Red Orange: Experimental Models and Epidemiological Evidence of Its Benefits on Human Health.

Red Orange: Experimental Models and Epidemiological Evidence of Its Benefits on Human Health.

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013; 2013: 157240
Grosso G, Galvano F, Mistretta A, Marventano S, Nolfo F, Calabrese G, Buscemi S, Drago F, Veronesi U, Scuderi A

In recent years, there has been increasing public interest in plant antioxidants, thanks to the potential anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective actions mediated by their biochemical properties. The red (or blood) orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) is a pigmented sweet orange variety typical of eastern Sicily (southern Italy), California, and Spain. In this paper, we discuss the main health-related properties of the red orange that include anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular protection activities. Moreover, the effects on health of its main constituents (namely, flavonoids, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, hydroxycinnamic acids, and anthocyanins) are described. The red orange juice demonstrates an important antioxidant activity by modulating many antioxidant enzyme systems that efficiently counteract the oxidative damage which may play an important role in the etiology of numerous diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. The beneficial effects of this fruit may be mediated by the synergic effects of its compounds. Thus, the supply of natural antioxidant compounds through a balanced diet rich in red oranges might provide protection against oxidative damage under differing conditions and could be more effective than, the supplementation of an individual antioxidant. HubMed – drug


Association between Response to Albendazole Treatment and ?-Tubulin Genotype Frequencies in Soil-transmitted Helminths.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 May; 7(5): e2247
Diawara A, Halpenny CM, Churcher TS, Mwandawiro C, Kihara J, Kaplan RM, Streit TG, Idaghdour Y, Scott ME, Basáñez MG, Prichard RK

Albendazole (ABZ), a benzimidazole (BZ) anthelmintic (AH), is commonly used for treatment of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs). Its regular use increases the possibility that BZ resistance may develop, which, in veterinary nematodes is caused by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ?-tubulin gene at positions 200, 167 or 198. The relative importance of these SNPs varies among the different parasitic nematodes of animals studied to date, and it is currently unknown whether any of these are influencing BZ efficacy against STHs in humans. We assessed ABZ efficacy and SNP frequencies before and after treatment of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworm infections.Studies were performed in Haiti, Kenya, and Panama. Stool samples were examined prior to ABZ treatment and two weeks (Haiti), one week (Kenya) and three weeks (Panama) after treatment to determine egg reduction rate (ERR). Eggs were genotyped and frequencies of each SNP assessed.In T. trichiura, polymorphism was detected at codon 200. Following treatment, there was a significant increase, from 3.1% to 55.3%, of homozygous resistance-type in Haiti, and from 51.3% to 67.8% in Kenya (ERRs were 49.7% and 10.1%, respectively). In A. lumbricoides, a SNP at position 167 was identified at high frequency, both before and after treatment, but ABZ efficacy remained high. In hookworms from Kenya we identified the resistance-associated SNP at position 200 at low frequency before and after treatment while ERR values indicated good drug efficacy.Albendazole was effective for A. lumbricoides and hookworms. However, ABZ exerts a selection pressure on the ?-tubulin gene at position 200 in T. trichiura, possibly explaining only moderate ABZ efficacy against this parasite. In A. lumbricoides, the codon 167 polymorphism seemed not to affect drug efficacy whilst the polymorphism at codon 200 in hookworms was at such low frequency that conclusions cannot be drawn. HubMed – drug


Evolutionary Dynamics of West Nile Virus in the United States, 1999-2011: Phylogeny, Selection Pressure and Evolutionary Time-Scale Analysis.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 May; 7(5): e2245
Añez G, Grinev A, Chancey C, Ball C, Akolkar N, Land KJ, Winkelman V, Stramer SL, Kramer LD, Rios M

West Nile virus (WNV), an arbovirus maintained in a bird-mosquito enzootic cycle, can infect other vertebrates including humans. WNV was first reported in the US in 1999 where, to date, three genotypes belonging to WNV lineage I have been described (NY99, WN02, SW/WN03). We report here the WNV sequences obtained from two birds, one mosquito, and 29 selected human samples acquired during the US epidemics from 2006-2011 and our examination of the evolutionary dynamics in the open-reading frame of WNV isolates reported from 1999-2011. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods were used to perform the phylogenetic analyses and selection pressure analyses were conducted with the HyPhy package. Phylogenetic analysis identified human WNV isolates within the main WNV genotypes that have circulated in the US. Within genotype SW/WN03, we have identified a cluster with strains derived from blood donors and birds from Idaho and North Dakota collected during 2006-2007, termed here MW/WN06. Using different codon-based and branch-site selection models, we detected a number of codons subjected to positive pressure in WNV genes. The mean nucleotide substitution rate for WNV isolates obtained from humans was calculated to be 5.06×10(-4) substitutions/site/year (s/s/y). The Bayesian skyline plot shows that after a period of high genetic variability following the introduction of WNV into the US, the WNV population appears to have reached genetic stability. The establishment of WNV in the US represents a unique opportunity to understand how an arbovirus adapts and evolves in a naïve environment. We describe a novel, well-supported cluster of WNV formed by strains collected from humans and birds from Idaho and North Dakota. Adequate genetic surveillance is essential to public health since new mutants could potentially affect viral pathogenesis, decrease performance of diagnostic assays, and negatively impact the efficacy of vaccines and the development of specific therapies. HubMed – drug


A Genome-Wide Screening of Potential Target Genes to Enhance the Antifungal Activity of Micafungin in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(5): e65904
Zhou X, Ma Y, Fang Y, Gerile W, Jaiseng W, Yamada Y, Kuno T

Micafungin is a non-reversible inhibitor of 1, 3-?-D-glucan synthase and interferes with fungal cell wall synthesis. Clinically, micafungin has been shown to be efficacious for the treatment of invasive candidiasis and invasive aspergillosis. However, considering its relatively restricted antifungal spectrum, combination therapy with micafungin plus other agents should be considered in critically ill patients. To identify potential therapeutic targets for syncretic drug combinations that potentiate micafungin action, we carried out a genome-wide screen for altered sensitivity to micafungin by using the model yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe mutant library. We confirmed that 159 deletion strains in the library are micafungin sensitive and classified them into various functional categories, including cell wall biosynthesis, gene expression and chromatin remodeling, membrane trafficking, signaling transduction, ubiquitination, ergosterol biosynthetic process and a variety of other known functions or still unknown functions. On the other hand, we also investigated the growth inhibitory activities of some well-known drugs in combination with micafungin including antifungal drug amphotericin B, fluconazole and immunosuppressive drug FK506. We found that amphotericin B in combination with micafungin showed a more potent inhibitory activity against wild-type cells than that of micafungin alone, whereas fluconazole in combination with micafungin did not. Also, the immunosuppressive drug FK506 showed synergistic inhibitory effect with micafungin on the growth of wild-type cells, whereas it decreased the inhibitory effect of micafungin in ?pmk1 cells, a deletion mutant of the cell wall integrity mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) Pmk1. Altogether, our findings provide useful information for new potential drug combinations in the treatment of fungal infections. HubMed – drug