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  • Author: A. Kostadinova x
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Parasite communities in two sparid fishes from the western Mediterranean: a comparative analysis based on samples from three localities off the Algerian coast

Summary

We provide the first known comparative assessment of metazoan parasite communities in two taxonomically and ecologically related sparids, Boops boops and Spicara maena, that are common in the coastal infralittoral habitats in the Mediterranean. Using abundant data for infracommunities in three localities off the Algerian coasts of the Mediterranean, we tested the general prediction that the phylogenetic proximity of the two hosts, their overlapping geographical distribution and habitat occupation, as well as the similar feeding habits and diet would contribute to a homogenization of their parasite community composition and structure. The regional fauna of parasites of B. boops and S. maena along the Algerian coasts of the western Mediterranean was species-rich (36 species) and dominated by heteroxenous species (27 spp; of these 20 digenean spp.). The phylogenetic relatedness between the two hosts resulted in a large number of shared parasites (56 %, 20 spp.). However, the significant overlap in the parasite faunas of the two sparid hosts and their similar feeding habits and diet did not translate into homogeneous parasite community pattern; a significant differentiation in terms of both, composition and structure, was observed.

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Experimental Study on the Role of 5-Ht2 Serotonin Receptors in the Mechanism of Anti-Inflammatory and Antihyperalgesic Action of Antidepressant Fluoxetine

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Fluoxetine is an antidepressant that has anti-inflammatory and antihyperalgesic effects in experimental models of pain and inflammation. The AIM of the present study was to determine the role of 5-HT2 receptors in the mechanism of anti-inflammatory and antihyperalgesic action of fluoxetine after single and repeated administration of the drug. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 40 male Wistar rats were randomly divided in five groups (n = 8) treated for 14 days with saline (control), diclofenac (positive control), fluoxetine, cyproheptadine (5-HT2 antagonist), and fluoxetine + cyproheptadine, respectively. We used the experimental model of inflammation induced by intraplantar injection of carrageenan and nociceptive test with mechanical pressure on the inflamed hind paw. RESULTS: Single and repeated administration of fluoxetine showed that it had significant anti-inflammatory and antihyperalgesic effects when compared with the control (p < 0.05). Cyproheptadine did not change significantly the anti-inflammatory effect of fluoxetine in the first 4 hours, after a single administration. At 24 hours the combination did not differ statistically when compared with the control. Cyproheptadin did not change significantly the anti-inflammatory effect of fluoxetine after repeated administration. After prolonged treatment the group that received fluoxetine + cyproheptadine showed a statistically significant increase in paw pressure to withdraw the hind paw compared with that treated with fluoxetine alone (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Fluoxetine has anti-inflammatory and antihyperalgesic effects in the carrageenan model of inflammation. 5-HT2 receptor mediated its anti-inflammatory effect in single dose treated animals. Spinal 5-HT2 receptors are involved in the antihyperalgesic effect of fluoxetine after repeated administration

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Serum Copper and Zinc in a Representative Sample of Bulgarian Population

Summary

Copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) are essential for life. Body Cu and Zn content depends on variety of factors - age, gender, and diet, type of drinking water, geographical location and genetic predisposition. Copper status becomes even more relevant not only in rare genetic disorders such as Wilson disease but in diseases such as cardiovascular ones, impaired glucose tolerance and neuro-degenerative and tumor diseases. The study aimed to examine the distribution of serum Cu and Zn in a representative group of the Bulgarian population and to describe factors which influence metal content. It also aimed to describe the link between serum Cu levels and the frequency of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in Bulgarians. Cu and Zn in serum were measured in 379 individuals (172 males and 207 females) from 5 different regions in Bulgaria by flame atomic absorption using AAnalyst 400, Perkin Elmer. Statistical analyses were performed by SPSS, 19. Median and inert-quartile range (IQR) for blood Cu were 15.89 (13.87-7.89) μmol/L and for Zn - 13.00 (11.7-14.68) μmol/L in the examined group. Higher Cu levels in females than in males were found (p < 0.001). Decrease of Zn with aging was established (p > 0.05). Significant difference (p < 0.05) was found in serum Cu between young people (< 30 year old) and adults over 61 year old. Statistically significant difference in Cu and Zn was observed (p < 0.05) in respect of residences. Difference without significance was measured between serum lipids and serum Cu (p = 0.541) and Zn (p = 0.741).

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Correlation Between Self-Rated Health and Socioeconomic and Psychological Charasteristics of Ambulatory and Hospitalized Patients Over 44 Years of Age

Abstract

The aim of the study was to identify socioeconomic and psychological determinants of self-rated health among ambulatory and hospitalized patients. A cross-sectional study was carried-out in 2014. Two hundred and twelve patients over 44 years of age filled in a self-administrated questionnaire. Self-rated health (SRH) was measured by 5-point range scale. The level of well-being (WB), sources of social support, personal financial capacity, social status, etc. were studied as well. Data were processed by SPSS.v.19. Parametric and non-parametric statistical methods were applied. Over 70% of patients evaluated their health as fair and good. The persons with higher WB had higher SRH, that correlation was moderate (r=0.452; p=0.001). In regard to the social status the differences were significant - the unemployed, old age retirees or ill health retirees evaluated their health lower (p<0.05). A proportion of patients indicated two or more sources of emotional and instrumental support, but increased number of support sources had no effect on SRH (p>0.05). Identification of socioeconomic and psychological factors of self-rated health allows clarifying better their effect mechanisms and planning appropriate health services

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Serum and Urine Copper – Contamination and Stability

Summary

Pre-analytical factors of variation need to be carefully considered and investigated in efforts to harmonize all aspects of the total testing process. This study aimed to evaluate contamination and stability in copper (Cu) analysis of serum and urine by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS) and to compare the stability of urine Cu in controls and in D-penicillamine (D-PA) administration. Cu was measured by AAnalyst 400, Perkin Elmer, USA. Blood was collected in BD Vacutainer®SSTTM II Advance tubes and BD Vacutainer® Trace Element tubes. Sterile polyethylene and polypropylene vessels for collection, transportation, storage and preliminary preparation of samples were used in urinalysis. Stability in serum and 24 h urine was evaluated in two temperature regimens: 15-25°C and 2-8°C, for particular time of storage. No significant differences (p = 0.20) in Cu concentration was found between the two types of tested tubes with patient`s sera. The stability of the samples (serum and urine) was better at refrigeration temperature. In urine the stability was better in D-PA administration.Standardization of Cu analysis could be achieved by assessing the aspects of pre-analytical factors of variations.

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Clinical and laboratory study of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in women with multiple sclerosis

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system characterised with a complex system of interactions between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in its course.

Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate the serum levels of cytokines TNF-α, IFN- γ, IL- 4 and IL- 10 in female patients with MS and healthy individuals, the changes occurring in the relapse and remission phases of the disease and their correlation with the severity of the neurological deficit.

Patients and methods: Thirty-five women with relapsing-remitting MS were examined. The patients’ age ranged between 18 and 50 years and MS was verified clinically and by magnetic resonance imaging according to the McDonald criteria. Thirteen of the patients were treated with interferon-β-1b. The serum concentrations of TNF-α, IFN- γ, IL- 4 and IL- 10 were determined twice - in relapse and in remission - using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EL ISA). The control group consisted of 35 age-matched healthy females. Results: The comparison of cytokine serum concentrations during the two phases of the disease showed significant elevation of the TNF-α serum levels in the relapse phase and of IL- 4 - in the remission phase. The comparison between the patients and the healthy control subjects demonstrated statistically significant lower concentrations of TNF-α in remission patients and higher concentrations of IL- 10 in relapse patients. The patients with interferon-β-1b treatment showed different profile of cytokine secretion from the patients without interferon-β-1b treatment. Interferon-β-1b-treated patients showed significantly lower serum levels of TNF-α and IFN- γ during the relapse phase and higher TNF-α and IL- 10 serum levels during the remission phase compared with the untreated patients.

Conclusions: Serum levels of TNF-α and IL- 4 objectively reflect the immune response during relapse and remission of the disease. The severity of neurological deficit as estimated with the expanded disability status scale (EDSS ) does not depend on the serum levels of TNF-α, IL- 10 and IFN- γ in the two phases of MS.

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