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In South Africa, the avocado (Persea americana) is an important fruit, grown primarily for export and contributing ZAR 1.75 billion to the gross domestic product of the country. As an export driven industry, optimising exportable avocado fruit volume is a primary concern. Wind induced abrasion and damage by thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), through their feeding on avocado fruit results in corky tissue development (scarring) and making the fruit unsuitable for export. The study aimed to determine the economic losses caused by these agents as well as assess different cultivar responses to scarring damage. Across cultivars, the 1.49% revenue annually due to Scirtothrips aurantii downgrading (3.86% loss factor), translating to ZAR 34.90 million (US$2.39 million). Packhouse study results showed that both thrips and wind abrasion damage accounted for 30% scarring damage, a loss factor of 13.72% and a combined revenue loss of 5.57%. The cultivar ‘Pinkerton’ showed the greatest susceptibility to scarring damage by both wind and S. aurantii whilst the cultivar ‘Carmen®-Hass’ showed a natural predisposition to higher levels of thrips damage. The presence of macadamia trees near avocado trees predisposes avocado fruit to S. aurantii damage.

Restricted access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Ingrid E. Pereira, Kyssia P. Silva, Laura M. Menegati, Aimara C. Pinheiro, Elaine A. O. Assunção, Maria De Lourdes P. Araújo, Elfadil Abass, Malcolm S. Duthie, Ulrich Steinhoff and Henrique C. Teixeira

Abstract

Control of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL), a major zoonotic disease in Brazil and many other tropical and subtropical countries, remains difficult as an accurate and reliable diagnosis is still missing. In endemic regions, infected dogs are the main parasitic reservoir host of human Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) infection. Vaccination of dogs against Leishmania infection constitutes an important strategy to prevent or to better control CVL, thus, a serological test that can discriminate between antibodies induced by immunization versus infection is highly desirable in order to improve and simplify diagnosis. Here, four recombinant proteins were evaluated for their ability to detect and differentiate between dogs that are infected with Leishmania or have been immunized with the anti-Leishmania vaccine Leish-Tec®. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis of the four Leishmania-specific IgG ELISA revealed superior performance of rK28, followed by rKLO8, rK39 and rLb6H. The rK28-based ELISA revealed not only the best accuracy against CVL, but also the lowest cross-reactivity with sera from Leish-Tec® immunized dogs. Our data show that the rK28-based ELISA is highly suitable for CVL screening as it shows high sensitivity with simultaneous low cross-reactivity. Further, the high specificity of the rKLO8 indicates its suitability for the confirmation of CVL diagnosis.

Open access

Abstract

Introduction

To evaluate the automated cartridge-based PCR approach ARIES SARS-CoV-2 Assay targeting the ORF-sequence and the N-gene of SARS-CoV-2.

Methods

In line with the suggestions by Rabenau and colleagues, the automated ARIES SARS-CoV-2 Assay was challenged with strongly positive samples, weakly positive samples and negative samples. Further, intra-assay and inter-assay precision as well as the limit-of-detection (lod) were defined with quantified target RNA and DNA. The Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-Cov-2 Assay was used as gold standard.

Results

Concordance between the ARIES assay and the Cepheid assay was 100% for strongly positive samples and for negative samples, respectively. For weakly positive samples as confirmed applying the Cepheid assay, a relevant minority of 4 out of 15 samples (26.7%) went undetected by the ARIES assay. Intra- and inter-assay precision were satisfactory, while the lod was in the 103 DNA copies/reaction-range, in the 103 virus copies/reaction-range, or in the 103–104 free RNA copies/reaction-range in our hands.

Conclusions

The automated ARIES assay shows comparable test characteristics as the Cepheid assay focusing on strongly positive and negative samples but a slightly reduced sensitivity with weakly positive samples. Decisions on diagnostic use should include considerations on the lod.

Open access

Abstract

We report a case of a chronic mesotympanic otitis media with a smelly purulent secretion from both ears and recurrent otalgia over the last five years in a six-year-old girl after swimming in the German Baltic Sea. Besides Staphylococcus aureus a non-O1/non-O139 Vibrio cholerae strain could be isolated from patient samples. An antibiotic therapy with ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone was administered followed by atticotomy combined with tympanoplasty. We conclude that V. cholerae should not be overlooked as a differential diagnosis to otitis infections, especially when patients present with extra-intestinal infections after contact with brackish- or saltwater aquatic environments.

Open access

Abstract

Carvacrol, a primary constituent of plant essential oils (EOs), and its antimicrobial activity have been the subject of many in vitro studies. Due to an increasing demand for alternative antimicrobials and an emerging number of antibiotic resistant bacteria, the use of essential oils has played a major role in many recent approaches to reduce Campylobacter colonization in poultry before slaughter age. For that purpose, the reducing effect of carvacrol on Campylobacter jejuni prevalence in broilers was determined in vivo in an experimental broiler chicken model during an entire fattening period. Carvacrol was added to the feed in a concentration of 120 mg/kg feed four days post hatch until the end of the trial. In this study, we demonstrated a statistically significant decrease of C. jejuni counts by 1.17 decadic logarithm (log10) most probable number (MPN)/g in cloacal swabs during starter and grower periods (corresponding to a broilers age between 1 and 28 days). Similar results were observed for colon enumeration at the end of the trial where C. jejuni counts were significantly reduced by 1.25 log10 MPN/g. However, carvacrol did not successfully reduce Campylobacter cecal colonization in 33-day-old broilers.

Open access

Abstract

Non-antibiotic feed additives including competitive exclusion products have been shown effective in reducing pathogen loads including multi-drug resistant strains from the vertebrate gut. In the present study we surveyed the intestinal bacterial colonization properties, potential macroscopic and microscopic inflammatory sequelae and immune responses upon peroral application of the commercial competitive exclusion product Aviguard® to wildtype mice in which the gut microbiota had been depleted by antibiotic pre-treatment. Until four weeks following Aviguard® challenge, bacterial strains abundant in the probiotic suspension stably established within the murine intestines. Aviguard® application did neither induce any clinical signs nor gross macroscopic intestinal inflammatory sequelae, which also held true when assessing apoptotic and proliferative cell responses in colonic epithelia until day 28 post-challenge. Whereas numbers of colonic innate immune cell subsets such as macrophages and monocytes remained unaffected, peroral Aviguard® application to microbiota depleted mice was accompanied by decreases in colonic mucosal counts of adaptive immune cells such as T and B lymphocytes. In conclusion, peroral Aviguard® application results i.) in effective intestinal colonization within microbiota depleted mice, ii.) neither in macroscopic nor in microscopic inflammatory sequelae and iii.) in lower colonic mucosal T and B cell responses.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Edna Madai Méndez-Hernández, Jesús Hernández-Tinoco, José Manuel Salas-Pacheco, Luis Francisco Sánchez-Anguiano, Oscar Arias-Carrión, Ada Agustina Sandoval-Carrillo, Francisco Xavier Castellanos-Juárez, Luis Ángel Ruano-Calderón and Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel

Abstract

The link between Toxoplasma gondii infection and multiple sclerosis remains controversial. In the present study, we aimed to determine the association between T. gondii seropositivity and multiple sclerosis. Using an age- and gender-matched case-control study, we studied 45 patients who had multiple sclerosis attended in two public hospitals and 225 control subjects without this disease and other neurological disorders in Durango City, Mexico. Serum samples of cases and controls were analyzed for detection of anti-Toxoplasma IgG using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunoassay. One (2.22%) of the 45 patients with multiple sclerosis, and 15 (6.67%) of the 225 control subjects without this disease were seropositive for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies. No statistically significant difference (OR = 0.31; 95% CI: 0.04–2.47; P = 0.48) in seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies between cases and controls was found. The frequency of T. gondii seropositivity did not vary among cases and controls about sex or age groups. Results of this study do not support an association between seropositivity to T. gondii and multiple sclerosis. However, additional research with larger sample sizes to confirm this lack of association should be conducted.

Open access

Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a food-borne pathogen with a high chance of infecting neonates, pregnant women, elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Lm infection in neonates can cause neonatal meningitis and sepsis with a high risk of severe neurological and developmental sequelae and high mortality rates. However, whether an acute neonatal Lm infection causes long-term effects on the immune system persisting until adulthood has not been fully elucidated. Here, we established a neonatal Lm infection model and monitored the composition of major immune cell subsets at defined time points post infection (p.i.) in secondary lymphoid organs and the intestine. Twelve weeks p.i., the CD8+ T cell population was decreased in colon and mesenteric lymph nodes (mLNs) with an opposing increase in the spleen. In the colon, we observed an accumulation of CD4+ and CD8+ effector/memory T cells with an increase of T-bet+ T helper 1 (Th1) cells. In addition, 12 weeks p.i. an altered composition of innate lymphoid cell (ILC) and dendritic cell (DC) subsets was still observed in colon and mLNs, respectively. Together, these findings highlight organ-specific long-term consequences of an acute neonatal Lm infection on both the adaptive and innate immune system.

Open access

Abstract

Introduction

Chronic sinusitis caused by anaerobes is a particular concern clinically, because many of the complications are associated with infections caused by these organisms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of anaerobic bacteria in chronic sinusitis in adults as a part of a prospective microbiological study.

Materials and methods

Over a one-year period, aspirations of maxillary sinus secretions and/or ethmoid cavities were derived in n = 79 adult patients with chronic sinusitis by endoscopy in a tertiary-care teaching hospital in Hungary. The qualitative and quantitative compositions of the total cultivable aerobic and anaerobic bacterial and fungal flora cultured on the samples were compared. Correct anaerobic species level identifications were carried out according to standard methods.

Results

Bacteria were recovered for all of the 79 aspirates and the numbers of the significant cultured isolates (with colony forming units ≥103) were between 1 and 10. A total of 206 isolates, 106 anaerobic and 100 aerobic or facultative-anaerobic strains were isolated. The most common aerobic bacteria were Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 40), Haemophilus influenzae (n = 29), Moraxella catarrhalis (n = 6), Staphylococcus aureus (n = 7) and Streptococcus pyogenes (n = 6). The anaerobic bacteria included black-pigmented Prevotella spp. and Porphyromonas spp. (n = 27), Actinomyces spp. (n = 13), Gram-positive anaerobic cocci (n = 16), Fusobacterium spp. (n = 19) and Cutibacterium acnes (n = 8).

Conclusions

This study illustrates the microbial dynamics in which anaerobic and aerobic bacteria prevail and highlights the importance of obtaining cultures from patients with chronic sinusitis for guidance in selection of proper antimicrobial therapy.

Open access

Abstract

Obligate anaerobic bacteria are considered important constituents of the microbiota of humans; in addition, they are also important etiological agents in some focal or invasive infections and bacteremia with a high level of mortality. Conflicting data have accumulated over the last decades regarding the extent in which these pathogens play an intrinsic role in bloodstream infections. Clinical characteristics of anaerobic bloodstream infections do not differ from bacteremia caused by other pathogens, but due to their longer generation time and rigorous growth requirements, it usually takes longer to establish the etiological diagnosis. The introduction of matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has represented a technological revolution in microbiological diagnostics, which has allowed for the fast, accurate and reliable identification of anaerobic bacteria at a low sample cost. The purpose of this review article is to summarize the currently available literature data on the prevalence of anaerobic bacteremia in adults for physicians and clinical microbiologists and to shed some light on the complexity of this topic nowadays.

Open access