Europe was officially declared free from malaria in 1975; nevertheless, this disease remains a potential problem related to the presence of former vectors, belonging to the Anopheles maculipennis complex. Autochthonous-introduced malaria cases, recently reported in European countries, together with the predicted climatic and environmental changes, have increased the concern of health authorities over the possible resurgence of this disease in the Mediterranean Basin. In Italy, to study the distribution and bionomics of indigenous anopheline populations and to assess environmental parameters that could influence their dynamics, an entomological study was carried out in 2005-2006 in an at-risk study area. This model area is represented by the geographical region named the Maremma, a Tyrrhenian costal plain in Central Italy, where malaria was hyperendemic up to the 1950s. Fortnightly, entomological surveys (April-October) were carried out in four selected sites with different ecological features. Morphological and molecular characterization, blood meal identification, and parity rate assessment of the anophelines were performed. In total, 8274 mosquitoes were collected, 7691 of which were anophelines. Six Anopheles species were recorded, the most abundant of which were Anopheles labranchiae and An. maculipennis s.s. An. labranchiae is predominant in the coastal plain, where it is present in scattered foci. However, this species exhibits a wider than expected range: in fact it has been recorded, for the first time, inland where An. maculipennis s.s. is the most abundant species. Both species fed on a wide range of animal hosts, also showing a marked aggressiveness on humans, when available. Our findings demonstrated the high receptivity of the Maremma area, where the former malaria vector, An. labranchiae, occurs at different densities related to the kind of environment, climatic parameters, and anthropic activities.
Prostate cancer is a significant cause of death in Western countries and is under the strong influence of androgens. The steroid 5alpha-reductase 2 catalyzes the metabolism of testosterone into the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone in the prostate gland. The enzyme is a target in pharmacological treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia using specific inhibitors such as finasteride. Makridakis et al. have characterized the V89L and A49T polymorphisms in recombinant expression systems. The L allelic variant has a lower Vmax/Km ratio than the V variant. In the A49T polymorphism, the T variant has an increased Vmax/Km ratio. We performed a population-based case-control study of the impact of the SRD5A2 V89L and A49T polymorphisms on the risk of prostate cancer. We also studied the relation between the genotypes and age at diagnosis, tumor, node, metastasis stage, differentiation grade, prostate specific antigen and heredity. The study included 175 prostate cancer patients and 159 healthy controls that were matched for age. There was an association with SRD5A2 V89L LL genotype and metastases at the time of diagnosis, OR 5.67 (95% CI 1.44-22.30) when adjusted for age, differentiation grade, T-stage and prostate specific antigen. Heterozygous prostate cancer cases that carried the SRD5A2 A49T AT genotype were significantly younger than cases that carried the AA genotype, (mean age 66 years vs 71, P = 0.038). The SRD5A2 V89L and A49T polymorphisms were, however, not associated with altered prostate cancer risk. Further studies of the V89L polymorphism may lead to better understanding of the etiology of prostate cancer metastases.
Haplotype analysis of the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene was performed in Norwegian subjects heterozygous for familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA, using an exon 18 specific probe and the restriction enzyme NcoI, showed that two out of 57 unrelated FH subjects had an abnormal 3.6 kb band. Further analyses revealed that this abnormal band was due to a 9.6 kb deletion that included exons 16 and 17. The 5' deletion breakpoint was after 245 bp of intron 15, and the 3' deletion breakpoint was in exon 18 after nucleotide 3390 of cDNA. Thus, both the membrane-spanning and cytoplasmatic domains of the receptor had been deleted. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was developed to identify this deletion among other Norwegian FH subjects. As a result of this screening one additional subject was found out of 124 subjects screened. Thus, three out of 181 (1.7%) unrelated Norwegian FH subject possessed this deletion. The deletion was found on the same haplotype in the three unrelated subjects, suggesting a common mutagenic event. The deletion is identical to a deletion (FH-Helsinki) that is very common among Finnish FH subjects. However, it is not yet known whether the mutations evolved separately in the two countries.
Diagnostic approaches to onychomycosis have traditionally been based on a combination of culture and microscopy. In the present study clinical specimens from 346 patients with suspected onychomycosis were analysed by 18S polymerase chain reaction (detection) followed by sequencing and subsequent database search (identification) in parallel with routine culture on agar (detection and identification). In 49 samples Trichophyton rubrum was identified by culture and sequencing. In 67 additional culture negative samples, a positive dermatophyte sequence was obtained (T. rubrum in 54, T. mentagrophytes in 5, and T. species in 8 samples). Fifteen samples cultured positive while no sequence was obtained. Two hundred and seven samples were negative by culture as well as by sequencing. Nails from 10 healthy controls were negative by culture and sequencing. In conclusion, the number of specimens that were positive by polymerase chain reaction was more than double the number that were positive by culture alone.
The aim of this study was to examine whether the well-established effect of the common TaqIB polymorphism in intron 1 of the gene for cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) on high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentration and increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI), could be explained by the recently identified -629C>A functional polymorphism in the promoter. Non-fatal MI cases (388 male) and a control group of 794 healthy men were recruited from the 30 year long prospective Reykjavik Study. In the healthy men the frequency of the TaqIB B2 allele was 0.47 (95% CI: 0.44-0.50) and there was a strong allelic association with the -629A allele (D=-0.21, P
To evaluate C to T substitution at nucleotide 677 of N(5), N(10)-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene in women with prior preeclamptic or normotensive pregnancies.
Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotypes were determined in 113 Finnish women with preeclamptic first pregnancies and 103 controls with one or more normotensive pregnancies, using polymerase chain reaction and restriction enzyme analysis. Preeclampsia was defined as severe in 100 women who fulfilled one or more of the subsequent criteria: systolic blood pressure (BP) at least 160 mmHg, diastolic BP at least 110 mmHg, or proteinuria at least 2 g per 24-hour urine collection.
There were no significant differences in prevalences of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase genotypes (CC, CT, and TT) between groups (57%, 40%, and 3% in the preeclamptic group and 54%, 39%, and 7%, respectively, in controls). The frequency of the T677 allele was 0.23 in the preeclamptic group and 0.26 in the control group (difference 0.03; 95% confidence interval -0.08, 0.14; P =.51). Our sample had 60% power to detect a difference of the allele frequencies similar to that (0.12) reported previously. The result was similar when analysis was restricted to patients with severe preeclampsia (T677 allele frequency 0.22).
A carrier status for the T677 allele of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene does not predispose to preeclampsia, at least in the Finnish population.
Uncertainty exists whether the 4154delA mutation of the BRCA1 gene detected in unrelated individuals from Latvia, Poland and Russia is a founder mutation with a common ancestral origin. To trace back this problem we analysed the mutation-associated haplotype of the BRCA1 intragenic SNPs as well as intragenic and nearby STR markers in mutation carriers from the aforementioned populations. The mutation-associated SNP alleles were found to be "T-A-A-A-A-G" for six intragenic SNPs of the BRCA1 gene (IVS8-58delT, 3232A/G, 3667A/G, IVS16-68A/G, IVS16-92A/G, IVS18+66G/A, respectively). The alleles 195, 154, 210 and 181 were found to be associated with the 4154delA mutation for STR markers D17S1325, D17S855, D17S1328 and D17S1320, correspondingly. Further analysis of markers in the 4154delA mutation carriers from all three populations allows us to assert that all analysed mutation carriers share a common ancestry.
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression in osteosarcoma and its relationship to prognosis have been the subject of several conflicting reports, most of them relying on immunohistochemical studies. Because the urgent need of prognostic markers and effective new treatment options for osteosarcoma patients, we evaluated the role of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 in 2 well-characterized sets of pretherapeutic osteosarcoma samples (46 paraffin-embedded and 46 fresh-frozen biopsy samples) using immunohistochemistry with 2 different antibodies [DAKO A0485 (Glostrup, Denmark) and Novocastra CB11 (Newcastle, UK)] as well as fluorescence in situ hybridization, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and SNP array analyses and correlated our findings with clinicopathological parameters. However, our study failed to detect unequivocal evidence of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 gene amplification or overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 messenger RNA or protein in any of the investigated tumors. Only in a small subset of samples, a moderate increase in messenger RNA levels (13.6%) or focal membranous immunoreactivity (8.7%; A0485) was detected but did not correlate with survival or response to chemotherapy. Cytoplasmic staining was identified more frequently (63%; CB11) but again did not show any association with clinicopathological parameters. In conclusion, our study does not support a role for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 as a prognostic marker in osteosarcoma.
Amyloid beta (Abeta) oligomers are derived from proteolytic cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and can impair memory and hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) in vivo and in vitro. They are recognized as the primary neurotoxic agents in Alzheimer's disease. The mechanisms underlying such toxicity on synaptic functions are complex and not fully understood. Here, we provide the first evidence that these mechanisms involve protein phosphatase 1 (PP1). Using a novel transgenic mouse model expressing human APP with the Swedish and Arctic mutations that render Abeta more prone to form oligomers (arcAbeta mice), we show that the LTP impairment induced by Abeta oligomers can be fully reversed by PP1 inhibition in vitro. We further demonstrate that the genetic inhibition of endogenous PP1 in vivo confers resistance to Abeta oligomer-mediated toxicity and preserves LTP. Overall, these results reveal that PP1 is a key player in the mechanisms of AD pathology.
The occurrence of abscess disease, caseous lymphadenitis, and pulmonary adenomatosis in sheep in Denmark is reported for the first time. Subcutaneous abscesses were observed in imported 4- to 5-month-old lambs of the Lacaune breed 10 days after arrival in Denmark. Abscesses were mostly located in the head, neck and shoulder regions close to the regional lymph nodes. Bacteriological examinations revealed growth of Staphylococcus aureus ssp. anaerobius in all animals with subcutaneously located abscesses containing a viscous white-yellow odourless mass. In addition, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis was isolated from abscesses in one animal and lesions consistent with pulmonary adenomatosis were found in four animals.