Histoplasma capsulatum and Pneumocystis organisms cause host infections primarily affecting the lung tissue. H. capsulatum is endemic in the United States of America and Latin American countries. In special environments, H. capsulatum is commonly associated with bat and bird droppings. Pneumocystis-host specificity has been primarily studied in laboratory animals, and its ability to be harboured by wild animals remains as an important issue for understanding the spread of this pathogen in nature. Bats infected with H. capsulatum or Pneumocystis spp. have been found, with this mammal serving as a probable reservoir and disperser; however, the co-infection of bats with both of these microorganisms has never been explored. To evaluate the impact of H. capsulatum and Pneumocystis spp. infections in this flying mammal, 21 bat lungs from Argentina (AR), 13 from French Guyana (FG), and 88 from Mexico (MX) were screened using nested-PCR of the fragments, employing the Hcp100 locus for H. capsulatum and the mtLSUrRNA and mtSSUrRNA loci for Pneumocystis organisms.
Of the 122 bats studied, 98 revealed H. capsulatum infections in which 55 of these bats exhibited this infection alone. In addition, 51 bats revealed Pneumocystis spp. infection of which eight bats exhibited a Pneumocystis infection alone. A total of 43 bats (eight from AR, one from FG, and 34 from MX) were found co-infected with both fungi, representing a co-infection rate of 35.2% (95% CI = 26.8-43.6%).
The data highlights the H. capsulatum and Pneumocystis spp.co-infection in bat population’s suggesting interplay with this wild host.
Histoplasma; Pneumocystis; Co-infection; Bats; PCR
Background and Aim
A neuronal pathway participates in the development of portal hypertension: blockade of afferent sensory nerves in portal vein ligated (PVL) rats simultaneously prevents brain cardiovascular regularory nuclei activation, neuromodulator overexpression in superior mesenteric ganglia, sympathetic atrophy of mesenteric innervation and hemodynamic alterations. Here we investigated in PVL rats alterations in neuromodulators and signaling pathways leading to axonal regression or apoptosis in the superior mesenteric ganglia and tested the effects of the stimulation of neuronal proliferation/survival by using a tyrosine kinase receptor A agonist, gambogic amide.
The neuronal pathway was confirmed by an increased neuronal afferent activity at the vagal nodose ganglia and the presence of semaphorin3A in sympathetic pre-ganglionic neurons at the intermediolateral nucleus of the spinal cord of PVL rats. Expression of the active form of tyrosine kinase receptor A (phosphorylated), leading to proliferation and survival signaling, showed a significant reduction in PVL comparing to sham rats. In contrast, the apoptotic and axonal retraction pathways were stimulated in PVL, demonstrated by a significant overexpression of semaphorin 3A and its receptor neuropilin1, together with increases of cleaved caspase7, inactive poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and Rho kinase expression. Finally, the administration of gambogic amide in PVL rats showed an amelioration of hemodynamic alterations and sympathetic atrophy, through the activation of survival pathways together with the inhibition of apoptotic cascades and Rho kinase mediated axonal regression.
The adrenergic alteration and sympathetic atrophy in mesenteric vessels during portal hypertension is caused by alterations on neuromodulation leading to post-ganglionic sympathetic regression and apoptosis and contributing to splanchnic vasodilation.
The MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 idiomorphs associated with the MAT1 locus of Histoplasma capsulatum were identified by PCR. A total of 28 fungal isolates, 6 isolates from human clinical samples and 22 isolates from environmental (infected bat and contaminated soil) samples, were studied. Among the 14 isolates from Mexico, 71.4% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 48.3% to 94.5%) were of the MAT1-2 genotype, whereas 100% of the isolates from Brazil were of the MAT1-1 genotype. Each MAT1 idiomorphic region was sequenced and aligned, using the sequences of the G-217B (+ mating type) and G-186AR (− mating type) strains as references. BLASTn analyses of the MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 sequences studied correlated with their respective + and − mating type genotypes. Trees were generated by the maximum likelihood (ML) method to search for similarity among isolates of each MAT1 idiomorph. All MAT1-1 isolates originated from Brazilian bats formed a well-defined group; three isolates from Mexico, the G-217B strain, and a subgroup encompassing all soil-derived isolates and two clinical isolates from Brazil formed a second group; last, one isolate (EH-696P) from a migratory bat captured in Mexico formed a third group of the MAT1-1 genotype. The MAT1-2 idiomorph formed two groups, one of which included two H. capsulatum isolates from infected bats that were closely related to the G-186AR strain. The other group was formed by two human isolates and six isolates from infected bats. Concatenated ML trees, with internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) -5.8S-ITS2 and MAT1-1 or MAT1-2 sequences, support the relatedness of MAT1-1 or MAT1-2 isolates. H. capsulatum mating types were associated with the geographical origin of the isolates, and all isolates from Brazil correlated with their environmental sources.
Objective. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of bromocriptine (BEC) on left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and residual renal function (RRF) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Research Design and Methods. A 6-month double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted in 28 patients with T2D and stage 4 CKD with increased LVMI. Fourteen patients received BEC (2.5 mg, initially 1 tablet with subsequent increase to three times a day) and 14 received a placebo (PBO; initially 1 tablet with subsequent increase to three times a day). Cardiovascular changes were assessed by monitoring 24 h ambulatory blood pressure, two-dimensional-guided M-mode echocardiography, and N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) plasma levels. RRF was evaluated by creatinine clearance and cystatin-C plasma levels. Results. Both BEC and PBO groups decreased blood pressure—but the effect was more pronounced in the BEC group. Average 24 h, diurnal and nocturnal blood pressures, and circadian profile showed improved values compared to the PBO group; LVMI decreased by 14% in BEC and increased by 8% in PBO group. NT-proBNP decreased in BEC (0.54 ± 0.15 to 0.32 ± 0.17 pg/mL) and increased in PBO (0.37 ± 0.15 to 0.64 ± 0.17 pg/mL). Creatinine clearance did not change in the BEC group and decreased in the PBO group. Conclusions. BEC resulted in a decrease on blood pressure and LVMI. BEC also prevented the progression of CKD while maintaining the creatinine clearance unchanged.
Bats belong to a wide variety of species and occupy diversified habitats, from cities to the countryside. Their different diets (i.e., nectarivore, frugivore, insectivore, hematophage) lead Chiroptera to colonize a range of ecological niches. These flying mammals exert an undisputable impact on both ecosystems and circulation of pathogens that they harbor. Pneumocystis species are recognized as major opportunistic fungal pathogens which cause life-threatening pneumonia in severely immunocompromised or weakened mammals. Pneumocystis consists of a heterogeneous group of highly adapted host-specific fungal parasites that colonize a wide range of mammalian hosts. In the present study, 216 lungs of 19 bat species, sampled from diverse biotopes in the New and Old Worlds, were examined. Each bat species may be harboring a specific Pneumocystis species. We report 32.9% of Pneumocystis carriage in wild bats (41.9% in Microchiroptera). Ecological and behavioral factors (elevation, crowding, migration) seemed to influence the Pneumocystis carriage. This study suggests that Pneumocystis-host association may yield much information on Pneumocystis transmission, phylogeny, and biology in mammals. Moreover, the link between genetic variability of Pneumocystis isolated from populations of the same bat species and their geographic area could be exploited in terms of phylogeography.
During spring of 2009, a new influenza virus AH1N1 spread in the world causing acute respiratory illness and death, resulting in the first influenza pandemic since 1968. Blood levels of potentially-toxic and essential elements of 40 pneumonia and confirmed AH1N1 were evaluated against two different groups of controls, both not infected with the pandemic strain. Significant concentrations of potentially-toxic elements (lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, arsenic) along with deficiency of selenium or increased Zn/Cu ratios characterized AH1N1 cases under study when evaluated versus controlled cases. Deficiency of selenium is progressively observed from controls I (influenza like illness) through controls II (pneumonia) and finally pneumonia -AH1N1 infected patients. Cases with blood Se levels greater than the recommended for an optimal cut-off to activate glutathione peroxidase (12.5 μg/dL) recovered from illness and survived. Evaluation of this essential element in critical pneumonia patients at the National Institutes is under evaluation as a clinical trial.
QIIME (canonically pronounced ‘chime’) is software that performs microbial community analysis. It is an acronym for Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology, and has been used to analyze and interpret nucleic acid sequence data from fungal, viral, bacterial, and archaeal communities.
The following protocols describe how to install QIIME on a single computer, and use it to analyze microbial 16S sequence data from 9 distinct microbial communities.
Over the past 20 years, multimodal imaging strategies have motivated the fusion of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) or Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scans with an X-ray computed tomography (CT) image to provide anatomical information, as well as a framework with which molecular and functional images may be co-registered. Recently, pre-clinical nuclear imaging technology has evolved to capture multiple SPECT or multiple PET tracers to further enhance the information content gathered within an imaging experiment. However, the use of SPECT and PET probes together, in the same animal, has remained a challenge. Here we describe a straightforward method using an integrated trimodal imaging system and a sequential dosing/acquisition protocol to achieve dual tracer imaging with 99mTc and 18F isotopes, along with anatomical CT, on an individual specimen. Dosing and imaging is completed so that minimal animal manipulations are required, full trimodal fusion is conserved, and tracer crosstalk including down-scatter of the PET tracer in SPECT mode is avoided. This technique will enhance the ability of preclinical researchers to detect multiple disease targets and perform functional, molecular, and anatomical imaging on individual specimens to increase the information content gathered within longitudinal in vivo studies.
Dual tracer imaging; trimodal imaging; Positron Emission Tomography (PET); Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT); X-ray Computed Tomography (CT); nuclear imaging
Patients with rheumatic diseases have an increased risk of mortality by cardiovascular events. In fact, several rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and ankylosing spondylitis are associated with a higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Although traditional cardiovascular risk factors have been involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases in rheumatic patients, these alterations do not completely explain the enhanced cardiovascular risk in this population. Obesity and its pathologic alteration of fat mass and dysfunction, due to an altered pattern of secretion of proinflammatory adipokines, could be one of the links between cardiovascular and rheumatic diseases. Indeed, the incidence of CVDs is augmented in obese individuals with rheumatic disorders. Thus, in this paper we explore in detail the relationships among adipokines, rheumatic diseases, and cardiovascular complications by giving to the reader a holistic vision and several suggestions for future perspectives and potential clinical implications.
Bacterial communities can exert significant influence on the biogeochemical cycling of arsenic (As). This has globally important implications since As in drinking water affects the health of over 100 million people worldwide, including in the Ganges–Brahmaputra Delta region of Bangladesh where geogenic arsenic in groundwater can reach concentrations of more than 10 times the World Health Organization’s limit. Thus, the goal of this research was to investigate patterns in bacterial community composition across gradients in sediment texture and chemistry in an aquifer with elevated groundwater As concentrations in Araihazar, Bangladesh. We characterized the bacterial community by pyrosequencing 16S rRNA genes from aquifer sediment samples collected at three locations along a groundwater flow path at a range of depths between 1.5 and 15 m. We identified significant differences in bacterial community composition between locations in the aquifer. In addition, we found that bacterial community structure was significantly related to sediment grain size, and sediment carbon (C), manganese (Mn), and iron (Fe) concentrations. Deltaproteobacteria and Chloroflexi were found in higher proportions in silty sediments with higher concentrations of C, Fe, and Mn. By contrast, Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria were in higher proportions in sandy sediments with lower concentrations of C and metals. Based on the phylogenetic affiliations of these taxa, these results may indicate a shift to more Fe-, Mn-, and humic substance-reducers in the high C and metal sediments. It is well-documented that C, Mn, and Fe may influence the mobility of groundwater arsenic, and it is intriguing that these constituents may also structure the bacterial community.
arsenic; aquifer; bacteria; pyrosequencing; Deltaproteobacteria; Chloroflexi
Co-evolution of mammals and their gut microbiota has profoundly effected their radiation into myriad habitats. We used shotgun sequencing of microbial community DNA and targeted sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes to understand how microbial communities adapt to extremes of diets, sampling fecal DNAs from 33 mammalian species and 18 humans who kept detailed diet records. We found that microbiota adaptation to diet is reproducible across different mammalian lineages. Functional repertoires of microbiome genes, such as those encoding carbohydrate-active enzymes and proteases, can be predicted from bacterial species assemblages. These results illustrate the value of characterizing vertebrate gut microbiomes to fully understand host evolutionary histories at a supra-organismal level.
Finite element simulation has been used in last years for analysing the biomechanical performance of post-core restorations in endodontics, but results of these simulations have been interpreted in most of the works using von Mises stress criterion. However, the validity of this failure criterion for brittle materials, which are present in these restorations, is questionable. The objective of the paper is to analyse how finite element results for brittle materials of endodontic restorations should be interpreted to obtain correct conclusions about the possible failure in the restoration.
Different failure criteria (Von Mises, Rankine, Coulomb-Mohr, Modified Mohr and Christensen) and material strength data (diametral tensile strength and flexural strength) were considered in the study. Three finite element models (FEM) were developed to simulate an endodontic restoration and two typical material tests: diametral tensile test and flexural test.
Results showed that the Christensen criterion predicts similar results as the Von Mises criterion for ductile components, while it predicts similar results to all other criteria for brittle components. The different criteria predict different failure points for the diametral tensile test, all of them under multi-axial stress states. All criteria except Von Mises predict failure for flexural test at the same point of the specimen, with this point under uniaxial tensile stress.
From the results it is concluded that the Christensen criterion is recommended for FEM result interpretation in endodontic restorations and that the flexural test is recommended to estimate tensile strength instead of the diametral tensile test.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which joint inflammation leads to progressive cartilage and bone erosion. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) implicated in homeostasis of the extracellular matrix play a central role in cartilage degradation. However, the role of specific MMPs in arthritis pathogenesis is largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of Mmp-8 (collagenase-2) in an arthritis model.
Arthritis was induced in Mmp8-deficient and wildtype mice by K/BxN serum transfer. Arthritis severity was measured by a clinical index and ankle sections were scored for synovial inflammation, cartilage damage and bone erosion. cDNA microarray analysis, real-time PCR and western blot were performed to identify differential changes in gene expression between mice lacking Mmp8 and controls.
Mmp8 deficiency increased the severity of arthritis, although the incidence of disease was similar in control and deficient mice. Increased clinical score was associated with exacerbated synovial inflammation and bone erosion. We also found that the absence of Mmp8 led to increased expression of IL-1β, pentraxin-3 (PTX3) and prokineticin receptor 2 (PROKR2) in arthritic mice joints.
Lack of Mmp-8 is accompanied by exacerbated synovial inflammation and bone erosion in the K/BxN serum-transfer arthritis model, indicating that this Mmp has a protective role in arthritis.
Management of acute variceal bleeding has greatly improved over recent years. Available data indicates that general management of the bleeding cirrhotic patient by an experienced multidisciplinary team plays a major role in the final outcome of this complication. It is currently recommended to combine pharmacological and endoscopic therapies for the initial treatment of the acute bleeding. Vasoactive drugs (preferable somatostatin or terlipressin) should be started as soon as a variceal bleeding is suspected (ideally during transfer to hospital) and maintained afterwards for 2-5 d. After stabilizing the patient with cautious fluid and blood support, an emergency diagnostic endoscopy should be done and, as soon as a skilled endoscopist is available, an endoscopic variceal treatment (ligation as first choice, sclerotherapy if endoscopic variceal ligation not feasible) should be performed. Antibiotic prophylaxis must be regarded as an integral part of the treatment of acute variceal bleeding and should be started at admission and maintained for at least 7 d. In case of failure to control the acute bleeding, rescue therapies should be immediately started. Shunt therapies (especially transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt) are very effective at controlling treatment failures after an acute variceal bleeding. Therapeutic developments and increasing knowledge in the prognosis of this complication may allow optimization of the management strategy by adapting the different treatments to the expected risk of complications for each patient in the near future. Theoretically, this approach would allow the initiation of early aggressive treatments in high-risk patients and spare low-risk individuals unnecessary procedures. Current research efforts will hopefully clarify this hypothesis and help to further improve the outcomes of the severe complication of cirrhosis.
Portal hypertension; Variceal bleeding; Complications of cirrhosis
Alcohol abuse is a major cause of pancreatitis, a condition that can manifest as both acute necroinflammation and chronic damage (acinar atrophy and fibrosis). Pancreatic acinar cells can metabolize ethanol via the oxidative pathway, which generates acetaldehyde and involves the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and possibly cytochrome P4502E1. Additionally, ethanol can be metabolized via a nonoxidative pathway involving fatty acid ethyl ester synthases. Metabolism of ethanol by acinar and other pancreatic cells and the consequent generation of toxic metabolites, are postulated to play an important role in the development of alcohol-related acute and chronic pancreatic injury. This current work will review some recent advances in the knowledge about ethanol actions on the exocrine pancreas and its relationship to inflammatory disease and cancer.
Pancreas; Calcium; Ethanol; Reactive oxygen species; Pancreatitis
A significant percentage of patients with pancreatitis often presents a history of excessive alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, the patho-physiological effect of ethanol on pancreatitis remains poorly understood. In the present study, we have investigated the early effects of acute ethanol exposure on CCK-8-evoked Ca2+ signals in mouse pancreatic acinar cells. Changes in [Ca2+]i and ROS production were analyzed employing fluorescence techniques after loading cells with fura-2 or CM-H2DCFDA, respectively.
Ethanol, in the concentration range from 1 to 50 mM, evoked an oscillatory pattern in [Ca2+]i. In addition, ethanol evoked reactive oxygen species generation (ROS) production. Stimulation of cells with 1 nM or 20 pM CCK-8, respectively led to a transient change and oscillations in [Ca2+]i. In the presence of ethanol a transformation of 20 pM CCK-8-evoked physiological oscillations into a single transient increase in [Ca2+]i in the majority of cells was observed. Whereas, in response to 1 nM CCK-8, the total Ca2+ mobilization was significantly increased by ethanol pre-treatment. Preincubation of cells with 1 mM 4-MP, an inhibitor of alcohol dehydrogenase, or 10 μM of the antioxidant cinnamtannin B-1, reverted the effect of ethanol on total Ca2+ mobilization evoked by 1 nM CCK-8. Cinnamtannin B-1 blocked ethanol-evoked ROS production.
ethanol may lead, either directly or through ROS generation, to an over stimulation of pancreatic acinar cells in response to CCK-8, resulting in a higher Ca2+ mobilization compared to normal conditions. The actions of ethanol on CCK-8-stimulation of cells create a situation potentially leading to Ca2+ overload, which is a common pathological precursor that mediates pancreatitis.
A thorough epidemiological surveillance and a good understanding of the burden of diseases associated to VZV are crucial to asses any potential impact of a prevention strategy. A population-based retrospective epidemiological study to estimate the burden of herpes zoster requiring hospitalization in Spain was conducted.
This study was conducted by using data from the national surveillance system for hospital data, Conjunto Mínimo Básico de Datos (CMBD). Records of all patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of herpes zoster (ICD-9-MC codes 053.0–053.9) during a 7-year period (1998–2004) were selected.
A total of 23,584 hospitalizations with a primary or secondary diagnosis of herpes zoster in patients ≥ 30 years of age were identified during the study period. Annually there were 13.4 hospitalizations for herpes zoster per 100,000 population in patients ≥ 30 years of age. The rate increases with age reaching a maximum in persons ≥ 80 years of age (54.3 admissions per 100,000 population >80 years of age). The mean cost of a hospitalization for herpes zoster in adult patients was 3,720 €. The estimated annual cost of hospitalizations for herpes zoster in patients ≥ 30 years of age in Spain was 12,731,954 €.
Herpes zoster imposes an important burden of hospitalizations and result in large cost expenses to the Spanish National Health System, especially in population older than 50 years of age
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a nuclear DNA-binding protein that participates in the regulation of DNA repair and maintenance of genomic integrity. In addition, PARP-1 has a role in several models of inflammation disease, where its absence or inactivation confers protection. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of selective PARP-1 suppression in collagen antibody-induced arthritis. We show that PARP-1 deficiency partially reduces the severity of arthritis, although the incidence of disease was similar in control and deficient mice. Decreased clinical scores were accompanied by partial reduction of histopathological findings. Interestingly, quantitative real-time PCR and ELISA analysis revealed that the absence of PARP-1 down-regulated IL-1β and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 expression in arthritic joints whereas tumor necrosis factor-α transcription was not impaired. Our results provide evidence of the contribution of PARP-1 to the progression of arthritis and identify this protein as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
As a result of alternative trans splicing, three distinct LYT1 mRNAs are produced in Trypanosoma cruzi, two encoding the full-length LYT1 protein and the third encoding a truncated LYT1 protein lacking a possible signal sequence. Analysis of the three mRNAs in different developmental forms of the parasite revealed that the alternative processing events were regulated differently during the parasite life cycle.
Trypanosoma cruzi invasion of host cells involves several discrete steps: attachment, parasite internalization mediated by recruitment and fusion of host cell lysosomes, and escape from the parasitophorous vacuole to liberate amastigotes to multiply freely in the cytosol. This report describes the initial characterization of the LYT1 gene and the demonstration that the gene product is involved in cell lysis and infectivity. Mutational analysis demonstrated that deletion of LYT1 resulted in attenuation of infection, which was associated with diminished hemolytic activity. Reintroduction of LYT1 restored infectivity in null mutants, confirming the critical role of LYT1 in infection. Additionally, in vitro stage transition experiments with LYT1-deficient lines showed that these parasites converted to extracellular amastigote-like cells and metacyclic trypomastigotes more rapidly than wild-type parasites, suggesting that the diminished infectivity was not a result of the LYT1 deficiency that affected the parasite's ability to complete the life cycle.