Human platelets are anucleate cells that lack in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), thus hampering genomic study on them. However, the presence of their own messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) transcript allows functional study via the transcriptome approach. Transcriptome not only allows profiling of platelet but also aids in studying gene regulation in virus infections and other diseases that have an impact on platelets. Some viruses are known to affect the platelet either by causing a reduction or destruction. Dengue virus is one of the most postulated virus having such effect and frequently linked to platelet reduction. The transcriptome approach has a pivotal role in providing a deeper insight to link certain diseases and their effect on platelets. This review critically discusses role of platelet in dengue and other viral diseases of public health relevance, with a specific focus on the methods currently used in platelet transcriptome profiling.
Current clinical trials that evaluate human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-based therapies predominantly target treating macular degeneration of the eyes because the eye is an isolated tissue that is naturally weakly immunogenic. Here, we discuss current bioengineering approaches and biomaterial usage in combination with stem cell therapy for macular degeneration disease treatment. Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) differentiated from hPSCs is typically used in most clinical trials for treating patients, whereas bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMNCs) or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are intravitreally transplanted, undifferentiated, into patient eyes. We also discuss reported negative effects of stem cell therapy, such as patients becoming blind following transplantation of adipose-derived stem cells, which are increasingly used by 'stem-cell clinics'.
The recent global resurgence of arthritogenic alphaviruses, including Ross River, chikungunya, and dengue, highlights an urgency for the development of therapeutic strategies. Currently, dengue represents the most rapidly transmitting mosquito-borne viral disease worldwide. By contracting bone breaking diseases, patients experience devastating clinical manifestations involving muscle pain and bone loss. The bone self-repair and regeneration mechanisms can be damaged by the presence of viruses and bacteria. The rapid establishment of dengue epidemic and the severity of bacterial and viral infections affecting the bone stress the urgent need of developing effective interventions. Herein, we review current knowledge on bone breaking infections, covering both bacterial and mosquito-borne viral ones. The mechanisms exploited by these diseases to significantly affect the bone, including interferences with self-repair and regeneration routes, were discussed. In the final section, challenges for future research aimed to treat and prevent bacterial and mosquito-borne bone-breaking infections have been outlined.
Immuno-pathogenesis of leptospirosis can be recounted well by following its trail path from entry to exit, while inducing disastrous damages in various tissues of the host. Dysregulated, inappropriate and excessive immune responses are unanimously blamed in fatal leptospirosis. The inherent abilities of the pathogen and inabilities of the host were debated targeting the severity of the disease. Hemorrhagic manifestation through various mechanisms leading to a fatal end is observed when this disease is unattended. The similar vascular destructions and hemorrhage manifestations are noted in infections with different microbes in endemic areas. The simultaneous infection in a host with more than one pathogen or parasite is referred as the coinfection. Notably, common endemic infections such as leptospirosis, dengue, chikungunya, and malaria, harbor favorable environments to flourish in similar climates, which is aggregated with stagnated water and aggravated with the poor personal and environmental hygiene of the inhabitants. These factors aid the spread of pathogens and parasites to humans and potential vectors, eventually leading to outbreaks of public health relevance. Malaria, dengue and chikungunya need mosquitoes as vectors, in contrast with leptospirosis, which directly invades human, although the environmental bacterial load is maintained through other mammals, such as rodents. The more complicating issue is that infections by different pathogens exhibiting similar symptoms but require different treatment management. The current review explores different pathogens expressing specific surface proteins and their ability to bind with array of host proteins with or without immune response to enter into the host tissues and their ability to evade the host immune responses to invade and their affinity to certain tissues leading to the common squeal of hemorrhage. Furthermore, at the host level, the increased susceptibility and inability of the host to arrest the pathogens' and parasites' spread in different tissues, various cytokines accumulated to eradicate the microorganisms and their cellular interactions, the antibody dependent defense and the susceptibility of individual organs bringing the manifestation of the diseases were explored. Lastly, we provided a discussion on the immune trail path of pathogenesis from entry to exit to narrate the similarities and dissimilarities among various hemorrhagic fevers mentioned above, in order to outline future possibilities of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of coinfections, with special reference to endemic areas.
Ticks serve as vectors of a wide range of infectious agents deleterious to humans and animals. Tick bite prevention is based to a large extent on the use of chemical repellents and acaricides. However, development of resistance in targeted ticks, environmental pollution, and contamination of livestock meat and milk are major concerns. Recently, metal, metal oxide and carbon nanoparticles, particularly those obtained through green fabrication routes, were found to be highly effective against a wide array of arthropod pests and vectors. We summarize current knowledge on the toxicity of nanoparticles against tick vectors of medical and veterinary importance. We also discuss the toxicity of products from botanical- and bacterial-based as well as classic chemical nanosynthesis routes, showing differences in bioactivity against ticks based on the products used for the fabrication of nanoparticles. Further research is needed, to validate the efficacy of nanoparticle-based acaricides in the field and clarify mechanisms of action of nanoparticles against ticks. From a technical point of view, the literature analyzed here showed little standardization of size and weight of tested ticks, a lack of uniform methods to assess toxicity and concerns related to data analysis. Finally, an important challenge for future research is the need for ecotoxicology studies to evaluate potential negative effects on non-target organisms and site contamination arising from nanoparticle-based treatments in close proximity of livestock and farmers.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis has a remarkable ability of long-term persistence despite vigorous host immunity and prolonged therapy. The bacteria persist in secure niches such as the mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow and reactivate the disease, leading to therapeutic failure. Many bacterial cells can remain latent within a diseased tissue so that their genetic material can be incorporated into the genetic material of the host tissue. This incorporated genetic material reproduces in a manner similar to that of cellular DNA. After the cell division, the incorporated gene is reproduced normally and distributed proportionately between the two progeny. This inherent adoption of long-term persistence and incorporating the bacterial genetic material into that of the host tissue remains and is considered imperative for microbial advancement and chemotherapeutic resistance; moreover, new evidence indicates that the bacteria might pass on genetic material to the host DNA sequence. Several studies focused on the survival mechanism of M. tuberculosis in the host immune system with the aim of helping the efforts to discover new drugs and vaccines against tuberculosis. This review explored the mechanisms through which this bacterium affects the expression of human genes. The first part of the review summarizes the current knowledge about the interactions between microbes and host microenvironment, with special reference to the M. tuberculosis neglected persistence in immune cells and stem cells. Then, we focused on how bacteria can affect human genes and their expression. Furthermore, we analyzed the literature base on the process of cell death during tuberculosis infection, giving particular emphasis to gene methylation as an inherited process in the neutralization of possibly injurious gene components in the genome. The final section discusses recent advances related to the M. tuberculosis interaction with host epigenetic circuitry.
The impact of green-synthesised mosquitocidal nanoparticles on non-target aquatic predators is poorly studied. In this research, we proposed a single-step method to synthesise silver nanoparticles (Ag NP) using the seed extract of Melia azedarach. Ag NP were characterised using a variety of biophysical methods, including UV-vis spectrophotometry, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. In laboratory assays on Anopheles stephensi, Ag NP showed LC50 ranging from 2.897 (I instar larvae) to 14.548 ppm (pupae). In the field, the application of Ag NP (10 × LC50) lead to complete elimination of larval populations after 72 h. The application of Ag NP in the aquatic environment did not show negative adverse effects on predatory efficiency of the mosquito natural enemy Cyclops vernalis. Overall, this study highlights the concrete possibility to employ M. azedarach-synthesised Ag NP on young instars of malaria vectors.
Mosquito vectors (Diptera: Culicidae) are responsible for transmission of serious diseases worldwide. Mosquito control is being enhanced in many areas, but there are significant challenges, including increasing resistance to insecticides and lack of alternative, cost-effective, and eco-friendly products. To deal with these crucial issues, recent emphasis has been placed on plant materials with mosquitocidal properties. Furthermore, cancers figure among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. It is expected that annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million within the next two decades. Nanotechnology is a promising field of research and is expected to give major innovation impulses in a variety of industrial sectors. In this study, we synthesized titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles using the hydrothermal method. Nanoparticles were subjected to different analysis including UV-Vis spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), zeta potential, and energy-dispersive spectrometric (EDX). The synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles exhibited dose-dependent cytotoxicity against human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) and normal breast epithelial cells (HBL-100). After 24-h incubation, the inhibitory concentrations (IC50) were found to be 60 and 80 μg/mL on MCF-7 and normal HBL-100 cells, respectively. Induction of apoptosis was evidenced by Acridine Orange (AO)/ethidium bromide (EtBr) and 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI) staining. In larvicidal and pupicidal experiments conducted against the primary dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti, LC50 values of nanoparticles were 4.02 ppm (larva I), 4.962 ppm (larva II), 5.671 ppm (larva III), 6.485 ppm (larva IV), and 7.527 ppm (pupa). Overall, our results suggested that TiO2 nanoparticles may be considered as a safe tool to build newer and safer mosquitocides and chemotherapeutic agents with little systemic toxicity.
Establishing cultures of human embryonic (ES) and induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells in xeno-free conditions is essential for producing clinical-grade cells. Development of cell culture biomaterials for human ES and iPS cells is critical for this purpose. We designed several structures of oligopeptide-grafted poly (vinyl alcohol-co-itaconic acid) hydrogels with optimal elasticity, and prepared them in formations of single chain, single chain with joint segment, dual chain with joint segment, and branched-type chain. Oligopeptide sequences were selected from integrin- and glycosaminoglycan-binding domains of the extracellular matrix. The hydrogels grafted with vitronectin-derived oligopeptides having a joint segment or a dual chain, which has a storage modulus of 25 kPa, supported the long-term culture of human ES and iPS cells for over 10 passages. The dual chain and/or joint segment with cell adhesion molecules on the hydrogels facilitated the proliferation and pluripotency of human ES and iPS cells.
Currently, nano-formulated mosquito larvicides have been widely proposed to control young instars of malaria vector populations. However, the fate of nanoparticles in the aquatic environment is scarcely known, with special reference to the impact of nanoparticles on enzymatic activity of non-target aquatic invertebrates. In this study, we synthesized CdS nanoparticles using a green protocol relying on the cheap extract of Valoniopsis pachynema algae. CdS nanoparticles showed high toxicity on young instars of the malaria vectors Anopheles stephensi and A. sundaicus. The antimalarial activity of the nano-synthesized product against chloroquine-resistant (CQ-r) Plasmodium falciparum parasites was investigated. From a non-target perspective, we focused on the impact of this novel nano-pesticide on antioxidant enzymes acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities of the mud crab Scylla serrata. The characterization of nanomaterials was carried out by UV-vis and FTIR spectroscopy, as well as SEM and XRD analyses. In mosquitocidal assays, LC50 of V. pachynema-synthesized CdS nanoparticles on A. stephensi ranged from 16.856 (larva I), to 30.301μg/ml (pupa), while for An. sundaicus they ranged from 13.584 to 22.496μg/ml. The antiplasmodial activity of V. pachynema extract and CdS nanoparticles was evaluated against CQ-r and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. IC50 of V. pachynema extract was 58.1μg/ml (CQ-s) and 71.46μg/ml (CQ-r), while nano-CdS IC50 was 76.14μg/ml (CQ-s) and 89.21μg/ml (CQ-r). In enzymatic assays, S. serrata crabs were exposed to sub-lethal concentrations, i.e. 4, 6 and 8μg/ml of CdS nanoparticles, assessing changes in GST and AChE activity after 16days. We observed significantly higher activity of GST, if compared to the control, during the whole experiment period. In addition, a single treatment with CdS nanoparticles led to a significant decrease in AChE activity over time. The toxicity of CdS nanoparticles and Cd ions in aqueous solution was also assessed in mud crabs, showing higher toxicity of aqueous Cd ions if compared to nano-CdS. Overall, our results underlined the efficacy of green-synthesized CdS nanoparticles in malaria vector control, outlining also significant impacts on the enzymatic activity of non-target aquatic organisms, with special reference to mud crabs.
The rapid spread of highly aggressive arboviruses, parasites, and bacteria along with the development of resistance in the pathogens and parasites, as well as in their arthropod vectors, represents a huge challenge in modern parasitology and tropical medicine. Eco-friendly vector control programs are crucial to fight, besides malaria, the spread of dengue, West Nile, chikungunya, and Zika virus, as well as other arboviruses such as St. Louis encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis. However, research efforts on the control of mosquito vectors are experiencing a serious lack of eco-friendly and highly effective pesticides, as well as the limited success of most biocontrol tools currently applied. Most importantly, a cooperative interface between the two disciplines is still lacking. To face this challenge, we have reviewed a wide number of promising results in the field of green-fabricated pesticides tested against mosquito vectors, outlining several examples of synergy with classic biological control tools. The non-target effects of green-fabricated nanopesticides, including acute toxicity, genotoxicity, and impact on behavioral traits of mosquito predators, have been critically discussed. In the final section, we have identified several key challenges at the interface between "green" nanotechnology and classic biological control, which deserve further research attention.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death and disability in advanced countries. Stem cell transplantation has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy for acute and chronic ischemic cardiomyopathy. The current status of stem cell therapies for patients with myocardial infarction is discussed from a bioengineering and biomaterial perspective in this review. We describe (a) the current status of clinical trials of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) compared with clinical trials of human adult or fetal stem cells, (b) the gap between fundamental research and application of human stem cells, (c) the use of biomaterials in clinical and pre-clinical studies of stem cells, and finally (d) trends in bioengineering to promote stem cell therapies for patients with myocardial infarction. We explain why the number of clinical trials using hPSCs is so limited compared with clinical trials using human adult and fetal stem cells such as bone marrow-derived stem cells.
The development of novel mosquito control tools is a key prerequisite to build effective and reliable Integrated Vector Management strategies. Here, we proposed a novel method using cigarette butts for the synthesis of Ag nanostructures toxic to young instars of the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi, chloroquine (CQ)-resistant malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and microbial pathogens. The non-target impact of these nanomaterials in the aquatic environment was evaluated testing them at sub-lethal doses on the predatory copepod Mesocyclops aspericornis. Cigarette butt-synthesized Ag nanostructures were characterized by UV-vis and FTIR spectroscopy, as well as by EDX, SEM and XRD analyses. Low doses of cigarette butt extracts (with and without tobacco) showed larvicidal and pupicidal toxicity on An. stephensi. The LC50 of cigarette butt-synthesized Ag nanostructures ranged from 4.505 ppm (I instar larvae) to 8.070 ppm (pupae) using smoked cigarette butts with tobacco, and from 3.571 (I instar larvae) to 6.143 ppm (pupae) using unsmoked cigarette butts without tobacco. Smoke toxicity experiments conducted against adults showed that unsmoked cigarette butts-based coils led to mortality comparable to permethrin-based positive control (84.2 and 91.2%, respectively). A single treatment with cigarette butts extracts and Ag nanostructures significantly reduced egg hatchability of An. stephensi. Furthermore, the antiplasmodial activity of cigarette butt extracts (with and without tobacco) and synthesized Ag nanostructures was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of P. falciparum. The lowest IC50 values were achieved by cigarette butt extracts without tobacco, they were 54.63 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 63.26 μg/ml (CQ-r); while Ag nanostructure IC50 values were 72.13 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 77.33 μg/ml (CQ-r). In MIC assays, low doses of the Ag nanostructures inhibited the growth of Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella typhi. Finally, the predation efficiency of copepod M. aspericornis towards larvae of An. stephensi did not decrease in a nanoparticle-contaminated environment, if compared to control predation assays. Overall, the present research would suggest that an abundant hazardous waste, such as cigarette butts, can be turned to an important resource for nanosynthesis of highly effective antiplasmodials and insecticides.
The control of filariasis vectors has been enhanced in several areas, but there are main challenges, including increasing resistance to insecticides and lack of cheap and eco-friendly products. The toxicity of iron (Fe0) and iron oxide (Fe2O3) nanoparticles has been scarcely investigated yet. We studied the larvicidal and pupicidal activity of Fe0 and Fe2O3 nanoparticles against Culex quinquefasciatus. Fe0 and Fe2O3 nanoparticles produced by green (using a Ficus natalensis aqueous extract) and chemical nanosynthesis, respectively, were analyzed by UV-Vis spectrophotometry, FT-IR spectroscopy, XRD analysis, SEM, and EDX assays. In larvicidal and pupicidal experiments on Cx. quinquefasciatus, LC50 of Fe0 nanoparticles ranged from 20.9 (I instar larvae) to 43.7 ppm (pupae) and from 4.5 (I) to 22.1 ppm (pupae) for Fe2O3 nanoparticles synthesized chemically. Furthermore, the predation efficiency of the guppy fish, Poecilia reticulata, after a single treatment with sub-lethal doses of Fe0 and Fe2O3 nanoparticles was magnified. Overall, this work provides new insights about the toxicity of Fe0 and Fe2O3 nanoparticles against mosquito vectors; we suggested that green and chemical fabricated nano-iron may be considered to develop novel and effective pesticides.
Malaria remains a major public health problem due to the emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum strains resistant to chloroquine. There is an urgent need to investigate new and effective sources of antimalarial drugs. This research proposed a novel method of fern-mediated synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using a cheap plant extract of Pteridium aquilinum, acting as a reducing and capping agent. AgNP were characterized by UV-vis spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Phytochemical analysis of P. aquilinum leaf extract revealed the presence of phenols, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, proteins, carbohydrates, saponins, glycosides, steroids, and triterpenoids. LC/MS analysis identified at least 19 compounds, namely pterosin, hydroquinone, hydroxy-acetophenone, hydroxy-cinnamic acid, 5, 7-dihydroxy-4-methyl coumarin, trans-cinnamic acid, apiole, quercetin 3-glucoside, hydroxy-L-proline, hypaphorine, khellol glucoside, umbelliferose, violaxanthin, ergotamine tartrate, palmatine chloride, deacylgymnemic acid, methyl laurate, and palmitoyl acetate. In DPPH scavenging assays, the IC50 value of the P. aquilinum leaf extract was 10.04 μg/ml, while IC50 of BHT and rutin were 7.93 and 6.35 μg/ml. In mosquitocidal assays, LC50 of P. aquilinum leaf extract against Anopheles stephensi larvae and pupae were 220.44 ppm (larva I), 254.12 ppm (II), 302.32 ppm (III), 395.12 ppm (IV), and 502.20 ppm (pupa). LC50 of P. aquilinum-synthesized AgNP were 7.48 ppm (I), 10.68 ppm (II), 13.77 ppm (III), 18.45 ppm (IV), and 31.51 ppm (pupa). In the field, the application of P. aquilinum extract and AgNP (10 × LC50) led to 100 % larval reduction after 72 h. Both the P. aquilinum extract and AgNP reduced longevity and fecundity of An. stephensi adults. Smoke toxicity experiments conducted against An. stephensi adults showed that P. aquilinum leaf-, stem-, and root-based coils evoked mortality rates comparable to the permethrin-based positive control (57, 50, 41, and 49 %, respectively). Furthermore, the antiplasmodial activity of P. aquilinum leaf extract and green-synthesized AgNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of P. falciparum. IC50 of P. aquilinum were 62.04 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 71.16 μg/ml (CQ-r); P. aquilinum-synthesized AgNP achieved IC50 of 78.12 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 88.34 μg/ml (CQ-r). Overall, our results highlighted that fern-synthesized AgNP could be candidated as a new tool against chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum and different developmental instars of its primary vector An. stephensi. Further research on nanosynthesis routed by the LC/MS-identified constituents is ongoing.
The development of parasites and pathogens resistant to synthetic drugs highlighted the needing of novel, eco-friendly and effective control approaches. Recently, metal nanoparticles have been proposed as highly effective tools towards cancer cells and Plasmodium parasites. In this study, we synthesized silver nanoparticles (EW-AgNP) using Eudrilus eugeniae earthworms as reducing and stabilizing agents. EW-AgNP showed plasmon resonance reduction in UV-vis spectrophotometry, the functional groups involved in the reduction were studied by FTIR spectroscopy, while particle size and shape was analyzed by FESEM. The effect of EW-AgNP on in vitro HepG2 cell proliferation was measured using MTT assays. Apoptosis assessed by flow cytometry showed diminished endurance of HepG2 cells and cytotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner. EW-AgNP were toxic to Anopheles stephensi larvae and pupae, LC(50) were 4.8 ppm (I), 5.8 ppm (II), 6.9 ppm (III), 8.5 ppm (IV), and 15.5 ppm (pupae). The antiplasmodial activity of EW-AgNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. EW-AgNP IC(50) were 49.3 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 55.5 μg/ml (CQ-r), while chloroquine IC(50) were 81.5 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 86.5 μg/ml (CQ-r). EW-AgNP showed a valuable antibiotic potential against important pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Concerning non-target effects of EW-AgNP against mosquito natural enemies, the predation efficiency of the mosquitofish Gambusia affinis towards the II and II instar larvae of A. stephensi was 68.50% (II) and 47.00% (III), respectively. In EW-AgNP-contaminated environments, predation was boosted to 89.25% (II) and 70.75% (III), respectively. Overall, this research highlighted the EW-AgNP potential against hepatocellular carcinoma, Plasmodium parasites and mosquito vectors, with little detrimental effects on mosquito natural enemies.
Aedes aegypti is a primary vector of dengue, a mosquito-borne viral disease infecting 50-100 million people every year. Here, we biosynthesised mosquitocidal silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using the aqueous leaf extract of Crotalaria verrucosa. The green synthesis of AgNP was studied by UV-vis spectroscopy, SEM, EDX and FTIR. C. verrucosa-synthesised AgNPs were toxic against A. aegypti larvae and pupae. LC50 of AgNP ranged from 3.496 ppm (I instar larvae) to 17.700 ppm (pupae). Furthermore, we evaluated the predatory efficiency of dragonfly nymphs, Brachydiplax sobrina, against II and III instar larvae of A. aegypti in an aquatic environment contaminated with ultra-low doses of AgNP. Under standard laboratory conditions, predation after 24 h was 87.5% (II) and 54.7% (III). In an AgNP-contaminated environment, predation was 91 and 75.5%, respectively. Overall, C. verrucosa-synthesised AgNP could be employed at ultra-low doses to reduce larval population of dengue vectors enhancing predation rates of dragonfly nymphs.
Mosquito-borne diseases represent a deadly threat for millions of people worldwide. However, the use of synthetic insecticides to control Culicidae may lead to high operational costs and adverse non-target effects. Plant-borne compounds have been proposed for rapid extracellular synthesis of mosquitocidal nanoparticles. Their impact against biological control agents of mosquito larval populations has been poorly studied. We synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using the aqueous leaf extract of Mimusops elengi as a reducing and stabilizing agent. The formation of AgNP was studied using different biophysical methods, including UV-vis spectrophotometry, TEM, XRD, EDX and FTIR. Low doses of AgNP showed larvicidal and pupicidal toxicity against the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi and the arbovirus vector Aedes albopictus. AgNP LC50 against A. stephensi ranged from 12.53 (I instar larvae) to 23.55 ppm (pupae); LC50 against A. albopictus ranged from 11.72 ppm (I) to 21.46 ppm (pupae). In the field, the application of M. elengi extract and AgNP (10 × LC50) led to 100 % larval reduction after 72 h. In adulticidal experiments, AgNP showed LC50 of 13.7 ppm for A. stephensi and 14.7 ppm for A. albopictus. The predation efficiency of Gambusia affinis against A. stephensi and A. albopictus III instar larvae was 86.2 and 81.7 %, respectively. In AgNP-contaminated environments, predation was 93.7 and 88.6 %, respectively. This research demonstrates that M. elengi-synthesized AgNP may be employed at ultra-low doses to reduce larval populations of malaria and arbovirus vectors, without detrimental effects on predation rates of mosquito natural enemies, such as larvivorous fishes.
Malaria, the most widespread mosquito-borne disease, affects 350-500 million people each year. Eco-friendly control tools against malaria vectors are urgently needed. This research proposed a novel method of plant-mediated synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using a cheap seaweed extract of Ulva lactuca, acting as a reducing and capping agent. AgNP were characterized by UV-vis spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The U. lactuca extract and the green-synthesized AgNP were tested against larvae and pupae of the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi. In mosquitocidal assays, LC50 values of U. lactuca extract against A. stephensi larvae and pupae were 18.365 ppm (I instar), 23.948 ppm (II), 29.701 ppm (III), 37.517 ppm (IV), and 43.012 ppm (pupae). LC50 values of AgNP against A. stephensi were 2.111 ppm (I), 3.090 ppm (II), 4.629 ppm (III), 5.261 ppm (IV), and 6.860 ppm (pupae). Smoke toxicity experiments conducted against mosquito adults showed that U. lactuca coils evoked mortality rates comparable to the permethrin-based positive control (66, 51, and 41%, respectively). Furthermore, the antiplasmodial activity of U. lactuca extract and U. lactuca-synthesized AgNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Fifty percent inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of U. lactuca were 57.26 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 66.36 μg/ml (CQ-r); U. lactuca-synthesized AgNP IC50 values were 76.33 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 79.13 μg/ml (CQ-r). Overall, our results highlighted out that U. lactuca-synthesized AgNP may be employed to develop newer and safer agents for malaria control.
Mosquitoes are arthropods of huge medical and veterinary relevance, since they vector pathogens and parasites of public health importance, including malaria, dengue and Zika virus. Currently, nanotechnology is considered a potential eco-friendly approach in mosquito control research. We proposed a novel method of biofabrication of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) using chitosan (Ch) from crab shells. Ch-AgNP nanocomposite was characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, FTIR, SEM, EDX and XRD. Ch-AgNP were tested against larvae and pupae of the malaria vector Anopheles stephensi obtaining LC50 ranging from 3.18 ppm (I) to 6.54 ppm (pupae). The antibacterial properties of Ch-AgNP were proved against Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella typhi, while no growth inhibition was reported in assays conducted on Proteus vulgaris. Concerning non-target effects, in standard laboratory considtions the predation efficiency of Danio rerio zebrafishes was 68.8% and 61.6% against I and II instar larvae of A. stephensi, respectively. In a Ch-AgNP-contaminated environment, fish predation was boosted to 89.5% and 77.3%, respectively. Quantitative analysis of antioxidant enzymes SOD, CAT and LPO from hepatopancreas of fresh water crabs Paratelphusa hydrodromous exposed for 16 days to a Ch-AgNP-contaminated aquatic environment were conducted. Notably, deleterious effects of Ch-AgNP contaminating aquatic enviroment on the non-target crab P. hydrodromous were observed, particularly when doses higher than 8-10ppm are tested. Overall, this research highlights the potential of Ch-AGNP for the development of newer control tools against young instar populations of malaria mosquitoes, also highlighting some risks concerned the employ of nanoparticles in aquatic environments.