5,403 research outputs found

    Sea Turtles in the Cancer Risk Landscape: A Global Meta-Analysis of Fibropapillomatosis Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors.

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    Several cancer risk factors (exposure to ultraviolet-B, pollution, toxins and pathogens) have been identified for wildlife, to form a "cancer risk landscape." However, information remains limited on how the spatiotemporal variability of these factors impacts the prevalence of cancer in wildlife. Here, we evaluated the cancer risk landscape at 49 foraging sites of the globally distributed green turtle (Chelonia mydas), a species affected by fibropapillomatosis, by integrating data from a global meta-analysis of 31 publications (1994-2019). Evaluated risk factors included ultraviolet light exposure, eutrophication, toxic phytoplanktonic blooms, sea surface temperature, and the presence of mechanical vectors (parasites and symbiotic species). Prevalence was highest in areas where nutrient concentrations facilitated the emergence of toxic phytoplankton blooms. In contrast, ultraviolet light exposure and the presence of parasitic and/or symbiotic species did not appear to impact disease prevalence. Our results indicate that, to counter outbreaks of fibropapillomatosis, management actions that reduce eutrophication in foraging areas should be implemented

    Detection of Aspergillus-specific antibodies by agar gel double immunodiffusion and IgG ELISA in feline upper respiratory tract aspergillosis.

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    Highlights: Feline antibodies against cryptic Aspergillus spp. cross react with an aspergillin containing A. fumigatus antigens. • Brachycephalic cats are prone to upper respiratory tract aspergillosis (URTA). • The agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) assay has low sensitivity for diagnosis of URTA. • IgG ELISA has high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of URTA. • This study provides evidence that cats with URTA are systemically immunocompetent. Abstract Feline upper respiratory tract aspergillosis (URTA) is an emerging infectious disease. The aims of this study were: (1) to assess the diagnostic value of detection of Aspergillus-specific antibodies using an agar gel double immunodiffusion (AGID) assay and an indirect immunoglobulin G (IgG) ELISA; and (2) to determine if an aspergillin derived from mycelia of Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus can be used to detect serum antibodies against cryptic Aspergillus spp. in Aspergillus section Fumigati. Sera from cats with URTA (group 1: n = 21) and two control groups (group 2: cats with other upper respiratory tract diseases, n = 25; group 3: healthy cats and cats with non-respiratory, non-fungal illness, n = 84) were tested. Isolates from cats with URTA comprised A. fumigatus (n = 5), A. flavus (n = 1) and four cryptic species: Aspergillus felis (n = 12), Aspergillus thermomutatus (Neosartorya pseudofischeri, n = 1), Aspergillus lentulus (n = 1) and Aspergillus udagawae (n = 1). Brachycephalic purebred cats were significantly more likely to develop URTA than other breeds (P = 0.013). The sensitivity (Se) of the AGID was 43% and the specificity (Sp) was 100%. At a cut-off value of 6 ELISA units/mL, the Se of the IgG ELISA was 95.2% and the Sp was 92% and 92.9% for groups 2 and 3 cats, respectively. Aspergillus-specific antibodies against all four cryptic species were detected in one or both assays. Assay Se was not associated with species identity. Detection of Aspergillus-specific antibodies by IgG ELISA has high Se and Sp for diagnosis of feline URTA. Keywords: Aspergillosis; Aspergillus spp; Sino-nasal; Sino-orbital; Felinefunded by an Australian Companion Animal Health Foundation grant (015/201

    Genetic noise control via protein oligomerization

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    Gene expression in a cell entails random reaction events occurring over disparate time scales. Thus, molecular noise that often results in phenotypic and population-dynamic consequences sets a fundamental limit to biochemical signaling. While there have been numerous studies correlating the architecture of cellular reaction networks with noise tolerance, only a limited effort has been made to understand the dynamic role of protein-protein interactions. Here we have developed a fully stochastic model for the positive feedback control of a single gene, as well as a pair of genes (toggle switch), integrating quantitative results from previous in vivo and in vitro studies. We find that the overall noise-level is reduced and the frequency content of the noise is dramatically shifted to the physiologically irrelevant high-frequency regime in the presence of protein dimerization. This is independent of the choice of monomer or dimer as transcription factor and persists throughout the multiple model topologies considered. For the toggle switch, we additionally find that the presence of a protein dimer, either homodimer or heterodimer, may significantly reduce its random switching rate. Hence, the dimer promotes the robust function of bistable switches by preventing the uninduced (induced) state from randomly being induced (uninduced). The specific binding between regulatory proteins provides a buffer that may prevent the propagation of fluctuations in genetic activity. The capacity of the buffer is a non-monotonic function of association-dissociation rates. Since the protein oligomerization per se does not require extra protein components to be expressed, it provides a basis for the rapid control of intrinsic or extrinsic noise

    Immunosenescence in wild animals:Meta-analysis and outlook

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    Immunosenescence, the decline in immune defense with age, is an important mortality source in elderly humans but little is known of immunosenescence in wild animals. We systematically reviewed and meta-analysed evidence for age-related changes in immunity in captive and free-living populations of wild species (321 effect sizes in 62 studies across 44 species of mammals, birds and reptiles). As in humans, senescence was more evident in adaptive (acquired) than innate immune functions. Declines were evident for cell function (antibody response), the relative abundance of naive immune cells and an in vivo measure of overall immune responsiveness (local response to phytohaemagglutinin injection). Inflammatory markers increased with age, similar to chronic inflammation associated with human immunosenescence. Comparisons across taxa and captive vs free-living animals were difficult due to lack of overlap in parameters and species measured. Most studies are cross-sectional, which yields biased estimates of age-effects when immune function co-varies with survival. We therefore suggest longitudinal sampling approaches, and highlight techniques from human cohort studies that can be incorporated into ecological research. We also identify avenues to address predictions from evolutionary theory and the contribution of immunosenescence to age-related increases in disease susceptibility and mortality

    Anthropogenic selection enhances cancer evolution in Tasmanian devil tumours

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    The Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) provides a unique opportunity to elucidate the long-term effects of natural and anthropogenic selection on cancer evolution. Since first observed in 1996, this transmissible cancer has caused local population declines by >90%. So far, four chromosomal DFTD variants (strains) have been described and karyotypic analyses of 253 tumours showed higher levels of tetraploidy in the oldest strain. We propose that increased ploidy in the oldest strain may have evolved in response to effects of genomic decay observed in asexually reproducing organisms. In this study, we focus on the evolutionary response of DFTD to a disease suppression trial. Tumours collected from devils subjected to the removal programme showed accelerated temporal evolution of tetraploidy compared with tumours from other populations where no increase in tetraploid tumours were observed. As ploidy significantly reduces tumour growth rate, we suggest that the disease suppression trial resulted in selection favouring slower growing tumours mediated by an increased level of tetraploidy. Our study reveals that DFTD has the capacity to rapidly respond to novel selective regimes and that disease eradication may result in novel tumour adaptations, which may further imperil the long-term survival of the world's largest carnivorous marsupial.Beata Ujvari, Anne-Maree Pearse, Kate Swift, Pamela Hodson, Bobby Hua, Stephen Pyecroft, Robyn Taylor, Rodrigo Hamede, Menna Jones, Katherine Belov and Thomas Madse

    Operational experience with the GEM detector assembly lines for the CMS forward muon upgrade

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    The CMS Collaboration has been developing large-area triple-gas electron multiplier (GEM) detectors to be installed in the muon Endcap regions of the CMS experiment in 2019 to maintain forward muon trigger and tracking performance at the High-Luminosity upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC); 10 preproduction detectors were built at CERN to commission the first assembly line and the quality controls (QCs). These were installed in the CMS detector in early 2017 and participated in the 2017 LHC run. The collaboration has prepared several additional assembly and QC lines for distributed mass production of 160 GEM detectors at various sites worldwide. In 2017, these additional production sites have optimized construction techniques and QC procedures and validated them against common specifications by constructing additional preproduction detectors. Using the specific experience from one production site as an example, we discuss how the QCs make use of independent hardware and trained personnel to ensure fast and reliable production. Preliminary results on the construction status of CMS GEM detectors are presented with details of the assembly sites involvement