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  • Author: V. V. Pavlova x
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The Study of Age-Related Variability of Pigmentation Patterns of the Shells Dreissena polymorpha (Bivavia, Dreissenidae) from Different Parts of it's Range. Pavlova, V. V. - Traditionally, shells of Dreissena polymorpha Pallas, 1771 mussels are studied as a whole by the investigation of population variability of coloration. However, shell surface is divided into zones by the lines of growth delay called annual rings, and mussel shell coloration is an array of patterns in the consequent age zones. In the present paper traditional term “pattern type” is expanded by its relation to definite shell zone; pattern types change along with annual ring formation. Th e pattern is considered not as a holistic feature but rather a sequence of states realized during the mussel’s growth. Frequencies of some pattern types showed to be age dependent. Geographic variability of pattern sequences was found. High diversity of pattern sequences’ arrays observed in populations may reflect wide adaptation potential of zebra mussels.


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a leading cause of chronic hepatitis in dialysis patients. The diagnosis of HCV infection in these patients is predominantly based on laboratory tests because of the specificity of the clinical course of the disease.

Aim: The present prospective study aimed at determining very accurately the prevalence rate of HCV infection in patients on dialysis by simultaneously testing them for anti-HCV and for HCV RNA levels.

Materials and methods: For the present cross-sectional longitudinal study we recruited and followed up 93 patients from St George University Hospital Hemodialysis Unit between July 2013 and December 2014. All patients were tested for anti-HCV and HCV RNA. The anti-HCV negative patients were tested for anti-HCV and HCV RNA at least twice at intervals of 6 months or more (up to 12 months). Anti-HCV antibodies were identified using a third generation ELISA assay. Commercial kits for real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to detect HCV RNA in the plasma and mononuclear cells. Aminotransferase and gammaglutamyl transpeptidase levels were studied to find if liver inflammation was present.

Results: The total seroprevalence in 68 patients was 20.6% (14). Of these, 10 patients were viremic (HCV RNA+/anti-HCV+), and 4 patients (5.9%) had discordant results (anti-HCV+/HCV RNA-). Acute hepatitis was detected in one patient. Duration of dialysis in HCV viremic patients was longer than that in aviremic patients (p=0.005).

Conclusions: The present study suggests that HCV infection in dialysis patients can be diagnosed more accurately if these patients are tested using two diagnostic methods - a serological test and a biomolecular assay. Further studies with larger sample size may prove the feasibility of such approach for all dialysis patients in this country.


Background: Changes in lifestyle and obesity in recent decades have brought about a dramatic increase in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) and allergic diseases. Clinical and epidemiological studies associate obesity with epidemics of allergic diseases. The link between obesity and DM2 with immunological components of IgE-mediated allergic inflammation is not yet conclusively established.

Aim: To examine the key immunological components of IgE-mediated allergic inflammation in patients with DM2 and their relationship with glycemic control and anthropometric indicators.

Materials and methods: Fifty-five patients with DM2 and 32 healthy controls with normal weight and body mass index (BMI) of 18-24.9 kg/m2 were included in the study. Th2-cytokine profile (serum levels of IL-4 and IL-5, pg/ml) and total serum IgE IU/ml were assessed in all participants in the study using ELISA. In patients with DM2, levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c%) in the blood were also measured.

Results: Serum levels of IL-4 and IL-5 are significantly higher in patients with DM2 compared to the control group. Serum levels of IL-4 and IL-5 positively correlated with BMI as well as serum levels of IL-4 with waist circumference. Total serum IgE positively correlated with HbA1c.

Conclusion: Obesity and poor glycemic control in patients with DM2 affect key immunological components of IgE-mediated allergic inflammation and possibly alter the immune response to allergens and antigens.


Introduction: Campylobacter spp. are important causative agents of gastrointestinal infections in humans. The most frequently isolated strains of this bacterial genus are Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. To date, genetic methods for bacterial identification have not been used in Bulgaria. We optimized the multiplex PSR assay to identify Campylobacter spp. and differentiate C. jejuni from C. coli in clinical isolates. We also compared this method with the routinely used biochemical methods.

Aim: To identify Campylobacter spp. and discriminate C. coli from C. jejuni in clinical isolates using multiplex PCR assay.

Materials and methods: Between February 2014 and January 2015 we studied 93 stool samples taken from patients with diarrheal syndrome and identified 40 species of Campylobacter spp. in them. The clinical material was cultured in microaerophilic atmosphere, the isolated strains being biochemically diff erentiated (hydrolysis of sodium hippurate for C. jejuni, and hydrolysis of indoxyl acetate for C. coli). DNA was isolated from the strains using QiaAmp MiniKit (QIAGEN, Germany). Twenty strains were tested with multiplex PCR for the presence of these genes: cadF, characteristic for Campylobacter spp., hipO for C. jejuni and asp for C. coli.

Results and discussion: The biochemical tests identified 16 strains of C. jejuni, 3 strains of C. coli, and 1 strain of C. upsaliensis. After the multiplex PCR assay the capillary gel electrophoresis confirmed 16 strains of C. jejuni, 2 strains of C. coli and 2 strains of Campylobacter spp. - because of the presence of the gene cadF. C. jejuni has the gene hipO, and it is possible that this gene may not be expressed in the biochemical differentiation yielding a negative reaction as a result. In comparison, we can conclude that the genetic differentiation is a more accurate method than the biochemical tests.

Conclusion: The multiplex PCR assay is a fast, accurate method for identifi cation of Campylobacter spp. which makes it quite necessary in the clinical diagnostic practice.