Time filter

Source Type

Hamburg, Germany

Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine; is a medical institution based in Hamburg, Germany which is dedicated to research, treatment, training and therapy of tropical and infectious diseases.The body responsible for the BNI is the Federal Ministry of Health and the Government Agency for Social Affairs, Family Affairs, Health and Environment of Hamburg.The BNI is allied with the Kwame Nkrumah University in Ghana, where there is a laboratory complex named the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine. Today, there is a staff of approximately 400 people working in Hamburg and Kumasi combined. Presently, it is considered the most important research facility regarding tropical medicine in Europe. Wikipedia.

Muller I.B.,Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
Future Microbiology

Malaria represents one of the most serious threats to human health worldwide, and preventing and curing this parasitic disease still depends predominantly on the administration of a small number of drugs whose efficacy is continually threatened and eroded by the emergence of drug-resistant parasite populations. This has an enormous impact on the mortality and morbidity resulting from malaria infection, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where the lethal human parasite species Plasmodium falciparum accounts for approximately 90% of deaths recorded globally. Successful treatment of uncomplicated malaria is now highly dependent on artemisinin-based combination therapies. However, the first cases of artemisinin-resistant field isolates have been reported recently and potential replacement antimalarials are only in the developmental stages. Here, we summarize recent progress in tackling the problem of parasite resistance and discuss the underlying molecular mechanisms that confer resistance to current antimalarial agents as far as they are known, understanding of which should assist in the rational development of new drugs and the more effective deployment of older ones. © 2010 Future Medicine Ltd. Source

Cramer J.P.,Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
Current Infectious Disease Reports

In 2004, Plasmodium knowlesi was first recognised as a relevant cause of human malaria in Southeast Asia. Since then, P. knowlesi has been described from all Southeast Asian countries except Laos and has become well-established as the fifth human malaria parasite and the first significant zoonotic Plasmodium species. As countries endemic for P. knowlesi malaria are among the most popular and most highly visited international destinations, travel medicine experts should be aware about disease and risks including prophylactic and therapeutic measures. Between 2005 and 2012, 15 cases of P. knowlesi malaria have been recognised and published in international travellers. Male gender and travel to rural/forested areas with contact to wild monkeys are risk factors for P. knowlesi infection. The present review gives an overview on current literature on the P. knowlesi parasite and summarises recent findings related to epidemiology, diagnostics, treatment and prophylaxis focussing on travellers. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Mosquitoes and other arthropods may transmit medically important pathogens, in particular viruses such as West Nile virus. The presence of suitable hosts and competent vectors for those zoonotic viruses is essential for an enzootic transmission, which is a prerequisite for epidemics. To establish reliable risk projections, it is an urgent need for an exact identification of mosquito species, which is especially challenging in the case of sibling species, such as Culex. pipiens pipiens biotypes pipiens and molestus. To facilitate detection of different Culex pipiens forms and their hybrids we established a multiplex real-time PCR. Culex pipiens samples were obtained by egg raft collection and rearing until imago stage or adult sampling using CO2 baited traps and gravid traps. In total, we tested more than 16,500 samples collected all over Germany in the years 2011 and 2012. The predominant species in Germany are Culex pipiens pipiens biotype pipiens and Culex. torrentium, but we also detected Culex pipiens pipiens biotype molestus and hybrids of the two pipiens biotypes at sites where both species occur sympatrically. This report of a potentially important bridge vector for West Nile virus might have major impact in the risk projections for West Nile virus in Germany. Source

Rankin K.E.,University of Washington | Rankin K.E.,Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine | Wordeman L.,University of Washington | Wordeman L.,Center for Cell Dynamics
Journal of Cell Biology

Astral microtubules (MTs) are known to be important for cleavage furrow induction and spindle positioning, and loss of astral MTs has been reported to increase cortical contractility. To investigate the effect of excess astral MT activity, we depleted the MT depolymerizer mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) from HeLa cells to produce ultra-long, astral MTs during mitosis. MCAK depletion promoted dramatic spindle rocking in early anaphase, wherein the entire mitotic spindle oscillated along the spindle axis from one proto-daughter cell to the other, driven by oscillations of cortical nonmuscle myosin II. The effect was phenocopied by taxol treatment. Live imaging revealed that cortical actin partially vacates the polar cortex in favor of the equatorial cortex during anaphase. We propose that this renders the polar actin cortex vulnerable to rupture during normal contractile activity and that long astral MTs enlarge the blebs. Excessively large blebs displace mitotic spindle position by cytoplasmic flow, triggering the oscillations as the blebs resolve. © 2010 Rankin and Wordeman. Source

Dynamic changes in the actin cytoskeleton are essential for immune cell function and a number of immune deficiencies have been linked to mutations, which disturb the actin cytoskeleton. In macrophages and dendritic cells, actin remodelling is critical for motility, phagocytosis and antigen presentation, however the actin binding proteins, which control antigen presentation have been poorly characterized. Here we dissect the specific roles of the family of ADF/cofilin F-actin depolymerizing factors in macrophages and in local immune responses. Macrophage migration, cell polarization and antigen presentation to T-cells require n-cofilin mediated F-actin remodelling. Using a conditional mouse model, we show that n-cofilin also controls MHC class II-dependent antigen presentation. Other cellular processes such as phagocytosis and antigen processing were found to be independent of n-cofilin. Our data identify n-cofilin as a novel regulator of antigen presentation, while ADF on the other hand is dispensable for macrophage motility and antigen presentation. Source

Discover hidden collaborations