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Trends in Parasitology

Livio Ruzzante, Maarten J M F Reijnders, Robert M Waterhouse
Mosquitoes are widely despised for their exasperating buzzing and irritating bites, and more poignantly because, during blood-feeding, females may transmit pathogens that cause devastating diseases. However, the ability to transmit such viruses, filarial worms, or malaria parasites varies greatly amongst the ∼3500 recognised mosquito species. Applying omics technologies to sample this diversity and explore the biology underlying these variations is bringing increasingly greater resolution that enhances our understanding of mosquito evolution...
October 31, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Emma C Hobbs, Chiara Trevisan, Maria Vang Johansen, Pierre Dorny, Sarah Gabriël
Parasitic diseases have plagued mankind throughout history, and even today parasites continue to cause disease, disability and death in millions of people worldwide. Targeted electronic educational media for bringing awareness to local inhabitants of endemic communities, including public health practitioners, are vital tools in the battle against parasitic diseases.
October 22, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Filipe Dantas-Torres
Since ancient times, philosophers and taxonomists have tried to classify forms of life. This is what taxonomy is about: the science of identifying, naming, classifying, and describing organisms. In this article I address the issue of the species concept in tick taxonomy. While the typological species concept is still the most widely used, the biological and phylogenetic species concepts are growing in popularity among tick taxonomists. The integrative approach is increasingly being used, but the question is how to define a tick species when using this approach, particularly if data are incongruent...
October 18, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Janna M Schurer, Sinh Dang-Xuan, Marwa Farag
Research approaches that cross disciplinary silos, industry sectors, and political borders are now increasingly prioritized for tackling issues of global concern. Nevertheless, team science can be challenging. The goal of this article is to help researchers proactively consider factors influencing conflicts and successes with an emphasis on the health sciences.
October 13, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Olivier Duron, Patricia Doublet, Fabrice Vavre, Didier Bouchon
Bacteria of the order Legionellales, such as Legionella pneumophila, the agent of Legionnaires' disease, and Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, are widely recognized as human pathogens. While our view of the Legionellales is often limited to clinical isolates, ecological surveys are continually uncovering new members of the Legionellales that do not fall into the recognized pathogenic species. Here we emphasize that most of these Legionellales are nonpathogenic forms that have evolved symbiotic lifestyles with nonvertebrate hosts...
October 12, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Abhishek Subramanian, Ram Rup Sarkar
The hurdles in drug and vaccine development pipelines for leishmaniasis, a complex, multifaceted disease, are largely due to the digenetic lifecycle, differential clinical manifestations of the parasite, and the incomplete understanding of its adaptations within its hosts. Here, we discuss the distinct computational and experimental techniques employed to identify the species and stage-specific adaptive mechanisms at different levels of biological organization, the progress made so far, and limitations in comprehending leishmaniasis as a systems biology disease...
October 11, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Sara L Zimmer
What do the products of a genome do, and when and why are they needed? For the protein products of the trypanosomatid parasites' mitochondrial genomes, the total expressed protein repertoire and the identities of the more difficult-to-characterize products have been challenging to acquire. Comparative genomics and new technologies may resolve that.
October 9, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Reza Salavati, Vahid H Gazestani
We propose to integrate the existing and new experimental data with computational tools to model interaction networks for the most prominent kinetoplastid pathogens. These interaction networks will vastly expand the functional annotation of the kinetoplastid genomes, which in turn are critical for identifying new routes of disease intervention.
September 28, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Miles B Markus
Information provided in recent, related papers has wide-ranging implications concerning, inter alia, the transmission of malaria, drug treatment, and eradication of the disease. Additionally, the research results represent support for the idea that recurrences of Plasmodium vivax malaria can arise from both liver hypnozoites and extravascular merozoites in bone marrow.
September 10, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Herbert J Santos, Takashi Makiuchi, Tomoyoshi Nozaki
Mitochondria originated from the endosymbiotic event commencing from the engulfment of an ancestral α-proteobacterium by the first eukaryotic ancestor. Establishment of niches has led to various adaptations among eukaryotes. In anaerobic parasitic protists, the mitochondria have undergone modifications by combining features shared from the aerobic mitochondria with lineage-specific components and mechanisms; a diversified class of organelles emerged and are generally called mitochondrion-related organelles (MROs)...
September 7, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Timothy Krüger, Sarah Schuster, Markus Engstler
While the African trypanosomes are among the best-studied parasites, almost everything we know about them is based on the brucei group, which includes the human-infective sleeping sickness parasites and the causative agent of the cattle plague nagana. The past decades have seen an ever-more detailed molecular dissection of Trypanosoma brucei, which today is an accepted cell biological model system. Therefore, recent work on some fundamental aspects of trypanosome biology surprises, as we realise that our knowledge about parasite motility and tropism in the changing host microenvironments is far from definitive...
September 1, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Michael W White, Elena S Suvorova
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Ryosuke Iritani, Takuya Sato
Host-manipulation by trophically transmitted parasites is thought to always predispose the intermediate hosts to enhanced predation by definitive hosts ('enhancement'). However, theory predicts that enhancement can disrupt stable, bottom-heavy predator-prey ratios, leading to fluctuation-driven extinction of intermediate hosts and parasites. How then can enhancement persist in nature despite this apparent instability? We address this paradox and conceptualize the 'switcher-paradigm', a novel framework incorporating sequential phases of reduced predation ('suppression') followed by enhancement...
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Miroslav Oborník
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
R Leon E Hugo, Geoff W Birrell
Proteomic investigations in Anopheles gained momentum following the sequencing of the Anopheles gambiae genome, allowing peptide data from mass spectrometry to be searched against large datasets of predicted protein sequences. Exhaustive discovery proteomics investigations have improved the annotation of genomic datasets and catalogued proteins from mosquito tissues, including the salivary glands, midgut, and sensory appendages. These efforts have revealed protein constituents that define the unique biological functions of these organs...
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Timothy J C Anderson, Philip T LoVerde, Winka Le Clec'h, Frédéric D Chevalier
Linkage mapping - utilizing experimental genetic crosses to examine cosegregation of phenotypic traits with genetic markers - is now 100 years old. Schistosome parasites are exquisitely well suited to linkage mapping approaches because genetic crosses can be conducted in the laboratory, thousands of progeny are produced, and elegant experimental work over the last 75 years has revealed heritable genetic variation in multiple biomedically important traits such as drug resistance, host specificity, and virulence...
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Kristian E Swearingen, Scott E Lindner
Early sequencing efforts that produced the genomes of several species of malaria parasites (Plasmodium genus) propelled transcriptomic and proteomic efforts. In this review, we focus upon some of the exciting proteomic advances from studies of Plasmodium parasites over approximately the past decade. With improvements to both instrumentation and data-processing capabilities, long-standing questions about the forms and functions of these important pathogens are rapidly being answered. In particular, global and subcellular proteomics, quantitative proteomics, and the detection of post-translational modifications have all revealed important features of the parasite's regulatory mechanisms...
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Yaoyu Feng, Una M Ryan, Lihua Xiao
Cryptosporidium species differ in host range. Parasite-host coevolution, host adaptation, and geographic segregation have led to the formation of subtype families with unique phenotypic traits within the major human-pathogenic species C. parvum and C. hominis. Transmission intensity, genetic diversity, and occurrence of genetic recombination and selective pressure have further shaped their population genetic structures. Panmixia appears to be common within the zoonotic C. parvum, especially its hypertransmissible IIaA15G2R1 subtype...
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Randall J Bernot, Robert Poulin
Ecological stoichiometry (ES) is an ecological theory used to study the imbalances of chemical elements, ratios, and flux rates among organisms and the environment to better understand nutrient cycling, energy flow, and the role of organisms in ecosystems. Parasitologists can use this framework to study phenomena across biological scales from genomes to ecosystems. By using the common currency of elemental ratios such as carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus, parasitologists are beginning to explicitly link parasite-host interactions to ecosystem dynamics...
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Matthew R Hassett, Paul D Roepe
Phosphatidylinositol (PI) kinases (PIKs) regulate cell proliferation, survival, membrane trafficking, and other processes. PIK classes are distinguished by substrate preference and their distinct phosphorylated PI products. Recently two Plasmodium falciparum PIKs (PfPIKs) have been recognized as attractive new drug targets. Here we briefly summarize PIK biochemistry and recent progress with PfPIKs.
November 2018: Trends in Parasitology
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