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Investigating Antimicrobial Controls for Bat White-Nose Syndrome

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Across large areas of eastern and midwestern North America, a severe reduction in multiple populations of bat species has been observed as the result of the emerging fungal disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS). WNS is caused by a psychrophilic (i.e. cold

Across large areas of eastern and midwestern North America, a severe reduction in multiple populations of bat species has been observed as the result of the emerging fungal disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS). WNS is caused by a psychrophilic (i.e. cold loving) fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), that invades the skin of bats during hibernation. Recent studies have shown that during hibernation, bats have decreased immune system activity which would suggest increased susceptibility to infection. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an important component of the innate immune system and are expressed constitutively within all tissues that serve as barriers against infection. Killing pathogens at the level of the skin could prevent the need for more complex immune responses likely inhibited during hibernation, and therefore AMPs could be critical in combating infection by Pd and reducing population loss of susceptible bat species. In this investigation, the fungicidal activity of commercially available AMPs derived from the skin of multiple taxa, including amphibians, catfish, and humans were compared in order to study immunity at the level of the skin. Additionally, our aim was to create optimal methods for a low-cost antimicrobial-assay protocol that would provide quantitative results. We found that killing abilities at various concentrations of dermaseptin S-1 against Ca ATCC 10231 were consistent with literature values, while our values for magainin 2 and parasin 1 were far from the values previously recorded by other studies. It is possible that some differences can be accounted for by the difference in antimicrobial assay procedures, but our findings suggest potential differences to the well-known killing abilities of certain peptides nonetheless. Overall, the protocol established for the antimicrobial assays using serial dilutions and Sabouraud Dextrose plates was successful.

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2018-05

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Investigating Antimicrobial Controls for Bat White-Nose Syndrome

Description

Across large areas of eastern and midwestern North America, a severe reduction in multiple populations of bat species has been observed as the result of the emerging fungal disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS). WNS is caused by a psychrophilic (i.e. cold

Across large areas of eastern and midwestern North America, a severe reduction in multiple populations of bat species has been observed as the result of the emerging fungal disease, white-nose syndrome (WNS). WNS is caused by a psychrophilic (i.e. cold loving) fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), that invades the skin of bats during hibernation. Recent studies have shown that during hibernation, bats have decreased immune system activity which would suggest increased susceptibility to infection. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an important component of the innate immune system and are expressed constitutively within all tissues that serve as barriers against infection. Killing pathogens at the level of the skin could prevent the need for more complex immune responses likely inhibited during hibernation, and therefore AMPs could be critical in combating infection by Pd and reducing population loss of susceptible bat species. In this investigation, the fungicidal activity of commercially available AMPs derived from the skin of multiple taxa, including amphibians, catfish, and humans were compared in order to study immunity at the level of the skin. Additionally, our aim was to create optimal methods for a low-cost antimicrobial-assay protocol that would provide quantitative results. We found that killing abilities at various concentrations of dermaseptin S-1 against Ca ATCC 10231 were consistent with literature values, while our values for magainin 2 and parasin 1 were far from the values previously recorded by other studies. It is possible that some differences can be accounted for by the difference in antimicrobial assay procedures, but our findings suggest potential differences to the well-known killing abilities of certain peptides nonetheless. Overall, the protocol established for the antimicrobial assays using serial dilutions and Sabouraud Dextrose plates was successful.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Evaluating the viability of a DNA-based chip targeted for C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, and other pathogens of interest

Description

Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia, standardly treated with antibiotics, produce over 1.2 million cases annually in the emergency department (Jenkins et al., 2013). To determine a need for antibiotics, hospital labs utilize bacterial cultures to isolate and identify

Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia, standardly treated with antibiotics, produce over 1.2 million cases annually in the emergency department (Jenkins et al., 2013). To determine a need for antibiotics, hospital labs utilize bacterial cultures to isolate and identify possible pathogens. Unfortunately, this technique can take up to 72 hours, leading to several physicians presumptively treating patients based solely on history and physical presentation. With vague standards for diagnosis and a high percentage of asymptomatic carriers, several patients undergo two scenarios; over- or under-treatment. These two scenarios can lead to consequences like unnecessary exposure to antibiotics and development of secondary conditions (for example: pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, etc.). This presents a need for a laboratory technique that can provide reliable results in an efficient matter. The viability of DNA-based chip targeted for C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, and other pathogens of interest were evaluated. The DNA-based chip presented several advantages as it can be easily integrated as a routine test given the process is already well-known, is customizable and able to target multiple pathogens within a single test and has the potential to return results within a few hours as opposed to days. As such, implementation of a DNA-based chip as a diagnostic tool is a timely and potentially impactful investigation.

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Date Created
2016-12