WorldWideScience

Sample records for finches invasive parasites

  1. Ecoimmunity in Darwin's finches: invasive parasites trigger acquired immunity in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K Huber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Invasive parasites are a major threat to island populations of animals. Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands are under attack by introduced pox virus (Poxvirus avium and nest flies (Philornis downsi. We developed assays for parasite-specific antibody responses in Darwin's finches (Geospiza fortis, to test for relationships between adaptive immune responses to novel parasites and spatial-temporal variation in the occurrence of parasite pressure among G. fortis populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs for the presence of antibodies in the serum of Darwin's finches specific to pox virus or Philornis proteins. We compared antibody levels between bird populations with and without evidence of pox infection (visible lesions, and among birds sampled before nesting (prior to nest-fly exposure versus during nesting (with fly exposure. Birds from the Pox-positive population had higher levels of pox-binding antibodies. Philornis-binding antibody levels were higher in birds sampled during nesting. Female birds, which occupy the nest, had higher Philornis-binding antibody levels than males. The study was limited by an inability to confirm pox exposure independent of obvious lesions. However, the lasting effects of pox infection (e.g., scarring and lost digits were expected to be reliable indicators of prior pox infection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of parasite-specific antibody responses to multiple classes of parasites in a wild population of birds. Darwin's finches initiated acquired immune responses to novel parasites. Our study has vital implications for invasion biology and ecological immunology. The adaptive immune response of Darwin's finches may help combat the negative effects of parasitism. Alternatively, the physiological cost of mounting such a response could outweigh any benefits, accelerating population decline. Tests

  2. Invasive parasites, habitat change and heavy rainfall reduce breeding success in Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimadom, Arno; Ulloa, Angel; Meidl, Patrick; Zöttl, Markus; Zöttl, Elisabet; Fessl, Birgit; Nemeth, Erwin; Dvorak, Michael; Cunninghame, Francesca; Tebbich, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundance)is lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.

  3. Invasive parasites, habitat change and heavy rainfall reduce breeding success in Darwin's finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arno Cimadom

    Full Text Available Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus, on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundanceis lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.

  4. Parasitism of wild Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) by the air-sac mite Sternostoma tracheacolum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tidemann, S C; McOrist, S; Woinarski, J C; Freeland, W J

    1992-01-01

    Sixty-two percent of 26 wild caught Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) were infected with Sternostoma tracheacolum, a parasitic rhinonyssid mite. The intensity of infection was higher in adult finches than juveniles, and higher in juvenile females than juvenile males. Histopathological investigation of wild Gouldian Finches revealed bronchopneumonia and air sacculitis associated with mite infection. Although this mite may not have contributed to the decline of Gouldian finch populations in the wild during the past 20 yr, it may be suppressing the return of the finch to its former status.

  5. Immunological investments reflect parasite abundance in island populations of Darwin's finches.

    OpenAIRE

    Lindström, Karin M.; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Pärn, Henrik; Wikelski, Martin

    2004-01-01

    The evolution of parasite resistance can be influenced by the abundance of parasites in the environment. However, it is yet unresolved whether vertebrates change their investment in immune function in response to variation in parasite abundance. Here, we compare parasite abundance in four populations of small ground finches (Geospiza fuliginosa) in the Galapagos archipelago. We predicted that populations exposed to high parasite loads should invest more in immune defence, or alternatively use...

  6. Experimental demonstration of a parasite-induced immune response in wild birds: Darwin's finches and introduced nest flies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koop, Jennifer A H; Owen, Jeb P; Knutie, Sarah A; Aguilar, Maria A; Clayton, Dale H

    2013-08-01

    defenses, rather than assuming that such responses increase host fitness. Host immune responses can protect against the negative fitness consequences of parasitism; however, the strength and effectiveness of these responses vary among hosts. Strong host immune responses are often assumed to correlate with greater host fitness. This study investigates the relationship between host immune response, parasite load, and host fitness using Darwin's finches and an invasive nest parasite. We found that while the immune response of mothers appeared defensive, it did not rescue current reproductive fitness.

  7. Experimental demonstration of the fitness consequences of an introduced parasite of Darwin's finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A H Koop

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduced parasites are a particular threat to small populations of hosts living on islands because extinction can occur before hosts have a chance to evolve effective defenses. An experimental approach in which parasite abundance is manipulated in the field can be the most informative means of assessing a parasite's impact on the host. The parasitic fly Philornis downsi, recently introduced to the Galápagos Islands, feeds on nestling Darwin's finches and other land birds. Several correlational studies, and one experimental study of mixed species over several years, reported that the flies reduce host fitness. Here we report the results of a larger scale experimental study of a single species at a single site over a single breeding season.We manipulated the abundance of flies in the nests of medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis and quantified the impact of the parasites on nestling growth and fledging success. We used nylon nest liners to reduce the number of parasites in 24 nests, leaving another 24 nests as controls. A significant reduction in mean parasite abundance led to a significant increase in the number of nests that successfully fledged young. Nestlings in parasite-reduced nests also tended to be larger prior to fledging.Our results confirm that P. downsi has significant negative effects on the fitness of medium ground finches, and they may pose a serious threat to other species of Darwin's finches. These data can help in the design of management plans for controlling P. downsi in Darwin's finch breeding populations.

  8. Prevalence of blood parasites in eastern versus Western house finches: are eastern birds resistant to infection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Andrew K; Hood, Wendy R; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2013-09-01

    The rapid spread of the bacterial disease, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), throughout the introduced range of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in eastern North America, compared to its slower spread through the native western range, has puzzled researchers and highlights the need to understand the relative differences in health state of finches from both populations. We conducted a light-microscope survey of hemoparasites in populations of finches from Arizona (within the western range) and from Alabama (within the eastern range), and compared our estimates of prevalence to published reports from house finches sampled in both ranges. Of the 33 Arizona birds examined, we recorded hematozoan infections in 16 (48.5%) individuals, compared to 1 infected Alabama bird out of 30 birds examined (3.3%). Based on independent surveys of seven western North American and five eastern North American populations of house finches the average prevalence of blood parasites in western populations is 38.8% (±17.9 SD), while the average prevalence within the eastern range is only 5.9% (±6.1 SD). The average rate of infection among all songbirds sampled in the east is 34.2% (±4.8 SD). Thus, our surveys of wild birds as well as previously published observations point to eastern house finches having a much lower prevalence of blood parasite infections than their western counterparts. Combined with the fact that eastern finches also tend to have lower rates of avian pox infections than do western birds (based on a literature review), these observations suggest that eastern birds have either strong resistance to these infections or high susceptibility and associated mortality.

  9. Experimental Infection and Clearance of Coccidian Parasites in Mercury-Exposed Zebra Finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebers Smith, Jessica H; Cristol, Daniel A; Swaddle, John P

    2018-01-01

    Mercury is a globally distributed, persistent environmental contaminant that affects the health of many taxa. It can suppress the immune system, which often plays a role in defense against parasites. However, there have been few investigations of whether mercury affects the abilities of animals to resist parasitic infection. Here, we exposed zebra finches to a lifetime dietary exposure of methylmercury (1.2 μg/g wet weight) and experimentally infected them with coccidian parasites to examine the effect of methylmercury exposure on parasitic infection. The mercury-exposed birds did not have an altered immune response (heterophil:lymphocyte ratio) nor a reduced ability to clear the infection. However, mercury-exposed birds tended to have higher parasite loads at the time when we expected the greatest immune response (2-3 weeks post-infection). Although mercury did not greatly influence the infection-course of this parasite in captivity, responses may be more accentuated in the wild where birds face additional immune challenges.

  10. Naris deformation in Darwin’s finches: Experimental and historical evidence for a post-1960s arrival of the parasite Philornis downsi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Kleindorfer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The rate of evolution depends on the strength of selection, which may be particularly strong for introduced parasites and their naive hosts. Because natural selection acts on phenotypes and because parasites can alter host phenotype, one fruitful starting point to measure the impact of novel pathogens is to quantify parasite-induced changes to host phenotype. Our study system is Darwin’s finches on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago, and the virulent fly larvae of Philornis downsi that were first discovered in Darwin’s finch nests in 1997. We use an experimental approach and measure host phenotype in parasitized and parasite-free chicks in Darwin’s small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa. Beak size did not differ between the two treatment groups, but naris size was 106% larger in parasitized chicks (∼3.3 mm versus parasite-free chicks (∼1.6 mm. To test if P. downsi was present prior to the 1960s, we compared naris size in historical (1899–1962 and contemporary birds (2004–2014 on Floreana Island in small ground finches (G. fuliginosa and medium tree finches (Camarhynchus pauper. Contemporary Darwin’s finches had significantly larger naris size (including extreme deformation, whereas historical naris size was both smaller and less variable. These findings provide the first longitudinal analysis for the extent of P. downsi-induced change to host naris size and show that Darwin’s finches, prior to the 1960s, were not malformed. Thus natural selection on altered host phenotype as a consequence of P. downsi parasitism appears to be contemporary and novel.

  11. Impact of the invasive parasitic copepod

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Bedolfe; Drent, J.; van der Meer, J.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2018-01-01

    Invasive species can indirectly affect native species by modifying parasite–host dynamics and disease occurrence. This scenario applies to European coastal waters where the invasive Pacific oyster (Magallana gigas) co-introduced the parasitic copepod Mytilicola orientalis that spills

  12. Mechanisms of cellular invasion by intracellular parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Dawn M; Oghumu, Steve; Gupta, Gaurav; McGwire, Bradford S; Drew, Mark E; Satoskar, Abhay R

    2014-04-01

    Numerous disease-causing parasites must invade host cells in order to prosper. Collectively, such pathogens are responsible for a staggering amount of human sickness and death throughout the world. Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, toxoplasmosis, and malaria are neglected diseases and therefore are linked to socio-economical and geographical factors, affecting well-over half the world's population. Such obligate intracellular parasites have co-evolved with humans to establish a complexity of specific molecular parasite-host cell interactions, forming the basis of the parasite's cellular tropism. They make use of such interactions to invade host cells as a means to migrate through various tissues, to evade the host immune system, and to undergo intracellular replication. These cellular migration and invasion events are absolutely essential for the completion of the lifecycles of these parasites and lead to their for disease pathogenesis. This review is an overview of the molecular mechanisms of protozoan parasite invasion of host cells and discussion of therapeutic strategies, which could be developed by targeting these invasion pathways. Specifically, we focus on four species of protozoan parasites Leishmania, Trypanosoma cruzi, Plasmodium, and Toxoplasma, which are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality.

  13. Parasites in the city: degree of urbanization predicts poxvirus and coccidian infections in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Giraudeau

    Full Text Available Urbanization can strongly impact the physiology, behavior, and fitness of animals. Conditions in cities may also promote the transmission and success of animal parasites and pathogens. However, to date, no studies have examined variation in the prevalence or severity of several distinct pathogens/parasites along a gradient of urbanization in animals or if these infections increase physiological stress in urban populations.Here, we measured the prevalence and severity of infection with intestinal coccidians (Isospora sp. and the canarypox virus (Avipoxvirus along an urban-to-rural gradient in wild male house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus. In addition, we quantified an important stress indicator in animals (oxidative stress and several axes of urbanization, including human population density and land-use patterns within a 1 km radius of each trapping site. Prevalence of poxvirus infection and severity of coccidial infection were significantly associated with the degree of urbanization, with an increase of infection in more urban areas. The degrees of infection by the two parasites were not correlated along the urban-rural gradient. Finally, levels of oxidative damage in plasma were not associated with infection or with urbanization metrics.These results indicate that the physical presence of humans in cities and the associated altered urban landscape characteristics are associated with increased infections with both a virus and a gastrointestinal parasite in this common songbird resident of North American cities. Though we failed to find elevations in urban- or parasite/pathogen-mediated oxidative stress, humans may facilitate infections in these birds via bird feeders (i.e. horizontal disease transmission due to unsanitary surfaces and/or elevations in host population densities and/or via elevations in other forms of physiological stress (e.g. corticosterone, nutritional.

  14. Spillover but no spillback of two invasive parasitic copepods from invasive Pacific oysters (

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Schuster, A.-K.; Buschbaum, C.; Gergs, R.; Jung, A.; Luttikhuizen, P.C.; Van der Meer, J.; Troost, K.; Wegner, K.M.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2017-01-01

    Invasive species can cause indirect effects on native biota by modifying parasite-host interactions and disease occurrence in native species. This study investigated the role of the invasive Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) in potential spillover (co-introduced parasites infect native hosts) and

  15. Mechanisms of CNS invasion and damage by parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensson, Krister; Masocha, Willias; Bentivoglio, Marina

    2013-01-01

    Invasion of the central nervous system (CNS) is a most devastating complication of a parasitic infection. Several physical and immunological barriers provide obstacles to such an invasion. In this broad overview focus is given to the physical barriers to neuroinvasion of parasites provided at the portal of entry of the parasites, i.e., the skin and epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract, and between the blood and the brain parenchyma, i.e., the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A description is given on how human pathogenic parasites can reach the CNS via the bloodstream either as free-living or extracellular parasites, by embolization of eggs, or within red or white blood cells when adapted to intracellular life. Molecular mechanisms are discussed by which parasites can interact with or pass across the BBB. The possible targeting of the circumventricular organs by parasites, as well as the parasites' direct entry to the brain from the nasal cavity through the olfactory nerve pathway, is also highlighted. Finally, examples are given which illustrate different mechanisms by which parasites can cause dysfunction or damage in the CNS related to toxic effects of parasite-derived molecules or to immune responses to the infection. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Invasion of parasitic isopods in marine fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ganapathy Rameshkumar

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To carry out a detailed three-year observation study on isopod parasites infestation in fish. Methods: Fish samples were collected from different localities in various landing centers along the Tamil Nadu coastal area. The prevalence and mean intensity were calculated. The proximate composition of infestation and uninfestation were studied in different marine fishes. A comparative analysis of bacteria and fungi in the infected and uninfected regions of fishes were analysed. Results: Tweenty six species including 12 genera of isopods (Cymothoidae distributed in 39 species of marine fishes along the Tamil Nadu coast. The isopod parasites were attached in three different microhabitats in host fishes viz. , buccal, branchial and body surfaces. They exhibited host and site specific occurrence. Maximum prevalence 17.11% was recorded in March 2010 and minimum 0.27% in Febuary 2010. The intensity ranged from 1 to 1.7 parasites per fish during the different months from Decmber 2008 to November 2011. There was a decrease in the protein, carbohydrate and lipid content in the infested fishes compared to uninfected fishes. A comparative analysis of bacteria and fungi in the infected and uninfected region of fishes were analysed. It revealed that infected portions had dense bacterial load as observed in the lesions of infected fishes than uninfected fishes. Conclusion: Factors which are able to induce parasitic manifestation are stock quality, stocking density, environmental conditions, biological and physiological characteristics of parasite, zoo technical measures, food quantity, feeding strategies, etc.

  17. Introduced cryptic species of parasites exhibit different invasion pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miura, Osamu; Torchin, Mark E; Kuris, Armand M; Hechinger, Ryan F; Chiba, Satoshi

    2006-12-26

    Sometimes infectious agents invade and become established in new geographic regions. Others may be introduced yet never become established because of the absence of suitable hosts in the new region. This phenomenon may be particularly true for the many parasites with complex life cycles, where various life stages require different host species. Homogenization of the world's biota through human-mediated invasions may reunite hosts and parasites, resulting in disease outbreaks in novel regions. Here we use molecular genetics to differentiate invasion pathways for two digenean trematode parasites and their exotic host, the Asian mud snail, Batillaria attramentaria. All of the snail haplotypes found in introduced populations in North America were identical to haplotypes common in the areas of Japan that provided oysters for cultivation in North America, supporting the hypothesis that the snails were introduced from Japan with seed oysters. Two cryptic trematode species were introduced to North American populations in high frequencies. We found a marked reduction of genetic variation in one of these species, suggesting it experienced a bottleneck or founder event comparable to that of the host snail. In contrast, no genetic variation was lost in the other parasite species. We hypothesize that this parasite was and is dispersed naturally by migratory shorebirds and was able to establish only after the host snail, B. attramentaria, was introduced to North America. Evaluation of the nature of invasion pathways and postinvasion consequences will aid mitigation of spreading diseases of humans, livestock, and wildlife in an increasingly globalized world.

  18. Nanomimics of host cell membranes block invasion and expose invasive malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Najer, Adrian; Wu, Dalin; Bieri, Andrej; Brand, Françoise; Palivan, Cornelia G; Beck, Hans-Peter; Meier, Wolfgang

    2014-12-23

    The fight against most infectious diseases, including malaria, is often hampered by the emergence of drug resistance and lack or limited efficacies of vaccines. Therefore, new drugs, vaccines, or other strategies to control these diseases are needed. Here, we present an innovative nanotechnological strategy in which the nanostructure itself represents the active substance with no necessity to release compounds to attain therapeutic effect and which might act in a drug- and vaccine-like dual function. Invasion of Plasmodium falciparum parasites into red blood cells was selected as a biological model for the initial validation of this approach. Stable nanomimics-polymersomes presenting receptors required for parasite attachment to host cells-were designed to efficiently interrupt the life cycle of the parasite by inhibiting invasion. A simple way to build nanomimics without postformation modifications was established. First, a block copolymer of the receptor with a hydrophobic polymer was synthesized and then mixed with a polymersome-forming block copolymer. The resulting nanomimics bound parasite-derived ligands involved in the initial attachment to host cells and they efficiently blocked reinvasion of malaria parasites after their egress from host cells in vitro. They exhibited efficacies of more than 2 orders of magnitude higher than the soluble form of the receptor, which can be explained by multivalent interactions of several receptors on one nanomimic with multiple ligands on the infective parasite. In the future, our strategy might offer interesting treatment options for severe malaria or a way to modulate the immune response.

  19. Effects of nutrients on interaction between the invasive bidens pilosa the parasitic cusuta australis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, B.; Li, J.; Yan, M.

    2015-01-01

    Parasitic plants have been identified as potential biological agents to control invasive plants. Understanding the interaction between invasive plants and their novel natural enemies is important for understanding mechanisms underlying plant invasion success and thus taking measures to control invasion. We conducted a factorial experiment to test the interactive effects of nutrient addition (low vs. high) and parasitism (with vs. without Cuscuta australis) on the growth of the invasive Bidens pilosa. Parasitism significantly decreased leaf, stem and root biomass of the host invasive plant, and nutrient addition increased leaf and stem biomass of the host. A synergistic effect of parasitism and nutrient addition was found on stem and leaf biomass of the hosts. Nutrient addition significantly increased vegetative biomass of the parasitic plant and caused a more deleterious effect on the invasive host. Reproductive biomass of the parasitic plant was significantly positively related with net photosynthetic rate, light-utilisation efficiency and apparent carboxylation efficiency. Vegetative biomass and total biomass of the parasitic plants were significantly positively related with specific leaf area and the relative chlorophyll content of the host plant. The deleterious effect of the parasite on the growth of the host plant was significantly positively correlated with vegetative biomass of the parasitic plant. Nutrient addition increased the negative effect of the parasitic plant on the invasive host, indicating that the parasitic plant is potentially a biological control agent for the invasive plant even in the context of changing global resources. (author)

  20. Parasite community dynamics in an invasive vole – From focal introduction to wave front

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah E. Perkins

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Multiple parasite species simultaneously infecting a host can interact with one another, which has the potential to influence host-parasite interactions. Invasive species typically lose members of their parasite community during the invasion process. Not only do the founding population escape their parasites, but the rapid range expansion of invaders once in the invaded range can lead to additional stochastic loss of parasites. As such, parasite community dynamics may change along an invasion gradient, with consequences for host invasion success. Here, we use the bank vole, Myodes glareolus, introduced as a small founding population at a point source in the Republic of Ireland in c.1920's and its ecto- and endoparasites to ask: i how does the parasite community vary across an invasion gradient, and ii are parasite community associations driven by host traits and/or distance from the point of host introduction? We sampled the parasite community of M. glareolus at the proposed focal site of introduction, at mid-wave and the invasion front, and used a parasite interactivity index and statistical models to determine the potential for the parasite community to interact. Bank voles harboured up to six different parasite taxa, with a significantly higher parasite interactivity index at the foci of introduction (z = 2.33, p = 0.02 than elsewhere, suggesting the most established parasite community has greater opportunities to interact. All but one of four synergistic parasite community associations were driven by host traits; sex and body mass. The remaining parasite-parasite associations occurred at the mid-point of the invasion wave, suggesting that specific parasite-parasite interactions are not mediated by distance from a focal point of host introduction. We propose that host traits rather than location along an invasion gradient are more likely to determine parasite-parasite interactions in the invasive bank vole. Keywords: Enemy release

  1. Membrane-Wrapping Contributions to Malaria Parasite Invasion of the Human Erythrocyte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dasgupta, Sabyasachi; Auth, Thorsten; Gov, Nir S.; Satchwell, Timothy J.; Hanssen, Eric; Zuccala, Elizabeth S.; Riglar, David T.; Toye, Ashley M.; Betz, Timo; Baum, Jake; Gompper, Gerhard

    2014-01-01

    The blood stage malaria parasite, the merozoite, has a small window of opportunity during which it must successfully target and invade a human erythrocyte. The process of invasion is nonetheless remarkably rapid. To date, mechanistic models of invasion have focused predominantly on the parasite actomyosin motor contribution to the energetics of entry. Here, we have conducted a numerical analysis using dimensions for an archetypal merozoite to predict the respective contributions of the host-parasite interactions to invasion, in particular the role of membrane wrapping. Our theoretical modeling demonstrates that erythrocyte membrane wrapping alone, as a function of merozoite adhesive and shape properties, is sufficient to entirely account for the first key step of the invasion process, that of merozoite reorientation to its apex and tight adhesive linkage between the two cells. Next, parasite-induced reorganization of the erythrocyte cytoskeleton and release of parasite-derived membrane can also account for a considerable energetic portion of actual invasion itself, through membrane wrapping. Thus, contrary to the prevailing dogma, wrapping by the erythrocyte combined with parasite-derived membrane release can markedly reduce the expected contributions of the merozoite actomyosin motor to invasion. We therefore propose that invasion is a balance between parasite and host cell contributions, evolved toward maximal efficient use of biophysical forces between the two cells. PMID:24988340

  2. Do native parasitic plants cause more damage to exotic invasive hosts than native non-invasive hosts? An implication for biocontrol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Junmin; Jin, Zexin; Song, Wenjing

    2012-01-01

    Field studies have shown that native, parasitic plants grow vigorously on invasive plants and can cause more damage to invasive plants than native plants. However, no empirical test has been conducted and the mechanism is still unknown. We conducted a completely randomized greenhouse experiment using 3 congeneric pairs of exotic, invasive and native, non-invasive herbaceous plant species to quantify the damage caused by parasitic plants to hosts and its correlation with the hosts' growth rate and resource use efficiency. The biomass of the parasitic plants on exotic, invasive hosts was significantly higher than on congeneric native, non-invasive hosts. Parasites caused more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to congeneric, native, non-invasive hosts. The damage caused by parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the biomass of parasitic plants. The damage of parasites to hosts was significantly positively correlated with the relative growth rate and the resource use efficiency of its host plants. It may be the mechanism by which parasitic plants grow more vigorously on invasive hosts and cause more damage to exotic, invasive hosts than to native, non-invasive hosts. These results suggest a potential biological control effect of native, parasitic plants on invasive species by reducing the dominance of invasive species in the invaded community.

  3. Parasitic anemone infects the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the North East Atlantic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Selander, Erik; Møller, Lene Friis; Sundberg, Per

    2010-01-01

    We report of the first finding of parasitic sea anemone larvae infecting the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the North East Atlantic. Parasitic anemone larvae are common in the native habitat of Mnemiopsis, but have not previously been reported from any of the locations where Mnemiopsis ...

  4. The impact of parasites during range expansion of an invasive gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Louise K; Phillips, Ben L; Heath, Allen C G; Coates, Andrew; Hoskin, Conrad J

    2018-02-14

    Host-parasite dynamics can play a fundamental role in both the establishment success of invasive species and their impact on native wildlife. The net impact of parasites depends on their capacity to switch effectively between native and invasive hosts. Here we explore host-switching, spatial patterns and simple fitness measures in a slow-expanding invasion: the invasion of Asian house geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) from urban areas into bushland in Northeast Australia. In bushland close to urban edges, H. frenatus co-occurs with, and at many sites now greatly out-numbers, native geckos. We measured prevalence and intensity of Geckobia mites (introduced with H. frenatus), and Waddycephalus (a native pentastome). We recorded a new invasive mite species, and several new host associations for native mites and geckos, but we found no evidence of mite transmission between native and invasive geckos. In contrast, native Waddycephalus nymphs were commonly present in H. frenatus, demonstrating this parasite's capacity to utilize H. frenatus as a novel host. Prevalence of mites on H. frenatus decreased with distance from the urban edge, suggesting parasite release towards the invasion front; however, we found no evidence that mites affect H. frenatus body condition or lifespan. Waddycephalus was present at low prevalence in bushland sites and, although its presence did not affect host body condition, our data suggest that it may reduce host survival. The high relative density of H. frenatus at our sites, and their capacity to harbour Waddycephalus, suggests that there may be impacts on native geckos and snakes through parasite spillback.

  5. Diversity, loss, and gain of malaria parasites in a globally invasive bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzal, Alfonso; Ricklefs, Robert E; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Albayrak, Tamer; Arriero, Elena; Bonneaud, Camille; Czirják, Gábor A; Ewen, John; Hellgren, Olof; Hořáková, Dita; Iezhova, Tatjana A; Jensen, Henrik; Križanauskienė, Asta; Lima, Marcos R; de Lope, Florentino; Magnussen, Eyðfinn; Martin, Lynn B; Møller, Anders P; Palinauskas, Vaidas; Pap, Péter L; Pérez-Tris, Javier; Sehgal, Ravinder N M; Soler, Manuel; Szöllosi, Eszter; Westerdahl, Helena; Zetindjiev, Pavel; Bensch, Staffan

    2011-01-01

    Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) infecting house sparrows (Passer domesticus). We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820) from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

  6. Diversity, loss, and gain of malaria parasites in a globally invasive bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Marzal

    Full Text Available Invasive species can displace natives, and thus identifying the traits that make aliens successful is crucial for predicting and preventing biodiversity loss. Pathogens may play an important role in the invasive process, facilitating colonization of their hosts in new continents and islands. According to the Novel Weapon Hypothesis, colonizers may out-compete local native species by bringing with them novel pathogens to which native species are not adapted. In contrast, the Enemy Release Hypothesis suggests that flourishing colonizers are successful because they have left their pathogens behind. To assess the role of avian malaria and related haemosporidian parasites in the global spread of a common invasive bird, we examined the prevalence and genetic diversity of haemosporidian parasites (order Haemosporida, genera Plasmodium and Haemoproteus infecting house sparrows (Passer domesticus. We sampled house sparrows (N = 1820 from 58 locations on 6 continents. All the samples were tested using PCR-based methods; blood films from the PCR-positive birds were examined microscopically to identify parasite species. The results show that haemosporidian parasites in the house sparrows' native range are replaced by species from local host-generalist parasite fauna in the alien environments of North and South America. Furthermore, sparrows in colonized regions displayed a lower diversity and prevalence of parasite infections. Because the house sparrow lost its native parasites when colonizing the American continents, the release from these natural enemies may have facilitated its invasion in the last two centuries. Our findings therefore reject the Novel Weapon Hypothesis and are concordant with the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

  7. Parasite invasion following host reintroduction: a case study of Yellowstone's wolves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almberg, Emily S; Cross, Paul C; Dobson, Andrew P; Smith, Douglas W; Hudson, Peter J

    2012-10-19

    Wildlife reintroductions select or treat individuals for good health with the expectation that these individuals will fare better than infected animals. However, these individuals, new to their environment, may also be particularly susceptible to circulating infections and this may result in high morbidity and mortality, potentially jeopardizing the goals of recovery. Here, using the reintroduction of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) into Yellowstone National Park as a case study, we address the question of how parasites invade a reintroduced population and consider the impact of these invasions on population performance. We find that several viral parasites rapidly invaded the population inside the park, likely via spillover from resident canid species, and we contrast these with the slower invasion of sarcoptic mange, caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The spatio-temporal patterns of mange invasion were largely consistent with patterns of host connectivity and density, and we demonstrate that the area of highest resource quality, supporting the greatest density of wolves, is also the region that appears most susceptible to repeated disease invasion and parasite-induced declines. The success of wolf reintroduction appears not to have been jeopardized by infectious disease, but now shows signs of regulation or limitation modulated by parasites.

  8. Parasite invasion following host reintroduction: a case of Yellowstone’s wolves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Paul C.; Almberg, Emily S.; Dobson, Andrew P.; Smith, Douglas W.; Hudson, Peter J.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife reintroductions select or treat individuals for good health with the expectation that these individuals will fare better than infected animals. However, these individuals, new to their environment, may also be particularly susceptible to circulating infections and this may result in high morbidity and mortality, potentially jeopardizing the goals of recovery. Here, using the reintroduction of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) into Yellowstone National Park as a case study, we address the question of how parasites invade a reintroduced population and consider the impact of these invasions on population performance. We find that several viral parasites rapidly invaded the population inside the park, likely via spillover from resident canid species, and we contrast these with the slower invasion of sarcoptic mange, caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. The spatio-temporal patterns of mange invasion were largely consistent with patterns of host connectivity and density, and we demonstrate that the area of highest resource quality, supporting the greatest density of wolves, is also the region that appears most susceptible to repeated disease invasion and parasite-induced declines. The success of wolf reintroduction appears not to have been jeopardized by infectious disease, but now shows signs of regulation or limitation modulated by parasites.

  9. The invasive fish tapeworm Atractolytocestus huronensis (Cestoda), a parasite of carp, colonises Africa

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Scholz, Tomáš; Tavakol, S.; Halajlan, A.; Luus-Powell, W.J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 114, č. 9 (2015), s. 3521-3524 ISSN 0932-0113 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Biological invasions * Helminth parasites * Fish * Common carp * Cyprinus carpio * Africa Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.027, year: 2015

  10. Effects of endolithic parasitism on invasive and indigenous mussels in a variable physical environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo Ivan Zardi

    Full Text Available Biotic stress may operate in concert with physical environmental conditions to limit or facilitate invasion processes while altering competitive interactions between invaders and native species. Here, we examine how endolithic parasitism of an invasive and an indigenous mussel species acts in synergy with abiotic conditions of the habitat. Our results show that the invasive Mytilus galloprovincialis is more infested than the native Perna perna and this difference is probably due to the greater thickness of the protective outer-layer of the shell of the indigenous species. Higher abrasion due to waves on the open coast could account for dissimilarities in degree of infestation between bays and the more wave-exposed open coast. Also micro-scale variations of light affected the level of endolithic parasitism, which was more intense at non-shaded sites. The higher levels of endolithic parasitism in Mytilus mirrored greater mortality rates attributed to parasitism in this species. Condition index, attachment strength and shell strength of both species were negatively affected by the parasites suggesting an energy trade-off between the need to repair the damaged shell and the other physiological parameters. We suggest that, because it has a lower attachment strength and a thinner shell, the invasiveness of M. galloprovincialis will be limited at sun and wave exposed locations where endolithic activity, shell scouring and risk of dislodgement are high. These results underline the crucial role of physical environment in regulating biotic stress, and how these physical-biological interactions may explain site-to-site variability of competitive balances between invasive and indigenous species.

  11. The double edge to parasite escape: invasive host is less infected but more infectable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keogh, Carolyn L; Miura, Osamu; Nishimura, Tomohiro; Byers, James E

    2017-09-01

    Nonnative species that escape their native-range parasites may benefit not only from reduced infection pathology, but also from relaxed selection on costly immune defenses, promoting reallocation of resources toward growth or reproduction. However, benefits accruing from a reduction in defense could come at the cost of increased infection susceptibility. We conducted common garden studies of the shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus from highly parasitized native (Japan) populations and largely parasite-free invasive (USA) populations to test for differences in susceptibility to infection by native-range rhizocephalan parasites, and to explore differences in host resource allocation. Nonnative individuals showed at least 1.8 times greater susceptibility to infection than their native counterparts, and had reduced standing metabolic rates, suggesting that less of their energy was spent on physiological self-maintenance. Our results support an indirect advantage to parasite escape via the relaxation of costly physiological defenses. However, this advantage comes at the cost of heightened susceptibility, a trade-off of parasite escape that is seldom considered. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Proteins involved in invasion of human red blood cells by malaria parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Jaśkiewicz

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a disease caused by parasites of Plasmodium species. It is responsible for around 1-2 million deaths annually, mainly children under the age of 5. It occurs mainly in tropical and subtropical areas.Malaria is caused by five Plasmodium species:[i] P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. vivax, P. knowlesi[/i] and [i]P. ovale[/i]. Mosquitoes spread the disease by biting humans. The malaria parasite has two stages of development: the human stage and the mosquito stage. The first stage occurs in the human body and is divided into two phases: the liver phase and the blood phase.The invasion of erythrocytes by [i]Plasmodium[/i] merozoites is a multistep process of specific protein interactions between the parasite and red blood cell. The first step is the reversible merozoite attachment to the erythrocyte followed by its apical reorientation, then formation of an irreversible “tight” junction and finally entry into the red cell in a parasitophorous vacuole.The blood phase is supported by a number of proteins produced by the parasite. The merozoite surface GPI-anchored proteins (MSP-1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10 assist in the process of recognition of susceptible erythrocytes, apical membrane antigen (AMA-1 may be directly responsible for apical reorientation of the merozoite and apical proteins which function in tight junction formation. These ligands are members of two families: Duffy binding-like (DBL and reticulocyte binding-like (RBL proteins. In [i]Plasmodium[/i] [i]falciparum[/i] the DBL family includes: EBA-175, EBA-140 (BAEBL, EBA-181 (JESEBL, EBA-165 (PEBL and EBL-1 ligands.To date, no effective antimalarial vaccine has been developed, but there are several studies for this purpose. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the molecular basis of host cells invasion by parasites. Major efforts are focused on developing a multiantigenic and multiepitope vaccine preventing all steps of [i]Plasmodium[/i] invasion.

  13. Macrodinychus mites as parasitoids of invasive ants: an overlooked parasitic association.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachaud, Jean-Paul; Klompen, Hans; Pérez-Lachaud, Gabriela

    2016-07-21

    Mites are frequent ant symbionts, yet the exact nature of their interactions with their hosts is poorly known. Generally, myrmecophilous mites show adaptations for dispersal through phoresis, but species that lack such an adaptation may have evolved unusual specialized relationships with their hosts. The immature stages of Macrodinychus multispinosus develop as ectoparasitoids of pupae of the invasive ant Paratrechina longicornis. Feeding stages show regressed locomotor appendages. These mites complete their development on a single host, sucking all of its body content and therefore killing it. Locally high proportions of parasitized host pupae suggest that M. multispinosus could serve as a biological control agent. This is the ninth species of Macrodinychus reported as ant parasite, and the third known as parasitoid of invasive ants, confirming a unique habit in the evolution of mite feeding strategies and suggesting that the entire genus might be parasitic on ants. Several mites' characteristics, such as their protective morphology, possible viviparity, lack of a specialized stage for phoretic dispersal, and low host specificity, combined with both the general low aggressiveness of invasive P. longicornis towards other ants and its possible susceptibility to generalist ectoparasites would account for the host shift in native macrodinychid mites.

  14. Female Zebra Finches Smell Their Eggs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Golüke

    Full Text Available Parental investment in unrelated offspring seems maladaptive from an evolutionary perspective, due to the costs of energy and resources that cannot be invested in related offspring at the same time. Therefore selection should favour mechanisms to discriminate between own and foreign offspring. In birds, much emphasis has been placed on understanding the visual mechanisms underlying egg recognition. However, olfactory egg recognition has almost been completely ignored. Here, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata are able to discriminate between their own and a conspecific egg based on olfactory cues alone. Zebra finches are colonial-breeding songbirds. Eggs are monomorphic, i.e. without any spotting pattern, and intraspecific brood parasitism frequently occurs. In a binary choice experiment, female zebra finches were given the choice between the scent of their own and a conspecific egg. After the onset of incubation, females chose randomly and showed no sign of discrimination. However, shortly before hatching, females preferred significantly the odour of their own egg. The finding that females are capable to smell their own egg may inspire more research on the potential of olfaction involved in egg recognition, especially in cases where visual cues might be limited.

  15. Cross-species comparison of parasite richness, prevalence, and intensity in a native compared to two invasive brachyuran crabs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Havermans, J.; Waser, A.M.; Luttikhuizen, P.C.; Velilla, E.; Camphuysen, C.J.; Van der Meer, J.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2017-01-01

    An introduced species’ invasion success may be facilitated by the release of natural enemies, like parasites, which may provide an invader with a competitive advantage over native species (enemy release hypothesis). Lower parasite infection levels in introduced versus native populations have

  16. Museum material reveals a frog parasite emergence after the invasion of the cane toad in Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phalen David N

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A parasite morphologically indistinguishable from Myxidium immersum (Myxozoa: Myxosporea found in gallbladders of the invasive cane toad (Bufo marinus was identified in Australian frogs. Because no written record exists for such a parasite in Australian endemic frogs in 19th and early 20th century, it was assumed that the cane toad introduced this parasite. While we cannot go back in time ourselves, we investigated whether material at the museum of natural history could be used to retrieve parasites, and whether they were infected at the time of their collection (specifically prior to and after the cane toad translocation to Australia in 1935. Results Using the herpetological collection at the Australian Museum we showed that no myxospores were found in any animals (n = 115 prior to the cane toad invasion (1879-1935. The green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea, the Peron's tree frog (Litoria peronii, the green tree frog (Litoria caerulea and the striped marsh frog (Limnodynastes peronii were all negative for the presence of the parasite using microscopy of the gallbladder content and its histology. These results were sufficient to conclude that the population was free from this disease (at the expected minimum prevalence of 5% at 99.7% confidence level using the 115 voucher specimens in the Australian Museum. Similarly, museum specimens (n = 29 of the green and golden bell frog from New Caledonia, where it was introduced in 19th century, did not show the presence of myxospores. The earliest specimen positive for myxospores in a gallbladder was a green tree frog from 1966. Myxospores were found in eight (7.1%, n = 112 frogs in the post cane toad introduction period. Conclusion Australian wildlife is increasingly under threat, and amphibian decline is one of the most dramatic examples. The museum material proved essential to directly support the evidence of parasite emergence in Australian native frogs. This parasite can be

  17. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellers, Andrew J; Ruiz, Gregory M; Leung, Brian; Torchin, Mark E

    2015-01-01

    Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite abundance was negatively

  18. Regional Variation in Parasite Species Richness and Abundance in the Introduced Range of the Invasive Lionfish, Pterois volitans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Sellers

    Full Text Available Parasites can play an important role in biological invasions. While introduced species often lose parasites from their native range, they can also accumulate novel parasites in their new range. The accumulation of parasites by introduced species likely varies spatially, and more parasites may shift to new hosts where parasite diversity is high. Considering that parasitism and disease are generally more prevalent at lower latitudes, the accumulation of parasites by introduced hosts may be greater in tropical regions. The Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans has become widely distributed across the Western Atlantic. In this study, we compared parasitism across thirteen locations in four regions, spanning seventeen degrees of latitude in the lionfish's introduced range to examine potential spatial variation in parasitism. In addition, as an initial step to explore how indirect effects of parasitism might influence interactions between lionfish and ecologically similar native hosts, we also compared parasitism in lionfish and two co-occurring native fish species, the graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata, and the lizardfish, Synodus intermedius, in the southernmost region, Panama. Our results show that accumulation of native parasites on lionfish varies across broad spatial scales, and that colonization by ectoparasites was highest in Panama, relative to the other study sites. Endoparasite richness and abundance, on the other hand, were highest in Belize where lionfish were infected by twice as many endoparasite species as lionfish in other regions. The prevalence of all but two parasite species infecting lionfish was below 25%, and we did not detect an association between parasite abundance and host condition, suggesting a limited direct effect of parasites on lionfish, even where parasitism was highest. Further, parasite species richness and abundance were significantly higher in both native fishes compared to lionfish, and parasite

  19. Parasites reduce food web robustness because they are sensitive to secondary extinction as illustrated by an invasive estuarine snail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2009-01-01

    A robust food web is one in which few secondary extinctions occur after removing species. We investigated how parasites affected the robustness of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh food web by conducting random species removals and a hypothetical, but plausible, species invasion. Parasites were much more likely than free-living species to suffer secondary extinctions following the removal of a free-living species from the food web. For this reason, the food web was less robust with the inclusion of parasites. Removal of the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, resulted in a disproportionate number of secondary parasite extinctions. The exotic Japanese mud snail, Batillaria attramentaria, is the ecological analogue of the native California horn snail and can completely replace it following invasion. Owing to the similarities between the two snail species, the invasion had no effect on predator–prey interactions. However, because the native snail is host for 17 host-specific parasites, and the invader is host to only one, comparison of a food web that includes parasites showed significant effects of invasion on the native community. The hypothetical invasion also significantly reduced the connectance of the web because the loss of 17 native trematode species eliminated many links.

  20. Metazoan parasite communities: support for the biological invasion of Barbus barbus and its hybridization with the endemic Barbus meridionalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Gettová

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recently, human intervention enabled the introduction of Barbus barbus from the Rhône River basin into the Barbus meridionalis habitats of the Argens River. After an introduction event, parasite loss and lower infection can be expected in non-native hosts in contrast to native species. Still, native species might be endangered by hybridization with the incomer and the introduction of novel parasite species. In our study, we aimed to examine metazoan parasite communities in Barbus spp. populations in France, with a special emphasis on the potential threat posed by the introduction of novel parasite species by invasive B. barbus to local B. meridionalis. Methods Metazoan parasite communities were examined in B. barbus, B. meridionalis and their hybrids in three river basins in France. Microsatellites were used for the species identification of individual fish. Parasite abundance, prevalence, and species richness were compared. Effects of different factors on parasite infection levels and species richness were tested using GLM. Results Metazoan parasites followed the expansion range of B. barbus and confirmed its introduction into the Argens River. Here, the significantly lower parasite number and lower levels of infection found in B. barbus in contrast to B. barbus from the Rhône River supports the enemy release hypothesis. Barbus barbus × B. meridionalis hybridization in the Argens River basin was confirmed using both microsatellites and metazoan parasites, as hybrids were infected by parasites of both parental taxa. Trend towards higher parasite diversity in hybrids when compared to parental taxa, and similarity between parasite communities from the Barbus hybrid zone suggest that hybrids might represent “bridges” for parasite infection between B. barbus and B. meridionalis. Risk of parasite transmission from less parasitized B. barbus to more parasitized B. meridionalis indicated from our study in the Argens River

  1. Normocyte-binding protein required for human erythrocyte invasion by the zoonotic malaria parasitePlasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert W.; Sharaf, Hazem; Hastings, Claire H.; Ho, Yung Shwen; Nair, Mridul; Rchiad, ‍ Zineb; Knuepfer, Ellen; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Mohring, Franziska; Amir, Amirah; Yusuf, Noor A.; Hall, Joanna; Almond, Neil; Lau, Yee Ling; Pain, Arnab; Blackman, Michael J.; Holder, Anthony A.

    2016-01-01

    The dominant cause of malaria in Malaysia is now Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic parasite of cynomolgus macaque monkeys found throughout South East Asia. Comparative genomic analysis of parasites adapted to in vitro growth in either cynomolgus or human RBCs identified a genomic deletion that includes the gene encoding normocyte-binding protein Xa (NBPXa) in parasites growing in cynomolgus RBCs but not in human RBCs. Experimental deletion of the NBPXa gene in parasites adapted to growth in human RBCs (which retain the ability to grow in cynomolgus RBCs) restricted them to cynomolgus RBCs, demonstrating that this gene is selectively required for parasite multiplication and growth in human RBCs. NBPXa-null parasites could bind to human RBCs, but invasion of these cells was severely impaired. Therefore, NBPXa is identified as a key mediator of P. knowlesi human infection and may be a target for vaccine development against this emerging pathogen.

  2. Normocyte-binding protein required for human erythrocyte invasion by the zoonotic malaria parasitePlasmodium knowlesi

    KAUST Repository

    Moon, Robert W.

    2016-06-15

    The dominant cause of malaria in Malaysia is now Plasmodium knowlesi, a zoonotic parasite of cynomolgus macaque monkeys found throughout South East Asia. Comparative genomic analysis of parasites adapted to in vitro growth in either cynomolgus or human RBCs identified a genomic deletion that includes the gene encoding normocyte-binding protein Xa (NBPXa) in parasites growing in cynomolgus RBCs but not in human RBCs. Experimental deletion of the NBPXa gene in parasites adapted to growth in human RBCs (which retain the ability to grow in cynomolgus RBCs) restricted them to cynomolgus RBCs, demonstrating that this gene is selectively required for parasite multiplication and growth in human RBCs. NBPXa-null parasites could bind to human RBCs, but invasion of these cells was severely impaired. Therefore, NBPXa is identified as a key mediator of P. knowlesi human infection and may be a target for vaccine development against this emerging pathogen.

  3. Parasites of two coexisting invasive sailfin catfishes (Siluriformes: Loricariidae in a tropical region of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Amparo Rodríguez-Santiago

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Currently many species of Amazon sailfin catfishes (Loricariidae have been introduced to wild environments outside their native range. There is, however, little knowledge about their role as vectors of parasites that can infect native fish or even humans through its consumption. The aim of the present study was to determine the parasitic fauna of the invasive sailfin catfish species Pterygoplichthys pardalis (leopard pleco and P. disjunctivus (vermiculated pleco from freshwater systems in the southeast of Mexico. Four ectoparasite species were found in P. pardalis (1 protozoan: Ichthyophthirius multifiliis ; 2 monogeneans: Urocleidoides vaginoclastrum and Heteropriapulus heterotylus ; 1 digenean: Clinostomum sp., and only one in Heteropriapulus disjunctivus (H. heterotylus . No endoparasites were found. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis , U. vaginoclaustrum and Clinostomum sp. , were considered as rare species (prevalence <5% since they were found in a single individual of P. pardalis . H. heterotylus was the only species shared among both host species and it occurs throughout the year. This monogenean species represents 96% of total parasites recorded in P. pardalis and 100% in P. disjunctivus. Monthly values of prevalence, intensity and abundance of H. heterotylus in both host species showed important intra-annual variations, but not differ significantly between both hosts.

  4. First report of the intracellular fish parasite Sphaerothecum destruens associated with the invasive topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva in France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charrier Amélie

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sphaerothecum destruens has emerged as a serious parasite of fish. Its life cycle, as well as its association with Asian cyprinids, allows it to infect a wide range of hosts. The topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva, an invasive species that has rapidly colonized Europe, has been shown to be a healthy carrier of the parasite. However, in France, the presence of S. destruens and its possible association with P. parva have not yet been demonstrated. Here, we screened topmouth gudgeon DNA for S. destruens using PCR amplification of an 18S rRNA gene fragment of the parasite. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis confirmed the presence of S. destruens in the invasive fish species. Our results suggest that P. parva can be a potent vector of the parasite, and has the potential to become a major ecological and economic threat to the French fish population.

  5. Parasites

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2010-05-06

    In this podcast, a listener wants to know what to do if he thinks he has a parasite or parasitic disease.  Created: 5/6/2010 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 5/6/2010.

  6. The parasites of the invasive Chinese sleeper Perccottus glenii (Fam. Odontobutidae, with the first report of Nippotaenia mogurndae in Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kvach Y.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The parasites of the Asian invasive fish, Chinese sleeper Perccottus glenii, were studied in 6 localities in different parts of Ukraine. In total, 15 taxa of parasites were registered; among them were 1 species of Microsporidia, 5 species of ciliates, 2 species of cestodes, 2 species of trematodes, 2 species of nematodes, 1 species of acanthocephalan, 1 species of parasitic crustacean and 1 mollusk (glochidia. The invasive Chinese sleeper is included as a paratenic host in the life cycle of the parasites of indigenous reptiles in Europe. The non-indigenous cestode Nippotaenia mogurndae occurred in the intestine of the Chinese sleeper from the Ivachiv Reservoir (Dniester River basin. This cestode is recorded for Ukrainian fauna for the first time. In addition, 3 species of parasites were recorded in the Chinese sleeper for the first time: Nicolla skrjabini, Cosmocephalus obvelatus and Pomphorhynchus laevis. We note the low similarity among the different localities and the low parasite richness, that suggest that the parasite fauna of the Chinese sleeper in Ukraine is in transition.

  7. Subcompartmentalisation of proteins in the rhoptries correlates with ordered events of erythrocyte invasion by the blood stage malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth S Zuccala

    Full Text Available Host cell infection by apicomplexan parasites plays an essential role in lifecycle progression for these obligate intracellular pathogens. For most species, including the etiological agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, infection requires active host-cell invasion dependent on formation of a tight junction - the organising interface between parasite and host cell during entry. Formation of this structure is not, however, shared across all Apicomplexa or indeed all parasite lifecycle stages. Here, using an in silico integrative genomic search and endogenous gene-tagging strategy, we sought to characterise proteins that function specifically during junction-dependent invasion, a class of proteins we term invasins to distinguish them from adhesins that function in species specific host-cell recognition. High-definition imaging of tagged Plasmodium falciparum invasins localised proteins to multiple cellular compartments of the blood stage merozoite. This includes several that localise to distinct subcompartments within the rhoptries. While originating from the same organelle, however, each has very different dynamics during invasion. Apical Sushi Protein and Rhoptry Neck protein 2 release early, following the junction, whilst a novel rhoptry protein PFF0645c releases only after invasion is complete. This supports the idea that organisation of proteins within a secretory organelle determines the order and destination of protein secretion and provides a localisation-based classification strategy for predicting invasin function during apicomplexan parasite invasion.

  8. CONSISTENT HUMORAL IMMUNITY CONDITION IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC GENERALIZED PERIODONTITIS ON THE BACKGROUND OF PARASITIC INVASION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natal'ya Saval'eva

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The article reveals the results of the immunity humoral chain investigation in patients with the chronic generalized periodontitis (CGP, severity level I-II, in combination with parasitosis. The purpose of the investigation is to verify the role and place of humoral immunity in CGP pathology in patients with parasitosis. Materials and methods. Immunologic investigations were conducted among 540 patients with the chronic generalized periodontitis, severity level I-II, on the background of parasitic invasions (gisrdiasis, enterobiasis, toxocarosis – (principle groups. The experimental group consisted of 90 CGP patients, severity level I-II, without parasitic invasions. The control group consisted of 30 people without the parodontium pathology and the chronic pathology of other organs and systems, who were considered practically healthy during the investigation. Humoral immunity condition in CGP patients was estimated by the content level of antibodies against etiological inflectional agents in the blood serum and the common antigenic determinant (CAD of microbes, antimicrobial IgG- antibodies affinity, by the content of IgА. IgМ, IgЕ, CIC, complement activity. Results and conclusions. It is noted that increasing of IgE, CIC and complement levels in blood are the peculiarity of immune structures in the organism of CGP patients with parasitosis, compared with CGP patients without parasitosis. While investigating the qualitative characteristics of the produced antimicrobial antibodies, it was found that in CGP patients, I-II severity level, with parasitosis the antibodies affinity was significantly lower than in CGP patients without parasitosis. Weak antibody immune response to the microbial factor and low produced antimicrobial antibodies affinity, apparently, explain the impossibility for the patient to neutralize and eliminate the bacteria, populating the periodontal pockets, as well as to maintain normal mouth cavity biocenosis. The obtained

  9. Activity of xyloglucan endotransglucosylases/hydrolases suggests a role during host invasion by the parasitic plant Cuscuta reflexa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Stian; Krause, Kirsten

    2017-01-01

    The parasitic vines of the genus Cuscuta form haustoria that grow into other plants and connect with their vascular system, thus allowing the parasite to feed on its host. A major obstacle that meets the infection organ as it penetrates the host tissue is the rigid plant cell wall. In the present study, we examined the activity of xyloglucan endotransglucosylases/hydrolases (XTHs) during the host-invasive growth of the haustorium. The level of xyloglucan endotransglucosylation (XET) activity was found to peak at the penetrating stage of Cuscuta reflexa on its host Pelargonium zonale. In vivo colocalization of XET activity and donor substrate demonstrated XET activity at the border between host and parasite. A test for secretion of XET-active enzymes from haustoria of C. reflexa corroborated this and further indicated that the xyloglucan-modifying enzymes originated from the parasite. A known inhibitor of XET, Coomassie Brilliant Blue R250, was shown to reduce the level of XET in penetrating haustoria of C. reflexa. Moreover, the coating of P. zonale petioles with the inhibitor compound lowered the number of successful haustorial invasions of this otherwise compatible host plant. The presented data indicate that the activity of Cuscuta XTHs at the host-parasite interface is essential to penetration of host plant tissue.

  10. Getting what is served? Feeding ecology influencing parasite-host interactions in invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emde, Sebastian; Kochmann, Judith; Kuhn, Thomas; Plath, Martin; Klimpel, Sven

    2014-01-01

    Freshwater ecosystems are increasingly impacted by alien invasive species which have the potential to alter various ecological interactions like predator-prey and host-parasite relationships. Here, we simultaneously examined predator-prey interactions and parasitization patterns of the highly invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in the rivers Rhine and Main in Germany. A total of 350 N. melanostomus were sampled between June and October 2011. Gut content analysis revealed a broad prey spectrum, partly reflecting temporal and local differences in prey availability. For the major food type (amphipods), species compositions were determined. Amphipod fauna consisted entirely of non-native species and was dominated by Dikerogammarus villosus in the Main and Echinogammarus trichiatus in the Rhine. However, the availability of amphipod species in the field did not reflect their relative abundance in gut contents of N. melanostomus. Only two metazoan parasites, the nematode Raphidascaris acus and the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus sp., were isolated from N. melanostomus in all months, whereas unionid glochidia were only detected in June and October in fish from the Main. To analyse infection pathways, we examined 17,356 amphipods and found Pomphorhynchus sp. larvae only in D. villosus in the river Rhine at a prevalence of 0.15%. Dikerogammarus villosus represented the most important amphipod prey for N. melanostomus in both rivers but parasite intensities differed between rivers, suggesting that final hosts (large predatory fishes) may influence host-parasite dynamics of N. melanostomus in its introduced range.

  11. Protein kinase a dependent phosphorylation of apical membrane antigen 1 plays an important role in erythrocyte invasion by the malaria parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin Leykauf

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Apicomplexan parasites are obligate intracellular parasites that infect a variety of hosts, causing significant diseases in livestock and humans. The invasive forms of the parasites invade their host cells by gliding motility, an active process driven by parasite adhesion proteins and molecular motors. A crucial point during host cell invasion is the formation of a ring-shaped area of intimate contact between the parasite and the host known as a tight junction. As the invasive zoite propels itself into the host-cell, the junction moves down the length of the parasite. This process must be tightly regulated and signalling is likely to play a role in this event. One crucial protein for tight-junction formation is the apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1. Here we have investigated the phosphorylation status of this key player in the invasion process in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We show that the cytoplasmic tail of P. falciparum AMA1 is phosphorylated at serine 610. We provide evidence that the enzyme responsible for serine 610 phosphorylation is the cAMP regulated protein kinase A (PfPKA. Importantly, mutation of AMA1 serine 610 to alanine abrogates phosphorylation of AMA1 in vivo and dramatically impedes invasion. In addition to shedding unexpected new light on AMA1 function, this work represents the first time PKA has been implicated in merozoite invasion.

  12. Functional Role of Native and Invasive Filter-Feeders, and the Effect of Parasites: Learning from Hypersaline Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Marta I; Paredes, Irene; Lebouvier, Marion; Green, Andy J

    2016-01-01

    Filter-feeding organisms are often keystone species with a major influence on the dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. Studies of filtering rates in such taxa are therefore vital in order to understand ecosystem functioning and the impact of natural and anthropogenic stressors such as parasites, climate warming and invasive species. Brine shrimps Artemia spp. are the dominant grazers in hypersaline systems and are a good example of such keystone taxa. Hypersaline ecosystems are relatively simplified environments compared with much more complex freshwater and marine ecosystems, making them suitable model systems to address these questions. The aim of this study was to compare feeding rates at different salinities and temperatures between clonal A. parthenogenetica (native to Eurasia and Africa) and the invasive American brine shrimp A. franciscana, which is excluding native Artemia from many localities. We considered how differences observed in laboratory experiments upscale at the ecosystem level across both spatial and temporal scales (as indicated by chlorophyll-a concentration and turbidity). In laboratory experiments, feeding rates increased at higher temperatures and salinities in both Artemia species and sexes, whilst A. franciscana consistently fed at higher rates. A field study of temporal dynamics revealed significantly higher concentrations of chlorophyll-a in sites occupied by A. parthenogenetica, supporting our experimental findings. Artemia parthenogenetica density and biomass were negatively correlated with chlorophyll-a concentration at the spatial scale. We also tested the effect of cestode parasites, which are highly prevalent in native Artemia but much rarer in the invasive species. The cestodes Flamingolepis liguloides and Anomotaenia tringae decreased feeding rates in native Artemia, whilst Confluaria podicipina had no significant effect. Total parasite prevalence was positively correlated with turbidity. Overall, parasites are likely to reduce

  13. The invasive shrub Prosopis juliflora enhances the malaria parasite transmission capacity of Anopheles mosquitoes: a habitat manipulation experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Gunter C; Junnila, Amy; Traore, Mohamad M; Traore, Sekou F; Doumbia, Seydou; Sissoko, Fatoumata; Dembele, Seydou M; Schlein, Yosef; Arheart, Kristopher L; Revay, Edita E; Kravchenko, Vasiliy D; Witt, Arne; Beier, John C

    2017-07-05

    A neglected aspect of alien invasive plant species is their influence on mosquito vector ecology and malaria transmission. Invasive plants that are highly attractive to Anopheles mosquitoes provide them with sugar that is critical to their survival. The effect on Anopheles mosquito populations was examined through a habitat manipulation experiment that removed the flowering branches of highly attractive Prosopis juliflora from selected villages in Mali, West Africa. Nine villages in the Bandiagara district of Mali were selected, six with flowering Prosopis juliflora, and three without. CDC-UV light traps were used to monitor their Anopheles spp. vector populations, and recorded their species composition, population size, age structure, and sugar feeding status. After 8 days, all of the flowering branches were removed from three villages and trap catches were analysed again. Villages where flowering branches of the invasive shrub Prosopis juliflora were removed experienced a threefold drop in the older more dangerous Anopheles females. Population density dropped by 69.4% and the species composition shifted from being a mix of three species of the Anopheles gambiae complex to one dominated by Anopheles coluzzii. The proportion of sugar fed females dropped from 73 to 15% and males from 77 to 10%. This study demonstrates how an invasive plant shrub promotes the malaria parasite transmission capacity of African malaria vector mosquitoes. Proper management of invasive plants could potentially reduce mosquito populations and malaria transmission.

  14. Does invasive Chondrostoma nasus shift the parasite community structure of endemic Parachondrostoma toxostoma in sympatric zones?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The composition of parasite communities in two cyprinid species in southern France – native and threatened Parachondrostoma toxostoma and introduced Chondrostoma nasus – was investigated. In sympatry, these two species form two hybrid zones in the Durance and Ardeche Rivers. Due to their different feeding preference and habitat positions in allopatry, we supposed a difference in parasite communities between fish species. We expected more similar parasite communities in sympatric zones associated with habitat overlap (facilitating the transmission of ectoparasites) and similar feeding (more generalist behaviour when compared to allopatry, facilitating the transmission of endoparasites) in both fish species. Finally, we investigated whether P. toxostoma x C. nasus hybrids are less parasitized then parental species. Methods One allopatric population of each fish species plus two sympatric zones were sampled. Fish were identified using cytochrome b gene and 41 microsatellites loci and examined for all metazoan parasites. Results A high Monogenea abundance was found in both allopatric and sympatric populations of C. nasus. Trematoda was the dominant group in parasite communities of P. toxostoma from the allopatric population. In contrast, the populations of P. toxostoma in sympatric zones were parasitized by Dactylogyrus species found in C. nasus populations, but their abundance in endemic species was low. Consequently, the similarity based on parasite presence/absence between the sympatric populations of P. toxostoma and C. nasus was high. Sympatric populations of P. toxostoma were more similar than allopatric and sympatric populations of this species. No difference in ectoparasite infection was found between P. toxostoma and hybrids, whilst C. nasus was more parasitized by Monogenea. Conclusions The differences in endoparasites between P. toxostoma and C. nasus in allopatry are probably linked to different feeding or habitat conditions, but host-parasite

  15. Host–parasite interactions during a biological invasion: The fate of lungworms (Rhabdias spp. inside native and novel anuran hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felicity B.L. Nelson

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The cane toad invasion in Australia provides a robust opportunity to clarify the infection process in co-evolved versus de novo host–parasite interactions. We investigated these infection dynamics through histological examination following experimental infections of metamorphs of native frogs (Cyclorana australis and cane toads (Rhinella marina with Rhabdias hylae (the lungworm found in native frogs and Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala (the lungworm found in cane toads. Cane toads reared under continuous exposure to infective larvae of the frog lungworm were examined after periods of 2, 6, 10 and 15 days. Additionally, both toads and frogs were exposed for 24 h to larvae of either the toad or the frog lungworm, and examined 2, 5, 10 and 20 days post-treatment. R. hylae (frog lungworms entered cane toads and migrated through the body but were not found in the target tissue, the lungs. Larvae of both lungworm species induced inflammation in both types of hosts, although the immune response (relative numbers of different cell types differed between hosts and between parasite species. Co-evolution has modified the immune response elicited by infection and (perhaps for that reason has enhanced the parasite's ability to survive and to reach the host's lungs.

  16. Examining the "evolution of increased competitive ability" hypothesis in response to parasites and pathogens in the invasive paper wasp Polistes dominula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manfredini, Fabio; Grozinger, Christina M.; Beani, Laura

    2013-03-01

    Successful invaders often become established in new ranges by outcompeting native species. The "evolution of increased competitive ability" hypothesis predicts that invasive species are subjected to less predation and parasitization than sympatric native species, and thus can allocate resources from defence and immunity to growth and fecundity, thereby achieving higher fitness. In this study, we examined whether American invasive Polistes dominula paper wasps have reduced immunocompetence. To explore this scenario, we tested their susceptibility towards parasites and pathogens at both the individual (immune defence) and colony levels, i.e. hygienic behaviour (removal of diseased individuals by nestmates). First, we examined the response to the specific coevolved parasite Xenos vesparum (lost after invasion) in terms of individual host susceptibility and hygienic behaviour. Second, we explored the response against general pathogens by quantifying the bacterial clearance in individual wasps after a challenge with Escherichia coli and hygienic behaviour after a challenge with the fungus Beauveria bassiana. Our results show that American invasive P. dominula have a higher response against X. vesparum at the colony level, but at the individual level their susceptibility is not significantly different from conspecifics of the native range. On the other hand, invasive P. dominula display lower response after a challenge with general pathogens at both the individual and colony levels. While supporting the hypothesis of a reduction of immunocompetence towards general pathogens in invasive species, these findings also suggest that the response against coevolved parasites might follow different evolutionary pathways which are not always easily predictable.

  17. RNA-seq analysis of early enteromyxosis in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus): new insights into parasite invasion and immune evasion strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronza, Paolo; Robledo, Diego; Bermúdez, Roberto; Losada, Ana Paula; Pardo, Belén G; Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna; Quiroga, María Isabel; Martínez, Paulino

    2016-07-01

    Enteromyxum scophthalmi, an intestinal myxozoan parasite, is the causative agent of a threatening disease for turbot (Scophthalmus maximus, L.) aquaculture. The colonisation of the digestive tract by this parasite leads to a cachectic syndrome associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. This myxosporidiosis has a long pre-patent period and the first detectable clinical and histopathological changes are subtle. The pathogenic mechanisms acting in the early stages of infection are still far from being fully understood. Further information on the host-parasite interaction is needed to assist in finding efficient preventive and therapeutic measures. Here, a RNA-seq-based transcriptome analysis of head kidney, spleen and pyloric caeca from experimentally-infected and control turbot was performed. Only infected fish with early signs of infection, determined by histopathology and immunohistochemical detection of E. scophthalmi, were selected. The RNA-seq analysis revealed, as expected, less intense transcriptomic changes than those previously found during later stages of the disease. Several genes involved in IFN-related pathways were up-regulated in the three organs, suggesting that the IFN-mediated immune response plays a main role in this phase of the disease. Interestingly, an opposite expression pattern had been found in a previous study on severely infected turbot. In addition, possible strategies for immune system evasion were suggested by the down-regulation of different genes encoding complement components and acute phase proteins. At the site of infection (pyloric caeca), modulation of genes related to different structural proteins was detected and the expression profile indicated the inhibition of cell proliferation and differentiation. These transcriptomic changes provide indications regarding the mechanisms of parasite attachment to and invasion of the host. The current results contribute to a better knowledge of the events that characterise the early

  18. Population structure and dispersal routes of an invasive parasite, Fascioloides magna, in North America and Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Juhasova, L.; Kraľová-Hromadová, I.; Bazsalovicsová, E.; Minárik, G.; Štefka, Jan; Mikulíček, P.; Pálková, L.; Pybus, M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 9, OCT 13 (2016), č. článku 547. ISSN 1756-3305 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : microsatellites * parasite * giant liver fluke * Fascioloides magna * genetic interrelationships * migratory routes Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.080, year: 2016

  19. Invasion biology meets parasitology: a case study of parasite spill-back with Egyptian Fasciola gigantica in the invasive snail Pseudosuccinea columella.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel S Grabner

    Full Text Available The liver fluke Fasciola gigantica is a trematode parasite of ruminants and humans that occurs naturally in Africa and Asia. Cases of human fascioliasis, attributable at least in part to F. gigantica, are significantly increasing in the last decades. The introduced snail species Galba truncatula was already identified to be an important intermediate host for this parasite and the efficient invader Pseudosuccinea columella is another suspect in this case. Therefore, we investigated snails collected in irrigation canals in Fayoum governorate in Egypt for prevalence of trematodes with focus on P. columella and its role for the transmission of F. gigantica. Species were identified morphologically and by partial sequencing of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (COI. Among all 689 snails found at the 21 sampling sites, P. columella was the most abundant snail with 296 individuals (42.96% and it was also the most dominant species at 10 sites. It was not found at 8 sites. Molecular detection by PCR and sequencing of the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of the ribosomal DNA (rDNA revealed infections with F. gigantica (3.38%, Echinostoma caproni (2.36% and another echinostome (7.09% that could not be identified further according to its sequence. No dependency of snail size and trematode infection was found. Both high abundance of P. columella in the Fayoum irrigation system and common infection with F. gigantica might be a case of parasite spill-back (increased prevalence in local final hosts due to highly susceptible introduced intermediate host species from the introduced P. columella to the human population, explaining at least partly the observed increase of reported fascioliasis-cases in Egypt. Eichhornia crassipes, the invasive water hyacinth, which covers huge areas of the irrigation canals, offers safe refuges for the amphibious P. columella during molluscicide application. As a consequence, this snail dominates snail communities and efficiently transmits

  20. Are African longfin eel imports a potential pathway for parasite invasions?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Weyl, O.; Taraschewski, H.; Moravec, František

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 9 (2014), s. 843-845 ISSN 0140-7775 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Anguilla * Anguillicola * Anguillicoloide * invasion * pathway * trade Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.056, year: 2014

  1. Pathways of cryptic invasion in a fish parasite traced using coalescent analysis and epidemiological survey

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bouzid, W.; Štefka, Jan; Bahri-Sfar, L.; Beerli, P.; Loot, G.; Lek, S.; Haddaoui, N.; Hypša, Václav; Scholz, Tomáš; Dkhil-Abbes, T.; Meddour, R.; Hassine, O.K.B.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 9 (2013), s. 1907-1923 ISSN 1387-3547 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/12/1632 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA206/08/1019; Marie Curie Fellowship(XE) FP7-PEOPLE-IEF-2008 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Aquaculture * Coevolution * Directionality of migration * Population split * Ligula intestinalis * Parasite introduction Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.716, year: 2013

  2. Role of the invasive Chinese sleeper Perccottus glenii (Actinopterygii: Odontobutidae) in the distribution of fish parasites in Europe: New data and a review

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kvach, Yuriy; Kutsokon, Y.; Stepien, C. A.; Markovych, M.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 71, č. 8 (2016), s. 941-951 ISSN 0006-3088 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Chinese sleeper * enemy release hypothesis * invasive species * parasites * Perccottus glenii Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 0.759, year: 2016

  3. Feeder density enhances house finch disease transmission in experimental epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Thomason, Courtney A; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-05-05

    Anthropogenic food provisioning of wildlife can alter the frequency of contacts among hosts and between hosts and environmental sources of pathogens. Despite the popularity of garden bird feeding, few studies have addressed how feeders influence host contact rates and disease dynamics. We experimentally manipulated feeder density in replicate aviaries containing captive, pathogen-naive, groups of house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) and continuously tracked behaviours at feeders using radio-frequency identification devices. We then inoculated one bird per group with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (Mg), a common bacterial pathogen for which feeders are fomites of transmission, and assessed effects of feeder density on house finch behaviour and pathogen transmission. We found that pathogen transmission was significantly higher in groups with the highest density of bird feeders, despite a significantly lower rate of intraspecific aggressive interactions relative to the low feeder density groups. Conversely, among naive group members that never showed signs of disease, we saw significantly higher concentrations of Mg-specific antibodies in low feeder density groups, suggesting that birds in low feeder density treatments had exposure to subclinical doses of Mg. We discuss ways in which the density of garden bird feeders could play an important role in mediating the intensity of Mg epidemics.This article is part of the theme issue 'Anthropogenic resource subsidies and host-parasite dynamics in wildlife'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  4. On the invasion of the parasitic fly Lucilia bufonivora (Diptera, Calliphoridae on the common frog

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lyabzina Svetlana

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Lucilia bufonivora is an obligate, specialised parasite of amphibians. Larval development takes place in the host body. The paper gives a detailed description of parasite observation. This observation was carried out beginning with the moment of finding larvae in the head of the frog till its death and adults flying out. Initially the larvae are located deep in the nostrils, occasionally crawling out on the head. In the frontal part of the frog’s head between the eyes, under the skin, they form a noticeable tubercle. The larvae in the head disturb the frog and lead to its death. After the death of the frog, the larvae move to the nostrils for time, filling them completely. In a day they destroy all soft tissues and cartilages of the host body. The development of larvae on the corpse continues for two days, then they move into the soil for pupation. Their puparia are located under the corpse at a depth of several centimeters. The adults fly out on the 10th day after their pupation. Of the 78 larvae found on the corpse, there were 59 flies, (31 females and 28 males.

  5. Molecular characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi SAP proteins with host-cell lysosome exocytosis-inducing activity required for parasite invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanforlin, Tamiris; Bayer-Santos, Ethel; Cortez, Cristian; Almeida, Igor C; Yoshida, Nobuko; da Silveira, José Franco

    2013-01-01

    To invade target cells, Trypanosoma cruzi metacyclic forms engage distinct sets of surface and secreted molecules that interact with host components. Serine-, alanine-, and proline-rich proteins (SAP) comprise a multigene family constituted of molecules with a high serine, alanine and proline residue content. SAP proteins have a central domain (SAP-CD) responsible for interaction with and invasion of mammalian cells by metacyclic forms. Using a 513 bp sequence from SAP-CD in blastn analysis, we identified 39 full-length SAP genes in the genome of T. cruzi. Although most of these genes were mapped in the T. cruzi in silico chromosome TcChr41, several SAP sequences were spread out across the genome. The level of SAP transcripts was twice as high in metacyclic forms as in epimastigotes. Monoclonal (MAb-SAP) and polyclonal (anti-SAP) antibodies produced against the recombinant protein SAP-CD were used to investigate the expression and localization of SAP proteins. MAb-SAP reacted with a 55 kDa SAP protein released by epimastigotes and metacyclic forms and with distinct sets of SAP variants expressed in amastigotes and tissue culture-derived trypomastigotes (TCTs). Anti-SAP antibodies reacted with components located in the anterior region of epimastigotes and between the nucleus and the kinetoplast in metacyclic trypomastigotes. In contrast, anti-SAP recognized surface components of amastigotes and TCTs, suggesting that SAP proteins are directed to different cellular compartments. Ten SAP peptides were identified by mass spectrometry in vesicle and soluble-protein fractions obtained from parasite conditioned medium. Using overlapping sequences from SAP-CD, we identified a 54-aa peptide (SAP-CE) that was able to induce host-cell lysosome exocytosis and inhibit parasite internalization by 52%. This study provides novel information about the genomic organization, expression and cellular localization of SAP proteins and proposes a triggering role for extracellular SAP

  6. ANDROID BASED TELEOPERATION FOR THE FINCH ROBOT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Faust

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The act of creating a robot involves systems engineering and creative problem solutions. It is about using established components to create a system that works in the natural or at least in the human environment. The current project is no exception, we have used the Robot Operating System (ROS to create an android based teleoperator application for the Finch robot. A Raspberry Pi processing platform establishes the link between the android device and the Finch robot. The most creative task, during the system design, was to translate the commands from the teleoperator application into wheel movements of the Finch robot. The translation must take into account the physical setup of the robot, including unintended negative influences, such as drag. The command translation involved a nonlinear coordinate transformation. The ROS framework enabled us to focus on that nonstandard coordinate translation task by offering a high level of abstraction and the ability to create component functionalities independently.

  7. Quantifying anuran microhabitat use to infer the potential for parasite transmission between invasive cane toads and two species of Australian native frogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lígia Pizzatto

    Full Text Available Parasites that are carried by invasive species can infect native taxa, with devastating consequences. In Australia, invading cane toads (Rhinella marina carry lungworm parasites (Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala that (based on previous laboratory studies can infect native treefrogs (Litoria caerulea and L. splendida. To assess the potential of parasite transmission from the invader to the native species (and from one infected native frog to another, we used surveys and radiotelemetry to quantify anuran microhabitat use, and proximity to other anurans, in two sites in tropical Australia. Unsurprisingly, treefrogs spent much of their time off the ground (especially by day, and in undisturbed forests but terrestrial activity was common at night (especially in anthropogenically modified habitats. Microhabitat overlap between cane toads and frogs was generally low, except at night in disturbed areas, whereas overlap between the two frog species was high. The situations of highest overlap, and hence with the greatest danger of parasite transmission, involve aggregations of frogs within crevices by day, and use of open ground by all three anuran species at night. Overall, microhabitat divergence between toads and frogs should reduce, but not eliminate, the transmission of lungworms from invasive toads to vulnerable native frogs.

  8. A suspected parasite spill-back of two novel Myxidium spp. (Myxosporea causing disease in Australian endemic frogs found in the invasive Cane toad.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashlie Hartigan

    Full Text Available Infectious diseases are contributing to the decline of endangered amphibians. We identified myxosporean parasites, Myxidium spp. (Myxosporea: Myxozoa, in the brain and liver of declining native frogs, the Green and Golden Bell frog (Litoria aurea and the Southern Bell frog (Litoria raniformis. We unequivocally identified two Myxidium spp. (both generalist affecting Australian native frogs and the invasive Cane toad (Bufo marinus, syn. Rhinella marina and demonstrated their association with disease. Our study tested the identity of Myxidium spp. within native frogs and the invasive Cane toad (brought to Australia in 1935, via Hawaii to resolve the question whether the Cane toad introduced them to Australia. We showed that the Australian brain and liver Myxidium spp. differed 9%, 7%, 34% and 37% at the small subunit rDNA, large subunit rDNA, internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2, but were distinct from Myxidium cf. immersum from Cane toads in Brazil. Plotting minimum within-group distance against maximum intra-group distance confirmed their independent evolutionary trajectory. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the brain stages localize inside axons. Myxospores were morphologically indistinguishable, therefore genetic characterisation was necessary to recognise these cryptic species. It is unlikely that the Cane toad brought the myxosporean parasites to Australia, because the parasites were not found in 261 Hawaiian Cane toads. Instead, these data support the enemy-release hypothesis predicting that not all parasites are translocated with their hosts and suggest that the Cane toad may have played an important spill-back role in their emergence and facilitated their dissemination. This work emphasizes the importance of accurate species identification of pathogens relevant to wildlife management and disease control. In our case it is paving the road for the spill-back role of the Cane toad and the parasite emergence.

  9. Members of a novel protein family containing microneme adhesive repeat domains act as sialic acid-binding lectins during host cell invasion by apicomplexan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Nikolas; Santos, Joana M; Liu, Yan; Palma, Angelina S; Leon, Ester; Saouros, Savvas; Kiso, Makoto; Blackman, Michael J; Matthews, Stephen; Feizi, Ten; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2010-01-15

    Numerous intracellular pathogens exploit cell surface glycoconjugates for host cell recognition and entry. Unlike bacteria and viruses, Toxoplasma gondii and other parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa actively invade host cells, and this process critically depends on adhesins (microneme proteins) released onto the parasite surface from intracellular organelles called micronemes (MIC). The microneme adhesive repeat (MAR) domain of T. gondii MIC1 (TgMIC1) recognizes sialic acid (Sia), a key determinant on the host cell surface for invasion by this pathogen. By complementation and invasion assays, we demonstrate that TgMIC1 is one important player in Sia-dependent invasion and that another novel Sia-binding lectin, designated TgMIC13, is also involved. Using BLAST searches, we identify a family of MAR-containing proteins in enteroparasitic coccidians, a subclass of apicomplexans, including T. gondii, suggesting that all these parasites exploit sialylated glycoconjugates on host cells as determinants for enteric invasion. Furthermore, this protein family might provide a basis for the broad host cell range observed for coccidians that form tissue cysts during chronic infection. Carbohydrate microarray analyses, corroborated by structural considerations, show that TgMIC13, TgMIC1, and its homologue Neospora caninum MIC1 (NcMIC1) share a preference for alpha2-3- over alpha2-6-linked sialyl-N-acetyllactosamine sequences. However, the three lectins also display differences in binding preferences. Intense binding of TgMIC13 to alpha2-9-linked disialyl sequence reported on embryonal cells and relatively strong binding to 4-O-acetylated-Sia found on gut epithelium and binding of NcMIC1 to 6'sulfo-sialyl Lewis(x) might have implications for tissue tropism.

  10. Nest destruction elicits indiscriminate con- versus heterospecific brood parasitism in a captive bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Rachael C; Feeney, William E; Hauber, Mark E

    2014-12-01

    Following nest destruction, the laying of physiologically committed eggs (eggs that are ovulated, yolked, and making their way through the oviduct) in the nests of other birds is considered a viable pathway for the evolution of obligate interspecific brood parasitism. While intraspecific brood parasitism in response to nest predation has been experimentally demonstrated, this pathway has yet to be evaluated in an interspecific context. We studied patterns of egg laying following experimental nest destruction in captive zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a frequent intraspecific brood parasite. We found that zebra finches laid physiologically committed eggs indiscriminately between nests containing conspecific eggs and nests containing heterospecific eggs (of Bengalese finches, Lonchura striata vars. domestica), despite the con- and heterospecific eggs differing in both size and coloration. This is the first experimental evidence that nest destruction may provide a pathway for the evolution of interspecific brood parasitism in birds.

  11. IFPA Meeting 2010 Workshops Report II: Placental pathology; trophoblast invasion; fetal sex; parasites and the placenta; decidua and embryonic or fetal loss; trophoblast differentiation and syncytialisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khan, A; Aye, I L; Barsoum, I; Borbely, A; Cebral, E; Cerchi, G; Clifton, V L; Collins, S; Cotechini, T; Davey, A; Flores-Martin, J; Fournier, T; Franchi, A M; Fretes, R E; Graham, C H; Godbole, G; Hansson, S R; Headley, P L; Ibarra, C; Jawerbaum, A; Kemmerling, U; Kudo, Y; Lala, P K; Lassance, L; Lewis, R M; Menkhorst, E; Morris, C; Nobuzane, T; Ramos, G; Rote, N; Saffery, R; Salafia, C; Sarr, D; Schneider, H; Sibley, C; Singh, A T; Sivasubramaniyam, T S; Soares, M J; Vaughan, O; Zamudio, S; Lash, G E

    2011-03-01

    Workshops are an important part of the IFPA annual meeting. At IFPA Meeting 2010 diverse topics were discussed in twelve themed workshops, six of which are summarized in this report. 1. The placental pathology workshop focused on clinical correlates of placenta accreta/percreta. 2. Mechanisms of regulation of trophoblast invasion and spiral artery remodeling were discussed in the trophoblast invasion workshop. 3. The fetal sex and intrauterine stress workshop explored recent work on placental sex differences and discussed them in the context of whether boys live dangerously in the womb.4. The workshop on parasites addressed inflammatory responses as a sign of interaction between placental tissue and parasites. 5. The decidua and embryonic/fetal loss workshop focused on key regulatory mediators in the decidua, embryo and fetus and how alterations in expression may contribute to different diseases and adverse conditions of pregnancy. 6. The trophoblast differentiation and syncytialisation workshop addressed the regulation of villous cytotrophoblast differentiation and how variations may lead to placental dysfunction and pregnancy complications. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Metazoan parasites of Plagioscion squamosissimus, an invasive species in the Tietê River, São Paulo, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Moura Lapera

    Full Text Available Abstract This study focused on the characterization and analysis of communities and infra-communities of metazoan parasites of Plagioscion squamosissimus caught in Promissão Reservoir in the Tietê River in Borborema (21°39′58”S, 49°8′49”W, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Fifty adult specimens caught by professional fishermen in March 2015 were necropsied. The fish presented an average standard length of 25.2 ± 2.2 cm and average weight of 328.82 ± 89.03 g. A total of 5,227 specimens of metazoan parasites were collected: 2,880 (55.1% adult Diplectanum piscinarius (Monogenoidea: Diplectanidae and 2,347 (44.9% Austrodiplostomum compactum metacercariae (Digenea, Diplostomidae, both with 100% prevalence and mean abundance of 57.6 and 46.9, respectively. Parasite diversity was low (species richness = 2, with a Simpson index (D equal to 0.505, and low values of Brillouin (HB = 0.687 and Margalef diversity (I = 0.117 indices. Berger-Parker’s index of dominance (p = 0.551 indicated a slight dominance of the monogenean parasite D. piscinarius. There was a positive correlation, assessed by Pearson coefficient between parasite abundance of D. piscinarius and standard length (r = 0.43 and weight (r = 0.51 of hosts.

  13. First record of two ectoparasitic ciliates of the genus Trichodina (Ciliophora: Trichodinidae) parasitizing gills of an invasive freshwater fish, Micropercops swinhonis, in Tibet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhe; Deng, Qiong; Zhou, Tong; Yang, Hao; Gu, Zemao

    2018-07-01

    Although high diversity of parasitic ciliates has been reported in China, little is known about the species from high altitude areas, especially in Tibet. To investigate the species of parasitic ciliates in Tibet, a project was initiated in the Chabalang wetland in 2013. Two Trichodina species, namely, Trichodina sp. and T. reticulata Hirschmann & Partsch, 1955, were isolated from gills of an invasive fish, Micropercops swinhonis for the first time. In the present study, we provided the morphological, morphometrical, and molecular characterizations of the two species and conducted the phylogenetic analyses of mobilids based on the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rDNA) sequences. Both morphological characters and morphometric data of the T. reticulata agreed well with previous studies. Although two partial SSU rDNA sequences were obtained in the present study, only the sequence of T. reticulata population in the present study was thought to be reliable. The other sequence may not belong to the other species. Thus, we regarded the other species isolated in the present study as Trichodina sp. to avoid the wrong or confused species identification. Morphologically, Trichodina sp. is distinguished mainly by its large body shape with a broad adhesive disk, robust and obliquely quadrilateral blades, and well-developed rays. T. reticulata is mainly characterized with the 8-12 spherical or elliptical granules in the central zone of adhesive disk. Phylogenetic analyses consistently showed the two ectoparasites clustered with freshwater species of the genus Trichodina within the order Mobilida. Our study extended the host range of T. reticulata and supplemented the molecular data. Also, results reveal that invasion of exotic fish may cause a potential threat to native fish by introducing or dispersing parasitic ciliates.

  14. An invasive species reverses the roles in a host–parasite relationship between bitterling fish and unionid mussels

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reichard, Martin; Vrtílek, Milan; Douda, K.; Smith, C.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 4 (2012), s. 601-604 ISSN 1744-9561 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1163 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : species interaction * coevolution * interspecific relationship * parasitism Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.348, year: 2012

  15. Species collapse via hybridization in Darwin's tree finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleindorfer, Sonia; O'Connor, Jody A; Dudaniec, Rachael Y; Myers, Steven A; Robertson, Jeremy; Sulloway, Frank J

    2014-03-01

    Species hybridization can lead to fitness costs, species collapse, and novel evolutionary trajectories in changing environments. Hybridization is predicted to be more common when environmental conditions change rapidly. Here, we test patterns of hybridization in three sympatric tree finch species (small tree finch Camarhynchus parvulus, medium tree finch Camarhynchus pauper, and large tree finch: Camarhynchus psittacula) that are currently recognized on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago. Genetic analysis of microsatellite data from contemporary samples showed two genetic populations and one hybrid cluster in both 2005 and 2010; hybrid individuals were derived from genetic population 1 (small morph) and genetic population 2 (large morph). Females of the large and rare species were more likely to pair with males of the small common species. Finch populations differed in morphology in 1852-1906 compared with 2005/2010. An unsupervised clustering method showed (a) support for three morphological clusters in the historical tree finch sample (1852-1906), which is consistent with current species recognition; (b) support for two or three morphological clusters in 2005 with some (19%) hybridization; and (c) support for just two morphological clusters in 2010 with frequent (41%) hybridization. We discuss these findings in relation to species demarcations of Camarhynchus tree finches on Floreana Island.

  16. Analysis of extra-pair paternity and conspecific brood parasitism in mallards Anas platyrhynchos using non-invasive techniques

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kreisinger, J.; Munclinger, P.; Javůrková, V.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 41, č. 5 (2010), s. 551-557 ISSN 0908-8857 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6093403; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : intraspecific nest parasitism * socially monogamous Passerines * sexual selection * microsatellite loci * breeding synchrony * genetic-markers * North-Dakota * birds * duck * evolution Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.310, year: 2010

  17. Comparative pathology and ecological implications of two myxosporean parasites in native Australian frogs and the invasive cane toad.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashlie Hartigan

    Full Text Available Myxosporean parasites Cystodiscus axonis and C. australis are pathogens of native and exotic Australian frog species. The pathology and ecological outcomes of infection with these parasites were investigated in this study. Gliosis was correlated to Cystodiscus axonis plasmodia in the brains of (9/60 tadpoles and (3/9 adult endangered Green and golden bell frogs using ordinal regression. Severe host reactions to C. axonis (haemorrhage, necrosis, and vasulitis were observed in the brains of threatened Southern bell frogs (8/8, critically endangered Booroolong frogs (15/44 and Yellow spotted bell frogs (3/3. Severe brain lesions were associated with behavioural changes, neurological dysfunction, and spontaneous death. Both C. axonis and C. australis develop in the bile ducts of tadpoles, the plasmodia were significantly associated with biliary hyperplasia, inflammation and the loss of hepatocytes in (34/72 Green and golden bell frog tadpoles using ordinal regression. These lesions were so severe that in some cases 70% of the total liver was diseased. Normal liver function in tadpoles is necessary for metamorphosis, metabolism, and immune function. We postulate that this extensive liver damage would have significant host health impacts. Severe hepatic myxosporidiosis was more prevalent in tadpoles examined in autumn and winter (overwintered, suggestive of delayed metamorphosis in infected tadpoles, which would have serious flow-on effects in small populations. We compared the sensitivity of histopathology and species-specific PCR in the detection of C. australis and C. axonis. PCR was determined to be the most sensitive method (detection limit 1 myxospore equivalent of ribosomal DNA. Histology, however, had the advantage of assessing the impact of the parasite on the host. It was concluded that these parasites have the potential for significant ecological impacts, because of their high prevalence of infection and their ability to cause disease in

  18. Reorganization of Extracellular Matrix in Placentas from Women with Asymptomatic Chagas Disease: Mechanism of Parasite Invasion or Local Placental Defense?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Duaso

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Chagas disease, produced by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi, is one of the most frequent endemic diseases in Latin America. In spite the fact that in the past few years T. cruzi congenital transmission has become of epidemiological importance, studies about this mechanism of infection are scarce. In order to explore some morphological aspects of this infection in the placenta, we analyzed placentas from T. cruzi-infected mothers by immunohistochemical and histochemical methods. Infection in mothers, newborns, and placentas was confirmed by PCR and by immunofluorescence in the placenta. T. cruzi-infected placentas present destruction of the syncytiotrophoblast and villous stroma, selective disorganization of the basal lamina, and disorganization of collagen I in villous stroma. Our results suggest that the parasite induces reorganization of this tissue component and in this way may regulate both inflammatory and immune responses in the host. Changes in the ECM of placental tissues, together with the immunological status of mother and fetus, and parasite load may determine the probability of congenital transmission of T. cruzi.

  19. RFSP simulations of Darlington FINCH refuelling transient

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carruthers, E.V.; Chow, H.C.

    1997-01-01

    Immediately after refuelling of a channel, the fresh bundles are free of fission products. Xenon-135, the most notable of the saturating fission products, builds up to an equilibrium level in about 30 h. The channel power of the refuelled channel would therefore initially peak and then drop to a steady-state level. The RFSP code can track saturating-fission-product transients and power transients. The Fully INstrumented CHannels (FINCHs) in Darlington NGS provides channel power data on the refuelling power transients. In this paper, such data has been used to identify the physical evidence of the fission-product transient effect on channel power, and to validate RFSP fission-product-driver calculation results. (author)

  20. Fitness consequences of polymorphic inversions in the zebra finch genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Ulrich; Hemmrich-Stanisak, Georg; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Griffith, Simon C; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang

    2016-09-29

    Inversion polymorphisms constitute an evolutionary puzzle: they should increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic individuals but still they are widespread in some taxa. Some insect species have evolved mechanisms to reduce the cost of embryo mortality but humans have not. In birds, a detailed analysis is missing although intraspecific inversion polymorphisms are regarded as common. In Australian zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), two polymorphic inversions are known cytogenetically and we set out to detect these two and potentially additional inversions using genomic tools and study their effects on embryo mortality and other fitness-related and morphological traits. Using whole-genome SNP data, we screened 948 wild zebra finches for polymorphic inversions and describe four large (12-63 Mb) intraspecific inversion polymorphisms with allele frequencies close to 50 %. Using additional data from 5229 birds and 9764 eggs from wild and three captive zebra finch populations, we show that only the largest inversions increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic males, with surprisingly small effect sizes. We test for a heterozygote advantage on other fitness components but find no evidence for heterosis for any of the inversions. Yet, we find strong additive effects on several morphological traits. The mechanism that has carried the derived inversion haplotypes to such high allele frequencies remains elusive. It appears that selection has effectively minimized the costs associated with inversions in zebra finches. The highly skewed distribution of recombination events towards the chromosome ends in zebra finches and other estrildid species may function to minimize crossovers in the inverted regions.

  1. To each his own: no evidence of gyrodactylid parasite host switches from invasive poeciliid fishes to Goodea atripinnis Jordan (Cyprinodontiformes: Goodeidae, the most dominant endemic freshwater goodeid fish in the Mexican Highlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Rubio-Godoy

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Goodeid topminnows are live-bearing fishes endemic to the Mexican Highlands (Mesa Central, MC. Unfortunately, in the MC, environmental degradation and introduced species have pushed several goodeid species to the brink of extinction. Invasive fishes can introduce exotic parasites, and the most abundant goodeid, blackfin goodea Goodea atripinnis Jordan, is parasitised by six exotic helminths. Poeciliids are widely dispersed invasive fishes, which exert negative ecological effects on goodeids. Poeciliids host several species of the monogenean genus Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832, including pathogenic, invasive parasites. Here, we looked for evidence of Gyrodactylus species switching hosts from poeciliids to goodeids. Methods Fish were collected in rivers draining the MC into both sides of the continental divide. Hosts were screened for gyrodactylid parasites in localities where G. atripinnis and poeciliids occurred sympatrically. Gyrodactylus specimens were characterised morphologically (attachment apparatus and molecularly (internal transcribed spacer region, ITS. A Bayesian phylogenetic tree using ITS sequences established relationships between gyrodactylids collected from goodeid fishes and those from parasites infecting poeciliids. Results Gyrodactylids were collected from G. atripinnis in six localities on both sides of the watershed where exotic poeciliids occurred sympatrically. Morphological and molecular analyses indicated the presence of four undescribed species of Gyrodactylus infecting this goodeid host. Gyrodactylus tomahuac n. sp., the most abundant and geographically widespread species, is described here. The other three Gyrodactylus spp. are not described, but their ITS sequences are used as molecular data presented here, are the only available for gyrodactylids infecting goodeid fishes. Morphological and molecular data suggest that two distinct groups of gyrodactylids infect goodeids, one of which shares a

  2. Drinking songs: alcohol effects on learned song of zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher R Olson

    Full Text Available Speech impairment is one of the most intriguing and least understood effects of alcohol on cognitive function, largely due to the lack of data on alcohol effects on vocalizations in the context of an appropriate experimental model organism. Zebra finches, a representative songbird and a premier model for understanding the neurobiology of vocal production and learning, learn song in a manner analogous to how humans learn speech. Here we show that when allowed access, finches readily drink alcohol, increase their blood ethanol concentrations (BEC significantly, and sing a song with altered acoustic structure. The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds' ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol. Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production. Remarkably, these effects on vocalizations occurred without overt effects on general behavioral measures, and importantly, they occurred within a range of BEC that can be considered risky for humans. Our results suggest that the variable effects of alcohol on finch song reflect differential alcohol sensitivity of the brain circuitry elements that control different aspects of song production. They also point to finches as an informative model for understanding how alcohol affects the neuronal circuits that control the production of learned motor behaviors.

  3. Zebra finches are sensitive to prosodic features of human speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle J; ten Cate, Carel

    2014-07-22

    Variation in pitch, amplitude and rhythm adds crucial paralinguistic information to human speech. Such prosodic cues can reveal information about the meaning or emphasis of a sentence or the emotional state of the speaker. To examine the hypothesis that sensitivity to prosodic cues is language independent and not human specific, we tested prosody perception in a controlled experiment with zebra finches. Using a go/no-go procedure, subjects were trained to discriminate between speech syllables arranged in XYXY patterns with prosodic stress on the first syllable and XXYY patterns with prosodic stress on the final syllable. To systematically determine the salience of the various prosodic cues (pitch, duration and amplitude) to the zebra finches, they were subjected to five tests with different combinations of these cues. The zebra finches generalized the prosodic pattern to sequences that consisted of new syllables and used prosodic features over structural ones to discriminate between stimuli. This strong sensitivity to the prosodic pattern was maintained when only a single prosodic cue was available. The change in pitch was treated as more salient than changes in the other prosodic features. These results show that zebra finches are sensitive to the same prosodic cues known to affect human speech perception. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Brood size and immunity costs in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhulst, S; Riedstra, B; Wiersma, P

    Birds rearing experimentally enlarged broods have lower antibody responses to a novel antigen, and we tested three hypotheses that could explain this result. We used zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata inoculated with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) as a study system, for which this trade-off was

  5. Invasion ecology meets parasitology: Advances and challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Robert Poulin

    2017-01-01

    Biological invasions threaten the diversity and functioning of native ecosystems, and the rate at which species are being introduced to new areas shows no sign of slowing down. Parasites play roles in biological invasions, for instance when native parasites interact with exotic hosts, or when parasites themselves are introduced to new areas. However, publication trends show clearly that research on parasitism in the context of biological invasions is lagging far behind research on biological ...

  6. Detection of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in House Finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus) from Arizona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staley, Molly; Bonneaud, Camille; McGraw, Kevin J; Vleck, Carol M; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2018-03-01

    In 1994, an endemic poultry pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), was identified as the causative agent of a novel disease in house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus). After an initial outbreak in Maryland, MG spread rapidly throughout eastern North American populations of house finches. Subsequently, MG spread slowly through the northern interior of North America and then into the Pacific Northwest, finally reaching California in 2006. Until 2009, there were no reports of MG in the southwestern United States east of California. In August 2011, after reports of house finches displaying conjunctivitis characteristic of MG infection in Arizona, we trapped house finches at bird feeders in central Arizona (Tempe) and southern Arizona (Tucson and Green Valley) to assay for MG infection. Upon capture, we noted whether birds exhibited conjunctivitis, and we collected choanal swabs to test for the presence of MG DNA using PCR. We detected MG in finches captured from Green Valley (in ∼12% of birds captured), but not in finches from Tucson or Tempe. Based on resampling of house finches at these sites in July 2014, we suggest that central Arizona finches likely remain unexposed to MG. We also suggest that low urban connectivity between arid habitats of southern and central Arizona or a reduction in the prevalence of MG after its initial arrival in Arizona may be limiting the spread of MG from south to north in Arizona. In addition, the observed conjunctivitis-like signs in house finches that were negative for MG by PCR may be caused primarily by avian pox virus.

  7. Attenuated Phenotype of a Recent House Finch-Associated Mycoplasma gallisepticum Isolate in Domestic Poultry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pflaum, K; Tulman, E R; Beaudet, J; Liao, X; Dhondt, K V; Dhondt, A A; Hawley, D M; Ley, D H; Kerr, K M; Geary, S J

    2017-06-01

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum , known primarily as a respiratory pathogen of domestic poultry, has emerged since 1994 as a significant pathogen of the house finch ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) causing severe conjunctivitis and mortality. House finch-associated M. gallisepticum (HFMG) spread rapidly and increased in virulence for the finch host in the eastern United States. In the current study, we assessed virulence in domestic poultry with two temporally distant, and yet geographically consistent, HFMG isolates which differ in virulence for house finches-Virginia 1994 (VA1994), the index isolate of the epidemic, and Virginia 2013 (VA2013), a recent isolate of increased house finch virulence. Here we report a significant difference between VA1994 and VA2013 in their levels of virulence for chickens; notably, this difference correlated inversely to the difference in their levels of virulence for house finches. VA1994, while moderately virulent in house finches, displayed significant virulence in the chicken respiratory tract. VA2013, while highly virulent in the house finch, was significantly attenuated in chickens relative to VA1994, displaying less-severe pathological lesions in, and reduced bacterial recovery from, the respiratory tract. Overall, these data indicate that a recent isolate of HFMG is greatly attenuated in the chicken host relative to the index isolate, notably demonstrating a virulence phenotype in chickens inversely related to that in the finch host. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  8. Living with diversity in Jane-Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donya Ahmadi

    2017-11-01

    seeks to add to our understanding of urban diversity, as perceived and experienced by those who inhabit, frequent and govern urban areas. It answers the following primary research question: How is diversity experienced at the neighbourhood level, as (a discourse, (b social reality, and (c practice? Diversity as discourse refers to the public narratives around diversity, while diversity as social reality concerns the descriptive characteristics that render an area diverse. Diversity as practice refers to policies, programs and local practices that aim towards managing diversity (see also Berg and Sigona, 2013. The research question is investigated in four interconnected chapters, which engage with the three formerly mentioned dimensions to various degrees. The study further makes use of a variety of qualitative and participatory techniques (i.e. qualitative interviews, roundtable talks, participant observations, and focus groups to gather rigorous empirical data on living with and managing diversity in an inner-suburban neighbourhood of Toronto, namely Jane-Finch.

  9. Analysis of CR1 Repeats in the Zebra Finch Genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Liu

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Most bird species have smaller genomes and fewer repeats than mammals. Chicken Repeat 1 (CR1 repeat is one of the most abundant families of repeats, ranging from ~133,000 to ~187,000 copies accounting for ~50 to ~80% of the interspersed repeats in the zebra finch and chicken genomes, respectively. CR1 repeats are believed to have arisen from the retrotransposition of a small number of master elements, which gave rise to multiple CR1 subfamilies in the chicken. In this study, we performed a global assessment of the divergence distributions, phylogenies, and consensus sequences of CR1 repeats in the zebra finch genome. We identified and validated 34 CR1 subfamilies and further analyzed the correlation between these subfamilies. We also discovered 4 novel lineage-specific CR1 subfamilies in the zebra finch when compared to the chicken genome. We built various evolutionary trees of these subfamilies and concluded that CR1 repeats may play an important role in reshaping the structure of bird genomes.

  10. Invasion of erythrocytes by Babesia bovis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaffar, Fasila Razzia

    2004-01-01

    In this thesis we investigated the invasion of erythrocytes taking place during the asexual erythrocytic blood stage of the apicomplexan parasites Babesia bovis parasite. Host cell invasion by apicomplexan parasites is a complex process requiring multiple receptor-ligand interactions, involving

  11. The perception of regularity in an isochronous stimulus in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Aa, J.; Honing, H.; ten Cate, C.

    2015-01-01

    Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous

  12. Improved axial resolution of FINCH fluorescence microscopy when combined with spinning disk confocal microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Brooker, Gary

    2014-09-22

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. Addition of a Nipkow disk real-time confocal image scanner is shown to reduce the FINCH depth of focus while improving transverse confocal resolution in a combined method called "CINCH".

  13. Maternal antibody transfer can lead to suppression of humoral immunity in developing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    Maternally transferred antibodies have been documented in a wide range of taxa and are thought to adaptively provide protection against parasites and pathogens while the offspring immune system is developing. In most birds, transfer occurs when females deposit immunoglobulin Y into the egg yolk, and it is proportional to the amount in the female's plasma. Maternal antibodies can provide short-term passive protection as well as specific and nonspecific immunological priming, but high levels of maternal antibody can result in suppression of the offspring's humoral immune response. We injected adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with one of two antigens (lipopolysaccharide [LPS] or keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH]) or a control and then injected offspring with LPS, KLH, or a control on days 5 and 28 posthatch to examine the impact of maternally transferred antibodies on the ontogeny of the offspring's humoral immune system. We found that offspring of females exposed to KLH had elevated levels of KLH-reactive antibody over the first 17-28 days posthatch but reduced KLH-specific antibody production between days 28 and 36. We also found that offspring exposed to either LPS or KLH exhibited reduced total antibody levels, compared to offspring that received a control injection. These results indicate that high levels of maternal antibodies or antigen exposure during development can have negative repercussions on short-term antibody production and may have long-term fitness repercussions for the offspring.

  14. Trade-offs in parasitism efficiency and brood size mediate parasitoid coexistence, with implications for biological control of the invasive emerald ash borer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parasitoids often are selected for use as biological control agents because of their high host specificity, yet such host specificity can result in strong interspecific competition. However, few studies have examined if and how various extrinsic factors (such as parasitism efficiency) influence the ...

  15. Parasites: Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Consultations, and General Public. Contact Us Parasites Home Water Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Parasites can live in natural water sources. When outdoors, treat your water before drinking ...

  16. "Bird Song Metronomics": Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a "signal-derived pulse," or pulse(S), of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulse(S) significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulse(P)), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulses(S) that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulse(S) periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel

  17. Social Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Miguel A.; Nguyen, HoangKim T.; Oberholzer, Michael; Hill, Kent L.

    2011-01-01

    Summary of recent advances Protozoan parasites cause tremendous human suffering worldwide, but strategies for therapeutic intervention are limited. Recent studies illustrate that the paradigm of microbes as social organisms can be brought to bear on questions about parasite biology, transmission and pathogenesis. This review discusses recent work demonstrating adaptation of social behaviors by parasitic protozoa that cause African sleeping sickness and malaria. The recognition of social behavior and cell-cell communication as a ubiquitous property of bacteria has transformed our view of microbiology, but protozoan parasites have not generally been considered in this context. Works discussed illustrate the potential for concepts of sociomicrobiology to provide insight into parasite biology and should stimulate new approaches for thinking about parasites and parasite-host interactions. PMID:22020108

  18. Exploring sex differences in the adult zebra finch brain: In vivo diffusion tensor imaging and ex vivo super-resolution track density imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamaide, Julie; De Groof, Geert; Van Steenkiste, Gwendolyn; Jeurissen, Ben; Van Audekerke, Johan; Naeyaert, Maarten; Van Ruijssevelt, Lisbeth; Cornil, Charlotte; Sijbers, Jan; Verhoye, Marleen; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2017-02-01

    Zebra finches are an excellent model to study the process of vocal learning, a complex socially-learned tool of communication that forms the basis of spoken human language. So far, structural investigation of the zebra finch brain has been performed ex vivo using invasive methods such as histology. These methods are highly specific, however, they strongly interfere with performing whole-brain analyses and exclude longitudinal studies aimed at establishing causal correlations between neuroplastic events and specific behavioral performances. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to implement an in vivo Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) protocol sensitive enough to detect structural sex differences in the adult zebra finch brain. Voxel-wise comparison of male and female DTI parameter maps shows clear differences in several components of the song control system (i.e. Area X surroundings, the high vocal center (HVC) and the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN)), which corroborate previous findings and are in line with the clear behavioral difference as only males sing. Furthermore, to obtain additional insights into the 3-dimensional organization of the zebra finch brain and clarify findings obtained by the in vivo study, ex vivo DTI data of the male and female brain were acquired as well, using a recently established super-resolution reconstruction (SRR) imaging strategy. Interestingly, the SRR-DTI approach led to a marked reduction in acquisition time without interfering with the (spatial and angular) resolution and SNR which enabled to acquire a data set characterized by a 78μm isotropic resolution including 90 diffusion gradient directions within 44h of scanning time. Based on the reconstructed SRR-DTI maps, whole brain probabilistic Track Density Imaging (TDI) was performed for the purpose of super resolved track density imaging, further pushing the resolution up to 40μm isotropic. The DTI and TDI maps realized atlas

  19. Invasion ecology meets parasitology: Advances and challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Poulin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Biological invasions threaten the diversity and functioning of native ecosystems, and the rate at which species are being introduced to new areas shows no sign of slowing down. Parasites play roles in biological invasions, for instance when native parasites interact with exotic hosts, or when parasites themselves are introduced to new areas. However, publication trends show clearly that research on parasitism in the context of biological invasions is lagging far behind research on biological invasions in general. The different articles in this special issue of International Journal for Parasitology–Parasites and Wildlife on ‘Invasions’ address various aspects of the interface between parasitology and invasion biology, including how invasive free-living species lose or gain parasites on the invasion front as they move away from their site of introduction, how these invasive species affect the dynamics of native parasites, and how exotic parasites become established and impact native hosts. Together, they highlight the challenges facing researchers in this area, and set the agenda for the next few years of research. Keywords: alien species, Biological invasions, Enemy release, Non-natives, Parasites

  20. Colour preferences in nest-building zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muth, Felicity; Steele, Matthew; Healy, Susan D

    2013-10-01

    Some bird species are selective in the materials they choose for nest building, preferring, for example, materials of one colour to others. However, in many cases the cause of these preferences is not clear. One of those species is the zebra finch, which exhibits strong preferences for particular colours of nest material. In an attempt to determine why these birds strongly prefer one colour of material over another, we compared the preferences of paired male zebra finches for nest material colour with their preferences for food of the same colours. We found that birds did indeed prefer particular colours of nest material (in most cases blue) but that they did not generally prefer food of one colour over the other colours. It appears, then, that a preference for one colour or another of nest material is specific to the nest-building context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Exploring vocal recovery after cranial nerve injury in Bengalese finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Catherine M; Peterson, Jennifer R; Cooper, Brenton G

    2013-02-08

    Songbirds and humans use auditory feedback to acquire and maintain their vocalizations. The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) is a songbird species that rapidly modifies its vocal output to adhere to an internal song memory. In this species, the left side of the bipartite vocal organ is specialized for producing louder, higher frequencies (≥2.2kHz) and denervation of the left vocal muscles eliminates these notes. Thus, the return of higher frequency notes after cranial nerve injury can be used as a measure of vocal recovery. Either the left or right side of the syrinx was denervated by resection of the tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve. Histologic analyses of syringeal muscle tissue showed significant muscle atrophy in the denervated side. After left nerve resection, songs were mainly composed of lower frequency syllables, but three out of five birds recovered higher frequency syllables. Right nerve resection minimally affected phonology, but it did change song syntax; syllable sequence became abnormally stereotyped after right nerve resection. Therefore, damage to the neuromuscular control of sound production resulted in reduced motor variability, and Bengalese finches are a potential model for functional vocal recovery following cranial nerve injury. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Fish parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This book contains 22 chapters on some of the most important parasitic diseases in wild and farmed fish. International experts give updated reviews and provide solutions to the problems......This book contains 22 chapters on some of the most important parasitic diseases in wild and farmed fish. International experts give updated reviews and provide solutions to the problems...

  3. Parasitic diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozenshtraukh, L.S.

    1983-01-01

    Foundations of roentgenological semiotics of parasitic diseases of lungs, w hich are of the greatest practical value, are presented. Roentgenological pictu res of the following parasitic diseases: hydatid and alveolar echinococcosis, pa ragonimiasis, toxoplasmosis, ascariasis, amebiasis, bilharziasis (Schistosomias is) of lungs, are considered

  4. The evolutionary host switches of Polychromophilus: a multi-gene phylogeny of the bat malaria genus suggests a second invasion of mammals by a haemosporidian parasite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Witsenburg Fardo

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The majority of Haemosporida species infect birds or reptiles, but many important genera, including Plasmodium, infect mammals. Dipteran vectors shared by avian, reptilian and mammalian Haemosporida, suggest multiple invasions of Mammalia during haemosporidian evolution; yet, phylogenetic analyses have detected only a single invasion event. Until now, several important mammal-infecting genera have been absent in these analyses. This study focuses on the evolutionary origin of Polychromophilus, a unique malaria genus that only infects bats (Microchiroptera and is transmitted by bat flies (Nycteribiidae. Methods Two species of Polychromophilus were obtained from wild bats caught in Switzerland. These were molecularly characterized using four genes (asl, clpc, coI, cytb from the three different genomes (nucleus, apicoplast, mitochondrion. These data were then combined with data of 60 taxa of Haemosporida available in GenBank. Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood and a range of rooting methods were used to test specific hypotheses concerning the phylogenetic relationships between Polychromophilus and the other haemosporidian genera. Results The Polychromophilus melanipherus and Polychromophilus murinus samples show genetically distinct patterns and group according to species. The Bayesian tree topology suggests that the monophyletic clade of Polychromophilus falls within the avian/saurian clade of Plasmodium and directed hypothesis testing confirms the Plasmodium origin. Conclusion Polychromophilus' ancestor was most likely a bird- or reptile-infecting Plasmodium before it switched to bats. The invasion of mammals as hosts has, therefore, not been a unique event in the evolutionary history of Haemosporida, despite the suspected costs of adapting to a new host. This was, moreover, accompanied by a switch in dipteran host.

  5. A Suspected Parasite Spill-Back of Two Novel Myxidium spp. (Myxosporea) Causing Disease in Australian Endemic Frogs Found in the Invasive Cane Toad

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hartigan, A.; Fiala, Ivan; Dyková, Iva; Jirků, Miloslav; Okimoto, B.; Rose, K.; Phalen, D. N.; Šlapeta, J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 4 (2011), e18871 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB600960701 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GP204/09/P519 Program:GP Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : EW-SOUTH-WALES * BUFO-MARINUS * BIOLOGICAL INVASIONS * INFECTIOUS-DISEASES * NORTH-AMERICA * TREE FROG * MYXOZOA * SEQUENCES * PHYLOGENY * ECOLOGY Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.092, year: 2011

  6. Gaze strategy in the free flying zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Eckmeier

    Full Text Available Fast moving animals depend on cues derived from the optic flow on their retina. Optic flow from translational locomotion includes information about the three-dimensional composition of the environment, while optic flow experienced during a rotational self motion does not. Thus, a saccadic gaze strategy that segregates rotations from translational movements during locomotion will facilitate extraction of spatial information from the visual input. We analysed whether birds use such a strategy by highspeed video recording zebra finches from two directions during an obstacle avoidance task. Each frame of the recording was examined to derive position and orientation of the beak in three-dimensional space. The data show that in all flights the head orientation was shifted in a saccadic fashion and was kept straight between saccades. Therefore, birds use a gaze strategy that actively stabilizes their gaze during translation to simplify optic flow based navigation. This is the first evidence of birds actively optimizing optic flow during flight.

  7. Invasion thresholds and the evolution of nonequilibrium virulence

    OpenAIRE

    Bull, J. J.; Ebert, D.

    2008-01-01

    Abstract The enterprise of virulence management attempts to predict how social practices and other factors affect the evolution of parasite virulence. These predictions are often based on parasite optima or evolutionary equilibria derived from models of host-parasite dynamics. Yet even when such models accurately capture the parasite optima, newly invading parasites will typically not be at their optima. Here we show that parasite invasion of a host population can occur despite highly nonopti...

  8. Parasitism and the biodiversity-functioning relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frainer, André; McKie, Brendan G.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Knudsen, Rune; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2018-01-01

    Biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning.Biodiversity may decrease or increase parasitism.Parasites impair individual hosts and affect their role in the ecosystem.Parasitism, in common with competition, facilitation, and predation, could regulate BD-EF relationships.Parasitism affects host phenotypes, including changes to host morphology, behavior, and physiology, which might increase intra- and interspecific functional diversity.The effects of parasitism on host abundance and phenotypes, and on interactions between hosts and the remaining community, all have potential to alter community structure and BD-EF relationships.Global change could facilitate the spread of invasive parasites, and alter the existing dynamics between parasites, communities, and ecosystems.Species interactions can influence ecosystem functioning by enhancing or suppressing the activities of species that drive ecosystem processes, or by causing changes in biodiversity. However, one important class of species interactions – parasitism – has been little considered in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BD-EF) research. Parasites might increase or decrease ecosystem processes by reducing host abundance. Parasites could also increase trait diversity by suppressing dominant species or by increasing within-host trait diversity. These different mechanisms by which parasites might affect ecosystem function pose challenges in predicting their net effects. Nonetheless, given the ubiquity of parasites, we propose that parasite–host interactions should be incorporated into the BD-EF framework.

  9. Differing House Finch Cytokine Expression Responses to Original and Evolved Isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Vinkler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus, which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host–pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes (IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15, and CXCLi2, syn. IL8L. These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994 or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006, which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3–6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival

  10. Differing House Finch Cytokine Expression Responses to Original and Evolved Isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinkler, Michal; Leon, Ariel E; Kirkpatrick, Laila; Dalloul, Rami A; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-01-01

    The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) in free-living house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ), which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host-pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes ( IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15 , and CXCLi2 , syn. IL8L ). These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham) or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994) or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006), which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3-6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival MG loads

  11. Molecular phylogenetics of finches and sparrows: consequences of character state removal in cytochrome b sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, J G

    1998-12-01

    The complete mitochondrial cytochrome b genes of 53 genera of oscine passerine birds representing the major groups of finches and some allies were compared. Phylogenetic trees resulting from three levels of character partition removal (no data removed, transitions at third positions of codons removed, and all transitions removed [transversion parsimony]) were generally concordant, and all supported several basic statements regarding relationships of finches and finch-like birds, including: (1) larks (Alaudidae) show no close relationship to any finch group; (2) Peucedramus (olive warbler) is phylogenetically far removed from true wood warblers; (3) a clade consisting of fringillids, passerids, motacillids, and emberizids is supported, and this clade is characterized by evolution of a vestigial 10th wing primary; and (4) Hawaiian honeycreepers are derived from within the cardueline finches. Excluding transition substitutions at third positions of codons resulted in phylogenetic trees similar to, but with greater bootstrap nodal support than, trees derived using either all data (equally weighted) or transversion parsimony. Relative to the shortest trees obtained using all data, the topologies obtained after elimination of third-position transitions showed only slight increases in realized treelength and homoplasy. These increases were negligable compared to increases in overall nodal support; therefore, this partition removal scheme may enhance recovery of deep phylogenetic signal in protein-coding DNA datasets. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  12. [Research progress on cathepsin F of parasitic helminths].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Zi-Gang; Fu, Bao-Quan

    2013-10-01

    Cathepsin F is an important member of papain-like subfamily in cysteine protease family. Cathepsin F of helminth parasites can hydrolyze the specific substrate, degrade host protein such as hemoglobin for nutrition, and be involved in invasion into host tissue. Therefore, cathepsin F serves as a potential target for parasitic disease immunodiagnosis, vaccine design and anti-parasite drug screening. This article reviews the structural characteristics and mechanisms of cathepsin F, and research advances on cathepsin F of parasitic helminths.

  13. Is Beak Morphology in Darwin's Finches Tuned to Loading Demands?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joris Soons

    Full Text Available One of nature's premier illustrations of adaptive evolution concerns the tight correspondence in birds between beak morphology and feeding behavior. In seed-crushing birds, beaks have been suggested to evolve at least in part to avoid fracture. Yet, we know little about mechanical relationships between beak shape, stress dissipation, and fracture avoidance. This study tests these relationships for Darwin's finches, a clade of birds renowned for their diversity in beak form and function. We obtained anatomical data from micro-CT scans and dissections, which in turn informed the construction of finite element models of the bony beak and rhamphotheca. Our models offer two new insights. First, engineering safety factors are found to range between 1 and 2.5 under natural loading conditions, with the lowest safety factors being observed in species with the highest bite forces. Second, size-scaled finite element (FE models reveal a correspondence between inferred beak loading profiles and observed feeding strategies (e.g. edge-crushing versus tip-biting, with safety factors decreasing for base-crushers biting at the beak tip. Additionally, we identify significant correlations between safety factors, keratin thickness at bite locations, and beak aspect ratio (depth versus length. These lines of evidence together suggest that beak shape indeed evolves to resist feeding forces.

  14. Parasitic Apologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galatolo, Renata; Ursi, Biagio; Bongelli, Ramona

    2016-01-01

    The action of apologizing can be accomplished as the main business of the interaction or incidentally while participants are doing something else. We refer to these apologies as "parasitic apologies," because they are produced "en passant" (Schegloff, 2007), and focus our analysis on this type of apology occurring at the…

  15. The perception of regularity in an isochronous stimulus in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Aa, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel

    2015-06-01

    Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous and an irregular stimulus. However, when the tempo of the isochronous stimulus is changed, it is no longer treated as similar to the training stimulus. Training with three isochronous and three irregular stimuli did not result in improvement of the generalization. In contrast, humans, exposed to the same stimuli, readily generalized across tempo changes. Our results suggest that zebra finches distinguish the different stimuli by learning specific local temporal features of each individual stimulus rather than attending to the global structure of the stimuli, i.e., to the temporal regularity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Acoustic fine structure may encode biologically relevant information for zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Nora H; Smith, Edward; Lawson, Shelby; Ball, Gregory F; Dooling, Robert J

    2018-04-18

    The ability to discriminate changes in the fine structure of complex sounds is well developed in birds. However, the precise limit of this discrimination ability and how it is used in the context of natural communication remains unclear. Here we describe natural variability in acoustic fine structure of male and female zebra finch calls. Results from psychoacoustic experiments demonstrate that zebra finches are able to discriminate extremely small differences in fine structure, which are on the order of the variation in acoustic fine structure that is present in their vocal signals. Results from signal analysis methods also suggest that acoustic fine structure may carry information that distinguishes between biologically relevant categories including sex, call type and individual identity. Combined, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that zebra finches can encode biologically relevant information within the fine structure of their calls. This study provides a foundation for our understanding of how acoustic fine structure may be involved in animal communication.

  17. Sexual Dimorphism in the Early Embryogenesis in Zebra Finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makhsud Tagirov

    Full Text Available Sex-specific gene expression before the onset of gonadogensis has been documented in embryos of mammals and chickens. In several mammalian species, differences in gene expression are accompanied by faster growth of pre-implantation male embryos. Here we asked whether avian embryos before gonadal differentiation are also sex-dimorphic in size and what genes regulate their growth. We used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata whose freshly laid eggs were artificially incubated for 36-40 hours. Analyses controlling for the exact time of incubation of 81 embryos revealed that males were larger than females in terms of Hamburger and Hamilton stage and number of somites. Expression of 15 genes involved in cell cycle regulation, growth, metabolic activity, steroidogenic pathway and stress modulation were measured using RT-PCR in 5 male and 5 female embryos incubated for exactly 36 h. We found that in the presence of equal levels of the growth hormone itself, the faster growth of male embryos is most likely achieved by the overexpression of the growth hormone receptor gene and three other genes responsible for cell cycle regulation and metabolism, all of them located on the Z chromosome. Autosomal genes did not show sex-specific expression, except for the steroidogenic factor 1 which was expressed only in female embryos. To our knowledge this is the first report of sexual size dimorphism before gonadogenesis in birds. The finding suggests that faster growth of early male embryos is conserved through the mammalian and bird phyla, irrespective of their differential sex chromosome systems.

  18. Examining Natural Selection by Sketching and Making Models of the Finches of the Galapagos Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Phoebe J. Z.; Teske, Jolene K.

    2017-01-01

    This practical lesson describes how students in six eighth grade science classes participated in a lesson combining the National Core Arts Standards with the Next Generation Science Standards. The goal of the lesson was to provide visual representations of finch beak form and function so students could better understand genetic variation and how…

  19. Mechanisms underlying speech sound discrimination and categorization in humans and zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burgering, Merel A.; ten Cate, Carel; Vroomen, Jean

    Speech sound categorization in birds seems in many ways comparable to that by humans, but it is unclear what mechanisms underlie such categorization. To examine this, we trained zebra finches and humans to discriminate two pairs of edited speech sounds that varied either along one dimension (vowel

  20. Bird brains and songs : Neural mechanisms of auditory memory and perception in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gobes, S.M.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304832669

    2009-01-01

    Songbirds, such as zebra finches, learn their songs from a ‘tutor’ (usually the father), early in life. There are strong parallels between the behavioural, cognitive and neural processes that underlie vocal learning in humans and songbirds. In both cases there is a sensitive period for auditory

  1. Sex-specific effects of yolk testosterone on survival, begging and growth of zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Engelhardt, N; Carere, C; Dijkstra, C; Groothuis, TGG

    2006-01-01

    Yolk androgens affect offspring hatching, begging, growth and survival in many bird species. If these effects are sex-specific, yolk androgen deposition may constitute a mechanism for differential investment in male and female offspring. We tested this hypothesis in zebra finches. In this species,

  2. Costs of reproduction in the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata : Manipulation of brood size in the laboratory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    deKogel, CH; Overkamp, GFJ

    1996-01-01

    Brood size of Zebra Finches Taeniopygia guttata was manipulated in an attempt to identify a trade-off between current and subsequent reproduction in a laboratory situation with ad libitum food availability. The birds were able to raise a larger brood than the most frequent brood size under the same

  3. Song decrystallization in adult zebra finches does not require the song nucleus NIf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Arani; Mooney, Richard

    2009-08-01

    In adult male zebra finches, transecting the vocal nerve causes previously stable (i.e., crystallized) song to slowly degrade, presumably because of the resulting distortion in auditory feedback. How and where distorted feedback interacts with song motor networks to induce this process of song decrystallization remains unknown. The song premotor nucleus HVC is a potential site where auditory feedback signals could interact with song motor commands. Although the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf) appears to be the primary auditory input to HVC, NIf lesions made in adult zebra finches do not trigger song decrystallization. One possibility is that NIf lesions do not interfere with song maintenance, but do compromise the adult zebra finch's ability to express renewed vocal plasticity in response to feedback perturbations. To test this idea, we bilaterally lesioned NIf and then transected the vocal nerve in adult male zebra finches. We found that bilateral NIf lesions did not prevent nerve section-induced song decrystallization. To test the extent to which the NIf lesions disrupted auditory processing in the song system, we made in vivo extracellular recordings in HVC and a downstream anterior forebrain pathway (AFP) in NIf-lesioned birds. We found strong and selective auditory responses to the playback of the birds' own song persisted in HVC and the AFP following NIf lesions. These findings suggest that auditory inputs to the song system other than NIf, such as the caudal mesopallium, could act as a source of auditory feedback signals to the song motor network.

  4. Behavioral Relevance of Species-Specific Vasotocin Anatomy in Gregarious Finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite substantial species differences in the vasotocin/vasopressin (VT/VP circuitry of the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm and lateral septum (LS; a primary projection target of BSTm VT/VP cells, functional consequences of this variation are poorly known. Previous experiments in the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata demonstrate that BSTm VT neurons promote gregariousness in a male-specific manner and reduce anxiety in both sexes. However, in contrast to the zebra finch, the less gregarious Angolan blue waxbill (Estrildidae: Uraeginthus angolensis exhibits fewer VT-immunoreactive cells in the BSTm as well as differences in receptor distribution across the LS subnuclei, suggesting that knockdown of VT production in the BSTm would produce behavioral effects in Angolan blue waxbills that are distinct from zebra finches. Thus, we here quantified social contact, gregariousness (i.e. preference for the larger of two groups, and anxiety-like behavior following bilateral antisense knockdown of VT production in the BSTm of male and female Angolan blue waxbills. We find that BSTm VT neurons promote social contact, but not gregariousness (as in male zebra finches, and that antisense effects on social contact are significantly stronger in male waxbills than in females. Knockdown of BSTm VT production has no effect on anxiety-like behavior. These data provide novel evidence that species differences in the VT/VP circuitry arising in the BSTm are accompanied by species-specific effects on affiliation behaviors.

  5. Three Molecular Markers Show No Evidence of Population Genetic Structure in the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peri E Bolton

    Full Text Available Assessment of genetic diversity and connectivity between regions can inform conservation managers about risk of inbreeding, potential for adaptation and where population boundaries lie. The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae is a threatened species in northern Australia, occupying the savannah woodlands of the biogeographically complex monsoon tropics. We present the most comprehensive population genetic analysis of diversity and structure the Gouldian finch using 16 microsatellite markers, mitochondrial control region and 3,389 SNPs from genotyping-by-sequencing. Mitochondrial diversity is compared across three related, co-distributed finches with different conservation threat-statuses. There was no evidence of genetic differentiation across the western part of the range in any of the molecular markers, and haplotype diversity but not richness was lower than a common co-distributed species. Individuals within the panmictic population in the west may be highly dispersive within this wide area, and we urge caution when interpreting anecdotal observations of changes to the distribution and/or flock sizes of Gouldian finch populations as evidence of overall changes to the population size of this species.

  6. A three-dimensional MRI atlas of the zebra finch brain in stereotaxic coordinates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poirier, Colline; Vellema, Michiel; Verhoye, Marleen

    2008-01-01

    of different brain areas (nuclei) involved in the sensory and motor control of song. Until now, the only published atlases of songbird brains consisted in drawings based on histological slices of the canary and of the zebra finch brain. Taking advantage of high-magnetic field (7 Tesla) MRI technique, we...

  7. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Ekblom, Robert; Völker, Martin; Westerdahl, Helena; Godinez, Ricardo; Kotkiewicz, Holly; Burt, David W; Graves, Tina; Griffin, Darren K; Warren, Wesley C; Edwards, Scott V

    2010-04-01

    Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH) evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving chromosomal fission, gene duplication and translocation in the

  8. Ontogeny of adaptive antibody response to a model antigen in captive altricial zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tess L Killpack

    Full Text Available Based on studies from the poultry literature, all birds are hypothesized to require at least 4 weeks to develop circulating mature B-cell lineages that express functionally different immunoglobulin specificities. However, many altricial passerines fledge at adult size less than four weeks after the start of embryonic development, and therefore may experience a period of susceptibility during the nestling and post-fledging periods. We present the first study, to our knowledge, to detail the age-related changes in adaptive antibody response in an altricial passerine. Using repeated vaccinations with non-infectious keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH antigen, we studied the ontogeny of specific adaptive immune response in altricial zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata. Nestling zebra finches were first injected at 7 days (7d, 14 days (14d, or 21 days post-hatch (21d with KLH-adjuvant emulsions, and boosted 7 days later. Adults were vaccinated in the same manner. Induced KLH-specific IgY antibodies were measured using ELISA. Comparisons within age groups revealed no significant increase in KLH-specific antibody levels between vaccination and boost in 7d birds, yet significant increases between vaccination and boost were observed in 14d, 21d, and adult groups. There was no significant difference among age groups in KLH antibody response to priming vaccination, yet KLH antibody response post-boost significantly increased with age among groups. Post-boost antibody response in all nestling age groups was significantly lower than in adults, indicating that mature adult secondary antibody response level was not achieved in zebra finches prior to fledging (21 days post-hatch in zebra finches. Findings from this study contribute fundamental knowledge to the fields of developmental immunology and ecological immunology and strengthen the utility of zebra finches as a model organism for future studies of immune ontogeny.

  9. Selective auditory grouping by zebra finches: testing the iambic-trochaic law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Ten Cate, Carel

    2017-07-01

    Humans have a strong tendency to spontaneously group visual or auditory stimuli together in larger patterns. One of these perceptual grouping biases is formulated as the iambic/trochaic law, where humans group successive tones alternating in pitch and intensity as trochees (high-low and loud-soft) and alternating in duration as iambs (short-long). The grouping of alternations in pitch and intensity into trochees is a human universal and is also present in one non-human animal species, rats. The perceptual grouping of sounds alternating in duration seems to be affected by native language in humans and has so far not been found among animals. In the current study, we explore to which extent these perceptual biases are present in a songbird, the zebra finch. Zebra finches were trained to discriminate between short strings of pure tones organized as iambs and as trochees. One group received tones that alternated in pitch, a second group heard tones alternating in duration, and for a third group, tones alternated in intensity. Those zebra finches that showed sustained correct discrimination were next tested with longer, ambiguous strings of alternating sounds. The zebra finches in the pitch condition categorized ambiguous strings of alternating tones as trochees, similar to humans. However, most of the zebra finches in the duration and intensity condition did not learn to discriminate between training stimuli organized as iambs and trochees. This study shows that the perceptual bias to group tones alternating in pitch as trochees is not specific to humans and rats, but may be more widespread among animals.

  10. Reduced helminth parasitism in the introduced bank vole (Myodes glareolus: More parasites lost than gained

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen C. Loxton

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduced species are often less parasitised compared to their native counterparts and to ecologically similar hosts in the new environment. Reduced parasitism may come about due to both the loss of original parasites and low acquisition of novel parasites. In this study we investigated the intestinal helminth parasites of the introduced bank vole (Myodes glareolus in Ireland. Results were compared to data from other European studies and to the intestinal helminth fauna of an ecologically similar native rodent in Ireland, the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus. The helminth fauna of introduced bank voles exhibited low diversity with only 3 species recovered: Aspiculuris tianjinensis; Aonchotheca murissylvatici and Taenia martis larvae. In particular, no adult parasites with indirect life-cycles were found in bank voles suggesting that indirectly transmitted parasites are less likely to establish in invasive hosts. Also, the results of this study add support to the enemy release hypothesis.

  11. Dynamics of faunistic complexes of parasitic organisms in the Chernobyl' NPP zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labetskaya, A.G.; Balashina, N.S.; Kireenko, K.M.; Bychkova, E.I.; Efremova, G.A.; Tereshkina, N.V.

    1990-01-01

    The results of studies made in the Chernobyl' NPP 30-km zone, which deal with estimation of species composition and number of parasites, mammals, birds, their nest inhabitants and blood-suching insects, are discussed. It is shown that parasite species variaty is higher on the contaminated territory as compared with the control one. Number of arthropoda is greater, and those of helmines and winged blood-suching insects are smaller on the contaminated territories. The main carriers of parasites among birds are starlings, larks and tomtits in contaminated regions and those are chiff-chaff and finches in the control areas. The level of nest contaminations for rodents and birds correlates with environment contamination level

  12. The songbird syrinx morphome: a three-dimensional, high-resolution, interactive morphological map of the zebra finch vocal organ

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Düring Daniel N

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Like human infants, songbirds learn their species-specific vocalizations through imitation learning. The birdsong system has emerged as a widely used experimental animal model for understanding the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for vocal production learning. However, how neural impulses are translated into the precise motor behavior of the complex vocal organ (syrinx to create song is poorly understood. First and foremost, we lack a detailed understanding of syringeal morphology. Results To fill this gap we combined non-invasive (high-field magnetic resonance imaging and micro-computed tomography and invasive techniques (histology and micro-dissection to construct the annotated high-resolution three-dimensional dataset, or morphome, of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata syrinx. We identified and annotated syringeal cartilage, bone and musculature in situ in unprecedented detail. We provide interactive three-dimensional models that greatly improve the communication of complex morphological data and our understanding of syringeal function in general. Conclusions Our results show that the syringeal skeleton is optimized for low weight driven by physiological constraints on song production. The present refinement of muscle organization and identity elucidates how apposed muscles actuate different syringeal elements. Our dataset allows for more precise predictions about muscle co-activation and synergies and has important implications for muscle activity and stimulation experiments. We also demonstrate how the syrinx can be stabilized during song to reduce mechanical noise and, as such, enhance repetitive execution of stereotypic motor patterns. In addition, we identify a cartilaginous structure suited to play a crucial role in the uncoupling of sound frequency and amplitude control, which permits a novel explanation of the evolutionary success of songbirds.

  13. Enforcing host cell polarity: an apicomplexan parasite strategy towards dissemination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgartner, Martin

    2011-08-01

    The propagation of apicomplexan parasites through transmitting vectors is dependent on effective dissemination of parasites inside the mammalian host. Intracellular Toxoplasma and Theileria parasites face the challenge that their spread inside the host depends in part on the motile capacities of their host cells. In response, these parasites influence the efficiency of dissemination by altering adhesive and/or motile properties of their host cells. Theileria parasites do so by targeting signalling pathways that control host cell actin dynamics. The resulting enforced polar host cell morphology facilitates motility and invasiveness, by establishing focal adhesion and invasion structures at the leading edge of the infected cell. This parasite strategy highlights mechanisms of motility regulation that are also likely relevant for immune or cancer cell motility. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion: combining function with immune evasion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gavin J Wright

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available All the symptoms and pathology of malaria are caused by the intraerythrocytic stages of the Plasmodium parasite life cycle. Because Plasmodium parasites cannot replicate outside a host cell, their ability to recognize and invade erythrocytes is an essential step for both parasite survival and malaria pathogenesis. This makes invasion a conceptually attractive vaccine target, especially because it is one of the few stages when the parasite is directly exposed to the host humoral immune system. This apparent vulnerability, however, has been countered by the parasite, which has evolved sophisticated molecular mechanisms to evade the host immune response so that parasites asymptomatically replicate within immune individuals. These mechanisms include the expansion of parasite invasion ligands, resulting in multiple and apparently redundant invasion "pathways", highly polymorphic parasite surface proteins that are immunologically distinct, and parasite proteins which are poorly immunogenic. These formidable defences have so far thwarted attempts to develop an effective blood-stage vaccine, leading many to question whether there really is an exploitable chink in the parasite's immune evasion defences. Here, we review recent advances in the molecular understanding of the P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion field, discuss some of the challenges that have so far prevented the development of blood-stage vaccines, and conclude that the parasite invasion ligand RH5 represents an essential pinch point that might be vulnerable to vaccination.

  15. Parasitic diseases of lungs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozenshtraukh, L.C.; Rybakova, N.I.; Vinner, M.G.

    1987-01-01

    Roentgenologic semiotics of the main parasitic diseases of lungs is described: echinococcosis, paragonimiasis, cysticercosis, toxoplasmosis, ascariasis, amebiosis and some rarely met parasitic diseases

  16. Invasion of Varroa mites into honey bee brood cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boot, W.J.

    1995-01-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa-jacobsoni is one of the most serious pests of Western honey bees, Apis mellifera. The mites parasitize adult bees, but reproduction only occurs while parasitizing on honey bee brood. Invasion into a

  17. FoxP2 isoforms delineate spatiotemporal transcriptional networks for vocal learning in the zebra finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Nancy F; Kimball, Todd Haswell; Aamodt, Caitlin M; Heston, Jonathan B; Hilliard, Austin T; Xiao, Xinshu; White, Stephanie A

    2018-01-01

    Human speech is one of the few examples of vocal learning among mammals yet ~half of avian species exhibit this ability. Its neurogenetic basis is largely unknown beyond a shared requirement for FoxP2 in both humans and zebra finches. We manipulated FoxP2 isoforms in Area X, a song-specific region of the avian striatopallidum analogous to human anterior striatum, during a critical period for song development. We delineate, for the first time, unique contributions of each isoform to vocal learning. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis of RNA-seq data revealed gene modules correlated to singing, learning, or vocal variability. Coexpression related to singing was found in juvenile and adult Area X whereas coexpression correlated to learning was unique to juveniles. The confluence of learning and singing coexpression in juvenile Area X may underscore molecular processes that drive vocal learning in young zebra finches and, by analogy, humans. PMID:29360038

  18. Peregrine falcon predation of endangered Laysan teal and Laysan Finches on remote Hawaiian atolls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Nash, Sarah A.B.; Courtot, Karen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first records of Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) predation on endangered Laysan teal (or duck; Anas laysanensis) and predation on endangered Laysan finches (Telespiza cantans). At Midway Atoll, vagrant Peregrine falcons killed ≥4% of a newly translocated Laysan teal population in 2006 and ≥2% in 2008. On Laysan Island during 2008–2009, remains of >76 Laysan finches (<1% of the population) were found at peregrine perches. On Midway Atoll, all depredated Laysan teal and other seabirds were recovered at kill sites on tarmac (runways). If the frequency or duration of vagrant raptors visitation increases at small atolls, this could pose a mortality risk to consider, especially during proposed translocations of endangered species. Vegetation restoration of abandoned runways near wetlands at Midway Atoll would provide cover and may help reduce mortality of endangered species due to vagrant raptors.

  19. CINCH (confocal incoherent correlation holography) super resolution fluorescence microscopy based upon FINCH (Fresnel incoherent correlation holography).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Storrie, Brian; Bruce, Marc; Brooker, Gary

    2015-02-07

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates high resolution super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. The simple addition of a real-time Nipkow disk confocal image scanner in a conjugate plane of this incoherent holographic system is shown to reduce the depth of focus, and the combination of both techniques provides a simple way to enhance the axial resolution of FINCH in a combined method called "CINCH". An important feature of the combined system allows for the simultaneous real-time image capture of widefield and holographic images or confocal and confocal holographic images for ready comparison of each method on the exact same field of view. Additional GPU based complex deconvolution processing of the images further enhances resolution.

  20. Vasodilatory effects of exogenous nitric oxide on the brood patch of the Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Södergren, Anna

    2010-01-01

    In birds like the Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) the female, but not the male develop a brood patch upon incubation of eggs. The brood patch functions to increase heat exchange between the bird and the eggs. Development of the brood patch includes de-feathering, increased vascularization and edema formation. The increased vascularization is due to the development of arteriovenous anastomoses, AVA. The AVA are thermoregulatory vessels involved in cold induced vasodilation, CIVD, demonstrate...

  1. Estradiol and song affect female zebra finch behavior independent of dopamine in the striatum

    OpenAIRE

    Svec, Lace A.; Lookingland, Keith J.; Wade, Juli

    2009-01-01

    Female songbirds display preferences for certain song characteristics, but the neural and hormonal mechanisms mediating these preferences are not fully clear. The present study sought to further explore the role of estradiol, as well as assess potential roles of dopaminergic systems, on behavioral responses to song. Adult female zebra finches were treated with estradiol and exposed to tutored or untutored song or silence. Behavior was quantified and neurochemistry of the nucleus accumbens and...

  2. Does foraging behaviour affect female mate preferences and pair formation in captive zebra finches?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeltje J Boogert

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Successful foraging is essential for survival and reproductive success. In many bird species, foraging is a learned behaviour. To cope with environmental change and survive periods in which regular foods are scarce, the ability to solve novel foraging problems by learning new foraging techniques can be crucial. Although females have been shown to prefer more efficient foragers, the effect of males' foraging techniques on female mate choice has never been studied. We tested whether females would prefer males showing the same learned foraging technique as they had been exposed to as juveniles, or whether females would prefer males that showed a complementary foraging technique. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first trained juvenile male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to obtain a significant proportion of their food by one of two foraging techniques. We then tested whether females showed a preference for males with the same or the alternative technique. We found that neither a male's foraging technique nor his foraging performance affected the time females spent in his proximity in the mate-choice apparatus. We then released flocks of these finches into an aviary to investigate whether assortative pairing would be facilitated by birds taught the same technique exploiting the same habitat. Zebra finches trained as juveniles in a specific foraging technique maintained their foraging specialisation in the aviary as adults. However, pair formation and nest location were random with regard to foraging technique. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings show that zebra finches can be successfully trained to be foraging specialists. However, the robust negative results of the conditions tested here suggest that learned foraging specializations do not affect mate choice or pair formation in our experimental context.

  3. Are olfactory cues involved in nest recognition in two social species of estrildid finches?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Reliably recognizing their own nest provides parents with a necessary skill to invest time and resources efficiently in raising their offspring and thereby maximising their own reproductive success. Studies investigating nest recognition in adult birds have focused mainly on visual cues of the nest or the nest site and acoustic cues of the nestlings. To determine whether adult songbirds also use olfaction for nest recognition, we investigated the use of olfactory nest cues for two estrildid finch species, zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata and Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica during the nestling and fledgling phase of their offspring. We found similar behavioural responses to nest odours in both songbird species. Females preferred the odour of their own nest over a control and avoided the foreign conspecific nest scent over a control during the nestling phase of their offspring, but when given the own odour and the foreign conspecific odour simultaneously we did not find a preference for the own nest odour. Males of both species did not show any preferences at all. The behavioural reaction to any nest odour decreased after fledging of the offspring. Our results show that only females show a behavioural response to olfactory nest cues, indicating that the use of olfactory cues for nest recognition seems to be sex-specific and dependent on the developmental stage of the offspring. Although estrildid finches are known to use visual and acoustic cues for nest recognition, the similar behavioural pattern of both species indicates that at least females gain additional information by olfactory nest cues during the nestling phase of their offspring. Thus olfactory cues might be important in general, even in situations in which visual and acoustic cues are known to be sufficient.

  4. Sex-dependent effects of nutrition on telomere dynamics in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Noguera, Jose C.; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Boner, Winnie; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-01-01

    At a cellular level, oxidative stress is known to increase telomere attrition, and hence cellular senescence and risk of disease. It has been proposed that dietary micronutrients play an important role in telomere protection due to their antioxidant properties. We experimentally manipulated dietary micronutrients during early life in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We found no effects of micronutrient intake on telomere loss during chick growth. However, females given a diet high in micr...

  5. Evaluation of Best Practices for the Euthanasia of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Kathleen E; Bracchi, Lauren A; Lieberman, Mia T; Hill, Nichola J; Caron, Tyler J; Patterson, Mary M

    2017-11-01

    Although zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) have been used in biomedical research for many years, no published reports are available about euthanizing these small birds. In this study, we compared 5 methods for zebra finch euthanasia: sodium pentobarbital (NaP) given intracoelomically with physical restraint but no anesthesia; isoflurane anesthesia followed by intracoelomic injection of NaP; and CO2 asphyxiation at 20%, 40%, and 80% chamber displacement rates (percentage of chamber volume per minute). Birds undergoing euthanasia were videorecorded and scored by 2 observers for behaviors potentially related to discomfort or distress. Time to recumbency and time until respiratory arrest (RA) were also assessed. RA was achieved faster by using NaP in a conscious bird compared to using isoflurane anesthesia followed by NaP; however, neither method caused behaviors that might affect animal welfare, such as open-mouth breathing, to any appreciable extent. Among the CO2 treatment groups, there was an inverse correlation between the chamber displacement rate used and the duration of open-mouth breathing, onset of head retroflexion, and time to RA. The results demonstrate that the intracoelomic administration of NaP in an awake, restrained zebra finch is a rapid and effective method of euthanasia. If CO2 is used to euthanize these birds, a high displacement rate (for example, 80%) will minimize the duration of the procedure and associated behaviors.

  6. Maternal effects underlie ageing costs of growth in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathilde L Tissier

    Full Text Available Maternal effects provide a mechanism to adapt offspring phenotype and optimize the mother's fitness to current environmental conditions. Transferring steroids to the yolk is one way mothers can translate environmental information into potential adaptive signals for offspring. However, maternally-derived hormones might also have adverse effects for offspring. For example, recent data in zebra finch chicks suggested that ageing related-processes (i.e. oxidative stress and telomere loss were increased after egg-injection of corticosterone (CORT. Still, we have few experimental data describing the effect of maternal effects on the growth-ageing trade-off in offspring. Here, we chronically treated pre-laying zebra finch females (Taeniopygia guttata with 17-β-estradiol (E2 or CORT, and followed offspring growth and cellular ageing rates (oxidative stress and telomere loss. CORT treatment decreased growth rate in male chicks and increased rate of telomere loss in mothers and female offspring. E2 increased body mass gain in male offspring, while reducing oxidative stress in both sexes but without affecting telomere loss. Since shorter telomeres were previously found to be a proxy of individual lifespan in zebra finches, maternal effects may, through pleiotropic effects, be important determinants of offspring life-expectancy by modulating ageing rate during embryo and post-natal growth.

  7. Zebra finch mates use their forebrain song system in unlearned call communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Sagunsky, Hannes; Seltmann, Susanne; Gahr, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which "stack" calls are uttered frequently. To determine unequivocally the calls produced by each member of a group, we mounted miniature wireless microphones on each zebra finch. We find that group living paired males and females communicate using bilateral stack calling. To investigate the role of the song control system in call-based male female communication, we recorded the electrical activity in a premotor nucleus of the song control system in freely behaving male birds. The unique combination of acoustic monitoring together with wireless brain recording of individual zebra finches in groups shows that the neuronal activity of the song system correlates with the production of unlearned stack calls. The results suggest that the song system evolved from a brain circuit controlling simple unlearned calls to a system capable of producing acoustically rich, learned vocalizations.

  8. A daily oscillation in the fundamental frequency and amplitude of harmonic syllables of zebra finch song.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William E Wood

    Full Text Available Complex motor skills are more difficult to perform at certain points in the day (for example, shortly after waking, but the daily trajectory of motor-skill error is more difficult to predict. By undertaking a quantitative analysis of the fundamental frequency (FF and amplitude of hundreds of zebra finch syllables per animal per day, we find that zebra finch song follows a previously undescribed daily oscillation. The FF and amplitude of harmonic syllables rises across the morning, reaching a peak near mid-day, and then falls again in the late afternoon until sleep. This oscillation, although somewhat variable, is consistent across days and across animals and does not require serotonin, as animals with serotonergic lesions maintained daily oscillations. We hypothesize that this oscillation is driven by underlying physiological factors which could be shared with other taxa. Song production in zebra finches is a model system for studying complex learned behavior because of the ease of gathering comprehensive behavioral data and the tractability of the underlying neural circuitry. The daily oscillation that we describe promises to reveal new insights into how time of day affects the ability to accomplish a variety of complex learned motor skills.

  9. Castration modulates singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of RA projection neurons in adult male zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songhua Wang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Castration can change levels of plasma testosterone. Androgens such as testosterone play an important role in stabilizing birdsong. The robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA is an important premotor nucleus critical for singing. In this study, we investigated the effect of castration on singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of projection neurons (PNs in the RA of adult male zebra finches. Adult male zebra finches were castrated and the changes in bird song assessed. We also recorded the electrophysiological changes from RA PNs using patch clamp recording. We found that the plasma levels of testosterone were significantly decreased, song syllable’s entropy was increased and the similarity of motif was decreased after castration. Spontaneous and evoked firing rates, membrane time constants, and membrane capacitance of RA PNs in the castration group were lower than those of the control and the sham groups. Afterhyperpolarization AHP time to peak of spontaneous action potential (AP was prolonged after castration.These findings suggest that castration decreases song stereotypy and excitability of RA PNs in male zebra finches.

  10. Bill redness is positively associated with reproduction and survival in male and female zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirre J P Simons

    Full Text Available Sexual traits can serve as honest indicators of phenotypic quality when they are costly. Brightly coloured yellow to red traits, which are pigmented by carotenoids, are relatively common in birds, and feature in sexual selection. Carotenoids have been linked to immune and antioxidant function, and the trade-off between ornamentation and these physiological functions provides a potential mechanism rendering carotenoid based signals costly. Mutual ornamentation is also common in birds and can be maintained by mutual mate choice for this ornament or by a correlated response in one sex to selection on the other sex. When selection pressures differ between the sexes this can cause intralocus sexual conflict. Sexually antagonistic selection pressures have been demonstrated for few sexual traits, and for carotenoid-dependent traits there is a single example: bill redness was found to be positively associated with survival and reproductive output in male zebra finches, but negatively so in females. We retested these associations in our captive zebra finch population without two possible limitations of this earlier study. Contrary to the earlier findings, we found no evidence for sexually antagonistic selection. In both sexes, individuals with redder bills showed higher survival. This association disappeared among the females with the reddest bills. Furthermore, females with redder bills achieved higher reproductive output. We conclude that bill redness of male and female zebra finches honestly signals phenotypic quality, and discuss the possible causes of the differences between our results and earlier findings.

  11. Insights into the evolution of Darwin’s finches from comparative analysis of the Geospiza magnirostris genome sequence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rands Chris M

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A classical example of repeated speciation coupled with ecological diversification is the evolution of 14 closely related species of Darwin’s (Galápagos finches (Thraupidae, Passeriformes. Their adaptive radiation in the Galápagos archipelago took place in the last 2–3 million years and some of the molecular mechanisms that led to their diversification are now being elucidated. Here we report evolutionary analyses of genome of the large ground finch, Geospiza magnirostris. Results 13,291 protein-coding genes were predicted from a 991.0 Mb G. magnirostris genome assembly. We then defined gene orthology relationships and constructed whole genome alignments between the G. magnirostris and other vertebrate genomes. We estimate that 15% of genomic sequence is functionally constrained between G. magnirostris and zebra finch. Genic evolutionary rate comparisons indicate that similar selective pressures acted along the G. magnirostris and zebra finch lineages suggesting that historical effective population size values have been similar in both lineages. 21 otherwise highly conserved genes were identified that each show evidence for positive selection on amino acid changes in the Darwin's finch lineage. Two of these genes (Igf2r and Pou1f1 have been implicated in beak morphology changes in Darwin’s finches. Five of 47 genes showing evidence of positive selection in early passerine evolution have cilia related functions, and may be examples of adaptively evolving reproductive proteins. Conclusions These results provide insights into past evolutionary processes that have shaped G. magnirostris genes and its genome, and provide the necessary foundation upon which to build population genomics resources that will shed light on more contemporaneous adaptive and non-adaptive processes that have contributed to the evolution of the Darwin’s finches.

  12. Loading of erythrocyte membrane with pentacyclic triterpenes inhibits Plasmodium falciparum invasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ziegler, Hanne L; Staalsø, Trine; Jaroszewski, Jerzy W

    2006-01-01

    Lupeol and betulinic acid inhibit the proliferation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites by inhibition of the invasion of merozoites into erythrocytes. This conclusion is based on experiments employing parasite cultures synchronized by magnetic cell sorting (MACS). Identical inhibitory effects were...

  13. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burt David W

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. Results The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. Conclusion The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving

  14. Model calculations for the airborne Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber FINCH-HALO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nillius, B.; Bingemer, H.; Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.

    2009-04-01

    Ice nuclei (IN) initiate the formation of primary ice in tropospheric clouds. In mixed phase clouds the primary ice crystals can grow very fast by the Bergeron-Findeisen process (Findeisen, 1938) at the expense of evaporating water droplets, and form precipitation. Thus, IN are essential for the development of precipitation in mixed phase clouds in the middle latitude. However, the role of IN in the development of clouds is still poorly understood and needs to be studied (Levin and Cotton, 2007). A Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber (FINCH-HALO) for airborne operation on the High And LOng Range research aircraft (HALO) is under development at the Institute for Atmosphere and Environment University Frankfurt. IN particles are activated within the chamber at certain ice super-saturation and temperature by mixing three gas flows, a warm moist, a cold dry, and an aerosol flow. After activation the particles will grow within a processing chamber. In an optical depolarisation detector droplets and ice crystals are detected separately. The setup of the new FINCH-HALO instrument is based on the ground based IN counter FINCH (Bundke, 2008). In FINCH-HALO a new cooling unit is used. Thus, measurements down to -40°C are possible. Furthermore minor changes of the inlet section where the mixing occurs were done. The contribution will present 3D model calculations with FLUENT of the flow conditions in the new inlet section for different pressure levels during a flight typical for HALO. Growth rates of ice crystals in the chamber at different temperature and super-saturation will be shown. References: Bundke U., B. Nillius, R. Jaenicke, T. Wetter, H. Klein, H. Bingemer, (2008). The Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber FINCH, Atmospheric Research, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.02.008 Findeisen, R., (1938). Meteorologisch-physikalische Begebenheiten der Vereisung in der Atmosphäre. Hauptversammlung 1938 der Lilienthal-Gesellschaft. Levin, Z., W. Cotton, (2007). Aerosol pollution impact on precipitation

  15. Using Digital Images of the Zebra Finch Song System as a Tool to Teach Organizational Effects of Steroid Hormones: A Free Downloadable Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, William; Schottler, Natalie A.; Beck McCauley, Lisa M.; Pham, Anh P.; Ruiz, Maureen L.; Fong, Michelle C.; Cui, Xinran

    2011-01-01

    Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the…

  16. Exploring the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata as a novel animal model for the speech-language deficit of fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winograd, Claudia; Ceman, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and presents with markedly atypical speech-language, likely due to impaired vocal learning. Although current models have been useful for studies of some aspects of FXS, zebra finch is the only tractable lab model for vocal learning. The neural circuits for vocal learning in the zebra finch have clear relationships to the pathways in the human brain that may be affected in FXS. Further, finch vocal learning may be quantified using software designed specifically for this purpose. Knockdown of the zebra finch FMR1 gene may ultimately enable novel tests of therapies that are modality-specific, using drugs or even social strategies, to ameliorate deficits in vocal development and function. In this chapter, we describe the utility of the zebra finch model and present a hypothesis for the role of FMRP in the developing neural circuitry for vocalization.

  17. Host-Parasite Interaction: Parasite-Derived and -Induced Proteases That Degrade Human Extracellular Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Piña-Vázquez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic protozoa are among the most important pathogens worldwide. Diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, amoebiasis, giardiasis, trichomoniasis, and trypanosomiasis affect millions of people. Humans are constantly threatened by infections caused by these pathogens. Parasites engage a plethora of surface and secreted molecules to attach to and enter mammalian cells. The secretion of lytic enzymes by parasites into host organs mediates critical interactions because of the invasion and destruction of interstitial tissues, enabling parasite migration to other sites within the hosts. Extracellular matrix is a complex, cross-linked structure that holds cells together in an organized assembly and that forms the basement membrane lining (basal lamina. The extracellular matrix represents a major barrier to parasites. Therefore, the evolution of mechanisms for connective-tissue degradation may be of great importance for parasite survival. Recent advances have been achieved in our understanding of the biochemistry and molecular biology of proteases from parasitic protozoa. The focus of this paper is to discuss the role of protozoan parasitic proteases in the degradation of host ECM proteins and the participation of these molecules as virulence factors. We divide the paper into two sections, extracellular and intracellular protozoa.

  18. Women and Parasitic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Consultations, and General Public. Contact Us Parasites Home Women Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Infection with ... of parasites can lead to unique consequences for women. Some examples are given below. Infection with Toxoplasma ...

  19. Immunity to parasitic infection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lamb, Tracey J

    2012-01-01

    ... may be manipulated to develop therapeutic interventions against parasitic infection. For easy reference, the most commonly studied parasites are examined in individual chapters written by investigators at the forefront of their field...

  20. Immunity to parasitic infection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lamb, Tracey J

    2012-01-01

    .... Often endemic in developing countries many parasitic diseases are neglected in terms of research funding and much remains to be understood about parasites and the interactions they have with the immune system...

  1. Pets and Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... good news is that this rarely happens. Most pet-to-people diseases can be avoided by following a few ... your doctor Can a parasite cause death in people and pets? Can human disease from a parasite be treated ...

  2. Discovery of the First Germline-Restricted Gene by Subtractive Transcriptomic Analysis in the Zebra Finch, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Michelle K; Nelson, Megan M; Asalone, Kathryn C; Pedersen, Alyssa L; Saldanha, Colin J; Bracht, John R

    2018-05-21

    Developmentally programmed genome rearrangements are rare in vertebrates, but have been reported in scattered lineages including the bandicoot, hagfish, lamprey, and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) [1]. In the finch, a well-studied animal model for neuroendocrinology and vocal learning [2], one such programmed genome rearrangement involves a germline-restricted chromosome, or GRC, which is found in germlines of both sexes but eliminated from mature sperm [3, 4]. Transmitted only through the oocyte, it displays uniparental female-driven inheritance, and early in embryonic development is apparently eliminated from all somatic tissue in both sexes [3, 4]. The GRC comprises the longest finch chromosome at over 120 million base pairs [3], and previously the only known GRC-derived sequence was repetitive and non-coding [5]. Because the zebra finch genome project was sourced from male muscle (somatic) tissue [6], the remaining genomic sequence and protein-coding content of the GRC remain unknown. Here we report the first protein-coding gene from the GRC: a member of the α-soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion protein (NSF) attachment protein (α-SNAP) family hitherto missing from zebra finch gene annotations. In addition to the GRC-encoded α-SNAP, we find an additional paralogous α-SNAP residing in the somatic genome (a somatolog)-making the zebra finch the first example in which α-SNAP is not a single-copy gene. We show divergent, sex-biased expression for the paralogs and also that positive selection is detectable across the bird α-SNAP lineage, including the GRC-encoded α-SNAP. This study presents the identification and evolutionary characterization of the first protein-coding GRC gene in any organism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Exploratory behavior is linked to stress physiology and social network centrality in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Moore, Ignacio T; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-05-21

    Animal personality has been linked to individual variation in both stress physiology and social behaviors, but few studies have simultaneously examined covariation between personality traits, stress hormone levels, and behaviors in free-living animals. We investigated relationships between exploratory behavior (one aspect of animal personality), stress physiology, and social and foraging behaviors in wild house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We conducted novel environment assays after collecting samples of baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone concentrations from a subset of house finches. We then fitted individuals with Passive Integrated Transponder tags and monitored feeder use and social interactions at radio-frequency identification equipped bird feeders. First, we found that individuals with higher baseline corticosterone concentrations exhibit more exploratory behaviors in a novel environment. Second, more exploratory individuals interacted with more unique conspecifics in the wild, though this result was stronger for female than for male house finches. Third, individuals that were quick to begin exploring interacted more frequently with conspecifics than slow-exploring individuals. Finally, exploratory behaviors were unrelated to foraging behaviors, including the amount of time spent on bird feeders, a behavior previously shown to be predictive of acquiring a bacterial disease that causes annual epidemics in house finches. Overall, our results indicate that individual differences in exploratory behavior are linked to variation in both stress physiology and social network traits in free-living house finches. Such covariation has important implications for house finch ecology, as both traits can contribute to fitness in the wild. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Parasites as prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Welsh, J.E.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2012-01-01

    Parasites are usually considered to use their hosts as a resource for energy. However, there is increasing awareness that parasites can also become a resource themselves and serve as prey for other organisms. Here we describe various types of predation in which parasites act as prey for other

  5. Neglected Parasitic Infections: Toxocariasis

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    This podcast is an overview of the Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Call: Neglected Parasitic Infections in the United States. Neglected Parasitic Infections are a group of diseases that afflict vulnerable populations and are often not well studied or diagnosed. A subject matter expert from CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria describes the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of toxocariasis.

  6. Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Alexandra M; Perez, Emilie C; Mulard, Hervé; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2016-02-01

    Social stimuli can have rewarding properties and promote learning. In birds, conspecific vocalizations like song can act as a reinforcer, and specific song variants can acquire particular rewarding values during early life exposure. Here we ask if, during adulthood, an acoustic signal simpler and shorter than song can become a reward for a female songbird because of its particular social value. Using an operant choice apparatus, we showed that female zebra finches display a preferential response toward their mate's calls. This reinforcing value of mate's calls could be involved in the maintenance of the monogamous pair-bond of the zebra finch. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Faithful reconstruction of digital holograms captured by FINCH using a Hamming window function in the Fresnel propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Rosen, Joseph; Brooker, Gary

    2013-10-01

    Recent advances in Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) increase the signal-to-noise ratio in hologram recording by interference of images from two diffractive lenses with focal lengths close to the image plane. Holograms requiring short reconstruction distances are created that reconstruct poorly with existing Fresnel propagation methods. Here we show a dramatic improvement in reconstructed fluorescent images when a 2D Hamming window function substituted for the disk window typically used to bound the impulse response in the Fresnel propagation. Greatly improved image contrast and quality are shown for simulated and experimentally determined FINCH holograms using a 2D Hamming window without significant loss in lateral or axial resolution.

  8. Dynamic analysis of a parasite population model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibona, G. J.; Condat, C. A.

    2002-03-01

    We study the dynamics of a model that describes the competitive interaction between an invading species (a parasite) and its antibodies in an living being. This model was recently used to examine the dynamical competition between Tripanosoma cruzi and its antibodies during the acute phase of Chagas' disease. Depending on the antibody properties, the model yields three types of outcomes, corresponding, respectively, to healing, chronic disease, and host death. Here, we study the dynamics of the parasite-antibody interaction with the help of simulations, obtaining phase trajectories and phase diagrams for the system. We show that, under certain conditions, the size of the parasite inoculation can be crucial for the infection outcome and that a retardation in the stimulated production of an antibody species may result in the parasite gaining a definitive advantage. We also find a criterion for the relative sizes of the parameters that are required if parasite-generated decoys are indeed to help the invasion. Decoys may also induce a qualitatively different outcome: a limit cycle for the antibody-parasite population phase trajectories.

  9. Oscillating magnetic field disrupts magnetic orientation in Zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wiltschko Wolfgang

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Zebra finches can be trained to use the geomagnetic field as a directional cue for short distance orientation. The physical mechanisms underlying the primary processes of magnetoreception are, however, largely unknown. Two hypotheses of how birds perceive magnetic information are mainly discussed, one dealing with modulation of radical pair processes in retinal structures, the other assuming that iron deposits in the upper beak of the birds are involved. Oscillating magnetic fields in the MHz range disturb radical pair mechanisms but do not affect magnetic particles. Thus, application of such oscillating fields in behavioral experiments can be used as a diagnostic tool to decide between the two alternatives. Methods In a setup that eliminates all directional cues except the geomagnetic field zebra finches were trained to search for food in the magnetic north/south axis. The birds were then tested for orientation performance in two magnetic conditions. In condition 1 the horizontal component of the geomagnetic field was shifted by 90 degrees using a helmholtz coil. In condition 2 a high frequently oscillating field (1.156 MHz was applied in addition to the shifted field. Another group of birds was trained to solve the orientation task, but with visual landmarks as directional cue. The birds were then tested for their orientation performance in the same magnetic conditions as applied for the first experiment. Results The zebra finches could be trained successfully to orient in the geomagnetic field for food search in the north/south axis. They were also well oriented in test condition 1, with the magnetic field shifted horizontally by 90 degrees. In contrast, when the oscillating field was added, the directional choices during food search were randomly distributed. Birds that were trained to visually guided orientation showed no difference of orientation performance in the two magnetic conditions. Conclusion The results

  10. Sexual dimorphism in song-induced ZENK expression in the medial striatum of juvenile zebra finches

    OpenAIRE

    Bailey, David J.; Wade, Juli

    2006-01-01

    In the brains of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), the nuclei that direct song learning and production are larger than the corresponding regions in females, who do not sing. The dimorphism in Area X of the medial striatum (MSt), an area important for song learning, is even more dramatic in that it is identifiable in males but not females by Nissl stain. In the present study, conspecific song, but not other auditory stimuli, induced expression of the immediate early gene ZENK in the MS...

  11. Experimental evidence for millisecond activation timescales using the Fast IN Chamber (FINCH) measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Klein, H.; Nillius, B.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.; Bingemer, H.

    2009-04-01

    Ice formation in clouds is a subject of great practical and fundamental importance since the occurrence of ice particle initializes dramatic changes in the microphysical structure of the cloud, which finally ends in the formation of precipitation. The initially step of ice formation is largely unknown. Homogenous nucleation of ice occurs only below -40 °C. If an ice nucleus (IN) is present, heterogeneous nucleation may occur at higher temperature. Here deposition freezing, condensation and immersion freezing as well as contact freezing are known. Also growth rates of ice particles are known as function of crystal surface properties, temperature and super saturation. Timescales for homogenous freezing activation in the order of 0.01 seconds and nucleation rates have been measured by Anderson et al. (1980) and Hagen et al., (1981) using their expansion cloud chamber. This contribution of deposition mode freezing measurements by the ice nucleus counter FINCH presents evidence that the activation timescale of this freezing mode is in the order of 1E-3 seconds. FINCH is an Ice Nucleus counter which activates IN in a supersaturated environment at freezing temperatures. The activation conditions are actively controlled by mixing three gas flows (aerosol, particle-free cold-dry and warm-humid flows).See Bundke et al. 2008 for details. In a special operation mode of FINCH we are able to produce a controlled peak super saturation in the order of 1 ms duration. For several test aerosols the results observed in this particular mode are comparable to normal mode operations, where the maximum super saturation remains for more than a second, thus leading to the conclusion that the time for activation is in the order of 1ms or less. References: R.J. Anderson et al, "A Study of Homogeneous Condensation Freezing Nucleation of Small Water Droplets in an Expansion Cloud Chamber, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 37, 2508-2520, 1980 U.Bundke et al., "The fast Ice Nucleus

  12. Invasive Candidiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases Mycotic Diseases Branch Invasive Candidiasis Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Global Emergence ... antifungal drugs. Learn more about C. auris Invasive candidiasis is an infection caused by a yeast (a ...

  13. Evaluation of MSCTA for parasitic blood supply in hepatic carcinoma

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Weihong; Liu Pengcheng; Liang Shanhu; Yuan Zhidong; Yu Hongjian; Deng Qianhua

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the multi-slice spiral computer tomography for hepatocarcinoma parasitic blood supply, and analyze the mechanism of the parasitic angiogenesis. Methods: Forty cases confirmed by DSA and confirmed with the existence of parasitic blood supply through manifestations of MSCTA were retrospectively analized. Comparing the coincidence of different reconstruction modalities of MSCTA and DSA in displaying the parasitic blood supply and then to assess the characteristics of MSCTA of the cases with existing parasitic blood supply. Results: DSA displayed parasitic blood supply in 50 arterial rami and MSCTA displayed only 40 rami, with positive rate of 80%. The best display could be reached by the reconstruction of combining MIP and VRT. This kind of reconstruction revealed not only the parasitic blood supply but also the peripheral sites of the primary focci with average length of diameter of 6.9 cm. Conclusions: MSCTA possesses nearly the same capability with DSA in demonstrating the parasitic blood supply to primary hepatic carcinoma, therefore it could be utilized in evaluation of intervention therapy and surgical, operation and transplantation. The primary hepatic carcinoma with this kind of parasitic blood supply is always located at the bare were of liver and ligmentarn suspensoram together with direct invasion of nearby organs with adhesions may contribute the main factor of parasitic blood supply, furthermore the repetition of TACE inducing the decrease of collateral circulation may also be the another major factor. (authors)

  14. Evaluation of MSCTA for parasitic blood supply in hepatic carcinoma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weihong, Yang; Pengcheng, Liu; Shanhu, Liang; Zhidong, Yuan; Hongjian, Yu; Qianhua, Deng [Department of Radiology, Shenzhen Hospital of Beijing College, Guangdong, Shenzhen (China)

    2008-09-15

    Objective: To evaluate the multi-slice spiral computer tomography for hepatocarcinoma parasitic blood supply, and analyze the mechanism of the parasitic angiogenesis. Methods: Forty cases confirmed by DSA and confirmed with the existence of parasitic blood supply through manifestations of MSCTA were retrospectively analized. Comparing the coincidence of different reconstruction modalities of MSCTA and DSA in displaying the parasitic blood supply and then to assess the characteristics of MSCTA of the cases with existing parasitic blood supply. Results: DSA displayed parasitic blood supply in 50 arterial rami and MSCTA displayed only 40 rami, with positive rate of 80%. The best display could be reached by the reconstruction of combining MIP and VRT. This kind of reconstruction revealed not only the parasitic blood supply but also the peripheral sites of the primary focci with average length of diameter of 6.9 cm. Conclusions: MSCTA possesses nearly the same capability with DSA in demonstrating the parasitic blood supply to primary hepatic carcinoma, therefore it could be utilized in evaluation of intervention therapy and surgical, operation and transplantation. The primary hepatic carcinoma with this kind of parasitic blood supply is always located at the bare were of liver and ligmentarn suspensoram together with direct invasion of nearby organs with adhesions may contribute the main factor of parasitic blood supply, furthermore the repetition of TACE inducing the decrease of collateral circulation may also be the another major factor. (authors)

  15. Invasion thresholds and the evolution of nonequilibrium virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, James J; Ebert, Dieter

    2008-02-01

    The enterprise of virulence management attempts to predict how social practices and other factors affect the evolution of parasite virulence. These predictions are often based on parasite optima or evolutionary equilibria derived from models of host-parasite dynamics. Yet even when such models accurately capture the parasite optima, newly invading parasites will typically not be at their optima. Here we show that parasite invasion of a host population can occur despite highly nonoptimal virulence. Fitness improvements soon after invasion may proceed through many steps with wide changes in virulence, because fitness depends on transmission as well as virulence, and transmission improvements can overwhelm nonoptimal virulence. This process is highly sensitive to mutation supply and the strength of selection. Importantly, the same invasion principle applies to the evolution of established parasites, whenever mutants arise that overcome host immunity/resistance. A host population may consequently experience repeated invasions of new parasite variants and possible large shifts in virulence as it evolves in an arms race with the parasite. An experimental study of phage lysis time and examples of mammalian viruses matching some of these characteristics are reviewed.

  16. Paradigms for parasite conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Eric R; Carlson, Colin J; Bueno, Veronica M; Burgio, Kevin R; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Clements, Christopher F; Seidel, Dana P; Harris, Nyeema C

    2016-08-01

    Parasitic species, which depend directly on host species for their survival, represent a major regulatory force in ecosystems and a significant component of Earth's biodiversity. Yet the negative impacts of parasites observed at the host level have motivated a conservation paradigm of eradication, moving us farther from attainment of taxonomically unbiased conservation goals. Despite a growing body of literature highlighting the importance of parasite-inclusive conservation, most parasite species remain understudied, underfunded, and underappreciated. We argue the protection of parasitic biodiversity requires a paradigm shift in the perception and valuation of their role as consumer species, similar to that of apex predators in the mid-20th century. Beyond recognizing parasites as vital trophic regulators, existing tools available to conservation practitioners should explicitly account for the unique threats facing dependent species. We built upon concepts from epidemiology and economics (e.g., host-density threshold and cost-benefit analysis) to devise novel metrics of margin of error and minimum investment for parasite conservation. We define margin of error as the risk of accidental host extinction from misestimating equilibrium population sizes and predicted oscillations, while minimum investment represents the cost associated with conserving the additional hosts required to maintain viable parasite populations. This framework will aid in the identification of readily conserved parasites that present minimal health risks. To establish parasite conservation, we propose an extension of population viability analysis for host-parasite assemblages to assess extinction risk. In the direst cases, ex situ breeding programs for parasites should be evaluated to maximize success without undermining host protection. Though parasitic species pose a considerable conservation challenge, adaptations to conservation tools will help protect parasite biodiversity in the face of

  17. Digital atlas of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain: a high-resolution photo atlas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karten, Harvey J; Brzozowska-Prechtl, Agnieszka; Lovell, Peter V; Tang, Daniel D; Mello, Claudio V; Wang, Haibin; Mitra, Partha P

    2013-11-01

    We describe a set of new comprehensive, high-quality, high-resolution digital images of histological sections from the brain of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and make them publicly available through an interactive website (http://zebrafinch.brainarchitecture.org/). These images provide a basis for the production of a dimensionally accurate and detailed digital nonstereotaxic atlas. Nissl- and myelin-stained brain sections are provided in the transverse, sagittal, and horizontal planes, with the transverse plane approximating the more traditional Frankfurt plane. In addition, a separate set of brain sections in this same plane is stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, revealing the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons (dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and adrenergic) in the songbird brain. For a subset of sagittal sections we also prepared a corresponding set of drawings, defining and annotating various nuclei, fields, and fiber tracts that are visible under Nissl and myelin staining. This atlas of the zebra finch brain is expected to become an important tool for birdsong research and comparative studies of brain organization and evolution. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Use of a barbed tool by an adult and a juvenile woodpecker finch (Cactospiza pallida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabine, Tebbich; Irmgard, Teschke; Erica, Cartmill; Sophia, Stankewitz

    2012-02-01

    Here we describe the modification and use of a new tool type in the woodpecker finch (Cactospiza pallida). This species is known to habitually use twigs or cactus spines to extract arthropods out of tree holes. We observed an adult and a juvenile bird using several barbed twigs from introduced blackberry bushes (Rubus niveus) which the adult bird had first modified by removing leaves and side twigs. The barbs of blackberry tools provide a novel functional feature not present in tools made from native plants and de-leafing of twigs never has been observed before. Both birds were observed using several of these tools to extract prey from under the bark of the native scalesia tree (Scalesia penduculta). They oriented the twigs such that the barbs pointed towards themselves; this rendered the barbs functional as they could be used to drag prey out of a crevice. The juvenile bird first watched the adult using the tool and then used the tool that the adult bird had left under the bark at the same location and in the same way as the adult. Our observation highlights the fact that opportunities for the transmission of social information do occur in the wild and indicates that woodpecker finches are flexible in their choice of tool material and tool modification. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Autoradiographic localization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, J.T.; Adkins-Regan, E.; Whiting, P.; Lindstrom, J.M.; Podleski, T.R.

    1988-01-01

    We have localized nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the zebra finch brain by using three 125I-labelled ligands: alpha bungarotoxin and two monoclonal antibodies to neuronal nicotinic receptors. Unfixed brains from intact adult male and female zebra finches were prepared for in vitro autoradiography. Low-resolution film autoradiograms and high-resolution emulsion autoradiograms were prepared for each of the three ligands. The major brain structures that bind all three of the ligands are hippocampus; hyperstriatum dorsalis; hyperstriatum ventralis; nucleus lentiformis mesencephali; nucleus pretectalis, some layers of the optic tectum; nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis; pars dorsalis; locus ceruleus; and all cranial motor nuclei except nucleus nervi hypoglossi. The major structures labelled only by [125I]-alpha bungarotoxin binding included hyperstriatum accessorium and the nuclei: preopticus medialis, medialis hypothalami posterioris, semilunaris, olivarius inferior, and the periventricular organ. Of the song control nuclei, nucleus magnocellularis of the anterior neostriatum; hyperstriatum ventralis, pars caudalis; nucleus intercollicularis; and nucleus hypoglossus were labelled. The binding patterns of the two antibodies were similar to one another but not identical. Both labelled nucleus spiriformis lateralis and nucleus geniculatus lateralis, pars ventralis especially heavily and also labelled the nucleus habenula medialis; nucleus subpretectalis; nucleus isthmi, pars magnocellularis; nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis; nucleus reticularis lateralis; nucleus tractus solitarii; nucleus vestibularis dorsolateralis; nucleus vestibularis lateralis; nucleus descendens nervi trigemini; and the deep cerebellar nuclei

  20. Zebra finches can use positional and transitional cues to distinguish vocal element strings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiani; Ten Cate, Carel

    2015-08-01

    Learning sequences is of great importance to humans and non-human animals. Many motor and mental actions, such as singing in birds and speech processing in humans, rely on sequential learning. At least two mechanisms are considered to be involved in such learning. The chaining theory proposes that learning of sequences relies on memorizing the transitions between adjacent items, while the positional theory suggests that learners encode the items according to their ordinal position in the sequence. Positional learning is assumed to dominate sequential learning. However, human infants exposed to a string of speech sounds can learn transitional (chaining) cues. So far, it is not clear whether birds, an increasingly important model for examining vocal processing, can do this. In this study we use a Go-Nogo design to examine whether zebra finches can use transitional cues to distinguish artificially constructed strings of song elements. Zebra finches were trained with sequences differing in transitional and positional information and next tested with novel strings sharing positional and transitional similarities with the training strings. The results show that they can attend to both transitional and positional cues and that their sequential coding strategies can be biased toward transitional cues depending on the learning context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Familial differences in the effects of mercury on reproduction in zebra finches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecotoxicologists often implicitly assume that populations are homogenous entities in which all individuals have similar responses to a contaminant. However, genetically variable responses occur within populations. This variation can be visualized using dose–response curves of genetically related groups, similar to the way that evolutionary biologists construct reaction norms. We assessed the variation in reproductive success of full-sibling families of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) experimentally exposed to methylmercury. We found significant variation among families in the effects of methylmercury on several reproductive parameters. This variation suggests that there may be strong responses to selection for resistant genotypes in contaminated areas. This has important implications for the evolution of tolerance as well as risk assessment and wildlife conservation efforts on sites with legacy contamination. -- Highlights: •Dose-response curves can visualize genetic differences in response to pollutants. •Families of zebra finch respond differently to mercury contamination. •Differences in reproductive success can lead to selection for resistant genotypes. •Resistance to contamination has implications for risk assessment and conservation. -- Genetic variation in response to contaminants can lead to adaptation on long-term contaminated sites, with implications for risk assessment and conservation of impacted populations

  2. Budgerigars and zebra finches differ in how they generalize in an artificial grammar learning experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle J.; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    The ability to abstract a regularity that underlies strings of sounds is a core mechanism of the language faculty but might not be specific to language learning or even to humans. It is unclear whether and to what extent nonhuman animals possess the ability to abstract regularities defining the relation among arbitrary auditory items in a string and to generalize this abstraction to strings of acoustically novel items. In this study we tested these abilities in a songbird (zebra finch) and a parrot species (budgerigar). Subjects were trained in a go/no-go design to discriminate between two sets of sound strings arranged in an XYX or an XXY structure. After this discrimination was acquired, each subject was tested with test strings that were structurally identical to the training strings but consisted of either new combinations of known elements or of novel elements belonging to other element categories. Both species learned to discriminate between the two stimulus sets. However, their responses to the test strings were strikingly different. Zebra finches categorized test stimuli with previously heard elements by the ordinal position that these elements occupied in the training strings, independent of string structure. In contrast, the budgerigars categorized both novel combinations of familiar elements as well as strings consisting of novel element types by their underlying structure. They thus abstracted the relation among items in the XYX and XXY structures, an ability similar to that shown by human infants and indicating a level of abstraction comparable to analogical reasoning. PMID:27325756

  3. Social interaction with a tutor modulates responsiveness of specific auditory neurons in juvenile zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagihara, Shin; Yazaki-Sugiyama, Yoko

    2018-04-12

    Behavioral states of animals, such as observing the behavior of a conspecific, modify signal perception and/or sensations that influence state-dependent higher cognitive behavior, such as learning. Recent studies have shown that neuronal responsiveness to sensory signals is modified when animals are engaged in social interactions with others or in locomotor activities. However, how these changes produce state-dependent differences in higher cognitive function is still largely unknown. Zebra finches, which have served as the premier songbird model, learn to sing from early auditory experiences with tutors. They also learn from playback of recorded songs however, learning can be greatly improved when song models are provided through social communication with tutors (Eales, 1989; Chen et al., 2016). Recently we found a subset of neurons in the higher-level auditory cortex of juvenile zebra finches that exhibit highly selective auditory responses to the tutor song after song learning, suggesting an auditory memory trace of the tutor song (Yanagihara and Yazaki-Sugiyama, 2016). Here we show that auditory responses of these selective neurons became greater when juveniles were paired with their tutors, while responses of non-selective neurons did not change. These results suggest that social interaction modulates cortical activity and might function in state-dependent song learning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Reproductive behavior of the Red-crested Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus (Aves: Thraupidae in southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo V.Q. Zima

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Several behavioral aspects of the Red-crested Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus (Statius Müller, 1776 are poorly studied. Here we provide reproductive information on 16 active nests. This information may be valuable to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships of this bird, and to design plans to manage it. Nesting activities occurred from October to February. Clutches consisted of two to three eggs (2.06 ± 0.25, which were laid on consecutive days. Incubation usually started the morning the females laid their last egg and lasted 11.27 ± 0.47 days. Hatching was synchronous, or happened at a one-day interval. The nestling stage lasted 12 ± 0.89 days. Only females incubated the eggs and they fed the young more often than the males did. Overall nesting success, from incubation to fledging, was 28.2%. Nest architecture and egg color proved to be diagnostic characteristics of Coryphospingus , supporting its maintenance as a distinct genus within the recently proposed sub-family Tachyphoninae. Red-crested Finches showed a preference for certain nesting sites, i.e., forest borders or a Cerrado in late regeneration stage. This information can be useful to programs aiming to release illegally trapped individuals.

  5. Chick Development and Asynchroneous Hatching in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikebuchi, Maki; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2017-10-01

    The mode of hatching in birds has important impacts on both parents and chicks, including the costs and risks of breeding for parents, and sibling competition in a clutch. Birds with multiple eggs in a single clutch often begin incubating when most eggs are laid, thereby reducing time of incubation, nursing burden, and sibling competition. In some songbirds and some other species, however, incubation starts immediately after the first egg is laid, and the chicks thus hatch asynchronously. This may result in differences in parental care and in sibling competition based on body size differences among older and younger chicks, which in turn might produce asynchronous development among siblings favoring the first hatchling, and further affect the development and fitness of the chicks after fledging. To determine whether such processes in fact occur in the zebra finch, we observed chick development in 18 clutches of zebra finches. We found that there were effects of asynchronous hatching, but these were smaller than expected and mostly not significant. Our observations suggest that the amount of care given to each chick may be equated with such factors as a camouflage effect of the down feathers, and that the low illumination within the nest also complicates the determination of the hatching order by the parents.

  6. Altered auditory BOLD response to conspecific birdsong in zebra finches with stuttered syllables.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henning U Voss

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available How well a songbird learns a song appears to depend on the formation of a robust auditory template of its tutor's song. Using functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging we examine auditory responses in two groups of zebra finches that differ in the type of song they sing after being tutored by birds producing stuttering-like syllable repetitions in their songs. We find that birds that learn to produce the stuttered syntax show attenuated blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD responses to tutor's song, and more pronounced responses to conspecific song primarily in the auditory area field L of the avian forebrain, when compared to birds that produce normal song. These findings are consistent with the presence of a sensory song template critical for song learning in auditory areas of the zebra finch forebrain. In addition, they suggest a relationship between an altered response related to familiarity and/or saliency of song stimuli and the production of variant songs with stuttered syllables.

  7. The roles of vocal and visual interactions in social learning zebra finches: A video playback experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D

    2017-06-01

    The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Mariam Honarmand; E. Tobias Krause; Marc Naguib

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in ...

  9. In-situ measurements of ice nucleating particles with FINCH (Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Rebecca; Frank, Fabian; Curtius, Joachim; Rose, Diana

    2017-04-01

    Ice nucleating particles (INPs), which are a small fraction of the total aerosol population, are capable of triggering ice formation under atmospheric conditions. Since INPs play an important role for the radiative properties of clouds as well as for the formation of precipitation it is important to get quantitative information on the ice activity of various atmospheric aerosol species. With the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH; Bundke et al., 2008) the number concentration of INP is determined at different freezing temperatures and supersaturations. In contrast to other commonly used INP counters, i.e., continuous flow diffusion chambers (CFDCs, DeMott et al., 2011), in FINCH the supersaturation is reached by mixing the sample flow of ambient aerosol with a warm moist as well as a cold dry airflow. By changing the flow rates and temperatures of the individual airflows the freezing temperature (down to -50°C) and supersaturation (up to above water saturation) can be varied relatively quickly. Particles that are ice active at the prescribed freezing temperature and supersaturation grow to crystals and are counted by a home-built optical particle counter (OPC) mounted below the chamber (Bundke et al., 2010). FINCH was operated during the four-week INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS field campaign in Cyprus in April 2016. The measuring site was the location of the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO) at Agia Marina Xyliatou, which is typically influenced by dust from the Sahara and the Middle East, an aerosol that is known to have relatively good ice nucleating ability. First results from this campaign will be presented. Acknowledgements: The authors thank the entire INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS campaign team for their cooperation and support. The INUIT-2 project is financed by the German Research Foundation DFG (FOR 1525). The INUIT-Cyprus campaign is a cooperation with the EU-funded project BACCHUS and is also funded by ACTRIS-TNA. References: Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R

  10. Development and validation of a house finch interleukin-1β (HfIL-1β) ELISA system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sungwon; Park, Myeongseon; Leon, Ariel E; Adelman, James S; Hawley, Dana M; Dalloul, Rami A

    2017-08-30

    A unique clade of the bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), which causes chronic respiratory disease in poultry, has resulted in annual epidemics of conjunctivitis in North American house finches since the 1990s. Currently, few immunological tools have been validated for this songbird species. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a prototypic multifunctional cytokine and can affect almost every cell type during Mycoplasma infection. The overall goal of this study was to develop and validate a direct ELISA assay for house finch IL-1β (HfIL-1β) using a cross-reactive chicken antibody. A direct ELISA approach was used to develop this system using two different coating methods, carbonate and dehydration. In both methods, antigens (recombinant HfIL-1b or house finch plasma) were serially diluted in carbonate-bicarbonate coating buffer and either incubated at 4 °C overnight or at 60 °C on a heating block for 2 hr. To generate the standard curve, rHfIL-1b protein was serially diluted at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 ng/mL. Following blocking and washing, anti-chicken IL-1b polyclonal antibody was added, plates were later incubated with detecting antibodies, and reactions developed with tetramethylbenzidine solution. A commercially available anti-chicken IL-1β (ChIL-1β) polyclonal antibody (pAb) cross-reacted with house finch plasma IL-1β as well as bacterially expressed recombinant house finch IL-1β (rHfIL-1β) in immunoblotting assays. In a direct ELISA system, rHfIL-1β could not be detected by an anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated with carbonate-bicarbonate buffer at 4°C overnight. However, rHfIL-1β was detected by the anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated using a dehydration method by heat (60°C). Using the developed direct ELISA for HfIL-1β with commercial anti-ChIL-1β pAb, we were able to measure plasma IL-1β levels from house finches. Based on high amino acid sequence homology, we hypothesized and demonstrated cross-reactivity of

  11. Foodborne parasites from wildlife

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen; Fredensborg, Brian Lund

    2015-01-01

    The majority of wild foods consumed by humans are sourced from intensively managed or semi-farmed populations. Management practices inevitably affect wildlife density and habitat characteristics, which are key elements in the transmission of parasites. We consider the risk of transmission...... of foodborne parasites to humans from wildlife maintained under natural or semi-natural conditions. A deeper understanding will be useful in counteracting foodborne parasites arising from the growing industry of novel and exotic foods....

  12. Parasites, Plants, and People.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Marion; Moore, Tony

    2016-06-01

    Anthelminthic resistance is acknowledged worldwide and is a major problem in Aotearoa New Zealand, thus alternative parasite management strategies are imperative. One Health is an initiative linking animal, human, and environmental health. Parasites, plants, and people illustrate the possibilities of providing diverse diets for stock thereby lowering parasite burdens, improving the cultural wellbeing of a local community, and protecting the environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Intestinal parasites and tuberculosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anuar Alonso Cedeño-Burbano

    2017-10-01

    Conclusions: The available evidence was insufficient to affirm that intestinal parasites predispose to developing tuberculous. The studies carried out so far have found statistically insignificant results.

  14. Neglected Parasitic Infections: Toxocariasis

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2012-01-05

    This podcast is an overview of the Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) Call: Neglected Parasitic Infections in the United States. Neglected Parasitic Infections are a group of diseases that afflict vulnerable populations and are often not well studied or diagnosed. A subject matter expert from CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria describes the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of toxocariasis.  Created: 1/5/2012 by Center for Global Health, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria (DPDM); Emergency Risk Communication Branch (ERCB)/Joint Information Center (JIC), Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR).   Date Released: 1/9/2012.

  15. [Book review] Cowbirds and Other Brood Parasites by Catherine Ortega. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press (1998). The Avian Brood Parasites: Deception at the Nest by Paul A. Johnsgard. New York: Oxford University Press (1997) Parasitic Birds and their Hosts: Studies in Coevolution edited by S.I. Rothstein & S.K. Robinson. New York: Oxford University Press (1998)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, D.C.

    1999-01-01

    We are in a golden age for the study of brood parasitism, judging from both the quantity and quality of recent scientific publications on cuckoos, cowbirds and parasitic finches by investigators working in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. As Johnsgard (1997) remarks in his preface, the evolutionary, ecological, and behavioural questions posed by obligate brood parasites are among the most intriguing contemporary ornithological topics. Rothstein & Robinson (1998) explain that brood parasites make ideal subjects for testing the generality of models for the evolution of social and mating behaviour, foraging behaviour, spatial distribution, and vocal development, because the strategy of providing no parental care removes constraints imposed on other birds. Since Aristotle, people have been fascinated by brood parasites, but only in the past two decades has the number of investigators working on this topic reached a critical mass and created momentum that promises many breakthroughs. New studies are being completed so rapidly that a general book is inevitably out of date on some topics by the time it is published. A complete library on brood parasitism should add two recent volumes (Morrison et al. 1999; Smith et al., in press).to the three reviewed here.

  16. Differential escape from parasites by two competing introduced crabs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakeslee, April M.; Keogh, Carolyn L.; Byers, James E.; Kuris, Armand M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Torchin, Mark E.

    2009-01-01

    Although introduced species often interact with one another in their novel communities, the role of parasites in these interactions remains less clear. We examined parasite richness and prevalence in 2 shorecrab species with different invasion histories and residency times in an introduced region where their distributions overlap broadly. On the northeastern coast of the USA, the Asian shorecrab Hemigrapsus sanguineus was discovered 20 yr ago, while the European green crab Carcinus maenas has been established for over 200 yr. We used literature and field surveys to evaluate parasitism in both crabs in their native and introduced ranges. We found only 1 parasite species infecting H. sanguineus on the US East Coast compared to 6 species in its native range, while C. maenas was host to 3 parasite species on the East Coast compared to 10 in its native range. The prevalence of parasite infection was also lower for both crabs in the introduced range compared to their native ranges; however, the difference was almost twice as much for H. sanguineus as for C. maenas. There are several explanations that could contribute to C. maenas' greater parasite diversity than that of H. sanguineus on the US East Coast, including differences in susceptibility, time since introduction, manner of introduction (vector), distance from native range, taxonomic isolation, and the potential for parasite identification bias. Our study underscores not just that non-native species lose parasites upon introduction, but that they may do so differentially, with ramifications for their direct interactions and with potential community-level influences.

  17. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Shaw, Katharina S; Learn, Gerald H; Plenderleith, Lindsey J; Malenke, Jordan A; Sundararaman, Sesh A; Ramirez, Miguel A; Crystal, Patricia A; Smith, Andrew G; Bibollet-Ruche, Frederic; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Locatelli, Sabrina; Esteban, Amandine; Mouacha, Fatima; Guichet, Emilande; Butel, Christelle; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N; Speede, Sheri; Sanz, Crickette M; Morgan, David B; Gonder, Mary K; Kranzusch, Philip J; Walsh, Peter D; Georgiev, Alexander V; Muller, Martin N; Piel, Alex K; Stewart, Fiona A; Wilson, Michael L; Pusey, Anne E; Cui, Liwang; Wang, Zenglei; Färnert, Anna; Sutherland, Colin J; Nolder, Debbie; Hart, John A; Hart, Terese B; Bertolani, Paco; Gillis, Amethyst; LeBreton, Matthew; Tafon, Babila; Kiyang, John; Djoko, Cyrille F; Schneider, Bradley S; Wolfe, Nathan D; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Delaporte, Eric; Carter, Richard; Culleton, Richard L; Shaw, George M; Rayner, Julian C; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H; Sharp, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the leading cause of human malaria in Asia and Latin America but is absent from most of central Africa due to the near fixation of a mutation that inhibits the expression of its receptor, the Duffy antigen, on human erythrocytes. The emergence of this protective allele is not understood because P. vivax is believed to have originated in Asia. Here we show, using a non-invasive approach, that wild chimpanzees and gorillas throughout central Africa are endemically infected with parasites that are closely related to human P. vivax. Sequence analyses reveal that ape parasites lack host specificity and are much more diverse than human parasites, which form a monophyletic lineage within the ape parasite radiation. These findings indicate that human P. vivax is of African origin and likely selected for the Duffy-negative mutation. All extant human P. vivax parasites are derived from a single ancestor that escaped out of Africa.

  18. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Shaw, Katharina S.; Learn, Gerald H.; Plenderleith, Lindsey J.; Malenke, Jordan A.; Sundararaman, Sesh A.; Ramirez, Miguel A.; Crystal, Patricia A.; Smith, Andrew G.; Bibollet-Ruche, Frederic; Ayouba, Ahidjo; Locatelli, Sabrina; Esteban, Amandine; Mouacha, Fatima; Guichet, Emilande; Butel, Christelle; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N.; Speede, Sheri; Sanz, Crickette M.; Morgan, David B.; Gonder, Mary K.; Kranzusch, Philip J.; Walsh, Peter D.; Georgiev, Alexander V.; Muller, Martin N.; Piel, Alex K.; Stewart, Fiona A.; Wilson, Michael L.; Pusey, Anne E.; Cui, Liwang; Wang, Zenglei; Färnert, Anna; Sutherland, Colin J.; Nolder, Debbie; Hart, John A.; Hart, Terese B.; Bertolani, Paco; Gillis, Amethyst; LeBreton, Matthew; Tafon, Babila; Kiyang, John; Djoko, Cyrille F.; Schneider, Bradley S.; Wolfe, Nathan D.; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Delaporte, Eric; Carter, Richard; Culleton, Richard L.; Shaw, George M.; Rayner, Julian C.; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Sharp, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    Plasmodium vivax is the leading cause of human malaria in Asia and Latin America but is absent from most of central Africa due to the near fixation of a mutation that inhibits the expression of its receptor, the Duffy antigen, on human erythrocytes. The emergence of this protective allele is not understood because P. vivax is believed to have originated in Asia. Here we show, using a non-invasive approach, that wild chimpanzees and gorillas throughout central Africa are endemically infected with parasites that are closely related to human P. vivax. Sequence analyses reveal that ape parasites lack host specificity and are much more diverse than human parasites, which form a monophyletic lineage within the ape parasite radiation. These findings indicate that human P. vivax is of African origin and likely selected for the Duffy-negative mutation. All extant human P. vivax parasites are derived from a single ancestor that escaped out of Africa. PMID:24557500

  19. Cell signaling during Trypanosoma cruzi invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Yukio Maeda

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Cell signaling is an essential requirement for mammalian cell invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi. Depending on the parasite strain and the parasite developmental form, distinct signaling pathways may be induced. In this short review, we focus on the data coming from studies with metacyclic trypomastigotes (MT generated in vitro and tissue culture-derived trypomastigotes (TCT, used as counterparts of insect-borne and bloodstream parasites respectively. During invasion of host cells by MT or TCT, intracellular Ca2+ mobilization and host cell lysosomal exocytosis are triggered. Invasion mediated by MT surface molecule gp82 requires the activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K and protein kinase C (PKC in the host cell, associated with Ca2+-dependent disruption of the actin cytoskeleton. In MT, protein tyrosine kinase (PTK, PI3K, phospholipase C (PLC and PKC appear to be activated. TCT invasion, on the other hand, does not rely on mTOR activation, rather on target cell PI3K, and may involve the host cell autophagy for parasite internalization. Enzymes, such oligopeptidase B and the major T. cruzi cysteine proteinase cruzipain, have been shown to generate molecules that induce target cell Ca2+ signal. In addition, TCT may trigger host cell responses mediated by TGF-β receptor or integrin family member. Further investigations are needed for a more complete and detailed picture of T. cruzi invasion.

  20. Song exposure regulates known and novel microRNAs in the zebra finch auditory forebrain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Jong H

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In an important model for neuroscience, songbirds learn to discriminate songs they hear during tape-recorded playbacks, as demonstrated by song-specific habituation of both behavioral and neurogenomic responses in the auditory forebrain. We hypothesized that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs may participate in the changing pattern of gene expression induced by song exposure. To test this, we used massively parallel Illumina sequencing to analyse small RNAs from auditory forebrain of adult zebra finches exposed to tape-recorded birdsong or silence. Results In the auditory forebrain, we identified 121 known miRNAs conserved in other vertebrates. We also identified 34 novel miRNAs that do not align to human or chicken genomes. Five conserved miRNAs showed significant and consistent changes in copy number after song exposure across three biological replications of the song-silence comparison, with two increasing (tgu-miR-25, tgu-miR-192 and three decreasing (tgu-miR-92, tgu-miR-124, tgu-miR-129-5p. We also detected a locus on the Z sex chromosome that produces three different novel miRNAs, with supporting evidence from Northern blot and TaqMan qPCR assays for differential expression in males and females and in response to song playbacks. One of these, tgu-miR-2954-3p, is predicted (by TargetScan to regulate eight song-responsive mRNAs that all have functions in cellular proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Conclusions The experience of hearing another bird singing alters the profile of miRNAs in the auditory forebrain of zebra finches. The response involves both known conserved miRNAs and novel miRNAs described so far only in the zebra finch, including a novel sex-linked, song-responsive miRNA. These results indicate that miRNAs are likely to contribute to the unique behavioural biology of learned song communication in songbirds.

  1. “Bird Song Metronomics”: Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a “signal-derived pulse,” or pulseS, of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulseS significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulseP), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulsesS that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulseS periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel to the

  2. Muscle activation patterns and motor anatomy of Anna's hummingbirds Calypte anna and zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Edward R; Keeney, Brooke K; Kung, Eric; Makan, Sirish; Wild, J Martin; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2013-01-01

    Flying animals exhibit profound transformations in anatomy, physiology, and neural architecture. Although much is known about adaptations in the avian skeleton and musculature, less is known about neuroanatomy and motor unit integration for bird flight. Hummingbirds are among the most maneuverable and specialized of vertebrate fliers, and two unusual neuromuscular features have been previously reported: (1) the pectoralis major has a unique distribution pattern of motor end plates (MEPs) compared with all other birds and (2) electromyograms (EMGs) from the hummingbird's pectoral muscles, the pectoralis major and the supracoracoideus, show activation bursts composed of one or a few spikes that appear to have a very consistent pattern. Here, we place these findings in a broader context by comparing the MEPs, EMGs, and organization of the spinal motor neuron pools of flight muscles of Anna's hummingbird Calypte anna, zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, and, for MEPs, several other species. The previously shown MEP pattern of the hummingbird pectoralis major is not shared with its closest taxonomic relative, the swift, and appears to be unique to hummingbirds. MEP arrangements in previously undocumented wing muscles show patterns that differ somewhat from other avian muscles. In the parallel-fibered strap muscles of the shoulder, MEP patterns appear to relate to muscle length, with the smallest muscles having fibers that span the entire muscle. MEP patterns in pennate distal wing muscles were the same regardless of size, with tightly clustered bands in the middle portion of the muscle, not evenly distributed bands over the muscle's entire length. Muscle activations were examined during slow forward flight in both species, during hovering in hummingbirds, and during slow ascents in zebra finches. The EMG bursts of a wing muscle, the pronator superficialis, were highly variable in peak number, size, and distribution across wingbeats for both species. In the pectoralis

  3. PARASITES OF FISH

    Science.gov (United States)

    The intent of this chapter is to describe the parasites of importance to fishes maintained and used in laboratory settings. In contrast to the frist edition, the focus will be only on those parasites that pose a serious threat to or are common in fishes held in these confined en...

  4. Parasites from the Past

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Søe, Martin Jensen; Fredensborg, Brian Lund; Nejsum, Peter

    will investigate how the diversity of food-borne parasitic infections has changed with cultural and dietary habits, hunting practice and intensity of animal husbandry. This is done by isolating and typing ancient DNA remains from parasite eggs found in archeological samples from across Denmark....

  5. Inevitability of Genetic Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iranzo, Jaime; Puigbò, Pere; Lobkovsky, Alexander E.; Wolf, Yuri I.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Almost all cellular life forms are hosts to diverse genetic parasites with various levels of autonomy including plasmids, transposons and viruses. Theoretical modeling of the evolution of primordial replicators indicates that parasites (cheaters) necessarily evolve in such systems and can be kept at bay primarily via compartmentalization. Given the (near) ubiquity, abundance and diversity of genetic parasites, the question becomes pertinent: are such parasites intrinsic to life? At least in prokaryotes, the persistence of parasites is linked to the rate of horizontal gene transfer (HGT). We mathematically derive the threshold value of the minimal transfer rate required for selfish element persistence, depending on the element duplication and loss rates as well as the cost to the host. Estimation of the characteristic gene duplication, loss and transfer rates for transposons, plasmids and virus-related elements in multiple groups of diverse bacteria and archaea indicates that most of these rates are compatible with the long term persistence of parasites. Notably, a small but non-zero rate of HGT is also required for the persistence of non-parasitic genes. We hypothesize that cells cannot tune their horizontal transfer rates to be below the threshold required for parasite persistence without experiencing highly detrimental side-effects. As a lower boundary to the minimum DNA transfer rate that a cell can withstand, we consider the process of genome degradation and mutational meltdown of populations through Muller’s ratchet. A numerical assessment of this hypothesis suggests that microbial populations cannot purge parasites while escaping Muller’s ratchet. Thus, genetic parasites appear to be virtually inevitable in cellular organisms. PMID:27503291

  6. First Report of Coccidiosis and Gizzard Erosion in a Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moini, M.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Coccidiosis and gizzard erosion are rare conditions in cage bird. A male zebra finch was presented with a history of watery diarrhea, anorexia, ruffled feathers, weight loss, and lethargy and died finally. Gross necropsy revealed small areas of erosions and hemorrhages on the gizzard wall. The intestine was oedematous. The spleen appeared pale and small. The testes were asymmetric.Histologically, necrosis of mucosal layer with infiltration of inflammatory cells observed in cecum. Eimeria stages were detected in the enterocytes. In Gizzard, hemorrhage and ulceration of mucosal layer with infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells in to the underlying mucosa were seen. In hepatic tissue, mild focal necrosis with mononuclear cells infiltration was seen. The disease was diagnosed as coccidiosis and gizzard erosion.

  7. Patterns of call communication between group-housed zebra finches change during the breeding cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Lisa F; Goymann, Wolfgang; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2015-10-06

    Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through different stages of the breeding cycle. As birds formed pairs and shifted their reproductive status, their call repertoire composition changed. The recordings revealed that calls occurred non-randomly in fine-tuned vocal interactions and decreased within groups while pair-specific patterns emerged. Call-type combinations of vocal interactions changed within pairs and were associated with successful egg-laying, highlighting a potential fitness relevance of calling dynamics in communication systems.

  8. Sex differences in audiovisual discrimination learning by Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seki, Yoshimasa; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2008-02-01

    Both visual and auditory information are important for songbirds, especially in developmental and sexual contexts. To investigate bimodal cognition in songbirds, the authors conducted audiovisual discrimination training in Bengalese finches. The authors used two types of stimulus: an "artificial stimulus," which is a combination of simple figures and sound, and a "biological stimulus," consisting of video images of singing males along with their songs. The authors found that while both sexes predominantly used visual cues in the discrimination tasks, males tended to be more dependent on auditory information for the biological stimulus. Female responses were always dependent on the visual stimulus for both stimulus types. Only males changed their discrimination strategy according to stimulus type. Although males used both visual and auditory cues for the biological stimulus, they responded to the artificial stimulus depending only on visual information, as the females did. These findings suggest a sex difference in innate auditory sensitivity. (c) 2008 APA.

  9. Form of Dietary Methylmercury does not Affect Total Mercury Accumulation in the Tissues of Zebra Finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Whitney, Margaret; Rice, Gary W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-07-01

    Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury. Much remains to be understood about what happens to ingested mercury once it enters the intestines, but our results suggest that dietary studies using methylmercury chloride in birds will produce similar tissue accumulation levels to those using methylmercury cysteine.

  10. Exposure to dietary mercury alters cognition and behavior of zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swaddle, John P; Diehl, Tessa R; Taylor, Capwell E; Fanaee, Aaron S; Benson, Jessica L; Huckstep, Neil R; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-04-01

    Environmental stressors can negatively affect avian cognitive abilities, potentially reducing fitness, for example by altering response to predators, display to mates, or memory of locations of food. We expand on current knowledge by investigating the effects of dietary mercury, a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and known neurotoxin, on avian cognition. Zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata were dosed for their entire lives with sub-lethal levels of mercury, at the environmentally relevant dose of 1.2 parts per million. In our first study, we compared the dosed birds with controls of the same age using tests of three cognitive abilities: spatial memory, inhibitory control, and color association. In the spatial memory assay, birds were tested on their ability to learn and remember the location of hidden food in their cage. The inhibitory control assay measured their ability to ignore visible but inaccessible food in favor of a learned behavior that provided the same reward. Finally, the color association task tested each bird's ability to associate a specific color with the presence of hidden food. Dietary mercury negatively affected spatial memory ability but not inhibitory control or color association. Our second study focused on three behavioral assays not tied to a specific skill or problem-solving: activity level, neophobia, and social dominance. Zebra finches exposed to dietary mercury throughout their lives were subordinate to, and more active than, control birds. We found no evidence that mercury exposure influenced our metric of neophobia. Together, these results suggest that sub-lethal exposure to environmental mercury selectively harms neurological pathways that control different cognitive abilities, with complex effects on behavior and fitness.

  11. Dopamine physiology in the basal ganglia of male zebra finches during social stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihle, Eva C; van der Hart, Marieke; Jongsma, Minke; Tecott, Larry H; Doupe, Allison J

    2015-06-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) is involved in altering neural activity and gene expression in a zebra finch cortical-basal ganglia circuit specialized for singing, upon the shift between solitary singing and singing as a part of courtship. Our objective here was to sample changes in the extracellular concentrations of DA in Area X of adult and juvenile birds, to test the hypothesis that DA levels would change similarly during presentation of a socially salient stimulus in both age groups. We used microdialysis to sample the extracellular milieu of Area X in awake, behaving adult and juvenile male zebra finches, and analysed the dialysate using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. The extracellular levels of DA in Area X increased significantly during both female presentation to adult males and tutor presentation to juvenile males. DA levels were not correlated with the time spent singing. We also reverse-dialysed Area X with pharmacologic agents that act either on DA systems directly or on norepinephrine, and found that all of these agents significantly increased DA levels (3- to 10-fold) in Area X. These findings suggest that changes in extracellular DA levels can be stimulated similarly by very different social contexts (courtship and interaction with tutor), and influenced potently by dopaminergic and noradrenergic drugs. These results raise the possibility that the arousal level or attentional state of the subject (rather than singing behavior) is the common feature eliciting changes in extracellular DA concentration. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Diurnal and Reproductive Stage-Dependent Variation of Parental Behaviour in Captive Zebra Finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boglárka Morvai

    Full Text Available Parental care plays a key role in ontogeny, life-history trade-offs, sexual selection and intra-familial conflict. Studies focusing on understanding causes and consequences of variation in parental effort need to quantify parental behaviour accurately. The applied methods are, however, diverse even for a given species and type of parental effort, and rarely validated for accuracy. Here we focus on variability of parental behaviour from a methodological perspective to investigate the effect of different samplings on various estimates of parental effort. We used nest box cameras in a captive breeding population of zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a widely used model system of sexual selection, intra-familial dynamics and parental care. We investigated diurnal and reproductive stage-dependent variation in parental effort (including incubation, brooding, nest attendance and number of feedings based on 12h and 3h continuous video-recordings taken at various reproductive stages. We then investigated whether shorter (1h sampling periods provided comparable estimates of overall parental effort and division of labour to those of longer (3h sampling periods. Our study confirmed female-biased division of labour during incubation, and showed that the difference between female and male effort diminishes with advancing reproductive stage. We found individually consistent parental behaviours within given days of incubation and nestling provisioning. Furthermore, parental behaviour was consistent over the different stages of incubation, however, only female brooding was consistent over nestling provisioning. Parental effort during incubation did not predict parental effort during nestling provisioning. Our analyses revealed that 1h sampling may be influenced heavily by stochastic and diurnal variation. We suggest using a single longer sampling period (3h may provide a consistent and accurate estimate for overall parental effort during incubation in zebra

  13. An experimental test of condition-dependent male and female mate choice in zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Jeanne Holveck

    Full Text Available In mating systems with social monogamy and obligatory bi-parental care, such as found in many songbird species, male and female fitness depends on the combined parental investment. Hence, both sexes should gain from choosing mates in high rather than low condition. However, theory also predicts that an individual's phenotypic quality can constrain choice, if low condition individuals cannot afford prolonged search efforts and/or face higher risk of rejection. In systems with mutual mate choice, the interaction between male and female condition should thus be a better predictor of choice than either factor in isolation. To address this prediction experimentally, we manipulated male and female condition and subsequently tested male and female mating preferences in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, a songbird species with mutual mate choice and obligatory bi-parental care. We experimentally altered phenotypic quality by manipulating the brood size in which the birds were reared. Patterns of association for high- or low-condition individuals of the opposite sex differed for male and female focal birds when tested in an 8-way choice arena. Females showed repeatable condition-assortative preferences for males matching their own rearing background. Male preferences were also repeatable, but not predicted by their own or females' rearing background. In combination with a brief review of the literature on condition-dependent mate choice in the zebra finch we discuss whether the observed sex differences and between-studies differences arise because males and females differ in context sensitivity (e.g. male-male competition suppressing male mating preferences, sampling strategies or susceptibility to rearing conditions (e.g. sex-specific effect on physiology. While a picture emerges that juvenile and current state indeed affect preferences, the development and context-dependency of mutual state-dependent mate choice warrants further study.

  14. Mercury alters initiation and construction of nests by zebra finches, but not incubation or provisioning behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Stephanie Y; Hopkins, William A; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-11-01

    Mercury is an environmental contaminant that impairs avian reproduction, but the behavioral and physiological mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine whether lifetime dietary exposure to mercury (1.2 µg/g wet weight in food) impacted avian parental behaviors, and how this might influence reproductive success. To distinguish between the direct effects of mercury on parents and offspring, we created four treatment groups of captive-bred zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), with control and mercury-exposed adults raising cross-fostered control or mercury-exposed eggs (from maternal transfer). Control parents were 23% more likely to fledge young than parents exposed to mercury, regardless of egg exposure. Mercury-exposed parents were less likely to initiate nests than controls and spent less time constructing them. Nests of mercury-exposed pairs were lighter, possibly due to an impaired ability to bring nest material into the nestbox. However, nest temperature, incubation behavior, and provisioning rate did not differ between parental treatments. Unexposed control eggs tended to have shorter incubation periods and higher hatching success than mercury-exposed eggs, but there was no effect of parental exposure on these parameters. We accidentally discovered that parent finches transfer some of their body burden of mercury to nestlings during feeding through secretion in the crop. These results suggest that, in mercury-exposed songbirds, pre-laying parental behaviors, combined with direct exposure of embryos to mercury, likely contribute to reduced reproductive success and should be considered in future studies. Further research is warranted in field settings, where parents are exposed to greater environmental challenges and subtle behavioral differences might have more serious consequences than were observed in captivity.

  15. Syringeal specialization of frequency control during song production in the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen R Secora

    Full Text Available Singing in songbirds is a complex, learned behavior which shares many parallels with human speech. The avian vocal organ (syrinx has two potential sound sources, and each sound generator is under unilateral, ipsilateral neural control. Different songbird species vary in their use of bilateral or unilateral phonation (lateralized sound production and rapid switching between left and right sound generation (interhemispheric switching of motor control. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica have received considerable attention, because they rapidly modify their song in response to manipulations of auditory feedback. However, how the left and right sides of the syrinx contribute to acoustic control of song has not been studied.Three manipulations of lateralized syringeal control of sound production were conducted. First, unilateral syringeal muscular control was eliminated by resection of the left or right tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve, which provides neuromuscular innervation of the syrinx. Spectral and temporal features of song were compared before and after lateralized nerve injury. In a second experiment, either the left or right sound source was devoiced to confirm the role of each sound generator in the control of acoustic phonology. Third, air pressure was recorded before and after unilateral denervation to enable quantification of acoustic change within individual syllables following lateralized nerve resection.These experiments demonstrate that the left sound source produces louder, higher frequency, lower entropy sounds, and the right sound generator produces lower amplitude, lower frequency, higher entropy sounds. The bilateral division of labor is complex and the frequency specialization is the opposite pattern observed in most songbirds. Further, there is evidence for rapid interhemispheric switching during song production. Lateralized control of song production in Bengalese finches may enhance acoustic

  16. Myosin heavy-chain isoforms in the flight and leg muscles of hummingbirds and zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velten, Brandy P; Welch, Kenneth C

    2014-06-01

    Myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform complement is intimately related to a muscle's contractile properties, yet relatively little is known about avian MHC isoforms or how they may vary with fiber type and/or the contractile properties of a muscle. The rapid shortening of muscles necessary to power flight at the high wingbeat frequencies of ruby-throated hummingbirds and zebra finches (25-60 Hz), along with the varied morphology and use of the hummingbird hindlimb, provides a unique opportunity to understand how contractile and morphological properties of avian muscle may be reflected in MHC expression. Isoforms of the hummingbird and zebra finch flight and hindlimb muscles were electrophoretically separated and compared with those of other avian species representing different contractile properties and fiber types. The flight muscles of the study species operate at drastically different contraction rates and are composed of different histochemically defined fiber types, yet each exhibited the same, single MHC isoform corresponding to the chicken adult fast isoform. Thus, despite quantitative differences in the contractile demands of flight muscles across species, this isoform appears necessary for meeting the performance demands of avian powered flight. Variation in flight muscle contractile performance across species may be due to differences in the structural composition of this conserved isoform and/or variation within other mechanically linked proteins. The leg muscles were more varied in their MHC isoform composition across both muscles and species. The disparity in hindlimb MHC expression between hummingbirds and the other species highlights previously observed differences in fiber type composition and thrust production during take-off. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  17. The conserved clag multigene family of malaria parasites: essential roles in host-pathogen interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Ankit; Thiruvengadam, Girija; Desai, Sanjay A

    2015-01-01

    The clag multigene family is strictly conserved in malaria parasites, but absent from neighboring genera of protozoan parasites. Early research pointed to roles in merozoite invasion and infected cell cytoadherence, but more recent studies have implicated channel-mediated uptake of ions and nutrients from host plasma. Here, we review the current understanding of this gene family, which appears to be central to host-parasite interactions and an important therapeutic target. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  18. Can myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-08-22

    Research into fish and amphibian reproduction has increased exponentially in recent years owing to the expansion of the aquaculture industry, the need to recover fishery populations, the impact of endocrine disruptors on the aquatic environment and the global decline of amphibian populations. This review focuses on a group of parasites, the Myxozoa, that affect fish and amphibian reproduction. Lists of the myxosporeans that specifically infect gonads are provided. Most of these are parasitic of freshwater hosts, and most amphibian cases are reported from testes. Sex specificity and sex reversal are discussed in relation to gonadal parasitism. The immune response of the fish to the infection is described, and the contribution of the immunoprivilege of gonads to host invasion is emphasized. The pathological effect of these parasites can be significant, especially in aquacultured broodstocks, on some occasions, leading to parasitic castration. Although myxosporean parasites are currently not very frequent in gonads, their impact could increase in the future owing to the transactions in the global market. Their easy release into the aquatic environment with spawning could make their spreading even more feasible. In the absence of commercial drugs or vaccines to treat and prevent these infections, there is an urgent need to develop specific, rapid and reliable diagnostic tools to control and manage animal movements. In addition, much effort is still to be made on deciphering the life cycle of these organisms, their invasion strategies and their immune evasion mechanisms.

  19. The relationship between plants used to sustain finches (Fringillidae) and uses for human medicine in southeast Spain

    OpenAIRE

    Belda, Antonio; Peiro, Victoriano; Seva Román, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract fin...

  20. Housing conditions and sacrifice protocol affect neural activity and vocal behavior in a songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elie, Julie Estelle; Soula, Hédi Antoine; Trouvé, Colette; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2015-12-01

    Individual cages represent a widely used housing condition in laboratories. This isolation represents an impoverished physical and social environment in gregarious animals. It prevents animals from socializing, even when auditory and visual contact is maintained. Zebra finches are colonial songbirds that are widely used as laboratory animals for the study of vocal communication from brain to behavior. In this study, we investigated the effect of single housing on the vocal behavior and the brain activity of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): male birds housed in individual cages were compared to freely interacting male birds housed as a social group in a communal cage. We focused on the activity of septo-hypothalamic regions of the "social behavior network" (SBN), a set of limbic regions involved in several social behaviors in vertebrates. The activity of four structures of the SBN (BSTm, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; POM, medial preoptic area; lateral septum; ventromedial hypothalamus) and one associated region (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) was assessed using immunoreactive nuclei density of the immediate early gene Zenk (egr-1). We further assessed the identity of active cell populations by labeling vasotocin (VT). Brain activity was related to behavioral activities of birds like physical and vocal interactions. We showed that individual housing modifies vocal exchanges between birds compared to communal housing. This is of particular importance in the zebra finch, a model species for the study of vocal communication. In addition, a protocol that daily removes one or two birds from the group affects differently male zebra finches depending of their housing conditions: while communally-housed males changed their vocal output, brains of individually housed males show increased Zenk labeling in non-VT cells of the BSTm and enhanced correlation of Zenk-revealed activity between the studied structures. These results show that

  1. Children and Parasitic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... because they disproportionately affect impoverished people. More on: Neglected Tropical Diseases Prevention One of the most important ways to help prevent these parasitic diseases is to teach children the importance of washing hands correctly with soap ...

  2. Parasites and the skin

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2009-06-11

    Jun 11, 2009 ... those conditions that are encountered in daily practice and to remind you of those ... care conditions. Parasitic infections can be solely confined to the skin, as seen ..... endemic areas or may become chronic and disseminate.

  3. Parasitic Diseases: Glossary

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... of the leg. Endemic: A disease that is native to a particular geographic region. Epidemiology: The study ... parasites/glossary.html) T Telediagnosis: The transmission of digital images captured from a clinical specimen and sent ...

  4. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge. PMID:22611428

  5. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Belda

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses; thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158, and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (=158. Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  6. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  7. Is the rate of metabolic ageing and survival determined by Basal metabolic rate in the zebra finch?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernt Rønning

    Full Text Available The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR, as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (P<0.1. Thus, the effect of BMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.

  8. Is the rate of metabolic ageing and survival determined by Basal metabolic rate in the zebra finch?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rønning, Bernt; Moe, Børge; Berntsen, Henrik H; Noreen, Elin; Bech, Claus

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR), as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age) and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (PBMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.

  9. Cannabinoid exposure during zebra finch sensorimotor vocal learning persistently alters expression of endocannabinoid signaling elements and acute agonist responsiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lichtman Aron H

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previously we have found that cannabinoid treatment of zebra finches during sensorimotor stages of vocal development alters song patterns produced in adulthood. Such persistently altered behavior must be attributable to changes in physiological substrates responsible for song. We are currently working to identify the nature of such physiological changes, and to understand how they contribute to altered vocal learning. One possibility is that developmental agonist exposure results in altered expression of elements of endocannabinoid signaling systems. To test this hypothesis we have studied effects of the potent cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN on endocannabinoid levels and densities of CB1 immunostaining in zebra finch brain. Results We found that late postnatal WIN treatment caused a long-term global disregulation of both levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG and densities of CB1 immunostaining across brain regions, while repeated cannabinoid treatment in adults produced few long-term changes in the endogenous cannabinoid system. Conclusions Our findings indicate that the zebra finch endocannabinoid system is particularly sensitive to exogenous agonist exposure during the critical period of song learning and provide insight into susceptible brain areas.

  10. Imaging of parasitic diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haddad, Maurice C.

    2008-01-01

    This book provides an overview of the imaging findings of parasitic diseases using modern imaging equipment. The chapters consist of short descriptions of causative pathogens, epidemiology, modes of transmission, pathology, clinical manifestations, laboratory tests, and imaging findings, with illustrative examples of parasitic diseases that can affect various systems of the human body. Tables summarizing key diagnostic features and clinical data pertinent to diagnosis are also included. This book is intended for radiologists worldwide. (orig.)

  11. Imaging of parasitic diseases

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haddad, Maurice C. [American Univ. of Beirut Medical Center (Lebanon). Dept. of Diagnostic Radiology; Abd El Bagi, Mohamed E. [Riyadh Military Hospital (Saudi Arabia). Radiology and Imaging Dept. 920W; Tamraz, Jean C. (eds.) [CHU Hotel-Dieu de France, Beirut (Lebanon)

    2008-07-01

    This book provides an overview of the imaging findings of parasitic diseases using modern imaging equipment. The chapters consist of short descriptions of causative pathogens, epidemiology, modes of transmission, pathology, clinical manifestations, laboratory tests, and imaging findings, with illustrative examples of parasitic diseases that can affect various systems of the human body. Tables summarizing key diagnostic features and clinical data pertinent to diagnosis are also included. This book is intended for radiologists worldwide. (orig.)

  12. Pathoecology of Chiribaya parasitism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martinson Elizabeth

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The excavations of Chiribaya culture sites in the Osmore drainage of southern Peru focused on the recovery of information about prehistoric disease, including parasitism. The archaeologists excavated human, dog, guinea pig, and llama mummies. These mummies were analyzed for internal and external parasites. The results of the analysis and reconstruction of prehistoric life from the excavations allows us to interpret the pathoecology of the Chiribaya culture.

  13. Prevalence of Parasitic Contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ismail, Yazan

    2016-01-01

    One of the main ways in transmitting parasites to humans is through consuming contaminated raw vegetables. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of parasitological contamination (helminthes eggs, Giardia and Entamoeba histolytica cysts) of salad vegetables sold at supermarkets and street vendors in Amman and Baqa’a – Jordan. A total of 133 samples of salad vegetables were collected and examined for the prevalence of parasites. It was found that 29% of the samples were contaminated with different parasites. Of the 30 lettuce, 33 tomato, 42 parsley and 28 cucumber samples examined the prevalence of Ascaris spp. eggs was 43%, 15%, 21% and 4%; Toxocara spp. eggs was 30%, 0%, 0% and 4%; Giardia spp. cysts was 23%, 6%, 0% and 0%; Taenia/Echinococcus eggs was 20%, 0%, 5% and 0%; Fasciola hepatica eggs was 13%, 3%, 2% and 0%; and E. histolytica cysts was 10%, 6%, 0% and 0%, respectively. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of parasite in salad vegetables either between supermarkets and street vendors, or between Amman and Baqa’a, Ascaris spp. was found to be the highest prevalent parasite in salad vegetables from supermarkets and street vendors and from Amman and Baqa’a. Our results pointed out that, the parasitic contamination of salad vegetables found in our study might be caused by irrigating crops with faecal contaminated water. We concluded that salad vegetables sold in Amman and Baqa’a may cause a health risk to consumers.

  14. Parasites in marine food webs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2013-01-01

    Most species interactions probably involve parasites. This review considers the extent to which marine ecologists should consider parasites to fully understand marine communities. Parasites are influential parts of food webs in estuaries, temperate reefs, and coral reefs, but their ecological importance is seldom recognized. Though difficult to observe, parasites can have substantial biomass, and they can be just as common as free-living consumers after controlling for body mass and trophic level. Parasites have direct impacts on the energetics of their hosts and some affect host behaviors, with ecosystem-level consequences. Although they cause disease, parasites are sensitive components of ecosystems. In particular, they suffer secondary extinctions due to biodiversity loss. Some parasites can also return to a system after habitat restoration. For these reasons, parasites can make good indicators of ecosystem integrity. Fishing can indirectly increase or decrease parasite populations and the effects of climate change on parasites are likely to be equally as complex.

  15. A centroid model of species distribution with applications to the Carolina wren Thryothorus ludovicianus and house finch Haemorhous mexicanus in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qiongyu; Sauer, John R.; Swatantran, Anu; Dubayah, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Drastic shifts in species distributions are a cause of concern for ecologists. Such shifts pose great threat to biodiversity especially under unprecedented anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Many studies have documented recent shifts in species distributions. However, most of these studies are limited to regional scales, and do not consider the abundance structure within species ranges. Developing methods to detect systematic changes in species distributions over their full ranges is critical for understanding the impact of changing environments and for successful conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate a centroid model for range-wide analysis of distribution shifts using the North American Breeding Bird Survey. The centroid model is based on a hierarchical Bayesian framework which models population change within physiographic strata while accounting for several factors affecting species detectability. Yearly abundance-weighted range centroids are estimated. As case studies, we derive annual centroids for the Carolina wren and house finch in their ranges in the U.S. We further evaluate the first-difference correlation between species’ centroid movement and changes in winter severity, total population abundance. We also examined associations of change in centroids from sub-ranges. Change in full-range centroid movements of Carolina wren significantly correlate with snow cover days (r = −0.58). For both species, the full-range centroid shifts also have strong correlation with total abundance (r = 0.65, and 0.51 respectively). The movements of the full-range centroids of the two species are correlated strongly (up to r = 0.76) with that of the sub-ranges with more drastic population changes. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of centroids for analyzing distribution changes in a two-dimensional spatial context. Particularly it highlights applications that associate the centroid with factors such as environmental stressors, population characteristics

  16. The evolution of invasiveness in garden ants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Cremer

    Full Text Available It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects.

  17. The Evolution of Invasiveness in Garden Ants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremer, Sylvia; Ugelvig, Line V.; Drijfhout, Falko P.; Schlick-Steiner, Birgit C.; Steiner, Florian M.; Seifert, Bernhard; Hughes, David P.; Schulz, Andreas; Petersen, Klaus S.; Konrad, Heino; Stauffer, Christian; Kiran, Kadri; Espadaler, Xavier; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Aktaç, Nihat; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Jones, Graeme R.; Nash, David R.; Pedersen, Jes S.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2008-01-01

    It is unclear why some species become successful invaders whilst others fail, and whether invasive success depends on pre-adaptations already present in the native range or on characters evolving de-novo after introduction. Ants are among the worst invasive pests, with Lasius neglectus and its rapid spread through Europe and Asia as the most recent example of a pest ant that may become a global problem. Here, we present the first integrated study on behavior, morphology, population genetics, chemical recognition and parasite load of L. neglectus and its non-invasive sister species L. turcicus. We find that L. neglectus expresses the same supercolonial syndrome as other invasive ants, a social system that is characterized by mating without dispersal and large networks of cooperating nests rather than smaller mutually hostile colonies. We conclude that the invasive success of L. neglectus relies on a combination of parasite-release following introduction and pre-adaptations in mating system, body-size, queen number and recognition efficiency that evolved long before introduction. Our results challenge the notion that supercolonial organization is an inevitable consequence of low genetic variation for chemical recognition cues in small invasive founder populations. We infer that low variation and limited volatility in cuticular hydrocarbon profiles already existed in the native range in combination with low dispersal and a highly viscous population structure. Human transport to relatively disturbed urban areas thus became the decisive factor to induce parasite release, a well established general promoter of invasiveness in non-social animals and plants, but understudied in invasive social insects. PMID:19050762

  18. The evolution of sexual size dimorphism in the house finch. V. Maternal effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V; Beck, Michelle L; Hill, Geoffrey E; Whittingham, Linda A

    2003-02-01

    The phenotype of a mother and the environment that she provides might differentially affect the phenotypes of her sons and daughters, leading to change in sexual size dimorphism. Whereas these maternal effects should evolve to accommodate the adaptations of both the maternal and offspring generations, the mechanisms by which this is accomplished are rarely known. In birds, females adjust the onset of incubation (coincident with the first egg or after all eggs are laid) in response to the environment during breeding, and thus, indirectly, determine the duration of offspring growth. In the two house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) populations that breed at the extremes of the species' distribution (Montana and Alabama), females experience highly distinct climatic conditions during nesting. We show that in close association with these conditions, females adjusted jointly the onset of incubation and the sequence in which they produced male and female eggs and consequently modified the growth of sons and daughters. The onset of incubation in newly breeding females closely tracked ambient temperature in a pattern consistent with the maintenance of egg viability. Because of the very different climates in Montana and Alabama, females in these populations showed the opposite patterns of seasonal change in incubation onset and the opposite sex bias in egg-laying order. In females with breeding experience, incubation onset and sex bias in laying order were closely linked regardless of the climatic variation. In nests in which incubation began with the onset of egg laying, the first-laid eggs were mostly females in Montana, but mostly males in Alabama. Because in both populations, male, but not female, embryos grew faster when exposed to longer incubation, the sex-bias produced highly divergent sizes of male and female juveniles between the populations. Overall, the compensatory interaction between the onset of incubation and the sex-biased laying order achieved a compromise

  19. A microculture technique for isolating live Leishmania parasites from peripheral blood of visceral leishmaniasis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hide, M; Singh, R; Kumar, B; Bañuls, A L; Sundar, S

    2007-06-01

    Current procedures for diagnosing Leishmania parasites from patients involve invasive and dangerous tissue aspiration. We have developed a non-invasive and highly sensitive microculture method that can isolate parasites from the buffy coat of the patient's peripheral blood. The parasites were cultured in 96-well culture plates. Nineteen parasitologically proven visceral leishmaniasis (VL) patients were included in the study. Using this technique, we were able to isolate parasites from 16 (84%) samples. However, all 19 (100%) samples were positive on culture of splenic aspirates. We conclude that this technique is useful for the isolation and cryoconservation of parasites from patients' blood. This simple method could be tried as a first-instance alternative before other more sensitive procedures such as splenic aspirate; however, negative results should be confirmed by tests with higher sensitivity.

  20. Comparative genomics of the Apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum 

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reid, Adam James; Vermont, Sarah J.; Cotton, James A.

    2012-01-01

    Coccidian parasites have a major impact on human and animal health world-wide and are among the most successful and widespread parasitic protozoa. They include Neospora caninum which is a leading cause of abortion in cattle and one of its nearest relatives, Toxoplasma gondii. Despite its close...... almost exclusively on molecules which control the interaction of the parasite with the host cell. We show that some secreted invasion-related proteins and surface genes which are known to control virulence and host cell interactions in Toxoplasma are dramatically altered in their expression...... and functionality in Neospora and propose that evolution of these genes may underpin the ecological niches inhabited by coccidian parasites....

  1. Density-dependence and within-host competition in a semelparous parasite of leaf-cutting ants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomsen Lene

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parasite heterogeneity and within-host competition are thought to be important factors influencing the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Yet, while there have been many theoretical investigations of how these factors may act, empirical data is more limited. We investigated the effects of parasite density and heterogeneity on parasite virulence and fitness using four strains of the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, and its leaf-cutting ant host Acromyrmex echinatior as the model system. Results The relationship between parasite density and infection was sigmoidal, with there being an invasion threshold for an infection to occur (an Allee effect. Although spore production was positively density-dependent, parasite fitness decreased with increasing parasite density, indicating within-host scramble competition. The dynamics differed little between the four strains tested. In mixed infections of three strains the infection-growth dynamics were unaffected by parasite heterogeneity. Conclusions The strength of within-host competition makes dispersal the best strategy for the parasite. Parasite heterogeneity may not have effected virulence or the infection dynamics either because the most virulent strain outcompeted the others, or because the interaction involved scramble competition that was impervious to parasite heterogeneity. The dynamics observed may be common for virulent parasites, such as Metarhizium, that produce aggregated transmission stages. Such parasites make useful models for investigating infection dynamics and the impact of parasite competition.

  2. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals.

  3. Malaria parasites: the great escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Rénia

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Parasites of the genus Plasmodium have a complex life cycle. They alternate between their final mosquito host and their intermediate hosts. The parasite can be either extra- or intracellular, depending on the stage of development. By modifying their shape, motility, and metabolic requirements, the parasite adapts to the different environments in their different hosts. The parasite has evolved to escape the multiple immune mechanisms in the host that try to block parasite development at the different stages of their development. In this article, we describe the mechanisms reported thus far that allow the Plasmodium parasite to evade innate and adaptive immune responses.

  4. Metabolic and respiratory costs of increasing song amplitude in zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sue Anne Zollinger

    Full Text Available Bird song is a widely used model in the study of animal communication and sexual selection, and several song features have been shown to reflect the quality of the singer. Recent studies have demonstrated that song amplitude may be an honest signal of current condition in males and that females prefer high amplitude songs. In addition, birds raise the amplitude of their songs to communicate in noisy environments. Although it is generally assumed that louder song should be more costly to produce, there has been little empirical evidence to support this assumption. We tested the assumption by measuring oxygen consumption and respiratory patterns in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata singing at different amplitudes in different background noise conditions. As background noise levels increased, birds significantly increased the sound pressure level of their songs. We found that louder songs required significantly greater subsyringeal air sac pressure than quieter songs. Though increased pressure is probably achieved by increasing respiratory muscle activity, these increases did not correlate with measurable increases in oxygen consumption. In addition, we found that oxygen consumption increased in higher background noise, independent of singing behaviour. This observation supports previous research in mammals showing that high levels of environmental noise can induce physiological stress responses. While our study did not find that increasing vocal amplitude increased metabolic costs, further research is needed to determine whether there are other non-metabolic costs of singing louder or costs associated with chronic noise exposure.

  5. Evolution of female carotenoid coloration by sexual constraint in Carduelis finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cardoso Gonçalo C

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Females often express the same ornaments as males to a similar or lesser degree. Female ornaments can be adaptive, but little is known regarding their origins and mode of evolution. Current utility does not imply evolutionary causation, and therefore it is possible that female ornamentation evolved due to selection on females, as a correlated response to selection on males (sexual constraint, or a combination of both. We tested these ideas simulating simple models for the evolution of male and female correlated traits, and compared their predictions against the coloration of finches in the genus Carduelis. Results For carotenoid-based ornamental coloration, a model of sexual constraint on females fits the Carduelis data well. The two alternative models (sexual constraint on males, and mutual constraint were rejected as causing the similarities in carotenoid coloration between males and females. For melanin coloration, the correlation between the sexes was weaker, indicating that males and females evolved independently to a greater extent. Conclusions This indicates that sexual constraint on females was an important mechanism for the evolution of ornamental carotenoid coloration in females, but less so for melanin coloration. This does not mean that female carotenoid coloration is non-adaptive or maladaptive, because sexual dichromatism could evolve if it were maladaptive. It suggests, however, that most evolution of female carotenoid coloration was male-driven and, when adaptive, may not be an adaptation stricto sensu.

  6. Large-scale synchronized activity during vocal deviance detection in the zebra finch auditory forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckers, Gabriël J L; Gahr, Manfred

    2012-08-01

    Auditory systems bias responses to sounds that are unexpected on the basis of recent stimulus history, a phenomenon that has been widely studied using sequences of unmodulated tones (mismatch negativity; stimulus-specific adaptation). Such a paradigm, however, does not directly reflect problems that neural systems normally solve for adaptive behavior. We recorded multiunit responses in the caudomedial auditory forebrain of anesthetized zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) at 32 sites simultaneously, to contact calls that recur probabilistically at a rate that is used in communication. Neurons in secondary, but not primary, auditory areas respond preferentially to calls when they are unexpected (deviant) compared with the same calls when they are expected (standard). This response bias is predominantly due to sites more often not responding to standard events than to deviant events. When two call stimuli alternate between standard and deviant roles, most sites exhibit a response bias to deviant events of both stimuli. This suggests that biases are not based on a use-dependent decrease in response strength but involve a more complex mechanism that is sensitive to auditory deviance per se. Furthermore, between many secondary sites, responses are tightly synchronized, a phenomenon that is driven by internal neuronal interactions rather than by the timing of stimulus acoustic features. We hypothesize that this deviance-sensitive, internally synchronized network of neurons is involved in the involuntary capturing of attention by unexpected and behaviorally potentially relevant events in natural auditory scenes.

  7. Increased fat catabolism sustains water balance during fasting in zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutkowska, Joanna; Sadowska, Edyta T; Cichoń, Mariusz; Bauchinger, Ulf

    2016-09-01

    Patterns of physiological flexibility in response to fasting are well established, but much less is known about the contribution of water deprivation to the observed effects. We investigated body composition and energy and water budget in three groups of zebra finches: birds with access to food and water, food-deprived birds having access to drinking water and food-and-water-deprived birds. Animals were not stimulated by elevated energy expenditure and they were in thermoneutral conditions; thus, based on previous studies, water balance of fasting birds was expected to be maintained by increased catabolism of proteins. In contrast to this expectation, we found that access to water did not prevent reduction of proteinaceous tissue, but it saved fat reserves of the fasting birds. Thus, water balance of birds fasting without access to water seemed to be maintained by elevated fat catabolism, which generated 6 times more metabolic water compared with that in birds that had access to water. Therefore, we revise currently established views and propose fat to serve as the primary source for metabolic water production. Previously assumed increased protein breakdown for maintenance of water budget would occur if fat stores were depleted or if fat catabolism reached its upper limits due to high energy demands. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Mitochondria-targeted molecules determine the redness of the zebra finch bill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarero, Alejandro; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2017-10-01

    The evolution and production mechanisms of red carotenoid-based ornaments in animals are poorly understood. Recently, it has been suggested that enzymes transforming yellow carotenoids to red pigments (ketolases) in animal cells may be positioned in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) intimately linked to the electron transport chain. These enzymes may mostly synthesize coenzyme Q 10 (coQ 10 ), a key redox-cycler antioxidant molecularly similar to yellow carotenoids. It has been hypothesized that this shared pathway favours the evolution of red traits as sexually selected individual quality indices by revealing a well-adjusted oxidative metabolism. We administered mitochondria-targeted molecules to male zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) measuring their bill redness, a trait produced by transforming yellow carotenoids. One molecule included coQ 10 (mitoquinone mesylate, MitoQ) and the other one (decyl-triphenylphosphonium; dTPP) has the same structure without the coQ 10 aromatic ring. At the highest dose, the bill colour of MitoQ and dTPP birds strongly differed: MitoQ birds' bills were redder and dTPP birds showed paler bills even compared to birds injected with saline only. These results suggest that ketolases are indeed placed at the IMM and that coQ 10 antioxidant properties may improve their efficiency. The implications for evolutionary theories of sexual signalling are discussed. © 2017 The Author(s).

  9. Heterologous Synapsis and Crossover Suppression in Heterozygotes for a Pericentric Inversion in the Zebra Finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Priore, Lucía; Pigozzi, María I

    2015-01-01

    In the zebra finch, 2 alternative morphs regarding centromere position were described for chromosome 6. This polymorphism was interpreted to be the result of a pericentric inversion, but other causes of the centromere repositioning were not ruled out. We used immunofluorescence localization to examine the distribution of MLH1 foci on synaptonemal complexes to test the prediction that pericentric inversions cause synaptic irregularities and/or crossover suppression in heterozygotes. We found complete suppression of crossing over in the region involved in the rearrangement in male and female heterozygotes. In contrast, the same region showed high levels of crossing over in homozygotes for the acrocentric form of this chromosome. No inversion loops or synaptic irregularities were detected along bivalent 6 in heterozygotes suggesting that heterologous pairing is achieved during zygotene or early pachytene. Altogether these findings strongly indicate that the polymorphic chromosome 6 originated by a pericentric inversion. Since inversions are common rearrangements in karyotypic evolution in birds, it seems likely that early heterologous pairing could help to fix these rearrangements, preventing crossing overs in heterozygotes and their deleterious effects on fertility. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Impulsiveness does not prevent cooperation from emerging but reduces its occurrence: an experiment with zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chia, Camille; Dubois, Frédérique

    2017-08-17

    Reciprocal altruism, the most probable mechanism for cooperation among unrelated individuals, can be modelled as a Prisoner's Dilemma. This game predicts that cooperation should evolve whenever the players, who expect to interact repeatedly, make choices contingent to their partner's behaviour. Experimental evidence, however, indicates that reciprocity is rare among animals. One reason for this would be that animals are very impulsive compared to humans. Several studies have reported that temporal discounting (that is, strong preferences for immediate benefits) has indeed a negative impact on the occurrence of cooperation. Yet, the role of impulsive action, another facet of impulsiveness, remains unexplored. Here, we conducted a laboratory experiment in which male and female zebra finches (Taenyopigia guttata) were paired assortatively with respect to their level of impulsive action and then played an alternating Prisoner's Dilemma. As anticipated, we found that self-controlled pairs achieved high levels of cooperation by using a Generous Tit-for-Tat strategy, while impulsive birds that cooperated at a lower level, chose to cooperate with a fixed probability. If the inability of impulsive individuals to use reactive strategies are due to their reduced working memory capacity, thus our findings might contribute to explaining interspecific differences in cooperative behaviour.

  11. Early-Life Stress Triggers Juvenile Zebra Finches to Switch Social Learning Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farine, Damien R; Spencer, Karen A; Boogert, Neeltje J

    2015-08-17

    Stress during early life can cause disease and cognitive impairment in humans and non-humans alike. However, stress and other environmental factors can also program developmental pathways. We investigate whether differential exposure to developmental stress can drive divergent social learning strategies between siblings. In many species, juveniles acquire essential foraging skills by copying others: they can copy peers (horizontal social learning), learn from their parents (vertical social learning), or learn from other adults (oblique social learning). However, whether juveniles' learning strategies are condition dependent largely remains a mystery. We found that juvenile zebra finches living in flocks socially learned novel foraging skills exclusively from adults. By experimentally manipulating developmental stress, we further show that social learning targets are phenotypically plastic. While control juveniles learned foraging skills from their parents, their siblings, exposed as nestlings to experimentally elevated stress hormone levels, learned exclusively from unrelated adults. Thus, early-life conditions triggered individuals to switch strategies from vertical to oblique social learning. This switch could arise from stress-induced differences in developmental rate, cognitive and physical state, or the use of stress as an environmental cue. Acquisition of alternative social learning strategies may impact juveniles' fit to their environment and ultimately change their developmental trajectories. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Blocking estradiol synthesis affects memory for songs in auditory forebrain of male zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Kathleen M; Lu, Kai; Vicario, David S

    2012-11-14

    Estradiol (E2) has recently been shown to modulate sensory processing in an auditory area of the songbird forebrain, the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). When a bird hears conspecific song, E2 increases locally in NCM, where neurons express both the aromatase enzyme that synthesizes E2 from precursors and estrogen receptors. Auditory responses in NCM show a form of neuronal memory: repeated playback of the unique learned vocalizations of conspecific individuals induces long-lasting stimulus-specific adaptation of neural responses to each vocalization. To test the role of E2 in this auditory memory, we treated adult male zebra finches (n=16) with either the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD) or saline for 8 days. We then exposed them to 'training' songs and, 6 h later, recorded multiunit auditory responses with an array of 16 microelectrodes in NCM. Adaptation rates (a measure of stimulus-specific adaptation) to playbacks of training and novel songs were computed, using established methods, to provide a measure of neuronal memory. Recordings from the FAD-treated birds showed a significantly reduced memory for the training songs compared with saline-treated controls, whereas auditory processing for novel songs did not differ between treatment groups. In addition, FAD did not change the response bias in favor of conspecific over heterospecific song stimuli. Our results show that E2 depletion affects the neuronal memory for vocalizations in songbird NCM, and suggest that E2 plays a necessary role in auditory processing and memory for communication signals.

  13. VizieR Online Data Catalog: URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) (Finch+, 2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.

    2016-04-01

    The URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) consists of 112177 parallaxes. The catalog utilizes all Northern Hemisphere epoch data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT). This data includes all individual exposures from April 2012 to June 2015 giving a larger epoch baseline for determining parallaxes over the 2-year span of the First USNO Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog (URAT1) (Zacharias et al., 2015, Cat. I/329) published data. The URAT parallax pipeline is custom code that utilizes routines from (Jao, C.-W., 2004, PhD thesis Georgia Stat), the JPL DE405 ephemeris and Green's parallax factor (Green, R.M., 1985, Spherical Astronomy) for determining parallaxes from a weighted least-squares reduction. The relative parallaxes have been corrected to absolute by using the distance color relation described in (Finch et. al, 2014, Cat. J/AJ/148/119) to determine a mean distance of all UCAC4 reference stars (R=8-16 mag) used in the astrometric reductions. Presented here are all significant parallaxes from the URAT Northern Hemisphere epoch data comprising of 2 groups: a) URAT parallax results for stars with prior published parallax, and b) first time trigonometric parallaxes as obtained from URAT data of stars without prior published parallax. Note, more stringent selection criteria have been applied to the second group than the first in order to keep the rate of false detections low. For specific information about the astrometric reductions please see 'The First U.S. Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog' published paper (Zacharias et al., 2015AJ....150..101Z, Cat. I/329). For complete details regarding the parallax pipeline please see 'Parallax Results From URAT Epoch Data' (Finch and Zacharias, 2016, AJ, in press). This catalog gives all positions on the ICRS at Epoch J2014.0; it covers the magnitude range 6.56 to 16.93 in the URAT band-pass, with an average parallax precision of 4.3mas for stars having no known

  14. Personality is Tightly Coupled to Vasopressin-Oxytocin Neuron Activity in a Gregarious Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Nonapeptides of the vasopressin-oxytocin family modulate social processes differentially in relation to sex, species, behavioral phenotype, and human personality. However, the mechanistic bases for these differences are not well understood, in part because multidimensional personality structures remain to be described for common laboratory animals. Based upon principal components (PC analysis of extensive behavioral measures in social and nonsocial contexts, we now describe three complex dimensions of phenotype (personality for the zebra finch, a species that exhibits a human-like social organization that is based upon biparental nuclear families embedded within larger social groups. These dimensions can be characterized as Social competence/dominance, Gregariousness, and Anxiety. We further demonstrate that the phasic Fos response of nonapeptide neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are significantly predicted by personality, sex, social context, and their interactions. Furthermore the behavioral PCs are each associated with a distinct suite of neural PCs that incorporate both peptide cell numbers and their phasic Fos responses, indicating that personality is reflected in complex patterns of neuromodulation arising from multiple peptide cell groups. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying sex- and phenotype-specific modulation of behavior, and should be broadly relevant, given that vasopressin-oxytocin systems are strongly conserved across vertebrates.

  15. The role of extracellular vesicles in parasite-host interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justyna Gatkowska

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Extracellular vesicles (EVs, initially considered cell debris, were soon proved to be an essential tool of intercellular communication enabling the exchange of information without direct contact of the cells. At present EVs are the subject of extensive research due to their universal presence in single- and multi-cell organisms, regardless of their systematic position, and their substantial role in cell-to-cell communication. EVs seem to be released by both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells under natural (in vivo and laboratory (in vitro conditions. Even purified fractions of isolated EVs comprise various membrane-derived structures. However, EVs can be classified into general groups based primarily on their size and origin. EVs may carry various materials, and ongoing research investigations give new insight into their potenti participation in critical biological processes, e.g. carcinogenesis. This paper presents current knowledge on the EVs’ involvement in host–parasite interactions including the invasion process, the maintenance of the parasite infection and modulation of the host immune response to parasite antigenic stimulation, as well as perspectives of the potential use of EVs as immunoprophylactic and diagnostic tools for controlling parasite infections. The most numerous literature data concern protozoan parasites, especially those of the greatest medical and social importance worldwide. However, available information about the EVs’ contribution to helminth invasion has also been included.

  16. Invaders interfere with native parasite-host interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thieltges, David W.; Reise, Karsten; Prinz, Katrin

    2009-01-01

    The introduction of species is of increasing concern as invaders often reduce the abundance of native species due to a variety of interactions like habitat engineering, predation and competition. A more subtle and not recognized effect of invaders on their recipient biota is their potential...... interference with native parasite-host interactions. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that two invasive molluscan filter-feeders of European coastal waters interfere with the transmission of free-living infective trematode larval stages and hereby mitigate the parasite burden of native mussels (Mytilus...

  17. Past Intestinal Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bailly, Matthieu; Araújo, Adauto

    2016-08-01

    This chapter aims to provide some key points for researchers interested in the study of ancient gastrointestinal parasites. These few pages are dedicated to my colleague and friend, Prof. Adauto Araújo (1951-2015), who participated in the writing of this chapter. His huge efforts in paleoparasitology contributed to the development and promotion of the discipline during more than 30 years.

  18. Enteric parasites and AIDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sérgio Cimerman

    1999-11-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To report on the importance of intestinal parasites in patients with AIDS, showing relevant data in the medical literature, with special emphasis on epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of enteroparasitosis, especially cryptosporidiasis, isosporiasis, microsporidiasis and strongyloidiasis. DESIGN: Narrative review.

  19. Short-sighted evolution of virulence in parasitic honeybee workers ( Apis mellifera capensis Esch.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Hepburn, H. Randall; Neumann, Peter

    2008-06-01

    The short-sighted selection hypothesis for parasite virulence predicts that winners of within-host competition are poorer at transmission to new hosts. Social parasitism by self-replicating, female-producing workers occurs in the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis, and colonies of other honeybee subspecies are susceptible hosts. We found high within-host virulence but low transmission rates in a clone of social parasitic A. m. capensis workers invading the neighbouring subspecies A. m. scutellata. In contrast, parasitic workers from the endemic range of A. m. capensis showed low within-host virulence but high transmission rates. This suggests a short-sighted selection scenario for the host-parasite co-evolution in the invasive range of the Cape honeybee, probably facilitated by beekeeping-assisted parasite transmission in apiaries.

  20. Uropygial gland volatiles may code for olfactory information about sex, individual, and species in Bengalese finches Lonchura striata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-Xu ZHANG et al.

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Over-shadowed by eye-catching vocal and visual signals, chemical communication has long been overlooked in birds. This study aimed at exploring whether volatile composition of the uropygial gland secretion (UGS of birds was associated with the information about sex, individual and species. By using dichloromethane extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS, we analyzed the UGS volatiles of domesticated Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata, Estrildiea which is also known as white-rumped munias. We characterized 16 volatile molecules from the UGS, including eight n-alkanols, five diesters, an ester, an aldehyde and a fatty acid, and quantified them in terms of GC peak area percentages (relative abundances. Among these compounds, hexadecanol and octadecanol were major components in both sexes. The former was richer in males than females and the latter richer in females than males, suggesting that they might be male and female pheromone candidates, respectively. The high inter-individual variations, in relative abundance, of the UGS volatiles implied that they might carry information about individuality. The similarity between GC profiles of the UGS and wing feather from same individuals indicates that the birds might preen the secretion to their feathers to transmit chemical cues. Additionally, by comparing with three sympatric passerine species,i.e., zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, yellow-bowed buntings Emberiza chrysophrys and rooks Corvus frugilegus, we found that the composition of C13-C18 alkanols in the UGS might contain information about species. Our study also show that quantitative differences (degree of same UGS volatiles might be the key for the Bengalese finch to code for information about sex and individuality whereas both the kind and degree of UGS constituents could be utilized to code for information about species [Current Zoology 55 (5:–2009].

  1. Rapid evolution of parasite life history traits on an expanding range-edge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelehear, Crystal; Brown, Gregory P; Shine, Richard

    2012-04-01

    Parasites of invading species undergoing range advance may be exposed to powerful new selective forces. Low host density in range-edge populations hampers parasite transmission, requiring the parasite to survive longer periods in the external environment before encountering a potential host. These conditions should favour evolutionary shifts in offspring size to maximise parasite transmission. We conducted a common-garden experiment to compare life history traits among seven populations of the nematode lungworm (Rhabdias pseudosphaerocephala) spanning from the parasite population core to the expanding range-edge in invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) in tropical Australia. Compared to conspecifics from the population core, nematodes from the range-edge exhibited larger eggs, larger free-living adults and larger infective larvae, and reduced age at maturity in parasitic adults. These results support a priori predictions regarding adaptive changes in offspring size as a function of invasion history, and suggest that parasite life history traits can evolve rapidly in response to the selective forces exerted by a biological invasion. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Introduced species: domestic mammals are more significant transmitters of parasites to native mammals than are feral mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landaeta-Aqueveque, Carlos; Henríquez, Analía; Cattan, Pedro E

    2014-03-01

    The study of parasitism related to biological invasion has focused on attributes and impacts of parasites as invaders and the impact of introduced hosts on endemic parasitism. Thus, there is currently no study of the attributes of hosts which influence the invasiveness of parasites. We aimed to determine whether the degree of domestication of introduced mammalian species - feral introduced mammals, livestock or pets, hereafter 'D' - is important in the spillover of introduced parasites. The literature on introduced parasites of mammals in Chile was reviewed. We designed an index for estimating the relevance of the introduced host species to parasite spillover and determined whether the D of introduced mammals predicted this index. A total of 223 introduced parasite species were found. Our results indicate that domestic mammals have a higher number of introduced parasites and spillover parasites, and the index indicates that these mammals, particularly pets, are more relevant introducers than introduced feral mammals. Further analyses indicated that the higher impact is due to higher parasite richness, a longer time since introduction and wider dispersal, as well as how these mammals are maintained. The greater relevance of domestic mammals is important given that they are basically the same species distributed worldwide and can become the main transmitters of parasites to native mammals elsewhere. This finding also underlines the feasibility of management in order to reduce the transmission of parasites to native fauna through anti-parasitic treatment of domestic mammals, animal-ownership education and the prevention of importing new parasite species. Copyright © 2014 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Role of parasites in cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandong, B M; Ngbea, J A; Raymond, Vhriterhire

    2013-01-01

    In areas of parasitic endemicity, the occurrence of cancer that is not frequent may be linked with parasitic infection. Epidemiological correlates between some parasitic infections and cancer is strong, suggesting a strong aetiological association. The common parasites associated with human cancers are schistosomiasis, malaria, liver flukes (Clonorchis sinenses, Opistorchis viverrini). To review the pathology, literature and methods of diagnosis. Literature review from peer reviewed Journals cited in PubMed and local journals. Parasites may serve as promoters of cancer in endemic areas of infection.

  4. Effect of laying sequence on egg mercury in captive zebra finches: an interpretation considering individual variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Langbo; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2015-08-01

    Bird eggs are used widely as noninvasive bioindicators for environmental mercury availability. Previous studies, however, have found varying relationships between laying sequence and egg mercury concentrations. Some studies have reported that the mercury concentration was higher in first-laid eggs or declined across the laying sequence, whereas in other studies mercury concentration was not related to egg order. Approximately 300 eggs (61 clutches) were collected from captive zebra finches dosed throughout their reproductive lives with methylmercury (0.3 μg/g, 0.6 μg/g, 1.2 μg/g, or 2.4 μg/g wet wt in diet); the total mercury concentration (mean ± standard deviation [SD] dry wt basis) of their eggs was 7.03 ± 1.38 μg/g, 14.15 ± 2.52 μg/g, 26.85 ± 5.85 μg/g, and 49.76 ± 10.37 μg/g, respectively (equivalent to fresh wt egg mercury concentrations of 1.24 μg/g, 2.50 μg/g, 4.74 μg/g, and 8.79 μg/g). The authors observed a significant decrease in the mercury concentration of successive eggs when compared with the first egg and notable variation between clutches within treatments. The mercury level of individual females within and among treatments did not alter this relationship. Based on the results, sampling of a single egg in each clutch from any position in the laying sequence is sufficient for purposes of population risk assessment, but it is not recommended as a proxy for individual female exposure or as an estimate of average mercury level within the clutch. © 2015 SETAC.

  5. Effects of acute corticosterone treatment on partner preferences in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPlante, Kimberly A; Huremovic, Enida; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2014-04-01

    Stress alters physiology and behavior across species. Most research on the effects of stress on behavior uses chronic stressors, and most are correlational. The effects of acute stressors on physiology and behavior have been mixed. Here, we use zebra finches, a highly gregarious species that forms long-term pair bonds, to test the effects of an acute corticosterone (CORT) on opposite-sex partner preferences over a same-sex individual or a group (the latter is a highly appealing option). We had two competing hypotheses. First, we predicted that acute CORT would alter preferences for the opposite sex bird in both conditions in both sexes. However, since there is a sex difference in the effects of CORT on partner preferences in voles, these effects may be more pronounced in males than in females. To test our hypotheses, we administered 2 doses of CORT (10μg and 20μg) or vehicle (control) using a repeated measures design. In the male vs. female test, there was a significant Sex by Treatment interaction, such that in males, 10μg CORT increased preferences for a female over the male compared to when these same males were treated with saline at baseline. There were no effects of treatment in females. In the opposite-sex vs. group condition, there was an overall effect of Treatment, such that the 10μg dose increased preference for the opposite-sex individual over both saline treatments, regardless of sex. These findings further our understanding of the effects of an acute stressor on sexual partner preferences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Oxytocin mechanisms of stress response and aggression in a territorial finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodson, James L; Schrock, Sara E; Kingsbury, Marcy A

    2015-03-15

    All jawed vertebrates produce a form of oxytocin (OT), and in birds, mammals and fish, OT is strongly associated with affiliation. However, remarkably few data are available on the roles of OT and OT receptors (OTRs) in aggression. Because OT and OTRs exert anxiolytic effects in mammals (although context-specific) and modulate stress coping, we hypothesized that OTR activation is at least permissive for territorial aggression. Indeed, we find that peripheral injections of an OTR antagonist significantly reduce male-male and female-female aggression in a highly territorial finch. This finding suggests the hypothesis that aggression is accompanied by an increase in transcriptional (Fos) activity of OT neurons, but contrary to this hypothesis, we find that dominant male residents do not elevate OT-Fos colocalization following an aggressive encounter and that OT-Fos colocalization in the preoptic area and hypothalamus correlates negatively with aggression. Furthermore, OT-Fos colocalization increases dramatically in males that were aggressively subjugated or pursued by a human hand, likely reflecting OT modulation of stress response. Because OT inhibits the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, the antagonist effects may reflect the fact that aggressive birds and mammals tend to be hyporesponsive to stress. If this is correct, then 1) the observed effects of OTR antagonism may reflect alterations in corticosterone feedback to the brain rather than centrally mediated OTR effects, and 2) the negative correlation between OT-Fos colocalization and aggression may reflect the fact that more aggressive, stress hyporesponsive males require less inhibition of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis than do less aggressive males, despite the requirement of that inhibition for the normal display of aggression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Protein moonlighting in parasitic protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginger, Michael L

    2014-12-01

    Reductive evolution during the adaptation to obligate parasitism and expansions of gene families encoding virulence factors are characteristics evident to greater or lesser degrees in all parasitic protists studied to date. Large evolutionary distances separate many parasitic protists from the yeast and animal models upon which classic views of eukaryotic biochemistry are often based. Thus a combination of evolutionary divergence, niche adaptation and reductive evolution means the biochemistry of parasitic protists is often very different from their hosts and to other eukaryotes generally, making parasites intriguing subjects for those interested in the phenomenon of moonlighting proteins. In common with other organisms, the contribution of protein moonlighting to parasite biology is only just emerging, and it is not without controversy. Here, an overview of recently identified moonlighting proteins in parasitic protists is provided, together with discussion of some of the controversies.

  8. Peroxisomes in parasitic protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabaldón, Toni; Ginger, Michael L; Michels, Paul A M

    Representatives of all major lineages of eukaryotes contain peroxisomes with similar morphology and mode of biogenesis, indicating a monophyletic origin of the organelles within the common ancestor of all eukaryotes. Peroxisomes originated from the endoplasmic reticulum, but despite a common origin and shared morphological features, peroxisomes from different organisms show a remarkable diversity of enzyme content and the metabolic processes present can vary dependent on nutritional or developmental conditions. A common characteristic and probable evolutionary driver for the origin of the organelle is an involvement in lipid metabolism, notably H 2 O 2 -dependent fatty-acid oxidation. Subsequent evolution of the organelle in different lineages involved multiple acquisitions of metabolic processes-often involving retargeting enzymes from other cell compartments-and losses. Information about peroxisomes in protists is still scarce, but available evidence, including new bioinformatics data reported here, indicate striking diversity amongst free-living and parasitic protists from different phylogenetic supergroups. Peroxisomes in only some protists show major involvement in H 2 O 2 -dependent metabolism, as in peroxisomes of mammalian, plant and fungal cells. Compartmentalization of glycolytic and gluconeogenic enzymes inside peroxisomes is characteristic of kinetoplastids and diplonemids, where the organelles are hence called glycosomes, whereas several other excavate parasites (Giardia, Trichomonas) have lost peroxisomes. Amongst alveolates and amoebozoans patterns of peroxisome loss are more complicated. Often, a link is apparent between the niches occupied by the parasitic protists, nutrient availability, and the absence of the organelles or their presence with a specific enzymatic content. In trypanosomatids, essentiality of peroxisomes may be considered for use in anti-parasite drug discovery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Plant actin cytoskeleton re-modeling by plant parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engler, Janice de Almeida; Rodiuc, Natalia; Smertenko, Andrei; Abad, Pierre

    2010-03-01

    The cytoskeleton is an important component of the plant's defense mechanism against the attack of pathogenic organisms. Plants however, are defenseless against parasitic root-knot and cyst nematodes and respond to the invasion by the development of a special feeding site that supplies the parasite with nutrients required for the completion of its life cycle. Recent studies of nematode invasion under treatment with cytoskeletal drugs and in mutant plants where normal functions of the cytoskeleton have been affected, demonstrate the importance of the cytoskeleton in the establishment of a feeding site and successful nematode reproduction. It appears that in the case of microfilaments, nematodes hijack the intracellular machinery that regulates actin dynamics and modulate the organization and properties of the actin filament network. Intervening with this process reduces the nematode infection efficiency and inhibits its life cycle. This discovery uncovers a new pathway that can be exploited for the protection of plants against nematodes.

  10. Plasmodium falciparum ookinetes require mosquito midgut chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans for cell invasion.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dinglasan, R.R.; Alaganan, A.; Ghosh, A.K.; Saito, A.; Kuppevelt, A.H.M.S.M. van; Jacobs-Lorena, M.

    2007-01-01

    Malaria transmission entails development of the Plasmodium parasite in its insect vector, the Anopheles mosquito. Parasite invasion of the mosquito midgut is the critical first step and involves adhesion to host epithelial cell ligands. Partial evidence suggests that midgut oligosaccharides are

  11. Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schielzeth, H; Burger, C; Bolund, E; Forstmeier, W

    2008-09-01

    Sexual imprinting on discrete variation that serves the identification of species, morphs or sexes is well documented. By contrast, sexual imprinting on continuous variation leading to individual differences in mating preferences within a single species, morph and sex has been studied only once (in humans). We measured female preferences in a captive population of wild-type zebra finches. Individual cross-fostering ensured that all subjects grew up with unrelated foster parents and nest mates. Females from two cohorts (N = 113) were given a simultaneous choice between (two or four) unfamiliar males, one of which was a genetic son of their foster parents (SFP). We found no significant overall preference for the SFP (combined effect size d = 0.14 +/- 0.15). Additionally, we tested if foster parent traits could potentially explain between-female variation in preferences. However, neither the effectiveness of cooperation between the parents nor male contribution to parental care affected female preferences for the son of the foster father. We conclude that at least in zebra finches sexual imprinting is not a major source of between-individual variation in mating preferences.

  12. The influence of inherited plumage colour morph on morphometric traits and breeding investment in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Melanin-based plumage polymorphism occurs in many wild bird populations and has been linked to fitness variation in several species. These fitness differences often arise as a consequence of variation in traits such as behaviour, immune responsiveness, body size and reproductive investment. However, few studies have controlled for genetic differences between colour morphs that could potentially generate artefactual associations between plumage colouration and trait variation. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model system in order to evaluate whether life-history traits such as adult body condition and reproductive investment could be influenced by plumage morph. To maximise any potential differences, we selected wild-type and white plumage morphs, which differ maximally in their extent of melanisation, while using a controlled three-generation breeding design to homogenise the genetic background. We found that F2 adults with white plumage colouration were on average lighter and had poorer body condition than wild-type F2 birds. However, they appeared to compensate for this by reproducing earlier and producing heavier eggs relative to their own body mass. Our study thus reveals differences in morphological and life history traits that could be relevant to fitness variation, although further studies will be required to evaluate fitness effects under natural conditions as well as to characterise any potential fitness costs of compensatory strategies in white zebra finches.

  13. Growth and atrophy of neurons labeled at their birth in a song nucleus of the zebra finch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konishi, M.; Akutagawa, E.

    1990-01-01

    The robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) is one of the forebrain nuclei that control song production in birds. In the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), this nucleus contains more and larger neurons in the male than in the female. A single injection of tritiated thymidine into the egg on the 6th or 7th day of incubation resulted in labeling of many RA neurons with tritium. The size of tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them did not differ between the sexes at 15 days after hatching. In the adult brain, tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them were much larger in the male than in the female. Also, tritium-labeled RA neurons were large in females which received an implant of estrogen immediately after hatching. The gender differences in the neuron size and nuclear volume of the zebra finch RA are, therefore, due not to the replacement of old neurons by new ones during development but to the growth and atrophy of neurons born before hatching. Similarly, the masculinizing effects of estrogen on the female RA are due not to neuronal replacement but to the prevention of atrophy and promotion of growth in preexisting neurons

  14. Sex Differences in Brain Thyroid Hormone Levels during Early Post-Hatching Development in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinji Yamaguchi

    Full Text Available Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3 peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4 in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.

  15. Sex Differences in Brain Thyroid Hormone Levels during Early Post-Hatching Development in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Shinji; Hayase, Shin; Aoki, Naoya; Takehara, Akihiko; Ishigohoka, Jun; Matsushima, Toshiya; Wada, Kazuhiro; Homma, Koichi J

    2017-01-01

    Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4) in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.

  16. Developmental exposure to a brominated flame retardant: An assessment of effects on physiology, growth, and reproduction in a songbird, the zebra finch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eng, Margaret L.; Williams, Tony D.; Elliott, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Mixtures of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been widely used as additive flame retardants, and BDE-99 is one of the most predominant congeners found in the environment. BDE-99 has been reported in avian samples worldwide, yet knowledge of its toxicity to birds is minimal. We assessed the short- and long-term effects of nestling exposure to environmentally relevant levels of BDE-99 in a model passerine, the zebra finch. Early exposure to BDE-99 did not affect hematocrit, oxidative stress, or thyroid hormones in either the juvenile or adult stages, and there were no effects on chick growth or survival. BDE-99 exposure caused a dose-dependent delay in timing of reproduction, but there were no other effects on reproductive success. In zebra finches, endpoints related to reproductive behavior appear to be the most sensitive to BDE-99. However, passerines overall appear to be less sensitive than birds of prey or mammals to PBDE exposure. -- Highlights: •We exposed zebra finches nestlings to BDE-99 and raised them to sexual maturity. •Found no effects on physiology, chick growth, survival, or reproductive success. •As BDE-99 dose increased, laying interval increased. •Passerine birds possibly less sensitive to BDE-99 than mammals or other bird species. -- Nestling exposure to BDE-99 affects timing of breeding in zebra finches, but overall passerines appear to be less sensitive to PBDEs than mammals or other bird species

  17. Parasitic worms: how many really?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strona, Giovanni; Fattorini, Simone

    2014-04-01

    Accumulation curves are useful tools to estimate species diversity. Here we argue that they can also be used in the study of global parasite species richness. Although this basic idea is not completely new, our approach differs from the previous ones as it treats each host species as an independent sample. We show that randomly resampling host-parasite records from the existing databases makes it possible to empirically model the relationship between the number of investigated host species, and the corresponding number of parasite species retrieved from those hosts. This method was tested on 21 inclusive lists of parasitic worms occurring on vertebrate hosts. All of the obtained models conform well to a power law curve. These curves were then used to estimate global parasite species richness. Results obtained with the new method suggest that current predictions are likely to severely overestimate parasite diversity. Copyright © 2014 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. In vitro inhibition of Eimeria tenella sporozoite invasion into host cells by probiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessenberger, S; Schatzmayr, G; Teichmann, K

    2016-10-15

    The aim was to study the effects of probiotics isolated from the intestinal tract of livestock animals on Eimeria tenella invasion into Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells in vitro. E. tenella sporozoites were purified and labeled with 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein diacetate N-succinimidyl ester before seeding on cell cultures, and invasion was evaluated by fluorescence microscopy. Two protocols (A and B) were used. In protocol A, Enterococcus faecium # 589 or Lactobacillus salivarius subsp. salivarius # 505 were added together with sporozoites to MDBK cell cultures and invasion was evaluated after incubation for approximately 20h. Viable, dead, or spent culture supernatants of probiotics were tested. In protocol B, viable probiotics were incubated with MDBK cells for one hour before sporozoites were added and invasion was evaluated after two more hours of incubation. Parasite invasion of viable, dead, or spent culture supernatant of E. faecium # 589 was assessed. Using protocol A, it was shown that parasite invasion was inhibited by viable (80%) or dead (75%) E. faecium # 589. While inhibition by viable L. salivarius subsp. salivarius # 505 was not valid at the highest concentration and not significant at the other test concentrations, dead cells inhibited parasite invasion up to 45%. Spent culture supernatants of both probiotics had no influence on parasite invasion. Using protocol B, it was shown that viable Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis # 503, E. faecium # 497, E. faecium # 589, L. reuteri # 514, L. salivarius subsp. salivarius # 505, and Bacillus subtilis # 588 inhibited parasite invasion into MDBK cells up to 80%. Anticoccidial activity was strain-specific for E. faecium strains, and the strongest effect was shown by E. faecium # 589. Anticoccidial effects of some of the tested probiotics have already been shown in vivo, which makes them candidates to prevent coccidiosis. These findings have now been confirmed in vitro. The used parasite invasion

  19. Plasmodium falciparum Adhesins Play an Essential Role in Signalling and Activation of Invasion into Human Erythrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wai-Hong Tham

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The most severe form of malaria in humans is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The invasive form of malaria parasites is termed a merozoite and it employs an array of parasite proteins that bind to the host cell to mediate invasion. In Plasmodium falciparum, the erythrocyte binding-like (EBL and reticulocyte binding-like (Rh protein families are responsible for binding to specific erythrocyte receptors for invasion and mediating signalling events that initiate active entry of the malaria parasite. Here we have addressed the role of the cytoplasmic tails of these proteins in activating merozoite invasion after receptor engagement. We show that the cytoplasmic domains of these type 1 membrane proteins are phosphorylated in vitro. Depletion of PfCK2, a kinase implicated to phosphorylate these cytoplasmic tails, blocks P. falciparum invasion of red blood cells. We identify the crucial residues within the PfRh4 cytoplasmic domain that are required for successful parasite invasion. Live cell imaging of merozoites from these transgenic mutants show they attach but do not penetrate erythrocytes implying the PfRh4 cytoplasmic tail conveys signals important for the successful completion of the invasion process.

  20. One Health: parasites and beyond…

    OpenAIRE

    Blake, DP; Betson, ME

    2016-01-01

    The field of parasitism is broad, encompassing relationships between organisms where one benefits at the expense of another. Traditionally the discipline focuses on eukaryotes, with the study of bacteria and viruses complementary but distinct. Nonetheless, parasites vary in size and complexity from single celled protozoa, to enormous plants like those in the genus Rafflesia. Lifecycles range from obligate intracellular to extensive exoparasitism. Examples of parasites include high profile med...

  1. Parasite communities: patterns and processes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Esch, Gerald W; Bush, Albert O; Aho, John M

    1990-01-01

    .... Taking examples from many hosts including molluscs, marine and freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, this book shows how parasitic communities are influenced by a multitude...

  2. Signalling in malaria parasites – The MALSIG consortium#

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doerig C.

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Depending on their developmental stage in the life cycle, malaria parasites develop within or outside host cells, and in extremely diverse contexts such as the vertebrate liver and blood circulation, or the insect midgut and hemocoel. Cellular and molecular mechanisms enabling the parasite to sense and respond to the intra- and the extra-cellular environments are therefore key elements for the proliferation and transmission of Plasmodium, and therefore are, from a public health perspective, strategic targets in the fight against this deadly disease. The MALSIG consortium, which was initiated in February 2009, was designed with the primary objective to integrate research ongoing in Europe and India on i the properties of Plasmodium signalling molecules, and ii developmental processes occurring at various points of the parasite life cycle. On one hand, functional studies of individual genes and their products in Plasmodium falciparum (and in the technically more manageable rodent model Plasmodium berghei are providing information on parasite protein kinases and phosphatases, and of the molecules governing cyclic nucleotide metabolism and calcium signalling. On the other hand, cellular and molecular studies are elucidating key steps of parasite development such as merozoite invasion and egress in blood and liver parasite stages, control of DNA replication in asexual and sexual development, membrane dynamics and trafficking, production of gametocytes in the vertebrate host and further parasite development in the mosquito. This article, which synthetically reviews such signalling molecules and cellular processes, aims to provide a glimpse of the global frame in which the activities of the MALSIG consortium will develop over the next three years.

  3. Parasitism and calfhood diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herlich, H; Douvres, F W

    1977-02-01

    That animals can and do acquire an effective immunity against helminth parasites has been demonstrated extensively experimentally, and the fact that domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, and horses become adults while maintaining good health in spite of constant exposure to reinfection long has suggested that immunity must be important to such survival. Although our attempts to date to vaccinate calves against helminth parasites have either failed or been unsatisfactory because of the pathosis induced by the experimental vaccines, the results are not surprising or discouraging. In contrast to the long history of immunization research on bacterial and viral diseases, only within a relatively short time have serious efforts been directed at exploiting hostal immunity for prevention and control of helminthic diseases. Unlike the comparatively simple structures of viruses and bacteria, helminths are complex multicellular animals with vast arrays of antigens and complicated physiological and immunological interactions with their hosts. Much more fundamental information on helminth-bovine interactions, on helminth antigens, and on cattle antibody systems must be developed before progress on control of cattle helminths by vaccination can be meaningful.

  4. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from South America use an atypical red blood cell invasion pathway associated with invasion ligand polymorphisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lopez-Perez, Mary; Villasis, Elizabeth; Machado, Ricardo L D

    2012-01-01

    Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC) invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL) and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh) proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully...... characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1) and five...... pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant...

  5. Cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is essential for multiple steps in malaria parasite egress from infected erythrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glushakova Svetlana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Egress of Plasmodium falciparum, from erythrocytes at the end of its asexual cycle and subsequent parasite invasion into new host cells, is responsible for parasite dissemination in the human body. The egress pathway is emerging as a coordinated multistep programme that extends in time for tens of minutes, ending with rapid parasite extrusion from erythrocytes. While the Ca2+ regulation of the invasion of P. falciparum in erythrocytes is well established, the role of Ca2+ in parasite egress is poorly understood. This study analysed the involvement of cytoplasmic free Ca2+ in infected erythrocytes during the multistep egress programme of malaria parasites. Methods Live-cell fluorescence microscopy was used to image parasite egress from infected erythrocytes, assessing the effect of drugs modulating Ca2+ homeostasis on the egress programme. Results A steady increase in cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is found to precede parasite egress. This increase is independent of extracellular Ca2+ for at least the last two hours of the cycle, but is dependent upon Ca2+ release from internal stores. Intracellular BAPTA chelation of Ca2+ within the last 45 minutes of the cycle inhibits egress prior to parasitophorous vacuole swelling and erythrocyte membrane poration, two characteristic morphological transformations preceding parasite egress. Inhibitors of the parasite endoplasmic reticulum (ER Ca2+-ATPase accelerate parasite egress, indicating that Ca2+ stores within the ER are sufficient in supporting egress. Markedly accelerated egress of apparently viable parasites was achieved in mature schizonts using Ca2+ ionophore A23187. Ionophore treatment overcomes the BAPTA-induced block of parasite egress, confirming that free Ca2+ is essential in egress initiation. Ionophore treatment of immature schizonts had an adverse effect inducing parasitophorous vacuole swelling and killing the parasites within the host cell. Conclusions The parasite egress

  6. Repetitive elements in parasitic protozoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clayton Christine

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A recent paper published in BMC Genomics suggests that retrotransposition may be active in the human gut parasite Entamoeba histolytica. This adds to our knowledge of the various types of repetitive elements in parasitic protists and the potential influence of such elements on pathogenicity. See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/11/321

  7. Structure of malaria invasion protein RH5 with erythrocyte basigin and blocking antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Katherine E; Hjerrild, Kathryn A; Bartlett, Jonathan; Douglas, Alexander D; Jin, Jing; Brown, Rebecca E; Illingworth, Joseph J; Ashfield, Rebecca; Clemmensen, Stine B; de Jongh, Willem A; Draper, Simon J; Higgins, Matthew K

    2014-11-20

    Invasion of host erythrocytes is essential to the life cycle of Plasmodium parasites and development of the pathology of malaria. The stages of erythrocyte invasion, including initial contact, apical reorientation, junction formation, and active invagination, are directed by coordinated release of specialized apical organelles and their parasite protein contents. Among these proteins, and central to invasion by all species, are two parasite protein families, the reticulocyte-binding protein homologue (RH) and erythrocyte-binding like proteins, which mediate host-parasite interactions. RH5 from Plasmodium falciparum (PfRH5) is the only member of either family demonstrated to be necessary for erythrocyte invasion in all tested strains, through its interaction with the erythrocyte surface protein basigin (also known as CD147 and EMMPRIN). Antibodies targeting PfRH5 or basigin efficiently block parasite invasion in vitro, making PfRH5 an excellent vaccine candidate. Here we present crystal structures of PfRH5 in complex with basigin and two distinct inhibitory antibodies. PfRH5 adopts a novel fold in which two three-helical bundles come together in a kite-like architecture, presenting binding sites for basigin and inhibitory antibodies at one tip. This provides the first structural insight into erythrocyte binding by the Plasmodium RH protein family and identifies novel inhibitory epitopes to guide design of a new generation of vaccines against the blood-stage parasite.

  8. Cannabinoid mitigation of neuronal morphological change important to development and learning: insight from a zebra finch model of psychopharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderstrom, Ken; Gilbert, Marcoita T

    2013-03-19

    Normal CNS development proceeds through late-postnatal stages of adolescent development. The activity-dependence of this development underscores the significance of CNS-active drug exposure prior to completion of brain maturation. Exogenous modulation of signaling important in regulating normal development is of particular concern. This mini-review presents a summary of the accumulated behavioral, physiological and biochemical evidence supporting such a key regulatory role for endocannabinoid signaling during late-postnatal CNS development. Our focus is on the data obtained using a unique zebra finch model of developmental psychopharmacology. This animal has allowed investigation of neuronal morphological effects essential to establishment and maintenance of neural circuitry, including processes related to synaptogenesis and dendritic spine dynamics. Altered neurophysiology that follows exogenous cannabinoid exposure during adolescent development has the potential to persistently alter cognition, learning and memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Eimeria pileata n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler (Passeriformes: Emberizidae) in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano-Vargas, Edgardo; Medina, Juan Pablo; Salgado-Miranda, Celene; García-Conejo, Michele; Galindo-Sánchez, Karla Patrícia; Janczur, Mariusz Krzysztof; Berto, Bruno Pereira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2015-11-01

    A new coccidian species (Protista: Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) collected from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler in the Nevado de Toluca Natural Protected Area, Mexico. Oöcysts of Eimeria pileata n. sp. are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 16.5 × 14.1 μm, with a smooth, bi-layered wall. Micropyle and oöcyst residuum are absent, but a polar granule is present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 9.0 × 5.4 μm. Stieda and sub-Stieda bodies are both present. A sporocyst residuum is present as a compact mass of granules. This is the third description of an eimeriid coccidian infecting passerines.

  10. Divergence in problem-solving skills is associated with differential expression of glutamate receptors in wild finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audet, Jean-Nicolas; Kayello, Lima; Ducatez, Simon; Perillo, Sara; Cauchard, Laure; Howard, Jason T; O'Connell, Lauren A; Jarvis, Erich D; Lefebvre, Louis

    2018-03-01

    Problem solving and innovation are key components of intelligence. We compare wild-caught individuals from two species that are close relatives of Darwin's finches, the innovative Loxigilla barbadensis , and its most closely related species in Barbados, the conservative Tiaris bicolor . We found an all-or-none difference in the problem-solving capacity of the two species. Brain RNA sequencing analyses revealed interspecific differences in genes related to neuronal and synaptic plasticity in the intrapallial neural populations (mesopallium and nidopallium), especially in the nidopallium caudolaterale, a structure functionally analogous to the mammalian prefrontal cortex. At a finer scale, we discovered robust differences in glutamate receptor expression between the species. In particular, the GRIN2B/GRIN2A ratio, known to correlate with synaptic plasticity, was higher in the innovative L. barbadensis . These findings suggest that divergence in avian intelligence is associated with similar neuronal mechanisms to that of mammals, including humans.

  11. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Legge

    Full Text Available Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2 with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires. Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food, different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty, and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation. Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign

  12. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, Sarah; Garnett, Stephen; Maute, Kim; Heathcote, Joanne; Murphy, Steve; Woinarski, John C Z; Astheimer, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch) and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch)--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2) with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires). Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food), different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty), and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation). Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign' fire regime

  13. Integrated parasite management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Jesper Hedegaard; Madsen, Henry; Van, Phan Thi

    2015-01-01

    communities at risk through mass drug administration. However, we argue that treatment alone will not reduce the risk from eating infected fish and that sustainable effective control must adopt an integrated FZT control approach based on education, infrastructure improvements, and management practices...... that target critical control points in the aquaculture production cycle identified from a thorough understanding of FZT and host biology and epidemiology. We present recommendations for an integrated parasite management (IPM) program for aquaculture farms.......Fishborne zoonotic trematodes (FZT) are an emerging problem and there is now a consensus that, in addition to wild-caught fish, fish produced in aquaculture present a major food safety risk, especially in Southeast Asia where aquaculture is important economically. Current control programs target...

  14. Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions: a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschirren, B; Rutstein, A N; Postma, E; Mariette, M; Griffith, S C

    2009-02-01

    Divergent selection pressures among populations can result not only in significant differentiation in morphology, physiology and behaviour, but also in how these traits are related to each other, thereby driving the processes of local adaptation and speciation. In the Australian zebra finch, we investigated whether domesticated stock, bred in captivity over tens of generations, differ in their response to a life-history manipulation, compared to birds taken directly from the wild. In a 'common aviary' experiment, we thereto experimentally manipulated the environmental conditions experienced by nestlings early in life by means of a brood size manipulation, and subsequently assessed its short- and long-term consequences on growth, ornamentation, immune function and reproduction. As expected, we found that early environmental conditions had a marked effect on both short- and long-term morphological and life-history traits in all birds. However, although there were pronounced differences between wild and domesticated birds with respect to the absolute expression of many of these traits, which are indicative of the different selection pressures wild and domesticated birds were exposed to in the recent past, manipulated rearing conditions affected morphology and ornamentation of wild and domesticated finches in a very similar way. This suggests that despite significant differentiation between wild and domesticated birds, selection has not altered the relationships among traits. Thus, life-history strategies and investment trade-offs may be relatively stable and not easily altered by selection. This is a reassuring finding in the light of the widespread use of domesticated birds in studies of life-history evolution and sexual selection, and suggests that adaptive explanations may be legitimate when referring to captive bird studies.

  15. The effects of dietary carotenoid supplementation and retinal carotenoid accumulation on vision-mediated foraging in the house finch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B Toomey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: For many bird species, vision is the primary sensory modality used to locate and assess food items. The health and spectral sensitivities of the avian visual system are influenced by diet-derived carotenoid pigments that accumulate in the retina. Among wild House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus, we have found that retinal carotenoid accumulation varies significantly among individuals and is related to dietary carotenoid intake. If diet-induced changes in retinal carotenoid accumulation alter spectral sensitivity, then they have the potential to affect visually mediated foraging performance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In two experiments, we measured foraging performance of house finches with dietarily manipulated retinal carotenoid levels. We tested each bird's ability to extract visually contrasting food items from a matrix of inedible distracters under high-contrast (full and dimmer low-contrast (red-filtered lighting conditions. In experiment one, zeaxanthin-supplemented birds had significantly increased retinal carotenoid levels, but declined in foraging performance in the high-contrast condition relative to astaxanthin-supplemented birds that showed no change in retinal carotenoid accumulation. In experiments one and two combined, we found that retinal carotenoid concentrations predicted relative foraging performance in the low- vs. high-contrast light conditions in a curvilinear pattern. Performance was positively correlated with retinal carotenoid accumulation among birds with low to medium levels of accumulation (∼0.5-1.5 µg/retina, but declined among birds with very high levels (>2.0 µg/retina. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that carotenoid-mediated spectral filtering enhances color discrimination, but that this improvement is traded off against a reduction in sensitivity that can compromise visual discrimination. Thus, retinal carotenoid levels may be optimized to meet the visual demands of specific

  16. Food, stress, and reproduction: short-term fasting alters endocrine physiology and reproductive behavior in the zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Sharon E; Stamplis, Teresa B; Barrington, William T; Weida, Nicholas; Hudak, Casey A

    2010-07-01

    Stress is thought to be a potent suppressor of reproduction. However, the vast majority of studies focus on the relationship between chronic stress and reproductive suppression, despite the fact that chronic stress is rare in the wild. We investigated the role of fasting in altering acute stress physiology, reproductive physiology, and reproductive behavior of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with several goals in mind. First, we wanted to determine if acute fasting could stimulate an increase in plasma corticosterone and a decrease in corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and testosterone. We then investigated whether fasting could alter expression of undirected song and courtship behavior. After subjecting males to fasting periods ranging from 1 to 10h, we collected plasma to measure corticosterone, CBG, and testosterone. We found that plasma corticosterone was elevated, and testosterone was decreased after 4, 6, and 10h of fasting periods compared with samples collected from the same males during nonfasted (control) periods. CBG was lower than control levels only after 10h of fasting. We also found that, coincident with these endocrine changes, males sang less and courted females less vigorously following short-term fasting relative to control conditions. Our data demonstrate that acute fasting resulted in rapid changes in endocrine physiology consistent with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activation and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis deactivation. Fasting also inhibited reproductive behavior. We suggest that zebra finches exhibit physiological and behavioral flexibility that makes them an excellent model system for studying interactions of acute stress and reproduction. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Ecologically-relevant exposure to methylmercury during early development does not affect adult phenotype in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morran, Spencer A M; Elliott, John E; Young, Jessica M L; Eng, Margaret L; Basu, Niladri; Williams, Tony D

    2018-04-01

    Methylmercury causes behavioural and reproductive effects in adult mammals via early developmental exposure. Similar studies in birds are limited and mostly focussed on aquatic systems, but recent work has reported high blood mercury concentrations in terrestrial, passerine songbirds. We used the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) as a model to explore the long-term effects of early developmental exposure to methylmercury exposure. Chicks were dosed orally with either the vehicle control, 0.0315 µg Hg/g bw/day, or 0.075 µg Hg/g bw/day throughout the nestling period (days 1-21 post-hatching). We then measured (a) short-term effects on growth, development, and behaviour (time to self-feeding, neophobia) until 30 days of age (independence), and (b) long-term effects on courtship behaviour and song (males) and reproduction (females) once methylmercury-exposed birds reached sexual maturity (90 days post-hatching). High methylmercury treated birds had mean blood mercury of 0.734 ± 0.163 µg/g at 30 days post-hatching, within the range of values reported for field-sampled songbirds at mercury contaminated sites. However, there were no short-term effects of treatment on growth, development, and behaviour of chicks, and no long-term effects on courtship behaviour and song in males or reproductive performance in females. These results suggest that the nestling period is not a critical window for sensitivity to mercury exposure in zebra finches. Growing nestlings can reduce blood mercury levels through somatic growth and depuration into newly growing feathers, and as a result they might actually be less susceptible compared to adult birds receiving the same level of exposure.

  18. A Lectin-Like Receptor is Involved in Invasion of Erythrocytes by Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungery, M.; Pasvol, G.; Newbold, C. I.; Weatherall, D. J.

    1983-02-01

    Glycophorin both in solution and inserted into liposomes blocks invasion of erythrocytes by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Furthermore, one sugar, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc), completely blocks invasion of the erythrocyte by this parasite. GlcNAc coupled to bovine serum albumin to prevent the sugar entering infected erythrocytes was at least 100,000 times more effective than GlcNAc alone. Bovine serum albumin coupled to lactose or bovine serum albumin alone had no effect on invasion. These results suggest that the binding of P. falciparum to erythrocytes is lectin-like and is determined by carbohydrates on glycophorin.

  19. How have fisheries affected parasite communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2015-01-01

    To understand how fisheries affect parasites, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies that contrasted parasite assemblages in fished and unfished areas. Parasite diversity was lower in hosts from fished areas. Larger hosts had a greater abundance of parasites, suggesting that fishing might reduce the abundance of parasites by selectively removing the largest, most heavily parasitized individuals. After controlling for size, the effect of fishing on parasite abundance varied according to whether the host was fished and the parasite's life cycle. Parasites of unfished hosts were more likely to increase in abundance in response to fishing than were parasites of fished hosts, possibly due to compensatory increases in the abundance of unfished hosts. While complex life cycle parasites tended to decline in abundance in response to fishing, directly transmitted parasites tended to increase. Among complex life cycle parasites, those with fished hosts tended to decline in abundance in response to fishing, while those with unfished hosts tended to increase. However, among directly transmitted parasites, responses did not differ between parasites with and without fished hosts. This work suggests that parasite assemblages are likely to change substantially in composition in increasingly fished ecosystems, and that parasite life history and fishing status of the host are important in predicting the response of individual parasite species or groups to fishing.

  20. The high resolution melting analysis (HRM) as a molecular tool for monitoring parasites of the wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Héritier, Laurent; Verneau, Olivier; Breuil, Gregory; Meistertzheim, Anne-Leila

    2017-04-01

    In an interconnected world, the international pet trade on wild animals is becoming increasingly important. As a consequence, non-native parasite species are introduced, which affect the health of wildlife and contribute to the loss of biodiversity. Because the investigation of parasite diversity within vulnerable host species implies the molecular identification of large samples of parasite eggs, the sequencing of DNA barcodes is time-consuming and costly. Thereby, the objectives of our study were to apply the high resolution melting (HRM) approach for species determination from pools of parasite eggs. Molecular assays were validated on flatworm parasites (polystomes) infecting the Mediterranean pond turtle Mauremys leprosa and the invasive red-eared slider Trachemys scripta elegans in French natural environments. HRM analysis results indicated that double or multiple parasitic infections could be detected from wild animal populations. They also showed that the cycle of parasite eggs production was not regular over time and may depend on several factors, among which the ecological niche and the target species. Thereby, monitoring parasites from wild endangered animals implies periodic parasitological surveys to avoid false negative diagnostics, based solely on eggs production.

  1. Seed dispersal networks in the Galápagos and the consequences of alien plant invasions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heleno, R. H.; Olesen, Jens Mogens; Nogales, M.

    2013-01-01

    Alien plants are a growing threat to the Gala´pagos unique biota. We evaluated the impact of alien plants on eight seed dispersal networks from two islands of the archipelago. Nearly 10 000 intact seeds from 58 species were recovered from the droppings of 18 bird and reptile dispersers. The most......, followed by small ground finch, two mockingbirds, the giant tortoise and two insectivorous birds. Most animals dispersed alien seeds, but these formed a relatively small proportion of the interactions. Nevertheless, the integration of aliens was higher in the island that has been invaded for longest......, suggesting a time-lag between alien plant introductions and their impacts on seed dispersal networks. Alien plants become more specialized with advancing invasion, favouring more simplified plant and disperser communities. However, only habitat type significantly affected the overall network structure. Alien...

  2. Human parasitic protozoan infection to infertility: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiadeh, Malihe Nourollahpour; Niyyati, Maryam; Fallahi, Shirzad; Rostami, Ali

    2016-02-01

    Protozoan parasitic diseases are endemic in many countries worldwide, especially in developing countries, where infertility is a major burden. It has been reported that such infections may cause infertility through impairment in male and female reproductive systems. We searched Medline, PubMed, and Scopus databases and Google scholar to identify the potentially relevant studies on protozoan parasitic infections and their implications in human and animal model infertility. Literature described that some of the protozoan parasites such as Trichomonas vaginalis may cause deformities of the genital tract, cervical neoplasia, and tubal and atypical pelvic inflammations in women and also non-gonoccocal urethritis, asthenozoospermia, and teratozoospermia in men. Toxopalasma gondii could cause endometritis, impaired folliculogenesis, ovarian and uterine atrophy, adrenal hypertrophy, vasculitis, and cessation of estrus cycling in female and also decrease in semen quality, concentration, and motility in male. Trypanosoma cruzi inhibits cell division in embryos and impairs normal implantation and development of placenta. Decrease in gestation rate, infection of hormone-producing glands, parasite invasion of the placenta, and overproduction of inflammatory cytokines in the oviducts and uterine horns are other possible mechanisms induced by Trypanosoma cruzi to infertility. Plasmodium spp. and Trypanosoma brucei spp. cause damage in pituitary gland, hormonal disorders, and decreased semen quality. Entamoeba histolytica infection leads to pelvic pain, salpingitis, tubo-ovarian abscess, and genital ulcers. Cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis can induce genital lesion, testicular amyloidosis, inflammation of epididymis, prostatitis, and sperm abnormality in human and animals. In addition, some epidemiological studies have reported that rates of protozoan infections in infertile patients are higher than healthy controls. The current review indicates that protozoan parasitic

  3. Estradiol induces region-specific inhibition of ZENK but does not affect the behavioral preference for tutored song in adult female zebra finches

    OpenAIRE

    Svec, Lace A.; Wade, Juli

    2008-01-01

    Female zebra finches display a preference for songs of males raised with tutors compared to those from males without tutors. To determine howthis behavioral preference may bemediated by auditory perception sites, the social behavior network, and the dopamine reward system, and whether responses of these regions are affected by estradiol, females were treated with hormone or blank implants.An auditory choice test was conducted followed by exposure to tutored or untutored song or silence to exa...

  4. Monogenean parasites of Lepomis gibbosus Linnaeus introduced into the River Durance, France

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Havlátová, Lucie; Ondračková, Markéta; Přikrylová, I.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 52, č. 4 (2015), s. 323-330 ISSN 0440-6605 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP505/12/G112 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : non-native fish * invasive species * parasites * sunfish * Monogenea * host introductions Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.602, year: 2015

  5. Extracellular functions of glycolytic enzymes of parasites: unpredicted use of ancient proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Arreaza, Amaranta; Acosta, Hector; Quiñones, Wilfredo; Concepción, Juan Luis; Michels, Paul A M; Avilán, Luisana

    2014-02-01

    In addition of their usual intracellular localization where they are involved in catalyzing reactions of carbohydrate and energy metabolism by glycolysis, multiple studies have shown that glycolytic enzymes of many organisms, but notably pathogens, can also be present extracellularly. In the case of parasitic protists and helminths, they can be found either secreted or attached to the surface of the parasites. At these extracellular localizations, these enzymes have been shown to perform additional, very different so-called "moonlighting" functions, such as acting as ligands for a variety of components of the host. Due to this recognition, different extracellular glycolytic enzymes participate in various important parasite-host interactions such as adherence and invasion of parasites, modulation of the host's immune and haemostatic systems, promotion of angiogenesis, and acquisition of specific nutrients by the parasites. Accordingly, extracellular glycolytic enzymes are important for the invasion of the parasites and their establishment in the host, and in determining their virulence. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Global gene expression analysis of the zoonotic parasite Trichinella spiralis revealed novel genes in host parasite interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaolei Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trichinellosis is a typical food-borne zoonotic disease which is epidemic worldwide and the nematode Trichinella spiralis is the main pathogen. The life cycle of T. spiralis contains three developmental stages, i.e. adult worms, new borne larva (new borne L1 larva and muscular larva (infective L1 larva. Stage-specific gene expression in the parasites has been investigated with various immunological and cDNA cloning approaches, whereas the genome-wide transcriptome and expression features of the parasite have been largely unknown. The availability of the genome sequence information of T. spiralis has made it possible to deeply dissect parasite biology in association with global gene expression and pathogenesis. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we analyzed the global gene expression patterns in the three developmental stages of T. spiralis using digital gene expression (DGE analysis. Almost 15 million sequence tags were generated with the Illumina RNA-seq technology, producing expression data for more than 9,000 genes, covering 65% of the genome. The transcriptome analysis revealed thousands of differentially expressed genes within the genome, and importantly, a panel of genes encoding functional proteins associated with parasite invasion and immuno-modulation were identified. More than 45% of the genes were found to be transcribed from both strands, indicating the importance of RNA-mediated gene regulation in the development of the parasite. Further, based on gene ontological analysis, over 3000 genes were functionally categorized and biological pathways in the three life cycle stage were elucidated. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The global transcriptome of T. spiralis in three developmental stages has been profiled, and most gene activity in the genome was found to be developmentally regulated. Many metabolic and biological pathways have been revealed. The findings of the differential expression of several protein

  7. Variability of IN measured with the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch during wintertime 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Bundke, Ulrich; Curtius, Joachim

    2014-05-01

    Ice nuclei (IN) are an important component of the atmospheric aerosol. Despite their low concentrations in the atmosphere, they have an influence on the formation of ice crystals in mixed-phase clouds and therefore on precipitation. The Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber (FINCH)1, a counter for ice nucleating particles developed at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main allows long-term measurements of the IN number concentration. In FINCH the ice activation of the aerosol particles is achieved by mixing air flows with different temperature and humidity. The IN number concentration measurements at different meteorological conditions during the INUIT-JFJ campaign at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch in Switzerland are presented and its variability are discussed. The good operational performance of the instrument allowed up to 10 hours of continuous measurements. Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation, DFG Grant: BU 1432/3-2 BU 1432/4-1 in the framework of INUIT (FOR 1525) and SPP 1294 HALO. 1- Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R., Wetter, T., Klein, H., and Bingemer, H. (2008). The fast ice nucleus chamber finch. Atmospheric Research, 90:180-186.

  8. Parasites in pet reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mavri Urška

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Exotic reptiles originating from the wild can be carriers of many different pathogens and some of them can infect humans. Reptiles imported into Slovenia from 2000 to 2005, specimens of native species taken from the wild and captive bred species were investigated. A total of 949 reptiles (55 snakes, 331 lizards and 563 turtles, belonging to 68 different species, were examined for the presence of endoparasites and ectoparasites. Twelve different groups (Nematoda (5, Trematoda (1, Acanthocephala (1, Pentastomida (1 and Protozoa (4 of endoparasites were determined in 26 (47.3% of 55 examined snakes. In snakes two different species of ectoparasites were also found. Among the tested lizards eighteen different groups (Nematoda (8, Cestoda (1, Trematoda (1, Acanthocephala (1, Pentastomida (1 and Protozoa (6 of endoparasites in 252 (76.1% of 331 examined animals were found. One Trombiculid ectoparasite was determined. In 563 of examined turtles eight different groups (Nematoda (4, Cestoda (1, Trematoda (1 and Protozoa (2 of endoparasites were determined in 498 (88.5% animals. In examined turtles three different species of ectoparasites were seen. The established prevalence of various parasites in reptiles used as pet animals indicates the need for examination on specific pathogens prior to introduction to owners.

  9. First report of interspecific facultative social parasitism in the paper wasp genus Mischocyttarus Saussure (Hymenoptera, Vespidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago S. Montagna

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available First report of interspecific facultative social parasitism in the paper wasp genus Mischocyttarus Saussure (Hymenoptera, Vespidae. Parasitism of colonies of the social wasp Mischocyttarus cerberus Ducke, 1918 by females of Mischocyttarus consimilis Zikán, 1949 was observed in a rural area of Dourados, state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. In all monitored cases, the invasion occurred in the pre-emergence colony stage, generally by a single female of M. consimilis. The period of establishment of the foreign female in the host colony was marked by antagonistic behaviors between the host female and the invasive. In general, the architecture of the parasitized nest was modified from the typical architecture of the host species nest.

  10. Fauna Europaea: Helminths (Animal Parasitic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gibson, D. I.; Bray, R. A.; Hunt, D.; Georgiev, B. B.; Scholz, Tomáš; Harris, P.D.; Bakke, T.A.; Pomajska, T.; Niewiadomska, K.; Kostadinova, Aneta; Tkach, V.; Bain, O.; Durette-Desset, M.-C.; Gibbons, L.; Moravec, František; Petter, A.; Dimitrova, Z.M.; Buchmann, K.; Valtonen, E. T.; de Jong, Y.

    -, č. 2 (2014), e1060 ISSN 1314-2828 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Acanthocephala * Biodiversity * Biodiversity Informatics * Cestoda * Fauna Europaea * Helminth * Monogenea * Nematoda * Parasite * Taxonomic indexing * Taxonomy * Trematoda * Zoology Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology

  11. Adaptations in the energy metabolism of parasites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Grinsven, K.W.A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304833436

    2009-01-01

    For this thesis fundamental research was performed on the metabolic adaptations found in parasites. Studying the adaptations in parasite metabolisms leads to a better understanding of parasite bioenergetics and can also result in the identification of new anti-parasitic drug targets. We focussed on

  12. Pervasiveness of parasites in pollinators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie E F Evison

    Full Text Available Many pollinator populations are declining, with large economic and ecological implications. Parasites are known to be an important factor in the some of the population declines of honey bees and bumblebees, but little is known about the parasites afflicting most other pollinators, or the extent of interspecific transmission or vectoring of parasites. Here we carry out a preliminary screening of pollinators (honey bees, five species of bumblebee, three species of wasp, four species of hoverfly and three genera of other bees in the UK for parasites. We used molecular methods to screen for six honey bee viruses, Ascosphaera fungi, Microsporidia, and Wolbachia intracellular bacteria. We aimed simply to detect the presence of the parasites, encompassing vectoring as well as actual infections. Many pollinators of all types were positive for Ascosphaera fungi, while Microsporidia were rarer, being most frequently found in bumblebees. We also detected that most pollinators were positive for Wolbachia, most probably indicating infection with this intracellular symbiont, and raising the possibility that it may be an important factor in influencing host sex ratios or fitness in a diversity of pollinators. Importantly, we found that about a third of bumblebees (Bombus pascuorum and Bombus terrestris and a third of wasps (Vespula vulgaris, as well as all honey bees, were positive for deformed wing virus, but that this virus was not present in other pollinators. Deformed wing virus therefore does not appear to be a general parasite of pollinators, but does interact significantly with at least three species of bumblebee and wasp. Further work is needed to establish the identity of some of the parasites, their spatiotemporal variation, and whether they are infecting the various pollinator species or being vectored. However, these results provide a first insight into the diversity, and potential exchange, of parasites in pollinator communities.

  13. Paleoparasitology: the origin of human parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adauto Araujo

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Parasitism is composed by three subsystems: the parasite, the host, and the environment. There are no organisms that cannot be parasitized. The relationship between a parasite and its host species most of the time do not result in damage or disease to the host. However, in a parasitic disease the presence of a given parasite is always necessary, at least in a given moment of the infection. Some parasite species that infect humans were inherited from pre-hominids, and were shared with other phylogenetically close host species, but other parasite species were acquired from the environment as humans evolved. Human migration spread inherited parasites throughout the globe. To recover and trace the origin and evolution of infectious diseases, paleoparasitology was created. Paleoparasitology is the study of parasites in ancient material, which provided new information on the evolution, paleoepidemiology, ecology and phylogenetics of infectious diseases.

  14. Acquired and introduced macroparasites of the invasive Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Ortega

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Because shifts in host–parasite relationships can alter host populations, attention should be given to the parasites that introduced species take with them or acquire in their introduced range. The Cuban treefrog, Osteopilus septentrionalis, is a successful invasive species in Florida with its parasites in the native range being well-documented, but there is a void in the literature regarding what parasites were lost or introduced in its expansion. We necropsied 330 O. septentrionalis from Tampa, FL and compared their macroparasites to those of O. septentrionalis in their native range and to the parasites of anurans native to the Tampa, FL area to determine the species O. septentrionalis likely introduced or acquired in Florida. At least nine parasite species (Aplectana sp., Oswaldocruzia lenteixeirai, Cylindrotaenia americana, Physaloptera sp., Rhabdias sp., Centrorhynchus sp., unidentified trematode metacercariae, unidentified larval acuariids, and unidentified pentastomids were isolated. We found no differences in parasite communities of adult male and female frogs, which averaged 19.36 parasite individuals and 1.39 parasite species per adult frog, and had an overall prevalence of 77.52%. Acuariid larvae were likely acquired by O. septentrionalis in FL because they are not found in their native range. O. lenteixeirai was likely introduced because it is commonly reported in O. septentrionalis' native range but has never been reported in FL-native anurans. Aplectana sp. is also likely introduced because it has been reported in several anurans in Cuba but only reported once in Florida. O. septentrionalis tended to harbor fewer of its native parasites in the introduced range, which is consistent with the enemy release hypothesis and potentially creates an immunological advantage for this invasive host. Because native populations can be threatened by introduced parasites, there is a need to further explore the frequency and rate at which

  15. Genome sequencing of chimpanzee malaria parasites reveals possible pathways of adaptation to human hosts

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D.

    2014-09-09

    Plasmodium falciparum causes most human malaria deaths, having prehistorically evolved from parasites of African Great Apes. Here we explore the genomic basis of P. falciparum adaptation to human hosts by fully sequencing the genome of the closely related chimpanzee parasite species P. reichenowi, and obtaining partial sequence data from a more distantly related chimpanzee parasite (P. gaboni). The close relationship between P. reichenowi and P. falciparum is emphasized by almost complete conservation of genomic synteny, but against this strikingly conserved background we observe major differences at loci involved in erythrocyte invasion. The organization of most virulence-associated multigene families, including the hypervariable var genes, is broadly conserved, but P. falciparum has a smaller subset of rif and stevor genes whose products are expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface. Genome-wide analysis identifies other loci under recent positive selection, but a limited number of changes at the host–parasite interface may have mediated host switching.

  16. Parasites as drivers of key processes in aquatic ecosystems: Facts and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sures, B; Nachev, M; Pahl, M; Grabner, D; Selbach, C

    2017-09-01

    Despite the advances in our understanding of the ecological importance of parasites that we have made in recent years, we are still far away from having a complete picture of the ecological implications connected to parasitism. In the present paper we highlight key issues that illustrate (1) important contributions of parasites to biodiversity, (2) their integral role in ecosystems, (3) as well as their ecological effects as keystone species (4) and in biological invasion processes. By using selected examples from aquatic ecosystems we want to provide an insight and generate interest into the topic, and want to show directions for future research in the field of ecological parasitology. This may help to convince more parasitologists and ecologists contributing and advancing our understanding of the complex and fascinating interplay of parasites, hosts and ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Ornamental fish goldfish,Carassius auratusand related parasites in three districts of West Bengal, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukti Chanda

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The lucrative business of ornamental fish culture in West Bengal (Mainly in three districts-Howrah, North and South 24 Parganas are facing loses due to the invasion of different ecto- and endo-parasites. The present study shows that the ornamental fish (Goldfish - Carassius auratus are mainly affected with ecto-parasites like Ichthyophthirius sp., Dactylogyrus sp., Gyrodactylus sp., Argulus sp. and endo-parasites like Procamallanus sp. and Cucullanus sp. The intensity of infection is high in case of Ichthyophthirius sp. and the intensity of the infection is high in summer months when the temperature is high or moderately high. In cooler months the intensity of the infection is lower as because the parasites are unable to breed or scarcity of food particles.

  18. Protease-associated cellular networks in malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilburn Timothy G

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria continues to be one of the most severe global infectious diseases, responsible for 1-2 million deaths yearly. The rapid evolution and spread of drug resistance in parasites has led to an urgent need for the development of novel antimalarial targets. Proteases are a group of enzymes that play essential roles in parasite growth and invasion. The possibility of designing specific inhibitors for proteases makes them promising drug targets. Previously, combining a comparative genomics approach and a machine learning approach, we identified the complement of proteases (degradome in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and its sibling species 123, providing a catalog of targets for functional characterization and rational inhibitor design. Network analysis represents another route to revealing the role of proteins in the biology of parasites and we use this approach here to expand our understanding of the systems involving the proteases of P. falciparum. Results We investigated the roles of proteases in the parasite life cycle by constructing a network using protein-protein association data from the STRING database 4, and analyzing these data, in conjunction with the data from protein-protein interaction assays using the yeast 2-hybrid (Y2H system 5, blood stage microarray experiments 678, proteomics 9101112, literature text mining, and sequence homology analysis. Seventy-seven (77 out of 124 predicted proteases were associated with at least one other protein, constituting 2,431 protein-protein interactions (PPIs. These proteases appear to play diverse roles in metabolism, cell cycle regulation, invasion and infection. Their degrees of connectivity (i.e., connections to other proteins, range from one to 143. The largest protease-associated sub-network is the ubiquitin-proteasome system which is crucial for protein recycling and stress response. Proteases are also implicated in heat shock response, signal peptide

  19. Intestinal and external parasites of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in western Poland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osten-Sacken, Natalia; Słodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Pacoń, Jarosław; Skrzypczak, Łukasz; Werner, Anna

    Parasites of an invasive species, the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from western Poland were investigated to clarify poorly known ecological key aspects of the species. The research was conducted in two study areas: the Ujście Warty National Park and the Bogdaniec Forestry District. Intestinal samples were collected from the intestinal tracks of 39 dead animals and 51 faecal samples were collected in all seasons from latrines of raccoon dogs. Macro-parasites, their eggs and protozoan parasites were investigated to assess the taxonomic composition of parasites, the level of infection and the risk of potential transfer of dangerous parasites from raccoon dogs to people and native species. Among parasites potentially dangerous for human and native mammal species, Toxocara canis was found in the intestines and T. canis eggs, Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts and Entamoeba sp. cysts were identified in faecal samples. Sarcoptic mange was observed in the skin of two animals, whereas Diptera larvae (probably from the family Gasterophilidae) were found in the intestines of two other animals. This latter finding is very interesting, because Gasterophilidae are the typical parasites in horses and ungulates, but so far were never found in raccoon dogs.

  20. The genome of Eimeria falciformis--reduction and specialization in a single host apicomplexan parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heitlinger, Emanuel; Spork, Simone; Lucius, Richard; Dieterich, Christoph

    2014-08-20

    The phylum Apicomplexa comprises important unicellular human parasites such as Toxoplasma and Plasmodium. Eimeria is the largest and most diverse genus of apicomplexan parasites and some species of the genus are the causative agent of coccidiosis, a disease economically devastating in poultry. We report a complete genome sequence of the mouse parasite Eimeria falciformis. We assembled and annotated the genome sequence to study host-parasite interactions in this understudied genus in a model organism host. The genome of E. falciformis is 44 Mb in size and contains 5,879 predicted protein coding genes. Comparative analysis of E. falciformis with Toxoplasma gondii shows an emergence and diversification of gene families associated with motility and invasion mainly at the level of the Coccidia. Many rhoptry kinases, among them important virulence factors in T. gondii, are absent from the E. falciformis genome. Surface antigens are divergent between Eimeria species. Comparisons with T. gondii showed differences between genes involved in metabolism, N-glycan and GPI-anchor synthesis. E. falciformis possesses a reduced set of transmembrane transporters and we suggest an altered mode of iron uptake in the genus Eimeria. Reduced diversity of genes required for host-parasite interaction and transmembrane transport allow hypotheses on host adaptation and specialization of a single host parasite. The E. falciformis genome sequence sheds light on the evolution of the Coccidia and helps to identify determinants of host-parasite interaction critical for drug and vaccine development.

  1. Seasonality of helminth infection in wild red deer varies between individuals and between parasite taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albery, Gregory F; Kenyon, Fiona; Morris, Alison; Morris, Sean; Nussey, Daniel H; Pemberton, Josephine M

    2018-03-09

    Parasitism in wild mammals can vary according to myriad intrinsic and extrinsic factors, many of which vary seasonally. However, seasonal variation in parasitism is rarely studied using repeated samples from known individuals. Here we used a wild population of individually recognized red deer (Cervus elaphus) on the Isle of Rum to quantify seasonality and intrinsic factors affecting gastrointestinal helminth parasitism over the course of a year. We collected 1020 non-invasive faecal samples from 328 known individuals which we then analysed for propagules of three helminth taxa: strongyle nematodes, the common liver fluke Fasciola hepatica and the tissue nematode Elaphostrongylus cervi. Zero-inflated Poisson models were used to investigate how season, age and sex were associated with parasite prevalence and count intensity, while Poisson models were used to quantify individual repeatability within and between sampling seasons. Parasite intensity and prevalence varied according to all investigated factors, with opposing seasonality, age profiles and sex biases between parasite taxa. Repeatability was moderate, decreased between seasons and varied between parasites; both F. hepatica and E. cervi showed significant between-season repeatability, while strongyle nematode counts were only repeatable within-season and showed no repeatability within individuals across the year.

  2. Short-term parasite-infection alters already the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun-Min; Jin, Ze-Xin; Hagedorn, Frank; Li, Mai-He

    2014-11-01

    Native parasitic plants may be used to infect and control invasive plants. We established microcosms with invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-jobi growing in mixture on native soils, with M. micrantha being infected by parasitic Cuscuta campestris at four intensity levels for seven weeks to estimate the top-down effects of plant parasitism on the biomass and functional diversity of soil microbial communities. Parasitism significantly decreased root biomass and altered soil microbial communities. Soil microbial biomass decreased, but soil respiration increased at the two higher infection levels, indicating a strong stimulation of soil microbial metabolic activity (+180%). Moreover, a Biolog assay showed that the infection resulted in a significant change in the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities. Pearson correlation analysis indicated that microbial biomass declined significantly with decreasing root biomass, particularly of the invasive M. micrantha. Also, the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities were positively correlated with soil microbial biomass. Therefore, the negative effects on the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial community by the seven week long plant parasitism was very likely caused by decreased root biomass and root exudation of the invasive M. micrantha.

  3. Glyoxalase diversity in parasitic protists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deponte, Marcel

    2014-04-01

    Our current knowledge of the isomerase glyoxalase I and the thioesterase glyoxalase II is based on a variety of prokaryotic and eukaryotic (model) systems with an emphasis on human glyoxalases. During the last decade, important insights on glyoxalase catalysis and structure-function relationships have also been obtained from parasitic protists. These organisms, including kinetoplastid and apicomplexan parasites, are particularly interesting, both because of their relevance as pathogens and because of their phylogenetic diversity and host-parasite co-evolution which has led to specialized organellar and metabolic adaptations. Accordingly, the glyoxalase repertoire and properties vary significantly among parasitic protists of different major eukaryotic lineages (and even between closely related organisms). For example, several protists have an insular or non-canonical glyoxalase. Furthermore, the structures and the substrate specificities of glyoxalases display drastic variations. The aim of the present review is to highlight such differences as well as similarities between the glyoxalases of parasitic protists and to emphasize the power of comparative studies for gaining insights into fundamental principles and alternative glyoxalase functions.

  4. Genome Evolution of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Taisei; Eves-van den Akker, Sebastian; Jones, John T

    2017-08-04

    Plant parasitism has evolved independently on at least four separate occasions in the phylum Nematoda. The application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to plant-parasitic nematodes has allowed a wide range of genome- or transcriptome-level comparisons, and these have identified genome adaptations that enable parasitism of plants. Current genome data suggest that horizontal gene transfer, gene family expansions, evolution of new genes that mediate interactions with the host, and parasitism-specific gene regulation are important adaptations that allow nematodes to parasitize plants. Sequencing of a larger number of nematode genomes, including plant parasites that show different modes of parasitism or that have evolved in currently unsampled clades, and using free-living taxa as comparators would allow more detailed analysis and a better understanding of the organization of key genes within the genomes. This would facilitate a more complete understanding of the way in which parasitism has shaped the genomes of plant-parasitic nematodes.

  5. Motility precedes egress of malaria parasites from oocysts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Dennis; Frischknecht, Friedrich

    2017-01-01

    Malaria is transmitted when an infected Anopheles mosquito deposits Plasmodium sporozoites in the skin during a bite. Sporozoites are formed within oocysts at the mosquito midgut wall and are released into the hemolymph, from where they invade the salivary glands and are subsequently transmitted to the vertebrate host. We found that a thrombospondin-repeat containing sporozoite-specific protein named thrombospondin-releated protein 1 (TRP1) is important for oocyst egress and salivary gland invasion, and hence for the transmission of malaria. We imaged the release of sporozoites from oocysts in situ, which was preceded by active motility. Parasites lacking TRP1 failed to migrate within oocysts and did not egress, suggesting that TRP1 is a vital component of the events that precede intra-oocyst motility and subsequently sporozoite egress and salivary gland invasion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19157.001 PMID:28115054

  6. Plasmodium falciparum variant STEVOR antigens are expressed in merozoites and possibly associated with erythrocyte invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petter Michaela

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasmodium falciparum STEVOR proteins, encoded by the multicopy stevor gene family have no known biological functions. Their expression and unique locations in different parasite life cycle stages evoke multiple functionalities. Their abundance and hypervariability support a role in antigenic variation. Methods Immunoblotting of total parasite proteins with an anti-STEVOR antibody was used to identify variant antigens of this gene family and to follow changes in STEVOR expression in parasite populations panned on CSA or CD36 receptors. Immunofluorescence assays and immunoelectron microscopy were performed to study the subcellular localization of STEVOR proteins in different parasite stages. The capacity of the antibody to inhibit merozoite invasion of erythrocytes was assessed to determine whether STEVOR variants were involved in the invasion process. Results Antigenic variation of STEVORs at the protein level was observed in blood stage parasites. STEVOR variants were found to be present on the merozoite surface and in rhoptries. An insight into a participation in erythrocyte invasion was gained through an immunofluorescence analysis of a sequence of thin slides representing progressive steps in erythrocyte invasion. An interesting feature of the staining pattern was what appeared to be the release of STEVORs around the invading merozoites. Because the anti-STEVOR antibody did not inhibit invasion, the role of STEVORs in this process remains unknown. Conclusion The localization of STEVOR proteins to the merozoite surface and the rhoptries together with its prevalence as a released component in the invading merozoite suggest a role of these antigens in adhesion and/or immune evasion in the erythrocyte invasion process. These observations would also justify STEVORs for undergoing antigenic variation. Even though a role in erythrocyte invasion remains speculative, an association of members of the STEVOR protein family with

  7. Stressful dieting: nutritional conditions but not compensatory growth elevate corticosterone levels in zebra finch nestlings and fledglings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariam Honarmand

    Full Text Available Unfavourable conditions throughout the period of parental care can severely affect growth, reproductive performance, and survival. Yet, individuals may be affected differently, depending on the developmental period during which constraints are experienced. Here we tested whether the nestling phase compared to the fledgling phase is more susceptible to nutritional stress by considering biometry, physiology, sexually selected male ornaments and survival using zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model species. As nestlings (day 0-17 or fledglings (day 17-35, subjects were raised either on low or high quality food. A low quality diet resulted in significantly elevated baseline corticosterone titres in both nestlings and fledglings. Subjects showed substantial compensatory growth after they had experienced low quality food as nestlings but catch-up growth did neither lead to elevated baseline corticosterone titres nor did we detect long term effects on biometry, male cheek patch, or survival. The compensation for temporally unfavourable environmental conditions reflects substantial phenotypic plasticity and the results show that costs of catch-up growth were not mediated via corticosterone as a physiological correlate of allostatic load. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms and plasticity with which animals respond to periods of constraints during development as they may occur in a mistiming of breeding.

  8. MC1R genotype and plumage colouration in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata: population structure generates artefactual associations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph I Hoffman

    Full Text Available Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding region in 162 zebra finches comprising 79 wild type and 83 white individuals from five stocks. Allelic counts differed significantly between the two plumage morphs at multiple segregating sites, but these were mostly synonymous. To provide a control, the birds were genotyped at eight microsatellites and subjected to Bayesian cluster analysis, revealing two distinct groups. We therefore crossed wild type with white individuals and backcrossed the F1s with white birds. No significant associations were detected in the resulting offspring, suggesting that our original findings were a byproduct of genome-wide divergence. Our results are consistent with a previous study that found no association between MC1R polymorphism and plumage coloration in leaf warblers. They also contribute towards a growing body of evidence suggesting that care should be taken to quantify, and where necessary control for, population structure in association studies.

  9. Systemic Amyloidosis and Testicular Interstitial Tumor in a Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata: a Case Report in Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehrnoush Moeini Jazani

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Systemic amyloidosis and testicular interstitial tumor are rare conditions in birds and this is the first report in Iran. A male zebra finch was presented because of white diarrhea, anorexia, loss of weight and lethargy. At necropsy, the small intestine was edematous and congested. The spleen appeared pale. The liver was large, firm and brown. One testis was cystic and neoplastic and the remaining testis was atrophic. Histologically, amyloid materials were seen predominantly in the liver and spleen. Hyaline substances were deposited in the Disse space and in the media of blood vessels of the liver. In spleen, marked deposits thickened the basement membranes of blood vessels and extended into the surrounding parenchyma. In addition, there were lesser degrees of amyloidosis in other organs such as small intestine. Amyloid stained positively with Congo red. In testis, there was encapsulated unilateral interstitial cell tumor, with multiple foci of necrosis and hemorrhage. The neoplastic cells were round to polyhedral, with small round hyperchromatic nuclei and finely vacuolated cytoplasm. Signs of feminization were observed. The cause of amyloidosis in this study was not conclusively identified.

  10. Encoding of naturalistic optic flow by motion sensitive neurons of nucleus rotundus in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis eEckmeier

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The retinal image changes that occur during locomotion, the optic flow, carry information about self-motion and the three-dimensional structure of the environment. Especially fast moving animals with only little binocular vision depend on these depth cues for manoeuvring. They actively control their gaze to facilitate perception of depth based on cues in the optic flow. In the visual system of birds, nucleus rotundus neurons were originally found to respond to object motion but not to background motion. However, when background and object were both moving, responses increase the more the direction and velocity of object and background motion on the retina differed. These properties may play a role in representing depth cues in the optic flow. We therefore investigated how neurons in nucleus rotundus respond to optic flow that contains depth cues. We presented simplified and naturalistic optic flow on a panoramic LED display while recording from single neurons in nucleus rotundus of anaesthetized zebra finches. Unlike most studies on motion vision in birds, our stimuli included depth information.We found extensive responses of motion selective neurons in nucleus rotundus to optic flow stimuli. Simplified stimuli revealed preferences for optic flow reflecting translational or rotational self-motion. Naturalistic optic flow stimuli elicited complex response modulations, but the presence of objects was signalled by only few neurons. The neurons that did respond to objects in the optic flow, however, show interesting properties.

  11. Taming Parasites by Tailoring Them

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingjian Ren

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The next-generation gene editing based on CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats has been successfully implemented in a wide range of organisms including some protozoan parasites. However, application of such a versatile game-changing technology in molecular parasitology remains fairly underexplored. Here, we briefly introduce state-of-the-art in human and mouse research and usher new directions to drive the parasitology research in the years to come. In precise, we outline contemporary ways to embolden existing apicomplexan and kinetoplastid parasite models by commissioning front-line gene-tailoring methods, and illustrate how we can break the enduring gridlock of gene manipulation in non-model parasitic protists to tackle intriguing questions that remain long unresolved otherwise. We show how a judicious solicitation of the CRISPR technology can eventually balance out the two facets of pathogen-host interplay.

  12. Parasites and immunotherapy: with or against?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousofi Darani, Hossein; Yousefi, Morteza; Safari, Marzieh; Jafari, Rasool

    2016-06-01

    Immunotherapy is a sort of therapy in which antibody or antigen administrates to the patient in order to treat or reduce the severity of complications of disease. This kind of treatment practiced in a wide variety of diseases including infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, cancers and allergy. Successful and unsuccessful immunotherapeutic strategies have been practiced in variety of parasitic infections. On the other hand parasites or parasite antigens have also been considered for immunotherapy against other diseases such as cancer, asthma and multiple sclerosis. In this paper immunotherapy against common parasitic infections, and also immunotherapy of cancer, asthma and multiple sclerosis with parasites or parasite antigens have been reviewed.

  13. ARF6, PI3-kinase and host cell actin cytoskeleton in Toxoplasma gondii cell invasion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vieira da Silva, Claudio; Alves da Silva, Erika; Costa Cruz, Mario; Chavrier, Philippe; Arruda Mortara, Renato

    2009-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infects a variety of different cell types in a range of different hosts. Host cell invasion by T. gondii occurs by active penetration of the host cell, a process previously described as independent of host actin polymerization. Also, the parasitophorous vacuole has been shown to resist fusion with endocytic and exocytic pathways of the host cell. ADP-ribosylation factor-6 (ARF6) belongs to the ARF family of small GTP-binding proteins. ARF6 regulates membrane trafficking and actin cytoskeleton rearrangements at the plasma membrane. Here, we have observed that ARF6 is recruited to the parasitophorous vacuole of tachyzoites of T. gondii RH strain and it also plays an important role in the parasite cell invasion with activation of PI3-kinase and recruitment of PIP 2 and PIP 3 to the parasitophorous vacuole of invading parasites. Moreover, it was verified that maintenance of host cell actin cytoskeleton integrity is important to parasite invasion.

  14. The fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Louise von Gersdorff

    2017-01-01

    Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, the causative agent of white spot disease (ichthyophthiriasis) is a major burden for fish farmers and aquarists globally. The parasite infects the skin and the gills of freshwater fish, which may acquire a protective adaptive immune response against this disease...... and recognition of carcinogenic and environmentally damaging effects the most efficient compounds are prohibited. A continuous search for novel substances, which are highly effective against the parasites and harmless for the fish is ongoing. These compounds should be environmentally friendly and cost...

  15. Chromerid genomes reveal the evolutionary path from photosynthetic algae to obligate intracellular parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Woo, Yong

    2015-07-15

    The eukaryotic phylum Apicomplexa encompasses thousands of obligate intracellular parasites of humans and animals with immense socio-economic and health impacts. We sequenced nuclear genomes of Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis, free-living non-parasitic photosynthetic algae closely related to apicomplexans. Proteins from key metabolic pathways and from the endomembrane trafficking systems associated with a free-living lifestyle have been progressively and non-randomly lost during adaptation to parasitism. The free-living ancestor contained a broad repertoire of genes many of which were repurposed for parasitic processes, such as extracellular proteins, components of a motility apparatus, and DNA- and RNA-binding protein families. Based on transcriptome analyses across 36 environmental conditions, Chromera orthologs of apicomplexan invasion-related motility genes were co-regulated with genes encoding the flagellar apparatus, supporting the functional contribution of flagella to the evolution of invasion machinery. This study provides insights into how obligate parasites with diverse life strategies arose from a once free-living phototrophic marine alga. © Woo et al.

  16. On the analysis of parasite effect for Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallista, Meta; Aldila, Dipo; Nuraini, Nuning; Soewono, Edy

    2014-03-01

    It has been reported in some countries that the population of Aedes aegypti has been significantly reduced by the invasion of Aedes albopictus. There has been a hypothesis explaining this phenomenon of which investigated the influence of parasites pathogenesis to the competition between these two mosquito species in the fields. Ascogregarina taiwanensis and Ascogregarina culicis are known as parasites that infect Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti, respectively. Several studies have concluded that Ascogregarina taiwanensis caused high fatality for Aedes aegypti larvae, but Ascogregarina culicis was not pathogenic to Aedes albopictus larvae. Therefore, Ascogregarina taiwanensis may contribute to reduce the number of populations Aedes aegypti in the fields. Inspired by these facts, a mathematical model depicting interaction between parasites and mosquitoes is constructed in this paper. In this model are included six dynamic mosquito compartments, i.e. egg, larvae, infected larvae, adult, infected adult and one dynamic compartment for parasite. Derivation of the existence criteria and the stability analysis of parasite-free equilibrium as well as the basic offspring for the model are presented. Numerical simulations for sensitivity analysis indicating the invasive species for variation parameters are shown.

  17. Chromerid genomes reveal the evolutionary path from photosynthetic algae to obligate intracellular parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Woo, Yong; Ansari, Hifzur Rahman; Otto, Thomas D.; Linger, Christen M K; Olisko, Martin K.; Michá lek, Jan; Saxena, Alka; Shanmugam, Dhanasekaran; Tayyrov, Annageldi; Veluchamy, Alaguraj; Ali, Shahjahan; Bernal, Axel; Del Campo, Javier; Cihlá ř, Jaromí r; Flegontov, Pavel; Gornik, Sebastian G.; Hajdušková , Eva; Horá k, Aleš; Janouškovec, Jan; Katris, Nicholas J.; Mast, Fred D.; Miranda-Saavedra, Diego; Mourier, Tobias; Naeem, Raeece; Nair, Mridul; Panigrahi, Aswini Kumar; Rawlings, Neil D.; Padron Regalado, Eriko; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Samad, Nadira; Tomčala, Aleš; Wilkes, Jon; Neafsey, Daniel E.; Doerig, Christian; Bowler, Chris; Keeling, Patrick J.; Roos, David S.; Dacks, Joel B.; Templeton, Thomas J.; Waller, Ross F.; Lukeš, Julius; Oborní k, Miroslav; Pain, Arnab

    2015-01-01

    The eukaryotic phylum Apicomplexa encompasses thousands of obligate intracellular parasites of humans and animals with immense socio-economic and health impacts. We sequenced nuclear genomes of Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis, free-living non-parasitic photosynthetic algae closely related to apicomplexans. Proteins from key metabolic pathways and from the endomembrane trafficking systems associated with a free-living lifestyle have been progressively and non-randomly lost during adaptation to parasitism. The free-living ancestor contained a broad repertoire of genes many of which were repurposed for parasitic processes, such as extracellular proteins, components of a motility apparatus, and DNA- and RNA-binding protein families. Based on transcriptome analyses across 36 environmental conditions, Chromera orthologs of apicomplexan invasion-related motility genes were co-regulated with genes encoding the flagellar apparatus, supporting the functional contribution of flagella to the evolution of invasion machinery. This study provides insights into how obligate parasites with diverse life strategies arose from a once free-living phototrophic marine alga. © Woo et al.

  18. INVASIVE AMOEBIASIS COMPLICATING IFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziglam H

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTIONAmoebiasis, which is caused by the intestinal protozoan Entamoeba histolytica, is a ubiquitous parasitic infection affecting approximately 10% of the world’s population and causing more deaths every year (100,000 deaths than any other parasitic infection, with the exception of malaria and schistosomiasis [1–3]. Most individuals with an E. histolytica infection are asymptomatic, but some develop severe invasive disease, such as amoebic colitis. Other manifestations, such as pulmonary, cardiac or brain involvement, are rare. Intestinal amoebiasis can probably also present as a chronic, non-dysenteric syndrome of diarrhoea, weight loss, and abdominal pain that can last for years and mimic inflammatory bowel disease. Fulminant colitis with bowel necrosis leading to perforation and peritonitis occurs in only about 0.5% of cases, but it is associated with a mortality rate of more than 40%. Patients with invasive amoebiasis living in the United Kingdom and other developed countries generally acquire the infection in another country in which the pathogenic species is endemic. Areas that have high rates of amoebic infection include India, Africa, Mexico and parts of Central and South America. Infection with pathogenic E. histolytica is not a common cause of travelers’ diarrhoea, and gastrointestinal infection is uncommon in travelers who have spent less than one month in endemic areas.

  19. Can Parasites Really Reveal Environmental Impact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    This review assesses the usefulness of parasites as bioindicators of environmental impact. Relevant studies published in the past decade were compiled; factorial meta-analysis demonstrated significant effects and interactions between parasite levels and the presence and concentra...

  20. Parasitic Nematode Interactions with Mammals and Plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jasmer, D.P.; Goverse, A.; Smant, G.

    2003-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes that infect humans, animals, and plants cause serious diseases that are deleterious to human health and agricultural productivity. Chemical and biological control methods have reduced the impact of these parasites. However, surviving environmental stages lead to persistent

  1. Everyday and Exotic Foodborne Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marilyn B Lee

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Everyday foodborne parasites, which are endemic in Canada, include the protozoans Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum. However, these parasites are most frequently acquired through unfiltered drinking water, homosexual activity or close personal contact such as in daycare centres and occasionally via a food vehicle. It is likely that many foodborne outbreaks from these protozoa go undetected. Transmission of helminth infections, such as tapeworms, is rare in Canada because of effective sewage treatment. However, a common foodborne parasite of significance is Toxoplasma gondii. Although infection can be acquired from accidental ingestion of oocysts from cat feces, infection can also result from consumption of tissue cysts in undercooked meat, such as pork or lamb. Congenital transmission poses an immense financial burden, costing Canada an estimated $240 million annually. Also of concern is toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients, which may lead to toxoplasmosis encephalitis, the second most common AIDS-related opportunistic infection of the central nervous system. Exotic parasites (ie, those acquired from abroad or from imported food are of growing concern because more Canadians are travelling and the number of Canada?s trading partners is increasing. Since 1996, over 3000 cases of Cyclospora infection reported in the United States and Canada were epidemiologically associated with importation of Guatemalan raspberries. Unlike toxoplasmosis, where strategies for control largely rest with individual practices, control of cyclosporiasis rests with government policy, which should prohibit the importation of foods at high risk.

  2. Energy parasites trigger oncogene mutation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pokorný, Jiří; Pokorný, Jan; Jandová, Anna; Kobilková, J.; Vrba, J.; Vrba, J. jr.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 92, č. 10 (2016), s. 577-582 ISSN 0955-3002 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA16-12757S Institutional support: RVO:68378271 ; RVO:67985882 Keywords : cancer initiation * cell-mediated immunity * coherent electromagnetic states * genome somatic mutation * LDH virus * parasitic energy consumption Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 1.992, year: 2016

  3. Zoology: Invertebrates that Parasitize Invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giribet, Gonzalo

    2016-07-11

    The genome of an orthonectid, a group of highly modified parasitic invertebrates, is drastically reduced and compact, yet it shows the bilaterian gene toolkit. Phylogenetic analyses place the enigmatic orthonectids within Spiralia, although their exact placement remains uncertain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Intestinal Parasites of the Grasscutter

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    excretions of carrier cane rats (Oboegbulem. & Okoronkwo, 1990). The possibility of transmission of parasites of the grasscutter to humans cannot be overlooked. This is more so as some people do not only cherish grasscutter meat but also use the content of the gut both for medicinal purposes and for food (pers. comm.).

  5. Fish immunity to scuticociliate parasites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piazzon de Haro, M.C.; Leiro, J.M.; Lamas, J.

    2013-01-01

    Some species of scuticociliates (Ciliophora) behave as facultative parasites and produce severe mortalities in cultured fish. Pathogenic scuticociliates can cause surface lesions and can also penetrate inside the body, where they feed on tissue and proliferate in the blood and most internal organs,

  6. One Health: parasites and beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Damer P; Betson, Martha

    2017-01-01

    The field of parasitism is broad, encompassing relationships between organisms where one benefits at the expense of another. Traditionally the discipline focuses on eukaryotes, with the study of bacteria and viruses complementary but distinct. Nonetheless, parasites vary in size and complexity from single celled protozoa, to enormous plants like those in the genus Rafflesia. Lifecycles range from obligate intracellular to extensive exoparasitism. Examples of parasites include high-profile medical and zoonotic pathogens such as Plasmodium, veterinary pathogens of wild and captive animals and many of the agents which cause neglected tropical diseases, stretching to parasites which infect plants and other parasites (e.g. Kikuchi et al. 2011; Hotez et al. 2014; Blake et al. 2015; Hemingway, 2015; Meekums et al. 2015; Sandlund et al. 2015). The breadth of parasitology has been matched by the variety of ways in which parasites are studied, drawing upon biological, chemical, molecular, epidemiological and other expertise. Despite such breadth bridging between disciplines has commonly been problematic, regardless of extensive encouragement from government agencies, peer audiences and funding bodies promoting multidisciplinary research. Now, progress in understanding and collaboration can benefit from establishment of the One Health concept (Zinsstag et al. 2012; Stark et al. 2015). One Health draws upon biological, environmental, medical, veterinary and social science disciplines in order to improve human, animal and environmental health, although it remains tantalizingly difficult to engage many relevant parties. For infectious diseases traditional divides have been exacerbated as the importance of wildlife reservoirs, climate change, food production systems and socio-economic diversity have been recognized but often not addressed in a multidisciplinary manner. In response the 2015 Autumn Symposium organized by the British Society for Parasitology (BSP; https

  7. Plasmodium falciparum field isolates from South America use an atypical red blood cell invasion pathway associated with invasion ligand polymorphisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Lopez-Perez

    Full Text Available Studies of Plasmodium falciparum invasion pathways in field isolates have been limited. Red blood cell (RBC invasion is a complex process involving two invasion protein families; Erythrocyte Binding-Like (EBL and the Reticulocyte Binding-Like (PfRh proteins, which are polymorphic and not fully characterized in field isolates. To determine the various P. falciparum invasion pathways used by parasite isolates from South America, we studied the invasion phenotypes in three regions: Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Additionally, polymorphisms in three members of the EBL (EBA-181, EBA-175 and EBL-1 and five members of the PfRh (PfRh1, PfRh2a, PfRh2b, PfRh4, PfRh5 families were determined. We found that most P. falciparum field isolates from Colombia and Peru invade RBCs through an atypical invasion pathway phenotypically characterized as resistant to all enzyme treatments (NrTrCr. Moreover, the invasion pathways and the ligand polymorphisms differed substantially among the Colombian and Brazilian isolates while the Peruvian isolates represent an amalgam of those present in the Colombian and Brazilian field isolates. The NrTrCr invasion profile was associated with the presence of the PfRh2a pepC variant, the PfRh5 variant 1 and EBA-181 RVNKN variant. The ebl and Pfrh expression levels in a field isolate displaying the NrTrCr profile also pointed to PfRh2a, PfRh5 and EBA-181 as being possibly the major players in this invasion pathway. Notably, our studies demonstrate the uniqueness of the Peruvian P. falciparum field isolates in terms of their invasion profiles and ligand polymorphisms, and present a unique opportunity for studying the ability of P. falciparum parasites to expand their invasion repertoire after being reintroduced to human populations. The present study is directly relevant to asexual blood stage vaccine design focused on invasion pathway proteins, suggesting that regional invasion variants and global geographical variation are likely to

  8. Sexually dimorphic expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 in the song control nuclei of juvenile zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2006-12-18

    Studies evaluating the role of steroid hormones in sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system have produced complicated and at times paradoxical results, and indicate that additional factors may be critical. Therefore, in a previous study we initiated a screen for differential gene expression in the telencephalon of developing male and female zebra finches. The use of cDNA microarrays and real-time quantitative PCR revealed increased expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37) in the male forebrain as a whole. Preliminary in situ hybridization data then indicated enhanced expression of both these genes in song control regions. Two experiments in the present study quantified the mRNA expression. The first utilized 25-day-old male and female zebra finches. The second compared a separate set of juveniles to adults of both sexes to both re-confirm enhanced expression in juvenile males and to determine whether it is limited to developing animals. In Experiment 1, males exhibited increased expression of both RPL17 and RPL37 compared to females in Area X, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and the ventral ventricular zone (VVZ), which may provide neurons to Area X. Experiment 2 replicated the sexually dimorphic expression of these genes at post-hatching day 25, and documented that the sex differences are eliminated or greatly reduced in adults. The results are consistent with the idea that these ribosomal proteins may influence sexual differentiation of Area X and RA, potentially regulating the genesis and/or survival of neurons.

  9. Genoarchitecture of the extended amygdala in zebra finch, and expression of FoxP2 in cell corridors of different genetic profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicario, Alba; Mendoza, Ezequiel; Abellán, Antonio; Scharff, Constance; Medina, Loreta

    2017-01-01

    We used a battery of genes encoding transcription factors (Pax6, Islet1, Nkx2.1, Lhx6, Lhx5, Lhx9, FoxP2) and neuropeptides to study the extended amygdala in developing zebra finches. We identified different components of the central extended amygdala comparable to those found in mice and chickens, including the intercalated amygdalar cells, the central amygdala, and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Many cells likely originate in the dorsal striatal domain, ventral striatal domain, or the pallidal domain, as is the case in mice and chickens. Moreover, a cell subpopulation of the central extended amygdala appears to originate in the prethalamic eminence. As a general principle, these different cells with specific genetic profiles and embryonic origin form separate or partially intermingled cell corridors along the extended amygdala, which may be involved in different functional pathways. In addition, we identified the medial amygdala of the zebra finch. Like in the chickens and mice, it is located in the subpallium and is rich in cells of pallido-preoptic origin, containing minor subpopulations of immigrant cells from the ventral pallium, alar hypothalamus and prethalamic eminence. We also proposed that the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis is composed of several parallel cell corridors with different genetic profile and embryonic origin: preoptic, pallidal, hypothalamic, and prethalamic. Several of these cell corridors with distinct origin express FoxP2, a transcription factor implicated in synaptic plasticity. Our results pave the way for studies using zebra finches to understand the neural basis of social behavior, in which the extended amygdala is involved.

  10. The combined effect of lead exposure and high or low dietary calcium on health and immunocompetence in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snoeijs, Tinne; Dauwe, Tom; Pinxten, Rianne; Darras, Veerle M.; Arckens, Lutgarde; Eens, Marcel

    2005-01-01

    The widespread contamination by lead and the acidification of the environment ask for a better understanding of the effects of the interaction between lead and calcium on various aspects of health, including disease defense, in wildlife. Here, we investigated the effects of chronic exposure to sublethal levels of lead, combined with high or low dietary calcium, on health and several components of immunity in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Thirty individuals of each sex were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, a group exposed to lead with an additional calcium source (i.e. grit) and a group exposed to lead without access to an extra calcium source. Lead was administered as lead acetate via the drinking water (20 ppm) for 38 consecutive days. Exposure to lead increased significantly the concentrations of lead in kidney and bone in individuals of the experimental groups. Furthermore, the lack of a calcium supplement significantly enhanced the uptake of lead. Lead did not affect health indices such as hematocrit, spleen mass and body mass, nor the adrenal stress response. Cell-mediated immune responsiveness, assessed by a delayed-type hypersensitivity response to phytohaemagglutinin, was also not affected by lead exposure. On the other hand, lead exposure did significantly suppress the secondary humoral immune response towards sheep red blood cells in females, but only when the additional calcium source was not available. This effect was not found in males, suggesting sexual differences in susceptibility of humoral immunity to lead treatment in zebra finches. - Male and female finches may respond to lead differently

  11. Cysteine Protease Inhibitors as Chemotherapy: Lessons from a Parasite Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selzer, Paul M.; Pingel, Sabine; Hsieh, Ivy; Ugele, Bernhard; Chan, Victor J.; Engel, Juan C.; Bogyo, Matthew; Russell, David G.; Sakanari, Judy A.; McKerrow, James H.

    1999-09-01

    Papain family cysteine proteases are key factors in the pathogenesis of cancer invasion, arthritis, osteoporosis, and microbial infections. Targeting this enzyme family is therefore one strategy in the development of new chemotherapy for a number of diseases. Little is known, however, about the efficacy, selectivity, and safety of cysteine protease inhibitors in cell culture or in vivo. We now report that specific cysteine protease inhibitors kill Leishmania parasites in vitro, at concentrations that do not overtly affect mammalian host cells. Inhibition of Leishmania cysteine protease activity was accompanied by defects in the parasite's lysosome/endosome compartment resembling those seen in lysosomal storage diseases. Colocalization of anti-protease antibodies with biotinylated surface proteins and accumulation of undigested debris and protease in the flagellar pocket of treated parasites were consistent with a pathway of protease trafficking from flagellar pocket to the lysosome/endosome compartment. The inhibitors were sufficiently absorbed and stable in vivo to ameliorate the pathology associated with a mouse model of Leishmania infection.

  12. Nuclear hormone receptors in parasitic helminths

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Wenjie; LoVerde, Philip T

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) belong to a large protein superfamily that are important transcriptional modulators in metazoans. Parasitic helminths include parasitic worms from the Lophotrochozoa (Platyhelminths) and Ecdysozoa (Nematoda). NRs in parasitic helminths diverged into two different evolutionary lineages. NRs in parasitic Platyhelminths have orthologues in Deuterostomes, in arthropods or both with a feature of extensive gene loss and gene duplication within different gene groups. NRs in p...

  13. Fishing drives declines in fish parasite diversity and has variable effects on parasite abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Chelsea L; Sandin, Stuart A; Zgliczynski, Brian; Guerra, Ana Sofía; Micheli, Fiorenza

    2014-07-01

    Despite the ubiquity and ecological importance of parasites, relatively few studies have assessed their response to anthropogenic environmental change. Heuristic models have predicted both increases and decreases in parasite abundance in response to human disturbance, with empirical support for both. However, most studies focus on one or a few selected parasite species. Here, we assess the abundance of parasites of seven species of coral reef fishes collected from three fished and three unfished islands of the Line Islands archipelago in the central equatorial Pacific. Because we chose fish hosts that spanned different trophic levels, taxonomic groups, and body sizes, we were able to compare parasite responses across a broad cross section of the total parasite community in the presence and absence of fishing, a major human impact on marine ecosystems. We found that overall parasite species richness was substantially depressed on fished islands, but that the response of parasite abundance varied among parasite taxa: directly transmitted parasites were significantly more abundant on fished than on unfished islands, while the reverse was true for trophically transmitted parasites. This probably arises because trophically transmitted parasites require multiple host species, some of which are the top predators most sensitive to fishing impacts. The increase in directly transmitted parasites appeared to be due to fishing-driven compensatory increases in the abundance of their hosts. Together, these results provide support for the predictions of both heuristic models, and indicate that the direction of fishing's impact on parasite abundance is mediated by parasite traits, notably parasite transmission strategies.

  14. Parasites as prey in aquatic food webs: implications for predator infection and parasite transmission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thieltges, D.W.; Amundsen, P.-A.; Hechinger, R.F.; Johnson, P.T.J.; Lafferty, K.D.; Mouritsen, K.N.; Preston, D.L.; Reise, K.; Zander, C.D.; Poulin, R.

    2013-01-01

    While the recent inclusion of parasites into food-web studies has highlighted the role of parasites as consumers, there is accumulating evidence that parasites can also serve as prey for predators. Here we investigated empirical patterns of predation on parasites and their relationships with

  15. Parasites of mammals species abundance near zone Chernobyl

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pen'kevich, V.A.

    2014-01-01

    In wildlife reserve parasitize various types of parasites: arachnids (mites) parasitic insects (horseflies, keds, mosquitoes, gnats, midges), helminths (trematodes, cestodes, nematodes and acanthocephalans) and parasitic protozoa. In quantity: 3 (beaver) to 25 species (wolf). (authors)

  16. Quantitative Analysis of a Parasitic Antiviral Strategy

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Hwijin; Yin, John

    2004-01-01

    We extended a computer simulation of viral intracellular growth to study a parasitic antiviral strategy that diverts the viral replicase toward parasite growth. This strategy inhibited virus growth over a wide range of conditions, while minimizing host cell perturbations. Such parasitic strategies may inhibit the development of drug-resistant virus strains.

  17. 9 CFR 381.88 - Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Parasites. 381.88 Section 381.88 Animals and Animal Products FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGENCY... § 381.88 Parasites. Organs or other parts of carcasses which are found to be infested with parasites, or...

  18. New Laboulbeniales parasitic on endogean ground beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Walter; Santamaria, Sergi

    2008-01-01

    Three new species of Laboulbenia occurring on endogean Carabidae are described. These are L. lucifuga, parasitic on Winklerites spp. from Greece, L. magrinii, parasitic on Typloreicheia spp. from Italy, Reicheia spp. from Italy and Corsica and L. vailatii, parasitic on Coecoparvus spp. from Greece. New characters of L. coiffatii and L. endogea are pointed out, and the genus Scalenomyces is synonymized with Laboulbenia.

  19. Diagnostic problems with parasitic and non-parasitic splenic cysts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adas Gokhan

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The splenic cysts constitute a very rare clinical entity. They may occur secondary to trauma or even being more seldom due to parasitic infestations, mainly caused by ecchinocccus granulosus. Literature lacks a defined concencus including the treatment plans and follow up strategies, nor long term results of the patients. In the current study, we aimed to evaluate the diagnosis, management of patients with parasitic and non-parasitic splenic cysts together with their long term follow up progresses. Methods Twenty-four patients with splenic cysts have undergone surgery in our department over the last 9 years. Data from eighteen of the twenty-four patients were collected prospectively, while data from six were retrospectively collected. All patients were assessed in terms of age, gender, hospital stay, preoperative diagnosis, additional disease, serology, ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT, cyst recurrences and treatment. Results In this study, the majority of patients presented with abdominal discomfort and palpable swelling in the left hypochondrium. All patients were operated on electively. The patients included 14 female and 10 male patients, with a mean age of 44.77 years (range 20–62. Splenic hydatid cysts were present in 16 patients, one of whom also had liver hydatid cysts (6.25%. Four other patients were operated on for a simple cyst (16% two patients for an epithelial cyst, and the last two for splenic lymphangioma. Of the 16 patients diagnosed as having splenic hydatit cysts, 11 (68.7% were correctly diagnosed. Only two of these patients were administered benzimidazole therapy pre-operatively because of the risk of multicystic disease The mean follow-up period was 64 months (6–108. There were no recurrences of splenic cysts. Conclusion Surgeons should keep in mind the possibility of a parasitic cyst when no definitive alternative diagnosis can be made. In the treatment of splenic hydatidosis, benzimidazole

  20. Nuclear techniques in the study of parasitic infections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    Out of 57 papers published, 47 fall within the INIS subject scope. Seven main topics were covered: resistance to infections with protozoan parasites; resistance to infections with African trypanosomes and helminths of ruminant animals; resistance to infections with filarial parasites and schistosomes; pathology of parasitic infections; epidemiology and diagnosis of parasitic infections; physiology and biochemistry of parasitic organisms; pharmacodynamics of anti-parasitic agents

  1. Food for Song: Expression of C-Fos and ZENK in the Zebra Finch Song Nuclei during Food Aversion Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokarev, Kirill; Tiunova, Anna

    2011-01-01

    Background Specialized neural pathways, the song system, are required for acquiring, producing, and perceiving learned avian vocalizations. Birds that do not learn to produce their vocalizations lack telencephalic song system components. It is not known whether the song system forebrain regions are exclusively evolved for song or whether they also process information not related to song that might reflect their ‘evolutionary history’. Methodology/Principal Findings To address this question we monitored the induction of two immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-Fos and ZENK in various regions of the song system in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in response to an aversive food learning paradigm; this involves the association of a food item with a noxious stimulus that affects the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity and tongue, causing subsequent avoidance of that food item. The motor response results in beak and head movements but not vocalizations. IEGs have been extensively used to map neuro-molecular correlates of song motor production and auditory processing. As previously reported, neurons in two pallial vocal motor regions, HVC and RA, expressed IEGs after singing. Surprisingly, c-Fos was induced equivalently also after food aversion learning in the absence of singing. The density of c-Fos positive neurons was significantly higher than that of birds in control conditions. This was not the case in two other pallial song nuclei important for vocal plasticity, LMAN and Area X, although singing did induce IEGs in these structures, as reported previously. Conclusions/Significance Our results are consistent with the possibility that some of the song nuclei may participate in non-vocal learning and the populations of neurons involved in the two tasks show partial overlap. These findings underscore the previously advanced notion that the specialized forebrain pre-motor nuclei controlling song evolved from circuits involved in behaviors related to feeding. PMID:21695176

  2. Male foraging efficiency, but not male problem-solving performance, influences female mating preferences in zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véronique Chantal

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Experimental evidence suggests that females would prefer males with better cognitive abilities as mates. However, little is known about the traits reflecting enhanced cognitive skills on which females might base their mate-choice decisions. In particular, it has been suggested that male foraging performance could be used as an indicator of cognitive capacity, but convincing evidence for this hypothesis is still lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata modify their mating preferences after having observed the performance of males on a problem-solving task. Specifically, we measured the females’ preferences between two males once before and once after an observation period, during which their initially preferred male was incapable of solving the task contrary to their initially less-preferred male. We also conducted a control treatment to test whether the shift in female preferences was attributable to differences between the two stimulus males in their foraging efficiency. Finally, we assessed each bird’s performance in a color associative task to check whether females can discriminate among males based on their learning speed. We found that females significantly increased their preference toward the most efficient male in both treatments. Yet, there was no difference between the two treatments and we found no evidence that females assess male cognitive ability indirectly via morphological traits. Thus, our results suggest that females would not use the males’ problem-solving performance as an indicator of general cognitive ability to gain indirect fitness benefits (i.e., good genes but rather to assess their foraging efficiency and gain direct benefits.

  3. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariam Honarmand

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.

  4. Mercury reduces avian reproductive success and imposes selection: an experimental study with adult- or lifetime-exposure in zebra finch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire W Varian-Ramos

    Full Text Available Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, at doses from 0.3 - 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive

  5. Activation changes in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain areas evoked by alterations of the earth magnetic field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many animals are able to perceive the earth magnetic field and to use it for orientation and navigation within the environment. The mechanisms underlying the perception and processing of magnetic field information within the brain have been thoroughly studied, especially in birds, but are still obscure. Three hypotheses are currently discussed, dealing with ferromagnetic particles in the beak of birds, with the same sort of particles within the lagena organs, or describing magnetically influenced radical-pair processes within retinal photopigments. Each hypothesis is related to a well-known sensory organ and claims parallel processing of magnetic field information with somatosensory, vestibular and visual input, respectively. Changes in activation within nuclei of the respective sensory systems have been shown previously. Most of these previous experiments employed intensity enhanced magnetic stimuli or lesions. We here exposed unrestrained zebra finches to either a stationary or a rotating magnetic field of the local intensity and inclination. C-Fos was used as an activity marker to examine whether the two treatments led to differences in fourteen brain areas including nuclei of the somatosensory, vestibular and visual system. An ANOVA revealed an overall effect of treatment, indicating that the magnetic field change was perceived by the birds. While the differences were too small to be significant in most areas, a significant enhancement of activation by the rotating stimulus was found in a hippocampal subdivision. Part of the hyperpallium showed a strong, nearly significant, increase. Our results are compatible with previous studies demonstrating an involvement of at least three different sensory systems in earth magnetic field perception and suggest that these systems, probably less elaborated, may also be found in nonmigrating birds.

  6. Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success and Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study with Adult- or Lifetime-Exposure in Zebra Finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID

  7. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honarmand, Mariam; Krause, E Tobias; Naguib, Marc

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a) low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b) low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c) high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.

  8. Early fasting is long lasting: differences in early nutritional conditions reappear under stressful conditions in adult female zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Conditions experienced during early life can have profound effects on individual development and condition in adulthood. Differences in nutritional provisioning in birds during the first month of life can lead to differences in growth, reproductive success and survival. Yet, under natural conditions shorter periods of nutritional stress will be more prevalent. Individuals may respond differently, depending on the period of development during which nutritional stress was experienced. Such differences may surface specifically when poor environmental conditions challenge individuals again as adults. Here, we investigated long term consequences of differences in nutritional conditions experienced during different periods of early development by female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata on measures of management and acquisition of body reserves. As nestlings or fledglings, subjects were raised under different nutritional conditions, a low or high quality diet. After subjects reached sexual maturity, we measured their sensitivity to periods of food restriction, their exploration and foraging behaviour as well as adult resting metabolic rate (RMR. During a short period of food restriction, subjects from the poor nutritional conditions had a higher body mass loss than those raised under qualitatively superior nutritional conditions. Moreover, subjects that were raised under poor nutritional conditions were faster to engage in exploratory and foraging behaviour. But RMR did not differ among treatments. These results reveal that early nutritional conditions affect adult exploratory behaviour, a representative personality trait, foraging and adult's physiological condition. As early nutritional conditions are reflected in adult phenotypic plasticity specifically when stressful situations reappear, the results suggest that costs for poor developmental conditions are paid when environmental conditions deteriorate.

  9. Metabolic Cooperation of Glucose and Glutamine Is Essential for the Lytic Cycle of Obligate Intracellular Parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitzsche, Richard; Zagoriy, Vyacheslav; Lucius, Richard; Gupta, Nishith

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread protozoan parasite infecting nearly all warm-blooded organisms. Asexual reproduction of the parasite within its host cells is achieved by consecutive lytic cycles, which necessitates biogenesis of significant energy and biomass. Here we show that glucose and glutamine are the two major physiologically important nutrients used for the synthesis of macromolecules (ATP, nucleic acid, proteins, and lipids) in T. gondii, and either of them is sufficient to ensure the parasite survival. The parasite can counteract genetic ablation of its glucose transporter by increasing the flux of glutamine-derived carbon through the tricarboxylic acid cycle and by concurrently activating gluconeogenesis, which guarantee a continued biogenesis of ATP and biomass for host-cell invasion and parasite replication, respectively. In accord, a pharmacological inhibition of glutaminolysis or oxidative phosphorylation arrests the lytic cycle of the glycolysis-deficient mutant, which is primarily a consequence of impaired invasion due to depletion of ATP. Unexpectedly, however, intracellular parasites continue to proliferate, albeit slower, notwithstanding a simultaneous deprivation of glucose and glutamine. A growth defect in the glycolysis-impaired mutant is caused by a compromised synthesis of lipids, which cannot be counterbalanced by glutamine but can be restored by acetate. Consistently, supplementation of parasite cultures with exogenous acetate can amend the lytic cycle of the glucose transport mutant. Such plasticity in the parasite's carbon flux enables a growth-and-survival trade-off in assorted nutrient milieus, which may underlie the promiscuous survival of T. gondii tachyzoites in diverse host cells. Our results also indicate a convergence of parasite metabolism with cancer cells. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  10. Metabolic Cooperation of Glucose and Glutamine Is Essential for the Lytic Cycle of Obligate Intracellular Parasite Toxoplasma gondii*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitzsche, Richard; Zagoriy, Vyacheslav; Lucius, Richard; Gupta, Nishith

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread protozoan parasite infecting nearly all warm-blooded organisms. Asexual reproduction of the parasite within its host cells is achieved by consecutive lytic cycles, which necessitates biogenesis of significant energy and biomass. Here we show that glucose and glutamine are the two major physiologically important nutrients used for the synthesis of macromolecules (ATP, nucleic acid, proteins, and lipids) in T. gondii, and either of them is sufficient to ensure the parasite survival. The parasite can counteract genetic ablation of its glucose transporter by increasing the flux of glutamine-derived carbon through the tricarboxylic acid cycle and by concurrently activating gluconeogenesis, which guarantee a continued biogenesis of ATP and biomass for host-cell invasion and parasite replication, respectively. In accord, a pharmacological inhibition of glutaminolysis or oxidative phosphorylation arrests the lytic cycle of the glycolysis-deficient mutant, which is primarily a consequence of impaired invasion due to depletion of ATP. Unexpectedly, however, intracellular parasites continue to proliferate, albeit slower, notwithstanding a simultaneous deprivation of glucose and glutamine. A growth defect in the glycolysis-impaired mutant is caused by a compromised synthesis of lipids, which cannot be counterbalanced by glutamine but can be restored by acetate. Consistently, supplementation of parasite cultures with exogenous acetate can amend the lytic cycle of the glucose transport mutant. Such plasticity in the parasite's carbon flux enables a growth-and-survival trade-off in assorted nutrient milieus, which may underlie the promiscuous survival of T. gondii tachyzoites in diverse host cells. Our results also indicate a convergence of parasite metabolism with cancer cells. PMID:26518878

  11. Smart Parasitic Nematodes Use Multifaceted Strategies to Parasitize Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad A. Ali

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Nematodes are omnipresent in nature including many species which are parasitic to plants and cause enormous economic losses in various crops. During the process of parasitism, sedentary phytonematodes use their stylet to secrete effector proteins into the plant cells to induce the development of specialized feeding structures. These effectors are used by the nematodes to develop compatible interactions with plants, partly by mimicking the expression of host genes. Intensive research is going on to investigate the molecular function of these effector proteins in the plants. In this review, we have summarized which physiological and molecular changes occur when endoparasitic nematodes invade the plant roots and how they develop a successful interaction with plants using the effector proteins. We have also mentioned the host genes which are induced by the nematodes for a compatible interaction. Additionally, we discuss how nematodes modulate the reactive oxygen species (ROS and RNA silencing pathways in addition to post-translational modifications in their own favor for successful parasitism in plants.

  12. Parasitic infections of the external eye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pahuja, Shivani; Puranik, Charuta; Jelliti, Bechir; Khairallah, Moncef; Sangwan, Virender S

    2013-08-01

    To review the published literature on parasitic infections of external eye. Published articles and case reports on parasitic infections of external eye were reviewed and relevant information was collected. Parasitic infections of the eye are rare. However, being more commonly seen in developing nations, they require active measures for screening, diagnosis, and therapy. Parasites of importance causing external ocular disease are protozoan parasites, such as Leishmania; metazoans, such as nematodes (roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), and trematodes (flatworms); or ectoparasites, such as Phthirus pubis and Demodex.

  13. The role of moulting in parasite defence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duneau, David; Ebert, Dieter

    2012-08-07

    Parasitic infections consist of a succession of steps during which hosts and parasites interact in specific manners. At each step, hosts can use diverse defence mechanisms to counteract the parasite's attempts to invade and exploit them. Of these steps, the penetration of parasites into the host is a key step for a successful infection and the epithelium is the first line of host defence. The shedding of this protective layer (moulting) is a crucial feature in the life cycle of several invertebrate and vertebrate taxa, and is generally considered to make hosts vulnerable to parasites and predators. Here, we used the crustacean Daphnia magna to test whether moulting influences the likelihood of infection by the castrating bacterium Pasteuria ramosa. This parasite is known to attach to the host cuticula before penetrating into its body. We found that the likelihood of successful parasite infection is greatly reduced if the host moults within 12 h after parasite exposure. Thus, moulting is beneficial for the host being exposed to this parasite. We further show that exposure to the parasite does not induce hosts to moult earlier. We discuss the implications of our findings for host and parasite evolution and epidemiology.

  14. Host scavenger receptor SR-BI plays a dual role in the establishment of malaria parasite liver infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues, Cristina D.; Hannus, Michael; Prudencio, Miguel; Martin, Cecilie; Goncalves, Ligia A.; Portugal, Silvia; Epiphanio, Sabrina; Akinc, Akin; Hadwiger, Philipp; Jahn-Hofmann, Kerstin; Roehl, Ingo; van Gemert, Geert-Jan; Franetich, Jean-Francois; Luty, Adrian J. F.; Sauerwein, Robert; Mazier, Dominique; Koteliansky, Victor; Vornlocher, Hans-Peter; Echeverri, Christophe J.; Mota, Maria M.

    2008-01-01

    An obligatory step of malaria parasite infection is Plasmodium sporozoite invasion of host hepatocytes, and host lipoprotein clearance pathways have been linked to Plasmodium liver infection. By using RNA interference to screen lipoprotein-related host factors, we show here that the class B, type I

  15. Parasites in Forensic Science: a historic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Rita; Alves, Helena; Richter, Joachim; Botelho, Monica C

    Parasites show a great potential to Forensic Science. Forensic Science is the application of any science and methodology to the legal system. The forensic scientist collects and analyses the physical evidence and produce a report of the results to the court. A parasite is an organism that lives at the expense of another and they exist in any ecosystem. Parasites are the cause of many important diseases. The forensic scientists can use the parasites to identify a crime scene, to determine the murder weapon or simply identify an individual. The applications for parasites in the Forensic Science can be many and more studies should be made in Forensic Parasitology. The most important parasites in Forensic Science are helminths specifically schistosomes. Through history there are many cases where schistosomes were described in autopsies and it was related to the cause of death. Here we review the applications of parasites in Forensic Science and its importance to the forensic scientist.

  16. The adaptive significance of inquiline parasite workers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2003-01-01

    Social parasites exploit the socially managed resources of their host's society. Inquiline social parasites are dependent on their host throughout their life cycle, and so many of the traits inherited from their free-living ancestor are removed by natural selection. One trait that is commonly lost...... is the worker caste, the functions of which are adequately fulfilled by host workers. The few inquiline parasites that have retained a worker caste are thought to be at a transitional stage in the evolution of social parasitism, and their worker castes are considered vestigial and non-adaptive. However...... a vital role in ensuring the parasite's fitness. We show that the presence of these parasite workers has a positive effect on the production of parasite sexuals and a negative effect on the production of host sexuals. This suggests that inquiline workers play a vital role in suppressing host queen...

  17. PARASITIC MITES IN BACKYARD TURKEYS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Antonio Camacho-Escobar

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available To describe the parasitic mites in backyard turkeys, was did this work. The mites were obtain by hand for 30 backyard turkeys in Oaxaca’s Coast region, Mexico; the mites were mount in adhesive paper and wash with the 200X lent in a computer optical microscopy, the parasites size were determinate in the pictures obtained by the microscopy software, the images were sized using a specialist software for it, which relate the number of pixels in the picture with the size of the observation field. Were indentified the species Dermanyssus gallinae, Megninia ginglymura and Ornithonyssus sylviarum, the last two described for first time in backyard turkeys in Mexico. Â

  18. Successes against insects and parasites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1967-10-15

    With more and more answers being found to intricate problems which have entailed years of research in many parts of the world, some successes can now be claimed in the fight to control insect threats to crops, animals and human beings. Nuclear techniques are playing an important part in world efforts, and recent reports show that they have been effective in pioneer work against crop pests as well as in finding an answer to some diseases caused by parasites

  19. Parasitic Diseases and Psychiatric Illness

    OpenAIRE

    Weiss, Mitchell Gralnick

    1994-01-01

    Distinguishing parasitic diseases from other infections and tropical medical disorders based on microbiological classification is a matter of convenience. Organic brain syndromes are associated with both protozoan and helminthic infections; side-effects of drugs commonly used to treat parasitoses may impair mood and cause anxiety, agitation or psychosis. Emotional states may in turn affect the experience of medical illness. Psychiatrically significant features of medical illness are determine...

  20. Parasites and chronic renal failure

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammadi Manesh, Reza; Hosseini Safa, Ahmad; Sharafi, Seyedeh Maryam; Jafari, Rasool; Bahadoran, Mehran; Yousefi, Morteza; Nasri, Hamid; Yousofi Darani, Hossein

    2014-01-01

    Suppression of the human immune system results in an increase in susceptibility to infection by various infectious agents. Conditions such as AIDS, organ transplantation and chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) are the most important cause of insufficient immune response against infections. Long term renal disorders result in uremia, which can suppress human immune system. Parasitic infections are one of the most important factors indicating the public health problems of the societies. These inf...

  1. Advances in the application of genetic manipulation methods to apicomplexan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, C E; Bishop, R P; Alzan, H F; Poole, W A; Cooke, B M

    2017-10-01

    Apicomplexan parasites such as Babesia, Theileria, Eimeria, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma greatly impact animal health globally, and improved, cost-effective measures to control them are urgently required. These parasites have complex multi-stage life cycles including obligate intracellular stages. Major gaps in our understanding of the biology of these relatively poorly characterised parasites and the diseases they cause severely limit options for designing novel control methods. Here we review potentially important shared aspects of the biology of these parasites, such as cell invasion, host cell modification, and asexual and sexual reproduction, and explore the potential of the application of relatively well-established or newly emerging genetic manipulation methods, such as classical transfection or gene editing, respectively, for closing important gaps in our knowledge of the function of specific genes and proteins, and the biology of these parasites. In addition, genetic manipulation methods impact the development of novel methods of control of the diseases caused by these economically important parasites. Transient and stable transfection methods, in conjunction with whole and deep genome sequencing, were initially instrumental in improving our understanding of the molecular biology of apicomplexan parasites and paved the way for the application of the more recently developed gene editing methods. The increasingly efficient and more recently developed gene editing methods, in particular those based on the CRISPR/Cas9 system and previous conceptually similar techniques, are already contributing to additional gene function discovery using reverse genetics and related approaches. However, gene editing methods are only possible due to the increasing availability of in vitro culture, transfection, and genome sequencing and analysis techniques. We envisage that rapid progress in the development of novel gene editing techniques applied to apicomplexan parasites of

  2. Deeply invasive candidiasis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ostrosky-Zeichner, L.; Rex, J.H.; Bennett, J.; Kullberg, B.J.

    2002-01-01

    The incidence of invasive candidiasis is on the rise because of increasing numbers of immunocompromised hosts and more invasive medical technology. Recovery of Candida spp from several body sites in a critically ill or immunocompromised patient should raise the question of disseminated disease.

  3. Cryptic invasions: a review

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Morais, Pedro Miguel; Reichard, Martin

    613-614, February (2018), s. 1438-1448 ISSN 0048-9697 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-05872S Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Conspecific invader * Biological invasions * Bibliometric * Invasiveness Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7) Impact factor: 4.900, year: 2016

  4. Factors influencing plant invasiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yvette Ortega; Dean Pearson

    2009-01-01

    Invasiveness of spotted knapweed and biological control agents. Dean and Yvette are examining the influence of drought on the invasiveness of spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) and its susceptibility to herbivory by biological control agents. In collaboration with the University of Montana and Forest Health Protection, researchers have constructed 150...

  5. Fauna Europaea: Helminths (Animal Parasitic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Gibson

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Fauna Europaea provides a public web-service with an index of scientific names (including important synonyms of all living European land and freshwater animals, their geographical distribution at country level (up to the Urals, excluding the Caucasus region, and some additional information. The Fauna Europaea project covers about 230,000 taxonomic names, including 130,000 accepted species and 14,000 accepted subspecies, which is much more than the originally projected number of 100,000 species. This represents a huge effort by more than 400 contributing specialists throughout Europe and is a unique (standard reference suitable for many users in science, government, industry, nature conservation and education. Helminths parasitic in animals represent a large assemblage of worms, representing three phyla, with more than 200 families and almost 4,000 species of parasites from all major vertebrate and many invertebrate groups. A general introduction is given for each of the major groups of parasitic worms, i.e. the Acanthocephala, Monogenea, Trematoda (Aspidogastrea and Digenea, Cestoda and Nematoda. Basic information for each group includes its size, host-range, distribution, morphological features, life-cycle, classification, identification and recent key-works. Tabulations include a complete list of families dealt with, the number of species in each and the name of the specialist responsible for data acquisition, a list of additional specialists who helped with particular groups, and a list of higher taxa dealt with down to the family level. A compilation of useful references is appended.

  6. Parasitic leiomyoma after laparoscopic myomectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srithean Lertvikool

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A 31-year-old nulligravid underwent laparoscopic myomectomy and the masses were removed by an electric morcellator. Five years later, this patient suffered from acute pelvic pain and received an operation. During laparoscopic surgery, an 8-cm right-sided multiloculated ovarian cyst with chocolate-like content was seen. After adhesiolysis, two parasitic myomas (each ∼2 cm in diameter were found attached to the right ovarian cyst and the other two parasitic myomas (each ∼1 cm in diameter were found at the right infundibulopelvic ligament and omentum respectively. These tumors were successfully removed by laparoscopic procedure. Histopathological examination confirmed that all masses were leiomyomas and the right ovarian cyst was confirmed to be endometriosis. The formation of parasitic myomas was assumed that myomatous fragments during morcellation at the time of myomectomy may have been left behind unintentionally. Thus, morcellator should be used carefully. With that being said, all of the myomatous fragment should be removed after morcellation.

  7. Eosinophilic fasciitis after parasite infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Oliveira

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Eosinophilic fasciitis is a systemic inflammatory disease characterized by symmetrical swelling and skin induration of the distal portions of the arms and/or legs, evolving into a scleroderma-like appearance, accompanied by peripheral blood eosinophilia. It is a rare disease with a poorly understood etiology. Corticosteroid treatment remains the standard therapy, either taken alone or in association with an immunosuppressive drug. This paper presents a case of a male patient with palpebral edema and marked eosinophilia, diagnosed with intestinal parasitic infection in October 2006. He was treated with an antiparasitic drug, but both the swelling and the analytical changes remained. This was followed by a skin and muscle biopsy, which turned out to be compatible with eosinophilic fasciitis. There was progressive worsening of the clinical state, with stiffness of the abdominal wall and elevated inflammatory parameters, and the patient was referred to the Immunology Department, medicated with corticosteroids and methotrexate. Over the years there were therapeutic adjustments and other causes were excluded. Currently the patient continues to be monitored, and there is no evidence of active disease. The case described in this article is interesting because of the diagnosis of eosinophilic fasciitis probably associated/coexisting with a parasite infection. This case report differs from others in that there is an uncommon cause associated with the onset of the disease, instead of the common causes such as trauma, medication, non-parasitic infections or cancer.

  8. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binyue Han

    Full Text Available Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua, belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.

  9. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods. PMID:28403146

  10. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Binyue; Li, Yan; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.

  11. Rhizosphere Microbiomes Modulated by Pre-crops Assisted Plants in Defense Against Plant-Parasitic Nematodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmed Elhady

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Plant-parasitic nematodes cause considerable damage to crop plants. The rhizosphere microbiome can affect invasion and reproductive success of plant-parasitic nematodes, thus affecting plant damage. In this study, we investigated how the transplanted rhizosphere microbiome from different crops affect plant-parasitic nematodes on soybean or tomato, and whether the plant’s own microbiome from the rhizosphere protects it better than the microbiome from fallow soil. Soybean plants growing in sterilized substrate were inoculated with the microbiome extracted from the rhizosphere of soybean, maize, or tomato. Controls were inoculated with extracts from bulk soil, or not inoculated. After the microbiome was established, the root lesion nematode Pratylenchus penetrans was added. Root invasion of P. penetrans was significantly reduced on soybean plants inoculated with the microbiome from maize or soybean compared to tomato or bulk soil, or the uninoculated control. In the analogous experiment with tomato plants inoculated with either P. penetrans or the root knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita, the rhizosphere microbiomes of maize and tomato reduced root invasion by P. penetrans and M. incognita compared to microbiomes from soybean or bulk soil. Reproduction of M. incognita on tomato followed the same trend, and it was best suppressed by the tomato rhizosphere microbiome. In split-root experiments with soybean and tomato plants, a systemic effect of the inoculated rhizosphere microbiomes on root invasion of P. penetrans was shown. Furthermore, some transplanted microbiomes slightly enhanced plant growth compared to uninoculated plants. The microbiomes from maize rhizosphere and bulk soil increased the fresh weights of roots and shoots of soybean plants, and microbiomes from soybean rhizosphere and bulk soil increased the fresh weights of roots and shoots of tomato plants. Nematode invasion did not affect plant growth in these short-term experiments. In

  12. Alien invasive birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brochier, B; Vangeluwe, D; van den Berg, T

    2010-08-01

    A bird species is regarded as alien invasive if it has been introduced, intentionally or accidentally, to a location where it did not previously occur naturally, becomes capable of establishing a breeding population without further intervention by humans, spreads and becomes a pest affecting the environment, the local biodiversity, the economy and/or society, including human health. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) have been included on the list of '100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species', a subset of the Global Invasive Species Database. The 'Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe' project has selected Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) and Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) as among 100 of the worst invasive species in Europe. For each of these alien bird species, the geographic range (native and introduced range), the introduction pathway, the general impacts and the management methods are presented.

  13. Minimally invasive orthognathic surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resnick, Cory M; Kaban, Leonard B; Troulis, Maria J

    2009-02-01

    Minimally invasive surgery is defined as the discipline in which operative procedures are performed in novel ways to diminish the sequelae of standard surgical dissections. The goals of minimally invasive surgery are to reduce tissue trauma and to minimize bleeding, edema, and injury, thereby improving the rate and quality of healing. In orthognathic surgery, there are two minimally invasive techniques that can be used separately or in combination: (1) endoscopic exposure and (2) distraction osteogenesis. This article describes the historical developments of the fields of orthognathic surgery and minimally invasive surgery, as well as the integration of the two disciplines. Indications, techniques, and the most current outcome data for specific minimally invasive orthognathic surgical procedures are presented.

  14. Molecular convergence of the parasitic plant species Cuscuta reflexa and Phelipanche aegyptiaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehker, Jan; Lachnit, Magdalena; Kaldenhoff, Ralf

    2012-08-01

    The parasitic plant species Cuscuta reflexa and Phelipanche aegyptiaca have independently developed parasitism, the former parasitizing on shoots and the latter attaching to roots. Regardless of these differences, the two species use similar organs, termed haustoria, to attach to the host plant. In this study, we show that this morphological similarity can be extended to the molecular level. An attAGP-promoter from Solanum lycopersicum, which is activated by Cuscuta infections, was also induced after infection by P. aegyptiaca. Furthermore, we show by validation of transcriptome sequencing data that the Phelipanche orthologue of a haustorium-specific Cuscuta gene, which codes for a cysteine proteinase, was activated in the early stages of Phelipanche invasion. Inhibition of the Phelipanche cysteine proteinase was achieved by 35S- or attAGP-promoter-driven expression of its intrinsic inhibitory polypeptide. A reduction in P. aegyptiaca infection rates during experiments in flower pots and in an in vitro polybag system in comparison to controls was recorded.

  15. Rapid identification of genes controlling virulence and immunity in malaria parasites

    KAUST Repository

    Abkallo, Hussein M.

    2017-07-13

    Identifying the genetic determinants of phenotypes that impact disease severity is of fundamental importance for the design of new interventions against malaria. Here we present a rapid genome-wide approach capable of identifying multiple genetic drivers of medically relevant phenotypes within malaria parasites via a single experiment at single gene or allele resolution. In a proof of principle study, we found that a previously undescribed single nucleotide polymorphism in the binding domain of the erythrocyte binding like protein (EBL) conferred a dramatic change in red blood cell invasion in mutant rodent malaria parasites Plasmodium yoelii. In the same experiment, we implicated merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) and other polymorphic proteins, as the major targets of strain-specific immunity. Using allelic replacement, we provide functional validation of the substitution in the EBL gene controlling the growth rate in the blood stages of the parasites.

  16. Methodology and application of flow cytometry for investigation of human malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimberg, Brian T

    2011-03-31

    Historically, examinations of the inhibition of malaria parasite growth/invasion, whether using drugs or antibodies, have relied on the use of microscopy or radioactive hypoxanthine uptake. These are considered gold standards for measuring the effectiveness of antimalarial treatments, however, these methods have well known shortcomings. With the advent of flow cytometry coupled with the use of fluorescent DNA stains allowed for increased speed, reproducibility, and qualitative estimates of the effectiveness of antibodies and drugs to limit malaria parasite growth which addresses the challenges of traditional techniques. Because materials and machines available to research facilities are so varied, different methods have been developed to investigate malaria parasites by flow cytometry. This review is intended to serve as a reference guide for advanced users and importantly, as a primer for new users, to support expanded use and improvements to malaria flow cytometry, particularly in endemic countries. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. RNA trafficking in parasitic plant systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBlanc, Megan; Kim, Gunjune; Westwood, James H.

    2012-01-01

    RNA trafficking in plants contributes to local and long-distance coordination of plant development and response to the environment. However, investigations of mobile RNA identity and function are hindered by the inherent difficulty of tracing a given molecule of RNA from its cell of origin to its destination. Several methods have been used to address this problem, but all are limited to some extent by constraints associated with accurately sampling phloem sap or detecting trafficked RNA. Certain parasitic plant species form symplastic connections to their hosts and thereby provide an additional system for studying RNA trafficking. The haustorial connections of Cuscuta and Phelipanche species are similar to graft junctions in that they are able to transmit mRNAs, viral RNAs, siRNAs, and proteins from the host plants to the parasite. In contrast to other graft systems, these parasites form connections with host species that span a wide phylogenetic range, such that a high degree of nucleotide sequence divergence may exist between host and parasites and allow confident identification of most host RNAs in the parasite system. The ability to identify host RNAs in parasites, and vice versa, will facilitate genomics approaches to understanding RNA trafficking. This review discusses the nature of host–parasite connections and the potential significance of host RNAs for the parasite. Additional research on host–parasite interactions is needed to interpret results of RNA trafficking studies, but parasitic plants may provide a fascinating new perspective on RNA trafficking. PMID:22936942

  18. RNA trafficking in parasitic plant systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan L LeBlanc

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available RNA trafficking in plants contributes to local and long-distance coordination of plant development and response to the environment. However, investigations of mobile RNA identity and function are hindered by the inherent difficulty of tracing a given molecule of RNA from its cell of origin to its destination. Several methods have been used to address this problem, but all are limited to some extent by constraints associated with accurately sampling phloem sap or detecting trafficked RNA. Certain parasitic plant species form symplastic connections to their hosts and thereby provide an additional system for studying RNA trafficking. The haustorial connections of Cuscuta and Phelipanche species are similar to graft junctions in that they are able to transmit mRNAs, viral RNAs, siRNAs and proteins from the host plants to the parasite. In contrast to other graft systems, these parasites form connections with host species that span a wide phylogenetic range, such that a high degree of nucleotide sequence divergence may exist between host and parasites and allow confident identification of most host RNAs in the parasite system. The ability to identify host RNAs in parasites, and vice versa, will facilitate genomics approaches to understanding RNA trafficking. This review discusses the nature of host parasite connections and the potential significance of host RNAs for the parasite. Additional research on host-parasite interactions is needed to interpret results of RNA trafficking studies, but parasitic plants may provide a fascinating new perspective on RNA trafficking.

  19. Comparison of learning ability and memory retention in altricial (Bengalese finch, Lonchura striata var. domestica) and precocial (blue-breasted quail, Coturnix chinensis) birds using a color discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Aki; Suzuki, Kaoru

    2014-02-01

    The present study sought to assess the potential application of avian models with different developmental modes to studies on cognition and neuroscience. Six altricial Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica), and eight precocial blue-breasted quails (Coturnix chinensis) were presented with color discrimination tasks to compare their respective faculties for learning and memory retention within the context of the two developmental modes. Tasks consisted of presenting birds with discriminative cues in the form of colored feeder lids, and birds were considered to have learned a task when 80% of their attempts at selecting the correctly colored lid in two consecutive blocks of 10 trials were successful. All of the finches successfully performed the required experimental tasks, whereas only half of the quails were able to execute the same tasks. In the learning test, finches required significantly fewer trials than quails to learn the task (finches: 13.5 ± 9.14 trials, quails: 45.8 ± 4.35 trials, P memory retention tests, which were conducted 45 days after the learning test, finches retained the ability to discriminate between colors correctly (95.0 ± 4.47%), whereas quails did not retain any memory of the experimental procedure and so could not be tested. These results suggested that altricial and precocial birds both possess the faculty for learning and retaining discrimination-type tasks, but that altricial birds perform better than precocial birds in both faculties. The present findings imply that developmental mode is an important consideration for assessing the suitability of bird species for particular experiments. © 2013 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  20. The Inside Story of Shigella Invasion of Intestinal Epithelial Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carayol, Nathalie; Tran Van Nhieu, Guy

    2013-01-01

    As opposed to other invasive pathogens that reside into host cells in a parasitic mode, Shigella, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery, invades the colonic mucosa but does not penetrate further to survive into deeper tissues. Instead, Shigella invades, replicates, and disseminates within the colonic mucosa. Bacterial invasion and spreading in intestinal epithelium lead to the elicitation of inflammatory responses responsible for the tissue destruction and shedding in the environment for further infection of other hosts. In this article, we highlight specific features of the Shigella arsenal of virulence determinants injected by a type III secretion apparatus (T3SA) that point to the targeting of intestinal epithelial cells as a discrete route of invasion during the initial event of the infectious process. PMID:24086068

  1. Invasive Potential of Cattle Fever Ticks in the Southern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    For >100 years cattle production in the southern United States has been threatened by cattle fever. It is caused by an invasive parasite-vector complex that includes the protozoan hemoparasites Babesia bovis and B. bigemina, which are transmitted among domestic cattle via Rhipicephalus tick vectors ...

  2. Carotenoid accumulation in the tissues of zebra finches: predictors of integumentary pigmentation and implications for carotenoid allocation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Kevin J; Toomey, Matthew B

    2010-01-01

    Carotenoid pigments produce the bright yellow to red ornamental colors of many animals, especially birds, and must ultimately be derived from the diet. However, they are also valuable for many physiological functions (e.g., antioxidants, immunostimulants, photoprotection, visual tuning, yolk nourishment to embryos), and as a result they are present in numerous internal body tissues (e.g., liver, adipose tissue, retina) whose carotenoid types and amounts are rarely studied in the context of color acquisition. Because male and female animals typically place different priorities on fitness-enhancing activities (e.g., gametic investment in females, sexual attraction in males), carotenoid allocation may track such investment patterns in the two sexes, and we can test for such sex-specific priorities of carotenoids by assessing body-tissue distributions of these pigments. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to identify and quantify carotenoid pigments from the plasma, liver, adipose tissue, and retina as well as the beak and legs of male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a species in which males display sexually attractive, red, carotenoid-based beak coloration and females also display some (albeit a less rich orange) beak color. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the predictors of carotenoid-based leg coloration-another potentially important visual signal-in this species. The same suite of dietary (e.g., lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin) and metabolically derived (e.g., dehydrolutein, anhydrolutein) yellow and orange carotenoids was present in plasma, liver, and adipose tissue of both sexes. Retina contained two different metabolites (astaxanthin and galloxanthin) that serve specific functions in association with unique photoreceptor types in the eye. Beaks were enriched with four red ketocarotenoid derivatives in both sexes (alpha-doradexanthin, adonirubin, astaxanthin, and canthaxanthin), while the carotenoid profile of legs

  3. Introduction of New Parasites in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Enemark, Heidi L.

    examples of such parasites/parasitic diseases: Setaria tundra, a mosquito-borne filarioid nematode which was detected for the first time in Danish deer in 2010. This parasite is usually considered harmless but is capable of causing peritonitis and mortality in ungulates. The newly detected parasite...... was genetically very similar to previously published isolates from France and Italy, and may have been spread to Denmark from southern Europe. Giardia spp. a zoonotic, unicellular parasite (protozoa) well known in Danish livestock but recently found in extremely high numbers in Danish deer with chronic diarrhea...... for the first time in Denmark approximately 10 years ago in 3 foxes from the Copenhagen area. Since then, no systematic surveillance has been performed, and therefore the current prevalence among wildlife and pets is unknown. So far the parasite has not been found in intermediate hosts (rodents) in Denmark...

  4. Overlooking the smallest matter: viruses impact biological invasions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faillace, Cara A; Lorusso, Nicholas S; Duffy, Siobain

    2017-04-01

    Parasites and pathogens have recently received considerable attention for their ability to affect biological invasions, however, researchers have largely overlooked the distinct role of viruses afforded by their unique ability to rapidly mutate and adapt to new hosts. With high mutation and genomic substitution rates, RNA and single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses may be important constituents of invaded ecosystems, and could potentially behave quite differently from other pathogens. We review evidence suggesting that rapidly evolving viruses impact invasion dynamics in three key ways: (1) Rapidly evolving viruses may prevent exotic species from establishing self-sustaining populations. (2) Viruses can cause population collapses of exotic species in the introduced range. (3) Viruses can alter the consequences of biological invasions by causing population collapses and extinctions of native species. The ubiquity and frequent host shifting of viruses make their ability to influence invasion events likely. Eludicating the viral ecology of biological invasions will lead to an improved understanding of the causes and consequences of invasions, particularly as regards establishment success and changes to community structure that cannot be explained by direct interspecific interactions among native and exotic species. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  5. Parasitism in Pterois volitans (Scorpaenidae) from coastal waters of Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos-Ascherl, Zullaylee; Williams, Ernest H; Bunkley-Williams, Lucy; Tuttle, Lillian J; Sikkel, Paul C; Hixon, Mark A

    2015-02-01

    Recently, Pterois volitans, a Pacific species of lionfish, invaded the Atlantic Ocean, likely via the aquarium trade. We examined for internal and external parasites 188 individuals from 8 municipalities of Puerto Rico collected during 2009-2012, 91 individuals from Little Cayman, Cayman Islands, collected during the summers of 2010 and 2011, and 47 individuals from Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas, collected during the summer of 2009. In total, 27 parasite taxa were found, including 3 previously reported species from lionfish, the digenean Lecithochirium floridense, the leech Trachelobdella lubrica, and an Excorallana sp. isopod. We also report another 24 previously unreported parasite taxa from lionfish, including digeneans, monogeneans, cestodes, nematodes, isopods, a copepod, and an acanthocephalan. Among these parasites, several were previously unreported at their respective geographic origins: We report 5 new locality records from Puerto Rico, 9 from Cayman Islands, 5 from the Bahamas, 5 from the Caribbean, and 3 from the subtropical western Atlantic region. Three parasites are reported to associate with a fish host for the first time. The parasite faunas of P. volitans among our 3 study sites were quite different; most of the species infecting lionfish were generalists and/or species that infect carnivorous fishes. Although our study did not assess the impact of parasites on the fitness of invasive lionfish, it provides an important early step. Our results provide valuable comparative data for future studies at these and other sites throughout the lionfish's invaded range.

  6. Hepatozoon parasites (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) in bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, C Miguel; Helgen, Kristofer M; Fleischer, Robert C; Perkins, Susan L

    2013-08-01

    We provide the first evidence of Hepatozoon parasites infecting bats. We sequenced a short fragment of the 18S rRNA gene (~600 base pairs) of Hepatozoon parasites from 3 Hipposideros cervinus bats from Borneo. Phylogenies inferred by model-based methods place these Hepatozoon within a clade formed by parasites of reptiles, rodents, and marsupials. We discuss the scenario that bats might be common hosts of Hepatozoon.

  7. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieltges, David W.; Engelsma, Marc Y.; Wendling, Carolin C.; Wegner, K. Mathias

    2013-09-01

    While the free-living fauna of the Wadden Sea has received much interest, little is known on the distribution and effects of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. However, recent studies on this special type of trophic interaction indicate a high diversity of parasites in the Wadden Sea and suggest a multitude of effects on the hosts. This also includes effects on specific predator-prey relationships and the general structure of the food web. Focussing on molluscs, a major group in the Wadden Sea in terms of biomass and abundance and an important link between primary producers and predators, we review existing studies and exemplify the ecological role of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. First, we give a brief inventory of parasites occurring in the Wadden Sea, ranging from microparasites (e.g. protozoa, bacteria) to macroparasites (e.g. helminths, parasitic copepods) and discuss the effects of spatial scale on heterogeneities in infection levels. We then demonstrate how parasites can affect host population dynamics by acting as a strong mortality factor, causing mollusc mass mortalities. In addition, we will exemplify how parasites can mediate the interaction strength of predator-prey relationships and affect the topological structure of the Wadden Sea food web as a whole. Finally, we highlight some ongoing changes regarding parasitism in the Wadden Sea in the course of global change (e.g. species introduction, climate change) and identify important future research questions to entangle the role of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web.

  8. Mechanisms of host seeking by parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gang, Spencer S; Hallem, Elissa A

    2016-07-01

    The phylum Nematoda comprises a diverse group of roundworms that includes parasites of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Human-parasitic nematodes infect more than one billion people worldwide and cause some of the most common neglected tropical diseases, particularly in low-resource countries [1]. Parasitic nematodes of livestock and crops result in billions of dollars in losses each year [1]. Many nematode infections are treatable with low-cost anthelmintic drugs, but repeated infections are common in endemic areas and drug resistance is a growing concern with increasing therapeutic and agricultural administration [1]. Many parasitic nematodes have an environmental infective larval stage that engages in host seeking, a process whereby the infective larvae use sensory cues to search for hosts. Host seeking is a complex behavior that involves multiple sensory modalities, including olfaction, gustation, thermosensation, and humidity sensation. As the initial step of the parasite-host interaction, host seeking could be a powerful target for preventative intervention. However, host-seeking behavior remains poorly understood. Here we review what is currently known about the host-seeking behaviors of different parasitic nematodes, including insect-parasitic nematodes, mammalian-parasitic nematodes, and plant-parasitic nematodes. We also discuss the neural bases of these behaviors. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Carcinogenesis associated with parasites other than Schistosoma, Opisthorchis and Clonorchis: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machicado, Claudia; Marcos, Luis A

    2016-06-15

    Only three helminths (Schistosoma haematobium, Opisthorchis viverrini and Clonorchis sinensis) are directly associated with carcinogenesis in humans whereas the role of other parasites in cancer remains unclear. This study aimed to perform a systematic review to identify recent insights in the role of other parasite infections in carcinogenesis. We conducted systematic searches of MEDLINE and EMBASE on July 2015. Our primary outcome was the association between parasitic infections and carcinogenesis. Out of 1,266 studies, 19 were selected for detailed evaluation (eight for helminths and 11 for protozoa). The mechanisms of helminth-induced cancer included chronic inflammation, sustained proliferation, modulation of the host immune system, reprogramming of glucose metabolism and redox signaling, induction of genomic instability and destabilization of suppressor tumor proteins, stimulation of angiogenesis, resisting cell death, and activation of invasion and metastasis. In addition to the current knowledge, the following parasites were found in cancers or tumors: Echinococcus, Strongyloides, Fasciola, Heterakis, Platynosomum and Trichuris. Additional parasites were found in this systematic review that could potentially be associated with cancers or tumors but further evidence is needed to elaborate a cause-effect relationship. © 2016 UICC.

  10. How Many Parasites Species a Frog Might Have? Determinants of Parasite Diversity in South American Anurans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla Magalhães Campião

    Full Text Available There is an increasing interest in unveiling the dynamics of parasite infection. Understanding the interaction patterns, and determinants of host-parasite association contributes to filling knowledge gaps in both community and disease ecology. Despite being targeted as a relevant group for conservation efforts, determinants of the association of amphibians and their parasites in broad scales are poorly understood. Here we describe parasite biodiversity in South American amphibians, testing the influence of host body size and geographic range in helminth parasites species richness (PSR. We also test whether parasite diversity is related to hosts' phylogenetic diversity. Results showed that nematodes are the most common anuran parasites. Host-parasite network has a nested pattern, with specialist helminth taxa generally associated with hosts that harbour the richest parasite faunas. Host size is positively correlated with helminth fauna richness, but we found no support for the association of host geographic range and PSR. These results remained consistent after correcting for uneven study effort and hosts' phylogenic correlation. However, we found no association between host and parasite diversity, indicating that more diversified anuran clades not necessarily support higher parasite diversity. Overall, considering both the structure and the determinants of PRS in anurans, we conclude that specialist parasites are more likely to be associated with large anurans, which are the ones harbouring higher PSR, and that the lack of association of PSR with hosts' clade diversification suggests it is strongly influenced by ecological and contemporary constrains.

  11. Energy parasites trigger oncogene mutation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokorný, Jiří; Pokorný, Jan; Jandová, Anna; Kobilková, Jitka; Vrba, Jan; Vrba, Jan

    2016-10-01

    Cancer initialization can be explained as a result of parasitic virus energy consumption leading to randomized genome chemical bonding. Analysis of experimental data on cell-mediated immunity (CMI) containing about 12,000 cases of healthy humans, cancer patients and patients with precancerous cervical lesions disclosed that the specific cancer and the non-specific lactate dehydrogenase-elevating (LDH) virus antigen elicit similar responses. The specific antigen is effective only in cancer type of its origin but the non-specific antigen in all examined cancers. CMI results of CIN patients display both healthy and cancer state. The ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the LDH virus parasitizing on energy reduces the ratio of coherent/random oscillations. Decreased effect of coherent cellular electromagnetic field on bonding electrons in biological macromolecules leads to elevating probability of random genome reactions. Overlapping of wave functions in biological macromolecules depends on energy of the cellular electromagnetic field which supplies energy to bonding electrons for selective chemical bonds. CMI responses of cancer and LDH virus antigens in all examined healthy, precancerous and cancer cases point to energy mechanism in cancer initiation. Dependence of the rate of biochemical reactions on biological electromagnetic field explains yet unknown mechanism of genome mutation.

  12. Local immune mechanisms against parasites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lloyd, S.

    1981-01-01

    The secretory immunological system of the gastrointestinal tract is associated with the production of secretory IgA immunoglobulins. However, despite the fact that secretory IgA antibodies are known to mediate protection against infection with a number of bacteria and viruses, little information is available on their role in protection against infection with parasites. Thus, although elevated levels of IgA immunoglobulins and antibodies are present in the gastrointestinal tract after infection with a number of helminths and protozoa, conclusive evidence that these are associated with protection against infection is often lacking. However, it has now been demonstrated that intestinal IgA antibodies are associated with protection against infection with Taenia taeniaeformis in mice. In addition, secretory IgA antibodies arising from the common mucosal immunological system of the mammary gland are associated with protection against infection with T. taeniaeformis in mice and rats. Thus, since the portal of entry and site of residence of many parasites is the gastrointestinal tract, the secretory immunological system may act as a first line of defence against infection, and it is possible that oral immunization and local stimulation of the gastrointestinal tract may be effective in inducing protection against infection. The use of nuclear techniques (radioisotope-labelled IgA, autoradiography to follow the role of hepatocytes in IgA transport across the liver) are mentioned marginally only in this review

  13. Apoptotic markers in protozoan parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fasel Nicolas

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The execution of the apoptotic death program in metazoans is characterized by a sequence of morphological and biochemical changes that include cell shrinkage, presentation of phosphatidylserine at the cell surface, mitochondrial alterations, chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation, membrane blebbing and the formation of apoptotic bodies. Methodologies for measuring apoptosis are based on these markers. Except for membrane blebbing and formation of apoptotic bodies, all other events have been observed in most protozoan parasites undergoing cell death. However, while techniques exist to detect these markers, they are often optimised for metazoan cells and therefore may not pick up subtle differences between the events occurring in unicellular organisms and multi-cellular organisms. In this review we discuss the markers most frequently used to analyze cell death in protozoan parasites, paying special attention to changes in cell morphology, mitochondrial activity, chromatin structure and plasma membrane structure/permeability. Regarding classical regulators/executors of apoptosis, we have reviewed the present knowledge of caspase-like and nuclease activities.

  14. First reported outbreak of severe spirorchiidiasis in Emys orbicularis, probably resulting from a parasite spillover event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iglesias, Raúl; García-Estévez, José M; Ayres, César; Acuña, Antonio; Cordero-Rivera, Adolfo

    2015-02-10

    The importance of disease-mediated invasions and the role of parasite spillover as a substantial threat to the conservation of global biodiversity are now well known. Although competition between invasive sliders Trachemys scripta elegans and indigenous European turtles has been extensively studied, the impact of this invasive species on diseases affecting native populations is poorly known. During winter 2012-2013 an unusual event was detected in a population of Emys orbicularis (Linnaeus, 1758) inhabiting a pond system in Galicia (NW Spain). Most turtles were lethargic and some had lost mobility of limbs and tail. Necropsies were performed on 11 turtles that were found dead or dying at this site. Blood flukes belonging to the species Spirorchis elegans were found inhabiting the vascular system of 3 turtles, while numerous fluke eggs were trapped in the vascular system, brain, lung, heart, liver, kidney, spleen, and/or gastrointestinal tissues of all necropsied animals. Characteristic lesions included miliary egg granulomas, which were mostly found on serosal surfaces, particularly of the small intestine, as well as endocarditis, arteritis, and thrombosis. The most probable cause of death in the 3 turtle specimens which were also examined histologically was a necrotic enteritis with secondary bacterial infection associated with a massive egg embolism. The North American origin of S. elegans, the absence of prior recorded epizootics in the outbreak area, and the habitual presence of its type host, the highly invasive red-eared slider, in this area suggest a new case of parasite spillover resulting in a severe emerging disease.

  15. Prospective identification of malaria parasite genes under balancing selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin K A Tetteh

    Full Text Available Endemic human pathogens are subject to strong immune selection, and interrogation of pathogen genome variation for signatures of balancing selection can identify important target antigens. Several major antigen genes in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum have shown such signatures in polymorphism-versus-divergence indices (comparing with the chimpanzee parasite P. reichenowi, and in allele frequency based indices.To compare methods for prospective identification of genes under balancing selection, 26 additional genes known or predicted to encode surface-exposed proteins of the invasive blood stage merozoite were first sequenced from a panel of 14 independent P. falciparum cultured lines and P. reichenowi. Six genes at the positive extremes of one or both of the Hudson-Kreitman-Aguade (HKA and McDonald-Kreitman (MK indices were identified. Allele frequency based analysis was then performed on a Gambian P. falciparum population sample for these six genes and three others as controls. Tajima's D (TjD index was most highly positive for the msp3/6-like PF10_0348 (TjD = 1.96 as well as the positive control ama1 antigen gene (TjD = 1.22. Across the genes there was a strong correlation between population TjD values and the relative HKA indices (whether derived from the population or the panel of cultured laboratory isolates, but no correlation with the MK indices.Although few individual parasite genes show significant evidence of balancing selection, analysis of population genomic and comparative sequence data with the HKA and TjD indices should discriminate those that do, and thereby identify likely targets of immunity.

  16. Human and animal invasive muscular sarcocystosis in Malaysia--recent cases, review and hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tappe, D; Abdullah, S; Heo, C C; Kannan Kutty, M; Latif, B

    2013-09-01

    Sarcocystosis, an unusual parasitic zoonotic disease, is caused by coccidian/ apicomplexan protozoa in humans and animals. The parasites usually develop in a heteroxenous predator-prey life-cycle involving final (carnivore) and intermediate (omnivore/herbivore) hosts. Besides the intestinal, non-invasive form of the disease in which humans and animals are the definitive hosts for certain Sarcocystis spp., the invasive form has come to recent attention. In the latter, humans and animals serve as intermediate host harbouring sarcocysts in their muscle tissue. Already in 1991 sarcocystosis was seen as a potential emerging food borne zoonosis in Malaysia, and in 2011 and 2012 the largest cluster of symptomatic human muscular sarcocystosis world-wide was reported from Tioman Island, Pahang state. In this review, we focus on invasive sarcocystosis in humans and animals in Malaysia, review the recorded cases and epidemiology, and present hypotheses.

  17. A novel ENU-mutation in ankyrin-1 disrupts malaria parasite maturation in red blood cells of mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Greth

    Full Text Available The blood stage of the plasmodium parasite life cycle is responsible for the clinical symptoms of malaria. Epidemiological studies have identified coincidental malarial endemicity and multiple red blood cell (RBC disorders. Many RBC disorders result from mutations in genes encoding cytoskeletal proteins and these are associated with increased protection against malarial infections. However the mechanisms underpinning these genetic, host responses remain obscure. We have performed an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU mutagenesis screen and have identified a novel dominant (haploinsufficient mutation in the Ank-1 gene (Ank1(MRI23420 of mice displaying hereditary spherocytosis (HS. Female mice, heterozygous for the Ank-1 mutation showed increased survival to infection by Plasmodium chabaudi adami DS with a concomitant 30% decrease in parasitemia compared to wild-type, isogenic mice (wt. A comparative in vivo red cell invasion and parasite growth assay showed a RBC-autonomous effect characterised by decreased proportion of infected heterozygous RBCs. Within approximately 6-8 hours post-invasion, TUNEL staining of intraerythrocytic parasites, showed a significant increase in dead parasites in heterozygotes. This was especially notable at the ring and trophozoite stages in the blood of infected heterozygous mutant mice compared to wt (p<0.05. We conclude that increased malaria resistance due to ankyrin-1 deficiency is caused by the intraerythrocytic death of P. chabaudi parasites.

  18. Building the perfect parasite: cell division in apicomplexa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Striepen

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Apicomplexans are pathogens responsible for malaria, toxoplasmosis, and crytposporidiosis in humans, and a wide range of livestock diseases. These unicellular eukaryotes are stealthy invaders, sheltering from the immune response in the cells of their hosts, while at the same time tapping into these cells as source of nutrients. The complexity and beauty of the structures formed during their intracellular development have made apicomplexans the darling of electron microscopists. Dramatic technological progress over the last decade has transformed apicomplexans into respectable genetic model organisms. Extensive genomic resources are now available for many apicomplexan species. At the same time, parasite transfection has enabled researchers to test the function of specific genes through reverse and forward genetic approaches with increasing sophistication. Transfection also introduced the use of fluorescent reporters, opening the field to dynamic real time microscopic observation. Parasite cell biologists have used these tools to take a fresh look at a classic problem: how do apicomplexans build the perfect invasion machine, the zoite, and how is this process fine-tuned to fit the specific niche of each pathogen in this ancient and very diverse group? This work has unearthed a treasure trove of novel structures and mechanisms that are the focus of this review.

  19. Parasites and cancers: parasite antigens as possible targets for cancer immunotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darani, Hossein Yousofi; Yousefi, Morteza

    2012-12-01

    An adverse relationship between some parasite infections and cancer in the human population has been reported by different research groups. Anticancer activity of some parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Acantamoeba castellani and Plasmodium yoelii has been shown in experimental animals. Moreover, it has been shown that cancer-associated mucin-type O-glycan compositions are made by parasites, therefore cancers and parasites have common antigens. In this report anticancer activities of some parasites have been reviewed and the possible mechanisms of these actions have also been discussed.

  20. Signalling in malaria parasites. The MALSIG consortium.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doerig, C.; Baker, D.; Billker, O.; Blackman, M.J.; Chitnis, C.; Dhar Kumar, S.; Heussler, V.; Holder, A.A.; Kocken, C.; Krishna, S.; Langsley, G.; Lasonder, E.; Menard, R.; Meissner, M.; Pradel, G.; Ranford-Cartwright, L.; Sharma, A.; Sharma, P.; Tardieux, T.; Tatu, U.; Alano, P.

    2009-01-01

    Depending on their developmental stage in the life cycle, malaria parasites develop within or outside host cells, and in extremely diverse contexts such as the vertebrate liver and blood circulation, or the insect midgut and hemocoel. Cellular and molecular mechanisms enabling the parasite to sense

  1. Update on pathology of ocular parasitic disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Dipankar; Ramachandra, Varsha; Islam, Saidul; Bhattacharjee, Harsha; Biswas, Jyotirmay; Koul, Akanksha; Deka, Panna; Deka, Apurba

    2016-11-01

    Parasites are a group of eukaryotic organisms that may be free-living or form a symbiotic or parasitic relationship with the hosts. Consisting of over 800,000 recognized species, parasites may be unicellular (Protozoa) or multicellular (helminths and arthropods). The association of parasites with human population started long before the emergence of civilization. Parasitic zoonotic diseases are prevalent worldwide including India. Appropriate epidemiological data are lacking on existing zoonotic parasitic diseases, and newer diseases are emerging in our scenario. Systemic diseases such as cysticercosis, paragonimiasis, hydatidosis, and toxoplasmosis are fairly common. Acquired Toxoplasma infections are rising in immune-deficient individuals. Amongst the ocular parasitic diseases, various protozoas such as Cystoidea, trematodes, tissue flagellates, sporozoas etc. affect humans in general and eyes in particular, in different parts of the world. These zoonoses seem to be a real health related problem globally. Recent intensification of research throughout the world has led to specialization in biological fields, creating a conducive situation for researchers interested in this subject. The basics of parasitology lie in morphology, pathology, and with recent updates in molecular parasitology, the scope has extended further. The current review is to address the recent update in ophthalmic parasites with special reference to pathology and give a glimpse of further research in this field.

  2. Considering RNAi experimental design in parasitic helminths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalzell, Johnathan J; Warnock, Neil D; McVeigh, Paul; Marks, Nikki J; Mousley, Angela; Atkinson, Louise; Maule, Aaron G

    2012-04-01

    Almost a decade has passed since the first report of RNA interference (RNAi) in a parasitic helminth. Whilst much progress has been made with RNAi informing gene function studies in disparate nematode and flatworm parasites, substantial and seemingly prohibitive difficulties have been encountered in some species, hindering progress. An appraisal of current practices, trends and ideals of RNAi experimental design in parasitic helminths is both timely and necessary for a number of reasons: firstly, the increasing availability of parasitic helminth genome/transcriptome resources means there is a growing need for gene function tools such as RNAi; secondly, fundamental differences and unique challenges exist for parasite species which do not apply to model organisms; thirdly, the inherent variation in experimental design, and reported difficulties with reproducibility undermine confidence. Ideally, RNAi studies of gene function should adopt standardised experimental design to aid reproducibility, interpretation and comparative analyses. Although the huge variations in parasite biology and experimental endpoints make RNAi experimental design standardization difficult or impractical, we must strive to validate RNAi experimentation in helminth parasites. To aid this process we identify multiple approaches to RNAi experimental validation and highlight those which we deem to be critical for gene function studies in helminth parasites.

  3. [Dipylidium caninum, a rare parasite in man].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandstetter, W; Auer, H

    1994-01-01

    Dipylidium caninum, the dog tapeworm, is a common cosmopolitan parasite of dogs and cats. Infestations of man are observed only sporadically. We report the case of a 22 months-old child living in Upper Austria with dipylidiasis. The parasite is briefly outlined with respect to biology, epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, therapy and prevention.

  4. Mammalian gastrointestinal parasites in rainforest remnants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Here, we studied the gastrointestinal parasites of nonhuman mammalian hosts living in 10 rainforest patches of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, India. We examined 349 faecal samples of 17 mammalian species and successfully identified 24 gastroin-testinal parasite taxa including 1 protozoan, 2 trematode, 3 cestode and 18 ...

  5. Parasites in the Wadden Sea food web

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thieltges, D.W.; Engelsma, M.Y.; Wendling, C.C.; Wegner, K.M.

    2013-01-01

    While the free-living fauna of the Wadden Sea has received much interest, little is known on the distribution and effects of parasites in the Wadden Sea food web. However, recent studies on this special type of trophic interaction indicate a high diversity of parasites in the Wadden Sea and suggest

  6. The effect of parasites on wildlife

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borgsteede, F.H.M.

    1996-01-01

    Populations of animals which live in the wild are regulated by many biotic and abiotic factors. Parasites are one of the biotic factors. Parasites may influence their hosts in different ways. They may cause the death of the host due to a direct lethal effect or an indirect effect. Direct lethal

  7. Parasitic Rachipagus Conjoined Twins: Surgical Management and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    parasite upper limb. The parasite was successfully excised. Subsequent follow up of the child has revealed a boy who despite the weakness of his left lower limb is able ... of the limbs. The defect in dura in the lumbar region was also repaired. The limbs excised are shown in figures 5 and 6, with the post operative picture in.

  8. Parasitic nematode interactions with mammals and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasmer, Douglas P; Goverse, Aska; Smant, Geert

    2003-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes that infect humans, animals, and plants cause serious diseases that are deleterious to human health and agricultural productivity. Chemical and biological control methods have reduced the impact of these parasites. However, surviving environmental stages lead to persistent reinfection of host species. In addition, development of resistance to nematicides and anthelmintics by these parasites and reduced availability of some nematicides, for environmental protection, pose significant obstacles for current and future prospects of effective parasite control. Due to marked differences in host species, research on animal and plant parasitic nematodes often proceeds independently. Despite the differences between animals and plants, basic cellular properties are shared among these host organisms. Some common properties may be important for mechanisms [homologous or convergent (homoplastic)] by which nematodes successfully infect these diverse hosts or by which animal and plant hosts resist infections by these pathogens. Here we compare host/parasite interactions between plant parasitic nematodes (PPN) and animal parasitic nematodes, with an emphasis on mammalian hosts (MPN). Similarities and differences are considered in the context of progress on molecular dissection of these interactions. A comprehensive coverage is not possible in the space allotted. Instead, an illustrative approach is used to establish examples that, it is hoped, exemplify the value of the comparative approach.

  9. First report of Orobanche ludoviciana parasitizing sunflowers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broomrape is the common name given to a group of flowering plants belonging to the genus Orobanche that parasitize the roots of higher dicotyledonous plants. More than 100 species of Orobanche have been identified, all of which are obligate parasites that lack chlorophyll and depend upon their host ...

  10. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among patients ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Gastrointestinal helminths and protozoan parasites may cause mild, acute and chronic human infections. There is inadequate reliable information on the epidemiology of these parasites among patients attending tertiary hospitals in Tanzania. This retrospective study was conducted using hospital data obtained from the ...

  11. Cell fractionation of parasitic protozoa: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Souza Wanderley de

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Cell fractionation, a methodological strategy for obtaining purified organelle preparations, has been applied successfully to parasitic protozoa by a number of investigators. Here we present and discuss the work of several groups that have obtained highly purified subcellular fractions from trypanosomatids, Apicomplexa and trichomonads, and whose work have added substantially to our knowledge of the cell biology of these parasites.

  12. Update on pathology of ocular parasitic disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipankar Das

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasites are a group of eukaryotic organisms that may be free-living or form a symbiotic or parasitic relationship with the hosts. Consisting of over 800,000 recognized species, parasites may be unicellular (Protozoa or multicellular (helminths and arthropods. The association of parasites with human population started long before the emergence of civilization. Parasitic zoonotic diseases are prevalent worldwide including India. Appropriate epidemiological data are lacking on existing zoonotic parasitic diseases, and newer diseases are emerging in our scenario. Systemic diseases such as cysticercosis, paragonimiasis, hydatidosis, and toxoplasmosis are fairly common. Acquired Toxoplasma infections are rising in immune-deficient individuals. Amongst the ocular parasitic diseases, various protozoas such as Cystoidea, trematodes, tissue flagellates, sporozoas etc. affect humans in general and eyes in particular, in different parts of the world. These zoonoses seem to be a real health related problem globally. Recent intensification of research throughout the world has led to specialization in biological fields, creating a conducive situation for researchers interested in this subject. The basics of parasitology lie in morphology, pathology, and with recent updates in molecular parasitology, the scope has extended further. The current review is to address the recent update in ophthalmic parasites with special reference to pathology and give a glimpse of further research in this field.

  13. Parasite stress promotes homicide and child maltreatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornhill, Randy; Fincher, Corey L.

    2011-01-01

    Researchers using the parasite-stress theory of human values have discovered many cross-cultural behavioural patterns that inform a range of scholarly disciplines. Here, we apply the theory to major categories of interpersonal violence, and the empirical findings are supportive. We hypothesize that the collectivism evoked by high parasite stress is a cause of adult-on-adult interpersonal violence. Across the US states, parasite stress and collectivism each positively predicts rates of men's and women's slaying of a romantic partner, as well as the rate of male-honour homicide and of the motivationally similar felony-related homicide. Of these four types of homicide, wealth inequality has an independent effect only on rates of male-honour and felony-related homicide. Parasite stress and collectivism also positively predict cross-national homicide rates. Child maltreatment by caretakers is caused, in part, by divestment in offspring of low phenotypic quality, and high parasite stress produces more such offspring than low parasite stress. Rates of each of two categories of the child maltreatment—lethal and non-lethal—across the US states are predicted positively by parasite stress, with wealth inequality and collectivism having limited effects. Parasite stress may be the strongest predictor of interpersonal violence to date. PMID:22042922

  14. Rodent malaria parasites : genome organization & comparative genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the studies described in this thesis was to investigate the genome organization of rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) and compare the organization and gene content of the genomes of RMPs and the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. The release of the complete genome sequence of P.

  15. Blood parasites from California ducks and geese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, C.M.

    1951-01-01

    Blood smears were procured from 1,011 geese and ducks of 19 species from various locations in California. Parasites were found in 28 individuals. The parasites observed included Haemoproteus hermani, Leucocytozoon simondi, microfilaria, Plasmodium relictum (=P. biziurae), and Plasmodium sp. with elongate gametocytes. This is the first report of a natural infection with a Plasmodium in North American wild ducks.

  16. Social Memory Formation Rapidly and Differentially Affects the Motivation and Performance of Vocal Communication Signals in the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toccalino, Danielle C; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the existence of distinct mechanisms underlying the motivation to

  17. Effects of estradiol on incorporation of new cells in the developing zebra finch song system: potential relationship to expression of ribosomal proteins L17 and L37.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2009-06-01

    Mechanisms regulating masculinization of the zebra finch song system are unclear; both estradiol and sex-specific genes may be important. This study was designed to investigate relationships between estrogen and ribosomal proteins (RPL17 and RPL37; sex-linked genes) that exhibit greater expression in song control nuclei in juvenile males than females. Four studies on zebra finches were conducted using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injections on posthatching days 6-10 with immunohistochemistry for the ribosomal proteins and the neuronal marker HuC/D at day 25. Volumes of brain regions were also assessed in Nissl-stained tissue. Most BrdU+ cells expressed RPL17 and RPL37. The density and percentage of cells co-expressing BrdU and HuC/D was greatest in Area X. The density of BrdU+ cells in Area X (or its equivalent) and the percentage of these cells that were neurons were greater in males than females. In RA and HVC, total BrdU+ cells were increased in males. A variety of effects of estradiol were also detected, including inducing an Area X in females with a masculine total number of BrdU+ cells, and increasing the volume and percentage of new neurons in the HVC of females. The same manipulation in males decreased the density of BrdU+ cells in Area X, total number of BrdU+ cells in RA, and density of new neurons in HVC and RA. These data are consistent with the idea that RPL17, RPL37, and estradiol might all influence sexual differentiation, perhaps with the hormone and proteins interacting, such that an appropriate balance is required for normal development.

  18. Social Memory Formation Rapidly and Differentially Affects the Motivation and Performance of Vocal Communication Signals in the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toccalino, Danielle C.; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (female led to the formation of a short-term memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the existence of distinct

  19. Genomic organization and molecular phylogenies of the beta (β keratin multigene family in the chicken (Gallus gallus and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata: implications for feather evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sawyer Roger H

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The epidermal appendages of reptiles and birds are constructed of beta (β keratins. The molecular phylogeny of these keratins is important to understanding the evolutionary origin of these appendages, especially feathers. Knowing that the crocodilian β-keratin genes are closely related to those of birds, the published genomes of the chicken and zebra finch provide an opportunity not only to compare the genomic organization of their β-keratins, but to study their molecular evolution in archosaurians. Results The subfamilies (claw, feather, feather-like, and scale of β-keratin genes are clustered in the same 5' to 3' order on microchromosome 25 in chicken and zebra finch, although the number of claw and feather genes differs between the species. Molecular phylogenies show that the monophyletic scale genes are the basal group within birds and that the monophyletic avian claw genes form the basal group to all feather and feather-like genes. Both species have a number of feather clades on microchromosome 27 that form monophyletic groups. An additional monophyletic cluster of feather genes exist on macrochromosome 2 for each species. Expression sequence tag analysis for the chicken demonstrates that all feather β-keratin clades are expressed. Conclusions Similarity in the overall genomic organization of β-keratins in Galliformes and Passeriformes suggests similar organization in all Neognathae birds, and perhaps in the ancestral lineages leading to modern birds, such as the paravian Anchiornis huxleyi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that evolution of archosaurian epidermal appendages in the lineage leading to birds was accompanied by duplication and divergence of an ancestral β-keratin gene cluster. As morphological diversification of epidermal appendages occurred and the β-keratin multigene family expanded, novel β-keratin genes were selected for novel functions within appendages such as feathers.

  20. Predatory functional response and prey choice identify predation differences between native/invasive and parasitised/unparasitised crayfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haddaway, Neal R; Wilcox, Ruth H; Heptonstall, Rachael E A; Griffiths, Hannah M; Mortimer, Robert J G; Christmas, Martin; Dunn, Alison M

    2012-01-01

    Invasive predators may change the structure of invaded communities through predation and competition with native species. In Europe, the invasive signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus is excluding the native white clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes. This study compared the predatory functional responses and prey choice of native and invasive crayfish and measured impacts of parasitism on the predatory strength of the native species. Invasive crayfish showed a higher (>10%) prey (Gammarus pulex) intake rate than (size matched) natives, reflecting a shorter (16%) prey handling time. The native crayfish also showed greater selection for crustacean prey over molluscs and bloodworm, whereas the invasive species was a more generalist predator. A. pallipes parasitised by the microsporidian parasite Thelohania contejeani showed a 30% reduction in prey intake. We suggest that this results from parasite-induced muscle damage, and this is supported by a reduced (38%) attack rate and increased (30%) prey handling time. Our results indicate that the per capita (i.e., functional response) difference between the species may contribute to success of the invader and extinction of the native species, as well as decreased biodiversity and biomass in invaded rivers. In addition, the reduced predatory strength of parasitized natives may impair their competitive abilities, facilitating exclusion by the invader.

  1. Timing of host feeding drives rhythms in parasite replication

    KAUST Repository

    Prior, Kimberley F.; van der Veen, Daan R.; O’ Donnell, Aidan J.; Cumnock, Katherine; Schneider, David; Pain, Arnab; Subudhi, Amit; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Rund, Samuel S. C.; Savill, Nicholas J.; Reece, Sarah E.

    2018-01-01

    by the central, light-entrained circadian oscillator in the brain, determine the timing (phase) of parasite rhythms. Further investigation reveals that parasite rhythms correlate closely with blood glucose rhythms. In addition, we show that parasite rhythms

  2. Detection of Leishmania parasites in the blood of patients with isolated cutaneous leishmaniasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakkash-Chmaisse, Hania; Makki, Raja; Nahhas, Georges; Knio, Khouzama; Nuwayri-Salti, Nuha

    2011-07-01

    The consequences of the spread of Leishmania parasites to the blood from lesions in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis are numerous. To assess the magnitude of this invasion we conducted the present study on patients referred to the American University of Beirut Medical Center for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Patients referred for the management of cutaneous leishmaniasis were included in the study. Skin and blood cultures for Leishmania were taken from these patients. One hundred sixty-two patients were proven to have cutaneous leishmaniasis by pathology; 52% were males and 44% females (gender information was missing for 4%). Patient age ranged from 5 months to 70 years. None of the patients had received treatment for Leishmania. We obtained parasite isolates from 85 patients (52.5%), proven by cultures from skin and blood/blood components. Interestingly, the parasite was isolated in the blood and blood components of 50 patients (30.9%). Isoenzyme analysis confirmed the fact that the organisms in blood and skin were the same; from the 28 isolates that were positive in both skin and blood, eight isolates were Leishmania major and two were Leishmania tropica. The remaining isolates, whether positive in both blood and skin or in either of these tissues, skin or blood and its products, were Leishmania infantum sensu lato. In the current study, the detection rate of parasites in the blood of patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis was high. This illustrates the invasive characteristic of the parasite that has escaped the skin. Testing should be considered in areas other than Lebanon, especially around the Mediterranean basin. Whether these findings support the administration of systemic treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis or not needs to be confirmed in larger prospective studies. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Immunodiagnosis of parasitic infections using nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-07-01

    This report documents the recommendations of the ''Advisory Group on Immunodiagnosis of Parasitic Infections Using Nuclear Techniques'' with a focus on malaria, schistosomiasis and filariasis. Radionuclide tracers are considered an important component of present and future immunological methods for the assessment of the host's humoral and cellular immunity to the parasite and the detection of parasite antigen(s) in human body fluids. The Advisory Group has concluded that there is a continuing need for the development and application of immunodiagnostic methods in parasitic diseases. This report concerns methods which are currently or potentially applicable to immunodiagnostic investigations in parasitic diseases. Reference is made, where appropriate, to recent developments in research which may lead to improvement and standardization of methods now available and the development of new methodology. Separate abstracts on various papers presented were prepared

  4. Parasites and poverty: the case of schistosomiasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Charles H

    2010-02-01

    Simultaneous and sequential transmission of multiple parasites, and their resultant overlapping chronic infections, are facts of life in many underdeveloped rural areas. These represent significant but often poorly measured health and economic burdens for affected populations. For example, the chronic inflammatory process associated with long-term schistosomiasis contributes to anaemia and undernutrition, which, in turn, can lead to growth stunting, poor school performance, poor work productivity, and continued poverty. To date, most national and international programs aimed at parasite control have not considered the varied economic and ecological factors underlying multi-parasite transmission, but some are beginning to provide a coordinated approach to control. In addition, interest is emerging in new studies for the re-evaluation and recalibration of the health burden of helminthic parasite infection. Their results should highlight the strong potential of integrated parasite control in efforts for poverty reduction. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Subversion of complement by hematophagous parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Hélène; Skelly, Patrick J; Zipfel, Peter F; Losson, Bertrand; Vanderplasschen, Alain

    2009-01-01

    The complement system is a crucial part of innate and adaptive immunity which exerts a significant evolutionary pressure on pathogens. It has selected for those pathogens, mainly microorganisms but also parasites, that have evolved countermeasures. The characterization of how pathogens evade complement attack is a rapidly developing field of current research. In recent years, multiple complement evasion strategies have been characterized. In this review, we focus on complement escape mechanisms expressed by hematophagous parasites, a heterogeneous group of metazoan parasites that share the property of ingesting the whole blood of their host. Complement inhibition is crucial for parasite survival within the host tissue or to facilitate blood feeding. Finally, complement inhibition by hematophagous parasites may also contribute to their success as pathogen vectors.

  6. Coccidian intestinal parasites in the Priapulidae (Priapulida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldarriaga, J F; Storch, V

    1997-01-01

    Four relatively uncommon members of the family Priapulidae (Priapulida) from very different parts of the world were examined to determine the presence of a parasitic coccidian in their midgut. The parasite was found in three of those priapulid species, Priapulopsis bicaudatus, P. australis, and Halicryptus higginsi, but not in the fourth one, Priapulus tuberculatospinosus. Using electron-microscopy techniques, we compared parasites of the different species with one another and with a parasite of Priapulus caudatus investigated by McLean in 1984. All of these parasites apparently belong to the same species and are likely to be Alveocystis intestinalis, a coccidian first described by Beltenev from P. caudatus and H. spinulosus. The present work greatly expands the geographical range of Alveocystis intestinalis and documents an uncommon case of low host specificity in eimeriid coccidians.

  7. A description of parasites from Iranian snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiri, Vahid; Mobedi, Iraj; Dalimi, Abdolhossein; Mirakabadi, Abbas Zare; Ghaffarifar, Fatemeh; Teymurzadeh, Shohreh; Karimi, Gholamreza; Abdoli, Amir; Paykari, Habibollah

    2014-12-01

    Little is known of the parasitic fauna of terrestrial snakes in Iran. This study aimed to evaluate the parasitic infection rates of snakes in Iran. A total of 87 snakes belonging to eight different species, that were collected between May 2012 and September 2012 and died after the hold in captivity, under which they were kept for taking poisons, were examined for the presence of gastrointestinal and blood parasites. According to our study 12 different genera of endoparasites in 64 (73.56%) of 87 examined snakes were determined. Forty one snakes (47.12%) had gastrointestinal parasites. In prepared blood smears, it was found that in 23 (26.43%) of 87 examined snakes there are at least one hemoparasite. To our knowledge, these are the first data on the internal parasitic fauna of Iranian terrestrial snakes and our findings show a higher prevalence of these organisms among them. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The origin of malarial parasites in orangutans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Andreína Pacheco

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent findings of Plasmodium in African apes have changed our perspectives on the evolution of malarial parasites in hominids. However, phylogenetic analyses of primate malarias are still missing information from Southeast Asian apes. In this study, we report molecular data for a malaria parasite lineage found in orangutans. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We screened twenty-four blood samples from Pongo pygmaeus (Kalimantan, Indonesia for Plasmodium parasites by PCR. For all the malaria positive orangutan samples, parasite mitochondrial genomes (mtDNA and two antigens: merozoite surface protein 1 42 kDa (MSP-1(42 and circumsporozoite protein gene (CSP were amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Fifteen orangutans tested positive and yielded 5 distinct mitochondrial haplotypes not previously found. The haplotypes detected exhibited low genetic divergence among them, indicating that they belong to one species. We report phylogenetic analyses using mitochondrial genomes, MSP-1(42 and CSP. We found that the orangutan malaria parasite lineage was part of a monophyletic group that includes all the known non-human primate malaria parasites found in Southeast Asia; specifically, it shares a recent common ancestor with P. inui (a macaque parasite and P. hylobati (a gibbon parasite suggesting that this lineage originated as a result of a host switch. The genetic diversity of MSP-1(42 in orangutans seems to be under negative selection. This result is similar to previous findings in non-human primate malarias closely related to P. vivax. As has been previously observed in the other Plasmodium species found in non-human primates, the CSP shows high polymorphism in the number of repeats. However, it has clearly distinctive motifs from those previously found in other malarial parasites. CONCLUSION: The evidence available from Asian apes indicates that these parasites originated independently from those found in Africa, likely as the result of host

  9. Summer feeding ecology of Great Pampa-finches, Embernagra platensis at Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Ferman

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assemble data on the summer feeding ecology of the Great Pampa-finch, Embernagra platensis at the Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and to explore the differences related to the dietary patterns for each sex between winter and summer when possible. The stomach contents of 43 birds were analyzed. The animal fraction was composed of Hymenoptera (45.1%, Coleoptera (32.4%, Lepidoptera (6.0%, Araneae (5% and Orthoptera (3.2%. The application of the index of relative importance (IRI resulted in 1490.4 for Coleoptera, 428.5 for Hymenoptera and 162.5 for Lepidoptera caterpillars. The vegetal fraction consisted of Triticum aestivum (26.9%, Cyperaceous (25%, Poaceae (Gramineae (19.3% and Panicum sp. (11.2%. The IRI values were 893.8 for Triticum aestivum, 174.5 for Gramineae, 126.5 for Panicum sp. and 112.8 for Scirpus sp. The food niche width was 0.33 for both sexes; the diversity index resulted in 1.06 for females and 1.33 for males and specific diversity ranged from 1.87 to 2.84. A canonical component analysis (CCA was performed on environmental and morphometric variables, and a Monte Carlo test confirmed the canonical correlations. A t-test showed that some birds harmonized with a logarithmic model and some with a geometric curve. During the summer, Embernagra platensis ingests Hymenoptera and Coleoptera more often than seeds, suggesting that two biological mechanisms could be taking place in this bird.O objetivo deste estudo foi reunir dados referentes à ecologia alimentar do Sabiá-do-banhado, Embernagra platensis, na laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, e explorar as diferenças relacionadas aos padrões dietéticos para cada sexo entre inverno e verão, quando possível. O conteúdo estomacal de 43 pássaros foi analisado. A fração animal foi composta por Hymenoptera (45,1%, Coleoptera (32,4%, Lepidoptera(6,0%, Araneae (5% e Orthoptera (3,2%. A aplicação do índice de importância relativa (IRI

  10. Structural and functional insights into the malaria parasite moving junction complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigitte Vulliez-Le Normand

    Full Text Available Members of the phylum Apicomplexa, which include the malaria parasite Plasmodium, share many features in their invasion mechanism in spite of their diverse host cell specificities and life cycle characteristics. The formation of a moving junction (MJ between the membranes of the invading apicomplexan parasite and the host cell is common to these intracellular pathogens. The MJ contains two key parasite components: the surface protein Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1 and its receptor, the Rhoptry Neck Protein (RON complex, which is targeted to the host cell membrane during invasion. In particular, RON2, a transmembrane component of the RON complex, interacts directly with AMA1. Here, we report the crystal structure of AMA1 from Plasmodium falciparum in complex with a peptide derived from the extracellular region of PfRON2, highlighting clear specificities of the P. falciparum RON2-AMA1 interaction. The receptor-binding site of PfAMA1 comprises the hydrophobic groove and a region that becomes exposed by displacement of the flexible Domain II loop. Mutations of key contact residues of PfRON2 and PfAMA1 abrogate binding between the recombinant proteins. Although PfRON2 contacts some polymorphic residues, binding studies with PfAMA1 from different strains show that these have little effect on affinity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the PfRON2 peptide inhibits erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum merozoites and that this strong inhibitory potency is not affected by AMA1 polymorphisms. In parallel, we have determined the crystal structure of PfAMA1 in complex with the invasion-inhibitory peptide R1 derived by phage display, revealing an unexpected structural mimicry of the PfRON2 peptide. These results identify the key residues governing the interactions between AMA1 and RON2 in P. falciparum and suggest novel approaches to antimalarial therapeutics.

  11. Malaria parasite cGMP-dependent protein kinase regulates blood stage merozoite secretory organelle discharge and egress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine R Collins

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The malaria parasite replicates within an intraerythrocytic parasitophorous vacuole (PV. Eventually, in a tightly regulated process called egress, proteins of the PV and intracellular merozoite surface are modified by an essential parasite serine protease called PfSUB1, whilst the enclosing PV and erythrocyte membranes rupture, releasing merozoites to invade fresh erythrocytes. Inhibition of the Plasmodium falciparum cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PfPKG prevents egress, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here we show that PfPKG activity is required for PfSUB1 discharge into the PV, as well as for release of distinct merozoite organelles called micronemes. Stimulation of PfPKG by inhibiting parasite phosphodiesterase activity induces premature PfSUB1 discharge and egress of developmentally immature, non-invasive parasites. Our findings identify the signalling pathway that regulates PfSUB1 function and egress, and raise the possibility of targeting PfPKG or parasite phosphodiesterases in therapeutic approaches to dysregulate critical protease-mediated steps in the parasite life cycle.

  12. Helminth parasites alter protection against Plasmodium infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar-Castañon, Víctor H; Legorreta-Herrera, Martha; Rodriguez-Sosa, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    More than one-third of the world's population is infected with one or more helminthic parasites. Helminth infections are prevalent throughout tropical and subtropical regions where malaria pathogens are transmitted. Malaria is the most widespread and deadliest parasitic disease. The severity of the disease is strongly related to parasite density and the host's immune responses. Furthermore, coinfections between both parasites occur frequently. However, little is known regarding how concomitant infection with helminths and Plasmodium affects the host's immune response. Helminthic infections are frequently massive, chronic, and strong inductors of a Th2-type response. This implies that infection by such parasites could alter the host's susceptibility to subsequent infections by Plasmodium. There are a number of reports on the interactions between helminths and Plasmodium; in some, the burden of Plasmodium parasites increased, but others reported a reduction in the parasite. This review focuses on explaining many of these discrepancies regarding helminth-Plasmodium coinfections in terms of the effects that helminths have on the immune system. In particular, it focuses on helminth-induced immunosuppression and the effects of cytokines controlling polarization toward the Th1 or Th2 arms of the immune response.

  13. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukhdeo Michael VK

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This review explores some of the reasons why food webs seem to contain relatively few parasite species when compared to the full diversity of free living species in the system. At present, there are few coherent food web theories to guide scientific studies on parasites, and this review posits that the methods, directions and questions in the field of food web ecology are not always congruent with parasitological inquiry. For example, topological analysis (the primary tool in food web studies focuses on only one of six important steps in trematode life cycles, each of which requires a stable community dynamic to evolve. In addition, these transmission strategies may also utilize pathways within the food web that are not considered in traditional food web investigations. It is asserted that more effort must be focused on parasite-centric models, and a central theme is that many different approaches will be required. One promising approach is the old energetic perspective, which considers energy as the critical resource for all organisms, and the currency of all food web interactions. From the parasitological point of view, energy can be used to characterize the roles of parasites at all levels in the food web, from individuals to populations to community. The literature on parasite energetics in food webs is very sparse, but the evidence suggests that parasite species richness is low in food webs because parasites are limited by the quantity of energy available to their unique lifestyles.

  14. Where are the parasites in food webs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    This review explores some of the reasons why food webs seem to contain relatively few parasite species when compared to the full diversity of free living species in the system. At present, there are few coherent food web theories to guide scientific studies on parasites, and this review posits that the methods, directions and questions in the field of food web ecology are not always congruent with parasitological inquiry. For example, topological analysis (the primary tool in food web studies) focuses on only one of six important steps in trematode life cycles, each of which requires a stable community dynamic to evolve. In addition, these transmission strategies may also utilize pathways within the food web that are not considered in traditional food web investigations. It is asserted that more effort must be focused on parasite-centric models, and a central theme is that many different approaches will be required. One promising approach is the old energetic perspective, which considers energy as the critical resource for all organisms, and the currency of all food web interactions. From the parasitological point of view, energy can be used to characterize the roles of parasites at all levels in the food web, from individuals to populations to community. The literature on parasite energetics in food webs is very sparse, but the evidence suggests that parasite species richness is low in food webs because parasites are limited by the quantity of energy available to their unique lifestyles. PMID:23092160

  15. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings.

  16. Parasitism, personality and cognition in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, I; Mora, A B; Payne, E M; Weinersmith, K L; Sih, A

    2017-08-01

    It is well established that parasites can have profound effects on the behaviour of host organisms, and that individual differences in behaviour can influence susceptibility to parasite infections. Recently, two major themes of research have developed. First, there has been a growing interest in the proximate, mechanistic processes underpinning parasite-associated behaviour change, and the interactive roles of the neuro-, immune, and other physiological systems in determining relationships between behaviour and infection susceptibility. Secondly, as the study of behaviour has shifted away from one-off measurements of single behaviours and towards a behavioural syndromes/personality framework, research is starting to focus on the consequences of parasite infection for temporal and contextual consistency of behaviour, and on the implications of different personality types for infection susceptibility. In addition, there is increasing interest in the potential for relationships between cognition and personality to also have implications for host-parasite interactions. As models well-suited to both the laboratory study of behaviour and experimental parasitology, teleost fish have been used as hosts in many of these studies. In this review we provide a broad overview of the range of mechanisms that potentially generate links between fish behaviour, personality, and parasitism, and illustrate these using examples drawn from the recent literature. In addition, we examine the potential interactions between cognition, personality and parasitism, and identify questions that may be usefully investigated with fish models. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Deletion of a malaria invasion gene reduces death and anemia, in model hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noé D Gómez

    Full Text Available Malaria parasites induce complex cellular and clinical phenotypes, including anemia, cerebral malaria and death in a wide range of mammalian hosts. Host genes and parasite 'toxins' have been implicated in malarial disease, but the contribution of parasite genes remains to be fully defined. Here we assess disease in BALB/c mice and Wistar rats infected by the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei with a gene knock out for merozoite surface protein (MSP 7. MSP7 is not essential for infection but in P. falciparum, it enhances erythrocyte invasion by 20%. In vivo, as compared to wild type, the P. berghei Δmsp7 mutant is associated with an abrogation of death and a decrease from 3% to 2% in peak, circulating parasitemia. The Δmsp7 mutant is also associated with less anemia and modest increase in the size of follicles in the spleen. Together these data show that deletion of a single parasite invasion ligand modulates blood stage disease, as measured by death and anemia. This work is the first to assess the contribution of a gene present in all plasmodial species in severe disease.

  18. Exotic invasive plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolyn Hull Sieg; Barbara G. Phillips; Laura P. Moser

    2003-01-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are threatened by nonnative plant invasions that can cause undesirable, irreversible changes. They can displace native plants and animals, out-cross with native flora, alter nutrient cycling and other ecosystem functions, and even change an ecosystem's flammability (Walker and Smith 1997). After habitat loss, the spread of exotic species is...

  19. Minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Røsok, Bård I.; de Rooij, Thijs; van Hilst, Jony; Diener, Markus K.; Allen, Peter J.; Vollmer, Charles M.; Kooby, David A.; Shrikhande, Shailesh V.; Asbun, Horacio J.; Barkun, Jeffrey; Besselink, Marc G.; Boggi, Ugo; Conlon, Kevin; Han, Ho Seong; Hansen, Paul; Kendrick, Michael L.; Kooby, David; Montagnini, Andre L.; Palanivelu, Chinnasamy; Wakabayashi, Go; Zeh, Herbert J.

    2017-01-01

    The first International conference on Minimally Invasive Pancreas Resection was arranged in conjunction with the annual meeting of the International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (IHPBA), in Sao Paulo, Brazil on April 19th 2016. The presented evidence and outcomes resulting from the session

  20. Pathogenesis of invasive candidiasis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veerdonk, F.L. van de; Kullberg, B.J.; Netea, M.G.

    2010-01-01

    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Disseminated candidiasis remains a life-threatening disease in the ICU. The development of invasive disease with Candida albicans is dependent on multiple factors, such as colonization and efficient host defense at the mucosa. In the present review, we describe the host defense

  1. Host Diet Affects the Morphology of Monarch Butterfly Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoang, Kevin; Tao, Leiling; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2017-06-01

    Understanding host-parasite interactions is essential for ecological research, wildlife conservation, and health management. While most studies focus on numerical traits of parasite groups, such as changes in parasite load, less focus is placed on the traits of individual parasites such as parasite size and shape (parasite morphology). Parasite morphology has significant effects on parasite fitness such as initial colonization of hosts, avoidance of host immune defenses, and the availability of resources for parasite replication. As such, understanding factors that affect parasite morphology is important in predicting the consequences of host-parasite interactions. Here, we studied how host diet affected the spore morphology of a protozoan parasite ( Ophryocystis elektroscirrha ), a specialist parasite of the monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus ). We found that different host plant species (milkweeds; Asclepias spp.) significantly affected parasite spore size. Previous studies have found that cardenolides, secondary chemicals in host plants of monarchs, can reduce parasite loads and increase the lifespan of infected butterflies. Adding to this benefit of high cardenolide milkweeds, we found that infected monarchs reared on milkweeds of higher cardenolide concentrations yielded smaller parasites, a potentially hidden characteristic of cardenolides that may have important implications for monarch-parasite interactions.

  2. PARASITIC INFECTIONS IN HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isidro Jarque

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic infections are rarely documented in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. However, they may be responsible for fatal complications that are only diagnosed at autopsy. Increased awareness of the possibility of parasitic diseases both in autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplant patients is relevant not only for implementing preventive measures but also for performing an early diagnosis and starting appropriate therapy for these unrecognized but fatal infectious complications in hematopoietic transplant recipients. In this review, we will focus on parasitic diseases occurring in this population especially those with major clinical relevance including toxoplasmosis, American trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, malaria, and strongyloidiasis, among others, highlighting the diagnosis and management in hematopoietic transplant recipients.

  3. Blood parasites of penguins: a critical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanstreels, Ralph Eric Thijl; Braga, Érika Martins; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2016-07-01

    Blood parasites are considered some of the most significant pathogens for the conservation of penguins, due to the considerable morbidity and mortality they have been shown to produce in captive and wild populations of these birds. Parasites known to occur in the blood of penguins include haemosporidian protozoans (Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon, Haemoproteus), piroplamid protozoans (Babesia), kinetoplastid protozoans (Trypanosoma), spirochete bacteria (Borrelia) and nematode microfilariae. This review provides a critical and comprehensive assessment of the current knowledge on these parasites, providing an overview of their biology, host and geographic distribution, epidemiology, pathology and implications for public health and conservation.

  4. Functions of myosin motors tailored for parasitism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mueller, Christina; Graindorge, Arnault; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2017-01-01

    Myosin motors are one of the largest protein families in eukaryotes that exhibit divergent cellular functions. Their roles in protozoans, a diverse group of anciently diverged, single celled organisms with many prominent members known to be parasitic and to cause diseases in human and livestock......, are largely unknown. In the recent years many different approaches, among them whole genome sequencing, phylogenetic analyses and functional studies have increased our understanding on the distribution, protein architecture and function of unconventional myosin motors in protozoan parasites. In Apicomplexa......, myosins turn out to be highly specialized and to exhibit unique functions tailored to accommodate the lifestyle of these parasites....

  5. Bacterial and parasitic diseases of parrots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doneley, Robert J T

    2009-09-01

    As wild-caught birds become increasingly rare in aviculture, there is a corresponding decline in the incidence of bacterial and parasitic problems and an increase in the recognition of the importance of maintaining health through better nutrition and husbandry. Nevertheless, the relatively close confines of captivity mean an increased pathogen load in the environment in which companion and aviary parrots live. This increased pathogen load leads to greater exposure of these birds to bacteria and parasites, and consequently a greater risk of infection and disease. This article discusses bacterial and parasitic infections in companion and aviary parrots. It includes the origins, pathogens, diagnosis, treatment, and some of the associated risk factors.

  6. Helminth parasites of conventionally mantained laboratory mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Magalhães Pinto

    1994-03-01

    Full Text Available The spectrum of intestinal parasites present in the SwissWebster, C57B1/6 and DBA/2 mice strains from different animal houses was identified and prevalences compared. Three parasites were observed during the course ofthis study, namely the cestode. Vampirolepis nana (Siebold, 1852 Spasskii, 1954(=Hymenolepis nana and the nematodes Aspiculuris tetraptera (Nitzsch, 1821 Schulz, 1924 and Syphacia obvelata (Rudolphi, 1802 Seurat, 1916. The scope of thisinvestigation has been widened to also include morphometric data on the parasites, to further simplify their identification, since the presence of helminths in laboratory animals is regarded as a restricting factor for the proper attainment of experimental protocols.

  7. Nematode eel parasite found inside acanthocephalan cysts--a "Trojan horse" strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emde, Sebastian; Rueckert, Sonja; Kochmann, Judith; Knopf, Klaus; Sures, Bernd; Klimpel, Sven

    2014-11-18

    The invasive eel parasite Anguillicoloides crassus (syn. Anguillicola crassus) is considered one of the major causes for the decline of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) panmictic population. It impairs the swim bladder function and reduces swimming performance of its host. The life cycle of this parasite involves different intermediate and paratenic hosts. Despite an efficient immune system of the paratenic fish hosts acting against infections with A. crassus, levels of parasitized eels remain high in European river systems. Recently, the round goby Neogobius melanostomus (Gobiidae) has become dominant in many rivers in Europe and is still spreading at a rapid pace. This highly invasive species might potentially act as an important, so far neglected paratenic fish host for A. crassus. Based on own observations and earlier single sightings of A. crassus in N. melanostomus, 60 fresh individuals of N. melanostomus were caught in the Rhine River and examined to assess the infection levels with metazoan parasites, especially A. crassus. Glycerin preparations were used for parasite identification. The parasite most frequently found in N. melanostomus was the acanthocephalan Pomphorhynchus sp. (subadult stage) which occurred mainly encysted in the mesenteries and liver. Every third gobiid (P = 31.7%) was infected by A. crassus larvae (L3) which exclusively occurred inside the acanthocephalan cysts. No intact or degenerated larvae of A. crassus were detected elsewhere in the goby, neither in the body cavity and mesenteries nor in other organs. Affected cysts contained the acanthocephalan larvae and 1-12 (mI =3) living A. crassus larvae. Additionally, encysted larvae of the nematode Raphidascaris acus were detected in the gobies, but only in the body cavity and not inside the acanthocephalan cysts. Based on our observations, we suggest that A. crassus might actively bypass the immune response of N. melanostomus by invading the cysts of acanthocephalan parasites of the

  8. (macro- Evolutionary ecology of parasite diversity: From determinants of parasite species richness to host diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Morand

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The present review summarized the factors or determinants that may explain parasite diversity among host species and the consequences of this parasite diversity on the evolution of host-life history traits. As host–parasite interactions are asymmetrical exploited–exploiter relationships, ecological and epidemiological theories produce hypotheses to find the potential determinants of parasite species richness, while life-history theory helps for testing potential consequences on parasite diversity on the evolution of hosts. This review referred only to studies that have specifically controlled or took into account phylogenetic information illustrated with parasites of mammals. Several points needing more investigation were identified with a special emphasis to develop the metabolic theory of epidemiology.

  9. Immunological responses to parasitic arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, R W; Weintraub, J

    1987-03-01

    Parasitic arthropods are responsible for enormous economic losses to livestock producers throughout the world. These production losses may range from simple irritation caused by biting and non-biting flies to deaths and/or damage to carcass, fleece, or skin resulting from attack by myiasis flies. The estimated costs of these losses are colossal but even these usually include only direct losses and ignore those associated with pesticide application. In the USA alone (in 1976), these losses were conservatively estimated at more than 650 million US dollars. The long term use of chemical control measures for these pests has resulted in many serious problems including residues in meat and milk products, rapid development of insecticide resistance, the destruction of non-target organisms, environmental pollution, and mortality and morbidity of livestock. These concerns have prompted researchers to seek alternative methods of arthropod control, including the artificial induction of immunity. In this review, R. W. Baron and J. Weintraub discuss several examples of ectoparasites that can induce immunological resistance in the host, including Sarcoptes and Demodex mites, the sheep ked (Melophagus ovinus), Anopluran lice and myiasis-causing flies such as Hypoderma.

  10. The Effect of Parasitism and Interpopulation Hybridization on Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Michelle

    2017-09-01

    Recent research in mosquito population genetics suggests that interpopulation hybridization has likely contributed to the rapid spread of the container-breeding mosquitoes. Here, I used laboratory experiments to investigate whether interpopulation Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) F1 and F2 hybrids exhibit higher fitness than parental populations, and whether hybrid mosquito performance is related to infection by the coevolved protozoan parasite Ascogregarina taiwanensis (Lien and Levine). Overall, there were significant differences in development time, wing length, and survival between the two parental mosquito populations, but no difference in per capita growth rate r. Hybrid mosquitoes were generally intermediate in phenotype to the parentals, except that F2 females were significantly larger than the midparent average. In addition, As. taiwanensis parasites produced fewest oocysts when they were reared in hosts of hybrid origin. These data suggest that hybridization between previously isolated mosquito populations can result in slight increases in potential mosquito reproductive success, via increased hybrid body size, and via the temporary escape from coevolved parasites. These findings are significant because studies have shown that even slight hybrid vigor can have positive fitness consequences for population persistence. Although this was a laboratory experiment extending only to the F2 generation, many other invasive insects also carry coevolved parasites, and thus the patterns seen in this mosquito system may be broadly relevant. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Parasite specialization in a unique habitat: hummingbirds as reservoirs of generalist blood parasites of Andean birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moens, Michaël A J; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Paca, Anahi; Bonaccorso, Elisa; Aguirre, Nikolay; Pérez-Tris, Javier

    2016-09-01

    Understanding how parasites fill their ecological niches requires information on the processes involved in the colonization and exploitation of unique host species. Switching to hosts with atypical attributes may favour generalists broadening their niches or may promote specialization and parasite diversification as the consequence. We analysed which blood parasites have successfully colonized hummingbirds, and how they have evolved to exploit such a unique habitat. We specifically asked (i) whether the assemblage of Haemoproteus parasites of hummingbirds is the result of single or multiple colonization events, (ii) to what extent these parasites are specialized in hummingbirds or shared with other birds and (iii) how hummingbirds contribute to sustain the populations of these parasites, in terms of both prevalence and infection intensity. We sampled 169 hummingbirds of 19 species along an elevation gradient in Southern Ecuador to analyse the host specificity, diversity and infection intensity of Haemoproteus by molecular and microscopy techniques. In addition, 736 birds of 112 species were analysed to explore whether hummingbird parasites are shared with other birds. Hummingbirds hosted a phylogenetically diverse assemblage of generalist Haemoproteus lineages shared with other host orders. Among these parasites, Haemoproteus witti stood out as the most generalized. Interestingly, we found that infection intensities of this parasite were extremely low in passerines (with no detectable gametocytes), but very high in hummingbirds, with many gametocytes seen. Moreover, infection intensities of H. witti were positively correlated with the prevalence across host species. Our results show that hummingbirds have been colonized by generalist Haemoproteus lineages on multiple occasions. However, one of these generalist parasites (H. witti) seems to be highly dependent on hummingbirds, which arise as the most relevant reservoirs in terms of both prevalence and

  12. Regulation of Gene Expression in Protozoa Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Consuelo Gomez

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis.

  13. Regulation of gene expression in protozoa parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, Consuelo; Esther Ramirez, M; Calixto-Galvez, Mercedes; Medel, Olivia; Rodríguez, Mario A

    2010-01-01

    Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis.

  14. Parasitic myoma after supracervical laparoscopic histerectomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurício Paulo Angelo Mieli

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic myoma is a condition defined as a myoma of extrauterine nourishing. It may occur spontaneously or as a consequence of surgical iatrogeny, after myomectomy or videolaparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy, due to remaining residues of uterine tissue fragments in the pelvic cavity after morcellation. The authors describe two cases in which the patients were submitted to videolaparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy and uterine body removal through morcellation. The sites of development of the parasitic myomas were next to the cervix stump in Case 1, and next to the right round ligament in Case 2. These parasitic myomas were removed by videolaparoscopy. After myomectomies or videolaparoscopic supracervical hysterectomies followed by uterine fragments removal from the pelvic cavity through morcellation, meticulous searching for residues or fragments of uterine tissue is mandatory to prevent the occurrence of parasitic myomas.

  15. Mammalian gastrointestinal parasites in rainforest remnants of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2015-04-27

    Apr 27, 2015 ... parasite recovery by sucrose floatation and sedimentation techniques ..... We thank the Chief Wildlife Warden,Tamil Nadu Forest. Department ... disease is a strong and general service of biodiversity conservation: Response ...

  16. Molecular characterization of intestinal protozoan parasites from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Koffi Mathurin

    2014-02-17

    Feb 17, 2014 ... three major protozoan parasites which cause diarrhea. Out of ... 2010) regarding the under 5 mortality rate (U5MR) and .... Positive (%) Negative Total ..... Checkley W, Epstein LD, Gilman RH, Black RE, Cabrera L, Sterling CR.

  17. Identifying energy constraints to parasite resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, D E; Little, T J

    2011-01-01

    Life-history theory suggests that energetically expensive traits may trade off against each other, resulting in costs associated with the development or maintenance of a particular phenotype. The deployment of resistance mechanisms during parasite exposure is one such trait, and thus their potential benefit in fighting off parasites may be offset by costs to other fitness-related traits. In this study, we used trade-off theory as a basis to test whether stimulating an increased development rate in juvenile Daphnia would reveal energetic constraints to its ability to resist infection upon subsequent exposure to the castrating parasite, Pasteuria ramosa. We show that the presumably energetically expensive process of increased development rate does result in more infected hosts, suggesting that parasite resistance requires the allocation of resources from a limited source, and thus has the potential to be costly.

  18. Ant parasite queens revert to mating singly

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sumner, Seirian; Hughes, William Owen Hamar; Pedersen, Jes Søe

    2004-01-01

    quantified and they tend to be similar in related species. Here we compare the mating strategies of the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior and its recently derived social parasite Acromyrmex insinuator, which is also its closest relative 2 (see Fig. 1 ). We find that although the host queens mate with up......A parasitic ant has abandoned the multiple mating habit of the queens of its related host. Multiple mating (polyandry) is widespread among animal groups, particularly insects 1 . But the factors that maintain it and underlie its evolution are hard to verify because benefits and costs are not easily...... to a dozen different males, the social parasite mates only singly. This rapid and surprising reversion to single mating in a socially parasitic ant indicates that the costs of polyandry are probably specific to a free-living lifestyle....

  19. Functional genomics approaches in parasitic helminths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagen, J; Lee, E F; Fairlie, W D; Kalinna, B H

    2012-01-01

    As research on parasitic helminths is moving into the post-genomic era, an enormous effort is directed towards deciphering gene function and to achieve gene annotation. The sequences that are available in public databases undoubtedly hold information that can be utilized for new interventions and control but the exploitation of these resources has until recently remained difficult. Only now, with the emergence of methods to genetically manipulate and transform parasitic worms will it be possible to gain a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in nutrition, metabolism, developmental switches/maturation and interaction with the host immune system. This review focuses on functional genomics approaches in parasitic helminths that are currently used, to highlight potential applications of these technologies in the areas of cell biology, systems biology and immunobiology of parasitic helminths. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Sheep internal parasites on Rab and Pag

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Relja Beck

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of our research was to determine which groups and species of internal parasites endanger the health of sheep on the islands of Rab and Pag. The research was carried out in 10 flocks on both islands taking the fresh dung out of 30% of the total number of sheep in each flock. It was ascertained that the gastrointestinal parasites and protozoa of Eimeria genus are present in most flocks on both islands. The presence of the fluke Dicrocoelium dendriticum was ascertained in considerably larger number of flocks on the island of Rab than on the island of Pag. On the other hand, the presence of parasites of Moniezia and Nematodirus genus was ascertained in larger number of flocks on the island of Pag. In two flocks on Rab parasites of Protostrongylus genus were ascertained while on the island of Pag they were not found in any flock.

  1. Zoosporic fungal parasites of marine biota

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    RaghuKumar, C.

    laboratory media. In such instances, a detailed and careful examination of the disease symptoms and the endobiotic fungal parasites is to be recorded. Maintaining dual culture of the healthy and infected host also helps to fulfill these postulates partially....

  2. Cultivation of parasitic leptospires: effect of pyruvate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, R C; Walby, J; Henry, R A; Auran, N E

    1973-07-01

    Sodium pyruvate (100 mug/ml) is a useful addition to the Tween 80-albumin medium for the cultivation of parasitic serotypes. It is most effective in promoting growth from small inocula and growth of the nutritionally fastidious serotypes.

  3. Gastrointestinal parasite infection of the Gray mouse lemur ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Faecal material from 169 individuals of Microcebus murinus living in five littoral forest fragments was analyzed for gastrointestinal parasites. The fragments differed in size and forest quality. Gastrointestinal parasite infection of M. murinus was characterised using parasite species richness, the prevalence of parasites, and ...

  4. Pitting of malaria parasites and spherocyte formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gichuki Charity W

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A high prevalence of spherocytes was detected in blood smears of children enrolled in a case control study conducted in the malaria holoendemic Lake Victoria basin. It was speculated that the spherocytes reflect intraerythrocytic removal of malarial parasites with a concurrent removal of RBC membrane through a process analogous to pitting of intraerythrocytic inclusion bodies. Pitting and re-circulation of RBCs devoid of malaria parasites could be a host mechanism for parasite clearance while minimizing the anaemia that would occur were the entire parasitized RBC removed. The prior demonstration of RBCs containing ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (pf 155 or RESA but no intracellular parasites, support the idea of pitting. Methods An in vitro model was developed to examine the phenomenon of pitting and spherocyte formation in Plasmodium falciparum infected RBCs (iRBC co-incubated with human macrophages. In vivo application of this model was evaluated using blood specimens from patients attending Kisumu Ditrict Hospital. RBCs were probed with anti-RESA monoclonal antibody and a DNA stain (propidium iodide. Flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy was used to compare RBCs containing both the antigen and the parasites to those that were only RESA positive. Results Co-incubation of iRBC and tumor necrosis factor-alpha activated macrophages led to pitting (14% ± 1.31% macrophages with engulfed trophozoites as opposed to erythrophagocytosis (5.33% ± 0.95% (P Conclusion It is proposed that in malaria holoendemic areas where prevalence of asexual stage parasites approaches 100% in children, RBCs with pitted parasites are re-circulated and pitting may produce spherocytes.

  5. Top of the Most Dangerous Food Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.O. Mochalova

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The article gives a complete description of parasitic diseases, such as taeniasis and echinococcosis. According to the rating of the risk of contamination by food parasites, which was published by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2014, this parasitosis is a leader. We give a historical overview of these diseases, as well as the features of clinical picture, diagnosis and treatment.

  6. Immune escape strategies of malaria parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pollyanna Stephanie Gomes

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Immunity to malaria is slow and short-lived despite the repeated parasite exposure in endemic areas. Malaria parasites have evolved refined machinery to evade the immune system based on a range of genetic changes that include allelic variation, biomolecular exposure of proteins and intracellular replication. All of these features increase the probability of survival in both mosquitoes and the vertebrate host. Plasmodium species escape from the first immunological trap in its invertebrate vector host, the Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites have to pass through various immunological barriers within the mosquito such as anti-microbial molecules and the mosquito microbiota in order to achieve successful transmission to the vertebrate host. Within these hosts, Plasmodium species employ various immune evasion strategies during different life cycle stages. Parasite persistence against the vertebrate immune response depends on the balance among virulence factors, pathology, metabolic cost of the host immune response, and the parasites ability to evade the immune response. In this review we discuss the strategies that Plasmodium parasites use to avoid the vertebrate host immune system and how they promote successful infection and transmission.

  7. Muddied waters: suspended sediment impacts on gill structure and aerobic scope in an endangered native and an invasive freshwater crayfish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosewarne, P.J.; Svendsen, Jon Christian; Mortimer, R.J.G.

    2014-01-01

    Suspended sediment (SS) loadings in freshwater habitats have increased over the past century and SS is now a significant environmental stressor. Greater tolerance to environmental stressors has been proposed as a factor in the success of aquatic invasive species. Further, parasites may interact...

  8. Management of invasive species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schou, Jesper Sølver; Jensen, Frank

    impact of the establishment of this invasive species is a substantial increase in the number of allergy cases, which we use as a measure of the physical damage. As valuation methods, we use both the cost-of-illness method and the benefit transfer method to quantify the total gross benefits of the two...... policy actions. Based on the idea of an invasion function, we identify the total and average net benefit under both prevention and mitigation. For both policy actions, the total and average net benefits are significantly positive irrespective of the valuation method used; therefore, both prevention...... and mitigation are beneficial policy actions. However, the total and average net benefits under mitigation are larger than the benefits under prevention, implying that the former policy action is more beneficial. Despite this result, we conclude that prevention, not mitigation, shall be used because...

  9. [Invasive nosocomial pulmonary aspergillosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germaud, P; Haloun, A

    2001-04-01

    Immunodepressed patients, particularly those with neutropenia or bone marrow or organ grafts, are at risk of developing nosocomial invasive pulmonary aspergilosis. The favoring factors, early diagnostic criteria and curative treatment protocols are well known. Prognosis remains however quite severe with a death rate above 50%. Preventive measures are required for the treatment of these high-risk patients and epidemiology surveillance is needed in case of aspergillosis acquired in the hospital.

  10. Lineage-specific positive selection at the merozoite surface protein 1 (msp1 locus of Plasmodium vivax and related simian malaria parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kawai Satoru

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The 200 kDa merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1 of malaria parasites, a strong vaccine candidate, plays a key role during erythrocyte invasion and is a target of host protective immune response. Plasmodium vivax, the most widespread human malaria parasite, is closely related to parasites that infect Asian Old World monkeys, and has been considered to have become a parasite of man by host switch from a macaque malaria parasite. Several Asian monkey parasites have a range of natural hosts. The same parasite species shows different disease manifestations among host species. This suggests that host immune responses to P. vivax-related malaria parasites greatly differ among host species (albeit other factors. It is thus tempting to invoke that a major immune target parasite protein such as MSP-1 underwent unique evolution, depending on parasite species that exhibit difference in host range and host specificity. Results We performed comparative phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of the gene encoding MSP-1 (msp1 from P. vivax and nine P. vivax-related simian malaria parasites. The inferred phylogenetic tree of msp1 significantly differed from that of the mitochondrial genome, with a striking displacement of P. vivax from a position close to P. cynomolgi in the mitochondrial genome tree to an outlier of Asian monkey parasites. Importantly, positive selection was inferred for two ancestral branches, one leading to P. inui and P. hylobati and the other leading to P. vivax, P. fieldi and P. cynomolgi. This ancestral positive selection was estimated to have occurred three to six million years ago, coinciding with the period of radiation of Asian macaques. Comparisons of msp1 polymorphisms between P. vivax, P. inui and P. cynomolgi revealed that while some positively selected amino acid sites or regions are shared by these parasites, amino acid changes greatly differ, suggesting that diversifying selection is acting species

  11. IMPORTANT PROTOZOAN PARASITES IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srisasi Gandahusada

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The most important protozoan parasites in Indonesia are the malaria parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Entamoeba histolytica. After the second world war the residual insecticides and effective antimalarial drugs were used in the control of malaria. After development of resistance among mosquitoes to insecticides, the Malaria Control Programme was switched over to the Malaria Eradication Programme. Malaria incidence dropped heavily. However, due to the quick development of vector resistance and financial limitations, malaria came back and so did the Malaria Control Programme. P. falciparum and P.vivax are the most common species in Indonesia. Important vectors are An. sundaicus, An. aconitus, An. maculatus, An. hyrcanus group, An. balabacensis, An. farauti etc. An. sundaicus and An. aconitus have developed resistance to DDT and Dieldrin in Java. In 1959 the Malaria Eradication Programme was started in Java, Bali and Lampung. In 1965 the API dropped to 0,15 per thousand. From 1966 onwards malaria transmission was on the increase, because spraying activities were slowed down, but dropped again from 1974 onwards by occasional residual house spraying with DDT or Fenitrothion, malaria surveillance and treatment of malaria cases, resulting in an API of 0.18 per thousand in 1987. At present malaria is not transmitted in Jakarta and in capitals of the provinces and kabupatens, except in Irian Jaya, Nusa Tenggara Timur and one or two other provinces, but it still exists in rural areas. The distribution of chloroquine resistant P.falciparum is patchy. Resistance is at the RI, RII and RUT levels. The main problems of malaria control are : the increasing development of resistance of the vector to insecticides, the change of An.aconitus from zoophili to anthropophili and from indoor to outdoor biting, the increasing resistance of P.falciparum to chloroquine, the shortage of skilled manpower and limitation of budget. In Indonesia many newborns with congenital

  12. Plant invasions: Merging the concepts of species invasiveness and community invasibility

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Richardson, D. M.; Pyšek, Petr

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 3 (2006), s. 409-431 ISSN 0309-1333 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * species invasiveness * community invasibility Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.278, year: 2006

  13. Paternity-parasitism trade-offs: a model and test of host-parasite cooperation in an avian conspecific brood parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Bruce E; Hochachka, Wesley M; Eadie, John M

    2002-06-01

    Efforts to evaluate the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of conspecific brood parasitism in birds and other animals have focused on the fitness costs of parasitism to hosts and fitness benefits to parasites. However, it has been speculated recently that, in species with biparental care, host males might cooperate with parasitic females by allowing access to the host nest in exchange for copulations. We develop a cost-benefit model to explore the conditions under which such host-parasite cooperation might occur. When the brood parasite does not have a nest of her own, the only benefit to the host male is siring some of the parasitic eggs (quasi-parasitism). Cooperation with the parasite is favored when the ratio of host male paternity of his own eggs relative to his paternity of parasitic eggs exceeds the cost of parasitism. When the brood parasite has a nest of her own, a host male can gain additional, potentially more important benefits by siring the high-value, low-cost eggs laid by the parasite in her own nest. Under these conditions, host males should be even more likely to accept parasitic eggs in return for copulations with the parasitic female. We tested these predictions for American coots (Fulica americana), a species with a high frequency of conspecific brood parasitism. Multilocus DNA profiling indicated that host males did not sire any of the parasitic eggs laid in host nests, nor did they sire eggs laid by the parasite in her own nest. We used field estimates of the model parameters from a four-year study of coots to predict the minimum levels of paternity required for the costs of parasitism to be offset by the benefits of mating with brood parasites. Observed levels of paternity were significantly lower than those predicted under a variety of assumptions, and we reject the hypothesis that host males cooperated with parasitic females. Our model clarifies the specific costs and benefits that influence host-parasite cooperation and, more generally

  14. Juxtamembrane shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 is sequence independent and essential, and helps evade invasion-inhibitory antibodies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Olivieri

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The malarial life cycle involves repeated rounds of intraerythrocytic replication interspersed by host cell rupture which releases merozoites that rapidly invade fresh erythrocytes. Apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA1 is a merozoite protein that plays a critical role in invasion. Antibodies against AMA1 prevent invasion and can protect against malaria in vivo, so AMA1 is of interest as a malaria vaccine candidate. AMA1 is efficiently shed from the invading parasite surface, predominantly through juxtamembrane cleavage by a membrane-bound protease called SUB2, but also by limited intramembrane cleavage. We have investigated the structural requirements for shedding of Plasmodium falciparum AMA1 (PfAMA1, and the consequences of its inhibition. Mutagenesis of the intramembrane cleavage site by targeted homologous recombination abolished intramembrane cleavage with no effect on parasite viability in vitro. Examination of PfSUB2-mediated shedding of episomally-expressed PfAMA1 revealed that the position of cleavage is determined primarily by its distance from the parasite membrane. Certain mutations at the PfSUB2 cleavage site block shedding, and parasites expressing these non-cleavable forms of PfAMA1 on a background of expression of the wild type gene invade and replicate normally in vitro. The non-cleavable PfAMA1 is also functional in invasion. However - in contrast to the intramembrane cleavage site - mutations that block PfSUB2-mediated shedding could not be stably introduced into the genomic pfama1 locus, indicating that some shedding of PfAMA1 by PfSUB2 is essential. Remarkably, parasites expressing shedding-resistant forms of PfAMA1 exhibit enhanced sensitivity to antibody-mediated inhibition of invasion. Drugs that inhibit PfSUB2 activity should block parasite replication and may also enhance the efficacy of vaccines based on AMA1 and other merozoite surface proteins.

  15. Rare species of fungi parasiting on algae I. Parasites of Spirogyra and Mougeotia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Z. Kadłubowska

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Investigations carried out on the genus Spirogyra Link and Mougeotia Agardh revealed the following species of fungi parasiting in the Spirogyra and Mougeotia cells: Olpidium endogenum, Blyttiomyces helicus, B. spinulosus, Micromyces zygogonii and Rhizophydium ampullaceum. First information on B. helicus as parasitic on algae is presented.

  16. Brood parasitism and quasi-parasitism in the European barn swallow Hirundo rustica rustica

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Petrželková, Adéla; Michálková, R.; Albrechtová, Jana; Cepák, J.; Honza, Marcel; Kreisinger, J.; Munclinger, P.; Soudková, M.; Tomášek, Oldřich; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 9 (2015), s. 1405-1414 ISSN 0340-5443 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Altricial birds * Colonial breeding * Conspecific brood parasitism * Egg dumping * Host fitness * Parasite fitness Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.382, year: 2015

  17. Plasmodium berghei Δp52&p36 parasites develop independent of a parasitophorous vacuole membrane in Huh-7 liver cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ploemen, Ivo H J; Croes, Huib J; van Gemert, Geert-Jan J; Wijers-Rouw, Mietske; Hermsen, Cornelus C; Sauerwein, Robert W

    2012-01-01

    The proteins P52 and P36 are expressed in the sporozoite stage of the murine malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. Δp52&p36 sporozoites lacking expression of both proteins are severely compromised in their capability to develop into liver stage parasites and abort development soon after invasion; presumably due to the absence of a parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM). However, a small proportion of P. berghei Δp52&p36 parasites is capable to fully mature in hepatocytes causing breakthrough blood stage infections. We have studied the maturation of replicating Δp52&p36 parasites in cultured Huh-7 hepatocytes. Approximately 50% of Δp52&p36 parasites developed inside the nucleus of the hepatocyte but did not complete maturation and failed to produce merosomes. In contrast cytosolic Δp52&p36 parasites were able to fully mature and produced infectious merozoites. These Δp52&p36 parasites developed into mature schizonts in the absence of an apparent parasitophorous vacuole membrane as shown by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Merozoites derived from these maturing Δp52&p36 liver stages were infectious for C57BL/6 mice.

  18. Treatment of erythrocytes with the 2-cys peroxiredoxin inhibitor, Conoidin A, prevents the growth of Plasmodium falciparum and enhances parasite sensitivity to chloroquine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Brizuela

    Full Text Available The human erythrocyte contains an abundance of the thiol-dependant peroxidase Peroxiredoxin-2 (Prx2, which protects the cell from the pro-oxidant environment it encounters during its 120 days of life in the blood stream. In malarial infections, the Plasmodium parasite invades red cells and imports Prx2 during intraerythrocytic development, presumably to supplement in its own degradation of peroxides generated during cell metabolism, especially hemoglobin (Hb digestion. Here we demonstrate that an irreversible Prx2 inhibitor, Conoidin A (2,3-bis(bromomethyl-1,4-dioxide-quinoxaline; BBMQ, has potent cytocidal activity against cultured P. falciparum. Parasite growth was also inhibited in red cells that were treated with BBMQ and then washed prior to parasite infection. These cells remained susceptible to merozoite invasion, but failed to support normal intraerythrocytic development. In addition the potency of chloroquine (CQ, an antimalarial drug that prevents the detoxification of Hb-derived heme, was significantly enhanced in the presence of BBMQ. CQ IC50 values decreased an order of magnitude when parasites were either co-incubated with BBMQ, or introduced into BBMQ-pretreated cells; these effects were equivalent for both drug-resistant and drug-sensitive parasite lines. Together these results indicate that treatment of red cells with BBMQ renders them incapable of supporting parasite growth and increases parasite sensitivity to CQ. We also propose that molecules such as BBMQ that target host cell proteins may constitute a novel host-directed therapeutic approach for treating malaria.

  19. Parasitism and super parasitism of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) on Sitotroga cerealella (Oliver) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) eggs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moreira, Marciene D.; Torres, Jorge B.

    2009-01-01

    The parasitoid Trichogramma has been used worldwide as biological control agent due to its wide geographic distribution, high specialization and efficacy against many lepidopteran pests. Biological and behavioral traits of Trichogramma pretiosum Riley parasitizing Sitotroga cerealella (Oliver) eggs were studied aiming to a better understanding of the Results from parasitism and super parasitism. The variables investigated were: host acceptance and contact time by T. pretiosum on parasitized host, percentage of parasitoid emergence, number of deformed individuals produced, egg-adult period, sex ratio, offspring female body size and longevity, and number of S. cerealella eggs parasitized/female. Parasitism rejection was observed on parasitized host eggs after 24, 72 and 120h of parasitism. The rejection was higher for eggs parasitized after 72h and 120h of parasitism as compared to the eggs after 24h of parasitism. T. pretiosum contact time on eggs after 24h of parasitism was greater than on 72 and 120h. The offspring produced from hosts from which a single parasitoid emerged were larger, exhibited no deformities and greater capacity of parasitism, different from those produced from eggs where two parasitoids emerged. Offspring longevity, however, was similar for females emerged from hosts from which one or two adults emerged. In Conclusion, T. pretiosum was able to recognize previously parasitized eggs and the super parasitism reduced the parasitoid.reproductive success. (author)

  20. Host-Parasite Interactions and Purifying Selection in a Microsporidian Parasite of Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Huang

    Full Text Available To clarify the mechanisms of Nosema ceranae parasitism, we deep-sequenced both honey bee host and parasite mRNAs throughout a complete 6-day infection cycle. By time-series analysis, 1122 parasite genes were significantly differently expressed during the reproduction cycle, clustering into 4 expression patterns. We found reactive mitochondrial oxygen species modulator 1 of the host to be significantly down regulated during the entire infection period. Our data support the hypothesis that apoptosis of honey bee cells was suppressed during infection. We further analyzed genome-wide genetic diversity of this parasite by comparing samples collected from the same site in 2007 and 2013. The number of SNP positions per gene and the proportion of non-synonymous substitutions per gene were significantly reduced over this time period, suggesting purifying selection on the parasite genome and supporting the hypothesis that a subset of N. ceranae strains might be dominating infection.