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Trends in Parasitology

Loc Le, Michael H Hsieh
Urogenital schistosomiasis, caused by Schistosoma haematobium, is the most prevalent form of schistosomiasis affecting humans, and can result in severe bladder, kidney, ureteral, and genital pathologies. Chronic infection with S. haematobium has been linked with bladder cancer and increased risk for HIV infection. As mass drug administration with praziquantel increases in an attempt to transition from control to elimination of schistosomiasis, the need for updated, more sensitive diagnostic tools becomes more apparent, especially for use in areas of low infection intensity and for individuals with light infections...
January 13, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Jason Paul Mooney, Samuel Crocodile Wassmer, Julius Clemence Hafalla
Type I interferons (IFN-Is) can now be considered as the wedge that balances clinical protection to malaria. New studies recently highlighted a central role for IFN-Is in orchestrating an immunoregulatory network leading to the dampening of proinflammatory responses, expansion of type 1 regulatory (Tr1) cells, and restriction of humoral immunity during malaria blood stage infection. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) were identified as the major source of IFN-Is. Here, we integrate the findings and provide a model for the mechanisms involved...
January 13, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Shiwanthi L Ranasinghe, Donald P McManus
Protease inhibitors play crucial roles in parasite development and survival, counteracting the potentially damaging immune responses of their vertebrate hosts. However, limited information is currently available on protease inhibitors from schistosomes and food-borne trematodes. Future characterization of these molecules is important not only to expand knowledge on parasitic fluke biology but also to determine whether they represent novel vaccine and/or drug targets. Moreover, protease inhibitors from flukes may represent lead compounds for the development of a new range of therapeutic agents against inflammatory disorders and cancer...
January 11, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Adrian B Hehl, Carmen Faso
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 9, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Vitul Jain, Amit Sharma
Parasite-directed drug discovery efforts require sustained and substantial scientific resources. Many eukaryotic parasites share similarities in metabolic pathways and housekeeping genes, as evident from their underlying protein sequences. Their subsequent structural congruence within enzyme active sites can thus be leveraged for multiparasite targeting using similar or identical drug probes. This bodes well for delivering new anti-infectives.
January 9, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Michael White, Rogerio Amino, Ivo Mueller
Preventing malaria infection through vaccination requires preventing every sporozoite inoculated by mosquito bite: a major challenge for Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodium vivax sporozoites consist of tachysporozoites causing primary infection and bradysporozoites leading to relapses. We hypothesise that a candidate P. vivax vaccine with low efficacy against primary infection may substantially reduce transmission by preventing relapses.
January 8, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Carlos J Chaccour, N Regina Rabinovich
Bellinger and colleagues offer an elegant twist for a promising new tool against malaria. This formulation is designed to release ivermectin, a mosquito-killing drug for 10 days after a single oral dose. This could reduce the vector population and serve as a complementary tool for malaria elimination.
January 5, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Gayani Batugedara, Xueqing M Lu, Evelien M Bunnik, Karine G Le Roch
The human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, depends on a coordinated regulation of gene expression for development and propagation within the human host. Recent developments suggest that gene regulation in the parasite is largely controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. Here, we discuss recent advancements contributing to our understanding of the mechanisms controlling gene regulation in the parasite, including nucleosome landscape, histone modifications, and nuclear architecture. In addition, various processes involved in regulation of parasite-specific genes and gene families are examined...
January 5, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Céline Cosseau, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Gilda Padalino, Kathrin K Geyer, Karl F Hoffmann, Christoph Grunau
The G×E concept, in which genotype × environment interactions bring about the phenotype, is widely used to describe biological phenomena. We propose to extend the initial notion of the concept, replacing G by 'inheritance system'. This system, comprised of both genome and epigenome components, collectively interacts with the environment to shape the development of a phenotype. In the case of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni, responsible for intestinal bilharzia, the phenotypic trait that is most relevant to global health is infection success...
December 28, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Bruce M Russell, Brian M Cooke
Our current understanding of how malaria parasites remodel their host red blood cells (RBCs) and ultimately cause disease is largely based on studies of Plasmodium falciparum. In this review, we expand our knowledge to include what is currently known about pathophysiological changes to RBCs that are infected by non-falciparum malaria parasites. We highlight the potential folly of making generalizations about the rheology of malaria infection, and emphasize the need for more systematic studies into the erythrocytic biology of non-falciparum malaria parasites...
December 28, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 22, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 21, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Herbert B Tanowitz, Philipp E Scherer, Maria M Mota, Luisa M Figueiredo
Adipose tissue (AT) is no longer regarded as an inert lipid storage, but as an important central regulator in energy homeostasis and immunity. Three parasite species are uniquely associated with AT during part of their life cycle: Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease; Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness; and Plasmodium spp., the causative agents of malaria. In AT, T. cruzi resides inside adipocytes, T. brucei is found in the interstitial spaces between adipocytes, while Plasmodium spp...
December 19, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Aya Hefnawy, Maya Berg, Jean-Claude Dujardin, Géraldine De Muylder
New drugs are needed to control leishmaniasis and efforts are currently on-going to counter the neglect of this disease. We discuss here the utility and the impact of associating drug resistance (DR) studies to drug discovery pipelines. We use as paradigm currently used drugs, antimonials and miltefosine, and complement our reflection by interviewing three experts in the field. We suggest DR studies to be involved at two different stages of drug development: (i) the efficiency of novel compounds should be confirmed on sets of strains including recent clinical isolates with DR; (ii) experimental DR should be generated to promising compounds at an early stage of their development, to further optimize them and monitor clinical trials...
December 16, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Esther von Stebut
Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical for induction of protective immunity against Leishmania major. However, DC activation occurs only several weeks after parasite transmission. Parasites synthesize a macrophage-inducible C-type lectin (Mincle) ligand. Engagement of Mincle by the parasite ligand dampens DC activation, thus delaying induction of interferon-γ-producing T cells responsible for parasite eradication.
December 14, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Anyango D Kamina, Noreen Williams
In Liu et al., the authors present a 2.5-Å structure of the Trypanosoma cruzi 60S ribosomal subunit and propose a model for the stepwise assembly of the large-subunit ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Based on this study, we discuss how the unique features of trypanosomatid ribosome assembly offer potential drug targets.
December 14, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Edina K Szabo, Constance A M Finney
Toxoplasma gondii is an intensely studied protozoan parasite. It is also used as a model organism to research additional clinically relevant human and veterinary parasites due to ease of in vitro culture and genetic manipulation. Recently, it has been developed as a model of inflammatory bowel disease, due to their similar pathologies. However, researchers vary widely in how they use T. gondii, which makes study comparisons and interpretation difficult. The aim of this review is to provide researchers with a tool to: (i) determine the appropriateness of the different T...
December 14, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Jean L Patterson
The recent paper by Brettmann et al. provides insight as to how an RNA virus can persistently coexist in a protozoan with RNAi activity and how these two entities work to maintain balance. The authors were also able to successfully remove the virus and examine the role of the virus in parasitemia and the pathogenesis of leishmaniasis.
December 9, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Ruth O Payne, Paul M Griffin, James S McCarthy, Simon J Draper
Modern controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) clinical trials have almost entirely focussed on Plasmodium falciparum, providing a highly informative means to investigate host-pathogen interactions as well as assess potential new prophylactic and therapeutic interventions. However, in recent years, there has been renewed interest in Plasmodium vivax, with CHMI models developed by groups in Colombia, the USA, and Australia. This review summarizes the published experiences, and examines the advantages and disadvantages of the different models that initiate infection either by mosquito bite or using a blood-stage inoculum...
December 9, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
Irene N Nkumama, Wendy P O'Meara, Faith H A Osier
Although the burden of Plasmodium falciparum malaria is gradually declining in many parts of Africa, it is characterized by spatial and temporal variability that presents new and evolving challenges for malaria control programs. Reductions in the malaria burden need to be sustained in the face of changing epidemiology whilst simultaneously tackling significant pockets of sustained or increasing transmission. Large-scale, robust surveillance mechanisms that measure rather than estimate the actual burden of malaria over time from large areas of the continent where such data are lacking need to be prioritized...
December 6, 2016: Trends in Parasitology
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