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Abstract

Serious risks to human health are posed by acute campylobacteriosis, an enteritis syndrome caused by oral infection with the food-borne bacterial enteropathogen Campylobacter jejuni. Since the risk for developing post-infectious autoimmune complications is intertwined with the severity of enteritis, the search of disease-mitigating compounds is highly demanded. Given that benzoic acid is an organic acid with well-studied health-promoting including anti-inflammatory effects we tested in our present study whether the compound might be a therapeutic option to alleviate acute murine campylobacteriosis. Therefore, microbiota-depleted IL-10−/− mice were perorally infected with C. jejuni and received benzoic acid through the drinking water from day 2 until day 6 post-infection. The results revealed that benzoic acid treatment did not affect C. jejuni colonization in the gastrointestinal tract, but alleviated clinical signs of acute campylobacteriosis, particularly diarrheal and wasting symptoms. In addition, benzoic acid mitigated apoptotic cell responses in the colonic epithelia and led to reduced pro-inflammatory immune reactions in intestinal, extra-intestinal, and systemic compartments tested on day 6 post-infection. Hence, our preclinical placebo-controlled intervention trial revealed that benzoic acid constitutes a promising therapeutic option for treating acute campylobacteriosis in an antibiotic-independent fashion and in consequence, also for reducing the risk of post-infectious autoimmune diseases.

Open access

Abstract

The article evaluates how well the goals of the European Green Deal are justified, especially considering the risks to energy and food security arising from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. We agree with the objectives of the European Green Agreement as a whole, but whether some of the objectives which feature in the EASAC study can be achieved by 2030 is questionable, and the description of the tools necessary to achieve the objectives is incomplete. Among other things, there is hardly any mention of the role played by precision farming with digitalization, which is a revolutionary change from an ecological and economic point of view, in reducing the use of synthetic inputs, in regenerating the original state of the soil, in reducing GHG emissions, thus in increasing biodiversity, and at the same time in intensifying production, and finally in expanding the application of biotechnology. We examine these areas in our analysis. Some of the objectives of the EASAC study to be achieved by 2030 are subject to debate, and the description of the information and communication conditions necessary to achieve the objectives is incomplete. The IoT (Internet of Things) responds to global and local challenges: it integrates the precision technologies, WSNs (Wireless Sensor Networks), artificial intelligence, mobile field (Smart Small Robots) and remote data loggers (UAVs: Unmanned Air Vehicles and satellites), Big Data, and cloud computing. Consequently, decision support is increasingly developing into unmanned decision making. IoT (Internet of Things) is the basis of “Farm to Fork” and “Lab to Field” monitoring approaches.

This article evaluates the implementation of European Green Agreement objectives in light of energy and food security risks arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict. While overall support for the agreement exists, the feasibility of certain EASAC study objectives by 2030 is called into question due to insufficient tools specifications. Notably absent is the emphasis on precision farming with digitalization, which is a transformative ecological and economic practice. Our analyses look into its function in reducing synthetic inputs, soil regeneration, GHG emission reduction, biodiversity enhancement, production intensification, and biotechnology development. Debates surround EASAC study objectives for 2030, despite limited information and communication restrictions. The Internet of Things (IoT) arises as a solution, combining precision technology, WSNs (wireless sensor networks), AI (artificial intelligence), smart small robots, UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), satellites, big data, and cloud computing. As a result, decision support turns toward unmanned decision-making, with IoT laying the groundwork for “Farm to Fork” and “Lab to Field” monitoring systems.

Open access

The use of organic fertilization is declining in Hungary due to the sharp fall of livestock stand since the middle of the 1980s. Most farmers are forced to use solely chemical crop enhancers. A bifactorial small plot experiment was carried out between 10 May 2023 and 19 October 2023 in Keszthely, in order to examine the effects of farmyard manure (M), green manure (GM) and stem residues (SR) on the nutrient uptake and nitrogen utilization efficiencies of maize at equidistantly increasing (0–70–140–210–280 kg N ha–1) nitrogen doses. The relationship between some vegetative traits (dry biomass weight, Leaf Area Index (LAI)) and yield, furthermore leaf relative water content (RWC) was also examined. According to the results, organic fertilizer substitution significantly increased the N content both in whole plant and grain samples of NPK+M and NPK+GM+SR treatments, compared to the chemically fertilized control (NPK). In case of P and K only slight differences were observed. Whole plant K contents of NPK+M were significantly higher than in the other treatments (P = 0.045; P = 0,005), furthermore P contents in grain samples were significantly higher in NPK+M (P = 0.004) and NPK+GM+SR (P = 0.05) than in control. Harvest index (HI [%]) of NPK+M and NPK+GM+SR were 1.06 and 1.05 times higher than in NPK. Depending on the treatment, P0023 maize hybrid absorbed 58.7–74.64% of total N uptake in the grain (HIN%), and the utilization of 1 kg N fertilizer for the extra yield above the yield of the individual control was 0.39–1.38 kg (AREN). Significant positive correlations were observed between dry biomass weight and yield (NPK: r = 0.937, P = 0.019; NPK+M: r = 0.971, P = 0.006; NPK+GM+SR: r = 0.88, P = 0.049), furthermore LAI and yield (NPK: r = 0.9, P = 0.037; NPK+M: r = 0.983, P = 0.003; NPK+GM+SR: r = 0.784, P = 0.117). Highest RWC values – which may be related to better soil aggregate stability – were measured in NPK+GM+SR treatment, therefore there may be a great potential in this treatment among drought conditions. The effect of organic amendments is particularly noticeable with smaller nitrogen doses so they should be used to reduce inorganic fertilizer application and the resulting environmental risks.

Open access

Abstract

Chinese onion (Allium chinense G. Don) is an edible vegetable as well as a traditional Chinese medicine. It is rich in steroidal saponins and possesses broad health benefits. In this study, the optimal extraction protocol of the total saponins from Chinese onion (ACS) was explored, and the content of the total steroidal saponins in ACS reached 56.62%. Network pharmacology was applied to predict the related signalling pathways and targets between the main phytochemicals in ACS and hypercholesterolaemia. Enrichment analysis showed that ACS might intervene hypercholesterolaemia through the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. Meanwhile, cholesterol-lowering effects were verified by ACS intervention in high-cholesterol diet-induced hypercholesterolaemia in Kunming mice. Compared with the model group, the TC and LDL-C levels of mice were decreased and the HDL-C level increased significantly after administration of ACS at a dose of 200 mg kg−1 day−1. The body weight gain, liver index, and atherosclerosis index all decreased dramatically. ACS could significantly reduce the fat content in the liver and reduce the number of fat droplets from the haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining of mouse liver. The immunohistochemical staining indicated that ACS could up-regulate the expression of PI3K protein in the liver, thus playing an anti-hypercholesterolaemic role. This study indicated that ACS exhibited significant therapeutic and preventive effects on hypercholesterolaemia, and exerted anti-hypercholesterolaemia through the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway.

Open access

Abstract

Nutritional problems can be seen in children living separated from their families. This cross-sectional pilot study aimed to evaluate intuitive eating, diet quality, and nutritional status of children living separated from their families. A total of 55 adolescent girls aged 12–18 years participated in the study. Anthropometric measurements, biochemical data, and 24-h dietary recall data were collected. The Intuitive Eating Scale-2 (IES-2) and the Turkish version of the Healthy Lifestyle-Diet (HLD-TR) index were used. Participants were divided into two groups according to their scores on the diet quality index using the 50th percentile. Group 1 consisted of participants with a score of 25 points or less, and Group 2 consisted of participants with a score above 25 points. Waist circumference (72.0 (66–83), 65.0 (60–77)) was significantly higher in Group 1 (P < 0.05). IES–2 score (3.05 (2.85–3.40), 3.30 (3.12–3.90)) and two sub–factors; reliance in hunger and satiety cues (2.80 (1.80–3.40), 4.00 (2.60–4.60)) and body–food choice congruence (2.50 (2.00–3.50), 3.50 (3.00–4.50)) were higher in Group 2 (P < 0.05). After adjustment for body mass index, age, and energy intake, there was a significant positive correlation between IES-2 and HLD-TR scores (P = 0.029). In conclusion, it may be advantageous to resort to strategies that promote intuitive eating to reduce obesity and associated problems in this vulnerable group.

Open access
European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors:
Navid Dashti
,
Forough Golsaz-Shirazi
,
Haleh Soltanghoraee
,
Amir-Hassan Zarnani
,
Mehdi Mohammadi
,
Danyal Imani
,
Mahmood Jeddi-Tehrani
,
Mohammad Mehdi Amiri
, and
Fazel Shokri

Abstract

Background

Waning immunity and emergence of new variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), highlight the need for further research in vaccine development.

Methods

A recombinant fusion protein containing the receptor-binding domain (RBD) fused to the human IgG1 Fc (RBD-Fc) was produced in CHO-K1 cells. RBD-Fc was emulsified with four adjuvants to evaluate its immunogenicity. The RBD-specific humoral and cellular immune responses were assessed by ELISA. The virus neutralizing potency of the vaccine was investigated using four neutralization methods. Safety was studied in mice and rabbits, and Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE) effects were investigated by flow cytometry.

Results

RBD-Fc emulsified in Alum induced a high titer of anti-RBD antibodies with remarkable efficacy in neutralizing both pseudotyped and live SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant. The neutralization potency dropped significantly in response to the Omicron variant. RBD-Fc induced both TH2 and particularly TH1 immune responses. Histopathologic examinations demonstrated no substantial pathologic changes in different organs. No changes in serum biochemical and hematologic parameters were observed. ADE effect was not observed following immunization with RBD-Fc.

Conclusion

RBD-Fc elicits highly robust neutralizing antibodies and cellular immune responses, with no adverse effects. Therefore, it could be considered a promising and safe subunit vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

Open access

Abstract

Acquired benign tracheoesophageal fistulas and bronchoesophageal fistulas (TEF) are typically associated with granulomatous mediastinal infections, 75% of which are iatrogenic. Candida albicans and Actinomyces are commonly occurring organisms, but are uncommon etiologies of TEF. Normal colonization and the slow growth characteristics of some species of these agents rarely result in infection, mycetoma, and broncholithiasis, and thus, delays in diagnosis and treatment are likely. Few reports describe C. albicans or Actinomyces spp. as the etiology of TEF or broncholithiasis. Herein, we report a case of benign acquired TEF secondary to coinfection of Candida and Actinomyces complicated by the formation of an actinomycetoma and broncholithiasis and a comprehensive literature review to highlight the unique nature of this presentation and offer a diagnostic algorithm for diagnosis and treatment of TEFs. Following a presentation of three months of productive cough, choking sensation, night sweats, and weight loss, a bronchoscopy revealed a fistulous connection between the esophagus and the posterior right middle lobe. Pathology identified a calcified fungus ball and a broncholith secondary to the co-infection of Candida and Actinomyces. This unique presentation of Candida and Actinomyces co-infection and the associated diagnostic algorithm are presented as education and a useful tool for clinicians.

Open access

Xanthoria ectaneoides, usually recognised by its secondary sublobules, is circumscribed in a strict sense using spore size and a molecular phylogeny based on ITS-sequences. The species, earlier considered a synonym of X. aureola, forms a subclade with X. coomae and the new species X. pylyporlykii, described here, whereas X. aureola is positioned in the Xanthoria calcicola subclade. The new species X. pylyporlykii is characterised by a combination of characters typical either for Xanthoria ectaneoides or X. coomae.

Open access

New Records for the Bryophyte Flora of Vietnam, 5

Epihyllous liverworts of Tam Đảo Mountains, Vietnam

Acta Botanica Hungarica
Author:
T. Pócs

In November 1998, guided by Prof. Trấn Ninh we revisited the Tam Đảo mountain range, extensively researched by him before. Since than it was converted into a National Park, with areas stretching to three provinces, Vĩnh Phúc, Thái Nguyên, and Tuyên Quang. The previous collections indicated that many more novelties can be expected from there. As a result, we collected 38 epiphyllous liverwort species. Among these 6 were new to the flora of Vietnam: Cololejeunea fructu-marginata, C. papillosa, C. spathulifolia, Colura bisvoluta, Lejeunea dipterota and Microlejeunea sechuanensis. One species is new to science: Cololejeunea dinhensis. Furthermore, Cololejeunea rotundilobula proved to be a new synonym of Cololejeunea sigmoidea.

Open access

Abstract

Infectious diseases pose a formidable global challenge, compounded by the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Consequently, researchers are actively exploring novel antimicrobial compounds as potential solutions. This endeavor underscores the pivotal role of methods employed for screening and evaluating antimicrobial activity—a critical step in discovery and characterization of antimicrobial agents. While traditional techniques such as well-diffusion, disk-diffusion, and broth-dilution are commonly utilized in antimicrobial assays, they may encounter limitations concerning reproducibility and speed. Additionally, a diverse array of antimicrobial assays including cross-streaking, poisoned-food, co-culture, time-kill kinetics, resazurin assay, bioautography, etc., are routinely employed in antimicrobial evaluations. Advanced techniques such as flow-cytometry, impedance analysis, and bioluminescent technique may offer rapid and sensitive results, providing deeper insights into the impact of antimicrobials on cellular integrity. However, their higher cost and limited accessibility in certain laboratory settings may present challenges. This article provides a comprehensive overview of assays designed to characterize antimicrobial activity, elucidating their underlying principles, protocols, advantages, and limitations. The primary objective is to enhance understanding of the methodologies designed for evaluating antimicrobial agents in our relentless battle against infectious diseases. By selecting the appropriate antimicrobial testing method, researchers can discern suitable conditions and streamline the identification of effective antimicrobial agents.

Open access