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Robert J Smith, Kevin Osterhoudt, Richard J Lin, Albert C Yan
A 27-month-old girl with a history of congenital myopathy presented with two indurated, pink plaques involving the right arm and left thigh. Closer examination identified central puncta within these plaques, which reportedly occurred at sites of witnessed arachnid bites. After confirmation of the spider species as Trachelas tranquillus, she was treated to address cutaneous inflammation and suspected superinfection using oral and topical antibiotics as well as topical corticosteroid resulting in prompt resolution of her lesions...
September 19, 2018: Pediatric Dermatology
Linlin Ma, Yanni K Y Chin, Zoltan Dekan, Volker Herzig, Chun Yuen Chow, Jacqueline Heighway, Sau Wing Lam, Gilles J Guillemin, Paul F Alewood, Glenn F King
Recently, we and other groups revealed that gain-of-function mutations in the human ether à go-go voltage-gated potassium channel hEAG1 (Kv 10.1) lead to developmental disorders with associated infantile-onset epilepsy. However, the physiological role of hEAG1 in the central nervous system remains elusive. Potent and selective antagonists of hEAG1 are therefore much sought after, both as pharmacological tools for studying the (patho)physiological functions of this enigmatic channel and as potential leads for development of anti-epileptic drugs...
August 25, 2018: Biochemical Pharmacology
Steve Peigneur, Ana Luiza B Paiva, Marta N Cordeiro, Márcia H Borges, Marcelo R V Diniz, Maria Elena de Lima, Jan Tytgat
Spider venoms are complex mixtures of biologically active components with potentially interesting applications for drug discovery or for agricultural purposes. The spider Phoneutria nigriventer is responsible for a number of envenomations with sometimes severe clinical manifestations in humans. A more efficient treatment requires a comprehensive knowledge of the venom composition and of the action mechanism of the constituting components. PnTx2-1 (also called δ-ctenitoxin-Pn1a) is a 53-amino-acid-residue peptide isolated from the venom fraction PhTx2...
August 21, 2018: Toxins
Jalil Nejati, Abedin Saghafipour, Javad Rafinejad, Ehsan Mozaffari, Amir Keyhani, Ali Abolhasani, Amir Tavakoli Kareshk
Background: Scorpions are usually defined as predatory arachnids having venomous and painful stings. Scorpionism is considered as one of the health and medical problems in undeveloped tropical and subtropical countries in the world that endangers thousands of people annually. Objective: This study was done for identification of scorpion fauna and scorpionism location in a high-risk area in southwest of Iran. Methods: This study was carried out in Andimeshk district located in Khuzestan province which has the highest frequency of scorpionism in Iran...
July 2018: Electronic Physician
Edmundo González-Santillán, Lourival D Possani
Scorpionism is a severe threat to public health in North America. Historically, few species of Centruroides have been considered to be the offending taxa, but we know now that their diversity is greater and our knowledge incomplete. Current distribution maps are inadequate for some species. Epidemiologic studies are sporadic and local, and a complete synthesis for North America is missing. We analyze historical and recent knowledge about the identity, distribution and epidemiology of species of medical importance in North America...
November 2018: Acta Tropica
Fabian C Salgado-Roa, Carolina Pardo-Diaz, Eloisa Lasso, Carlos F Arias, Vera Nisaka Solferini, Camilo Salazar
The Andean uplift has played a major role in shaping the current Neotropical biodiversity. However, in arthropods other than butterflies, little is known about how this geographic barrier has impacted species historical diversification. Here, we examined the phylogeography of the widespread color polymorphic spider Gasteracantha cancriformis to evaluate the effect of the northern Andean uplift on its divergence and assess whether its diversification occurred in the presence of gene flow. We inferred phylogenetic relationships and divergence times in G...
July 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Vaishnavi Sukumar, Hongxia Liu, Shannon Meisner, Andrew S French, Päivi H Torkkeli
The biogenic amines octopamine (OA), tyramine (TA), dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and histamine (HA) affect diverse physiological and behavioral processes in invertebrates, but recent findings indicate that an additional adrenergic system exists in at least some invertebrates. Transcriptome analysis has made it possible to identify biogenic amine receptor genes in a wide variety of species whose genomes have not yet been sequenced. This approach provides new sequences for research into the evolutionary history of biogenic amine receptors and allows them to be studied in experimentally accessible animal models...
2018: Frontiers in Physiology
Khaled Elmnasri, Chadlia Hamdi, Besma Ettoumi, Elena Crotti, Amel Guesmi, Afef Najjari, Vangelis Doudoumis, Abdellatif Boudabous, Daniele Daffonchio, George Tsiamis, Ameur Cherif
Androctonus australis is one of the most ubiquitous and common scorpion species in desert and arid lands from North Africa to India and it has an important ecological role and social impact. The bacterial community associated to this arachnid is unknown and we aimed to dissect its species composition in the gut, gonads, and venom gland. A 16S rRNA gene culture-independent diversity analysis revealed, among six other taxonomic groups (Firmicutes, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Flavobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria), a dominance of Mollicutes phylotypes recorded both in the digestive tract and the gonads...
October 2018: Journal of Basic Microbiology
Jeffrey D Miller
House dust mites are an unsurpassed cause of atopic sensitization and allergic illness throughout the world. The major allergenic dust mites Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, Euroglyphus maynei, and Blomia tropicalis are eight-legged members of the Arachnid class. Their approximately 3-month lifespan comprises egg, larval, protonymph, tritonymph, and adult stages, with adults, about one fourth to one third of a millimeter in size, being at the threshold of visibility. The geographic and seasonal distributions of dust mites are determined by their need for adequate humidity, while their distribution within substrates is further determined by their avoidance of light...
June 23, 2018: Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology
Jill T Oberski, Prashant P Sharma, Katya R Jay, Michelle J Coblens, Kaelyn A Lemon, Joanne E Johnson, Sarah L Boyer
Austropurcellia, a genus of dispersal-limited arachnids endemic to isolated patches of coastal rainforest in Queensland, Australia, has a remarkable biogeographic history. The genus is a member of the family Pettalidae, which has a classical temperate Gondwanan distribution; previous work has suggested that Austropurcellia is an ancient lineage, with an origin that predates Gondwanan rifting. Subsequently, this lineage has persisted through major climatic fluctuations, such as major aridification during the Miocene and contraction and fragmentation of forest habitats during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)...
October 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Daniel J Leite, Luís Baudouin-Gonzalez, Sawa Iwasaki-Yokozawa, Jesus Lozano-Fernandez, Natascha Turetzek, Yasuko Akiyama-Oda, Nikola-Michael Prpic, Davide Pisani, Hiroki Oda, Prashant P Sharma, Alistair P McGregor
Homeobox genes are key toolkit genes that regulate the development of metazoans and changes in their regulation and copy number have contributed to the evolution of phenotypic diversity. We recently identified a whole genome duplication (WGD) event that occurred in an ancestor of spiders and scorpions (Arachnopulmonata), and that many homeobox genes, including two Hox clusters, appear to have been retained in arachnopulmonates. To better understand the consequences of this ancient WGD and the evolution of arachnid homeobox genes, we have characterised and compared the homeobox repertoires in a range of arachnids...
June 19, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Shaodong Guo, Volker Herzig, Glenn F King
The growing world population is placing an increasing demand on food production. In addition, abuse and misuse of chemical insecticides has led to the evolution of resistance in insect pests as well as environmental damage. Together, these developments have created a demand for new insecticidal compounds to facilitate global food production. Arachnid venom peptides provide an environmentally-friendly alternative as potential bioinsecticides given their advantages of being fully biodegradable, highly potent, and phyletically selective...
August 2018: Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology
Guilherme Gainett, Prashant P Sharma, Gonzalo Giribet, Rodrigo H Willemart
The study of sensory structures has the potential to provide insights into the natural history and evolution of animals. The sensory structures of arachnids are usually concentrated on the pedipalps (the tritocerebral appendages) or on the distal podomere (tarsus) of the anterior walking legs, the latter being the case for armored harvestmen (Opiliones, Laniatores). Therefore, modifications of the tarsus could have direct impacts on the sensory equipment of these animals. Using scanning electron microscopy, we investigated the sensory equipment in an extreme case of reduction in tarsal articles in the harvestman Sandokan truncatus (Sandokanidae), which bears a single tarsomere in all legs, and the potential consequences of this reduction...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Morphology
Pamela A Zobel-Thropp, Emily A Bulger, Matthew H J Cordes, Greta J Binford, Rosemary G Gillespie, Michael S Brewer
Venom has been associated with the ecological success of many groups of organisms, most notably reptiles, gastropods, and arachnids. In some cases, diversification has been directly linked to tailoring of venoms for dietary specialization. Spiders in particular are known for their diverse venoms and wide range of predatory behaviors, although there is much to learn about scales of variation in venom composition and function. The current study focuses on venom characteristics in different sexes within a species of spider...
2018: PeerJ
Zhiyong Di, Gregory D Edgecombe, Prashant P Sharma
BACKGROUND: The morphological and functional evolution of appendages has played a key role in the diversification of arthropods. While the ancestral arthropod appendage is held to be polyramous, terrestriality is associated with the reduction or loss of appendage rami, which may obscure the homology of different appendage derivatives. Proxies for appendage homology have included surveys of cross-reactive antibodies for wing markers like Nubbin/PDM, which have suggested that the abdominal appendages of arachnids (e...
May 21, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Carlos E Santibáñez-López, Andrew Z Ontano, Mark S Harvey, Prashant P Sharma
Transcriptomic and genomic analyses have illuminated the diversity of venoms in three of the four venomous arachnid orders (scorpions, spiders, and ticks). To date, no venom gland transcriptome analysis has been available for pseudoscorpions, the fourth venomous arachnid lineage. To redress this gap, we sequenced an mRNA library generated from the venom glands of the species Synsphyronus apimelus (Garypidae). High-throughput sequencing by the Illumina protocol, followed by de novo assembly, resulted in a total of 238,331 transcripts...
May 18, 2018: Toxins
Sylvia Schäffer, Stephan Koblmüller, Ingeborg Klymiuk, Gerhard G Thallinger
Bilaterian mitochondrial (mt) genomes are circular molecules that typically contain 37 genes. To date, only a single complete mitogenome sequence is available for the species-rich sarcoptiform mite order Oribatida. We sequenced the mitogenome of Paraleius leontonychus, another species of this suborder. It is 14,186 bp long and contains 35 genes, including only 20 tRNAs, lacking tRNA Gly and tRNA Tyr . Re-annotation of the mitogenome of Steganacarus magnus increased the number of mt tRNAs for this species to 12...
May 15, 2018: Scientific Reports
Y Ruan, Y Li, M Zhang, X Chen, Z Liu, S Wang, S Jiang
The endeavours to reveal the tracheal system of insects and some arachnids has a long history. The traditional way to observe a tracheal system in an insect body is by utilising the glycerin immersion method. In this study, we developed the lactic acid immersion method, which reveals a more complete tracheal system. By mounting various types of live specimens or body parts directly into lactic acid, multiple intact and complex tracheal systems were clearly visualised. The lactic acid immersion contributed to revealing tracheal systems by penetrating body tissue while reserving enough time for observation before the penetration of the tracheae...
May 15, 2018: Journal of Microscopy
Ronel Pienaar, Albert W H Neitz, Ben J Mans
In comparison to other arachnids, ticks are major vectors of disease, but less than 8% of the known species are capable of inducing paralysis, as compared to the ~99⁻100% arachnids that belong to venomous classes. When considering the potential monophyly of venomous Arachnida, this review reflects on the implications regarding the classification of ticks as venomous animals and the possible origin of toxins. The origin of tick toxins is compared with scorpion and spider toxins and venoms based on their significance, functionality, and structure in the search to find homologous venomous characters...
May 14, 2018: Veterinary Sciences
Steffie de Gier, Kitty Verhoeckx
Insects represent an alternative for meat and fish in satisfying the increasing demand for sustainable sources of nutrition. Approximately two billion people globally consume insects. They are particularly popular in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Most research on insect allergy has focussed on occupational or inhalation allergy. Research on insect food safety, including allergenicity, is therefore of great importance. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of cases reporting allergy following insect ingestion, studies on food allergy to insects, proteins involved in insect allergy including cross-reactive proteins, and the possibility to alter the allergenic potential of insects by food processing and digestion...
May 3, 2018: Molecular Immunology
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