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Physics Research Institute
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Institute of Ecology
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    ABSTRACT: Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) cause secretory diarrhea in children and travelers to endemic areas. ETEC spreads through the fecal-oral route. After ingestion, ETEC passes through the stomach and duodenum before it colonizes the lower part of the small intestine, exposing bacteria to a wide range of pH and environmental conditions. This study aimed to determine the impact of external pH and activity of the Cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) on the regulation of production and secretion of heat labile (LT) enterotoxin. ETEC strain E2863wt and its isogenic mutant E2863ΔCRP were grown in LBK media buffered to pH 5, 7 and 9. GM1 ELISA, cDNA and cAMP analyses were carried out on bacterial pellet and supernatant samples derived from 3 and 5 hours growth and from overnight cultures. We confirm that CRP is a repressor of LT transcription and production as has been shown before but we show for the first time that CRP is a positive regulator of LT secretion both in vitro and in vivo. LT secretion increased at neutral to alkaline pH compared to acidic pH 5 where secretion was completely inhibited. At pH 9 secretion of LT was optimal resulting in 600 percent increase of secreted LT compared to unbuffered LBK media. This effect was not due to membrane leakage since the bacteria were viable at pH 9. The results indicate that the transition to the alkaline duodenum and/or exposure to high pH close to the epithelium as well as activation of the global transcription factor CRP are signals that induce secretion of the LT toxin in ETEC.
    PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e74069. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0074069
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    ABSTRACT: A set of derivatives encompassing structural modifications on the privileged phenalenone scaffold were assessed for their antiplasmodial activities against a strain of chloroquine sensitive Plasmodium falciparum F32. Two compounds exhibited considerable effects against the malaria parasite (IC50 ⩽ 1μg/mL), one of which maintained the same level of activity in a chloroquine-resistant strain. This is the first record of antiplasmodial activity on this type of scaffold, providing a new structural motif as a new lead for antimalarial activity.
    Experimental Parasitology 08/2013; 135(2). DOI:10.1016/j.exppara.2013.08.008
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    ABSTRACT: South American camelids (SACs) have a major role in the maintenance and potential future of rural Andean human populations. More than 60% of the 3.7 million llamas living worldwide are found in Bolivia. Due to the lack of studies focusing on genetic diversity in Bolivian llamas, this analysis investigates both the genetic diversity and structure of 12 regional groups of llamas that span the greater part of the range of distribution for this species in Bolivia. The analysis of 42 microsatellite markers in the considered regional groups showed that, in general, there were high levels of polymorphism (a total of 506 detected alleles; average PIC across per marker: 0.66), which are comparable with those reported for other populations of domestic SACs. The estimated diversity parameters indicated that there was high intrapopulational genetic variation (average number of alleles and average expected heterozygosity per marker: 12.04 and 0.68, respectively) and weak genetic differentiation among populations (FST range: 0.003-0.052). In agreement with these estimates, Bolivian llamas showed a weak genetic structure and an intense gene flow between all the studied regional groups, which is due to the exchange of reproductive males between the different flocks. Interestingly, the groups for which the largest pairwise FST estimates were observed, Sud Lípez and Nor Lípez, showed a certain level of genetic differentiation that is probably due to the pattern of geographic isolation and limited communication infrastructures of these southern localities. Overall, the population parameters reported here may serve as a reference when establishing conservation policies that address Bolivian llama populations.
    Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics 08/2013; 130(4):321-31. DOI:10.1111/jbg.12009

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    La Paz, Bolivia
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