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Abstract

Until recently, little was known about the mechanism for killing and clearing bacteria from the bloodstream. Leukocyte phagocytosis could not be a mechanism for catching, killing and removing bacteria from the bloodstream because of many reasons. Recently accumulated data have led to the conclusion that in bacteremia, bacteria are quickly removed from the blood and erythrocytes are the main cells that capture, kill and remove bacteria. Data were also obtained that erythrocytes catch bacteria by triboelectric charge attraction and kill them by oxygen released from oxyhemoglobin. This phenomenon has been named oxycytosis by analogy with the term phagocytosis. Oxycytosis has been discussed in a number of published articles, but the specific mechanism of triboelectric charging and the mechanism of killing bacteria by oxidation, have not yet been detailed. The purpose of this review is to provide a more detailed explanation of the process of triboelectric charging and capture of bacteria by erythrocytes and destruction of bacteria by oxidation. For the first time, the review presents various variants of oxycytosis (two-stage, three-stage, multi-stage), depending on the resistance of the pathogen to oxidation. The review also discusses the biological significance of oxycytosis and its impact on the understanding of bacteremia and sepsis.

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Abstract

As antimicrobial resistance poses a globally rising health problem, the identification of alternative antimicrobial agents is urgently required. The short chain fatty acid propionate which is physiologically produced by the gut microbiota constitutes a promising molecule given that it has been widely used as a cosmetics and food preservative due to its antimicrobial effects. This literature survey aims to determine the most recent state of knowledge about the antimicrobial and immune-modulatory properties of propionate. Both in vitro and in vivo studies published between 2011 and 2020 confirmed the ability of propionate to inhibit the growth of several cellular pathogens, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative multi-drug resistant bacteria and fungi. In addition, heterogenous immune-modulatory and in particular, anti-inflammatory effects of propionate could be assessed involving a diverse signaling network that needs further comprehension. In conclusion, our literature survey provides evidence that propionate displays a plethora of health-beneficial including antimicrobial and immune-modulatory effects. Future research is required to further unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms and to set the basis for in vivo infection and clinical studies to broaden the path of propionate as a promising adjunct antibiotics-independent option in the combat of infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria.

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Acrolejeunea aulacophora (Mont.) Steph. is recorded for the first time in Asia. It was earlier known from Africa, Australia and New Caledonia. A detailed description with figures and a photographic plate is provided.

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Drepanolejeunea clavicornis and D. friesii were previously synonymised with D. physaefolia or all of them with D. vesiculosa. In the meantime, Drepanolejeunea vandenberghenii was described from the same species group, as new. In this paper many African specimens are compared with the original descriptions of the above species. Morphological investigations of these and their distributional patterns suggested that the former synonymisation was not justified. In addition, a new, rheophytic species from the same group: Drepanolejeunea vanderpoortenii, is described, as new to science. As a result, from the taxa related to Drepanolejeunea vesiculosa, now six species are recognised from Africa, including its Indian Ocean islands. For these 6 morphotaxa an identification key is provided. The results need confirmation by a future molecular analysis.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: K. T. Kiss, Zs. Trábert, and M. Duleba
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A new species similar to Bryocrumia vivicolor, the only known species in the genus Bryocrumia, is described as Bryocrumia malabarica spec. nova from the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats of Kerala in Peninsular India. It resembles Homalia in external appearance and was collected in a rheophytic habitat along a stream channel in the evergreen forest. The new species is characterised by closely arranged leaves with distinct tricostate, ovate-rounded to truncate leaves, upper margin of leaf rounded with fine serrations and an inconspicuous central strand in stem cross section.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: S. Y. Kondratyuk, L. P. Popova, O. Y. Khodosovtsev, L. Lőkös, N. M. Fedorenko, and N. V. Kapets

The “Fourth checklist of lichen-forming and lichenicolous fungi of Ukraine”, including 2150 accepted scientific names based on published records as well as analysis of current additions are provided. Current additions include 439 taxa newly recorded for Ukraine after the third checklist of lichens of Ukraine by and 262 nomenclatural novelties. Annotations to each taxon of 318 newly recorded to Ukraine are provided in the style of the second checklist by Kondratyuk et al. (1998), i.e. data on phytogeographical regions and administrative districts (oblasts) of Ukraine as well as references to published papers are provided. Among current additions 99 taxa were annotated in the Checklist of lichenicolous fungi of Ukraine by Darmostuk and Khodosovtsev (2017) and consequent references to the latter are provided.

The conclusion confirms the earlier recommendation that national checklists of lichens are to be re-published more often than once a decade.

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Cytogenetic studies on four species of vascular coastal and water plants from Russian Far East are presented. During the present investigation the next chromosome numbers have been revealed: Gypsophila pacifica (2 n = 34), Allium sacculiferum (2 n = 32), Mertensia maritima (2 n = 24), and Nelumbo komarovii (2 n = 16). Unusual chromosome numbers for these species have not been noted but it was the first case of karyological studies of Nelumbo komarovii from the Jewish Autonomous Region and most northern habitat. The number of nucleoli in interphase nuclei of these species was counted. Interphase nuclei of studied species contain 1–4 nucleoli except in A. sacculiferum so far which have 1–2 nucleoli per cell. Different points of view on polyploidy of studied species are discussed.

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Hydroxycitric acid made the genus Garcinia economically important. Genetic and chemical diversity has been studied in Garcinia species using molecular markers, HCA and antioxidant activity. Nine species were collected and screened for molecular diversity and six were subjected to analyse antioxidant and HCA content and its interspecies variability. A total of 129, 125 and 89 bands with polymorphism of 78.74%, 78.4% and 93.36% were obtained using ISSR, RAPD and EST-SSR, respectively. The average PIC value obtained with ISSR, RAPD and EST-SSR markers was 0.9161, 0.9440 and 0.8903, respectively. Determined HCA content by HILIC-HPLC system using 0.1% orthophosphoric acid and acetonitrile (30:70) as mobile phase in fruit powder of various Garcinia species was found to be significantly different. G. gummi-gutta, G. indica and G. xanthochymus are rich of HCA containing 12.44±1.04%, 7.92±0.83% and 6.3±0.286%, respectively. G. morella, G. talbotii and G. celebica contained very negligible amount of HCA, 0.023±0.012%, 0.083±0.034% and 0.34±0.013%, correspondingly. G. talbotii showed high antioxidant capacity (95.40±0.720). Below that G. indica and G. xanthochymus were showing significant amount of total phenols (1.23±0.015 and 1.07±0.008), flavonoids (11.17±0.075 and 12.35±0.219) and antioxidant activity (90.73±0.976 and 91.37±0.854). Correlation analysis found significant association between molecular and chemical variation indicating influence of genetic background on the observed HCA and antioxidant profiles. The conducted analysis showed the most distinct species at the genetic and chemical levels were G. gummi-gutta, G. indica and G. xanthochymus. This study signifies the utility of molecular and chemical fingerprints for commercial exploitation of HCA from Garcinia species.

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Genetic relationships among 24 genotypes of Hyophila involuta collected from five different natural populations of Mount Abu (Rajasthan) is analysed using RAPD and SSR markers. Based on efficiency parameters calculated for each marker system such as polymorphic information content (RAPD = 0.34; SSR = 0.66), marker index (RAPD = 2.78; SSR = 2.62) and resolving power (RAPD = 8.13; SSR = 2.23), the RAPD marker system shows higher values for some indices but microsatellites are more accurately reproducible than RAPD. Moreover, in case of the SSR, the average number of alleles was almost twice compared to RAPD. Mean coefficient of genetic differentiation between populations with RAPD was Gst = 0.269, while with SSR marker was Fst = 0.224. The UPGMA cluster analysis assembled genotypes into two main clusters with diverse levels of sub-clustering within the clusters. Also, the Mantel test showed no significant correlation between geographical and genetic distances. The observed moderately high genetic variability can be explained by efficient spore dispersal. Other factors such as reproductive mode, somatic mutation, continuous propagule recruitment and high degree of intermingling have great impact on the level of genetic variability in moss populations.

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Lichenes Delicati Exsiccati Editae of little, fine, special lichens is edited in honour of Antonín Vězda (1920–2008). The sixth fascicle of the exsiccate is consisted of 20 species of lichens and lichenicolous fungi and distributed to 12 lichen herbaria of the world. Collectors are J. Halda, G. Kantvilas, L. Lőkös, Z. Palice, N. Varga and E. Farkas.

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Two species of Lejeuneaceae, Drepanolejeunea spicata and Lejeunea stevensiana have been reported for the first time from Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, respectively. Both the species are poorly known in Indian bryoflora. Till now, the former one is known in India only through collection made by W. Giffith (JE-H3412) from an unknown locality of Assam, while the latter one has limited distribution in India and is known from Kerala, Sikkim and Darjeeling only. The detailed taxonomic descriptions and line drawing illustrations of both the species have been presented to assist with their future identification.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: H. Azizi, M. Sheidai, V. Mozaffarian, and Z. Noormohammadi

Tragopogon L. (Cichorioideae, Lactuceae, Scorzonerinae) is an Old World genus with 150 species. Pollen morphology has proved useful in the systematics of some genera and species of Asteraceae as well as in that of some of its genera and species. The pollen morphology of 24 taxa of the genus Tragopogon was investigated in detail by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The pollen grain type ranged from suboblate, oblate-spheroidal to prolate-spheroidal in equatorial view and hexagonal, obtuse-hexagonal to hexagonal-angular in polar view. In this study separation of the species of the sections Majores, Profundisulcati, Sosnovsky, Chromopappus, Rubriflori according to Flora Iranica is presented from the other species of Tragopogon. T. jezdianus, T. porphyrocephalus, T. rezaiyensis are suggested to belong to Rubriflori section. The results indicate that the palynological characters of the genus Tragopogon are valuable for taxonomic applications and are useful for classification.

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Combustion of fossil fuels by the on-road vehicles is major contributor of air pollution which affects the surrounding vegetation and their habitat in addition to human health hazards. Study on the concurrence between vehicular greenhouse gas emissions and associated plant community is important to assess the present day problem scenario on environmental equilibrium. An ecological analysis has been carried out from five locations along roadside of the suburban interiors to the highly vehicle congested urban areas of Kolkata megacity. Quantitative study on naturally grown road side vegetation covering seedlings of tree and shrubby species, herbaceous annuals and perennials along the suitable length of each study area was conducted following standard methodology. Increasing vehicular pollution shows reciprocal correlation with species richness and species diversity. From community structure analyses across the emission gradient it was revealed that a few species exhibited tolerance to withstand increasing air contamination by successful population growth. Nevertheless, the present study might be worthwhile in assessing ecological status of the local plant communities subjected to varying level of vehicle traffic.

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Two new species of Sclerococcum, viz. S. dendriscostictae and S. physciae, colonising members of Dendriscosticta, Physcia and Sticta, are described from Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh states of India, respectively. S. dendriscostictae colonising the host thallus as well as apothecial disc of Dendriscosticta and Sticta species is generally characterised by its small sized (0.1–0.4 mm) black apothecia, hyaline hymenium, paraphyses without dark apical caps, asci 8-spored, ascospores ellipsoid, hyaline at immature stage and brown at maturity, 1-septate, smooth walled, 9–10–11(–12) × (3–)3.8–5–6.1(–7) µm, while S. physciae colonising thallus of Physcia sp. is characterised by black, rounded to irregular sporodochia (40–100 µm diam.) having ellipsoid or angular, medium to dark brown, mostly simple, rarely 1-septate conidia [(5–)7.5– 10–11.7(–14) × (4–)4.7–5.8–6.9(–7) µm]. A key to known Indian taxa is also being provided.

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Abstract

Antibiotic resistance is endangering public health globally and gives reason for constant fear of virtually intractable bacterial infections. Given a limitation of novel antibiotic classes brought to market in perspective, it is indispensable to explore novel, antibiotics-independent ways to fight bacterial infections. In consequence, the antibacterial properties of natural compounds have gained increasing attention in pharmacological sciences. We here performed a literature survey regarding the antibacterial effects of capsaicin and its derivatives constituting natural compounds of chili peppers. The studies included revealed that the compounds under investigation exerted i.) both direct and indirect antibacterial properties in vitro depending on the applied concentrations and the bacterial strains under investigation; ii.) synergistic antibacterial effects in combination with defined antibiotics; iii.) resistance-modification via inhibition of bacterial efflux pumps; iv.) attenuation of bacterial virulence factor expression; and v.) dampening of pathogen-induced immunopathological responses. In conclusion, capsaicin and its derivatives comprise promising antimicrobial molecules which could complement or replace antibiotic treatment strategies to fight bacterial infections. However, a solid basis for subsequent clinical trials requires future investigations to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms and in particular pharmaceutical evaluations in animal infection models.

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Abstract

The excessive prescription of antibiotics has led to an increasing number of antimicrobial resistances, posing a major public health concern. Therefore, the pharmacological research has shifted its focus to the identification of natural compounds that exhibit anti-pathogenic properties without triggering antibiotic resistance. Butyrate has received increasing attention as a promising candidate for the treatment of bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly when antibiotic treatment is contraindicated. This literature survey summarizes recently investigated antibacterial and immune-modulatory effects of butyrate. This survey revealed that butyrate exerts direct antimicrobial effects against distinct strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Bacillus, and Staphylococcus species. In addition, in vitro and in vivo studies confirmed indirect antimicrobial effects of butyrate, which were exhibited via induction of host defensin production as well as by activation of innate and adaptive immune responses. Finally, the synergistic action of butyrate in combination with other antimicrobial compounds results in a striking clearance of bacterial pathogens. In conclusion, butyrate and its derivatives might be considered as promising antibacterial and immune-modulatory agents in order to tackle bacterial infections without antibiotics.

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The efficacy of single and combined application of Trichoderma harzianum and Pseudomonas fluorescens (CHA0) in the controlling of Meloidogyne javanica on tomato plants was evaluated under green house conditions. Seeds of the susceptible tomato cv. Early-Urbana were sown in clean plastic pots containing 1.5 kg steam sterilized soil. Four weeks after planting, the soil of each pot was infested with a suspension of 20 ml/kg soil of T. harzianum (106 spores/ ml) and a suspension of 15 ml/kg soil of P. fluorescens (CHA0) (108 CFU/ ml). Soil of other pots were infested with the two tested bio-agents together as a combined application. Seven days later, plants in all pots, except the controls, were inoculated with M. javanica at initial population densities of 1, 2 or 4 eggs/ cm3 soil. Sixty days after nematode inoculation, the parameters of plant growth and nematode reproduction were determined. Results showed that the nematode reproduction factor (Rf) on the plants infected with 1, 2 and 4 eggs/ cm3 decreased by 58, 63 and 31% after the single application of T. harzianum, 11, 33 and 12% after the single application of P. fluorescens (CHA0) and 43, 55 and 49% after the combined application of the bio-agents, respectively. Combined application of the two bio-agents was found to be the most effective in controlling the higher initial population density of the nematode (4 eggs/ cm3).

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Dr. Barnabás Nagy

(1921–2020), a naturalist, orthopterologist, agrozoologist and forward-looking ecologist covered a rich scientific career. In commemoration of his significant contribution to entomology, we attempt to shed some light on a selection of his achievements. While devoted to his chosen insect order, Orthoptera, he was sensitive also to problems coming from everyday’s practice in controlling pests in agriculture. Consequently, he dealt with various pest species, belonging to a variety of insect taxa (Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera). He always put the actual problem in ecological context. This may have helped him to recognize the need for an ecological approach in plant protection and to develop the pioneering concept of biological / ecological pest management, published in Hungarian, as early as in 1957. When arguing for his concept, he criticized the surplus usages of toxic pesticides and provided guidelines for facilitating the beneficial activity of the natural enemies of pests. This way he prepared the way for integrated pest management (IPM), preceding the international mainstream of his age. He held an active part in the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC), as a founder of the International Working Group of Ostrinia (IWGO), and was the Head of the Department of Zoology of the Plant Protection Institute, Budapest, Hungary. He held several positions in the Hungarian Entomological Society (President, vice-President, Secretary, committee member), to that society he was engaged for 80 years. Here we cite only some of his most important, original entomological papers. He regularly published also in journals for popular science and gave lectures for the young generations of entomologists.

Curriculum vitae in a nutshell

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Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) is a popular ornamental plant cultivated all over the world. It is grown in beds, pots and used as cut-flower in making bouquets and for decoration in ceremonial functions. Gerbera has been commercially cultivated by a large number of growers in India as a primary source of income, therefore, has high socioeconomic impact in floriculture industry. The gerbera cultivation areas in India are increasing day by day due to its uses and the market demands. Its cultivation has been hampered by a variety of diseases that affect its flower quality and quantity. Of them, the viral and phytoplasma diseases cause considerable losses in gerbera cultivation. In this review, we have described about the disease symptoms, detection methods and identification of causal virus and phytoplasma pathogens affecting gerbera production worldwide and their disease management strategies opted by the researchers for production of pathogen-free plants.

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Mite species (Acari: Parasitiformes, Acariformes) living on foliage of brambles (Rubus sp.) were collected in Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. Four eriophyoid mite species (Acariformes: Eriophyoidea) associated with 14 Rubus taxa were identified. Female of Anthocoptes rubicolens Roivainen, 1953 is re-described, the male is described and illustrated from Rubus praecox Bertol., and recorded for the first time from R.bifrons Vest, R.clusii Borbás, R.grabowskii Weihe, R.praecocifrons Király et Trávn., Rubus ser. Rhamnifolii (Bab.) Focke, R.slavonicus Király, Trávn. et Žila, and R. solvensis W. Maurer. Anthocoptes rubicolens is a new species for the fauna of Hungary. Female of Epitrimerus rubi (Domes, 1960) is re-described, male and nymph are described and illustrated from R.bertramii G. Braun. Morphological differences distinguishing these species from the similar Anthocoptes rubi Domes and Epitrimerus gibbosus (Nalepa) are discussed. Out of the four identified phytoseiid species, Phytoseius juvenis Wainstein et Arutunjan (Parasitiformes: Phytoseiidae) was the most frequent predatory mite on the leaves of studied Rubus spp.

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One of the most important diseases of pea is caused by Pea seed-borne mosaic virus (PSbMV), which has a relatively wide host range. Since there are few varieties with resistance against the virus, and spraying insecticides is not very effective, the determination of the disease and the pathogen in the seeds is very important. Inoculum prepared from pea seeds showing typical virus symptoms caused very mild symptoms on Chenopodium amaranticolor and C. quinoa, but several chlorotic/necrotic lesions on bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) cv. Scarlet, and systemic symptoms with mosaic and curling of top leaves on bean cv. Maxidor. The detection of the virus was carried out by PCR using universal primers and virus sequence analysis. According to the phylogenetic analysis the PSbMV isolate identified in Hungary belongs to the pathotype P1 and associated with the cluster 2 isolates.

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Nagyelma n. gen. is erected for the northern Vietnamese Ennea aliena Bavay and Dautzenberg, 1912. The most closely related genus is probably Elma H. Adams, 1866, which also has a high-spired shell but differs from the new genus in the absence of a parietal tooth, the pointed-ovoid shell shape, and the penial sheath, which covers only half of the penis.

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A new vagrant species of phyllocoptine mites, Leipothrix nagyi n. sp. collected from Zinnia elegans (Asteraceae) is described and illustrated from Hungary. Further three eriophyoid species were recorded for the first time in Hungary, viz. Aceria hippophaena (Nalepa, 1898) found on Hippophaë rhamnoides, Epitrimerus cupressi (Keifer, 1939) collected from Cupressus sempervirens and Epitrimerus tanaceti Boczek et Davis, 1984 associated with Tanacetum vulgare. The female of E.tanaceti is re-described, while the male and nymph are described for the first time.

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Isoperla nagyi sp. n. is described on the basis of morphology of male and female adults and eggs. The new species is classified as an isolated species within the West Palaearctic Isoperla. It was found in the lower elevations of the Ţarcu Mts that is forming a high range of the westernmost Southern Carpathians. Further contributions are given on the stonefly fauna of the Ţarcu Mts, including notes on the Romanian distribution of Brachyptera bulgarica Raušer, and the taxonomy and distribution of Isoperla pusilla (Klapálek).

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A new species (Rotundabaloghia (Circobaloghia)nagyi sp. nov.) of the rotundabaloghid mites is described based on females and male collected in bamboo leaf litter in Cameroon. The new species differs from the other Afrotropical rotundabaloghid mites in following character combination: female genital shield with long apical process, the setae v7 and v8 long and pilose, v6 long and smooth, v2 short and needle-like, female genital, dorsal and ventral shields are ornamented by irregular pits, sternal setae short and needle-like. This character combination is unknown within the African rotundabaloghids.

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Chañar (Geoffroea decorticans- Fabaceae) is a tree from South America that is normally infected with galls originated by insects. One of its parasites is Allodiplosis crassa (Cecidomyiidae, Diptera) which produces globular galls with sticky prolongations. Since this plant has medicinal uses in Argentina, its infestation could alter the quality of the plant drug. The surface of insect-induced galls usually contains defensive features such as trichomes, increased hardness and an increase in the content of polyphenolic compounds. The objective of this research is to assess the structural and histochemical features of the gall and to compare the content of polyphenolic metabolites in the gall, in the healthy leaf and in lignified stems of G. decorticans. The methanolic extract from the galls showed the highest amount of polyphenolic and proanthocyanidins and the lowest amount of hydroxycinnamic derivatives and flavonoids compared to the methanolic extract of the leaves. The photographs taken from the external surface of the gall showed that some prolongations have heads. The histochemical analysis showed that the prolongations have a high amount of proanthocyanidins and flavonoids; and that the heads are reactive to Sudan III. These phytochemical and histological characteristics may have a defensive role against harmful fungi and parasites that attack the larvae of the A. crassa. The results of this study show the presence of defensive features in an insect-induced gall of a medicinal plant with potential implications in the pharmacological activity of this species. This is the first report of a histochemical and phytochemical study in G. corticans galls.

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Whiteflies are the most important pests of economic crops in Egypt causing huge damage to them by their direct feeding, formation of sooty mold on plants and vectoring of plant viruses. An updated list of the 25 species of whiteflies (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) known to occur in Egypt and an identification key are provided.

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Abstract

Introduction

Surrogate endpoints are widely used in clinical trials, especially in situations where the endpoint of interest is not directly observable or to avoid long trial periods. A typical example for this case is frequently found in clinical trials in oncology, where overall survival (OS) as endpoint of interest and progression free survival (PFS) as surrogate endpoint are discriminated.

Methods

Based on the perspective of case definitions on surrogate endpoints, we provide a formal definition of such endpoints followed by a description of the structure of surrogate endpoints.

Results

Surrogate endpoints can be considered as case definitions for the endpoint of interest. Therefore, the performance of surrogate endpoints can be described using the classical terminology of diagnostic tests including sensitivity and specificity. Since such endpoints always focus on sensitivity with necessarily reduced specificity, efficacy estimates based on such endpoints are in general biased.

Conclusion

The abovementioned has to be taken into account while interpreting the results of clinical trials and should not be ignored while planning or conducting a study.

Open access

Abstract

Introduction

The aim of the study was a comparative evaluation of in-house real-time PCR and commercial real-time PCR (Fast Track Diagnostics (FTD), ampliCube/Mikrogen) targeting enteropathogenic bacteria from stool in preparation of Regulation (EU) 2017/746 on in vitro diagnostic medical devices.

Methods

Both 241 stool samples from patients and 100 samples from German laboratory control schemes (“Ringversuche”) were used to comparatively assess in-house real-time PCR, the FTD bacterial gastroenteritis kit, and the ampliCube gastrointestinal bacterial panels 1&2 either with the in-house PCRs as gold standard and as a test comparison without gold standard applying latent class analysis. Sensitivity, specificity, intra- and inter-assay variation and Cohen’s kappa were assessed.

Results

In comparison with the gold standard, sensitivity was 75–100% for strongly positive samples, 20–100% for weakly positive samples, and specificity ranged from 96 to 100%. Latent class analysis suggested that sensitivity ranges from 81.2 to 100% and specificity from 58.5 to 100%. Cohen’s kappa varied between moderate and nearly perfect agreement, intra- and inter-assay variation was 1–3 to 1–4 Ct values.

Conclusion

Acceptable agreement and performance characteristics suggested replaceability of the in-house PCR assays by the commercial approaches.

Open access

Abstract

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of Tuberculosis has plagued humankind for ages and has surfaced stronger than ever with the advent of drug resistance. Mycobacteria are adept at evading the host immune system and establishing infection by engaging host factors and secreting several virulence factors. Hence these secretion systems play a key role in mycobacterial pathogenesis. The type VII secretion system or ESX (early secretory antigenic target (ESAT6) secretion) system is one such crucial system that comprises five different pathways having distinct roles in mycobacterial proliferation, pathogenesis, cytosolic escape within macrophages, regulation of macrophage apoptosis, metal ion homeostasis, etc. ESX 1–5 systems are implicated in the secretion of a plethora of proteins, of which only a few are functionally characterized. Here we summarize the current knowledge of ESX secretion systems of mycobacteria with a special focus on ESX-1 and ESX-5 systems that subvert macrophage defenses and help mycobacteria to establish their niche within the macrophage.

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Abstract

The use of antibiotics has provoked an emergence of various multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria. Infectious diseases that cannot be treated sufficiently with conventional antibiotic intervention strategies anymore constitue serious threats to human health. Therefore, current research focus has shifted to alternative, antibiotic-independent therapeutic approaches. In this context, vitamin E constitutes a promising candidate molecule due to its multi-faceted modes of action. Therefore, we used the PubMed database to perform a comprehensive literature survey reviewing studies addressing the antimicrobial properties of vitamin E against bacterial pathogens including MDR bacteria. The included studies published between 2010 and 2020 revealed that given its potent synergistic antimicrobial effects in combination with distinct antibiotic compounds, vitamin E constitutes a promising adjunct antibiotic treatment option directed against infectious diseases caused by MDR bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia cenocepacia and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In conclusion, the therapeutic value of vitamin E for the treatment of bacterial infections should therefore be investigated in future clinical studies.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: K. T. Kiss, Zs Trábert, and M. Duleba
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Both the primary and secondary metabolisms of higher plants are influenced by environmental conditions. Peganum harmala L. synthesise amazing diversity of secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, volatile oils, triterpenes or sterols. We have no detailed information on genetic chemical contents and particularly the fatty acid contents of this plant species in Iran. Therefore, population-based fatty acid and alkaloid analyses were conducted in four geographical populations. Seeds fatty acid analysis revealed linoleic acid, oleic acid and palmitic acid were the main components in seeds oil. The highest fatty acid component was the linoleic acid in both mature and premature seeds of four studied populations. Low levels of 18:3/18:2 ratio in mature seeds (>0.01) in comparison to premature seeds (> 0.04) were found. Grouping of the populations by WARD clustering, separated mature seeds from premature seeds. CCA plot of P. harmala populations based on fatty acid contents, revealing the influence of geographical features on population differentiation. The main alkaloid contents in premature and mature seeds were harmine and harmaline. PCoA plots of the studied populations based on alkaloid contents for both premature and mature seeds separated the populations from each other.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: S. Y. Kondratyuk, L. Lőkös, M.-H. Jeong, S.-O. Oh, A. S. Kondratiuk, and J.-S. Hur

Three genera new for science, i.e. Candelinella S. Y. Kondr. for the Candelariella makarevichiae group, Opeltiella S. Y. Kondr. for the Candelaria fraudans group, as well as Protocandelariella Poelt, D. Liu, J.-S. Hur et S. Y. Kondr. for the Candelariella subdeflexa group are proposed for robust monophyletic branches of the Candelariaceae on the basis of three-gene phylo- geny (i.e. concatenated nrITS, 12S mtSSU and 28S nrLSU sequences). Eight new combinations, i.e. Candelinella makarevichiae (for Candelariella makarevichiae S. Y. Kondr., L. Lokos et J.-S. Hur), Candelinella deppeanae (for Candelariella deppeanae M. Westb.), Opeltiella fraudans (for Candelaria fraudans Poelt et Oberw.), Opeltiella fibrosoides (for Candelaria fibrosoides M. Westb. et Froden), Opeltiella rubrisoli (for Candelariella rubrisoli D. Liu et J.-S. Hur), Opeltiella canadensis (for Candelariella canadensis H. Magn.), Protocandelariella subdeflexa (for Lecanora subdeflexa Nyl.), Protocandelariella blastidiata (for Candelariella blastidiata L. Yakovchenko) are provided.

Molecular data provided for Candelinella makarevichiae (including holotype and iso- type), as well as additional specimens of Candelaria asiatica from South Korea for the first time. The latter species (Candelaria asiatica) from China, as well as’Candelaria’ murrayi from Argentina, South America are recorded for the first time. Voucher of Candelariella vitellina from Antarctica is also identified based on molecular phylogeny. It is for the first time shown that ’Candelaria’murrayi is positioned in the outermost position to Candelaria s. str. branch of the phylogenetic tree of the Candelariaceae, and may belong to another genus. Status of the ’Candelariella’medians group, the’Candelariella’ placodizans group, as well as single species ’Candelariella’reflexa and’Candelaria’ pacifica, forming separate branches outside the Candelariella s. str. and Candelaria s. str. clades, will be clarified when additional molecular data will be accumulated. Candelariella subsquamulosa D. Liu et Hur, recently described from South Korea (Liu et al. 2019), proved to be a new synonym of Candelinella makarevichiae.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: G. K. Mishra, D. K. Upreti, S. Nayaka, A. Thell, I. Kärnefelt, L. Lőkös, J.-S. Hur, G. P. Sinha, and S. Y. Kondratyuk

The present study recorded 36 genera and 115 species of the lichen family Teloschistaceae in India. Three species, i.e. Caloplaca rajasthanica S. Y. Kondr., Upreti et G. P. Sinha, Huriella upre- tiana S. Y. Kondr., G. K. Mishra, Nayaka et A. Thell, and Squamulea uttarkashiana S. Y. Kondr., Upreti, Nayaka et A. Thell, are described as new species. Seven new combinations, i.e. Fulgo- gasparrea awasthii (Y. Joshi et Upreti) S. Y. Kondr., Upreti et A. Thell, Neobrownliella cinnabarina (Ach.) S. Y. Kondr., Upreti et A. Thell, Neobrownliella holochracea (Nyl.) S. Y. Kondr., Upreti et A. Thell, Opeltia flavorubescens (Huds.) S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Oxneriopsis bassiae (Willd. ex Ach.) S. Y. Kondr., Upreti et J.-S. Hur, Upretia hueana (B. de Lesd.) S. Y. Kondr. et Upreti and Megaspora subpoliotera (Y. Joshi et Upreti) S. Y. Kondr., Upreti et A. Thell, are proposed based on nrITS phylogeny in the Teloschistaceae and Megasporaceae consequently. Validation of combination Olegblumia demissa is provided. Molecular data on Fulgogasparrea awasthii andMegaspora subpoliotera are recorded from India for the first time. Four new genera including one species each, i.e. Lazarenkoiopsis ussuriensis (Oxner, S. Y. Kondr. et Elix) S. Y. Kondr., L. őkö et J.-S. Hur, Mikhtomia gordejevii (Tomin) S. Y. Kondr., Kärnefelt, Elix, A. Thell, J. Kim, A. S. Kondratiuk et J.-S. Hur, Olegblumia demissa (Flot.) S. Y. Kondr., L. őkö, J. Kim, A. S. Kond- ratiuk, S.-O. Oh et J.-S. Hur and Pachypeltis intrudens (H. Magn.) Sochting Froden et Arup, as well as the genus Megaspora are reported as new for the Indian lichen biota.

Out of the eight lichenogeographical regions of India, the Western Himalayas show the maximum diversity of Teloschistaceae members represented with 110 species followed by the Central Indian region with 38 species. The lichen genus Caloplaca is represented with 50 species in the country followed by Athallia and Rusavskia with 6 species each. The saxi- colous taxa exhibit dominance with 65 species whereas the corticolous and terricolous taxa are represented by 48 and 9 species, respectively. Among the different states of India, Ut- tarakhand showed the maximum diversity represented by 54 species followed by the state of Jammu & Kashmir with 37 species, whereas the Jharkhand and Meghalaya states are represented only by the occurrence of a single species each. A key to the genera and species together with the description, basionyms and synonyms of each species are provided.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: K. Yazici, A. Aslan, D. Karahan, A. Aptroot, and H. J. M. Sipman

A contribution to the lichen flora of Turkey is presented. A total of 282 lichen taxa and 20 lichenicolous fungi, of which 4 are varieties, are determined from 87 different localities in Muş province (Turkey). Lichenostigmagracile, a lichenicolous fungus, is new to Turkey, and 274 lichen species and 20 lichenicolous fungi are new for Muş.

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One hundred twelve lichens and lichenicolous fungi species are recorded for the Azores. Twelve species are new records for the archipelago. A list with new records for the islands Pico and/or Sao Jorge is presented. Four species are newly described: Gassicurtia azorica, Polycoccum parmotrematis, Rinodina subcolobina and Stigmidium pyrenulae.

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Acta Botanica Hungarica
Authors: S. Y. Kondratyuk, L. Lőkös, S.-O. Oh, T. O. Kondratiuk, I. Yu. Parnikoza, and J.-S. Hur

Fourteen species new for science are described, illustrated and compared with closely related taxa. Six species of them are from South Korea, i.e. Bryostigma huriellae S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Caloplaca ulleungensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, Enterographa dokdoensis S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Neobrownliella salyangensis S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Rufoplaca aesan- ensis S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Squamulea coreana S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, and seven species are from Chile: Caloplaca nothocitrina S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Caloplaca nothoholocarpa S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Caloplaca patagoniensis S. Y. Kondr., S.-O. Oh et J.-S. Hur, Follmannia suborthoclada S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, ‘Lecidea’buellielloides S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Mass- jukiella rusavskioides S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Rehmanniella poeltiana S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, as well as one species, i.e. Pyrenodesmia vernadskiensis S. Y. Kondr., T. O. Kondratiuk et I. Yu. Parnikoza, similar to Antarctic endemic species Huea coralligera, is from Argentine Islands, Western Antarctic Peninsula. The member of the genus Pyrenodesmia A. Massal. is for the first time confirmed by molecular data from the Antarctic.

Eighteen new combinations, i.e. Massjukiella impolita (for Caloplaca impolita Arup), Massjukiella pollinarioides (for Xanthoria pollinarioides L. Lindblom et D. M. Wright), Massjukiella stellata (for Caloplaca stellata Wetmore et Karnefelt), Massjukiella tenax (for Xanthoria tenax L. Lindblom), and Massjukiella tenuiloba (for Xanthoria tenuiloba L. Lindblom), Pyrenodesmia albopruinosa (for Biatorina albopruinosa Arnold), Pyrenodesmia ceracea (for Caloplaca ceracea J. R. Laundon), Pyrenodesmia cretensis (for Blastenia cretensis Zahlbr.), Pyrenodesmia erythrocarpa (for Patellaria erythrocarpa Pers.), Pyrenodesmia haematites (for Lecanora haematitesChaub. ex St.-Amans), Pyrenodesmia percrocata (for Blastenia percrocata Arnold), Pyrenodesmia soralifera (for Caloplaca soralifera Vondrak et Hrouzek), Pyrenodesmia transcaspica (for Lecanora transcaspica Nyl.), Pyrenodesmia viridirufa (for Lecidea viridirufa Ach.), Pyrenodesmia xerica (for Caloplaca xerica Poelt et Vezda), as well as Rehmanniella leucoxantha (for Amphilo-ma leucoxanthum Mull. Arg.), Rehmanniella syvashica (for Caloplaca syvashica Khodos., Vond- rak et Soun), and Rehmanniella subgyalectoides (for Caloplaca subgyalectoides S. Y. Kondr. et Karnefelt) are proposed.

Buelliella inops and Zwackhiomyces aff. berengerianus are for the first time recorded from South America as well as from Follmannia orthoclada (as lichenicolous fungi). Caloplaca poliotera, Rinodina convexula and Rinodina kozukensis are new to the Republic of Korea, and new localities as well as illustrations for the further 13 new and rare lichen species recently described from Eastern Asia are provided too.

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Examination of about one hundred unidentified Colura specimens resulted in new distributional data of eleven uncommon species, C. australiensis, C. bicornis, C. calyptrifolia, C. crispiloba, C. cristata, C. heimii, C. humbertii, C. imperfecta, C. obesa, C. rhynchophora, C. saroltae and a new species of sect. Colura from Madagascar, C. cataractarum.

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The study revealed a new species of Polucoccum colonising thallus of lichen genus Lepra and Varicellaria in tropical and temperate regions of India. The genus belonging to the family Polycoccaceae is represented by 7 species in India. Though the genus is host-specific, there are 12 genera of lichens which are home for more than one species of this fungus. It is the second known species of Polucoccum on members of Lepra and Varicellaria, and differs from the previously known ones – 1) Polucoccum ochvarianum by being gall forming and having smaller perithecia [(88-)104-128-152(−170) × (81-)95-114-133(−145) μm] and 2) Polucoccum sp. in having smaller perithecia [op. cit. vs. 250-300 μm], hymenial gelatine I-, and smaller asci [(50-)55-60-65(-75) × (10-)13-15-17(-18) vs. 90 × 14 μim].

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We proposed Parmelia maculoides Gyeln. as a synonym of Punctelia stictica (Delise ex Duby) Krog;Physcia hosseana Gyeln. as a synonym of Physcia stellaris (L.) Nyl. and Teloschistes exilis (Michx.) Vain. f. inaequalis Gyeln. as a synonym of Teloschistes nodulifer (Nyl.) Hill- mann based on the study of the Argentinian type material of Kofarago-Gyelnik. We also confirmed the presence of Oropogon loxensis (syn. Bryopogon hosseusianus Gyeln.) in Central Argentina by comparing the type specimen with samples collected recently. Finally we excluded the presence of Parmotrema stuppeum (Taylor) Hale from Argentina.

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Se describe una nueva especie del genero Esenbeckia (Rutaceae) de la cuenca baja del rio Balsas, en la llamada “Tierra Caliente”.

A new species of the genus Esenbeckia (Rutaceae) is herein described; it was found in the lower Balsas River basin, in the zone referred to as “Tierra Caliente”.

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Abstract

Introduction

The study was performed to assess the infection risk of German police officers on predominantly tropical deployments, mostly United Nations missions, with gastrointestinal pathogens.

Methods

Police officers were offered PCR-based screening for gastrointestinal pathogens before and after deployment. The screening panel comprised enteroinvasive bacteria (Salmonella spp., Shigella spp./enteroinvasive Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, and Yersinia spp.), enteropathogenic protozoa (Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., and Cyclospora cayetanensis), as well as enteric helminths (Ancyclostoma spp., Ascaris lumbricoides, Enterobius vermicularis, Hymenolepis nana, Necator americanus, African Schistosoma spp., Strongyloides stercoralis, Taenia saginata, Taenia solium, and Trichuris trichiura).

Results

G. duodenalis (n = 3), C. jejuni (n = 2), Salmonella spp. (n = 1), Shigella spp./enteroinvasive E. coli (n = 3), and S. stercoralis (n = 3) were detect in 12 out of 133 (9.0%) police officers. The majority had shown gastrointestinal symptoms on deployment and all were asymptomatic at the time of medical assessment. The major infection sites were Sub-Saharan Africa followed by Northern Africa and the Middle East.

Conclusions

Deployment of police officers to tropical deployment sites on United Nations missions is associated with a considerable acquisition risk of gastrointestinal pathogens in a quantitatively relevant minority. Post-deployment screening is advisable to facilitate therapeutic and hygiene-related consequences.

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Abstract

To have a successful publication in a peer-reviewed journal, a collection of factors and items is needed. Some of them directly and the others indirectly have important roles in scholarly publication. However, a well-designed scientific investigation together with a powerful academic English language may guarantee the publication of a manuscript. In other words, a standard and professional methodology which is expressed by an influent academic English language constitutes the soul of the manuscript's body. Obviously, the accuracy and fluency of the English language of the manuscript is the author(s)' responsibility and neither the reviewers' nor the editor's and the journal's. As publication of a research paper is the complementary section of a scientific study, it is recognized as an academic criterion for academicians. Thus, this review focuses on the all of items which are necessary and vital for a successful scholarly publication.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
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.

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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.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
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.

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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.

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