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Ian T Kracalik, Ernest Kenu, Evans Nsoh Ayamdooh, Emmanuel Allegye-Cudjoe, Paul Nokuma Polkuu, Joseph Asamoah Frimpong, Kofi Mensah Nyarko, William A Bower, Rita Traxler, Jason K Blackburn
Anthrax is hyper-endemic in West Africa. Despite the effectiveness of livestock vaccines in controlling anthrax, underreporting, logistics, and limited resources makes implementing vaccination campaigns difficult. To better understand the geographic limits of anthrax, elucidate environmental factors related to its occurrence, and identify human and livestock populations at risk, we developed predictive models of the environmental suitability of anthrax in Ghana. We obtained data on the location and date of livestock anthrax from veterinary and outbreak response records in Ghana during 2005-2016, as well as livestock vaccination registers and population estimates of characteristically high-risk groups...
October 13, 2017: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Craig Baker-Austin, James D Oliver
Vibrio vulnificus is a Gram-negative aquatic bacterium first isolated by the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1964. This bacterium is part of the normal microbiota of estuarine waters and occurs in high numbers in molluscan shellfish around the world, particularly in warmer months. Infections in humans are derived from consumption of seafood produce and from water exposure. V. vulnificus is a striking and enigmatic human pathogen, yet many aspects related to its biology, genomics, virulence capabilities and epidemiology remain elusive and poorly understood...
October 13, 2017: Environmental Microbiology
Rebecca K Borchering, Steve E Bellan, Jason M Flynn, Juliet R C Pulliam, Scott A McKinley
Animals share a variety of common resources, which can be a major driver of conspecific encounter rates. In this work, we implement a spatially explicit mathematical model for resource visitation behaviour in order to examine how changes in resource availability can influence the rate of encounters among consumers. Using simulations and asymptotic analysis, we demonstrate that, under a reasonable set of assumptions, the relationship between resource availability and consumer conspecific encounters is not monotonic...
October 2017: Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
Piao Ma, Alfredo E Cardenas, Mangesh I Chaudhari, Ron Elber, Susan B Rempe
We report atomically detailed molecular dynamics simulations of the permeation of the lethal factor (LF) N-terminal segment through the anthrax channel. The N-terminal chain is unstructured and leads the permeation process for the LF protein. The simulations were conducted in explicit solvent with milestoning theory, making it possible to extract kinetic information from nanosecond to millisecond time scales. We illustrate that the initial event is strongly influenced by the protonation states of the permeating amino acids...
October 12, 2017: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Xiang Yu, Ya Wen, Chao-Gen Liang, Jia Liu, Yu-Bin Ding, Wei-Hua Zhang
A series of linear furanocoumarins with different substituents have been designed and synthesized. Their structures were confirmed by ¹H-NMR spectroscopy, high resolution mass spectra (EI-MS), IR, and X-ray single-crystal diffraction. All of the target compounds were evaluated in vitro for their antifungal activity against Rhizoctorzia solani, Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria solani, Gibberella zeae, Cucumber anthrax, and Alternaria leaf spot at 100 μg/mL, and some of the designed compounds exhibited potential antifungal activities...
October 9, 2017: Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry
Ian Kracalik, Lile Malania, Mariam Broladze, Archil Navdarashvili, Paata Imnadze, Sadie J Ryan, Jason K Blackburn
Anthrax is a widely spread zoonotic disease found on nearly every continent. To control the disease in humans and animals, annual livestock vaccination is recommended. However, in 2007, the country of Georgia ended its policy of compulsory annual livestock anthrax vaccination. Our objective was to assess how the epidemiology of human anthrax has evolved from 2000-2013 in Georgia, in the wake of this cessation. We used passive surveillance data on epidemiological surveys of human anthrax case patients. Risk factors and rates of self-reported sources of infection were compared, before and after the change in livestock vaccination policy...
October 5, 2017: Vaccine
Mandy C Elschner, Anne Busch, Annette Schliephake, Wolfgang Gaede, Eric Zuchantke, Herbert Tomaso
Bacillus anthracis is a zoonotic agent causing anthrax, a notifiable disease in animals. The last anthrax outbreak among cattle in Germany occurred in April 2014 in Saxony-Anhalt. Here we report a high-quality genome sequence of the Bacillus anthracis strain 14RA5914 Dobichau isolated from the spleen of a dead cow.
October 5, 2017: Genome Announcements
Dibyendu Banerjee, Baishali Chakraborty, Banya Chakraborty
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has classified all the emerging infectious diseases agents under three categories. Among Category A priority pathogens comes Bacillus anthracis -the causative agent of Anthrax. It is a gram positive spore bearing bacteria, and the disease is typically associated with grazing animals, and affects the people as a zoonosis. The disease can be classically transmitted by three routes namely: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and pulmonary, with a fourth route recently identified as "injection anthrax", seen in intravenous drug abusers...
September 2017: Indian Journal of Dermatology
Tao Xie, David Rotstein, Chen Sun, Hui Fang, David M Frucht
Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax is the most prevalent form of naturally acquired B. anthracis infection, associated with exposure to vegetative bacteria in infected meat (carnivores) or to fermented rumen contents (herbivores). We assessed whether key host and pathogen factors modulate infectivity and progression of infection using a mouse model of GI infection. Gastric acid neutralization increases infectivity, but 30-40% of mice succumb to infection without neutralization. Mice either fed or fasted prior to exposure show similar infectivity rates...
September 15, 2017: Journal of Infectious Diseases
Karoline Valseth, Camilla L Nesbø, W Ryan Easterday, Wendy C Turner, Jaran S Olsen, Nils Chr Stenseth, Thomas H A Haverkamp
BACKGROUND: Anthrax is a globally distributed disease affecting primarily herbivorous mammals. It is caused by the soil-dwelling and spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The dormant B. anthracis spores become vegetative after ingestion by grazing mammals. After killing the host, B. anthracis cells return to the soil where they sporulate, completing the lifecycle of the bacterium. Here we present the first study describing temporal microbial soil community changes in Etosha National Park, Namibia, after decomposition of two plains zebra (Equus quagga) anthrax carcasses...
September 26, 2017: BMC Microbiology
Annabel Guichard, Prashant Jain, Mahtab Moayeri, Ruth Schwartz, Stephen Chin, Lin Zhu, Beatriz Cruz-Moreno, Janet Z Liu, Bernice Aguilar, Andrew Hollands, Stephen H Leppla, Victor Nizet, Ethan Bier
Various bacterial toxins circumvent host defenses through overproduction of cAMP. In a previous study, we showed that edema factor (EF), an adenylate cyclase from Bacillus anthracis, disrupts endocytic recycling mediated by the small GTPase Rab11. As a result, cargo proteins such as cadherins fail to reach inter-cellular junctions. In the present study, we provide further mechanistic dissection of Rab11 inhibition by EF using a combination of Drosophila and mammalian systems. EF blocks Rab11 trafficking after the GTP-loading step, preventing a constitutively active form of Rab11 from delivering cargo vesicles to the plasma membrane...
September 2017: PLoS Pathogens
Alexandra J Machen, Narahari Akkaladevi, Caleb Trecazzi, Pierce T O'Neil, Srayanta Mukherjee, Yifei Qi, Rebecca Dillard, Wonpil Im, Edward P Gogol, Tommi A White, Mark T Fisher
The anthrax lethal toxin consists of protective antigen (PA) and lethal factor (LF). Understanding both the PA pore formation and LF translocation through the PA pore is crucial to mitigating and perhaps preventing anthrax disease. To better understand the interactions of the LF-PA engagement complex, the structure of the LFN-bound PA pore solubilized by a lipid nanodisc was examined using cryo-EM. CryoSPARC was used to rapidly sort particle populations of a heterogeneous sample preparation without imposing symmetry, resulting in a refined 17 Å PA pore structure with 3 LFN bound...
September 22, 2017: Toxins
Fee Zimmermann, Susanne M Köhler, Kathrin Nowak, Susann Dupke, Anne Barduhn, Ariane Düx, Alexander Lang, Hélène M De Nys, Jan F Gogarten, Roland Grunow, Emmanuel Couacy-Hymann, Roman M Wittig, Silke R Klee, Fabian H Leendertz
Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis (Bcbva) is a member of the B. cereus group which carries both B. anthracis virulence plasmids, causes anthrax-like disease in various wildlife species and was described in several sub-Saharan African rainforests. Long-term monitoring of carcasses in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire, revealed continuous wildlife mortality due to Bcbva in a broad range of mammalian species. While non-lethal anthrax infections in wildlife have been described for B. anthracis, nothing is known about the odds of survival following an anthrax infection caused by Bcbva...
September 2017: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Kae Okoshi, Taro Minami, Masahiro Kikuchi, Yasuko Tomizawa
Playing musical instruments can bring joy to people, but can also cause a wide variety of health issues that range from mild disorders to potentially fatal conditions. Although sports medicine is an established medical subspecialty, relatively few studies have investigated the health issues associated with musical instruments. Here we present an overview of these health issues. These include infections due to microorganisms, allergic reactions, as well as mechanical injuries from sustained high pressures within the oral, mediastinal, thoracic, and abdominal cavities...
2017: Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Tao Bi, Yilong Li, Alexander Shekhtman, Julio A Camarero
We report the high-yield heterologous expression of bioactive θ-defensin RTD-1 inside Escherichia coli cells by making use of intracellular protein trans-splicing in combination with a high efficient split-intein. RTD-1 is a small backbone-cyclized polypeptide with three disulfide bridges and a natural inhibitor of anthrax lethal factor protease. Recombinant RTD-1 was natively folded and able to inhibit anthrax lethal factor protease. In-cell expression of RTD-1 was very efficient and yielded ≈0.7mg of folded RTD-1 per gram of wet E...
September 6, 2017: Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry
Helen M Treshalina, Vladimir I Romanenko, Dmitry N Kaluzhny, Michael I Treshalin, Aleksey A Nikitin, Alexander S Tikhomirov, Andrey E Shchekotikhin
To improve the water solubility of the anticancer drug candidate LCTA-2034 (A1), we investigated the formation of complexes of this anthrax[2,3-b]furan congener with the solubilizing 2-hydroxypropyl derivative of β-cyclodextrin HP-βCD (Cavitron®). The interaction of A1 with HP-βCD resulted in the inclusion complex A1/HP-βCD in 1:1 stoichiometry. The A1/HP-βCD complex was used to develop a prototype of a lyophilised drug formulation with enhanced (>10-fold) aqueous solubility than A1 and a long-term stability...
September 18, 2017: European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Monika Verma, Nagendra Suryanarayana, Urmil Tuteja, Kulanthaivel Thavachelvam, M K Rao, Rakesh Bhargava, Sangeeta Shukla
Anthrax associated causalities in humans and animals are implicated mainly due to the action of two exotoxins that are secreted by the bacterium Bacillus antharcis during the infection. These exotoxins comprise of three protein components namely protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). The protective antigen is the common toxin component required to form both lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx). The LeTx is formed, when PA combines with LF and EdTx is formed when PA combines with EF...
September 14, 2017: Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology
Eric R Dougherty, Colin J Carlson, Jason K Blackburn, Wayne M Getz
BACKGROUND: With decreasing costs of GPS telemetry devices, data repositories of animal movement paths are increasing almost exponentially in size. A series of complex statistical tools have been developed in conjunction with this increase in data. Each of these methods offers certain improvements over previously proposed methods, but each has certain assumptions or shortcomings that make its general application difficult. In the case of the recently developed Time Local Convex Hull (T-LoCoH) method, the subjectivity in parameter selection serves as one of the primary impediments to its more widespread use...
2017: Movement Ecology
A K Hagan, A Tripathi, D Berger, D H Sherman, P C Hanna
Bacillus anthracis-a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium-causes anthrax, a highly lethal disease with high bacteremia titers. Such rapid growth requires ample access to nutrients, including iron. However, access to this critical metal is heavily restricted in mammals, which requires B. anthracis to employ petrobactin, an iron-scavenging small molecule known as a siderophore. Petrobactin biosynthesis is mediated by asb gene products, and import of the iron-bound (holo)-siderophore into the bacterium has been well studied...
September 12, 2017: MBio
Allison L Teunis, Taissia G Popova, Virginia Espina, Lance A Liotta, Serguei G Popov
We recently reported that the open-mesh (0.7 μ) polyacrylamide microparticles (MPs) with internally-coupled Cibacron affinity dye demonstrate protective effect in mice challenged into footpads with high doses (200 LD50) of anthrax (Sterne) spores. A single injection of MPs before spore challenge reduces inflammatory response, delays onset of mortality and promotes survival. In this study, we show that the effect of MPs was substantially increased at the lower spore dose (7 LD50). The inflammation of footpads was reduced to the background level, and 60% of animals survived for 16 days while all untreated infected animals died within 6 days with strong inflammation...
2017: Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences
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