Verbascum thapsus is used in tribal medicine as an antispasmodic, anti-tubercular agent and wormicide. In this study, we investigated the antispasmodic and anthelmintic activities of crude aqueous methanolic extract of the plant.
V. thapsus extracts were tested against roundworms (Ascaridia galli) and tapeworms (Raillietina spiralis). Each species of worm was placed into a negative control group, an albendazole treatment group, or a V. thapsus treatment group, and the time taken for paralysis and death was determined. In addition, relaxation activity tests were performed on sections of rabbit's jejunum. Plant extracts were tested on KCl-induced contractions and the relaxation activities were quantified against atropine. V. thapsus calcium chloride curves were constructed to investigate the mode of action of the plant extracts.
We detected flavonoids, saponins, tannins, terpenoids, glycosides, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fixed oils in V. thapsus. For both species of worm, paralysis occurred fastest at the highest concentration of extract. The relative index values for paralysis in A. galli were 4.58, 3.41 and 2.08, at concentrations of 10, 20 and 40 mg/ml of plant extract, respectively. The relative index for death in A. galli suggested that V. thapsus extract is wormicidal at high concentration. Similarly, the relative indexes for paralysis and death in R. spiralis suggested that the extract is a more potent wormicidal agent than albendazole. The mean EC50 relaxation activity values for spontaneous and KCl induced contractions were 7.5 ± 1.4 mg/ml (6.57-8.01, n = 6) and 7.9 ± 0.41 mg/ml (7.44-8.46, n = 6), respectively. The relaxation activity of the extract was 11.42 ± 2, 17.0 ± 3, 28.5 ± 4, and 128.0 ± 7% of the maximum observed for atropine at corresponding concentrations. The calcium chloride curves showed that V. thapsus extracts (3 mg/ml), had a mean EC50 (log molar [calcium]) value of -1.9 ± 0.06 (-1.87 - -1.98, n = 6) vs. control EC50 = -2.5 ± 0.12 (-2.37 - -2.56, n = 6), whereas the verapamil (0.1 μM) EC50 was -1.7 ± 0.1 (-1.6 - -1.8, n = 6) vs. control EC50 = -2.4 ± 0.09 (-2.3 - -2.47, n = 5).
Our results suggest that V. thapsus, which is currently used by some tribes in the Malakand region of Pakistan, has anthelmintic and antispasmodic value.
Comparative DNA hybridization studies of genomic DNA indicated that, while different isolates of armadillo-derived Mycobacterium leprae have a high degree of homology, binding of M. leprae genomic DNA to DNA of other species of mycobacteria or to corynebacteria was low, establishing that M. leprae is only remotely genetically related to any of the species examined. Several candidate leprosy vaccine mycobacterial strains were similarly found to have little genetic similarity to M. leprae. In contrast, the DNAs of the slow-growing mycobacteria M. tuberculosis, M. africanum, M. bovis, and M. microti were found to be very closely related. In the course of these studies, an M. leprae-specific repetitive sequence, greater than 15-fold per genome equivalent, was identified that might be useful for diagnostic and epidemiological studies.
Four hundred and seventy tuberculosis patients were each skin tested with four of a range of 17 mycobacterial reagents in four countries in all of which tuberculosis and leprosy were endemic. Sixteen of the reagents were new tuberculins prepared from extracts of living mycobacteria disrupted by ultrasonic disintegration and the last was PPD, RT23.
The effect that tuberculosis exerted on the delayed-type skin test response to these antigens was assessed by comparing results for tuberculosis patients with those for Tuberculin positive and Tuberculin negative control populations. Tuberculosis patients on Rifampicin therapy showed no difference in their skin test responses to any of the antigens from those patients on other forms of antituberculosis treatment.
Amongst the normal population it was found that possession of Tuberculin positivity was associated with an enhanced response to all the other mycobacterial antigens with the exception of A*-in which demonstrated a reciprocal relationship with Tuberculin in Burma. It was also noted, in Burma particularly, that sensitization to mycobacterial species other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis, especially to the slow growers, plays a role in determining responses to different mycobacterial species.
In tuberculosis patients enhanced skin test responses were also seen but only in those countries, e.g. Libya, where the prevalence of mycobacterial species was low. Where mycobacteria were common, as in Burma, the converse was true and tuberculosis was associated with a diminished skin test response to each antigen. The high prevalence of A*-in positivity in Burma, its reciprocal relationship with Tuberculin there and the results for all the antigens in the tuberculosis patients indicate that the cell mediated skin test response may have a threshold. If this is exceeded the skin test becomes negative so that non-reactors then include those who have been excessively sensitized as well as those who have not been sensitized. Despite this, a greater percentage of tuberculosis patients in each country responded to the specific reagent Tuberculin than did the control populations and their mean positive induration sizes were consistently larger. Nevertheless, amongst the tuberculosis patients in Burma 13% were complete non-reactors to Tuberculin and this apparent anergy also applied to the other reagents with which these individuals were tested.
This differs from lepromatous leprosy where the anergic state pertains exclusively to M. leprae and a few seemingly closely related species. The breadth of anergy in M. ulcerans infection has not been measured but it is known to effect both Burulin and the PPD, RT23.
Just as in leprosy and M. ulcerans infection, tuberculosis can be shown to have a disease spectrum here detected by multiple skin testing. The significance of this spectrum and its similarities with and differences from that of the other mycobacterioses is discussed.
Both leprosy and tuberculosis were prevalent in Europe during the first millennium but thereafter leprosy declined. It is not known why this occurred, but one suggestion is that cross-immunity protected tuberculosis patients from leprosy. To investigate any relationship between the two diseases, selected archaeological samples, dating from the Roman period to the thirteenth century, were examined for both Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA, using PCR. The work was carried out and verified in geographically separate and independent laboratories. Several specimens with palaeopathological signs of leprosy were found to contain DNA from both pathogens, indicating that these diseases coexisted in the past. We suggest that the immunological changes found in multi-bacillary leprosy, in association with the socio-economic impact on those suffering from the disease, led to increased mortality from tuberculosis and therefore to the historical decline in leprosy.
ancient DNA; leprosy; tuberculosis; PCR; history of infectious diseases
The serological activities of the specific phenolic glycolipid I from Mycobacterium leprae, its dissected parts, and related glycolipids from other mycobacteria were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay against hyperimmune anti-M. leprae rabbit antiserum and sera from patients with leprosy and other mycobacterial diseases. High anti-phenolic glycolipid I immunoglobulin M antibodies were found in 23 of 24 (96%) of lepromatous leprosy patients on short term chemotherapy and in 8 of 13 tuberculoid leprosy patients (62%). Sera from patients with tuberculosis or atypical mycobacterial infections were devoid of anti-phenolic glycolipid I activity. The structurally related phenolic glycolipids from Mycobacterium kansasii and Mycobacterium bovis and the aglycone segments of the M. leprae product showed no significant activity. Thus, the trisaccharide determinant of phenolic glycolipid I is specific in its structure, serological activity, and, to a lesser extent, the antibody class it evokes.
Weedy forms of crop species infest agricultural fields worldwide and are a leading cause of crop losses, yet little is known about how these weeds evolve. Red rice (Oryza sativa), a major weed of cultivated rice fields in the US, is recognized by the dark-pigmented grain that gives it its common name. Studies using neutral molecular markers have indicated a close relationship between US red rice and domesticated rice, suggesting that the weed may have originated through reversion of domesticated rice to a feral form. We have tested this reversion hypothesis by examining molecular variation at Rc, the regulatory gene responsible for grain pigmentation differences between domesticated and wild rice. Loss-of-function mutations at Rc account for the absence of proanthocyanidin pigments in cultivated rice grains, and the major rc domestication allele has been shown to be capable of spontaneous reversion to a functional form through additional mutations at the Rc locus. Using a diverse sample of 156 weedy, domesticated, and wild Oryzas, we analyzed DNA sequence variation at Rc and its surrounding 4 Mb genomic region. We find that reversion of domestication alleles does not account for the pigmented grains of weed accessions; moreover, we find that haplotypes characterizing the weed are either absent or very rare in cultivated rice. Sequences from genomic regions flanking Rc are consistent with a genomic footprint of the rc selective sweep in cultivated rice, and are compatible with a close relationship of red rice to Asian Oryzas that have never been cultivated in the US.
crop weed evolution; de-domestication; grain color; red rice; Oryza sativa; proanthocyanidin
The host suitability to Ditylenchus destructor of seven common weed species in peanut (Arachis hypogaea) fields in South Africa was determined. Based on the number of nematodes per root unit, white goosefoot (Chenopodium album), feathertop chloris (Chloris virgata), purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), jimson weed (Datura stramonium), goose grass (Eleusine indica), khaki weed (Tagetes minuta), and cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium) were poor hosts. Ditylenchus destructor survived on all weed species; population densities increased in peanut hulls and caused severe damage to seeds of peanut grown after weeds. Roots of purple nutsedge left in the soil suppressed populations of D. destructor and root and pod development in peanut grown after the weed. However, nematode populations in peanut hulls and seeds were not suppressed. Some weed species, especially purple nutsedge which is common in peanut fields, can be used to indicate the presence of D. destructor in the absence of peanut.
Arachis hypogaea; Chenopodium album; Chloris virgata; cocklebur; Cyperus rotundus; Datura stramonium; Ditylenchus destructor; Eleusine indica; feathertop chloris; goose grass; host status; jimson weed; khaki weed; peanut; purple nutsedge; South Africa; Tagetes minuta; Xanthium strumarium
Leprosy is best understood as two conjoined diseases. The first is a chronic mycobacterial infection that elicits an extraordinary range of cellular immune responses in humans. The second is a peripheral neuropathy that is initiated by the infection and the accompanying immunological events. The infection is curable but not preventable, and leprosy remains a major global health problem, especially in the developing world, publicity to the contrary notwithstanding. Mycobacterium leprae remains noncultivable, and for over a century leprosy has presented major challenges in the fields of microbiology, pathology, immunology, and genetics; it continues to do so today. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of M. leprae and the host response to it, especially concerning molecular identification of M. leprae, knowledge of its genome, transcriptome, and proteome, its mechanisms of microbial resistance, and recognition of strains by variable-number tandem repeat analysis. Advances in experimental models include studies in gene knockout mice and the development of molecular techniques to explore the armadillo model. In clinical studies, notable progress has been made concerning the immunology and immunopathology of leprosy, the genetics of human resistance, mechanisms of nerve injury, and chemotherapy. In nearly all of these areas, however, leprosy remains poorly understood compared to other major bacterial diseases.
In both the US and Japan, the patient isolation policy for leprosy /Hansen's disease (HD) was preserved along with the isolation facilities, long after it had been proven to be scientifically unnecessary. This delayed policy termination caused a deprivation of civil liberties of the involuntarily confined patients, the fostering of social stigmas attached to the disease, and an inefficient use of health resources. This article seeks to elucidate the political process which hindered timely policy changes congruent with scientific advances.
Examination of historical materials, supplemented by personal interviews. The role that science played in the process of policy making was scrutinized with particular reference to the Garbage Can model.
From the vantage of history, science remained instrumental in all period in the sense that it was not the primary objective for which policy change was discussed or intended, nor was it the principal driving force for policy change. When the argument arose, scientific arguments were employed to justify the patient isolation policy. However, in the early post-WWII period, issues were foregrounded and agendas were set as the inadvertent result of administrative reforms. Subsequently, scientific developments were more or less ignored due to concern about adverse policy outcomes. Finally, in the 1980s and 1990s, scientific arguments were used instrumentally to argue against isolation and for the termination of residential care.
Contrary to public expectations, health policy is not always rational and scientifically justified. In the process of policy making, the role of science can be limited and instrumental. Policy change may require the opening of policy windows, as a result of convergence of the problem, policy, and political streams, by effective exercise of leadership. Scientists and policymakers should be attentive enough to the political context of policies.
Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae in which susceptibility to the mycobacteria and its clinical manifestations are attributed to the host immune response. Even though leprosy prevalence has decreased dramatically, the high number of new cases indicates active transmission. Owing to its singular features, M. leprae infection is an attractive model for investigating the regulation of human immune responses to pathogen-induced disease. Leprosy is one of the most common causes of nontraumatic peripheral neuropathy worldwide. The proportion of patients with disabilities is affected by the type of leprosy and delay in diagnosis. This article briefly reviews the clinical features as well as the immunopathological mechanisms related to the establishment of the different polar forms of leprosy, the mechanisms related to M. leprae–host cell interactions and prophylaxis and diagnosis of this complex disease. Host genetic factors are summarized and the impact of the development of interventions that prevent, reverse or limit leprosy-related nerve impairments are discussed.
leprosy; Mycobacterium leprae; Schwann cells; thalidomide; TNF-α
In the absence of a desired first choice medicinal herb, classical Ayurveda recommends use of a functionally similar substitute. Post 16th century Ayurvedic texts and lexicons give specific examples of possible substitutes. Here we report a preliminary study of one such Ayurvedic substitution pair: Musta (Cyperus rotundus L., Cyperaceae), a common weed, for the rare Himalayan species, Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum Wall. ex Royle; Ranunculaceae). The study's strategy was to use modern phytochemical and pharmacological methods to test the two herbs for biochemical and metabolic similarities and differences, and literary studies to compare their Ayurvedic properties, a novel trans-disciplinary approach. No previous scientific paper has compared the two herbs’ bioactivities or chemical profiles. Despite being taxonomically unrelated, the first choice, but relatively unavailable (Abhava) plant, A. heterophyllum, and its substitute (Pratinidhi) C. rotundus, are not only similar in Ayurvedic pharmacology (Dravyaguna) profile, but also in phytochemical and anti-diarrheal properties. These observations indicate that Ayurveda may attach more importance to pharmacological properties of raw drugs than to their botanical classification. Further research into the nature of raw drugs named could open up new areas of medicinal plant classification, linking chemistry and bioactivity. Understanding the logic behind the Ayurvedic concept of Abhava Pratinidhi Dravya (drug substitution) could lead to new methods of identifying legitimate drug alternatives, and help solve industry's problems of crude drug shortage.
Abhava Pratinidhi Dravya; Ayurveda; anti-diarrheal; drug substitution
The aggregation of mycobacterial cells in a definite order, forming microscopic structures that resemble cords, is known as cord formation, or cording, and is considered a virulence factor in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and the species Mycobacterium marinum. In the 1950s, cording was related to a trehalose dimycolate lipid that, consequently, was named the cord factor. However, modern techniques of microbial genetics have revealed that cording can be affected by mutations in genes not directly involved in trehalose dimycolate biosynthesis. Therefore, questions such as “How does mycobacterial cord formation occur?” and “Which molecular factors play a role in cord formation?” remain unanswered. At present, one of the problems in cording studies is the correct interpretation of cording morphology. Using optical microscopy, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between cording and clumping, which is a general property of mycobacteria due to their hydrophobic surfaces. In this work, we provide a new way to visualize cords in great detail using scanning electron microscopy, and we show the first scanning electron microscopy images of the ultrastructure of mycobacterial cords, making this technique the ideal tool for cording studies. This technique has enabled us to affirm that nonpathogenic mycobacteria also form microscopic cords. Finally, we demonstrate that a strong correlation exists between microscopic cords, rough colonial morphology, and increased persistence of mycobacteria inside macrophages.
Leprosy is an infectious, neurodegenerative disease of humans caused by Mycobacterium leprae. Despite effective control programs, the incidence of leprosy remains stubbornly high, suggesting that transmission may be more common than expected. The rationale of this work was to use bioinformatics and comparative genomics to identify potentially antigenic proteins for diagnostic purposes. This approach defined three classes of proteins: those restricted to M. leprae (class I), those present in M. leprae with orthologues in other organisms besides mycobacteria (class II), and exported or surface-exposed proteins (class III). Twelve genes (two class I, four class II, and six class III proteins) were cloned in Escherichia coli, and their protein products were purified. Six of these proteins were detected in cell extracts of M. leprae by immunoblotting. The immunogenicity of each recombinant protein was then investigated in leprosy patients by measuring the reactivity of circulating antibody and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) responses in T-cell restimulation assays. Several class II and class III proteins were recognized by circulating antibodies. Importantly, most class II proteins elicited IFN-γ responses that were significantly stronger than those produced by previously identified antigens. Among them, two class II proteins, ML0308 and ML2498, showed marked humoral and cellular immunogenicity, therefore providing promising candidates for the diagnosis of both tuberculoid and lepromatous forms of leprosy.
Because of the wide spectrum of clinical manifestations and well-defined immunologic complications, leprosy is a useful disease for studying genetic regulation of the host response to infection. We hypothesized that polymorphisms in NOD2, a cytosolic receptor known to detect mycobacteria, are associated with susceptibility to leprosy and its clinical outcomes.
We used a case-control study design with 933 patients in Nepal, which included 240 patients with type I (reversal) reaction (RR), and 124 patients with type 2 (erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL)) reactions. We compared 32 common NOD2 gene region polymorphism frequencies between the different clinical types of leprosy as well as 101 controls without leprosy.
Four polymorphisms were associated with leprosy susceptibility when comparing allele frequencies and eight were associated when comparing genotype frequencies with a dominant model. Five polymorphisms were associated with protection from RR in an allelic analysis, and seven were associated with RR with a dominant model. Four polymorphisms were associated with increased susceptibility to ENL in an allelic analysis, while seven of 32 polymorphisms were associated with a dominant model.
These data suggest that NOD2 genetic variants are associated with leprosy susceptibility and the development of leprosy reactive states.
Mycobacterium leprae; NOD2; Reversal Reaction; Erythema nodosum leprosum; Genetic polymorphisms; CYLD; SLIC1
Tuberculosis is a growing international health concern. It is the biggest killer among the infectious diseases in the world today. Early detection of drug resistance allows starting of an appropriate treatment. Resistance to drugs is due to particular genomic mutations in specific genes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB). The aim of this study was to identify the presence of Isoniazid (INH) and Rifampicin(RIF) drug resistance in new and previously treated tuberculosis (TB) cases using DNA sequencing.
This study was carried out on 153 tuberculous patients with positive Bactec 460 culture for acid fast bacilli.
Of the 153 patients, 105 (68.6%) were new cases and 48 (31.4%) were previously treated cases. Drug susceptibility testing on Bactec revealed 50 resistant cases for one or more of the first line antituberculous. Genotypic analysis was done only for rifampicin resistant specimens (23 cases) and INH resistant specimens (26 cases) to detect mutations responsible for drug resistance by PCR amplification of rpoB gene for rifampicin resistant cases and KatG gene for isoniazid resistant cases. Finally, DNA sequencing was done for detection of mutation within rpoB and KatG genes. Genotypic analysis of RIF resistant cases revealed that 20/23 cases (86.9%) of RIF resistance were having rpoB gene mutation versus 3 cases (13.1%) having no mutation with a high statistical significant difference between them (P < 0.001). Direct sequencing of Kat G gene revealed point mutation in 24/26 (92.3%) and the remaining 2/26 (7.7%) had wild type KatG i.e. no evidence of mutation with a high statistical significant difference between them (P < 0.001).
We can conclude that rifampicin resistance could be used as a useful surrogate marker for estimation of multidrug resistance. In addition, Genotypic method was superior to that of the traditional phenotypic method which is time-consuming taking several weeks or longer.
A mycobacterial excretory-secretory protein fraction ESAS-7 purified by 50% ammonium sulphate precipitation followed by SDS-PAGE fractionation was evaluated by penicillinase enzyme linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA) for its sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis. At a “cut off” serum dilution of 600, 38 (90%) of 42 sera from bacteriologically confirmed tuberculosis cases, 15 (100%) of 15 sera from bacteriogically negative but anti tubercular therapy (ATT) responded cases, 3 (7%) of 43 sera from normal healthy subjects and 4 (8%) of 48 sera from non tuberculous disease control cases gave positive reaction for tubercular antibody to ESAS-7 antigen fraction containing predominantly 33-kDa protein with a sensitivity of 90% in bacteriologically confirmed cases and specificity of 92%. Further, this diagnostic assay using the ESAS-7 antigen is more sensitive requiring as little as one nanogram antigen per test compared to use of 100 nanogram EST-6 antigen reported earlier. Thus use of ESAS-7 antigen for antibody detection has good diagnostic potential with improved specificity in pulmonary tuberculosis.
ELISA; ESAS—7 antigen; Penicillinase
The host suitability of five of the most common weed species occurring in maize (Zea mays L.) fields in South Africa to Pratylenchus zeae was tested. Based on the number of nematodes per root unit, mealie crotalaria (Crotalaria sphaerocarpa) was a good host; goose grass (Eleusine indica), common pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus), and thorn apple (Datura stramonium) were moderate hosts; and khaki weed (Tagetes minuta) was a poor host. Only the root residues of khaki weed suppressed the P. zeae infestation of subsequently grown maize. When goose grass, khaki weed, and mealie crotalaria were grown in association with maize in soil infested with P. zeae, goose grass and khaki weed severely suppressed maize root development; this resulted in a low number of nematodes per maize root system and a high number of nematodes per maize root unit. Mealie crotalaria did not restrict maize root growth and did not affect nematode densities per maize root system or maize root unit. Special attention should be given to the control of mealie crotalaria, which is a good host for P. zeae, and goose grass, which, in addition to its ability to compete with maize, is also a suitable host for P. zeae.
Amaranthus hybridus; common pigweed; competition; Crotalaria sphaerocarpa; Datura stramonium; Eleusine indica; goose grass; host status; khaki weed; maize; mealie crotalaria; Pratylenchus zeae; root exudate; Tagetes minuta; thorn apple; Zea mays
Since 1996, genetically modified herbicide-resistant (HR) crops, particularly glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops, have transformed the tactics that corn, soybean, and cotton growers use to manage weeds. The use of GR crops continues to grow, but weeds are adapting to the common practice of using only glyphosate to control weeds. Growers using only a single mode of action to manage weeds need to change to a more diverse array of herbicidal, mechanical, and cultural practices to maintain the effectiveness of glyphosate. Unfortunately, the introduction of GR crops and the high initial efficacy of glyphosate often lead to a decline in the use of other herbicide options and less investment by industry to discover new herbicide active ingredients. With some exceptions, most growers can still manage their weed problems with currently available selective and HR crop-enabled herbicides. However, current crop management systems are in jeopardy given the pace at which weed populations are evolving glyphosate resistance. New HR crop technologies will expand the utility of currently available herbicides and enable new interim solutions for growers to manage HR weeds, but will not replace the long-term need to diversify weed management tactics and discover herbicides with new modes of action. This paper reviews the strengths and weaknesses of anticipated weed management options and the best management practices that growers need to implement in HR crops to maximize the long-term benefits of current technologies and reduce weed shifts to difficult-to-control and HR weeds.
corn; Zea mays; cotton; Gossypium hirsutum; soybean; Glycine max; crop; herbicide; resistance; tolerance; weed management
We have isolated and identified the biotype of environmental mycobacteria from the expectorate of leprosy patients, their contacts, their drinking water supply and also from the sputa samples of tuberculosis patients. 78% of the isolates from lepromatous leprosy patients and their contacts wereMycobacterium fortuitum- chelonae complex (MFC), 9%Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), 9%Mycobacterium scrofulaceum and 4% wereMycobacterium smegmatis. Among the isolates from tuberculosis patients 63% belonged toM. fortuitum- chelonae complex, 19% toM. avium complex, 12% toMycobacterium Kansasii and 6% toM. smegmatis. All the isolates were multi-drug resistant when tested for sensitivity total of 21 drugs. TheMycobacterium fortuitum-chelonae complex organisms from leprosy contacts were more sensitive to rifampicin than those isolated from lepromatous leprosy and tuberculosis patients. Among 23 isolates from leprosy patients one isolate was resistant to 20 drugs, one isolate to 17 drugs and another isolate was resistant to 13 drugs. Among the 18 isolates from drinking water supply six showed resistance to more than 12 drugs. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and subsequent hybridisation with specific probes confirmed all the isolated strains as nontuberculous mycobacteria (Using genus primers and probe sensitivity 100%) and none asM. tuberculosis, suggesting that PCR could be used to rapidly identify mycobacteria at the genus level and to rule out tuberculosis in leprosy patients at an early stage to decide on appropriate course of therapy.
Environmental mycobacteria; leprosy; tuberculosis; drug resistance
An international workshop was sponsored by the World Health organization to screen new antimycobacterial monoclonal antibodies and to identify antibodies which could be recommended as standard reagents giving consistent results under differing assay conditions. Fifty-eight antibodies were submitted to the workshop by eight independent laboratories. Nineteen of the antibodies recognized antigens distinct from those identified in earlier workshops, defining at least 10 new protein antigens. Monoclonal antibodies characterized in the workshop provide a set of convenient reagents for further characterization of mycobacterial antigens.
Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global cause of mortality and morbidity, and host genetic factors influence disease susceptibility. Interferon-γ mediates immunity to mycobacteria and rare mutations in the interferon-γ receptor-1 gene (IFNGR1) result in increased susceptibility to mycobacterial infection, including TB, in affected families. The role of genetic variation in IFNGR1 in susceptibility to common mycobacterial diseases such as pulmonary TB in outbred populations has not previously been investigated.
Methods: The association between IFNGR1 and susceptibility to pulmonary TB was investigated in a Gambian adult population sample using a case-control study design. The coding and promoter regions of IFNGR1 were sequenced in 32 patients with pulmonary TB, and the frequencies of six common IFNGR1 polymorphisms were determined using PCR based methods in 320 smear positive TB cases and 320 matched controls. Haplotypes were estimated from the genotype data using the expectation-maximisation algorithm.
Results: There was no association between the IFNGR1 variants studied and TB in this Gambian population sample. Three common haplotypes were identified within the study population, none of which was associated with TB.
Conclusions: These data represent an important negative finding and suggest that, while IFNGR1 is implicated in rare Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease, the common variants studied here do not have a major influence on susceptibility to pulmonary TB in The Gambian population.
Spinal deformity and paraplegia/quadriplegia are the most common complications of tuberculosis (TB) of spine. TB of dorsal spine almost always produces kyphosis while cervical and lumbar spine shows reversal of lordosis to begin with followed by kyphosis. kyphosis continues to increase in adults when patients are treated nonoperatively or by surgical decompression. In children, kyphosis continues to increase even after healing of the tubercular disease. The residual, healed kyphosis on a long follow-up produces painful costopelvic impingement, reduced vital capacity and eventually respiratory complications; spinal canal stenosis proximal to the kyphosis and paraplegia with healed disease, thus affecting the quality and span of life. These complications can be avoided by early diagnosis of tubercular spine lesion to heal with minimal or no kyphosis. When tubercular lesion reports with kyphosis of more than 50° or is likely to progress further, they should be undertaken for kyphus correction. The sequential steps of kyphosis correction include anterior decompression and corpectomy, posterior column shortening, posterior instrumentation, anterior bone grafting and posterior fusion. During the procedure, the spinal cord should be kept under vision so that it should not elongate. Internal kyphectomy (gibbectomy) is a preferred treatment for late onset paraplegia with severe healed kyphosis.
Kyphotic deformity; late onset paraplegia; TB spine; kyphus correction; extrapleural anterolateral approach
Tuberculosis (TB) is characterized by a tight interplay between Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host cells within granulomas. These cellular aggregates restrict bacterial spreading, but do not kill all the bacilli, which can persist for years. In-depth investigation of M. tuberculosis interactions with granuloma-specific cell populations are needed to gain insight into mycobacterial persistence, and to better understand the physiopathology of the disease. We have analyzed the formation of foamy macrophages (FMs), a granuloma-specific cell population characterized by its high lipid content, and studied their interaction with the tubercle bacillus. Within our in vitro human granuloma model, M. tuberculosis long chain fatty acids, namely oxygenated mycolic acids (MA), triggered the differentiation of human monocyte-derived macrophages into FMs. In these cells, mycobacteria no longer replicated and switched to a dormant non-replicative state. Electron microscopy observation of M. tuberculosis–infected FMs showed that the mycobacteria-containing phagosomes migrate towards host cell lipid bodies (LB), a process which culminates with the engulfment of the bacillus into the lipid droplets and with the accumulation of lipids within the microbe. Altogether, our results suggest that oxygenated mycolic acids from M. tuberculosis play a crucial role in the differentiation of macrophages into FMs. These cells might constitute a reservoir used by the tubercle bacillus for long-term persistence within its human host, and could provide a relevant model for the screening of new antimicrobials against non-replicating persistent mycobacteria.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, is responsible for dramatic health problems globally. It is estimated that this pathogen infects one-third of the human population and causes three million deaths annually. Most individuals remain asymptomatic for several years before developing an active disease. In such individuals, the bacilli are not cleared but rather persist in a dormant state. Major goals of TB research are to (i) understand how the bacilli remain alive for years within infected individuals, and (ii) find how to prevent their reactivation and hence clinical disease. During dormancy, most of the bacilli are confined to granulomas that consist of well-defined aggregates of different host immune cells. Granulomas prevent spreading of bacilli. In this study, we analyzed the role of a particular cell population found within granulomas, the “foamy macrophages”. These cells are filled with droplets of lipids, a well-known nutrient for persistent bacilli. We found that within these cells, the bacilli do not replicate, but remain alive and seem to internalize host lipids. The foamy macrophages might thus constitute a reservoir for persisting bacilli within their human host, and could provide a relevant model for screening of new antimicrobials against non-replicating persistent mycobacteria.