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Current Tropical Medicine Reports

Dana K Shaw, Michail Kotsyfakis, Joao H F Pedra
Having emerged during the early part of the Cretaceous period, ticks are an ancient group of hematophagous ectoparasites with significant veterinary and public health importance worldwide. The success of their life strategy can be attributed, in part, to saliva. As we enter into a scientific era where the collection of massive data sets and structures for biological application is possible, we suggest that understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern the life cycle of ticks is within grasp. With this in mind, we discuss what is currently known regarding the manipulation of Toll-like (TLR) and Nod-like (NLR) receptor signaling pathways by tick salivary proteins, and how these molecules impact pathogen transmission...
June 2016: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Rinosh J Mani, Rebecca J Morton, Kenneth D Clinkenbeard
Tularemia is a zoonotic disease that occurs in the Northern Hemisphere caused by the gammabacterium Francisella tularensis. The most severe form of human tularemia occurs in the central USA and involves a rabbit enzootic cycle, ixodid tick vectors, and F. tularensis subspecies tularensis genotype A1. Enzootic tularemia is thought to have a spring-summer seasonality corresponding to the questing activity of its primary tick vectors. Domestic cats, another common incidental host, acquire the infection by preying on infected rabbits...
2016: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Stacey L Burgess, William A Petri
Entamoeba histolytica, the etiological agent of amebiasis, is a significant cause of pediatric diarrhea in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The clinical outcome of an E. histolytica exposure varies enormously and can present as diarrhea, dysentery, or amebic liver abscess. Host and parasite factors likely contribute to the outcome of infection with the parasite, but do not explain the wide variation in presentation of disease. This suggests that other environmental factors affect disease. An emerging body of work suggests that the host intestinal bacterial microbiome may have a significant influence on the development and outcome of amebiasis...
2016: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Lisa D Brown, Kevin R Macaluso
Rickettsia felis is an emerging insect-borne rickettsial pathogen and the causative agent of flea-borne spotted fever. First described as a human pathogen from the USA in 1991, R. felis is now identified throughout the world and considered a common cause of fever in Africa. The cosmopolitan distribution of this pathogen is credited to the equally widespread occurrence of cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), the primary vector and reservoir of R. felis. Although R. felis is a relatively new member of the pathogenic Rickettsia, limited knowledge of basic R...
2016: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Claire L Jeffries, Thomas Walker
Arboviruses transmitted by mosquitoes are a major cause of human disease worldwide. The absence of vaccines and effective vector control strategies has resulted in the need for novel mosquito control strategies. The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia has been proposed to form the basis for an effective mosquito biocontrol strategy. Resident strains of Wolbachia inhibit viral replication in Drosophila fruit flies and induce a reproductive phenotype known as cytoplasmic incompatibility that allows rapid invasion of insect populations...
2016: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Graciela Ostera, James Blum
This commentary discusses our current understanding about Strongyloides stercoralis prevalence rates in the United States (USA) in the context of healthcare delivery to immigrants from Latin America. A literature search reveals that while prevalence rates in Latin American countries are not well documented, the rates in Latin American immigrants living in the USA are even less well known. This limited understanding compounds the health challenge facing immigrants who already have limited access to the healthcare system...
2016: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Tavis L Mendez, Atasi De Chatterjee, Trevor Duarte, Joaquin De Leon, Leobarda Robles-Martinez, Siddhartha Das
Sphingolipids are sphingosine-based phospholipids, which are present in the plasma and endomembranes of many eukaryotic cells. These lipids are involved in various cellular functions, including cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. In addition, sphingolipid and cholesterol-enriched membrane microdomains (also called "lipid rafts") contain a set of proteins and lipids, which take part in the signaling process in response to intra- or extracellular stimuli. Recent findings suggest that sphingolipids, especially glucosylceramide, play a critical role in inducing encystation and maintaining the cyst viability in Giardia...
September 1, 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Hayley Sparks, Gayatri Nair, Alejandro Castellanos-Gonzalez, A Clinton White
Cryptosporidiosis is increasingly recognized as an important global health concern. While initially reported in immunocompromised such as AIDS patients, cryptosporidiosis has now been documented as a major cause of childhood diarrhea and an important factor in childhood malnutrition. Currently, nitazoxanide is the only proven anti-parasitic treatment for Cryptosporidium infections. However, it is not effective in severely immunocompromised patients and there is limited data in infants. Immune reconstitution or decreased immunosuppression is critical to therapy in AIDS and transplant patients...
September 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Jacob G Ludington, Honorine D Ward
Cryptosporidium spp is a major cause of diarrheal disease worldwide, particularly in malnourished children and untreated AIDS patients in developing countries in whom it can cause severe, chronic and debilitating disease. Unfortunately, there is no consistently effective drug for these vulnerable populations and no vaccine, partly due to a limited understanding of both the parasite and the host immune response. In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of the systemic and mucosal immune responses to Cryptosporidium infection, discuss the feasibility of developing a Cryptosporidium vaccine and evaluate recent advances in Cryptosporidium vaccine development strategies...
September 1, 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Mahsa Abassi, David R Boulware, Joshua Rhein
Recent advances in the diagnosis and management of cryptococcal meningitis are promising and have been improving long-term survival. Point of care testing has made diagnosing cryptococcal meningitis rapid, practical, and affordable. Targeted screening and treatment programs for cryptococcal antigenemia are a cost effective method for reducing early mortality on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Optimal initial management with amphotericin and flucytosine improves survival against alternative therapies, although amphotericin is difficult to administer and flucytosine is not available in middle or low income countries, where cryptococcal meningitis is most prevalent...
June 1, 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Nathan C Bahr, Spinello Antinori, L Joseph Wheat, George A Sarosi
In the United States, histoplasmosis is generally thought to occur mainly in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys, and the classic map of histoplasmosis distribution reflecting this is second nature to many U.S. physicians. With the advent of the HIV pandemic reports of patients with progressive disseminated histoplasmosis and AIDS came from regions of known endemicity, as well as from regions not thought to be endemic for histoplasmosis throughout the world. In addition, our expanding armamentarium of immunosuppressive medications and biologics has increased the diagnosis of histoplasmosis worldwide...
June 1, 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Christopher L Hatcher, Laura A Muruato, Alfredo G Torres
Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei are Gram-negative organisms, which are etiological agents of glanders and melioidosis, respectively. Although only B. pseudomallei is responsible for a significant number of human cases, both organisms are classified as Tier 1 Select Agents and their diseases lack effective diagnosis and treatment. Despite a recent resurgence in research pertaining to these organisms, there are still a number of knowledge gaps. This article summarizes the latest research progress in the fields of B...
June 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Kristin M Long, Mark T Heise
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arbovirus responsible for causing epidemic outbreaks of human disease characterized by painful and often debilitating arthralgia. Recently CHIKV has moved into the Caribbean and the Americas resulting in massive outbreaks in naïve human populations. Given the importance of CHIKV as an emerging disease, a significant amount of effort has gone into interpreting the virus-host interactions that contribute to protection or virus-induced pathology following CHIKV infection, with the long term goal of using this information to develop new therapies or safe and effective anti-CHIKV vaccines...
March 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Derek Trobaugh, Sharone Green
West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus, first emerged in the Western Hemisphere in 1999. Although the majority of infections are asymptomatic, WNV causes significant morbidity and mortality in a minority of individuals who develop neuroinvasive disease, in particular the elderly and immunocompromised. Research in animal models has demonstrated interactions between WNV and the innate and adaptive immune system, some of which protect the host and others which are deleterious. Studies of disease pathogenesis in humans are less numerous, largely due to the complexities of WNV epidemiology...
March 1, 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Tuan M Tran, Silvia Portugal, Simon J Draper, Peter D Crompton
An effective malaria vaccine that reduces morbidity and mortality and contributes to malaria elimination is a much-needed tool, particularly in endemic areas where health-care delivery and vector control efforts are difficult to sustain. RTS,S/AS01 is likely to be the first licensed malaria vaccine and represents an important step toward malaria control and elimination. However, a partially effective vaccine such as RTS,S/AS01 poses challenges for evaluating the efficacy of second-generation malaria vaccines...
March 2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Poppy H L Lamberton, Peter M Jourdan
Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) infect over one billion people worldwide. Ascariasis may mimic a number of conditions, and individual clinical diagnosis often requires a thorough work-up. Kato-Katz thick smears are the standard detection method for Ascaris and, despite low sensitivity, are often used for mapping and monitoring and evaluation of national control programmes. Although increased sampling (number of stools) and diagnostic (number of examinations per stool) efforts can improve sensitivity, Kato-Katz is less sensitive than other microscopy methods such as FLOTAC®...
2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
David Leitsch
The microaerophilic parasite Giardia lamblia is a causative agent of dysentery affecting hundreds of millions of people around the globe every year. The symptoms of the disease, commonly referred to as giardiasis, are diarrhea, nausea, and malabsorption. Treatment of giardiasis is exclusively based on chemotherapy with antigiardial drugs, including metronidazole, albendazole, and nitazoxanide. In this review, all drugs currently used in the treatment of Giardia infections are discussed with a special emphasis on treatment failure and drug resistance...
2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
David Meya, Radha Rajasingham, Elizabeth Nalintya, Mark Tenforde, Joseph N Jarvis
Cryptococcosis remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected patients, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where it causes up to 20 % of AIDS-related deaths in HIV programs. A new, highly sensitive, and affordable point of care diagnostic test for cryptococcal infection, the lateral flow assay, can detect early sub-clinical cryptococcosis especially in areas with limited laboratory infrastructure. With a prevalence of detectable sub-clinical cryptococcal infection averaging 7.2 % (95 % CI 6...
2015: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Hélène Carabin, Aminata A Traoré
Taenia solium was declared potentially eradicable by the International Task Force for Disease Eradication in 1992. Yet, very few well-designed community-based randomized controlled trials have been conducted to measure the effectiveness of alternative control strategies. Most strategies have been tested in pre-post intervention designs in very few communities, often without a control group. The only two community-based randomized controlled trials suggest that an educational program alone or a combination of human and porcine mass treatment reduce porcine cysticercosis in the short term...
December 1, 2014: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
Mussaret Bano Zaidi, Teresa Estrada-García
Despite a significant decrease in Shigella-related mortality, shigellosis continues to carry a significant burden of disease worldwide, particularly in Asia and Africa. Shigella is a highly virulent pathogen comprised of four major species with numerous subtypes. Shigella dysenteriae and Shigella flexneri infections are predominant in resource-limited settings. Clinical presentations range from mild watery diarrhea to severe dysentery with systemic complications such as electrolyte imbalance, seizures and hemolytic uremic syndrome...
June 1, 2014: Current Tropical Medicine Reports
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