Abstract in English:This review shows the structure, mode of action, and actual epidemiological data about EAST1 toxin. It is a particularly intriguing bacterial toxin that may subvert multiple cellular processes to yield intestinal epithelial cell secretion. EAST1 toxin was first described in strains of EAggEC that were associated with persistent diarrhea primarily in developing world countries. Molecular organization, mobility, and data in literature are suggesting that EAST1 could be a transposon. The insertion sequences in Escherichia coli and some of the usual transposition mechanisms as well as regulation are reviewed. This review emphasizes the presence of the gene astA in EPEC, EAggEC, A-EPEC, ETEC, DAEC, EIEC, and in non-diarrheagenic E. coli. It also discusses here the presence of the astA gene in Salmonella spp. and future perspectives for understanding its role in diarrheal disease in both bacterial genera.
Abstract in English:This investigation evaluated the epidemiological aspects of scorpion stings in different areas of Saudi Arabia. A total of 72,168 cases of scorpion stings recorded in Ministry of Health Medical Centers in 11 selected areas of Saudi Arabia were analyzed based on area, age, sex, time of sting, sting site, treatment outcome, time of year, and scorpion species. Stings occurred throughout the year; the highest frequency was in June (15.08%), the lowest in February (2.52%). Most patients were male (61.8%); the majority of which were more than 15 years old (65.4%). Nocturnal envenomation (47.74%) was more common than diurnal (43.91%); most stings were in exposed limbs (90.95%), mainly in the lower limbs (63%). Most envenomings were mild (74.48%) and all evolved to cure, except for one death. Envenomation was characterized by local pain, erythema, headache, vomiting, and anxiety. This study found that the Leiurus quinquestriatus (Ehrenberg 1828), Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier 1807), and Apistobuthus pterygocercus (Finnegan 1807) were responsible for most of the stings, indicating their medical importance in Saudi Arabia. The study shows low threat to life despite the high number of stings; this is a result of the availability of medical facilities and the multi-center antivenom use in different areas of Saudi Arabia.
Abstract in English:Buthus C56 toxin from venom of the Indian red scorpion Mesobuthus tamulus was studied for its effects on spontaneous miniature excitatory junctional potentials (MEJP) on Drosophila larval neuromuscular junctions. C56 toxin was isolated on CM-Cellulose with linear gradient of ammonium acetate buffer, pH 6.0. Toxin purity was determined on SDS slab gel electrophoresis. Effective concentration of C56 toxin was based on contraction paralysis units (CPU) in Drosophila 3rd instar larvae by microinjection (0.1 CPU/ml = 2 x 10-6 g/ml). The toxin-induced excitatory junctional potentials were studied for calcium dependency (0.2 mM to 1.2 mM Ca2+) in Drosophila Ringer. Excitatory junctional potential amplitude was increased with increasing calcium concentration; maximum increase in the frequency at 0.4 mM Ca2+/4 mM Mg2+ Drosophila Ringer. It was suggested that while amplitude of excitatory junctional potentials was increased with concentration, maximum frequency increase at 0.4 mMCa2+/4 mM Mg2+ Drosophila Ringer may be due to augmented Ca2+ influx in 0.4 mM Ca2+, when NMDA receptors were maximally activated in C56 toxin-treated Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction.
Abstract in English:In Brazil, where puffer fish are considered poisonous, there are few documented cases on human consumption and consequent poisoning. In this study, toxicity of two puffer fish species from the Brazilian coast was examined. Specimens of Sphoeroides spengleri and Lagocephalus laevigatus were caught in São Sebastião Channel (North coast of São Paulo State, Brazil) between January 1996 and May 1997. Acidic ethanol extracts from muscle and skin plus viscera were tested for mice acute toxicity using the standard method of Kawabata. Polar extracts of S. spengleri showed high toxicity up to 946 MU/g. Extracts from L. laevigatus showed very low levels of toxicity, never exceeding 1.7 MU/g. All extracts from both species blocked amielinic nerve fiber evoked impulses of crustacean legs; this effect reverted on washing similar to the standard tetrodotoxin TTX. The aqueous extract solutions were partially purified using an ionic exchange column (Amberlit GC-50) followed by treatment with activated charcoal (Norit-A). The presence of TTX and their analogs in the semi-purified extracts were confirmed by HPLC and mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF).
Abstract in English:Cotesia glomerata is a natural enemy of the vegetable plague Ascia monuste orseis and preferably parasites 2nd, 3rd and 4th instar larvae. Parasitism effects on the haemolymph protein profile of Ascia monuste orseis larvae from the 2nd to 7th days were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively by SDS-PAGE and Coomassie-Blue binding methods. Quantitative analysis showed a progressive increase in the protein content of about 6.5 and 12.5 times in parasitized and non-parasitized larvae from the 2nd to 5th days, respectively. On the 6th day, a decrease in protein content was observed in both groups, although this decrease was significantly less than the control group that continued to metamorphosis. Meanwhile, parasitized larvae had one more day (7th day) in their larval period to complete parasitoid development, justified by the fact that parasitoid is koinobiont and allows host feeding. On this day, a drastic increase in protein content was detected when the parasitoids left the host. The SDS-PAGE showed proteins of high molecular weight (>120 kDa) on the 5th day of the non-parasitized larvae when they entered pre-pupa stage and on the 7th day of parasitized larvae. Proteins with MW lower than 62 kDa and higher than 27 kDa were absent on the 5th day in control larvae (pre-pupa phase), but present in parasitized larvae. This could indicate a possible relation between these proteins and the host juvenile hormone. Therefore, the presence of C. glomerata influences Ascia monuste orseis development, but its own physiological development is apparently independent of the host, which tends to die when parasitism succeeds.
Abstract in English:We describe a case of trichomoniasis in a Bothrops jararaca (Serpentes, Viperidae) donated to the Center for the Study of Venoms and Venomous Animals - CEVAP/UNESP. The animal had diarrhea with great quantity of flagellated protozoa in the feces. Microscopic examination of fecal smears stained with Giemsa revealed the presence of trichomonads, morphologically similar to Trichomonas acosta. Trichomonads were not detected in fecal exams after treatment with a single dose of 40 mg/kg metronidazole (Flagyl®).
Abstract in English:This paper describes an inexpensive and secure cage system for housing venomous snakes. The cages are easily constructed from commercially available plastic containers and are lightweight and can be stacked, minimizing the area needed to house numerous animals. They allow easy access to the animal and can be adequately disinfected. These cages can be individually locked and also allow for full viewing of the animal.
Abstract in English:The objective of this paper is to report the death of a Boa constrictor amarali after ingestion of a tree porcupine. The animal was donated to the Center for the Study of Venoms and Venomous Animals (CEVAP/UNESP) - and died in captivity. At necropsy, spine-like structures were observed in the stomach serosa and vicinity, and the stomach mucosa showed an intense reddish area, suggesting inflammation. The analysis of the spine-like structure revealed that they were tree porcupine spines. The feeding habits and inexperience of this Boa constrictor amarali in selecting its prey may have been be responsible for its death.