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The purpose of this research was to monitor the changes during storage in survival of bifidobacteria in a soft-frozen ice cream supplemented with a yeast cell wall-based product claimed to contribute to the functioning of the immune system. An ice cream mix was prepared and pasteurised. After overnight aging at 4 °C, it was inoculated with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bb-12. Two batches of the mix were supplemented with a commercial Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall product at 2.0% and 4.0% (w/w), whereas a third batch was left unsupplemented and served as control. The final mixes were frozen, and the three products were stored at –13 °C for 7 days. The ice creams contained viable bifidobacteria cells at levels exceeding 106 CFU g–1 throughout the storage throughout the storage period. Although the yeast supplement decreased the loss of viability of bifidobacteria during frozen storage of ice creams, it imparted a slightly bitter off-flavour to the samples and it also negatively influenced the original white colour of the product, thereby necessitating further work to develop flavoured varieties of the Saccharomyces cell wall-containing synbiotic ice cream.

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A total of 146 Pasteurella multocida strains isolated from swine in Hungary in the last 20 years were examined. Biochemical characterisation and PCR-based techniques were used to determine species, subspecies, biovar, capsule type and presence of the toxA gene. Eighty-seven percent of the isolates belonged to P. multocida ssp. multocida , and 98% of these had biovar 3 or were trehalose-or lactose-fermenting or ornithine decarboxylase negative variants of that. Ten percent of the strains were P. multocida ssp. septica , and within this group 80% of the strains showed sorbitol-negative biovars (5, 6 and 7). The rest of the strains (20%) were lactose positive. Only 3% of the porcine isolates were P. multocida ssp. gallicida and 3 out of the 4 strains belonged to the dulcitol-fermenting biovar 8. Using a capsule-specific multiplex PCR, 60% of the strains belonged to capsule type D, 38% to capsule type A, and only 1 isolate had capsule type F. In contrast with data published in the literature, only 3% of capsule type D isolates carried the toxA gene, while this ratio was 41% for the type A strains. A remarkable regional distribution of toxA gene positive strains was observed. All but two isolates were found in swine herds located in the Transdanubian region, separated from other parts of Hungary by the river Danube.

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Authors: T. Szabados, L. Varga, T. Bakács and Gábor Tusnády

Current wisdom describes the immune system as a defense against microbial pathogens. It is claimed that the virgin immune system has a capacity to produce antibodies against the entire antigenic universe. We assume, by contrast, that the responding capacity of the immune system is limited. Thus it cannot stand in readiness to deal with a practi- cally endless diversity and abundance of microbes. Axioms and theorems are suggested for a mathematician audience delineating how the immune system could use its limited resources economically. It is suggested that the task of the immune system is twofold: (i) It sustains homeostasis to preserve the genome by constant surveillance of the intracellular antigenic milieu. This is achieved by standardization of the T cell repertoire through a positive selection. The driving force of positive selection is immune cell survival. T cells must constantly seek contact with complementary MHC structures to survive. Such contact is based on molecular complementarity between immune cell receptors and MHC/self-peptide complexes. At the highest level of complementarity a local free energy minimum is achieved, thus a homeostatic system is created. Homeostatic interactions happen at intermediate afinity and are reversible. Alteration in the presented peptides typically decreases complementarity. That pushes the system away from the free energy minimum, which activates T cells. Complementarity is restored when cytotoxic T cells destroy altered (mutated/infected) host cells. (ii) B cells carry out an immune response to foreign proteins what requires a change in the genome. B cells raised under the antigenic in uence of the normal intestinal micro o- ra, self-proteins and alimentary antigens must go through a hypermutation process to be able to produce specific antibodies. It has a certain probability that hypermutation will successfully change the genome in some clones to switch from low afinity IgM antibody production to high afinity IgG production. Interactions (typically antibody antigen reac- tions) in an immune response happen at high afinity and are irreversible. High afinity clones will be selected, stimulated and enriched by the invading microbes. A complete account of the course of an infectious disease must also include a descrip- tion of the ecology of the immune response. It is therefore suggested that during prolonged interaction between host and infectious organism, carried on across many generations, the adaptive antibody population may facilitate the evolution of the natural antibody reper- toire, in accordance with the Baldwin effect in the evolution of instinct (see Appendix 6).

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Authors: J. Varga, R. Kiss, T. Mátrai, T. Mátrai and J. Téren

Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium species. This mycotoxin is a common contaminant of various food products including cereal products, spices, dried fruits, coffee, beer and wine. Besides cereal products, beer and wine contribute significantly to ochratoxin exposure of humans. We examined the ochratoxin content of Hungarian wines and beers using an immunochemical technique. The detection limit of this technique is 0.01mg l-1. Altogether 65 wine and 25 beer samples were analysed. The presence of ochratoxin A was confirmed by HPLC in positive samples. Ochratoxin A was detected in 97.7% of wines, with ochratoxin concentrations ranging from 0 to 0.533mg l-1. The mean ochratoxin A concentration in wines was 0.110mg l-1. Only one of the Hungarian wines examined contained more than 0.5mg l-1ochratoxin A, the previously suggested EU limit for wine. Our data indicate that red wines are more frequently contaminated, and have higher mean ochratoxin contamination (0.117mg ml-1) than white wines (0.0967mg ml-1), in accordance with previous observations. A North-South gradient in wine ochratoxin concentrations is not evident from our data. For beers, all but one of the samples was found to be contaminated with small amounts of ochratoxin A with a mean concentration of 0.127mg l-1(range: 0.030-0.250mg l-1). Only one of the beers contained ochratoxin A above 0.2mg l-1, the anticipated European Community maximum allowable limit in beer. We could not detect correlation between the type and origin of beer and ochratoxin contamination.

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The purpose of this work was to determine the individual and combined effects of insecticide Sumithion 50 EC (50% fenitrothion) and herbicide Fusilade S (12.5% fluazifop-P-butyl) on the development of pheasant embryos. Eggs were treated by injection of various concentrations of pesticides into the air space on day 12 of incubation. Pathological examination of embryos was carried out on day 23 of the hatching period. Mortality rate, body weight data and morphological alterations were evaluated after the macroscopic examination. The skeletal staining method was used to detect deformities. The two pesticides used in combination moderated the toxic/teratogenic effects of individual treatment.

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The impacts of climate modification were examined in terms of changes in the stress tolerance of winter wheat varieties. The enzyme reactions of two winter wheat varieties to drought stress, simulated by water withholding in three different phenophases, were analysed in a phytotron experiment in the Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Plants were raised either at ambient CO2 level or at twice this concentration. The quantities of glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) were determined from leaf samples collected at the end of the drought treatment.The results showed that antioxidant enzymes may help to counterbalance the reactive oxygen species induced by stress during various stages of the vegetation period. Although there were substantial differences in the changes induced in the activity of individual enzymes by modifications in environmental factors, this activity and its response to stress depended not only on these factors, but also on the developmental stage of the plant. Modifications in enzyme activity could indicate that enhanced CO2 concentration delayed the development of drought stress up to first node appearance, and stimulated antioxidant enzyme activity when drought occurred during ripening.

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Authors: L. Várnagy, P. Budai, Á. Zaják, T. Varga and E. Molnár

Toxicological studies on wild animals play an important role in the ecotoxicological examination of pesticides. The applied model tests enable the assessment of toxicological consequences with particular regard to the life and nutrition of wild animals in the ploughed field among plants treated with pesticides. The application of different pesticide formulations on plough-land may pose a simultaneous chemical burden to wild birds. In this model study, manifestations of the interaction between an insecticide and a herbicide were studied in pheasants. The birds were placed on lucerne in cages (48 m2) and sprayed once. The applied doses were: Sumithion 50 EC 1 litre/ha + Fusilade S 6 litres/ha (practical doses) and Sumithion 50 EC 5 litres/ha + Fusilade S 30 litres/ha. The analytically determined pesticide concentration of the lucerne was taken as a basis in the further treatment of fodder. The fodder of pheasants contained the following chemicals: 85 mg/kg Sumithion 50 EC + 510 mg/kg Fusilade S and 425 mg/kg Sumithion 50 EC + 2250 mg/kg Fusilade S. Sporadic deaths observed among the pheasants were of traumatic origin and not due to a toxic effect. The decrease of body weight was significant only at the higher dose levels. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity of the blood decreased significantly in both dose groups. On the basis of the results obtained it can be established that at the dose level used in the practice the pesticides studied do not give rise to a toxic interaction in pheasants.

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Four important Hungarian common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) breeds (Attala mirror, Attala scaled, Hortobágy scaled and Szeged mirror) harvested from different fish farms were analysed in this study. Main body indices, slaughter characteristics, fillet fat content, and conventional fish flesh quality characteristics were measured and compared. The slaughter value of the mirror strains tended to exceed that of the scaled type carps. For the calculated body indices (profile, cross-sectional, head and tail index) the influence of strain was statistically proven. Fillet fat content was significantly (P<0.01) affected by strains/ponds. The pH value of the fillet was significantly influenced by the strain as a fixed factor. Large, strain dependent variability was proven in fat content besides identical fillet dry matter contents. It was assumed that culture conditions and strain largely influence and lead to a marked variability of the body composition and flesh quality of the most important Hungarian fish species.

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Type I resistance is a significant and powerful resistance component. Spraying inoculation covers reactions to both Type I and Type II. A significant synergetic effect was detected between Type I and Type II QTLs. It seems that Type I resistance at present cannot be directly measured, only as a difference between point and spraying inoculation. However, this does not influence the success of the selection. For breeding the spraying methodology is more suitable as it considers much wider genetic background than the point inoculation does. The highest resistance in the Szeged program was achieved by the use of exotic spring wheat sources in winter wheat, but excellent agronomy types were identified at a relative low ratio. Good or excellent resistance can be identified at a low rate in breeding material without exotic FHB resistance sources, but their agronomy value is much better. Ratio of high resistance is frequent in winter wheat lines created form winter and spring wheat resistance sources. An efficient phenotypic selection is inevitable. Repeatability of the test is generally good or excellent; LSD values are normally less than 10 % of the variation width. FDK and toxin measurements are integrant part of the program since 35 and 20 years, respectively. Several methodical considerations are discussed.

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Preparation and investigations of polyimides III

Thermal investigation of the imidization of polyamide acid powders

Authors: J. Varga, T. Meisel, K. Belina and J. Balla

Polyamide acid powders of pyromellitic dianhydride and 4,4′-diaminodiphenyl ether base were prepared in tetrahydrofuran, in the heterogeneous phase. The imidization of these powders was investigated by thermogravimetric, calorimetric and mass-spectrometric methods.

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