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Christina C Tam, Andrew R Flannery, Luisa W Cheng
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) intoxication can lead to the disease botulism, characterized by flaccid muscle paralysis that can cause respiratory failure and death. Due to the significant morbidity and mortality costs associated with BoNTs high toxicity, developing highly sensitive, rapid, and field-deployable assays are critically important to protect the nation's food supply against either accidental or intentional contamination. We report here that the B-cell based biosensor assay CANARY® (Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields) Zephyr detects BoNT/A holotoxin at limits of detection (LOD) of 10...
November 15, 2018: Toxins
Lei Zhong, Jason Carere, Zhaoxin Lu, Fengxia Lu, Ting Zhou
Apples and apple-based products are among the most popular foods around the world for their delightful flavors and health benefits. However, the commonly found mold, Penicillium expansum invades wounded apples, causing the blue mold decay and ensuing the production of patulin, a mycotoxin that negatively affects human health. Patulin contamination in apple products has been a worldwide problem without a satisfactory solution yet. A comprehensive understanding of the factors and challenges associated with patulin accumulation in apples is essential for finding such a solution...
November 15, 2018: Toxins
Aisha Munawar, Syed Abid Ali, Ahmed Akrem, Christian Betzel
Nature endowed snakes with a lethal secretion known as venom, which has been fine-tuned over millions of years of evolution. Snakes utilize venom to subdue their prey and to survive in their natural habitat. Venom is known to be a very poisonous mixture, consisting of a variety of molecules, such as carbohydrates, nucleosides, amino acids, lipids, proteins and peptides. Proteins and peptides are the major constituents of the dry weight of snake venoms and are of main interest for scientific investigations as well as for various pharmacological applications...
November 14, 2018: Toxins
Gul Habib, Qing Zhu, Baolin Sun
Staphylococcus aureus is a nosocomial pathogen that can cause chronic to persistent infections. Among different mediators of pathogenesis, toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are emerging as the most prominent. These systems are frequently studied in Escherichia coli and Mycobacterial species but rarely explored in S. aureus . In the present study, we thoroughly analyzed the S. aureus genome and screened all possible TA systems using the Rasta bacteria and toxin-antitoxin database. We further searched E. coli and Mycobacterial TA homologs and selected 67 TA loci as putative TA systems in S...
November 14, 2018: Toxins
Francesca A Ramires, Mario Masiello, Stefania Somma, Alessandra Villani, Antonia Susca, Antonio F Logrieco, Carlos Luz, Giuseppe Meca, Antonio Moretti
Wheat, the main source of carbohydrates worldwide, can be attacked by a wide number of phytopathogenic fungi, included Alternaria species. Alternaria species commonly occur on wheat worldwide and produce several mycotoxins such as tenuazonic acid (TA), alternariol (AOH), alternariol-monomethyl ether (AME), and altenuene (ALT), provided of haemato-toxic, genotoxic, and mutagenic activities. The contamination by Alternaria species of wheat kernels, collected in Tuscany, Italy, from 2013 to 2016, was evaluated...
November 14, 2018: Toxins
Bui Trung, Thanh-Son Dao, Elisabeth Faassen, Miquel Lürling
Studies on cyanobacteria in Vietnam are limited and mainly restricted to large reservoirs. Cyanobacterial blooms in small water bodies may pose a health risk to local people. We sampled 17 water bodies in the vicinity of urban settlements throughout the Mekong basin and in southeast Vietnam. From these, 40 water samples were taken, 24 cyanobacterial strains were isolated and 129 fish, 68 snail, 7 shrimp, 4 clam, and 4 duck samples were analyzed for microcystins (MCs). MCs were detected up to 11,039 µg/L or to 4033 µg/g DW in water samples...
November 14, 2018: Toxins
Yasmin Leshem, Emily M King, Ronit Mazor, Yoram Reiter, Ira Pastan
SS1P is an anti-mesothelin immunotoxin composed of a targeting antibody fragment genetically fused to a truncated fragment of Pseudomonas exotoxin A. Delayed responses reported in mesothelioma patients receiving SS1P suggest that anti-tumor immunity is induced. The goal of this study is to evaluate if SS1P therapy renders mesothelioma tumors more sensitive to cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) immune checkpoint blockade. We evaluated the ability of SS1P to induce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) secretion and calreticulin expression on the surface of AE17M mouse mesothelioma cells...
November 14, 2018: Toxins
Elena Catanzaro, Giulia Greco, Lucia Potenza, Cinzia Calcabrini, Carmela Fimognari
Even if cancer represents a burden for human society, an exhaustive cure has not been discovered yet. Low therapeutic index and resistance to pharmacotherapy are two of the major limits of antitumour treatments. Natural products represent an excellent library of bioactive molecules. Thus, tapping into the natural world may prove useful in identifying new therapeutic options with favourable pharmaco-toxicological profiles. Juglans regia , or common walnut, is a very resilient tree that has inhabited our planet for thousands of years...
November 14, 2018: Toxins
Piotr Klimaszyk, Piotr Rzymski
Rhabdomyolysis, a condition associated with the consumption of Yellow Knight mushrooms ( Tricholoma equestre ), was first reported in 2001. In response, some countries began to consider the mushroom as poisonous, whereas in others it is still consumed. In the present study, a nationwide survey of Polish mushroom foragers ( n = 1545) was conducted to estimate the frequency of T. equestre consumption. The epidemiological database on mushroom poisonings in Poland was analyzed from the year 2008. Hematological and biochemical parameters were followed for a week in 10 volunteers consuming 300 g of molecularly identified T...
November 13, 2018: Toxins
Jiali Xu, Nian Zhang, Manman Cao, Sujing Ren, Ting Zeng, Minglu Qin, Xigong Zhao, Fangyan Yuan, Huanchun Chen, Weicheng Bei
Type II toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are highly prevalent in bacterial genomes and have been extensively studied. These modules involve in the formation of persistence cells, the biofilm formation, and stress resistance, which might play key roles in pathogen virulence. SezAT and yefM-yoeB TA modules in Streptococcus suis serotype 2 ( S. suis 2) have been studied, although the other TA systems have not been identified. In this study, we investigated nine putative type II TA systems in the genome of S. suis 2 strain SC84 by bioinformatics analysis and identified three of them (two relBE loci and one parDE locus) that function as typical type II TA systems...
November 13, 2018: Toxins
Reut Falach, Anita Sapoznikov, Ron Alcalay, Moshe Aftalion, Sharon Ehrlich, Arik Makovitzki, Avi Agami, Avishai Mimran, Amir Rosner, Tamar Sabo, Chanoch Kronman, Yoav Gal
Ricin, a highly lethal toxin derived from the seeds of Ricinus communis (castor beans) is considered a potential biological threat agent due to its high availability, ease of production, and to the lack of any approved medical countermeasure against ricin exposures. To date, the use of neutralizing antibodies is the most promising post-exposure treatment for ricin intoxication. The aim of this work was to generate anti-ricin antitoxin that confers high level post-exposure protection against ricin challenge...
November 12, 2018: Toxins
András Szabó, Judit Szabó-Fodor, Mariam Kachlek, Miklós Mézes, Krisztián Balogh, Róbert Glávits, Omeralfaroug Ali, Yarsmin Yunus Zeebone, Melinda Kovács
Male Wistar rats were treated intraperitoneally (i.p.) with fumonisin B₁ (FB₁; 0, 20, 50 and 100 mg/kg dietary dose equivalent) for 5 and 10 days ( n = 24⁻24 in each setting) to gain dose- and time-dependent effects on antioxidant status and oxidative stress response, clinical chemical endpoints and liver, kidney and lung histopathology and lymphocyte damage (genotoxicity). FB₁ decreased feed intake, body weight gain and absolute liver weight, irrespective of the toxin dose. Relative kidney weight increased in the 10-day setting...
November 9, 2018: Toxins
Constanze Nossol, Peter Landgraf, Stefan Kahlert, Michael Oster, Berend Isermann, Daniela C Dieterich, Klaus Wimmers, Sven Dänicke, Hermann-Josef Rothkötter
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a toxin found in cereals as well as in processed products such as pasta, and causes substantial economic losses for stock breeding as it induces vomiting, reduced feeding, and reduced growth rates in piglets. Oxidative phosphorylation, TCA-cycle, transcription, and translation have been hypothesized to be leading pathways that are affected by DON. We used an application of high and low glucose to examine oxidative phosphorylation and anaerobic glycolysis. A change in the metabolic status of IPEC-J2 was observed and confirmed by microarray data...
November 9, 2018: Toxins
Emmanuelle Castagnoli, Johanna Salo, Matti S Toivonen, Tamás Marik, Raimo Mikkola, László Kredics, Alejandro Vicente-Carrillo, Szabolcs Nagy, Markus T Andersson, Maria A Andersson, Jarek Kurnitski, Heidi Salonen
A novel, objective, and rapid computed motility inhibition (CMI) assay was developed to identify and assess sublethal injury in toxin-exposed boar spermatozoa and compared with a subjective visual motility inhibition (VMI) assay. The CMI values were calculated from digital micrographic videos using a custom MATLAB® script by contrasting the motility index values of each experiment with those of the background and control experiments. Following a comparison of the CMI and VMI assays results, it was determined that their agreement depended on the shape of the dose-response curve...
November 8, 2018: Toxins
Xi Liu, Xiaofei Liu, Pinxuan Huang, Fang Wei, Guangyao Ying, Shuwei Zhang, Jinghua Lu, Lidong Zhou, Weijun Kong
Immunoaffinity columns (IACs) are most popularly used for mycotoxin clean-up in complex matrices prior to chromatographic analysis. But, their high cost has limited their wide application and the regeneration of IACs for multiple instances of reuse is important. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of regeneration and reuse of IACs for purification of ochratoxin A (OTA) in spiked raw malt and dried ginger samples followed by high performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence detection. After each use, the IACs were filled with phosphate buffer saline (PBS) as the preservation solution and stored at 8 °C overnight for regeneration and reuse until the recovery rate was <70%...
November 8, 2018: Toxins
Qinghua Wu, Jiří Patočka, Kamil Kuča
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are crucial effectors of the innate immune system. They provide the first line of defense against a variety of pathogens. AMPs display synergistic effects with conventional antibiotics, and thus present the potential for combined therapies. Insects are extremely resistant to bacterial infections. Insect AMPs are cationic and comprise less than 100 amino acids. These insect peptides exhibit an antimicrobial effect by disrupting the microbial membrane and do not easily allow microbes to develop drug resistance...
November 8, 2018: Toxins
Vesna Krnjaja, Slavica Stanković, Ana Obradović, Tanja Petrović, Violeta Mandić, Zorica Bijelić, Manja Božić
Fusarium graminearum as the main causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB) and its ability to produce trichothecenes was investigated by molecular techniques. A total of 37 strains isolated from the wheat, harvested in Serbia in 2005, 2008 and 2015, and previously designated by morphological observation as F. graminearum , were used for trichothecene genotypes characterization. The strains were identified using the species-specific primer set FG16R/FG16F while genotypic characterization was done using specific TRI13 and TRI3 sequences of the trichothecene gene clusters...
November 8, 2018: Toxins
Raymond Kaempfer
During severe bacterial infections, death and disease are often caused by an overly strong immune response of the human host. Acute toxic shock is induced by superantigen toxins, a diverse set of proteins secreted by Gram-positive staphylococcal and streptococcal bacterial strains that overstimulate the inflammatory response by orders of magnitude. The need to protect from superantigen toxins led to our discovery that in addition to the well-known MHC class II and T cell receptors, the principal costimulatory receptor, CD28, and its constitutively expressed coligand, B7-2 (CD86), previously thought to have only costimulatory function, are actually critical superantigen receptors...
November 6, 2018: Toxins
Hisaya K Ono, Nobuaki Hachiya, Yasunori Suzuki, Ikunori Naito, Shouhei Hirose, Krisana Asano, Katsuhiko Omoe, Akio Nakane, Dong-Liang Hu
Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) are the cause of staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) outbreaks. Recently, many new types of SEs and SE-like toxins have been reported, but it has not been proved whether these new toxins cause food poisoning. To develop an immunoassay for detection of SE-like J (SElJ), a non-characterized toxin in SFP, a mutant SElJ with C-terminus deletion (SElJ∆C) was expressed and purified in an E. coli expression system. Anti-SElJ antibody was produced in rabbits immunized with the SElJ∆C...
November 6, 2018: Toxins
Hajime Uchida, Ryuichi Watanabe, Ryoji Matsushima, Hiroshi Oikawa, Satoshi Nagai, Takashi Kamiyama, Katsuhisa Baba, Akira Miyazono, Yuki Kosaka, Shinnosuke Kaga, Yukihiko Matsuyama, Toshiyuki Suzuki
The identification and quantification of okadaic acid (OA)/dinophysistoxin (DTX) analogues and pectenotoxins (PTXs) in Dinophysis samples collected from coastal locations around Japan were evaluated by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. The species identified and analyzed included Dinophysis fortii , D. acuminata , D. mitra ( Phalacroma mitra ), D. norvegica , D. infundibulus , D. tripos , D. caudata , D. rotundata ( Phalacroma rotundatum ), and D. rudgei . The dominant toxin found in D. acuminata was PTX2 although some samples contained DTX1 as a minor toxin...
November 6, 2018: Toxins
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