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Gregory D Bowden, Kirkwood M Land, Roberta M O'Connor, Heather M Fritz
The apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis neurona is the primary etiologic agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a serious neurologic disease of horses. Many horses in the U.S. are at risk of developing EPM; approximately 50% of all horses in the U.S. have been exposed to S. neurona and treatments for EPM are 60-70% effective. Advancement of treatment requires new technology to identify new drugs for EPM. To address this critical need, we developed, validated, and implemented a high-throughput screen to test 725 FDA-approved compounds from the NIH clinical collections library for anti-S...
February 16, 2018: International Journal for Parasitology, Drugs and Drug Resistance
Whitney M Zoll, Dhani Prakoso, Michael Dark, Junjie Liu, Heather Stockdale-Walden, Maureen T Long
Eosinophils within the central nervous system are abnormal and are usually associated with fungal or parasitic infections in horses. Causative agents include Halicephalobus gingivalis, Sarcocystis neurona, and Neospora hughesi. Confirmation of these organisms via specific testing is typically not performed, and final diagnoses are often presumptive. With molecular technology, many of these organisms can now be confirmed. This is important for emerging and zoonotic pathogens, including Angiostrongylus cantonensis, an emerging parasite of interest in the southeastern United States...
March 1, 2018: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Marina O Cesar, Eliana R Matushima, Ticiana Zwarg, Alice S de Oliveira, Thaís C Sanches, Adriana M Joppert, Lara B Keid, Trícia Maria F S Oliveira, Helena L Ferreira, Horwald Alexander Bedoya Llano, Guilherme Konradt, Matheus Viezzer Bianchi, Fábio Gregori, Luís Fernando P Gondim, Rodrigo M Soares
In a previous study in Brazil, six isolates of Sarcocystis spp. recovered from budgerigars fed sporocysts excreted by opossums of the genus Didelphis were characterized by means of sequencing fragments of gene coding cytochrome B (CYTB), internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), and surface antigen genes (SAG2, SAG3 and SAG4). The isolates shared identical ITS1 and CYTB sequences, but differed at SAG2, SAG3 and SAG4: three allele variants of SAG2, 3 allele variants of SAG3 and 2 allele variants of SAG4 were encountered in three multilocus genotypes (MLGs) (MLG1, MLG2, and MLG3)...
March 6, 2018: Experimental Parasitology
Daniel K Howe, Michelle Yeargan, Landon Simpson, Sriveny Dangoudoubiyam
Sarcocystis neurona is a member of the important phylum Apicomplexa and the primary cause of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Moreover, S. neurona is the best-studied species in the genus Sarcocystis, one of the most successful parasite taxa, as virtually all vertebrate animals may be infected by at least one species. Consequently, scientific investigation of S. neurona will aid in the control of EPM and neurologic disease in sea mammals, while also improving our understanding of a prominent branch on the apicomplexan phylogenetic tree...
February 22, 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Lana Krol, Vanessa Fravel, Diana G Procter, Kathleen M Colegrove
A 21-yr-old intact male walrus ( Odobendus rosmarus divergens) presented with acute onset of shifting lameness, initially associated with breeding behaviors. Further clinical signs manifested, including muscle tremors, anorexia, hematuria, and coughing. Diagnostics were limited, as the animal would not offer behaviors for voluntary sample collection. Signs were addressed with anti-inflammatories, anticonvulsants, and antibiotics. The walrus developed cluster seizures and ultimately, respiratory and cardiac arrest...
December 2017: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Jitender P Dubey, John G Trupkiewicz, Shiv K Verma, Joseph D Mowery, Gloria Adedoyin, Tim Georoff, Michael E Grigg
The protozoan parasite Sarcocystis neurona is an important cause of disease in horses (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, EPM) and marine mammals. Isolated reports of clinical EPM-like disease have been documented in a zebra, raccoon, domestic cat, domestic dog, ferret, skunk, mink, lynx, red panda and fisher. The predominant disease is encephalomyelitis associated with schizonts in neural tissues. Here, we report highly disseminated sarcocystosis, in many tissues of a captive White-nosed coati (Nasua narica molaris)...
November 30, 2017: Veterinary Parasitology
William J A Saville, Jitender P Dubey, Antoinette E Marsh, Stephen M Reed, Robert O Keene, Daniel K Howe, Jennifer Morrow, Jeffrey D Workman
Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is an important equine neurologic disorder, and treatments for the disease are often unrewarding. Prevention of the disease is the most important aspect for EPM, and a killed vaccine was previously developed for just that purpose. Evaluation of the vaccine had been hampered by lack of post vaccination challenge. The purpose of this study was to determine if the vaccine could prevent development of clinical signs after challenge with Sarcocystis neurona sporocysts in an equine challenge model...
November 30, 2017: Veterinary Parasitology
Rashmi Dubey, Brooke Harrison, Sriveny Dangoudoubiyam, Giulia Bandini, Katherine Cheng, Aziz Kosber, Carolina Agop-Nersesian, Daniel K Howe, John Samuelson, David J P Ferguson, Marc-Jan Gubbels
The inner membrane complex (IMC) of apicomplexan parasites contains a network of intermediate filament-like proteins. The 14 alveolin domain-containing IMC proteins in Toxoplasma gondii fall into different groups defined by their distinct spatiotemporal dynamics during the internal budding process of tachyzoites. Here, we analyzed representatives of different IMC protein groups across all stages of the Toxoplasma life cycle and during Sarcocystis neurona asexual development. We found that across asexually dividing Toxoplasma stages, IMC7 is present exclusively in the mother's cytoskeleton, whereas IMC1 and IMC3 are both present in mother and daughter cytoskeletons (IMC3 is strongly enriched in daughter buds)...
September 2017: MSphere
Antoinette E Marsh, Sarah B Chaney, Daniel K Howe, William J Saville, Stephen M Reed
Several reports indicate the presence of small tissue cysts associated with Sarcocystis neurona infections. Several failed attempts to develop tissue cysts in potential intermediate host using in vitro derived parasites originally isolated from horses with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis suggest that the experimental methods to achieve bradyzoites with those isolates was not possible. Those prior studies reported the lack of detectable sarcocysts based on histology and in vivo feeding trials. A recent report of successful production and detection of small sarcocysts triggered us to review archived tissues from earlier experimental infection studies...
October 15, 2017: Veterinary Parasitology
Nina C Zitzer, Antoinette E Marsh, Mary Jo Burkhard, M Judith Radin, Maxey L Wellman, Maria Jugan, Valerie Parker
An 8-year-old, 6-kg, male neutered Domestic Shorthair cat was presented to The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center (OSU-VMC) for difficulty breathing. Physical examination and thoracic radiographs indicated pneumonia, a soft-tissue mass in the left caudal lung lobe, and diffuse pleural effusion. The effusion was classified as modified transudate. Rare extracellular elongated (~5-7 μm × 1-2 μm) zoites with a central round to oval-shaped purple to deep purple vesicular nucleus with coarsely stippled chromatin and light blue cytoplasm were seen on a peripheral blood smear...
September 2017: Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Leane S Q Gondim, Rogério F Jesus, Müller Ribeiro-Andrade, Jean C R Silva, Daniel B Siqueira, Maria F V Marvulo, Felipe M Aléssio, Jean-François Mauffrey, Fred S Julião, Elisa San Martin Mouriz Savani, Rodrigo M Soares, Luís F P Gondim
Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora spp. are protozoan parasites that induce neurological diseases in horses and other animal species. Opossums (Didelphis albiventris and Didelphis virginiana) are definitive hosts of S. neurona, which is the major cause of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Neospora caninum causes abortion in cattle and infects a wide range of animal species, while N. hughesi is known to induce neurologic disease in equids. The aims of this study were to investigate S. neurona and N. caninum in tissues from opossums in the northeastern Brazil, and to isolate Brazilian strains of Sarcocystis spp...
August 30, 2017: Veterinary Parasitology
Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Daniel K Howe, Michelle R Yeargan, Domingo Alvarado-Esquivel, José Alfredo Zamarripa-Barboza, Jitender P Dubey
There is currently no information regarding Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi infections in donkeys in Mexico. Here, we determined the presence of antibodies against S. neurona and N. hughesi in donkeys in the northern Mexican state of Durango. Serum samples of 239 domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) were assayed for S. neurona and N. hughesi antibodies using home-made enzyme-linked immunoassays; six (2.5%) of the 239 donkeys tested seropositive for S. neurona. The seroprevalence of S. neurona infection was comparable among donkeys regardless of their origin, health status, or sex...
2017: Parasite: Journal de la Société Française de Parasitologie
Kaitlyn E James, Woutrina A Smith, Patricia A Conrad, Andrea E Packham, Leopoldo Guerrero, Mitchell Ng, Nicola Pusterla
OBJECTIVE To describe the general seroprevalence of anti-Sarcocystis neurona and anti-Neospora hughesi antibodies among healthy equids by use of indirect fluorescent antibody tests and determine potential risk factors for seropositivity. DESIGN Cross-sectional study. SAMPLE Whole blood samples collected from 5,250 equids (1 sample/animal) across 18 states in the United States during October 2013. PROCEDURES Information regarding potential risk factors (geographic region, breed, primary use, sex, and age) was collected along with the blood samples...
June 1, 2017: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Daniel Gutiérrez-Expósito, Ignacio García-Bocanegra, Daniel K Howe, Antonio Arenas-Montes, Michelle R Yeargan, SallyAnne L Ness, Luis M Ortega-Mora, G Álvarez-García
BACKGROUND: Equine besnoitiosis, caused by Besnoitia bennetti, and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), caused by Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi are relevant equine diseases in the Americas that have been scarcely studied in Europe. Thus, a serosurvey of these cystogenic coccidia was carried out in Southern Spain. A cross-sectional study was performed and serum samples from horses (n = 553), donkeys (n = 85) and mules (n = 83) were included. An in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was employed to identify a Besnoitia spp...
May 10, 2017: BMC Veterinary Research
Sarah B Chaney, Antoinette E Marsh, Stephanie Lewis, Michelle Carman, Daniel K Howe, William J Saville, Stephen M Reed
Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) remains a significant central nervous system disease of horses in the American continents. Sarcocystis neurona is considered the primary causative agent and its intermediate life stages are carried by a wide host-range including raccoons (Procyon lotor) in North America. S. neurona sarcocysts mature in raccoon skeletal muscle and can produce central nervous system disease in raccoons, mirroring the clinical presentation in horses. The study aimed to develop laboratory tools whereby the life cycle and various life stages of S...
April 30, 2017: Veterinary Parasitology
Edwin K Murungi, Henry M Kariithi
The apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis neurona causes equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a degenerative neurological disease of horses. Due to its host range expansion, S. neurona is an emerging threat that requires close monitoring. In apicomplexans, protein kinases (PKs) have been implicated in a myriad of critical functions, such as host cell invasion, cell cycle progression and host immune response evasion. Here, we used various bioinformatics methods to define the kinome of S. neurona and phylogenetic relatedness of its PKs to other apicomplexans...
March 21, 2017: Pathogens
Nicola Pusterla, Thomas Tobin
Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is an infectious disease of the central nervous system caused by Sarcocystis neurona or Neospora hughesi. Affected horses routinely present with progressive and asymmetrical neurologic deficits. The diagnosis relies on the presence of neurologic signs, ruling out other neurologic disorders, and the detection of intrathecally derived antibodies to either S neurona and/or N hughesi. Recommended treatment is use of an FDA-approved anticoccidial drug formulation. Medical and supportive treatment is provided based on the severity of neurologic deficits and complications...
April 2017: Veterinary Clinics of North America. Equine Practice
Evangelia Eirini Tsermpini, Yanfei Zhang, Paola Niola, Caterina Chillotti, Raffaella Ardau, Alberto Bocchetta, George P Patrinos, Maria Del Zompo, Giovanni Severino, Ming Ta Michael Lee, Alessio Squassina
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a psychiatric disease characterized by alternating episodes of mania and depression. Lithium (Li) represents the mainstay treatment for BD, although a significant proportion of patients shows insufficient or no response. Li is also associated with potentially severe side effects, including renal effects. Several studies reported that Li may induce reduction of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in patients under long-term treatment. The biological systems and the genetic factors involved in susceptibility to Li-induced renal-side effects have been scarcely explored...
January 18, 2017: Neuroscience Letters
Kayode K Ojo, Sriveny Dangoudoubiyam, Shiv K Verma, Suzanne Scheele, Amy E DeRocher, Michelle Yeargan, Ryan Choi, Tess R Smith, Kasey L Rivas, Matthew A Hulverson, Lynn K Barrett, Erkang Fan, Dustin J Maly, Marilyn Parsons, Jitender P Dubey, Daniel K Howe, Wesley C Van Voorhis
Sarcocystis neurona is the most frequent cause of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, a debilitating neurological disease of horses that can be difficult to treat. We identified SnCDPK1, the S. neurona homologue of calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 (CDPK1), a validated drug target in Toxoplasma gondii. SnCDPK1 shares the glycine "gatekeeper" residue of the well-characterized T. gondii enzyme, which allows the latter to be targeted by bumped kinase inhibitors. This study presents detailed molecular and phenotypic evidence that SnCDPK1 can be targeted for rational drug development...
December 2016: International Journal for Parasitology
Kendra L Bauer, Caroline E C Goertz, Jane A Belovarac, Robert W Walton, J Lawrence Dunn, Pamela Tuomi
  Pacific harbor seals ( Phoca vitulina richardsi) and belugas ( Delphinapterus leucas ) eat many of the same prey species, occupy the same geographic area, and demonstrate site fidelity in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Although most direct research involving the critically endangered belugas is currently prohibited, studying harbor seals may provide important information about this beluga population. In recent years, harbor seal populations in Alaska have declined for unknown reasons. As part of its stranding program, the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) managed 59 cases of live and dead stranded harbor seals from Cook Inlet between 1997 and 2011...
September 2016: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
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