IgE and IgG antibodies in skin allergy of the horse. (25/150)

In horses, allergies have been characterized by clinical signs and/or intradermal (i.d.) allergen testing. Our aim was to find the first direct evidence that immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediates equine allergy. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that immediate skin reactions in horses can also be mediated by IgG. Anti-IgE affinity columns were used to purify IgE from serum of one healthy horse and three horses affected with summer eczema, an allergic dermatitis which is believed to be induced by Culicoides midges. A modified Prausnitz-Kustner experiment was performed in four clinical healthy horses by i.d. injection of the purified serum IgE antibodies. The following day, Culicoides allergen was injected at the same sites. Skin reactions were not observed in response to allergen alone, and in two horses after stimulation at any previous IgE injection site. However, the other two horses showed an immediate skin reaction at the previous injection sites of IgE obtained from allergic horses. In addition, purified monoclonal antibodies to various equine immunoglobulin isotypes were injected i.d. into six healthy horses. Immediate skin reactions were observed in response to anti-IgE (6/6 horses) and anti-IgG(T) injections (5/6 horses). The specificities of both antibodies for IgE and IgG(T), respectively, were confirmed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assays. The results provide the first direct evidence that IgE mediates classical Type-I allergy in horses and plays a major role in the pathogenesis of summer eczema. The data also suggest that IgG(T) can bind to skin mast cells and might contribute to clinical allergy.  (+info)

Summer eczema in exported Icelandic horses: influence of environmental and genetic factors. (26/150)

A cross sectional study was designed to estimate the prevalence of summer eczema (a chronic, recurrent seasonal dermatitis) in exported Icelandic horses and the influence of environmental and genetic factors on the development of the disease. Among 330 horses, which had been exported to Germany, Denmark and Sweden, 114 (34.5%) were found to have clinical signs of summer eczema. The prevalence was highest 2 years after export and the exposure to the biting midges Culicoides spp., was found to be the main risk factor for developing the disease. Genetic influence on the sensitivity for the disease was not established. It was concluded that exported Icelandic horses are predisposed for summer dermatitis and the fact that they are not introduced to the antigens of the biting midges early in live, due to it's absence in Iceland, is likely to explain the high prevalence of the disease after export.  (+info)

Sergeia podlipaevi gen. nov., sp. nov. (Trypanosomatidae, Kinetoplastida), a parasite of biting midges (Ceratopogonidae, Diptera). (27/150)

Three strains of a trypanosomatid protozoan were isolated from the midguts of two naturally infected species of biting midges [Culicoides (Oecacta) festivipennis and Culicoides (Oecacta) truncorum] and characterized by light and electron microscopy and by molecular techniques. Morphological characteristics and sequences of the 18S rRNA, 5S rRNA, spliced leader RNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase genes indicate that the studied flagellates represent a novel phylogenetic lineage within the Trypanosomatidae. Based on phylogenetic analyses, the novel endosymbiont-free, monoxenous trypanosomatid was classified as Sergeia podlipaevi gen. nov., sp. nov. Interestingly, it is closely related to another trypanosomatid species that parasitizes the sand fly Lutzomyia evansi, a blood-sucking dipteran from South America. The type strain of S. podlipaevi sp. nov., ICUL/CZ/2000/CER3, was obtained from Malpighian tubes. Of 2518 females of seven species of biting midges trapped in the Czech Republic, more than 1.5 % were infected by trypanosomatid parasites. An unrelated insect species, Culicoides (Monoculicoides) nubeculosus, was experimentally infected with S. podlipaevi, demonstrating that its host range extends to different subgenera of biting midges.  (+info)

Within-host speciation of malaria parasites. (28/150)

BACKGROUND: Sympatric speciation-the divergence of populations into new species in absence of geographic barriers to hybridization-is the most debated mode of diversification of life forms. Parasitic organisms are prominent models for sympatric speciation, because they may colonise new hosts within the same geographic area and diverge through host specialization. However, it has been argued that this mode of parasite divergence is not strict sympatric speciation, because host shifts likely cause the sudden effective isolation of parasites, particularly if these are transmitted by vectors and therefore cannot select their hosts. Strict sympatric speciation would involve parasite lineages diverging within a single host species, without any population subdivision. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report a case of extraordinary divergence of sympatric, ecologically distinct, and reproductively isolated malaria parasites within a single avian host species, which apparently occurred without historical or extant subdivision of parasite or host populations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This discovery of within-host speciation changes our current view on the diversification potential of malaria parasites, because neither geographic isolation of host populations nor colonization of new host species are any longer necessary conditions to the formation of new parasite species.  (+info)

Microalgae associated with Leptoconops breeding sites in selected sandy beaches of Malaysia. (29/150)

A study was carried out to investigate correlation between presence of specific microalgal species and Leptoconops biting midge larvae in its breeding habitats. Sand samples containing microalgae were collected from the beach where the midges were most commonly biting and from sand beaches which are potential as breeding habitats of Leptoconops. The survey covered sand beaches from 12 seperate islands. At all sites, the Bacillariophyta constituted the largest representatives of the microalgae community with the majority from the Naviculaceae family. A total of 24 microalgal species were identified from the sand samples collected from the study sites. Sand samples from Kentot Kecil Island had the highest number of algal species (11.0) and the highest algae species diversity ( Shanon-Weiner Diversity Index, H' = 0.884). Besar Island (Johor) had the lowest number of algal species (2.0) whereas Tengol A Island had the lowest algae species diversity (H'=0.234). Highest similarity index was recorded between sand samples collected from Tengol A Island and Tengol B Island (75.0%) followed by Besar Island (Melaka) and Tengol B Island (62.0 %). The variation between other islands were relatively high. Virtually many kinds of algae were found where Leptoconops were breeding but Fragilaria intermedia, Mastigloia minuta and Navicula advena were particularly common.  (+info)

Molecular epidemiological analysis of Japanese encephalitis virus in China. (30/150)

Sixty-two new Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) isolates were obtained from mosquitoes, biting midges, human cerebrospinal fluid and human blood samples in China during 2002-2005. The E and prM genes were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses were performed with 38 JEV other isolates from China and 36 JEV strains from other countries. Phylogenetic trees based on the E and prM gene sequences were similar. The results indicate that: (i) recent JEV isolates from China are divided into two genotypes, genotype 1 and genotype 3; (ii) recent JEV isolates from China are grouped into the same clusters within genotypes 1 and 3; and (iii) genotype 1 JEV strains have been isolated in China since 1979, whilst genotype 3 JEV strains were isolated before the 1970s. The results suggest that genotype 1 JEV was introduced to China around 1979 and that JEV strains belonging to genotypes 1 and 3 circulate in China.  (+info)

Use of high spatial resolution satellite imagery to characterize landscapes at risk for bluetongue. (31/150)

The recent and rapid spread in the Mediterranean Basin of bluetongue, a viral disease of ruminants transmitted by some species of Culicoides (biting midges), highlights the necessity of determining the conditions of its emergence. This study uses high spatial resolution satellite imagery and methods from landscape ecology science to identify environmental parameters related to bluetongue occurrence in Corsica, a French Mediterranean island where the disease occurred for the first time in 2000. A set of environmental variables recorded in the neighborhood of 80 sheep farms were related to case occurrence through a logistic regression model computed within three subsequent buffer distances of 0.5, 1 and 2 km. The results reveal the role of landscape metrics, particularly those characterizing land-use units such as prairies and woodlands, as well as farm type, latitude and sunshine to explain the presence of bluetongue. Internal and external validation both indicate that the best results are obtained with the 1 km buffer size model (area under Receiver Operating Characteristic curve = 0.9 for internal validation and 0.81 for external validation). The results show that high spatial resolution remote sensing (i.e. 10 m pixels) and landscape ecology approaches contribute to improving the understanding of bluetongue epidemiology.  (+info)

Description of Culicoides (Mataemyia) felippebauerae sp. n., Forcipomyia musae immatures, and occurrence of F. genualis, breeding in banana stems in Brazilian Amazonia (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). (32/150)

The following three species of Ceratopogonidae were collected breeding in the rhizomatous herb Phenakospermum guyannense Endl., 1833 in the vicinity of Manaus, Brazil, a new species, Culicoides (Mataemyia) felippebauerae Spinelli, Forcipomyia (Forcipomyia) genualis (Loew), and F. (Phytohelea) musae Clastrier & Dellecole. C. (M.) felippebauerae is described and illustrated as adult, pupa, and fourth instar larva, the adult compared with the adult of C. barthi Taveres and Souza and larva and pupa with those of C. dicrourus Wirth & Blanton and C. macieli Tavares & Ruiz, the only species with known immatures in the subgenus. The pupa and fourth instar larva of F. (P.) musae are described and illustrated and compared with immatures of F. (P.) edwardsi Saunders.  (+info)