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ISSN / EISSN : 2072-6651 / 2072-6651
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
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Published: 30 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) is an acute intoxication caused by the consumption of contaminated shellfish, which is common in many regions of the world. To safeguard human health, most countries implement programs focused on the surveillance of toxic phytoplankton abundance and shellfish toxicity levels, an effort that can be complemented by a deeper understanding of the underlying phenomena. In this work, we identify patterns of seasonality in shellfish toxicity across the Portuguese coast and analyse time-lagged correlations between this toxicity and various potential risk factors. We extend the understanding of these relations through the introduction of temporal lags, allowing the analysis of time series at different points in time and the study of the predictive power of the tested variables. This study confirms previous findings about toxicity seasonality patterns on the Portuguese coast and provides further quantitative data about the relations between shellfish toxicity and geographical location, shellfish species, toxic phytoplankton abundances, and environmental conditions. Furthermore, multiple pairs of areas and shellfish species are identified as having correlations high enough to allow for a predictive analysis. These results represent the first step towards understanding the dynamics of DSP toxicity in Portuguese shellfish producing areas, such as temporal and spatial variability, and towards the development of a shellfish safety forecasting system.
Published: 30 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Background: Tardive Oromandibular Dystonia is an iatrogenic drug-induced movement form of extrapyramidal symptoms associated primarily with chronic consumption of dopamine receptor blocking agents. Tardive symptoms attributable to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors antidepressants are far less prevalent. Clinical Case: The authors will present a clinical case and management, from the dental specialist perspective, of a 55-year-old female patient who developed tardive oromandibular dystonia induced by Trazodone prescribed for sleep insomnia. Conclusions: Trazodone-induced oromandibular dystonia is extremely rare. Early identification and assessment of tardive symptoms are imperative for successful treatment. Trazodone should be prescribed with caution in patients taking other medications with the potential to cause tardive syndromes.
Published: 30 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Biological control through the application of competitive non-aflatoxigenic Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus) to the soil during peanut growth is a practical method for controlling aflatoxin contamination. However, appropriate materials need to be found to reduce the cost of biocontrol products. In this study, a two-year experiment was conducted under field conditions in China, using a native non-aflatoxigenic strain to explore its effect. After three months of storage under high humidity, aflatoxin levels remained low in peanuts from fields treated with the biocontrol agent. Three types of substrates were tested with the biocontrol agent: rice grains, peanut meal (peanut meal fertilizer) and peanut coating. Compared to untreated fields, these formulations resulted in reductions of 78.23%, 67.54% and 38.48%, respectively. Furthermore, the ratios of non-aflatoxigenic A. flavus recovered in the soils at harvest in the treated fields were between 41.11% and 96.67% higher than that in untreated fields (25.00%), indicating that the rice inoculum was the most effective, followed by the peanut meal fertilizer and peanut coating. In 2019, the mean aflatoxin content of freshly harvested peanuts in untreated fields was 19.35 µg/kg higher than that in the fields treated with 7.5 kg/ha rice inoculum, which was 1.37 µg/kg. Moreover, no aflatoxin was detected in the two other plots treated with 10 and 15 kg/ha rice inoculum. This study showed that the native Chinese non-aflatoxigenic strain of A. flavus (18PAsp-zy1) had the potential to reduce aflatoxin contamination in peanuts. In addition, peanut meal can be used as an alternative substrate to replace traditional grains, reducing the cost of biocontrol products.
Published: 30 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Deoxynivalenol is one the of most common mycotoxins in cereals and grains and causes a serious health threat to poultry and farm animals. Our previous study found that DON decreased the production performance of laying hens. It has been reported that DON could exert significant toxic effects on the intestinal barrier and microbiota. However, whether the decline of laying performance is related to intestinal barrier damage, and the underlying mechanisms of DON induced intestine function injury remain largely unclear in laying hens. In this study, 80 Hy-line brown laying hens at 26 weeks were randomly divided into 0, 1, 5 and 10 mg/kg.bw (body weight) DON daily for 6 weeks. The morphology of the duodenum, the expression of inflammation factors and tight junction proteins, and the diversity and abundance of microbiota were analyzed in different levels of DON treated to laying hens. The results demonstrated that the mucosal detachment and reduction of the villi number were presented in different DON treated groups with a dose-effect manner. Additionally, the genes expression of pro-inflammatory factors IL-1β, IL-8, TNF-a and anti-inflammatory factors IL-10 were increased or decreased at 5 and 10 mg/kg.bw DON groups, respectively. The levels of ZO-1 and claudin-1 expression were significantly decreased in 5 and 10 mg/kg.bw DON groups. Moreover, the alpha diversity including Chao, ACE and Shannon indices were all reduced in DON treated groups. At the phylum level, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Spirochaetes were decreased and increased in 10 mg/kg.bw DON group, respectively. At the genus levels, the relative abundance of Clostridium and Lactobacillus in 5 and 10 mg/kg.bw DON groups, and Alkanindiges and Spirochaeta in the 10 mg/kg.bw DON were significantly decreased and increased, respectively. Moreover, there were significant correlation between the expression of tight junction proteins and the relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Succinispira. These results indicated that DON exposure to the laying hens can induce the inflammation and disrupt intestinal tight junctions, suggesting that DON can directly damage barrier function, which may be closely related to the dysbiosis of intestinal microbiota.
Published: 29 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Mycotoxin-contaminated feeds may negatively affect broiler chickens' health; hence, a sustainable approach to achieve mycotoxin elimination is necessary. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of red yeast (Sporidiobolus pararoseus; RY) as a novel mycotoxin binder in broilers. A total of 1440 one-week-old male broiler chicks were randomly assigned to 12 treatments in a 3 × 4 factorial design. The dietary treatments included three levels of mycotoxin-contaminated diets (0 µg kg−1 (0% of mycotoxin; MT), 50 µg kg−1 (50% MT), and 100 µg kg−1 (100% MT)) and four levels of mycotoxin binders (0.0 and 0.5 g kg−1 commercial binder, and 0.5 and 1.0 g kg−1 RY). Experimental diets were contaminated with aflatoxin B1, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, T-2 toxin, and deoxynivalenol in the basal diet. Furthermore, the parameters including feed intake, body weight, and mortality rate were recorded on a weekly basis. After feeding for 28 days, blood and organ samples were collected randomly to determine the blood biochemistry, relative organ weights, and gut health. The results indicated that mycotoxin-contaminated diets reduced the average daily weight gain (ADG), villus height (VH), and villus height per the crypt depth ratio (VH:CD) of the intestine, as well as the population of Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp. in the cecal (p < 0.05), whereas they increased the mycotoxins concentration in the blood samples and the apoptosis cells (TUNEL positive) in the liver tissue (p < 0.01) of broiler chicken. In contrast, RY-supplemented diets had better ADG values and lower chicken mortality rates (p < 0.05). Moreover, these combinations positively impacted the relative organ weights, blood parameters, bacteria population, intestinal morphology, and pathological changes in the hepatocytes (p < 0.05). In conclusion, RY supplementation effectively alleviated the toxicity that is induced by AFB1 and OTA, mainly, and could potentially be applied as a novel feed additive in the broiler industry.
Published: 29 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Furanocoumarins, the secondary metabolites of plants, are considered to be natural insecticides and fungicides because they prevent the invasion of plant pathogenic microorganisms and the predation of herbivorous insects. In this study, novel 2-arylfuranocoumarin derivatives were designed to synthesize by condensation, esterification, bromination, and Wittig reaction. The results showed an excellent photosensitive activity of 2-thiophenylfuranocoumarin (I34). Cell Counting Kit-8 detected that I34 could inhibit the proliferation of Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells in a time- and concentration-dependent manner under ultraviolet A (UV-A) light for 3 min. The inverted microscope revealed that cells treated with I34 swelled, the membrane was ruptured, and apoptotic bodies appeared. The flow cytometry detected that I34 could induce apoptosis of Sf9 cells, increase the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), decrease the mitochondrial membrane potential, and block cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. Transmission electron microscopy detected cell mitochondrial cristae damage, matrix degradation, and mitochondrial vacuolation. Further enzyme activity detection revealed that the enzyme activities of apoptosis-related proteins caspase-3 and caspase-9 increased significantly (P < 0.05). Finally, Western blotting analysis detected that the phosphorylation level of Akt and Bad and the expression of the apoptosis inhibitor protein Bcl-XL were inhibited, cleaved-PARP and P53 were increased, and cytochrome C was released from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm. Moreover, under UV-A irradiation, I34 promoted the increase in ROS in Sf9 cells, activated the mitochondrial apoptotic signal transduction pathway, and finally, inhibited cell proliferation. Thus, novel furanocoumarins exhibit a potential application prospect as a biochemical pesticide.
Published: 29 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Children with spastic cerebral palsy (SCP) are often treated with intramuscular Botulinum Neurotoxin type-A (BoNT-A). Recent studies demonstrated BoNT-A-induced muscle atrophy and variable effects on gait pathology. This group-matched controlled study in children with SCP compared changes in muscle morphology 8–10 weeks post-BoNT-A treatment (n = 25, median age 6.4 years, GMFCS level I/II/III (14/9/2)) to morphological changes of an untreated control group (n = 20, median age 7.6 years, GMFCS level I/II/III (14/5/1)). Additionally, the effects on gait and spasticity were assessed in all treated children and a subgroup (n = 14), respectively. BoNT-A treatment was applied following an established integrated approach. Gastrocnemius and semitendinosus volume and echogenicity intensity were assessed by 3D-freehand ultrasound, spasticity was quantified through electromyography during passive muscle stretches at different velocities. Ankle and knee kinematics were evaluated by 3D-gait analysis. Medial gastrocnemius (p = 0.018, −5.2%) and semitendinosus muscle volume (p = 0.030, −16.2%) reduced post-BoNT-A, but not in the untreated control group, while echogenicity intensity did not change. Spasticity reduced and ankle gait kinematics significantly improved, combined with limited effects on knee kinematics. This study demonstrated that BoNT-A reduces spasticity and partly improves pathological gait but reduces muscle volume 8–10 weeks post-injections. Close post-BoNT-A follow-up and well-considered treatment selection is advised before BoNT-A application in SCP.
Published: 29 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Background: The present study aimed to evaluate the reasons and determinants of BoNT-A discontinuation in patients with stroke, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. Methods: It is a retrospective study of 56 discontinuer patients treated with botulinum toxin between January 2011 and December 2021. Discontinuation rates and their predictors were estimated using Kaplan–Meier, Log rank test, and Cox’s regression method of analyses. Results: The mean age was 56.54 years, 53.57% were affected by post-stroke spasticity, 17.86% by spinal cord injury, 12.5% and 16.07% by traumatic brain injury and multiple sclerosis, respectively. The median discontinuation time was 5 months. The main reason for discontinuation were logistic problems (37%) and orthopedic surgeries or intrathecal baclofen (27%). Discontinuers were more likely to have severe spasticity (R = 1.785), have no pain (HR = 1.320), no access to rehabilitation services (HR = 1.402), and have cognitive impairment (HR = 1.403). Conclusions: The main reasons for discontinuation are related to logistic issues (due to distance or the absence of an adequate caregiver) and surgical interventions for spasticity, including intrathecal baclofen. It is crucial to identify possible predictors of discontinuation to improve the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary management. The study confirms the crucial role of rehabilitation and caregivers in achieving better long-term outcomes.
Published: 28 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of ultrasound guidance (US) in the treatment of cervical dystonia (CD) with botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) injections in comparison to anatomical landmarks (AL). To date, US is routinely used in many centers, but others deny its usefulness. Materials and Methods: Thirty-five patients (12 males, 23 females) with a clinical diagnosis of CD were included in the study. Intramuscular administration of BoNT-A was performed using either US guidance, or with AL, in two separate therapeutic sessions. The efficacy of BoNT-A administration was assessed with the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS), Tsui modified scale, Craniocervical Dystonia Questionnaire (CDQ-24) and Clinical Global Impression—Improvement scale (CGI-I). Additionally, patients at therapeutic sessions were digitally recorded and evaluated by two blinded and independent raters. Results: A significant decrease in total TWSTRS, severity subscale TWSTRS, Tsui score, and CDQ-24 was found in both the AL and US group; however, in the TWSTRS disability and pain subscales, a significant decrease was found only in the US group. Moreover, US guided treatment also resulted in a greater decrease in TWSTRS, Tsui score and CDQ-24 compared to anatomical landmarks use only. Conclusions: US guidance might be helpful in improving the results of BoNT-A injections in cervical dystonia, reducing associated pain and disability; however, more studies are needed to evaluate its clinical efficacy.
Published: 28 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Toxins
Abstract:
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are more susceptible to infections compared to the general population. SARS-CoV-2 virus pathology is characterized by a cytokine storm responsible for the systemic inflammation typical of the COVID-19 disease. Since CKD patients have a reduced renal clearance, we decided to investigate whether they accumulate harmful mediators during the COVID-19 disease. We conducted a retrospective study on 77 COVID-19 hospitalized subjects in the acute phase of the illness. Thirteen different cytokines were assessed in plasma collected upon hospitalization. The patients were divided into three groups according to their estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR < 30 (n = 23), 30 < eGFR < 60 (n = 33), eGFR > 60 mL/min (n = 21). We found that Tumor Necrosis Factor α and its receptors I and II, Interleukin-7, Leukemia Inhibitory Factor, FAS receptor, Chitinase 3-like I, and the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor showed an increased accumulation that negatively correlate with eGFR. Moreover, non-survivor patients with an impaired kidney function have significantly more elevated levels of the same mediators. In conclusion, there is a tendency in COVID-19 ESRD patients to accumulate harmful cytokines. The accumulation seems to associate with mortality outcomes and may be due to reduced clearance but also to increased biosynthesis in most severe cases.
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