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Toxins, Volume 14, Issue 5 (May 2022) – 74 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The presence of toxigenic fungi on cheese wheels represents a risk for consumers, due to the potential production of different mycotoxins. Cheese has already been reported to contain mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin M1, ochratoxin A, sterigmatocystin, and citrinin. In recent years, the consumption of grated cheese has continuously grown in Europe; about 25% of total hard cheese production in Italy is currently destined to become grated cheeses. Because of the inclusion of cheese rind during the grating step, grated cheeses have been reported as foods potentially contaminated by mycotoxins. For this reason, the careful monitoring of environmental conditions during ripening in addition to effective wheel-cleaning techniques could provide a feasible way to minimize mycotoxin contamination in grated cheeses. View this paper
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Editorial
Introduction to the Toxins Special Issue: “Antibodies for Toxins: From Detection to Therapeutics”
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050363 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 415
Abstract
This Special Issue aims to provide an up-to-date investigation and reviews linked to antibody-based technologies for medical countermeasures and detection/diagnosis tools for toxins [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibodies for Toxins: From Detection to Therapeutics)
Article
Therapeutic Approach to Botulinum Injections for Hemifacial Spasm, Synkinesis and Blepharospasm
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050362 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 561
Abstract
The aim of this study was to show our therapeutic outcome of botulinum injection to the facial muscles and thereby to find the best therapeutic concept which should be embraced. The decision to treat the lower eyelid with 1-point or 2-points injection was [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to show our therapeutic outcome of botulinum injection to the facial muscles and thereby to find the best therapeutic concept which should be embraced. The decision to treat the lower eyelid with 1-point or 2-points injection was randomly taken as there is no consensus regarding this debate. Injections of the lateral end of the upper eyelid were performed more laterally to the conventional injection point, just lateral to the conjunction of the upper and lower eyelids. Twenty-three patients (12 hemifacial spasm, 6 blepharospasm, 5 post facial palsy synkinesis) were enrolled. Data were retrieved from 112 visits between 2019 and 2022. Overall, 84.9% of the treatments had moderate or marked improvement. The most common side effect was facial weakness (11.8%). Neither ptosis nor diplopia were noted. Two-points regimen in the lower eyelid was associated with a lower risk of facial weakness (p = 0.01), compared to 1-point regimen, with a better therapeutic outcome as reflected by more favorable PGI-C scores (p = 0.04). Injection of the pretarsal segment of the upper eyelid, just onto or even lateral to the conjunction of the upper and lower eyelids, lowers the risk of ptosis. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Growth Performance, Nitrogen Balance and Blood Metabolites of Mutton Sheep Fed an Ammonia-Treated Aflatoxin B1-Contaminated Diet
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050361 - 23 May 2022
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of an aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-contaminated diet treated with ammonia on the diet detoxification and growth performance, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen utilization, and blood metabolites in sheep. Twenty-four female mutton sheep with an initial body weight of 50 [...] Read more.
Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of an aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-contaminated diet treated with ammonia on the diet detoxification and growth performance, nutrient digestibility, nitrogen utilization, and blood metabolites in sheep. Twenty-four female mutton sheep with an initial body weight of 50 ± 2.5 kg were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) control diet (C); (2) aflatoxin diet (T; control diet supplemented with 75 μg of AFB1/kg of dry matter); and (3) ammoniated diet (AT; ammoniated aflatoxin diet). The results showed decreases (p < 0.05) in average daily feed intake, nutrient digestibility of dry matter, crude protein and ether extract, and retained nitrogen, and an increase (p < 0.05) in urine nitrogen excretion in sheep fed diet T compared with those fed the other diets. In comparison to C and AT, feeding T decreased (p < 0.05) the concentrations of total protein, immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, superoxide dismutase, and total antioxidants and increased (p < 0.05) the concentrations of alanine amino transferase, malondialdehyde, and interleukin-6. In summary, ammonia treatment has the potential to decrease the concentration of AFB1 and alleviate the adverse effects of AFB1. Full article
Article
Modulation of Ricin Intoxication by the Autophagy Inhibitor EACC
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050360 - 22 May 2022
Viewed by 643
Abstract
The compound EACC (ethyl (2-(5-nitrothiophene-2-carboxamido) thiophene-3-carbonyl) carbamate) was recently reported to inhibit fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes in a reversible manner by inhibiting recruitment of syntaxin 17 to autophagosomes. We report here that this compound also provides a strong protection against the protein [...] Read more.
The compound EACC (ethyl (2-(5-nitrothiophene-2-carboxamido) thiophene-3-carbonyl) carbamate) was recently reported to inhibit fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes in a reversible manner by inhibiting recruitment of syntaxin 17 to autophagosomes. We report here that this compound also provides a strong protection against the protein toxin ricin as well as against other plant toxins such as abrin and modeccin. The protection did not seem to be caused by inhibition of endocytosis and retrograde transport, but rather by inhibited release of the enzymatically active A-moiety to the cytosol. The TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) has been reported to phosphorylate syntaxin 17 and be required for initiation of autophagy. The inhibitor of TBK1, MRT68601, induced in itself a strong sensitization to ricin, apparently by increasing transport to the Golgi apparatus. Importantly, MRT68601 increased Golgi transport of ricin even in the presence of EACC, but EACC was still able to inhibit intoxication, supporting the idea that EACC protects at a late step along the retrograde pathway. These results also indicate that phosphorylation of syntaxin 17 is not required for the protection observed. Full article
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Article
Genotoxicity of Natural Water during the Mass Development of Cyanobacteria Evaluated by the Allium Test Method: A Model Experiment with Microcosms
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050359 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Cyanobacteria, which develop abundantly in aquatic ecosystems, can be harmful to humans and animals not only by releasing toxins that cause poisoning but also by provoking cytogenetic effects. The influence of the mass development of cyanobacteria on the genotoxic properties of natural water [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria, which develop abundantly in aquatic ecosystems, can be harmful to humans and animals not only by releasing toxins that cause poisoning but also by provoking cytogenetic effects. The influence of the mass development of cyanobacteria on the genotoxic properties of natural water has been studied in model ecosystems (microcosms) with different compositions of biotic components (zooplankton, amphipods and fish). The validated plant test system “Allium test” was used in this study. Genotoxic effects were detected at microcystin concentrations below those established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for drinking water. In all experimental treatments, cells with disorders such as polyploidy and mitotic abnormalities associated with damage to the mitotic spindle, including c-mitosis, as well as lagging chromosomes were found. Genotoxic effects were associated with the abundance of cyanobacteria, which, in turn, depended on the composition of aquatic organisms in the experimental ecosystem. Fish, to a greater extent than other aquatic animals, maintain an abundance of cyanobacteria. After one month, in microcosms with fish, mitotic abnormalities and polyploidy continued to be detected, whereas in other treatments, there were no statistically significant genotoxic effects. In microcosms with amphipods, the number and biomass of cyanobacteria decreased to the greatest extent, and only one parameter of genotoxic activity (frequency of polyploidy) significantly differed from the control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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Article
Venomics of the Central European Myrmicine Ants Myrmica rubra and Myrmica ruginodis
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050358 - 21 May 2022
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Animal venoms are a rich source of novel biomolecules with potential applications in medicine and agriculture. Ants are one of the most species-rich lineages of venomous animals. However, only a fraction of their biodiversity has been studied so far. Here, we investigated the [...] Read more.
Animal venoms are a rich source of novel biomolecules with potential applications in medicine and agriculture. Ants are one of the most species-rich lineages of venomous animals. However, only a fraction of their biodiversity has been studied so far. Here, we investigated the venom components of two myrmicine (subfamily Myrmicinae) ants: Myrmica rubra and Myrmica ruginodis. We applied a venomics workflow based on proteotranscriptomics and found that the venoms of both species are composed of several protein classes, including venom serine proteases, cysteine-rich secretory protein, antigen 5 and pathogenesis-related 1 (CAP) superfamily proteins, Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors and venom acid phosphatases. Several of these protein classes are known venom allergens, and for the first time we detected phospholipase A1 in the venom of M. ruginodis. We also identified two novel epidermal growth factor (EGF) family toxins in the M. ruginodis venom proteome and an array of additional EGF-like toxins in the venom gland transcriptomes of both species. These are similar to known toxins from the related myrmicine ant, Manica rubida, and the myrmecine (subfamily Myrmeciinae) Australian red bulldog ant Myrmecia gullosa, and are possibly deployed as weapons in defensive scenarios or to subdue prey. Our work suggests that M.rubra and M. ruginodis venoms contain many enzymes and other high-molecular-weight proteins that cause cell damage. Nevertheless, the presence of EGF-like toxins suggests that myrmicine ants have also recruited smaller peptide components into their venom arsenal. Although little is known about the bioactivity and function of EGF-like toxins, their presence in myrmicine and myrmecine ants suggests they play a key role in the venom systems of the superfamily Formicoidea. Our work adds to the emerging picture of ant venoms as a source of novel bioactive molecules and highlights the need to incorporate such taxa in future venom bioprospecting programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Article
Spatio-Temporal Monitoring of Benthic Anatoxin-a-Producing Tychonema sp. in the River Lech, Germany
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050357 - 20 May 2022
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Incidents with toxic benthic cyanobacteria blooms have been increasing recently. In 2019, several dogs were poisoned in the river Lech (Germany) by the benthic anatoxin-a-producing genus Tychonema. To characterize spatial and temporal distribution of potentially toxic Tychonema in this river, a systematic [...] Read more.
Incidents with toxic benthic cyanobacteria blooms have been increasing recently. In 2019, several dogs were poisoned in the river Lech (Germany) by the benthic anatoxin-a-producing genus Tychonema. To characterize spatial and temporal distribution of potentially toxic Tychonema in this river, a systematic monitoring was carried out in 2020, focusing on the occurrence of the genus, its toxin production and habitat requirements. Tychonema and cyanobacterial community composition in benthic mats and pelagic samples were identified using a combined approach of microscopy and DNA sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. In addition, anatoxin-a concentrations of selected samples were measured using the ELISA method. The habitat was characterized to assess the ecological requirements and growth conditions of Tychonema. Tychonema mats and anatoxin-a were detected at several sampling sites throughout the entire study period. Toxin concentrations increased with the progression of the vegetation period and with flow direction, reaching values between 0 and 220.5 µg/L. Community composition differed among pelagic and benthic samples, with life zone and substrate condition being the most important factors. The results of this study highlight the importance of monitoring and understanding the factors determining occurrence and toxin production of both pelagic and benthic cyanobacteria due to their relevance for the health of humans and aquatic ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection, Control and Removal of Harmful Algal Toxins)
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Article
Structural Features of Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Subtype A2 Cell Binding Domain
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050356 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are a group of clostridial toxins that cause the potentially fatal neuroparalytic disease botulism. Although highly toxic, BoNTs are utilized as therapeutics to treat a range of neuromuscular conditions. Several serotypes (BoNT/A-/G, /X) have been identified with vastly differing toxicological [...] Read more.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are a group of clostridial toxins that cause the potentially fatal neuroparalytic disease botulism. Although highly toxic, BoNTs are utilized as therapeutics to treat a range of neuromuscular conditions. Several serotypes (BoNT/A-/G, /X) have been identified with vastly differing toxicological profiles. Each serotype can be further sub-categorised into subtypes due to subtle variations in their protein sequence. These minor changes have been attributed to differences in both the duration of action and potency for BoNT/A subtypes. BoNTs are composed of three domains—a cell-binding domain, a translocation domain, and a catalytic domain. In this paper, we present the crystal structures of the botulinum neurotoxin A2 cell binding domain, both alone and in complex with its receptor ganglioside GD1a at 1.63 and 2.10 Å, respectively. The analysis of these structures reveals a potential redox-dependent Lys-O-Cys bridge close to the ganglioside binding site and a hinge motion between the HCN and HCC subdomains. Furthermore, we make a detailed comparison with the previously reported HC/A2:SV2C structure for a comprehensive structural analysis of HC/A2 receptor binding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Article
In Vitro Effects of Lemon Balm Extracts in Reducing the Growth and Mycotoxins Biosynthesis of Fusarium culmorum and F. proliferatum
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050355 - 19 May 2022
Viewed by 545
Abstract
The objectives of this research were to obtain the extracts of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) using supercritical CO2 (SC-CO2) and methanol as co-solvent and evaluate the antifungal activity of those extracts against two selected strains of Fusarium species [...] Read more.
The objectives of this research were to obtain the extracts of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) using supercritical CO2 (SC-CO2) and methanol as co-solvent and evaluate the antifungal activity of those extracts against two selected strains of Fusarium species (Fusarium culmorum and Fusarium proliferatum). The extraction conditions were set at 40 and 60 °C and 250 bar. The obtained extracts were characterized in terms of antifungal activity on potato dextrose agar media (PDA). The results showed that the extraction parameters had different effects on mycelium growth and mycotoxins biosynthesis reduction. All studied lemon balm extracts (1, 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10%) inhibited the growth of F. proliferatum and F. culmorum mycelia compared to the control. The lemon balm extracts significantly reduced ergosterol content and synthesized mycotoxins in both tested strains. These findings support the antifungal activity of lemon balm extracts against F. proliferatum and F. culmorum. However, more research on other Fusarium species is needed, as well as in vivo applications, before considering lemon balm extracts as a natural alternative to synthetic fungicides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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Article
Carry-Over of Zearalenone and Its Metabolites to Intestinal Tissues and the Expression of CYP1A1 and GSTπ1 in the Colon of Gilts before Puberty
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050354 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 537
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate whether low doses of zearalenone (ZEN) affect the carry-over of ZEN and its metabolites to intestinal tissues and the expression of CYP1A1 and GSTπ1 in the large intestine. Prepubertal gilts (with a BW of up [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate whether low doses of zearalenone (ZEN) affect the carry-over of ZEN and its metabolites to intestinal tissues and the expression of CYP1A1 and GSTπ1 in the large intestine. Prepubertal gilts (with a BW of up to 14.5 kg) were exposed in group ZEN to daily ZEN5 doses of 5 μg/kg BW (n = 15); in group ZEN10, 10 μg/kg BW (n = 15); in group ZEN15, 15 μg/kg BW (n = 15); or were administered a placebo (group C, n = 15) throughout the experiment. After euthanasia, tissues were sampled on exposure days 7, 21, and 42 (D1, D2, and D3, respectively). The results confirmed that the administered ZEN doses (LOAEL, NOAEL, and MABEL) were appropriate to reliably assess the carry-over of ZEN. Based on the observations made during 42 days of exposure to pure ZEN, it can be hypothesized that all mycotoxins (ZEN, α-zearalenol, and β-zearalenol) contribute to a balance between intestinal cells and the expression of selected genes encoding enzymes that participate in biotransformation processes in the large intestine; modulate feminization processes in prepubertal gilts; and elicit flexible, adaptive responses of the macroorganism to mycotoxin exposure at the analyzed doses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Influence of Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone in Feed on Animal Health)
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Article
Occurrence, Serotypes and Virulence Characteristics of Shiga-Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Goats on Communal Rangeland in South Africa
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050353 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 587
Abstract
Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli is a foodborne pathogen commonly associated with human disease characterized by mild or bloody diarrhea hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome. This study investigated the occurrence of STEC in fecal samples of 289 goats in South Africa using microbiological culture [...] Read more.
Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli is a foodborne pathogen commonly associated with human disease characterized by mild or bloody diarrhea hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome. This study investigated the occurrence of STEC in fecal samples of 289 goats in South Africa using microbiological culture and PCR. Furthermore, 628 goat STEC isolates were characterized by serotype (O:H) and major virulence factors by PCR. STEC was found in 80.2% (232/289) of goat fecal samples. Serotyping of 628 STEC isolates revealed 63 distinct serotypes including four of the major top seven STEC serogroups which were detected in 12.1% (35/289) of goats: O157:H7, 2.7% (8/289); O157:H8, 0.3%, (1/289); O157:H29, 0.3% (1/289); O103:H8, 7.6% (22/289); O103:H56, 0.3% (1/289); O26:H2, 0.3% (1/289); O111:H8, 0.3% (1/289) and 59 non-O157 STEC serotypes. Twenty-four of the sixty-three serotypes were previously associated with human disease. Virulence genes were distributed as follows: stx1, 60.6% (381/628); stx2, 72.7% (457/628); eaeA, 22.1% (139/628) and hlyA, 78.0% (490/628). Both stx1 and stx2 were found in 33.4% (210/628) of isolates. In conclusion, goats in South Africa are a reservoir and potential source of diverse STEC serotypes that are potentially virulent for humans. Further molecular characterization will be needed to fully assess the virulence potential of goat STEC isolates and their capacity to cause disease in humans. Full article
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Article
Simultaneous Determination of Aflatoxins and Benzo(a)pyrene in Vegetable Oils Using Humic Acid-Bonded Silica SPE HPLC–PHRED–FLD
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050352 - 18 May 2022
Viewed by 530
Abstract
In the present work, a rapid, accurate, and cost-effective method was developed for the simultaneous quantification of aflatoxins and benzo(a)pyrene in lipid matrices, using solid-phase extraction (SPE) via humic acid-bonded silica (HAS) sorbents, followed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photochemical post-column reactor [...] Read more.
In the present work, a rapid, accurate, and cost-effective method was developed for the simultaneous quantification of aflatoxins and benzo(a)pyrene in lipid matrices, using solid-phase extraction (SPE) via humic acid-bonded silica (HAS) sorbents, followed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photochemical post-column reactor fluorescence spectroscopy (HPLC–PHRED–FLD) analysis. The major parameters of extraction efficiency and HPLC–PHRED–FLD analysis were investigated and this method was fully validated. The limits of quantification and the limits of detection were 0.05–0.30 and 0.01–0.09 µg kg−1, respectively. The recoveries were 66.9%–118.4% with intra-day and inter-day precision less than 7.2%. The results of 80 oil samples from supermarkets indicated a high occurrence of BaP, and most of concentrations were within the requirements of EU and China food safety regulations. This is the first utilization of HAS–SPE HPLC–PHRED–FLD to simultaneously analyze the occurrence of aflatoxins and benzo(a)pyrene in vegetable oils. Full article
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Article
Tetrodotoxin Poisoning in Mainland France and French Overseas Territories: A Review of Published and Unpublished Cases
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050351 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 603
Abstract
Tetrodotoxin is one of the most potent neurotoxins in the aquatic world. This review of published and unpublished reports aims to describe the poisoning cases that have occurred in mainland France and overseas territories. Six articles were included, with 13 poisoning events, individuals [...] Read more.
Tetrodotoxin is one of the most potent neurotoxins in the aquatic world. This review of published and unpublished reports aims to describe the poisoning cases that have occurred in mainland France and overseas territories. Six articles were included, with 13 poisoning events, individuals or collective (number (n) = 53 patients). Moreover, 13 unpublished poisoning events from toxicovigilance networks were found (n = 17). All cases happened in overseas territories: French Guyana (n = 7), New Caledonia (n = 11), Reunion (n = 35) and French Polynesia (n = 17). The median age was 36 years. The most frequent signs were neurological (81.8%), digestive (54.5%) and general (52.3%). Three cases of dysgueusia and nine cases of urogenital discomfort were observed in French Polynesia. Twelve severe cases were reported, including seven deaths. Only three events (11.5%) were documented by a tetrodotoxin assay. Two families of fish accounted for 91.6% of the poisonings: 33.3% due to the Diodontidae family and 58.3% to the Tetraodontidae family. Although rare, information and collection campaigns on tetrodotoxin poisoning are, therefore, essential. Full article
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Review
Microcystin Contamination and Toxicity: Implications for Agriculture and Public Health
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050350 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Microcystins are natural hepatotoxic metabolites secreted by cyanobacteria in aquatic ecosystems. When present at elevated concentrations, microcystins can affect water quality aesthetics; contaminate drinking water reservoirs and recreational waters; disrupt normal ecosystem functioning; and cause health hazards to animals, plants, and humans. Animal [...] Read more.
Microcystins are natural hepatotoxic metabolites secreted by cyanobacteria in aquatic ecosystems. When present at elevated concentrations, microcystins can affect water quality aesthetics; contaminate drinking water reservoirs and recreational waters; disrupt normal ecosystem functioning; and cause health hazards to animals, plants, and humans. Animal and human exposures to microcystins generally result from ingesting contaminated drinking water or physically contacting tainted water. Much research has identified a multitude of liver problems from oral exposure to microcystins, varying from hepatocellular damage to primary liver cancer. Provisional guidelines for microcystins in drinking and recreational water have been established to prevent toxic exposures and protect public health. With increasing occurrences of eutrophication in freshwater systems, microcystin contamination in groundwater and surface waters is growing, posing threats to aquatic and terrestrial plants and agricultural soils used for crop production. These microcystins are often transferred to crops via irrigation with local sources of water, such as bloom-forming lakes and ponds. Microcystins can survive in high quantities in various parts of plants (roots, stems, and leaves) due to their high chemical stability and low molecular weight, increasing health risks for consumers of agricultural products. Studies have indicated potential health risks associated with contaminated fruits and vegetables sourced from irrigated water containing microcystins. This review considers the exposure risk to humans, plants, and the environment due to the presence of microcystins in local water reservoirs used for drinking and irrigation. Additional studies are needed to understand the specific health impacts associated with the consumption of microcystin-contaminated agricultural plants. Full article
Article
Variation of Microbial Community and Fermentation Quality in Corn Silage Treated with Lactic Acid Bacteria and Artemisia argyi during Aerobic Exposure
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050349 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Silage, especially whole crop corn silage (WCCS), is an important part of ruminant diets, with its high moisture content and rich nutrient content, which can easily cause contamination by mold and their toxins, posing a great threat to ruminant production, food safety and [...] Read more.
Silage, especially whole crop corn silage (WCCS), is an important part of ruminant diets, with its high moisture content and rich nutrient content, which can easily cause contamination by mold and their toxins, posing a great threat to ruminant production, food safety and human health. The objective of this study was to examine effects of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) Lactiplantibacillus (L.) plantarum subsp. plantarum ZA3 and Artemisia argyi (AA) on the fermentation characteristics, microbial community and mycotoxin of WCCS during 60 days (d) ensiling and subsequent 7 d aerobic exposure. The results showed that WCCS treated with LAB and AA both had lower pH value and ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) contents, and higher lactic and acetic acids concentration compared with other groups after 60 d ensiling. In addition, for microbial communities, Acetobacter and Enterobacter were inhibited in all AA group, while higher abundance of Lactobacilli was maintained; besides, Candida, Pichia and Kazachstania abundances were decreased in both 6% and 12% AA groups. The content of five kinds of mycotoxins were all significantly lower after 7 d of aerobic exposure. As for the total flavonoid (TF), which is significantly higher in all AA treated groups, it was positively correlated with Paenibacillus, Weissella and Lactobacilli, and negatively with Acetobacter, Enterobacteria, Kazachstania and Pichia. Full article
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Article
Six Feet under Microbiota: Microbiologic Contamination and Toxicity Profile in Three Urban Cemeteries from Lisbon, Portugal
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050348 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Cemeteries are potential environmental reservoirs of pathogenic microorganisms from organic matter decomposition. This study aimed to characterize the microbial contamination in three cemeteries, and more specifically in grave diggers’ facilities. One active sampling method (impingement method) and several passive sampling methods (swabs, settled [...] Read more.
Cemeteries are potential environmental reservoirs of pathogenic microorganisms from organic matter decomposition. This study aimed to characterize the microbial contamination in three cemeteries, and more specifically in grave diggers’ facilities. One active sampling method (impingement method) and several passive sampling methods (swabs, settled dust, settled dust filters and electrostatic dust cloths—EDC) were employed. The molecular detection of Aspergillus sections and SARS-CoV-2, as well as mycotoxin analysis, screening of azole resistance, and cytotoxicity measurement were also conducted. Total bacteria contamination was 80 CFU·m−2 in settled dust samples, reached 849 CFU·m−2 in EDC and 20,000 CFU·m−2 in swabs, and ranged from 5000 to 10,000 CFU·m−2 in filters. Gram-negative bacteria (VRBA) were only observed in in settled dust samples (2.00 × 105 CFU·m−2). Regarding Aspergillus sp., the highest counts were obtained in DG18 (18.38%) and it was not observed in azole-supplemented SDA media. SARS-CoV-2 and the targeted Aspergillus sections were not detected. Mycophenolic acid was detected in one settled dust sample. Cytotoxic effects were observed for 94.4% filters and 5.6% EDC in A549 lung epithelial cells, and for 50.0% filters and 5.6% EDC in HepG2 cells. Future studies are needed in this occupational setting to implement more focused risk management measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in Food and Feed—Occurrence and Risk Assessment)
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Article
Mentha pulegium L. (Pennyroyal, Lamiaceae) Extracts Impose Abortion or Fetal-Mediated Toxicity in Pregnant Rats; Evidenced by the Modulation of Pregnancy Hormones, MiR-520, MiR-146a, TIMP-1 and MMP-9 Protein Expressions, Inflammatory State, Certain Related Signaling Pathways, and Metabolite Profiling via UPLC-ESI-TOF-MS
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050347 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Pregnant women usually turn to natural products to relieve pregnancy-related ailments which might pose health risks. Mentha pulegium L. (MP, Lamiaceae) is a common insect repellent, and the present work validates its abortifacient capacity, targeting morphological anomalies, biological, and behavioral consequences, compared to [...] Read more.
Pregnant women usually turn to natural products to relieve pregnancy-related ailments which might pose health risks. Mentha pulegium L. (MP, Lamiaceae) is a common insect repellent, and the present work validates its abortifacient capacity, targeting morphological anomalies, biological, and behavioral consequences, compared to misoprostol. The study also includes untargeted metabolite profiling of MP extract and fractions thereof viz. methylene chloride (MecH), ethyl acetate (EtOAc), butanol (But), and the remaining liquor (Rem. Aq.) by UPLC-ESI-MS-TOF, to unravel the constituents provoking abortion. Administration of MP extract/fractions, for three days starting from day 15th of gestation, affected fetal development by disrupting the uterine and placental tissues, or even caused pregnancy termination. These effects also entailed biochemical changes where they decreased progesterone and increased estradiol serum levels, modulated placental gene expressions of both MiR-(146a and 520), decreased uterine MMP-9, and up-regulated TIMP-1 protein expression, and empathized inflammatory responses (TNF-α, IL-1β). In addition, these alterations affected the brain's GFAP, BDNF, and 5-HT content and some of the behavioral parameters escorted by the open field test. All these incidences were also perceived in the misoprostol-treated group. A total of 128 metabolites were identified in the alcoholic extract of MP, including hydroxycinnamates, flavonoid conjugates, quinones, iridoids, and terpenes. MP extract was successful in terminating the pregnancy with minimal behavioral abnormalities and low toxicity margins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Toxic and Pharmacological Effect of Plant Toxins)
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Article
Membrane Cholesterol Content and Lipid Organization Influence Melittin and Pneumolysin Pore-Forming Activity
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050346 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 552
Abstract
Melittin, the main toxic component in the venom of the European honeybee, interacts with natural and artificial membranes due to its amphiphilic properties. Rather than interacting with a specific receptor, melittin interacts with the lipid components, disrupting the lipid bilayer and inducing ion [...] Read more.
Melittin, the main toxic component in the venom of the European honeybee, interacts with natural and artificial membranes due to its amphiphilic properties. Rather than interacting with a specific receptor, melittin interacts with the lipid components, disrupting the lipid bilayer and inducing ion leakage and osmotic shock. This mechanism of action is shared with pneumolysin and other members of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin family. In this manuscript, we investigated the inverse correlation for cholesterol dependency of these two toxins. While pneumolysin-induced damage is reduced by pretreatment with the cholesterol-depleting agent methyl-β-cyclodextrin, the toxicity of melittin, after cholesterol depletion, increased. A similar response was also observed after a short incubation with lipophilic simvastatin, which alters membrane lipid organization and structure, clustering lipid rafts. Therefore, changes in toxin sensitivity can be achieved in cells by depleting cholesterol or changing the lipid bilayer organization. Full article
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Correction
Correction: Lagrange, E.; Vernoux, J.-P. Warning on False or True Morels and Button Mushrooms with Potential Toxicity Linked to Hydrazinic Toxins: An Update. Toxins 2020, 12, 482
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050345 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 423
Abstract
The authors wish to make corrections to their paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Toxins and the Brain)
Review
Biological Effects of Animal Venoms on the Human Immune System
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050344 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Venoms are products of specialized glands and serve many living organisms to immobilize and kill prey, start digestive processes and act as a defense mechanism. Venoms affect different cells, cellular structures and tissues, such as skin, nervous, hematological, digestive, excretory and immune systems, [...] Read more.
Venoms are products of specialized glands and serve many living organisms to immobilize and kill prey, start digestive processes and act as a defense mechanism. Venoms affect different cells, cellular structures and tissues, such as skin, nervous, hematological, digestive, excretory and immune systems, as well as the heart, among other structures. Components of both the innate and adaptive immune systems can be stimulated or suppressed. Studying the effects on the cells and molecules produced by the immune system has been useful in many biomedical fields. The effects of venoms can be the basis for research and development of therapeutic protocols useful in the modulation of the immunological system, including different autoimmune diseases. This review focuses on the understanding of biological effects of diverse venom on the human immune system and how some of their components can be useful for the study and development of immunomodulatory drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
Article
Degradation of Ochratoxin A by a UV-Mutated Aspergillus niger Strain
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050343 - 16 May 2022
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin that can contaminate a wide range of crops such as grains and grapes. In this study, a novel fungal mutant strain (FS-UV-21) with a high OTA degradation rate (74.5%) was obtained from Aspergillus niger irradiated with ultraviolet [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin that can contaminate a wide range of crops such as grains and grapes. In this study, a novel fungal mutant strain (FS-UV-21) with a high OTA degradation rate (74.5%) was obtained from Aspergillus niger irradiated with ultraviolet light (15 W for 20 min). The effect of pH, temperature, and inoculation concentration on the degradation of OTA by FS-UV-21 was investigated, and the results revealed that the detoxification effect was optimal (89.4%) at a pH of 8 and a temperature of 30 °C. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to characterize the degraded products of OTA, and the main degraded product was ochratoxin α. Triple quadrupole-linear ion trap-mass spectrometry combined with LightSight software was used to analyze the biotransformation pathway of OTA in FS-UV-21, to trace the degraded products, and to identify the main metabolite, P1 (C19H18ClNO6, m/z 404). After the FS-UV-21 strain was treated with OTA, the HepG2 cellular toxicity of the degradation products was significantly reduced. For the real sample, FS-UV-21 was used to remove OTA from wheat bran contaminated by mycotoxins through fermentation, resulting in the degradation of 59.8% of OTA in wheat bran. Therefore, FS-UV-21 can be applied to the degradation of OTA in agricultural products and food. Full article
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Review
Novel Anatomical Guidelines on Botulinum Neurotoxin Injection for Wrinkles in the Nose Region
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050342 - 15 May 2022
Viewed by 1079
Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxin injection surrounding the nose area is frequently used in aesthetic settings. However, there is a shortage of thorough anatomical understanding that makes it difficult to treat wrinkles in the nose area. In this study, the anatomical aspects concerning the injection of [...] Read more.
Botulinum neurotoxin injection surrounding the nose area is frequently used in aesthetic settings. However, there is a shortage of thorough anatomical understanding that makes it difficult to treat wrinkles in the nose area. In this study, the anatomical aspects concerning the injection of botulinum neurotoxin into the nasalis, procerus, and levator labii superioris alaeque muscles are assessed. In addition, the present knowledge on localizing the botulinum neurotoxin injection point from a newer anatomy study is assessed. It was observed that, for the line-associated muscles in the nose region, the injection point may be more precisely defined. The optimal injection sites are the nasalis, procerus, and levator labii superioris alaeque muscles, and the injection technique is advised. We advise the best possible injection sites in association with anatomical standards for commonly injected muscles to increase efficiency in the nose region by removing the wrinkles. Similarly, these suggestions support a more precise procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Botulinum Toxins: New Uses in the Treatment of Diseases)
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Review
Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms on Fish and Shellfish Species: A Case Study of New Zealand in a Changing Environment
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050341 - 14 May 2022
Viewed by 895
Abstract
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have wide-ranging environmental impacts, including on aquatic species of social and commercial importance. In New Zealand (NZ), strategic growth of the aquaculture industry could be adversely affected by the occurrence of HABs. This review examines HAB species which are [...] Read more.
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have wide-ranging environmental impacts, including on aquatic species of social and commercial importance. In New Zealand (NZ), strategic growth of the aquaculture industry could be adversely affected by the occurrence of HABs. This review examines HAB species which are known to bloom both globally and in NZ and their effects on commercially important shellfish and fish species. Blooms of Karenia spp. have frequently been associated with mortalities of both fish and shellfish in NZ and the sub-lethal effects of other genera, notably Alexandrium spp., on shellfish (which includes paralysis, a lack of byssus production, and reduced growth) are also of concern. Climate change and anthropogenic impacts may alter HAB population structure and dynamics, as well as the physiological responses of fish and shellfish, potentially further compromising aquatic species. Those HAB species which have been detected in NZ and have the potential to bloom and harm marine life in the future are also discussed. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) and relevant bioassays are practical tools which enable early detection of novel, problem HAB species and rapid toxin/HAB screening, and new data from HAB monitoring of aquaculture production sites using eDNA are presented. As aquaculture grows to supply a sizable proportion of the world’s protein, the effects of HABs in reducing productivity is of increasing significance. Research into the multiple stressor effects of climate change and HABs on cultured species and using local, recent, HAB strains is needed to accurately assess effects and inform stock management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms on Aquatic Organisms)
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Article
Cumulative Effects of Non-Aflatoxigenic Aspergillus flavus Volatile Organic Compounds to Abate Toxin Production by Mycotoxigenic Aspergilli
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050340 - 13 May 2022
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Previously, authors reported that individual volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by non-aflatoxigenic Aspergillus flavus could act as a mechanism of biocontrol to significantly reduce aflatoxins and cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) produced by toxigenic strains. In this study, various combinations and volumes of three mycotoxin-reductive [...] Read more.
Previously, authors reported that individual volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by non-aflatoxigenic Aspergillus flavus could act as a mechanism of biocontrol to significantly reduce aflatoxins and cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) produced by toxigenic strains. In this study, various combinations and volumes of three mycotoxin-reductive VOCs (2,3-dihydrofuran, 3-octanone and decane) were assessed for their cumulative impacts on four Aspergillus strains (LA1–LA4), which were then analyzed for changes in growth, as well as the production of mycotoxins, including aflatoxins, CPA and multiple indole diterpenes. Fungal growth remained minimally inhibited when exposed to various combinations of VOCs. No single combination was able to consistently, or completely, inhibit aflatoxin or CPA across all toxigenic strains tested. However, the combination of 2,3-dihydrofuran and 3-octanone offered the greatest overall reductions in aflatoxin and CPA production. Despite no elimination of their production, findings showed that combining VOCs produced solely by non-aflatoxigenic A. flavus still inhibited several agriculturally important mycotoxins, including B and G aflatoxins and CPA. Therefore, other VOC combinations are worth testing as post-harvest biocontrol treatments to ensure the prolonged effectiveness of pre-harvest biocontrol efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Status and Challenges of Aflatoxin Biocontrol Strategies)
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Article
Variation in Rotenone and Deguelin Contents among Strains across Four Tephrosia Species and Their Activities against Aphids and Whiteflies
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050339 - 13 May 2022
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Botanical pesticides have received increasing attention for sustainable control of insect pests. Plants from the genus Tephrosia are known to produce rotenone and deguelin. Rotenone is known to possess insecticidal activities against a wide range of pests, but deguelin’s activities remain largely inconclusive. [...] Read more.
Botanical pesticides have received increasing attention for sustainable control of insect pests. Plants from the genus Tephrosia are known to produce rotenone and deguelin. Rotenone is known to possess insecticidal activities against a wide range of pests, but deguelin’s activities remain largely inconclusive. On the other hand, the biosynthesis of rotenone and deguelin may vary in Tephrosia species. This study analyzed the rotenone and deguelin contents in 13 strains across 4 Tephrosia species over 4 growing seasons using HPLC. Our study shows that the species and even the strains within a species vary substantially in the biosynthesis of rotenone and deguelin, and their contents can be affected by the growing season. After identification of the LC50 values of chemical rotenone and deguelin against Aphis gossypii (Glover) and Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), leaf extracts derived from the 13 strains were used to test their insecticidal activities against the 2 pests. The results showed that the extracts derived from 2 strains of T. vogelii had the highest insecticidal activity, resulting in 100% mortality of A. gossypii and greater than 90% mortality of B. tabaci. The higher mortalities were closely associated with the higher contents of rotenone and deguelin in the two strains, indicating that deguelin also possesses insecticidal activities. This is the first documentation of leaf extracts derived from 13 Tephrosia strains against 2 important pests of A. gossypii and B. tabaci. The strain variation and seasonal influence on the rotenone and deguelin contents call for careful attention in selecting appropriate strains and seasons to produce leaf extracts for the control of insect pests. Full article
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Article
Clinical Effects of the Immunization Protocol Using Loxosceles Venom in Naïve Horses
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050338 - 13 May 2022
Viewed by 2063
Abstract
Bites of brown spiders (Loxosceles spp.) are responsible for dermonecrotic lesions and potentially systemic envenoming that can lead to death. The only effective therapy is the use of the antivenom, usually produced in horses. However, little is known about the consequences of [...] Read more.
Bites of brown spiders (Loxosceles spp.) are responsible for dermonecrotic lesions and potentially systemic envenoming that can lead to death. The only effective therapy is the use of the antivenom, usually produced in horses. However, little is known about the consequences of the systematic use of the Loxosceles venom and adjuvants and of the bleedings on antivenom-producing horses. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical changes in horses in their first immunization protocol for Loxosceles antivenom production. Eleven healthy horses, never immunized, were evaluated in three different periods: T0 (before immunization); T1 (after their first venom immunization); and T2 (after their first bleeding). Horses were clinically evaluated, sampled for blood, and underwent electrocardiographic (ECG) recordings. Several suppurated subcutaneous abscesses occurred due to the use of Freund’s adjuvants and thrombophlebitis due to systematic venipunctures for the bleeding procedures. ECG showed arrhythmias in few horses in T2, such as an increase in T and R waves. In summary, the immunization protocol impacted on horses’ health, especially after bleeding for antivenom procurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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Article
Phloretin Protects Bovine Rumen Epithelial Cells from LPS-Induced Injury
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050337 - 11 May 2022
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is an endotoxin that induces immune and inflammatory responses in the rumen epithelium of dairy cows. It is well-known that flavonoid phloretin (PT) exhibits anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity. The aim of this research was to explore whether PT could decrease [...] Read more.
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is an endotoxin that induces immune and inflammatory responses in the rumen epithelium of dairy cows. It is well-known that flavonoid phloretin (PT) exhibits anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity. The aim of this research was to explore whether PT could decrease LPS-induced damage to bovine rumen epithelial cells (BRECs) and its molecular mechanisms of potential protective efficacy. BRECs were pretreated with PT for 2 h and then stimulated with LPS for the assessment of various response indicators. The results showed that 100 µM PT had no significant effect on the viability of 10 µg/mL LPS-induced BRECs, and this dose was used in follow-up studies. The results showed that PT pre-relieved the decline in LPS-induced antioxidant indicators (T-AOC and GSH-PX). PT pretreatment resulted in decreased interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and chemokines (CCL2, CCL5, CCL20) expression. The underlying mechanisms explored reveal that PT may contribute to inflammatory responses by regulating Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), nuclear transcription factor-κB p65 (NF-κB p65), and ERK1/2 (p42/44) signaling pathways. Moreover, further studies found that LPS-induced BRECs showed decreased expression of claudin-related genes (ZO-1, Occludin); these were attenuated by pretreatment with PT. These results suggest that PT enhances the antioxidant properties of BRECs during inflammation, reduces gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and enhances barrier function. Overall, the results suggest that PT (at least in vitro) offers some protective effect against LPS-induced ruminal epithelial inflammation. Further in vivo studies should be conducted to identify strategies for the prevention and amelioration of short acute rumen acidosis (SARA) in dairy cows using PT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
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Review
The Role of Gut-Derived, Protein-Bound Uremic Toxins in the Cardiovascular Complications of Acute Kidney Injury
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050336 - 11 May 2022
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent disease encountered in the hospital, with a higher incidence in intensive care units. Despite progress in renal replacement therapy, AKI is still associated with early and late complications, especially cardiovascular events and mortality. The role of [...] Read more.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent disease encountered in the hospital, with a higher incidence in intensive care units. Despite progress in renal replacement therapy, AKI is still associated with early and late complications, especially cardiovascular events and mortality. The role of gut-derived protein-bound uremic toxins (PBUTs) in vascular and cardiac dysfunction has been extensively studied during chronic kidney disease (CKD), in particular, that of indoxyl sulfate (IS), para-cresyl sulfate (PCS), and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), resulting in both experimental and clinical evidence. PBUTs, which accumulate when the excretory function of the kidneys is impaired, have a deleterious effect on and cause damage to cardiovascular tissues. However, the link between PBUTs and the cardiovascular complications of AKI and the pathophysiological mechanisms potentially involved are unclear. This review aims to summarize available data concerning the participation of PBUTs in the early and late cardiovascular complications of AKI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uremic Toxins and Organ Damage)
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Article
Effects of Two Toxin-Producing Harmful Algae, Alexandrium catenella and Dinophysis acuminata (Dinophyceae), on Activity and Mortality of Larval Shellfish
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050335 - 10 May 2022
Viewed by 760
Abstract
Harmful algal bloom (HAB) species Alexandrium catenella and Dinophysis acuminata are associated with paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) in humans, respectively. While PSP and DSP have been studied extensively, less is known about the effects of these HAB species [...] Read more.
Harmful algal bloom (HAB) species Alexandrium catenella and Dinophysis acuminata are associated with paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) in humans, respectively. While PSP and DSP have been studied extensively, less is known about the effects of these HAB species or their associated toxins on shellfish. This study investigated A. catenella and D. acuminata toxicity in a larval oyster (Crassostrea virginica) bioassay. Larval activity and mortality were examined through 96-h laboratory exposures to live HAB cells (10–1000 cells/mL), cell lysates (1000 cells/mL equivalents), and purified toxins (10,000 cells/mL equivalents). Exposure to 1000 cells/mL live or lysed D. acuminata caused larval mortality (21.9 ± 7.0%, 10.2 ± 4.0%, respectively) while exposure to any tested cell concentration of live A. catenella, but not lysate, caused swimming arrest and/or mortality in >50% of larvae. Exposure to high concentrations of saxitoxin (STX) or okadaic acid (OA), toxins traditionally associated with PSP and DSP, respectively, had no effect on larval activity or mortality. In contrast, pectenotoxin-2 (PTX2) caused rapid larval mortality (49.6 ± 5.8% by 48 h) and completely immobilized larval oysters. The results indicate that the toxic effects of A. catenella and D. acuminata on shellfish are not linked to the primary toxins associated with PSP and DSP in humans, and that PTX2 is acutely toxic to larval oysters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms on Aquatic Organisms)
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Article
Cytotoxicity of Venoms and Cytotoxins from Asiatic Cobras (Naja kaouthia, Naja sumatrana, Naja atra) and Neutralization by Antivenoms from Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan
Toxins 2022, 14(5), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins14050334 - 10 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 601
Abstract
Envenoming by cobras (Naja spp.) often results in extensive local tissue necrosis when optimal treatment with antivenom is not available. This study investigated the cytotoxicity of venoms and purified cytotoxins from the Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia), Taiwan Cobra (Naja [...] Read more.
Envenoming by cobras (Naja spp.) often results in extensive local tissue necrosis when optimal treatment with antivenom is not available. This study investigated the cytotoxicity of venoms and purified cytotoxins from the Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia), Taiwan Cobra (Naja atra), and Equatorial Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana) in a mouse fibroblast cell line, followed by neutralization of the cytotoxicity by three regional antivenoms: the Thai Naja kaouthia monovalent antivenom (NkMAV), Vietnamese snake antivenom (SAV) and Taiwanese Neuro bivalent antivenom (NBAV). The cytotoxins of N. atra (NA-CTX) and N. sumatrana (NS-CTX) were identified as P-type cytotoxins, whereas that of N. kaouthia (NK-CTX) is S-type. All venoms and purified cytotoxins demonstrated varying concentration-dependent cytotoxicity in the following trend: highest for N. atra, followed by N. sumatrana and N. kaouthia. The antivenoms moderately neutralized the cytotoxicity of N. kaouthia venom but were weak against N. atra and N. sumatrana venom cytotoxicity. The neutralization potencies of the antivenoms against the cytotoxins were varied and generally low across NA-CTX, NS-CTX, and NK-CTX, possibly attributed to limited antigenicity of CTXs and/or different formulation of antivenom products. The study underscores the need for antivenom improvement and/or new therapies in treating local tissue toxicity caused by cobra envenomings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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