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Mold Toxins or Sick Buildings with Water Damage or Flooding Harm Humans and Mammals

A "Best Doctor," "Peoples Choice Award MD," And "Top Doctor" According to Physicians and Patients, Appeals for More Mold and Bacteria Attention To Sick Patients Working or Living In Sick Buildings!

Give people working in public buildings, commercial buildings and defective homes healthy work and living locations—this is hardy complex science.

1. Rev Environ Health. 2011;26(3):205-13.

Crawl spaces as reservoirs for transmission of mold to the livable part of the home environment.

Miranda ML, Galeano MA, Hale B, Thomann WR.

Children's Environmental Health Initiative, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0328, USA.

BACKGROUND: Recent studies suggest that exposure to mold in damp buildings is an important environmental risk factor for childhood respiratory illness. One potential source of a damp home, is crawl space construction. A poorly constructed crawl space not only presents the possibility of contributing to a 'damp' home but can also become a reservoir for fungal growth. OBJECTIVES: Fungal levels in the livable indoor environment have been characterized in other studies, but little has been done to assess the potential for mold growth in the crawl space. This study examines the potential for mold growth and subsequent transmission from the crawl space into the home environment. METHODS: In this study, we assessed mold contamination levels within crawl spaces from 238 study homes in North Carolina. We determined whether air leakage from the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and associated ductwork, transmitted viable mold spores from the crawl space into the living spaces within the home. RESULTS: The results indicate that 19% of the homes demonstrated transmission of mold spores from the crawl space into the indoor environment, 45% of the homes displayed no transmission, and 36% of the homes were indeterminate. CONCLUSIONS: The results support the hypothesis that the HVAC system can serve as a conduit for the transmission of mold spores from the crawl space to the indoor environment of a home. This transmission likely affects children's health, given the significant amount of time they spend in the home environment. For low-income families, the HVAC system may contribute an additional source of childhood exposure and highlights the importance of the assessment of indoor environmental hazards.

PMID: 22206197 [PubMed - in process]

2. BMC Immunol. 2011 Dec 28;12(1):69. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of acute stress on antimicrobial polypeptides mRNA copy number in several tissues of marine sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

Terova G, Cattaneo AG, Preziosa E, Bernardini G, Saroglia M.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In comparison to higher vertebrates, fish are thought to rely heavily on innate immune system for initial protection against pathogen invasion because their acquired immune system displays a considerably poor immunological memory, and short-lived secondary response. The endogenous antimicrobial polypeptides (AMPPs) directly and rapidly killing pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses are included within the realm of innate defenses. In addition to piscidins, AMPPs that in recent years have been shown to be commonly linked to innate defense, are histones and their polypeptide fragments, and peptides derived from the respiratory protein hemoglobin. There is evidence that a number of stresses lead to significant regulation of AMPPs and thus their monitoring could be a highly sensitive measure of health status and risk of an infectious disease outbreak, which is a major impediment to the continued success of virtually all aquaculture enterprises and is often the most significant cause of economic losses. RESULTS: We firstly isolated and deposited in Genbank database the cDNA sequences encoding for hemoglobin-beta-like protein (Hb-LP) [GeneBank: JN410659], H2B histone-like protein 1 (HLP1) GenBank: JN410660], and HLP2 [GenBank: JN410661]. The "de novo" prediction of the three-dimensional structures for each protein is presented. Phylogenetic trees were constructed on Hb-LP, HLP1, and HLP2 sequences of sea bass and those of other teleost, avian, reptiles, amphibian and mammalian species. We then used real time RT-PCR technology to monitor for the first time in sea bass, dynamic changes in mRNA copy number of Hb-LP, HLP1, HLP2, and dicentracin in gills, skin, eyes, stomach and proximal intestine in response to acute crowding/confinement stress. We showed that acute crowding stress induces an increase in the expression levels of the aforementioned genes, in gills and skin of sea bass, but not in other tissues, and that this expression patterns are not always rapidly reversed upon re-exposure to normal conditions. CONCLUSION: The higher expression of the four target genes in gills and skin of sea bass suggests that this AMPP represents a first and immediate line of defense in combating pathogens and stressors since these tissues constitute the first physiological barriers of the animal.

PMID: 22204309 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

3. Appl Opt. 2011 Dec 10;50(35):6536-42. doi: 10.1364/AO.50.006536.

Maskless multiple-beam laser lithography for large-area nanostructure/microstructure fabrication.

Tang M, Chen ZC, Huang ZQ, Choo YS, Hong MH.

This paper reports a maskless multiple-beam laser lithography technique for large-area nanostructure/microstructure fabrication. This lithography technique can flexibly generate arbitrary nanostructures/microstructures over a large area at a high speed. The feature size of the nanostructures/microstructures can be controlled by exposure time and moving speed of the nanostage. Functional predesigned patterns, including split-ring resonator metamaterials for terahertz waves, can be obtained. More complicated structures can be made by single- and double-exposure schemes to make hybrid nanostructures/microstructures and tune surface plasmonic resonance properties. Meanwhile, microstructures with large height to lateral dimension ratios (2.5D microstructures) fabricated on silicon substrates can be used as mold tools for soft lithography. This technology shows its unique capacity to create various nanostructures/microstructures for extensive applications.

PMID: 22193133 [PubMed - in process]

4. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2011 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print]

A GIS-Based Assessment of Environmental Influences on Allergy Development in Children.

Lam A, Wong GW, Poon CM, Lee SS.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess potential environmental influences on allergy development in children. METHODS: Based on a parent-completed questionnaire survey administered in Hong Kong in 2003 in accordance with the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood protocol, the prevalence and incidence of asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis of 508 preschool children aged 4 to 6 years in Yuen Long District were determined and a range of indoor and outdoor environmental factors were assessed. RESULTS: Exposure to moisture and mold in the first year of life increased the risk of asthma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.56; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.40-4.68) and rhinoconjunctivitis (aOR = 2.09; 95% CI = 1.15-3.80). Current maternal smoking was also associated with a higher prevalence of asthma (aOR = 2.00; 95% CI = 1.04-3.84). No association was observed between outdoor traffic-related air pollutants and the prevalence of the allergic conditions. CONCLUSION: Indoor home environments had a stronger influence on allergy development, whereas exposure to traffic-related external environment gave a variable effect, the significance of which would be difficult to be substantiated.

PMID: 22186391 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

5. BMC Genomics. 2011 Dec 19;12(1):613. [Epub ahead of print]

The phosducin-like protein PhLP1 impacts regulation of glycoside hydrolases and light response in Trichoderma reesei.

Tisch D, Kubicek CP, Schmoll M.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In the biotechnological workhorse Trichoderma reesei (Hypocrea jecorina) transcription of cellulase genes as well as efficiency of the secreted cellulase mixture are modulated by light. Components of the heterotrimeric G-protein pathway interact with light-dependent signals, rendering this pathway a key regulator of cellulase gene expression. RESULTS: As regulators of heterotrimeric G-protein signaling, class I phosducin-like proteins, are assumed to act as co-chaperones for G-protein beta-gamma folding and exert their function in response to light in higher eukaryotes. Our results revealed light responsive transcription of the T. reesei class I phosducin-like protein gene phlp1 and indicate a light dependent function of PhLP1 also in fungi. We showed the functions of PhLP1, GNB1 and GNG1 in the same pathway, with one major output being the regulation of transcription of glycoside hydrolase genes including cellulase genes in T. reesei. We found no direct correlation between the growth rate and global regulation of glycoside hydrolases, which suggests that regulation of growth does not occur only at the level of substrate degradation efficiency. Additionally, PhLP1, GNB1 and GNG1 are all important for proper regulation of light responsiveness during long term exposure. In their absence, the amount of light regulated genes increased from 2.7 % in wild-type to 14 % in Deltaphlp1. Besides from the regulation of degradative enzymes, PhLP1 was also found to impact on the transcription of genes involved in sexual development, which was in accordance with decreased efficiency of fruiting body formation in Deltaphlp1. The lack of GNB1 drastically diminished ascospore discharge in T. reesei. CONCLUSIONS: The heterotrimeric G-protein pathway is crucial for the interconnection of nutrient signaling and light response of T. reesei, with the class I phosducin-like protein PhLP1, GNB1 and GNG1 acting as important nodes, which influence light responsiveness, glycoside hydrolase gene transcription and sexual development.

PMID: 22182583 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

6. Autoimmun Rev. 2011 Dec 4. [Epub ahead of print]

The role of environmental estrogens and autoimmunity.

Chighizola C, Meroni PL.

Research Laboratory on Immuno-Rheumatology, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy.

The prevalence of autoimmune diseases has significantly increased over the recent years. It has been proposed that this epidemiological evidence could be in part attributable to environmental estrogens, compounds that display estrogen-like activity and are ubiquitously present in the environment. Environmental estrogens can be found in a wide variety of foods: phytoestrogens occur in plants such as clover and soy, while mycoestrogens are food contaminants produced by fungi. Meat, eggs and dairy products from animals given exogenous hormones contain relatively high concentration of estrogens. Among xenoestrogens, industrial estrogens are synthetic chemicals produced for specific purposes (pesticides, plastics, surfactants and detergents) while metalloestrogens are found in heavy metals. Estrogens can be also administered through medications (contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy, genistein, cimetidine, creams). There is a considerable burden of evidence in vitro and in animal models that these compounds may exert immunotoxic effects. However, to date there is no convincing data that exposure to environmental estrogens can be regarded as a risk for human health. In particular, there is no consensus whether prolonged exposure to relatively low concentrations of different estrogenic chemicals can affect the human immune system and induce clinically evident diseases in real-life scenario. Moreover, the effects on human health of the synergistic interactions between natural, medical, dietary and environmental estrogens have not been fully elucidated yet. Here we provide an extensive review of the in vivo and in vitro effects of environmental estrogens on the immune system, focusing on the evidences of association between exposure and autoimmune disorders.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

PMID: 22172713 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

7. Jpn J Radiol. 2011 Dec 14. [Epub ahead of print]

High dose rate brachytherapy using molds after chemoradiotherapy for oral cavity cancer.

Chatani M, Tsuboi K, Yagi M, Fujiwara K, Tachimoto R, Yoshioka H.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Osaka Rosai Hospital, 1179-3 Nagasone-cyo, Kita-ku, Sakai, Osaka, Japan,

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the combined use of customized molds and a high dose rate (HDR) remote afterloading brachytherapy apparatus with a (192)Ir microsource in the treatment of superficial oral carcinomas after chemoradiotherapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Nine patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma who were treated using this combined technique were analyzed retrospectively. The primary sites of the tumors were the mouth floor, gingiva, and soft palate. For each patient, a customized mold was fabricated in which 2-3 afterloading catheters were placed for the (192)Ir source. Three to eight fractions of 3 Gy, 5 mm below the mold surface, were given following external radiotherapy of 24-50 Gy/2 Gy combined with chemotherapy (peplomycin or taxotere). The total dose of HDR brachytherapy ranged from 9 to 24 Gy. RESULTS: The 2-year local control probability was 100% and the 2-year cause-specific survival rate was 100%. No serious complications (i.e., ulcer or bone exposure) have been observed thus far during the follow-up period of 29-120 months. CONCLUSION: HDR brachytherapy using the mold technique after chemoradiotherapy is a safe and excellent method for selected early and superficial oral cavity cancers.

PMID: 22160650 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

8. Acta Trop. 2011 Dec 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Diatomaceous earth and oil enhance effectiveness of Metarhizium anisopliae against Triatoma infestans.

Luz C, Rodrigues J, Rocha LF.

Instituto de Patologia Tropical e Saúde Pública (IPTSP), Universidade Federal de Goiás, CP 131, 74001-970 Goiânia, GO, Brazil.

Entomopathogenic fungi, especially Metarhizium anisopliae, have potential for integrated control of peridomestic triatomine bugs. However, the high susceptibility of these vectors to fungal infection at elevated ambient humidities decreases in the comparatively dry conditions that often prevail in their microhabitats. A formulation adapted to this target pest that induces high and quick mortality can help to overcome these drawbacks. In the present study diatomaceous earth, which is used against pests of stored grains or as an additive to mycoinsecticides, delayed but did not reduce in vitro germination of M. anisopliae s.l. IP 46 conidia after >24h agitation without affecting viability, and did not hamper the survival of Triatoma infestans nymphs exposed to treated surfaces. The settling behavior of nymphs on a treated surface in choice tests depended on the concentration of diatomaceous earth and ambient light level. Conidia formulated with diatomaceous earth and a vegetable oil synergized the insecticidal effect of the fungus in nymphs, and quickly killed all treated insects, even at 75% relative humidity (LT(90) 8.3 days) where unformulated conidia caused only 25% mortality after a 25 days exposure. The improved performance of a combined oil and desiccant dust formulation of this Metarhizium isolate raises the likelihood for its successful mycoinsecticidal use for triatomine control and, apparently, against other domestic insect pests.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 22155570 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

9. J Korean Med Sci. 2011 Dec;26(12):1541-7. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Association between body mass index and asthma symptoms among korean children: a nation-wide study.

Suh M, Kim HH, Choi DP, Kim KW, Sohn MH, Ha KH, Hwang WJ, Kim C, Kim KE, Shin DC.

Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between body mass index (BMI) and the prevalence of wheeze using nation-wide cross-sectional study in Korean children. Total 50,200 children from 427 elementary schools were randomly selected according to residential areas (metropolitan, provincial, rural, and industrial areas) by the cluster sampling method. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaires were used to measure the prevalence of wheeze. Among 31,026 respondents, 25,322 were analyzed. BMI was classified into quartiles based on BMI-for-age percentile. In all residential areas, pets at home and visible mold or moisture were associated with an increased prevalence of wheeze in both genders. However, other living environment factors were not consistently associated among residential areas and gender. Among girls, lowest BMI was negatively associated with prevalence of wheeze and highest BMI was positively associated in all residential areas. In multilevel logistic regression analysis, environmental tobacco smoking exposure, pets at home, visible mold or moisture, and being in the lowest and highest BMI quartile were significantly associated with the prevalence of wheeze in both genders. BMI has become an important risk factor for asthma symptoms among Korean children.

PMCID: PMC3230012 PMID: 22147989 [PubMed - in process]

10. J Anim Sci. 2011 Dec 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Natural contamination of dietary rice straw with zearalenone and urinary zearalenone concentrations in a cattle herd.

Hasunuma H, Takagi M, Kawamura O, Taniguchi C, Nakamura M, Chuma T, Uno S, Kokushi E, Matsumoto D, Tshering C, Deguchi E, Fink-Gremmels J.

Laboratory of Farm Animal Production Medicine, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-0064, Japan.

The present study was conducted to (1) identify the natural source of feed contamination by zearalenone (ZEN), which was suspected to have caused persistently high urinary ZEN concentrations in one of our experimental cattle herds, and (2) evaluate the effects of intervention against this source of contamination. As an experimental model, a fattening Japanese Black cattle herd showing persistently high urinary ZEN concentrations was identified. Urinary ZEN concentrations of cows fed with new rice straw (experimental group, n = 6) versus cows that continued to feed on the old rice straw (control group, n = 4) were measured at the start (d 1) and at 2 wk (d 14) after the onset of feeding with straw. In addition, the ZEN concentration in feed and water samples was measured by using both the ELISA and HPLC methods. Furthermore, isolation and identification of fungi from rice straw and concentrate feed samples were performed. The urinary ZEN concentration (ZEN [pg/mL]/creatinine (Crea) [mg/mL] = pg/mg of Crea) of cows fed with new rice straw was significantly (P < 0.05) lower (843 pg/mg of Crea) than that of cows fed with old rice straw (15,951 pg/mg of Crea). On both d 1 and 14, the ZEN concentrations of old rice straw were higher than those of new rice straw. In addition, fungal colonies were observed in the culture media that was obtained from the old rice straw suspected of ZEN contamination, but not in the culture media from new rice straw or other feed samples. In conclusion, our field trials clearly indicate that the rice straw fed to the cows was naturally contaminated with ZEN, and that the monitoring of urinary ZEN concentrations could prove to be a useful tool for detecting the exposure of cattle to ZEN contamination at the farm level.

PMID: 22147467 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

11. Photochem Photobiol. 2011 Dec 7. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2011.01055.x. [Epub ahead of print]

In Vitro Photodynamic Inactivation of Cryptococcus neoformans Melanized Cells with Chloroaluminum Phthalocyanine Nanoemulsion.

Rodrigues GB, Primo FL, Tedesco AC, Braga GU.

Departamento de Análises Clínicas, Toxicológicas e Bromatológicas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, 14040-903 Brazil Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, 14090-901, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.

The selection of fungi resistant to currently used fungicides and the emergence of new pathogenic species make the development of alternative fungus-control techniques highly desirable. Photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapy (PACT) is a promising method which combines a nontoxic photosensitizer (PS) with visible light to cause selective killing of microbial cells. The development of PACT to treat mycoses or kill fungi in the environment depends on identifying effective PS for the different pathogenic species and delivery systems able to expand and optimize their use. In the present study, the in vitro susceptibility of Cryptococcus neoformans melanized cells to the phodynamic effects of the PS agent ClAlPc in nanoemulsion (ClAlPc/NE) was examined. Cells were killed in a PS concentration- and light dose-dependent manner. Treatment with ClAlPc/NE, using PS concentrations (e.g. 4.5 μM) and light doses (e.g. 10 J cm(-2) ) compatible with PACT, resulted in a reduction of up to 6 logs in survival. Washing the cells to remove unbound PS before light exposure did not inhibit fungal photodynamic inactivation (PDI). Internalization of ClAlPc by C. neoformans was confirmed by confocal fluorescence microscopy, and the degree of uptake was dependent on PS concentration.

Photochemistry and Photobiology © 2011 American Society for Photobiology.

PMID: 22145636 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

12. J Parasitol Res. 2011;2011:147373. Epub 2011 Oct 29.

Studies on Fungal Cultural Filtrates against Adult Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) a Vector of Filariasis.

Singh G, Prakash S.

Department of Zoology, Environmental and Advanced Parasitology and Vector Control Biotechnology Laboratories, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Dayalbagh, Agra 282 005, India.

Entomopathogenic fungi have significant potential to control mosquito population. The culture filtrates of Fusarium oxysporum, Lagenidium giganteum, Trichophyton ajelloi, and Culicinomyces clavisporus were evaluated against adults of Cx. quinquefasciatus. The culture filtrates were obtained by filtering the broth through Whatman-1 filter paper. These culture filtrates of C. clavisporus have been found significantly pathogenic with LC(50)-2.5, LC(90)-7.24, and LC(99)-8.7 ML, respectively, after exposure of 24 h. However, the culture filtrates when were combined, in ratios 1 : 1 : 1 of Fusarium oxysporum, Lagenidium giganteum, Trichophyton ajelloi the mortalities were significantly increased. The LC(50)-3.71, LC(90)-8.12, and LC(99)-11.48 were significantly recorded after exposure of 10 hrs. Similarly, the culture filtrates of T. ajelloi, Culicinomyces clavisporus, and L. giganteum have been combined in ratios 1 : 1 : 1. Similarly the LC(50)-1.94, LC(90)-4, and LC(99)-6.16 ML Were recorded after exposure of 10 hrs. The results of present study show promise for the use of selected fungal metabolites for control of Cx. quinquefasciatus in the Laboratory.

PMCID: PMC3205682 PMID: 22132305 [PubMed - in process]

13. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2011 Dec;22(8):843-852. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2011.01208.x.

Total viable molds and fungal DNA in classrooms and association with respiratory health and pulmonary function of European schoolchildren.

Simoni M, Cai GH, Norback D, Annesi-Maesano I, Lavaud F, Sigsgaard T, Wieslander G, Nystad W, Canciani M, Viegi G, Sestini P.

Pulmonary Environmental Epidemiology Unit, CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, Pisa, Italy Uppsala University, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden UMR-S 707, UPMC Univ Paris06, Medical School St-Antoine, EPAR, France U707, INSERM, EPAR, Paris, France Service des Maladies respiratoires, CHU Reims, Reims, France IMA Institute of Environment- and Occupational Medicine, Århus University, Aarhus, Denmark Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, Oslo, Norway Udine University-Hospital "Policlinico", Udine, Italy CNR Institute of Biomedicine and Molecular Immunology "A. Monroy", Palermo, Italy Siena University, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Siena, Italy.

To cite this article: Simoni M, Cai G-H, Norback D, Annesi-Maesano I, Lavaud F, Sigsgaard T, Wieslander G, Nystad W, Canciani M, Viegi G, Sestini P. Total viable molds and fungal DNA in classrooms and association with respiratory health and pulmonary function of European schoolchildren. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011: 22: 843-852. ABSTRACT: Indoor molds are associated with adverse respiratory effects in children. Although schools are important exposure sources of molds, objective measurements were more often taken in homes. Our aim was to assess indoor molds in schools and related effects on schoolchildren health. The Health Effects of the School Environment study (HESE) included 21 schools (46 classrooms) in Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and France and 654 schoolchildren (mean age 10 yr). Information on schoolchildren was collected by standardized questionnaires. Measurements of total viable molds (VM, colony-forming units, cfu/m(3) ) and total/specific fungal DNA (cell equivalents, CE/g dust) were taken inside all classrooms in the cold season during normal activities, using the same standardized methodology. Pulmonary function tests were performed on 244 pupils. VM (mean, 320 cfu/m(3) ) and total fungal DNA (geometric mean, 2.2 × 10(5)  ± 2.1 CE/g dust) were detectable in all classrooms. The levels were significantly higher in buildings with mold/dampness problems. VM, but not fungal DNA, were inversely related to ventilation rate. VM exceeded the maximum standard of 300 cfu/m(3) in 33% of the classrooms. In the past 12 months, dry cough at night (34%) and rhinitis (32%) were the mostly reported. Children exposed to VM levels ≥300 cfu/m(3) , compared with those exposed to lower levels, showed higher risk for past year dry cough at night (odds ratio, OR: 3.10, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.61-5.98) and rhinitis (OR: 2.86, 95% CI: 1.65-4.95), as well as for persistent cough (OR: 3.79, 95% CI: 2.40-5.60). Aspergillus/Penicillium DNA was significantly positively associated with wheeze, and Aspergillus versicolor DNA with wheeze, rhinitis, and cough. There were significant inverse associations of Aspergillus versicolor DNA with forced vitality capacity (FVC) and Streptomyces DNA with both FEV(1) and FVC. In conclusion, indoor VM and fungal DNA were commonly found in monitored European schools and adversely related to respiratory health. Schools should be routinely tested through both culturable and non-culturable methods for global indoor molds' evaluation.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

PMID: 22122789 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

14. Sci Total Environ. 2011 Nov 22. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of ectomycorrhizal fungi forming symbiosis with Pinus pinaster seedlings exposed to cadmium.

Sousa NR, Ramos MA, Marques AP, Castro PM.

Cadmium is one of the most toxic heavy metals and its accumulation in the upper layers of forest soils affects plants, microorganisms and their interactions. Adequate strategies for the reforestation of metal contaminated sites are of vital importance. The aim of this work was to evaluate the response of Pinus pinaster seedlings to Cd exposure and to assess the effect of inoculation with two selected ectomycorrhizal fungi, Suillus bovinus and Rhizopogon roseolus on that response. Seedlings were exposed to soil contaminated at 15 and 30mgCdkg(-1). Shoot biomass of P. pinaster decreased ca. 36% when exposed to 15mgCdkg(-1). Overall, colonization by S. bovinus significantly enhanced shoot development up to 30% in contaminated soil while colonization by R. roseolus produced no significant effect at both Cd concentrations tested and significantly increased the level of Cd in the shoots at both Cd concentrations. Metal accumulation in the shoots and roots of non-inoculated and S. bovinus-inoculated seedlings increased at the higher Cd levels whereas R. roseolus-inoculated seedlings were not sensitive to Cd variation in the soil. The results from our research show that inoculation with ECM fungi has a significant impact on metal uptake and development of P. pinaster seedlings; the differential response induced by the two tested species highlights the importance of selecting the appropriate strains for nursery inoculation, and, as such, this biological tool ought to be considered in reforestation processes of heavy metal contaminated areas by woody species.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

PMID: 22115613 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

15. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Nov 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Tolerance to and Accumulation of Cadmium by the Mycelium of the Fungi Scleroderma citrinum and Pisolithus tinctorius.

Carrillo-González R, González-Chávez MD.

Instituto de Recursos Naturales, Edafología, Colegio de Postgraduados, Carr. Mexico-Texcoco km 36.5 Montecillo, 56230, Texcoco, Edo. de Mexico., Mexico,

The behavior of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi on exposure to cadmium dependent upon isolation remains a poorly understood phenomenon. The in vitro growth, tolerance, and accumulation of Cd were studied in three strains of ECM fungi exposed to six Cd concentrations (0-10 mg L(-1)). The fungi studied were a strain of Scleroderma citrinum Persoon (Sc) isolated from a tailings heap containing 5 mg kg(-1) available Cd, and two strains of Pisolithus tinctorius (Pers.) Coker and Couch from unpolluted sites (Pt1 and Pt2), both common ECM fungi used for remediation. The growth kinetic (36 days) of Sc was not affected by Cd concentration. By contrast, the ED(50) in Pt1 and Pt2 occurred at 4.8 and 6.9 mg L(-1) of Cd, respectively. The biomass of the three fungi exposed to the highest Cd concentration (10 mg L(-1)) was significantly different. Sc presented the highest biomass, while this was strongly reduced for Pt1 and Pt2. The tolerance index for Sc ranged from 78% to 95% at all Cd concentrations tested, while for Pt1 it was 49% and 31%, and for Pt2 it was 62% and 35% at 5 and 10 mg of Cd L(-1), respectively. The mycelium of both Pt strains accumulated more Cd than the Sc mycelium. At the highest Cd concentration, Pt1 and Pt2 accumulated 1.9 and 1.7 times more Cd than Sc. This study suggests that regardless of the differences in tolerance to Cd by the three ECM fungi, they could have biotechnological applications for soil remediation. However, Sc has greater possibilities of being used successfully when high concentrations of Cd prevail in the environment.

PMID: 22113263 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

16. Enzyme Microb Technol. 2011 Oct 10;49(5):472-7. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Structural change in wood by brown rot fungi and effect on enzymatic hydrolysis.

Monrroy M, Ortega I, Ramírez M, Baeza J, Freer J.

Renewable Resources Laboratory, Biotechnology Center, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile.

The effects of biological pretreatment on Pinus radiata and Eucalyptus globulus, were evaluated after exposure to two brown rot fungi Gloephylum trabeum and Laetoporeus sulphureus. Changes in chemical composition, structural modification, and susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis in the degraded wood were analyzed. After eight weeks of biodegradation, the greatest loss of weight and hemicellulose were 13% and 31%, respectively, for P. radiata with G. trabeum. The content of glucan decreased slightly, being the highest loss of 20% for E. globulus with G. trabeum. Consistent with degradation mechanism of these fungi, lignin was essentially undegraded by both brown rot fungi. Both brown rot fungi cause a sharp reduction in the cellulose degree of polymerization (DP) in the range between 58% and 79%. G. trabeum depolymerized cellulose in both wood faster than L. sulphureus. Also, structural characteristic of crystalline cellulose were measured by using two different techniques - X-ray diffraction (XRD) and infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The biological pretreatments showed an effect on cellulose crystallinity structure, a decrease between 6% and 21% was obtained in the crystallinity index (CrI) calculated by IR, no changes were observed in the XRD. Material digestibility was evaluated by enzymatic hydrolysis, the conversion of cellulose to glucose increased with the biotreatment time. The highest enzymatic hydrolysis yields were obtained when saccharification was performed on wood biopretreated with G. trabeum (14% P. radiata and 13% E. globulus). Decreasing in DP and CrI, and hemicellulose removal result in an increase of enzymatic hydrolysis performance. Digestibility was better related to DP than with other properties. G. trabeum can be considered as a potential fungus for biological pretreatment, since it provides an effective process in breaking the wood structure, making it potentially useful in the development of combined pretreatments (biological-chemical). A viable alternative to pretreatment process that can be used is a bio-mimetic system, similar to low-molecular complexes generated by fungi such as G. trabeum combined pretreatments (biological-chemical).

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 22112620 [PubMed - in process]

17. Med Mycol. 2011 Nov 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Association between indoor fungi in Delhi homes and sensitization in children with respiratory allergy.

Sharma R, Gaur SN, Singh VP, Singh AB.

* Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology , Delhi.

Indoor fungi are potential sensitizing agents in children and their detection and quantification in indoor air are important in the diagnosis and environmental management of fungal allergies. The objective of this investigation was to assess the prevalence of fungal allergies in children in Delhi and to study the association between mold counts in the homes of children and their sensitization to respective fungal extracts. Fungal concentrations and seasonality were studied at two-week intervals for one year using Andersen Volumetric and Burkard Slide samplers. Sensitization to fungi frequently encountered in patients' homes was assessed by Skin Prick Tests (SPTs). Total fungal specific IgE was measured by ELISA in the sera of patients positive to fungal extracts. Skin Prick Tests revealed that 39.3% (33/84) of patients were markedly positive (2 + and above) to one or the other fungal allergens. Raised serum IgE to predominant indoor fungal species was observed in patients with marked SPT results. Highest marked skin reactivity (2 + and above) was obtained with Alternaria alternata allergens in 17.9% of the children, which was followed by the response to fungal antigens of Aspergillus fumigatus and Penicillium citrinum (15.5%). Exposure to high fungal counts of some dominant fungi (Penicillium, A. nidulans and A. fumigatus) was found associated with increased fungal sensitization in the patients. Total serum IgE level was revealed to be significantly linked with the intensity of skin reactions, as well as with skin index (r(2) = 0.052; P < 0.05). We concluded that children in Delhi are exposed to high concentrations of fungi in the indoor environment and that respiratory allergies were connected with higher prevalence of skin sensitization.

PMID: 22103346 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

18. Small. 2011 Nov 21. doi: 10.1002/smll.201101423. [Epub ahead of print]

Photoinduced Silver Nanoparticles/Nanorings on Plasmid DNA Scaffolds.

Liu J, Zhang X, Yu M, Li S, Zhang J.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China.

Biological scaffolds are being actively explored for the synthesis of nanomaterials with novel structures and unexpected properties. Toroidal plasmid DNA separated from the Bacillus host is applied as a sacrificial mold for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles and nanorings. The photoirradiation method is applied to reduce Ag(I) on the plasmid. The nanoparticles are obtained by varying the concentration of the Ag(I) ion solution and the exposure time of the plasmid-Ag(I) complex under UV light at 254 nm and room temperature. It is found that the plasmid serves not only as a template but also as a reductant to drive the silver nucleation and deposition. The resulting nanoparticles have a face-centered cubic (fcc) crystal structure and 20-30 nm average diameter. The detailed mechanism is discussed, and other metals or alloys could also be synthesized with this method.

Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

PMID: 22102552 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

19. Int J Food Microbiol. 2011 Oct 30. [Epub ahead of print]

Antifungal activity by vapor contact of essential oils added to amaranth, chitosan, or starch edible films.

Avila-Sosa R, Palou E, Jiménez Munguía MT, Nevárez-Moorillón GV, Navarro Cruz AR, López-Malo A.

Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Alimentos y Ambiental, Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Cholula, Pue. 72810, México; Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, 14 Sur y Av. San Claudio, Ciudad Universitaria, Puebla, Pue. 72420, México.

Antimicrobial agents can be incorporated into edible films to provide microbiological stability, since films can be used as carriers of a variety of additives to extend product shelf life and reduce the risk of microbial growth on food surfaces. Addition of antimicrobial agents to edible films offers advantages such as the use of small antimicrobial concentrations and low diffusion rates. The aim of this study was to evaluate inhibition by vapor contact of Aspergillus niger and Penicillium digitatum by selected concentrations of Mexican oregano (Lippia berlandieri Schauer), cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) or lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oils (EOs) added to amaranth, chitosan, or starch edible films. Essential oils were characterized by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. Amaranth, chitosan and starch edible films were formulated with essential oil concentrations of 0.00, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 2.00, or 4.00%. Antifungal activity was evaluated by determining the mold radial growth on agar media inoculated with A. niger and P. digitatum after exposure to vapors arising from essential oils added to amaranth, chitosan or starch films using the inverted lid technique. The modified Gompertz model adequately described mold growth curves (mean coefficient of determination 0.991±0.05). Chitosan films exhibited better antifungal effectiveness (inhibition of A. niger with 0.25% of Mexican oregano and cinnamon EO; inhibition of P. digitatum with 0.50% EOs) than amaranth films (2.00 and 4.00% of cinnamon and Mexican oregano EO were needed to inhibit the studied molds, respectively). For chitosan and amaranth films a significant increase (p<0.05) of lag phase was observed among film concentrations while a significant decrease (p<0.05) of maximum specific growth was determined. Chitosan edible films incorporating Mexican oregano or cinnamon essential oil could improve the quality of foods by the action of the volatile compounds on surface growth of molds.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

PMID: 22100789 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

20. J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Sep 23. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4668. [Epub ahead of print]

Efficacy of ozone as a fungicidal and detoxifying agent of aflatoxins in peanuts.

de Alencar ER, Faroni LR, Soares ND, da Silva WA, da Silva Carvalho MC.

Faculdade de Agronomia e Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Brasília, Campus Darcy Ribeiro, Brasília, DF, CEP 70.970-000, Brazil.

BACKGROUND: Peanut contamination by fungi is a concern of processors and consumers owing to the association of these micro-organisms with quality deterioration and aflatoxin production. In this study the fungicidal and detoxifying effects of ozone on aflatoxins in peanuts was investigated. Peanut kernels were ozonated at concentrations of 13 and 21 mg L(-1) for periods of 0, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h. RESULTS: Ozone was effective in controlling total fungi and potentially aflatoxigenic species in peanuts, with a reduction in colony-forming units per gram greater than 3 log cycles at the concentration of 21 mg L(-1) after 96 h of exposure. A reduction in the percentage of peanuts with internal fungal populations was also observed, particularly after exposure to ozone at 21 mg L(-1) . A reduction in the concentrations of total aflatoxins and aflatoxin B1 of approximately 30 and 25% respectively was observed for kernels exposed to ozone at 21 mg L(-1) for 96 h. CONCLUSION: It was concluded that ozone is an important alternative for peanut detoxification because it is effective in controlling potentially aflatoxigenic fungi and also acts in the reduction of aflatoxin levels in kernels. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

PMID: 22095762 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

21. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2011 Nov;324(2):165-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2011.02400.x. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Generating thermotolerant colonies by pairing Beauveria bassiana isolates.

Kim JS, Skinner M, Gouli S, Parker BL.

Entomology Research Laboratory, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405-0105, USA.

Low thermotolerance in entomopathogenic fungi is the main impediment to their industrialization. This research, for the first time, describes the generation of a thermotolerant colony by pairing and subculturing (cycling) two Beauveria bassiana isolates without sexual reproduction. A mixture of B. bassiana ERL1578 and ERL1576 was inoculated on quarter-strength Sabouraud dextrose agar with yeast extract (¼SDAY). The paired culture (ERL1578 + 1576) was cycled three times to increase the frequency of possible hyphal fusion at the first cycle (c. 5/5 × 10(5) conidia), followed by a heat treatment as a selection pressure. Two non-paired isolates served as controls. Two morphologically different colonies (BbHet1 and BbHet2) were isolated from the pairing. BbHet1 colony had the highest conidial yield. BbHet2 had the most rapid mycelial growth and produced sponge-like mycelial masses (the others were flat), and its conidia were darker than the non-paired colonies under a microscope (400×). BbHet2 conidia had 60.7% germination after exposure to 45 °C for 60 min (the others had < 15%) without significant loss of virulence against Western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis; however, there was a slight decrease in conidial yield. The new phenotypes formed suggested that a genetic variation happened as a result of heterokaryosis and/or recombination, more than environmental adaptation, when mixing different conidia. This methodology seems to be very useful for enhancing thermotolerance in fungi.

2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 22092818 [PubMed - in process]

22. Ecol Appl. 2011 Oct;21(7):2521-9.

Effects of chytrid fungus and a glyphosate-based herbicide on survival and growth of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus).

Gahl MK, Pauli BD, Houlahan JE.

Department of Biology, Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, P.O. Box 5050, Saint John, New Brunswick E2L 4L5, Canada.

Anthropogenic-derived stressors in the environment, such as contaminants, are increasingly considered important cofactors that may decrease the immune response of amphibians to pathogens. Few studies, however, have integrated amphibian disease and contaminants to test this multiple-stressor hypothesis for amphibian declines. We examined whether exposure to sublethal concentrations of a glyphosate-based herbicide and two strains of the pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochrytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) could: (1) sublethally affect wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) by altering the time to and size at metamorphosis, and (2) directly affect survivability of wood frogs after metamorphosis. Neither Bd strain nor herbicide exposure alone significantly altered growth or time to metamorphosis. The two Bd strains did not differ in their pathogenicity, and both caused mortality in post-metamorphic wood frogs. There was no evidence of an interaction between treatments, indicating a lack of herbicide-induced susceptibility to Bd. However, the trends in our data suggest that exposure of wood frogs to a high concentration of glyphosate-based herbicide may reduce Bd-caused mortality compared to animals exposed to Bd alone. These results exemplify the complexities inherent when populations are coping with multiple stressors. In this case, the perceived stressor, glyphosate-based herbicide, appeared to affect the pathogen more than the host's immune system, relieving the host from disease-caused effects. This suggests caution when invoking multiple stressors as a cause for increased disease susceptibility and indicates that the effects of multiple stressors on disease outcome depend on the interrelationships of stressors to both the pathogen and the host.

PMID: 22073641 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

23. J Environ Sci (China). 2011;23(6):968-74.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi alter the response of growth and nutrient uptake of snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to O3.

Wang S, Feng Z, Wang X, Gong W.

Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China.

The effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) Glomus mosseae on the responses to elevated O3 in growth and nutrition of snap bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv Guangzhouyuan) were investigated. Exposure was conducted in growth chambers by using three O3 concentrations (20 (CF), 80 (CFO1) and 120 nL/L (CFO2); 8 hr/day for 75 days). Results showed that elevated O3 slightly impacted overall mycorrhizal colonization, but significantly decreased the proportional frequency of hypha and increased the proportional frequency of spores and vesicles, suggesting that O3 had significant effects on mycorrhizal structure. Elevated O3 significantly decreased yield, dry mass and nutrient contents (N, P, K, Ca and Mg) in both non-mycorrhizal and mycorrhizal plants. However, significant interactive effects were found in most variables due to that the reduction by O3 in the mycorrhizal plants was less than that in the non-mycorrhizal plants. Additionally, AMF increased thoe concentrations of N, P, Ca, and Mg in shoot and root. It can be concluded that AMF alleviated detrimental effects of increasing O3 on host plant through improving plant nutrition and growth.

PMID: 22069792 [PubMed - in process]

24. Mass Spectrom Rev. 2011 Nov 7. doi: 10.1002/mas.20351. [Epub ahead of print]

Multiclass mycotoxin analysis in food, environmental and biological matrices with chromatography/mass spectrometry.

Capriotti AL, Caruso G, Cavaliere C, Foglia P, Samperi R, Laganà A.

Department of Chemistry, Sapienza Università di Roma, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.

Mold metabolites that can elicit deleterious effects on other organisms are classified as mycotoxins. Human exposure to mycotoxins occurs mostly through the intake of contaminated agricultural products or residues due to carry over or metabolite products in foods of animal origin such as milk and eggs, but can also occur by dermal contact and inhalation. Mycotoxins contained in moldy foods, but also in damp interiors, can cause diseases in humans and animals. Nephropathy, various types of cancer, alimentary toxic aleukia, hepatic diseases, various hemorrhagic syndromes, and immune and neurological disorders are the most common diseases that can be related to mycotoxicosis. The absence or presence of mold infestation and its propagation are seldom correlated with mycotoxin presence. Mycotoxins must be determined directly, and suitable analytical methods are necessary. Hundreds of mycotoxins have been recognized, but only for a few of them, and in a restricted number of utilities, a maximum acceptable level has been regulated by law. However, mycotoxins seldom develop alone; more often various types and/or classes form in the same substrate. The co-occurrence might render the individual mycotoxin tolerance dose irrelevant, and therefore the mere presence of multiple mycotoxins should be considered a risk factor. The advantage of chromatography/mass spectrometry (MS) is that many compounds can be determined and confirmed in one analysis. This review illustrates the state-of-the-art of mycotoxin MS-based analytical methods for multiclass, multianalyte determination in all the matrices in which they appear. A chapter is devoted to the history of the long-standing coexistence and interaction among humans, domestic animals and mycotoxicosis, and the history of the discovery of mycotoxins. Quality assurance, although this topic relates to analytical chemistry in general, has been also examined for mycotoxin analysis as a preliminary to the systematic literature excursus. Sample handling is a crucial step to devise a multiclass analytical method; so when possible, it has been treated separately for a better comparison before tackling the instrumental part of the whole analytical method. This structure has resulted sometimes in unavoidable redundancies, because it was also important to underline the interconnection. Most reviews do not deal with all the possible mycotoxin sources, including the environmental ones. The focus of this review is the analytical methods based on MS for multimycotoxin class determination. Because the final purpose to devise multimycotoxin analysis should be the assessment of the danger to health of exposition to multitoxicants of natural origin (and possibly also the interaction with anthropogenic contaminants), therefore also the analytical methods for environmental relevant mycotoxins have been thoroughly reviewed. Finally, because the best way to shed light on actual risk assessment could be the individuation of exposure biomarkers, the review covers also the scarce literature on biological fluids. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Mass Spec Rev.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID: 22065561 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

25. J Dent Educ. 2011 Nov;75(11):1426-33.

An innovative HIV training program for dental students.

Rogers TC, Zaninovic P, Urankar YR, Natto ZS, Turner RL, Toledo GA, Duran GG, Trott JR.

School of Dentistry, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.

Dentists need to be able to give people with HIV/AIDS compassionate and comprehensive care. Previous studies have shown that many dental students have negative attitudes towards treating such individuals. This article addresses the effectiveness of a program that trains dental students in the issues of treating this population. All predoctoral students at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry are required to receive this training. Students complete a pre-session survey during their third year and a post-session survey as they complete the training during their fourth year. The survey was administered from 2003 to 2009 during which 386 students completed responses to the post-session survey. Five questions in the survey address self-evaluation of knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in the efficacy of universal precautions and post-exposure prophylaxis following bloodborne exposures. This study reports on five two-year testing cycles and shows significant shifts in all five areas surveyed. The most significant gains were in the two areas that are not addressed in much detail in other courses in the dental school curriculum. These are familiarity with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and confidence in the efficacy of PEP. These data support the usefulness of such a program in preparing future dentists to deliver appropriate care to persons living with HIV/AIDS.

PMID: 22058391 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

26. Mycopathologia. 2011 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Toward Developing a Universal Treatment for Fungal Disease Using Radioimmunotherapy Targeting Common Fungal Antigens.

Bryan RA, Guimaraes AJ, Hopcraft S, Jiang Z, Bonilla K, Morgenstern A, Bruchertseifer F, Del Poeta M, Torosantucci A, Cassone A, Nosanchuk JD, Casadevall A, Dadachova E.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1695A Eastchester Rd., Bronx, NY, 10461, USA.

BACKGROUND: Previously, we demonstrated the ability of radiolabeled antibodies recognizing the cryptococcal polysaccharide capsule to kill Cryptococcus neoformans both in vitro and in infected mice. This approach, known as radioimmunotherapy (RIT), uses the exquisite ability of antibodies to bind antigens to deliver microbicidal radiation. To create RIT reagents which would be efficacious against all major medically important fungi, we have selected monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to common surface fungal antigens such as heat shock protein 60 (HSP60), which is found on the surface of diverse fungi; beta (1,3)-glucan, which is a major constituent of fungal cell walls; ceramide which is found at the cell surface, and melanin, a polymer present in the fungal cell wall. METHODS: MAbs 4E12, an IgG2a to fungal HSP60; 2G8, an IgG2b to beta-(1,3)-glucan; and 6D2, an IgM to melanin, were labeled with the alpha particle emitting radionuclide 213-Bismuth ((213)Bi) using the chelator CHXA". B11, an IgM antibody to glucosylceramide, was labeled with the beta emitter 188-Rhenium ((188)Re). Model organisms Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans were used to assess the cytotoxicity of these compounds after exposure to either radiolabeled mAbs or controls. RESULTS: (213)Bi-mAbs to HSP60 and to the beta-(1,3)-glucan each reduced the viability of both fungi by 80-100%. The (213)Bi-6D2 mAb to melanin killed 22% of C. neoformans, but did not kill C. albicans. B11 mAb against fungal ceramide was effective against wild-type C. neoformans, but was unable to kill a mutant lacking the ceramide target. Unlabeled mAbs and radiolabeled irrelevant control mAbs caused no killing. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that it is feasible to develop RIT against fungal pathogens by targeting common antigens and such an approach could be developed against fungal diseases for which existing therapy is unsatisfactory.

PMID: 22048869 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

27. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print]

Structure identification and fermentation characteristics of pinoresinol diglucoside produced by Phomopsis sp. isolated from Eucommia ulmoides Oliv.

Shi J, Liu C, Liu L, Yang B, Zhang Y.

College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest A & F University, 28 Xinong Road, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, China,

Pinoresinol diglucoside (PDG) is the important antihypertensive compound in Eucommia ulmoides Oliv., a traditional Chinese herb medicine. The research objective was to certify the possibility of producing PDG through fermentation. PDG-producing endophytic fungi were isolated from E. ulmoides Oliv., and the highest PDG-yielding (11.65 mg/L) isolate, XP-8, was identified as Phomopsis sp. according to the morphological characteristics and the phylogenetic tree constructed on the basis of the gene sequence in the internal transcribed spacers district. The microbial PDG was isolated by using S-8 resin and purified to a purity of 98.7% using preparative high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Information obtained from the UV spectrum (277 and 227 nm, in water solution), infra-red spectrum (3,428; 2,930; 2,877; 1,637; 1,600; and 1,513; 1,460; 1,421; 1,269; 1,223; 1,075; 658 cm(-1), in powder), molecular weight (682 Da, measured using HPLC-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI/MS) and tandem mass spectrometry), and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis show the microbial PDG is (+)-1-pinoresinol 4,4'-di-O-β-D: -glucopyranoside, same as the plant-derived PDG. The microbial PDG is stable in pH range from 3 to 11 but less stable at temperature higher than 90 °C and in light exposure. During the fermentation, PDG production outside cells starts at the later stage of cell growth when the residual sugar in the medium was low. The study reveals the possibility for production of PDG by fermentation.

PMID: 22048615 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

28. Toxicol Ind Health. 2011 Oct 31. [Epub ahead of print]

Employing volcanic tuff minerals in interior architecture design to reduce microbial contaminants and airborne fungal carcinogens of indoor environments.

Gedikoglu Y, Gedikoglu G, Berkin G, Ceyhan T, Altinoz MA.

Halic University, Department of Sports Education, Istanbul, Turkey.

Indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have posed significant risks to human health since people have both shifted to a life spent, for the most part, indoors. Further, changes in materials used in the construction of buildings, furnishings, and tools either leak or encourage the production of VOCs. Whether these enclosed areas are residences, hospitals or workplaces (specifically composting facilities or closed farm buildings for raising livestock), VOCs can rise to levels that threaten people's health. VOCs can either originate from phenolic and benzene-like compounds in building materials and office furniture or from molds (fungi) growing inside improperly ventilated or sealed buildings. Regardless of the source, exposure to VOCs could lead to significant health concerns from sick-building syndrome, 'leukemia houses,' in-hospital fungemia cases or occupation-associated cancer epidemics due to aflatoxicosis. Innovative 21st-century building materials could offer solutions to these challenges. We propose that volcanic materials, clays and minerals (volcanic tuff, modified clay montmorillonite and mineral clinoptilolite), in their original or chemically modified form, could act like synthetic lungs in building walls, breathing and filtering VOCs, and thus limiting human exposure to disease.

PMID: 22042772 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

29. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2011 Oct 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Environmental Fate of Fungicides in Surface Waters of a Horticultural-Production Catchment in Southeastern Australia.

Wightwick AM, Bui AD, Zhang P, Rose G, Allinson M, Myers JH, Reichman SM, Menzies NW, Pettigrove V, Allinson G.

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, 4072, Australia,

Fungicides are regularly applied in horticultural production systems and may migrate off-site, potentially posing an ecological risk to surface waterways. However, few studies have investigated the fate of fungicides in horticultural catchments. This study investigated the presence of 24 fungicides at 18 sites during a 5-month period within a horticultural catchment in southeastern Australia. Seventeen of the 24 fungicides were detected in the waterways, with fungicides detected in 63% of spot water samples, 44% of surface sediment samples, and 44% of the passive sampler systems deployed. One third of the water samples contained residues of two or more fungicides. Myclobutanil, trifloxystrobin, pyrimethanil, difenoconazole, and metalaxyl were the fungicides most frequently detected, being present in 16-38% of the spot water samples. Iprodione, myclobutanil, pyrimethanil, cyproconazole, trifloxystrobin, and fenarimol were found at the highest concentrations in the water samples (>0.2 μg/l). Relatively high concentrations of myclobutanil and pyrimethanil (≥120 μg/kg dry weight) were detected in the sediment samples. Generally the concentrations of the fungicides detected were several orders of magnitude lower than reported ecotoxicological effect values, suggesting that concentrations of individual fungicides in the catchment were unlikely to pose an ecological risk. However, there is little information on the effects of fungicides, especially fungi and microbes, on aquatic ecosystems. There is also little known about the combined effects of simultaneous low-level exposure of multiple fungicides to aquatic organisms. Further research is required to adequately assess the risk of fungicides in aquatic environments.

PMID: 22037819 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

30. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Oct;7(10):e1002330. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

HacA-independent functions of the ER stress sensor IreA synergize with the canonical UPR to influence virulence traits in Aspergillus fumigatus.

Feng X, Krishnan K, Richie DL, Aimanianda V, Hartl L, Grahl N, Powers-Fletcher MV, Zhang M, Fuller KK, Nierman WC, Lu LJ, Latgé JP, Woollett L, Newman SL, Cramer RA Jr, Rhodes JC, Askew DS.

Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a condition in which the protein folding capacity of the ER becomes overwhelmed by an increased demand for secretion or by exposure to compounds that disrupt ER homeostasis. In yeast and other fungi, the accumulation of unfolded proteins is detected by the ER-transmembrane sensor IreA/Ire1, which responds by cleaving an intron from the downstream cytoplasmic mRNA HacA/Hac1, allowing for the translation of a transcription factor that coordinates a series of adaptive responses that are collectively known as the unfolded protein response (UPR). Here, we examined the contribution of IreA to growth and virulence in the human fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. Gene expression profiling revealed that A. fumigatus IreA signals predominantly through the canonical IreA-HacA pathway under conditions of severe ER stress. However, in the absence of ER stress IreA controls dual signaling circuits that are both HacA-dependent and HacA-independent. We found that a ΔireA mutant was avirulent in a mouse model of invasive aspergillosis, which contrasts the partial virulence of a ΔhacA mutant, suggesting that IreA contributes to pathogenesis independently of HacA. In support of this conclusion, we found that the ΔireA mutant had more severe defects in the expression of multiple virulence-related traits relative to ΔhacA, including reduced thermotolerance, decreased nutritional versatility, impaired growth under hypoxia, altered cell wall and membrane composition, and increased susceptibility to azole antifungals. In addition, full or partial virulence could be restored to the ΔireA mutant by complementation with either the induced form of the hacA mRNA, hacA(i), or an ireA deletion mutant that was incapable of processing the hacA mRNA, ireA(Δ10). Together, these findings demonstrate that IreA has both HacA-dependent and HacA-independent functions that contribute to the expression of traits that are essential for virulence in A. fumigatus.

PMCID: PMC3197630 PMID: 22028661 [PubMed - in process]

31. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 Sep;15(9):1020-6.

In vitro and in situ antiyeast activity of Gracilaria changii methanol extract against Candida albicans.

Sasidharan S, Darah I, Jain K.

Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), University Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The Gracilaria (G.) sp are widely used in the traditional medicine in Malaysia. The methanol extract of Gracilaria changii B.M. Xia & I.A. Abbott (Gracilariaciae) was evaluated for antiyeast activity against Candida albicans (Berkhout). MATERIALS AND METHODS: The antiyeast activities were studied by using disc diffusion method and broth dilution method. The effect of the extract on the growth profile of the yeast was also examined via time-kill assay. In addition, the in situ antiyeast activity was studied by microscopic observations using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to determine the major alterations in the microstructure of Candida (C.) albicans. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The extract showed a favourable antimicrobial activity against C albicans with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 1.56 mg/mL. The main abnormalities noted from the SEM and TEM studies were the internal shrinkage of cell, disorganization within the cell cytoplasm and complete collapse of the yeast cells after 36 h of exposure to the extract. The time-kill assay suggested that the G. changii extract significantly inhibited C. albicans growth and it also exhibited prolonged antiyeast activity against the C albicans. CONCLUSION: The extract has shown in vitro fungicidal properties against C. albicans and should be investigated for its therapeutic potential.

PMID: 22013724 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

32. J Asthma. 2011 Dec;48(10):1007-14. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

The school inner-city asthma study: design, methods, and lessons learned.

Phipatanakul W, Bailey A, Hoffman EB, Sheehan WJ, Lane JP, Baxi S, Rao D, Permaul P, Gaffin JM, Rogers CA, Muilenberg ML, Gold DR.

Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

BACKGROUND: Children spend a significant amount of time in school. Little is known about the role of allergen exposure in school environments and asthma morbidity. OBJECTIVES: The School Inner-City Asthma Study (SICAS) is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded prospective study evaluating the school/classroom-specific risk factors and asthma morbidity among urban children. METHODS/RESULTS: This article describes the design, methods, and important lessons learned from this extensive investigation. A single center is recruiting 500 elementary school-aged children, all of whom attend inner-city metropolitan schools. The primary hypothesis is that exposure to common indoor allergens in the classroom will increase the risk of asthma morbidity in children with asthma, even after controlling for home allergen exposures. The protocol includes screening surveys of entire schools and baseline eligibility assessments obtained in the spring prior to the academic year. Extensive baseline clinical visits are being conducted among eligible children with asthma during the summer prior to the academic school year. Environmental classroom/school assessments including settled dust and air sampling for allergen, mold, air pollution, and inspection data are collected twice during the academic school year and one home dust sample linked to the enrolled student. Clinical outcomes are measured every 3 months during the academic school year. CONCLUSION: The overall goal of SICAS is to complete the first study of its kind to better understand school-specific urban environmental factors on childhood asthma morbidity. We also discuss the unique challenges related to school-based urban research and lessons being learned from recruiting such a cohort.

PMCID: PMC3220801 PMID: 22010992 [PubMed - in process]

33. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Jan;56(1):248-57. Epub 2011 Oct 17.

SREBP-Dependent Triazole Susceptibility in Aspergillus fumigatus Is Mediated through Direct Transcriptional Regulation of erg11A (cyp51A).

Blosser SJ, Cramer RA.

Address correspondence to Robert A. Cramer,

As triazole antifungal drug resistance during invasive Aspergillus fumigatus infection has become more prevalent, the need to understand mechanisms of resistance in A. fumigatus has increased. The presence of two erg11 (cyp51) genes in Aspergillus spp. is hypothesized to account for the inherent resistance of this mold to the triazole fluconazole (FLC). Recently, an A. fumigatus null mutant of a transcriptional regulator in the sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) family, the ΔsrbA strain, was found to have increased susceptibility to FLC and voriconazole (VCZ). In this study, we examined the mechanism engendering the observed increase in A. fumigatus triazole susceptibility in the absence of SrbA. We observed a significant reduction in the erg11A transcript in the ΔsrbA strain in response to FLC and VCZ. Transcript levels of erg11B were also reduced but not to the extent of erg11A. Interestingly, erg11A transcript levels increased upon extended VCZ, but not FLC, exposure. Construction of an erg11A conditional expression strain in the ΔsrbA strain was able to restore erg11A transcript levels and, consequently, wild-type MICs to the triazole FLC. The VCZ MIC was also partially restored upon increased erg11A transcript levels; however, total ergosterol levels remained significantly reduced compared to those of the wild type. Induction of the erg11A conditional strain did not restore the hypoxia growth defect of the ΔsrbA strain. Taken together, our results demonstrate a critical role for SrbA-mediated regulation of ergosterol biosynthesis and triazole drug interactions in A. fumigatus that may have clinical importance.

PMID: 22006005 [PubMed - in process]

34. Ann Occup Hyg. 2011 Oct 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Factors Affecting Vegetable Growers' Exposure to Fungal Bioaerosols and Airborne Dust.

Hansen VM, Meyling NV, Winding A, Eilenberg J, Madsen AM.

The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Lersø Parkallé 105, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.

We have quantified vegetable growers' exposure to fungal bioaerosol components including (1→3)-β-d-glucan (β-glucan), total fungal spores, and culturable fungal units. Furthermore, we have evaluated factors that might affect vegetable growers' exposure to fungal bioaerosols and airborne dust. Investigated environments included greenhouses producing cucumbers and tomatoes, open fields producing cabbage, broccoli, and celery, and packing facilities. Measurements were performed at different times during the growth season and during execution of different work tasks. Bioaerosols were collected with personal and stationary filter samplers. Selected fungal species (Beauveria spp., Trichoderma spp., Penicillium olsonii, and Penicillium brevicompactum) were identified using different polymerase chain reaction-based methods and sequencing. We found that the factors (i) work task, (ii) crop, including growth stage of handled plant material, and (iii) open field versus greenhouse significantly affected the workers' exposure to bioaerosols. Packing of vegetables and working in open fields caused significantly lower exposure to bioaerosols, e.g. mesophilic fungi and dust, than harvesting in greenhouses and clearing of senescent greenhouse plants. Also removing strings in cucumber greenhouses caused a lower exposure to bioaerosols than harvest of cucumbers while removal of old plants caused the highest exposure. In general, the exposure was higher in greenhouses than in open fields. The exposures to β-glucan during harvest and clearing of senescent greenhouse plants were very high (median values ranging between 50 and 1500 ng m(-3)) compared to exposures reported from other occupational environments. In conclusion, vegetable growers' exposure to bioaerosols was related to the environment, in which they worked, the investigated work tasks, and the vegetable crop.

PMID: 22003240 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

35. Toxicol Sci. 2012 Jan;125(1):105-15. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

Evaluation of furfuryl alcohol sensitization potential following dermal and pulmonary exposure: enhancement of airway responsiveness.

Franko J, Jackson LG, Hubbs A, Kashon M, Meade BJ, Anderson SE.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Health Effects Laboratory Division, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505.

Furfuryl alcohol is considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be a high volume production chemical, with over 1 million pounds produced annually. Due to its high production volume and its numerous industrial and consumer uses, there is considerable potential for work-related exposure, as well as exposure to the general population, through pulmonary, oral, and dermal routes of exposure. Human exposure data report a high incidence of asthma in foundry mold workers exposed to furan resins, suggesting potential immunologic effects. Although furfuryl alcohol was nominated and evaluated for its carcinogenic potential by the National Toxicology Program, studies evaluating its immunotoxicity are lacking. The studies presented here evaluated the immunotoxic potential of furfuryl alcohol following exposure by the dermal and pulmonary routes using a murine model. When tested in a combined irritancy local lymph node assay, furfuryl alcohol was identified to be an irritant and mild sensitizer (EC3 = 25.6%). Pulmonary exposure to 2% furfuryl alcohol resulted in enhanced airway hyperreactivity, eosinophilic infiltration into the lungs, and enhanced cytokine production (IL-4, IL-5, and interferon-γ) by ex vivo stimulated lung-associated draining lymphoid cells. Airway hyperreactivity and eosinophilic lung infiltration were augmented by prior dermal exposure to furfuryl alcohol. These results suggest that furfuryl alcohol may play a role in the development of allergic airway disease and encourage the need for additional investigation.

PMID: 22003193 [PubMed - in process]

36. J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Oct 17. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4680. [Epub ahead of print]

How to improve the hygienic quality of forages for horse feeding.

Séguin V, Garon D, Lemauviel-Lavenant S, Lanier C, Bouchart V, Gallard Y, Blanchet B, Diquélou S, Personeni E, Ourry A.

UMR INRA 950 Ecophysiologie végétale, Agronomie et Nutritions N, C, S, IFR 146 ICORE, Esplanade de la Paix, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, 14032 Caen Cedex, France.

BACKGROUND: Improving the hygienic quality of forages for horse nutrition seems to be a reasonable target for decreasing the prevalence of pulmonary diseases. The aim of the experiment was to study the effects of different agricultural practices on the main aero-allergens contained in forages, including breathable dust, fungi, mycotoxins and pollens. RESULTS: Results showed that the late harvest of hay, a second crop or a haylage production provides a good alternative to increase hygienic quality by reducing fungi contamination and breathable dust content. Barn drying of hay, while having no effect on breathable dust, similarly reduced fungi contamination. In contrast, when hay was harvested at a lower dry mass content (750 g DM kg(-1) versus 850 g DM kg(-1) ), both breathable dust and fungi contaminations were increased, which could at least be reversed by adding propionic acid just before baling. Zearalenone was detected in different hays, and even in one case, in breathable dust. CONCLUSION: Overall, our data suggest that different approaches can be used to increase forage hygienic quality for horse feeding and thus reduce their exposure to factors involved in equine pulmonary disease. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

PMID: 22002664 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

37. Toxicology. 2011 Dec 18;290(2-3):231-41. Epub 2011 Oct 6.

Mechanism of Alternariol monomethyl ether-induced mitochondrial apoptosis in human colon carcinoma cells.

Bensassi F, Gallerne C, Dein OS, Hajlaoui MR, Bacha H, Lemaire C.

Laboratory for Research on Biologically Compatible Compounds, Faculty of Dentistry, Rue Avicenne, 5019 Monastir, Tunisia; Laboratory of Plant Protection, The National Institute for Agricultural Research, INRA Tunisia, Rue Hedi Karray, 2049 Ariana, Tunisia.

Alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) is a major mycotoxin produced by fungi of the genus Alternaria and a common contaminant of food products such as fruits and cereals worldwide. AME can cause serious health problems for animals as well as for humans. In this study, human colon carcinoma cells (HCT116) were used to explore the mechanisms of cell death induced by AME. Exposure of HCT116 cells to AME resulted in significant cytotoxicity manifested by a loss in cell viability mainly mediated by activation of apoptotic process. AME activated the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway evidenced by the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP), loss of the mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm) downstream generation of O(2)(-), cytochrome c release and caspase 9 and 3 activation. Experiments conducted on isolated organelles indicated that AME does not directly target mitochondria to induce PTP-dependent permeabilization of mitochondrial membranes. Moreover, no difference was observed in Bax-KO cells in comparison to parental cells, suggesting that the pro-apoptotic protein Bax is not involved in AME-induced mitochondrial apoptosis. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that AME induces cell death in human colon carcinoma cells by activating the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 22001388 [PubMed - in process]

38. Med Hypotheses. 2012 Jan;78(1):36-8. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Sarcoidosis: Can a murine model help define a role for silica?

Yeager H, Gopalan S, Mathew P, Lawless O, Bellanti JA.

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA; The Immunology Center, Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007, USA.

Both genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role in the etiology of sarcoidosis. An association of the condition with exposure to environmental microbes has been recognized for many years, and has become stronger in the last 10-15years with the advent of newer investigative techniques. A body of literature now is accumulating suggesting that silica may be yet another trigger in genetically predisposed persons. Impressive support for an etiologic role of mycobacteria derives from earlier studies by several investigators in Japan and in Europe and more recently from the US in Baltimore and Nashville. Other investigators have produced evidence that propionibacteria and fungi can also act as environmental triggers in sarcoidosis patients. We propose that, in an animal model that has been previously sensitized to microbial antigens, the introduction of silica through the gastrointestinal route, or intravenously, may have a granuloma-worsening effect, if the strain of animals is already predisposed to develop granulomatous disease. Here the silica may add a "second hit" to the "first hit" given by the exposure to microbial antigens.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 22000713 [PubMed - in process]

39. Indoor Air. 2011 Oct 13. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2011.00752.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Assessment of home environments with a fungal index using hydrophilic and xerophilic fungi as biologic sensors.

Abe K.

Institute of Environmental Biology, JDC Corporation, Nakatsu Aikawa-cho, Aikou-gun Kanagawa, Japan.

Abstract  Previously, the author proposed a 'fungal index' that quantifies the capacity for fungal growth in a test environment where a device (fungal detector) encapsulating spores of a xerophilic sensor fungus Eurotium herbariorum was placed. It was also found that an extremely xerophilic fungus, Aspergillus penicillioides, was suitable as a sensor fungus at sites with lower relative humidity (RH). In this report, the hydrophilic fungus Alternaria alternata was added to sensor fungi for the determination of the index in extremely humid environments. Measurements of the index and observations of the formation of spores by the sensor fungi were made in stable climates in moisture chambers, under natural conditions in homes, and in bathrooms prepared in an artificial climate chamber. Higher index values and earlier sporulation were obtained at higher RH in stable climates. The hydrophilic Alt. alternata showed the greatest response at 100% and 97.3% RH, the moderately xerophilic Eur. herbariorum, at 94%, 84%, and 75% RH, and the extremely xerophilic Asp. penicillioides, at 71% RH. In homes, the hydrophilic fungus was most active in water-usage areas, and the xerophilic fungi were most active in non-water-usage areas. Sporulation was observed on sensor fungi in fungal detectors placed in rooms where the index exceeded 18 ru/week after one-month exposure. Sites where the index exceeded 18 ru/week were referred to as damp, where fungal contamination seems to be unavoidable. Evaluations of ventilation systems in bathrooms with extremely humid climates showed typical examples of a countermeasure to fungal contamination. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The purpose of this study is to establish a fungal index applicable in home environments with extremely high to relatively low relative humidity climates. The sensor fungus that showed the greatest response in a fungal detector (a device encapsulating spores of sensor fungi) served as not only a quantitative but also a qualitative indicator of the environment tested, indicating the type of fungi that would contaminate the site. A fungal index would be a good tool for detecting dampness that induces fungal contamination, which has adverse effects on human health. Evaluations of indoor climates would provide information useful to building owners, builders, designers, advisers, medical practitioners, and so on. Selection of the most suitable insulation systems in various buildings under different climates or evaluations of the drying process in water-damaged buildings could also be possible using fungal detectors and measurements of fungal indices.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

PMID: 21995759 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

40. Geobiology. 2011 Nov;9(6):492-520. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4669.2011.00299.x.

Temperate bioerosion: ichnodiversity and biodiversity from intertidal to bathyal depths (Azores).

Wisshak M, Tribollet A, Golubic S, Jakobsen J, Freiwald A.

Senckenberg am Meer, Abteilung Meeresforschung, Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

In the temperate Azores carbonate factory, a substantial fraction of the calcareous skeletal components is recycled by a remarkable biodiversity of biota producing bioerosion traces (incipient trace fossils). To study this biodiversity, experimental carbonate substrates were exposed to colonisation by epilithic and endolithic organisms along a bathymetrical gradient from 0 to 500 m depth, during 1 and 2 years of exposure. The overall bioerosion ichnodiversity is very high and comprises 56 ichnotaxa and ichnoforms attributed to cyanobacteria, chlorophytes, fungi, other micro-chemotrophs, macroborers, grazers and epilithic attachment scars. In the intertidal, hydrodynamic force, partial emersion and strong temperature fluctuations lead to the lowest ichnospecies richness. This contrasts with the highest ichnodiversity found at 15 m under the most favourable environmental conditions. Towards aphotic depths, a gradual depletion in ichnodiversity is observed, most probably because of the restricted light availability and a slowdown in ichnocoenosis development. Analysis of similarity (ANOSIM), in combination with non-metrical multidimensional scaling (NMDS), was used to highlight variability in the relative abundance of traces among depths, substrate orientations and exposure times. Ichnodiversity and abundance of traces decrease significantly with depth and are higher on up-facing versus down-facing substrates, whereas differences between years were not as pronounced. This study demonstrates that statistical methods of biodiversity analysis are not per se restricted to biotaxa but may well be applied also to ichnotaxa. In the analysis of trace fossil assemblages, this approach supports the recognition of diversity patterns and their relation to environmental gradients.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

PMID: 21992504 [PubMed - in process]

41. Rev Gaucha Enferm. 2011 Jun;32(2):302-8.

[The meaning of accidents with biological material to nursing professionals].

[Article in Portuguese]

Magagnini MA, Rocha SA, Ayres JA.

Faculdades Integradas Padre Albino (FIPA), Catanduva, São Paulo, Brasil.

The aim of this study is to understand what meaning work accidents with exposure to biological material has to nurses. This is an exploratory study with a qualitative approach, and it used Bardin's content analysis. 87 accidents with biological material occurred in the period between 2001 and 2006; among them, eight were seropositive for Hepatitis B and C and HIV/AIDS. An interview with guiding questions was used to collect data. When inquiring these professionals about the meaning of these accidents, four categories emerged: risk situation, danger perception, fatality, and feelings. Although it is not a strategy of clarification, it is a fact that work organization and educative actions have considerable impact in reducing this type of accident, also reducing damage to the life of nurses involved in these accidents.

PMID: 21987991 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

42. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Oct 28;414(3):604-11. Epub 2011 Oct 2.

Effect of auxotrophies on yeast performance in aerated fed-batch reactor.

Landi C, Paciello L, de Alteriis E, Brambilla L, Parascandola P.

Dept. Ingegneria Industriale, Università di Salerno, Via Ponte Don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano, Salerno, Italy.

A systematic investigation on the effects of auxotrophies on the performance of yeast in aerated fed-batch reactor was carried out. Six isogenic strains from the CEN.PK family of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, one prototroph and five auxotrophs, were grown in aerated fed-batch reactor using the same operative conditions and a proper nutritional supplementation. The performance of the strains, in terms of final biomass decreased with increasing the number of auxotrophies. Auxotrophy for leucine exerted a profound negative effect on the performance of the strains. Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the cells of the strain carrying four auxotrophies and its significant viability loss, were indicative of an oxidative stress response induced by exposure of cells to the environmental conditions. The mathematical model was fundamental to highlight how the carbon flux, depending on the number and type of auxotrophies, was diverted towards the production of increasingly large quantities of energy for maintenance.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21986533 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

43. Immunol Invest. 2011;40(7-8):809-24.

Immunomodulatory properties of antifungal agents on phagocytic cells.

Simitsopoulou M, Roilides E, Walsh TJ.

Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, 3rd Department of Paediatrics, School of Medicine, Aristotle University, Hippokration Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Phagocytic cells, particularly neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages, are the first line and the most effective form of innate host defence against pathogenic fungi. During antifungal therapy these phagocytic cells are also exposed to antifungal agents. In the phagocyte-fungus-antifungal agent interplay, drugs may directly interact with phagocytes through specific pattern recognition receptors, leading to altered antifungal activities. Antifungal agents, through modulation of fungal virulence, may initiate different immune response programs in the phagocytes, leading to antifungal synergism/antagonism or up-regulation of gene expression for a pro-inflammatory response. Additionally, indirect modulation of phagocyte behavior by pretreatment of neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages with cytokines and exposure to antifungal agents have shown promising findings for combined drug-cytokine therapy that may improve treatment of life-threatening fungal diseases. In this review, we discuss the main in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory effects of antifungal agents on phagocytes in response to pathogenic fungi, as well as we address underlying immunopharmacologic mechanisms and their potential impact on clinical outcome.

PMID: 21985307 [PubMed - in process]

44. Transfusion. 2011 Oct;51(10):2208-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03132.x. Epub 2011 Apr 19.

Preclinical pharmacokinetic and toxicology assessment of red blood cells prepared with S-303 pathogen inactivation treatment.

North A, Ciaravino V, Mufti N, Corash L.

Department of Development and Clinical Research and Medical Affairs, Cerus Corp., Concord, California, USA.

BACKGROUND: A system has been developed to inactivate a wide spectrum of blood-borne pathogens in red blood cells (RBCs) before transfusion. The system utilizes S-303 to target nucleic acids of pathogens and white blood cells. The safety of pathogen inactivated RBC was assessed using S-303-treated RBCs (S-303 RBCs) and S-300, the primary degradation product of S-303. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: As part of a preclinical safety evaluation program, intravenous toxicity, safety pharmacology, toxicokinetic, and pharmacokinetic studies were conducted in rats and dogs with S-303 RBCs and S-300. RESULTS: Single and repeated transfusions of S-303 RBCs were well tolerated in rats and dogs at S-303 concentrations up to five times higher than that used to prepare RBCs for clinical use. For S-300, the doses ranged from the lowest level representative of a clinical exposure from transfusion of 1 unit (0.052 mg/kg/day) to up to the amount of S-300 that would result from exposure to more than 1900 units of RBCs (100 mg/kg/day). There were no related effects of S-303 RBCs or S-300 on mortality, clinical status, body weight, or clinical laboratory assessments and no evidence of organ toxicity. S-300 did not accumulate in the plasma of rats and dogs after repeated transfusions. For all the studies, plasma S-303 was consistently below the limit of quantitation. CONCLUSION: The level of residual S-303 and S-300 in the treated blood component is well below that at which no adverse effects were observed. These results support further clinical development of S-303 RBCs for prevention of transfusion-transmitted infections.

© 2011 American Association of Blood Banks.

PMID: 21985050 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

45. J Vis Exp. 2011 Sep 23;(55). pii: 3150. doi: 10.3791/3150.

Quantitation and analysis of the formation of HO-endonuclease stimulated chromosomal translocations by single-strand annealing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Liddell L, Manthey G, Pannunzio N, Bailis A.

Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center and Beckman Research Institute,University of Southern California, USA.

Genetic variation is frequently mediated by genomic rearrangements that arise through interaction between dispersed repetitive elements present in every eukaryotic genome. This process is an important mechanism for generating diversity between and within organisms(1-3). The human genome consists of approximately 40% repetitive sequence of retrotransposon origin, including a variety of LINEs and SINEs(4). Exchange events between these repetitive elements can lead to genome rearrangements, including translocations, that can disrupt gene dosage and expression that can result in autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases(5), as well as cancer in humans(6-9). Exchange between repetitive elements occurs in a variety of ways. Exchange between sequences that share perfect (or near-perfect) homology occurs by a process called homologous recombination (HR). By contrast, non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) uses little-or-no sequence homology for exchange(10,11). The primary purpose of HR, in mitotic cells, is to repair double-strand breaks (DSBs) generated endogenously by aberrant DNA replication and oxidative lesions, or by exposure to ionizing radiation (IR), and other exogenous DNA damaging agents. In the assay described here, DSBs are simultaneously created bordering recombination substrates at two different chromosomal loci in diploid cells by a galactose-inducible HO-endonuclease (Figure 1). The repair of the broken chromosomes generates chromosomal translocations by single strand annealing (SSA), a process where homologous sequences adjacent to the chromosome ends are covalently joined subsequent to annealing. One of the substrates, his3-Δ3', contains a 3' truncated HIS3 allele and is located on one copy of chromosome XV at the native HIS3 locus. The second substrate, his3-Δ5', is located at the LEU2 locus on one copy of chromosome III, and contains a 5' truncated HIS3 allele. Both substrates are flanked by a HO endonuclease recognition site that can be targeted for incision by HO-endonuclease. HO endonuclease recognition sites native to the MAT locus, on both copies of chromosome III, have been deleted in all strains. This prevents interaction between the recombination substrates and other broken chromosome ends from interfering in the assay. The KAN-MX-marked galactose-inducible HO endonuclease expression cassette is inserted at the TRP1 locus on chromosome IV. The substrates share 311 bp or 60 bp of the HIS3 coding sequence that can be used by the HR machinery for repair by SSA. Cells that use these substrates to repair broken chromosomes by HR form an intact HIS3 allele and a tXV::III chromosomal translocation that can be selected for by the ability to grow on medium lacking histidine (Figure 2A). Translocation frequency by HR is calculated by dividing the number of histidine prototrophic colonies that arise on selective medium by the total number of viable cells that arise after plating appropriate dilutions onto non-selective medium (Figure 2B). A variety of DNA repair mutants have been used to study the genetic control of translocation formation by SSA using this system(12-14).

PMCID: PMC3230211 PMID: 21968396 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

46. PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25092. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Protection of melanized Cryptococcus neoformans from lethal dose gamma irradiation involves changes in melanin's chemical structure and paramagnetism.

Khajo A, Bryan RA, Friedman M, Burger RM, Levitsky Y, Casadevall A, Magliozzo RS, Dadachova E.

Department of Chemistry, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, United States of America.

Certain fungi thrive in highly radioactive environments including the defunct Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Cryptococcus neoformans (C. neoformans), which uses L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) to produce melanin, was used here to investigate how gamma radiation under aqueous aerobic conditions affects the properties of melanin, with the aim of gaining insight into its radioprotective role. Exposure of melanized fungal cell in aqueous suspensions to doses of γ-radiation capable of killing 50 to 80% of the cells did not lead to a detectable loss of melanin integrity according to EPR spectra of melanin radicals. Moreover, upon UV-visible (Xe-lamp) illumination of melanized cells, the increase in radical population was unchanged after γ-irradiation. Gamma-irradiation of frozen cell suspensions and storage of samples for several days at 77 K however, produced melanin modification noted by a reduced radical population and reduced photoresponse. More direct evidence for structural modification of melanin came from the detection of soluble products with absorbance maxima near 260 nm in supernatants collected after γ-irradiation of cells and cell-free melanin. These products, which include thiobarbituric acid (TBA)-reactive aldehydes, were also generated by Fenton reagent treatment of cells and cell-free melanin. In an assay of melanin integrity based on the metal (Bi(+3)) binding capacity of cells, no detectable loss in binding was detected after γ-irradiation. Our results show that melanin in C. neoformans cells is susceptible to some damage by hydroxyl radical formed in lethal radioactive aqueous environments and serves a protective role in melanized fungi that involves sacrificial breakdown.

PMCID: PMC3178601 PMID: 21966422 [PubMed - in process]

47. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Oct 3;9(11):791-802. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2649.

Microbial ultraviolet sunscreens.

Gao Q, Garcia-Pichel F.

School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287, USA.

Exposure to the shortest wavelengths in sunlight, ultraviolet light, constitutes a deleterious ecological factor for many microorganisms. The use of secondary metabolites as sunscreens has emerged as an important photoprotective mechanism in certain groups of large-celled microorganisms, such as cyanobacteria, fungi and many protists. In this Review, we describe our current understanding of microbial 'sunscreen' compounds, including scytonemin, the mycosporines and the naphthalene-based melanins. Study of these sunscreens has led to the discovery of new classes of compounds, new metabolic pathways, a deeper understanding of microbial photobiology and the potential for dermatological or biomedical applications.

PMID: 21963801 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

48. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2011 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Pneumocystis elicits a STAT6-dependent strain specific innate immune response and airway hyperresponsiveness.

Swain SD, Meissner NN, Siemsen DW, McInnerney K, Harmsen AG.

Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States.

It is widely held that exposure to pathogens such as fungi can be an agent of co-morbidity, such as exacerbation of asthma or COPD. While many studies have examined allergic responses to fungi and their effects on pulmonary function, possible pathologic implications of the early innate responses to fungal pathogens has not been explored. We examined early responses to the atypical fungus Pneumocystis in two common strains of mice, in terms of overall immunological response and related pathology such as cell damage and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). We found a strong strain-specific response in BALB/c mice that included recruitment of neutrophils, NK, NKT, and CD4 T cells. This response was accompanied by elevated indicators of lung damage (BALF albumin and LDH), and a profound AHR. This early response was absent in C57BL/6 mice, although both strains exhibited a later response associated with the clearance of Pneumocystis. We found that this AHR could not be attributed exclusively to the presence of recruited neutrophils, NKT, NK or CD4 cells, or to the actions of IFN-γ or IL-4. However, in the absence of STAT6 signaling, both AHR and inflammatory cell recruitment was virtually absent. Interestingly, gene expression analysis indicated that this early response also included activation of several transcription factors that could be involved in pulmonary remodeling. These results show that exposure to a fungus such as Pneumocystis can elicit pulmonary responses that may contribute to morbidity, even without prior sensitization, in the context of certain genetic backgrounds.

PMID: 21960549 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

49. N Z Med J. 2011 Aug 26;124(1341):45-9.

Clinical Science Investigation (CSI) Canterbury: surgical gown length and blood inside gumboots.

Clarke M, Lewis D.

Department of Vascular, Endovascular & Transplant Surgery, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, New Zealand.

BACKGROUND: A gap between the bottom of gowns and the top of gumboots (commonly known as wellingtons or rubber boots outside of New Zealand) makes it possible for blood splashes to enter surgeons' gumboots and contact skin, putting them at risk of exposure to HBV, HCV and HIV. This study investigated the prevalence of blood splashes inside gumboots used by surgical staff at a single hospital. METHOD: Ninety-four pairs of gumboots (91 from male surgeons, 3 from female surgeons) from the hospital operating theatres were used in this study. Each pair of boots was visually inspected for internal contamination with blood. Possible stains were checked using urine dipsticks to confirm the presence of blood. RESULTS: Of the 94 pairs of gumboots checked, 55 pairs (58.5%) had blood staining on the inside lining. Eighty percent of blood stains were larger than 20 mm². None of the female surgeons' gumboots were contaminated compared to 60% of the males' pairs. COCNLUSION: A large proportion of the gumboots used in operating theatres were contaminated internally with blood. The results of this study suggest that longer gowns should be available to health care workers in operating theatres to reduce internal contamination of gumboots and minimise the chance of exposure to body fluids.

PMID: 21959635 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

50. J Agromedicine. 2011 Oct;16(4):271-9.

Size distribution of particulate and associated endotoxin and bacteria in traditional Swine barn rooms and rooms sprinkled with oil.

Siggers JL, Kirychuk SP, Lemay SP, Willson PJ.

Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The objective of this pilot study was to investigate if a once-a-day sprinkling of canola oil in a swine confinement facility alters the airborne concentration and distribution of particulate matter and associated compounds (endotoxin and culturable microbes). Particulate was collected using an eight-stage cascade impactor in four identical swine grower/finisher rooms of a swine barn. Particulate (mg/m(3)) and endotoxin (EU/m(3) and EU/mg) distribution was determined. A six-stage viable cascade impactor was used to quantify total bacteria, enteric bacteria, and fungi. Microbes were characterized from subcultures prepared from the 10 most predominant colony types on each stage 3 (aerodynamic size 3.3-4.7μm) of the collection plates. Results indicated that oil sprinkling reduced total dust by 86% and total endotoxin concentration by 82.5%. However, the distribution patterns indicate that reduction is observed predominantly on large dust particles. In addition, the proportion of endotoxin associated with smaller particulate sizes (i.e., particles <4.7 μm) was higher in the oil-sprinkled rooms. Oil sprinkling does not markedly alter distribution of total bacteria, enteric bacteria, or fungi. The most frequently identified species were gram-positive genera. Oil sprinkling in swine confinement grower/finisher rooms can significantly reduce airborne total dust and endotoxin; however, smaller particles and associated endotoxin appear to remain in suspension, suggesting the overall improvement in air quality is uncertain. Further distribution studies and exposure outcome studies would need to be undertaken to determine the impacts of oil sprinkling.

PMID: 21958401 [PubMed - in process]

51. Med Mycol. 2011 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print]

rpb2 is a reliable reference gene for quantitative gene expression analysis in the dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum.

Jacob TR, Peres NT, Persinoti GF, Silva LG, Mazucato M, Rossi A, Martinez-Rossi NM.

* Departamento de Genética.

The selection of reference genes used for data normalization to quantify gene expression by real-time PCR amplifications (qRT-PCR) is crucial for the accuracy of this technique. In spite of this, little information regarding such genes for qRT-PCR is available for gene expression analyses in pathogenic fungi. Thus, we investigated the suitability of eight candidate reference genes in isolates of the human dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum subjected to several environmental challenges, such as drug exposure, interaction with human nail and skin, and heat stress. The stability of these genes was determined by geNorm, NormFinder and Best-Keeper programs. The gene with the most stable expression in the majority of the conditions tested was rpb2 (DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II), which was validated in three T. rubrum strains. Moreover, the combination of rpb2 and chs1 (chitin synthase) genes provided for the most reliable qRT-PCR data normalization in T. rubrum under a broad range of biological conditions. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report on the selection of reference genes for qRT-PCR data normalization in dermatophytes and the results of these studies should permit further analysis of gene expression under several experimental conditions, with improved accuracy and reliability.

PMID: 21958376 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

52. J Health Popul Nutr. 2011 Aug;29(4):415-9.

Microbial contamination of seven major weaning foods in Nigeria.

Oluwafemi F, Ibeh IN.

Department of Microbiology, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.

Five million children aged less than five years die annually due to diarrhoea. The aim of the study was to identify some possible contributing factors for persistent diarrhoea. Seven weaning foods, including a locally-made food, were evaluated by estimating the microbial load using the most probable number method and aflatoxin levels (AFM1, AFG1, AFG2, and AFB2) by immunoaffinity column extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with detection of fluorescence. The results showed that the locally-made weaning food had the highest microbial count (2,000 cfu/g) and faecal streptococcal count (25 cfu/g). Moulds isolated were mainly Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, A. glaucus, Cladosporium sp., and Penicillium sp. The home-made weaning food recorded the highest fungal count (6,500 cfu/g). AFM1 of the weaning foods was 4.6-530 ng/mL. One weaning food had AFB1 level of 4,806 ng/g. Aflatoxin metabolites, apart from AFM1 and AFB1 present in the weaning foods, were AFG1 and AFG2. There were low microbial counts in commercial weaning foods but had high levels of aflatoxins (AFM1, AFG1, AFG2, AFB1, and AFB2). Growth and development of the infant is rapid, and it is, thus, possible that exposure to aflatoxins in weaning foods might have significant health effects.

PMCID: PMC3190373 PMID: 21957681 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

53. Indoor Air. 2011 Sep 28. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2011.00749.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of a robotic sampling platform to assess young children's exposure to indoor bioaerosols.

Wang Z, Shalat SL, Black K, Lioy PJ, Stambler AA, Emoekpere OH, Hernandez M, Han T, Ramagopal M, Mainelis G.

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Piscataway, NJ, USA University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ, USA Child Health Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Abstract  Indoor exposures to allergens, mold spores, and endotoxin have been suggested as etiological agents of asthma; therefore, accurate determination of those exposures, especially in young children (6-36 months), is important for understanding the development of asthma. Because use of personal sampling equipment in this population is difficult, and in children <1 year of age impossible, we developed a personal sampling surrogate: the Pretoddler Inhalable Particulate Environmental Robotic (PIPER) sampler to better estimate their exposures. During sampling, PIPER simulates the activity patterns, speed of motion, and the height of the breathing zones of young children, and mechanically resuspends the deposited dust just as a young child does during running and crawling. The concentrations of allergens, mold spores, and endotoxin measured by PIPER were compared to those measured using traditional stationary air sampling method in 75 homes in central New Jersey, United States. Endotoxin was detected in all homes with median concentrations of 1.0 and 0.55 EU/m(3) for PIPER and stationary sampler, respectively. The difference in median concentrations obtained using the two methods was statistically significant for homes with carpeted floors (P = 0.0001) in the heating season. For such homes, the average ratio of endotoxin concentration measured by PIPER to the stationary sampler was 2.96 (95% CI 2.29-3.63). Fungal spores were detected in all homes, with median fungal concentrations of 316 and 380 spores/m(3) for PIPER and stationary sampler, respectively. For fungi, the difference between the two sampling methods was not statistically significant. For both sampling methods, the total airborne mold levels were statistically significantly higher in the non-heating season than in the heating season. Allergens were detected in ∼15% of investigated homes. The data indicate that the traditional stationary air-sampling methods may substantially underestimate personal exposures to endotoxin, especially due to resuspension of dust from carpeted floor surfaces. A personal sampling surrogate, such as PIPER, is a feasible approach to estimate personal exposures in young children. PIPER should be seriously considered as the sampling platform for future exposure studies in young children. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study investigated potential indoor bioaerosol exposure of young children using a Pretoddler Inhalable Particulate Environmental Robotic (PIPER) sampler platform. The results show that the traditional stationary air-sampling methods can substantially underestimate personal exposures to resuspended material, and that a personal sampling surrogate, such as PIPER, offers a feasible surrogate for measuring personal inhalation exposures of young children.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

PMID: 21954880 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

54. Morfologiia. 2011;139(3):89-96.

[Discovery of the neutrophil extracellular traps begins a new stage in the study of neutrophil morphogenesis and function].

[Article in Russian]

Perova MD, Shubich MG.

The purpose of the present review was to analyze the accumulating evidence regarding recently discovered novel defense mechanism of neutrophils - capacity to form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Contact with pathogenic microbes and/or exposure to proinflammatory cytokines trigger the respiratory burst in the neutrophils with a subsequent initiation of a cell death (NETosis) which differs from apoptosis and necrosis. NETs are formed by the fibrils of decondensed chromatin (DNA/ histones), released from the neutrophil, which is closely associated with the antimicrobial proteins of cytoplasmic granules. Due to its three-dimensional structure, NETs are capable of retaining the microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and protozoa), while high local concentration of the antimicrobial substances provides their killing. The review presents the evidence of a potential defensive role of NETs in infectious diseases, traumas and surgical operations, as well as during the early stage of a repair process. Considering the role played by neutrophils in the immune response orientation via pentraxin-3 (PTX3), including the switching to adaptive immunity, it is necessary to study the subsequent interaction of DNA/histone exrtacellular structures with the tissue microenvironment.

PMID: 21954717 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

55. J Cell Biol. 2011 Oct 3;195(1):41-54. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Transmembrane segments of nascent polytopic membrane proteins control cytosol/ER targeting during membrane integration.

Lin PJ, Jongsma CG, Liao S, Johnson AE.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX 77843, USA.

During cotranslational integration of a eukaryotic multispanning polytopic membrane protein (PMP), its hydrophilic loops are alternately directed to opposite sides of the ER membrane. Exposure of fluorescently labeled nascent PMP to the cytosol or ER lumen was detected by collisional quenching of its fluorescence by iodide ions localized in the cytosol or lumen. PMP loop exposure to the cytosol or lumen was controlled by structural rearrangements in the ribosome, translocon, and associated proteins that occurred soon after a nascent chain transmembrane segment (TMS) entered the ribosomal tunnel. Each successive TMS, although varying in length, sequence, hydrophobicity, and orientation, reversed the structural changes elicited by its predecessor, irrespective of loop size. Fluorescence lifetime data revealed that TMSs occupied a more nonpolar environment than secretory proteins inside the aqueous ribosome tunnel, which suggests that TMS recognition by the ribosome involves hydrophobic interactions. Importantly, the TMS-triggered structural rearrangements that cycle nascent chain exposure between cytosolic and lumenal occur without compromising the permeability barrier of the ER membrane.

PMCID: PMC3187712 [Available on 2012/4/3] PMID: 21949411 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

56. J Cell Biol. 2011 Oct 3;195(1):55-70. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

Polytopic membrane protein folding at L17 in the ribosome tunnel initiates cyclical changes at the translocon.

Lin PJ, Jongsma CG, Pool MR, Johnson AE.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX 77843, USA.

Multi-spanning membrane protein loops are directed alternately into the cytosol or ER lumen during cotranslational integration. Nascent chain exposure is switched after a newly synthesized transmembrane segment (TMS) enters the ribosomal tunnel. FRET measurements revealed that each TMS is initially extended, but folds into a compact conformation after moving 6-7 residues from the peptidyltransferase center, irrespective of loop size. The ribosome-induced folding of each TMS coincided with its photocrosslinking to ribosomal protein L17 and an inversion of compartmental exposure. This correlation indicates that successive TMSs fold and bind at a specific ribosomal tunnel site that includes L17, thereby triggering structural rearrangements of multiple components in and on both sides of the ER membrane, most likely via TMS-dependent L17 and/or rRNA conformational changes transmitted to the surface. Thus, cyclical changes at the membrane during integration are initiated by TMS folding, even though nascent chain conformation and location vary dynamically in the ribosome tunnel. Nascent chains therefore control their own trafficking.

PMCID: PMC3187706 [Available on 2012/4/3] PMID: 21949410 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

57. Fungal Biol. 2011 Oct;115(10):945-9. Epub 2011 May 7.

The effects of gamma radiation, UV and visible light on ATP levels in yeast cells depend on cellular melanization.

Bryan R, Jiang Z, Friedman M, Dadachova E.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Previously we have shown that growth of melanized fungi is stimulated by low levels of gamma radiation. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of visible light, UV light, and gamma radiation on the energy level (ATP concentration) in melanized Cryptococcus neoformans cells. Melanized C. neoformans cells as well as non-melanized controls were subjected to visible, UV or gamma radiation, and ATP was quantified by measuring the amount of light emitted by the ATP-dependent reaction of luciferase with luciferin. We found that all three forms of radiation led to a reduction in the ATP levels in melanized C. neoformans cells. This points to a universal melanin-related mechanism underlying observation of ATP decrease in irradiated melanized cells. In contrast, in non-melanized cells visible light led to increase in ATP levels; gamma radiation did not cause any changes while UV exposure resulted in some ATP decrease, however, much less pronounced than in melanized cells.

Copyright © 2011 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21944206 [PubMed - in process]

58. Fungal Biol. 2011 Oct;115(10):937-44. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Resistance to UV-B induced DNA damage in extreme-tolerant cryptoendolithic Antarctic fungi: detection by PCR assays.

Selbmann L, Isola D, Zucconi L, Onofri S.

Department of Ecology and Sustainable Economic Development, Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Largo dell'Università snc, 01100 Viterbo, Italy.

Cryptoendolithic Antarctic black fungi are adapted to the harshest terrestrial conditions as in the ice-free area of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Recently, surviving space simulated conditions proves their bewildering extremotolerance. In order to investigate the potential DNA damage and their response after UV-B exposition, two strains of Antarctic cryptoendolithic black fungi, Cryomyces antarcticus CCFEE 534 and Cryomyces minteri CCFEE 5187, were irradiated at different UV-B doses. Since conventional methods cannot be applied to these organisms, the effect on the genome was assessed by RAPD and rDNA amplification PCR based assays; the results were compared with the responses of Saccharomyces pastorianus DBVPG 6283 treated with the same conditions. Results showed that template activity was drastically inhibited in S. pastorianus after irradiation. Dramatic changes in the RAPD profiles showed after 30 min of exposure while the rDNA amplification of SSU, LSU, and ITS portions failed after 30, 60, and 90 min of exposure respectively. No alteration was detected in the templates of the Antarctic strains where both RAPD profiles and rDNA PCR amplifications were unaffected even after 240 min of exposure. The electroferograms of the rDNA portions of Cryomyces strains were perfectly readable and conserved whilst the analyses revealed a marked alteration in S. pastorianus confirming the high resistance of the Antarctic strains to UV-B exposure.

Copyright © 2011 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21944205 [PubMed - in process]

59. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2011 Sep 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Burkholderia phytofirmans strain PsJN primes Vitis vinifera L. and confers a better tolerance to low non-freezing temperatures.

Theocharis A, Bordiec S, Fernandez O, Paquis S, Dhondt-Cordelier S, Baillieul F, Clément C, Ait Barka E.

Reims, France;

Several endophytic bacteria reportedly induce resistance to biotic stress and abiotic stress tolerance in several plant species. Burkholderia phytofirmans strain PsJN (PsJN) is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) that is able to colonize grapevine tissues and induce resistance to gray mold. Further, PsJN induces physiological changes that increase grapevine tolerance to low non-freezing temperatures. To better understand how bacteria induced the observed phenomena, stress-related gene expression and metabolite accumulation were monitored in 6-week-old Chardonnay grapevine plantlets after exposure to low non-freezing temperatures. Under normal conditions (26°C), plantlet bacterization had no significant effect on the monitored parameters. By contrast, at 4°C, both stress-related gene transcripts and metabolite levels increased earlier, faster, and reached higher levels in PsJN-bacterized plantlets than in non-bacterized counterparts, in accordance with priming phenomena. The recorded changes may be correlated with the tolerance to cold stress conferred by the presence of PsJN. This is the first time that PGPR-induced priming has been shown to protect plants against low temperature stress. Moreover, one week after cold exposure, levels of stress-related metabolites had declined more in PsJN-bacterized plants, suggesting that the endophyte is involved in the cold acclimation process via scavenging system.

PMID: 21942451 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

60. Cell Immunol. 2011;271(2):438-49. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Identification of novel mimicry epitopes for cardiac myosin heavy chain-α that induce autoimmune myocarditis in A/J mice.

Massilamany C, Gangaplara A, Steffen D, Reddy J.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, United States.

Myocarditis is one cause of sudden cardiac death in young adolescents, and individuals affected with myocarditis can develop dilated cardiomyopathy, a frequent reason for heart transplantation. Exposure to environmental microbes has been suspected in the initiation of heart autoimmunity, but the direct causal link is lacking. We report here identification of novel mimicry epitopes that bear sequences similar to those in cardiac myosin heavy chain (MYHC)-α 334-352. These epitopes represent Bacillus spp., Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense, Cryptococcus neoformans and Zea mays. The mimicry peptides induced varying degrees of myocarditis in A/J mice reminiscent of the disease induced with MYHC-α 334-352. We demonstrate that the mimics induce cross-reactive T cell responses for MYHC-α 334-352 as verified by MHC class II IA(k)/tetramer staining and Th-1 and Th-17 cytokines similar to those of MYHC-α 334-352. The data suggest that exposure to environmental microbes which are otherwise innocuous can predispose to heart autoimmunity by molecular mimicry.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21939961 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

61. J Formos Med Assoc. 2011 Sep;110(9):555-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Do indoor environments influence asthma and asthma-related symptoms among adults in homes?: a review of the literature.

Jie Y, Ismail NH, Jie X, Isa ZM.

Department of Community Health, National University of Malaysia.

This review summarizes the results of epidemiological studies focusing on the detrimental effects of home environmental factors on asthma morbidity in adults. We reviewed the literature on indoor air quality (IAQ), physical and sociodemographic factors, and asthma morbidity in homes, and identified commonly reported asthma, allergic, and respiratory symptoms involving the home environment. Reported IAQ and asthma morbidity data strongly indicated positive associations between indoor air pollution and adverse health effects in most studies. Indoor factors most consistently associated with asthma and asthma-related symptoms in adults included fuel combustion, mold growth, and environmental tobacco smoke. Environmental exposure may increase an adult's risk of developing asthma and also may increase the risk of asthma exacerbations. Evaluation of present IAQ levels, exposure characteristics, and the role of exposure to these factors in relation to asthma morbidity is important for improving our understanding, identifying the burden, and for developing and implementing interventions aimed at reducing asthma morbidity.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

PMID: 21930065 [PubMed - in process]

62. J Invertebr Pathol. 2011 Nov;108(3):209-13. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Cold activity and tolerance of the entomopathogenic fungus Tolypocladium spp. to UV-B irradiation and heat.

Santos MP, Dias LP, Ferreira PC, Pasin LA, Rangel DE.

Instituto de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, Universidade do Vale do Paraíba, São José dos Campos, SP 12244-000, Brazil.

Studies on the stress resistance of insect-pathogenic fungi are very important to better understand the survival of these organisms in the environment. In this study, we examined the cold activity (8 ± 1°C for 7 days), UV-B tolerance (Quaite-weighted UV-B irradiance at 847.90 mW m(-2) for 1, 2, 3, and 4 h), and wet-heat tolerance (45°C for 1, 2, 3, and 4 h) of two isolates of Tolypocladiumcylindrosporum (ARSEF 3392 and 5558), one isolate of Tolypocladium geodes (ARSEF 3275), and two isolates of Tolypocladium inflatum (ARSEF 4772 and 4877) based on their germination, compared with Metarhizium robertsii (ARSEF 2575). After 3 h of UV-B exposure, T. cylindrosporum germinated at a greater rate than the other Tolypocladium species and had similar viability to that of the M. robertsii. Most Tolypocladium isolates, however, were less UV-B tolerant than M. robertsii. The T.cylindrosporum isolates were also the most thermotolerant, with similar tolerance to the M. robertsii. The isolates of T. inflatum and T. geodes, which had similar heat tolerance, were the least heat tolerant compared with the isolates of T. cylindrosporum and M. robertsii. After 4h of heat exposure, the germination of T. inflatum and T. geodes isolates was not significantly different. For cold activity, both T.cylindrosporum isolates germinated to ca. 100% in only 3 days. Approximately 50% of the two T. inflatum isolates germinated, and less than 5% of T. geodes germinated after 3 days. All fungal isolates, however, completely germinated by the seventh day, except M.robertsii. The isolates of T. cylindrosporum, therefore, were the most heat and UV-B tolerant, and had the highest cold activity compared to the other species. The tolerance of M. robertsii to UV-B radiation and heat was similar to that of T.cylindrosporum.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21925183 [PubMed - in process]

63. Nat Prod Commun. 2011 Aug;6(8):1183-8.

Chemical composition and insecticidal activity of essential oils of two aromatic plants from Ivory Coast against Bemisia tabaci G. (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae).

Tia EV, Adima AA, Niamké SL, Jean GA, Martin T, Lozano P, Menut C.

Laboratoire de Biotechnologies option Sciences des Aliments, Units de Formation et de Recherche (UFR) Biosciences, Université de Cocody BP V84 Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire.

Essential oils of aromatic plants with insecticidal properties are nowadays considered as alternative insecticides to protect cultures from attack by insect pest. The aims of the present work were to evaluate the toxicity of the essential oils vapors of two aromatic plants (Lippia multiflora Mold. and Aframomum latifolium K. Schum) against Bemisia tabaci and to characterize their chemical composition. The highest fumigant toxicity against B. tabaci adults was observed with the L. multiflora oil: by exposure to 0.4 microL/L air, the lethal time inducing 90% mortality (LT90) was below 2 hours for this essential oil whereas it reached 15 h in the case of the A. latifolium oil. Both oils were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS on two capillary columns. The oil of L. multiflora contained a majority of oxygenated terpenoids mainly represented by the two acyclic components linalool (46.6%) and (E)-nerolidol (16.5%); the oil of A. latifolium was dominated by hydrocarbonated terpenoids among them beta-pinene (51.6%) and beta-caryophyllene (12.3%) were the two major components.

PMID: 21922931 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

64. Environ Monit Assess. 2011 Sep 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Monitoring and assessment of airborne fungi in Kolkata, India, by viable and non-viable air sampling methods.

Das S, Gupta-Bhattacharya S.

Department of Botany, Bose Institute, 93/1 A.P.C. Road, Kolkata-700009, India,

The composition and variability of airborne fungal spores were studied using two complementary sampling methods in an outdoor environment in Kolkata suburb for 2 years, from November 2002 to October 2004. For monitoring the total fungal spore burden in the air, Burkard 7-day volumetric sampler was used, whereas Andersen two-sage viable sampler was used for isolating the cultivable airborne fungi. Among the 37 fungal spore types identified in the air samples, the predominant ones were Cladosporium, unidentified ascospores, unidentified basidiospores, Aspergilli/Penicilli, Nigrospora, Periconia, Chaetomium, Drechslera, Alternaria, Coprinus, Ganoderma, Pithomyces, and rust spores. Only six fungal spore types (Alternaria, Aspergilli/Penicilli, Cladosporium, Curvularia, Drechslera, and Nigrospora) were recovered in common by the two samplers. For Aspergilli/Penicilli, Drechslera, and Nigrospora, the spore concentration was underestimated in the non-viable sampling method (Burkard sampler). In general, higher spore count was recorded in winter. The highest fungal species variability was observed in early monsoon (June). Relative humidity could significantly predict the seasonal periodicity of the maximum number of airborne spores. The total airborne fungi concentration recorded in the study (15-16 × 10(3) spores m(-3) of air) was lower than the proposed threshold limit value for clinical significance, suggesting apparently no or less airborne-fungi-exposure-related health risk in the sampling area. Cladosporium cladosporioides was recorded beyond the proposed threshold limit value in January 2003 and March 2004; Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus nidulans in winter that might have posed considerable health risk to sensitized individuals.

PMID: 21915605 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

65. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e24205. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Genome-wide functional profiling reveals genes required for tolerance to benzene metabolites in yeast.

North M, Tandon VJ, Thomas R, Loguinov A, Gerlovina I, Hubbard AE, Zhang L, Smith MT, Vulpe CD.

Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America.

Benzene is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant and is widely used in industry. Exposure to benzene causes a number of serious health problems, including blood disorders and leukemia. Benzene undergoes complex metabolism in humans, making mechanistic determination of benzene toxicity difficult. We used a functional genomics approach to identify the genes that modulate the cellular toxicity of three of the phenolic metabolites of benzene, hydroquinone (HQ), catechol (CAT) and 1,2,4-benzenetriol (BT), in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Benzene metabolites generate oxidative and cytoskeletal stress, and tolerance requires correct regulation of iron homeostasis and the vacuolar ATPase. We have identified a conserved bZIP transcription factor, Yap3p, as important for a HQ-specific response pathway, as well as two genes that encode putative NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductases, PST2 and YCP4. Many of the yeast genes identified have human orthologs that may modulate human benzene toxicity in a similar manner and could play a role in benzene exposure-related disease.

PMCID: PMC3166172 PMID: 21912624 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

66. Clin Exp Immunol. 2011 Oct;166(1):87-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2011.04456.x.

In vitro and in vivo reactivity to fungal cell wall agents in sarcoidosis.

Terčelj M, Stopinšek S, Ihan A, Salobir B, Simčič S, Wraber B, Rylander R.

Department for Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, the University Medical Centre Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia Biofact Environmental Health Research Center, Lerum, Sweden.

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease. Epidemiological and treatment studies suggest that fungi play a part in the pathogenesis. The aim of this work was to study the effect of fungal cell wall agents (FCWA) on the in vitro secretion of cytokines from peripheral blood monocytes from subjects with sarcoidosis and relate the results to fungal exposure at home and clinical findings. Subjects with sarcoidosis (n=22) and controls (n=20) participated. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with soluble or particulate β-glucan (S-glucan, P-glucan), chitin or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), whereafter tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10 and IL-12 were measured. The severity of sarcoidosis was determined using a chest X-ray-based score. Serum cytokines (IL-2R, IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12) were determined. To measure domestic fungal exposure, air in the bedrooms was sampled on filters. N-acetylhexosaminidase (NAHA) on the filters was measured as a marker of fungal cell biomass. The induced secretion of cytokines was higher from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from subjects with sarcoidosis. P-glucan was more potent than S-glucan inducing a secretion. Chitin had a small effect. Among subjects with sarcoidosis there was a significant relation between the spontaneous PBMC production of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12 and the NAHA levels at home. The P-glucan induced secretion of IL-12 was related to the duration of symptoms at the time of diagnosis. Their X-ray scores were related to an increased secretion of cytokines after stimulation with LPS or P-glucan. Subjects with sarcoidosis have a higher reactivity to FCWA in vitro and to home exposure. The influence of FCWA on inflammatory cells and their interference with the inflammatory defense mechanisms in terms of cytokine secretion could be important factors for the development of sarcoidosis.

© 2011 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Immunology © 2011 British Society for Immunology.

PMCID: PMC3193923 [Available on 2012/10/1] PMID: 21910725 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

67. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011 Nov;515(1-2):107-11. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Biphasic modulation of fatty acid synthase by hydrogen peroxide in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Matias AC, Marinho HS, Cyrne L, Herrero E, Antunes F.

Centro de Química e Bioquímica and Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

Taking into account published contradictory results concerning the regulation of fatty acid synthase (Fas) by H(2)O(2), we carried out a systematic study where two methods of H(2)O(2) delivery (steady-state and bolus addition) and the effect of a wide range of H(2)O(2) concentrations were investigated. A decrease in Fas activity was observed for cells exposed to 100 and 150μM H(2)O(2) in a steady-state, while a bolus addition of the same H(2)O(2) concentrations did not alter Fas activity. Similar results were observed for the mRNA levels of FAS1, the gene that encodes Fas subunit β. However, the exposure to a steady-state 50μM H(2)O(2) dose lead to an increase in FAS1 mRNA levels, showing a biphasic modulation of Fas by H(2)O(2). The results obtained emphasize that cellular effects of H(2)O(2) can vary over a narrow range of concentrations. Therefore, a tight control of H(2)O(2) exposure, which can be achieved by exposing H(2)O(2) in a steady-state, is important for cellular studies of H(2)O(2)-dependent redox regulation.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21907179 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

68. Parasit Vectors. 2011 Sep 9;4:171.

Dissemination of Metarhizium anisopliae of low and high virulence by mating behavior in Aedes aegypti.

Reyes-Villanueva F, Garza-Hernandez JA, Garcia-Munguia AM, Tamez-Guerra P, Howard AF, Rodriguez-Perez MA.

Laboratorio de Biomedicina Molecular, Centro de Biotecnología Genómica, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Boulevard del Maestro S/N esquina Elías Piña, Col, Narciso Mendoza, 88710, Cd, Reynosa, Tamaulipas, México.

BACKGROUND: Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. It is a threat for public health worldwide and its primary vector Aedes aegypti is becoming resistant to chemical insecticides. These factors have encouraged studies to evaluate entomopathogenic fungi against the vector. Here we evaluated mortality, infection, insemination and fecundity rates in A. aegypti females after infection by autodissemination with two Mexican strains of Metarhizium anisopliae. METHODS: Two M. anisopliae strains were tested: The Ma-CBG-1 least virulent (lv), and the Ma-CBG-2 highly virulent (hv) strain. The lv was tested as non mosquito-passed (NMP), and mosquito-passed (MP), while the hv was examined only as MP version, therefore including the control four treatments were used. In the first bioassay virulence of fungal strains towards female mosquitoes was determined by indirect exposure for 48 hours to conidia-impregnated paper. In the second bioassay autodissemination of fungal conidia from fungus-contaminated males to females was evaluated. Daily mortality allowed computation of survival curves and calculation of the LT50 by the Kaplan-Meier model. All combinations of fungal sporulation and mating insemination across the four treatments were analyzed by χ2. The mean fecundity was analyzed by ANOVA and means contrasted with the Ryan test. RESULTS: Indirect exposure to conidia allowed a faster rate of mortality, but exposure to a fungal-contaminated male was also an effective method of infecting female mosquitoes. All females confined with the hv strain-contaminated male died in fifteen days with a LT50 of 7.57 (± 0.45) where the control was 24.82 (± 0.92). For the lv strain, it was possible to increase fungal virulence by passing the strain through mosquitoes. 85% of females exposed to hv-contaminated males became infected and of them just 10% were inseminated; control insemination was 46%. The hv strain reduced fecundity by up to 99%, and the lv strain caused a 40% reduction in fecundity. CONCLUSIONS: The hv isolate infringed a high mortality, allowed a low rate of insemination, and reduced fecundity to nearly zero in females confined with a fungus-contaminated male. This pathogenic impact exerted through sexual transmission makes the hv strain of M. anisopliae worthy of further research.

PMCID: PMC3178524 PMID: 21906283 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

69. Mol Ecol. 2011 Sep;20(18):3708-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05191.x.

Fungal farmers or algal escorts: lichen adaptation from the algal perspective.

Piercey-Normore MD, Deduke C.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2.

Comment on Mol Ecol. 2011 Sep;20(18):3936-48.

Domestication of algae by lichen-forming fungi describes the symbiotic relationship between the photosynthetic (green alga or cyanobacterium; photobiont) and fungal (mycobiont) partnership in lichen associations (Goward 1992). The algal domestication implies that the mycobiont cultivates the alga as a monoculture within its thallus, analogous to a farmer cultivating a food crop. However, the initial photobiont 'selection' by the mycobiont may be predetermined by the habitat rather than by the farmer. When the mycobiont selects a photobiont from the available photobionts within a habitat, the mycobiont may influence photobiont growth and reproduction (Ahmadjian & Jacobs 1981) only after the interaction has been initiated. The theory of ecological guilds (Rikkinen et al. 2002) proposes that habitat limits the variety of photobionts available to the fungal partner. While some studies provide evidence to support the theory of ecological guilds in cyanobacterial lichens (Rikkinen et al. 2002), other studies propose models to explain variation in symbiont combinations in green algal lichens (Ohmura et al. 2006; Piercey-Normore 2006; Yahr et al. 2006) hypothesizing the existence of such guilds. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Peksa & Škaloud (2011) test the theory of ecological guilds and suggest a relationship between algal habitat requirements and lichen adaptation in green algal lichens of the genus Lepraria. The environmental parameters examined in this study, exposure to rainfall, altitude and substratum type, are integral to lichen biology. Lichens have a poikilohydric nature, relying on the availability of atmospheric moisture for metabolic processes. Having no known active mechanism to preserve metabolic thallus moisture in times of drought, one would expect a strong influence of the environment on symbiont adaptation to specific habitats. Adaptation to changes in substrata and its properties would be expected with the intimate contact between crustose lichens in the genus Lepraria. Altitude has been suggested to influence species distributions in a wide range of taxonomic groups. This is one of the first studies to illustrate an ecological guild, mainly for exposure to rainfall (ombrophiles and ombrophobes), with green algal lichens.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

PMID: 21902745 [PubMed - in process]

70. PLoS Comput Biol. 2011 Aug;7(8):e1002163. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Podbat: a novel genomic tool reveals Swr1-independent H2A.Z incorporation at gene coding sequences through epigenetic meta-analysis.

Sadeghi L, Bonilla C, Strålfors A, Ekwall K, Svensson JP.

Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.

Epigenetic regulation consists of a multitude of different modifications that determine active and inactive states of chromatin. Conditions such as cell differentiation or exposure to environmental stress require concerted changes in gene expression. To interpret epigenomics data, a spectrum of different interconnected datasets is needed, ranging from the genome sequence and positions of histones, together with their modifications and variants, to the transcriptional output of genomic regions. Here we present a tool, Podbat (Positioning database and analysis tool), that incorporates data from various sources and allows detailed dissection of the entire range of chromatin modifications simultaneously. Podbat can be used to analyze, visualize, store and share epigenomics data. Among other functions, Podbat allows data-driven determination of genome regions of differential protein occupancy or RNA expression using Hidden Markov Models. Comparisons between datasets are facilitated to enable the study of the comprehensive chromatin modification system simultaneously, irrespective of data-generating technique. Any organism with a sequenced genome can be accommodated. We exemplify the power of Podbat by reanalyzing all to-date published genome-wide data for the histone variant H2A.Z in fission yeast together with other histone marks and also phenotypic response data from several sources. This meta-analysis led to the unexpected finding of H2A.Z incorporation in the coding regions of genes encoding proteins involved in the regulation of meiosis and genotoxic stress responses. This incorporation was partly independent of the H2A.Z-incorporating remodeller Swr1. We verified an Swr1-independent role for H2A.Z following genotoxic stress in vivo. Podbat is open source software freely downloadable from, distributed under the GNU LGPL license. User manuals, test data and instructions are available at the website, as well as a repository for third party-developed plug-in modules. Podbat requires Java version 1.6 or higher.

PMCID: PMC3161910 PMID: 21901086 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

71. Nano Lett. 2011 Oct 12;11(10):4343-7. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Neon Ion Beam Lithography (NIBL).

Winston D, Manfrinato VR, Nicaise SM, Cheong LL, Duan H, Ferranti D, Marshman J, McVey S, Stern L, Notte J, Berggren KK.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.

Existing techniques for electron- and ion-beam lithography, routinely employed for nanoscale device fabrication and mask/mold prototyping, do not simultaneously achieve efficient (low fluence) exposure and high resolution. We report lithography using neon ions with fluence <1 ion/nm(2), ∼1000× more efficient than using 30 keV electrons, and resolution down to 7 nm half-pitch. This combination of resolution and exposure efficiency is expected to impact a wide array of fields that are dependent on beam-based lithography.

PMID: 21899279 [PubMed - in process]

72. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23591. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Lethal and pre-lethal effects of a fungal biopesticide contribute to substantial and rapid control of malaria vectors.

Blanford S, Shi W, Christian R, Marden JH, Koekemoer LL, Brooke BD, Coetzee M, Read AF, Thomas MB.

Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Mueller Laboratory, Department of Biology, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Rapidly emerging insecticide resistance is creating an urgent need for new active ingredients to control the adult mosquitoes that vector malaria. Biopesticides based on the spores of entomopathogenic fungi have shown considerable promise by causing very substantial mortality within 7-14 days of exposure. This mortality will generate excellent malaria control if there is a high likelihood that mosquitoes contact fungi early in their adult lives. However, where contact rates are lower, as might result from poor pesticide coverage, some mosquitoes will contact fungi one or more feeding cycles after they acquire malaria, and so risk transmitting malaria before the fungus kills them. Critics have argued that 'slow acting' fungal biopesticides are, therefore, incapable of delivering malaria control in real-world contexts. Here, utilizing standard WHO laboratory protocols, we demonstrate effective action of a biopesticide much faster than previously reported. Specifically, we show that transient exposure to clay tiles sprayed with a candidate biopesticide comprising spores of a natural isolate of Beauveria bassiana, could reduce malaria transmission potential to zero within a feeding cycle. The effect resulted from a combination of high mortality and rapid fungal-induced reduction in feeding and flight capacity. Additionally, multiple insecticide-resistant lines from three key African malaria vector species were completely susceptible to fungus. Thus, fungal biopesticides can block transmission on a par with chemical insecticides, and can achieve this where chemical insecticides have little impact. These results support broadening the current vector control paradigm beyond fast-acting chemical toxins.

PMCID: PMC3163643 PMID: 21897846 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

73. Environ Microbiol. 2011 Oct;13(10):2778-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02548.x. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Responses of soil cellulolytic fungal communities to elevated atmospheric CO₂ are complex and variable across five ecosystems.

Weber CF, Zak DR, Hungate BA, Jackson RB, Vilgalys R, Evans RD, Schadt CW, Megonigal JP, Kuske CR.

Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.

Elevated atmospheric CO(2) generally increases plant productivity and subsequently increases the availability of cellulose in soil to microbial decomposers. As key cellulose degraders, soil fungi are likely to be one of the most impacted and responsive microbial groups to elevated atmospheric CO(2). To investigate the impacts of ecosystem type and elevated atmospheric CO(2) on cellulolytic fungal communities, we sequenced 10,677 cbhI gene fragments encoding the catalytic subunit of cellobiohydrolase I, across five distinct terrestrial ecosystem experiments after a decade of exposure to elevated CO(2). The cbhI composition of each ecosystem was distinct, as supported by weighted Unifrac analyses (all P-values; < 0.001), with few operational taxonomic units (OTUs) being shared across ecosystems. Using a 114-member cbhI sequence database compiled from known fungi, less than 1% of the environmental sequences could be classified at the family level indicating that cellulolytic fungi in situ are likely dominated by novel fungi or known fungi that are not yet recognized as cellulose degraders. Shifts in fungal cbhI composition and richness that were correlated with elevated CO(2) exposure varied across the ecosystems. In aspen plantation and desert creosote bush soils, cbhI gene richness was significantly higher after exposure to elevated CO(2) (550 µmol mol(-1)) than under ambient CO(2) (360 µmol mol(-1) CO(2)). In contrast, while the richness was not altered, the relative abundance of dominant OTUs in desert soil crusts was significantly shifted. This suggests that responses are complex, vary across different ecosystems and, in at least one case, are OTU-specific. Collectively, our results document the complexity of cellulolytic fungal communities in multiple terrestrial ecosystems and the variability of their responses to long-term exposure to elevated atmospheric CO(2).

© 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

PMID: 21883796 [PubMed - in process]

74. FEBS J. 2011 Nov;278(21):4112-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2011.08318.x. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Selenodiglutathione uptake by the Saccharomyces cerevisiae vacuolar ATP-binding cassette transporter Ycf1p.

Lazard M, Ha-Duong NT, Mounié S, Perrin R, Plateau P, Blanquet S.

Ecole polytechnique, Laboratoire de Biochimie, CNRS, Palaiseau, France.

The Saccharomyces cerevisiae vacuolar ATP-binding cassette transporter Ycf1p is involved in heavy metal detoxification by mediating the ATP-dependent transport of glutathione-metal conjugates to the vacuole. In the case of selenite toxicity, deletion of YCF1 was shown to confer increased resistance, rather than sensitivity, to selenite exposure [Pinson B, Sagot I & Daignan-Fornier B (2000) Mol Microbiol36, 679-687]. Here, we show that when Ycf1p is expressed from a multicopy plasmid, the toxicity of selenite is exacerbated. Using secretory vesicles isolated from a sec6-4 mutant transformed either with the plasmid harbouring YCF1 or the control plasmid, we establish that the glutathione-conjugate selenodigluthatione is a high-affinity substrate of this ATP-binding cassette transporter and that oxidized glutathione is also efficiently transported. Finally, we show that the presence of Ycf1p impairs the glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratio of cells subjected to a selenite stress. Possible mechanisms by which Ycf1p-mediated vacuolar uptake of selenodiglutathione and oxidized glutathione enhances selenite toxicity are discussed.

© 2011 The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 FEBS.

PMID: 21880115 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

75. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Aug;21(8):808-17.

Purification, and biochemical and biophysical characterization of cellobiohydrolase I from Trichoderma harzianum IOC 3844.

Colussi F, Serpa V, Delabona Pda S, Manzine LR, Voltatodio ML, Alves R, Mello BL, Pereira N Jr, Farinas CS, Golubev AM, Santos MA, Polikarpov I.

Instituto de Fisica de Sao Carlos, Universidade de Sao Paulo Av. Trabalhador Saocarlense 400, Sao Carlos 13560-970, SP, Brazil.

Because of its elevated cellulolytic activity, the filamentous fungus Trichoderma harzianum has a considerable potential in biomass hydrolysis applications. Trichoderma harzianum cellobiohydrolase I (ThCBHI), an exoglucanase, is an important enzyme in the process of cellulose degradation. Here, we report an easy single-step ion-exchange chromatographic method for purification of ThCBHI and its initial biophysical and biochemical characterization. The ThCBHI produced by induction with microcrystalline cellulose under submerged fermentation was purified on DEAE-Sephadex A-50 media and its identity was confirmed by mass spectrometry. The ThCBHI biochemical characterization showed that the protein has a molecular mass of 66 kDa and pI of 5.23. As confirmed by smallangle X-ray scattering (SAXS), both full-length ThCBHI and its catalytic core domain (CCD) obtained by digestion with papain are monomeric in solution. Secondary structure analysis of ThCBHI by circular dichroism revealed alpha- helices and beta-strands contents in the 28% and 38% range, respectively. The intrinsic fluorescence emission maximum of 337 nm was accounted for as different degrees of exposure of ThCBHI tryptophan residues to water. Moreover, ThCBHI displayed maximum activity at pH 5.0 and temperature of 50 degrees C with specific activities against Avicel and p-nitrophenyl-β-D-cellobioside of 1.25 U/mg and 1.53 U/mg, respectively.

PMID: 21876370 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

76. Infect Immun. 2011 Nov;79(11):4459-71. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Necessary and sufficient role for T helper cells to prevent fungal dissemination in allergic lung disease.

Porter PC, Roberts L, Fields A, Knight M, Qian Y, Delclos GL, Han S, Kheradmand F, Corry DB.

Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, BCM285, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Mucosal immune responses to fungal infection range from T helper type 2 (Th2) cell-directed allergic inflammation to Th1-predominant neutrophilic inflammation, but the mechanisms directing these divergent mucosal immune outcomes and the role of T cells in host defense against mucosal fungal infections are not known. Here we examined the mouse mucosal immune responses to 12 filamentous environmental fungal species over a broad range of exposure doses and determined the requirement of T cells for host defense. For all tested fungi, low-grade conidium exposures induced Th2- and eosinophil-predominant allergic lung disease, whereas higher exposures led to rapid conversion to neutrophil- and Th1 cell-predominant inflammation, a phenomenon we term immune phenotype switching. All fungal exposure doses were further linked to the secretion of interleukin-17A (IL-17A). Fungal infections with Curvularia lunata and Aspergillus fumigatus were typically confined to the airway during allergic inflammation but became locally invasive and disseminated to the brain at higher conidium challenge doses, in association with predominant Th1 responses. Fungal dissemination occurred at relatively low challenge doses with the conidia of Aspergillus fumigatus administered to recombinase activating gene 1 (Rag-1)-deficient mice, which lack B and T cells, but B cell-deficient μMT mice and T helper cell-reconstituted Rag-1-deficient mice were comparable to wild-type mice in preventing fungal dissemination. Our findings demonstrate that Th2 cell-predominant allergic responses followed by immune phenotype switching and fungal dissemination are highly predictable outcomes with progressive fungal infectious burdens and that T helper cell responses are protective against lethal fungal dissemination.

PMID: 21875960 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

77. Fungal Biol. 2011 Sep;115(9):833-8. doi: 10.1016/j.funbio.2011.06.011. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Agni's fungi: heat-resistant spores from the Western Ghats, southern India.

Suryanarayanan TS, Govindarajulu MB, Thirumalai E, Reddy MS, Money NP.

Vivekananda Institute of Tropical Mycology (VINSTROM), RKM Vidyapith, Chennai, India.

This study concerns the thermotolerance of spores of mesophilic fungi isolated from a tropical semi-arid habitat subject to dry season fire in the Western Ghats, southern India. Among 25 species of Ascomycota isolated from leaf litter, nine were able to grow after incubation in a drying oven for 2h at 100°C; the spores of two of these species survived 2h incubation at 110°C, and one survived exposure to 115°C for 2h. The range of thermotolerance among mesophilic fungi isolated from the leaf litter was surprising: filamentous fungi from other habitats, including species that colonize scorched vegetation after fires and thermophilic forms occurring in self-heating plant composts, cannot survive even brief exposure to such high temperatures. It is possible that the exceptional heat resistance of the Indian fungi is related to adaptations to surviving fires. Genetic analysis of the physiological mechanisms of heat resistance in these fungi offers prospects for future biotechnological innovations. The discovery of extreme thermotolerance among common saprotrophs shows that this physiological trait may be more widespread than recognized previously, adding to concern about the evolution of opportunistic pathogens on a warmer planet. The fungi in this study are among the most heat-resistant eukaryotes on record and are referred to here as 'Agni's Fungi', after the Hindu God of Fire.

Copyright © 2011 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21872180 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

78. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2011 Apr-Jun;115(2):548-53.

[Prevention of infection transmission in dental laboratories].

[Article in Romanian]

Bârlean L, Dănilă I, Săveanu I.

Universitatea de Medicină şi Farmacie Gr. T. Popa Iaşi Facultatea de Medicină Dentară, Disciplina de Prevenţie Oro-Dentară.

The professional activity in a dental laboratory is associated with a high risk for infection transmission through the manipulation of impressions and prostheses contaminated with patients' saliva and blood.AIM: To assess the compliance of dental technicians in lasi town dental laboratories with the methods used for preventing infection transmission in their practices. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This questionnaire-based survey included 61 dental technicians aged 22 to 58 years from 29 dental laboratories. The 17 questions were related to the protection equipment, air ventilation, and disinfection of surfaces, instruments, impressions, and prostheses. SPSS 14 system, Chi-Square test were used for data analysis, and the levels of statistical significance were set at p < 0.05. RESULTS: 90.2% of the subjects claim the need of prosthetic items disinfection upon arrival at the laboratory from the dental office (p < 0.05). The protection equipment is used by 49.1% of the dental technicians included in this survey (full equipment 18.0%, safety glasses 45.9%, mask 37.7%, rubber gloves 19.6%). 59.1% of the laboratories are provided with air ventilation, while surface disinfection is common practice in 85.2%. Of the study subjects 62.1% disinfect the impressions, 26.1% the final prosthesis, and 25.0% disinfect the interocclusal registrations (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Educational programs aimed at increasing dental technicians' awareness of infection control by adopting the most effective prevention measures are essential for reducing the incidence of technicians, dentists, and patients; exposure.

PMID: 21870755 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

79. Toxicol Sci. 2011 Nov;124(1):169-78. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

ATP mediates neuroprotective and neuroproliferative effects in mouse olfactory epithelium following exposure to satratoxin G in vitro and in vivo.

Jia C, Sangsiri S, Belock B, Iqbal TR, Pestka JJ, Hegg CC.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.

Intranasal aspiration of satratoxin G (SG), a mycotoxin produced by the black mold Stachybotrys chartarum, selectively induces apoptosis in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) in mouse olfactory epithelium (OE) through unknown mechanisms. Here, we show a dose-dependent induction of apoptosis 24 h post-SG exposure in vitro as measured by increased activated caspases in the OP6 olfactory placodal cell line and increased propidium iodide staining in primary OE cell cultures. Intranasal aspiration of SG increased TUNEL (Terminal dUTP Nick End Labeling) staining in the neuronal layer of the OE and significantly increased the latency to find a buried food pellet, confirming that SG selectively induces neuronal apoptosis and demonstrating that SG impairs the sense of smell. Next, we investigated whether ATP can prevent SG-induced OE toxicity. ATP did not decrease apoptosis under physiological conditions but significantly reduced SG-induced OSN apoptosis in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, purinergic receptor inhibition significantly increased apoptosis in OE primary cell culture and in vivo. These data indicate that ATP is neuroprotective against SG-induced OE toxicity. The number of cells that incorporated 5'-bromodeoxyuridine, a measure of proliferation, was significantly increased 3 and 6 days post-SG aspiration. Treatment with purinergic receptor antagonists significantly reduced SG-induced cell proliferation, whereas post-treatment with ATP significantly potentiated SG-induced cell proliferation. These data indicate that ATP is released and promotes cell proliferation via activation of purinergic receptors in SG-induced OE injury. Thus, the purinergic system is a therapeutic target to alleviate or restore the loss of OSNs.

PMCID: PMC3196654 [Available on 2012/11/1] PMID: 21865290 [PubMed - in process]

80. Methods Mol Biol. 2011;759:239-69.

The automated cell: compound and environment screening system (ACCESS) for chemogenomic screening.

Proctor M, Urbanus ML, Fung EL, Jaramillo DF, Davis RW, Nislow C, Giaever G.

Stanford Genome Technology Center, Palo Alto, CA, USA.

The automated cell, compound and environment screening system (ACCESS) was developed as an automated platform for chemogenomic research. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a number of genomic screens rely on the modulation of gene dose to determine the mode of action of bioactive compounds or the effects of environmental/compound perturbations. These and other phenotypic experiments have been shown to benefit from high-resolution growth curves and a highly automated controlled environment system that enables a wide range of multi-well assays that can be run over many days without any manual intervention. Furthermore, precise control of drug dosing, timing of drug exposure, and precise timing of cell harvesting at specific generation times are important for optimal results. Some of these benefits include the ability to derive fine distinctions between growth rates of mutant strains (1) and the discovery of novel compounds and drug targets (2). The automation has also enabled large-scale screening projects with over 100,000 unique compounds screened to date including a thousand genome-wide screens (3). The ACCESS system also has a diverse set of software tools to enable users to set up, run, annotate, and evaluate complex screens with minimal training.

PMID: 21863492 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

81. J Asthma. 2011 Nov;48(9):894-900. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

Atopy is associated with asthma in adults living in rural and urban southwestern Nigeria.

Ige OM, Arinola OG, Oluwole O, Falade AG, Falusi AG, Aderemi T, Huo D, Olopade OI, Olopade CO.

College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria.

RATIONALE: Factors affecting the course of asthma are not clearly understood in rural and urban communities within low-resource countries. Furthermore, the interactions between atopy, environmental exposure, and helminthic infections in modulating asthma have not been well investigated. OBJECTIVES: To conduct a feasibility study to examine the relationship between atopy and asthma in adults at two rural Health Centers and urban university college hospital in southwestern Nigeria. METHODS: A convenient sample of 55 consecutive patients with stable physician-diagnosed asthma and 55 age-matched nonasthmatic controls seen at the outpatient clinics in two rural Health Centers and an urban university hospital were enrolled. All subjects underwent blood test, allergy skin test, and stool examination for ova and parasites. Wilcoxon sign-rank tests were used to compare serum eosinophilia and allergy skin test between the two groups. RESULTS: Asthmatics in both urban and rural settings had significantly more positive skin reactions to house dust mite, cockroach, mold, and mouse epithelium than nonasthmatic controls (p < .05). Mean total serum IgE was also significantly higher in asthmatics than in nonasthmatic controls (360 vs. 90 IU/L, p <.001). Stool parasitemia was infrequent in both groups and not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Atopy is associated with adult asthma in southwest Nigeria. Larger studies to confirm the nature of this association and to examine the role of helminthic infection and other environmental factors on the expression of asthma are needed.

PMID: 21861770 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

82. Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Oct;31(20):4165-75. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

SWI/SNF- and RSC-catalyzed nucleosome mobilization requires internal DNA loop translocation within nucleosomes.

Liu N, Peterson CL, Hayes JJ.

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Ave., Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

The multisubunit SWI/SNF and RSC complexes utilize energy derived from ATP hydrolysis to mobilize nucleosomes and render the DNA accessible for various nuclear processes. Here we test the idea that remodeling involves intermediates with mobile DNA bulges or loops within the nucleosome by cross-linking the H2A N- or C-terminal tails together to generate protein "loops" that constrict separation of the DNA from the histone surface. Analyses indicate that this intranucleosomal cross-linking causes little or no change in remodeling-dependent exposure of DNA sequences within the nucleosome to restriction enzymes. However, cross-linking inhibits nucleosome mobilization and blocks complete movement of nucleosomes to extreme end positions on the DNA fragments. These results are consistent with evidence that nucleosome remodeling involves intermediates with DNA loops on the nucleosome surface but indicate that such loops do not freely diffuse about the surface of the histone octamer. We propose a threading model for movement of DNA loops around the perimeter of the nucleosome core.

Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

PMCID: PMC3187282 [Available on 2012/4/1] PMID: 21859889 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

83. Mycopathologia. 2012 Jan;173(1):13-20. Epub 2011 Aug 20.

A Model to Evaluate the Cytotoxicity of the Fungal Volatile Organic Compound 1-octen-3-ol in Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

Inamdar AA, Moore JC, Cohen RI, Bennett JW.

Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA,

Microbial growth in damp indoor environments has been correlated with risks to human health. This study was aimed to determine the cytotoxicity of 1-octen-3-ol ("mushroom alcohol"), a major fungal volatile organic compound (VOC) associated with mushroom and mold odors. Using an airborne exposure technique, human embryonic stem cells were exposed for 1 h to different concentrations (0-1,000 ppm) of racemic 1-octen-3-ol and its enantiomers, (R)-(-)-1-octen-3-ol and (S)-(+)-1-octen-3-ol. Cytotoxicity was assayed using both the MTS (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tet razolium) assay and the fluorescently tagged Calcein AM-mediated "live and dead" assay. Racemic 1-octen-3-ol and (S)-(+)-1-octen-3-ol exhibited greater cytotoxicity to the undifferentiated human cell line H1 than did (R)-(-)-1-octen-3-ol. The inhibition concentration 50 (IC(50)) values assessed by the MTS assay for racemic 1-octen-3-ol, (S)-(+)-1-octen-3-ol and (R)-(-)-1-octen-3-ol were, respectively, 109, 98, and 258 ppm. These IC(50) values were 40-80-fold lower than that of vapor phase toluene, an industrial chemical used as a positive control in this study. Our report pioneers the modeling of human embryonic stem cells as an in vitro approach to screen the potential toxicity of fungal VOCs. Human embryonic stem cells exposed to 1-octen-3-ol, and its enantiomers in the vapor phase showed more cytotoxicity than those exposed to toluene.

PMID: 21858547 [PubMed - in process]

84. Int Immunopharmacol. 2011 Nov;11(11):1939-45. Epub 2011 Aug 19.

Laminarin, a soluble beta-glucan, inhibits macrophage phagocytosis of zymosan but has no effect on lipopolysaccharide mediated augmentation of phagocytosis.

Fuentes AL, Millis L, Sigola LB.

Biology Department, Douglas College, P.O. Box 2503, New Westminster, BC, Canada V3L 5B2.

Phagocytosis is a fundamental aspect of innate resistance against microbes, including fungi. In this study we investigated the significance of beta-glucan on the surfaces of zymosan particles, derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, during phagocytosis by RAW 264.7 macrophages. Phagocytosis was assessed in vitro by macrophage exposure to zymosan particles followed by cell staining and light microscopy. Macrophage ingestion of zymosan was dependent on cellular recognition of the particles' beta-glucans since laminarin, a soluble beta-glucan, inhibited phagocytosis in a concentration dependent manner when added to cell cultures. In contrast, the presence of another carbohydrate, mannan, had no effect on zymosan phagocytosis by cells. In addition we showed that LPS and dexamethasone had opposing effects on phagocytosis of zymosan. LPS significantly augmented ingestion while in contrast dexamethasone, like laminarin, suppressed it. The LPS-enhanced ingestion of zymosan was insensitive to the presence of laminarin in cell cultures, however dexamethasone partially ameliorated the effects of LPS on phagocytosis. Our findings confirm beta-glucan as an important ligand identified by macrophages and required for zymosan phagocytosis in naïve cells, but not in cells previously exposed to LPS.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21856445 [PubMed - in process]

85. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Aug;7(8):e1002177. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

Unique evolution of the UPR pathway with a novel bZIP transcription factor, Hxl1, for controlling pathogenicity of Cryptococcus neoformans.

Cheon SA, Jung KW, Chen YL, Heitman J, Bahn YS, Kang HA.

Department of Life Science, Research Center for Biomolecules and Biosystems, College of Natural Science, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.

In eukaryotic cells, the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway plays a crucial role in cellular homeostasis of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) during exposure to diverse environmental conditions that cause ER stress. Here we report that the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans has evolved a unique UPR pathway composed of an evolutionarily conserved Ire1 protein kinase and a novel bZIP transcription factor encoded by HXL1 (HAC1 and XBP1-Like gene 1). C. neoformans HXL1 encodes a protein lacking sequence homology to any known fungal or mammalian Hac1/Xbp1 protein yet undergoes the UPR-induced unconventional splicing in an Ire1-dependent manner upon exposure to various stresses. The structural organization of HXL1 and its unconventional splicing is widely conserved in C. neoformans strains of divergent serotypes. Notably, both C. neoformans ire1 and hxl1 mutants exhibited extreme growth defects at 37°C and hypersensitivity to ER stress and cell wall destabilization. All of the growth defects of the ire1 mutant were suppressed by the spliced active form of Hxl1, supporting that HXL1 mRNA is a downstream target of Ire1. Interestingly, however, the ire1 and hxl1 mutants showed differences in thermosensitivity, expression patterns for a subset of genes, and capsule synthesis, indicating that Ire1 has both Hxl1-dependent and -independent functions in C. neoformans. Finally, Ire1 and Hxl1 were shown to be critical for virulence of C. neoformans, suggesting UPR signaling as a novel antifungal therapeutic target.

PMCID: PMC3154848 PMID: 21852949 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

86. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 Sep;71(1):72-80.

A cluster of mucormycosis infections in hematology patients: challenges in investigation and control of invasive mold infections in high-risk patient populations.

Llata E, Blossom DB, Khoury HJ, Rao CY, Wannemuehler KA, Noble-Wang J, Langston AA, Ribner BS, Lyon GM, Arnold KE, Jackson DR, Brandt ME, Chiller TM, Balajee SA, Srinivasan A, Magill SS.

Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.

Mucormycosis has been reported to be occurring more frequently in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients in recent years. We investigated a hospital cluster of mucormycosis cases among patients with hematologic disorders. Case-patients were identified through hospital microbiology and pathology database searches and compared to randomly selected controls matched on underlying disease and hospital discharge date using conditional logistic regression. Environmental assessments, including collection of samples for fungal cultures, were performed. Of 11 case-patients, 6 (55%) had acute myelogenous leukemia and 3 (27%) were allogeneic HSCT recipients. Five case-patients (45%) died. In univariate analysis, case-patients were more likely than controls to have refractory hematologic disease (odds ratio [OR], 13.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.31-689); neutropenia >14 days (OR, 11.50; 95% CI, 1.27-558) or to have received voriconazole prophylaxis (OR, 11.26; 95% CI, 1.11-infinity). A point source was not identified. Factors such as underlying disease state and antifungal prophylaxis type may identify hematology patients at highest risk for mucormycosis. Our investigation highlighted critical knowledge gaps, including strain typing methods, the role of the hospital environment in mucormycosis outbreaks, and hospital environmental infection control measures most likely to reduce exposure of immunosuppressed persons to mucormycetes.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

PMID: 21851872 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

87. APMIS. 2011 Sep;119(9):605-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2011.02775.x. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

Variable beta-glucans production by different states of Eurotium amstelodami explains differences in inflammatory responses in airway cells.

Bellanger AP, Millon L, Rognon B, Roussel S, Botterel F, Bretagne S, Reboux G.

Univ Franche Comte, Besançon, France.

Eurotium amstelodami, a mold frequently identified in housing and farm air samples, is a suspected cause of respiratory diseases such as allergic alveolitis, atopic asthma, and organic dust toxic syndrome. This fungus is present in the air in three different states (ascospores, conidia, and hyphae). The aim of this study was to test in vitro the differential inflammatory response of airway cells exposed to 1,3 betaglucanase-treated protein extract (BGPE), from E. amstelodami ascospores, conidia, and hyphae. Confluent cells from the A549 cell line were inoculated with calibrated BGPE issued from the three fungal forms. The levels of eight cytokines and chemokines involved in inflammatory responses were measured after 8 h of exposure. Beta-d-glucan (BDG) was quantified in total fungal extract as well as in the BGPE from the three fungal states. Hyphal BGPE were the only ones to induce a marked inflammatory response and they contain higher quantities of BDG. The present study adds to the growing body of evidence that beta-glucan from fungal hyphae play a crucial role in respiratory diseases.

© 2011 The Authors. APMIS © 2011 APMIS.

PMID: 21851418 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

88. J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 30;286(39):34071-81. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Differential oxidant tolerance determined by the key transcription factor Yap1 is controlled by levels of the Yap1-binding protein, Ybp1.

Gulshan K, Lee SS, Moye-Rowley WS.

Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Carver College of Medicine,University of Iowa, Iowa City, 52242, USA.

The Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcription factor Yap1 is a central determinant of oxidative stress tolerance. This protein is found primarily in the cytoplasm in the absence of oxidative stress but, upon exposure to oxidants, rapidly translocates to the nucleus and activates expression of target genes. Although both diamide and H(2)O(2) have been used to impose oxidative stress on cells, these different oxidants trigger Yap1 nuclear localization in distinctly different ways. Diamide appears to oxidize particular cysteine residues on Yap1, leading to inhibition of association of Yap1 with the nuclear exportin Crm1. Crm1 would normally transport Yap1 out of the nucleus. H(2)O(2) activation of Yap1 nuclear localization requires the participation of the glutathione peroxidase Gpx3 and the Yap1-binding protein Ybp1. H(2)O(2) exposure triggers formation of a dual disulfide bonded Yap1 that is catalyzed by the presence of Gpx3 and Ybp1. In the current study, we have determined that two distinct pools of Yap1 exist in the cell. These pools are designated by the level of Ybp1. Ybp1 interacts directly with Yap1 and these proteins form a stable complex in vivo. Genetic and biochemical experiments indicate that Ybp1 is rate-limiting for Yap1 oxidative folding during H(2)O(2) stress. The fungal pathogen Candida glabrata expresses a protein homologous to Ybp1 called CgYbp1. Overproduction of CgYbp1 elevated H(2)O(2) tolerance in this pathogen indicating that the determinative role of Ybp1 in setting the level of H(2)O(2) resistance has been evolutionarily conserved.

PMCID: PMC3190762 [Available on 2012/9/30] PMID: 21844193 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

89. J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 30;286(39):34311-24. Epub 2011 Aug 8.

The Rho1 GTPase-activating protein CgBem2 is required for survival of azole stress in Candida glabrata.

Borah S, Shivarathri R, Kaur R.

Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Building 7, Gruhakalpa, 5-4-399/B, Nampally, Hyderabad 500001, India.

Invasive fungal infections are common clinical complications of neonates, critically ill, and immunocompromised patients worldwide. Candida species are the leading cause of disseminated fungal infections, with Candida albicans being the most prevalent species. Candida glabrata, the second/third most common cause of candidemia, shows reduced susceptibility to a widely used antifungal drug fluconazole. Here, we present findings from a screen of 9134 C. glabrata Tn7 insertion mutants for altered survival profiles in the presence of fluconazole. We have identified two components of RNA polymerase II mediator complex, three players of Rho GTPase-mediated signaling cascade, and two proteins implicated in actin cytoskeleton biogenesis and ergosterol biosynthesis that are required to sustain viability during fluconazole stress. We show that exposure to fluconazole leads to activation of the protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated cell wall integrity pathway in C. glabrata. Our data demonstrate that disruption of a RhoGAP (GTPase activating protein) domain-containing protein, CgBem2, results in bud-emergence defects, azole susceptibility, and constitutive activation of CgRho1-regulated CgPkc1 signaling cascade and cell wall-related phenotypes. The viability loss of Cgbem2Δ mutant upon fluconazole treatment could be partially rescued by the PKC inhibitor staurosporine. Additionally, we present evidence that CgBEM2 is required for the transcriptional activation of genes encoding multidrug efflux pumps in response to fluconazole exposure. Last, we report that Hsp90 inhibitor geldanamycin renders fluconazole a fungicidal drug in C. glabrata.

PMCID: PMC3190821 [Available on 2012/9/30] PMID: 21832071 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

90. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e22183. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

p53 Interacts with RNA polymerase II through its core domain and impairs Pol II processivity in vivo.

Kim S, Balakrishnan SK, Gross DS.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana, United States of America.

The tumor suppressor p53 principally functions as a gene-specific transcription factor. p53 triggers a variety of anti-proliferative programs by activating or repressing the transcription of effector genes in response to genotoxic stress. To date, much effort has been placed on understanding p53's ability to affect transcription in the context of its DNA-binding activity. How p53 regulates transcriptional output independent of DNA binding is less well understood. Here we provide evidence that human p53 can physically interact with the large subunit of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) both in in vitro interaction assays and in whole cell extracts, and that this interaction is mediated (at least in part) through p53's core DNA-binding domain and the Ser5-phosphorylated CTD of Pol II. Ectopic expression of p53, combined with mutations in transcription elongation factors or exposure to drugs that inhibit Pol II elongation, elicit sickness or lethality in yeast cells. These phenotypes are suppressed by oncogenic point mutations within p53's core domain. The growth phenotypes raise the possibility that p53 impairs Pol II elongation. Consistent with this, a p53-dependent increase in Pol II density is seen at constitutively expressed genes without a concomitant increase in transcript accumulation. Additionally, p53-expressing yeast strains exhibit reduced transcriptional processivity at an episomal reporter gene; this inhibitory activity is abolished by a core domain point mutation. Our results suggest a novel mechanism by which p53 can regulate gene transcription, and a new biological function for its core domain that is susceptible to inactivation by oncogenic point mutations.

PMCID: PMC3150338 PMID: 21829606 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

91. PLoS Pathog. 2011 Jul;7(7):e1002113. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Regulation of stomatal tropism and infection by light in Cercospora zeae-maydis: evidence for coordinated host/pathogen responses to photoperiod?

Kim H, Ridenour JB, Dunkle LD, Bluhm BH.

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States of America.

Cercospora zeae-maydis causes gray leaf spot of maize, which has become one of the most widespread and destructive diseases of maize in the world. C. zeae-maydis infects leaves through stomata, which is predicated on the ability of the pathogen to perceive stomata and reorient growth accordingly. In this study, the discovery that light was required for C. zeae-maydis to perceive stomata and infect leaves led to the identification of CRP1, a gene encoding a putative blue-light photoreceptor homologous to White Collar-1 (WC-1) of Neurospora crassa. Disrupting CRP1 via homologous recombination revealed roles in multiple aspects of pathogenesis, including tropism of hyphae to stomata, the formation of appressoria, conidiation, and the biosynthesis of cercosporin. CRP1 was also required for photoreactivation after lethal doses of UV exposure. Intriguingly, putative orthologs of CRP1 are central regulators of circadian clocks in other filamentous fungi, raising the possibility that C. zeae-maydis uses light as a key environmental input to coordinate pathogenesis with maize photoperiodic responses. This study identified a novel molecular mechanism underlying stomatal tropism in a foliar fungal pathogen, provides specific insight into how light regulates pathogenesis in C. zeae-maydis, and establishes a genetic framework for the molecular dissection of infection via stomata and the integration of host and pathogen responses to photoperiod.

PMCID: PMC3145785 PMID: 21829344 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

92. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 23;108(34):14270-5. Epub 2011 Aug 8.

Fungal recognition is mediated by the association of dectin-1 and galectin-3 in macrophages.

Esteban A, Popp MW, Vyas VK, Strijbis K, Ploegh HL, Fink GR.

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.

Dectin-1, the major β-glucan receptor in leukocytes, triggers an effective immune response upon fungal recognition. Here we use sortase-mediated transpeptidation, a technique that allows placement of a variety of probes on a polypeptide backbone, to monitor the behavior of labeled functional dectin-1 in live cells with and without fungal challenge. Installation of probes on dectin-1 by sortagging permitted highly specific visualization of functional protein on the cell surface and its subsequent internalization upon ligand presentation. Retrieval of sortagged dectin-1 expressed in macrophages uncovered a unique interaction between dectin-1 and galectin-3 that functions in the proinflammatory response of macrophages to pathogenic fungi. When macrophages expressing dectin-1 are exposed to Candida albicans mutants with increased exposure of β-glucan, the loss of galectin-3 dramatically accentuates the failure to trigger an appropriate TNF-α response.

PMCID: PMC3161568 PMID: 21825168 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

93. J Gen Appl Microbiol. 2011;57(3):129-36.

Exposure of Candida to p-anisaldehyde inhibits its growth and ergosterol biosynthesis.

Shreaz S, Bhatia R, Khan N, Muralidhar S, Basir SF, Manzoor N, Khan LA.

Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi-110025, India.

p-Anisaldehyde (4-methoxybenzaldehyde), an extract from Pimpinella anisum seeds, is a very common digestive herb of north India. Antifungal activity of p-anisaldehyde was investigated on 10 fluconazole-resistant and 5 fluconazole-sensitive Candida strains. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC(90)) ranged from 250 µg/ml to 600 µg/ml for both sensitive and resistant strains. Ergosterol content was drastically reduced by p-anisaldehyde-62% in sensitive and 66% in resistant strains-but did not corelate well with MIC(90) values. It appears that p-anisaldehyde exerts its antifungal effect by decreasing NADPH routed through up-regulation of putative aryl-alcohol dehydrogenases. Cellular toxicity of p-anisaldehyde against H9c2 rat cardiac myoblasts was less than 20% at the highest MIC value. These findings encourage further development of p-anisaldehyde.

PMID: 21817824 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

94. Int J Biol Sci. 2011;7(6):869-80. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Dimerumic acid inhibits SW620 cell invasion by attenuating H₂O₂-mediated MMP-7 expression via JNK/C-Jun and ERK/C-Fos activation in an AP-1-dependent manner.

Ho BY, Wu YM, Chang KJ, Pan TM.

Department of Surgery, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) in the tumor microenvironment play important roles in tumor invasion and metastasis. Recently, ROS have been reported to cause a significant increase in the production and expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-7, which is closely correlated with metastatic colorectal cancer. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the scavenging activity of dimerumic acid (DMA) for H₂O₂ isolated from Monascus-fermented rice to investigate the inhibitory effects of DMA on the invasive potential of SW620 human colon cancer cells, and to explore the mechanisms underlying both these phenomena. Our results showed that increased MMP-7 expression due to H₂O₂ exposure was mediated by activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) such as Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK), and p38 kinase. DMA pretreatment suppressed activation of H₂O₂-mediated MAPK pathways and cell invasion. Moreover, H₂O₂-triggered MMP-7 production was demonstrated via JNK/c-Jun and ERK/c-Fos activation in an activating protein 1 (AP-1)-dependent manner. Taken together, these results suggest that DMA suppresses H₂O₂-induced cell invasion by inhibiting AP-1-mediated MMP-7 gene transcription via the JNK/c-Jun and ERK/c-Fos signaling pathways in SW620 human colon cancer cells. Our data suggest that DMA may be useful in minimizing the development of colorectal metastasis. In the future, DMA supplementation may be a beneficial antioxidant to enhance surgical outcomes.

PMCID: PMC3149281 PMID: 21814482 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

95. Malar J. 2011 Aug 3;10:219.

Reduction in host-finding behaviour in fungus-infected mosquitoes is correlated with reduction in olfactory receptor neuron responsiveness.

George J, Blanford S, Domingue MJ, Thomas MB, Read AF, Baker TC.

Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

BACKGROUND: Chemical insecticides against mosquitoes are a major component of malaria control worldwide. Fungal entomopathogens formulated as biopesticides and applied as insecticide residual sprays could augment current control strategies and mitigate the evolution of resistance to chemical-based insecticides. METHODS: Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes were exposed to Beauveria bassiana or Metarhizium acridum fungal spores and sub-lethal effects of exposure to fungal infection were studied, especially the potential for reductions in feeding and host location behaviours related to olfaction. Electrophysiological techniques, such as electroantennogram, electropalpogram and single sensillum recording techniques were then employed to investigate how fungal exposure affected the olfactory responses in mosquitoes. RESULTS: Exposure to B. bassiana caused significant mortality and reduced the propensity of mosquitoes to respond and fly to a feeding stimulus. Exposure to M. acridum spores induced a similar decline in feeding propensity, albeit more slowly than B. bassiana exposure. Reduced host-seeking responses following fungal exposure corresponded to reduced olfactory neuron responsiveness in both antennal electroantennogram and maxillary palp electropalpogram recordings. Single cell recordings from neurons on the palps confirmed that fungal-exposed behavioural non-responders exhibited significantly impaired responsiveness of neurons tuned specifically to 1-octen-3-ol and to a lesser degree, to CO2. CONCLUSIONS: Fungal infection reduces the responsiveness of mosquitoes to host odour cues, both behaviourally and neuronally. These pre-lethal effects are likely to synergize with fungal-induced mortality to further reduce the capacity of mosquito populations exposed to fungal biopesticides to transmit malaria.

PMCID: PMC3162589 PMID: 21812944 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

96. Fungal Biol. 2011 Aug;115(8):782-92. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Lipid content disturbance in the arbuscular mycorrhizal, Glomus irregulare grown in monoxenic conditions under PAHs pollution.

Debiane D, Calonne M, Fontaine J, Laruelle F, Grandmougin-Ferjani A, Lounes-Hadj Sahraoui A.

Univ Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Unité de Chimie Environnementale et Interactions sur le Vivant, F-62228 Calais, France.

Most polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous natural and/or anthropogenic pollutants that have adverse effects on the human health and the environment. Little is known about their potential effects on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Thus, using monoxenic cultures, this work aims to study the impact of increasing concentrations (140 and 280 μM) of two PAHs [anthracene and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P)] on Glomus irregulare lipid content in relation with its development. Changes in the total lipids [fatty acids (FA), sterols, phospholipids (PL) and their associated FA (PLFA)] compositions and contents as well as [malondialdehyde (MDA)] production, of the AMF G. irregulare were examined. Direct toxic effects of both PAHs on the AMF were shown as compared to the control culture. The extraradical hyphae length and spore production were drastically restricted in the presence of PAHs. Significant decreases of the main membrane constituents, phosphatidylcholine (PC) and sterols (in particular 24-methycholesterol) were shown in G. irregulare grown under PAHs treatment. Moreover, PAHs exposure caused an oxidative stress in the AMF extraradical structures pointed out by an increase of the lipid peroxidation biomarker production (MDA). All the observed changes were less marked in presence of anthracene, which was found to be less toxic than B[a]P. Taken together, our results suggested that the drastic decrease of the AMF growth under PAHs pollution could partially be explained by depletions in sterols, PC and MDA accumulation.

Copyright © 2011 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21802059 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

97. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Aug;107(2):120-6. Epub 2011 May 28.

High environmental relative moldiness index during infancy as a predictor of asthma at 7 years of age.

Reponen T, Vesper S, Levin L, Johansson E, Ryan P, Burkle J, Grinshpun SA, Zheng S, Bernstein DI, Lockey J, Villareal M, Khurana Hershey GK, LeMasters G.

Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0056, USA.

BACKGROUND: Mold exposures may contribute to the development of asthma, but previous studies have lacked a standardized approach to quantifying exposures. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether mold exposures at the ages of 1 and/or 7 years were associated with asthma at the age of 7 years. METHODS: This study followed up a high-risk birth cohort from infancy to 7 years of age. Mold was assessed by a DNA-based analysis for the 36 molds that make up the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) at the ages of 1 and 7 years. At the age of 7 years, children were evaluated for allergic sensitization and asthma based on symptom history, spirometry, exhaled nitric oxide, and airway reversibility. A questionnaire was administered to the parent regarding the child's asthma symptoms and other potential cofactors. RESULTS: At the age of 7 years, 31 of 176 children (18%) were found to be asthmatic. Children living in a high ERMI value (≥5.2) home at 1 year of age had more than twice the risk of developing asthma than those in low ERMI value homes (<5.2) (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-6.26). Of the other covariates, only parental asthma (aOR, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.69-9.62) and allergic sensitization to house dust mite (aOR, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.55-11.07) were risk factors for asthma development. In contrast, air-conditioning at home reduced the risk of asthma development (aOR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.14-0.83). A high ERMI value at 7 years of age was not associated with asthma at 7 years of age. CONCLUSIONS: Early exposure to molds as measured by ERMI at 1 year of age, but not 7 years of age, significantly increased the risk for asthma at 7 years of age.

Copyright © 2011 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21802019 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

98. PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22504. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

Bovine lactoferrin counteracts Toll-like receptor mediated activation signals in antigen presenting cells.

Puddu P, Latorre D, Carollo M, Catizone A, Ricci G, Valenti P, Gessani S.

Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Lactoferrin (LF), a key element in mammalian immune system, plays pivotal roles in host defence against infection and excessive inflammation. Its protective effects range from direct antimicrobial activities against a large panel of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, to antinflammatory and anticancer activities. In this study, we show that monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MD-DCs) generated in the presence of bovine LF (bLF) fail to undergo activation by up-modulating CD83, co-stimulatory and major histocompatibility complex molecules, and cytokine/chemokine secretion. Moreover, these cells are weak activators of T cell proliferation and retain antigen uptake activity. Consistent with an impaired maturation, bLF-MD-DC primed T lymphocytes exhibit a functional unresponsiveness characterized by reduced expression of CD154 and impaired expression of IFN-γ and IL-2. The observed imunosuppressive effects correlate with an increased expression of molecules with negative regulatory functions (i.e. immunoglobulin-like transcript 3 and programmed death ligand 1), indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, and suppressor of cytokine signaling-3. Interestingly, bLF-MD-DCs produce IL-6 and exhibit constitutive signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 activation. Conversely, bLF exposure of already differentiated MD-DCs completely fails to induce IL-6, and partially inhibits Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist-induced activation. Cell-specific differences in bLF internalization likely account for the distinct response elicited by bLF in monocytes versus immature DCs, providing a mechanistic base for its multiple effects. These results indicate that bLF exerts a potent anti-inflammatory activity by skewing monocyte differentiation into DCs with impaired capacity to undergo activation and to promote Th1 responses. Overall, these bLF-mediated effects may represent a strategy to block excessive DC activation upon TLR-induced inflammation, adding further evidence for a critical role of bLF in directing host immune function.

PMCID: PMC3143167 PMID: 21799877 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

99. J Neuroophthalmol. 2011 Jul 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Neuro-ophthalmic Manifestations of Fungal Disease Associated With Posthurricane Environment.

Sridhar J, Lam BL, Pasol J, Sternau L.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (JS, BLL, JP), University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida; and Memorial Neuroscience Center (LS), Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, Florida.

BACKGROUND:: Allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) is thought to represent an immunologic response to exposure to dematiaceous fungi. These fungi are known to cause disease more frequently in hot and humid climates and seasons. METHODS:: Three patients presented with unusual manifestations of fungal disease after exposure to environments recently affected by hurricanes. RESULTS:: Two patients had AFS, 1 with gradual painless visual loss from an AFS mass extending into the suprasellar region and 1 with orbital apex syndrome. Another patient had invasive fungal disease and developed orbital apex syndrome. CONCLUSIONS:: These cases underscore the importance of clinical recognition of fungal disease in patients with sinus, orbital, or skull base involvement as well as its potential for causing permanent visual loss. This report suggests a potential association between fungal disease and tropical storm exposure.

PMCID: PMC3208138 [Available on 2013/1/26] PMID: 21799448 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

100. Mycoses. 2011 Jul 29. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2011.02073.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Airborne fungus exposure prior to hospitalisation as risk factor for mould infections in immunocompromised patients.

Blum G, Eschertzhuber S, Auberger J, Ulmer H, Geltner C, Gastl G, Nachbaur D, Lass-Flörl C.

Department of Hygiene and Social Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria Clinical Division of Haematology and Oncology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria Department of Pulmonology, Hospital Natters, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between fungal exposure prior to hospitalisation and ensuing onset of invasive mould infections (IMI) in patients at risk. Patients admitted to the Department of Haematology, Oncology and Transplant Surgery of the Medical University Innsbruck received a questionnaire regarding fungal exposure prior to hospital stay. Questions inquired heavy fungal exposures up to 5 days before hospitalisation. A total of 234 patients were enrolled in this study. Multiple fungus exposures were associated with the onset of community-acquired IMI in patients with haematological malignancies. In univariate analysis, haematological malignancies (P = 0.013) and allergy to dust, pollen or moulds (P = 0.015) were significantly associated with fungal infections. In multivariate analysis, logistic regression showed that haematological patients (P = 0.015) and patients with allergy (P = 0.015) were significantly more frequently infected with fungi. Hospital-independent fungal sources highlight risk-factors for IMI in severe immunocompromised patients and the rate of community-acquired IMI does increase.

© 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

PMID: 21797937 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

101. Dis Aquat Organ. 2011 May 24;95(1):31-42.

Temperature, hydric environment, and prior pathogen exposure alter the experimental severity of chytridiomycosis in boreal toads.

Murphy PJ, St-Hilaire S, Corn PS.

Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, 650 Memorial Dr., Pocatello, Idaho 83209-8007, USA.

Prevalence of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), implicated in amphibian population declines worldwide, is associated with habitat moisture and temperature, but few studies have varied these factors and measured the response to infection in amphibian hosts. We evaluated how varying humidity, contact with water, and temperature affected the manifestation of chytridiomycosis in boreal toads Anaxyrus (Bufo) boreas boreas and how prior exposure to Bd affects the likelihood of survival after re-exposure, such as may occur seasonally in long-lived species. Humidity did not affect survival or the degree of Bd infection, but a longer time in contact with water increased the likelihood of mortality. After exposure to approximately 10(6) Bd zoospores, all toads in continuous contact with water died within 30 d. Moreover, Bd-exposed toads that were disease-free after 64 d under dry conditions, developed lethal chytridiomycosis within 70 d of transfer to wet conditions. Toads in unheated aquaria (mean = 15 degrees C) survived less than 48 d, while those in moderately heated aquaria (mean = 18 degrees C) survived 115 d post-exposure and exhibited behavioral fever, selecting warmer sites across a temperature gradient. We also found benefits of prior Bd infection: previously exposed toads survived 3 times longer than Bd-naïve toads after re-exposure to 106 zoospores (89 vs. 30 d), but only when dry microenvironments were available. This study illustrates how the outcome of Bd infection in boreal toads is environmentally dependent: when continuously wet, high reinfection rates may overwhelm defenses, but periodic drying, moderate warming, and previous infection may allow infected toads to extend their survival.

PMID: 21797033 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

102. MBio. 2011 Jul 26;2(4). pii: e00129-11. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00129-11. Print 2011.

Stress alters rates and types of loss of heterozygosity in Candida albicans.

Forche A, Abbey D, Pisithkul T, Weinzierl MA, Ringstrom T, Bruck D, Petersen K, Berman J.

Department of Biology, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, USA.

Comment in MBio. 2011;2(5). pii: e00200-11. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00200-11.

Genetic diversity is often generated during adaptation to stress, and in eukaryotes some of this diversity is thought to arise via recombination and reassortment of alleles during meiosis. Candida albicans, the most prevalent pathogen of humans, has no known meiotic cycle, and yet it is a heterozygous diploid that undergoes mitotic recombination during somatic growth. It has been shown that clinical isolates as well as strains passaged once through a mammalian host undergo increased levels of recombination. Here, we tested the hypothesis that stress conditions increase rates of mitotic recombination in C. albicans, which is measured as loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at specific loci. We show that LOH rates are elevated during in vitro exposure to oxidative stress, heat stress, and antifungal drugs. In addition, an increase in stress severity correlated well with increased LOH rates. LOH events can arise through local recombination, through homozygosis of longer tracts of chromosome arms, or by whole-chromosome homozygosis. Chromosome arm homozygosis was most prevalent in cultures grown under conventional lab conditions. Importantly, exposure to different stress conditions affected the levels of different types of LOH events, with oxidative stress causing increased recombination, while fluconazole and high temperature caused increases in events involving whole chromosomes. Thus, C. albicans generates increased amounts and different types of genetic diversity in response to a range of stress conditions, a process that we term "stress-induced LOH" that arises either by elevating rates of recombination and/or by increasing rates of chromosome missegregation. IMPORTANCE: Stress-induced mutagenesis fuels the evolution of bacterial pathogens and is mainly driven by genetic changes via mitotic recombination. Little is known about this process in other organisms. Candida albicans, an opportunistic fungal pathogen, causes infections that require adaptation to different host environmental niches. We measured the rates of LOH and the types of LOH events that appeared in the absence and in the presence of physiologically relevant stresses and found that stress causes a significant increase in the rates of LOH and that this increase is proportional to the degree of stress. Furthermore, the types of LOH events that arose differed in a stress-dependent manner, indicating that eukaryotic cells generate increased genetic diversity in response to a range of stress conditions. We propose that this "stress-induced LOH" facilitates the rapid adaptation of C. albicans, which does not undergo meiosis, to changing environments within the host.

PMCID: PMC3143845 PMID: 21791579 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

103. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2011 Oct 1;256(1):24-34. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Frequent biphasic cellular responses of permanent fish cell cultures to deoxynivalenol (DON).

Pietsch C, Bucheli TD, Wettstein FE, Burkhardt-Holm P.

University Basel, Man-Society-Environment, Department of Environmental Sciences, Vesalgasse 1, CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland.

Contamination of animal feed with mycotoxins is a major problem for fish feed mainly due to usage of contaminated ingredients for production and inappropriate storage of feed. The use of cereals for fish food production further increases the risk of a potential contamination. Potential contaminants include the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) which is synthesized by globally distributed fungi of the genus Fusarium. The toxicity of DON is well recognized in mammals. In this study, we confirm cytotoxic effects of DON in established permanent fish cell lines. We demonstrate that DON is capable of influencing the metabolic activity and cell viability in fish cells as determined by different assays to indicate possible cellular targets of this toxin. Evaluation of cell viability by measurement of membrane integrity, mitochondrial activity and lysosomal function after 24 h of exposure of fish cell lines to DON at a concentration range of 0-3000 ng ml(-1) shows a biphasic effect on cells although differences in sensitivity occur. The cell lines derived from rainbow trout are particularly sensitive to DON. The focus of this study lies, furthermore, on the effects of DON at different concentrations on production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the different fish cell lines. The results show that DON mainly reduces ROS production in all cell lines that were used. Thus, our comparative investigations reveal that the fish cell lines show distinct species-related endpoint sensitivities that also depend on the type of tissue from which the cells were derived and the severity of exposure.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21791220 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

104. Virulence. 2011 Jul-Aug;2(4):348-55. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

Voriconazole pre-exposure selects for breakthrough mucormycosis in a mixed model of Aspergillus fumigatus-Rhizopus oryzae pulmonary infection.

Lewis RE, Liao G, Wang W, Prince RA, Kontoyiannis DP.

Department of Clinical Sciences and Administration, University of Houston College of Pharmacy, TX, USA.

Mucormycosis is an uncommon fungal infection that has been increasingly reported in severely immunocompromised patients receiving Aspergillus-active antifungals. Although clinical studies and pre-clinical animal models have suggested a unique predisposition for breakthrough mucormycoses in patients receiving voriconazole, no study has specifically evaluated the selection dynamics of various Aspergillus -active antifungal classes in vivo. We utilized an Aspergillus fumigatus:Rhizopus oryzae (10:1) model of mixed fungal pneumonia in corticosteroid-immunosuppressed mice to compare the selection dynamics of daily liposomal-amphotericin B (L-AMB), micafungin (MCFG) and voriconazole (VRC) therapy. A. fumigatus and R. oryzae lung fungal burden were serially monitored in parallel using non-cross-amplifying quantitative real-time PCR assays for each fungal genus. Additionally, experiments were performed where the R. oryzae component of the mixed inoculum was serially-passed on VRC-containing agar before animal infection. We found prior exposure to voriconazole in vitro, consistently resulted in a 1.5-2 log 10 increase in R. oryzae fungal burden by day +5 in vivo relative to animals infected with the non-VRC preexposed inoculum, irrespective of the antifungal-treatment administered in mice (P ≤ 0.02 all treatment groups). Mice infected with the VRC-preexposed inoculum and subsequently treated with saline or VRC had the highest mortality rates (82-86%), followed by MCFG (55%) then L-AMB (39%, P = 0.04 vs. control). However, in vivo treatment alone with voriconazole alone did not consistently increase the virulence of non- voriconazole preexposed R. oryzae versus controls. We conclude that exposure of R. oryzae sporangiospores to voriconazole in vitro modulates the subsequent growth rate and/or virulence of the fungus in vivo, which reduces effectiveness of Mucorales-active antifungals. The mechanisms underlying this phenotypic change are unknown.

PMID: 21788730 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

105. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Sep;77(18):6400-8. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

Role of alcohols in growth, lipid composition, and membrane fluidity of yeasts, bacteria, and archaea.

Huffer S, Clark ME, Ning JC, Blanch HW, Clark DS.

Energy Biosciences Institute, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Increased membrane fluidity, which causes cofactor leakage and loss of membrane potential, has long been documented as a cause for decreased cell growth during exposure to ethanol, butanol, and other alcohols. Reinforcement of the membrane with more complex lipid components is thus thought to be beneficial for the generation of more tolerant organisms. In this study, organisms with more complex membranes, namely, archaea, did not maintain high growth rates upon exposure to alcohols, indicating that more complex lipids do not necessarily fortify the membrane against the fluidizing effects of alcohols. In the presence of alcohols, shifts in lipid composition to more saturated and unbranched lipids were observed in most of the organisms tested, including archaea, yeasts, and bacteria. However, these shifts did not always result in a decrease in membrane fluidity or in greater tolerance of the organism to alcohol exposure. In general, organisms tolerating the highest concentrations of alcohols maintained membrane fluidity after alcohol exposure, whereas organisms that increased membrane rigidity were less tolerant. Altered lipid composition was a common response to alcohol exposure, with the most tolerant organisms maintaining a modestly fluid membrane. Our results demonstrate that increased membrane fluidity is not the sole cause of growth inhibition and that alcohols may also denature proteins within the membrane and cytosol, adversely affecting metabolism and decreasing cell growth.

PMCID: PMC3187150 [Available on 2012/3/1] PMID: 21784917 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

106. Environ Res. 2011 Nov;111(8):1010-7. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Assessment of indoor environment in Paris child day care centers.

Roda C, Barral S, Ravelomanantsoa H, Dusséaux M, Tribout M, Le Moullec Y, Momas I.

Université Paris Descartes, EA 4064-Laboratoire Santé Publique et Environnement, Paris, France.

BACKGROUND: Children are sensitive to indoor environmental pollution. Up until now there has been a lack of data on air quality in child day care centers. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to document the indoor environment quality of Paris child day care centers by repeated measurements, and to compare pollutant levels in child day care centers with levels in Paris dwellings. METHODS: We selected 28 child day care centers frequented by a random sample of babies who participated in the PARIS birth cohort environmental investigation, and visited the child day care centers for one week twice in one year. Biological contaminants assessed were fungi, endotoxin, dust mite allergens, and chemical pollutants: aldehydes, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Relative humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide levels were measured simultaneously. A standardized questionnaire was used to gather information about the buildings and their inhabitants. RESULTS: Airborne endotoxin levels in child day care centers were higher than those found in Paris dwellings. Dust mite allergens in child day care centers were below the threshold level for sensitization in the majority of samples, and in common with dwelling samples. Penicillium and Cladosporium were the most commonly identified genera fungi. The child day care center indoor/outdoor ratio for most chemical pollutants was above unity except for NO2, the levels for NO2 being significantly higher than those measured in homes. CONCLUSION: Chemical and biological contamination in child day care centers appears to be low, apart from endotoxin and NO2. Failure to take child exposure in child day care centers into account could result in an overestimation of children's exposure to other pollutants.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21783190 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

107. Biotechniques. 2011 Jun;50(6):407-10.

Nonradioactive method to detect native single-stranded G-tails on yeast telomeres using a modified Southern blot protocol.

Ortega LM, Hengartner CJ, Vega LR.

Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL, USA.

Because of their low abundance and short length, telomeric single-stranded extensions have not traditionally been assessed by Southern blot analysis. Instead, most methods have relied on hybridizing radioactively labeled oligonucleotide probes to electrophoresed DNA within agarose gels. Here we describe a rapid and nonradioactive Southern blot-derived method to transfer and detect telomeric single-stranded G-rich overhangs (G-tails) under nondenaturing (native) conditions, using Saccharomyces cerevisiae DNA. Restriction enzyme-digested chromosomal DNA is separated by agarose gel electrophoresis, transferred onto a charged membrane by electroblotting under nondenaturing conditions, and probed with a digoxigenin (DIG)-labeled oligonucleotide. Compared with the prolonged film exposure required to detect radioactive probes, detection of short single-strand G-tails with this method takes mere minutes. Furthermore, following detection of the single-stranded G-tails, the DNA on the membrane can be denatured and reprobed using conventional hybridization and detection methods.

PMID: 21781041 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

108. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2011 Jun;40(6):287-90.

Selection of resistant fungi in liver transplant recipients during use of newer antifungal agents — a report of two cases.

Lingegowda PB, Tan CK, Tan AL, Tan BH.

Department of Infectious Disease, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.

INTRODUCTION: Because invasive fungal infections cause significant morbidity and mortality in liver transplant recipients, the use of antifungal prophylaxis, and the early empirical use of antifungal agents, is widespread on liver transplant units. The new-generation azoles such as voriconazole and the echinocandins have been welcome additions to the antifungal armamentarium. These agents have become the leading options for prophylaxis in liver transplant units, despite the absence of strong data for their efficacy in this setting. CLINICAL PICTURE: We report two recipients of living-donor liver transplants who became infected/colonised with fungi resistant to an echinocandin and the azoles after exposure to these agents. One patient developed trichosporonosis while on caspofungin and the other became infected/ colonised with Candida glabrata that was resistant to voriconazole and posaconazole. CONCLUSION: We report these to highlight some of the consequences of using the newer antifungal agents.

PMID: 21779617 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

109. Langmuir. 2011 Sep 6;27(17):10683-90. Epub 2011 Aug 11.

pH-Dependent peroxidase activity of yeast cytochrome c and its triple mutant adsorbed on kaolinite.

Ranieri A, Bernini F, Bortolotti CA, Bonifacio A, Sergo V, Castellini E.

Department of Chemistry, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 183, I-41125 Modena, Italy.

The peroxidase activity of wild-type yeast cytochrome c and its triple mutant K72AK73AK79A adsorbed onto kaolinite was investigated as a function of pH and temperature. Both adsorbed proteins displayed an appreciable catalytic activity, which remained constant from pH 7 to pH 10, decreased below pH 7, and showed a remarkable increase at pH values lower than 4. In the whole pH range investigated the catalytic activity of the adsorbed wild-type cytochrome c was higher than that of the mutant. Both diffuse-reflectance UV-vis and resonance Raman spectroscopies applied on solid samples were used to probe the structural features responsible for the catalytic activity of the immobilized proteins. At neutral and alkaline pH values a six-coordinate low-spin form of cytochrome c was observed, while at pH < 7 the formation of a high-spin species occurred whose population increased at decreasing pH. The orientation and exposure of the heme to the substrate-strictly dependent on adsorption-was found to affect the peroxidase activity.

© 2011 American Chemical Society

PMID: 21776978 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

110. J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2011 Apr;11(4):3016-38.

Ecotoxicological effects of carbon nanomaterials on algae, fungi and plants.

Basiuk EV, Ochoa-Olmos OE, De la Mora-Estrada LF.

Centro de Ciencias Aplicadas y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Circuito Exterior C.U., 04510 México, D.F, Mexico.

The ecotoxicological effects of carbon nanomateriales (CNMs), namely fullerenes and carbon nanotubes, on algae, fungi and plants are analyzed. In different toxicity tests, both direct and indirect effects were found. The direct effects are determined by nanomaterial chemical composition and surface reactivity, which might catalyze redox reactions in contact with organic molecules and affect respiratory processes. Some indirect effects of carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) are physical restraints or release of toxic ions. Accumulation of CNPs in photosynthetic organs provokes obstruction in stomata, foliar heating and alteration in physiological processes. The phytotoxicity studies of CNMs should be focused on determining phytotoxicity mechanisms, size distribution of CNPs in solution, uptake and translocation of nanoparticles by plants, on characterization of their physical and chemical properties in rhizosphere and on root surfaces. More studies on plants and algae, as a part of food chain, are needed to understand profoundly the toxicity and health risks of CNMs as ecotoxicological stressors. Correct and detailed physical and chemical characterization of CNMs is very important to establish the exposure conditions matching the realistic ones. Ecotoxicity experiments should include examinations of both short and long-term effects. One must take into account that real carbon nanomaterials are complex mixtures of carbon forms and metal residues of variable chemistry and particle size, and the toxicity reported may reflect these byproducts/residues/impurities rather than the primary material structure. One more recommendation is not only to focus on the inherent toxicity of nanoparticles, but also consider their possible interactions with existing environmental contaminants.

PMID: 21776669 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

111. J Environ Public Health. 2011;2011:242457. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Geographic distribution of Environmental Relative Moldiness Index molds in USA homes.

Vesper S, Wakefield J, Ashley P, Cox D, Dewalt G, Friedman W.

National Exposure Research Laboratory, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to quantify and describe the distribution of the 36 molds that make up the Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI). MATERIALS AND METHODS: As part of the 2006 American Healthy Homes Survey, settled dust samples were analyzed by mold-specific quantitative PCR (MSQPCR) for the 36 ERMI molds. Each species' geographical distribution pattern was examined individually, followed by partitioning analysis in order to identify spatially meaningful patterns. For mapping, the 36 mold populations were divided into disjoint clusters on the basis of their standardized concentrations, and First Principal Component (FPC) scores were computed. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The partitioning analyses failed to uncover a valid partitioning that yielded compact, well-separated partitions with systematic spatial distributions, either on global or local criteria. Disjoint variable clustering resulted in seven mold clusters. The 36 molds and ERMI values themselves were found to be heterogeneously distributed across the United States of America (USA).

PMCID: PMC3136115 PMID: 21776436 [PubMed - in process]

112. J Invertebr Pathol. 2011 Sep;108(1):46-51. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

Process of infection of armored scale insects (Diaspididae) by an entomopathogenic Cosmospora sp.

Mauchline N, Hallett I, Hill G, Casonato S.

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, 412 No. 1 Road, RD2, Te Puke, New Zealand.

Several species in the fungal genus Cosmospora (synonym Nectria) (anamorph Fusarium) are specialist entomopathogens of armored scale insects (Diaspididae), known to cause periodic epizootics in host populations. Inconsistent mortality rates recorded under laboratory conditions prompted a study into the process of infection of armored scale insects by this fungus. Scale insect mortality following exposure to a Cosmospora sp. (Culture Collection Number: CC89) from New Zealand was related to insect age, with reproductively mature insects having a significantly higher infection rate than immature insects. Examination using scanning electron microscopy found no evidence that the fungus penetrated directly through the wax test (cap) of the scale insect or through the un-lifted interface between the test and the substrate on which the insect resided. However, fungal hyphae were observed growing beneath the test when the test of the reproductively mature insect lifted away from the substrate for the purpose of releasing crawlers, the mobile pre-settled juveniles. Once the hyphae of CC89 advanced under the test, germ-tubes readily penetrated the insect body through a number of natural openings (e.g. spiracles, vulva, stylet), with mycosis observed within seven days after inoculation. Direct penetration through the cuticle of the scale insect was not observed.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21771597 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

113. Eur J Dent. 2011 Jul;5(3):299-304.

Comparison of Depth of Cure, Hardness and Heat Generation of LED and High Intensity QTH Light Sources.

Mousavinasab SM, Meyers I.

Associate Professor, Department of Restorative Dentistry, Torabinejad Research Dental Center, School of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Isfahan, Iran.

OBJECTIVES: To compare curing performance of a second generation LED curing light with a high power tungsten quartz halogen (QTH). METHODS: A hybrid composite resin (Filtek Z 250, 3M, USA) was used as test material and cured using a second generation LED light (Translux Power Blue™, Heraus Kulzer ,Germany) or a very high power QTH light unit (EMS, Switzerland). A two split aluminum mold was used to prepare ten samples with LED light source cured for forty seconds and ten samples prepared using high power QTH light unit, cured for four or six seconds recommended exposure time. Hardness, depth of cure (DOC) and thermal rise during exposure time by these light sources were measured. The data submitted to analysis of variance (ANOVA), Tukey's and student's t tests at 5% significance level. RESULTS: Significant differences were found in hardness, DOC of samples cured by above mentioned light sources and also in thermal rises during exposure time. The curing performance of the tested QTH was not as well as the LED light. TPB light source produced the maximum hardness (81.25, 73.29, 65.49,55.83 and 24.53 for 0 mm, 1 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm and 4 mm intervals) and DOC (2.64 mm) values with forty seconds irradiation time and the high power (QTH) the least hardness (73.27, 61.51 and 31.59 for 0 mm, 1 mm and 2 mm, respectively) and DOC (2 mm) values with four seconds irradiation time. Thermal rises during 4 s and 6 s curing time using high power QTH and tested LED were 1.88°C, 3°C and 1.87°C, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The used high power LED light produced greater hardness and depth of cure during forty seconds exposure time compared to high power QTH light with four or six seconds curing time. Thermal rise during 6 s curing time with QTH was greater compared to thermal changes occurred during 40 s curing time with tested LED light source. There was no difference seen in thermal changes caused by LED light with 40 s and QTH light with 4 s exposure time.

PMCID: PMC3137443 PMID: 21769271 [PubMed]

114. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Oct;55(10):4782-8. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

Observational study of the clinical efficacy of voriconazole and its relationship to plasma concentrations in patients.

Troke PF, Hockey HP, Hope WW.

The Old Court, 74a Kingsgate Ave., Broadstairs, Kent CT10 3LW, United Kingdom.

Erratum in Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Nov;55(11):5415.

Voriconazole is approved for treating invasive fungal infections. We examined voriconazole exposure-response relationships for patients from nine published clinical trials. The relationship between the mean voriconazole plasma concentration (C(avg)) and clinical response and between the free C(avg)/MIC ratio versus the clinical response were explored using logistic regression. The impact of covariates on response was also assessed. Monte Carlo simulation was used to estimate the relationship between the trough concentration/MIC ratio and the probability of response. The covariates individually related to response were as follows: study (P < 0.001), therapy (primary/salvage, P < 0.001), primary diagnosis (P < 0.001), race (P = 0.004), baseline bilirubin (P < 0.001), baseline alkaline phosphatase (P = 0.014), and pathogen (yeast/mold, P < 0.001). The C(avg) for 72% of the patients was 0.5 to 5.0 μg/ml, with the maximum response rate (74%) at 3.0 to 4.0 μg/ml. The C(avg) showed a nonlinear relationship to response (P < 0.003), with a lower probability at the extremes. For patients with C(avg) < 0.5 μg/ml, the response rate was 57%. The lowest response rate (56%) was seen with a C(avg) ≥ 5.0 μg/ml (18% of patients) and was associated with significantly lower mold infection responses compared to yeasts (P < 0.001) but not with voriconazole toxicity. Higher free C(avg)/MIC ratios were associated with a progressively higher probability of response. Monte Carlo simulation suggested that a trough/MIC ratio of 2 to 5 is associated with a near-maximal probability of response. The probability of response is lower at the extremes of C(avg). Patients with higher free C(avg)/MIC ratios have a higher probability of clinical response. A trough/MIC ratio of 2 to 5 can be used as a target for therapeutic drug monitoring.

PMCID: PMC3186950 [Available on 2012/4/1] PMID: 21768513 [PubMed - in process]

115. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011 Sep 15;143(1-2):170-5. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

The effect of environment on interferon-gamma production in neonatal foals.

Sun L, Adams AA, Page AE, Betancourt A, Horohov DW.

Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0099, USA.

While interferon-gamma (IFNγ) plays an important role in protection against viral and intracellular bacterial infections, its production in neonates is deficient. Exposure to environmental antigens can promote the maturation of the immune system of neonatal humans and mice. We hypothesize that exposure to high level of microbial components would increase the production of IFNγ in neonatal foals. To test this hypothesis, one group of foals was placed into stalls three times a week for 8 weeks. A second group of foals remained on pasture. Air samples were collected from the barn and pasture for microbial culture. There were more bacteria and fungi in the air samples collected from the barn compared with those from the pasture. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were collected from both groups of foals at various times to assess IFNγ production. The frequency of IFNγ(+) lymphocytes in BAL cells and PBMC was higher for foals kept in the stalls.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21767882 [PubMed - in process]

116. Indoor Air. 2011 Dec;21(6):472-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2011.00733.x. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Molds, parental atopy and pediatric incident asthma.

Hwang BF, Liu IP, Huang TP.

Department of Occupational Safety and Health, College of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.

To assess the independent and joint effects of parental atopy and exposure to molds on the development of asthma in childhood, the authors conducted a cohort-based, incident case-control study in 2008. The case group consisted of 188 children with new asthma, and the control group (n=376) was matched one to two for age and sex. The outcome of interest was the development of asthma during the study period. The studied determinants were parental atopy and three indicators of exposure including histories of water damage, presence of visible molds, and perceived mold odor in the home at baseline in 2002. In conditional logistic regression adjusting for confounding, parental atopy [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3.29, 95% CI 2.19-4.94] and the presence of mold odor (aOR 2.09, 95% CI 1.30-3.37) and visible mold (aOR 1.76, 95% CI 1.18-2.62) were independent determinants of incident asthma, and apparent interaction in additive scale was observed. Our finding suggests that the interaction between parental atopy and molds may play a role in the development of asthma in children. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Our study strengthens the evidence for the roles of indoor dampness problem and parental atopy as determinants of asthma in children. Furthermore, the interaction between parental atopy and exposure to molds suggests a role for the development of childhood asthma, i.e., the children whose parents had atopic disease and molds exposure are more susceptible to develop asthma.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

PMID: 21767318 [PubMed - in process]

117. Indoor Air. 2011 Dec;21(6):521-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2011.00732.x. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Assessing allergenic fungi in house dust by floor wipe sampling and quantitative PCR.

Yamamoto N, Shendell DG, Peccia J.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.

In the present study, we modified an existing surface wipe sampling method for lead and other heavy metals to create a protocol to collect fungi in floor dust followed by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR)-based detection. We desired minimal inconvenience for participants in residential indoor environmental quality and health studies. Accuracy, precision, and method detection limits (MDLs) were investigated. Overall, MDLs ranged from 0.6 to 25 cell/cm² on sampled floors. Overall measurement precisions expressed as the coefficient of variation because of sample processing and qPCR ranged 6-63%. Median and maximum fungal concentrations in house dust in study homes in Visalia, Tulare County, California, were 110 and 2500 cell/cm², respectively, with universal fungal primers (allergenic and nonallergenic species). The field study indicated samplings in multiple seasons were necessary to characterize representative whole-year fungal concentrations in residential microenvironments. This was because significant temporal variations were observed within study homes. Combined field and laboratory results suggested this modified new wipe sampling method, in conjunction with growth-independent qPCR, shows potential to improve human exposure and health studies for fungal pathogens and allergens in dust in homes of susceptible, vulnerable population subgroups. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Fungi are ubiquitous in indoor and outdoor environments, and many fungi are known to cause allergic reactions and exacerbate asthma attacks. This study established--by modifying an existing--a wipe sampling method to collect fungi in floor dust followed by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR)-based detection methodologies. Results from this combined laboratory and field assessment suggested the methodology's potential to inform larger human exposure studies for fungal pathogens and allergens in house dust as well as epidemiologic studies of children with asthma and older adults with chronic respiratory diseases.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

PMID: 21767317 [PubMed - in process]

118. Bol Asoc Med P R. 2010 Oct-Dec;102(4):47-50.

PET-CT scan positive pulmonary nodule revealing histoplasmosis: a case report.

Matos Figueroa JR, Vázquez Torres OL, Hernández I, Vila A.

Hospital Episcopal San Lucas Ponce, Ave. Tito Castro # 917, P.O. Box 336810, Ponce, PR.

Our medical staff identified a case of a forty-six years old Armed Force active duty female that presented with multiple systemic and pulmonary signs and symptoms, such as hemoptysis, arthralgias, chest pain and dyspnea after being exposed to a humid and old wooden building one year ago in the state of Georgia. Various imaging studies (cervical & thoracic x-rays and CT Scans), revealed diffuse small nodules at cervical & thoracic areas, osteolytic lesions and lymphadenopathy. Suspecting a malignant process, a PET-CT Scan was performed revealing a right lung lower lobe nodule consistent with a primary malignancy, metastatic disease, active infectious or inflammatory process. She underwent a CT-guided needle biopsy followed by an open thoracotomy. These results were negative for malignancy and positive for chronic granulomatous inflammatory process. Therefore, special immunologic stains were undertaken revealing a granulomatous process with Histoplasmosis capsulatum. This case was diagnosed in the most unusual manner, given the presenting symptoms and pathological findings which suggested a malignant process, later confirmed by multiple specialized imaging studies and tests. This presumptive diagnosis turned out to be an inflammatory/infectious (fungal) process. We must keep in mind that not all mass lesions encountered by special imaging studies should be considered malignant. This case exemplifies the need of clinicians to exercise strong clinical and critical thinking skills to consider the broad diagnostic possibilities of pulmonary nodules presenting as a malignancy.

PMID: 21766547 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

119. PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e21764. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Sunlight-exposed biofilm microbial communities are naturally resistant to chernobyl ionizing-radiation levels.

Ragon M, Restoux G, Moreira D, Møller AP, López-García P.

Unité d'Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution - CNRS UMR8079, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.

BACKGROUND: The Chernobyl accident represents a long-term experiment on the effects of exposure to ionizing radiation at the ecosystem level. Though studies of these effects on plants and animals are abundant, the study of how Chernobyl radiation levels affect prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities is practically non-existent, except for a few reports on human pathogens or soil microorganisms. Environments enduring extreme desiccation and UV radiation, such as sunlight exposed biofilms could in principle select for organisms highly resistant to ionizing radiation as well. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To test this hypothesis, we explored the diversity of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life by cultivation-independent approaches in biofilms developing on concrete walls or pillars in the Chernobyl area exposed to different levels of radiation, and we compared them with a similar biofilm from a non-irradiated site in Northern Ireland. Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Acidobacteria and Deinococcales were the most consistently detected bacterial groups, whereas green algae (Chlorophyta) and ascomycete fungi (Ascomycota) dominated within the eukaryotes. Close relatives to the most radio-resistant organisms known, including Rubrobacter species, Deinococcales and melanized ascomycete fungi were always detected. The diversity of bacteria and eukaryotes found in the most highly irradiated samples was comparable to that of less irradiated Chernobyl sites and Northern Ireland. However, the study of mutation frequencies in non-coding ITS regions versus SSU rRNA genes in members of a same actinobacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) present in Chernobyl samples and Northern Ireland showed a positive correlation between increased radiation and mutation rates. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that biofilm microbial communities in the most irradiated samples are comparable to non-irradiated samples in terms of general diversity patterns, despite increased mutation levels at the single-OTU level. Therefore, biofilm communities growing in sunlight exposed substrates are capable of coping with increased mutation rates and appear pre-adapted to levels of ionizing radiation in Chernobyl due to their natural adaptation to periodical desiccation and ambient UV radiation.

PMCID: PMC3135598 PMID: 21765911 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

120. Physiol Behav. 2011 Oct 24;104(5):989-95. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Cognitive function of 6-year old children exposed to mold-contaminated homes in early postnatal period. Prospective birth cohort study in Poland.

Jedrychowski W, Maugeri U, Perera F, Stigter L, Jankowski J, Butscher M, Mroz E, Flak E, Skarupa A, Sowa A.

Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland.

In the last decade, the neurologic effects of various air pollutants have been the focus of increasing attention. The main purpose of this study was to assess the potential impact of early childhood exposure to indoor molds on the subsequent cognitive function of 6-year old children. The results of this study are based on the six-year follow-up of 277 babies born at term to mothers participating in a prospective cohort study in Krakow, Poland. The study participants are all non-smoking pregnant women who were free of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The presence of visible mold patches on indoor walls was monitored at regular time intervals over gestation and after birth up to the age of five. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-R) was administered to children at age 6. The exposure effect of living in mold-contaminated homes on the IQ scores of children was adjusted for major confounders, known to be important for the cognitive development of children such as maternal education, the child's gender, breastfeeding practices in infancy, the presence of older siblings and the prenatal exposure to lead and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The adjusted IQ deficit attributed to longer exposures to indoor molds (>2 years) was significantly lower on the IQ scale (beta coeff.=-9.16, 95%CI: -15.21, -3.10) and tripled the risk of low IQ scoring (OR=3.53; 95%CI: 1.11-11.27) compared with references. While maternal education (beta coeff.=0.61, 95%CI: 0.05, 1.17) and breastfeeding (beta coeff.=4.0; 95%CI: 0.84, 7.17) showed a significant positive impact on cognitive function, prenatal ETS exposure (beta coeff.=-0.41; 95%CI: -0.79, -0.03) and the presence of older siblings (beta coefficient=-3.43; 95%CI: -5.67, -1.20) were associated with poorer cognitive function in children. In conclusion, the results of this study draw attention to the harmful effect of early postnatal exposure to indoor molds on children's cognitive development and provide additional evidence on the role of environmental determinants in human cognitive development.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21763705 [PubMed - in process]

121. Mycopathologia. 2011 Nov;172(5):331-46. Epub 2011 Jul 14.

Transcriptomic and proteomic profile of Aspergillus fumigatus on exposure to artemisinin.

Gautam P, Upadhyay SK, Hassan W, Madan T, Sirdeshmukh R, Sundaram CS, Gade WN, Basir SF, Singh Y, Sarma PU.

Institute for Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi, India.

Artemisinin, an antimalarial drug, and its derivatives are reported to have antifungal activity against some fungi. We report its antifungal activity against Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus), a pathogenic filamentous fungus responsible for allergic and invasive aspergillosis in humans, and its synergistic effect in combination with itraconazole (ITC), an available antifungal drug. In order to identify its molecular targets, we further analyzed transcript and proteomic profiles of the fungus on exposure to the artemisinin. In transcriptomic analysis, a total of 745 genes were observed to be modulated on exposure to artemisinin, and some of them were confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis. Proteomic profiles of A. fumigatus treated with artemisinin showed modulation of 175 proteins (66 upregulated and 109 downregulated) as compared to the control. Peptide mass fingerprinting led to the identification of 85 proteins-29 upregulated and 56 downregulated, 65 of which were unique proteins. Consistent with earlier reports of molecular mechanisms of artemisinin and that of other antifungal drugs, we believe that oxidative phosphorylation pathway (64 kDa mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase), cell wall-associated proteins and enzymes (conidial hydrophobin B protein, cell wall phiA protein, extracellular thaumatin domain protein, 1,3-beta-glucanosyltransferase Gel2) and genes involved in ergosterol biosynthesis (ERG6 and coproporphyrinogen III oxidase, HEM13) are potential targets of artemisinin for further investigations.

PMID: 21755315 [PubMed - in process]

122. J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Sep;49(9):3204-8. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

Detection of Blastomyces dermatitidis and Histoplasma capsulatum from culture isolates and clinical specimens by use of real-time PCR.

Babady NE, Buckwalter SP, Hall L, Le Febre KM, Binnicker MJ, Wengenack NL.

Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.

Blastomyces dermatitidis and Histoplasma capsulatum are dimorphic fungi that often cause self-limited respiratory infections. However, they may also cause severe disseminated disease, depending on the level of the exposure to the organism and the host immune status. In addition, patients with infections caused by these fungi may have very similar clinical presentations. Although microbiologic culture is a standard method for detecting these pathogens, their recovery may require days to weeks, and the manipulation of cultures presents a significant safety hazard to laboratory personnel. Therefore, the goal of this study was to design a rapid, real-time PCR assay to detect and differentiate B. dermatitidis and H. capsulatum from culture isolates and directly from clinical specimens. Primers and fluorescence resonance energy transfer hybridization probes were designed to target the histidine kinase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase genes of B. dermatitidis and H. capsulatum, respectively. The analytical sensitivity of the assay was determined to be 100 copies/μl for both fungi. From culture isolates, the assay demonstrated 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity for B. dermatitidis and 100% specificity and 94% sensitivity for H. capsulatum. Detection directly from 797 clinical specimens demonstrated specificities and sensitivities of 99% and 86% for B. dermatitidis and 100% and 73% for H. capsulatum compared with the results for culture. This real-time PCR assay provides a rapid method for the detection of B. dermatitidis and H. capsulatum from culture isolates and directly from clinical specimens.

PMCID: PMC3165572 [Available on 2012/3/1] PMID: 21752970 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

123. Biochem J. 2011 Sep 15;438(3):523-33.

The role of the protein kinase A pathway in the response to alkaline pH stress in yeast.

Casado C, González A, Platara M, Ruiz A, Ariño J.

Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina & Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Bellaterra 08193, Barcelona, Spain.

Exposure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to alkaline pH provokes a stress condition that generates a compensatory reaction. In the present study we examined a possible role for the PKA (protein kinase A) pathway in this response. Phenotypic analysis revealed that mutations that activate the PKA pathway (ira1 ira2, bcy1) tend to cause sensitivity to alkaline pH, whereas its deactivation enhances tolerance to this stress. We observed that alkalinization causes a transient decrease in cAMP, the main regulator of the pathway. Alkaline pH causes rapid nuclear localization of the PKA-regulated Msn2 transcription factor which, together with Msn4, mediates a general stress response by binding with STRE (stress response element) sequences in many promoters. Consequently, a synthetic STRE-LacZ reporter shows a rapid induction in response to alkaline stress. A msn2 msn4 mutant is sensitive to alkaline pH, and transcriptomic analysis reveals that after 10 min of alkaline stress, the expression of many induced genes (47%) depends, at least in part, on the presence of Msn2 and Msn4. Taken together, these results demonstrate that inhibition of the PKA pathway by alkaline pH represents a substantial part of the adaptive response to this kind of stress and that this response involves Msn2/Msn4-mediated genome expression remodelling. However, the relevance of attenuation of PKA in high pH tolerance is probably not restricted to regulation of Msn2 function.

PMID: 21749328 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

124. Med Pr. 2011;62(1):57-66.

[The implementation of legislation acts regarding prevention of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens from perspective of Poland as the ue country].

[Article in Polish]

Szczeniowski A, Gańczak M.

Wyisza Szkoła Medyczna LZDZ, Legnica.

The paper presents the history of implementation of legislation related to prevention of occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens in the U.S.A. and EU, including a detailed description of existing regulations. The pioneering role of American legislation in establishing relevant legal acts to prevent employees from sharp injuries is also stressed. In this context the European road towards safer work in the healthcare sector is discussed. The legal acts, currently functioning in the EU, including Council Directive 2010/32/EU of 10 May 2010, are described. The Directive implements the Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector concluded by the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers' Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). The arguments for the universal implementation of legal acts, protecting medical staff in all EU Member States, are pointed out. As far as Poland is concerned, a great need for an urgent action mobilising all social partners (i.e., nurses, doctors, other employees at potential risk of acquiring an occupational infection, employers, professional organisations and scientific bodies) to develop relevant regulations and to assure sufficient funds for their broad implementation is underlined.

PMID: 21748884 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

125. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2011 May;15(5):543-9.

Effects of Vernonia cinerea less methanol extract on growth and morphogenesis of Candida albicans.

Latha LY, Darah I, Jain K, Sasidharan S.

School of Biological Sciences, University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Vernonia (V.) cinerea Less (Asteraceae) have many therapeutic uses in the practice of traditional medicine. The methanol extract of V cinerea, was screened for antiyeast activity against pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The antimicrobial activities were studied by using disc diffusion method and broth dilution method. The effect of the extract on the growth profile of the yeast was also examined via time-kill assay. In addition to the fungicidal effects study, microscopic observations using Scanning (SEM) electron microscopy, Transmission (TEM) electron microscopy and light microscopy (LM) were done to determine the major alterations in the microstructure of Candida (C) albicans. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The extract showed a favorable antimicrobial activity against C. albicans with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 1.56 mg/mL. Time-kill assay suggested that Vernonia cinerea extract had completely inhibited Candida albicans growth and also exhibited prolonged antiyeast activity. The main abnormalities notes from these microscopic observations were the alterations in morphology and complete collapse of the yeast cells after 36 h of exposure to the extract. CONCLUSION: The extract of Vernonia cinerea may be an effective agent to treat the Candida albicans infection.

PMID: 21744750 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

126. Plant Cell Physiol. 2011 Aug;52(8):1433-42. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

AtIRT1, the primary iron uptake transporter in the root, mediates excess nickel accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Nishida S, Tsuzuki C, Kato A, Aisu A, Yoshida J, Mizuno T.

Graduate School of Bioresources, Mie University, Kurimamachiya-cho 1577, Tsu, Mie, 514-8507 Japan.

Nickel (Ni) is an essential nutrient for plants, but excessive amounts can be toxic. Ni competes with iron (Fe) in vivo, raising the possibility that Ni is competitively taken up via the Fe uptake system in plants. Here, we show evidence that AtIRT1, the primary Fe(2+) uptake transporter in the root, mediates Ni accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana. In hydroponic cultures, excess Ni exposure increased Fe accumulation and the relative transcription level of AtIRT1 in roots, indicating that excess Ni induces AtIRT1 expression in roots. An Fe-deficient treatment increased Ni accumulation in plants, suggesting that excess Ni was absorbed via the Fe uptake system, which was induced by Fe starvation. Moreover, Ni accumulation under Fe-deficient conditions was markedly lower in AtIRT1-defective mutants than in the wild-type, Col-0. Furthermore, AtIRT1 showed Ni(2+) uptake activity in a yeast expression system. These data demonstrate that AtIRT1 transports Ni(2+) in roots, and strongly suggest that Ni accumulation is further accelerated by AtIRT1 that is expressed in response to excess Ni.

PMID: 21742768 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

127. J Colloid Interface Sci. 2011 Oct 1;362(1):50-7. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

In situ photoexcitation of silver-doped titania nanopowders for activity against bacteria and yeasts.

Kowal K, Wysocka-Król K, Kopaczyńska M, Dworniczek E, Franiczek R, Wawrzyńska M, Vargová M, Zahoran M, Rakovský E, Kuš P, Plesch G, Plecenik A, Laffir F, Tofail SA, Podbielska H.

Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Instrumentation, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wybrzeze Wyspianskiego 27, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland.

Photocatalytic and in situ microbial activity of the amorphous and annealed states of Ag-doped and un-doped titania were examined. Studies on their structure, morphology, composition, and the photo-absorption characteristics of these materials were performed. These results were correlated with the photocatalytic and microbial activity against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus K324 (MRSA), methicillin susceptible S. aureus ATCC 25923 (MSSA), Escherichia coli PA 170, and yeasts Candida albicans ATCC 90028. The annealed powders containing anatase form of titania exhibited relatively higher photocatalytic activity,corresponding to activity against MRSA,when exposed to UV-A radiation. In comparison, amorphous powders exhibited low photoactivity and showed poor antibacterial performance against MRSA under UV-A exposure. Doping of amorphous titania with Ag resulted in an anti-MRSA effect without exposure to UV radiation. In the Ag-doped crystalline anatase samples, the size of Ag primary nanocrystallites increased, which led to the decrease in the surface concentration of Ag and detriment anti-MRSA activity.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21741659 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

128. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21550. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Exposure to sublethal doses of fipronil and thiacloprid highly increases mortality of honeybees previously infected by Nosema ceranae.

Vidau C, Diogon M, Aufauvre J, Fontbonne R, Viguès B, Brunet JL, Texier C, Biron DG, Blot N, El Alaoui H, Belzunces LP, Delbac F.

Clermont Université, Laboratoire Microorganismes: Génome et Environnement, BP 10448, Clermont-Ferrand, France.

BACKGROUND: The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is undergoing a worldwide decline whose origin is still in debate. Studies performed for twenty years suggest that this decline may involve both infectious diseases and exposure to pesticides. Joint action of pathogens and chemicals are known to threaten several organisms but the combined effects of these stressors were poorly investigated in honeybees. Our study was designed to explore the effect of Nosema ceranae infection on honeybee sensitivity to sublethal doses of the insecticides fipronil and thiacloprid. METHODOLOGY/FINDING: Five days after their emergence, honeybees were divided in 6 experimental groups: (i) uninfected controls, (ii) infected with N. ceranae, (iii) uninfected and exposed to fipronil, (iv) uninfected and exposed to thiacloprid, (v) infected with N. ceranae and exposed 10 days post-infection (p.i.) to fipronil, and (vi) infected with N. ceranae and exposed 10 days p.i. to thiacloprid. Honeybee mortality and insecticide consumption were analyzed daily and the intestinal spore content was evaluated 20 days after infection. A significant increase in honeybee mortality was observed when N. ceranae-infected honeybees were exposed to sublethal doses of insecticides. Surprisingly, exposures to fipronil and thiacloprid had opposite effects on microsporidian spore production. Analysis of the honeybee detoxification system 10 days p.i. showed that N. ceranae infection induced an increase in glutathione-S-transferase activity in midgut and fat body but not in 7-ethoxycoumarin-O-deethylase activity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: After exposure to sublethal doses of fipronil or thiacloprid a higher mortality was observed in N. ceranae-infected honeybees than in uninfected ones. The synergistic effect of N. ceranae and insecticide on honeybee mortality, however, did not appear strongly linked to a decrease of the insect detoxification system. These data support the hypothesis that the combination of the increasing prevalence of N. ceranae with high pesticide content in beehives may contribute to colony depopulation.

PMCID: PMC3125288 PMID: 21738706 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

129. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2011 Aug;31(3):493-507.

Does allergen avoidance work?

Bush RK.

Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, K4/910 CSC #9988, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792, USA.

Allergic rhinitis affects a large portion of the population. Patients are frequently sensitized to indoor allergens. The most important contributors are house dust mites, pets, and fungi. In very controlled environments where allergen exposure is significantly reduced, individuals have been shown to have clinical improvement in allergic rhinitis and/or asthma symptoms. Achieving sufficient exposure reduction in the home has proven difficult. Nonetheless, evidence exists that demonstrates exposure avoidance can be useful as an adjunct to other therapies, such as pharmacotherapy and immunotherapy, for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21737040 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

130. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Aug 24;59(16):8724-32. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

Vitamin D mushrooms: comparison of the composition of button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) treated postharvest with UVB light or sunlight.

Simon RR, Phillips KM, Horst RL, Munro IC.

Cantox Health Sciences International, an Intertek Company, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

This study compared the compositional changes in mushrooms exposed to sunlight with those occurring after commercial ultraviolet (UV) light processing. Button mushrooms (75 kg) were processed in the presence or absence of UVB light; a third group was exposed to direct sunlight. Mushroom composition was evaluated using chemical analyses. Vitamin D concentrations were 5, 410, and 374 μg/100 g (dw) in control, UVB, and sunlight groups, respectively. On a dry weight basis, no significant changes in vitamin C, folate, vitamins B(6), vitamin B(5), riboflavin, niacin, amino acids, fatty acids, ergosterol, or agaritine were observed following UVB processing. Sunlight exposure resulted in a 26% loss of riboflavin, evidence of folate oxidation, and unexplained increases in ergosterol (9.5%). It was concluded that compositional effects of UVB light are limited to changes in vitamin D and show no detrimental changes relative to natural sunlight exposure and, therefore, provide important information relevant to the suitability and safety of UVB light technology for vitamin D enhanced mushrooms.

PMID: 21736377 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

131. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011 Jun;18(1):63-71.

Microbial air quality at Szczawnica sanatorium, Poland.

Frączek K, Górny RL.

Department of Microbiology, University of Agriculture, Kraków, Poland.

Nowadays, sanatorium treatment is undergoing a renaissance; however, data on air quality in such premises are scarce. The aim of this study was to characterize microbial air quality at the Szczawnica sanatorium in Southern Poland. The bioaerosol measurements were carried out using a 6-stage Andersen impactor over a period of one year in 3 naturally ventilated sanatorium premises (where different curative treatments took place) and in outdoor air. The indoor and outdoor concentrations of fungal aerosol were always below 1,600 cfu/m(3). With regard to bacterial contamination, the highest concentrations (up to 6,223 cfu/m(3)) were usually noted when the patients were present and underwent curative procedures. Such concentrations crossed the Polish threshold limit values, which suggest that natural ventilation in this type of premises did not ensure the proper air quality; therefore a high-performance ventilation or air-conditioning system should be introduced to provide the "clean" air into the curative treatment rooms. Qualitative evaluation of bioaerosols revealed that the most prevalent indoors were Gram-positive cocci, mesophilic actinomycetes, and filamentous fungi. Analysis of microclimate parameters confirmed that ony relative humidity of the air influenced significantly the levels and composition of microbial aerosols. Hence, the constant control of this parameter should be scrupulously supervised at sanatorium premises.

PMID: 21736271 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

132. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011 Jun;18(1):19-27.

Exposure to bioaerosols in the selected agricultural facilities of the Ukraine and Poland - a review.

Tsapko VG, Chudnovets AJ, Sterenbogen MJ, Papach VV, Dutkiewicz J, Skórska C, Krysińska-Traczyk E, Golec M.

Institute of Occupational Medicine, Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine.

The aim of this work was to review the studies on bioaerosols which were carried out in the years 1972-2009 in following branches of agricultural industry in the Ukraine and Poland: animal farms for cows and pigs, animal feed facilities, production of biofuel from rape, herb farms and herb processing facilities. In all facilities were determined: concentration of dust and microorganisms in the air and species composition of microflora. Moreover, in Polish animal farms, herb farms and herb processing facilities, as well as in the Ukrainian animal feed facilities, was determined the concentration of bacterial endotoxin in the air. Dust concentrations in animal farms located in the Ukraine and Poland ranged from 6-200 mg/m(3) and from 0.25-14.05 mg/m(3), respectively, while in animal feed facilities they ranged from 35-306 mg/m(3) and from 3.8-405 mg/m(3), respectively. Dust concentrations in the facilities producing biofuel from rape in the Ukraine were in the range 3.6-28 mg/m(3), whereas on herb farms and in herb processing facilities in Poland they were in the range 0.8- 1,319.6 mg/m(3), and 2.2-946 mg/m(3), respectively. The determined values exceeded in most cases the maximal acceptable concentration (MAC) which in the Ukraine and Poland is equal to 4 mg/m(3). The concentrations of microorganisms on animal farms located in the Ukraine and Poland ranged from 5.5 x 10(4)- 1.9 x 10(7) cfu/m(3) and from 4.7 x 10(4)-1.5 x 10(6) cfu/m(3), respectively, while in animal feed facilities they ranged from 2.7 x 10(4)-2.6 x 10(9) cfu/m(3) and from 1.7 x 10(3)-2.0 x 10(6) cfu/m(3), respectively. Concentrations of microorganisms in the facilities producing biofuel from rape in the Ukraine were in the range 1.5 x 10(3)-5.7 x 10(6) cfu/m(3), whereas on herb farms and in herb processing facilities in Poland they were in the ranges of 8.8 x 10(2)-8.0 x 10(6) cfu/m(3), and 9.7 x 10(3)-6.3 x 10(5) cfu/m(3), respectively. The determined values exceeded in most cases the maximal acceptable concentration (MAC) which in the Ukraine is equal to 5.0 x 10(4) cfu/m(3). The concentrations of endotoxin in Polish animal houses were in the range 0.00125-75.0 ug/m(3), whereas on herb farms and herb processing facilities they were in the ranges of 0.0045- 2,448.8 ug/m(3) and 0.2-681.0 ug/m(3), respectively, and in the Ukrainian animal feed facilities were within the range 0.008-240.0 ug/m(3). They exceeded in most cases the level of 0.2 ug/m(3) proposed as a threshold. In the air microflora of examined facilities prevailed Gram-positive bacteria (corynebacteria, cocci, spore-forming bacilli, actinomycetes) of which some (Arthrobacter spp., thermophilic actinomycetes) could be a cause of allergic alveolitis (hypersensitivity pneumonitis). Among Gram-negative bacteria isolated from the air of agricultural settings dominated the epiphytic species Pantoea agglomerans, possessing potent allergenic and endotoxic properties. Fungi were abundant in the air of the Ukrainian agricultural settings and comprised species able to produce harmful mycotoxins. In conclusion, the airborne biological factors in stated concentrations may exert harmful effects on the state of the health of exposed workers. Formation of the bioaerosol depends on the specificity of the setting, kind of technological operations, degree of mechanization, properties of processed materials, temperature and humidity, and concentration of dust in the air.

PMID: 21736265 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

133. Acta Derm Venereol. 2011 Jul 5. doi: 10.2340/00015555-1171. [Epub ahead of print]

Antimicrobial Effects of Plasma-mediated Bipolar Radiofrequency Ablation on Bacteria and Fungi Relevant for Wound Infection.

Sönnergren HH, Strömbeck L, Faergemann J.

Department of Dermatology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden. E-mail:

Infection constitutes an important part of wound pathology and impedes wound healing. Plasma-mediated bipolar radiofrequency ablation (Coblation®) is a tissue-removal technique suggested for use in wound treatment. The aims of this study were to determine the antimicrobial effect of ablation exposure on bacteria and fungi relevant to wound infection, and how exposure time, temperature and aerobic/anaerobic growth influence the effect. Suspensions of 10^6 colony-forming units/ml of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans were exposed to ablation or thermal control for 500, 1000 or 2000 ms, or left untreated, and incubated aerobically. E. coli was also incubated anaerobically. Ablation was significantly (p < 0.0001) microbicidal on all strains compared with untreated and thermal control. The reductions compared with untreated control were 99.87-99.99% for all strains. In conclusion, plasma-mediated bipolar radio-frequency ablation has a general microbicidal effect in vitro on microbes relevant to wound infection independent of aerobic/anaerobic growth and thermal effect.

PMID: 21727993 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

134. Fungal Biol. 2011 Jul;115(7):625-32. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

The allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia is influenced by growth temperature.

Low SY, Dannemiller K, Yao M, Yamamoto N, Peccia J.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, Mason Laboratory, New Haven, CT 06520-8286, USA.

Common indoor and outdoor environmental fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus produce asexual spores containing a collection of proteins that can bind IgE antibodies and trigger allergic reactions. We characterized the impact of sporulation temperature on the IgE-binding capacity (allergenicity) of A. fumigatus and explored the links between variable allergenicity and temperature-dependant expression of genes encoding these allergenic proteins. A 12-fold increase in A. fumigatus allergenicity per spore was observed when sporulation temperatures were decreased from 32°C to 17°C. Per spore protein mass and Asp f 1 allergen mass also followed this trend. Functional gene expression analysis of A. fumigatus sporulating cultures by real-time reverse-transcription PCR and gene expression microarrays revealed that a greater number of genes encoding known, major allergens are more highly expressed at lower sporulation temperatures. The results of this study indicate that environmental conditions at growth significantly influence the allergenicity of this common mould through the differential production of allergenic proteins, and highlight the importance of in vivo or in vitro allergenicity measurements for understanding environmental exposure to airborne allergenic fungi.

Copyright © 2011 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21724168 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

135. J Appl Microbiol. 2011 Oct;111(4):939-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2011.05097.x. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

Susceptibility of the cactus weevil Metamasius spinolae to Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae under laboratory and field conditions.

Orduño-Cruz N, Guzmán-Franco AW, Rodríguez-Leyva E, López-Collado J, Valdéz-Carrasco JM, Mora-Aguilera G.

Especialidad de Entomología y Acarología, Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Montecillo, Texcoco, Estado de Mexico, Mexico.

AIMS: To evaluate different entomopathogenic fungal isolates against the cactus weevil Metamasius spinolae under laboratory and field conditions, and select an isolate to be used as a tool in the management of this insect pest. METHODS AND RESULTS: Four experiments were carried out. The effect of temperature on the in vitro growth of eight isolates of entomopathogenic fungi (two Metarhizium anisopliae and six Beauveria bassiana) was assessed. The susceptibility of adult M. spinolae to the same isolates was evaluated. Using three selected isolates, the interaction between susceptibility and sex of the insect was studied. Finally, a field experiment was carried out to evaluate infection of adult M. spinolae by the same three isolates under natural abiotic conditions. Overall, growth rate was greatest at 25°C for all the isolates. In vitro growth of M. anisopliae was greater than B. bassiana. Mortality of adult M. spinolae was greater when inoculated with B. bassiana compared with isolates of M. anisopliae. Susceptibility had no interaction with the sex of the insect. The proportion of insects succumbing to infection was smaller when incubated under field conditions than when incubated under laboratory conditions. CONCLUSIONS: The experiments described here showed a complex interaction between entomopathogenic fungi and M. spinolae, and these data allows us to select isolate Bb107 as a first step towards its use in the management of this pest insect. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Our results showed that entomopathogenic fungi can be used for the control of M. spinolae, which may help reduce the use of chemical insecticides and, therefore, the exposure of Opuntia ficus-indica producers to pesticides.

Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2011 The Society for Applied Microbiology. No claim to Mexican Government works.

PMID: 21722279 [PubMed - in process]

136. Bioresour Technol. 2011 Sep;102(17):8011-6. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Two-stage fungal biopulping for improved enzymatic hydrolysis of wood.

Giles RL, Galloway ER, Elliott GD, Parrow MW.

Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, USA.

A novel two-stage, whole organism fungal biopulping method was examined for increasing the yield of enzymatic hydrolysis of wood into soluble glucose. Liriodendron tulipifera wood chips (1g) were exposed to liquid culture suspensions of white rot (Ceriporiopsis subvermispora) or brown rot (Postia placenta) fungi and incubated at 28°C, either alone in single-stage 30 day (one fungal species applied) or two-stage 60 day (both fungal species applied in alternative succession) treatments. Fungi grew in all treatments, but did not significantly decrease the percent carbohydrate content of the wood. Two-stage treatments differed significantly in mass loss depending on order of exposure, suggesting additive or inhibitory fungal interactions occurred. Treatments consisting of C. subvermispora followed by P. placenta exhibited 6 ± 0.5% mass loss and increased the yield of enzymatic hydrolysis by 67-119%. This significant hydrolysis improvement suggests that fungal biopulping technologies could support commercial lignocellulosic ethanol production efforts if further developed.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21719275 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

137. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Jun;21(6):646-51.

Effect of pulsed electric fields upon accumulation of zinc in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Pankiewicz U, Jamroz J.

Department of Analysis and Evaluation of Food Quality, Faculty of Food Science and Biotechnology, University of Life Sciences-Lublin, Skromna 8, Lublin, Poland.

Cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were treated with pulsed electric fields to improve accumulation of zinc in the biomass. Under optimized conditions, that is, on 15 min exposure of the 20 h grown culture to PEFs of 1500 V and 10 microns pulse width, accumulation of zinc in the yeast biomass reached a maximum of 15.57 mg/g d.m. Under optimum zinc concentration (100 microgram/ml nutrient medium), its accumulation in the cells was higher by 63% in comparison with the control (without PEFs). That accumulation significantly correlated against zinc concentration in the medium. Neither multiple exposure of the cultures to PEFs nor intermittent supplementation of the cultures with zinc increased the zinc accumulation. The intermittent supplementation of the cultures with zinc and multiple exposures on PEFs could even reduce the accumulation efficiency, respectively, by 57% and 47%.

PMID: 21715972 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

138. J Hazard Mater. 2011 Aug 30;192(2):576-84. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Solidification of cement kiln dust using sulfur binder.

Mohamed AM, El Gamal MM.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UAE University, P.O. Box 17555, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

The present study aims to offer a new methodology for consuming two industrial wastes; sulfur, from petroleum and natural gas industries, and cement kiln dust (CKD), from Portland cement industries, in construction industry. Sulfur solidified cement kiln dust material (SSCKDM) was manufactured by mixing molten sulfur, treated sulfur, CKD and sand at a controlled temperature in excess of 120°C. The hot mixture was subsequently cast and shaped into the desired mold and was then allowed to solidify at a specified cooling rate. Solidified materials were immersed for time periods up to 28 days in distilled water at different temperatures of 25 and 60°C, sea water, and acidic and basic universal buffer solutions of pH4 and pH9, respectively. Solidified material performance as function of time and type of aqueous solution exposed to was evaluated in view of compressive strength variations and leachability of metal and heavy metal ions. The results indicated that the solidified articles exhibit homogenous and compact internal microstructure with excellent mechanical properties. However, it showed durability problem upon exposure to aqueous solution environments due to the initial chemical composition of the CKD, whose leached test showed release of relatively high amounts of sulfates and alkali metals. Durability of SSCKDM articles in relation to strength reduction and crack formations control was improved by addition of glass fiber while, the use of anti-leaching agent such as anhydrous sodium sulfide resulted in reduction of leached heavy metals without any measurable decrease in leached amounts of alkali metals and anions from the solidified matrix. Furthermore, based on leachability index method of calculation, potential chemical mobility of metal and heavy metal ions from the solidified matrix was characterized as medium.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21715092 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

139. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2011 Oct;99(1):135-41. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.31880. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

A completely autologous valved conduit prepared in the open form of trileaflets (type VI biovalve): mold design and valve function in vitro.

Nakayama Y, Yahata Y, Yamanami M, Tajikawa T, Ohba K, Kanda K, Yaku H.

Division of Medical Engineering and Materials, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Research Institute, Osaka, Japan.

In-body tissue, architecture technology represents a promising approach for the development of living heart valve replacements and preparation of a series of biovalves. To reduce the degree of regurgitation and increase the orifice ratio, we designed a novel mold for a type VI biovalve. The mold had an outer diameter of 14 mm for implantation in beagles, and it was prepared by assembling two silicone rods with a small aperture (1 mm) between them. One rod had three protrusions of the sinus of Valsalva, whereas the other was almost cylindrical. When the molds were embedded in the subcutaneous pouches of beagles for 1 month, the native connective tissues that subsequently developed covered the entire outer surface of the molds and migrated into the aperture between the rods. The mold from both sides of the harvested cylindrical implant was removed, and homogenous well-balanced trileaflets were found to be separately formed in the open form with a small aperture at the three commissure parts inside the developed conduit, which had a thick homogenous wall even in the sinus of Valsalva. Exposure of the obtained biovalves to physiological aortic valve flow in beagles revealed proper opening motion with a wide orifice area. The closure dynamics were suboptimal, probably due to the reduction in the size of the sinus of Valsalva. The mechanical behavior of this biovalve might allow its use as a living aortic valve replacement.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID: 21714078 [PubMed - in process]

140. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Nov;1810(11):1059-65. Epub 2011 Jun 25.

Proteinases as molecular adjuvants in allergic airway disease.

Porter PC, Yang T, Luong A, Delclos GL, Abramson SL, Kheradmand F, Corry DB.

Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

BACKGROUND: Asthma and related respiratory tract allergic diseases are among the most common chronic diseases of adults and children. Despite their importance, disease course cannot be predicted and treatment remains non-specific and potentially hazardous, with no means for cure. Improved clinical management of asthma will require an improved understanding of the fundamental factors that initiate allergic inflammation, especially T helper type 2 (T(H)2) cell induction. SCOPE OF REVIEW: In this review, we explore the Proteinase Hypothesis of allergic airway disease, considering specifically how organismal proteinases contribute to the expression of allergic disease and potentially important proteinase signaling pathways. MAJOR CONCLUSIONS: Proteinases from diverse sources (bacteria, fungi, plants) may cause occupational asthma by acting as immune adjuvant factors that specifically elicit T(H)2 cell-dependent allergic inflammation. However, more conventional allergic airway diseases (asthma, allergic sinusitis) are more likely to arise from contained fungal or viral infections of the airway in which proteinases are produced and serve as major virulence factors. Proteinases may elicit allergic disease by disrupting numerous cellular proteins, potentially including Toll like receptor (TLR) 4, but critical proteinase-activated signaling pathways remain largely unknown. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Clarification of how proteinases cause allergic disease, specifically confirming an infectious basis for airway proteinase exposure, will likely radically advance how asthma and related respiratory tract disorders are diagnosed and treated. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemistry of Asthma.

2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMCID: PMC3200505 [Available on 2012/11/1] PMID: 21712069 [PubMed - in process]

141. J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Oct;91(13):2419-25. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4481. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Aflatoxin accumulation in whole crop maize silage as a result of aerobic exposure.

Cavallarin L, Tabacco E, Antoniazzi S, Borreani G.

Istituto di Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari, CNR, Grugliasco, Italy.

BACKGROUND: Most of the maize silage stored in horizontal silos is exposed to air and can be spoiled by fungi. Potentially toxigenic fungi have been found in maize silage, and about 300 mycotoxins have been detected. Among these mycotoxins, the most harmful for feed and food safety are aflatoxins. The aim of the study was to set up a specific method to detect aflatoxins in maize silage, and to investigate whether aflatoxin contamination in maize silage depends on the level of field contamination of the crop, and whether the occurrence of aerobic spoilage during ensiling has any effect on the final contamination of the silage. RESULTS: A method for the determination of aflatoxin B(1), B(2), G(1) and G(2) in maize silage using high-performance liquid chromagraphy with fluorescence detection has been developed and validated. Recoveries of aflatoxin B(1), B(2), G(1), and G(2) spiked over the 0.25 to 5 µg kg(-1) range averaged 74-94%. The results of laboratory scale and farm scale ensiling experiments indicated that aflatoxins could increase when silage is exposed to air during conservation or during the feed-out phase. CONCLUSIONS: The method here proposed to detect aflatoxins in silages has proved to be sensitive and is able to detect levels of 0.1 and 0.5 ng mL(-1) for AFB(1) and AFG(1), and between 0.025 and 0.125 ng mL(-1) for AFB(2) and AFG(2). This study also provides evidence of aflatoxin accumulation in whole crop maize silage as a result of aerobic exposure.

Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

PMID: 21710665 [PubMed - in process]

142. J Chem Ecol. 2011 Aug;37(8):808-17. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Responses of bark beetle-associated bacteria to host monoterpenes and their relationship to insect life histories.

Adams AS, Boone CK, Bohlmann J, Raffa KF.

Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1630 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706, USA.

Bark beetles that colonize living conifers and their microbial associates encounter constitutive and induced chemical defenses of their host. Monoterpene hydrocarbons comprise a major component of these allelochemicals, and many are antibiotic to insects, fungi, and bacteria. Some bark beetle species exhaust these defenses by killing their host through mass attacks mediated by aggregation pheromones. Others lack adult aggregation pheromones and do not engage in pheromone-mediated mass attacks, but rather have the ability to complete development within live hosts. In the former species, the larvae develop in tissue largely depleted of host terpenes, whereas in the latter exposure to these compounds persists throughout development. A substantial literature exists on how monoterpenes affect bark beetles and their associated fungi, but little is known of how they affect bacteria, which in turn can influence beetle performance in various manners. We tested several bacteria from two bark beetle species for their ability to grow in the presence of a diversity of host monoterpenes. Bacteria were isolated from the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, which typically kills trees during colonization, and the red turpentine beetle, Dendroctonus valens LeConte, which often lives in their host without causing mortality. Bacteria from D. ponderosae were gram-positive Actinobacteria and Bacilli; one yeast also was tested. Bacteria from D. valens were Actinobacteria, Bacilli, and γ-Proteobacteria. Bacteria from D. valens were more tolerant of monoterpenes than were those from D. ponderosae. Bacteria from D. ponderosae did not grow in the presence of α-pinene and 3-carene, and grew in, but were inhibited by, β-pinene and β-phellandrene. Limonene and myrcene had little inhibitory effect on bacteria from either beetle species. Tolerance to these antibiotic compounds appears to have resulted from adaptation to living in a terpene-rich environment.

PMID: 21710365 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

143. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2011 Oct;11(5):414-20.

Impact of environmental controls on childhood asthma.

Rao D, Phipatanakul W.

Division of Respiratory Diseases, Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Avenue, Mailstop 208, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Exposure to allergens early in life can lead to sensitization and the development of childhood asthma. It is thought that increased exposure with the advent of modern housing is likely contributing to the rise in prevalence of childhood asthma during the past few decades. The progression from allergen exposure to sensitization and asthma development has been noted with respect to dust mites, pets, cockroach, mouse, mold, tobacco smoke, endotoxin, and air pollution, although some have found a protective effect with pet and endotoxin exposure. Recent studies have shown that allergen remediation may be beneficial in reducing asthma morbidity and development, although there is also some evidence to the contrary. Examples of allergen remediation that have been studied include the use of dust mite-impermeable covers, high-efficiency particulate air filtration, integrated pest management, home repairs, ventilation improvement, and pet removal. Several multifaceted, randomized controlled trials have shown that reducing multiple early allergen exposures with environmental controls is associated with a decreased risk of asthma.

PMCID: PMC3166452 [Available on 2012/10/1] PMID: 21710109 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

144. Neotrop Entomol. 2011 May-Jun;40(3):368-74.

Differential susceptibility of adults and nymphs of Blattella germanica (L.) (Blattodea: Blattellidae) to infection by Metarhizium anisopliae and assessment of delivery strategies.

Lopes RB, Alves SB.

Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Brasília, DF, Brasil.

Microbial insecticides for cockroach control, such as those containing entomopathogenic fungi, may be an alternative to reduce contamination by chemicals in housing and food storage environments. Virulence of isolate ESALQ1037 belonging to the Metarhizium anisopliae complex against nymphs and adults of Blattella germanica (L.), and its infectivity following exposure of insects to a contaminated surface or to M. anisopliae-bait were determined under laboratory conditions. Estimated LD50 15 d following topical inoculation was 2.69 x 10(5) conidia per adult, whereas for nymphs the maximum mortality was lower than 50%. Baits amended with M. anisopliae conidia had no repellent effect on targets; adult mortality was inferior to 25%, and nymphs were not susceptible. All conidia found in the digestive tract of M. anisopliae-bait fed cockroaches were unviable, and bait-treated insects that succumbed to fungal infection showed a typical mycelial growth on mouthparts and front legs, but not on the hind body parts. As opposed to baits, the use of a M. anisopliae powdery formulation for surface treatment was effective in attaining high mortality rates of B. germanica. Both nymphs and adults were infected when this delivery strategy was used, and mycelia growth occurred all over the body surface. Our results suggest that the development of powders or similar formulations of M. anisopliae to control B. germanica may provide faster and better results than some of the strategies based on baits currently available.

PMID: 21710032 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

145. J Insect Physiol. 2011 Sep;57(9):1259-66. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Subterranean termite prophylactic secretions and external antifungal defenses.

Hamilton C, Lay F, Bulmer MS.

Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, 8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252, USA.

Termites exploit environments that make them susceptible to infection and rapid disease transmission. Gram-negative bacteria binding proteins (GNBPs) signal the presence of microbes and in some insects directly damage fungal pathogens with β-1,3-glucanase activity. The subterranean termites Reticulitermes flavipes and Reticulitermes virginicus encounter soil entomopathogenic fungi such as Metarhizium anisopliae, which can evade host immune responses after penetrating the cuticle. An external defense that prevents invasion of fungal pathogens could be crucial in termites, allowing them to thrive under high pathogenic pressures. We investigated the role of secreted β-1,3-glucanases in Reticulitermes defenses against M. anisopliae. Our results show that these termites secrete antifungal β-1,3-glucanases on the cuticle, and the specific inhibition of GNBP associated β-1,3-glucanase activity with d-δ-gluconolactone (GDL) reduces this activity and can cause significant increases in mortality after exposure to M. anisopliae. Secreted β-1,3-glucanases appear to be essential in preventing infection by breaking down fungi externally.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21708164 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

146. Transgenic Res. 2011 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Transformation of tobacco and Arabidopsis plants with Stellaria media genes encoding novel hevein-like peptides increases their resistance to fungal pathogens.

R Shukurov R, D Voblikova V, Nikonorova AK, Komakhin RA, V Komakhina V, A Egorov T, V Grishin E, V Babakov A.

All-Russia Research Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Timiryazevskaya 42, Moscow, 127550, Russia,

Two novel antifungal hevein-like peptides, SmAMP1.1a and SmAMP2.2a, were previously isolated from seeds of Stellaria media. It has been established that these peptides accumulate in this weed as a result of proteolysis of two propeptides, pro-SmAMP1 and pro-SmAMP2. The primary structure of these propeptides is unique; in addition to having a signal peptide and negatively charged C-terminus, each of these structures consists of two hevein-like peptides of different length separated by a space rather than a single peptide. In this work, we demonstrated that the expression of the pro-SmAMP1 and pro-SmAMP2 genes was tissue-specific and increased substantially under exposure to fungal infection. To elucidate whether S. media has any advantages in defending against phytopathogens due to its unusual structure of pro-SmAMP1 and pro-SmAMP2, on the basis of the pro-SmAMP1 gene, we created three genetic constructs. Arabidopsis and tobacco plants were subsequently transformed with these constructs. Transgenic plants bearing the full-length pro-SmAMP1 gene exhibited the best resistance to the phytopathogens Bipolaris sorokiniana and Thielaviopsis basicola. The resistance of S. media plants to phytopathogenic fungi was likely due to the fungal-inducible expression of pro-SmAMP1 and pro-SmAMP2 genes, and due to the specific features of the primary structure of the corresponding propeptides. As a result of the processing of these propeptides, two different antimicrobial peptides were released simultaneously. Based on our results, we conclude that the genes for antimicrobial peptides from S. media may be promising genetic tools for the improvement of plant resistance to fungal diseases.

PMID: 21706181 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

147. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20421. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

Simulated atmospheric N deposition alters fungal community composition and suppresses ligninolytic gene expression in a northern hardwood forest.

Edwards IP, Zak DR, Kellner H, Eisenlord SD, Pregitzer KS.

School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.

High levels of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition may result in greater terrestrial carbon (C) storage. In a northern hardwood ecosystem, exposure to over a decade of simulated N deposition increased C storage in soil by slowing litter decay rates, rather than increasing detrital inputs. To understand the mechanisms underlying this response, we focused on the saprotrophic fungal community residing in the forest floor and employed molecular genetic approaches to determine if the slower decomposition rates resulted from down-regulation of the transcription of key lignocellulolytic genes, by a change in fungal community composition, or by a combination of the two mechanisms. Our results indicate that across four Acer-dominated forest stands spanning a 500-km transect, community-scale expression of the cellulolytic gene cbhI under elevated N deposition did not differ significantly from that under ambient levels of N deposition. In contrast, expression of the ligninolytic gene lcc was significantly down-regulated by a factor of 2-4 fold relative to its expression under ambient N deposition. Fungal community composition was examined at the most southerly of the four sites, in which consistently lower levels of cbhI and lcc gene expression were observed over a two-year period. We recovered 19 basidiomycete and 28 ascomycete rDNA 28S operational taxonomic units; Athelia, Sistotrema, Ceratobasidium and Ceratosebacina taxa dominated the basidiomycete assemblage, and Leotiomycetes dominated the ascomycetes. Simulated N deposition increased the proportion of basidiomycete sequences recovered from forest floor, whereas the proportion of ascomycetes in the community was significantly lower under elevated N deposition. Our results suggest that chronic atmospheric N deposition may lower decomposition rates through a combination of reduced expression of ligninolytic genes such as lcc, and compositional changes in the fungal community.

PMCID: PMC3119081 PMID: 21701691 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

148. Mol Ecol. 2011 Sep;20(18):3936-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05168.x. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

Do photobionts influence the ecology of lichens? A case study of environmental preferences in symbiotic green alga Asterochloris (Trebouxiophyceae).

Peksa O, Skaloud P.

The West Bohemian Museum in Pilsen, Kopeckého sady 2, CZ-30100 Plzeň, Czech Republic.

Comment in Mol Ecol. 2011 Sep;20(18):3708-10.

The distribution patterns of symbiotic algae are thought to be conferred mainly by their hosts, however, they may originate in algal environmental requirements as well. In lichens, predominantly terrestrial associations of fungi with algae or cyanobacteria, the ecological preferences of photobionts have not been directly studied so far. Here, we examine the putative environmental requirements in lichenized alga Asterochloris, and search for the existence of ecological guilds in Asterochloris-associating lichens. Therefore, the presence of phylogenetic signal in several environmental traits was tested. Phylogenetic analysis based on the concatenated set of internal transcribed spacer rDNA and actin type I intron sequences from photobionts associated with lichens of the genera Lepraria and Stereocaulon (Stereocaulaceae, Ascomycota) revealed 13 moderately to well-resolved clades. Photobionts from particular algal clades were found to be associated with taxonomically different, but ecologically similar lichens. The rain and sun exposure were the most significant environmental factor, clearly distinguishing the Asterochloris lineages. The photobionts from ombrophobic and ombrophilic lichens were clustered in completely distinct clades. Moreover, two photobiont taxa were obviously differentiated based on their substrate and climatic preferences. Our study, thus reveals that the photobiont, generally the subsidiary member of the symbiotic lichen association, could exhibit clear preferences for environmental factors. These algal preferences may limit the ecological niches available to lichens and lead to the existence of specific lichen guilds.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

PMID: 21699598 [PubMed - in process]

149. PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e21148. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Regulating cytoplasmic calcium homeostasis can reduce aluminum toxicity in yeast.

Li X, Qian J, Wang C, Zheng K, Ye L, Fu Y, Han N, Bian H, Pan J, Wang J, Zhu M.

State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Our previous study suggested that increased cytoplasmic calcium (Ca) signals may mediate aluminum (Al) toxicity in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). In this report, we found that a yeast mutant, pmc1, lacking the vacuolar calcium ion (Ca(2+)) pump Ca(2+)-ATPase (Pmc1p), was more sensitive to Al treatment than the wild-type strain. Overexpression of either PMC1 or an anti-apoptotic factor, such as Bcl-2, Ced-9 or PpBI-1, decreased cytoplasmic Ca(2+) levels and rescued yeast from Al sensitivity in both the wild-type and pmc1 mutant. Moreover, pretreatment with the Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA-AM sustained cytoplasmic Ca(2+) at low levels in the presence of Al, effectively making the cells more tolerant to Al exposure. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the expression of calmodulin (CaM) and phospholipase C (PLC), which are in the Ca(2+) signaling pathway, was down-regulated under Al stress. This effect was largely counteracted when cells overexpressed anti-apoptotic Ced-9 or were pretreated with BAPTA-AM. Taken together, our results suggest that the negative regulation of Al-induced cytoplasmic Ca signaling is a novel mechanism underlying internal resistance to Al toxicity.

PMCID: PMC3115986 PMID: 21698264 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

150. J Sep Sci. 2011 Jun 22. doi: 10.1002/jssc.201100202. [Epub ahead of print]

Monolithic polymer layer with gradient of hydrophobicity for separation of peptides using two-dimensional thin layer chromatography and MALDI-TOF-MS detection.

Urbanova I, Svec F.

The Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Superhydrophobic monolithic porous polymer layers supported onto glass plates with a gradient of hydrophobicity have been prepared and used for 2-D thin layer chromatography of peptides. The 50 μm-thin poly(glycidyl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate) layers prepared using UV-initiated polymerization in a simple mold were first hydrolyzed using dilute sulfuric acid and then hydrophilized via two-step grafting of poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate to obtain superhydrophilic plates. The hydrophobicity was then formed by photografting of lauryl methacrylate. The exposure to UV light that initiates photografting was spatially controlled using moving shutter that enabled forming of the diagonal gradient of hydrophobicity. This new concept enables the solutes to encounter the gradient for each of the two sequential developments. Practical application of our novel plates was demonstrated with a rapid 2-D separation of a mixture of model peptides gly-tyr, val-tyr-val, leucine enkephalin, and oxytocin in dual reversed-phase mode using different mobile phases in each direction. Detection of fluorescent-labeled peptides was achieved through UV light visualization while separation of native leucine enkephalin and oxytocin was monitored directly using MALDI mass spectrometry.

Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

PMID: 21695684 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

151. BMC Ophthalmol. 2011 Jun 20;11:17.

Synthetic fiber from a teddy bear causing keratitis and conjunctival granuloma: case report.

Farooq MK, Prause JU, Heegaard S.

Department of Ophthalmology, Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

BACKGROUND: To report a case of keratitis and a case of conjunctivitis caused by synthetic fibers from toy teddy bears. CASE PRESENTATION: Case stories with histopathological analysis. 1) A two-year-old girl developed a severe case of keratitis and corneal ulceration. The initial treatment with various antibiotics gave no improvement and eventually the patient developed spontaneous perforation of the cornea. The corneal swabs contained no bacteria or fungi. Corneal grafting was performed and the corneal button was sent for histopathological examination. 2) A five-year-old girl presented with ocular irritation in her left eye. Examination revealed a conjunctival granuloma in the inferior fornix. The lesion was excised and histopathologically examined. RESULTS: Microscopy revealed synthetic fibers embedded in the cornea and in the conjunctival granuloma. The diagnosis was confirmed by demonstration of marked birefringence of the synthetic fibers. Microscopical examination of synthetic fibers from two different types of fur (whiskers and face hairs) from the two-year-old girl's teddy bear was performed. Hairs from the face of the teddy bear were morphologically and microscopically identical with the fibers causing the severe corneal ulceration in the two-year-old girl. CONCLUSIONS: Doctors should especially in small children be aware of the risk of ocular consequences of close exposure of synthetic fibers from stuffed toy animals. Corneal ulceration, clinically presenting as corneal infection with negative culturing and staining, should lead to a different clinical strategy and treatment. The treatment of conjunctival synthetic fiber granuloma is excision and antibiotic eye drops.

PMCID: PMC3130717 PMID: 21689446 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

152. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2012 Jan;19(1):96-104. Epub 2011 Jun 18.

Volatile organic compounds and bioaerosols in the vicinity of a municipal waste organic fraction treatment plant. Human health risks.

Vilavert L, Nadal M, Figueras MJ, Domingo JL.

Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201, Reus, Catalonia, Spain.

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to analyze air concentrations of chemical and microbiological pollutants in the vicinity of an organic waste treatment plant, Ecoparc-2, located in Montcada i Reixac (Catalonia, Spain), as well as to determine the seasonal trends. The human health risks due to the presence of those agents were also assessed. METHODS: Air samples were collected at different distances and wind directions from the Ecoparc-2 in two campaigns (winter and summer of 2010). The levels of 19 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were analyzed by GC-MS or HPLC-UV. In turn, the airborne amount of total bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and fungi (including Aspergillus fumigatus) was also determined. RESULTS: Mean VOC concentrations were found to be 32.4 and 15.7 μg/m(3) in winter and summer, respectively. Fungi at 25°C presented the highest geometric mean (1,126 and 863 cfu/m(3) in winter and summer, respectively), while the concentrations of fungi at 37°C and total bacteria were also important in the hot season (332 and 250 cfu/m(3), respectively). These results are in agreement with data obtained from the scientific literature. Anyhow, no significant differences were observed between both campaigns including those related to distances and wind directions. The current pollutant levels in the surrounding environment were also various orders of magnitude lower than those recently observed inside the facility. CONCLUSIONS: The human exposure to VOCs near the Ecoparc-2 was estimated to be low. Furthermore, the current environmental concentrations of those chemical and microbiological agents were clearly below threshold values recommended by regulatory organizations.

PMID: 21688069 [PubMed - in process]

153. Toxicology. 2011 Sep 5;287(1-3):1-7. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Hsp70 expression as biomarkers of oxidative stress: mycotoxins' exploration.

El Golli-Bennour E, Bacha H.

Laboratory of Research on Biologically Compatible Compounds, Faculty of Dentistry, Rue Avicenne, Monastir 5000, Tunisia.

The environment represents a key contributor to human health and disease. Exposure to many substances such as pollutants, toxins and chemicals, has detrimental effects on health and are considered to contribute substantially to most diseases of major public health significance. Environmental diseases as mycotoxicosis are those in general aroused or exacerbated by exposure to environmental stressors as mycotoxins. These hazardous compounds are secondary metabolites produced by fungi and occurred simultaneously in food, feed and raw materials. The present investigation was conducted to assess if (i) Hsp70 induction, a parameter of protective and adaptive response, is a systematic biomarker to mycotoxin intoxications and (ii) all mycotoxins undergo oxidative stress in there toxic signalling pathways, as the omnipresent process playing a role in the initiation or progression of numerous disorders. Overall, observations to date evoke that Hsp70 can act as biomarkers of oxidative injury instead they are not systematic to mycotoxin exposure.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21684316 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

154. Bioresour Technol. 2011 Sep;102(17):8046-51. Epub 2011 May 27.

Production of spent mushroom substrate hydrolysates useful for cultivation of Lactococcus lactis by dilute sulfuric acid, cellulase and xylanase treatment.

Qiao JJ, Zhang YF, Sun LF, Liu WW, Zhu HJ, Zhang Z.

Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering, Ministry of Education, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, PR China.

Spent mushroom substrate (SMS) was treated with dilute sulfuric acid followed by cellulase and xylanase treatment to produce hydrolysates that could be used as the basis for media for the production of value added products. A L9 (3(4)) orthogonal experiment was performed to optimize the acid treatment process. Pretreatment with 6% (w/w) dilute sulfuric acid at 120°C for 120 min provided the highest reducing sugar yield of 267.57 g/kg SMS. No furfural was detected in the hydrolysates. Exposure to 20PFU of cellulase and 200 XU of xylanase per gram of pretreated SMS at 40°C resulted in the release of 79.85 g/kg or reducing sugars per kg acid pretreated SMS. The dilute sulfuric acid could be recycled to process fresh SMS four times. SMS hydrolysates neutralized with ammonium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, or calcium hydroxide could be used as the carbon source for cultivation of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis W28 and a cell density of 2.9×10(11)CFU/mL could be obtained. The results provide a foundation for the development of value-added products based on SMS.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21683588 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

155. Wiad Parazytol. 2011;57(2):118-22.

Seasonal biodiversity of pathogenic fungi in farming air area. Case study.

Plewa K, Lone E.

Department of Microbial Ecology and Environmental Protection, Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Wrocław, 63/77 Przybyszewskiego Street, 51-148 Wrocław, Poland.

Poultry production proved to be a significant source of bioaerosols. The exposure to high concentration of microorganisms in the air can cause primarily irritations, infections, allergies, and toxic effects. The aim of the present study was to investigate the seasonal biodiversity of airborne fungi in the poultry house, in the surrounding area, as well as to estimate health risk. Seasonal investigations were conducted in the spring, summer, autumn and winter 2010 in the poultry house located near Wrocław in Lower Silesia (Poland). The air samples were collected with the use of a Merck MAS-100 onto nutrient Sabouraud agar and were incubated for 5 days at 26 degrees C. Subsequently the colony-forming units (CFU) were determined. The identification of the isolated fungi was made in accordance with the standard procedures. In the summer and autumn when the weather conditions are most friendly for the spread and the development of numerous microorganisms, fungi were more abundant in the surrounding area than in early spring and winter, when both humidity and temperature were lower. The total of 26 species were analysed (10 in the poultry house and 17 in the surrounding areas). Among 12 fungal genera: Aspergillus, Penicilium, Alternaria, Exophiala, Mycelia sterilla, Fusarium, Cladosporium, Scopulariopsis, Chaetomium, Acremonium, Candida and Rhodotorula nearly everything occurred to be the potential respiratory allergens.

PMID: 21682098 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

156. Chemosphere. 2011 Sep;85(1):106-13. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Copper tolerance in the macrolichens Cladonia furcata and Cladina arbuscula subsp. mitis is constitutive rather than inducible.

Bačkor M, Péli ER, Vantová I.

Department of Botany, Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, Šafárik University, Mánesova 23, 041 67 Košice, Slovak Republic.

In this study we assessed the degree of copper (Cu) tolerance in two common lichen species (Cladonia furcata and Cladina arbuscula subsp. mitis) that grow on both uncontaminated substrata and the surface of waste heaps from abandoned old Cu-mines. Regardless of their locality, populations of these lichens contain identical strains of photobionts (Asterochloris clade A in C. arbuscula subsp. mitis and clade D in C. furcata). Therefore, it was expected that if there were differences in Cu toxicity or tolerance between populations, that the photobiont could not be a key element of Cu tolerance in these two lichen species. In laboratory experiments samples of both lichen species (from contaminated and control sites) were incubated in Cu solutions (500 μM) for 24 h. We attempted to determine whether Cu tolerance in these lichens was constitutive, or inducible form. Based on measurements of Cu accumulation, chlorophyll a integrity, chlorophyll a fluorescence, photosynthesis, respiration, measurements of the content of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), the content of soluble proteins, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the amount of extracellular secondary metabolites of both lichens we found that there were no significant differences in the response of all selected populations of both lichen species to short-term exposure to these high levels of Cu. As a result, we conclude that Cu tolerance in these two lichen species is the constitutive rather than the inducible.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21676428 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

157. ACS Nano. 2011 Jul 26;5(7):6025-31. Epub 2011 Jun 20.

Graphene as cellular interface: electromechanical coupling with cells.

Kempaiah R, Chung A, Maheshwari V.

The Nanotechnology Engineering Program, Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Canada.

Interfacing cells with nanomaterials such as graphene, nanowires, and carbon nanotubes is useful for the integration of cellular physiology with electrical read outs. Here we show the interfacing of graphene sheets on the surface of yeast cells, leading to electromechanical coupling between the sheets and the cells. The cells are viable after the interfacing. The response caused by physiologically stressing the cells by exposure to alcohols, which causes a change in cell volume, can be observed in the electrical signal through graphene. The change in the cell volume leads to straining of the sheets, forming wrinkles which reduce the electrical conductivity. As the dynamic response of the cell can be observed, it is possible to differentiate between ethanol, 2-propanol, and water. We believe this will lead to further development of cell-based electrical devices and sensors.

PMID: 21675743 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

158. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Sep 1;39(17):7548-63. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

A PLAC8-containing protein from an endomycorrhizal fungus confers cadmium resistance to yeast cells by interacting with Mlh3p.

Abbà S, Vallino M, Daghino S, Di Vietro L, Borriello R, Perotto S.

Dipartimento di Biologia Vegetale dell'Università degli Studi di Torino, Viale Mattioli 25, Torino, Italy.

Cadmium is a genotoxic pollutant known to target proteins that are involved in DNA repair and in antioxidant defence, altering their functions and ultimately causing mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. We have identified a PLAC8 domain-containing protein, named OmFCR, by a yeast functional screen aimed at identifying genes involved in cadmium resistance in the endomycorrhizal fungus Oidiodendron maius. OmFCR shows a remarkable specificity in mediating cadmium resistance. Both its function and its nuclear localization in yeast strictly depend on the interaction with Mlh3p, a subunit of the mismatch repair (MMR) system. Although proteins belonging to the PLAC8 family are widespread in eukaryotes, they are poorly characterized and their biological role still remains elusive. Our work represents the first report about the potential role of a PLAC8 protein in physically coupling DNA lesion recognition by the MMR system to appropriate effectors that affect cell cycle checkpoint pathways. On the basis of cell survival assays and yeast growth curves, we hypothesize that, upon cadmium exposure, OmFCR might promote a higher rate of cell division as compared to control cells.

PMCID: PMC3177179 PMID: 21672957 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

159. Mycoses. 2011 Sep;54(5):e265-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2010.01966.x. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Photodynamic therapy for pathogenic fungi.

Lyon JP, Moreira LM, de Moraes PC, dos Santos FV, de Resende MA.

Laboratório de Micologia, Departamento de Microbiologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas (ICB), Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive approach, in which a photosensitiser compound is activated by exposure to visible light. The activation of the sensitiser drug results in several chemical reactions, such as the production of oxygen reactive species and other reactive molecules, whose presence in the biological site leads to the damage of target cells. Although PDT has been primarily developed to combat cancerous lesions, this therapy can be employed for the treatment of several conditions, including infectious diseases. A wide range of microorganisms, including Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi have demonstrated susceptibility to antimicrobial photodynamic therapy. This treatment might consist of an alternative to the management of fungal infections. Antifungal photodynamic therapy has been successfully employed against Candida albicans and other Candida species and also against dermatophytes. The strain-dependent antifungal effect and the influence of the biological medium are important issues to be considered. Besides, the choice of photosensitiser to be employed in PDT should consider the characteristics of the fungi and the medium to be treated, as well as the depth of penetration of light into the skin. In the present review, the state-of-the-art of antifungal PDT is discussed and the photosensitiser characteristics are analysed.

© 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

PMID: 21672042 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

160. Lung. 2011 Aug;189(4):305-10. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Response to oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) extract by sensitized and nonsensitized guinea pig trachea.

Schachter EN, Zuskin E, Pucarin-Cvetkovic J, Chiarelli A, Goswami S.

The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1232, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.

Occupational exposure to oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) has been associated with obstructive lung disease. Previously, we studied an extract of oyster mushroom (OME) and determined that it causes dose-dependent contractions of nonsensitized guinea pig trachea (GPT). We extend these studies to the investigation of sensitized tissue. In the present study 24 animals were sensitized using ovalbumin (OA) and subsequently challenged with an aerosol of 2.5% OA. A control group of 12 nonsensitized GPs was also studied. Tracheas were removed and were divided into rings in which the epithelium was retained (EP+) or removed (EP-). Dose-related contractions of sensitized and nonsensitized GPTs were elicited with OME. In nonsensitized animals the EP+ GPTs demonstrated a significantly greater response to OME (100-1000 μl) than did the EP- GPTs (p < 0.01). By contrast, in sensitized GPTs with and without epithelium there was no difference to challenge with OME. Finally, sensitized GPTs with and without epithelium and nonsensitized GPTs with epithelium responded similarly to challenge with OME. These findings suggest that in nonsensitized animals there is an enhancement of contractile response to OME which is in part mediated by the GPT epithelium. In sensitized animals with or without epithelium, the level of bronchoconstrictor response is similar to that of the nonsensitized animals with epithelium, suggesting an enhanced constrictor response independent of epithelium in the sensitized animals.

PMID: 21667260 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

161. Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 2011 May-Jun;69(3):339-42.

[Sacrum B cell-non-Hodgkin's lymphoma complicating a chronic viral hepatitis C related to a blood exposure: a case report].

[Article in French]

Chaari N, Chebel S, Mahfoudh A, Drira A, Ali Jellali M, Moussa A, Akrout M, Khalfallah T.

Service de médecine du travail et de pathologie professionnelle.

Frequency of the association between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is variable according to previous studies. Besides, direct and/or indirect implication of the HCV infection in the development of NHL is probable but, its pathophysiological mechanisms remain unclear. In this report, we described the case of a 49-year-old patient with a B-cell NHL of the sacrum complicating a chronic HCV related to a blood exposure, and we report the recent data of this association.

PMID: 21659052 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

162. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Aug;77(15):5270-7. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Submerged conidiation and product formation by Aspergillus niger at low specific growth rates are affected in aerial developmental mutants.

Jørgensen TR, Nielsen KF, Arentshorst M, Park J, van den Hondel CA, Frisvad JC, Ram AF.

Institute of Biology Leiden, P.O. Box 9505, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

Exposure to an aerial environment or severe nutrient limitation induces asexual differentiation in filamentous fungi. Submerged cultivation of Aspergillus niger in carbon- and energy-limited retentostat cultures both induces and fuels conidiation. Physiological and transcriptomic analyses have revealed that this differentiation strongly affects product formation. Since conidiation is inherent in the aerial environment, we hypothesized that product formation near zero growth can be influenced by affecting differentiation or development of aerial hyphae in general. To investigate this idea, three developmental mutants (ΔfwnA, scl-1, and scl-2 mutants) that have no apparent vegetative growth defects were cultured in maltose-limited retentostat cultures. The secondary-metabolite profile of the wild-type strain defined flavasperone, aurasperone B, tensidol B, and two so far uncharacterized compounds as associated with conidium formation, while fumonisins B(2), B(4), and B(6) were characteristic of early response to nutrient limitation by the vegetative mycelium. The developmental mutants responded differently to the severe substrate limitation, which resulted in distinct profiles of growth and product formation. fwnA encodes the polyketide synthase responsible for melanin biosynthesis during aerial differentiation, and we show that conidial melanin synthesis in submerged retentostat cultures and aurasperone B production are fwnA dependent. The scl-1 and scl-2 strains are two UV mutants generated in the ΔfwnA background that displayed reduced asexual conidiation and formed sclerotium-like structures on agar plates. The reduced conidiation phenotypes of the scl-1 and scl-2 strains are reflected in the retentostat cultivation and are accompanied by elimination or severely reduced accumulation of secondary metabolites and distinctly enhanced accumulation of extracellular protein. This investigation shows that submerged conidiation and product formation of a mitosporic fungus cultured at low specific growth rates can be fundamentally affected by interfering with the genetic program for differentiation of aerial hyphae, opening new perspectives for tailoring industrial performance.

PMCID: PMC3147447 [Available on 2012/2/1] PMID: 21652743 [PubMed - in process]

163. J Environ Health. 2011 May;73(9):8-14.

Association between presence of visible in-house mold and health-related quality of life in adults residing in four U.S. states.

Wen XJ, Balluz L.

Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.

Despite the broad use of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) as one of the measurements to assess health status and effectiveness of health care and interventions, the impact of in-house mold exposure on HRQOL is unknown. The study described in this article examined the relationship between presence of visible in-house mold (PVIM) and HRQOL among adults. Data were analyzed from the 2005 and 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys that consisted of a random cross-sectional sample of 18,356 adults in four states. The authors examined the relationship between PVIM and three important indicators of the HRQOL by logistic regression analyses. Their results suggest that PVIM is independently associated with the indicators of HRQOL including mentally unhealthy, physically unhealthy, and total unhealthy days. Therefore, implementation of appropriate measures at the household level to eliminate or reduce in-house mold may improve individuals' HRQOL.

PMID: 21644480 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

164. Mycopathologia. 2011 Oct;172(4):293-7. Epub 2011 Jun 4.

Photodynamic antifungal therapy against chromoblastomycosis.

Lyon JP, Pedroso e Silva Azevedo Cde M, Moreira LM, de Lima CJ, de Resende MA.

Departamento de Ciências Naturais, Universidade Federal de São João Del Rei. Praça Dom Helvécio, 74, Fábricas, 36301160, São João Del Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a minimally invasive approach, in which a photosensitizer compound is activated by exposure to light. The activation of the sensitizer drug results in several chemical reactions, such as the production of reactive oxygen species and other reactive molecules, which presence in the biological site leads to the damage of target cells. Although PDT has been primarily developed to combat cancerous lesions, this therapy can be employed for the treatment of several conditions, including infectious diseases. A wide range of microorganisms, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, have demonstrated susceptibility to antimicrobial PDT. This treatment might consist in an alternative for the management of fungal infections. Antifungal photodynamic therapy has been successfully employed against Candida species, dermatophytes, and Aspergillus niger. Chromoblastomycosis is an infection that involves skin and subcutaneous tissues caused by the traumatic inoculation of dematiaceous fungi species, being that the most prevalent are Fonsecaea pedrosoi and Claphialophora carrionii. In the present work, the clinical applications of PDT for the treatment of chromoblastomycosis are evaluated. We have employed methylene blue as photosensitizer and a LED (Light Emitting Diode) device as light source. The results of this treatment are positive, denoting the efficacy of PDT against chromoblastomycosis. Considering that great part of the published works are focused on in vitro trials, these clinical tests can be considered a relevant source of information about antifungal PDT, since its results have demonstrated to be promising. The perspectives of this kind of treatment are analyzed in agreement with the recent literature involving antifungal PDT.

PMID: 21643843 [PubMed - in process]

165. Biochem Cell Biol. 2011 Jun;89(3):332-40. doi: 10.1139/O11-006. Epub 2011 Jun 6.

The isomerase Rrd1 mediates rapid loss of the Sgs1 helicase in response to rapamycin.

Marrakchi R, Chouchani C, Cherif M, Boudabbous A, Ramotar D.

University 7-November, Carthage, High Institute of Environmental Sciences and technologies, Borj-Cedria Science and Technology Park, Hammam-Lif, Tunisia.

In Saccharomyces cerevisiae , rapamycin exposure inhibits the target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway, causing a profound alteration in the transcription pattern of many genes, including those involved in ribosome biogenesis and nutritional changes. Deletion of the RRD1 gene encoding a peptidyl prolyl isomerase resulted in mutants that are resistant to rapamycin. These rrd1Δ mutants are unable to efficiently downregulate genes such as ribosomal protein genes, or to upregulate genes involved in diauxic shift. It is believed that the isomerase function of Rrd1 plays a role in changing the transcriptional profile upon rapamycin exposure. Herein, we set out to search for genes that when deleted in the rrd1Δ mutant would suppress the rapamycin-resistant phenotype. The analysis revealed that deletion of the SGS1 gene in the rrd1Δ mutant partially suppresses the rapamycin-resistant phenotype of the single rrd1Δ mutant. SGS1 encodes a helicase that functions in many biological processes, including transcriptional regulation. We further show, and for the first time, that Sgs1 is rapidly lost in the parent cells in response to rapamycin, but not by other agents. Interestingly, Sgs1 reduction was completely blocked in the rrd1Δ mutant, suggesting that Rrd1 is required to mediate this process. Genes such as PUT4 and HSP42, known to be upregulated in the parent in response to rapamycin, were not induced in the rrd1Δ mutant if the SGS1 gene was deleted. Since Sgs1 plays a role in transcriptional regulation, we propose that it acts as a repressor of a subset of rapamycin responsive genes. Thus, the observed Rrd1-dependent reduction in Sgs1 level may promote expression of specific classes of genes in response to rapamycin.

PMID: 21639830 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

166. J Environ Monit. 2011 Jul;13(7):2018-24. Epub 2011 Jun 3.

Fungal DNA and pet allergen levels in Swedish day care centers and associations with building characteristics.

Cai GH, Mälarstig B, Kumlin A, Johansson I, Janson C, Norbäck D.

Uppsala University, Dept. of Medical Science, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, SE-751 85, Uppsala, Sweden.

Pet allergens and mold growth related to damp are common phenomena in day care centers in Sweden but exposure measurements of these factors are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between building construction and indoor environment quality in Swedish day care centers and the potential for exposure to fungi (analyzed by quantitative PCR) and animal allergens (analyzed by ELISA). Measurements were performed in 21 day care centers (103 rooms) from one municipality in Sweden, which were identified as constructions at risk of dampness (85% of the buildings) and with visible damage and mold growth (54% of the buildings). Dust samples were collected using cotton swab and Petri dishes. Total fungal DNA was detected in 99% and 100%, Aspergillus/Penicillium DNA in 54% and 68%, and Stachybotrys chartarum DNA in 4% and 9% of the investigated rooms in cotton swab and Petri dish samples, respectively. The total fungal DNA levels (Geometric Mean, GM) were 4.2 × 10(6) cell equivalents per m(2) and 2.9 × 10(5) cell equivalents per m(2) per day in the swab and Petri dish samples, respectively. The concentrations (GM) of cat (Fel d1), dog (Can f1), and horse (Equ cx) allergens were 9.4, 7.2 ng m(-2) day(-1), and 5.0 unit per m(2) per day, respectively. Total fungal DNA levels were higher in risk construction buildings (p = 0.01), in rooms with linoleum flooring material (p = 0.003), and in buildings with rotating heat exchangers (p = 0.02). There were associations between total fungal DNA levels and cat (p = 0.02), dog (p < 0.001), and horse (p = 0.001) allergens. In conclusion, risk constructions, damp constructions, mould growth, fungal DNA, and animal allergens were common exposure factors in Swedish day care centers. Building constructions that represent a high risk for internal dampness should be avoided in the future, and measures to reduce allergen levels should be considered to protect pet-allergic children from asthmatic problems.

PMID: 21637862 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

167. Am J Infect Control. 2011 Aug;39(6):533-4. Epub 2011 Jun 2.

Occupational exposure to blood in workers in a Greek hospital.

Saridi M, Toska A, Tzitzikos G, Albani E, Arvanitis G, Wozniak G.

PMID: 21636169 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

168. Genes Dev. 2011 Jun 1;25(11):1173-84. doi: 10.1101/gad.2050711..

The yeast rapid tRNA decay pathway primarily monitors the structural integrity of the acceptor and T-stems of mature tRNA.

Whipple JM, Lane EA, Chernyakov I, D'Silva S, Phizicky EM.

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Center for RNA Biology, University of Rochester School of Medicine, New York 14642, USA.

tRNAs, like other RNAs, are subject to quality control steps during and after biosynthesis. We previously described a rapid tRNA degradation (RTD) pathway in which the 5'-3' exonucleases Rat1 and Xrn1 degrade mature tRNA(Val(AAC)) in yeast mutants lacking m(7)G and m(5)C, and mature tRNA(Ser(CGA)) in mutants lacking Um and ac(4)C. To understand how the RTD pathway selects substrate tRNAs among different tRNAs lacking the same modifications, we used a genetic screen to examine tRNA(Ser(CGA)) variants. Our results suggest that RTD substrate recognition in vivo depends primarily on the stability of the acceptor and T-stems, and not the anti-codon stem, and does not necessarily depend on modifications, since fully modified tRNAs are subject to RTD if appropriately destabilized. We found that weaker predicted stability of the acceptor and T-stems of tRNAs is strongly correlated with RTD sensitivity, increased RNase T2 sensitivity of this region of the tRNA in vitro, and increased exposure of the 5' end to phosphatase. We also found that purified Xrn1 selectively degrades RTD substrate tRNAs in vitro under conditions in which nonsubstrates are immune. These results suggest that tRNAs have evolved not only for accurate translation, but for resistance to attack by RTD.

PMCID: PMC3110955 PMID: 21632824 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

169. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jul 13;59(13):7104-13. Epub 2011 Jun 10.

Hispolon induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest of human hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B cells by modulating ERK phosphorylation.

Huang GJ, Deng JS, Huang SS, Hu ML.

College of Pharmacy, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.

Hispolon is an active phenolic compound of Phellinus igniarius , a mushroom that has recently been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities. This study investigated the antiproliferative effect of hispolon on human hepatocellular carcinoma Hep3B cells by using the MTT assay, DNA fragmentation, DAPI (4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride) staining, and flow cytometric analyses. Hispolon inhibited cellular growth of Hep3B cells in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner, through the induction of cell cycle arrest at S phase measured using flow cytometric analysis and apoptotic cell death, as demonstrated by DNA laddering. Hispolon-induced S-phase arrest was associated with a marked decrease in the protein expression of cyclins A and E and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 2, with concomitant induction of p21waf1/Cip1 and p27Kip1. Exposure of Hep3B cells to hispolon resulted in apoptosis as evidenced by caspase activation, PARP cleavage, and DNA fragmentation. Hispolon treatment also activated JNK, p38 MAPK, and ERK expression. Inhibitors of ERK (PB98095), but not those of JNK (SP600125) and p38 MAPK (SB203580), suppressed hispolon-induced S-phase arrest and apoptosis in Hep3B cells. These findings establish a mechanistic link between the MAPK pathway and hispolon-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in Hep3B cells.

PMID: 21630638 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

170. Pol J Microbiol. 2011;60(1):59-63.

Cytotoxicity of Aspergillus fungi isolated from hospital environment.

Gniadek A, Macura AB, Górkiewicz M.

Department of Medical and Environmental Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland.

The majority of mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus fungi are immunosuppressive agents, and their cytotoxicity may impair defense mechanisms in humans. The objective of the study was evaluation of the cytotoxicity of fungi isolated from an environment where inpatients with impaired immunity were present. The materials comprised 57 fungal strains: Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger: Aspergillus ochraceus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus versicolor and Aspergillus ustus isolated from hospital rooms in Cracow. The cytotoxicity of all the strains was evaluated using the MTT test (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl) 2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide). To emphasize the differences in cytotoxicity among the particular strains, variance analysis (ANOVA) and Tukey's difference test were used. Out of 57 Aspergillus strains tested, 48 (84%) turned out to be cytotoxic. The cytyotoxicity was high (+++) in 21 strains, mainly in A. fumigatus. The least cytotoxic were A. niger fungi, this being statistically significant (p<0,05). To protect a patient from the adverse effects of mycotoxins, not only his or her immunity status should be evaluated but also the presence of fungi in hospital environment and their cytotoxicity should be monitored (possible exposure).

PMID: 21630575 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

171. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 May;5(5):e1162. Epub 2011 May 24.

Latent microsporidial infection in immunocompetent individuals - a longitudinal study.

Sak B, Kváč M, Kučerová Z, Květoňová D, Saková K.

Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i., Institute of Parasitology, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

BACKGROUND: Microsporidia (Fungi) have been repeatedly identified as the cause of opportunistic infections predominantly in immunodeficient individuals such as AIDS patients. However, the global epidemiology of human microsporidiosis is poorly understood and the ability of microsporidia to survive and multiply in immunocompetent hosts remains unsolved. AIMS: To determine the presence of latent microsporidia infections in apparently healthy humans in the Czech Republic, the authors tested sera, urine and stool originating from fifteen persons within a three month period examined on a weekly basis. METHODS: Sera, stool and urine samples originating from fifteen HIV-negative people at risk with occupational exposure to animals, aged 22-56 years, living in the Czech Republic were tested by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for the presence of specific anti-microsporidial antibodies, standard Calcofluor M2R staining for the detection of microsporidian spores in all urine sediments and stool smears and molecular methods for the microsporidial species determination. RESULTS: Specific anti-microsporidial antibodies were detected in fourteen individuals, asymptomatic Encephalitozoon spp. infection was found in thirteen and E. bieneusi infection was detected in seven of those examined. While E. hellem 1A and E. cuniculi II were the major causative agents identified, seven different genotypes of E. bieneusi were recorded. CONCLUSIONS: These findings clearly show that exposure to microsporidia is common and chronic microsporidiosis is not linked to any clinical manifestation in healthy population. Moreover, our results indicate much higher incidence of microsporidial infections among an apparently healthy population than previously reported. These results open the question about the potential risk of reactivation of latent microsporidiosis in cases of immunosupression causing life-threatening disease.

PMCID: PMC3101169 PMID: 21629721 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

172. Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. 2011;3(1):e2011012. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

Zygomycosis in Immunocompromised non-Haematological Patients.

Petrikkos G, Drogari-Apiranthitou M.

4st Dept. of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, "ATTIKON" Hospital, RIMINI 1 - Haidari, Athens - 12464. Greece.

Zygomycoses caused by fungi of the mucorales order (mucormycoses) are emerging fungal diseases with a high fatality rate. The most important risk factors include neutropenia or functional neutropenia, diabetic ketoacidosis, iron overload, major trauma, prolonged use of corticosteroids, illicit intravenous drug (ID) use, neonatal prematurity, malnourishment, and maybe a previous exposure to antifungal agents with no activity against zygomycetes, such as voriconazole and echinocandins.A high index of suspicion is crucial for the diagnosis, as prompt and appropriate management can considerably reduce morbidity and mortality. Suspicion index can be increased through recognition of the differential patterns of clinical presentation. In the non- haematological immunocompromised patients, mucormycosis can manifest in various clinical forms, depending on the underlying condition: mostly as rhino-orbital or rhino-cerebral in diabetes patients, pulmonary infection in patients with malignancy or solid organ transplantation, disseminated infection in iron overloaded or deferoxamine treated patients, cerebral - with no sinus involvement - in ID users, gastrointestinal in premature infants or malnourishment, and cutaneous after direct inoculation in immunocompetent individuals with trauma or burns.Treating a patient's underlying medical condition and reducing immunosuppression are essential to therapy. Rapid correction of metabolic abnormalities is mandatory in cases such as uncontrolled diabetes, and corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs should be discontinued where feasible. AmphotericinB or its newer and less toxic lipid formulations are the drugs of choice regarding antifungal chemotherapy, while extensive surgical debridement is essential to reduce infected and necrotic tissue. A high number of cases could be prevented through measures including diabetes control programmes and proper pre- and post-surgical hygiene.

PMCID: PMC3103240 PMID: 21625316 [PubMed]

173. Genetics. 2011 Aug;188(4):859-70. Epub 2011 May 30.

The Rho1 GTPase acts together with a vacuolar glutathione S-conjugate transporter to protect yeast cells from oxidative stress.

Lee ME, Singh K, Snider J, Shenoy A, Paumi CM, Stagljar I, Park HO.

Department of Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1292, USA.

Maintenance of redox homeostasis is critical for the survival of all aerobic organisms. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as in other eukaryotes, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated during metabolism and upon exposure to environmental stresses. The abnormal production of ROS triggers defense mechanisms to avoid the deleterious consequence of ROS accumulation. Here, we show that the Rho1 GTPase is necessary to confer resistance to oxidants in budding yeast. Temperature-sensitive rho1 mutants (rho1(ts)) are hypersensitive to oxidants and exhibit high accumulation of ROS even at a semipermissive temperature. Rho1 associates with Ycf1, a vacuolar glutathione S-conjugate transporter, which is important for heavy metal detoxification in yeast. Rho1 and Ycf1 exhibit a two-hybrid interaction with each other and form a bimolecular fluorescent complex on the vacuolar membrane. A fluorescent-based complementation assay suggests that the GTP-bound Rho1 associates with Ycf1 and that their interaction is enhanced upon exposure to hydrogen peroxide. The rho1(ts) mutants also exhibit hypersensitivity to cadmium, while cells carrying a deletion of YCF1 or mutations in a component of the Pkc1-MAP kinase pathway exhibit little or minor sensitivity to oxidants. We thus propose that Rho1 protects yeast cells from oxidative stress by regulating multiple downstream targets including Ycf1. Since both Rho1 and Ycf1 belong to highly conserved families of proteins, similar mechanisms may exist in other eukaryotes.

PMCID: PMC3176091 [Available on 2012/8/1] PMID: 21625004 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

174. J Food Sci. 2011 May 27. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02209.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Optimization of Hot Water Treatment for Removing Microbial Colonies on Fresh Blueberry Surface.

Kim TJ, Corbitt MP, Silva JL, Wang DS, Jung YS, Spencer B.

Authors Kim, Corbitt, and Silva are with Dept. of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion; author Jung is with Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; and author Spencer is with College of Business Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS 39762, U.S.A. Author Wang is with Dept. of Business Administration, TransWorld Univ., Taiwan, ROC. Direct inquires to author Kim (E-mail:

  Blueberries for the frozen market are washed but this process sometimes is not effective or further contaminates the berries. This study was designed to optimize conditions for hot water treatment (temperature, time, and antimicrobial concentration) to remove biofilm and decrease microbial load on blueberries. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image showed a well-developed microbial biofilm on blueberries dipped in room temperature water. The biofilm consisted of yeast and bacterial cells attached to the berry surface in the form of microcolonies, which produced exopolymer substances between or upon the cells. Berry exposure to 75 and 90 °C showed little to no microorganisms on the blueberry surface; however, the sensory quality (wax/bloom) of berries at those temperatures was unacceptable. Response surface plots showed that increasing temperature was a significant factor on reduction of aerobic plate counts (APCs) and yeast/mold counts (YMCs) while adding Boxyl® did not have significant effect on APC. Overlaid contour plots showed that treatments of 65 to 70 °C for 10 to 15 s showed maximum reductions of 1.5 and 2.0 log CFU/g on APCs and YMCs, respectively; with acceptable level of bloom/wax score on fresh blueberries. This study showed that SEM, response surface, and overlaid contour plots proved successful in arriving at optima to reduce microbial counts while maintaining bloom/wax on the surface of the blueberries. Practical Application:  Since chemical sanitizing treatments such as chlorine showed ineffectiveness to reduce microorganisms loaded on berry surface (Beuchat and others 2001, Sapers 2001), hot water treatment on fresh blueberries could maximize microbial reduction with acceptable quality of fresh blueberries.

© 2011 Institute of Food Technologists®

PMID: 21623784 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

175. Eukaryot Cell. 2011 Aug;10(8):1071-81. Epub 2011 May 27.

Effects of fluconazole on the secretome, the wall proteome, and wall integrity of the clinical fungus Candida albicans.

Sorgo AG, Heilmann CJ, Dekker HL, Bekker M, Brul S, de Koster CG, de Koning LJ, Klis FM.

Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Fluconazole is a commonly used antifungal drug that inhibits Erg11, a protein responsible for 14α-demethylation during ergosterol synthesis. Consequently, ergosterol is depleted from cellular membranes and replaced by toxic 14α-methylated sterols, which causes increased membrane fluidity and drug permeability. Surface-grown and planktonic cultures of Candida albicans responded similarly to fluconazole at 0.5 mg/liter, showing reduced biomass formation, severely reduced ergosterol levels, and almost complete inhibition of hyphal growth. There was no evidence of cell leakage. Mass spectrometric analysis of the secretome showed that its composition was strongly affected and included 17 fluconazole-specific secretory proteins. Relative quantification of (14)N-labeled query walls relative to a reference standard mixture of (15)N-labeled yeast and hyphal walls in combination with immunological analysis revealed considerable fluconazole-induced changes in the wall proteome as well. They were, however, similar for both surface-grown and planktonic cultures. Two major trends emerged: (i) decreased incorporation of hypha-associated wall proteins (Als3, Hwp1, and Plb5), consistent with inhibition of hyphal growth, and (ii) increased incorporation of putative wall repair-related proteins (Crh11, Pga4, Phr1, Phr2, Pir1, and Sap9). As exposure to the wall-perturbing drug Congo red led to a similar response, these observations suggested that fluconazole affects the wall. In keeping with this, the resistance of fluconazole-treated cells to wall-perturbing compounds decreased. We propose that fluconazole affects the integrity of both the cellular membranes and the fungal wall and discuss its potential consequences for antifungal therapy. We also present candidate proteins from the secretome for clinical marker development.

PMCID: PMC3165447 [Available on 2012/2/1] PMID: 21622905 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

176. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Jul;77(14):4770-7. Epub 2011 May 27.

Local adaptation to soil hypoxia determines the structure of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal community in roots from natural CO₂ springs.

Maček I, Dumbrell AJ, Nelson M, Fitter AH, Vodnik D, Helgason T.

Department of Agronomy, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The processes responsible for producing and maintaining the diversity of natural arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities remain largely unknown. We used natural CO(2) springs (mofettes), which create hypoxic soil environments, to determine whether a long-term, directional, abiotic selection pressure could change AM fungal community structure and drive the selection of particular AM fungal phylotypes. We explored whether those phylotypes that appear exclusively in hypoxic soils are local specialists or widespread generalists able to tolerate a range of soil conditions. AM fungal community composition was characterized by cloning, restriction fragment length polymorphism typing, and the sequencing of small subunit rRNA genes from roots of four plant species growing at high (hypoxic) and low (control) geological CO(2) exposure. We found significant levels of AM fungal community turnover (β diversity) between soil types and the numerical dominance of two AM fungal phylotypes in hypoxic soils. Our results strongly suggest that direct environmental selection acting on AM fungi is a major factor regulating AM fungal communities and their phylogeographic patterns. Consequently, some AM fungi are more strongly associated with local variations in the soil environment than with their host plant's distribution.

PMCID: PMC3147400 PMID: 21622777 [PubMed - in process]

177. Arch Oral Biol. 2011 Dec;56(12):1576-82. Epub 2011 May 28.

Microbicidal efficacy of thiocyanate hydrogen peroxide after adding lactoperoxidase under saliva loading in the quantitative suspension test.

Welk A, Rudolph P, Kreth J, Schwahn Ch, Kramer A, Below H.

Department of Restorative Dentistry, Periodontology and Endodontology, Dental School, University of Greifswald, Rotgerber-Street 8, 17475 Greifswald, Germany.

OBJECTIVE: As shown in the quantitative suspension test adding lactoperoxidase to a thiocyanate (SCN(-)) hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) combination over the physiological saliva level has significant positive antimicrobial effects to a level of totally killing Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguinis, and Candida albicans. The aim of this study was to evaluate this positive effect under human saliva loading. METHODS: The bactericidal and fungicidal effect of lactoperoxidase was evaluated in a quantitative suspension test by using two test mixtures of a 2.0% thiocyanate and 1.2% hydrogen peroxide solution, one without (Group A) and one with (Group B) lactoperoxidase under saliva loading. Following the quantitative suspension tests (EN-13727/EN-13624), the growth of surviving bacteria and fungi in a nutrient broth was measured. The exposure times were restricted to 1, 3, 5, and 15 min. All statistical analyses were carried out with SPSS 11.5. RESULTS: In the quantitative suspension test, the combination of thiocyanate and hydrogen peroxide showed relatively low antimicrobial effectiveness on S. mutans, S. sanguinis, and C. albicans in the presence of human saliva at measured time points in comparison to the mixture with lactoperoxidase, which showed a high bactericidal activity within 15 min (S. mutans and S. sanguinis) and fungicidal activity within 3 min (C. albicans). CONCLUSION: The antimicrobial effectiveness of the tested thiocyanate hydrogen peroxide combination was increased significantly by adding lactoperoxidase in the quantitative suspension test under human saliva loading.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21621190 [PubMed - in process]

178. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2011 Jun;44(3):711-25, x. Epub 2011 May 2.

Allergy treatment: environmental control strategies.

Reisacher WR.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, The Allergy Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY 10021, USA.

This article aims to help physicians and allergy care providers understand: the role of environmental control in the treatment of allergic disease; the concept of "the inflammatory load"; current published studies on environmental control; factors that influence levels of indoor and outdoor allergens; different methods to decrease patients' exposure to indoor and outdoor allergens; problems related to nonallergic symptom triggers; special considerations for school and workplace avoidance; role of environmental control in the prevention of allergic disease; various products available on the market to assist in avoidance; and how to plan with the patient to implement environmental control strategies.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21621056 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

179. BMC Microbiol. 2011 May 29;11:122.

In vitro interactions of Candida parapsilosis wild type and lipase deficient mutants with human monocyte derived dendritic cells.

Nagy I, Filkor K, Németh T, Hamari Z, Vágvölgyi C, Gácser A.

Department of Microbiology, University of Szeged, Közép fasor 52, H-6726 Szeged, Hungary.

BACKGROUND: Candida parapsilosis typically is a commensal of human skin. However, when host immune defense is compromised or the normal microflora balance is disrupted, C. parapsilosis transforms itself into an opportunistic pathogen. Candida-derived lipase has been identified as potential virulence factor. Even though cellular components of the innate immune response, such as dendritic cells, represent the first line of defense against invading pathogens, little is known about the interaction of these cells with invading C. parapsilosis. Thus, the aim of our study was to assess the function of dendritic cells in fighting C. parapsilosis and to determine the role that C. parapsilosis-derived lipase plays in the interaction with dendritic cells. RESULTS: Monocyte-derived immature and mature dendritic cells (iDCs and mDCs, respectively) co-cultured with live wild type or lipase deficient C. parapsilosis strains were studied to determine the phagocytic capacity and killing efficiency of host cells. We determined that both iDCs and mDCs efficiently phagocytosed and killed C. parapsilosis, furthermore our results show that the phagocytic and fungicidal activities of both iDCs and mDCs are more potent for lipase deficient compared to wild type yeast cells. In addition, the lipase deficient C. parapsilosis cells induce higher gene expression and protein secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in both DC types relative to the effect of co-culture with wild type yeast cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that DCs are activated by exposure to C. parapsilosis, as shown by increased phagocytosis, killing and proinflammatory protein secretion. Moreover, these data strongly suggest that C. parapsilosis derived lipase has a protective role during yeast:DC interactions, since lipase production in wt yeast cells decreased the phagocytic capacity and killing efficiency of host cells and downregulated the expression of host effector molecules.

PMCID: PMC3148963 PMID: 21619700 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

180. Phytochem Anal. 2012 Jan;23(1):88-93. doi: 10.1002/pca.1329. Epub 2011 May 25.

Effect of High Relative Humidity on Dried Plantago lanceolata L. Leaves during Long-term Storage: Effects on Chemical Composition, Colour and Microbiological Quality.

Gonda S, Tóth L, Gyémánt G, Braun M, Emri T, Vasas G.

University of Debrecen, Department of Botany, Division of Pharmacognosy, H-4010, Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1, Hungary.

INTRODUCTION: Modern phytotherapy and quality assurance requires stability data on bioactive metabolites to identify and minimise decomposing factors during processing and storage. A compound's stability in a complex matrix can be different from the stability of the purified compound. OBJECTIVE: To test the stability of iridoids and acteoside and quantify changes in colour and microbiological quality in a common herbal tea, dried P. lanceolata leaves during exposure to high-humidity air. To test the contribution of fungi to metabolite decomposition. METHODOLOGY: Dried P. lanceolata leaves were exposed to atmospheres of different relative humidity (75, 45 and 0%) for 24 weeks. Changes in aucubin and catalpol concentration were determined by CE-MEKC, and those in acteoside on TLC. Colour and chlorophyll-like pigments were measured by different spectrophotometric methods. The number of fungi was monitored; 10 strains were isolated from the plant drug, and their ability to decompose the analytes of interest was tested. RESULTS: During incubation at 75% relative humidity (RH), aucubin, catalpol and acteoside concentrations decreased by 95.7, 97.0 and 70.5%, respectively. Strong shifts were detected in CIELAB parameters a* and b* (browning) as a result of conversion of chlorophyll to pheophytin. Intensive microbial proliferation was also observed. Changes at 45 or 0% RH were typically insignificant. Seven of the 10 isolated fungal strains could decompose both iridoids, and five could decompose acteoside in vitro. CONCLUSION: It was shown that exposure to water results in loss of bioactive molecules of P. lanceolata dried leaves, and that colonising fungi are the key contributors to this loss. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 21618310 [PubMed - in process]

181. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jul 17;43(4):308-17. Epub 2011 May 18.

Bioactivity and toxicity studies of amphotericin B incorporated in liquid crystals.

Chuealee R, Aramwit P, Noipha K, Srichana T.

Drug Delivery System Excellence Center, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.

The main objective of the present work was to evaluate the bioactivity and safety of amphotericin B-liquid crystal mixtures (AmB-LC). The effects of liquid crystal (LC) materials and AmB-LC ratios on bioactivity and toxicity to respiratory cell lines were investigated. The formation of AmB-LC mixtures did not change the physical properties of LC when the AmB loading was not more than a 1:3 mole ratio (25%). The exposure of respiratory cell lines to LC did not generate any toxicity (2.5-80 μg/mL). The inhibitory activity of AmB in all liquid crystal formulations (cholesteryl palmityl carbonate: CPC, dicholesteryl carbonate: DCC and sodium cholesteryl carbonate: SCC) on fungi was significantly enhanced when compared to that of the same amount of pure AmB. However, their toxicity to respiratory related cells and red blood cells was significantly decreased. This could be a huge advantage in clinical applications as there is more possibility for dose adjustments. The exposure of small airway epithelial cells (SAEC) and alveolar macrophages (AMs NR8383) to liquid crystals had no significant detrimental effects at doses of between 2.5 and 80 μg/mL (viability was always over 80%). The production of toxic cytokines and inflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and nitric oxide (NO), after treatment with AmB in liquid crystals at concentrations of between 2 and 32 μg/mL was significantly reduced by about a 1000-fold compared to that generated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS).

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21616148 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

182. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Oct;92(2):359-70. Epub 2011 May 26.

Willow volatiles influence growth, development, and secondary metabolism in Aspergillus parasiticus.

Roze LV, Koptina AV, Laivenieks M, Beaudry RM, Jones DA, Kanarsky AV, Linz JE.

Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Michigan State University, 227 GM Trout Bldg, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Aflatoxin is a mycotoxin and the most potent naturally occurring carcinogen in many animals. Aflatoxin contamination of food and feed crops causes a significant global burden on human and animal health. However, available methods to eliminate aflatoxin from food and feed are not fully effective. Our goal is to discover novel, efficient, and practical methods to control aflatoxin contamination in crops during storage. In the present study, we tested the effect of volatiles produced by willow (Salix acutifolia and Salix babylonica) and maple (Acer saccharinum) bark on fungal growth, development, and aflatoxin production by the fungus Aspergillus parasiticus, one economically important aflatoxin producer. S. acutifolia bark volatiles nearly eliminated aflatoxin accumulation (>90% reduction) by A. parasiticus grown on a minimal agar medium. The decrease in aflatoxin accumulation correlated with a twofold reduction in ver-1 (encodes a middle aflatoxin pathway enzyme) transcript level. Expression data also indicate that one histone H4 acetyltransferase, MYST3, may play a role in epigenetic control of aflatoxin gene transcription in response to volatile exposure. Volatiles derived from wood bark samples also increased fungal growth up to 20% and/or enhanced conidiospore development. Solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis of bark samples identified sets of shared and unique volatile compounds that may mediate the observed regulatory effects on growth, development, and aflatoxin synthesis. This work provides an experimental basis for the use of willow industry by-products to control aflatoxin contamination in food and feed crops.

PMID: 21614501 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

183. J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 29;286(30):26667-79. Epub 2011 May 25.

The protease allergen Pen c 13 induces allergic airway inflammation and changes in epithelial barrier integrity and function in a murine model.

Chen JC, Chuang JG, Su YY, Chiang BL, Lin YS, Chow LP.

Graduate Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei 100, Taiwan.

Fungal allergens are associated with the development of asthma, and some have been characterized as proteases. Here, we established an animal model of allergic airway inflammation in response to continuous exposure to proteolytically active Pen c 13, a major allergen secreted by Penicillium citrinum. In functional analyses, Pen c 13 exposure led to increased airway hyperresponsiveness, significant inflammatory cell infiltration, mucus overproduction, and collagen deposition in the lung, dramatically elevated serum levels of total IgE and Pen c 13-specific IgE and IgG1, and increased production of the Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 by splenocytes stimulated in vitro with Pen c 13. To examine the mechanisms involved in the regulation of allergenicity by Pen c 13, we performed two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis analysis combined with nano-LC-MS/MS, followed by bioinformatics analysis to identify potential targets that associated with allergic inflammation, which suggested that galectin-3 and laminin might be involved in novel pathogenic mechanisms. Finally, we focused on junctional proteins between cells, because, in addition to opening of the epithelial barrier by environmental proteases possibly being the initial step in the development of asthma, these proteins are also associated with actin rearrangement. Taken together, our findings indicate that Pen c 13 exposure causes junctional structure alterations and actin cytoskeletal rearrangements, resulting in increased permeability and airway structural changes. These effects probably change the lung microenvironment and foster the development of allergic sensitization.

PMCID: PMC3143630 [Available on 2012/7/29] PMID: 21613216 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

184. Redox Rep. 2011;16(1):15-23.

Acetate but not propionate induces oxidative stress in bakers' yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Semchyshyn HM, Abrat OB, Miedzobrodzki J, Inoue Y, Lushchak VI.

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vassyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.

The influence of acetic and propionic acids on baker's yeast was investigated in order to expand our understanding of the effect of weak organic acid food preservatives on eukaryotic cells. Both acids decreased yeast survival in a concentration-dependent manner, but with different efficiencies. The acids inhibited the fluorescein efflux from yeast cells. The inhibition constant of fluorescein extrusion from cells treated with acetate was significantly lower in parental strain than in either PDR12 (ABC-transporter Pdr12p) or WAR1 (transcriptional factor of Pdr12p) defective mutants. The constants of inhibition by propionate were virtually the same in all strains used. Yeast exposure to acetate increased the level of oxidized proteins and the activity of antioxidant enzymes, while propionate did not change these parameters. This suggests that various mechanisms underlie the yeast toxicity by acetic and propionic acids. Our studies with mutant cells clearly indicated the involvement of Yap1p transcriptional regulator and de novo protein synthesis in superoxide dismutase up-regulation by acetate. The up-regulation of catalase was Yap1p independent. Yeast pre-incubation with low concentrations of H₂O₂ caused cellular cross-protection against high concentrations of acetate. The results are discussed from the point of view that acetate induces a prooxidant effect in vivo, whereas propionate does not.

PMID: 21605494 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

185. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011 Jul;401(1):195-200. Epub 2011 May 22.

Direct quantification of deoxynivalenol glucuronide in human urine as biomarker of exposure to the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol.

Warth B, Sulyok M, Berthiller F, Schuhmacher R, Fruhmann P, Hametner C, Adam G, Fröhlich J, Krska R.

Center for Analytical Chemistry, Department for Agrobiotechnology (IFA-Tulln), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Tulln, Austria.

The direct quantification of deoxynivalenol glucuronide (DON-GlcA) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and its application as a biomarker of exposure to the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is reported. Usually, DON exposure is estimated from dietary average intakes or by measurement of the native toxin in urine after enzymatic hydrolysis with β-glucuronidase. These methods are time-consuming, expensive, and fail to determine the ratio of DON to DON-GlcA in a simple one-step procedure. One of the main reasons for the use of indirect methods is the unavailability of DON-GlcA standards. Consequently, DON-3-O-glucuronide (D3GlcA) was synthesized and used to develop a method allowing quantification of both DON and D3GlcA by a simple "dilute and shoot" approach without the need for any cleanup. Limit of detection and apparent recovery of D3GlcA was 3 μg l(-1) and 88%, respectively. The identity of D3GlcA in human urine was confirmed by comparison with LC-MS/MS measurements of the synthetically produced D3GlcA standard which was also used for external calibration. The applicability of the method was demonstrated through the analysis of urine samples obtained from a volunteer during regular and cereal-restricted diet, respectively. In regular-diet urine samples, D3GlcA was quantified in concentrations >30 μg l(-1) by this approach.

PMID: 21604166 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

186. Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr;28(1):175-80.

Anti-Candida activity and biofilm inhibitory effects of secreted products of tropical environmental yeasts.

Tan HW, Tay ST.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This study describes the killer phenotypes of tropical environmental yeasts and the inhibition effects of the culture filtrates on the biofilm of Candida albicans. A total of 26 (10.5%) of 258 yeast isolates obtained from an environmental sampling study demonstrated killer activity to Candida species. The killer yeasts were identified as species belonging to the genus Aureobasidium, Pseudozyma, Ustilago and Candida based on sequence analysis of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of the yeasts. Pseudozyma showed the broadest killing effects against sensitive strains of Candida. New species of Ustilago and Pseudozyma demonstrating killer phenotypes were identified in this study. Interestingly, more than 50% reduction in the metabolic activity of Candida albicans biofilm was noted after exposure to the culture filtrates of the nine killer yeasts. Purification and characterization of toxin and metabolites are essential for understanding the yeast killing effects.

PMID: 21602784 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

187. Environ Res. 2011 Aug;111(6):744-50. Epub 2011 May 19.

Exposure to moulds and actinomycetes in Alpine farms: a nested environmental study of the PASTURE cohort.

Roussel S, Sudre B, Reboux G, Waser M, Buchele G, Vacheyrou M, Dalphin JC, Millon L, Braun-Fahrländer C, von Mutius E, Piarroux R.

UMR/CNRS Chrono-Environnement 6249, University of Franche-Comté, 25000 Besancon, France.

Several studies have suggested that children exposed to a farm environment are protected against allergies and asthma. The present work is an environmental study nested within the PASTURE cohort and includes 97 farmers and 74 non-farmers in three regions of the Alpine Arc (Switzerland, France and Germany). The objectives were to determine and compare the fungi and actinomycetes present in farming and non-farming environments (children's bedrooms and cowsheds), and to identify the agricultural practices associated with an increase in airborne fungi and actinomycetes in cowsheds. Air samples were collected by air pump and were analysed by culture and by direct counting of spores on membranes. During their stay in bedrooms, children living on farms were exposed to significantly greater amounts of Absidia spp., Eurotium spp., Cladosporium spp., Penicillium spp. and mesophilic actinomycetes than children who did not live on farms. Depending on the season, the levels of moulds, yeasts and actinomycetes were from 14 to 82 times higher in cowsheds before feeding the cattle than in children's bedrooms, and from 12 to 464 times higher in cowsheds after feeding than in children's bedrooms. Feeding cattle in cowsheds was associated with a significant peak in airborne moulds and actinomycetes, and this peak was higher in winter than in summer. Silage distribution was associated with low amounts of moulds and actinomycetes. Other significant agricultural factors were the type of cowshed, cowshed volume, method of food distribution to cattle and use of fresh grass. An assessment of the microbiological diversity on farms and in children's rooms may help to determine the factors protecting children from asthma and atopic diseases.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21600574 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

188. Dent Mater J. 2011;30(3):384-91. Epub 2011 May 20.

Microbicidal activities of low frequency atmospheric pressure plasma jets on oral pathogens.

Yamazaki H, Ohshima T, Tsubota Y, Yamaguchi H, Jayawardena JA, Nishimura Y.

Department of Fixed Prosthodontics, Tsurumi University School of Dental Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.

Research using low frequency atmospheric pressure plasma jets (LF jet) is becoming increasingly more common. We carried out experiments to evaluate the sterilizing effects of this technology on oral pathogenic microorganisms (S.mutans, C.albicans and E. faecalis) and to determine its potential for clinical application. We performed the direct exposure test on a solid surface, indirect exposure test on a liquid phase, and ROS (reactive oxygen species) inhibitory test. The results showed the LF jet had microbicidal effects on oral pathogens, and that the ROS influenced this sterilization effect. The experiments of this study revealed that LF jet had a sterilizing effect on oral pathogenic microorganisms present in both the solid and liquid phases. The sterilizing mechanism was considered to be related to the effect of superoxide anion radicals. These results indicate that LF jets may represent a novel technology that can be applied to the field of clinical dentistry.

PMID: 21597211 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

189. Home Health Care Serv Q. 2011 Apr;30(2):96-114.

Occupational risk factors for blood and body fluid exposure among home care aides.

Amuwo S, Sokas RK, McPhaul K, Lipscomb J.

University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health Science Department, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.

This cross-sectional study of home care aides examines self-reported occupational exposure to blood and body fluids to determine if factors that place these workers at risk can be identified. Home care aides working for two agencies in the Chicagoland area were surveyed. A total of 62 (6.3%) of the home care aides reported instances of blood and body fluid exposure either via sharps or mucous membrane contact. Although few aides reported performing health care-related tasks such as colostomy care, caring for a urinary catheter, or bowel stimulation (which were outside their scope of duties), those who did were significantly more likely to experience blood and body fluid exposure (p≤.01). Level of assistance needed by clients in tasks such as feeding, laundry, and transportation was also found to be significantly associated with blood and body fluid exposure (p≤.01). These data highlight the importance of, and need for, home care aid training in the use of universal precautions.

PMID: 21590568 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

190. PLoS One. 2011 May 11;6(5):e19836.

Degradation of the disease-associated prion protein by a serine protease from lichens.

Johnson CJ, Bennett JP, Biro SM, Duque-Velasquez JC, Rodriguez CM, Bessen RA, Rocke TE.

Prion Research Laboratory, United States Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.

The disease-associated prion protein (PrP(TSE)), the probable etiological agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), is resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment. Lichens, mutualistic symbioses containing fungi, algae, bacteria and occasionally cyanobacteria, are ubiquitous in the environment and have evolved unique biological activities allowing their survival in challenging ecological niches. We investigated PrP(TSE) inactivation by lichens and found acetone extracts of three lichen species (Parmelia sulcata, Cladonia rangiferina and Lobaria pulmonaria) have the ability to degrade prion protein (PrP) from TSE-infected hamsters, mice and deer. Immunoblots measuring PrP levels and protein misfolding cyclic amplification indicated at least two logs of reductions in PrP(TSE). Degradative activity was not found in closely related lichen species or in algae or a cyanobacterium that inhabit lichens. Degradation was blocked by Pefabloc SC, a serine protease inhibitor, but not inhibitors of other proteases or enzymes. Additionally, we found that PrP levels in PrP(TSE)-enriched preps or infected brain homogenates are also reduced following exposure to freshly-collected P. sulcata or an aqueous extract of the lichen. Our findings indicate that these lichen extracts efficiently degrade PrP(TSE) and suggest that some lichens could have potential to inactivate TSE infectivity on the landscape or be a source for agents to degrade prions. Further work to clone and characterize the protease, assess its effect on TSE infectivity and determine which organism or organisms present in lichens produce or influence the protease activity is warranted.

PMCID: PMC3092769 PMID: 21589935 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

191. Plant Mol Biol. 2011 Aug;76(6):545-56. Epub 2011 May 15.

Regulation of durum wheat Na+/H + exchanger TdSOS1 by phosphorylation.

Feki K, Quintero FJ, Pardo JM, Masmoudi K.

Plant Protection and Improvement Laboratory, Centre of Biotechnology of Sfax (CBS), University of Sfax, Route Sidi Mansour Km 6, B.P "1177", 3018, Sfax, Tunisia.

We have identified a plasma membrane Na(+)/H(+) exchanger from durum wheat, designated TdSOS1. Heterologous expression of TdSOS1 in a yeast strain lacking endogenous Na(+) efflux proteins showed complementation of the Na(+)- and Li(+)-sensitive phenotype by a mechanism involving cation efflux. Salt tolerance conferred by TdSOS1 was maximal when co-expressed with the Arabidopsis protein kinase complex SOS2/SOS3. In vitro phosphorylation of TdSOS1 with a hyperactive form of the Arabidopsis SOS2 kinase (T/DSOS2∆308) showed the importance of two essential serine residues at the C-terminal hydrophilic tail (S1126, S1128). Mutation of these two serine residues to alanine decreased the phosphorylation of TdSOS1 by T/DSOS2∆308 and prevented the activation of TdSOS1. In addition, deletion of the C-terminal domain of TdSOS1 encompassing serine residues at position 1126 and 1128 generated a hyperactive form that had maximal sodium exclusion activity independent from the regulatory SOS2/SOS3 complex. These results are consistent with the presence of an auto-inhibitory domain at the C-terminus of TdSOS1 that mediates the activation of TdSOS1 by the protein kinase SOS2. Expression of TdSOS1 mRNA in young seedlings of the durum wheat variety Om Rabia3, using different abiotic stresses (ionic and oxidative stress) at different times of exposure, was monitored by RT-PCR.

PMID: 21573979 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

192. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Aug;1810(8):777-83. Epub 2011 May 5.

Amphotericin B induces trehalose synthesis and simultaneously activates an antioxidant enzymatic response in Candida albicans.

González-Párraga P, Sánchez-Fresneda R, Zaragoza O, Argüelles JC.

Área de Microbiología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, E-30071, Murcia, Spain.

BACKGROUND: Enzymes involved in trehalose metabolism have been proposed as potential targets for new antifungals. To analyse this proposal, the susceptibility to Amphotericin B (AmB) of the C. albicans trehalose-deficient mutant tps1Δ/tps1Δ, was examined. METHODS: Determination of endogenous trehalose and antioxidant enzymatic activities as well as RT-PCR analysis in cells subjected to AmB treatments was performed. RESULTS: Exponential tps1Δ null cultures showed high degree of cell killing upon exposure to increasing AmB doses respect to CAI.4 parental strain. Reintroduction of the TPS1 gene restored the percentage of cell viability. AmB induced significant synthesis of endogenous trehalose in parental cells, due to the transitory accumulation of TPS1 mRNA or to the moderate activation of trehalose synthase (Tps1p) with the simultaneous deactivation of neutral trehalase (Ntc1p). Since tps1Δ/tps1Δ mutant cells are highly susceptible to acute oxidative stress, the putative antioxidant response to AmB was also measured. A conspicuous activation of catalase and glutathione reductase (GR), but not of superoxide dismutase (SOD), was observed when the two cell types were exposed to high concentrations of AmB (5μg/ml). However, no significant differences were detected between parental and tps1Δ null strains as regards the level of activities. CONCLUSIONS: The protective intracellular accumulation of trehalose together with the induction of antioxidant enzymatic defences are worthy mechanisms involved in the resistance of C. albicans to the fungicidal action of AmB. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: The potential usefulness of trehalose synthesis proteins as an interesting antifungal target is reinforced. More importantly, AmB elicits a complex defensive response in C. albicans.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21570449 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

193. BMC Microbiol. 2011 May 11;11:97.

Genome-wide expression profiling of the response to short-term exposure to fluconazole in Cryptococcus neoformans serotype A.

Florio AR, Ferrari S, De Carolis E, Torelli R, Fadda G, Sanguinetti M, Sanglard D, Posteraro B.

Istituto di Microbiologia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy.

BACKGROUND: Fluconazole (FLC), a triazole antifungal drug, is widely used for the maintenance therapy of cryptococcal meningoencephalitis, the most common opportunistic infection in AIDS patients. In this study, we examined changes in the gene expression profile of the C. neoformans reference strain H99 (serotype A) following FLC treatment in order to investigate the adaptive cellular responses to drug stress. RESULTS: Simultaneous analysis of over 6823 transcripts revealed that 476 genes were responsive to FLC. As expected up-regulation of genes involved in ergosterol biosynthesis was observed, including the azole target gene ERG11 and ERG13, ERG1, ERG7, ERG25, ERG2, ERG3 and ERG5. In addition, SRE1 which is a gene encoding a well-known regulator of sterol homeostasis in C. neoformans was up-regulated. Several other genes such as those involved in a variety of important cellular processes (i.e. lipid and fatty acid metabolism, cell wall maintenance, stress and virulence) were found to be up-regulated in response to FLC treatment. Conversely, expression of AFR1, the major transporter of azoles in C. neoformans, was not regulated by FLC. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term exposure of C. neoformans to FLC resulted in a complex altered gene expression profile. Some of the observed changes could represent specific adaptive responses to the antifungal agent in this pathogenic yeast.

PMCID: PMC3119188 PMID: 21569340 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

194. Methods Mol Biol. 2011;739:171-85.

Extraction and analysis of fumonisins and compounds indicative of fumonisin exposure in plant and mammalian tissues and cultured cells.

Zitomer NC, Riley RT.

USDA - ARS, Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research Unit, R.B. Russell Research Center, Athens, GA, USA.

Fumonisin mycotoxins are common contaminants in many grains, often at very low levels. Maize is -particularly problematic as one of the organisms that commonly produce fumonisins, the fungus Fusarium verticillioides, often exists as an endophyte of maize. Fumonisin is a potent inhibitor of the enzyme ceramide synthase, and this inhibition results in the accumulation of a variety of upstream compounds, most notably, the sphingoid bases sphingosine, sphinganine, 1-deoxysphinganine and, in plants, phytosphingosine. Fumonisin exposure results in a wide variety of species, sex, and strain-specific responses. This method provides a relatively fast means of extracting fumonisins, sphingoid bases, and sphingoid base 1-phosphates from tissues and cells, as well as the subsequent analyses and quantification of these compounds using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.

PMID: 21567327 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

195. Biomed Environ Sci. 2011 Apr;24(2):132-9.

Analysis of environmental endocrine disrupting activities in wastewater treatment plant effluents using recombinant yeast assays incorporated with exogenous metabolic activation system.

Li J, Chen M, Wang Z, Ma M, Peng X.

College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.

OBJECTIVE: To measure the endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in wastewater and evaluate the EDCs removal efficiencies in the municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). METHODS: A battery of in vitro recombinant yeast bioassays incorporated with exogenous metabolic activation system (rat liver preparation, S9 mix) was conducted to assess the estrogen receptor (ER), androgen receptor (AR), progesterone receptor (PR), and thyroid receptor (TR) ant/agonistic activities of effluents collected from Datansha WWTP. RESULTS: The indirect estrogenic, anti-androgenic, anti-progesteronic, and anti-thyroidic activities were observed in the influent. The removal efficiencies of EDCs were above 74%, suggesting that the present wastewater treatment processes were good enough to remove most of these indirect endocrine disrupting chemicals. CONCLUSION: The incorporation of exogenous metabolic capacity into the test system was valid for the study of indirect effects on ER, AR, PR, and TR.

Copyright © 2011 The Editorial Board of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21565684 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

196. Public Health Rep. 2011 May-Jun;126 Suppl 1:14-26.

Healthy Homes University: a home-based environmental intervention and education program for families with pediatric asthma in Michigan.

Largo TW, Borgialli M, Wisinski CL, Wahl RL, Priem WF.

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Environmental Health, Lansing, MI 48909, USA.

Environmental conditions within the home can exacerbate asthmatic children's symptoms. To improve health outcomes among this group, we implemented an in-home environmental public health program-Healthy Homes University--for low-income families in Lansing, Michigan, from 2005 to 2008. Families received four visits during a six-month intervention. Program staff assessed homes for asthma triggers and subsequently provided products and services to reduce exposures to cockroaches, dust mites, mold, tobacco smoke, and other triggers. We also provided asthma education that included identification of asthma triggers and instructions on specific behaviors to reduce exposures. Based on self-reported data collected from 243 caregivers at baseline and six months, the impact of asthma on these children was substantially reduced, and the proportion who sought acute unscheduled health care for their asthma decreased by more than 47%.

PMCID: PMC3072899 PMID: 21563708 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

197. Plant Physiol Biochem. 2011 Sep;49(9):963-9. Epub 2011 Apr 23.

AM fungal exudates activate MAP kinases in plant cells in dependence from cytosolic Ca(2+) increase.

Francia D, Chiltz A, Lo Schiavo F, Pugin A, Bonfante P, Cardinale F.

DiVaPRA, Patologia Vegetale, Università degli Studi di Torino, Via L. da Vinci, 44, 10095 Grugliasco (TO), Italy.

The molecular dialogue occurring prior to direct contact between the fungal and plant partners of arbuscular-mycorrhizal (AM) symbioses begins with the release of fungal elicitors, so far only partially identified chemically, which can activate specific signaling pathways in the host plant. We show here that the activation of MAPK is also induced by exudates of germinating spores of Gigaspora margarita in cultured cells of the non-leguminous species tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), as well as in those of the model legume Lotus japonicus. MAPK activity peaked about 15 min after the exposure of the host cells to the fungal exudates (FE). FE were also responsible for a rapid and transient increase in free cytosolic Ca(2+) in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia and tobacco cells, and pre-treatment with a Ca(2+)-channel blocker (La(3+)) showed that in these cells, MAPK activation was dependent on the cytosolic Ca(2+) increase. A partial dependence of MAPK activity on the common Sym pathway could be demonstrated for a cell line of L. japonicus defective for LjSym4 and hence unable to establish an AM symbiosis. Our results show that MAPK activation is triggered by an FE-induced cytosolic Ca(2+) transient, and that a Sym genetic determinant acts to modulate the intensity and duration of this activity.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21561784 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

198. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2011 Mar;29(1):42-9.

Investigation of indoor molds and allergic diseases in public primary schools in Edirne city of Turkey.

Celtik C, Okten S, Okutan O, Aydogdu H, Bostancioglu M, Ekuklu G, Asan A, Yazicioglu M.

Medical Faculty, Department of Pediatrics, Edirne, Turkey.

BACKGROUND: Studies evaluating the role of indoor molds in the development of allergic or respiratory symptoms in schools are few in childhood. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate relation between indoor molds and allergic diseases or respiratory symptoms in primary school's children in Edirne, Turkey. METHODS: Ten public primary schools were included into the study. A thorough assessment, using a questionnaire and inspection surveys was carried out. The concentration of culturable mold was assessed in the dust samples in the schools. Indoor temperature and humidity were measured. A total of 1374 students who completed valid questionnaires were included in the study, and dust-samples were collected from the schools. RESULTS: Cumulative and current prevalence rates of wheezing, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis were found as 31.4%, 9.3%, 16.2%, 6.0% and 13.4%, 11.9%, 15.1%, 2.1%, respectively. The most frequent mold-species detected in indoor dusts were Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria and Aspergillus. Although the prevalence rates of allergic diseases and respiratory symptoms were high, indoor mold amounts were low in the schools in our region and no significant correlation was determined between indoor mold amount and the prevalence of these diseases in schools or classrooms. CONCLUSION: Even though allergic molds are present in schools, the mold-exposure may not be an important predisposing factor for development of allergic and respiratory diseases the schools in our region.

PMID: 21560487 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

199. Dis Aquat Organ. 2011 Mar 16;94(1):17-28.

Pathogenicity and oxidative stress in Nile tilapia caused by Aphanomyces laevis and Phoma herbarum isolated from farmed fish.

Ali EH, Hashem M, Al-Salahy MB.

Botany Department, Faculty of Science, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.

Identified (n = 17) and unidentified (n = 1) fish-pathogenic fungal species from 10 genera of Oomycetes and soil fungi were isolated from 40 infected freshwater fish samples of the species Oreochromis niloticus niloticus (Nile tilapia) and Clarias gariepinus (African catfish). Samples were collected from various fish farms in the Nile Delta, Egypt. Nile tilapia were tested in aquaria for their susceptibility to the commonest Oomycetes species, Aphanomyces laevis and Achlya klebsiana, and also against the 2 most prevalent pathogenic soil fungi, Paecilomyces lilacinus and Phoma herbarum. Two techniques were used: water bath exposure and intramuscular (subcutaneous) injection. Water bath exposure to the 2 species of Oomycetes caused greater mortalities of O. niloticus niloticus than intramuscular injection, but the reverse was true of the soil fungal species. Regardless of the infection method, the 2 Oomycetes species were more potent pathogens than the soil fungal species. In both gills and mytomal muscles of fish infected by A. laevis and P. herbarum, we measured and compared with controls the oxidative stress parameters total peroxide (TP), lipid peroxidation (LPO) and nitric oxide (NO), as well as levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and glutathione (GSH), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities. Infection by these 2 fungal species through either spore suspension or spore injection significantly increased oxidative damage in gills and induced marked decrease in most studied antioxidants. In addition, both routes showed similar effects and A. laevis depressed the antioxidants CAT, vitamin E and GSH more than P. herbarum.

PMID: 21553565 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

200. Microb Ecol. 2011 Jul;62(1):58-68. Epub 2011 May 7.

Can metal nanoparticles be a threat to microbial decomposers of plant litter in streams?

Pradhan A, Seena S, Pascoal C, Cássio F.

Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA), Department of Biology, University of Minho, Campus of Gualtar, 4710-057, Braga, Portugal.

The extensive use of nanometal-based products increases the chance of their release into aquatic environments, raising the question whether they can pose a risk to aquatic biota and the associated ecological processes. Aquatic microbes, namely fungi and bacteria, play a key role in forested streams by decomposing plant litter from terrestrial vegetation. Here, we investigated the effects of nanocopper oxide and nanosilver on leaf litter decomposition by aquatic microbes, and the results were compared with the impacts of their ionic precursors. Alder leaves were immersed in a stream of Northwest Portugal to allow microbial colonization before being exposed in microcosms to increased nominal concentrations of nanometals (CuO, 100, 200 and 500 ppm; Ag, 100 and 300 ppm) and ionic metals (Cu(2+) in CuCl(2), 10, 20 and 30 ppm; Ag(+) in AgNO(3), 5 and 20 ppm) for 21 days. Results showed that rates of leaf decomposition decreased with exposure to nano- and ionic metals. Nano- and ionic metals inhibited bacterial biomass (from 68.6% to 96.5% of control) more than fungal biomass (from 28.5% to 82.9% of control). The exposure to increased concentrations of nano- and ionic metals decreased fungal sporulation rates from 91.0% to 99.4%. These effects were accompanied by shifts in the structure of fungal and bacterial communities based on DNA fingerprints and fungal spore morphology. The impacts of metal nanoparticles on leaf decomposition by aquatic microbes were less pronounced compared to their ionic forms, despite metal ions were applied at one order of magnitude lower concentrations. Overall, results indicate that the increased release of nanometals to the environment may affect aquatic microbial communities with impacts on organic matter decomposition in streams.

PMID: 21553058 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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