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Deforestation represents one of the greatest threats to tropical forest mammals, and the situation is greatly exacerbated by bushmeat hunting. To construct informed conservation plans, information must be gathered about responses to habitat degradation, regeneration, and hunting over a sufficiently long period to allow demographic responses. We quantified changes in the abundance of three commonly occurring ungulate species (i.e., bushbuck, Tragelaphus scriptus; red duiker, Cephalophus sp.; blue duiker, Cephalophus monticola) at eight sites in Kibale National Park, Uganda (old growth=3; logged=3; regenerating=2) for 23 years. Changes in abundance (363 surveys totaling 1 450 km) were considered in regard to the park’s management strategy, regional economic indicators, and estimates of illegal hunting. Bushbuck abundance increased in old-growth and logged forests from 1996 to 2009, and then oscillated around this level or declined. Duiker abundance demonstrated a similar pattern, but abundance in the old-growth forests showed a general increase from 1996 to present day. Duiker abundance in the logged forests exhibited an early increase, but subsequent oscillation. Poaching signs per patrol have remained stable over the last decade, despite increases in the size of the surrounding population, cost of living, and cost of schooling, thus reflecting successful efforts in conservation education and enforcement. Our study highlights the positive impact of park establishment, patrol, and conservation efforts on ungulate populations and shows the adaptability of forest mammal populations to different management schemes.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to impact countries worldwide. At present, inadequate diagnosis and unreliable evaluation systems hinder the implementation and development of effective prevention and treatment strategies. Here, we conducted a horizontal and longitudinal study comparing the detection rates of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in different types of samples collected from COVID-19 patients and SARS-CoV-2-infected monkeys. We also detected anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the above clinical and animal model samples to identify a reliable approach for the accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results showed that, regardless of clinical symptoms, the highest detection levels of viral nucleic acid were found in sputum and tracheal brush samples, resulting in a high and stable diagnosis rate. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin M (IgM) and G (IgG) antibodies were not detected in 6.90% of COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, integration of nucleic acid detection results from the various sample types did not improve the diagnosis rate. Moreover, dynamic changes in SARS-CoV-2 viral load were more obvious in sputum and tracheal brushes than in nasal and throat swabs. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection in sputum and tracheal brushes was the least affected by infection route, disease progression, and individual differences. Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection using lower respiratory tract samples alone is reliable for COVID-19 diagnosis and study.
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the leading cause of gynecological cancer-related mortality in the developed world. EOC is a heterogeneous disease represented by several histological and molecular subtypes. Therefore, exploration of relevant preclinical animal models that consider the heterogenic nature of EOC is of great importance for the development of novel therapeutic strategies that can be translated clinically to combat this devastating disease. In this review, we discuss recent progress in the development of preclinical mouse models for EOC study as well as their advantages and limitations.
Secretory pore-forming proteins (PFPs) have been identified in organisms from all kingdoms of life. Our studies with the toad species Bombina maxima found an interaction network among aerolysin family PFPs (af-PFPs) and trefoil factors (TFFs). As a toad af-PFP, BmALP1 can be reversibly regulated between active and inactive forms, with its paralog BmALP3 acting as a negative regulator. BmALP1 interacts with BmTFF3 to form a cellular active complex called βγ-CAT. This PFP complex is characterized by acting on endocytic pathways and forming pores on endolysosomes, including stimulating cell macropinocytosis. In addition, cell exocytosis can be induced and/or modulated in the presence of βγ-CAT. Depending on cell contexts and surroundings, these effects can facilitate the toad in material uptake and vesicular transport, while maintaining mucosal barrier function as well as immune defense. Based on experimental evidence, we hereby propose a secretory endolysosome channel (SELC) pathway conducted by a secreted PFP in cell endocytic and exocytic systems, with βγ-CAT being the first example of a SELC protein. With essential roles in cell interactions and environmental adaptations, the proposed SELC protein pathway should be conserved in other living organisms.
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