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Sample records for human parasite toxoplasma

  1. Survey of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in human consumed ovine meat in Tunis City.

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    Sonia Boughattas

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis has been recognized as parasitic zoonosis with the highest human incidence. The human infection by the parasite can lead to severe clinical manifestations in congenital toxoplasmosis and immunocompromised patients. Contamination occurs mainly by foodborne ways especially consumption of raw or undercooked meat. In contrast to other foodborne infections, toxoplasmosis is a chronic infection which would make its economic and social impact much higher than even previously anticipated. Ovine meat was advanced as a major risk factor, so we investigated its parasite survey, under natural conditions. Serological MAT technique and touchdown PCR approaches were used for prevalence determination of the parasite in slaughtered sheep intended to human consumption in Tunis City. The genotyping was carried by SNPs analysis of SAG3 marker. Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were present in 38.2% of young sheep and in 73.6% of adult sheep. Molecular detection revealed the contamination of 50% of ewes' tissue. Sequencing and SNPs analysis enabled unambiguous typing of meat isolates and revealed the presence of mixed strains as those previously identified from clinical samples in the same area. Our findings conclude that slaughtered sheep are highly infected, suggesting them as a major risk factor of Toxoplasma gondii transmission by meat consumption. Special aware should target consequently this factor when recommendations have to be established by the health care commanders.

  2. Host Mitochondrial Association Evolved in the Human Parasite Toxoplasma gondii via Neofunctionalization of a Gene Duplicate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adomako-Ankomah, Yaw; English, Elizabeth D; Danielson, Jeffrey J; Pernas, Lena F; Parker, Michelle L; Boulanger, Martin J; Dubey, Jitender P; Boyle, Jon P

    2016-05-01

    In Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular parasite of humans and other animals, host mitochondrial association (HMA) is driven by a gene family that encodes multiple mitochondrial association factor 1 (MAF1) proteins. However, the importance of MAF1 gene duplication in the evolution of HMA is not understood, nor is the impact of HMA on parasite biology. Here we used within- and between-species comparative analysis to determine that the MAF1 locus is duplicated in T. gondii and its nearest extant relative Hammondia hammondi, but not another close relative, Neospora caninum Using cross-species complementation, we determined that the MAF1 locus harbors multiple distinct paralogs that differ in their ability to mediate HMA, and that only T. gondii and H. hammondi harbor HMA(+) paralogs. Additionally, we found that exogenous expression of an HMA(+) paralog in T. gondii strains that do not normally exhibit HMA provides a competitive advantage over their wild-type counterparts during a mouse infection. These data indicate that HMA likely evolved by neofunctionalization of a duplicate MAF1 copy in the common ancestor of T. gondii and H. hammondi, and that the neofunctionalized gene duplicate is selectively advantageous. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  3. Cell Death of Gamma Interferon-Stimulated Human Fibroblasts upon Toxoplasma gondii Infection Induces Early Parasite Egress and Limits Parasite Replication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niedelman, Wendy; Sprokholt, Joris K.; Clough, Barbara; Frickel, Eva-Maria; Saeij, Jeroen P. J.

    2013-01-01

    The intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a major food-borne illness and opportunistic infection for the immunosuppressed. Resistance to Toxoplasma is dependent on gamma interferon (IFN-γ) activation of both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells. Although IFN-γ-induced innate

  4. Cell death of gamma interferon-stimulated human fibroblasts upon toxoplasma gondii infection induces early parasite egress and limits parasite replication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niedelman, W.; Sprokholt, J.K.; Clough, B.; Frickel, E.; Saeij, J.P.J.

    2013-01-01

    The intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a major food-borne illness and opportunistic infection for the immunosuppressed. Resistance to Toxoplasma is dependent on gamma interferon (IFN-¿) activation of both hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells. Although IFN-¿-induced innate

  5. The neurotropic parasite Toxoplasma gondii increases dopamine metabolism

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    The common parasite Toxoplasma gondii induces behavioral alterations in its hosts including phenotypes increasing the likelihood of its transmission in rodents and reports of psychobehavioral alterations in humans. We have found that elevated levels of dopamine are associated with the encysted stage...

  6. Cryo-EM structures of the 80S ribosomes from human parasites Trichomonas vaginalis and Toxoplasma gondii

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhifei Li; Qiang Guo; Lvqin Zheng; Yongsheng Ji; Yi-Ting Xie; De-Hua Lai; Zhao-Rong Lun; Xun Suo; Ning Gao

    2017-01-01

    As an indispensable molecular machine universal in all living organisms,the ribosome has been selected by evolution to be the natural target of many antibiotics and small-molecule inhibitors.High-resolution structures of pathogen ribosomes are crucial for understanding the general and unique aspects of translation control in disease-causing microbes.With cryo-electron microscopy technique,we have determined structures of the cytosolic ribosomes from two human parasites,Trichomonas vaginalis and Toxoplasma gondii,at resolution of 3.2-3.4,(A).Although the ribosomal proteins from both pathogens are typical members of eukaryotic families,with a co-evolution pattern between certain species-specific insertions/extensions and neighboring ribosomal RNA (rRNA) expansion segments,the sizes of their rRNAs are sharply different.Very interestingly,rRNAs of T.vaginalis are in size comparable to prokaryotic counterparts,with nearly all the eukaryote-specific rRNA expansion segments missing.These structures facilitate the dissection of evolution path for ribosomal proteins and RNAs,and may aid in design of novel translation inhibitors.

  7. Translational Control in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma Parasites

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    Joyce, Bradley R.; Sullivan, William J.; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2013-01-01

    The life cycles of apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii are complex, consisting of proliferative and latent stages within multiple hosts. Dramatic transformations take place during the cycles, and they demand precise control of gene expression at all levels, including translation. This review focuses on the mechanisms that regulate translational control in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, with a particular emphasis on the phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). Phosphorylation of eIF2α (eIF2α∼P) is a conserved mechanism that eukaryotic cells use to repress global protein synthesis while enhancing gene-specific translation of a subset of mRNAs. Elevated levels of eIF2α∼P have been observed during latent stages in both Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, indicating that translational control plays a role in maintaining dormancy. Parasite-specific eIF2α kinases and phosphatases are also required for proper developmental transitions and adaptation to cellular stresses encountered during the life cycle. Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of apicomplexan eIF2α kinases may selectively interfere with parasite translational control and lead to the development of new therapies to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis. PMID:23243065

  8. Translational control in Plasmodium and toxoplasma parasites.

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    Zhang, Min; Joyce, Bradley R; Sullivan, William J; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2013-02-01

    The life cycles of apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii are complex, consisting of proliferative and latent stages within multiple hosts. Dramatic transformations take place during the cycles, and they demand precise control of gene expression at all levels, including translation. This review focuses on the mechanisms that regulate translational control in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, with a particular emphasis on the phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). Phosphorylation of eIF2α (eIF2α∼P) is a conserved mechanism that eukaryotic cells use to repress global protein synthesis while enhancing gene-specific translation of a subset of mRNAs. Elevated levels of eIF2α∼P have been observed during latent stages in both Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, indicating that translational control plays a role in maintaining dormancy. Parasite-specific eIF2α kinases and phosphatases are also required for proper developmental transitions and adaptation to cellular stresses encountered during the life cycle. Identification of small-molecule inhibitors of apicomplexan eIF2α kinases may selectively interfere with parasite translational control and lead to the development of new therapies to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis.

  9. The neurotropic parasite Toxoplasma gondii increases dopamine metabolism.

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    Emese Prandovszky

    Full Text Available The highly prevalent parasite Toxoplasma gondii manipulates its host's behavior. In infected rodents, the behavioral changes increase the likelihood that the parasite will be transmitted back to its definitive cat host, an essential step in completion of the parasite's life cycle. The mechanism(s responsible for behavioral changes in the host is unknown but two lines of published evidence suggest that the parasite alters neurotransmitter signal transduction: the disruption of the parasite-induced behavioral changes with medications used to treat psychiatric disease (specifically dopamine antagonists and identification of a tyrosine hydroxylase encoded in the parasite genome. In this study, infection of mammalian dopaminergic cells with T. gondii enhanced the levels of K+-induced release of dopamine several-fold, with a direct correlation between the number of infected cells and the quantity of dopamine released. Immunostaining brain sections of infected mice with dopamine antibody showed intense staining of encysted parasites. Based on these analyses, T. gondii orchestrates a significant increase in dopamine metabolism in neural cells. Tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for dopamine synthesis, was also found in intracellular tissue cysts in brain tissue with antibodies specific for the parasite-encoded tyrosine hydroxylase. These observations provide a mechanism for parasite-induced behavioral changes. The observed effects on dopamine metabolism could also be relevant in interpreting reports of psychobehavioral changes in toxoplasmosis-infected humans.

  10. 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....

  11. A complex small RNA repertoire is generated by a plant/fungal-like machinery and effected by a metazoan-like Argonaute in the single-cell human parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

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    Laurence Braun

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available In RNA silencing, small RNAs produced by the RNase-III Dicer guide Argonaute-like proteins as part of RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISC to regulate gene expression transcriptionally or post-transcriptionally. Here, we have characterized the RNA silencing machinery and exhaustive small RNAome of Toxoplasma gondii, member of the Apicomplexa, a phylum of animal- and human-infecting parasites that cause extensive health and economic damages to human populations worldwide. Remarkably, the small RNA-generating machinery of Toxoplasma is phylogenetically and functionally related to that of plants and fungi, and accounts for an exceptionally diverse array of small RNAs. This array includes conspicuous populations of repeat-associated small interfering RNA (siRNA, which, as in plants, likely generate and maintain heterochromatin at DNA repeats and satellites. Toxoplasma small RNAs also include many microRNAs with clear metazoan-like features whose accumulation is sometimes extremely high and dynamic, an unexpected finding given that Toxoplasma is a unicellular protist. Both plant-like heterochromatic small RNAs and metazoan-like microRNAs bind to a single Argonaute protein, Tg-AGO. Toxoplasma miRNAs co-sediment with polyribosomes, and thus, are likely to act as translational regulators, consistent with the lack of catalytic residues in Tg-AGO. Mass spectrometric analyses of the Tg-AGO protein complex revealed a common set of virtually all known RISC components so far characterized in human and Drosophila, as well as novel proteins involved in RNA metabolism. In agreement with its loading with heterochromatic small RNAs, Tg-AGO also associates substoichiometrically with components of known chromatin-repressing complexes. Thus, a puzzling patchwork of silencing processor and effector proteins from plant, fungal and metazoan origin accounts for the production and action of an unsuspected variety of small RNAs in the single-cell parasite Toxoplasma and

  12. Cancer in the parasitic protozoans Trypanosoma brucei and Toxoplasma gondii.

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    Lun, Zhao-Rong; Lai, De-Hua; Wen, Yan-Zi; Zheng, Ling-Ling; Shen, Ji-Long; Yang, Ting-Bo; Zhou, Wen-Liang; Qu, Liang-Hu; Hide, Geoff; Ayala, Francisco J

    2015-07-21

    Cancer is a general name for more than 100 malignant diseases. It is postulated that all cancers start from a single abnormal cell that grows out of control. Untreated cancers can cause serious consequences and deaths. Great progress has been made in cancer research that has significantly improved our knowledge and understanding of the nature and mechanisms of the disease, but the origins of cancer are far from being well understood due to the limitations of suitable model systems and to the complexities of the disease. In view of the fact that cancers are found in various species of vertebrates and other metazoa, here, we suggest that cancer also occurs in parasitic protozoans such as Trypanosoma brucei, a blood parasite, and Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular pathogen. Without treatment, these protozoan cancers may cause severe disease and death in mammals, including humans. The simpler genomes of these single-cell organisms, in combination with their complex life cycles and fascinating life cycle differentiation processes, may help us to better understand the origins of cancers and, in particular, leukemias.

  13. Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans in China

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    He Shenyi

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic infection of humans and animals, caused by the opportunistic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite belonging to the phylum Apicomplexa. Infection in pregnant women may lead to abortion, stillbirth or other serious consequences in newborns. Infection in immunocompromised patients can be fatal if not treated. On average, one third of people are chronically infected worldwide. Although very limited information from China has been published in the English journals, T. gondii infection is actually a significant human health problem in China. In the present article, we reviewed the clinical features, transmission, prevalence of T. gondii infection in humans in China, and summarized genetic characterizations of reported T. gondii isolates. Educating the public about the risks associated with unhealthy food and life style habits, tracking serological examinations to special populations, and measures to strengthen food and occupational safety are discussed.

  14. Toxoplasma and Africa: One Parasite, Two Opposite Population Structures.

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    Galal, Lokman; Ajzenberg, Daniel; Hamidović, Azra; Durieux, Marie-Fleur; Dardé, Marie-Laure; Mercier, Aurélien

    2018-02-01

    Exploring the genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii is essential for an understanding of its worldwide distribution and the determinants of its evolution. Africa remains one of the least studied areas of the world regarding T. gondii genetic diversity. This review has compiled published data on T. gondii strains from Africa to generate a comprehensive map of their continent-wide geographical distribution. The emerging picture about T. gondii strain distribution in Africa suggests a geographical separation of the parasite populations across the continent. We discuss the potential role of a number of factors in shaping this structure. We finally suggest the next steps towards a better understanding of Toxoplasma epidemiology in Africa in light of the strains circulating on this continent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Incidence of adult brain cancers is higher in countries where the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is common

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    Thomas, Frédéric; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Brodeur, Jacques; Elguero, Eric; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel; Missé, Dorothée

    2011-01-01

    We explored associations between the common protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and brain cancers in human populations. We predicted that T. gondii could increase the risk of brain cancer because it is a long-lived parasite that encysts in the brain, where it provokes inflammation and inhibits apoptosis. We used a medical geography approach based on the national incidence of brain cancers and seroprevalence of T. gondii. We corrected reports of incidence for national gross domestic product b...

  16. Organizational changes of the daughter basal complex during the parasite replication of Toxoplasma gondii.

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    Ke Hu

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The apicomplexans are a large group of parasitic protozoa, many of which are important human and animal pathogens, including Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii. These parasites cause disease only when they replicate, and their replication is critically dependent on the proper assembly of the parasite cytoskeletons during cell division. In addition to their importance in pathogenesis, the apicomplexan parasite cytoskeletons are spectacular structures. Therefore, understanding the cytoskeletal biogenesis of these parasites is important not only for parasitology but also of general interest to broader cell biology. Previously, we found that the basal end of T. gondii contains a novel cytoskeletal assembly, the basal complex, a cytoskeletal compartment constructed in concert with the daughter cortical cytoskeleton during cell division. This study focuses on key events during the biogenesis of the basal complex using high resolution light microscopy, and reveals that daughter basal complexes are established around the duplicated centrioles independently of the structural integrity of the daughter cortical cytoskeleton, and that they are dynamic "caps" at the growing ends of the daughters. Compartmentation and polarization of the basal complex is first revealed at a late stage of cell division upon the recruitment of an EF-hand containing calcium binding protein, TgCentrin2. This correlates with the constriction of the basal complex, a process that can be artificially induced by increasing cellular calcium concentration. The basal complex is therefore likely to be a new kind of centrin-based contractile apparatus.

  17. Comparative genomics of the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and neospora caninum: Coccidia differing in host range and transmission strategy

    KAUST Repository

    Reid, Adam James

    2012-03-22

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan parasite which infects nearly one third of the human population and is found in an extraordinary range of vertebrate hosts. Its epidemiology depends heavily on horizontal transmission, especially between rodents and its definitive host, the cat. Neospora caninum is a recently discovered close relative of Toxoplasma, whose definitive host is the dog. Both species are tissue-dwelling Coccidia and members of the phylum Apicomplexa; they share many common features, but Neospora neither infects humans nor shares the same wide host range as Toxoplasma, rather it shows a striking preference for highly efficient vertical transmission in cattle. These species therefore provide a remarkable opportunity to investigate mechanisms of host restriction, transmission strategies, virulence and zoonotic potential. We sequenced the genome of N. caninum and transcriptomes of the invasive stage of both species, undertaking an extensive comparative genomics and transcriptomics analysis. We estimate that these organisms diverged from their common ancestor around 28 million years ago and find that both genomes and gene expression are remarkably conserved. However, in N. caninum we identified an unexpected expansion of surface antigen gene families and the divergence of secreted virulence factors, including rhoptry kinases. Specifically we show that the rhoptry kinase ROP18 is pseudogenised in N. caninum and that, as a possible consequence, Neospora is unable to phosphorylate host immunity-related GTPases, as Toxoplasma does. This defense strategy is thought to be key to virulence in Toxoplasma. We conclude that the ecological niches occupied by these species are influenced by a relatively small number of gene products which operate at the host-parasite interface and that the dominance of vertical transmission in N. caninum may be associated with the evolution of reduced virulence in this species.

  18. Toxoplasma gondii, source to sea: higher contribution of domestic felids to terrestrial parasite loading despite lower infection prevalence.

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    Vanwormer, Elizabeth; Conrad, Patricia A; Miller, Melissa A; Melli, Ann C; Carpenter, Tim E; Mazet, Jonna A K

    2013-09-01

    Environmental transmission of Toxoplasma gondii, a global zoonotic parasite, adversely impacts human and animal health. Toxoplasma is a significant cause of mortality in threatened Southern sea otters, which serve as sentinels for disease threats to people and animals in coastal environments. As wild and domestic felids are the only recognized hosts capable of shedding Toxoplasma oocysts into the environment, otter infection suggests land-to-sea pathogen transmission. To assess relative contributions to terrestrial parasite loading, we evaluated infection and shedding among managed and unmanaged feral domestic cats, mountain lions, and bobcats in coastal California, USA. Infection prevalence differed among sympatric felids, with a significantly lower prevalence for managed feral cats (17%) than mountain lions, bobcats, or unmanaged feral cats subsisting on wild prey (73-81%). A geographic hotspot of infection in felids was identified near Monterey Bay, bordering a high-risk site for otter infection. Increased odds of oocyst shedding were detected in bobcats and unmanaged feral cats. Due to their large populations, pet and feral domestic cats likely contribute more oocysts to lands bordering the sea otter range than native wild felids. Continued coastal development may influence felid numbers and distribution, increase terrestrial pathogens in freshwater runoff, and alter disease dynamics at the human-animal-environment interface.

  19. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies and intestinal parasites in stray cats from Nigde, Turkey

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    Bengi Dündar

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii was investigated by the Sabin-Feldman Dye test (SFDT in 72 stray cats from Nigde, Turkey. A total of 55 (76.4% of the analysed sera had antibodies to T. gondii. The seropositivity of T. gondii was 77.1% in male and 75.7% in female cats (P>0.05. Faeces of these cats were also examined by zinc sulphate flotation method for the presence of parasite oocysts and eggs of other parasites. Two protozoan parasites were identified as Isospora spp. (12.5% and Eimeria spp. (4.1% in cats. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in any faecal samples analysed. Two parasitic helminth species were observed: Toxocara cati (15.2% and Toxascaris leonina (20.8%. These common ascarids were recorded for the first time in cats from Nigde.

  20. The common parasite Toxoplasma gondii induces prostatic inflammation and microglandular hyperplasia in a mouse model.

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    Colinot, Darrelle L; Garbuz, Tamila; Bosland, Maarten C; Wang, Liang; Rice, Susan E; Sullivan, William J; Arrizabalaga, Gustavo; Jerde, Travis J

    2017-07-01

    Inflammation is the most prevalent and widespread histological finding in the human prostate, and associates with the development and progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Several factors have been hypothesized to cause inflammation, yet the role each may play in the etiology of prostatic inflammation remains unclear. This study examined the possibility that the common protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii induces prostatic inflammation and reactive hyperplasia in a mouse model. Male mice were infected systemically with T. gondii parasites and prostatic inflammation was scored based on severity and focality of infiltrating leukocytes and epithelial hyperplasia. We characterized inflammatory cells with flow cytometry and the resulting epithelial proliferation with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation. We found that T. gondii infects the mouse prostate within the first 14 days of infection and can establish parasite cysts that persist for at least 60 days. T. gondii infection induces a substantial and chronic inflammatory reaction in the mouse prostate characterized by monocytic and lymphocytic inflammatory infiltrate. T. gondii-induced inflammation results in reactive hyperplasia, involving basal and luminal epithelial proliferation, and the exhibition of proliferative inflammatory microglandular hyperplasia in inflamed mouse prostates. This study identifies the common parasite T. gondii as a new trigger of prostatic inflammation, which we used to develop a novel mouse model of prostatic inflammation. This is the first report that T. gondii chronically encysts and induces chronic inflammation within the prostate of any species. Furthermore, T. gondii-induced prostatic inflammation persists and progresses without genetic manipulation in mice, offering a powerful new mouse model for the study of chronic prostatic inflammation and microglandular hyperplasia. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Toxoplasma

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    T. gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that can infect all warm blooded animals ranging from: humans, pets, livestock, to marine aquatic animals. The definitive host is the feline species (both domestic and wild cats), where the sexual stage of the life cycle o...

  2. Occurrence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies and parasite DNA in backyard chicken breeding in Northeast, Brazil

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    Marcela Fernanda Torres Samico Fernandes

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies and parasite DNA in backyard chickens bred in the metropolitan area of Recife, Brazil. In total, 212 serum samples were collected from 16 properties, and 12 backyard chickens were collected in the six sanitary districts of Recife. An indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA was used to investigate the occurrence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR was used to detect T. gondii DNA in brain, heart, liver and lung specimens. Of the samples analyzed by serology, 86/212 (40.56% were positive; of the samples analyzed by PCR, 2/12 (16.7% were positive, with both samples positive by both tests (serological and molecular. The presence of antibody anti-T. gondii and parasite DNA in tissues of these animals are worrying aspects for public health because there is a risk of transmission of the parasite to humans through eating undercooked or raw meat. Based on the results, the adoption of preventive measures to prevent the cats access to the chickens creations should be encouraged, since these animals were identified in most of the studied properties.

  3. Metabolic Cooperation of Glucose and Glutamine Is Essential for the Lytic Cycle of Obligate Intracellular Parasite Toxoplasma gondii*

    OpenAIRE

    Nitzsche, Richard; Zagoriy, Vyacheslav; Lucius, Richard; Gupta, Nishith

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  4. Incidence of adult brain cancers is higher in countries where the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is common

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Frédéric; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Brodeur, Jacques; Elguero, Eric; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel; Missé, Dorothée

    2012-01-01

    We explored associations between the common protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and brain cancers in human populations. We predicted that T. gondii could increase the risk of brain cancer because it is a long-lived parasite that encysts in the brain, where it provokes inflammation and inhibits apoptosis. We used a medical geography approach based on the national incidence of brain cancers and seroprevalence of T. gondii. We corrected reports of incidence for national gross domestic product because wealth probably increases the ability to detect cancer. We also included gender, cell phone use and latitude as variables in our initial models. Prevalence of T. gondii explained 19 per cent of the residual variance in brain cancer incidence after controlling for the positive effects of gross domestic product and latitude among nations. Infection with T. gondii was associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the risk of brain cancers across the range of T. gondii prevalence in our dataset (4–67%). These results, though correlational, suggest that T. gondii should be investigated further as a possible oncogenic pathogen of humans.

  5. GLT-1-Dependent Disruption of CNS Glutamate Homeostasis and Neuronal Function by the Protozoan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

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    Clément N David

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The immune privileged nature of the CNS can make it vulnerable to chronic and latent infections. Little is known about the effects of lifelong brain infections, and thus inflammation, on the neurological health of the host. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that can infect any mammalian nucleated cell with average worldwide seroprevalence rates of 30%. Infection by Toxoplasma is characterized by the lifelong presence of parasitic cysts within neurons in the brain, requiring a competent immune system to prevent parasite reactivation and encephalitis. In the immunocompetent individual, Toxoplasma infection is largely asymptomatic, however many recent studies suggest a strong correlation with certain neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Here, we demonstrate a significant reduction in the primary astrocytic glutamate transporter, GLT-1, following infection with Toxoplasma. Using microdialysis of the murine frontal cortex over the course of infection, a significant increase in extracellular concentrations of glutamate is observed. Consistent with glutamate dysregulation, analysis of neurons reveal changes in morphology including a reduction in dendritic spines, VGlut1 and NeuN immunoreactivity. Furthermore, behavioral testing and EEG recordings point to significant changes in neuronal output. Finally, these changes in neuronal connectivity are dependent on infection-induced downregulation of GLT-1 as treatment with the ß-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone, rescues extracellular glutamate concentrations, neuronal pathology and function. Altogether, these data demonstrate that following an infection with T. gondii, the delicate regulation of glutamate by astrocytes is disrupted and accounts for a range of deficits observed in chronic infection.

  6. Calcium signaling in closely related protozoan groups (Alveolata): non-parasitic ciliates (Paramecium, Tetrahymena) vs. parasitic Apicomplexa (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma).

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    Plattner, H; Sehring, I M; Mohamed, I K; Miranda, K; De Souza, W; Billington, R; Genazzani, A; Ladenburger, E-M

    2012-05-01

    The importance of Ca2+-signaling for many subcellular processes is well established in higher eukaryotes, whereas information about protozoa is restricted. Recent genome analyses have stimulated such work also with Alveolates, such as ciliates (Paramecium, Tetrahymena) and their pathogenic close relatives, the Apicomplexa (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma). Here we compare Ca2+ signaling in the two closely related groups. Acidic Ca2+ stores have been characterized in detail in Apicomplexa, but hardly in ciliates. Two-pore channels engaged in Ca2+-release from acidic stores in higher eukaryotes have not been stingently characterized in either group. Both groups are endowed with plasma membrane- and endoplasmic reticulum-type Ca2+-ATPases (PMCA, SERCA), respectively. Only recently was it possible to identify in Paramecium a number of homologs of ryanodine and inositol 1,3,4-trisphosphate receptors (RyR, IP3R) and to localize them to widely different organelles participating in vesicle trafficking. For Apicomplexa, physiological experiments suggest the presence of related channels although their identity remains elusive. In Paramecium, IP3Rs are constitutively active in the contractile vacuole complex; RyR-related channels in alveolar sacs are activated during exocytosis stimulation, whereas in the parasites the homologous structure (inner membrane complex) may no longer function as a Ca2+ store. Scrutinized comparison of the two closely related protozoan phyla may stimulate further work and elucidate adaptation to parasitic life. See also "Conclusions" section. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Ciprofloxacin Derivatives Affect Parasite Cell Division and Increase the Survival of Mice Infected with Toxoplasma gondii.

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    Erica S Martins-Duarte

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis, caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, is a worldwide disease whose clinical manifestations include encephalitis and congenital malformations in newborns. Previously, we described the synthesis of new ethyl-ester derivatives of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin with ~40-fold increased activity against T. gondii in vitro, compared with the original compound. Cipro derivatives are expected to target the parasite's DNA gyrase complex in the apicoplast. The activity of these compounds in vivo, as well as their mode of action, remained thus far uncharacterized. Here, we examined the activity of the Cipro derivatives in vivo, in a model of acute murine toxoplasmosis. In addition, we investigated the cellular effects T. gondii tachyzoites in vitro, by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM. When compared with Cipro treatment, 7-day treatments with Cipro derivatives increased mouse survival significantly, with 13-25% of mice surviving for up to 60 days post-infection (vs. complete lethality 10 days post-infection, with Cipro treatment. Light microscopy examination early (6 and 24h post-infection revealed that 6-h treatments with Cipro derivatives inhibited the initial event of parasite cell division inside host cells, in an irreversible manner. By TEM and immunofluorescence, the main cellular effects observed after treatment with Cipro derivatives and Cipro were cell scission inhibition--with the appearance of 'tethered' parasites--malformation of the inner membrane complex, and apicoplast enlargement and missegregation. Interestingly, tethered daughter cells resulting from Cipro derivatives, and also Cipro, treatment did not show MORN1 cap or centrocone localization. The biological activity of Cipro derivatives against C. parvum, an apicomplexan species that lacks the apicoplast, is, approximately, 50 fold lower than that in T. gondii tachyzoites, supporting that these compounds targets the apicoplast. Our results

  8. Probable neuroimmunological link between Toxoplasma and cytomegalovirus infections and personality changes in the human host

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    Roubalová Kateřina

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recently, a negative association between Toxoplasma-infection and novelty seeking was reported. The authors suggested that changes of personality trait were caused by manipulation activity of the parasite, aimed at increasing the probability of transmission of the parasite from an intermediate to a definitive host. They also suggested that low novelty seeking indicated an increased level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain of infected subjects, a phenomenon already observed in experimentally infected rodents. However, the changes in personality can also be just a byproduct of any neurotropic infection. Moreover, the association between a personality trait and the toxoplasmosis can even be caused by an independent correlation of both the probability of Toxoplasma-infection and the personality trait with the third factor, namely with the size of living place of a subject. To test these two alternative hypotheses, we studied the influence of another neurotropic pathogen, the cytomegalovirus, on the personality of infected subjects, and reanalyzed the original data after the effect of the potential confounder, the size of living place, was controlled. Methods In the case-control study, 533 conscripts were tested for toxoplasmosis and presence of anti-cytomegalovirus antibodies and their novelty seeking was examined with Cloninger's TCI questionnaire. Possible association between the two infections and TCI dimensions was analyzed. Results The decrease of novelty seeking is associated also with cytomegalovirus infection. After the size of living place was controlled, the effect of toxoplasmosis on novelty seeking increased. Significant difference in novelty seeking was observed only in the largest city, Prague. Conclusion Toxoplasma and cytomegalovirus probably induce a decrease of novelty seeking. As the cytomegalovirus spreads in population by direct contact (not by predation as with Toxoplasma, the observed changes are

  9. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in humans and pigs in North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuda, Josef; Adiani, Sri; Ichikawa-Seki, Madoka; Umeda, Kousuke; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi

    2017-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular protozoan parasite, is a major public health concern throughout the world. Importantly, toxoplasmosis has several adverse effects, including neurological and ocular diseases. There are currently no data on the prevalence of T. gondii infection in humans or animals in North Sulawesi, although Indonesia is known to have a high seroprevalence of this parasite. In this study, the prevalence of T. gondii was determined in samples of humans and pigs from North Sulawesi using the latex agglutination test. In total, 856 human were sampled and 58.5% of whom were positive for T. gondii. Although the antibody prevalence in male and female children aged 0-9years was 40% in both sexes, suggesting that the transmission rate of the parasite to humans is extremely high in this area. However, the overall prevalence of T. gondii in pigs was only 2.3%. Our study indicates a high incidence of T. gondii infection in humans. Therefore, a survey of the prevalence of T. gondii among different infection sources is required to determine the major risk factors for infection in North Sulawesi. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in slaughtered pigs ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease/infection of medical and veterinary importance. The causative agent; Toxoplasma gondii, can infect warm blooded animals, birds as well as humans. This study was designed to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in slaughtered pigs in Makurdi, Nigeria.

  11. 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.

  12. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Other Gastrointestinal Parasites in Domestic Cats from Households in Thika Region, Kenya

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    Adele Nyambura Njuguna

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal (GIT parasites of domestic cats (Felis catus not only cause morbidity but are also potential zoonotic agents. The current study aimed at establishing the prevalence of GIT parasites in cats kept by households in Thika region, Kenya. Fecal samples were collected randomly from 103 cats and analyzed for presence of parasites using standard parasitological methods. In descending order, the prevalence of the detected protozoa parasites was Isospora spp. 43.7% (95% CI: 40.4–47%, Cryptosporidium spp. 40.8% (95% CI: 37.5–44.1%, Toxoplasma gondii 7.8% (95% CI: 4.5–11.1%, and Entamoeba spp. 2.9% (95% CI: 1.6–6.2%. The prevalence of the observed helminths was Strongyloides stercoralis 43.7% (95% CI: 40.4–47%, Toxocara cati 23.3% (95% CI: 20–26.6%, Ancylostoma spp. 9.7% (95% CI: 6.4–13%, Dipylidium caninum 8.7% (95% CI: 5.4–12.0%, and Acanthocephala spp. 1.9% (95% CI: 1–4.2%. The percentage of cats excreting at least one species of parasite was 73.2% (95% CI = 69.9–76.5%. The study shows that the cats have high spectrum (9 of parasites which are known to affect the cat’s health and some are of zoonotic significance.

  13. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Other Gastrointestinal Parasites in Domestic Cats from Households in Thika Region, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyambura Njuguna, Adele; Kagira, John Maina; Muturi Karanja, Simon; Ngotho, Maina; Mutharia, Lucy; Wangari Maina, Naomi

    2017-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GIT) parasites of domestic cats (Felis catus) not only cause morbidity but are also potential zoonotic agents. The current study aimed at establishing the prevalence of GIT parasites in cats kept by households in Thika region, Kenya. Fecal samples were collected randomly from 103 cats and analyzed for presence of parasites using standard parasitological methods. In descending order, the prevalence of the detected protozoa parasites was Isospora spp. 43.7% (95% CI: 40.4-47%), Cryptosporidium spp. 40.8% (95% CI: 37.5-44.1%), Toxoplasma gondii 7.8% (95% CI: 4.5-11.1%), and Entamoeba spp. 2.9% (95% CI: 1.6-6.2%). The prevalence of the observed helminths was Strongyloides stercoralis 43.7% (95% CI: 40.4-47%), Toxocara cati 23.3% (95% CI: 20-26.6%), Ancylostoma spp. 9.7% (95% CI: 6.4-13%), Dipylidium caninum 8.7% (95% CI: 5.4-12.0%), and Acanthocephala spp. 1.9% (95% CI: 1-4.2%). The percentage of cats excreting at least one species of parasite was 73.2% (95% CI = 69.9-76.5%). The study shows that the cats have high spectrum (9) of parasites which are known to affect the cat's health and some are of zoonotic significance.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Antibody reaction of human anti-Toxoplasma gondii positive and negative sera with Neospora caninum antigens

    OpenAIRE

    Nam, Ho-Woo; Kang, Seung-Won; Choi, Won-Young

    1998-01-01

    Anti-Neospora caninum antibody was detected in anti-Toxoplasma gondii positive and negative human sera by ELISA, western blot and immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Twelve cases out of 172 (6.7%) Toxoplasma-positive sera cross-reacted with both T. gondii and N. caninum antigens, and one out of 110 Toxoplasma-negative sera reacted with N. caninum antigen by ELISA. By western blot, all 12 sera reacted with T. gondii antigens with various banding patterns but specifically at 30 kDa (SAG1) and 22 kD...

  17. Toxoplasma gondii antibody prevalence and two new genotypes of the parasite in endangered Hawaiian Geese (nene: Branta sandvicensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Verma, Shiv K.; Su, Chunlei; Medeiros, John; Kaiakapu, Thomas; Kwok, Oliver C.; Dubey, Jitender P.

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite transmitted by domestic cats (Felis catus) that has historically caused mortality in native Hawaiian birds. To estimate how widespread exposure to the parasite is in nene (Hawaiian Geese, Branta sandvicensis), we did a serologic survey for T. gondii antibody and genetically characterized parasite DNA from the tissues of dead birds that had confirmed infections by immunohistochemistry. Of 94 geese sampled, prevalence on the island of Kauai, Maui, and Molokai was 21% (n=42), 23% (n=31), and 48% (n=21), respectively. Two new T. gondii genotypes were identified by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism from four geese, and these appeared segregated geographically. Exposure to T. gondii in wild nene is widespread and, while the parasite is not a major cause of death, it could have sublethal or behavioral effects. How to translate such information to implement effective ways to manage feral cats in Hawaii poses challenges.

  18. Anionic Sites, Fucose Residues and Class I Human Leukocyte Antigen Fate During Interaction of Toxoplasma gondii with Endothelial Cells

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    Stumbo Ana Carolina

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii invades and proliferates in human umbilical vein endothelial cells where it resides in a parasitophorous vacuole. In order to analyze which components of the endothelial cell plasma membrane are internalized and become part of the parasitophorous vacuole membrane, the culture of endothelial cells was labeled with cationized ferritin or UEA I lectin or anti Class I human leukocytte antigen (HLA before or after infection with T. gondii. The results showed no cationized ferritin and UEA I lectin in any parasitophorous vacuole membrane, however, the Class I HLA molecule labeling was observed in some endocytic vacuoles containing parasite until 1 h of interaction with T. gondii. After 24 h parasite-host cell interaction, the labeling was absent on the vacuolar membrane, but presents only in small vesicles near parasitophorous vacuole. These results suggest the anionic site and fucose residues are excluded at the time of parasitophorous vacuole formation while Class I HLA molecules are present only on a minority of Toxoplasma-containig vacuoles.

  19. Evasion of Human Neutrophil-Mediated Host Defense during Toxoplasma gondii Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lima, Tatiane S; Gov, Lanny; Lodoen, Melissa B

    2018-02-13

    Neutrophils are a major player in host immunity to infection; however, the mechanisms by which human neutrophils respond to the intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii are still poorly understood. In the current study, we found that, whereas primary human monocytes produced interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) in response to T. gondii infection, human neutrophils from the same blood donors did not. Moreover, T. gondii inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced IL-1β synthesis in human peripheral blood neutrophils. IL-1β suppression required active parasite invasion, since heat-killed or mycalolide B-treated parasites did not inhibit IL-1β release. By investigating the mechanisms involved in this process, we found that T. gondii infection of neutrophils treated with LPS resulted in reduced transcript levels of IL-1β and NLRP3 and reduced protein levels of pro-IL-1β, mature IL-1β, and the inflammasome sensor NLRP3. In T. gondii -infected neutrophils stimulated with LPS, the levels of MyD88, TRAF6, IKKα, IKKβ, and phosphorylated IKKα/β were not affected. However, LPS-induced IκBα degradation and p65 phosphorylation were reduced in T. gondii- infected neutrophils, and degradation of IκBα was reversed by treatment with the proteasome inhibitor MG-132. Finally, we observed that T. gondii inhibited the cleavage and activity of caspase-1 in human neutrophils. These results indicate that T. gondii suppression of IL-1β involves a two-pronged strategy whereby T. gondii inhibits both NF-κB signaling and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. These findings represent a novel mechanism of T. gondii evasion of human neutrophil-mediated host defense by targeting the production of IL-1β. IMPORTANCE Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that infects approximately one-third of humans worldwide and can invade virtually any nucleated cell in the human body. Although it is well documented that neutrophils infiltrate the site of acute T

  20. Possible role of Toxoplasma gondii in brain cancer through modulation of host microRNAs

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    Thirugnanam Sivasakthivel

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The obligate intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii infects humans and other warm-blooded animals and establishes a chronic infection in the central nervous system after invasion. Studies showing a positive correlation between anti-Toxoplasma antibodies and incidences of brain cancer have led to the notion that Toxoplasma infections increase the risk of brain cancer. However, molecular events involved in Toxoplasma induced brain cancers are not well understood. Presentation of the hypothesis Toxoplasma gains control of host cell functions including proliferation and apoptosis by channelizing parasite proteins into the cell cytoplasm and some of the proteins are targeted to the host nucleus. Recent studies have shown that Toxoplasma is capable of manipulating host micro RNAs (miRNAs, which play a central role in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Therefore, we hypothesize that Toxoplasma promotes brain carcinogenesis by altering the host miRNAome using parasitic proteins and/or miRNAs. Testing the hypothesis The miRNA expression profiles of brain cancer specimens obtained from patients infected with Toxoplasma could be analyzed and compared with that of normal tissues as well as brain cancer tissues from Toxoplasma uninfected individuals to identify dysregulated miRNAs in Toxoplasma-driven brain cancer cells. Identified miRNAs will be further confirmed by studying cancer related miRNA profiles of the different types of brain cells before and after Toxoplasma infection using cell lines and experimental animals. Expected outcome The miRNAs specifically associated with brain cancers that are caused by Toxoplasma infection will be identified. Implications of the hypothesis Toxoplasma infection may promote initiation and progression of cancer by modifying the miRNAome in brain cells. If this hypothesis is true, the outcome of this research would lead to the development of novel biomarkers and

  1. Self-mating in the definitive host potentiates clonal outbreaks of the apicomplexan parasites Sarcocystis neurona and Toxoplasma gondii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jered M Wendte

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Tissue-encysting coccidia, including Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona, are heterogamous parasites with sexual and asexual life stages in definitive and intermediate hosts, respectively. During its sexual life stage, T. gondii reproduces either by genetic out-crossing or via clonal amplification of a single strain through self-mating. Out-crossing has been experimentally verified as a potent mechanism capable of producing offspring possessing a range of adaptive and virulence potentials. In contrast, selfing and other life history traits, such as asexual expansion of tissue-cysts by oral transmission among intermediate hosts, have been proposed to explain the genetic basis for the clonal population structure of T. gondii. In this study, we investigated the contributing roles self-mating and sexual recombination play in nature to maintain clonal population structures and produce or expand parasite clones capable of causing disease epidemics for two tissue encysting parasites. We applied high-resolution genotyping against strains isolated from a T. gondii waterborne outbreak that caused symptomatic disease in 155 immune-competent people in Brazil and a S. neurona outbreak that resulted in a mass mortality event in Southern sea otters. In both cases, a single, genetically distinct clone was found infecting outbreak-exposed individuals. Furthermore, the T. gondii outbreak clone was one of several apparently recombinant progeny recovered from the local environment. Since oocysts or sporocysts were the infectious form implicated in each outbreak, the expansion of the epidemic clone can be explained by self-mating. The results also show that out-crossing preceded selfing to produce the virulent T. gondii clone. For the tissue encysting coccidia, self-mating exists as a key adaptation potentiating the epidemic expansion and transmission of newly emerged parasite clones that can profoundly shape parasite population genetic structures or cause

  2. Self-mating in the definitive host potentiates clonal outbreaks of the apicomplexan parasites Sarcocystis neurona and Toxoplasma gondii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendte, Jered M; Miller, Melissa A; Lambourn, Dyanna M; Magargal, Spencer L; Jessup, David A; Grigg, Michael E

    2010-12-23

    Tissue-encysting coccidia, including Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona, are heterogamous parasites with sexual and asexual life stages in definitive and intermediate hosts, respectively. During its sexual life stage, T. gondii reproduces either by genetic out-crossing or via clonal amplification of a single strain through self-mating. Out-crossing has been experimentally verified as a potent mechanism capable of producing offspring possessing a range of adaptive and virulence potentials. In contrast, selfing and other life history traits, such as asexual expansion of tissue-cysts by oral transmission among intermediate hosts, have been proposed to explain the genetic basis for the clonal population structure of T. gondii. In this study, we investigated the contributing roles self-mating and sexual recombination play in nature to maintain clonal population structures and produce or expand parasite clones capable of causing disease epidemics for two tissue encysting parasites. We applied high-resolution genotyping against strains isolated from a T. gondii waterborne outbreak that caused symptomatic disease in 155 immune-competent people in Brazil and a S. neurona outbreak that resulted in a mass mortality event in Southern sea otters. In both cases, a single, genetically distinct clone was found infecting outbreak-exposed individuals. Furthermore, the T. gondii outbreak clone was one of several apparently recombinant progeny recovered from the local environment. Since oocysts or sporocysts were the infectious form implicated in each outbreak, the expansion of the epidemic clone can be explained by self-mating. The results also show that out-crossing preceded selfing to produce the virulent T. gondii clone. For the tissue encysting coccidia, self-mating exists as a key adaptation potentiating the epidemic expansion and transmission of newly emerged parasite clones that can profoundly shape parasite population genetic structures or cause devastating disease

  3. Toxoplasma gondii coinfection with diseases and parasites in wild rabbits in Scotland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Sam; Dubey, J P; Smith, Judith E; Boag, Brian

    2015-09-01

    In wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) on an estate in Perthshire, central Scotland, the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii was 18/548 (3·3%). The wild rabbit could be a T. gondii reservoir and it has potential value as a sentinel of T. gondii in environmental substrates. Toxoplasma gondii was associated with female sex (P myxomatosis caused by the virus Myxomatosis cuniculi, the intensity of roundworm eggs, the year or season, rabbit age or distance from farm buildings. Coinfections could have been affected by gestational down regulation of type 1 T helper cells. A sudden influx or release of T. gondii oocysts might have occurred. This is the first report of T. gondii in any wild herbivore in Scotland and also the first report of lapine T. gondii as a coinfection with E. stiedae, M. cuniculi and helminths.

  4. Forward genetic screening identifies a small molecule that blocks Toxoplasma gondii growth by inhibiting both host- and parasite-encoded kinases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M Brown

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The simultaneous targeting of host and pathogen processes represents an untapped approach for the treatment of intracellular infections. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1 is a host cell transcription factor that is activated by and required for the growth of the intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii at physiological oxygen levels. Parasite activation of HIF-1 is blocked by inhibiting the family of closely related Activin-Like Kinase (ALK host cell receptors ALK4, ALK5, and ALK7, which was determined in part by use of an ALK4,5,7 inhibitor named SB505124. Besides inhibiting HIF-1 activation, SB505124 also potently blocks parasite replication under normoxic conditions. To determine whether SB505124 inhibition of parasite growth was exclusively due to inhibition of ALK4,5,7 or because the drug inhibited a second kinase, SB505124-resistant parasites were isolated by chemical mutagenesis. Whole-genome sequencing of these mutants revealed mutations in the Toxoplasma MAP kinase, TgMAPK1. Allelic replacement of mutant TgMAPK1 alleles into wild-type parasites was sufficient to confer SB505124 resistance. SB505124 independently impacts TgMAPK1 and ALK4,5,7 signaling since drug resistant parasites could not activate HIF-1 in the presence of SB505124 or grow in HIF-1 deficient cells. In addition, TgMAPK1 kinase activity is inhibited by SB505124. Finally, mice treated with SB505124 had significantly lower tissue burdens following Toxoplasma infection. These data therefore identify SB505124 as a novel small molecule inhibitor that acts by inhibiting two distinct targets, host HIF-1 and TgMAPK1.

  5. Is Toxoplasma Gondii Infection Related to Brain and Behavior Impairments in Humans? Evidence from a Population-Representative Birth Cohort.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Sugden

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii is a protozoan parasite present in around a third of the human population. Infected individuals are commonly asymptomatic, though recent reports have suggested that infection might influence aspects of the host's behavior. In particular, Toxoplasma infection has been linked to schizophrenia, suicide attempt, differences in aspects of personality and poorer neurocognitive performance. However, these studies are often conducted in clinical samples or convenience samples.In a population-representative birth-cohort of individuals tested for presence of antibodies to T. gondii (N = 837 we investigated the association between infection and four facets of human behavior: neuropsychiatric disorder (schizophrenia and major depression, poor impulse control (suicidal behavior and criminality, personality, and neurocognitive performance. Suicide attempt was marginally more frequent among individuals with T. gondii seropositivity (p = .06. Seropositive individuals also performed worse on one out of 14 measures of neuropsychological function.On the whole, there was little evidence that T. gondii was related to increased risk of psychiatric disorder, poor impulse control, personality aberrations or neurocognitive impairment.

  6. Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma infection) Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Form Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Parasites - Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma infection) Note: Javascript is disabled or is ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Toxoplasmosis General Information Toxoplasmosis FAQs Toxoplasmosis & Pregnancy FAQs Epidemiology & ...

  7. A new pathogen transmission mechanism in the ocean: the case of sea otter exposure to the land-parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda F M Mazzillo

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a land-derived parasite that infects humans and marine mammals. Infections are a significant cause of mortality for endangered southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis, but the transmission mechanism is poorly understood. Otter exposure to T. gondii has been linked to the consumption of marine turban snails in kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera forests. It is unknown how turban snails acquire oocysts, as snails scrape food particles attached to surfaces, whereas T. gondii oocysts enter kelp beds as suspended particles via runoff. We hypothesized that waterborne T. gondii oocysts attach to kelp surfaces when encountering exopolymer substances (EPS forming the sticky matrix of biofilms on kelp, and thus become available to snails. Results of a dietary composition analysis of field-collected snails and of kelp biofilm indicate that snails graze the dense kelp-biofilm assemblage composed of pennate diatoms and bacteria inserted within the EPS gel-like matrix. To test whether oocysts attach to kelp blades via EPS, we designed a laboratory experiment simulating the kelp forest canopy in tanks spiked with T. gondii surrogate microspheres and controlled for EPS and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP - the particulate form of EPS. On average, 19% and 31% of surrogates were detected attached to kelp surfaces covered with EPS in unfiltered and filtered seawater treatments, respectively. The presence of TEP in the seawater did not increase surrogate attachment. These findings support a novel transport mechanism of T. gondii oocysts: as oocysts enter the kelp forest canopy, a portion adheres to the sticky kelp biofilms. Snails grazing this biofilm encounter oocysts as 'bycatch' and thereby deliver the parasite to sea otters that prey upon snails. This novel mechanism can have health implications beyond T. gondii and otters, as a similar route of pathogen transmission may be implicated with other waterborne pathogens to marine wildlife and

  8. The Inner Membrane Complex Sub-compartment Proteins Critical for Replication of the Apicomplexan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii Adopt a Pleckstrin Homology Fold*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonkin, Michelle L.; Beck, Josh R.; Bradley, Peter J.; Boulanger, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, an apicomplexan parasite prevalent in developed nations, infects up to one-third of the human population. The success of this parasite depends on several unique structures including an inner membrane complex (IMC) that lines the interior of the plasma membrane and contains proteins important for gliding motility and replication. Of these proteins, the IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs) have recently been shown to play a role in asexual T. gondii daughter cell formation, yet the mechanism is unknown. Complicating mechanistic characterization of the ISPs is a lack of sequence identity with proteins of known structure or function. In support of elucidating the function of ISPs, we first determined the crystal structures of representative members TgISP1 and TgISP3 to a resolution of 2.10 and 2.32 Å, respectively. Structural analysis revealed that both ISPs adopt a pleckstrin homology fold often associated with phospholipid binding or protein-protein interactions. Substitution of basic for hydrophobic residues in the region that overlays with phospholipid binding in related pleckstrin homology domains, however, suggests that ISPs do not retain phospholipid binding activity. Consistent with this observation, biochemical assays revealed no phospholipid binding activity. Interestingly, mapping of conserved surface residues combined with crystal packing analysis indicates that TgISPs have functionally repurposed the phospholipid-binding site likely to coordinate protein partners. Recruitment of larger protein complexes may also be aided through avidity-enhanced interactions resulting from multimerization of the ISPs. Overall, we propose a model where TgISPs recruit protein partners to the IMC to ensure correct progression of daughter cell formation. PMID:24675080

  9. A plant/fungal-type phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase located in the parasite mitochondrion ensures glucose-independent survival of Toxoplasma gondii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitzsche, Richard; Günay-Esiyok, Özlem; Tischer, Maximilian; Zagoriy, Vyacheslav; Gupta, Nishith

    2017-09-15

    Toxoplasma gondii is considered to be one of the most successful intracellular pathogens, because it can reproduce in varied nutritional milieus, encountered in diverse host cell types of essentially any warm-blooded organism. Our earlier work demonstrated that the acute (tachyzoite) stage of T. gondii depends on cooperativity of glucose and glutamine catabolism to meet biosynthetic demands. Either of these two nutrients can sustain the parasite survival; however, what determines the metabolic plasticity has not yet been resolved. Here, we reveal two discrete phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) enzymes in the parasite, one of which resides in the m i t ochondrion ( Tg PEPCK mt ), whereas the other protein is n ot e xpressed in t achyzoites ( Tg PEPCK net ). Parasites with an intact glycolysis can tolerate genetic deletions of Tg PEPCK mt as well as of Tg PEPCK net , indicating their nonessential roles for tachyzoite survival. Tg PEPCK net can also be ablated in a glycolysis-deficient mutant, while Tg PEPCK mt is refractory to deletion. Consistent with this, the lytic cycle of a conditional mutant of Tg PEPCK mt in the glycolysis-impaired strain was aborted upon induced repression of the mitochondrial isoform, demonstrating its essential role for the glucose-independent survival of parasites. Isotope-resolved metabolomics of the conditional mutant revealed defective flux of glutamine-derived carbon into RNA-bound ribose sugar as well as metabolites associated with gluconeogenesis, entailing a critical nodal role of PEPCK mt in linking catabolism of glucose and glutamine with anabolic pathways. Our data also suggest a homeostatic function of Tg PEPCK mt in cohesive operation of glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid cycle in a normal glucose-replete milieu. Conversely, we found that the otherwise integrative enzyme pyruvate carboxylase ( Tg PyC) is dispensable not only in glycolysis-competent but also in glycolysis-deficient tachyzoites despite a mitochondrial

  10. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in free-ranging moose (Alces alces) hunted for human consumption in Estonia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Remes, Noora; Kärssin, Age; Must, Kärt

    2018-01-01

    In Estonia, northeastern Europe, antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii are common in many host species, including wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. Our nationwide study aimed to estimate T. gondii seroprevalence and its geographical distribution, and to evaluate plausible risk factors for se...

  11. Dogs, cats, parasites, and humans in Brazil: opening the black box

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Dogs and cats in Brazil serve as primary hosts for a considerable number of parasites, which may affect their health and wellbeing. These may include endoparasites (e.g., protozoa, cestodes, trematodes, and nematodes) and ectoparasites (i.e., fleas, lice, mites, and ticks). While some dog and cat parasites are highly host-specific (e.g., Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Felicola subrostratus for cats, and Angiostrongylus vasorum and Trichodectes canis for dogs), others may easily switch to other hosts, including humans. In fact, several dog and cat parasites (e.g., Toxoplasma gondii, Dipylidium caninum, Ancylostoma caninum, Strongyloides stercoralis, and Toxocara canis) are important not only from a veterinary perspective but also from a medical standpoint. In addition, some of them (e.g., Lynxacarus radovskyi on cats and Rangelia vitalii in dogs) are little known to most veterinary practitioners working in Brazil. This article is a compendium on dog and cat parasites in Brazil and a call for a One Health approach towards a better management of some of these parasites, which may potentially affect humans. Practical aspects related to the diagnosis, treatment, and control of parasitic diseases of dogs and cats in Brazil are discussed. PMID:24423244

  12. Anti-parasitic action and elimination of intracellular Toxoplasma gondii in the presence of novel thiosemicarbazone and its 4-thiazolidinone derivatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.S. Carvalho

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma, which infects all eukaryotic cells, is considered to be a good system for the study of drug action and of the behavior of infected host cells. In the present study, we asked if thiosemicarbazone derivatives can be effective against tachyzoites and which morphological and ultrastructural features of host cells and parasites are associated with the destruction of Toxoplasma. The compounds were tested in infected Vero cell culture using concentration screens (0.1 to 20 mM. The final concentration of 1 mM was chosen for biological assay. The following results were obtained: 1 These new derivatives decreased T. gondii infection with an in vitro parasite IC50% of 0.2-0.7 mM, without a significant effect on host cells and the more efficient compounds were 2, 3 (thiosemicarbazone derivatives and 4 (thiazolidinone derivative; 2 The main feature observed during parasite elimination was continuous morphological disorganization of the tachyzoite secretory system, progressive organelle vesiculation, and then complete disruption; 3 Ultrastructural assays also revealed that progressive vesiculation in the cytoplasm of treated parasites did not occur in the host cell; 4 Vesiculation inside the parasite resulted in death, but this feature occurred asynchronously in different intracellular tachyzoites; 5 The death and elimination of T. gondii was associated with features such as apoptosis-like stage, acidification and digestion of parasites into parasitophorous vacuoles. Our results suggest that these new chemical compounds are promising for the elimination of intracellular parasites by mainly affecting tachyzoite development at 1 mM concentration for 24 h of treatment.

  13. Comprehensive Evaluation of Toxoplasma gondii VEG and Neospora caninum LIV Genomes with Tachyzoite Stage Transcriptome and Proteome Defines Novel Transcript Features

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Mourier, Tobias; Naeem, Raeece; Malas, Tareq B.; Moussa, Ehab; Panigrahi, Aswini; Vermont, Sarah J.; Otto, Thomas D.; Wastling, Jonathan; Pain, Arnab

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important protozoan parasite that infects all warm-blooded animals and causes opportunistic infections in immuno-compromised humans. Its closest relative, Neospora caninum, is an important veterinary pathogen that causes

  14. Risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in Kohat District, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Gul Naila; Zareen Shehzad; Ur Rehman Faiz; Ur Rehman Hameed; Qayyum Sumbel; Khan Sumiya; Khan Feroz; Ali Khan Munsif; Saeed Kausar; Ayub Abid; Hayat Azam; Ateeq Muhammad; Ahmad Waqar

    2017-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread zoonotic parasite that is the causative agent for toxoplasmosis in human and completes its life cycle in separate hosts. Considering the significance of the infection, the current study was designed to asses to various risk factors for the parasite transmission to human in Kohat District, Pakistan. A total of 122 suspected individuals were asked to fill pre-designed questionnaire. A total of 44 (36.07%) individuals were found to be infected wit...

  15. Fundamental Roles of the Golgi-Associated Toxoplasma Aspartyl Protease, ASP5, at the Host-Parasite Interface

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hammoudi, P.-M.; Jacot, D.; Mueller, C.; Di Cristina, M.; Dogga, S.K.; Marq, J.-B.; Romano, J.; Tosetti, N.; Dubrot, J.; Emre, Y.; Lunghi, M.; Coppens, I.; Yamamoto, M.; Sojka, Daniel; Pino, P.; Soldati-Favre, D.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 10 (2015), e1005211 E-ISSN 1553-7374 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Toxoplasma gondii * Plasmodium proteins * ASP5 Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 7.003, year: 2015

  16. Parasite Infection, Carcinogenesis and Human Malignancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoang van Tong

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Cancer may be induced by many environmental and physiological conditions. Infections with viruses, bacteria and parasites have been recognized for years to be associated with human carcinogenicity. Here we review current concepts of carcinogenicity and its associations with parasitic infections. The helminth diseases schistosomiasis, opisthorchiasis, and clonorchiasis are highly carcinogenic while the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the causing agent of Chagas disease, has a dual role in the development of cancer, including both carcinogenic and anticancer properties. Although malaria per se does not appear to be causative in carcinogenesis, it is strongly associated with the occurrence of endemic Burkitt lymphoma in areas holoendemic for malaria. The initiation of Plasmodium falciparum related endemic Burkitt lymphoma requires additional transforming events induced by the Epstein-Barr virus. Observations suggest that Strongyloides stercoralis may be a relevant co-factor in HTLV-1-related T cell lymphomas. This review provides an overview of the mechanisms of parasitic infection-induced carcinogenicity.

  17. Increased apoptosis skull of pups born to Toxoplasma gondii ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular obligate protozoan parasite that infects most warm-blooded animals including humans. It can cause congenital infection with clinical symptoms ranging from mild to severe including microcephaly. At the cellular level, infection T. gondii causes apoptosis in some tissues and ...

  18. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in breeding pigs in Estonia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Santoro, Azzurra; Tagel, Maarja; Must, Kärt

    2017-01-01

    Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread occurring parasite infecting warm-blooded animals, including pigs and humans. The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies and to evaluate risk factors for T. gondii seropositivity in breeding pigs raised in Esto...

  19. Quantifying the Risk of Human Toxoplasma gondii Infection Due to Consumption of Domestically Produced Lamb in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Miao; Mishra, Abhinav; Buchanan, Robert L; Dubey, Jitender P; Hill, Dolores E; Gamble, H Ray; Pradhan, Abani K

    2016-07-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a prevalent protozoan parasite worldwide. Human toxoplasmosis is responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality in the United States, and meat products have been identified as an important source of T. gondii infections in humans. The goal of this study was to develop a farm-to-table quantitative microbial risk assessment model to predict the public health burden in the United States associated with consumption of U.S. domestically produced lamb. T. gondii prevalence in market lambs was pooled from the 2011 National Animal Health Monitoring System survey, and the concentration of the infectious life stage (bradyzoites) was calculated in the developed model. A log-linear regression and an exponential doseresponse model were used to model the reduction of T. gondii during home cooking and to predict the probability of infection, respectively. The mean probability of infection per serving of lamb was estimated to be 1.5 cases per 100,000 servings, corresponding to ∼6,300 new infections per year in the U.S. Based on the sensitivity analysis, we identified cooking as the most effective method to influence human health risk. This study provided a quantitative microbial risk assessment framework for T. gondii infection through consumption of lamb and quantified the infection risk and public health burden associated with lamb consumption.

  20. Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma infection) Disease Symptoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Form Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Parasites - Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma infection) Note: Javascript is disabled or is ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Toxoplasmosis General Information Toxoplasmosis FAQs Toxoplasmosis & Pregnancy FAQs Epidemiology & ...

  1. Mice infected with low-virulence strains of Toxoplasma gondii lose their innate aversion to cat urine, even after extensive parasite clearance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy Marie Ingram

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii chronic infection in rodent secondary hosts has been reported to lead to a loss of innate, hard-wired fear toward cats, its primary host. However the generality of this response across T. gondii strains and the underlying mechanism for this pathogen-mediated behavioral change remain unknown. To begin exploring these questions, we evaluated the effects of infection with two previously uninvestigated isolates from the three major North American clonal lineages of T. gondii, Type III and an attenuated strain of Type I. Using an hour-long open field activity assay optimized for this purpose, we measured mouse aversion toward predator and non-predator urines. We show that loss of innate aversion of cat urine is a general trait caused by infection with any of the three major clonal lineages of parasite. Surprisingly, we found that infection with the attenuated Type I parasite results in sustained loss of aversion at times post infection when neither parasite nor ongoing brain inflammation were detectable. This suggests that T. gondii-mediated interruption of mouse innate aversion toward cat urine may occur during early acute infection in a permanent manner, not requiring persistence of parasite cysts or continuing brain inflammation.

  2. Mice infected with low-virulence strains of Toxoplasma gondii lose their innate aversion to cat urine, even after extensive parasite clearance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Wendy Marie; Goodrich, Leeanne M; Robey, Ellen A; Eisen, Michael B

    2013-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii chronic infection in rodent secondary hosts has been reported to lead to a loss of innate, hard-wired fear toward cats, its primary host. However the generality of this response across T. gondii strains and the underlying mechanism for this pathogen-mediated behavioral change remain unknown. To begin exploring these questions, we evaluated the effects of infection with two previously uninvestigated isolates from the three major North American clonal lineages of T. gondii, Type III and an attenuated strain of Type I. Using an hour-long open field activity assay optimized for this purpose, we measured mouse aversion toward predator and non-predator urines. We show that loss of innate aversion of cat urine is a general trait caused by infection with any of the three major clonal lineages of parasite. Surprisingly, we found that infection with the attenuated Type I parasite results in sustained loss of aversion at times post infection when neither parasite nor ongoing brain inflammation were detectable. This suggests that T. gondii-mediated interruption of mouse innate aversion toward cat urine may occur during early acute infection in a permanent manner, not requiring persistence of parasite cysts or continuing brain inflammation.

  3. Comparative genomic sequence variation of Toxoplasma gondii reveals local admixture drives concerted expansion and diversification of secreted pathogenesis determinants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is among the most abundant parasites world-wide, infecting many wild and domestic animals and causing zoonotic infections in humans. T. gondii differs substantially in its distribution from closely related parasites that typically have narrow, specialized host ranges. We undertook...

  4. Comparative sequence analysis of Toxoplasma gondii reveals local genomic admixture drives concerted expansion and diversification of secreted pathogenesis determinants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is among the most prevalent parasites worldwide, infecting many wild and domestic animals and causing zoonotic infections in humans. T. gondii differs substantially in its broad distribution from closely related parasites that typically have narrow, specialized host ranges. To un...

  5. Parasite Infection, Carcinogenesis and Human Malignancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Tong, Hoang; Brindley, Paul J; Meyer, Christian G; Velavan, Thirumalaisamy P

    2017-02-01

    Cancer may be induced by many environmental and physiological conditions. Infections with viruses, bacteria and parasites have been recognized for years to be associated with human carcinogenicity. Here we review current concepts of carcinogenicity and its associations with parasitic infections. The helminth diseases schistosomiasis, opisthorchiasis, and clonorchiasis are highly carcinogenic while the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the causing agent of Chagas disease, has a dual role in the development of cancer, including both carcinogenic and anticancer properties. Although malaria per se does not appear to be causative in carcinogenesis, it is strongly associated with the occurrence of endemic Burkitt lymphoma in areas holoendemic for malaria. The initiation of Plasmodium falciparum related endemic Burkitt lymphoma requires additional transforming events induced by the Epstein-Barr virus. Observations suggest that Strongyloides stercoralis may be a relevant co-factor in HTLV-1-related T cell lymphomas. This review provides an overview of the mechanisms of parasitic infection-induced carcinogenicity. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Presence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies in humans and their cats in the urban zone of Guadalajara

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galván Ramírez María de la Luz

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Cats are the definitive hosts of Toxoplasma gondii. Infected cats excrete oocysts in their feces, infecting humans and other animals. The objective of the present study was to determine the presence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies in cat owners and their pets, and determine if there was a relationship between Toxoplasma infection and humans who live with infected cats. IgG anti-Toxoplasma antibodies in sera of 59 cat owners were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, in 24 sera from their cats, IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies were found using Burney's ELISA. Thirty-eight (64% of 59 cat owners were positive to IgG anti-Toxoplasma. Seropositivity for cats was 70.8% IgG, 8.3% IgM, and 62.5% IgA. Cohabitation with cats infected by T. gondii, feeding with leftovers or raw viscera, and lack of control over how their feces were handled are risk factors conducive for humans to become infected by T. gondii.

  7. Effect of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) in Human Placental Explants Infected with Toxoplasma gondii Depends on Gestational Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira Gomes, Angelica; de Oliveira Silva, Deise Aparecida; Silva, Neide Maria; de Freitas Barbosa, Bellisa; Franco, Priscila Silva; Angeloni, Mariana Bodini; Fermino, Marise Lopes; Roque-Barreira, Maria Cristina; Bechi, Nicoletta; Paulesu, Luana Ricci; dos Santos, Maria Célia; Mineo, José Roberto; Ferro, Eloisa Amália Vieira

    2011-01-01

    Because macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a key cytokine in pregnancy and has a role in inflammatory response and pathogen defense, the objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of MIF in first- and third-trimester human placental explants infected with Toxoplasma gondii. Explants were treated with recombinant MIF, IL-12, interferon-γ, transforming growth factor-β1, or IL-10, followed by infection with T. gondii RH strain tachyzoites. Supernatants of cultured explants were assessed for MIF production. Explants were processed for morphologic analysis, immunohistochemistry, and real-time PCR analysis. Comparison of infected and stimulated explants versus noninfected control explants demonstrated a significant increase in MIF release in first-trimester but not third-trimester explants. Tissue parasitism was higher in third- than in first-trimester explants. Moreover, T. gondii DNA content was lower in first-trimester explants treated with MIF compared with untreated explants. However, in third-trimester explants, MIF stimulus decreased T. gondii DNA content only at the highest concentration of the cytokine. In addition, high expression of MIF receptor was observed in first-trimester placental explants, whereas MIF receptor expression was low in third-trimester explants. In conclusion, MIF was up-regulated and demonstrated to be important for control of T. gondii infection in first-trimester explants, whereas lack of MIF up-regulation in third-trimester placentas may be involved in higher susceptibility to infection at this gestational age. PMID:21641401

  8. Toxoplasma gondii and Epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayaz, Erol; Türkoğlu, Şule Aydın; Orallar, Hayriye

    2016-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite can be seen in all the vital organ; in the acute phase, it can be found in the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, semen, tears, saliva, urine, and in almost all body fluids. Transplasental infection can lead to fetal damage and miscarriage. Its last hosts are felines and intermediate hosts are all mammals, including humans. People infected by the ingestion of meat containing cysts in undercooked or raw, are thrown oocysts with cat felines By taking in water and food, from mother to fetus transplacental way, the infected organ transplantation, blood transfusion, laboratory accidents and kaprofaj transmitted by mechanical vectors of the invertebrates. Suppression of the immune system is being transformed to the shape and texture of the cysts with bradyzoite. The parasite settles in the cells of the tissue cysts and causes change in the cellular mechanisms, such as cytokinin task. Depending on changes and type of neurotransmitter (GABA, glutamate, serotonin, dopamine) levels in CSF in ions (Ca, K, Cl, Mg), it is believed that there is a change in their concentration. In this review, literature about the relationship between T. gondii and epilepsy and epileptiform activity the importance of parasites, which settle in the brain, will be highlighted.

  9. Seropositive pigs to Toxoplasma gondii (Apicomplexa: Toxoplasmatinae sent to slaughter and destined for human consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanderley M. de Almeida

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT. de Almdeida W., Miranda Z.B., Flausino W., Coelho C.D., Fonseca A.B.M. & Lopes C.W.G. [Seropositive pigs to Toxoplasma gondii (Apicomplexa: Toxoplasmatinae sent to slaughter and destined for human consumption.] Suínos sororreagentes a Toxoplasma gondii (Apicomplexa: Toxoplasmatinae enviados para abate e destinados ao consumo humano. Revista Brasileira de Medicina Veterinária, 37(4:397-400, 2015. Curso de Pós-Graduação em Medicina Veterinária - Higiene Veterinária e Processamento Tecnológico de Produtos de Origem Animal, Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Vital Brasil Filho, 64, Vital Brazil, Niterói, RJ 24230-340, Brasil. E-mail: wanderleyma@yahoo.com.br This study aimed to determine the frequency of pigs seropositive to Toxoplasma gondii by indirect immunofluorescence assay with cutoff 1:16. Of blood samples collected at slaughter, 250 of them were from animals raised in the State of Minas Gerais; while 181 were from the State of Rio de Janeiro with a total of 431 examined samples. Of these, 19/250 (4.41% of MG and 39/181 (9.04% of RJ, determining a total of 13.45% seropositive animals. Regardless of slaughter be under the control of the inspection service, the precedence of the animals was highly significant (p = 0.0001 in the number of seropositive animals. Although the percentage of seropositive animals to T. gondii from both regions studied in this work, and from the point of view of a public health problem, pork and its frescal type products may continue to be considered as a source of infection of this coccidia for humans, if they are consumed as raw or undercooked.

  10. Toxoplasma gondii 70 kDa heat shock protein: systemic detection is associated with the death of the parasites by the immune response and its increased expression in the brain is associated with parasite replication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Victor Czarnewski Barenco

    Full Text Available The heat shock protein of Toxoplasma gondii (TgHSP70 is a parasite virulence factor that is expressed during T. gondii stage conversion. To verify the effect of dexamethasone (DXM-induced infection reactivation in the TgHSP70-specific humoral immune response and the presence of the protein in the mouse brain, we produced recombinant TgHSP70 and anti-TgHSP70 IgY antibodies to detect the protein, the specific antibody and levels of immune complexes (ICs systemically, as well as the protein in the brain of resistant (BALB/c and susceptible (C57BL/6 mice. It was observed higher TgHSP70-specific antibody titers in serum samples of BALB/c compared with C57BL/6 mice. However, the susceptible mice presented the highest levels of TgHSP70 systemically and no detection of specific ICs. The DXM treatment induced increased parasitism and lower inflammatory changes in the brain of C57BL/6, but did not interfere with the cerebral parasitism in BALB/c mice. Additionally, DXM treatment decreased the serological TgHSP70 concentration in both mouse lineages. C57BL/6 mice presented high expression of TgHSP70 in the brain with the progression of infection and under DXM treatment. Taken together, these data indicate that the TgHSP70 release into the bloodstream depends on the death of the parasites mediated by the host immune response, whereas the increased TgHSP70 expression in the brain depends on the multiplication rate of the parasite.

  11. CCp5A protein from Toxoplasma gondii as a serological marker of oocyst-driven infections in humans and domestic animals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silas Silva Santana

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Considering that the current immunoassays are not able to distinguish the infective forms that cause Toxoplasma gondii infection, the present study was carried out to evaluate the reactivity of two recombinant proteins (CCp5A and OWP1 from oocyst/sporozoite, in order to differentiate infections occurring by ingestion of oocysts or tissue cysts. The reactivity of the recombinant proteins was assessed against panels of serum samples from animals (chickens, pigs and mice that were naturally or experimentally infected by different infective stages of the parasite. Also, we tested sera from humans who have been infected by oocysts during a well-characterized toxoplasmosis outbreak, as well as sera from pregnant women tested IgM+/IgG+ for T. gondii, which source of infection was unknown. Only the sporozoite-specific CCp5A protein was able to differentiate the parasite stage that infected chickens, pigs and mice, with specific reactivity for oocyst-infected animals. Furthermore, the CCp5A showed preferential reactivity for recent infection by oocyst/sporozoite in pigs and mice. In humans, CCp5A showed higher reactivity with serum samples from the outbreak, compared with serum from pregnant women. Altogether, these findings demonstrate the usefulness of the CCp5A protein as a new tool to identify the parasite state of T. gondii infection, allowing its application for diagnosis and epidemiological investigations in animals and humans. The identification of parasite infective stage can help to design effective strategies to minimize severe complications in immunocompromised people and, particularly, in pregnant women to prevent congenital infection.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Bothrops pirajai snake venom L-amino acid oxidase: in vitro effects on infection of Toxoplasma gondii in human foreskin fibroblasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz F. M. Izidoro

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The effect of an L-amino acid oxidase isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom (BpirLAAO-I was investigated on infection of Toxoplasma gondii in human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF. The cytotoxic activity of BpirLAAO-I on HFF cells showed a dose-dependent toxicity with median cytotoxic dose (TD50 of 11.8 µg/mL. BpirLAAO-I induced considerable dose-dependent decrease in the T. gondii infection index under two different conditions, treatment of tachyzoites before infection or treatment of HFF cells after infection. A maximal inhibition of infection (56% was found for treatment before infection, with a median inhibitory dose (ID50 at 1.83 µg/mL and selectivity index (SI at 6.45. For treatment after infection, it was observed a maximal inhibition of infection at 65%, ID50 of 1.20 µg/mL and SI of 9.83. The treatment before infection was also effective to reduce intracellular parasitism up to 62%, although presenting higher values of ID50 (3.14 µg/mL and lower values of SI (3.76. However, treatment after infection was not effective, suggesting that the enzyme seems to have no effect on the parasite intracellular replication for this condition. In conclusion, BpirLAAO-I was more effective to inhibit the infection of neighboring cells and consequently parasite dissemination than primary infection and parasite replication. Thus, the effect of BpirLAAO-I described herein could be taken into account for the development of new synthetic anti-parasite therapeutic agents.

  14. 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.

  15. Toxoplasma gondii in horse meat intended for human consumption in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paştiu, Anamaria Ioana; Györke, Adriana; Kalmár, Zsuzsa; Bolfă, Pompei; Rosenthal, Benjamin Martin; Oltean, Miruna; Villena, Isabelle; Spînu, Marina; Cozma, Vasile

    2015-09-15

    The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, an economically important zoonotic protozoan, was investigated in horses slaughtered for export and human consumption in the North of Romania. Pairs of samples, sera and heart tissues, were collected from 82 slaughtered horses. Examination of horse sera by ELISA at a dilution of 1:10, and by modified agglutination test (MAT) at a dilution of 1:6, revealed that 32 (39%) and 31(37.8%) horses, respectively, had antibodies against T. gondii. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, T. gondii DNA was not found in any heart sample collected from horses. By bioassay in mice, we obtained viable isolates of T. gondii from two of ten horses determined to be strongly positive by serological assay/ELISA. The prevalence estimated in horses highlighted the potential risk for human contamination by consumption of raw or undercooked meat. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Structure-Based Analysis of Toxoplasma gondii Profilin: A Parasite-Specific Motif Is Required for Recognition by Toll-Like Receptor 11

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K Kucera; A Koblansky; L Saunders; K Frederick; E De La Cruz; S Ghosh; Y Modis

    2011-12-31

    Profilins promote actin polymerization by exchanging ADP for ATP on monomeric actin and delivering ATP-actin to growing filament barbed ends. Apicomplexan protozoa such as Toxoplasma gondii invade host cells using an actin-dependent gliding motility. Toll-like receptor (TLR) 11 generates an innate immune response upon sensing T. gondii profilin (TgPRF). The crystal structure of TgPRF reveals a parasite-specific surface motif consisting of an acidic loop, followed by a long {beta}-hairpin. A series of structure-based profilin mutants show that TLR11 recognition of the acidic loop is responsible for most of the interleukin (IL)-12 secretion response to TgPRF in peritoneal macrophages. Deletion of both the acidic loop and the {beta}-hairpin completely abrogates IL-12 secretion. Insertion of the T. gondii acidic loop and {beta}-hairpin into yeast profilin is sufficient to generate TLR11-dependent signaling. Substitution of the acidic loop in TgPRF with the homologous loop from the apicomplexan parasite Cryptosporidium parvum does not affect TLR11-dependent IL-12 secretion, while substitution with the acidic loop from Plasmodium falciparum results in reduced but significant IL-12 secretion. We conclude that the parasite-specific motif in TgPRF is the key molecular pattern recognized by TLR11. Unlike other profilins, TgPRF slows nucleotide exchange on monomeric rabbit actin and binds rabbit actin weakly. The putative TgPRF actin-binding surface includes the {beta}-hairpin and diverges widely from the actin-binding surfaces of vertebrate profilins.

  17. Enrofloxacin and Toltrazuril Are Able to Reduce Toxoplasma gondii Growth in Human BeWo Trophoblastic Cells and Villous Explants from Human Third Trimester Pregnancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela J. da Silva

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Classical treatment for congenital toxoplasmosis is based on combination of sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine plus folinic acid. Due to teratogenic effects and bone marrow suppression caused by pyrimethamine, the establishment of new therapeutic strategies is indispensable to minimize the side effects and improve the control of infection. Previous studies demonstrated that enrofloxacin and toltrazuril reduced the incidence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii infection. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of enrofloxacin and toltrazuril in the control of T. gondii infection in human trophoblast cells (BeWo line and in human villous explants from the third trimester. BeWo cells and villous were treated with several concentrations of enrofloxacin, toltrazuril, sulfadiazine, pyrimethamine, or combination of sulfadiazine+pyrimethamine, and the cellular or tissue viability was verified. Next, BeWo cells were infected by T. gondii (2F1 clone or the ME49 strain, whereas villous samples were only infected by the 2F1 clone. Then, infected cells and villous were treated with all antibiotics and the T. gondii intracellular proliferation as well as the cytokine production were analyzed. Finally, we evaluated the direct effect of enrofloxacin and toltrazuril in tachyzoites to verify possible changes in parasite structure. Enrofloxacin and toltrazuril did not decrease the viability of cells and villous in lower concentrations. Both drugs were able to significantly reduce the parasite intracellular proliferation in BeWo cells and villous explants when compared to untreated conditions. Regardless of the T. gondii strain, BeWo cells infected and treated with enrofloxacin or toltrazuril induced high levels of IL-6 and MIF. In villous explants, enrofloxacin induced high MIF production. Finally, the drugs increased the number of unviable parasites and triggered damage to tachyzoite structure. Taken together, it can be concluded that

  18. Enrofloxacin and Toltrazuril Are Able to Reduce Toxoplasma gondii Growth in Human BeWo Trophoblastic Cells and Villous Explants from Human Third Trimester Pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Rafaela J; Gomes, Angelica O; Franco, Priscila S; Pereira, Ariane S; Milian, Iliana C B; Ribeiro, Mayara; Fiorenzani, Paolo; Dos Santos, Maria C; Mineo, José R; da Silva, Neide M; Ferro, Eloisa A V; de Freitas Barbosa, Bellisa

    2017-01-01

    Classical treatment for congenital toxoplasmosis is based on combination of sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine plus folinic acid. Due to teratogenic effects and bone marrow suppression caused by pyrimethamine, the establishment of new therapeutic strategies is indispensable to minimize the side effects and improve the control of infection. Previous studies demonstrated that enrofloxacin and toltrazuril reduced the incidence of Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii infection. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of enrofloxacin and toltrazuril in the control of T. gondii infection in human trophoblast cells (BeWo line) and in human villous explants from the third trimester. BeWo cells and villous were treated with several concentrations of enrofloxacin, toltrazuril, sulfadiazine, pyrimethamine, or combination of sulfadiazine+pyrimethamine, and the cellular or tissue viability was verified. Next, BeWo cells were infected by T. gondii (2F1 clone or the ME49 strain), whereas villous samples were only infected by the 2F1 clone. Then, infected cells and villous were treated with all antibiotics and the T. gondii intracellular proliferation as well as the cytokine production were analyzed. Finally, we evaluated the direct effect of enrofloxacin and toltrazuril in tachyzoites to verify possible changes in parasite structure. Enrofloxacin and toltrazuril did not decrease the viability of cells and villous in lower concentrations. Both drugs were able to significantly reduce the parasite intracellular proliferation in BeWo cells and villous explants when compared to untreated conditions. Regardless of the T. gondii strain, BeWo cells infected and treated with enrofloxacin or toltrazuril induced high levels of IL-6 and MIF. In villous explants, enrofloxacin induced high MIF production. Finally, the drugs increased the number of unviable parasites and triggered damage to tachyzoite structure. Taken together, it can be concluded that enrofloxacin and

  19. Serological Evidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in five species of bats in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite which can infect almost all warm-blooded animals and humans with a worldwide distribution. Bats are reservoirs for an increasing number of emerging zoonotic viruses, such as henipaviruses and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) c...

  20. Macrophages facilitate the excystation and differentiation of Toxoplasma gondii sporozoites into tachyzoites following oocyst internalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is a common parasite of humans and domestic animals, which is transmitted via oocysts in cat faeces or tissue cysts in contaminated meat. The oocyst and sporocyst walls are multilayered polymeric structures that protect the infective sporozoites from deleterious physical and chemic...

  1. Parasites and fungi as risk factors for human and animal health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Góralska, Katarzyna; Błaszkowska, Joanna

    2015-01-01

    Recent literature data suggests that parasitic and fungal diseases, which pose a threat to both human and animal health, remain a clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic problem. Attention is increasingly paid to the role played by natural microbiota in maintaining homeostasis in humans. A particular emphasis is placed on the possibility of manipulating the human microbiota (permanent, transient, pathogenic) and macrobiota (e.g., Trichuris suis) to support the treatment of selected diseases such as Crohn's disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer. Emphasis is placed on important medical species whose infections not only impair health but can also be life threatening, such as Plasmodium falciparum, Echinococcus multilocularis and Baylisascaris procyonis, which expand into areas which have so far been uninhabited. This article also presents the epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic parasitoses imported from the tropics, which spread across large groups of people through human-to-human transmission (Enterobius vermicularis, Sarcoptes scabiei). It also discusses the problem of environmentally-conditioned parasitoses, particularly their etiological factors associated with food contaminated with invasive forms (Trichinella sp., Toxoplasma gondii). The analysis also concerns the presence of developmental forms of geohelminths (Toxocara sp.) and ectoparasites (ticks), which are vectors of serious human diseases (Lyme borreliosis, anaplasmosis, babesiosis), in the environment. Mycological topics contains rare cases of mycoses environmentally conditioned (CNS aspergillosis) and transmissions of these pathogens in a population of hospitalized individuals, as well as seeking new methods used to treat mycoses.

  2. 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.

  3. Molecular Detection of Rickettsia amblyommii in Amblyomma americanum Parasitizing Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Detection of Rickettsia amblyommii in Amblyomma americanum Parasitizing Humans Ju Jiang~ Tamasin Yarina~ Melissa K. Miller,2 Ellen Y. Stromdahl? and...protein B gene (ompB) of Rickettsia amblyommii was employed to assess the threat of R. amblyommii exposure to humans parasitized by Amblyomma americanum...infection of and possibly disease in humans. Key Words: Amblyomma americanum-Lone star ticks-Real-time PCR- Rickettsia amblyommii. Introduction R

  4. Epidemiology and pathology of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging California sea lions (Zalophus californianus)

    OpenAIRE

    Carlson-Bremer, D; Colegrove, KM; Gulland, FMD; Conrad, PA; Mazet, JAK; Johnson, CK

    2015-01-01

    © Wildlife Disease Association 2015. The coccidian parasite Toxoplasma gondii infects humans and warm-blooded animals worldwide. The ecology of this parasite in marine systems is poorly understood, although many marine mammals are infected and susceptible to clinical toxoplasmosis. We summarized the lesions associated with T. gondii infection in the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) population and investigated the prevalence of and risk factors associated with T. gondii exposure, a...

  5. Proteomic characterization of the subpellicular cytoskeleton of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez de León, Carmen T; Díaz Martín, Rubén Darío; Mendoza Hernández, Guillermo; González Pozos, Sirenia; Ambrosio, Javier R; Mondragón Flores, Ricardo

    2014-12-05

    Toxoplasma, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis in animals and humans, has a subpellicular cytoskeleton that is involved in motility, cell shape and invasion. Knowledge of components of the cytoskeleton is necessary to understand the invasion mechanisms as well as for the identification of possible therapeutic targets. To date, most cytoskeletal components of Toxoplasma remain unidentified due mainly to the lack of reproducible methods for their isolation. Based on the successful isolation of the cytoskeleton, it was possible to report for the first time, the proteomic characterization of the subpellicular cytoskeleton of Toxoplasma formed by 95 cytoskeletal proteins through proteomic analysis by tandem mass spectrometry of one dimension SDS PAGE. By bioinformatic analysis of the data, proteins were classified as: 18 conventional cytoskeletal proteins; 10 inner membrane complex proteins, including 7 with alveolin repeats; 5 new proteins with alveolin like repeats; 37 proteins associated with other organelles and 25 novel proteins of unknown function. One of the alveolin like proteins not previously described in Toxoplasma named TgArticulin was partially characterized with a specific monoclonal antibody. Presence of TgArticulin was exclusively associated with the cytoskeleton fraction with a cortical distribution. Functions for the several molecules identified are proposed. This manuscript describes, for the first time, the proteome of the subpellicular cytoskeleton of Toxoplasma gondii. The importance of this study is related to the role of the cytoskeleton in the highly invasive capability of a parasite that causes abortion, blindness, and death by encephalitis in immunocompromised patients. Proteomic characterization of the cytoskeleton of T. gondii tachyzoites was possible by the development of a successful procedure for the isolation of the subpellicular cytoskeleton. Knowledge of the composition of the cytoskeleton of Toxoplasma is fundamental for the

  6. mRNA export in the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii: emerging divergent components of a crucial pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ávila, Andréa Rodrigues; Cabezas-Cruz, Alexjandro; Gissot, Mathieu

    2018-01-25

    Control of gene expression is crucial for parasite survival and is the result of a series of processes that are regulated to permit fine-tuning of gene expression in response to biological changes during the life-cycle of apicomplexan parasites. Control of mRNA nuclear export is a key process in eukaryotic cells but is poorly understood in apicomplexan parasites. Here, we review recent knowledge regarding this process with an emphasis on T. gondii. We describe the presence of divergent orthologs and discuss structural and functional differences in export factors between apicomplexans and other eukaryotic lineages. Undoubtedly, the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system in high throughput screenings associated with the discovery of mRNA nuclear export complexes by proteomic analysis will contribute to identify these divergent factors. Ligand-based or structure-based strategies may be applied to investigate the potential use of these proteins as targets for new antiprotozoal agents.

  7. Human Parasites in Medieval Europe: Lifestyle, Sanitation and Medical Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Piers D

    2015-01-01

    Parasites have been infecting humans throughout our evolution. However, not all people suffered with the same species or to the same intensity throughout this time. Our changing way of life has altered the suitability of humans to infection by each type of parasite. This analysis focuses upon the evidence for parasites from archaeological excavations at medieval sites across Europe. Comparison between the patterns of infection in the medieval period allows us to see how changes in sanitation, herding animals, growing and fertilizing crops, the fishing industry, food preparation and migration all affected human susceptibility to different parasites. We go on to explore how ectoparasites may have spread infectious bacterial diseases, and also consider what medieval medical practitioners thought of parasites and how they tried to treat them. While modern research has shown the use of a toilet decreases the risk of contracting certain intestinal parasites, the evidence for past societies presented here suggests that the invention of latrines had no observable beneficial effects upon intestinal health. This may be because toilets were not sufficiently ubiquitous until the last century, or that the use of fresh human faeces for manuring crops still ensured those parasite species were easily able to reinfect the population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) in Durango, Mexico slaughtered for human consumption

    OpenAIRE

    Alvarado-Esquivel, Cosme; Alvarado-Esquivel, Domingo; Dubey, Jitender P

    2015-01-01

    Background Nothing is known about Toxoplasma gondii prevalence in donkeys in Mexico. Meat from donkey is consumed by humans in Mexico and also exported to other countries. We sought to determine the presence of antibodies against T. gondii in 239 domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) for slaughter in Durango, Mexico using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Donkeys were sampled in four premises (trade centers) where donkeys were gather for shipment to abattoirs in other Mexican states. Results A...

  9. Human Parasitic Diseases in Bulgaria in Between 2013-2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainova, Iskra; Harizanov, Rumen; Kaftandjiev, Iskren; Tsvetkova, Nina; Mikov, Ognyan; Kaneva, Eleonora

    2018-01-01

    Background: In Bulgaria, more than 20 autochthonous human parasitic infections have been described and some of them are widespread. Over 50 imported protozoan and helminthic infections represent diagnostic and therapeutic challenges and pose epidemiological risks due to the possibility of local transmission. Aims: To establish the distribution of autochthonous and imported parasitic diseases among the population of the country over a 2-year period (2013-2014) and to evaluate their significance in the public health system. Study Design: Cross sectional study. Methods: We used the annual reports by regional health inspectorates and data from the National Reference Laboratory at the National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases on all individuals infected with parasitic diseases in the country. Prevalence was calculated for parasitic diseases with few or absent clinical manifestations (oligosymptomatic or asymptomatic infections). Incidence per 100.000 was calculated for diseases with an overt clinical picture or those that required hospitalisation and specialised medical interventions (e.g. surgery). Results: During the research period, parasitological studies were conducted on 1441.244 persons, and parasitic infections were diagnosed in 22.039 individuals. Distribution of various parasitic pathogens among the population displayed statistically significant differences in prevalence for some intestinal parasites (enterobiasis 0.81%, giardiasis 0.34% and blastocystosis 0.22%). For certain zoonotic diseases such as cystic echinococcosis (average incidence of 3.99 per 100.000) and trichinellosis (average incidence of 0.8 per 100.000), the incidence exceeds several times the annual incidence recorded in the European Union. Conclusion: Parasitic diseases still pose a substantial problem with social and medical impacts on the residents of our country. Improved efficiency regarding autochthonous and imported parasitic diseases is essential in providing the public

  10. Fatal attraction phenomenon in humans: cat odour attractiveness increased for toxoplasma-infected men while decreased for infected women.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaroslav Flegr

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Latent toxoplasmosis, a lifelong infection with the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, has cumulative effects on the behaviour of hosts, including humans. The most impressive effect of toxoplasmosis is the "fatal attraction phenomenon," the conversion of innate fear of cat odour into attraction to cat odour in infected rodents. While most behavioural effects of toxoplasmosis were confirmed also in humans, neither the fatal attraction phenomenon nor any toxoplasmosis-associated changes in olfactory functions have been searched for in them.Thirty-four Toxoplasma-infected and 134 noninfected students rated the odour of urine samples from cat, horse, tiger, brown hyena and dog for intensity and pleasantness. The raters were blind to their infection status and identity of the samples. No signs of changed sensitivity of olfaction were observed. However, we found a strong, gender dependent effect of toxoplasmosis on the pleasantness attributed to cat urine odour (p = 0.0025. Infected men rated this odour as more pleasant than did the noninfected men, while infected women rated the same odour as less pleasant than did noninfected women. Toxoplasmosis did not affect how subjects rated the pleasantness of any other animal species' urine odour; however, a non-significant trend in the same directions was observed for hyena urine.The absence of the effects of toxoplasmosis on the odour pleasantness score attributed to large cats would suggest that the amino acid felinine could be responsible for the fatal attraction phenomenon. Our results also raise the possibility that the odour-specific threshold deficits observed in schizophrenia patients could be caused by increased prevalence of Toxoplasma-infected subjects in this population rather than by schizophrenia itself. The trend observed with the hyena urine sample suggests that this carnivore, and other representatives of the Feliformia suborder, should be studied for their possible role as definitive hosts in

  11. Detection and dissemination of Toxoplasma gondii in experimentally infected calves, a single test does not tell the whole story.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burrells, Alison; Taroda, Alessandra; Opsteegh, Marieke; Schares, Gereon; Benavides, Julio; Dam-Deisz, Cecile; Bartley, Paul M; Chianini, Francesca; Villena, Isabella; van der Giessen, Joke; Innes, Elisabeth A; Katzer, Frank

    2018-01-01

    Although the detection of Toxoplasma gondii in bovine tissues is rare, beef might be an important source of human infection. The use of molecular techniques, such as magnetic capture qPCR (MC-qPCR), in combination with the gold standard method for isolating the parasite (mouse bioassay), may

  12. Qualitative assessment for Toxoplasma gondii exposure risk associated with consumption of meat products in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is a global protozoan parasite capable of infecting most warm-blooded animals. Although healthy adult humans generally have no symptoms after postnatally-acquired infection, severe illness does occur in immunocompromised individuals. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that c...

  13. Isolation and characterization of new genetic types of toxoplasma gondii and prevalence of trichinella murrelli from black bear (Ursus americanus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black bears (Ursus americanus) are hosts for two important zoonotic parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spp. and bears are hunted for human consumption in the USA. Little is known of the genetic diversity of T. gondii circulating in wildlife. In the present study, antibodies to T. gondii we...

  14. Occurrence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in wild rodents and marsupials from the Atlantic forest, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that infects a large spectrum of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Small mammals and rodents play an important role in the epidemiology of T. gondii because they are sources of infection for domestic and feral cats. Serum samples from 151 rodents and 4...

  15. Targeted mutagenesis in a human-parasitic nematode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gang, Spencer S.; Castelletto, Michelle L.

    2017-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes infect over 1 billion people worldwide and cause some of the most common neglected tropical diseases. Despite their prevalence, our understanding of the biology of parasitic nematodes has been limited by the lack of tools for genetic intervention. In particular, it has not yet been possible to generate targeted gene disruptions and mutant phenotypes in any parasitic nematode. Here, we report the development of a method for introducing CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene disruptions in the human-parasitic threadworm Strongyloides stercoralis. We disrupted the S. stercoralis twitchin gene unc-22, resulting in nematodes with severe motility defects. Ss-unc-22 mutations were resolved by homology-directed repair when a repair template was provided. Omission of a repair template resulted in deletions at the target locus. Ss-unc-22 mutations were heritable; we passed Ss-unc-22 mutants through a host and successfully recovered mutant progeny. Using a similar approach, we also disrupted the unc-22 gene of the rat-parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti. Our results demonstrate the applicability of CRISPR-Cas9 to parasitic nematodes, and thereby enable future studies of gene function in these medically relevant but previously genetically intractable parasites. PMID:29016680

  16. A novel Toxoplasma gondii nuclear factor TgNF3 is a dynamic chromatin-associated component, modulator of nucleolar architecture and parasite virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Olguin-Lamas

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available In Toxoplasma gondii, cis-acting elements present in promoter sequences of genes that are stage-specifically regulated have been described. However, the nuclear factors that bind to these cis-acting elements and regulate promoter activities have not been identified. In the present study, we performed affinity purification, followed by proteomic analysis, to identify nuclear factors that bind to a stage-specific promoter in T. gondii. This led to the identification of several nuclear factors in T. gondii including a novel factor, designated herein as TgNF3. The N-terminal domain of TgNF3 shares similarities with the N-terminus of yeast nuclear FK506-binding protein (FKBP, known as a histone chaperone regulating gene silencing. Using anti-TgNF3 antibodies, HA-FLAG and YFP-tagged TgNF3, we show that TgNF3 is predominantly a parasite nucleolar, chromatin-associated protein that binds specifically to T. gondii gene promoters in vivo. Genome-wide analysis using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq identified promoter occupancies by TgNF3. In addition, TgNF3 has a direct role in transcriptional control of genes involved in parasite metabolism, transcription and translation. The ectopic expression of TgNF3 in the tachyzoites revealed dynamic changes in the size of the nucleolus, leading to a severe attenuation of virulence in vivo. We demonstrate that TgNF3 physically interacts with H3, H4 and H2A/H2B assembled into bona fide core and nucleosome-associated histones. Furthermore, TgNF3 interacts specifically to histones in the context of stage-specific gene silencing of a promoter that lacks active epigenetic acetylated histone marks. In contrast to virulent tachyzoites, which express the majority of TgNF3 in the nucleolus, the protein is exclusively located in the cytoplasm of the avirulent bradyzoites. We propose a model where TgNF3 acts essentially to coordinate nucleolus and nuclear functions by modulating

  17. Experimental infection with the Toxoplasma gondii ME-49 strain in the Brazilian BR-1 mini pig is a suitable animal model for human toxoplasmosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farlen José Bebber Miranda

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii causes toxoplasmosis, a worldwide disease. Experimentation with pigs is necessary for the development of new therapeutic approaches to human diseases. BR-1 mini pigs were intramuscularly infected with T. gondii with tachyzoites (RH strain or orally infected with cysts (ME-49 strain. Haematology and serum biochemistry were analysed and buffy coat cells were inoculated in mice to determine tachyzoite circulation. No alterations were observed in erythrocyte and platelet values; however, band neutrophils increased seven days after infection with ME-49. Serology of the mice inoculated with pig blood leucocytes revealed circulating ME-49 or RH strain tachyzoites in the pigs' peripheral blood at two and seven or nine days post-infection. The tachyzoites were also directly observed in blood smears from the infected pigs outside and inside leucocytes for longer periods. Alanine-aminotransferase was high at days 21 and 32 in the RH infected pigs. After 90 days, the pigs were euthanised and their tissue samples were processed and inoculated into mice. The mice serology revealed the presence of parasites in the hearts, ileums and mesenteric lymph nodes of the pigs. Additionally, cysts in the mice were only observed after pig heart tissue inoculation. The infected pigs presented similar human outcomes with relatively low pathogenicity and the BR-1 mini pig model infected with ME-49 is suitable to monitor experimental toxoplasmosis.

  18. Ancient Human Parasites in Ethnic Chinese Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Hui-Yuan; Mitchell, Piers D

    2016-10-01

    Whilst archaeological evidence for many aspects of life in ancient China is well studied, there has been much less interest in ancient infectious diseases, such as intestinal parasites in past Chinese populations. Here, we bring together evidence from mummies, ancient latrines, and pelvic soil from burials, dating from the Neolithic Period to the Qing Dynasty, in order to better understand the health of the past inhabitants of China and the diseases endemic in the region. Seven species of intestinal parasite have been identified, namely roundworm, whipworm, Chinese liver fluke, oriental schistosome, pinworm, Taenia sp. tapeworm, and the intestinal fluke Fasciolopsis buski . It was found that in the past, roundworm, whipworm, and Chinese liver fluke appear to have been much more common than the other species. While roundworm and whipworm remained common into the late 20th century, Chinese liver fluke seems to have undergone a marked decline in its prevalence over time. The iconic transport route known as the Silk Road has been shown to have acted as a vector for the transmission of ancient diseases, highlighted by the discovery of Chinese liver fluke in a 2,000 year-old relay station in northwest China, 1,500 km outside its endemic range.

  19. Human fascioliasis: a parasitic health problem in Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    el Shazly, A M; Handousa, A E; Youssef, M E; Rizk, H; Hamouda, M M

    1991-08-01

    Fascioliasis has a cosmopolitan distribution and is prevalent in sheep-raising countries. Now, it is an increasingly important parasite of man in the Mediterranean countries. In Dakahlia G., human fascioliasis has imposed itself as a parasitic health problem. In this paper, 23 human cases were selected to throw some light on the signs, symptoms and diagnosis of the disease. It was concluded that painful hepatomegaly, fever, anaemia and marked eosinophilia are tetrad suggesting fascioliasis in patient who has consumed watercress as green salade. Data concerning treatment and follow up will be published later.

  20. Parasitic, fungal and prion zoonoses: an expanding universe of candidates for human disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akritidis, N

    2011-03-01

    Zoonotic infections have emerged as a burden for millions of people in recent years, owing to re-emerging or novel pathogens often causing outbreaks in the developing world in the presence of inadequate public health infrastructure. Among zoonotic infections, those caused by parasitic pathogens are the ones that affect millions of humans worldwide, who are also at risk of developing chronic disease. The present review discusses the global effect of protozoan pathogens such as Leishmania sp., Trypanosoma sp., and Toxoplasma sp., as well as helminthic pathogens such as Echinococcus sp., Fasciola sp., and Trichinella sp. The zoonotic aspects of agents that are not essentially zoonotic are also discussed. The review further focuses on the zoonotic dynamics of fungal pathogens and prion diseases as observed in recent years, in an evolving environment in which novel patient target groups have developed for agents that were previously considered to be obscure or of minimal significance. © 2011 The Author. Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2011 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

  1. Different presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae, herpes simplex virus type 1, human herpes virus 6, and Toxoplasma gondii in schizophrenia: meta-analysis and analytical study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutiérrez-Fernández J

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available José Gutiérrez-Fernández,1 Juan de Dios Luna del Castillo,2 Sara Mañanes-González,1 José Antonio Carrillo-Ávila,1 Blanca Gutiérrez,3 Jorge A Cervilla,3 Antonio Sorlózano-Puerto1 1Department of Microbiology, 2Department of Statistics and Operation Research, 3Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Neurosciences and CIBERSAM, School of Medicine and Biohealth Research Institute (Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria IBS-Granada, University of Granada, Granada, Spain Abstract: In the present study we have performed both a meta-analysis and an analytical study exploring the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae, herpes simplex virus type 1, human herpes virus 6, and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in a sample of 143 schizophrenic patients and 143 control subjects. The meta-analysis was performed on papers published up to April 2014. The presence of serum immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin A was performed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. The detection of microbial DNA in total peripheral blood was performed by nested polymerase chain reaction. The meta-analysis showed that: 1 C. pneumoniae DNA in blood and brain are more common in schizophrenic patients; 2 there is association with parasitism by T. gondii, despite the existence of publication bias; and 3 herpes viruses were not more common in schizophrenic patients. In our sample only anti-Toxoplasma immunoglobulin G was more prevalent and may be a risk factor related to schizophrenia, with potential value for prevention. Keywords: meta-analysis, analytical study, Chlamydia pneumoniae, herpes simplex virus type 1, human herpes virus 6, Toxoplasma gondii, schizophrenia

  2. 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.

  3. Control of human parasitic diseases: Context and overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molyneux, David H

    2006-01-01

    The control of parasitic diseases of humans has been undertaken since the aetiology and natural history of the infections was recognized and the deleterious effects on human health and well-being appreciated by policy makers, medical practitioners and public health specialists. However, while some parasitic infections such as malaria have proved difficult to control, as defined by a sustained reduction in incidence, others, particularly helminth infections can be effectively controlled. The different approaches to control from diagnosis, to treatment and cure of the clinically sick patient, to control the transmission within the community by preventative chemotherapy and vector control are outlined. The concepts of eradication, elimination and control are defined and examples of success summarized. Overviews of the health policy and financing environment in which programmes to control or eliminate parasitic diseases are positioned and the development of public-private partnerships as vehicles for product development or access to drugs for parasite disease control are discussed. Failure to sustain control of parasites may be due to development of drug resistance or the failure to implement proven strategies as a result of decreased resources within the health system, decentralization of health management through health-sector reform and the lack of financial and human resources in settings where per capita government expenditure on health may be less than $US 5 per year. However, success has been achieved in several large-scale programmes through sustained national government investment and/or committed donor support. It is also widely accepted that the level of investment in drug development for the parasitic diseases of poor populations is an unattractive option for pharmaceutical companies. The development of partnerships to specifically address this need provides some hope that the intractable problems of the treatment regimens for the trypanosomiases and

  4. Risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in Kohat District, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gul Naila

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread zoonotic parasite that is the causative agent for toxoplasmosis in human and completes its life cycle in separate hosts. Considering the significance of the infection, the current study was designed to asses to various risk factors for the parasite transmission to human in Kohat District, Pakistan. A total of 122 suspected individuals were asked to fill pre-designed questionnaire. A total of 44 (36.07% individuals were found to be infected with Toxoplasma gondii. Handling pets and birds, untreated water, unpasteurized milk and undercooked meat were found to be associated with infection. Raw vegetables and blood transfusion were not found to be associated with infection in our study. Thus, it can be concluded that Toxoplasma gondiiis is a prevalent zoonotic agent in Kohat, Pakistan and various prophylactic measures like hand washing, cooking meat properly, wearing gloves while contacting pets and birds, treating water and pasteurizing milk will be very helpful to reduce disease burden in the study area.

  5. High prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Ethiopian cats in Addis Ababa, coinfection, and a review of toxoplasmosis in humans and other animals in Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii and Bartonella spp. are zoonotic pathogens of cats. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLv) are related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and Human T-lymphotrophic Virus, respectively, and these viruses are immunosuppressive. In the present study, the p...

  6. Molecular detection of Toxoplasma gondii in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiri, Vahid; Teymurzadeh, Shohreh; Karimi, Gholamreza; Nasiri, Mehdi

    2016-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, is responsible for one of the most common zoonotic parasitic diseases in almost all warm-blooded vertebrates worldwide, and it is estimated that about one-third of the world human population is chronically infected with this parasite. Little is known about the circulation of T. gondii in snakes and this study for the first time aimed to evaluate the infection rates of snakes by this parasite by PCR methods. The brain of 68 Snakes, that were collected between May 2012 and September 2015 and died after the hold in captivity, under which they were kept for taking poisons, were examined for the presence of this parasite. DNA was extracted and Nested-PCR method was carried out with two of pairs of primers to detect the 344 bp fragment of T. gondii GRA6 gene. Five positive nested-PCR products were directly sequenced in the forward and reverse directions by Sequetech Company (Mountain View, CA). T. gondii GRA6 gene were detected from 55 (80.88%) of 68 snakes brains. Sequencing of the GRA6 gene revealed 98-100% of similarity with T. gondii sequences deposited in GenBank. To our knowledge, this is the first study of molecular detection of T. gondii in snakes and our findings show a higher frequency of this organism among them. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Mechanics of the Toxoplasma gondii oocyst wall

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ability of microorganisms to survive under extreme conditions is closely related to the physicochemical properties of their wall. In the ubiquitous protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, the oocyst stage possesses a bilayered wall that protects the dormant but potentially infective parasites from...

  8. Origin of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in gorillas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Weimin; Li, Yingying; Learn, Gerald H; Rudicell, Rebecca S; Robertson, Joel D; Keele, Brandon F; Ndjango, Jean-Bosco N; Sanz, Crickette M; Morgan, David B; Locatelli, Sabrina; Gonder, Mary K; Kranzusch, Philip J; Walsh, Peter D; Delaporte, Eric; Mpoudi-Ngole, Eitel; Georgiev, Alexander V; Muller, Martin N; Shaw, George M; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M; Rayner, Julian C; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2010-09-23

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent and lethal of the malaria parasites infecting humans, yet the origin and evolutionary history of this important pathogen remain controversial. Here we develop a single-genome amplification strategy to identify and characterize Plasmodium spp. DNA sequences in faecal samples from wild-living apes. Among nearly 3,000 specimens collected from field sites throughout central Africa, we found Plasmodium infection in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), but not in eastern gorillas (Gorilla beringei) or bonobos (Pan paniscus). Ape plasmodial infections were highly prevalent, widely distributed and almost always made up of mixed parasite species. Analysis of more than 1,100 mitochondrial, apicoplast and nuclear gene sequences from chimpanzees and gorillas revealed that 99% grouped within one of six host-specific lineages representing distinct Plasmodium species within the subgenus Laverania. One of these from western gorillas comprised parasites that were nearly identical to P. falciparum. In phylogenetic analyses of full-length mitochondrial sequences, human P. falciparum formed a monophyletic lineage within the gorilla parasite radiation. These findings indicate that P. falciparum is of gorilla origin and not of chimpanzee, bonobo or ancient human origin.

  9. Targeting NAD+ metabolism in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Jessica K O'Hara

    Full Text Available Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ is an essential metabolite utilized as a redox cofactor and enzyme substrate in numerous cellular processes. Elevated NAD+ levels have been observed in red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, but little is known regarding how the parasite generates NAD+. Here, we employed a mass spectrometry-based metabolomic approach to confirm that P. falciparum lacks the ability to synthesize NAD+ de novo and is reliant on the uptake of exogenous niacin. We characterized several enzymes in the NAD+ pathway and demonstrate cytoplasmic localization for all except the parasite nicotinamidase, which concentrates in the nucleus. One of these enzymes, the P. falciparum nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (PfNMNAT, is essential for NAD+ metabolism and is highly diverged from the human homolog, but genetically similar to bacterial NMNATs. Our results demonstrate the enzymatic activity of PfNMNAT in vitro and demonstrate its ability to genetically complement the closely related Escherichia coli NMNAT. Due to the similarity of PfNMNAT to the bacterial enzyme, we tested a panel of previously identified bacterial NMNAT inhibitors and synthesized and screened twenty new derivatives, which demonstrate a range of potency against live parasite culture. These results highlight the importance of the parasite NAD+ metabolic pathway and provide both novel therapeutic targets and promising lead antimalarial compounds.

  10. 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

  11. Toxoplasma gondii in wild ruminants bred in game preserves and farms with production destined for human consumption in the Czech Republic.

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    Alena Lorencova

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is the causative agent of the most common parasitic infection in humans. Almost all warm-blooded animals, as well as humans, can act as intermediate hosts that harbour infective cysts in their tissues. Felids act as definitive hosts excreting oocysts in faeces. In humans, T. gondii can cause subclinical infection but also severe clinical disease with a wide range of symptoms, especially in immunocompromised individuals. The infection is usually asymptomatic in animals and is not recognized at either ante- or post-mortem inspection. The consumption of undercooked meat from infected animals is one of the most important routes by which the infection can be transmitted to humans. Handling of the organs and other tissues of game animals and eating their undercooked meat have been described as a risk of T. gondii infection. For diagnosis of toxoplasmosis, the combination of serological and molecular methods has been described as a suitable approach. Antibodies against T. gondii were detected in 20.8%, 50.0%, 23.1%, and 24.4% of red deer, sika deer, fallow deer and mouflons, respectively, coming from game preserves and farms in the Czech Republic. T. gondii DNA was found in the muscle tissue of red deer (8.3% and mouflons (14.6%. The lower prevalence rates based on molecular screening could be due to the random distribution and low density of cysts in tissues of infected animals. Bearing in mind the increase in the number of hunted animals and the growing trend in game consumption, it is important to educate hunters and game meat consumers about the risk of exposure to this zoonotic infection during handling and consumption of the meat.

  12. Epidemiology and Molecular Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Cattle Slaughtered in Zahedan and Zabol Districts, South East of Iran

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    Davood ANVARI

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate, intracellular parasite which causes the toxoplasmosis in humans and warm-blooded animals. Red meat is an important source for transmission of the infection to humans. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of Toxoplasma among imported and indigenous cattle in the Sistan region.Methods: One hundred samples from slaughtered cattle were collected from two abattoirs of Zabol and Zahedan, South East of Iran in 2015. Each sample was a mixture of three muscle, including tongue, cardiac, and triceps. Additional data of each cattle, including sex, breed, age, indigenous or imported, location of slaughter, management practices, and feeding system were obtained through observations and interviews. Infection by T. gondii was determined by PCR method.Results: The prevalence of Toxoplasma in indigenous cattle was 6% and in imported cattle was 26%, and this difference was statistically significant (P=0.006. Moreover, the prevalence of Toxoplasma was statistically associated with management practices (P=0.01 and feeding system (P=0.001. However, relationship between the prevalence of Toxoplasma with age, breed, sex, and location of slaughter was not statistically significant.Conclusion: Since the prevalence of Toxoplasma among imported cattle is higher than indigenous cattle, so strict supervision for importing livestock from neighboring countries is necessary.

  13. Isolation and RFLP genotyping of toxoplasma gondii in free-range chicken(Gallus domesticus) in Grenada, West Indies, revealed widespread and dominance of clonal type III parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objectives of the present cross sectional study were to estimate the prevalence and to isolate and genotype Toxoplasma gondii in free range chickens from Grenada, West Indies. Using the modified agglutination test, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 39 (26.9%) of 145 free-range chickens with ...

  14. Detection of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in water: proposition of a strategy and evaluation in Champagne-Ardenne Region, France

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    D Aubert

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Water is a vehicle for disseminating human and veterinary toxoplasmosis due to oocyst contamination. Several outbreaks of toxoplasmosis throughout the world have been related to contaminated drinking water. We have developed a method for the detection of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in water and we propose a strategy for the detection of multiple waterborne parasites, including Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia. Water samples were filtered to recover Toxoplasma oocysts and, after the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts by immunofluorescence, as recommended by French norm procedure NF T 90-455, the samples were purified on a sucrose density gradient. Detection of Toxoplasma was based on PCR amplification and mouse inoculation to determine the presence and infectivity of recovered oocysts. After experimental seeding assays, we determined that the PCR assay was more sensitive than the bioassay. This strategy was then applied to 482 environmental water samples collected since 2001. We detected Toxoplasma DNA in 37 environmental samples (7.7%, including public drinking water; however, none of them were positive by bioassay. This strategy efficiently detects Toxoplasma oocysts in water and may be suitable as a public health sentinel method. Alternative methods can be used in conjunction with this one to determine the infectivity of parasites that were detected by molecular methods.

  15. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP): Early detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection in mice

    OpenAIRE

    Kong, Qing-Ming; Lu, Shao-Hong; Tong, Qun-Bo; Lou, Di; Chen, Rui; Zheng, Bin; Kumagai, Takashi; Wen, Li-Yong; Ohta, Nobuo; Zhou, Xiao-Nong

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Toxoplasmosis is a widespread zoonotic parasitic disease that occurs in both animals and humans. Traditional molecular assays are often difficult to perform, especially for the early diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infections. Here, we established a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification targeting the 529 bp repeat element (529 bp-LAMP) to detect T. gondii DNA in blood samples of experimental mice infected with tachyzoites of the RH strain. Findings The assay was perf...

  16. The Rhoptry Proteins ROP18 and ROP5 Mediate Toxoplasma gondii Evasion of the Murine, But Not the Human, Interferon-Gamma Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedelman, Wendy; Gold, Daniel A.; Rosowski, Emily E.; Sprokholt, Joris K.; Lim, Daniel; Farid Arenas, Ailan; Melo, Mariane B.; Spooner, Eric; Yaffe, Michael B.; Saeij, Jeroen P. J.

    2012-01-01

    The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii secretes effector proteins into the host cell that manipulate the immune response allowing it to establish a chronic infection. Crosses between the types I, II and III strains, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, have identified several secreted effectors that determine strain differences in mouse virulence. The polymorphic rhoptry protein kinase ROP18 was recently shown to determine the difference in virulence between type I and III strains by phosphorylating and inactivating the interferon-γ (IFNγ)-induced immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) that promote killing by disrupting the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM) in murine cells. The polymorphic pseudokinase ROP5 determines strain differences in virulence through an unknown mechanism. Here we report that ROP18 can only inhibit accumulation of the IRGs on the PVM of strains that also express virulent ROP5 alleles. In contrast, specific ROP5 alleles can reduce IRG coating even in the absence of ROP18 expression and can directly interact with one or more IRGs. We further show that the allelic combination of ROP18 and ROP5 also determines IRG evasion and virulence of strains belonging to other lineages besides types I, II and III. However, neither ROP18 nor ROP5 markedly affect survival in IFNγ-activated human cells, which lack the multitude of IRGs present in murine cells. These findings suggest that ROP18 and ROP5 have specifically evolved to block the IRGs and are unlikely to have effects in species that do not have the IRG system, such as humans. PMID:22761577

  17. The origins of human parasites: Exploring the evidence for endoparasitism throughout human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-09-01

    It is important to determine the origins of human parasites if we are to understand the health of past populations and the effects of parasitism upon human evolution. It also helps us to understand emerging infectious diseases and the modern clinical epidemiology of parasites. This study aims to distinguish those heirloom parasites that have infected humans and their ancestors throughout their evolution in Africa from those recent souvenir species to which humans have only become exposed following contact with animals during their migration across the globe. Ten such heirloom parasites are proposed, which appear to have been spread across the globe. Six further heirlooms are noted to have limited spread due to the constraints of their life cycle. Twelve souvenir parasites of humans are described, along with their animal reservoirs. While the origins of 28 species of endoparasite have been determined, many more species require further assessment once a more systematic analysis of ancient parasites in other regions of Africa has been undertaken. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Toxoplasma gondii infection specifically increases the levels of key host microRNAs.

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    Gusti M Zeiner

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii can infect and replicate in virtually any nucleated cell in many species of warm-blooded animals; thus, it has evolved the ability to exploit well-conserved biological processes common to its diverse hosts. Here we have investigated whether Toxoplasma modulates the levels of host microRNAs (miRNAs during infection.Using microarray profiling and a combination of conventional molecular approaches we report that Toxoplasma specifically modulates the expression of important host microRNAs during infection. We show that both the primary transcripts for miR-17 approximately 92 and miR-106b approximately 25 and the pivotal miRNAs that are derived from miR-17 approximately 92 display increased abundance in Toxoplasma-infected primary human cells; a Toxoplasma-dependent up-regulation of the miR-17 approximately 92 promoter is at least partly responsible for this increase. The abundance of mature miR-17 family members, which are derived from these two miRNA clusters, remains unchanged in host cells infected with the closely related apicomplexan Neospora caninum; thus, the Toxoplasma-induced increase in their abundance is a highly directed process rather than a general host response to infection.Altered levels of miR-17 approximately 92 and miR-106b approximately 25 are known to play crucial roles in mammalian cell regulation and have been implicated in numerous hyperproliferative diseases although the mechanisms driving their altered expression are unknown. Hence, in addition to the implications of these findings on the host-pathogen interaction, Toxoplasma may represent a powerful probe for understanding the normal mechanisms that regulate the levels of key host miRNAs.

  19. Food-borne human parasitic pathogens associated with household cockroaches and houseflies in Nigeria

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    Oyetunde T. Oyeyemi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Cockroaches and houseflies pose significant public health threat owning to their ability to mechanically transmit human intestinal parasites and other disease-causing microorganisms. This study aims at assessing the vectoral capacity of cockroaches and houseflies in the transmission of human intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasite external surface contamination of 130 cockroaches and 150 houseflies caught within dwelling places in Ilishan-Remo town, Ogun State, Nigeria was determined. Cockroaches (six parasite species were more contaminated than houseflies (four parasite species. The most prevalent parasites were Trichuris trichiura (74.0% and hookworm (63.0% in houseflies and cockroaches respectively. There were significant differences in the prevalence of hookworm, T. trichiura and Taenia spp. isolated from cockroaches and houseflies (P < 0.05. There is high contamination of human intestinal parasites in cockroaches and houseflies in human dwelling places in the study area, thus they have the ability to transmit these parasites to unkempt food materials.

  20. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in the white stork Ciconia ciconia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrzejewska, Izabela; Tryjanowski, Piotr; Zduniak, Piotr; Dolata, Pawel T; Ptaszyk, Jerzy; Cwiertnia, Piotr

    2004-01-01

    The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in chicks of wild birds and captive individuals was studied in the Poznań environs and in the Poznań Zoological Garden in the years 2002-2003. Bird blood was tested for T. gondii antibodies by an indirect fluorescent antibody test. T. gondii antibodies were detected from 5.8% of 205 analysed white stork chicks and 13.6% of 44 analysed adult storks in the zoo. Because toxoplasmosis is one of the more common parasitic zoonoses worldwide, we briefly discuss the potential epidemiological importance of stork toxoplasmosis to humans.

  1. Toxoplasma gondii in small neotropical wild felids

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    William Alberto Cañon-Franco

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available In the last decade, studies on wildlife worldwide have discovered key epidemiological aspects of the sylvatic cycle of Toxoplasma gondii. However, despite the known role of wild felines as definitive hosts in the transmission and maintenance of this parasite, few studies have focused on the involvement of these animals. Brazil exhibits the largest number of wild felid species in the Americas, all of which have a critical conservation status. However, serological detections, epidemiological studies and some molecular characterizations of T. gondii have primarily used Neotropical felid populations that are maintained in captivity, which does not reflect the disease behavior in free-living conditions. A systematic review of the worldwide scientific literature was conducted focusing on toxoplasmosis in small Neotropical felids. This review covered a number of aspects, including the state of scientific research, parasite transmission in the wild, the genetic characteristics of isolates, the relationship between these genetic characteristics and the pathogenicity of the parasite, and the risk factors linked to conflicts with humans. The present review shows the relevance of studying these felid populations based on their frequent interactions with humans in peri-urban areas and the need for further comprehensive studies to establish the real significance of T. gondii in public and animal health in tropical and temperate regions.

  2. Neutrophils, dendritic cells and Toxoplasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denkers, Eric Y; Butcher, Barbara A; Del Rio, Laura; Bennouna, Soumaya

    2004-03-09

    Toxoplasma gondii rapidly elicits strong Type 1 cytokine-based immunity. The necessity for this response is well illustrated by the example of IFN-gamma and IL-12 gene knockout mice that rapidly succumb to the effects of acute infection. The parasite itself is skilled at sparking complex interactions in the innate immune system that lead to protective immunity. Neutrophils are one of the first cell types to arrive at the site of infection, and the cells release several proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in response to Toxoplasma. Dendritic cells are an important source of IL-12 during infection with T. gondii and other microbial pathogens, and they are also specialized for high-level antigen presentation to T lymphocytes. Tachyzoites express at least two types of molecules that trigger innate immune cell cytokine production. One of these involves Toll-like receptor/MyD88 pathways common to many microbial pathogens. The second pathway is less conventional and involves molecular mimicry between a parasite cyclophilin and host CC chemokine receptor 5-binding ligands. Neutrophils, dendritic cells and Toxoplasma work together to elicit the immune response required for host survival. Cytokine and chemokine cross-talk between parasite-triggered neutrophils and dendritic cells results in recruitment, maturation and activation of the latter. Neutrophil-empowered dendritic cells possess properties expected of highly potent antigen presenting cells that drive T helper 1 generation.

  3. Toxoplasma gondii and schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Mokhtari Mohammadreza; Mokhtari Mojgan

    2006-01-01

    Recent epidemiologic studies indicate that infectious agents may contribute to some cases of schizophrenia. In animals, infection with Toxoplasma gondii can alter behavior and neurotransmitter function. In humans, acute infection with T. gondii can produce psychotic symptoms similar to those displayed by persons with schizophrenia. Since 1953, a total of 19 studies of T. gondii antibodies in persons with schizophrenia and other severe psychiatric disorders and in controls have been reported; ...

  4. Genome-Wide Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation-Based Proteomic Analysis of Toxoplasma gondii ROP18’s Human Interactome Shows Its Key Role in Regulation of Cell Immunity and Apoptosis

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    Jing Xia

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry protein ROP18 (TgROP18 is a key virulence factor secreted into the host cell during invasion, where it modulates the host cell response by interacting with its host targets. However, only a few TgROP18 targets have been identified. In this study, we applied a high-throughput protein–protein interaction (PPI screening in human cells using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC to identify the targets of Type I strain ROP18 (ROP18I and Type II strain ROP18 (ROP18II. From a pool of more than 18,000 human proteins, 492 and 141 proteins were identified as the targets of ROP18I and ROP18II, respectively. Gene ontology, search tool for the retrieval of interacting genes/proteins PPI network, and Ingenuity pathway analyses revealed that the majority of these proteins were associated with immune response and apoptosis. This indicates a key role of TgROP18 in manipulating host’s immunity and cell apoptosis, which might contribute to the immune escape and successful parasitism of the parasite. Among the proteins identified, the immunity-related proteins N-myc and STAT interactor, IL20RB, IL21, ubiquitin C, and vimentin and the apoptosis-related protein P2RX1 were further verified as ROP18I targets by sensitized emission-fluorescence resonance energy transfer (SE-FRET and co-immunoprecipitation. Our study substantially contributes to the current limited knowledge on human targets of TgROP18 and provides a novel tool to investigate the function of parasite effectors in human cells.

  5. Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies in HIV/AIDS patients attending ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Toxoplasmosis is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that gradually evolved to be the most opportunistic parasite that complicates the course of HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Aim: This study was undertaken to investigate the presence of Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies in HIVinfected patients ...

  6. THE ROLE OF HORMONES ON Toxoplasma gondii INFECTION: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

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    María De La Luz Galván-Ramírez

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Toxoplasma gondii is the causal agent of toxoplasmosis in which one third of the world’s population has been infected. In pregnant women, it may cause abortion and severe damage to the fetal central nervous system. During pregnancy, the prevalence of toxoplasmosis increases throughout the second and third quarter of gestation, simultaneously progesterone and 17β-estradiol also increase. Thus, it has been suggested that these hormones can aggravate or reduce parasite reproduction. The aim of this study was reviewing the relationship between hormones and infection caused by T. gondii in several experimental animal models and humans, focused mainly on: a congenital transmission, b parasite reproduction, c strain virulence, d levels of hormone in host induced by T. gondii infection and e participation of hormone receptors in Toxoplasma gondii infection.Are the hormones specific modulators of T. gondii infection?A systematic review methodology was used to consult several databases (Pub Med, Lilacs, Medline, Science direct, Scielo, Ebsco, Sprinker, Wiley and Google Scholar dated from September, 2013 to March, 2014. Results: 30 studies were included; eight studies in humans and 22 in animals and cell cultures. In the human studies, the most studied hormones were testosterone, progesterone, prolactin and 17-ß estradiol. Type I (RH and BK and Type II (Prugniaud, SC, ME49,T45, P78 and T38 were the most frequent experimental strains. Conclusions: Thirty-five years have passed since the first studies regarding Toxoplasma gondii infection and its relationship with hormones. This systematic review suggests that hormones modulate Toxoplasma gondii infection in different animal models. However, given that data were not comparable, further studies are required to determine the mechanism of hormone action in the Toxoplasma gondii infectious process.

  7. Heritability of the human infectious reservoir of malaria parasites.

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    Yaye Ramatoulaye Lawaly

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Studies on human genetic factors associated with malaria have hitherto concentrated on their role in susceptibility to and protection from disease. In contrast, virtually no attention has been paid to the role of human genetics in eliciting the production of parasite transmission stages, the gametocytes, and thus enhancing the spread of disease. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We analysed four longitudinal family-based cohort studies from Senegal and Thailand followed for 2-8 years and evaluated the relative impact of the human genetic and non-genetic factors on gametocyte production in infections of Plasmodium falciparum or P. vivax. Prevalence and density of gametocyte carriage were evaluated in asymptomatic and symptomatic infections by examination of Giemsa-stained blood smears and/or RT-PCR (for falciparum in one site. A significant human genetic contribution was found to be associated with gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic P. falciparum infections. By contrast, there was no heritability associated with the production of gametocytes for P. falciparum or P. vivax symptomatic infections. Sickle cell mutation, HbS, was associated with increased gametocyte prevalence but its contribution was small. CONCLUSIONS: The existence of a significant human genetic contribution to gametocyte prevalence in asymptomatic infections suggests that candidate gene and genome wide association approaches may be usefully applied to explore the underlying human genetics. Prospective epidemiological studies will provide an opportunity to generate novel and perhaps more epidemiologically pertinent gametocyte data with which similar analyses can be performed and the role of human genetics in parasite transmission ascertained.

  8. The transcriptome of Toxoplasma gondii

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    Roos David S

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Toxoplasma gondii gives rise to toxoplasmosis, among the most prevalent parasitic diseases of animals and man. Transformation of the tachzyoite stage into the latent bradyzoite-cyst form underlies chronic disease and leads to a lifetime risk of recrudescence in individuals whose immune system becomes compromised. Given the importance of tissue cyst formation, there has been intensive focus on the development of methods to study bradyzoite differentiation, although the molecular basis for the developmental switch is still largely unknown. Results We have used serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE to define the Toxoplasma gondii transcriptome of the intermediate-host life cycle that leads to the formation of the bradyzoite/tissue cyst. A broad view of gene expression is provided by >4-fold coverage from nine distinct libraries (~300,000 SAGE tags representing key developmental transitions in primary parasite populations and in laboratory strains representing the three canonical genotypes. SAGE tags, and their corresponding mRNAs, were analyzed with respect to abundance, uniqueness, and antisense/sense polarity and chromosome distribution and developmental specificity. Conclusion This study demonstrates that phenotypic transitions during parasite development were marked by unique stage-specific mRNAs that accounted for 18% of the total SAGE tags and varied from 1–5% of the tags in each developmental stage. We have also found that Toxoplasma mRNA pools have a unique parasite-specific composition with 1 in 5 transcripts encoding Apicomplexa-specific genes functioning in parasite invasion and transmission. Developmentally co-regulated genes were dispersed across all Toxoplasma chromosomes, as were tags representing each abundance class, and a variety of biochemical pathways indicating that trans-acting mechanisms likely control gene expression in this parasite. We observed distinct similarities in the specificity and

  9. Toxoplasma gondii infection shifts dendritic cells into an amoeboid rapid migration mode encompassing podosome dissolution, secretion of TIMP-1, and reduced proteolysis of extracellular matrix.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ólafsson, Einar B; Varas-Godoy, Manuel; Barragan, Antonio

    2018-03-01

    Dendritic cells (DCs) infected by Toxoplasma gondii rapidly acquire a hypermigratory phenotype that promotes systemic parasite dissemination by a "Trojan horse" mechanism in mice. Recent paradigms of leukocyte migration have identified the amoeboid migration mode of DCs as particularly suited for rapid locomotion in extracellular matrix and tissues. Here, we have developed a microscopy-based high-throughput approach to assess motility and matrix degradation by Toxoplasma-challenged murine and human DCs. DCs challenged with T. gondii exhibited dependency on metalloproteinase activity for hypermotility and transmigration but, strikingly, also dramatically reduced pericellular proteolysis. Toxoplasma-challenged DCs up-regulated expression and secretion of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) and their supernatants impaired matrix degradation by naïve DCs and by-stander DCs dose dependently. Gene silencing of TIMP-1 by short hairpin RNA restored matrix degradation activity in Toxoplasma-infected DCs. Additionally, dissolution of podosome structures in parasitised DCs coincided with abrogated matrix degradation. Toxoplasma lysates inhibited pericellular proteolysis in a MyD88-dependent fashion whereas abrogated proteolysis persevered in Toxoplasma-infected MyD88-deficient DCs. This indicated that both TLR/MyD88-dependent and TLR/MyD88-independent signalling pathways mediated podosome dissolution and the abrogated matrix degradation. We report that increased TIMP-1 secretion and cytoskeletal rearrangements encompassing podosome dissolution are features of Toxoplasma-induced hypermigration of DCs with an impact on matrix degradation. Jointly, the data highlight how an obligate intracellular parasite orchestrates key regulatory cellular processes consistent with non-proteolytic amoeboid migration of the vehicle cells that facilitate its dissemination. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) in Durango, Mexico slaughtered for human consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado-Esquivel, Cosme; Alvarado-Esquivel, Domingo; Dubey, Jitender P

    2015-01-17

    Nothing is known about Toxoplasma gondii prevalence in donkeys in Mexico. Meat from donkey is consumed by humans in Mexico and also exported to other countries. We sought to determine the presence of antibodies against T. gondii in 239 domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) for slaughter in Durango, Mexico using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Donkeys were sampled in four premises (trade centers) where donkeys were gather for shipment to abattoirs in other Mexican states. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 26 (10.9%) of 239 donkeys, with MAT titers of 1:25 in 7, 1:50 in 11, 1:100 in 6, and 1:200 in 2. Seropositive donkeys were found in three (75%) of the four gathering premises studied. Seroprevalence in donkeys varied from 0% to 23.1% among gathering premises. The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection was comparable among donkeys regardless their age, sex or health status. Seropositivity to T. gondii was found in donkeys between 1 to 12 years old. Multivariate analysis showed that seropositivity to T. gondii was associated with the gathering premises (OR = 1.58; 95% CI: 1.11-2.24; P = 0.009). This is the first report of T. gondii infection in donkeys in Mexico. Results indicate that consumption of undercooked or raw meat from T. gondii-infected donkeys is potentially a source of T. gondii infection for humans.

  11. 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.

  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. Detection of toxoplasma-specific immunoglobulin G in human sera: performance comparison of in house Dot-ELISA with ECLIA and ELISA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teimouri, Aref; Modarressi, Mohammad Hossein; Shojaee, Saeedeh; Mohebali, Mehdi; Zouei, Nima; Rezaian, Mostafa; Keshavarz, Hossein

    2018-05-08

    In the current study, performance of electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) in detection of anti-toxoplasma IgG in human sera was compared with that of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Furthermore, performance of an in house Dot-ELISA in detection of anti-toxoplasma IgG was compared with that of ECLIA and ELISA. In total, 219 human sera were tested to detect anti-toxoplasma IgG using Dynex DS2® and Roche Cobas® e411 Automated Analyzers. Discordant results rechecked using immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Then, sera were used in an in house Dot-ELISA to assess toxoplasma-specific IgG. Of the 219 samples, two samples were found undetermined using ECLIA but reactive using ELISA. Using IFA, the two sera were reported unreactive. Furthermore, two samples were found reactive using ECLIA and unreactive using ELISA. These samples were reported reactive using IFA. The overall agreement for the two former methods was 98% (rZ0.98.1; P house Dot-ELISA included sensitivity of 79.5, specificity of 78.2, and accuracy of 78.9%, compared to ECLIA and ELISA. Positive and negative predictive values included 82.9 and 74.2%, respectively. A 100% sensitivity was found in in house Dot-ELISA for highly reactive sera in ECLIA and ELISA. ECLIA is appropriate for the first-line serological screening tests and can replace ELISA due to high speed, sensitivity, and specificity, particularly in large laboratories. Dot-ELISA is a rapid, sensitive, specific, cost-effective, user-friendly, and field-portable technique and hence can be used for screening toxoplasmosis, especially in rural fields or less equipped laboratories.

  14. [Advances in researches on mechanism of anti-Toxoplasma Chinese herbal medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zhao-Yun; Zhang, Bao-de; Ning, Jun-ya; Wang, Yuan-yuan; Yuan, Wen-ying

    2015-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunity cellular parasite, related to the infection of various animals and human beings and severely impairing agriculture and human health. Because of the complexity of T. gondii life cycle, its different biological characteristics, and multifarious pathogenesis, there are no specific treatment and preventive medicines at present. Chinese herbal medicine can balance "yin-yang" and regulate the immunity and its side-effect is slight. Now, it has been a hot topic of the research on effective and secure medicines in anti-toxoplasmosis. This paper summarizes and analyzes the curative effect and mechanism of anti-Toxoplasma Chinese herbal medicine, such as Scutellaria baicalensis, Inontus obliquus polysaccharide, Radix glycyrrhizae, pumpkin seeds, and Semen arecae.

  15. Anthropogenics: Human influence on global and genetic homogenization of parasite populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    The distribution, abundance, and diversity of life on Earth have been greatly shaped by human activities. This is no truer than in the geographic expansion of parasites; however, measuring the extent to which humans have influenced the dissemination and population structure of parasites has been cha...

  16. High prevalence and genotypes of Toxoplasma gondii isolated from goats, from a retail meat store, destined for human consumption in the USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, J P; Rajendran, C; Ferreira, L R; Martins, J; Kwok, O C H; Hill, D E; Villena, I; Zhou, H; Su, C; Jones, J L

    2011-07-01

    Little information is available concerning the presence of viable Toxoplasma gondii in tissues of goats worldwide. In the present study, hearts of 234 goats obtained from a local USA grocery store were examined for T. gondii infection. Blood clot or fluid removed from each heart was tested for antibodies to T. gondii by using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 125 (53.4%) of 234 goats, with titers of 1:5 in 20, 1:10 in 44, 1:20 in 16, 1:40 in five, 1:160 in five, 1:320 in five, and 1:640 or higher in 30 goats. Hearts of 112 goats (46 goats goats 1:10 or higher) were used for isolation of viable T. gondii by bioassays in mice. For bioassays, 50 g of the myocardium were digested in an acid pepsin solution and the digest inoculated into mice; the recipient mice were examined for T. gondii infection. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from 29 goats; from hearts of one of 46 with titers of goat strains. Taken together, these results indicate high parasite prevalence and moderate genetic diversity of T. gondii in goats, which have important implications in public health. We believe this is the first genetic analysis of T. gondii isolates from goats in the USA. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

    OpenAIRE

    Gerald, Noel; Mahajan, Babita; Kumar, Sanjai

    2011-01-01

    Malaria is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites belonging to Plasmodium spp. (phylum Apicomplexa) that produce significant morbidity and mortality, mostly in developing countries. Plasmodium parasites have a complex life cycle that includes multiple stages in anopheline mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts. During the life cycle, the parasites undergo several cycles of extreme population growth within a brief span, and this is critical for their continued transmission and a contri...

  18. Parasites of wild animals as a potential source of hazard to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gałęcki, Remigiusz; Sokół, Rajmund; Koziatek, Sylwia

    2015-01-01

    The decline in wild animal habitats and the uncontrolled growth of their population make these animals come closer to human settlements. The aim of the study was to identify parasitic infections in wild animals in the selected area, and to specify the hazards they create for humans. In more than 66% of the analysed faecal samples from wild boar, hares, roe deer, deer and fallow deer various developmental forms of parasites were found. These included parasites dangerous for humans: Toxocara canis, Capillaria hepatica, Capillaria bovis, Trichuris suis, Trichuris ovis, Trichuris globulosus, Eimeria spp., and Trichostongylus spp. It is necessary to monitor parasitic diseases in wild animals as they can lead to the spread of parasites creating a hazard to humans, pets and livestock.

  19. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and potentially zoonotic helminths in wild boars (Sus scrofa hunted in central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Amerigo Papini

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Our aim was to evaluate the risk of human toxoplasmosis via meat consumption from wild boars by estimating the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in animals hunted in central Italy. Using a modified agglutination test, 213 sera from wild boars were examined for anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies. Diaphragm samples (n=65 from seropositive and seronegative animals were tested by nested-PCR to detect T. gondii DNA. Toxoplasma DNA from diaphragms was genotyped by PCR-RFLP using 12 genetic markers. Moreover, the aim of the study was also to identify helminth infections of wild boars in the selected area and to evaluate their hazard for humans. Examination of sera revealed a seroprevalence of 12.2%. Only one T. gondii strain could be genotyped from a seropositive animal and PCR-RFLP revealed that it belonged to type II. Analysis of 50 samples of faeces and 32 small intestines revealed that 78% and 15.6% of the samples harboured parasites, respectively, with the occurrence of parasites potentially dangerous for humans. These latter included Ascaris suum, Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus, Trichuris suis, and Metastrongylus spp. A significant association was found between coprological positivity and male sex. These results indicate that T. gondii infection may be present in wild boar tissues and consumption of undercooked or raw wild boar meat may expose humans to risk of toxoplasmosis in the study area. Furthermore, the study highlights that wild boars are hosts of helminths of veterinary and medical importance transmissible to pigs and humans.

  20. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in red deer from Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido Rocchigiani

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii are cosmopolite protozoan parasites impacting on human and animal health. In particular, T. gondii commonly infects human beings and all warm-blooded animals, while N. caninum is responsible for bovine abortion and neuromuscular disease in dogs. The aim of the presented survey was to evaluate the occurrence and prevalence of these parasites in the most numerous Italian red deer population. The sera of 60 red deer ( Cervus elaphus inhabiting Central Italy (43°56’N 10°55’E and killed by selective hunting were examined using an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT for both N. caninum and T. gondii antibodies. White blood cells (buffy coat were also checked by PCR and T. gondii DNA was genotyped. Thirteen out of 60 sera (22% scored positive for Toxoplasma, 17 samples (28% were Neospora positive. Coinfection was recorded in 5 cases (8%. T. gondii (genotype II and N. caninum DNA was detected in one and 3 samples of buffy coat, respectively. The presented study is the first to examine the occurrence of these parasites in the most numerous red deer Italian population, confirming this animal species as carrier of the investigated pathogens. These animals spread near human settlements, co-inhabiting with final hosts of [i]T. gondii[/i] and N. caninum and could contribute to their transmission to domestic ruminants and humans. In particular, the seroprevalence value for N. caninum was the highest among European records.

  1. Isolation and RFLP Genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii in Free-Range Chickens (Gallus domesticus) in Grenada, West Indies, Revealed Widespread and Dominance of Clonal Type III Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chikweto, Alfred; Sharma, Ravindra N; Tiwari, Keshaw P; Verma, Shiv K; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Jiang, Tiantian; Su, Chunlei; Kwok, Oliver C; Dubey, Jitender P

    2017-02-01

    The objectives of the present cross-sectional study were to isolate and genotype Toxoplasma gondii in free-range chickens from Grenada, West Indies. Using the modified agglutination test, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 39 (26.9%) of 145 free-range chickens with titers of 25 in 7 chickens, 50 in 6 chickens, 100 in 2 chickens, and 200 or higher in 24 chickens. The hearts of the 39 seropositive chickens were bioassayed in mice; viable T. gondii was isolated from 20 and further propagated in cell culture. Genotyping of T. gondii DNA extracted from cell-cultured tachyzoites using the 10 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico revealed 4 genotypes, including ToxoDB PCR-RFLP no. 2 (Type III), no. 7, no. 13, and no. 259 (new). These results indicated that T. gondii population genetics in free-range chickens seems to be moderately diverse with ToxoDB no. 2 (Type III) as the most frequent (15/20 = 75%) compared to other genotypes in Grenada.

  2. Predictors of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Czech and Slovak populations: the possible role of cat-related injuries and risky sexual behavior in the parasite transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flegr, J

    2017-05-01

    The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii infects about one-third of the world's population. The consumption of raw meat, contact with cats, contact with soil, and ingestion of food or water contaminated with soil are considered to be the most important sources of infection. Still in most women who were infected during pregnancy, no definitive source of infection is found. In 2014-2016, independent sources of T. gondii infection were searched for by gathering epidemiological data from 1865 (519 infected) responders. Touching garden soil (odds ratio (OR) 3·14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·3-6·35), sustaining cat-related injuries (OR 2·16, 95% CI 1·25-3·74), and eating improperly washed root vegetables (OR 1·71, 95% CI 1·02-2·87), but not risky sexual behavior (OR 1·22, 95% CI 0·79-1·90), were the predictors of infection. The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection had been increasing up to ages 35-50 in men and ages 50-54 in women. Past those ages, seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis has been decreasing. This suggests that the natural decrease of anamnestic antibodies concentrations over time leads to positivity-to-negativity seroconversion in many subjects. If this is true, then the prevalence of T. gondii infection in a general population and its potential impacts on public health could be much larger than generally believed.

  3. 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.

  4. HOW HUMAN HISTORY HAS INFLUENCED GEOGRAPHY AND GENETICS OF PARASITE POPULATIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human beings have radically altered agricultural landscapes, establishing a limited repertoire of plants and animals over vast expanses. Here, I consider what impact such a history may have had on the distribution and diversity of animal parasite, hypothesizing that certain parasites may have been '...

  5. Anthropogenics: human influence on global and genetic homogenization of parasite populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarlenga, Dante S; Hoberg, Eric; Rosenthal, Benjamin; Mattiucci, Simonetta; Nascetti, Giuseppe

    2014-12-01

    The distribution, abundance, and diversity of life on Earth have been greatly shaped by human activities. This includes the geographic expansion of parasites; however, measuring the extent to which humans have influenced the dissemination and population structure of parasites has been challenging. In-depth comparisons among parasite populations extending to landscape-level processes affecting disease emergence have remained elusive. New research methods have enhanced our capacity to discern human impact, where the tools of population genetics and molecular epidemiology have begun to shed light on our historical and ongoing influence. Only since the 1990s have parasitologists coupled morphological diagnosis, long considered the basis of surveillance and biodiversity studies, with state-of-the-art tools enabling variation to be examined among, and within, parasite populations. Prior to this time, populations were characterized only by phenotypic attributes such as virulence, infectivity, host range, and geographical location. The advent of genetic/molecular methodologies (multilocus allozyme electrophoresis, polymerase chain reaction-DNA [PCR-DNA] fragments analysis, DNA sequencing, DNA microsatellites, single nucleotide polymorphisms, etc.) have transformed our abilities to reveal variation among, and within, populations at local, regional, landscape, and global scales, and thereby enhanced our understanding of the biosphere. Numerous factors can affect population structure among parasites, e.g., evolutionary and ecological history, mode of reproduction and transmission, host dispersal, and life-cycle complexity. Although such influences can vary considerably among parasite taxa, anthropogenic factors are demonstrably perturbing parasite fauna. Minimal genetic structure among many geographically distinct (isolated) populations is a hallmark of human activity, hastened by geographic introductions, environmental perturbation, and global warming. Accelerating

  6. Gastrointestinal parasites of canids, a latent risk to human health in Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oudni-M'rad, Myriam; Chaâbane-Banaoues, Raja; M'rad, Selim; Trifa, Fatma; Mezhoud, Habib; Babba, Hamouda

    2017-06-05

    Although data on the parasite environmental contamination are crucial to implement strategies for control and treatment, information about zoonotic helminths is very limited in Tunisia. Contamination of areas with canid faeces harboring infective parasite elements represents a relevant health-risk impact for humans. The aim of this study was to assess the environmental contamination with eggs and oocysts of gastrointestinal parasites of dogs and wild canids in Tunisia with special attention to those that can be transmitted to humans. One thousand two hundred and seventy faecal samples from stray dogs and 104 from wild canids (red foxes and golden jackals) were collected from different geographical regions throughout Tunisia. The helminth eggs and protozoan oocysts were concentrated by sucrose flotation and identified by microscopic examination. The most frequently observed parasites in dog samples were Toxocara spp. (27.2%), E. granulosus (25.8%), and Coccidia (13.1%). For wild canid faeces, the most commonly encountered parasites were Toxocara spp. (16.3%) followed by Capillaria spp. (9.6%). The parasite contamination of dog faeces varied significantly from one region to another in function of the climate. To our knowledge, the study highlights for the first time in Tunisia a serious environmental contamination by numerous parasitic stages infective to humans. Efforts should be made to increase the awareness of the contamination risk of such parasites in the environment and implement a targeted educational program.

  7. AN EVALUATION STUDY OF ENZYME-LINKED IMMUNOSORBENT ASSAY (ELISA) USING RECOMBINANT PROTEIN GRA1 FOR DETECTION OF IgG ANTIBODIES AGAINTS TOXOPLASMA GONDII INFECTIONS

    OpenAIRE

    Muflikhah, Nina Difla; Artama, Wayan Tunas

    2017-01-01

    Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular protozoan parasite that live inside the cells of the reticulo endothelial and parenchymal cells of human and animals (mammals and birds). Some cases of toxoplasmosis usually have no symptoms, but in any cases caused severe symptoms, such as hydrocephalus, microcephalus, intracranial calcification, retinal damage, brain abscess, mental retardation, lymphadenopathy, and others. Its severe symptoms usually showe...

  8. Veterinary vaccines against Toxoplasma gondii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth A Innes

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii has a very wide intermediate host range and is thought to be able to infect all warm blooded animals. The parasite causes a spectrum of different diseases and clinical symptoms within the intermediate hosts and following infection most animals develop adaptive humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. The development of protective immunity to T. gondii following natural infection in many host species has led researchers to look at vaccination as a strategy to control disease, parasite multiplication and establishment in animal hosts. A range of different veterinary vaccines are required to help control T. gondii infection which include vaccines to prevent congenital toxoplasmosis, reduce or eliminate tissue cysts in meat producing animals and to prevent oocyst shedding in cats. In this paper we will discuss some of the history, challenges and progress in the development of veterinary vaccines against T. gondii.

  9. Optimization of dipeptidic inhibitors of cathepsin L for improved Toxoplasma gondii selectivity and CNS permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwicker, Jeffery D; Diaz, Nicolas A; Guerra, Alfredo J; Kirchhoff, Paul D; Wen, Bo; Sun, Duxin; Carruthers, Vern B; Larsen, Scott D

    2018-06-01

    The neurotropic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is the second leading cause of death due to foodborne illness in the US, and has been designated as one of five neglected parasitic infections by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, no treatment options exist for the chronic dormant-phase Toxoplasma infection in the central nervous system (CNS). T. gondii cathepsin L (TgCPL) has recently been implicated as a novel viable target for the treatment of chronic toxoplasmosis. In this study, we report the first body of SAR work aimed at developing potent inhibitors of TgCPL with selectivity vs the human cathepsin L. Starting from a known inhibitor of human cathepsin L, and guided by structure-based design, we were able to modulate the selectivity for Toxoplasma vs human CPL by nearly 50-fold while modifying physiochemical properties to be more favorable for metabolic stability and CNS penetrance. The overall potency of our inhibitors towards TgCPL was improved from 2 μM to as low as 110 nM and we successfully demonstrated that an optimized analog 18b is capable of crossing the BBB (0.5 brain/plasma). This work is an important first step toward development of a CNS-penetrant probe to validate TgCPL as a feasible target for the treatment of chronic toxoplasmosis. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The effect of Toxoplasma gondii on animal behavior: playing cat and mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Joanne P

    2007-05-01

    A convincing body of evidence now exists to indicate that the ubiquitous protozoan Toxoplasma gondii can cause permanent behavioral changes in its host, even as a consequence of adult-acquired latent infection. Such behavioral alterations appear to be the product of strong selective pressures for the parasite to enhance transmission from its intermediate host reservoir, primarily rodent, to its feline definitive host, wherein sexual reproduction can occur and the life cycle completed. This article reviews evidence of behavioral alterations in animal hosts and considers what these may elucidate about the potential mechanisms involved and what implications such alterations could have on animal and human health.

  11. Chlorophyllin as a possible measure against vectors of human parasites and fish parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Rolf Richter

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Water soluble chlorophyll (chlorophyllin exerts pronounced photodynamic activity. Chlorophyllin is a potential remedy against mosquito larvae and aquatic stages in the life cycle of parasites as well as against ectoparasites in fish. In the recent years it was found that mosquito larvae and other pest organisms can be killed by means of photodynamic substances such as different porphyrin derivates (e.g. hematoporphyrin, meso-tri(N-methylpyridyl, meso-mono(N-tetra-decylpyridyl porphyrine, hematoporphyrin IX, or hermatoporphyrin formula (HPF. It was found that incubation of mosquito larvae in chlorophyllin solution and subsequent irradiation results in photodynamic destruction of the larvae. Incorporation of about 8 ng chlorophyllin per larvae was sufficient to induce its death. In fish mass cultivation ichthyophthiriosis is a severe parasitic protozoan disease caused by the ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. It was found that incubation of infected fishes in chlorophyllin and subsequent illumination reduced the number of trophonts significantly (more than 50 %. The fishes were not impaired. Chlorophyllin and other photodynamic substances may become a possible countermeasure against I. multifiliis and other ectoparasites in aquaculture. The effectiveness of chlorophyllin depends on light attenuation in the water body.

  12. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and potential risk factors in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Toxoplasma gondii infection is important in pigs and humans may get infected through the consumption of undercooked infected pork. This study conducted in Oyo state, Nigeria for 15 months (between February, 2012 and April, 2013) investigated the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in pigs reared on farms ...

  13. Morphological and Molecular Descriptors of the Developmental Cycle of Babesia divergens Parasites in Human Erythrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid Rossouw

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Human babesiosis, especially caused by the cattle derived Babesia divergens parasite, is on the increase, resulting in renewed attentiveness to this potentially life threatening emerging zoonotic disease. The molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology and intra-erythrocytic development of these parasites are poorly understood. This impedes concerted efforts aimed at the discovery of novel anti-babesiacidal agents. By applying sensitive cell biological and molecular functional genomics tools, we describe the intra-erythrocytic development cycle of B. divergens parasites from immature, mono-nucleated ring forms to bi-nucleated paired piriforms and ultimately multi-nucleated tetrads that characterizes zoonotic Babesia spp. This is further correlated for the first time to nuclear content increases during intra-erythrocytic development progression, providing insight into the part of the life cycle that occurs during human infection. High-content temporal evaluation elucidated the contribution of the different stages to life cycle progression. Moreover, molecular descriptors indicate that B. divergens parasites employ physiological adaptation to in vitro cultivation. Additionally, differential expression is observed as the parasite equilibrates its developmental stages during its life cycle. Together, this information provides the first temporal evaluation of the functional transcriptome of B. divergens parasites, information that could be useful in identifying biological processes essential to parasite survival for future anti-babesiacidal discoveries.

  14. [Current situation of human resources of parasitic disease control and prevention organizations in Henan Province].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ya-Lan, Zhang; Yan-Kun, Zhu; Wei-Qi, Chen; Yan, Deng; Peng, Li

    2018-01-10

    To understand the current status of human resources of parasitic disease control and prevention organizations in Henan Province, so as to provide the reference for promoting the integrative ability of the prevention and control of parasitic diseases in Henan Province. The questionnaires were designed and the method of census was adopted. The information, such as the amounts, majors, education background, technical titles, working years, and turnover in each parasitic disease control and prevention organization was collected by the centers for disease control and prevention (CDCs) at all levels. The data were descriptively analyzed. Totally 179 CDCs were investigated, in which only 19.0% (34/179) had the independent parasitic diseases control institution (department) . There were only 258 full-time staffs working on parasitic disease control and prevention in the whole province, in which only 61.9% (159/258) were health professionals. Those with junior college degree or below in the health professionals accounted for 60.3% (96/159) . Most of them (42.1%) had over 20 years of experience, but 57.9% (92/159) of their technical post titles were at primary level or below. The proportion of the health professionals is low in the parasitic disease control and prevention organizations in Henan Province. The human resource construction for parasitic disease control and prevention at all levels should be strengthened.

  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. The genome of the simian and human malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pain, A; Böhme, U; Berry, A E

    2008-01-01

    Plasmodium knowlesi is an intracellular malaria parasite whose natural vertebrate host is Macaca fascicularis (the 'kra' monkey); however, it is now increasingly recognized as a significant cause of human malaria, particularly in southeast Asia. Plasmodium knowlesi was the first malaria parasite...... species in which antigenic variation was demonstrated, and it has a close phylogenetic relationship to Plasmodium vivax, the second most important species of human malaria parasite (reviewed in ref. 4). Despite their relatedness, there are important phenotypic differences between them, such as host blood...... cell preference, absence of a dormant liver stage or 'hypnozoite' in P. knowlesi, and length of the asexual cycle (reviewed in ref. 4). Here we present an analysis of the P. knowlesi (H strain, Pk1(A+) clone) nuclear genome sequence. This is the first monkey malaria parasite genome to be described...

  17. Induction of partial protection against infection with Toxoplasma gondii genotype II by DNA vaccination with recombinant chimeric tachyzoite antigens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenberg, Carina Agerbo; De Craeye, S.; Jongert, E.

    2009-01-01

    Infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a significant source of parasitic infections worldwide. In adults, infections may often lead to severe retinochoroiditis. Infection of the foetus causes abortion or congenital pathology that may lead to neurological complicat......Infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a significant source of parasitic infections worldwide. In adults, infections may often lead to severe retinochoroiditis. Infection of the foetus causes abortion or congenital pathology that may lead to neurological...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Human intestinal parasites in the past: new findings and a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Luiz Carvalho Gonçalves

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Almost all known human specific parasites have been found in ancient feces. A review of the paleoparasitological helminth and intestinal protozoa findings available in the literature is presented. We also report the new paleoparasitologic findings from the examination performed in samples collected in New and Old World archaeological sites. New finds of ancylostomid, Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis, Trichostrongylus spp., Diphyllobothrium latum, Hymenolepis nana and Acantocephalan eggs are reported. According to the findings, it is probable that A. lumbricoides was originally a human parasite. Human ancylostomids, A. lumbricoides and T. trichiura, found in the New World in pre-Columbian times, have not been introduced into the Americas by land via Beringia. These parasites could not supported the cold climate of the region. Nomadic prehistoric humans that have crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia to the Americas in the last glaciation, probably during generations, would have lost these parasites, which life cycles need warm temperatures in the soil to be transmitted from host to host. Alternative routes are discussed for human parasite introduction into the Americas.

  2. 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

  3. Induction of interferon-stimulated genes by IRF3 promotes replication of Toxoplasma gondii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumdar, Tanmay; Chattopadhyay, Saurabh; Ozhegov, Evgeny; Dhar, Jayeeta; Goswami, Ramansu; Sen, Ganes C; Barik, Sailen

    2015-03-01

    Innate immunity is the first line of defense against microbial insult. The transcription factor, IRF3, is needed by mammalian cells to mount innate immune responses against many microbes, especially viruses. IRF3 remains inactive in the cytoplasm of uninfected cells; upon virus infection, it gets phosphorylated and then translocates to the nucleus, where it binds to the promoters of antiviral genes and induces their expression. Such genes include type I interferons (IFNs) as well as Interferon Stimulated Genes (ISGs). IRF3-/- cells support enhanced replication of many viruses and therefore, the corresponding mice are highly susceptible to viral pathogenesis. Here, we provide evidence for an unexpected pro-microbial role of IRF3: the replication of the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, was significantly impaired in IRF3-/- cells. In exploring whether the transcriptional activity of IRF3 was important for its pro-parasitic function, we found that ISGs induced by parasite-activated IRF3 were indeed essential, whereas type I interferons were not important. To delineate the signaling pathway that activates IRF3 in response to parasite infection, we used genetically modified human and mouse cells. The pro-parasitic signaling pathway, which we termed PISA (Parasite-IRF3 Signaling Activation), activated IRF3 without any involvement of the Toll-like receptor or RIG-I-like receptor pathways, thereby ruling out a role of parasite-derived RNA species in activating PISA. Instead, PISA needed the presence of cGAS, STING, TBK1 and IRF3, indicating the necessity of DNA-triggered signaling. To evaluate the physiological significance of our in vitro findings, IRF3-/- mice were challenged with parasite infection and their morbidity and mortality were measured. Unlike WT mice, the IRF3-/- mice did not support replication of the parasite and were resistant to pathogenesis caused by it. Our results revealed a new paradigm in which the antiviral host factor, IRF3, plays a cell

  4. The Ultrastructural Effects of Sulfachloropyrazine on Toxoplasma Gondii Tachyzoites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YB Zeng

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasitic infections of humans and other mammals. This study was aimed to understand the mechanism of action of veterinary medicine-sulfachlo­ropyrazine (SPZ, 99.97% against Toxoplasma gondii.Methods: T. gondii tachyzoites were soaked in PBS (as a control or SPZ (250 mg/mL for 2 h at 37 °C. After being processed, any ultrastructural changes of the tachyzoites that had occurred were observed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM.Results: The tachyzoites from control groups with a uniform size had a smooth surface and intact cell or nuclear membranes. In addition, an oval-shaped nucleus, conoids and micronemes were also observed. By contrast, many parasites from the SPZ-treated groups were detrimentally affected by the treatment. Some appeared to be of the vacuolization in their cytoplasm, with the substantial reduc­tion in the number of dense granules and the blur of some organelles.Conclusion: The morphology and ultrastructure of tachyzoites can be affected significantly by SPZ, which might kill the parasite by inhibiting its energy metabolism, inducing apoptosis and damaging its structure. The study provides an experimental basis for further study on the mechanism of SPZ against T. gondii.

  5. Yeast three-hybrid screen identifies TgBRADIN/GRA24 as a negative regulator of Toxoplasma gondii bradyzoite differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anahi V Odell

    Full Text Available Differentiation of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii into its latent bradyzoite stage is a key event in the parasite's life cycle. Compound 2 is an imidazopyridine that was previously shown to inhibit the parasite lytic cycle, in part through inhibition of parasite cGMP-dependent protein kinase. We show here that Compound 2 can also enhance parasite differentiation, and we use yeast three-hybrid analysis to identify TgBRADIN/GRA24 as a parasite protein that interacts directly or indirectly with the compound. Disruption of the TgBRADIN/GRA24 gene leads to enhanced differentiation of the parasite, and the TgBRADIN/GRA24 knockout parasites show decreased susceptibility to the differentiation-enhancing effects of Compound 2. This study represents the first use of yeast three-hybrid analysis to study small-molecule mechanism of action in any pathogenic microorganism, and it identifies a previously unrecognized inhibitor of differentiation in T. gondii. A better understanding of the proteins and mechanisms regulating T. gondii differentiation will enable new approaches to preventing the establishment of chronic infection in this important human pathogen.

  6. Control of the risk of human toxoplasmosis transmitted by meat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kijlstra, A.; Jongert, E.

    2008-01-01

    One-third of the human world population is infected with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Recent calculations of the disease burden of toxoplasmosis rank this foodborne disease at the same level as salmonellosis or campylobacteriosis. The high disease burden in combination with

  7. Traditional goat husbandry may substantially contribute to human toxoplasmosis exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raising goats in settings that are highly contaminated with oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii may contribute significantly to human exposure to this zoonotic parasite. Increasing consumption of young goats in Romania, where goats are typically reared in backyards that are also home to cats (the definitiv...

  8. Epidemiological review of Toxoplasmosis in humans and animals in Romania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Infections by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii are widely prevalent in humans and other animals worldwide. However, information from former East European countries, including Romania is sketchy. Unfortunately, in many Eastern European countries, including Romania it has been assumed that T. ...

  9. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in dairy and beef cattle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jokelainen, Pikka; Tagel, Maarja; Motus, Kerli

    2017-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan parasite that thrives in Estonia. In this nationwide cross-sectional study, we tested sera from 3991 cattle, collected from 228 farms in 2012–2013, for anti-T. gondii immunoglobulin G antibodies using a commercial direct agglutination test. Titer of 100 w...

  10. Genetic recombination between human and animal parasites creates novel strains of human pathogen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy Gibson

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Genetic recombination between pathogens derived from humans and livestock has the potential to create novel pathogen strains, highlighted by the influenza pandemic H1N1/09, which was derived from a re-assortment of swine, avian and human influenza A viruses. Here we investigated whether genetic recombination between subspecies of the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, from humans and animals can generate new strains of human pathogen, T. b. rhodesiense (Tbr responsible for sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis, HAT in East Africa. The trait of human infectivity in Tbr is conferred by a single gene, SRA, which is potentially transferable to the animal pathogen Tbb by sexual reproduction. We tracked the inheritance of SRA in crosses of Tbr and Tbb set up by co-transmitting genetically-engineered fluorescent parental trypanosome lines through tsetse flies. SRA was readily transferred into new genetic backgrounds by sexual reproduction between Tbr and Tbb, thus creating new strains of the human pathogen, Tbr. There was no evidence of diminished growth or transmissibility of hybrid trypanosomes carrying SRA. Although expression of SRA is critical to survival of Tbr in the human host, we show that the gene exists as a single copy in a representative collection of Tbr strains. SRA was found on one homologue of chromosome IV in the majority of Tbr isolates examined, but some Ugandan Tbr had SRA on both homologues. The mobility of SRA by genetic recombination readily explains the observed genetic variability of Tbr in East Africa. We conclude that new strains of the human pathogen Tbr are being generated continuously by recombination with the much larger pool of animal-infective trypanosomes. Such novel recombinants present a risk for future outbreaks of HAT.

  11. Genetic recombination between human and animal parasites creates novel strains of human pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Wendy; Peacock, Lori; Ferris, Vanessa; Fischer, Katrin; Livingstone, Jennifer; Thomas, James; Bailey, Mick

    2015-03-01

    Genetic recombination between pathogens derived from humans and livestock has the potential to create novel pathogen strains, highlighted by the influenza pandemic H1N1/09, which was derived from a re-assortment of swine, avian and human influenza A viruses. Here we investigated whether genetic recombination between subspecies of the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, from humans and animals can generate new strains of human pathogen, T. b. rhodesiense (Tbr) responsible for sleeping sickness (Human African Trypanosomiasis, HAT) in East Africa. The trait of human infectivity in Tbr is conferred by a single gene, SRA, which is potentially transferable to the animal pathogen Tbb by sexual reproduction. We tracked the inheritance of SRA in crosses of Tbr and Tbb set up by co-transmitting genetically-engineered fluorescent parental trypanosome lines through tsetse flies. SRA was readily transferred into new genetic backgrounds by sexual reproduction between Tbr and Tbb, thus creating new strains of the human pathogen, Tbr. There was no evidence of diminished growth or transmissibility of hybrid trypanosomes carrying SRA. Although expression of SRA is critical to survival of Tbr in the human host, we show that the gene exists as a single copy in a representative collection of Tbr strains. SRA was found on one homologue of chromosome IV in the majority of Tbr isolates examined, but some Ugandan Tbr had SRA on both homologues. The mobility of SRA by genetic recombination readily explains the observed genetic variability of Tbr in East Africa. We conclude that new strains of the human pathogen Tbr are being generated continuously by recombination with the much larger pool of animal-infective trypanosomes. Such novel recombinants present a risk for future outbreaks of HAT.

  12. Analysis of a summary network of co-infection in humans reveals that parasites interact most via shared resources

    OpenAIRE

    Griffiths, Emily C; Pedersen, Amy B; Fenton, Andy; Petchey, Owen L

    2014-01-01

    Simultaneous infection by multiple parasite species (viruses, bacteria, helminths, protozoa or fungi) is commonplace. Most reports show co-infected humans to have worse health than those with single infections. However, we have little understanding of how co-infecting parasites interact within human hosts. We used data from over 300 published studies to construct a network that offers the first broad indications of how groups of co-infecting parasites tend to interact. The network had three l...

  13. Understanding mechanisms and the role of differentiation in pathogenesis of Toxoplasma gondii: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William J Sullivan Jr

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Parasite differentiation from proliferating tachyzoites into latent bradyzoites is central to pathogenesis and transmission of the intracellular protozoan pathogen Toxoplasma gondii. The presence of bradyzoite-containing cysts in human hosts and their subsequent rupture can cause life-threatening recrudescence of acute infection in the immunocompromised and cyst formation in other animals contributes to zoonotic transmission and widespread dissemination of the parasite. In this review, we discuss the evidence showing how the clinically relevant process of bradyzoite differentiation is regulated at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Specific regulatory factors implicated in modulating bradyzoite differentiation include promoter-based cis-elements, epigenetic modifications and protein translation control through eukaryotic initiation factor -2 (eIF2. In addition to a summary of the current state of knowledge in these areas we discuss the pharmacological ramifications and pose some questions for future research.

  14. Screening of chemical compound libraries identified new anti-Toxoplasma gondii agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adeyemi, Oluyomi Stephen; Sugi, Tatsuki; Han, Yongmei; Kato, Kentaro

    2018-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is the etiological agent of toxoplasmosis, a common parasitic disease that affects nearly one-third of the human population. The primary infection can be asymptomatic in healthy individuals but may prove fatal in immunocompromised individuals. Available treatment options for toxoplasmosis patients are limited, underscoring the urgent need to identify and develop new therapies. Non-biased screening of libraries of chemical compounds including the repurposing of well-characterized compounds is emerging as viable approach to achieving this goal. In the present investigation, we screened libraries of natural product and FDA-approved compounds to identify those that inhibited T. gondii growth. We identified 32 new compounds that potently inhibit T. gondii growth. Our findings are new and promising, and further strengthen the prospects of drug repurposing as well as the screening of a wide range of chemical compounds as a viable source of alternative anti-parasitic therapeutic agents.

  15. Frequency of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in bovines in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neurisvan Ramos Guerra

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii that affects homeothermic animals, including humans. Felines are considered the definitive host of this parasite, while other animals act as intermediate hosts. The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies in bovines in the state of Pernambuco, Brazil. Serum samples (n = 427 from animals in 13 municipalities of the coastal forest/plantation region of the state were analyzed using the immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT. The overall results revealed a prevalence rate of 16.63% (27/427. High percentages of positivity were found among animals aged 25 to 36 months (28.57%; 30/42 and in males (22.22%; 2/9. The present findings suggest that bovine toxoplasmosis is endemic in the area under study.

  16. Human waterborne parasites in zebra mussels ( Dreissena polymorpha) from the Shannon River drainage area, Ireland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graczyk, Thaddeus K; Conn, David Bruce; Lucy, Frances; Minchin, Dan; Tamang, Leena; Moura, Lacy N S; DaSilva, Alexandre J

    2004-08-01

    Zebra mussels ( Dreissena polymorpha) from throughout the Shannon River drainage area in Ireland were tested for the anthropozoonotic waterborne parasites Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, Encephalitozoon intestinalis, E. hellem, and Enterocytozoon bieneusi, by the multiplexed combined direct immunofluorescent antibody and fluorescent in situ hybridization method, and PCR. Parasite transmission stages were found at 75% of sites, with the highest mean concentration of 16, nine, and eight C. parvum oocysts, G. lamblia cysts, and Encephalitozoon intestinalis spores/mussel, respectively. On average eight Enterocytozoon bieneusi spores/mussel were recovered at any selected site. Approximately 80% of all parasites were viable and thus capable of initiating human infection. The Shannon River is polluted with serious emerging human waterborne pathogens including C. parvum, against which no therapy exists. Zebra mussels can recover and concentrate environmentally derived pathogens and can be used for the sanitary assessment of water quality.

  17. Lack of mitochondrial MutS homolog 1 in Toxoplasma gondii disrupts maintenance and fidelity of mitochondrial DNA and reveals metabolic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamila Garbuz

    Full Text Available The importance of maintaining the fidelity of the mitochondrial genome is underscored by the presence of various repair pathways within this organelle. Presumably, the repair of mitochondrial DNA would be of particular importance in organisms that possess only a single mitochondrion, like the human pathogens Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii. Understanding the machinery that maintains mitochondrial DNA in these parasites is of particular relevance, as mitochondrial function is a validated and effective target for anti-parasitic drugs. We previously determined that the Toxoplasma MutS homolog TgMSH1 localizes to the mitochondrion. MutS homologs are key components of the nuclear mismatch repair system in mammalian cells, and both yeast and plants possess MutS homologs that localize to the mitochondria where they regulate DNA stability. Here we show that the lack of TgMSH1 results in accumulation of single nucleotide variations in mitochondrial DNA and a reduction in mitochondrial DNA content. Additionally, parasites lacking TgMSH1 function can survive treatment with the cytochrome b inhibitor atovaquone. While the Tgmsh1 knockout strain has several missense mutations in cytochrome b, none affect amino acids known to be determinants of atovaquone sensitivity and atovaquone is still able to inhibit electron transport in the Tgmsh1 mutants. Furthermore, culture of Tgmsh1 mutant in the presence atovaquone leads to parasites with enhanced atovaquone resistance and complete shutdown of respiration. Thus, parasites lacking TgMSH1 overcome the disruption of mitochondrial DNA by adapting their physiology allowing them to forgo the need for oxidative phosphorylation. Consistent with this idea, the Tgmsh1 mutant is resistant to mitochondrial inhibitors with diverse targets and exhibits reduced ability to grow in the absence of glucose. This work shows TgMSH1 as critical for the maintenance and fidelity of the mitochondrial DNA in Toxoplasma

  18. Assessing viability and infectivity of foodborne and waterborne stages (cysts/oocysts of Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., and Toxoplasma gondii: a review of methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rousseau Angélique

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii are protozoan parasites that have been highlighted as emerging foodborne pathogens by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization. According to the European Food Safety Authority, 4786 foodborne and waterborne outbreaks were reported in Europe in 2016, of which 0.4% were attributed to parasites including Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Trichinella. Until 2016, no standardized methods were available to detect Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma (oocysts in food. Therefore, no regulation exists regarding these biohazards. Nevertheless, considering their low infective dose, ingestion of foodstuffs contaminated by low quantities of these three parasites can lead to human infection. To evaluate the risk of protozoan parasites in food, efforts must be made towards exposure assessment to estimate the contamination along the food chain, from raw products to consumers. This requires determining: (i the occurrence of infective protozoan (oocysts in foods, and (ii the efficacy of control measures to eliminate this contamination. In order to conduct such assessments, methods for identification of viable (i.e. live and infective parasites are required. This review describes the methods currently available to evaluate infectivity and viability of G. duodenalis cysts, Cryptosporidium spp. and T. gondii oocysts, and their potential for application in exposure assessment to determine the presence of the infective protozoa and/or to characterize the efficacy of control measures. Advantages and limits of each method are highlighted and an analytical strategy is proposed to assess exposure to these protozoa.

  19. The prevalence and diversity of intestinal parasitic infections in humans and domestic animals in a rural Cambodian village

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schär, Fabian; Inpankaew, Tawin; Traub, Rebecca J.

    2014-01-01

    In Cambodia, intestinal parasitic infections are prevalent in humans and particularly in children. Yet, information on potentially zoonotic parasites in animal reservoir hosts is lacking. In May 2012, faecal samples from 218 humans, 94 dogs and 76 pigs were collected from 67 households in Dong vi...

  20. Production of refolded Toxoplasma gondii recombinant SAG1-related sequence 3 (SRS3) and its use for serodiagnosis of human toxoplasmosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirzadeh, Abolfazl; Saadatnia, Geita; Golkar, Majid; Babaie, Jalal; Noordin, Rahmah

    2017-05-01

    SAG1-related sequence 3 (SRS3) is one of the major Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoite surface antigens and has been shown to be potentially useful for the detection of toxoplasmosis. This protein is highly conformational due to the presence of six disulfide bonds. To achieve solubility and antigenicity, SRS3 depends on proper disulfide bond formation. The aim of this study was to over-express the SRS3 protein with correct folding for use in serodiagnosis of the disease. To achieve this, a truncated SRS3 fusion protein (rtSRS3) was produced, containing six histidyl residues at both terminals and purified by immobilized metal affinity chromatography. The refolding process was performed through three methods, namely dialysis in the presence of chemical additives along with reduced/oxidized glutathione and drop-wise dilution methods with reduced/oxidized glutathione or reduced DTT/oxidized glutathione. Ellman's assay and ELISA showed that the protein folding obtained by the dialysis method was the most favorable, probably due to the correct folding. Subsequently, serum samples from individuals with chronic infection (n = 76), probable acute infection (n = 14), and healthy controls (n = 81) were used to determine the usefulness of the refolded rtSRS3 for Toxoplasma serodiagnosis. The results of the developed IgG-ELISA showed a diagnostic specificity of 91% and a sensitivity of 82.89% and 100% for chronic and acute serum samples, respectively. In conclusion, correctly folded rtSRS3 has the potential to be used as a soluble antigen for the detection of human toxoplasmosis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Molecular Detection of Toxoplasma gondii Oocytes in the Soil from the Public Parks of the Arak City, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadis Solymane

    2014-02-01

    Conclusion: This study showed soils of public parks in the Arak city were contaminated to oocyst of Toxoplasma. Also molecular method for the detection of parasites in the soil was more suitable than staining method.

  2. 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

  3. Visceral leishmaniasis in eastern Sudan: parasite identification in humans and dogs; host-parasite relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dereure, Jacques; El-Safi, Sayda Hassan; Bucheton, Bruno; Boni, Mickaël; Kheir, Musa Mohamed; Davoust, Bernard; Pratlong, Francine; Feugier, Eric; Lambert, Monique; Dessein, Alain; Dedet, Jean Pierre

    2003-10-01

    In 1996, an epidemic outbreak of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) started in Barbar el Fugara, a village in Gedarif State (eastern Sudan). From 1997 to 2000, regular epidemiological studies were carried out in the human population, as well as in mammals and sand flies. In symptomatic patients, 46/69 lymph node, 6/20 post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) and 1/4 cutaneous cultures in NNN medium were positive. In 69 dogs, 23/79 lymph node cultures were positive. In other mammals (47 rodents, five donkeys, one mongoose and one monkey) spleen and/or blood cultures were negative. Characterization of isolated strains (by starch gel electrophoresis and isoelectrofocusing) identified three zymodemes of Leishmania donovani, two of L. infantum and two of L. archibaldi complexes from patient samples and three zymodemes of L. donovani, three of L. infantum and two of L. archibaldi complexes from dog samples. Five of them were present in both man and dog. For the first time, a strain from a PKDL case was identified as L. infantum, and a child had the same L. infantum zymodeme in VL and in subsequent PKDL. Blood samples from dogs were studied by immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT). The seroprevalence in dogs was 72.5%, 74.3% and 42.9% in 1998, 1999 and 2000, respectively. By using CDC miniature light traps 12 745 sand flies were collected and then identified. Phlebotomus papatasi (7%) and P. orientalis (5%) were sympatric, mainly inside homes (85% and 75%, respectively). These results, the relative stability of seroprevalence in dogs and the intradomiciliar presence of P. orientalis, known as a vector of VL in Sudan, suggest several hypotheses: (i) man is responsible for the disease in dogs, (ii) the dog is the reservoir of VL, (iii) the dog is an intermediate host between a possible sylvatic cycle and the anthroponotic cycle. More extensive studies are needed to assess the transmission cycle of VL in this area of Sudan.

  4. A novel multifunctional oligonucleotide microarray for Toxoplasma gondii

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    Chen Feng

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microarrays are invaluable tools for genome interrogation, SNP detection, and expression analysis, among other applications. Such broad capabilities would be of value to many pathogen research communities, although the development and use of genome-scale microarrays is often a costly undertaking. Therefore, effective methods for reducing unnecessary probes while maintaining or expanding functionality would be relevant to many investigators. Results Taking advantage of available genome sequences and annotation for Toxoplasma gondii (a pathogenic parasite responsible for illness in immunocompromised individuals and Plasmodium falciparum (a related parasite responsible for severe human malaria, we designed a single oligonucleotide microarray capable of supporting a wide range of applications at relatively low cost, including genome-wide expression profiling for Toxoplasma, and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP-based genotyping of both T. gondii and P. falciparum. Expression profiling of the three clonotypic lineages dominating T. gondii populations in North America and Europe provides a first comprehensive view of the parasite transcriptome, revealing that ~49% of all annotated genes are expressed in parasite tachyzoites (the acutely lytic stage responsible for pathogenesis and 26% of genes are differentially expressed among strains. A novel design utilizing few probes provided high confidence genotyping, used here to resolve recombination points in the clonal progeny of sexual crosses. Recent sequencing of additional T. gondii isolates identifies >620 K new SNPs, including ~11 K that intersect with expression profiling probes, yielding additional markers for genotyping studies, and further validating the utility of a combined expression profiling/genotyping array design. Additional applications facilitating SNP and transcript discovery, alternative statistical methods for quantifying gene expression, etc. are also pursued at

  5. Cytometric quantification of singlet oxygen in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Butzloff, Sabine; Groves, Matthew R; Wrenger, Carsten; Müller, Ingrid B

    The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum proliferates within human erythrocytes and is thereby exposed to a variety of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, superoxide anion, and highly reactive singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)). While most ROS are already well studied

  6. Toxoplasma-safe meat: close to reality?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kijlstra, A.; Jongert, E.

    2009-01-01

    In 2008, the centennial of the discovery of Toxoplasma gondii was celebrated. However, toxoplasmosis is still seen as a neglected and underreported disease, despite having a disease burden similar to that of salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis. Human vaccines are not available and current

  7. Inflammasome sensor NLRP1 controls rat macrophage susceptibility to Toxoplasma gondii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly M Cirelli

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that infects a wide range of warm-blooded species. Rats vary in their susceptibility to this parasite. The Toxo1 locus conferring Toxoplasma resistance in rats was previously mapped to a region of chromosome 10 containing Nlrp1. This gene encodes an inflammasome sensor controlling macrophage sensitivity to anthrax lethal toxin (LT induced rapid cell death (pyroptosis. We show here that rat strain differences in Toxoplasma infected macrophage sensitivity to pyroptosis, IL-1β/IL-18 processing, and inhibition of parasite proliferation are perfectly correlated with NLRP1 sequence, while inversely correlated with sensitivity to anthrax LT-induced cell death. Using recombinant inbred rats, SNP analyses and whole transcriptome gene expression studies, we narrowed the candidate genes for control of Toxoplasma-mediated rat macrophage pyroptosis to four genes, one of which was Nlrp1. Knockdown of Nlrp1 in pyroptosis-sensitive macrophages resulted in higher parasite replication and protection from cell death. Reciprocally, overexpression of the NLRP1 variant from Toxoplasma-sensitive macrophages in pyroptosis-resistant cells led to sensitization of these resistant macrophages. Our findings reveal Toxoplasma as a novel activator of the NLRP1 inflammasome in rat macrophages.

  8. [SWOT Analysis of the National Survey on Current Status of Major Human Parasitic Diseases in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    ZHU, Hui-hui; ZHOU, Chang-hai; CHEN, Ying-dan; ZANG, Wei; XIAO, Ning; ZHOU, Xiao-nong

    2015-10-01

    The National Survey on Current Status of Major Human Parasitic Diseases in China has been carried out since 2014 under the organization of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China. The National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NIPD, China CDC) provided technical support and was responsible for quality control in this survey. This study used SWOT method to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that were encountered by he NIPD, China CDC during the completion of the survey. Accordingly, working strategies were proposed to facilitate the future field work.

  9. Antiretroviral activity of protease inhibitors against Toxoplasma gondii

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lianet Monzote

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART has caused a marked reduction in the occurrence and severity of parasitic infections, including the toxoplasmic encephalitis (TE. These changes have been attributed to the restoration of cell-mediated immunity. This study was developed to examine the activity of six antiretroviral protease inhibitors (API on Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites. The six API showed anti-Toxoplasma activity, with IC50 value between 1.4 and 6.6 µg/mL. Further studies at the molecular level should be performed to clarify if the use of API could be beneficial or not for AIDS patients with TE.

  10. Economic Holobiont: Influence of Parasites, Microbiota and Chemosignals on Economic Behavior

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    Petr Houdek

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The article is a perspective on utilization of microorganisms and chemosignals in studying human economic behavior. Research in biological roots of economic development has already confirmed that parasitic pressure influenced the creation and development of cultural norms and institutions. However, other effects of microorganisms on human groups and individual decision-making and behavior are heavily understudied. The perspective discusses how parasitic infections, sexually transmitted organisms and microbiota (i.e., “human holobiont” could causally influence risk-seeking behavior, impulsivity, social dominance, empathy, political views and gender differences. As a case study, the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and its influence on economic preferences, personal characteristics and human appearance are examined. I also briefly review how chemosignals influence decision-making, particularly in the social preferences domain. I mention some predictions that arise from the paradigm of economic holobiont for the economic science. The conclusion summarizes limitations of the discussed findings and the stated speculations.

  11. Latent Toxoplasma gondii infection leads to improved action control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Heintschel von Heinegg, Evelyn; Köhling, Hedda-Luise; Beste, Christian

    2014-03-01

    The parasite Toxoplasma gondii has been found to manipulate the behavior of its secondary hosts to increase its own dissemination which is commonly believed to be to the detriment of the host (manipulation hypothesis). The manipulation correlates with an up-regulation of dopaminergic neurotransmission. In humans, different pathologies have been associated with T. gondii infections but most latently infected humans do not seem to display overt impairments. Since a dopamine plus does not necessarily bear exclusively negative consequences in humans, we investigated potential positive consequences of latent toxoplasmosis (and the presumed boosting of dopaminergic neurotransmission) on human cognition and behavior. For this purpose, we focused on action cascading which has been shown to be modulated by dopamine. Based on behavioral and neurophysiological (EEG) data obtained by means of a stop-change paradigm, we were able to demonstrate that healthy young humans can actually benefit from latent T. gondii infection as regards their performance in this task (as indicated by faster response times and a smaller P3 component). The data shows that a latent infection which is assumed to affect the dopaminergic system can lead to paradoxical improvements of cognitive control processes in humans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. The landscape of human genes involved in the immune response to parasitic worms

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    Fumagalli Matteo

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background More than 2 billion individuals worldwide suffer from helminth infections. The highest parasite burdens occur in children and helminth infection during pregnancy is a risk factor for preterm delivery and reduced birth weight. Therefore, helminth infections can be regarded as a strong selective pressure. Results Here we propose that candidate susceptibility genes for parasitic worm infections can be identified by searching for SNPs that display a strong correlation with the diversity of helminth species/genera transmitted in different geographic areas. By a genome-wide search we identified 3478 variants that correlate with helminth diversity. These SNPs map to 810 distinct human genes including loci involved in regulatory T cell function and in macrophage activation, as well as leukocyte integrins and co-inhibitory molecules. Analysis of functional relationships among these genes identified complex interaction networks centred around Th2 cytokines. Finally, several genes carrying candidate targets for helminth-driven selective pressure also harbour susceptibility alleles for asthma/allergy or are involved in airway hyper-responsiveness, therefore expanding the known parallelism between these conditions and parasitic infections. Conclusions Our data provide a landscape of human genes that modulate susceptibility to helminths and indicate parasitic worms as one of the major selective forces in humans.

  13. Uptake and transmission of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts by migratory filter-feeding fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous parasitic protozoan known to cause disease and death in warm-blooded animals. Bottlenose dolphins, walruses, sea otters, and other marine animals worldwide have died from toxoplasmosis, but the source of this parasite in the marine environment h...

  14. Serology and genetics of Toxoplasma gondii in endangered Hawaiian (Nene) geese (Branta sandvicensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is parasite transmitted by feral cats that has historically caused mortality in native Hawaiian birds. A recent study revealed that this parasite accounts for ca. 4% of causes of mortality in native Hawaiian geese (nene-Branta sandvicensis). To know how widespread exposure to the...

  15. Toxoplasma depends on lysosomal consumption of autophagosomes for persistent infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Cristina, Manlio; Dou, Zhicheng; Lunghi, Matteo; Kannan, Geetha; Huynh, My-Hang; McGovern, Olivia L; Schultz, Tracey L; Schultz, Aric J; Miller, Alyssa J; Hayes, Beth M; van der Linden, Wouter; Emiliani, Carla; Bogyo, Matthew; Besteiro, Sébastien; Coppens, Isabelle; Carruthers, Vern B

    2017-06-19

    Globally, nearly 2 billion people are infected with the intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii 1 . This persistent infection can cause severe disease in immunocompromised people and is epidemiologically linked to major mental illnesses 2 and cognitive impairment 3 . There are currently no options for curing this infection. The lack of effective therapeutics is due partly to a poor understanding of the essential pathways that maintain long-term infection. Although it is known that Toxoplasma replicates slowly within intracellular cysts demarcated with a cyst wall, precisely how it sustains itself and remodels organelles in this niche is unknown. Here, we identify a key role for proteolysis within the parasite lysosomal organelle (the vacuolar compartment or VAC) in turnover of autophagosomes and persistence during neural infection. We found that disrupting a VAC-localized cysteine protease compromised VAC digestive function and markedly reduced chronic infection. Death of parasites lacking the VAC protease was preceded by accumulation of undigested autophagosomes in the parasite cytoplasm. These findings suggest an unanticipated function for parasite lysosomal degradation in chronic infection, and identify an intrinsic role for autophagy in the T. gondii parasite and its close relatives. This work also identifies a key element of Toxoplasma persistence and suggests that VAC proteolysis is a prospective target for pharmacological development.

  16. Small rodents as paratenic or intermediate hosts of carnivore parasites in Berlin, Germany.

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    Jürgen Krücken

    Full Text Available Rodents are important intermediate and paratenic hosts for carnivore parasites, including the important zoonotic agents Toxoplasma, Echinococcus and Toxocara. Monitoring of such parasites in rodents can be used to detect increasing risks for human and veterinary public health. Rodents were trapped at four sites in Berlin, two near the city center, two at the periphery. PCRs were conducted to detect Coccidia (target ITS-1 and specifically Toxoplasma gondii (repetitive element in brain and ascarids (ITS-2 in muscle or brain tissue. During necropsies, metacestodes were collected and identified using ITS-2 and 12S rRNA PCRs. An ELISA to detect antibodies against Toxocara canis ES antigens was performed. Within the 257 examined rodents, the most frequently observed parasite was Frenkelia glareoli predominantly found in Myodes glareolus. T. gondii was only detected in 12 rodents and Microtus spp. (although strongly underrepresented had a significantly increased chance of being positive. Neither Echinococcus nor typical Taenia parasites of dogs and cats were found but Mesocestoides litteratus and Taenia martis metacestodes were identified which can cause severe peritoneal or ocular cysticercosis in dogs, primates and humans. Using PCR, the ascarids T. canis (n = 8, Toxocara cati (4 and Parascaris sp. (1 were detected predominantly in muscles. Seroprevalence of T. canis was 14.2% and ELISA was thus more sensitive than PCR to detect infection with this parasite. Non-parametric multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis revealed that parasite communities could be grouped into an urban and a peri-urban cluster with high frequency of ascarid-positive rodents in urban and high frequency of F. glareoli in peri-urban sites. Prevalence rates of parasites in rodents with potential impact for human or veterinary public health are considerable and the monitoring of transmission cycles of carnivore parasites in intermediate rodent hosts is recommended to

  17. Small rodents as paratenic or intermediate hosts of carnivore parasites in Berlin, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krücken, Jürgen; Blümke, Julia; Maaz, Denny; Demeler, Janina; Ramünke, Sabrina; Antolová, Daniela; Schaper, Roland; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg

    2017-01-01

    Rodents are important intermediate and paratenic hosts for carnivore parasites, including the important zoonotic agents Toxoplasma, Echinococcus and Toxocara. Monitoring of such parasites in rodents can be used to detect increasing risks for human and veterinary public health. Rodents were trapped at four sites in Berlin, two near the city center, two at the periphery. PCRs were conducted to detect Coccidia (target ITS-1) and specifically Toxoplasma gondii (repetitive element) in brain and ascarids (ITS-2) in muscle or brain tissue. During necropsies, metacestodes were collected and identified using ITS-2 and 12S rRNA PCRs. An ELISA to detect antibodies against Toxocara canis ES antigens was performed. Within the 257 examined rodents, the most frequently observed parasite was Frenkelia glareoli predominantly found in Myodes glareolus. T. gondii was only detected in 12 rodents and Microtus spp. (although strongly underrepresented) had a significantly increased chance of being positive. Neither Echinococcus nor typical Taenia parasites of dogs and cats were found but Mesocestoides litteratus and Taenia martis metacestodes were identified which can cause severe peritoneal or ocular cysticercosis in dogs, primates and humans. Using PCR, the ascarids T. canis (n = 8), Toxocara cati (4) and Parascaris sp. (1) were detected predominantly in muscles. Seroprevalence of T. canis was 14.2% and ELISA was thus more sensitive than PCR to detect infection with this parasite. Non-parametric multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis revealed that parasite communities could be grouped into an urban and a peri-urban cluster with high frequency of ascarid-positive rodents in urban and high frequency of F. glareoli in peri-urban sites. Prevalence rates of parasites in rodents with potential impact for human or veterinary public health are considerable and the monitoring of transmission cycles of carnivore parasites in intermediate rodent hosts is recommended to estimate the health

  18. Tapeworm Diphyllobothrium dendriticum (Cestoda)-Neglected or Emerging Human Parasite?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kuchta, Roman; Brabec, Jan; Kubáčková, P.; Scholz, Tomáš

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 12 (2013), e2535 ISSN 1935-2727 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/12/1632 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : tapeworm * human disease * cox1 gene Subject RIV: GJ - Animal Vermins ; Diseases, Veterinary Medicine Impact factor: 4.716, year: 2011

  19. Zoonotic gastrointestinal parasite burden of local dogs in Zaria, Northern Nigeria: Implications for human health

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    Christopher I. Ogbaje

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Zoonotic gastrointestinal parasites of dogs are of the global problem particularly in the developing countries. Dogs are the most common pet animals worldwide and have been reported to be hosts of many intestinal parasites of zoonotic importance globally. In Nigeria, gastrointestinal helminthes of dogs is currently endemic in 20 of the 36 states. Aim: In general, dogs are the closest animals to humans and for that reason we decided to carry out a survey study to check the incidence of these parasites in dogs and to ascertain the level of environmental contamination in the study area. Materials and Methods: Fecal samples were collected from dog patients presented to small animal clinic of Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, dog’s fecal droppings from the streets, and residential Quarters of the University and gastrointestinal tracts (GIT of dogs from dogs slaughtering house at Basawa Barrack, Zaria. Three methods were used in the analysis of the samples; simple flotation, sedimentation, and GIT processing methods within 48 h of collection. Results: Out of 224 samples analyzed 76(33.9% were positive of at least one of the parasites. Of the 101 samples from streets and residential quarters of ABU, Zaria, Isospora spp. 12(11.9% recorded the highest prevalence rate followed by Taenia spp. 6(5.9%, then Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma caninum, and Dipylidium caninum were 5.0%, 4.0%, and 1.0%, respectively. Isospora spp. (19.0% recorded the highest prevalence rate for the 100 samples collected from small animal clinic. Other parasites encountered were T. canis (8.0%, A. caninum (8.0% and Taenia spp. (5.0%. Parasites observed from the 23 gastrointestinal contents from “dog slaughtered houses” were T. canis (17.3%, Isospora spp.(13.1% and A. caninum (4.3. Conclusion: The study revealed that zoonotic gastrointestinal parasites of dogs are endemic in Zaria and the general public in the

  20. Drug Repurposing Screening Identifies Novel Compounds That Effectively Inhibit Toxoplasma gondii Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittmar, Ashley J.; Drozda, Allison A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The urgent need to develop new antimicrobial therapies has spawned the development of repurposing screens in which well-studied drugs and other types of compounds are tested for potential off-label uses. As a proof-of-principle screen to identify compounds effective against Toxoplasma gondii, we screened a collection of 1,120 compounds for the ability to significantly reduce Toxoplasma replication. A total of 94 compounds blocked parasite replication with 50% inhibitory concentrations of parasite invasion and replication but did so independently of inhibition of dopamine or other neurotransmitter receptor signaling. Tamoxifen, which is an established inhibitor of the estrogen receptor, also reduced parasite invasion and replication. Even though Toxoplasma can activate the estrogen receptor, tamoxifen inhibits parasite growth independently of this transcription factor. Tamoxifen is also a potent inducer of autophagy, and we find that the drug stimulates recruitment of the autophagy marker light chain 3-green fluorescent protein onto the membrane of the vacuolar compartment in which the parasite resides and replicates. In contrast to other antiparasitic drugs, including pimozide, tamoxifen treatment of infected cells leads to a time-dependent elimination of intracellular parasites. Taken together, these data suggest that tamoxifen restricts Toxoplasma growth by inducing xenophagy or autophagic destruction of this obligate intracellular parasite. IMPORTANCE There is an urgent need to develop new therapies to treat microbial infections, and the repurposing of well-characterized compounds is emerging as one approach to achieving this goal. Using the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, we screened a library of 1,120 compounds and identified several compounds with significant antiparasitic activities. Among these were pimozide and tamoxifen, which are well-characterized drugs prescribed to treat patients with psychiatric disorders and breast cancer

  1. Calcium uptake and proton transport by acidocalcisomes of Toxoplasma gondii.

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    Peter Rohloff

    Full Text Available Acidocalcisomes are acidic calcium stores found in diverse organisms, being conserved from bacteria to humans. They possess an acidic matrix that contains several cations bound to phosphates, which are mainly present in the form of short and long polyphosphate chains. Their matrix is acidified through the action of proton pumps such as a vacuolar proton ATPase and a vacuolar proton pyrophosphatase. Calcium uptake occurs through a Ca(2+/H(+ countertransporting ATPase located in the membrane of the organelle. Acidocalcisomes have been identified in a variety of microorganisms, including Apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium and Eimeria species, and in Toxoplasma gondii. We report the purification and characterization of an acidocalcisome fraction from T. gondii tachyzoites after subcellular fractionation and further discontinuous iodixanol gradient purification. Proton and calcium transport activities in the fraction were characterized by fluorescence microscopy and spectrophotometric methods using acridine orange and arsenazo III, respectively. This work will facilitate the understanding of the function of acidocalcisomes in Apicomplexan parasites, as we can now isolate highly purified fractions that could be used for proteomic analysis to find proteins that may clarify the biogenesis of these organelles.

  2. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Western Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olariu, Tudor Rares; Petrescu, Cristina; Darabus, Gheorghe; Lighezan, Rodica; Mazilu, Octavian

    2015-08-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that most commonly causes asymptomatic infection in immunocompetent hosts, but can have devastating consequences in congenitally infected infants and immunocompromised patients. We evaluated the seroprevalence of T. gondii in the general population in Western Romania. Sera from 304 individuals were analysed with the Pastorex Toxo test, which allows the simultaneous detection of T. gondii IgG and/or IgM antibodies. T. gondii antibodies were demonstrated in 197 individuals (64.8%) and the prevalence increased with age: 35.0% in those Romania.

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

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    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.

  4. Taxonomy Icon Data: Toxoplasma gondii [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii Toxoplasma gondii Toxoplasma_gondii_L.png Toxoplasma_gondii_NL.png Toxoplasma..._gondii_S.png Toxoplasma_gondii_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Toxoplasma...+gondii&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Toxoplasma+gondii&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.j...p/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Toxoplasma+gondii&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Toxoplas...ma+gondii&t=NS http://togodb.biosciencedbc.jp/togodb/view/taxonomy_icon_comment_en?species_id=113 ...

  5. Behavioral changes in Rattus norvegicus coinfected by Toxocara canis and Toxoplasma gondii

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    Maisa Leite de Queiroz

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Using an elevated plus maze apparatus and an activity cage, behavioral changes in Rattus norvegicus concomitantly infected by Toxocara canis and Toxoplasma gondii were studied, during a period of 120 days. Rats infected by Toxocara canis or Toxoplasma gondii showed significant behavioral changes; however, in the group coinfected by both parasites a behavioral pattern similar to that found in the group not infected was observed thirty days after infection, suggesting the occurrence of modulation in the behavioral response.

  6. Epidemiology of infections with intestinal parasites and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among sugar-estate residents in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fontanet, A. L.; Sahlu, T.; Rinke de Wit, T.; Messele, T.; Masho, W.; Woldemichael, T.; Yeneneh, H.; Coutinho, R. A.

    2000-01-01

    Intestinal parasitic infections could play an important role in the progression of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), by further disturbing the immune system whilst it is already engaged in the fight against HIV. HIV and intestinal parasitic infections were investigated in 1239,

  7. Rickettsia species in human-parasitizing ticks in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papa, Anna; Xanthopoulou, Kyriaki; Kotriotsiou, Tzimoula; Papaioakim, Miltiadis; Sotiraki, Smaragda; Chaligiannis, Ilias; Maltezos, Efstratios

    2016-05-01

    Ticks serve as vectors and reservoirs for a variety of bacterial, viral and protozoan pathogens affecting humans and animals. Unusual increased tick aggressiveness was observed in 2008-2009 in northeastern Greece. The aim of the study was to check ticks removed from persons during 2009 for infection with Rickettsia species. A total of 159 ticks were removed from 147 persons who sought medical advice in a hospital. Tick identification was performed morphologically using taxonomic keys. DNA was extracted from each individual tick and a PCR assay targeting the rickettsial outer membrane protein A gene of Rickettsia spp. was applied. Most of the adult ticks (132/153, 86.3%) were Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Rickettsiae were detected in 23 of the 153 (15.0%) adult ticks. Five Rickettsiae species were identified: R. aeschlimannii, R. africae (n=6), R. massilae (4), R. monacensis (1), and Candidatus R. barbariae (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of R. africae, R. monacensis, and Candidatus R. barbariae in Greece. Several Rickettsia species were identified in ticks removed from humans in Greece, including those that are prevalent in northern and southern latitudes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Recognition of Human Erythrocyte Receptors by the Tryptophan-Rich Antigens of Monkey Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kriti Tyagi

    Full Text Available The monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi also infect humans. There is a lack of information on the molecular mechanisms that take place between this simian parasite and its heterologous human host erythrocytes leading to this zoonotic disease. Therefore, we investigated here the binding ability of P. knowlesi tryptophan-rich antigens (PkTRAgs to the human erythrocytes and sharing of the erythrocyte receptors between them as well as with other commonly occurring human malaria parasites.Six PkTRAgs were cloned and expressed in E.coli as well as in mammalian CHO-K1 cell to determine their human erythrocyte binding activity by cell-ELISA, and in-vitro rosetting assay, respectively.Three of six PkTRAgs (PkTRAg38.3, PkTRAg40.1, and PkTRAg67.1 showed binding to human erythrocytes. Two of them (PkTRAg40.1 and PkTRAg38.3 showed cross-competition with each other as well as with the previously described P.vivax tryptophan-rich antigens (PvTRAgs for human erythrocyte receptors. However, the third protein (PkTRAg67.1 utilized the additional but different human erythrocyte receptor(s as it did not cross-compete for erythrocyte binding with either of these two PkTRAgs as well as with any of the PvTRAgs. These three PkTRAgs also inhibited the P.falciparum parasite growth in in-vitro culture, further indicating the sharing of human erythrocyte receptors by these parasite species and the biological significance of this receptor-ligand interaction between heterologous host and simian parasite.Recognition and sharing of human erythrocyte receptor(s by PkTRAgs with human parasite ligands could be part of the strategy adopted by the monkey malaria parasite to establish inside the heterologous human host.

  9. Recognition of Human Erythrocyte Receptors by the Tryptophan-Rich Antigens of Monkey Malaria Parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyagi, Kriti; Gupta, Deepali; Saini, Ekta; Choudhary, Shilpa; Jamwal, Abhishek; Alam, Mohd Shoeb; Zeeshan, Mohammad; Tyagi, Rupesh K; Sharma, Yagya D

    2015-01-01

    The monkey malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi also infect humans. There is a lack of information on the molecular mechanisms that take place between this simian parasite and its heterologous human host erythrocytes leading to this zoonotic disease. Therefore, we investigated here the binding ability of P. knowlesi tryptophan-rich antigens (PkTRAgs) to the human erythrocytes and sharing of the erythrocyte receptors between them as well as with other commonly occurring human malaria parasites. Six PkTRAgs were cloned and expressed in E.coli as well as in mammalian CHO-K1 cell to determine their human erythrocyte binding activity by cell-ELISA, and in-vitro rosetting assay, respectively. Three of six PkTRAgs (PkTRAg38.3, PkTRAg40.1, and PkTRAg67.1) showed binding to human erythrocytes. Two of them (PkTRAg40.1 and PkTRAg38.3) showed cross-competition with each other as well as with the previously described P.vivax tryptophan-rich antigens (PvTRAgs) for human erythrocyte receptors. However, the third protein (PkTRAg67.1) utilized the additional but different human erythrocyte receptor(s) as it did not cross-compete for erythrocyte binding with either of these two PkTRAgs as well as with any of the PvTRAgs. These three PkTRAgs also inhibited the P.falciparum parasite growth in in-vitro culture, further indicating the sharing of human erythrocyte receptors by these parasite species and the biological significance of this receptor-ligand interaction between heterologous host and simian parasite. Recognition and sharing of human erythrocyte receptor(s) by PkTRAgs with human parasite ligands could be part of the strategy adopted by the monkey malaria parasite to establish inside the heterologous human host.

  10. Evidence for a structural role for acid-fast lipids in oocyst walls of Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, and Eimeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushkin, G Guy; Motari, Edwin; Carpentieri, Andrea; Dubey, Jitender P; Costello, Catherine E; Robbins, Phillips W; Samuelson, John

    2013-09-03

    Coccidia are protozoan parasites that cause significant human disease and are of major agricultural importance. Cryptosporidium spp. cause diarrhea in humans and animals, while Toxoplasma causes disseminated infections in fetuses and untreated AIDS patients. Eimeria is a major pathogen of commercial chickens. Oocysts, which are the infectious form of Cryptosporidium and Eimeria and one of two infectious forms of Toxoplasma (the other is tissue cysts in undercooked meat), have a multilayered wall. Recently we showed that the inner layer of the oocyst walls of Toxoplasma and Eimeria is a porous scaffold of fibers of β-1,3-glucan, which are also present in fungal walls but are absent from Cryptosporidium oocyst walls. Here we present evidence for a structural role for lipids in the oocyst walls of Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, and Eimeria. Briefly, oocyst walls of each organism label with acid-fast stains that bind to lipids in the walls of mycobacteria. Polyketide synthases similar to those that make mycobacterial wall lipids are abundant in oocysts of Toxoplasma and Eimeria and are predicted in Cryptosporidium. The outer layer of oocyst wall of Eimeria and the entire oocyst wall of Cryptosporidium are dissolved by organic solvents. Oocyst wall lipids are complex mixtures of triglycerides, some of which contain polyhydroxy fatty acyl chains like those present in plant cutin or elongated fatty acyl chains like mycolic acids. We propose a two-layered model of the oocyst wall (glucan and acid-fast lipids) that resembles the two-layered walls of mycobacteria (peptidoglycan and acid-fast lipids) and plants (cellulose and cutin). Oocysts, which are essential for the fecal-oral spread of coccidia, have a wall that is thought responsible for their survival in the environment and for their transit through the stomach and small intestine. While oocyst walls of Toxoplasma and Eimeria are strengthened by a porous scaffold of fibrils of β-1,3-glucan and by proteins cross

  11. Human parasitic meningitis caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Hung-Chin; Chen, Yao-Shen; Yen, Chuan-Min

    2013-06-01

    The major cause of eosinophilic meningitis in Taiwan is Angiostrongylus cantonensis. Humans are infected by ingesting terrestrial and freshwater snails and slugs. In 1998 and 1999, two outbreaks of eosinophilic meningitis caused by A. cantonensis infection were reported among 17 adult male immigrant Thai laborers who had eaten raw golden apple snails (Pomacea canaliculata). Another outbreak associated with consuming a health drink consisting of raw vegetable juice was reported in 2001. These adult cases differed from reports in the 1970s and 1980s, in which most of the cases were in children. With improvements in public health and education of foreign laborers, there have since been only sporadic cases in Taiwan. Review of clinical research indicates inconsistent association of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) results with clinical features of eosinophilic meningitis. MRI features were nonspecific but there was an association between the presence of high brain MRI signal intensities and severity of peripheral and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) eosinophilia. Inflammatory markers have been identified in the CSF of patients with eosinophilic meningitis caused by A. cantonensis infection, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and the matrix metalloproteinase system may be associated with blood-brain barrier disruption. Eosinophilic meningitis caused by A. cantonensis infection is not a reportable disease in Taiwan. It is important that a public advisory and education program be developed to reduce future accidental infection.

  12. Clinical Correlates of Diarrhea and Gut Parasites among Human Immunodeficiency Virus Seropositive Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvis Bisong

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Cluster differentiation 4 (CD4 count estimation, which is not readily available in most resource poor settings in Nigeria, is an important indexdetermining commencement of antiretroviral therapy (ART. It is imperative for physicians who come in contact with these patients in such settings to recognize other parameters to evaluate these patients. The clinical correlates of diarrhea and gut parasites among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-seropositive patients attending our special treatment clinic were studied. Three hundred and forty consenting HIV-positive adult subjects were enrolled. Their stool and blood specimens were collected for a period of three months. Stool samples were analyzed for the presence of diarrhea and gut parasites. The patients were clinically evaluated by physical examination for the presence of pallor, dehydration, oral thrush, wasting lymphadenopathy, dermatitis, skin hyperpigmentation, and finger clubbing. Participants with diarrhea represented 14.1% of the population, while 21.5% harbored one or more parasites. In the subjects with diarrhea, 14.6% harbored gut parasites. The presence of diarrhea was associated with a low CD4 count. Clinically, oral thrush, wasting, and rashes were more reliable predictors of low CD4 count levels; whereas, the presence of pallor, dehydration, wasting, and rashes correlated with the presence of diarrhea. HIV patients presenting with pallor, dehydration, wasting, and rashes should be evaluated for the presence of diarrhea. The clinical variables associated with low CD4 count in this study may guide commencing antiretroviral therapy in resource poor settings.

  13. Pregnancy and Toxoplasma Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cihan Cetin

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by a protozoa named Toxoplasma gondii. It is a very important disease because it is related to fetal anomalies and poor perinatal outcomes like abortus and stillbirth. It spreads via uncooked meat and contaminated food. Timely and appropriate treatment and management of this infection prenatally reduces the risk of serious neurological sequelae. Therefore it is crucial that clinician who takes care of pregnant women know this infection deeply. In this review we aimed to summarize the prenatal diagnosis, complications and treatment of toxoplasma infection. [Archives Medical Review Journal 2016; 25(4.000: 457-466

  14. The crystal structure of Toxoplasma gondii pyruvate kinase 1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Bakszt

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Pyruvate kinase (PK, which catalyzes the final step in glycolysis converting phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate, is a central metabolic regulator in most organisms. Consequently PK represents an attractive therapeutic target in cancer and human pathogens, like Apicomplexans. The phylum Aplicomplexa, a group of exclusively parasitic organisms, includes the genera Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma, the etiological agents of malaria, cryptosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis respectively. Toxoplasma gondii infection causes a mild illness and is a very common infection affecting nearly one third of the world's population.We have determined the crystal structure of the PK1 enzyme from T. gondii, with the B domain in the open and closed conformations. We have also characterized its enzymatic activity and confirmed glucose-6-phosphate as its allosteric activator. This is the first description of a PK enzyme in a closed inactive conformation without any bound substrate. Comparison of the two tetrameric TgPK1 structures indicates a reorientation of the monomers with a concomitant change in the buried surface among adjacent monomers. The change in the buried surface was associated with significant B domain movements in one of the interacting monomers.We hypothesize that a loop in the interface between the A and B domains plays an important role linking the position of the B domain to the buried surface among monomers through two α-helices. The proposed model links the catalytic cycle of the enzyme with its domain movements and highlights the contribution of the interface between adjacent subunits. In addition, an unusual ordered conformation was observed in one of the allosteric binding domains and it is related to a specific apicomplexan insertion. The sequence and structural particularity would explain the atypical activation by a mono-phosphorylated sugar. The sum of peculiarities raises this enzyme as an emerging target for drug discovery.

  15. The crystal structure of Toxoplasma gondii pyruvate kinase 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakszt, Rebecca; Wernimont, Amy; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Mok, Man Wai; Hills, Tanya; Hui, Raymond; Pizarro, Juan C

    2010-09-14

    Pyruvate kinase (PK), which catalyzes the final step in glycolysis converting phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate, is a central metabolic regulator in most organisms. Consequently PK represents an attractive therapeutic target in cancer and human pathogens, like Apicomplexans. The phylum Aplicomplexa, a group of exclusively parasitic organisms, includes the genera Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma, the etiological agents of malaria, cryptosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis respectively. Toxoplasma gondii infection causes a mild illness and is a very common infection affecting nearly one third of the world's population. We have determined the crystal structure of the PK1 enzyme from T. gondii, with the B domain in the open and closed conformations. We have also characterized its enzymatic activity and confirmed glucose-6-phosphate as its allosteric activator. This is the first description of a PK enzyme in a closed inactive conformation without any bound substrate. Comparison of the two tetrameric TgPK1 structures indicates a reorientation of the monomers with a concomitant change in the buried surface among adjacent monomers. The change in the buried surface was associated with significant B domain movements in one of the interacting monomers. We hypothesize that a loop in the interface between the A and B domains plays an important role linking the position of the B domain to the buried surface among monomers through two α-helices. The proposed model links the catalytic cycle of the enzyme with its domain movements and highlights the contribution of the interface between adjacent subunits. In addition, an unusual ordered conformation was observed in one of the allosteric binding domains and it is related to a specific apicomplexan insertion. The sequence and structural particularity would explain the atypical activation by a mono-phosphorylated sugar. The sum of peculiarities raises this enzyme as an emerging target for drug discovery.

  16. The Crystal Structure of Toxoplasma gondii Pyruvate Kinase 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bakszt, R.; Wernimont, A; Allali-Hassani, A; Mok, M; Hills, T; Hui, R; Pizarro, J

    2010-01-01

    Pyruvate kinase (PK), which catalyzes the final step in glycolysis converting phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate, is a central metabolic regulator in most organisms. Consequently PK represents an attractive therapeutic target in cancer and human pathogens, like Apicomplexans. The phylum Aplicomplexa, a group of exclusively parasitic organisms, includes the genera Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma, the etiological agents of malaria, cryptosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis respectively. Toxoplasma gondii infection causes a mild illness and is a very common infection affecting nearly one third of the world's population. We have determined the crystal structure of the PK1 enzyme from T. gondii, with the B domain in the open and closed conformations. We have also characterized its enzymatic activity and confirmed glucose-6-phosphate as its allosteric activator. This is the first description of a PK enzyme in a closed inactive conformation without any bound substrate. Comparison of the two tetrameric TgPK1 structures indicates a reorientation of the monomers with a concomitant change in the buried surface among adjacent monomers. The change in the buried surface was associated with significant B domain movements in one of the interacting monomers. We hypothesize that a loop in the interface between the A and B domains plays an important role linking the position of the B domain to the buried surface among monomers through two {alpha}-helices. The proposed model links the catalytic cycle of the enzyme with its domain movements and highlights the contribution of the interface between adjacent subunits. In addition, an unusual ordered conformation was observed in one of the allosteric binding domains and it is related to a specific apicomplexan insertion. The sequence and structural particularity would explain the atypical activation by a mono-phosphorylated sugar. The sum of peculiarities raises this enzyme as an emerging target for drug discovery.

  17. Low titer of antibody against Toxoplasma gondii may be related to resistant to cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Maryam Sharafi Seyedeh; Salehi Nahid; Mortazavi Nahid; Danesh Pour Shima; Yousefi Morteza; Yousofi Darani Hossein

    2015-01-01

    Context: Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite with a world-wide distribution. However, the majority of infected cases remain symptomless. There are raising scientific evidences indicating that parasitic infections induce antitumor activity against certain types of cancers. The inhibitory effect of T. gondii on cancer growth has also been shown in cell culture and mouse model. Aims: Considering the anti-tumor effect of this parasite, in this study the relationship between low titer of ...

  18. Animals are key to human toxoplasmosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlüter, Dirk; Däubener, Walter; Schares, Gereon; Groß, Uwe; Pleyer, Uwe; Lüder, Carsten

    2014-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an extremely sucessfull protozoal parasite which infects almost all mamalian species including humans. Approximately 30% of the human population worldwide is chronically infected with T. gondii. In general, human infection is asymptomatic but the parasite may induce severe disease in fetuses and immunocompromised patients. In addition, T. gondii may cause sight-threatening posterior uveitis in immunocompetent patients. Apart from few exceptions, humans acquire T. gondii from animals. Both, the oral uptake of T. gondii oocysts released by specific hosts, i.e. felidae, and of cysts persisting in muscle cells of animals result in human toxoplasmosis. In the present review, we discuss recent new data on the cell biology of T. gondii and parasite diversity in animals. In addition, we focus on the impact of these various parasite strains and their different virulence on the clinical outcome of human congenital toxoplasmosis and T. gondii uveitis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  19. Dichotomy in the human CD4+ T-cell response to Leishmania parasites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kemp, M; Kurtzhals, J A; Kharazmi, A

    1994-01-01

    Leishmania parasites cause human diseases ranging from self-healing cutaneous ulcers to fatal systemic infections. In addition, many individuals become infected without developing disease. In mice the two subsets of CD4+ T cells, Th1 and Th2, have different effects on the outcome of experimental...... in humans, and that the balance between subsets of parasite-specific T cells may play an important regulatory role in determining the outcome of the infections....

  20. Parasitic Zoonoses in Humans and Their Dogs from a Rural Community of Tropical Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Ortega-Pacheco

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A cross-sectional study was made on 89 inhabitants and their dogs from a rural community of Yucatan, Mexico, to determine the serological prevalence of some zoonotic parasitic agents. Samples were taken to monitor the presence and intensity of infection with gastrointestinal parasites in dogs. In humans, the serological prevalence of T. canis, T. gondii, and T. spiralis was 29.2%, 91.0%, and 6.7%, respectively. No associations were found between positive cases and studied variables. From the total of blood samples taken from dogs, 87 (97.6% were seropositive to T. gondii; only 52 viable fecal samples were collected from dogs of which 46.2% had the presence of gastrointestinal parasites with low to moderate intensity; from those, 12% had the presence of T. canis. This study demonstrates the presence of the studied zoonotic agents in the area particularly T. gondii which suggest a common source of infection in dogs and humans and a high number of oocyts present in the environment. Preventive measures must be designed towards good prophylactic practices in domestic and backyard animals (T. canis and T. spiralis. Contaminated sources with T. gondii (food and water should be further investigated in order to design effective control measures.

  1. TOXOPLASMA AND VIRAL ANTIBODIES AMONG HIV PATIENTS AND INMATES IN CENTRAL JAVA, INDONESIA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sari, Yulia; Haryati, Sri; Raharjo, Irvan; Prasetyo, Afiono Agung

    2015-11-01

    In Indonesia, Toxoplasma and its associations with blood-borne viruses have been poorly studied. In order to study the association between anti-Toxoplasma antibodies and blood-borne viral antibodies, blood samples from 497 participants (375 inmates from four prisons in Central Java, Indonesia and 122 HIV patients at a Voluntary Counseling and Testing Clinic in Surakarta, Indonesia) were tested for serological markers of Toxoplasma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D virus (HDV) and human T-lymphotropic virus types I and II (HTLV-1/2). Anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM positivity rates were 41.6% and 3.6%, respectively. One point two percent of participants was positive for both anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies. Sixteen point five percent, 11.3%, 2.6% and 2.8% of participants were positive for anti- Toxoplasma IgG combined with anti-HCV antibodies, anti-Toxoplasma IgG combined with anti-HIV antibodies, anti-Toxoplasma IgM combined with anti-HIV antibodes and anti-Toxoplasma IgG combined with both anti-HIV and anti-HCV antibodies, respectively. Anti-Toxoplasma IgM seropositivity was associated with anti-HIV (aOR = 4.3; 95% CI: 1.112-16.204, p = 0.034). Anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibodies were associated with anti-HCV (aOR = 2.8; 95% CI: 1.749-4.538, p < 0.001) and history of injection drug use (aOR = 3.1; 95% CI: 1.905-5.093, p < 0.001). In conclusion, we recommend patients with HIV, HCV infection and injection drug users should be screened for Toxoplasma infection in Indonesia.

  2. Transcriptionally Driven DNA Replication Program of the Human Parasite Leishmania major

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    Rodrigo Lombraña

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Faithful inheritance of eukaryotic genomes requires the orchestrated activation of multiple DNA replication origins (ORIs. Although origin firing is mechanistically conserved, how origins are specified and selected for activation varies across different model systems. Here, we provide a complete analysis of the nucleosomal landscape and replication program of the human parasite Leishmania major, building on a better evolutionary understanding of replication organization in Eukarya. We found that active transcription is a driving force for the nucleosomal organization of the L. major genome and that both the spatial and the temporal program of DNA replication can be explained as associated to RNA polymerase kinetics. This simple scenario likely provides flexibility and robustness to deal with the environmental changes that impose alterations in the genetic programs during parasitic life cycle stages. Our findings also suggest that coupling replication initiation to transcription elongation could be an ancient solution used by eukaryotic cells for origin maintenance.

  3. The prevalence and diversity of intestinal parasitic infections in humans and domestic animals in a rural Cambodian village.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schär, Fabian; Inpankaew, Tawin; Traub, Rebecca J; Khieu, Virak; Dalsgaard, Anders; Chimnoi, Wissanuwat; Chhoun, Chamnan; Sok, Daream; Marti, Hanspeter; Muth, Sinuon; Odermatt, Peter

    2014-08-01

    In Cambodia, intestinal parasitic infections are prevalent in humans and particularly in children. Yet, information on potentially zoonotic parasites in animal reservoir hosts is lacking. In May 2012, faecal samples from 218 humans, 94 dogs and 76 pigs were collected from 67 households in Dong village, Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. Faecal samples were examined microscopically using sodium nitrate and zinc sulphate flotation methods, the Baermann method, Koga Agar plate culture, formalin-ether concentration technique and Kato Katz technique. PCR was used to confirm hookworm, Ascaris spp., Giardia spp. and Blastocystis spp. Major gastrointestinal parasitic infections found in humans included hookworms (63.3%), Entamoeba spp. (27.1%) and Strongyloides stercoralis (24.3%). In dogs, hookworm (80.8%), Spirometra spp. (21.3%) and Strongyloides spp. (14.9%) were most commonly detected and in pigs Isospora suis (75.0%), Oesophagostomum spp. (73.7%) and Entamoeba spp. (31.6%) were found. Eleven parasite species were detected in dogs (eight helminths and three protozoa), seven of which have zoonotic potential, including hookworm, Strongyloides spp., Trichuris spp., Toxocara canis, Echinostoma spp., Giardia duodenalis and Entamoeba spp. Five of the parasite species detected in pigs also have zoonotic potential, including Ascaris spp., Trichuris spp., Capillaria spp., Balantidium coli and Entamoeba spp. Further molecular epidemiological studies will aid characterisation of parasite species and genotypes and allow further insight into the potential for zoonotic cross transmission of parasites in this community. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The most important parasites in Serbia involving the foodborne route of transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrović, J. M.; Prodanov-Radulović, J. Z.; Vasilev, S. D.

    2017-09-01

    Food can be an important route for transmission of parasites to humans. Compared to other foodborne pathogens in Serbia, foodborne (or potentially foodborne) parasites do not get the attention they undoubtedly deserve. The aim of this article is to give an overview of the most important parasitic pathogens that can be transmitted by food, and that cause disease in humans: Echinococcus, Trichinella, Taenia solium and Toxoplasma gondii. For each of these pathogens, the severity of human diseases they cause, incidence, mortality and case fatality rate among humans in Serbia as well as their prevalence in animal species in Serbia are described. Some of the described foodborne parasites can induce severe disease symptoms in humans associated with high case fatality rates, while others can cause massive outbreaks. All of the aforementioned parasites occur throughout Serbia and cause both severe public health problems and substantial economic losses in livestock production. In conclusion, the control measures of foodborne parasites certainly need to include education of farmers and improvement of veterinary sanitary measures in animal farming and animal waste control.

  5. Prevalence of antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Encephalitozonn cuniculi, Sarcocystis neurona, Besnoitia darlingi, and Neospora caninum in North American opossum, Didelphis virginiana, from Southern Louisian

    Science.gov (United States)

    We examined the prevalence of antibodies to zoonotic protozoan parasites (Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, and Encephalitozoon cuniculi) and protozoan’s of veterinary importance (Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona and Besnoitia darlingi) in a population of North American opossums (Didelphis...

  6. Species-specific escape of Plasmodium sporozoites from oocysts of avian, rodent, and human malarial parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orfano, Alessandra S; Nacif-Pimenta, Rafael; Duarte, Ana P M; Villegas, Luis M; Rodrigues, Nilton B; Pinto, Luciana C; Campos, Keillen M M; Pinilla, Yudi T; Chaves, Bárbara; Barbosa Guerra, Maria G V; Monteiro, Wuelton M; Smith, Ryan C; Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Lacerda, Marcus V G; Secundino, Nágila F C; Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo; Barillas-Mury, Carolina; Pimenta, Paulo F P

    2016-08-02

    Malaria is transmitted when an infected mosquito delivers Plasmodium sporozoites into a vertebrate host. There are many species of Plasmodium and, in general, the infection is host-specific. For example, Plasmodium gallinaceum is an avian parasite, while Plasmodium berghei infects mice. These two parasites have been extensively used as experimental models of malaria transmission. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the most important agents of human malaria, a life-threatening disease of global importance. To complete their life cycle, Plasmodium parasites must traverse the mosquito midgut and form an oocyst that will divide continuously. Mature oocysts release thousands of sporozoites into the mosquito haemolymph that must reach the salivary gland to infect a new vertebrate host. The current understanding of the biology of oocyst formation and sporozoite release is mostly based on experimental infections with P. berghei, and the conclusions are generalized to other Plasmodium species that infect humans without further morphological analyses. Here, it is described the microanatomy of sporozoite escape from oocysts of four Plasmodium species: the two laboratory models, P. gallinaceum and P. berghei, and the two main species that cause malaria in humans, P. vivax and P. falciparum. It was found that sporozoites have species-specific mechanisms of escape from the oocyst. The two model species of Plasmodium had a common mechanism, in which the oocyst wall breaks down before sporozoites emerge. In contrast, P. vivax and P. falciparum sporozoites show a dynamic escape mechanism from the oocyst via polarized propulsion. This study demonstrated that Plasmodium species do not share a common mechanism of sporozoite escape, as previously thought, but show complex and species-specific mechanisms. In addition, the knowledge of this phenomenon in human Plasmodium can facilitate transmission-blocking studies and not those ones only based on the murine and avian models.

  7. Analysis of the association opportunistic infections with c-reactive protein focus toxoplasma, cytomegalovirus, rubella,and hepatitis in human immunodeficiency virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khadijah, K. H.; Ferica, K.; Katu, S.; Halim, R.; Mubin, A. H.

    2018-03-01

    Opportunistic infections occur more often severe in people with HIV. C-reactive protein is known to have a prognostic value in HIV and those with HIV-related opportunistic infections. High level of CRP will increase therisk of infection toxoplasma, CMV, rubella,and hepatitis in HIV.Analyzing association of opportunistic infections toxoplasma, CMV, rubella,and hepatitis with the level of CRP in HIV, a cross-sectional analytic study wasduring January-July 2017 on both outpatientand inpatient HIV subjects at Wahidin Sudirohusodo Hospital, Makassar. Each HIV patient is categorized into agroup of opportunistic infections: toxoplasma, CMV, rubella, hepatitis. CRP levels will be assessed in each group, defined by normal values 0.05).

  8. Look what the cat dragged in: do parasites contribute to human cultural diversity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2005-01-01

    If human culture emerges from the modal personality of a population, can global variation in parasitism that affects personality lead to cultural diversity among nations? The answer could help explain why people seem to vary so much from one land to another. Thomas et al. (2005) review how parasites manipulate behaviour, including human behaviour. To quote them, “The rabies virus lives in the brain, affording the virus ample opportunity to directly affect host behaviour. Rabid animals do show changes in behaviour, including increased aggression and biting.” Rabies affects a wide range of mammals and the aggressive biting associated with furious rabies appears to increase transmission. The personality transformation of infected humans can be horrifying, transforming loved ones into thrashing, baying beasts. Not coincidentally, in Europe, past periods of rabies outbreaks correspond to increases in werewolf trials. Although rabies can have a dramatic effect, the present rarity of human rabies cases and the availability of a vaccine, means that the behavioural effects of rabies are primarily an illustrative curiosity.

  9. The Clp Chaperones and Proteases of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bakkouri, Majida El; Pow, Andre; Mulichak, Anne; Cheung, Kevin L.Y.; Artz, Jennifer D.; Amani, Mehrnaz; Fell, Stuart; de Koning-Ward, Tania F.; Goodman, C. Dean; McFadden, Geoffrey I.; Ortega, Joaquin; Hui, Raymond; Houry, Walid A. (McMaster U.); (Melbourne); (Toronto); (Deakin); (HWMRI)

    2015-02-09

    The Clp chaperones and proteases play an important role in protein homeostasis in the cell. They are highly conserved across prokaryotes and found also in the mitochondria of eukaryotes and the chloroplasts of plants. They function mainly in the disaggregation, unfolding and degradation of native as well as misfolded proteins. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the Clp chaperones and proteases in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The parasite contains four Clp ATPases, which we term PfClpB1, PfClpB2, PfClpC and PfClpM. One PfClpP, the proteolytic subunit, and one PfClpR, which is an inactive version of the protease, were also identified. Expression of all Clp chaperones and proteases was confirmed in blood-stage parasites. The proteins were localized to the apicoplast, a non-photosynthetic organelle that accommodates several important metabolic pathways in P. falciparum, with the exception of PfClpB2 (also known as Hsp101), which was found in the parasitophorous vacuole. Both PfClpP and PfClpR form mostly homoheptameric rings as observed by size-exclusion chromatography, analytical ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy. The X-ray structure of PfClpP showed the protein as a compacted tetradecamer similar to that observed for Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis ClpPs. Our data suggest the presence of a ClpCRP complex in the apicoplast of P. falciparum.

  10. Predator cat odors activate sexual arousal pathways in brains of Toxoplasma gondii infected rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick K House

    Full Text Available Cat odors induce rapid, innate and stereotyped defensive behaviors in rats at first exposure, a presumed response to the evolutionary pressures of predation. Bizarrely, rats infected with the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii approach the cat odors they typically avoid. Since the protozoan Toxoplasma requires the cat to sexually reproduce, this change in host behavior is thought to be a remarkable example of a parasite manipulating a mammalian host for its own benefit. Toxoplasma does not influence host response to non-feline predator odor nor does it alter behavior on olfactory, social, fear or anxiety tests, arguing for specific manipulation in the processing of cat odor. We report that Toxoplasma infection alters neural activity in limbic brain areas necessary for innate defensive behavior in response to cat odor. Moreover, Toxoplasma increases activity in nearby limbic regions of sexual attraction when the rat is exposed to cat urine, compelling evidence that Toxoplasma overwhelms the innate fear response by causing, in its stead, a type of sexual attraction to the normally aversive cat odor.

  11. Predator cat odors activate sexual arousal pathways in brains of Toxoplasma gondii infected rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    House, Patrick K; Vyas, Ajai; Sapolsky, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Cat odors induce rapid, innate and stereotyped defensive behaviors in rats at first exposure, a presumed response to the evolutionary pressures of predation. Bizarrely, rats infected with the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii approach the cat odors they typically avoid. Since the protozoan Toxoplasma requires the cat to sexually reproduce, this change in host behavior is thought to be a remarkable example of a parasite manipulating a mammalian host for its own benefit. Toxoplasma does not influence host response to non-feline predator odor nor does it alter behavior on olfactory, social, fear or anxiety tests, arguing for specific manipulation in the processing of cat odor. We report that Toxoplasma infection alters neural activity in limbic brain areas necessary for innate defensive behavior in response to cat odor. Moreover, Toxoplasma increases activity in nearby limbic regions of sexual attraction when the rat is exposed to cat urine, compelling evidence that Toxoplasma overwhelms the innate fear response by causing, in its stead, a type of sexual attraction to the normally aversive cat odor.

  12. Natural infection of Plasmodium brasilianum in humans: Man and monkey share quartan malaria parasites in the Venezuelan Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalremruata, Albert; Magris, Magda; Vivas-Martínez, Sarai; Koehler, Maike; Esen, Meral; Kempaiah, Prakasha; Jeyaraj, Sankarganesh; Perkins, Douglas Jay; Mordmüller, Benjamin; Metzger, Wolfram G

    2015-09-01

    The quartan malaria parasite Plasmodium malariae is the widest spread and best adapted human malaria parasite. The simian Plasmodium brasilianum causes quartan fever in New World monkeys and resembles P. malariae morphologically. Since the genetics of the two parasites are nearly identical, differing only in a range of mutations expected within a species, it has long been speculated that the two are the same. However, no naturally acquired infection with parasites termed as P. brasilianum has been found in humans until now. We investigated malaria cases from remote Yanomami indigenous communities of the Venezuelan Amazon and analyzed the genes coding for the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and the small subunit of ribosomes (18S) by species-specific PCR and capillary based-DNA sequencing. Based on 18S rRNA gene sequencing, we identified 12 patients harboring malaria parasites which were 100% identical with P. brasilianum isolated from the monkey, Alouatta seniculus. Translated amino acid sequences of the CS protein gene showed identical immunodominant repeat units between quartan malaria parasites isolated from both humans and monkeys. This study reports, for the first time, naturally acquired infections in humans with parasites termed as P. brasilianum. We conclude that quartan malaria parasites are easily exchanged between humans and monkeys in Latin America. We hypothesize a lack of host specificity in mammalian hosts and consider quartan malaria to be a true anthropozoonosis. Since the name P. brasilianum suggests a malaria species distinct from P. malariae, we propose that P. brasilianum should have a nomenclatorial revision in case further research confirms our findings. The expansive reservoir of mammalian hosts discriminates quartan malaria from other Plasmodium spp. and requires particular research efforts.

  13. Functional expression of parasite drug targets and their human orthologs in yeast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Bilsland

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The exacting nutritional requirements and complicated life cycles of parasites mean that they are not always amenable to high-throughput drug screening using automated procedures. Therefore, we have engineered the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to act as a surrogate for expressing anti-parasitic targets from a range of biomedically important pathogens, to facilitate the rapid identification of new therapeutic agents.Using pyrimethamine/dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR as a model parasite drug/drug target system, we explore the potential of engineered yeast strains (expressing DHFR enzymes from Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, Homo sapiens, Schistosoma mansoni, Leishmania major, Trypanosoma brucei and T. cruzi to exhibit appropriate differential sensitivity to pyrimethamine. Here, we demonstrate that yeast strains (lacking the major drug efflux pump, Pdr5p expressing yeast ((ScDFR1, human ((HsDHFR, Schistosoma ((SmDHFR, and Trypanosoma ((TbDHFR and (TcDHFR DHFRs are insensitive to pyrimethamine treatment, whereas yeast strains producing Plasmodium ((PfDHFR and (PvDHFR DHFRs are hypersensitive. Reassuringly, yeast strains expressing field-verified, drug-resistant mutants of P. falciparum DHFR ((Pfdhfr(51I,59R,108N are completely insensitive to pyrimethamine, further validating our approach to drug screening. We further show the versatility of the approach by replacing yeast essential genes with other potential drug targets, namely phosphoglycerate kinases (PGKs and N-myristoyl transferases (NMTs.We have generated a number of yeast strains that can be successfully harnessed for the rapid and selective identification of urgently needed anti-parasitic agents.

  14. Beneficial Effects of Capparis Spinosa Honey on the Immune Response of Rats Infected with Toxoplasma Gundii

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    Ahmed Gaffer Hegazi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii is an intracellular opportunistic protozoan parasite that infects approximately one-third of the human population worldwide. Honey has long been used for treatment of many diseases in folk medicine. Honey has exhibited significant anthelmintic, nematicidal and anti-protozoal activities. This study was conducted to investigate the immunological patterns in rats infected with T. gondii who were treated orally with supplemented 15% Capparis spinosa honey (Saudi Arabia for a period of 28 days. Methods: Immunoglobulin M, immunoglobulin G, and cytokines were detected by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs. In addition, the mortality and the morbidity rates were assessed. Results: Oral administration of Capparis spinosa honey as a natural food additive was experimentally shown to increase the antibody titer; furthermore, compared with the rats in the control group,

  15. Urine sample used for detection of toxoplasma gondii infection by loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xin; Pan, Chang-Wang; Li, Ya-Fei; Wang, Han; Tan, Feng

    2012-02-01

    In this study, a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was established to detect Toxoplasma gondii DNA in mice infected with T. gondii PRU strain. This LAMP assay was based on the sequence of highly repetitive B1 gene. The detection limit of T. gondii LAMP assay was 1 pg of T. gondii DNA, which was evaluated using 10-fold serially diluted DNA of cultured parasites. The LAMP assay was also highly specific for T. gondii and able to detect T. gondii DNA in urine of mice treated with dexamethasone at 90 day post infection (p.i.), although this assay could not detect the DNA in mice urine 2-6 days p.i. These results demonstrated that LAMP is effective for evaluation of therapy effectiveness for T. gondii infection. The established LAMP assay may represent a useful and practical tool for the routine diagnosis and therapeutic evaluation of human toxoplasmosis.

  16. Genotyping of Toxoplasma Gondii Isolates from Soil Samples in Tehran, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Tavalla

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii can infect any warm blooded nucleated cells. One of the ways for human infection is ingestion of oocysts directly from soil or via infected fruits or vegetables. To survey the potential role of T. gondii oocyst in soil samples, the present study was conducted in Tehran City, Iran.Methods: A total of 150 soil samples were collected around rubbish dumps, children's play ground, parks and public places. Oocysts recovery was performed by sodium nitrate flotation method on soil samples. For molecular detection, PCR reaction targeting B1 gene was performed and then, the posi­tive results were confirmed using repetitive 529 bp DNA fragment in other PCR reaction. Finally, the positive samples were genotyped at the SAG2 locus.Results: Toxoplasma DNA was found in 13 soil samples. After genotyping and RFLP analysis in SAG2 locus, nine positive samples were revealed type III, one positive sample was type I whereas three samples revealed mixed infection (type, I & III.Conclusion: The predominant genotype in Tehran soil samples is type III.

  17. DNA typing of ancient parasite eggs from environmental samples identifies human and animal worm infections in Viking-age settlement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    Human worm infections have, to a large extent, been eradicated in countries with high sanitary standards by preventing the fecal-oral transmission of infective eggs. It is possible to study parasite infections among past populations by retrieving and analyzing parasite eggs using paleoparasitolog......-age. Further, eggs of the Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica), whose primary hosts are cows and sheep, are identified indicating that grazing animals were kept in close proximity of the settlement....

  18. Targeting channels and transporters in protozoan parasite infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Anna; Erler, Holger; Beitz, Eric

    2018-03-01

    Infectious diseases caused by pathogenic protozoa are among the most significant causes of death in humans. Therapeutic options are scarce and massively challenged by the emergence of resistant parasite strains. Many of the current anti-parasite drugs target soluble enzymes, generate unspecific oxidative stress, or act by an unresolved mechanism within the parasite. In recent years, collections of drug-like compounds derived from large-scale phenotypic screenings, such as the malaria or pathogen box, have been made available to researchers free of charge boosting the identification of novel promising targets. Remarkably, several of the compound hits have been found to inhibit membrane proteins at the periphery of the parasites, i.e. channels and transporters for ions and metabolites. In this review, we will focus on the progress made on targeting channels and transporters at different levels and the potential for use against infections with apicomplexan parasites mainly Plasmodium spp. (malaria) and Toxoplasma gondii (toxoplasmosis), with kinetoplastids Trypanosoma brucei (sleeping sickness), Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas disease) and Leishmania ssp. (leishmaniasis), and the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica (amoebiasis).

  19. Study of the gastrointestinal parasitic fauna of captive non-human primates (Macaca fascicularis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanzani, Sergio Aurelio; Gazzonis, Alessia Libera; Epis, Sara; Manfredi, Maria Teresa

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine helminths and protozoans in cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) imported from registered breeding facilities in China and their relation to health risks for non-human primate handlers in biomedical research centers and in breeding facilities. Fresh fecal samples were collected from a total of 443 M. fascicularis and analyzed by copromicroscopical analysis, immunoenzymatic, or molecular assays. As to helminths, whose eggs were shed in 2.03% of the samples, Trichuris and Oesophagostomum were the only two taxa found, with low prevalence and low eggs per gram (EPG) values. Protozoans were more frequently detected (87.40%), with Entamoeba coli (85.19%) and Endolimax nana (79.26%) as the most prevalent species shed. Other parasites found by fecal smear examination were uninucleated-cyst-producing Entamoebas (78.52%), Iodamoeba bütschlii (42.96%), and Chilomastix mesnili (24.44%), while cysts of Balantidium coli (22.2%) were only observed by sedimentation. No coproantigens of Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., and Entamoeba histolytica complex were detected. Blastocystis sp. infection was noticed in 87.63% of macaques by PCR. These cynomolgus monkeys were infected with many subtypes (ST1, ST2, ST3, ST5, and ST7), where the predominant Blastocystis sp. subtypes were ST2 (77.5%), followed by ST1 (63.5%). Data collected confirmed the presence of potentially zoonotic parasites and a high parasite diversity, suggesting the need for appropriate and sensitive techniques to adequately control them and related health risks for handlers of non-human primates in biomedical research centers and in breeding facilities.

  20. Leukocyte Lysis and Cytokine Induction by the Human Sexually Transmitted Parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frances Mercer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Trichomonas vaginalis (Tv is an extracellular protozoan parasite that causes the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection: trichomoniasis. While acute symptoms in women may include vaginitis, infections are often asymptomatic, but can persist and are associated with medical complications including increased HIV susceptibility, infertility, pre-term labor, and higher incidence of cervical cancer. Heightened inflammation resulting from Tv infection could account for these complications. Effective cellular immune responses to Tv have not been characterized, and re-infection is common, suggesting a dysfunctional adaptive immune response. Using primary human leukocyte components, we have established an in vitro co-culture system to assess the interaction between Tv and the cells of the human immune system. We determined that in vitro, Tv is able to lyse T-cells and B-cells, showing a preference for B-cells. We also found that Tv lysis of lymphocytes was mediated by contact-dependent and soluble factors. Tv lysis of monocytes is far less efficient, and almost entirely contact-dependent. Interestingly, a common symbiont of Tv, Mycoplasma hominis, did not affect cytolytic activity of the parasite, but had a major impact on cytokine responses. M. hominis enabled more diverse inflammatory cytokine secretion in response to Tv and, of the cytokines tested, Tv strains cleared of M. hominis induced only IL-8 secretion from monocytes. The quality of the adaptive immune response to Tv is therefore likely influenced by Tv symbionts, commensals, and concomitant infections, and may be further complicated by direct parasite lysis of effector immune cells.

  1. Systematic analysis of FKBP inducible degradation domain tagging strategies for the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Mauro Ferreira de Azevedo

    Full Text Available Targeted regulation of protein levels is an important tool to gain insights into the role of proteins essential to cell function and development. In recent years, a method based on mutated forms of the human FKBP12 has been established and used to great effect in various cell types to explore protein function. The mutated FKBP protein, referred to as destabilization domain (DD tag when fused with a native protein at the N- or C-terminus targets the protein for proteosomal degradation. Regulated expression is achieved via addition of a compound, Shld-1, that stabilizes the protein and prevents degradation. A limited number of studies have used this system to provide powerful insight into protein function in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. In order to better understand the DD inducible system in P. falciparum, we studied the effect of Shld-1 on parasite growth, demonstrating that although development is not impaired, it is delayed, requiring the appropriate controls for phenotype interpretation. We explored the quantified regulation of reporter Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP and luciferase constructs fused to three DD variants in parasite cells either via transient or stable transfection. The regulation obtained with the original FKBP derived DD domain was compared to two triple mutants DD24 and DD29, which had been described to provide better regulation for C-terminal tagging in other cell types. When cloned to the C-terminal of reporter proteins, DD24 provided the strongest regulation allowing reporter activity to be reduced to lower levels than DD and to restore the activity of stabilised proteins to higher levels than DD29. Importantly, DD24 has not previously been applied to regulate proteins in P. falciparum. The possibility of regulating an exported protein was addressed by targeting the Ring-Infected Erythrocyte Surface Antigen (RESA at its C-terminus. The tagged protein demonstrated an important modulation of its

  2. Leukocyte Lysis and Cytokine Induction by the Human Sexually Transmitted Parasite Trichomonas vaginalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Frances; Diala, Fitz Gerald I.; Chen, Yi-Pei; Molgora, Brenda M.; Ng, Shek Hang; Johnson, Patricia J.

    2016-01-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis (Tv) is an extracellular protozoan parasite that causes the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection: trichomoniasis. While acute symptoms in women may include vaginitis, infections are often asymptomatic, but can persist and are associated with medical complications including increased HIV susceptibility, infertility, pre-term labor, and higher incidence of cervical cancer. Heightened inflammation resulting from Tv infection could account for these complications. Effective cellular immune responses to Tv have not been characterized, and re-infection is common, suggesting a dysfunctional adaptive immune response. Using primary human leukocyte components, we have established an in vitro co-culture system to assess the interaction between Tv and the cells of the human immune system. We determined that in vitro, Tv is able to lyse T-cells and B-cells, showing a preference for B-cells. We also found that Tv lysis of lymphocytes was mediated by contact-dependent and soluble factors. Tv lysis of monocytes is far less efficient, and almost entirely contact-dependent. Interestingly, a common symbiont of Tv, Mycoplasma hominis, did not affect cytolytic activity of the parasite, but had a major impact on cytokine responses. M. hominis enabled more diverse inflammatory cytokine secretion in response to Tv and, of the cytokines tested, Tv strains cleared of M. hominis induced only IL-8 secretion from monocytes. The quality of the adaptive immune response to Tv is therefore likely influenced by Tv symbionts, commensals, and concomitant infections, and may be further complicated by direct parasite lysis of effector immune cells. PMID:27529696

  3. A novel PCR-based system for the detection of four species of human malaria parasites and Plasmodium knowlesi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanako Komaki-Yasuda

    Full Text Available A microscopy-based diagnosis is the gold standard for the detection and identification of malaria parasites in a patient's blood. However, the detection of cases involving a low number of parasites and the differentiation of species sometimes requires a skilled microscopist. Although PCR-based diagnostic methods are already known to be very powerful tools, the time required to apply such methods is still much longer in comparison to traditional microscopic observation. Thus, improvements to PCR systems are sought to facilitate the more rapid and accurate detection of human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae, as well as P. knowlesi, which is a simian malaria parasite that is currently widely distributed in Southeast Asia. A nested PCR that targets the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes of malaria parasites was performed using a "fast PCR enzyme". In the first PCR, universal primers for all parasite species were used. In the second PCR, inner-specific primers, which targeted sequences from P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. knowlesi, were used. The PCR reaction time was reduced with the use of the "fast PCR enzyme", with only 65 minutes required to perform the first and second PCRs. The specific primers only reacted with the sequences of their targeted parasite species and never cross-reacted with sequences from other species under the defined PCR conditions. The diagnoses of 36 clinical samples that were obtained using this new PCR system were highly consistent with the microscopic diagnoses.

  4. Cockroaches as carriers of human intestinal parasites in two localities in Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinfu, Addisu; Erko, Berhanu

    2008-11-01

    A study was undertaken to assess the role of cockroaches as potential carriers of human intestinal parasites in Addis Ababa and Ziway, Ethiopia. A total of 6480 cockroaches were trapped from the two localities from October 2006 to March 2007. All the cockroaches trapped in Addis Ababa (n=2240) and almost 50% (2100/4240) of those trapped in Ziway were identified as Blattella germanica. The rest of the cockroaches trapped in Ziway were identified as Periplaneta brunnea (24.52%), Pycnoscelus surinamensis (16.03%) and Supella longipalpa (9.90%). Microscopic examination of the external body washes of pooled cockroaches and individual gut contents revealed that cockroaches are carriers of Entamoeba coli and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar cysts as well as Enterobius vermicularis, Trichuris trichiura, Taenia spp. and Ascaris lumbricoides ova. Besides their role as a nuisance, the present study further confirms that cockroaches serve as carriers of human intestinal parasites. The possible association of cockroaches with allergic conditions such as asthma is also discussed. Hence, appropriate control measures should be taken particularly to make hotels and residential areas free of cockroaches as they represent a health risk.

  5. Global Analysis of Palmitoylated Proteins in Toxoplasma gondii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foe, Ian T; Child, Matthew A; Majmudar, Jaimeen D; Krishnamurthy, Shruthi; van der Linden, Wouter A; Ward, Gary E; Martin, Brent R; Bogyo, Matthew

    2015-10-14

    Post-translational modifications (PTMs) such as palmitoylation are critical for the lytic cycle of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. While palmitoylation is involved in invasion, motility, and cell morphology, the proteins that utilize this PTM remain largely unknown. Using a chemical proteomic approach, we report a comprehensive analysis of palmitoylated proteins in T. gondii, identifying a total of 282 proteins, including cytosolic, membrane-associated, and transmembrane proteins. From this large set of palmitoylated targets, we validate palmitoylation of proteins involved in motility (myosin light chain 1, myosin A), cell morphology (PhIL1), and host cell invasion (apical membrane antigen 1, AMA1). Further studies reveal that blocking AMA1 palmitoylation enhances the release of AMA1 and other invasion-related proteins from apical secretory organelles, suggesting a previously unrecognized role for AMA1. These findings suggest that palmitoylation is ubiquitous throughout the T. gondii proteome and reveal insights into the biology of this important human pathogen. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis and typing of Toxoplasma gondii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Quan; Wang, Ze-Dong; Huang, Si-Yang; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2015-05-28

    Toxoplasmosis, caused by the obligate intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, is an important zoonosis with medical and veterinary importance worldwide. The disease is mainly contracted by ingesting undercooked or raw meat containing viable tissue cysts, or by ingesting food or water contaminated with oocysts. The diagnosis and genetic characterization of T. gondii infection is crucial for the surveillance, prevention and control of toxoplasmosis. Traditional approaches for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis include etiological, immunological and imaging techniques. Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis has been improved by the emergence of molecular technologies to amplify parasite nucleic acids. Among these, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based molecular techniques have been useful for the genetic characterization of T. gondii. Serotyping methods based on polymorphic polypeptides have the potential to become the choice for typing T. gondii in humans and animals. In this review, we summarize conventional non-DNA-based diagnostic methods, and the DNA-based molecular techniques for the diagnosis and genetic characterization of T. gondii. These techniques have provided foundations for further development of more effective and accurate detection of T. gondii infection. These advances will contribute to an improved understanding of the epidemiology, prevention and control of toxoplasmosis.

  7. Isolation and Genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii in Brazilian Dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Jamille Rodrigues; Maciel, Bianca Mendes; de Santana Souza Santos, Luana Karla Nogueira; Carvalho, Fábio Santos; de Santana Rocha, Daniele; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes; Albuquerque, George Rêgo

    2017-06-01

    Strains of Toxoplasma gondii in Brazil are highly genetically diverse compared to strains from North America and Europe. Dogs are epidemiologically important because they act as sentinels for T. gondii infections in humans and are good indicators of environmental contamination. The aim of this study was to isolate and genetically characterize T. gondii strains from tissues of naturally infected Brazilian dogs. For this study, 21 blood samples were collected from dogs at the Zoonosis Control Centers of Ilhéus and Itabuna cities, Bahia, Brazil. The sera were examined for T. gondii antibodies using the indirect hemagglutination test. Brains and hearts of seropositive dogs were bioassayed in mice to isolate and characterize T. gondii parasites by PCR-RFLP using 10 genetic markers (SAG1, newSAG2, SAG3, BTUB, c22-8, c29-2, GRA6, PK1, APICO, and L358). However, T. gondii was isolated from only 4 (57.1%) dogs, designated TgDgBr6, 13, 17, and 21. All strains were virulent, causing clinical changes (rough hair coat, lethargy, and abdominal distention) and the death of all mice within 8-20 days after inoculation. Genetic analysis of these 4 T. gondii isolates revealed 4 distinct genotypes with different clonal lineage combinations (types I, II, and III) and 2 atypical alleles. Using PCR-RFLP with several markers, this study contributes to evaluations of the genetic diversity of strains circulating in Brazil.

  8. An overexpression screen of Toxoplasma gondii Rab-GTPases reveals distinct transport routes to the micronemes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Kremer

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The basic organisation of the endomembrane system is conserved in all eukaryotes and comparative genome analyses provides compelling evidence that the endomembrane system of the last common eukaryotic ancestor (LCEA is complex with many genes required for regulated traffic being present. Although apicomplexan parasites, causative agents of severe human and animal diseases, appear to have only a basic set of trafficking factors such as Rab-GTPases, they evolved unique secretory organelles (micronemes, rhoptries and dense granules that are sequentially secreted during invasion of the host cell. In order to define the secretory pathway of apicomplexans, we performed an overexpression screen of Rabs in Toxoplasma gondii and identified Rab5A and Rab5C as important regulators of traffic to micronemes and rhoptries. Intriguingly, we found that not all microneme proteins traffic depends on functional Rab5A and Rab5C, indicating the existence of redundant microneme targeting pathways. Using two-colour super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED we verified distinct localisations of independent microneme proteins and demonstrate that micronemal organelles are organised in distinct subsets or subcompartments. Our results suggest that apicomplexan parasites modify classical regulators of the endocytic system to carryout essential parasite-specific roles in the biogenesis of their unique secretory organelles.

  9. Concentration and retention of Toxoplasma gondii surrogates from seawater by red abalone (Haliotis rufescens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schott, Kristen C; Krusor, Colin; Tinker, M. Tim; Moore, James G.; Conrad, Patricia A.; Shapiro, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Small marine snails and abalone have been identified as high- and low-risk prey items, respectively, for exposure of threatened southern sea otters to Toxoplasma gondii, a zoonotic parasite that can cause fatal encephalitis in animals and humans. While recent work has characterized snails as paratenic hosts for T. gondii, the ability of abalone to vector the parasite has not been evaluated. To further elucidate why abalone predation may be protective against T. gondii exposure, this study aimed to determine whether: (1) abalone are physiologically capable of acquiring T. gondii; and (2) abalone and snails differ in their ability to concentrate and retain the parasite. Abalone were exposed to T. gondii surrogate microspheres for 24 h, and fecal samples were examined for 2 weeks following exposure. Concentration of surrogates was 2–3 orders of magnitude greater in abalone feces than in the spiked seawater, and excretion of surrogates continued for 14 days post-exposure. These results indicate that, physiologically, abalone and snails can equally vector T. gondii as paratenic hosts. Reduced risk of T. gondii infection in abalone-specializing otters may therefore result from abalone's high nutritional value, which implies otters must consume fewer animals to meet their caloric needs.

  10. Concentration and retention of Toxoplasma gondii surrogates from seawater by red abalone (Haliotis rufescens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schott, Kristen C; Krusor, Colin; Tinker, M Tim; Moore, James; Conrad, Patricia A; Shapiro, Karen

    2016-11-01

    Small marine snails and abalone have been identified as high- and low-risk prey items, respectively, for exposure of threatened southern sea otters to Toxoplasma gondii, a zoonotic parasite that can cause fatal encephalitis in animals and humans. While recent work has characterized snails as paratenic hosts for T. gondii, the ability of abalone to vector the parasite has not been evaluated. To further elucidate why abalone predation may be protective against T. gondii exposure, this study aimed to determine whether: (1) abalone are physiologically capable of acquiring T. gondii; and (2) abalone and snails differ in their ability to concentrate and retain the parasite. Abalone were exposed to T. gondii surrogate microspheres for 24 h, and fecal samples were examined for 2 weeks following exposure. Concentration of surrogates was 2-3 orders of magnitude greater in abalone feces than in the spiked seawater, and excretion of surrogates continued for 14 days post-exposure. These results indicate that, physiologically, abalone and snails can equally vector T. gondii as paratenic hosts. Reduced risk of T. gondii infection in abalone-specializing otters may therefore result from abalone's high nutritional value, which implies otters must consume fewer animals to meet their caloric needs.

  11. Successful Feeding of Amblyomma coelebs (Acari: Ixodidae) Nymphs on Humans in Brazil: Skin Reactions to Parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Marcos V; Matias, Jaqueline; Aguirre, AndrÉ De A R; Csordas, Barbara G; SzabÓ, Matias P J; Andreotti, Renato

    2015-03-01

    Identifying the tick species that successfully feed on humans would increase knowledge of the epidemiology of several tick-borne diseases. These species salivate into the host, increasing the risk of pathogen transmission. However, there is a lack of data in the literature regarding the ticks that prefer to feed on humans. Herein, we describe the successful feeding of Amblyomma coelebs Neumann nymphs on two of the authors after accidental tick bites occurred during field surveys in two preserved areas of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. One of the host-parasite interactions was closely monitored, and the tick development, gross host skin alterations, and related sensations are presented. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.

  12. Environmental risk and toxicology of human and veterinary waste pharmaceutical exposure to wild aquatic host-parasite relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, Neil J

    2009-03-01

    Pollution of the aquatic environment by human and veterinary waste pharmaceuticals is an increasing area of concern but little is known about their ecotoxicological effects on wildlife. In particular the interactions between pharmaceuticals and natural stressors of aquatic communities remains to be elucidated. A common natural stressor of freshwater and marine organisms are protozoan and metazoan parasites, which can have significant effects on host physiology and population structure, especially under the influence of many traditional kinds of toxic pollutants. However, little is known about the effects of waste pharmaceuticals to host-parasite dynamics. In order to assess the risk waste pharmaceuticals pose to aquatic wildlife it has been suggested the use of toxicological data derived from mammals during the product development of pharmaceuticals may be useful for predicting toxic effects. An additional similar source of information is the extensive clinical studies undertaken with numerous classes of drugs against parasites of human and veterinary importance. These studies may form the basis of preliminary risk assessments to aquatic populations and their interactions with parasitic diseases in pharmaceutical-exposed habitats. The present article reviews the effects of the most common classes of pharmaceutical medicines to host-parasite relationships and assesses the risk they may pose to wild aquatic organisms. In addition the effects of pharmaceutical mixtures, the importance of sewage treatment, and the risk of developing resistant strains of parasites are also assessed. Copyright © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Seroprevalence rates of antibodies againstLeishmania infantum and other protozoan and rickettsial parasites in dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana de Cássia Paulan

    Full Text Available Canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL is caused by the protozoan Leishmania infantum, which infects dogs and humans in many regions of Brazil. The present study involved an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT to analyze L. infantum,Ehrlichia spp., Babesia canis,Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninuminfection rates in serum samples from 93 dogs in a rural settlement in Ilha Solteira, SP, Brazil. The seroprevalence rates of anti-L. infantum, anti-Ehrlichia, anti-B. canis, anti-T. gondii and anti-N. caninum antibodies were 37.6%, 75.3%, 72%, 47.3% and 6.4%, respectively. In addition to IFAT, direct microscopic examination of popliteal lymph node aspirates revealed 26.9% of CVL positive dogs. Serological tests revealed that 17.2% of the dogs were seropositive for a single parasite, 29% for two parasites, 33% for three, 16.1% for four, and 1.1% for five parasites, while 3.2% were seronegative for five parasites. The presence of antibodies against these parasites in serum samples from dogs confirmed their exposure to these parasites in this rural area. Because of the potential zoonotic risk of these diseases, mainly leishmaniasis, ehrlichiosis and toxoplasmosis, special attention should focus on programs for the improvement of diagnostic assays and control measures against these parasites.

  14. Role of the Ubiquitin-Proteasome Systems in the Biology and Virulence of Protozoan Parasites

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    Christian Muñoz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In eukaryotic cells, proteasomes perform crucial roles in many cellular pathways by degrading proteins to enforce quality control and regulate many cellular processes such as cell cycle progression, signal transduction, cell death, immune responses, metabolism, protein-quality control, and development. The catalytic heart of these complexes, the 20S proteasome, is highly conserved in bacteria, yeast, and humans. However, until a few years ago, the role of proteasomes in parasite biology was completely unknown. Here, we summarize findings about the role of proteasomes in protozoan parasites biology and virulence. Several reports have confirmed the role of proteasomes in parasite biological processes such as cell differentiation, cell cycle, proliferation, and encystation. Proliferation and cell differentiation are key steps in host colonization. Considering the importance of proteasomes in both processes in many different parasites such as Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Toxoplasma, and Entamoeba, parasite proteasomes might serve as virulence factors. Several pieces of evidence strongly suggest that the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is also a viable parasitic therapeutic target. Research in recent years has shown that the proteasome is a valid drug target for sleeping sickness and malaria. Then, proteasomes are a key organelle in parasite biology and virulence and appear to be an attractive new chemotherapeutic target.

  15. Genetic characterization of human-pathogenic Cyclospora cayetanensis parasites from three endemic regions at the 18S ribosomal RNA locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulaiman, Irshad M; Ortega, Ynes; Simpson, Steven; Kerdahi, Khalil

    2014-03-01

    Cyclospora cayetanensis is an apicocomplexan parasite that infects the gastrointestinal tract and causes acute diarrheal disease in humans. In recent years, this human-pathogenic parasite has led to several foodborne outbreaks in the United States and Canada, mostly associated with imported produce. Understanding the biology and epidemiology of C. cayetanensis is difficult because little is known about its origin, possible zoonotic reservoirs, and genetic relationships with other coccidian parasites. Recently, we developed a 70kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) gene based nested PCR protocol for detection of C. cayetanensis parasite and sequenced the PCR products of 16 human isolates from Nepal, Mexico, and Peru. In this study, we have characterized the regions of 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene of 17 human C. cayetanensis isolates for molecular detection, and also to ascertain the genetic diversity of this parasite. The 18S rRNA primer sets were further tested by PCR amplification followed by nucleotide sequencing of the PCR amplified products of previously characterized C. cayetanensis isolates from three endemic regions at HSP70 locus. Although no genetic polymorphism was observed at the regions of HSP70 locus characterized in our previous study, the data analysis of this study revealed a minor genetic diversity at the 18S rRNA locus among the C. cayetanensis isolates. The 18S rRNA gene-based nested PCR protocol provides a useful genetic marker for the detection of C. cayetanensis parasite and confirms it as a genetically distinct species in genus Cyclospora. The results also supported lack of geographic segregation and existence of genetically homogeneous population for the C. cayetanensis parasites both at the HSP70 as well as at the18S rRNA loci. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. MYR1-Dependent Effectors Are the Major Drivers of a Host Cell’s Early Response to Toxoplasma, Including Counteracting MYR1-Independent Effects

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    Adit Naor

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii controls its host cell from within the parasitophorous vacuole (PV by using a number of diverse effector proteins, a subset of which require the aspartyl protease 5 enzyme (ASP5 and/or the recently discovered MYR1 protein to cross the PV membrane. To examine the impact these effectors have in the context of the entirety of the host response to Toxoplasma, we used RNA-Seq to analyze the transcriptome expression profiles of human foreskin fibroblasts infected with wild-type RH (RH-WT, RHΔmyr1, and RHΔasp5 tachyzoites. Interestingly, the majority of the differentially regulated genes responding to Toxoplasma infection are MYR1 dependent. A subset of MYR1 responses were ASP5 independent, and MYR1 function did not require ASP5 cleavage, suggesting the export of some effectors requires only MYR1. Gene set enrichment analysis of MYR1-dependent host responses suggests an upregulation of E2F transcription factors and the cell cycle and a downregulation related to interferon signaling, among numerous others. Most surprisingly, “hidden” responses arising in RHΔmyr1- but not RH-WT-infected host cells indicate counterbalancing actions of MYR1-dependent and -independent activities. The host genes and gene sets revealed here to be MYR1 dependent provide new insight into the parasite’s ability to co-opt host cell functions.

  17. Evidence that leishmania donovani utilizes a mannose receptor on human mononuclear phagocytes to establish intracellular parasitism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, M.E.; Pearson, R.D.

    1986-01-01

    The pathogenic protozoan Leishmania donovani must gain entrance into mononuclear phagocytes to successfully parasitize man. The parasite's extracellular promastigote stage is ingested by human peripheral blood monocytes or monocyte-derived macrophages in the absence of serum, in a manner characteristic of receptor-mediated endocytosis. Remarkable similarities have been found between the macrophage receptor(s) for promastigotes and a previously characterized eucaryotic receptor system, the mannose/fucose receptor (MFR), that mediates the binding of zymosan particles and mannose- or fucose-terminal glycoconjugates to macrophages. Ingestion of promastigotes by monocyte-derived macrophages was inhibited by several MFR ligands; that is mannan, mannose-BSA and fucose-BSA. In contrast, promastigote ingestion by monocytes was unaffected by MFR ligands. Furthermore, attachment of promastigotes to macrophages, assessed by using cytochalasin D to prevent phagocytosis, was reduced 49.8% by mannan. Reorientation of the MFR to the ventral surface of the cell was achieved by plating macrophages onto mannan-coated coverslips, reducing MFR activity on the exposed cell surface by 94% as assessed by binding of 125 I-mannose-BSA. Under these conditions, ingestion of promastigotes was inhibited by 71.4%. Internalization of the MFR by exposure of macrophages to zymosan before infection with promastigotes resulted in a 62.3% decrease in parasite ingestion. Additionally, NH 4 Cl decreased macrophage ingestion of promastigotes by 38.2%. Subinhibitory concentration of NH 4 Cl (10 mM) and of mannan (0.25 mg/ml) together inhibited parsite ingestion by 76.4%

  18. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in Backyard and Roaming Pigs ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Toxoplasma gondii, the etiologic agent of Toxoplasmosis, can be transmitted to pigs through the ingestion of oocysts, and to humans through consumption of pork containing viable cysts causing neonatal deaths and abortion in animals, and opportunistic infections in immunocompromised humans. The objective of this ...

  19. 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 ...

  20. Genotyping of polymorphic effectors of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from China

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    Weisheng Cheng

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic protozoan apicomplexan and obligate intracellular parasite that infects a wide range of animals and humans. Rhoptry proteins 5 (ROP5, ROP16, ROP18 and dense granules 15 (GRA15 are the important effectors secreted by T. gondii which link to the strain virulence for mice and modulate the host’s response to the parasite. Little has been known about these molecules as well as GRA3 in type Chinese 1 strains that show polymorphism among strains of archetypical genotypes. This study examined the genetic diversity of these effectors and its correlated virulence in mice among T. gondii isolates from China. Results Twenty-one isolates from stray cats were detected, of which 15 belong to Chinese 1, and 6 to ToxoDB #205. Wh6 isolate, a Chinese 1 strain, has an avirulent phenotype. PCR-RFLP results of ROP5 and ROP18 presented few variations among the strains. Genotyping of GRA15 and ROP16 revealed that all the strains belong to type II allele except Xz7 which carries type I allele. ROP16 amino acid alignment at 503 locus demonstrated that 17 isolates are featured as type I or type III (ROP16I/III, and the other 4 as type II (ROP16II. The strains investigated may be divided into four groups based on GRA3 amino acid alignment, and all isolates of type Chinese 1 belong to the μ-1 allele except Wh6 which is identical to type II strain. Conclusions PCR-RFLP and sequence alignment analyses of ROP5, ROP16, ROP18, GRA3, and GRA15 in T. gondii revealed that strains with the same genotype may have variations in some of their key genes. GRA3 variation exhibited by Wh6 strain may be associated with the difference in phenotype and pathogenesis.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D.; Rayner, Julian C.; Bö hme, Ulrike; Pain, Arnab; Spottiswoode, Natasha; Sanders, Mandy; Quail, Michael; Ollomo, Benjamin; Renaud, Franç ois; Thomas, Alan W.; Prugnolle, Franck; Conway, David J.; Newbold, Chris; Berriman, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    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

  2. Polyparasitism Is Associated with Increased Disease Severity in Toxoplasma gondii-Infected Marine Sentinel Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Amanda K.; Raverty, Stephen; Lambourn, Dyanna M.; Huggins, Jessica; Magargal, Spencer L.; Grigg, Michael E.

    2011-01-01

    In 1995, one of the largest outbreaks of human toxoplasmosis occurred in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Genetic typing identified a novel Toxoplasma gondii strain linked to the outbreak, in which a wide spectrum of human disease was observed. For this globally-distributed, water-borne zoonosis, strain type is one variable influencing disease, but the inability of strain type to consistently explain variations in disease severity suggests that parasite genotype alone does not determine the outcome of infection. We investigated polyparasitism (infection with multiple parasite species) as a modulator of disease severity by examining the association of concomitant infection of T. gondii and the related parasite Sarcocystis neurona with protozoal disease in wild marine mammals from the Pacific Northwest. These hosts ostensibly serve as sentinels for the detection of terrestrial parasites implicated in water-borne epidemics of humans and wildlife in this endemic region. Marine mammals (151 stranded and 10 healthy individuals) sampled over 6 years were assessed for protozoal infection using multi-locus PCR-DNA sequencing directly from host tissues. Genetic analyses uncovered a high prevalence and diversity of protozoa, with 147/161 (91%) of our sampled population infected. From 2004 to 2009, the relative frequency of S. neurona infections increased dramatically, surpassing that of T. gondii. The majority of T. gondii infections were by genotypes bearing Type I lineage alleles, though strain genotype was not associated with disease severity. Significantly, polyparasitism with S. neurona and T. gondii was common (42%) and was associated with higher mortality and more severe protozoal encephalitis. Our finding of widespread polyparasitism among marine mammals indicates pervasive contamination of waterways by zoonotic agents. Furthermore, the significant association of concomitant infection with mortality and protozoal encephalitis identifies polyparasitism as

  3. Polyparasitism is associated with increased disease severity in Toxoplasma gondii-infected marine sentinel species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda K Gibson

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available In 1995, one of the largest outbreaks of human toxoplasmosis occurred in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Genetic typing identified a novel Toxoplasma gondii strain linked to the outbreak, in which a wide spectrum of human disease was observed. For this globally-distributed, water-borne zoonosis, strain type is one variable influencing disease, but the inability of strain type to consistently explain variations in disease severity suggests that parasite genotype alone does not determine the outcome of infection. We investigated polyparasitism (infection with multiple parasite species as a modulator of disease severity by examining the association of concomitant infection of T. gondii and the related parasite Sarcocystis neurona with protozoal disease in wild marine mammals from the Pacific Northwest. These hosts ostensibly serve as sentinels for the detection of terrestrial parasites implicated in water-borne epidemics of humans and wildlife in this endemic region. Marine mammals (151 stranded and 10 healthy individuals sampled over 6 years were assessed for protozoal infection using multi-locus PCR-DNA sequencing directly from host tissues. Genetic analyses uncovered a high prevalence and diversity of protozoa, with 147/161 (91% of our sampled population infected. From 2004 to 2009, the relative frequency of S. neurona infections increased dramatically, surpassing that of T. gondii. The majority of T. gondii infections were by genotypes bearing Type I lineage alleles, though strain genotype was not associated with disease severity. Significantly, polyparasitism with S. neurona and T. gondii was common (42% and was associated with higher mortality and more severe protozoal encephalitis. Our finding of widespread polyparasitism among marine mammals indicates pervasive contamination of waterways by zoonotic agents. Furthermore, the significant association of concomitant infection with mortality and protozoal encephalitis identifies

  4. Human intestinal parasites in crusader Acre: Evidence for migration with disease in the medieval period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Piers D; Anastasiou, Evilena; Syon, Danny

    2011-12-01

    The aim of this research is to highlight the role of ancient parasites as evidence for human migration in past populations. The material analysed was soil sediment from the excavation of a medieval cesspool in the city of Acre, in Israel. Archaeological stratigraphy and radiocarbon dating of a fragment of animal bone from the cesspool confirm its use in the 13th century CE, during the crusader period. At that time Acre was located in the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem. Soil samples from the cesspool were analysed and eggs of the roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) and fish tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum) were identified. The fish tapeworm has only been found in the mainland Near East once before, in a latrine of the crusader Order of St. John (Knights Hospitaller). It has been absent in all earlier cesspools, latrines and coprolites so far studied in the region. In contrast to its rarity in the Levant, the fish tapeworm was common in northern Europe during the medieval period. The presence of fish tapeworm eggs in a crusader period cesspool in Acre suggests its use by crusaders or pilgrims from northern Europe who travelled to the Levant carrying these parasites in their intestines. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Proteolytic activity in the adult and larval stages of the human roundworm parasite Angiostrongylus costaricensis

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    Karina Mastropasqua Rebello

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Angiostrongylus costaricensis is a nematode that causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis, a widespread human parasitism in Latin America. This study aimed to characterize the protease profiles of different developmental stages of this helminth. First-stage larvae (L1 were obtained from the faeces of infected Sigmodon hispidus rodents and third-stage larvae (L3 were collected from mollusks Biomphalaria glabrata previously infected with L1. Adult worms were recovered from rodent mesenteric arteries. Protein extraction was performed after repeated freeze-thaw cycles followed by maceration of the nematodes in 40 mM Tris base. Proteolysis of gelatin was observed by zymography and found only in the larval stages. In L3, the gelatinolytic activity was effectively inhibited by orthophenanthroline, indicating the involvement of metalloproteases. The mechanistic class of the gelatinases from L1 could not be precisely determined using traditional class-specific inhibitors. Adult worm extracts were able to hydrolyze haemoglobin in solution, although no activity was observed by zymography. This haemoglobinolytic activity was ascribed to aspartic proteases following its effective inhibition by pepstatin, which also inhibited the haemoglobinolytic activity of L1 and L3 extracts. The characterization of protease expression throughout the A. costaricensis life cycle may reveal key factors influencing the process of parasitic infection and thus foster our understanding of the disease pathogenesis.

  6. A New High-Throughput Approach to Genotype Ancient Human Gastrointestinal Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Côté, Nathalie M L; Daligault, Julien; Pruvost, Mélanie; Bennett, E Andrew; Gorgé, Olivier; Guimaraes, Silvia; Capelli, Nicolas; Le Bailly, Matthieu; Geigl, Eva-Maria; Grange, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    Human gastrointestinal parasites are good indicators for hygienic conditions and health status of past and present individuals and communities. While microscopic analysis of eggs in sediments of archeological sites often allows their taxonomic identification, this method is rarely effective at the species level, and requires both the survival of intact eggs and their proper identification. Genotyping via PCR-based approaches has the potential to achieve a precise species-level taxonomic determination. However, so far it has mostly been applied to individual eggs isolated from archeological samples. To increase the throughput and taxonomic accuracy, as well as reduce costs of genotyping methods, we adapted a PCR-based approach coupled with next-generation sequencing to perform precise taxonomic identification of parasitic helminths directly from archeological sediments. Our study of twenty-five 100 to 7,200 year-old archeological samples proved this to be a powerful, reliable and efficient approach for species determination even in the absence of preserved eggs, either as a stand-alone method or as a complement to microscopic studies.

  7. Autophagy-related Atg8 localizes to the apicoplast of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Kei Kitamura

    Full Text Available Autophagy is a membrane-mediated degradation process, which is governed by sequential functions of Atg proteins. Although Atg proteins are highly conserved in eukaryotes, protozoa possess only a partial set of Atg proteins. Nonetheless, almost all protozoa have the complete factors belonging to the Atg8 conjugation system, namely, Atg3, Atg4, Atg7, and Atg8. Here, we report the biochemical properties and subcellular localization of the Atg8 protein of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfAtg8. PfAtg8 is expressed during intra-erythrocytic development and associates with membranes likely as a lipid-conjugated form. Fluorescence microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy show that PfAtg8 localizes to the apicoplast, a four membrane-bound non-photosynthetic plastid. Autophagosome-like structures are not observed in the erythrocytic stages. These data suggest that, although Plasmodium parasites have lost most Atg proteins during evolution, they use the Atg8 conjugation system for the unique organelle, the apicoplast.

  8. Transcriptionally Driven DNA Replication Program of the Human Parasite Leishmania major.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombraña, Rodrigo; Álvarez, Alba; Fernández-Justel, José Miguel; Almeida, Ricardo; Poza-Carrión, César; Gomes, Fábia; Calzada, Arturo; Requena, José María; Gómez, María

    2016-08-09

    Faithful inheritance of eukaryotic genomes requires the orchestrated activation of multiple DNA replication origins (ORIs). Although origin firing is mechanistically conserved, how origins are specified and selected for activation varies across different model systems. Here, we provide a complete analysis of the nucleosomal landscape and replication program of the human parasite Leishmania major, building on a better evolutionary understanding of replication organization in Eukarya. We found that active transcription is a driving force for the nucleosomal organization of the L. major genome and that both the spatial and the temporal program of DNA replication can be explained as associated to RNA polymerase kinetics. This simple scenario likely provides flexibility and robustness to deal with the environmental changes that impose alterations in the genetic programs during parasitic life cycle stages. Our findings also suggest that coupling replication initiation to transcription elongation could be an ancient solution used by eukaryotic cells for origin maintenance. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Lankesterella alencari n. sp., a toxoplasma-like organism in the central nervous system of Amphibia (Protozoa, Sporozoa Lankesterella alencari n. sp., um toxoplasma-like no sistema nervoso central de Amphibia (Protozoa, Sporozoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvio Celso Gonçalves da Costa

    1971-01-01

    Full Text Available Lankesterella alencari n. sp. a Sporozoa that occur in the blood and CNS of the South American frog Leptodactylus acellatus is described. Since the tissue forms of this parasite have been previously reported as belonging to the genus Toxoplasma, we attempted in fection of 2 species of amphibia (Bufo marinus an dLeptodactylus ocellatus with a Toxoplasma strain of human origen; inoculation was by intraperitoneal injection of parasite-containing ascitic fluid from infected mice. Attempt of experimental inoculation of the parasite found in the CNS of L. ocellatus in a highly susceptible host (mice was unsuccessful. These results suggest that Toxoplasma does not occur naturally in the amphibia; be related to Toxoplasma is excluded. The following genera of haematozoa found in brazilian amphibia have been considered briedfly: Haemobartonella, Cytamoeba, Dactylosoma, Hepatozoon and Trypanosoma.Os autores descrevem uma espécie do gênero Lankesterella considerada nova para a ciência, que ocorre com certa freqüência parasitando a rã Leptodactylus ocellatus no Brasil. Como os cistos dêste parasito, encontrados no SNC, foram anteriormente relacionados ao gênero Toxoplasma por outro autor, realizamos uma série de inoculações experimentais para eliminar a hipótese. Tanto as inoculações com amostra de Toxoplasma gondii de origem humana em anfíbios, como as de mascerados de SNC de rã contendo cistos em camundongos, foram negativas. As inoculações de T. gondii em anfíbios foram realizadas em temperatura ambiente que no Rio de Janeiro, na época era 30º-39ºC. Não encontramos, por outro lado, cistos no SNC de anfíbios do gênero Bufo, fato assinalado por outros autores. Realizamos algumas técnicas citoquímicas para melhor caracterização do parasito. Tendo em vista o grande número de hemoparasitos encontrados nas rãs brasileiras e as infecções múltiplas ocorrerem com freqüência, apresentamos também a incidência dêstes parasitos

  10. Natural infection of Plasmodium brasilianum in humans: Man and monkey share quartan malaria parasites in the Venezuelan Amazon

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    Albert Lalremruata

    2015-09-01

    Interpretation: This study reports, for the first time, naturally acquired infections in humans with parasites termed as P. brasilianum. We conclude that quartan malaria parasites are easily exchanged between humans and monkeys in Latin America. We hypothesize a lack of host specificity in mammalian hosts and consider quartan malaria to be a true anthropozoonosis. Since the name P. brasilianum suggests a malaria species distinct from P. malariae, we propose that P. brasilianum should have a nomenclatorial revision in case further research confirms our findings. The expansive reservoir of mammalian hosts discriminates quartan malaria from other Plasmodium spp. and requires particular research efforts.

  11. Sequence variation in TgROP7 gene among Toxoplasma gondii ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Yomi

    2012-03-27

    Mar 27, 2012 ... Toxoplasma gondii can infect a wide range of hosts including mammals and birds, causing toxoplasmosis which is one of the most common parasitic zoonoses worldwide. The present study examined sequence variation in rhoptry 7 (ROP7) gene among different T. gondii isolates from different hosts and ...

  12. Toxoplasmosis in dogs: First report of Toxoplasma gondii infection in any animal species in Angola

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite the worldwide importance of zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii nothing is known of toxoplasmosis in animals in Angola. The present study aimed at estimating the seroprevalence and also assessing correlates of T. gondii infection in pet dogs from Luanda, Angola. Dogs (n = 103) brought to a v...

  13. Toxoplasma gondii in stranded marine mammals from the North Sea and Eastern Atlantic Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velde, van de Norbert; Devleesschauwer, Brecht; Leopold, Mardik; Begeman, Lineke; IJsseldijk, Lonneke; Hiemstra, Sjoukje; IJzer, Jooske; Brownlow, Andrew; Davison, Nicholas; Haelters, Jan

    2016-01-01

    The occurrence of the zoonotic protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in marine mammals remains a poorly understood phenomenon. In this study, samples from 589 marine mammal species and 34 European otters (Lutra lutra), stranded on the coasts of Scotland, Belgium, France, The Netherlands and

  14. Inactivation of Toxoplasma gondii on blueberries using low dose irradiation without affecting quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii is a common protozoan parasite, whose environmentally-resistant stage, the oocyst, can contaminate irrigation water and fresh edible produce. Current washing steps in produce processing may not be effective for eliminating T. gondii from at-risk varieties of produce. The objective ...

  15. Isolation of viable Toxoplasma gondii, molecular characterization, and seroprevalence in elk (Cervus canadensis) in Pennsylvania, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonosis. The ingestion of uncooked/undercooked meat and consumption of water contaminated with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts excreted by felids are the main modes of transmission of this parasite. Thousands of wild cervids are hunted or killed in traffic accidents yearly bu...

  16. Seroepidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection in bats from São Paulo city, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic zoonosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii with a worldwide distribution. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of IgG anti-T. gondii antibodies in bats from São Paulo city, Brazil. A total of 616 serum samples were collected from 22 species of bats. Anti-T. gon...

  17. SAG2 locus genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii in meat products of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular obligate parasite. Its transmission is usually attributed to ingestion of undercooked or raw meat. The aim of this study was the detection and genotyping of T. gondii in meat products using the molecular method in East Azerbaijan. DNA was ...

  18. Serotyping of Toxoplasma gondii in Cats (Felis domesticus) Reveals Predominance of Type II Infections in Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background: Cats are definitive hosts of Toxoplasma gondii and play an essential role in the epidemiology of this parasite. The study aims at clarifying whether cats are able to develop specific antibodies against different clonal types of T. gondii and to determine by serotyping the T. gondii clona...

  19. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. in domestic cats from Luanda, Angola

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. are zoonotic agents of importance to public health, with domestic cats as potential reservoirs for both protozoal infections. The present study aimed at assessing for the first time the seroprevalence of these zoonotic parasites in a domestic feline population l...

  20. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. in domestic cats from Luanda, Angola

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lopes, Ana Patrícia; Oliveira, Ana Cristina; Granada, Sara; Rodrigues, Filipa T.; Papadopoulos, Elias; Schallig, Henk; Dubey, Jitender P.; Cardoso, Luís

    2017-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii and Leishmania spp. are zoonotic protozoa of importance to animal and public health. The present study aimed to assess for the first time the seroprevalence of these zoonotic parasites in a domestic feline population living in Luanda, Angola. One hundred and two cats were sampled

  1. Toxoplasma gondii: 1908-2008, homage to Nicolle, Manceaux and Splendore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J P Ferguson

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of Toxoplasma gondii independently by Nicolle and Manceaux (1908 and Splendore (1908 was to open a "Pandora's Box" that has led research on this parasite into a number of scientific disciplines. In the 100 years since its discovery, the mystery surrounding T. gondii and its inter-relationship with humans has continued to provide a stimulating source of material in many areas of research, resulting in the publication of almost 20,000 papers and a number of books. This flood of diverse information shows no sign of abating, with an average of 10 papers per week appearing in PubMed. Herein, it is impossible to do more than provide a very superficial comment on what has become a massive body of scientific information. T. gondii has many unique features and seems to be the "exception to almost every rule" thus acting as a focus for research in disciplines from epidemiology to immunology to human behaviour to cell biology to human disease. In this review a number of the historical advances will be mentioned and combined with a description of the basic biology of the parasite.

  2. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in the Iranian general population: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daryani, Ahmad; Sarvi, Shahabeddin; Aarabi, Mohsen; Mizani, Azadeh; Ahmadpour, Ehsan; Shokri, Azar; Rahimi, Mohammad-Taghi; Sharif, Mehdi

    2014-09-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common protozoan parasites with widespread distribution globally. It is the causative agent of Toxoplasma infection, which is prevalent in human and other warm-blooded vertebrates. While T. gondii infection in healthy people is usually asymptomatic, it can lead to serious pathological effects in congenital cases and immunodeficient patients. We sought to identify the seroprevalence rate of Toxoplasma infection in the Iranian general population to develop a comprehensive description of the disease condition in Iran for future use. Electronic databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, and Scopus) and Persian language databases (Magiran, Scientific Information Database [SID], Iran Medex, and Iran Doc) were searched. Furthermore, graduate student dissertations and proceedings of national parasitology congresses were searched manually. Our search resulted in a total of 35 reports published from 1978 to 2012.These include 22 published articles, 1 unpublished study, 8 proceedings from the Iranian conference of parasitology, and 4 graduate student dissertations, resulting in 52,294 individuals and 23,385 IgG seropositive cases. The random errors method was used for this meta-analysis. The result shows that the overall seroprevalence rate of toxoplasmos is among the general population in Iran was 39.3% (95% CI=33.0%-45.7%). There was no significant difference in the seroprevalence rate between male and female patients. A significant linear trend of increasing overall prevalence by age was noted (P<0.0001). In addition, the data indicates that there are high seroprevalence in groups who have direct contact with cats, consume uncooked meat and raw fruits or vegetables, in farmers and Housewife, individuals who have a low level of education, and live in rural areas. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic review of T. gondii infection seroprevalence in Iran, which shows a high prevalence of Toxoplasma infection

  3. Zoonotic and Non-Zoonotic Diseases in Relation to Human Personality and Societal Values: Support for the Parasite-Stress Model

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    Randy Thornhill

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The parasite-stress model of human sociality proposes that humans' ontogenetic experiences with infectious diseases as well as their evolutionary historical interactions with these diseases exert causal influences on human psychology and social behavior. This model has been supported by cross-national relationships between parasite prevalence and human personality traits, and between parasite prevalence and societal values. Importantly, the parasite-stress model emphasizes the causal role of non-zoonotic parasites (which have the capacity for human-to-human transmission, rather than zoonotic parasites (which do not, but previous studies failed to distinguish between these conceptually distinct categories. The present investigation directly tested the differential predictive effects of zoonotic and non-zoonotic (both human-specific and multihost parasite prevalence on personality traits and societal values. Supporting the parasite-stress model, cross-national differences in personality traits (unrestricted sexuality, extraversion, openness to experiences and in societal values (individualism, collectivism, gender equality, democratization are predicted specifically by non-zoonotic parasite prevalence.

  4. Unique parasite aDNA in moa coprolites from New Zealand suggests mass parasite extinctions followed human-induced megafauna extinctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Hopkins, Skylar R.

    2018-01-01

    Having split early from Gondwana, Zealandia (now modern New Zealand) escaped discovery until the late 13th century, and therefore remains an important glimpse into a human-free world. Without humans or other land mammals, diverse and peculiar birds evolved in isolation, including several flightless moa species, the giant pouakai eagle (Harpagornis moorei), the kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), and the kakapo parrot (Strigops habroptila). This unique community has fascinated paleoecologists, who have spent almost two centuries devising new ways to glean information from ancient bird remains. In PNAS, Boast et al. (1) apply one recent technological advance, ancient DNA (aDNA) metabarcoding, to confirm previous discoveries and report new details about moa and kakapo diets, parasites, and niches. Their efforts confirm Zealandia was a lot different before humans arrived.

  5. Detection and genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii DNA in the blood and milk of naturally infected donkeys (Equus asinus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancianti, Francesca; Nardoni, Simona; Papini, Roberto; Mugnaini, Linda; Martini, Mina; Altomonte, Iolanda; Salari, Federica; D'Ascenzi, Carlo; Dubey, Jitender P

    2014-04-03

    Toxoplasma gondii is a worldwide zoonotic protozoan. Consumption of raw milk from infected animals is considered a risk factor for acquiring toxoplasmosis in humans. Recently, donkey milk has been indicated for therapeutic and nutritional purposes and T. gondii infection is common in donkeys. The purpose of the present paper was to detect the presence of parasite DNA in milk of T. gondii positive donkeys. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 11 out of 44 healthy lactating donkeys by IFAT. T. gondii DNA was detected by PCR in blood of 6 and milk of 3 seropositive jennies. Results of limited RFLP-PCR genotyping indicated the presence of T. gondii genotype II or III, commonly found in Europe. The occurrence of T. gondii DNA in milk suggests that the consumption of raw milk from seropositive donkeys could be a potential source of human infection.

  6. Hydrologic and Vegetative Removal of Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, and Toxoplasma gondii Surrogate Microspheres in Coastal Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Jennifer N.; Daniels, Miles E.; Watson, Fred G.; Oates, Stori C.; Miller, Melissa A.; Conrad, Patricia A.; Shapiro, Karen; Hardin, Dane; Dominik, Clare; Melli, Ann; Jessup, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Constructed wetland systems are used to reduce pollutants and pathogens in wastewater effluent, but comparatively little is known about pathogen transport through natural wetland habitats. Fecal protozoans, including Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, and Toxoplasma gondii, are waterborne pathogens of humans and animals, which are carried by surface waters from land-based sources into coastal waters. This study evaluated key factors of coastal wetlands for the reduction of protozoal parasites in surface waters using settling column and recirculating mesocosm tank experiments. Settling column experiments evaluated the effects of salinity, temperature, and water type (“pure” versus “environmental”) on the vertical settling velocities of C. parvum, G. lamblia, and T. gondii surrogates, with salinity and water type found to significantly affect settling of the parasites. The mesocosm tank experiments evaluated the effects of salinity, flow rate, and vegetation parameters on parasite and surrogate counts, with increased salinity and the presence of vegetation found to be significant factors for removal of parasites in a unidirectional transport wetland system. Overall, this study highlights the importance of water type, salinity, and vegetation parameters for pathogen transport within wetland systems, with implications for wetland management, restoration efforts, and coastal water quality. PMID:23315738

  7. Helminth parasites of cats from the Vientiane Province, Laos, as indicators of the occurrence of causative agents of human parasitoses

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    Scholz T.

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 55 domestic cats (Felis calus f. domestico and one wild (Bengal cat (Prionailurus bengalensis from the Vientiane Province, central Laos, were examined for helminth parasites with emphasis given to potential human parasites. The following species were found (parasites infective to man marked with an asterisk: Opisthorchis viverrini*, Haplorchis pumilio*,H. laichui*,H. yokogawai*, Stellantchasmus falcatus* (Digenea; Spirometra sp.*, Dipylidium caninum*, Taenia taeniaeformis (Cestoda; Capillariidae gen. sp., Toxocara canis*, T. cati*, Ancylostoma ceylanicum*, A. tubaeforme, Gnathostoma spinigerum*, Physaloptera preputials (Nematoda; and Oncicola sp. (Acanthocephala. This study demonstrated that examination of cats may provide useful data on the occurrence of helminths which are potential causative agents of human diseases.

  8. Monocyte-Derived Signals Activate Human Natural Killer Cells in Response to Leishmania Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messlinger, Helena; Sebald, Heidi; Heger, Lukas; Dudziak, Diana; Bogdan, Christian; Schleicher, Ulrike

    2018-01-01

    Activated natural killer (NK) cells release interferon (IFN)-γ, which is crucial for the control of intracellular pathogens such as Leishmania. In contrast to experimental murine leishmaniasis, the human NK cell response to Leishmania is still poorly characterized. Here, we investigated the interaction of human blood NK cells with promastigotes of different Leishmania species (Leishmania major, Leishmania mexicana, Leishmania infantum, and Leishmania donovani). When peripheral blood mononuclear cells or purified NK cells and monocytes (all derived from healthy blood donors from Germany without a history of leishmaniasis) were exposed to promastigotes, NK cells showed increased surface expression of the activation marker CD69. The extent of this effect varied depending on the Leishmania species; differences between dermotropic and viscerotropic L. infantum strains were not observed. Upregulation of CD69 required direct contact between monocytes and Leishmania and was partly inhibitable by anti-interleukin (IL)-18. Unexpectedly, IL-18 was undetectable in most of the supernatants (SNs) of monocyte/parasite cocultures. Confocal fluorescence microscopy of non-permeabilized cells revealed that Leishmania-infected monocytes trans-presented IL-18 to NK cells. Native, but not heat-treated SNs of monocyte/Leishmania cocultures also induced CD69 on NK cells, indicating the involvement of a soluble heat-labile factor other than IL-18. A role for the NK cell-activating cytokines IL-1β, IL-2, IL-12, IL-15, IL-21, and IFN-α/β was excluded. The increase of CD69 was not paralleled by NK cell IFN-γ production or enhanced cytotoxicity. However, prior exposure of NK cells to Leishmania parasites synergistically increased their IFN-γ release in response to IL-12, which was dependent on endogenous IL-18. CD1c+ dendritic cells were identified as possible source of Leishmania-induced IL-12. Finally, we observed that direct contact between Leishmania and NK cells reduced the

  9. Monocyte-Derived Signals Activate Human Natural Killer Cells in Response to Leishmania Parasites

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    Helena Messlinger

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Activated natural killer (NK cells release interferon (IFN-γ, which is crucial for the control of intracellular pathogens such as Leishmania. In contrast to experimental murine leishmaniasis, the human NK cell response to Leishmania is still poorly characterized. Here, we investigated the interaction of human blood NK cells with promastigotes of different Leishmania species (Leishmania major, Leishmania mexicana, Leishmania infantum, and Leishmania donovani. When peripheral blood mononuclear cells or purified NK cells and monocytes (all derived from healthy blood donors from Germany without a history of leishmaniasis were exposed to promastigotes, NK cells showed increased surface expression of the activation marker CD69. The extent of this effect varied depending on the Leishmania species; differences between dermotropic and viscerotropic L. infantum strains were not observed. Upregulation of CD69 required direct contact between monocytes and Leishmania and was partly inhibitable by anti-interleukin (IL-18. Unexpectedly, IL-18 was undetectable in most of the supernatants (SNs of monocyte/parasite cocultures. Confocal fluorescence microscopy of non-permeabilized cells revealed that Leishmania-infected monocytes trans-presented IL-18 to NK cells. Native, but not heat-treated SNs of monocyte/Leishmania cocultures also induced CD69 on NK cells, indicating the involvement of a soluble heat-labile factor other than IL-18. A role for the NK cell-activating cytokines IL-1β, IL-2, IL-12, IL-15, IL-21, and IFN-α/β was excluded. The increase of CD69 was not paralleled by NK cell IFN-γ production or enhanced cytotoxicity. However, prior exposure of NK cells to Leishmania parasites synergistically increased their IFN-γ release in response to IL-12, which was dependent on endogenous IL-18. CD1c+ dendritic cells were identified as possible source of Leishmania-induced IL-12. Finally, we observed that direct contact between Leishmania and NK cells

  10. Structure of a two-CAP-domain protein from the human hookworm parasite Necator americanus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asojo, Oluwatoyin A., E-mail: oasojo@unmc.edu [Pathology and Microbiology Department, 986495 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-6495 (United States)

    2011-05-01

    The first structure of a two-CAP-domain protein, Na-ASP-1, from the major human hookworm parasite N. americanus refined to a resolution limit of 2.2 Å is presented. Major proteins secreted by the infective larval stage hookworms upon host entry include Ancylostoma secreted proteins (ASPs), which are characterized by one or two CAP (cysteine-rich secretory protein/antigen 5/pathogenesis related-1) domains. The CAP domain has been reported in diverse phylogenetically unrelated proteins, but has no confirmed function. The first structure of a two-CAP-domain protein, Na-ASP-1, from the major human hookworm parasite Necator americanus was refined to a resolution limit of 2.2 Å. The structure was solved by molecular replacement (MR) using Na-ASP-2, a one-CAP-domain ASP, as the search model. The correct MR solution could only be obtained by truncating the polyalanine model of Na-ASP-2 and removing several loops. The structure reveals two CAP domains linked by an extended loop. Overall, the carboxyl-terminal CAP domain is more similar to Na-ASP-2 than to the amino-terminal CAP domain. A large central cavity extends from the amino-terminal CAP domain to the carboxyl-terminal CAP domain, encompassing the putative CAP-binding cavity. The putative CAP-binding cavity is a characteristic cavity in the carboxyl-terminal CAP domain that contains a His and Glu pair. These residues are conserved in all single-CAP-domain proteins, but are absent in the amino-terminal CAP domain. The conserved His residues are oriented such that they appear to be capable of directly coordinating a zinc ion as observed for CAP proteins from reptile venoms. This first structure of a two-CAP-domain ASP can serve as a template for homology modeling of other two-CAP-domain proteins.

  11. Structure of a two-CAP-domain protein from the human hookworm parasite Necator americanus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asojo, Oluwatoyin A.

    2011-01-01

    The first structure of a two-CAP-domain protein, Na-ASP-1, from the major human hookworm parasite N. americanus refined to a resolution limit of 2.2 Å is presented. Major proteins secreted by the infective larval stage hookworms upon host entry include Ancylostoma secreted proteins (ASPs), which are characterized by one or two CAP (cysteine-rich secretory protein/antigen 5/pathogenesis related-1) domains. The CAP domain has been reported in diverse phylogenetically unrelated proteins, but has no confirmed function. The first structure of a two-CAP-domain protein, Na-ASP-1, from the major human hookworm parasite Necator americanus was refined to a resolution limit of 2.2 Å. The structure was solved by molecular replacement (MR) using Na-ASP-2, a one-CAP-domain ASP, as the search model. The correct MR solution could only be obtained by truncating the polyalanine model of Na-ASP-2 and removing several loops. The structure reveals two CAP domains linked by an extended loop. Overall, the carboxyl-terminal CAP domain is more similar to Na-ASP-2 than to the amino-terminal CAP domain. A large central cavity extends from the amino-terminal CAP domain to the carboxyl-terminal CAP domain, encompassing the putative CAP-binding cavity. The putative CAP-binding cavity is a characteristic cavity in the carboxyl-terminal CAP domain that contains a His and Glu pair. These residues are conserved in all single-CAP-domain proteins, but are absent in the amino-terminal CAP domain. The conserved His residues are oriented such that they appear to be capable of directly coordinating a zinc ion as observed for CAP proteins from reptile venoms. This first structure of a two-CAP-domain ASP can serve as a template for homology modeling of other two-CAP-domain proteins

  12. MYR1-Dependent Effectors Are the Major Drivers of a Host Cell's Early Response to Toxoplasma, Including Counteracting MYR1-Independent Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naor, Adit; Panas, Michael W; Marino, Nicole; Coffey, Michael J; Tonkin, Christopher J; Boothroyd, John C

    2018-04-03

    The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii controls its host cell from within the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) by using a number of diverse effector proteins, a subset of which require the aspartyl protease 5 enzyme (ASP5) and/or the recently discovered MYR1 protein to cross the PV membrane. To examine the impact these effectors have in the context of the entirety of the host response to Toxoplasma , we used RNA-Seq to analyze the transcriptome expression profiles of human foreskin fibroblasts infected with wild-type RH (RH-WT), RHΔ myr1 , and RHΔ asp5 tachyzoites. Interestingly, the majority of the differentially regulated genes responding to Toxoplasma infection are MYR1 dependent. A subset of MYR1 responses were ASP5 independent, and MYR1 function did not require ASP5 cleavage, suggesting the export of some effectors requires only MYR1. Gene set enrichment analysis of MYR1-dependent host responses suggests an upregulation of E2F transcription factors and the cell cycle and a downregulation related to interferon signaling, among numerous others. Most surprisingly, "hidden" responses arising in RHΔ myr1 - but not RH-WT-infected host cells indicate counterbalancing actions of MYR1-dependent and -independent activities. The host genes and gene sets revealed here to be MYR1 dependent provide new insight into the parasite's ability to co-opt host cell functions. IMPORTANCE Toxoplasma gondii is unique in its ability to successfully invade and replicate in a broad range of host species and cells within those hosts. The complex interplay of effector proteins exported by Toxoplasma is key to its success in co-opting the host cell to create a favorable replicative niche. Here we show that a majority of the transcriptomic effects in tachyzoite-infected cells depend on the activity of a novel translocation system involving MYR1 and that the effectors delivered by this system are part of an intricate interplay of activators and suppressors. Removal of all MYR1

  13. Intestinal Parasitic Infections in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected and Noninfected Persons in a High Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevalence Region of Cameroon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkenfou, Céline Nguefeu; Tchameni, Sandrine Mboula; Nkenfou, Carine Nguefeu; Djataou, Patrice; Simo, Ulrich Florian; Nkoum, Alexandre Benjamin; Estrin, William

    2017-09-01

    The problem of intestinal parasitic infection in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected people requires careful consideration in the developing world where poor nutrition is associated with poor hygiene and several coinfecting diseases. Studies have addressed this issue in Cameroon, especially in the low HIV prevalence area. The current study was conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitosis in people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Adamaoua and to identify associated risk factors. Stool and blood specimens from study participants were screened for intestinal parasites and anti-HIV antibodies, respectively. Of 235 participants, 68 (28.9%) were HIV positive, 38 of them on antiretroviral treatment (ART). The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites was 32.3%. Of 68 PLHIV, 32.3% (22/68) were infected with intestinal parasites, compared with 32.3% (54/167) of the HIV-negative patients. Univariate analysis showed no difference between the prevalence of intestinal parasites among PLHIV and HIV-negative patients ( P = 0.69). ART was not associated with the prevalence of intestinal parasites. Multivariate analysis showed that the quality of water and the personal hygiene were the major risk factors associated to intestinal parasitosis. The level of education was associated with HIV serostatus: the higher the level of education, the lower the risk of being infected with HIV ( P = 0.00). PLHIV and the general population should be screened routinely for intestinal parasites and treated if infected.

  14. Interaction and cystogenesis of Toxoplasma gondii within skeletal muscle cells in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erick Vaz Guimarães

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Infection by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is widely prevalent in humans and animals. To prevent human infection, all meat should be well cooked before consumption, since the parasite is present in skeletal muscle. In this context, the use of skeletal muscle cells (SkMCs as a cellular model opens up new approaches to investigate T. gondii-host cell interactions. Immunofluorescent detection of proteins that are stage-specific for bradyzoites indicated that complete cystogenesis of T. gondii in in vitro cultures of SkMCs occurs after 96 h of infection. Ultrastructural analysis showed that, after 48 h of interaction, there were alterations on the parasitophorous vacuole membrane, including greater thickness and increased electron density at the inner face of the membrane. The present study demonstrates the potential use of primary cultures of SkMCs to evaluate different molecular aspects of T. gondii invasion and cystogenesis and presents a promising in vitro model for the screening of drug activities toward tissue cysts and bradyzoites.

  15. Current progress in the development and use of artemether for chemoprophylaxis of major human schistosome parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utzinger, J; Xiao, S; Keiser, J; Chen, M; Zheng, J; Tanner, M

    2001-12-01

    Human schistosomiasis, a chronic and debilitating parasitic disease of the tropics, is ranked second after malaria in terms of public health importance. At present, there is no vaccine available, and chemotherapy is the cornerstone of schistosomiasis control. Praziquantel is the drug of choice. Oxamniquine has become difficult to obtain and metrifonate has recently been withdrawn from the market. Rapid re-infection following treatment and concern about praziquantel resistance called for the search of novel drugs for prevention and cure of schistosomiasis. Significant progress has been made with artemether, the methyl ether of dihydroartemisinin, already widely used for the treatment of malaria. The present article reviews the literature that led to the development of artemether for chemoprophylaxis in schistosomiasis, and it summarises the experiences so far obtained with its use to control schistosomiasis in different endemic settings. Topics covered include an overview of the global burden of schistosomiasis and approaches for its control; the nature and features of artemisinin and related derivatives, initially discovered as antimalarials, other bioactivities, and their recent discovery of antischistosomal properties; a historic account disclosing the antischistosomal activity of artemether; in vivo assessment of drug susceptibility of different developmental stages of schistosome parasites; artemether-induced pathology evidenced by scanning and transmission electron microscopy; the possible mechanism of action; in vivo studies with combination therapy of artemether and praziquantel; results of randomised controlled clinical trials of oral artemether for the prevention of patent infection and morbidity; and, ultimately the translation of this knowledge into public health action in different endemic settings towards a more integrated approach of schistosomiasis control.

  16. Draft genome of neurotropic nematode parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis, causative agent of human eosinophilic meningitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong, Hoi-Sen; Eamsobhana, Praphathip; Lim, Phaik-Eem; Razali, Rozaimi; Aziz, Farhanah Abdul; Rosli, Nurul Shielawati Mohamed; Poole-Johnson, Johan; Anwar, Arif

    2015-08-01

    Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a bursate nematode parasite that causes eosinophilic meningitis (or meningoencephalitis) in humans in many parts of the world. The genomic data from A. cantonensis will form a useful resource for comparative genomic and chemogenomic studies to aid the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. We have sequenced, assembled and annotated the genome of A. cantonensis. The genome size is estimated to be ∼260 Mb, with 17,280 genomic scaffolds, 91X coverage, 81.45% for complete and 93.95% for partial score based on CEGMA analysis of genome completeness. The number of predicted genes of ≥300 bp was 17,482. A total of 7737 predicted protein-coding genes of ≥50 amino acids were identified in the assembled genome. Among the proteins of known function, kinases are the most abundant followed by transferases. The draft genome contains 34 excretory-secretory proteins (ES), a minimum of 44 Nematode Astacin (NAS) metalloproteases, 12 Homeobox (HOX) genes, and 30 neurotransmitters. The assembled genome size (260 Mb) is larger than those of Pristionchus pacificus, Caenorhabditis elegans, Necator americanus, Caenorhabditis briggsae, Trichinella spiralis, Brugia malayi and Loa loa, but smaller than Haemonchus contortus and Ascaris suum. The repeat content (25%) is similar to H. contortus. The GC content (41.17%) is lower compared to P. pacificus (42.7%) and H. contortus (43.1%) but higher compared to C. briggsae (37.69%), A. suum (37.9%) and N. americanus (40.2%) while the scaffold N50 is 42,191. This draft genome will facilitate the understanding of many unresolved issues on the parasite and the disorder it causes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. A novel PCR-based system for the detection of four species of human malaria parasites and Plasmodium knowlesi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komaki-Yasuda, Kanako; Vincent, Jeanne Perpétue; Nakatsu, Masami; Kato, Yasuyuki; Ohmagari, Norio

    2018-01-01

    A microscopy-based diagnosis is the gold standard for the detection and identification of malaria parasites in a patient’s blood. However, the detection of cases involving a low number of parasites and the differentiation of species sometimes requires a skilled microscopist. Although PCR-based diagnostic methods are already known to be very powerful tools, the time required to apply such methods is still much longer in comparison to traditional microscopic observation. Thus, improvements to PCR systems are sought to facilitate the more rapid and accurate detection of human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae, as well as P. knowlesi, which is a simian malaria parasite that is currently widely distributed in Southeast Asia. A nested PCR that targets the small subunit ribosomal RNA genes of malaria parasites was performed using a “fast PCR enzyme”. In the first PCR, universal primers for all parasite species were used. In the second PCR, inner-specific primers, which targeted sequences from P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. knowlesi, were used. The PCR reaction time was reduced with the use of the “fast PCR enzyme”, with only 65 minutes required to perform the first and second PCRs. The specific primers only reacted with the sequences of their targeted parasite species and never cross-reacted with sequences from other species under the defined PCR conditions. The diagnoses of 36 clinical samples that were obtained using this new PCR system were highly consistent with the microscopic diagnoses. PMID:29370297

  18. Lipid Synthesis in Protozoan Parasites: a Comparison Between Kinetoplastids and Apicomplexans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Serricchio, Mauro; Striepen, Boris; Bütikofer, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Lipid metabolism is of crucial importance for pathogens. Lipids serve as cellular building blocks, signalling molecules, energy stores, posttranslational modifiers, and pathogenesis factors. Parasites rely on a complex system of uptake and synthesis mechanisms to satisfy their lipid needs. The parameters of this system change dramatically as the parasite transits through the various stages of its life cycle. Here we discuss the tremendous recent advances that have been made in the understanding of the synthesis and uptake pathways for fatty acids and phospholipids in apicomplexan and kinetoplastid parasites, including Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, Trypanosoma and Leishmania. Lipid synthesis differs in significant ways between parasites from both phyla and the human host. Parasites have acquired novel pathways through endosymbiosis, as in the case of the apicoplast, have dramatically reshaped substrate and product profiles, and have evolved specialized lipids to interact with or manipulate the host. These differences potentially provide opportunities for drug development. We outline the lipid pathways for key species in detail as they progress through the developmental cycle and highlight those that are of particular importance to the biology of the pathogens and/or are the most promising targets for parasite-specific treatment. PMID:23827884

  19. Parasitic diseases of camels in Iran (1931–2017 – a literature review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sazmand Alireza

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Parasitic diseases of camels are major causes of impaired milk and meat production, decreases in performance or even death. Some camel parasites also represent a threat to human health. About 171,500 one-humped camels (Camelus dromedarius and 100–300 two-humped camels (Camelus bactrianus live in Iran. Knowledge of the biodiversity of their parasites is still limited. The present review covers all information about camel parasitic diseases in Iran published as dissertations and in both Iranian and international journals from 1931 to February 2017. Ten genera of Protozoa (Trypanosoma, Eimeria, Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, Neospora, Sarcocystis, Besnoitia, Theileria, Babesia and Balantidium, 48 helminth species detected in the digestive system, including three species of Trematoda, four species of Cestoda, and 41 species of Nematoda, as well as helminths from other organs – Echinococcus spp., Dictyocaulus filaria, Thelazia leesei, Dipetalonema evansi and Onchocerca fasciata – have so far been described in Iranian camels. Furthermore, 13 species of hard ticks, mange mites, the myiasis flies Cephalopina titillator and Wohlfahrtia magnifica, and immature stages of the Pentastomida Linguatula serrata have also been reported from camels of Iran. Camel parasitic diseases are a major issue in Iran in terms of economics and public health. The present review offers information for an integrated control programme against economically relevant parasites of camels.

  20. Toxoplasma gondii acetyl-CoA synthetase is involved in fatty acid elongation (of long fatty acid chains) during tachyzoite life stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubois, David; Fernandes, Stella; Amiar, Souad; Dass, Sheena; Katris, Nicholas J; Botté, Cyrille Y; Yamaryo-Botté, Yoshiki

    2018-06-01

    Apicomplexan parasites are pathogens responsible for major human diseases such as toxoplasmosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii and malaria caused by Plasmodium spp. Throughout their intracellular division cycle, the parasites require vast and specific amounts of lipids to divide and survive. This demand for lipids relies on a fine balance between de novo synthesized lipids and scavenged lipids from the host. Acetyl-CoA is a major and central precursor for many metabolic pathways, especially for lipid biosynthesis. T. gondii possesses a single cytosolic acetyl-CoA synthetase ( Tg ACS). Its role in the parasite lipid synthesis is unclear. Here, we generated an inducible Tg ACS KO parasite line and confirmed the cytosolic localization of the protein. We conducted 13 C-stable isotope labeling combined with mass spectrometry-based lipidomic analyses to unravel its putative role in the parasite lipid synthesis pathway. We show that its disruption has a minor effect on the global FA composition due to the metabolic changes induced to compensate for its loss. However, we could demonstrate that Tg ACS is involved in providing acetyl-CoA for the essential fatty elongation pathway to generate FAs used for membrane biogenesis. This work provides novel metabolic insight to decipher the complex lipid synthesis in T. gondii . Copyright © 2018 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  1. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in goats from the south-west region of Poland and the detection of T. gondii DNA in goat milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sroka, Jacek; Kusyk, Pawel; Bilska-Zajac, Ewa; Karamon, Jacek; Dutkiewicz, Jacek; Wojcik-Fatla, Angelina; Zajac, Violetta; Stojecki, Krzysztof; Rozycki, Miroslaw; Cencek, Tomasz

    2017-07-11

    Toxoplasma gondii (Nicolle et Manceaux, 1908) is an obligatory intracellular protozoan parasite prevalent in animals and humans worldwide having medical and veterinary importance on account of causing abortion or congenital disease in intermediate hosts, including man. Since T. gondii has already been identified in the milk of goats, Capra aegagrus hircus (Linnaeus), the possibility of acquiring infection by ingesting unpasteurised goat milk should be taken into consideration. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine the presence of T. gondii DNA in goat milk. First, 73 goats (females) from 36 farms located in Poland were examined serologically by direct agglutination test (DAT) to estimate the T. gondii serological status. Milk samples from 60 selected lactating females were examined for the presence of T. gondii DNA by Real time PCR and nested PCR (B1 gene). To estimate the clonal type of detected T. gondii, multiplex PCR was performed using 6 markers. In DAT, positive results were found in 70% of 73 goats. Among examined 60 milk samples, 65% were positive in Real time PCR and 43% in nested PCR. It is noteworthy that 11 samples positive in PCR were collected from seronegative goats. The multilocus PCR analysis mostly revealed the occurrence of genotype III, which is relatively rare in Europe. The recorded high prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies in tested goats (70%), associated with a high prevalence of T. gondii DNA in goat milk samples (65%), indicates a potential risk of the parasite transmission through goat milk ingestion.

  2. Comprehensive Evaluation of Toxoplasma gondii VEG and Neospora caninum LIV Genomes with Tachyzoite Stage Transcriptome and Proteome Defines Novel Transcript Features

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay

    2015-04-13

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important protozoan parasite that infects all warm-blooded animals and causes opportunistic infections in immuno-compromised humans. Its closest relative, Neospora caninum, is an important veterinary pathogen that causes spontaneous abortion in livestock. Comparative genomics of these two closely related coccidians has been of particular interest to identify genes that contribute to varied host cell specificity and disease. Here, we describe a manual evaluation of these genomes based on strand-specific RNA sequencing and shotgun proteomics from the invasive tachyzoite stages of these two parasites. We have corrected predicted structures of over one third of the previously annotated gene models and have annotated untranslated regions (UTRs) in over half of the predicted protein-coding genes. We observe distinctly long UTRs in both the organisms, almost four times longer than other model eukaryotes. We have also identified a putative set of cis-natural antisense transcripts (cis-NATs) and long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs). We have significantly improved the annotation quality in these genomes that would serve as a manually curated dataset for Toxoplasma and Neospora research communities.

  3. Non-biting cyclorrhaphan flies (Diptera) as carriers of intestinal human parasites in slum areas of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getachew, Sisay; Gebre-Michael, Teshome; Erko, Berhanu; Balkew, Meshesha; Medhin, Girmay

    2007-09-01

    A study was conducted to determine the role of non-biting cyclorrhaphan flies as carriers of intestinal parasites in slum areas of Addis Ababa from January 2004 to June 2004. A total of 9550 flies, comprising of at least seven species were collected from four selected sites and examined for human intestinal parasites using the formol-ether concentration method. The dominant fly species was Chrysomya rufifacies (34.9%) followed by Musca domestica (31%), Musca sorbens (20.5.%), Lucina cuprina (6.8%), Sarcophaga sp. (2.8%), Calliphora vicina (2.2%) and Wohlfahrtia sp. (1.8%). Six intestinal helminths (Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, hookworms, Hymenolepis nana, Taenia spp. and Strongyloides stercoralis) and at least four protozoan parasites (Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Entamoeba coli, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium sp.) were isolated from both the external and gut contents of the flies. A. lumbricoides and T. trichiura among the helminths and E. histolytica/dispar and E. coli among the protozoans were the dominant parasites detected both on the external and in the gut contents of the flies, but occurring more in the latter. Among the flies, C. rufifacies and M. sorbens were the highest carriers of the helminth and protozoan parasites, respectively. The public health significance of these findings is highlighted.

  4. Molecular analysis of Toxoplasma gondii Surface Antigen 1 (SAG1) gene cloned from Toxoplasma gondii DNA isolated from Javanese acute toxoplasmosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haryati, Sri; Agung Prasetyo, Afiono; Sari, Yulia; Dharmawan, Ruben

    2018-05-01

    Toxoplasma gondii Surface Antigen 1 (SAG1) is often used as a diagnostic tool due to its immunodominant-specific as antigen. However, data of the Toxoplasma gondii SAG1 protein from Indonesian isolate is limited. To study the protein, genomic DNA was isolated from a Javanese acute toxoplasmosis blood samples patient. A complete coding sequence of Toxoplasma gondii SAG1 was cloned and inserted into an Escherichia coli expression plasmid and sequenced. The sequencing results were subjected to bioinformatics analysis. The Toxoplasma gondii SAG1 complete coding sequences were successfully cloned. Physicochemical analysis revealed the 336 aa of SAG1 had 34.7 kDa of weight. The isoelectric point and aliphatic index were 8.4 and 78.4, respectively. The N-terminal methionine half-life in Escherichia coli was more than 10 hours. The antigenicity, secondary structure, and identification of the HLA binding motifs also had been discussed. The results of this study would contribute information about Toxoplasma gondii SAG1 and benefits for further works willing to develop diagnostic and therapeutic strategies against the parasite.

  5. Oocyst-Derived Extract of Toxoplasma Gondii Serves as Potent Immunomodulator in a Mouse Model of Birch Pollen Allergy.

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    Angelika Wagner

    Full Text Available Previously, we have shown that oral infection with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts prevented type I allergy in mice. Here we investigated whether the application of a T. gondii oocyst lysate antigen (OLA could also reduce allergy development. BALB/c mice were immunised twice with OLA followed by sensitisation with the major birch pollen (BP allergen Bet v 1 and an aerosol challenge with BP extract.First, we tested OLA in vitro. Stimulation of splenocytes and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDC with OLA led to the production of pro-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines such as IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-10. Moreover, BMDC exposed to OLA upregulated the maturation markers CD40, CD80, CD86, and MHCII. Furthermore, OLA was recognised by TLR2-transfected human embryonic kidney cells.Immunisation of mice with OLA induced high levels of Toxoplasma-specific IgG antibodies in sera along with increased production of IFN-γ and IL-10 in Toxoplasma-antigen restimulated splenocytes. OLA reduced allergic airway inflammation as manifested by significant reduction of eosinophils in bronchoalveolar fluids, decreased cellular infiltrates and mucus production in the lungs. Accordingly, Bet v 1-specific IgE was decreased in OLA-pretreated mice. The reduced allergic immune responses were accompanied by increased numbers of CD4+CD25highFoxp3+ regulatory T cells in spleens as well as by increased numbers of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells in lungs when compared to sensitised controls suggesting that these two cell populations might be involved in the suppression of the allergic immune responses.Our data demonstrate that pretreatment with the oocyst extract can exert anti-allergic effects comparable to T. gondii infection. Thus, the immunomodulatory properties of the parasite extract indicate that this extract and in the future defined molecules thereof might serve as immunomodulatory adjuvants in allergy treatment and prophylaxis.

  6. DNA Amplification Techniques for the Detection of Toxoplasma gondii Tissue Cysts in Meat Producing Animals: A Narrative Review Article

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    Farooq RIAZ

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite, which infects one-third population of world. Humans and animals acquire infection by ingesting oocytes from feces of cats or by meat of other animals having cysts that may lead to congenital, ocular or cephalic toxoplasmosis. Either it is important to detect T. gondii from meat of food animals from retail shops or directly at slaughterhouses, which is meant for export.Methods: The current research was done without time limitation using such terms as follows: “Toxoplasma gondii”, “Meat”, “Tissue cyst”, “PCR”, “LAMP”, “Screening” and “Immunological assay” alone or in combination, in English language. The used electronic databases for searching included as follows: PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science and Science Direct. The searches were limited to the published papers to English language.Results: Sensitivity of different molecular techniques for diagnosis of Toxoplasma is real-time PCR > LAMP > conventional PCR. In addition to these DNA analysis tools, bioassay in mice and cats is considered as “gold standard” to detect T. gondii. Conclusion: This review article will help the readers for grasping advantages and limitations of different diagnostic tools for screening meat samples for T. gondii. This review also makes bibliography about the type of meat sample to be processed for diagnosis and different primers or sequences to be targeted for T. gondii by number of researches for its detection from meat or tissue sample using DNA amplification techniques.

  7. Computational Prediction of MicroRNAs from Toxoplasma gondii Potentially Regulating the Hosts’ Gene Expression

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    Müşerref Duygu Saçar

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs were discovered two decades ago, yet there is still a great need for further studies elucidating their genesis and targeting in different phyla. Since experimental discovery and validation of miRNAs is difficult, computational predictions are indispensable and today most computational approaches employ machine learning. Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite residing within the cells of its hosts like human, uses miRNAs for its post-transcriptional gene regulation. It may also regulate its hosts’ gene expression, which has been shown in brain cancer. Since previous studies have shown that overexpressed miRNAs within the host are causal for disease onset, we hypothesized that T. gondii could export miRNAs into its host cell. We computationally predicted all hairpins from the genome of T. gondii and used mouse and human models to filter possible candidates. These were then further compared to known miRNAs in human and rodents and their expression was examined for T. gondii grown in mouse and human hosts, respectively. We found that among the millions of potential hairpins in T. gondii, only a few thousand pass filtering using a human or mouse model and that even fewer of those are expressed. Since they are expressed and differentially expressed in rodents and human, we suggest that there is a chance that T. gondii may export miRNAs into its hosts for direct regulation.

  8. DNA typing of ancient parasite eggs from environmental samples identifies human and animal worm infections in Viking-age settlement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Søe, Martin Jensen; Nejsum, Peter; Fredensborg, Brian Lund; Kapel, Christian Moliin Outzen

    2015-02-01

    Ancient parasite eggs were recovered from environmental samples collected at a Viking-age settlement in Viborg, Denmark, dated 1018-1030 A.D. Morphological examination identified Ascaris sp., Trichuris sp., and Fasciola sp. eggs, but size and shape did not allow species identification. By carefully selecting genetic markers, PCR amplification and sequencing of ancient DNA (aDNA) isolates resulted in identification of: the human whipworm, Trichuris trichiura , using SSUrRNA sequence homology; Ascaris sp. with 100% homology to cox1 haplotype 07; and Fasciola hepatica using ITS1 sequence homology. The identification of T. trichiura eggs indicates that human fecal material is present and, hence, that the Ascaris sp. haplotype 07 was most likely a human variant in Viking-age Denmark. The location of the F. hepatica finding suggests that sheep or cattle are the most likely hosts. Further, we sequenced the Ascaris sp. 18S rRNA gene in recent isolates from humans and pigs of global distribution and show that this is not a suited marker for species-specific identification. Finally, we discuss ancient parasitism in Denmark and the implementation of aDNA analysis methods in paleoparasitological studies. We argue that when employing species-specific identification, soil samples offer excellent opportunities for studies of human parasite infections and of human and animal interactions of the past.

  9. Clinical Toxoplasma gondii, Hammondia heydorni, and Sarcocystis spp. infections in dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, J P; Ross, A D; Fritz, D

    2003-12-01

    Concurrent infections with coccidians Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis spp., and a Hammondia heydorni-like parasite were identified in tissues of three littermate pups on a Kelpie dog breeding farm in Australia. In total, 20 pups in four litters had died following vaccination with an attenuated distemper virus vaccine. Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites were identified immunohistochemically in tissues of two dogs. Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts were seen in the intestinal lamina propria of two dogs. Asexual and sexual stages of H. heydorni-like parasite were found in enterocytes of the small intestine of two dogs. Ultrastructural development of schizonts and gamonts of this parasite is described. None of the protozoa in these dogs reacted with antibodies to Neospora caninum. Feeding of uncooked tissue of sheep was considered to be the likely source of infection for these coccidians in dogs.

  10. Brains and Brawn: Toxoplasma Infections of the Central Nervous System and Skeletal Muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlfert, Elizabeth A; Blader, Ira J; Wilson, Emma H

    2017-07-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread parasitic pathogen that infects over a third of the world's population. Following an acute infection, the parasite can persist within its mammalian host as intraneuronal or intramuscular cysts. Cysts will occasionally reactivate, and - depending on the host's immune status and site of reactivation - encephalitis or myositis can develop. Because these diseases have high levels of morbidity and can be lethal, it is important to understand how Toxoplasma traffics to these tissues, how the immune response controls parasite burden and contributes to tissue damage, and what mechanisms underlie neurological and muscular pathologies that toxoplasmosis patients present with. This review aims to summarize recent important developments addressing these critical topics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in wild rodents and marsupials from the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, Brazil

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    Solange Maria Gennari

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that infects a large spectrum of warm-blooded animals, including humans. Small rodents and marsupials play an important role in the epidemiology of T. gondii because they are sources of infection for domestic and feral cats. Serum samples from 151 rodents and 48 marsupials, captured in the Atlantic Forest, São Paulo State, southeastern Brazil, were analyzed for the presence of T. gondii antibodies. Antibodies detected by the modified agglutination test (MAT ≥ 25 were found in 8.6% (13/151 of the rodents and 10.4% (5/48 of the marsupials, with titers ranging from 25 to 6400 and from 25 to 3200, respectively for the rodents and marsupials. Three of the eight species of rodents (Akodon spp., Oligoryzomys nigripesand Rattus norvegicus, and one from the four marsupial species (Didelphis aurita presented positive animals. T. gondii was described for the first time in the rodent Oligoryzomys nigripes.

  12. Toxoplasma DJ-1 Regulates Organelle Secretion by a Direct Interaction with Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Child, Matthew A.; Garland, Megan; Foe, Ian; Madzelan, Peter; Treeck, Moritz; van der Linden, Wouter A.; Oresic Bender, Kristina; Weerapana, Eranthie; Wilson, Mark A.; Boothroyd, John C.; Reese, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Human DJ-1 is a highly conserved and yet functionally enigmatic protein associated with a heritable form of Parkinson’s disease. It has been suggested to be a redox-dependent regulatory scaffold, binding to proteins to modulate their function. Here we present the X-ray crystal structure of the Toxoplasma orthologue Toxoplasma gondii DJ-1 (TgDJ-1) at 2.1-Å resolution and show that it directly associates with calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 (CDPK1). The TgDJ-1 structure identifies an orthologously conserved arginine dyad that acts as a phospho-gatekeeper motif to control complex formation. We determined that the binding of TgDJ-1 to CDPK1 is sensitive to oxidation and calcium, and that this interaction potentiates CDPK1 kinase activity. Finally, we show that genetic deletion of TgDJ-1 results in upregulation of CDPK1 expression and that disruption of the CDPK1/TgDJ-1 complex in vivo prevents normal exocytosis of parasite virulence-associated organelles called micronemes. Overall, our data suggest that TgDJ-1 functions as a noncanonical kinase-regulatory scaffold that integrates multiple intracellular signals to tune microneme exocytosis in T. gondii. PMID:28246362

  13. Parasites of importance for human health in Nigerian dogs: high prevalence and limited knowledge of pet owners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugbomoiko, Uade Samuel; Ariza, Liana; Heukelbach, Jorg

    2008-12-09

    Dogs are the most common pet animals worldwide. They may harbour a wide range of parasites with zoonotic potential, thus causing a health risk to humans. In Nigeria, epidemiological knowledge on these parasites is limited. In a community-based study, we examined 396 dogs in urban and rural areas of Ilorin (Kwara State, Central Nigeria) for ectoparasites and intestinal helminths. In addition, a questionnaire regarding knowledge and practices was applied to pet owners. Nine ectoparasite species belonging to four taxa and six intestinal helminth species were identified: fleas (Ctenocephalides canis, Pulex irritans, Tunga penetrans), mites (Demodex canis, Otodectes sp., Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis), ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Ixodes sp.), and lice (Trichodectes canis); and Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma sp., Trichuris vulpis, Dipylidium caninum, Taenidae and Strongyloides sp. Overall prevalence of ectoparasites was 60.4% and of intestinal helminths 68.4%. The occurrence of C. canis, R. sanguineus, T. canis, Ancylostoma sp. and T. vulpis was most common (prevalence 14.4% to 41.7%). Prevalence patterns in helminths were age-dependent, with T. canis showing a decreasing prevalence with age of host, and a reverse trend in other parasite species. Knowledge regarding zoonoses was very limited and the diseases not considered a major health problem. Treatment with antiparasitic drugs was more frequent in urban areas. Parasites of importance for human health were highly prevalent in Nigerian dogs. Interventions should include health education provided to dog owners and the establishment of a program focusing on zoonotic diseases.

  14. Toxoplasma gondii infection induces suppression in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation.

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    Ignacio M Fenoy

    Full Text Available Allergic asthma is an inflammatory disorder characterized by infiltration of the airway wall with inflammatory cells driven mostly by activation of Th2-lymphocytes, eosinophils and mast cells. There is a link between increased allergy and a reduction of some infections in Western countries. Epidemiological data also show that respiratory allergy is less frequent in people exposed to orofecal and foodborne microbes such as Toxoplasma gondii. We previously showed that both acute and chronic parasite T. gondii infection substantially blocked development of airway inflammation in adult BALB/c mice. Based on the high levels of IFN-γ along with the reduction of Th2 phenotype, we hypothesized that the protective effect might be related to the strong Th1 immune response elicited against the parasite. However, other mechanisms could also be implicated. The possibility that regulatory T cells inhibit allergic diseases has received growing support from both animal and human studies. Here we investigated the cellular mechanisms involved in T. gondii induced protection against allergy. Our results show for the first time that thoracic lymph node cells from mice sensitized during chronic T. gondii infection have suppressor activity. Suppression was detected both in vitro, on allergen specific T cell proliferation and in vivo, on allergic lung inflammation after adoptive transference from infected/sensitized mice to previously sensitized animals. This ability was found to be contact-independent and correlated with high levels of TGF-β and CD4(+FoxP3(+ cells.

  15. Targeted Delivery of Toxoplasma gondii Antigens to Dendritic Cells Promote Immunogenicity and Protective Efficiency against Toxoplasmosis

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    Zineb Lakhrif

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis is a major public health problem and the development of a human vaccine is of high priority. Efficient vaccination against Toxoplasma gondii requires both a mucosal and systemic Th1 immune response. Moreover, dendritic cells play a critical role in orchestrating the innate immune functions and driving specific adaptive immunity to T. gondii. In this study, we explore an original vaccination strategy that combines administration via mucosal and systemic routes of fusion proteins able to target the major T. gondii surface antigen SAG1 to DCs using an antibody fragment single-chain fragment variable (scFv directed against DEC205 endocytic receptor. Our results show that SAG1 targeting to DCs by scFv via intranasal and subcutaneous administration improved protection against chronic T. gondii infection. A marked reduction in brain parasite burden is observed when compared with the intranasal or the subcutaneous route alone. DC targeting improved both local and systemic humoral and cellular immune responses and potentiated more specifically the Th1 response profile by more efficient production of IFN-γ, interleukin-2, IgG2a, and nasal IgA. This study provides evidence of the potential of DC targeting for the development of new vaccines against a range of Apicomplexa parasites.

  16. Strain- and Dose-Dependent Reduction of Toxoplasma gondii Burden in Pigs Is Associated with Interferon-Gamma Production by CD8+ Lymphocytes in a Heterologous Challenge Model

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    Malgorzata Jennes

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a worldwide prevalent parasite of humans and animals. The global infection burden exceeds yearly one million disability-adjusted life years (DALY's in infected individuals. Therefore, effective preventive measures should be taken to decrease the risk of infection in humans. Although human toxoplasmosis is predominantly foodborne by ingestion of tissue cysts in meat from domestic animals such as pigs, the incidence risk is difficult to estimate due to the lack of screening of animals for infection and insights in location and persistence of the parasite in the tissues. Hence, experimental infections in pigs can provide more information on the risk for zoonosis based on the parasite burden in meat products intended for human consumption and on the immune responses induced by infection. In the present study, homo- and heterologous infection experiments with two distinct T. gondii strains (IPB-LR and IPB-Gangji were performed. The humoral and cellular immune responses, the presence of viable parasites and the parasite load in edible meat samples were evaluated. In homologous infection experiments the parasite persistence was clearly strain-dependent and inversely correlated with the infection dose. The results strongly indicate a change in the amount of parasite DNA and viable cysts in porcine tissues over time. Heterologous challenge infections demonstrated that IPB-G strain could considerably reduce the parasite burden in the subsequent IPB-LR infection. A strong, however, not protective humoral response was observed against GRA7 and TLA antigens upon inoculation with both strains. The in vitro IFN-γ production by TLA-stimulated PBMCs was correlated with the infection dose and predominantly brought about by CD3+CD4−CD8αbright T-lymphocytes. The described adaptive cellular and humoral immune responses in pigs are in line with the induced or natural infections in mice and humans. Previous studies underscored the

  17. Trickle or clumped infection process? An analysis of aggregation in the weights of the parasitic roundworm of humans, Ascaris lumbricoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Martin; Hall, Andrew; Basáñez, María-Gloria

    2010-10-01

    Studying the distribution of parasitic helminth body size across a population of definitive hosts can advance our understanding of parasite population biology. Body size is typically correlated with egg production. Consequently, inequalities in body size have been frequently measured to infer variation in reproductive success (VRS). Body size is also related to parasite age (time since entering the definitive host) and potentially provides valuable information on the mode of acquisition and establishment of immature (larval) parasites within the host: whether parasites tend to establish singly or in aggregates. The mode of acquisition of soil-transmitted helminths has been a theoretical consideration in the parasitological literature but has eluded data-driven investigation. In this paper, we analyse individual Ascaris lumbricoides weight data collected from a cohort of human hosts before and after re-infection following curative treatment, and explore its distribution within and among individuals in the population. Lorenz curves and Gini coefficients indicate that levels of weight inequality (a proxy for VRS) in A.lumbricoides are lower than other published estimates from animal-helminth systems. We explore levels of intra-host weight aggregation using statistical models to estimate the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) while adjusting for covariates using a flexible fractional polynomial transformation approach capable of handling non-linear functional relationships. The estimated ICCs indicate that weights are aggregated within hosts both at equilibrium and after re-infection, suggesting that parasites may establish within the host in clumps. The implications of a clumped infection process are discussed in terms of ascariasis transmission dynamics, control and anthelmintic resistance. Copyright © 2010 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Analysis of the accuracy of different laboratory methods for the diagnosis of intestinal parasites from stray and domiciled cats (Felis catus domesticus in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil

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    Jaqueline Ataíde Silva Lima

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Cats are carriers of zoonotic agents to humans, including intestinal parasites. The purpose of this study was to analyze the accuracy of different laboratory methods for the diagnosis of intestinal parasites. Fecal samples were processed by the Willis, Sheather, Faust and Hoffman-Janer-Pons-Lutz (HJPL methods. Accuracy analysis was performed determining the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value and Kappa. A total of 149 fecal samples were collected, 65 from stray cats and 84 from domiciled cats. The prevalence of intestinal parasites in stray cats was 60% while in domiciled cats it was 17%. In the analysis of accuracy, the techniques that showed the greatest accuracy for Ancylostomids were Willis and Faust, for Cystoisospora spp. Sheather with Faust or HPJL, and Toxoplasma gondii/Hammondia hammondi the association between Willis and Faust. Therefore, for a reliable evaluation of the prevalence of intestinal parasites, at least two different techniques should be used in parasitological exams of feces.

  19. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of Na-SAA-2 from the human hookworm parasite Necator americanus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asojo, Oluwatoyin A.; Goud, Gaddam N.; Zhan, Bin; Ordonez, Katherine; Sedlacek, Meghan; Homma, Kohei; Deumic, Vehid; Gupta, Richi; Brelsford, Jill; Price, Merelyn K.; Ngamelue, Michelle N.; Hotez, Peter J.

    2010-01-01

    The purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of a surface-associated antigen from the major human hookworm N. americanus is presented. Human hookworms are among the most pathogenic soil-transmitted helminths. These parasitic nematodes have co-evolved with the host and are able to maintain a high worm burden for decades without killing the human host. However, it is possible to develop vaccines against laboratory-challenge hookworm infections using either irradiated third-state infective larvae (L3) or enzymes from the adult parasites. In an effort to control hookworm infection globally, the Human Hookworm Vaccine Initiative, a product-development partnership with the Sabin Vaccine Institute to develop new control tools including vaccines, has identified a battery of protein antigens, including surface-associated antigens (SAAs) from L3. SAA proteins are characterized by a 13 kDa conserved domain of unknown function. SAA proteins are found on the surface of infective L3 stages (and some adult stages) of different nematode parasites, suggesting that they may play important roles in these organisms. The atomic structures and function of SAA proteins remain undetermined and in an effort to remedy this situation recombinant Na-SAA-2 from the most prevalent human hookworm parasite Necator americanus has been expressed, purified and crystallized. Useful X-ray data have been collected to 2.3 Å resolution from a crystal that belonged to the monoclinic space group C2 with unit-cell parameters a = 73.88, b = 35.58, c = 42.75 Å, β = 116.1°

  20. Toxoplasma gondii infection reduces predator aversion in rats through epigenetic modulation in the host medial amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hari Dass, Shantala Arundhati; Vyas, Ajai

    2014-12-01

    Male rats (Rattus novergicus) infected with protozoan Toxoplasma gondii relinquish their innate aversion to the cat odours. This behavioural change is postulated to increase transmission of the parasite to its definitive felid hosts. Here, we show that the Toxoplasma gondii infection institutes an epigenetic change in the DNA methylation of the arginine vasopressin promoter in the medial amygdala of male rats. Infected animals exhibit hypomethylation of arginine vasopressin promoter, leading to greater expression of this nonapeptide. The infection also results in the greater activation of the vasopressinergic neurons after exposure to the cat odour. Furthermore, we show that loss of fear in the infected animals can be rescued by the systemic hypermethylation and recapitulated by directed hypomethylation in the medial amygdala. These results demonstrate an epigenetic proximate mechanism underlying the extended phenotype in the Rattus novergicus-Toxoplasma gondii association. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. The Echinococcus canadensis (G7) genome: a key knowledge of parasitic platyhelminth human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Lucas L; Assis, Juliana; Araújo, Flávio M Gomes; Salim, Anna C M; Macchiaroli, Natalia; Cucher, Marcela; Camicia, Federico; Fox, Adolfo; Rosenzvit, Mara; Oliveira, Guilherme; Kamenetzky, Laura

    2017-02-27

    The parasite Echinococcus canadensis (G7) (phylum Platyhelminthes, class Cestoda) is one of the causative agents of echinococcosis. Echinococcosis is a worldwide chronic zoonosis affecting humans as well as domestic and wild mammals, which has been reported as a prioritized neglected disease by the World Health Organisation. No genomic data, comparative genomic analyses or efficient therapeutic and diagnostic tools are available for this severe disease. The information presented in this study will help to understand the peculiar biological characters and to design species-specific control tools. We sequenced, assembled and annotated the 115-Mb genome of E. canadensis (G7). Comparative genomic analyses using whole genome data of three Echinococcus species not only confirmed the status of E. canadensis (G7) as a separate species but also demonstrated a high nucleotide sequences divergence in relation to E. granulosus (G1). The E. canadensis (G7) genome contains 11,449 genes with a core set of 881 orthologs shared among five cestode species. Comparative genomics revealed that there are more single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between E. canadensis (G7) and E. granulosus (G1) than between E. canadensis (G7) and E. multilocularis. This result was unexpected since E. canadensis (G7) and E. granulosus (G1) were considered to belong to the species complex E. granulosus sensu lato. We described SNPs in known drug targets and metabolism genes in the E. canadensis (G7) genome. Regarding gene regulation, we analysed three particular features: CpG island distribution along the three Echinococcus genomes, DNA methylation system and small RNA pathway. The results suggest the occurrence of yet unknown gene regulation mechanisms in Echinococcus. This is the first work that addresses Echinococcus comparative genomics. The resources presented here will promote the study of mechanisms of parasite development as well as new tools for drug discovery. The availability of a high

  2. Toxoplasma gondii chromodomain protein 1 binds to heterochromatin and colocalises with centromeres and telomeres at the nuclear periphery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Gissot

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for some of the most deadly parasitic diseases afflicting humans, including malaria and toxoplasmosis. These obligate intracellular parasites exhibit a complex life cycle and a coordinated cell cycle-dependant expression program. Their cell division is a coordinated multistep process. How this complex mechanism is organised remains poorly understood. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In this study, we provide evidence for a link between heterochromatin, cell division and the compartmentalisation of the nucleus in Toxoplasma gondii. We characterised a T. gondii chromodomain containing protein (named TgChromo1 that specifically binds to heterochromatin. Using ChIP-on-chip on a genome-wide scale, we report TgChromo1 enrichment at the peri-centromeric chromatin. In addition, we demonstrate that TgChromo1 is cell-cycle regulated and co-localised with markers of the centrocone. Through the loci-specific FISH technique for T. gondii, we confirmed that TgChromo1 occupies the same nuclear localisation as the peri-centromeric sequences. CONCLUSION: We propose that TgChromo1 may play a role in the sequestration of chromosomes at the nuclear periphery and in the process of T. gondii cell division.

  3. Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Mice Impairs Long-Term Fear Memory Consolidation through Dysfunction of the Cortex and Amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihara, Fumiaki; Nishimura, Maki; Muroi, Yoshikage; Mahmoud, Motamed Elsayed; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Nagamune, Kisaburo; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi

    2016-10-01

    Chronic infection with Toxoplasma gondii becomes established in tissues of the central nervous system, where parasites may directly or indirectly modulate neuronal function. Epidemiological studies have revealed that chronic infection in humans is a risk factor for developing mental diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying parasite-induced neuronal dysfunction in the brain remain unclear. Here, we examined memory associated with conditioned fear in mice and found that T. gondii infection impairs consolidation of conditioned fear memory. To examine the brain pathology induced by T. gondii infection, we analyzed the parasite load and histopathological changes. T. gondii infects all brain areas, yet the cortex exhibits more severe tissue damage than other regions. We measured neurotransmitter levels in the cortex and amygdala because these regions are involved in fear memory expression. The levels of dopamine metabolites but not those of dopamine were increased in the cortex of infected mice compared with those in the cortex of uninfected mice. In contrast, serotonin levels were decreased in the amygdala and norepinephrine levels were decreased in the cortex and amygdala of infected mice. The levels of cortical dopamine metabolites were associated with the time spent freezing in the fear-conditioning test. These results suggest that T. gondii infection affects fear memory through dysfunction of the cortex and amygdala. Our findings provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the neurological changes seen during T. gondii infection. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  4. The origin and dispersion of human parasitic diseases in the old world (Africa, Europe and Madagascar).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozais, Jean-Pierre

    2003-01-01

    The ancestors of present-day man (Homo sapiens sapiens) appeared in East Africa some three and a half million years ago (Australopithecs), and then migrated to Europe, Asia, and later to the Americas, thus beginning the differentiation process. The passage from nomadic to sedentary life took place in the Middle East in around 8000 BC. Wars, spontaneous migrations and forced migrations (slave trade) led to enormous mixtures of populations in Europe and Africa and favoured the spread of numerous parasitic diseases with specific strains according to geographic area. The three human plasmodia (Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, and P. malariae) were imported from Africa into the Mediterranean region with the first human migrations, but it was the Neolithic revolution (sedentarisation, irrigation, population increase) which brought about actual foci for malaria. The reservoir for Leishmania infantum and L. donovani--the dog--has been domesticated for thousands of years. Wild rodents as reservoirs of L. major have also long been in contact with man and probably were imported from tropical Africa across the Sahara. L. tropica, by contrast, followed the migrations of man, its only reservoir. L. infantum and L. donovani spread with man and his dogs from West Africa. Likewise, for thousands of years, the dog has played an important role in the spread and the endemic character of hydatidosis through sheep (in Europe and North Africa) and dromadary (in the Sahara and North Africa). Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni have existed since prehistoric times in populations living in or passing through the Sahara. These populations then transported them to countries of Northern Africa where the specific, intermediary hosts were already present. Madagascar was inhabited by populations of Indonesian origin who imported lymphatic filariosis across the Indian Ocean (possibly of African origin since the Indonesian sailors had spent time on the African coast before reaching Madagascar

  5. The origin and dispersion of human parasitic diseases in the Old World (Africa, Europe and Madagascar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Pierre Nozais

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The ancestors of present-day man (Homo sapiens sapiens appeared in East Africa some three and a half million years ago (Australopithecs, and then migrated to Europe, Asia, and later to the Americas, thus beginning the differentiation process. The passage from nomadic to sedentary life took place in the Middle East in around 8000 BC. Wars, spontaneous migrations and forced migrations (slave trade led to enormous mixtures of populations in Europe and Africa and favoured the spread of numerous parasitic diseases with specific strains according to geographic area. The three human plasmodia (Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, and P. malariae were imported from Africa into the Mediterranean region with the first human migrations, but it was the Neolithic revolution (sedentarisation, irrigation, population increase which brought about actual foci for malaria. The reservoir for Leishmania infantum and L. donovani - the dog - has been domesticated for thousands of years. Wild rodents as reservoirs of L. major have also long been in contact with man and probably were imported from tropical Africa across the Sahara. L. tropica, by contrast, followed the migrations of man, its only reservoir. L. infantum and L. donovani spread with man and his dogs from West Africa. Likewise, for thousands of years, the dog has played an important role in the spread and the endemic character of hydatidosis through sheep (in Europe and North Africa and dromadary (in the Sahara and North Africa. Schistosoma haematobium and S. mansoni have existed since prehistoric times in populations living in or passing through the Sahara. These populations then transported them to countries of Northern Africa where the specific, intermediary hosts were already present. Madagascar was inhabited by populations of Indonesian origin who imported lymphatic filariosis across the Indian Ocean (possibly of African origin since the Indonesian sailors had spent time on the African coast before

  6. Detection of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in experimentally and naturally infected non-human primates by Indirect Fluorescence Assay (IFA and indirect ELISA Detecção de anticorpos anti-Toxoplasma gondii por meio das técnicas de Imunofluorescência Indireta e ELISA Indireto em primatas experimentalmente e naturalmente infectados

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréa Bouer

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The Indirect Fluorescence Assay (IFA and the indirect ELISA were comparatively used to detect IgG and IgM antibodies for Toxoplasma gondii in experimentally and naturally infected primates. In the experimentally infected group, antibodies of diagnostic value were detected at day 9 post-infection (PI with the IFA (IgG and IgM and with IgG-ELISA. IgM-ELISA detected antibodies for T. gondii starting at day 3 PI until the end of the experiment (102 days PI. Of the 209 naturally infected sera tested, from many zoos of State of Sao Paulo, 64.59 and 67.94% were positive in the IgG-IFA test and IgG-ELISA respectively. IgM-ELISA test detected seropositivity in 52.63% of the sera although IgM-IFA test detected it in only in 0.96% of the samples. The differential toxoplasmosis diagnosis was accomplished with Neospora caninum by IFA, observing 61 (29.2% seropositive animals for this parasite and 149 (70.8% negative. Sixty animals were positive for both T. gondii and N. caninum. Pneumonia, splenomegaly, and intestinal ulcers were macroscopically observed. Unremarkable interstitial pneumonia, enteritis, colitis, splenitis, and glomerulitis were microscopically observed. The immunohistochemical stain could not detect the presence of T. gondii in the tissues of the animals infected experimentally.Detectou-se anticorpos das classes IgG e IgM anti-Toxoplasma gondii em primatas experimentalmente e naturalmente infectados, utilizando-se como técnicas comparativas a RIFI e o ELISA-teste. No grupo dos primatas experimentalmente infectados, anticorpos de valor diagnóstico foram detectados a partir do 9º dia de infecção tanto na RIFI (IgG e IgM como no ELISA-IgG. O ELISA IgM detectou anticorpos a partir do 3º dia de infecção até o final do experimento (102 dias pós-infecção. Dos 209 soros dos primatas naturalmente infectados, de diversos zoológicos do Estado de São Paulo, 64,59 e 67,94% mostraram-se positivos na RIFI-IgG e no ELISA-IgG, respectivamente. O

  7. Trickle or clumped infection process? A stochastic model for the infection process of the parasitic roundworm of humans, Ascaris lumbricoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Martin; Hall, Andrew; Basáñez, María-Gloria

    2010-10-01

    The importance of the mode of acquisition of infectious stages of directly-transmitted parasitic helminths has been acknowledged in population dynamics models; hosts may acquire eggs/larvae singly in a "trickle" type manner or in "clumps". Such models have shown that the mode of acquisition influences the distribution and dynamics of parasite loads, the stability of host-parasite systems and the rate of emergence of anthelmintic resistance, yet very few field studies have allowed these questions to be explored with empirical data. We have analysed individual worm weight data for the parasitic roundworm of humans, Ascaris lumbricoides, collected from a three-round chemo-expulsion study in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with the aim of discerning whether a trickle or a clumped infection process predominates. We found that hosts tend to harbour female worms of a similar weight, indicative of a clumped infection process, but acknowledged that unmeasured host heterogeneities (random effects) could not be completely excluded as a cause. Here, we complement our previous statistical analyses using a stochastic infection model to simulate sizes of individual A. lumbricoides infecting a population of humans. We use the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) as a quantitative measure of similarity among simulated worm sizes and explore the behaviour of this statistic under assumptions corresponding to trickle or clumped infections and unmeasured host heterogeneities. We confirm that both mechanisms are capable of generating aggregates of similar-sized worms, but that the particular pattern of ICCs described pre- and post-anthelmintic treatment in the data is more consistent with aggregation generated by clumped infections than by host heterogeneities alone. This provides support to the notion that worms may be acquired in clumps. We discuss our results in terms of the population biology of A. lumbricoides and highlight the significance of our modelling approach for the study of the

  8. 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....

  9. Human presence increases parasitic load in endangered lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus in its fragmented rainforest habitats in Southern India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaik Hussain

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Understanding changes in the host-parasite relationship due to habitat fragmentation is necessary for better management and conservation of endangered species in fragmented landscapes. Pathogens and parasites can pose severe threat to species in restricted environments such as forest fragments where there is increased contact of wildlife with human and livestock populations. Environmental stress and reduced nutritional level in forest fragments can influence parasite infection and intensity on the native species. In this study, we examine the impact of habitat fragmentation on the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in lion-tailed macaques in a fragmented rainforest in Western Ghats. METHODS: The prevalence of different gastrointestinal parasites was estimated from 91 fecal samples collected from 9 lion-tailed macaque groups in nine forest fragments. The parasites were identified up to genus level on the basis of the morphology and coloration of the egg, larva and cyst. The covariates included forest fragment area, group size and the presence/absence of human settlements and livestock in proximity. We used a linear regression model to identify the covariates that significantly influenced the prevalence of different parasite taxa. RESULTS: Nine gastrointestinal parasite taxa were detected in lion-tailed macaque groups. The groups near human settlements had greater prevalence and number of taxa, and these variables also had significant positive correlations with group size. We found that these parameters were also greater in groups near human settlements after controlling for group size. Livestock were present in all five fragments that had human settlements in proximity. CONCLUSION: The present study suggests that high prevalence and species richness of gastrointestinal parasites in lion-tailed macaque groups are directly related to habitat fragmentation, high anthropogenic activities and high host density. The parasite load

  10. Defining the protein interaction network of human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Pain, Arnab; Ravasi, Timothy

    2012-01-01

    Malaria, caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, affects around 225. million people yearly and a huge international effort is directed towards combating this grave threat to world health and economic development. Considerable

  11. SURVEY OF HOUSE RAT INTESTINAL PARASITES FROM SURABAYA DISTRICT, EAST JAVA, INDONESIA THAT CAN CAUSE OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS IN HUMANS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasetyo, R H

    2016-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of house rat zoonotic intestinal parasites from Surabaya District, East Java, Indonesia that have the potential to cause opportunistic infection in humans. House rat fecal samples were collected from an area of Surabaya District with a dense rat population during May 2015. Intestinal parasites were detected microscopically using direct smear of feces stained with Lugol's iodine and modified Ziehl-Neelsen stains. The fecal samples were also cultured for Strongyloides stercoralis. Ninety-eight house rat fecal samples were examined. The potential opportunistic infection parasite densities found in those samples were Strongyloides stercoralis in 53%, Hymenolepis nana in 42%, Cryptosporidium spp in 33%, and Blastocystis spp in 6%. This is the first report of this kind in Surabaya District. Measures need to be taken to control the house rat population in the study area to reduce the risk of the public health problem. Keywords: zoonotic intestinal parasites, opportunistic infection, house rat, densely populated area, Indonesia

  12. [A national survey on current status of the important parasitic diseases in human population].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-10-30

    In order to understand the current status and trends of the important parasitic diseases in human population, to evaluate the effect of control activities in the past decade and provide scientific base for further developing control strategies, a national survey was carried out in the country (Taiwan, Hongkong and Macau not included) from June, 2001 to 2004 under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Health. The sample sizes of the nationwide survey and of the survey in each province (autonomous region and municipality, P/A/M) were determined following a calculating formula based on an estimation of the sample size of random sampling to the rate of population. A procedure of stratified cluster random sampling was conducted in each province based on geographical location and economical condition with three strata: county/city, township/town, and spot, each spot covered a sample of 500 people. Parasitological examinations were conducted for the infections of soil-transmitted nematodes, Taenia spp, and Clonorchis sinensis, including Kato-Katz thick smear method, scotch cellulose adhesive tape technique and test tube-filter paper culture (for larvae). At the same time, another sampled investigation for Clonorchis sinensis infection was carried out in the known endemic areas in 27 provinces. Serological tests combined with questionnaire and/or clinical diagnosis were applied for hydatid disease, cysticercosis, paragonimiasis, trichinosis, and toxoplasmosis. A total sampled population of 356 629 from the 31 P/A/M was examined by parasitological methods and 26 species of helminth were recorded. Among these helminth, human infections of Metorchis orientalis and Echinostoma aegypti were detected in Fujian Province which seemed to be the first report in the world, and Haplorchis taichui infection in Guangxi Region was the first human infection record in the country. The overall prevalence of helminth infections was 21.74%. The prevalence of soil-transmitted nematodes was 19

  13. Serological survey of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Coxiella burnetii in rodents in north-western African islands (Canary Islands and Cape Verde).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foronda, Pilar; Plata-Luis, Josué; del Castillo-Figueruelo, Borja; Fernández-Álvarez, Ángela; Martín-Alonso, Aarón; Feliu, Carlos; Cabral, Marilena D; Valladares, Basilio

    2015-05-29

    Coxiella burnetii and Toxoplasma gondii are intracellular parasites that cause important reproductive disorders in animals and humans worldwide, resulting in high economic losses. The aim of the present study was to analyse the possible role of peridomestic small mammals in the maintenance and transmission of C. burnetii and T. gondii in the north-western African archipelagos of the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, where these species are commonly found affecting humans and farm animals. Between 2009 and 2013, 108 black rats (Rattus rattus) and 77 mice (Mus musculus) were analysed for the presence of Coxiella and Toxoplasma antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect immunofluorescence (IFA), respectively. Our results showed a wide distribution of C. burnetii and T. gondii, except for T. gondii in Cape Verde, in both rodent species. The overall seroprevalence of C. burnetii antibodies was 12.4%; 21.1% for Cape Verde and 10.2% for the Canary Islands. With respect to T. gondii, seropositive rodents were only observed in the Canary Islands, with an overall seroprevalence of 15%. Considering the fact that both pathogens can infect a large range of hosts, including livestock and humans, the results are of public health and veterinary importance and could be used by governmental entities to manage risk factors and to prevent future cases of Q fever and toxoplasmosis.

  14. Human behavior and opportunities for parasite transmission in communities surrounding long-tailed macaque populations in Bali, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane-DeGraaf, Kelly E; Putra, I G A Arta; Wandia, I Nengah; Rompis, Aida; Hollocher, Hope; Fuentes, Agustin

    2014-02-01

    Spatial overlap and shared resources between humans and wildlife can exacerbate parasite transmission dynamics. In Bali, Indonesia, an agricultural-religious temple system provides sanctuaries for long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), concentrating them in areas in close proximity to humans. In this study, we interviewed individuals in communities surrounding 13 macaque populations about their willingness to participate in behaviors that would put them at risk of exposure to gastrointestinal parasites to understand if age, education level, or occupation are significant determinants of exposure behaviors. These exposure risk behaviors and attitudes include fear of macaques, direct contact with macaques, owning pet macaques, hunting and eating macaques, and overlapping water uses. We find that willingness to participate in exposure risk behaviors are correlated with an individual's occupation, age, and/or education level. We also found that because the actual risk of infection varies across populations, activities such as direct macaque contact and pet ownership, could be putting individuals at real risk in certain contexts. Thus, we show that human demographics and social structure can influence willingness to participate in behaviors putting them at increased risk for exposure to parasites. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Human Intestinal Parasites in Roudehen, Tehran Province, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemmati, Nasrin; Razmjou, Elham; Hashemi-Hafshejani, Saeideh; Motevalian, Abbas; Akhlaghi, Lameh; Meamar, Ahmad Reza

    2017-01-01

    Intestinal parasitic infections are among the most common infections and health problems worldwide. Due to the lack of epidemiologic information of such infections, the prevalence of, and the risk factors for, enteric parasites were investigated in residents of Roudehen, Tehran Province, Iran. In this cross-sectional study, 561 triple fecal samples were collected through a two-stage cluster-sampling protocol from Jun to Dec 2014. The samples were examined by formalin-ether concentration, culture, and with molecular methods. The prevalence of enteric parasites was 32.7% (95% CI 27.3-38). Blastocystis sp. was the most common intestinal protozoan (28.4%; 95% CI 23.7-33.0). The formalin-ether concentration and culture methods detected Blastocystis sp., Entamoeba coli , Giardia intestinalis , Dientamoeba fragilis , Iodamoeba butschlii , Entamoeba complex cysts or trophozoite , Chilomastix mesnilii , and Enterobius vermicularis . Single-round PCR assay for Entamoeba complex were identified Entamoeba dispar and E. moshkovskii . E. histolytica was not observed in any specimen. Multivariate analysis showed a significant association of parasites with water source and close animal contact. There was no correlation between infections and gender, age, occupation, education, or travel history. Protozoan infections were more common than helminth infections. This study revealed a high prevalence of enteric protozoan parasite infection among citizens of Rodehen. As most of the species detected are transmitted through a water-resistant cyst, public and individual education on personal hygiene should be considered to reduce transmission of intestinal parasites in the population.

  16. Human-induced eutrophication maintains high parasite prevalence in breeding threespine stickleback populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budria, Alexandre; Candolin, Ulrika

    2015-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities are having profound impacts on species interactions, with further consequences for populations and communities. We investigated the influence that anthropogenic eutrophication has on the prevalence of the parasitic tapeworm Schistocephalus solidus in threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus populations. We caught stickleback from four areas along the coast of Finland, and within each area from one undisturbed and one eutrophied habitat. We found the prevalence of the parasite to be lower in the eutrophied habitats at the start of the breeding season, probably because of fewer piscivorous birds that transmit the parasite. However, while the prevalence of the parasite declined across the season in the undisturbed habitat, it did less so in eutrophied habitats. We discuss different processes that could be behind the differences, such as lower predation rate on infected fish, higher food availability and less dispersal in eutrophied habitats. We found no effect of eutrophication on the proportion of infected stickleback that entered reproductive condition. Together with earlier findings, this suggests that eutrophication increases the proportion of infected stickleback that reproduce. This could promote the evolution of less parasite resistant populations, with potential consequences for the viability of the interacting parties of the host-parasite system.

  17. RNG1 is a Late Marker of the Apical Polar Ring in Toxoplasma gondii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Johnson Q.; de Leon, Jessica C.; Li, Catherine; Huynh, My-Hang; Beatty, Wandy; Morrissette, Naomi S.

    2010-01-01

    The asexually proliferating stages of apicomplexan parasites cause acute symptoms of diseases such as malaria, cryptosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis. These stages are characterized by the presence of two independent microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs). Centrioles are found at the poles of the intranuclear spindle. The apical polar ring (APR), a MTOC unique to apicomplexans, organizes subpellicular microtubules which impose cell shape and apical polarity on these protozoa. Here we describe the characteristics of a novel protein that localizes to the APR of Toxoplasma gondii which we have named ring-1 (RNG1). There are related RNG1 proteins in Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona but no obvious homologs in Plasmodium spp., Cryptosporidium spp. or Babesia spp. RNG1 is a small, low-complexity, detergent-insoluble protein that assembles at the APR very late in the process of daughter parasite replication. We were unable to knock-out the RNG1 gene, suggesting that its gene product is essential. Tagged RNG1 lines have also allowed us to visualize the APR during growth of Toxoplasma in the microtubule-disrupting drug oryzalin. Oryzalin inhibits nuclear division and cytokinesis although Toxoplasma growth continues, and similar to earlier observations of unchecked centriole duplication in oryzalin-treated parasites, the APR continues to duplicate during aberrant parasite growth. PMID:20658557

  18. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection among patients with non-schizophrenic neurodevelopmental disorders in Alexandria, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shehata, Amany I; Hassanein, Faika I; Abdul-Ghani, Rashad

    2016-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic parasite with neurotropic characteristics that can mediate neurodevelopmental disorders, including mental, behavioral and personality aspects of their hosts. Therefore, the seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies has been studied in patients with different neurological disorders from different localities. On searching online databases, however, we could not find published studies on the seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies among patients with neurodevelopmental disorders in Egypt. Therefore, the present preliminary study was conducted to determine the serological profile of T. gondii infection among patients with non-schizophrenic neurodevelopmental disorders in Alexandria, Egypt. Data and blood samples were collected from 188 patients recruited for the study from four mental rehabilitation centers in the period from July 2014 to March 2015. The overall seropositivity rates of IgM and IgG among patients were 16.5% (31/188) and 50.0% (94/188), respectively. Of the studied patients' characteristics, only age was significantly associated with anti-Toxoplasma IgG seropositivity, with older patients being about twice more likely exposed to infection. However, no statistically significant association was found with IgM. In addition, seropositivity of anti-Toxoplasma IgG, but not IgM, was significantly associated with non-schizophrenic neurodevelopmental disorders; however, neither IgG nor IgM showed a significant association with cognitive impairment as indicated by the intelligence quotient scores. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. People, pets, and parasites: one health surveillance in southeastern Saskatchewan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schurer, Janna M; Ndao, Momar; Quewezance, Helen; Elmore, Stacey A; Jenkins, Emily J

    2014-06-01

    Residents of remote and Indigenous communities might experience higher exposure to some zoonotic parasites than the general North American population. Human sero-surveillance conducted in two Saulteaux communities found 113 volunteers exposed as follows: Trichinella (2.7%), Toxocara canis (4.4%), Echinococcus (4.4%), and Toxoplasma gondii (1.8%). In dogs, 41% of 51 fecal samples were positive for at least one intestinal parasite, 3% of 77 were sero-positive for Borrelia burgdorferi, and 21% of 78 for T. gondii. Echinococcus exposure was more likely to occur in non-dog owners (odds ratio [OR]: 11.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2-107, P = 0.03); while T. canis was more likely to occur in children (ages 4-17) (OR: 49, 95% CI: 3.9-624; P = 0.003), and those with a history of dog bites (OR: 13.5, 95% CI: 1.02-179; P = 0.048). Our results emphasize the use of dogs as sentinels for emerging pathogens such as Lyme disease, and the need for targeted surveillance and intervention programs tailored for parasite species, cultural groups, and communities. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  20. A seroepidemiological survey of Toxoplasma gondii infection in referred dogs to Veterinary Hospital of Ahvaz, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Zarra-Nezhad

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan parasite, which is the cause of toxoplasmosis and can infect a wide variety of warm-blooded animals, including dogs and humans. The present study evaluated the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in pet dogs in Ahvaz, southwest city of Iran, and investigated the related possible risk factors. A total of 180 serum samples were collected from dogs referred to Veterinary Hospital of Ahvaz. The samples were then tested by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The prevalence of T. gondii antibodies were 46.67%. Logistic regression and chi square tests were used for evaluating of risk factors. The positivity increased statistically significantly with dog’s gender (56% females and 39% males, P = 0.001, age (18% in <2 years old, 96% in ≥4 years old, P = 0.001 and place of living (47% outdoor dogs 38% house hold dogs, P = 0.025. However, no statistically significant association was found with dogs’ breed, deworming, food ingestion or contact with cats. Overall, the results showed a relatively high seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in dogs in southwest Iran (Ahvaz and proved association of T. gondii prevalence rates with the dog’s age, gender and place of living. Keywords: Toxoplasma gondii, Toxoplasmosis, Indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Outdoor dogs, House hold dogs, Deworming

  1. Latitudinal variability in the seroprevalence of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii in non-migrant and Arctic migratory geese

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sandstrom, Cecilia A. M.; Buma, Anita G. J.; Hoye, Bethany J.; Prop, Jouke; van der Jeugd, Henk; Voslamber, Berend; Madsen, Jesper; Loonen, Maarten J. J. E.

    2013-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular coccidian parasite found worldwide and is known to infect virtually all warm-blooded animals. It requires a cat (family Felidae) to complete its full life cycle. Despite the absence of wild felids on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, T. gondii has been found

  2. Toxoplasma gondii infection in the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) and domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). II. Early immune reactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, K.; Wattrang, E.; Fossum, C.

    1997-01-01

    As already reported, the mountain hare is much more susceptible than the domestic rabbit to oral inoculation with Toxoplasma gondii, as judged by pathological changes and dissemination of parasites within the body. In the present paper, further interspecies variations are reported. Concentrations...

  3. Occurrence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in Lowland Tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) maintained ex-situ in Brazil and Paraguay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exposure to Toxoplasma gondii, by the presence of antibodies to the parasite, was documented in 47 Brazilian tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) maintained ex-situ in 10 Brazilian and in one Paraguayan Institution. One animal had samples collected on two occasions (November 2010 and October 2011), and 19 (4...

  4. Advances in the application of genetic manipulation methods to apicomplexan parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apicomplexan parasites such as Babesia, Theileria, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma have a high negative impact on 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...

  5. Molecular characterisation of protist parasites in human-habituated mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), humans and livestock, from Bwindi impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Matthew J; Unger, Melisa; Yeap, Yuen-Ting; Rogers, Emma; Millet, Ilary; Harman, Kimberley; Fox, Mark; Kalema-Zikusoka, Gladys; Blake, Damer P

    2017-07-18

    Over 60 % of human emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, and there is growing evidence of the zooanthroponotic transmission of diseases from humans to livestock and wildlife species, with major implications for public health, economics, and conservation. Zooanthroponoses are of relevance to critically endangered species; amongst these is the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) of Uganda. Here, we assess the occurrence of Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, Giardia, and Entamoeba infecting mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), Uganda, using molecular methods. We also assess the occurrence of these parasites in humans and livestock species living in overlapping/adjacent geographical regions. Diagnostic PCR detected Cryptosporidium parvum in one sample from a mountain gorilla (IIdA23G2) and one from a goat (based on SSU). Cryptosporidium was not detected in humans or cattle. Cyclospora was not detected in any of the samples analysed. Giardia was identified in three human and two cattle samples, which were linked to assemblage A, B and E of G. duodenalis. Sequences defined as belonging to the genus Entamoeba were identified in all host groups. Of the 86 sequence types characterised, one, seven and two have been recorded previously to represent genotypes of Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Entamoeba, respectively, from humans, other mammals, and water sources globally. This study provides a snapshot of the occurrence and genetic make-up of selected protists in mammals in and around BINP. The genetic analyses indicated that 54.6% of the 203 samples analysed contained parasites that matched species, genotypes, or genetic assemblages found globally. Seventy-six new sequence records were identified here for the first time. As nothing is known about the zoonotic/zooanthroponotic potential of the corresponding parasites, future work should focus on wider epidemiological investigations together with continued surveillance of all parasites in

  6. Lysophosphatidylcholine Regulates Sexual Stage Differentiation in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brancucci, Nicolas M B; Gerdt, Joseph P; Wang, ChengQi; De Niz, Mariana; Philip, Nisha; Adapa, Swamy R; Zhang, Min; Hitz, Eva; Niederwieser, Igor; Boltryk, Sylwia D; Laffitte, Marie-Claude; Clark, Martha A; Grüring, Christof; Ravel, Deepali; Blancke Soares, Alexandra; Demas, Allison; Bopp, Selina; Rubio-Ruiz, Belén; Conejo-Garcia, Ana; Wirth, Dyann F; Gendaszewska-Darmach, Edyta; Duraisingh, Manoj T; Adams, John H; Voss, Till S; Waters, Andrew P; Jiang, Rays H Y; Clardy, Jon; Marti, Matthias

    2017-12-14

    Transmission represents a population bottleneck in the Plasmodium life cycle and a key intervention target of ongoing efforts to eradicate malaria. Sexual differentiation is essential for this process, as only sexual parasites, called gametocytes, are infective to the mosquito vector. Gametocyte production rates vary depending on environmental conditions, but external stimuli remain obscure. Here, we show that the host-derived lipid lysophosphatidylcholine (LysoPC) controls P. falciparum cell fate by repressing parasite sexual differentiation. We demonstrate that exogenous LysoPC drives biosynthesis of the essential membrane component phosphatidylcholine. LysoPC restriction induces a compensatory response, linking parasite metabolism to the activation of sexual-stage-specific transcription and gametocyte formation. Our results reveal that malaria parasites can sense and process host-derived physiological signals to regulate differentiation. These data close a critical knowledge gap in parasite biology and introduce a major component of the sexual differentiation pathway in Plasmodium that may provide new approaches for blocking malaria transmission. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in HIV-infected patients and food animals and direct genotyping of T. gondii isolates, Southern Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappoe, Faustina; Cheng, Weisheng; Wang, Lin; Li, Yuanling; Obiri-Yeboah, Dorcas; Nuvor, Samuel Victor; Ambachew, Henock; Hu, Xiaodong; Luo, Qingli; Chu, Deyong; Xu, Yuanhong; Shen, Jilong

    2017-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is of public health and veterinary importance causing severe diseases in immunocompromised individuals including HIV/AIDS patients and in congenital cases and animals. There is limited information on the epidemiology of T. gondii infection in humans, particularly HIV patients and food animals and the parasite genotypes in Ghana. A total of 394 HIV-infected patients from three hospitals were screened for T. gondii anti-IgG and IgM using ELISA. DNAs from blood samples of seropositve participants and 95 brain tissues of food animals were PCR assayed to detect Toxoplasma gra6. DNA positive samples were genotyped using multilocus nested polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism at 10 loci: sag1, alt.sag2, sag3, btub, gra6, l358, c22-8, c29-2, pk1, and apico. The overall seroprevalence was 74.37% (293/394). Toxoplasma DNAs were detected in 3.07% of the seropositive participants and 9.47% of the animals. Six of the human DNA positive samples were partly typed at sag3: 33.33, 50, and 16.67% isolates had type I, II, and III alleles, respectively. All nine isolates from food animals typed at nine loci except apico were atypical: six isolates were identical to ToxoDB #41 and #145, and one was identical to TgCkBrRj2 all identified in Brazil. The genotype of two isolates has not been reported previously and was named as TgCtGh1. T. gondii seroprevalence is high among the HIV-infected individuals with T. gondii circulating in Ghana being genetically diverse.

  8. Blood protozoan parasites of rodents in Jos, Plateau State, Nigerai ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    One hundred and thirty rodents, comprising nine different species caught from seven different locations in Jos, Nigeria, were examined for blood protozoan parasites, and 82(63.08%) were positive, with Plasmodium 63(48.46%), Trypanosoma 4(3.08%), Toxoplasma 6(4.62%), Babesia 7(5.38%) and Anaplasma 2(1.54%).

  9. Toxoplasma gondii Actively Inhibits Neuronal Function in Chronically Infected Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haroon, Fahad; Händel, Ulrike; Angenstein, Frank; Goldschmidt, Jürgen; Kreutzmann, Peter; Lison, Holger; Fischer, Klaus-Dieter; Scheich, Henning; Wetzel, Wolfram; Schlüter, Dirk; Budinger, Eike

    2012-01-01

    Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii–infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca2+) imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host. PMID:22530040

  10. Toxoplasma gondii actively inhibits neuronal function in chronically infected mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fahad Haroon

    Full Text Available Upon infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, fast replicating tachyzoites infect a broad spectrum of host cells including neurons. Under the pressure of the immune response, tachyzoites convert into slow-replicating bradyzoites, which persist as cysts in neurons. Currently, it is unclear whether T. gondii alters the functional activity of neurons, which may contribute to altered behaviour of T. gondii-infected mice and men. In the present study we demonstrate that upon oral infection with T. gondii cysts, chronically infected BALB/c mice lost over time their natural fear against cat urine which was paralleled by the persistence of the parasite in brain regions affecting behaviour and odor perception. Detailed immunohistochemistry showed that in infected neurons not only parasitic cysts but also the host cell cytoplasm and some axons stained positive for Toxoplasma antigen suggesting that parasitic proteins might directly interfere with neuronal function. In fact, in vitro live cell calcium (Ca(2+ imaging studies revealed that tachyzoites actively manipulated Ca(2+ signalling upon glutamate stimulation leading either to hyper- or hypo-responsive neurons. Experiments with the endoplasmatic reticulum Ca(2+ uptake inhibitor thapsigargin indicate that tachyzoites deplete Ca(2+ stores in the endoplasmatic reticulum. Furthermore in vivo studies revealed that the activity-dependent uptake of the potassium analogue thallium was reduced in cyst harbouring neurons indicating their functional impairment. The percentage of non-functional neurons increased over time In conclusion, both bradyzoites and tachyzoites functionally silence infected neurons, which may significantly contribute to the altered behaviour of the host.

  11. 21 CFR 866.3780 - Toxoplasma gondii serological reagents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3780 Toxoplasma... (immunofluorescent reagents) used to identify Toxoplasma gondii from clinical specimens. The identification aids in...

  12. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP): early detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Qing-Ming; Lu, Shao-Hong; Tong, Qun-Bo; Lou, Di; Chen, Rui; Zheng, Bin; Kumagai, Takashi; Wen, Li-Yong; Ohta, Nobuo; Zhou, Xiao-Nong

    2012-01-03

    Toxoplasmosis is a widespread zoonotic parasitic disease that occurs in both animals and humans. Traditional molecular assays are often difficult to perform, especially for the early diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii infections. Here, we established a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification targeting the 529 bp repeat element (529 bp-LAMP) to detect T. gondii DNA in blood samples of experimental mice infected with tachyzoites of the RH strain. The assay was performed with Bst DNA polymerase at 65°C for 1 h. The detection limit of the 529 bp-LAMP assay was as low as 0.6 fg of T. gondii DNA. The sensitivity of this assay was 100 and 1000 fold higher than that of the LAMP targeting B1 gene (B1-LAMP) and nested PCR targeting 529 bp repeat element (529 bp-nested PCR), respectively. The specificity of the 529 bp-LAMP assay was determined using the DNA samples of Trypanosoma evansi, Plasmodium falciparum, Paragonimus westermani, Schistosoma japonicum, Fasciola hepatica and Angiostrongylus cantonensis. No cross-reactivity with the DNA of any parasites was found. The assay was able to detect T. gondii DNA in all mouse blood samples at one day post infection (dpi). We report the following findings: (i) The detection limit of the 529 bp-LAMP assay is 0.6 fg of T. gondii DNA; (ii) The assay does not involve any cross-reactivity with the DNA of other parasites; (iii) This is the first report on the application of the LAMP assay for early diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in blood samples from experimentally infected mice. Due to its simplicity, sensitivity and cost-effectiveness for common use, we suggest that this assay should be used as an early diagnostic tool for health control of toxoplasmosis.

  13. 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.

  14. Parasites of importance for human health in Nigerian dogs: high prevalence and limited knowledge of pet owners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heukelbach Jorg

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dogs are the most common pet animals worldwide. They may harbour a wide range of parasites with zoonotic potential, thus causing a health risk to humans. In Nigeria, epidemiological knowledge on these parasites is limited. Methods In a community-based study, we examined 396 dogs in urban and rural areas of Ilorin (Kwara State, Central Nigeria for ectoparasites and intestinal helminths. In addition, a questionnaire regarding knowledge and practices was applied to pet owners. Results Nine ectoparasite species belonging to four taxa and six intestinal helminth species were identified: fleas (Ctenocephalides canis, Pulex irritans, Tunga penetrans, mites (Demodex canis, Otodectes sp., Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis, ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Ixodes sp., and lice (Trichodectes canis; and Toxocara canis, Ancylostoma sp., Trichuris vulpis, Dipylidium caninum, Taenidae and Strongyloides sp. Overall prevalence of ectoparasites was 60.4% and of intestinal helminths 68.4%. The occurrence of C. canis, R. sanguineus, T. canis, Ancylostoma sp. and T. vulpis was most common (prevalence 14.4% to 41.7%. Prevalence patterns in helminths were age-dependent, with T. canis showing a decreasing prevalence with age of host, and a reverse trend in other parasite species. Knowledge regarding zoonoses was very limited and the diseases not considered a major health problem. Treatment with antiparasitic drugs was more frequent in urban areas. Conclusion Parasites of importance for human health were highly prevalent in Nigerian dogs. Interventions should include health education provided to dog owners and the establishment of a program focusing on zoonotic diseases.

  15. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Human Intestinal Parasites in Roudehen, Tehran Province, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasrin HEMMATI

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Intestinal parasitic infections are among the most common infections and health problems worldwide. Due to the lack of epidemiologic information of such infections, the prevalence of, and the risk factors for, enteric parasites were investigated in residents of Roudehen, Tehran Province, Iran.Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 561 triple fecal samples were collected through a two-stage cluster-sampling protocol from Jun to Dec 2014. The samples were examined by formalin-ether concentration, culture, and with molecular methods.Results: The prevalence of enteric parasites was 32.7% (95% CI 27.3–38. Blastocystis sp. was the most common intestinal protozoan (28.4%; 95% CI 23.7–33.0. The formalin-ether concentration and culture methods detected Blastocystis sp., Entamoeba coli, Giardia intestinalis, Dientamoeba fragilis, Iodamoeba butschlii, Entamoeba complex cysts or trophozoite, Chilomastix mesnilii, and Enterobius vermicularis. Single-round PCR assay for Entamoeba complex were identified Entamoeba dispar and E. moshkovskii. E. histolytica was not observed in any specimen. Multivariate analysis showed a significant association of parasites with water source and close animal contact. There was no correlation between infections and gender, age, occupation, education, or travel history. Protozoan infections were more common than helminth infections.Conclusion: This study revealed a high prevalence of enteric protozoan parasite infection among citizens of Rodehen. As most of the species detected are transmitted through a water-resistant cyst, public and individual education on personal hygiene should be considered to reduce transmission of intestinal parasites in the population. 

  16. Reconstructing Colonization Dynamics of the Human Parasite Schistosoma mansoni following Anthropogenic Environmental Changes in Northwest Senegal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Broeck, Frederik; Maes, Gregory E.; Larmuseau, Maarten H. D.; Rollinson, David; Sy, Ibrahima; Faye, Djibril; Volckaert, Filip A. M.; Polman, Katja; Huyse, Tine

    2015-01-01

    Background Anthropogenic environmental changes may lead to ecosystem destabilization and the unintentional colonization of new habitats by parasite populations. A remarkable example is the outbreak of intestinal schistosomiasis in Northwest Senegal following the construction of two dams in the ‘80s. While many studies have investigated the epidemiological, immunological and geographical patterns of Schistosoma mansoni infections in this region, little is known about its colonization history. Methodology/Principal Findings Parasites were collected at several time points after the disease outbreak and genotyped using a 420 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) and nine nuclear DNA microsatellite markers. Phylogeographic and population genetic analyses revealed the presence of (i) many genetically different haplotypes at the non-recombining mitochondrial marker and (ii) one homogenous S. mansoni genetic group at the recombining microsatellite markers. These results suggest that the S. mansoni population in Northwest Senegal was triggered by intraspecific hybridization (i.e. admixture) between parasites that were introduced from different regions. This would comply with the extensive immigration of infected seasonal agricultural workers from neighboring regions in Senegal, Mauritania and Mali. The spatial and temporal stability of the established S. mansoni population suggests a swift local adaptation of the parasite to the local intermediate snail host Biomphalaria pfeifferi at the onset of the epidemic. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that S. mansoni parasites are very successful in colonizing new areas without significant loss of genetic diversity. Maintaining high levels of diversity guarantees the adaptive potential of these parasites to cope with selective pressures such as drug treatment, which might complicate efforts to control the disease. PMID:26275049

  17. Zoonotic bacteria and parasites found in raw meat-based diets for cats and dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bree, Freek P J; Bokken, Gertie C A M; Mineur, Robin; Franssen, Frits; Opsteegh, Marieke; van der Giessen, Joke W B; Lipman, Len J A; Overgaauw, Paul A M

    2018-01-13

    Feeding raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) to companion animals has become increasingly popular. Since these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, they may pose a risk to both animal and human health. The purpose of this study was to test for the presence of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens in Dutch commercial RMBDs. We analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands. Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 was isolated from eight products (23 per cent) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamases-producing E coli was found in 28 products (80 per cent). Listeria monocytogenes was present in 19 products (54 per cent), other Listeria species in 15 products (43 per cent) and Salmonella species in seven products (20 per cent). Concerning parasites, four products (11 per cent) contained Sarcocystis cruzi and another four (11 per cent) S tenella In two products (6 per cent) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The results of this study demonstrate the presence of potential zoonotic pathogens in frozen RMBDs that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings. If non-frozen meat is fed, parasitic infections are also possible. Pet owners should therefore be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs. © British Veterinary Association (unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  18. Plant hormone cytokinins control cell cycle progression and plastid replication in apicomplexan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrabi, Syed Bilal Ahmad; Tahara, Michiru; Matsubara, Ryuma; Toyama, Tomoko; Aonuma, Hiroka; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; Suematsu, Makoto; Tanabe, Kazuyuki; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi; Nagamune, Kisaburo

    2018-02-01

    Cytokinins are plant hormones that are involved in regulation of cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and cell and plastid development. Here, we show that the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium berghei, an opportunistic human pathogen and a rodent malaria agent, respectively, produce cytokinins via a biosynthetic pathway similar to that in plants. Cytokinins regulate the growth and cell cycle progression of T. gondii by mediating expression of the cyclin gene TgCYC4. A natural form of cytokinin, trans-zeatin (t-zeatin), upregulated expression of this cyclin, while a synthetic cytokinin, thidiazuron, downregulated its expression. Immunofluorescence microscopy and quantitative PCR analysis showed that t-zeatin increased the genome-copy number of apicoplast, which are non-photosynthetic plastid, in the parasite, while thidiazuron led to their disappearance. Thidiazuron inhibited growth of T. gondii and Plasmodium falciparum, a human malaria parasite, suggesting that thidiazuron has therapeutic potential as an inhibitor of apicomplexan parasites. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Endoparasites of Stray Dogs in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, Northeast Iran with Special Reference to Zoonotic Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amir Adinezadeh

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: To find out different species of helminthes and blood/tissue proto­zoan parasites of stray dogs and their potential role for transmission of zoonotic species to human in Mashhad, Khorasan Razavi Province, northeast Iran, during 2008-2009.Methods: Totally, 100 stray dogs were selected among Mashhad municipal collection from different sites of the city. Internal organs were examined for any parasites. Helminthes were identified based on morphological characteristics. Smears prepared from peripheral blood as well as liver, spleen and any skin lesion were stained by Giemsa and examined microscopically. Samples obtained from spleen were aseptically cultured in three culture media including NNN, Schneider’s Drosophila (HIMEDIA and RPMI1640 (GIBCO for isolation of Leishmania spp. The titer of anti-Leishmania and anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were measured by direct agglutination test (DAT and indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT, respectively.Results: 84% of dogs were infected at least with one species of intestinal helminthes. The species of parasites and rate of infection were as follows: Taenia hydatigena (61%, Dipylidium caninum (46%, Mesocestoides lineatus (19%, Echinococcus granulosus (10%, Toxascaris leonina (53% and Toxocara canis (7%. Anti-Leishmania antibodies were detected by DAT in 8 dogs (8% at 1:320 titers and higher. Forty seven dogs (47% showed anti-Toxoplasma titer at 1:10 and 17 (17% showed titer of ≥1:100. No blood parasites were found in prepared blood smears.Conclusion: The high rate of parasitic infection and presence of zoonotic species

  20. 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.

  1. Protein export marks the early phase of gametocytogenesis of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvestrini, F.; Lasonder, E.; Olivieri, A.; Camarda, G.; Schaijk, B.C.L. van; Sanchez, M.; Younis Younis, S.; Sauerwein, R.W.; Alano, P.

    2010-01-01

    Despite over a century of study of malaria parasites, parts of the Plasmodium falciparum life cycle remain virtually unknown. One of these is the early gametocyte stage, a round shaped cell morphologically similar to an asexual trophozoite in which major cellular transformations ensure subsequent

  2. First molecular evidence of Toxoplasma gondii in opossums (Didelphis virginiana) from Yucatan, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Torres-Castro, M.; Noh-Pech, H.; Puerto-Hern?ndez, R.; Reyes-Hern?ndez, B.; Panti-May, A.; Hern?ndez-Betancourt, S.; Yeh-Gorocica, A.; Gonz?lez-Herrera, L.; Zavala-Castro, J.; Puerto, F.I.

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite recognized as a causal agent of toxoplasmosis; zoonotic disease endemic in many countries worldwide, including Mexico. Different species of animals participate in the wild cycle infection, including opossums of the species Didelphis virginiana. Thirteen D. virginiana were captured in Yucatan, Mexico. Detection of T. gondii was achieved by Polymerase Chain Reaction, which determined an infection of 76.9% (10/13) in brains. Positive amplic...

  3. ELISA-seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in draught horses in Greater Cairo, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haridy, Fouad M; Shoukry, Nahla M; Hassan, Aly Awad; Morsy, Tosson A

    2009-12-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is one of the important zoonotic parasites of worldwide. In this paper the seroprevalence of T. gondii in draught horses (3-15 years) including 90 males and 10 females in the first half of the year 2009 was studied. The result showed that the overall ELISA-T. gondii antibodies were 25% of the horses in Greater Cairo, 50% (females) and 22.2% (males).

  4. The Effect of Toxoplasma gondii on Animal Behavior: Playing Cat and Mouse

    OpenAIRE

    Webster, Joanne P.

    2007-01-01

    A convincing body of evidence now exists to indicate that the ubiquitous protozoan Toxoplasma gondii can cause permanent behavioral changes in its host, even as a consequence of adult-acquired latent infection. Such behavioral alterations appear to be the product of strong selective pressures for the parasite to enhance transmission from its intermediate host reservoir, primarily rodent, to its feline definitive host, wherein sexual reproduction can occur and the life cycle completed. This ar...

  5. [Antagonistic interactions between saprotrophic fungi and geohelminths. 2. Saprotrophic fungi in biocontrol of parasitic geohelminths of humans and animals].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaborowska-Jarmoluk, Magdalena; Mazurkiewicz-Zapałowicz, Kinga; Kołodziejczyk, Lidia

    2009-01-01

    The soils ecosystem plays an important role in the epidemiology of geohelminth diseases of humans and animals. Soil contamination with ova of the parasitic geohelminths represents a global public health-hazard issue. Biological agents have been thought to control the infective forms of parasites present in the soil. Biocontrol of geohelminths represents an alternative to pesticides (i.e., nematicides), which are not efficient in killing infective nematode forms and, additionally, result in the environment pollution and long-term disturbances in the soil ecosystem homeostasis. The degree of the inhibiting effect of soil saprotrophic fungi on geohelminth embryonic development varies and depends on the species. A number of fungi cause various morphological disorders in the embryos of developing parasitic nematodes, but also have an ovicidal effect. Although the nature of the antagonism between fungi and other living organisms has not been fully explained, it is certain that mycotoxins and fungal enzymes constitute its important components. Considering the studies carried out so far, the antagonistic effect of mold fungi against the infective stages of geohelminths can be fully recommended as a real control factor, especially as these saprotrophs represent a natural factor within the soil environment, that is of particular biochemical activity.

  6. Expression of senescent antigen on erythrocytes infected with a knobby variant of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winograd, E.; Greenan, J.R.T.; Sherman, I.W.

    1987-01-01

    Erythrocytes infected with a knobby variant of Plasmodium falciparum selectively bind IgG autoantibodies in normal human serum. Quantification of membrane-bound IgG, by use of 125 I-labeled protein A, revealed that erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant bound 30 times more protein A than did noninfected erythrocytes; infection with a knobless variant resulted in less than a 2-fold difference compared with noninfected erythrocytes. IgG binding to knobby erythrocytes appeared to be related to parasite development, since binding of 125 I-labeled protein A to cells bearing young trophozoites (less than 20 hr after parasite invasion) was similar to binding to uninfected erythrocytes. By immunoelectron microscopy, the membrane-bound IgG on erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant was found to be preferentially associated with the protuberances (knobs) of the plasma membrane. The removal of aged or senescent erythrocytes from the peripheral circulation is reported to involve the binding of specific antibodies to an antigen (senescent antigen) related to the major erythrocyte membrane protein band 3. Since affinity-purified autoantibodies against band 3 specifically bound to the plasma membrane of erythrocytes infected with the knobby variant of P. falciparum, it is clear that the malaria parasite induces expression of senescent antigen

  7. DNA typing of ancient parasite eggs from environmental samples identifies human and animal worm infections in viking-age settlement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Ancient parasite eggs were recovered from environmental samples collected at a Viking-age settlement in Viborg, Denmark, dated 1018-1030 A.D. Morphological examination identified Ascaris sp., Trichuris sp., and Fasciola sp. eggs, but size and shape did not allow species identification. By carefully...... selecting genetic markers, PCR amplification and sequencing of ancient DNA (aDNA) isolates resulted in identification of: the human whipworm, Trichuris trichiura, using SSUrRNA sequence homology; Ascaris sp. with 100% homology to cox1 haplotype 07; and Fasciola hepatica using ITS1 sequence homology...

  8. A global comparison of the human and T. brucei degradomes gives insights about possible parasite drug targets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan T Mashiyama

    Full Text Available We performed a genome-level computational study of sequence and structure similarity, the latter using crystal structures and models, of the proteases of Homo sapiens and the human parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Using sequence and structure similarity networks to summarize the results, we constructed global views that show visually the relative abundance and variety of proteases in the degradome landscapes of these two species, and provide insights into evolutionary relationships between proteases. The results also indicate how broadly these sequence sets are covered by three-dimensional structures. These views facilitate cross-species comparisons and offer clues for drug design from knowledge about the sequences and structures of potential drug targets and their homologs. Two protease groups ("M32" and "C51" that are very different in sequence from human proteases are examined in structural detail, illustrating the application of this global approach in mining new pathogen genomes for potential drug targets. Based on our analyses, a human ACE2 inhibitor was selected for experimental testing on one of these parasite proteases, TbM32, and was shown to inhibit it. These sequence and structure data, along with interactive versions of the protein similarity networks generated in this study, are available at http://babbittlab.ucsf.edu/resources.html.

  9. A global comparison of the human and T. brucei degradomes gives insights about possible parasite drug targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashiyama, Susan T; Koupparis, Kyriacos; Caffrey, Conor R; McKerrow, James H; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2012-01-01

    We performed a genome-level computational study of sequence and structure similarity, the latter using crystal structures and models, of the proteases of Homo sapiens and the human parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Using sequence and structure similarity networks to summarize the results, we constructed global views that show visually the relative abundance and variety of proteases in the degradome landscapes of these two species, and provide insights into evolutionary relationships between proteases. The results also indicate how broadly these sequence sets are covered by three-dimensional structures. These views facilitate cross-species comparisons and offer clues for drug design from knowledge about the sequences and structures of potential drug targets and their homologs. Two protease groups ("M32" and "C51") that are very different in sequence from human proteases are examined in structural detail, illustrating the application of this global approach in mining new pathogen genomes for potential drug targets. Based on our analyses, a human ACE2 inhibitor was selected for experimental testing on one of these parasite proteases, TbM32, and was shown to inhibit it. These sequence and structure data, along with interactive versions of the protein similarity networks generated in this study, are available at http://babbittlab.ucsf.edu/resources.html.

  10. A comparative study of small RNAs in Toxoplasma gondii of distinct genotypes

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    Wang Jielin

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite with a significant impact on human health. Inside the mammalian and avian hosts, the parasite can undergo rapid development or remain inactive in the cysts. The mechanism that regulates parasite proliferation has not been fully understood. Small noncoding RNAs (sncRNA such as microRNAs (miRNAs are endogenous regulatory factors that can modulate cell differentiation and development. It is anticipated that hundreds of miRNAs regulate the expression of thousands of genes in a single organism. SncRNAs have been identified in T. gondii, however the profiles of sncRNAs expression and their potential regulatory function in parasites of distinct genotypes has largely been unknown. Methods The transcription profiles of miRNAs in the two genetically distinct strains, RH and ME49, of T. gondii were investigated and compared by a high-through-put RNA sequencing technique and systematic bioinformatics analysis. The expression of some of the miRNAs was confirmed by Northern blot analysis. Results 1,083,320 unique sequences were obtained. Of which, 17 conserved miRNAs related to 2 metazoan miRNA families and 339 novel miRNAs were identified. A total of 175 miRNAs showed strain-specific expression, of which 155 miRNAs were up-regulated in RH strain and 20 miRNAs were up-regulated in ME49 strain. Strain-specific expression of miRNAs in T. gondii could be due to activation of specific genes at different genomic loci or due to arm-switching of the same pre-miRNA duplex. Conclusions Evidence for the differential expression of miRNAs in the two genetically distinct strains of T. gondii has been identified and defined. MiRNAs of T. gondii are more species-specific as compared to other organisms, which can be developed as diagnostic biomarkers for toxoplasmosis. The data also provide a framework for future studies on RNAi-dependent regulatory mechanisms in the zoonotic parasite.

  11. Investigating the Determinants of Toxoplasma gondii Prevalence in Meat: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression.

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    Simone Belluco

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most widespread parasites in humans and can cause severe illness in immunocompromised individuals. However, its role in healthy people is probably under-appreciated. The complex epidemiology of this protozoan recognizes several infection routes but consumption of contaminated food is likely to be the predominant one. Among food, consumption of raw and undercooked meat is a relevant route of transmission, but the role of different meat producing animal species and meats thereof is controversial.The aim of the present work is to summarize and analyse literature data reporting prevalence estimates of T. gondii in meat animals/meats.We searched Medline, Web of Science, Science Direct (last update 31/03/2015.Relevant papers should report data from primary studies dealing with the prevalence of T. gondii in meat from livestock species as obtained through direct detection methods. Meta-analysis and meta-regression were performed.Of 1915 papers screened, 69 papers were included, dealing mainly with cattle, pigs and sheep. Pooled prevalences, based on random-effect models, were 2.6% (CI95 [0.5-5.8] for cattle, 12.3% (CI95 [7.6-17.8] for pigs and 14.7% (CI95 [8.9-21.5] for sheep. Due to the high heterogeneity observed, univariable and multivariable meta-regression models were fitted showing that the geographic area for cattle (p = 0.032, the farming type for pigs (p = 0.0004 and the sample composition for sheep (p = 0.03 had significant effects on the prevalences of Toxoplasma detected/estimated. Moreover, the role of different animal species was dependent on the geographic location of animals' origin.Limitations were due mainly to a possible publication bias.The present work confirms the role of meat, including beef, as T. gondii sources, and highlights the need for a control system for this parasite to be implemented along the meat production chain. Moreover, consumer knowledge should be strengthened in order to reduce

  12. Pathology, clinical signs, and tissue distribution of Toxoplasma gondii in experimentally infected reindeer (Rangifer tarandus

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    Émilie Bouchard

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite found in vertebrates worldwide for which felids serve as definitive hosts. Despite low densities of felids in northern Canada, Inuit people in some regions show unexpectedly high levels of exposure, possibly through handling and consumption of Arctic wildlife. Free-ranging caribou (Rangifer tarandus are widely harvested for food across the Canadian North, show evidence of seroexposure to T. gondii, and are currently declining in numbers throughout the Arctic. We experimentally infected three captive reindeer (conspecific with caribou with 1000, 5000 or 10,000 oocysts of T. gondii via stomach intubation to assess clinical signs of infection, pathology, and tissue distribution. An unexposed reindeer served as a negative control. Signs of stress, aggression, and depression were noted for the first two weeks following infection. By 4 weeks post infection, all infected reindeer were positive on a modified agglutination test at the highest titer tested (1:200 for antibodies to T. gondii. At 20 weeks post infection, no gross abnormalities were observed on necropsy. Following histopathology and immunohistochemistry, tissue cysts were visualized in the reindeer given the highest and lowest dose of oocysts. Focal pleuritis and alveolitis were associated with respiratory problems in reindeer given the middle dose. DNA of T. gondii was detected following traditional DNA extraction and conventional PCR on 25 mg samples from 17/33 muscles and organs, and by magnetic capture DNA extraction from 100 g samples from all 26 tissues examined. This research demonstrated that reindeer/caribou can serve as intermediate hosts for T. gondii, and that the parasite may be associated with health effects in wildlife. The presence of T. gondii in all tissues tested, many of which are commonly consumed raw, smoked, or dried in northern communities, suggests that caribou may serve as a source of human exposure to T

  13. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic studies of a cysteine protease inhibitor from the human nematode parasite Ascaris lumbricoides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Sanling; Dong, Jianmei; Mei, Guoqiang; Liu, Guiyun; Xu, Wei; Su, Zhong; Liu, Jinsong

    2011-01-01

    A recombinant cysteine protease inhibitor from the human nematode parasite A. lumbricoides has been overexpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 2.1 Å resolution. The cysteine protease inhibitor from Ascaris lumbricoides, a roundworm that lives in the human intestine, may be involved in the suppression of human immune responses. Here, the molecular cloning, protein expression and purification, preliminary crystallization and crystallographic characterization of the cysteine protease inhibitor from A. lumbricoides are reported. The rod-shaped crystal belonged to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 99.40, b = 37.52, c = 62.92 Å, β = 118.26°. The crystal diffracted to 2.1 Å resolution and contained two molecules in the asymmetric unit

  14. Toxoplasma gondii in the Cornigliese sheep breed in Italy: Meat juice serology, in vitro isolation and genotyping.

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    Vismarra, A; Barilli, E; Miceli, M; Mangia, C; Genchi, M; Brindani, F; Kramer, L; Bacci, C

    2017-08-30

    Toxoplasma gondii is considered one of the most important food-borne parasitic zoonoses globally and sheep are important intermediate hosts of the parasite. Meat and milk from infected sheep are considered an important source of infection for humans. Here, the authors evaluated T. gondii infection in the Italian Cornigliese sheep breed using meat juice ELISA, and in vitro assay for followed by Real Time-PCR and PCR-RFLP. Twenty-one hearts were collected at slaughter. Meat juice serology was carried out on all samples, while eleven hearts with the highest antibody titres were subjected to acid-peptic digestion and seeding onto Vero cells. DNA was extracted at three different time points following seeding. PCR-positive samples were then genotyped by PCR-RFLP. All the meat juice samples were positive for IgG antibodies against p30 protein of T. gondii. Five of the 11 samples, seeded onto Vero cells, were positive in PCR made on DNA extracted after 21days of culture and the PCR-RFLP revealed a Type-II or Type II variant profile at 9/10 loci. Two out of five samples showed an increase in terms of parasite growth by comparing the Cq values at three different time points. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of in vitro cultivation of T. gondii from muscle tissue of naturally-infected sheep. In vitro assays may be a promising alternative to bioassays and further studies are necessary in order to improve assay performance and to identify possible early markers of parasite proliferation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Enrofloxacin is able to control Toxoplasma gondii infection in both in vitro and in vivo experimental models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Bellisa Freitas; Gomes, Angelica Oliveira; Ferro, Eloisa Amália Vieira; Napolitano, Danielle Reis; Mineo, José Roberto; Silva, Neide Maria

    2012-06-08

    Currently, toxoplasmosis is treated with sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine. However, this treatment presents several adverse side effects; thus, there is a critical need for the development and evaluation of new drugs, which do not present the same problems of the standard therapy. Enrofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic known to control infection against several bacteria in veterinary medicine. Recently, this drug has demonstrated protective effects against protozoan parasites such as Neospora caninum. The present study aimed to determine the effect of enrofloxacin in the control of Toxoplasma gondii infection. For this purpose, human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells were infected with T. gondii RH strain and treated with sulfadiazine, penicillin/streptomycin, pyrimethamine, or enrofloxacin. Following treatment, we analyzed the infection index, parasite intracellular proliferation and the number of plaques. Additionally, tissue parasitism and histological changes were investigated in the brain of Calomys callosus that were infected with T. gondii (ME49 strain) and treated with either sulfadiazine or enrofloxacin. Enrofloxacin was able to reduce the infection index, intracellular proliferation and the number of plaques in HFF cells infected by T. gondii in comparison with untreated or penicillin/streptomycin-treated ones. Enrofloxacin was more protective against T. gondii in HFF infected cells than sulfadiazine treatment (Penrofloxacin or the associations of sulfadiazine plus pyrimethamine, enrofloxacin plus sulfadiazine or enrofloxacin plus pyrimethamine-treatments were able to reduce the plaque numbers in HFF cells infected by T. gondii when compared to medium, penicillin/streptomycin or sulfadiazine alone. In vivo experiments demonstrated that enrofloxacin diminished significantly the tissue parasitism as well as the inflammatory alterations in the brain of C. callosus infected with T. gondii when compared with untreated animals. Based on our findings, it can

  16. Helminth allergens, parasite-specific IgE and its protective role in human immunity

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    Colin Matthew Fitzsimmons

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The Th2 immune response, culminating in eosinophilia and IgE production, is not only characteristic of allergy but also of infection by parasitic worms (helminths. Anti-parasite IgE has been associated with immunity against a range of helminth infections and many believe that IgE and its receptors evolved to help counter metazoan parasites. Allergens (IgE-antigens are present in only a small minority of protein families and known IgE targets in helminths belong to these same families (e.g. EF-hand proteins, tropomyosin, and PR-1 proteins.During some helminth infection, especially with the well adapted hookworm, the Th2 response is moderated by parasite-expressed molecules. This has been associated with reduced allergy in helminth endemic areas and worm infection or products have been proposed as treatments for allergic conditions. However some infections (especially Ascaris are associated with increased allergy and this has been linked to cross-reactivity between worm proteins (e.g., tropomyosins and highly similar molecules in dust mites and insects. The overlap between allergy and helminth infection is best illustrated in Anisakis simplex, a nematode that when consumed in under-cooked fish can be both an infective helminth and a food allergen. Nearly 20 molecular allergens have been isolated from this species, including tropomyosin (Ani s3 and the EF-hand protein, Ani s troponin.In this review, we highlight aspects of the biology and biochemistry of helminths that may have influenced the evolution of the IgE response. We compare dominant IgE antigens in worms with clinically important environmental allergens and suggest that arrays of such molecules will provide important information on anti-worm immunity as well as allergy.

  17. Concentration and retention of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts by marine snails demonstrate a novel mechanism for transmission of terrestrial zoonotic pathogens in coastal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krusor, Colin; Smith, Woutrina A.; Tinker, M. Tim; Silver, Mary; Conrad, Patricia A.; Shapiro, Karen

    2015-01-01

    The parasite Toxoplasma gondii is an environmentally persistent pathogen that can cause fatal disease in humans, terrestrial warm-blooded animals and aquatic mammals. Although an association between T. gondii exposure and prey specialization on marine snails was identified in threatened California sea otters, the ability of kelp-dwelling snails to transmit terrestrially derived pathogens has not been previously investigated. The objective of this study was to measure concentration and retention of T. gondii by marine snails in laboratory aquaria, and to test for natural T. gondii contamination in field-collected snails. Following exposure to T. gondii-containing seawater, oocysts were detected by microscopy in snail faeces and tissues for 10 and 3 days respectively. Nested polymerase chain reaction was also applied as a method for confirming putative T. gondii oocysts detected in snail faeces and tissues by microscopy. Toxoplasma gondiiwas not detected in field-collected snails. Results suggest that turban snails are competent transport hosts for T. gondii. By concentrating oocysts in faecal pellets, snails may facilitate entry of T. gondii into the nearshore marine food web. This novel mechanism also represents a general pathway by which marine transmission of terrestrially derived microorganisms can be mediated via pathogen concentration and retention by benthic invertebrates.

  18. Does Magnetic Field Affect Malaria Parasite Replication in Human Red Blood Cells?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanturiya, Alexandr N.; Glushakova, Svetlana; Yin, Dan; Zimmerberg, Joshua

    2004-01-01

    Digestion of red blood cell (RBC) hemoglobin by the malaria parasite results in the formation of paramagnetic hemazoin crystals inside the parasite body. A number of reports suggest that magnetic field interaction with hamazoin crystals significantly reduces the number of infected cells in culture, and thus magnetic field can be used to combat malaria. We studies the effects of magnetic filed on the Plasmodium falciparum asexual life cycle inside RBCs under various experimental conditions. No effect was found during prolonged exposure of infected RBCs to constant magnetic fields up to 6000 Gauss. Infected RBCs were also exposed, under temperature-controlled conditions, to oscillating magnetic fields with frequencies in the range of 500-20000 kHz, and field strength 30-600 Gauss. This exposure often changed the proportion of different parasite stages in treated culture compared to controls. However, no significant effect on parasitemia was observed in treated cultures. This result indicates that the magnetic field effect on Plasmodium falciparum is negligible, or that hypothetical negative and positive effects on different stages within one 48-hour compensate each other.

  19. Human parasites in the Roman World: health consequences of conquering an empire.

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    Mitchell, Piers D

    2017-01-01

    The archaeological evidence for parasites in the Roman era is presented in order to demonstrate the species present at that time, and highlight the health consequences for people living under Roman rule. Despite their large multi-seat public latrines with washing facilities, sewer systems, sanitation legislation, fountains and piped drinking water from aqueducts, we see the widespread presence of whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) and Entamoeba histolytica that causes dysentery. This would suggest that the public sanitation measures were insufficient to protect the population from parasites spread by fecal contamination. Ectoparasites such as fleas, head lice, body lice, pubic lice and bed bugs were also present, and delousing combs have been found. The evidence fails to demonstrate that the Roman culture of regular bathing in the public baths reduced the prevalence of these parasites. Fish tapeworm was noted to be widely present, and was more common than in Bronze and Iron Age Europe. It is possible that the Roman enthusiasm for fermented, uncooked fish sauce (garum) may have facilitated the spread of this helminth. Roman medical practitioners such as Galen were aware of intestinal worms, explaining their existence and planning treatment using the humoural theory of the period.

  20. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

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    Thais C de Oliveira

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax.We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences, Peru (PER, n = 23, Colombia (COL, n = 31, and Mexico (MEX, n = 19.We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10-4 and 6.2 × 10-4 as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092. Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between parasite lineages from geographically

  1. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Thais C; Rodrigues, Priscila T; Menezes, Maria José; Gonçalves-Lopes, Raquel M; Bastos, Melissa S; Lima, Nathália F; Barbosa, Susana; Gerber, Alexandra L; Loss de Morais, Guilherme; Berná, Luisa; Phelan, Jody; Robello, Carlos; de Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R; Alves, João Marcelo P; Ferreira, Marcelo U

    2017-07-01

    The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax. We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences), Peru (PER, n = 23), Colombia (COL, n = 31), and Mexico (MEX, n = 19). We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10-4 and 6.2 × 10-4) as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed) in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o) gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092). Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between parasite lineages from geographically diverse sites

  2. Genome-wide diversity and differentiation in New World populations of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Thais C.; Rodrigues, Priscila T.; Menezes, Maria José; Gonçalves-Lopes, Raquel M.; Bastos, Melissa S.; Lima, Nathália F.; Barbosa, Susana; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Loss de Morais, Guilherme; Berná, Luisa; Phelan, Jody; Robello, Carlos; de Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2017-01-01

    Background The Americas were the last continent colonized by humans carrying malaria parasites. Plasmodium falciparum from the New World shows very little genetic diversity and greater linkage disequilibrium, compared with its African counterparts, and is clearly subdivided into local, highly divergent populations. However, limited available data have revealed extensive genetic diversity in American populations of another major human malaria parasite, P. vivax. Methods We used an improved sample preparation strategy and next-generation sequencing to characterize 9 high-quality P. vivax genome sequences from northwestern Brazil. These new data were compared with publicly available sequences from recently sampled clinical P. vivax isolates from Brazil (BRA, total n = 11 sequences), Peru (PER, n = 23), Colombia (COL, n = 31), and Mexico (MEX, n = 19). Principal findings/Conclusions We found that New World populations of P. vivax are as diverse (nucleotide diversity π between 5.2 × 10−4 and 6.2 × 10−4) as P. vivax populations from Southeast Asia, where malaria transmission is substantially more intense. They display several non-synonymous nucleotide substitutions (some of them previously undescribed) in genes known or suspected to be involved in antimalarial drug resistance, such as dhfr, dhps, mdr1, mrp1, and mrp-2, but not in the chloroquine resistance transporter ortholog (crt-o) gene. Moreover, P. vivax in the Americas is much less geographically substructured than local P. falciparum populations, with relatively little between-population genome-wide differentiation (pairwise FST values ranging between 0.025 and 0.092). Finally, P. vivax populations show a rapid decline in linkage disequilibrium with increasing distance between pairs of polymorphic sites, consistent with very frequent outcrossing. We hypothesize that the high diversity of present-day P. vivax lineages in the Americas originated from successive migratory waves and subsequent admixture between

  3. In-depth comparative analysis of malaria parasite genomes reveals protein-coding genes linked to human disease in Plasmodium falciparum genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xuewu; Wang, Yuanyuan; Liang, Jiao; Wang, Luojun; Qin, Na; Zhao, Ya; Zhao, Gang

    2018-05-02

    Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent malaria parasite capable of parasitizing human erythrocytes. The identification of genes related to this capability can enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human malaria and lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for malaria control. With the availability of several malaria parasite genome sequences, performing computational analysis is now a practical strategy to identify genes contributing to this disease. Here, we developed and used a virtual genome method to assign 33,314 genes from three human malaria parasites, namely, P. falciparum, P. knowlesi and P. vivax, and three rodent malaria parasites, namely, P. berghei, P. chabaudi and P. yoelii, to 4605 clusters. Each cluster consisted of genes whose protein sequences were significantly similar and was considered as a virtual gene. Comparing the enriched values of all clusters in human malaria parasites with those in rodent malaria parasites revealed 115 P. falciparum genes putatively responsible for parasitizing human erythrocytes. These genes are mainly located in the chromosome internal regions and participate in many biological processes, including membrane protein trafficking and thiamine biosynthesis. Meanwhile, 289 P. berghei genes were included in the rodent parasite-enriched clusters. Most are located in subtelomeric regions and encode erythrocyte surface proteins. Comparing cluster values in P. falciparum with those in P. vivax and P. knowlesi revealed 493 candidate genes linked to virulence. Some of them encode proteins present on the erythrocyte surface and participate in cytoadhesion, virulence factor trafficking, or erythrocyte invasion, but many genes with unknown function were also identified. Cerebral malaria is characterized by accumulation of infected erythrocytes at trophozoite stage in brain microvascular. To discover cerebral malaria-related genes, fast Fourier transformation (FFT) was introduced to extract

  4. Determination of the viability of Toxoplasma gondii in cured ham using bioassay: influence of technological processing and food safety implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayarri, Susana; Gracia, María J; Lázaro, Regina; Pe Rez-Arquillué, Consuelo; Barberán, Montserrat; Herrera, Antonio

    2010-12-01

    Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii and distributed worldwide. Ingestion of viable cysts from infected raw or undercooked meat is an important route of horizontal transmission of the parasite to humans. Little information is available concerning the effect of commercial curing on cysts of T. gondii. This study is the first in which the influence of processing of cured ham on the viability of T. gondii has been evaluated, using bioassay to assess the risk of infection from eating this meat product. Naturally infected pigs were selected for the study, and a mouse concentration bioassay technique was used to demonstrate viable bradyzoites of T. gondii in porcine tissues and hams. No viable parasites were found in the final product (14 months of curing) based on results of the indirect immunofluorescence assay and histological and PCR analyses. Our results indicate that the consumption of hams cured as described here poses an insignificant risk of acquiring toxoplasmosis. However, additional studies are required to evaluate the safety of ham products cured under different conditions of curing time, salt, and nitrite concentration.

  5. Seroprevalence and risk factors of Neospora spp. and Toxoplasma gondii infections among horses and donkeys in Nigeria, West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bártová, Eva; Sedlák, Kamil; Kobédová, Kateřina; Budíková, Marie; Joel Atuman, Yakubu; Kamani, Joshua

    2017-09-26

    Neospora spp. and Toxoplasma gondii are considered to be a globally distributed parasites affecting wide range of warm-blooded animals. Neosporosis has caused clinical illness in horses and consumption of horse meat has been epidemiologically linked to clinical toxoplasmosis in humans. This study was conducted to determine Neospora spp. and T. gondii antibodies and risk factors of infection in horses and donkeys from three states of Nigeria. A total of 144 samples were collected from clinically healthy animals (120 horses and 24 donkeys). The sera were tested for antibodies to Neospora spp. and T. gondii by indirect fluorescence antibody test, a titer ≥ 50 was considered positive. Seroprevalence data were statistically analyzed, considering the variables of gender, age, use, state, origin of breed and type of management. Antibodies to Neospora spp. and T. gondii were detected in 8% horses with titers 50 and in 24% horses with titers 50-800, respectively. Co-infection of both parasites was proved in three horses (3%). Statistical differences were found only for T. gondii seroprevalence in horses with different use, locality, origin and management (p-value ≤ 0.05). Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in four (17%) of 24 donkeys with statistical difference (p-value ≤ 0.05) in animals of different use; antibodies to Neospora spp. were not proved in any of the donkeys. This is the first seroprevalence study of Neospora spp. and T. gondii in equids from Nigeria.

  6. Current Perspectives of Telomerase Structure and Function in Eukaryotes with Emerging Views on Telomerase in Human Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Abhishek; Chakrabarti, Kausik

    2018-01-24

    Replicative capacity of a cell is strongly correlated with telomere length regulation. Aberrant lengthening or reduction in the length of telomeres can lead to health anomalies, such as cancer or premature aging. Telomerase is a master regulator for maintaining replicative potential in most eukaryotic cells. It does so by controlling telomere length at chromosome ends. Akin to cancer cells, most single-cell eukaryotic pathogens are highly proliferative and require persistent telomerase activity to maintain constant length of telomere and propagation within their host. Although telomerase is key to unlimited cellular proliferation in both cases, not much was known about the role of telomerase in human parasites (malaria, Trypanosoma , etc.) until recently. Since telomerase regulation is mediated via its own structural components, interactions with catalytic reverse transcriptase and several factors that can recruit and assemble telomerase to telomeres in a cell cycle-dependent manner, we compare and discuss here recent findings in telomerase biology in cancer, aging and parasitic diseases to give a broader perspective of telomerase function in human diseases.

  7. A novel progesterone receptor membrane component (PGRMC) in the human and swine parasite Taenia solium: implications to the host-parasite relationship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Díaz, Hugo; Nava-Castro, Karen E; Escobedo, Galileo; Domínguez-Ramírez, Lenin; García-Varela, Martín; Del Río-Araiza, Víctor H; Palacios-Arreola, Margarita I; Morales-Montor, Jorge

    2018-03-09

    We have previously reported that progesterone (P 4 ) has a direct in vitro effect on the scolex evagination and growth of Taenia solium cysticerci. Here, we explored the hypothesis that the P 4 direct effect on T. solium might be mediated by a novel steroid-binding parasite protein. By way of using immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, flow cytometry analysis, double-dimension electrophoresis analysis, and sequencing the corresponding protein spot, we detected a novel PGRMC in T. solium. Molecular modeling studies accompanied by computer docking using the sequenced protein, together with phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment clearly demonstrated that T. solium PGRMC is from parasite origin. Our results show that P 4 in vitro increases parasite evagination and scolex size. Using immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, we detected that parasite cells showed expression of a P 4 -binding like protein exclusively located at the cysticercus subtegumental tissue. Presence of the P 4 -binding protein in cyst cells was also confirmed by flow cytometry. Double-dimension electrophoresis analysis, followed by sequencing the corresponding protein spot, revealed a protein that was previously reported in the T. solium genome belonging to a membrane-associated progesterone receptor component (PGRMC). Molecular modeling studies accompanied by computer docking using the sequenced protein showed that PGRMC is potentially able to bind steroid hormones such as progesterone, estradiol, testosterone and dihydrodrotestosterone with different affinities. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment clearly demonstrated that T. solium PGRMC is related to a steroid-binding protein of Echinoccocus granulosus, both of them being nested within a cluster including similar proteins present in platyhelminths such as Schistocephalus solidus and Schistosoma haematobium. Progesterone may directly act upon T. solium cysticerci probably by binding to PGRMC. This research has implications in the

  8. [The seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in women from Sanliurfa, a province with a high raw meatball consumption].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tekay, Fikret; Ozbek, Erdal

    2007-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan that can infect all kind of birds and all mammals including humans and is common throughout the world. The prevalence varies according to social and cultural habits, pet cats in homes and geographic factors. Domestic cats are considered to be an important source of Toxoplasma gondii infection. From January to June 2006, the prevalence of toxoplasmosis was retrospectively monitored from blood samples that had been sent to our laboratory in order to determine the levels of IgM and IgG. All the subjects were women and 2,586 blood samples were investigated with the chemiluminescence immunoassay method. The rates of Toxoplasma gondii IgM antibodies were found to be 3.0% (78/2,586) and that of Toxoplasma gondii IgG antibodies, 69.5% (1.798/2,586). The total rate of positivity of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies was 69.6% (1,801/2,586) and the negativity, 30.4% (785/2,586). The highest positive rates have been reported in the southeastern region of Turkey and the 69.6% detected in our study seems to be the highest rate. Raw meatball consumption is common in our region and raw meat has a high risk of Toxoplasma gondii infection by direct ingestion of tissue cysts. As a result we consider that the high frequency of Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity in this region is due to raw meatball consumption.

  9. Differential Roles for Inner Membrane Complex Proteins across Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Rashmi; Harrison, Brooke; Dangoudoubiyam, Sriveny; Bandini, Giulia; Cheng, Katherine; Kosber, Aziz; Agop-Nersesian, Carolina; Howe, Daniel K; Samuelson, John; Ferguson, David J P; Gubbels, Marc-Jan

    2017-01-01

    The inner membrane complex (IMC) of apicomplexan parasites contains a network of intermediate filament-like proteins. The 14 alveolin domain-containing IMC proteins in Toxoplasma gondii fall into different groups defined by their distinct spatiotemporal dynamics during the internal budding process of tachyzoites. Here, we analyzed representatives of different IMC protein groups across all stages of the Toxoplasma life cycle and during Sarcocystis neurona asexual development. We found that across asexually dividing Toxoplasma stages, IMC7 is present exclusively in the mother's cytoskeleton, whereas IMC1 and IMC3 are both present in mother and daughter cytoskeletons (IMC3 is strongly enriched in daughter buds). In developing macro- and microgametocytes, IMC1 and -3 are absent, whereas IMC7 is lost in early microgametocytes but retained in macrogametocytes until late in their development. We found no roles for IMC proteins during meiosis and sporoblast formation. However, we observed that IMC1 and IMC3, but not IMC7, are present in sporozoites. Although the spatiotemporal pattern of IMC15 and IMC3 suggests orthologous functions in Sarcocystis , IMC7 may have functionally diverged in Sarcocystis merozoites. To functionally characterize IMC proteins, we knocked out IMC7, -12, -14, and -15 in Toxoplasma . IMC14 and -15 appear to be involved in switching between endodyogeny and endopolygeny. In addition, IMC7, -12, and -14, which are all recruited to the cytoskeleton outside cytokinesis, are critical for the structural integrity of extracellular tachyzoites. Altogether, stage- and development-specific roles for IMC proteins can be discerned, suggesting different niches for each IMC protein across the entire life cycle. IMPORTANCE The inner membrane complex (IMC) is a defining feature of apicomplexan parasites key to both their motility and unique cell division. To provide further insights into the IMC, we analyzed the dynamics and functions of representative alveolin

  10. Toxoplasma gondii sequesters lysosomes from mammalian hosts in the vacuolar space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppens, Isabelle; Dunn, Joe Dan; Romano, Julia D; Pypaert, Marc; Zhang, Hui; Boothroyd, John C; Joiner, Keith A

    2006-04-21

    The intracellular compartment harboring Toxoplasma gondii satisfies the parasite's nutritional needs for rapid growth in mammalian cells. We demonstrate that the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) of T. gondii accumulates material coming from the host mammalian cell via the exploitation of the host endo-lysosomal system. The parasite actively recruits host microtubules, resulting in selective attraction of endo-lysosomes to the PV. Microtubule-based invaginations of the PV membrane serve as conduits for the delivery of host endo-lysosomes within the PV. These tubular conduits are decorated by a parasite coat, including the tubulogenic protein GRA7, which acts like a garrote that sequesters host endocytic organelles in the vacuolar space. These data define an unanticipated process allowing the parasite intimate and concentrated access to a diverse range of low molecular weight components produced by the endo-lysosomal system. More generally, they identify a unique mechanism for unidirectional transport and sequestration of host organelles.

  11. Probability of Transmission of Malaria from Mosquito to Human Is Regulated by Mosquito Parasite Density in Naïve and Vaccinated Hosts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas S Churcher

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Over a century since Ronald Ross discovered that malaria is caused by the bite of an infectious mosquito it is still unclear how the number of parasites injected influences disease transmission. Currently it is assumed that all mosquitoes with salivary gland sporozoites are equally infectious irrespective of the number of parasites they harbour, though this has never been rigorously tested. Here we analyse >1000 experimental infections of humans and mice and demonstrate a dose-dependency for probability of infection and the length of the host pre-patent period. Mosquitoes with a higher numbers of sporozoites in their salivary glands following blood-feeding are more likely to have caused infection (and have done so quicker than mosquitoes with fewer parasites. A similar dose response for the probability of infection was seen for humans given a pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate targeting circumsporozoite protein (CSP, and in mice with and without transfusion of anti-CSP antibodies. These interventions prevented infection more efficiently from bites made by mosquitoes with fewer parasites. The importance of parasite number has widespread implications across malariology, ranging from our basic understanding of the parasite, how vaccines are evaluated and the way in which transmission should be measured in the field. It also provides direct evidence for why the only registered malaria vaccine RTS,S was partially effective in recent clinical trials.

  12. A qualitative assessment of Toxoplasma gondii risk in ready-to-eat smallgoods processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mie, Tanya; Pointon, Andrew M; Hamilton, David R; Kiermeier, Andreas

    2008-07-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common parasitic infections of humans and other warm-blooded animals. In most adults, it does not cause serious illness, but severe disease may result from infection in fetuses and immunocompromised people. Consumption of raw or undercooked meats has consistently been identified as an important source of exposure to T. gondii. Several studies indicate the potential failure to inactivate T. gondii in the processes of cured meat products, This article presents a qualitative risk-based assessment of the processing of ready-to-eat smallgoods, which include cooked or uncooked fermented meat, pâté, dried meat, slow cured meat, luncheon meat, and cooked muscle meat including ham and roast beef. The raw meat ingredients are rated with respect to their likelihood of containing T. gondii cysts and an adjustment is made based on whether all the meat from a particular source is frozen. Next, the effectiveness of common processing steps to inactivate T. gondii cysts is assessed, including addition of spices, nitrates, nitrites and salt, use of fermentation, smoking and heat treatment, and the time and temperature during maturation. It is concluded that processing steps that may be effective in the inactivation of T. gondii cysts include freezing, heat treatment, and cooking, and the interaction between salt concentration, maturation time, and temperature. The assessment is illustrated using a Microsoft Excel-based software tool that was developed to facilitate the easy assessment of four hypothetical smallgoods products.

  13. Macrophages facilitate the excystation and differentiation of Toxoplasma gondii sporozoites into tachyzoites following oocyst internalisation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freppel, Wesley; Puech, Pierre-Henri; Ferguson, David J P; Azas, Nadine; Dubey, Jitender P; Dumètre, Aurélien

    2016-09-19

    Toxoplasma gondii is a common parasite of humans and animals, which is transmitted via oocysts in cat faeces or tissue cysts in contaminated meat. The robust oocyst and sporocyst walls protect the infective sporozoites from deleterious external attacks including disinfectants. Upon oocyst acquisition, these walls lose their integrity to let the sporozoites excyst and invade host cells following a process that remains poorly understood. Given the resistance of the oocyst wall to digestive enzymes and the ability of oocysts to cause parenteral infections, the present study investigated the possible contribution of macrophages in supporting sporozoite excystation following oocyst internalisation. By using single cell micromanipulations, real-time and time-point imaging techniques, we demonstrated that RAW macrophages could interact rapidly with oocysts and engulfed them by remodelling of their actin cytoskeleton. Internalised oocysts were associated to macrophage acidic compartments and showed evidences of wall disruption. Sporozoites were observed in macrophages containing oocyst remnants or in new macrophages, giving rise to dividing tachyzoites. All together, these results highlight an unexpected role of phagocytic cells in processing T. gondii oocysts, in line with non-classical routes of infection, and open new perspectives to identify chemical factors that lead to oocyst wall disruption under physiological conditions.

  14. Serological Survey and Factors Associated with Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Domestic Goats in Myanmar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bawm, Saw; Maung, Wint Yi; Win, Myat Yee; Thu, May June; Chel, Hla Myet; Khaing, Tin Aye; Wai, Soe Soe; Htun, Lat Lat; Myaing, Tin Tin; Tiwananthagorn, Saruda; Igarashi, Makoto; Katakura, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Goat farming is important for the livelihood of millions of rural people because it contributes to food security and creation of assets. However, infection of goats with Toxoplasma gondii could be a source of parasite transmission to humans. The information on T. gondii infection of goat was not reported yet in Myanmar. A total of 119 goat serum samples were collected from three cities in the central region of Myanmar for T. gondii antibody survey. With the occurrence value obtained in this first study, a second one, more complete, with larger number (162) of animals and properties, was carried out and the risk factors and prevalence were determined. In both studies the samples were analyzed by the LAT. Of these, 32 (11.4%) samples were showed to be positive. The infection was associated with the presence of cats at the farm (odds ratio [OR] = 4.66, 95% confidential interval [CI] = 1.03–21.06), farming with different animal species (sheep, cattle, and pigs) (OR = 4.33, 95% CI = 1.57–11.94), and farming without good management practices (OR = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.06–0.83). This is the first T. gondii prevalence study in goats in the country. PMID:26904362

  15. Serological Survey and Factors Associated with Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Domestic Goats in Myanmar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saw Bawm

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Goat farming is important for the livelihood of millions of rural people because it contributes to food security and creation of assets. However, infection of goats with Toxoplasma gondii could be a source of parasite transmission to humans. The information on T. gondii infection of goat was not reported yet in Myanmar. A total of 119 goat serum samples were collected from three cities in the central region of Myanmar for T. gondii antibody survey. With the occurrence value obtained in this first study, a second one, more complete, with larger number (162 of animals and properties, was carried out and the risk factors and prevalence were determined. In both studies the samples were analyzed by the LAT. Of these, 32 (11.4% samples were showed to be positive. The infection was associated with the presence of cats at the farm (odds ratio [OR] = 4.66, 95% confidential interval [CI] = 1.03–21.06, farming with different animal species (sheep, cattle, and pigs (OR = 4.33, 95% CI = 1.57–11.94, and farming without good management practices (OR = 0.23, 95% CI = 0.06–0.83. This is the first T. gondii prevalence study in goats in the country.

  16. Low Seroprevalence of Leishmania infantum and Toxoplasma gondii in the Horse Population in Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aharonson-Raz, Karin; Baneth, Gad; Lopes, Ana Patrícia; Brancal, Hugo; Schallig, Henk; Cardoso, Luís; Steinman, Amir

    2015-12-01

    A cross-sectional investigation was done on the seroprevalence of Leishmania infantum and Toxoplasma gondii infection among apparently healthy horses in Israel. This survey included 383 horses distributed in 22 farms throughout Israel during the years 2011-2013. Serum samples were tested for the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies using the direct agglutination test (DAT) specific to Leishmania and by the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of IgG antibodies to T. gondii. Low seroprevalences were detected for both L. infantum and T. gondii in the horse population in Israel; of the 338 horses tested, 6 (1.4%) were found to be seropositive for L. infantum and 11 (2.5%) for T. gondii, with no significant association between seroprevalence and demographic/environmental factors. An ongoing geographical expansion of L. infantum, previously reported in humans and dogs in Israel, was also supported by our results in horses. Here we present evidence of exposure of horses to L. infantum and T. gondii in Israel. Continuous seroprevalence surveillance in horses, such as the one performed in this study, might further elucidate the eco-epidemiology of these two important zoonotic parasites in this country.

  17. Asexual populations of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, use a two-step genomic strategy to acquire accurate, beneficial DNA amplifications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Guler

    Full Text Available Malaria drug resistance contributes to up to a million annual deaths. Judicious deployment of new antimalarials and vaccines could benefit from an understanding of early molecular events that promote the evolution of parasites. Continuous in vitro challenge of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with a novel dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH inhibitor reproducibly selected for resistant parasites. Genome-wide analysis of independently-derived resistant clones revealed a two-step strategy to evolutionary success. Some haploid blood-stage parasites first survive antimalarial pressure through fortuitous DNA duplications that always included the DHODH gene. Independently-selected parasites had different sized amplification units but they were always flanked by distant A/T tracks. Higher level amplification and resistance was attained using a second, more efficient and more accurate, mechanism for head-to-tail expansion of the founder unit. This second homology-based process could faithfully tune DNA copy numbers in either direction, always retaining the unique DNA amplification sequence from the original A/T-mediated duplication for that parasite line. Pseudo-polyploidy at relevant genomic loci sets the stage for gaining additional mutations at the locus of interest. Overall, we reveal a population-based genomic strategy for mutagenesis that operates in human stages of P. falciparum to efficiently yield resistance-causing genetic changes at the correct locus in a successful parasite. Importantly, these founding events arise with precision; no other new amplifications are seen in the resistant haploid blood stage parasite. This minimizes the need for meiotic genetic cleansing that can only occur in sexual stage development of the parasite in mosquitoes.

  18. 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 ...

  19. The Plasmodium PHIST and RESA-Like Protein Families of Human and Rodent Malaria Parasites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira, Cristina K.; Naissant, Bernina; Coppi, Alida; Bennett, Brandy L.; Aime, Elena; Franke-Fayard, Blandine; Janse, Chris J.; Coppens, Isabelle; Sinnis, Photini; Templeton, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    The phist gene family has members identified across the Plasmodium genus, defined by the presence of a domain of roughly 150 amino acids having conserved aromatic residues and an all alpha-helical structure. The family is highly amplified in P. falciparum, with 65 predicted genes in the genome of the 3D7 isolate. In contrast, in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei 3 genes are identified, one of which is an apparent pseudogene. Transcripts of the P. berghei phist genes are predominant in schizonts, whereas in P. falciparum transcript profiles span different asexual blood stages and gametocytes. We pursued targeted disruption of P. berghei phist genes in order to characterize a simplistic model for the expanded phist gene repertoire in P. falciparum. Unsuccessful attempts to disrupt P. berghei PBANKA_114540 suggest that this phist gene is essential, while knockout of phist PBANKA_122900 shows an apparent normal progression and non-essential function throughout the life cycle. Epitope-tagging of P. falciparum and P. berghei phist genes confirmed protein export to the erythrocyte cytoplasm and localization with a punctate pattern. Three P. berghei PEXEL/HT-positive exported proteins exhibit at least partial co-localization, in support of a common vesicular compartment in the cytoplasm of erythrocytes infected with rodent malaria parasites. PMID:27022937

  20. Toxoplasma gondii and schizophrenia: a review of published RCTs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chorlton, Sam D

    2017-07-01

    Over the last 60 years, accumulating evidence has suggested that acute, chronic, and maternal Toxoplasma gondii infections predispose to schizophrenia. More recent evidence suggests that chronically infected patients with schizophrenia present with more severe disease. After acute infection, parasites form walled cysts in the brain, leading to lifelong chronic infection and drug resistance to commonly used antiparasitics. Chronic infection is the most studied and closely linked with development and severity of schizophrenia. There are currently four published randomized controlled trials evaluating antiparasitic drugs, specifically azithromycin, trimethoprim, artemisinin, and artemether, in patients with schizophrenia. No trials have demonstrated a change in psychopathology with adjunctive treatment. Published trials have either selected drugs without evidence against chronic infection or used them at doses too low to reduce brain cyst burden. Furthermore, trials have failed to achieve sufficient power or account for confounders such as previous antipsychotic treatment, sex, age, or rhesus status on antiparasitic effect. There are currently no ongoing trials of anti-Toxoplasma therapy in schizophrenia despite ample evidence to justify further testing.

  1. The first isolation and molecular characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from horses in Serbia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klun, Ivana; Uzelac, Aleksandra; Villena, Isabelle; Mercier, Aurélien; Bobić, Branko; Nikolić, Aleksandra; Rajnpreht, Irena; Opsteegh, Marieke; Aubert, Dominique; Blaga, Radu; van der Giessen, Joke; Djurković-Djaković, Olgica

    2017-01-01

    Consumption of undercooked or insufficiently cured meat is a major risk factor for human infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Although horsemeat is typically consumed rare or undercooked, information on the risk of T. gondii from infected horse meat to humans is scarce. Here, we present the results of

  2. 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.

  3. Epidemiology and pathology of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson-Bremer, Daphne; Colegrove, Kathleen M; Gulland, Frances M D; Conrad, Patricia A; Mazet, Jonna A K; Johnson, Christine K

    2015-04-01

    The coccidian parasite Toxoplasma gondii infects humans and warm-blooded animals worldwide. The ecology of this parasite in marine systems is poorly understood, although many marine mammals are infected and susceptible to clinical toxoplasmosis. We summarized the lesions associated with T. gondii infection in the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) population and investigated the prevalence of and risk factors associated with T. gondii exposure, as indicated by antibody. Five confirmed and four suspected cases of T. gondii infection were identified by analysis of 1,152 medical records of necropsied sea lions from 1975-2009. One suspected and two confirmed cases were identified in aborted fetuses from a sea lion rookery. Toxoplasmosis was the primary cause of death in five cases, including the two fetuses. Gross and histopathologic findings in T. gondii-infected sea lions were similar to those reported in other marine mammals. The most common lesions were encephalitis, meningitis, and myocarditis. The antibody prevalence in stranded, free-ranging sea lions for 1998-2009 was 2.5% (±0.03%; IgG titer 640). There was an increase in odds of exposure in sea lions with increasing age, suggesting cumulative risk of exposure and persistent antibody over time. The occurrence of disseminated T. gondii infection in aborted fetuses confirms vertical transmission in sea lions, and the increasing odds of exposure with age is consistent with additional opportunities for horizontal transmission in free-ranging sea lions over time. These data suggest that T. gondii may have two modes of transmission in the sea lion population. Overall, clinical disease was uncommon in our study which, along with low prevalence of T. gondii antibody, suggests substantially less-frequent exposure and lower susceptibility to clinical disease in California sea lions as compared to sympatric southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis).

  4. SEROLOGICAL SURVEY OF ANTIBODIES TO TOXOPLASMA ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Toxoplasmosis is one of the most prevalent parasitic infections of man and livestock, and its transmission has usually been attributed to ingestion of undercooked or raw meat from infected livestock, with the infection rate in those animals being an important risk predictor of human disease, high in Iran and Ardabil State.

  5. Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase from the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R.; Tokuoka, Keiji; Kusakari, Yukiko; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Adachi, Hiroaki; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Kai, Yasushi; Krungkrai, Jerapan; Horii, Toshihiro

    2006-01-01

    Orotidine 5′-monophosphate decarboxylase of human malaria parasite P. falciparum was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation. Orotidine 5′-monophosphate (OMP) decarboxylase (OMPDC; EC 4.1.1.23) catalyzes the final step in the de novo synthesis of uridine 5′-monophosphate (UMP) and defects in the enzyme are lethal in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Active recombinant P. falciparum OMPDC (PfOMPDC) was crystallized by the seeding method in a hanging drop using PEG 3000 as a precipitant. A complete set of diffraction data from a native crystal was collected to 2.7 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation at the Swiss Light Source. The crystal exhibits trigonal symmetry (space group R3), with hexagonal unit-cell parameters a = b = 201.81, c = 44.03 Å. With a dimer in the asymmetric unit, the solvent content is 46% (V M = 2.3 Å 3 Da −1 )

  6. Host-seeking behaviors of mosquitoes experimentally infected with sympatric field isolates of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: no evidence for host manipulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amélie eVantaux

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that Plasmodium parasites can manipulate mosquito feeding behaviours such as motivation and avidity to feed on vertebrate hosts, in ways that increase the probability of parasite transmission. These studies, however, have been mainly carried out on non-natural and/or laboratory based model systems and hence may not reflect what occurs in the field. We now need to move closer to the natural setting, if we are to fully capture the ecological and evolutionary consequences of these parasite-induced behavioral changes. As part of this effort, we conducted a series of experiments to investigate the long and short-range behavioural responses to human stimuli in the mosquito Anopheles coluzzii during different stages of infection with sympatric field isolates of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in Burkina Faso. First, we used a dual-port olfactometer designed to take advantage of the whole body odor to gauge mosquito long-range host-seeking behaviors. Second, we used a locomotor activity monitor system to assess mosquito short-range behaviors. Compared to control uninfected mosquitoes, P. falciparum infection had no significant effect neither on long-range nor on short-range behaviors both at the immature and mature stages. This study, using a natural mosquito-malaria parasite association, indicates that manipulation of vector behavior may not be a general phenomenon. We speculate that the observed contrasting phenotypes with model systems might result from coevolution of the human parasite and its natural vector. Future experiments, using other sympatric malaria mosquito populations or species are required to test this hypothesis. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of following up discoveries in laboratory model systems with studies on natural parasite–mosquito interactions to accurately predict the epidemiological, ecological and evolutionary consequences of parasite manipulation of vector

  7. 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.

  8. Toxoplasma gondii: prevalence and characterization of new genotypes in free-range chickens from south Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Fernando Emmanuel Gonçalves; Sasse, João Pedro; Minutti, Ana Flávia; Miura, Ana Carolina; de Barros, Luiz Daniel; Cardim, Sergio Tosi; Martins, Thais Agostinho; de Seixas, Mércia; Yamamura, Milton Issashi; Su, Chunlei; Garcia, João Luis

    2018-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that can infect all warm-blooded animals including humans. Recent studies showed that T. gondii strains from South America are genetically diverse. The present work aimed to determine T. gondii prevalence in free-ranging chicken in northwest Parana state in Brazil by two serological tests, to isolate the parasites from seropositive chickens and to genotype the isolates. Antibodies to T. gondii in 386 serum samples from 24 farms were investigated by immunofluorescence antibody assay (IFA) and modified agglutination test (MAT). Samples having titers ≥ 16 were considered positive for both tests. Among the 386 serum samples, 102 (26.4%) were positive for IFA, 64 (16.6%) were positive for MAT, 47 (12.2%) were positive in both tests, and 119 (30.8%) were positive in at least one of the two tests. Brain and pool of heart, lung, and liver from the 119 seropositive chickens were used for mouse bioassay to isolate the parasites. Thirty eight (31.9%) of these seropositive chickens were considered positives in mouse bioassay and 18 isolates were obtained. The isolates were characterized by 10 PCR-RFLP genetic markers including SAG1, SAG2 (5'-3'SAG2, alt.SAG2), SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico. Results of genotyping were compared with the genotypes in ToxoDB database. It revealed ten genotypes, including ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotypes #6 (n = 2), #19 (n = 1), #21 (n = 2), #111 (n = 2), #152 (n = 1), and #175 (n = 1) and four new types not described before. Our results confirmed a high genetic diversity of this parasite in southern Brazil and also showed that the use of two serological tests in combination can improve the chance of T. gondii isolation. More studies should be taken to determine the zoonotic potential of chickens in the transmission of T. gondii.

  9. Dysfunctions at human intestinal barrier by water-borne protozoan parasites: lessons from cultured human fully differentiated colon cancer cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liévin-Le Moal, Vanessa

    2013-06-01

    Some water-borne protozoan parasites induce diseases through their membrane-associated functional structures and virulence factors that hijack the host cellular molecules and signalling pathways leading to structural and functional lesions in the intestinal barrier. In this Microreview we analyse the insights on the mechanisms of pathogenesis of Entamoeba intestinalis, Giardia and Cryptosporidium observed in the human colon carcinoma fully differentiated colon cancer cell lines, cell subpopulations and clones expressing the structural and functional characteristics of highly specialized fully differentiated epithelial cells lining the intestinal epithelium and mimicking structurally and functionally an intestinal barrier. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Toxoplasma gondii abortion storm in sheep on a Texas farm and isolation of mouse virulent atypical genotype T. gondii from an aborted lamb from a chronically infected ewe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheep are commonly infected with the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. Infection may cause early embryonic death and resorption, fetal death and mummification, abortion, stillbirth, and neonatal death. Most sheep acquire T. gondii infection after birth. Recent studies reported that repeat ovine...

  11. Isolation and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from black bears (Ursus americanus), bobcats (Felis rufus), and feral cats (Felis catus) from Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii infects virtually all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. Recently, attention has been focused on the genetic diversity of the parasite to explain its pathogenicity in different hosts. It has been hypothesized that interaction between feral and domestic cycles of T. gondii may increase u...

  12. Vitamin B6-Dependent Enzymes in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum: A Druggable Target?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thales Kronenberger

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Malaria is a deadly infectious disease which affects millions of people each year in tropical regions. There is no effective vaccine available and the treatment is based on drugs which are currently facing an emergence of drug resistance and in this sense the search for new drug targets is indispensable. It is well established that vitamin biosynthetic pathways, such as the vitamin B6 de novo synthesis present in Plasmodium, are excellent drug targets. The active form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5-phosphate, is, besides its antioxidative properties, a cofactor for a variety of essential enzymes present in the malaria parasite which includes the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC, synthesis of polyamines, the aspartate aminotransferase (AspAT, involved in the protein biosynthesis, and the serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT, a key enzyme within the folate metabolism.

  13. Defining the protein interaction network of human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    KAUST Repository

    Ramaprasad, Abhinay

    2012-02-01

    Malaria, caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, affects around 225. million people yearly and a huge international effort is directed towards combating this grave threat to world health and economic development. Considerable advances have been made in malaria research triggered by the sequencing of its genome in 2002, followed by several high-throughput studies defining the malaria transcriptome and proteome. A protein-protein interaction (PPI) network seeks to trace the dynamic interactions between proteins, thereby elucidating their local and global functional relationships. Experimentally derived PPI network from high-throughput methods such as yeast two hybrid (Y2H) screens are inherently noisy, but combining these independent datasets by computational methods tends to give a greater accuracy and coverage. This review aims to discuss the computational approaches used till date to construct a malaria protein interaction network and to catalog the functional predictions and biological inferences made from analysis of the PPI network. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

  14. Lifelong Persistence of Toxoplasma Cysts: A Questionable Dogma?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rougier, Solène; Montoya, Jose G; Peyron, François

    2017-02-01

    It is believed that infection by Toxoplasma gondii triggers a lifelong protective immunity due to the persistence of parasitic cysts which induce immunoprotection against reinfection. A review of the scientific literature since the 1950s did not yield any definitive data regarding the duration of cysts in the host or the presence of lifelong protective immunity, which led us to question this dogma. We put forward the hypothesis that sustained immunity to T. gondii requires repeated antigenic stimulations. The decline of seroprevalence recently observed in many countries might contribute to explain the loss of immunity. We address the potential consequences of this phenomenon, should it persist and worsen. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Experimental toxoplasma gondii infection in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gajadhar, A. A.; Measures, L.; Forbes, L. B.

    2004-01-01

    Laboratory-reared animals were used to assess the susceptibility of seals (Halichoerus grypus) to Toxoplasma gondii infection. Four seals were each orally inoculated with 100 or 10,000 oocysts of T. gondii (VEG strain), and another 4 seals served as negative controls. Occasionally, mild behavioral...... changes were observed in all inoculated seals but not in control animals. A modified agglutination test revealed the presence of antibodies to T. gondii in sera collected from inoculated seals and mice inoculated as controls. No evidence of the parasite was found on an extensive histological examination...... of seal tissues, and immunohistochemical staining of tissue sections from inoculated seals revealed a single tissue cyst in only 1 seal. Control mice inoculated with 10 oocysts from the same inoculum given to seals became serologically and histologically positive for T. gondii. Cats that were fed brain...

  16. 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

  17. A unique dual activity amino acid hydroxylase in Toxoplasma gondii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A Gaskell

    Full Text Available The genome of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii was found to contain two genes encoding tyrosine hydroxylase; that produces L-DOPA. The encoded enzymes metabolize phenylalanine as well as tyrosine with substrate preference for tyrosine. Thus the enzymes catabolize phenylalanine to tyrosine and tyrosine to L-DOPA. The catalytic domain descriptive of this class of enzymes is conserved with the parasite enzyme and exhibits similar kinetic properties to metazoan tyrosine hydroxylases, but contains a unique N-terminal extension with a signal sequence motif. One of the genes, TgAaaH1, is constitutively expressed while the other gene, TgAaaH2, is induced during formation of the bradyzoites of the cyst stages of the life cycle. This is the first description of an aromatic amino acid hydroxylase in an apicomplexan parasite. Extensive searching of apicomplexan genome sequences revealed an ortholog in Neospora caninum but not in Eimeria, Cryptosporidium, Theileria, or Plasmodium. Possible role(s of these bi-functional enzymes during host infection are discussed.

  18. Advantages of bioconjugated silica-coated nanoparticles as an innovative diagnosis for human toxoplasmosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aly, Ibrahim; Taher, Eman E; El Nain, Gehan; El Sayed, Hoda; Mohammed, Faten A; Hamad, Rabab S; Bayoumy, Elsayed M

    2018-01-01

    Nanotechnology is a promising arena for generating new applications in Medicine. To successfully functionalised nanoparticles for a given biomedical application, a wide range of chemical, physical and biological factors have to be taken into account. Silica-coated nanoparticles, (SiO2NP) exhibit substantial diagnostic activity owing to their large surface to volume ratios and crystallographic surface structure. This work aimed to evaluate the advantage of bioconjugation of SiO2NP with PAb against Toxoplasma lyzate antigen (TLA) as an innovative diagnostic method for human toxoplasmosis. This cross-sectional study included 120 individuals, divided into Group I: 70 patients suspected for Toxoplasma gondii based on the presence of clinical manifestation. Group II: 30 patients harboring other parasites than T. gondii Group III: 20 apparently healthy individuals free from toxoplasmosis and other parasitic infections served as negative control. Detection of circulating Toxoplasma antigen was performed by Sandwich ELISA and Nano-sandwich ELISA on sera and pooled urine of human samples. Using Sandwich ELISA, 10 out of 70 suspected Toxoplasma-infected human serum samples showed false negative and 8 out of 30 of other parasites groups were false positive giving 85.7% sensitivity and 84.0% specificity, while the sensitivity and specificity were 78.6% and 70% respectively in urine samples. Using Nano-Sandwich ELISA, 7 out of 70 suspected Toxoplasma-infected human samples showed false negative results and the sensitivity of the assay was 90.0%, while 4 out of 30 of other parasites groups were false positive giving 92.0% specificity, while the sensitivity and specificity were 82.6% and 80% respectively in urine samples. In conclusion, our data demonstrated that loading SiO2 nanoparticles with pAb increased the sensitivity and specificity of Nano-sandwich ELISA for detection of T.gondii antigens in serum and urine samples, thus active (early) and light infections could be easily

  19. Group 1 innate lymphoid cells in Toxoplasma gondii infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunay, I R; Diefenbach, A

    2018-02-01

    Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are a group of lymphocytes that carry out important functions in immunity to infections and in organ homeostasis at epithelial barrier surfaces. ILCs are innate immune cells that provide an early source of cytokines to initiate immune responses against pathogens. Cytotoxic ILCs (i.e. conventional (c)NK cells) and several subsets of helper-like ILCs are the major branches of the ILC family. Conventional NK cells and group 1 ILCs share several characteristics such as surface receptors and the ability to produce IFN-γ upon activation, but they differ in their developmental paths and in their dependence on specific transcription factors. Infection of mice with the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii is followed by a strong Th1-mediated immune response. Previous studies indicate that NK1.1 + cells contribute to the production of IFN-γ and TNF and cytotoxicity during acute T. gondii infection. Upon oral infection, the parasite infects intestinal enterocytes, and within the lamina propria, innate immune responses lead to initial parasite control although the infection disseminates widely and persists long-term in immune privileged sites despite adaptive immunity. Upon parasite entry into the small intestine, during the acute stage, ILC1 produce high levels of IFN-γ and TNF protecting barrier surfaces, thus essentially contributing to early parasite control. We will discuss here the role of innate lymphocytes during T. gondii infection in the context of the only recently appreciated diversity of ILC subsets. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Anti-Toxoplasma Activity of 2-(Naphthalene-2-γlthiol-1H Indole.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qasem Asgari

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This study was undertaken to evaluate the viability, infectivity and immunity of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites exposed to 2-(naphthalene-2-ylthio-1H-indole.Tachyzoites of RH strain were incubated in various concentrations of 2-(naphthalene-2-ylthio-1H-indole (25-800 μM for 1.5 hours. Then, they were stained by PI and analyzed by Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS. To evaluate the infectivity, the tachyzoites exposed to the different concentrations of the compound were inoculated to 10 BALB/c mice groups. For Control, parasites exposed to DMSO (0.2% v/v were also intraperitoneally inoculated into two groups of mice. The immunity of the exposed tachyzoites was evaluated by inoculation of the naïve parasite to the survived mice.The LD50 of 2-(naphthalene-2-ylthio-1H-indole was 57 μmol. The longevity of mice was dose dependent. Five mice out of group 400μmol and 3 out of group 800μmol showed immunization to the parasite.Our findings demonstrated the toxoplasmocidal activity of the compound. The presence of a well-organized transporter mechanism for indole compounds within the parasite in conjunction with several effective mechanisms of these compounds on Toxoplasma viability would open a window for production of new drugs and vaccines.

  1. Seroprevalence of antibody to TgGRA7 antigen of Toxoplasma gondii in livestock animals from Western Java, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ichikawa-Seki, Madoka; Guswanto, Azirwan; Allamanda, Puttik; Mariamah, Euis Siti; Wibowo, Putut Eko; Igarashi, Ikuo; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi

    2015-12-01

    Toxoplasmosis is a concern in both human and veterinary medicine, and the consumption of undercooked meat infected with Toxoplasma gondii is a major risk factor in human infection. Establishing the prevalence of the parasite in food-producing livestock is essential to reduce the risk of human infection. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of T. gondii-specific antibodies in cattle and pigs in Western Java, Indonesia. Serum samples from 598 cattle and 205 pigs from 18 locations in Western Java, Indonesia, were tested for antibodies to T. gondii using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The seroprevalence was 14.6% in pigs and 7.4% in cattle, and significantly more pigs were seropositive compared with cattle (p<0.01). The results of this study suggest that consumption of undercooked meat should be regarded as an important source of infection in people. This study suggests that the risk factors for T. gondii infection in livestock appeared to be different in each location because geographical variation in seroprevalence was observed. The results of this study will facilitate further research to identify and control risk factors for T. gondii in the surveyed locations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Risk factors for gastrointestinal parasite infections of dogs living around protected areas of the Atlantic Forest: implications for human and wildlife health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curi, N H A; Paschoal, A M O; Massara, R L; Santos, H A; Guimarães, M P; Passamani, M; Chiarello, A G

    2017-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of domestic dogs, their role as zoonotic reservoirs and the large number of studies concerning parasites in urban dogs, rural areas in Brazil, especially those at the wildlife-domestic animal-human interface, have received little attention from scientists and public health managers. This paper reports a cross-sectional epidemiological survey of gastrointestinal parasites of rural dogs living in farms around Atlantic Forest fragments. Through standard parasitological methods (flotation and sedimentation), 13 parasite taxa (11 helminths and two protozoans) were found in feces samples from dogs. The most prevalent were the nematode Ancylostoma (47%) followed by Toxocara (18%) and Trichuris (8%). Other less prevalent (dogs younger than one year were more likely to be infected with Toxocara, and purebred dogs with Trichuris. The number of cats in the households was positively associated with Trichuris infection, while male dogs and low body scores were associated with mixed infections. The lack of associations with dog free-ranging behavior and access to forest or villages indicates that infections are mostly acquired around the households. The results highlight the risk of zoonotic and wildlife parasite infections from dogs and the need for monitoring and controlling parasites of domestic animals in human-wildlife interface areas.

  3. Partial protective effect of intranasal immunization with recombinant Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry protein 17 against toxoplasmosis in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai-Long Wang

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that infects a variety of mammals, including humans. An effective vaccine for this parasite is therefore needed. In this study, RH strain T. gondii rhoptry protein 17 was expressed in bacteria as a fusion with glutathione S-transferase (GST and the recombinant proteins (rTgROP17 were purified via GST-affinity chromatography. BALB/c mice were nasally immunised with rTgROP17, and induction of immune responses and protection against chronic and lethal T. gondii infections were investigated. The results revealed that mice immunised with rTgROP17 produced high levels of specific anti-rTgROP17 IgGs and a mixed IgG1/IgG2a response of IgG2a predominance. The systemic immune response was associated with increased production of Th1 (IFN-γand IL-2 and Th2 (IL-4 cytokines, and enhanced lymphoproliferation (stimulation index, SI in the mice immunised with rTgROP17. Strong mucosal immune responses with increased secretion of TgROP17-specific secretory IgA (SIgA in nasal, vaginal and intestinal washes were also observed in these mice. The vaccinated mice displayed apparent protection against chronic RH strain infection as evidenced by their lower liver and brain parasite burdens (59.17% and 49.08%, respectively than those of the controls. The vaccinated mice also exhibited significant protection against lethal infection of the virulent RH strain (survival increased by 50% compared to the controls. Our data demonstrate that rTgROP17 can trigger strong systemic and mucosal immune responses against T. gondii and that ROP17 is a promising candidate vaccine for toxoplasmosis.

  4. 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.

  5. Glycomic Analysis of Life Stages of the Human Parasite Schistosoma mansoni Reveals Developmental Expression Profiles of Functional and Antigenic Glycan Motifs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smit, C.H.; van Diepen, A.; Nguyen, D.L.; Wuhrer, M.; Hoffmann, K.F.; Deelder, A.M.; Hokke, C.H.

    2015-01-01

    Glycans present on glycoproteins and glycolipids of the major human parasite Schistosoma mansoni induce innate as well as adaptive immune responses in the host. To be able to study the molecular characteristics of schistosome infections it is therefore required to determine the expression profiles

  6. Parasites and other infectious agents in marine finfish and shellfish species posing a hazard to human health (ToR b)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alfjorden, A.; Podolska, M.; Karaseva, T.

    2015-01-01

    Several parasites and other infectious agents frequently reported by the WGPDMO in the annual update of disease trends (ICES WGPDMO reports 1999–2015) have the potential to be harmful to human health if ingested in unprocessed or inadequate-ly/partly processed seafood. These include, but are not ...

  7. Comparison of Eight Cell-Free Media for Maintenance of Toxoplasma gondii Tachyzoites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamed KALANI

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Toxoplasmosis is considered as one of the most common infectious diseases caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Tachyzoite is the main form of Toxoplasma and continuously is maintained in cell culture or injected into the mice peritoneal cavity. This study was designed to evaluate the survival rate of RH strain of T. gondii tachyzoites in different cell free, nutrient and biological media at different temperatures.Methods: This experimental study was performed at the Toxoplasmosis Research Center, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran, in 2010. One ml of each solution including hypotonic saline (0.3%, normal saline (0.85%, RPMI-1640 (RPMI, RPMI with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS, RPMI with 20% FBS, ovine hydatid cyst fluid, pasteurized milk of cow, and phosphate buffered saline (PBS along with 4×104 T. gondii tachyzoites were added to plate wells and incubated in 4 °C, 22 °C, 37 °C, and 37 °C under 5% CO2. The survival rate and viability as­sessment of parasites were performed daily and the results were analyzed using Univariate tests.Result: Tachyzoites survival rate in PBS (4 °C and normal saline (4 °C were con­siderably high, compared to other solutions in different conditions (P<0.001. The best temperature for Toxoplasma maintenance was 4 °C (P<0.001.Conclusion: This study introduces two available and economical solutions, PBS (4 °C and normal saline (4 °C media, for maintenance of Toxoplasma tachyzoites as appropriate choice media for a noticeable period of time (11 days in vitro.

  8. 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.)

  9. 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.)

  10. 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.

  11. The magnitude and risk factors of intestinal parasitic infection in relation to Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection and immune status, at ALERT Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taye, Biruhalem; Desta, Kassu; Ejigu, Selamawit; Dori, Geme Urge

    2014-06-01

    Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and intestinal parasitic infections are among the main health problems in developing countries like Ethiopia. Particularly, co-infections of these diseases would worsen the progression of HIV to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude and risk factors for intestinal parasites in relation to HIV infection and immune status. The study was conducted in (1) HIV positive on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and (2) ART naïve HIV positive patients, and (3) HIV-negative individuals, at All African Leprosy and Tuberculosis (TB) Eradication and Rehabilitation Training Center (ALERT) hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Study participants were interviewed using structured questionnaires to obtain socio-demographic characteristics and assess risk factors associated with intestinal parasitic infection. Intestinal parasites were identified from fecal samples by direct wet mount, formol ether concentration, and modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining techniques. The immune status was assessed by measuring whole blood CD4 T-cell count. The overall magnitude of intestinal parasite was 35.08%. This proportion was different among study groups with 39.2% (69/176), 38.83% (40/103) and 27.14% (38/140) in ART naïve HIV positives patients, in HIV negatives, and in HIV positive on ART patients respectively. HIV positive patients on ART had significantly lower magnitude of intestinal parasitic infection compared to HIV negative individuals. Intestinal helminths were significantly lower in HIV positive on ART and ART naïve patients than HIV negatives. Low monthly income, and being married, divorced or widowed were among the socio-demographic characteristics associated with intestinal parasitic infection. No association was observed between the magnitude of intestinal parasites and CD4 T-cell count. However, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Isospora belli were exclusively identified in individuals with CD4 T

  12. Seroprevalence and risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection on pig farms in central China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Qing; Wang, Zhengsong; Feng, Huihui; Fang, Rui; Nie, Hao; Hu, Min; Zhou, Yanqin; Zhao, Junlong

    2011-04-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that causes severe diseases in mammals, including humans, around the world. In China, pork is the main meat source; accordingly, T. gondii in pigs is considered an important source for human toxoplasmosis. Understanding the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in pig farms is thus important for control of the disease in humans. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the epizootiology of T. gondii infections in pig farms in central China by assessing the seroprevalence and risk factors of this disease. In the present study, 3,558 sera samples were collected from pigs in 37 large-scale pig farms in this region and tested by AG-ELISA. The total seroprevalence was 24.5%, with the greatest prevalence in breeding pigs. The risk factors for toxoplasmosis suggest that high frequency of the contact of pigs with cats (P ≤ 0.01; IC 95%), high density of pig breeding (P ≤ 0.01; IC 95%), the presence of mosquitoes and flies (P ≤ 0.01; IC 95%), semi-patency pens (P ≤ 0.05; IC 95%), and low frequency of scavenging (P ≤ 0.01; IC 95%) were all associated with seroprevalence. In addition, the use of sulfonamides (P ≤ 0.01; IC 95%) significantly decreased seroprevalence. This is the first report of anti- T. gondii antibodies in pigs on large-scale pig farms in central China. The findings will provide useful information for designing control strategies of toxoplasmasis in pig farms.

  13. Toxoplasma gondii infection in meat animals from Africa: Systematic review and meta-analysis of sero-epidemiological studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aretas Babatoundé Nounnagnon Tonouhewa

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Toxoplasma gondii is an ubiquitous apicomplexan parasite which causes toxoplasmosis in humans and animals. Felids especially cats are definitive hosts and almost all warm-blooded mammals, including livestock and human can serve as intermediate hosts. Food animals can be reservoirs for T. gondii and act as one of the sources for parasite transmission to humans. The objective of this study is to collect serological data on the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibody, and risk factors for certain food animals from Africa to provide a quantitative estimate of T. gondii infection among these species from different African countries. Materials and Methods: Four databases were used to search seroepidemiological data on the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibody in food animals between 1969 and 2016 from African countries. The search focused on data obtained by serologic test in food animals and meta-analyses were performed per species. Results: A total of 30,742 individual samples from 24 countries, described in 68 articles were studied. The overall estimated prevalence for toxoplasmosis in chicken, camel, cattle, sheep, goat, pig were 37.4% (29.2-46.0%, 36% (18-56%, 12% (8-17%, 26.1% (17.0-37.0%, 22.9% (12.3-36.0%, and 26.0% (20-32.0%, respectively. Moreover, major risk factor of infection was age, farming system, and farm location. Conclusions: A significant variation in the seroepidemiological data was observed within each species and country. The results can aid in an updated epidemiological analysis but also can be used as an important input in quantitative microbial risk assessment models. Further studies are required for a better and continual evaluation of the occurrence of this zoonotic infection.

  14. Prevalence of zoonotic important parasites in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Great Britain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, G C; Gangadharan, B; Taylor, Z; Laurenson, M K; Bradshaw, H; Hide, G; Hughes, J M; Dinkel, A; Romig, T; Craig, P S

    2003-12-01

    A national necropsy survey of red foxes was carried out across Great Britain to record Echinococcus, Trichinella and Toxoplasma. The survey did not record directly, or indirectly using coproantigen/PCR tests, evidence for the presence of Echinococcus multilocularis in 588 animals, although E. granulosus was suspected in six animals. Parasitological evidence for Trichinella spp. could not be found in 587 fox muscle digests, and a specific PCR test also failed to detect Toxoplasma in a sub-set of 61 random fox tongue biopsies. The upper 95% confidence interval for the above parasites was 0.60% (E. multilocularis), 0.60% (Trichinella spp.) and 5.6% (Toxoplasma). The commonest gut parasites were the hookworm Uncinaria stenocephala (41.3%) and the ascarid Toxocara canis (61.6%). This study also reports the second occurrence of Trichuris vulpis in Great Britain.

  15. Geographical distribution of Toxoplasma gondii genotypes in Asia: A link with neighboring continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaichan, P; Mercier, A; Galal, L; Mahittikorn, A; Ariey, F; Morand, S; Boumédiène, F; Udonsom, R; Hamidovic, A; Murat, J B; Sukthana, Y; Dardé, M L

    2017-09-01

    Defining the pattern of genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii is important to understand its worldwide distribution. During the last decades, a large number of studies have been published on Toxoplasma genotypes circulating in Europe, in North and South America. Two continents are still largely unexplored, Africa and, to a less extent, Asia. In this last continent, an increasing number of publications reported genotypes circulating in diverse provinces of China, but very few data are available for other Asian countries. After a systematic database search, 47 papers related to T. gondii genotypes in Asia were analyzed. Genetic characterization of DNA was performed by microsatellite markers, or more usually by a multiplex PCR using 11 PCR-RFLP markers, allowing data comparison to draw a first global picture of the population structure of this parasite throughout Asia. Overall, 390 isolates or DNA extracts were completely typed by PCR-RFLP and/or microsatellite marker methods, revealing 36 different PCR-RFLP or equivalent microsatellite genotypes: 15 genotypes identified by a ToxoDB number and 21 atypical or unique genotypes. The most common genotype found in Asia is the genotype ToxoDB#9 (Chinese 1). The clonal types I, II and II variant, and III were also commonly found in Asia. The geographical distribution of these genotypes across Asia may reflect either a continuum with Europe for the western part of Asia (presence of Type II), or the circulation of strains through animal migration or human activities between Africa and the Southwestern part of Asia (Africa 1 genotype in Turkey or ToxoDB#20 both I Sri-Lanka and in Ethiopia or Egypt). Although there are some indications of a genetic population structure in Southeast Asian countries different from the rest of Asia, more studies in this tropical part of Asia will be necessary for a region which represent as well as Africa one of the missing links of the T. gondii genetic diversity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B

  16. Prevalence of agglutinating antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona in beavers (Castor canadensis) from Massachusetts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, C.N.; Kaur, T.; Koenen, K.; DeStefano, S.; Zajac, A.M.; Lindsay, D.S.

    2005-01-01

    The present study examined the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystls neurona in a population of beavers (Castor canadensis) from Massachusetts. Sixty-two blood samples were collected during the field seasons over 3 consecutive years from different animals. Blood was collected onto filter paper and shipped to the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, for parasite testing. The samples were tested at dilutions of 1:25, 1:50, and 1:100 against each parasite antigen by modified agglutination tests to determine whether antibodies to either parasite were present in the blood. Six of 62 samples (10%) were positive for T. gondii, with 2 samples having titers of 1:25 and 4 having titers of 1:50. Four of 62 samples (6%) were positive for S. neurona, with 2 samples having titers of 1:25 and 2 having titers of 1:50. ?? American Society of Pathologists 2005.

  17. 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.

  18. A quantitative microbial risk assessment for meatborne Toxoplasma gondii infection in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Opsteegh, M.; Prickaerts, S.; Frankena, K.; Evers, E.G.

    2011-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important foodborne pathogen, and the cause of a high disease burden due to congenital toxoplasmosis in The Netherlands. The aim of this study was to quantify the relative contribution of sheep, beef and pork products to human T. gondii infections by Quantitative Microbial

  19. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in American Black Bears ( Ursus americanus ) of the Central Appalachians, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, John J; Murphy, Sean M; Augustine, Ben C; Guthrie, Joseph M; Hast, John T; Maehr, Sutton C; McDermott, Joseph

    2017-07-01

    We assessed Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence in 53 free-ranging American black bears ( Ursus americanus ) in the Central Appalachian Mountains, US. Seroprevalence was 62% with no difference between males and females or between juvenile and adult bears. Wildlife agencies should consider warnings in hunter education programs to reduce the chances for human infection from this source.

  20. An experimental Toxoplasma gondii dose response challenge model to study therapeutic or vaccine efficacy in cats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornelissen, J.B.W.J.; Giessen, van der J.W.B.; Takumi, K.; Teunis, P.F.M.; Wisselink, H.J.

    2014-01-01

    High numbers of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in the environment are a risk factor to humans. The environmental contamination might be reduced by vaccinating the definitive host, cats. An experimental challenge model is necessary to quantitatively assess the efficacy of a vaccine or drug treatment.

  1. [i]Toxoplasma gondii[/i] in protected wildlife in the Tatra National Park (TANAP, Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludmila Turčeková

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available [i]Toxoplasma gondii[/i] is an obligatory intracellular protozoan parasite that infects a broad spectrum of warm-blooded vertebrate species. As a part of the food chain, farm animals play a significant role in transmission of [i]T. gondii [/i]to humans, while rats and mice serve as a main source of infection for free-living animals. The spread of toxoplasmosis in the human population is due to the interchange of the domestic and sylvatic cycles. During 2009–2011, a survey on toxoplasmosis distribution was conducted in wildlife of the Tatra National Park (TANAP in Slovakia. A total of 60 animals were examined. The presence of [i]T. gondii[/i] was detected by means of molecular methods based on TGR1E gene analyses. The highest prevalence was recorded in birds (40.0%, followed by carnivores (30.8% and rodents (18.2%. RFLP analyses of SAG2 locus confirmed in birds the genotype II and III, belonging to the avirulent strain; rodents exclusively had genotype I, characterised as a virulent train, and in carnivores all three genotypes were detected. These results present the first survey on the parasite’s occurrence in several species of free-living animals in the TANAP area. An epidemiological study confirmed the prevalence of 30.0%, implicitly referring to the level of environmental contamination with [i]T. gondii [/i]oocysts.

  2. Occurrence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in meat and dairy goat herds in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Andréa Dantas de; Andrade, Milena de Medeiros Clementino; Vítor, Ricardo Wagner de Almeida; Andrade-Neto, Valter Ferreira de

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasmosis is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, which is the main causative agent of abortion in small ruminants. Goats are among the animals that are most susceptible to this protozoon, and the disease that it causes leads to significant economic losses and has implications for public health, since presence of the parasite in products of goat origin is one of the main sources of human infection. Because of the significant economic impact, there is an urgent need to study the prevalence of T. gondii infection among goats in Sertão do Cabugi, which is the largest goat-producing region in Rio Grande do Norte. In the present study, the ELISA assay was used to test 244 serum samples from nine farms, located in four different municipalities in the Sertão do Cabugi region, which is an important goat-rearing region. The results showed that the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies was 47.1% and that there was a significant association between positivity and the variables of age (≥ 34 months), location (Lajes, Angicos and Afonso Bezerra) and farm (all the farms). The avidity test was applied to all the 115 ELISA-positive samples to distinguish between acute and chronic infection. One hundred and three samples (89.6%) displayed high-avidity antibodies, thus indicating that most of the animals presented chronic infection, with a consequent great impact on the development of the goat production system and a risk to human health.

  3. Occurrence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in meat and dairy goat herds in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréa Dantas de Medeiros

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, which is the main causative agent of abortion in small ruminants. Goats are among the animals that are most susceptible to this protozoon, and the disease that it causes leads to significant economic losses and has implications for public health, since presence of the parasite in products of goat origin is one of the main sources of human infection. Because of the significant economic impact, there is an urgent need to study the prevalence of T. gondii infection among goats in Sertão do Cabugi, which is the largest goat-producing region in Rio Grande do Norte. In the present study, the ELISA assay was used to test 244 serum samples from nine farms, located in four different municipalities in the Sertão do Cabugi region, which is an important goat-rearing region. The results showed that the prevalence of anti-T. gondii antibodies was 47.1% and that there was a significant association between positivity and the variables of age (≥ 34 months, location (Lajes, Angicos and Afonso Bezerra and farm (all the farms. The avidity test was applied to all the 115 ELISA-positive samples to distinguish between acute and chronic infection. One hundred and three samples (89.6% displayed high-avidity antibodies, thus indicating that most of the animals presented chronic infection, with a consequent great impact on the development of the goat production system and a risk to human health.

  4. Cloning and expression of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoite P22 protein

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Jane

    2011-08-01

    Aug 1, 2011 ... Expressd protein was purified by affinity chromatography and confirmed by western blot ... Key words: Toxoplasma gondii, cloning, recombinant P22. INTRODUCTION. Toxoplasma gondii ..... an ELISA Assay. Iran. J. Immunol.

  5. A European network for food-borne parasites (Euro-FBP: meeting report on ‘Analytical methods for food-borne parasites in human and veterinary diagnostics and in food matrices’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Klotz

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Food-borne parasites (FBPs are a neglected topic in food safety, partly due to a lack of awareness of their importance for public health, especially as symptoms tend not to develop immediately after exposure. In addition, methodological difficulties with both diagnosis in infected patients and detection in food matrices result in under-detection and therefore the potential for underestimation of their burden on our societies. This, in consequence, leads to lower prioritization for basic research, e.g. for development new and more advanced detection methods for different food matrices and diagnostic samples, and thus a vicious circle of neglect and lack of progress is propagated. The COST Action FA1408, A European Network for Foodborne Parasites (Euro-FBP aims to combat the impact of FBP on public health by facilitating the multidisciplinary cooperation and partnership between groups of researchers and between researchers and stakeholders. The COST Action TD1302, the European Network for cysticercosis/taeniosis, CYSTINET, has a specific focus on Taenia solium and T. saginata, two neglected FBPs, and aims to advance knowledge and understanding of these zoonotic disease complexes via collaborations in a multidisciplinary scientific network. This report summarizes the results of a meeting within the Euro-FBP consortium entitled ‘Analytical methods for food-borne parasites in human and veterinary diagnostics and in food matrices’ and of the joined Euro-FBP and CYSTINET meeting.

  6. Risk factors for gastrointestinal parasite infections of dogs living around protected areas of the Atlantic Forest: implications for human and wildlife health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. H. A. Curi

    Full Text Available Abstract Despite the ubiquity of domestic dogs, their role as zoonotic reservoirs and the large number of studies concerning parasites in urban dogs, rural areas in Brazil, especially those at the wildlife-domestic animal-human interface, have received little attention from scientists and public health managers. This paper reports a cross-sectional epidemiological survey of gastrointestinal parasites of rural dogs living in farms around Atlantic Forest fragments. Through standard parasitological methods (flotation and sedimentation, 13 parasite taxa (11 helminths and two protozoans were found in feces samples from dogs. The most prevalent were the nematode Ancylostoma (47% followed by Toxocara (18% and Trichuris (8%. Other less prevalent (<2% parasites found were Capillaria, Ascaridia, Spirocerca, Taeniidae, Acantocephala, Ascaris, Dipylidium caninum, Toxascaris, and the protozoans Cystoisospora and Eimeria. Mixed infections were found in 36% of samples, mostly by Ancylostoma and Toxocara. Previous deworming had no association with infections, meaning that this preventive measure is being incorrectly performed by owners. Regarding risk factors, dogs younger than one year were more likely to be infected with Toxocara, and purebred dogs with Trichuris. The number of cats in the households was positively associated with Trichuris infection, while male dogs and low body scores were associated with mixed infections. The lack of associations with dog free-ranging behavior and access to forest or villages indicates that infections are mostly acquired around the households. The results highlight the risk of zoonotic and wildlife parasite infections from dogs and the need for monitoring and controlling parasites of domestic animals in human-wildlife interface areas.

  7. Adenosine metabolism in Toxoplasma gondii: potential targets for chemotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    el Kouni, Mahmoud H

    2007-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasitic protozoan that infects approximately a billion people worldwide. Infection with T. gondii represents a major health problem for immunocompromised individuals, such as AIDS patients, organ transplant recipients, and the unborn children of infected mothers. Currently available drugs usually do not eradicate infection and as many as 50% of the patients do not respond to this therapy. Furthermore, they are ineffective against T. gondii tissue cysts. In addition, prolonged exposure to these drugs induces serious host toxicity forcing the discontinuation of the therapy. Finally, there is no effective vaccine currently available for the treatment of toxoplasmosis. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new and effective drugs for the treatment and management of toxoplasmosis. The rational design of a drug depends on the exploitation of fundamental biochemical or physiological differences between pathogens and their host. Some of the most striking differences between T. gondii and their mammalian host are found in purine metabolism. T. gondii, like most parasites studied, lack the ability to synthesize purines do novo and depend on the salvage of purines from their host to satisfy their requirements of purines. In this respect, the salvage of adenosine is the major source of purines in T. gondii. Therefore, interference with adenosine uptake and metabolism in T. gondii can be selectively detrimental to the parasite. The host cells, on the other hand, can still obtain their purine requirements by their de novo pathways. This review will focus on the broad aspects of the adenosine transport and the enzyme adenosine kinase (EC 2.7.1.20) which are the two primary routes for adenosine utilization in T. gondii, in an attempt to illustrate their potentials as targets for chemotherapy against this parasite.

  8. Toxoplasma gondii-derived synthetic peptides containing B- and T-cell epitopes from GRA2 protein are able to enhance mice survival in a model of experimental toxoplasmosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Machado Bastos

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis is a zoonosis distributed all over the world, which the etiologic agent is an intracellular protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. This disease may cause abortions and severe diseases in many warm-blood hosts, including humans, particularly the immunocompromised patients. The parasite specialized secretory organelles, as micronemes, rhoptries and dense granules, are critical for the successful parasitism. The dense granule protein 2 (GRA2 is a parasite immunogenic protein secreted during infections and previous studies have been shown that this parasite component is crucial for the formation of intravacuolar membranous nanotubular network (MNN, as well as for secretion into the vacuole and spatial organization of the parasites within the vacuole. In the present study, we produced a monoclonal antibody to GRA2 (C3C5 mAb, isotype IgG2b, mapped the immunodominant epitope of the protein by phage display and built GRA2 synthetic epitopes to evaluate their ability to protect mice in a model of experimental infection. Our results showed that synthetic peptides for B- and T-cell epitopes are able to improve survival of immunized animals. In contrast with non-immunized animals, the immunized mice with both B- and T-cell epitopes had a better balance of cytokines and demonstrated higher levels of IL-10, IL-4 and IL-17 production, though similar levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 were observed. The immunization with both B- and T-cell epitopes resulted in survival rate higher than 85% of the challenged mice. Overall, these results demonstrate that immunization with synthetic epitopes for both B- and T-cells from GRA2 protein can be more effective to protect against infection by T. gondii.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. β-1,3-Glucan, Which Can Be Targeted by Drugs, Forms a Trabecular Scaffold in the Oocyst Walls of Toxoplasma and Eimeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushkin, G. Guy; Motari, Edwin; Magnelli, Paula; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Dubey, Jitender P.; Miska, Katarzyna B.; Bullitt, Esther; Costello, Catherine E.; Robbins, Phillips W.; Samuelson, John

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT The walls of infectious pathogens, which are essential for transmission, pathogenesis, and diagnosis, contain sugar polymers that are defining structural features, e.g., β-1,3-glucan and chitin in fungi, chitin in Entamoeba cysts, β-1,3-GalNAc in Giardia cysts, and peptidoglycans in bacteria. The goal here was to determine in which of three walled forms of Toxoplasma gondii (oocyst, sporocyst, or tissue cyst) is β-1,3-glucan, the product of glucan synthases and glucan hydrolases predicted by whole-genome sequences of the parasite. The three most important discoveries were as follows. (i) β-1,3-glucan is present in oocyst walls of Toxoplasma and Eimeria (a chicken parasite that is a model for intestinal stages of Toxoplasma) but is absent from sporocyst and tissue cyst walls. (ii) Fibrils of β-1,3-glucan are part of a trabecular scaffold in the inner layer of the oocyst wall, which also includes a glucan hydrolase that has a novel glucan-binding domain. (iii) Echinocandins, which target the glucan synthase and kill fungi, arrest development of the Eimeria oocyst wall and prevent release of the parasites into the intestinal lumen. In summary, β-1,3-glucan, which can be targeted by drugs, is an important component of oocyst walls of Toxoplasma but is not a component of sporocyst and tissue cyst walls. PMID:23015739

  12. Hygiene pests as vectors for parasitic and bacterial diseases in humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cholewiński, Marcin; Derda, Monika; Hadaś, Edward

    Diseases transmitted by hygiene pests remain a very serious problem in spite of fast developments in science and medicine. The present study focuses on pests carrying germs that pose a threat to human health and life. The quick pace of life, the need to satisfy human needs and mass production of food sometimes result in flagrant sanitary, hygienic and epidemiological deficiencies. These irregularities are conducive to hygiene pests, which, when not held in check by proper control measures, may act more efficiently and quickly.

  13. Persistent Low Toxoplasma IgG Avidity Is Common in Pregnancy: Experience from Antenatal Testing in Norway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gry Findal

    Full Text Available The parasite Toxoplasma gondii might harm the fetus if a woman is infected during pregnancy. IgG seroconversion and significant increase in IgG antibody amount in pregnancy indicates maternal infection. Presence of toxoplasma immunoglobulin M (IgM, immunoglobulin G (IgG and low IgG avidity in a single serum sample indicates possible maternal infection, but positive toxoplasma IgM and low IgG avidity may persist for months and even years. We aimed to evaluate avidity development during pregnancy in a retrospective study. Serial blood samples from 176 pregnant women admitted to Oslo University Hospital 1993-2013 for amniocentesis because of suspected toxoplasma infection were included. Data were obtained from journals and laboratory records. The avidity method used was based on Platelia Toxo IgG assay. Mean maternal age at first serology was 29.9 years (SD 5.2, range 18-42. In 37 (21% women only the avidity increased from low to high in < 3 months. In 139 (79% the IgG avidity remained below the high threshold ≥ 3 months and within this group 74 (42% women had stable low IgG avidity during the observation period. Median gestational age at first test was 10.6 weeks (range 4.6-28.7. Fetal infection was detected in four children, but none among children whose mother had stable low IgG avidity. The first antenatal toxoplasma serology should ideally be collected in early pregnancy and if stable values of toxoplasma IgM and low IgG-avidity are detected in a second sample after three to four weeks, the need for amniocentesis can be questioned.

  14. Acidification of the parasitophorous vacuole containing Toxoplasma gondii in the presence of hydroxyurea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiane S. Carvalho

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii multiplies within parasitophorous vacuole that is not recognized by the primary no oxidative defense of host cells, mainly represented by the fusion with acidic organelles. Recent studies have already shown that hydroxyurea arrested the intracellular parasites leading to its destruction. In the present work we investigated the cellular mechanism involved in the destruction of intracellular Toxoplasma gondii. Fluorescent vital stains were used in order to observe possible acidification of parasitophorous vacuole-containing Toxoplasma gondii in presence of hydroxyurea. Vero cells infected with tachyzoites were treated with hydroxyurea for 12, 24 or 48 hours. Fluorescence, indicative of acidification, was observed in the parasitophorous vacuole when the cultures were incubated in presence of acridine orange. LysoTracker red was used in order to determine whether lysosomes were involved in the acidification process. An intense fluorescence was observed after 12 and 24 hours of incubation with hydroxyurea, achieving it is highly intensity after 48 hours of treatment. Ultrastructural cytochemistry for localization of the acid phosphatase lysosomal enzyme was realized. Treated infected cultures showed reaction product in vesicles fusing with vacuole or associated with intravacuolar parasites. These results suggest that fusion with lysosomes and acidification of parasitophorous vacuole leads to parasites destruction in the presence pf hydroxyurea.Toxoplasma gondii se multiplica dentro do vacúolo parasitóforo que não é reconhecido pela defesa primária não oxidativa de células hospedeiras: a fusão com organelas ácidas. Estudos anteriores mostraram que hidroxiuréia interrompeu a multiplicação dos parasitos intracelulares causando sua eliminação. No presente trabalho nós investigamos o mecanismo celular envolvido na destruição do Toxoplasma gondii intracelular. Marcadores vitais fluorescentes foram usados para observar a

  15. Associations between common intestinal parasites and bacteria in humans as revealed by qPCR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Brien Andersen, L.; Karim, A. B.; Roager, Henrik Munch

    2016-01-01

    Several studies have shown associations between groups of intestinal bacterial or specific ratios between bacterial groups and various disease traits. Meanwhile, little is known about interactions and associations between eukaryotic and prokaryotic microorganisms in the human gut. In this work, we...

  16. The human malaria parasite Pfs47 gene mediates evasion of the mosquito immune system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molina-Cruz, A.; Garver, L.S.; Alabaster, A.; Bangiolo, L.; Haile, A.; Winikor, J.; Ortega, C.; Schaijk, B.C.L. van; Sauerwein, R.W.; Taylor-Salmon, E.; Barillas-Mury, C.

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum transmission by Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes is remarkably efficient, resulting in a very high prevalence of human malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa. A combination of genetic mapping, linkage group selection, and functional genomics was used to identify Pfs47 as a P.

  17. Toxoplasma gondii gamma irradiation using Co-60

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serra-Freire, Nicolau Maues

    1996-01-01

    The use of nuclear power through radiation for the destruction of microorganisms which cause food deterioration, infections and toxicosis, is specifically for peaceful purposes. Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoa responsible for illnesses in humans and animals. One of the most common ways of transmission is through raw or poorly cooked meat. There is little information on the resistance of T. gondii to radiation. The objective of this research is to determine the Minimum Lethal Dose (MLD) of gamma radiation for those microorganisms. Suspensions of T. gondii containing approximately one million taquizoites/ml were irradiated with doses between up 0,01 up to 0,15 kGy (Kilogray) and inoculated to mice. The surviving T. gondii were re-irradiated with 0,01 up to 0,16 kGy. The irradiated protozoa were totally destroyed with a 0,15 kGy dose (MLD). Taquizoites issued from live protozoa of 0,14 kGy also were completely destroyed with dose of 0,15 kGy. No increase in resistance was observed regarding the non irradiated protozoa. (author)

  18. Fierce competition between Toxoplasma and Chlamydia for host cell structures in dually infected cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romano, Julia D; de Beaumont, Catherine; Carrasco, Jose A; Ehrenman, Karen; Bavoil, Patrik M; Coppens, Isabelle

    2013-02-01

    The prokaryote Chlamydia trachomatis and the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, two obligate intracellular pathogens of humans, have evolved a similar modus operandi to colonize their host cell and salvage nutrients from organelles. In order to gain fundamental knowledge on the pathogenicity of these microorganisms, we have established a cell culture model whereby single fibroblasts are coinfected by C. trachomatis and T. gondii. We previously reported that the two pathogens compete for the same nutrient pools in coinfected cells and that Toxoplasma holds a significant competitive advantage over Chlamydia. Here we have expanded our coinfection studies by examining the respective abilities of Chlamydia and Toxoplasma to co-opt the host cytoskeleton and recruit organelles. We demonstrate that the two pathogen-containing vacuoles migrate independently to the host perinuclear region and rearrange the host microtubular network around each vacuole. However, Toxoplasma outcompetes Chlamydia to the host microtubule-organizing center to the detriment of the bacterium, which then shifts to a stress-induced persistent state. Solely in cells preinfected with Chlamydia, the centrosomes become associated with the chlamydial inclusion, while the Toxoplasma parasitophorous vacuole displays growth defects. Both pathogens fragment the host Golgi apparatus and recruit Golgi elements to retrieve sphingolipids. This study demonstrates that the productive infection by both Chlamydia and Toxoplasma depends on the capability of each pathogen to successfully adhere to a finely tuned developmental program that aims to remodel the host cell for the pathogen's benefit. In particular, this investigation emphasizes the essentiality of host organelle interception by intravacuolar pathogens to facilitate access to nutrients.

  19. Using molecular epidemiology to track Toxoplasma gondii from terrestrial carnivores to marine hosts: implications for public health and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanWormer, Elizabeth; Miller, Melissa A; Conrad, Patricia A; Grigg, Michael E; Rejmanek, Daniel; Carpenter, Tim E; Mazet, Jonna A K

    2014-01-01

    Environmental transmission of the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is shed only by felids, poses risks to human and animal health in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Atypical T. gondii genotypes have been linked to severe disease in people and the threatened population of California sea otters. To investigate land-to-sea parasite transmission, we screened 373 carnivores (feral domestic cats, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes) for T. gondii infection and examined the distribution of genotypes in 85 infected animals sampled near the sea otter range. Nested PCR-RFLP analyses and direct DNA sequencing at six independent polymorphic genetic loci (B1, SAG1, SAG3, GRA6, L358, and Apico) were used to characterize T. gondii strains in infected animals. Strains consistent with Type X, a novel genotype previously identified in over 70% of infected sea otters and four terrestrial wild carnivores along the California coast, were detected in all sampled species, including domestic cats. However, odds of Type X infection were 14 times higher (95% CI: 1.3-148.6) for wild felids than feral domestic cats. Type X infection was also linked to undeveloped lands (OR = 22, 95% CI: 2.3-250.7). A spatial cluster of terrestrial Type II infection (P = 0.04) was identified in developed lands bordering an area of increased risk for sea otter Type II infection. Two spatial clusters of animals infected with strains consistent with Type X (P ≤ 0.01) were detected in less developed landscapes. Differences in T. gondii genotype prevalence among domestic and wild felids, as well as the spatial distribution of genotypes, suggest co-existing domestic and wild T. gondii transmission cycles that likely overlap at the interface of developed and undeveloped lands. Anthropogenic development driving contact between these cycles may increase atypical T. gondii genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission of potentially more pathogenic genotypes to humans, domestic animals

  20. Using molecular epidemiology to track Toxoplasma gondii from terrestrial carnivores to marine hosts: implications for public health and conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth VanWormer

    Full Text Available Environmental transmission of the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is shed only by felids, poses risks to human and animal health in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Atypical T. gondii genotypes have been linked to severe disease in people and the threatened population of California sea otters. To investigate land-to-sea parasite transmission, we screened 373 carnivores (feral domestic cats, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes for T. gondii infection and examined the distribution of genotypes in 85 infected animals sampled near the sea otter range.Nested PCR-RFLP analyses and direct DNA sequencing at six independent polymorphic genetic loci (B1, SAG1, SAG3, GRA6, L358, and Apico were used to characterize T. gondii strains in infected animals. Strains consistent with Type X, a novel genotype previously identified in over 70% of infected sea otters and four terrestrial wild carnivores along the California coast, were detected in all sampled species, including domestic cats. However, odds of Type X infection were 14 times higher (95% CI: 1.3-148.6 for wild felids than feral domestic cats. Type X infection was also linked to undeveloped lands (OR = 22, 95% CI: 2.3-250.7. A spatial cluster of terrestrial Type II infection (P = 0.04 was identified in developed lands bordering an area of increased risk for sea otter Type II infection. Two spatial clusters of animals infected with strains consistent with Type X (P ≤ 0.01 were detected in less developed landscapes.Differences in T. gondii genotype prevalence among domestic and wild felids, as well as the spatial distribution of genotypes, suggest co-existing domestic and wild T. gondii transmission cycles that likely overlap at the interface of developed and undeveloped lands. Anthropogenic development driving contact between these cycles may increase atypical T. gondii genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission of potentially more pathogenic genotypes to humans

  1. Detection of human filarial parasite Brugia malayi in dogs by histochemical staining and molecular techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambily, V R; Pillai, Usha Narayana; Arun, R; Pramod, S; Jayakumar, K M

    2011-09-27

    Human filariasis caused by Brugia malayi is still a public health problem in many countries of Asia including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. The World Health Organization (WHO) has targeted to eliminate filariasis by the year 2020 by Mass annual single dose Diethylcarbamazine Administration (MDA). Results of the MDA programme after the first phase was less satisfactory than expected. Malayan filariasis caused by B. malayi is endemic in the south of Thailand where domestic cat serves as the major reservoir host. There is no report about the occurrence of B. malayi in dogs. The present work was carried out to find out the incidence of microfilariasis in dogs and also to detect the presence of human filarial infection in dogs, if any. One hundred dogs above 6 months of age presented to the veterinary college Hospital, Mannuthy, Kerala, with clinical signs suggestive of microfilariasis - fever, anorexia, conjunctivitis, limb and scrotal oedema - were screened for microfilariae by wet film examination. Positive cases were subjected to Giemsa staining, histochemical staining and molecular techniques. Results of the study showed that 80% of dogs had microfilariasis; out of which 20% had sheathed microfilaria. Giemsa and histochemical staining character, PCR and sequencing confirmed it as B. malayi. High prevalence of B. malayi in dogs in this study emphasized the possible role of dogs in transmission of human filariasis. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Effect of Clinoptilolite and Sepiolite Nanoclays on Human and Parasitic Highly Phagocytic Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanis Toledano-Magaña

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Nanoclays have potential applications in biomedicine raising the need to evaluate their toxicity in in vitro models as a first approach to its biocompatibility. In this study, in vitro toxicity of clinoptilolite and sepiolite nanoclays (NC was analyzed in highly phagocytic cultures of amoebas and human and mice macrophages. While amebic viability was significantly affected only by sepiolite NC at concentrations higher than 0.1 mg/mL, the effect on macrophage cultures was dependent on the origin of the cells. Macrophages derived from human peripheral blood monocytes were less affected in viability (25% decrease at 48 h, followed by the RAW 264.7 cell line (40%, and finally, macrophages derived from mice bone marrow monocytes (98%. Moreover, the cell line and mice macrophages die mainly by necrosis, whereas human macrophages exhibit increased apoptosis. Cytokine expression analysis in media of sepiolite NC treated cultures showed a proinflammatory profile (INFγ, IL-1α, IL-8, and IL-6, in contrast with clinoptilolite NC that induced lees cytokines with concomitant production of IL-10. The results show that sepiolite NC is more toxic to amoebas and macrophages than clinoptilolite NC, mostly in a time and dose-dependent manner. However, the effect of sepiolite NC was comparable with talc powder suggesting that both NC have low cytotoxicity in vitro.

  3. Prevalence and risk factors for Toxoplasma gondii infection in certified and non-certified pig breeding farms in the Toledo microregion, PR, Brazil Prevalência e fatores de risco para a infecção pelo Toxoplasma gondii em granjas de reprodutores suídeos certificados ou não da microregião de Toledo, PR, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piassa Franciele Rossandra

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii infection has been diagnosed in pigs all over the world. Economical losses are generally related to reproductive disorders. Toxoplasma infection is also a matter of public health because tissue cysts of the parasite may remain in pork and pork products, and become sources of human infection. The objective of this study was to evaluate the frequency and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma infection in certified and non-certified pig breeding farms in the Toledo microregion, in the State of Paraná, Brazil which includes the cities of Toledo, Nova Santa Rosa, Sao José das Palmeiras and Sao Pedro do Iguaçu. Relative frequency of infection was 13.4%, independently of the type of farm. Logistic regression analysis showed that the following factors were associated with infection: absence of workers exclusive for each area of the farm, access of other animals to feeders and drinkers, lack of lids in drinkers, lack of rodent control measures, mean piglet number and weight at weaning per female.A infecção pelo Toxoplasma gondii tem sido diagnosticada em suínos em todo o mundo. Perdas econômicas geralmente estão relacionadas a distúrbios reprodutivos. A infecção pelo Toxoplasma tem também importância em saúde pública, já que cistos teciduais do parasito podem persistir na carne e subprodutos oriundos de suínos, que servirão de fontes de infecção para o ser humano. O objetivo deste trabalho foi verificar a frequência e os fatores de risco associados à infecção pelo Toxoplasma em granjas de reprodutores suídeos certificados ou não da microrregião de Toledo, no Paraná, que inclui os municípios de Toledo, Nova Santa Rosa, São José das Palmeiras e São Pedro do Iguaçú. A frequência relativa de infecção foi 13,4%, sem diferença com o tipo de granja. A análise de regressão logística demonstrou os seguintes fatores associados à infecção: não utilização de funcionários separados por área da

  4. AN EVALUATION STUDY OF ENZYME-LINKED IMMUNOSORBENT ASSAY (ELISA USING RECOMBINANT PROTEIN GRA1 FOR DETECTION OF IGG ANTIBODIES AGAINTS TOXOPLASMA GONDII INFECTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Difla Muflikhah

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular protozoan parasite that live inside the cells of the reticulo endothelial and parenchymal cells of human and animals (mammals and birds. Some cases of toxoplasmosis usually have no symptoms, but in any cases caused severe symptoms, such as hydrocephalus, microcephalus, intracranial calcification, retinal damage, brain abscess, mental retardation, lymphadenopathy, and others. Its severe symptoms usually showed a long time after first exposure, except symptoms showed by congenital transmission caused by infected mother. Early diagnosis is important to prevent the illness but methods for toxoplasmosis screening are still too expensive for developing country. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA allow the testing of a large number samples within short time frame and based on antibody or antigen detection. This study aimed to know the sensitivity and specificity of recombinat protein GRA1 as antigen using ELISA methods. We tested the sensitivity and spesificity of GRA1 protein as antigen in ELISA methods to diagnose toxoplasmosis and compared with ELISA Kit Commercial. Reliable laboratory testing is important to detect Toxoplasma gondii infection, and focused to improving the low cost and easy-to-use diagnostic instrument. Seventy sera collected and tested using both indirect ELISA, commercial ELISA kit and GRA1 protein coated as antigen. Fourty eight and fifty one samples showed positive IgG antibody result of ELISA-GRA1 and ELISA kit. Negative sample tested by ELISA-GRA1 was 22 samples and 19 sample tested by ELISA Kit. The sensitivity and specificity of GRA1-based on ELISA were 100% and 86.36%, positive prediction value (ppv was 94.11%. These data indicate that the recombinant protein GRA1 is a highly immunogenic protein in human toxoplasmosis and become a promising marker for the screening of toxoplasmosis.

  5. Ecological host fitting of Trypanosoma cruzi TcI in Bolivia: mosaic population structure, hybridization and a role for humans in Andean parasite dispersal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Louisa A; Garcia, Lineth; Vanhove, Mathieu; Huaranca, Carlos; Bustamante, Marinely; Torrico, Marycruz; Torrico, Faustino; Miles, Michael A; Llewellyn, Martin S

    2015-05-01

    An improved understanding of how a parasite species exploits its genetic repertoire to colonize novel hosts and environmental niches is crucial to establish the epidemiological risk associated with emergent pathogenic genotypes. Trypanosoma cruzi, a genetically heterogeneous, multi-host zoonosis, provides an ideal system to examine the sylvatic diversification of parasitic protozoa. In Bolivia, T. cruzi I, the oldest and most widespread genetic lineage, is pervasive across a range of ecological clines. High-resolution nuclear (26 loci) and mitochondrial (10 loci) genotyping of 199 contemporaneous sylvatic TcI clones was undertaken to provide insights into the biogeographical basis of T. cruzi evolution. Three distinct sylvatic parasite transmission cycles were identified: one highland population among terrestrial rodent and triatomine species, composed of genetically homogenous strains (Ar = 2.95; PA/L = 0.61; DAS = 0.151), and two highly diverse, parasite assemblages circulating among predominantly arboreal mammals and vectors in the lowlands (Ar = 3.40 and 3.93; PA/L = 1.12 and 0.60; DAS = 0.425 and 0.311, respectively). Very limited gene flow between neighbouring terrestrial highland and arboreal lowland areas (distance ~220 km; FST = 0.42 and 0.35) but strong connectivity between ecologically similar but geographically disparate terrestrial highland ecotopes (distance >465 km; FST = 0.016-0.084) strongly supports ecological host fitting as the predominant mechanism of parasite diversification. Dissimilar heterozygosity estimates (excess in highlands, deficit in lowlands) and mitochondrial introgression among lowland strains may indicate fundamental differences in mating strategies between populations. Finally, accelerated parasite dissemination between densely populated, highland areas, compared to uninhabited lowland foci, likely reflects passive, long-range anthroponotic dispersal. The impact of humans on the risk of epizootic Chagas disease transmission in

  6. Identification of human intestinal parasites affecting an asymptomatic peri-urban Argentinian population using multi-parallel quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimino, Rubén O; Jeun, Rebecca; Juarez, Marisa; Cajal, Pamela S; Vargas, Paola; Echazú, Adriana; Bryan, Patricia E; Nasser, Julio; Krolewiecki, Alejandro; Mejia, Rojelio

    2015-07-17

    In resource-limited countries, stool microscopy is the diagnostic test of choice for intestinal parasites (soil-transmitted helminths and/or intestinal protozoa). However, sensitivity and specificity is low. Improved diagnosis of intestinal parasites is especially important for accurate measurements of prevalence and intensity of infections in endemic areas. The study was carried out in Orán, Argentina. A total of 99 stool samples from a local surveillance campaign were analyzed by concentration microscopy and McMaster egg counting technique compared to the analysis by multi-parallel quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). This study compared the performance of qPCR assay and stool microscopy for 8 common intestinal parasites that infect humans including the helminths Ascaris lumbricoides, Ancylostoma duodenale, Necator americanus, Strongyloides stercoralis, Trichuris trichiura, and the protozoa Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum/hominis, and Entamoeba histolytica, and investigated the prevalence of polyparasitism in an endemic area. qPCR showed higher detection rates for all parasites as compared to stool microscopy except T. trichiura. Species-specific primers and probes were able to distinguish between A. duodenale (19.1%) and N. americanus (36.4%) infections. There were 48.6% of subjects co-infected with both hookworms, and a significant increase in hookworm DNA for A. duodenale versus N. americanus (119.6 fg/μL: 0.63 fg/μL, P parasites in an endemic area that has improved diagnostic accuracy compared to stool microscopy. This first time use of multi-parallel qPCR in Argentina has demonstrated the high prevalence of intestinal parasites in a peri-urban area. These results will contribute to more accurate epidemiological survey, refined treatment strategies on a public scale, and better health outcomes in endemic settings.

  7. Towards vaccine against toxoplasmosis: evaluation of the immunogenic and protective activity of recombinant ROP5 and ROP18 Toxoplasma gondii proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grzybowski, Marcin M; Dziadek, Bożena; Gatkowska, Justyna M; Dzitko, Katarzyna; Długońska, Henryka

    2015-12-01

    Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasitic infections worldwide. An effective vaccine against human and animal toxoplasmosis is still needed to control this parasitosis. The polymorphic rhoptry proteins, ROP5 and ROP18, secreted by Toxoplasma gondii during the invasion of the host cell have been recently considered as promising vaccine antigens, as they appear to be the major determinants of T. gondii virulence in mice. The goal of this study was to evaluate their immunogenic and immunoprotective activity after their administration (separately or both recombinant proteins together) with the poly I:C as an adjuvant. Immunization of BALB/c and C3H/HeOuJ mice generated both cellular and humoral specific immune responses with some predominance of IgG1 antibodies. The spleen cells derived from vaccinated animals reacted to the parasite's native antigens. Furthermore, the immunization led to a partial protection against acute and chronic toxoplasmosis. These findings confirm the previous assumptions about ROP5 and ROP18 antigens as valuable components of a subunit vaccine against toxoplasmosis.

  8. Evidence for glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchoring of Toxoplasma gondii major surface antigens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tomavo, S.; Schwarz, R.T.; Dubremetz, J.F.

    1989-01-01

    The four major surface antigens of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites (P43, P35, P30, and P22) were made water soluble by phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC). These antigens were biosynthetically labeled with 3 H-fatty acids, [ 3 H]ethanolamine, and [ 3 H]carbohydrates. Treatment of 3 H-fatty-acid-labeled parasite lysates with PI-PLC removed the radioactive label from these antigens. A cross-reacting determinant was exposed on these antigens after PI-PLC treatment

  9. Encapsulation of metalloporphyrins improves their capacity to block the viability of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Eduardo; Iglesias, Bernardo A; Deda, Daiana K; Budu, Alexandre; Matias, Tiago A; Bueno, Vânia B; Maluf, Fernando V; Guido, Rafael V C; Oliva, Glaucius; Catalani, Luiz H; Araki, Koiti; Garcia, Celia R S

    2015-02-01

    Several synthetic metallated protoporphyrins (M-PPIX) were tested for their ability to block the cell cycle of the lethal human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. After encapsulating the porphyrin derivatives in micro- and nanocapsules of marine atelocollagen, their effects on cultures of red blood cells infected (RBC) with P. falciparum were verified. RBCs infected with synchronized P. falciparum incubated for 48 h showed a toxic effect over a micromolar range. Strikingly, the IC50 of encapsulated metalloporphyrins reached nanomolar concentrations, where Zn-PPIX showed the best antimalarial effect, with an IC50=330 nM. This value is an 80-fold increase in the antimalarial activity compared to the antimalarial effect of non-encapsulated Zn-PPIX. These findings reveal that the incubation of P. falciparum infected-RBCs with 20 μM Zn-PPIX reduced the size of hemozoin crystal by 34%, whereas a 28% reduction was noticed with chloroquine, confirming the importance of heme detoxification pathway in drug therapy. In this study, synthetic metalloporphyrins were tested as therapeutics that target Plasmodium falciparum. The IC50 of encapsulated metalloporphyrins was found to be in the nanomolar concentration range, with encapsulated Zn-PPIX showing an 80-fold increase in its antimalarial activity compared to the non-encapsulated form. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence and genotype diversity in select wildlife species from the southeastern United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard W. Gerhold

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread protozoan parasite that infects humans and other animals. Previous studies indicate some genotypes of T. gondii are more frequently isolated in wildlife than agricultural animals, suggesting a wild/feral animal diversity model. To determine seroprevalence and genetic diversity of T. gondii in southeastern US wildlife, we collected sera from 471 wild animals, including 453 mammals and 18 birds, between 2011 and 2014. These serum samples were assayed for T. gondii infection using the modified agglutination test (MAT. Heart or tongue tissues from 66 seropositive animals were bioassayed in mice and 19 isolates were obtained. The isolated parasites were genotyped by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP method employing 10 genetic markers. Results One hundred and ninety-six of 471 samples (41.6% had a titer ≥1:32 and were considered positive for T. gondii infection. Of 453 mammals, 195 (43% were seropositive, whereas only one (5.6% of 18 birds was seropositive. The seroprevalence in mammals was significantly higher than in the birds. Mammalian hosts with adequate samples size (≥ 20 comprised white-tailed deer (n = 241, feral hogs (n = 100, raccoons (n = 34 and coyotes (n = 22, with seroprevalences of 41.0%, 51.0%, 50.0% and 72.7%, respectively. Coyotes had significantly higher seroprevalence than the white-tailed deer. Genotyping revealed five distinct genotypes, including the ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #5 (a.k.a type 12 for 15 isolates, genotype #3 (a.k.a. type II for 1 isolate, and genotypes #154, #167 and #216, each for 1 isolate. The results showed moderate to high infection rates of T. gondii in white-tailed deer, feral hogs, raccoons and coyotes. Genotyping results indicated limited genetic diversity and a dominance of genotype #5, which has been reported as a major type in wildlife in North America. Conclusions We conclude that T. gondii

  11. Sexual transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Welber Daniel Zanetti; Rodriguez, Joana D'Ark; Souza, Fernando A; dos Santos, Thais Rabelo; dos Santos, Ricardo Silva; Rosanese, Walter Matheus; Lopes, Werik Renato Zanetti; Sakamoto, Cláudio Alessandro; da Costa, Alvimar José

    2013-07-01

    Male sheep of reproductive age were distributed into three groups: GI, a sheep inoculated (oral) with 2.0×10(5) oocysts of the P strain of Toxoplasma gondii; GII, a sheep infected (subcutaneous) with 1.0×10(6) tachyzoites of the RH strain of T. gondii; and GIII, a sheep kept as a control (not infected). After the inoculation of the males, 12 breeding ewes, which were not pregnant and which were serologically negative for reproductive diseases (particularly toxoplasmosis), were distributed into three groups, synchronized, and subsequently exposed to natural mating with previously inoculated males. The distribution was as follows: five ewes that underwent natural mating with the GI male, five ewes that were exposed to natural mating with the GII male, and two ewes that were mated with the non-infected male (control). Serum samples of all the ewes were collected on days -30, -14, -7, -1, and 0 (days before natural mating) and on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 11, 14, and weekly until birth; the presence of serum antibodies against T. gondii was assessed by IFAT. Using a bioassay and PCR, T. gondii was isolated from the semen of the infected reproducing sheep before mating. Following natural mating, 5 of the 12 females displayed antibodies specific for T. gondii; of these animals, two of the ewes underwent natural mating with the male inoculated with oocysts (GI) and three with the male infected with tachyzoites (GII). One of the females that displayed antibodies specific to this coccidian and that underwent natural mating with the GII sheep had a macerated fetus on the 70th day following coverage. Using a bioassay after the birth, it was possible to isolate T. gondii from samples of the "pool" of tissues from the five females that seroconverted after natural mating and from their respective lambs. Using PCR, the DNA of T. gondii was isolated from the "pool" of tissues from one and two females exposed to natural mating with the reproductive males infected with the oocysts and

  12. 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.

  13. Review of toxoplasmosis in Morocco: seroprevalence and risk factors for toxoplasma infection among pregnant women and HIV- infected patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laboudi, Majda

    2017-01-01

    Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a protozoal parasite: Toxoplasma gondii . This infection can cause severe illness when the organism is contracted congenitally or when it is reactivated in immunosuppressed people. In this paper we review for the first time prevalence and risk factors of T. gondii among pregnant women and HIV-infected adults in Morocco. A systematic review methodology was used to consult three databases: Pub Med, Science Direct and Google Scholar dated until 2015, regarding prevalence data and risk factors of infection among pregnant women and people living with HIV. Data collection and eligibility criteria were established in this paper. No statistical method was employed in this study. Our review resulted in a total of 6 publications meeting the inclusion criteria of prevalence and risk factors of toxoplasmosis in Morocco. Seropositive rates of T. gondii infection reach up to 51% in pregnant women. Risk factors that were reported included contact with soil, lack of knowledge about toxoplasmosis, and a low educational level. For HIV-infected adults, the limited data show a 62.1% prevalence rate of T. gondii .According to our review, there is still very little information on toxoplasmosis disease in pregnant women and HIV infected patients in Morocco. Further research on toxoplasmosis is needed to better ascertain the human disease burden in Morocco.

  14. Genetic Diversity of Toxoplasma gondii Strains from Different Hosts and Geographical Regions by Sequence Analysis of GRA20 Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ning, Hong-Rui; Huang, Si-Yang; Wang, Jin-Lei; Xu, Qian-Ming; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2015-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a eukaryotic parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa, which infects all warm-blood animals, including humans. In the present study, we examined sequence variation in dense granule 20 (GRA20) genes among T. gondii isolates collected from different hosts and geographical regions worldwide. The complete GRA20 genes were amplified from 16 T. gondii isolates using PCR, sequence were analyzed, and phylogenetic reconstruction was analyzed by maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) methods. The results showed that the complete GRA20 gene sequence was 1,586 bp in length among all the isolates used in this study, and the sequence variations in nucleotides were 0-7.9% among all strains. However, removing the type III strains (CTG, VEG), the sequence variations became very low, only 0-0.7%. These results indicated that the GRA20 sequence in type III was more divergence. Phylogenetic analysis of GRA20 sequences using MP and ML methods can differentiate 2 major clonal lineage types (type I and type III) into their respective clusters, indicating the GRA20 gene may represent a novel genetic marker for intraspecific phylogenetic analyses of T. gondii.

  15. Sequence Variation in Rhoptry Neck Protein 10 Gene among Toxoplasma gondii Isolates from Different Hosts and Geographical Locations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yu; Zhou, Donghui; Chen, Jia; Sun, Xiaolin

    2017-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, as a eukaryotic parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa, can infect almost all the warm-blooded animals and humans, causing toxoplasmosis. Rhoptry neck proteins (RONs) play a key role in the invasion process of T. gondii and are potential vaccine candidate molecules against toxoplasmosis. The present study examined sequence variation in the rhoptry neck protein 10 (TgRON10) gene among 10 T. gondii isolates from different hosts and geographical locations from Lanzhou province during 2014, and compared with the corresponding sequences of strains ME49 and VEG obtained from the ToxoDB database, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, sequence analysis, and phylogenetic reconstruction by Bayesian inference (BI) and maximum parsimony (MP). Analysis of all the 12 TgRON10 genomic and cDNA sequences revealed 7 exons and 6 introns in the TgRON10 gDNA. The complete genomic sequence of the TgRON10 gene ranged from 4759 bp to 4763 bp, and sequence variation was 0-0.6% among the 12 T. gondii isolates, indicating a low sequence variation in TgRON10 gene. Phylogenetic analysis of TgRON10 sequences showed that the cluster of the 12 T. gondii isolates was not completely consistent with their respective genotypes. TgRON10 gene is not a suitable genetic marker for the differentiation of T. gondii isolates from different hosts and geographical locations, but may represent a potential vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis, worth further studies.

  16. A subset of group A-like var genes encodes the malaria parasite ligands for binding to human brain endothelial cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Claessens, Antoine; Adams, Yvonne; Ghumra, Ashfaq

    2012-01-01

    Cerebral malaria is the most deadly manifestation of infection with Plasmodium falciparum. The pathology of cerebral malaria is characterized by the accumulation of infected erythrocytes (IEs) in the microvasculature of the brain caused by parasite adhesins on the surface of IEs binding to human...... receptors on microvascular endothelial cells. The parasite and host molecules involved in this interaction are unknown. We selected three P. falciparum strains (HB3, 3D7, and IT/FCR3) for binding to a human brain endothelial cell line (HBEC-5i). The whole transcriptome of isogenic pairs of selected.......029) but not by antibodies from controls with uncomplicated malaria (Mann-Whitney test, P = 0.58). This work describes a binding phenotype for virulence-associated group A P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 variants and identifies targets for interventions to treat or prevent cerebral malaria....

  17. 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

  18. Toxoplasma gondii impairs memory in infected seniors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajewski, Patrick D; Falkenstein, Michael; Hengstler, Jan G; Golka, Klaus

    2014-02-01

    Almost 30% of humans present a Toxoplasma gondii positive antibody status and its prevalence increases with age. The central nervous system is the main target. However, little is known about the influence of asymptomatic i.e. latent Toxoplasmosis on cognitive functions in humans. To investigate neurocognitive dysfunctions in asymptomatic older adults with T. gondii positive antibody status a double-blinded neuropsychological study was conducted. The participants were classified from a population-based sample (N=131) of healthy participants with an age of 65 years and older into two groups with 42 individuals each: Toxoplasmosis positive (T-pos; IgG>50 IU/ml) and Toxoplasmosis negative (T-neg; IgG=0 IU/ml). The outcome measures were a computer-based working-memory test (2-back) and several standardized psychometric tests of memory and executive cognitive functions. T-pos seniors showed an impairment of different aspects of memory. The rate of correctly detected target symbols in a 2-back task was decreased by nearly 9% (P=0.020), corresponding to a performance reduction of about 35% in working memory relative to the T-neg group. Moreover, T-pos seniors had a lower performance in a verbal memory test, both regarding immediate recall (10% reduction; P=0.022), delayed recognition (6%; P=0.037) and recall from long-term memory assessed by the word fluency tests (12%; P=0.029). In contrast, executive functions were not affected. The effects remained mostly unchanged after controlling for medication. The impairment of memory functions in T-pos seniors was accompanied by a decreased self-reported quality of life. Because of the high prevalence of asymptomatic Toxoplasmosis and an increasing population of older adults this finding is of high relevance for public health. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Optimising Controlled Human Malaria Infection Studies Using Cryopreserved P. falciparum Parasites Administered by Needle and Syringe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne H Sheehy

    Full Text Available Controlled human malaria infection (CHMI studies have become a routine tool to evaluate efficacy of candidate anti-malarial drugs and vaccines. To date, CHMI trials have mostly been conducted using the bite of infected mosquitoes, restricting the number of trial sites that can perform CHMI studies. Aseptic, cryopreserved P. falciparum sporozoites (PfSPZ Challenge provide a potentially more accurate, reproducible and practical alternative, allowing a known number of sporozoites to be administered simply by injection.We sought to assess the infectivity of PfSPZ Challenge administered in different dosing regimens to malaria-naive healthy adults (n = 18. Six participants received 2,500 sporozoites intradermally (ID, six received 2,500 sporozoites intramuscularly (IM and six received 25,000 sporozoites IM.Five out of six participants receiving 2,500 sporozoites ID, 3/6 participants receiving 2,500 sporozoites IM and 6/6 participants receiving 25,000 sporozoites IM were successfully infected. The median time to diagnosis was 13.2, 17.8 and 12.7 days for 2,500 sporozoites ID, 2,500 sporozoites IM and 25,000 sporozoites IM respectively (Kaplan Meier method; p = 0.024 log rank test.2,500 sporozoites ID and 25,000 sporozoites IM have similar infectivities. Given the dose response in infectivity seen with IM administration, further work should evaluate increasing doses of PfSPZ Challenge IM to identify a dosing regimen that reliably infects 100% of participants.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01465048.

  20. Multiple Zoonotic Parasites Identified in Dog Feces Collected in Ponte de Lima, Portugal — A Potential Threat to Human Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letra Mateus, Teresa; Castro, António; Niza Ribeiro, João; Vieira-Pinto, Madalena

    2014-01-01

    Dogs play many roles and their presence within people’s houses has increased. In rural settings dog faeces are not removed from the streets, representing an environmental pollution factor. Our aim was to evaluate the occurrence of environmental contamination with zoonotic intestinal parasites of three groups of dogs in Ponte de Lima, Portugal, with a particular emphasis on Echinococcus granulosus. We collected 592 dog faecal samples from the environment, farm and hunting dogs. Qualitative flotation coprological analysis was performed and the frequency in the positive samples ranged between 57.44% and 81.19% in different groups. We isolated up to four different parasites in one sample and detected seven intestinal parasitic species, genera or families overall. Ancylostomatidae was the most prevalent parasite, followed by Trichuris spp., Toxocara spp., Isospora spp., Dipylidium caninum, Taeniidae and Toxascaris leonina. Taeniidae eggs were analyzed with the PCR technique and revealed not to be from Echinococcus. The parasite prevalence and the diversity of zoonotic parasites found were high, which calls for a greater awareness of the problem among the population, especially hunters. Promoting research at the local level is important to plan control strategies. Health education should be developed with regard to farmers and hunters, and a closer collaboration between researchers, practitioners and public health authorities is needed. PMID:25257358

  1. Multiple Zoonotic Parasites Identified in Dog Feces Collected in Ponte de Lima, Portugal—A Potential Threat to Human Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Letra Mateus

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Dogs play many roles and their presence within people’s houses has increased. In rural settings dog faeces are not removed from the streets, representing an environmental pollution factor. Our aim was to evaluate the occurrence of environmental contamination with zoonotic intestinal parasites of three groups of dogs in Ponte de Lima, Portugal, with a particular emphasis on Echinococcus granulosus. We collected 592 dog faecal samples from the environment, farm and hunting dogs. Qualitative flotation coprological analysis was performed and the frequency in the positive samples ranged between 57.44% and 81.19% in different groups. We isolated up to four different parasites in one sample and detected seven intestinal parasitic species, genera or families overall. Ancylostomatidae was the most prevalent parasite, followed by Trichuris spp., Toxocara spp., Isospora spp., Dipylidium caninum, Taeniidae and Toxascaris leonina. Taeniidae eggs were analyzed with the PCR technique and revealed not to be from Echinococcus. The parasite prevalence and the diversity of zoonotic parasites found were high, which calls for a greater awareness of the problem among the population, especially hunters. Promoting research at the local level is important to plan control strategies. Health education should be developed with regard to farmers and hunters, and a closer collaboration between researchers, practitioners and public health authorities is needed.

  2. Qualitative Assessment for Toxoplasma gondii Exposure Risk Associated with Meat Products in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Miao; Buchanan, Robert L; Dubey, Jitender P; Hill, Dolores E; Lambertini, Elisabetta; Ying, Yuqing; Gamble, H Ray; Jones, Jeffrey L; Pradhan, Abani K

    2015-12-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a global protozoan parasite capable of infecting most warm-blooded animals. Although healthy adult humans generally have no symptoms, severe illness does occur in certain groups, including congenitally infected fetuses and newborns, immunocompromised individuals including transplant patients. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that consumption of raw or undercooked meat products is one of the major sources of infection with T. gondii. The goal of this study was to develop a framework to qualitatively estimate the exposure risk to T. gondii from various meat products consumed in the United States. Risk estimates of various meats were analyzed by a farm-to-retail qualitative assessment that included evaluation of farm, abattoir, storage and transportation, meat processing, packaging, and retail modules. It was found that exposure risks associated with meats from free-range chickens, nonconfinement-raised pigs, goats, and lamb are higher than those from confinement-raised pigs, cattle, and caged chickens. For fresh meat products, risk at the retail level was similar to that at the farm level unless meats had been frozen or moisture enhanced. Our results showed that meat processing, such as salting, freezing, commercial hot air drying, long fermentation times, hot smoking, and cooking, are able to reduce T. gondii levels in meat products. whereas nitrite and/or nitrate, spice, low pH, and cold storage have no effect on the viability of T. gondii tissue cysts. Raw-fermented sausage, cured raw meat, meat that is not hot-air dried, and fresh processed meat were associated with higher exposure risks compared with cooked meat and frozen meat. This study provides a reference for meat management control programs to determine critical control points and serves as the foundation for future quantitative risk assessments.

  3. Seroprevalence of toxoplasma gondii infection among patients admitted to al-zahra hospital, isfahan, iran

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohaghegh, M.A.; Yazdani, H.; Hadipour, M.; Namdar, F.

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection is one of the most common parasitic infections among humans and other warm-blooded animals worldwide. The aim of this study was to evaluate toxoplasmosis status in patients admitted to Al-Zahra hospital, Isfahan, Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from October 2012 to January 2015. During this period, 716 patients referred to Al-Zahra hospital in Isfahan city, Iran, were studied to investigate the IgG and IgM antibodies against T. gondii using ELISA kit. The data were analysed by Chi-square and Fishers exact tests. In addition, the relation of data with age and sex were also examined. Results: Among 716 patients, 21 patients (2.9%) had positive IgM and 288 patients (40.2%) had positive IgG titer against T. gondii. Data analysis by Chi-square and Fishers exact tests revealed that there was no significant relationship between IgG titer and age (p>0.05). Additionally, there was no relationship between IgM titer and age (p>0.05). The data showed that there was no relationship between IgG and IgM antibody titer and sex (p>0.05). Conclusion: The prevalence of toxoplasmosis in Isfahan inhabitants seems fairly high but it can be concluded that the rate of seropositive patient is moderate comparing to other regions of country. Accordingly, the authors propose that all sensitive patients have to be tested for T. gondii antibody in order to prevent the consequences of disease. (author)

  4. Toxoplasma gondii Infection Is Associated with Mitochondrial Dysfunction in-Vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genevieve Syn

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Upon invasion of host cells, the ubiquitous pathogen Toxoplasma