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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 1660 matches for " Lori Stevens "
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A New Method for Forensic DNA Analysis of the Blood Meal in Chagas Disease Vectors Demonstrated Using Triatoma infestans from Chuquisaca, Bolivia
Juan Carlos Pizarro, Lori Stevens
PLOS ONE , 2008, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003585
Abstract: Background Feeding patterns of the vector are important in the epidemiology of Chagas disease, the leading cause of heart disease in Latin America. Chagas disease is caused by the parasite, Trypanasoma cruzi, which is transmitted by blood feeding insects. Historically, feeding behaviours of haematophagous insects have been investigated using serological reactions, which have detection limits in terms of both taxonomic resolution, and quantity and quality of the blood meal. They are labor intensive, require technical expertise, need fresh or frozen samples and antibodies often are either not available commercially or the resources for synthesis and purification are not available. We describe an assay to identify vertebrate blood meal sources, and the parasite T. cruzi using species-specific PCR assays from insect vectors and use the method to provide information regarding three questions: (1) Do domestic and peri-domestic (chicken coop and animal corral) habitats vary in the blood meals detected in the vectors? (2) What is the pattern of multiple blood meals? (3) Does the rate of T. cruzi infection vary among habitats and is it associated with specific blood meal types? Methodology/Principal Findings Assays based on the polymerase chain reaction were evaluated for identification of the blood meal source in the heamatophagous Chagas disease vector Triatoma infestans. We evaluate a technique to identify 11 potential vertebrate food sources from the complex mixture extracted from the vector's abdomen. We tested the assay on 81 T. infestans specimens collected from the Andean highlands in the department of Chuquisaca, located in central Bolivia, one of the regions in South America where sylvatic T. infestans have been reported. This area is suggested to be the geographic origin of T. infestans and has very high human infection rates that may be related to sylvatic vector populations. Conclusion/Significance The results of the assays revealed that a high percentage of insects collected in human dwellings had fed on peri-domestic animals. In contrast, one insect from a chicken coop but no bugs from corrals tested positive for human blood. Forty-eight percent of insects tested positive for more than one vertebrate species. T. cruzi infection was detected in 42% of the specimens. From the epidemiological point of view, the results reveal an overall pattern of movement from peri-domestic structures to human habitations for T. infestans in this region of Bolivia as well as the important role of pigs, dogs, chickens and guinea pigs in the dynamics of T. cruzi
PCR reveals significantly higher rates of Trypanosoma cruzi infection than microscopy in the Chagas vector, Triatoma infestans: High rates found in Chuquisaca, Bolivia
Juan Pizarro, David E Lucero, Lori Stevens
BMC Infectious Diseases , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-7-66
Abstract: We examined 152 nymph and adult T. infestans collected from rural areas in the department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. For microscopic observation, a few drops of rectal content obtained by abdominal extrusion were diluted with saline solution and compressed between a slide and a cover slip. The presence of motile parasites in 50 microscopic fields was registered using 400× magnification. For the molecular analysis, dissection of the posterior part of the abdomen of each insect followed by DNA extraction and PCR amplification was performed using the TCZ1 (5' – CGA GCT CTT GCC CAC ACG GGT GCT – 3') and TCZ2 (5' – CCT CCA AGC AGC GGA TAG TTC AGG – 3') primers. Amplicons were chromatographed on a 2% agarose gel with a 100 bp size standard, stained with ethidium bromide and viewed with UV fluorescence.For both the microscopy and PCR assays, we calculated sensitivity (number of positives by a method divided by the number of positives by either method) and discrepancy (one method was negative and the other was positive) at the locality, life stage and habitat level. The degree of agreement between PCR and microscopy was determined by calculating Kappa (k) values with 95% confidence intervals.We observed a high prevalence of T. cruzi infection in T. infestans (81.16% by PCR and 56.52% by microscopy) and discovered that PCR is significantly more sensitive than microscopic observation. The overall degree of agreement between the two methods was moderate (Kappa = 0.43 ± 0.07). The level of infection is significantly different among communities; however, prevalence was similar among habitats and life stages.PCR was significantly more sensitive than microscopy in all habitats, developmental stages and localities in Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Overall we observed a high prevalence of T. cruzi infection in T. infestans in this area of Bolivia; however, microscopy underestimated infection at all levels examined.Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, was ranked in the 1990's
Microsatellites Reveal a High Population Structure in Triatoma infestans from Chuquisaca, Bolivia
Juan Carlos Pizarro,Lauren M. Gilligan,Lori Stevens
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases , 2008, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000202
Abstract: Background For Chagas disease, the most serious infectious disease in the Americas, effective disease control depends on elimination of vectors through spraying with insecticides. Molecular genetic research can help vector control programs by identifying and characterizing vector populations and then developing effective intervention strategies. Methods and Findings The population genetic structure of Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), the main vector of Chagas disease in Bolivia, was investigated using a hierarchical sampling strategy. A total of 230 adults and nymphs from 23 localities throughout the department of Chuquisaca in Southern Bolivia were analyzed at ten microsatellite loci. Population structure, estimated using analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) to estimate FST (infinite alleles model) and RST (stepwise mutation model), was significant between western and eastern regions within Chuquisaca and between insects collected in domestic and peri-domestic habitats. Genetic differentiation at three different hierarchical geographic levels was significant, even in the case of adjacent households within a single locality (RST = 0.14, FST = 0.07). On the largest geographic scale, among five communities up to 100 km apart, RST = 0.12 and FST = 0.06. Cluster analysis combined with assignment tests identified five clusters within the five communities. Conclusions Some houses are colonized by insects from several genetic clusters after spraying, whereas other households are colonized predominately by insects from a single cluster. Significant population structure, measured by both RST and FST, supports the hypothesis of poor dispersal ability and/or reduced migration of T. infestans. The high degree of genetic structure at small geographic scales, inferences from cluster analysis and assignment tests, and demographic data suggest reinfesting vectors are coming from nearby and from recrudescence (hatching of eggs that were laid before insecticide spraying). Suggestions for using these results in vector control strategies are made.
Genetic diversity of Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in Chuquisaca, Bolivia based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene
Giordano, Rosanna;Cortez, Juan Carlos Pizarro;Paulk, Stephanie;Stevens, Lori;
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz , 2005, DOI: 10.1590/S0074-02762005000700014
Abstract: partial cytochrome b dna sequences for 62 triatoma infestans were analyzed to determine the degree of genetic variation present in populations of this insect in the northwest region of chuquisaca, bolivia. a total of seven haplotypes were detected in the localities sampled. the phylogenetic relationship and population genetic structure of the haplotypes found in this region, indicate that there is greater variation in this relatively small region of bolivia than what has been previously reported by studies using the same gene fragment, for more distant geographic areas of this country. in addition, a comparison of rural and peri-urban localities, indicate that there is no difference in the genetic variation of t. infestans between these two environments.
Simulation of an All-Silicon Tracker
Chris Meyer,Tyler Rice,Lori Stevens,Bruce A. Schumm
Physics , 2007,
Abstract: We present recent improvements in the performance of the reconstruction of non-prompt track in the SiD Detector Concept Design, including initial results on the effect of longitudinal segmentation in the SiD tracker. We also describe a generic tracking validation package developed at SCIPP.
Hunting, Swimming, and Worshiping: Human Cultural Practices Illuminate the Blood Meal Sources of Cave Dwelling Chagas Vectors (Triatoma dimidiata) in Guatemala and Belize
Lori Stevens ,M. Carlota Monroy,Antonieta Guadalupe Rodas,Patricia L. Dorn
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003047
Abstract: Background Triatoma dimidiata, currently the major Central American vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, inhabits caves throughout the region. This research investigates the possibility that cave dwelling T. dimidiata might transmit the parasite to humans and links the blood meal sources of cave vectors to cultural practices that differ among locations. Methodology/Principal Findings We determined the blood meal sources of twenty-four T. dimidiata collected from two locations in Guatemala and one in Belize where human interactions with the caves differ. Blood meal sources were determined by cloning and sequencing PCR products amplified from DNA extracted from the vector abdomen using primers specific for the vertebrate 12S mitochondrial gene. The blood meal sources were inferred by ≥99% identity with published sequences. We found 70% of cave-collected T. dimidiata positive for human DNA. The vectors had fed on 10 additional vertebrates with a variety of relationships to humans, including companion animal (dog), food animals (pig, sheep/goat), wild animals (duck, two bat, two opossum species) and commensal animals (mouse, rat). Vectors from all locations fed on humans and commensal animals. The blood meal sources differ among locations, as well as the likelihood of feeding on dog and food animals. Vectors from one location were tested for T. cruzi infection, and 30% (3/10) tested positive, including two positive for human blood meals. Conclusions/Significance Cave dwelling Chagas disease vectors feed on humans and commensal animals as well as dog, food animals and wild animals. Blood meal sources were related to human uses of the caves. We caution that just as T. dimidiata in caves may pose an epidemiological risk, there may be other situations where risk is thought to be minimal, but is not.
A Systematic Framework of Experiential Learning: Challenging Educators to Make College more than an Aggregation of Credits  [PDF]
Alana Dillette, Lori Sipe
Creative Education (CE) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2018.99106
Abstract: This article examines experiential learning within the context of leader development in a hospitality and tourism management program. First, we present findings about high impact experiences from student blogs (n = 60) and discuss key themes within the context of Kolb’s four phases of experiential learning. This is followed by a discussion about how these findings influence the systematic redesign of our core leadership curriculum. Findings suggest strong consideration be given to providing contexts for authentic practice, encouraging exploration and personalization, mentoring both ways, and the value of integrated and well-timed facilitation. A four-year framework is presented detailing specific high impact experiences and outcomes aligned with a progression of leader development for undergraduates.
VS411 Reduced Immune Activation and HIV-1 RNA Levels in 28 Days: Randomized Proof-of-Concept Study for AntiViral-HyperActivation Limiting Therapeutics
Franco Lori, Davide De Forni, Elly Katabira, Denis Baev, Renato Maserati, Sandra A. Calarota, Pedro Cahn, Marco Testori, Aza Rakhmanova, Michael R. Stevens
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047485
Abstract: Background A new class of antiretrovirals, AntiViral-HyperActivation Limiting Therapeutics (AV-HALTs), has been proposed as a disease-modifying therapy to both reduce Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) RNA levels and the excessive immune activation now recognized as the major driver of not only the continual loss of CD4+ T cells and progression to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), but also of the emergence of both AIDS-defining and non-AIDS events that negatively impact upon morbidity and mortality despite successful (ie, fully suppressive) therapy. VS411, the first-in-class AV-HALT, combined low-dose, slow-release didanosine with low-dose hydroxycarbamide to accomplish both objectives with a favorable toxicity profile during short-term administration. Five dose combinations were administered as VS411 to test the AV-HALT Proof-of-Concept in HIV-1-infected subjects. Methods Multinational, double-blind, 28-day Phase 2a dose-ranging Proof-of-Concept study of antiviral activity, immunological parameters, safety, and genotypic resistance in 58 evaluable antiretroviral-na?ve HIV-1-infected adults. Randomization and allocation to study arms were carried out by a central computer system. Results were analyzed by ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, ANCOVA, and two-tailed paired t tests. Results VS411 was well-tolerated, produced significant reductions of HIV-1 RNA levels, increased CD4+ T cell counts, and led to significant, rapid, unprecedented reductions of immune activation markers after 28 days despite incomplete viral suppression and without inhibiting HIV-1-specific immune responses. The didanosine 200 mg/HC 900 mg once-daily formulation demonstrated the greatest antiviral efficacy (HIV-1 RNA: ?1.47 log10 copies/mL; CD4+ T cell count: +135 cells/mm3) and fewest adverse events. Conclusions VS411 successfully established the Proof-of-Concept that AV-HALTs can combine antiviral efficacy with rapid, potentially beneficial reductions in the excessive immune system activation associated with HIV-1 disease. Rapid reductions in markers of immune system hyperactivation and cellular proliferation were obtained despite the fact that VS411 did not attain maximal suppression of HIV RNA, suggesting this effect was due to the HALT component. Trial Registration ITEudraCT 2007-002460-98
Sources of Blood Meals of Sylvatic Triatoma guasayana near Zurima, Bolivia, Assayed with qPCR and 12S Cloning
David E. Lucero ,Wilma Ribera,Juan Carlos Pizarro,Carlos Plaza,Levi W. Gordon,Reynaldo Pe?a Jr,Leslie A. Morrissey,Donna M. Rizzo,Lori Stevens
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003365
Abstract: Background In this study we compared the utility of two molecular biology techniques, cloning of the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA gene and hydrolysis probe-based qPCR, to identify blood meal sources of sylvatic Chagas disease insect vectors collected with live-bait mouse traps (also known as Noireau traps). Fourteen T. guasayana were collected from six georeferenced trap locations in the Andean highlands of the department of Chuquisaca, Bolivia. Methodology/Principal Findings We detected four blood meals sources with the cloning assay: seven samples were positive for human (Homo sapiens), five for chicken (Gallus gallus) and unicolored blackbird (Agelasticus cyanopus), and one for opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Using the qPCR assay we detected chicken (13 vectors), and human (14 vectors) blood meals as well as an additional blood meal source, Canis sp. (4 vectors). Conclusions/Significance We show that cloning of 12S PCR products, which avoids bias associated with developing primers based on a priori knowledge, detected blood meal sources not previously considered and that species-specific qPCR is more sensitive. All samples identified as positive for a specific blood meal source by the cloning assay were also positive by qPCR. However, not all samples positive by qPCR were positive by cloning. We show the power of combining the cloning assay with the highly sensitive hydrolysis probe-based qPCR assay provides a more complete picture of blood meal sources for insect disease vectors.
Removal of Nickel (II) and Cobalt (II) from Wastewater Using Vinegar-Treated Eggshell Waste Biomass  [PDF]
Morlu Stevens, Bareki Batlokwa
Journal of Water Resource and Protection (JWARP) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2017.98062
Abstract: The use of waste materials as low-cost adsorbents is attractive due to their contribution in the reduction of costs for waste disposal, therefore contributing to environmental protection and most importantly, offers an attractive potential alternative to their conventional methods of removal of toxic ions from wastewater. Eggshells are naturally occurring and an abundant biomass that has proven to offer an economic solution for toxic ions removal. The eggshell biomass was treated with acetic acid (vinegar). Nickel (II) and Cobalt (II) ions were selected as model ions to demonstrate the potential of eggshell waste in removing excess toxic heavy metal ions from wastewater. All the experiments were carried out in batch process with laboratory prepared samples. Multivariate optimization method was used to identify factors affecting adsorption. These factors included metal ion concentration, pH, contact time and biomass dosage on removal of nickel and cobalt from wastewater effluent was investigated. Two-level fraction factorial and central composite design were used for optimization methods. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Raman Spectroscopy, and Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to study physical properties of the waste material. The percentage removal of Nickel (II) and Cobalt (II) was 78.70 ± 1.02 and 76.53 ± 1.21 respectively. Vinegar-treated eggshells were proposed as eco-friendly, cheap, easily available and an efficient method for removal of heavy metals from the environment.
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