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The present study examined the extent to which mothers were able to train their children, 2 boys with autism, to exchange novel pictures to request items using the picture exchange communication system (PECS). Generalization probes assessing each child's ability to mand for untrained items were conducted throughout conditions. Using a multiple baseline design, results demonstrated that both children improvised by using alternative symbols when the corresponding symbol was unavailable across all symbol categories (colors, shapes, and functions) and that parents can teach their children to use novel pictorial response forms.
PMCID: PMC2741078  PMID: 20190927
autism; improvisation; parent training; picture exchange communication system
2.  Fate of the Two-Component Lantibiotic Lacticin 3147 in the Gastrointestinal Tract▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2007;73(21):7103-7109.
The component peptides of lacticin 3147 were degraded by α-chymotrypsin in vitro with a resultant loss of antimicrobial activity. Activity was also lost in ileum digesta. Following oral ingestion, neither of the lacticin 3147 peptides was detected in the gastric, jejunum, or ileum digesta of pigs, and no lacticin 3147 activity was found in the feces. These observations suggest that lacticin 3147 ingestion is unlikely to have adverse effects, since it is probably inactivated during intestinal transit.
PMCID: PMC2074984  PMID: 17766459
3.  Sequential Actions of the Two Component Peptides of the Lantibiotic Lacticin 3147 Explain Its Antimicrobial Activity at Nanomolar Concentrations 
Lacticin 3147 is a two-peptide (LtnA1 and LtnA2) lantibiotic produced by Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis DPC3147 and has inhibitory activity against all gram-positive microorganisms tested. In this study the specific activities of the component peptides (alone or in combination) were determined by using L. lactis subsp. cremoris HP as the target strain. Lacticin 3147 exhibited an MIC50 of 7 nM for each component peptide (in combination), suggesting a peptide stoichiometry of 1:1. Interestingly, the LtnA1 peptide demonstrated independent inhibitory activity, with an MIC50 of 200 nM against L. lactis HP. In parallel studies, the single peptide bacteriocin nisin exhibited an MIC50 of 50 nM against the same target strain. Sequential peptide addition (with an intermediate washing step) demonstrated that LtnA1 must be added before LtnA2 rather than vice versa to observe inhibitory activity. The nanomolar activity of the lacticin peptides suggests the involvement of a docking molecule, speculated to be lipid II. Taken together with the recently determined structure of lacticin 3147 (N. I. Martin, T. Sprules, M. R. Carpenter, P. D. Cotter, C. Hill, R. P. Ross, and J. C. Vederas, Biochemistry, 43:3049-3056, 2004), these data support the hypothesis that the mode of action for lacticin 3147 involves a lipid II binding step (by the mersacidin-like LtnA1 peptide, which would explain its independent inhibitory activity), followed by insertion of the more linear LtnA2 peptide into the target membrane, resulting in pore formation and ultimate cell death.
PMCID: PMC1168663  PMID: 15980326
4.  VP4 and VP7 Genotyping of Rotavirus Samples Recovered from Infected Children in Ireland over a 3-Year Period 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1999;37(6):1699-1703.
Between September 1995 and August 1998, the incidence and diversity of the main human rotavirus genotypes (G1, G2, G3, and G4 and P[8], P[4], P[6], and P[9]) among Irish children were determined by using established and adapted reverse transcriptase PCR-based genotyping methods. From a total of 193 rotavirus-positive specimens collected from nine hospitals we successfully identified the P type in 182 (94%) of the samples and the G type in 165 (85.5%) of the samples. Only four samples could not be assigned a G or P type. Two P types existed in Ireland, P[8] (78%) and P[4] (16%), and their relative incidence varied over the 3 years of this study. No P[6] or P[9] types were detected. G1 was the most predominant G type (55%), and the incidences of G2, G3, and G4 isolates were 15.5, 1, and 11%, respectively. Three percent of the samples tested had a mixed G type. A P and G type was assigned to 158 (81.8%) of samples. Of the typeable samples, G1 P[8] was the most prevalent (65%), whereas G2 P[4] (17%), G3 P[8] (1%), G4 P[8] (12%), and mixed types (all G1/ G4 P[8]) (4%) were detected less frequently. In the third year a significant genotypic shift from G1 P[8] to G2 P[4] and G4 P[8] was observed. During the study, we noticed that the inclusion of random primers during cDNA synthesis greatly increased the specificity of the PCR typing assays. No correlation was seen between the contributing hospitals and a specific genotype. In conclusion, the coverage of infection given by the recently licensed tetravalent vaccine would be significantly high in Ireland, although future monitoring of genotypic changes among Irish isolates should be encouraged.
PMCID: PMC84927  PMID: 10325310

Results 1-4 (4)