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Hajri Al-Shehri, Artemis Koukounari, Michelle C Stanton, Moses Adriko, Moses Arinaitwe, Aaron Atuhaire, Narcis B Kabatereine, J Russell Stothard
Programmatic surveillance of intestinal schistosomiasis during control can typically use four diagnostic tests, either singularly or in combination, but these have yet to be cross-compared directly. Our study assembled a complete diagnostic dataset, inclusive of infection intensities, from 258 children from five Ugandan primary schools. The schools were purposely selected as typical of the endemic landscape near Lake Albert and reflective of high- and low-transmission settings. Overall prevalence was: 44.1% (95% CI 38...
March 21, 2018: Parasitology
Jamie R Wood
Ancient samples present a number of technical challenges for DNA barcoding, including damaged DNA with low endogenous copy number and short fragment lengths. Nevertheless, techniques are available to overcome these issues, and DNA barcoding has now been used to successfully recover parasite DNA from a wide variety of ancient substrates, including coprolites, cesspit sediment, mummified tissues, burial sediments and permafrost soils. The study of parasite DNA from ancient samples can provide a number of unique scientific insights, for example: (1) into the parasite communities and health of prehistoric human populations; (2) the ability to reconstruct the natural parasite faunas of rare or extinct host species, which has implications for conservation management and de-extinction; and (3) the ability to view in 'real-time' processes that may operate over century- or millenial-timescales, such as how parasites responded to past climate change events or how they co-evolved alongside their hosts...
March 20, 2018: Parasitology
L Lecová, F Weisz, P Tůmová, V Tolarová, E Nohýnková
To date, genotyping data on giardiasis have not been available in the Czech Republic. In this study, we characterized 47 human isolates of Giardia intestinalis from symptomatic as well as asymptomatic giardiasis cases. Genomic DNA from trophozoites was tested by PCR-sequence analysis at three loci (β-giardin, glutamate dehydrogenase and triose phosphate isomerase). Sequence analysis showed assemblages A and B in 41 (87.2%) and six (12.8%) isolates, respectively. Two of the 41 assemblage A samples were genotyped as sub-assemblage AI, and 39 were genotyped as sub-assemblage AII...
March 20, 2018: Parasitology
Ricardo J Lopes, Joana Correia, Helena Batalha, Gonçalo C Cardoso
Exotic species can experience fast expansion in new environments, especially if they left their pathogens behind (Enemy Release hypothesis) or brought novel pathogens to the native competitors (Novel Weapon hypothesis). Common waxbills (Estrilda astrild) are native to sub-Saharan Africa and invaded west Iberia since the 1960s. Past haemosporidian parasite surveys at four locations in Portugal showed that waxbills can be infected with parasites, though with very low prevalence. However, it is not known if this pattern generalizes across their distribution range, or if there are geographic differences in parasite prevalence...
March 19, 2018: Parasitology
Amber D Tripodi, James P Strange
Mermithid nematodes (Nematoda: Mermithida: Mermithidae) parasitize a wide range of both terrestrial and aquatic invertebrate hosts, yet are recorded in bumble bees (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus) only six times historically. Little is known about the specific identity of these parasites. In a single-season nationwide survey of internal parasites of 3646 bumble bees, we encountered six additional instances of mermithid parasitism in four bumble bee species and genetically characterized them using two regions of 18S to identify the specific host-parasite relationships...
March 16, 2018: Parasitology
Hadas Urca, Frida Ben-Ami
The microsporidian parasite Hamiltosporidium tvaerminnensis can infect Daphnia magna both horizontally (through environmental spores) and vertically (through parthenogenetic and sexually produced eggs). The spores of H. tvaerminnensis come in three distinguishable morphologies, which are thought to have different roles in the transmission of the parasite. In this study, we examined the role of the two most common spore morphologies (i.e. oval-shaped spores and pear-shaped spores) in horizontal transmission of H...
March 16, 2018: Parasitology
David H Molyneux, Laura Dean, Oluwatosin Adekeye, J Russell Stothard, Sally Theobald
The drive to control neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has had many successes but to reach defined targets new approaches are required. Over the last decade, NTD control programmes have benefitted from increased resources, and from effective partnerships and long-term pharmaceutical donations. Although the NTD agenda is broader than those diseases of parasitic aetiology there has been a massive up-scaling of the delivery of medicines to some billion people annually. Recipients are often the poorest, with the aspiration that NTD programmes are key to universal health coverage as reflected within the 2030 United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs)...
March 16, 2018: Parasitology
John R David
The present gold standard of the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is pentavalent antimonials either sodium stibogluconate (Pentostam) or meglumine antimoniate (Glucantime), These drugs are quite toxic. They are given by injection and usually administered intramuscularly or intravenously for three weeks or intralesionally for seven or more weeks. That is why the successful introduction of radiofrequency-induced heat therapy using a Thermomed™ 1.8 instrument administered in a single application, with minimal toxic effects, is so important for the treatment of CL...
March 14, 2018: Parasitology
Collin J Horn, Lien T Luong
Parasites are known to have direct negative effects on host fitness; however, the indirect effects of parasitism on host fitness sans infection are less well understood. Hosts undergo behavioural and physiological changes when in proximity to parasites. Yet, there is little experimental evidence showing that these changes lead to long-term decreases in host fitness. We aimed to determine if parasite exposure affects host fitness independent of contact, because current approaches to parasite ecology may underestimate the effect of parasites on host populations...
March 13, 2018: Parasitology
Letícia Sayuri Murase, João Vítor Perez de Souza, Quirino Alves de Lima Neto, Tatiane França Perles de Mello, Bruna Muller Cardoso, Daniele Stéfanie Sara Lopes Lera-Nonose, Jorge Juarez Vieira Teixeira, Maria Valdrinez Campana Lonardoni, Izabel Galhardo Demarchi
This is a systematic review on the role of metalloproteases in the pathogenicity of the American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) caused by New World Leishmania species. The review followed the PRISMA method, searching for articles in PubMed, EMBASE, LILACS and ISI Web of Science, by employing the following terms: 'leishmaniasis', 'cutaneous leishmaniasis', 'mucocutaneous leishmaniasis', 'diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis', 'Leishmania' and 'metalloproteases'. GP63 of New World Leishmania species is a parasite metalloproteases involved in the degradation and cleavage of many biological molecules as kappa-B nuclear factor, fibronectin, tyrosine phosphatases...
March 13, 2018: Parasitology
Evan C Boone, Jeffrey R Laursen, Robert E Colombo, Scott J Meiners, Michael F Romani, Devon B Keeney
Posthodiplostomum minimum utilizes a three-host life cycle with multiple developmental stages. The metacercarial stage, commonly known as 'white grub', infects the visceral organs of many freshwater fishes and was historically considered a host generalist due to its limited morphological variation among a wide range of hosts. In this study, infection data and molecular techniques were used to evaluate the host and tissue specificity of Posthodiplostomum metacercariae in centrarchid fishes. Eleven centrarchid species from three genera were collected from the Illinois portion of the Ohio River drainage and necropsied...
March 12, 2018: Parasitology
Patrícia Flávia Quaresma, Cristiana Ferreira Alves de Brito, Jeronimo Marteleto Nunes Rugani, Janaína de Moura Freire, Rodrigo de Paula Baptista, Elizabeth Castro Moreno, Raquel Carvalho Gontijo, Felipe Dutra Rego, Joaquim Edemilson Diniz, Maria Norma Melo, Célia Maria Ferreira Gontijo
American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) samples obtained from the lesions of patients with typical (n = 25, 29%), atypical (n = 60, 69%) or both (n = 2%) clinical manifestations were analysed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, hsp70 restriction-fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), hsp70 sequencing and phylogenetics methods. The hsp70 PCR-RFLP analysis revealed two different profiles whose the most samples differed from those expected for Leishmania braziliensis and the other Leishmania species tested: of 39 samples evaluated, two (5%) had a restriction profile corresponding to L...
March 12, 2018: Parasitology
Gregory F Albery, Fiona Kenyon, Alison Morris, Sean Morris, Daniel H Nussey, Josephine M Pemberton
Parasitism in wild mammals can vary according to myriad intrinsic and extrinsic factors, many of which vary seasonally. However, seasonal variation in parasitism is rarely studied using repeated samples from known individuals. Here we used a wild population of individually recognized red deer (Cervus elaphus) on the Isle of Rum to quantify seasonality and intrinsic factors affecting gastrointestinal helminth parasitism over the course of a year. We collected 1020 non-invasive faecal samples from 328 known individuals which we then analysed for propagules of three helminth taxa: strongyle nematodes, the common liver fluke Fasciola hepatica and the tissue nematode Elaphostrongylus cervi...
March 9, 2018: Parasitology
Paul Ogongo, Thomas M Kariuki, R Alan Wilson
The inadequacy of current diagnostics for the detection of low worm burdens in humans means that schistosomiasis mansoni is more widespread than previously acknowledged. With the inception of mass drug treatment programmes aimed at disease elimination and the advent of human vaccine trials, the need for more sensitive diagnostics is evident. In this review, we evaluate the merits and limitations of the principal diagnostic methods, namely detection of eggs in faeces; anti-schistosome antibodies in serum; parasite-derived proteins and glycans in serum or urine; parasite DNA in blood, faeces or urine...
March 6, 2018: Parasitology
Christian Selbach, Robert Poulin
The transmission from one host to another constitutes a challenging obstacle for parasites and is a key determinant of their fitness. Due to their complex life histories involving several different hosts, the free-living dispersal stages (cercariae) of digenean trematodes show a huge diversity in morphology and behaviour. On a finer scale, we still have an extremely limited understanding of the inter- and intraspecific variation in transmission strategies of many trematode species. Here, we present a novel method to study the movement patterns of cercariae of four New Zealand trematode species (Coitocaecum parvum, Maritrema poulini, Apatemon sp...
March 5, 2018: Parasitology
Ana Paula Aquistapase Dagnino, Camila Saporiti Mesquita, Gilson Pires Dorneles, Vivian de Oliveira Nunes Teixeira, Francisco Maikon Corrêa de Barros, Gari Vidal Ccana-Ccapatinta, Simone Gonçalves Fonseca, Marta Chagas Monteiro, Luiz Carlos Rodrigues Júnior, Alessandra Peres, Gilsane Lino von Poser, Pedro Roosevelt Torres Romão
Bioactive molecules isolated from plants are promising sources for the development of new therapies against leishmaniasis. We investigated the leishmanicidal activity of cariphenone A (1), isouliginosin B (2) and uliginosin B (3) isolated from Hypericum species. Promastigotes and amastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis were incubated with compounds 1-3 at concentrations 1-100 µ m for 48 h. The anti-promastigote effect of compounds was also tested in combinations. The cytotoxicity against macrophages and human erythrocytes were determined using the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) method and hemolysis assay, respectively...
February 27, 2018: Parasitology
Ramsy Agha, Alina Gross, Melanie Gerphagnon, Thomas Rohrlack, Justyna Wolinska
Understanding how individual parasite traits contribute to overall fitness, and how they are modulated by both external and host environment, is crucial for predicting disease outcome. Fungal (chytrid) parasites of phytoplankton are important yet poorly studied pathogens with the potential to modulate the abundance and composition of phytoplankton communities and to drive their evolution. Here, we studied life-history traits of a chytrid parasite infecting the planktonic, bloom-forming cyanobacterium Planktothrix spp...
February 26, 2018: Parasitology
Jenny Makkonen, Japo Jussila, Jörn Panteleit, Nina Sophie Keller, Anne Schrimpf, Kathrin Theissinger, Raine Kortet, Laura Martín-Torrijos, Jose Vladimir Sandoval-Sierra, Javier Diéguez-Uribeondo, Harri Kokko
The oomycete Aphanomyces astaci, the causative agent of crayfish plague, is listed as one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world, destroying the native crayfish populations throughout Eurasia. The aim of this study was to examine the potential of selected mitochondrial (mt) genes to track the diversity of the crayfish plague pathogen A. astaci. Two sets of primers were developed to amplify the mtDNA of ribosomal rnnS and rnnL subunits. We confirmed two main lineages, with four different haplogroups and five haplotypes among 27 studied A...
February 26, 2018: Parasitology
Elizabeth M Schultz, Jamie M Cornelius, Dustin G Reichard, Kirk C Klasing, Thomas P Hahn
While parasite infection can have substantial fitness consequences in organisms, the predictors of parasite prevalence and intensity are often complex and vary depending on the host species. Here, we examined correlates of Haemoproteus (a common malaria parasite) prevalence and intensity in an opportunistically breeding songbird, the red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra). Specifically, we quantified Haemoproteus prevalence and intensity in crossbills caught in the Grand Teton National Park from 2010 to 2013. We found that parasite prevalence varies seasonally and across years, with the highest number of infected individuals occurring in the summer, although there was variation across summers sampled, and that prevalence was positively related to annual mean cone crop sizes (a measure of crossbill food abundance) and daily ambient temperature (a correlate of vector abundance)...
February 21, 2018: Parasitology
Manlio Di Cristina, Vern B Carruthers
Although the application of CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering approaches was first reported in apicomplexan parasites only 3 years ago, this technology has rapidly become an essential component of research on apicomplexan parasites. This review briefly describes the history of CRISPR/Cas9 and the principles behind its use along with documenting its implementation in apicomplexan parasites, especially Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. We also discuss the recent use of CRISPR/Cas9 for whole genome screening of gene knockout mutants in T...
February 21, 2018: Parasitology
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