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West Jerusalem, Israel

Talmi-Frank D.,Hebrew University | Kedem-Vaanunu N.,Hebrew University | King R.,Israel Nature and Parks Authority | Bar-Gal G.K.,Hebrew University | And 3 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

During a survey of wild canids, internal transcribed spacer 1 real-time PCR and high-resolution melt analysis identified Leishmania tropica in samples from jackals and foxes. Infection was most prevalent in ear and spleen samples. Jackals and foxes may play a role in the spread of zoonotic L. tropica.

Waner T.,Israel Institute for Biological Research | Keysary A.,Israel Institute for Biological Research | Eremeeva M.E.,Georgia Southern University | Din A.B.,Israel Institute for Biological Research | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2014

DNA of several spotted fever group rickettsiae was found in ticks in Israel. The findings include evidence for the existence of Rickettsia africae and Candidatus Rickettsia barbariae in ticks in Israel. The DNA of R. africae was detected in a Hyalomma detritum tick from a wild boar and DNA of C. Rickettsia barbariae was detected in Rhipicephalus turanicus and Rhipicephalus sanguineus collected from vegetation. The DNA of Rickettsia massiliae was found in Rh. sanguineus and Haemaphysalis erinacei, whereas DNA of Rickettsia sibirica mongolitimonae was detected in a Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus. Clinicians should be aware that diseases caused by a variety of rickettsiae previously thought to be present only in other countries outside of the Middle East may infect residents of Israel who have not necessarily traveled overseas. Furthermore, this study reveals again that the epidemiology of the spotted fever group rickettsiae may not only involve Rickettsia conorii but may include other rickettsiae. Copyright © 2014 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Moritz R.F.A.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Haddad N.,Bee Research Unit | Bataieneh A.,Bee Research Unit | Shalmon B.,Israel Nature and Parks Authority | Hefetz A.,Tel Aviv University
Biological Invasions | Year: 2010

The dwarf honeybee, Apis florae, is an open nesting honeybee typical to Southern Asia. In the past decades it has been accidentally introduced by man to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula where the species established sustainable and expanding populations. Recently it has also been introduced to Aqaba and Eilat, where it has also established expanding populations. We here study the genetic structure of this invasive population with nine microsatellite DNA markers to reconstruct the invasion history. The population shows indications of an extreme bottleneck suggesting that it established itself very recently and may have originated from a single introduced colony only. The impact of the species for both apiculture and conservation of biodiversity is discussed. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Yosef R.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Zvuloni A.,Israel Nature and Parks Authority | Yosef-Sukenik N.,Tel Aviv University
Wilson Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2012

The House Crow (Corvus splendens) is a bioinvader to the Red Sea region and has been shown to negatively impact indigenous species. We describe attempts by House Crows to acquire an ordinarily inaccessible, high quality food source by mobbing Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in large coordinated groups. The crows mobbed perched Osprey that had successfully caught fish in 176 observed attempts to steal the otherwise inaccessible food source. However, crows succeeded in forcing Osprey to abandon fish on only seven occasions (∼4%). The crows then jointly fed on the abandoned fish. The consistency in mobbing Osprey and the low rate of success suggests House Crows are aware of the energetic value of fish. © 2012 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

Atad I.,Tel Aviv University | Zvuloni A.,Israel Nature and Parks Authority | Loya Y.,Tel Aviv University | Rosenberg E.,Tel Aviv University
Coral Reefs | Year: 2012

Coral disease is a major factor in the global decline of coral reefs. At present, there are no known procedures for preventing or treating infectious diseases of corals. Immunization is not possible because corals have a restricted adaptive immune system and antibiotics are neither ecologically safe nor practical in an open system. Thus, we tested phage therapy as an alternative therapeutic method for treating diseased corals. Phage BA3, specific to the coral pathogen Thalassomonas loyana, inhibited the progression of the white plague-like disease and transmission to healthy corals in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Only one out of 19 (5 %) of the healthy corals became infected when placed near phage-treated diseased corals, whereas 11 out of 18 (61 %) healthy corals were infected in the no-phage control. This is the first successful treatment for a coral disease in the sea. We posit that phage therapy of certain coral diseases is achievable in situ. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

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