[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Nador lagoon, located in the northeastern part of the Moroccan Mediterranean coast, was sampled with a beach seine at six stations during different seasons, from 2012 to 2014. The African halfbeak, Hyporhamphus picarti was collected, among the fish species and some aspect of its biology and ecology (colonization of the lagoon, spawning period and growth) was described for the first time. This species was found only in late summer and autumn, and all the individuals captured were juveniles, indicating that the lagoon serves as an important nursery for this species. Growth increments in the lapilli otoliths were used to investigate its early life history. Assuming that the primary increments are deposited daily, age and hatch dates were determined by counting these increments in juvenile fish collected during late summer and autumn. The estimated ages of juveniles ranged from 39 to 58 days (TL: 68.10 ±15.19 mm) in 2012, and from 42 to 77 days (TL: 101.03 ± 28.77 mm) in 2013. Juveniles collected in 2013 had significantly higher growth rates (2.35 mm. d−1) than those collected in 2012 (1.88 mm. d−1) regardless of temperature. For both years, the average otolith increments width increased until about the 25th day (corresponding to a size of about 28 mm TL), and then decreased. Back-calculated hatch dates of juveniles collected in the lagoon indicated that they hatched in summer from June to September. These results indicate that H. picarti has a short spawning period during the warm period, and uses the lagoon as a nursery ground in late summer and autumn.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Cybium: international journal of ichthyology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection remains one of the world's major causes of illness and mortality. A clear understanding of the host defense against Mtb is imperatively needed forthe control of this epidemic. When tuberculosis (TB) infection occurs, a variety of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines play a vital role in the pathogenesis of this disease. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is one of the most important anti-inflammatory cytokines reported to suppress the protective immune response against tuberculosis.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association of plasma IL-10 levels with various disease stages of TB and the possible effects of treatment on these levels.
Materials and methods:
A group of 30 patients with active pulmonary TB and a control group of 21 healthy individuals were enrolled in this study. The levels of IL-10 were measured before, during, and after treatment using commercially available enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay (ELISA). Data were analyzed using GraphPad Prism version 5.0.
The results showed that the levels of IL-10 had significant differences between the TB and control groups (p<0.05). The patients with abnormal chest X-Ray findings had higher IL-10 levels when compared to patients with normal X-Rays (p=0.03). A subgroup of 18 patients were followed during the treatment and the mean plasma concentration of IL-10 in patients before therapy was higher than in patients at 3 months of therapy and in patients after 6 months of therapy (p=0.01). However, the IL-10 level remained significantly higher in patients at the end of treatment compared with controls. These findings could be used in follow-up as clinical biomarker of the success of tuberculosis therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Due to their location between the continent and the sea and their shallow depths, lagoons play an important ecological role in coastal ecosystems by providing a selection of habitat types for many species, functioning as nursery areas and feeding grounds for marine opportunistic fishes. The fish fauna of the Nador Lagoon (NE Morocco), as in the majority of southern Mediterranean lagoons, has been insufficiently studied, even though the lagoon itself supports important commercial fisheries. The presently reported study investigated the spatial and seasonal uses of shallow habitats for fish fauna in the Nador Lagoon. Materials and methods. Sampling was done using a beach seine net at six stations covering almost entire lagoon and representing habitats differing in many parameters such as the distance from the inlet, bottom sediment characteristics, presence of macroalgae, etc. The fish abundance was standardized as catch per unit effort (CPUE) and the fish community was analysed both in terms of its taxonomic and functional composition (by making use of both ecological and dietary preference guilds). Results. A total of 2872 individuals, representing 15 species from 12 families, was collected during the four seasons. Only six species were always present in all seasons. Fish abundance peaked in spring and the species diversity was higher in spring and summer. The fish assemblage was largely dominated in terms of ecological guild by the resident and benthivorous species. Spatial and seasonal fish assemblages differed both in terms of fish abundance and diversity and also in terms of functional guilds composition. In autumn, the fish assemblage was dominated by the marine juvenile migrants whereas in winter, spring, and summer, resident species were the most abundant. Conclusion. The combination of taxonomic and functional characteristics of the fish assemblages, determined in the presently reported study, may contribute to a better understanding of the ecological networks of the Nador Lagoon, thus providing useful data for its conservation and management.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Acta Ichthyologica Et Piscatoria
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Due to their location between the continent and the sea and their shallow depths, lagoons play an important ecological role in coastal ecosystems by providing a collection of habitat types for many species, functioning as nursery areas and feeding grounds for marine opportunistic fishes. The Nador lagoon’s (NE Morocco) ichtyofauna, as in most southern Mediterranean lagoons, are not well-known, although the lagoon itself supports important commercial fisheries The present study investigates the spatial and seasonal uses of shallow habitats for fish fauna in the Nador lagoon. The fish assemblages were analysed according to their taxonomic and functional compositions. This study leads to a better understanding of the functioning of the Nador lagoon, thus providing useful data regarding its conservation and management.
Materials and methods. Sampling was done using a beach seine net at six stations covering almost all the lagoon and representing different habitats (e.g. distance from the inlet, bottom sediment characteristics, and presence of macroalgae). The fish abundance was standardized as catch per unit effort (CPUE) and the fish community was analysed both in terms of its taxonomic and functional composition (by making use of both ecological and dietary preference guilds).
Results. A total of 2872 individuals was collected during the 4 seasons, representing 15 species from 12 families. Only six species were always present in all seasons. Fish abundance peaked in spring and species diversity was higher in spring and summer. The fish assemblage was largely dominated in terms of ecological guild by the resident and benthivorous species. Spatial and seasonal fish assemblages differed both in term of fish abundance and diversity and also in term of functional guilds composition. In autumn, fish assemblage was dominated by the marine juvenile migrants whereas in winter, spring and summer, resident species dominate the assemblage.
Conclusion. In the present study, the combination of a taxonomic and functional description of the fish assemblages together allowed a better understanding of the functioning of the fish assemblages. The combination of environmental parameters in future analysis should allow to better explain the patterns of the fish assemblages.
Keywords: Fish assemblages, functional guild, lagoon, Nador, Morocco.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Acta Ichthyologica Et Piscatoria
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: L’élevage d’Anopheles labranchiae ; principal vecteur du paludisme au Maroc a permis de déterminer les paramètres biologiques de la première génération: 70 % pour le taux d’éclosion, 54 % pour le taux d’émergence, 46 % pour le taux de nymphose, 25 % pour le rendement pré-imaginal et 46 % pour le taux d’inhibition de l’émergence. L’estimation de la durée de développement des différents stades préimaginaux d’Anopheles labranchiae montrent un intervalle de 48 heures pour l’incubation des oeufs, de 1,8 ±0,42 pour le stade I, de 2,40 ±0,69 pour le stade II, de 2,4 ±0,51 pour le stade III et de 2,1 ±0,31pour le stade VI. Le développement nymphal s’est accompli en une durée moyenne de 48h. La durée totale du cycle de développement pré-imaginal est de 11,66 ± 0,51 jours. Le sex ratio (males/femelles) est égal à 0,50. Bien qu’il soit difficile d’entretenir cet anophèle marocain en élevage, le succès obtenu dans l’entretien de la première génération dans cette étude ne peut être que prometteur pour continuer les expériences dans cet axe d’étude
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
This is the first study in Morocco to estimate snail infection rates at the last historic transmission sites of schistosomiasis, known to be free from new infection among humans since 2004. Screening of large numbers of snails for infection is one way to confirm that Schistosoma haematobium transmission has stopped and does not resurge.
A total of 2703 Bulinus truncatus snails were collected from 24 snail habitats in five provinces of Morocco: Errachidia, El Kelaa des Sraghna, Tata, Beni Mellal, and Chtouka Ait Baha. All visible snails were collected with a scoop net or by hand. We used waders and gloves as simple precautions. Snails were morphologically identified according to Moroccan Health Ministry guide of schistosomiasis (1982).All snails were analyzed in pools by molecular tool, using primers from the newly identified repeated DNA sequence, termed DraI, in the S. haematobium group. To distinguish S. bovis and S. haematobium, the snails were analyzed by Sh110/Sm-Sl PCR that was specific of S. haematobium.
The results showed that snails from Errachidia, Chtouka Ait Baha, sector of Agoujgal in Tata and sector of Mbarkiya in El kelaa des Sraghna were negative for DraI PCR; but, snails from remaining snail habitats of El Kelaa des Sraghna, Tata and Beni Mellal were positive. This led to suggest the presence of circulating schistosome species (S. haematobium, S. bovis or others) within these positive snail habitats. Subsequently, confirmation with S. haematobium species specific molecular assay, Sh110/Sm-Sl PCR, showed that none of the collected snails were infected by S. haematobium in all historic endemic areas.
The absence of S. haematobium infection in snails supports the argument of S. haematobium transmission interruption in Morocco.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Parasites & Vectors
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to characterize larval habitats of Anopheline mosquitoes and to estimate the key ecological factors associated with this group's distribution. The study was carried out during June and July 2009 at 25 localities in 10 sectors of Larache Province. The aquatic habitats were sampled by standard dipping techniques. The habitats were character-ized based on water depth, pH, temperature, conductivity, salinity, distance to the nearest house, dissolved oxygen, algae and emergent plants (presence or absence), turbidity and habitat type. A total of 54 aquatic habitats consisting of swamps, rivers and rice fields were chosen. Fifty-two per cent of all habitat samples were positive for Anopheles larvae. Of all mosquito larvae collected, 1145 were Anopheles of which 316 (28 %) were early instars and 829 (72 %) late instars. Morphological identification of third and fourth larval instars revealed that 76 % (n = 629) were Anopheles maculipennis s.l. and 24 % (n = 200) were An. cinereus. The only species belonging to the Anopheles maculipennis complex was An. labranchiae. Multiple factorial correspondence analyses (MFCA) showed that the density of An. labranchiae was negatively associated with turbidity, pH and depth in aquatic habitats. These findings suggest that the distribution of An. labranchiae was driven by different environmental factors. This will help in understanding the relationship between habitats, environmental factors and abundance of Anopheles larvae, which is essential for the efficient application of mosquito control methods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anopheles labranchiae Falleroni is the only member of the Maculipennis Group known to occur in northern Africa; however, confusion exists as to the taxonomic status of its junior synonym, An. sicaulti Roubaud (type locality: near Rabat, Morocco). Based on morphological and behavioural distinctions, it has been suggested that Moroccan populations have been isolated from other North African populations by the Atlas Mountains, and that Moroccan populations may represent An. sicaulti, originally described as a variety of An. maculipennis Meigen. DNA barcodes (658bp of the mitochondrial COI gene) obtained from 89 An. maculipennis s.l. collected in Morocco (n=79) and Algeria (n=10) in 2007 and 2008 were used to determine if Moroccan populations are genetically isolated from those east of the Atlas Mountains (Algeria), and whether there is molecular evidence to support the presence of more than one member of the Maculipennis Group in the region. No evidence for speciation was found between Moroccan and Algerian populations, or within populations in northern Morocco. Moreover shared COI haplotypes between Algeria and Morocco indicate ongoing gene flow between populations in these countries, suggesting that the Atlas Mountains are not a boundary to gene flow in An. labranchiae. The synonymy of An. sicaulti with An. labranchiae is confirmed. That An. labranchiae comprises the same species in these North African countries is important for malaria control.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Moroccan Health Ministry launched a Process of Eliminating Schistosomiasis in 1994. During 2005-2009, the epidemiologic status showed a clear interruption of disease transmission at the national level; only a few residual cases were recorded. Our present study is the first systematic serologic survey to evaluate the transmission status in remaining disease-endemic foci. A study population of 2,382 children born after the date of the last autochthonous cases were selected from provinces with histories of high schistosomiasis transmission (Tata, Chtouka Ait Baha, Errachidia, El Kelaa Des Sraghna, and Beni Mellal). To identify the presence of disease, specific antibodies directed against Schistosoma haematobium adult worm microsomal antigens were detected by using an enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot assay. The results showed an absence of antibodies in all serum samples. Consequently, our findings confirm either a low transmission status or an interruption of schistosomiasis transmission within the last disease endemic foci.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to investigate the influence of functional polymorphisms of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), Fcg receptors CD16A (FCGR3A) and CD32A (FCGR2A) genes on susceptibility to pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in the Moroccan population, we analyzed 123 patients with PTB and 154 healthy controls. The genotyping for MIF-173 (G/C) (rs755622), FCGR2A-131H/R (rs1801274) and FCGR3A-158V/F (rs396991) was carried out using TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assay method. We found a statistically significant increase of the MIF -173CC homozygote genotype and MIF -173*C allele frequencies in PTB patients compared with healthy controls (17.07%versus 5.84%, P = 0.003; and 35.37%versus 26.30%, P = 0.02; respectively). In contrast, no association was observed between FCGR2A-131H/R and FCGR3A-158V/F polymorphisms and tuberculosis disease. Our finding suggests that MIF -173*C variant may play an important role in the development of active tuberculosis.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · Journal of Genetics and Genomics