135 research outputs found

    The new invasive mosquito species Aedes koreicus as vector-borne diseases in the European area, a focus on Italian region: What we know from the scientific literature

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    The increased mobility of goods, people, and animals worldwide has caused the spread of several arthropod vectors, leading to an increased risk of animal and human infections. Aedes koreicus is a common species in South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia. Due to its cold-resistant dormant eggs, the adults last from the late summer until the autumn seasons. For these reasons, it seems to be better adapted to colder temperatures, favoring its colonization of hilly and pre-alpine areas. Its first appearance in Europe was in 2008 in Belgium, where it is currently established. The species was subsequently detected in Italy in 2011, European Russia, Germany, the Swiss‚ÄďItalian border region, Hungary, Slovenia, Crimea, Austria, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Netherlands. The role of A. koreicus in the transmission of vector-borne pathogens remains unclear. The available scientific evidence is very old, often not available in English or not indexed in international databases, and therefore difficult to find. According to the literature reviewed, A. koreicus can be considered a new invasive mosquito species in Europe, establishing populations on the European continent. In addition, experimental evidence demonstrated its vector competence for both Dirofilaria immitis and Chikungunya and is relatively low for ZIKA but not for Western Nile Virus. On the other hand, even if the field evidence does not confirm the experimental findings, it is currently not possible to exclude with absolute certainty the potential involvement of this species in the spread, emergence, or re-emergence of these vector-borne disease agents

    Behavioural and electrophysiological responses of Philaenus spumarius to odours from conspecifics

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    The meadow spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius L. (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Aphrophoridae), is the main vector of Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca strain ST53, the causal agent of the Olive Quick Decline Syndrome. Philaenus spumarius and other Auchenorrhyncha are known to communicate via vibrations, whereas the possible occurrence of semiochemical communication has been poorly investigated so far. Through a chemical ecology approach, we provide evidence of intraspecific chemical communication in P. spumarius. In Y-tube olfactometer bioassays, males were attracted to unmated females as well as toward the headspace volatile extracts collected from unmated females. Conversely, females did not respond to unmated male volatiles or their extracts, nor did males and females respond to volatiles from individuals of the same sex. Electroantennography assays of unmated male and female headspace extracts elicited measurable responses in the antennae of both sexes. Male responses to body wash extracts from both sexes were stronger compared to female responses. Thus, suggesting the presence of compounds that are highly detected by the male's olfactory system. The female head seemed to be the source of such compounds. This is the first record of intraspecific chemical communication in P. spumarius and one of the very few records in Auchenorrhyncha. Possible biological roles are under investigation

    Loss of speech and functional impairment in Alzheimer's disease-related primary progressive aphasia: predictive factors of decline

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    : We aimed to identify features associated with different disease trajectories in Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related primary progressive aphasia (PPA). We considered 23 patients diagnosed with AD-related PPA. All patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation, 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose-PET brain scan, CSF biomarkers measurement and APOE genotype analysis at baseline and underwent neurological follow-up for a mean time of 3 years. Patients who progressed to total loss of speech (TLoS+) had greater impairment in writing and higher t-tau concentration as compared to TLoS- patients. Patients who progressed to loss of functional autonomy (LoFA+) had greater impairment in single-word comprehension as compared to patients who maintained autonomy in self-care. Furthermore, 18F-FDG-PET SPM analyses revealed different brain metabolic patterns between TLoS+ and TLoS- and between LoFA+ and LoFA-. In conclusion, linguistic profile, CSF t-tau and brain metabolic pattern might be useful tools to predict progression to total loss of speech and loss of functional autonomy in AD-related PPA patients

    Antimicrobial Activity from Putative Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria for the Biological Control of American and European Foulbrood Diseases

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    The balance of the gut microbiome is important for the honey bee’s growth and development, immune function and defense against pathogens. The use of a beneficial bacteria-based strategy for the prevention and biocontrol of American foulbrood (AFB) and European foulbrood (EFB) diseases in honey bees offers interesting prospects. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are common inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract of the honey bee. Among LABs associated with bee gut microbiota, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum (previously Lactobacillus plantarum) and Apilactobacillus kunkeei (formerly classified as Lactobacillus kunkeei) are two of the most abundant species. In this study, four Lactiplantibacillus plantarum strains and four Apilactobacillus kunkeei strains, isolated from the gastrointestinal tract of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) were selected for their in vitro inhibition ability of Paenibacillus larvae ATCC 9545 and Melissococccus plutonius ATCC 35311. In addition, these LABs have been characterized through some biochemical and functional characteristics: cell surface properties (hydrophobicity and auto-aggregation), carbohydrates assimilation and enzymatic activities. The antimicrobial, biochemical and cell surface properties of these LABs have been functional to their candidature as potential probiotics in beekeeping and for the biocontrol of AFB and EFB diseases

    Functional Properties and Antimicrobial Activity from Lactic Acid Bacteria as Resources to Improve the Health and Welfare of Honey Bees

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    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are agriculturally important pollinators. Over the past decades, significant losses of wild and domestic bees have been reported in many parts of the world. Several biotic and abiotic factors, such as change in land use over time, intensive land management, use of pesticides, climate change, beekeeper’s management practices, lack of forage (nectar and pollen), and infection by parasites and pathogens, negatively affect the honey bee’s well-being and survival. The gut microbiota is important for honey bee growth and development, immune function, protection against pathogen invasion; moreover, a well-balanced microbiota is fundamental to support honey bee health and vigor. In fact, the structure of the bee’s intestinal bacterial community can become an indicator of the honey bee’s health status. Lactic acid bacteria are normal inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract of many insects, and their presence in the honey bee intestinal tract has been consistently reported in the literature. In the first section of this review, recent scientific advances in the use of LABs as probiotic supplements in the diet of honey bees are summarized and discussed. The second section discusses some of the mechanisms by which LABs carry out their antimicrobial activity against pathogens. Afterward, individual paragraphs are dedicated to Chalkbrood, American foulbrood, European foulbrood, Nosemosis, and Varroosis as well as to the potentiality of LABs for their biological control

    Selection of lactic acid bacteria species and strains for efficient trapping of Drosophila suzukii

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    Monitoring of Drosophila suzukii is based on the use of effective traps and baits. The current baits are insufficient to provide efficient monitoring. The use of bacteria as bio-catalyzers to produce bioactive volatiles may improve flies‚Äô attraction. Thus, we conducted this work to improve Droskidrink¬ģ bait‚Äôs attractiveness using lactic acid bacteria. (2) Different baits that were based on the use of Droskidrink¬ģ were assessed for flies‚Äô attraction in a Droso-Trap¬ģ in a vineyard. Oenococcus oeni, Pediococcus spp., and Lactobacillus spp. were used. The performance of the most attractive species, O. oeni, inoculated into Droskidrink¬ģ was assessed in laboratory tests. The responses of female flies to volatiles produced by Droskidrink¬ģ with O. oeni strains were recorded by electroantennography. (3) Preliminary field assessment of baits recorded O. oeni as the most attractive species. Three strain groups showed adaptation to test conditions. Volatiles extracted by the headspace of baits inoculated with O. oeni, elicited electroantennographic responses from fly antennae. (4) Droskidrink¬ģ inoculated with O. oeni is a highly attractive bait for monitoring. These findings will be useful for improving the attractiveness of D. suzukii commercial baits based on the utilization of LAB volatiles in a strain-dependent manner

    Probiotic Properties and Potentiality of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum Strains for the Biological Control of Chalkbrood Disease

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    Ascosphaera apis is an entomopathogenic fungus that affects honeybees. In stressful conditions, this fungus (due not only to its presence, but also to the combination of other biotic and abiotic stressors) can cause chalkbrood disease. In recent years, there has been increasing attention paid towards the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in the honeybees’ diets to improve their health, productivity and ability to resist infections by pathogenic microorganisms. The screening of 22 strains of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, isolated from the gastrointestinal tracts of honeybees and beebread, led to the selection of five strains possessing high antagonistic activity against A. apis. This study focused on the antifungal activity of these five strains against A. apis DSM 3116 and DSM 3117 using different matrices: cell lysate, broth culture, cell-free supernatant and cell pellet. In addition, some functional properties and the antioxidant activity of the five L. plantarum strains were evaluated. All five strains exhibited high antagonistic activity against A. apis, good surface cellular properties (extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production and biofilm formation) and antioxidant activity. Although preliminary, these results are encouraging, and in future investigations, the effectiveness of these bacteria as probiotics in honeybee nutrition will be tested in vivo in the context of an eco-friendly strategy for the biological control of chalkbrood disease

    Towards a source-oriented approach to typological universals

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    Typological universals are skewed distributional patterns whereby languages recurrently display certain grammatical patterns as opposed to others. Explanations for these patterns are usually based on their synchronic properties, not actual diachronic processes that shape the pattern cross-linguistically. The paper discusses diachronic evidence about the origins of some typological universals pertaining to word order and aspect/tense conditioned alignment splits. This evidence poses two general challenges for synchronically based explanations of typological universals. First, the relevant patterns do not obviously arise because of the principles postulated to account for these patterns on synchronic grounds. Second, the development of these patterns is a combined result of multiple diachronic processes. These facts point to a new, source-oriented approach to typological universals, one focusing on what source constructions and developmental mechanisms play a role in the shaping of individual patterns, rather than the synchronic properties of the pattern in itself
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