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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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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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The Origins of America’s Longest War: Drug Use, Racism, Propaganda, and Prohibition Before the War on Drugs

Description

The United States’ War on Drugs declared in 1971 by President Richard Nixon and revamped by President Reagan in the 1980s has been an objectively failed initiative with origins based in racism and oppression. After exploring the repercussions of this

The United States’ War on Drugs declared in 1971 by President Richard Nixon and revamped by President Reagan in the 1980s has been an objectively failed initiative with origins based in racism and oppression. After exploring the repercussions of this endeavor for societies and individuals around the world, global researchers and policymakers have declared that the policies and institutions created to fight the battle have left devastation in their wake. Despite high economic and social costs, missed opportunities in public health and criminal justice sectors, and increasing limits on our personal freedoms, all the measures taken to eradicate drug abuse and trafficking have been unsuccessful. Not only that, but militarized police tactics, mass incarceration, and harsh penalties that stifle opportunities for rehabilitation, growth, and change disproportionately harm poor and minority communities. <br/>Because reform in U.S. drug policy is badly needed, the goals of America’s longest war need to be reevaluated, implications of the initiative reexamined, and alternative strategies reconsidered. Solutions must be propagated from a diverse spectrum of contributors and holistic understanding through scientific research, empirical evidence, innovation, public health, social wellbeing, and measurable outcomes. But before we can know where we should be headed, we need to appreciate how we got to where we are. This preliminary expository investigation will explore and outline the history of drug use and prohibition in the United States before the War on Drugs was officially declared. Through an examination of the different patterns of substance use, evolving civil tolerance of users, racially-charged anti-drug misinformation/propaganda campaigns, and increasingly restrictive drug control policies, a foundation for developing solutions and strengths-based strategies for drug reform will emerge.

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2021-05

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Investigating the Skin Immune Proteome of the White-Nose Syndrome Resistant Gray Bat, Myotis grisescens

Description

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a cutaneous fungal infection caused by Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) which was first observed in the United States in 2006. Pd infects bats during hibernation and leads to the development of cutaneous lesions and behavioral changes that

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a cutaneous fungal infection caused by Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd) which was first observed in the United States in 2006. Pd infects bats during hibernation and leads to the development of cutaneous lesions and behavioral changes that can result in the animal's death. This study generated the first complete bat skin proteome for the WNS resistant gray bat (Myotis grisescens) to optimize sample preparation methods and identify immune proteins that may signal resistance. Wing tissue was collected from a female gray bat and processed in a Barocycler using 4M or 8M urea followed by an in-gel trypsin digestion of pooled samples and processing of separate samples without digestion specifically to capture and identify small antimicrobial peptides. Both undigested and digested samples were analyzed using a Thermo Fisher LTQ Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer and interpreted using PEAKS software. A total of 29 immune proteins were identified including the antimicrobial peptide dermcidin. This method will be applied to a larger range of samples from five species variably impacted by WNS to compare skin proteomes with the aim of identifying immune proteins that are responsible for resistance at the barrier where Pd invades.

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Date Created
2017-05