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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
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...
September 5, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Emeline Sabourin, Pilar Alda, Antonio Vázquez, Sylvie Hurtrez-Boussès, Marion Vittecoq
Fasciolosis is a worldwide disease caused by the liver fluke Fasciola spp. This food- and water-borne disease is a major public health and veterinary issue. It is currently (re)emerging in several regions mainly due to the rapid evolution of human activities. This article reviews the current knowledge of the impact of irrigation-system management, livestock management, and human diet and hygiene habits on the emergence of fasciolosis. We also identify the gaps in this knowledge and the possible solutions for limiting these impacts...
September 5, 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
Catriona H Baker, Susan C Welburn
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is responsible for around 3000 reported cases each year. Treatments for HAT are expensive and problematic to administer, and available drugs are old and less than ideal, some with high levels of toxicity that result in debilitating and, in some cases, fatal side effects. Treatment options are limited, with only one drug, eflornithine, introduced in the last 28 years. Here we examine the limitations of current chemotherapeutic approaches to manage HAT, the constraints to new drug development exploring drug failures and new drugs on the horizon, and consider the epidemiological, political, social, and economic factors influencing drug development...
September 1, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Juan M Inclan-Rico, Mark C Siracusa
Helminth infections represent a significant public health concern resulting in devastating morbidity and economic consequences across the globe. Helminths migrate through mucosal sites causing tissue damage and the induction of type 2 immune responses. Antihelminth protection relies on the mobilization and activation of multiple immune cells, including type 2 innate lymphocytes (ILC2s), basophils, mast cells, macrophages, and hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells. Further, epithelial cells and neurons have been recognized as important regulators of type 2 immunity...
August 31, 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...
August 24, 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...
August 23, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Malcolm S Duthie, Aurore Lison, Orin Courtenay
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a life-threatening outcome of Leishmania infantum or Leishmania donovani infection. Dogs are the primary domestic reservoir of L. infantum parasites, and ownership of infected dogs increases the risk of human VL. Controlling infection within dog populations is regarded as critical to VL management in endemic countries, both preventing progression of canine disease and limiting parasite transmission to humans and dogs. Here we discuss various strategies that are used to diagnose canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) and the possibilities of adapting these for use within population screening and control programs...
August 18, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Sandra Duffy, Vicky M Avery
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 17, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Elizabeth K K Glennon, Selasi Dankwa, Joseph D Smith, Alexis Kaushansky
Despite the recent successes of artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs, many still die from severe malaria, and eradication efforts are hindered by the limited drugs currently available to target transmissible gametocyte parasites and liver-resident dormant Plasmodium vivax hypnozoites. Host-targeted therapy is a new direction for infectious disease drug development and aims to interfere with host molecules, pathways, or networks that are required for infection or that contribute to disease. Recent advances in our understanding of host pathways involved in parasite development and pathogenic mechanisms in severe malaria could facilitate the development of host-targeted interventions against Plasmodium infection and malaria disease...
August 16, 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...
August 11, 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...
August 10, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Trinh Manh Hung, Hannah E Clapham, Alison A Bettis, Hoang Quoc Cuong, Guy E Thwaites, Bridget A Wills, Maciej F Boni, Hugo C Turner
Dengue has been estimated to cause a substantial health and economic burden in Vietnam. The most recent studies have estimated that it is responsible for 39884 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) annually, representing an economic burden of US$94.87 million per year (in 2016 prices). However, there are alternative burden estimates that are notably lower. This variation is predominantly due to differences in how the number of symptomatic dengue cases is estimated. Understanding the methodology of these burden calculations is vital when interpreting health economic analyses of dengue...
August 9, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Derick Nii Mensah Osakunor, David Moinina Sengeh, Francisca Mutapi
At the 67th session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee meeting in August 2017, African health ministers adopted a range of transformational actions intended to strengthen health systems in countries, leading to Universal Health Coverage (UHC). A critical challenge for UHC is the existence of coinfections and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), characterised by comorbidities.
July 26, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Ana Branco, Denise Francisco, Thomas Hanscheid
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
July 23, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Janina Kahl, Norbert Brattig, Eva Liebau
The dramatic rise in immunological disorders that occurs with socioeconomic development is associated with alterations in microbial colonization and reduced exposure to helminths. Excretory-secretory (E/S) helminth products contain a mixture of proteins and low-molecular-weight molecules representing the primary interface between parasite and host. Research has shown great pharmacopeic potential for helminth-derived products in animal disease models and even in clinical trials. Although in its infancy, the translation of worm-derived products into therapeutics is highly promising...
June 25, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Michael W Mather, Hangjun Ke
PF4 (platelet factor 4) is the first host defense peptide identified from platelets that kills malaria parasites. In a recent study, a cyclic PF4 derivative, cPF4PD, is developed, which inherits the antiparasitic effect of PF4 but excludes its potential side effects. cPF4PD is a promising novel antimalarial agent of human origin.
September 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Danny Haelewaters, Thomas Hiller, Carl W Dick
Bats are parasitized by numerous lineages of arthropods, of which bat flies (Diptera, Nycteribiidae and Streblidae) are the most conspicuous. Bat flies themselves can be parasitized by Laboulbeniales, fungal biotrophs of arthropods. This is known as hyperparasitism, a severely understudied phenomenon. Three genera of Laboulbeniales occur on bat flies: Arthrorhynchus on Nycteribiidae, Gloeandromyces and Nycteromyces on Streblidae. In this review we introduce the parasitic partners in this tripartite system and discuss their diversity, ecology, and specificity patterns, alongside some important life history traits...
September 2018: Trends in Parasitology
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