Hercules Moura

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Among the many genera of free-living amoebae that exist in nature, members of only four genera have an association with human disease: Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri and Sappinia diploidea. Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris are opportunistic pathogens causing infections of the central nervous system, lungs, sinuses and(More)
Many parasitologists are betting heavily on proteomic studies to explain biochemical host-parasite interactions and, thus, to contribute to disease control. However, many "parasitoproteomic" studies are performed with powerful techniques but without a conceptual approach to determine whether the host genomic responses during a parasite infection represent a(More)
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) causes the disease botulism, which can be lethal if untreated. Previous work in our laboratory focused on developing Endopep-MS, a mass spectrometric-based endopeptidase method for the detection and differentiation of BoNT serotypes. We have expanded this effort to include an antibody capture method to partially purify and(More)
Disseminated microsporidiosis is diagnosed uncommonly in patients not infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We present a case of disseminated microsporidiosis in a renal transplant recipient who was seronegative for HIV. Chromotrope-based stains were positive for microsporidia in urine, stools, sputum, and conjunctival scrapings. Electron(More)
We have developed an assay (Endopep-MS) that detects the specific endoproteinase activities of all seven BoNT types by mass spectrometry (MS). Each BoNT type cleaves a unique site on proteins involved in neuronal transmission. Target peptide substrates based on these proteins identify a BoNT type by its enzymatic action on the substrate and the production(More)
MOTIVATION Application of mass spectrometry in proteomics is a breakthrough in high-throughput analyses. Early applications have focused on protein expression profiles to differentiate among various types of tissue samples (e.g. normal versus tumor). Here our goal is to use mass spectra to differentiate bacterial species using whole-organism samples. The(More)
Accurate bacterial identification is important in diagnosing disease and in microbial forensics. Coxiella burnetii, a highly infective microorganism causative of the human disease Q fever, is now considered a U.S. category B potential bioterrorism agent. We report here an approach for the confirmatory identification of C. burnetii at the strain level which(More)
Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in hospitals worldwide, due to hypervirulent epidemic strains with the ability to produce increased quantities of the large toxins TcdA and TcdB. Unfortunately, accurate quantification of TcdA and TcdB from different toxinotypes using small samples has not yet been reported. In the(More)
Two strains of Acanthamoeba isolated from human brain tissue and a strain of Acanthamoeba isolated from a fish were compared with 10 species of Acanthamoeba belonging to groups 1, 2 and 3 based on their isoenzyme profiles and antigenic characteristics. A total of 12 enzymes were studied. The isoenzymes and antigens were electrophoretically separated on(More)
Encephalitozoon intestinalis (Septata intestinalis) is the second most prevalent microsporidian species infecting humans, but it has not been described in other animal species. This investigation examined 10 domestic animal stool samples (8 mammalian, 2 avian) containing spores detected by anti-Encephalitozoon monoclonal antibody immunofluorescence (FA).(More)