199 research outputs found

    Evolutionary History and Attenuation of Myxoma Virus on Two Continents

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    The attenuation of myxoma virus (MYXV) following its introduction as a biological control into the European rabbit populations of Australia and Europe is the canonical study of the evolution of virulence. However, the evolutionary genetics of this profound change in host-pathogen relationship is unknown. We describe the genome-scale evolution of MYXV covering a range of virulence grades sampled over 49 years from the parallel Australian and European epidemics, including the high-virulence progenitor strains released in the early 1950s. MYXV evolved rapidly over the sampling period, exhibiting one of the highest nucleotide substitution rates ever reported for a double-stranded DNA virus, and indicative of a relatively high mutation rate and/or a continually changing selective environment. Our comparative sequence data reveal that changes in virulence involved multiple genes, likely losses of gene function due to insertion-deletion events, and no mutations common to specific virulence grades. Hence, despite the similarity in selection pressures there are multiple genetic routes to attain either highly virulent or attenuated phenotypes in MYXV, resulting in convergence for phenotype but not genotype. © 2012 Kerr et al

    Vocal tract modelling in fallow deer: are male groans nasalized?

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    Males of several species of deer have a descended and mobile larynx, resulting in an unusually long vocal tract, which can be further extended by lowering the larynx during call production. Formant frequencies are lowered as the vocal tract is extended, as predicted when approximating the vocal tract as a uniform quarter wavelength resonator. However, formant frequencies in polygynous deer follow uneven distribution patterns, indicating that the vocal tract configuration may in fact be rather complex. We CT-scanned the head and neck region of two adult male fallow deer specimens with artificially extended vocal tracts and measured the cross-sectional areas of the supra-laryngeal vocal tract along the oral and nasal tracts. The CT data was then used to predict the resonances produced by three possible configurations, including the oral vocal tract only, the nasal vocal tract only, or combining both. We found that the area functions from the combined oral and nasal vocal tracts produced resonances more closely matching the formant pattern and scaling observed in fallow deer groans than those predicted by the area functions of the oral vocal tract only or of the nasal vocal tract only. This indicates that the nasal and oral vocal tracts are both simultaneously involved in the production of a nonhuman mammal vocalisation, and suggests that the potential for nasalization in putative oral loud-calls should be carefully considered

    Comparative analysis of the complete genome sequence of the California MSW strain of myxoma virus reveals potential host adaptations

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    Myxomatosis is a rapidly lethal disease of European rabbits that is caused by myxoma virus (MYXV). The introduction of a South American strain of MYXV into the European rabbit population of Australia is the classic case of host-pathogen coevolution following cross-species transmission. The most virulent strains of MYXV for European rabbits are the Californian viruses, found in the Pacific states of the United States and the Baja Peninsula, Mexico. The natural host of Californian MYXV is the brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani. We determined the complete sequence of the MSW strain of Californian MYXV and performed a comparative analysis with other MYXV genomes. The MSW genome is larger than that of the South American Lausanne (type) strain of MYXV due to an expansion of the terminal inverted repeats (TIRs) of the genome, with duplication of the M156R, M154L, M153R, M152R, and M151R genes and part of the M150R gene from the right-hand (RH) end of the genome at the left-hand (LH) TIR. Despite the extreme virulence of MSW, no novel genes were identified; five genes were disrupted by multiple indels or mutations to the ATG start codon, including two genes, M008.1L/R and M152R, with major virulence functions in European rabbits, and a sixth gene, M000.5L/R, was absent. The loss of these gene functions suggests that S. bachmani is a relatively recent host for MYXV and that duplication of virulence genes in the TIRs, gene loss, or sequence variation in other genes can compensate for the loss of M008.1L/R and M152R in infections of European rabbits.This work was funded in part by grant R01 AI093804 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. E.C.H. was supported by an NHMRC Australia Fellowship, and D.C.T. was supported by an ARC Future Fellowship

    Neoadjuvant chemoradiation compared to neoadjuvant radiation alone and surgery alone for Stage II and III soft tissue sarcoma of the extremities

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Neoadjuvant chemoradiation (NCR) prior to resection of extremity soft tissue sarcoma (STS) has been studied, but data are limited. We present outcomes with NCR using a variety of chemotherapy regimens compared to neoadjuvant radiation without chemotherapy (NR) and surgery alone (SA).</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We conducted a retrospective chart review of 112 cases.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Treatments included SA (36 patients), NCR (39 patients), and NR (37 patients). NCR did not improve the rate of margin-negative resections over SA or NR. Loco-regional relapse-free survival, distant metastases-free survival, and overall survival (OS) were not different among the treatment groups. Patients with relapsed disease (OR 11.6; p = 0.01), and tumor size greater than 5 cm (OR 9.4; p = 0.01) were more likely to have a loco-regional recurrence on logistic regression analysis. Significantly increased OS was found among NCR-treated patients with tumors greater than 5 cm compared to SA (3 year OS 69 vs. 40%; p = 0.03). Wound complication rates were higher after NCR compared to SA (50 vs. 11%; p = 0.003) but not compared to NR (p = 0.36). Wet desquamation was the most common adverse event of NCR.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>NCR and NR are acceptable strategies for patients with STS. NCR is well-tolerated, but not clearly superior to NR.</p

    Genome scale evolution of myxoma virus reveals host-pathogen adaptation and rapid geographic spread

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    The evolutionary interplay between myxoma virus (MYXV) and the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) following release of the virus in Australia in 1950 as a biological control is a classic example of host-pathogen coevolution. We present a detailed genomic and phylogeographic analysis of 30 strains of MYXV, including the Australian progenitor strain Standard Laboratory Strain (SLS), 24 Australian viruses isolated from 1951 to 1999, and three isolates from the early radiation in Britain from 1954 and 1955. We show that in Australia MYXV has spread rapidly on a spatial scale, with multiple lineages cocirculating within individual localities, and that both highly virulent and attenuated viruses were still present in the field through the 1990s. In addition, the detection of closely related virus lineages at sites 1,000 km apart suggests that MYXV moves freely in geographic space, with mosquitoes, fleas, and rabbit migration all providing means of transport. Strikingly, despite multiple introductions, all modern viruses appear to be ultimately derived from the original introductions of SLS. The rapidity of MYXV evolution was also apparent at the genomic scale, with gene duplications documented in a number of viruses. Duplication of potential virulence genes may be important in increasing the expression of virulence proteins and provides the basis for the evolution of novel functions. Mutations leading to loss of open reading frames were surprisingly frequent and in some cases may explain attenuation, but no common mutations that correlated with virulence or attenuation were identified.This work was funded in part by grant R01 AI093804 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. E.C.H. is funded by an NHMRC Australia Fellowship. D.C.T. is funded by an ARC Future Fellowship

    Computer software for business and specific purposes in wood industry

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    V 211 slovenskih mikro in majhnih lesnih podjetjih, katerih osnovna dejavnost (po SKD) zajema proizvodnjo pohištva za poslovne prostore, proizvodnjo kuhinjskega pohištva in proizvodnjo drugega pohištva, smo preučili razširjenost ter uporabo poslovnih in namenskih računalniških programov. Raziskava je temeljila na primerjalni analizi in oceni stanja programske opreme. Oceno stanja smo izvedli s pomočjo ankete, ki smo jo distribuirali prek različnih medijev. Odziv na anketo je bil v povprečju 23,7 %. Ocenimo lahko, da so računalniški programi v mikro in majhnih lesnih podjetjih na nekaterih področjih intenzivneje uporabljani kot na drugih. Ugotovili smo, da podjetja v večini uporabljajo pri poslovanju pisarniške programe, predvsem tiste podjetja Microsoft. Uporaba specializirane programske opreme je še precej omejena, saj jo pri poslovanju uporablja le 40 % preučevanih podjetij. Nekoliko bolj uporabljajo programsko opremo namenjeno konstruiranju (60 %).The range and usage of computer software for business and specific purposes were researched in 211 micro and minor wood firms, encompasing the production of office furniture, kitchen furniture and some other furniture as the basic activity, according to Statistical Classification Activities (SCA). The research was based on comparative analysis and software condition evaluation. Evaluation of the current situation was carried out by means of a questionnaire, distributed with the help of media. The response was as high as 23.7 %. It can be estimated that the computer software in these micro and minor wood firms is used more often in some areas than in others. It was found out that the firms use mainly office software- especially Microsoft ones. The usage of specialized software equipment is still quite limited in these firms. Only 40 % of the tested firms use is software for their business, meanwhile the equipment designed for construction is more frequently used (60 %)