US
Find the Resources You Need
Clear Search/Filters

Publications

  • PCR
    • Real-Time Quantitative PCR
      • SYBR Green Detection
        • DNA
          The Pseudogene RPS27AP5 Reveals Novel Ubiquitin and Ribosomal Protein Variants Involved in Specialised Ribosomal Functions.
          Anna Meller - 2024
          Abstract
          Pseudogenes, traditionally considered non-functional gene copies resulting from evolutionary mutations, have garnered attention due to recent transcriptomics and proteomics revealing their unexpected expressions and consequential cellular functions. Ubiquitin, transcribed from UBA52 and RPS27A genes, fused to ribosomal proteins eL40 and eS31, and polyubiquitin precursors encoded by UBB and UBC genes, has additional pseudogenes labeled as non-functional. However, recent evidence challenges this notion, demonstrating that these pseudogenes produce ubiquitin variants with minimal differences from the canonical sequence, suggesting a new regulatory dimension in ubiquitin-mediated cellular processes. To systematically catalogue possible Ubiquitin (Ub) and Ubiquitin-like (Ubl) variants from pseudogenes, expression data was compiled, identifying potential functional variants. Among these pseudogenes, RPS27AP5 expresses both Ubiquitin variant (UbP5) and ribosomal protein variant (S27aP5), with precursor proteins maturing through cleavage and exhibiting behavior similar to their counterparts post-translation. Notably, S27aP5 integrates into translating ribosomes, increasing the 80S monosomal ribosomal fraction and indirectly influencing p16INK4A transcriptional activation. The discovery of a functional S27a pseudogene supports the concept that a subset of ribosomes may incorporate diverse subunits for specific translational functions
          Daily rhythms of acute stress responses and antioxidant systems in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): Effects of the time of the year
          Elisa Samorì - 2024
          Abstract
          Fish reared in aquaculture face various acute stressors, including air exposure during handling. Research on the stress response in fish can provide essential insights into their physiology and help define better aquaculture practices. In this study, we investigated the daily rhythms in the stress-axis response of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) subjected to an acute stressor consisting of air exposure (1 min), and how this response is influenced by the time of the day and the season of the year. In addition, rhythms in antioxidant systems were also assessed. The experiments were performed in late Autumn (December) and late Spring (June), with natural photoperiod (10 L:14D and 15 L:9D, respectively) and water temperature (ranging from 19.47 ± 0.17 °C in December to 22.13 ± 0.13 °C in June). Samples were collected throughout a 24-h cycle at Zeitgeber time (ZT) 0.5, 4, 7.5, 12, 16, 20, and 24.5 h at both seasons. At each sampling point, an untreated control (CTRL) group was sampled, while a STRESS group was exposed to air for one minute, returned to the tank, and sampled one hour later. Fish were sacrificed to collect plasma samples, hypothalamus and liver. Plasma samples were analyzed for cortisol, glucose, and lactate. In the hypothalamus, the mRNA expression levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone (crh) and crh-binding protein (crh-bp) were quantified using quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR). In the liver, genes related to antioxidant systems (catalase, superoxide dismutase 1, glutathione peroxidase,and glutathione reductase) and mitochondrial markers of stress (uncoupling protein 1, cytochrome c oxidase IV and peroxiredoxin3) were also analyzed by qPCR. The results revealed that most stress indicators (cortisol, cat, sod1, gsh-px, gsr, ucp1, coxIV) displayed daily rhythms. Furthermore, the stress response was significantly influenced by the time of day and the season in which the stressor was applied. In June, cortisol and glucose responses to stress were higher during the day than at night. The increase observed after stress in genes related to the antioxidant system was more significant in June than in December. Conversely, the response of mitochondrial markers was greater in December. Taken together, these findings highlight that the stress response of the European sea bass is time-dependent, both on a daily and a seasonal basis. This emphasizes the importance of considering cyclic environmental factors and circadian rhythms in aquaculture procedures to enhance fish welfare.
      • Probe-based Detection
        Study of Shellfish Growing Area During Normal Harvesting Periods and Following Wastewater Overflows in an Urban Estuary With Complex Hydrography
        Carlos J. A. Campos - 2024
        Abstract
        Viral testing combined with hydrographic studies is considered standard good practice in determining microbiological impacts on shellfish growing areas following wastewater overflows. In this study, norovirus genogroup I and II, indicators of viral contamination (F-RNA bacteriophage genogroup II (F-RNA GII), crAssphage, pepper mild mottle virus) and Escherichia coli were monitored during periods of normal harvesting and following overflows in two commercial shellfish growing areas in Otago Harbour (Aotearoa New Zealand). Dye tracing, drogue tracking and analysis of particle tracking modelling were also undertaken to assess the dispersion, dilution and time of travel of wastewater discharged from a pump station discharge that impacts the growing areas. Norovirus was not detected in any of the 218 shellfish samples tested. PMMoV and crAssphage were more prevalent than F-RNA GII as determined by RT-qPCR. The dye study indicated long residence time of the waters (≥5 days) in the embayment impacted by the discharge. No relationships were found between the concentrations of viral indicators or E. coli and wastewater dilution, distance between the discharge and the growing areas or time since the last overflow. For the three spills studied (≤327 m3), there was little evidence of microbiological impact on the growing areas. This was likely associated with a deep shipping channel that enhances water flushing in the harbour and reduces contaminant transport to the growing areas. We recommend flexibility in the approach for closure/reopening growing areas impacted by spills, particularly for small duration/volume spills and when norovirus is not present in the community.
        Study of Shellfish Growing Area During Normal Harvesting Periods and Following Wastewater Overflows in an Urban Estuary With Complex Hydrography
        Carlos J. A. Campos - 2024
        Abstract
        Viral testing combined with hydrographic studies is considered standard good practice in determining microbiological impacts on shellfish growing areas following wastewater overflows. In this study, norovirus genogroup I and II, indicators of viral contamination (F-RNA bacteriophage genogroup II (F-RNA GII), crAssphage, pepper mild mottle virus) and Escherichia coli were monitored during periods of normal harvesting and following overflows in two commercial shellfish growing areas in Otago Harbour (Aotearoa New Zealand). Dye tracing, drogue tracking and analysis of particle tracking modelling were also undertaken to assess the dispersion, dilution and time of travel of wastewater discharged from a pump station discharge that impacts the growing areas. Norovirus was not detected in any of the 218 shellfish samples tested. PMMoV and crAssphage were more prevalent than F-RNA GII as determined by RT-qPCR. The dye study indicated long residence time of the waters (≥5 days) in the embayment impacted by the discharge. No relationships were found between the concentrations of viral indicators or E. coli and wastewater dilution, distance between the discharge and the growing areas or time since the last overflow. For the three spills studied (≤327 m3), there was little evidence of microbiological impact on the growing areas. This was likely associated with a deep shipping channel that enhances water flushing in the harbour and reduces contaminant transport to the growing areas. We recommend flexibility in the approach for closure/reopening growing areas impacted by spills, particularly for small duration/volume spills and when norovirus is not present in the community.
        Human coronavirus OC43-elicited CD4+ T cells protect against SARS-CoV-2 in HLA transgenic mice
        Rúbens Prince dos Santos Alves - 2024
        Abstract
        SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells are detected in some healthy unexposed individuals. Human studies indicate these T cells could be elicited by the common cold coronavirus OC43. To directly test this assumption and define the role of OC43-elicited T cells that are cross-reactive with SARS-CoV-2, we develop a model of sequential infections with OC43 followed by SARS-CoV-2 in HLA-B*0702 and HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice. We find that OC43 infection can elicit polyfunctional CD8+ and CD4+ effector T cells that cross-react with SARS-CoV-2 peptides. Furthermore, pre-exposure to OC43 reduces subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease in the lung for a short-term in HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice, and a longer-term in HLA-B*0702 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice. Depletion of CD4+ T cells in HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice with prior OC43 exposure results in increased viral burden in the lung but no change in virus-induced lung damage following infection with SARS-CoV-2 (versus CD4+ T cell-sufficient mice), demonstrating that the OC43-elicited SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cell-mediated cross-protection against SARS-CoV-2 is partially dependent on CD4+ T cells. These findings contribute to our understanding of the origin of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells and their effects on SARS-CoV-2 clinical outcomes, and also carry implications for development of broadly protective betacoronavirus vaccines.
        Genome-based prediction of cross-protective, HLA-DRpresented epitopes as putative vaccine antigens for multiple Bordetella species
        Muktha S. Natrajan - 2023
        Abstract
        Acellular pertussis vaccines protect against severe pertussis, but vaccine induced immunity wanes over time. Prior animal studies showed that T-cell responses are integral to long-lasting immunity. Current pertussis vaccines also do not provide considerable protection against other species that cause pertussis-like illness, such as Bordetella parapertussis and Bordetella holmesii. We aimed to identify potential vaccine antigens from conserved orthologs that are predicted to engage CD4 T cells and provide cross-protective immunity against multiple Bordetella pathogens. Whole genome sequence data were previously collected for Bordetella pertussis, B. parapertussis, and B. holmesii isolates. Immunoinformatics and comparative genomics were used to predict immunogenicity, cross-reactive proteins, and protein homology for a set of Bordetella isolates. Expression and production levels of homologous, immunogenic targets were screened using transcriptomic and proteomic data, and detectable genes were analyzed by reverse transcription quantitative PCR. Computational prediction methods identified putative human leukocyte antigen-DR-binding epitopes. Recognition of targets by T cells from individuals immunized with whole-cell pertussis vaccines was confirmed ex vivo. From the B. pertussis genome, 408 genes exhibited high sequence conservation with orthologs in B. parapertussis and B. holmesii, and a select group had high immunogenicity scores. A subset of detectable proteins were also Bordetella-specific and non-cross-reactive. Epitope mapping predicted 36 conserved, immunogenic, and naturally processed epitopes. Of these 36 targets, six epitopes upregulated markers of T-cell activation, and three elicited cytokine production. Our findings identified a list of peptides specific to Bordetella respiratory pathogens that may confer long-lasting, cross-protective T-cell immunity.
        Infectivity of exhaled SARS-CoV-2 aerosols is sufficient to transmit covid-19 within minutes
        Malin Alsved - 2023
        Abstract
        Exhaled SARS-CoV-2-containing aerosols contributed significantly to the rapid and vast spread of covid-19. However, quantitative experimental data on the infectivity of such aerosols is missing. Here, we quantified emission rates of infectious viruses in exhaled aerosol from individuals within their first days after symptom onset from covid-19. Six aerosol samples from three individuals were culturable, of which five were successfully quantified using TCID50. The source strength of the three individuals was highest during singing, when they exhaled 4, 36, or 127 TCID50/s, respectively. Calculations with an indoor air transmission model showed that if an infected individual with this emission rate entered a room, a susceptible person would inhale an infectious dose within 6 to 37 min in a room with normal ventilation. Thus, our data show that exhaled aerosols from a single person can transmit covid-19 to others within minutes at normal indoor conditions.
        Comparison of DNA concentration and bacterial pathogen PCR detection when using two DNA extraction kits for nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal samples
        Dam Khan - 2023
        Abstract
        Introduction Several important human pathogens that cause life-threatening infections are asymptomatically carried in the Nasopharynx/Oropharynx (NP/OP). DNA extraction is a prerequisite for most culture-independent techniques used to identify pathogens in the NP/OP. However, components of DNA extraction kits differ thereby giving rise to differences in performance. We compared the DNA concentration and the detection of three pathogens in the NP/OP using the discontinued DNeasy PowerSoil Kit (Kit DP) and the DNeasy PowerLyzer PowerSoil Kit (Kit DPP). Methods DNA was extracted from the same set of 103 NP/OP samples using the two kits. DNA concentration was measured using the Qubit 2.0 Fluorometer. Real-time Polymerase Chain reaction (RT-PCR) was done using the QuantStudio 7-flex system to detect three pathogens: S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, and N. meningitidis. Bland-Altman statistics and plots were used to determine the threshold cycle (Ct) value agreement for the two kits. Results The average DNA concentration from kit DPP was higher than Kit DP; 1235.6 ng/ml (SD = 1368.3) vs 884.9 ng/ml (SD = 1095.3), p = 0.002. Using a Ct value cutoff of 40 for positivity, the concordance for the presence of S. pneumoniae was 82% (84/102); 94%(96/103) for N. meningitidis and 92%(95/103) for H. influenzae. Kit DP proportionately resulted in higher Ct values than Kit DPP for all pathogens. The Ct value bias of measurement for S. pneumoniae was +2.4 (95% CI, 1.9–3.0), +1.4 (95% CI, 0.9–1.9) for N. meningitidis and +1.4 (95% CI, 0.2–2.5) for H. influenzae. Conclusion The higher DNA concentration obtained using kit DPP could increase the chances of recovering low abundant bacteria. The PCR results were reproducible for more than 90% of the samples for the gram-negative H. influenzae and N. meningitidis. Ct value variations of the kits must be taken into consideration when comparing studies that have used the two kits.
        Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) influence on walleye (Sander vitreus) recruitment decline: mtDNA evidence supporting the predation hypothesis
        Jesse M. Lepak - 2023
        Abstract
        Rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) have been introduced widely but are associated with declines in walleye (Sander vitreus) recruitment. A primary hypothesis for these declines is that O. mordax consume larval S. vitreus. We confirmed overlapping spatial–temporal distributions of larval S. vitreus and O. mordax in our study system and used mtDNA analyses to determine if O. mordax stomach contents contained S. vitreus. Approximately 20% of O. mordax composite stomach samples were considered positive for S. vitreus consumption. These findings support the predation hypothesis and have S. vitreus management/stocking implications.
        Point-of-Care Platform for Rapid Multiplexed Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Variants and Respiratory Pathogens
        Alexander Y. Trick - 2022
        Abstract
        The rise of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants brings new challenges and concerns with vaccine efficacy, diagnostic sensitivity, and public health responses to end the pandemic. Widespread detection of variants is critical to inform policy decisions to mitigate further spread, and postpandemic multiplexed screening of respiratory viruses will be necessary to properly manage patients presenting with similar respiratory symptoms. In this work, a portable, magnetofluidic cartridge platform for automated polymerase chain reaction testing in <30 min is developed. Cartridges are designed for multiplexed detection of SARS-CoV-2 with either identification of variant mutations or screening for Influenza A and B. Moreover, the platform can perform identification of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants and the multiplexed SARS-CoV-2/Influenza assay using archived clinical nasopharyngeal swab eluates and saliva samples. This work illustrates a path toward affordable and immediate testing with potential to aid surveillance of viral variants and inform patient treatment.
        A Sensitive, Portable Microfluidic Device for SARS-CoV-2 Detection from Self-Collected Saliva
        Jianing Yang - 2021
        Abstract
        Since the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in December 2019, the spread of SARS-CoV2 infection has been escalating rapidly around the world. In order to provide more timely access to medical intervention, including diagnostic tests and medical treatment, the FDA authorized multiple test protocols for diagnostic tests from nasopharyngeal swab, saliva, urine, bronchoalveolar lavage and fecal samples. The traditional diagnostic tests for this novel coronavirus 2019 require standard processes of viral RNA isolation, reverse transcription of RNA to cDNA, then real-time quantitative PCR with the RNA templates extracted from the patient samples. Recently, many reports have demonstrated a direct detection of SARS-Co-V2 genomic material from saliva samples without any RNA isolation step. To make the rapid detection of SARS-Co-V2 infection more accessible, a point-of-care type device was developed for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Herein, we report a portable microfluidic-based integrated detectionanalysis system for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids detection directly from saliva samples. The saliva cartridge is self-contained and capable of microfluidic evaluation of saliva, from heating, mixing with the primers to multiplex real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, detecting SARSCoV- 2 with different primer sets and internal control. The approach has a detection sensitivity of 1000 copies/mL of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or virus, with consistency and automation, from saliva sample-in to result-out.
        RIPK1 or RIPK3 deletion prevents progressive neuronal cell death and improves memory function after traumatic brain injury
        Antonia Clarissa Wehn - 2021
        Abstract
        Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes acute and subacute tissue damage, but is also associated with chronic inflammation and progressive loss of brain tissue months and years after the initial event. The trigger and the subsequent molecular mechanisms causing chronic brain injury after TBI are not well understood. The aim of the current study was therefore to investigate the hypothesis that necroptosis, a form a programmed cell death mediated by the interaction of Receptor Interacting Protein Kinases (RIPK) 1 and 3, is involved in this process. Neuron-specific RIPK1- or RIPK3-deficient mice and their wild-type littermates were subjected to experimental TBI by controlled cortical impact. Posttraumatic brain damage and functional outcome were assessed longitudinally by repetitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and behavioral tests (beam walk, Barnes maze, and tail suspension), respectively, for up to three months after injury. Thereafter, brains were investigated by immunohistochemistry for the necroptotic marker phosphorylated mixed lineage kinase like protein(pMLKL) and activation of astrocytes and microglia. WT mice showed progressive chronic brain damage in cortex and hippocampus and increased levels of pMLKL after TBI. Chronic brain damage occurred almost exclusively in areas with iron deposits and was significantly reduced in RIPK1- or RIPK3-deficient mice by up to 80%. Neuroprotection was accompanied by a reduction of astrocyte and microglia activation and improved memory function. The data of the current study suggest that progressive chronic brain damage and cognitive decline after TBI depend on the expression of RIPK1/3 in neurons. Hence, inhibition of necroptosis signaling may represent a novel therapeutic target for the prevention of chronic post-traumatic brain damage.
      • RNA
        Study of Shellfish Growing Area During Normal Harvesting Periods and Following Wastewater Overflows in an Urban Estuary With Complex Hydrography
        Carlos J. A. Campos - 2024
        Abstract
        Viral testing combined with hydrographic studies is considered standard good practice in determining microbiological impacts on shellfish growing areas following wastewater overflows. In this study, norovirus genogroup I and II, indicators of viral contamination (F-RNA bacteriophage genogroup II (F-RNA GII), crAssphage, pepper mild mottle virus) and Escherichia coli were monitored during periods of normal harvesting and following overflows in two commercial shellfish growing areas in Otago Harbour (Aotearoa New Zealand). Dye tracing, drogue tracking and analysis of particle tracking modelling were also undertaken to assess the dispersion, dilution and time of travel of wastewater discharged from a pump station discharge that impacts the growing areas. Norovirus was not detected in any of the 218 shellfish samples tested. PMMoV and crAssphage were more prevalent than F-RNA GII as determined by RT-qPCR. The dye study indicated long residence time of the waters (≥5 days) in the embayment impacted by the discharge. No relationships were found between the concentrations of viral indicators or E. coli and wastewater dilution, distance between the discharge and the growing areas or time since the last overflow. For the three spills studied (≤327 m3), there was little evidence of microbiological impact on the growing areas. This was likely associated with a deep shipping channel that enhances water flushing in the harbour and reduces contaminant transport to the growing areas. We recommend flexibility in the approach for closure/reopening growing areas impacted by spills, particularly for small duration/volume spills and when norovirus is not present in the community.
        Human coronavirus OC43-elicited CD4+ T cells protect against SARS-CoV-2 in HLA transgenic mice
        Rúbens Prince dos Santos Alves - 2024
        Abstract
        SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells are detected in some healthy unexposed individuals. Human studies indicate these T cells could be elicited by the common cold coronavirus OC43. To directly test this assumption and define the role of OC43-elicited T cells that are cross-reactive with SARS-CoV-2, we develop a model of sequential infections with OC43 followed by SARS-CoV-2 in HLA-B*0702 and HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice. We find that OC43 infection can elicit polyfunctional CD8+ and CD4+ effector T cells that cross-react with SARS-CoV-2 peptides. Furthermore, pre-exposure to OC43 reduces subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease in the lung for a short-term in HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice, and a longer-term in HLA-B*0702 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice. Depletion of CD4+ T cells in HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice with prior OC43 exposure results in increased viral burden in the lung but no change in virus-induced lung damage following infection with SARS-CoV-2 (versus CD4+ T cell-sufficient mice), demonstrating that the OC43-elicited SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cell-mediated cross-protection against SARS-CoV-2 is partially dependent on CD4+ T cells. These findings contribute to our understanding of the origin of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells and their effects on SARS-CoV-2 clinical outcomes, and also carry implications for development of broadly protective betacoronavirus vaccines.
        Hibernating Bats are a Weak Source for Biomonitoring of Coronaviruses
        Aleksander Goll - 2024
        Abstract
        Background: Bats are reservoirs and vectors of significant zoonotic diseases. Our study focuses on understanding the role of bats as reservoirs and carriers of coronaviruses, given their epidemiological significance and the recent global health crises stemming from coronavirus outbreaks. (2) Methods: We conducted virological screening of bats hibernating in military bunkers at the Natura 2000 site ʺNietoperekʺ in Western Poland. This involved collecting and analyzing oral and anal swab samples from 138 bats across six species, using a combination of pan‐coronavirus and SARS‐CoV‐2 specific PCR assays. (3) Results: Out of 138 bats, only one anal swab tested positive for coronavirus. However, we were not able to obtain genomic sequence from the sample. No SARS‐CoV‐2 was detected in any of the samples. The low prevalence of coronavirus in the studied colony contrasts with higher rates found in other regions and may be influenced by the physiological and behavioral conditions of bats during hibernation. (4) Conclusions: Hibernating bats may show a low prevalence of coronavirus, potentially due to the hibernation process itself. This finding indicates that hibernating bats may not be the most optimal subjects for screening zoonotic pathogens. However, continuous monitoring of bat populations for emerging and reemerging diseases is recommended for a comprehensive epidemiological understanding.
        Infectivity of exhaled SARS-CoV-2 aerosols is sufficient to transmit covid-19 within minutes
        Malin Alsved - 2023
        Abstract
        Exhaled SARS-CoV-2-containing aerosols contributed significantly to the rapid and vast spread of covid-19. However, quantitative experimental data on the infectivity of such aerosols is missing. Here, we quantified emission rates of infectious viruses in exhaled aerosol from individuals within their first days after symptom onset from covid-19. Six aerosol samples from three individuals were culturable, of which five were successfully quantified using TCID50. The source strength of the three individuals was highest during singing, when they exhaled 4, 36, or 127 TCID50/s, respectively. Calculations with an indoor air transmission model showed that if an infected individual with this emission rate entered a room, a susceptible person would inhale an infectious dose within 6 to 37 min in a room with normal ventilation. Thus, our data show that exhaled aerosols from a single person can transmit covid-19 to others within minutes at normal indoor conditions.
        Point-of-Care Platform for Rapid Multiplexed Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Variants and Respiratory Pathogens
        Alexander Y. Trick - 2022
        Abstract
        The rise of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants brings new challenges and concerns with vaccine efficacy, diagnostic sensitivity, and public health responses to end the pandemic. Widespread detection of variants is critical to inform policy decisions to mitigate further spread, and postpandemic multiplexed screening of respiratory viruses will be necessary to properly manage patients presenting with similar respiratory symptoms. In this work, a portable, magnetofluidic cartridge platform for automated polymerase chain reaction testing in <30 min is developed. Cartridges are designed for multiplexed detection of SARS-CoV-2 with either identification of variant mutations or screening for Influenza A and B. Moreover, the platform can perform identification of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants and the multiplexed SARS-CoV-2/Influenza assay using archived clinical nasopharyngeal swab eluates and saliva samples. This work illustrates a path toward affordable and immediate testing with potential to aid surveillance of viral variants and inform patient treatment.
        A Sensitive, Portable Microfluidic Device for SARS-CoV-2 Detection from Self-Collected Saliva
        Jianing Yang - 2021
        Abstract
        Since the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in December 2019, the spread of SARS-CoV2 infection has been escalating rapidly around the world. In order to provide more timely access to medical intervention, including diagnostic tests and medical treatment, the FDA authorized multiple test protocols for diagnostic tests from nasopharyngeal swab, saliva, urine, bronchoalveolar lavage and fecal samples. The traditional diagnostic tests for this novel coronavirus 2019 require standard processes of viral RNA isolation, reverse transcription of RNA to cDNA, then real-time quantitative PCR with the RNA templates extracted from the patient samples. Recently, many reports have demonstrated a direct detection of SARS-Co-V2 genomic material from saliva samples without any RNA isolation step. To make the rapid detection of SARS-Co-V2 infection more accessible, a point-of-care type device was developed for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Herein, we report a portable microfluidic-based integrated detectionanalysis system for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids detection directly from saliva samples. The saliva cartridge is self-contained and capable of microfluidic evaluation of saliva, from heating, mixing with the primers to multiplex real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction, detecting SARSCoV- 2 with different primer sets and internal control. The approach has a detection sensitivity of 1000 copies/mL of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or virus, with consistency and automation, from saliva sample-in to result-out.
        RIPK1 or RIPK3 deletion prevents progressive neuronal cell death and improves memory function after traumatic brain injury
        Antonia Clarissa Wehn - 2021
        Abstract
        Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes acute and subacute tissue damage, but is also associated with chronic inflammation and progressive loss of brain tissue months and years after the initial event. The trigger and the subsequent molecular mechanisms causing chronic brain injury after TBI are not well understood. The aim of the current study was therefore to investigate the hypothesis that necroptosis, a form a programmed cell death mediated by the interaction of Receptor Interacting Protein Kinases (RIPK) 1 and 3, is involved in this process. Neuron-specific RIPK1- or RIPK3-deficient mice and their wild-type littermates were subjected to experimental TBI by controlled cortical impact. Posttraumatic brain damage and functional outcome were assessed longitudinally by repetitive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and behavioral tests (beam walk, Barnes maze, and tail suspension), respectively, for up to three months after injury. Thereafter, brains were investigated by immunohistochemistry for the necroptotic marker phosphorylated mixed lineage kinase like protein(pMLKL) and activation of astrocytes and microglia. WT mice showed progressive chronic brain damage in cortex and hippocampus and increased levels of pMLKL after TBI. Chronic brain damage occurred almost exclusively in areas with iron deposits and was significantly reduced in RIPK1- or RIPK3-deficient mice by up to 80%. Neuroprotection was accompanied by a reduction of astrocyte and microglia activation and improved memory function. The data of the current study suggest that progressive chronic brain damage and cognitive decline after TBI depend on the expression of RIPK1/3 in neurons. Hence, inhibition of necroptosis signaling may represent a novel therapeutic target for the prevention of chronic post-traumatic brain damage.
    • Conventional PCR
      • DNA
        Contribution to the knowledge of Gongolaria barbata (Sargassaceae, Fucales) from the Mediterranean: insights into infraspecific diversity
        ANNALISA FALACE - 2024
        Abstract
        Gongolaria barbata (Sargassaceae, Fucales) is a widespread species for which several infraspecific taxa have been described, indicating its polymorphism. This study contributes to the understanding of the molecular, nomenclatural, morphological and ecological aspects of G. barbata in the Mediterranean and sheds light on the infraspecific diversity and its implications for the taxonomy of this species. Molecular analyses were performed using sequencing of the mitochondrial cox1 gene on both haptophytic and pleustophytic forms from different sites in the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas. Vegetative and reproductive morphology was studied on thalli samples from the Adriatic. Our results showed that there are different morphotypes within G. barbata populations related to specific environmental conditions, suggesting infraspecific variation. In contrast, molecular analyses showed no differences between samples, regardless of whether individuals are growing “attached” to a substrate or “unattached”. We also discussed the taxonomic status and nomenclatural issues related to certain infraspecific taxa previously proposed for G. barbata. In particular, the confusion surrounding Cystoseira aurantia is clarified.
        Increased Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) Toxicity and Accumulation Is Associated with Perturbed Prostaglandin Metabolism and Increased Organic Anion Transport Protein (OATP) Expression
        Lanie A. Williams - 2024
        Abstract
        Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is a widespread environmental pollutant with a long half-life and clearly negative outcomes on metabolic diseases such as fatty liver disease and diabetes. Male and female Cyp2b-null and humanized CYP2B6-transgenic (hCYP2B6-Tg) mice were treated with 0, 1, or 10 mg/kg/day PFOS for 21 days, and surprisingly it was found that PFOS was retained at greater concentrations in the serum and liver of hCYP2B6-Tg mice than those of Cyp2b-null mice, with greater differences in the females. Thus, Cyp2b-null and hCYP2B6-Tg mice provide new models for investigating individual mechanisms for PFOS bioaccumulation and toxicity. Overt toxicity was greater in hCYP2B6-Tg mice (especially females) as measured by mortality; however, steatosis occurred more readily in Cyp2b-null mice despite the lower PFOS liver concentrations. Targeted lipidomics and transcriptomics from PFOS-treated Cyp2b-null and hCYP2B6-Tg mouse livers were performed and compared to PFOS retention and serum markers of toxicity using PCA. Several oxylipins, including prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and docosahexaenoic acid metabolites, are associated or inversely associated with PFOS toxicity. Both lipidomics and transcriptomics indicate PFOS toxicity is associated with PPAR activity in all models. GO terms associated with reduced steatosis were sexually dimorphic with lipid metabolism and transport increased in females and circadian rhythm associated genes increased in males. However, we cannot rule out that steatosis was initially protective from PFOS toxicity. Moreover, several transporters are associated with increased retention, probably due to increased uptake. The strongest associations are the organic anion transport proteins (Oatp1a4-6) genes and a long-chain fatty acid transport protein (fatp1), enriched in female hCYP2B6-Tg mice. PFOS uptake was also reduced in cultured murine hepatocytes by OATP inhibitors. The role of OATP1A6 and FATP1 in PFOS transport has not been tested. In summary, Cyp2b-null and hCYP2B6-Tg mice provided unique models for estimating the importance of novel mechanisms in PFOS retention and toxicity.
        Whole Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 for Canada’s COVID19 Genomic Surveillance
        Grace Eunchong Seo - 2023
        Abstract
        At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers around the globe joined forces to study the evolutionary biology of SARS-CoV-2 and identify approaches to minimize its spread in the population. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) quickly became the gold standard for monitoring SARS-CoV-2 viral evolution and how it may impact disease severity, transmission, and vaccine efficacy. As a result, researchers demonstrated concerted efforts to develop, optimize, and validate methods for WGS of the novel virus. This research herein optimized wet-lab sequencing protocols developed by the international research group using reverse transcription PCR-tiling and nanopore sequencing technologies to sequence the whole genome of SARS-CoV-2. As a part of the Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGeN), the work presented in this thesis outlines materials, methods, and results that contributed to the optimization and validation of a Canadian-specific SARS-CoV-2 WGS approach. To achieve this goal, the investigation included identifying the most economical reverse transcriptase, DNA polymerase, PCR primer schemes, library preparation conditions, and comparison of Nanopore and Illumina sequencing platforms. The optimized WGS protocol was shared with the CanCOGeN partners across Canada to increase Canada’s SARS-CoV-2 sequencing capacity towards a sustainable national genomic surveillance program. Throughout this project, the WGS protocol was validated to ensure that emerging variants of concern were detectable. In summary, the current research contributed to operationalizing the first national genomic surveillance program for viral pathogens in Canada. The developed protocol remains in use across Canadian partners and contributes data to support evidence-based decisions for implementing pub- lic health measures. Thanks to our work through the CanCOGeN project and its network of expertise, Canada is well-positioned and prepared to perform genomic surveillance of emerging and reemerging pathogens should a new public health threat arise.
        Semen microbiota are dramatically altered in men with abnormal sperm parameters
        Vadim Osadchiy - 2024
        Abstract
        There has recently been an explosion of studies implicating the human microbiome in playing a critical role in many disease and wellness states. The etiology of abnormal semen analysis (SA) parameters is not identified in 30% of cases; investigations involving the semen microbiome may bridge this gap. Here, we explore the relationship between the semen microbiome and alterations of sperm parameters. We recruited men presenting for fertility evaluation or vasectomy consultation with proven biological paternity. SA and next generation sequencing was performed. Differential abundance testing using Analysis of composition of Microbiota with Bias Correction (ANCOM-BC) was performed along with canonical correlational analysis for microbial community profiling. Men with abnormal (N = 27) sperm motility showed a higher abundance of Lactobacillus iners compared to those with normal (N = 46) sperm motility (mean proportion 9.4% versus 2.6%, p = 0.046). This relationship persisted on canonical correlational analysis (r = 0.392, p = 0.011). Men with abnormal sperm concentration (N = 20) showed a higher abundance of Pseudomonas stutzeri (2.1% versus 1.0%, p = 0.024) and Pseudomonas fluorescens (0.9% versus 0.7%, p = 0.010), but a lower abundance of Pseudomonas putida (0.5% versus 0.8%, p = 0.020), compared to those with normal sperm concentration (N = 53). Major limitations are related to study design (cross-sectional, observational). Our results suggest that a small group of microorganisms may play a critical role in observed perturbations of SA parameters. Some of these microbes, most notably Lactobacillus iners, have been described extensively within other, fertility-related, contexts, whereas for others, this is the first report where they have potentially been implicated. Advances in our understanding of the semen microbiome may contribute to potentially new therapeutic avenues for correcting impairments in sperm parameters and improving male fertility.
        SYPL1 defines a vesicular pathway essential for sperm cytoplasmic droplet formation and male fertility
        Jiali Liu - 2023
        Abstract
        The cytoplasmic droplet is a conserved dilated area of cytoplasm situated at the neck of the sperm flagellum. Viewed as residual cytoplasm inherited from late spermatids, the cytoplasmic droplet contains numerous saccular elements as its key content. However, the origin of these saccules and the function of the cytoplasmic droplet have long been speculative. Here, we identify the molecular origin of these cytoplasmic droplet components by uncovering a vesicle pathway essential for formation and sequestration of saccules within the cytoplasmic droplet. This process is governed by a transmembrane protein SYPL1 and its interaction with VAMP3. Genetic ablation of SYPL1 in mice reveals that SYPL1 dictates the formation and accumulation of saccular elements in the forming cytoplasmic droplet. Derived from the Golgi, SYPL1 vesicles are critical for segregation of key metabolic enzymes within the forming cytoplasmic droplet of late spermatids and epididymal sperm, which are required for sperm development and male fertility. Our results uncover a mechanism to actively form and segregate saccules within the cytoplasmic droplet to promote sperm fertility.
        FXN gene methylation determines carrier status in Friedreich ataxia
        Christina Lam - 2023
        Abstract
        Background Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is typically caused by homozygosity for an expanded GAA triplet-repeat (GAA-TRE) in intron 1 of the FXN gene. Some patients are compound heterozygous for the GAA-TRE and another FXN pathogenic variant. Detection of the GAA-TRE in the heterozygous state, occasionally technically challenging, is essential for diagnosing compound heterozygotes and asymptomatic carriers. Objective We explored if the FRDA differentially methylated region (FRDA-DMR) in intron 1, which is hypermethylated in cis with the GAA-TRE, effectively detects heterozygous GAA-TRE. Methods FXN DNA methylation was assayed by targeted bisulfite deep sequencing using the Illumina platform. Results FRDA-DMR methylation effectively identified a cohort of known heterozygous carriers of the GAA-TRE. In an individual with clinical features of FRDA, commercial testing showed a paternally inherited pathogenic FXN initiation codon variant but no GAA-TRE. Methylation in the FRDA-DMR effectively identified the proband, his mother and various maternal relatives as heterozygous carriers of the GAA-TRE, thus confirming the diagnosis of FRDA. Conclusion FXN DNA methylation reliably detects the GAA-TRE in the heterozygous state and offers a robust alternative strategy to diagnose FRDA due to compound heterozygosity and to identify asymptomatic heterozygous carriers of the GAA-TRE.
  • Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
    • DNA
      Short-term response of soil bacterial and fungal communities to fire in rotational shifting cultivation, northern Thailand
      Noppol Arunrat - 2024
      Abstract
      Soil microbial communities are ubiquitous and essential for the functioning of the soil system. The use of fire is a common practice in rotational shifting cultivation (RSC) to clear land after cutting vegetation for cultivation. However, three main questions remain unanswered: (1) What is more sensitive to fire between bacteria and fungi in RSC fields? (2) What kinds of bacterial and fungal taxa are resistant to fire in RSC fields? and (3) Does fire affect the complexity of soil microbial networks in RSC fields? To address these questions, surface soil samples (0–2 cm depth) were collected from sites with 10 years of fallow in Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand, at three different time points: before burning (BB), 5 min after burning (AB), and 1 month after burning (AB-1 M). The results revealed that bacteria exhibited greater sensitivity to fire compared to fungi. After one month of burning, bacterial richness and diversity increased significantly and recovered more rapidly than fungi, likely due to the rise in soil pH post-fire. Heat-resistant bacteria and fungi were detected following the fire event. Specifically, within the bacterial community, the phylum Firmicutes exhibited a substantial increase of around 95 % (BB = 0.63 %, AB = 96.31 %), while the genera Bacillus (BB = 0.16 %, AB = 38.53 %), Alicyclobacillus (BB = 0.14 %, AB = 17.10 %), and Aneurinibacillus (BB = 0.03 %, AB = 10.48 %) showed over a tenfold increase after the fire. In the fungal community, the phylum Ascomycota (BB = 31.46 %, AB = 96.47 %) experienced a significant increase after the fire. At the genus level, Penicillium (BB = 4.99 %, AB = 54.14 %), Aspergillus (BB = 3.20 %, AB = 14.50 %), and Hamigera (BB = 0.02 %, AB = 10.07 %) displayed dominant increases in response to fire. Co-occurrence network analysis revealed that fungi tended to form more complex networks compared to bacteria. The complexity of both bacterial and fungal networks declined after the fire but rebounded significantly after one month. Our study underscores the significance of fire disturbance in shaping the dynamics of soil bacteria and fungi in RSC fields.
      A novel invasive Streptococcus pyogenes variant sublineage derived through recombinational replacement of the emm12 genomic region
      Yvette Unoarumhi - 2023
      Abstract
      Group A streptococcal strains potentially acquire new M protein gene types through genetic recombination (emm switching). To detect such variants, we screened 12,596 invasive GAS genomes for strains of differing emm types that shared the same multilocus sequence type (ST). Through this screening we detected a variant consisting of 16 serum opacity factor (SOF)-positive, emm pattern E, emm82 isolates that were ST36, previously only associated with SOF-negative, emm pattern A, emm12. The 16 emm82/ST36 isolates were closely interrelated (pairwise SNP distance of 0–43), and shared the same emm82-containing recombinational fragment. emm82/ST36 isolates carried the sof12 structural gene, however the sof12 indel characteristic of emm12 strains was corrected to confer the SOF-positive phenotype. Five independent emm82/ST36 invasive case isolates comprised two sets of genetically indistinguishable strains. The emm82/ST36 isolates were primarily macrolide resistant (12/16 isolates), displayed at least 4 different core genomic arrangements, and carried 11 different combinations of virulence and resistance determinants. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that emm82/ST36 was within a minor (non-clade 1) portion of ST36 that featured almost all ST36 antibiotic resistance. This work documents emergence of a rapidly diversifying variant that is the first confirmed example of an emm pattern A strain switched to a pattern E strain.
      Ocular surface microbiome in diabetes mellitus
      Orathai Suwajanakorn - 2023
      Abstract
      This cross-sectional, age- and gender-matched study included 20 eyes of non-diabetic subjects (non-DM group) and 60 eyes of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM group). Subgroups of DM were classified by diabetic retinopathy (DR) staging into no DR (DM-no DR), non-proliferative DR (DM-NPDR), proliferative DR (DM-PDR), and by glycemic control (well-controlled DM; HbA1c < 7%, poorly controlled DM; HbA1c ≥ 7%). Conjunctival swabs were performed for ocular surface microbiome analysis using conventional culture and next-generation sequencing analysis (NGS). A higher culture-positive rate was found in DM (15%) than in non-DM group (5%) (p value = 0.437). Pathogenic organisms and antibiotic-resistant strains were detected in the DR groups (DM-NPDR and DM-PDR). The NGS analysis showed that potentially pathogenic bacteria such as Enterobacteriaceae, Neisseriaceae, Escherichia-Shigella, and Pseudomonas predominated in DM, especially in DR. There was dissimilarity in the ocular surface microbiome between DM and non-DM groups. The subgroup analysis showed that the DR group had significantly different microbial community from DM-no DR and non-DM groups (p value < 0.05). The microbial community in the poorly controlled DM was also significantly different from well-controlled DM and non-DM groups (p < 0.001). Using the NGS method, our study is the first to signify the importance of DR and glycemic control status, which affect the changes in the ocular surface microbiome.
      Phylodynamics of dengue virus 2 in Nicaragua leading up to the 2019 epidemic reveals a role for lineage turnover
      Panpim Thongsripong - 2023
      Abstract
      Background Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease posing a significant threat to public health. Dengue virus (DENV) evolution is often characterized by lineage turnover, which, along with ecological and immunological factors, has been linked to changes in dengue phenotype affecting epidemic dynamics. Utilizing epidemiologic and virologic data from long-term population-based studies (the Nicaraguan Pediatric Dengue Cohort Study and Nicaraguan Dengue Hospital-based Study), we describe a lineage turnover of DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2) prior to a large dengue epidemic in 2019. Prior to this epidemic, Nicaragua had experienced relatively low levels of DENV transmission from 2014 to 2019, a period dominated by chikungunya in 2014/15 and Zika in 2016. Results Our phylogenetic analyses confirmed that all Nicaraguan DENV-2 isolates from 2018 to 2019 formed their own clade within the Nicaraguan lineage of the Asian/American genotype. The emergence of the new DENV-2 lineage reflects a replacement of the formerly dominant clade presiding from 2005 to 2009, a lineage turnover marked by several shared derived amino acid substitutions throughout the genome. To elucidate evolutionary drivers of lineage turnover, we performed selection pressure analysis and reconstructed the demographic history of DENV-2. We found evidence of adaptive evolution by natural selection at the codon level as well as in branch formation. Conclusions The timing of its emergence, along with a statistical signal of adaptive evolution and distinctive amino acid substitutions, the latest in the NS5 gene, suggest that this lineage may have increased fitness relative to the prior dominant DENV-2 strains. This may have contributed to the intensity of the 2019 DENV-2 epidemic, in addition to previously identified immunological factors associated with pre-existing Zika virus immunity.
  • Reverse Transcription
    • First-Strand cDNA Synthesis
      Flora Amill - 2024
      Abstract
      Teleost gill mucus has a highly diverse microbiota, which plays an essential role in the host’s fitness and is greatly influenced by the environment. Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), a salmonid well adapted to northern conditions, faces multiple stressors in the Arctic, including water chemistry modifications, that could negatively impact the gill microbiota dynamics related to the host’s health. In the context of increasing environmental disturbances, we aimed to characterize the taxonomic distribution of transcriptionally active taxa within the bacterial gill microbiota of Arctic char in the Canadian Arctic in order to identify active bacterial composition that correlates with environmental factors. For this purpose, a total of 140 adult anadromous individuals were collected from rivers, lakes, and bays belonging to five Inuit communities located in four distinct hydrologic basins in the Canadian Arctic (Nunavut and Nunavik) during spring (May) and autumn (August). Various environmental factors were collected, including latitudes, water and air temperatures, oxygen concentration, pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), salinity, and chlorophyll-a concentration. The taxonomic distribution of transcriptionally active taxa within the gill microbiota was quantified by 16S rRNA gene transcripts sequencing. The results showed differential bacterial activity between the different geographical locations, explained by latitude, salinity, and, to a lesser extent, air temperature. Network analysis allowed the detection of a potential dysbiosis signature (i.e., bacterial imbalance) in fish gill microbiota from Duquet Lake in the Hudson Strait and the system Five Mile Inlet connected to the Hudson Bay, both showing the lowest alpha diversity and connectivity between taxa.
      CD4+ T cells with latent HIV-1 have reduced proliferative responses to T cell receptor stimulation
      Joshua T. Kufera - 2024
      Abstract
      The latent reservoir for HIV-1 in resting CD4+ T cells persists despite antiretroviral therapy as a barrier to cure. The antigen-driven proliferation of infected cells is a major mechanism of reservoir persistence. However, activation through the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) can induce latent proviruses, leading to viral cytopathic effects and immune clearance. In single-cell studies, we show that, relative to uninfected cells or cells with a defective provirus, CD4+ T cells with an intact provirus have a profound proliferative defect in response to TCR stimulation. Virion production was observed in only 16.5% of cultures with an intact provirus, but proliferation was reduced even when no virion production was detected. Proliferation was inversely correlated with in vivo clone size. These results may reflect the effects of previous in vivo proliferation and do not support attempts to reduce the reservoir with antiproliferative agents, which may have greater effects on normal T cell responses.
      Using multi-scale genomics to associate poorly annotated genes with rare diseases
      Christina Canavati - 2024
      Abstract
      Background Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has significantly transformed the landscape of identifying disease-causing genes associated with genetic disorders. However, a substantial portion of sequenced patients remains undiagnosed. This may be attributed not only to the challenges posed by harder-to-detect variants, such as non-coding and structural variations but also to the existence of variants in genes not previously associated with the patient’s clinical phenotype. This study introduces EvORanker, an algorithm that integrates unbiased data from 1,028 eukaryotic genomes to link mutated genes to clinical phenotypes. Methods EvORanker utilizes clinical data, multi-scale phylogenetic profiling, and other omics data to prioritize disease-associated genes. It was evaluated on solved exomes and simulated genomes, compared with existing methods, and applied to 6260 knockout genes with mouse phenotypes lacking human associations. Additionally, EvORanker was made accessible as a user-friendly web tool. Results In the analyzed exomic cohort, EvORanker accurately identified the “true” disease gene as the top candidate in 69% of cases and within the top 5 candidates in 95% of cases, consistent with results from the simulated dataset. Notably, EvORanker outperformed existing methods, particularly for poorly annotated genes. In the case of the 6260 knockout genes with mouse phenotypes, EvORanker linked 41% of these genes to observed human disease phenotypes. Furthermore, in two unsolved cases, EvORanker successfully identified DLGAP2 and LPCAT3 as disease candidates for previously uncharacterized genetic syndromes. Conclusions We highlight clade-based phylogenetic profiling as a powerful systematic approach for prioritizing potential disease genes. Our study showcases the efficacy of EvORanker in associating poorly annotated genes to disease phenotypes observed in patients. The EvORanker server is freely available at https://ccanavati.shinyapps.io/EvORanker/.
      Gene expression changes in the cerebellum associated with persistent post-injury pain in adolescent rats exposed to early life stress
      Sabrina Salberg - 2023
      Abstract
      Chronic pain develops following injury in approximately 20% of adolescents, at twice the rate in females than males. Adverse childhood experiences also increase risks for poor health outcomes, such as chronic pain. Emerging literature suggests that novel brain regions, such as the cerebellum, may be involved in pain processing, however detailed explorations into how the cerebellum contributes to pain are lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to characterise chronic pain outcomes and cerebellar gene expression changes following early life stress and injury in both sexes. The adverse childhood experience of neglect was modelled using a maternal separation (MS) paradigm, which was combined with a subsequent injury (mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or plantar incision surgery) in adolescent male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. We measured behavioural nociceptive sensitivity, systemic modulators of pain such as calcitonin gene-related protein (CGRP) and Substance P, as well as gene expression of IL1β, GFAP, GR, MR, GABRA1, CNR1, MAOA, and DAT1 in the cerebellum to examine associations between pain and neuroinflammation, the stress response, inhibitory neurotransmission, and monoaminergic function. We found increases in mechanical nociceptive sensitivity following plantar incision surgery. Sex differences were observed in anxiety-like behaviour and neuroinflammation, whereas systemic pain modulators showed cumulative effects with the addition of stressors. Most interestingly however, the increases in nociceptive sensitivity were associated with the suppressed expression of cerebellar genes that regulate stress, inhibition, cannabinoid function, and dopaminergic function, alongside sex-dependent distinctions for genes involved in inflammation and injury. This study highlights a novel link between nociception and molecular function in the cerebellum. Further investigation into how the cerebellum contributes to pain in males and females will facilitate novel therapeutic insights and opportunities.
      Diurnal circadian clock gene expression is altered in models of genetic and acquired epilepsy
      Glenn R. Yamakawa - 2023
      Abstract
      Objectives: Growing evidence demonstrates a relationship between epilepsy and the circadian system. However, relatively little is known about circadian function in disease states, such as epilepsy. This study aimed to characterize brain and peripheral core circadian clock gene expression in rat models of genetic and acquired epilepsy. Methods: For the Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg (GAERS) study, we used 40 GAERS and 40 non-epileptic control (NEC) rats. For the kainic acid status epilepticus (KASE) study, we used 40 KASE and 40 sham rats. Rats were housed in a 7am:7pm light–dark cycle. Hypothalamus, hippocampus, liver, and small intestine samples were collected every 3h throughout the light period. We then assessed core diurnal clock gene expression of per1, cry1, clock, and bmal1. Results: In the GAERS rats, all tissues exhibited significant changes in clock gene expression (P<0.05) when compared to NEC. In the KASE rats, there were fewer effects of the epileptic condition in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, or small intestine (P>0.05) compared with shams. Significance: These results indicate marked diurnal disruption to core circadian clock gene expression in rats with both generalized and focal chronic epilepsy. This could contribute to epileptic symptomology and implicate the circadian system as a viable target for future treatments.
  • Sample Preparation
    • DNA
      A rapid, cost-effective, colorimetric LAMP assay (CLASS) for detecting invasive malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi
      Cristina Rafferty - 2024
      Abstract
      Anopheles stephensi, an invasive malaria vector in Africa, has the potential to impact the landscape of malaria on the continent, threatening to put an additional 126 million people per year at risk of malaria, largely in peri-urban/urban areas. To accelerate the early detection and rapid response to An. stephensi and ensure no gains made in malaria control and elimination are lost, it is critical to confirm the presence of the species and the geographic extent of its spread to inform control. However, morphological identification may be misinterpreted if specimens are damaged and existing molecular species confirmation assays require specialized laboratory equipment and training and may be challenging to interpret, requiring additional sequencing confirmation. A colorimetric rapid loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for molecular An. stephensi species identification was developed and optimized. The colorimetric assay requires only a heat source and reagents and can be used with or without DNA extraction resulting in positive color change in 30-35 minutes. To determine analytical sensitivity, a 1:10 dilution series of the DNA extract was conducted showing 100% assay sensitivity down to 0.003 nanograms. To determine specificity, three different An. stephensi laboratory strains (STE2, SDA 500, UCI), 8 other Anopheles mosquito species, and Aedes aegypti were compared, and the results indicated 100% specificity across these species. To determine use without the need for DNA extraction, samples evaluated included a single mosquito leg, whole adult or larval mosquitoes, and pooled DNA extract from several mosquito species. A total of 1687 individual reactions were tested during optimization and all LAMP assay results were compared against the conventional PCR assay and confirmed through Sanger sequencing. To validate the optimized assay on wild caught specimens, DNA extracted from 12 wild caught, sequence-confirmed An. stephensi from Marsabit, Kenya, were tested and the colorimetric assay was accurate in identifying all of the specimens as An. stephensi. The assay described presents an opportunity to accelerate An. stephensi molecular identification in new and existing locations in Africa, within its endemic range, and globally. These findings present a simple, rapid, unique alternative to existing PCR and sequencing-based An. stephensi species identification and confirmation strategies. With additional field validation studies, molecular screening tools like the colorimetric LAMP-based An. stephensi species identification (CLASS) assay fill an important gap of rapid confirmation of this invasive vector and presents an ideal opportunity to better understand the spread of the species in Africa and other recently invaded areas, thus accelerating a response to mitigate its long-term impacts on malaria on the continent.
      Strain-induced bands of Büngner formation promotes axon growth in 3D tissue-engineered constructs
      Carina Hromada - 2024
      Abstract
      Treatment of peripheral nerve lesions remains a major challenge due to poor functional recovery; hence, ongoing research efforts strive to enhance peripheral nerve repair. In this study, we aimed to establish three-dimensional tissueengineered bands of Büngner constructs by subjecting Schwann cells (SCs) embedded in fibrin hydrogels to mechanical stimulation. We show for the first time that the application of strain induces (i) longitudinal alignment of SCs resembling bands of Büngner, and (ii) the expression of a pronounced repair SC phenotype as evidenced by upregulation of BDNF, NGF, and p75NTR. Furthermore, we show that mechanically aligned SCs provide physical guidance for migrating axons over several millimeters in vitro in a co-culture model with rat dorsal root ganglion explants. Consequently, these constructs hold great therapeutic potential for transplantation into patients and might also provide a physiologically relevant in vitro peripheral nerve model for drug screening or investigation of pathologic or regenerative processes.
      Rapid, Equitable Molecular Confirmation of Pathogenic Variants in the CFTR Gene for Cystic Fibrosis Testing with Dried Blood Spots
      Kevin Kelnar - 2023
      Abstract
      • Accurate and equitable molecular testing of the CFTR gene is critical as a second-tier confirmation for positive newborn screening results, especially in ethnic minority populations where many assay panels have lower coverage which can lead to missed variant detection and suboptimal outcomes. • The AmplideX PCR/CE CFTR Kit* includes reagents and automated analysis software to reliably detect 65 variants covering 92% of variant alleles in the ethnically diverse US population by using latest peer reviewed data from a diverse cohort1 . • The kit design was verified on dried blood spot (DBS) samples across multiple isolation methods, operators, thermal cyclers, and genetic analyzers, resulting in accurate and precise assay performance. • The AmplideX PCR/CE CFTR Kit* can determine zygosity and genotype on DNA extracted from DBS in less than 5 hours, enabling rapid, accurate, and equitable characterization of CFTR.
    • RNA
      Strain-induced bands of Büngner formation promotes axon growth in 3D tissue-engineered constructs
      Carina Hromada - 2024
      Abstract
      Treatment of peripheral nerve lesions remains a major challenge due to poor functional recovery; hence, ongoing research efforts strive to enhance peripheral nerve repair. In this study, we aimed to establish three-dimensional tissueengineered bands of Büngner constructs by subjecting Schwann cells (SCs) embedded in fibrin hydrogels to mechanical stimulation. We show for the first time that the application of strain induces (i) longitudinal alignment of SCs resembling bands of Büngner, and (ii) the expression of a pronounced repair SC phenotype as evidenced by upregulation of BDNF, NGF, and p75NTR. Furthermore, we show that mechanically aligned SCs provide physical guidance for migrating axons over several millimeters in vitro in a co-culture model with rat dorsal root ganglion explants. Consequently, these constructs hold great therapeutic potential for transplantation into patients and might also provide a physiologically relevant in vitro peripheral nerve model for drug screening or investigation of pathologic or regenerative processes.
      De novo transcriptome assembly and gene annotation for the toxic dinoflagellate Dinophysis
      Chetan C. Gaonkar - 2023
      Abstract
      Species within the dinoflagellate genus Dinophysis can produce okadiac acid and dinophysistoxins leading to diarrhetic shellfish poisoning. Since the first report of D. ovum from the Gulf of Mexico in 2008, reports of other Dinophysis species across US have increased. Members of the D. cf. acuminata complex (D. acuminata, D. acuta, D. ovum, D. sacculus) are difficult to differentiate due to their morphological similarities. Dinophysis feeds on and steals the chloroplasts from the ciliate, Mesodinium rubrum, which in turn has fed on and captured the chloroplasts of its prey, the cryptophyte Teleaulax amphioxeia. The objective of this study was to generate de novo transcriptomes for new isolates of these mixotrophic organisms. The transcriptomes obtained will serve as a reference for future experiments to assess the effect of different abiotic and biotic conditions and will also provide a useful resource for screening potential marker genes to differentiate among the closely related species within the D. cf. acuminata-complex. The complete comprehensive detailed workflow and links to obtain the transcriptome data are provided.
  • Real-Time qPCR
    Study of Shellfish Growing Area During Normal Harvesting Periods and Following Wastewater Overflows in an Urban Estuary With Complex Hydrography
    Carlos J. A. Campos - 2024
    Abstract
    Viral testing combined with hydrographic studies is considered standard good practice in determining microbiological impacts on shellfish growing areas following wastewater overflows. In this study, norovirus genogroup I and II, indicators of viral contamination (F-RNA bacteriophage genogroup II (F-RNA GII), crAssphage, pepper mild mottle virus) and Escherichia coli were monitored during periods of normal harvesting and following overflows in two commercial shellfish growing areas in Otago Harbour (Aotearoa New Zealand). Dye tracing, drogue tracking and analysis of particle tracking modelling were also undertaken to assess the dispersion, dilution and time of travel of wastewater discharged from a pump station discharge that impacts the growing areas. Norovirus was not detected in any of the 218 shellfish samples tested. PMMoV and crAssphage were more prevalent than F-RNA GII as determined by RT-qPCR. The dye study indicated long residence time of the waters (≥5 days) in the embayment impacted by the discharge. No relationships were found between the concentrations of viral indicators or E. coli and wastewater dilution, distance between the discharge and the growing areas or time since the last overflow. For the three spills studied (≤327 m3), there was little evidence of microbiological impact on the growing areas. This was likely associated with a deep shipping channel that enhances water flushing in the harbour and reduces contaminant transport to the growing areas. We recommend flexibility in the approach for closure/reopening growing areas impacted by spills, particularly for small duration/volume spills and when norovirus is not present in the community.
    Human coronavirus OC43-elicited CD4+ T cells protect against SARS-CoV-2 in HLA transgenic mice
    Rúbens Prince dos Santos Alves - 2024
    Abstract
    SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells are detected in some healthy unexposed individuals. Human studies indicate these T cells could be elicited by the common cold coronavirus OC43. To directly test this assumption and define the role of OC43-elicited T cells that are cross-reactive with SARS-CoV-2, we develop a model of sequential infections with OC43 followed by SARS-CoV-2 in HLA-B*0702 and HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice. We find that OC43 infection can elicit polyfunctional CD8+ and CD4+ effector T cells that cross-react with SARS-CoV-2 peptides. Furthermore, pre-exposure to OC43 reduces subsequent SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease in the lung for a short-term in HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice, and a longer-term in HLA-B*0702 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice. Depletion of CD4+ T cells in HLA-DRB1*0101 Ifnar1−/− transgenic mice with prior OC43 exposure results in increased viral burden in the lung but no change in virus-induced lung damage following infection with SARS-CoV-2 (versus CD4+ T cell-sufficient mice), demonstrating that the OC43-elicited SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cell-mediated cross-protection against SARS-CoV-2 is partially dependent on CD4+ T cells. These findings contribute to our understanding of the origin of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells and their effects on SARS-CoV-2 clinical outcomes, and also carry implications for development of broadly protective betacoronavirus vaccines.
    Hibernating Bats are a Weak Source for Biomonitoring of Coronaviruses
    Aleksander Goll - 2024
    Abstract
    Background: Bats are reservoirs and vectors of significant zoonotic diseases. Our study focuses on understanding the role of bats as reservoirs and carriers of coronaviruses, given their epidemiological significance and the recent global health crises stemming from coronavirus outbreaks. (2) Methods: We conducted virological screening of bats hibernating in military bunkers at the Natura 2000 site ʺNietoperekʺ in Western Poland. This involved collecting and analyzing oral and anal swab samples from 138 bats across six species, using a combination of pan‐coronavirus and SARS‐CoV‐2 specific PCR assays. (3) Results: Out of 138 bats, only one anal swab tested positive for coronavirus. However, we were not able to obtain genomic sequence from the sample. No SARS‐CoV‐2 was detected in any of the samples. The low prevalence of coronavirus in the studied colony contrasts with higher rates found in other regions and may be influenced by the physiological and behavioral conditions of bats during hibernation. (4) Conclusions: Hibernating bats may show a low prevalence of coronavirus, potentially due to the hibernation process itself. This finding indicates that hibernating bats may not be the most optimal subjects for screening zoonotic pathogens. However, continuous monitoring of bat populations for emerging and reemerging diseases is recommended for a comprehensive epidemiological understanding.
    Infectivity of exhaled SARS-CoV-2 aerosols is sufficient to transmit covid-19 within minutes
    Malin Alsved - 2023
    Abstract
    Exhaled SARS-CoV-2-containing aerosols contributed significantly to the rapid and vast spread of covid-19. However, quantitative experimental data on the infectivity of such aerosols is missing. Here, we quantified emission rates of infectious viruses in exhaled aerosol from individuals within their first days after symptom onset from covid-19. Six aerosol samples from three individuals were culturable, of which five were successfully quantified using TCID50. The source strength of the three individuals was highest during singing, when they exhaled 4, 36, or 127 TCID50/s, respectively. Calculations with an indoor air transmission model showed that if an infected individual with this emission rate entered a room, a susceptible person would inhale an infectious dose within 6 to 37 min in a room with normal ventilation. Thus, our data show that exhaled aerosols from a single person can transmit covid-19 to others within minutes at normal indoor conditions.
    Point-of-Care Platform for Rapid Multiplexed Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Variants and Respiratory Pathogens
    Alexander Y. Trick - 2022
    Abstract
    The rise of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants brings new challenges and concerns with vaccine efficacy, diagnostic sensitivity, and public health responses to end the pandemic. Widespread detection of variants is critical to inform policy decisions to mitigate further spread, and postpandemic multiplexed screening of respiratory viruses will be necessary to properly manage patients presenting with similar respiratory symptoms. In this work, a portable, magnetofluidic cartridge platform for automated polymerase chain reaction testing in <30 min is developed. Cartridges are designed for multiplexed detection of SARS-CoV-2 with either identification of variant mutations or screening for Influenza A and B. Moreover, the platform can perform identification of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants and the multiplexed SARS-CoV-2/Influenza assay using archived clinical nasopharyngeal swab eluates and saliva samples. This work illustrates a path toward affordable and immediate testing with potential to aid surveillance of viral variants and inform patient treatment.
  • Q qPCR Instrument
    Engineered CHO cells as a novel AAV production platform for gene therapy delivery
    Abdou Nagy - 2023
    Abstract
    The Herpes simplex virus (HSV)-based platform for production of recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors (rAAVs) yields higher titers and increased percentage of full capsids when compared to the triple transient transfection (TTT) method. However, this platform currently faces two major challenges. The first challenge is the reliance on commercial media, sometimes supplemented with serum, leading to costly manufacturing and a high risk for introduction of adventitious agents. The second challenge is that the production of HSV-1 relies on adherent complementing Vero cells (V27), making it difficult to scale up. We engineered serum-free-adapted CHO cells expressing key HSV-1 entry receptors, HVEM and/or Nectin-1 to address the first challenge. Using high-throughput cloning methods, we successfully selected a HVEM receptor-expressing clone (CHO–HV–C1) that yields 1.62 × 109, 2.51 × 109, and 4.07 × 109 viral genome copies/mL with rAAV6.2-GFP, rAAV8-GFP, and rAAV9-GFP vectors respectively, within 24 h post rHSV-1 co-infection. Moreover, CHO–HV–C1-derived rAAVs had comparable in vitro transduction, infectivity, and biodistribution titers to those produced by TTT. The second challenge was addressed via engineering CHO–HV–C1 cells to express HSV-1 CP27. These cells successfully produced rHSV-1 vectors, but with significantly lower titers than V27 cells. Taken together, the CHO/HSV system provides a novel, scalable, reduced cost, serum-free AAV manufacturing platform.

Product Finder

Select Your Assay

Starting Template

Assay Format

Detection Chemistry

Multiplexing (more than 3 targets)

Is gene-specific priming (GSP) required?

What current Reverse Transcriptase or cDNA kit are you using?

Select the group which contains your real-time PCR cycler

  • Applied Biosystems 7500
  • Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast
  • Stratagene Mx3000P®
  • Stratagene Mx3005P™
  • Stratagene Mx4000™
  • Applied Biosystems ViiA 7
  • Applied Biosystems QuantStudio™
  • Agilent AriaMx
  • Douglas Scientific IntelliQube®
  • Applied Biosystems 5700
  • Applied Biosystems 7000
  • Applied Biosystems 7300
  • Applied Biosystems 7700
  • Applied Biosystems 7900
  • Applied Biosystems 7900HT
  • Applied Biosystems 7900 HT Fast
  • Applied Biosystems StepOne™
  • Applied Biosystems StepOnePlus™
  • Quantabio Q
  • BioRad CFX
  • Roche LightCycler 480
  • QIAGEN Rotor-Gene Q
  • Azure Cielo 6
  • Azure Cielo 3
  • Other
  • BioRad iCycler iQ™
  • BioRad MyiQ™
  • BioRad iQ™5

Choose your application from the categories below

Products

I give Quantabio or an authorized Quantabio distributor permission to contact me for product updates and news.
* Required information