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Toxins, Volume 3, Issue 6 (June 2011), Pages 504-736

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle 1H NMR Spectroscopy-Based Metabolomic Assessment of Uremic Toxicity, with Toxicological Outcomes, in Male Rats Following an Acute, Mid-Life Insult from Ochratoxin A
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 504-519; doi:10.3390/toxins3060504
Received: 13 March 2011 / Revised: 19 May 2011 / Accepted: 23 May 2011 / Published: 26 May 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Overt response to a single 6.25 mg dose of ochratoxin A (OTA) by oral gavage to 15 months male rats was progressive loss of weight during the following four days. Lost weight was restored within one month and animals had a normal [...] Read more.
Overt response to a single 6.25 mg dose of ochratoxin A (OTA) by oral gavage to 15 months male rats was progressive loss of weight during the following four days. Lost weight was restored within one month and animals had a normal life-span without OTA-related terminal disease. Decline in plasma OTA concentration only commenced four days after dosing, while urinary excretion of OTA and ochratoxin alpha was ongoing. During a temporary period of acute polyuria, a linear relationship between urine output and creatinine concentration persisted. Elimination of other common urinary solutes relative to creatinine was generally maintained during the polyuria phase, except that phosphate excretion increased temporarily. 1H NMR metabolomic analysis of urine revealed a progressive cyclic shift in the group principal components data cluster from before dosing, throughout the acute insult phase, and returning almost completely to normality when tested six months later. Renal insult by OTA was detected by 1H NMR within a day of dosing, as the most sensitive early indicator. Notable biomarkers were trimethylamine N-oxide and an aromatic urinary profile dominated by phenylacetylglycine. Tolerance of such a large acute insult by OTA, assessed by rat natural lifetime outcomes, adds a new dimension to toxicology of this xenobiotic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uremic Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle 4-Pyridone-3-carboxamide-1-β-d-ribonucleoside Triphosphate (4PyTP), a Novel NAD+ Metabolite Accumulating in Erythrocytes of Uremic Children: A Biomarker for a Toxic NAD+ Analogue in Other Tissues?
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 520-537; doi:10.3390/toxins3060520
Received: 25 March 2011 / Revised: 13 May 2011 / Accepted: 31 May 2011 / Published: 7 June 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (568 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have identified a novel nucleotide, 4-pyridone 3/5-carboxamide ribonucleoside triphosphate (4PyTP), which accumulates in human erythrocytes during renal failure. Using plasma and erythrocyte extracts obtained from children with chronic renal failure we show that the concentration of 4PyTP is increased, as well [...] Read more.
We have identified a novel nucleotide, 4-pyridone 3/5-carboxamide ribonucleoside triphosphate (4PyTP), which accumulates in human erythrocytes during renal failure. Using plasma and erythrocyte extracts obtained from children with chronic renal failure we show that the concentration of 4PyTP is increased, as well as other soluble NAD+ metabolites (nicotinamide, N1-methylnicotinamide and 4Py-riboside) and the major nicotinamide metabolite N1-methyl-2-pyridone-5-carboxamide (2PY), with increasing degrees of renal failure. We noted that 2PY concentration was highest in the plasma of haemodialysis patients, while 4PyTP was highest in erythrocytes of children undergoing peritoneal dialysis: its concentration correlated closely with 4Py-riboside, an authentic precursor of 4PyTP, in the plasma. In the dialysis patients, GTP concentration was elevated: similar accumulation was noted previously, as a paradoxical effect in erythrocytes during treatment with immunosuppressants such as ribavirin and mycophenolate mofetil, which deplete GTP through inhibition of IMP dehydrogenase in nucleated cells such as lymphocytes. We predict that 4Py-riboside and 4Py-nucleotides bind to this enzyme and alter its activity. The enzymes that regenerate NAD+ from nicotinamide riboside also convert the drugs tiazofurin and benzamide riboside into NAD+ analogues that inhibit IMP dehydrogenase more effectively than the related ribosides: we therefore propose that the accumulation of 4PyTP in erythrocytes during renal failure is a marker for the accumulation of a related toxic NAD+ analogue that inhibits IMP dehydrogenase in other cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uremic Toxins)
Open AccessArticle Expression Analysis of Stress-Related Genes in Kernels of Different Maize (Zea mays L.) Inbred Lines with Different Resistance to Aflatoxin Contamination
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 538-550; doi:10.3390/toxins3060538
Received: 27 April 2011 / Revised: 10 May 2011 / Accepted: 14 May 2011 / Published: 9 June 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (354 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research examined the expression patterns of 94 stress-related genes in seven maize inbred lines with differential expressions of resistance to aflatoxin contamination. The objective was to develop a set of genes/probes associated with resistance to A. flavus and/or aflatoxin contamination. Ninety [...] Read more.
This research examined the expression patterns of 94 stress-related genes in seven maize inbred lines with differential expressions of resistance to aflatoxin contamination. The objective was to develop a set of genes/probes associated with resistance to A. flavus and/or aflatoxin contamination. Ninety four genes were selected from previous gene expression studies with abiotic stress to test the differential expression in maize lines, A638, B73, Lo964, Lo1016, Mo17, Mp313E, and Tex6, using real-time RT-PCR. Based on the relative-expression levels, the seven maize inbred lines clustered into two different groups. One group included B73, Lo1016 and Mo17, which had higher levels of aflatoxin contamination and lower levels of overall gene expression. The second group which included Tex6, Mp313E, Lo964 and A638 had lower levels of aflatoxin contamination and higher overall levels of gene expressions. A total of six “cross-talking” genes were identified between the two groups, which are highly expressed in the resistant Group 2 but down-regulated in susceptible Group 1. When further subjected to drought stress, Tex6 expressed more genes up-regulated and B73 has fewer genes up-regulated. The transcript patterns and interactions measured in these experiments indicate that the resistant mechanism is an interconnected process involving many gene products and transcriptional regulators, as well as various host interactions with environmental factors, particularly, drought and high temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aflatoxins 2011)
Open AccessArticle Aflatoxin Toxicity Reduction in Feed by Enhanced Binding to Surface-Modified Clay Additives
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 551-565; doi:10.3390/toxins3060551
Received: 18 May 2011 / Revised: 3 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 10 June 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (775 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Animal feeding studies have demonstrated that clay additives, such as bentonites, can bind aflatoxins in ingested feed and reduce or eliminate the toxicity. Bentonite deposits are found throughout the world and mostly consist of expandable smectite minerals, such as montmorillonite. The surfaces [...] Read more.
Animal feeding studies have demonstrated that clay additives, such as bentonites, can bind aflatoxins in ingested feed and reduce or eliminate the toxicity. Bentonite deposits are found throughout the world and mostly consist of expandable smectite minerals, such as montmorillonite. The surfaces of smectite minerals can be treated with organic compounds to create surface-modified clays that more readily bind some contaminants than the untreated clay. Montmorillonites treated with organic cations, such as hexadecyltrimethylammonium (HDTMA) and phenyltrimethylammonium (PTMA), more effectively remove organic contaminants, such as benzene and toluene, from water than untreated clay. Similarly, montmorillonite treated with PTMA (Kd = 24,100) retained more aflatoxin B1 (AfB1) from aqueous corn flour than untreated montmorillonite (Kd = 944). Feed additives that reduced aflatoxin toxicity in animal feeding studies adsorbed more AfB1 from aqueous corn flour than feed additives that were less effective. The organic cations HDTMA and PTMA are considered toxic and would not be suitable for clay additives used in feed or food, but other non-toxic or nutrient compounds can be used to prepare surface-modified clays. Montmorillonite (SWy) treated with choline (Kd = 13,800) and carnitine (Kd = 3960) adsorbed much more AfB1 from aqueous corn flour than the untreated clay (Kd = 944). A choline-treated clay prepared from a reduced-charge, high-charge montmorillonite (Kd = 20,100) adsorbed more AfB1 than the choline-treated high-charge montmorillonite (Kd = 1340) or the untreated montmorillonite (Kd = 293). Surface-modified clay additives prepared using low-charge smectites and nutrient or non-toxic organic compounds might be used to more effectively bind aflatoxins in contaminated feed or food and prevent toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aflatoxins 2011)
Open AccessArticle Control of Aflatoxin Production of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus Using RNA Silencing Technology by Targeting aflD (nor-1) Gene
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 647-659; doi:10.3390/toxins3060647
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 8 June 2011 / Accepted: 15 June 2011 / Published: 17 June 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus are important pathogens of cotton, corn, peanuts and other oil-seed crops, producing toxins both in the field and during storage. We have designed three siRNA sequences (Nor-Ia, Nor-Ib, Nor-Ic) to target the mRNA sequence of the aflD [...] Read more.
Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus are important pathogens of cotton, corn, peanuts and other oil-seed crops, producing toxins both in the field and during storage. We have designed three siRNA sequences (Nor-Ia, Nor-Ib, Nor-Ic) to target the mRNA sequence of the aflD gene to examine the potential for using RNA silencing technology to control aflatoxin production. Thus, the effect of siRNAs targeting of two key genes in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway, aflD (structural) and aflR (regulatory gene) and on aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), and aflatoxin G1 (AFG1) production was examined. The study showed that Nor-Ib gave a significant decrease in aflD mRNA, aflR mRNA abundance, and AFB1 production (98, 97 and 97% when compared to the controls) in A. flavus NRRL3357, respectively. Reduction in aflD and aflR mRNA abundance and AFB1 production increased with concentration of siRNA tested. There was a significant inhibition in aflD and AFB1 production by A. flavus EGP9 and AFG1 production by A. parasiticus NRRL 13005. However, there was no significant decrease in AFG1 production by A. parasiticus SSWT 2999. Changes in AFB1 production in relation to mRNA levels of aflD showed a good correlation (R = 0.88; P = 0.00001); changes in aflR mRNA level in relation to mRNA level of aflD also showed good correlation (R = 0.82; P = 0.0001). The correlations between changes in aflR and aflD gene expression suggests a strong relationship between these structural and regulatory genes, and that aflD could be used as a target gene to develop efficient means for aflatoxin control using RNA silencing technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aflatoxins 2011)
Open AccessArticle Hemodynamic Effects of Anthrax Toxins in the Rabbit Model and the Cardiac Pathology Induced by Lethal Toxin
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 721-736; doi:10.3390/toxins3060721
Received: 30 April 2011 / Revised: 11 June 2011 / Accepted: 21 June 2011 / Published: 23 June 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx) have been shown to alter hemodynamics in the rodent model, while LeTx primarily is reported to induce extensive tissue pathology. However, the rodent model has limitations when used for comparison to higher organisms such [...] Read more.
Anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx) have been shown to alter hemodynamics in the rodent model, while LeTx primarily is reported to induce extensive tissue pathology. However, the rodent model has limitations when used for comparison to higher organisms such as humans. The rabbit model, on the other hand, has gained recognition as a useful model for studying anthrax infection and its pathophysiological effects. In this study, we assessed the hemodynamic effects of lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx) in the rabbit model using physiologically relevant amounts of the toxins. Moreover, we further examine the pathological effects of LeTx on cardiac tissue. We intravenously injected Dutch-belted rabbits with either low-dose and high-dose recombinant LeTx or a single dose of EdTx. The animals’ heart rate and mean arterial pressure were continuously monitored via telemetry until either 48 or 72 h post-challenge. Additional animals challenged with LeTx were used for cardiac troponin I (cTnI) quantitation, cardiac histopathology, and echocardiography. LeTx depressed heart rate at the lower dose and mean arterial pressure (MAP) at the higher dose. EdTx, on the other hand, temporarily intensified heart rate while lowering MAP. Both doses of LeTx caused cardiac pathology with the higher dose having a more profound effect. Lastly, left-ventricular dilation due to LeTx was not apparent at the given time-points. Our study demonstrates the hemodynamic effects of anthrax toxins, as well as the pathological effects of LeTx on the heart in the rabbit model, and it provides further evidence for the toxins’ direct impact on the heart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Toxin)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Aflatoxin B1 in Affecting Broiler’s Performance, Immunity, and Gastrointestinal Tract: A Review of History and Contemporary Issues
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 566-590; doi:10.3390/toxins3060566
Received: 16 March 2011 / Revised: 11 May 2011 / Accepted: 16 May 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 49 | PDF Full-text (375 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 is a common contaminant of poultry feeds in tropical and subtropical climates. Research during the last five decades has well established the negative effects of the mycotoxin on health of poultry. However, the last ten years of relevant data [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 is a common contaminant of poultry feeds in tropical and subtropical climates. Research during the last five decades has well established the negative effects of the mycotoxin on health of poultry. However, the last ten years of relevant data have accentuated the potential of low levels of aflatoxin B1 to deteriorate broiler performance. In this regard, any attempt to establish a dose-effect relationship between aflatoxin B1 level and broiler performance is also complicated due to differences in types of broilers and length of exposure to the mycotoxin in different studies. Contrary to the prevalent notion regarding literature saturation with respect to aflatoxicosis of chicken, many areas of aflatoxicosis still need to be explored. Literature regarding effects of the mycotoxin on the gastrointestinal tract in this regard is particular scanty and non-conclusive. In addition to these issues, the metabolism of aflatoxin B1 and recently proposed hypotheses regarding biphasic effects of the mycotoxin in broilers are briefly discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aflatoxins 2011)
Open AccessReview The Effects of Anthrax Lethal Toxin on Host Barrier Function
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 591-607; doi:10.3390/toxins3060591
Received: 19 May 2011 / Revised: 2 June 2011 / Accepted: 7 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (386 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pathological actions of anthrax toxin require the activities of its edema factor (EF) and lethal factor (LF) enzyme components, which gain intracellular access via its receptor-binding component, protective antigen (PA). LF is a metalloproteinase with specificity for selected mitogen-activated protein kinase [...] Read more.
The pathological actions of anthrax toxin require the activities of its edema factor (EF) and lethal factor (LF) enzyme components, which gain intracellular access via its receptor-binding component, protective antigen (PA). LF is a metalloproteinase with specificity for selected mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MKKs), but its activity is not directly lethal to many types of primary and transformed cells in vitro. Nevertheless, in vivo treatment of several animal species with the combination of LF and PA (termed lethal toxin or LT) leads to morbidity and mortality, suggesting that LT-dependent toxicity is mediated by cellular interactions between host cells. Decades of research have revealed that a central hallmark of this toxicity is the disruption of key cellular barriers required to maintain homeostasis. This review will focus on the current understanding of the effects of LT on barrier function, highlighting recent progress in establishing the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Toxin)
Open AccessReview Shiga Toxin: Expression, Distribution, and Its Role in the Environment
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 608-625; doi:10.3390/toxins3060608
Received: 3 May 2011 / Revised: 9 June 2011 / Accepted: 9 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this review, we highlight recent work that has increased our understanding of the production and distribution of Shiga toxin in the environment. Specifically, we review studies that offer an expanded view of environmental reservoirs for Shiga toxin producing microbes in terrestrial [...] Read more.
In this review, we highlight recent work that has increased our understanding of the production and distribution of Shiga toxin in the environment. Specifically, we review studies that offer an expanded view of environmental reservoirs for Shiga toxin producing microbes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We then relate the abundance of Shiga toxin in the environment to work that demonstrates that the genetic mechanisms underlying the production of Shiga toxin genes are modified and embellished beyond the classical microbial gene regulatory paradigms in a manner that apparently “fine tunes” the trigger to modulate the amount of toxin produced. Last, we highlight several recent studies examining microbe/protist interactions that postulate an answer to the outstanding question of why microbes might harbor and express Shiga toxin genes in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shiga Toxin)
Open AccessReview Shiga Toxin Interaction with Human Intestinal Epithelium
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 626-639; doi:10.3390/toxins3060626
Received: 20 April 2011 / Revised: 2 June 2011 / Accepted: 7 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
After ingestion via contaminated food or water, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli colonises the intestinal mucosa and produces Shiga toxins (Stx). No Stx-specific secretion system has been described so far, and it is assumed that Stx are released into the gut lumen after bacterial [...] Read more.
After ingestion via contaminated food or water, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli colonises the intestinal mucosa and produces Shiga toxins (Stx). No Stx-specific secretion system has been described so far, and it is assumed that Stx are released into the gut lumen after bacterial lysis. Human intestinal epithelium does not express the Stx receptor Gb3 or other Stx binding sites, and it remains unknown how Stx cross the intestinal epithelial barrier and gain access to the systemic circulation. This review summarises current knowledge about the influence of the intestinal environment on Stx production and release, Stx interaction with intestinal epithelial cells and intracellular uptake, and toxin translocation into underlying tissues. Furthermore, it highlights gaps in understanding that need to be addressed by future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shiga Toxin)
Open AccessReview T Cell Targeting by Anthrax Toxins: Two Faces of the Same Coin
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 660-671; doi:10.3390/toxins3060660
Received: 3 May 2011 / Revised: 3 June 2011 / Accepted: 7 June 2011 / Published: 20 June 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacillus anthracis, similar to other bacterial pathogens, has evolved effective immune evasion strategies to prolong its survival in the host, thus ensuring the unchecked spread of the infection. This function is subserved by lethal (LT) and edema (ET) toxins, two exotoxins [...] Read more.
Bacillus anthracis, similar to other bacterial pathogens, has evolved effective immune evasion strategies to prolong its survival in the host, thus ensuring the unchecked spread of the infection. This function is subserved by lethal (LT) and edema (ET) toxins, two exotoxins produced by vegetative anthrax bacilli following germination of the spores. The structure of these toxins and the mechanism of cell intoxication are topics covered by other reviews in this issue. Here we shall discuss how B. anthracis uses LT and ET to suppress the immune defenses of the host, focusing on T lymphocytes, the key players in adaptive immunity. We shall also summarize recent findings showing that, depending on its concentration, ET has the ability not only to suppress T cell activation but also to promote the polarization of CD4+ T cells to the Th2 and Th17 subsets, highlighting the potential use of this toxin as an immunomodulator. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthrax Toxin)
Open AccessReview Developing Resistance to Aflatoxin in Maize and Cottonseed
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 678-696; doi:10.3390/toxins3060678
Received: 26 April 2011 / Revised: 14 June 2011 / Accepted: 16 June 2011 / Published: 21 June 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
At this time, no “magic bullet” for solving the aflatoxin contamination problem in maize and cottonseed has been identified, so several strategies must be utilized simultaneously to ensure a healthy crop, free of aflatoxins. The most widely explored strategy for the control [...] Read more.
At this time, no “magic bullet” for solving the aflatoxin contamination problem in maize and cottonseed has been identified, so several strategies must be utilized simultaneously to ensure a healthy crop, free of aflatoxins. The most widely explored strategy for the control of aflatoxin contamination is the development of preharvest host resistance. This is because A. flavus infects and produces aflatoxins in susceptible crops prior to harvest. In maize production, the host resistance strategy has gained prominence because of advances in the identification of natural resistance traits. However, native resistance in maize to aflatoxin contamination is polygenic and complex and, therefore, markers need to be identified to facilitate the transfer of resistance traits into agronomically viable genetic backgrounds while limiting the transfer of undesirable traits. Unlike maize, there are no known cotton varieties that demonstrate enhanced resistance to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination. For this reason, transgenic approaches are being undertaken in cotton that utilize genes encoding antifungal/anti-aflatoxin factors from maize and other sources to counter fungal infection and toxin production. This review will present information on preharvest control strategies that utilize both breeding and native resistance identification approaches in maize as well as transgenic approaches in cotton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aflatoxins 2011)
Open AccessReview Immunotoxins and Other Conjugates Containing Saporin-S6 for Cancer Therapy
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 697-720; doi:10.3390/toxins3060697
Received: 18 April 2011 / Revised: 27 May 2011 / Accepted: 3 June 2011 / Published: 22 June 2011
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are a family of plant toxins that permanently damage ribosomes and possibly other cellular substrates, thus causing cell death. RIPs are mostly divided in two types: Type 1 RIPs that are single-chain enzymatic proteins, and type 2 RIPs that [...] Read more.
Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are a family of plant toxins that permanently damage ribosomes and possibly other cellular substrates, thus causing cell death. RIPs are mostly divided in two types: Type 1 RIPs that are single-chain enzymatic proteins, and type 2 RIPs that consist of an active A chain (similar to a type 1 RIP) linked to a B chain with lectin properties. RIP-containing conjugates have been used in many experimental strategies against cancer cells, often showing great efficacy in clinical trials. Saporin-S6, a type 1 RIP extracted from Saponaria officinalis L. seeds, has been extensively utilized to construct anti-cancer conjugates because of its high enzymatic activity, stability and resistance to conjugation procedures, resulting in the efficient killing of target cells. This review summarizes saporin-S6-containing conjugates and their application in cancer therapy, considering in-vitro and in-vivo studies both in animal models and in clinical trials. The review is structured on the basis of the targeting of hematological versus solid tumors and on the antigen recognized on the cell surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immunotoxins)

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessBrief Report Detection of stx1 and stx2 Genes in Pennsylvanian White-Tailed Deer
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 640-646; doi:10.3390/toxins3060640
Received: 3 May 2011 / Revised: 10 June 2011 / Accepted: 14 June 2011 / Published: 16 June 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli carrying the stx1 and/or stx2 genes can cause multi-symptomatic illness in humans. A variety of terrestrial and aquatic environmental reservoirs of stx have been described. Culture based detection of microbes in deer species have found a [...] Read more.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli carrying the stx1 and/or stx2 genes can cause multi-symptomatic illness in humans. A variety of terrestrial and aquatic environmental reservoirs of stx have been described. Culture based detection of microbes in deer species have found a low percentage of samples that have tested positive for Stx-producing microbes, suggesting that while deer may contain these microbes, their overall abundance in deer is low. In this study, quantitative PCR (qPCR) was utilized to test for the presence of stx genes in white-tailed deer fecal matter in western Pennsylvania. In this culture independent screening, nearly half of the samples tested positive for the stx2 gene, with a bias towards samples that were concentrated with stx2. This study, while limited in scope, suggests that deer may be a greater reservoir for stx than was previously thought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shiga Toxin)
Open AccessShort Note Loss of vtx Genes after the First Subcultivation Step of Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157 and Non-O157 during Isolation from Naturally Contaminated Fecal Samples
Toxins 2011, 3(6), 672-677; doi:10.3390/toxins3060672
Received: 12 April 2011 / Revised: 1 June 2011 / Accepted: 8 June 2011 / Published: 20 June 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Verocytotoxins VT1 and VT2, produced by Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC), are encoded on temperate bacteriophages. Several studies reported the loss of the vtx genes after multiple subcultivation steps or long preservation. The objective of this study was to determine if the loss [...] Read more.
Verocytotoxins VT1 and VT2, produced by Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC), are encoded on temperate bacteriophages. Several studies reported the loss of the vtx genes after multiple subcultivation steps or long preservation. The objective of this study was to determine if the loss of the verocytotoxin genes can already occur during the first subcultivation step. Consequently, the stability of the vtx genes were tested in 40 isolates originating from 40 vtx-positive fecal samples after the first subcultivation step following the isolation procedure. The loss occurred in 12 out of 40 strains tested and was rather rare among the O157 strains compared to the non-O157 strains. This is the first study demonstrating that the loss of the verocytotoxin genes can already occur after the first subcultivation step. This may lead to an underestimation of VTEC positive samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shiga Toxin)

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