51,483 research outputs found

    Investigation into individual health and exposure to infectious agents of platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in two river catchments in northwest Tasmania

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    Changes in the health of individuals within wildlife populations can be a cause or effect of population declines in wildlife species. Aspects of individual platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) health have been reported. However, holistic studies investigating potential synergistic effects of both pathogens and environmental factors are needed to expand understanding of platypus individual health. We collected baseline data on the health of platypuses in two Tasmanian river catchments (including evidence of the potentially fatal fungal disease mucormycosis) and on individual, demographic, and geographic patterns associated with health data results. We examined 130 wild platypuses from the Inglis River Catchment and 24 platypuses from the Seabrook Creek Catchment in northwest Tasmania between 29 August 2011 and 31 August 2013. More than 90% of captured platypuses were infected with ticks, Theileria spp., and trypanosomes. Evidence of exposure to other infections, including Salmonella spp., Leptospira spp., and intestinal parasites, was low (<10%). Three platypuses had single fungal granulomas in the webbing of a forefoot, but no evidence of mucormycosis was found in any of the study animals. Possible subclinical hepatopathies or cholangiohepatopathies were found in six platypuses. Exposure to infectious agents did not cluster geographically, demographically, or in individuals, and there was minimal evidence of morbidity resulting from infection. This study has provided important baseline data for monitoring the effects of threatening processes, including mucormycosis, on the health of infected populations

    Who acquires infection from whom and how? Disentangling multi-host and multi-mode transmission dynamics in the 'elimination' era

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    Multi-host infectious agents challenge our abilities to understand, predict and manage disease dynamics. Within this, many infectious agents are also able to use, simultaneously or sequentially, multiple modes of transmission. Furthermore, the relative importance of different host species and modes can itself be dynamic, with potential for switches and shifts in host range and/ or transmission mode in response to changing selective pressures, such as those imposed by disease control interventions. The epidemiology of such multi-host, multi-mode infectious agents thereby can involve a multi-faceted community of definitive and intermediate/secondary hosts or vectors, often together with infectious stages in the environment, all of which may represent potential targets, as well as specific challenges, particularly where disease elimination is proposed. Here, we explore, focusing on examples fromboth human and animal pathogen systems, why and how we should aim to disentangle and quantify the relative importance of multi-host multi-mode infectious agent transmission dynamics under contrasting conditions, and ultimately, how this can be used to help achieve efficient and effective disease control. This article is part of the themed issue 'Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission'

    Infectious agents in atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases through oxidative stress

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    Accumulating evidence demonstrates that vascular oxidative stress is a critical feature of atherosclerotic process, potentially triggered by several infectious agents that are considered as risk co-factors for the atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). C. pneumoniae has been shown to upregulate multiple enzymatic systems capable of producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as NADPH oxidase (NOX) and cyclooxygenase in vascular endothelial cells, NOX and cytochrome c oxidase in macrophages as well as nitric oxide synthase and lipoxygenase in platelets contributing to both early and late stages of atherosclerosis. P. gingivalis seems to be markedly involved in the atherosclerotic process as compared to A. actinomycetemcomitans contributing to LDL oxidation and foam cell formation. Particularly interesting is the evidence describing the NLRP3 inflammasome activation as a new molecular mechanism underlying P. gingivalis-induced oxidative stress and inflammation. Amongst viral agents, immunodeficiency virus-1 and hepatitis C virus seem to have a major role in promoting ROS production, contributing, hence, to the early stages of atherosclerosis including endothelial dysfunction and LDL oxidation. In conclusion, oxidative mechanisms activated by several infectious agents during the atherosclerotic process underlying CVDs are very complex and not well-known, remaining, thus, an attractive target for future research

    Vaccines against infectious agents

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    Peptide or subunit vaccines (antigens) are safer than attenuated vaccines. However, peptide vaccines are less immunogenic and require large multiple doses of peptides plus exogenous adjuvants to elicit an immune response. The immunogenicity of peptide antigens can be enhanced if the peptides are immunized in the context of an antigen complex that mimics a virus in terms of size, morphology, and adjuvanticity. Virus-like particles (VLPs) derived from bacteriophages (PP7, MS2, and Qő≤) possess these features and as such, they are excellent platforms for peptide vaccine designs. In this seminar, I will discuss how we have exploited these platforms to enhance the immunogenicity of less immunogenic but critical protective epitopes derived from viruses associated with pathogenic human infections such as human papillomaviruses, Zika virus, etc.https://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/techtalks/1051/thumbnail.jp

    Infectious agents and inflammation. The role of microbiota in autoimmune arthritis

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    In higher vertebrates, mucosal sites at the border between the internal and external environments, directly interact with bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Through co-evolution, hosts developed mechanisms of tolerance or ignorance toward some infectious agents, because hosts established "gain of function" interactions with symbiotic bacteria. Indeed, some bacteria assist hosts in different functions, among which are digestion of complex carbohydrates, and absorption and supply of vitamins. There is no doubt that microbiota modulate innate and acquired immune responses starting at birth. However, variations in quality and quantity of bacterial species interfere with the equilibrium between inflammation and tolerance. In fact, correlations between gut bacteria composition and the severity of inflammation were first described for inflammatory bowel diseases and later extended to other pathologies. The genetic background, environmental factors (e.g., stress or smoking), and diet can induce strong changes in the resident bacteria which can expose the intestinal epithelium to a variety of different metabolites, many of which have unknown functions and consequences. In addition, alterations in gut permeability may allow pathogens entry, thereby triggering infection and/or chronic inflammation. In this context, a local event occurring at a mucosal site may be the triggering cause of an autoimmune reaction that eventually involves distant sites or organs. Recently, several studies attributed a pathogenic role to altered oral microbiota in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to gut dysbiosis in spondyloarthritis (SpA). There is also growing evidence that different drugs, such as antibiotics and immunosuppressants, can influence and be influenced by the diversity and composition of microbiota in RA and SpA patients. Hence, in complex disorders such RA and SpA, not only the genetic background, gender, and immunologic context of the individual are relevant, but also the history of infections and the structure of the microbial community at mucosal sites should be considered. Here the role of the microbiota and infections in the initiation and progression of chronic arthritis is discussed, as well as how these factors can influence a patient's response to synthetic and biologic immunosuppressive therapy

    Seronegative spondyloarthropathies : a review : part II: genetics and pathogenesis

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    In none of the spondyloarthropathies is the pathogenesis well understood. Much of the investigation into the aetio-pathogenesis of these diseases has focused on the association with HLA-B27 and the known triggering potential of certain infectious agents. In this article the author describes that the HLA linked genes which is subdivided into three groups, class I, class II and class III, which are structurally and functionally distinct from each other.peer-reviewe
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