[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Warfarin is a rodenticide commonly used worldwide. It inhibits coagulation of blood by inhibiting vitamin K 2,3-epoxide reductase (VKOR) activity. An inadequate supply of vitamin K blocks the production of prothrombin and causes hemorrhage. Recently, warfarin-resistant brown rats (Rattus norvegicus) were found around the Aomori area of Japan. There is no significant difference in the metabolic activity of warfarin in sensitive and resistant brown rats. To clarify the mechanism underlying warfarin resistance, we cloned the VKORC1 gene from rats and identified a novel substitution of arginine to proline at position 33 of the VKORC1 amino acid sequence. Then, we determined the differences in kinetics of VKOR activity between warfarin-resistant and sensitive rats. Hepatic microsomal VKOR-dependent activity was measured over a range of vitamin K epoxide concentrations from 6.25 to 150 μM. The V(max) values of resistant rats (0.0029 ± 0.020 nmol/min/mg) were about one tenth of those of sensitive rats (0.29 ± 0.12 nmol/min/mg). The K(m) values of resistant rats (47 ± 32 μM) were similar to those of sensitive rats (59 ± 18 μM). Warfarin-sensitive rats exhibited enzyme efficiencies (V(max)/K(m)) which were ten-fold greater than those observed in resistant rats. It may mean that VKOR activity of warfarin-resistant Aomori rats is almost lost, because their enzymatic efficiencies are very low even without warfarin. Further studies are needed to clarify how these rats can survive with a markedly reduced VKOR activity and how they simultaneously exhibit warfarin resistance.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 09/2012; · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Warfarin is commonly used worldwide as a rodenticide. It inhibits blood coagulation by inhibiting vitamin K 2,3-epoxide reductase (VKOR) activity leading to hemorrhage. However, it has been reported that repeated or long-term treatment with warfarin results in resistance emerging in wild rodents. Such resistance may explain why it is difficult to control rodents in many regions in Japan. In this report, we studied mutations in the VKOR gene (including the VKOR complex subunit 1 (VKORC1)), while also analyzing VKOR and clotting factor activity in black rats (Rattus rattus) in order to understand better the mechanism of warfarin resistance in this species.We sequenced the VKORC1 gene from 275 rats living in the wild in Japan. We found several types of novel base substitutions, some of which conferred warfarin resistance.There was no difference in coagulation times between warfarin-sensitive and resistant rats measured under physiological conditions. However, after warfarin administration, no effect was noted in warfarin-resistant rats, although a prolonged coagulation time was noted in warfarin-sensitive rats.We also determined the kinetic differences in hepatic microsomal VKOR-dependent activity between warfarin-resistant and sensitive rats. Warfarin-resistant rats showed 2–3-fold lower Vmax/Km values than did sensitive rats. In addition, we report that resistant rats found in the Tokyo area had a VKOR activity which was poorly inhibited by warfarin.Finally, we conclude that reduced VKOR activity and warfarin resistance in the Japanese black rat might be due to mutations in the VKORC1 gene. However, further study is needed to clarify how such rats can maintain adequate vitamin K-dependent clotting factor levels, while simultaneously exhibiting low VKOR activity and warfarin resistance.
Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 06/2012; 103(2):144–151. · 2.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed a new loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method to detect rrs, a 16S rRNA gene, of pathogenic Leptospira spp. in urine. The method enables detection of two leptospiral cells per reaction following boiling of urine specimens. The sensitivity of this method is higher than that of culture or of flaB-nested PCR.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 04/2012; · 4.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed a new loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method to detect rrs, a 16S rRNA gene of pathogenic Leptospira spp. in urine. The method enables detection of two leptospiral cells per reaction mixture following boiling of urine specimens. The sensitivity of this method is higher than that of culture or of flaB nested PCR.
Journal of clinical microbiology 03/2012; 50(6):2072-4. · 4.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a pilot survey of genetic variation of A. cantonensis using small subunit (SSU) ribosomal (r) RNA and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (coxI) gene sequences. Two distinct SSU genotypes (G1 and G2) were identified among 17 individual A. cantonensis worms from 17 different geographical localities in Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Thailand. The partial coxI sequences were determined for 83 worms from 18 different geographical localities from Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Thailand. Phylogenetic analysis showed eight distinct coxI haplotypes (ac1 to ac8). In 16 out of 18 localities, only a single coxI haplotype was found. However, in two localities, two coxI haplotypes coexisted. The common haplotypes found were: haplotype ac1 (Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Amamioshima Island, and Taichung), haplotype ac2 (Ishikawa, Shenzhen, and Lianjiang), haplotype ac5 (the Okinawa and the Ogasawara Islands), and haplotype ac7 (Miyagi, Aichi, and Kanagawa). Each of these regions is separated from the others by high mountain ranges or oceans. In addition, the lower genetic variation and particular geographical distribution of A. cantonensis in each location could indicate a founder effect, which may have resulted from multiple independent origins, and suggests that haplotypes migrated from endemic areas via human-related transportation.
Parasitology International 02/2012; 61(3):431-6. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined nucleotide changes that underlie coat color variation in Black Rats (the Rattus rattus species complex), which show polymorphism in dorsal fur color, including either grayish brown (agouti) or black (melanistic) forms. We examined the full coding sequence of a gene known to produce melanism in other vertebrates-melanocortin-1-receptor gene Mc1r (954 bp) -using samples of both R. rattus (with 2n = 38) and its close relative Asian Black Rat (R. tanezumi; 2n = 42). We used 61 specimens from Japan with karyotype-known individuals and four samples from Pakistan. We found 11 allele sequences and constructed a network tree that shows two distinct clusters, with allelic segregation according to karyotype and by inference, representing the two species. We found that a nucleotide substitution from G to A at site 280, producing an amino acid change from glutamic acid to lysine, was associated with the dominant trait of the melanistic form of the coat color in R. rattus. Notably, the derived SNP 280A was found in a single allele, with the ancestral SNP 280G present in seven alleles. By contrast, all three alleles for R. tanezumi retain the ancestral SNP 280G. These results suggest a possible recent origin of melanism in R. rattus.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We collected 24 brown rats, Rattus norvegicus, in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan and found one rat harboring a dioctophymatid nematode. A single male and a female worm were recovered from the abdominal cavity and were identified as Dioctophyme renale based on morphologic features and a BLAST DNA sequence analysis. We describe the morphological features of the adult worms and eggs from this extremely rare case of D. renale infection in a brown rat.
Parasitology International 03/2011; 60(3):324-6. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thirteen patients with leptospirosis were identified, as confirmed by laboratory analysis during the last 5 years in our laboratory, who came from urban areas of Tokyo, Japan. All of the patients came into contact with rats before the onset of illness. Seventeen per cent of Norway rats captured in the inner cities of Tokyo carried leptospires in their kidneys. Most of these rat isolates were Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni/Icterohaemorrhagiae. Antibodies against these serovars and their DNA were detected in the patients. This suggests that rats are important reservoirs of leptospirosis, and that rat-borne leptospires occur in urban areas of Tokyo.
Journal of Medical Microbiology 07/2009; 58(Pt 9):1227-30. · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Warfarin is commonly used worldwide as a rodenticide. It inhibits coagulation of blood by inhibiting vitamin K 2,3-epoxide reductase (VKOR) activity. An inadequate supply of vitamin K blocks the production of prothrombin and causes hemorrhage. It has been reported that repeated or long-term treatments with this drug cause resistance in wild rodents. However, the mechanism of warfarin resistance in rodents is still not known precisely. Recent studies reported and identified the function of the molecule, vitamin K epoxide reductase complex subunit 1 (VKORC1), which is the main unit of VKOR. An amino acid substitution in VKORC1 is one of the supposed mechanisms of warfarin resistance. An accelerated detoxification system involving cytochrome P450 (CYP) could also cause the rodenticide resistance. Administration of SKF-525A, a potent inhibitor for P450, increased the mortality due to reduction of warfarin metabolism in warfarin-resistant rats. Meanwhile, the appearance of warfarin-resistant rodents has led to the development of the more effective and toxic rodenticide superwarfarin, which is widely used in Europe and the USA. However, animals resistant to this second-generation rodenticide have already been reported in Europe. In this review, we focus on the mechanism and the pleiotropic effects of pesticide resistance in wild rodents.
The Journal of Toxicological Sciences 09/2008; 33(3):283-91. · 1.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Culex pipiens complex consists of vector mosquitoes that transmit important human pathogens. In this study we established a simplified method to distinguish three members of the Cx. pipiens complex, Cx. p. pallens Coquillet, Cx. p. form molestus Forskal, and Cx. quinquefasciatus Say, collected in Japan. Sequence analysis of the Drosophila Ace-orthologous acetylcholinesterase (Ace) gene (668 to 680 bp) revealed that a single polymorphic region characterizes each species. Based on this region, specific primers that distinguish Cx. p. form molestus (ACEpip2) and Cx. p. pallens (ACEpall2) were newly designed. Polymerase chain reactions were performed with the genomic DNA of Culex mosquitoes as the template, and these primers clearly distinguished two Culex spp. The accuracy of the designed primers was evaluated with 38 colonies of mosquito samples collected from 9 prefectures of Japan. The testing revealed that the distribution of anautogenous Cx. p. pipiens has not been confirmed in Japan. It also revealed that the male of Cx. p. pallens possesses an Ace gene haplotype that is highly similar to the sequence of Cx. quinquefasciatus. This improved method allows the evaluation of vector competence of Cx. p.molestus, which is the suspected vector of West Nile virus.
Japanese journal of infectious diseases 06/2008; 61(3):184-91. · 1.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Streptobacillus moniliformis is an etiological agent of rat-bite fever and Haverhill fever in human infection. As the currently available methods for identifying the causative bacteria are not satisfactory, we attempted to establish them by PCR using newly designed primers for the 16S rRNA gene of S. moniliformis. We then determined the prevalence of Streptobacillus spp. in two species of feral rats that inhabit an urban region in Japan, because information on the prevalence of the bacteria in feral rats is obscure. The use of PCR with newly designed primers showed that an extremely high proportion of R. norvegicus harbored the bacteria (61/66, 92%), whereas the prevalence was only 58% in R. rattus (30/52). The nucleotide sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene of Streptobacillus spp. isolated from oral swabs of feral rats showed at least two different types of bacteria among isolates from R. norvegicus and R. rattus.
Microbiology and Immunology 02/2008; 52(1):9-15. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Culex pipiens complex is the significant vector mosquito of West Nile virus. To take stock of the current situation of insecticide susceptibilities and design an ideal mosquito control strategy, we collected Culex pipiens pallens Coquillet, Culex pipiens form molestus Forskal, and Culex quinquefasciatus Say from fields in Japan and conducted bioassays for five larvicides (fenitrothion, temephos, etofenprox, diflubenzuron, and pyriproxyfen) by using a larval dipping method. Among five insecticides tested, obvious reduced susceptibilities were observed for etofenprox, which is the only pyrethroid compound registered as a larvicide in Japan. Twenty-two of 56 colonies exhibited a >10% survival rate at the etofenprox concentration of 5.7 microg/ml, which is a 10 times higher concentration of the working solution. The LC50 of a colony collected from Fukuoka prefecture for etofenprox exceeded 60 microg/ml (resistance ratio >2,307), and this colony also exhibited cross-resistance to other pyrethroids, permethrin (299-fold) and phenothrin (1,200-fold). The insect growth regulators diflubenzuron and pyriproxyfen were found to be sufficiently effective enough to control Culex larvae present, but decreased sensitivities to these insecticides were slightly detected in some colonies of Cx. p. form molestus collected from urban areas. Several etofenprox-resistant colonies of Cx. p. form molestus exhibited simultaneously decreased susceptibilities to other insecticides, including temephos, diflubenzuron, and pyriproxyfen.
Journal of Medical Entomology 09/2007; 44(5):822-9. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wild roof rats (Rattus rattus) live in proximity to human habitats, and they may carry numerous pathogens of infectious diseases. Pest control is important for public health, and warfarin is a commonly used rodenticide worldwide. However, continual use of warfarin may cause drug resistance in rodents and lead to failure of their control, especially in urbanized areas. In warfarin-resistant rats, the warfarin level in plasma was significantly lower after oral administration than that in the control warfarin-sensitive rats. Warfarin is metabolized by cytochrome P450 (P450), and hydroxylation of warfarin by P450 isoforms was significantly higher in warfarin-resistant rats (2-fold). Western blot analysis indicated that the level of CYP3A2 expression in warfarin-resistant rats was significantly larger than in warfarin-sensitive rats. The NADPH-P450 reductase activities in resistant rats were 8-fold higher than those in sensitive rats. In vivo, the administration of the P450 potent inhibitor proadifen (SKF-525A) increased the mortality of warfarin in the warfarin-resistant roof rats. We concluded that the mechanism of warfarin resistance in Tokyo roof rats is caused by increased clearance of warfarin.
Drug Metabolism and Disposition 02/2007; 35(1):62-6. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sporadic cases of hepatitis E have been reported in industrialized countries, including Japan. The source of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in these patients is unknown, although zoonotic transmission has been suggested. To investigate whether or not rodents might be a reservoir of HEV, we conducted an epidemiological survey for the antibody to a recombinant capsid protein of HEV using serum samples from wild rodents in Japan. One hundred and fourteen of 362 (31.5%) Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and 12 of 90 (13.3%) black rats (Rattus rattus) were positive for anti-HEV IgG. In contrast, all of the sera from 55 mice were negative for anti-HEV IgG. The rate of antibody positivity increased with weight among Norway rats. Seropositive rats were found in all five districts surveyed in this study, but the prevalence of anti-HEV IgG in wild rats differed among these prefectures. Despite the fact that Japan is a non-endemic country of hepatitis E, widespread infection of HEV was observed among wild rats in Japan. Our results suggested that HEV or a closely related virus is circulating among wild rats in Japan.
Hepatology Research 10/2003; 27(1):1-5. · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mass emergence ofchironomidmidges often leads to severe nuisance conditions in food industries. We tried to clarifythe seasonal abundance and the emergence time of chironomids caught by a light traps in this industry. A total of38,708 chironomids was collected duringthe study period, andthe largest number of adult was recorded in fall. In addition, some chironomids were collected even in thewinter. These results suggest that air temperate in winter at this industry is highenough for emergence of chironomids.Asfbr emergence time,the number of chironomids increased around dawn and dusk,and decreased in the day and night. The results of the present study would be useful information for drafting planto prevent outbreaks of nuisancemidges from indoor sewage drain.