(1/1021) Pathogenesis of cancrum oris (noma): confounding interactions of malnutrition with infection.

This study showed that impoverished Nigerian children at risk for cancrum oris (noma) had significantly reduced plasma concentrations of zinc (< 10.8 micromol/L), retinol (< 1.05 micromol/L), ascorbate (< 11 micromol/L), and the essential amino acids, with prominently increased plasma and saliva levels of free cortisol, compared with their healthy counterparts. The nutrient deficiencies, in concert with previously reported widespread viral infections (measles, herpesviruses) in the children, would impair oral mucosal immunity. We postulate, subject to additional studies, that evolution of the oral mucosal ulcers including acute necrotizing gingivitis to noma is triggered by a consortium of microorganisms of which Fusobacterium necrophorum is a key component. Fusobacterium necrophorum elaborates several dermonecrotic toxic metabolites and is acquired by the impoverished children via fecal contamination resulting from shared residential facilities with animals and very poor environmental sanitation.  (+info)

(2/1021) Isolation of tick-borne encephalitis virus from wild rodents and a seroepizootiologic survey in Hokkaido, Japan.

To determine the vertebrate host of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus in the southern part of Hokkaido, Japan, virus isolation was performed using spleens from small mammals captured in the area. Two virus strains were isolated, one strain from Apodemus speciosus and another from Clethrionomys rufocanus. Virus isolates were inoculated onto baby hamster kidney cell monolayers and antigen slides were prepared for an indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay. Two isolates were identified as TBE viruses by monoclonal antibody reactions. To specify the TBE-endemic area in Hokkaido, rodent, horse, and dog sera collected from 1992 to 1997 were tested for neutralization antibody against TBE virus previously isolated from a dog. The positive cases were distributed in four districts in the southern part of Hokkaido.  (+info)

(3/1021) Deriving meteorological variables across Africa for the study and control of vector-borne disease: a comparison of remote sensing and spatial interpolation of climate.

This paper presents the results of an investigation into the utility of remote sensing (RS) using meteorological satellites sensors and spatial interpolation (SI) of data from meteorological stations, for the prediction of spatial variation in monthly climate across continental Africa in 1990. Information from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) polar-orbiting meteorological satellites was used to estimate land surface temperature (LST) and atmospheric moisture. Cold cloud duration (CCD) data derived from the High Resolution Radiometer (HRR) on-board the European Meteorological Satellite programme's (EUMETSAT) Meteosat satellite series were also used as a RS proxy measurement of rainfall. Temperature, atmospheric moisture and rainfall surfaces were independently derived from SI of measurements from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) member stations of Africa. These meteorological station data were then used to test the accuracy of each methodology, so that the appropriateness of the two techniques for epidemiological research could be compared. SI was a more accurate predictor of temperature, whereas RS provided a better surrogate for rainfall; both were equally accurate at predicting atmospheric moisture. The implications of these results for mapping short and long-term climate change and hence their potential for the study and control of disease vectors are considered. Taking into account logistic and analytical problems, there were no clear conclusions regarding the optimality of either technique, but there was considerable potential for synergy.  (+info)

(4/1021) A hemocyte-like cell line established from the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae expresses six prophenoloxidase genes.

Cell lines from the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae have been established as a tool for the study of the mosquito innate immune system in vitro. Here, we describe the first continuous insect cell line that produces prophenoloxidase (PPO). This cell line (4a-3B) expresses constitutively six PPO genes, three of which are novel (PPO4, PPO5, and PPO6). The PPO genes show distinct temporal expression profiles in the intact mosquito, spanning stages from the embryo to the adult in an overlapping manner. Transient induction of larva-specific PPO genes in blood-fed adult females suggests that the developmental hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone may be involved in PPO gene regulation. Indeed, exposure of 4a-3B cells to 20-hydroxyecdysone in culture results in induction of those PPO genes that are mainly expressed in early developmental stages, and repression of PPO5, which is preferentially expressed at the adult stage. The cell line shows bacteria-induced immune transcripts that encode defensin and Gram-negative bacteria-binding protein, but no induction of PPO transcripts. This cell line most likely derives from a hemocyte lineage, and represents an appropriate in vitro model for the study of the humoral and cellular immune defenses of A. gambiae.  (+info)

(5/1021) Bednet impregnation for Chagas disease control: a new perspective.

BACKGROUND: To determine the efficacy and acceptability of deltamethrin-impregnated bednets in controlling Chagas disease in South America. METHODS: In three endemic departments of Colombia, a qualitative study on people's knowledge about Chagas disease, vectors, preventive measures and their willingness for collaboration in control operations was undertaken. Additionally, in an entomological study with 100 laboratory-bred Chagas vectors (Rhodnius prolixus), vectors were released for 5 nights (20 each night) in an experimental room, with the human bait protected for one night by an unimpregnated and for four nights by a deltamethrin-impregnated bednet (13 mg/m2). Vectors were stained with fluorescent powder for observation, collected after 10 h exposure in the experimental room and observed for a further 72 h. RESULTS: The study population did not know anything about Chagas disease, but believed the vector to transmit cutaneous leishmaniasis. Therefore willingness to take part in control operations was high. The experimental hut study showed a vector mortality rate of 95% in a room with impregnated nets and of 10% in a room with unimpregnated nets. CONCLUSION: This study opens a new perspective for Chagas disease control in integrated vector borne disease prevention programmes.  (+info)

(6/1021) Evaluation of the epidemic potential of western equine encephalitis virus in the northeastern United States.

The problem of evaluating the epidemic potential of western equine encephalitis in the northeastern United States is presented and possible reasons are discussed for the present lack of human and horse cases of this disease even though increased numbers of isolations of the virus have been obtained in the East during recent years. Epidemiologic factors of vector bionomics and virus strain variations are considered. It is concluded that while this virus strain can no longer be regarded as uncommon in the Northeast, the evidence indicates there is little potential for epidemic expression of this agent in the human and horse population. This appears to be due to differences in the bionomics of the mosquito Culiseta melanura, which serves as the primary enzootic vector in the northeastern United States and in the bionomics of Culex tarsalis that is the vector in the western region of the United States. Other limiting factors in the epidemic potential may be variations between virus strains located in the East and West.  (+info)

(7/1021) Density of sand flies (Diptera: psychodidae) in domestic and wild animal shelters in an area of visceral Leishmaniasis in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

The objective of the present study was to determine the association of sand flies with the presence of domestic and wild animals in the peridomiciliary area. The sand flies were collected using direct aspiration and CDC light traps placed in animal shelters. The results suggest that different sand flies species have different behavioral characteristics in an apparent preference for animal baits and that Lutzomyia longipalpis and Lu. evandroi were the most eclectic species regarding their biotope choice. Lu. longipalpis showed a distinct preference for horses and Lu. evandroi for armadillos.  (+info)

(8/1021) Natural rodent host associations of Guanarito and pirital viruses (Family Arenaviridae) in central Venezuela.

The objective of this study was to elucidate the natural rodent host relationships of Guanarito and Pirital viruses (family Arenaviridae) in the plains of central Venezuela. Ninety-two arenavirus isolates from 607 animals, representing 10 different rodent species, were characterized to the level of serotype. The 92 isolates comprised 19 Guanarito virus strains and 73 Pirital virus strains. The 19 Guanarito virus isolates were from Zygodontomys brevicauda; 72 (98.6%) of the 73 Pirital virus isolates were from Sigmodon alstoni. These results indicate that the natural rodent associations of these 2 sympatric arenaviruses are highly specific and that Z brevicauda and S. alstoni are the principal rodent hosts of Guanarito and Pirital viruses, respectively.  (+info)