• First evidence of the mutations associated with pyrethroid resistance in head lice (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae) from Honduras

      Larkin, Kelsey; Rodriguez, Carol A.; Jamani, Shabana; Fronza, Georgina; Roca‑Acevedo, Gonzalo; Sanchez, Ana; Toloza, Ariel C (BMC, 2020)
      The human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, is a cosmopolitan blood-sucking ectoparasite affecting mostly schoolchildren in both developed and developing countries. In Honduras, chemical pediculicides are the first line of treatment, with permethrin as their main active ingredient. Despite the extended use of these products, there is currently no research investigating insecticide resistance in Honduran head lice. In head lice, the most common mechanism is knockdown resistance (kdr), which is the result of two point mutations and the associated amino acid substitutions, T917I and L920F, within the voltage-sensitive sodium channel (VSSC). METHODSGenomic DNA was extracted from 83 head lice collected in the localities of San Buenaventura and La Hicaca, Honduras. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify a 332-bp fragment of the VSSC gene that contains a site affected by C/T mutation which results in a T917I amino acid substitution on each human head louse genomic DNA fragments. RESULTSThe C/T non-synonymous mutation which results in the T917I kdr amino acid substitution was detected in both head lice populations at frequencies ranging between 0.45-0.5. Globally, the frequency of this substitution was 0.47. Of these, 5 (6.1%) were homozygous susceptible and 78 (93.9%) were heterozygotes. The kdr-resistant homozygote (RR) was not detected in the studied populations. Thus, 93.9% of the head lice collected in Honduras harbored only one T917I allele. Exact test for the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for both localities showed that genotype frequencies differed significantly from expectation. In addition, San Buenaventura and La Hicaca populations had an inbreeding coefficient (Fis) < 0, suggesting an excess of heterozygotes. CONCLUSIONSTo our knowledge, this is the first study showing the presence of the C/T mutation responsible of the T917I kdr allele associated with pyrethroid resistance in P. h. capitis from Honduras. The PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) employed here has demonstrated to be a reliable, economic, and reproducible assay that can be used to accurately genotype individual head lice for the mutation encoding the resistance-conferring T917I amino acid substitution. This highlights the necessity of proactive resistance management programmes designed to detect pyrethroid mutations before they become established within populations of head lice.
    • Anticancer Properties of Carnosol: A Summary of In Vitro and In Vivo Evidence

      O’Neill, Eric J.; Den Hartogh, Danja J.; Azizi, Karim; Tsiani, Evangeli (MDPI, 2020)
      Cancer is characterized by unrestricted cell proliferation, inhibition of apoptosis, enhanced invasion and migration, and deregulation of signalling cascades. These properties lead to uncontrolled growth, enhanced survival, and the formation of tumours. Carnosol, a naturally occurring phyto-polyphenol (diterpene) found in rosemary, has been studied for its extensive antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. In cancer cells, carnosol has been demonstrated to inhibit cell proliferation and survival, reduce migration and invasion, and significantly enhance apoptosis. These anticancer effects of carnosol are mediated by the inhibition of several signalling molecules including extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), Akt, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Additionally, carnosol prevents the nuclear translocation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and promotes apoptosis, as indicated by increased levels of cleaved caspase-3, -8, -9, increased levels of the pro-apoptotic marker Bcl-2-associated X (BAX), and reduced levels of the anti-apoptotic marker B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2). The current review summarizes the existing in vitro and in vivo evidence examining the anticancer effects of carnosol across various tissues.
    • Azo synthesis meets molecular iodine catalysis

      Rowshanpour, Rozhin; Dudding, Travis (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021)
      A metal-free synthetic protocol for azo compound formation by the direct oxidation of hydrazine HN–NH bonds to azo group functionality catalyzed by molecular iodine is disclosed. The strengths of this reactivity include rapid reaction times, low catalyst loadings, use of ambient dioxygen as a stoichiometric oxidant, and ease of experimental set-up and azo product isolation. Mechanistic studies and density functional theory computations offering insight into this reactivity, as well as the events leading to azo group formation are presented. Collectively, this study expands the potential of main-group element iodine as an inexpensive catalyst, while delivering a useful transformation for forming azo compounds.