Topic Review
Ivermectin as Broad-Spectrum Host-Directed Antiviral
The small molecule macrocyclic lactone ivermectin, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for parasitic infections, has received attention in the last eight years due to its exciting potential as an antiviral. It was identified in a high-throughput chemical screen as inhibiting recognition of the nuclear localizing Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1) integrase protein by the host heterodimeric importin (IMP) α/β1 complex, and has since been shown to bind directly to IMPα to induce conformational changes that prevent its normal function in mediating nuclear import of key viral and host proteins. Excitingly, cell culture experiments show robust antiviral action towards HIV-1, dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Chikungunya virus, Pseudorabies virus, adenovirus, and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Phase III human clinical trials have been completed for DENV, with >60 trials currently in progress worldwide for SARS-CoV-2.
  • 7226
  • 30 Sep 2020
Topic Review
Soil Bioremediation
Petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals and agricultural pesticides have mutagenic, carcinogenic, immunotoxic and teratogenic effects and cause drastic changes in soil physicochemical and microbiological characteristics, thereby representing a serious danger to health and environment. Therefore, soil pollution urgently requires the application of a series of physicochemical and biological techniques and treatments to minimize the extent of damage. Among them, bioremediation has been shown to be an alternative that can offer an economically viable way to restore polluted areas.
  • 2685
  • 27 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Wine Aroma and Flavor Compounds
Wine sensory experience includes flavor, aroma, color, and  even acoustic traits, which impact consumer acceptance. The quality of the wine can be negatively impacted by the presence of off-flavors and aromas. Flavor profiles of wines are the result of a vast number of variations in vineyard and winery production, including grape selection, winemaker’s knowledge and technique, and tools used to produce wines with a specific flavor. One of the most important “tools” for modulating flavor in wines is the choice of the yeasts. During alcoholic fermentation, the wine yeasts extract and metabolize compounds from the grape must by modifying grape-derived molecules, producing flavor-active compounds.
  • 2642
  • 29 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Fungal Metabolism
Fungi metabolism consists on a series of reactions that results in the biosynthesis of a huge number of compounds. These compounds area usually divided into primary and secondary metabolites. Primary metabolism is common to several species and usually produces compounds with the function of assuring fungi growth and development. Secondary metabolism refers to the production of compounds that are not indispensable during fungi development. Secondary metabolites are commonly referred as "natural products"  and have been extensively utilized in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food industry. Fungal metabolism is an excellent source of compounds related to the improvement of human health, and a discussion on this application is presented below.
  • 2352
  • 18 Nov 2021
Topic Review
Short-Chain Fatty Acids
The relationship between diet and the diversity and function of the intestinal microbiome and its importance for human health is currently the subject of many studies. The type and proportion of microorganisms found in the intestines can determine the energy balance of the host. Intestinal microorganisms perform many important functions, one of which is participation in metabolic processes, e.g., in the production of short-chain fatty acids—SCFAs (also called volatile fatty acids). These acids represent the main carbon flow from the diet to the host microbiome. Maintaining intestinal balance is necessary to maintain the host’s normal health and prevent many diseases. The results of many studies confirm the beneficial effect of probiotic microorganisms on the balance of the intestinal microbiome and produced metabolites, including SCFAs. The aim of this review is to summarize what is known on the effects of probiotics on the production of short-chain fatty acids by gut microbes. In addition, the mechanism of formation and properties of these metabolites is discussed and verified test results confirming the effectiveness of probiotics in human nutrition by modulating SCFAs production by intestinal microbiome is presented.
  • 2051
  • 30 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Morphology of Aspergillus flavus
This entry aimed to morphologically characterize and determine the aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic Aspergillus flavus isolates. Macromorphological characteristics were determined by observing the colony color and texture, while the micromorphological characteristics were determined by examining the spore color, size, structure, conidiophore structure, and vesicle shape. The production of aflatoxin was determined by direct visualization of the UV fluorescence of A. flavus colonies on CCA. Aflatoxin was qualitatively detected in 18 (45%) isolates of A. flavus using UV fluorescence screening while the remaining 22 (55%) isolates did not exhibit any aflatoxin production. 
  • 1976
  • 30 Aug 2021
Topic Review
Detection and Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19
Latest weeks the humanity is faced with the spread of a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 that causes a respiratory illness with high mortality rates, COVID-19. Since there is no approved treatment or vaccination against that specific coronavirus the reduce in virus spread is essential. That is based in the use of appropriate tools, enabling the accurate and early detection. Molecular biology and immunological techniques are widely used in order to predict the COVID-19 cases in a very short period of time. These are commonly based either in identification of the SARS-CoV-2’s genetic material or in detection of antibodies that have been produced by the immune system against the virus. Many of the above mentioned tests have been validated and approved by local authorities. However, there are much more companies that provide detection tests, without basic validation processes, contributing in non-precise data. The present review aim to analyze the most common platforms that are used in COVID-19 detection, analyzing their advantages and weaknesses. Therefore, each physician will be equipped with appropriate information required for each test.
  • 1899
  • 29 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Aerial Microbial Contamination
Air is recognized as an important source of microbial contamination in food production facilities and has the potential to contaminate the food product causing food safety and spoilage issues for the food industry. Potential for aerial microbial contamination of food can be a particular issue during storage in cold rooms when the food is not packaged and is exposed to contaminated air over a prolonged period. Thus, there are potential benefits for the food industry for an aerial decontamination in cold storage facilities. It is considered that current systems may not be completely effective and environmentally friendly, therefore, it is of great significance to consider the development of nonresidual and verified decontamination technologies for the food industry and, in particular, for the cold storage rooms.
  • 1702
  • 17 Dec 2020
Topic Review
Cyberlindnera jadinii
Cyberlindnera jadinii is widely used as a source of single-cell protein and is known for its ability to synthesize a great variety of valuable compounds for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Its capacity to produce compounds such as food additives, supplements, and organic acids, among other fine chemicals, has turned it into an attractive microorganism in the biotechnology field.
  • 1377
  • 04 Oct 2021
Topic Review
Malaria is a severe disease caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium, which is transmitted to humans by a bite of an infected female mosquito of the species Anopheles. Malaria remains the leading cause of mortality around the world, and early diagnosis and fast-acting treatment prevent unwanted outcomes. It is the most common disease in Africa and some countries of Asia, while in the developed world malaria occurs as imported from endemic areas. The sweet sagewort plant was used as early as the second century BC to treat malaria fever in China. Much later, quinine started being used as an antimalaria drug. A global battle against malaria started in 1955. The World Health Organization carries out a malaria control program on a global scale, focusing on local strengthening of primary health care, early diagnosis of the disease, timely treatment, and disease prevention. Globally, the burden of malaria is lower than ten years ago. However, in the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of malaria cases around the world. It is moving towards targets established by the WHO, but that progress has slowed down.
  • 1258
  • 17 Feb 2021
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