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Authors: Anja DÖrschug, Julian Schwanbeck, Andreas Hahn, Anke Hillebrecht, Sabine Blaschke, Uwe Groß, Markus M. Heimesaat, Hagen Frickmann and Andreas E. Zautner

Abstract

Introduction

To efficiently monitor the COVID-19 pandemic for surveillance purposes, reliable serological rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are desirable for settings where well-established high-throughput bench-top solutions are not available. Here, we have evaluated such an RDT.

Methods

We have assessed the Xiamen AmonMed Biotechnology COVID-19 IgM/IgG test kit (Colloidal gold) and the EUROIMMUN benchtop assay with serum samples from patients with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed COVID-19 disease. Samples from patients with Epstein-Barr-virus (EBV) infection and blood donors were used for specificity testing.

Results

For the colloid gold rapid test and the EUROIMMUN assay, the study indicated overall sensitivity of 15.2% and 67.4%, respectively, while specificity of 99.0% and 97.9% with the blood donor sera, as well as 100% and 96.8% with the EBV-patients, were observed, respectively. An association of the time period between positive PCR results and serum acquisition with serological test positivity could be observed for the immunologlobulin G subclass of the EUROIMMUN assay only.

Conclusions

In spite of acceptable specificity of the assessed RDT, the detected poor sensitivity leaves room for improvement. The test results remain difficult to interpret and therefore the RDT can currently not be recommended for routine diagnostic or surveillance use.

Open access

Abstract

Infections with multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria including carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae are emerging worldwide but are difficult to treat with the currently available antibiotic compounds and therefore constitute serious threats to human health. This prompted us to perform a literature survey applying the MEDLINE database and Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials including clinical trials comparing different treatment regimens for infections caused by carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae. Our survey revealed that a combined application of antibiotic compounds such as meropenem plus vaborbactam, meropenem plus colistin and carbapenem plus carbapenem, resulted in significantly increased clinical cure and decreased mortality rates as compared to respective control treatment. However, further research on novel antibiotic compounds, but also on antibiotic-independent molecules providing synergistic or at least resistance-modifying properties needs to be undertaken in vitro as well as in large clinical trials to provide future options in the combat of emerging life-threatening infections caused by MDR bacteria.

Open access
Authors: Dorothea Wiemer, Norbert Georg Schwarz, Gerd-Dieter Burchard, Hagen Frickmann, Ulrike Loderstaedt and Ralf-Matthias Hagen

Abstract

Diarrhoea is a frequent symptom associated with travelling to tropical regions, but the cause is often not found. Epidemiology was assessed including up-to-date real-time PCR approaches.

We analysed datasets of 528 patients who presented at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, between 2006 and 2010 for screening purposes or because of diarrhoea. Stool samples were obtained and investigated by microscopy, bacterial culture, two PCR assays targeting Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar, Giardia duodenalis, and Cryptosporidium parvum, or Salmonella spp., Shigella/EIEC spp., Campylobacter jejuni, and Yersinia spp.

Among patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, 51% tested positive for bacteria or parasites, of which 66% had a known enteropathogenic potential. In patients without diarrhoea, 53% (n = 80) were positive, and 33% of these cases harboured agents of pathogenic potential. Association with clinical symptoms was primarily found for bacterial infections. Blastocystis hominis, however, was more frequent in asymptomatic than in symptomatic travellers.

In conclusion, the study stresses the etiological relevance of bacterial gastroenteritis in travellers returning from the tropics, the need for molecular approaches to increase diagnostic sensitivity and demonstrates that asymptomatic carriage of enteropathogens after prolonged stays in the tropics is similarly frequent compared with symptomatic infections in travellers.

Open access

The northern of Khuzestan province in Iran is mainly considered as one of the major areas of miniature rose production. Blossom blight caused by Botrytis cinerea has recently become a serious limiting factor in rose production in pre and post-harvest. In current study, an attempt was made to evaluate the inhibitory potential of some local Trichoderma spp. strains against B. cinerea under in vitro and in vivo conditions. The in vitro results showed that all Trichoderma spp. strains were significantly able to reduce the mycelial growth of the pathogen in dual culture, volatile and non-volatile compounds tests compared with control, with superiority of T. atroviride Tsafi than others. Under in vivo condition, the selected strain of T. atroviride Tsafi had much better performance than T. harzianum IRAN 523C in reduction of disease severity compared with the untreated control. Overall, the findings of this study showed that the application of Trichoderma-based biocontrol agents such as T. atroviride Tsafi can be effective to protect cut rose flowers against blossom blight.

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The performance of a semisynthetic bisexual lure (SBL, containing isoamyl alcohol, acetic acid and red wine) previously found attractive for a number of noctuids was compared with that of the respective synthetic sex attractants of Orthosia cerasi (=stabilis), O. cruda, O. gothica, O. incerta, Anorthoa munda and Conistra vaccini. The respective sex attractants performed significantly better in the Orthosia spp. than the SBL lure, which, although regularly catching low numbers of both females and males, did not differ significantly from zero catch in unbaited control traps. On the other hand, the SBL lure performed as well as the sex attractant in C. vaccini. Sizeable catches of C. rubiginea, C. rubiginosa and C. erythrocephala were also recorded in traps with the SBL lure. The SBL lure can prove to be a useful tool in ecological and faunistical studies of Conistra and related hibernating Xylenini species.

Open access

Aceria bambusae ChannaBasavanna, 1966 is reported from Hungary for the first time. The species was collected from the leaf sheaths of the introduced bamboo species, Phyllostachys rubromarginata McClure and Phyllostachys tianmuensis Z.P. Wang et N.X. Ma (both Poaceae) in Hungary. Morphological differences distinguishing this species from other bambusoid inhabiting congeners are discussed. In addition, new date-locality-host records for 3 eriophyoid species collected from 7 bamboo species are given.

Open access

Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman, 1889 (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) has three distinctive reproductive modes: arrhenotokous, thelytokous and deuterotokous. This experiment was focused on the arrhenotokous leek-(L1) and tobacco-associated (T) T. tabaci lineages. These two lineages are distinctively varied genetically and in host adaptations. L1 and T lineages perform better on leek and tobacco plants, respectively. Fighting occurs between males when they compete for food, mating, and oviposition sites. The aim of this research was to examine the fighting behaviour and characterize the fighting elements of males in L1 and T lineages. The experiment was performed in the laboratory by using a Euromex VC.3036 video camera and each experiment was recorded for a duration of 10 minutes. Transparent PCR tube caps formed the arena to observe the fighting interactions in both lineages. A total of 40 video recordings have been observed and each recording had a different arena. The fighting performance was observed at 2, 5, 8, 10, 12 days old specimens in four replications. This result has shown L1 lineage had better fighting performance and a more aggressive fighting ability than T lineage. Antennal bouts, jumping, flipping, stabbing and pitching are the most commonly observed fighting elements.

Open access

Aculus epiphyllus (Nalepa, 1892) is reported from green ash in Europe for the first time. Ash rust mite has never been found on green ash, and we therefore re-describe and illustrate the female and male, and describe the nymph. The species was collected from the underside of the leaflets of the introduced ash species, Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall (Oleaceae) in Hungary.

Open access

Powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) is a major fungal disease of barley causing economical yield losses worldwide. Breeding for resistance to this disease is crucial due to the rapid change in pathotype patterns of B. graminis in fields. In the present work, powdery mildew-resistant barley germplasm was developed by crossing four cultivars currently used in Europe and West Asia. Out of 265 doubled haploid lines derived from these crosses, 40 lines were evaluated at seedling and adult stages. Data showed significant differences among barley lines with a continuum of resistance levels ranging from highly susceptible to tolerant which were consistent during the two growth stages. Two promising lines were more tolerant to powdery disease than the others. Across lines, there was a high correlation between field and greenhouse reaction (r=0.80, P<0.01), indicating the utility of greenhouse evaluations for screening barley for powdery mildew. This study suggests that, the newly identified resistance lines can serve as potential donors for ongoing powdery mildew resistance breeding program, and both types of seedling and adult plant resistance identified here can offer promising genetic stocks for accumulating both resistances to acquire durable resistance and long lasting control against B. graminis in Mediterranean and similar environments.

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