Topic Review
Point-Of-Care or Point-Of-Need Diagnostic Tests
In the recent years, the progress of international trade and travel has led to an increased risk of emerging infections. Around 75 percent of the pathogens causing these infections are of animal origin. Point-of-care tests (POCT) and point-of-need tests (PONT) have been established in order to directly provide accurate and rapid diagnostics at field level, the patient bed-side or at the site of outbreaks. These assays can help physicians and decision makers to take the right action without delay. Typically, POCT and PONT rely on genomic identification of pathogens or track their immunological fingerprint. Recently, protocols for metagenomic diagnostics in the field have been developed.
  • 514
  • 20 Apr 2021
Topic Review
Natural Antimicrobial Products
Drug-resistant bacteria pose a serious threat to human health worldwide. Current antibiotics are losing efficacy and new antimicrobial agents are urgently needed. Living organisms are an invaluable source of antimicrobial compounds. The antimicrobial activity of the most representative natural products of animal, bacterial, fungal and plant origin are reviewed in this article. Their activity against drug-resistant bacteria, their mechanisms of action, the possible development of resistance against them, their role in current medicine and their future perspectives are discussed. Natural compounds of heterogeneous origins have been shown to possess antimicrobial capabilities, including against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The most commonly found mechanisms of antimicrobial action are related to protein biosynthesis and alteration of cell walls and membranes. Various natural compounds, especially phytochemicals, have shown synergistic capacity with antibiotics. There is little literature on the development of specific resistance mechanisms against natural antimicrobial compounds. New technologies such as -omics, network pharmacology and informatics have the potential to identify and characterize new natural antimicrobial compounds in the future. This knowledge may be useful for the development of future therapeutic strategies.
  • 392
  • 05 Jan 2021
Topic Review
Bisphenol A
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an oestrogenic endocrine disruptor widely used in the production of certain plastics, e.g., polycarbonate, hard and clear plastics, and epoxy resins that act as a protective coating for food and beverage cans. Human exposure to this chemical is thought to be ubiquitous. BPA alters endocrine function, thereby causing many diseases in human and animals. In the last few decades, studies exploring the mechanism of BPA activity revealed a direct link between BPA induced oxidative stress and disease pathogenesis. Antioxidants, reducing agents that prevent cellular oxidation reactions, can protect BPA toxicity. Although the important role of antioxidants in minimizing BPA stress has been demonstrated in many studies, a clear consensus on the associated mechanisms is needed, as well as the directives on their efficacy and safety. Herein, considering the distinct biochemical properties of BPA and antioxidants, we provide a framework for understanding how antioxidants alleviate BPA‐associated stress. We summarize the current knowledge on the biological function of enzymatic and non‐enzymatic antioxidants, and discuss their practical potential as BPA‐detoxifying agents.
  • 385
  • 26 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Liver Fluke, Blood Fluke Vaccines
Liver flukes (Fasciola spp., Opisthorchis spp, Clonorchis sinensis) and blood flukes (Schistosoma spp.) are parasitic helminths causing neglected tropical diseases that result in substantial morbidity afflicting millions globally. Affecting the world’s poorest people, fasciolosis, opisthorchiasis, clonorchiasis and schistosomiasis cause severe disability; hinder growth, productivity and cognitive development; and can end in death. Children are often disproportionately affected. F. hepatica and F. gigantica are also the most important trematode flukes parasitising ruminants and cause substantial economic losses annually. Mass drug administration (MDA) programs for the control of these liver and blood fluke infections are in place in a number of countries but treatment coverage is often low, re-infection rates are high and drug compliance and effectiveness can vary. Furthermore, the spectre of drug resistance is ever-present, so MDA is not effective or sustainable long term. Vaccination would provide an invaluable tool to achieve lasting control leading to elimination.
  • 381
  • 12 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Anti-Haemonchus Contortus Vaccines Development
Haemonchosis/barber’s pole disease is a socio-economically important disease caused by one of the most pathogenic nematode parasite of ruminants called Haemonchus contortus. The control practices through anthelmintics, and resistance to these drugs demands for an effective, safe and durable vaccine against H. contortus.  During host-parasite relationship, parasites excrete and secrete large number of molecules into the host, which perform adversative immune-regulatory functions upon bindings to host immune cells. Various potential vaccine antigens have been tested by different ways and strategies applied in animal models, and significant progress has been made in the development of vaccines against H. contortus.
  • 249
  • 28 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine
The chloroquine family of antimalarials has a long history of use, spanning many decades. Despite this extensive clinical experience, novel applications, including use in autoimmune disor-ders, infectious disease, and cancer, have only recently been identified. While short term use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine is safe at traditional therapeutic doses in patients without pre-disposing conditions, administration of higher doses and for longer durations are associated with toxicity, including retinotoxicity. Additional liabilities of these medications include pharmacokinetic profiles that require extended dosing to achieve therapeutic tissue concentrations. To improve chloroquine therapy, researchers have turned toward nanomedicine reformulation of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to increase exposure of target tissues relative to off-target tissues, thereby improving the therapeutic index.
  • 232
  • 19 Jan 2021
Topic Review Peer Reviewed
Generational Effects of Opioid Exposure
The inheritance of substance abuse, including opioid abuse, may be influenced by genetic and non-genetic factors related to the environment, such as stress and socioeconomic status. These non-genetic influences on the heritability of a trait can be attributed to epigenetics. Epigenetic inheritance can result from modifications passed down from the mother, father, or both, resulting in either maternal, paternal, or parental epigenetic inheritance, respectively. These epigenetic modifications can be passed to the offspring to result in multigenerational, intergenerational, or transgenerational inheritance. Human and animal models of opioid exposure have shown generational effects that result in molecular, developmental, and behavioral alterations in future generations. 
  • 208
  • 13 Apr 2022
Topic Review
Microbiota of Sand Flies
Sand flies are a significant public health concern in many parts of the world where they are known to transmit agents of several zoonotic diseases to humans, such as leishmaniasis. Vector control remains a key component of many anti-leishmaniasis programs and probably will remain so until an effective vaccine becomes available. The sand fly gut microbiota has emerged as an encouraging field for the exploration of vector-based disease control. In particular, the gut microbiome was previously reported to either enhance or inhibit parasite activity depending on the species of bacteria and, thus, has the potential to alter vector competence. 
  • 205
  • 17 Jun 2022
Topic Review
The control of leishmaniases, a complex parasitic disease caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania, requires continuous innovation at the therapeutic and vaccine levels. Thus, the classical drugs are toxic and generate drug resistance. These limitations are also the consequence of a non adapted biodistribution of the active principles. Chitosan is a biocompatible polymer administrable via different routes and possessing numerous qualities to be used in the antileishmanial strategies.
  • 189
  • 27 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Mechanisms of Snake Venom Induced Pain
Not all venoms contain the same constituents; not all sensory neurons or other components of the nervous system are vulnerable to the same peptide or enzyme; not all tissues and organs have the same innervation or vulnerability to venom constituents; and, lastly, snakes have incredibly diverse venom proteomes, a diversity driven by geographical and other environmental factors. Documentation of specific pain syndromes in greater detail in future epidemiological studies of snake bite is also critical. 
  • 134
  • 28 Mar 2022
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