Plants have been studied for the production of pharmaceutical compounds for more than two decades now. Ever since the plant-made poultry vaccine against Newcastle disease virus made a breakthrough and went all the way to obtain regulatory approval, research to use plants for expression and delivery of vaccine proteins for animals was intensified. Indeed, in view of the high production costs of veterinary vaccines, plants represent attractive biofactories and offer many promising advantages in the production of recombinant vaccine proteins. Furthermore, the possibility of conducting immunogenicity and challenge studies in target animals has greatly exaggerated the progress. Although there are no edible plant-produced animal vaccines in the market, plant-based vaccine technology has great potentials. In this review, development, uses, and advantages of plant-based recombinant protein production in various expression platforms are discussed. In addition, examples of plant-based veterinary vaccines showing strong indication in terms of efficacy in animal disease prevention are also described.
Shigellosis is a foodborne illness caused by the genus Shigella and is an important global health issue. The development of effective techniques for rapid detection of this pathogen is essential for breaking the chain of transmission. Therefore, we have developed a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay targeting the invasion plasmid antigen H (ipaH) gene to rapidly detect Shigella species. This assay could be performed in 90 min at an optimal temperature of 64ºC, with endpoint results visualized directly. Notably, the method was found to be more sensitive than conventional PCR. Indeed, the detection limit for the LAMP assay on pure bacterial cultures was 5.9 x 10(5) CFU/ml, while PCR displayed a limit of 5.9 x 10(7) CFU/ml. In spiked lettuce samples, the sensitivity of the LAMP assay was 3.6 x 10(4) CFU/g, whereas PCR was 3.6 x 10(5) CFU/g. Overall, the assay accurately identified 32 Shigella spp. with one enteroinvasive Escherichia coli displaying positive reaction while the remaining 32 non-Shigella strains tested were negative.
Myocarditis is an uncommon disease in childhood and has a wide range of clinical presentations, from subtle to devastating and thus requires a high index of suspicion. Intracardiac thrombus formation following myocarditis is rare and thus its management remains challenging and not well defined. We report a child whom presented with a viral prodrome, rapidly deteriorated into multi organ failure and developed fulminant viral myocarditis with encephalitis that was complicated with an intracardiac thrombus formation. We describe the challenges faced, the successful medical treatment offered and propose factors that can help guide appropriate treatment.
Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes cholera, a diarrheal disease. Cholera is widespread in poor, under-developed or disaster-hit countries that have poor water sanitation. Hence, a rapid detection method for V. cholerae in the field under these resource-limited settings is required. In this paper, we describe the development of an electrochemical genosensor assay using lyophilized gold nanoparticles/latex microsphere (AuNPs-PSA) reporter label. The reporter label mixture was prepared by lyophilization of AuNPs-PSA-avidin conjugate with different types of stabilizers. The best stabilizer was 5% sorbitol, which was able to preserve the dried conjugate for up to 30 days. Three methods of DNA hybridization were compared and the one-step sandwich hybridization method was chosen as it was fastest and highly specific. The performance of the assay using the lyophilized reagents was comparable to the wet form for detection of 1aM to 1fM of linear target DNA. The assay was highly specific for V. cholerae, with a detection limit of 1fM of PCR products. The ability of the sensor is to detect LAMP products as low as 50ngµl(-1). The novel lyophilized AuNPs-PSA-avidin reporter label with electrochemical genosensor detection could facilitate the rapid on-site detection of V. cholerae.
TelN and tos are a unique DNA linearization unit isolated from bacteriophage N15. While being transferable, the TelN cleaving-rejoining activities remained stable to function on tos in both bacterial and mammalian environments. However, TelN contribution in linear plasmid replication in mammalian cells remains unknown. Herein, we investigated the association of TelN in linear tos-containing DNA (tos-DNA) replication in mammalian cells. Additionally, the mammalian origin of replication (ori) that is well-known to initiate the replication event of plasmid vectors was also studied. In doing so, we identified that both TelN and mammalian initiation sites were essential for the replication of linear tos-DNA, determined by using methylation sensitive DpnI/MboI digestion and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification approaches. Furthermore, we engineered the linear tos-DNA to be able to retain in mammalian cells using S/MAR technology. The resulting S/MAR containing tos-DNA was robust for at least 15 days, with (1) continuous tos-DNA replication, (2) correct splicing of gene transcripts, and (3) stable exogenous gene expression that was statistically comparable to the endogenous gene expression level. Understanding the activities of TelN and tos in mammalian cells can potentially provide insights for adapting this simple DNA linearization unit in developing novel genetic engineering tools, especially to the eukaryotic telomere/telomerase study.
The world's rainforests hold untold potential for drug discovery. Rainforest plants are thought to contain evolved defensive active metabolites of greater diversity compared to plants from temperate regions. In recent years, the interest and overall output from pharmaceutical companies on novel antibacterial agents has diminished at a time when there is a critical need for them to fight the threat of resistance. In this study, we have investigated the antimicrobial properties of 21 flowering plants from 16 different families against six bacterial strains consisting of two Gram negative and four Gram positive. Using the pour plate disc diffusion technique, almost all extracts from these plants were found to be active against some of the bacterial strains tested. The most interesting and active plants with broad spectrum activities include Duabanga grandiflora, Acalypha wilkesiana and Pseuduvaria macrophylla where the minimum inhibitory concentration, minimum bactericidal concentration and phytochemical analysis were carried out. This is the first report describing the antimicrobial and phytochemical properties of D. grandiflora and P. macrophylla. Our findings support the utilisation of higher plant species in the search for new antimicrobial molecules to combat new emerging infective diseases and the problem of drug resistant pathogens.
Phage N15 protelomerase (TelN) cleaves double-stranded circular DNA containing a telomerase-occupancy-site (tos) and rejoins the resulting linear-ends to form closed-hairpin-telomeres in Escherichia coli (E. coli). Continued TelN expression is essential to support resolution of the linear structure. In mammalian cells, no enzyme with TelN-like activities has been found. In this work, we show that phage TelN, expressed transiently and stably in human and mouse cells, recapitulates its native activities in these exogenous environments. We found TelN to accurately resolve tos-DNA in vitro and in vivo within human and mouse cells into linear DNA-containing terminal telomeres that are resistant to RecBCD degradation, a hallmark of protelomerase processing. In stable cells, TelN activity was detectable for at least 60 days, which suggests the possibility of limited silencing of its expression. Correspondingly, linear plasmid containing a 100 kb human β-globin gene expressed for at least 120 h in non-β-globin-expressing mouse cells with TelN presence. Our results demonstrate TelN is able to cut and heal DNA as hairpin-telomeres within mammalian cells, providing a tool for creating novel structures by DNA resolution in these hosts. The TelN protelomerase may be useful for exploring novel technologies for genome interrogation and chromosome engineering.
Infectious bursal disease is one of an OIE list of notifiable diseases. Chicken is the only host that manifests clinical signs and its pathogenicity is correlated with the distribution of antigens in organs. This study was conducted to determine disease pathogenesis and virus tissue tropism by in situ PCR, immunoperoxidase staining (IPS), and HE staining. Twenty four chickens were infected with very virulent Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (vvIBDV). Fifteen chickens were kept as a control group. Infected chickens were sacrificed at hrs 2, 4, 6, 12, days 1, 2, 4, and 6 post-inoculation (pi). While, control chickens were euthanized on days 0, 1, 2, 4, and 6 pi. Different tissues were collected, fixed in 10% buffered formalin, and processed. At hr 2 pi, virus was detected in intestinal, junction of the proventriculus and gizzard, cecal tonsil, liver, kidney, and bursa of Fabricius. At hr 4 pi, virus reached spleen, and at hr 6 pi, it entered thymus. At hr 12 pi, virus concentration increased in positive tissues. The latest invaded tissue was muscle on day 1 pi. Secondary viraemia occurred during 12-24 h pi. In situ PCR was the most sensitive technique to highlight obscure points of infection in this study.