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Trends in Parasitology

Cristian Koepfli, Guiyun Yan
The proportion of Plasmodium spp. infections carrying gametocytes, and gametocyte densities, are often reported as surrogate markers for transmission potential. It remains unclear whether parasites under natural conditions adjust commitment to transmission depending on external factors. Population-based surveys comprising mostly asymptomatic low-density infections are always impacted by the sensitivity of the assays used to diagnose infections and detect gametocytes. Asexual parasite density is an important predictor for the probability of detecting gametocytes, and in many cases it can explain patterns in gametocyte carriage without the need for an adjustment of the gametocyte conversion rate...
March 12, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Karthigayan Gunalan, Amadou Niangaly, Mahamadou A Thera, Ogobara K Doumbo, Louis H Miller
Plasmodium vivax is the main cause of malarial disease in Asia and South America. Plasmodium vivax infection was thought to be absent in African populations who are Duffy blood group antigen negative (Duffy-negative). However, many cases of P. vivax infection have recently been observed in Duffy-negative Africans. This raises the question: were P. vivax infections in Duffy-negative populations previously missed or has P. vivax adapted to infect Duffy-negative populations? This review focuses on recent P. vivax findings in Africa and reports views on the parasite ligands that may play a role in Duffy-negative P...
March 9, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Jack P Carson, Grant A Ramm, Mark W Robinson, Donald P McManus, Geoffrey N Gobert
Hepatic fibrosis is a common pathology in various liver diseases. Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are the main cell type responsible for collagen deposition and fibrosis formation in the liver. Schistosomiasis is characterised by granulomatous fibrosis around parasite eggs trapped within the liver and other host tissues. This response is facilitated by the recruitment of immune cells and the activation of HSCs. The interactions between HSCs and schistosome eggs are complex and diverse, and a better understanding of these interactions could lead to improved resolution of fibrotic liver disease, including that associated with schistosomiasis...
March 8, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
André B B Wilke, John C Beier, Giovanni Benelli
Technologies for controlling mosquito vectors based on genetic manipulation and the release of genetically modified mosquitoes (GMMs) are gaining ground. However, concrete epidemiological evidence of their effectiveness, sustainability, and impact on the environment and nontarget species is lacking; no reliable ecological evidence on the potential interactions among GMMs, target populations, and other mosquito species populations exists; and no GMM technology has yet been approved by the WHO Vector Control Advisory Group...
March 8, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
J Trevor Vannatta, Dennis J Minchella
Consumer species alter nutrient cycling through nutrient transformation, transfer, and bioturbation. Parasites have rarely been considered in this framework despite their ability to indirectly alter the cycling of nutrients via their hosts. A simple mathematical framework can be used to assess the relative importance of parasite-derived nutrients in an ecosystem.
March 8, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 8, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Jill N Fernandes, Imelda K Moise, Gina L Maranto, John C Beier
The global approach to mosquito-borne diseases (MBDs) is in need of critical re-evaluation. Although there have been dramatic reductions in malaria incidence since 2000, malaria elimination from high-transmission settings remains problematic. At the same time, arbovirus outbreaks have increased in their frequency and impact. The 2015-2016 Zika virus epidemic exposed the dire state of MBD control in many countries, calling for united global action. Despite international resolve to prevent future epidemics, current practices in MBD control are mostly reactive and of limited efficacy...
February 27, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Mark Booth, Archie Clements
The world is experiencing environmental and social change at an unprecedented rate, with the effects being felt at local, regional, and international scales. This phenomenon may disrupt interventions against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that operate on the basis of linear scaling and 'one-size-fits-all'. Here we argue that investment in field-based data collection and building modelling capacity is required; that it is important to consider unintended consequences of interventions; that inferences can be drawn from wildlife ecology; and that interventions should become more location-specific...
February 27, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Tim A Day, Michael J Kimber
Chan et al. recently demonstrated that the antischistosomal drug praziquantel has a potent and specific interaction with human 5-HT 2B receptors, and that the drug also elicits contraction of mouse mesenteric vasculature apparently mediated by the same receptor subtype We consider what this might mean about the drug's molecular therapeutic targets in both the worm and the host.
February 9, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Barbara F Nowak, John M Archibald
Paramoebae are enigmatic single-celled eukaryotes that can be opportunistic pathogens of marine animals. For example, amoebic gill disease ravages farmed salmonids worldwide, causing tens of millions of dollars in losses annually. Although paramoebae can be found associated with animals ranging from fish and lobster to molluscs and sea urchins, how and how often they actually cause disease is unknown. Here we review recent progress towards understanding the biology and ecology of paramoebid species and the eukaryotic endosymbionts that live inside them...
February 5, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Renata R F Candido, Timothy G St Pierre, Alessandra L Morassutti, Carlos Graeff-Teixeira, Malcolm K Jones
To date, reliable techniques that can provide accurate information on the local and global prevalence of schistosomiasis are still associated with high costs or labour-intensive processes. Here we discuss old and new concepts for diagnostic approaches, and we highlight structural properties of schistosome eggshells that result in their affinity for magnetic materials as a new diagnostic approach.
February 5, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Giovanni Benelli, Marco Pombi, Domenico Otranto
Recently, five cases of malaria were reported in Italy. These people had not travelled abroad, prompting some media and political organizations to fuel a climate of fear by connecting the cases with migrants coming into the country. Here, we discuss scientific data highlighting the limited risk of malaria reintroduction in Italy.
February 2, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Christiane Prosser, Wieland Meyer, John Ellis, Rogan Lee
Molecular surveillance of antimalarial drug resistance markers has become an important part of resistance detection and containment. In the current climate of multidrug resistance, including resistance to the global front-line drug artemisinin, there is a consensus to upscale molecular surveillance. The most salient limitation to current surveillance efforts is that skill and infrastructure requirements preclude many regions. This includes sub-Saharan Africa, where Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for most of the global malaria disease burden...
January 23, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Hany M Elsheikha, Carl S Regan, C Graham Clark
In addition to well-known human-infecting species, Entamoeba species not found in humans have been identified recently in nonhuman primates (NHPs). Importantly, it has become clear that the organism identified as Entamoeba histolytica in NHPs is usually a distinct species, Entamoeba nuttalli. Many DNA-based stool surveys use species-specific detection methods and so may miss the full range of Entamoeba species present. In addition, authors may be using the same species name to describe distinct organisms. These various shortcomings may not be obvious to readers...
January 22, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Philippe Büscher, Jean-Mathieu Bart, Marleen Boelaert, Bruno Bucheton, Giuliano Cecchi, Nakul Chitnis, David Courtin, Luisa M Figueiredo, José-Ramon Franco, Pascal Grébaut, Epco Hasker, Hamidou Ilboudo, Vincent Jamonneau, Mathurin Koffi, Veerle Lejon, Annette MacLeod, Justin Masumu, Enock Matovu, Raffaele Mattioli, Harry Noyes, Albert Picado, Kat S Rock, Brice Rotureau, Gustave Simo, Sophie Thévenon, Sandra Trindade, Philippe Truc, Nick Van Reet
Trypanosoma brucei gambiense causes human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). Between 1990 and 2015, almost 440000 cases were reported. Large-scale screening of populations at risk, drug donations, and efforts by national and international stakeholders have brought the epidemic under control with <2200 cases in 2016. The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the goals of gambiense-HAT elimination as a public health problem for 2020, and of interruption of transmission to humans for 2030. Latent human infections and possible animal reservoirs may challenge these goals...
January 19, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Siti Nursheena Mohd Zain, Maria-Gloria Basáñez
We share the insights from a successful collaboration in organizing and implementing an international scientific capacity-building workshop in Malaysia titled Mathematical Modelling of Neglected Infectious Diseases: Capacity Building in Southeast Asia. This workshop focused on the delivery of technical know-how and on essential soft skills related to effective grant proposal writing and networking.
January 18, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Christian Schwartz, Emily Hams, Padraic G Fallon
Parasitic helminths must establish chronic infections to complete their life cycle and therefore are potent modulators of multiple facets of host physiology. Parasitic helminths have coevolved with humans to become arguably master selectors of our immune system, whereby they have impacted on the selection of genes with beneficial mutations for both host and parasite. While helminth infections of humans are a significant health burden, studies have shown that helminths or helminth products can alter susceptibility to unrelated infectious or inflammatory diseases...
January 12, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Rebecca J Eisen, Lars Eisen
In the United States, the blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis, is a vector of seven human pathogens, including those causing Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi disease, Powassan virus disease, and ehrlichiosis associated with Ehrlichia muris eauclarensis. In addition to an accelerated rate of discovery of I. scapularis-borne pathogens over the past two decades, the geographic range of the tick, and incidence and range of I. scapularis-borne disease cases, have increased. Despite knowledge of when and where humans are most at risk of exposure to infected ticks, control of I...
January 11, 2018: 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
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