free living species, especially the endangered ones like Saimiri vanzolinii (Black-headed squirrel monkey), a primate with a low incidence area (870 km(2) of floodplains) in the southern part of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil. Therefore, in the present study we aimed to develop a sperm cryopreservation protocol comparing sperm cooling in presence (T1) and absence (T2) of egg yolk, and to test freezing protocols to preserve semen from captive (Saimiri collinsi), and free-living (Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri cassiquiarensis and Saimiri macrodon) New World primates. Cooling preserved sperm of S. collinsi in all evaluated microscopic parameters, except for sperm motility. No differences were observed among the treatments, indicating that semen of this species can be cooled without egg yolk. Freezing did not affect sperm quality of S. collinsi, except plasma membrane integrity that was negatively affected. Generally, a good maintenance rate was observed between cooling and thawing of semen for the four species, showing the positive translational application of protocols from S. collinsi to the free-living species. Developed freezing protocol proved to be useful for sperm cryopreservation of S. collinsi and in field conditions.

  16. Evolutionary analysis of mitogenomes from parasitic and free-living flatworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solà, Eduard; Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids.

  17. Evolutionary analysis of mitogenomes from parasitic and free-living flatworms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduard Solà

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata. Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida: the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae. Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae. This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids.

  18. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage in different free-living wild animal species in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porrero, M Concepción; Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Gómez-Barrero, Susana; Navarro-Gonzalez, Nora; Serrano, Emmanuel; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Marco, Ignasi; Fernández-Garayzabal, José-Francisco; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Domínguez, Lucas

    2013-10-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a life-threatening pathogen in humans and its presence in animals is a public health concern. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of MRSA in free-living wild animals. Samples from red deer (n=273), Iberian ibex (n=212), Eurasian Griffon vulture (n=40) and wild boar (n=817) taken from different areas in Spain between June 2008 and November 2011 were analyzed. Characterization of the isolates was performed by spa typing, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A low prevalence of MRSA was found with 13 isolates obtained from 12 animals (0.89%; 95% CI: 0.46-1.56). All MRSA sequence types belonged to ST398 (t011 and t1451) and ST1 (t127). Genotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns (tetracycline resistance in ST398 and clindamycin-erythromycin-tetracycline resistance in ST1) suggest that the MRSA found probably originated in livestock (ST398) or humans (ST1). This is the first report of MRSA carriers in free-living wild animals in Europe. Although our data showed that MRSA prevalence is currently low, free-living wild animals might act as reservoir and represent a potential risk for human health.

  19. Characterization of Salmonella isolated from captive and free-living snakes in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth; Stenkat, Julia; Szabo, Istvan; Ortlieb, Falk; Blindow, Irmgard; Neul, Ann-Kathrin; Pees, Michael; Schmidt, Volker

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are well-known reservoirs of Salmonella spp. and cases of reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) are increasing since reptiles are becoming more popular as pets. In the present study, the presence, distribution and prevalence of serovars of Salmonella was investigated in captive snakes (n = 87) and in free-living snakes (n = 87) in Germany. A total of 43 S. enterica-isolates were recovered from organ samples and cloacal swabs, predominantly belonging to the subspecies diarizonae (IIIb) (n = 27), enterica (I) (n = 7) and houtenae (IV) (n = 6). S. enterica subsp. enterica (I) serovar Paratyphi B (n = 4) and S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (IIIb) serovar 47:l,v:z (n = 3) were the most frequently isolated serotypes. Nevertheless, the fact that most serotypes were only represented by a single isolate points out the high diversity of Salmonella present among snakes. Salmonella enterica subsp. diarizonae (IIIb) serotype 40:i:z53, which was isolated twice from two free-living Eurasian adders (Vipera berus) captured at different locations, has not been previously described. Our results confirm the role of both free-living and captive snakes as reservoirs of S. enterica in Germany.

  20. Optimizing culture conditions for free-living stages of the nematode parasite Strongyloides ratti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulovic, Alex; Puller, Vadim; Streit, Adrian

    2016-09-01

    The rat parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti (S. ratti) has recently emerged as a model system for various aspects of parasite biology and evolution. In addition to parasitic parthenogenetic females, this species can also form facultative free-living generations of sexually reproducing adults. These free-living worms are bacteriovorous and grow very well when cultured in the feces of their host. However, in fecal cultures the worms are rather difficult to find for observation and experimental manipulation. Therefore, it has also been attempted to raise S. ratti on Nematode Growth Media (NGM) plates with Escherichia coli OP50 as food, exactly as described for the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Whilst worms did grow on these plates, their longevity and reproductive output compared to fecal cultures were dramatically reduced. In order to improve the culture success we tested other plates occasionally used for C. elegans and, starting from the best performing one, systematically varied the plate composition, the temperature and the food in order to further optimize the conditions. Here we present a plate culturing protocol for free-living stages of S. ratti with strongly improved reproductive success and longevity.

  1. Rearing conditions have long-term consequences for stress responsiveness in free-living great tits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landys, Mėta M; Goymann, Wolfgang; Slagsvold, Tore

    2011-11-01

    In captivity, the adrenocortical stress response can be permanently altered by events that occur during early life. Free-living animals have rarely been examined in this regard. To examine whether early-life events impact the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the natural setting, we evaluated the stress response of free-living interspecifically cross-fostered great tits (Parus major). Cross-fostered birds may show a long-term potentiation of the adrenocortical stress response because species-specific nutritional requirements may not be met in the nest and/or cross-fostered birds may experience psychosocial stress while being raised by heterospecifics. Nevertheless, we hypothesized that in the natural setting, programmed changes in HPA function would be eclipsed by reactive responses to the immediate environment. Thus, we predicted that adult cross-fostered great tits and controls would show no differences in their adrenocortical stress response. Contrary to predictions, we found that stress responsiveness (i.e., the rate of the corticosterone increase associated with capture and handling) was significantly higher in cross-fostered great tits than in controls. Further, stress responsiveness was not significantly different between mature adults and first-year juveniles. Thus, data indicate significant effects of early rearing conditions on adrenocortical reactivity in the natural setting and also suggest that effects of rearing conditions in free-living animals can last into adulthood.

  2. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area.

  3. Evolutionary Analysis of Mitogenomes from Parasitic and Free-Living Flatworms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D. Timothy J.; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids. PMID:25793530

  4. Diverse modes of reproduction in the marine free-living ciliate Glauconema trihymene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zufall Rebecca A

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most free-living ciliates reproduce by equal fission or budding during vegetative growth. In certain ciliates, reproduction occurs inside the cyst wall, viz. reproductive cysts, but more complex reproductive strategies have generally been thought to be confined to parasitic or symbiotic species, e.g. Radiophrya spp. Results In addition to equal fission, asymmetric binary division and reproductive cysts were discovered in the free-living bacterivorous scuticociliate Glauconema trihymene Thompson, 1966. Asymmetric division is an innate physiological state that can be induced by sufficient food, and the higher the food concentration, the longer the asymmetric division persists. During asymmetric division, nuclear and somatic structures divide with transiently arrested cytokinesis and variable positioning of macronuclei. Phylogenetic analysis, based on the small subunit of ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA sequences, showed that the G. trihymene isolate studied here nests with typical scuticociliates and is paraphyletic to both the symbiotic apostome and astome ciliates, some of which also produce progeny by asymmetric division. Conclusions The asymmetric division in G. trihymene has no precedent among undisturbed free-living ciliates. The coexistence of multiple modes of reproduction may represent a previously undescribed reproductive strategy for ciliates living on food patches in coastal waters. This may also be indicative of similar reproductive strategies among other polyphenic ciliates, which have not been intensively studied. Asymmetric division provides a special opportunity for studying ciliates' phenotypic plasticity and may also illuminate the origins of multicellularity.

  5. Hemosporidian parasites of free-living birds in the São Paulo Zoo, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chagas, Carolina Romeiro Fernandes; Guimarães, Lilian de Oliveira; Monteiro, Eliana Ferreira; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Katayama, Michele Viana; Santos, Stéfanie Vanessa; Guida, Fernanda Junqueira Vaz; Simões, Roseli França; Kirchgatter, Karin

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies addressed the diversity of bird Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites. However, a few have been carried out in continental avian hotspot regions such as Brazil, a country with markedly different biomes, including Amazon, Brazilian Savanna, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Pantanal, and Pampas. We present the first study on hemosporidian (Haemosporida) parasites in free-living birds from an Atlantic Forest fragment where more than 80 avian species have been reported. Within this area, the São Paulo Zoo locates, and it is the fourth largest zoo in the world and the largest in Latin America. A total of 133 free-living bird samples representing 12 species were collected in the zoo, with the overall hemosporidian prevalence of 18 % by PCR-based diagnostics. Twenty-four positive PCR signals were reported from four different bird species, including migratory ones. Columba livia, an urban species, considered nowadays a pest in big cities, showed 100 % prevalence of Haemoproteus spp., mainly Haemoproteus columbae. We discuss the epidemiological importance of new parasites introduced by migratory birds in the São Paulo Zoo area and the risk it poses to the captive species, which are natives or exotics. We also warn about the influence these parasites can have on the biodiversity and the structure of host populations by altering the competitive interaction between the free-living and the captive birds.

  6. Bovine virus diarrhea virus in free-living deer from Denmark.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, S S; Roensholt, L; Bitsch, V

    2000-07-01

    Free-living deer are suggested as a possible source of infection of cattle with bovine virus diarrhea (BVD) virus. To examine this hypothesis blood samples from 476 free-living deer were collected during two different periods and tested for BVD virus and antibody in Denmark. In 1995-96, 207 animals were tested. These included 149 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), 29 fallow deer (Dama dama), 20 red deer (Cervus elaphus) and one sika deer (Cervus sika). For the remaining eight animals no species information was available. In 1998-99, 269 animals were tested including 212 roe deer and 57 red deer. The animals were selected from areas with a relatively high prevalence of cattle herds with a BVD persistent infection status in 1997 and 1998. All 207 samples from 1995-96 were found antibody-negative except two samples from red deer. Only 158 of the 207 samples were tested for virus and were all found negative. Of the 269 samples from 1998-99 all but one were antibody negative. The positive sample was from a red deer. All samples were virus-negative. It appears that BVD infection does not occur in roe deer in Denmark. The presence of antibody in a few red deer from various districts in Jutland probably results from cattle to deer transmission, rather than spread among deer. Hence, the possibility of free-living deer as a source of infection for cattle in Denmark seems to be remote.

  7. The mongoose, the pheasant, the pox, and the retrovirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etienne, Lucie; Emerman, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Paleovirology is the study of ancient viruses. The existence of a paleovirus can sometimes be detected by virtue of its accidental insertion into the germline of different animal species, which allows one to date when the virus actually existed. However, the ancient and the modern often connect, as modern viruses have unexpected origins that can be traced to ancient infections. The genomes of two species of mongooses and an egg-laying mammal called an echidna show that a virus currently present in poultry, the reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV), is actually of ancient exotic mammalian origin. REV apparently spread to poultry through a circuitous route involving the isolation of malaria parasites from a pheasant from Borneo housed at the Bronx Zoo that was contaminated with REV. Repeated passage of this virus in poultry adapted the virus to its new host. At some point, the virus got inserted into another virus, called fowlpox virus, which has spread back into the wild. Although REV may still exist somewhere in a mammalian host, its modern form links an 8 million-year-old infection of the ancestor of a mongoose to a virus that now is circulating in wild birds through malaria studies in the mid-20(th) century. These lessons of ancient and modern viruses have implications for modern human pandemics from viral reservoirs and for human interventions that may come with unintended consequences.

  8. The effect of elevated temperature and substrate on free-living Symbiodinium cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitschke, M. R.; Davy, S. K.; Cribb, T. H.; Ward, S.

    2015-03-01

    Elevated temperatures can produce a range of serious, deleterious effects on marine invertebrate— Symbiodinium symbioses. The responses of free-living Symbiodinium to elevated temperature, however, have been little studied, especially in the context of their natural habitat. In this study, we investigated physiological responses of two Symbiodinium cultures to elevated temperature, an exclusively free-living ITS2 clade A (strain HI-0509) and the symbiosis-forming ITS2 type A1 (strain CCMP2467). Free-living Symbiodinium strains have recently been isolated from benthic sediments, and both cultures were therefore grown with or without a microhabitat of carbonate sediment at 25, 28 or 31 °C. Maximum quantum yield of photosystem II ( F v/ F m) and specific growth rate were measured as response variables. In culture, Symbiodinium cells exhibit motility in a helical swimming pattern, and therefore, revolutions per minute (RPM) were also measured with video microscopy. The exclusively free-living clade A was physiologically superior to Symbiodinium A1 across all measured variables and treatment combinations. F v/ F m remained relatively stable through time (at approximately 0.55) and was not substantially affected by temperature or the presence or the absence of sediment. Populations of the exclusively free-living Symbiodinium A reproduced faster with sediment than without and exhibited high levels of motility across all treatments (surpassing 300 RPM). In contrast, the F v/ F m of A1 dropped to 0.42 in sediment (relative to cultures without sediment) and exhibited dramatic declines in cell concentration, most severely at 31 °C. A > 50 % reduction in motility was also observed at 31 °C. Even in the absence of sediment, elevated temperature was observed to reduce population growth and cell motility of type A1. We suggest that vital behaviours linked to motility (such as vertical migration and the locating of potential hosts) may become impaired during future thermal

  9. Investigating the role of free-living amoebae as a reservoir for Mycobacterium ulcerans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nana Ama Amissah

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The reservoir and mode of transmission of Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of Buruli ulcer, still remain a mystery. It has been suggested that M. ulcerans persists with difficulty as a free-living organism due to its natural fragility and inability to withstand exposure to direct sunlight, and thus probably persists within a protective host environment.We investigated the role of free-living amoebae as a reservoir of M. ulcerans by screening the bacterium in free-living amoebae (FLA cultures isolated from environmental specimens using real-time PCR. We also followed the survival of M. ulcerans expressing green fluorescence protein (GFP in Acanthameoba castellanii by flow cytometry and observed the infected cells using confocal and transmission electron microscopy for four weeks in vitro. IS2404 was detected by quantitative PCR in 4.64% of FLA cultures isolated from water, biofilms, detritus and aerosols. While we could not isolate M. ulcerans, 23 other species of mycobacteria were cultivated from inside FLA and/or other phagocytic microorganisms. Laboratory experiments with GFP-expressing M. ulcerans in A. castellani trophozoites for 28 days indicated the bacteria did not replicate inside amoebae, but they could remain viable at low levels in cysts. Transmission electron microscopy of infected A. castellani confirmed the presence of bacteria within both trophozoite vacuoles and cysts. There was no correlation of BU notification rate with detection of the IS2404 in FLA (r = 0.07, n = 539, p = 0.127.This study shows that FLA in the environment are positive for the M. ulcerans insertion sequence IS2404. However, the detection frequency and signal strength of IS2404 positive amoabae was low and no link with the occurrence of BU was observed. We conclude that FLA may host M. ulcerans at low levels in the environment without being directly involved in the transmission to humans.

  10. SYMBIODINIUM NATANS SP. NOV.: A "FREE-LIVING" DINOFLAGELLATE FROM TENERIFE (NORTHEAST-ATLANTIC OCEAN)(1).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Gert; Daugbjerg, Niels

    2009-02-01

    We examined a free-living Symbiodinium species by light and electron microscopy and nuclear-encoded partial LSU rDNA sequence data. The strain was isolated from a net plankton sample collected in near-shore waters at Tenerife, the Canary Islands. Comparing the thecal plate tabulation of the free-living Symbiodinium to that of S. microadriaticum Freud., it became clear that a few but significant differences could be noted. The isolate possessed two rather than three antapical plates, six rather than seven to eight postcingular plates, and finally four rather than five apical plates. The electron microscopic study also revealed the presence of an eyespot with brick-shaped contents in the sulcal region and a narrow anterior plate with small knob-like structures. Bayesian analysis revealed the free-living Symbiodinium to be a member of the earliest diverging clade A. However, it did not group within subclade AI (=temperate A) or any other subclades within clade A. Rather, it occupied an isolated position, and this was also supported by sequence divergence estimates. On the basis of comparative analysis of the thecal plate tabulation and the inferred phylogeny, we propose that the Symbiodinium isolate from Tenerife is a new species (viz. S. natans). To elucidate further the species diversity of Symbiodinium, particularly those inhabiting coral reefs, we suggest combining morphological features of the thecal plate pattern with gene sequence data. Indeed, future examination of motile stages originating from symbiont isolates will demonstrate if this proves a feasible way to identify and characterize additional species of Symbiodinium and thus match ribotypes or clusters of ribotypes to species.

  11. Histories of host shifts and cospeciation among free-living parasitoids of Rhagoletis flies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamerlinck, G; Hulbert, D; Hood, G R; Smith, J J; Forbes, A A

    2016-09-01

    Host shifts by specialist insects can lead to reproductive isolation between insect populations that use different hosts, promoting diversification. When both a phytophagous insect and its ancestrally associated parasitoid shift to the same novel host plant, they may cospeciate. However, because adult parasitoids are free living, they can also colonize novel host insects and diversify independent of their ancestral host insect. Although shifts of parasitoids to new insect hosts have been documented in ecological time, the long-term importance of such shifts to parasitoid diversity has not been evaluated. We used a genus of flies with a history of speciation via host shifting (Rhagoletis [Diptera: Tephritidae]) and three associated hymenopteran parasitoid genera (Diachasma, Coptera and Utetes) to examine cophylogenetic relationships between parasitoids and their host insects. We inferred phylogenies of Rhagoletis, Diachasma, Coptera and Utetes and used distance-based cophylogenetic methods (ParaFit and PACo) to assess congruence between fly and parasitoid trees. We used an event-based method with a free-living parasitoid cost model to reconstruct cophylogenetic histories of each parasitoid genus and Rhagoletis. We found that the current species diversity and host-parasitoid associations between the Rhagoletis flies and parasitoids are the primary result of ancient cospeciation events. Parasitoid shifts to ancestrally unrelated hosts primarily occur near the branch tips, suggesting that host shifts contribute to recent parasitoid species diversity but that these lineages may not persist over longer time periods. Our analyses also stress the importance of biologically informed cost models when investigating the coevolutionary histories of hosts and free-living parasitoids.

  12. Diversity of free-Living nitrogen fixing Streptomyces in soils of the badlands of South Dakota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahal, Bibha; NandaKafle, Gitanjali; Perkins, Lora; Brözel, Volker S

    2017-01-01

    Biological Nitrogen Fixation is critical for ecosystem productivity. Select members of Bacteria and Archaea express a nitrogenase enzyme complex that reduces atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia. Several nitrogen fixing bacteria form symbiotic associations with plants, but free-living diazotrophs also contribute a substantial amount of nitrogen to ecosystems. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize free-living diazotrophs in arid lands of South Dakota Badlands. Samples were obtained from sod tables and the surrounding base in spring and fall. Diazotrophs were isolated on solid nitrogen free medium (NFM) under hypoxic conditions, and their16S rRNA and nifH genes sequenced. nifH was also amplified directly from soil DNA extracts. The 16S rRNA gene data indicated a diversity of putative free-living diazotrophs across 4 phyla (Actinomycetes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes), but ∼50% of these clustered with Streptomyces. These Streptomyces isolates grew in liquid NFM in an ammonia-depleted environment. Only 5 of these yielded a nifH gene product using the PolF/PolR primer set. Four of these aligned with nifH of the cyanobacteria Scytonema and Nostoc, and the other one aligned with nifH of Bradyrhizobium. Six selected Streptomyces isolates, three of which were nifH positive by PCR, all indicated (15)N2 incorporation, providing strong support of nitrogen fixation. All nifH amplicons from soil DNA extract resembled Cyanobacteria. This is the first known report of diazotrophic Streptomyces, other than the thermophilic, autotrophic S. thermoautotrophicus. nifH genes of these Streptomyces were related to those from Cyanobacteria. It is possible that the cyanobacteria-like nifH amplicons obtained from soil DNA were associated with Streptomyces.

  13. Biofilm formation enables free-living nitrogen-fixing rhizobacteria to fix nitrogen under aerobic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Di; Xu, Anming; Elmerich, Claudine; Ma, Luyan Z

    2017-07-01

    The multicellular communities of microorganisms known as biofilms are of high significance in agricultural setting, yet it is largely unknown about the biofilm formed by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Here we report the biofilm formation by Pseudomonas stutzeri A1501, a free-living rhizospheric bacterium, capable of fixing nitrogen under microaerobic and nitrogen-limiting conditions. P. stutzeri A1501 tended to form biofilm in minimal media, especially under nitrogen depletion condition. Under such growth condition, the biofilms formed at the air-liquid interface (termed as pellicles) and the colony biofilms on agar plates exhibited nitrogenase activity in air. The two kinds of biofilms both contained large ovoid shape 'cells' that were multiple living bacteria embedded in a sac of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs). We proposed to name such large 'cells' as A1501 cyst. Our results suggest that the EPS, especially exopolysaccharides enabled the encased bacteria to fix nitrogen while grown under aerobic condition. The formation of A1501 cysts was reversible in response to the changes of carbon or nitrogen source status. A1501 cyst formation depended on nitrogen-limiting signaling and the presence of sufficient carbon sources, yet was independent of an active nitrogenase. The pellicles formed by Azospirillum brasilense, another free-living nitrogen-fixing rhizobacterium, which also exhibited nitrogenase activity and contained the large EPS-encapsuled A1501 cyst-like 'cells'. Our data imply that free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria could convert the easy-used carbon sources to exopolysaccharides in order to enable nitrogen fixation in a natural aerobic environment.

  14. Clinical utility of a complete diagnostic protocol for the ocular evaluation of free-living raptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labelle, Amber L; Whittington, Julia K; Breaux, Carrie B; Labelle, Philippe; Mitchell, Mark A; Zarfoss, Mitzi K; Schmidt, Stephanie A; Hamor, Ralph E

    2012-01-01

      To describe a protocol for the examination of free-living raptors and report the ophthalmic examination findings of seven raptor species native to central Illinois, namely the barred owl, Cooper's hawk, eastern screech owl, great horned owl, American kestrel, red-tailed hawk, and turkey vulture and to determine if the findings relative to visual prognosis affected eligibility for future release.   Seventy-nine free-living raptors.   Under manual restraint, complete ophthalmic examination including slit-lamp biomicroscopy and indirect funduscopy, applanation tonometry, rebound tonometry, ocular morphometrics, B-mode ultrasound, and electroretinography (ERG) were performed on each bird. Histopathology of enucleated globes was performed after euthanasia or death in selected cases.   The examination protocol was easily performed using manual restraint alone on all birds. Ocular lesions were detected in 48.1% of birds, with 47.3% affected unilaterally and 52.6% affected bilaterally. Ocular lesions were considered to be vision threatening in 29.0% of the unilaterally affected birds and 29.0% of the bilaterally affected birds. The most common case outcomes were discharge from hospital to rehabilitation facility (45.6%) followed by euthanasia (43.0%). The presence of an ocular lesion or a vision-threatening ocular lesion was not significantly associated with outcome. Reference ranges are reported for B-mode ultrasound, ocular morphometrics, and horizontal corneal diameter in all species.   Complete ophthalmic examination can be supplemented by the use of ocular morphometrics, ultrasound, and ERG in the manually restrained raptor. These advanced diagnostic techniques may be useful in developing more objective criteria for evaluating eligibility for release following rehabilitation of free-living birds of prey. © 2011 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  15. [Structure of the glial cells in the nervous system of parasitic and free-living flatworms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biserova, N M; Gordeev, I I; Korneva, Zh V; Sal'nikova, M M

    2010-01-01

    This study is devoted to ultrastructural and immunosytochemical investigation of the nervous system in parasitic and free-living platyhelminthes to learn if glial cells exist in the nervous system of flatworms. We described the ultrastructure of different types of glial cells and the peculiarities of myelinization of gigantic axons; immunoreactivity to the S100b protein is revealed. Comparative analysis of the glia structure of annelids and platods is given; structural, functional, and evolutionary aspects of myelinization of gigantic axons, which are revealed in cestodes, are discussed.

  16. Ultrastructural analysis and identification of membrane proteins in the free-living amoeba Difflugia corona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva-Briano, Marcelo; Martínez-Hernández, Sandra Luz; Adabache-Ortíz, Araceli; Ventura-Juárez, Javier; Salinas, Eva; Quintanar, J Luis

    2007-08-01

    Syntaxin-1 and 25-kDa Synaptosome-associated Protein (SNAP-25) are present in the plasma membrane of several different secretory cell types and are involved in the exocytosis process. In this work, the free-living amoeba Difflugia corona was studied in relation to ultrastructure, structural membrane proteins, and proteins such as Syntaxin-1 and SNAP-25. Our results obtained by scanning electron microscopy in the amoeba without its theca, showed many membrane projections and several pore-like structures. Using immunocytochemistry, we found structural proteins Syntaxin-1 and SNAP-25.

  17. Free-living amoebae in Egypt. 1. Naegleria gruberi and Naegleria fowleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nashed, N N; Youssef, F G; Mansour, N S

    1991-04-01

    Two Naegleria species were isolated and identified from various water sources in Lower and Upper Egypt. Identification was based on the morphology, nuclear division and the excystation and flagellation tests. The trophic, cystic and flagellate forms of N. gruberi are larger than those of N. fowleri and the cyst of the former species has one or more pores while that of the latter species has no pores and has an outer gelatinous layer. The size and the morphological characteristics of these two free-living amoebae from Egypt were in complete agreement with those previously described for amoebae of this same genus and species endemic to other geographical areas.

  18. One new species of free-living marine nematodes (Enoplida, Anticomidae, Cephalanticoma) from the Huanghai Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Yong; ZHANG Zhinan

    2007-01-01

    One new species of free-living marine nematodes Cephalanticoma filicaudata sp. nov. from the Huanghai Sea, China is described and illustrated. Cephalanticoma filicaudata sp. nov. is characterized by well developed cephalic capsule, three teeth at the anterior of oesophagus, excretory pore opens posterior to cervical setae, only two cervical setae per file, body length longer than 5 200 μm, tail long and no ventral-lateral seta between the supplement and the cloacal opening. Types are deposited in the College of Marine Life Sciences, Ocean University of China.

  19. Five New Records of Free -living Marine Nematodes in the Yellow Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Five species of free-living marine nematodes are redescribed and illustrated as new records in the Yellow Sea of China. These species include one monhysterid, Campylaimus gerlachi in the family Diplopeltidae and four enoplids species, Oxystomina elongata, Oxystomina elegans, Halalaimus lutarus and Halalaimus wodjanizkii in the family Oxystominidae. Ecological and taxonomic remarks are provided and discussed in comparison with the original description. The key to all known species of the genus Campylaimus is given. Our findings have offerred the taxonomic information of nematodes to the benthic ecology and biodiversity studies of the Yellow Sea.

  20. Tetanus in a free-living Hippopotamus Hippopotamus Amphibius Capensis from the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V de Vos

    1980-01-01

    Full Text Available Tetanus in a free-living hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius from the Kruger National Park is described. The animal exhibited the classical tetanus symptomatology, the most salient clinical features being trauma (skin wounds associated with exaggerated response of voluntary muscles to trivial stimuli, muscular spasms, general muscular rigidity, trismus, prolapsed third eye-lid and the preservation of consciousness. It is conjectured that the hippo's semi-aquatic way of life with its close proximity to dung-polluted water and an innate intraspecific aggression amongst males which often leads to fighting and trauma, should provide ample opportunity for infection with Clostridium tetani.

  1. Monitoring of Yersinia enterocolitica strains from free-living animals using different methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syczyło, K; Platt-Samoraj, A; Bancerz-Kisiel, A; Szczerba-Turek, A; Lipczyńska, K; Jabłoński, A; Procajło, Z; Szweda, W

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to monitor Y. enterocolitica strains from free-living animals captured during 2011-2014 hunting seasons in Poland using warm (ITC) and cold (PSB) enrichment and molecular examination. Over 1600 samples have been cultured. After ITC/PSB enrichment 237 strains presenting features characteristic for Y. enterocolitica were isolated. Molecular examination using multiplex PCR revealed 140 isolates from PSB and 78 from ITC. The concentration of pathogenic Yersinia in asymptomatic carriers is low and the PCR detection should be preceded by bacteriological examination.

  2. Cellular, biochemical, and molecular changes during encystment of free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouque, Emilie; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Thomas, Vincent; Hartemann, Philippe; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Héchard, Yann

    2012-04-01

    Free-living amoebae are protozoa found in soil and water. Among them, some are pathogenic and many have been described as potential reservoirs of pathogenic bacteria. Their cell cycle is divided into at least two forms, the trophozoite and the cyst, and the differentiation process is named encystment. As cysts are more resistant to disinfection treatments than trophozoites, many studies focused on encystment, but until recently, little was known about cellular, biochemical, and molecular modifications operating during this process. Important signals and signaling pathways at play during encystment, as well as cell responses at the molecular level, have been described. This review summarizes our knowledge and focuses on new findings.

  3. Tetanus in a free-living Hippopotamus Hippopotamus Amphibius Capensis from the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V de Vos

    1980-01-01

    Full Text Available Tetanus in a free-living hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius from the Kruger National Park is described. The animal exhibited the classical tetanus symptomatology, the most salient clinical features being trauma (skin wounds associated with exaggerated response of voluntary muscles to trivial stimuli, muscular spasms, general muscular rigidity, trismus, prolapsed third eye-lid and the preservation of consciousness. It is conjectured that the hippo's semi-aquatic way of life with its close proximity to dung-polluted water and an innate intraspecific aggression amongst males which often leads to fighting and trauma, should provide ample opportunity for infection with Clostridium tetani.

  4. Identification and structural characterization of avian beta-defensin 2 peptides from pheasant and quail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pheasant and quail orthologues of avian ß-defensin 2 (AVBD2) were identified in methanol extracts of heterophil and bone marrow using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). We used comparative pattern profiling before and after reduction/alkyla...

  5. A preliminary check list of the free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes of the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annelize Botha

    1990-09-01

    Full Text Available A preliminary check list is given of terrestrial free- living and plant-parasitic nematodes of the Kruger National Park. Twenty families, comprising 33 genera and some 50 species are recorded.

  6. Validity of the SenseWear armband step count measure during controlled and free-living conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joey Allen Lee

    2015-06-01

    Conclusion: The SWA underestimates steps during treadmill walking and appears to overestimate steps during free-living compared to the DIGI pedometer. Caution is warranted when using the SWA to count steps. Modifications are needed to enhance step counting accuracy.

  7. Effectiveness of Cleaners and Sanitizers in Killing Salmonella Newport in the Gut of a Free-Living Nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stephen J. Kenney; Gary L. Anderson; Phillip L. Williams; Patricia D. Millner; Larry R. Beuchat

    2004-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living nematode found in soil, has been shown to ingest human enteric pathogens, thereby potentially serving as a vector for preharvest contamination of fruits and vegetables...

  8. Reports on the impact of Caulerpa lentillifera by alien free-living isopod Paracerceis sculpta (Crustacea, Isopoda, Sphaeromatidae)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    太田, 悠造

    2014-01-01

    Unidentified free-living isopods (Crustacea, Sphaeromatidae) occurring in an important commercial seaweed bed of Caulerpa lentillifera at Miyako-jima island, southern Japan, are identified herein Paracerceis sculpta (Holmes, 1904...

  9. Mukilteo water sensor time series - Field work coupling measurements of carbon chemistry and distribution of free-living organisms

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — To estimate the carbon chemistry conditions experienced by free-living organisms, we will conduct coupled biological/carbon chemistry sampling for key zooplankton...

  10. Pathogenic and opportunistic free-living amoebae: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri, and Sappinia diploidea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visvesvara, Govinda S; Moura, Hercules; Schuster, Frederick L

    2007-06-01

    Among the many genera of free-living amoebae that exist in nature, members of only four genera have an association with human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri and Sappinia diploidea. Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris are opportunistic pathogens causing infections of the central nervous system, lungs, sinuses and skin, mostly in immunocompromised humans. Balamuthia is also associated with disease in immunocompetent children, and Acanthamoeba spp. cause a sight-threatening infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis, mostly in contact-lens wearers. Of more than 30 species of Naegleria, only one species, N. fowleri, causes an acute and fulminating meningoencephalitis in immunocompetent children and young adults. In addition to human infections, Acanthamoeba, Balamuthia and Naegleria can cause central nervous system infections in animals. Because only one human case of encephalitis caused by Sappinia diploidea is known, generalizations about the organism as an agent of disease are premature. In this review we summarize what is known of these free-living amoebae, focusing on their biology, ecology, types of disease and diagnostic methods. We also discuss the clinical profiles, mechanisms of pathogenesis, pathophysiology, immunology, antimicrobial sensitivity and molecular characteristics of these amoebae.

  11. A model of extracellular enzymes in free-living microbes: which strategy pays off?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traving, Sachia J; Thygesen, Uffe H; Riemann, Lasse; Stedmon, Colin A

    2015-11-01

    An initial modeling approach was applied to analyze how a single, nonmotile, free-living, heterotrophic bacterial cell may optimize the deployment of its extracellular enzymes. Free-living cells live in a dilute and complex substrate field, and to gain enough substrate, their extracellular enzymes must be utilized efficiently. The model revealed that surface-attached and free enzymes generate unique enzyme and substrate fields, and each deployment strategy has distinctive advantages. For a solitary cell, surface-attached enzymes are suggested to be the most cost-efficient strategy. This strategy entails potential substrates being reduced to very low concentrations. Free enzymes, on the other hand, generate a radically different substrate field, which suggests significant benefits for the strategy if free cells engage in social foraging or experience high substrate concentrations. Swimming has a slight positive effect for the attached-enzyme strategy, while the effect is negative for the free-enzyme strategy. The results of this study suggest that specific dissolved organic compounds in the ocean likely persist below a threshold concentration impervious to biological utilization. This could help explain the persistence and apparent refractory state of oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM). Microbial extracellular enzyme strategies, therefore, have important implications for larger-scale processes, such as shaping the role of DOM in ocean carbon sequestration.

  12. A pharmacological study of NLP-12 neuropeptide signaling in free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peeters, Lise; Janssen, Tom; De Haes, Wouter; Beets, Isabel; Meelkop, Ellen; Grant, Warwick; Schoofs, Liliane

    2012-03-01

    NLP-12a and b have been identified as cholecystokinin/sulfakinin-like neuropeptides in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. They are suggested to play an important role in the regulation of digestive enzyme secretion and fat storage. This study reports on the identification and characterization of an NLP-12-like peptide precursor gene in the rat parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti. The S. ratti NLP-12 peptides are able to activate both C. elegans CKR-2 receptor isoforms in a dose-dependent way with affinities in the same nanomolar range as the native C. elegans NLP-12 peptides. The C-terminal RPLQFamide sequence motif of the NLP-12 peptides is perfectly conserved between free-living and parasitic nematodes. Based on systemic amino acid replacements the Arg-, Leu- and Phe- residues appear to be critical for high-affinity receptor binding. Finally, a SAR analysis revealed the essential pharmacophore in C. elegans NLP-12b to be the pentapeptide RPLQFamide.

  13. Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Free-Living Amoebae from Different Water Sources in Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margherita Montalbano Di Filippo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Free-living amoebae (FLA are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7% of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively. Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1% Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15 and 21 (45.6% Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans.

  14. Soil Contamination With Free-Living Amoeba in North of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohaghegh

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background Free-living amoebas are very abundant in nature, especially in water and soil. Some species of amoebas cause serious and sometimes fatal infections such a keratitis in people with normal and suppressed immune systems. Based on the prevalence of amoebic keratitis in Iran, it is important to consider the free-living amoeba. Objectives The current study aimed to determine the presence of Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella spp. in soil samples of Sari, North of Iran. Patients and Methods A total of 96 soil samples from three areas of Sari were collected to be examined for soil contamination with Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella spp. Soil samples were investigated for the presence of these parasites by Sheather’s flotation technique and Gimsa staining method. The identification of Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella spp. at the genus level in this study was based on distinctive features of double walled cysts. Results Of the 96 studied samples, from different environmental locations in Sari, 38 (39.6% Acanthamoeba and 5 (5.2% Hartmannella species were identified. Conclusions The results of the present study revealed that soil resources of these areas were contaminated with opportunistic amoebas such as Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella spp. and this may lead to severe diseases in high-risk people, such as immunocompromised patients.

  15. Genetic Correlates of Individual Differences in Sleep Behavior of Free-Living Great Tits (Parus major

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica F. Stuber

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Within populations, free-living birds display considerable variation in observable sleep behaviors, reflecting dynamic interactions between individuals and their environment. Genes are expected to contribute to repeatable between-individual differences in sleep behaviors, which may be associated with individual fitness. We identified and genotyped polymorphisms in nine candidate genes for sleep, and measured five repeatable sleep behaviors in free-living great tits (Parus major, partly replicating a previous study in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus. Microsatellites in the CLOCK and NPAS2 clock genes exhibited an association with sleep duration relative to night length, and morning latency to exit the nest box, respectively. Furthermore, microsatellites in the NPSR1 and PCSK2 genes associated with relative sleep duration and proportion of time spent awake at night, respectively. Given the detection rate of associations in the same models run with random markers instead of candidate genes, we expected two associations to arise by chance. The detection of four associations between candidate genes and sleep, however, suggests that clock genes, a clock-related gene, or a gene involved in the melanocortin system, could play key roles in maintaining phenotypic variation in sleep behavior in avian populations. Knowledge of the genetic architecture underlying sleep behavior in the wild is important because it will enable ecologists to assess the evolution of sleep in response to selection.

  16. Survey of pathogenic free-living amoebae and Legionella spp. in mud spring recreation area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Bing-Mu; Lin, Che-Li; Shih, Feng-Cheng

    2009-06-01

    Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, and Naegleria are free-living amoebae, ubiquitous in aquatic environments. Several species within these genera are recognized as potential human pathogens. These free-living amoebae may facilitate the proliferation of their parasitical bacteria, such as Legionella. In this study, we identified Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, Naegleria, and Legionella using various analytical procedures and investigated their occurrence at a mud spring recreation area in Taiwan. We investigated factors potentially associated with the prevalence of the pathogens, including various water types, and physical and microbiological water quality parameters. Spring water was collected from 34 sites and Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, Naegleria, and Legionella were detected in 8.8%, 35.3%, 14.7%, and 47.1%, respectively. The identified species of Acanthamoeba included Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga. Nearly all the Hartmannella isolates are identified as Hartmannella vermiformis. The Naegleria species included Naegleria australiensis and its sister groups, and two other isolates referred to a new clade of Naegleria genotypes. The Legionella species identified included unnamed Legionella genotypes, Legionella pneumophila serotype 6, uncultured Legionella spp., Legionella lytica, Legionella drancourtii, and Legionella waltersii. Significant differences (Mann-Whitney U test, Pfree-living amoebae and Legionella are prevalent in this Taiwanese mud spring recreation area. The presence of pathogens should be considered a potential health threat when associated with human activities in spring water.

  17. Isolation and molecular characterization of free-living amoebae from different water sources in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montalbano Di Filippo, Margherita; Santoro, Maristella; Lovreglio, Piero; Monno, Rosa; Capolongo, Carmen; Calia, Carla; Fumarola, Luciana; D'Alfonso, Rossella; Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David

    2015-03-24

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7%) of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively). Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1%) Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15) and 21 (45.6%) Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans.

  18. Growth ability of Gram negative bacteria in free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeybek, Zuhal; Binay, Ali Rıza

    2014-11-01

    When bacteria and free-living amoebae (FLAs) live both in natural waters and man-made aquatic systems, they constantly interact with each other. Some bacteria can survive and grow within FLAs. Therefore, it has recently been thought that FLAs play an important role in spreading pathogenic bacteria in aquatic systems. In this study we investigated the intracellular growing ability of 7 different Gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas putida, Pasteurella pneumotropica, Aeromonas salmonicida, Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, L. pneumophila serogroup 3, L. pneumophila serogroup 6) in four different FLA isolates (A1-A4). Among these, four bacterial isolates (P. fluorescens, P.putida, P.pneumotropica, A.salmonicida) and two free-living amoebae isolates (A3, A4) were isolated from the tap water in our city (Istanbul). It was found that 4 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A1, 2 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A2, 4 different Gram-negative bacteria could grow in A3, 1 Gram-negative bacterium could grow in A4. In conclusion, we think that this ability of growth could vary according to the characteristics of both bacteria and FLA isolates. Also, other factors such as environmental temperature, bacterial concentration, and extended incubation period may play a role in these interactions. This situation can be clarified with future studies.

  19. Survey of Danish Free Living Otters Lutra lutra - a Consecutive Collection and Necroscopy of Dead Bodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madsen A.B.

    1999-10-01

    Full Text Available During 1979-1993 194 dead Danish otters Lutra lutra were received. Of these, 145 were necropsied and the cause of death, sex, age and body condition determined. Traffic mortality (45.4% and drowning (32.5% constituted the major cause of death. Shot-gun lead pellets were detected in 5% of the otters. Inclusion bodies indicating distemper virus infection were found for the first time in a free living otter population. Angistrongylus vasorum larvae were found in the lungs of free living otters for the first time. No ectoparasites were found. Infectious agents were detected in 22.1 % of the otters although only few otters appeared to have died from infections. The age distribution was not significantly different between the two sexes. Body condition for otters, which died violently in Denmark was comparable to findings in Shetland, where thriving populations exist. The results showed a considerable decrease in number of otters found drowned in fish traps coinciding with the introduction of stop grids in fish traps in 1986. The results suggest that the existing otter population in Denmark is healthy and in good condition but it cannot be excluded that the large number of otters killed by traffic threatens the continued expansion of the species.

  20. Eating frequency and energy regulation in free-living adults consuming self-selected diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrory, Megan A; Howarth, Nancy C; Roberts, Susan B; Huang, Terry T-K

    2011-01-01

    The relative importance of eating frequency to weight control is poorly understood. This review examines the evidence to date on the role of eating frequency in weight control in free-living adults. The majority of cross-sectional studies in free-living adults show an inverse relationship between eating frequency and adiposity; however, this is likely an artifact produced by the underreporting of eating frequency concurrent with underreporting of energy intake. When implausible energy intake reporting (which is mostly underreporting) is taken into account, the association between eating frequency and adiposity becomes positive. In studies in which eating frequency is prescribed and food intake is mostly self-selected, there is either no effect or a minor positive effect of eating frequency on energy intake. Most of those studies have been short-term and lack the necessary dietary biomarkers to validate reported energy intakes and eating frequencies. In conclusion, there is some suggestion from cross-sectional studies in which energy intake underreporting is taken into account and from experimental studies to date that greater eating frequency may promote positive energy balance. However, experimental studies of longer-term duration that include objective dietary biomarkers are necessary before firm conclusions about the relative importance of eating frequency in weight control can be made.

  1. Pathogenic waterborne free-living amoebae: An update from selected Southeast Asian countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Majid, Mohamad Azlan; Mahboob, Tooba; Mong, Brandon G. J.; Jaturas, Narong; Richard, Reena Leeba; Tian-Chye, Tan; Phimphila, Anusorn; Mahaphonh, Panomphanh; Aye, Kyaw Nyein; Aung, Wai Lynn; Chuah, Joon; Ziegler, Alan D.; Yasiri, Atipat; Sawangjaroen, Nongyao; Lim, Yvonne A. L.; Nissapatorn, Veeranoot

    2017-01-01

    Data on the distribution of free-living amoebae is still lacking especially in Southeast Asian region. The aquatic environment revealed a high occurrence of free-living amoebae (FLA) due to its suitable condition and availability of food source, which subsequently causes infection to humans. A total of 94 water samples consisted of both treated and untreated from Laos (31), Myanmar (42), and Singapore (21) were investigated for the presence of pathogenic FLA. Each water sample was filtered and cultured onto non-nutrient agar seeded with live suspension of Escherichia coli and incubated at room temperature. Morphological identification was conducted for both trophozoites and cysts via microscopic stains (Giemsa and immunofluorescence). The presence of Naegleria-like structures was the most frequently encountered in both treated and untreated water samples, followed by Acanthamoeba-like and Vermamoeba-like features. To identify the pathogenic isolates, species-specific primer sets were applied for molecular identification of Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, and Vermamoeba. The pathogenic species of Acanthamoeba lenticulata and A. triangularis were detected from untreated water samples, while Vermamoeba vermiformis was found in both treated and untreated water samples. Our results suggested that poor water quality as well as inadequate maintenance and treatment might be the cause of this alarming problem since chlorine disinfection is ineffective in eradicating these amoebas in treated water samples. Regular monitoring and examination of water qualities are necessary in order to control the growth, hence, further preventing the widespread of FLA infections among the public. PMID:28212409

  2. Differential expression of disulfide reductase enzymes in a free-living platyhelminth (Dugesia dorotocephala)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera-Juárez, Álvaro Miguel; Martínez-González, José de Jesús; del Arenal Mena, Irene Patricia; Flores-Herrera, Óscar

    2017-01-01

    A search of the disulfide reductase activities expressed in the adult stage of the free-living platyhelminth Dugesia dorotocephala was carried out. Using GSSG or DTNB as substrates, it was possible to obtain a purified fraction containing both GSSG and DTNB reductase activities. Through the purification procedure, both disulfide reductase activities were obtained in the same chromatographic peak. By mass spectrometry analysis of peptide fragments obtained after tryptic digestion of the purified fraction, the presence of glutathione reductase (GR), thioredoxin-glutathione reductase (TGR), and a putative thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) was detected. Using the gold compound auranofin to selectively inhibit the GSSG reductase activity of TGR, it was found that barely 5% of the total GR activity in the D. dorotocephala extract can be assigned to GR. Such strategy did allow us to determine the kinetic parameters for both GR and TGR. Although It was not possible to discriminate DTNB reductase activity due to TrxR from that of TGR, a chromatofocusing experiment with a D. dorotocephala extract resulted in the obtention of a minor protein fraction enriched in TrxR, strongly suggesting its presence as a functional protein. Thus, unlike its parasitic counterparts, in the free-living platyhelminth lineage the three disulfide reductases are present as functional proteins, albeit TGR is still the major disulfide reductase involved in the reduction of both Trx and GSSG. This fact suggests the development of TGR in parasitic flatworms was not linked to a parasitic mode of life. PMID:28787021

  3. Genetic Correlates of Individual Differences in Sleep Behavior of Free-Living Great Tits (Parus major).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Erica F; Baumgartner, Christine; Dingemanse, Niels J; Kempenaers, Bart; Mueller, Jakob C

    2016-01-06

    Within populations, free-living birds display considerable variation in observable sleep behaviors, reflecting dynamic interactions between individuals and their environment. Genes are expected to contribute to repeatable between-individual differences in sleep behaviors, which may be associated with individual fitness. We identified and genotyped polymorphisms in nine candidate genes for sleep, and measured five repeatable sleep behaviors in free-living great tits (Parus major), partly replicating a previous study in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Microsatellites in the CLOCK and NPAS2 clock genes exhibited an association with sleep duration relative to night length, and morning latency to exit the nest box, respectively. Furthermore, microsatellites in the NPSR1 and PCSK2 genes associated with relative sleep duration and proportion of time spent awake at night, respectively. Given the detection rate of associations in the same models run with random markers instead of candidate genes, we expected two associations to arise by chance. The detection of four associations between candidate genes and sleep, however, suggests that clock genes, a clock-related gene, or a gene involved in the melanocortin system, could play key roles in maintaining phenotypic variation in sleep behavior in avian populations. Knowledge of the genetic architecture underlying sleep behavior in the wild is important because it will enable ecologists to assess the evolution of sleep in response to selection.

  4. Isolation, identification and antibiotic resistance of Campylobacter strains isolated from domestic and free-living pigeons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudzic, A; Urban-Chmiel, R; Stępień-Pyśniak, D; Dec, M; Puchalski, A; Wernicki, A

    2016-04-01

    1. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in domestic and free-living pigeons and to evaluate the antibiotic resistance profiles. 2. The material consisted of cloacal swabs obtained from 108 homing pigeons and fresh faeces from 72 wild birds from Lublin and its vicinity. The identification of strains isolated on differential/selective media for Campylobacter spp. was carried out by MALDI-TOF and PCR. The susceptibility to antibiotics was evaluated by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) in Mueller-Hinton broth. 3. A total of 35 strains of Campylobacter spp. were isolated; 27 were identified as Campylobacter jejuni and 8 as Campylobacter coli. Over half of the isolates were resistant to erythromycin and streptomycin, 40% of strains were resistant to tetracycline and ampicillin and 37% isolates were resistant to amoxicillin. Resistance to two or more antibiotics was observed in all strains tested. 4. The results indicate that both domestic and free-living pigeons are reservoirs for bacteria of the genus Campylobacter, which are characterised by varied and growing resistance to commonly used antibiotics.

  5. Meat and carcass characteristics of free-living capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisele A. Felix

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate carcass and meat characteristics of free-living capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris from agricultural areas of Grande Dourados, MS, Brazil. Carcass weight, yield and measures, as well as of commercial cuts weight of five animals (2 males and 3 females, body weight between 63.4-100 kg were determined. The following parameters: moisture, protein, fat, ash, Ca, P and Fe, water holding capacity, cooking losses, shear force and color Instrumental color in CIE-Lab coordinates were determined to meat cuts (Loin, ribs, L. dorsi, chuck/brisket, ham and bottom sirloin. The dressing percentage average value was 62.47% of body weight and cold carcass yield was 57.89% of body weight, with no difference between sexes. The mean percentage of cold loss was 4.10%. Cuts yielding (ribs 24.98% and ham 27.29% were not statistically different (P>0.05. There was no significantly (P> 0.05 difference between the moisture, protein and minerals content between the different cuts, but lipids content was significantly (P< 0.05 lower in loin. The results shown that free-living capybara have characteristics appropriate for commercialization, thus it is possible to development projects for the sustainable management of rural populations.

  6. Compromised immune competence in free-living tree swallows exposed to mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Dana M; Hallinger, Kelly K; Cristol, Daniel A

    2009-07-01

    Mercury is a pervasive environmental contaminant and a well-documented immunosuppressor. However, little is known about the effects of mercury contamination on health of free-living vertebrate populations. The South River in Virginia, USA was heavily contaminated with industrial mercury from 1929 to 1950, and recent studies have documented high levels of circulating mercury in riparian songbirds breeding below the site of contamination. Here we used two standardized immune assays, mitogen-induced swelling in response to phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and antibody response to sheep red blood cells (SRBCs), to test for effects of mercury toxicity on the immune system of female tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) which feed on terrestrial and aquatic insects along the contaminated waterway. We found that females breeding at mercury-contaminated sites mounted significantly weaker PHA-induced swelling responses than those at reference sites in both years of study. However, among females on the contaminated sites, individual bloodstream mercury concentration did not predict the extent of mitogen-induced swelling. We did not detect any differences between reference and contaminated females in the strength of antibody responses to SRBCs, but sample sizes for this assay were significantly smaller. Overall, our results suggest that mercury toxicity can exert sub-lethal immunosuppression in free-living, insectivorous songbirds. The potential fitness consequences of the detected differences in immunocompetence caused by mercury toxicity warrant further study.

  7. Granulomatous encephalitis, intracranial arteritis, and mycotic aneurysm due to a free-living ameba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, A J; Sotelo-Avila, C; Alcalá, H; Willaert, E

    1980-01-01

    Primary amebic meningoencephalitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis are well recognized clinicopathological entities caused by free-living amebas. Associated arteritis and "mycotic aneurysms" with infiltration of intracranial arteries by lymphocytes, amebic trophozoites and cysts have not been previously reported. A 26-month-old girl had a 3-week history of encephalitis, characterized, initially, by vomiting and low-grade fever. Subsequently, she developed ataxia, generalized weakness, lethargy, and esotropia. The first CSF showed 490 RBC/microliters, 705 WBC/microliters with 90% mononuclears. Her pupils reacted briskly to light. Moderate nuchal rigidity, nystagmus, fixed downward gaze, anisocoria, bilateral 6th nerve palsy, left arm monoparesis and left Babinski were present. CAT scan revealed slight symmetrical dilatation of anterior horns of lateral ventricles and an area of abnormal enhancement above the 3rd ventricle. She died 14 days after admission, 5 weeks after onset of symptoms. The brain showed focal necrotizing encephalopathy, involving thalami, cerebellum, brain stem, and cervical and upper thoracic spinal cord. Numerous free-living amebic trophozoites and cysts were present within a chronic granulomatous encephalitis. There were trombosis of basilar, posterior cerebral, and vertebral arteries with profuse chronic panarteritis, fibrinoid necrosis, and mycotic aneurysms.

  8. Free-living amoebae used to isolate consortia capable of degrading trichloroethylene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tyndall, R.L.; Katz, D.S.; Little, C.D. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Kennedy, J.R. [Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)

    1991-12-31

    The interaction of protozoa with prokaryotes is well documented. These interactions can be either ecto- or endosymbiotic. An example of photosynthetic symbiosis is the well-defined interaction between paramecium and entrapped Chlorella. Paramecium can also form symbiotic relationships with gram-negative heterotrophic bacteria. Jeon has described an interaction between amoebae and engulfed bacteria, that eventuated into a dependency of the amoebae on the presence of the engulfed bacterium. Free-living amoebae and tetrahymena can engulf and subsequently provide the necessary niche for the replication of Legionella. Acanthamoebae trophozoites and cysts can harbor and support the replication of unidentified gram-negative bacteria. King has recently shown that bacteria associated with free-living amoebae are more resistant to toxic environments. Assuming that methylotrophic bacteria in situ are a part of a mixed community, and based on our observations that bacteria associated with protozoa may not be easily isolated by standard techniques, we attempted to use protozoa as a tool to isolate TCE-degrading bacteria.

  9. Presence of free-living amoebae in portable and stationary eye wash stations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tyndall, R.L.; Lyle, M.M.; Ironside, K.S.

    1987-11-01

    Portable and stationary eye wash stations were tested for the presence of free-living amoebae. Such amoebae may be found in potable waters, and at least one genera, the Acanthamoebae, can cause severe infections when introduced into traumatized eyes. Concentrates or filtrates of water from eye wash stations were placed on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. Resultant outgrowths of free-living amoebae, which were morphologically identified as mixtures of Hartmannella and Acanthamoebae, were inoculated intranasally into weanling mice. Subsequently, brain and lung tissues from inject mice were tested for amoebae as an indication of persistent infection. Acanthamoebae and Hartmannella were detected in some eye wash stations at each of four test sites. Both portable and stationary stations harbored Acanthamoebae. Some of the isolates caused persistent pulmonary infection but were not isolated from brain tissue. Flushing stationary eye wash stations temporarily reduced the number of stations positive for amoebae. Treatment of portable stations with 25 ppm of free chlorine also reduced the number of stations harboring amoebae but caused corrosion in some of the stations.

  10. A Model of Extracellular Enzymes in Free-Living Microbes: Which Strategy Pays Off?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thygesen, Uffe H.; Riemann, Lasse; Stedmon, Colin A.

    2015-01-01

    An initial modeling approach was applied to analyze how a single, nonmotile, free-living, heterotrophic bacterial cell may optimize the deployment of its extracellular enzymes. Free-living cells live in a dilute and complex substrate field, and to gain enough substrate, their extracellular enzymes must be utilized efficiently. The model revealed that surface-attached and free enzymes generate unique enzyme and substrate fields, and each deployment strategy has distinctive advantages. For a solitary cell, surface-attached enzymes are suggested to be the most cost-efficient strategy. This strategy entails potential substrates being reduced to very low concentrations. Free enzymes, on the other hand, generate a radically different substrate field, which suggests significant benefits for the strategy if free cells engage in social foraging or experience high substrate concentrations. Swimming has a slight positive effect for the attached-enzyme strategy, while the effect is negative for the free-enzyme strategy. The results of this study suggest that specific dissolved organic compounds in the ocean likely persist below a threshold concentration impervious to biological utilization. This could help explain the persistence and apparent refractory state of oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM). Microbial extracellular enzyme strategies, therefore, have important implications for larger-scale processes, such as shaping the role of DOM in ocean carbon sequestration. PMID:26253668

  11. Free-living nematodes in the freshwater food web: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-03-01

    Free-living nematodes are well-recognized as an abundant and ubiquitous component of benthic communities in inland waters. Compelling evidence from soil and marine ecosystems has highlighted the importance of nematodes as trophic intermediaries between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the paucity of empirical evidence of their role in freshwater ecosystems has hampered their inclusion in our understanding of freshwater food web functioning. This literature survey provides an overview of research efforts in the field of freshwater nematode ecology and of the complex trophic interactions between free-living nematodes and microbes, other meiofauna, macro-invertebrates, and fishes. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an appreciation of the potential of emerging approaches for the evaluation of nematode trophic ecology, we point out research gaps and recommend relevant directions for further research. The latter include (i) interactions of nematodes with protozoans and fungi; (ii) nonconsumptive effects of nematodes on microbial activity and the effects of nematodes on associated key ecosystem processes (decomposition, primary production); and (iii) the feeding selectivity and intraspecific feeding variability of nematodes and their potential impacts on the structure of benthic communities.

  12. THE EFFECT OF ADDING WHOLE WHEAT GRAIN TO FEED MIXTURE ON SLAUGHTER YIELD AND CARCASS COMPOSITION IN GAME PHEASANTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DARIUSZ KOKOSZYŃSKI

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The mean body weight of pheasant cocks (1226 g and hens (946.9 g receiving feed mixtures was lower than that of birds fed diets with wheat (♂ 1421.4 g, ♀ 953.2 g. The dressing percentage of both sexes pheasants fed wheat grain also (69.9% was only 0.3% lower than in birds receiving feed mixtures only (70.2%. The carcasses of birds (♂♀ fed the diet with whole wheat grain contained more breast muscles (251.2 g, leg muscles (198.8 g and other carcass components. The carcass percentage of breast muscles, leg muscles, wings and skin with fat was lower, and that of remainders of carcass higher in pheasants receiving wheat grain. In addition, the carcasses of pheasants (♂♀ fed the wheat diets were characterized by a higher weight of meat and fat and lower carcass meat and fat percentage.

  13. Is there a link between free-living nitrogen fixation rates and nitrogen mineralization rates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smercina, D.; Tiemann, L. K.; Friesen, M.; Evans, S. E.; West, W.

    2016-12-01

    Plant accessible nitrogen (N) is controlled by the rates of N fixation (N-fix) and N mineralization (N-min), yet the relationship between these two processes is relatively unexplored. In particular, we know relatively little about the rates of free-living N-fix, thought to be supported mainly by plant root exudates. Furthermore, there is no consensus on the link between N-fix and N-min rates in terrestrial soil systems. To address this knowledge gap, we are using a three-pronged approach, including a meta-analysis, a greenhouse study and field experiments. Following an extensive literature search, we found 12 papers that simultaneously reported N-fix and N-min rates. Surprisingly, these data indicated a positive relationship between N-fix and N-min rates; however, the scarcity of data limits our ability to draw any strong conclusions. We have explored the relationship between N-fix and N-min in a controlled greenhouse experiment using switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) because recent evidence suggests switchgrass may support free-living N-fix when N limited. Indeed, in our study, switchgrass and soils exposed to N limiting conditions experienced no adverse effects, namely no differences in plant growth or tissue chemistry (C:N), or soil enzyme activities compared to non-N limiting conditions. Soils used in this study are from marginal lands, low in soil organic matter and N, so it is likely N deficits are compensated for via N-fix. Analysis of 15N2 -fix and gross N-min rates, determined via 15N pool dilution, will elucidate this source of N. Finally, our field experiment encompasses six marginal land sites across MI and WI, part of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. In 2016, we measured N-fix and N-min rates in switchgrass monoculture plots at all six sites once, at the peak of growing season, and bi-weekly, from April to September, at two MI field sites. Data collected to date from two MI sites show no difference in N-min rates in N fertilized versus

  14. Purifying selection in mitochondria, free-living and obligate intracellular proteobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popadin Konstantin

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The effectiveness of elimination of slightly deleterious mutations depends mainly on drift and recombination frequency. Here we analyze the influence of these two factors on the strength of the purifying selection in mitochondrial and proteobacterial orthologous genes taking into account the differences in the organism lifestyles. Results (I We found that the probability of fixation of nonsynonymous substitutions (Kn/Ks in mitochondria is significantly lower compared to obligate intracellular bacteria and even marginally significantly lower compared to free-living bacteria. The comparison of bacteria of different lifestyles demonstrates more effective elimination of slightly deleterious mutations in (II free-living bacteria as compared to obligate intracellular species and in (III obligate intracellular parasites as compared to obligate intracellular symbionts. (IV Finally, we observed that the level of the purifying selection (i.e. 1-Kn/Ks increases with the density of mobile elements in bacterial genomes. Conclusion This study shows that the comparison of patterns of molecular evolution of orthologous genes between ecologically different groups of organisms allow to elucidate the genetic consequences of their various lifestyles. Comparing the strength of the purifying selection among proteobacteria with different lifestyles we obtained results, which are in concordance with theoretical expectations: (II low effective population size and level of recombination in obligate intracellular proteobacteria lead to less effective elimination of mutations compared to free-living relatives; (III rare horizontal transmissions, i.e. effectively zero recombination level in symbiotic obligate intracellular bacteria leads to less effective purifying selection than in parasitic obligate intracellular bacteria; (IV the increased frequency of recombination in bacterial genomes with high mobile element density leads to a more effective

  15. Patterns of physical activity in free-living adults in the Southern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchowski, M S; Acra, S; Majchrzak, K M; Sun, M; Chen, K Y

    2004-05-01

    To examine the relationship between the amount and patterns of physical activity (PA), body fatness, and age in a heterogeneous adult population in the free living. Cross-sectional study of the amount of PA over a 1-week period. The amount of body movements during PA (PA counts*10(3)) and time spent on various PA intensity categories were calculated from a triaxial accelerometer and compared with subject characteristics, including body fat from hydrodensitometry. Adult healthy men (n=48) and women (n=72) were recruited from the Nashville, Tennessee area and their PA was monitored in their free-living environment. The average weekday PA counts (176.5+/-60.3, P=0.002, r(2)=0.294), PA counts day-to-day variability (47.3+/-32.7, P=0.002, r(2)=0.286), daily maximum PA counts (241.9+/-89.2, P=0.001, r(2)=0.327), minute-to-minute variability on weekdays (0.281+/-0.091, P=0.001, r(2)=0.362), and the difference between maximum and minimum daily PA counts (130.6+/-78.3, P=0.008, r(2)=0.243) were significantly and negatively correlated with body fatness. During awake time, both men and women spent 10-12 h on low intensity (1.0-2.9 metabolic equivalents (METs)) PA, approximately 1 h on moderate (3.0-5.9 MET), and less than 10 min on vigorous (>6.0 MET) PA each day. On weekends, men and women spent more time at rest (1 MET), less time on low-intensity PA, and men spent more time on moderate PA than on weekdays. In adults living in the Southern US the amount of free-living PA was negatively correlated with body fatness. Both men and women spent the majority of active time on low and moderate PA. PA patterns on weekends were different than on weekdays and were related to sex and age, but not to body fatness. National Institutes of Health, US.

  16. Concurrent Validity of Wearable Activity Trackers Under Free-Living Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, Skyler M; An, Hyun-Sung; Kang, Seoung-Ki; Noble, John M; Berg, Kris E; Lee, Jung-Min

    2017-04-01

    Brooke, SM, An, H-S, Kang, S-K, Noble, JM, Berg, KE, and Lee, J-M. Concurrent validity of wearable activity trackers under free-living conditions. J Strength Cond Res 31(4): 1097-1106, 2017-The purpose of this study is to evaluate the concurrent validity of wearable activity trackers in energy expenditure (EE) and sleep period time (SPT) under free-living conditions. Ninety-five (28.5 ± 9.8 years) healthy men (n = 34) and women (n = 61) participated in this study. The total EE and SPT were measured using 8 monitors: Nike+ FuelBand SE (NFB), Garmin VivoFit (VF), Misfit Shine (MF), Fitbit Flex (FF), Jawbone UP (JU), Polar Loop (PL), Fitbit Charge HR (FC), and SenseWear Armband Mini (SWA) (criterion measures: SWA for EE and a sleep log for SPT). The mean absolute percent error (MAPE) for EE was 13.0, 15.2, 15.5, 16.1, 16.2, 22.8, and 24.5% for PL, MF, FF, NFB, FC, JU, and VF, respectively. Mean absolute percent errors were calculated for SPT to be 4.0, 8.8, 10.2, 11.5, 12.9, 13.6, 17.5, and 21.61% for VF, FF, JU, FC, MF, SWA laying down, PL, and SWA, respectively. Concurrent validity was examined using equivalence testing on EE (equivalence zone: 2,889.7-3,531.9 kcal); 2 trackers fell short of falling in the zone: PL (2,714.4-3,164.8 kcal) and FC (2,473.8-3,066.5 kcal). For SPT (equivalence zone: 420.6-514.0 minutes), several monitors fell in the zone: PL (448.3-485.6 minutes), MS (442.8-492.2 minutes), and FF (427.7-486.7 minutes). This study suggests that the PL and FC provide a reasonable estimate of EE under free-living conditions. The PL, FC, and MF were the most valid monitors used for measuring SPT.

  17. Histological Characteristics of Leg Muscles of 56-Day Old Pheasants Hatched from Eggs of Different Eggshell Colour

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragan Zikic

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper was to examine the histological characteristics of leg muscles of pheasants hatched from eggs of a different colour. From muscle samples (M. biceps femoris of 56-day old pheasants hatched from eggs of different colour (dark brown, light brown, brown/green, blue/green histological preparations were made. Following parameters were examined: diameter of muscle cells, volume density of connective tissue in muscles, nucleo-cytoplasmatic ratio of muscle cells. Results showed that diameter of muscle cells was smaller in pheasants hatched from blue/green eggs compared to all other examinated groups. There was no differences in volume density of connective tissue in muscles between groups. Nucleo-cytoplasmatic ratio of muscle cells was higher in pheasants hatched from blue/green eggs compared to all other examinated groups. From obtained results it can be concluded that pheasants hatched from blue/green eggs had weaker muscle development than pheasants hatched from eggs of other eggshell colour. Cause of this could be related to structural differences of eggshells of various colour. This leads to weaker development of embryos and chicks hatched from blue/green eggs which reflects on differences in development of leg muscles.

  18. Genetic variation of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC class II B gene in the threatened Hume's pheasant, Syrmaticus humiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weicai Chen

    Full Text Available Major histocompatibility complex (MHC genes are the most polymorphic genes in vertebrates and encode molecules that play a crucial role in pathogen resistance. As a result of their diversity, they have received much attention in the fields of evolutionary and conservation biology. Here, we described the genetic variation of MHC class II B (MHCIIB exon 2 in a wild population of Hume's pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae, which has suffered a dramatic decline in population over the last three decades across its ranges in the face of heavy exploitation and habitat loss. Twenty-four distinct alleles were found in 73 S. humiae specimens. We found seven shared alleles among four geographical groups as well as six rare MHCIIB alleles. Most individuals displayed between one to five alleles, suggesting that there are at least three MHCIIB loci of the Hume's pheasant. The dN ⁄ dS ratio at putative antigen-binding sites (ABS was significantly greater than one, indicating balancing selection is acting on MHCIIB exon 2. Additionally, recombination and gene conversion contributed to generating MHCIIB diversity in the Hume's pheasant. One to three recombination events and seventy-five significant gene conversion events were observed within the Hume's pheasant MHCIIB loci. The phylogenetic tree and network analysis revealed that the Hume's pheasant alleles do not cluster together, but are scattered through the tree or network indicating a trans-species evolutionary mode. These findings revealed the evolution of the Hume's pheasant MHC after suffering extreme habitat fragmentation.

  19. Atypical Toxoplasma gondii strain from a free-living jaguar (Panthera onca) in French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demar, M; Ajzenberg, D; Serrurier, B; Dardé, M L; Carme, B

    2008-02-01

    Like domestic cats, wild felids are involved in the complete infective cycle of Toxoplasma gondii because they can host in their gastrointestinal tract sexually mature parasites and shed infective oocysts in their feces. We report, to our knowledge, the first isolation and molecular characterization of a T. gondii strain from the heart tissue of a free-living jaguar (Panthera onca) in French Guiana. Sequencing at six polymorphic markers indicated that the jaguar isolate had an atypical genotype, including an allele at TgM-A previously found only in isolates from South America, and an allele at GRA6, which was previously reported only in Californian sea otter isolates. These findings are consistent with the recent description of atypical T. gondii strains involved in severe toxoplasmoses in immunocompetent patients in French Guiana that seemed to be linked to a neotropical forest-based cycle involving wild cats and their prey.

  20. [Regulation of cortical cytoskeleton dynamics during migration of free-living amoebae].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kłopocka, Wanda; Redowicz, Maria Jolanta; Wasik, Anna

    2009-01-01

    Amoeba proteus and smaller by an order of magnitude (and evolutionary younger) Acanthamoeba castellanii have been for many years model cells for studies of amoeboidal (crawling) type of movement, characteristic also for some of metazoan cells such as fibroblasts, granulocytes and macrophages. Amoeboidal migration is indispensable of organization and dynamics of actin-based cytoskeleton. While there is a number of data on molecular mechanisms of motility of A. castellanii, there is very little known about bases of migration of A. proteus. Noteworthy, a large A. proteus (length approximately 600 microm) have been from over a century an object for studies on biology and physiology of cellular migration. This review describes the current knowledge on molecular aspects of force generation required for migration of these two amoebae and attempts to compare the functioning and regulation of actin cytoskeleton in these free-living unicellular species.

  1. Free-living amoebae in sediments from the Lascaux Cave in France.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garcia-Sanchez A.M.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Lascaux Cave in France is an old karstic channel where the running waters are collected in a pool and pumped to the exterior. It is well-known that water bodies in the vicinity of humans are suspected to be reservoirs of amoebae and associated bacteria. In fact, the free-living amoebae Acanthamoeba astronyxis, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba sp. and Hartmannella vermiformis were identif ied in the sediments of the cave using phylogenetic analyses and morphological traits. Lascaux Cave sediments and rock walls are wet due to a relative humidity near saturation and water condensation, and this environment and the presence of abundant bacterial communities constitute an ideal habitat for amoebae. The data suggest the need to carry out a detailed survey on all the cave compartments in order to determine the relationship between amoebae and pathogenic bacteria.

  2. Populational genetic structure of free-living maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus determined by proteic markers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. S. R. De Mattos

    Full Text Available Electrophoretic analysis of presumptive twenty gene loci products was conducted in hemolisates and plasma samples of twenty-eight maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus from an area in northeastern São Paulo State, Brazil. The area sampled was divided into three sub-areas, with the Mogi-Guaçu and Pardo rivers regarded as barriers to the gene flow. The polymorphism degree and heterozygosity level (intralocus and average estimated in this study were similar to those detected by other authors for maned wolves and other species of wild free-living canids. The samples of each sub-area and the total sample exhibited genotype frequencies consistent with the genetic equilibrium model. The values of the F-statistics evidenced absence of inbreeding and population subdivision and, consequently, low genetic distances were found among the samples of each area.

  3. Ecosystem energetic implications of parasite and free-living biomass in three estuaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuris, Armand M; Hechinger, Ryan F; Shaw, Jenny C; Whitney, Kathleen L; Aguirre-Macedo, Leopoldina; Boch, Charlie A; Dobson, Andrew P; Dunham, Eleca J; Fredensborg, Brian L; Huspeni, Todd C; Lorda, Julio; Mababa, Luzviminda; Mancini, Frank T; Mora, Adrienne B; Pickering, Maria; Talhouk, Nadia L; Torchin, Mark E; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2008-07-24

    Parasites can have strong impacts but are thought to contribute little biomass to ecosystems. We quantified the biomass of free-living and parasitic species in three estuaries on the Pacific coast of California and Baja California. Here we show that parasites have substantial biomass in these ecosystems. We found that parasite biomass exceeded that of top predators. The biomass of trematodes was particularly high, being comparable to that of the abundant birds, fishes, burrowing shrimps and polychaetes. Trophically transmitted parasites and parasitic castrators subsumed more biomass than did other parasitic functional groups. The extended phenotype biomass controlled by parasitic castrators sometimes exceeded that of their uninfected hosts. The annual production of free-swimming trematode transmission stages was greater than the combined biomass of all quantified parasites and was also greater than bird biomass. This biomass and productivity of parasites implies a profound role for infectious processes in these estuaries.

  4. Examination of thermally polluted water for free living amoebae and testing for their possible pathogenic properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Janitschke, K.; Lichy, S.; Westphal, C.

    1982-05-01

    Water and mud samples were collected from canals and rivers which were adjacent to outlets discharging warm water of 3 power plants in Berlin. Downstream samples from 1 bathing resort were also collected. Free living amoebae were isolated from 138 water and 69 mud samples. From these respectively 156 and 73 strains could be cultured and were administered intranasally to mice for pathogenicity tests. Two Acanthamoeba strains from water and 7 from mud could be reisolated from mouse brain and or lungs, although no pathological disorders could be observed. Five Naegleria strains were negative in mouse inoculation tests. Four Acanthamoeba strains which were positive in mice were cultured at + 45 degrees C; no cytopathogenic effects were observed in tissue cultures. Acanthamoeba infective for mice could also be isolated from samples at low water temperatures. Further investigations have to show, whether changes in virulence of amoebic strains are of significance and therefore for epidemiology and pathogenicity in man.

  5. Bioinformatic exploration of RIO protein kinases of parasitic and free-living nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breugelmans, Bert; Jex, Aaron R; Korhonen, Pasi K; Mangiola, Stefano; Young, Neil D; Sternberg, Paul W; Boag, Peter R; Hofmann, Andreas; Gasser, Robin B

    2014-10-01

    Despite right open reading frame kinases (RIOKs) being essential for life, their functions, substrates and cellular pathways remain enigmatic. In the present study, gene structures were characterised for 26 RIOKs from draft genomes of parasitic and free-living nematodes. RNA-seq transcription profiles of riok genes were investigated for selected parasitic nematodes and showed that these kinases are transcribed in developmental stages that infect their mammalian host. Three-dimensional structural models of Caenorhabditis elegans RIOKs were predicted, and elucidated functional domains and conserved regions in nematode homologs. These findings provide prospects for functional studies of riok genes in C. elegans, and an opportunity for the design and validation of nematode-specific inhibitors of these enzymes in socioeconomic parasitic worms.

  6. Epizootic mortality of free-living green turtles, Chelonia mydas, due to coccidiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, A N; Kelly, W R; Lester, R J

    1993-07-01

    At least 70 wild green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, died in the Moreton Bay area of southeast Queensland, Australia over 6 wk in spring 1991. Based on the necropsy of 24 turtles, there was a severe enteritis or encephalitis associated with Caryospora cheloniae, a coccidial pathogen previously recorded only in farm-reared Ch. mydas hatchlings. Infection was characterized by the presence of coccidia in extra-intestinal lesions. Oocysts were observed to sporulate, after which sporozoites escaped into seawater to form a novel stellate configuration. We conclude that C. cheloniae is pathogenic for life stages other than hatchling Ch. mydas and that naturally-occurring coccidiosis is a significant disease of free-living Ch. mydas.

  7. Free-living amoebae: what part do they play in healthcare-associated infections?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cateau, E; Delafont, V; Hechard, Y; Rodier, M H

    2014-07-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous protozoa that do not require a host organism for survival. They are found in natural environments such as water or soil, and man-made environments including tap water or swimming pools, where they may interact with other micro-organisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. FLA can harbour micro-organisms including those found in hospital water systems, offering them protection against hostile conditions, providing a vehicle of dissemination, and enabling them to prepare for subsequent survival in macrophages. The interaction between Legionella pneumophila and FLA has been studied extensively; subsequent investigations have shown that FLA may serve as a reservoir for other bacteria including mycobacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, or even fungi and viruses. Amoebae found in hospital water systems can serve as a reservoir of potential pathogens and thus be indirectly related to healthcare-associated infections.

  8. The in vitro efficacy of antimicrobial agents against the pathogenic free-living amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Arine F; Heaselgrave, Wayne; Andrew, Peter W; Kilvington, Simon

    2013-01-01

    The free-living amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris causes usually fatal encephalitis in humans and animals. Only limited studies have investigated the efficacy of antimicrobial agents against the organism. Assay methods were developed to assess antimicrobial efficacy against both the trophozoite and cyst stage of B. mandrillaris (ATCC 50209). Amphotericin B, ciclopirox olamine, miltefosine, natamycin, paromomycin, pentamidine isethionate, protriptyline, spiramycin, sulconazole and telithromycin had limited activity with amoebacidal levels of > 135-500 μM. However, diminazene aceturate (Berenil(®) ) was amoebacidal at 7.8 μM and 31.3-61.5 μM for trophozoites and cysts, respectively. Assays for antimicrobial testing may improve the prognosis for infection and aid in the development of primary selective culture isolation media.

  9. Influence of industrial heavy metal pollution on soil free-living nematode population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pen-Mouratov, Stanislav; Shukurov, Nosir; Steinberger, Yosef

    2008-03-01

    The effect of distance from a heavy metal pollution source on the soil nematode community (trophic structure, sex structure, and taxa composition) was investigated along a 15-km transect originating at the Almalyk Industrial Complex, Uzbekistan (pollution source). The soil nematode community was exposed to heavy metal influence both directly and through soil properties changes. Pollution effect on the density and biomass of soil free-living nematodes was found to be highest at pollution source, with fungivores and plant parasites dominating at the upper and deeper soil layers next to the pollution source. These groups decreased along the transect, yielding domination to bacteria- and fungi-feeders. The sex ratio of nematode communities was found to be dependent on heavy metal pollution levels, with the juveniles being the most sensitive nematode group. The Maturity and modified Maturity Indices, reflecting the degree of disturbance of the soil ecosystem, were found to be the most sensitive indices.

  10. Avian pox infection in a free-living crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) in southern Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, C C; Pei, K J C; Lee, F R; Tzeng, M P; Chang, T C

    2011-03-01

    Avian pox viruses (APVs) have been reported to cause infection in diverse avian species worldwide. Herein we report the first case of APV infection in a free-living bird, a subadult crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela), in Taiwan. In addition to the typical wart-like lesions distributed on the cere, eyelid, and face, there were also yellowish nodules below the tongue and on the hard palate. Phylogenetic analysis of the 4b core protein gene showed that the APV is very close to that found in white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Japan recently. Because both cases are located on the same major flyway for migratory birds, the impact of this virus with regard to the wild and migratory raptor species along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and West Pacific Flyway requires immediate investigation.

  11. Ultrastructure and elemental composition of the eggshell of Reeve's Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHANG Chongyan; ZHANG Zhengwang; CHEN Xiaoduan; LIU Jinying; SUN Quanhui

    2007-01-01

    The eggshell of Reeve's pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) collected from the Dongzhai National Nature Reserve in Henan Province,China was studied.By using scanning electron microscopy and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrometry,the ultrastructure and elemental composition of the eggshell was determined.The study showed that the average thickness of the surface layer of crystals,the palisade and cone layer,and the eggshell membrane were 20.8,220.8 and 62.5 larn,respectively,accounting for 6.8%,72.6% and 20.6% of the total thickness of the eggshell.There were many vesicular holes in the palisade layer with an average diameter of 0.32±0.08 μm(n = 30).The function of these holes might be significant to air exchange.The shape of the eggshell pore on the surface layer of crystals is round or elliptical.The fracture surface of the pore is funnel-shaped.Some granules filled the upper part of the eggshell pores.The content of 21 elements in the eggshell of wild and captive Reeve's pheasants was compared and presented.It indicated that among the elements that made up the eggshell of the wild pheasant,the content of Ca,Mg,P and S was much higher,ω> 1 mg/g,with ω (Ca) being higher than 40% of the eggshell.The contents of Na,Si,Sr,K and A1 were ω = 0.1-1 mg/g,while Fe,Zn,Pb,Mn,Cu,V and Ti had lower concentrations (ω = 1-100 μg/g).The ω ofNi,Cr,Co,Se,Cd were lower than 1 μg/g.The elemental composition in the eggshell of the captive Reeve's pheasant kept in the Dongzhai National Natural Reserve was significantly different from that of the wild species,with a difference of over 20% on S,Cu,Fe,AI,Mn,Si,Sr,Se and Cr.The lower intake of Fe,Mn,Si and Sr on the one hand and the higher intake of S,Cu,Al and Cr on the other hand might be responsible for the low fertility of captive Reeve's pheasants in the Dongzhai National Nature Reserve.In order to ensure that the pheasants are receiving the proper amount of nutrition and to improve their breeding success,the amount of

  12. Short communication: Patterns of dairy consumption in free-living children and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Benjamin P; Turner, Louise; Stevenson, Emma; Rumbold, Penny L S

    2015-06-01

    According to national survey data, dairy food consumption has fallen in recent years and declines further with age, especially from childhood to adolescence. Dietary surveys typically rely on retrospective dietary assessment methods and use broad age groupings (4-10 yr; 11-18 yr), making it challenging to differentiate between middle-childhood and adolescence. Consequently, there is a need to assess dairy food consumption during middle-childhood and adolescence using more robust dietary assessment tools. Therefore, the present study aimed to describe and compare patterns of dairy consumption throughout middle-childhood and adolescence. Dairy food consumption was assessed during school term-time over 4 consecutive days, including 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days, in a sample of free-living children (9-11 yr, n=40) and adolescents (15-18 yr, n=35). For children, free-living dairy intake was evaluated through parental-weighed food records, and for adolescents, a combined weighed self-reported food record and 24-h dietary recall technique was utilized. Food records were explored to determine types, amounts, and frequency of dairy food consumption, and were analyzed for differences between middle-childhood and adolescence using a between group 2×2 (age×sex) ANOVA. Descriptive data suggested that milk was the most popular dairy product consumed by both children and adolescents. Statistical analysis revealed a main effect for sex on total milk consumption (mL) and number of daily milk portions consumed. No interaction or main effect was present for any other variable. The present study indicates that independent of age, boys consumed greater amounts of milk compared with girls. Contrary to existing literature, findings suggest no difference in milk-based dairy consumption between middle-childhood and adolescence.

  13. Ecologically Relevant Cooling Early in Life Alters Prefledging Adrenocortical Response in Free-Living Songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Sharon E; Kern, Michael D

    In vertebrates, exposure to stressful stimuli early in development may alter the activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, with the potential for fitness consequences later in life. For altricial species, whose young rely on their parents for food, warmth, and protection from predators, adult behavior can modify the impact of some stressors on their offspring after birth or hatching. We have shown that single bouts of cooling that normally occur when brooding females leave the nest elevate corticosterone secretion in very young free-living eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) chicks. Thus, natural variation in maternal brooding patterns can result in differential exposure of offspring to cooling, and also to glucocorticoids, very early in development. We tested the hypothesis that exposure to repeated bouts of cooling (mimicking those that occur normally when females leave the nest) would alter the activity of the chicks' HPA axis later in life. We exposed free-living chicks to either four 18-min bouts of cooling or brooding temperatures (control) during the first week after hatching. Then, just before fledging (i.e., at least 7 d after the cooling treatments had ceased), we assessed their corticosterone responses to restraint. Repeatedly cooled chicks had a significantly lower corticosterone response to restraint than did control chicks but did not differ from controls in other measures of growth and development. Our data suggest that natural variation in maternal brooding patterns, and hence natural variation in the chicks' body temperature, can alter the activity of the HPA axis well beyond the brooding period.

  14. Thioredoxin and glutathione systems differ in parasitic and free-living platyhelminths

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salinas Gustavo

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The thioredoxin and/or glutathione pathways occur in all organisms. They provide electrons for deoxyribonucleotide synthesis, function as antioxidant defenses, in detoxification, Fe/S biogenesis and participate in a variety of cellular processes. In contrast to their mammalian hosts, platyhelminth (flatworm parasites studied so far, lack conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems. Instead, they possess a linked thioredoxin-glutathione system with the selenocysteine-containing enzyme thioredoxin glutathione reductase (TGR as the single redox hub that controls the overall redox homeostasis. TGR has been recently validated as a drug target for schistosomiasis and new drug leads targeting TGR have recently been identified for these platyhelminth infections that affect more than 200 million people and for which a single drug is currently available. Little is known regarding the genomic structure of flatworm TGRs, the expression of TGR variants and whether the absence of conventional thioredoxin and glutathione systems is a signature of the entire platyhelminth phylum. Results We examine platyhelminth genomes and transcriptomes and find that all platyhelminth parasites (from classes Cestoda and Trematoda conform to a biochemical scenario involving, exclusively, a selenium-dependent linked thioredoxin-glutathione system having TGR as a central redox hub. In contrast, the free-living platyhelminth Schmidtea mediterranea (Class Turbellaria possesses conventional and linked thioredoxin and glutathione systems. We identify TGR variants in Schistosoma spp. derived from a single gene, and demonstrate their expression. We also provide experimental evidence that alternative initiation of transcription and alternative transcript processing contribute to the generation of TGR variants in platyhelminth parasites. Conclusions Our results indicate that thioredoxin and glutathione pathways differ in parasitic and free-living flatworms and

  15. Hox genes and the parasitic flatworms: new opportunities, challenges and lessons from the free-living.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, P D

    2008-03-01

    Research into the roles played by Hox and related homeotic gene families in the diverse and complex developmental programmes exhibited by parasitic flatworms (Platyhelminthes) can hardly be said to have begun, and thus presents considerable opportunity for new research. Although featured in some of the earliest screens for homeotic genes outside Drosophila and mice, surveys in parasitic flatworms are few in number and almost nothing is yet known of where or when the genes are expressed during ontogeny. This contrasts sharply with a significant body of literature concerning Hox genes in free-living flatworms which have long served as models for the study of regeneration and the maintenance of omnipotent cell lines. Nevertheless, available information suggests that the complement of Hox genes and other classes of homeobox-containing genes in parasitic flatworms is typical of their free-living cousins and of other members of the Lophotrochozoa. Recent work on Schistosoma combined with information on Hox gene expression in planarians indicates that at least some disruption of the clustered genomic arrangement of the genes, as well as of the strict spatial and temporal colinear patterns of expression typical in other groups, may be characteristic of flatworms. However, available data on the genomic arrangement and expression of flatworm Hox genes is so limited at present that such generalities are highly tenuous. Moreover, a basic underlying pattern of colinearity is still observed in their spatial expression patterns making them suitable as cell or region-specific markers. I discuss a number of fundamental developmental questions and some of the challenges to addressing them in relation to each of the major parasitic lineages. In addition, I present newly characterized Hox genes from the model tapeworm Hymenolepis and analyze these by Bayesian inference together with >100 Hox and ParaHox homeodomains of flatworms and select lophotrochozoan taxa, providing a

  16. A year long study of the presence of free living amoeba in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnet, A; Fenoy, S; Galván, A L; Izquierdo, F; Rueda, C; Fernandez Vadillo, C; Del Aguila, C

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba such as Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia mandrillaris can act as opportunistic parasites on a wide range of vertebrates and they are becoming a serious threat to human health due to the resistance of their cysts to harsh environmental conditions, disinfectants, some water treatment practices and their ubiquitous distribution. This work was carried out in order to study the presence of these free-living amoebae (FLA) and their possible seasonality in a continental-Mediterranean climate in different types of water. For this purpose, a total of 223 water samples were collected during one year from four drinking water treatment plants (DWTP), seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and six locations of influence (LI) on four river basins from Spain. Water samples were concentrated using the IDEXX Filta-Max(®) system and analyzed by a triplex real time PCR that detects Acanthamoeba, B. mandrillaris and Naegleria fowleri. Agar plates were also seeded for Acanthamoeba culture. From the three FLA studied, N. fowleri was not detected in any sample while B. mandrillaris was found at the entrance of a DWTP; this being, to our knowledge, the first report of these protozoa in water worldwide. On the other hand, the presence of Acanthamoeba observed was higher, 94.6% of the studied points were positive by real time PCR and 85.2% by culture, resulting in 99.1% positive for Acanthamoeba with both methods. All genetically analyzed Acanthamoeba were genotype T4 but nine different T4/DF3 sequences were observed, three of them being described for the first time, assigning new codes. No seasonal distribution of Acanthamoeba was found. These facts should serve as a warning to contact lens wearers of the risk of a poor hygiene when handling their contact lenses. It should also serve as a signal to physicians to consider FLA as a possible causative agent of nervous system infections as well as Acanthamoeba keratitis due to their high environmental presence shown in this

  17. Coexistence of free-living amoebae and bacteria in selected South African hospital water distribution systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchesa, P; Leifels, M; Jurzik, L; Hoorzook, K B; Barnard, T G; Bartie, C

    2017-01-01

    Pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA), such as Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba species isolated from aquatic environments have been implicated in central nervous system, eye and skin human infections. They also allow the survival, growth and transmission of bacteria such as Legionella, Mycobacteria and Vibrio species in water systems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the co-occurrence of potentially pathogenic FLA and their associated bacteria in hospital water networks in Johannesburg, South Africa. A total of 178 water (n = 95) and swab (n = 83) samples were collected from two hospital water distribution systems. FLA were isolated using the amoebal enrichment technique and identified using PCR and 18S rDNA sequencing. Amoebae potentially containing intra-amoebal bacteria were lysed and cultured on blood agar plates. Bacterial isolates were characterized using the VITEK®2 compact System. Free-living amoebae were isolated from 77 (43.3 %) of the samples. Using microscopy, PCR and 18S rRNA sequencing, Acanthamoeba spp. (T3 and T20 genotypes), Vermamoeba vermiformis and Naegleria gruberi specie were identified. The Acanthamoeba T3 and T20 genotypes have been implicated in eye and central nervous system infections. The most commonly detected bacterial species were Serratia marcescens, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Delftia acidovorans, Sphingomonas paucimobilis and Comamonas testosteroni. These nosocomial pathogenic bacteria are associated with systematic blood, respiratory tract, the urinary tract, surgical wounds and soft tissues infections. The detection of FLA and their associated opportunistic bacteria in the hospital water systems point out to a potential health risk to immune-compromised individuals.

  18. Mitochondrial DNA sequence variation is associated with free-living activity energy expenditure in the elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tranah, Gregory J; Lam, Ernest T; Katzman, Shana M; Nalls, Michael A; Zhao, Yiqiang; Evans, Daniel S; Yokoyama, Jennifer S; Pawlikowska, Ludmila; Kwok, Pui-Yan; Mooney, Sean; Kritchevsky, Stephen; Goodpaster, Bret H; Newman, Anne B; Harris, Tamara B; Manini, Todd M; Cummings, Steven R

    2012-09-01

    The decline in activity energy expenditure underlies a range of age-associated pathological conditions, neuromuscular and neurological impairments, disability, and mortality. The majority (90%) of the energy needs of the human body are met by mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). OXPHOS is dependent on the coordinated expression and interaction of genes encoded in the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. We examined the role of mitochondrial genomic variation in free-living activity energy expenditure (AEE) and physical activity levels (PAL) by sequencing the entire (~16.5 kilobases) mtDNA from 138 Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study participants. Among the common mtDNA variants, the hypervariable region 2 m.185G>A variant was significantly associated with AEE (p=0.001) and PAL (p=0.0005) after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Several unique nonsynonymous variants were identified in the extremes of AEE with some occurring at highly conserved sites predicted to affect protein structure and function. Of interest is the p.T194M, CytB substitution in the lower extreme of AEE occurring at a residue in the Qi site of complex III. Among participants with low activity levels, the burden of singleton variants was 30% higher across the entire mtDNA and OXPHOS complex I when compared to those having moderate to high activity levels. A significant pooled variant association across the hypervariable 2 region was observed for AEE and PAL. These results suggest that mtDNA variation is associated with free-living AEE in older persons and may generate new hypotheses by which specific mtDNA complexes, genes, and variants may contribute to the maintenance of activity levels in late life.

  19. Mechanical and free living comparisons of four generations of the Actigraph activity monitor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ried-Larsen Mathias

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background More studies include multiple generations of the Actigraph activity monitor. So far no studies have compared the output including the newest generation and investigated the impact on the output of the activity monitor when enabling the low frequency extension (LFE option. The aims were to study the responses of four generations (AM7164, GT1M, GT3X and GT3X+ of the Actigraph activity monitor in a mechanical setup and a free living environment with and without enabling the LFE option. Methods The monitors were oscillated in a mechanical setup using two radii in the frequency range 0.25-3.0 Hz. Following the mechanical study a convenience sample (N = 20 wore three monitors (one AM7164 and two GT3X for 24 hours. Results The AM7164 differed from the newer generations across frequencies (p -1 were attenuated (p > 0.05 for differences between generations thus attenuated the difference in mean PA (p > 0.05 when the LFE option was enabled. However, it did not attenuate the difference in time spend in vigorous PA and it introduced a difference in time spend in moderate PA (+ 3.0 min (95% CI 0.4 to 5.6 between the generations. Conclusion We observed significant differences between the AM7164 and the newer Actigraph GT-generations (GT1M, GT3X and GT3X+ in a mechanical setup and in free-living. Enabling the LFE option attenuated the differences in mean PA completely, but induced a bias in the moderate PA intensities.

  20. Community structure and biodiversity of free-living marine nematodes in the northern South China Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xiaoshou; XU Man; ZHANG Jinghuai; LIU Dan; LI Xiao

    2015-01-01

    A quantitative study on the community structure and biodiversity of free-living marine nematodes and their relationship with environmental factors in the northern South China Sea were carried out based on the samples collected at five stations in the deep sea (from 313 to 1 600 m) and one station in shallow waters (87 m) during the cruise in September, 2010. Results showed that the abundance of marine nematodes ranged from 224 to 1 996 ind./(10 cm2). A total of 69 free-living marine nematode genera, belonging to 26 families and three orders, were identified. The most dominant genera wereSabatieria,Linhystera,Aegialoalaimus andDaptonema according to SIMPER analysis. Results of CLUSTER analysis revealed four types of marine nematode community (or station groups) in the sampling area. In terms of trophic structure, non-selective deposit feeders (1B) and selective deposit feeders (1A) were the dominant trophic types with highest genera numbers and abundances, which implied that organic detritus was the main food source of marine nematodes in the northern South China Sea. The percentage of male nematode was low, ranging from 2.22% to 17.81%, while those of juvenile individuals ranged from 36.99% to 82.09%. For genera level diversity of marine nematodes, Shannon-Wiener diversity indices (H') ranged from 3.76 to 4.57 and had highly significant negative correlation with water depth. In general, diversity indicesH' at the five stations in deep sea (over 200 m) were lower than that at the station in shallow waters (87 m). BIOENV analysis showed that the most important environmental factor controlling marine nematode communities was water depth.

  1. Prevalence of influenza A viruses in livestock and free-living waterfowl in Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirunda, Halid; Erima, Bernard; Tumushabe, Agnes; Kiconco, Jocelyn; Tugume, Titus; Mulei, Sophia; Mimbe, Derrick; Mworozi, Edison; Bwogi, Josephine; Luswa, Lukwago; Kibuuka, Hannah; Millard, Monica; Byaruhanga, Achilles; Ducatez, Mariette F; Krauss, Scott; Webby, Richard J; Webster, Robert G; Wurapa, Kofi; Byarugaba, Denis K; Wabwire-Mangen, Fred

    2014-02-27

    Avian influenza viruses may cause severe disease in a variety of domestic animal species worldwide, with high mortality in chickens and turkeys. To reduce the information gap about prevalence of these viruses in animals in Uganda, this study was undertaken. Influenza A virus prevalence by RT-PCR was 1.1% (45/4,052) while seroprevalence by ELISA was 0.8% (24/2,970). Virus prevalence was highest in domestic ducks (2.7%, 17/629) and turkeys (2.6%, 2/76), followed by free-living waterfowl (1.3%, 12/929) and swine (1.4%, 7/511). A lower proportion of chicken samples (0.4%, 7/1,865) tested positive. No influenza A virus was isolated. A seasonal prevalence of these viruses in waterfowl was 0.7% (4/561) for the dry and 2.2% (8/368) for the wet season. In poultry, prevalence was 0.2% (2/863) for the dry and 1.4% (24/1,713) for the wet season, while that of swine was 0.0% (0/159) and 2.0% (7/352) in the two seasons, respectively. Of the 45 RT-PCR positive samples, 13 (28.9%) of them were H5 but none was H7. The 19 swine sera positive for influenza antibodies by ELISA were positive for H1 antibodies by HAI assay, but the subtype(s) of ELISA positive poultry sera could not be determined. Antibodies in the poultry sera could have been those against subtypes not included in the HAI test panel. The study has demonstrated occurrence of influenza A viruses in animals in Uganda. The results suggest that increase in volumes of migratory waterfowl in the country could be associated with increased prevalence of these viruses in free-living waterfowl and poultry.

  2. Genotyping of Cryptosporidium spp. from free-living wild birds from Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevá, Anaiá da Paixão; Funada, Mikaela Renata; Richtzenhain, Leonardo; Guimarães, Marta Brito; Souza, Sheila de Oliveira; Allegretti, Luciana; Sinhorini, Juliana Anaya; Duarte, Vanessa Vertematti; Soares, Rodrigo Martins

    2011-01-10

    In wild and domestic birds, cryptosporidiosis is often associated with infections by Cryptosporidium galli, Cryptosporidium baileyi and Cryptosporidium meleagridis. In addition to these species, a number of avian Cryptosporidium species yet to be fully characterized are commonly found among exotic and wild avian isolates. The present study aimed to detect and identify samples of Cryptosporidium spp. from free-living wild birds, in order to contribute to the knowledge of the variability of this parasite in the free-living population of Brazil. Stool samples were collected from 242 birds, with the following proportions of individuals: 50 Emberizidae (20.7%), 112 Psittacidae (46.3%), 44 Cardinalidae (18.2%), 12 Turdidae (5.0%), eight Ramphastidae (3.3%), seven Icteridae (2.9%), three Estrilididae (1.2%), two Contigidae (0.8%), two Thraupidae (0.8%) and two Fringilidae (0.8%). Among the 242 fecal samples from wild birds, 16 (6.6%) were positive for the presence of oocysts of Cryptosporidium. Molecular characterization of the 16 samples of Cryptosporidium, were performed with phylogenetic reconstructions employing 292 positions of 18S rDNA. None of the samples of birds was characterized as C. meleagridis. C. galli was identified in one rufous-bellied thrush (Turdus rufiventris), five green-winged saltators (Saltator similis), one slate-coloured seedeater (Sporophila schistacea), one goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) and three saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola). One goldfinch isolate, one buffy-fronted seedeater (Sporophila frontalis), one red-cowled cardinal (Paroaria dominicana) and one other saffron finch (S. flaveola) were identified as C. baileyi. Avian genotype II was found in an isolate from a white-eyed parakeet (Aratinga leucophthalma). Clinical symptoms of cryptosporidiosis in birds have already been described and the number of wild birds which were shedding parasites was high. Therefore, further epidemiological research and disease surveillance of birds in the

  3. Climate changes influence free-living stages of soil-transmitted parasites of European rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Alexander D; Poole, Adam; Cattadori, Isabella M

    2013-04-01

    Climate warming has been suggested to augment the risk of infectious disease outbreaks by extending the seasonal window for parasite growth and by increasing the rate of transmission. Understanding how this occurs in parasite-host systems is important for appreciating long-term and seasonal changes in host exposure to infection and to reduce species extinction caused by diseases. We investigated how free-living stages of two soil-transmitted helminths of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) responded to experimental changes in temperature by performing laboratory experiments with environmental chambers and field manipulations using open-top-chambers. This study was motivated by our previous observations that air temperature has increased over the last 30 years in our field site and that during this period intensity of infection of Graphidium strigosum but not Trichostrongylus retortaeformis was positively associated with this temperature increase. Laboratory and field experiments showed that both parasites accelerated egg development and increased hatching rate and larval survival in response to accumulating thermal energy. Both parasites behaved similarly when exposed to diverse temperature regimes, decadal trends, and monthly fluctuations, however, T. retortaeformis was more successful than G. strigosum by showing higher rates of egg hatching and larval survival. Across the months, the first day of hatching occurred earlier in warmer conditions suggesting that climate warming can lengthen the period of parasite growth and host exposure to infective stages. Also, T. retortaeformis hatched earlier than G. strigosum. These findings showed that seasonal changes in intensity, frequency, and duration of daily temperature are important causes of variability in egg hatching and larva survival. Overall, this study emphasizes the important role of climate warming and seasonality on the dynamics of free-living stages in soil-transmitted helminths and their

  4. Occurrence of free-living amoebae in communities of low and high endemicity for Buruli ulcer in southern Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eddyani, Miriam; De Jonckheere, Johan F; Durnez, Lies; Suykerbuyk, Patrick; Leirs, Herwig; Portaels, Françoise

    2008-11-01

    Buruli ulcer or Mycobacterium ulcerans disease occurs mainly in areas in proximity to standing or slowly running freshwater, habitats in which free-living amoebae occur. For this reason, a possible link between the habitat of M. ulcerans and free-living amoebae was investigated. Free-living amoebae and mycobacteria were isolated from water and biofilm specimens taken from protected and unprotected sources of water in villages known to have either high or low endemicity for Buruli ulcer in Benin. Amoebae were isolated from 78.8% of samples. A greater proportion of water bodies in areas of high endemicity had amoebae than in areas of low endemicity (83.3% versus 66.7%). Protected sources of water were significantly more likely to contain amoebae in areas of high endemicity than in areas of low endemicity (88.0% versus 11.1%). Several pathogenic free-living amoebae and mycobacteria were isolated. However, no M. ulcerans was isolated and no specimen was positive for IS2404 PCR. Our results show that the study area has a water hygiene problem, which is greater in areas of high Buruli ulcer endemicity than in areas of low endemicity. Our observations indicate that additional studies are required to explore the possible link between free-living amoebae and mycobacteria.

  5. Status of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Subhani, Faysal; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-06-01

    The ability of pathogenic free-living amoebae to produce infections is a growing concern. In this study, we investigated the presence of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. Fifty-two domestic tap water samples were examined. Amoebae were identified by morphological characteristics and polymerase chain reaction. Thirty percent of the examined samples were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., 8% for N. fowleri while B. mandrillaris were not recovered. Additionally we examined secretory IgA antibody to Acanthamoeba and B. mandrillaris. Acanthamoeba antibody prevalence rate was 100% in both males and females, while B. mandrillaris antibody prevalence rate was 5.5% in males only (females were negative). Our findings suggest that free-living amoebae are a potential health hazard in domestic water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

  6. Response of free-living soil protozoa and microorganisms to elevated atmospheric CO2 and presence of mycorrhiza

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rønn, R.; Gavito, M.; Larsen, J.

    2002-01-01

    Possible interactions between mycorrhiza, atmospheric CO2, free-living soil microorganisms and protozoa were investigated in pot experimental systems. Pea plants (Pisum sativum L. cv. Solara) were grown under ambient (360 mul l(-1)) or elevated (700 mul l(-1)) atmospheric CO2 concentration...... with or without the presence of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Glomus caledonium. It was hypothesised that (1) the populations of free-living soil protozoa would increase as a response to elevated CO2, (2) the effect of elevated CO2 on protozoa would be moderated by the presence of mycorrhiza and (3......) the presence of arbuscular mycorrhiza would affect soil protozoan numbers regardless of atmospheric CO2. After 3 weeks growth there was no difference in bacterial numbers (direct counts) in soil, but the number of free-living bacterial-feeding protozoa was significantly higher under elevated CO2...

  7. Ability to negotiate stairs predicts free-living physical activity in community-dwelling people with stroke: an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alzahrani, Matar Abdullah; Dean, Catherine M; Ada, Louise

    2009-01-01

    Which clinical measures of walking performance best predict free-living physical activity in community-dwelling people with stroke? Cross-sectional observational study. 42 community-dwelling stroke survivors. Predictors were four clinical measures of walking performance (speed, automaticity, capacity, and stairs ability). The outcome of interest was free-living physical activity, measured as frequency (activity counts) and duration (time on feet), collected using an activity monitor called the Intelligent Device for Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity. Time on feet was predicted by stairs ability alone (B 166, 95% CI 55 to 278) which accounted for 48% of the variance. Activity counts were also predicted by stairs ability alone (B 6486, 95% CI 2922 to 10 050) which accounted for 58% of the variance. The best predictor of free-living physical activity in community-dwelling people with stroke was stairs ability.

  8. Diversity and activity of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria and total bacteria in organic and conventionally managed soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, Caroline H; James, Angela; Leifert, Carlo; Cooper, Julia M; Cummings, Stephen P

    2011-02-01

    Agricultural soils are heterogeneous environments in which conditions affecting microbial growth and diversity fluctuate widely in space and time. In this study, the molecular ecology of the total bacterial and free-living nitrogen-fixing communities in soils from the Nafferton Factorial Systems Comparison (NFSC) study in northeast England were examined. The field experiment was factorial in design, with organic versus conventional crop rotation, crop protection, and fertility management factors. Soils were sampled on three dates (March, June, and September) in 2007. Total RNA was extracted from all soil samples and reverse transcribed. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) were used to analyze nifH and 16S rRNA genes in order to study free-living diazotrophs and the total bacterial community, respectively. Crop rotation was shown to have a significant effect on total bacterial diversity (and that of free-living N fixers) (P ≤ 0.001). On all three dates, nifH activity was higher in the conventional crop rotation. In contrast, qPCR analysis of free-living N fixers indicated significantly higher levels of activity in conventionally fertilized plots in June (P = 0.0324) and in plots with organic crop protection in September (P = 0.0143). To our knowledge, the effects of organic and conventional farming systems on free-living diazotrophs have never been studied. An increased understanding of the impacts of management practices on free-living N fixers could allow modifications in soil management practices to optimize the activity of these organisms.

  9. Nest-site selection of the White Eared pheasant in southwestern Sichuan Province,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Nan; Jia Fei; Zheng Guangmei

    2006-01-01

    From April to July 2003 and 2004,we surveyed the nest-site selection of the White Eared pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) in the Zhujie Monastery and in the mountain facing it in Sichuan Province,China.In this paper,we studied the nest characteristics and the clutch size of the pheasant.Habitat sampling method was used to determine the variables that might affect the nest-site selection of the White Eared pheasant.Chi-square test was used to identify which habitat type was likely to be preferred by the bird.Independent-samples t test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to find which variables were important for the birds'nest-site selection.A total of 13 nests were found.Oak shrub was greatly preferred as nest sites (84.62%).Nests under a rock wall (7.69%) and a fallen tree (7.69%) were also found.The average clutch size of a White Eared pheasant is 7.33±0.54 (range,5-11;n=12).Laying period was between April 27 and May 21.In the Zhujie area,1 nest was in the forest and 11 nests were in oak shrubs.The species preferred oak shrub as its nesting habitat (X2=8.333,dr=l,P<0.05).The bird was more likely to place its nest in sites with a high coverage,I.e.0.5,1,and 2 m above the ground (independent-samples t test,P<0.05),and with a large shrub diameter (Mann-Whitney U test,P<0.05).The species are more likely to prefer sites with plant cover,shrub cover (independentsamples t test,P<0.05),and shrub height (Mann-Whitney U test,P<0.05) in a relatively small range.

  10. A Comparison of Two Motion Sensors for the Assessment of Free-Living Physical Activity of Adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Cuberek

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available This study assessed and compared the daily step counts recorded by two different motion sensors in order to estimate the free-living physical activity of 135 adolescent girls. Each girl concurrently wore a Yamax pedometer and an ActiGraph accelerometer (criterion measure every day for seven consecutive days. The convergent validity of the pedometer can be considered intermediate when used to measure the step counts in free-living physical activity; but should be considered with caution when used to classify participants’ step counts into corresponding physical activity categories because of a likelihood of ‘erroneous’ classification in comparison with the accelerometer.

  11. The Role of Attached and Free-Living Bacteria in Biodegradation in Karst Aquifers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Kheder

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural attenuation of groundwater contamination occurs at some level for all aquifers impacted with organic contaminants. The issues regarding natural attenuation are whether it takes place at a sufficient rate to be protective of human health and the environment. Implementation of a Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA remedial alternative for groundwater requires parties responsible for the contamination to demonstrate to regulators and the public that MNA is protective at a given site. Analysis of MNA for remediation of karst aquifers is hampered by a lack of understanding of biodegradation in karst environments. The lack of studies examining biodegradation in karst aquifers may in large part be due to the widespread perception that contaminants are rapidly flushed out of karst aquifers resulting in insufficient residence times for contaminants to biodegrade. In highly developed and well-connected conduit systems, the rate of contaminant migration is perceived to be much faster than the rate of biodegradation. This perception of contaminant transport is largely incorrect. Tracer studies for karst aquifers often indicate that these aquifers are characterized by diverse flow regimes and storage capabilities. Additionally, it is also believed that if bioremediation in bedrock aquifers is dependent upon contact between surface-attached bacteria and contaminants, then bioremediation would be limited by the low surface-area-to-volume ratio (SA/V of karst aquifers. A quantitative basis, however, for accepting or rejecting the assumption that attached bacteria dominate the biodegradation process in karst conduits has not been shown. The objective of this research was to determine if free-living karst bacteria from contributed as much to toluene biodegradation as attached bacteria. This is an important area of research. Research indicates bacteria are both attached and free-living in karst aquifers and it is unrealistic to think that only the attached

  12. Effects of harmful cyanobacteria on the freshwater pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urrutia-Cordero, Pablo; Agha, Ramsy; Cirés, Samuel; Lezcano, María Ángeles; Sánchez-Contreras, María; Waara, Karl-Otto; Utkilen, Hans; Quesada, Antonio

    2013-04-15

    Grazing is a major regulating factor in cyanobacterial population dynamics and, subsequently, considerable effort has been spent on investigating the effects of cyanotoxins on major metazoan grazers. However, protozoan grazers such as free-living amoebae can also feed efficiently on cyanobacteria, while simultaneously posing a major threat for public health as parasites of humans and potential reservoirs of opportunistic pathogens. In this study, we conducted several experiments in which the freshwater amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii was exposed to pure microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and six cyanobacterial strains, three MC-producing strains (MC-LR, MC-RR, MC-YR, MC-WR, [Dha7] MC-RR) and three strains containing other oligopeptides such as anabaenopeptins and cyanopeptolins. Although the exposure to high concentrations of pure MC-LR yielded no effects on amoeba, all MC-producing strains inflicted high mortality rates on amoeba populations, suggesting that toxic effects must be mediated through the ingestion of toxic cells. Interestingly, an anabaenopeptin-producing strain caused the greatest inhibition of amoeba growth, indicating that toxic bioactive compounds other than MCs are of great importance for amoebae grazers. Confocal scanning microscopy revealed different alterations in amoeba cytoskeleton integrity and as such, the observed declines in amoeba densities could have indeed been caused via a cascade of cellular events primarily triggered by oligopeptides with protein-phosphatase inhibition capabilities such as MCs or anabaenopeptins. Moreover, inducible-defense mechanisms such as the egestion of toxic, MC-producing cyanobacterial cells and the increase of resting stages (encystation) in amoebae co-cultivated with all cyanobacterial strains were observed in our experiments. Consequently, cyanobacterial strains showed different susceptibilities to amoeba grazing which were possibly influenced by the potentiality of their toxic secondary metabolites. Hence, this

  13. Free-living turtles are a reservoir for Salmonella but not for Campylobacter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marin, Clara; Ingresa-Capaccioni, Sofia; González-Bodi, Sara; Marco-Jiménez, Francisco; Vega, Santiago

    2013-01-01

    Different studies have reported the prevalence of Salmonella in turtles and its role in reptile-associated salmonellosis in humans, but there is a lack of scientific literature related with the epidemiology of Campylobacter in turtles. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in free-living native (Emys orbicularis, n=83) and exotic (Trachemysscripta elegans, n=117) turtles from 11 natural ponds in Eastern Spain. In addition, different types of samples (cloacal swabs, intestinal content and water from Turtle containers) were compared. Regardless of the turtle species, natural ponds where individuals were captured and the type of sample taken, Campylobacter was not detected. Salmonella was isolated in similar proportions in native (8.0 ± 3.1%) and exotic (15.0 ± 3.3%) turtles (p=0.189). The prevalence of Salmonella positive turtles was associated with the natural ponds where animals were captured. Captured turtles from 8 of the 11 natural ponds were positive, ranged between 3.0 ± 3.1% and 60.0 ± 11.0%. Serotyping revealed 8 different serovars among four Salmonella enterica subspecies: S. enterica subsp. enterica (n = 21), S. enterica subsp. salamae (n = 2), S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (n = 3), and S. enterica subsp. houtenae (n = 1). Two serovars were predominant: S. Thompson (n=16) and S. typhimurium (n=3). In addition, there was an effect of sample type on Salmonella detection. The highest isolation of Salmonella was obtained from intestinal content samples (12.0 ± 3.0%), while lower percentages were found for water from the containers and cloacal swabs (8.0 ± 2.5% and 3.0 ± 1.5%, respectively). Our results imply that free-living turtles are a risk factor for Salmonella transmission, but do not seem to be a reservoir for Campylobacter. We therefore rule out turtles as a risk factor for human campylobacteriosis. Nevertheless, further studies should be undertaken in other countries to confirm these results.

  14. Daily foraging patterns in free-living birds: exploring the predation-starvation trade-off.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonter, David N; Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Sedgwick, Carolyn W; Hochachka, Wesley M

    2013-06-07

    Daily patterns in the foraging behaviour of birds are assumed to balance the counteracting risks of predation and starvation. Predation risks are a function of the influence of weight on flight performance and foraging behaviours that may expose individuals to predators. Although recent research sheds light on daily patterns in weight gain, little data exist on daily foraging routines in free-living birds. In order to test the predictions of various hypotheses about daily patterns of foraging, we quantified the activity of four species of passerines in winter using radio-frequency identification receivers built into supplemental feeding stations. From records of 472,368 feeder visits by tagged birds, we found that birds generally started to feed before sunrise and continued to forage at a steady to increasing rate throughout the day. Foraging in most species terminated well before sunset, suggesting their required level of energy reserves was being reached before the end of the day. These results support the risk-spreading theorem over a long-standing hypothesis predicting bimodality in foraging behaviour purportedly driven by a trade-off between the risks of starvation and predation. Given the increased energetic demands experienced by birds during colder weather, our results suggest that birds' perceptions of risk are biased towards starvation avoidance in winter.

  15. Free-living spirochetes from Cape Cod microbial mats detected by electron microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teal, T. H.; Chapman, M.; Guillemette, T.; Margulis, L.

    1996-01-01

    Spirochetes from microbial mats and anaerobic mud samples collected in salt marshes were studied by light microscopy, whole mount and thin section transmission electron microscopy. Enriched in cellobiose-rifampin medium, selective for Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, seven distinguishable spirochete morphotypes were observed. Their diameters ranged from 0.17 micron to > 0.45 micron. Six of these morphotypes came from southwest Cape Cod, Massachusetts: five from Microcoleus-dominated mat samples collected at Sippewissett salt marsh and one from anoxic mud collected at School Street salt marsh (on the east side of Eel Pond). The seventh morphotype was enriched from anoxic mud sampled from the north central Cape Cod, at the Sandy Neck salt marsh. Five of these morphotypes are similar or identical to previously described spirochetes (Leptospira, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi and Treponema), whereas the other two have unique features that suggest they have not been previously described. One of the morphotypes resembles Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi (the largest free-living spirochete described), in its large variable diameter (0.4-3.0 microns), cytoplasmic granules, and spherical (round) bodies with composite structure. This resemblance permits its tentative identification as a Sippewissett strain of Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi. Microbial mats samples collected in sterile Petri dishes and stored dry for more than four years yielded many organisms upon rewetting, including small unidentified spirochetes in at least 4 out of 100 enrichments.

  16. Persistent diel melatonin rhythmicity during the Arctic summer in free-living willow warblers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverin, Bengt; Gwinner, Eberhard; Van't Hof, Thomas J; Schwabl, Ingrid; Fusani, Leonida; Hau, Michaela; Helm, Barbara

    2009-06-01

    Arctic environments are challenging for circadian systems. Around the solstices, the most important zeitgeber, the change between night and day, is reduced to minor fluctuations in light intensities. However, many species including songbirds nonetheless show clear diel activity patterns. Here we examine the possible physiological basis underlying diel rhythmicity under continuous Arctic summer light. Rhythmic secretion of the hormone melatonin constitutes an important part of the songbird circadian system and its experimental suppression, e.g., by constant light, usually leads to behavioral arrhythmia. We therefore studied melatonin patterns in a free-living migratory songbird, the willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), that maintains diel activity during the Arctic summer. We compared melatonin profiles during late spring and summer solstice in two Swedish populations from the south (58 degrees N) and near the Arctic circle (66 degrees N). We found the northern Swedish population maintained clear diel changes in melatonin secretion during the summer solstice, although peak concentrations were lower than in southern Sweden. Melatonin levels were highest before midnight and in good accordance with periods of reduced activity. The maintenance of diel melatonin rhythmicity under conditions of continuous light may be one of the physiological mechanisms that enables continued functioning of the circadian system.

  17. Diversity and Dynamics of Soil Free-Living Nematode Populations in a Mediterranean Agroecosystem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIANG Wen-Ju; I.LAVIAN; S.PEN-MOURATOV; Y.STEINBERGER

    2005-01-01

    To determine the effect of agricultural management on the dynamics and functional diversity of soil nematode communities in a carrot field at Kibbutz Ramat Hakovesh, Israel, soil samples from 0-10 cm and 10-20 cm depths were collected during the growing season of carrot. Indices were used to compare and assess the response of soil free-living nematode communities to agricultural management. Eighteen nematode families and 20 genera were observed during the growing period, with Cephalobus, Rhabditidae, Aphelenchus, Tylenchus, and Dorylaimus being the dominant genera/families.During the planting, mid-season and post-harvest periods the total number of nematodes at both depths was significantly lower (P < 0.01) in the carrot treatment than in the control plots, while during the harvest period at both depths total nematodes and bacterivores were significantly higher in the treatment plots (P < 0.01). The values of the maturity index (MI) at both depths were found to be significantly lower in the treatment plots than in the control plots during the pre-planting period (P < 0.05). Overall, WI, MI and PPI were found to be more sensitive indicators than other ecological indices for assessing the response of nematode communities to agricultural management in a Mediterranean agroecosystem.

  18. Effect of daytime protein restriction on nutrient intakes of free-living Parkinson's disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paré, S; Barr, S I; Ross, S E

    1992-03-01

    Studies have shown that severe daytime restriction of dietary protein improves the efficacy of L-dopa and reduces response fluctuations in some Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. This study investigated the nutritional adequacy of the daytime restricted-protein diet. Eleven free-living PD patients suffering from unpredictable response fluctuations to L-dopa were counseled to limit protein intake to approximately 10 g before 1700. Three sets of 6-d food records obtained during the 8-wk study showed that while on the test diet, mean intakes of most nutrients remained above the recommended nutrient intakes, although significant decreases occurred in protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, and niacin intakes. The impact of the test diet on nutritional status as evaluated by changes in body weight and serum prealbumin was small. We conclude that healthy and highly motivated patients can maintain adequate intakes of most nutrients while restricting daytime protein intake. However, nutrient intakes might be compromised in patients whose regular diets are marginally adequate.

  19. Isolation of Free-Living Amoebae from Sarein Hot Springs in Ardebil Province, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Badirzadeh

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Free-living amoebae (FLA are a group of ubiquitous protozoan, which are distrib­uted in the natural and artificial environment sources. The main aim of the current study was to identify the presence of FLA in the recreational hot springs of Sarein in Ardebil Province of Iran.Methods: Seven recreational hot springs were selected in Sarein City and 28 water samples (four from each hot spring were collected using 500 ml sterile plastic bottles during three month. Filtra­tion of water samples was performed, and culture was done in non-nutrient agar medium enriched with Escherichia coli. Identification of the FLA was based on morphological criteria of cysts and trophozoites. Genotype identification of Acanthamoeba positive samples were also per­formed using sequencing based method.Results: Overall, 12 out of 28 (42.9% samples were positive for FLA which Acanthamoeba and Vahlkampfiid amoebae were found in one (3.6% and 11 (39.3% samples, respectively. Se­quence analysis of the single isolate of Acanthamoeba revealed potentially pathogenic T4 geno­type corresponding to A. castellanii.Conclusion: Contamination of hot springs to FLA, such as Acanthamoeba T4 genotype (A. castel­lanii and Vahlkampfiid amoebae, could present a sanitary risk for high risk people, and health authorities must be aware of FLA presence.

  20. Abundance, diversity and community composition of free-living protozoa on vegetable sprouts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavatte, N; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2016-05-01

    Interactions with free-living protozoa (FLP) have been implicated in the persistence of pathogenic bacteria on food products. In order to assess the potential involvement of FLP in this contamination, detailed knowledge on their occurrence, abundance and diversity on food products is required. In the present study, enrichment and cultivation methods were used to inventory and quantify FLP on eight types of commercial vegetable sprouts (alfalfa, beetroot, cress, green pea, leek, mung bean, red cabbage and rosabi). In parallel, total aerobic bacteria and Escherichia coli counts were performed. The vegetable sprouts harbored diverse communities of FLP, with Tetrahymena (ciliate), Bodo saltans and cercomonads (flagellates), and Acanthamoeba and Vannella (amoebae) as the dominant taxa. Protozoan community composition and abundance significantly differed between the sprout types. Beetroot harbored the most abundant and diverse FLP communities, with many unique species such as Korotnevella sp., Vannella sp., Chilodonella sp., Podophrya sp. and Sphaerophrya sp. In contrast, mung bean sprouts were species-poor and had low FLP numbers. Sampling month and company had no significant influence, suggesting that seasonal and local factors are of minor importance. Likewise, no significant relationship between protozoan community composition and bacterial load was observed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Isolation and Identification of Free-Living Amoebae from Tap Water in Sivas, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Özçelik, Semra; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks. PMID:23971043

  2. Low-molecular-mass thiol compounds from a free-living highly pathogenic amoeba, Naegleria fowleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ondarza, Raúl N; Iturbe, Angélica; Hernández, Eva; Hurtado, Gerardo

    2003-04-01

    Acid extracts labelled with the fluorescent reagent monobromobimane and separated by HPLC have enabled the detection of low-molecular-mass thiol compounds in Naegleria fowleri for the first time. The amounts detected are expressed in nmol/1 x 10(6) trophozoites cultivated at various stages of growth in the appropriate culture medium. N. fowleri is a highly pathogenic free-living amoeba, in which we found important thiol compounds, some of them in their reduced and oxidized forms. Unlike cysteine and glutathione, a number of these are not represented in normal human lymphocytes. Some of these thiol compounds from Naegleria must have their respective disulphide reductases, although the presence of thiol-disulphide exchange reactions must be considered. Ovothiol A, with antioxidant properties, is an example of a compound that is kept reduced by trypanothione in trypanosomatids, although no disulphide reductase for ovothiol A has yet been discovered. In our case we were unable to detect this biothiol in Naegleria. The presence of thiol compounds that seem to be particular to this pathogen and which are not present in human lymphocytes opens the possibility of searching for disulphide-reducing enzymes that can serve as drug targets.

  3. Development of a nested PCR assay to detect the pathogenic free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Réveiller, Fabienne L; Cabanes, Pierre-André; Marciano-Cabral, Francine

    2002-05-01

    Naegleria fowleri is the causative agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a fatal disease of the central nervous system that is acquired while swimming or diving in freshwater. A cDNA clone designated Mp2C15 obtained from N. fowleri was used as a probe to distinguish N. fowleri from other free-living amoebae. The Mp2C15 probe hybridized to genomic DNA from pathogenic N. fowleri and antigenically related non-pathogenic N. lovaniensis. Mp2C15 was digested with the restriction enzyme XbaI, resulting in two fragments, Mp2C15.G and Mp2C15.P. Four species of Naegleria and four species of Acanthamoeba were examined for reactivity with Mp2C15.P. Mp2C15.P was specific for N. fowleri and was used in the development of a nested PCR assay which is capable of detecting as little as 5 pg of N. fowleri DNA or five intact N. fowleri amoebae. In summary, a rapid, sensitive, and specific assay for the detection of N. fowleri was developed.

  4. Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae in bat guano, an extreme habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulec, Janez; Dietersdorfer, Elisabeth; Üstüntürk-Onan, Miray; Walochnik, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Several representatives of the so-called free-living amoebae (FLA) are of medical relevance, not only as facultative pathogens but also as vehicles for pathogenic bacteria. Some FLA can survive and even grow under extreme environmental conditions. Bat guano is an exceptional habitat, the conditions becoming gradually more extreme with aging. In the current study, samples of bat guano of different ages from five caves in Slovenia were screened for the presence of FLA. FLA were isolated from almost all guano samples, including guano with a pH of 3.5. Only the two samples that had been drawn from >20-year-old guano were negative for FLA. Generally, FLA diversity correlated to high concentrations of cultivable bacteria (∼10(8) CFU/g) and fungi (∼10(5) CFU/g). Interestingly, the absence of FLA in seasoned guanos was mirrored by the presence of dictyostelid slime moulds. The isolated amoebae were identified as belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Copromyxa, Naegleria, Sappinia, Tetramitus, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella and Vermamoeba. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the diversity of FLA in guano.

  5. Free-living freshwater amoebae differ in their susceptibility to the pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Rafik; Bodennec, Jacques; Mameri, Mouh Oulhadj; Pernin, Pierre

    2009-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as a facultative intracellular parasite of free-living soil and freshwater amoebae, of which several species have been shown to support the growth of the pathogenic bacteria. We report for the first time the behaviour of two strains (c2c and Z503) of the amoeba Willaertia magna towards different strains of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 and compared it with Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis, known to be L. pneumophila permissive. In contrast to the results seen with other amoebae, W. magna c2c inhibited the growth of one strain of Legionella (L. pneumophila, Paris), but not of others belonging to the same serogroup (L. pneumophila, Philadelphia and L. pneumophila, Lens). Also, the different L. pneumophila inhibited cell growth and induced cell death in A. castellanii, H. vermiformis and W. magna Z503 within 3-4 days while W. magna c2c strain remained unaffected even up to 7 days. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the formation of numerous replicative phagosomes observed within Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella is rarely seen in W. magna c2c cocultured with L. pneumophila. Moreover, the morphological differences were observed between L. pneumophila cultured either with Willaertia or other amoebae. These observations show that amoebae are not all equally permissive to L. pneumophila and highlight W. magna c2c as particularly resistant towards some strains of this bacterium.

  6. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae isolated from hospital wards with immunodeficient patients in Tehran, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasjerdi, Zohreh; Niyyati, Maryam; Haghighi, Ali; Shahabi, Saed; Biderouni, Farid Tahvildar; Taghipour, Niloofar; Eftekhar, Mohamad; Nazemalhosseini Mojarad, Ehsan

    2011-09-01

    This study investigated the occurrence of free-living amoebae (FLA) in immunodeficiency wards of hospitals in Tehran, Iran. A total of 70 dust and biofilm samples from wards serving transplant, pediatric (malignancies), HIV, leukemia and oncology patients of five university hospitals were collected and examined for the presence of FLA using culturing and molecular approaches. Based on the morphology of the amoebae in plate cultures, primer sets were applied for molecular identification of Acanthamoeba, vahlkampfiid amoebae and Hartmannella. Out of 70 samples, 37 (52.9%) were positive for FLA. Acanthamoeba belonged to the T4 genotype was the most prevalent isolate. Presence of the T4 genotype on medical instruments, including an oxygen mask in an isolation room of an immunodeficiency pediatric ward, should be of concern for health authorities. Acanthamoeba T5 genotypes, Hartmannella vermiformis, and Vahlkampfia avara were also present. These results highlight a clear need for greater attention to improved disinfection, especially where susceptible patients, such as those who are immune-suppressed, are served. To our knowledge, this is the first report of these FLA in immunodeficiency wards in Iran, and also the first to identify Acanthamoeba T5, Hartmannella, and Vahlkampfia in moist habitats, such as biofilms, in this country.

  7. Detection of free-living amoebae by using multiplex quantitative PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Calvez, Thomas; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Humeau, Philippe; Moletta-Denat, Marina; Frère, Jacques; Héchard, Yann

    2012-06-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa found worldwide in soil and aquatic environments, which are able to colonize man-made water networks. Some FLA have the potential to be pathogenic and others might harbour pathogenic bacteria. Indeed, FLA feed on bacteria, but some bacteria could resist phagocytosis and either survive in FLA or even multiply within FLA. These bacteria are collectively named amoeba resistant bacteria (ARB). The best characterized example is Legionella pneumophila, for which FLA is the main reservoir in the environment. Not only could FLA be a reservoir that protects ARB, some bacteria might become more resistant to treatment and be more virulent. Thus, it is of medical significance to quantify FLA populations in soil, water or the environment. The main limitation for the quantification of FLA is that classical culture is not efficient and reliable for many genera and 'strains'. Thus, several PCR-based quantification methods have been published for various FLA. However, thus far, no method has been published to simultaneously quantify the main FLA genera in the same PCR reaction. In this study, we developed a multiplex qPCR method to detect both Amoebozoan (i.e. Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella and Echinamoeba) and Vahlkampfiidae (i.e. Vahlkampfia and Naegleria) using 18S ribosomal RNA as the target gene. This method was shown to be specific, reliable and sensitive, could be used for the quantification of FLA and is likely to be useful to anticipate risks due to FLA or pathogenic bacteria, such as L. pneumophila.

  8. Free-living amoebae as opportunistic and non-opportunistic pathogens of humans and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Frederick L; Visvesvara, Govinda S

    2004-08-01

    Knowledge that free-living amoebae are capable of causing human disease dates back some 50 years, prior to which time they were regarded as harmless soil organisms or, at most, commensals of mammals. First Naegleria fowleri, then Acanthamoeba spp. and Balamuthia mandrillaris, and finally Sappinia diploidea have been recognised as etiologic agents of encephalitis; Acanthamoeba spp. are also responsible for amoebic keratitis. Some of the infections are opportunistic, occurring mainly in immunocompromised hosts (Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia encephalitides), while others are non-opportunistic (Acanthamoeba keratitis, Naegleria meningoencephalitis, and cases of Balamuthia encephalitis occurring in immunocompetent humans). The amoebae have a cosmopolitan distribution in soil and water, providing multiple opportunities for contacts with humans and animals, as evidenced by antibody titers in surveyed human populations. Although, the numbers of infections caused by these amoebae are low in comparison to other protozoal parasitoses (trypanosomiasis, toxoplasmosis, malaria, etc.), the difficulty in diagnosing them, the challenge of finding optimal antimicrobial treatments and the morbidity and relatively high mortality associated with, in particular, the encephalitides have been a cause for concern for clinical and laboratory personnel and parasitologists. This review presents information about the individual amoebae: their morphologies and life-cycles, laboratory cultivation, ecology, epidemiology, nature of the infections and appropriate antimicrobial therapies, the immune response, and molecular diagnostic procedures that have been developed for identification of the amoebae in the environment and in clinical specimens.

  9. Free-living amoebae and their intracellular pathogenic microorganisms: risks for water quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Vincent; McDonnell, Gerald; Denyer, Stephen P; Maillard, Jean-Yves

    2010-05-01

    An increasing number of microorganisms, including bacteria but also viruses and eukaryotes, have been described as benefiting from interaction with free-living amoebae (FLA). Beneficial interaction can be due to resistance to predation conferring ecological advantage, intracellular survival and/or intracellular proliferation. This review highlights the potential risk associated with amoebae by listing all known pathogenic microbial species for which growth and/or survival promotion by FLA (mainly Acanthamoeba spp.) has been demonstrated. It focuses on the susceptibility of amoebal and intra-amoebal bacteria to various categories of biocides, the known mechanisms of action of these biocides against trophozoites and cysts and the various methods used to demonstrate efficacy of treatments against FLA. Brief descriptions of FLA ecology and prevalence in domestic/institutional water systems and their intrinsic pathogenicity are also presented. The intention is to provide an informed opinion on the environmental risks associated with the presence of FLA and on the survival of cysts following biocidal treatments, while also highlighting the need to conduct research on the roles of amoebae in aquatic ecosystems.

  10. Free living amoebae in water sources of critical units in a tertiary care hospital in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Khurana

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Isolation of free-living amoebae (FLA is reported sparsely from water taps, ventilators, air conditioners, haemodialysis units and dental irrigation systems of hospitals worldwide. Their prevalence in hospital environment especially in wards having immunocompromised patients may pose a risk to this group of susceptible population as they may cause disease themselves or may carry pathogens inside them. No study from India has performed such surveillance. Objective: To evaluate extent of FLA contamination in water sources of bone marrow transplant (BMT intensive care unit (ICU, transplant ICU, haemodialysis unit and high dependency unit in a tertiary care hospital in India. Materials and Methods: A total of hundred samples including fifty each of tap water samples and swabs from mouth of taps used for drinking, bathing and hand washing purposes in these units were collected according to standard procedure. Samples were inoculated onto non-nutrient agar plates at room temperature followed by morphological confirmation. Molecular identification including polymerase chain reaction (PCR and sequencing was performed in culture positive samples. Results: Four tap water samples and ten swab samples showed growth of trophozoites and cyst formation. Morphologically, four amoebae resembled Acanthamoeba spp. which was further confirmed by PCR and sequencing showed them to be of T3 and T4 genotypes. Conclusion: The presence of these FLA in hospital water sources emphasises the urgent need of implementing effective preventive measures. Further studies are required to estimate the true prevalence of FLA in Indian hospitals by taking larger number of samples.

  11. Screening of Swiss hot spring resorts for potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gianinazzi, Christian; Schild, Marc; Zumkehr, Beatrice; Wüthrich, Fritz; Nüesch, Irina; Ryter, Regula; Schürch, Nadia; Gottstein, Bruno; Müller, Norbert

    2010-09-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) belonging to Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Sappinia pedata are known to cause infections in humans and animals leading to severe brain pathologies. Worldwide, warm aquatic environments have been found to be suitable habitats for pathogenic FLA. The present study reports on screening for potentially pathogenic FLA in four hot spring resorts in Switzerland. Water samples were taken from water filtration units and from the pools, respectively. Amoebae isolated from samples taken during, or before, the filtration process were demonstrated to be morphologically and phylogenetically related to Stenoamoeba sp., Hartmannella vermiformis, Echinamoeba exundans, and Acanthamoeba healyi. With regard to the swimming pools, FLA were isolated only in one resort, and the isolate was identified as non-pathogenic and as related to E. exundans. Further investigations showed that the isolates morphologically and phylogenetically related to A. healyi displayed a pronounced thermotolerance, and exhibited a marked in vitro cytotoxicity upon 5-day exposure to murine L929 fibroblasts. Experimental intranasal infection of Rag2-immunodeficient mice with these isolates led to severe brain pathologies, and viable trophozoites were isolated from the nasal mucosa, brain tissue, and lungs post mortem. In summary, isolates related to A. healyi were suggestive of being potentially pathogenic to immunocompromised persons. However, the presence of these isolates was limited to the filtration units, and an effective threat for health can therefore be excluded.

  12. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) isolated in Spanish wastewater treatment plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, A; Goñi, P; Clavel, A; Lobez, S; Fernandez, M T; Ormad, M P

    2011-10-01

    This work studies the characterization of pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) from sewage effluents. Some of them, such as Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmannella, Sappinia, Balamuthia and Paravahlkampfia have been reported as a cause of diseases in humans. Therefore, the study of their habitats and their pathogenicity has become necessary. The population of potentially pathogenic FLA was analysed in five Spanish wastewater treatment plants. Five of the seven FLA isolated were identified as genus Acanthamoeba genotypes T3, T4, T7 and T9. Hartmannella and Naegleria were also isolated. Acanthamoeba demonstrated great thermotolerance and osmotolerance. It was also observed that treatment with sodium hypochlorite showed no significative reduction in the number of amoeba at concentrations of 0-100 ppm. The high resistance of FLA cysts to disinfection methods is a trojan horse for public health insofar as they colonize water systems and allow the survival of intracellular microorganisms resistant to FLA. The results of this work advance current knowledge of the FLA population.

  13. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo; de la Garza, Mireya

    2013-01-01

    The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms.

  14. Rickettsia parkeri infecting free-living Amblyomma triste ticks in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melo, Andréia L T; Alves, Alvair S; Nieri-Bastos, Fernanda A; Martins, Thiago F; Witter, Rute; Pacheco, Thábata A; Soares, Herbert S; Marcili, Arlei; Chitarra, Cristiane S; Dutra, Valéria; Nakazato, Luciano; Pacheco, Richard C; Labruna, Marcelo B; Aguiar, Daniel M

    2015-04-01

    The present study evaluated the infection of rickettsiae in 151 Rhipicephalus sanguineus, 59 Amblyomma ovale, 166 Amblyomma triste, one Amblyomma dissimile and four Amblyomma dubitatum ticks collected in the municipality of Poconé, State of Mato Grosso, within the Pantanal biome of Brazil. Ticks were individually processed by the hemolymph test with Gimenez staining, isolation of rickettsia in Vero cell culture by the shell vial technique, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting the citrate synthase rickettsial gene. Through the shell vial technique, rickettsiae were successfully isolated and established in Vero cell culture from one free-living A. triste female tick, which previously showed to contain Rickettsia-like organisms by the hemolymph test. Molecular characterization of the rickettsial isolate was achieved through DNA partial sequences of three rickettsial genes (gltA, ompA, ompB), which showed to be all 100% identical to Rickettsia parkeri. After testing all ticks by PCR, the frequency of R. parkeri infection was 7.23% (12/166) in A. triste adult ticks. The remaining ticks were negative by PCR. This is the first report of in vitro isolation of R. parkeri in the Pantanal biome, confirming the occurrence of this emerging rickettsial pathogen in this natural area of South America.

  15. Wild, free-living rufous hummingbirds do not use geometric cues in a spatial task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornsby, Mark A W; Hurly, T Andrew; Hamilton, Caitlin E; Pritchard, David J; Healy, Susan D

    2014-10-01

    In the laboratory, many species orient themselves using the geometric properties of an enclosure or array and geometric information is often preferred over visual cues. Whether animals use geometric cues when relocating rewarded locations in the wild, however, has rarely been investigated. We presented free-living rufous hummingbirds with a rectangular array of four artificial flowers to investigate learning of rewarded locations using geometric cues. In one treatment, we rewarded two of four flowers at diagonally opposite corners. In a second treatment, we provided a visual cue to the rewarded flower by connecting the flowers with "walls" consisting of four dowels (three white, one blue) laid on the ground connecting each of the flowers. Neither treatment elicited classical geometry results; instead, hummingbirds typically chose one particular flower over all others. When we exchanged that flower with another, hummingbirds tended to visit the original flower. These results suggest that (1) hummingbirds did not use geometric cues, but instead may have used a visually derived cue on the flowers themselves, and (2) using geometric cues may have been more difficult than using visual characteristics. Although hummingbirds typically prefer spatial over visual information, we hypothesize that they will not use geometric cues over stable visual features but that they make use of small, flower-specific visual cues. Such cues may play a more important role in foraging decisions than previously thought. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Functional thioredoxin reductase from pathogenic and free-living Leptospira spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasoni, Natalia; Iglesias, Alberto A; Guerrero, Sergio A; Arias, Diego G

    2016-08-01

    Low molecular mass thiols and antioxidant enzymes have essential functions to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species maintaining cellular redox balance. The metabolic pathways for redox homeostasis in pathogenic (Leptospira interrogans) and free-living (Leptospira biflexa) leptospires species were not functionally characterized. We performed biochemical studies on recombinantly produced proteins to in depth analyze kinetic and structural properties of thioredoxin reductase (LinTrxR) and thioredoxin (LinTrx) from L. interrogans, and two TrxRs (LbiTrxR1 and LbiTrxR2) from L. biflexa. All the TrxRs were characterized as homodimeric flavoproteins, with LinTrxR and LbiTrxR1 catalyzing the NADPH dependent reduction of LinTrx and DTNB. The thioredoxin system from L. interrogans was able to use glutathione disulfide, lipoamide disulfide, cystine and bis-γ-glutamyl cysteine and homologous peroxiredoxin as substrates. Classic TrxR activity of LinTrxR2 had not been evidenced in vitro, but recombinant Escherichia coli cells overexpressing LbiTrxR2 showed high tolerance to oxidative stress. The enzymatic systems herein characterized could play a key role for the maintenance of redox homeostasis and the function of defense mechanisms against reactive oxidant species in Leptospira spp. Our results contribute to the general knowledge about redox biochemistry in these bacteria, positioning TrxR as a critical molecular target for the development of new anti-leptospiral drugs.

  17. Comparative genomics of free-living Gammaproteobacteria: pathogenesis-related genes or interaction-related genes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Rosas-Landa, Mirna; Ponce-Soto, Gabriel Yaxal; Eguiarte, Luis E; Souza, V

    2017-07-31

    Bacteria have numerous strategies to interact with themselves and with their environment, but genes associated with these interactions are usually cataloged as pathogenic. To understand the role that these genes have not only in pathogenesis but also in bacterial interactions, we compared the genomes of eight bacteria from human-impacted environments with those of free-living bacteria from the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB), a relatively pristine oligotrophic site. Fifty-one genomes from CCB bacteria, including Pseudomonas, Vibrio, Photobacterium and Aeromonas, were analyzed. We found that the CCB strains had several virulence-related genes, 15 of which were common to all strains and were related to flagella and chemotaxis. We also identified the presence of Type III and VI secretion systems, which leads us to propose that these systems play an important role in interactions among bacterial communities beyond pathogenesis. None of the CCB strains had pathogenicity islands, despite having genes associated with antibiotics. Integrons were rare, while CRISPR elements were common. The idea that pathogenicity-related genes in many cases form part of a wider strategy used by bacteria to interact with other organisms could help us to understand the role of pathogenicity-related elements in an ecological and evolutionary framework leading toward a more inclusive One Health concept. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Observations on the free-living stages of cattle gastrointestinal nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiel, C A; Fernández, A S; Rodríguez, E M; Fusé, L A; Steffan, P E

    2012-06-08

    A 4-year study on the free-living stages of cattle gastrointestinal nematodes was conducted to determine (a) the development time from egg to infective larvae (L3) inside the faecal pats, (b) the pasture infectivity levels over time, and (c) the survival of L3 on pasture. Naturally infected calves were allowed to contaminate 16 plots on monthly basis. Weekly monitoring of eggs per gram of faeces (epg) values and faecal cultures from these animals provided data for the contamination patterns and the relative nematode population composition. At the same time, faecal pats were shaped and deposited monthly onto herbage and sampled weekly to determine the development time from egg to L3. Herbage samples were collected fortnightly over a 16-month period after deposition to evaluate the pasture larval infectivity and survival of L3 over time. The development time from egg to L3 was 1-2 weeks in summer, 3-5 weeks in autumn, 4-6 weeks in winter, and 1-4 weeks in spring. The levels of contamination and pasture infectivity showed a clear seasonality during autumn-winter and spring, whilst a high mortality of larvae on pasture occurred in summer. Ostertagia spp., Cooperia spp. and Trichostrongylus spp. were predominant and a survival of L3 on pasture over a 1-year period was recorded in this study.

  19. Enhanced survival but not amplification of Francisella spp. in the presence of free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buse, Helen Y; Schaefer, Frank W; Rice, Eugene W

    2016-12-08

    Transmission of Francisella tularensis, the etiologic agent of tularemia, has been associated with various water sources. Survival of many waterborne pathogens within free-living amoeba (FLA) is well documented; however, the role of amoebae in the environmental persistence of F. tularensis is unclear. In this study, axenic FLA cultures of Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Vermamoeba vermiformis were each inoculated with virulent strains of F. tularensis (Types A and B), the attenuated live vaccine strain, and Francisella novicida. Experimental parameters included low and high multiplicity of infection and incubation temperatures of 25 and 30 °C for 0-10 days. Francisella spp. survival was enhanced by the presence of FLA; however, bacterial growth and protozoa infectivity were not observed. In contrast, co-infections of A. polyphaga and Legionella pneumophila, used as an amoeba pathogen control, resulted in bacterial proliferation, cytopathic effects, and amoebal lysis. Collectively, even though short-term incubation with FLA was beneficial, the long-term effects on Francisella survival are unknown, especially given the expenditure of available amoebal derived nutrients and the fastidious nature of Francisella spp. These factors have clear implications for the role of FLA in Francisella environmental persistence.

  20. A smartphone-driven methodology for estimating physical activities and energy expenditure in free living conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidoux, Romain; Duclos, Martine; Fleury, Gérard; Lacomme, Philippe; Lamaudière, Nicolas; Manenq, Pierre-Henri; Paris, Ludivine; Ren, Libo; Rousset, Sylvie

    2014-12-01

    This paper introduces a function dedicated to the estimation of total energy expenditure (TEE) of daily activities based on data from accelerometers integrated into smartphones. The use of mass-market sensors such as accelerometers offers a promising solution for the general public due to the growing smartphone market over the last decade. The TEE estimation function quality was evaluated using data from intensive numerical experiments based, first, on 12 volunteers equipped with a smartphone and two research sensors (Armband and Actiheart) in controlled conditions (CC) and, then, on 30 other volunteers in free-living conditions (FLC). The TEE given by these two sensors in both conditions and estimated from the metabolic equivalent tasks (MET) in CC served as references during the creation and evaluation of the function. The TEE mean gap in absolute value between the function and the three references was 7.0%, 16.4% and 2.7% in CC, and 17.0% and 23.7% according to Armband and Actiheart, respectively, in FLC. This is the first step in the definition of a new feedback mechanism that promotes self-management and daily-efficiency evaluation of physical activity as part of an information system dedicated to the prevention of chronic diseases.

  1. Isolation and Identification of Free-Living Amoebae from Tap Water in Sivas, Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kübra Açıkalın Coşkun

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22% out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks.

  2. Biodiversity of free-living marine nematodes in the southern Yellow Sea, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoshou; Xu, Man; Hua, Er; Zhang, Zhinan

    2016-02-01

    Biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes were studied using specific, taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity measures in the southern Yellow Sea, China. The results showed that the average of Shannon-Wiener diversity index ( H') in the study area was 3.17. The higher values were distributed in the east part of Shandong coastal waters and north part of Jiangsu coastal waters, while the lower values were distributed in the southern Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM). The average of taxonomic diversity ( Δ) was 62.09 in the study region. The higher values were distributed in the transitional areas between the coastal areas and the southern YSCWM, while the lower values were distributed near the north part of Jiangsu coastal waters and the YSCWM. Results of correlation analysis of species diversity and taxonomic diversity showed that some of the two kinds of diversity index were independent, which suggested that combining the two kinds of diversity indices can reflect the ecological characteristics better. A test for 95% probability funnels of average taxonomic distinctness and variation in taxonomic distinctness suggested that Station 8794 (in the YSCWM) was outside of the 95% probability funnels, which may be due to the environmental stress. Results of correlation analysis between marine nematodes biodiversity and environmental variables showed that the sediment characteristics (Mdø and Silt-clay fraction) and phaeophorbide a (Pha- a) were the most important factors to determine the biodiversity patterns of marine nematodes.

  3. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms. PMID:23476670

  4. Chlamydia species in free-living Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis and Hoopoe (Upupa epops in Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakeen K. El-Jakee

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Little information is available on the presence of chlamydia infection in wildlife. This study was conducted to assess the occurrence of chlamydiae in asymptomatic birds from two species of wild birds (Cattle Egret and Hoopoe in Egypt. In the present study Chlamydiaceae was analyzed using Giemsa stain, Giménez stain, fluorescent antibody test (FAT and PCR. The results of these techniques were compared with CFT for detecting Chlamydia psittaci antibodies among the examined birds. The results reveal that 96.4%, 81.8%, 89.1%, 80.0% and 58.2% of the examined samples were positive for chlamydiosis using PCR, Giemsa stain, Giménez stain, FA, and CFT respectively among Hoopoe. The percentages were 90.6%, 77.4%, 83.0%, 75.5% and 66.0% respectively for the previous tests among Cattle Egret birds. The results suggest that Cattle Egret and Hoopoe may be reservoir of Chlamydiaceae species and thus shed the organisms in their excreta. The shedding of chlamydiae by free living birds in Egypt may expose humans that come in contact with these birds to zoonotic risks.

  5. Evidence for free-living Bacteroides in Cladophora along the shores of the Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitman, Richard L.; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Spoljaric, Ashley; Przybyla-Kelly, Katarzyna; Shively, Dawn A.; Nevers, Meredith

    2014-01-01

    Bacteroides is assumed to be restricted to the alimentary canal of animals and humans and is considered to be non-viable in ambient environments. We hypothesized that Bacteroides could persist and replicate within beach-stranded Cladophora glomerata mats in southern Lake Michigan, USA. Mean Bacteroides concentration (per GenBac3 Taqman quantitative PCR assay) during summer 2012 at Jeorse Park Beach was 5.2 log calibrator cell equivalents (CCE) g-1 dry weight (dw), ranging from 3.7 to 6.7. We monitored a single beach-stranded mat for 3 wk; bacterial concentrations increased by 1.6 log CCE g-1 dw and correlated significantly with ambient temperature (p = 0.003). Clonal growth was evident, as observed by >99% nucleotide sequence similarity among clones. In in vitro studies, Bacteroides concentrations increased by 5.5 log CCE g-1 after 7 d (27°C) in fresh Cladophora collected from rocks. Partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene of 36 clones from the incubation experiment showed highly similar genotypes (≥97% sequence overlap). The closest enteric Bacteroides spp. from the National Center for Biotechnology Information database were only 87 to 91% similar. Genomic similarity, clonality, growth, and persistence collectively suggest that putative, free-living Bacteroides inhabit Cladophora mats of southern Lake Michigan. These findings may have important biological, medical, regulatory, microbial source tracking, and public health implications.

  6. Toward a low-cost gait analysis system for clinical and free-living assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladha, Cassim; Del Din, Silvia; Nazarpour, Kianoush; Hickey, Aodhan; Morris, Rosie; Catt, Michael; Rochester, Lynn; Godfrey, Alan

    2016-08-01

    Gait is an important clinical assessment tool since changes in gait may reflect changes in general health. Measurement of gait is a complex process which has been restricted to bespoke clinical facilities until recently. The use of inexpensive wearable technologies is an attractive alternative and offers the potential to assess gait in any environment. In this paper we present the development of a low cost analysis gait system built using entirely open source components. The system is used to capture spatio-temporal gait characteristics derived from an existing conceptual model, sensitive to ageing and neurodegenerative pathology (e.g. Parkinson's disease). We demonstrate the system is suitable for use in a clinical unit and will lead to pragmatic use in a free-living (home) environment. The system consists of a wearable (tri-axial accelerometer and gyroscope) with a Raspberry Pi module for data storage and analysis. This forms ongoing work to develop gait as a low cost diagnostic in modern healthcare.

  7. Free-living Amoebae (FLA: morphological and molecular identification of Acanthamoeba in dental unit water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trabelsi H.

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The aim of our study was to detect free-living Amoebae (FLA by morphological methods and to identify Acanthamoeba spp. by PCR in the dental unit water lines (DUWL. Materials and methods: it was a prospective study dealing with 196 water samples collected from DUWL (94 samples taken in the early morning before materials flush and patient consultations and 102 samples taken after consultations. At the same time, 39 samples from tap water were realized. Results: 135 (69 % samples were positives by the morphological study with morphotypical diversity. The predominant morphotype was the monopodial (39.2 %. 18 strains of Acanthamoeba spp. were detected in DUW (13.3 % and three strains in tap water (10 %. The amplification of 18S rDNA gene of these strains of Acanthamoeba spp. was positive for all samples. Conclusion: the FLA and Acanthamoeba were isolated both in tap water and in dental unit. The amoeba pathogenicity has not been demonstrated after oral or dental contamination; but the presence of intracellular and pathogenic bacteria in the amoeba could be a source of microbiological risks for patients in case of deep dental care or immunodepression. The improvement of this dental unit was necessary by putting a filter of 0.2 microns porosity before the arrival of the water in hand-pieces allowing the limitation of FLA passage.

  8. Free-living amoebae (FLA) co-occurring with legionellae in industrial waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheikl, Ute; Sommer, Regina; Kirschner, Alexander; Rameder, Alexandra; Schrammel, Barbara; Zweimüller, Irene; Wesner, Wolfgang; Hinker, Manfred; Walochnik, Julia

    2014-08-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease and free-living amoebae (FLA) can serve as vehicles for legionellae. The aim of this study was to screen industrial waters for the occurrence of FLA and their co-occurrence with legionellae. A total of 201 water samples, including 129 cooling waters and 72 process waters, and 30 cooling lubricants were included in the study. Treated waters were screened periodically, pre and post treatment. Altogether, 72.6% of the water samples were positive for FLA, acanthamoebae being most prevalent (in 23.9% of the samples) followed by Vermamoeba vermiformis (19.4%). Only one cooling lubricant was positive (Acanthamoeba genotype T4). Legionella spp. were detected in 34.8% of the water samples and in 15% in high concentrations (>1000 CFU/100 ml). Altogether, 81.4% of the Legionella-positive samples were positive for FLA by standard methods. By applying a highly sensitive nested PCR to a representative set of random samples it was revealed that Legionella spp. always co-occurred with Acanthamoeba spp. Although the addition of disinfectants did influence amoebal density and diversity, treated waters showed no difference concerning FLA in the interphases of disinfection. It appears that FLA can re-colonize treated waters within a short period of time.

  9. Isolation and identification of free-living amoebae from tap water in Sivas, Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Ozçelik, Semra; Tutar, Lütfi; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks.

  10. Occurrence of free-living amoebae in streams of the Mexico Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonilla-Lemus, Patricia; Caballero Villegas, Adán S; Carmona Jiménez, Javier; Lugo Vázquez, Alfonso

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa that are widely distributed in nature. They are important in the cycling of nutrients in aquatic food chains, but their distribution in natural aquatic environments is not well known. We conducted a survey to determine the presence and distribution of FLA and their relation to some physicochemical parameters in streams of the Mexico Basin in Central Mexico. Thirty-two sites from 18 streams were sampled. Samples were centrifuged and cultured onto NNA-media to isolate amoebae. Identifications were based on morphology. The pathogenicity of Acanthamoeba isolates was tested. Oxygen saturation, temperature, pH, specific conductance, water flow, dissolved reactive phosphorus, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and coliforms were determined. One hundred-and-twenty FLA representing 18 genera were identified. The most frequent genera were Vannella, Rosculus and Acanthamoeba. The frequency of potentially pathogenic FLA was low and only 3 Acanthamoeba isolates were invasive in mice. The highest species richness of FLA was found in streams located into agriculture activity areas and those close to small villages that discharge wastewater into them. Water temperatures were always below 17°C. Oxygen saturation and pH were within the limits for the growth of most FLA. The presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria was low; nevertheless, they include potentially pathogenic species and can act as vectors and reservoirs for microbial pathogens and can produce human infections.

  11. Ophthalmology hospital wards contamination to pathogenic free living Amoebae in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasjerdi, Zohreh; Niyyati, Maryam; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob; Haghighi, Ali; Taghipour, Niloofar

    2015-09-01

    The present study was conducted to determine the occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoeba in ophthalmology wards in reference hospitals in Iran. Since an increasing number of Acanthamoeba Keratitis cases after eye surgery and eye trauma have been recently observed in this country, it could be possible that the disinfection procedures undertaken in the clinical setting may not have a good hygiene and disinfection procedures, hence the aim of this study. Therefore, 42 dust and biofilm samples were collected from different areas of ophthalmology wards and checked for the presence of FLA using morphological criteria, PCR based analysis and DNA sequencing. Of the 42 samples from dust and biofilm sources, 18(42.86%) isolates were found to contain FLA and 12(92.3%) isolates belonged to Acanthamoeba T4 genotype. Isolation of the pathogenic genotype T4 from medical instruments, including slit lamp in corneal wards, may be a threat for patients undergoing eye surgery in these wards. Other FLA isolated in this study included Acanthamoeba genotype T5, Vahlkampfia sp, Naegleria australiensis, Vermamoeba vermiformis and Echinamoeba exudans. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the presence of potentially pathogenic FLA in ophthalmology wards in Iran. Improved disinfection methods and monitoring of hospitals ward are thus necessary in this area in order to minimize the risk of infection in patients.

  12. Do free-living amoebae in treated drinking water systems present an emerging health risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jacqueline M; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2011-02-01

    There is an expanding body of evidence that free-living amoebae (FLA) increase both the numbers and virulence of water-based, human-pathogenic, amoeba-resisting microorganisms (ARM). Legionella spp., Mycobacterium spp., and other opportunistic human pathogens are known to be both ARM and also the etiologic agents of potentially fatal human lung infections. However, comparatively little is known about the FLA that may facilitate ARM growth in drinking water. This review examines the available literature on FLA in treated drinking water systems; in total 26 studies from 18 different countries. FLA were reported to breakthrough the water treatment barrier and enter distribution systems, in addition to the expected post-treatment system ingress. Once in the distribution system there is evidence of FLA colonization and regrowth especially in reservoirs and in-premise plumbing storage tanks. At the point of use the average FLA detection rate was 45% but highly variable (n = 16, σ = 31) due to both differences in both assay methods and the type of water systems examined. This review reveals that FLA are consistently detected in treated drinking water systems around the world and present a yet unquantified emerging health risk. However, more research is urgently required before accurate risks assessments can be undertaken to assess the impacts on human health, in households and institutions, due to exposure to FLA facilitated pathogenic ARM.

  13. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús Serrano-Luna

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms.

  14. Relevance of free-living amoebae as hosts for phylogenetically diverse microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheid, Patrick

    2014-07-01

    In addition to their role as parasites, free-living amoebae (FLA) can act as hosts of and vehicles for phylogentically diverse microorganisms while some of them replicate intracellularly. These microorganisms are adapted to the intracellular conditions in the amoeba, find suitable conditions and protection from negative environmental influences and take advantage of the dispersal in the environment by their amoebic host. It is expedient to call these organisms "endocytobionts", at least during the initial steps of any studies. By doing so, it is not necessary to go into potential characteristics of these relationships such as parasitism, phoresy, zoochory, or mutualism at an early stage of study. Among those organisms resisting the lysis within their amoebic host, there are obligate and facultative pathogenic microorganisms affecting the health of humans or animals. FLA-endocytobiont relationships are not only important for the tenacity of the involved microorganisms. Especially if FLA are present in biofilms and there are close ties with many other microorganisms, the odds are for some of these microorganisms to develop human pathogenic properties. Here, the amoebic passage seems to be a prerequisite for the development of virulence factors and it may have an impact on evolutionary processes.

  15. Complementary data on four methods for sampling free-living ticks in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Vanessa do Nascimento; Osava, Carolina Fonseca; Piovezan, Ubiratan; Szabó, Matias Pablo Juan

    2014-01-01

    In this study, four methods for sampling free-living ticks that are used in ecological and human tick-bite risk studies were evaluated. Cloth dragging, carbon dioxide traps and visual searches and inspection of plant litter on the ground were used in field and forest areas within the Brazilian Pantanal. Among the three tick species collected, Amblyomma sculptum predominated, followed by Amblyomma parvum and Amblyomma ovale. Dragging, a cheap and simple technique, yielded the highest numbers of ticks, particularly nymphs. The visual search detected a high number of adult ticks and provided information on tick questing height. Even though laborious, plant litter examination showed that large numbers of ticks may use this stratum. Carbon dioxide (CO2) traps are expensive and difficult to handle, but they are highly efficient for adult ticks, especially A. parvum. These data indicate that one method alone is incapable of providing a representative sample of the tick fauna in a particular area and that multiple techniques should be used for tick population studies.

  16. Effects of filter choice in GT3X accelerometer assessments of free-living activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanner, Miriam; Martin, Brian W; Meier, Flurina; Probst-Hensch, Nicole; Kriemler, Susi

    2013-01-01

    ActiGraph accelerometers are widely used devices to objectively assess physical activity. The GT3X version has two filter options to be selected before data assessment (normal and low-frequency extension filter option). It is not clear whether the resulting physical activity levels differ depending on the choice of the filter. The aims were to compare GT3X data collected using the different filter options during free-living activities and to establish correction factors if the results were not comparable. Sixty-five participants of the population-based SAPALDIA-cohort (50.8% women, age range = 40-80 yr) wore two GT3X accelerometers with different filter selections simultaneously during 8 d. Spearman correlations, Wilcoxon rank sum tests, McNemar tests, scatter plots, and Bland-Altman plots were used to compare the data. Correction factors were established using linear regression models. Although Spearman correlations were high (r ≥ 0.93), there were significant differences in minutes per day between filter options for nonwearing time and time spent in sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (all P Mean counts per minute and steps per day were significantly higher using the low-frequency extension filter (P filter option and to specify the filter choice in publications. The correction factors can be used to make data assessed using the low-frequency extension filter comparable to data assessed using the normal filter option.

  17. Impact of castor meal on root-knot and free-living nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Helena Silvino Prata Ritzinger

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Soil amendment may enhance soil quality as well as reduce plant-parasitic nematode. Despite the many applications already undertaken using castor meal, its efficiency in controlling root-knot nematodes (RKN, Meloidogyne incognita when applied to melon (Cucumis melo is still not clear. Three different amounts of castor meal (Ricinus communis applied were evaluated in microplots planted with melon either with or without RKN. The impact of castor meal on soil free-living nematode communities was also determined. Total nematode genera richness was estimated as 37 for the entire set of microplots sampled across both sampling dates. Rarefaction analysis resulted in 12 collector's curves out of the total of 30 that reached the horizontal asymptote. Univariate ANOVA with two factors yielded differences (p < 0.05 only with regard to the time factor. Simpson, Shannon, Evenness and Equitability indices showed a trend toward moderate increases by the end of the experiment, while the other indices were higher for tomato in pre-transplant sampling compared to harvest. Nematode community and diversity changed during the course of the experiment, although there was substantial confounding heterogeneity within and between the factorial combinations from the beginning. Root knot population was not reduced by the castor meal but increased throughout the period, regardless of treatment. RKN reduced melon yield, number and weight of melon.

  18. Behavioral correlates of heart rates of free-living Greater White-fronted Geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ely, C.R.; Ward, D.H.; Bollinger, K.S.

    1999-01-01

    We simultaneously monitored the heart rate and behavior of nine free-living Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) on their wintering grounds in northern California. Heart rates of wild geese were monitored via abdominally-implanted radio transmitters with electrodes that received electrical impulses of the heart and emitted a radio signal with each ventricular contraction. Post-operative birds appeared to behave normally, readily rejoining flocks and flying up to 15 km daily from night-time roost sites to feed in surrounding agricultural fields. Heart rates varied significantly among individuals and among behaviors, and ranged from less than 100 beats per minute (BPM) during resting, to over 400 BPM during flight. Heart rates varied from 80 to 140 BPM during non-strenuous activities such as walking, feeding, and maintenance activities, to about 180 BPM when birds became alert, and over 400 BPM when birds were startled, even if they did not take flight. Postflight heart rate recovery time averaged measures of physiological parameters, such as heart rate, are often better indicators of the degree of response to external stimuli than visual observations and can be used to improve estimates of energy expenditure based solely on activity data.

  19. Epidemiology of viral haemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis in a free-living population of wild rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvete, C; Estrada, R; Villafuerte, R; Osácar, J J; Lucientes, J

    2002-06-22

    From January 1993 to June 1996, the epidemiology of myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) was studied in a free-living population of wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Spain by means of serological surveys and radiotracking. Myxomatosis was endemic and associated with the breeding period. Its serological pattern was characterised by a 100 per cent prevalence of antibodies in adult rabbits and a rapid increase in antibodies in young rabbits in their first year. No mortality from myxomatosis was detected in adults, and mortality in young rabbits could not be estimated because of interference by predators and scavengers and the deaths of many radiotagged rabbits inside their burrows. VHD was also an endemic disease associated with the breeding period. Adults had a higher prevalence of antibodies against VHD than young rabbits, reaching values of 80 to 90 per cent. During the study, there was an increase in rabbit numbers as a result of a decrease in mortality from predation which was associated with an increase in mortality due to VHD and in the prevalence of antibodies to VHD. Mortality from VHD was lower in rabbits with VHD antibodies than in seronegative rabbits, but some mortality from the disease was also detected in seropositive rabbits. The annual mean mortality rate due to VHD in adult rabbits was estimated to be 21.8 per cent.

  20. Not all are free-living: high-throughput DNA metabarcoding reveals a diverse community of protists parasitizing soil metazoa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geisen, Stefan; Laros, I.; Vizcaíno, A.; Bonkowski, M.; de Groot, G.A.

    2015-01-01

    Protists, the most diverse eukaryotes, are largely considered to be free-living bacterivores, but vast numbers of taxa are known to parasitize plants or animals. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches now commonly replace cultivation-based approaches in studying soil protists, but insights into

  1. Quantitative detection of the free-living amoeba Hartmannella vermiformis in surface water by using real-time PCR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuiper, M.W.; Valster, R.M.; Wullings, B.A.; Boonstra, H.; Smidt, H.; Kooij, van der D.

    2006-01-01

    A real-time PCR-based method targeting the 18S rRNA gene was developed for the quantitative detection of Hartmannella vermiformis, a free-living amoeba which is a potential host for Legionella pneumophila in warm water systems and cooling towers. The detection specificity was validated using genomic

  2. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living Amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 dolphins from free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá (...

  3. Quantitative detection of the free-living amoeba Hartmannella vermiformis in surface water by using real-time PCR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuiper, M.W.; Valster, R.M.; Wullings, B.A.; Boonstra, H.; Smidt, H.; Kooij, van der D.

    2006-01-01

    A real-time PCR-based method targeting the 18S rRNA gene was developed for the quantitative detection of Hartmannella vermiformis, a free-living amoeba which is a potential host for Legionella pneumophila in warm water systems and cooling towers. The detection specificity was validated using genomic

  4. Confirmation and phylogenetic analysis of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus in free-living rabbits from the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Bildt, M. W. G.; van Bolhuis, G. H.; van Zijderveld, F.; van Riel, D.; Drees, J. M.; Osterhaus, A. D. M. E.; Kuiken, T.

    2006-01-01

    The number of free-living European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the Netherlands has declined dramatically in recent years. Although rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) infection has been implicated as a possible cause of this decline, the definitive diagnosis has not been reported. We exam

  5. Confirmation and phylogenetic analysis of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus in free-living rabbits from the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Bildt, M. W. G.; van Bolhuis, G. H.; van Zijderveld, F.; van Riel, D.; Drees, J. M.; Osterhaus, A. D. M. E.; Kuiken, T.

    2006-01-01

    The number of free-living European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in the Netherlands has declined dramatically in recent years. Although rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) infection has been implicated as a possible cause of this decline, the definitive diagnosis has not been reported. We

  6. Stressful colours : corticosterone concentrations in a free-living songbird vary with the spectral composition of experimental illumination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouyang, Jenny Q.; de Jong, Maaike; Hau, Michaela; Visser, Marcel E.; van Grunsven, Roy H. A.; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2015-01-01

    Organisms have evolved under natural daily light/dark cycles for millions of years. These cycles have been disturbed as night-time darkness is increasingly replaced by artificial illumination. Investigating the physiological consequences of free-living organisms in artificially lit environments is c

  7. Stressful colours: corticosterone concentrations in a free-living songbird vary with the spectral composition of experimental illumination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouyang, Jenny Q.; de Jong, Maaike; Hau, Michaela; Visser, Marcel E.; van Grunsven, Roy H. A.; Spoelstra, Kamiel

    2015-01-01

    Organisms have evolved under natural daily light/dark cycles for millions of years. These cycles have been disturbed as night-time darkness is increasingly replaced by artificial illumination. Investigating the physiological consequences of free-living organisms in artificially lit environments is c

  8. Bilateral microphthalmia and aphakia associated with multiple eye abnormalities in a free-living European red deer calf (Cervus elaphus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutinelli, Franco; Vercelli, Antonella; Carminato, Antonio; Luchesa, Lucio; Pasolli, Claudio; Cova, Mariapia; Marchioro, Wendy; Melchiotti, Erica; Vascellari, Marta

    2012-04-01

    A free-living European red deer calf (Cervus elaphus) was euthanized due to bilateral microphthalmia. Lens was missing, replaced by proliferating squamous epithelial cells; hyperplastic squamous cells, sebaceous and mucinous glands were observed within the cornea with the characteristics of inclusion cyst. Findings were consistent with congenital microphthalmia/aphakia, with multiple eye abnormalities.

  9. Data logging of body temperatures provides precise information on phenology of reproductive events in a free-living arctic hibernator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, C.T.; Sheriff, M.J.; Schmutz, J.A.; Kohl, F.; Toien, O.; Buck, C.L.; Barnes, B.M.

    2011-01-01

    Precise measures of phenology are critical to understanding how animals organize their annual cycles and how individuals and populations respond to climate-induced changes in physical and ecological stressors. We show that patterns of core body temperature (T b) can be used to precisely determine the timing of key seasonal events including hibernation, mating and parturition, and immergence and emergence from the hibernacula in free-living arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). Using temperature loggers that recorded T b every 20 min for up to 18 months, we monitored core T b from three females that subsequently gave birth in captivity and from 66 female and 57 male ground squirrels free-living in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range Alaska. In addition, dates of emergence from hibernation were visually confirmed for four free-living male squirrels. Average T b in captive females decreased by 0.5–1.0°C during gestation and abruptly increased by 1–1.5°C on the day of parturition. In free-living females, similar shifts in T b were observed in 78% (n = 9) of yearlings and 94% (n = 31) of adults; females without the shift are assumed not to have given birth. Three of four ground squirrels for which dates of emergence from hibernation were visually confirmed did not exhibit obvious diurnal rhythms in T b until they first emerged onto the surface when T b patterns became diurnal. In free-living males undergoing reproductive maturation, this pre-emergence euthermic interval averaged 20.4 days (n = 56). T b-loggers represent a cost-effective and logistically feasible method to precisely investigate the phenology of reproduction and hibernation in ground squirrels.

  10. Unraveling the Photoprotective Response of Lichenized and Free-Living Green Algae (Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyta to Photochilling Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fátima Míguez

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Lichens and free-living terrestrial algae are widespread across many habitats and develop successfully in ecosystems where a cold winter limits survival. With the goal of comparing photoprotective responses in free-living and lichenized algae, the physiological responses to chilling and photochilling conditions were studied in three lichens and their isolated algal photobionts together as well as in a fourth free-living algal species. We specifically addressed the following questions: (i Are there general patterns of acclimation in green algae under chilling and photochilling stresses? (ii Do free-living algae exhibit a similar pattern of responses as their lichenized counterparts? (iii Are these responses influenced by the selection pressure of environmental conditions or by the phylogenetic position of each species? To answer these questions, photosynthetic fluorescence measurements as well as pigment and low molecular weight carbohydrate pool analyses were performed under controlled laboratory conditions. In general, photochemical efficiency in all free-living algae decreased with increasing duration of the stress, while the majority of lichens maintained an unchanged photochemical activity. Nevertheless, these patterns cannot be generalized because the alga Trebouxia arboricola and the lichen Ramalina pollinaria (associated with Trebouxia photobionts both showed a similar decrease in photochemical efficiency. In contrast, in the couple Elliptochloris bilobata-Baeomyces rufus, only the algal partner exhibited a broad physiological performance under stress. This study also highlights the importance of the xanthophyll cycle in response to the studied lichens and algae to photochilling stress, while the accumulation of sugars was not related to cold acclimation, except in the alga E. bilobata. The differences in response patterns detected among species can be mainly explained by their geographic origin, although the phylogenetic position should

  11. Genetic diversity of free-living Symbiodinium in surface water and sediment of Hawai`i and Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takabayashi, M.; Adams, L. M.; Pochon, X.; Gates, R. D.

    2012-03-01

    Marine dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are primarily known for their symbiotic associations with invertebrates and protists, although they are also found free-living in nanoplankton and microphytobenthic communities. Free-living Symbiodinium are necessary for hosts that must acquire their symbionts anew each generation and for the possible reestablishment of endosymbiosis in bleached adults. The diversity and ecology of free-living Symbiodinium are not well studied by comparison with their endosymbiotic counterparts, and as a result, our understanding of the linkages between free-living and endosymbiotic Symbiodinium is poor. Here, we begin to address this knowledge gap by describing the genetic diversity of Symbiodinium in the surface water and reef sediments of Hawai`i and Florida using Symbiodinium-specific primers for the hypervariable region of the chloroplast 23S domain V (cp23S-HVR). In total, 29 Symbiodinium sequence types were detected, 16 of which were novel. The majority of Symbiodinium sequence types in free-living environments belonged to clades A and B, but smaller numbers of sequence types belonging to clades C, D, and G were also detected. The majority of sequences recovered from Hawai`i belonged to clades A and C and those from Florida to clade B. Such distribution patterns are consistent with the endosymbiotic diversity previously reported for these two regions. The ancestral sequence types in each clade were typically recovered from surface water and sediments both in Hawai`i and Florida and have been previously reported as endosymbionts of a range of invertebrates, suggesting that these types have the capacity to exploit a range of very different habitats. More derived sequence types in clades A, B, C, and G were not recovered here, suggesting they are potentially restricted to endosymbiotic environments.

  12. An assessment of abundance, habitat use and activity patterns of three sympatric pheasants in an Eastern Himalayan Lowland tropical Forest of Arunachal Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Muthamizh Selvan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot is rich in pheasant diversity, as eleven of the seventeen pheasant species in India occur here. Despite the richness, these pheasants have been least studied in their natural habitats and their current population status, ecology and behavioural patterns are unknown. We estimated abundance, habitat use and activity pattern of three pheasants, i.e. Red Jungle Fowl Gallus gallus (RJF, Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos (KP and Grey Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum (GPP in Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh. Data collected from line transects and camera traps were used for estimating abundance, habitat use and activity patterns. Program Oriana 4.2 was used to determine the activity pattern of three species. Questionnaire survey was conducted around the protected area to determine the conservation threats for these species. Red jungle fowl had the highest density of 12.9 individuals/km2 and a photographic rate of 3.19/100 trap nights among all the pheasants. Shrub cover, litter cover and grass cover were positively associated (p<0.001 with pheasant detections, where as disturbance (p<0.001 was negatively correlated. 60% of habitat overlap was observed between KP and RJF. Dillenia indica dominated habitats were significantly correlated with pheasants detections (R=0.34, p<.0001. The mean activity of GPP, RJF and KP were 6.30 hrs ± 3.37 hrs, 7.49 hrs ± 0.14 hrs and 8.29 hrs ± 0.18 hrs respectively. Additional studies on current status of these species and management plans are critical for pheasant conservation in this critical biodiversity hotspot.

  13. Intra-specific relationships among Tibetan Eared-pheasants based on randomly amplified polymorphic DNA(RAPD) analysis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DING Wei; ZHANG Zhengwang; CHANG Jiang; ZHANG Er; WU Xiushan; ZHANG Jinguo

    2006-01-01

    The Tibetan Eared-pheasant Crossoptilon harmani is a rare species native to China.A captive population has been established in the Beijing Zoo since 1999.In order to determine the kinship of the offsprings in 2001,randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) was used to examine the parenthood of seven Tibetan Eared-pheasants in the Beijing Zoo.To amplify the genomic DNA of each individual,53 arbitrary primers were selected.The results of amplifica tions showed that 14 primers had clear and distinct RAPD patterns.Totally,226 amplified fragments were generated by RAPD in this study.Cluster analysis of the seven Tibetan Eared-pheasants indicated that all the four young birds had the same father (No.5 male).This study provides a practical method to determine the relationship of offsprings whose parents are unknown in birds.

  14. Regime shifts in coastal lagoons: Evidence from free-living marine nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    We test the validity of using the regime shift theory to account for differences in environmental state of coastal lagoons as a response to variation in connectivity with the sea, using free-living nematodes as a surrogate. The study is based on sediment samples from the inner and outer portions of 15 coastal lagoons (5 open to the sea, 5 intermittently open/closed, and 5 permanently closed lakes) along the southern coast of Brazil. Environmental data suggested that there are two contrasting environmental conditions, with coastal lakes being significantly different from open and intermittent lagoons. Marine nematode assemblages corroborate these two mutually exclusive alternative stable states (open vs. closed systems), but assemblages from the intermittently open/closed lagoons showed a gradual change in species composition between both systems independently of the environmental conditions. The gradient in the structural connectivity among lagoons and the sea, due to their regime shifts, changes the movement of resources and consumers and the internal physico-chemical gradients, directly affecting regional species diversity. Whereas openness to the sea increased similarity in nematode assemblage composition among connected lagoons, isolation increased dissimilarity among closed lagoons. Our results from a large-scale sampling program indicated that as lagoons lose connectivity with the sea, shifting the environmental state, local processes within individual intermittently open/closed lagoons and particularly within coastal lakes become increasingly more important in structuring these communities. The main implication of these findings is that depending on the local stable state we may end up with alternative regional patterns of biodiversity. PMID:28235030

  15. Presence of Legionella and free-living Amoebae in composts and bioaerosols from composting facilities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Conza

    Full Text Available Several species of Legionella cause Legionnaires' disease (LD. Infection may occur through inhalation of Legionella or amoebal vesicles. The reservoirs of Legionella are water, soil, potting soil and compost. Some species of free-living amoebae (FLA that are naturally present in water and soil were described as hosts for Legionella. This study aimed to understand whether or not the composting facilities could be sources of community-acquired Legionella infections after development of bioaerosols containing Legionella or FLA. We looked for the presence of Legionella (by co-culture and FLA (by culture in composts and bioaerosols collected at four composting facilities located in southern Switzerland. We investigated the association between the presence of Legionella and compost and air parameters and presence of FLA. Legionella spp. (including L. pneumophila were detected in 69.3% (61/88 of the composts and FLA (mainly Acanthamoeba, Vermamoeba, Naegleria and Stenamoeba in 92.0% (81/88. L. pneumophila and L. bozemanii were most frequently isolated. FLA as potential host for Legionella spp. were isolated from 40.9% (36/88 of the composts in all facilities. In Legionella-positive samples the temperature of compost was significantly lower (P = 0.012 than in Legionella-negative samples. Of 47 bioaerosol samples, 19.1% (9/47 were positive for FLA and 10.6% (5/47 for L. pneumophila. Composts (62.8% were positive for Legionella and FLA contemporaneously, but both microorganisms were never detected simultaneously in bioaerosols. Compost can release bioaerosol containing FLA or Legionella and could represent a source of infection of community-acquired Legionella infections for workers and nearby residents.

  16. The bacteriology of the small intestinal mucosa of free-living reindeer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenche Sørmo

    1994-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria in close associaton with the intestinal mucosa are thought to protect the mucosa from pathogenic microorganisms. The pH of the small intestinal mucosa and the viable populations of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria associated with the proximal and distal jejunal mucosa, were measured in four free-living reindeer in winter. The anaerobic bacterial populations were characterized. The median pH of the mucosa of the duodenum was 6.6 (n=4 at point 0.2 m from the pyloric sphincter. The mucosal pH increased along the length of the intestine to 8.3 at 14 m and then decreased to 7.9 at 19.8 m from the pyloric sphincter. Examination by transmission electron microscopy and cultivation techniques failed to reveal any bacteria on the mucosa of the proximal jejunum in two of the animals. In two other reindeer the median anaerobic bacterial densities in the proximal jejunum ranged from 25-2500 cells/g mucosa. The median anaerobic bacterial populations in the distal jejunum ranged from 80 to 20000 bacteria/g mucosa (n=4. The anaerobic population of bacteria in the proximal jejunum was dominated by streptococci and unidentified gram positive rods. Bacteroidaceae, streptococci and unidentified gram positive rods were common in the distal jejunum. The low density and the species diversity of bacteria in the small intestine suggests that these microorganisms are inhibited by components in the natural winter diet of reindeer. Bacteria evidently play a minor role in protection of the mucosa of reindeer in winter.

  17. Genome sequence of the Fleming strain of Micrococcus luteus, a simple free- living actinobacterium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Young, Michael; Artsatbanov, Vladislav; Beller, Harry R.; Chandra, Govind; Chater, Keith F.; Dover, Lynn G.; Goh, Ee-Been; Kahan, Tamar; Kaprelyants, Arseny S.; Kyrpides, Nikos; Lapidus, Alla; Lowry, Stephen R.; Lykidis, Athanasios; Mahillon, Jacques; Markowitz, Viktor; Mavrommatis, Konstantinos; Mukamolova, Galina V.; Oren, Aharon; Rokem, J. Stefan; Smith, Margaret C. M.; Young, Danielle I.; Greenblatt, Charles L.

    2009-11-01

    Micrococcus luteus (NCTC2665, Fleming strain) has one of the smallest genomes of free living actinobacteria sequenced to date, comprising a single circular chromosome of 2,501,097 bp (G+C content 73%) predicted to encode 2403 proteins. The genome shows extensive synteny with that of the closely related organism, Kocuria rhizophila, from which it was taxonomically separated relatively recently. Despite its small size, the genome harbors 73 IS elements, almost all of which are closely related to elements found in other actinobacteria. An IS element is inserted into the rrs gene of one of only two rrn operons found in M. luteus. The genome encodes only four sigma factors and fourteen response regulators, indicative of adaptation to a rather strict ecological niche (mammalian skin). The high sensitivity of M. luteus to {Beta}-lactam antibiotics may result from the presence of a reduced set of penicillin binding proteins and the absence of a wblC gene, which plays an important role in antibiotic resistance in other actinobacteria. Consistent with the restricted range of compounds it can use as a sole source of carbon for energy and growth, M. luteus has a minimal complement of genes concerned with carbohydrate transport and metabolism and its inability to utilize glucose as a sole carbon source may be due to the apparent absence of a gene encoding glucokinase. Uniquely among characterized bacteria, M. luteus appears to be able to metabolize glycogen only via trehalose, and to make trehalose only via glycogen. It has very few genes associated with secondary metabolism. In contrast to other actinobacteria, M. luteus encodes only one resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf) required for emergence from dormancy and its complement of other dormancy-related proteins is also much reduced. M. luteus is capable of long-chain alkene biosynthesis, which is of interest for advanced biofuel production; a three gene cluster essential for this metabolism has been identified in the genome.

  18. Uncovering different masking factors on wrist skin temperature rhythm in free-living subjects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Martinez-Nicolas

    Full Text Available Most circadian rhythms are controlled by a major pacemaker located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. Some of these rhythms, called marker rhythms, serve to characterize the timing of the internal temporal order. However, these variables are susceptible to masking effects as the result of activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep. Recently, wrist skin temperature (WT has been proposed as a new index for evaluating circadian system status. In light of previous evidence suggesting the important relationship between WT and core body temperature regulation, the aim of this work was to purify the WT pattern in order to obtain its endogenous rhythm with the application of multiple demasking procedures. To this end, 103 subjects (18-24 years old were recruited and their WT, activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep were recorded under free-living conditions for 1 week. WT demasking by categories or intercepts was applied to simulate a "constant routine" protocol (awakening, dim light, recumbent position, low activity and warm environmental temperature. Although the overall circadian pattern of WT was similar regardless of the masking effects, its amplitude was the rhythmic parameter most affected by environmental conditions. The acrophase and mesor were determined to be the most robust parameters for characterizing this rhythm. In addition, a circadian modulation of the masking effect was found for each masking variable. WT rhythm exhibits a strong endogenous component, despite the existence of multiple external influences. This was evidenced by simultaneously eliminating the influence of activity, body position, light exposure, environmental temperature and sleep. We therefore propose that it could be considered a valuable and minimally-invasive means of recording circadian physiology in ambulatory conditions.

  19. Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by free-living wild animals in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porrero, M Concepción; Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Fernández-Garayzábal, José-Francisco; Domínguez, Lucas

    2014-08-01

    The presence of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) was analyzed in different free-living wild animals to assess the genetic diversity and predominant genotypes on each animal species. Samples were taken from the skin and/or nares, and isolates were characterized by spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The proportion of MSSA carriers were 5.00, 22.93, 19.78, and 17.67% in Eurasian griffon vulture, Iberian ibex, red deer, and wild boar, respectively (P = 0.057). A higher proportion of isolates (P = 0.000) were recovered from nasal samples (78.51%) than skin samples (21.49%), but the 9.26% of red deer and 18.25% of wild boar would have been undetected if only nasal samples had been tested. Sixty-three different spa types were identified, including 25 new spa types. The most common were t528 (43.59%) in Iberian ibex, t548 and t11212 (15.79% and 14.04%) in red deer, and t3750 (36.11%) in wild boar. By MLST, 27 STs were detected, of which 12 had not been described previously. The most frequent were ST581 for Iberian ibex (48.72%), ST425 for red deer (29.82%), and ST2328 for wild boar (42.36%). Isolates from Eurasian griffon vulture belong to ST133. Host specificity has been observed for the most frequent spa types and STs (P = 0.000). The highest resistance percentage was found against benzylpenicillin (average, 22.2%), although most of the S. aureus isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobial tested. Basically, MSSA isolates were different from those MRSA isolates previously detected in the same animal species.

  20. High frequency of albinism and tumours in free-living birds around Chernobyl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, A P; Bonisoli-Alquati, A; Mousseau, T A

    2013-09-18

    The effects of radioactive contamination on the phenotype of free-living organisms are poorly understood, mainly because of the difficulty of capturing the large numbers of individual specimens that are required to quantify rare events such as albinism and tumour formation. We hypothesized that the frequency of abnormalities like albinism and the frequency of radiation-induced diseases like cancer would increase with the level of background radiation, that the two markers of radiation would be positively correlated, and that the reduction in abundance of animals would be greater in species with a higher frequency of albinism and tumour formation, if these markers reliably reflected poor viability. Here we analyzed the frequency of albinistic feathers and tumours in a sample of 1669 birds captured during 2010-2012 at eight sites around Chernobyl that varied in level of background radiation from 0.02 to more than 200μSv/h. We recorded 111 cases of partial albinism and 25 cases of tumour formation. Nominal logistic models were used to partition the variance into components due to species and background radiation. Radiation was a strong predictor of the two markers in birds, with a small, but significant effect of species for albinism. The slope of the relationship between abundance and radiation in different bird species was significantly inversely correlated with the frequency of albinism and tumours, as was to be expected if a common underlying cause (i.e. radiation) affects both variables. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that background radiation is a cause of albinism and tumours, that albinism and tumours are biomarkers of radiation exposure, and that high frequencies of albinism and tumours were present despite the low viability of birds with these conditions.

  1. Tick-borne bacteria in free-living jaguars (Panthera onca) in Pantanal, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmer, Cynthia E; Azevedo, Fernando C C; Almeida, Aliny P; Ferreira, Fernando; Labruna, Marcelo B

    2011-08-01

    Tick-borne bacteria were investigated in 10 free-living jaguars and their ticks in the Pantanal biome, Brazil. Jaguar sera were tested by indirect fluorescent antibody assays using Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri, Rickettsia amblyommii, Rickettsia rhipicephali, Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia bellii, Ehrlichia canis, and Coxiella burnetii as crude antigens. All 10 jaguar sera reacted (titer ≥ 64) to at least one Rickettsia species; 4 and 3 sera reacted with E. canis and C. burnetii, respectively. One jaguar presented antibody titer to R. parkeri at least fourfold higher than those to any of the other five Rickettsia antigens, suggesting that this animal was infected by R. parkeri. Ticks collected from jaguars included the species Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma triste, and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. No Rickettsia DNA was detected in jaguar blood samples, but an A. triste specimen collected on a jaguar was shown by PCR to be infected by R. parkeri. The blood of two jaguars and samples of A. triste, A. cajennense, and Amblyomma sp. yielded Ehrlichia DNA by PCR targeting the ehrlichial genes 16S rRNA and dsb. Partial DNA sequences obtained from PCR products resulted in a new ehrlichial strain, here designated as Ehrlichia sp. strain Jaguar. A partial DNA sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of this novel strain showed to be closest (99.0%) to uncultured strains of Ehrlichia sp. from Japan and Russia and 98.7% identical to different strains of Ehrlichia ruminantium. The ehrlichial dsb partial sequence of strain jaguar showed to be at most 80.7% identical to any Ehrlichia species or genotype available in GenBank. Through phylogenetic analysis, Ehrlichia sp. strain jaguar grouped in a cluster, albeit distantly, with different genotypes of E. ruminantium. Results highlight risks for human and animal health, considering that cattle ranching and ecotourism are major economic activities in the Pantanal region of Brazil.

  2. Morphological and molecular identification of free living amoeba isolated from hospital water in Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trabelsi, Houaida; Dendana, F; Neji, S; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are opportunistic and ubiquitous protozoa that are widely found in various environmental sources. They are known to cause serious human infections. The aim of our study was to detect FLA and Acanthamoeba spp. in hospital water circuits. Eighty-four water samples were collected over a period of 4 months (September-December 2011) from different wards of the Sfax University Hospital (surgical services, intensive care unit, operating theater, and water storage tanks). FLA were detected in 53.5 % of samples as follows: surgical services (80 %), operating theater and surgical intensive care unit (13.3 %), medical intensive care unit (0 %), water storage tanks (6.6 %). The predominant morphotype was the acanthopodial (89 %). The others morphotypes were as follows: monopodial (40 %), dactylopodial (22 %), rugosa (62 %), eruptive (24 %), fan shaped (18 %), and polypodial (18 %). Acanthamoeba was found in 40 samples (47.6 %). 64.2 % of isolates were identified as Acanthamoeba spp. by PCR, using primers to amplify a region of 18S rDNA which showed variation in the product length. Sequence analysis of five PCR products identified Acanthamoeba sp. These isolates belong to T4, T10, and T11 genotypes, and to our knowledge this is the first report of the T10 and T11 genotype in Tunisia.The occurrence of potentially pathogenic FLA in the hospital environment may represent a health risk for patients, since these organisms can cause severe opportunistic illness and also can harbor pathogenic agents. Thus, increased awareness regarding these parasites and recognition of their importance, particularly in immunocompromised patients is crucial.

  3. Identifying and characterizing alternative molecular markers for the symbiotic and free-living dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Pochon

    Full Text Available Dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are best known as endosymbionts of corals and other invertebrate as well as protist hosts, but also exist free-living in coastal environments. Despite their importance in marine ecosystems, less than 10 loci have been used to explore phylogenetic relationships in this group, and only the multi-copy nuclear ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS regions 1 and 2 have been used to characterize fine-scale genetic diversity within the nine clades (A-I that comprise the genus. Here, we describe a three-step molecular approach focused on 1 identifying new candidate genes for phylogenetic analysis of Symbiodinium spp., 2 characterizing the phylogenetic relationship of these candidate genes from DNA samples spanning eight Symbiodinium clades (A-H, and 3 conducting in-depth phylogenetic analyses of candidate genes displaying genetic divergences equal or higher than those within the ITS-2 of Symbiodinium clade C. To this end, we used bioinformatics tools and reciprocal comparisons to identify homologous genes from 55,551 cDNA sequences representing two Symbiodinium and six additional dinoflagellate EST libraries. Of the 84 candidate genes identified, 7 Symbiodinium genes (elf2, coI, coIII, cob, calmodulin, rad24, and actin were characterized by sequencing 23 DNA samples spanning eight Symbiodinium clades (A-H. Four genes displaying higher rates of genetic divergences than ITS-2 within clade C were selected for in-depth phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that calmodulin has limited taxonomic utility but that coI, rad24, and actin behave predictably with respect to Symbiodinium lineage C and are potential candidates as new markers for this group. The approach for targeting candidate genes described here can serve as a model for future studies aimed at identifying and testing new phylogenetically informative genes for taxa where transcriptomic and genomics data are available.

  4. Identifying and characterizing alternative molecular markers for the symbiotic and free-living dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pochon, Xavier; Putnam, Hollie M; Burki, Fabien; Gates, Ruth D

    2012-01-01

    Dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are best known as endosymbionts of corals and other invertebrate as well as protist hosts, but also exist free-living in coastal environments. Despite their importance in marine ecosystems, less than 10 loci have been used to explore phylogenetic relationships in this group, and only the multi-copy nuclear ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions 1 and 2 have been used to characterize fine-scale genetic diversity within the nine clades (A-I) that comprise the genus. Here, we describe a three-step molecular approach focused on 1) identifying new candidate genes for phylogenetic analysis of Symbiodinium spp., 2) characterizing the phylogenetic relationship of these candidate genes from DNA samples spanning eight Symbiodinium clades (A-H), and 3) conducting in-depth phylogenetic analyses of candidate genes displaying genetic divergences equal or higher than those within the ITS-2 of Symbiodinium clade C. To this end, we used bioinformatics tools and reciprocal comparisons to identify homologous genes from 55,551 cDNA sequences representing two Symbiodinium and six additional dinoflagellate EST libraries. Of the 84 candidate genes identified, 7 Symbiodinium genes (elf2, coI, coIII, cob, calmodulin, rad24, and actin) were characterized by sequencing 23 DNA samples spanning eight Symbiodinium clades (A-H). Four genes displaying higher rates of genetic divergences than ITS-2 within clade C were selected for in-depth phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that calmodulin has limited taxonomic utility but that coI, rad24, and actin behave predictably with respect to Symbiodinium lineage C and are potential candidates as new markers for this group. The approach for targeting candidate genes described here can serve as a model for future studies aimed at identifying and testing new phylogenetically informative genes for taxa where transcriptomic and genomics data are available.

  5. Interrelated effects of mycorrhiza and free-living nitrogen fixers cascade up to aboveground herbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaitov, Botir; Patiño-Ruiz, José David; Pina, Tatiana; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-09-01

    Aboveground plant performance is strongly influenced by belowground microorganisms, some of which are pathogenic and have negative effects, while others, such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, usually have positive effects. Recent research revealed that belowground interactions between plants and functionally distinct groups of microorganisms cascade up to aboveground plant associates such as herbivores and their natural enemies. However, while functionally distinct belowground microorganisms commonly co-occur in the rhizosphere, their combined effects, and relative contributions, respectively, on performance of aboveground plant-associated organisms are virtually unexplored. Here, we scrutinized and disentangled the effects of free-living nitrogen-fixing (diazotrophic) bacteria Azotobacter chroococcum (DB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Glomus mosseae (AMF) on host plant choice and reproduction of the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae on common bean plants Phaseolus vulgaris. Additionally, we assessed plant growth, and AMF and DB occurrence and density as affected by each other. Both AMF alone and DB alone increased spider mite reproduction to similar levels, as compared to the control, and exerted additive effects under co-occurrence. These effects were similarly apparent in host plant choice, that is, the mites preferred leaves from plants with both AMF and DB to plants with AMF or DB to plants grown without AMF and DB. DB, which also act as AMF helper bacteria, enhanced root colonization by AMF, whereas AMF did not affect DB abundance. AMF but not DB increased growth of reproductive plant tissue and seed production, respectively. Both AMF and DB increased the biomass of vegetative aboveground plant tissue. Our study breaks new ground in multitrophic belowground-aboveground research by providing first insights into the fitness implications of plant-mediated interactions between interrelated belowground fungi

  6. Biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes in a tropical bay: Cienfuegos, Caribbean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armenteros, M.; Ruiz-Abierno, A.; Fernández-Garcés, R.; Pérez-García, J. A.; Díaz-Asencio, L.; Vincx, M.; Decraemer, W.

    2009-11-01

    Spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes were studied in Cienfuegos Bay, a tropical semi-enclosed basin in the Caribbean Sea. Taxonomic (to species level) and functional (biological trait) approaches were applied for describing the assemblage structure and relating it to abiotic environment based on a sampling scheme in six subtidal stations and three months. Biological trait approach added relevant information to species pattern regarding relationships between diversity patterns and the abiotic environment. The most common morphotypes were deposit feeding nematodes, with colonising abilities of 2-3 (in a scale from 1 to 5), tail conical cylindrical or filiforme and body slender; and their abundance were correlated with depth, organic matter and silt/clay fraction. In spite of a high turnover of species, functional diversity of assemblages did not change notably in space and time. A result probably due to sampling of the habitat pool of species and to low heterogeneity of the studied muddy bottoms. Chemical pollution (organic enrichment and heavy metals) and hydrodynamic regime possibly drove the biodiversity patterns. Spatial distribution of assemblages support the existence of two well differentiated basins inside the bay, the northern basin more polluted than the southern one. The low hydrodynamic regime would determine a poor dispersion of nematodes resulting in high spatial variance in the assemblage structure; and also the associated hypoxic conditions and pollutants in sediments can explain the dominance of tolerant nematode species such as Daptonema oxycerca, Sabatieria pulchra, Terschellingia gourbaultae, and Terschellingia longicaudata. A comparison of spatial-temporal patterns of biodiversity between Cienfuegos Bay and other semi-enclosed bays in temperate regions suggests several similarities: nematode assemblages are strongly influenced by anthropogenic disturbance, temporal trends are weak or overridden by spatial

  7. Free living energy expenditure in post menopausal women before and after exercise training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keytel, L R; Lambert, M I; Johnson, J; Noakes, T D; Lambert, E V

    2001-06-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the effects of 8 weeks of moderate exercise training, on 24-hour free living energy expenditure in previously sedentary post-menopausal women. The experimental group (EX) included 9 women. Ten non-exercising control subjects (CON) were recruited to undergo pre- and post-testing. Estimated total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), total 24-hour heart beats (HB), total energy intake (TEI), resting metabolic rate, maximal oxygen consumption (VáO2max), body composition, and submaximal heart rate were measured before and after the exercise intervention. Body composition did not change (body fat % in CON 34.0 +/- 4.0% vs. 33.9 +/- 3.6% and EX 34.1 +/- 4.0% vs. 34.0 +/- 3.4%). Mean submaximal heart rate during steady-state exercise in EX was lower after training compared to CON (p post, respectively), RMR (CON 134.2 +/- 9.4 vs. 136.9 +/- 15.0 KJ/kgFFM/day, and EX 138.4 +/- 6.4 vs. 140.7 +/- 14.2 KJ/kgFFM/day, pre vs. post, respectively), TEI (CON 7.9 +/- 2.2 vs. 8.2 +/- 2.5 MJ, and EX 9.4 +/-1.6 vs. 8.3 +/- 2.8 MJ), nor HB (CON 110,808 +/- 12,574 vs. 107,366 +/- 12,864 beats, and EX 110,188 +/- 9,219 vs. 114,590 +/- 12,750 beats) change over 8 weeks in either group. These data suggest that a moderate exercise program may not impact on TDEE, RMR, TEI, or HB in previously sedentary, older women.

  8. Effect of BMI on pedometers in early adolescents under free-living conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyo, Brian M; Bassett, David R; Coe, Dawn P; Feito, Yuri; Thompson, Dixie L

    2013-03-01

    Pedometers may provide valuable information regarding the ambulatory patterns of adolescents, but the effects of body mass index (BMI) on pedometer accuracy in this population are unknown.The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to determine whether the New Lifestyles NL-2000 (NL) and the Digi-Walker SW-200 (DW) (New Lifestyles, Inc., Lees Summit, MO) yield similar step counts as compared with an ankle-mounted criterion, StepWatch 3, when worn by early adolescents in a free-living environment and 2) to study whether BMI percentile affects the accuracy of waist-mounted pedometers in adolescents. Seventy-four early adolescents (13.0 ± 1.1 yr) wore the devices during one weekday. The study population included 33 normal weight, 21 overweight, and 20 obese participants. Two-way repeated-measures ANOVA was used to determine whether the BMI and the device were related to the number of steps per day and percentage of actual steps. The NL and DW recorded fewer steps than the StepWatch 3 in each BMI category (P < 0.05). In the obese group, the DW underestimated the steps more than the NL (P < 0.001). For the normal weight, overweight, and obese groups, the NL counted 89.1%, 89.1%, and 91.6% of the steps, respectively, whereas the DW counted 86.7%, 84.6%, and 72.7%, respectively. Researchers must be cognizant of the limitations of waist-mounted pedometers and carefully choose a device that suits the needs of their investigations. Because of the inaccuracies of the DW when measuring steps in obese adolescents, careful consideration must be given before choosing this device for research and interventions. The NL is a better device for assessment of adolescents' steps than the DW, especially for those who are obese.

  9. A new look into the small-scale dispersal of free-living marine nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Micheli C Thomas

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available We tested experimentally the hypothesis that prevailing locomotion/feeding strategies and body morphology may lead to more active dispersal of free-living marine nematodes, besides passive transport. Neutral Red was applied to the sediment inside cores and the red plume formed during the flood tide was divided into near, middle, and distant zones. At 0.5 m and 1 m from the stained cores, sampling nets were suspended 5 and 10 cm above the sediment-water interface. Dispersion behaviors were defined as a function of a the numbers of stained recaptured nematodes in comparison to their mean densities in the sediment, b movement in the sediment or swimming in the water column, and c body morphology. Tidal currents with average velocities of 9 cm/s resuspended the numerically dominant nematode taxa Sabatieria sp., Terschellingia longicaudata de Man, 1907, Metachromadora sp. and Viscosia sp. The recapture of stained nematodes as far as 2 m from the original stained cores showed that, despite their small body size, they can disperse through relatively large distances, either passively or actively, via the water column during a single tidal event. Recapture patterns in the sediment and in the water column indicate that nematode dispersal is directly influenced by their body morphology and swimming ability, and indirectly by their feeding strategies, which ultimately define their position in the sediment column. Besides stressing the role played by passive transport in the water column, our experiment additionally showed that mobility and feeding strategies also need to be considered as determinant of short-scale nematode dispersal.

  10. Disruption of MDCK cell tight junctions by the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibayama, Mineko; Martínez-Castillo, Moisés; Silva-Olivares, Angélica; Galindo-Gómez, Silvia; Navarro-García, Fernando; Escobar-Herrera, Jaime; Sabanero, Myrna; Tsutsumi, Víctor; Serrano-Luna, Jesús

    2013-02-01

    Naegleria fowleri is the aetiological agent of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. This parasite invades its host by penetrating the olfactory mucosa. However, the mechanism of epithelium penetration is not well understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of N. fowleri trophozoites and the non-pathogenic Naegleria gruberi on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) tight junction proteins, including claudin-1, occludin and ZO-1, as well as on the actin cytoskeleton. Trophozoites from each of the free-living amoeba species were co-cultured with MDCK cells in a 1 : 1 ratio for 1, 3, 6 or 10 h. Light microscopy revealed that N. fowleri caused morphological changes as early as 3 h post-infection in an epithelial MDCK monolayer. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that after 10 h of co-culture, N. fowleri trophozoites induced epithelial cell damage, which was characterized by changes in the actin apical ring and disruption of the ZO-1 and claudin-1 proteins but not occludin. Western blot assays revealed gradual degradation of ZO-1 and claudin-1 as early as 3 h post-infection. Likewise, there was a drop in transepithelial electrical resistance that resulted in increased epithelial permeability and facilitated the invasion of N. fowleri trophozoites by a paracellular route. In contrast, N. gruberi did not induce alterations in MDCK cells even at 10 h post-infection. Based on these results, we suggest that N. fowleri trophozoites disrupt epithelial monolayers, which could enable their penetration of the olfactory epithelium and subsequent invasion of the central nervous system.

  11. Presence of Legionella and free-living Amoebae in composts and bioaerosols from composting facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conza, Lisa; Pagani, Simona Casati; Gaia, Valeria

    2013-01-01

    Several species of Legionella cause Legionnaires' disease (LD). Infection may occur through inhalation of Legionella or amoebal vesicles. The reservoirs of Legionella are water, soil, potting soil and compost. Some species of free-living amoebae (FLA) that are naturally present in water and soil were described as hosts for Legionella. This study aimed to understand whether or not the composting facilities could be sources of community-acquired Legionella infections after development of bioaerosols containing Legionella or FLA. We looked for the presence of Legionella (by co-culture) and FLA (by culture) in composts and bioaerosols collected at four composting facilities located in southern Switzerland. We investigated the association between the presence of Legionella and compost and air parameters and presence of FLA. Legionella spp. (including L. pneumophila) were detected in 69.3% (61/88) of the composts and FLA (mainly Acanthamoeba, Vermamoeba, Naegleria and Stenamoeba) in 92.0% (81/88). L. pneumophila and L. bozemanii were most frequently isolated. FLA as potential host for Legionella spp. were isolated from 40.9% (36/88) of the composts in all facilities. In Legionella-positive samples the temperature of compost was significantly lower (P = 0.012) than in Legionella-negative samples. Of 47 bioaerosol samples, 19.1% (9/47) were positive for FLA and 10.6% (5/47) for L. pneumophila. Composts (62.8%) were positive for Legionella and FLA contemporaneously, but both microorganisms were never detected simultaneously in bioaerosols. Compost can release bioaerosol containing FLA or Legionella and could represent a source of infection of community-acquired Legionella infections for workers and nearby residents.

  12. Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by Free-Living Wild Animals in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Fernández-Garayzábal, José-Francisco; Domínguez, Lucas

    2014-01-01

    The presence of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) was analyzed in different free-living wild animals to assess the genetic diversity and predominant genotypes on each animal species. Samples were taken from the skin and/or nares, and isolates were characterized by spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The proportion of MSSA carriers were 5.00, 22.93, 19.78, and 17.67% in Eurasian griffon vulture, Iberian ibex, red deer, and wild boar, respectively (P = 0.057). A higher proportion of isolates (P = 0.000) were recovered from nasal samples (78.51%) than skin samples (21.49%), but the 9.26% of red deer and 18.25% of wild boar would have been undetected if only nasal samples had been tested. Sixty-three different spa types were identified, including 25 new spa types. The most common were t528 (43.59%) in Iberian ibex, t548 and t11212 (15.79% and 14.04%) in red deer, and t3750 (36.11%) in wild boar. By MLST, 27 STs were detected, of which 12 had not been described previously. The most frequent were ST581 for Iberian ibex (48.72%), ST425 for red deer (29.82%), and ST2328 for wild boar (42.36%). Isolates from Eurasian griffon vulture belong to ST133. Host specificity has been observed for the most frequent spa types and STs (P = 0.000). The highest resistance percentage was found against benzylpenicillin (average, 22.2%), although most of the S. aureus isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobial tested. Basically, MSSA isolates were different from those MRSA isolates previously detected in the same animal species. PMID:24907325

  13. Feeding by heterotrophic dinoflagellates and ciliates on the free-living dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. (Clade E).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Hae Jin; Lim, An Suk; Yoo, Yeong Du; Lee, Moo Joon; Lee, Kyung Ha; Jang, Tae Young; Lee, Kitack

    2014-01-01

    To investigate heterotrophic protists grazing on Symbiodinium sp., we tested whether the common heterotrophic dinoflagellates Gyrodinium dominans, Gyrodinium moestrupii, Gyrodinium spirale, Oblea rotundata, Oxyrrhis marina, and Polykrikos kofoidii and the ciliates Balanion sp. and Parastrombidinopsis sp. preyed on the free-living dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. (clade E). We measured the growth and ingestion rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. as a function of prey concentration. Furthermore, we compared the results to those obtained for other algal prey species. In addition, we measured the growth and ingestion rates of other predators at single prey concentrations at which these rates of O. marina and G. dominans were saturated. All predators tested in the present study, except Balanion sp., preyed on Symbiodinium sp. The specific growth rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. increased rapidly with increasing mean prey concentration < ca. 740-815 ng C/ml (7,400-8,150 cells/ml), but became saturated at higher concentrations. The maximum growth rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. (0.87 and 0.61/d) were much higher than those of G. moestrupii and P. kofoidii (0.11 and 0.04/d). Symbiodinium sp. did not support positive growth of G. spirale, O. rotundata, and Parastrombidinopsis sp. However, the maximum ingestion rates of P. kofoidii and Parastrombidinopsis sp. (6.7-10.0 ng C/predator/d) were much higher than those of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. (1.9-2.1 ng C/predator/d). The results of the present study suggest that Symbiodinium sp. may increase or maintain the populations of some predators.

  14. Predictors of Handgrip Strength Among the Free Living Elderly in Rural Pahang, Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KW Kee

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Reduced handgrip strength is an aging process that significantly influences the living activities of elderly. It is linked to premature mortality, disability and other health complications among elderly. Therefore, we aim to determine the associated predictors with handgrip strength among the free living elderly in Malaysia. Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted in a rural state in Malaysia. A total of 434 elderly individuals per­formed handgrip assessment. Socio-demographic characteristics, medical conditions, occupational history, functional ability (ADL and depression (GDS were enquired. Anthropometric measurements (weight and height were also obtained.Results: Majority of the respondents were Malays with mean age of 67.9 + 6.3 years. Maximum handgrip strength of males and females were 28.8+9.2 kg and 18.9+6.9 kg respectively (P<0.05. The aborigines had significantly lower handgrip strength (P<0.05 compared to Malays, Chinese and Indians. Handgrip strength was positively correlated (P<0.05 with weight, height and ADL, while negatively associated (P<0.05 with GDS for both gender. In the multivariate linear regres­sion analysis; weight, height and race significantly predicted handgrip strength among both male and female elderly after adjustment for all potential confounders. However, GDS and ADL were only found to significantly predict handgrip strength among the male elderly; while age was only significant among the females. Conclusion: Our sample population has significantly lower handgrip strength than the Western counterpart. Weight, height and race significantly predict handgrip strength among both male and female elderly. GDS, ADL are only found to be sig­nificant in males while age was only significant among the females.

  15. Free-living protozoa in two unchlorinated drinking water supplies identified by phylogenic analysis of 18S rRNA gene sequences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Valster, R.M.; Wullings, B.A.; Bakker, G.; Smidt, H.; Kooij, van der D.

    2009-01-01

    Free-living protozoan communities in water supplies may include hosts for Legionella pneumophila and other undesired bacteria and also pathogens. This study aimed at identifying free-living protozoa in two unchlorinated groundwater supplies using cultivation-independent molecular approaches. For thi

  16. Diversity of the free-living marine and freshwater Copepoda (Crustacea) in Costa Rica: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales-Ramírez, Álvaro; Suárez-Morales, Eduardo; Corrales-Ugalde, Marco; Garrote, Octavio Esquivel

    2014-01-01

    The studies on marine copepods of Costa Rica started in the 1990's and focused on the largest coastal-estuarine systems in the country, particularly along the Pacific coast. Diversity is widely variable among these systems: 40 species have been recorded in the Culebra Bay influenced by upwelling, northern Pacific coast, only 12 in the Gulf of Nicoya estuarine system, and 38 in Golfo Dulce, an anoxic basin in the southern Pacific coast of the country. Freshwater environments of Costa Rica are known to harbor a moderate diversity of continental copepods (25 species), which includes 6 calanoids, 17 cyclopoids and only two harpacticoids. Of the +100 freshwater species recorded in Central America, six are known only from Costa Rica, and one appears to be endemic to this country. The freshwater copepod fauna of Costa Rica is clearly the best known in Central America. Overall, six of the 10 orders of Copepoda are reported from Costa Rica. A previous summary by 2001 of the free-living copepod diversity in the country included 80 marine species (67 pelagic, 13 benthic). By 2009, the number of marine species increased to 209: 164 from the Pacific (49% of the copepod fauna from the Eastern Tropical Pacific) and 45 from the Caribbean coast (8% of species known from the Caribbean Basin). Both the Caribbean and Pacific species lists are growing. Additional collections of copepods at Cocos Island, an oceanic island 530 km away of the Pacific coast, have revealed many new records, including five new marine species from Costa Rica. Currently, the known diversity of marine copepods of Costa Rica is still in development and represents up to 52.6% of the total marine microcrustaceans recorded in the country. Future sampling and taxonomic efforts in the marine habitats should emphasize oceanic environments including deep waters but also littoral communities. Several Costa Rican records of freshwater copepods are likely to represent undescribed species. Also, the biogeographic relevance

  17. Diversity of the free-living marine and freshwater Copepoda (Crustacea in Costa Rica: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro Morales-Ramírez

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The studies on marine copepods of Costa Rica started in the 1990’s and focused on the largest coastal-estuarine systems in the country, particularly along the Pacific coast. Diversity is widely variable among these systems: 40 species have been recorded in the Culebra Bay influenced by upwelling, northern Pacific coast, only 12 in the Gulf of Nicoya estuarine system, and 38 in Golfo Dulce, an anoxic basin in the southern Pacific coast of the country. Freshwater environments of Costa Rica are known to harbor a moderate diversity of continental copepods (25 species, which includes 6 calanoids, 17 cyclopoids and only two harpacticoids. Of the +100 freshwater species recorded in Central America, six are known only from Costa Rica, and one appears to be endemic to this country. The freshwater copepod fauna of Costa Rica is clearly the best known in Central America. Overall, six of the 10 orders of Copepoda are reported from Costa Rica. A previous summary by 2001 of the free-living copepod diversity in the country included 80 marine species (67 pelagic, 13 benthic. By 2009, the number of marine species increased to 209: 164 from the Pacific (49% of the copepod fauna from the Eastern Tropical Pacific and 45 from the Caribbean coast (8% of species known from the Caribbean Basin. Both the Caribbean and Pacific species lists are growing. Additional collections of copepods at Cocos Island, an oceanic island 530 km away of the Pacific coast, have revealed many new records, including five new marine species from Costa Rica. Currently, the known diversity of marine copepods of Costa Rica is still in development and represents up to 52.6% of the total marine microcrustaceans recorded in the country. Future sampling and taxonomic efforts in the marine habitats should emphasize oceanic environments including deep waters but also littoral communities. Several Costa Rican records of freshwater copepods are likely to represent undescribed species. Also, the

  18. Detection of free living amoebae, Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, in swimming pools, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Init, I; Lau, Y L; Arin Fadzlun, A; Foead, A I; Neilson, R S; Nissapatorn, V

    2010-12-01

    This study reports the detection of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species in 14 swimming pools around Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sampling was carried out at 4 sites (the platforms (P), wall (W), 1 meter from the wall (1) and middle (2)) of each swimming pool. These free living amoebae (FLA) were detected under light and inverted microscopes after being cultured on the surface of non-nutrient agar lawned with Escherichia coli. Acanthamoeba species were detected in higher number of culture plates from all sampling sites of all the swimming pools. While Naegleria, were detected in fewer culture plates at 3 sampling sites (absent at site P) of 8 swimming pools. This suggested that the thick double-walled cysts of Acanthamoeba were more resistant, thus remaining viable in the dry-hot areas of the platforms and in chlorinated water of the swimming pools whereas Naegleria cysts, that are fragile and susceptible to desiccation, preferred watery or moist areas for growth and proliferation. The prevalence of both FLA was highest at site W (76.2%), followed by site 1 (64.7%), lowest at site 2 (19.4%), and could be detected at all 3 sampling levels (top, middle and bottom) of these 3 sites. The surface of site W might act as a bio-film that accumulated all kinds of microbes providing sufficient requirement for the FLA to develop and undergo many rounds of life cycles as well as moving from top to bottom in order to graze food. Other factors such as human activities, the circulating system which was fixed at all swimming pools, blowing wind which might carry the cysts from surroundings and the swimming flagellate stage of Naegleria could also contribute to the distribution of the FLA at these sampling sites. Both FLA showed highest growth (80.4%) at room temperature (25-28 ºC) and lesser (70.0%) at 37 ºC which might be due to the overgrowth of other microbes (E. coli, fungi, algae, etc). While at 44 ºC, only Acanthamoeba species could survive thus showing that

  19. Population dynamics of free living, nitrogen fixing bacteria Azospirillum in Manakkudi mangrove ecosystem, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravikumar, S; Gnanadesigan, M; Ignatiammal, S Thadedus Maria; Sumaya, S

    2012-05-01

    Seasonal variations of population dynamics of free living nitrogen fixing bacteria, Azospirillum in relation to chemical parameters in Manakkudi mangrove ecosystem was assessed in root and rhizosphere soil samples of mangroves and mangrove associated plants. In rhizosphere soil and root samples, the counts of Azospirillum were recorded maximum in Acrostichum aureum as 8.63 +/- 0.92 x 10(4) and 115.48 +/- 17.36 x 10(4) CFU g(-1), respectively. The counts of Azospirillum in non-rhizosphere soil varied from 0.01 +/- 0.001 x 10(4) to 5.77 +/- 0.92 x 10(4) CFU g(-1) and found maximum in February and minimum in March and September. Azospirillum counts in water samples were found maximum (2.24 x 10(4) CFU l(-1)) in February. During seasonal variations maximum counts of Azospirillum were recorded during southwest monsoon season in Avicennia officinalis (1.40 x 10(4) CFU g(-1)) followed by Rhizophora mucronata (1.07 x 10(4) CFU g(-1)). The average maximum population density of Azospirillum counts was found during non monsoon season (9.73 x 10(4) CFU g(-1)) and the average maximum population density of Azospirillum counts was found with the mangrove associated root samples (13.73 x 10(4) CFU g(-1)). Of the selected isolates Azospirillum lipoferum (60%) was found to be predominant followed by Azospirillum brasilense (25%), Azospirillum irakense (5%), Azospirillum halopraeferens (5%) and Azospirillum amazonense (5%). Of the isolated species, A. halopraeferens exhibited better growth at 35 g l(-1) NaCl. The level of Fe, Cu, Zn and Mn were varied from 0.91 to 15.93 ppm. The level of Mn (12.13 ppm) was found maximum during non-monsoon of rhizosphere soil sample. Highest rainfall (192.80 mm) and atmospheric temperature (25.10 degrees C) were recorded during south west monsoon and non monsoon seasons. The increased population density was greatly influenced by the pH (r = +0.686). The present finding provides enough information on the nitrogen flow through biological process in

  20. On the cultivation of free-living marine and estuarine nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moens, T.; Vincx, M.

    1998-06-01

    Although a large body of literature exists on the systematics and ecology of free-living marine and brackish-water nematodes, key questions on the nature and magnitude of interactions between nematodes and other organisms in the benthos remain unanswered. Relatively few authors have investigated live nematodes in food web studies or in experiments dealing with the nematodes’ response to a varying environment. It is mainly for the latter purpose that attempts have been made to maintain, rear and cultivate selected species. This paper describes the methodology used for the maintenance, rearing, and eventual permanent agnotobiotic cultivation of a variety of estuarine nematodes. Spot plates, where small samples of sediment or macrophyte material are inoculated on a sloppy agar layer, have been used for the purpose of maintenance and initial cultivation. Those species that reproduce on spot plates are then selected for monospecific cultivation on agar layers with different nutrient enrichments and with micro-organisms cotransferred from the spot plates as food. Mixtures of bacto and nutrient agar prepared in artificial seawater were specifically suitable for the xenic cultivation of nine bacterivorous and, when supplied with Erdschreiber nutrients, two algivorous/bacterivorous nematode species. Up to three generations of five other nematode species have been reared under laboratory conditions, and several more were kept alive and active for variable periods of time on agar. Generation times observed on spot plates for Adoncholaimus fuscus and Oncholaimus oxyuris were substantially shorter than previously published estimates and suggest a correspondingly higher predatory and scavenging potency for these and related enoplids. A procedure for the long-term storage of nematodes at -80°C with glycerol as a cryoprotectant was successfully used for Diplolaimella dievengatensis, Panagrolaimus sp. 1, and Pellioditis marina, but not for Diplolaimelloides meyli. The authors

  1. Exposure of free-living jaguars to Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona in the Brazilian Pantanal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selma Samiko Miyazaki Onuma

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona are related apicomplexan parasites that cause reproductive and neurological disorders in a wide range of domestic and wild animals. In the present study, the immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT was used to investigate the presence of antibodies against T. gondii, N. caninum and S. neurona in the sera of 11 free-living jaguars (Panthera onca in two protected areas in the Pantanal region of Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Ten jaguars (90.9% showed seropositivity for T. gondii, eight (72.7% for S. neurona, and seven (63.6% for N. caninum antigens. Our findings reveal exposure of jaguars to these related coccidian parasites and circulation of these pathogens in this wild ecosystem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first serological detection of N. caninum and S. neurona in free-living jaguars.

  2. Exposure of free-living jaguars to Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onuma, Selma Samiko Miyazaki; Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé; Kantek, Daniel Luis Zanella; Crawshaw-Junior, Peter Gransden; Morato, Ronaldo Gonçalves; May-Júnior, Joares Adenílson; Pacheco, Thábata dos Anjos; Aguiar, Daniel Moura de

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona are related apicomplexan parasites that cause reproductive and neurological disorders in a wide range of domestic and wild animals. In the present study, the immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was used to investigate the presence of antibodies against T. gondii, N. caninum and S. neurona in the sera of 11 free-living jaguars (Panthera onca) in two protected areas in the Pantanal region of Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Ten jaguars (90.9%) showed seropositivity for T. gondii, eight (72.7%) for S. neurona, and seven (63.6%) for N. caninum antigens. Our findings reveal exposure of jaguars to these related coccidian parasites and circulation of these pathogens in this wild ecosystem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first serological detection of N. caninum and S. neurona in free-living jaguars.

  3. Detection and genetic characterization of peste des petits ruminants virus in free-living bharals (Pseudois nayaur) in Tibet, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Jingyue; Wang, Zhiliang; Li, Lin; Wu, Xiaodong; Sang, Peiwangjie; Wu, Guozhen; Ding, Guoyi; Suo, Longciren; Liu, Chunju; Wang, Junwei; Zhao, Wenji; Li, Jinming; Qi, Lin

    2011-04-01

    Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is an important viral disease of sheep and goats. The wildlife hosts of PPR, which may play an important role in the epidemiology of this disease, are not well characterized. The research was undertaken to study the infection of PPR virus (PPRV) in free-living bharals (Pseudois nayaur) in Tibet, China. In 2007, PPRV infection was confirmed in two bharals in Rutog County of Tibet based on clinical signs and detection of PPRV RNA in tissue samples. In 2008, PPRV infection was found in one bharal in Ge'gyai County of Tibet by competitive ELISA, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and sequence analysis of PPRV fusion protein (F) and nucleoprotein (N) gene segments. The PPRV variant identified in infected bharal was closely related to other circulating PPRV variants recently identified in sheep and goats from Tibet. This is the first report of PPRV infection in free-living bharals.

  4. Efficiency of a free-living physical activity promotion program following diet modification for fat loss in Japanese obese men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eto, Miki; Ohkawara, Kazunori; Sasai, Hiroyuki; Tsujimoto, Takehiko; So, Rina; Matsuo, Tomoaki; Ohkubo, Hiroyuki; Tanaka, Kiyoji

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to examine the efficiency of a free-living physical activity promotion (PAP) program following a diet modification program for fat loss. Fifty obese men, aged 51.4±7.0 y, received a 6-mo regimen consisting of 2 phases. Weekly 90-min free-living PAP sessions were provided for 3 mo immediately after a 3-mo diet modification phase. Fat mass (FM) was measured at baseline and at months 3 and 6 using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. The time spent in moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was monitored by a validated single-axis accelerometer. The total energy intake of all participants was assessed at baseline and during weeks 9 and 10 of both the diet modification and PAP programs. The change (Δ) in FM was -1.4±1.9 kg (pdiet modification program (-4.3±2.9 kg, pdiet modification program.

  5. Comparison of cell-specific activity between free-living and attached bacteria using isolates and natural assemblages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grossart, H.P.; Tang, K.W.; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    to model aggregates (agar spheres) had threefold higher BPP and two orders of magnitude higher protease activity than their free-living counterpart. These observations could be explained by preferential colonization of the agar spheres by bacteria with inherently higher metabolic activity and/or individual......Marine snow aggregates are microbial hotspots that support high bacterial abundance and activities. We conducted laboratory experiments to compare cell-specific bacterial protein production (BPP) and protease activity between free-living and attached bacteria. Natural bacterial assemblages attached...... bacteria increasing their metabolism upon attachment to surfaces. In subsequent experiments, we used four strains of marine snow bacteria isolates to test the hypothesis that bacteria could up- and down-regulate their metabolism while on and off an aggregate. The protease activity of attached bacteria...

  6. Serum antibodies to Balamuthia mandrillaris, a free-living amoeba recently demonstrated to cause granulomatous amoebic encephalitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Z H; Ferrante, A; Carter, R F

    1999-05-01

    Free-living amoebae cause three well-defined disease entities: a rapidly fatal primary meningoencephalitis, a chronic granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), and a chronic amoebic keratitis. GAE occurs in immunocompromised persons. Recently, another type of free-living amoeba, Balamuthia mandrillaris, has been shown to cause GAE. The finding that this amoeba has caused infection in some healthy children has raised the possibility that humans may lack immunity to B. mandrillaris. Human serum was examined for the presence of surface antibodies specific for this amoeba by immunofluorescence. Sera from adults contained titers of 1/64-1/256 of anti-B. mandrillaris antibodies (IgM and IgG classes), which did not cross-react with other amoebae. Cord blood contained very low antibody levels, but levels similar to those in adults were seen in serum of 1- to 5-year-old children.

  7. Pilot project to investigate over-wintering of free-living gastrointestinal nematode larvae of sheep in Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falzon, Laura C; Menzies, Paula I; VanLeeuwen, John; Shakya, Krishna P; Jones-Bitton, Andria; Avula, Jacob; Jansen, Jocelyn T; Peregrine, Andrew S

    2014-08-01

    This study investigated the overwintering survival and infectivity of free-living gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) stages on pasture. The presence of GIN larvae was assessed on 3 sheep farms in Ontario with a reported history of clinical haemonchosis, by collecting monthly pasture samples over the winter months of 2009/2010. The infectivity of GIN larvae on spring pastures was evaluated using 16 tracer lambs. Air and soil temperature and moisture were recorded hourly. Free-living stages of Trichostrongylus spp. and Nematodirus spp. were isolated from herbage samples. Gastrointestinal nematodes were recovered from all tracer lambs on all farms; Teladorsagia sp. was the predominant species. Very low levels of Haemonchus contortus were recovered from 1 animal on 1 farm. The results suggest that Haemonchus larvae do not survive well on pasture, while Teladorsagia sp., Trichostrongylus spp. and Nematodirus spp. are able to overwinter on pasture in Ontario and are still infective for sheep in the spring.

  8. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    P.S. Santos; ALBUQUERQUE, G. R.; da Silva, V. M. F.; Martin, A R; Marvulo,M.F.V.; S.L.P. Souza; Ragozo, A. M. A. [UNESP; Nascimento, C. C.; Gennari,S.M.; Dubey, J. P.; Silva, J. C. R.

    2011-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate the water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve (RDSM), Tefe, Amazonas, Central Amazon, Brazil were tested for T. gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies (MAT >= 25) to T. gondii were found in 82 (86.3%) dolphins with ...

  9. One new species and two new records of free-living marine nematodes from the Huanghai Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    One new species of free-living marine nematode of the genus Curvolaimus, Curvolaimus filiformis sp. nov. from the Huanghai Sea is described and illustrated. This new species is characterized by the buccal cavity teeth, large amphids and two ventral seta at the conical part of tail. Meanwhile, two new records of genus Halalaimus, Halalaimus longic audatus and H. isaits hikovi are first reported in China.Types are deposited in the College of Marine Life Sciences, Ocean University of China.

  10. Not all are free-living: high-throughput DNA metabarcoding reveals a diverse community of protists parasitizing soil metazoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geisen, S; Laros, I; Vizcaíno, A; Bonkowski, M; de Groot, G A

    2015-09-01

    Protists, the most diverse eukaryotes, are largely considered to be free-living bacterivores, but vast numbers of taxa are known to parasitize plants or animals. High-throughput sequencing (HTS) approaches now commonly replace cultivation-based approaches in studying soil protists, but insights into common biases associated with this method are limited to aquatic taxa and samples. We created a mock community of common free-living soil protists (amoebae, flagellates, ciliates), extracted DNA and amplified it in the presence of metazoan DNA using 454 HTS. We aimed at evaluating whether HTS quantitatively reveals true relative abundances of soil protists and at investigating whether the expected protist community structure is altered by the co-amplification of metazoan-associated protist taxa. Indeed, HTS revealed fundamentally different protist communities from those expected. Ciliate sequences were highly over-represented, while those of most amoebae and flagellates were under-represented or totally absent. These results underpin the biases introduced by HTS that prevent reliable quantitative estimations of free-living protist communities. Furthermore, we detected a wide range of nonadded protist taxa probably introduced along with metazoan DNA, which altered the protist community structure. Among those, 20 taxa most closely resembled parasitic, often pathogenic taxa. Therewith, we provide the first HTS data in support of classical observational studies that showed that potential protist parasites are hosted by soil metazoa. Taken together, profound differences in amplification success between protist taxa and an inevitable co-extraction of protist taxa parasitizing soil metazoa obscure the true diversity of free-living soil protist communities.

  11. Morphological Characteristics and Growth Abilities of Free Living Amoeba Isolated From Domestic Tap Water Samples in İstanbul

    OpenAIRE

    ZEYBEK, Zuhal; Üstüntürk, Miray; Binay, Ali Rıza

    2010-01-01

    Free living amoeba (FLA) have been isolated from water and soil samples throughout the world. Among the many genera of FLA, members of only four genera are responsible for human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri and Sappinia diploidea. Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. can be cultivated on nonnutrient agar (NNA) in the presence of living or dead bacteria. Balamuthia, however, will not grow with bacteria as a food source but they can feed  upon smal...

  12. Self-reported eating rate aligns with laboratory measured eating rate but not with free-living meals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petty, Amanda J; Melanson, Kathleen J; Greene, Geoffrey W

    2013-04-01

    Methodological differences may be responsible for variable results from eating rate (ER) studies. It is unknown whether self-reported, lab-measured, and free-living ER's align. This study was the first to explore relationships among self-reported, laboratory-measured and free-living ER's. We investigated this relationship in 60 randomly selected male and female college students who were stratified by self-reported eating rate (SRER) (Slow, Medium, and Fast) from 1110 on-line survey respondents. Test day; subjects ate a prescribed breakfast (∼400kcal) at home, recording meal duration (MD); 4h later they individually ate an ad libitum laboratory pasta lunch at their own (natural) pace; remainder of the day they recorded free-living intake and MD. As expected the three self-reported ER categories aligned with lab ER (Fast=83.9±5.5, Medium=63.1±5.2, Slow=53.0±5.4kcals/min). In all ER categories at all meals, men ate faster than women (Men=80.6±30.7kcals/min: Women=52.0±21.6kcals/min). A difference in lab measured ER by SRER F=(2, 58)=7.677, post hoc Tukey analysis found fast differed from medium and slow. The three free-living meal ER's did not align with self-report categories. Findings suggest various methods of measuring ER may yield differing results, at least in this population, but results support the use of SRER as a valid measure. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Shedding light on microbial dark matter: a TM6 bacterium as natural endosymbiont of a free-living amoeba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delafont, Vincent; Samba-Louaka, Ascel; Bouchon, Didier; Moulin, Laurent; Héchard, Yann

    2015-12-01

    The TM6 phylum belongs to the so-called microbial dark matter that gathers uncultivated bacteria detected only via DNA sequencing. Recently, the genome sequence of a TM6 bacterium (TM6SC1) has led to suggest that this bacterium would adopt an endosymbiotic life. In the present paper, free-living amoebae bearing a TM6 strain were isolated from a water network. The amoebae were identified as Vermamoeba vermiformis and the presence of a TM6 strain was detected by polymerase chain reaction and microscopy. The partial sequence of its 16S rRNA gene showed this strain to be closely related to the sequenced TM6SC1 strain. These bacteria displayed a pyriform shape and were found within V. vermiformis. Therefore, these bacteria were named Vermiphilus pyriformis. Interactions studies showed that V. pyriformis was highly infectious and that its relation with V. vermiformis was specific and highly stable. Finally, it was found that V. pyriformis inhibited the encystment of V. vermiformis. Overall, this study describes for the first time an endosymbiotic relationship between a TM6 bacterium and a free-living amoeba in the environment. It suggests that other bacteria of the TM6 phylum might also be endosymbiotic bacteria and may be found in other free-living amoebae or other organisms.

  14. Mood and Balance are Associated with Free-Living Physical Activity of People after Stroke Residing in the community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matar A. Alzahrani

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose. To determine which characteristics are most associated with free-living physical activity in community-dwelling ambulatory people after stroke. Method. Factors (age, gender, side of stroke, time since stroke, BMI, and spouse, sensory-motor impairments (weakness, contracture, spasticity, coordination, proprioception, and balance, and non-sensory-motor impairments (cognition, language, perception, mood, and confidence were collected on 42 people with chronic stroke. Free-living physical activity was measured using an activity monitor and reported as time on feet and activity counts. Results. Univariate analysis showed that balance and mood were correlated with time on feet (r=0.42, 0.43, P<0.01 and also with activity counts (r=0.52, 0.54, P<0.01. Stepwise multiple regression showed that mood and balance accounted for 25% of the variance in time on feet and 40% of the variance in activity counts. Conclusions. Mood and balance are associated with free-living physical activity in ambulatory people after stroke residing in the community.

  15. [Heat shock proteins of 70 kDa family in the cells of free living and amphizoic amoeboid organisms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlipaeva, Iu I; Gudkov, A V

    2009-01-01

    The content of constitutive from of 70 kDa family heat shock pritein (Hsp70) was determined by the method of immunoblotting. 9 strains of representatives of the genus Acanthamoeba including 8 amphizoic (facultative parasitic) strains and one free-living (isolated from upper horizons of Arctic soils) were studied. We also examined 15 strains of free-living freshwater amoebae of various geographic origin, age and species. 14 of them belonging to the genus Amoeba and one to the genus Trichamoeba. The presence of Hsp70 was demonstrated in the cells of all 25 freshwater amoeba strains, whereas it was shown only for 2 of amphizoic acanthamoebae strains. In all these cases, the position of zone at the blot, revealed by monoclonal anti-HSP70 antibodies, corresponded to polypeptide with molecular mass about 70 kDa. We also found rather high level of constitutive Hsp70 in the cells of contemporary free-living tundra soil representative. However, in this case, the stained zone occupied the position corresponding to MW about 60 kDa which was just the same as earlier obtained for the ancient tundra acanthamoebae strain from permafrost.

  16. Determining the distribution loss of brown eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) using historical data and potential distribution estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Zitan

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed the synchronous relationship between forest cover and species distribution to explain the contraction in the distribution range of the brown eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) in China. Historical resources can provide effective records for reconstructing long-term distribution dynamics. The brown eared-pheasant’s historical distribution from 25 to 1947 CE, which included the three provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Hebei based on this species’ habitat selection criteria, the history of the forests, ancient climate change records, and fossil data. The current species distribution covers Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Hebei provinces, as well as Beijing city, while Shanxi remains the center of the distribution area. MaxEnt model indicated that the suitable conditions of the brown eared-pheasant had retreated to the western regions of Shanxi and that the historical distribution area had reduced synchronously with the disappearance of local forest cover in Shanxi. We built a correlative relationship between the presence/absence of brown eared-pheasants and forest coverage and found that forest coverage in the north, northeast, central, and southeast areas of the Shanxi province were all less than 10% in 1911. Wild brown eared-pheasants are stable in the Luliang Mountains, where forest coverage reached 13.2% in 2000. Consequently, we concluded that the distribution of this species is primarily determined by vegetation conditions and that forest cover was the most significant determining factor. PMID:27781161

  17. Nodular typhlitis associated with the nematodes Heterakis gallinarum and Heterakis isolonche in pheasants: frequency and pathology with evidence of neoplasia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menezes Rodrigo Caldas

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available An investigation related to the frequency and pathology of Heterakis gallinarum and pathology of Heterakis isolonche in pheasants from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was conducted by means of clinical examinations, necropsies, and histopathological analysis in 50 ring-necked pheasants from backyard flocks of 11 localities; also, histological sections of caeca of golden pheasants deposited in the Helminthological Collection of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (CHIOC have been considered in the present study. During necropsies, only specimens of H. gallinarum were recovered with a prevalence of 90%, mean intensity of 81.9 and range of infection of 1-413. Gross lesions were characterized by congestion, thickening, petechial haemorrhages of the mucosa, intussusception, and nodules in the cecal wall. Under microscopy, chronic difuse typhlitis, haemosiderosis, granulomas with necrotic center in the submucosa and leiomyomas in the submucosa, muscular and serosa associated with immature H. gallinarum worms were observed. The examination of histological sections previously deposited in the CHIOC, revealed more severe alterations associated with concomitant infections with H. gallinarum and H. isolonche in golden pheasants, and were characterized by several necrotic areas with cholesterol clefts in the submucosa, giant cell granulomas in the submucosa, and serosa centralized by necrosis and worm sections and neoplastic nodules in the muscular and submucosa.

  18. Determining the distribution loss of brown eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum using historical data and potential distribution estimates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yilin Li

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed the synchronous relationship between forest cover and species distribution to explain the contraction in the distribution range of the brown eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon mantchuricum in China. Historical resources can provide effective records for reconstructing long-term distribution dynamics. The brown eared-pheasant’s historical distribution from 25 to 1947 CE, which included the three provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Hebei based on this species’ habitat selection criteria, the history of the forests, ancient climate change records, and fossil data. The current species distribution covers Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Hebei provinces, as well as Beijing city, while Shanxi remains the center of the distribution area. MaxEnt model indicated that the suitable conditions of the brown eared-pheasant had retreated to the western regions of Shanxi and that the historical distribution area had reduced synchronously with the disappearance of local forest cover in Shanxi. We built a correlative relationship between the presence/absence of brown eared-pheasants and forest coverage and found that forest coverage in the north, northeast, central, and southeast areas of the Shanxi province were all less than 10% in 1911. Wild brown eared-pheasants are stable in the Luliang Mountains, where forest coverage reached 13.2% in 2000. Consequently, we concluded that the distribution of this species is primarily determined by vegetation conditions and that forest cover was the most significant determining factor.

  19. Haematological and Biochemical Parameters during the Laying Period in Common Pheasant Hens Housed in Enhanced Cages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Hrabčáková

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The development of selected haematological and biochemical parameters during the laying period was monitored in common pheasant hens housed in an enhanced cage system. The cages were enhanced by the addition of two perches and a shelter formed by strips of cloth hanging in the corner of the cage. The results showed significant changes in the haematological and biochemical parameters monitored during egg laying. At the time when laying capacity approached a maximum, a decrease was observed (P<0.05 in haematocrit, erythrocytes, and haemoglobin values, whereas monocytes, eosinophils, the heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, phosphorus, and calcium exhibited an increase (P<0.05. At the end of the laying period, an increase (P<0.05 was recorded in the count of leukocytes, heterophils, lymphocytes and basophils, the heterophil to lymphocyte ratio, and the concentrations of aspartate aminotransferase, cholesterol, phosphorus, and calcium, whereas lower values (P<0.05 were recorded for haematocrit and plasma total protein in comparison with the values of the indicators at the beginning of the laying period. The results provide new information about dynamic changes in selected haematological and biochemical parameters in clinically healthy common pheasant hens during the laying period.

  20. Cryptic diversity of free-living parabasalids, Pseudotrichomonas keilini and Lacusteria cypriaca n. g., n. sp., as inferred from small subunit rDNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yubuki, Naoji; Céza, Vít; Cepicka, Ivan; Yabuki, Akinori; Inagaki, Yuji; Nakayama, Takeshi; Inouye, Isao; Leander, Brian S

    2010-01-01

    Ultrastructural and molecular phylogenetic evidence indicate that the Parabasalia consists of seven main subgroups: the Trichomonadida, Honigbergiellida, Hypotrichomonadida, Tritrichomonadida, Cristamonadida, Spirotrichonymphida, and Trichonymphida. Only five species of free-living parabasalids are known: Monotrichomonas carabina, Ditrichomonas honigbergii, Honigbergiella sp., Tetratrichomonas undula, and Pseudotrichomonas keilini. Phylogenetic analyses show that free-living species do not form a clade and instead branch in several different positions within the context of their parasitic relatives. Because the diversity of free-living parabasalids is poorly understood, the systematics of these lineages is in a significant state of disarray. In order to better understand the phylogenetic distribution of free-living parabasalids, we sequenced the small subunit rDNA from three different strains reminiscent of P. keilini; the strains were isolated from different geographical locations: (1) mangrove sediments in Japan and (2) sediments in Cyprus. These data demonstrated that the free-living parabasalids P. keilini and Lacusteria cypriaca n. g., n. sp., form a paraphyletic assemblage near the origin of a clade consisting mostly of parasitic trichomonadids (e.g. Trichomonas vaginalis). This paraphyletic distribution of similar morphotypes indicates that free-living trichomonadids represent a compelling example of morphostasis that provides insight into the suite of features present in the most recent free-living ancestor of their parasitic relatives. © 2010 The Author(s). Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2010 International Society of Protistologists.

  1. Comparative analysis of NADPH-diaphorase positive neurons in the rat, rabbit and pheasant thoracic spinal cord. A histochemical study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D Kluchová

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The distribution of NADPH-diaphorase (NADPHd activity was investigated and compared in the rat, rabbit and pheasant thoracic spinal cord. The investigation of all spinal cord regions (laminae in three experimental species revealed marked differences in the distribution of NADPH-d activity. Cross sectional analysis of the spinal cord of the rat, rabbit and pheasant confirmed differences in the shape of the gray matter in all examined species. More detailed investigation of Rexed´s laminas showed similar distribution of NADPH-d activity in the spinal cord of the rat and rabbit, which were different when compared with the spinal cord of the pheasant. Ventral horn of the rat and rabbit showed no labelling whereas in pheasant this area possessed a number of scattered, intensively stained neurons. In the location of autonomic preganglionic neurons, differences were found as well. In the rat there was seen a number of densely packed, clearly dark blue coloured neurons. Similarly, these neurons were present in the rabbit spinal cord but they were less numerous. No staining was found in this region of pheasant. Pericentral area (lamina X and intermediate zone (laminaVII revealed the presence of NADPH-d positive neurons in all examined species although they differed in number and shape of their bodies. The dorsal horn showed the presence of NADPH-d staining in all three animals but its distribution was different in medio - lateral direction. It can be suggested that observed differencies in the presence and distribution of NADPH-d activity across the examined species may reflect different fylogenetic development

  2. NifDK clusters located on the chromosome and megaplasmid of Bradyrhizobium sp strain DOA9 contribute differently to nitrogenase activity during symbiosis and free-living growth

    OpenAIRE

    Wongdee, J.; Songwattana, P.; Nouwen, Nico; Noisangiam, R.; Fardoux, Joël; Chaintreuil, Clémence; Teaumroong, N.; Tittabutr, P.; Giraud, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Bradyrhizobium sp. strain DOA9 contains two copies of the nifDK genes, nifDKc, located on the chromosome, and nifDKp, located on a symbiotic megaplasmid. Unlike most rhizobia, this bacterium displays nitrogenase activity under both free-living and symbiotic conditions. Transcriptional analysis using gusA reporter strains showed that both nifDK operons were highly expressed under symbiosis, whereas nifDKc was the most abundantly expressed under free-living conditions. During free-living growth...

  3. Transcriptional changes in the hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, during the transition from a free-living to a parasitic larva.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bennett J D Datu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Third-stage larvae (L3 of the canine hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, undergo arrested development preceding transmission to a host. Many of the mRNAs up-regulated at this stage are likely to encode proteins that facilitate the transition from a free-living to a parasitic larva. The initial phase of mammalian host invasion by A. caninum L3 (herein termed "activation" can be mimicked in vitro by culturing L3 in serum-containing medium. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The mRNAs differentially transcribed between activated and non-activated L3 were identified by suppression subtractive hybridisation (SSH. The analysis of these mRNAs on a custom oligonucleotide microarray printed with the SSH expressed sequence tags (ESTs and publicly available A. caninum ESTs (non-subtracted yielded 602 differentially expressed mRNAs, of which the most highly represented sequences encoded members of the pathogenesis-related protein (PRP superfamily and proteases. Comparison of these A. caninum mRNAs with those of Caenorhabditis elegans larvae exiting from developmental (dauer arrest demonstrated unexpectedly large differences in gene ontology profiles. C. elegans dauer exiting L3 up-regulated expression of mostly intracellular molecules involved in growth and development. Such mRNAs are virtually absent from activated hookworm larvae, and instead are over-represented by mRNAs encoding extracellular proteins with putative roles in host-parasite interactions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Although this should not invalidate C. elegans dauer exit as a model for hookworm activation, it highlights the limitations of this free-living nematode as a model organism for the transition of nematode larvae from a free-living to a parasitic state.

  4. Geochemistry and Mixing Drive the Spatial Distribution of Free-living Archaea and Bacteria in Yellowstone Lake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinjun eKan

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Yellowstone Lake, the largest subalpine lake in the United States, harbors great novelty and diversity of Bacteria and Archaea. Size-fractionated water samples (0.1-0.8 µm, 0.8-3.0 µm, and 3.0-20 µm were collected from surface photic zone, deep mixing zone, and vent fluids at different locations in the lake by using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV. Quantification with real-time PCR indicated that Bacteria dominated free-living microorganisms with Bacteria/Archaea ratios ranging from 4037:1 (surface water to 25:1 (vent water. Microbial population structures (both Bacteria and Archaea were assessed using 454-FLX sequencing with a total of 662,302 pyrosequencing reads for V1 & V2 regions of 16S rRNA genes. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS analyses indicated that strong spatial distribution patterns existed from surface to deep vents for free-living Archaea and Bacteria in the Lake. Along with pH, major vent-associated geochemical constituents including CH4, CO2, H2, DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon, DOC (dissolved organic carbon, SO42-, O2 and metals were likely the major drivers for microbial population structures, however mixing events occurring in the lake also impacted the distribution patterns. Distinct Bacteria and Archaea were present among size fractions, and bigger size fractions included particle-associated microbes (>3 µm and contained higher predicted OTU richness and microbial diversities (genus level than free-living ones (< 0.8 µm. Our study represents the first attempt at addressing the spatial distribution of Bacteria and Archaea in Yellowstone Lake, and our results highlight the variable contribution of Archaea and Bacteria to the hydrogeochemical-relevant metabolism of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur.

  5. Conserved miRNAs are candidate post-transcriptional regulators of developmental arrest in free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Rina; Chang, Zisong; Younis, Abuelhassan Elshazly; Langnick, Claudia; Li, Na; Chen, Wei; Brattig, Norbert; Dieterich, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Animal development is complex yet surprisingly robust. Animals may develop alternative phenotypes conditional on environmental changes. Under unfavorable conditions, Caenorhabditis elegans larvae enter the dauer stage, a developmentally arrested, long-lived, and stress-resistant state. Dauer larvae of free-living nematodes and infective larvae of parasitic nematodes share many traits including a conserved endocrine signaling module (DA/DAF-12), which is essential for the formation of dauer and infective larvae. We speculated that conserved post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism might also be involved in executing the dauer and infective larvae fate. We used an unbiased sequencing strategy to characterize the microRNA (miRNA) gene complement in C. elegans, Pristionchus pacificus, and Strongyloides ratti. Our study raised the number of described miRNA genes to 257 for C. elegans, tripled the known gene set for P. pacificus to 362 miRNAs, and is the first to describe miRNAs in a Strongyloides parasite. Moreover, we found a limited core set of 24 conserved miRNA families in all three species. Interestingly, our estimated expression fold changes between dauer versus nondauer stages and infective larvae versus free-living stages reveal that despite the speed of miRNA gene set evolution in nematodes, homologous gene families with conserved "dauer-infective" expression signatures are present. These findings suggest that common post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms are at work and that the same miRNA families play important roles in developmental arrest and long-term survival in free-living and parasitic nematodes.

  6. Transcriptional changes in the hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, during the transition from a free-living to a parasitic larva.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bennett J D Datu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Third-stage larvae (L3 of the canine hookworm, Ancylostoma caninum, undergo arrested development preceding transmission to a host. Many of the mRNAs up-regulated at this stage are likely to encode proteins that facilitate the transition from a free-living to a parasitic larva. The initial phase of mammalian host invasion by A. caninum L3 (herein termed "activation" can be mimicked in vitro by culturing L3 in serum-containing medium. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The mRNAs differentially transcribed between activated and non-activated L3 were identified by suppression subtractive hybridisation (SSH. The analysis of these mRNAs on a custom oligonucleotide microarray printed with the SSH expressed sequence tags (ESTs and publicly available A. caninum ESTs (non-subtracted yielded 602 differentially expressed mRNAs, of which the most highly represented sequences encoded members of the pathogenesis-related protein (PRP superfamily and proteases. Comparison of these A. caninum mRNAs with those of Caenorhabditis elegans larvae exiting from developmental (dauer arrest demonstrated unexpectedly large differences in gene ontology profiles. C. elegans dauer exiting L3 up-regulated expression of mostly intracellular molecules involved in growth and development. Such mRNAs are virtually absent from activated hookworm larvae, and instead are over-represented by mRNAs encoding extracellular proteins with putative roles in host-parasite interactions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Although this should not invalidate C. elegans dauer exit as a model for hookworm activation, it highlights the limitations of this free-living nematode as a model organism for the transition of nematode larvae from a free-living to a parasitic state.

  7. Glycaemic Profiles of Children With Overweight and Obesity in Free-living Conditions in Association With Cardiometabolic Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijks, Jesse; Karnebeek, Kylie; van Dijk, Jan-Willem; Dorenbos, Elke; Gerver, Willem-Jan; Stouthart, Pauline; Plat, Jogchum; Vreugdenhil, Anita

    2016-01-01

    Insulin resistance is common among children with overweight and obesity. However, knowledge about glucose fluctuations in these children is scarce. This study aims to evaluate glycaemic profiles in children with overweight and obesity in free-living conditions, and to examine the association between glycaemic profiles with insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk parameters. One hundred eleven children with overweight and obesity were included. 48-hour sensor glucose concentrations in free-living conditions, fasting plasma and post-glucose load concentrations, serum lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and blood pressure were evaluated. Hyperglycaemic glucose excursions (≥7.8 mmol/L) were observed in 25% (n = 28) of the children. The median sensor glucose concentration was 5.0 (2.7–7.3) mmol/L, and correlated with fasting plasma glucose concentrations (rs = 0.190, p = 0.046), serum insulin concentrations (rs = 0.218, p = 0.021), and HOMA-IR (rs = 0.230, p = 0.015). The hyperglycaemic area under the curve (AUC) correlated with waist circumference z-score (rs = 0.455, p = 0.025), triacylglycerol concentrations (rs = 0.425, p = 0.024), and HOMA-IR (rs = 0.616, p obesity in free-living conditions. Children with insulin resistance had higher median sensor glucose concentrations and a larger hyperglycaemic sensor glucose AUC, which are both associated with specific parameters predicting cardiovascular disease risk. PMID:27534260

  8. Survey for the presence of specific free-living amoebae in cooling waters from Belgian power plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behets, Jonas; Declerck, Priscilla; Delaedt, Yasmine; Verelst, Lieve; Ollevier, Frans

    2007-05-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are distributed ubiquitously in aquatic environments with increasing importance in hygienic, medical and ecological relationships to man. In this study, water samples from Belgian industrial cooling circuits were quantitatively surveyed for the presence of FLA. Isolated, thermotolerant amoebae were identified morphologically as well as using the following molecular methods: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and isoenzyme electrophoresis and PCR. Thermophilic amoebae were present at nearly all collection sites, and the different detection methods gave similar results. Naegleria fowleri was the most frequently encountered thermotolerant species, and concentrations of thermotolerant FLA were correlated with higher temperatures.

  9. Free-living Acanthamoeba and Naegleria spp. amebae in water sources of León, Nicaragua.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiva, Byron; Clasdotter, Emma; Linder, Ewert; Winiecka-Krusnell, Jadwiga

    2008-06-01

    Free-living amebae (FLA) are known to occur worldwide in water-related biotopes, but only limited information is available on these organisms in developing countries and so far no information on their presence is available from Nicaragua. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. and Naegleria spp. in different water sources to which the population of Le6n municipality is exposed. Since pathogenic amebae are thermotolerant, we were especially interested in the occurrence of FLA in geothermal areas. Water samples were collected from Le6n area in Nicaragua: 88 samples were from rivers and springs, 111 from wells, 74 from water taps and 21 from water tanks in urban and suburban Le6n and from three nearby geothermal areas of San Jacinto, Posoltega and Tipitapa. Amebae were identified using morphological and physiological criteria, immunohistochemical staining procedures and molecular methods. Indirect immunofluorescent test was performed on cysts and trophozoites fixed on microscopical slides and incubated for 30 min at room temperature in separate experiments with the following antibodies: rabbit-anti N fowleri/N lovanensis (Nf-Pab), mouse monoclonal antibody anti N. fowleri (Nf-5D12u), rabbit antibodies against Acanthamoeba spp. And fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed using 18S rRNA-targeted fluorescent oligonucleotide probes. Probes: GSP for the detection of Acanthamoeba and NAEG1088 for the detection of Naegleria. Free-living amebae were recovered from approximately 43 % of the samples. Acanthamoeba spp was found in 21% of samples from León municipality and in 2% of samples from geothermal areas. Amoeboflagellates were found in 10 % of samples from Le6n and in 19% in geothermal areas. Fifty three percent of tested wells in the geothermal area contained thermotolerant amoeboflagellates. Naegleria spp. was identified in 24 out of 39 (61.5 %) of isolated amoeboflagellates. Twelve of them were

  10. Stress Management in Cyst-Forming Free-Living Protists: Programmed Cell Death and/or Encystment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naveed Ahmed Khan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the face of harsh conditions and given a choice, a cell may (i undergo programmed cell death, (ii transform into a cancer cell, or (iii enclose itself into a cyst form. In metazoans, the available evidence suggests that cellular machinery exists only to execute or avoid programmed cell death, while the ability to form a cyst was either lost or never developed. For cyst-forming free-living protists, here we pose the question whether the ability to encyst was gained at the expense of the programmed cell death or both functions coexist to counter unfavorable environmental conditions with mutually exclusive phenotypes.

  11. A comprehensive insight into functional profiles of free-living microbial community responses to a toxic Akashiwo sanguinea bloom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Caiyun; Li, Yi; Zhou, Yanyan; Lei, Xueqian; Zheng, Wei; Tian, Yun; van Nostrand, Joy D.; He, Zhili; Wu, Liyou; Zhou, Jizhong; Zheng, Tianling

    2016-10-01

    Phytoplankton blooms are a worldwide problem and can greatly affect ecological processes in aquatic systems, but its impacts on the functional potential of microbial communities are limited. In this study, a high-throughput microarray-based technology (GeoChip) was used to profile the functional potential of free-living microbes from the Xiamen Sea Area in response to a 2011 Akashiwo sanguinea bloom. The bloom altered the overall community functional structure. Genes that were significantly (p information on the relationship of algae to other microbes in aquatic systems, and provides new insights into our understanding of ecological impacts of phytoplankton blooms.

  12. Effect of alum on free-living and copepod-associated Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139.

    OpenAIRE

    Chowdhury, M A; Huq, A.; Xu, B.; Madeira, F J; Colwell, R R

    1997-01-01

    The effects of alum [KAl(SO4)2] on free-living and copepod-associated Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 were investigated by using plate counts and immunofluorescence direct viable counting (DVC). Growth of alum-treated cells in 0.5/1000 Instant Ocean seawater was inhibited, i.e., no growth was obtained on Luria-Bertani (LB) agar or thiosulfate-citrate-bile salt-sucrose (TCBS) agar. However, a significant number of the inhibited cells maintained viability, as measured by DVC. In comparison, a signi...

  13. Free-living protozoa in the gastrointestinal tract and feces of pigs: Exploration of an unknown world and towards a protocol for the recovery of free-living protozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavatte, N; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2016-07-30

    Associations with free-living protozoa (FLP) have been implicated in the persistence of foodborne pathogenic bacteria in food-related environments. To date however no information is available on the presence of FLP in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of pigs, which represents an important reservoir for zoonotic foodborne bacteria and hence a potential location for associations with FLP. This is at least partly due to the lack of adequate protocols to recover FLP from intestinal content and feces. In the present study different protocols to recover FLP from the porcine GIT and feces were tested. The most effective protocols were then applied to explore the presence of live FLP in the pig GIT and feces. A filtration based protocol was identified as the most suitable method to recover viable FLP from the porcine GIT and feces. Cultivable FLP were recovered from different parts of the GIT, suggesting at least a transient presence of FLP in this habitat. Free-living amoebae species (Acanthamoeba spp., Hyperamoeba sp., Vannella sp., Vermamoeba vermiformis, hartmannellids and vahlkampfiids) but also ciliates (Colpoda sp. and Tetrahymena/Glaucoma lookalike) and flagellates (cercomonads, bodonids and glissomonads) were recovered and cultured from pig intestinal content. Acanthamoeba hatchetti and Filamoeba sinensis were isolated for the first time from pig intestinal content. Despite high gastric acidity, non-cyst forming amoeba species were also detected which suggests survival of their trophozoites in the animal GIT. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Soft gel medium solidified with gellan gum for preliminary screening for root-associating, free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria inhabiting the rhizoplane of plants

    OpenAIRE

    Hashidoko, Yasuyuki; Tada, Motohiko; Osaki, Mitsuru; Tahara, Satoshi

    2002-01-01

    For preliminary screening for and characterization of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria from rhizoplane microflora, we used Winogradsky's mineral mixture-based nitrogen-free medium solidified with 0.3% gellan gum. The soft gel medium enabled some reference and wild free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria to grow in characteristic colonies, including their reaction to oxygen and their motility change. Gellan gum is thus likely to be a better gel matrix than agarose for the investigation of roo...

  15. The effects of free-living interval-walking training on glycemic control, body composition, and physical fitness in type 2 diabetic patients

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karstoft, Kristian; Winding, Kamilla; Knudsen, Sine H

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate the feasibility of free-living walking training in type 2 diabetic patients and to investigate the effects of interval-walking training versus continuous-walking training upon physical fitness, body composition, and glycemic control.......To evaluate the feasibility of free-living walking training in type 2 diabetic patients and to investigate the effects of interval-walking training versus continuous-walking training upon physical fitness, body composition, and glycemic control....

  16. Blood chemistry and hematologic values in free-living nestlings of Montagu's harriers (Circus pygargus) in a natural habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limiñana, Ruben; López-Olvera, Jorge R; Gallardo, Miguel; Fordham, Margaret; Urios, Vicente

    2009-12-01

    The establishment of reference intervals for hematologic and blood chemistry values in a given species is essential for subsequent diagnosis of disease at rehabilitation facilities and in captive breeding programs. In this study, blood samples were obtained from nestlings (18 males and 22 females) of a natural-vegetation breeding population of Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus) in eastern Spain in order to establish reference intervals for blood values. This is the first study documenting hematologic and biochemical reference intervals for free-living Montagu's harriers. The studied population may reflect typical blood values for the species, since it is a free-living population that seems not to be constrained by food availability, as it is the population of Montagu's harriers with the highest productivity within Europe. Differences related to sex, year, clutch size, brood size, and number of fledglings were analyzed. Packed cell volume and hemoglobin were significantly lower from nests with five chicks compared to values from nests with fewer chicks, indicating that the cost of rearing more than four chicks in this species may be excessive. Total protein, calcium (Ca), and phosphorus (P) were significantly lower in the year with lowest mean rainfall, which correlates with the worst breeding success rate since the population has been monitored. No gender differences were found; this is likely a result of the prepubertal age of the animals sampled.

  17. Similarity and differentiation between bacteria associated with skin of salamanders (Plethodon jordani) and free-living assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Allison, Amanda L

    2014-06-01

    All animals and plants have intimate associations with microbes. Opinion has shifted from viewing microbes primarily as pathogens to the idea that healthy animals and plants carry specialized communities of coevolving microorganisms. However, the generality of this proposition is unknown because surveys rarely compare host-associated microbes with samples from relevant microhabitats. Symbiotic communities might be assembled from local environments with little evolutionary specialization. We evaluated the specificity of bacteria associated with salamander skin in comparison with surfaces in their immediate environments using 16S rRNA sequences. Host-associated and free-living samples were significantly different. However, relative abundances were strongly correlated; the most abundant taxa on salamander skin were also most abundant on moist debris on the forest floor. Thus, although bacterial assemblages on salamander skin are statistically differentiated from those on inanimate surfaces, they are not entirely 'distinct'. Candidate salamander specialists were few in number and occurred at low relative abundances. Within some OTUs, differences in allele frequency suggested genetic specialization at finer levels. Although host-associated and free-living assemblages were similar, a range of more or less specialized symbiotes was evident and bacteria on salamander skin were often specific genotypes of OTUs commonly found on other moist surfaces in the environment.

  18. Endosymbiosis In Statu Nascendi: Close Phylogenetic RelationshipBetween Obligately Endosymbiotic and Obligately Free-LivingPolynucleobacter Strains (Betaproteobacteria)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vannini, Claudia; Pockl, Matthias; Petroni, Giulio; Wu, Qinglong; Lang, Elke; Stackebrandt, Erko; Schrallhammer, Martina; Richardson, PaulM.; Hahn, Martin W.

    2006-07-21

    Bacterial strains affiliated to the phylogenetically shallowsubcluster C (PnecC) of the 28 Polynucleobacter cluster, which ischaracterized by a minimal 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of approx.98.5 percent, have been reported to occur as obligate endosymbionts of 30ciliates (Euplotes spp.), as well as to occur as free-living cells in thepelagic zone of freshwater habitats. We investigated if these two groupsof closely related bacteria represent 32 strains fundamentally differingin lifestyle, or if they simply represent different stages of afacultative endosymbiotic lifestyle. The phylogenetic analysis of 16SrRNA gene and 16S34 23S ITS sequences of five endosymbiont strains fromtwo different Euplotes species and 40 pure culture strains demonstratedhost-species-specific clustering of the endosymbiont 36 sequences withinthe PnecC subcluster. The sequences of the endosymbionts showedcharacteristics indicating an obligate endosymbiotic lifestyle.Cultivation experiments 38 revealed fundamental differences inphysiological adaptations, and determination of the genome sizesindicated a slight size reduction in endosymbiotic strains. We concludethat the 40 two groups of PnecC bacteria represent obligately free-livingand obligately endosymbiotic strains, respectively, and do not representdifferent stages of the same complex lifecycle. 42 These closely relatedstrains occupy completely separated ecological niches. To our bestknowledge, this is the closest phylogenetic relationship between obligateendosymbionts and 44 obligately free-living bacteria everrevealed.

  19. Evaluation of antibiotics as a methodological procedure to inhibit free-living and biofilm bacteria in marine zooplankton culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa O. Agostini

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a problem with keeping culture medium completely or partially free from bacteria. The use of prokaryotic metabolic inhibitors, such as antibiotics, is suggested as an alternative solution, although such substances should not harm non-target organisms. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments in inhibiting free-living and biofilm bacteria and their half-life in artificial marine environment using the copepod Acartia tonsa as bioindicador of non-harmful antibiotic combinations. Regarding to results, the application of 0.025 g L-1 penicillin G potassium + 0.08 g L-1 streptomycin sulphate + 0.04 g L-1 neomycin sulphate showed great potential for use in marine cultures and scientific experiments without lethal effects to non-target organisms. The effect of this combination starts within the first six hours of exposure and reduces up to 93 % the bacterial density, but the half-life is short, requiring replacement. No adverse changes in water quality were observed within 168 hours of exposure. As a conclusion, we can infer that this treatment was an effective procedure for zooplankton cultures and scientific experiments with the aim of measuring the role of free-living and biofilm in the marine community.

  20. Detection and Molecular Characterization of Potentially Pathogenic Free-living Amoebae from Water Sources in Kish Island, Southern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niyyati, Maryam; Lasgerdi, Zohreh; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Amoebic keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection, mainly occurs in contact lens wearers who wash their eyes with tap water. The present research was conducted to identify the occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) in tap water sources on Kish Island, a tourist region in Iran. Amoebae were detected using a culture-enriched method and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/sequencing of the diagnostic fragment 3 region of the 18S rRNA gene of Acanthamoeba. In the case of other free-living amoebae species, PCR/sequencing analysis of the 18S rDNA was conducted. Results of this study showed the presence of Acanthamoeba belonging to T3, T4, T5, and T11 genotypes in tap water sources. Additionally, Vermamoebae vermiformis was detected in three water samples. This is the first report of the Acanthamoeba genotypes T3, T4, T5, and T11 and V. vermiformis species in tap water sources in a tourist region in Iran.

  1. Detection of Free-Living Amoebae Using Amoebal Enrichment in a Wastewater Treatment Plant of Gauteng Province, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Muchesa

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Free-living amoebae pose a potential health risk in water systems as they may be pathogenic and harbor potential pathogenic bacteria known as amoebae resistant bacteria. Free-living amoebae were observed in 150 (87.2% of the environmental water samples. In particular, Acanthamoeba sp. was identified in 22 (12.8% using amoebal enrichment and confirmed by molecular analysis. FLA were isolated in all 8 stages of the wastewater treatment plant using the amoebal enrichment technique. A total of 16 (9.3% samples were positive for FLA from influent, 20 (11.6% from bioreactor feed, 16 (9.3% from anaerobic zone, 16 (9.3% from anoxic zone, 32 (18.6% from aerators, 16 (9.3% from bioreactor effluent, 11 (6.4% from bioreactor final effluent, and 45 (26.2% from maturation pond. This study provides baseline information on the occurrence of amoebae in wastewater treatment plant. This has health implications on receiving water bodies as some FLA are pathogenic and are also involved in the transmission and dissemination of pathogenic bacteria.

  2. Detection of free-living amoebae using amoebal enrichment in a wastewater treatment plant of Gauteng Province, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muchesa, P; Mwamba, O; Barnard, T G; Bartie, C

    2014-01-01

    Free-living amoebae pose a potential health risk in water systems as they may be pathogenic and harbor potential pathogenic bacteria known as amoebae resistant bacteria. Free-living amoebae were observed in 150 (87.2%) of the environmental water samples. In particular, Acanthamoeba sp. was identified in 22 (12.8%) using amoebal enrichment and confirmed by molecular analysis. FLA were isolated in all 8 stages of the wastewater treatment plant using the amoebal enrichment technique. A total of 16 (9.3%) samples were positive for FLA from influent, 20 (11.6%) from bioreactor feed, 16 (9.3%) from anaerobic zone, 16 (9.3%) from anoxic zone, 32 (18.6%) from aerators, 16 (9.3%) from bioreactor effluent, 11 (6.4%) from bioreactor final effluent, and 45 (26.2%) from maturation pond. This study provides baseline information on the occurrence of amoebae in wastewater treatment plant. This has health implications on receiving water bodies as some FLA are pathogenic and are also involved in the transmission and dissemination of pathogenic bacteria.

  3. Artificial light at night affects body mass but not oxidative status in free-living nestling songbirds: an experimental study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raap, Thomas; Casasole, Giulia; Costantini, David; Abdelgawad, Hamada; Asard, Han; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2016-10-01

    Artificial light at night (ALAN), termed light pollution, is an increasingly important anthropogenic environmental pressure on wildlife. Exposure to unnatural lighting environments may have profound effects on animal physiology, particularly during early life. Here, we experimentally investigated for the first time the impact of ALAN on body mass and oxidative status during development, using nestlings of a free-living songbird, the great tit (Parus major), an important model species. Body mass and blood oxidative status were determined at baseline (=13 days after hatching) and again after a two night exposure to ALAN. Because it is very difficult to generalise the oxidative status from one or two measures we relied on a multi-biomarker approach. We determined multiple metrics of both antioxidant defences and oxidative damage: molecular antioxidants GSH, GSSG; antioxidant enzymes GPX, SOD, CAT; total non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity and damage markers protein carbonyls and TBARS. Light exposed nestlings showed no increase in body mass, in contrast to unexposed individuals. None of the metrics of oxidative status were affected. Nonetheless, our study provides experimental field evidence that ALAN may negatively affect free-living nestlings’ development and hence may have adverse consequences lasting throughout adulthood.

  4. Free living and plankton-associated vibrios: assessment in ballast water, harbor areas and coastal ecosystems in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irma Nelly G. Rivera

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Ballast water is a major transport vector of exotic aquatic species and pathogenic microorganisms. The wide-ranging spread of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 from harbor areas has been frequently ascribed to discharge of contaminated ballast water into eutrophic coastal environments, such as during the onset of the seventh cholera pandemic in South America in the early 1990s. To determine the microbiological hazards of ballast waters transported to Brazilian ports, we evaluated water and plankton samples taken from (i ballast water tanks of recently arrived ships, (ii port areas along the Brazilian coastline from ~1 to 32 oS and (iii three coastal areas in São Paulo State. Vibrio concentration and toxigenic V. cholerae O1 occurrence were analyzed. Plankton-associated vibrios were more abundant than free-living vibrios in all studied environments. Vibrio cholerae was found in 9.5% of ballast tanks and 24.2% of port samples, both as free-living and attached forms, and was absent off São Paulo State. Toxigenic V. cholerae O1 isolates (ctxA+, tcpA+, involved in cholera disease, were found in ballast water (2% and harbor (2% samples. These results confirm that ballast water is an important carrier of pathogenic organisms, and that monitoring of vibrios and other plankton-attached bacteria is of paramount importance in ballast water management programs.

  5. Arabinogalactan proteins occur in the free-living cyanobacterium genus Nostoc and in plant-Nostoc symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Owen; Taylor, Oliver; Adams, David G; Knox, J Paul

    2012-10-01

    Arabinogalactan proteins (AGP) are a diverse family of proteoglycans associated with the cell surfaces of plants. AGP have been implicated in a wide variety of plant cell processes, including signaling in symbioses. This study investigates the existence of putative AGP in free-living cyanobacterial cultures of the nitrogen-fixing, filamentous cyanobacteria Nostoc punctiforme and Nostoc sp. strain LBG1 and at the symbiotic interface in the symbioses between Nostoc spp. and two host plants, the angiosperm Gunnera manicata (in which the cyanobacterium is intracellular) and the liverwort Blasia pusilla (in which the cyanobacterium is extracellular). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoblotting, and immunofluorescence analyses demonstrated that three AGP glycan epitopes (recognized by monoclonal antibodies LM14, MAC207, and LM2) are present in free-living Nostoc cyanobacterial species. The same three AGP glycan epitopes are present at the Gunnera-Nostoc symbiotic interface and the LM2 epitope is detected during the establishment of the Blasia-Nostoc symbiosis. Bioinformatic analysis of the N. punctiforme genome identified five putative AGP core proteins that are representative of AGP classes found in plants. These results suggest a possible involvement of AGP in cyanobacterial-plant symbioses and are also suggestive of a cyanobacterial origin of AGP.

  6. The genealogic tree of mycobacteria reveals a long-standing sympatric life into free-living protozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otmane Lamrabet

    Full Text Available Free-living protozoa allow horizontal gene transfer with and between the microorganisms that they host. They host mycobacteria for which the sources of transferred genes remain unknown. Using BLASTp, we searched within the genomes of 15 mycobacteria for homologous genes with 34 amoeba-resistant bacteria and the free-living protozoa Dictyostelium discoideum. Subsequent phylogenetic analysis of these sequences revealed that eight mycobacterial open-reading frames (ORFs were probably acquired via horizontal transfer from beta- and gamma-Proteobacteria and from Firmicutes, but the transfer histories could not be reliably established in details. One further ORF encoding a pyridine nucleotide disulfide oxidoreductase (pyr-redox placed non-tuberculous mycobacteria in a clade with Legionella spp., Francisella spp., Coxiella burnetii, the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila and D. discoideum with a high reliability. Co-culturing Mycobacterium avium and Legionella pneumophila with the amoeba Acanthamoeba polyphaga demonstrated that these two bacteria could live together in amoebae for five days, indicating the biological relevance of intra-amoebal transfer of the pyr-redox gene. In conclusion, the results of this study support the hypothesis that protists can serve as a source and a place for gene transfer in mycobacteria.

  7. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping of resistance to strongyles and coccidia in the free-living Soay sheep (Ovis aries).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beraldi, Dario; McRae, Allan F; Gratten, Jacob; Pilkington, Jill G; Slate, Jon; Visscher, Peter M; Pemberton, Josephine M

    2007-01-01

    A genome-wide scan was performed to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) for resistance to gastrointestinal parasites and ectoparasitic keds segregating in the free-living Soay sheep population on St. Kilda (UK). The mapping panel consisted of a single pedigree of 882 individuals of which 588 were genotyped. The Soay linkage map used for the scans comprised 251 markers covering the whole genome at average spacing of 15cM. The traits here investigated were the strongyle faecal egg count (FEC), the coccidia faecal oocyst count (FOC) and a count of keds (Melophagus ovinus). QTL mapping was performed by means of variance component analysis so that the genetic parameters of the study traits were also estimated and compared with previous studies in Soay and domestic sheep. Strongyle FEC and coccidia FOC showed moderate heritability (h(2)=0.26 and 0.22, respectively) in lambs but low heritability in adults (h(2)scans were performed for the traits with moderate heritability and two genomic regions reached the level of suggestive linkage for coccidia FOC in lambs (logarithm of the odds=2.68 and 2.21 on chromosomes 3 and X, respectively). We believe this is the first study to report a QTL search for parasite resistance in a free-living animal population and therefore may represent a useful reference for similar studies aimed at understanding the genetics of host-parasite co-evolution in the wild.

  8. Preliminary Study on Applicability of Microsatellite DNA Primers from Parasite Protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi in Free-living Protozoa

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Wenjing; YU Yuhe; SHEN Yunfen; MIAO Wei; FENG Weisong

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, we took the lead in studying on specificity of the microsatellite DNA loci and applicability of microsatellite DNA primers in protozoa. In order to study characters of microsatellites in free-living protozoa, eight microsatellite loci primers developed from Trypanosoma cruzi (MCLE01, SCLE10, MCLE08, SCLE11, MCLF10, MCLG10,MCL03, MCL05) were employed to amplify microsatellite in four free-living protozoa, including Bodo designis, Euglena gracilis FACHB848, Paramecium bruzise and Tetrahymena thermophila BF1. In the amplification systems of P. bruzise, four loci (SCLE10, SCLE1 1, MCLF10, MCL03) were amplified successfully, and four amplification fragments were in proper size. In genome of E. gracilis FACHB848, five of eight primers brought five clear amplification bands. In B. designis, three (No.4, 5 and 7) of eight loci produced clear and sharp products without stutter bands, whereas no bands appeared in T.thermophila BF1. Further, eight 300-500bp amplification fragments were cloned and sequenced. Nevertheless, all sequenced products did not contain corresponding microsatellite sequence, although Bodo is in the same order and has the nearest phylogenetic relation with Trypanosoma among these four species. Thus, the microsatellite DNA primers can not be applied among order or more far taxa, and the specificity of microsatellite DNA is very high in protozoa. The results of this study will contribute to our understanding of microsatellite DNA in protozoa.

  9. Seasonal changes in free-living amoeba species in the root canopy of Zygophyllum dumosum in the Negev Desert, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez Zaragoza, S; Mayzlish, E; Steinberger, Y

    2005-01-01

    The influence of seasonality and Zygophyllum dumosum root canopy on the species diversity of free-living amoebae at two soil depths (0-10 and 10-20 cm) was studied in a Negev Desert ecosystem in Israel. Free-living amoebae were extracted and identified after cultivation in non-nutritive agar plates. A total of 90 amoeba species were identified in the soil during the study period, with the most common genera present being Hartmannella, Platyamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Acanthamoeba, and Echinamoeba. Differences between the control soil and the soil under Z. dumosum were found mainly during the dry seasons, when 97% similarity was found between the two soil layers, which could be due to the effect of the shrub on the soil microenvironment. The amoeba community exhibited more species diversity in spring (reaching a value of 34 species) than in the winter (18 species) or summer and autumn (20 species), since the community has a time lag for becoming stabilized after the dry summer and autumn. This is one of the first studies on the amoeba population in the Negev Desert and elucidates the importance and the need for taking trophic and functional groups into consideration in order to understand biomineralization processes.

  10. Preliminary study on applicability of microsatellite DNA primers from parasite protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi in free-living protozoa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenjing; Yu, Yuhe; Shen, Yunfen; Miao, Wei; Feng, Weisong

    2004-04-01

    In this paper, we took the lead in studying on specificity of the microsatellite DNA loci and applicability of microsatellite DNA primers in protozoa. In order to study characters of microsatellites in free-living protozoa, eight microsatellite loci primers developed from Trypanosoma cruzi (MCLE01, SCLE10, MCLE08, SCLE11, MCLF10, MCLG10, MCL03, MCL05) were employed to amplify microsatellite in four free-living protozoa, including Bodo designis, Euglena gracilis FACHB848, Paramecium bruzise and Tetrahymena thermophila BF1. In the amplification systems of P. bruzise, four loci (SCLE10, SCLE11, MCLF10, MCL03) were amplified successfully, and four amplification fragments were in proper size. In genome of E. gracilis FACHB848, five of eight primers brought five clear amplification bands. In B. designis, three (No.4, 5 and 7) of eight loci produced clear and sharp products without stutter bands, whereas no bands appeared in T. thermophila BF1. Further, eight 300 500 bp amplification fragments were cloned and sequenced. Nevertheless, all sequenced products did not contain corresponding microsatellite sequence, although Bodo is in the same order and has the nearest phylogenetic relation with Trypanosoma among these four species. Thus, the microsatellite DNA primers can not be applied among order or more far taxa, and the specificity of microsatellite DNA is very high in protozoa. The results of this study will contribute to our understanding of microsatellite DNA in protozoa.

  11. Using remote biomonitoring to understand heterogeneity in immune-responses and disease-dynamics in small, free-living animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adelman, James S; Moyers, Sahnzi C; Hawley, Dana M

    2014-09-01

    Despite the ubiquity of parasites and pathogens, behavioral and physiological responses to infection vary widely across individuals. Although such variation can have pronounced effects on population-level processes, including the transmission of infectious disease, the study of individual responses to infection in free-living animals remains a challenge. To fully understand the causes and consequences of heterogeneous responses to infection, research in ecoimmunology and disease-ecology must incorporate minimally invasive techniques to track individual animals in natural settings. Here, we review how several technologies, collectively termed remote biomonitoring, enable the collection of data on behavioral and physiological responses to infection in small, free-living animals. Specifically, we focus on the use of radiotelemetry and radio-frequency identification to study fever, sickness-behaviors (including lethargy and anorexia), and rates of inter-individual contact in the wild, all of which vary widely across individuals and impact the spread of pathogens within populations. In addition, we highlight future avenues for field studies of these topics using emerging technologies such as global positioning system tracking and tri-axial accelerometry. Through the use of such remote biomonitoring techniques, researchers can gain valuable insights into why responses to infection vary so widely and how this variation impacts the spread and evolution of infectious diseases. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. 笼养黑颈长尾雉和白颈长尾雉代谢产热特征及体温调节%Metabolism and thermoregulation between Mrs Hume's Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) and Elliot's Pheasant (S.ellioti)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    骆鹰; 庾太林; 黄乘明; 赵彤; 李汉华; 李常健

    2011-01-01

    采用封闭式流体压力呼吸仪,在5~35℃的环境温度范围内测定了黑颈长尾雉(Syrmaticus humiae)和白颈长尾雉(Syrmaticus ellioti)的代谢率(MR)、热传导(C)和体温(Tb)等指标,探讨了其代谢产热特征.结果显示:黑颈长尾雉和白颈长尾雉的热中性区(TNZ)分别为24.5~31.6℃和23.0~29.2℃.在5~35℃的温度范围内,黑颈长尾雉和白颈长尾雉能保持稳定的体温,分别为(40.47±0.64)和(40.36±0.10)℃;在热中性区内,黑颈长尾雉和白颈长尾雉的平均基础代谢率(BMR)分别为(1.36±0.84)和(2.03±0.12 ) mLO2/(g?h),分别是体重预期值的77%和86%.在下临界温度以下,黑颈长尾雉和白颈长尾雉的最小热传导分别是(0.12±0.01)和(0.17±0.01) mLO2/(g·h·℃),分别是体重预期值的119%和124%.这两种鸟的生理生态学特征是:黑颈长尾雉和白颈长尾雉都具有较低的代谢率,较高的体温和热传导,能较好地适应南方湿热的气候特征.%To understand metabolic adaptations,the basal metabolic rate (BMR) of Mrs Hume's Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) and Elliot's Pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti) were investigated.Metabolic rate (MR),body temperature(Tb) and thermal conductance (C) were determined in both species at a temperatrue range of 5 - 35 ℃,respectively.Oxygen consumption was measured with a closed circuit respirometer.The thermal neutral zones (TNZ) were 24.5 - 31.6℃,and 23.0 -29.2 ℃,respectively.With a temperature range of 5 - 35 ℃,Mrs Hume's Pheasant and Elliot's Pheasant could maintained stable Tb at a mean of (40.47±0.64) and (40.36±0.10) ℃,respectively.Mean BMRs within TNZs were(1.36±0.84) mLO2/(g·h) for Mrs Hume's Pheasant and (2.03±0.12) mLO2/(g·h) for Elliot's Pheasant,which were 77% and 86% of the expected value based on their body mass,respectively.Thermal conductance of Mrs Hume's Pheasant and Elliot's Pheasant were (0.12±0.01) and (0.17±0.01) mLO2/(g·h· ℃),below the lower critical

  13. Genetic evaluation of ex situ conservation breeding projects of Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii) and Western Tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus) in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukesh; Garg, Shipra; Javed, Ruheena; Sood, Shudhanta; Singh, Harvinder

    2016-05-01

    When setting-up a captive population, genetic assessment of founders is essential to formulate effective breeding strategies that minimize the negative effects of inbreeding in the successive generations caused by mating between genetically related individuals. We carried out molecular genetic analysis of Cheer Pheasant and Western Tragopan populations of Chail and Sarahan Pheasantries in the State of Himachal Pradesh. The results revealed that the captive stock of Cheer Pheasant is sustaining well and does not exhibit signatures of inbreeding. Conversely, inbreeding is strongly evident in Western Tragopan population. Our study adds new dimensions to the captive management of Cheer Pheasant and Western Tragopan populations and contradicts with a previous study conducted on the same Western Tragopan population of Sarahan Pheasantry using studbook data. This study demonstrates strong evidence for retaining genetic assessment as an integral part to formulate policies/strategies for conservation breeding projects and proposes refining existing studbook records by incorporating microsatellites data and genetic analyses. Zoo Biol. 35:269-273, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Toxicity of tannins towards the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the brine shrimp Artemia salina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamasaki, Toru; Sato, Masashi; Mori, Tomoaki; Mohamed, Ahmed S A; Fujii, Kyoko; Tsukioka, Junko

    2002-08-01

    Toxicities of gallo- and condensed tannins towards the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is dependent on the tannins' molecular sizes. In the present paper we investigate the toxicity of ellagitannins to C elegans and the toxicity of ellagi-, gallo-, and condensed tannins to the brine shrimpArtemia salina. Ellagitannins 1 and 2 were isolated from Euphorbia supina and identified as tellimagrandin I and rugosin A methyl ester, respectively. An ellagitannin preparation from Cornus officinalis was chromatographically fractionated into ellagitannins A through H, having different molecular weights and specific rotations. Three of the ten ellagitannins, 2, G, and H produced significant toxicity towards C. elegans, showing the presence of an activity-structure relationship, as opposed to the results from tests of gallo- and condensed tannins. Ellagi-, gallo-, and condensed tannins also produced toxicity in A. salina.

  15. Use of Silver Nitrate for the Assessment of Sperm Measurements in Selected Farm and Free-Living Animal Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andraszek Katarzyna

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted on spermatozoa of selected farm and free-living animal species, isolated post mortem from the tail of the epididymis, and stained with silver nitrate - AgNO3. The material was collected from pigs, goats, wild boar, and European roe deer. Twenty morphologically normal spermatozoa randomly selected from each animal and well visible under the microscope, were analysed. The following measurements were considered: head length, width, perimeter and area, acrosome area, mid-piece length, tail length, and overall sperm length. AgNO3 staining differentiated the acrosomal (light hue and distal (dark hue part of the sperm head, and a light-hued mid-piece was visible within the sperm tail. Silver nitrate staining revealed species and variety-related differences, particularly in reference to the sperm head. Clear-cut differentiation within the head and tail area made it possible to perform detailed morphometric measurements of the spermatozoa.

  16. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, P S; Albuquerque, G R; da Silva, V M F; Martin, A R; Marvulo, M F V; Souza, S L P; Ragozo, A M A; Nascimento, C C; Gennari, S M; Dubey, J P; Silva, J C R

    2011-12-29

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate the water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve (RDSM), Tefé, Amazonas, Central Amazon, Brazil were tested for T. gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies (MAT ≥ 25) to T. gondii were found in 82 (86.3%) dolphins with titers of 1:25 in 24, 1:50 in 56, and 1:500 in 2. Results suggest a high level contamination of the aquatic environment of the home range of these animals.

  17. Validity of the Acti4 method for detection of physical activity types in free-living settings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stemland, Ingunn; Ingebrigtsen, Jørgen; Christiansen, Caroline S

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the ability of the Acti4 software for identifying physical activity types from accelerometers during free-living with different levels of movement complexity compared with video observations. Nineteen aircraft cabin cleaners with ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer at the thigh...... during non-standardised conditions with normal level of movement complexity. The Acti4 software may be a useful tool for researchers and practitioners in the field of ergonomics, occupational and public health. Practitioner Summary: Being inexpensive, small, water-resistant and without wires, the Acti......Graph GT3X+ by applying the Acti4 software may be a useful tool for long-term field measurements of physical activity types for researchers and practitioners in the field of ergonomics, occupational and public health....

  18. Use of Interim Scaffolding and Neotissue Development to Produce a Scaffold-Free Living Hyaline Cartilage Graft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Ting Ting; Leong, Wenyan; Peck, Yvonne; Su, Kai; Wang, Dong-An

    2015-01-01

    The fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) constructs relies heavily on the use of biomaterial-based scaffolds. These are required as mechanical supports as well as to translate two-dimensional cultures to 3D cultures for clinical applications. Regardless of the choice of scaffold, timely degradation of scaffolds is difficult to achieve and undegraded scaffold material can lead to interference in further tissue development or morphogenesis. In cartilage tissue engineering, hydrogel is the highly preferred scaffold material as it shares many similar characteristics with native cartilaginous matrix. Hence, we employed gelatin microspheres as porogens to create a microcavitary alginate hydrogel as an interim scaffold to facilitate initial chondrocyte 3D culture and to establish a final scaffold-free living hyaline cartilaginous graft (LhCG) for cartilage tissue engineering.

  19. Prevalence of Acanthamoeba spp. and other free-living amoebae in household water, Ohio, USA--1990-1992.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockman, Lauren J; Wright, Carolyn J; Visvesvara, Govinda S; Fields, Barry S; Beach, Michael J

    2011-03-01

    Knowledge of the prevalence of free-living amoebae (FLA) in US household water can provide a focus for prevention of amoeba-associated illnesses. Household water samples from two Ohio counties, collected and examined for amoebae during 1990-1992, were used to describe the prevalence of Acanthamoeba and other FLA in a household setting. Amoebae were isolated and identified by morphologic features. A total of 2,454 samples from 467 households were examined. Amoebae were found in water samples of 371 (79%) households. Sites most likely to contain amoeba were shower heads (52%) and kitchen sprayers (50%). Species of Hartmannella, Acanthamoeba, or Vahlkampfia were most common. Detection was higher in biofilm swab samples than in water samples. Detection of FLA and Acanthamoeba, at 79% and 51%, respectively, exceed estimates that have been published in previous surveys of household sources. We believe FLA are commonplace inhabitants of household water in this sample as they are in the environment.

  20. Bio-recovery of non-essential heavy metals by intra- and extracellular mechanisms in free-living microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-García, Jorge D; Sánchez-Thomas, Rosina; Moreno-Sánchez, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    Free-living microorganisms may become suitable models for recovery of non-essential and essential heavy metals from wastewater bodies and soils by using and enhancing their accumulating and/or leaching abilities. This review analyzes the variety of different mechanisms developed mainly in bacteria, protists and microalgae to accumulate heavy metals, being the most relevant those involving phytochelatin and metallothionein biosyntheses; phosphate/polyphosphate metabolism; compartmentalization of heavy metal-complexes into vacuoles, chloroplasts and mitochondria; and secretion of malate and other organic acids. Cyanide biosynthesis for extra-cellular heavy metal bioleaching is also examined. These metabolic/cellular processes are herein analyzed at the transcriptional, kinetic and metabolic levels to provide mechanistic basis for developing genetically engineered microorganisms with greater capacities and efficiencies for heavy metal recovery, recycling of heavy metals, biosensing of metal ions, and engineering of metalloenzymes.

  1. Disruptive effects of light pollution on sleep in free-living birds: Season and/or light intensity-dependent?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raap, Thomas; Sun, Jiachen; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2017-09-01

    Light pollution or artificial light at night (ALAN) is an increasing anthropogenic environmental pollutant posing an important potential threat for wildlife. Evidence of its effects on animal physiology and behaviour is accumulating. However, in order to effectively mitigate light pollution it is important to determine which factors contribute to the severity of effects of ALAN. In this experimental study we explored whether there are seasonal-dependent effects of ALAN on sleep in free-living great tits (Parus major), an important model species. Additionally, we looked at whether light intensity determined the severity of effects of ALAN on sleep. We therefore exposed animals to artificial light inside the nest box (3lx) in December (winter) and February (pre-breeding season). Results from February were compared with the results from a previous study in February, using a lower light intensity (1.6lx). We found little evidence for a season-dependent response. Effects of ALAN hardly differed between high and low light intensity. ALAN disrupted sleep with as main effect a decrease in sleep duration (≈-40min) as animals woke up earlier (≈-24min). However, compared to a natural dark situation sleep onset was delayed by high but not by low light intensity of ALAN. Our study underlines earlier found disruptive effects of ALAN on sleep of free-living animals. While we found no conclusive evidence for seasonal or light intensity-dependent effects of ALAN, additional experimental work using lower light intensities might show such differences. Examining potential management options is crucial in mitigating disruptive effects of light pollution, which will be an important focus for future studies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Exploring the use of cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (COI for DNA barcoding of free-living marine nematodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofie Derycke

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The identification of free-living marine nematodes is difficult because of the paucity of easily scorable diagnostic morphological characters. Consequently, molecular identification tools could solve this problem. Unfortunately, hitherto most of these tools relied on 18S rDNA and 28S rDNA sequences, which often lack sufficient resolution at the species level. In contrast, only a few mitochondrial COI data are available for free-living marine nematodes. Therefore, we investigate the amplification and sequencing success of two partitions of the COI gene, the M1-M6 barcoding region and the I3-M11 partition. METHODOLOGY: Both partitions were analysed in 41 nematode species from a wide phylogenetic range. The taxon specific primers for the I3-M11 partition outperformed the universal M1-M6 primers in terms of amplification success (87.8% vs. 65.8%, respectively and produced a higher number of bidirectional COI sequences (65.8% vs 39.0%, respectively. A threshold value of 5% K2P genetic divergence marked a clear DNA barcoding gap separating intra- and interspecific distances: 99.3% of all interspecific comparisons were >0.05, while 99.5% of all intraspecific comparisons were <0.05 K2P distance. CONCLUSION: The I3-M11 partition reliably identifies a wide range of marine nematodes, and our data show the need for a strict scrutiny of the obtained sequences, since contamination, nuclear pseudogenes and endosymbionts may confuse nematode species identification by COI sequences.

  3. Identification of Free-living and Particle-Associated Microbial Communities Present in Hadal regions of the Mariana Trench

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan eTarn

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Relatively few studies have described the microbial populations present in ultra-deep hadal environments, largely as a result of difficulties associated with sampling. Here we report Illumina-tag V6 16S rRNA sequence-based analyses of the free-living and particle-associated microbial communities recovered from locations within two of the deepest hadal sites on Earth, the Challenger Deep (10,918 meters below surface-mbs and the Sirena Deep (10,667 mbs within the Mariana Trench, as well as one control site (Ulithi Atoll, 761 mbs. Seawater samples were collected using an autonomous lander positioned ~1m above the seafloor. The bacterial populations within the Mariana Trench bottom water samples were dissimilar to other deep-sea microbial communities, though with overlap with those of diffuse flow hydrothermal vents and deep-subsurface locations. Distinct particle-associated and free-living bacterial communities were found to exist. The hadal bacterial populations were also markedly different from one another, indicating the likelihood of different chemical conditions at the two sites. In contrast to the bacteria, the hadal archaeal communities were more similar to other less deep datasets and to each other due to an abundance of cosmopolitan deep-sea taxa. The hadal communities were enriched in thirty four bacterial and four archaeal operational taxonomic units (OTUs including members of the Gammaproteobacteria, Epsilonproteobacteria, Marinimicrobia, Cyanobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Atribacteria, Spirochaetes, and Euryarchaeota. Sequences matching cultivated piezophiles were notably enriched in the Challenger Deep, especially within the particle-associated fraction, and were found in higher abundances than in other hadal studies, where they were either far less prevalent or missing. Our results indicate the importance of heterotrophy, sulfur-cycling, and methane and hydrogen utilization within the bottom waters of the deeper

  4. Identification of Free-Living and Particle-Associated Microbial Communities Present in Hadal Regions of the Mariana Trench.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarn, Jonathan; Peoples, Logan M; Hardy, Kevin; Cameron, James; Bartlett, Douglas H

    2016-01-01

    Relatively few studies have described the microbial populations present in ultra-deep hadal environments, largely as a result of difficulties associated with sampling. Here we report Illumina-tag V6 16S rRNA sequence-based analyses of the free-living and particle-associated microbial communities recovered from locations within two of the deepest hadal sites on Earth, the Challenger Deep (10,918 meters below surface-mbs) and the Sirena Deep (10,667 mbs) within the Mariana Trench, as well as one control site (Ulithi Atoll, 761 mbs). Seawater samples were collected using an autonomous lander positioned ~1 m above the seafloor. The bacterial populations within the Mariana Trench bottom water samples were dissimilar to other deep-sea microbial communities, though with overlap with those of diffuse flow hydrothermal vents and deep-subsurface locations. Distinct particle-associated and free-living bacterial communities were found to exist. The hadal bacterial populations were also markedly different from one another, indicating the likelihood of different chemical conditions at the two sites. In contrast to the bacteria, the hadal archaeal communities were more similar to other less deep datasets and to each other due to an abundance of cosmopolitan deep-sea taxa. The hadal communities were enriched in 34 bacterial and 4 archaeal operational taxonomic units (OTUs) including members of the Gammaproteobacteria, Epsilonproteobacteria, Marinimicrobia, Cyanobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Atribacteria, Spirochaetes, and Euryarchaeota. Sequences matching cultivated piezophiles were notably enriched in the Challenger Deep, especially within the particle-associated fraction, and were found in higher abundances than in other hadal studies, where they were either far less prevalent or missing. Our results indicate the importance of heterotrophy, sulfur-cycling, and methane and hydrogen utilization within the bottom waters of the deeper regions of the Mariana Trench

  5. Amphizoic amoebae: pathogenic free-living protozoa; review of the literature and review of cases in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siripanth, Chutatip

    2005-05-01

    A large variety of species of free-living amoebae (FLA) caused an indefinite form of these protozoa. Non-fixed form, as indicated by amoeboid movement and possed the bacteria to survive in nature. Two species of pathogenic FLA: Naegleria fowleri and Acanthamoeba spp. were identified as the causative agents of Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) and Granulomatous Amoebic Encephalitis (GAE) respectively. They were suggested to amphizoic protozoa, capable of living as parasites or as free-living and they were also considered to be distributed worldwide. These amoebae were detected in lakes, rivers and ponds. The first case of meningoencephalitis was observed in 1961 by Fowler Many cases were reported later on and the pathogenicity was tested by nasal inoculation of mice. In fact, quite a number of FLA were isolated but only a few species were pathogenic to humans. The three typical features which allow recognition of Naegleria spp. flagellate stage, round cyst and promitotic trophozoite. This promitosis distinguishes the Naegleria genus from Acanthamoeba spp. The disease caused by PAM usually occurs with acute onset, whereas chronic for GAE. The GAE cases mentioned are mostly in debilitated patients, chronic alcoholics or patients under treatment with immunosuppressive methods. About 6 cases of PAM were reported in Thailand during 1982-1997. Four cases of GAE were reported in 1994 and two isolated cases ofAcanthamoebafrom keratitis patients were reported in 2000. Finally one case of PAM and one case of GAE were reported in 2001. The surveys of FLA were set up to study the distribution of these pathogenic amoebae and determine the prevalence of amoebae in aquatic habitats of human environments. About 40% were identified as Acanthamoeba spp., 30% were Naegleria spp., 20% were Hartmanella and 10% were Vahlkampfia. Only 10% of Naegleria spp. belonged to Naegleria fowleri.

  6. Quantifying the Contribution of Entire Free-Living Nematode Communities to Carbon Mineralization under Contrasting C and N Availability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mesfin Tsegaye Gebremikael

    Full Text Available To understand the roles of nematodes in organic matter (OM decomposition, experimental setups should include the entire nematode community, the native soil microflora, and their food sources. Yet, published studies are often based on either simplified experimental setups, using only a few selected species of nematode and their respective prey, despite the multitude of species present in natural soil, or on indirect estimation of the mineralization process using O2 consumption and the fresh weight of nematodes. We set up a six-month incubation experiment to quantify the contribution of the entire free living nematode community to carbon (C mineralization under realistic conditions. The following treatments were compared with and without grass-clover amendment: defaunated soil reinoculated with the entire free living nematode communities (+Nem and defaunated soil that was not reinoculated (-Nem. We also included untreated fresh soil as a control (CTR. Nematode abundances and diversity in +Nem was comparable to the CTR showing the success of the reinoculation. No significant differences in C mineralization were found between +Nem and -Nem treatments of the amended and unamended samples at the end of incubation. Other related parameters such as microbial biomass C and enzymatic activities did not show significant differences between +Nem and -Nem treatments in both amended and unamended samples. These findings show that the collective contribution of the entire nematode community to C mineralization is small. Previous reports in literature based on simplified experimental setups and indirect estimations are contrasting with the findings of the current study and further investigations are needed to elucidate the extent and the mechanisms of nematode involvement in C mineralization.

  7. The Sinorhizobium meliloti sensor histidine kinase CbrA contributes to free-living cell cycle regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadowski, Craig S; Wilson, Daniel; Schallies, Karla B; Walker, Graham; Gibson, Katherine E

    2013-08-01

    Sinorhizobium meliloti is alternately capable of colonizing the soil as a free-living bacterium or establishing a chronic intracellular infection with its legume host for the purpose of nitrogen fixation. We previously identified the S. meliloti two-component sensor histidine kinase CbrA as playing an important role in regulating exopolysaccharide production, flagellar motility and symbiosis. Phylogenetic analysis of CbrA has highlighted its evolutionary relatedness to the Caulobacter crescentus sensor histidine kinases PleC and DivJ, which are involved in CtrA-dependent cell cycle regulation through the shared response regulator DivK. We therefore became interested in testing whether CbrA plays a role in regulating S. meliloti cell cycle processes. We find the loss of cbrA results in filamentous cell growth accompanied by cells that contain an aberrant genome complement, indicating CbrA plays a role in regulating cell division and possibly DNA segregation. S. meliloti DivK localizes to the old cell pole during distinct phases of the cell cycle in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Loss of cbrA results in a significantly decreased rate of DivK polar localization when compared with the wild-type, suggesting CbrA helps regulate cell cycle processes by modulating DivK phosphorylation status as a kinase. Consistent with a presumptive decrease in DivK phosphorylation and activity, we also find the steady-state level of CtrA increased in cbrA mutants. Our data therefore demonstrate that CbrA contributes to free-living cell cycle regulation, which in light of its requirement for symbiosis, points to the potential importance of cell cycle regulation for establishing an effective host interaction.

  8. Co-occurrence of free-living protozoa and foodborne pathogens on dishcloths: implications for food safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavatte, N; Baré, J; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Vaerewijck, M; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2014-11-17

    In the present study, the occurrence of free-living protozoa (FLP) and foodborne bacterial pathogens on dishcloths was investigated. Dishcloths form a potentially important source of cross-contamination with FLP and foodborne pathogens in food-related environments. First various protocols for recovering and quantifying FLP from dishcloths were assessed. The stomacher technique is recommended to recover flagellates and amoebae from dishcloths. Ciliates, however, were more efficiently recovered using centrifugation. For enumeration of free-living protozoa on dishcloths, the Most Probable Number method is a convenient method. Enrichment was used to assess FLP diversity on dishcloths (n=38). FLP were found on 89% of the examined dishcloths; 100% of these tested positive for amoebae, 71% for flagellates and 47% for ciliates. Diversity was dominated by amoebae: vahlkampfiids, vannellids, Acanthamoeba spp., Hyperamoeba sp. and Vermamoeba vermiformis were most common. The ciliate genus Colpoda was especially abundant on dishcloths while heterotrophic nanoflagellates mainly belonged to the genus Bodo, the glissomonads and cercomonads. The total number of FLP in used dishcloths ranged from 10 to 10(4) MPN/cm(2). Flagellates were the most abundant group, and ciliates the least abundant. Detergent use was identified as a prime determinant of FLP concentrations on used dishcloths. Bacterial load on dishcloths was high, with a mean total of aerobic bacteria of 7.47 log 10 cfu/cm(2). Escherichia coli was detected in 68% (26/38) of the used dishcloths, with concentrations up to 4 log 10 cfu/cm(2). Foodborne pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus (19/38), Arcobacter butzleri (5/38) and Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica ser. Halle (1/38) were also present. This study showed for the first time that FLP, including some opportunistic pathogens, are a common and diverse group on dishcloths. Moreover, important foodborne pathogens are also regularly recovered. This simultaneous

  9. Habitat Suitability analysis of Koklass (Pucrasia macrolopha) Pheasant in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh, India using Geospatial Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliza, K.; Sarma, K.

    2014-12-01

    Pheasants are at the brink of destruction due to degradation of forests, environmental pollution, climatic changes and extensive hunting of wild floras and faunas.The problem is more acute in the developing countries where wildlife and biodiversity conservation are often less prioritized due to more pressing demands of food security and poverty alleviation. Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) species is distributed from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east along the Himalayas to southeastern Tibet, western China and southeastern Mongolia.This species is grouped under endangered species in Red Data Book of Zoological Survey of India and also classified as least concern species according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.Conservation biologists and managers need a range of both classical analyses and specific modern tools to face the increasing threats to biodiversity. Among these tools, habitat-suitability modeling has recently emerged as a relevant technique to assess global impacts to define wide conservation priorities.The present study is carried out using remote sensing satellite imagery and GIS modeling technique for assessing habitat suitability of Koklass Pheasants and finding out the habitat factors influencing the Koklass distribution in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Effective management and conservation of wildlife populations and their habitats largely depend on our ability to understand and predict species-habitat interactions. Different thematic maps viz., land use/cover, forest types, drainage buffer, multiple ring buffers of sighting locations and multiple ring buffers of roads have been prepared to support the objective of the study. The Weighted Overlay Analysis model is used for identifying different potential areas of habitat for this endangered species. The most suitable area for Koklass Pheasant within the Wildlife Sanctuary is found to be about 23.8 percent of the total area which is due to favourable habitat conditions for the

  10. Prevalence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae from Acanthamoeba and Naegleria genera in non-hospital, public, internal environments from the city of Santos, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lais Helena Teixeira

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species are free-living amoebae (FLA found in a large variety of natural habitats. The prevalence of such amoebae was determined from dust samples taken from public non-hospital internal environments with good standards of cleanliness from two campuses of the same University in the city of Santos (SP, Brazil, and where young and apparently healthy people circulate. The frequency of free-living amoebae in both campuseswas 39% and 17% respectively, with predominance of the genus Acanthamoeba. On the campus with a much larger number of circulating individuals, the observed frequency of free-living amoebae was 2.29 times larger (P< 0.00005. Two trophozoite forms of Naegleria fowleri, are the only species of this genus known to cause primary amoebian meningoencephalitis, a rare and non-opportunistic infection. We assume that the high frequency of these organisms in different internal locations represents some kind of public health risk.

  11. Prevalence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae from Acanthamoeba and Naegleria genera in non-hospital, public, internal environments from the city of Santos, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lais Helena; Rocha, Silvana; Pinto, Rosa Maria Ferreiro; Caseiro, Marcos Montani; Costa, Sergio Olavo Pinto da

    2009-12-01

    Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species are free-living amoebae (FLA) found in a large variety of natural habitats. The prevalence of such amoebae was determined from dust samples taken from public non-hospital internal environments with good standards of cleanliness from two campuses of the same University in the city of Santos (SP), Brazil, and where young and apparently healthy people circulate. The frequency of free-living amoebae in both campuses was 39% and 17% respectively, with predominance of the genus Acanthamoeba. On the campus with a much larger number of circulating individuals, the observed frequency of free-living amoebae was 2.29 times larger (P< 0.00005). Two trophozoite forms of Naegleria fowleri, are the only species of this genus known to cause primary amoebian meningoencephalitis, a rare and non-opportunistic infection. We assume that the high frequency of these organisms in different internal locations represents some kind of public health risk.

  12. Non-traditional wearing positions of pedometers: validity and reliability of the Omron HJ-203-ED pedometer under controlled and free-living conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Cocker, Katrien A; De Meyer, Jotie; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse M; Cardon, Greet M

    2012-09-01

    To test the validity and intra-instrument reliability of the HJ-203 Omron pedometer when worn in different positions, under controlled and free-living conditions. Cross-sectional. Forty healthy adults (20 men, 29.5±7.7 years) participated in three controlled tests, i.e. 20 step test, stair climbing (up and down), and treadmill walking (five bouts at different speeds). All participants wore a HJ-203 pedometer in the pants pocket, in a carrier bag, and around the neck. Fifty-four adults (23 men, 33.9±11.1 years) participated in a free-living conditions test, wearing a HJ-203 in the pants pocket and around the neck during one day. During controlled tests, absolute percentage error ranged between 0.1% and 14.0%. Accuracy was influenced by wearing position (pwalking speed (pwalking speed (p=0.001). Accuracy was poor for pedometers worn in the pants pocket, especially at slower speeds; and best when worn around the neck. During free-living conditions, APE ranged between 30.7% and 36.9% and did not differ statistically between pants pocket and neck position. Intra-instrument reliability varied for controlled tests (ICC=0.14-0.96) and was acceptable during free-living conditions (ICC=0.94). The HJ-203 Omron pedometer showed acceptable accuracy for all wearing positions during stairs walking and treadmill walking at higher speeds; but limited accuracy during free-living conditions when worn at non-traditional wearing positions (necklace and pants pocket). Reliability was acceptable during treadmill walking at higher speeds and free-living conditions. Copyright © 2012 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Quantitative detection and differentiation of free-living amoeba species using SYBR green-based real-time PCR melting curve analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behets, Jonas; Declerck, Priscilla; Delaedt, Yasmine; Verelst, Lieve; Ollevier, Frans

    2006-12-01

    Real-time polymerase chain reaction melting curve analysis (MCA) allows differentiation of several free-living amoebae species. Distinctive characteristics were found for Naegleria fowleri, N. lovaniensis, N. australiensis, N. gruberi, Hartmanella vermiformis, and Willaertia magna. Species specificity of the amplicons was confirmed using agarose gel electrophoresis and sequence-based approaches. Amplification efficiency ranged from 91% to 98%, indicating the quantitative potential of the assay. This MCA approach can be used for quantitative detection of free-living amoebae after cultivation but also as a culture-independent detection method.

  14. Effects of supplementing n-3 fatty acid enriched eggs and walnuts on cardiovascular disease risk markers in healthy free-living lacto-ovo-vegetarians: a randomized, crossover, free-living intervention study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns-Whitmore, Bonny; Haddad, Ella; Sabaté, Joan; Rajaram, Sujatha

    2014-03-27

    Plant and marine n-3 fatty acids (FA) may favorably modify select markers of cardiovascular disease risk. Whether supplementing the habitual diet of lacto-ovo-vegetarians (LOV) with walnuts (containing α-linolenic acid, ALA) and n-3 FA enriched eggs (containing primarily docosahexaenoic acid, DHA and ALA) would have equivalent effects on CVD risk factors is explored in this study. In this study, 20 healthy free-living LOVs following their habitual diet were randomly assigned in a crossover design to receive one of three supplements: n-3 FA enriched egg (6/week), walnuts (28.4 g, 6/week) or a standard egg, 6/week (control) for 8 weeks each with 4-wk washout between treatments. Erythrocyte membrane fatty acids, serum lipids and inflammatory markers were measured at the end of each treatment. Dietary compliance was observed by an expected increase in erythrocyte membrane ALA following the walnut treatment and in DHA following the n-3 FA enriched egg treatment. Walnut treatment lowered serum triacylglycerol, total cholesterol and Apo B (p vegetarian.

  15. Evaluation of an activity monitor for the objective measurement of free-living physical activity in children with cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Kit Tzu; Richardson, Alison M; Maxwell, Douglas; Spence, William D; Stansfield, Benedict W

    2013-12-01

    To explore the use of an activity monitor (AM) to objectively characterize free-living physical activity (F-LPA) in children with mobility impairment resulting from cerebral palsy (CP). First, a validation study compared outcomes from the AM with video evidence. Second, multiday F-LPA was characterized. Relationships between laboratory measures and F-LPA were explored. The evaluation study was conducted in a laboratory environment. F-LPA monitoring was conducted in the participants' free-living environment. Convenience sample of ambulatory children (N=15; 11 boys, 4 girls) aged 5 to 17 years with CP undergoing gait analysis. Not applicable. Accuracy of the AM for sitting/lying time, upright time, stepping time, and strides taken. Daily volumes of F-LPA of children with CP. AM outcomes in comparison with video-based analysis were (mean ± SD) 97.4%±2.7%, 101.1%±1.5%, 99.5%±6.6%, 105.6%±15.8%, and 103.8%±10.1% for sitting/lying time, upright time, standing time, stepping time, and stride count, respectively. Participants' daily F-LPA demonstrated considerable variation: mean standing time ± SD, 2.33±.96h/d; mean stepping time ± SD, 1.68±.86h/d; mean steps per day ± SD, 8477±4528; and mean sit-to-stand transitions per day ± SD, 76±49. Laboratory-measured cadence and mobility level were related to F-LPA, but not directly. The AM demonstrated excellent ability to determine sitting/lying and upright times in children with CP. Stepping time and stride count had lower levels of agreement with video-based analysis but were comparable to findings in previous studies. Crouch gait and toe walking had an adverse effect on outcomes. The F-LPA data provided additional information on children's performance not related to laboratory measures, demonstrating the added value of using this objective measurement technique. Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Ecological transfer of radionuclides and metals to free-living earthworm species in natural habitats rich in NORM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mrdakovic Popic, Jelena, E-mail: jelena.mrdakovic.popic@umb.no; Salbu, Brit; Skipperud, Lindis

    2012-01-01

    Transfer of radionuclides ({sup 232}Th and {sup 238}U) and associated metals (As, Cd, Pb and Cr) from soil to free-living earthworm species was investigated in a thorium ({sup 232}Th) rich area in Norway. Sampling took place within former mining sites representing the technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM), at undisturbed site with unique bedrock geology representing the naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) and at site outside the {sup 232}Th rich area taken as reference Background site. Soil analysis revealed the elevated levels of investigated elements at NORM and TENORM sites. Based on sequential extraction, uranium ({sup 238}U) and cadmium (Cd) were quite mobile, while the other elements were strongly associated with mineral components of soil. Four investigated earthworm species (Aporrectodea caliginosa, Aporrectodea rosea, Dendrodrilus rubidus and Lumbricus rubellus) showed large individual variability in the accumulation of radionuclides and metals. Differences in uptake by epigeic and endogeic species, as well as differences within same species from the NORM, TENORM and Background sites were also seen. Based on total concentrations in soil, the transfer factors (TF) were in ranges 0.03-0.08 and 0.09-0.25, for {sup 232}Th and {sup 238}U, respectively. TFs for lead (Pb), chromium (Cr) and arsenic (As) were low (less than 0.5), while TFs for Cd were higher (about 10). Using the ERICA tool, the estimated radiation exposure dose rate of the earthworms ranged from 2.2 to 3.9 {mu}Gy/h. The radiological risk for investigated earthworms was low (0.28). The obtained results demonstrated that free-living earthworm species can survive in soil containing elevated {sup 232}Th and {sup 238}U, as well As, Cd, Pb and Cr levels, although certain amount of radionuclides was accumulated within their bodies. The present investigation contributes to general better understanding of complex soil-to-biota transfer processes of

  17. 雉鸡、鹧鸪及鹌鹑肾组织结构比较研究%Comparative Study on the Kidney histology of Phasianus Colchicus, Francolinus Pintadeanus and Coturnix Coturnix

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何九军; 王昱

    2012-01-01

    利用显微技术对雉鸡(Phasianus colchicus)、鹧鸪(Francolinus pintadeanus)及鹌鹑(Coturnix coturnix)的肾进行了比较.结果显示:与大多数鸟类相似,肾由许多肾小叶构成,皮质与髓质分界不明显,主要由许多肾单位、集合管和少量的结缔组织组成.肾单位由一个肾小体和一个与其连接的肾小管构成.肾小体体积小,数量多;肾小球结构简单,由一团蟠曲的毛细血管构成.近曲小管上皮细胞游离面有刷状缘,远曲小管和集合管管腔较大,腔面无刷状缘.鹧鸪的肾小球、近曲小管及远曲小管的数量均高于雉鸡和鹌鹑,表明鹧鸪的肾较鹌鹑和雉鸡的肾具有更强的尿液浓缩功能,但需进一步研究.%The kidney structure ofPhasianus colchicus, Francolinus pintadeanusand Coturnix coturnix were compared by light microscope. The result showed that the kidney consists of many reniculi similar to that of most birds. The verge of cortex and medulla in kidney was not clear. The kidney is composed of many nephrons, collecting ducts and a little connective tissue. The nephron comprises a renal corpuscle and a renal tubule. The renal corpuscles were small but abundant. The struc- ture of glomerular capillary was very simple and made from convoluted capillaries. The proximal convoluted tubule was lined with a well-developed brush border. The lumen diameters of both distal convoluted tubule and collecting duct were large, and their cell apex had no bush border. The number of glomerular capillary, proximal convoluted tubule and distal convoluted tu- bule ofFrancolinus pintadeanus was more than that ofPhasianus colchicus and Coturnix coturnix. The evidence indicates that the ability of urinary concentration in Francolinus pintadeanuskidney may be stronger than that inCoturnix coturnix andPhasianus colchicus, yet still need further study is needed.

  18. Reactive oxygen species-dependent necroptosis in Jurkat T cells induced by pathogenic free-living Naegleria fowleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, K-J; Jang, Y S; Lee, Y A; Kim, K A; Lee, S K; Shin, M H

    2011-07-01

    Naegleria fowleri, a free-living amoeba, is the causative pathogen of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis in humans and experimental mice. N. fowleri is capable of destroying tissues and host cells through lytic necrosis. However, the mechanism by which N. fowleri induces host cell death is unknown. Electron microscopy indicated that incubation of Jurkat T cells with N. fowleri trophozoites induced necrotic morphology of the Jurkat T cells. N. fowleri also induced cytoskeletal protein cleavage, extensive poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase hydrolysis and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Although no activation of caspase-3 was observed in Jurkat T cells co-incubated with amoebae, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were strongly generated by NADPH oxidase (NOX). Pretreating cells with necroptosis inhibitor necrostatin-1 or NOX inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI) strongly inhibited amoeba-induced ROS generation and Jurkat cell death, whereas pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk did not. N. fowleri-derived secretory products (NfSP) strongly induced intracellular ROS generation and cell death. Necroptotic effects of NfSP were effectively inhibited by pretreating NfSP with proteinase K. Moreover, NfSP-induced LDH release and intracellular ROS accumulation were inhibited by pretreating Jurkat T cells with DPI or necrostatin-1. These results suggest that N. fowleri induces ROS-dependent necroptosis in Jurkat T cells.

  19. Distinctive unhealthy eating pattern in free-living middle-aged hypertensives when compared with dyslipidemic or overweight patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneton, Pierre; Kesse-Guyot, Emmanuelle; Fezeu, Léopold; Galan, Pilar; Hercberg, Serge; Ménard, Joël

    2013-08-01

    To evaluate habitual dietary intakes in patients with established hypertension, dyslipidemia and/or overweight. A national sample of 6167 French free-living patients, aged 45-65 years, in whom daily food and nutrient intakes (24-h records) and clinical status were regularly monitored between 1994 and 2002. For each disorder, affected patients have reduced fat and energy intakes compared with nonaffected participants after adjustment for confounding factors. In addition, after further adjustment for energy intake, dyslipidemic patients eat less cheeses, sweets, eggs and appetizers, whereas overweight patients eat less bread and sweets, more yoghurts, vegetables, meats and poultries in comparison to their nonaffected counterparts. By contrast, hypertensive patients drink more wines and less milk, eat less yoghurts, fruits and vegetables, more processed meats than participants without hypertension. Nutrient intakes also reflect these distinctive eating patterns as shown by reduced carbohydrate intake and increased protein and mineral intakes in overweight patients and increased alcohol intake and decreased mineral intakes in hypertensives when compared with nonaffected participants. Among affected patients, antihypertensive and hypolipidemic drug treatments are not associated with additional differences in daily food and nutrient intakes except eggs that are consumed in smaller amounts by treated dyslipidemic patients. Hypertensive patients maintain an unhealthy eating pattern that tends to perpetuate their disorder in contrast to dyslipidemic or overweight patients who adopt more protective diets. The origin of this behavioural difference and poor adherence to practice guidelines between hypertensives and other cardiovascular risk patients needs to be investigated.

  20. Free-living amoebae and their associated bacteria in Austrian cooling towers: a 1-year routine screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheikl, Ute; Tsao, Han-Fei; Horn, Matthias; Indra, Alexander; Walochnik, Julia

    2016-09-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are widely spread in the environment and known to cause rare but often serious infections. Besides this, FLA may serve as vehicles for bacterial pathogens. In particular, Legionella pneumophila is known to replicate within FLA thereby also gaining enhanced infectivity. Cooling towers have been the source of outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease in the past and are thus usually screened for legionellae on a routine basis, not considering, however, FLA and their vehicle function. The aim of this study was to incorporate a screening system for host amoebae into a Legionella routine screening. A new real-time PCR-based screening system for various groups of FLA was established. Three cooling towers were screened every 2 weeks over the period of 1 year for FLA and Legionella spp., by culture and molecular methods in parallel. Altogether, 83.3 % of the cooling tower samples were positive for FLA, Acanthamoeba being the dominating genus. Interestingly, 69.7 % of the cooling tower samples were not suitable for the standard Legionella screening due to their high organic burden. In the remaining samples, positivity for Legionella spp. was 25 % by culture, but overall positivity was 50 % by molecular methods. Several amoebal isolates revealed intracellular bacteria.

  1. Dynamic nano-imaging of label-free living cells using electron beam excitation-assisted optical microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuta, Masahiro; Kanamori, Satoshi; Furukawa, Taichi; Nawa, Yasunori; Inami, Wataru; Lin, Sheng; Kawata, Yoshimasa; Terakawa, Susumu

    2015-01-01

    Optical microscopes are effective tools for cellular function analysis because biological cells can be observed non-destructively and non-invasively in the living state in either water or atmosphere condition. Label-free optical imaging technique such as phase-contrast microscopy has been analysed many cellular functions, and it is essential technology for bioscience field. However, the diffraction limit of light makes it is difficult to image nano-structures in a label-free living cell, for example the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi body and the localization of proteins. Here we demonstrate the dynamic imaging of a label-free cell with high spatial resolution by using an electron beam excitation-assisted optical (EXA) microscope. We observed the dynamic movement of the nucleus and nano-scale granules in living cells with better than 100 nm spatial resolution and a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) around 10. Our results contribute to the development of cellular function analysis and open up new bioscience applications. PMID:26525841

  2. The astacin metalloprotease moulting enzyme NAS-36 is required for normal cuticle ecdysis in free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepek, Gillian; McCormack, Gillian; Birnie, Andrew J; Page, Antony P

    2011-02-01

    Nematodes represent one of the most abundant and species-rich groups of animals on the planet, with parasitic species causing chronic, debilitating infections in both livestock and humans worldwide. The prevalence and success of the nematodes is a direct consequence of the exceptionally protective properties of their cuticle. The synthesis of this cuticle is a complex multi-step process, which is repeated 4 times from hatchling to adult and has been investigated in detail in the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. This process is known as moulting and involves numerous enzymes in the synthesis and degradation of the collagenous matrix. The nas-36 and nas-37 genes in C. elegans encode functionally conserved enzymes of the astacin metalloprotease family which, when mutated, result in a phenotype associated with the late-stage moulting defects, namely the inability to remove the preceding cuticle. Extensive genome searches in the gastrointestinal nematode of sheep, Haemonchus contortus, and in the filarial nematode of humans, Brugia malayi, identified NAS-36 but not NAS-37 homologues. Significantly, the nas-36 gene from B. malayi could successfully complement the moult defects associated with C. elegans nas-36, nas-37 and nas-36/nas-37 double mutants, suggesting a conserved function for NAS-36 between these diverse nematode species. This conservation between species was further indicated when the recombinant enzymes demonstrated a similar range of inhibitable metalloprotease activities.

  3. Food Intake and Dietary Glycaemic Index in Free-Living Adults with and without Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra M. Johnstone

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A recent Cochrane review concluded that low glycaemic index (GI diets are beneficial in glycaemic control for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM. There are limited UK data regarding the dietary GI in free-living adults with and without T2DM. We measured the energy and macronutrient intake and the dietary GI in a group (n = 19 of individuals with diet controlled T2DM and a group (n = 19 without diabetes, matched for age, BMI and gender. Subjects completed a three-day weighed dietary record. Patients with T2DM consumed more daily portions of wholegrains (2.3 vs. 1.1, P = 0.003, more dietary fibre (32.1 vs. 20.9 g, P < 0.001 and had a lower diet GI (53.5 vs. 57.7, P = 0.009 than subjects without T2DM. Both groups had elevated fat and salt intake and low fruit and vegetable intake, relative to current UK recommendations. Conclusions: Patients with T2DM may already consume a lower GI diet than the general population but further efforts are needed to reduce dietary GI and achieve other nutrient targets.

  4. Heterotrophic free-living and particle-bound bacterial cell size in the river Cauvery and its downstream tributaries

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    T S Harsha; Sadanand M Yamakanamardi; M Mahadevaswamy

    2007-03-01

    This is the first comprehensive study on planktonic heterotrophic bacterial cell size in the river Cauvery and its important tributaries in Karnataka State, India. The initial hypothesis that the mean cell size of planktonic heterotrophic bacteria in the four tributaries are markedly different from each other and also from that in the main river Cauvery was rejected, because all five watercourses showed similar planktonic heterotrophic bacterial cell size. Examination of the correlation between mean heterotrophic bacterial cell size and environmental variables showed four correlations in the river Arkavathy and two in the river Shimsha. Regression analysis revealed that 18% of the variation in mean heterotrophic free-living bacterial cell size was due to biological oxygen demand (BOD) in the river Arkavathy, 11% due to surface water velocity (SWV) in the river Cauvery and 11% due to temperature in the river Kapila. Heterotrophic particle-bound bacterial cell size variation was 28% due to chloride and BOD in the river Arkavathy, 11% due to conductivity in the river Kapila and 8% due to calcium in the river Cauvery. This type of relationship between heterotrophic bacterial cell size and environmental variables suggests that, though the mean heterotrophic bacterial cell size was similar in all the five water courses, different sets of environmental variables apparently control the heterotrophic bacterial cell size in the various water bodies studied in this investigation. The possible cause for this environmental (bottom–up) control is discussed.

  5. Studies on the species composition and biodiversity of free-living marine nematodes in the southern Huanghai Sea

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Yong; ZHANG Zhinan; LIU Xiaoshou; ZHANG Yan

    2006-01-01

    Free-living marine nematodes were sampled and studied at a grid of 22 stations (from 32°29.35' to 37°0.56'N, 122°0.37' to 125°1.16'E) in the southern Huanghai Sea in January 2003. Nematode abundance varied from 50.5 to 127.2 ind./cm2 [(83.1 ±24.7) ind./cm2] at different stations, 80.1% of the total nematodes were in the surface layer (0~2 cm) of sediments. Two hundred and twenty-three species or taxa of marine nematodes belonging to 145 genera, 32 families and four orders were identified and first recorded in the Huanghai Sea. The common dominant species were Dorylaimopsis rabalaisi, Terschellingia longicaudata, Sphaerolaimus balticus, Metalinhomoeus longiseta, Quadricoma scanica, Prochromadorella sp., Paramonohystera riemanni, Marylynnia sp. 1, Vasostoma spiratum, Halalaimus spp.,Pierrickia sp.1 and Promonhysterafaber. Nematode diversity was correlated with sediment granularity. Pearson correlation analysis showed that Shannon-Wiener index had highly significant positive correlation with a sand content and negative correlation with a silt-clay content (P<0.01); species richness index (d) had significant positive correlation with the sand content and negative correlation with the silt-clay content (P<0.05). The diversity of the southern Huanghai Sea was lower than that in the center of Bohai Sea, but the dominance was higher.

  6. Presence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae strains from well water samples in Guinea-Bissau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baquero, Rocío A; Reyes-Batlle, María; Nicola, Graciela G; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Guillermo Esteban, J; Valladares, Basilio; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) include opportunistic pathogens such as Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, and the genera Sappinia and Acanthamoeba. In this study, a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence of potentially pathogenic amoebic strains in water samples collected from wells located in the western part of Guinea-Bissau. The samples were left to precipitate for 48 hours and then the sediments were seeded on non-nutrient agar plates containing Escherichia coli spread and cultures were checked daily for the presence of FLA. Identification of FLA strains was based on the morphological and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using the 18S rDNA or 16S mitochondrial rDNA genes in the case of Naegleria and Balamuthia genera, respectively. In the case of positive samples of Acanthamoeba, strains were further classified at the genotype level by sequencing the diagnostic fragment 3 (DF3) region located in the 18S rDNA gene as previously described. Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study and thus, no molecular analysis was performed for this genus. The obtained results revealed the presence of Acanthamoeba (genotypes T3 and T4), Naegleria fowleri, and Balamuthia mandrillaris. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating the presence of FLA in water bodies from Guinea-Bissau and the first report on the isolation of Balamuthia mandrillaris from environmental sources in Africa. PMID:24934796

  7. Free-living amoebae, Legionella and Mycobacterium in tap water supplied by a municipal drinking water utility in the USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciano-Cabral, Francine; Jamerson, Melissa; Kaneshiro, Edna S

    2010-03-01

    Legionella and Mycobacterium can proliferate within free-living amoebae (FLA) where they are protected from disinfectants at concentrations that can kill bacteria but not protozoa. Despite effective treatment of drinking water, microbes can enter water utility distribution systems (DS) and hence the plumbing within building premises. Additionally, biofilm formation may account for the persistence of microbes in the DS. In the present study a domestic water tap in north-central United States (USA) was sampled in March and September 2007 and analysed for FLA, Legionella and Mycobacterium. Identification of organisms was determined by growth on specific culture media, light and electron microscopy, and amplification of DNA probes specific for each organism. In both the spring and fall samples, amoebae, Legionella and Mycobacterium were detected. However, Acanthamoeba was prominent in the spring sample whereas Vahlkampfia and Naegleria were the amoebae detected in the autumn. Bacterial proliferation in laboratory cultures was noticeably enhanced in the presence of amoebae and biofilms rapidly formed in mixed amoebae and bacteria cultures. It is hypothesized that temperature affected the dynamics of FLA species population structure within the DS and that pathogenic bacteria that proliferate within FLA, which are themselves opportunistic pathogens, pose dual public health risks.

  8. POTENTIALLY PATHOGENIC FREE-LIVING AMOEBAE IN SOME FLOOD-AFFECTED AREAS DURING 2011 CHIANG MAI FLOOD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anchalee Wannasan

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available SUMMARY The survey was carried out to investigate the presence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA during flood in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2011. From different crisis flood areas, seven water samples were collected and tested for the presence of amoebae using culture and molecular methods. By monoxenic culture, FLA were detected from all samples at 37 °C incubation. The FLA growing at 37 °C were morphologically identified as Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria spp. and some unidentified amoebae. Only three samples (42.8%, defined as thermotolerant FLA, continued to grow at 42 °C. By molecular methods, two non-thermotolerant FlA were shown to have 99% identity to Acanthamoeba sp. and 98% identity to Hartmannella vermiformis while the two thermotolerant FLA were identified as Echinamoeba exundans (100% identity and Hartmannella sp. (99% identity. This first report of the occurrence of FLA in water during the flood disaster will provide information to the public to be aware of potentially pathogenic FLA.

  9. Environmental factors shaping cultured free-living amoebae and their associated bacterial community within drinking water network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delafont, Vincent; Bouchon, Didier; Héchard, Yann; Moulin, Laurent

    2016-09-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) constitute an important part of eukaryotic populations colonising drinking water networks. However, little is known about the factors influencing their ecology in such environments. Because of their status as reservoir of potentially pathogenic bacteria, understanding environmental factors impacting FLA populations and their associated bacterial community is crucial. Through sampling of a large drinking water network, the diversity of cultivable FLA and their bacterial community were investigated by an amplicon sequencing approach, and their correlation with physicochemical parameters was studied. While FLA ubiquitously colonised the water network all year long, significant changes in population composition were observed. These changes were partially explained by several environmental parameters, namely water origin, temperature, pH and chlorine concentration. The characterisation of FLA associated bacterial community reflected a diverse but rather stable consortium composed of nearly 1400 OTUs. The definition of a core community highlighted the predominance of only few genera, majorly dominated by Pseudomonas and Stenotrophomonas. Co-occurrence analysis also showed significant patterns of FLA-bacteria association, and allowed uncovering potentially new FLA - bacteria interactions. From our knowledge, this study is the first that combines a large sampling scheme with high-throughput identification of FLA together with associated bacteria, along with their influencing environmental parameters. Our results demonstrate the importance of physicochemical parameters in the ecology of FLA and their bacterial community in water networks.

  10. Presence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae strains from well water samples in Guinea-Bissau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baquero, Rocío A; Reyes-Batlle, María; Nicola, Graciela G; Martín-Navarro, Carmen M; López-Arencibia, Atteneri; Guillermo Esteban, J; Valladares, Basilio; Martínez-Carretero, Enrique; Piñero, José E; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

    2014-06-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) include opportunistic pathogens such as Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, and the genera Sappinia and Acanthamoeba. In this study, a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence of potentially pathogenic amoebic strains in water samples collected from wells located in the western part of Guinea-Bissau. The samples were left to precipitate for 48 hours and then the sediments were seeded on non-nutrient agar plates containing Escherichia coli spread and cultures were checked daily for the presence of FLA. Identification of FLA strains was based on the morphological and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using the 18S rDNA or 16S mitochondrial rDNA genes in the case of Naegleria and Balamuthia genera, respectively. In the case of positive samples of Acanthamoeba, strains were further classified at the genotype level by sequencing the diagnostic fragment 3 (DF3) region located in the 18S rDNA gene as previously described. Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study and thus, no molecular analysis was performed for this genus. The obtained results revealed the presence of Acanthamoeba (genotypes T3 and T4), Naegleria fowleri, and Balamuthia mandrillaris. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating the presence of FLA in water bodies from Guinea-Bissau and the first report on the isolation of Balamuthia mandrillaris from environmental sources in Africa.

  11. Vitamin profiles in two free-living passerine birds under a metal pollution gradient - A calcium supplementation experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Sandra R; Espín, Silvia; Sánchez-Virosta, Pablo; Salminen, Juha-Pekka; Lilley, Thomas M; Eeva, Tapio

    2017-04-01

    Vitamin and carotenoid deficiency may impair development in free-living vertebrates, because of the importance of these micronutrients to growth, antioxidant defense and calcium regulation. Micronutrient and calcium insufficiency can be intensified by metal pollution which can interfere with nutrient homeostasis or indirectly reduce food availability. Furthermore, absorption of dietary heavy metals is dependent on food calcium and vitamin levels. We investigated the effect of calcium on plasma vitamin and carotenoid profiles and how these affected growth and survival in two passerine birds with different calcium turnover living along a metal pollution gradient. Vitamins (A, D3 and E) and carotenoids were quantified from blood plasma of great tit (Parus major) and pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) nestlings. Metal concentrations in soil and in feces from the same nestlings were used to assess the exposure to air pollution. Additionally, we examined the vitamin level variation between developmental stages (eggs and nestlings within the same brood). Our results showed that generally higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids circulate in blood of great tits than in pied flycatchers. In general, birds inhabiting the polluted zone presented lower concentrations of the studied micronutrients. Calcium supplementation and metal pollution decreased vitamin A concentration in pied flycatcher, but not in great tit, while vitamin A affected growth and survival in great tit and pied flycatcher respectively. Our results suggest that populations under exposure to metal pollution may experience increased vitamin A deficiency, and that the two passerine species, while obtaining similar micronutrients in food, respond differently to environmental disturbance of nutrients.

  12. Free-living Acanthamoeba and Naegleria spp. amebae in water sources of León, Nicaragua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byron Leiva

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available free-living amebae (FLA are known to occur worldwide in water-related biotopes, but only limited information is available on these organisms in developing countries and so far no information on their presence is available from Nicaragua. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of potentially pathogenic Acanthamoeba spp. and Naegleria spp. in different water sources to which the population of León municipality is exposed. Since pathogenic amebae are thermotolerant, we were especially interested in the occurrence of FLA in geothermal areas. Water samples were collected from León area in Nicaragua: 88 samples were from rivers and springs, 111 from wells, 74 from water taps and 21 from water tanks in urban and suburban León and from three nearby geothermal areas of San Jacinto, Posoltega and Tipitapa. Amebae were identified using morphological and physiological criteria, immunohistochemical staining procedures and molecular methods. Indirect immunofluorescent test was performed on cysts and trophozoites fixed on microscopical slides and incubated for 30 min at room temperature in separate experiments with the following antibodies: rabbit-anti N. fowleri/N. lovanensis (Nf-Pab, mouse monoclonal antibody anti N. fowleri (Nf-5D12u, rabbit antibodies against Acanthamoeba spp. And fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH was performed using 18S rRNA-targeted fluorescent oligonucleotide probes. Probes: GSP for the detection of Acanthamoeba and NAEG1088 for the detection of Naegleria. Free-living amebae were recovered from approximately 43 % of the samples. Acanthamoeba spp was found in 21 % of samples from León municipality and in 2 % of samples from geothermal areas. Amoeboflagellates were found in 10 % of samples from León and in 19 % in geothermal areas. Fifty three percent of tested wells in the geothermal area contained thermotolerant amoeboflagellates. Naegleria spp. was identified in 24 out of 39 (61.5 % of isolated

  13. Wide interguild relationships among entomopathogenic and free-living nematodes in soil as measured by real time qPCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos-Herrera, Raquel; El-Borai, Fahiem E; Duncan, Larry W

    2012-10-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are promising biological control agents of soil-dwelling insect pests of many crops. These nematodes are ubiquitous in both natural and agricultural areas. Their efficacy against arthropods is affected directly and indirectly by food webs and edaphic conditions. It has long been suggested that a greater understanding of EPN ecology is needed to achieve consistent biological control by these nematodes and the development of molecular tools is helping to overcome obstacles to the study of cryptic organisms and complex interactions. Here we extend the repertoire of molecular tools to characterize soil food webs by describing primers/probe set to quantify certain free-living, bactivorous nematodes (FLBNs) that interact with EPNs in soil. Three FLBN isolates were recovered from soil baited with insect larvae. Morphological and molecular characterization confirmed their identities as Acrobeloides maximum (RT-1-R15C and RT-2-R25A) and Rhabditis rainai (PT-R14B). Laboratory experiments demonstrated the ability of these FLBNs to interfere with the development of Steinernema diaprepesi, Steinernema riobrave and Heterorhabditis indica parasitizing the weevil Diaprepes abbreviatus (Pfungi comprising Catenaria sp. and Monachrosporium gephyropagum that are natural enemies of EPNs. These relationships can be broadly interpreted as supporting Linford's hypothesis, i.e., decomposition of organic matter (here, insect cadavers) greatly increases bactivorous nematodes and their natural enemies.

  14. Identification of free-living amoebae and amoeba-associated bacteria from reservoirs and water treatment plants by molecular techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Alicia; Goñi, Pilar; Cieloszyk, Joanna; Fernandez, Maria Teresa; Calvo-Beguería, Laura; Rubio, Encarnacion; Fillat, Maria Francisca; Peleato, Maria Luisa; Clavel, Antonio

    2013-04-02

    The occurrence of free-living amoebae (FLA) was investigated in 83 water samples from reservoirs and water treatment plants, with culture positive in 64 of them (77.1%). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of partial 18S rRNA gene and ITS region was performed in order to identify amoeba isolates, and the presence of Legionella pneumophila , Mycobacterium spp., Pseudomonas spp., and Microcystis aeruginosa was investigated in 43 isolates of amoebae by multiplex PCR. Of the isolated amoebae, 31 were Acanthamoeba spp., 21 were Hartmannella vermiformis, 13 were Naegleria spp., and one was Vanella spp. T2, T4, and T5 genotypes of Acanthamoeba have been identified, and T4 isolates were grouped into five subgenotypes and graphically represented with a Weblog application. Inside amoebae, L. pneumophila was detected in 13.9% (6/43) of the isolates, and Pseudomonas spp. and Mycobacterium spp. were detected in 32.6% (14/43) and 41.9% (18/43), respectively. No statistical correlation was demonstrated between FLA isolation and seasonality, but the presence of intracellular bacteria was associated with warm water temperatures, and also the intracellular presence of Mycobacterium spp. and Pseudomonas spp. were associated. These results highlight the importance of amoebae in natural waters as reservoirs of potential pathogens and its possible role in the spread of bacterial genera with interest in public and environmental health.

  15. Corticosterone stress response shows long-term repeatability and links to personality in free-living Nazca boobies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, Jacquelyn K; Anderson, David J

    2014-11-01

    The concept of "coping styles", or consistently different responses to stressors, is of broad interest in behavioral ecology and biomedicine. Two critical predictions of this concept are individual consistency of neurophysiological and behavioral responses (relative to population variability) and a negative relationship between aggression/proactivity and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity. Recent studies failed to provide strong support for these predictions, especially outside of strictly controlled conditions, and long-term measures to test the first prediction are rare. Here, we demonstrate individual repeatability across 2-3years of maximum circulating corticosterone concentration [CORT] and area under the [CORT] response curve (AUCI) during a standard capture-restraint test in wild, free-living adult Nazca boobies (Sula granti). We also show that the stress response predicts the personality traits aggression and anxiety in these birds (measured in the wild); however, the strength of these results was weak. Maximum [CORT] and AUCI showed higher repeatability between years than baseline [CORT]. After controlling breeding status, sex, mass, date sampled, and their interactions, baseline [CORT] was most closely related to personality traits, followed by AUCI, and then maximum [CORT]. The direction of these relationships depended on whether the testing context was social or non-social. [CORT] parameters had little to no relationship with cross-context plasticity in personality traits. Our results generally affirm two critical predictions of coping styles, but match the emerging trend that these relationships are weak in the wild, and may depend on testing context.

  16. Free-living nematode species (Nematoda) dwelling in hydrothermal sites of the North Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tchesunov, Alexei V.

    2015-12-01

    Morphological descriptions of seven free-living nematode species from hydrothermal sites of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge are presented. Four of them are new for science: Paracanthonchus olgae sp. n. (Chromadorida, Cyatholaimidae), Prochromadora helenae sp. n. (Chromadorida, Chromadoridae), Prochaetosoma ventriverruca sp. n. (Desmodorida, Draconematidae) and Leptolaimus hydrothermalis sp. n. (Plectida, Leptolaimidae). Two species have been previously recorded in hydrothermal habitats, and one species is recorded for the first time in such an environment. Oncholaimus scanicus (Enoplida, Oncholaimidae) was formerly known from only the type locality in non-hydrothermal shallow milieu of the Norway Sea. O. scanicus is a very abundant species in Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike and Lost City hydrothermal sites, and population of the last locality differs from other two in some morphometric characteristics. Desmodora marci (Desmodorida, Desmodoridae) was previously known from other remote deep-sea hydrothermal localities in south-western and north-eastern Pacific. Halomonhystera vandoverae (Monhysterida, Monhysteridae) was described and repeatedly found in mass in Snake Pit hydrothermal site. The whole hydrothermal nematode assemblages are featured by low diversity in comparison with either shelf or deep-sea non-hydrothermal communities. The nematode species list of the Atlantic hydrothermal vents consists of representatives of common shallow-water genera; the new species are also related to some shelf species. On the average, the hydrothermal species differ from those of slope and abyssal plains of comparable depths by larger sizes, diversity of buccal structures, presence of food content in the gut and ripe eggs in uteri.

  17. Detection of zoonotic and livestock-specific assemblages of Giardia duodenalis in free-living wild lizards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aurora Reboredo-Fernández

    Full Text Available Abstract Giardia duodenalis is a zoonotic parasite that infects the gut of a wide range of vertebrates, including numerous wildlife species. However, little is known about this protozoan parasite in reptiles. Fecal samples from 31 wild lizards were collected in Galicia (northwest Spain and screened for the presence of Giardia by PCR amplification and sequencing of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region in the ribosomal unit. This allowed detection of the parasite in 5 samples (16.1%, and enabled identification of G. duodenalis assemblage A2 in two samples of Iberian rock lizard (Iberolacerta monticola, G. duodenalis assemblage B in other two samples of I. monticola, and G. duodenalis assemblage E in one sample of Bocage’s wall lizard (Podarcis bocagei. The results obtained after PCR amplification and sequencing of the SSU-rDNA gene confirmed the presence of G. duodenalis assemblage A in two samples of I. monticola. This is the first report of G. duodenalis in free-living lizards, although further studies are needed to distinguish between actual infection and mechanical dissemination of cysts. The detection of zoonotic and livestock-specific assemblages of G. duodenalis demonstrates the wide environmental contamination by this parasite, possibly due to human activities.

  18. Your garden hose: a potential health risk due to Legionella spp. growth facilitated by free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Jacqueline M; Thomas, Torsten; Stuetz, Richard M; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2014-09-02

    Common garden hoses may generate aerosols of inhalable size (≤10 μm) during use. If humans inhale aerosols containing Legionella bacteria, Legionnaires' disease or Pontiac fever may result. Clinical cases of these illnesses have been linked to garden hose use. The hose environment is ideal for the growth and interaction of Legionella and free-living amoebae (FLA) due to biofilm formation, elevated temperatures, and stagnation of water. However, the microbial densities and hose conditions necessary to quantify the human health risks have not been reported. Here we present data on FLA and Legionella spp. detected in water and biofilm from two types of garden hoses over 18 months. By culturing and qPCR, two genera of FLA were introduced via the drinking water supply and reached mean densities of 2.5 log10 amoebae·mL(-1) in garden hose water. Legionella spp. densities (likely including pathogenic L. pneumophila) were significantly higher in one type of hose (3.8 log10 cells·mL(-1), p < 0.0001). A positive correlation existed between Vermamoebae vermiformis densities and Legionella spp. densities (r = 0.83, p < 0.028). The densities of Legionella spp. identified in the hoses were similar to those reported during legionellosis outbreaks in other situations. Therefore, we conclude that there is a health risk to susceptible users from the inhalation of garden hose aerosols.

  19. Potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in some flood-affected areas during 2011 Chiang Mai flood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wannasan, Anchalee; Uparanukraw, Pichart; Songsangchun, Apichart; Morakote, Nimit

    2013-01-01

    The survey was carried out to investigate the presence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae (FLA) during flood in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2011. From different crisis flood areas, seven water samples were collected and tested for the presence of amoebae using culture and molecular methods. By monoxenic culture, FLA were detected from all samples at 37 °C incubation. The FLA growing at 37 °C were morphologically identified as Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria spp. and some unidentified amoebae. Only three samples (42.8%), defined as thermotolerant FLA, continued to grow at 42 °C. By molecular methods, two non-thermotolerant FlA were shown to have 99% identity to Acanthamoeba sp. and 98% identity to Hartmannella vermiformis while the two thermotolerant FLA were identified as Echinamoeba exundans (100% identity) and Hartmannella sp. (99% identity). This first report of the occurrence of FLA in water during the flood disaster will provide information to the public to be aware of potentially pathogenic FLA.

  20. Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilises its type III secretion system to kill the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abd, Hadi; Wretlind, Bengt; Saeed, Amir; Idsund, Eva; Hultenby, Kjell; Sandström, Gunnar

    2008-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a free-living and common environmental bacterium. It is an opportunistic and nosocomial pathogen causing serious human health problems. To overcome its predators, such as macrophages and environmental phagocytes, it utilises different survival strategies, such as the formation of microcolonies and the production of toxins mediated by a type III secretion system (TTSS). The aim of this study was to examine interaction of TTSS effector proteins of P. aeruginosa PA103 with Acanthamoeba castellanii by co-cultivation, viable count, eosin staining, electron microscopy, apoptosis assay, and statistical analysis. The results showed that P. aeruginosa PA103 induced necrosis and apoptosis to kill A. castellanii by the effects of TTSS effector proteins ExoU, ExoS, ExoT, and ExoY. In comparison, Acanthamoeba cultured alone and co-cultured with P. aeruginosa PA103 lacking the known four TTSS effector proteins were not killed. The results are consistent with P. aeruginosa being a strict extracellular bacterium that needs TTSS to survive in the environment, because the TTSS effector proteins are able to kill its eukaryotic predators, such as Acanthamoeba.

  1. Screening of recreational areas of rivers for potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in the suburbs of Tehran, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niyyati, Maryam; Lasjerdi, Zohreh; Nazar, Mahdieh; Haghighi, Ali; Nazemalhosseini Mojarad, Ehsan

    2012-03-01

    A survey was conducted to determine the presence of free-living amoebae (FLA), especially Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, in river recreation areas in Tehran Province, Iran. All rivers surveyed were associated with human activity, and two were also a source of municipal tap water. Fifty-five water samples from 10 major rivers were screened for FLA and identified by morphological characters, PCR amplification targeting specific genes for Acanthamoeba (DF3 region of Rns gene) and other FLA (ITS PCR), and homology analysis. The percentage of positive FLA isolates was 27.3%, of which 80% were Acanthamoeba, assigned to the T4 and T15 genotype, and 20% were Naegleria. Isolation of Acanthamoeba T4 genotype (91.7%) from recreation areas could be a health threat and a sanitary risk associated with human activity where young people and tourists congregate in summer. Posting of warning signs and education of high-risk individuals are important for disease prevention. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of genotype T15 (clustered with A. jacobsi) identified in Iran and the first report of the distribution of FLA such as Naegleria (N. pagei, N. clarki and N. fultoni) in recreation areas in rivers of Tehran Province using molecular methods.

  2. Xenic Cultivation and Genotyping of Pathogenic Free-Living Amoeba from Public Water Supply Sources in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celsus Sente

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies on waterborne parasites from natural environment and domestic water sources in Uganda are very scarce and unpublished. Water dwelling free-living amoebae (FLA of the genus Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, and Naegleria are often responsible for causing morbidities and mortalities in individuals with recent contact with contaminated water, but their presence in Uganda’s public water supply sources is not known. We cultivated and genotyped FLA from natural and domestic water from Queen Elizabeth Protected Area (QEPA and Kampala (KLA. The cultivated parasites were observed microscopically and recorded. The overall prevalence of FLA in QEPA (Acanthamoeba spp., 35%; Hartmannella spp., 18.9%; Naegleria spp., 13.5% and KLA (Acanthamoeba spp., 28.3%; Naegleria spp., 16.6%; Hartmannella spp., 23.1% were not significantly different. The highest prevalence across water sources in QEPA and KLA was observed for Acanthamoeba spp., followed by Hartmannella spp., and Naegleria spp. Overall FLA mean (±SE and mean (±SE across water sources were highest for Acanthamoeba spp. compared to other FLA but were not statistically significant (p > 0.05. Analysis of the FLA sequences produced 1 Cercomonas, 1 Nuclearia, 1 Bodomorpha, 2 Hartmannella, 5 Echinamoeba, and 7 Acanthamoeba partial sequences, indicating a muliplicity of water contaminants that need to be controlled by proper water treatment.

  3. Vertical distribution of the free-living amoeba population in soil under desert shrubs in the Negev desert, Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Zaragoza, Salvador; Mayzlish, Einav; Steinberger, Yosef

    2005-04-01

    A field study was designed to examine the effect of desert shrubs on the dynamics of free-living amoebae in arid soil. Soil samples from 0- to 50-cm depths were collected at 10-cm intervals in each of the four seasons. The vertical distributions of the four main morphological types of amoebae, grouped according to their mobility, and of small flagellate populations were measured under the canopies of Hammada scoparia and Atriplex halimus, shrubs belonging to the chloride-absorbing xerohalophytes. The result obtained from the field study demonstrated that the total number of protozoa was significantly higher during the wet seasons (winter and spring) than during the dry seasons. The protozoan population was more diverse under the canopy of H. scoparia during the wet seasons, reaching 8,000 individuals per 1 g of dry soil, whereas during the dry seasons, the populations were higher under the canopy of A. halimus, with a mean of 250 individuals. The protozoan population in the deeper layers (40 to 50 cm) was found to be as active as that in the upper layers, demonstrating that, in the desert, soil columns below 20 cm are fertile and worth studying. The type 1 amoebae (e.g., Acanthamoeba and Filamoeba spp.) were the most abundant throughout the study period, and their numbers were significantly higher than those of the other amoeba types.

  4. First detection of Borrelia burgdorferi-antibodies in free-living birds of prey from Eastern Westphalia, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Büker, M; Picozzi, K; Kolb, S; Hatt, J-M

    2013-07-01

    Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato, the causative agent of Lyme disease, is the most important arthropod-borne zoonosis-pathogen in the Northern hemisphere. Besides small mammals, birds, primarily Passeriformes and sea birds, play an important role in the transmission, distribution and maintenance of this disease. Previous studies on birds have focused mainly on the detection of Borrelia-infected ticks. However, the presence or absence of an infected tick cannot be taken as an indicator of the infective status of the avian host; to date this area of research has not been explored. In this study, serological analyses of blood collected from free-living birds of prey (n = 29) at the rehabilitation centre in Eastern Westphalia, Germany, highlights that birds of prey are also susceptible to B. burgdorferi and react immunologically to an infection. Increased antibody-levels could be found by using a modified Indirect Immunofluorescent-testing in two common buzzards, Buteo buteo, and two eagle owls, Bubo bubo. Further research regarding the serological diagnostics of B. burgdorferi within the avian host is required. In the future, it should be taken into account that birds of prey can be reservoirs for B. burgdorferi, as well as carriers of infected ticks; although at present their epidemiological importance is still to be confirmed.

  5. Surveillance and evaluation of the infection risk of free-living amoebae and Legionella in different aquatic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Wen-Tsai; Hsu, Bing-Mu; Chang, Tien-Yu; Hsu, Tsui-Kang; Kao, Po-Min; Huang, Kuan-Hao; Tsai, Shiou-Feng; Huang, Yu-Li; Fan, Cheng-Wei

    2014-11-15

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are ubiquitous in various aquatic environments. Several amoebae species are pathogenic and host other pathogens such as Legionella, but the presence of FLA and its parasites as well as the related infection risk are not well known. In this study, the presence of pathogenic FLA and Legionella in various water bodies was investigated. Water samples were collected from a river, intake areas of drinking water treatment plants, and recreational hot spring complexes in central and southern Taiwan. A total of 140 water samples were tested for the presence of Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria spp., Vermamoeba vermiformis, and Legionella. In addition, phylogenetic characteristics and water quality parameters were also assessed. The pathogenic genotypes of FLA included Acanthamoeba T4 and Naegleria australiensis, and both were abundant in the hot spring water. In contrast, Legionella pneumophila was detected in different aquatic environments. Among the FLA assessed, V. vermiformis was most likely to coexist with Legionella spp. The total bacteria level was associated with the presence of FLA and Legionella especially in hot spring water. Taken together, FLA contamination in recreational hot springs and drinking water source warrants more attention on potential legionellosis and amoebae infections.

  6. Salmonella spp. as a cause of mortality and clinical symptoms in free-living garden bird species in Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawiec, M; Pietkiewicz, M; Wieliczko, A

    2014-01-01

    Some species of garden birds are considered to be sensitive to Salmonella (S.) spp. infections. The aim of this study was to determine the cause of mortality of six free-living birds in one private property in suburban area of Wrocław (Poland). In 2013 Poland experienced prolonged winter, with low temperatures and snow precipitations. During March and April, two dead individuals of the Eurasian siskin (Carduelis spinus) and four dead individuals of the Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) were found in proximity of the bird feeder. At the time of ringing procedure in the same area, faecal samples of all individuals belonging to these two species of birds were collected, regardless clinical symptoms. In total, twenty two faecal samples of birds belonging to both bird species were collected in the same property. All of them were Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium positive. The visible illness among European siskins and Greenfinches, caused by S. Typhimurium, sug- gests that both Eurasian siskin and Greenfinch may be potential reservoirs of Salmonella spp. Therefore they might play a role in transmission of zoonotic pathogens to other garden bird species or to people.

  7. Novel multimetabolite prediction of walnut consumption by a urinary biomarker model in a free-living population: the PREDIMED study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Aloy, Mar; Llorach, Rafael; Urpi-Sarda, Mireia; Tulipani, Sara; Estruch, Ramon; Martínez-González, Miguel A; Corella, Dolores; Fitó, Montserrat; Ros, Emilio; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Andres-Lacueva, Cristina

    2014-07-03

    The beneficial impact of walnuts on human health has been attributed to their unique chemical composition. In order to characterize the dietary walnut fingerprinting, spot urine samples from two sets of 195 (training) and 186 (validation) individuals were analyzed by an HPLC-q-ToF-MS untargeted metabolomics approach, selecting the most discriminating metabolites by multivariate data analysis (VIP ≥ 1.5). Stepwise logistic regression analysis was used to design a multimetabolite prediction biomarker model. The global performance of the model and each included metabolite in it was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic curves, using the area under the curve (AUC) values. Dietary exposure to walnuts was characterized by 18 metabolites, including markers of fatty acid metabolism, ellagitannin-derived microbial compounds, and intermediate metabolites of the tryptophan/serotonin pathway. The predictive model of walnut exposure included at least one compound of each class. The AUC (95% CI) for the combined biomarker model was 93.4% (90.1-96.8%) in the training set and 90.2% (85.9-94.6%) in the validation set. The AUCs for individual metabolites were ≤85%. As far as we know, this is the first study proposing a combination of biomarkers of walnut exposure in a population under free-living conditions, as considered in epidemiological studies examining associations between diet and health outcomes.

  8. Serosurvey for antibodies to malignant catarrhal fever-associated viruses in free-living and captive cervids in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frölich, K; Li, H; Müller-Doblies, U

    1998-10-01

    A total of 486 serum samples collected from several species of both free-living and captive cervids in Germany was examined for antibodies against malignant catarrhal fever (MCF)-associated viruses (MCFV) by a competitive-inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (CI-ELISA). Eleven (2%) of these samples were positive for antibodies against MCFV. Among 157 serum samples collected from 16 different species of captive deer including four (7%) of 54 fallow deer and one (7%) of 14 sika deer (Cervus nippon) were seropositive. Among 329 samples from three species of free-ranging deer, including 253 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), 22 red deer (Cervus elaphus) and 54 fallow deer (Cervus dama), only fallow deer were antibody-positive. Of the 25 fallow deer samples collected between 1990 and 1993, four (16%) were seropositive. Among 29 free-ranging fallow deer samples collected in the hunting period 1996-1997, antibodies to MCFV were detected in two (7%) of these sera. All of these fallow deer samples were collected from a circumscribed area in northern Germany. In the same area a high seroprevalence (72%) to MCFV was observed in domestic sheep (n = 50). Among 20 sheep samples (buffy coat) and 15 fallow deer samples (spleen or lymph nodes) examined for ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) by PCR, all 20 sheep samples examined were OvHV-2 positive, but all of the 15 fallow deer samples, including seven seropositive deer, were OvHV-2 negative.

  9. Effect of alum on free-living and copepod-associated Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chowdhury, M A; Huq, A; Xu, B; Madeira, F J; Colwell, R R

    1997-08-01

    The effects of alum [KAl(SO4)2] on free-living and copepod-associated Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 were investigated by using plate counts and immunofluorescence direct viable counting (DVC). Growth of alum-treated cells in 0.5/1000 Instant Ocean seawater was inhibited, i.e., no growth was obtained on Luria-Bertani (LB) agar or thiosulfate-citrate-bile salt-sucrose (TCBS) agar. However, a significant number of the inhibited cells maintained viability, as measured by DVC. In comparison, a significant number of V. cholerae organisms associated with zooplankton, most of which were crustacean copepods, were viable but nonculturable, with only a small number of cells retaining culturability on LB and TCBS agar. Both DVC and viable plate counts (CFU) were significantly greater for V. cholerae O1 and O139 associated with zooplankton than for V. cholerae in water alone, i.e., without copepods. It is concluded that alum is an effective coagulant but not an effective killing agent for V. cholerae and that association with copepods offers protection for V. cholerae O1 and O139 against alum and chlorine treatments.

  10. Changes during late-stage embryonic development from egg-juvenile to free-living hatchling in Chinese freshwater crab Sinopotamon yangtsekiense (Decapoda, Brachyura, Potamidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Junzeng; Liu, Yan; Cumberlidge, Neil; Wu, Huixian

    2013-05-01

    This study expands on recent reports that direct development in the Chinese potamid freshwater crab Sinopotamon yangtsekiense involves the completion of all brachyuran larval stages (nauplius, zoea, and megalopa) inside the egg case during embryonic development. Detailed studies of embryonic development in this species revealed the presence of an additional larval stage (the egg-juvenile) between the megalopa and the free-living hatchling crab. We described and compared the appendages of the head, thorax, and abdomen of the egg-juvenile with those of the hatchling crab in S. yangtsekiense. Significant differences were found between most of the appendages of these two stages with a soft exoskeleton in the egg-juvenile, no joint articulation, a slimmer appearance, and a lack of setae when compared with the newly emerged free-living hatchling crab. These modifications of the appendages are related to the confinement within the egg case of the egg-megalopa and egg-juvenile during direct development, and the need for the free-living hatchling freshwater crab to move, feed, and respire. In marine crabs, the megalopa gives rise to the first crab stage whereas in freshwater crabs the egg-juvenile follows the megalopa and immediately precedes the free-living first crab stage.

  11. Low validity of the Sensewear Pro3 activity monitor compared to indirect calorimetry during simulated free living in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hermann, Andreas; Ried-Larsen, Mathias; Jensen, Andreas Emil Kryger

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: To validate physical activity estimates by the Sensewear Pro3 activity monitor compared with indirect calorimetry during simulated free living in patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the hip pre or post total hip arthroplasty. METHODS: Twenty patients diagnosed with hip osteoarth...

  12. Health Locus of Control Predicts Free-living, but Not Supervised, Physical Activity: A Test of Exercise-Specific Control and Outcome-Expectancy Hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dishman, Rod K.; Steinhardt, Mary

    1990-01-01

    Discusses a study that compared internal health locus of control (IHLOC) with internal exercise locus of control for predicting college students' activity. Results indicate an independent influence of IHLOC on free-living physical activity and suggest that testing adjust for fitness, barriers to physical activity, and outcome-expectancy values.…

  13. The Salmonella pathogenicity island 2-encoded type III secretion system is essential for the survival of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in free-living amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleasdale, Benjamin; Lott, Penelope J; Jagannathan, Aparna; Stevens, Mark P; Birtles, Richard J; Wigley, Paul

    2009-03-01

    Free-living amoebae represent a potential reservoir and predator of Salmonella enterica. Through the use of type III secretion system (T3SS) mutants and analysis of transcription of selected T3SS genes, we demonstrated that the Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 is highly induced during S. enterica serovar Typhimurium infection of Acanthamoeba polyphaga and is essential for survival within amoebae.

  14. Dentition and Life History of a 16-year-old Known-age Free-living Male Lion Panthera leo (Linnaeus, 1758 from the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.J. Whyte

    1988-10-01

    Full Text Available Wear in the dentition of a known-age, free-living, 16-year-old male lion is described and compared to existing age-determination techniques. Aspects of his life history are described as they are in some contrast to what is known of male lions' life history strategies.

  15. Changes during late-stage embryonic development from egg-juvenile to free-living hatchling in Chinese freshwater crab Sinopotamon yangtsekiense (Decapoda, Brachyura,Potamidae)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XUE Junzeng; LIU Yan; Neil CUMBERLIDGE; WU Huixian

    2013-01-01

    This study expands on recent reports that direct development in the Chinese potamid freshwater crab Sinopotamon yangtsekiense involves the completion of all brachyuran larval stages (nauplius,zoea,and megalopa) inside the egg case during embryonic development.Detailed studies of embryonic development in this species revealed the presence of an additional larval stage (the egg-juvenile) between the megalopa and the free-living hatchling crab.We described and compared the appendages of the head,thorax,and abdomen of the egg-juvenile with those of the hatchling crab in S.yangtsekiense.Significant differences were found between most of the appendages of these two stages with a soft exoskeleton in the egg-juvenile,no joint articulation,a slimmer appearance,and a lack of setae when compared with the newly emerged free-living hatchling crab.These modifications of the appendages are related to the confinement within the egg case of the egg-megalopa and egg-juvenile during direct development,and the need for the free-living hatchling freshwater crab to move,feed,and respire.In marine crabs,the megalopa gives rise to the first crab stage whereas in freshwater crabs the egg-juvenile follows the megalopa and immediately precedes the free-living first crab stage.

  16. Habitat selection of breeding brown eared-pheasants (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) in Xiaowutaishan National Nature Reserve,Hebei Province,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Dongming LI; Shiping GAO; Yuefeng WU; Lihan SUN; Shubin GUO; Jili LI

    2009-01-01

    From April to July of 2003-2005,we investigated habitat selection of breeding brown eared-pheasants (Crossoptilon mantchuricum) in the Xiaowutaishan National Nature Reserve,Hebei Province.Our results show that brown eared-pheasants preferred deciduousconiferous mixed or deciduous forests with altitudes ranging from 1600 to 2200 m,steep gradients of slopes and medium or high positions on slopes.Moreover,they preferred habitats with more tree species,larger diameters at the breast height,more density and cover of trees and habitats with more types of grasses,high density and cover of grasses,but with fewer types of shrubs and lower density and cover of shrubs.They had larger territories in the early breeding stage than in the late breeding stage.There were significant differences in diameters at the breast height of trees,average height of trees,cover of trees,density of shrubs,cover of shrubs,aspect,distance to path,distance to water,distance to forest edge (P < 0.01,respectively),density of trees,type of shrubs,height of shrubs,type of grasses,density of grasses and proportion of bareness (P < 0.05,respectively).The result of the principal component analysis suggested that the principal components among the 23 habitat factors were the average height of trees,density of trees,diameters at the breast height of trees,density of shrubs,cover of shrubs and density of grasses.The differences in habitat selection of brown eared-pheasants between early breeding and late breeding stages may correlate with the dynamics of ambient environmental conditions,the reproductive behavior and energy requirements in their sub-stages of breeding.

  17. [Investigation of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae and their in vivo pathogenicity in water supplies of Turkey].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazar, Süleyman; Gürbüz, Esra; Sönmez, Mehmet Fatih; Çetinkaya, Ülfet; Kuk, Salih

    2016-07-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are found widely in soil and water in the nature. Among them in which potentially pathogenic for humans and animals are known as "potential pathogenic free-living amoebae (PPFLA)". PPFLA are characterized as the causes of clinical manifestations leading to death especially in immunosuppressed people. Four genus of PPFLA (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Balamuthia and Sappinia) are known to be pathogenic to humans. The aims of this study were to investigate the presence of PPFLA in the water supplies in Turkey and to determine their in vivo pathogenicity. A total of 664 water samples were collected from the ponds, rivers, streams and wells found in provinces located at different regions (central, western, eastern and southeastern regions) of Turkey. These samples were initially inoculated in the monoxenic culture media and evaluated by both microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in terms of the presence of FLA. The samples identified as positive were then cultured in axenic media, the growth of amoebae that were confirmed microscopically, were than studied with PCR for molecular characterization. The isolates that were found positive by PCR from axenic cultures were inoculated intranasally to immunocompetent and immunodeficient (athymic) [BALB/c Rag2(-/-) gamma(c)(-/-)] BALB/c mice followed by the evaluation on the 21st day by histopathological and molecular methods to investigate their in vivo pathogenicity. In our study, 143 water samples were detected as positive in monoxenic cultures and 41 of them were detected as positive in axenic cultures. Twenty of 41 samples detected as positive in axenic culture could be continued in culture for three months. As a result of PCR using primers common to SYA, only nine have been identified from 20 samples as positive. According to the result of the PCR with specific primers, all (n= 9) were positive for Acanthamoeba sp., eight for Sappini sp. and five for Balamuthia mandrillaris, while none was

  18. Phylogenomic analysis of Candidatus ‘Izimaplasma’ species: free-living representatives from a Tenericutes clade found in methane seeps

    KAUST Repository

    Skennerton, Connor T.

    2016-04-08

    Tenericutes are a unique class of bacteria that lack a cell wall and are typically parasites or commensals of eukaryotic hosts. Environmental 16S rDNA surveys have identified a number of tenericute clades in diverse environments, introducing the possibility that these Tenericutes may represent non-host-associated, free-living microorganisms. Metagenomic sequencing of deep-sea methane seep sediments resulted in the assembly of two genomes from a Tenericutes-affiliated clade currently known as \\'NB1-n\\' (SILVA taxonomy) or \\'RF3\\' (Greengenes taxonomy). Metabolic reconstruction revealed that, like cultured members of the Mollicutes, these \\'NB1-n\\' representatives lack a tricarboxylic acid cycle and instead use anaerobic fermentation of simple sugars for substrate level phosphorylation. Notably, the genomes also contained a number of unique metabolic features including hydrogenases and a simplified electron transport chain containing an RNF complex, cytochrome bd oxidase and complex I. On the basis of the metabolic potential predicted from the annotated genomes, we devised an anaerobic enrichment media that stimulated the growth of these Tenericutes at 10 °C, resulting in a mixed culture where these organisms represented ∼60% of the total cells by targeted fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Visual identification by FISH confirmed these organisms were not directly associated with Eukaryotes and electron cryomicroscopy of cells in the enrichment culture confirmed an ultrastructure consistent with the defining phenotypic property of Tenericutes, with a single membrane and no cell wall. On the basis of their unique gene content, phylogenetic placement and ultrastructure, we propose these organisms represent a novel class within the Tenericutes, and suggest the names Candidatus \\'Izimaplasma sp. HR1\\' and Candidatus \\'Izimaplasma sp. HR2\\' for the two genome representatives.

  19. Vitamin D status and its associated factors of free living Malay adults in a tropical country, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moy, Foong Ming

    2011-09-02

    Vitamin D status is influenced by sun exposure, geographic latitude, daily outdoor activities, body surface exposed to sunlight and dietary intakes. Malaysia, is sunny all year round. However, the vitamin D status of this population especially among the healthy and free living adults is not known. Therefore a study of vitamin D status and associated factors was initiated among an existing Malay cohort in Kuala Lumpur. A total of 380 subjects were sampled to have their vitamin D status assessed using 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D). A short questionnaire enquiring socio-demographic characteristics, exposure to sunlight and clothing style was administered. Their mean age was 48.5±5.2years and the mean 25(OH)D for males and females were 56.2±18.9nmol/L and 36.2±13.4nmol/L respectively. There were significant positive correlation for sun exposure score (r=0.27, p<0.001) and negative correlation for sun protection score (r=-0.41, p<0.001) with 25(OH)D levels. In the logistic regression model, females (OR=2.93; 95% CI: 1.17, 7.31), BMI (1.1; 1.03, 1.20) and sun exposure score (0.998; 0.996, 0.999) were significantly associated with vitamin D status as represented by 25(OH)D levels. Our findings show that obesity, lifestyle behaviours and clothing style are directly associated with our participants especially females' low vitamin D status. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Protozoan and helminth parasite fauna of free-living Croatian wild wolves (Canis lupus) analyzed by scat collection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermosilla, Carlos; Kleinertz, Sonja; Silva, Liliana M R; Hirzmann, Jörg; Huber, Djuro; Kusak, Josip; Taubert, Anja

    2017-01-15

    The European wolf (Canis lupus) is a large carnivore species present in limited areas of Europe with several small populations still being considered as endangered. Wolves can be infected by a wide range of protozoan and metazoan parasites with some of them affecting free-living wolf health condition. On this account, an epidemiological survey was conducted to analyze the actual parasite fauna in Croatian wild wolves. In total, 400 individual faecal samples were collected during field studies on wolf ecology in the years 2002-2011. Parasite stages were identified by the sodium acetate acetic acid formalin (SAF)-technique, carbolfuchsin-stained faecal smears and Giardia/Cryptosporidium coproantigen-ELISAs. A subset of taeniid eggs-positive wolf samples was additionally analyzed by PCR and subsequent sequencing to identify eggs on Echinococcus granulosus/E. multilocularis species level. In total 18 taxa of parasites were here detected. Sarcocystis spp. (19.1%) occurred most frequently in faecal samples, being followed by Capillaria spp. (16%), ancylostomatids (13.1%), Crenosoma vulpis (4.6%), Angiostrongylus vasorum (3.1%), Toxocara canis (2.8%), Hammondia/Neospora spp. (2.6 %), Cystoisospora ohioensis (2.1%), Giardia spp. (2.1%), Cystoisospora canis (1.8%), Cryptosporidium spp. (1.8%), Trichuris vulpis (1.5%), Taenia spp. (1.5%), Diphyllobothrium latum (1.5%), Strongyloides spp. (0.5%), Opisthorchis felineus (0.5%), Toxascaris leonina (0.3%), Mesocestoides litteratus (0.3%) and Alaria alata (0.3%). Some of the here identified parasites represent relevant pathogens for wolves, circulating between these carnivorous definitive hosts and a variety of mammalian intermediate hosts, e. g. Taenia spp. and Sarcocystis spp., while others are considered exclusively pathogenic for canids (e.g. A. vasorum, C. vulpis, T. vulpis, Cystoisospora spp.). This study provides first records on the occurrence of the two relevant anthropozoonotic parasites, Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium

  1. Associations of urban environmental pollution with health-related physiological traits in a free-living bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauerová, Petra; Vinklerová, Jitka; Hraníček, Jakub; Čorba, Vojtěch; Vojtek, Libor; Svobodová, Jana; Vinkler, Michal

    2017-12-01

    Urban environmental pollution results in contamination of the tissues of synanthropic organisms by toxic trace elements with potential impacts on human health. Passerine birds may serve as convenient indicators of such contamination. In this study we investigated the effect of blood and plumage contamination with heavy metals (lead Pb, cadmium Cd, copper Cu, chromium Cr) and arsenic metalloid (As) on condition, health and ornamental colour in free-living great tit (Parus major) males from 13 cities across the Czech Republic (EU), mist netted during the early breading season (April-May). Our results showed a significant association of heavy metal tissue contamination with immune function, namely leukocyte composition in the avian blood circulation. High heavy metal contamination in bird feathers was linked to a high heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, indicating long-term stress in individuals inhabiting heavily polluted environments. In contrast, males with higher concentrations of heavy metals in blood had a lower H/L ratio, assumingly due to the direct toxicity of heavy metals in certain cell types. This is also supported by traits indicative of anaemia-like haemolytic conditions (decreased absolute erythrocyte count) and increased haematopoiesis (a tendency for increased frequencies of immature erythrocytes). We did not find any association of heavy metal contamination with the bacteriolytic activity of plasma complement, feather growth or ornamentation (black breast stripe area and yellow colouration). There was no significant relationship between heavy metal contamination in blood or feathers and PM10 pollution at the study sites. Our correlational study is the first to show on a large geographic scale that despite strict European air pollution regulations and regular monitoring that have allowed general improvements in atmospheric contamination, non-degradable heavy metals persistently contaminate animal blood and feathers in anthropogenic environments at

  2. Evidence for Karyotype Polymorphism in the Free-Living Flatworm, Macrostomum lignano, a Model Organism for Evolutionary and Developmental Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlatter, Aline; Konopatskaia, Irina D.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano has been successfully used in many areas of biology, including embryology, stem cells, sexual selection, bioadhesion and aging. The increased use of this powerful laboratory model, including the establishment of genomic resources and tools, makes it essential to have a detailed description of the chromosome organization of this species, previously suggested to have a karyotype with 2n = 8 and one pair of large and three pairs of small metacentric chromosomes. We performed cytogenetic analyses for chromosomes of one commonly used inbred line of M. lignano (called DV1) and uncovered unexpected chromosome number variation in the form of aneuploidies of the largest chromosomes. These results prompted us to perform karyotypic studies in individual specimens of this and other lines of M. lignano reared under laboratory conditions, as well as in freshly field-collected specimens from different natural populations. Our analyses revealed a high frequency of aneuploids and in some cases other numerical and structural chromosome abnormalities in laboratory-reared lines of M. lignano, and some cases of aneuploidy were also found in freshly field-collected specimens. Moreover, karyological analyses were performed in specimens of three further species: Macrostomum sp. 8 (a close relative of M. lignano), M. spirale and M. hystrix. Macrostomum sp. 8 showed a karyotype that was similar to that of M. lignano, with tetrasomy for its largest chromosome being the most common karyotype, while the other two species showed a simpler karyotype that is more typical of the genus Macrostomum. These findings suggest that M. lignano and Macrostomum sp. 8 can be used as new models for studying processes of partial genome duplication in genome evolution. PMID:27755577

  3. Telomere dynamics in free-living edible dormice (Glis glis): the impact of hibernation and food supply.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoelzl, Franz; Cornils, Jessica S; Smith, Steve; Moodley, Yoshan; Ruf, Thomas

    2016-08-15

    We studied the impact of hibernation and food supply on relative telomere length (RTL), an indicator for aging and somatic maintenance, in free-living edible dormice. Small hibernators such as dormice have ∼50% higher maximum longevity than non-hibernators. Increased longevity could theoretically be due to prolonged torpor directly slowing cellular damage and RTL shortening. However, although mitosis is arrested in mammals at low body temperatures, recent evidence points to accelerated RTL shortening during periodic re-warming (arousal) from torpor. Therefore, we hypothesized that these arousals during hibernation should have a negative effect on RTL. Here, we show that RTL was shortened in all animals over the course of ∼1 year, during which dormice hibernated for 7.5-11.4 months. The rate of periodic arousals, rather than the time spent euthermic during the hibernation season, was the best predictor of RTL shortening. This finding points to negative effects on RTL of the transition from low torpor to high euthermic body temperature and metabolic rate during arousals, possibly because of increased oxidative stress. The animals were, however, able to elongate their telomeres during the active season, when food availability was increased by supplemental feeding in a year of low natural food abundance. We conclude that in addition to their energetic costs, periodic arousals also lead to accelerated cellular damage in terms of RTL shortening. Although dormice are able to counteract and even over-compensate for the negative effects of hibernation, restoration of RTL appears to be energetically costly.

  4. Evaluation of a digital method to assess evening meal intake in a free-living adult population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Dahl Lassen

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: In recent years new applications of technologies, including digital images, to capture dietary behaviour in real time have been explored. Objectives: To validate a digital method for estimating evening meal intake in a free-living adult population, and to examine the feasibility of the method for recording evening meal intake over a prolonged period of time. Design: The digital method was compared against weighed records of 19 participants’ usual evening meals for five consecutive days. Two trained image analysts independently estimated the weight of individual foods within the meals into major food categories, and the nutrient content was calculated. A second study included interviews with 28 participants recording their evening meals on weekdays for three consecutive weeks to get their perspective on the feasibility of the method. Results: High correlation coefficients between the digital method and weighed records were found for all measured food categories and nutrients. Comparable means and acceptable limits of agreement (mean difference +/− 2 SD were found with regard to macronutrient distribution (e.g. fat content −5 to 6 E%, energy density (−75 to 91 kJ/100 g, and energy-adjusted foods (e.g. fruit and vegetable content −241 to 236 g/10 MJ. The majority of the participants expressed satisfaction with the method and were willing to record their evening meals for 1 month or more using the digital method. Conclusion: The digital method is valid and feasible for evening meal estimation in real-time where a prolonged recording period of participants’ meals is needed.

  5. Effectiveness of cleaners and sanitizers in killing Salmonella Newport in the gut of a free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenney, Stephen J; Anderson, Gary L; Williams, Phillip L; Millner, Patricia D; Beuchat, Larry R

    2004-10-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living nematode found in soil, has been shown to ingest human enteric pathogens, thereby potentially serving as a vector for preharvest contamination of fruits and vegetables. A study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of cleaners and sanitizers in killing Salmonella enterica serotype Newport in the gut of C. elegans. Adult worms were fed nalidixic acid-adapted cells of Escherichia coli OP50 (control) or Salmonella Newport for 24 h, washed, placed on paper discs, and incubated at temperatures of 4 or 20 degrees C and relative humidities of 33 or 98% for 24 h. Two commercial cleaners (Enforce and K Foam Lo) and four sanitizers (2% acetic acid, 2% lactic acid, Sanova, and chlorine [50 and 200 microg/ml]) were applied to worms for 0, 2, or 10 min. Populations of E. coli and Salmonella Newport (CFU per worm) in untreated and treated worms were determined by sonicating worms in 0.1% peptone and surface plating suspensions of released cells on tryptic soy agar containing nalidixic acid. Populations of Salmonella Newport in worms exposed to 33 or 98% relative humidity at 4 degrees or 33% relative humidity at 20 degrees C were significantly (P < or = 0.05) lower than the number surviving exposure to 98% relative humidity at 20 degrees C. In general, treatment of desiccated worms with cleaners and sanitizers was effective in significantly (P < or = 0.05) reducing the number of ingested Salmonella Newport. Results indicate that temperature and relative humidity influence the survival of Salmonella Newport in the gut of C. elegans, and cleaners and sanitizers may not eliminate the pathogen.

  6. Seasonal distribution of air-borne pathogenic and free-living amoebae in Mexico City and its suburbs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rivera, F.; Bonilla, P.; Ramirez, E.; Calderon, A.; Gallegos, E.; Rodriguez, S.; Ortiz, R.; Hernandez, D.; Rivera, V. (ENEP-Iztacala, Tlalnepantla (Mexico). Lab. of Environmental Microbiology)

    1994-03-01

    A survey was carried out over a one-year period to isolate amoebae suspended in the air of Mexico City and its suburbs. Sampling stations were placed at the four cardinal points of the metropolitan area. Selective media were used to culture the amoebae isolated. Specialized taxonomic keys and physical and physiological tests were used for identification, and a statistical analysis was performed to determine the correlations between physico-chemical and biological parameters. 108 strains were isolated, of which 19 were pathogenic via intracerebral inoculation and 9 via intranasal inoculation. Species of the genera Acanthamoeba, Vahlkampfia and Hartmannella were most abundant. Acanthamoeba polyphaga showed the highest abundance. Several times during the period of the study SO[sub 2], O[sub 3], CO NO and NO[sub 2] exceeded the permissible levels established by the Mexican government. The ability of amoebae to form cysts and cyst size were important factors for their presence, survival, abundance and diversity in the atmosphere. The main source of air-borne amoebae was the soil. Factors that favored the incidence and diversity of the isolates were wind speed and direction, low relative humidity, generation of frequent dust-storms, resuspension of amoebae by vehicular traffic, proximity to garbage dumps and large extensions of bare soil. Soil cover was a factor associated with a reduction in the incidence and diversity of the aerial amoebae. This study demonstrates that there are viable cysts of amoebae in the atmosphere of Mexico City, that may have potential importance in the case of certain kinds of human allergies and diseases. Further research is needed to find out the aerial presence of viable cysts of obligatory, amphizoic or opportunistic amoebic parasites, and to clarify the qualitative and quantitative effects of the local meteorological and physico-chemical environment on the free-living amoebae present in the atmosphere. 48 refs., 11 figs., 4 tabs.

  7. Relationship among nutritional status, pro/antioxidant balance and cognitive performance in a group of free-living healthy elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rondanelli, M; Trotti, R; Opizzi, A; Solerte, S B

    2007-12-01

    Nutrition plays a role in health promotion and well-being, but there is still a lack of knowledge about nutrition-related risk factors in aging cognitive impairment. The purpose of this project was to evaluate the link between nutritional status, cognitive performance and pro/antioxidant balance in healthy elderly subjects residing in a small metropolitan community. The subjects were 69 free-living urban healthy elderly people (41 females and 28 males aged 84+/-7 years, mean +/- standard deviation SD, range 70-89). In this group of elderly subjects an analysis of the diet over the 3 days before the study entry was performed. The nutrients intake for individuals were compared with the Italian Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). We also collected residents' background information, nutritional status (Mini Nutritional Assessment, MNA), and data on daily nursing routines in institutions, including nutritional care. Plasma malondialdehyde and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity were evaluated in elderly people as compared to a group of healthy young people (control group) as indices of the oxidative balance. The mean vitamin and mineral intake for participants met the RDAs except for calcium and vitamin D. No difference was observed as regards plasma malondialdehyde between young and elderly subjects: 4.5 (3-6.2) mmol/L vs 4.45 (2.4-5.8) mmol/L respectively, median with range, whereas the latter exhibited higher erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity: 16.0 (9.3-48) U/g hemoglobin (Hb) vs 15 (10-35) U/g Hb, respectively, median with range (Pnutritional factors on cognitive performance in older adults.

  8. Analyses of RNA Polymerase II genes from free-living protists: phylogeny, long branch attraction, and the eukaryotic big bang.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dacks, Joel B; Marinets, Alexandra; Ford Doolittle, W; Cavalier-Smith, Thomas; Logsdon, John M

    2002-06-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among major eukaryotic protist lineages are largely uncertain. Two significant obstacles in reconstructing eukaryotic phylogeny are long-branch attraction (LBA) effects and poor taxon sampling of free-living protists. We have obtained and analyzed gene sequences encoding the largest subunit of RNA Polymerase II (RPB1) from Naegleria gruberi (a heterolobosean), Cercomonas ATCC 50319 (a cercozoan), and Ochromonas danica (a heterokont); we have also analyzed the RPB1 gene from the nucleomorph (nm) genome of Guillardia theta (a cryptomonad). Using a variety of phylogenetic methods our analysis shows that RPB1s from Giardia intestinalis and Trichomonas vaginalis are probably subject to intense LBA effects. Thus, the deep branching of these taxa on RPB1 trees is questionable and should not be interpreted as evidence favoring their early divergence. Similar effects are discernable, to a lesser extent, with the Mastigamoeba invertens RPB1 sequence. Upon removal of the outgroup and these problematic sequences, analyses of the remaining RPB1s indicate some resolution among major eukaryotic groups. The most robustly supported higher-level clades are the opisthokonts (animals plus fungi) and the red algae plus the cryptomonad nm-the latter result gives added support to the red algal origin of cryptomonad chloroplasts. Clades comprising Dictyostelium discoideum plus Acanthamoeba castellanii (Amoebozoa) and Ochromonas plus Plasmodium falciparum (chromalveolates) are consistently observed and moderately supported. The clades supported by our RPB1 analyses are congruent with other data, suggesting that bona fide phylogenetic relationships are being resolved. Thus, the RPB1 gene has apparently retained some phylogenetically meaningful signal, making it worthwhile to obtain sequences from more diverse protist taxa. Additional RPB1 data, especially in combination with other genes, should provide further resolution of branching orders among protist

  9. Effects of body mass index and step rate on pedometer error in a free-living environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyo, Brian M; Fitzhugh, Eugene C; Bassett, David R; John, Dinesh; Feito, Yuri; Thompson, Dixie L

    2011-02-01

    Pedometers could provide great insights into walking habits if they are found to be accurate for people of all weight categories. the purposes of this study were to determine whether the New Lifestyles NL-2000 (NL) and the Digi-Walker SW-200 (DW) yield similar daily step counts as compared with the StepWatch 3 (SW) in a free-living environment and to determine whether pedometer error is influenced by body mass index (BMI) and speed of walking. The SW served as the criterion because of its accuracy across a range of speeds and BMI categories. Slow walking was defined as ≤80 steps per minute. fifty-six adults (mean ± SD: age = 32.7 ± 14.5 yr) wore the devices for 7 d. There were 20 normal weight, 18 overweight, and 18 obese participants. A two-way repeated-measures ANOVA was performed to determine whether BMI and device were related to number of steps counted per day. Stepwise linear regressions were performed to determine what variables contributed to NL and DW error. both the NL and the DW recorded fewer steps than the SW (P < 0.001). In the normal weight and overweight groups, error was similar for the DW and NL. In the obese group, the DW underestimated steps more than the NL (P < 0.01). DW error was positively related to BMI and percentage of slow steps, whereas NL error was linearly related to percentage of slow steps. A surprising finding was that many healthy, community-dwelling adults accumulated a large percentage of steps through slow walking. the NL is more accurate than the DW for obese individuals, and neither pedometer is accurate for people who walk slowly. Researchers and practitioners must weigh the strengths and limitations of step counters before making an informed decision about which device to use.

  10. Intestinal transcriptomes of nematodes: comparison of the parasites Ascaris suum and Haemonchus contortus with the free-living Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Yin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The nematode intestine is a major organ responsible for nutrient digestion and absorption; it is also involved in many other processes, such as reproduction, innate immunity, stress responses, and aging. The importance of the intestine as a target for the control of parasitic nematodes has been demonstrated. However, the lack of detailed knowledge on the molecular and cellular functions of the intestine and the level of its conservation across nematodes has impeded breakthroughs in this application. METHODS AND FINDINGS: As part of an extensive effort to investigate various transcribed genomes from Ascaris suum and Haemonchus contortus, we generated a large collection of intestinal sequences from parasitic nematodes by identifying 3,121 A. suum and 1,755 H. contortus genes expressed in the adult intestine through the generation of expressed sequence tags. Cross-species comparisons to the intestine of the free-living C. elegans revealed substantial diversification in the adult intestinal transcriptomes among these species, suggesting lineage- or species-specific adaptations during nematode evolution. In contrast, significant conservation of the intestinal gene repertories was also evident, despite the evolutionary distance of approximately 350 million years separating them. A group of 241 intestinal protein families (IntFam-241, each containing members from all three species, was identified based on sequence similarities. These conserved proteins accounted for approximately 20% of the sampled intestinal transcriptomes from the three nematodes and are proposed to represent conserved core functions in the nematode intestine. Functional characterizations of the IntFam-241 suggested important roles in molecular functions such as protein kinases and proteases, and biological pathways of carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, and translation. Conservation in the core protein families was further explored by extrapolating observable RNA

  11. Rhodolith holobionts in a changing ocean: Ocean Acidification effects on the free-living coralline algae and their associated microbiota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalcanti, G.

    2016-02-01

    Rhodoliths, free-living coralline algae (Rhodophyta, Corallinales), form extensive beds worldwide distributed, ecologically important for the functioning of marine environments. Rhodolith beds are large carbon sinks, but the growth of the Rhodolith holobiont might be affected by changes in ocean carbonate chemistry, predicted to occur in the near future. The term holobiont refers to any organism and all of its associated symbiotic microbes (parasites, mutualists, synergists and amensals), including endobionts and epibionts that perform diverse ecological roles. A holobiont occupies and adapts to an ecological niche, and is able to employ strategies unavailable in any one species alone when challenged by environmental perturbations. The impact of increasing acidification of oceans on Rhodolith holobiont growth might be due to dissolution of their calcium carbonated skeleton, effects over photosynthetic rates, as well as changes in their associated microbial community, herein investigated through physiological assays (photosynthesis) and metagenomics (WGS Illumina sequencing). We used a mesocosm experimental system to assess potential effects of OA on dead and live rhodoliths following a 5 week exposure to increased pCO2. Integrating both taxonomical and functional diversity from multiple players (Eukarya, Bacteria and Archaea) in the acidification context, we have demonstrated that the Rhodolith holobiont harbor an impressive stable microbiome, whereas high pCO2 affect the seawater microbes. Our study has extended the comprehension of physiological relationships within Rhodolith holobiont by including the microbial component in the response of this coralline algae to higher pCO2 levels, and endorsed previous works that indicated a parabolic photosynthetic response to pH and pCO2. The outcomes of this research are an increased understanding of microbes associated with Rhodoliths and additional hints on how the holobiont might thrive in face to global climate changes.

  12. Intestinal Transcriptomes of Nematodes: Comparison of the Parasites Ascaris suum and Haemonchus contortus with the Free-living Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Yong; Martin, John; Abubucker, Sahar; Scott, Alan L.; McCarter, James P.; Wilson, Richard K.; Jasmer, Douglas P.; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2008-01-01

    Background The nematode intestine is a major organ responsible for nutrient digestion and absorption; it is also involved in many other processes, such as reproduction, innate immunity, stress responses, and aging. The importance of the intestine as a target for the control of parasitic nematodes has been demonstrated. However, the lack of detailed knowledge on the molecular and cellular functions of the intestine and the level of its conservation across nematodes has impeded breakthroughs in this application. Methods and Findings As part of an extensive effort to investigate various transcribed genomes from Ascaris suum and Haemonchus contortus, we generated a large collection of intestinal sequences from parasitic nematodes by identifying 3,121 A. suum and 1,755 H. contortus genes expressed in the adult intestine through the generation of expressed sequence tags. Cross-species comparisons to the intestine of the free-living C. elegans revealed substantial diversification in the adult intestinal transcriptomes among these species, suggesting lineage- or species-specific adaptations during nematode evolution. In contrast, significant conservation of the intestinal gene repertories was also evident, despite the evolutionary distance of ∼350 million years separating them. A group of 241 intestinal protein families (IntFam-241), each containing members from all three species, was identified based on sequence similarities. These conserved proteins accounted for ∼20% of the sampled intestinal transcriptomes from the three nematodes and are proposed to represent conserved core functions in the nematode intestine. Functional characterizations of the IntFam-241 suggested important roles in molecular functions such as protein kinases and proteases, and biological pathways of carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, and translation. Conservation in the core protein families was further explored by extrapolating observable RNA interference phenotypes in C. elegans to

  13. Quantitative detection of the free-living amoeba Hartmannella vermiformis in surface water by using real-time PCR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuiper, Melanie W; Valster, Rinske M; Wullings, Bart A; Boonstra, Harry; Smidt, Hauke; van der Kooij, Dick

    2006-09-01

    A real-time PCR-based method targeting the 18S rRNA gene was developed for the quantitative detection of Hartmannella vermiformis, a free-living amoeba which is a potential host for Legionella pneumophila in warm water systems and cooling towers. The detection specificity was validated using genomic DNA of the closely related amoeba Hartmannella abertawensis as a negative control and sequence analysis of amplified products from environmental samples. Real-time PCR detection of serially diluted DNA extracted from H. vermiformis was linear for microscopic cell counts between 1.14 x 10(-1) and 1.14 x 10(4) cells per PCR. The genome of H. vermiformis harbors multiple copies of the 18S rRNA gene, and an average number (with standard error) of 1,330 +/- 127 copies per cell was derived from real-time PCR calibration curves for cell suspensions and plasmid DNA. No significant differences were observed between the 18S rRNA gene copy numbers for trophozoites and cysts of strain ATCC 50237 or between the copy numbers for this strain and strain KWR-1. The developed method was applied to water samples (200 ml) collected from a variety of lakes and rivers serving as sources for drinking water production in The Netherlands. Detectable populations were found in 21 of the 28 samples, with concentrations ranging from 5 to 75 cells/liter. A high degree of similarity (> or =98%) was observed between sequences of clones originating from the different surface waters and between these clones and the reference strains. Hence, H. vermiformis, which is highly similar to strains serving as hosts for L. pneumophila, is a common component of the microbial community in fresh surface water.

  14. Development of a high- versus low-pathogenicity model of the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burri, Denise C; Gottstein, Bruno; Zumkehr, Béatrice; Hemphill, Andrew; Schürch, Nadia; Wittwer, Matthias; Müller, Norbert

    2012-10-01

    Species in the genus Naegleria are free-living amoebae of the soil and warm fresh water. Although around 30 species have been recognized, Naegleria fowleri is the only one that causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in humans. PAM is an acute and fast progressing disease affecting the central nervous system. Most of the patients die within 1-2 weeks of exposure to the infectious water source. The fact that N. fowleri causes such fast progressing and highly lethal infections has opened many questions regarding the relevant pathogenicity factors of the amoeba. In order to investigate the pathogenesis of N. fowleri under defined experimental conditions, we developed a novel high- versus low-pathogenicity model for this pathogen. We showed that the composition of the axenic growth media influenced growth behaviour and morphology, as well as in vitro cytotoxicity and in vivo pathogenicity of N. fowleri. Trophozoites maintained in Nelson's medium were highly pathogenic for mice, demonstrated rapid in vitro proliferation, characteristic expression of surface membrane vesicles and a small cell diameter, and killed target mouse fibroblasts by both contact-dependent and -independent destruction. In contrast, N. fowleri cultured in PYNFH medium exhibited a low pathogenicity, slower growth, increased cell size and contact-dependent target cell destruction. However, cultivation of the amoeba in PYNFH medium supplemented with liver hydrolysate (LH) resulted in trophozoites that were highly pathogenic in mice, and demonstrated an intermediate proliferation rate in vitro, diminished cell diameter and contact-dependent target cell destruction. Thus, in this model, the presence of LH resulted in increased proliferation of trophozoites in vitro and enhanced pathogenicity of N. fowleri in mice. However, neither in vitro cytotoxicity mechanisms nor the presence of membrane vesicles on the surface correlated with the pathologic potential of the amoeba. This indicated that the

  15. Ecology and biogeography of free-living nematodes associated with chemosynthetic environments in the deep sea: a review.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Vanreusel

    Full Text Available Here, insight is provided into the present knowledge on free-living nematodes associated with chemosynthetic environments in the deep sea. It was investigated if the same trends of high standing stock, low diversity, and the dominance of a specialized fauna, as observed for macro-invertebrates, are also present in the nematodes in both vents and seeps.This review is based on existing literature, in combination with integrated analysis of datasets, obtained through the Census of Marine Life program on Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems (ChEss.Nematodes are often thriving in the sulphidic sediments of deep cold seeps, with standing stock values ocassionaly exceeding largely the numbers at background sites. Vents seem not characterized by elevated densities. Both chemosynthetic driven ecosystems are showing low nematode diversity, and high dominance of single species. Genera richness seems inversely correlated to vent and seep fluid emissions, associated with distinct habitat types. Deep-sea cold seeps and hydrothermal vents are, however, highly dissimilar in terms of community composition and dominant taxa. There is no unique affinity of particular nematode taxa with seeps or vents.It seems that shallow water relatives, rather than typical deep-sea taxa, have successfully colonized the reduced sediments of seeps at large water depth. For vents, the taxonomic similarity with adjacent regular sediments is much higher, supporting rather the importance of local adaptation, than that of long distance distribution. Likely the ephemeral nature of vents, its long distance offshore and the absence of pelagic transport mechanisms, have prevented so far the establishment of a successful and typical vent nematode fauna. Some future perspectives in meiofauna research are provided in order to get a more integrated picture of vent and seep biological processes, including all components of the marine ecosystem.

  16. Ecology and biogeography of free-living nematodes associated with chemosynthetic environments in the deep sea: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanreusel, Ann; De Groote, Annelies; Gollner, Sabine; Bright, Monika

    2010-08-27

    Here, insight is provided into the present knowledge on free-living nematodes associated with chemosynthetic environments in the deep sea. It was investigated if the same trends of high standing stock, low diversity, and the dominance of a specialized fauna, as observed for macro-invertebrates, are also present in the nematodes in both vents and seeps. This review is based on existing literature, in combination with integrated analysis of datasets, obtained through the Census of Marine Life program on Biogeography of Deep-Water Chemosynthetic Ecosystems (ChEss). Nematodes are often thriving in the sulphidic sediments of deep cold seeps, with standing stock values ocassionaly exceeding largely the numbers at background sites. Vents seem not characterized by elevated densities. Both chemosynthetic driven ecosystems are showing low nematode diversity, and high dominance of single species. Genera richness seems inversely correlated to vent and seep fluid emissions, associated with distinct habitat types. Deep-sea cold seeps and hydrothermal vents are, however, highly dissimilar in terms of community composition and dominant taxa. There is no unique affinity of particular nematode taxa with seeps or vents. It seems that shallow water relatives, rather than typical deep-sea taxa, have successfully colonized the reduced sediments of seeps at large water depth. For vents, the taxonomic similarity with adjacent regular sediments is much higher, supporting rather the importance of local adaptation, than that of long distance distribution. Likely the ephemeral nature of vents, its long distance offshore and the absence of pelagic transport mechanisms, have prevented so far the establishment of a successful and typical vent nematode fauna. Some future perspectives in meiofauna research are provided in order to get a more integrated picture of vent and seep biological processes, including all components of the marine ecosystem.

  17. Isolation of a 97-kb minimal essential MHC B locus from a new reverse-4D BAC library of the golden pheasant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Ye

    Full Text Available The bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC system is widely used in isolation of large genomic fragments of interest. Construction of a routine BAC library requires several months for picking clones and arraying BACs into superpools in order to employ 4D-PCR to screen positive BACs, which might be time-consuming and laborious. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC is a cluster of genes involved in the vertebrate immune system, and the classical avian MHC-B locus is a minimal essential one, occupying a 100-kb genomic region. In this study, we constructed a more effective reverse-4D BAC library for the golden pheasant, which first creates sub-libraries and then only picks clones of positive sub-libraries, and identified several MHC clones within thirty days. The full sequencing of a 97-kb reverse-4D BAC demonstrated that the golden pheasant MHC-B locus contained 20 genes and showed good synteny with that of the chicken. The notable differences between these two species were the numbers of class II B loci and NK genes and the inversions of the TAPBP gene and the TAP1-TAP2 region. Furthermore, the inverse TAP2-TAP1 was unique in the golden pheasant in comparison with that of chicken, turkey, and quail. The newly defined genomic structure of the golden pheasant MHC will give an insight into the evolutionary history of the avian MHC.

  18. 七彩山鸡痛风病的防治%The Prevention and Control of the Pheasant Gout Disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    姚红艳; 向智龙; 黄璐; 刘万舸; 禾彩红; 欧德渊

    2012-01-01

    In order to provide suitable treatments for gout disease of pheasant, a series of tests were carried out to verify the cure effect for this disease caused by high-protein feed and drug misuse in present work. The results showed that suitable methods including restricting protein usage, additing vitamins and using alkaline buffers in feed might effectively prevent the outbreak of Pheasant gout disease.%对因饲喂高蛋白饲料和药物使用不当而引发的七彩山鸡痛风,制定治疗方案,以验证其治疗效果,为临床生产提供适合的治疗和预防措施.结果表明,控制饲料中蛋白质的含量,在饲料中添加维生素,使用碱质缓冲剂,可防治七彩山鸡痛风病的暴发.

  19. Metagenomic profiles of free-living archaea, bacteria and small eukaryotes in coastal areas of Sichang island, Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somboonna Naraporn

    2012-12-01

    which could synthesize useful biotechnology gas and enzymes that could also function in high-saline and high-temperature conditions. Tham Phang contained less abundant archaea, bacteria and fungi, and the majority of the extracted metagenomes belonged to animal kingdom. Many microorganisms in Tham Phang were essential for nutrient-recycling and pharmaceuticals, for instances, Streptomyces, Pennicilium and Saccharomyces. Together, the study provided metagenomic profiles of free-living prokaryotes and eukaryotes in coastal areas of Sichang island.

  20. Effect of elevated CO2 on the dynamics of particle attached and free living bacterioplankton communities in an Arctic fjord

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Romac

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 results in acidification of the oceans, expected to lead to the fastest drop in ocean pH in the last 300 million years, if anthropogenic emissions are continued at present rate. Due to higher solubility of gases in cold waters and increased exposure to the atmosphere by decreasing ice cover, the Arctic Ocean will be among the areas most strongly affected by ocean acidification. Yet, the response of the plankton community of high latitudes to ocean acidification has not been studied so far. This work is part of the Arctic campaign of the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA in 2010, employing 9 in situ mesocosms of about 45 000 l each to simulate ocean acidification in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard (78°56.2' N 11°53.6' E. In the present study, we investigated effects of elevated CO2 on the composition and richness of particle attached (PA; >3 μm and free living (FL; 0.2 μm bacterial communities by Automated Ribosomal Intergenic Spacer Analysis (ARISA in 6 of the mesocosms and the surrounding fjord, ranging from 185 to 1050 initial μatm pCO2. ARISA was able to resolve about 20–30 bacterial band-classes per sample and allowed for a detailed investigation of the explicit richness. Both, the PA and the FL bacterioplankton community exhibited a strong temporal development, which was driven mainly by temperature and phytoplankton development. In response to the breakdown of a picophytoplankton bloom (phase 3 of the experiment, number of ARISA-band classes in the PA-community were reduced at low and medium CO2 (∼180–600 μatm by about 25%, while it was more or less stable at high CO2 (∼ 650–800 μatm. We hypothesise that enhanced viral lysis and enhanced availability of organic substrates at high CO2 resulted in a more diverse PA-bacterial community in the post-bloom phase. Despite lower cell numbers and extracellular enzyme activities in the post-bloom phase, bacterial protein production

  1. Differences in transcription between free-living and CO2-activated third-stage larvae of Haemonchus contortus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhong Weiwei

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The disease caused by Haemonchus contortus, a blood-feeding nematode of small ruminants, is of major economic importance worldwide. The infective third-stage larva (L3 of this gastric nematode is enclosed in a cuticle (sheath and, once ingested with herbage by the host, undergoes an exsheathment process that marks the transition from the free-living (L3 to the parasitic (xL3 stage. This study explored changes in gene transcription associated with this transition and predicted, based on comparative analysis, functional roles for key transcripts in the metabolic pathways linked to larval development. Results Totals of 101,305 (L3 and 105,553 (xL3 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were determined using 454 sequencing technology, and then assembled and annotated; the most abundant transcripts encoded transthyretin-like, calcium-binding EF-hand, NAD(P-binding and nucleotide-binding proteins as well as homologues of Ancylostoma-secreted proteins (ASPs. Using an in silico-subtractive analysis, 560 and 685 sequences were shown to be uniquely represented in the L3 and xL3 stages, respectively; the transcripts encoded ribosomal proteins, collagens and elongation factors (in L3, and mainly peptidases and other enzymes of amino acid catabolism (in xL3. Caenorhabditis elegans orthologues of transcripts that were uniquely transcribed in each L3 and xL3 were predicted to interact with a total of 535 other genes, all of which were involved in embryonic development. Conclusion The present study indicated that some key transcriptional alterations taking place during the transition from the L3 to the xL3 stage of H. contortus involve genes predicted to be linked to the development of neuronal tissue (L3 and xL3, formation of the cuticle (L3 and digestion of host haemoglobin (xL3. Future efforts using next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic technologies should provide the efficiency and depth of coverage required for the determination of the

  2. Kinetics of capture and infection of infective larvae of trichostrongylides and free-living nematodes Panagrellus sp. by Duddingtonia flagrans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Cruz, Daniela Guedes; Araújo, Flávia Biasoli; Molento, Marcelo Beltrão; Damatta, Renato Augusto; de Paula Santos, Clóvis

    2011-10-01

    Duddingtonia flagrans, a nematode-trapping fungus, has been investigated as an agent for biological control against infective larvae of gastrointestinal nematode parasites of production animals. The initial process of nematode-trapping fungi infection is based on an interaction between the trap structure of the fungus and the surface of the nematode cuticle. This report investigates by light and scanning electron microscopy the kinetics of capture and infection during the interaction of D. flagrans with the infective larvae (L(3)) of trichostrongylides and the free-living nematode Panagrellus sp. D. flagrans was cultivated for 7 days in a Petri dish containing agar-water. L(3) and Panagrellus sp. were inoculated in the Petri dishes and the samples consisting of agar-L(3)-fungi and agar-Panagrellus sp.-fungi were collected after 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 min and 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 h of interaction. All samples were observed by light microscopy. The samples with 1, 5, 15, and 25 h of interaction were also analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. The interaction was monitored up to 25 h. An initial differentiation of predation structures was observed after 30 min of interaction. The presence of traps and of captured L(3) or Panagrellus sp. occurred after 70 min. The live captured nematodes were observed up to 3 h of interaction. However, after 4 h, all Panagrellus sp. were dead. It took 15 h of interaction for the fungus to invade the L(3), and the presence of hyphae inside the nematode near the region of penetration was evident. At this time, the hyphae had filled the whole body of Panagrellus sp. The complete occupation of the body of L(3) occurred at 20 h of interaction and with 25 h the nematode was completely damaged except for the cuticle. Although the double cuticle of L(3) slows the penetration of D. flagrans, it was possible to verify that the process of trap formation and capture occurs quickly when both nematodes were tested, suggesting that

  3. An interactive map to assess the potential spread of Lymnaea truncatula and the free-living stages of Fasciola hepatica in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapsch, Christina; Dahinden, Tobias; Heinzmann, Dominik; Torgerson, Paul R; Braun, Ueli; Deplazes, Peter; Hurni, Lorenz; Bär, Hansruedi; Knubben-Schweizer, Gabi

    2008-07-04

    The intermediate host of Fasciola hepatica is Lymnaea truncatula in Switzerland. The snail and the free-living stages of the parasite require a moderate climate and moisture for survival, reproduction, and transmission. In Switzerland, these conditions are present in many regions, resulting in a mean prevalence of bovine fasciolosis from 8.4 to 21.4%. An interactive map was created in order to demonstrate the relative risk of transmission by modelling the environmental conditions that promote the survival and reproduction of the larval stages of the parasite and the parasite's intermediate host. The map is based on temperature and rainfall data, soil conditions including ground water and forest cover in Switzerland. Extensive information on the free-living stages of F. hepatica and the intermediate host L. truncatula and how the development of these are affected by these environmental factors was used to create the interactive risk map.

  4. PCR detection and analysis of the free-living amoeba Naegleria in hot springs in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, Kathy B; Fagg, Jennifer A; Ferris, Michael J; Henson, Joan M

    2003-10-01

    Free-living thermotolerant amoebae pose a significant health risk to people who soak and swim in habitats suitable for their growth, such as hot springs. In this survey of 23 different hot springs in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, we used PCR with primer sets specific for Naegleria to detect three sequence types that represent species not previously described, as well as a fourth sequence type identified as the pathogen Naegleria fowleri.

  5. Diversity and Activity of Free-Living Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria and Total Bacteria in Organic and Conventionally Managed Soils ▿ †

    OpenAIRE

    Orr, Caroline H.; James, Angela; Leifert, Carlo; Cooper, Julia M.; Cummings, Stephen P.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural soils are heterogeneous environments in which conditions affecting microbial growth and diversity fluctuate widely in space and time. In this study, the molecular ecology of the total bacterial and free-living nitrogen-fixing communities in soils from the Nafferton Factorial Systems Comparison (NFSC) study in northeast England were examined. The field experiment was factorial in design, with organic versus conventional crop rotation, crop protection, and fertility management fact...

  6. Occurrence and molecular characterization of free-living amoeba species (Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella, and Saccamoeba limax) in various surface water resources of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoudi, Mohammad Reza; Rahmati, Behnaz; Seyedpour, Seyed Hosssen; Karanis, Panagiotis

    2015-12-01

    This study was conducted to determine the presence and molecular identity of Acanthamoeba species in the surface water resources of four provinces in Iran, namely Guilan, Mazandaran (North of Iran), Alborz, and Tehran (capital city), using culture- and molecular-based methods. During March to November 2014, 49 surface water samples were collected from environmental water sources-the distinct surface waters of Guilan, Mazandaran, Alborz, and Tehran provinces, in Iran. For the isolation of Acanthamoeba species, approximately 500 ml of the water samples were filtered through a cellulose nitrate membrane with a pore size of 0.45 μ. The filter was transferred onto non-nutrient agar plates seeded with Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) as a food source. The presence of Acanthamoeba was confirmed by the genus-specific primer pair JDP1 and 2, and/or NA primers were used to identify Acanthamoeba and certain other free-living amoebae. In total, 38 out of 49 samples were positive by culture and/or PCR for Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae from all three provinces. By sequencing the positive isolates, the strains were shown to belong to Acanthamoeba (16 isolates belonged to T4 and 2 isolates belonged to T5), Hartmannella vermiformis (3/24), and Saccamoeba limax (2/24). The T4 and T5 genotypes were detected in Guilan and Mazandaran provinces. Two isolates from Guilan and Tehran provinces belonged to S. limax, and H. vermiformis was detected in Guilan province. The results of this study highlight the need to pay more attention to free-living amoebae, as human activity was observed in all of the localities from which these samples were taken. These surface waters can be potential sources for the distribution and transmission of pathogenic Acanthamoeba in the study areas, and free-living amoebas (FLA) (particularly the Acanthamoeba species) can serve as hosts for and vehicles of various microorganisms.

  7. Shelters of leaf-tying herbivores decompose faster than leaves damaged by free-living insects: Implications for nutrient turnover in polluted habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Mikhail V; Zverev, Vitali; Zvereva, Elena L

    2016-10-15

    Leaf-eating insects can influence decomposition processes by modifying quality of leaf litter, and this impact can be especially pronounced in habitats where leaf-eating insects reach high densities, for example in heavily polluted areas. We hypothesized that the decomposition rate is faster for shelters of leaf-tying larvae than for leaves damaged by free-living insects, in particular due to the accumulation of larval frass within shelters. We exposed litter bags containing samples of three different compositions (shelters built by moth larvae, leaves damaged by free-living insects and intact leaves of mountain birch, Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) for one year at two heavily polluted sites near the nickel-copper smelter at Monchegorsk in north-western Russia and at two unpolluted sites. The decomposition rate of leaves damaged by free-living insects was 91% of that of undamaged leaves, whereas the mass loss of leaves composing shelters did not differ of that of undamaged leaves. These differences between leaves damaged by different guilds of herbivorous insects were uniform across the study sites, although the decomposition rate in polluted sites was reduced to 77% of that in unpolluted sites. Addition of larval frass to undamaged leaves had no effect on the subsequent decomposition rate. Therefore we suggest that damaged leaves tied by shelter-building larvae decompose faster than untied damaged leaves due to a looser physical structure of the litter, which creates favourable conditions for detritivores and soil decomposers. Thus, while leaf damage by insects per se reduces litter quality and its decomposition rate, structuring of litter by leaf-tying insects counterbalances these negative effects. We conclude that leaf-tying larvae, in contrast to free-living defoliators, do not impose negative effects on nutrient turnover rate even at their high densities, which are frequently observed in heavily polluted sites.

  8. Effect of abandonment on diversity and abundance of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria and total bacteria in the cropland soils of Hulun Buir, Inner Mongolia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huhe

    Full Text Available In Inner Mongolia, steppe grasslands face desertification or degradation because of human over activity. One of the reasons for this condition is that croplands have been abandoned after inappropriate agricultural management. The soils in these croplands present heterogeneous environments in which conditions affecting microbial growth and diversity fluctuate widely in space and time. In this study, we assessed the molecular ecology of total and free-living nitrogen-fixing bacterial communities in soils from steppe grasslands and croplands that were abandoned for different periods (1, 5, and 25 years and compared the degree of recovery. The abandoned croplands included in the study were natural restoration areas without human activity. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and quantitative PCR (qPCR were used to analyze the nifH and 16S rRNA genes to study free-living diazotrophs and the total bacterial community, respectively. The diversities of free-living nitrogen fixers and total bacteria were significantly different between each site (P<0.001. Neither the total bacteria nor nifH gene community structure of a cropland abandoned for 25 years was significantly different from those of steppe grasslands. In contrast, results of qPCR analysis of free-living nitrogen fixers and total bacteria showed significantly high abundance levels in steppe grassland (P<0.01 and P<0.03, respectively. In this study, the microbial communities and their gene abundances were assessed in croplands that had been abandoned for different periods. An understanding of how environmental factors and changes in microbial communities affect abandoned croplands could aid in appropriate soil management to optimize the structures of soil microorganisms.

  9. Effect of abandonment on diversity and abundance of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria and total bacteria in the cropland soils of Hulun Buir, Inner Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huhe; Borjigin, Shinchilelt; Cheng, Yunxiang; Nomura, Nobukiko; Nakajima, Toshiaki; Nakamura, Toru; Uchiyama, Hiroo

    2014-01-01

    In Inner Mongolia, steppe grasslands face desertification or degradation because of human over activity. One of the reasons for this condition is that croplands have been abandoned after inappropriate agricultural management. The soils in these croplands present heterogeneous environments in which conditions affecting microbial growth and diversity fluctuate widely in space and time. In this study, we assessed the molecular ecology of total and free-living nitrogen-fixing bacterial communities in soils from steppe grasslands and croplands that were abandoned for different periods (1, 5, and 25 years) and compared the degree of recovery. The abandoned croplands included in the study were natural restoration areas without human activity. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and quantitative PCR (qPCR) were used to analyze the nifH and 16S rRNA genes to study free-living diazotrophs and the total bacterial community, respectively. The diversities of free-living nitrogen fixers and total bacteria were significantly different between each site (Pbacteria nor nifH gene community structure of a cropland abandoned for 25 years was significantly different from those of steppe grasslands. In contrast, results of qPCR analysis of free-living nitrogen fixers and total bacteria showed significantly high abundance levels in steppe grassland (P<0.01 and P<0.03, respectively). In this study, the microbial communities and their gene abundances were assessed in croplands that had been abandoned for different periods. An understanding of how environmental factors and changes in microbial communities affect abandoned croplands could aid in appropriate soil management to optimize the structures of soil microorganisms.

  10. Detection of arboviruses of public health interest in free-living New World primates (Sapajus spp.; Alouatta caraya) captured in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Introduction A sero-epidemiological survey was undertaken to detect the circulation of arboviruses in free-living non-human primates. Methods Blood samples were obtained from 16 non-human primates (13 Sapajus spp. and three Alouatta caraya) that were captured using terrestrial traps and anesthetic darts in woodland regions in the municipalities of Campo Grande, Aquidauana, Jardim, Miranda and Corumbá in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The samples were sent to the Instituto Eva...

  11. Validation of Physical Activity Tracking via Android Smartphones Compared to ActiGraph Accelerometer: Laboratory-Based and Free-Living Validation Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hekler, Eric B; Buman, Matthew P; Grieco, Lauren; Rosenberger, Mary; Winter, Sandra J; Haskell, William; King, Abby C

    2015-04-15

    There is increasing interest in using smartphones as stand-alone physical activity monitors via their built-in accelerometers, but there is presently limited data on the validity of this approach. The purpose of this work was to determine the validity and reliability of 3 Android smartphones for measuring physical activity among midlife and older adults. A laboratory (study 1) and a free-living (study 2) protocol were conducted. In study 1, individuals engaged in prescribed activities including sedentary (eg, sitting), light (sweeping), moderate (eg, walking 3 mph on a treadmill), and vigorous (eg, jogging 5 mph on a treadmill) activity over a 2-hour period wearing both an ActiGraph and 3 Android smartphones (ie, HTC MyTouch, Google Nexus One, and Motorola Cliq). In the free-living study, individuals engaged in usual daily activities over 7 days while wearing an Android smartphone (Google Nexus One) and an ActiGraph. Study 1 included 15 participants (age: mean 55.5, SD 6.6 years; women: 56%, 8/15). Correlations between the ActiGraph and the 3 phones were strong to very strong (ρ=.77-.82). Further, after excluding bicycling and standing, cut-point derived classifications of activities yielded a high percentage of activities classified correctly according to intensity level (eg, 78%-91% by phone) that were similar to the ActiGraph's percent correctly classified (ie, 91%). Study 2 included 23 participants (age: mean 57.0, SD 6.4 years; women: 74%, 17/23). Within the free-living context, results suggested a moderate correlation (ie, ρ=.59, PAndroid smartphone can provide comparable estimates of physical activity to an ActiGraph in both a laboratory-based and free-living context for estimating sedentary and MVPA and that different Android smartphones may reliably confer similar estimates.

  12. Cloacal aerobic bacterial flora and absence of viruses in free-living slow worms (Anguis fragilis), grass snakes (Natrix natrix) and European Adders (Vipera berus) from Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Volker; Mock, Ronja; Burgkhardt, Eileen; Junghanns, Anja; Ortlieb, Falk; Szabo, Istvan; Marschang, Rachel; Blindow, Irmgard; Krautwald-Junghanns, Maria-Elisabeth

    2014-12-01

    Disease problems caused by viral or bacterial pathogens are common in reptiles kept in captivity. There is no information available on the incidence of viral pathogens or the physiological cloacal bacterial flora of common free-living reptiles in Germany. Therefore, 56 free-living reptiles including 23 European adders (Vipera berus), 12 grass snakes (Natrix natrix) and 21 slow worms (Anguis fragilis) were investigated on the island Hiddensee in northeastern Germany. Pharyngeal and cloacal swabs were taken immediately after capture. Bacteriological examination was performed from the cloacal swabs to study the aerobic cloacal flora. Molecular biological examination included amplification of DNA or RNA from adeno-, rana- and ferlaviruses as well as culturing on Russell's viper heart cells for virus isolation. Salmonella spp. were isolated from European adders but not from the other reptiles examined. The minimal inhibitory concentration was determined from the isolated Salmonella spp. However, some potentially human pathogenic bacteria, such as Proteus vulgaris, Aeromonas hydrophila, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli were isolated. Viruses were not detected in any of the examined reptiles. To the authors' best knowledge, the present study is the first survey of viral pathogens in free-living snakes and slow worms in Germany and the first survey of cloacal aerobic bacterial flora of slow worms.

  13. Free-living protozoa in two unchlorinated drinking water supplies, identified by phylogenic analysis of 18S rRNA gene sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valster, Rinske M; Wullings, Bart A; Bakker, Geo; Smidt, Hauke; van der Kooij, Dick

    2009-07-01

    Free-living protozoan communities in water supplies may include hosts for Legionella pneumophila and other undesired bacteria, as well as pathogens. This study aimed at identifying free-living protozoa in two unchlorinated groundwater supplies, using cultivation-independent molecular approaches. For this purpose, samples (Eukaryotic communities were studied using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and clone library analyses of partial 18S rRNA gene fragments and a Hartmannella vermiformis-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR). In both supplies, highly diverse eukaryotic communities were observed, including free-living protozoa, fungi, and metazoa. Sequences of protozoa clustered with Amoebozoa (10 operational taxonomic units [OTUs]), Cercozoa (39 OTUs), Choanozoa (26 OTUs), Ciliophora (29 OTUs), Euglenozoa (13 OTUs), Myzozoa (5 OTUs), and Stramenopiles (5 OTUs). A large variety of protozoa were present in both supplies, but the estimated values for protozoan richness did not differ significantly. H. vermiformis was observed in both supplies but was not a predominant protozoan. One OTU with the highest similarity to Acanthamoeba polyphaga, an opportunistic human pathogen and a host for undesired bacteria, was observed in supply A. The high level of NOM in supply B corresponded with an elevated level of active biomass and with elevated concentrations of H. vermiformis in distributed water. Hence, the application of qPCR may be promising in elucidating the relationship between drinking water quality and the presence of specific protozoa.

  14. A culture-independent study of free-living fungi in biological soil crusts of the Colorado Plateau: their diversity and relative contribution to microbial biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bates, Scott T; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2009-01-01

    Molecular methodologies were used to investigate free-living fungal communities associated with biological soil crusts (BSCs), along km-scale transects on the Colorado Plateau (USA). Two cyanobacteria-dominated crust types that did not contain significant lichen cover were examined. Fungal community diversity and composition were assessed with PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting and sequencing, and fungi-specific quantitative PCR was used to measure fungal population densities as compared with those of bacteria. Our results clearly indicate that free-living fungi, while ubiquitous in BSCs, are less diverse and contribute far less biomass than their bacterial counterparts. Biological soil crust fungal community structure differed from that of uncrusted soils in their surroundings. Phylogenetic analyses placed the majority of BSC fungi within the Ascomycota, confirmed the importance of dematiaceous fungi, and pointed to members of the genera Alternaria and Acremonium as the most common free-living fungi in these crusts. Phylotypes potentially representing novel taxa were recovered, as were several belonging to the Basidiomycota that would not have been readily recognized by culture-dependant means.

  15. Free-living benthic marine invertebrates in Chile Invertebrados bentónicos marinos de vida libre en Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MATTHEW R LEE

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive literature review was conducted to determine the species richness of all the possible taxa of free-living benthic marine invertebrates in Chile. In addition, the extent of endemism to the Pacific Islands and deep-sea, the number of non-indigenous species, and the contribution that the Chilean benthic marine invertebrate fauna makes to the world benthic marine invertebrate fauna was examined. A total of 4,553 species were found. The most speciose taxa were the Crustacea, Mollusca and Polychaeta. Species richness data was not available for a number of taxa, despite evidence that these taxa are present in the Chilean benthos. The Chilean marine invertebrate benthic fauna constitutes 2.47 % of the world marine invertebrate benthic fauna. There are 599 species endemic to the Pacific Islands and 205 in the deep-sea. There are 25 invasive or non-indigenous species so far identified in Chile. Though the Chilean fauna is speciose there is still a considerable amount of diversity yet to be described, particularly amongst the small bodied invertebrates and from the less well explored habitats, such as the deep-seaSe realizó una revisión exhaustiva de la literatura para determinar la riqueza de especies de todos los taxa de invertebrados bentónicos de vida libre en Chile. Además, se analizó el endemismo de invertebrados marinos bentónicos para las islas chilenas del Pacífico y el mar profundo y el número de especies no indígenas; del mismo modo que la contribución de estos invertebrados a la riqueza mundial de invertebrados bentónicos marinos. Para Chile se acumuló un total de 4.553 especies de invertebrados bentónicos. Los taxa con más especies fueron Crustacea, Mollusca y Polychaeta. En algunos taxa de invertebrados no se encontró información sobre la diversidad de especies presentes en Chile, a pesar de existir evidencia de que éstos están presentes en el bentos marino chileno. Los invertebrados bentónicos marinos

  16. Azospirillum, a free-living nitrogen-fixing bacterium closely associated with grasses: genetic, biochemical and ecological aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenhoudt, O; Vanderleyden, J

    2000-10-01

    Azospirillum represents the best characterized genus of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. Other free-living diazotrophs repeatedly detected in association with plant roots, include Acetobacter diazotrophicus, Herbaspirillum seropedicae, Azoarcus spp. and Azotobacter. Four aspects of the Azospirillum-plant root interaction are highlighted: natural habitat, plant root interaction, nitrogen fixation and biosynthesis of plant growth hormones. Each of these aspects is dealt with in a comparative way. Azospirilla are predominantly surface-colonizing bacteria, whereas A. diazotrophicus, H. seropedicae and Azoarcus sp. are endophytic diazotrophs. The attachment of Azospirillum cells to plant roots occurs in two steps. The polar flagellum, of which the flagellin was shown to be a glycoprotein, mediates the adsorption step. An as yet unidentified surface polysaccharide is believed to be essential in the subsequent anchoring phase. In Azoarcus sp. the attachment process is mediated by type IV pili. Nitrogen fixation structural genes (nif) are highly conserved among all nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and in all diazotrophic species of the class of proteobacteria examined, the transcriptional activator NifA is required for expression of other nif genes in response to two major environmental signals (oxygen and fixed N). However, the mechanisms involved in this control can vary in different organisms. In Azospirillum brasilense and H. seropedicae (alpha- and beta-subgroup, respectively), NifA is inactive in conditions of excess nitrogen. Activation of NifA upon removal of fixed N seems to involve, either directly or indirectly, the signal transduction protein P(II). The presence of four conserved cysteine residues in the NifA protein might be an indication that NifA is directly sensitive to oxygen. In Azotobacter vinelandii (gamma-subgroup) nifA is cotranscribed with a second gene nifL. The nifL gene product inactivates NifA in response to high oxygen tension and cellular

  17. A genetic diversity comparison between captive individuals and wild individuals of Elliot's Pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti) using mitochondrial DNA

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIANG Ping-ping; LANG Qiu-lei; FANG Sheng-guo; DING Ping; CHEN Li-ming

    2005-01-01

    Maintaining genetic diversity is a major issue in conservation biology. In this study, we demonstrate the differences of genetic diversity levels between wild and captive individuals of Elliot's Pheasant Syrmaticus ellioti. Wild individuals showed a higher genetic diversity level than that of the captive individuals. Nucleotide diversity and haplotype diversity of wild individuals were 0.00628 and 0.993, while those of captive individuals were 0.00150 and 0.584 respectively. Only 3 haplotypes of mtDNA control region sequence were identified among 36 captive individuals, while 16 unique haplotypes were identified among the 17wild individuals in this study. One captive haplotype was shared by a wild individual from Anhui Province. It is concluded that a low number of founders was the likely reason for the lower level genetic diversity of the captive group. Careful genetic management is suggested for captive populations, particularly of such an endangered species, to maintain genetic variability levels.

  18. Production, Characterization and Use of Monoclonal Antibodies Recognizing IgY Epitopes Shared by Chicken, Turkey, Pheasant, Peafowl and Sparrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ajda Biček

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Chicken antibodies are not only a part of immune defense but are more and more popular commercial products in form of chicken polyclonal, monoclonal or recombinant antibodies. We produced and characterized mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs that recognize epitopes located on heavy or light chain of chicken immunoglobulin Y (chIgY shared also by some other Phasianidae birds. The use of mAbs 1F5 and 2F10 that recognize heavy chain on chIgY common epitopes was demonstrated on immunoglobulins of turkey, pheasant and peafowl. Chicken IgY light chain specific mAb 3E10 revealed the presence of common epitopes on immunoglobulins of turkey, pheasant and sparrow. Monoclonal antibody clone 1F5/3G2 was used to prepare horseradish peroxidase (HRP conjugate and immunoadsorbent column. Conjugated mAbs were demonstrated to be excellent secondary antibodies for diagnostics of certain infections in different avian species. Since they do not react with mammalian immunoglobulins using our mAbs as secondary antibodies in human serodiagnostics would minimize background staining that appears when using mouse detection system. In dot immunobinding assay (DIBA and immunoblot assay they recognized specific IgY antibodies against Mycoplasma synoviae, Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Newcastle disease virus in sera of infected or vaccinated birds. Immunoadsorption as a method for removal of IgY from samples in which Mycoplasma synoviae specific IgY was predominant immunoglobulin class enabled more exact demonstration of specific IgA and IgM antibodies. Herein we are presenting effective mAbs useful in diagnostics of avian and mammalian infections as well as in final steps of detection and purification of chicken antibodies and their subunits produced in vivo or in vitro as polyclonal, monoclonal or recombinant antibodies.

  19. The adaptive evolution divergence of triosephosphate isomerases between parasitic and free-living flatworms and the discovery of a potential universal target against flatworm parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bing; Wen, Jian-Fan

    2011-08-01

    Triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) is an important drug target or vaccine candidate for pathogenetic organisms such as schistosomes. Parasitic and free-living flatworms shared their last common ancestor but diverged from each other for adapting to parasitic and free-living lives afterwards, respectively. Therefore, adaptive evolution divergence must have occurred between them. Here, for the first time, TIMs were identified from three free-living planarian flatworms, namely Dugesia japonica, Dugesia ryukyuensis, and Schmidtea mediterranea. When these were compared with parasitic flatworms and other organisms, the following results were obtained: (1) planarian TIM genes each contain only one intron, while parasitic flatworm genes each contain other four introns, which are usually present in common metazoans, suggesting planarian-specific intron loss must have occurred; (2) planarian TIM protein sequences are more similar to those of vertebrates rather than to their parasitic relatives or other invertebrates. This implies that relatively rapid evolution occurred in parasitic flatworm TIMs; (3) All the investigated parasitic flatworm TIMs contain a unique tripeptide insert (SXD/E), which may imply its insertion importance to the adaptation of parasitic life. Moreover, our homology modeling results showed the insert region was largely surface-exposed and predicted to be of a B cell epitope location. Finally, the insert is located within one of the three regions previously suggested to be promising immunogenic epitopes in Schistosoma mansoni TIM. Therefore, this unique insert might be significant to developing new effective vaccines or specific drugs against all parasitic flatworm diseases such as schistosomiasis and taeniosis/cysticercosis.

  20. Isolation and identification of pathogenic free-living amoeba from surface and tap water of Shiraz City using morphological and molecular methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armand, B; Motazedian, M H; Asgari, Q

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are the most abundant and widely distributed protozoa in the environment. An investigation was conducted to determine the presence of free-living amoebae (FLA), Acanthamoeba and Vermamoeba in waterfronts of parks and squares and tap water of Shiraz City, Iran. FLA are considered pathogenic for human. These ubiquitous organisms have been isolated from different environments such as water, soil, and air. Eighty-two water samples were collected from different places of Shiraz City during the summer of 2013. All samples were processed in Dept. of Parasitology and Mycology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Fars, Iran. Samples were screened for FLA and identified by morphological characters in the cultures, PCR amplification targeting specific genes for each genus and sequencing determined frequent species and genotypes base on NCBI database. Overall, 48 samples were positive for Acanthamoeba and Vermamoeba in non-nutrient agar culture based on morphological characteristics. The PCR examination was done successfully. Sequencing results were revealed T4 (62.96 %) genotypes as the most common genotype of Acanthamoeba in the Shiraz water sources. In addition, T5 (33.33 %) and T15 (3.71 %) were isolated from water supplies. Vermamoeba vermiformis was known the dominant species from this genus. The high frequency of Acanthamoeba spp. and Vermamoeba in different environmental water sources of Shiraz is an alert for the public health related to water sources. The result highlights a need for taking more attention to water supplies in order to prevent illnesses related to free-living amoebae.

  1. Development and validation of a new method to measure walking speed in free-living environments using the actibelt® platform.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michaela Schimpl

    Full Text Available Walking speed is a fundamental indicator for human well-being. In a clinical setting, walking speed is typically measured by means of walking tests using different protocols. However, walking speed obtained in this way is unlikely to be representative of the conditions in a free-living environment. Recently, mobile accelerometry has opened up the possibility to extract walking speed from long-time observations in free-living individuals, but the validity of these measurements needs to be determined. In this investigation, we have developed algorithms for walking speed prediction based on 3D accelerometry data (actibelt® and created a framework using a standardized data set with gold standard annotations to facilitate the validation and comparison of these algorithms. For this purpose 17 healthy subjects operated a newly developed mobile gold standard while walking/running on an indoor track. Subsequently, the validity of 12 candidate algorithms for walking speed prediction ranging from well-known simple approaches like combining step length with frequency to more sophisticated algorithms such as linear and non-linear models was assessed using statistical measures. As a result, a novel algorithm employing support vector regression was found to perform best with a concordance correlation coefficient of 0.93 (95%CI 0.92-0.94 and a coverage probability CP1 of 0.46 (95%CI 0.12-0.70 for a deviation of 0.1 m/s (CP2 0.78, CP3 0.94 when compared to the mobile gold standard while walking indoors. A smaller outdoor experiment confirmed those results with even better coverage probability. We conclude that walking speed thus obtained has the potential to help establish walking speed in free-living environments as a patient-oriented outcome measure.

  2. A new Amazonian species of Cryptocellus (Arachnida, Ricinulei), with descriptions of its integumental structures and all free-living life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourinho, Ana Lúcia; Lo-Man-Hung, Nancy França; Salvatierra, Lidianne

    2014-06-06

    A new species of Cryptocellus Westwood, 1874 is described, based on males, females and all free-living immature stages. Cryptocellus muiraquitan sp. nov. from Juruti, Pará, Brazil, is a member of the foedus group of species and probably closely related to Cryptocellus icamiabas Tourinho & Azevedo, 2007, C. abaporu Bonaldo & Pinto-da-Rocha, 2003 and C. simonis Hansen & Sørensen, 1904. The new species is illustrated using stereomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The large diversity of integumental structures of the new species is described and compared to that of previously studied species of Cryptocellus and Pseudocellus Platnick, 1980.

  3. Disclosure of the differences of Mesorhizobium loti under the free-living and symbiotic conditions by comparative proteome analysis without bacteroid isolation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatsukami, Yohei; Nambu, Mami; Morisaka, Hironobu; Kuroda, Kouichi; Ueda, Mitsuyoshi

    2013-07-31

    Rhizobia are symbiotic nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria that show a symbiotic relationship with their host legume. Rhizobia have 2 different physiological conditions: a free-living condition in soil, and a symbiotic nitrogen-fixing condition in the nodule. The lifestyle of rhizobia remains largely unknown, although genome and transcriptome analyses have been carried out. To clarify the lifestyle of bacteria, proteome analysis is necessary because the protein profile directly reflects in vivo reactions of the organisms. In proteome analysis, high separation performance is required to analyze complex biological samples. Therefore, we used a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry system, equipped with a long monolithic silica capillary column, which is superior to conventional columns. In this study, we compared the protein profile of Mesorhizobium loti MAFF303099 under free-living condition to that of symbiotic conditions by using small amounts of crude extracts. We identified 1,533 and 847 proteins for M. loti under free-living and symbiotic conditions, respectively. Pathway analysis by Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) revealed that many of the enzymes involved in the central carbon metabolic pathway were commonly detected under both conditions. The proteins encoded in the symbiosis island, the transmissible chromosomal region that includes the genes that are highly upregulated under the symbiotic condition, were uniquely detected under the symbiotic condition. The features of the symbiotic condition that have been reported by transcriptome analysis were confirmed at the protein level by proteome analysis. In addition, the genes of the proteins involved in cell surface structure were repressed under the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing condition. Furthermore, farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) was found to be biosynthesized only in rhizobia under the symbiotic condition. The obtained protein profile appeared to reflect the difference in phenotypes under the

  4. Is there a size limit for cosmopolitan distribution in free-living microorganisms? A biogeographical analysis of testate amoebae from polar areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jun; Smith, Humphrey G; Sherratt, Thomas N; Wilkinson, David M

    2010-05-01

    A long-standing debate in microbial ecology is the extent to which free-living microorganisms exhibit cosmopolitan distributions. We use a comparison of testate amoebae communities in cold "polar" locations (Arctic, Antarctic, and Tibet) to investigate how a microorganism's size affects its probability of having a cosmopolitan distribution. We show that the probability a given taxa being reported in all three locations increases as testate size decreases. Likewise, excluding those testates found only in Tibet, very small testates (amoebae, a cosmopolitan distribution becomes increasingly common as median taxon size decreases.

  5. Evaluation of arboviruses of public health interest in free-living non-human primates (Alouatta spp., Callithrix spp., Sapajus spp.) in Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of arboviruses from the Flavivirus genus in asymptomatic free-living non-human primates (NHPs) living in close contact with humans and vectors in the States of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. METHODS: NHP sera samples (total n = 80, Alouatta spp. n = 07, Callithrix spp. n = 29 and Sapajus spp. n = 44) were screened for the presence of viral genomes using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and 10% ...

  6. [Free-living amoebae in the Grenoble area swimming pool water. Influence of th "winter-summer" use and of the sterilising procedure (author's transl)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grillot, R; Ambroise-Thomas, P

    1980-01-01

    An epidemiological study concerning the search for and identification of free-living amoebae has been carried out on swimming pool water in the Grenoble area. Eleven establishments were surveyed over a period of one year, by taking samples of water every month. The results obtained show that the positive nature of the samples and the nature of the isolated species are influenced by the two factors being studied: The rhythm of the "Summer-Winter" use of swimming pools and the nature of the sterilising procedure, chlorine, bromine and ozone. The current sterilising conditions of the swimming pool water are discussed.

  7. Management reference for nature reserve networks based on MaxEnt modeling and gap analysis: a case study of the brown–eared pheasant in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li, Y.

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Nature reserve designs and networks are important for wildlife and habitat conservation. Gap analyses are efficient and reliable tools for prioritizing habitat conservation efforts, especially when considering endangered species. We propose a conservation plan for the brown–eared pheasant, Crossoptilon mantchuricum, by identifying protection gap areas based on 14 existing nature reserves. A total of 45 locality sites and 11 environmental variables were selected according to the characteristics of habitat use of the brown–eared pheasant and applied to a maximum entropy (MaxEnt model to obtain the species distribution. The MaxEnt model results showed a high prediction accuracy. The gap analysis results revealed that the Luliang Mountains in Shanxi and the Xiaowutai Mountains in Hebei had protection gaps. We found 458 km2 of optimum habitat and 1,390 km2 of moderately suitable habitat within the national nature reserve range. However, almost 1,861 km2 of the optimum habitat and 17,035 km2 of the moderately suitable habitat were unprotected, equivalent to 9.0% and 82.1%, respectively, of the total suitable habitat. Most of the unprotected area comprised moderately suitable habitat for brown–eared pheasant and should be prioritized in future conservation efforts. There are nine nature reserves along a north–to–south range in the Luliang Mountains that form a wildlife habitat corridor. To maintain the integrity, originality, and continuity of these habitats and thus protect brown–eared pheasants, local conservation departments should be strengthened to improve provincial nature reserve management and successfully carry out conservation efforts.

  8. Management reference for nature reserve networks based on MaxEnt modeling and gap analysis: a case study of the brown–eared pheasant in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Y.; Cui, B.; Qiu, X.; Ding, C.; Batool, I.

    2016-07-01

    Nature reserve designs and networks are important for wildlife and habitat conservation. Gap analyses are efficient and reliable tools for prioritizing habitat conservation efforts, especially when considering endangered species. We propose a conservation plan for the brown–eared pheasant, Crossoptilon mantchuricum, by identifying protection gap areas based on 14 existing nature reserves. A total of 45 locality sites and 11 environmental variables were selected according to the characteristics of habitat use of the brown–eared pheasant and applied to a maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model to obtain the species distribution. The MaxEnt model results showed a high prediction accuracy. The gap analysis results revealed that the Luliang Mountains in Shanxi and the Xiaowutai Mountains in Hebei had protection gaps. We found 458 km2 of optimum habitat and 1,390 km2 of moderately suitable habitat within the national nature reserve range. However, almost 1,861 km2 of the optimum habitat and 17,035 km2 of the moderately suitable habitat were unprotected, equivalent to 9.0% and 82.1%, respectively, of the total suitable habitat. Most of the unprotected area comprised moderately suitable habitat for brown–eared pheasant and should be prioritized in future conservation efforts. There are nine nature reserves along a north–to–south range in the Luliang Mountains that form a wildlife habitat corridor. To maintain the integrity, originality, and continuity of these habitats and thus protect brown–eared pheasants, local conservation departments should be strengthened to improve provincial nature reserve management and successfully carry out conservation efforts. (Author)

  9. Oxyspiruriasis in zoo birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vellayan, S; Jeffery, J; Oothuman, P; Zahedi, M; Krishnasamy, M; Paramaswaran, S; Rohela, M; Abdul-Aziz, N M

    2012-06-01

    Oxyspiruriasis caused by the bird eyeworm, Oxyspirura mansoni, a thelaziid nematode, in three species of pheasants, 3 Chrysolophus pictus (golden pheasant), 7 Lophura nycthemera (silver pheasant) and 9 Phasianus colchicus (common pheasant) in Zoo Negara Malaysia are reported. Birds with the disease were treated with a solution of 0.5% iodine or 0.5% lysol. Antistress powder for 4 days in water and non-strep vitamin powder in water was also provided. Control measures included removal of the cockroach intermediate host, Pycnoscelus surinamensis (Surinam cockroach) from the vicinity of the birds. The golden pheasant is a new host for O. mansoni in peninsular Malaysia.

  10. Evaluation of the effects of Middleton's stormwater-management activities on streamflow and water-quality characteristics of Pheasant Branch, Dane County, Wisconsin 1975-2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebert, Warren A.; Rose, William J.; Garn, Herbert S.

    2012-01-01

    Few long-term data sets are available for evaluating the effects of urban stormwater-management practices. Over 30 years of data are available for evaluating the effectiveness of such practices by the city of Middleton, Wis. Analysis of streamflow and water-quality data collected on Pheasant Branch, demonstrates the relation between the changes in the watershed to the structural and nonstructural best management practices put in place during 1975-2008. A comparison of the data from Pheasant Branch with streamflow and water-quality data (suspended sediment and total phosphorus) collected at other nearby streams was made to assist in the determination of the possible causes of the changes in Pheasant Branch. Based on 34 years of streamflow data collected at the Pheasant Branch at Middleton streamflow-gaging station, flood peak discharges increased 37 percent for the 2-year flood and 83 percent for the 100-year flood. A comparison of data for the same period from an adjacent rural stream, Black Earth at Black Earth had a 43 percent increase in the 2-year flood peak discharge and a 140-percent increase in the 100-year flood peak discharge. Because the flood peak discharges on Pheasant Branch have not increased as much as Black Earth Creek it appears that the stormwater management practices have been successful in mitigating the effects of urbanization. Generally urbanization results in increased flood peak discharges. The overall increase in flood peak discharges seen in both streams probably is the result of the substantial increase in precipitation during the study period. Average annual runoff in Pheasant Branch has also been increasing due to increasing average annual precipitation and urbanization. The stormwater-management practices in Middleton have been successful in decreasing the suspended-sediment and total phosphorus loads to Lake Mendota from the Pheasant Branch watershed. These loads decreased in spite of increased annual runoff and flood peaks, which are

  11. Diversity of free-living nitrogen-fixing microorganisms in the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere of pioneer plants growing on wastelands of copper mine tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Jing; Sun, Qingye

    2012-03