Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) supplementation associated with reduced skin test lesional area in horses with Culicoides hypersensitivity. (9/150)

The purpose of this study was to quantify the effect of flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) supplementation on the skin test response of atopic horses. Six horses that displayed a positive skin test for allergy to extract from Culicoides sp. participated in the 42-day, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over trial. Results showed that supplementation with flaxseed for 42 days in our experimental horses reduced the mean skin test response to Culicoides sp. This observation was concurrent with a significant decrease in the long-chain saturated fatty acids; behenic acid (22:0) and lignoceric acid (24:0), in the hair of horses receiving flaxseed. There was also a significant decrease in aspartate aminotransferase, and increase in serum glucose in the treatment animals at specific sampling points. It was concluded that; in this small pilot study, flaxseed was able to reduce the lesional area of the skin test response of atopic horses, alter the fatty acid profile of the hair, reduce inflammation, and did not elicit any negative side-effects in the experimental horses.  (+info)

A possible overwintering mechanism for bluetongue virus in the absence of the insect vector. (10/150)

Bluetongue virus (BTV) and several other Orbivirus species are transmitted between mammalian hosts via bites from adults of certain species of Culicoides midges. However, BTV can survive for 9-12 months (typically during the winter), in the absence of adult vectors, with no detectable cases of viraemia, disease or seroconversion in the host. The survival of the virus from one 'vector season' to the next is called 'overwintering' but the mechanism involved is not fully understood. It is demonstrated that BTV can persistently infect ovine gammadelta T-cells in vitro, a process that may also occur during infection and viraemia in mammalian hosts, thus providing a mechanism for virus persistence. Interaction of persistently BTV-infected gammadelta T-cells with antibody to the gammadelta T-cell-specific surface molecule WC-1 resulted in conversion to a lytic infection and increased virus release. Skin fibroblasts induce a similar conversion, indicating that they express a counter ligand for WC-1. Feeding of Culicoides midges induces skin inflammation, which is accompanied by recruitment of large numbers of activated gammadelta T-cells. The interaction of persistently infected gammadelta T-cells with skin fibroblasts would result in increased virus production at 'biting sites', favouring transmission to the insect vector. This suggested mechanism might also involve up-regulation of the WC-1 ligand at inflamed sites. It has been shown previously that cleavage of virus surface proteins by protease enzymes (which may also be associated with inflammation) generates infectious subvirus particles that have enhanced infectivity (100 times) for the insect vector.  (+info)

Papular dermatitis induced in guinea pigs by the biting midge Culicoides sonorensis (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). (11/150)

Histological, ultrastructural, and virological examinations were performed on abdominal skin from guinea pigs after a blood meal by colony-bred biting midges, Culicoides sonorensis. Small, superficial, cutaneous, crateriform ulcers with necrosis of superficial dermis developed at feeding sites and healed within 24-48 hours. Animals developed nonpruritic erythematous papules 5 days after feeding that persisted until the study ended at 12 days after feeding. Papules corresponded histologically to foci of epidermal hyperplasia and superficial interstitial dermatitis with intraepidermal micropustules and scattered intraepidermal polykaryons. The principal ultrastructural changes were spongiosis in germinal epithelium and neutrophilic-histiocytic exocytosis. No viral agents or broken mouthparts were identified in lesions. The dermatitis may represent a host reaction to persisting insect salivary secretion and should be considered as an additional consequence of blood feeding in future studies involving biting midges.  (+info)

Diversity of biting midges of the genus Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in the area of the Yacyreta Dam Lake between Argentina and Paraguay. (12/150)

The Culicoides communities have been analyzed between 1993/1998 in the area influenced by the Yacyret Dam Lake (Paran River, Argentina-Paraguay). Adults of Culicoides were collected monthly by using CDC light traps exposed for 24 h in 9 sampling sites located at both margins of the river; 21 species were recorded. Highest values of species richness were recorded during 1993/1994, being Quiteria and Corpus the sites with the higest number of species (10 and 11, respectively). The species diversity was elevated in Quiteria, Zaim n, Candelaria, Santa Tecla, Capit n Meza and Corpus (Shannon's diversity index 1.0-1.9) while Corate , Ituzaing and Aguapey showed less richness and diversity. The more abundant species were C. insignis, C. venezuelensis, C. leopoldoi, C. limai, C. flinti, C. debilipalpis, C. paraensis and C. guttatus. C. insignis, potential vector of bluetongue virus (BTV) to domestic and wild rumiants in the Neotropical region, is the predominant species in the area and was the only species widely distributed. C. paraensis, a proven vector of Oropouche virus to humans, is a common and abundant species. C. pusillus and C. lahillei, potential vectors of BTV and a filarial parasite, respectively, were occasionally collected. The taxonomic structure of communities was constant during the study period. The occasional species were not characteristic to one particular site and their presence could be related to non-intrinsic conditions.  (+info)

Comparison of the major structural core proteins of tick-borne and Culicoides-borne orbiviruses. (13/150)

Comparison of sequence data for Broadhaven (BRD) virus, a tick-borne orbivirus, and bluetongue virus (BTV), the type species of the genus, indicated that RNA segments 2 and 7 of BRD virus encode the two structural core proteins, VP2 and VP7, respectively. Segment 2 is 2792 nucleotides in length with a coding capacity for a protein (VP2) of 908 amino acids and a net charge of +8.5 at neutral pH. Segment 7 is 1174 nucleotides in length with a coding capacity for a protein (VP7) of 356 amino acids and a net charge of +11.5 at neutral pH. Comparison of the two sequences with BTV serotype 10 revealed amino acid identity of 35% between the product of segment 2 and BTV VP3, and 21% between the product of segment 7 and BTV VP7. The core proteins therefore show evidence of significant evolutionary divergence compared with that shown between different insect-borne orbiviruses. In particular, the amino terminus of BRD virus VP7 differed markedly from the equivalent region in VP7 of BTV and African horse sickness virus. This region is thought to interact with the outer capsid layer of insect-borne orbiviruses.  (+info)

Two new Culicoides of the paraensis species group (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) from the Amazonian region of Peru. (14/150)

Two new species of the Culicoides paraensis species group, C. diversus Felippe-Bauer and C. peruvianus Felippe-Bauer, are described and illustrated based on female specimens from Amazonian region of Peru. A systematic key, table with numerical characters of females, and distribution of species of the C. paraensis group are given.  (+info)

Molecular detection of Culicoides spp. and Culicoides imicola, the principal vector of bluetongue (BT) and African horse sickness (AHS) in Africa and Europe. (15/150)

Bluetongue (BT) and African Horse Sickness (AHS) are infectious arthropod-borne viral diseases affecting ruminants and horses, respectively. Culicoides imicola Kieffer, 1913, a biting midge, is the principal vector of these livestock diseases in Africa and Europe. Recently bluetongue disease has re-emerged in the Mediterranean Basin and has had a devastating effect on the sheep industry in Italy and on the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and the Balearics, but fortunately, has not penetrated onto mainland France and Spain. To survey for the presence of C. imicola, an extensive light-trap network for the collection of Culicoides, was implemented in 2002 in southern mainland France. The morphological identification of Culicoides can be both tedious and time-consuming because its size ranges from 1.5 to 3 mm. Therefore, an ITS1 rDNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic assay was developed to rapidly and reliably identify Culicoides spp. and C. imicola. The aim of this work was to set up a rapid test for the detection of C. imicola amongst a pool of insects collected in areas at risk for BT. The sequence similarity of the rDNA (nuclear ribosomal DNA), which is greater within species than between species, is the foundation of its utilisation in species-diagnostic assays. The alignment of the 11 ITS1 sequences of Culicoides obtained from Genbank and EMBL databases helped us to identify one region in the 5' end and one in the 3' end that appear highly conserved. PCR primers were designed within these regions to amplify genus-specific fragments. In order to set up a C. imicola-specific PCR, another forward primer was designed and used in combination with the previously designed reverse primer. These primers proved to be highly specific and sensitive and permitted a rapid diagnostic separation of C. imicola from Culicoides spp.  (+info)

Spiroplasma atrichopogonis sp. nov., from a ceratopogonid biting midge. (16/150)

Spiroplasma sp. strain GNAT3597T was isolated from the biting midge genus Atrichopogon (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). It was serologically distinct from other Spiroplasma species, groups or subgroups. Dark-field microscopy of the cells revealed the classical helical shape and subsequent transmission electron microscopy revealed cells surrounded by only a cell membrane (i.e. lacking a cell wall). Growth of strain GNAT3597T occurred in M1D medium at 30 degrees C. Strain GNAT3597T catabolized both glucose and arginine, but did not hydrolyse urea. The DNA G+C content of strain GNAT3597T was 29+/-1 mol%. Only one strain, SMCAT (Spiroplasma mirum), is serologically related to strain GNAT3597T, although the relationship is weak (positive reaction to only a 1 : 80 dilution). It is therefore proposed that strain GNAT3597T (=ATCC BAA-520T=NBRC 100390T) represents a novel species, Spiroplasma atrichopogonis sp. nov. (class Mollicutes: order Entomoplasmatales: family Spiroplasmataceae).  (+info)