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Plague Publications

2017Jan
Neuropsychologia
Neuropsychologia 2017 Jan 7. Epub 2017 Jan 7.
VA Northern California Health Care System, Martinez, CA. Electronic address:

Deficits in working memory (WM) and cognitive control processes have been reported in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in addition to clinical symptoms such as hypervigilance, re-experiencing, and avoidance of trauma reminders. Given the uncontrollable nature of intrusive memories, an important question is whether PTSD is associated with altered control of interference in WM. Some studies also suggest that episodic memory shows a material-specific dissociation in PTSD, with greater impairments in verbal memory and relative sparing of nonverbal memory. Read More

It is unclear whether this dissociation applies to WM, as no studies have used identical task parameters across material. Here we tested 29 combat Veterans with PTSD and 29 age-matched control Veterans on a recent probes WM task with words and visual patterns in separate blocks. Participants studied four-item sets, followed by a probe stimulus that had been presented in the previous set (recent probe) or not (nonrecent probe). Participants with PTSD made more errors than controls, and this decrement was similar for verbal and visual stimuli. Proactive interference from items recently presented, but no longer relevant, was not significantly different in the PTSD group and showed no relationship to re-experiencing symptom severity. These results demonstrate that PTSD is not reliably associated with increased intrusions of irrelevant representations into WM when non-emotional stimuli are used. Future studies that use trauma-related material may provide insight into the flashbacks and intrusive thoughts that plague those with PTSD.

2017Jan
Acta Trop.
Acta Trop 2017 Jan 8. Epub 2017 Jan 8.
Laboratório de Hantaviroses e Rickettsioses, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (IOC), Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2017Jan
Parasitology
Parasitology 2017 Jan 12:1-8. Epub 2017 Jan 12.
Centre for Environment,Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas),The Nothe,Weymouth,Dorset DT4 8UB,UK.
2017Jan
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2017 Jan 9;11(1):e0005260. Epub 2017 Jan 9.
Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging infectious diseases, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Akanlu, Kabudar Ahang, Hamadan, Iran.

Flea-borne diseases have a wide distribution in the world. Studies on the identity, abundance, distribution and seasonality of the potential vectors of pathogenic agents (e.g. Read More

Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and Rickettsia felis) are necessary tools for controlling and preventing such diseases outbreaks. The improvements of diagnostic tools are partly responsible for an easier detection of otherwise unnoticed agents in the ectoparasitic fauna and as such a good taxonomical knowledge of the potential vectors is crucial. The aims of this study were to make an exhaustive inventory of the literature on the fleas (Siphonaptera) and range of associated hosts in Iran, present their known distribution, and discuss their medical importance.
The data were obtained by an extensive literature review related to medically significant fleas in Iran published before 31st August 2016. The flea-host specificity was then determined using a family and subfamily-oriented criteria to further realize and quantify the shared and exclusive vertebrate hosts of fleas among Iran fleas. The locations sampled and reported in the literature were primarily from human habitation, livestock farms, poultry, and rodents' burrows of the 31 provinces of the country. The flea fauna were dominated by seven families, namely the Ceratophyllidae, Leptopsyllidae, Pulicidae, Ctenophthalmidae, Coptopsyllidae, Ischnopsyllidae and Vermipsyllidae. The hosts associated with Iran fleas ranged from the small and large mammals to the birds. Pulicidae were associated with 73% (56/77) of identified host species. Flea-host association analysis indicates that rodents are the common hosts of 5 flea families but some sampling bias results in the reduced number of bird host sampled. Analyses of flea-host relationships at the subfamily level showed that most vertebrates hosted fleas belgonging to 3 subfamilies namely Xenopsyllinae (n = 43), Ctenophthalminae (n = 20) and Amphipsyllinae (n = 17). Meriones persicus was infested by 11 flea subfamilies in the arid, rocky, mountainous regions and Xenopsyllinae were hosted by at least 43 mammal species. These findings place the Persian jird (M. persicus) and the Xenopsyllinae as the major vertebrate and vector hosts of flea-borne diseases in Iran including Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague. We found records of at least seven vector-borne pathogenic agents that can potentially be transmitted by the 117 flea species (or subspecies) of Iran.
Herein, we performed a thorough inventary of the flea species and their associated hosts, their medical importance and geographic distribution throughout Iran. This exercise allowed assessing the diversity of flea species with the potential flea-borne agents transmission risk in the country by arranging published data on flea-host associations. This information is a first step for issuing public health policies and rodent-flea control campaigns in Iran as well as those interested in the ecology/epidemiology of flea-borne disease.

2017Jan
Sci Rep
Sci Rep 2017 Jan 5;7:40022. Epub 2017 Jan 5.
Aix Marseille Université, URMITE, UMR 63, CNRS 7278, IRD 198, Inserm 1095, Faculté de Médecine, 27 Bd Jean MOULIN, 13385 Marseille Cedex 5, France.
2017Jan
Sci Rep
Sci Rep 2017 Jan 4;7:39998. Epub 2017 Jan 4.
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), Singapore.

Yersinia bacteria cause a range of human diseases, including yersiniosis, Far East scarlet-like fever and the plague. Yersiniae modulate and evade host immune defences through injection of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) into phagocytic cells. One of the Yops, YopO (also known as YpkA) obstructs phagocytosis through disrupting actin filament regulation processes - inhibiting polymerization-promoting signaling through sequestration of Rac/Rho family GTPases and by using monomeric actin as bait to recruit and phosphorylate host actin-regulating proteins. Read More

Here we set out to identify mechanisms of specificity in protein phosphorylation by YopO that would clarify its effects on cytoskeleton disruption. We report the MgADP structure of Yersinia enterocolitica YopO in complex with actin, which reveals its active site architecture. Using a proteome-wide kinase-interacting substrate screening (KISS) method, we identified that YopO phosphorylates a wide range of actin-modulating proteins and located their phosphorylation sites by mass spectrometry. Using artificial substrates we clarified YopO's substrate length requirements and its phosphorylation consensus sequence. These findings provide fresh insight into the mechanism of the YopO kinase and demonstrate that YopO executes a specific strategy targeting actin-modulating proteins, across multiple functionalities, to compete for control of their native phospho-signaling, thus hampering the cytoskeletal processes required for macrophage phagocytosis.

2016Dec
Brain Res.
Brain Res 2016 Dec 31. Epub 2016 Dec 31.
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital(301 Hospital), 28 Fuxing Road, Wukesong, Beijing 100000, China. Electronic address:

[BACKGROUND]: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) produces lasting neurological deficits that plague patients and physicians. To date, there is no effective method to combat the source of this problem. Here, we utilized a mild, closed head TBI model to determine the modulatory effects of a natural dietary compound, astaxanthin (AST). Read More

AST is centrally active following oral administration and is neuroprotective in experimental brain ischemia/stroke and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) models. We examined the effects of oral AST on the long-term neurological functional recovery and histological outcomes following moderate TBI in a mice model.. [METHODS]: Male adult ICR mice were divided into 3 groups: (1) Sham + olive oil vehicle treated, (2) TBI + olive oil vehicle treated, and (3) TBI + AST. The olive oil vehicle or AST were administered via oral gavage at scheduled time points. Closed head brain injury was applied using M.A. Flierl weight-drop method. NSS, Rotarod, ORT, and Y-maze were performed to test the behavioral or neurological outcome. The brain sections from the mice were stained with H&E and cresyl-violet to test the injured lesion volume and neuronal loss. Western blot analysis was performed to investigate the mechanisms of neuronal cell survival and neurological function improvement. [RESULTS]: AST administration improved the sensorimotor performance on the Neurological Severity Score (NSS) and rotarod test and enhanced cognitive function recovery in the object recognition test (ORT) and Y-maze test. Moreover, AST treatment reduced the lesion size and neuronal loss in the cortex compared with the vehicle-treated TBI group. AST also restored the levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43), synapsin, and synaptophysin (SYP) in the cerebral cortex, which indicates the promotion of neuronal survival and plasticity. [CONCLUSION]: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the protective role and the underlining mechanism of AST in TBI. Based on these neuroprotective actions and considering its longstanding clinical use, AST should be considered for the clinical treatment of TBI.

2016Dec
Int J Mycobacteriol
Int J Mycobacteriol 2016 Dec 11;5 Suppl 1:S250-S251. Epub 2016 Nov 11.
Zonotic Disease Unit College of Veterinary Medicine, Baghdad University, Baghdad, Iraq.

Tuberculosis (the white plague) is regarded as one of the most widespread infectious diseases and continues to be a leading cause of death and the most prominent public health problem worldwide. It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, which refers to a group of seven species; one of them known as Mycobacterium bovis-the cause of bovine-type tuberculosis-has an exceptionally wide host range. It infects cattle, humans, goats, cats, dogs, buffalo, and deer. Read More

Many susceptible species, including man, are spillover hosts in which infection is not self-maintaining. The objective of this study is to investigate the role of infected slaughtered cattle in spreading tuberculosis to those who work in abattoirs.
Three hundred slaughter cattle in some abattoirs of the Baghdad governorate were examined grossly. Tissue samples were taken from lesions that had appeared on lymph nodes, lung, liver, spleen, peritoium, and intestines. A routine examination was performed: (1) smear for Ziehl Neelsen acid-fast stain; (2) cultured: each sample was cultured on Stone-brink with sodium pyrovite and on Lowenstein media which contain glycerol; and (3) incubated at 37°C for 4-10weeks, to observe the characteristic features of bacterial colonies. Biochemical tests, nitrate reduction, urea analysis, tween 80 lysis, and catalase test were employed to isolate and identify the bacteria. Pieces from tissue samples were kept in 10% formalin for histopathological investigation. Tuberculin tests and X-rays were conducted for 186 workers who were in contact with slaughtered cattle in the same abattoirs, with an age range of 15years to 60years. Sputum samples were collected from all workers in clean and sterile containers, and subjected to the same routine examination. The collection of samples was carried out under strict and sterile conditions and the sputum was kept in 50% oxalic acid for 20 min before culture on media to avoid the contamination.
Gross examination of cattle carcasses showed tubercle in four of them that was distributed in lymph nodes and different organs especially in lungs, livers, and in one case tubercle appeared on the peritoneum and intestines. A histopathological study revealed different lesions with an accumulation of lymphocytes and macrophages in lymph nodes and organs. Four isolates of M. bovis were diagnosed and identified by routine examination that indicated the percentage of infection in slaughtered cattle was 1.33%. The result of the workers' examinations clarified that only one of the workers had a positive result for the tuberculin test, whereas three of them had positive results in X-ray and routine examination. Three isolates were obtained from workers (1.6%); two of these isolates were diagnosed as M. bovis and the other as M. tuberculosis.
The main conclusion of this study is that two workers were infected with cattle's strain which confirms the role of slaughtered cattle in the transmission of this dangerous, chronic, and zoonotic disease to man.

2016Jan
J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care
J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care 2016 Jan 1:2325957416686194. Epub 2016 Jan 1.
1 Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy, Kyiv, Ukraine.