SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Kunzea glabrescens

Kunzea glabrescens known as spearwood, is a flowering plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a large shrub with leaves and flowers similar to those of K. ericifolia but has differently shaped bracteoles. It is common in wet areas around Perth. Kunzea glabrescens is a shrub or tree with several main stems and many branches and which grows to a height of up to 4 m; the leaves are linear to lance-shaped with the narrower end towards the base 5–8 mm long and less than 1 mm wide with a petiole up to 1 mm long. The flowers are arranged in dense heads of 18 to 28 on the ends of the longer branches; the flowers are surrounded by egg-shaped bracts 2–3 mm long and 1–2.5 mm wide and pairs of broadly egg-shaped bracteoles which are 2 mm long and 3 mm wide. The floral cup is 3–4 mm long and the five sepals are egg-shaped to triangular, glabrous and 1–2 mm long; the five petals are 1 -- 2 pale yellow and there 30-45 stamens. Flowering occurs in October and November and is followed by fruit which are urn-shaped capsules.

Kunzea glabrescens was first formally described in 1996 by Hellmut R. Toelken from a specimen collected near Lake Goolelal in Greenwood and the description was published in Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens; the specific epithet is derived from the Latin word glaber meaning "hairless", "bald" or "smooth" and the suffix -escens meaning "becoming", referring to the leaves being hairless or becoming so with age. The genus was named after Gustav Kunze, a professor of botany and physician. Kunzea glabrescens grows in sandy soil and is found in wet depressions and along watercourses as far north as Gingin and south through the Swan Coastal Plain, Peel region through the South West region and extending into the Great Southern region as far east as Albany; this kunzea is listed as "not threatened" by the Government of Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife

Coxsackievirus

Coxsackieviruses are a few related enteroviruses that belong to the Picornaviridae family of nonenveloped, positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, as well as its genus Enterovirus, which includes poliovirus and echovirus. Enteroviruses are among the most common and important human pathogens, ordinarily its members are transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Coxsackieviruses share many characteristics with poliovirus. With control of poliovirus infections in much of the world, more attention has been focused on understanding the nonpolio enteroviruses such as coxsackievirus. Coxsackieviruses are among the leading causes of aseptic meningitis; the entry of coxsackievirus into cells endothelial cells, is mediated by Coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor. Coxsackieviruses are divided into group A and group B viruses based on early observations of their pathogenicity in neonatal mice. Group A coxsackieviruses were noted to cause a flaccid paralysis while group B coxsackieviruses were noted to cause a spastic paralysis.

At least 23 serotypes of group A and six serotypes of group B are recognized. In general, group A coxsackieviruses tend to infect the skin and mucous membranes, causing herpangina. Both group A and group B coxsackieviruses can cause nonspecific febrile illnesses, upper respiratory tract disease, aseptic meningitis; the basic reproduction number for Coxsackievirus A16 was estimated to a median of 2.50 with an interquartile range of 1.96 to 3.67. Group B coxsackieviruses tend to infect the heart, pleura and liver, causing pleurodynia, myocarditis and hepatitis. Coxsackie B infection of the heart can lead to pericardial effusion; the development of insulin-dependent diabetes has been associated with recent enteroviral infection coxsackievirus B pancreatitis. This relationship is being studied further. Sjögren syndrome is being studied in connection with coxsackievirus, as of January 2010. There were 29 species of coxsackieviruses until 1999, when two of them were abolished and the rest merged into other species.

The coxsackieviruses were discovered in 1948–49 by Gilbert Dalldorf, a scientist working at the New York State Department of Health in Albany, New York. Dalldorf, in collaboration with Grace Sickles, had been searching for a cure for poliomyelitis. Earlier work Dalldorf had done in monkeys suggested that fluid collected from a nonpolio virus preparation could protect against the crippling effects of polio. Using newborn mice as a vehicle, Dalldorf attempted to isolate such protective viruses from the feces of polio patients. In carrying out these experiments, he discovered viruses that mimicked mild or nonparalytic polio; the virus family he discovered was given the name Coxsackie, from Coxsackie, New York, a small town on the Hudson River where Dalldorf had obtained the first fecal specimens. Dalldorf collaborated with Gifford on many early papers; the coxsackieviruses subsequently were found to cause a variety of infections, including epidemic pleurodynia, were subdivided into groups A and B based on their pathology in newborn mice.

The use of suckling mice was not Dalldorf's idea but was brought to his attention in a paper written by Danish scientists Orskov and Andersen in 1947, who were using such mice to study a mouse virus. The discovery of the coxsackieviruses stimulated many virologists to use this system, resulted in the isolation of a large number of so-called "enteric" viruses from the gastrointestinal tract that were unrelated to poliovirus, some of which were oncogenic; the discovery of the coxsackieviruses yielded further evidence that viruses can sometimes interfere with each other's growth and replication within a host animal. Other researchers found this interference can be mediated by a substance produced by the host animal, a protein now known as interferon. Interferon has since become prominent in the treatment of a variety of cancers and infectious diseases. In 2007, an outbreak of coxsackievirus occurred in eastern China, it has been reported. More than 800 people were affected, with 200 children hospitalized.

Cavatak, a wild-type Coxsackievirus A21, is being used in human clinical trials as an oncolytic virus. 3D macromolecular structures of Coxsackieviruses from the EM Data Bank