Stings from certain species of cubozoan jellyfish are dangerous to humans and their seasonal presence in tropical marine waters poses a significant risk to coastal communities. The detection of cubozoans is difficult due to high spatial and temporal variation in their occurrence and abundance. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has the potential to detect rare species and therefore offers potential to detect cubozoans, not only pelagic medusae, but presence of cryptic polyp life-stages. The objective of this study was to validate the use of eDNA as a viable detection method for four cubozoan species (Chironex fleckeri, Copula sivickisi, Carybdea xaymacana and Carukia barnesi). Species-specific primers were developed for each of these four cubozoans and an eDNA approach validated utilising both laboratory and field trials. Laboratory DNA degradation experiments demonstrated that C. sivickisi DNA degraded quickly but could still be detected in sea water for up to 9 days post-jellyfish removal. Positive detection was found for C. fleckeri, C. xaymacana and C. sivickisi medusae in the waters surrounding Magnetic Island, Queensland, in the Austral spring/summer (September-January). Based on visual surveys there was a poor relationship between concentration of eDNA and abundance of jellyfish. Positive eDNA amplification was also shown near the substratum when C. sivickisi medusae were absent. This can only be explained by the detection of polyps. Consequently, eDNA is an effective tool to detect both the medusae and polyps of cubozoans. This approach provides the means to reduce the risk of envenomation to swimmers and enhance our knowledge of cubozoan ecology.
Rationale, aims and objectives: Appropriate treatment of paediatric fever in rural areas remains a challenge and may be partly due to inadequate supervision of licensed drug sellers. This study assessed the effectiveness of peer-supervision among drug sellers on appropriate treatment of pneumonia symptoms, uncomplicated malaria and non-bloody diarrhoea among children less than five years of age in the intervention (Luuka) and comparison (Buyende) districts, in East-Central Uganda. Methods: Data on pneumonia symptoms, uncomplicated malaria and non-bloody diarrhoea among children less than five years of age was abstracted from drug shop sick child registers over a 12-month period; six months before and six months after introduction of peer-supervision. Interrupted time series was applied to determine the effectiveness of the peer-supervision intervention on appropriate treatment of pneumonia, uncomplicated malaria and non-bloody diarrhoea among children less than five years of age attending drug shops in East Central Uganda. Results: The proportion of children treated appropriately for pneumonia symptoms was 10.84% (P<0.05, CI = [1.75, 19.9]) higher, for uncomplicated malaria was 1.46% (P = 0.79, CI = [-10.43, 13.36]) higher, and for non-bloody diarrhoea was 4.00% (p <0.05, CI = [-7.95, -0.13]) lower in the intervention district than the comparison district, respectively. Post-intervention trend results showed an increase of 1.21% (p =0.008, CI = [0.36, 2.05]) in the proportion appropriately treated for pneumonia symptoms, no difference in appropriate treatment for uncomplicated malaria, and a reduction of 1% (p <0.06, CI = [-1.95, 0.02]) in the proportion of children appropriately treated for non-bloody diarrhoea, respectively. Conclusions: Peer-supervision increased the proportion of children less than five years of age that received appropriate treatment for pneumonia symptoms but not for uncomplicated malaria and non-bloody diarrhoea. Implementation of community level interventions to improve paediatric fever management should consider including peer-supervision among drug sellers.
Intestine regeneration in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus is a fascinating biological event and a typical example for studying host-intestinal microbiota interactions. The intestinal microbiota may play important roles in developing intestine promotion, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Notably, altered microbiota abundance may be a key marker of the observed ecosystem. To understand the role of the developing intestinal microbiota in intestine regeneration via quantitative data, we developed a germ-free sea cucumber model and analyzed the intestinal microbial differentiation of faster and slower regenerating A. japonicus individuals during intestine regeneration. The results revealed that depletion of the intestinal microbiota resulted in elevated abundance of the potential key players Flavobacteriaceae and Rhodobacterales during intestine regeneration and thus promoted the intestine regeneration rate of A. japonicus. These results first revealed a direct link between intestinal microbial quantity and microbiome features and the intestinal regrowth rate of A. japonicus. Metagenomic analysis revealed that the increased abundance of Flavobacteriaceae elevated the enrichment of genes associated with carbohydrate utilization, whereas the abundant Rhodobacteraceae -enriched genes were associated with polyhydroxybutyrate production. We identified microbiota abundance as a key driver of microbial community alterations, especially beneficial microbiota members, in the developing intestine of A. japonicus. This study provides new insights into the mechanism of host-microbiota interactions related to intestine development, and the understanding of molecular diversity to questions within intestinal ecology.
Yeast manganese (Mn) trafficking transporter for mitochondrial Mn-containing superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), yMTM1, belongs to mitochondrial carrier family (MCF) and is crucial for yeast MnSOD (ySOD2) activation. Arabidopsis AtMTM1 and AtMTM2 are homologs of yMTM1 and share conserved MCF motif sequence. We confirmed that AtMTM1 and AtMTM2 interacted with AtMnSOD (AtMSD1) in mitochondria and recovered ySOD2 activity in yMTM1-mutant cells. The redundant AtMTM1 and AtMTM2 have different gene expression patterns in tissues and methyl viologen (MV)-induced oxidative stress and also responded to most metal stresses along with AtMSD1. Bioassay revealed the contrasting root phenotype in microRNA-mediated AtMTM1 mutant (mtm1-i) and AtMTM2-null mutant (mtm2) under MV stress, and Mn supplement complemented the root lengths in single and mtm1-i mtm2-double mutants. We found decreased MnSOD activity was accompanied by increased FeSOD activity in double mutant. Transient expression of chloroplast-destined AtMSD1 highlighted that unidentified factors participated in AtMSD1 activation. Besides, the exogenous-expressed AtMSD1 activity was decreased in double mutant, and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry results showed that AtMTM1 and AtMTM2 involved in Mn and Fe homeostasis with a reciprocal regulation. Overall, AtMTM1 and AtMTM2 are important for MnSOD metalation and ion homeostasis, and their physiological regulations may stretch across mitochondria and chloroplasts.
Distance learning has been a means to provide an education to those who are unable to participate in on-campus, face-to face classes. Teams of instructional design specialists that focus on online education put significant effort into course development. This planned process is very different from emergency remote education in response to a crisis. In early 2020, it was discovered that an extremely contagious respiratory illness termed COVID-19 had spread to every corner of the earth. As of mid-March 2020, the need to transition from face-to-face classroom instruction to exclusively online education landed on the doorstep of America’s universities. COVID-19 has catalyzed a transition in the ecology of American education for all students, but especially the underserved and minoritized. Ecology, by definition, is concerned with the interactions of an organism and its environment. The circumstances of the pandemic have caused vast and rapid change in both the internal and external environments of the organisms (e.g., students) and the systems in which they reside (e.g., U. S. educational systems). The purpose of this paper is to provide some considerations for instructors who find themselves “thrown into teaching remotely,” and help them think about how best to create sustainable systems, broaden participation and build capacity in a more equitable and inclusive manner.
Invasive species are of increasing concern to the local biodiversity and ecology as the magnitude of biological invasions is increasing globally. The genetic structures of newly established invasive populations may reveal insights towards the invasion processes, making population genetics an important tool for understanding current invasions. Here we study newly established populations (<10-20 years before first sampling) of the cosmopolitan alien ascidian Botryllus schlosseri in four Puget Sound (Washington, USA) marinas, using eight polymorphic microsatellites. Up to seven sampling sessions over a period of 19 years revealed populations with fluctuating allelic richness (AR=2.693-4.417) and gene diversity (He=0.362-0.589). The populations were well differentiated on spatial and temporal scales and subjected to moderate genetic drift (Fs’=0.027-0.071). The obtained significant heterozygote deficiencies, positive inbreeding coefficients (Fis) and population structure measures (Fst) revealed that no population was under the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Comparing these parameters with those from two Californian sites (Moss Landing and Santa Cruz, 1200 km southerly; invaded by Botryllus during 1940’s) revealed a connection between Moss Landing and Puget Sound, while Santa Cruz remained isolated. On the US west coast scale, this study revealed no major difference in invasive population dynamics between recently and decade long established populations, except for fewer alleles and lower He. When comparing ten worldwide sites, only few microsatellite loci displayed strong regional differences. With globally the lowest numbers of alleles and lowest genetic indices, the Puget Sound Botryllus populations exhibit genetic characteristics of recently established populations, further emerging as one of the youngest B. schlosseri populations, worldwide.
The increasingly wide knowledge of the microbiota, as well as its continuous relation with several pathologies, favours the interest, discovery and classification of all the bacteria that are part of it. The isolation of strain P3519T is possible thanks to the application of new strategies such as culturomics and taxono-genomics. Strain Marseille-P3519T isolated from the fecal flora of a 25-year-old healthy French woman was a Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium, non-motile and non-spore-forming. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of Marseille-P3519 showed 98.57% of sequence similarity with Lactobacillus caviae MOZM2, the closest species, phylogenetically. Its genome had 2,237,367 bp with 45.42 mol% of G+C content. These findings support that strain Marseille-P3519 is a new member of the genus Lactobacillus for which the name Lactobacillus caccae sp. nov., is proposed.
Objective: To investigate temporal bone findings in COVID-19 Design: Retrospective study Settings: Using the database of our tertiary pandemic hospital, patients with COVID-19 infection with a positive PCR test and temporal bone tomography imaging were evaluated. Participants: 42 PCR positive COVID-19 patients with temporal bone imaging. Main outcome measures: A grading system was created to evaluate effusion in the middle ear and mastoid air cells. Also any specific sign in temporal bone imaging. Results: Patients were divided into two groups according to their chest CT findings. Group 1 had specific chest CT findings and included 26 patients, group 2 had no findings in chest CT and included 16 patients. No obvious temporal bone involvement was observed in any of the patients. Temporal bone imaging findings were compared according to a grading system and there was no difference between the groups (p=0,50). Conclusion: The SARS-CoV-2 does not affect the temporal bone. There was no sign of effusion in mastoid air cells or the middle ear or any specific sign in the temporal bone in our study group.
21 year old white Caucasian male presented with left foot pain and bilateral periorbital hypopigmentation. An MRI revealed multiple stress fractures. Blood tests revealed Vitamin D deficiency. There is currently evidence confirming relationships between Vitamin D deficiency and cutaneous hypopigmentation. This case suggests further research into this area.
Pistachio (Pistacia spp.) is a tree nut crop with relatively high salinity tolerance. Currently, limited information exists on its rootstock’s cellular responses to salinity stress, especially in its roots. In this study, we investigated salinity tolerance at cellular level, in two pistachio rootstocks, Pistacia integerrima (PGI) and a hybrid, P. atlantica x P. integerrima (UCB1). Root tip sections were categorized across a developmental gradient according to their xylem development, and their sodium content and suberin deposition were analyzed with fluorescence microscopy. Our data demonstrated a correlation between vacuolar sequestration of sodium ions (Na+) and salinity tolerance in the UCB1 genotype. In addition, UCB1 displayed higher basal levels of suberization in both the exodermis and endodermis that increased further after salinity stress. Notably, the root region immediately distal to the region of secondary xylem initiation showed the highest amount of vacuolar Na+ sequestration, indicating a developmental regulation of this process. Our cumulative data demonstrate that salinity tolerance in pistachio rootstock species is associated with both vacuolar Na+ sequestration and suberin deposition at apoplastic barriers, and both are correlated with a root developmental gradient. These cellular characteristics are phenotypes that can be screened during the selection for salinity tolerant woody plant species.
Objective The objective of this multicentre retrospective case review was to assess the natural clinical course, efficacy and safety of Mastoid Obliteration with S53P4 Bioactive Glass (bioactive glass). Study Design Retrospective case note review Setting Regional Tertiary Referral centre and District General Hospital Participants Patients undergoing mastoid cavity obliteration as part of primary or secondary procedure with bioactive Glass between 2012 – 2018. Outcome measures were assessed from a prospectively collated database and case note review. Main Outcome Measures Primary outcomes were the common morbidities of a mastoid cavity; dry or discharging ear (Merchant’s scale), vertigo in cold air and a water tight middle ear. Patients were also assessed for audiological outcomes and recidivism. Results 90 patients were included. During the follow up period, (mean = 22 months; range = 6 - 59 months) cholesteatoma recidivism was observed in 2% of ears, (2 patients). An acceptably dry (Merchant Grade 0 – 1) ear was achieved in 91% of all ears (95% Primary Cases, 80% Secondary Cases). Delayed healing of the graft in the external ear canal retaining the S53P4BAG Bioactive Glass (BonAlive,(BonAlive Biomaterials Ltd., Turku, Finland)) within the mastoid occurred in 13% (12 ears). However, in all cases conservative management resulted in complete healing. Conclusions Bioactive glass provides a safe and effective means of mastoid obliteration. Complications including overlay graft failure and slow epithelisation resulting in prolonged postoperative discharge (up to 2 months) and dehiscence into the external ear canal do not preclude full recovery and may be successfully managed conservatively.
With the aim of describing bound and continuum states for diatomic molecules, we develop and implement a spectral method that makes use of Generalized Sturmian Functions (GSF) in prolate spheroidal coordinates. In order to master all computational issues, we apply here the method to one-electron molecular ions and compare it with benchmark data for both ground and excited states. We actually propose two different computational schemes to solve the two coupled differential equations. The first one is an iterative 1d procedure in which one solves alternately the angular and the radial equations, the latter yielding the state energy. The second, named direct $2d$ method, consists in representing the Hamiltonian matrix in a two–dimensional GSF basis set, and its further diagonalization. Both spectral schemes are timewise computationally efficient since the basis elements are such that no derivatives have to be calculated numerically. Moreover, very accurate results are obtained with minimal basis sets. This is related on one side to the use of the natural coordinate system and, on the other, to the intrinsic good property of all GSF basis elements that are constructed as to obey appropriate physical boundary conditions. The present implementation for bound states paves the way for the study of continuum states involved in ionization of one or two-electron diatomic targets.
Suitable habitat fragment size, isolation, and distance from a source are important variables influencing community composition of plants and animals, but the role of these environmental factors in determining composition and variation of host-associated microbial communities is poorly known. In parasite-associated microbial communities, it is hypothesized that evolution and ecology of an arthropod parasite will influence its microbiome more than broader environmental factors, but this hypothesis has not been extensively tested. To examine the influence of the broader environment on the parasite microbiome, we applied high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region of 16S rRNA to characterize the microbiome of 222 obligate ectoparasitic bat flies (Streblidae and Nycteribiidae) collected from 155 bats (representing six species) from ten habitat fragments in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Parasite species identity is the strongest driver of microbiome composition. To a lesser extent, reduction in habitat fragment area, but not isolation, is associated with an increase in connectance and betweenness centrality of bacterial association networks driven by changes in the diversity of the parasite community. Controlling for the parasite community, bacterial network topology covaries with habitat patch area and exhibits parasite-species specific responses to environmental change. Taken together, habitat loss may have cascading consequences for communities of interacting macro- and microorgansims.
Background: Asthmatic children present variable degrees of airway inflammation, remodeling and resistance, which correlates with disease control and severity. Chronic inflammatory process of the airways triggers airway remodeling, which reflects the degree of airway resistance. Pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic mediators are centrally involved in this process. This study has investigated for the first time, whether the levels of pulmonary and systemic pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic mediators present correlation with the resistance of respiratory system and of proximal and distal airways. Methods: 24 asthmatic children (persistent mild and moderate) and 24 non-asthmatic children (both between 6-13 years old) were evaluated for anthropometric characteristics, lung function and mechanics, pulmonary and systemic immune response. Results: Asthmatic children showed an increased number of blood eosinophils (p<0.04), basophils (p<0.04), monocytes (p<0.002) and lymphocytes (p<0.03). In addition, asthmatic children showed an impaired lung function, as demonstrated by FEV1%pred. (p<0.0005) and FEV1/FVC (p<0.004), decreased total resistance of respiratory system (R5Hz; p<0.009), increased resistance of proximal airways (R20Hz; p<0.02), increased elastance (Z5Hz; p<0.02) and increased reactance (X5Hz; p<0.002). Moreover, the following inflammatory factors were significantly higher in asthmatic than non-asthmatic children: GM-CSF in the breath condensate (BC) (p<0.0001) and in the serum (p<0.0001); TGF-beta in the BC (p<0.0001) and in the serum (p<0.004); IL-5 in the BC (p<0.02) and in the serum (p<0.01); IL-4 in the serum (p<0.0002). Conclusions: Impulse oscillometry is a sensitive method to detect airway resistance in asthmatic children, reflecting airway remodeling, an event followed by increased levels of pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic mediators.
At present, Corona virus disease 2019(COVID-19) has become a major concern all over the world and leads to huge medical pressure. Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of viral infection has been researched extensively in many viruses. It is not yet clear whether SARS-CoV-2 infection causes ADE effects. However, there is evidence that ADE may be found in COVID-19. We have discussed the possibilities of ADE effect induced by COVID-19 and proposed a series of measures to deal with it.
Secondary pneumomediastinum in patients with ARDS is often related to invasive mechanical ventilation due to high airway pressures leading to alveolar rupture.1 The pathophysiologic mechanism through which this occurs is known as the Macklin effect which describes the idea that alveolar rupture causes a leakage of air along the bronchovascular bundle whereby it extends into the mediastinum.2 Another contributing factor to alveolar rupture is the diffuse alveolar damage seen in patients with severe ARDS.3 Here we present a case series from a major New York City academic hospital of 18 patients with Covid-19 complicated by pneumomediastinum in the setting of both invasive and noninvasive ventilation. The data collected was obtained on April 19th during which 130 Covid-19 infected patients were intubated and in the intensive care unit since March 26th 2020. Four patients were excluded from analysis due to inability to exclude pneumomediastinum as a line-associated complication. All intubations were done by the most senior clinician available. The median age of the patients was 60 years and 55.6% were men. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (38.9%) and diabetes mellitus (33.3%). Most pneumomediastinum cases (83.3%) were in association with invasive mechanical ventilation and 46.7% occurred within the first day of intubation. An additional 40% of pneumomediastinum cases occurred between day 1 and day 6. Those intubated were placed on an average of 6.58 cc/kg of tidal volume. Only 20% of patients experienced peak inspiratory pressures greater than 35 mm Hg and 13.3% had plateau pressures greater than 30 mm Hg. High PEEP strategy defined as greater than 12 mm Hg was used in 40% of patients. The most frequent concurrent complications observed were subcutaneous emphysema (72.2%) and pneumothorax (55.6%). Figure 1 shows a single axial cut of a CT scan of the Chest of one patient who experienced severe subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum and diffuse bilateral lung infiltrates due to Covid-19. The in hospital mortality rate at the time of publication is 44.4%. The prevalence of pneumomediastinum cases due to COVID-19 in this study was 13.8%. This is significantly more frequent than that observed with protective ventilation strategy which was as low as 7%.4 Interestingly, a previous study of SARS-Cov1 estimated a total incidence of 12% of patients with pneumomediastum.5 The large number of pneumomediastinum cases observed in this case series seems to be unexplained solely by barotrauma from mechanical ventilation in these patients treated with protective lung strategy and may be specific to the underlying pathology of Covid-19. Of note, three patients who developed this complication were receiving noninvasive ventilation further supporting this hypothesis. Conflict of Interest: None References:1. Ioannidis G, Lazaridis G, Baka S, et al. Barotrauma and pneumothorax. J Thorac DIs. 2015;7(Suppl 1):S38-S43 2. Jacobi A, Chung M, Bernheim A, Eber C. Portable chest X-ray in coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19): A pictorial review. Clinical Imaging. 2020;64:35–42. 3. Murayama S. Spontaneous pneumomediastinum and Macklin effect: Overview and appearance on computed tomography. World Journal of Radiology. 2014;6(11):850.4. Passos Amato M, Valente Barbas C, Medeiros D, et al. Effect of a Protective-Ventilation Strategy on Mortality in the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 1998;338:347-3545. Peiris J, Chu C, Cheng V, et al. Clinical progression and viral load in a community outbreak of coronavirus-associated SARS pneumonia: a prospective study. Lancet. 2003;361(9371):1767–72.