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author:("chateau, Luc")
1.  Mammary Stem Cell Research in Veterinary Science: An Update 
Stem Cells and Development  2013;22(12):1743-1751.
The mammary gland is an organ with a remarkable regenerative capacity that can undergo multiple cycles of proliferation, lactation, and involution. Growing evidence suggests that these changes are driven by the coordinated division and differentiation of mammary stem cell populations (MaSC). Whereas information regarding MaSC and their role in comparative mammary gland physiology is readily available in human and mice, such information remains scarce in most veterinary mammal species such as cows, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and dogs. We believe that a better knowledge on the MaSC in these species will not only help to gain more insights into mammary gland (patho) physiology in veterinary medicine, but will also be of value for human medicine. Therefore, this review summarizes the current knowledge on stem cell isolation and characterization in different mammals of veterinary importance.
PMCID: PMC3668508  PMID: 23360296
2.  Serological Responses and Biomarker Evaluation in Mice and Pigs Exposed to Tsetse Fly Bites 
Tsetse flies are obligate blood-feeding insects that transmit African trypanosomes responsible for human sleeping sickness and nagana in livestock. The tsetse salivary proteome contains a highly immunogenic family of the endonuclease-like Tsal proteins. In this study, a recombinant version of Tsal1 (rTsal1) was evaluated in an indirect ELISA to quantify the contact with total Glossina morsitans morsitans saliva, and thus the tsetse fly bite exposure.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Mice and pigs were experimentally exposed to different G. m. morsitans exposure regimens, followed by a long-term follow-up of the specific antibody responses against total tsetse fly saliva and rTsal1. In mice, a single tsetse fly bite was sufficient to induce detectable IgG antibody responses with an estimated half-life of 36–40 days. Specific antibody responses could be detected for more than a year after initial exposure, and a single bite was sufficient to boost anti-saliva immunity. Also, plasmas collected from tsetse-exposed pigs displayed increased anti-rTsal1 and anti-saliva IgG levels that correlated with the exposure intensity. A strong correlation between the detection of anti-rTsal1 and anti-saliva responses was recorded. The ELISA test performance and intra-laboratory repeatability was adequate in the two tested animal models. Cross-reactivity of the mouse IgGs induced by exposure to different Glossina species (G. m. morsitans, G. pallidipes, G. palpalis gambiensis and G. fuscipes) and other hematophagous insects (Stomoxys calcitrans and Tabanus yao) was evaluated.
This study illustrates the potential use of rTsal1 from G. m. morsitans as a sensitive biomarker of exposure to a broad range of Glossina species. We propose that the detection of anti-rTsal1 IgGs could be a promising serological indicator of tsetse fly presence that will be a valuable tool to monitor the impact of tsetse control efforts on the African continent.
Author Summary
Salivary proteins of hematophagous disease vectors represent potential biomarkers of exposure and could be used in serological assays that are complementary to entomological surveys. We illustrate that a recombinant version of the highly immunogenic Tsal1 protein of the savannah tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans morsitans) is a sensitive immunological probe to detect contact with tsetse flies. Experimental exposure of mice and pigs to different regimens of tsetse fly bites combined with serological testing revealed that rTsal1 is a sensitive indicator that can differentiate the various degrees of exposure of animals. Tsetse-induced antibodies persisted relatively long, and an efficient boosting of immunity was observed upon re-exposure. Recombinant Tsal1 is a promising candidate to detect contact with various tsetse species, which would enable screening of populations or herds for exposure to tsetse flies in various areas on the African continent. This exposure indicator could be a valuable tool to monitor the impact of vector control programs and to detect re-invasion of cleared areas by tsetse flies.
PMCID: PMC4031185  PMID: 24853371
3.  Evaluation of the efficacy of DDT indoor residual spraying and long-lasting insecticidal nets against insecticide resistant populations of Anopheles arabiensis Patton (Diptera: Culicidae) from Ethiopia using experimental huts 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7:131.
Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) and Long-Lasting Insecticidal nets (LLINs) are major malaria vector control tools in Ethiopia. However, recent reports from different parts of the country showed that populations of Anopheles arabiensis, the principal malaria vector, have developed resistance to most families of insecticides recommended for public health use which may compromise the efficacy of both of these key vector control interventions. Thus, this study evaluated the efficacy of DDT IRS and LLINs against resistant populations of An. arabiensis using experimental huts in Asendabo area, southwestern Ethiopia.
The susceptibility status of populations of An. arabiensis was assessed using WHO test kits to DDT, deltamethrin, malathion, lambda-cyhalothrin, fenitrothion and bendiocarb. The efficacy of LLIN (PermaNet® 2.0), was evaluated using the WHO cone bioassay. Moreover, the effect of the observed resistance against malaria vector control interventions (DDT IRS and LLINs) were assessed using experimental huts.
The findings of this study revealed that populations of An. arabiensis were resistant to DDT, deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin and malathion with mortality rates of 1.3%, 18.8%, 36.3% and 72.5%, respectively but susceptible to fenitrothion and bendiocarb with mortality rates of 98.81% and 97.5%, respectively. The bio-efficacy test of LLIN (PermaNet® 2.0) against An. arabiensis revealed that the mosquito population showed moderate knockdown (64%) and mortality (78%). Moreover, mosquito mortalities in DDT sprayed huts and in huts with LLINs were not significantly different (p > 0.05) from their respective controls.
The evaluation of the efficacy of DDT IRS and LLINs using experimental huts showed that both vector control tools had only low to moderate efficacy against An. arabiensis populations from Ethiopia. Despite DDT being replaced by carbamates for IRS, the low efficacy of LLINs against the resistant population of An. arabiensis is still a problem. Thus, there is a need for alternative vector control tools and implementation of appropriate insecticide resistance management strategies as part of integrated vector management by the national malaria control program.
PMCID: PMC3973027  PMID: 24678605
Ethiopia; An. arabiensis; Insecticide resistance; Experimental huts; Long-lasting insecticide treated nets
4.  Trace Element Distribution in Selected Edible Tissues of Zebu (Bos indicus) Cattle Slaughtered at Jimma, SW Ethiopia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85300.
The amount of trace elements present in edible bovine tissues is of importance for both animal health and human nutrition. This study presents data on trace element concentrations in semitendinosus and cardiac muscles, livers and kidneys of 60 zebu (Bos indicus) bulls, sampled at Jimma, Ethiopia. From 28 of these bulls, blood samples were also obtained. Deficient levels of copper were found in plasma, livers, kidneys and semitendinosus muscles. Suboptimal selenium concentrations were found in plasma and semitendinosus muscles. Semitendinosus muscles contained high iron concentrations. Trace elements were mainly stored in the liver, except for iron and selenium. Cardiac muscles generally contained higher concentrations of trace elements than semitendinous muscles except for zinc. A strong association was found between liver and kidney concentrations of copper, iron, cobalt and molybdenum. Liver storage was well correlated with storage in semitendinosus muscle for selenium and with cardiac muscle for cobalt and selenium. Plasma concentrations of copper, selenium, cobalt were well related with their respective liver concentrations and for cobalt and selenium, also with cardiac muscle concentrations. The data suggest multiple trace element deficiencies in zebu cattle in South-West Ethiopia, with lowered tissue concentrations as a consequence. Based on the comparison of our data with other literature, trace element concentrations in selected edible tissues of Bos indicus seem quite similar to those in Bos taurus. However, tissue threshold values for deficiency in Bos taurus cattle need to be refined and their applicability for Bos indicus cattle needs to be evaluated.
PMCID: PMC3897408  PMID: 24465529
5.  Regenerative Therapies for Equine Degenerative Joint Disease: A Preliminary Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85917.
Degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a major cause of reduced athletic function and retirement in equine performers. For this reason, regenerative therapies for DJD have gained increasing interest. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were isolated from a 6-year-old donor horse. MSCs were either used in their native state or after chondrogenic induction. In an initial study, 20 horses with naturally occurring DJD in the fetlock joint were divided in 4 groups and injected with the following: 1) PRP; 2) MSCs; 3) MSCs and PRP; or 4) chondrogenic induced MSCs and PRP. The horses were then evaluated by means of a clinical scoring system after 6 weeks (T1), 12 weeks (T2), 6 months (T3) and 12 months (T4) post injection. In a second study, 30 horses with the same medical background were randomly assigned to one of the two combination therapies and evaluated at T1. The protein expression profile of native MSCs was found to be negative for major histocompatibility (MHC) II and p63, low in MHC I and positive for Ki67, collagen type II (Col II) and Vimentin. Chondrogenic induction resulted in increased mRNA expression of aggrecan, Col II and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) as well as in increased protein expression of p63 and glycosaminoglycan, but in decreased protein expression of Ki67. The combined use of PRP and MSCs significantly improved the functionality and sustainability of damaged joints from 6 weeks until 12 months after treatment, compared to PRP treatment alone. The highest short-term clinical evolution scores were obtained with chondrogenic induced MSCs and PRP. This study reports successful in vitro chondrogenic induction of equine MSCs. In vivo application of (induced) MSCs together with PRP in horses suffering from DJD in the fetlock joint resulted in a significant clinical improvement until 12 months after treatment.
PMCID: PMC3896436  PMID: 24465787
6.  The Burden of Parasitic Zoonoses in Nepal: A Systematic Review 
Parasitic zoonoses (PZs) pose a significant but often neglected threat to public health, especially in developing countries. In order to obtain a better understanding of their health impact, summary measures of population health may be calculated, such as the Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY). However, the data required to calculate such measures are often not readily available for these diseases, which may lead to a vicious circle of under-recognition and under-funding.
We examined the burden of PZs in Nepal through a systematic review of online and offline data sources. PZs were classified qualitatively according to endemicity, and where possible a quantitative burden assessment was conducted in terms of the annual number of incident cases, deaths and DALYs.
Principal Findings
Between 2000 and 2012, the highest annual burden was imposed by neurocysticercosis and congenital toxoplasmosis (14,268 DALYs [95% Credibility Interval (CrI): 5450–27,694] and 9255 DALYs [95% CrI: 6135–13,292], respectively), followed by cystic echinococcosis (251 DALYs [95% CrI: 105–458]). Nepal is probably endemic for trichinellosis, toxocarosis, diphyllobothriosis, foodborne trematodosis, taeniosis, and zoonotic intestinal helminthic and protozoal infections, but insufficient data were available to quantify their health impact. Sporadic cases of alveolar echinococcosis, angiostrongylosis, capillariosis, dirofilariosis, gnathostomosis, sparganosis and cutaneous leishmaniosis may occur.
In settings with limited surveillance capacity, it is possible to quantify the health impact of PZs and other neglected diseases, thereby interrupting the vicious circle of neglect. In Nepal, we found that several PZs are endemic and are imposing a significant burden to public health, higher than that of malaria, and comparable to that of HIV/AIDS. However, several critical data gaps remain. Enhanced surveillance for the endemic PZs identified in this study would enable additional burden estimates, and a more complete picture of the impact of these diseases.
Author Summary
Various parasites that infect humans require animals in some stage of their life cycle. Infection with these so-called zoonotic parasites may vary from asymptomatic carriership to long-term morbidity and even death. Although data are still scarce, it is clear that parasitic zoonoses (PZs) present a significant burden for public health, particularly in poor and marginalized communities. So far, however, there has been relatively little attention to this group of diseases, causing various PZs to be labeled neglected tropical diseases. In this study, the authors reviewed a large variety of data sources to study the relevance and importance of PZs in Nepal. It was found that a large number of PZs are present in Nepal and are imposing an impact higher than that of malaria and comparable to that of HIV/AIDS. These results therefore suggest that PZs deserve greater attention and more intensive surveillance. Furthermore, this study has shown that even in settings with limited surveillance capacity, it is possible to quantify the impact of neglected diseases and, consequently, to break the vicious circle of neglect.
PMCID: PMC3879239  PMID: 24392178
7.  Physico-chemical and biological characterization of anopheline mosquito larval habitats (Diptera: Culicidae): implications for malaria control 
Parasites & Vectors  2013;6:320.
A fundamental understanding of the spatial distribution and ecology of mosquito larvae is essential for effective vector control intervention strategies. In this study, data-driven decision tree models, generalized linear models and ordination analysis were used to identify the most important biotic and abiotic factors that affect the occurrence and abundance of mosquito larvae in Southwest Ethiopia.
In total, 220 samples were taken at 180 sampling locations during the years 2010 and 2012. Sampling sites were characterized based on physical, chemical and biological attributes. The predictive performance of decision tree models was evaluated based on correctly classified instances (CCI), Cohen’s kappa statistic (κ) and the determination coefficient (R2). A conditional analysis was performed on the regression tree models to test the relation between key environmental and biological parameters and the abundance of mosquito larvae.
The decision tree model developed for anopheline larvae showed a good model performance (CCI = 84 ± 2%, and κ = 0.66 ± 0.04), indicating that the genus has clear habitat requirements. Anopheline mosquito larvae showed a widespread distribution and especially occurred in small human-made aquatic habitats. Water temperature, canopy cover, emergent vegetation cover, and presence of predators and competitors were found to be the main variables determining the abundance and distribution of anopheline larvae. In contrast, anopheline mosquito larvae were found to be less prominently present in permanent larval habitats. This could be attributed to the high abundance and diversity of natural predators and competitors suppressing the mosquito population densities.
The findings of this study suggest that targeting smaller human-made aquatic habitats could result in effective larval control of anopheline mosquitoes in the study area. Controlling the occurrence of mosquito larvae via drainage of permanent wetlands may not be a good management strategy as it negatively affects the occurrence and abundance of mosquito predators and competitors and promotes an increase in anopheline population densities.
PMCID: PMC4029358  PMID: 24499518
Decision trees; Generalized linear model; Macroinvertebrate predators; Mosquito control; Mosquito larvae
8.  The use of the rapid osmotic fragility test as an additional test to diagnose canine immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia 
Diagnosing canine immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA) is often challenging because all currently available tests have their limitations. Dogs with IMHA often have an increased erythrocyte osmotic fragility (OF), a characteristic that is sometimes used in the diagnosis of IMHA. Since the classic osmotic fragility test (COFT) is time-consuming and requires specialized equipment, an easy and less labour-intensive rapid osmotic fragility test (ROFT) has been used in some countries, but its diagnostic value has not yet been investigated.
This study aimed to evaluate erythrocyte osmotic fragility in dogs with and without IMHA, to compare results of the classic (COFT) and rapid (ROFT) test and to assess the value of the ROFT as diagnostic test for canine IMHA.
Nineteen dogs with IMHA (group 1a), 21 anaemic dogs without IMHA (group 1b), 8 dogs with microcytosis (group 2), 13 hyperlipemic dogs (group 3), 10 dogs with lymphoma (group 4), 8 dogs with an infection (group 5) and 13 healthy dogs (group 6) were included.
In all dogs, blood smear examination, in-saline auto-agglutination test, Coombs’ test, COFT and ROFT were performed. In the COFT, OF5, OF50 and OF90 were defined as the NaCl concentrations at which respectively 5, 50 and 90% of erythrocytes were haemolysed.
Compared with healthy dogs, OF5 and OF50 were significantly higher in group 1a (P < 0.001) and OF5 was significantly higher in group 3 (P = 0.0266). The ROFT was positive in 17 dogs with IMHA, 10 hyperlipemic dogs, one anaemic dog without IMHA and one healthy dog.
Osmotic fragility was increased in the majority of dogs with IMHA and in dogs with hyperlipidemia, but not in dogs with microcytosis, lymphoma or an infection. Although more detailed information was obtained about the osmotic fragility by using the COFT, the COFT and ROFT gave similar results. The ROFT does not require specialized equipment, is rapid and easy to perform and can be used easily in daily practice. Although, the ROFT cannot replace other diagnostic tests, it may be a valuable additional tool to diagnose canine IMHA.
PMCID: PMC3816578  PMID: 24160183
Osmotic fragility; Canine immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia; Hyperlipidemia
9.  A rapid stability-indicating, fused-core HPLC method for simultaneous determination of β-artemether and lumefantrine in anti-malarial fixed dose combination products 
Malaria Journal  2013;12:145.
Artemisinin-based fixed dose combination (FDC) products are recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) as a first-line treatment. However, the current artemisinin FDC products, such as β-artemether and lumefantrine, are inherently unstable and require controlled distribution and storage conditions, which are not always available in resource-limited settings. Moreover, quality control is hampered by lack of suitable analytical methods. Thus, there is a need for a rapid and simple, but stability-indicating method for the simultaneous assay of β-artemether and lumefantrine FDC products.
Three reversed-phase fused-core HPLC columns (Halo RP-Amide, Halo C18 and Halo Phenyl-hexyl), all thermostated at 30°C, were evaluated. β-artemether and lumefantrine (unstressed and stressed), and reference-related impurities were injected and chromatographic parameters were assessed. Optimal chromatographic parameters were obtained using Halo RP-Amide column and an isocratic mobile phase composed of acetonitrile and 1mM phosphate buffer pH 3.0 (52:48; V/V) at a flow of 1.0 ml/min and 3 μl injection volume. Quantification was performed at 210 nm and 335 nm for β-artemether and for lumefantrine, respectively. In-silico toxicological evaluation of the related impurities was made using Derek Nexus v2.0®.
Both β-artemether and lumefantrine were separated from each other as well as from the specified and unspecified related impurities including degradants. A complete chromatographic run only took four minutes. Evaluation of the method, including a Plackett-Burman robustness verification within analytical QbD-principles, and real-life samples showed the method is suitable for quantitative assay purposes of both active pharmaceutical ingredients, with a mean recovery relative standard deviation (± RSD) of 99.7 % (± 0.7%) for β-artemether and 99.7 % (± 0.6%) for lumefantrine. All identified β-artemether-related impurities were predicted in Derek Nexus v2.0® to have toxicity risks similar to β-artemether active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) itself.
A rapid, robust, precise and accurate stability-indicating, quantitative fused-core isocratic HPLC method was developed for simultaneous assay of β-artemether and lumefantrine. This method can be applied in the routine regulatory quality control of FDC products. The in-silico toxicological investigation using Derek Nexus® indicated that the overall toxicity risk for β-artemether-related impurities is comparable to that of β-artemether API.
PMCID: PMC3651282  PMID: 23631682
Anti-malaria; β-artemether; Lumefantrine; Stability-indicating assay; HPLC-UV; Fused-core; Finished pharmaceutical product; Quality-by-design (QbD)
10.  The effect of dams and seasons on malaria incidence and anopheles abundance in Ethiopia 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:161.
Reservoirs created by damming rivers are often believed to increase malaria incidence risk and/or stretch the period of malaria transmission. In this paper, we report the effects of a mega hydropower dam on P. falciparum malaria incidence in Ethiopia.
A longitudinal cohort study was conducted over a period of 2 years to determine Plasmodium falciparum malaria incidence among children less than 10 years of age living near a mega hydropower dam in Ethiopia. A total of 2080 children from 16 villages located at different distances from a hydropower dam were followed up from 2008 to 2010 using active detection of cases based on weekly house to house visits. Of this cohort of children, 951 (48.09%) were females and 1059 (51.91%) were males, with a median age of 5 years. Malaria vectors were simultaneously surveyed in all the 16 study villages. Frailty models were used to explore associations between time-to-malaria and potential risk factors, whereas, mixed-effects Poisson regression models were used to assess the effect of different covariates on anopheline abundance.
Overall, 548 (26.86%) children experienced at least one clinical malaria episode during the follow up period with mean incidence rate of 14.26 cases/1000 child-months at risk (95% CI: 12.16 - 16.36). P. falciparum malaria incidence showed no statistically significant association with distance from the dam reservoir (p = 0.32). However, P. falciparum incidence varied significantly between seasons (p < 0.01). The malaria vector, Anopheles arabiensis, was however more abundant in villages nearer to the dam reservoir.
P. falciparum malaria incidence dynamics were more influenced by seasonal drivers than by the dam reservoir itself. The findings could have implications in timing optimal malaria control interventions and in developing an early warning system in Ethiopia.
PMCID: PMC3667047  PMID: 23566411
Malaria incidence; P. falciparum; Mosquito; Dam; Season; Ethiopia
11.  Effect of Recombinant Human Thyrotropin on the Uptake of Radioactive Iodine (123I) in Dogs with Thyroid Tumors 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50344.
In humans, recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH) enhances radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer. No studies have been performed in veterinary medicine to optimize radioiodine treatment of thyroid cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of rhTSH on the uptake of radioiodine-123 (123I) in dogs with thyroid tumors. Nine dogs with thyroid neoplasia were included in this prospective cross-over study. The dogs were divided in 2 groups. In one group, 123I was administered for a baseline RAIU determination in week 1. In week 2 (after a washout period of 2 weeks), these dogs received rhTSH (100 μg IV) 24 h before 123I injection. In the other group the order of the protocol was reversed. For each scan, the dogs received 37 MBq (1 mCi) of 123I intravenously (IV) and planar scintigraphy was performed after 8 and 24 h for tumor RAIU calculation. Overall, rhTSH administration caused no statistically significant change on thyroid tumor RAIU at 8 h (p = 0.89) or at 24 h (p = 0.98). A significant positive correlation was found between the effect of rhTSH on tumor 8h-RAIU and rhTSH serum concentrations at 6 h (τ = 0.68; p = 0.03), at 12 h (τ = 0.68; p = 0.03) and at 24 h (τ = 0.78; p = 0.02) after rhTSH injection. This study suggests that IV administration of 100 μg rhTSH 24 h before 123I has an inconsistent effect on thyroid tumor RAIU. Further studies are necessary to determine the best protocol of rhTSH administration to optimize thyroid tumor RAIU.
PMCID: PMC3510219  PMID: 23209716
12.  Integrating Fasciolosis Control in the Dry Cow Management: The Effect of Closantel Treatment on Milk Production 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43216.
The liver fluke Fasciola hepatica is a parasite of ruminants with a worldwide distribution and an apparent increasing incidence in EU member states. Effective control in dairy cattle is hampered by the lack of flukicides with a zero-withdrawal time for milk, leaving the dry period as the only time that preventive treatment can be applied. Here, we present the results of a blinded, randomized and placebo-controlled trial on 11 dairy herds (402 animals) exposed to F. hepatica to 1) assess the effect of closantel treatment at dry-off (or 80–42 days before calving in first-calving heifers) on milk production parameters and 2) evaluate if a number of easy-to-use animal parameters is related to the milk production response after treatment. Closantel treatment resulted in a noticeable decrease of anti-F. hepatica antibody levels from 3–6 months after treatment onwards, a higher peak production (1.06 kg) and a slightly higher persistence (9%) of the lactation, resulting in a 305-day milk production increase of 303 kg. No effects of anthelmintic treatment were found on the average protein and fat content of the milk. Milk production responses after treatment were poor in meagre animals and clinically relevant higher milk production responses were observed in first-lactation animals and in cows with a high (0.3–0.5 optical density ratio (ODR)), but not a very high (≥0.5 ODR) F. hepatica ELISA result on a milk sample from the previous lactation. We conclude that in dairy herds exposed to F. hepatica, flukicide treatment at dry-off is a useful strategy to reduce levels of exposure and increase milk production in the subsequent lactation. Moreover, the results suggest that treatment approaches that only target selected animals within a herd can be developed based on easy-to-use parameters.
PMCID: PMC3423342  PMID: 22916226
13.  Bio-efficacy of selected long-lasting insecticidal nets against pyrethroid resistant Anopheles arabiensis from South-Western Ethiopia 
Parasites & Vectors  2012;5:159.
The emergence and spread of insecticide resistance in the major African malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles arabiensis may compromise control initiatives based on insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) or indoor residual spraying (IRS), and thus threaten the global malaria elimination strategy.
We investigated pyrethroid resistance in four populations of An. arabiensis from south-western Ethiopia and then assessed the bio-efficacy of six World Health Organization recommended long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) using these populations.
For all four populations of An. arabiensis, bottle bioassays indicated low to moderate susceptibility to deltamethrin (mortality at 30 minutes ranged between 43 and 80%) and permethrin (mortality ranged between 16 and 76%). Pre-exposure to the synergist piperonylbutoxide (PBO) significantly increased the susceptibility of all four populations to both deltamethrin (mortality increased between 15.3 and 56.8%) and permethrin (mortality increased between 11.6 and 58.1%), indicating the possible involvement of metabolic resistance in addition to the previously identified kdr mutations. There was reduced susceptibility of all four An. arabiensis populations to the five standard LLINs tested (maximum mortality 81.1%; minimum mortality 13.9%). Bio-efficacy against the four populations varied by net type, with the largest margin of difference observed with the Jimma population (67.2% difference). Moreover, there were differences in the bio-efficacy of each individual standard LLIN against the four mosquito populations; for example there was a difference of 40% in mortality of Yorkool against two populations. Results from standard LLINs indicated reduced susceptibility to new, unused nets that was likely due to observed pyrethroid resistance. The roof of the combination LLIN performed optimally (100% mortality) against all the four populations of An. arabiensis, indicating that observed reductions in susceptibility could be ameliorated with the combination of PBO with deltamethrin, as used in PermaNet® 3.0.
Our results suggest that bio-efficacy evaluations using local mosquito populations should be conducted where possible to make evidence-based decisions on the most suitable control products, and that those combining multiple chemicals such as PBO and deltamethrin should be considered for maintaining a high level of efficacy in vector control programmes.
PMCID: PMC3485103  PMID: 22871143
Bio-efficacy; Long-lasting insecticidal nets; Insecticide resistance; Anopheles arabiensis; Ethiopia
14.  Intervertebral disk width in dogs with and without clinical signs of disk associated cervical spondylomyelopathy 
Disk-associated cervical spondylomyelopathy (DA-CSM) is a multifactorial neurological disorder in which progressive caudal cervical spinal cord compression is mainly caused by one or more intervertebral disk protrusions. The Doberman pinscher breed seems predisposed for this condition. The underlying cause and pathophysiology of DA-CSM are currently unknown. Recently, wider intervertebral disks have been put forward as a risk factor for development of clinically relevant DA-CSM. However, little is known about other factors affecting intervertebral disk width. Therefore the aim of this study was to assess the association between intervertebral disk width, measured on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and clinical status, age, gender and intervertebral disk location in dogs with and without clinical signs of DA-CSM.
Doberman pinschers with clinical signs of DA-CSM (N=17),clinically normal Doberman pinschers (N=20), and clinically normal English Foxhounds (N=17), underwent MRI of the cervical vertebral column. On sagittal T2-weighted images, intervertebral disk width was measured from C2-C3 to C6-C7. Intra –and interobserver agreement were assessed on a subset of 20 of the 54 imaging studies.
Intervertebral disk width was not significantly different between Doberman pinschers with clinical signs of DA-CSM, clinically normal Doberman pinschers or clinically normal English Foxhounds (p=0.43). Intervertebral disk width was positively associated with increasing age (p=0.029). Each monthly increase in age resulted in an increase of disk width by 0.0057mm. Intervertebral disk width was not significantly affected by gender (p=0.056), but was significantly influenced by intervertebral disk location (p <0.0001). The assessed measurements were associated with a good intra –and interobserver agreement.
The present study does not provide evidence that wider intervertebral disks are associated with clinical status in dogs with and without DA-CSM. Instead, it seems that cervical intervertebral disk width in dogs is positively associated with increase in age.
PMCID: PMC3411421  PMID: 22839697
Cervical spondylomyelopathy; Wobbler syndrome; Magnetic resonance imaging; Morphometry; Intervertebral disk
15.  Lipoteichoic acid from Staphylococcus aureus exacerbates respiratory disease in porcine respiratory coronavirus-infected pigs 
The objective of this study was to assess if lipoteichoic acid (LTA), produced by Staphylococcus aureus, exacerbates respiratory disease in porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV)-infected pigs, as has previously been shown with lipopolysaccharide. Piglets were inoculated with PRCV and 24 h later with S. aureus LTA. Clinical signs, lung virus titres, inflammatory cells and cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were compared with those of animals in PRCV- and LTA- inoculated control groups.
All PRCV-LTA inoculated pigs except one developed severe respiratory disease, whereas clinical signs in the control groups were minimal or absent. Virus titres and grossly visible pulmonary lesions were similar in the PRCV-LTA- and PRCV-inoculated groups and were not detected in the LTA-group. Neutrophil percentages in BALF were higher in the PRCV-LTA than in the PRCV group. There was no significant difference in interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-12/IL-23 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α concentrations in BALF between the PRCV-LTA and PRCV groups, but levels of IL-6, IL-12/IL-23 and IFN-γ were higher in the PRCV-LTA-inoculated than in the LTA-inoculated controls.
The findings suggest that the experimentally-induced respiratory disease was not mediated by cytokine over-production, but rather reflected the concerted action of particular cytokine interactions and/or as yet unidentified mediators. This is the first in vivo study to report the synergistic interaction between a virus and LTA in enhancing the severity of respiratory disease in the pig. Given that Gram-positive bacteria, capable of producing LTA, are commonly found in pig accommodation, the role of this compound in the development of the porcine respiratory disease complex requires further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2932768  PMID: 20409735
Porcine respiratory coronavirus; Lipoteichoic acid; Respiratory disease; Pigs; Cytokines
16.  Food insecurity and age at menarche among adolescent girls in Jimma Zone Southwest Ethiopia: a longitudinal study 
Age at menarche is the reflection of cumulative pre-adolescent exposure of girls to either adverse environment such as food insecurity or affluent living conditions. Food insecurity could result in inadequate nutrient intake and stress, both of which are hypothesized to have opposing effects on the timing of menarche through divergent pathways. It is not known whether food insecure girls have delayed menarche or early menarche compared with their food secure peers. In this study we test the competing hypothesis of the relationship between food insecurity and age at menarche among adolescent girls in the Southwest Ethiopia.
We report on 900 girls who were investigated in the first two rounds of the five year longitudinal survey. The semi-parametric frailty model was fitted to determine the effect of adolescent food insecurity on time to menarche after adjusting for socio-demographic and economic variables.
Food insecure girls have menarche one year later than their food secure peer (median age of 15 years vs 14 years). The hazard of menarche showed a significant decline (P = 0.019) as severity of food insecurity level increased, the hazard ratio (HR) for mild food insecurity and moderate/severe food insecurity were 0.936 and 0.496, respectively compared to food secure girls. Stunted girls had menarche nearly one year later than their non-stunted peers (HR = 0.551, P < 0.001).
Food insecurity is associated with delay of age at menarche by one year among girls in the study area. Stunted girls had menarche one year later than their non-stunted peers. Age at menarche reflects the development of girls including the timing of sexual maturation, nutritional status and trajectory of growth during the pre-pubertal periods. The findings reflect the consequence of chronic food insecurity on the development and well-being of girls in the study area.
PMCID: PMC3180361  PMID: 21910910
17.  Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Does Play a Role in the Early Stage of Staphylococcus aureus Skin Infections: A Rabbit Model 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e22864.
Despite epidemiological data linking necrotizing skin infections with the production of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), the contribution of this toxin to the virulence of S. aureus has been highly discussed as a result of inconclusive results of in vivo studies. However, the majority of these results originate from experiments using mice, an animal species which neutrophils - the major target cells for PVL - are highly insensitive to the action of this leukocidin. In contrast, the rabbit neutrophils have been shown to be as sensitive to PVL action as human cells, making the rabbit a better experimental animal to explore the PVL role. In this study we examined whether PVL contributes to S. aureus pathogenicity by means of a rabbit skin infection model. The rabbits were injected intradermally with 108 cfu of either a PVL positive community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolate, its isogenic PVL knockout or a PVL complemented knockout strain, and the development of skin lesions was observed. While all strains induced skin infection, the wild type strain produced larger lesions and a higher degree of skin necrosis compared to the PVL knockout strain in the first week after the infection. The PVL expression in the rabbits was indirectly confirmed by a raise in the serum titer of anti-LukS-PV antibodies observed only in the rabbits infected with PVL positive strains. These results indicate that the rabbit model is more suitable for studying the role of PVL in staphylococcal diseases than other animal models. Further, they support the epidemiological link between PVL producing S. aureus strains and necrotizing skin infections.
PMCID: PMC3151264  PMID: 21850240
18.  First Evidence of High Knockdown Resistance Frequency in Anopheles arabiensis (Diptera: Culicidae) from Ethiopia 
The status of knockdown resistance (kdr) mutation was investigated in the major malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis Patton (Diptera: Culicidae) from Ethiopia. Among 240 mosquito samples from 15 villages of southwestern Ethiopia that were screened by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction for kdr mutations, the West African kdr mutation (L1014F) was detected in almost all specimens (98.5%), whereas the East African kdr mutation (L1014S) was absent. Moreover, the mortality of An. gambiae s.l. to diagnostic dosages of 4% DDT, 0.75% permethrin, and 0.05% deltamethrin from bioassay results was 1.0%, 18.1%, and 82.2%, respectively. We report here the highest kdr allele frequency ever observed in An. arabiensis and its implications in malaria vector control in Ethiopia are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2912588  PMID: 20595490
19.  Risk Factors of Active Tuberculosis in People Living with HIV/AIDS in Southwest Ethiopia: A Case Control Study 
Determinants of active tuberculosis among People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) are not well elucidated in countries with limited resources. The objective of this study was to assess distal and proximate determinants of active tuberculosis among people living with HIV/AIDS in southwest Ethiopia.
A case-control study was conducted from January to March, 2009 in South West Ethiopia. The study population consisted of 162 cases and 647 controls. Cases were adult people living with HIV/AIDS who developed active pulmonary tuberculosis and controls were people living with HIV/AIDS without active tuberculosis. An interviewer administered structured questionnaire was used to collect information on potential risk factors.
After adjustment for potential confounders, male gender (OR=1.7; 95%CI: 1.1, 2.7), a low level of education (OR=2.8; 95% CI: 1.1, 7.1), a body mass index less than 18.5 kg/m2 (OR=4.1; 95% CI: 2.3, 7.4), hemoglobin level less than 10.0 g/dl (OR=2.8; 95%CI: 1.5, 5.2), a CD4 lymphocyte count less than 200 cells/µL (OR=9.8‘95% CI: 5.5, 17.5), a WHO clinical stage IV (OR=4.3; 95% CI: 2.6, 6.8), not taking antiretroviral treatment (OR=3.1; 95%CI: 1.9,4.9), an infection with helminthes (OR=2.2; 95% CI: 1.4, 3.4), a history of contact with a tuberculosis patient in the family (OR=2.0; 95% CI: 1.2, 3.3), and living in a house made of mud wall (OR=3.7; 95% CI: 1.5, 7.5) were independently associated with the development of active tuberculosis in people living with HIV/AIDS.
All people living with HIV/AIDS should be screened for tuberculosis but in the presence of the risk factors mentioned above, intensified screening is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3275862  PMID: 22434992
Active TB; HIV; risk factors; case control study; Southwest Ethiopia
20.  Stability-indicating HPLC-DAD/UV-ESI/MS impurity profiling of the anti-malarial drug lumefantrine 
Malaria Journal  2011;10:51.
Lumefantrine (benflumetol) is a fluorene derivative belonging to the aryl amino alcohol class of anti-malarial drugs and is commercially available in fixed combination products with β-artemether. Impurity characterization of such drugs, which are widely consumed in tropical countries for malaria control programmes, is of paramount importance. However, until now, no exhaustive impurity profile of lumefantrine has been established, encompassing process-related and degradation impurities in active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished pharmaceutical products (FPPs).
Using HPLC-DAD/UV-ESI/ion trap/MS, a comprehensive impurity profile was established based upon analysis of market samples as well as stress, accelerated and long-term stability results. In-silico toxicological predictions for these lumefantrine related impurities were made using Toxtree® and Derek®.
Several new impurities are identified, of which the desbenzylketo derivative (DBK) is proposed as a new specified degradant. DBK and the remaining unspecified lumefantrine related impurities are predicted, using Toxtree® and Derek®, to have a toxicity risk comparable to the toxicity risk of the API lumefantrine itself.
From unstressed, stressed and accelerated stability samples of lumefantrine API and FPPs, nine compounds were detected and characterized to be lumefantrine related impurities. One new lumefantrine related compound, DBK, was identified and characterized as a specified degradation impurity of lumefantrine in real market samples (FPPs). The in-silico toxicological investigation (Toxtree® and Derek®) indicated overall a toxicity risk for lumefantrine related impurities comparable to that of the API lumefantrine itself.
PMCID: PMC3059303  PMID: 21356068
21.  Multiple Insecticide Resistance: An Impediment to Insecticide-Based Malaria Vector Control Program 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16066.
Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are key components in malaria prevention and control strategy. However, the development of resistance by mosquitoes to insecticides recommended for IRS and/or ITNs/LLINs would affect insecticide-based malaria vector control. We assessed the susceptibility levels of Anopheles arabiensis to insecticides used in malaria control, characterized basic mechanisms underlying resistance, and evaluated the role of public health use of insecticides in resistance selection.
Methodology/Principal findings
Susceptibility status of An. arabiensis was assessed using WHO bioassay tests to DDT, permethrin, deltamethrin, malathion and propoxur in Ethiopia from August to September 2009. Mosquito specimens were screened for knockdown resistance (kdr) and insensitive acetylcholinesterase (ace-1R) mutations using AS-PCR and PCR-RFLP, respectively. DDT residues level in soil from human dwellings and the surrounding environment were determined by Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detector. An. arabiensis was resistant to DDT, permethrin, deltamethrin and malathion, but susceptible to propoxur. The West African kdr allele was found in 280 specimens out of 284 with a frequency ranged from 95% to 100%. Ace-1R mutation was not detected in all specimens scored for the allele. Moreover, DDT residues were found in soil samples from human dwellings but not in the surrounding environment.
The observed multiple-resistance coupled with the occurrence of high kdr frequency in populations of An. arabiensis could profoundly affect the malaria vector control programme in Ethiopia. This needs an urgent call for implementing rational resistance management strategies and integrated vector control intervention.
PMCID: PMC3020220  PMID: 21264325
22.  Variation of inflammatory dynamics and mediators in primiparous cows after intramammary challenge with Escherichia coli 
Veterinary Research  2011;42(1):15.
The objective of the current study was to investigate (i) the outcome of experimentally induced Escherichia coli mastitis in primiparous cows during early lactation in relation with production of eicosanoids and inflammatory indicators, and (ii) the validity of thermography to evaluate temperature changes on udder skin surface after experimentally induced E. coli mastitis. Nine primiparous Holstein Friesian cows were inoculated 24 ± 6 days (d) after parturition in both left quarters with E. coli P4 serotype O32:H37. Blood and milk samples were collected before and after challenge with E. coli. The infrared images were taken from the caudal view of the udder following challenge with E. coli. No relationship was detected between severity of mastitis and changes of thromboxane B2 (TXB2), leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and lipoxin A4 (LXA4). However, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was related to systemic disease severity during E. coli mastitis. Moreover, reduced somatic cell count (SCC), fewer circulating basophils, increased concentration of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and higher milk sodium and lower milk potassium concentrations were related to systemic disease severity. The thermal camera was capable of detecting 2-3°C temperature changes on udder skin surface of cows inoculated with E. coli. Peak of udder skin temperature occurred after peak of rectal temperature and appearance of local signs of induced E. coli mastitis. Although infrared thermography was a successful method for detecting the changes in udder skin surface temperature following intramammary challenge with E. coli, it did not show to be a promising tool for early detection of mastitis.
PMCID: PMC3037895  PMID: 21314974
23.  Helicobacter suis Causes Severe Gastric Pathology in Mouse and Mongolian Gerbil Models of Human Gastric Disease 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e14083.
“Helicobacter (H.) heilmannii” type 1 is the most prevalent gastric non-H. pylori Helicobacter species in humans suffering from gastric disease. It has been shown to be identical to H. suis, a bacterium which is mainly associated with pigs. To obtain better insights into the long-term pathogenesis of infections with this micro-organism, experimental infections were carried out in different rodent models.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Mongolian gerbils and mice of two strains (BALB/c and C57BL/6) were infected with H. suis and sacrificed at 3 weeks, 9 weeks and 8 months after infection. Gastric tissue samples were collected for PCR analysis, histological and ultrastructural examination. In gerbils, bacteria mainly colonized the antrum and a narrow zone in the fundus near the forestomach/stomach transition zone. In both mice strains, bacteria colonized the entire glandular stomach. Colonization with H. suis was associated with necrosis of parietal cells in all three animal strains. From 9 weeks after infection onwards, an increased proliferation rate of mucosal epithelial cells was detected in the stomach regions colonized with H. suis. Most gerbils showed a marked lymphocytic infiltration in the antrum and in the forestomach/stomach transition zone, becoming more pronounced in the course of time. At 8 months post infection, severe destruction of the normal antral architecture at the inflamed sites and development of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma-like lesions were observed in some gerbils. In mice, the inflammatory response was less pronounced than in gerbils, consisting mainly of mononuclear cell infiltration and being most severe in the fundus.
H. suis causes death of parietal cells, epithelial cell hyperproliferation and severe inflammation in mice and Mongolian gerbil models of human gastric disease. Moreover, MALT lymphoma-like lesions were induced in H. suis-infected Mongolian gerbils. Therefore, the possible involvement of this micro-organism in human gastric disease should not be neglected.
PMCID: PMC2989923  PMID: 21124878
24.  Knowledge, Health Seeking Behavior and Perceived Stigma towards Tuberculosis among Tuberculosis Suspects in a Rural Community in Southwest Ethiopia 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13339.
Perceived stigma and lack of awareness could contribute to the late presentation and low detection rate of tuberculosis (TB). We conducted a study in rural southwest Ethiopia among TB suspects to assess knowledge about and stigma towards TB and their health seeking behavior.
A community based cross sectional survey was conducted from February to March 2009 in the Gilgel Gibe field research area. Any person 15 years and above with cough for at least 2 weeks was considered a TB suspect and included in the study. Data were collected by trained personnel using a pretested structured questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was done using SPSS 15.0 statistical software.
Of the 476 pulmonary TB suspects, 395 (83.0%) had ever heard of TB; “evil eye” (50.4%) was the commonly mentioned cause of TB. Individuals who could read and write were more likely to be aware about TB [(crude OR = 2.98, (95%CI: 1.25, 7.08)] and more likely to know that TB is caused by a microorganism [(adjusted OR = 3.16, (95%CI: 1.77, 5.65)] than non-educated individuals. Males were more likely to know the cause of TB [(adjusted OR = 1.92, (95%CI: 1.22, 3.03)] than females. 51.3% of TB suspects perceived that other people would consider them inferior if they had TB. High stigma towards TB was reported by 199(51.2%). 220 (46.2%) did not seek help for their illness. Individuals who had previous anti-TB treatment were more likely to have appropriate health seeking behavior [(adjusted OR = 3.65, (95%CI: 1.89, 7.06)] than those who had not.
There was little knowledge about TB in the Gilgel Gibe field research area. We observed inappropriate health seeking behavior and stigma towards TB. TB control programs in Ethiopia should educate rural communities, particularly females and non-educated individuals, about the cause and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of TB.
PMCID: PMC2952624  PMID: 20948963
25.  Common mental disorders in TB/HIV co-infected patients in Ethiopia 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:201.
The relationship between TB/HIV co-infection and common mental disorders (CMD) has been scarcely investigated. In this study, we compared the occurrence of CMD in TB/HIV co-infected and non-co-infected HIV patients in Ethiopia.
We conducted a cross sectional study in three hospitals in Ethiopia from February to April, 2009. The study population consisted of 155 TB/HIV co-infected and 465 non-co-infected HIV patients. CMD was assessed through face to face interviews by trained clinical nurses using the Kessler 10 scale. Several risk factors for CMD were assessed using a structured questionnaire.
TB/HIV co-infected patients had significantly (p = 0.001) greater risk of CMD (63.7%) than the non-co-infected patients (46.7%). When adjusted for the effect of potential confounding variables, the odds of having CMD for TB/HIV co-infected individuals was 1.7 times the odds for non-co-infected patients [OR = 1.7, (95%CI: 1.0, 2.9)]. Individuals who had no source of income [OR = 1.7, (95%CI: 1.1, 2.8)], and day labourers [OR = 2.4, 95%CI: 1.2, 5.1)] were more likely to have CMD as compared to individuals who had a source of income and government employees respectively. Patients who perceived stigma [OR = 2.2, 95%CI: 1.5, 3.2)] and who rate their general health as "poor" [OR = 10.0, 95%CI: 2.8, 35.1)] had significantly greater risk of CMD than individual who did not perceive stigma or who perceived their general health to be "good".
TB/HIV control programs should develop guidelines to screen and treat CMD among TB/HIV co-infected patients. Screening programs should focus on individuals with no source of income, jobless people and day labourers.
PMCID: PMC2911449  PMID: 20618942

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