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Trends in Parasitology

Charles Whittaker, Martin Walker, Sébastien D S Pion, Cédric B Chesnais, Michel Boussinesq, María-Gloria Basáñez
Endemic to Central Africa, loiasis - or African eye worm (caused by the filarial nematode Loa loa) - affects more than 10 million people. Despite causing ocular and systemic symptoms, it has typically been considered a benign condition, only of public health relevance because it impedes mass drug administration-based interventions against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis in co-endemic areas. Recent research has challenged this conception, demonstrating excess mortality associated with high levels of infection, implying that loiasis warrants attention as an intrinsic public health problem...
January 10, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 5, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Claudia Rückert, Gregory D Ebel
Arboviruses such as West Nile, Zika, chikungunya, dengue, and yellow fever viruses have become highly significant global pathogens through unexpected, explosive outbreaks. While the rapid progression and frequency of recent arbovirus outbreaks is associated with long-term changes in human behavior (globalization, urbanization, climate change), there are direct mosquito-virus interactions which drive shifts in host range and alter virus transmission. This review summarizes how virus-mosquito interactions are critical for these viruses to become global pathogens at molecular, physiological, evolutionary, and epidemiological scales...
January 2, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Robert Colebunders, F J Nelson Siewe, An Hotterbeekx
A high prevalence of epilepsy has been observed in onchocerciasis-endemic regions with high onchocerciasis transmission. Recent epidemiological studies suggest that Onchocerca volvulus infection is the trigger causing the seizures, which appear in previously healthy children between the ages of 3 and 18 years. Persons with onchocerciasis-associated epilepsy present with a wide spectrum of seizures, including atonic and myoclonic neck seizures; but also absences and most frequently generalized tonic-clonic seizures...
December 26, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Christoph G Grevelding, Simone Langner, Colette Dissous
Understanding schistosome biology is still a challenging mission. The reproductive biology of this parasitic trematode is closely associated with the pathologic consequences of schistosomiasis, the devastating infectious disease caused by members of the family Schistosomatidae worldwide. Recent studies of signaling mechanisms confirmed the prominent roles of protein kinases (PKs) in directing schistosome biology, and first evidence was obtained for an additional contribution of kinases with substrates different from proteins (non-PKs)...
December 21, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Michael P Pollastri
Decades after the last new chemical entity was added to the pharmacopeia for human African trypanosomiasis (or sleeping sickness), orally dosed fexinidazole stands poised to replace the current treatment regimen for Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infections, following a positive Phase 2/3 clinical trial.
December 20, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Aditya S Paul, Manoj T Duraisingh
Proliferation of malaria parasites in a host requires mechanisms to spread between red blood cells (RBCs). We discuss here the implications for biology and antimalarial drug development of companion studies that establish the requirement of two Plasmodium spp. proteases of the plasmepsin family in parasite egress from, and invasion into, RBCs.
December 18, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Paul McVeigh, Paul McCusker, Emily Robb, Duncan Wells, Erica Gardiner, Angela Mousley, Nikki J Marks, Aaron G Maule
The majority of anthelmintics dysregulate neuromuscular function, a fact most prominent for drugs against nematode parasites. In contrast to the strong knowledge base for nematode neurobiology, resource and tool deficits have prevented similar advances in flatworm parasites since those driven by bioimaging, immunocytochemistry, and neuropeptide biochemistry 20-30 years ago. However, recent developments are encouraging a renaissance in liver fluke neurobiology that can now support flukicide discovery. Emerging data promote neuromuscular signalling components, and especially G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), as next-generation targets...
December 18, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
(no author information available yet)
Advancements in genome sequencing have led to the rapid accumulation of uncharacterized 'hypothetical proteins' in the public databases. Here we provide a community perspective and some best-practice approaches for the accurate functional annotation of uncharacterized genomic sequences.
December 14, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Nils Benjamin Tjaden, Cyril Caminade, Carl Beierkuhnlein, Stephanie Margarete Thomas
Vector-borne diseases are on the rise globally. As the consequences of climate change are becoming evident, climate-based models of disease risk are of growing importance. Here, we review the current state-of-the-art in both mechanistic and correlative disease modelling, the data driving these models, the vectors and diseases covered, and climate models applied to assess future risk. We find that modelling techniques have advanced considerably, especially in terms of using ensembles of climate models and scenarios...
December 8, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Caroline Fouet, Peter Atkinson, Colince Kamdem
One of the most common strategies for controlling mosquito-borne diseases relies on the use of chemical pesticides to repel or kill the mosquito vector. Pesticide exposure interferes with several key biological functions in the mosquito and triggers a variety of adaptive responses whose underlying mechanisms are only partially elucidated. The availability of reference genome sequences opens up the possibility of tracking signatures of evolutionary changes, including the most recent, across the genomes of many vector species...
November 29, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Ronald Kaminsky
The need to improve parasite control to overcome drug-resistant parasite populations, and to improve compliance by more convenient drug application methods, is evident. While a number of incremental stepwise improvements are visible, the big disruptive innovation, an iPhone-equivalent breakthrough, has been hard to find. Why?
November 27, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Ilaria Dorigatti, Clare McCormack, Gemma Nedjati-Gilani, Neil M Ferguson
Dengue is the most common arboviral infection of humans, responsible for a substantial disease burden across the tropics. Traditional insecticide-based vector-control programmes have limited effectiveness, and the one licensed vaccine has a complex and imperfect efficacy profile. Strains of the bacterium Wolbachia, deliberately introduced into Aedes aegyptimosquitoes, have been shown to be able to spread to high frequencies in mosquito populations in release trials, and mosquitoes infected with these strains show markedly reduced vector competence...
November 25, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Jordan D Ward
Parasitic nematodes are biomedically and economically important, but many are genetically intractable which limits our understanding of their molecular and cellular biology. Gang et al. report CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in parasites of the genus Strongyloides, generating both knock-outs and knock-ins, and demonstrated heritability of the modifications, a crucial advance in the field.
November 23, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Guadalupe Miró, Christine Petersen, Luís Cardoso, Patrick Bourdeau, Gad Baneth, Laia Solano-Gallego, Maria Grazia Pennisi, Lluís Ferrer, Gaetano Oliva
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 23, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 22, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Lokman Galal, Daniel Ajzenberg, Azra Hamidović, Marie-Fleur Durieux, Marie-Laure Dardé, Aurélien Mercier
Exploring the genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii is essential for an understanding of its worldwide distribution and the determinants of its evolution. Africa remains one of the least studied areas of the world regarding T. gondii genetic diversity. This review has compiled published data on T. gondii strains from Africa to generate a comprehensive map of their continent-wide geographical distribution. The emerging picture about T. gondii strain distribution in Africa suggests a geographical separation of the parasite populations across the continent...
November 21, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Julie Jacobson, Simon Bush
Most well established neglected tropical disease (NTD) programs have seen great progress towards disease control or elimination. Areas in conflict, however, are a looming challenge to reaching control and elimination targets. To be successful, programs and partners need to creatively adapt to local circumstances and embrace new colleagues not traditionally seen as NTD implementers.
November 18, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
Jennifer S Armistead, John H Adams
Malaria prevalence has declined in the past 10 years, especially outside of sub-Saharan Africa. However, the proportion of cases due to Plasmodium vivax is increasing, accounting for up to 90-100% of the malaria burden in endemic regions. Nonetheless, investments in malaria research and control still prioritize Plasmodium falciparum while largely neglecting P. vivax. Specific biological features of P. vivax, particularly invasion of reticulocytes, occurrence of dormant liver forms of the parasite, and the potential for transmission of sexual-stage parasites prior to onset of clinical illness, promote its persistence and hinder development of research tools and interventions...
November 16, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 15, 2017: Trends in Parasitology
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