Microbiology Time

This month, we traveled From Ethiopia to Canada to collect three exciting studies to share on our Microbiology Time:

  • A paper from our friend Prof Ayichew Seyoum investigating the prevalence of high-risk HPV infection and its association with cytological profiles in Ethiopia. In the country, cervical cancer is a disease with a high incidence, but data about it are scarce. The study enrolled almost 1000 women for a visual screening with a Pap test and a cervical swab sampling for molecular analysis of the HPV genotypes. 12% of women had abnormal Pap test results, and the overall prevalence of high-risk HPV infection was 13.1%. High-risk HPV prevalence – irrespective of genotypes – was highly correlated with cervical cell abnormalities, suggesting the importance of periodic HPV genotyping surveillance.
  • The second study describes a case of a lethal Cladosporium allicinum infection in a captive bullfrog. The researchers identified the mold by sequencing the TEF1 gene and the ITS region of rDNA and started the Climbazole antifungal treatment. Unfortunately, the bullfrog died one month after treatment. The corpse necropsy revealed diffuse granulomatous inflammation at cytological and histopathological examinations and a focally extensive granuloma with intralesional hyphae and muriform bodies effacing the architecture of numerous body districts.
  • The last paper suggests using leeches present on an aquatic crime scene for forensics purposes. These leeches could have ingested the victim or suspect’s blood and could help solve the case. In the lab, the researchers fed leeches with the blood of a human donor, euthanized them at different time points, and collected blood from their midguts with microFLOQ or 4N6 FLOQSwabs. With all three methods tested, the researchers concluded that the blood found in the midgut of these leeches can be used in revealing human identity. All three methods can be used to generate DNAprofiles from blood ingested by leeches when collected within a 24-hour period. The results indicate that blood ingested by anne­lids can serve as a valuable source of evidence in unique crime scene cases.

Read the studies below: