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International Journal for Parasitology

Oneida Espinosa-Álvarez, Paola A Ortiz, Luciana Lima, André G Costa-Martins, Myrna G Serrano, Stephane Herder, Gregory A Buck, Erney P Camargo, Patrick B Hamilton, Jamie R Stevens, Marta M G Teixeira
Trypanosoma rangeli and Trypanosoma cruzi are generalist trypanosomes sharing a wide range of mammalian hosts; they are transmitted by triatomine bugs, and are the only trypanosomes infecting humans in the Neotropics. Their origins, phylogenetic relationships, and emergence as human parasites have long been subjects of interest. In the present study, taxon-rich analyses (20 trypanosome species from bats and terrestrial mammals) using ssrRNA, glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH), heat shock protein-70 (HSP70) and Spliced Leader (SL) RNA sequences, and multilocus phylogenetic analyses using 11 single copy genes from 15 selected trypanosomes, provide increased resolution of relationships between species and clades, strongly supporting two main sister lineages: lineage Schizotrypanum, comprising T...
March 12, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Guillaume Sallé, Roz Laing, James A Cotton, Kirsty Maitland, Axel Martinelli, Nancy Holroyd, Alan Tracey, Matthew Berriman, W David Smith, George F J Newlands, Eve Hanks, Eileen Devaney, Collette Britton
Some nematode species are economically important parasites of livestock, while others are important human pathogens causing some of the most important neglected tropical diseases. In both humans and animals, anthelmintic drug administration is the main control strategy, but the emergence of drug-resistant worms has stimulated the development of alternative control approaches. Among these, vaccination is considered to be a sustainable and cost effective strategy. Currently, Barbervax® for the ruminant strongylid Haemonchus contortus is the only registered subunit vaccine for a nematode parasite, although a vaccine for the human hookworm Necator americanus is undergoing clinical trials (HOOKVAC consortium)...
March 10, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Jonathan Vadnal, Olivia G Granger, Ramesh Ratnappan, Ioannis Eleftherianos, Damien M O'Halloran, John M Hawdon
Interest has recently grown in developing the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora as a model to genetically dissect the process of parasitic infection. Despite the availability of a full genome assembly, there is substantial variation in gene model accuracy. Here, a methodology is presented for leveraging RNA-seq evidence to generate improved annotations using ab initio gene prediction software. After alignment of reads and subsequent generation of a RNA-seq supported annotation, the new gene prediction models were verified on a selection of genes by comparison with sequenced 5' and 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) products...
March 9, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Klára Vlčková, Jakub Kreisinger, Barbora Pafčo, Dagmar Čížková, Nikki Tagg, Adrian B Hehl, David Modrý
Understanding the complex Entamoeba communities in the mammalian intestine has been, to date, complicated by the lack of a suitable approach for molecular detection of multiple variants co-occurring in mixed infections. Here, we report on the application of a high throughput sequencing approach based on partial 18S rDNA using the Illumina MiSeq platform. We describe, to our knowledge for the first time, the Entamoeba communities in humans, free-ranging western lowland gorillas and central chimpanzees living in at the Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon...
March 9, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Xuejin Zhang, Chi Yong Kim, Tori Worthen, William H Witola
Cryptosporidium is a highly prevalent protozoan parasite that is the second leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality due to diarrhea in developing countries, and causes a serious diarrheal syndrome in calves, lambs and goat kids worldwide. Development of fully effective drugs against Cryptosporidium has mainly been hindered by the lack of genetic tools for functional characterization and validation of potential molecular drug targets in the parasite. Herein, we report the development of a morpholino-based in vivo approach for Cryptosporidium parvum gene knockdown to facilitate determination of the physiological roles of the parasite's genes in a murine model...
March 9, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
G La Rosa, R Calero-Bernal, J E Pérez-Martín, D Tonanzi, F Galati, F J Serrano-Aguilera, B M Rosenthal, E Pozio
Recurrent self-mating can result in nearly clonal propagation of biological lineages, but even occasional outcrossing can serve to redistribute variation in future generations, providing cohesion among regional populations. The zoonotic parasite Trichinella spiralis has been suspected to undergo frequent inbreeding, resulting in genetically uniform larval cohorts which differ markedly from one another. Here, we explored the extent of inbreeding for this parasite by determining how genetic variation (at variable microsatellite markers) is distributed among 1,379 larvae derived from 41 wild boars in Extremadura, Spain...
March 8, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Espérance Moine, Nathalie Moiré, Isabelle Dimier-Poisson, Kévin Brunet, William Couet, Cyril Colas, Nathalie Van Langendonck, Cécile Enguehard-Gueiffier, Alain Gueiffier, Bruno Héraut, Caroline Denevault-Sabourin, Françoise Debierre-Grockiego
The current therapeutic arsenal for toxoplasmosis is restricted to drugs non-specific to the parasite which cause important side effects. Development of more efficient and specific anti-Toxoplasma compounds is urgently needed. Imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazines designed to inhibit the calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 of Toxoplasma gondii (TgCDPK1) and effective against tachyzoite growth in vitro at submicromolar ranges were modified into hydrochloride salts to be administered in vivo in a mouse model of acute toxoplasmosis...
March 7, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Iván Pastor-Fernández, Sungwon Kim, Karen Billington, Janene Bumstead, Virginia Marugán-Hernández, Tatiana Küster, David J P Ferguson, Lonneke Vervelde, Damer P Blake, Fiona M Tomley
Recently, the availability of protocols supporting genetic complementation of Eimeria has raised the prospect of generating transgenic parasite lines which can function as vaccine vectors, expressing and delivering heterologous proteins. Complementation with sequences encoding immunoprotective antigens from other Eimeria spp. offers an opportunity to reduce the complexity of species/strains in anticoccidial vaccines. Herein, we characterise and evaluate EtAMA1 and EtAMA2, two members of the apical membrane antigen (AMA) family of parasite surface proteins from Eimeria tenella...
March 7, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Juan C Andreu-Ballester, Vega Zamora, Carlos Garcia-Ballesteros, Carmen Benet-Campos, Francisca Lopez-Chuliá, Constantino Tormo-Calandín, Carmen Cuéllar
Immunosuppression in sepsis reduces both αβ and γδ T cell subsets. Anisakis sp. is a parasitic nematode with a high prevalence in Spain. Previous contact with the parasite is related to a decrease in γδ T cells. Anti-Anisakis antibodies were measured and related to αβ and γδ T cells in 114 septic patients versus 97 healthy controls. Significant differences were seen with respect to the groups with severe sepsis and septic shock where lower anti-Anisakis levels were observed. A similar decrease appeared in the case of specific IgM with significant differences between the groups of control/uncomplicated sepsis versus severe sepsis and septic shock...
March 5, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Danielle J Smyth, Yvonne Harcus, Madeleine P J White, William F Gregory, Janina Nahler, Ian Stephens, Edward Toke-Bjolgerud, James P Hewitson, Alasdair Ivens, Henry J McSorley, Rick M Maizels
We recently reported the discovery of a new parasite-derived protein that functionally mimics the immunosuppressive cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. The Heligmosomoides polygyrus TGF-β Mimic (Hp-TGM) shares no homology to any TGF-β family member, however it binds the mammalian TGF-β receptor and induces expression of Foxp3, the canonical transcription factor of both mouse and human regulatory T cells. Hp-TGM consists of five atypical Complement Control Protein (CCP, Pfam 00084) domains, each lacking certain conserved residues and 12-15 amino acids longer than the 60-70 amino acids consensus domain, but with a recognizable 3-cysteine, tryptophan, cysteine motif...
March 3, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Joseph E Igetei, Marwa El-Faham, Susan Liddell, Gabriele Schramm, Michael J Doenhoff
Previous studies have shown that schistosome infection can protect against allergic symptoms, but the underlying mechanisms are still not fully understood. Here we have shown that rabbit IgG antibodies raised against Schistosoma mansoni soluble egg antigens (SmSEA) are cross-reactive with a wide array of molecules in Timothy grass pollen (TGP) and birch tree pollen (BTP). Five of the cross-reactive pollen molecules (two from TGP and three from BTP) were selected randomly and identified by tandem mass spectrometric (TMS) analysis to be, respectively, the TGP allergens Phl p 1 and Phl p 5b, and BTP glutathione S-transferase (GST), and the BTP allergens Bet v 1 and Bet v 6...
March 3, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Oluwatoyin A Asojo, Rabih Darwiche, Selam Gebremedhin, Geert Smant, Jose L Lozano-Torres, Claire Drurey, Jeroen Pollet, Rick M Maizels, Roger Schneiter, Ruud H P Wilbers
Heligmosomoides polygyrus bakeri is a model parasitic hookworm used to study animal and human helminth diseases. During infection, the parasite releases excretory/secretory (ES) products that modulate the immune system of the host. The most abundant protein family in ES products comprises the venom allergen-like proteins (VALs), which are members of the SCP/TAPS (Sperm-coating protein / Tpx / antigen 5 / pathogenesis related-1 / Sc7) superfamily. There are >30 secreted Heligmosomoides polygyrus VAL proteins (HpVALs) and these proteins are characterized by having either one or two 15 kDa CAP (cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) / antigen 5 / pathogenesis related-1) domains...
March 2, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Rabih Darwiche, Fernanda Lugo, Claire Drurey, Koen Varossieau, Geert Smant, Ruud H P Wilbers, Rick M Maizels, Roger Schneiter, Oluwatoyin A Asojo
Brugia malayi is a causative agent of lymphatic filariasis, a major tropical disease. The infective L3 parasite stage releases immunomodulatory proteins including the venom allergen-like proteins (VALs), which are members of the SCP/TAPS (Sperm-coating protein / Tpx / antigen 5 / pathogenesis related-1 / Sc7) superfamily. BmVAL-1 is a major target of host immunity with >90% of infected B. malayi microfilaraemic cases being seropositive for antibodies to BmVAL-1. This study is part of ongoing efforts to characterize the structures and functions of important B...
February 28, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Jan Dvořák, Martin Horn
Trematodes, also known as flukes, are phylogenetically ancient parasitic organisms. Due to their importance as human and veterinary parasites, their proteins have been investigated extensively as drug and vaccine targets. Among those, proteases, as crucial enzymes for parasite survival, are considered candidate molecules for anti-parasitic interventions. Surprisingly however, trematode serine proteases, in comparison with other groups of proteases, are largely neglected. Genes encoding serine proteases have been identified in trematode genomes in significant abundance, but the biological roles and biochemical functions of these proteases are poorly understood...
February 22, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Emmanuelle Varlet-Marie, Yvon Sterkers, Marina Perrotte, Patrick Bastien
Toxoplasmosis is generally a benign infection caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii but can have severe consequences in fetuses of mothers infected during pregnancy (congenital toxoplasmosis) and immunocompromised individuals. PCR-based diagnostic tests have become crucial for its diagnosis. However, this molecular diagnosis essentially relies upon laboratory-developed methods and suffers from a lack of standardization, leading to great variation in methods and performance among laboratories. With the need for accreditation of clinical microbiological laboratories, the use of commercial PCR kits has become an attractive alternative; but thorough evaluation of newly commercialized kits by proficient groups is necessary before any recommendation can be made to parasitology laboratories by health authorities or learned societies...
February 22, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Krystyna Cwiklinski, John P Dalton
The liver fluke Fasciola hepatica is an economically important pathogen of livestock worldwide, as well as being an important neglected zoonosis. Parasite control is reliant on the use of drugs, particularly triclabendazole, which is effective against multiple parasite stages. However, the spread of parasites resistant to triclabendazole has intensified the pursuit for novel control strategies. Emerging - omic technologies are helping advance our understanding of liver fluke biology, specifically the molecules that act at the host-parasite interface and are central to infection, virulence and long-term survival within the definitive host...
February 21, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Christopher H Taylor, Klara M Wanelik, Ida M Friberg, Ann Lowe, Amy J Hall, Catriona Ralli, Richard J Birtles, Mike Begon, Steve Paterson, Joseph A Jackson, Janette E Bradley
In contrast to the conditions in most laboratory studies, wild animals are routinely challenged by multiple infections simultaneously, and these infections can interact in complex ways. This means that the impact of a parasite on its host's physiology and fitness cannot be fully assessed in isolation, and requires consideration of the interactions with other co-infections. Here we examine the impact of two common blood parasites in the field vole (Microtus agrestis): Babesia microti and Bartonella spp., both of which have zoonotic potential...
February 21, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Dorothy E Loy, Meagan A Rubel, Alexa N Avitto, Weimin Liu, Yingying Li, Gerald H Learn, Alessia Ranciaro, Eric Mbunwe, Charles Fokunang, Alfred K Njamnshi, Paul M Sharp, Sarah A Tishkoff, Beatrice H Hahn
African apes are endemically infected with numerous Plasmodium spp. including close relatives of human Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae. Although these ape parasites are not believed to pose a zoonotic threat, their ability to colonise humans has not been fully explored. In particular, it remains unknown whether ape parasites are able to initiate exo-erythrocytic replication in human hepatocytes following the bite of an infective mosquito. Since animal studies have shown that liver stage infection can result in the excretion of parasite nucleic acids into the bile, we screened faecal samples from 504 rural Cameroonians for Plasmodium DNA...
February 21, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Wenfeng Li, Yanping Chen, Steven C Cook
Nosema ceranae is an intracellular microsporidian parasite of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana and the European honey bee Apis mellifera. Until relatively recently, A. mellifera honey bees were naïve to N. ceranae infection. Symptoms of nosemosis, or Nosema disease, in the infected hosts include immunosuppression, damage to gut epithelium, nutrient and energetic stress, precocious foraging and reduced longevity of infected bees. Links remain unclear between immunosuppression, the symptoms of nutrient and energetic stress, and precocious foraging behavior of hosts...
February 13, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
Salma Sana, Chris Williams, Emilie A Hardouin, Adrian Blake, Phil Davison, Josie Pegg, Richard Paley, Tiantian Zhang, Demetra Andreou
Species translocation leads to disease emergence in native species of considerable economic importance. Generalist parasites are more likely to be transported, become established and infect new hosts, thus their risk needs to be evaluated. Freshwater systems are particularly at risk from parasite introductions due to the frequency of fish movements, lack of international legislative controls for non-listed pathogens and inherent difficulties with monitoring disease introductions in wild fish populations. Here we used one of the world's most invasive freshwater fish, the topmouth gudegon, Pseudorasbora parva, to demonstrate the risk posed by an emergent generalist parasite, Sphaerothecum destruens...
February 10, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology
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