The use of remote imagery captured by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) has tremendous potential for designing detailed site-specific weed control treatments in early post-emergence, which have not possible previously with conventional airborne or satellite images. A robust and entirely automatic object-based image analysis (OBIA) procedure was developed on a series of UAV images using a six-band multispectral camera (visible and near-infrared range) with the ultimate objective of generating a weed map in an experimental maize field in Spain. The OBIA procedure combines several contextual, hierarchical and object-based features and consists of three consecutive phases: 1) classification of crop rows by application of a dynamic and auto-adaptive classification approach, 2) discrimination of crops and weeds on the basis of their relative positions with reference to the crop rows, and 3) generation of a weed infestation map in a grid structure. The estimation of weed coverage from the image analysis yielded satisfactory results. The relationship of estimated versus observed weed densities had a coefficient of determination of r2=0.89 and a root mean square error of 0.02. A map of three categories of weed coverage was produced with 86% of overall accuracy. In the experimental field, the area free of weeds was 23%, and the area with low weed coverage (<5% weeds) was 47%, which indicated a high potential for reducing herbicide application or other weed operations. The OBIA procedure computes multiple data and statistics derived from the classification outputs, which permits calculation of herbicide requirements and estimation of the overall cost of weed management operations in advance.
Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. israelensis (Bti) has been used worldwide for the control of dipteran insect pests. This bacterium produces several Cry and Cyt toxins that individually show activity against mosquitoes but together show synergistic effect. Previous work demonstrated that Cyt1Aa synergizes the toxic activity of Cry11Aa by functioning as a membrane-bound receptor. In the case of Cry toxins active against lepidopteran insects, receptor interaction triggers the formation of a pre-pore oligomer that is responsible for pore formation and toxicity. In this work we report that binding of Cry11Aa to Cyt1Aa facilitates the formation of a Cry11Aa pre-pore oligomeric structure that is capable of forming pores in membrane vesicles. Cry11Aa and Cyt1A point mutants affected in binding and in synergism had a correlative effect on the formation of Cry11Aa pre-pore oligomer and on pore-formation activity of Cry11Aa. These data further support that Cyt1Aa interacts with Cry11Aa and demonstrate the molecular mechanism by which Cyt1Aa synergizes or suppresses resistance to Cry11Aa, by providing a binding site for Cry11Aa that will result in an efficient formation of Cry11Aa pre-pore that inserts into membranes and forms ionic pores.
A new aerial platform has risen recently for image acquisition, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This article describes the technical specifications and configuration of a UAV used to capture remote images for early season site- specific weed management (ESSWM). Image spatial and spectral properties required for weed seedling discrimination were also evaluated. Two different sensors, a still visible camera and a six-band multispectral camera, and three flight altitudes (30, 60 and 100 m) were tested over a naturally infested sunflower field. The main phases of the UAV workflow were the following: 1) mission planning, 2) UAV flight and image acquisition, and 3) image pre-processing. Three different aspects were needed to plan the route: flight area, camera specifications and UAV tasks. The pre-processing phase included the correct alignment of the six bands of the multispectral imagery and the orthorectification and mosaicking of the individual images captured in each flight. The image pixel size, area covered by each image and flight timing were very sensitive to flight altitude. At a lower altitude, the UAV captured images of finer spatial resolution, although the number of images needed to cover the whole field may be a limiting factor due to the energy required for a greater flight length and computational requirements for the further mosaicking process. Spectral differences between weeds, crop and bare soil were significant in the vegetation indices studied (Excess Green Index, Normalised Green-Red Difference Index and Normalised Difference Vegetation Index), mainly at a 30 m altitude. However, greater spectral separability was obtained between vegetation and bare soil with the index NDVI. These results suggest that an agreement among spectral and spatial resolutions is needed to optimise the flight mission according to every agronomical objective as affected by the size of the smaller object to be discriminated (weed plants or weed patches).
In Peru, commercial sex involving men and male-born travestis, transgenders and transsexuals (CSMT) is usually represented as a dangerous practice carried out on the streets by people experiencing economic hardship and social exclusion. However, in reality little is known about the complexities of this practice in Peru. This paper presents findings from an ethnographic study of the characteristics, patterns and socio-cultural aspects of CSMT in three Peruvian cities. The study included participant observation in sex work venues and interviews with 42 sex workers and 25 key informants. We found that CSMT in Peru takes many forms (some not previously described in the country) and is practised in different places by people from various socioeconomic levels. In many cases, the practice appears linked to ideals of social mobility, migratory experiences and other economic activities. In addition, the increasing use of the internet and mobile phones has changed patterns of sex work in Peru. We review the implications of these findings for future research and public health interventions.
prostitution; men; transsexual people; ethnography; Peru
The classical roles of B cells include the production of antibodies and cytokines and the generation of immunological memory, these being key factors in the adaptive immune response. However, their role in innate immunity is currently being recognised. Traditionally, B cells have been considered non-phagocytic cells; therefore, the uptake of bacteria by B cells is not extensively documented. In this study, we analysed some of the features of non-specific bacterial uptake by B lymphocytes from the Raji cell line. In our model, B cells were infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), Mycobacterium smegmatis (MSM), and Salmonella typhimurium (ST).
Our observations revealed that the Raji B cells were readily infected by the three bacteria that were studied. All of the infections induced changes in the cellular membrane during bacterial internalisation. M. smegmatis and S. typhimurium were able to induce important membrane changes that were characterised by abundant filopodia and lamellipodia formation. These membrane changes were driven by actin cytoskeletal rearrangements. The intracellular growth of these bacteria was also controlled by B cells. M. tuberculosis infection also induced actin rearrangement-driven membrane changes; however, the B cells were not able to control this infection. The phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) treatment of B cells induced filopodia and lamellipodia formation, the production of spacious vacuoles (macropinosomes), and the fluid-phase uptake that is characteristic of macropinocytosis. S. typhimurium infection induced the highest fluid-phase uptake, although both mycobacteria also induced fluid uptake. A macropinocytosis inhibitor such as amiloride was used and abolished the bacterial uptake and the fluid-phase uptake that is triggered during the bacterial infection.
Raji B cells can internalise S. typhimurium and mycobacteria through an active process, such as macropinocytosis, although the resolution of the infection depends on factors that are inherent in the virulence of each pathogen.
Macropinocytosis; B lymphocytes; Raji cells; Mycobacterium smegmatis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Salmonella typhimurium; Cytoskeleton
A new class of rhodamines for the application as indicator dyes in fluorescent pH sensors is presented. Their pH-sensitivity derives from photoinduced electron transfer between non-protonated amino groups and the excited chromophore which results in effective fluorescence quenching at increasing pH. The new indicator class carries a pentafluorophenyl group at the 9-position of the xanthene core where other rhodamines bear 2-carboxyphenyl substituents instead. The pentafluorophenyl group is used for covalent coupling to sensor matrices by “click” reaction with mercapto groups. Photophysical properties are similar to “classical” rhodamines carrying 2′-carboxy groups. pH sensors have been prepared with two different matrix materials, silica gel and poly(2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate). Both sensors show high luminescence brightness (absolute fluorescence quantum yield ΦF≈0.6) and high pH-sensitivity at pH 5–7 which makes them suitable for monitoring biotechnological samples. To underline practical applicability, a dually lifetime referenced sensor containing Cr(III)-doped Al2O3 as reference material is presented.
► New rhodamine pH-indicators employing photoinduced electron transfer are prepared. ► Indicators are covalently immobilised to the sensor support. ► Obtained pH optrodes feature high brightness, excellent sensitivity and good operation stability. ► Dynamic range (pH 5–7) is particularly useful for biotechnological applications.
pH sensor; Fluorescence; Rhodamine; Photoinduced electron transfer; Covalent dye coupling; “Click” chemistry
Sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics of 212 Peruvian female sex workers (FSWs) were analyzed. The association between genital tract infections (GTIs) and risk factors by multivariate analysis was evaluated. Eighty-eight percent of FSWs were diagnosed with at least one GTI (HSV-2 80.1%, BV 44.8%, candidiasis 9.9%, syphilis seropositivity 9.4%, Trichomonas vaginalis 2.4%, HIV seropositivity 2.4%). Reported condom use with clients was nearly universal (98.3%), but infrequent with husband/regular partners (7.3%). In multivariate analysis BV was negatively associated with more consistent condom use (PRR = 0.63, 95% CI, 0.42–0.96). Many had not visited a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) clinic or been tested for HIV in the past year (40.6%, 47.1%, resp.). Nonclient contraceptive use was low (57%) and induced abortion was common (68%). High GTI burden and abortions suggest that a services-access gap persists among marginalized FSWs. Continued health outreach programs and integrating family planning and reproductive health services into existing STI clinic services are recommended.
Early wheezing and asthma are relevant health problems in the tropics. Mite sensitization is an important risk factor, but the roles of others, inherent in poverty, are unknown. We designed a birth-cohort study in Cartagena (Colombia) to investigate genetic and environmental risk factors for asthma and atopy, considering as particular features perennial exposure to mites, parasite infections and poor living conditions.
Pregnant women representative of the low-income suburbs of the city were randomly screened for eligibility at delivery; 326 mother-infant pairs were included at baseline and biological samples were collected from birth to 24 months for immunological testing, molecular genetics and gene expression analysis. Pre and post-natal information was collected using questionnaires.
94% of families were from the poorest communes of the city, 40% lacked sewage and 11% tap-water. Intestinal parasites were found as early as 3 months; by the second year, 37.9% of children have had parasites and 5.22% detectable eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides in stools (Median 3458 epg, IQR 975-9256). The prevalence of "wheezing ever" was 17.5% at 6 months, 31.1% at 12 months and 38.3% at 24 months; and recurrent wheezing (3 or more episodes) 7.1% at 12 months and 14.2% at 24 months. Maternal rhinitis [aOR 3.03 (95%CI 1.60-5.74), p = 0.001] and male gender [aOR 2.09 (95%CI 1.09 - 4.01), p = 0.026], increased risk for wheezing at 6 months. At 24 months, maternal asthma was the main predisposing factor for wheezing [aOR 3.65 (95%CI 1.23-10.8), p = 0.01]. Clinical symptoms of milk/egg allergy or other food-induced allergies were scarce (1.8%) and no case of atopic eczema was observed.
Wheezing is the most frequent phenotype during the first 24 months of life and is strongly associated with maternal asthma. At 24 months, the natural history of allergic symptoms is different to the "atopic march" described in some industrialized countries. This cohort is representative of socially deprived urban areas of underdeveloped tropical countries. The collection of biological samples, data on exposure and defined phenotypes, will contribute to understand the gene/environment interactions leading to allergy inception and evolution.
Birth cohort study; Wheezing; Allergy; Asthma; Rhinitis; Eczema; Atopic march; The tropics; Parasite; Poverty; Cartagena; Latin America
Oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) may be a response to oncogenic activation, acting as a natural barrier against carcinogenesis at a premalignant stage. Thus, numerous cells in premalignant lesions enter senescence, but none or few in malignant tumours. This event could be due to the loss of senescence pathway effectors, including p16 (INK4a)-pRb or ARF-p53. The aim of this study was to characterize and compare the expression of certain senescent markers between oral precancer and cancer tissue samples. The expression of cyclin D1, Rb, maspin, p53 and mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) was analyzed in 20 paraffin-embedded tissue samples of normal oral mucosa (NOM), 14 samples of oral leukoplakia without dysplasia (OLD−), 11 samples of leukoplakia with dysplasia (OLD+) and 15 samples of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) by immunohistochemistry in tissue arrays. The expression of p16-pRb pathway markers, cyclin D1, maspin and Rb, was more frequent in OLD+ samples than in OSCC samples, although a statistical significance was only observed for maspin (P=0.036). Cyclin D1 expression was also significantly more frequent in OLD− samples vs. NOM samples. For the ARF-p53 pathway, the expression of p53 and MDM2 was significantly more frequent in the OLD− samples compared to in the NOM ones. These findings may indicate a role for cellular senescence in oral carcinogenesis, considering maspin as a reliable senescence marker and prognostic factor in oral premalignant lesions.
senescence; oral cancer; oral leukoplakia; cyclin D1; maspin; Rb; p53; MDM2
To study the causes for the lack of clinical progression in a superinfected HIV-1 LTNP elite controller patient.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We studied host genetic, virological and immunological factors associated with viral control in a SI long term non progressor elite controller (LTNP-EC). The individual contained both viruses and maintained undetectable viral loads for >20 years and he did not express any of the described host genetic polymorphisms associated with viral control. None of four full-length gp160 recombinants derived from the LTNP-EC replicated in heterologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells. CTL responses after SI were maintained in two samples separated by 9 years and they were higher in breadth and magnitude than responses seen in most of 250 treatment naïve patients and also 25 controller subjects. The LTNP-EC showed a neutralization response, against 4 of the 6 viruses analyzed, superior to other ECs.
The study demonstrated that a strong and sustained cellular and humoral immune response and low replicating viruses are associated with viral control in the superinfected LTNP-EC.
To assess the association between male circumcision, insertive anal sex practices, and HIV acquisition in a cohort of men who have sex with men (MSM).
Data were from 1824 HSV-2 seropositive, HIV seronegative MSM, 1362 (75%) from Peru and 462 (25%) from the US, who participated in a randomized placebo controlled trial of HSV-2 suppression for HIV prevention (HPTN 039). Circumcision status was determined by examination at enrollment. HIV testing was done every three months for up to 18 months. Partner-specific sexual behavior for up to the last three partners during the previous three months was analyzed.
There was no significant association between male circumcision and HIV acquisition in univariate analysis (RR=0.84, 95% CI 0.50–1.42). In a pre-specified multivariate analysis that assumed a linear relationship between the proportion of insertive acts and effect of circumcision on HIV acquisition, the interaction between circumcision and proportion of insertive acts was not significant (p=0.11). In an exploratory analysis that categorized behavior with recent partners by proportion of insertive acts (<60% or ≥60% insertive acts), circumcision was associated with a non-statistically significant 69% reduction in the risk of HIV acquisition (RR=0.31, 95% CI 0.06–1.51) among men who reported ≥60% of insertive acts with recent male partners.
Circumcision does not have a significant protective effect against HIV acquisition among MSM from Peru and US, although there may be reduced risk for men who are primarily insertive with their male partners. This association needs to be investigated across diverse cohorts of MSM.
HIV acquisition; male circumcision; men who have sex with men
In this work we studied three dyes which are proposed for potential photovoltaic applications and named Dye7, Dye7-2t and Dye7-3t. The Density Functional Theory (DFT) was utilized, using the M05-2X hybrid meta-GGA functional and the 6–31+G(d,p) basis set. This level of calculation was used to find the optimized molecular structure and to predict the main molecular vibrations, the absorption and emission spectra, the molecular orbitals energies, dipole moment, isotropic polarizability and the chemical reactivity parameters that arise from Conceptual DFT. Also, the pKa values were calculated with the semi-empirical PM6 method.
molecular structure; absorption spectrum; polarizability; chemical reactivity; dipole moment; triphenylamine; dye sensitizers
Monitoring the greenhouse transpiration for control purposes is currently a difficult task. The absence of affordable sensors that provide continuous transpiration measurements motivates the use of estimators. In the case of tomato crops, the availability of estimators allows the design of automatic fertirrigation (irrigation + fertilization) schemes in greenhouses, minimizing the dispensed water while fulfilling crop needs. This paper shows how system identification techniques can be applied to obtain nonlinear virtual sensors for estimating transpiration. The greenhouse used for this study is equipped with a microlysimeter, which allows one to continuously sample the transpiration values. While the microlysimeter is an advantageous piece of equipment for research, it is also expensive and requires maintenance. This paper presents the design and development of a virtual sensor to model the crop transpiration, hence avoiding the use of this kind of expensive sensor. The resulting virtual sensor is obtained by dynamical system identification techniques based on regressors taken from variables typically found in a greenhouse, such as global radiation and vapor pressure deficit. The virtual sensor is thus based on empirical data. In this paper, some effort has been made to eliminate some problems associated with grey-box models: advance phenomenon and overestimation. The results are tested with real data and compared with other approaches. Better results are obtained with the use of nonlinear Black-box virtual sensors. This sensor is based on global radiation and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) measurements. Predictive results for the three models are developed for comparative purposes.
virtual sensor; transpiration; nonlinear model; micro-lysimeter
In this work, we studied a copper complex-based dye, which is proposed for potential photovoltaic applications and is named Cu (I) biquinoline dye. Results of electron affinities and ionization potentials have been used for the correlation between different levels of calculation used in this study, which are based on The Density Functional Theory (DFT) and time-dependent (TD) DFT. Further, the maximum absorption wavelengths of our theoretical calculations were compared with the experimental data. It was found that the M06/LANL2DZ + DZVP level of calculation provides the best approximation. This level of calculation was used to find the optimized molecular structure and to predict the main molecular vibrations, the molecular orbitals energies, dipole moment, isotropic polarizability and the chemical reactivity parameters that arise from Conceptual DFT.
molecular structure; absorption spectra; polarizability; chemical reactivity; dipole moment; copper complex; dye-sensitized
Vaginosis bacteriana (VB) es una infección caracterizada por el cambio en la microflora de la vagina, asociándose a resultados adversos del embarazo y a la adquisición de infecciones de transmisión sexual (ITS), incluyendo el VIH. En este estudio se buscó la asociación entre el uso de duchas vaginales y otros factores de riesgos con VB.
Se usó un diseño observacional descriptivo transversal prospectivo, en 1,252 mujeres que asistieron al servicio de planificación familiar de tres hospitales nacionales (Dos de Mayo, Arzobispo Loayza, San Bartolomé) y el Instituto Materno Perinatal, durante el año 1997. Se utilizó un cuestionario estructurado donde se registraron variables socio demográficas y características del estilo de vida de las participantes. VB fue diagnosticada mediante el puntaje de Nugent. Se empleó análisis de regresión logística para calcular odds ratio (OR) e intervalos de confianza al 95%.
La edad promedio de las participantes fue 25.1 ± 4,7 años, el 23.4% tenían más de 11 años de educación. La prevalencía de VB fue 20,1%. Las mujeres que practicaban duchas vaginales tuvieron 2.28 veces (OR = 2.28, IC 95% [1.0–5.0]) mayor probabilidad de tener VB comparado con aquellas que no lo practicaban. Tener dos o más parejas sexuales estuvo asociado con 2.0 veces (OR =2.0, IC 95% [1.2–3.5]) mayor probabilidad de adquirir VB comparado con aquellas que habían tenido solo una pareja sexual. Las participantes que iniciaron una relación sexual a una edad temprana tuvieron 1.4 veces (OR=1.4, IC 95% [1.0 –1.9]) mayor probabilidad de adquirir VB.
El uso de duchas vaginales es un factor de riesgo de VB. Los programas destinados a la salud de la mujer deben abordar las repercusiones perjudiciales para la salud asociados con las duchas vaginales.
Vaginosis bacteriana; duchas vaginales; parejas sexuales; edad a la primera relación sexual; factores de riesgo
In this work, we report the expression and secretion of the leaderless two-peptide (EntL50A and EntL50B) bacteriocin enterocin L50 from Enterococcus faecium L50 by the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris X-33. The bacteriocin structural genes entL50A and entL50B were fused to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene region encoding the mating pheromone α-factor 1 secretion signal (MFα1s) and cloned, separately and together (entL50AB), into the P. pastoris expression and secretion vector pPICZαA, which contains the methanol-inducible alcohol oxidase promoter (PAOX1) to express the fusion genes. After transfer into the yeast, the recombinant plasmids were integrated into the genome, resulting in three bacteriocinogenic yeast strains able to produce and secrete the individual bacteriocin peptides EntL50A and EntL50B separately and together. The secretion was efficiently directed by MFα1s through the Sec system, and the precursor peptides were found to be correctly processed to form mature and active bacteriocin peptides. The present work describes for the first time the heterologous expression and secretion of a two-peptide non-pediocin-like bacteriocin by a yeast.
Suppressive HSV therapy can decrease plasma, cervical, and rectal HIV-1 levels in HSV-2/HIV-1 co-infected persons. We evaluated the effect of HSV-2 suppression on seminal HIV-1 levels.
Twenty antiretroviral therapy (ART)–naive HIV-1/HSV-2–MSM in Lima, Peru, with CD4 cell counts >200 cells/µL randomly received valacyclovir 500 mg twice daily or placebo for 8 weeks, then the alternative regimen for 8 weeks after a 2 week washout. Peripheral blood and semen specimens were collected weekly. Anogenital swab specimens for HSV DNA were self-collected daily and during clinic visits.
HIV-1 RNA was quantified in seminal and blood plasma by TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) or Roche Amplicor Monitor assays. HSV and seminal cytomegalovirus (CMV) were quantified by rt-PCR. Linear mixed models examined differences within subjects by treatment arm.
Median CD4 count of participants was 424 cells/µL. HIV-1 was detected in 71% of 231 semen specimens. HSV was detected from 29% and 4.4% of swabs on placebo and valacyclovir, respectively (P<0.001). Valacyclovir significantly reduced the proportion of days with detectable seminal HIV-1 (63% during valacyclovir vs. 78% during placebo, p=0.04). The quantity of HIV-1 in semen was 0.25 log10 copies/mL lower (95%CI −0.40 to −0.10, p=0.001) during the valacyclovir arm compared with placebo, a 44% reduction. CD4 count (p=0.32) and seminal cellular CMV quantity (p=0.68) did not predict seminal plasma HIV-1 level.
Suppressive valacyclovir reduced seminal HIV-1 levels in HIV-1/HSV-2 co-infected MSM not receiving ART. The significance of this finding will be evaluated in a trial with HIV-1 transmission as the outcome.
seminal plasma; HIV-1; viral load; HSV-2; valacyclovir; herpes; blood plasma
Rosacea is a common, chronic, skin condition characterized by recurrent episodes of facial flushing, transient or persistent erythema, papules, pustules, and telangiectasias, in a symmetrical facial distribution. The etiology of rosacea remains unknown and this condition represents a therapeutic challenge because of its chronic nature, progression, potential for disfigurement and psychological impact. Although there is no curative therapy for rosacea, the most widely used systemic agents are oral tetracycline derivatives, including tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline. This article reviews the available evidence for the use of doxycycline, a second-generation tetracycline, in the treatment or rosacea.
rosacea; doxycyline; tetracyclines
Muir-Torre Syndrome (MTS) is a rare autosomal-dominant disorder characterized by the predisposition to both sebaceous neoplasm and internal malignancies. MTS-associated sebaceous neoplasms reveal mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes and microsatellite instability. A significant part of MTS patients represents a phenotypic variant, the hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). A strong correlation between microsatellite instability and immunostaining has been demonstrated. The early recognition of sebaceous neoplasm as part of MTS, and their differentiation from sporadic sebaceous neoplasm may have an important application in a clinical setting. The absence of MLH-1 or MSH-2 expression by immunostaining identifies tumors with mismatch repair deficiency.
Our aim is to determine whether an immunohistochemical approach, targeting DNA repair proteins MSH-2 and MLH-1 in MTS-related sebaceous neoplasm and their sporadic counterparts, can be used for their identification.
We examined 15 sebaceous neoplasms (including 6 internal malignancy- associated sebaceous neoplasms and 8 sporadic sebaceous neoplasms) from 11 patients for the expression of MSH-2 and MLH-1 by immunohistochemistry.
Four of 5 internal malignancy-associated sebaceous neoplasms showed loss of expression of MSH-2 or MLH-1. Correlation of the immunostaining pattern of the sebaceous neoplasms and the patients’ positive history of colon carcinoma was 80%. Seven of 8 sporadic sebaceous neoplasms showed a positive expression of MSH-2 and MLH-1. The prevalence for loss of expression of MMR proteins in sebaceous neoplasms was 38.5%. MMR immunostaining had 87.5% specificity and 80% sensitivity.
This study is limited by a small sample size, and by bias selection due to the use of non nationwide data-base as the resource of cases.
Our findings demonstrate that immunohistochemical testing for internal malignancy-associated sebaceous neoplasms is a practical approach to confirm a suspected inherited MMR gene defect, and an accurate method to distinguish between sporadic and MTS-associated sebaceous lesions.
Immunohistochemistry; DNA mismatch repair; Sebaceous neoplasm; Muir-Torre syndrome; MSH-2
Human T cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is sexually transmitted. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for cervical shedding of HTLV-I DNA among Peruvian sex workers. HTLV tax DNA was detected in cervical specimens from 43 (68%) of 63 HTLV-I–infected sex workers and in samples obtained during 113 (52%) of 216 clinic visits between 1993 and 1997. Detection of HTLV DNA was associated with the presence of ≥30 polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) within cervical mucus per 100×microscopic field (odds ratio [OR], 4.3, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.8–10.1) and with the presence of cervical secretions (OR, 2.0; 95% CI 1.2–3.4). Hormonal contraceptive use (OR 1.7; 95% CI, 0.8–3.6) and concomitant cervical infection by Chlamydia trachomatis (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 0.3–4.3) or Neisseria gonorrhoeae (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.6–3.7) were not significantly associated with HTLV-I shedding. Our results suggest that cervicitis may increase cervical HTLV-I shedding and the sexual transmission of this virus.
Hiracin JM79 (HirJM79), a Sec-dependent bacteriocin produced by Enterococcus hirae DCH5, was cloned and produced in Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus sakei, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis, and Pichia pastoris. For heterologous production of HirJM79 in lactic acid bacteria (LAB), the HirJM79 structural gene (hirJM79), with or without the HirJM79 immunity gene (hiriJM79), was cloned into the plasmid pMG36c under the control of the constitutive promoter P32 and into the plasmid pNZ8048 under the control of the inducible PNisA promoter. For the production of HirJM79 in P. pastoris, the gene encoding the mature HirJM79 protein was cloned into the pPICZαA expression vector. The recombinant plasmids permitted the production of biologically active HirJM79 in the supernatants of L. lactis IL1403, L. lactis NZ9000, L. sakei Lb790, E. faecalis JH2-2, and P. pastoris X-33, the coproduction of HirJM79 and nisin A in L. lactis DPC5598, and the coproduction of HirJM79 and enterocin P in E. faecium L50/14-2. All recombinant LAB produced larger quantities of HirJM79 than E. hirae DCH5, although the antimicrobial activities of most transformants were lower than that predicted from their production of HirJM79. The synthesis, processing, and secretion of HirJM79 proceed efficiently in recombinant LAB strains and P. pastoris.
Lactobacillus pentosus LPS26, isolated from a natural fermentation of green olives, produces a capsular polymer constituted of two exopolysaccharides (EPS): EPS A, a high-molecular-weight (high-Mw) polysaccharide (1.9 × 106 Da) composed of glucose and rhamnose (3:1), and EPS B, a low-Mw polysaccharide (3.3 × 104 Da) composed of glucose and mannose (3:1). Fermentation experiments in a chemically semidefined medium with different carbon sources (glucose, fructose, mannitol, and lactose) showed that all of them except fructose supported EPS A production rather than EPS B production. The influence of temperature and pH was further analyzed. As the temperature dropped, increased synthesis of both EPS was detected. The control of pH especially enhanced EPS B production. With regard to this, the maximum total EPS production (514 mg liter−1) was achieved at a suboptimal growth temperature (20°C) and pH 6.0. Continuous cultures showed that EPS A, synthesized mainly at low dilution rates, is clearly dependent on the growth rate, whereas EPS B synthesis was hardly affected. EPS production was also detected in supplemented skimmed milk, but no increase on the viscosity of the fermented milk was recorded. This could be linked to the high proportion of the low-Mw polysaccharide produced in these conditions in contrast to that observed in culture media. Overall, the present study shows that culture conditions have a clear impact on the type and concentration of EPS produced by strain LPS26, and consequently, these conditions should be carefully selected for optimization and application studies. Finally, it should be noted that this is, to our knowledge, the first report on EPS production by L. pentosus.
Bacillus thuringiensis strains isolated from Latin American soil samples that showed toxicity against three Spodoptera frugiperda populations from different geographical areas (Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil) were characterized on the basis of their insecticidal activity, crystal morphology, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of parasporal crystals, plasmid profiles, and cry gene content. We found that the different S. frugiperda populations display different susceptibilities to the selected B. thuringiensis strains and also to pure preparations of Cry1B, Cry1C, and Cry1D toxins. Binding assays performed with pure toxin demonstrated that the differences in the toxin binding capacities of these insect populations correlated with the observed differences in susceptibility to the three Cry toxins analyzed. Finally, the genetic variability of the three insect populations was analyzed by random amplification of polymorphic DNA-PCR, which showed significant genetic diversity among the three S. frugiperda populations analyzed. The data presented here show that the genetic variability of S. frugiperda populations should be carefully considered in the development of insect pest control strategies, including the deployment of genetically modified maize in different geographical regions.
Bacillus thuringiensis produces insecticidal proteins (Cry protoxins) during the sporulation phase as parasporal crystals. During intoxication, the Cry protoxins must change from insoluble crystals into membrane-inserted toxins which form ionic pores. The structural changes of Cry toxins during oligomerization and insertion into the membrane are still unknown. The Cry1Ab toxin has nine tryptophan residues; seven are located in domain I, the pore-forming domain, and two are located in domain II, which is involved in receptor recognition. Eight Trp residues are highly conserved within the whole family of three-domain Cry proteins, suggesting an essential role for these residues in the structural folding and function of the toxin. In this work, we analyzed the role of Trp residues in the structure and function of Cry1Ab toxin. We replaced the Trp residues with phenylalanine or cysteine using site-directed mutagenesis. Our results show that W65 and W316 are important for insecticidal activity of the toxin since their replacement by Phe reduced the toxicity against Manduca sexta. The presence of hydrophobic residue is important at positions 117, 219, 226, and 455 since replacement by Cys affected either the crystal formation or the insecticidal activity of the toxin in contrast to replacement by Phe in these positions. Additionally, some mutants in positions 219, 316, and 455 were also affected in binding to brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV). This is the first report that studies the role of Trp residues in the activity of Cry toxins.