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Sample records for human protozoan parasite

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

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    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

  2. Protozoan Parasites.

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    Custodio, Haidee

    2016-02-01

    • Stool antigen detection for Cryptosporidium sp, Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica are now commercially available, have better sensitivity and specificity than the traditional stool microscopy, and are less dependent on personnel skill. Tests employing newer techniques with faster turnaround time are also available for diagnosing trichomoniasis.• Nitazoxanide, the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication for therapy of cryptosporidiosis, is effective among immunocompetent patients. However, on the basis of strong evidence from multiple clinical trials, nitazoxanide is considered ineffective among immunocompromised patients. (14) • Giardiasis can be asymptomatic or have a chronic course leading to malabsorption and failure to thrive. It can be treated with metronidazole, tinidazole, or nitazoxanide. On the basis of growing observational studies, postinfectious and extraintestinal manifestations of giardiasis occur, but the mechanisms are unclear. Given the high prevalence of giardiasis, public health implications need to be defined. (16) • Eradicating E histolytica from the gastrointestinal tract requires only intraluminal agent therapy. Therapy for invasive illnesses requires use of imidazole followed by intraluminal agents to eliminate persistent intraluminal parasites. • Malaria is considered the most lethal parasitic infection, with Plasmodium falciparum as the predominant cause of mortality. P vivax and P ovale can be dormant in the liver, and primaquine is necessary to resolve infection by P vivax and P ovale. • Among immunocompetent patients, infection with Toxoplasma gondii may be asymptomatic, involve localized lymphadenopathy, or cause ocular infection. In immunocompromised patients, reactivation or severe infection is not uncommon. On the basis of limited observational studies (there are no well-controlled randomized trials), therapy is recommended for acute infection during pregnancy to prevent transmission to the

  3. Metabolomics and protozoan parasites.

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    Paget, Timothy; Haroune, Nicolas; Bagchi, Sushmita; Jarroll, Edward

    2013-06-01

    In this review, we examine the state-of-the-art technologies (gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance, etc.) in the well-established area of metabolomics especially as they relate to protozoan parasites.

  4. Parasite Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases as Drug Discovery Targets to Treat Human Protozoan Pathogens

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    Michael J. Brumlik

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Protozoan pathogens are a highly diverse group of unicellular organisms, several of which are significant human pathogens. One group of protozoan pathogens includes obligate intracellular parasites such as agents of malaria, leishmaniasis, babesiosis, and toxoplasmosis. The other group includes extracellular pathogens such as agents of giardiasis and amebiasis. An unfortunate unifying theme for most human protozoan pathogens is that highly effective treatments for them are generally lacking. We will review targeting protozoan mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs as a novel drug discovery approach towards developing better therapies, focusing on Plasmodia, Leishmania, and Toxoplasma, about which the most is known.

  5. Foodborne protozoan parasites.

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    Dawson, David

    2005-08-25

    This report addresses Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Cyclospora, and more briefly, Toxoplasma as the main parasitic protozoa of concern to food production worldwide. Other parasitic protozoa may be spread in food or water but are not considered as great a risk to food manufacture. The protozoan parasites Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Cyclospora have proven potential to cause waterborne and foodborne disease. Toxoplasma gondii has been considered a risk in specific cases, but humans are not its primary host. Cryptosporidium and Giardia are widespread in the environment, particularly the aquatic environment, and major outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis have occurred as a result of contaminated drinking water. Large outbreaks of waterborne cyclosporiasis have not been identified. Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Cyclospora have potential significance in the preparation and consumption of fresh produce and in catering practice, in which ready-to-eat foods may be served that have not received heat treatment. None of the three organisms Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Cyclospora has been shown to be a problem for heat processed food or tap water that has undergone appropriate treatment at a water treatment works. All three are sensitive to standard pasteurisation techniques. Although humans are not a primary host for T. gondii, the potential exists for both waterborne and foodborne toxoplasmosis. Parasitic protozoa do not multiply in foods, but they may survive in or on moist foods for months in cool, damp environments. Their ecology makes control of these parasites difficult. For general control of parasitic protozoa in the food chain, the following steps are necessary: - Follow good hygienic practice in food service and catering industries.- Minimise dissemination of cysts and oocysts in the farming environment and via human waste management.- Include these microorganisms in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans of water suppliers, industries or sectors

  6. Recent Advances in Human Protozoan Parasites of Gastrointestinal Tract

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    1987-02-01

    ELISA ) to detect antibodies of the parasite have been successfully used by Witmer, Maayan, Farrer & Tanowitz (1983), as well as others. Counter...immunoelectrophoresis (CIE) has been used to detect antigen in feces (Craft & Nelson, 1982) and the ELISA has also been used for the detection of antigens in...found infected with Campylobacter sp. and 12 with parasites: five were E. histolytica and seven were G. Iamblia. The scuba divers now practice in

  7. Unconventional actins and actin-binding proteins in human protozoan parasites.

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    Gupta, C M; Thiyagarajan, S; Sahasrabuddhe, A A

    2015-06-01

    Actin and its regulatory proteins play a key role in several essential cellular processes such as cell movement, intracellular trafficking and cytokinesis in most eukaryotes. While these proteins are highly conserved in higher eukaryotes, a number of unicellular eukaryotic organisms contain divergent forms of these proteins which have highly unusual biochemical and structural properties. Here, we review the biochemical and structural properties of these unconventional actins and their core binding proteins which are present in commonly occurring human protozoan parasites.

  8. Intracellular protozoan parasites of humans: the role of molecular chaperones in development and pathogenesis.

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    Shonhai, Addmore; Maier, Alexander G; Przyborski, Jude M; Blatch, Gregory L

    2011-02-01

    Certain kinetoplastid (Leishmania spp. and Tryapnosoma cruzi) and apicomplexan parasites (Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii) are capable of invading human cells as part of their pathology. These parasites appear to have evolved a relatively expanded or diverse complement of genes encoding molecular chaperones. The gene families encoding heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) chaperones show significant expansion and diversity (especially for Leishmania spp. and T. cruzi), and in particular the Hsp40 family appears to be an extreme example of phylogenetic radiation. In general, Hsp40 proteins act as co-chaperones of Hsp70 chaperones, forming protein folding pathways that integrate with Hsp90 to ensure proteostasis in the cell. It is tempting to speculate that the diverse environmental insults that these parasites endure have resulted in the evolutionary selection of a diverse and expanded chaperone network. Hsp90 is involved in development and growth of all of these intracellular parasites, and so far represents the strongest candidate as a target for chemotherapeutic interventions. While there have been some excellent studies on the molecular and cell biology of Hsp70 proteins, relatively little is known about the biological function of Hsp70-Hsp40 interactions in these intracellular parasites. This review focuses on intracellular protozoan parasites of humans, and provides a critique of the role of heat shock proteins in development and pathogenesis, especially the molecular chaperones Hsp90, Hsp70 and Hsp40.

  9. [Metacaspases and their role in the life cycle of human protozoan parasites].

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    González, Iveth J

    2009-09-01

    Metacaspases are caspase-related cysteine-proteases that are present in organisms devoid of caspases such as plants, yeast, and protozoan parasites. Since caspases are important effector molecules in mammalian apoptosis, the possible role of metacaspases in programmed cell death has been evaluated in the organisms where they are expressed. In some species of the human protozoan parasites Trypanosoma spp. and Leishmania spp., metacaspases have been involved in programmed cell death, although a role of metacaspases in recycling processes in T. brucei has also been suggested. Metacaspases are also expressed in Plasmodium spp., however their role in these organisms is still unknown. More than one metacaspase gene is present in some of these parasites, which suggests that these proteins are physiologically redundant or have different functions depending on their localization and protein interactions. The catalytic activity of metacaspases is different from that of caspases-again noting that metacaspase genes are absent in mammals. These characteristics make metacaspases and their activating mechanisms interesting subjects of research in the development of new drug targets for the treatment of trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and malaria. A summary of the literature on metacaspases is provided, and Latin American researchers are encouraged to more actively explore the metacaspase potential.

  10. Detection and immunolocalization of human erythrocyte spectrin immunoanalogues in Toxoplasma gondii (Protozoan, Parasite).

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    Ghazali, M; Rodier, M H; el Moudni, B E; Babin, P; Fernandez, B; Jacquemin, J L

    1995-01-01

    We demonstrated here the presence of proteins antigenically related to human erythroid spectrin in the parasitic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. A high molecular weight doublet (M(r) 245-240,000), present in equimolar ratio, and low molecular weight poly-peptides (M(r) 75,000) were reacted with monoclonal and polyclonal anti-human erythroid spectrin antibodies on electroblotted nitro-cellulose sheets. Indirect immunofluorescence assay clearly showed that these proteins were localized in the anterior pole of the organism. Immunogold staining further revealed specific labeling of conoid, rhoptries, micronemes, and dense granules of the apical complex. The presence of the M(r) 245-240,000 doublet and the M(r) 75,000 spectrin-like proteins in the anterior pole of T. gondii may probably be consistent with a structural stabilizer function in its organelles which are suspected to be involved in the process of host cell invasion.

  11. Functional characterization of peroxiredoxins from the human protozoan parasite Giardia intestinalis.

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    Daniela Mastronicola

    Full Text Available The microaerophilic protozoan parasite Giardia intestinalis, causative of one of the most common human intestinal diseases worldwide, infects the mucosa of the proximal small intestine, where it has to cope with O2 and nitric oxide (NO. Elucidating the antioxidant defense system of this pathogen lacking catalase and other conventional antioxidant enzymes is thus important to unveil novel potential drug targets. Enzymes metabolizing O2, NO and superoxide anion (O2 (-• have been recently reported for Giardia, but it is yet unknown how the parasite copes with H2O2 and peroxynitrite (ONOO(-. Giardia encodes two yet uncharacterized 2-cys peroxiredoxins (Prxs, GiPrx1a and GiPrx1b. Peroxiredoxins are peroxidases implicated in virulence and drug resistance in several parasitic protozoa, able to protect from nitroxidative stress and repair oxidatively damaged molecules. GiPrx1a and a truncated form of GiPrx1b (deltaGiPrx1b were expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and functionally characterized. Both Prxs effectively metabolize H2O2 and alkyl-hydroperoxides (cumyl- and tert-butyl-hydroperoxide in the presence of NADPH and E. coli thioredoxin reductase/thioredoxin as the reducing system. Stopped-flow experiments show that both proteins in the reduced state react with ONOO(- rapidly (k = 4×10(5 M(-1 s(-1 and 2×10(5 M(-1 s(-1 at 4°C, for GiPrx1a and deltaGiPrx1b, respectively. Consistent with a protective role against oxidative stress, expression of GiPrx1a (but not deltaGiPrx1b is induced in parasitic cells exposed to air O2 for 24 h. Based on these results, GiPrx1a and deltaGiPrx1b are suggested to play an important role in the antioxidant defense of Giardia, possibly contributing to pathogenesis.

  12. Protein palmitoylation in protozoan parasites.

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    Corvi, Maria Martha; Berthiaume, Luc Gerard; De Napoli, Maximiliano Gabriel

    2011-06-01

    Palmitoylation plays an important role in the regulation of the localization and function of the modified protein. Although many aspects of protein palmitoylation have been identified in mammalian and yeast cells, little information is available of this modification in protozoan parasites. Protein palmitoylation has been described for a few set of proteins in E.tenella, P. falciparum, T. gondii, G. lamblia and T. cruzi. Interestingly, in all these parasites palmitoylated proteins appears to be involved in vital processes such as invasion and motility. In addition, most of these parasites contain in their genomes genes that encode for putative palmitoyl-acyl transferases, the enzymes catalyzing the palmitoylation reaction. Although protein palmitoylation could be playing key roles in invasion and motility in a variety of parasites, little is known about this important reversible modification of proteins that typically plays a role in membrane tethering. As such, this review will focus on the main features of protein palmitoylation as well as provide an overview of the state of knowledge of this modification in protozoan parasites.

  13. The glyoxalase pathway in protozoan parasites.

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    Sousa Silva, Marta; Ferreira, António E N; Gomes, Ricardo; Tomás, Ana M; Ponces Freire, Ana; Cordeiro, Carlos

    2012-10-01

    The glyoxalase system is the main catabolic route for methylglyoxal, a non-enzymatic glycolytic byproduct with toxic and mutagenic effects. This pathway includes two enzymes, glyoxalase I and glyoxalase II, which convert methylglyoxal to d-lactate by using glutathione as a catalytic cofactor. In protozoan parasites the glyoxalase system shows marked deviations from this model. For example, the functional replacement of glutathione by trypanothione (a spermidine-glutathione conjugate) is a characteristic of trypanosomatids. Also interesting are the lack of glyoxalase I and the presence of two glyoxalase II enzymes in Trypanosoma brucei. In Plasmodium falciparum the glyoxalase pathway is glutathione-dependent, and glyoxalase I is an atypical monomeric enzyme with two active sites. Although it is tempting to exploit these differences for their potential therapeutic value, they provide invaluable clues regarding methylglyoxal metabolism and the evolution of protozoan parasites. Glyoxalase enzymes have been characterized in only a few protozoan parasites, namely Plasmodium falciparum and the trypanosomatids Leishmania and Trypanosoma. In this review, we will focus on the key features of the glyoxalase pathway in major human protozoan parasites, with particular emphasis on the characterized systems in Plasmodium falciparum, Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leishmania spp. We will also search for genes encoding glyoxalase I and II in Toxoplasma gondii, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia lamblia.

  14. Apoptotic markers in protozoan parasites

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    Fasel Nicolas

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The execution of the apoptotic death program in metazoans is characterized by a sequence of morphological and biochemical changes that include cell shrinkage, presentation of phosphatidylserine at the cell surface, mitochondrial alterations, chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation, membrane blebbing and the formation of apoptotic bodies. Methodologies for measuring apoptosis are based on these markers. Except for membrane blebbing and formation of apoptotic bodies, all other events have been observed in most protozoan parasites undergoing cell death. However, while techniques exist to detect these markers, they are often optimised for metazoan cells and therefore may not pick up subtle differences between the events occurring in unicellular organisms and multi-cellular organisms. In this review we discuss the markers most frequently used to analyze cell death in protozoan parasites, paying special attention to changes in cell morphology, mitochondrial activity, chromatin structure and plasma membrane structure/permeability. Regarding classical regulators/executors of apoptosis, we have reviewed the present knowledge of caspase-like and nuclease activities.

  15. Apoptotic markers in protozoan parasites.

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    Jiménez-Ruiz, Antonio; Alzate, Juan Fernando; Macleod, Ewan Thomas; Lüder, Carsten Günter Kurt; Fasel, Nicolas; Hurd, Hilary

    2010-11-09

    The execution of the apoptotic death program in metazoans is characterized by a sequence of morphological and biochemical changes that include cell shrinkage, presentation of phosphatidylserine at the cell surface, mitochondrial alterations, chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation, membrane blebbing and the formation of apoptotic bodies. Methodologies for measuring apoptosis are based on these markers. Except for membrane blebbing and formation of apoptotic bodies, all other events have been observed in most protozoan parasites undergoing cell death. However, while techniques exist to detect these markers, they are often optimised for metazoan cells and therefore may not pick up subtle differences between the events occurring in unicellular organisms and multi-cellular organisms.In this review we discuss the markers most frequently used to analyze cell death in protozoan parasites, paying special attention to changes in cell morphology, mitochondrial activity, chromatin structure and plasma membrane structure/permeability. Regarding classical regulators/executors of apoptosis, we have reviewed the present knowledge of caspase-like and nuclease activities.

  16. IMPORTANT PROTOZOAN PARASITES IN INDONESIA

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    Srisasi Gandahusada

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The most important protozoan parasites in Indonesia are the malaria parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Entamoeba histolytica. After the second world war the residual insecticides and effective antimalarial drugs were used in the control of malaria. After development of resistance among mosquitoes to insecticides, the Malaria Control Programme was switched over to the Malaria Eradication Programme. Malaria incidence dropped heavily. However, due to the quick development of vector resistance and financial limitations, malaria came back and so did the Malaria Control Programme. P. falciparum and P.vivax are the most common species in Indonesia. Important vectors are An. sundaicus, An. aconitus, An. maculatus, An. hyrcanus group, An. balabacensis, An. farauti etc. An. sundaicus and An. aconitus have developed resistance to DDT and Dieldrin in Java. In 1959 the Malaria Eradication Programme was started in Java, Bali and Lampung. In 1965 the API dropped to 0,15 per thousand. From 1966 onwards malaria transmission was on the increase, because spraying activities were slowed down, but dropped again from 1974 onwards by occasional residual house spraying with DDT or Fenitrothion, malaria surveillance and treatment of malaria cases, resulting in an API of 0.18 per thousand in 1987. At present malaria is not transmitted in Jakarta and in capitals of the provinces and kabupatens, except in Irian Jaya, Nusa Tenggara Timur and one or two other provinces, but it still exists in rural areas. The distribution of chloroquine resistant P.falciparum is patchy. Resistance is at the RI, RII and RUT levels. The main problems of malaria control are : the increasing development of resistance of the vector to insecticides, the change of An.aconitus from zoophili to anthropophili and from indoor to outdoor biting, the increasing resistance of P.falciparum to chloroquine, the shortage of skilled manpower and limitation of budget. In Indonesia many newborns with congenital

  17. IMPORTANT PROTOZOAN PARASITES IN INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srisasi Gandahusada

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The most important protozoan parasites in Indonesia are the malaria parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Entamoeba histolytica. After the second world war the residual insecticides and effective antimalarial drugs were used in the control of malaria. After development of resistance among mosquitoes to insecticides, the Malaria Control Programme was switched over to the Malaria Eradication Programme. Malaria incidence dropped heavily. However, due to the quick development of vector resistance and financial limitations, malaria came back and so did the Malaria Control Programme. P. falciparum and P.vivax are the most common species in Indonesia. Important vectors are An. sundaicus, An. aconitus, An. maculatus, An. hyrcanus group, An. balabacensis, An. farauti etc. An. sundaicus and An. aconitus have developed resistance to DDT and Dieldrin in Java. In 1959 the Malaria Eradication Programme was started in Java, Bali and Lampung. In 1965 the API dropped to 0,15 per thousand. From 1966 onwards malaria transmission was on the increase, because spraying activities were slowed down, but dropped again from 1974 onwards by occasional residual house spraying with DDT or Fenitrothion, malaria surveillance and treatment of malaria cases, resulting in an API of 0.18 per thousand in 1987. At present malaria is not transmitted in Jakarta and in capitals of the provinces and kabupatens, except in Irian Jaya, Nusa Tenggara Timur and one or two other provinces, but it still exists in rural areas. The distribution of chloroquine resistant P.falciparum is patchy. Resistance is at the RI, RII and RUT levels. The main problems of malaria control are : the increasing development of resistance of the vector to insecticides, the change of An.aconitus from zoophili to anthropophili and from indoor to outdoor biting, the increasing resistance of P.falciparum to chloroquine, the shortage of skilled manpower and limitation of budget. In Indonesia many newborns with congenital

  18. BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE STUDY OF PROTOZOAN PARASITES

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    Donald E. Burgess

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decade extraordinary advances have been made in the study of protozoan parasites. Particular progress has occurred in areas such as cultivation of protozoan parasites, immunobiology of protozoan parasitic diseases, the biochemistry of protozoa and molecular genetics of these organisms. The application of sophisticated culture, monoclonal antibody and recombinant DNA technologies has resulted in elucidation of many of the biochemical and molecular bases of such phenomena as antigenic variation in African trypanosomas, the autoimmune basis of the pathogenesis of Chagas' disease, protective immunity in malaria and parasite evasion of host defense mechanisms. As a result a new generation of diagnostic procedures have to provide more accurate detection of protozoan infections and thus improved epidemiological information. Vigorous vaccine development efforts are underway which will lead to molecularly defined vaccines taylored to specific applications and will provide new weapons to combat protozoan diseases. Perhaps most importantly the molecular bases of host-parasite interactions are being established and will allow identification of unique biochemical aspects of the biology of protozoa thereby revealing appropriate targets for development of vaccines, accurate detection procedures and more efficacious chemotherapeutic agents.

  19. Canonical and variant histones of protozoan parasites.

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    Dalmasso, Maria Carolina; Sullivan, William Joseph; Angel, Sergio Oscar

    2011-06-01

    Protozoan parasites have tremendously diverse lifestyles that require adaptation to a remarkable assortment of different environmental conditions. In order to complete their life cycles, protozoan parasites rely on fine-tuning gene expression. In general, protozoa use novel regulatory elements, transcription factors, and epigenetic mechanisms to regulate their transcriptomes. One of the most surprising findings includes the nature of their histones--these primitive eukaryotes lack some histones yet harbor novel histone variants of unknown function. In this review, we describe the histone components of different protozoan parasites based on literature and database searching. We summarize the key discoveries regarding histones and histone variants and their impact on chromatin regulation in protozoan parasites. In addition, we list histone genes IDs, sequences, and genomic localization of several protozoan parasites and Microsporidia histones, obtained from a thorough search of genome databases. We then compare these findings with those observed in higher eukaryotes, allowing us to highlight some novel aspects of epigenetic regulation in protists and to propose questions to be addressed in the upcoming years.

  20. Sending a message: extracellular vesicles of pathogenic protozoan parasites.

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    Szempruch, Anthony J; Dennison, Lauren; Kieft, Rudo; Harrington, John M; Hajduk, Stephen L

    2016-11-01

    Parasitic unicellular eukaryotes use extracellular vesicles (EVs) as vehicles for intercellular communication and host manipulation. By using various mechanisms to generate EVs and by transferring a wide range of molecules through EVs, pathogenic protozoans are able to establish infective niches, modulate the immune system of the host and cause disease. In addition to effects on the host, EVs are able to transfer virulence factors, drug-resistance genes and differentiation factors between parasites. In this Progress article, we explore recent insights into the biology of EVs from human infectious protozoan parasites, including Trichomonas vaginalis, Plasmodium spp. and kinetoplastids, such as Trypanosoma spp. and Leishmania spp.

  1. Exploring in vitro and in vivo Hsp90 inhibitors activity against human protozoan parasites.

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    Giannini, Giuseppe; Battistuzzi, Gianfranco

    2015-02-01

    A set of compounds, previously selected as potent Hsp90α inhibitors, has been studied on a panel of human parasites. 5-Aryl-3,4-isoxazolediamide derivatives (1) were active against two protozoa, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and Plasmodium falciparum, with a good tolerability toward cytotoxicity on non-malignant L6 rat myoblast cell line, unlike the 1,5-diaryl,4-carboxamides-1,2,3-triazole derivatives (2) which, while showing a single-digit nM range activity against the same protozoa, were also highly cytotoxic on L6 cells. In a subsequent in vivo study, two isoxazolediamide derivatives, 1a and 1b, were very efficacious on the sleeping sickness-causing agent with a clear parasitaemia during treatment. These data, however, showed that not all protozoa are sensitive to Hsp90 inhibitors, as well as not all Hsp90 inhibitors are equally active on parasites.

  2. Prevalence of Stray Dogs with Intestinal Protozoan Parasites

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    Mohammad Mirzaei

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Intestinal protozoan parasites are important enteropathogens in dogs. Moreover, several canine intestinal protozoan parasites are zoonotic and are considered important to public health. This study investigates the level of intestinal protozoan parasites in stray dogs, in Kerman city, Iran. Approach: Determination of the prevalence of infections was based on faecal examination. Stool samples (n = 98 collected from dogs of different ages and gender were analyzed using five techniques, i.e., centrifugal flotation in sucrose solution, centrifugal flotation in 33% Zinc solphate solution, Ziehl-Neelsen staining, trichrome staining and iodine staining. Results: The overall prevalence of parasitism was 13 (13.26% dogs. The parasites most frequently detected were: Giardia spp. (7.14%, Isospora spp. (5.1% and Cryptosporidium spp. (4.08%. Single parasitic infection was present in 11 (11.22% dogs. There was no significant difference in the prevalence between male (13.3% and female (13.2% dogs (p>0.05. There was significantly (pConclusion/Recommendations: The results of this research showed that stray dogs are reservoirs for zoonotic intestinal protozoan parasites and should be considered important to public health. So that, it is imperative for human to avoid faecal contamination in streets, public gardens and parks. Also stray dogs should be euthanized in dog population control program in Iran.

  3. [Biology, epidemiology and diagnostics of pathogenic waterborne protozoan parasites].

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    Leońska-Duniec, Agata; Adamska, Małgorzata

    2010-01-01

    Cryptosporidium, Giardia intestinalis, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Isosopra belli and micropsoridia are the most important and common pathogens found in humans and many other species of vertebrates. In humans, mainly in immunocompromised patients, children, pregnant women and elderly people, they are the most frequently identified protozoan parasites causing gastrointestinal disease worldwide. These pathogens have several transmission routes, including anthroponotic and zoonotic transmission. What is more, in many cases of epidemics caused by mentioned pathogens the major cause of infection was contaminated with these organisms water and food. In spite of many existing regulations of clearing and making use of drinking water supplies and recreational water, cosmopolitan protozoan parasites are still the danger of public health. These organisms are responsible for many waterborne outbreaks worldwide. Light microscopy and immunofluorescence assay have been used to identify these organisms in most laboratories. However, these traditional techniques have major limitations in the specific diagnosis, these methods are not sensitive enough to detect cysts or oocysts in environmental samples, so the new molecular tools must be applied. Recently, PCR-based techniques have been developed for detection and genetic characterization of the different species and population variants of protozoan parasites is central to the prevention, surveillance and control of gastrointestinal diseases. In this review were characterized biology, epidemiology and the progress in technology for detection and surveillance of the most important waterborne protozoan parasites.

  4. The role of extracellular vesicles in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites

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    Mantel, Pierre-Yves; MARTI, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Protozoan parasites and other microorganisms use various pathways to communicate within their own populations and to manipulate their outside environments, with the ultimate goal of balancing the rate of growth and transmission. In higher eukaryotes, including humans, circulating extracellular vesicles are increasingly recognized as key mediators of physiological and pathological processes. Recent evidence suggests that protozoan parasites, including those responsible for major human diseases...

  5. Dysfunctions at human intestinal barrier by water-borne protozoan parasites: lessons from cultured human fully differentiated colon cancer cell lines.

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    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.

  6. Vertebrate Cell Cycle Modulates Infection by Protozoan Parasites

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    Dvorak, James A.; Crane, Mark St. J.

    1981-11-01

    Synchronized HeLa cell populations were exposed to Trypanosoma cruzi or Toxoplasma gondii, obligate intracellular protozoan parasites that cause Chagas' disease and toxoplasmosis, respectively, in humans. The ability of the two parasites to infect HeLa cells increased as the HeLa cells proceeded from the G1 phase to the S phase of their growth cycle and decreased as the cells entered G2-M. Characterization of the S-phase cell surface components responsible for this phenomenon could be beneficial in the development of vaccines against these parasitic diseases.

  7. Protozoan parasites and type I interferons: a cold case reopened.

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    Beiting, Daniel P

    2014-10-01

    Protozoan parasites, such as Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, trypanosomes, and Leishmania, are a major cause of disease in both humans and other animals, highlighting the need to understand the full spectrum of strategies used by the host immune system to sense and respond to parasite infection. Although type II interferon (IFN-γ) has long been recognized as an essential antiparasite immune effector, much less is known about the role of type I interferons (IFN-α and -β) in host defense, particularly in vivo. Recent studies are reviewed which collectively highlight that type I IFN can be induced in response to parasite infection and influence the outcome of infection.

  8. Mobile genetic elements in protozoan parasites

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sudha Bhattacharya; Abhijeet Bakre; Alok Bhattacharya

    2002-08-01

    Mobile genetic elements, by virtue of their ability to move to new chromosomal locations, are considered important in shaping the evolutionary course of the genome. They are widespread in the biological kingdom. Among the protozoan parasites several types of transposable elements are encountered. The largest variety is seen in the trypanosomatids—Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Crithidia fasciculata. They contain elements that insert site-specifically in the spliced-leader RNA genes, and others that are dispersed in a variety of genomic locations. Giardia lamblia contains three families of transposable elements. Two of these are subtelomeric in location while one is chromosome-internal. Entamoeba histolytica has an abundant retrotransposon dispersed in the genome. Nucleotide sequence analysis of all the elements shows that they are all retrotransposons, and, with the exception of one class of elements in T. cruzi, all of them are non-long-terminal-repeat retrotransposons. Although most copies have accumulated mutations, they can potentially encode reverse transcriptase, endonuclease and nucleic-acid-binding activities. Functionally and phylogenetically they do not belong to a single lineage, showing that retrotransposons were acquired early in the evolution of protozoan parasites. Many of the potentially autonomous elements that encode their own transposition functions have nonautonomous counterparts that probably utilize the functions in trans. In this respect these elements are similar to the mammalian LINEs and SINEs (long and short interspersed DNA elements), showing a common theme in the evolution of retrotransposons. So far there is no report of a DNA transposon in any protozoan parasite. The genome projects that are under way for most of these organisms will help understand the evolution and possible function of these genetic elements.

  9. Inflammasomes in host response to protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamboni, Dario S; Lima-Junior, Djalma S

    2015-05-01

    Inflammasomes are multimeric complexes of proteins that are assembled in the host cell cytoplasm in response to specific stress signals or contamination of the cytoplasm by microbial molecules. The canonical inflammasomes are composed of at least three main components: an inflammatory caspase (caspase-1, caspase-11), an adapter molecule (such as ASC), and a sensor protein (such as NLRP1, NLRP3, NLRP12, NAIP1, NAIP2, NAIP5, or AIM2). The sensor molecule determines the inflammasome specificity by detecting specific microbial products or cell stress signals. Upon activation, these molecular platforms facilitate restriction of microbial replication and trigger an inflammatory form of cell death called pyroptosis, thus accounting for the genesis of inflammatory processes. Inflammasome activation has been widely reported in response to pathogenic bacteria. However, recent reports have highlighted the important role of the inflammasomes in the host response to the pathogenesis of infections caused by intracellular protozoan parasites. Herein, we review the activation and specific roles of inflammasomes in recognition and host responses to intracellular protozoan parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium spp., and Leishmania spp.

  10. Homologous Recombination in Protozoan Parasites and Recombinase Inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelso, Andrew A; Waldvogel, Sarah M; Luthman, Adam J; Sehorn, Michael G

    2017-01-01

    Homologous recombination (HR) is a DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway that utilizes a homologous template to fully repair the damaged DNA. HR is critical to maintain genome stability and to ensure genetic diversity during meiosis. A specialized class of enzymes known as recombinases facilitate the exchange of genetic information between sister chromatids or homologous chromosomes with the help of numerous protein accessory factors. The majority of the HR machinery is highly conserved among eukaryotes. In many protozoan parasites, HR is an essential DSB repair pathway that allows these organisms to adapt to environmental conditions and evade host immune systems through genetic recombination. Therefore, small molecule inhibitors, capable of disrupting HR in protozoan parasites, represent potential therapeutic options. A number of small molecule inhibitors were identified that disrupt the activities of the human recombinase RAD51. Recent studies have examined the effect of two of these molecules on the Entamoeba recombinases. Here, we discuss the current understandings of HR in the protozoan parasites Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Plasmodium, and Entamoeba, and we review the small molecule inhibitors known to disrupt human RAD51 activity.

  11. The roles of intramembrane proteases in protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibley, L David

    2013-12-01

    Intramembrane proteolysis is widely conserved throughout different forms of life, with three major types of proteases being known for their ability to cleave peptide bonds directly within the transmembrane domains of their substrates. Although intramembrane proteases have been extensively studied in humans and model organisms, they have only more recently been investigated in protozoan parasites, where they turn out to play important and sometimes unexpected roles. Signal peptide peptidases are involved in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) quality control and signal peptide degradation from exported proteins. Recent studies suggest that repurposing inhibitors developed for blocking presenilins may be useful for inhibiting the growth of Plasmodium, and possibly other protozoan parasites, by blocking signal peptide peptidases. Rhomboid proteases, originally described in the fly, are also widespread in parasites, and are especially expanded in apicomplexans. Their study in parasites has revealed novel roles that expand our understanding of how these proteases function. Within this diverse group of parasites, rhomboid proteases contribute to processing of adhesins involved in attachment, invasion, intracellular replication, phagocytosis, and immune evasion, placing them at the vertex of host-parasite interactions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Intramembrane Proteases.

  12. Invasion and intracellular survival by protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibley, L David

    2011-03-01

    Intracellular parasitism has arisen only a few times during the long ancestry of protozoan parasites including in diverse groups such as microsporidians, kinetoplastids, and apicomplexans. Strategies used to gain entry differ widely from injection (e.g. microsporidians), active penetration of the host cell (e.g. Toxoplasma), recruitment of lysosomes to a plasma membrane wound (e.g. Trypanosoma cruzi), to host cell-mediated phagocytosis (e.g. Leishmania). The resulting range of intracellular niches is equally diverse ranging from cytosolic (e.g. T. cruzi) to residing within a non-fusigenic vacuole (e.g. Toxoplasma, Encephalitozoon) or a modified phagolysosome (e.g. Leishmania). These lifestyle choices influence access to nutrients, interaction with host cell signaling pathways, and detection by pathogen recognition systems. As such, intracellular life requires a repertoire of adaptations to assure entry-exit from the cell, as well as to thwart innate immune mechanisms and prevent clearance. Elucidating these pathways at the cellular and molecular level may identify key steps that can be targeted to reduce parasite survival or augment immunologic responses and thereby prevent disease.

  13. Host-lipidome as a potential target of protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rub, Abdur; Arish, Mohd; Husain, Syed Akhtar; Ahmed, Niyaz; Akhter, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    Host-lipidome caters parasite interaction by acting as first line of recognition, attachment on the cell surface, intracellular trafficking, and survival of the parasite inside the host cell. Here, we summarize how protozoan parasites exploit host-lipidome by suppressing, augmenting, engulfing, remodeling and metabolizing lipids to achieve successful parasitism inside the host.

  14. Transfection of the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Robledo, José A; Lin, Zhuoer; Vasta, Gerardo R

    2008-01-01

    Ongoing efforts for sequencing the genome of the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus, together with functional genomic initiatives, have continued to provide invaluable information about genes and metabolic pathways that not only will increase our understanding of its biology, but also have the potential to reveal useful targets for intervention. The lack of molecular tools for the functional characterization of genes of interest, however, has hindered progress in this regard. Here we report the development and validation of transfection methodology for this parasite. We first selected from our P. marinus EST collection a highly expressed gene, which we designated "MOE" (PmMOE), to which we fused at the C-terminus the enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a reporter gene (pPmMOE-GFP). The exogenous DNA was introduced into the trophozoite stage of the parasite by electroporation using the Nucleofector technology. The transfection efficiency was 37.8% with fluorescence detected as early as 14 h after electroporation, with the transfectants still remaining fluorescent after 8 months even in the absence of drug selection. The 5' flanking region was essential for transcription; constructs with 100 and 204 bp flanking the transcription start site also drove transcription effectively. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot analyses was consistent with integration by non-homologous recombination. This transfection technique, the first one reported for a member of the Perkinsozoa, provides a new tool for studies of gene regulation and expression, protein targeting, and protein-protein interactions, and should significantly contribute to gain further insight into the biology of Perkinsus spp.

  15. Localization of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate to lipid rafts and uroids in the human protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koushik, Amrita B; Powell, Rhonda R; Temesvari, Lesly A

    2013-06-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is an intestinal protozoan parasite and is the causative agent of amoebiasis. During invasive infection, highly motile amoebae destroy the colonic epithelium, enter the blood circulation, and disseminate to other organs such as liver, causing liver abscess. Motility is a key factor in E. histolytica pathogenesis, and this process relies on a dynamic actomyosin cytoskeleton. In other systems, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] is known to regulate a wide variety of cellular functions, including signal transduction, actin remodeling, and cell motility. Little is known about the role of PI(4,5)P2 in E. histolytica pathogenicity. In this study, we demonstrate that PI(4,5)P2 is localized to cholesterol-rich microdomains, lipid rafts, and the actin-rich fractions of the E. histolytica membrane. Microscopy revealed that the trailing edge of polarized trophozoites, uroids, are highly enriched in lipid rafts and their constituent lipid, PI(4,5)P2. Polarization and enrichment of uroids and rafts with PI(4,5)P2 were enhanced upon treatment of E. histolytica cells with cholesterol. Exposure to cholesterol also increased intracellular calcium, which is a downstream effector of PI(4,5)P2, with a concomitant increase in motility. Together, our data suggest that in E. histolytica, PI(4,5)P2 may signal from lipid rafts and cholesterol may play a role in triggering PI(4,5)P2-mediated signaling to enhance the motility of this pathogen.

  16. Inactivation of protozoan parasites in food, water, and environmental systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Marilyn C; Ortega, Ynes R

    2006-11-01

    Protozoan parasites can survive under ambient and refrigerated storage conditions when associated with a range of substrates. Consequently, various treatments have been used to inactivate protozoan parasites (Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Cyclospora) in food, water, and environmental systems. Physical treatments that affect survival or removal of protozoan parasites include freezing, heating, filtration, sedimentation, UV light, irradiation, high pressure, and ultrasound. Ozone is a more effective chemical disinfectant than chlorine or chlorine dioxide for inactivation of protozoan parasites in water systems. However, sequential inactivation treatments can optimize existing treatments through synergistic effects. Careful selection of methods to evaluate inactivation treatments is needed because many studies that have employed vital dye stains and in vitro excystation have produced underestimations of the effectiveness of these treatments.

  17. A genomewide overexpression screen identifies genes involved in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway in the human protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koushik, Amrita B; Welter, Brenda H; Rock, Michelle L; Temesvari, Lesly A

    2014-03-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite that causes amoebic dysentery and liver abscess. E. histolytica relies on motility, phagocytosis, host cell adhesion, and proteolysis of extracellular matrix for virulence. In eukaryotic cells, these processes are mediated in part by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling. Thus, PI3K may be critical for virulence. We utilized a functional genomics approach to identify genes whose products may operate in the PI3K pathway in E. histolytica. We treated a population of trophozoites that were overexpressing genes from a cDNA library with a near-lethal dose of the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin. This screen was based on the rationale that survivors would be overexpressing gene products that directly or indirectly function in the PI3K pathway. We sequenced the overexpressed genes in survivors and identified a cDNA encoding a Rap GTPase, a protein previously shown to participate in the PI3K pathway. This supports the validity of our approach. Genes encoding a coactosin-like protein, EhCoactosin, and a serine-rich E. histolytica protein (SREHP) were also identified. Cells overexpressing EhCoactosin or SREHP were also less sensitive to a second PI3K inhibitor, LY294002. This corroborates the link between these proteins and PI3K. Finally, a mutant cell line with an increased level of phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate, the product of PI3K activity, exhibited increased expression of SREHP and EhCoactosin. This further supports the functional connection between these proteins and PI3K in E. histolytica. To our knowledge, this is the first forward-genetics screen adapted to reveal genes participating in a signal transduction pathway in this pathogen.

  18. Invasion mechanisms among emerging food-borne protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Nobuko; Tyler, Kevin M; Llewellyn, Martin S

    2011-10-01

    Food-borne parasitic diseases, many known to be more prevalent in poor countries with deficient sanitary conditions, are becoming common worldwide. Among the emerging protozoan parasites, the most prominent is Trypanosoma cruzi, rarely reported in the past to be transmitted by the oral route but currently responsible for frequent outbreaks of acute cases of Chagas disease contracted orally and characterized by high mortality. Several other food-borne protozoans considered emerging include the apicomplexans Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium, as well as Giardia and Entamoeba histolytica. Here, the interactions of these protozoans with the mucosal epithelia of the host are discussed.

  19. DNA Vaccines against Protozoan Parasites: Advances and Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Dumonteil

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the past 15 years, DNA vaccines have gone from a scientific curiosity to one of the most dynamic research field and may offer new alternatives for the control of parasitic diseases such as leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. We review here some of the advances and challenges for the development of DNA vaccines against these diseases. Many studies have validated the concept of using DNA vaccines for both protection and therapy against these protozoan parasites in a variety of mouse models. The challenge now is to translate what has been achieved in these models into veterinary or human vaccines of comparable efficacy. Also, genome-mining and new antigen discovery strategies may provide new tools for a more rational search of novel vaccine candidates.

  20. The role of extracellular vesicles in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantel, Pierre-Yves; Marti, Matthias

    2014-03-01

    Protozoan parasites and other microorganisms use various pathways to communicate within their own populations and to manipulate their outside environments, with the ultimate goal of balancing the rate of growth and transmission. In higher eukaryotes, including humans, circulating extracellular vesicles are increasingly recognized as key mediators of physiological and pathological processes. Recent evidence suggests that protozoan parasites, including those responsible for major human diseases such as malaria and Chagas disease, use similar machinery. Indeed, intracellular and extracellular protozoan parasites secrete extracellular vesicles to promote growth and induce transmission, to evade the host immune system, and to manipulate the microenvironment. In this review we will discuss the general pathways of extracellular vesicle biogenesis and their functions in protozoan infections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. B-Cell Response during Protozoan Parasite Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María C. Amezcua Vesely

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available In this review, we discuss how protozoan parasites alter immature and mature B cell compartment. B1 and marginal zone (MZ B cells, considered innate like B cells, are activated during protozoan parasite infections, and they generate short lived plasma cells providing a prompt antibody source. In addition, protozoan infections induce massive B cell response with polyclonal activation that leads to hypergammaglobulnemia with serum antibodies specific for the parasites and self and/or non related antigens. To protect themselves, the parasites have evolved unique ways to evade B cell immune responses inducing apoptosis of MZ and conventional mature B cells. As a consequence of the parasite induced-apoptosis, the early IgM response and an already establish humoral immunity are affected during the protozoan parasite infection. Moreover, some trypanosomatides trigger bone marrow immature B cell apoptosis, influencing the generation of new mature B cells. Simultaneously with their ability to release antibodies, B cells produce cytokines/quemokines that influence the characteristic of cellular immune response and consequently the progression of parasite infections.

  3. Subdominant/cryptic CD8 T cell epitopes contribute to resistance against experimental infection with a human protozoan parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana R Dominguez

    Full Text Available During adaptive immune response, pathogen-specific CD8(+ T cells recognize preferentially a small number of epitopes, a phenomenon known as immunodominance. Its biological implications during natural or vaccine-induced immune responses are still unclear. Earlier, we have shown that during experimental infection, the human intracellular pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi restricts the repertoire of CD8(+ T cells generating strong immunodominance. We hypothesized that this phenomenon could be a mechanism used by the parasite to reduce the breath and magnitude of the immune response, favoring parasitism, and thus that artificially broadening the T cell repertoire could favor the host. Here, we confirmed our previous observation by showing that CD8(+ T cells of H-2(a infected mice recognized a single epitope of an immunodominant antigen of the trans-sialidase super-family. In sharp contrast, CD8(+ T cells from mice immunized with recombinant genetic vaccines (plasmid DNA and adenovirus expressing this same T. cruzi antigen recognized, in addition to the immunodominant epitope, two other subdominant epitopes. This unexpected observation allowed us to test the protective role of the immune response to subdominant epitopes. This was accomplished by genetic vaccination of mice with mutated genes that did not express a functional immunodominant epitope. We found that these mice developed immune responses directed solely to the subdominant/cryptic CD8 T cell epitopes and a significant degree of protective immunity against infection mediated by CD8(+ T cells. We concluded that artificially broadening the T cell repertoire contributes to host resistance against infection, a finding that has implications for the host-parasite relationship and vaccine development.

  4. Chromatin modifications, epigenetics, and how protozoan parasites regulate their lives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croken, Matthew M; Nardelli, Sheila C; Kim, Kami

    2012-05-01

    Chromatin structure plays a vital role in epigenetic regulation of protozoan parasite gene expression. Epigenetic gene regulation impacts upon parasite virulence, differentiation and cell-cycle control. Recent work in many laboratories has elucidated the functions of proteins that regulate parasite gene expression by chemical modification of constituent nucleosomes. A major focus of investigation has been the characterization of post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones and the identification of the enzymes responsible. Despite conserved features and specificity common to all eukaryotes, parasite enzymes involved in chromatin modification have unique functions that regulate unique aspects of parasite biology.

  5. Water-soluble ruthenium complexes bearing activity against protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarniguet, Cynthia; Toloza, Jeannette; Cipriani, Micaella; Lapier, Michel; Vieites, Marisol; Toledano-Magaña, Yanis; García-Ramos, Juan Carlos; Ruiz-Azuara, Lena; Moreno, Virtudes; Maya, Juan Diego; Azar, Claudio Olea; Gambino, Dinorah; Otero, Lucía

    2014-06-01

    Parasitic illnesses are major causes of human disease and misery worldwide. Among them, both amebiasis and Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasites, Entamoeba histolytica and Trypanosoma cruzi, are responsible for thousands of annual deaths. The lack of safe and effective chemotherapy and/or the appearance of current drug resistance make the development of novel pharmacological tools for their treatment relevant. In this sense, within the framework of the medicinal inorganic chemistry, metal-based drugs appear to be a good alternative to find a pharmacological answer to parasitic diseases. In this work, novel ruthenium complexes [RuCl2(HL)(HPTA)2]Cl2 with HL=bioactive 5-nitrofuryl containing thiosemicarbazones and PTA=1,3,5-triaza-7-phosphaadamantane have been synthesized and fully characterized. PTA was included as co-ligand in order to modulate complexes aqueous solubility. In fact, obtained complexes were water soluble. Their activity against T. cruzi and E. histolytica was evaluated in vitro. [RuCl2(HL4)(HPTA)2]Cl2 complex, with HL4=N-phenyl-5-nitrofuryl-thiosemicarbazone, was the most active compound against both parasites. In particular, it showed an excellent activity against E. histolytica (half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50)=5.2 μM), even higher than that of the reference drug metronidazole. In addition, this complex turns out to be selective for E. histolytica (selectivity index (SI)>38). The potential mechanism of antiparasitic action of the obtained ruthenium complexes could involve oxidative stress for both parasites. Additionally, complexes could interact with DNA as second potential target by an intercalative-like mode. Obtained results could be considered a contribution in the search for metal compounds that could be active against multiple parasites.

  6. Cyst and encystment in protozoan parasites: optimal targets for new life-cycle interrupting strategies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Díaz, Hugo; Carrero, Julio César; Argüello-García, Raúl; Laclette, Juan Pedro; Morales-Montor, Jorge

    2011-10-01

    Certain protozoan parasites use survival strategies to reside outside the host such as the formation of cysts. This dormant and resistant stage results from the complex process of encystment that involves diverse molecular and cellular modifications. The stimuli and changes associated with cyst biogenesis are a matter of ongoing studies in human and animal protozoan parasites such as amoeba and Giardia species because blocking every step in the encystment pathway should, in theory, interrupt their life cycles. The present review thoroughly examines this essential process in those protozoan parasites and discusses the possibility of using that information to develop new kinds of anti-parasite specific and life cycle-interrupting drugs, aimed at holding back the dissemination of these infections.

  7. A review of recent patents on the protozoan parasite HSP90 as a drug target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angel, Sergio O; Matrajt, Mariana; Echeverria, Pablo C

    2013-04-01

    Diseases caused by protozoan parasites are still an important health problem. These parasites can cause a wide spectrum of diseases, some of which are severe and have high morbidity or mortality if untreated. Since they are still uncontrolled, it is important to find novel drug targets and develop new therapies to decrease their remarkable social and economic impact on human societies. In the past years, human HSP90 has become an interesting drug target that has led to a large number of investigations both at state organizations and pharmaceutical companies, followed by clinical trials. The finding that HSP90 has important biological roles in some protozoan parasites like Plasmodium spp, Toxoplasma gondii and trypanosomatids has allowed the expansion of the results obtained in human cancer to these infections. This review summarizes the latest important findings showing protozoan HSP90 as a drug target and presents three patents targeting T. gondii, P. falciparum and trypanosomatids HSP90.

  8. Innate immune receptors in carp: recognition of protozoan parasites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ribeiro, C.M.S.

    2010-01-01

    This PhD thesis reports on pattern recognition receptors involved in the immune responses of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) to two protozoan parasites Trypanoplasma borreli and Trypanosoma carassii. The immune responses of carp are fundamentally different when comparing these two extracellular blood

  9. RNA interference in protozoan parasites: achievements and challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolev, Nikolay G; Tschudi, Christian; Ullu, Elisabetta

    2011-09-01

    Protozoan parasites that profoundly affect mankind represent an exceptionally diverse group of organisms, including Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Entamoeba, Giardia, trypanosomes, and Leishmania. Despite the overwhelming impact of these parasites, there remain many aspects to be discovered about mechanisms of pathogenesis and how these organisms survive in the host. Combined with the ever-increasing availability of sequenced genomes, RNA interference (RNAi), discovered a mere 13 years ago, has enormously facilitated the analysis of gene function, especially in organisms that are not amenable to classical genetic approaches. Here we review the current status of RNAi in studies of parasitic protozoa, with special emphasis on its use as a postgenomic tool.

  10. Do you see what I see: Recognition of protozoan parasites by Toll-like receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Debopam; Stumhofer, Jason S

    2013-08-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are important for recognizing a variety of pathogens, including protozoan parasites, and initiating innate immune responses against them. TLRs are localized on the cell surface as well as in the endosome, and are implicated in innate sensing of these parasites. In this review, we will discuss recent findings on the identification of parasite-derived pathogen associated molecular patterns and the TLRs that bind them. The role of these TLRs in initiating the immune response against protozoan parasitic infections in vivo will be presented in the context of murine models of infection utilizing TLR-deficient mice. Additionally, we will explore evidence that TLRs and genetic variants of TLRs may impact the outcome of these parasitic infections in humans.

  11. Host-parasite interactions: Marine bivalve molluscs and protozoan parasites, Perkinsus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soudant, Philippe; E Chu, Fu-Lin; Volety, Aswani

    2013-10-01

    This review assesses and examines the work conducted to date concerning host and parasite interactions between marine bivalve molluscs and protozoan parasites, belonging to Perkinsus species. The review focuses on two well-studied host-parasite interaction models: the two clam species, Ruditapes philippinarum and R. decussatus, and the parasite Perkinsus olseni, and the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, and the parasite Perkinsus marinus. Cellular and humoral defense responses of the host in combating parasitic infection, the mechanisms (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, extracellular products) employed by the parasite in evading host defenses as well as the role of environmental factors in modulating the host-parasite interactions are described.

  12. The past, present and future of fluorescent protein tags in anaerobic protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin-Adeline, Victoria; Šlapeta, Jan

    2016-03-01

    The world health organization currently recognizes diarrhoeal diseases as a significant cause of death in children globally. Protozoan parasites such as Giardia and Entamoeba that thrive in the oxygen-deprived environment of the human gut are common etiological agents of diarrhoea. In the urogenital tract of humans, the anaerobic protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis is notorious as the most common non-viral, sexually transmitted pathogen. Even with high medical impact, our understanding of anaerobic parasite physiology is scarce and as a result, treatment choices are limited. Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are invaluable tools as genetically encoded protein tags for advancing knowledge of cellular function. These FP tags emit fluorescent colours and once attached to a protein of interest, allow tracking of parasite proteins in the dynamic cellular space. Application of green FPs-like FPs in anaerobic protozoans is hindered by their oxygen dependency. In this review, we examine aspects of anaerobic parasite biology that clash with physio-chemical properties of FPs and limit their use as live-parasite protein tags. We expose novel FPs, such as miniSOG that do not require oxygen for signal production. The potential use of novel FPs has the opportunity to leverage the anaerobe parasitologist toolkit to that of aerobe parasitologist.

  13. Behavioural resistance against a protozoan parasite in the monarch butterfly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Chiang, Allen; Kelavkar, Mangala; Li, Hui; Li, James; de Castillejo, Carlos Lopez Fernandez; Oliver, Lindsay; Potini, Yamini; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2012-01-01

    1. As parasites can dramatically reduce the fitness of their hosts, there should be strong selection for hosts to evolve and maintain defence mechanisms against their parasites. One way in which hosts may protect themselves against parasitism is through altered behaviours, but such defences have been much less studied than other forms of parasite resistance. 2. We studied whether monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L.) use altered behaviours to protect themselves and their offspring against the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (McLaughlin & Myers (1970), Journal of Protozoology, 17, p. 300). In particular, we studied whether (i) monarch larvae can avoid contact with infectious parasite spores; (ii) infected larvae preferentially consume therapeutic food plants when given a choice or increase the intake of such plants in the absence of choice; and (iii) infected female butterflies preferentially lay their eggs on medicinal plants that make their offspring less sick. 3. We found that monarch larvae were unable to avoid infectious parasite spores. Larvae were also not able to preferentially feed on therapeutic food plants or increase the ingestion of such plants. However, infected female butterflies preferentially laid their eggs on food plants that reduce parasite growth in their offspring. 4. Our results suggest that animals may use altered behaviours as a protection against parasites and that such behaviours may be limited to a single stage in the host-parasite life cycle. Our results also suggest that animals may use altered behaviours to protect their offspring instead of themselves. Thus, our study indicates that an inclusive fitness approach should be adopted to study behavioural defences against parasites. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2011 British Ecological Society.

  14. Modulation of mammalian apoptotic pathways by intracellular protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, V; Cordeiro-da-Silva, A; Laforge, M; Ouaissi, A; Silvestre, R; Estaquier, J

    2012-03-01

    During intracellular parasitic infections, pathogens and host cells take part in a complex web of events that are crucial for the outcome of the infection. Modulation of host cell apoptosis by pathogens attracted the attention of scientists during the last decade. Apoptosis is an efficient mechanism used by the host to control infection and limit pathogen multiplication and dissemination. In order to ensure completion of their complex life cycles and to guarantee transmission between different hosts, intracellular parasites have developed mechanisms to block apoptosis and sustain the viability of their host cells. Here, we review how some of the most prominent intracellular protozoan parasites modulate the main mammalian apoptotic pathways by emphasizing the advances from the last decade, which have begun to dissect this dynamic and complex interaction.

  15. Protozoan parasites of bivalve molluscs: literature follows culture.

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    Fernández Robledo, José A; Vasta, Gerardo R; Record, Nicholas R

    2014-01-01

    Bivalve molluscs are key components of the estuarine environments as contributors to the trophic chain, and as filter -feeders, for maintaining ecosystem integrity. Further, clams, oysters, and scallops are commercially exploited around the world both as traditional local shellfisheries, and as intensive or semi-intensive farming systems. During the past decades, populations of those species deemed of environmental or commercial interest have been subject to close monitoring given the realization that these can suffer significant decline, sometimes irreversible, due to overharvesting, environmental pollution, or disease. Protozoans of the genera Perkinsus, Haplosporidium, Marteilia, and Bonamia are currently recognized as major threats for natural and farmed bivalve populations. Since their identification, however, the variable publication rates of research studies addressing these parasitic diseases do not always appear to reflect their highly significant environmental and economic impact. Here we analyzed the peer- reviewed literature since the initial description of these parasites with the goal of identifying potential milestone discoveries or achievements that may have driven the intensity of the research in subsequent years, and significantly increased publication rates. Our analysis revealed that after initial description of the parasite as the etiological agent of a given disease, there is a time lag before a maximal number of yearly publications are reached. This has already taken place for most of them and has been followed by a decrease in publication rates over the last decade (20- to 30- year lifetime in the literature). Autocorrelation analyses, however, suggested that advances in parasite purification and culture methodologies positively drive publication rates, most likely because they usually lead to novel molecular tools and resources, promoting mechanistic studies. Understanding these trends should help researchers in prioritizing research

  16. The emerging world of small silencing RNAs in protozoan parasites.

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    Atayde, Vanessa D; Tschudi, Christian; Ullu, Elisabetta

    2011-07-01

    A new RNA world has emerged in the past 10 years with the discovery of a plethora of 20- to 30-nucleotide long small RNAs that are involved in various gene silencing mechanisms. These small RNAs have considerably changed our view of the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotic organisms, with a major shift towards epigenetic and post-transcriptional mechanisms. In this article, we focus on the striking diversity of small silencing RNAs that have been identified in several protozoan parasites and their potential biological role.

  17. Involvement of the actin cytoskeleton and p21rho-family GTPases in the pathogenesis of the human protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica

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    G.D. Godbold

    1998-08-01

    Full Text Available It has been estimated that infection with the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica kills more than 50,000 people a year. Central to the pathogenesis of this organism is its ability to directly lyse host cells and cause tissue destruction. Amebic lesions show evidence of cell lysis, tissue necrosis, and damage to the extracellular matrix. The specific molecular mechanisms by which these events are initiated, transmitted, and effected are just beginning to be uncovered. In this article we review what is known about host cell adherence and contact-dependent cytolysis. We cover the involvement of the actin cytoskeleton and small GTP-binding proteins of the p21rho-family in the process of cell killing and phagocytosis, and also look at how amebic interactions with molecules of the extracellular matrix contribute to its cytopathic effects.

  18. HIV Protease Inhibitors: Effect on the Opportunistic Protozoan Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfonso, Yenisey; Monzote, Lianet

    2011-01-01

    The impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the natural history of AIDS disease has been allowed to prolong the survival of people with HIV infection, particularly whose with increased HIV viral load. Additionally, the antiretroviral therapy could exert a certain degree of protection against parasitic diseases. A number of studies have been evidenced a decrease in the incidence of opportunistic parasitic infections in the era of HAART. Although these changes have been attributed to the restoration of cell-mediated immunity, induced by either non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors or HIV protease inhibitors, in combination with at least two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors included in HAART, there are evidence that the control of these parasitic infections in HIV-positive persons under HAART, is also induced by the inhibition of the proteases of the parasites. This review focuses on the principal available data related with therapeutic HIV-protease inhibitors and their in vitro and in vivo effects on the opportunistic protozoan parasites.

  19. Impact and control of protozoan parasites in maricultured fishes.

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    Buchmann, Kurt

    2015-01-01

    Aquaculture, including both freshwater and marine production, has on a world scale exhibited one of the highest growth rates within animal protein production during recent decades and is expected to expand further at the same rate within the next 10 years. Control of diseases is one of the most prominent challenges if this production goal is to be reached. Apart from viral, bacterial, fungal and metazoan infections it has been documented that protozoan parasites affect health and welfare and thereby production of fish in marine aquaculture. Representatives within the main protozoan groups such as amoebae, dinoflagellates, kinetoplastid flagellates, diplomonadid flagellates, apicomplexans, microsporidians and ciliates have been shown to cause severe morbidity and mortality among farmed fish. Well studied examples are Neoparamoeba perurans, Amyloodinium ocellatum, Spironucleus salmonicida, Ichthyobodo necator, Cryptobia salmositica, Loma salmonae, Cryptocaryon irritans, Miamiensis avidus and Trichodina jadranica. The present report provides details on the parasites' biology and impact on productivity and evaluates tools for diagnosis, control and management. Special emphasis is placed on antiprotozoan immune responses in fish and a strategy for development of vaccines is presented.

  20. Iron-sulphur clusters, their biosynthesis, and biological functions in protozoan parasites.

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    Ali, Vahab; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2013-01-01

    Fe-S clusters are ensembles of sulphide-linked di-, tri-, and tetra-iron centres of a variety of metalloproteins that play important roles in reduction and oxidation of mitochondrial electron transport, energy metabolism, regulation of gene expression, cell survival, nitrogen fixation, and numerous other metabolic pathways. The Fe-S clusters are assembled by one of four distinct systems: NIF, SUF, ISC, and CIA machineries. The ISC machinery is a house-keeping system conserved widely from prokaryotes to higher eukaryotes, while the other systems are present in a limited range of organisms and play supplementary roles under certain conditions such as stress. Fe-S cluster-containing proteins and the components required for Fe-S cluster biosynthesis are modulated under stress conditions, drug resistance, and developmental stages. It is also known that a defect in Fe-S proteins and Fe-S cluster biogenesis leads to many genetic disorders in humans, which indicates the importance of the systems. In this review, we describe the biological and physiological significance of Fe-S cluster-containing proteins and their biosynthesis in parasitic protozoa including Plasmodium, Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Giardia, Trichomonas, Entamoeba, Cryptosporidium, Blastocystis, and microsporidia. We also discuss the roles of Fe-S cluster biosynthesis in proliferation, differentiation, and stress response in protozoan parasites. The heterogeneity of the systems and the compartmentalization of Fe-S cluster biogenesis in the protozoan parasites likely reflect divergent evolution under highly diverse environmental niches, and influence their parasitic lifestyle and pathogenesis. Finally, both Fe-S cluster-containing proteins and their biosynthetic machinery in protozoan parasites are remarkably different from those in their mammalian hosts. Thus, they represent a rational target for the development of novel chemotherapeutic and prophylactic agents against protozoan infections.

  1. DNA repair mechanisms in eukaryotes: Special focus in Entamoeba histolytica and related protozoan parasites.

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    López-Camarillo, César; Lopez-Casamichana, Mavil; Weber, Christian; Guillen, Nancy; Orozco, Esther; Marchat, Laurence A

    2009-12-01

    Eukaryotic cell viability highly relies on genome stability and DNA integrity maintenance. The cellular response to DNA damage mainly consists of six biological conserved pathways known as homologous recombination repair (HRR), non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), base excision repair (BER), mismatch repair (MMR), nucleotide excision repair (NER), and methyltransferase repair that operate in a concerted way to minimize genetic information loss due to a DNA lesion. Particularly, protozoan parasites survival depends on DNA repair mechanisms that constantly supervise chromosomes to correct damaged nucleotides generated by cytotoxic agents, host immune pressure or cellular processes. Here we reviewed the current knowledge about DNA repair mechanisms in the most relevant human protozoan pathogens. Additionally, we described the recent advances to understand DNA repair mechanisms in Entamoeba histolytica with special emphasis in the use of genomic approaches based on bioinformatic analysis of parasite genome sequence and microarrays technology.

  2. Developing vaccines to control protozoan parasites in ruminants: dead or alive?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innes, Elisabeth A; Bartley, Paul M; Rocchi, Mara; Benavidas-Silvan, Julio; Burrells, Alison; Hotchkiss, Emily; Chianini, Francesca; Canton, German; Katzer, Frank

    2011-08-04

    Protozoan parasites are among some of the most successful organisms worldwide, being able to live and multiply within a very wide range of hosts. The diseases caused by these parasites cause significant production losses in the livestock sector involving reproductive failure, impaired weight gain, contaminated meat, reduced milk yields and in severe cases, loss of the animal. In addition, some protozoan parasites affecting livestock such as Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum may also be transmitted to humans where they can cause serious disease. Data derived from experimental models of infection in ruminant species enables the study of the interactions between parasite and host. How the parasite initiates infection, becomes established and multiplies within the host and the critical pathways that may lead to a disease outcome are all important to enable the rational design of appropriate intervention strategies. Once the parasites invade the hosts they induce both innate and adaptive immune responses and the induction and function of these immune responses are critical in determining the outcome of the infection. Vaccines offer green solutions to control disease as they are sustainable, reducing reliance on pharmacological drugs and pesticides. The use of vaccines has multiple benefits such as improving animal health and welfare by controlling animal infections and infestations; improving public health by controlling zoonoses and food borne pathogens in animals; solving problems associated with resistance to acaricides, antibiotics and anthelmintics; keeping animals and the environment free of chemical residues and maintaining biodiversity. All of these attributes should lead to improved sustainability of animal production and economic benefit. Using different protozoan parasitic diseases as examples this paper will discuss various approaches used to develop vaccines to protect against disease in livestock and discuss the relative merits of using live

  3. Heat shock protein 90 from neglected protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Nainita; Nageshan, Rishi Kumar; Ranade, Shatakshi; Tatu, Utpal

    2012-03-01

    Significant advances have been made in our understanding of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) in terms of its structure, biochemical characteristics, post-translational modifications, interactomes, regulation and functions. In addition to yeast as a model several new systems have now been examined including flies, worms, plants as well as mammalian cells. This review discusses themes emerging out of studies reported on Hsp90 from infectious disease causing protozoa. A common theme of sensing and responding to host cell microenvironment emerges out of analysis of Hsp90 in Malaria, Trypanosmiasis as well as Leishmaniasis. In addition to their functional roles, the potential of Hsp90 from these infectious disease causing organisms to serve as drug targets and the current status of this drug development endeavor are discussed. Finally, a unique and the only known example of a split Hsp90 gene from another disease causing protozoan Giardia lamblia and its evolutionary significance are discussed. Clearly studies on Hsp90 from protozoan parasites promise to reveal important new paradigms in Hsp90 biology while exploring its potential as an anti-infective drug target. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90). Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. The meaning of death: evolution and ecology of apoptosis in protozoan parasites.

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    Reece, Sarah E; Pollitt, Laura C; Colegrave, Nick; Gardner, Andy

    2011-12-01

    The discovery that an apoptosis-like, programmed cell death (PCD) occurs in a broad range of protozoan parasites offers novel therapeutic tools to treat some of the most serious infectious diseases of humans, companion animals, wildlife, and livestock. Whilst apoptosis is an essential part of normal development, maintenance, and defence in multicellular organisms, its occurrence in unicellular parasites appears counter-intuitive and has proved highly controversial: according to the Darwinian notion of "survival of the fittest", parasites are expected to evolve strategies to maximise their proliferation, not death. The prevailing, and untested, opinion in the literature is that parasites employ apoptosis to "altruistically" self-regulate the intensity of infection in the host/vector. However, evolutionary theory tells us that at most, this can only be part of the explanation, and other non-mutually exclusive hypotheses must also be tested. Here, we explain the evolutionary concepts that can explain apoptosis in unicellular parasites, highlight the key questions, and outline the approaches required to resolve the controversy over whether parasites "commit suicide". We highlight the need for integration of proximate and functional approaches into an evolutionary framework to understand apoptosis in unicellular parasites. Understanding how, when, and why parasites employ apoptosis is central to targeting this process with interventions that are sustainable in the face of parasite evolution.

  5. The meaning of death: evolution and ecology of apoptosis in protozoan parasites.

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    Sarah E Reece

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The discovery that an apoptosis-like, programmed cell death (PCD occurs in a broad range of protozoan parasites offers novel therapeutic tools to treat some of the most serious infectious diseases of humans, companion animals, wildlife, and livestock. Whilst apoptosis is an essential part of normal development, maintenance, and defence in multicellular organisms, its occurrence in unicellular parasites appears counter-intuitive and has proved highly controversial: according to the Darwinian notion of "survival of the fittest", parasites are expected to evolve strategies to maximise their proliferation, not death. The prevailing, and untested, opinion in the literature is that parasites employ apoptosis to "altruistically" self-regulate the intensity of infection in the host/vector. However, evolutionary theory tells us that at most, this can only be part of the explanation, and other non-mutually exclusive hypotheses must also be tested. Here, we explain the evolutionary concepts that can explain apoptosis in unicellular parasites, highlight the key questions, and outline the approaches required to resolve the controversy over whether parasites "commit suicide". We highlight the need for integration of proximate and functional approaches into an evolutionary framework to understand apoptosis in unicellular parasites. Understanding how, when, and why parasites employ apoptosis is central to targeting this process with interventions that are sustainable in the face of parasite evolution.

  6. Methods for parasitic protozoans detection in the environmental samples

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    Skotarczak B.

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The environmental route of transmission of many parasitic protozoa and their potential for producing large numbers of transmissive stages constitute persistent threats to public and veterinary health. Conventional and new immunological and molecular methods enable to assess the occurrence, prevalence, levels and sources of waterborne protozoa. Concentration, purification, and detection are the three key steps in all methods that have been approved for routine monitoring of waterborne cysts and oocysts. These steps have been optimized to such an extent that low levels of naturally occurring (oocysts of protozoan can be efficiently recovered from water. Ten years have passed since the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA introduced the 1622 and 1623 methods and used them to concentrate and detect the oocysts of Cryptosporidium and cysts of Giardia in water samples. Nevertheless, the methods still need studies and improvements. Pre-PCR processing procedures have been developed and they are still improved to remove or reduce the effects of PCR inhibitors. The progress in molecular methods allows to more precise distinction of species or simultaneous detection of several parasites, however, they are still not routinely used and need standardization. Standardized methods are required to maximize public health surveillance.

  7. Methods for parasitic protozoans detection in the environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skotarczak, B

    2009-09-01

    The environmental route of transmission of many parasitic protozoa and their potential for producing large numbers of transmissive stages constitute persistent threats to public and veterinary health. Conventional and new immunological and molecular methods enable to assess the occurrence, prevalence, levels and sources of waterborne protozoa. Concentration, purification, and detection are the three key steps in all methods that have been approved for routine monitoring of waterborne cysts and oocysts. These steps have been optimized to such an extent that low levels of naturally occurring (oo)cysts of protozoan can be efficiently recovered from water. Ten years have passed since the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) introduced the 1622 and 1623 methods and used them to concentrate and detect the oocysts of Cryptosporidium and cysts of Giardia in water samples. Nevertheless, the methods still need studies and improvements. Pre-PCR processing procedures have been developed and they are still improved to remove or reduce the effects of PCR inhibitors. The progress in molecular methods allows to more precise distinction of species or simultaneous detection of several parasites, however, they are still not routinely used and need standardization. Standardized methods are required to maximize public health surveillance.

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

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    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.

  9. Seroprevalence rates of antibodies against Leishmania infantum and other protozoan and rickettsial parasites in dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulan, Silvana de Cássia; Lins, Aline Gouveia de Souza; Tenório, Michely da Silva; Silva, Diogo Tiago da; Pena, Hilda Fátima de Jesus; Machado, Rosangela Zacarias; Gennari, Solange Maria; Buzetti, Wilma Aparecida Starke

    2013-01-01

    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 caninum infection 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Christian; San Francisco, Juan; Gutiérrez, Bessy; González, Jorge

    2015-01-01

    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.

  12. Sensing DNA methylation in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

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    Lavi, Tal; Isakov, Elada; Harony, Hala; Fisher, Ohad; Siman-Tov, Rama; Ankri, Serge

    2006-12-01

    In the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, 5-methylcytosine (m5C) was found predominantly in repetitive elements. Its formation is catalysed by Ehmeth, a DNA methyltransferase that belongs to the Dnmt2 subfamily. Here we describe a 32 kDa nuclear protein that binds in vitro with higher affinity to the methylated form of a DNA encoding a reverse transcriptase of an autonomous non-long-terminal repeat retrotransposon (RT LINE) compared with the non-methylated RT LINE. This protein, named E. histolytica-methylated LINE binding protein (EhMLBP), was purified from E. histolytica nuclear lysate, identified by mass spectrometry, and its corresponding gene was cloned. EhMLBP corresponds to a gene of unknown function that shares strong homology with putative proteins present in Entamoeba dispar and Entamoeba invadens. In contrast, the homology dropped dramatically when non-Entamoebidae sequences were considered and only a weak sequence identity was found with Trypanosoma and several prokaryotic histone H1. Recombinant EhMLBP showed the same binding preference for methylated RT LINE as the endogenous EhMLBP. Deletion mapping analysis localized the DNA binding region at the C-terminal part of the protein. This region is sufficient to assure the binding to methylated RT LINE with high affinity. Western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy, using an antibody raised against EhMLBP, showed that it has a nuclear localization. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) confirmed that EhMLBP interacts with RT LINE in vivo. Finally, we showed that EhMLBP can also bind rDNA episome, a DNA that is methylated in the parasite. This suggests that EhMLBP may serve as a sensor of methylated repetitive DNA. This is the first report of a DNA-methylated binding activity in protozoa.

  13. Transient and stable transfection in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba invadens.

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    Ehrenkaufer, Gretchen M; Singh, Upinder

    2012-07-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is an important human pathogen and a major health problem worldwide. Many aspects of parasite biology can be studied with the exception of stage conversion, which cannot be reproduced adequately in E. histolytica. The reptile parasite Entamoeba invadens is a vital model system for studying stage conversion since it can be induced to undergo both encystation and excystation with high efficiency in vitro. However, functional studies using E. invadens have been limited by the lack of genetic tools in this species. Here, we report a new method for both transient and stable transfection of E. invadens. These new tools will greatly enhance research into Entamoeba development.

  14. EVALUATION OF PROTOZOAN PARASITES CAUSING DIARRHOEA IN HIV POSITIVE PATIENTS

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    Uday Shankar

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND Opportunistic parasitic infections are among the most serious infections in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV positive patients and claim a number of lives every year. The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites and to elucidate the association between intestinal opportunistic parasitic infection and CD4 (CD4+ T lymphocyte counts in HIV positive patients. METHODS The study was carried out at Department of Microbiology, on 50 HIV positive patients admitted to or attending the OPD of a tertiary healthcare centre in Kolhapur during the period from June 2013 to June 2015. Air dried smears from stool samples were stained by modified Acid fast stain, directly and after formol ether concentration technique for demonstrating oocysts of Cryptosporidium parvum, I. belli and C. cayetanensis. RESULTS Intestinal parasitic pathogens were detected in 54% patients and the major pathogens included Cryptosporidium parvum (18%, the most common followed by Entamoeba histolytica (14%, Giardia lamblia (10%, Ascaris lumbricoides (6% and 4% each of Isospora belli, Ancylostoma duodenale, Trichuris trichiura and Strongyloides stercoralis. CONCLUSION Intestinal parasitic infections caused diarrhoea in fifty four percent of patients, which was much more than the control group (16%. Proportion of opportunistic pathogens in patients with CD4 count 200-499 and > 500 cells/mm3 .

  15. Protozoan parasites in group-living primates: testing the biological island hypothesis.

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    Chapman, Colin A; Bowman, Dwight D; Ghai, Ria R; Gogarten, Jan F; Goldberg, Tony L; Rothman, Jessica M; Twinomugisha, Dennis; Walsh, Chesley

    2012-06-01

    A series of articles by W.J. Freeland published in the 1970s proposed that social organization and behavioral processes were heavily influenced by parasitic infections, which led to a number of intriguing hypotheses concerning how natural selection might act on social factors because of the benefits of avoiding parasite infections. For example, Freeland [1979] showed that all individuals within a given group harbored identical gastrointestinal protozoan faunas, which led him to postulate that social groups were akin to "biological islands" and suggest how this isolation could select specific types of ranging and dispersal patterns. Here, we reexamine the biological island hypothesis by quantifying the protozoan faunas of the same primate species examined by Freeland in the same location; our results do not support this hypothesis. In contrast, we quantified two general changes in protozoan parasite community of primates in the study area of Kibale National Park, Uganda, over the nearly 35 years between sample collections: (1) the colobines found free of parasites in the early 1970s are now infected with numerous intestinal protozoan parasites and (2) groups are no longer biological islands in terms of their protozoan parasites. Whatever the ultimate explanation for these changes, our findings have implications for studies proposing selective forces shaping primate behavior and social organization. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Evolution of apoptosis-like programmed cell death in unicellular protozoan parasites.

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    Kaczanowski, Szymon; Sajid, Mohammed; Reece, Sarah E

    2011-03-25

    Apoptosis-like programmed cell death (PCD) has recently been described in multiple taxa of unicellular protists, including the protozoan parasites Plasmodium, Trypanosoma and Leishmania. Apoptosis-like PCD in protozoan parasites shares a number of morphological features with programmed cell death in multicellular organisms. However, both the evolutionary explanations and mechanisms involved in parasite PCD are poorly understood. Explaining why unicellular organisms appear to undergo 'suicide' is a challenge for evolutionary biology and uncovering death executors and pathways is a challenge for molecular and cell biology. Bioinformatics has the potential to integrate these approaches by revealing homologies in the PCD machinery of diverse taxa and evaluating their evolutionary trajectories. As the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis in model organisms are well characterised, and recent data suggest similar mechanisms operate in protozoan parasites, key questions can now be addressed. These questions include: which elements of apoptosis machinery appear to be shared between protozoan parasites and multicellular taxa and, have these mechanisms arisen through convergent or divergent evolution? We use bioinformatics to address these questions and our analyses suggest that apoptosis mechanisms in protozoan parasites and other taxa have diverged during their evolution, that some apoptosis factors are shared across taxa whilst others have been replaced by proteins with similar biochemical activities.

  17. ANTIOXIDANT ENZYMES, POTENTIAL VIRULENT FACTORS, IN DIFFERENT STRAINS OF THE OYSTER PROTOZOAN PARASITE, PERKINSUS MARINUS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The oyster protozoan parasite, Perkinsus marinus, is one of the two important parasites causing severe mortality in the eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) on the US east coast. Our recent study suggests that P. marinus cells and its extracellular products (ECP) could scaveng...

  18. Immune responses against protozoan parasites: a focus on the emerging role of Nod-like receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurung, Prajwal; Kanneganti, Thirumala-Devi

    2016-08-01

    Nod-like receptors (NLRs) have gained attention in recent years because of the ability of some family members to assemble into a multimeric protein complex known as the inflammasome. The role of NLRs and the inflammasome in regulating innate immunity against bacterial pathogens has been well studied. However, recent studies show that NLRs and inflammasomes also play a role during infections caused by protozoan parasites, which pose a significant global health burden. Herein, we review the diseases caused by the most common protozoan parasites in the world and discuss the roles of NLRs and inflammasomes in host immunity against these parasites.

  19. Prevalence of Zoonotic and Other Intestinal Protozoan Parasites in Stray Cats (Felis domesticus of Kerman, South-East of Iran

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    Sakineh BEIGI

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Intestinal protozoan parasites constitute a major source of diseases for stray cats and have been recognized as important public health problems in several parts of the world. Considering the potential risk of stray cats for public health, present cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the type and frequency of protozoan parasites by faecal examination. A total of 100 stray cats were examined in Kerman city, Iran, Overall 67 cats (67% were infected with at least one protozoan parasite. The following parasites, with their respective prevalence, were found; Isospora felis 38%, Isospora rivolta 25%, Toxoplasma gondii 16%, Sarcocystis spp. 8%, Cryptosporidium spp. 7%, and Giardia sp. 5%. Based on our data, the sex of stray cats was not significantly associated with the prevalence of gastrointestinal protozoan parasites. The high infection rate of zoonotic intestinal protozoan parasites in stray cats is considered to be critical from the viewpoint of public health importance.We

  20. A protein phosphatase 1 gamma (PP1γ) of the human protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis is involved in proliferation and cell attachment to the host cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Christian; Pérez, Mauricio; Orrego, Patricio R; Osorio, Luis; Gutiérrez, Bessy; Sagua, Hernán; Castillo, Juan L; Martínez-Oyanedel, Jose; Arroyo, Rossana; Meza-Cervantez, Patricia; da Silveira, Jose Franco; Midlej, Victor; Benchimol, Marlene; Cordero, Esteban; Morales, Patricio; Araya, Jorge E; González, Jorge

    2012-07-01

    In this work, evidence for a critical role of Trichomonas vaginalis protein phosphatase 1 gamma (TvPP1γ) in proliferation and attachment of the parasite to the mammalian cell is provided. Firstly, proliferation and attachment of T. vaginalis parasites to HeLa cells was blocked by calyculin A (CA), a potent PP1 inhibitor. Secondly, it was demonstrated that the enzyme activity of native and recombinant TvPP1γ proteins was inhibited by CA. Thirdly, reverse genetic studies confirmed that antisense oligonucleotides targeted to PP1γ but not PP1α or β inhibited proliferation and attachment of trichomonads CA-treated parasites underwent cytoskeletal modifications, including a lack of axostyle typical labelling, suggesting that cytoskeletal phosphorylation could be regulated by a CA-sensitive phosphatase where the role of PP1γ could not be ruled out. Analysis of subcellular distribution of TvPP1γ by cell fractionation and electron microscopy demonstrated the association between TvPP1γ and the cytoskeleton. The expression of adhesins, AP120 and AP65, at the cell surface was also inhibited by CA. The concomitant inhibition of expression of adhesins and changes in the cytoskeleton in CA-treated parasites suggest a specific role for PP1γ -dependent dephosphorylation in the early stages of the host-parasite interaction. Molecular modelling of TvPP1γ showed the conservation of residues critical for maintaining proper folding into the gross structure common to PP1 proteins. Taken together, these results suggest that TvPP1γ could be considered a potential novel drug target for treatment of trichomoniasis.

  1. Neutrophils cast extracellular traps in response to protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abi Abdallah, Delbert S; Denkers, Eric Y

    2012-01-01

    Release of extracellular traps by neutrophils is a now well-established phenomenon that contributes to the innate response to extracellular bacterial and fungal pathogens. The importance of NETs during protozoan infection has been less explored, but recent findings suggest an emerging role for release of neutrophil-derived extracellular DNA in response to this class of microbial pathogens. The present review summarizes findings to date regarding elicitation of NETs by Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium falciparum, Eimeria bovis, and Leishmania spp.

  2. Formalin for external protozoan parasites: A report on the prevention and control of Costia necatrix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Frederick S.

    1940-01-01

    The smallest and most destructive of the ectoparasitic protozoans infecting salmon and trout, Costia necatrix, has unfortunately been relegated to virtual obscurity during the past few years. Few references to this parasite can be found in the recent literature and, where such things are discussed, one seldom hears a mention of Costia necatrix.

  3. Host lipid bodies as platforms for intracellular survival of protozoan parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel A.M. Toledo

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Pathogens induce several changes in the host cell signaling and trafficking mechanisms in order to evade and manipulate the immune response. One prominent pathogen-mediated change is the formation of lipid-rich organelles, termed lipid bodies or lipid droplets, in the host cell cytoplasm. Protozoan parasites, which contribute expressively to the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, are able to induce lipid body genesis in non-immune and immune cells, mainly macrophages, key players in the initial resistance to the infection. Under host-parasite interaction, lipid bodies not only accumulate in the host cytoplasm but also relocate around and move into parasitophorous vacuoles. There is increasing evidence that protozoan parasites may target host-derived lipid bodies either for gaining nutrients or for escaping the host immune response. Newly formed, parasite-induced lipid bodies may serve as lipid sources for parasite growth and also produce inflammatory mediators that potentially act in the host immune response deactivation. In this mini review, we summarize current knowledge on the formation and role of host lipid bodies as sites exploited by intracellular protozoan parasites as a strategy to maintain their own survival.

  4. Host Lipid Bodies as Platforms for Intracellular Survival of Protozoan Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toledo, Daniel A M; D'Avila, Heloísa; Melo, Rossana C N

    2016-01-01

    Pathogens induce several changes in the host cell signaling and trafficking mechanisms in order to evade and manipulate the immune response. One prominent pathogen-mediated change is the formation of lipid-rich organelles, termed lipid bodies (LBs) or lipid droplets, in the host cell cytoplasm. Protozoan parasites, which contribute expressively to the burden of infectious diseases worldwide, are able to induce LB genesis in non-immune and immune cells, mainly macrophages, key players in the initial resistance to the infection. Under host-parasite interaction, LBs not only accumulate in the host cytoplasm but also relocate around and move into parasitophorous vacuoles. There is increasing evidence that protozoan parasites may target host-derived LBs either for gaining nutrients or for escaping the host immune response. Newly formed, parasite-induced LBs may serve as lipid sources for parasite growth and also produce inflammatory mediators that potentially act in the host immune response deactivation. In this mini review, we summarize current knowledge on the formation and role of host LBs as sites exploited by intracellular protozoan parasites as a strategy to maintain their own survival.

  5. Bromopyrrole Alkaloids as Lead Compounds against Protozoan Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deniz Tasdemir

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In the present study,13 bromopyrrole alkaloids, including the oroidin analogs hymenidin (2, dispacamide B (3 and dispacamide D (4, stevensine (5 and spongiacidin B (6, their derivatives lacking the imidazole ring bromoaldisin (7, longamide B (8 and longamide A (9, the dimeric oroidin derivatives sceptrin (10 and dibromopalau’amine (11, and the non-oroidin bromopyrrolohomoarginin (12, manzacidin A (13, and agelongine (14, obtained from marine sponges belonging to Axinella and Agelas generahave been screened in vitro against four parasitic protozoa, i.e., two Trypanosoma species (T. brucei rhodesiense and T. cruzi, Leishmania donovani and Plasmodium falciparum (K1 strain, a chloroquine resistant strain, responsible of human diseases with high morbidity and, in the case of malaria, high mortality. Our results indicate longamide B (8 and dibromopalau’amine (11 to be promising trypanocidal and antileishmanial agents, while dispacamide B (3 and spongiacidin B (6 emerge as antimalarial lead compounds.In addition,evaluation of the activity of the test alkaloids (2–14 against three different enzymes (PfFabI, PfFabG, PfFabZ involved in the de novo fatty acid biosynthesis pathway of P. falciparum (PfFAS-II identified bromopyrrolohomoarginin (12 as a potent inhibitor of PfFabZ. The structural similarity within the series of tested molecules allowed us to draw some preliminary structure-activity relationships. Tests against the mammalian L6 cells revealed important clues on therapeutic index of the metabolites. This is the first detailed study on the antiprotozoal potential of marine bromopyrrole alkaloids.

  6. First record of protozoan parasites, Tetrahymena rostrata and Callimastix equi from the edible oyster in Sundarbans region of West Bengal, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Tanima; Bandyopadhyay, Probir Kumar

    2016-09-01

    Several protozoan parasites have been found infecting the edible oysters, hence deteriorating the meat quality. Protozoan parasites such as, Tetrahymena rostrata and Callimastix equi infested the edible oyster in Sundarbans region, West Bengal, India, are first record from this region. Due to filter feeding habit of the organisms, oysters provides excellent ecological services in regard to efficient cleaning of infectious agents from surrounding water as a potential measure to improve water quality. However, these environmental benefits are associated with public heath risks from contaminated oysters intended for human consumption.

  7. Molecular players of homologous recombination in protozoan parasites: implications for generating antigenic variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Mrinal Kanti; Norris, Douglas E; Kumar, Nirbhay

    2004-06-01

    A major impediment to vaccine development against infections caused by protozoan parasites such as Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma is the extraordinary ability of these parasites to rapidly change their surface molecules, a phenomenon known as antigenic variation. A prominent determinant of antigenic variation in these organisms is associated with rearrangements of genes, especially those known as var in P. falciparum and vsg in Trypanosoma. However, mechanisms underlying generation of anitgenic diversities among these protozoan parasites are poorly understood. The hypothesis that links all the different sections in this review is that antigenic variations in the protozoan parasites is coupled with genetic rearrangements, which occur during the course of DNA break repair. Here, we provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Rad51 in these organisms, an eukaryotic homologue of bacterial RecA, and homologous recombination mechanisms. In trypanosomes both Rad51-dependent and -independent mechanisms have been suggested to play roles in antigenic variation. Finally, we speculate on how might similar DNA repair mechanisms contribute to genetic rearrangement associated with antigenic variation in the apicomplexan Plasmodium parasites, an immune evasion strategy.

  8. Protozoan parasites of four species of wild anurans from a local zoo in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammad, K N; Badrul, M M; Mohamad, N; Zainal-Abidin, A H

    2013-12-01

    The parasitic protozoan fauna in sixty-six anurans comprising of Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Phrynoidis juxtaspera, Hylarana erythraea and Polypedates leucomystax collected from Zoo Negara Malaysia was investigated. The distribution and prevalence rate of parasitic species in the digestive tract and blood were examined. Seven species of intestinal protozoa (Opalina ranarum, Cepedea dimidiata, Nycthetorus cordiformis, Entamoeba ranarum, Iodamoeba butschlii, Endamoeba blattae, and Tritrichomonas sp.) and two species of blood protozoa (Lankesterella sp. and Trypanosoma sp.) were recorded. Opalina ranarum was the most common protozoan found in the rectum and intestine (prevalence rate: 34.8%) infecting all host species, with P. juxtaspera heavily infected with the parasite, whereas Tritrichomonas sp. was the least prevalent intestinal species infecting only D. melanostictus. Both Lankesterella sp. and Trypanosoma sp. were found in the blood of H. erythraea.

  9. Waterborne transmission of protozoan parasites: review of worldwide outbreaks - an update 2004-2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldursson, Selma; Karanis, Panagiotis

    2011-12-15

    The present update gives a comprehensive review of worldwide waterborne parasitic protozoan outbreaks that occurred and were published globally between January 2004 and December 2010. At least one hundred and ninety-nine outbreaks of human diseases due to the waterborne transmission of parasitic protozoa occurred and were reported during the time period from 2004 to 2010. 46.7% of the documented outbreaks occurred on the Australian continent, 30.6% in North America and 16.5% in Europe. Cryptosporidium spp. was the etiological agent in 60.3% (120) of the outbreaks, Giardia lamblia in 35.2% (70) and other protozoa in 4.5% (9). Four outbreaks (2%) were caused by Toxoplasma gondii, three (1.5%) by Cyclospora cayetanensis. In two outbreaks (1%) Acanthamoeba spp. was identified as the causative agent. In one outbreak, G. lamblia (in 17.6% of stool samples) and Cryptosporidium parvum (in 2.7% of stool samples) as well as Entamoeba histolytica (in 9.4% of stool samples) and Blastocystis hominis (in 8.1% of stool samples) were detected. In those countries that are likely affected most a lack of surveillance systems is noticeable. However, countries that established surveillance systems did not establish an international standardization of reporting systems.

  10. New drug target in protozoan parasites: the role of thioredoxin reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Rosa M; Reed, Sharon L

    2015-01-01

    Amebiasis causes approximately 70,000 deaths annually and is the third cause of death due to parasites worldwide. It is treated primarily with metronidazole, which has adverse side effects, is mutagenic and carcinogenic, and emergence of resistance is an increasing concern. Unfortunately, better therapeutic alternatives are lacking. Re-purposing of older FDA approved drugs is advantageous to drug discovery since safety and pharmacokinetic effects in humans are already known. In high throughput screening studies, we recently demonstrated that auranofin, a gold containing compound originally approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, has activity against trophozoites of E. histolytica, the causative agent of amebiasis. Auranofin's anti-parasitic activity is attributed to its monovalent gold molecule that readily inhibits E. histolytica thioredoxin reductase. This anti-oxidant enzyme is the only thiol-dependent flavo-reductase present in E. histolytica. Auranofin has also shown promising activity against other protozoans of significant public health importance. Altogether, this evidence suggests that auranofin has the potential to become a broad spectrum alternative therapeutic agent for diseases with a large global burden.

  11. A transposon toolkit for gene transfer and mutagenesis in protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damasceno, Jeziel D; Beverley, Stephen M; Tosi, Luiz R O

    2010-03-01

    Protozoan parasites affect millions of people around the world. Treatment and control of these diseases are complicated partly due to the intricate biology of these organisms. The interactions of species of Plasmodium, Leishmania and trypanosomes with their hosts are mediated by an unusual control of gene expression that is not fully understood. The availability of the genome sequence of these protozoa sets the stage for using more comprehensive, genome-wide strategies to study gene function. Transposons are effective tools for the systematic introduction of genetic alterations and different transposition systems have been adapted to study gene function in these human pathogens. A mariner transposon toolkit for use in vivo or in vitro in Leishmania parasites has been developed and can be used in a variety of applications. These modified mariner elements not only permit the inactivation of genes, but also mediate the rescue of translational gene fusions, bringing a major contribution to the investigation of Leishmania gene function. The piggyBac and Tn5 transposons have also been shown to mobilize across Plasmodium spp. genomes circumventing the current limitations in the genetic manipulation of these organisms.

  12. New drug target in protozoan parasites: the role of thioredoxin reductase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosa M. Andrade

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Amebiasis causes approximately 70,000 deaths annually and is the third cause of death due to parasites worldwide. It is treated primarily with metronidazole, which has adverse side effects, is mutagenic and carcinogenic, and emergence of resistance is an increasing concern. Unfortunately, better therapeutic alternatives are lacking. Re-purposing of older FDA approved drugs is advantageous to drug discovery since safety and pharmacokinetic effects in humans are already known. In high throughput screening studies, we recently demonstrated that auranofin, a gold containing compound originally approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis, has activity against trophozoites of E. histolytica, the causative agent of amebiasis. Auranofin’s anti-parasitic activity is attributed to its monovalent gold molecule that readily inhibits E.histolytica thioredoxin reductase. This anti-oxidant enzyme is the only thiol-dependent flavo-reductase present in E.histolytica. Auranofin has also shown promising activity against other protozoans of significant public health importance. Altogether, this evidence suggests that auranofin has the potential to become a broad spectrum alternative therapeutic agent for diseases with a large global burden.

  13. Cupiennin 1a exhibits a remarkably broad, non-stereospecific cytolytic activity on bacteria, protozoan parasites, insects, and human cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Willems, Jean; Seebeck, Thomas; Shalaby, Tarek; Kaiser, Marcel; Nentwig, Wolfgang

    2011-01-01

    Cupiennin 1a, a cytolytic peptide isolated from the venom of the spider Cupiennius salei, exhibits broad membranolytic activity towards bacteria, trypanosomes, and plasmodia, as well as human blood and cancer cells. In analysing the cytolytic activity of synthesised all-D: - and all-L: -cupiennin 1a towards pro- and eukaryotic cells, a stereospecific mode of membrane destruction could be excluded. The importance of negatively charged sialic acids on the outer leaflet of erythrocytes for the binding and haemolytic activity of L: -cupiennin 1a was demonstrated. Reducing the overall negative charges of erythrocytes by partially removing their sialic acids or by protecting them with tri- or pentalysine results in reduced haemolytic activity of the peptide.

  14. Regulation of RNA binding proteins in trypanosomatid protozoan parasites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    María Albertina Romaniuk; Gabriela Cervini; Alejandro Cassola

    2016-01-01

    Posttranscriptional mechanisms have a critical role in the overall outcome of gene expression. These mechanisms are especially relevant in protozoa from the genus Trypanosoma, which is composed by death threatening parasites affecting people in Sub-saharan Africa or in the Americas. In these parasites the classic view of regulation of transcription initiation to modulate the products of a given gene cannot be applied. This is due to the presence of transcription start sites that give rise to long polycistronic units that need to be processed costranscriptionally by trans-splicing and polyadenylation to give mature monocistronic mRNAs. Posttranscriptional mechanisms such as mRNA degradation and translational repression are responsible for the final synthesis of the required protein products. In this context, RNA-binding proteins(RBPs) in trypanosomes have a relevant role as modulators of mRNA abundance and translational repression by associating to the 3’ untranslated regions in mRNA. Many different RBPs have been proposed to modulate cohorts of mRNAs in trypanosomes. However, the current understanding of their functions lacks a dynamic view on the different steps at which these RBPs are regulated. Here, we discuss different evidences to propose regulatory events for different RBPs in these parasites. These events vary from regulated developmental expression, to biogenesis of cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein complexes in the nucleus, and condensation of RBPs and mRNA into large cytoplasmic granules. Finally, we discuss how newly identified posttranslational modifications of RBPs and mRNA metabolism-related proteins could have an enormous impact on the modulation of m RNA abundance. To understand these modifications is especially relevant in these parasites due to the fact that the enzymes involved could be interesting targets for drug therapy.

  15. Methods for parasitic protozoans detection in the environmental samples

    OpenAIRE

    Skotarczak B.

    2009-01-01

    The environmental route of transmission of many parasitic protozoa and their potential for producing large numbers of transmissive stages constitute persistent threats to public and veterinary health. Conventional and new immunological and molecular methods enable to assess the occurrence, prevalence, levels and sources of waterborne protozoa. Concentration, purification, and detection are the three key steps in all methods that have been approved for routine monitoring of waterborne cysts an...

  16. Regulation of RNA binding proteins in trypanosomatid protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romaniuk, María Albertina; Cervini, Gabriela; Cassola, Alejandro

    2016-02-26

    Posttranscriptional mechanisms have a critical role in the overall outcome of gene expression. These mechanisms are especially relevant in protozoa from the genus Trypanosoma, which is composed by death threatening parasites affecting people in Sub-saharan Africa or in the Americas. In these parasites the classic view of regulation of transcription initiation to modulate the products of a given gene cannot be applied. This is due to the presence of transcription start sites that give rise to long polycistronic units that need to be processed costranscriptionally by trans-splicing and polyadenylation to give mature monocistronic mRNAs. Posttranscriptional mechanisms such as mRNA degradation and translational repression are responsible for the final synthesis of the required protein products. In this context, RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) in trypanosomes have a relevant role as modulators of mRNA abundance and translational repression by associating to the 3' untranslated regions in mRNA. Many different RBPs have been proposed to modulate cohorts of mRNAs in trypanosomes. However, the current understanding of their functions lacks a dynamic view on the different steps at which these RBPs are regulated. Here, we discuss different evidences to propose regulatory events for different RBPs in these parasites. These events vary from regulated developmental expression, to biogenesis of cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein complexes in the nucleus, and condensation of RBPs and mRNA into large cytoplasmic granules. Finally, we discuss how newly identified posttranslational modifications of RBPs and mRNA metabolism-related proteins could have an enormous impact on the modulation of mRNA abundance. To understand these modifications is especially relevant in these parasites due to the fact that the enzymes involved could be interesting targets for drug therapy.

  17. New approaches for the identification of drug targets in protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Joachim; Hemphill, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Antiparasitic chemotherapy is an important issue for drug development. Traditionally, novel compounds with antiprotozoan activities have been identified by screening of compound libraries in high-throughput systems. More recently developed approaches employ target-based drug design supported by genomics and proteomics of protozoan parasites. In this chapter, the drug targets in protozoan parasites are reviewed. The gene-expression machinery has been among the first targets for antiparasitic drugs and is still under investigation as a target for novel compounds. Other targets include cytoskeletal proteins, proteins involved in intracellular signaling, membranes, and enzymes participating in intermediary metabolism. In apicomplexan parasites, the apicoplast is a suitable target for established and novel drugs. Some drugs act on multiple subcellular targets. Drugs with nitro groups generate free radicals under anaerobic growth conditions, and drugs with peroxide groups generate radicals under aerobic growth conditions, both affecting multiple cellular pathways. Mefloquine and thiazolides are presented as examples for antiprotozoan compounds with multiple (side) effects. The classic approach of drug discovery employing high-throughput physiological screenings followed by identification of drug targets has yielded the mainstream of current antiprotozoal drugs. Target-based drug design supported by genomics and proteomics of protozoan parasites has not produced any antiparasitic drug so far. The reason for this is discussed and a synthesis of both methods is proposed.

  18. Inferring host range dynamics from comparative data: the protozoan parasites of new world monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waxman, David; Weinert, Lucy A; Welch, John J

    2014-07-01

    Uncovering the ecological determinants of parasite host range is a central goal of comparative parasitology and infectious disease ecology. But while parasites are often distributed nonrandomly across the host phylogeny, such patterns are difficult to interpret without a genealogy for the parasite samples and without knowing what sorts of ecological dynamics might lead to what sorts of nonrandomness. We investigated inferences from comparative data, using presence/absence records from protozoan parasites of the New World monkeys. We first demonstrate several distinct types of phylogenetic signal in these data, showing, for example, that parasite species are clustered on the host tree and that closely related host species harbor similar numbers of parasite species. We then show that all of these patterns can be generated by a single, simple dynamical model, in which parasite host range changes more rapidly than host speciation/extinction and parasites preferentially colonize uninfected host species that are closely related to their existing hosts. Fitting this model to data, we then estimate its parameters. Finally, we caution that quite different ecological processes can lead to similar signatures but show how phylogenetic variation in host susceptibility can be distinguished from a tendency for parasites to colonize closely related hosts. Our new process-based analyses, which estimate meaningful parameters, should be useful for inferring the determinants of parasite host range and transmission success.

  19. Migratory dermal dendritic cells act as rapid sensors of protozoan parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lai Guan Ng

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Dendritic cells (DC, including those of the skin, act as sentinels for intruding microorganisms. In the epidermis, DC (termed Langerhans cells, LC are sessile and screen their microenvironment through occasional movements of their dendrites. The spatio-temporal orchestration of antigen encounter by dermal DC (DDC is not known. Since these cells are thought to be instrumental in the initiation of immune responses during infection, we investigated their behavior directly within their natural microenvironment using intravital two-photon microscopy. Surprisingly, we found that, under homeostatic conditions, DDC were highly motile, continuously crawling through the interstitial space in a Galpha(i protein-coupled receptor-dependent manner. However, within minutes after intradermal delivery of the protozoan parasite Leishmania major, DDC became immobile and incorporated multiple parasites into cytosolic vacuoles. Parasite uptake occurred through the extension of long, highly dynamic pseudopods capable of tracking and engulfing parasites. This was then followed by rapid dendrite retraction towards the cell body. DDC were proficient at discriminating between parasites and inert particles, and parasite uptake was independent of the presence of neutrophils. Together, our study has visualized the dynamics and microenvironmental context of parasite encounter by an innate immune cell subset during the initiation of the immune response. Our results uncover a unique migratory tissue surveillance program of DDC that ensures the rapid detection of pathogens.

  20. Waterborne transmission of protozoan parasites: Review of worldwide outbreaks - An update 2011-2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efstratiou, Artemis; Ongerth, Jerry E; Karanis, Panagiotis

    2017-01-25

    This review provides a comprehensive update of worldwide waterborne parasitic protozoan outbreaks that occurred with reports published since previous reviews largely between January 2011 and December 2016. At least 381 outbreaks attributed to waterborne transmission of parasitic protozoa were documented during this time period. The nearly half (49%) of reports occurred in New Zealand, 41% of the outbreaks in North America and 9% in Europe. The most common etiological agent was Cryptosporidium spp., reported in 63% (239) of the outbreaks, while Giardia spp. was mentioned in 37% (142). No outbreaks attributed to other parasitic protozoa were reported. The distribution of reported outbreaks does not correspond to more broadly available epidemiological data or general knowledge of water and environmental conditions in the reporting countries. Noticeably, developing countries that are probably most affected by such waterborne disease outbreaks still lack reliable surveillance systems, and an international standardization of surveillance and reporting systems has yet to be established.

  1. Community of protozoans and metazoans parasitizing Auchenipterus nuchalis (Auchenipteridae, a catfish from the Brazilian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Tavares Dias

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the first study on parasite diversity in Auchenipterus nuchalis Spix & Agassiz, 1829 (Auchenipteridae. In 31 fish caught in a tributary of the Amazon River, 10,708 parasites were collected, such as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, Piscinoodinium pilullare, Cosmetocleithrum striatuli, metacercariae of Posthodiplostomum sp, and larvae and adults of Procamallanus (Spirocamallanus inopinatus. These parasite species showed aggregated dispersion, except for C. striatuli, which had a uniform dispersion. The component community of parasites showed a low Brillouin diversity (0.67 ± 0.27, low species richness (3.5 ± 0.8 and low evenness (0.43 ± 0.17, and it was characterized by the presence of species with high prevalence and abundance. Protozoan species were the prevalent parasites, which may be a consequence of the host’s mode of life, while the low presence of endoparasites in A. nuchalis suggests that this fish may occupy an intermediate trophic level in the food web. These data represent the first record of such parasite species for this host.

  2. Role of the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor signaling pathway in host resistance and pathogenesis during infection with protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazzinelli, Ricardo T; Ropert, Catherine; Campos, Marco A

    2004-10-01

    Different studies have illustrated the activation of the innate immune system during infection with protozoan parasites. Experiments performed in vivo also support the notion that innate immunity has a crucial role in resistance as well as pathogenesis observed during protozoan infections such as malaria, leishmaniasis, toxoplasmosis, and trypanosomiasis. While major advances have been made in the assignment of bacterial molecules as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) agonists as well as defining the role of the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) signaling pathway in host resistance to bacterial infection, this research area is now emerging in the field of protozoan parasites. In this review, we discuss the recent studies describing parasite molecules as TLR agonists and those studies indicating the essential role of the TIR-domain bearing molecule named myeloid differentiation factor 88 in host resistance to infection with protozoan parasites. Together, these studies support the hypothesis that the TIR signaling pathway is involved in the initial recognition of protozoan parasites by the immune system of the vertebrate host, early resistance to infection, development of acquired immunity, as well as pathology observed during acute infection with this class of pathogens.

  3. Evaluation of five commercial methods for the extraction and purification of DNA from human faecal samples for downstream molecular detection of the enteric protozoan parasites Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, and Entamoeba spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulos, Silvia; Mateo, Marta; de Lucio, Aida; Hernández-de Mingo, Marta; Bailo, Begoña; Saugar, José M; Cardona, Guillermo A; Fuentes, Isabel; Mateo, María; Carmena, David

    2016-08-01

    High quality, pure DNA is required for ensuring reliable and reproducible results in molecular diagnosis applications. A number of in-house and commercial methods are available for the extraction and purification of genomic DNA from faecal material, each one offering a specific combination of performance, cost-effectiveness, and easiness of use that should be conveniently evaluated in function of the pathogen of interest. In this comparative study the marketed kits QIAamp DNA stool mini (Qiagen), SpeedTools DNA extraction (Biotools), DNAExtract-VK (Vacunek), PowerFecal DNA isolation (MoBio), and Wizard magnetic DNA purification system (Promega Corporation) were assessed for their efficacy in obtaining DNA of the most relevant enteric protozoan parasites associated to gastrointestinal disease globally. A panel of 113 stool specimens of clinically confirmed patients with cryptosporidiosis (n=29), giardiasis (n=47) and amoebiasis by Entamoeba histolytica (n=3) or E. dispar (n=10) and apparently healthy subjects (n=24) were used for this purpose. Stool samples were aliquoted in five sub-samples and individually processed by each extraction method evaluated. Purified DNA samples were subsequently tested in PCR-based assays routinely used in our laboratory. The five compared methods yielded amplifiable amounts of DNA of the pathogens tested, although performance differences were observed among them depending on the parasite and the infection burden. Methods combining chemical, enzymatic and/or mechanical lysis procedures at temperatures of at least 56°C were proven more efficient for the release of DNA from Cryptosporidium oocysts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. In Silico Elucidation and Inhibition Studies of Selected Phytoligands Against Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases of Protozoan Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Chhedi Lal; Akhtar, Salman; Kumar, Nilesh; Ali, Jasarat; Pathak, Neelam; Bajpai, Preeti

    2016-03-01

    Parasitic MAPKs exhibiting significant divergence with humans and playing an imperative role in parasitic metabolic activities have been exploited from several years as important targets for development of novel therapeutics. In addition, the emergence of the drug-resistant variants of parasitic diseases in the recent years has aroused a great need for the development of potent inhibitors against them. In the present study, we selected the metabolically active MAPKs LmxMPK4, PfMAP2 and TbMAPK5 of the three parasitic protozoans Leishmania mexicana, Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma brucei, respectively. The homology modeling technique was used to develop the 3D structures of these proteins, and the same was validated by PROCHECK, ERRAT, ProQ and ProSA web servers to check the reliability. Ten phytoligands were employed for molecular docking studies with these proteins to search for potent phytoligand as a broad spectrum inhibitor. In this regard, two phytoligands (aspidocarpine for LmxMPK4 and TbMAPK5 and cubebin for PfMAP2) were found to be more effective inhibitors, in terms of robust binding energy, strong inhibition constant and better interactions between protein-ligand complexes. Furthermore, predicted ADME and toxicity properties suggested that these identified phytoligands exhibited comparable results to control drugs potentiating them as persuasive therapeutic agents for Leishmania, Trypanosoma and Plasmodium sp.

  5. An Agar-Based Method for Plating Marine Protozoan Parasites of the Genus Perkinsus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma R Cold

    Full Text Available The genus Perkinsus includes protozoan parasites of mollusks responsible for losses in the aquaculture industry and hampering the recovery of natural shellfish beds worldwide, and they are a key taxon for understanding intracellular parasitism adaptations. The ability to propagate the parasite in liquid media, in the absence of the host, has been crucial for improving understanding of its biology; however, alternative techniques to grow the parasite are needed to explore other basic aspects of the Perkinsus spp. biology. We optimized a DME: Ham's F12-5% FBS- containing solid agar medium for plating Perkinsus marinus. This solid medium supported trophozoite propagation both by binary fission and schizogony. Colonies were visible to the naked eye 17 days after plating. We tested the suitability of this method for several applications, including the following: 1 Subcloning P. marinus isolates: single discrete P. marinus colonies were obtained from DME: Ham's F12-5% FBS- 0.75% agar plates, which could be further propagated in liquid medium; 2 Subcloning engineered Perkinsus mediterraneus MOE[MOE]: GFP by streaking cultures on plates; 3 Chemical susceptibility: Infusing the DME: Ham's F12-5% FBS- 0.75% agar plates with triclosan resulted in inhibition of the parasite propagation in a dose-dependent manner. Altogether, our plating method has the potential for becoming a key tool for investigating diverse aspects of Perkinsus spp. biology, developing new molecular tools, and for biotechnological applications.

  6. Protozoan and metazoan parasites of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus cultured in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanderson Pantoja MF

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective. This study describes the parasitic fauna and relative condition factor (Kn in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus L. (Cichlidae from fish farms in the State of Amapá. Material and methods. 123 fish from four fish farms in the state of Amapá, Brazil were necropsied for parasitological and Kn analysis. Results. 64.2% of the examined fish, had the gills infected with Cichlidogyrus tilapiae Paperna, 1960 (Monogenoidea: Dactylogyridae; Ichthyophthirius multifiliis Fouquet, 1876 (Protozoa: Ciliophora, Trichodina Ehrenberg, 1830 and Paratrichodina africana Kazubski & El-Tantawy, 1986 (Protozoa: Trichodinidae. The highest prevalence found corresponded to Monogenoidea C. tilapiae while the lowest corresponded to Trichodinidae. However, I. multifiliis was the parasite that presented the greatest intensity and abundance. The differences found in the infection rates of the different fish farms due to causes further discussed. The parasitism did not influence the relative condition factor (Kn of fish. This was the first record of P. africana in Brazil and occurred in the Eastern Amazon. Conclusions. In Brazil, Lamproglena sp. is an emerging parasite in the Southern and Southeastern regions, but this crustacean was not found in the Nile tilapia in the State of Amapá. The parasitic infections in Nile tilapia farmed in Brazil are caused by protozoan, monogenoidea, crustacea and digenea species, and the regional differences on their prevalence and intensity rates are discussed in this study.

  7. An Agar-Based Method for Plating Marine Protozoan Parasites of the Genus Perkinsus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cold, Emma R; Freyria, Nastasia J; Martínez Martínez, Joaquín; Fernández Robledo, José A

    2016-01-01

    The genus Perkinsus includes protozoan parasites of mollusks responsible for losses in the aquaculture industry and hampering the recovery of natural shellfish beds worldwide, and they are a key taxon for understanding intracellular parasitism adaptations. The ability to propagate the parasite in liquid media, in the absence of the host, has been crucial for improving understanding of its biology; however, alternative techniques to grow the parasite are needed to explore other basic aspects of the Perkinsus spp. biology. We optimized a DME: Ham's F12-5% FBS- containing solid agar medium for plating Perkinsus marinus. This solid medium supported trophozoite propagation both by binary fission and schizogony. Colonies were visible to the naked eye 17 days after plating. We tested the suitability of this method for several applications, including the following: 1) Subcloning P. marinus isolates: single discrete P. marinus colonies were obtained from DME: Ham's F12-5% FBS- 0.75% agar plates, which could be further propagated in liquid medium; 2) Subcloning engineered Perkinsus mediterraneus MOE[MOE]: GFP by streaking cultures on plates; 3) Chemical susceptibility: Infusing the DME: Ham's F12-5% FBS- 0.75% agar plates with triclosan resulted in inhibition of the parasite propagation in a dose-dependent manner. Altogether, our plating method has the potential for becoming a key tool for investigating diverse aspects of Perkinsus spp. biology, developing new molecular tools, and for biotechnological applications.

  8. Ecto-phosphatases in protozoan parasites: possible roles in nutrition, growth and ROS sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cosentino-Gomes, Daniela; Meyer-Fernandes, José Roberto

    2011-02-01

    The cellular plasma membrane contains enzymes whose active sites face the external medium rather than the cytoplasm. The activities of these enzymes, referred to as ecto-enzymes, can be measured using living cells. Ecto-phosphatases are ecto-enzymes that presumably hydrolyze extracellular phosphorylated substrates, releasing free inorganic phosphate. Although, several alternative functions have been suggested for these enzymes, such as participation in proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, virulence, and infection, little is known about the physiological roles of these enzymes in protozoa parasites. In this review, we discuss the principal features of ecto-phosphatases in protozoan parasites that are causative agents of important diseases such as Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis, amoebiasis, giardiasis, trichomoniasis and, sleeping sickness.

  9. Immune response in the adipose tissue of lean mice infected with the protozoan parasite Neospora caninum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Luzia; Moreira, João; Melo, Joana; Bezerra, Filipa; Marques, Raquel M; Ferreirinha, Pedro; Correia, Alexandra; Monteiro, Mariana P; Ferreira, Paula G; Vilanova, Manuel

    2015-06-01

    The adipose tissue can make important contributions to immune function. Nevertheless, only a limited number of reports have investigated in lean hosts the immune response elicited in this tissue upon infection. Previous studies suggested that the intracellular protozoan Neospora caninum might affect adipose tissue physiology. Therefore, we investigated in mice challenged with this protozoan if immune cell populations within adipose tissue of different anatomical locations could be differently affected. Early in infection, parasites were detected in the adipose tissue and by 7 days of infection increased numbers of macrophages, regulatory T (Treg) cells and T-bet(+) cells were observed in gonadal, mesenteric, omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Increased expression of interferon-γ was also detected in gonadal adipose tissue of infected mice. Two months after infection, parasite DNA was no longer detected in these tissues, but T helper type 1 (Th1) cell numbers remained above control levels in the infected mice. Moreover, the Th1/Treg cell ratio was higher than that of controls in the mesenteric and subcutaneous adipose tissue. Interestingly, chronically infected mice presented a marked increase of serum leptin, a molecule that plays a role in energy balance regulation as well as in promoting Th1-type immune responses. Altogether, we show that an apicomplexa parasitic infection influences immune cellular composition of adipose tissue throughout the body as well as adipokine production, still noticed at a chronic phase of infection when parasites were already cleared from that particular tissue. This strengthens the emerging view that infections can have long-term consequences for the physiology of adipose tissue.

  10. A Historical Overview of Research on Babesia orientalis, a Protozoan Parasite Infecting Water Buffalo

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    Lan He

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Babesiosis is a globally important zoonotic disease caused by tick-borne intraerythrocytic protozoan of the genus Babesia (phylum apicomplexa. In China, there are five species that infect cattle buffalo and cause great economic loss, which include Babesia bigemina, B. bovis, B. major, B. ovata, and B. orientalis. Among them, B. orientalis is the most recently identified new Babesia species epidemic in China. This review summarized the work done in the past 33 years to give an overview of what learned about this parasite. This parasitic protozoan was found in 1984 in Central and South China and then named as B. orientalis in 1997 based on its differences in transmitting host, morphology, pathogenicity and characteristics of in vitro cultivation when compared with B. bigemina and B. bovis. It was found that Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides is the transmitting vector and water buffalo is the only reported host. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 18S rRNA gene also confirmed that B. orientalis is a new species. After species verification, four diagnostic methods including semi-nest PCR, loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay, reverse line blot hybridization assay, and real-time PCR were established for lab and field use purposes. Genomic sequencing was conducted and the complete genomes of mitochondria and apicoplast were annotated. Future work will be focused on developing effective vaccines, identifying drug targets and screening useful drugs for controlling B. orientalis in water buffalo.

  11. A Comparative Study of the Common Protozoan Parasites of Clarias gariepinus from the Wild and Cultured Environments in Benue State, Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omeji, S; Solomon, S G; Idoga, E S

    2011-01-01

    A total of one hundred and twenty Clarias gariepinus comprising 30 dead and 30 live fishes were examined for protozoan parasites infestation, sixty each from the wild and a pond (cultured environment) over a period of six months. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis was the most common protozoan parasites found in C. gariepinus from the wild (River Benue) and cultured (pond) environments. These protozoan parasites constitute 37.08% of the total parasites encountered for fishes in the pond and 42.51% of fishes in the wild. Among the body parts of the sampled fishes from the pond, the gills had the highest parasite load (38.86%). Also, the gills had the highest parasite load (40.54%) among the body parts of the fishes sampled from the wild. Fishes not infested with any protozoan parasites from the pond constituted 36.70% of the total fish sampled. On the other hand, fishes not infested with any protozoan parasites from the wild constituted 31.65% of the total fish sampled. Female fishes had more protozoan parasites than the male fishes. Bigger fishes of total length (25-48 cm) had more parasite load than the smaller ones (19-24 cm). Also, fishes between 150-750 g had more parasite load than the smaller ones of less than 150 g. Protozoan parasite load of fish from the cultured environment (pond) did not differ significantly (P < 0.05) from those from River Benue (wild).

  12. In vitro analysis of the TAT protein transduction domain as a drug delivery vehicle in protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin Lee, Stephanie Hui; Jefferies, Ryan; Watt, Paul; Hopkins, Richard; Sotzik, Frank; Reid, Simon; Armson, Anthony; Boxell, Annika; Ryan, Una

    2008-03-01

    The present study was undertaken to analyse the capability of HIV-1 derived TAT protein transduction domain (PTD) fused with Green Fluorescent Protein (TAT-GFP) as a delivery vehicle into a range of protozoan parasites. Successful transduction of native purified TAT-GFP was observed by fluorescent microscopy in Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia duodenalis, and Neospora caninum. The ability to transduce peptides and other cargo into protozoan parasites, will greatly assist in the delivery of future peptide-based drugs and target validation peptides.

  13. Growth of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica in 5-azacytidine has limited effects on parasite gene expression

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    Hackney Jason A

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In higher eukaryotes DNA methylation regulates important biological functions including silencing of gene expression and protection from adverse effects of retrotransposons. In the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, a DNA methyltransferase has been identified and treatment with 5-azacytidine (5-AzaC, a potent inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase, has been reported to attenuate parasite virulence. However, the overall extent of DNA methylation and its subsequent effects on global gene expression in this parasite are currently unknown. Results In order to identify the genome-wide effects of DNA methylation in E. histolytica, we used a short oligonucleotide microarray representing 9,435 genes (~95% of all annotated amebic genes and compared the expression profile of E. histolytica HM-1:IMSS parasites with those treated with 23 μM 5-AzaC for up to one week. Overall, 2.1% of genes tested were transcriptionally modulated under these conditions. 68 genes were upregulated and 131 genes down regulated (2-fold change; p-value E. histolytica: (i genes that were endogenously silenced by genomic DNA methylation and for which 5-AzaC treatment induced transcriptional de-repression, and (ii genes that have genomic DNA methylation, but which were not endogenously silenced by the methylation. We identified among the genes down regulated by 5-AzaC treatment a cysteine proteinase (2.m00545 and lysozyme (52.m00148 both of which have known roles in amebic pathogenesis. Decreased expression of these genes in the 5-AzaC treated E. histolytica may account in part for the parasites reduced cytolytic abilities. Conclusion This work represents the first genome-wide analysis of DNA-methylation in Entamoeba histolytica and indicates that DNA methylation has relatively limited effects on gene expression in this parasite.

  14. Role of the Gut Microbiota of Children in Diarrhea Due to the Protozoan Parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilchrist, Carol A; Petri, Sarah E; Schneider, Brittany N; Reichman, Daniel J; Jiang, Nona; Begum, Sharmin; Watanabe, Koji; Jansen, Caroline S; Elliott, K Pamela; Burgess, Stacey L; Ma, Jennie Z; Alam, Masud; Kabir, Mamun; Haque, Rashidul; Petri, William A

    2016-05-15

    An estimated 1 million children die each year before their fifth birthday from diarrhea. Previous population-based surveys of pediatric diarrheal diseases have identified the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, the etiological agent of amebiasis, as one of the causes of moderate-to-severe diarrhea in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. We prospectively studied the natural history of E. histolytica colonization and diarrhea among infants in an urban slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Approximately 80% of children were infected with E. histolytica by the age of 2 years. Fecal anti-galactose/N-acetylgalactosamine lectin immunoglobulin A was associated with protection from reinfection, while a high parasite burden and expansion of the Prevotella copri level was associated with diarrhea. E. histolytica infection was prevalent in this population, with most infections asymptomatic and diarrhea associated with both the amount of parasite and the composition of the microbiota. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

  15. Epigenome mapping highlights chromatin-mediated gene regulation in the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Min-Ji; Kim, Mikyoung; Choi, Yeeun; Yi, Myung-hee; Kim, Juri; Park, Soon-Jung; Yong, Tai-Soon; Kim, Hyoung-Pyo

    2017-01-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is an extracellular flagellated protozoan parasite that causes trichomoniasis, one of the most common non-viral sexually transmitted diseases. To survive and to maintain infection, T. vaginalis adapts to a hostile host environment by regulating gene expression. However, the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation are poorly understood for this parasite. Histone modification has a marked effect on chromatin structure and directs the recruitment of transcriptional machinery, thereby regulating essential cellular processes. In this study, we aimed to outline modes of chromatin-mediated gene regulation in T. vaginalis. Inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) alters global transcriptional responses and induces hyperacetylation of histones and hypermethylation of H3K4. Analysis of the genome of T. vaginalis revealed that a number of enzymes regulate histone modification, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms are important to controlling gene expression in this organism. Additionally, we describe the genome-wide localization of two histone H3 modifications (H3K4me3 and H3K27Ac), which we found to be positively associated with active gene expression in both steady and dynamic transcriptional states. These results provide the first direct evidence that histone modifications play an essential role in transcriptional regulation of T. vaginalis, and may help guide future epigenetic research into therapeutic intervention strategies against this parasite. PMID:28345651

  16. Role of extracellular nucleotides in the immune response against intracellular bacteria and protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutinho-Silva, Robson; Ojcius, David M

    2012-11-01

    Extracellular nucleotides are danger signals involved in recognition and control of intracellular pathogens. They are an important component of the innate immune response against intracellular pathogens, inducing the recruitment of inflammatory cells, stimulating secretion of cytokines, and producing inflammatory mediators such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO). In the case of extracellular ATP, some of the immune responses are mediated through activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and secretion of the cytokine, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), through a mechanism dependent on ligation of the P2X7 receptor. Here we review the role of extracellular nucleotides as sensors of intracellular bacteria and protozoan parasites, and discuss how these pathogens manipulate purinergic signaling to diminish the immune response against infection.

  17. Generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags from the ciliate protozoan parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis

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    Arias Covadonga

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ciliate protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich is an important parasite of freshwater fish that causes 'white spot disease' leading to significant losses. A genomic resource for large-scale studies of this parasite has been lacking. To study gene expression involved in Ich pathogenesis and virulence, our goal was to generate expressed sequence tags (ESTs for the development of a powerful microarray platform for the analysis of global gene expression in this species. Here, we initiated a project to sequence and analyze over 10,000 ESTs. Results We sequenced 10,368 EST clones using a normalized cDNA library made from pooled samples of the trophont, tomont, and theront life-cycle stages, and generated 9,769 sequences (94.2% success rate. Post-sequencing processing led to 8,432 high quality sequences. Clustering analysis of these ESTs allowed identification of 4,706 unique sequences containing 976 contigs and 3,730 singletons. These unique sequences represent over two million base pairs (~10% of Plasmodium falciparum genome, a phylogenetically related protozoan. BLASTX searches produced 2,518 significant (E-value -5 hits and further Gene Ontology (GO analysis annotated 1,008 of these genes. The ESTs were analyzed comparatively against the genomes of the related protozoa Tetrahymena thermophila and P. falciparum, allowing putative identification of additional genes. All the EST sequences were deposited by dbEST in GenBank (GenBank: EG957858–EG966289. Gene discovery and annotations are presented and discussed. Conclusion This set of ESTs represents a significant proportion of the Ich transcriptome, and provides a material basis for the development of microarrays useful for gene expression studies concerning Ich development, pathogenesis, and virulence.

  18. Studies evaluating the applicability of utilizing the same concentration techniques for the detection of protozoan parasites and viruses in water

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Kfir, R

    1995-01-01

    Full Text Available was studied using tap water seeded with Giardia muris cysts and compared to methods designed for the detection of protozoan parasites. Recovery of cysts utilizing 1.2 mu m membrane filters was 11.1% (4.5-23%) compared to 11.6% (2.7-25.5%) with ultra...

  19. Untranslated regions of mRNA and their role in regulation of gene expression in protozoan parasites

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    SHILPA J RAO; SANGEETA CHATTERJEE; JAYANTA K PAL

    2017-03-01

    Protozoan parasites are one of the oldest living entities in this world that throughout their existence have shown excellentresilience to the odds of survival and have adapted beautifully to ever changing rigors of the environment. In view of thedynamic environment encountered by them throughout their life cycle, and in establishing pathogenesis, it is unsurprisingthat modulation of gene expression plays a fundamental role in their survival. In higher eukaryotes, untranslated regions(UTRs) of transcripts are one of the crucial regulators of gene expression (influencing mRNA stability and translationefficiency). Parasitic protozoan genome studies have led to the characterization (in silico, in vitro and in vivo) of a largenumber of their genes. Comparison of higher eukaryotic UTRs with parasitic protozoan UTRs reveals the existence ofseveral similar and dissimilar facets of the UTRs. This review focuses on the elements of UTRs of medically importantprotozoan parasites and their regulatory role in gene expression. Such information may be useful to researchers in designinggene targeting strategies linked with perturbation of host-parasite relationships leading to control of specific parasites.

  20. 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.

  1. Tudor domain proteins in protozoan parasites and characterization of Plasmodium falciparum tudor staphylococcal nuclease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hossain, Manzar J; Korde, Reshma; Singh, Shivani; Mohmmed, Asif; Dasaradhi, P V N; Chauhan, V S; Malhotra, Pawan

    2008-04-01

    RNA-binding proteins play key roles in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. In eukaryotic cells, a multitude of RNA-binding proteins with several RNA-binding domains/motifs have been described. Here, we show the existence of two Tudor domain containing proteins, a survival of motor neuron (SMN)-like protein and a Staphylococcus aureus nuclease homologue referred to as TSN, in Plasmodium and other protozoan parasites. Activity analysis shows that Plasmodium falciparum TSN (PfTSN) possesses nuclease activity and Tudor domain is the RNA-binding domain. A specific inhibitor of micrococcal nucleases, 3',5'-deoxythymidine bisphosphate (pdTp) inhibits the nuclease as well as RNA-binding activities of the protein. PfTSN shows a predominant nuclear localization. Treatment of P. falciparum with pdTp, inhibited in vitro growth of both chloroquine-sensitive and chloroquine-resistant strains of P. falciparum, while a four fold concentration of pdTp did not have any significant effect on the mammalian cell line, Huh-7D12. Altogether, these results suggest that PfTSN is an essential enzyme in the parasite's life cycle.

  2. Molecular detection of protozoan parasites infecting Apis mellifera colonies in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Yang, Bu; Peng, Guangda; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2013-02-01

    The role of protozoan parasites in honey bee health and distribution in the world is not well understood. Therefore, we carried out a molecular survey for the presence of Crithidia mellificae and Apicystis bombi in the colonies of both non-native Apis mellifera and native Apis cerana japonica in Japan. We found that A. mellifera, but not A. c. japonica, colonies are parasitized with C. mellificae and A. bombi. Their absence in A. c. japonica colonies indicates that A. mellifera is their native host. Nevertheless, the prevalence in A. mellifera colonies is low compared with other pathogens such as viruses and Nosema microsporidia. Japanese C. mellificae isolates share well-conserved nuclear-encoded gene sequences with Swiss and US isolates. We have found two Japanese haplotypes (A and B) with two nucleotide differences in the kinetoplast-encoded cytochrome b sequence. The haplotype A is identical to Swiss isolate. These results demonstrate that C. mellificae and A. bombi distribute in Asia, Oceania, Europe, and South and North Americas.

  3. Characterization of cytosine methylated regions and 5-cytosine DNA methyltransferase (Ehmeth) in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Ohad; Siman-Tov, Rama; Ankri, Serge

    2004-01-01

    The DNA methylation status of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica was heretofore unknown. In the present study, we developed a new technique, based on the affinity of methylated DNA to 5-methylcytosine antibodies, to identify methylated DNA in this parasite. Ribosomal DNA and ribosomal DNA circles were isolated by this method and we confirmed the validity of our approach by sodium bisulfite sequencing. We also report the identification and the characterization of a gene, Ehmeth, encoding a DNA methyltransferase strongly homologous to the human DNA methyltransferase 2 (Dnmt2). Immunofluorescence microscopy using an antibody raised against a recombinant Ehmeth showed that Ehmeth is concentrated in the nuclei of trophozoites. The recombinant Ehmeth has a weak but significant methyltransferase activity when E.histolytica genomic DNA is used as substrate. 5-Azacytidine (5-AzaC), an inhibitor of DNA methyltransferase, was used to study in vivo the role of DNA methylation in E.histolytica. Genomic DNA of trophozoites grown with 5-AzaC (23 microM) was undermethylated and the ability of 5-AzaC-treated trophozoites to kill mammalian cells or to cause liver abscess in hamsters was strongly impaired.

  4. Parasites and human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, George H

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of human evolutionary and population history can be advanced by ecological and evolutionary studies of our parasites. Many parasites flourish only in the presence of very specific human behaviors and in specific habitats, are wholly dependent on us, and have evolved with us for thousands or millions of years. Therefore, by asking when and how we first acquired those parasites, under which environmental and cultural conditions we are the most susceptible, and how the parasites have evolved and adapted to us and we in response to them, we can gain considerable insight into our own evolutionary history. As examples, the tapeworm life cycle is dependent on our consumption of meat, the divergence of body and head lice may have been subsequent to the development of clothing, and malaria hyperendemicity may be associated with agriculture. Thus, the evolutionary and population histories of these parasites are likely intertwined with critical aspects of human biology and culture. Here I review the mechanics of these and multiple other parasite proxies for human evolutionary history and discuss how they currently complement our fossil, archeological, molecular, linguistic, historical, and ethnographic records. I also highlight potential future applications of this promising model for the field of evolutionary anthropology.

  5. 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.

  6. Survey on the Ability of Wolbachia to Control Human Viral, Protozoan, and Filarial Disease Pathogens

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    Garedaghi Yagoob

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Most human filarial nematode parasites and arthropods are hosts for a bacterial endosymbiont, Wolbachia. In filariasis, Wolbachia are required for normal development, fertility, and survival. However, in arthropods, Wolbachia are largely parasitic and can influence development and reproduction, but are generally not required for host survival. Materials and Methods: Due to their obligate nature in filarial parasites, Wolbachia have been a target for drug discovery initiatives using several approaches including diversity and focused library screening and genomic sequence analysis. Results: In vitro and in vivo anti-Wolbachia antibiotic treatments have been shown to have adulticidal activity, a long sought goal of filarial parasite drug discovery. In mosquitoes, it has been shown that the presence of Wolbachia can inhibit the transmission of certain viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, West Nile, as well as the infectivity of the malaria-causing protozoan, Plasmodium and filarial nematodes. Conclusion: Wolbachia can cause a form of conditional sterility that can be used to suppress populations of mosquitoes and additional medically important insects. Thus, Wolbachia, a pandemic endosymbiont, offers great potential for elimination of a wide-variety of devastating human diseases.

  7. Molecular and phylogenetic characterization of honey bee viruses, Nosema microsporidia, protozoan parasites, and parasitic mites in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Bu; Peng, Guangda; Li, Tianbang; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2013-02-01

    China has the largest number of managed honey bee colonies, which produce the highest quantity of honey and royal jelly in the world; however, the presence of honey bee pathogens and parasites has never been rigorously identified in Chinese apiaries. We thus conducted a molecular survey of honey bee RNA viruses, Nosema microsporidia, protozoan parasites, and tracheal mites associated with nonnative Apis mellifera ligustica and native Apis cerana cerana colonies in China. We found the presence of black queen cell virus (BQCV), chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), deformed wing virus (DWV), Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and sacbrood virus (SBV), but not that of acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) or Kashmir bee virus (KBV). DWV was the most prevalent in the tested samples. Phylogenies of Chinese viral isolates demonstrated that genetically heterogeneous populations of BQCV, CBPV, DWV, and A. cerana-infecting SBV, and relatively homogenous populations of IAPV and A. meliifera-infecting new strain of SBV with single origins, are spread in Chinese apiaries. Similar to previous observations in many countries, Nosema ceranae, but not Nosema apis, was prevalent in the tested samples. Crithidia mellificae, but not Apicystis bombi was found in five samples, including one A. c. cerana colony, demonstrating that C. mellificae is capable of infecting multiple honey bee species. Based on kinetoplast-encoded cytochrome b sequences, the C. mellificae isolate from A. c. cerana represents a novel haplotype with 19 nucleotide differences from the Chinese and Japanese isolates from A. m. ligustica. This suggests that A. c. cerana is the native host for this specific haplotype. The tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi, was detected in one A. m. ligustica colony. Our results demonstrate that honey bee RNA viruses, N. ceranae, C. mellificae, and tracheal mites are present in Chinese apiaries, and some might be originated from native Asian honey bees.

  8. Faecal and protozoan parasite contamination of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) cultivated in urban wastewater in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anh, Vuong Tuan; Tram, Nguyen Thuy; Klank, Lise Tønner

    2007-01-01

    Objective To identify the level of contamination with thermotolerant coliforms (ThC), intestinal helminth eggs and protozoan parasites in water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) cultivated in a wastewater-fed lake in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Methods The investigation was carried out from July 2004 to May...... into a stream. Water spinach samples were harvested at each of the three locations with and without wastewater contact according to the normal practices of farmers, and analysed for ThC, protozoan parasites (Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora), and helminth eggs (Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichura...... and hookworm) using standard methods. Wastewater samples were also collected at each of the three locations and analysed for ThC and helminth eggs. Results High concentrations of ThC (approximately 10(5)-10(7)/g) were found in water spinach samples. ThC mean counts did not differ significantly, neither between...

  9. Water used to moisten vegetables is a source of Escherichia coli and protozoan parasite contamination at markets in Hanoi, Vietnam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tram, Nguyen Thuy; Dalsgaard, Anders

    2014-12-01

    The study was done to assess the level of fecal (Escherichia coli) and protozoan parasite (Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp.) contamination in water used by traders to moisten vegetables at markets in Hanoi, Vietnam. A total of 200 splashing water samples from markets located within eight districts were analyzed for E. coli and Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. (oo)cysts. Giardia cysts were found in 17 splashing water samples and Cryptosporidium oocysts in nine samples, with median values of 20 cysts ml(-1) and 10 oocysts ml(-1), respectively. E. coli was found with a median concentration of 636 cfu ml(-1) and its occurrence was negatively correlated with the numbers of protozoan parasites. The splashing water was kept in buckets that were rarely cleaned and often used for handwashing. The finding of these pathogens in splashing water is likely to represent real food safety hazards.

  10. Whole-genome amplification: a useful approach to characterize new genes in unculturable protozoan parasites such as Bonamia exitiosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado-Alvarez, Maria; Couraleau, Yann; Chollet, Bruno; Tourbiez, Delphine; Arzul, Isabelle

    2015-10-01

    Bonamia exitiosa is an intracellular parasite (Haplosporidia) that has been associated with mass mortalities in oyster populations in the Southern hemisphere. This parasite was recently detected in the Northern hemisphere including Europe. Some representatives of the Bonamia genus have not been well categorized yet due to the lack of genomic information. In the present work, we have applied Whole-Genome Amplification (WGA) technique in order to characterize the actin gene in the unculturable protozoan B. exitiosa. This is the first protein coding gene described in this species. Molecular analysis revealed that B. exitiosa actin is more similar to Bonamia ostreae actin gene-1. Actin phylogeny placed the Bonamia sp. infected oysters in the same clade where the herein described B. exitiosa actin resolved, offering novel information about the classification of the genus. Our results showed that WGA methodology is a promising and valuable technique to be applied to unculturable protozoans whose genomic material is limited.

  11. Molecular characterization of 5S ribosomal RNA genes and transcripts in the protozoan parasite Leishmania major.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Campos, Rodrigo; Florencio-Martínez, Luis E; Nepomuceno-Mejía, Tomás; Rojas-Sánchez, Saúl; Vélez-Ramírez, Daniel E; Padilla-Mejía, Norma E; Figueroa-Angulo, Elisa; Manning-Cela, Rebeca; Martínez-Calvillo, Santiago

    2016-12-01

    Eukaryotic 5S rRNA, synthesized by RNA polymerase III (Pol III), is an essential component of the large ribosomal subunit. Most organisms contain hundreds of 5S rRNA genes organized into tandem arrays. However, the genome of the protozoan parasite Leishmania major contains only 11 copies of the 5S rRNA gene, which are interspersed and associated with other Pol III-transcribed genes. Here we report that, in general, the number and order of the 5S rRNA genes is conserved between different species of Leishmania. While in most organisms 5S rRNA genes are normally associated with the nucleolus, combined fluorescent in situ hybridization and indirect immunofluorescence experiments showed that 5S rRNA genes are mainly located at the nuclear periphery in L. major. Similarly, the tandemly repeated 5S rRNA genes in Trypanosoma cruzi are dispersed throughout the nucleus. In contrast, 5S rRNA transcripts in L. major were localized within the nucleolus, and scattered throughout the cytoplasm, where mature ribosomes are located. Unlike other rRNA species, stable antisense RNA complementary to 5S rRNA is not detected in L. major.

  12. Purification and properties of a secondary alcohol dehydrogenase from the parasitic protozoan Tritrichomonas foetus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleiner, D E; Johnston, M

    1985-07-05

    A novel secondary alcohol dehydrogenase has been isolated from Tritrichomonas foetus, the protozoan parasite which is responsible for bovine trichomonal abortion. The enzyme has been obtained in apparently homogeneous form after a 120-fold purification from cell homogenates, thus indicating that this activity constitutes an unusually high 1% of the total cytosolic protein. The native Mr = 115,000, determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Mobility on sodium dodecyl sulfate gels suggests that the enzyme is composed of 6-8 subunits, identical as to molecular size (Mr = 17,000). The enzyme catalyzes the reversible oxidation of 2-propanol to acetone, using NADP+ (and not NAD+) as the redox-active co-substrate. Other small secondary alcohols, such as 2-butanol, 2- and 3-pentanol, cyclobutanol, and cyclopentanol are substrates, as are the corresponding ketones of these alcohols. Primary alcohols, such as ethanol and 1-propanol, are oxidized at rates less than 5% of that observed for 2-propanol. Product inhibition studies demonstrate an ordered kinetic mechanism, wherein the co-substrate (NADP+/NADPH) binds to the enzyme prior to binding of the substrate (alcohol/ketone).

  13. Multiplex screening for blood-borne viral, bacterial, and protozoan parasites using an OpenArray platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigorenko, Elena; Fisher, Carolyn; Patel, Sunali; Chancey, Caren; Rios, Maria; Nakhasi, Hira L; Duncan, Robert C

    2014-01-01

    The use of nucleic acid tests for detection of pathogens has improved the safety of blood products. However, ongoing pathogen emergence demonstrates a need for development of devices testing for multiple pathogens simultaneously. One approach combines two proven technologies: Taqman chemistry for target identification and quantification and the OpenArray nanofluidic real-time PCR platform for spatial multiplexing of assays. A panel of Taqman assays was developed to detect nine blood-borne pathogens (BBPs): four viral, two bacterial, and three protozoan parasites. The custom BBP OpenArray plate with 18 assays was tested for specificity and analytical sensitivity for nucleic acid from each purified pathogen and with pathogen-spiked human blood and plasma samples. For most targets, the limits of detection (10 to 10,000 copies/mL) were comparable with existing real-time platforms. The testing of the BBP OpenArray with pathogen-spiked coded human plasma or blood samples and negative control specimens demonstrated no false-positive results among the samples tested and correctly identified pathogens with the lowest concentration detected ranging from 10 cells/mL (Trypanosoma cruzi) to 10,000 cells/mL (Escherichia coli). These results represent a proof of concept that indicated the BBP OpenArray platform in combination with Taqman chemistry may provide a multiplex real-time PCR pathogen detection method that points the way for a next-generation platform for infectious disease testing in blood.

  14. Functional analysis of the murine T lymphocyte immune response to a protozoan parasite, Leishmania tropica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. D. Engers

    1983-03-01

    Full Text Available The results presented in this review summarize a seirs of experiments designed to characterize the murine T cell imune response to the protozoan parasite Leishmania tropica. Enriched T cell populations and T cell clones specific for L. tropica antigens were derived from lymph nodes of primed mice and maintained in continous culture in vitro. These T lymphocytes were shown (A to express the Lyt 1+ 3- cell surface phenotype, (B to proliferate specifically in vitro in response to parasite antigens, together with a source of irradiated syngeneic macrophages, (C to transfer antigen-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH responses to normal syngeneic mice, (D to induce specific activation of parasitized macrophages in vitro resulting in the destruction of intracellular parasites, (E to provide specific helper activity for antibody responses in vitro in a hapten-carrier system. Protection studies using these defiened T cell populations should allow the characterization of parasite antigen(s implicated in the induction of cellular immune responses beneficial for the host.Os resultados apresentados nesta revisão, sumariam uma série de experimentos planejados no sentido de caracterizar a resposta imune de linfócitos T de camundongos, para o protozoário parasita Leishmania tropica. Populações enriquecidas de linfócitos T e clones de linfócitos T específicos para antígenos de L. tropica foram derivados de gânglios linfáticos de camundongos primados e a seguir mantidos em cultura contínua in vivo. Ficou demonstrado que estes linfócitos T eram capazes de: A Expressar o fenótipo de superfície celular Lyt 1+ 2-, B Proliferar en vitro especificamente em resposta aos antígenos parasitários quando em presença de macrófagos singênicos irradiados, C Transferir uma resposta tipo hipersensibilidade retardada antiígeno especifico à camundongos normais singênicos, D Induzir ativação específica de macrófagos parasitizados in vitro

  15. Lipid synthesis in protozoan parasites: a comparison between kinetoplastids and apicomplexans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. The Combined Deficiency of Immunoproteasome Subunits Affects Both the Magnitude and Quality of Pathogen- and Genetic Vaccination-Induced CD8+ T Cell Responses to the Human Protozoan Parasite Trypanosoma cruzi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ersching, Jonatan; Vasconcelos, José R.; Ferreira, Camila P.; Caetano, Braulia C.; Machado, Alexandre V.; Bruna–Romero, Oscar; Baron, Monique A.; Ferreira, Ludmila R. P.; Cunha-Neto, Edécio; Rock, Kenneth L.

    2016-01-01

    The β1i, β2i and β5i immunoproteasome subunits have an important role in defining the repertoire of MHC class I-restricted epitopes. However, the impact of combined deficiency of the three immunoproteasome subunits in the development of protective immunity to intracellular pathogens has not been investigated. Here, we demonstrate that immunoproteasomes play a key role in host resistance and genetic vaccination-induced protection against the human pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi (the causative agent of Chagas disease), immunity to which is dependent on CD8+ T cells and IFN-γ (the classical immunoproteasome inducer). We observed that infection with T. cruzi triggers the transcription of immunoproteasome genes, both in mice and humans. Importantly, genetically vaccinated or T. cruzi-infected β1i, β2i and β5i triple knockout (TKO) mice presented significantly lower frequencies and numbers of splenic CD8+ effector T cells (CD8+CD44highCD62Llow) specific for the previously characterized immunodominant (VNHRFTLV) H-2Kb-restricted T. cruzi epitope. Not only the quantity, but also the quality of parasite-specific CD8+ T cell responses was altered in TKO mice. Hence, the frequency of double-positive (IFN-γ+/TNF+) or single-positive (IFN-γ+) cells specific for the H-2Kb-restricted immunodominant as well as subdominant T. cruzi epitopes were higher in WT mice, whereas TNF single-positive cells prevailed among CD8+ T cells from TKO mice. Contrasting with their WT counterparts, TKO animals were also lethally susceptible to T. cruzi challenge, even after an otherwise protective vaccination with DNA and adenoviral vectors. We conclude that the immunoproteasome subunits are key determinants in host resistance to T. cruzi infection by influencing both the magnitude and quality of CD8+ T cell responses. PMID:27128676

  18. First record of protozoan parasites in cyprinid fish, Schizothorax niger Heckel, 1838 from Dal lake in Kashmir Himalayas with study on their pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dar, Shoaib Ali; Kaur, Harpreet; Chishti, M Z; Ahmad, Fayaz; Tak, Irfan ur Rauf; Dar, Gowhar Hamid

    2016-04-01

    Trichodina heterodentata Duncan, 1977 and Ichthyophthirius multifiliis Fouquet, 1876 obtained from gills during a parasitological survey conducted for the protozoan parasitic fauna of Schizothorax niger a snow trout in Dal Lake, Kashmir, India during the period October 2013 and March 2015. Thirty out of 180 fish were found infected with protozoan parasites. During the study of their pathogenecity the most common deteriorating signs observed in gill tissue were necrosis, hypertrophy, hyperplasia and fusion of secondary lamellae. Prevalence of infection was found to be 16.66%. This is the first record of the protozoan fauna of the schizothoracines from Kashmir valley, India.

  19. Static Clathrin Assemblies at the Peripheral Vacuole-Plasma Membrane Interface of the Parasitic Protozoan Giardia lamblia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zumthor, Jon Paulin; Cernikova, Lenka; Rout, Samuel; Kaech, Andres; Faso, Carmen; Hehl, Adrian B

    2016-07-01

    Giardia lamblia is a parasitic protozoan that infects a wide range of vertebrate hosts including humans. Trophozoites are non-invasive but associate tightly with the enterocyte surface of the small intestine. This narrow ecological specialization entailed extensive morphological and functional adaptations during host-parasite co-evolution, including a distinctly polarized array of endocytic organelles termed peripheral vacuoles (PVs), which are confined to the dorsal cortical region exposed to the gut lumen and are in close proximity to the plasma membrane (PM). Here, we investigated the molecular consequences of these adaptations on the Giardia endocytic machinery and membrane coat complexes. Despite the absence of canonical clathrin coated vesicles in electron microscopy, Giardia possesses conserved PV-associated clathrin heavy chain (GlCHC), dynamin-related protein (GlDRP), and assembly polypeptide complex 2 (AP2) subunits, suggesting a novel function for GlCHC and its adaptors. We found that, in contrast to GFP-tagged AP2 subunits and DRP, CHC::GFP reporters have no detectable turnover in living cells, indicating fundamental differences in recruitment to the membrane and disassembly compared to previously characterized clathrin coats. Histochemical localization in electron tomography showed that these long-lived GlCHC assemblies localized at distinctive approximations between the plasma and PV membrane. A detailed protein interactome of GlCHC revealed all of the conserved factors in addition to novel or highly diverged proteins, including a putative clathrin light chain and lipid-binding proteins. Taken together, our data provide strong evidence for giardial CHC as a component of highly stable assemblies at PV-PM junctions that likely have a central role in organizing continuities between the PM and PV membranes for controlled sampling of the fluid environment. This suggests a novel function for CHC in Giardia and the extent of molecular remodeling of

  20. Significantly Diverged Did2/Vps46 Orthologues from the Protozoan Parasite Giardia lamblia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Somnath; Saha, Nabanita; Ray, Atrayee; Sarkar, Srimonti

    2015-09-01

    The endosomal compartment performs extensive sorting functions in most eukaryotes, some of which are accomplished with the help of the multivesicular body (MVB) sorting pathway. This pathway depends on the sequential action of complexes, termed the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT). After successful sorting, the crucial step of recycling of the ESCRT complex components requires the activation of the AAA ATPase Vps4, and Did2/Vps46 plays an important role in this activation event. The endolysosomal system of the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia appears to lack complexity, for instead of having distinct early endosomes, late endosomes and lysosomes, there are only peripheral vesicles (PVs) that are located close to the cell periphery. Additionally, comparative genomics studies predict the presence of only a subset of the ESCRT components in G. lamblia. Thus, it is possible that the MVB pathway is not functional in G. lamblia. To address this issue, the present study focused on the two putative orthologues of Did2/Vps46 of G. lamblia as their function is likely to be pivotal for a functional MVB sorting pathway. In spite of considerable sequence divergence, compared to other eukaryotic orthologues, the proteins encoded by both these genes have the ability to function as Did2/Vps46 in the context of the yeast ESCRT pathway. Furthermore, they also localized to the cellular periphery, where PVs are also located. Thus, this report is the first to provide experimental evidence indicating the presence of a functional ESCRT component in G. lamblia by characterizing the putative Did2/Vps46 orthologues.

  1. Protozoan Parasites of Rodents and Their Zoonotic Significance in Boyer-Ahmad District, Southwestern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seifollahi, Zeinab; Sarkari, Bahador; Motazedian, Mohammad Hossein; Asgari, Qasem; Ranjbar, Mohammad Javad; Abdolahi Khabisi, Samaneh

    2016-01-01

    Backgrounds. Wild rodents are reservoirs of various zoonotic diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, babesiosis, and leishmaniasis. The current study aimed to assess the protozoan infection of rodents in Boyer-Ahmad district, southwestern Iran. Materials and Methods. A total of 52 rodents were collected from different parts of Boyer-Ahmad district, in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, using Sherman live traps. Each rodent was anesthetized with ether, according to the ethics of working with animals, and was dissected. Samples were taken from various tissues and stool samples were collected from the contents of the colon and small intestines. Moreover, 2 to 5 mL of blood was taken from each of the rodents and the sera were examined for anti-Leishmania antibodies, by ELISA, or anti-T. gondii antibodies, by modified agglutination test (MAT). DNA was extracted from brain tissue samples of each rodent and PCR was used to identify the DNA of T. gondii. Results. Of the 52 stool samples of rodents studied by parasitological methods, intestinal protozoa infection was seen in 28 cases (53.8%). From 52 rodents, 19 (36.5%) were infected with Trichomonas, 10 (19.2%) with Giardia muris, and 11 (21.2%) with Entamoeba spp. Also, 10 cases (19.2%) were infected with Blastocystis, 3 (5.8%) were infected with Chilomastix, 7 (13.5%) were infected with Endolimax, 1 (1.9%) was infected with Retortamonas, 3 (5.77%) were infected with T. gondii, and 6 (11.54%) were infected with Trypanosoma lewisi. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in the sera of 5 (9.61%) cases. Results of the molecular study showed T. gondii infection in 3 (5.77%) of the rodents. Findings of this study showed that rodents in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, southwestern Iran, are infected with several blood and intestinal parasites; some of them might be potential risks to residents and domestic animals in the region.

  2. Survey for protozoan parasites in Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from the Gulf of Maine using PCR-based assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquis, Nicholas D; Record, Nicholas R; Robledo, José A Fernández

    2015-10-01

    Protozoan pathogens represent a serious threat to oyster aquaculture, since they can lead to significant production loses. Moreover, oysters can concentrate human pathogens through filter feeding, thus putting at risk raw oyster consumers' health. Using PCR-based assays in oysters (Crassostrea virginica) from Maine, we expand the Northeast range in the USA for the protozoans Perkinsus marinus, Perkinsus chesapeaki, and Haplosporidium nelsoni, and report for the first time the detection of the human pathogens Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. Oysters hosting both P. marinus and P. chesapeaki were more than three times as likely to be infected by a non-Perkinsus than those free of Perkinsus infections.

  3. Seasonal incidence of protozoan parasites of the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) of Sundarbans, West Bengal, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborti, Jayati; Bandyapadhyay, Probir K

    2011-06-01

    There is a delicate balance between the host, pathogen and environment. Aquatic organisms, including shellfish, respond directly to climatic changes in their biological environment as their metabolic processes are influenced by temperature, salinity, and oxygen levels. Certain environmental conditions are more conducive to diseases than others among which water temperature is significantly associated with disease outbreak. The present study showed that Peneaus monodon of Sundarbans serve as a host for many protozoan parasites and epibionts including ciliates, gregarines and microsporidia. The protozoan parasites also require a particular environmental condition for their maximum growth and survival. The intensity of infection significantly increases with rise in temperature (P < 0.05) following a definite trend but no significant relationship between infection rate of ciliates and pH of water. In case of gregarine parasites significance (P < 0.05) exists among infection rate and temperature as well as pH of the farm water. Microsporidian parasites do not follow any significant seasonal trend in infecting the host P. monodon.

  4. Far beyond Phagocytosis: Phagocyte-Derived Extracellular Traps Act Efficiently against Protozoan Parasites In Vitro and In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liliana M. R. Silva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Professional mononuclear phagocytes such as polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN, monocytes, and macrophages are considered as the first line of defence against invasive pathogens. The formation of extracellular traps (ETs by activated mononuclear phagocytes is meanwhile well accepted as an effector mechanism of the early host innate immune response acting against microbial infections. Recent investigations showed evidence that ETosis is a widely spread effector mechanism in vertebrates and invertebrates being utilized to entrap and kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoan parasites. ETs are released in response to intact protozoan parasites or to parasite-specific antigens in a controlled cell death process. Released ETs consist of nuclear DNA as backbone adorned with histones, antimicrobial peptides, and phagocyte-specific granular enzymes thereby producing a sticky extracellular matrix capable of entrapping and killing pathogens. This review summarizes recent data on protozoa-induced ETosis. Special attention will be given to molecular mechanisms of protozoa-induced ETosis and on its consequences for the parasites successful reproduction and life cycle accomplishment.

  5. Far beyond Phagocytosis: Phagocyte-Derived Extracellular Traps Act Efficiently against Protozoan Parasites In Vitro and In Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Liliana M R; Muñoz-Caro, Tamara; Burgos, Rafael A; Hidalgo, Maria A; Taubert, Anja; Hermosilla, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Professional mononuclear phagocytes such as polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), monocytes, and macrophages are considered as the first line of defence against invasive pathogens. The formation of extracellular traps (ETs) by activated mononuclear phagocytes is meanwhile well accepted as an effector mechanism of the early host innate immune response acting against microbial infections. Recent investigations showed evidence that ETosis is a widely spread effector mechanism in vertebrates and invertebrates being utilized to entrap and kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoan parasites. ETs are released in response to intact protozoan parasites or to parasite-specific antigens in a controlled cell death process. Released ETs consist of nuclear DNA as backbone adorned with histones, antimicrobial peptides, and phagocyte-specific granular enzymes thereby producing a sticky extracellular matrix capable of entrapping and killing pathogens. This review summarizes recent data on protozoa-induced ETosis. Special attention will be given to molecular mechanisms of protozoa-induced ETosis and on its consequences for the parasites successful reproduction and life cycle accomplishment.

  6. The prevalence of Blastocystis hominis and other protozoan parasites in soldiers returning from peacekeeping missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duda, Aleksandra; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta; Lanocha-Arendarczyk, Natalia; Kołodziejczyk, Lidia; Lanocha, Aleksandra

    2015-04-01

    Blastocystis hominis is a common intestinal parasite found in humans living in poor sanitary conditions, living in tropical and subtropical climates, exposed to infected animals, or consuming contaminated food or water. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of B. hominis in Polish military personnel returning from peacekeeping missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. In total, 1,826 stool samples were examined. Gastrointestinal parasites were detected in 17% of the soldiers. The examined stool samples most frequently contained vacuolar forms of B. hominis (15.3%) and cysts of Entamoeba coli (1.0%) or Giardia lamblia (0.7%). In 97.1% of stool samples from infected soldiers, we observed less than five developmental forms of B. hominis in the field of view (40×). The parasite infections in soldiers were diagnosed in the autumn and the spring. There was no statistical correlation between age and B. hominis infection. Our results show that peacekeeping missions in countries with tropical or subtropical climates could be associated with risk for parasitic diseases, including blastocystosis.

  7. Protozoan Parasites of Rodents and Their Zoonotic Significance in Boyer-Ahmad District, Southwestern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeinab Seifollahi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Backgrounds. Wild rodents are reservoirs of various zoonotic diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, babesiosis, and leishmaniasis. The current study aimed to assess the protozoan infection of rodents in Boyer-Ahmad district, southwestern Iran. Materials and Methods. A total of 52 rodents were collected from different parts of Boyer-Ahmad district, in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, using Sherman live traps. Each rodent was anesthetized with ether, according to the ethics of working with animals, and was dissected. Samples were taken from various tissues and stool samples were collected from the contents of the colon and small intestines. Moreover, 2 to 5 mL of blood was taken from each of the rodents and the sera were examined for anti-Leishmania antibodies, by ELISA, or anti-T. gondii antibodies, by modified agglutination test (MAT. DNA was extracted from brain tissue samples of each rodent and PCR was used to identify the DNA of T. gondii. Results. Of the 52 stool samples of rodents studied by parasitological methods, intestinal protozoa infection was seen in 28 cases (53.8%. From 52 rodents, 19 (36.5% were infected with Trichomonas, 10 (19.2% with Giardia muris, and 11 (21.2% with Entamoeba spp. Also, 10 cases (19.2% were infected with Blastocystis, 3 (5.8% were infected with Chilomastix, 7 (13.5% were infected with Endolimax, 1 (1.9% was infected with Retortamonas, 3 (5.77% were infected with T. gondii, and 6 (11.54% were infected with Trypanosoma lewisi. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in the sera of 5 (9.61% cases. Results of the molecular study showed T. gondii infection in 3 (5.77% of the rodents. Findings of this study showed that rodents in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, southwestern Iran, are infected with several blood and intestinal parasites; some of them might be potential risks to residents and domestic animals in the region.

  8. Protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii manipulates mate choice in rats by enhancing attractiveness of males.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shantala Arundathi Hari Dass

    Full Text Available Females in various species typically avoid males infected with parasites, while parasite-free males advertise their status through conspicuous phenotypic traits. This process selects for heritable resistance and reduces direct exposure of the female to parasites. Coevolving parasites are likely to attempt to circumvent this obstacle. In this paper, we demonstrate a case of parasitic manipulation of host mate choice. We report that Toxoplasma gondii, a sexually transmitted infection of brown rats, enhances sexual attractiveness of infected males. Thus under some evolutionary niches, parasites can indeed manipulate host sexual signaling to their own advantage.

  9. Efficiency of diagnostic methods for correlation between prevalence of enteric protozoan parasites and HIV/AIDS status--an experience of a tertiary care hospital in East Delhi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashyap, Bineeta; Sinha, Sanchaita; Das, Shukla; Rustagi, Nitesh; Jhamb, Rajat

    2010-10-01

    Since the beginning of the AIDS pandemic, opportunistic infections have been recognized as common complications of HIV infection. Enteric protozoan parasitic infections are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in HIV infected patients. The present study is, therefore, aimed to determine the prevalence of these parasites and study their association with immune status in HIV patients with emphasis on the correlation between various diagnostic techniques to give an accurate diagnosis to avoid empirical treatment. This prospective study, carried out between November 2009 and May 2010 included all HIV seropositive patients presenting with diarrhea to the ART center. A total of 64 stool samples were analyzed by wet mount examination, three different staining techniques, and antigen detection by ELISA for various enteric protozoan infections. Total prevalence of enteric protozoan parasites was 30%. Among the total cases, Cryptosporidium was seen in 12% cases followed by Giardia, E. histolytica and Isospora belli. The maximum diagnostic yield for coccidian parasites was with safranin-methylene blue staining technique. Parasitic burden contributes towards early morbidity in HIV infection. This study provides important information about prevalence of intestinal protozoan parasites in HIV infection. A combination of procedures should be carried out for the screening of stool specimens of HIV patients for better diagnosis and management.

  10. Phylogeography helps with investigating the building of human parasite communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morand, Serge

    2012-12-01

    Phylogeography of parasites and microbes is a recent field. Phylogeographic studies have been performed mostly to test three major hypotheses that are not mutually exclusive on the origins and distributions of human parasites and microbes: (1) the "out of Africa" pattern where parasites are supposed to have followed the dispersal and expansion of modern humans in and out of Africa, (2) the "domestication" pattern where parasites were captured in the domestication centres and dispersed through them and (3) the "globalization" pattern, in relation to historical and more recent trade routes. With some exceptions, such studies of human protozoans, helminths and ectoparasites are quite limited. The conclusion emphasizes the need to acquire more phylogeographic data in non-Occidental countries, and particularly in Asia where all the animal domestications took place.

  11. Protozoan and helminth parasite fauna of free-living Croatian wild wolves (Canis lupus) analyzed by scat collection.

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    Hermosilla, Carlos; Kleinertz, Sonja; Silva, Liliana M R; Hirzmann, Jörg; Huber, Djuro; Kusak, Josip; Taubert, Anja

    2017-01-15

    The European wolf (Canis lupus) is a large carnivore species present in limited areas of Europe with several small populations still being considered as endangered. Wolves can be infected by a wide range of protozoan and metazoan parasites with some of them affecting free-living wolf health condition. On this account, an epidemiological survey was conducted to analyze the actual parasite fauna in Croatian wild wolves. In total, 400 individual faecal samples were collected during field studies on wolf ecology in the years 2002-2011. Parasite stages were identified by the sodium acetate acetic acid formalin (SAF)-technique, carbolfuchsin-stained faecal smears and Giardia/Cryptosporidium coproantigen-ELISAs. A subset of taeniid eggs-positive wolf samples was additionally analyzed by PCR and subsequent sequencing to identify eggs on Echinococcus granulosus/E. multilocularis species level. In total 18 taxa of parasites were here detected. Sarcocystis spp. (19.1%) occurred most frequently in faecal samples, being followed by Capillaria spp. (16%), ancylostomatids (13.1%), Crenosoma vulpis (4.6%), Angiostrongylus vasorum (3.1%), Toxocara canis (2.8%), Hammondia/Neospora spp. (2.6 %), Cystoisospora ohioensis (2.1%), Giardia spp. (2.1%), Cystoisospora canis (1.8%), Cryptosporidium spp. (1.8%), Trichuris vulpis (1.5%), Taenia spp. (1.5%), Diphyllobothrium latum (1.5%), Strongyloides spp. (0.5%), Opisthorchis felineus (0.5%), Toxascaris leonina (0.3%), Mesocestoides litteratus (0.3%) and Alaria alata (0.3%). Some of the here identified parasites represent relevant pathogens for wolves, circulating between these carnivorous definitive hosts and a variety of mammalian intermediate hosts, e. g. Taenia spp. and Sarcocystis spp., while others are considered exclusively pathogenic for canids (e.g. A. vasorum, C. vulpis, T. vulpis, Cystoisospora spp.). This study provides first records on the occurrence of the two relevant anthropozoonotic parasites, Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium

  12. Parasite Infection, Carcinogenesis and Human Malignancy.

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    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.

  13. Enteric protozoan parasites in stray cats in Kuwait with special references to toxoplasmosis and risk factors affecting its occurrence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdou, Nadra-Elwgoud M I; Al-Batel, Maha K; El-Azazy, Osama M E; Sami, Attia M; Majeed, Qais A H

    2013-08-01

    In Kuwait, stray cats were surveyed for enteric protozoan infection using fecal examination and their sera were tested for Toxoplasma gondii IgG using indirect hemagglutination test (IHAT) as well as for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibodies and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) antibodies using ELISA. Out of 240 fecal samples examined 22 (9.2%) were found to be infected with oocysts of four species of coccidian protozoa. Isopspora felis was the most predominant enteric protozoan parasite (7.1%), followed by T. gondii (2.1%), I. rivolta (1.6), Sarcocystis was only found in one case (0.4%). Juvenile cats ( 6 months old) had higher infection rate with oocyst of enteric protozoa than older cats (p-value 0.001). Sero-survey of 240 stray cats revealed that 19.6% were positive to T. gondii IgG. Toxoplasma sero-positivity was observed in higher number of adults compared to young cats suggests that with age the risk of exposure to T. gondii increases. While concurrent retroviral infections were not found to be associated with increased risk for developing T. gondii antibodies.

  14. Use of multiplex real-time PCR for detection of common diarrhea causing protozoan parasites in Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazeer, John T; El Sayed Khalifa, Khalifa; von Thien, Heidrun; El-Sibaei, Mahmoud Mohamed; Abdel-Hamid, Magda Youssef; Tawfik, Ranya Ayman Samir; Tannich, Egbert

    2013-02-01

    Diarrhea is an important cause of morbidity and mortality, worldwide. Giardia intestinalis, Cryptosporidium spp., and Entamoeba histolytica are the most common diarrhea-causing parasitic protozoa. Diagnosis of these parasites is usually performed by microscopy. However, microscopy lacks sensitivity and specificity. Replacing microscopy with more sensitive and specific nucleic acid based methods is hampered by the higher costs, in particular in developing countries. Multiplexing the detection of more than one parasite in a single test by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been found to be very effective and would decrease the cost of the test. In the present study, stool samples collected from 396 Egyptian patients complaining of diarrhea along with 202 faecal samples from healthy controls were examined microscopically by direct smear method and after concentration using formol-ethyl acetate. Frozen portions of the same samples were tested by multiplex real-time for simultaneous detection of E. histolytica, G. intestinalis, and Cryptosporidium spp. The results indicate that among diarrheal patients in Egypt G. intestinalis is the most common protozoan parasite, with prevalence rates of 30.5 and 37.1 %, depending on the method used (microscopy vs. multiplex real-time PCR). Cryptosporidium spp. was detected in 1 % of the diarrheal patients by microscopy and in 3 % by real-time PCR. While E. histolytica/dispar was detected in 10.8 % by microscopy, less than one fifth of them (2 %) were found true positive for Entamoeba dispar by real-time PCR. E. histolytica DNA was not detected in any of the diarrheal patients. In comparison with multiplex real-time PCR, microscopy exhibited many false positive and negative cases with the three parasites giving sensitivities and specificities of 100 and 91 % for E. histolytica/dispar, 57.8 and 85.5 % for G. intestinalis, and 33.3 and 100 % for Cryptosporidium spp.

  15. Global analysis of gene expression in response to L-Cysteine deprivation in the anaerobic protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica

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    Jeelani Ghulam

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Entamoeba histolytica, an enteric protozoan parasite, causes amebic colitis and extra intestinal abscesses in millions of inhabitants of endemic areas. E. histolytica completely lacks glutathione metabolism but possesses L-cysteine as the principle low molecular weight thiol. L-Cysteine is essential for the structure, stability, and various protein functions, including catalysis, electron transfer, redox regulation, nitrogen fixation, and sensing for regulatory processes. Recently, we demonstrated that in E. histolytica, L-cysteine regulates various metabolic pathways including energy, amino acid, and phospholipid metabolism. Results In this study, employing custom-made Affymetrix microarrays, we performed time course (3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h gene expression analysis upon L-cysteine deprivation. We identified that out of 9,327 genes represented on the array, 290 genes encoding proteins with functions in metabolism, signalling, DNA/RNA regulation, electron transport, stress response, membrane transport, vesicular trafficking/secretion, and cytoskeleton were differentially expressed (≥3 fold at one or more time points upon L-cysteine deprivation. Approximately 60% of these modulated genes encoded proteins of no known function and annotated as hypothetical proteins. We also attempted further functional analysis of some of the most highly modulated genes by L-cysteine depletion. Conclusions To our surprise, L-cysteine depletion caused only limited changes in the expression of genes involved in sulfur-containing amino acid metabolism and oxidative stress defense. In contrast, we observed significant changes in the expression of several genes encoding iron sulfur flavoproteins, a major facilitator super-family transporter, regulator of nonsense transcripts, NADPH-dependent oxido-reductase, short chain dehydrogenase, acetyltransferases, and various other genes involved in diverse cellular functions. This study represents the first

  16. Identification of scaffold/Matrix Attachment (S/MAR like DNA element from the gastrointestinal protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia

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    Gautam Pennathur

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chromatin in the nucleus of all eukaryotes is organized into a system of loops and domains. These loops remain fastened at their bases to the fundamental framework of the nucleus, the matrix or the scaffold. The DNA sequences which anchor the bases of the chromatin loops to the matrix are known as Scaffold/Matrix Attachment Regions or S/MARs. Though S/MARs have been studied in yeast and higher eukaryotes and they have been found to be associated with gene organization and regulation of gene expression, they have not been reported in protists like Giardia. Several tools have been discovered and formulated to predict S/MARs from a genome of a higher eukaryote which take into account a number of features. However, the lack of a definitive consensus sequence in S/MARs and the randomness of the protozoan genome in general, make it a challenge to predict and identify such sequences from protists. Results Here, we have analysed the Giardia genome for the probable S/MARs predicted by the available computational tools; and then shown these sequences to be physically associated with the nuclear matrix. Our study also reflects that while no single computational tool is competent to predict such complex elements from protist genomes, a combination of tools followed by experimental verification is the only way to confirm the presence of these elements from these organisms. Conclusion This is the first report of S/MAR elements from the protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia. This initial work is expected to lay a framework for future studies relating to genome organization as well as gene regulatory elements in this parasite.

  17. Application of magnetically induced hyperthermia in the model protozoan Crithidia fasciculata as a potential therapy against parasitic infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grazú, V; Silber, AM; Moros, M; Asín, L; Torres, TE; Marquina, C; Ibarra, MR; Goya, GF

    2012-01-01

    Background Magnetic hyperthermia is currently a clinical therapy approved in the European Union for treatment of tumor cells, and uses magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) under time-varying magnetic fields (TVMFs). The same basic principle seems promising against trypanosomatids causing Chagas disease and sleeping sickness, given that the therapeutic drugs available have severe side effects and that there are drug-resistant strains. However, no applications of this strategy against protozoan-induced diseases have been reported so far. In the present study, Crithidia fasciculata, a widely used model for therapeutic strategies against pathogenic trypanosomatids, was targeted with Fe3O4 MNPs in order to provoke cell death remotely using TVMFs. Methods Iron oxide MNPs with average diameters of approximately 30 nm were synthesized by precipitation of FeSO4 in basic medium. The MNPs were added to C. fasciculata choanomastigotes in the exponential phase and incubated overnight, removing excess MNPs using a DEAE-cellulose resin column. The amount of MNPs uploaded per cell was determined by magnetic measurement. The cells bearing MNPs were submitted to TVMFs using a homemade AC field applicator (f = 249 kHz, H = 13 kA/m), and the temperature variation during the experiments was measured. Scanning electron microscopy was used to assess morphological changes after the TVMF experiments. Cell viability was analyzed using an MTT colorimetric assay and flow cytometry. Results MNPs were incorporated into the cells, with no noticeable cytotoxicity. When a TVMF was applied to cells bearing MNPs, massive cell death was induced via a nonapoptotic mechanism. No effects were observed by applying TVMF to control cells not loaded with MNPs. No macroscopic rise in temperature was observed in the extracellular medium during the experiments. Conclusion As a proof of principle, these data indicate that intracellular hyperthermia is a suitable technology to induce death of protozoan parasites

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

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    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.

  19. Amplified fragment length polymorphism: an adept technique for genome mapping, genetic differentiation, and intraspecific variation in protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Awanish; Misra, Pragya; Dube, Anuradha

    2013-02-01

    With the advent of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), genetic markers are now accessible for all organisms, including parasites. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) is a PCR-based marker for the rapid screening of genetic diversity and intraspecific variation. It is a potent fingerprinting technique for genomic DNAs of any origin or complexity and rapidly generates a number of highly replicable markers that allow high-resolution genotyping. AFLPs are convenient and reliable in comparison to other markers like random amplified polymorphic DNA, restriction fragment length polymorphism, and simple sequence repeat in terms of time and cost efficiency, reproducibility, and resolution as it does not require template DNA sequencing. In addition, AFLP essentially probes the entire genome at random, without prior sequence knowledge. So, AFLP markers have emerged as an advance type of genetic marker with broad application in genomic mapping, population genetics, and DNA fingerprinting and are ideally suited as screening tool for molecular markers linked with biological and clinical traits. This review describes the AFLP procedure and its applications and overview in the fingerprinting of a genome, which has been currently used in parasite genome research. We outline the AFLP procedure adapted for Leishmania genome study and discuss the benefits of AFLPs for assessing genetic variation and genome mapping over other existing molecular techniques. We highlight the possible use of AFLPs as genetic markers with its broad application in parasitological research because it allows random screening of the entire genome for linkage with genetic and clinical properties of the parasite. In this review, we have taken a pragmatic approach on the study of AFLP for genome mapping and polymorphism in protozoan parasites and conclude that AFLP is a very useful tool.

  20. 2-acylamino-5-nitro-1,3-thiazoles: preparation and in vitro bioevaluation against four neglected protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nava-Zuazo, Carlos; Chávez-Silva, Fabiola; Moo-Puc, Rosa; Chan-Bacab, Manuel Jesús; Ortega-Morales, Benjamín Otto; Moreno-Díaz, Hermenegilda; Díaz-Coutiño, Daniel; Hernández-Núñez, Emanuel; Navarrete-Vázquez, Gabriel

    2014-03-01

    The 2-acylamino-5-nitro-1,3-thiazole derivatives (1-14) were prepared using a one step reaction. All compounds were tested in vitro against four neglected protozoan parasites (Giardia intestinalis, Trichomonas vaginalis, Leishmania amazonensis and Trypanosoma cruzi). Acetamide (9), valeroylamide (10), benzamide (12), methylcarbamate (13) and ethyloxamate (14) derivatives were the most active compounds against G. intestinalis and T. vaginalis, showing nanomolar inhibition. Compound 13 (IC50=10nM), was 536-times more active than metronidazole, and 121-fold more effective than nitazoxanide against G. intestinalis. Compound 14 was 29-times more active than metronidazole and 6.5-fold more potent than nitazoxanide against T. vaginalis. Ureic derivatives 2, 3 and 5 showed moderate activity against L. amazonensis. None of them were active against T. cruzi. Ligand efficiency indexes analysis revealed higher intrinsic quality of the most active 2-acylamino derivatives than nitazoxanide and metronidazole. In silico toxicity profile was also computed for the most active compounds. A very low in vitro mammalian cytotoxicity was obtained for 13 and 14, showing selectivity indexes (SI) of 246,300 and 141,500, respectively. Nitazoxanide showed an excellent leishmanicidal and trypanocidal effect, repurposing this drug as potential new antikinetoplastid parasite compound.

  1. Hsp60 is targeted to a cryptic mitochondrion-derived organelle ("crypton") in the microaerophilic protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

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    Mai, Z; Ghosh, S; Frisardi, M; Rosenthal, B; Rogers, R; Samuelson, J

    1999-03-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is a microaerophilic protozoan parasite in which neither mitochondria nor mitochondrion-derived organelles have been previously observed. Recently, a segment of an E. histolytica gene was identified that encoded a protein similar to the mitochondrial 60-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp60 or chaperonin 60), which refolds nuclear-encoded proteins after passage through organellar membranes. The possible function and localization of the amebic Hsp60 were explored here. Like Hsp60 of mitochondria, amebic Hsp60 RNA and protein were both strongly induced by incubating parasites at 42 degreesC. 5' and 3' rapid amplifications of cDNA ends were used to obtain the entire E. histolytica hsp60 coding region, which predicted a 536-amino-acid Hsp60. The E. histolytica hsp60 gene protected from heat shock Escherichia coli groEL mutants, demonstrating the chaperonin function of the amebic Hsp60. The E. histolytica Hsp60, which lacked characteristic carboxy-terminal Gly-Met repeats, had a 21-amino-acid amino-terminal, organelle-targeting presequence that was cleaved in vivo. This presequence was necessary to target Hsp60 to one (and occasionally two or three) short, cylindrical organelle(s). In contrast, amebic alcohol dehydrogenase 1 and ferredoxin, which are bacteria-like enzymes, were diffusely distributed throughout the cytosol. We suggest that the Hsp60-associated, mitochondrion-derived organelle identified here be named "crypton," as its structure was previously hidden and its function is still cryptic.

  2. Transport proteins determine drug sensitivity and resistance in a protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei

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    Munday, Jane C.; Settimo, Luca; de Koning, Harry P.

    2015-01-01

    Drug resistance in pathogenic protozoa is very often caused by changes to the ‘transportome’ of the parasites. In Trypanosoma brucei, several transporters have been implicated in uptake of the main classes of drugs, diamidines and melaminophenyl arsenicals. The resistance mechanism had been thought to be due to loss of a transporter known to carry both types of agents: the aminopurine transporter P2, encoded by the gene TbAT1. However, although loss of P2 activity is well-documented as the cause of resistance to the veterinary diamidine diminazene aceturate (DA; Berenil®), cross-resistance between the human-use arsenical melarsoprol and the diamidine pentamidine (melarsoprol/pentamidine cross resistance, MPXR) is the result of loss of a separate high affinity pentamidine transporter (HAPT1). A genome-wide RNAi library screen for resistance to pentamidine, published in 2012, gave the key to the genetic identity of HAPT1 by linking the phenomenon to a locus that contains the closely related T. brucei aquaglyceroporin genes TbAQP2 and TbAQP3. Further analysis determined that knockdown of only one pore, TbAQP2, produced the MPXR phenotype. TbAQP2 is an unconventional aquaglyceroporin with unique residues in the “selectivity region” of the pore, and it was found that in several MPXR lab strains the WT gene was either absent or replaced by a chimeric protein, recombined with parts of TbAQP3. Importantly, wild-type AQP2 was also absent in field isolates of T. b. gambiense, correlating with the outcome of melarsoprol treatment. Expression of a wild-type copy of TbAQP2 in even the most resistant strain completely reversed MPXR and re-introduced HAPT1 function and transport kinetics. Expression of TbAQP2 in Leishmania mexicana introduced a pentamidine transport activity indistinguishable from HAPT1. Although TbAQP2 has been shown to function as a classical aquaglyceroporin it is now clear that it is also a high affinity drug transporter, HAPT1. We discuss here a

  3. Transport proteins determine drug sensitivity and resistance in a protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei

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    Jane Claire Munday

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Drug resistance in pathogenic protozoa is very often caused by changes to the ‘transportome’ of the parasites. In Trypanosoma brucei, several transporters have been implicated in uptake of the main classes of drugs, diamidines and melaminophenyl arsenicals. The resistance mechanism had been thought to be due to loss of a transporter known to carry both types of agents: the aminopurine transporter P2, encoded by the gene TbAT1. However, although loss of P2 activity is well-documented as the cause of resistance to the veterinary diamidine diminazene aceturate (Berenil®, cross-resistance between the human-use arsenical melarsoprol and the diamidine pentamidine (MPXR is the result of loss of a separate High Affinity Pentamidine Transporter (HAPT1. A genome-wide RNAi library screen for resistance to pentamidine, published in 2012, gave the key to the genetic identity of HAPT1 by linking the phenomenon to a locus that contains the closely related T. brucei aquaglyceroporin genes TbAQP2 and TbAQP3. Further analysis determined that knockdown of only one pore, TbAQP2, produced the MPXR phenotype. TbAQP2 is an unconventional aquaglyceroporin with unique residues in the selectivity region of the pore, and it was found that in several MPXR lab strains the WT gene was either absent or replaced by a chimeric protein, recombined with parts of TbAQP3. Importantly, wild-type AQP2 was also absent in field isolates of T. b. gambiense, correlating with the outcome of melarsoprol treatment. Expression of a wild-type copy of TbAQP2 in even the most resistant strain completely reversed MPXR and re-introduced HAPT1 function and transport kinetics. Expression of TbAQP2 in Leishmania mexicana introduced a pentamidine transport activity indistinguishable from HAPT1. Although TbAQP2 has been shown to function as a classical aquaglyceroporin it is now clear that it is also a high affinity drug transporter, HAPT1. We discuss here a possible structural rationale for this

  4. Trichostatin A effects on gene expression in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica

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    Singh Upinder

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Histone modification regulates chromatin structure and influences gene expression associated with diverse biological functions including cellular differentiation, cancer, maintenance of genome architecture, and pathogen virulence. In Entamoeba, a deep-branching eukaryote, short chain fatty acids (SCFA affect histone acetylation and parasite development. Additionally, a number of active histone modifying enzymes have been identified in the parasite genome. However, the overall extent of gene regulation tied to histone acetylation is not known. Results In order to identify the genome-wide effects of histone acetylation in regulating E. histolytica gene expression, we used whole-genome expression profiling of parasites treated with SCFA and Trichostatin A (TSA. Despite significant changes in histone acetylation patterns, exposure of parasites to SCFA resulted in minimal transcriptional changes (11 out of 9,435 genes transcriptionally regulated. In contrast, exposure to TSA, a more specific inhibitor of histone deacetylases, significantly affected transcription of 163 genes (122 genes upregulated and 41 genes downregulated. Genes modulated by TSA were not regulated by treatment with 5-Azacytidine, an inhibitor of DNA-methyltransferase, indicating that in E. histolytica the crosstalk between DNA methylation and histone modification is not substantial. However, the set of genes regulated by TSA overlapped substantially with genes regulated during parasite development: 73/122 genes upregulated by TSA exposure were upregulated in E. histolytica cysts (p-value = 6 × 10-53 and 15/41 genes downregulated by TSA exposure were downregulated in E. histolytica cysts (p-value = 3 × 10-7. Conclusion This work represents the first genome-wide analysis of histone acetylation and its effects on gene expression in E. histolytica. The data indicate that SCFAs, despite their ability to influence histone acetylation, have minimal effects on gene

  5. Reprofiled drug targets ancient protozoans: drug discovery for parasitic diarrheal diseases.

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    Debnath, Anjan; Ndao, Momar; Reed, Sharon L

    2013-01-01

    Recently, we developed a novel automated, high throughput screening (HTS) methodology for the anaerobic intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica. We validated this HTS platform by screening a chemical library containing US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs and bioactive compounds. We identified an FDA-approved drug, auranofin, as most active against E. histolytica both in vitro and in vivo. Our cell culture and animal studies indicated that thioredoxin reductase, an enzyme involved in reactive oxygen species detoxification, was the target for auranofin in E. histolytica. Here, we discuss the rationale for drug development for three parasites which are major causes of diarrhea worldwide, E. histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum and extend our current finding of antiparasitic activity of auranofin to Entamoeba cysts, G. lamblia and C. parvum. These studies support the use of HTS assays and reprofiling FDA-approved drugs for new therapy for neglected tropical diseases.

  6. Photosensitized inactivation of infectious blood-borne human parasites

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    Judy, Millard M.; Sogandares-Bernal, Franklin M.; Matthews, James Lester

    1995-05-01

    Blood-borne viruses and protozoan parasites that are infectious to humans pose risk world-wide of infection transmission through blood and blood product transfusion. Blood-borne infectious viruses include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-I), which causes AIDS; hepatitis C virus, which can cause chronic hepatitis; and cytomegalovirus, which can be dangerous to immunocompromised patients, e.g., the newborn, transplant recipients, and AIDS patients. Infectious blood-borne protozoan parasites include Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas' disease, endemic throughout Central and South America; the Trypanosoma species causing African sleeping sickness endemic in Central Africa; and Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malignant and increasingly drug- resistant human malaria prevalent throughout the tropics. Some researchers have focused on using photosensitizers to inactivate HIV-I and other viruses in whole blood, packed red cells, and platelet concentrates without compromising blood product function. Our group previously has reported photosensitized in vitro inactivation of P. falciparum and the mouse malaria organism Plasmodium berghei in whole blood using hematoporphyrin derivative (HPD) and of T. cruzi using benzoporphyrin derivatives BPDMA and BPDDA, dihematoporphyrin ether (DHE), and hydroxyethylvinyldeuteroporphyrin (HEVD). These results suggest that continued investigation is warranted to evaluate the potential for photosensitized inactivation of blood-borne parasites in blood banking.

  7. Protozoan parasites of Musca domestica Linnaeus (DIPTERA: MUSCIDAE from Lima. Two new records in Peru

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    Martín Cárdenas

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The goal of this research was to increase the knowledge of two parasitic protozoa: Herpetomonas muscarum (Leidy, 1856 Ken, 1880 and Octosporea muscaedomesticae Flu, 1911, in Musca domestica. Both represent new records in Peru. The H. muscarum leptomonad are 36 µ long and are larger than the ones cited by other authors. O. muscadomesticae presents large and plasmodial forms slightly larger than the ones studied by Bulnheim & Vávra (1998. In the M. domestica group surveyed, we determined a significant percentage of H. muscarum (54,0% and O. muscadomesticae (27,0%.

  8. A highly organized structure mediating nuclear localization of a Myb2 transcription factor in the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

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    Chu, Chien-Hsin; Chang, Lung-Chun; Hsu, Hong-Ming; Wei, Shu-Yi; Liu, Hsing-Wei; Lee, Yu; Kuo, Chung-Chi; Indra, Dharmu; Chen, Chinpan; Ong, Shiou-Jeng; Tai, Jung-Hsiang

    2011-12-01

    Nuclear proteins usually contain specific peptide sequences, referred to as nuclear localization signals (NLSs), for nuclear import. These signals remain unexplored in the protozoan pathogen, Trichomonas vaginalis. The nuclear import of a Myb2 transcription factor was studied here using immunodetection of a hemagglutinin-tagged Myb2 overexpressed in the parasite. The tagged Myb2 was localized to the nucleus as punctate signals. With mutations of its polybasic sequences, 48KKQK51 and 61KR62, Myb2 was localized to the nucleus, but the signal was diffusive. When fused to a C-terminal non-nuclear protein, the Myb2 sequence spanning amino acid (aa) residues 48 to 143, which is embedded within the R2R3 DNA-binding domain (aa 40 to 156), was essential and sufficient for efficient nuclear import of a bacterial tetracycline repressor (TetR), and yet the transport efficiency was reduced with an additional fusion of a firefly luciferase to TetR, while classical NLSs from the simian virus 40 T-antigen had no function in this assay system. Myb2 nuclear import and DNA-binding activity were substantially perturbed with mutation of a conserved isoleucine (I74) in helix 2 to proline that altered secondary structure and ternary folding of the R2R3 domain. Disruption of DNA-binding activity alone by point mutation of a lysine residue, K51, preceding the structural domain had little effect on Myb2 nuclear localization, suggesting that nuclear translocation of Myb2, which requires an ordered structural domain, is independent of its DNA binding activity. These findings provide useful information for testing whether myriad Mybs in the parasite use a common module to regulate nuclear import.

  9. IgG antibody responses in mice coinfected with Toxocara canis and other helminths or protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescano, Susana A Zevallos; Nakhle, Maria Cristina; Ribeiro, Manoel Carlos S A; Chieffi, Pedro Paulo

    2012-01-01

    The immune response expressed by IgG antibodies in BALB/c mice experimentally infected with Toxocara canis, was studied with the aim of verifying the possible in vivo cross-reactivity between antigens of T. canis and other parasites (Ascaris suum, Taenia crassiceps, Schistosoma mansoni, Strongyloides venezuelensis and Toxoplasma gondii). Experiments included three groups of mice: one infected only by T. canis, another with one of the other species of parasites and a third concomitantly infected with T. canis and the other species in question. Animals were bled by orbital plexus at 23, 38 and 70 days post infection (p.i.). Sera were analyzed for anti-Toxocara antibodies by ELISA and Immunoblotting, using excretion-secretion antigens (ES), obtained from culture of third-stage larvae of T. canis. For all experiments a control group comprised by ten non-infected mice was used. Only in the case of A. suum infection, in these experimental conditions, the occurrence of cross-reactivity with T. canis was observed. However, in the case of co-infection of T. canis - S. mansoni, T. canis - S. venezuelensis and T. canis - T. crassiceps the production of anti-Toxocara antibodies was found at levels significantly lower than those found in mice infected with T. canis only. Co-infection with S. mansoni or S. venezuelensis showed lower mortality rates compared to what occurred in the animals with single infections. Results obtained in mice infected with T. canis and T. gondii showed significant differences between the mean levels of the optical densities of animals infected with T. canis and concomitantly infected with the protozoan only in the 23rd day p.i.

  10. IgG Antibody responses in mice coinfected with Toxocara canis and other helminths or protozoan parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana A. Zevallos Lescano

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The immune response expressed by IgG antibodies in BALB/c mice experimentally infected with Toxocara canis, was studied with the aim of verifying the possible in vivo cross-reactivity between antigens of T. canis and other parasites (Ascaris suum, Taenia crassiceps, Schistosoma mansoni, Strongyloides venezuelensis and Toxoplasma gondii. Experiments included three groups of mice: one infected only by T. canis, another with one of the other species of parasites and a third concomitantly infected with T. canis and the other species in question. Animals were bled by orbital plexus at 23, 38 and 70 days post infection (p.i.. Sera were analyzed for anti-Toxocara antibodies by ELISA and Immunoblotting, using excretion-secretion antigens (ES, obtained from culture of third-stage larvae of T. canis. For all experiments a control group comprised by ten non-infected mice was used. Only in the case of A. suum infection, in these experimental conditions, the occurrence of cross-reactivity with T. canis was observed. However, in the case of co-infection of T. canis - S. mansoni, T. canis - S. venezuelensis and T. canis - T. crassiceps the production of anti-Toxocara antibodies was found at levels significantly lower than those found in mice infected with T. canis only. Co-infection with S. mansoni or S. venezuelensis showed lower mortality rates compared to what occurred in the animals with single infections. Results obtained in mice infected with T. canis and T. gondii showed significant differences between the mean levels of the optical densities of animals infected with T. canis and concomitantly infected with the protozoan only in the 23rd day p.i.

  11. Comparison of protein expression profiles between three Perkinsus spp., protozoan parasites of molluscs, through 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Boo, S; Chicano-Gálvez, E; Alhama, J; Barea, J L; Villalba, A; Cao, A

    2014-05-01

    The genus Perkinsus includes protozoan parasites of a wide range of marine molluscs worldwide, some of which have been responsible for heavy mollusc mortalities and dramatic economic losses. This study was performed with the aim of increasing the knowledge of Perkinsus spp. proteome. Proteins extracted from in vitro cultured cells of three species of this genus, P. marinus, P. olseni and P. chesapeaki, were analysed using 2D electrophoresis. Four gels from each species were produced. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons among gels were performed with Proteamweaver software. Cluster analysis grouped the four gels of each Perkinsus sp.; furthermore, P. marinus and P. olseni gels were grouped in a cluster different from P. chesapeaki. Around 2000 spots of each species were considered, from which 213 spots were common to the 3 species; P. chesapeaki and P. marinus shared 310 spots, P. chesapeaki and P. olseni shared 315 spots and P. marinus and P. olseni shared 242 spots. A number of spots were exclusive of each Perkinsus species: 1161 spots were exclusive of P. chesapeaki, 1124 of P. olseni and 895 of P. marinus. A total of 84 spots, including common and species-specific ones, were excised from the gels and analysed using MALDI-TOF and nESI-IT (MS/MS) techniques. Forty-two spots were successfully sequenced, from which 28 were annotated, most of them clustered into electron transport, oxidative stress and detoxification, protein synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, signal transduction, metabolic process and proteolysis.

  12. Endoplasmic reticulum‐resident Rab8A GTPase is involved in phagocytosis in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanadate, Yuki; Saito‐Nakano, Yumiko; Nakada‐Tsukui, Kumiko

    2016-01-01

    Summary Phagocytosis is indispensable for the pathogenesis of the intestinal protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Here, we showed that in E. histolytica Rab8A, which is generally involved in trafficking from the trans‐Golgi network to the plasma membrane in other organisms but was previously identified in phagosomes of the amoeba in the proteomic analysis, primarily resides in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and participates in phagocytosis. We demonstrated that down‐regulation of EhRab8A by small antisense RNA‐mediated transcriptional gene silencing remarkably reduced adherence and phagocytosis of erythrocytes, bacteria and carboxylated latex beads. Surface biotinylation followed by SDS‐PAGE analysis revealed that the surface expression of several proteins presumably involved in target recognition was reduced in the EhRab8A gene‐silenced strain. Further, overexpression of wild‐type EhRab8A augmented phagocytosis, whereas expression of the dominant‐negative form of EhRab8A resulted in reduced phagocytosis. These results indicated that EhRab8A regulates transport of surface receptor(s) for the prey from the ER to the plasma membrane. To our knowledge, this is the first report that the ER‐resident Rab GTPase is involved in phagocytosis through the regulation of trafficking of a surface receptor, supporting a premise of direct involvement of the ER in phagocytosis. PMID:26807810

  13. Chemo-informatic design of antibiotic geldenamycin analogs to target stress proteins HSP90 of pathogenic protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Chaya; Atri, Neelam

    2013-01-01

    Stress proteins HSP90 (Heat shock proteins) are essential molecular chaperones involved in signal transduction, cell cycle control, stress management, folding and degradation of proteins. HSP90 have been found in a variety of organisms including pathogens suggesting that they are ancient and conserved proteins. Here, using molecular modeling and docking protocols, antibiotic Geldenamycin and its analog are targeted to the HSP90 homolog proteins of pathogenic protozoans Plasmodium falciparum, Leishmania donovani, Trypanosoma brucei and Entamoeba Histolytica. The designed analogs of geldenamycin have shown drug like property with improved binding affinity to their targets. A decrease in insilico affinity of the analogs for the Human HSP90 target indicates that they can be used as potential drug candidates.

  14. Metabolic profiling of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba invadens revealed activation of unpredicted pathway during encystation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghulam Jeelani

    Full Text Available Encystation, which is cellular differentiation from the motile, proliferative, labile trophozoite form to the dormant, resistant cyst form, is a crucial process found in parasitic and free-living protozoa such as Entamoeba, Giardia, Acanthamoeba, and Balamuthia. Since encystation is an essential process to deal with the adverse external environmental changes during the life cycle, and often integral to the transmission of the diseases, biochemical understanding of the process potentially provides useful measures against the infections caused by this group of protozoa. In this study, we investigated metabolic and transcriptomic changes that occur during encystation in Entamoeba invadens, the reptilian sibling of mammal-infecting E. histolytica, using capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling and DNA microarray-based expression profiling. As the encystation progressed, the levels of majority of metabolites involved in glycolysis and nucleotides drastically decreased, indicating energy generation is ceased. Furthermore, the flux of glycolysis was redirected toward chitin wall biosynthesis. We found remarkable temporal increases in biogenic amines such as isoamylamine, isobutylamine, and cadaverine, during the early period of encystation, when the trophozoites form large multicellular aggregates (precyst. We also found remarkable induction of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA during encystation. This study has unveiled for the first time the dynamics of the transcriptional and metabolic regulatory networks during encystation, and should help in better understanding of the process in pathogenic eukaryotes, and further development of measures controlling infections they cause.

  15. Exosome Secretion by the Parasitic Protozoan Leishmania within the Sand Fly Midgut

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Diniz Atayde

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Despite several studies describing the secretion of exosomes by Leishmania in vitro, observation of their formation and release in vivo has remained a major challenge. Herein, we show that Leishmania constitutively secretes exosomes within the lumen of the sand fly midgut through a mechanism homologous to the mammalian pathway. Through egestion experiments, we demonstrate that Leishmania exosomes are part of the sand fly inoculum and are co-egested with the parasite during the insect’s bite, possibly influencing the host infectious process. Indeed, co-inoculation of mice footpads with L. major plus midgut-isolated or in-vitro-isolated L. major exosomes resulted in a significant increase in footpad swelling. Notably, co-injections produced exacerbated lesions through overinduction of inflammatory cytokines, in particular IL-17a. Our data indicate that Leishmania exosomes are an integral part of the parasite’s infectious life cycle, and we propose to add these vesicles to the repertoire of virulence factors associated with vector-transmitted infections.

  16. Metabolic profiling of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba invadens revealed activation of unpredicted pathway during encystation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeelani, Ghulam; Sato, Dan; Husain, Afzal; Escueta-de Cadiz, Aleyla; Sugimoto, Masahiro; Soga, Tomoyoshi; Suematsu, Makoto; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi

    2012-01-01

    Encystation, which is cellular differentiation from the motile, proliferative, labile trophozoite form to the dormant, resistant cyst form, is a crucial process found in parasitic and free-living protozoa such as Entamoeba, Giardia, Acanthamoeba, and Balamuthia. Since encystation is an essential process to deal with the adverse external environmental changes during the life cycle, and often integral to the transmission of the diseases, biochemical understanding of the process potentially provides useful measures against the infections caused by this group of protozoa. In this study, we investigated metabolic and transcriptomic changes that occur during encystation in Entamoeba invadens, the reptilian sibling of mammal-infecting E. histolytica, using capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling and DNA microarray-based expression profiling. As the encystation progressed, the levels of majority of metabolites involved in glycolysis and nucleotides drastically decreased, indicating energy generation is ceased. Furthermore, the flux of glycolysis was redirected toward chitin wall biosynthesis. We found remarkable temporal increases in biogenic amines such as isoamylamine, isobutylamine, and cadaverine, during the early period of encystation, when the trophozoites form large multicellular aggregates (precyst). We also found remarkable induction of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) during encystation. This study has unveiled for the first time the dynamics of the transcriptional and metabolic regulatory networks during encystation, and should help in better understanding of the process in pathogenic eukaryotes, and further development of measures controlling infections they cause.

  17. Prevalence of the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium on three organic pig farms in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Heidi H.; Jianmin, Wang; Mejer, Helena;

    2013-01-01

    Pigs are a potential source of contamination with Cryptosporidium spp., which can lead to infection in humans. Two species C. parvum and C. hominis can cause an acute diarrheal illness in humans, which can become severe in e.g. patients with HIV. The oocyst can survive for long periods in the env...

  18. Patterns of host-parasite adaptation in three populations of monarch butterflies infected with a naturally occurring protozoan disease: virulence, resistance, and tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternberg, Eleanore D; Li, Hui; Wang, Rebecca; Gowler, Camden; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2013-12-01

    Many studies have used host-parasite systems to study local adaptation, but few of these studies have found unequivocal evidence for adaptation. One potential reason is that most studies have focused on limited measures of host and parasite fitness that are generally assumed to be under negative frequency-dependent selection. We have used reciprocal cross-infection experiments to test for local adaptation in Hawaiian, south Floridian, and eastern North American populations of monarch butterflies and their protozoan parasites. Sympatric host-parasite combinations did not result in greater host or parasite fitness, as would be expected under coevolutionary dynamics driven by negative frequency-dependent selection. Instead, we found that Hawaiian hosts were more resistant and carried more infective and virulent parasites, which is consistent with theoretical predictions for virulence evolution and coevolutionary arms race dynamics. We also found that Hawaiian hosts were more tolerant, particularly of Hawaiian parasites, indicating that increased resistance does not preclude increased tolerance within a population and that hosts may be more tolerant of local parasites. We did not find a similar pattern in the south Floridian or eastern populations, possibly because host-parasite adaptation occurs within the context of a greater ecological community.

  19. Novel features of a PIWI-like protein homolog in the parasitic protozoan Leishmania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prasad K Padmanabhan

    Full Text Available In contrast to nearly all eukaryotes, the Old World Leishmania species L. infantum and L. major lack the bona fide RNAi machinery genes. Interestingly, both Leishmania genomes code for an atypical Argonaute-like protein that possesses a PIWI domain but lacks the PAZ domain found in Argonautes from RNAi proficient organisms. Using sub-cellular fractionation and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we show that unlike other eukaryotes, the PIWI-like protein is mainly localized in the single mitochondrion in Leishmania. To predict PIWI function, we generated a knockout mutant for the PIWI gene in both L. infantum (Lin and L. major species by double-targeted gene replacement. Depletion of PIWI has no effect on the viability of insect promastigote forms but leads to an important growth defect of the mammalian amastigote lifestage in vitro and significantly delays disease pathology in mice, consistent with a higher expression of the PIWI transcript in amastigotes. Moreover, amastigotes lacking PIWI display a higher sensitivity to apoptosis inducing agents than wild type parasites, suggesting that PIWI may be a sensor for apoptotic stimuli. Furthermore, a whole-genome DNA microarray analysis revealed that loss of LinPIWI in Leishmania amastigotes affects mostly the expression of specific subsets of developmentally regulated genes. Several transcripts encoding surface and membrane-bound proteins were found downregulated in the LinPIWI((-/- mutant whereas all histone transcripts were upregulated in the null mutant, supporting the possibility that PIWI plays a direct or indirect role in the stability of these transcripts. Although our data suggest that PIWI is not involved in the biogenesis or the stability of small noncoding RNAs, additional studies are required to gain further insights into the role of this protein on RNA regulation and amastigote development in Leishmania.

  20. Application of magnetically induced hyperthermia in the model protozoan Crithidia fasciculata as a potential therapy against parasitic infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grazú V

    2012-10-01

    experiments. Cell viability was analyzed using an MTT colorimetric assay and flow cytometry.Results: MNPs were incorporated into the cells, with no noticeable cytotoxicity. When a TVMF was applied to cells bearing MNPs, massive cell death was induced via a nonapoptotic mechanism. No effects were observed by applying TVMF to control cells not loaded with MNPs. No macroscopic rise in temperature was observed in the extracellular medium during the experiments.Conclusion: As a proof of principle, these data indicate that intracellular hyperthermia is a suitable technology to induce death of protozoan parasites bearing MNPs. These findings expand the possibilities for new therapeutic strategies combating parasitic infection.Keywords: magnetic hyperthermia, magnetic nanoparticles, trypanosomatids, Crithidia fasciculata

  1. Paleoparasitology: the origin of human parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Adauto; Reinhard, Karl; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando; Pucu, Elisa; Chieffi, Pedro Paulo

    2013-09-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Virus-mediated expression of firefly luciferase in the parasitic protozoan Giardia lamblia.

    OpenAIRE

    1995-01-01

    Giardia lamblia, a prevalent human pathogen and one of the lineages that branched earliest from prokaryotes, can be infected with a double-stranded RNA virus, giardiavirus (GLV). The 6,277-bp viral genome has been previously cloned (A.L. Wang, H.-M. Yang, K.A. Shen, and C.C. Wang, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90:8595-8599, 1993; C.-H. Wu, C.C. Wang, H.M. Yang, and A.L. Wang, Gene, in press) and was converted to a transfection vector for G. lamblia in the present study. By flanking the firefly l...

  4. In vitro activity of Etanidazole against the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia B Petray

    2004-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the in vitro action of an hydrosoluble 2-nitroimidazole, Etanidazole (EZL, against Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. EZL displayed lethal activity against isolated trypomastigotes as well as amastigotes of T. cruzi (RA strain growing in Vero cells or J774 macrophages, without affecting host cell viability. Although not completely equivalent to Benznidazole (BZL, the reference drug for Chagas chemotherapy, EZL takes advantage in exertingits anti-T. cruzi activity for longer periods without serious toxic side effects, as those recorded in BZL-treated patients. Our present results encourage further experiments to study in depth the trypanocidal properties of this drug already licensed for use in human cancers.

  5. In vitro activity of Etanidazole against the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petray, Patricia B; Morilla, María J; Corral, Ricardo S; Romero, Eder L

    2004-03-01

    We investigated the in vitro action of an hydrosoluble 2-nitroimidazole, Etanidazole (EZL), against Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. EZL displayed lethal activity against isolated trypomastigotes as well as amastigotes of T. cruzi (RA strain) growing in Vero cells or J774 macrophages, without affecting host cell viability. Although not completely equivalent to Benznidazole (BZL), the reference drug for Chagas chemotherapy, EZL takes advantage in exerting its anti-T. cruzi activity for longer periods without serious toxic side effects, as those recorded in BZL-treated patients. Our present results encourage further experiments to study in depth the trypanocidal properties of this drug already licensed for use in human cancers.

  6. Genome and transcriptome studies of the protozoan parasites Trypanosoma cruzi and Giardia intestinalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farran, Alexandra J. E.

    Vocal fold (VF) diseases and disorders are difficult to treat surgically or therapeutically. Tissue engineering offers an alternative strategy for the restoration of functional VF. In this work, we have developed tissue engineering methodologies for the functional reconstruction of VF. As a first step, the structure, composition and mechanical properties of native VF tissues have been investigated. In pigs ranging from fetal to 2+ years old, the VF structure and viscoelastic properties were found to be age-dependent. Adult tissues were more organized, displaying a denser lamina propria, and mature elastin fibers compared to fetal tissues, resulting in higher storage moduli. Secondly, biomimetic scaffolds which recaptured the mechanical properties of the native VF were developed. Chemically-defined collagen-hyaluronic acid (HA) composite hydrogels, and elastin-mimetic hybrid polymers (EMHPs) were successfully used as conducive 3D matrices, and 2D elastic scaffolds respectively, to in vitro static culture of fibroblasts. While the collagen-HA hydrogels allowed for in situ cell encapsulation and supported cell attachment and proliferation in 3D, the integrin-binding domain RGDSP was needed for cell proliferation on EMHPs. To emulate in vitro the mechanical environment of the native VF tissue, a dynamic culture system capable of generating vibratory stimulations at human phonation frequencies was successfully created and characterized. Gene expression analysis of fibroblasts subjected to 1 hour vibrations in 2D revealed that the expression of ECM-related genes was altered in response to changes in vibratory frequency and amplitude. Finally, expanding on our previous studies, the dynamic culture system was modified to accommodate for the long-term dynamic culture of cell-laden hydrogels. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) encapsulated in a collagen/HA-based hydrogel, cultured in presence of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and subjected to high frequency

  7. A novel soluble immune-type receptor (SITR in teleost fish: carp SITR is involved in the nitric oxide-mediated response to a protozoan parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla M S Ribeiro

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The innate immune system relies upon a wide range of germ-line encoded receptors including a large number of immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF receptors. Different Ig-like immune receptor families have been reported in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish. Most innate immune receptors of the IgSF are type I transmembrane proteins containing one or more extracellular Ig-like domains and their regulation of effector functions is mediated intracellularly by distinct stimulatory or inhibitory pathways. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Carp SITR was found in a substracted cDNA repertoire from carp macrophages, enriched for genes up-regulated in response to the protozoan parasite Trypanoplasma borreli. Carp SITR is a type I protein with two extracellular Ig domains in a unique organisation of a N-proximal V/C2 (or I- type and a C-proximal V-type Ig domain, devoid of a transmembrane domain or any intracytoplasmic signalling motif. The carp SITR C-proximal V-type Ig domain, in particular, has a close sequence similarity and conserved structural characteristics to the mammalian CD300 molecules. By generating an anti-SITR antibody we could show that SITR protein expression was restricted to cells of the myeloid lineage. Carp SITR is abundantly expressed in macrophages and is secreted upon in vitro stimulation with the protozoan parasite T. borreli. Secretion of SITR protein during in vivo T. borreli infection suggests a role for this IgSF receptor in the host response to this protozoan parasite. Overexpression of carp SITR in mouse macrophages and knock-down of SITR protein expression in carp macrophages, using morpholino antisense technology, provided evidence for the involvement of carp SITR in the parasite-induced NO production. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: We report the structural and functional characterization of a novel soluble immune-type receptor (SITR in a teleost fish and propose a role for carp SITR in the NO-mediated response to a

  8. Paleoparasitology: the origin of human parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Adauto Araujo; Karl Reinhard; Luiz Fernando Ferreira; Elisa Pucu; Pedro Paulo Chieffi

    2013-01-01

    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 ph...

  9. Invasive plants as catalysts for the spread of human parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Mack

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available As serious as are the consequences of invasive species that directly cause human afflictions through their production of lethal protease inhibitors (Bryonia alba, allergens (Parthenium hysterophorus or furanocoumarins (Hercaleum mantegazzianum, other introduced species may cause even greater risks to human health by enhancing the proliferation of vectors of virulent human parasites. The dense, floating mats of Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth create habitat for larvae of the dipteran vectors of Plasmodium spp., the causative agents of malaria, and other parasites. Facilitation of a human parasite is not restricted to aquatic systems. In Africa, the tropical American shrub Lantana camara (lantana provides essential habitat for dipteran vectors (Glossina spp. of protozoans (Trypanosoma spp. that cause trypanosomiasis. Unanticipated health consequences will likely continue to emerge from new plant introductions. Sin Nombre Virus (SNV is a rodent-borne parasite that causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, an often-lethal disease in humans. Populations of rodent vectors of SNV in South America increase rapidly in response to synchronous fruit availability among masting, native bamboos. With depletion of this temporary food source, the rodents seek food near human settlements, increasing the risk of human infections with SNV. In the United States the omnivorous deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus is also a SNV carrier. The escape of Asian cold-tolerant bamboos from cultivation raises the possibility of invasions (several have already become naturalized and providing a temporary boost to populations of infected native rodents. Proposed introductions of aquatic vascular species, species with masting reproduction and those that would occupy an unfilled niche in the proposed new range deserve careful evaluation for their possible roles as unforeseen catalysts of species interactions, especially of human parasites.

  10. Humanized HLA-DR4 mice fed with the protozoan pathogen of oysters Perkinsus marinus (Dermo do not develop noticeable pathology but elicit systemic immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wathsala Wijayalath

    Full Text Available Perkinsus marinus (Phylum Perkinsozoa is a marine protozoan parasite responsible for "Dermo" disease in oysters, which has caused extensive damage to the shellfish industry and estuarine environment. The infection prevalence has been estimated in some areas to be as high as 100%, often causing death of infected oysters within 1-2 years post-infection. Human consumption of the parasites via infected oysters is thus likely to occur, but to our knowledge the effect of oral consumption of P. marinus has not been investigated in humans or other mammals. To address the question we used humanized mice expressing HLA-DR4 molecules and lacking expression of mouse MHC-class II molecules (DR4.EA(0 in such a way that CD4 T cell responses are solely restricted by the human HLA-DR4 molecule. The DR4.EA(0 mice did not develop diarrhea or any detectable pathology in the gastrointestinal tract or lungs following single or repeated feedings with live P. marinus parasites. Furthermore, lymphocyte populations in the gut associated lymphoid tissue and spleen were unaltered in the parasite-fed mice ruling out local or systemic inflammation. Notably, naïve DR4.EA(0 mice had antibodies (IgM and IgG reacting against P. marinus parasites whereas parasite specific T cell responses were undetectable. Feeding with P. marinus boosted the antibody responses and stimulated specific cellular (IFNγ immunity to the oyster parasite. Our data indicate the ability of P. marinus parasites to induce systemic immunity in DR4.EA(0 mice without causing noticeable pathology, and support rationale grounds for using genetically engineered P. marinus as a new oral vaccine platform to induce systemic immunity against infectious agents.

  11. Cytokine and chemokine responses to helminth and protozoan parasites and to fungus and mite allergens in neonates, children, adults, and the elderly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lechner, Christian J; Komander, Karl; Hegewald, Jana; Huang, Xiangsheng; Gantin, Richard G; Soboslay, Peter T; Agossou, Abram; Banla, Meba; Köhler, Carsten

    2013-07-15

    In rural sub-Saharan Africa, endemic populations are often infected concurrently with several intestinal and intravascular helminth and protozoan parasites. A specific, balanced and, to an extent, protective immunity will develop over time in response to repeated parasite encounters, with immune responses initially being poorly adapted and non-protective. The cellular production of pro-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines and chemokines in response to helminth, protozoan antigens and ubiquitous allergens were studied in neonates, children, adults and the elderly. In children schistosomiasis prevailed (33%) while hookworm and Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar was found in up to half of adults and the elderly. Mansonella perstans filariasis was only present in adults (24%) and the elderly (25%). Two or more parasite infections were diagnosed in 41% of children, while such polyparasitism was present in 34% and 38% of adults and the elderly. Cytokine and chemokine production was distinctively inducible by parasite antigens; pro-inflammatory Th2-type cytokine IL-19 was activated by Entamoeba and Ascaris antigens, being low in neonates and children while IL-19 production enhanced "stepwise" in adults and elderly. In contrast, highest production of MIP-1delta/CCL15 was present in neonates and children and inducible by Entamoeba-specific antigens only. Adults and the elderly had enhanced regulatory IL-27 cytokine responses, with Th2-type chemokines (MCP-4/CCL13, Eotaxin-2/CCL24) and cytokines (IL-33) being notably inducible by helminth- and Entamoeba-specific antigens and fungus-derived allergens. The lower cellular responsiveness in neonates and children highlighted the development of a parasite-specific cellular response profile in response to repeated episodes of exposure and re-infection. Following repeated exposure to parasites, and as a consequence of host inability to prevent or eliminate intestinal helminth or protozoa infections, a repertoire of immune responses

  12. Strategies of the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica to evade the innate immune responses of intestinal epithelial cells

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S Ankri

    2002-11-01

    Molecules expressed by the pathogenic ameoba Entamoeba histolytica but weakly expressed or absent from the non-pathogenic ameoba Entamoeba dispar could be used by intestinal epithelial cells to discriminate between the two species and to initiate an appropriate inflammatory response. Among the possible molecules involved in this identification are the Gal/GalNac lectin and the lipophosphoglycan. Once the inflammatory response is initiated, E. histolytica trophozoites have to protect themselves against reactive nitrogen intermediates produced by intestinal epithelial cells, oxygen intermediates, and cytotoxic molecules released by activated neutrophils. By screening the E. histolytica genome, we have identified proteins that may play a role in the defence strategy of the parasite. One of these proteins, a serine proteinase inhibitor, inhibits human neutrophil cathepsin G, a key component of the host defence.

  13. Necrotizing Lung Infection Caused by the Protozoan Balantidium coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sat Sharma

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Balantidium coli, a ciliated protozoan, is well known to cause intestinal infection in humans. Extraintestinal spread to the peritoneal cavity and genitourinary tract has rarely been reported. There have also been a few cases of lung involvement from this parasite. A case of B coli causing a thick-walled right upper lobe cavity in an organic farmer who had contact with aerosolized pig manure is reported. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid examined for ova and parasite revealed trophozoites of B coli in large numbers. Treatment with doxycycline hyclate led to marked improvement. Necrotizing lung infection caused by the protozoan B coli should be considered in individuals who report contact with pigs.

  14. [ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL RISK FOR CONTAMINATION OF SURFACE WATER RESERVOIRS BY PATHOGENS OF HUMAN PARASITIC DISEASES].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khromenkova, E P; Dimidova, L L; Dumbadze, O S; Aidinov, G T; Shendo, G L; Agirov, A Kh; Batchaev, Kh Kh

    2015-01-01

    Sanitary and parasitological studies of the waste effluents and surface reservoir waters were conducted in the south of Russia. The efficiency of purification of waste effluents from the pathogens of parasitic diseases was investigated in the region's sewage-purification facilities. The water of the surface water reservoirs was found to contain helminthic eggs and larvae and intestinal protozoan cysts because of the poor purification and disinfection of service fecal sewage waters. The poor purification and disinvasion of waste effluents in the region determine the potential risk of contamination of the surface water reservoirs and infection of the population with the pathogens of human parasitic diseases.

  15. Towards an unbiased metabolic profiling of protozoan parasites : optimisation of a Leishmania sampling protocol for HILIC-orbitrap analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    t'Kindt, Ruben; Jankevics, Andris; Scheltema, Richard A.; Zheng, Liang; Watson, David G.; Dujardin, Jean-Claude; Breitling, Rainer; Coombs, Graham H.; Decuypere, Saskia; Kindt, Ruben t’

    2010-01-01

    Comparative metabolomics of Leishmania species requires the simultaneous identification and quantification of a large number of intracellular metabolites. Here, we describe the optimisation of a comprehensive metabolite extraction protocol for Leishmania parasites and the subsequent optimisation of

  16. Human behaviour and the epidemiology of parasitic zoonoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macpherson, Calum N L

    2005-10-01

    The behaviour of Homo sapiens has a pivotal role to play in the macro and microepidemiology of emerging or re-emerging parasitic zoonoses. Changing demographics and the concomitant alterations to the environment, climate, technology, land use and changes in human behavior, converge to favour the emergence and spread of parasitic zoonoses. The recent unprecedented movements of people, their animals and their parasites around the world, introduce and mix genes, cultural preferences, customs, and behavioral patterns. The increasing proclivity for eating meat, fish, crabs, shrimp, molluscs raw, undercooked, smoked, pickled or dried facilitates a number of protozoan (Toxoplasma), trematode (Fasciola sp., Paragonimus spp., Clonorchis sp., Opisthorchis spp., Heterophyes sp., Metagonimus sp., Echinostoma spp., Nanophyetus sp.) cestode (Taenia spp, Diphyllobothrum sp.) and nematode (Trichinella spp., Capillaria spp., Gnathostoma spp., Anisakis sp., Parastrongylus spp.) caused zoonoses. The increasing world population and the inability to keep pace with the provision of adequate sanitation and clean, safe drinking water, has led to an increased importance of waterborne zoonoses, such as those caused by Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Toxoplasma. Our close relationship with and the numerous uses to which we put companion animals and their ubiquitous distribution has resulted in dogs and cats unwitting participation in sharing over 60 parasite species including: Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, most foodborne trematode species, Diphyllobothrum, Echinococcus spp., Ancylostoma and Toxocara. Changing human behaviour through education, to encourage the proper cooking of food, which may have cultural and social significance, will remain as challenging as controlling stray and feral pet populations, improving hygiene levels and the provision of safe drinking water and the proper use of sanctuary facilities. Long pre-patent periods and the normally insidious sub-clinical nature of

  17. Molecular evidence of the protozoan parasite Marteilia refringens in Crassostrea gigas and Crassostrea corteziensis from the Gulf of California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel Grijalva-Chon

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The search for exotic pathogens related to the outbreaks and in surveillance samplings of the Mexican oyster farms, is a recent activity achieved by academic institutions and state committees for Aquatic Animal Health, with remarkable results. In samples of Crassostrea gigas collected through December 2009, January 2010 and November 2010, and of C. corteziensis in September 2011, the protozoan Marteilia refringens was detected for the first time in the Gulf of California. The carrier oysters were from cultures without abnormal mortality rates, whereby, the use of histology, in situ hybridization and transmission electron microscopy studies are necessary to determine if M. refringens has become established in the Gulf of California oyster cultures. Detection of M. refringens is of great concern to the global oyster farming industry.

  18. Application of magnetically induced hyperthermia on the model protozoan Crithidia fasciculata as a potential therapy against parasitic infections

    CERN Document Server

    Grazú, V; Moros, M; Asín, L; Torres, T E; Marquina, C; Ibarra, M R; Goya, G F; 10.2147/IJN.S35510

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic hyperthermia is currently an EU-approved clinical therapy against tumor cells that uses magnetic nanoparticles under a time varying magnetic field (TVMF). The same basic principle seems promising against trypanosomatids causing Chagas disease and sleeping sickness, since therapeutic drugs available display severe side effects and drug-resistant strains. However, no applications of this strategy against protozoan-induced diseases have been reported so far. In the present study, Crithidia fasciculata, a widely used model for therapeutic strategies against pathogenic trypanosomatids, was targeted with Fe_{3}O_{4} magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) in order to remotely provoke cell death using TVMFs. The MNPs with average sizes of d approx. 30 nm were synthesized using a precipitation of FeSO_{4}4 in basic medium. The MNPs were added to Crithidia fasciculata choanomastigotes in exponential phase and incubated overnight. The amount of uploaded MNPs per cell was determined by magnetic measurements. Cell viabili...

  19. The Eimeria transcript DB: an integrated resource for annotated transcripts of protozoan parasites of the genus Eimeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangel, Luiz Thibério; Novaes, Jeniffer; Durham, Alan M; Madeira, Alda Maria B N; Gruber, Arthur

    2013-01-01

    Parasites of the genus Eimeria infect a wide range of vertebrate hosts, including chickens. We have recently reported a comparative analysis of the transcriptomes of Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima and Eimeria tenella, integrating ORESTES data produced by our group and publicly available Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs). All cDNA reads have been assembled, and the reconstructed transcripts have been submitted to a comprehensive functional annotation pipeline. Additional studies included orthology assignment across apicomplexan parasites and clustering analyses of gene expression profiles among different developmental stages of the parasites. To make all this body of information publicly available, we constructed the Eimeria Transcript Database (EimeriaTDB), a web repository that provides access to sequence data, annotation and comparative analyses. Here, we describe the web interface, available sequence data sets and query tools implemented on the site. The main goal of this work is to offer a public repository of sequence and functional annotation data of reconstructed transcripts of parasites of the genus Eimeria. We believe that EimeriaTDB will represent a valuable and complementary resource for the Eimeria scientific community and for those researchers interested in comparative genomics of apicomplexan parasites. Database URL: http://www.coccidia.icb.usp.br/eimeriatdb/

  20. Palaeoparasitology - Human Parasites in Ancient Material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Adauto; Reinhard, Karl; Ferreira, Luiz Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Parasite finds in ancient material launched a new field of science: palaeoparasitology. Ever since the pioneering studies, parasites were identified in archaeological and palaeontological remains, some preserved for millions of years by fossilization. However, the palaeoparasitological record consists mainly of parasites found specifically in human archaeological material, preserved in ancient occupation sites, from prehistory until closer to 2015. The results include some helminth intestinal parasites still commonly found in 2015, such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms, besides others such as Amoebidae and Giardia intestinalis, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi and arthropods. These parasites as a whole provide important data on health, diet, climate and living conditions among ancient populations. This chapter describes the principal findings and their importance for knowledge on the origin and dispersal of infectious diseases.

  1. Signal transduction triggered by iron to induce the nuclear importation of a Myb3 transcription factor in the parasitic protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Hong-Ming; Lee, Yu; Hsu, Pang-Hung; Liu, Hsing-Wei; Chu, Chien-Hsin; Chou, Ya-Wen; Chen, Yet-Ran; Chen, Shu-Hui; Tai, Jung-Hsiang

    2014-10-17

    Iron was previously shown to induce rapid nuclear translocation of a Myb3 transcription factor in the protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. In the present study, iron was found to induce a transient increase in cellular cAMP, followed by the nuclear influx of Myb3, whereas the latter was also induced by 8-bromo-cyclic AMP. Iron-inducible cAMP production and nuclear influx of Myb3 were inhibited by suramin and SQ22536, respective inhibitors of the Gα subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins and adenylyl cyclases. In contrast, the nuclear influx of Myb3 induced by iron or 8-bromo-cAMP was delayed or inhibited, respectively, by H89, the inhibitor of protein kinase A. Using liquid chromatography-coupled tandem mass spectrometry, Thr(156) and Lys(143) in Myb3 were found to be phosphorylated and ubiquitinated, respectively. These modifications were induced by iron and inhibited by H89, as shown by immunoprecipitation-coupled Western blotting. Iron-inducible ubiquitination and nuclear influx were aborted in T156A and K143R, but T156D was constitutively ubiquitinated and persistently localized to the nucleus. Myb3 was phosphorylated in vitro by the catalytic subunit of a T. vaginalis protein kinase A, TvPKAc. A transient interaction between TvPKAc and Myb3 and the phosphorylation of both proteins were induced in the parasite shortly after iron or 8-bromo-cAMP treatment. Together, these observations suggest that iron may induce production of cAMP and activation of TvPKAc, which then induces the phosphorylation of Myb3 and subsequent ubiquitination for accelerated nuclear influx. It is conceivable that iron probably exerts a much broader impact on the physiology of the parasite than previously thought to encounter environmental changes.

  2. Cos-Seq for high-throughput identification of drug target and resistance mechanisms in the protozoan parasite Leishmania

    OpenAIRE

    Gazanion, Élodie; Fernández-Prada, Christopher; Papadopoulou, Barbara; Leprohon, Philippe; Ouellette, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Gain-of-function screens using overexpression genomic libraries are powerful tools for discovering drug target/resistance genes, but several limitations make this technique less amenable to high-throughput screening. Using cosmid-based functional screening coupled to next-generation sequencing, an approach that we term Cosmid Sequencing (or “Cos-Seq”), we followed the dynamics of cosmid enrichment during drug pressure in Leishmania, the parasite responsible for leishmaniasis, a neglected trop...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Clément N.; Frias, Elma S.; Szu, Jenny I.; Vieira, Philip A.; Hubbard, Jacqueline A.; Lovelace, Jonathan; Michael, Marena; Worth, Danielle; McGovern, Kathryn E.; Ethell, Iryna M.; Stanley, B. Glenn; Korzus, Edward; Fiacco, Todd A.; Binder, Devin K.; Wilson, Emma H.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27281462

  4. Transfer of genetic information between parasite and its host

    OpenAIRE

    Soukal, Petr

    2011-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is considered a rare evolutionary event. It can take place between unrelated organisms that coexist in an intimate symbiotic relationship. Such relationship have some parasites with its host. HGT between eukaryotic parasite and its host was identified in some holoparazitic and hemiparazitic plants, the most important human protozoan parasites, microsporidias, human blood-flukes, parasitoids and fruit flies.

  5. Simultaneous detection of the protozoan parasites Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium and Giardia in food matrices and their persistence on basil leaves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hohweyer, Jeanne; Cazeaux, Catherine; Travaillé, Emmanuelle; Languet, Emilie; Dumètre, Aurélien; Aubert, Dominique; Terryn, Christine; Dubey, Jitender P; Azas, Nadine; Houssin, Maryline; Loïc, Favennec; Villena, Isabelle; La Carbona, Stéphanie

    2016-08-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia intestinalis are emerging pathogen parasites in the food domain. However, without standardized methods for their detection in food matrices, parasitic foodborne outbreaks remain neglected. In this study, a new immunomagnetic separation assay (IMS Toxo) targeting the oocyst's wall of T. gondii was developed using a specific purified monoclonal antibody. Performance of this IMS Toxo coupled to microscopic and qPCR analyses was evaluated in terms of limit of detection (LOD) and recovery rate (RR) on: i) simple matrix (LOD = 5 oocysts; RR between 5 and 56%); ii) raspberries and basil (LOD = 33 oocysts/g; RR between 0.2 and 35%). Finally, to simultaneously extract the three protozoa from these food matrices, T. gondii oocysts were directly concentrated (without IMS Toxo) from the supernatant of the IMS of Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts. This strategy associated to qPCR detection led to LOD <1 to 3 (oo)cysts/g and RR between 2 and 35%. This procedure was coupled to RT-qPCR analyses and showed that the three protozoa persisted on the leaves of basil and remained viable following storage at 4 °C for 8 days. These data strengthen the need to consider these protozoa in food safety.

  6. Flagellar motility in eukaryotic human parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Timothy; Engstler, Markus

    2015-10-01

    A huge variety of protists rely on one or more motile flagella to either move themselves or move fluids and substances around them. Many of these flagellates have evolved a symbiotic or parasitic lifestyle. Several of the parasites have adapted to human hosts, and include agents of prevalent and serious diseases. These unicellular parasites have become specialised in colonising a wide range of biological niches within humans. They usually have diverse transmission cycles, and frequently manifest a variety of distinct morphological stages. The motility of the single or multiple flagella plays important but understudied roles in parasite transmission, host invasion, dispersal, survival, proliferation and pathology. In this review we provide an overview of the important human pathogens that possess a motile flagellum for at least part of their life cycle. We highlight recently published studies that aim to elucidate motility mechanisms, and their relevance for human disease. We then bring the physics of swimming at the microscale into context, emphasising the importance of interdisciplinary approaches for a full understanding of flagellate motility - especially in light of the parasites' microenvironments and population dynamics. Finally, we summarise some important technological aspects, describing challenges for the field and possibilities for motility analyses in the future.

  7. Two families of rep-like genes that probably originated by interspecies recombination are represented in viral, plasmid, bacterial, and parasitic protozoan genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, Mark J; Smeianov, Vladimir V; Steele, James L; Upcroft, Peter; Efimov, Boris A

    2006-06-01

    Two families of genes related to, and including, rolling circle replication initiator protein (Rep) genes were defined by sequence similarity and by evidence of intergene family recombination. The Rep genes of circoviruses were the best characterized members of the "RecRep1 family." Other members of the RecRep1 family were Rep-like genes found in the genomes of the Canarypox virus, Entamoeba histolytica, and Giardia duodenalis and in a plasmid, p4M, from the Gram-positive bacterium, Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum. The "RecRep2 family" comprised some previously identified Rep-like genes from plasmids of phytoplasmas and similar Rep-like genes from the genomes of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactococcus lactis, and Phytoplasma asteris. Both RecRep1 and RecRep2 proteins have a nucleotide-binding domain significantly similar to the helicases (2C proteins) of picorna-like viruses. On the N-terminal side of the nucleotide binding domain, RecRep1 proteins have a domain significantly similar to one found in nanovirus Reps, whereas RecRep2 proteins have a domain significantly similar to one in the Reps of pLS1 plasmids. We speculate that RecRep genes have been transferred from viruses or plasmids to parasitic protozoan and bacterial genomes and that Rep proteins were themselves involved in the original recombination events that generated the ancestral RecRep genes.

  8. Parasitic diseases in humans transmitted by vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cholewiński, Marcin; Derda, Monika; Hadaś, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Despite the considerable progress of medicine, parasitic diseases still pose a great threat to human health and life. Among parasitic diseases, those transmitted by vectors, mainly arthropods, play a particular role. These diseases occur most frequently in the poorest countries and affect a vast part of the human population. They include malaria, babesiosis, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis and filariasis. This study presents those vector-transmitted diseases that are responsible for the greatest incidence and mortality of people on a global scale. Attention is focused primarily on diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, flies, Hemiptera and ticks.

  9. Attenuation of a drug-sensitive strain of a turkey protozoan parasite Eimeria meleagrimitis by selection for precocious development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathinam, T; Gadde, U; Chapman, H D

    2016-01-30

    An attenuated line of Eimeria meleagrimitis was established by repeated propagation of the parasite in 9-day old turkey poults and subsequent selection for precocious development. Following 20 passages, the prepatent period decreased from 120 to 104h. A series of experiments were conducted to evaluate the pathogenicity, immunogenicity and fecundity of the newly selected line. Judged by body weight gain, feed consumption and feed efficiency following infection, the attenuated line had appreciably reduced pathogenicity. Immunogenicity of the attenuated line was examined by infecting poults successively with incremental doses of 10(2), 10(3) and 10(4) oocysts at 0, 7, and 14 days of age respectively. No oocysts were detected following challenge with 5×10(2) oocysts, indicating that the attenuated line had retained immunogenicity. Fecundity was assessed by infecting two-week old birds with 5×10(2) oocysts of either parent or attenuated line. Oocyst production from 96 to 240h post-infection showed that the patent period of the attenuated line commenced earlier and was of shorter duration than the parent line.

  10. An Emerging Approach for Parallel Quantification of Intracellular Protozoan Parasites and Host Cell Characterization Using TissueFAXS Cytometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Maximilian; Dufner, Bianca; Dürk, Julius; Bedal, Konstanze; Stricker, Kristina; Prokoph, Lukas Ali; Koch, Christoph; Wege, Anja K; Zirpel, Henner; van Zandbergen, Ger; Ecker, Rupert; Boghiu, Bogdan; Ritter, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Characterization of host-pathogen interactions is a fundamental approach in microbiological and immunological oriented disciplines. It is commonly accepted that host cells start to change their phenotype after engulfing pathogens. Techniques such as real time PCR or ELISA were used to characterize the genes encoding proteins that are associated either with pathogen elimination or immune escape mechanisms. Most of such studies were performed in vitro using primary host cells or cell lines. Consequently, the data generated with such approaches reflect the global RNA expression or protein amount recovered from all cells in culture. This is justified when all host cells harbor an equal amount of pathogens under experimental conditions. However, the uptake of pathogens by phagocytic cells is not synchronized. Consequently, there are host cells incorporating different amounts of pathogens that might result in distinct pathogen-induced protein biosynthesis. Therefore, we established a technique able to detect and quantify the number of pathogens in the corresponding host cells using immunofluorescence-based high throughput analysis. Paired with multicolor staining of molecules of interest it is now possible to analyze the infection profile of host cell populations and the corresponding phenotype of the host cells as a result of parasite load.

  11. Simultaneous gene expression profiling in human macrophages infected with Leishmania major parasites using SAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smandi Sondos

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Leishmania (L are intracellular protozoan parasites that are able to survive and replicate within the harsh and potentially hostile phagolysosomal environment of mammalian mononuclear phagocytes. A complex interplay then takes place between the macrophage (MΦ striving to eliminate the pathogen and the parasite struggling for its own survival. To investigate this host-parasite conflict at the transcriptional level, in the context of monocyte-derived human MΦs (MDM infection by L. major metacyclic promastigotes, the quantitative technique of serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE was used. Results After extracting mRNA from resting human MΦs, Leishmania-infected human MΦs and L. major parasites, three SAGE libraries were constructed and sequenced generating up to 28,173; 57,514 and 33,906 tags respectively (corresponding to 12,946; 23,442 and 9,530 unique tags. Using computational data analysis and direct comparison to 357,888 publicly available experimental human tags, the parasite and the host cell transcriptomes were then simultaneously characterized from the mixed cellular extract, confidently discriminating host from parasite transcripts. This procedure led us to reliably assign 3,814 tags to MΦs' and 3,666 tags to L. major parasites transcripts. We focused on these, showing significant changes in their expression that are likely to be relevant to the pathogenesis of parasite infection: (i human MΦs genes, belonging to key immune response proteins (e.g., IFNγ pathway, S100 and chemokine families and (ii a group of Leishmania genes showing a preferential expression at the parasite's intra-cellular developing stage. Conclusion Dual SAGE transcriptome analysis provided a useful, powerful and accurate approach to discriminating genes of human or parasitic origin in Leishmania-infected human MΦs. The findings presented in this work suggest that the Leishmania parasite modulates key transcripts in human MΦs that may

  12. Human intestinal parasites in non-biting synanthropic flies in Ogun State, Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adenusi, Adedotun Adesegun; Adewoga, Thomas O Sunday

    2013-01-01

    Filth-feeding and breeding, non-biting synanthropic flies have been incriminated in the dissemination of human enteropathogens in the environment. This study determined the species of non-biting synanthropic flies associated with four filthy sites in Ilishan, Ogun State, southwest Nigeria, and assessed their potentials for mechanical transmission of human intestinal parasites. 7190 flies identified as Musca domestica (33.94%), Chrysomya megacephala (26.01%), Musca sorbens (23.23%), Lucilia cuprina (8.76%), Calliphora vicina (4.59%), Sarcophaga sp. (2.78%) and Fannia scalaris (0.70%) were examined for human intestinal parasites by the formol-ether concentration and modified Ziehl-Neelsen techniques. Eggs of the following parasites: Ascaris lumbricoides (34.08%), Trichuris trichiura (25.87%), hookworms (20.45%), Taenia sp. (2.36%), Hymenolepis nana (1.11%), Enterobius vermicularis (0.56%), Strongyloides stercoralis (larvae; 3.89%) and cysts of Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (27.26%), Entamoeba coli (22.67%), Giardia lamblia (3.34%) and Cryptosporidium sp. (1.81%) were isolated from the body surfaces and or gut contents of 75.24% of 719 pooled fly batches. The helminths A. lumbricoides and T. trichiura and the protozoans, E. histolytica/dispar and E. coli were the dominant parasites detected, both on body surfaces and in the gut contents of flies. C. megacephala was the highest carrier of parasites (diversity and number). More parasites were isolated from the gut than from body surfaces (P parasites than those from abattoir, garbage or open-air market. Synanthropic fly species identified in this study can be of potential epidemiological importance as mechanical transmitters of human intestinal parasites acquired naturally from filth and carried on their body surfaces and or in the gut, because of their vagility and feeding mechanisms.

  13. Small RNA pyrosequencing in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica reveals strain-specific small RNAs that target virulence genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Small RNA mediated gene silencing is a well-conserved regulatory pathway. In the parasite Entamoeba histolytica an endogenous RNAi pathway exists, however, the depth and diversity of the small RNA population remains unknown. Results To characterize the small RNA population that associates with E. histolytica Argonaute-2 (EhAGO2-2), we immunoprecipitated small RNAs that associate with it and performed one full pyrosequencing run. Data analysis revealed new features of the 27nt small RNAs including the 5′-G predominance, distinct small RNA distribution patterns on protein coding genes, small RNAs mapping to both introns and exon-exon junctions, and small RNA targeted genes that are clustered particularly in sections of genome duplication. Characterization of genomic loci to which both sense and antisense small RNAs mapped showed that both sets of small RNAs have 5′-polyphosphate termini; strand-specific RT-PCR detected transcripts in both directions at these loci suggesting that both transcripts may serve as template for small RNA generation. In order to determine whether small RNA abundance patterns account for strain-specific gene expression profiles of E. histolytica virulent and non-virulent strains, we sequenced small RNAs from a non-virulent strain and found that small RNAs mapped to genes in a manner consistent with their regulation of strain-specific virulence genes. Conclusions We provided a full spectrum analysis for E. histolytica AGO2-2 associated 27nt small RNAs. Additionally, comparative analysis of small RNA populations from virulent and non-virulent amebic strains indicates that small RNA populations may regulate virulence genes. PMID:23347563

  14. Mitosis in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum ▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 contributing factor for their pathogenesis in the host. As with other eukaryotes, successful mitosis is an essential requirement for Plasmodium reproduction; however, some aspects of Plasmodium mitosis are quite distinct and not fully understood. In this review, we will discuss the current understanding of the architecture and key events of mitosis in Plasmodium falciparum and related parasites and compare them with the traditional mitotic events described for other eukaryotes. PMID:21317311

  15. New polymorphic microsatellite markers derived from hemocyte cDNA library of Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum challenged by the protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Hyun-Sil; Hong, Hyun-Ki; Park, Kyung-Il; Cho, Moonjae; Youn, Seok-Hyun; Choi, Kwang-Sik

    2017-02-01

    Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum is one of the most important benthic animals in the coastal north Pacific region, where clam populations have been mixed genetically through trade and aquaculture activities. Accordingly, identification of the genetically different clam populations has become one of the most important issues to manage interbreeding of the local and introduced clam populations. To identify genetically different populations of clam populations, we developed 11 expressed sequence tag (EST)-microsatellite loci (i.e., simple sequence repeat, SSR) from 1,128 clam hemocyte cDNA clones challenged by the protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni. Genotype analysis using the markers developed in this study demonstrated that clams from a tidal flat on the west coast contained 6 to 19 alleles per locus, and a population from Jeju Island had 4 to 20 alleles per locus. The expected heterozygosity of the 2 clam populations ranged from 0.472 to 0.919 for clams from the west coast, and 0.494 to 0.919 for clams from Jeju Island, respectively. Among the 11 loci discovered in this study, 7 loci significantly deviated from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium after Bonferroni correction. The 5 loci developed in this study also successfully amplified the SSRs of R. variegatus, a clam species taxonomically very close to R. philippinarum, from Hong Kong and Jeju Island. We believe that the 11 novel polymorphic SSR developed in this study can be utilized successfully in Manila clam genetic diversity analysis, as well as in genetic discrimination of different clam populations.

  16. New polymorphic microsatellite markers derived from hemocyte cDNA library of Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum challenged by the protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Hyun-Sil; Hong, Hyun-Ki; Park, Kyung-Il; Cho, Moonjae; Youn, Seok-Hyun; Choi, Kwang-Sik

    2017-03-01

    Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum is one of the most important benthic animals in the coastal north Pacific region, where clam populations have been mixed genetically through trade and aquaculture activities. Accordingly, identification of the genetically different clam populations has become one of the most important issues to manage interbreeding of the local and introduced clam populations. To identify genetically different populations of clam populations, we developed 11 expressed sequence tag (EST)-microsatellite loci (i.e., simple sequence repeat, SSR) from 1,128 clam hemocyte cDNA clones challenged by the protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni. Genotype analysis using the markers developed in this study demonstrated that clams from a tidal flat on the west coast contained 6 to 19 alleles per locus, and a population from Jeju Island had 4 to 20 alleles per locus. The expected heterozygosity of the 2 clam populations ranged from 0.472 to 0.919 for clams from the west coast, and 0.494 to 0.919 for clams from Jeju Island, respectively. Among the 11 loci discovered in this study, 7 loci significantly deviated from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium after Bonferroni correction. The 5 loci developed in this study also successfully amplified the SSRs of R. variegatus, a clam species taxonomically very close to R. philippinarum, from Hong Kong and Jeju Island. We believe that the 11 novel polymorphic SSR developed in this study can be utilized successfully in Manila clam genetic diversity analysis, as well as in genetic discrimination of different clam populations.

  17. Apo and calcium-bound crystal structures of cytoskeletal protein alpha-14 giardin (annexin E1) from the intestinal protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathuri, Puja; Nguyen, Emily Tam; Ozorowski, Gabriel; Svärd, Staffan G; Luecke, Hartmut

    2009-01-30

    Alpha-14 giardin (annexin E1), a member of the alpha giardin family of annexins, has been shown to localize to the flagella of the intestinal protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia. Alpha giardins show a common ancestry with the annexins, a family of proteins most of which bind to phospholipids and cellular membranes in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner and are implicated in numerous membrane-related processes including cytoskeletal rearrangements and membrane organization. It has been proposed that alpha-14 giardin may play a significant role during the cytoskeletal rearrangement during differentiation of Giardia. To gain a better understanding of alpha-14 giardin's mode of action and its biological role, we have determined the three-dimensional structure of alpha-14 giardin and its phospholipid-binding properties. Here, we report the apo crystal structure of alpha-14 giardin determined in two different crystal forms as well as the Ca(2+)-bound crystal structure of alpha-14 giardin, refined to 1.9, 1.6 and 1.65 A, respectively. Although the overall fold of alpha-14 giardin is similar to that of alpha-11 giardin, multiwavelength anomalous dispersion phasing was required to solve the alpha-14 giardin structure, indicating significant structural differences between these two members of the alpha giardin family. Unlike most annexin structures, which typically possess N-terminal domains, alpha-14 giardin is composed of only a core domain, followed by a C-terminal extension that may serve as a ligand for binding to cytoskeletal protein partners in Giardia. In the Ca(2+)-bound structure we detected five bound calcium ions, one of which is a novel, highly coordinated calcium-binding site not previously observed in annexin structures. This novel high-affinity calcium-binding site is composed of seven protein donor groups, a feature rarely observed in crystal structures. In addition, phospholipid-binding assays suggest that alpha-14 giardin exhibits calcium-dependent binding to

  18. The viral RNA-based transfection of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in the parasitic protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Ding, He; Zhang, Xinxin; Cao, Lili; Li, Jianhua; Gong, Pengtao; Li, He; Zhang, Guocai; Li, Shuhong; Zhang, Xichen

    2012-03-01

    Here we have developed methods to transiently and stably transfect the human pathogenic protist Trichomonas vaginalis. The viral RNA-based transfection vector pTVV-EGFP/NEO was constructed by using enhanced green fluorescent protein gene (EGFP) and neomycin resistance gene (NEO) in tandem to replace the whole gene encoding region of T. vaginalis virus (TVV). The in vitro transcripts of linearized pTVV-EGFP/NEO were electroporated into trophozoites and the transfectants transiently expressed EGFP after 16 h postincubation. Stable expression of EGFP was persistently detected by fluorescence microscopy and by RT-PCR in transfected trophozoites under G418 selection. Our study provides a novel and valuable approach for genetic study of T. vaginalis.

  19. Major trends in human parasitic diseases in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ting; He, Shenyi; Zhao, Hong; Zhao, Guanghui; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2010-05-01

    Tremendous progress has been made in the control and prevention of human parasitic diseases in mainland China in the past 30 years because of China's Reform and Opening to the Outside Policies initiated in 1978. However, parasitic diseases remain a major human health problem, with significant morbidity and mortality as well as adverse socioeconomic consequences. Although soil-transmitted parasitic diseases are in the process of being gradually controlled, food-borne parasitic diseases and emerging parasitic diseases are becoming the focus of new campaigns for control and prevention. This article reviews major trends in human parasitic diseases in mainland China, with perspectives for control.

  20. DNA from protozoan parasites Babesia bovis, Trypanosoma cruzi, and T. brucei is mitogenic for B lymphocytes and stimulates macrophage expression of interleukin-12, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and nitric oxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoda, L K; Kegerreis, K A; Suarez, C E; Roditi, I; Corral, R S; Bertot, G M; Norimine, J; Brown, W C

    2001-04-01

    The activation of innate immune responses by genomic DNA from bacteria and several nonvertebrate organisms represents a novel mechanism of pathogen recognition. We recently demonstrated the CpG-dependent mitogenic activity of DNA from the protozoan parasite Babesia bovis for bovine B lymphocytes (W. C. Brown, D. M. Estes, S. E. Chantler, K. A. Kegerreis, and C. E. Suarez, Infect. Immun. 66:5423-5432, 1998). However, activation of macrophages by DNA from protozoan parasites has not been demonstrated. The present study was therefore conducted to determine whether DNA from the protozan parasites B. bovis, Trypanosoma cruzi, and T. brucei activates macrophages to secrete inflammatory mediators associated with protective immunity. DNA from Escherichia coli and all three parasites stimulated B-lymphocyte proliferation and increased macrophage production of interleukin-12 (IL-12), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and nitric oxide (NO). Regulation of IL-12 and NO production occurred at the level of transcription. The amounts of IL-12, TNF-alpha, and NO induced by E. coli and protozoal DNA were strongly correlated (r2 > 0.9) with the frequency of CG dinucleotides in the genome, and immunostimulation by DNA occurred in the order E. coli > or = T. cruzi > T. brucei > B. bovis. Induction of inflammatory mediators by E. coli, T. brucei, and B. bovis DNA was dependent on the presence of unmethylated CpG dinucleotides. However, at high concentrations, E. coli and T. cruzi DNA-mediated macrophage activation was not inhibited following methylation. The recognition of protozoal DNA by B lymphocytes and macrophages may provide an important innate defense mechanism to control parasite replication and promote persistent infection.

  1. Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in Protozoan Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo T. Bozza

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF is a cytokine that plays a central role in immune and inflammatory responses. In the present paper, we discussed the participation of MIF in the immune response to protozoan parasite infections. As a general trend, MIF participates in the control of parasite burden at the expense of promoting tissue damage due to increased inflammation.

  2. Human infection with Trypanosoma cruzi induces parasite antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wizel, B; Palmieri, M; Mendoza, C; Arana, B; Sidney, J; Sette, A; Tarleton, R

    1998-09-01

    Experimental models of Chagas' disease, an infection caused by the intracellular protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, have demonstrated the crucial immunoprotective role played by CD8(+) T lymphocytes. These cells dominate inflammatory foci in parasitized tissues and their elimination from mice leads to uncontrolled parasite replication and subsequent death of the infected host. A trypomastigote surface antigen, TSA-1, and two amastigote surface molecules, ASP-1 and ASP-2, were recently identified as targets of CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in T. cruzi-infected mice. Until now, however, there was no evidence for the development of parasite-specific CTL in T. cruzi-infected humans. In this study, human CTL specific for TSA-1-, ASP-1-, and ASP-2-derived peptides were detected in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 21 of 24 HLA-A2(+) T. cruzi-infected patients. CTL recognition was antigen specific, A2-restricted, and CD8(+) T cell-dependent. Demonstration of human CTL against T. cruzi and against target molecules identified using the murine model provides important information for the optimal design and evaluation of vaccines to prevent or ameliorate Chagas' disease.

  3. Potential role of beavers (Castor fiber in contamination of water in the Masurian Lake District (north-eastern Poland with protozoan parasites Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sroka Jacek

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to assess the possible influence of beavers on the contamination of lake water with zoonotic parasites Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp., with respect to the risk to human health. A total of 79 water samples were taken around the habitats of beavers from 14 localities situated in the recreational Masurian Lake District (north-eastern Poland. Water was sampled in the spring and autumn seasons, at different distances from beavers’ lodges (0-2, 10, 30, and 50 m. The samples were examined for the presence of (oocysts of zoonotic protozoa Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. by direct fluorescence assay (DFA and by nested and real time PCR. By DFA, the presence of Giardia cysts was found in 36 samples (45.6% and the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in 26 samples (32.9%. Numbers of Giardia cysts, Cryptosporidium oocysts, and summarised (oocysts of both parasites showed a significant variation depending on locality. The numbers of Giardia cysts significantly decreased with the distance from beavers’ lodges while the numbers of Cryptosporidium oocysts did not show such dependence. The amount of Giardia cysts in samples collected in spring was approximately 3 times higher than in autumn. Conversely, a larger number of Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in samples collected in autumn than in spring. By PCR, Giardia DNA was found in 38 samples (48.1% whereas DNA of Cryptosporidium was found in only 7 samples (8.9%. Eleven Giardia isolates were subjected to phylogenetic analysis by restriction fragment length polymorphism PCR or sequencing which evidenced their belonging to zoonotic assemblages: A (3 isolates and B (8 isolates. In conclusion, water in the vicinity of beavers’ lodges in the tested region was markedly contaminated with (oocysts of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp., which confirms the potential role of beavers as a reservoir of these parasites and indicates a need for

  4. Automatic Recognition of Human Parasite Cysts on Microscopic Stools Images using Principal Component Analysis and Probabilistic Neural Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beaudelaire Saha Tchinda

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Parasites live in a host and get its food from or at the expensive of that host. Cysts represent a form of resistance and spread of parasites. The manual diagnosis of microscopic stools images is time-consuming and depends on the human expert. In this paper, we propose an automatic recognition system that can be used to identify various intestinal parasite cysts from their microscopic digital images. We employ image pixel feature to train the probabilistic neural networks (PNN. Probabilistic neural networks are suitable for classification problems. The main novelty is the use of features vectors extracted directly from the image pixel. For this goal, microscopic images are previously segmented to separate the parasite image from the background. The extracted parasite is then resized to 12x12 image features vector. For dimensionality reduction, the principal component analysis basis projection has been used. 12x12 extracted features were orthogonalized into two principal components variables that consist the input vector of the PNN. The PNN is trained using 540 microscopic images of the parasite. The proposed approach was tested successfully on 540 samples of protozoan cysts obtained from 9 kinds of intestinal parasites.

  5. 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.

  6. Regulation of gene expression in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba invadens: identification of core promoter elements and promoters with stage-specific expression patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manna, Dipak; Ehrenkaufer, Gretchen M; Singh, Upinder

    2014-10-01

    Developmental switching between life-cycle stages is a common feature among many pathogenic organisms. Entamoeba histolytica is an important human pathogen and is a leading parasitic cause of death globally. During its life cycle, Entamoeba converts between cysts (essential for disease transmission) and trophozoites (responsible for tissue invasion). Despite being central to its biology, the triggers that are involved in the developmental pathways of this parasite are not well understood. In order to define the transcriptional network associated with stage conversion we used Entamoeba invadens which serves as a model system for Entamoeba developmental biology, and performed RNA sequencing at different developmental time points. In this study RNA-Seq data was utilised to define basal transcriptional control elements as well as to identify promoters which regulate stage-specific gene expression patterns. We discovered that the 5' and 3' untranslated regions of E. invadens genes are short, a median of 20 nucleotides (nt) and 26 nt respectively. Bioinformatics analysis of DNA sequences proximate to the start and stop codons identified two conserved motifs: (i) E. invadens Core Promoter Motif - GAAC-Like (EiCPM-GL) (GAACTACAAA), and (ii) E. invadens 3'-U-Rich Motif (Ei3'-URM) (TTTGTT) in the 5' and 3' flanking regions, respectively. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that both motifs specifically bind nuclear protein(s) from E. invadens trophozoites. Additionally, we identified select genes with stage-specific expression patterns and analysed the ability of each gene promoter to drive a luciferase reporter gene during the developmental cycle. This approach confirmed three trophozoite-specific, four encystation-specific and two excystation-specific promoters. This work lays the framework for use of stage-specific promoters to express proteins of interest in a particular life-cycle stage, adding to the molecular toolbox for genetic manipulation of E

  7. Assessment and Molecular Characterization of Human Intestinal Parasites in Bivalves from Orchard Beach, NY, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tei, Freda F; Kowalyk, Steven; Reid, Jhenelle A; Presta, Matthew A; Yesudas, Rekha; Mayer, D C Ghislaine

    2016-03-29

    Bivalves have been shown to be carriers of the human intestinal parasites Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii. The goal of this study is to determine the prevalence of protozoan parasites in mollusks of New York City using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay. Four species of mollusks, Mya arenaria, Geukensia demissa, Crassostrea virginica, and Mytilis edulis, were collected from Orchard Beach, NY in the fall of 2014, totaling 159 specimens. Each individual mollusk was dissected to harvest the digestive gland, the mantle, the gills, the foot and the siphon. The tissues were assayed for the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, and Toxoplasma gondii DNA by using primers that target parasite-specific genes. C. parvum was found at a prevalence of 50%, 11.3%, and 1%, respectively, in Mya arenaria, G. demissa, and Mytilis edulis. C. parvum DNA was detected in all the tissues of these bivalve species, except the gills. Furthermore, G. lamblia was detected in Mya arenaria, G. demissa, Crassostrea virginica and Mytilis edulis at a prevalence of 37.5%, 4.5%, 60%, and 20.6%, respectively, while T. gondii DNA was not detected.

  8. 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.

  9. The parasite Entamoeba histolytica exploits the activities of human matrix metalloproteinases to invade colonic tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibeaux, Roman; Avé, Patrick; Bernier, Michèle; Morcelet, Marie; Frileux, Pascal; Guillén, Nancy; Labruyère, Elisabeth

    2014-10-07

    Intestinal invasion by the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica is characterized by remodelling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The parasite cysteine proteinase A5 (CP-A5) is thought to cooperate with human matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) involved in ECM degradation. Here, we investigate the role CP-A5 plays in the regulation of MMPs upon mucosal invasion. We use human colon explants to determine whether CP-A5 activates human MMPs. Inhibition of the MMPs' proteolytic activities abolishes remodelling of the fibrillar collagen structure and prevents trophozoite invasion of the mucosa. In the presence of trophozoites, MMPs-1 and -3 are overexpressed and are associated with fibrillar collagen remodelling. In vitro, CP-A5 performs the catalytic cleavage needed to activate pro-MMP-3, which in turn activates pro-MMP-1. Ex vivo, incubation with recombinant CP-A5 was enough to rescue CP-A5-defective trophozoites. Our results suggest that MMP-3 and/or CP-A5 inhibitors may be of value in further studies aiming to treat intestinal amoebiasis.

  10. Protozoan Infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-01-01

    cooked meat of infected animals, especially sheep and pigs. Toxoplasma infects one-third to one-half of normal humans by age 40, but causes...Toxoplasma in the first trimester, 30-50 per cent deliver an obviously affected infant. Congenital infection is associated with hydrocephalus...chorioretinitis, hepatosplenomegaly, and rash. In survivors, mental retardation, deaf- ness, and cardiac malformations may be noted. Chorioretinitis may also

  11. Antimicrobial peptide action on parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torrent, Marc; Pulido, David; Rivas, Luis; Andreu, David

    2012-08-01

    Diseases caused by protozoan parasites can pose a severe thread to human health and are behind some serious neglected tropical diseases like malaria and leishmaniasis. Though several different drugs have been developed in order to eradicate these diseases, a successful candidate has not yet been discovered. Among the most active compounds tested, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are particularly appealing because of their wide spectrum of action. AMPs have been described to perturb protozoan homeostasis by disrupting the cellular membranes but also by interfering with key processes in the parasite metabolism. In this review we describe the diverse mechanisms of action of AMPs on protozoan targets and how they can be exploited to treat diseases. Moreover, we describe with detail the antimicrobial action of AMPs on two major parasitical infections: leishmaniasis and malaria. All the features reviewed here show that AMPs are promising drugs to target protozoan parasites and that further understanding of the mechanism of action of these compounds will lead to improved drugs that could be worth to test in a clinical phase.

  12. Human infection with Trypanosoma cruzi induces parasite antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses.

    OpenAIRE

    1998-01-01

    Experimental models of Chagas' disease, an infection caused by the intracellular protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, have demonstrated the crucial immunoprotective role played by CD8(+) T lymphocytes. These cells dominate inflammatory foci in parasitized tissues and their elimination from mice leads to uncontrolled parasite replication and subsequent death of the infected host. A trypomastigote surface antigen, TSA-1, and two amastigote surface molecules, ASP-1 and ASP-2, were recently identified as...

  13. Mosquitoes as potential bridge vectors of malaria parasites from non-human primates to humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhulst, N.O.; Smallegange, R.C.; Takken, W.

    2012-01-01

    Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites which are transmitted by mosquitoes. Until recently, human malaria was considered to be caused by human-specific Plasmodium species. Studies on Plasmodium parasites in non-human primates (NHPs), however, have identified parasite species in gorillas and

  14. Parasite zoonoses and wildlife: One Health, spillover and human activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, R C Andrew

    2013-11-01

    This review examines parasite zoonoses and wildlife in the context of the One Health triad that encompasses humans, domestic animals, wildlife and the changing ecosystems in which they live. Human (anthropogenic) activities influence the flow of all parasite infections within the One Health triad and the nature and impact of resulting spillover events are examined. Examples of spillover from wildlife to humans and/or domestic animals, and vice versa, are discussed, as well as emerging issues, particularly the need for parasite surveillance of wildlife populations. Emphasis is given to Trypanosoma cruzi and related species in Australian wildlife, Trichinella, Echinococcus, Giardia, Baylisascaris, Toxoplasma and Leishmania.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Vacuolar proton pumps in malaria parasite cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moriyama, Yoshinori; Hayashi, Mitsuko; Yatsushiro, Shouki; Yamamoto, Akitsugu

    2003-08-01

    The malaria parasite is a unicellular protozoan parasite of the genus Plasmodium that causes one of the most serious infectious diseases for human beings. Like other protozoa, the malaria parasite possesses acidic organelles, which may play an essential role(s) in energy acquisition, resistance to antimalarial agents, and vesicular trafficking. Recent evidence has indicated that two types of vacuolar proton pumps, vacuolar H+-ATPase and vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase, are responsible for their acidification. In this mini-review, we discuss the recent progress on vacuolar proton pumps in the malaria parasite.

  19. Pork as a source of human parasitic infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djurković-Djaković, O; Bobić, B; Nikolić, A; Klun, I; Dupouy-Camet, J

    2013-07-01

    Foodborne zoonoses have been estimated to annually affect 10% of the global population, among which zoonotic parasites constitute an important class of aetiological agents. The major meatborne parasites include the protozoa Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis spp., and the helminths Trichinella spp. and Taenia spp., all of which may be transmitted by pork. The significance of zoonotic parasites transmitted by pork consumption is emphasized by the prediction by the Food and Agriculture Organization of an 18.5% increase in world pork production over the next 10 years. Of all the porkborne parasites, the three 'T' parasites have been responsible for most porkborne illness throughout history; they are still endemic, and therefore are important public-health concerns, in developing countries. Although the risk of porkborne parasites, particularly helminths, may currently be considered insignificant in developed countries, the modern trend of consuming raw meat favours their re-emergence. This paper overviews the main parasites transmitted to humans by pork, and outlines the main lines of prevention.

  20. First report of the protozoan parasite Perkinsus marinus in South America, infecting mangrove oysters Crassostrea rhizophorae from the Paraíba River (NE, Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Patricia Mirella; Vianna, Rogério Tubino; Guertler, Cristhiane; Ferreira, Liana Pinho; Santana, Lucas Nunes; Fernández-Boo, Sergio; Ramilo, Andrea; Cao, Asunción; Villalba, Antonio

    2013-05-01

    The present work aimed to study the infection by Perkinsus sp. in the mangrove oysters Crassostrea rhizophorae from the estuary of the Paraíba River (Paraíba State, Brazil). Perkinsosis was detected by incubation of oyster gill pieces in Ray's fluid thioglycollate medium. The monthly prevalence values were all above 70%, thus infection was not likely to be a transient event. Perkinsus sp. parasites isolated from eight oysters were propagated in vitro. PCR-RFLP analysis of in vitro cultured cells as well as the sequences of the rDNA ITS region allowed the identification of the in vitro propagated parasites as Perkinsus marinus. Phylogenetic analyses using rDNA ITS region sequences strongly supported the Perkinsus sp. from Paraíba in a monophyletic group with P. marinus. Thus, the results confirmed the species affiliation of Paraíba Perkinsus sp. as P. marinus. This is the first report of P. marinus in Brazil and South America and the first report of P. marinus naturally infecting C. rhizophorae. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Observation of Intestinal Nematodes and Protozoan Parasite in Sus Scrofa%秦岭北坡野猪肠道寄生虫感染情况调查

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    胡罕; 车利锋; 张洪峰; 刘艳; 乔继英; 吴晓民

    2013-01-01

      Focus on understanding and diagnosis intestinal parasitic infection in living Sus scrofa for the further treatment ,feces from Sus scrofa grown in northern slope of the Qinling mountain were examined in september 2012 .Wet mount smear and iodine staining were employed to check fecal samples from 5 Sus scrofa .Seven specices of parasites were detected ,including Balantidium coli cyst ,Eimeria ,Ascarts egg ,Globo-cephalus egg ,Metastrongylus apri egg ,Oesophagostomum dentatum egg and Stephanu- rusdentatus egg ,as the reference for disease prevention .%  为了了解秦岭北坡野猪肠道寄生虫感染情况,课题组于2012年9月在秦岭北坡采集5只野猪粪便并进行检查。通过生理盐水涂片、碘液染色法检出结肠小袋纤毛虫包囊、猪艾美耳球虫、蛔虫卵、球首线虫卵、食道口线虫卵、猪肾虫卵等寄生虫及虫卵,为野猪疾病的及早发现和确认提供依据,为野猪寄生虫病的防治提供参考。

  2. 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.

  3. [Variations in human parasitic diseases: malaria and schistosomiasis (author's transl)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garin, J P

    1981-01-01

    Until now, not any human vaccine against parasites can't be prepared. However, experimental researches are more and more numerous, with two major aims: Malaria and Schistosomiasis. Three vaccines are considered in Malaria: --sporozoite-vaccine, --merozoite-vaccine, --gametocyte-vaccine. Important advances were realized after the control of new techniques: --in vitro cultivation of malaria parasites, --production of monoclonal antibodies, --industrial breeding of anopheles. But the applications in men still remain a remote object. The vaccines against schistosomiasis can be killed vaccines or live vaccines; the use of radio-vaccines is full of promise. The difficulties of vaccination against protozoal or helminthic parasites are due in part to the misappreciation of real defensive means in the parasited host. A serious progress would be to devise artificial systems drawing near of physiological phenomenons.

  4. Seroprevalence rates of antibodies against Leishmania infantum and other protozoan and rickettsial parasites in dogs Soroprevalência de anticorpos contra Leishmania infantum e outras espécies de protozoários e rickettsia em cães

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana de Cássia Paulan

    2013-03-01

    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 caninum infection 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.Leishmaniose Visceral Canina (LVC é causada pelo protozoário Leishmania infantum, podendo infectar cães e humanos em várias regiões do Brasil. O presente estudo teve por objetivo realizar a reação de imunofluorescência indireta (RIFI para analisar os índices de infecção parasitária para L. infantum, Ehrlichia spp., Babesia canis, Toxoplasma gondii e Neospora caninum, em 93 amostras de soro de cães de um assentamento rural no município de Ilha Solteira, SP, Brasil. A taxa de soroprevalência de cães com anticorpos anti-L. infantum, anti-Ehrlichia, anti-B. canis, anti-T. gondii e anti-N. caninum foi de 37,6%, 75,3%, 72%, 47,3% e 6

  5. Ancient Human Parasites in Ethnic Chinese Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Hui-Yuan; Mitchell, Piers D.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27853113

  6. Homology modeling and molecular dynamics simulation of N-myristoyltransferase from protozoan parasites: active site characterization and insights into rational inhibitor design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Chunquan; Ji, Haitao; Miao, Zhenyuan; Che, Xiaoyin; Yao, Jianzhong; Wang, Wenya; Dong, Guoqiang; Guo, Wei; Lü, Jiaguo; Zhang, Wannian

    2009-06-01

    Myristoyl-CoA:protein N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) is a cytosolic monomeric enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of the myristoyl group from myristoyl-CoA to the N-terminal glycine of a number of eukaryotic cellular and viral proteins. Recent experimental data suggest NMT from parasites could be a promising new target for the design of novel antiparasitic agents with new mode of action. However, the active site topology and inhibitor specificity of these enzymes remain unclear. In this study, three-dimensional models of NMT from Plasmodium falciparum (PfNMT), Leishmania major (LmNMT) and Trypanosoma brucei (TbNMT) were constructed on the basis of the crystal structures of fungal NMTs using homology modeling method. The models were further refined by energy minimization and molecular dynamics simulations. The active sites of PfNMT, LmNMT and TbNMT were characterized by multiple copy simultaneous search (MCSS). MCSS functional maps reveal that PfNMT, LmNMT and TbNMT share a similar active site topology, which is defined by two hydrophobic pockets, a hydrogen-bonding (HB) pocket, a negatively-charged HB pocket and a positively-charged HB pocket. Flexible docking approaches were then employed to dock known inhibitors into the active site of PfNMT. The binding mode, structure-activity relationships and selectivity of inhibitors were investigated in detail. From the results of molecular modeling, the active site architecture and certain key residues responsible for inhibitor binding were identified, which provided insights for the design of novel inhibitors of parasitic NMTs.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. The complete mitochondrial genome of human parasitic roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yung Chul; Kim, Won; Park, Joong-Ki

    2011-08-01

    The genome length of the Ascaris lumbricoides, human parasitic roundworm, is 14,281 bp with a nucleotide composition of 22.1% A, 49.8% T, 7.8% C, and 20.3% G. The genome consists of 12 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, and 1 control region.

  10. Tapeworm Diphyllobothrium dendriticum (Cestoda--neglected or emerging human parasite?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman Kuchta

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A total number of 14 valid species of Diphyllobothrium tapeworms have been described in literature to be capable of causing diphyllobothriosis, with D. latum being the major causative agent of all human infections. However, recent data indicate that some of these infections, especially when diagnosed solely on the basis of morphology, have been identified with this causative agent incorrectly, confusing other Diphyllobothrium species with D. latum. Another widely distributed species, D. dendriticum, has never been considered as a frequent parasite of man, even though it is found commonly throughout arctic and subarctic regions parasitizing piscivorous birds and mammals. Recent cases of Europeans infected with this cestode called into question the actual geographic distribution of this tapeworm, largely ignored by medical parasitologists. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: On the basis of revision of more than 900 available references and a description and revision of recent European human cases using morphological and molecular (cox1 data supplemented by newly characterized D. dendriticum sequences, we updated the current knowledge of the life-cycle, geographic distribution, epidemiological status, and molecular diagnostics of this emerging causal agent of zoonotic disease of man. CONCLUSIONS: The tapeworm D. dendriticum represents an example of a previously neglected, probably underdiagnosed parasite of man with a potential to spread globally. Recent cases of diphyllobothriosis caused by D. dendriticum in Europe (Netherlands, Switzerland and Czech Republic, where the parasite has not been reported previously, point out that causative agents of diphyllobothriosis and other zoonoses can be imported throughout the world. Molecular tools should be used for specific and reliable parasite diagnostics, and also rare or non-native species should be considered. This will considerably help improve our knowledge of the distribution and epidemiology of

  11. Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlton, Jane M.; Adams, John H.; Silva, Joana C.; Bidwell, Shelby L.; Lorenzi, Hernan; Caler, Elisabet; Crabtree, Jonathan; Angiuoli, Samuel V.; Merino, Emilio F.; Amedeo, Paolo; Cheng, Qin; Coulson, Richard M. R.; Crabb, Brendan S.; del Portillo, Hernando A.; Essien, Kobby; Feldblyum, Tamara V.; Fernandez-Becerra, Carmen; Gilson, Paul R.; Gueye, Amy H.; Guo, Xiang; Kang’a, Simon; Kooij, Taco W. A.; Korsinczky, Michael; Meyer, Esmeralda V.-S.; Nene, Vish; Paulsen, Ian; White, Owen; Ralph, Stuart A.; Ren, Qinghu; Sargeant, Tobias J.; Salzberg, Steven L.; Stoeckert, Christian J.; Sullivan, Steven A.; Yamamoto, Marcio Massao; Hoffman, Stephen L.; Wortman, Jennifer R.; Gardner, Malcolm J.; Galinski, Mary R.; Barnwell, John W.; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.

    2008-01-01

    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax is responsible for 25-40% of the ~515 million annual cases of malaria worldwide. Although seldom fatal, the parasite elicits severe and incapacitating clinical symptoms and often relapses months after a primary infection has cleared. Despite its importance as a major human pathogen, P. vivax is little studied because it cannot be propagated in the laboratory except in non-human primates. We determined the genome sequence of P. vivax in order to shed light on its distinctive biologic features, and as a means to drive development of new drugs and vaccines. Here we describe the synteny and isochore structure of P. vivax chromosomes, and show that the parasite resembles other malaria parasites in gene content and metabolic potential, but possesses novel gene families and potential alternate invasion pathways not recognized previously. Completion of the P. vivax genome provides the scientific community with a valuable resource that can be used to advance scientific investigation into this neglected species. PMID:18843361

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. HUMAN CANCER IS A PARASITE SPREAD VIA INTRUSION IN GENOME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey N. Rumyantsev

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The present article is devoted to further development of new paradigm about the biology of human cancer: the hypothesis of parasitic nature, origin and evolution of the phenomenon. The study included integrative reconsidering, and reinterpretation of the make-ups, traits and processes existing both in human and animal cancers. It was demonstrated that human cancer possesses nearly analogous set of traits characteristic of transmissible animal cancer. Undoubted analogies are seen in the prevalence, clinical exposure, progression of disease, origin of causative agents, immune response against invasion and especially in the intrinsic deviations of the leading traits of cancerous cells. Both human and animal cancers are highly exceptional pathogens. But in contrast to contagious animal cancers the cells of of human cancer can not pass between individuals as usual infectious agents. Exhaustive evidence of the parasitic nature and evolutionary origin of human cancer was revealed and interpreted. In contrast to animal cancer formed of solitary cell lineage, human cancer consists of a couple of lineages constructed under different genetic regulations and performed different structural and physiological functions. The complex make-up of cancer composition remains stable over sequential propagation. The subsistence of human cancer regularly includes obligatory interchange of its successive forms. Human cancer possesses its own biological watch and the ability to gobble its victim, transmit via the intrusion of the genome, perform intercommunications within the tumor components and between the dispersed subunits of cancer. Such intrinsic traits characterize human cancer as a primitively structured parasite that can be classified in Class Mammalians, Species Genomeintruder malevolent (G.malevolent.

  14. Parasitic infections in HIV infected individuals: Diagnostic & therapeutic challenges

    OpenAIRE

    Nissapatorn, Veeranoot; Sawangjaroen, Nongyao

    2011-01-01

    After 30 years of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, parasites have been one of the most common opportunistic infections (OIs) and one of the most frequent causes of morbidity and mortality associated with HIV-infected patients. Due to severe immunosuppression, enteric parasitic pathogens in general are emerging and are OIs capable of causing diarrhoeal disease associated with HIV. Of these, Cryptosporidium parvum and Isospora belli are the two most common intestinal protozoan p...

  15. Artemisinin and its derivatives in treating protozoan infections beyond malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loo, Cecilia Shi Ni; Lam, Nelson Siu Kei; Yu, Deying; Su, Xin-Zhuan; Lu, Fangli

    2017-03-01

    Parasitic protozoan diseases continue to rank among the world's greatest global health problems, which are also common among poor populations. Currently available drugs for treatment present drawbacks, urging the need for more effective, safer, and cheaper drugs. Artemisinin (ART) and its derivatives are some of the most important classes of antimalarial agents originally derived from Artemisia annua L. However, besides the outstanding antimalarial and antischistosomal activities, ART and its derivatives also possess activities against other parasitic protozoa. In this paper we review the activities of ART and its derivatives against protozoan parasites in vitro and in vivo, including Leishmania spp., Trypanosoma spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Eimeria tenella, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Naegleria fowleri, Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, and Babesia spp. We conclude that ART and its derivatives may be good alternatives for treating other non-malarial protozoan infections in developing countries, although more studies are necessary before they can be applied clinically.

  16. Two distinct populations of bovine IL-17⁺ T-cells can be induced and WC1⁺IL-17⁺γδ T-cells are effective killers of protozoan parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peckham, R K; Brill, R; Foster, D S; Bowen, A L; Leigh, J A; Coffey, T J; Flynn, R J

    2014-06-25

    IL-17 has emerged as a key player in the immune system, exhibiting roles in protection from infectious diseases and promoting inflammation in autoimmunity. Initially thought to be CD4 T-cell-derived, the sources of IL-17 are now known to be varied and belong to both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. Mechanisms for inducing IL-17 production in lymphoid cells are thought to rely on appropriate antigenic stimulation in the context of TGF-β1, IL-6 and/or IL-1β. Using culture protocols adapted from human studies, we have effectively induced both bovine CD4(+) and WC1(+) γδ T-cells to produce IL-17 termed Th17 and γδ17 cells, respectively. The negative regulatory effect of IFN-γ on mouse and human IL-17 production can be extended to the bovine model, as addition of IFN-γ decreases IL-17 production in both cell types. Furthermore we show that infection with the protozoan Neospora caninum will induce fibroblasts to secrete pro-IL-17 factors thereby inducing a γδ17 phenotype that preferentially kills infected target cells. Our study identifies two T-cell sources of IL-17, and is the first to demonstrate a protective effect of IL-17(+) T-cells in ruminants. Our findings offer further opportunities for future adjuvants or vaccines which could benefit from inducing these responses.

  17. Regulation of nuclear translocation of the Myb1 transcription factor by TvCyclophilin 1 in the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Hong-Ming; Chu, Chien-Hsin; Wang, Ya-Ting; Lee, Yu; Wei, Shu-Yi; Liu, Hsing-Wei; Ong, Shiou-Jeng; Chen, Chinpan; Tai, Jung-Hsiang

    2014-07-01

    In Trichomonas vaginalis, a Myb1 protein was previously demonstrated to repress transcription of an iron-inducible ap65-1 gene. In this study, a human cyclophilin A homologue, TvCyclophilin 1 (TvCyP1), was identified as a Myb1-binding protein using a bacterial two-hybrid library screening system. The recombinant TvCyP1 exhibited typical peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity with kcat/Km of ∼7.1 μm(-1) s(-1). In a pulldown assay, the His-tagged Myb1 interacted with a GST-TvCyP1 fusion protein, which had an enzymatic proficiency half that of recombinant TvCyP1. Both the enzymatic proficiency of GST-TvCyP1 and its binding to His-Myb1 were eliminated by mutation of Arg(63) in the catalytic motif or inhibited by cyclosporin A. TvCyP1 was primarily localized to the hydrogenosomes by immunofluorescence assay, but it was also co-purified with Myb1 in certain vesicle fractions from differential and gradient centrifugations. Transgenic cells overexpressing HA-TvCyP1 had a higher level of nuclear Myb1 but a much lower level of Myb1 associated with the vesicles than control and those overexpressing HA-TvCyP1(R63A). Myb1 was detected at a much higher level in the HA-TvCyP1 protein complex than in the HA-TvCyP1(R63A) protein complex immunoprecipitated from P15 and P100, but not S100, fractions of postnuclear lysates. A TvCyP1-binding motif, (105)YGPKWNK(111), was identified in Myb1 in which Gly(106) and Pro(107) were essential for its binding to TvCyP1. Mutation of Gly(106) and Pro(107), respectively, in HA-Myb1 resulted in cytoplasmic retention and elevated nuclear translocation of the overexpressed protein. These results suggest that TvCyP1 may induce the release of Myb1 that is restrained to certain cytoplasmic vesicles prior to its nuclear translocation.

  18. 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.

  19. Epidemiology and history of human parasitic diseases in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neghina, Raul; Neghina, Adriana M; Marincu, Iosif; Iacobiciu, Ioan

    2011-06-01

    Intestinal parasitic diseases such as enterobiasis, giardiasis, and ascariasis are detected most frequently in Romania, but their importance is definitely surpassed by trichinellosis, cystic echinococcosis, and toxoplasmosis. Malaria was common until its eradication in 1963, and only imported cases are reported nowadays. The aim of this review was to bring together essential data on the epidemiology and history of human parasitoses in Romania. Information on 43 parasitic diseases was collected from numerous sources, most of them unavailable abroad or inaccessible to the international scientific community. Over time, Romanian people of all ages have paid a significant tribute to the pathogenic influences exerted by the parasites. Sanitary and socio-economical consequences of the parasites diseases have great negative impact on the quality of life of affected individuals and the overall well-being of the population. Implementation of efficient public health measures and informative campaigns for the masses as well as changing the inadequate habits that are deeply rooted in the population are mandatory for cutting successfully this Gordian knot.

  20. The immunogenic properties of protozoan glycosylphosphatidylinositols in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrighi, Romanico B G; Debierre-Grockiego, Françoise; Schwarz, Ralph T; Faye, Ingrid

    2009-02-01

    In contrast to humans, mosquitoes do not have an adaptive immune response to deal with pathogens, and therefore must rely on their innate immune system to deal with invaders. This facilitates the recognition of different microbes on the basis of surface components or antigens. Such antigens have been identified in various types of microbe such as bacteria and fungi, yet none has been identified in the genus protozoa, which includes pathogens such as the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii. This study allowed us to test the antigenic properties of protozoan glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) on the mosquito immune system. We found that both P. falciparum GPI and T. gondii GPI induce the strong expression of several antimicrobial peptides following ingestion, and that as a result of the immune response against the GPIs, the number of eggs produced by the mosquito is reduced dramatically. Such effects have been associated with malaria infected mosquitoes, but never associated with a Plasmodium specific antigen. This study demonstrates that protozoan GPIs can be considered as protozoan specific immune elicitors in mosquitoes, and that P. falciparum GPI plays a critical role in the malaria parasite manipulation of the mosquito vector to facilitate its transmission.

  1. Chemical Factors in Development and Transmission of Human Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    PARASITES, *PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, *BIOCIDES, *REPELLENTS, HORMONES, TABLES(DATA), SCHISTOSOMA MANSONI, BRAZIL, PARASITIC DISEASES, DISEASE VECTORS, INSECT REPELLENTS, CHAGAS DISEASE, TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI .

  2. Genome sequence of the stramenopile Blastocystis, a human anaerobic parasite

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Blastocystis is a highly prevalent anaerobic eukaryotic parasite of humans and animals that is associated with various gastrointestinal and extraintestinal disorders. Epidemiological studies have identified different subtypes but no one subtype has been definitively correlated with disease. Results Here we report the 18.8 Mb genome sequence of a Blastocystis subtype 7 isolate, which is the smallest stramenopile genome sequenced to date. The genome is highly compact and contains intriguing rearrangements. Comparisons with other available stramenopile genomes (plant pathogenic oomycete and diatom genomes) revealed effector proteins potentially involved in the adaptation to the intestinal environment, which were likely acquired via horizontal gene transfer. Moreover, Blastocystis living in anaerobic conditions harbors mitochondria-like organelles. An incomplete oxidative phosphorylation chain, a partial Krebs cycle, amino acid and fatty acid metabolisms and an iron-sulfur cluster assembly are all predicted to occur in these organelles. Predicted secretory proteins possess putative activities that may alter host physiology, such as proteases, protease-inhibitors, immunophilins and glycosyltransferases. This parasite also possesses the enzymatic machinery to tolerate oxidative bursts resulting from its own metabolism or induced by the host immune system. Conclusions This study provides insights into the genome architecture of this unusual stramenopile. It also proposes candidate genes with which to study the physiopathology of this parasite and thus may lead to further investigations into Blastocystis-host interactions. PMID:21439036

  3. Parasite Zoonoses and Wildlife: Emerging Issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Smith

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The role of wildlife as important sources, reservoirs and amplifiers of emerging human and domestic livestock pathogens, in addition to well recognized zoonoses of public health significance, has gained considerable attention in recent years. However, there has been little attention given to the transmission and impacts of pathogens of human origin, particularly protozoan, helminth and arthropod parasites, on wildlife. Substantial advances in molecular technologies are greatly improving our ability to follow parasite flow among host species and populations and revealing valuable insights about the interactions between cycles of transmission. Here we present several case studies of parasite emergence, or risk of emergence, in wildlife, as a result of contact with humans or anthropogenic activities. For some of these parasites, there is growing evidence of the serious consequences of infection on wildlife survival, whereas for others, there is a paucity of information about their impact.

  4. [Protozoan infection causes diarrhea in calves].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurden, T; Claerebout, E; Vercruysse, J

    2005-12-01

    The role of protozoan parasites in the etiology of diarrhea in calves is highlighted with emphasis on correct diagnosis. In neonatal calves, Cryptosporidium parvum is isolated in more than 44% of the faeces of diarrhetic calves. In calves older than one month, both Eimeria bovis and E. zuernii, and Giardia duodenalis are associated with diarrhea and poor growth. Clinical diagnosis has to be confirmed by examination of host faecal material. Both for C. parvum and G. duodenalis immunological assays are available. Control measures must aim to reduce or prevent oocyst or cyst transmission, by combining management measures, desinfection and chemotherapeutic treatment.

  5. Parasite infections in central nervous system in humans%中枢神经寄生虫感染

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    任翊; 谷俊朝

    2011-01-01

    Parasite infections in central nervous system (CNS) in human beings can result in very serious outcomes.Early diagnosis is important to reduce mortality. Parasitic infections in CNS include nematodes,cestodes,trematodes,and protozoans. This article discusses the clinical presentation,diagnosis,and treatment of some of the most common parasitic infections in CNS,these are Angiostrongylus cantonensis ,Trichinella spiralis ,Gnathostoma spinigerum,Strongyloides stercoralis ,Toxocara spp. ,Echinococcus spp. ,Taenia solium,Spirometra spp. (sparganosis ) ,Paragonimus westermani,Schistosorna spp., Trypanosoma spp. ,and Naegleria fowlerii.%中枢神经感染寄生虫结果十分严重,早期诊断并治疗是降低死亡率重要手段,本综述介绍了中枢神经感染的线虫、绦虫、吸虫和原虫,其中线虫有广州管圆线虫(Angiostrongylus cantonensis),旋毛线虫(Trichinella spiralis),棘鄂口线虫(Gnathostoma spinigerum),粪类圆线虫(Strogyloides stercoralis)和弓首蛔线虫属(Toxocara spp.);绦虫有棘球绦虫属(Echinococcus spp.),猪带绦虫(Taenia solium)和遮宫绦虫属(Spirormetra spp.);吸虫有卫氏并殖吸虫(Paragonimus westermani)和血吸虫属(Schistosoma spp.);原虫有克氏锥虫(Trypanosoma cruzi)、布氏雏虫(Trypanosoma brucei)和福氏耐格阿米巴(Noe gleria fowlerii)

  6. microRNAs in parasites and parasite infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yadong; Cai, Xuepeng; Bradley, Janette E

    2013-03-01

    miRNAs, a subclass of small regulatory RNAs, are present from ancient unicellular protozoans to parasitic helminths and parasitic arthropods. The miRNA-silencing mechanism appears, however, to be absent in a number of protozoan parasites. Protozoan miRNAs and components of their silencing machinery possess features different from other eukaryotes, providing some clues on the evolution of the RNA-induced silencing machinery. miRNA functions possibly associate with neoblast biology, development, physiology, infection and immunity of parasites. Parasite infection can alter host miRNA expression that can favor both parasite clearance and infection. miRNA pathways are, thus, a potential target for the therapeutic control of parasitic diseases.

  7. Taming Parasites by Tailoring Them

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingjian Ren

    2017-07-01

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

  8. Strategy for simultaneous molecular detection of the protozoan parasites Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium and Giardia in food matrices and persistence on leaves of vegetables during storage at 4°C

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia intestinalis are emerging pathogen parasites in the food domain. However, without standardized method for their detection in food matrices, parasitic foodborne outbreaks remain neglected. In this study, a new immunomagnetic separation assay (IMS To...

  9. A new human 3D-liver model unravels the role of galectins in liver infection by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora B Petropolis

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Investigations of human parasitic diseases depend on the availability of appropriate in vivo animal models and ex vivo experimental systems, and are particularly difficult for pathogens whose exclusive natural hosts are humans, such as Entamoeba histolytica, the protozoan parasite responsible for amoebiasis. This common infectious human disease affects the intestine and liver. In the liver sinusoids E. histolytica crosses the endothelium and penetrates into the parenchyma, with the concomitant initiation of inflammatory foci and subsequent abscess formation. Studying factors responsible for human liver infection is hampered by the complexity of the hepatic environment and by the restrictions inherent to the use of human samples. Therefore, we built a human 3D-liver in vitro model composed of cultured liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and hepatocytes in a 3D collagen-I matrix sandwich. We determined the presence of important hepatic markers and demonstrated that the cell layers function as a biological barrier. E. histolytica invasion was assessed using wild-type strains and amoebae with altered virulence or different adhesive properties. We showed for the first time the dependence of endothelium crossing upon amoebic Gal/GalNAc lectin. The 3D-liver model enabled the molecular analysis of human cell responses, suggesting for the first time a crucial role of human galectins in parasite adhesion to the endothelial cells, which was confirmed by siRNA knockdown of galectin-1. Levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines, including galectin-1 and -3, were highly increased upon contact of E. histolytica with the 3D-liver model. The presence of galectin-1 and -3 in the extracellular medium stimulated pro-inflammatory cytokine release, suggesting a further role for human galectins in the onset of the hepatic inflammatory response. These new findings are relevant for a better understanding of human liver infection by E. histolytica.

  10. A new human 3D-liver model unravels the role of galectins in liver infection by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petropolis, Debora B; Faust, Daniela M; Deep Jhingan, Gagan; Guillen, Nancy

    2014-09-01

    Investigations of human parasitic diseases depend on the availability of appropriate in vivo animal models and ex vivo experimental systems, and are particularly difficult for pathogens whose exclusive natural hosts are humans, such as Entamoeba histolytica, the protozoan parasite responsible for amoebiasis. This common infectious human disease affects the intestine and liver. In the liver sinusoids E. histolytica crosses the endothelium and penetrates into the parenchyma, with the concomitant initiation of inflammatory foci and subsequent abscess formation. Studying factors responsible for human liver infection is hampered by the complexity of the hepatic environment and by the restrictions inherent to the use of human samples. Therefore, we built a human 3D-liver in vitro model composed of cultured liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and hepatocytes in a 3D collagen-I matrix sandwich. We determined the presence of important hepatic markers and demonstrated that the cell layers function as a biological barrier. E. histolytica invasion was assessed using wild-type strains and amoebae with altered virulence or different adhesive properties. We showed for the first time the dependence of endothelium crossing upon amoebic Gal/GalNAc lectin. The 3D-liver model enabled the molecular analysis of human cell responses, suggesting for the first time a crucial role of human galectins in parasite adhesion to the endothelial cells, which was confirmed by siRNA knockdown of galectin-1. Levels of several pro-inflammatory cytokines, including galectin-1 and -3, were highly increased upon contact of E. histolytica with the 3D-liver model. The presence of galectin-1 and -3 in the extracellular medium stimulated pro-inflammatory cytokine release, suggesting a further role for human galectins in the onset of the hepatic inflammatory response. These new findings are relevant for a better understanding of human liver infection by E. histolytica.

  11. [The new generations of vaccines against parasites].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedrychowicz, H

    2000-01-01

    The protection of humans and domestic animals against parasitic infections remains a major goal, especially in light of developing of drug resistant strains in many parasite species. "Classic" vaccines are based on attenuated infective stages of protozoan and helminth parasites. Although such vaccines are effective in confering host immunity against several protozoan (coccidiosis, giardiosis, toxoplasmosis) diseases and one helminth (dictyocaulosis) they are very unstable and expensive. Recombinant techniques enable to obtain protective antigens quickly and in considerable quantities, cultivating of the bacteria and purification of the recombinant protein is less expensive than the maintenance of host animals and isolation of the protective antigens from harvested parasites. Moreover, the cloned protective antigens may be deprived of epitopes responsible for immunopathology. However, at present only one anti-parasite recombinant protein vaccine is commercially available (TickGARD). Such a situation may result from that many protective parasitic antigens cannot be expressed in bacteria or yeast in anative from. DNA vaccines present many advantages over protein ones. Firstly, the antigenic proteins synthesised within the host cell possess an appropriate molecular structure and undergo a post-translational modifications specific for a native protein. The next advantage of DNA vaccines is that DNA is easier to handle and more resistant than proteins to temperature changes. DNA vaccines are likely to induce novel mechanisms of immune response, which may be beneficial in case of parasitic invasions. Costs of DNA vaccines are comparable, and may be even lower, in comparison to recombinant protein vaccines. The main obstacle preventing the use of DNA vaccines is still lack of the complete knowledge concerning mechanisms of their action. Vaccines based on transgenic plants (=edible vaccines), expressing the protective parasitic antigens, present another promising approach

  12. Recognition of Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae antigens by sera from human infected with this parasite and its potential use in diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapa-Ruiz, M R; Salinas-Tobón, M R; Aguilar-Alvarez, D J; Martínez-Marañón, R

    1992-01-01

    Human antibody response to total soluble extract of Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae (TSE) was analyzed by Western blot. The most frequently recognized antigens had molecular weights of 96, 67, 63, 60, 55 and 47 kDa. An antigenic fraction containing two peptides with M.W. of 43, 47 kDa from the parasite (p43, 47 Ts L1) was isolated by elution from polyacrylamide gel slabs. It was used as antigen in an ELISA test and compared to that of TSE. Serum samples from 51 symptomatic trichinellosis patients--43 with high antibody levels to TSE, 5 of them with positive biopsy and 8 with low levels of these antibodies--as well as 38 from asymptomatic individuals from the area where the trichinellosis outbreaks had occurred and 43 from apparently healthy individuals from a non-endemic area, 37 from patients with intestinal parasitic infections caused by helminth and protozoan parasites--11 from recurrent and 26 from non-recurrent disease--were analyzed by ELISA using both antigens. The ELISA using p43, 47 Ts L1 detected all trichinellosis patients with high antibody levels as well as 6 out of 8 of those with low antibody levels. All control groups were negative. Therefore, this purified fraction allowed the ELISA to be more specific and sensitive for human trichinellosis diagnosis.

  13. [Human and animal parasitic diseases in the New Hebrides].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourée, P; Léon, J J

    1976-01-01

    New-Hebrides Condominium, an archipelago in the South Pacific, is a country with a special socio-political environment, due to the duality of its French-British regime. This state of affairs is felt in all areas including Public Health, where we find French, British and Condominial personnel. The pathology of parasitic diseases is essentially tropical with a strong predominance of paludism, at times fatal, and intestinal nematodes; however we rarely find amibiasis or human hydatid disease. Strongyloidiasis as well as specific ascaris of each species are very frequent in animals. In general cattle is relatively healthy, which is fortunate for a country whose economy is turning more and more to breeding.

  14. Parasitic infections in HIV infected individuals: Diagnostic & therapeutic challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissapatorn, Veeranoot; Sawangjaroen, Nongyao

    2011-01-01

    After 30 years of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, parasites have been one of the most common opportunistic infections (OIs) and one of the most frequent causes of morbidity and mortality associated with HIV-infected patients. Due to severe immunosuppression, enteric parasitic pathogens in general are emerging and are OIs capable of causing diarrhoeal disease associated with HIV. Of these, Cryptosporidium parvum and Isospora belli are the two most common intestinal protozoan parasites and pose a public health problem in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. These are the only two enteric protozoan parasites that remain in the case definition of AIDS till today. Leismaniasis, strongyloidiasis and toxoplasmosis are the three main opportunistic causes of systemic involvements reported in HIV-infected patients. Of these, toxoplasmosis is the most important parasitic infection associated with the central nervous system. Due to its complexity in nature, toxoplasmosis is the only parasitic disease capable of not only causing focal but also disseminated forms and it has been included in AIDS-defining illnesses (ADI) ever since. With the introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), cryptosporidiosis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, strongyloidiasis, and toxoplasmosis are among parasitic diseases reported in association with immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). This review addresses various aspects of parasitic infections in term of clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic challenges associated with HIV-infection. PMID:22310820

  15. Selective killing of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum by a benzylthiazolium dye.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Jane X; Winter, Rolf W; Braun, Theodore P; Osei-Agyemang, Myralyn; Hinrichs, David J; Riscoe, Michael K

    2007-06-01

    Malaria is an infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. The most virulent form of the disease is caused by Plasmodium falciparum which infects hundreds of millions of people and is responsible for the deaths of 1-2 million individuals each year. An essential part of the parasitic process is the remodeling of the red blood cell membrane and its protein constituents to permit a higher flux of nutrients and waste products into or away from the intracellular parasite. Much of this increased permeability is due to a single type of broad specificity channel variously called the new permeation pathway (NPP), the nutrient channel, and the Plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC). This channel is permeable to a range of low molecular weight solutes both charged and uncharged, with a strong preference for anions. Drugs such as furosemide that are known to block anion-selective channels inhibit PSAC. In this study, we have investigated a dye known as benzothiocarboxypurine, BCP, which had been studied as a possible diagnostic aid given its selective uptake by P. falciparum infected red cells. We found that the dye enters parasitized red cells via the furosemide-inhibitable PSAC, forms a brightly fluorescent complex with parasite nucleic acids, and is selectively toxic to infected cells. Our study describes an antimalarial agent that exploits the altered permeability of Plasmodium-infected red cells as a means to killing the parasite and highlights a chemical reagent that may prove useful in high throughput screening of compounds for inhibitors of the channel.

  16. Paleoparasitology and the antiquity of human host-parasite relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adauto Araújo

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Paleoparasitology may be developed as a new tool to parasite evolution studies. DNA sequences dated thousand years ago, recovered from archaeological material, means the possibility to study parasite-host relationship coevolution through time. Together with tracing parasite-host dispersion throughout the continents, paleoparasitology points to the interesting field of evolution at the molecular level. In this paper a brief history of paleoparasitology is traced, pointing to the new perspectives opened by the recent techniques introduced.

  17. Ultrastructural and physiological changes induced by different stress conditions on the human parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Morales, Deyanira; Hernández, Karla Daniela Rodríguez; Martínez, Ignacio; Agredano-Moreno, Lourdes Teresa; Jiménez-García, Luis Felipe; Espinoza, Bertha

    2017-01-01

    Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiological agent of Chagas disease. The life cycle of this protozoan parasite is digenetic because it alternates its different developmental forms through two hosts, a vector insect and a vertebrate host. As a result, the parasites are exposed to sudden and drastic environmental changes causing cellular stress. The stress response to some types of stress has been studied in T. cruzi, mainly at the molecular level; however, data about ultrastructure and physiological state of the cells in stress conditions are scarce or null. In this work, we analyzed the morphological, ultrastructural, and physiological changes produced on T. cruzi epimastigotes when they were exposed to acid, nutritional, heat, and oxidative stress. Clear morphological changes were observed, but the physiological conditions varied depending on the type of stress. The maintenance of the physiological state was severely affected by heat shock, acidic, nutritional, and oxidative stress. According to the surprising observed growth recovery after damage by stress alterations, different adaptations from the parasite to these harsh conditions were suggested. Particular cellular death pathways are discussed.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ...

  20. Microsatellite markers for the human nematode parasite Ascaris lumbricoides: development and assessment of utility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criscione, Charles D; Anderson, Joel D; Raby, Kyle; Sudimack, Dan; Subedi, Janardan; Rai, Dev R; Upadhayay, Ram P; Jha, Bharat; Williams-Blangero, Sarah; Anderson, Timothy J C

    2007-06-01

    We describe 35 microsatellite markers from the human parasitic nematode Ascaris lumbricoides. We found 7 sex-linked markers and demonstrate that 26 autosomal loci can be scored reliably. These markers have high genetic variability and provide the tools to address multiple questions concerning the epidemiology, fine-scale genetic structure, host specificity, and mating systems of this parasite.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Peter Rolf Richter; Sebastian Michael Strauch; Azizullah eAzizullah; Donat P. Häder

    2014-01-01

    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, h...

  2. Parasitic zoonoses at the rodent-captive primate-human health interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsheikha, Hany M; Clayton, Samantha J; Morsy, Tosson A; Yon, Lisa K

    2009-08-01

    Parasitic diseases at the wildlife/primate/human interface are of particular importance in zoological gardens. Better understanding of the types of wildlife parasites that do persist in zoological gardens, and drives that lead to increases in prevalence or impacts, can point to new strategies for limiting the risk of human and captive primates' exposure in zoo centres. Also, it improves our understanding of the underlying mechanisms that influence the emergence of parasitic diseases. As wild animals and humans come into greater contact with each other, the risk posed by multi-host parasites for humans, captive primates, and wildlife populations increases. Despite strong public awareness of the fact that wildlife constitutes a large and often unknown reservoir of most emerging infectious diseases, animal-human interaction has not been addressed. Herein, the potential for cross-species parasite transmission between the wild rodents, captive primates and humans is considered using the current literature and medical records. Additionally, some aspects of the interface among wildlife, captive primates and humans and its impacts on human health are discussed. Finally, priorities for future research are identified, including identifying those parasites for which multi-host interaction is likely to have the greatest impact.

  3. Disentangling hybridization and host colonization in parasitic roundworms of humans and pigs

    OpenAIRE

    Criscione, Charles D.; Anderson, Joel D; Sudimack, Dan; Peng, Weidong; Jha, Bharat; Williams-Blangero, Sarah; Timothy J C Anderson

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of cross-transmission and hybridization between parasites of humans and reservoir hosts is critical for understanding the evolution of the parasite and for implementing control programmes. There is now a consensus that populations of pig and human Ascaris (roundworms) show significant genetic subdivision. However, it is unclear whether this has resulted from a single or multiple host shift(s). Furthermore, previous molecular data have not been sufficient to determine whether sympatr...

  4. 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....

  5. The vulnerability of animal and human health to parasites under global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherst, R W

    2001-07-01

    The term 'global change' is used to encompass all of the significant drivers of environmental change as experienced by hosts, parasites and parasite managers. The term includes changes in climate and climate variability, atmospheric composition, land use and land cover including deforestation and urbanisation, bio-geochemistry, globalisation of trade and transport, the spread of alien species, human health and technology. A subset of land use issues relates to the management of protective technologies in relation to residues in food and the environment and the emergence of resistance. Another is the question of changing biodiversity of both parasites and their associated natural enemies, and the effects on the host--parasite relationship and on parasite management. A framework for studying impacts of global change is proposed and illustrated with field data, and CLIMEX and simulation modelling of the cattle tick Boophilus microplus in Australia. Parasitology suffers from the perception that the key impacts of global change will be driven by changes at lower trophic levels, with parasitic interactions being treated as secondary effects. This is incorrect because the environment mediates host-parasite interactions as much as it affects parasites directly. Parasitologists need to strive for holistic solutions to the management of animal and human health, within a wider context of overall management of those systems, if they are to make a meaningful contribution to global efforts aimed at coping with global change.

  6. Endobiont viruses sensed by the human host - beyond conventional antiparasitic therapy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raina N Fichorova

    Full Text Available Wide-spread protozoan parasites carry endosymbiotic dsRNA viruses with uncharted implications to the human host. Among them, Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasite adapted to the human genitourinary tract, infects globally ∼250 million each year rendering them more susceptible to devastating pregnancy complications (especially preterm birth, HIV infection and HPV-related cancer. While first-line antibiotic treatment (metronidazole commonly kills the protozoan pathogen, it fails to improve reproductive outcome. We show that endosymbiotic Trichomonasvirus, highly prevalent in T. vaginalis clinical isolates, is sensed by the human epithelial cells via Toll-like receptor 3, triggering Interferon Regulating Factor -3, interferon type I and proinflammatory cascades previously implicated in preterm birth and HIV-1 susceptibility. Metronidazole treatment amplified these proinflammatory responses. Thus, a new paradigm targeting the protozoan viruses along with the protozoan host may prevent trichomoniasis-attributable inflammatory sequelae.

  7. Enteric Opportunistic Parasitic Infections among HIV-Seropositive Patients at Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangeeta D Patel

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Enteric opportunistic parasitic infections are the major source of diarrheal disease in developing countries mainly in Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV infected patients. Objective: The study was to detect enteric parasites causing diarrhea and their association with immune status in HIV-seropositive patients. Methods: The present study was conducted in tertiary care teaching Hospital, Baroda between January 2006 to January 2007 involving 100 Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV positive patients. Stool was examined for enteric parasites by microscopy with special staining methods. Results: A total of 100 HIV sero-positive patients with and without diarrhea were included in the study. Of the 100 patients, the protozoan parasitic infection was found in 28% (28/100. Out of 100 patients, 50 had diarrhea in which parasitic infection was 24 (48% and 4 (4/50 protozoal parasites positive cases did not have diarrhea. A significant difference (p<0.05 was observed in the level of infection of intestinal protozoan between the HIV seropositive with diarrhea and HIV-seropositive without diarrhea. Conclusion Enteric opportunistic parasitic infections were detected in 28% among HIV-seropositive patients. Early detection of enteric parasitic infections will help in the management and to improve the quality of life for HIV-infected individuals. [Natl J Med Res 2015; 5(3.000: 190-193

  8. Separation and Mapping of Chromosomes of Parasitic Protozoa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosaura Hernandez-Rivas

    1997-11-01

    Full Text Available Many protozoan parasites represent an important group of human pathogens. Pulsed Field Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE analysis has been an important tool for fundamental genetic studies of parasites like Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Giardia or the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. We present PFGE conditions allowing a high resolution separation of chromosomes ranging from 500 to 4000 kb within a two day electrophoresis run. In addition, we present conditions for separating large chromosomes (2000-6000 kb within 36 hr. We demontrate that the application of two dimentional PFGE (2D-PFGE technique to parasite karyotypes is a very useful method for the analysis of dispersed gene families and comparative studies of the intrachomosomal genome organization

  9. Leishmania donovani tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase structure in complex with a tyrosyl adenylate analog and comparisons with human and protozoan counterparts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros-Álvarez, Ximena; Kerchner, Keshia M; Koh, Cho Yeow; Turley, Stewart; Pardon, Els; Steyaert, Jan; Ranade, Ranae M; Gillespie, J Robert; Zhang, Zhongsheng; Verlinde, Christophe L M J; Fan, Erkang; Buckner, Frederick S; Hol, Wim G J

    2017-07-01

    The crystal structure of Leishmania donovani tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (LdTyrRS) in complex with a nanobody and the tyrosyl adenylate analog TyrSA was determined at 2.75 Å resolution. Nanobodies are the variable domains of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies. The nanobody makes numerous crystal contacts and in addition reduces the flexibility of a loop of LdTyrRS. TyrSA is engaged in many interactions with active site residues occupying the tyrosine and adenine binding pockets. The LdTyrRS polypeptide chain consists of two pseudo-monomers, each consisting of two domains. Comparing the two independent chains in the asymmetric unit reveals that the two pseudo-monomers of LdTyrRS can bend with respect to each other essentially as rigid bodies. This flexibility might be useful in the positioning of tRNA for catalysis since both pseudo-monomers in the LdTyrRS chain are needed for charging tRNA(Tyr). An "extra pocket" (EP) appears to be present near the adenine binding region of LdTyrRS. Since this pocket is absent in the two human homologous enzymes, the EP provides interesting opportunities for obtaining selective drugs for treating infections caused by L. donovani, a unicellular parasite causing visceral leishmaniasis, or kala azar, which claims 20,000 to 30,000 deaths per year. Sequence and structural comparisons indicate that the EP is a characteristic which also occurs in the active site of several other important pathogenic protozoa. Therefore, the structure of LdTyrRS could inspire the design of compounds useful for treating several different parasitic diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  10. [Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as reservoir of parasites and source of zoonosis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okulewicz, Anna; Hildebrand, Joanna; Okulewicz, Jerzy; Perec, Agnieszka

    2005-01-01

    Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) as reservoir of parasites and source of zoonosis. This review presents data from Europe and Poland on the prevalence of helminth and protozoan parasites in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). The most common nematodes were geohelminths: Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis and Toxocara leonina. As concerning Trichinella genus T. britovi was found more often than T. spiralis. Among tapeworms the following species were recorded: Mesocestoides lineatus, Taenia sp., and Echinococcus multilocularis. Detected cases of E. multilocularis together with an increase of fox population during last few years create a potential human risk of infection. The results of many studies indicate rare presence of trematodes (Alaria alata) and protozoan parasites (Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Leishmania spp., Eimeria spp.) in red foxes.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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.

  14. Intestinal parasites in dogs and cats from the district of Évora, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, F S; Pereira-Baltasar, P; Parreira, R; Padre, L; Vilhena, M; Távora Tavira, L; Atouguia, J; Centeno-Lima, S

    2011-06-30

    Intestinal parasites, both helminths and protozoa, are commonly found in domestic animals, and the possible transmission of enteric parasites from dogs and cats to humans may constitute a global potential health risk worldwide. In the present study, we analysed 148 stool samples from dogs (n=126) and cats (n=22) collected from animal shelters and veterinary clinics, in the district of Évora, Portugal. Microscopic examination confirmed that Giardia was the most frequent parasite in the studied population (34/148; 23%). Other parasites such as Ancylostoma sp., Isospora spp., Toxocara, Trichuris spp., Toxascaris and Toxoplasma were also found. Furthermore, molecular characterization of Giardia duodenalis analysis targeting the small subunit ribosomal RNA (ssu-rRNA) was performed revealing the presence of host-specific (C and D) and zoonotic assemblages (A and B). This work points out to the importance of protozoan parasites in companion animals, and reanalyses the need for parasite prophylaxis.

  15. Human Intestinal Parasite Burden and Poor Sanitation in Rural Alabama.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, Megan L; McAtee, Shannon; Bryan, Patricia E; Jeun, Rebecca; Ward, Tabitha; Kraus, Jacob; Bottazzi, Maria E; Hotez, Peter J; Flowers, Catherine C; Mejia, Rojelio

    2017-09-05

    Hookworm infection affects 430 million people worldwide, causing iron deficiency, impaired cognitive development, and stunting in children. Because of the environmental conditions needed for the hookworm life-cycle, this parasite is endemic to resource-limited countries. Necator americanus was endemic in the southern United States before improvement of sewage disposal systems and eradication programs. With continued poverty, poor sanitation, and an environment suitable for the hookworm life-cycle in some regions of the southern United States, a current prevalence study using modern molecular diagnostics is warranted. Lowndes County, Alabama, was chosen as the study site given previous high hookworm burdens, degree of poverty, and use of open-sewage systems. Participants were interviewed, and stool, serum, and soil samples were tested for nine intestinal parasites using a multiparallel quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays . We found that, among 24 households, 42.4% reported exposure to raw sewage within their home, and from 55 stool samples, 19 (34.5%) tested positive for N. americanus, four (7.3%) for Strongyloides stercoralis, and one (1.8%) for Entamoeba histolytica. Stool tested positive for N. americanus contained low levels of parasite DNA (geometric mean 0.0302 fg/µL). Soil studies detected one (2.9%) Cryptosporidium species, and Toxocara serology assay detected one (5.2%) positive in this population. Individuals living in this high-risk environment within the United States continue to have stool samples positive for N. americanus. Gastrointestinal parasites known to be endemic to developing countries are identifiable in American poverty regions, and areas with lower disease burden are more likely to be identified by using qPCR.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Analysis of Antibodies Directed against Merozoite Surface Protein 1 of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woehlbier, Ute; Epp, Christian; Kauth, Christian W.; Lutz, Rolf; Long, Carole A.; Coulibaly, Boubacar; Kouyaté, Bocar; Arevalo-Herrera, Myriam; Herrera, Sócrates; Bujard, Hermann

    2006-01-01

    The 190-kDa merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum, an essential component in the parasite's life cycle, is a primary candidate for a malaria vaccine. Rabbit antibodies elicited by the heterologously produced MSP-1 processing products p83, p30, p38, and p42, derived from strain 3D7, were analyzed for the potential to inhibit in vitro erythrocyte invasion by the parasite and parasite growth. Our data show that (i) epitopes recognized by antibodies, which inhibit parasite replication, are distributed throughout the entire MSP-1 molecule; (ii) when combined, antibodies specific for different regions of MSP-1 inhibit in a strictly additive manner; (iii) anti-MSP-1 antibodies interfere with erythrocyte invasion as well as with the intraerythrocytic growth of the parasite; and (iv) antibodies raised against MSP-1 of strain 3D7 strongly cross-inhibit replication of the heterologous strain FCB-1. Accordingly, anti-MSP-1 antibodies appear to be capable of interfering with parasite multiplication at more than one level. Since the overall immunogenicity profile of MSP-1 in rabbits closely resembles that found in sera of Aotus monkeys immunized with parasite-derived MSP-1 and of humans semi-immune to malaria from whom highly inhibiting antigen-specific antibodies were recovered, we consider the findings reported here to be relevant for the development of MSP-1-based vaccines against malaria. PMID:16428781

  19. Parasites and malignancies, a review, with emphasis on digestive cancer induced by Cryptosporidium parvum (Alveolata: Apicomplexa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benamrouz, S; Conseil, V; Creusy, C; Calderon, E; Dei-Cas, E; Certad, G

    2012-05-01

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) identifies ten infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, parasites) able to induce cancer disease in humans. Among parasites, a carcinogenic role is currently recognized to the digenetic trematodes Schistosoma haematobium, leading to bladder cancer, and to Clonorchis sinensis or Opisthorchis viverrini, which cause cholangiocarcinoma. Furthermore, several reports suspected the potential association of other parasitic infections (due to Protozoan or Metazoan parasites) with the development of neoplastic changes in the host tissues. The present work shortly reviewed available data on the involvement of parasites in neoplastic processes in humans or animals, and especially focused on the carcinogenic power of Cryptosporidium parvum infection. On the whole, infection seems to play a crucial role in the etiology of cancer.

  20. Parasites and malignancies, a review, with emphasis on digestive cancer induced by Cryptosporidium parvum (Alveolata: Apicomplexa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benamrouz S.

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC identifies ten infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, parasites able to induce cancer disease in humans. Among parasites, a carcinogenic role is currently recognized to the digenetic trematodes Schistosoma haematobium, leading to bladder cancer, and to Clonorchis sinensis or Opisthorchis viverrini, which cause cholangiocarcinoma. Furthermore, several reports suspected the potential association of other parasitic infections (due to Protozoan or Metazoan parasites with the development of neoplastic changes in the host tissues. The present work shortly reviewed available data on the involvement of parasites in neoplastic processes in humans or animals, and especially focused on the carcinogenic power of Cryptosporidium parvum infection. On the whole, infection seems to play a crucial role in the etiology of cancer.

  1. 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

  2. Genetic determinism of parasitic circadian periodicity and subperiodicity in human lymphatic filariasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pichon, Gaston; Treuil, Jean-Pierre

    2004-12-01

    The larval parasites of the pantropical lymphatic filariasis exhibit two types of circadian behaviour. Typically, they only appear in the human bloodstream at nighttime, synchronised with their mosquito vectors. In Polynesia and parts of Southeast Asia, free of nocturnal vectors, they are found at all hours, and each population biorhythm differs. Through a geometrical approach, we explain this circadian diversity by a single, dominant mutation: the clocks of individual parasites are set at midnight (ubiquitous) or at 2 p.m. Compared to other circadian genes, this mutation must be very old, as it is shared by four biologically remote genera of parasites. This seniority sheds new light on several theoretical and practical aspects of vector-parasite temporal relations.

  3. Protozoários e metazoários parasitos do cardinal Paracheirodon axelrodi Schultz, 1956 (Characidae, peixe ornamental proveniente de exportador de Manaus, Estado do Amazonas, Brasil - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v31i1.872 Protozoan and metazoan parasites of the cardinal Paracheirodon axelrodi Schultz, 1956 (Characidae, ornamental fish from Manaus, Amazonas State, Brazil - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v31i1.872

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Leonora Silva Brito

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Os estudos sobre a parasitofauna de peixes ornamentais cultivados são de grande relevância para o conhecimento das espécies de parasitos, permitindo interferência em sua proliferação para evitar epizootias e, consequentemente, perdas econômicas na criação. O presente estudo investigou a prevalência e intensidade de parasitos protozoários e metazoários em cardinal Paracheirodon axelrodi (N = 89, mantidos em tanques de um exportador de Manaus, Estado do Amazonas, Brasil. Dos espécimes de P. axelrodi necropsiados, 65,2% (N = 58 estavam parasitados pelos Protozoa Piscinoodinium pillulare (3,4% e Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (7,9%, Monogenoidea Gyrodactylus sp. (42,7%, Nematoda Procamallanus sp. (23,6% e Trematoda (1,1%. Gyrodactylus sp. e Procamallanus sp., porém, foram os parasitos de maior prevalência e intensidade. Apesar da elevada prevalência de parasitismo em P. axelrodi durante a sua permanência no exportador, a intensidade de protozoários e metazoários foi baixa pelo manejo profilático nos tanques. Os resultados demonstram que os cuidados com tratamento e profilaxia são de extrema importância na aquicultura de peixes ornamentais.Studies regarding parasites fauna in farmed ornamental fish are of great relevance for knowledge of the parasites species, allowing interference in their proliferation to avoid epizooties and consequently, economical losses. This study was designed to investigate the protozoan and metazoan parasites prevalence and intensity on cardinal Paracheirodon axelrodi, maintained in tanks of an exporter from Manaus, Amazonas State, Brazil. On necropsy 65.2% of P. axelrodi were found parasitized by Piscinoodium pillulare, Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Protozoa, Gyrodactylus sp. (Monogenoidea, Procamallanus sp. (Nematoda and Trematoda. Gyrodactylus sp. (42.7% and Procamallanus sp. (23.6% were the parasites of greatest prevalence, and protozoan I. multifiliis was the parasite of greatest mean intensity (4

  4. Prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in domestic dogs in Tabasco, southeastern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswaldo Margarito Torres-Chablé

    Full Text Available Abstract The overall goal of this study was to estimate the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI parasites in dogs in the city of Villahermosa in Tabasco, Mexico. The study population consisted of 302 owned dogs that had limited access to public areas. A fecal sample was collected from each animal and examined for GI parasites by conventional macroscopic analysis and centrifugal flotation. Fecal samples from 80 (26.5% dogs contained GI parasites. Of these, 58 (19.2% were positive for helminths and 22 (7.3% were positive for protozoan parasites. At least seven parasitic species were identified. The most common parasite was Ancylostoma caninum which was detected in 48 (15.9% dogs. Other parasites detected on multiple occasions were Cystoisospora spp. (n = 19, Toxocara canis (n = 7 and Giardia spp. (n = 3. Three additional parasites, Dipylidium caninum, Trichuris vulpis and Uncinaria spp., were each detected in a single dog. No mixed parasitic infections were identified. In summary, we report a moderately high prevalence of GI parasites in owned dogs in Villahermosa, Tabasco. Several parasitic species identified in this study are recognized zoonotic pathogens which illustrates the important need to routinely monitor and treat dogs that live in close proximity to humans for parasitic infections.

  5. Leishmania mexicana infection induces IgG to parasite surface glycoinositol phospholipids that can induce IL-10 in mice and humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurence U Buxbaum

    Full Text Available Infection with the intracellular protozoan parasite Leishmania mexicana causes chronic disease in C57BL/6 mice, in which cutaneous lesions persist for many months with high parasite burdens (10(7-10(8 parasites. This chronic disease process requires host IL-10 and FcγRIII. When Leishmania amastigotes are released from cells, surface-bound IgG can induce IL-10 and suppress IL-12 production from macrophages. These changes decrease IFN-γ from T cells and nitric oxide production in infected cells, which are both required for Leishmania control. However, antibodies targets and the kinetics of antibody production are unknown. Several groups have been unsuccessful in identifying amastigote surface proteins that bind IgG. We now show that glycoinositol phospholipids (GIPLs of L. mexicana are recognized by mouse IgG1 by 6 weeks of infection, with a rapid increase between 12 and 16 weeks, consistent with the timing of chronic disease in C57BL/6 mice vs. healing in FcγRIII-deficient mice. A single prominent spot on TLC is recognized by IgG, and the glycolipid is a glycosyl phosphatidylinositol containing a branched mannose structure. We show that the lipid structure of the GIPL (the sn-2 fatty acid is required for antibody recognition. This GIPL is abundant in L. mexicana amastigotes, rare in stationary-phase promastigotes, and absent in L. major, consistent with a role for antibodies to GIPLs in chronic disease. A mouse monoclonal anti-GIPL IgG recognizes GIPLs on the parasite surface, and induces IL-10 from macrophages. The current work also extends this mouse analysis to humans, finding that L. mexicana-infected humans with localized and diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis have antibodies that recognize GIPLs, can bind to the surface of amastigotes, and can induce IL-10 from human monocytes. Further characterization of the target glycolipids will have important implications for drug and vaccine development and will elucidate the poorly understood role of

  6. Glycerol: An unexpected major metabolite of energy metabolism by the human malaria parasite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bray Patrick G

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Malaria is a global health emergency, and yet our understanding of the energy metabolism of the principle causative agent of this devastating disease, Plasmodium falciparum, remains rather basic. Glucose was shown to be an essential nutritional requirement nearly 100 years ago and since this original observation, much of the current knowledge of Plasmodium energy metabolism is based on early biochemical work, performed using basic analytical techniques (e.g. paper chromatography, carried out almost exclusively on avian and rodent malaria. Data derived from malaria parasite genome and transcriptome studies suggest that the energy metabolism of the parasite may be more complex than hitherto anticipated. This study was undertaken in order to further characterize the fate of glucose catabolism in the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum. Methods Products of glucose catabolism were determined by incubating erythrocyte-freed parasites with D-[1-13C] glucose under controlled conditions and metabolites were identified using 13C-NMR spectroscopy. Results Following a 2 h incubation of freed-P. falciparum parasites with 25 mM D-[1-13C] glucose (n = 4, the major metabolites identified included; [3-13C] lactate, [1,3-13C] glycerol, [3-13C] pyruvate, [3-13C] alanine and [3-13C] glycerol-3-phosphate. Control experiments performed with uninfected erythrocytes incubated under identical conditions did not show any metabolism of D-[1-13C] glucose to glycerol or glycerol-3-phosphate. Discussion The identification of glycerol as a major glucose metabolite confirms the view that energy metabolism in this parasite is more complex than previously proposed. It is hypothesized here that glycerol production by the malaria parasite is the result of a metabolic adaptation to growth in O2-limited (and CO2 elevated conditions by the operation of a glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle for the re-oxidation of assimilatory NADH. Similar metabolic adaptations have

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Maeda, K, Markowitz, N, Hawley, RC, Ristic, M, et al. Human infection with Ehrlichia canis , a leukocytic rickettsia. N Eng! J Med 1987; 316:853-856...lone star tick human pathogens Ehrlichia chaffenesis (human monocytic ehrlichiosis [HMEJ) and Ehrlichia ezoingii (E. ezoingii ehrlichiosis [EWE...Paddock, CD, et al. Ehrlichia ewingii, a newly recognized agent of human ehrlichiosis. N Engl J Med 1999; 341:148-155. Burgdorfer, W, Hayes, S

  8. Characterization of two cysteine proteases secreted by Blastocystis ST7, a human intestinal parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wawrzyniak, Ivan; Texier, Catherine; Poirier, Philippe; Viscogliosi, Eric; Tan, Kevin S W; Delbac, Frédéric; El Alaoui, Hicham

    2012-09-01

    Blastocystis spp. are unicellular anaerobic intestinal parasites of both humans and animals and the most prevalent ones found in human stool samples. Their association with various gastrointestinal disorders raises the questions of its pathogenicity and of the molecular mechanisms involved. Since secreted proteases are well-known to be implicated in intestinal parasite virulence, we intended to determine whether Blastocystis spp. possess such pathogenic factors. In silico analysis of the Blastocystis subtype 7 (ST7) genome sequence highlighted 22 genes coding proteases which were predicted to be secreted. We characterized the proteolytic activities in the secretory products of Blastocystis ST7 using specific protease inhibitors. Two cysteine proteases, a cathepsin B and a legumain, were identified in the parasite culture supernatant by gelatin zymographic SDS-PAGE gel and MS/MS analysis. These proteases might act on intestinal cells and disturb gut function. This work provides serious molecular candidates to link Blastocystis spp. and intestinal disorders.

  9. The human malaria parasite Pfs47 gene mediates evasion of the mosquito immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cruz, Alvaro; Garver, Lindsey S; Alabaster, Amy; Bangiolo, Lois; Haile, Ashley; Winikor, Jared; Ortega, Corrie; van Schaijk, Ben C L; Sauerwein, Robert W; Taylor-Salmon, Emma; Barillas-Mury, Carolina

    2013-05-24

    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. falciparum gene that allows the parasite to infect A. gambiae without activating the mosquito immune system. Disruption of Pfs47 greatly reduced parasite survival in the mosquito, and this phenotype could be reverted by genetic complementation of the parasite or by disruption of the mosquito complement-like system. Pfs47 suppresses midgut nitration responses that are critical to activate the complement-like system. We provide direct experimental evidence that immune evasion mediated by Pfs47 is critical for efficient human malaria transmission by A. gambiae.

  10. Host mitochondrial association evolved in the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii via neofunctionalization of a gene duplicate

    Science.gov (United States)

    In Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular parasite of humans and other warm-blooded animals, the ability to associate with host mitochondria (HMA) is driven by a locally expanded gene family that encodes multiple mitochondrial association factor 1 (MAF1) proteins. The importance of copy number in the e...

  11. Tapeworm Diphyllobothrium dendriticum (Cestoda)—Neglected or Emerging Human Parasite?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuchta, Roman; Brabec, Jan; Kubáčková, Petra; Scholz, Tomáš

    2013-01-01

    Background A total number of 14 valid species of Diphyllobothrium tapeworms have been described in literature to be capable of causing diphyllobothriosis, with D. latum being the major causative agent of all human infections. However, recent data indicate that some of these infections, especially when diagnosed solely on the basis of morphology, have been identified with this causative agent incorrectly, confusing other Diphyllobothrium species with D. latum. Another widely distributed species, D. dendriticum, has never been considered as a frequent parasite of man, even though it is found commonly throughout arctic and subarctic regions parasitizing piscivorous birds and mammals. Recent cases of Europeans infected with this cestode called into question the actual geographic distribution of this tapeworm, largely ignored by medical parasitologists. Methodology and Results On the basis of revision of more than 900 available references and a description and revision of recent European human cases using morphological and molecular (cox1) data supplemented by newly characterized D. dendriticum sequences, we updated the current knowledge of the life-cycle, geographic distribution, epidemiological status, and molecular diagnostics of this emerging causal agent of zoonotic disease of man. Conclusions The tapeworm D. dendriticum represents an example of a previously neglected, probably underdiagnosed parasite of man with a potential to spread globally. Recent cases of diphyllobothriosis caused by D. dendriticum in Europe (Netherlands, Switzerland and Czech Republic), where the parasite has not been reported previously, point out that causative agents of diphyllobothriosis and other zoonoses can be imported throughout the world. Molecular tools should be used for specific and reliable parasite diagnostics, and also rare or non-native species should be considered. This will considerably help improve our knowledge of the distribution and epidemiology of these human parasites

  12. [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.

  13. Parasitic intestinal infections in humans between 2006 and 2007

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Letizia D’Annibale

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Between 2006-07 faecal specimens of 2.132 subjects (1.508 adults and 624 children were examined for ova & parasites, using direct and after formalin-ethylacetate concentration microscopy, and permanent specific stains. 380 bubjects (17.8 % were infected: 313 adults (20.8 % and 67 children (10.7 %. 331 cases (15.5 % were infected by pathogens, 275 adults (18.2 % and 56 children (9.0 %. 389 pathogenic or not pathogenic protozoa (18.2 % and 60 helminths (2.8 % were identified, more among adults than children (21.0 % vs 11.5 % and 3.2 % vs 1.8 % respectively.Among protozoa, D. fragilis was in all observed in 145 cases (6.8 %, G. duodenalis in 74 cases (3.5 %, other were very rare.Among helminths nematodes were more frequent than trematodes and cestodes, with S. stercoralis (14 cases and E. vermicularis (13 cases the most frequent ones. 2.302 subjects (1.505 adults and 797 children were examined for microbiological tests because affected by acute or prolonged diarrhoea. 82 cases (3.6 % of protozoal infections were observed, 70 among adults (4.7 % and 12 among children (1.5 %. D. fragilis was in all prevalent (2.0 % in respect of G. duodenalis (1.0 % or other ones (0.6 %. For S. stercoralis specific investigation, modified Baermann method / larvae colture were performed: 20/189 cases (10.6 % od strongyloidiasis was diagnosed in adults. For E. vermicularis investigation, scotch test was performer: 43/179 cases (24.0% of enterobiasis was diagnosed. The Authors underline the application of standard operative procedures for O & P with permanent specific stains in subject affected by enterites too, and the analysis of more specimens for each subjects for good diagnostical performances.

  14. Coevoultionary genetics of Plasmodium malaria parasites and their human hosts

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Andrew G Evans; Thomas E Wellems

    2002-01-01

    .... Evidence for genome-shaping interactions can be found in the geographic and ethnic distributions of the hemoglobins, blood group antigens, thalassemias, red cell membrane molecules, human lymphocyte antigen (HLA...

  15. Targeting of a Transporter to the Outer Apicoplast Membrane in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Christopher D.; McFadden, Geoffrey I.

    2016-01-01

    Apicoplasts are vestigial plastids in apicomplexan parasites like Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria. Apicomplexan parasites are dependant on their apicoplasts for synthesis of various molecules that they are unable to scavenge in sufficient quantity from their host, which makes apicoplasts attractive drug targets. Proteins known as plastid phosphate translocators (pPTs) are embedded in the outer apicoplast membrane and are responsible for the import of carbon, energy and reducing power to drive anabolic synthesis in the organelle. We investigated how a pPT is targeted into the outer apicoplast membrane of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. We showed that a transmembrane domain is likely to act as a recessed signal anchor to direct the protein into the endomembrane system, and that a tyrosine in the cytosolic N-terminus of the protein is essential for targeting, but one or more, as yet unidentified, factors are also essential to direct the protein into the outer apicoplast membrane. PMID:27442138

  16. Targeting of a Transporter to the Outer Apicoplast Membrane in the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

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    Liting Lim

    Full Text Available Apicoplasts are vestigial plastids in apicomplexan parasites like Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria. Apicomplexan parasites are dependant on their apicoplasts for synthesis of various molecules that they are unable to scavenge in sufficient quantity from their host, which makes apicoplasts attractive drug targets. Proteins known as plastid phosphate translocators (pPTs are embedded in the outer apicoplast membrane and are responsible for the import of carbon, energy and reducing power to drive anabolic synthesis in the organelle. We investigated how a pPT is targeted into the outer apicoplast membrane of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. We showed that a transmembrane domain is likely to act as a recessed signal anchor to direct the protein into the endomembrane system, and that a tyrosine in the cytosolic N-terminus of the protein is essential for targeting, but one or more, as yet unidentified, factors are also essential to direct the protein into the outer apicoplast membrane.

  17. Epithelial sentinels or protozoan parasites?: Studies on isolated rodlet cells on the 100th anniversary of an enigma Centinelas epiteliales o parásitos protozoarios?: Estudios en células rodlet aisladas en el centenario de un enigma

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    OLIVER SCHMACHTENBERG

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Rodlet cells are an unusual cell type found exclusively in teleost fishes. Their principal characteristics are a fibrous capsule and arrow or club-like structures pointing towards the apex of the cell, which are called rodlets. Rodlet cells were first described by Thelohan (1892 as undetermined sporozoan fish parasites, and soon after named Rhabdospora thelohani by Laguesse (1895. In 1906, a presently ongoing controversy started, with Plehn's independent characterization of rodlet cells as endogenous glandular cells, and a prompt refutation by Laguesse (1906. Both maintained their position, and during the following century both views continued to coexist with varying popularity, while additional interpretations of rodlet cell function were proposed. Here I present observations of live rodlet cells from the olfactory epithelium of the marine teleost Isacia conceptionis. Rodlet ejection was monitored and the fate of rodlet cells and ejected rodlets was tracked for up to 12 h. While rodlet cells died within a few hours, usually after rodlet expulsion, the rodlets remained stable over the observation period. These results are discussed in the light of the current hypotheses regarding rodlet cell functionLas células "rodlet" son un tipo celular poco usual que se encuentra exclusivamente en peces teleósteos. Sus características principales son tener una cápsula fibrosa y estructuras en forma de lanza que apuntan hacia el ápice de la célula, denominadas "rodlet". Las células "rodlet" fueron descritas por primera vez por Thelohan (1892 como parásitos esporozoarios no determinados de peces, y poco después bautizados por Laguesse (1895 como Rhabdospora thelohani. En 1906, con la caracterización independiente realizada por Plehn de estas células como células glandulares endógenas, y la pronta refutación por Laguesse (1906, comienza una controversia que se ha mantenido hasta hoy. Ambos defendieron su posición, y durante el siglo siguiente

  18. The occurrence of haplosporidian parasites, Haplosporidium nelsoni and Haplosporidium sp., in oysters in Ireland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lynch, S.A.; Villalba, A.; Abollo, E.; Engelsma, M.Y.; Stokes, N.; Culloty, S.C.

    2013-01-01

    The phylum Haplosporidia is a group of obligate protozoan parasites that infect a number of freshwater and marine invertebrates. Haplosporidian parasites have caused significant mortalities in commercially important shellfish species worldwide. In this study, haplosporidia were detected in Pacific o

  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. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area.

  1. IMMUNODIAGNOSIS OF HUMAN STRONGYLOIDIASIS: USE OF SIX DIFFERENT ANTIGENIC FRACTIONS FROM Strongyloides venezuelensis PARASITIC FEMALES

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    Marcelo Andreetta CORRAL

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available SUMMARY The aim of this study was to evaluate six different antigenic fractions from Strongyloides venezuelensis parasitic females for the immunodiagnosis of human strongyloidiasis. Soluble and membrane fractions from S. venezuelensis parasitic females were prepared in phosphate-buffered saline (SSF and SMF, respectively, Tris-HCl (TSF and TMF, respectively, and an alkaline buffer (ASF and AMF, respectively. Serum samples obtained from patients with strongyloidiasis or, other parasitic diseases, and healthy individuals were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA. Soluble fractions SSF, TSF, and ASF showed 85.0%, 75.0%, and 80.0% sensitivity and 93.1%, 93.1%, and 87.5% specificity, respectively. Membrane fractions SMF, TMF, and AMF showed 80.0%, 75.0%, and 85.0% sensitivity, and 95.8%, 90.3%, and 91.7% specificity, respectively. In conclusion, the present results suggest that the fractions obtained from parasitic females, especially the SSF and SMF, could be used as alternative antigen sources in the serodiagnosis of human strongyloidiasis.

  2. Molecular paleoparasitological hybridization approach as effective tool for diagnosing human intestinal parasites from scarce archaeological remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaeger, Lauren Hubert; Iñiguez, Alena Mayo

    2014-01-01

    Paleoparasitology is the science that uses parasitological techniques for diagnosing parasitic diseases in the past. Advances in molecular biology brought new insights into this field allowing the study of archaeological material. However, due to technical limitations a proper diagnosis and confirmation of the presence of parasites is not always possible, especially in scarce and degraded archaeological remains. In this study, we developed a Molecular Paleoparasitological Hybridization (MPH) approach using ancient DNA (aDNA) hybridization to confirm and complement paleoparasitological diagnosis. Eight molecular targets from four helminth parasites were included: Ascaris sp., Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis, and Strongyloides stercoralis. The MPH analysis using 18th century human remains from Praça XV cemetery (CPXV), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, revealed for the first time the presence E. vermicularis aDNA (50%) in archaeological sites of Brazil. Besides, the results confirmed T. trichiura and Ascaris sp. infections. The prevalence of infection by Ascaris sp. and E. vermicularis increased considerably when MPH was applied. However, a lower aDNA detection of T. trichiura (40%) was observed when compared to the diagnosis by paleoparasitological analysis (70%). Therefore, based on these data, we suggest a combination of Paleoparasitological and MPH approaches to verify the real panorama of intestinal parasite infection in human archeological samples.

  3. 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. ...

  4. 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 disappointin

  5. Presence of gastrointestinal parasites in swine and human of four swine production farms in Cundinamarca- Colombia

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    María F Mendoza-Gómez

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. Determine the presence and the type of endoparasites with zoonotic potential in swine and human of two technified and two semi-technified farms in the department of Cundinamarca, Colombia. Materials and methods. Three serial samplings of feces were taken in a pen row within intervals of 15 days, in two technified and two semi-technified farms in different age groups distributed as follows: pregnant-sows, nursing-females, boars, weaners, suckling-piglets, and growing-pig. By means of informed consent thirty-three people agreed to enter the study. Thirty-three samples from men and women of different ages were received. The pool and individual samples of fecal were evaluated by direct analysis, qualitative flotation and sedimentation techniques and modified ZiehlNeelsen stain. Results. For the porcine population, on the average, the results obtained from both technified farms showed that Balantidium coli (42%, Endolimax nana (21.9% and Iodamoeba bütschlii (7.8% were the most common parasites. In semi-technified farms they were: Entamoeba coli (40%, Endolimax nana (35%, Iodamoeba bütschlii (25% and Balantidium coli (5%. By means of the test chi2 it is possible to conclude that there is a significant difference between the parasites species and the type of farm. The results obtained in human showed the presence of parasites as: E. coli (42.2%, Entamoeba hystolitica/dispar (12.1%, E. nana (9.1%, B. coli (9.1%, I. bütschlii (3.0% and Blastocystis hominis (3.0%. Conclusions. The presence of parasites such as Balantidium coli, Endolimax nana, Iodamoeba bütschlii and Entamoeba coli in swine and human suggests a possible rotation of parasitic species between hosts.

  6. 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.

  7. Diagnosis of human African trypanosomiasis and visceral leishmaniasis based on the detection of anti-parasite-enzyme antibodies.

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    Borowy, N K; Schell, D; Schäfer, C; Overath, P

    1991-08-01

    A sensitive diagnostic assay for parasitic infections based on the detection of anti-enzyme antibodies is presented. All serum antibodies produced in response to parasite antigens are immobilized via their Fc domain on matrix-bound protein G. Incubation of the immobilized antibodies with saturating amounts of parasite extract results in the binding of all recognized antigens, including those directed against a specific and readily measurable enzyme. The amount of bound enzyme is proportional to the anti-enzyme antibody concentration in the serum. The application of this principle is demonstrated for the diagnosis of both human African trypanosomiasis and visceral leishmaniasis by the detection of antibodies against parasite acid phosphatases.

  8. Tropical veterinary parasites at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology.

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    Conn, David Bruce

    2008-12-01

    Tropical veterinary parasites have been maintained by the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) at Harvard University since the mid 1800s. Most of these are maintained by the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, but many vectors and intermediate hosts are maintained by the Departments of Entomology and Malacology. The largest collections are of avian and mammalian ticks (Acarina) that are important as both parasites and vectors. Nematodes are second in numbers, followed by cestodes, trematodes, and several minor helminth groups, crustacean parasites of fish, and protozoan parasites of various hosts. The MCZ directed or participated in several major expeditions to tropical areas around the globe in the early 1900s. Many of these expeditions focused on human parasites, but hundreds of veterinary and zoonotic parasites were also collected from these and numerous, smaller, tropical expeditions. Host sources include companion animals, livestock, laboratory species, domestic fowl, reptiles, amphibians, exotics/zoo animals, commercially important fishes, and other wildlife. Specimens are curated, either fixed whole in vials or mounted on slides as whole mounts or histopathological sections. The primary emphasis of MCZ's current work with tropical veterinary parasites is on voucher specimens from epidemiological, experimental, and clinical research.

  9. Global Distribution, Public Health and Clinical Impact of the Protozoan Pathogen Cryptosporidium

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    Lorenza Putignani

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Cryptosporidium spp. are coccidians, oocysts-forming apicomplexan protozoa, which complete their life cycle both in humans and animals, through zoonotic and anthroponotic transmission, causing cryptosporidiosis. The global burden of this disease is still underascertained, due to a conundrum transmission modality, only partially unveiled, and on a plethora of detection systems still inadequate or only partially applied for worldwide surveillance. In children, cryptosporidiosis encumber is even less recorded and often misidentified due to physiological reasons such as early-age unpaired immunological response. Furthermore, malnutrition in underdeveloped countries or clinical underestimation of protozoan etiology in developed countries contribute to the underestimation of the worldwide burden. Principal key indicators of the parasite distribution were associated to environmental (e.g., geographic and temporal clusters, etc. and host determinants of the infection (e.g., age, immunological status, travels, community behaviours. The distribution was geographically mapped to provide an updated picture of the global parasite ecosystems. The present paper aims to provide, by a critical analysis of existing literature, a link between observational epidemiological records and new insights on public health, and diagnostic and clinical impact of cryptosporidiosis.

  10. Investigation of Parasitic Contaminations of Vegetables Sold in Markets in the City of Tabriz in 2014.

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    Balarak, Davoud; Ebrahimi, Masomeh; Modrek, Mohammad Jafari; Bazrafshan, Edris; Mahvi, Amir Hossein; Mahdavi, Yousef

    2016-10-01

    Parasitic diseases are among the most common problems in developing countries. Various parasitic forms such as cysts, larvae and eggs of the parasite are transmitted orally through the consumption of vegetables. So, the aim of this study was to evaluate parasitic contamination of fresh vegetables consumed in the city of Tabriz. This cross-sectional study was conducted for 3 months in 2014 in Tabriz. In this study, 1620 samples from 10 kinds of vegetables (leeks, basil, mint, chives, radishes, parsley, lettuce, watercress, tarragon and coriander) were collected from 54 vegetable shops. After the washing process, centrifugation, sediment preparation and staining, each sample was examined for parasitic contamination. The parasitic infection was observed in 316 (19.5%) which 141 samples (8.7%) was related to metazoan and 175 samples (10.8%) was related to protozoan. the highest contamination was observed in leeks and the lowest in radish. Most parasitic contaminations were related to Ascaris eggs and E. coli cyst and the lowest parasitic contaminations were related to Heterophyes eggs. It can be concluded that vegetables sold in Tabriz are potential sources of human contamination with parasites. It is suggested that the use of fertilizers of human source in agriculture should be avoided.

  11. Anopheles gambiae immune responses to human and rodent Plasmodium parasite species.

    OpenAIRE

    Yuemei Dong; Ruth Aguilar; Zhiyong Xi; Emma Warr; Emmanuel Mongin; George Dimopoulos

    2006-01-01

    Transmission of malaria is dependent on the successful completion of the Plasmodium lifecycle in the Anopheles vector. Major obstacles are encountered in the midgut tissue, where most parasites are killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the present study, DNA microarray analyses have been used to compare Anopheles gambiae responses to invasion of the midgut epithelium by the ookinete stage of the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent experimental model pathogen P. berghei. I...

  12. 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.

  13. Intestinal parasitic infections and eosinophilia in an human immunedeficiency virus positive population in Honduras

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    Rina G Kaminsky

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence of intestinal parasites, their regional distribution and their relations to eosinophilia were studied in 133 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV positive individuals from Honduras. After signing an informed consent, participants answered a socio-demographic and risk factor questionnaire, a complete physical examination, medical history, and a series of laboratory tests. All participants were HIV positive but not acquired immunodeficiency syndrome positive. Of them, 67% were co-infected with pathogen and non pathogen parasites. Overall occurrence of nematodes was: 44.3% for Trichuris trichiura, 24% for Ascaris lumbricoides, 12% for Hookworm and 7.5% for Strongyloides stercoralis. No cases of Giardia lamblia, acute amebiasis or cryptosporidiasis were diagnosed. Mean eosinophil percents for participants were consistently and significantly higher in infected than in non infected individuals: 22% for Hookworm vs 7.2% (p < 0.001, 11% for Trichuris compared to 5.2% (p < 0.001, 13.2% compared to 7.5% for S. stercoralis (p < 0.05, and 12% compared to 6% for Ascaris cases (p < 0.05. Helminths and non pathogenic protozoa, as single or mixed infections, occurred among the participants. There was a strong correlation between eosinophilia and helminthiasis infections; however, none was identified between CD4 levels and eosinophilia. Because parasitic infections aggravate malnutrition and promote a disbalanced Th2 response in a potentially immuno-compromised host, their effect on HIV disease progression needs further study, mainly in countries were HIV and parasitic infections are highly prevalent.

  14. Co-infection of tuberculosis and parasitic diseases in humans: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin-Xu; Zhou, Xiao-Nong

    2013-03-22

    Co-infection of tuberculosis and parasitic diseases in humans is an important public problem in co-endemic areas in developing countries. However, there is a paucity of studies on co-infection and even fewer reviews. This review examines 44 appropriate papers by PRISMA from 289 papers searched in PubMed via the NCBI Entrez system (no grey literature) up to December 2012 in order to analyze the factors that influence epidemic and host's immunity of co-infection. The limited evidence in this review indicates that most common parasite species are concurrent with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in multiple organs; socio-demographics such as gender and age, special populations with susceptibility such as renal transplant recipients, patients on maintenance haemodialysis, HIV positive patients and migrants, and living in or coming from co-endemic areas are all likely to have an impact on co-infection. Pulmonary tuberculosis and parasitic diseases were shown to be risk factors for each other. Co-infection may significantly inhibit the host's immune system, increase antibacterial therapy intolerance and be detrimental to the prognosis of the disease; in addition, infection with parasitic diseases can alter the protective immune response to Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccination against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-07

    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 levels comprising parasites, the resources they consume and the immune responses they elicit, connected by potential, observed and experimentally proved links. Pairs of parasite species had most potential to interact indirectly through shared resources, rather than through immune responses or other parasites. In addition, the network comprised 10 tightly knit groups, eight of which were associated with particular body parts, and seven of which were dominated by parasite-resource links. Reported co-infection in humans is therefore structured by physical location within the body, with bottom-up, resource-mediated processes most often influencing how, where and which co-infecting parasites interact. The many indirect interactions show how treating an infection could affect other infections in co-infected patients, but the compartmentalized structure of the network will limit how far these indirect effects are likely to spread.

  16. Prevalence of parasitic infection in captive non human primates of Assam State Zoo, India

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    Bichitra Gopal Nath

    Full Text Available Aim: The study was conducted to know the parasitic infestation in captive non human primates of Assam State Zoo. Materials and Methods: A total of twenty two faecal samples from non human primates of different species viz. Slow loris (Nycticebus coucang (3, Pig tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina (3, Stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides (5, Assamese macaque (Macaca assamensis (1, Bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata (1, Golden langur (Trachypithecus geei (6 and Hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock (3 were analysed from August, 2009 to December, 2009 by using routine sedimentation and floatation techniques as described by Georgi (1985. Identification of parasitic ova was carried out as described by Soulsby (1982 and Wallach and Boever (1983. Results: Out of 22 faecal samples examined, 1 (20% in stump-tailed macaque was found positive for Oesophagostomum spp. and 1(16.67% in golden langur and 1 (33.33% in hoolock gibbon, were found positive for the presence of Trichuris spp. Conclusion: Incidence of parasitic infection was 13.63% in captive non human primates of Assam State Zoo. [Vet World 2012; 5(10.000: 614-616

  17. Medicinal plants: a source of anti-parasitic secondary metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wink, Michael

    2012-10-31

    This review summarizes human infections caused by endoparasites, including protozoa, nematodes, trematodes, and cestodes, which affect more than 30% of the human population, and medicinal plants of potential use in their treatment. Because vaccinations do not work in most instances and the parasites have sometimes become resistant to the available synthetic therapeutics, it is important to search for alternative sources of anti-parasitic drugs. Plants produce a high diversity of secondary metabolites with interesting biological activities, such as cytotoxic, anti-parasitic and anti-microbial properties. These drugs often interfere with central targets in parasites, such as DNA (intercalation, alkylation), membrane integrity, microtubules and neuronal signal transduction. Plant extracts and isolated secondary metabolites which can inhibit protozoan parasites, such as Plasmodium, Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Trichomonas and intestinal worms are discussed. The identified plants and compounds offer a chance to develop new drugs against parasitic diseases. Most of them need to be tested in more detail, especially in animal models and if successful, in clinical trials.

  18. Helminths and protozoans of aquatic organisms as bioindicators of chemical pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal Martínez, V M

    2007-09-01

    There is no doubt that the aquatic environments receive large quantities of chemicals as consequence of human activities and that those substances have a detrimental effect on human health. Despite the obvious need for effective disposal of these substances, we need to understand and prevent the outcome of harmful environmental exposures. Thus, we need biomarkers and bioindicators to advance our understanding to these harmful exposures and their biological effects. In the last three decades a large number of publications has suggested that aquatic organisms and their parasites (mainly helminths and ciliate protozoans) are useful bioindicators of chemical pollution. However, the main weakness of this approach is that after exposure the population size of these parasites can increase or decrease without a consistent pattern. I suggest that this is in part due to the lack of focus on the correct spatial or temporal scales at which the environment is acting over our study object. Thus, I propose to use spatially explicit (= georeferenced) data for determining whether there is spatial structure in our study area. Spatial structure is the tendency of nearby samples to have attribute values more similar than those farther apart. These attributes are shaped by environmental variables acting at specific spatial and temporal scales. Thus, I suggest to consider these tools for determining the correct spatial or temporal scales of study, but also to record pollutant concentrations, bioindicators, biomarkers and parasites at individual host level. Combining this information with long-term monitoring programs is likely to improve our understanding of the effects of chemical pollutants over the aquatic environments.

  19. Molecular detection of intestinal parasites for clinical diagnosis and epidemiology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hove, Robert Jan ten

    2009-01-01

    The detection of intestinal parasitic infections for routine diagnosis and for epidemiological research still depends mainly on microscopical examination of stool samples for the identification of helminth eggs and protozoan trophozoites and cysts. Because microscopy has several limitations,

  20. Molecular detection of intestinal parasites for clinical diagnosis and epidemiology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hove, Robert Jan ten

    2009-01-01

    The detection of intestinal parasitic infections for routine diagnosis and for epidemiological research still depends mainly on microscopical examination of stool samples for the identification of helminth eggs and protozoan trophozoites and cysts. Because microscopy has several limitations, additio

  1. Modelling the impact of sanitation, population growth and urbanization on human emissions of cryptosporidium to surface waters: A case study for Bangladesh and India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, L.C.; Kraker, J.; Hofstra, N.; Kroeze, C.; Medema, G.

    2015-01-01

    Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite that can cause diarrhoea. Human faeces are an important source of Cryptosporidium in surface waters. We present a model to study the impact of sanitation, urbanization and population growth on human emissions of Cryptosporidium to surface waters. We build on a

  2. Modelling the impact of sanitation, population growth and urbanization on human emissions of Cryptosporidium to surface waters—a case study for Bangladesh and India

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, L.C.; Kraker, Dummy; Hofstra, N.; Kroeze, C.; Medema, G.J.

    2015-01-01

    Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite that can cause diarrhoea. Human faeces are an important source of Cryptosporidium in surface waters. We present a model to study the impact of sanitation, urbanization and population growth on human emissions of Cryptosporidium to surface waters. We build on a

  3. Disentangling hybridization and host colonization in parasitic roundworms of humans and pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criscione, Charles D; Anderson, Joel D; Sudimack, Dan; Peng, Weidong; Jha, Bharat; Williams-Blangero, Sarah; Anderson, Timothy J C

    2007-11-07

    Knowledge of cross-transmission and hybridization between parasites of humans and reservoir hosts is critical for understanding the evolution of the parasite and for implementing control programmes. There is now a consensus that populations of pig and human Ascaris (roundworms) show significant genetic subdivision. However, it is unclear whether this has resulted from a single or multiple host shift(s). Furthermore, previous molecular data have not been sufficient to determine whether sympatric populations of human and pig Ascaris can exchange genes. To disentangle patterns of host colonization and hybridization, we used 23 microsatellite loci to conduct Bayesian clustering analyses of individual worms collected from pigs and humans. We observed strong differentiation between populations which was primarily driven by geography, with secondary differentiation resulting from host affiliation within locations. This pattern is consistent with multiple host colonization events. However, there is low support for the short internal branches of the dendrograms. In part, the relationships among clusters may result from current hybridization among sympatric human and pig roundworms. Indeed, congruence in three Bayesian methods indicated that 4 and 7% of roundworms sampled from Guatemala and China, respectively, were hybrids. These results indicate that there is contemporary cross-transmission between populations of human and pig Ascaris.

  4. Toxoplasmosis: An Important Protozoan Zoonosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonar S. S. and Brahmbhatt M.N.

    Full Text Available Toxoplasmosis is an important infection caused by single celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii which is one of the world's most common parasites. Toxoplasmosis is considered to be the third leading cause of death attributed to food-borne illness in the United States. Most people affected never develop signs and symptoms. But for infants born to infected mothers and for people with compromised immune systems, toxoplasmosis can cause extremely serious complications. Toxoplasmosis was first described in 1908 from a small rodent. The parasite infects almost all worm blooded animals and serological evidence indicates that it is one of the most common of humans’ infections throughout the world. The disease is transmitted mainly by ingestion of infective stage of the parasite, organ transplant as well as blood transfusion in addition to the transplacental transmission which is very common. Toxoplasmosis can be presented in various forms of clinical manifestations depending on the immune status of the patient causing life threatening disease in AIDS patient. Pregnant women, cat owners, veterinarians, abattoir workers, children, cooks, butchers are considered as high risk group. Timely treatment of man and animals with proper antibiotic, hygienic measures, proper disinfection, mass education and vaccination are the measures to curtail the disease. [Veterinary World 2010; 3(9.000: 436-439

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-Pacheco, Antonio; Torres-Acosta, Juan F. J.; Alzina-López, Alejandro; Gutiérrez-Blanco, Eduardo; Bolio-González, Manuel E.; Aguilar-Caballero, Armando J.; Rodríguez-Vivas, Roger I.; Gutiérrez-Ruiz, Edwin; Guzmán-Marín, Eugenia; Rosado-Aguilar, Alberto; Jiménez-Coello, Matilde

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26770216

  7. The regulation of CD4+ T cell responses during protozoan infections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian eEngwerda

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available CD4+ T cells are critical for defence against protozoan parasites. Intracellular protozoan parasite infections generally require the development of a Th1 cell response, characterised by the production of IFNγ and TNF that are critical for the generation of microbiocidal molecules by phagocytes, as well as the expression of cytokines and cell surface molecules needed to generate cytolytic CD8+ T cells that can recognise and kill infected host cells . Over the past 25 years, much has been learnt about the molecular and cellular components necessary for the generation of Th1 cell responses, and it has become clear that these responses need to by tightly controlled to prevent disease. However, our understanding of the immunoregulatory mechanisms activated during infection is still not complete. Furthermore, it is apparent that although these mechanisms are critical to prevent inflammation, they can also promote parasite persistence and development of disease. Here, we review how CD4+ T cells are controlled during protozoan infections and how these regulatory mechanisms can influence parasite growth and disease outcome.

  8. Anopheles gambiae immune responses to human and rodent Plasmodium parasite species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuemei Dong

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Transmission of malaria is dependent on the successful completion of the Plasmodium lifecycle in the Anopheles vector. Major obstacles are encountered in the midgut tissue, where most parasites are killed by the mosquito's immune system. In the present study, DNA microarray analyses have been used to compare Anopheles gambiae responses to invasion of the midgut epithelium by the ookinete stage of the human pathogen Plasmodium falciparum and the rodent experimental model pathogen P. berghei. Invasion by P. berghei had a more profound impact on the mosquito transcriptome, including a variety of functional gene classes, while P. falciparum elicited a broader immune response at the gene transcript level. Ingestion of human malaria-infected blood lacking invasive ookinetes also induced a variety of immune genes, including several anti-Plasmodium factors. Twelve selected genes were assessed for effect on infection with both parasite species and bacteria using RNAi gene silencing assays, and seven of these genes were found to influence mosquito resistance to both parasite species. An MD2-like receptor, AgMDL1, and an immunolectin, FBN39, showed specificity in regulating only resistance to P. falciparum, while the antimicrobial peptide gambicin and a novel putative short secreted peptide, IRSP5, were more specific for defense against the rodent parasite P. berghei. While all the genes that affected Plasmodium development also influenced mosquito resistance to bacterial infection, four of the antimicrobial genes had no effect on Plasmodium development. Our study shows that the impact of P. falciparum and P. berghei infection on A. gambiae biology at the gene transcript level is quite diverse, and the defense against the two Plasmodium species is mediated by antimicrobial factors with both universal and Plasmodium-species specific activities. Furthermore, our data indicate that the mosquito is capable of sensing infected blood constituents in the absence

  9. Giardia and Cryptosporidium in animals and in the environment: Progress on research to safeguard human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are gastrointestinal diseases of humans and many animals caused by protozoan parasites. Cryptosporidium has become a very important pathogen in drinking water, detected in over 90% of the surface waters tested in the United States and found in surface waters worldwi...

  10. Zoonotic Giardia and Cryptosporidium: Progress on research to safeguard human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are gastrointestinal diseases of humans, livestock, companion animals, and wildlife caused by protozoan parasites. Cryptosporidium is a very important pathogen transmitted in drinking water and has been detected in over 90% of the surface waters tested in the United...

  11. Human African trypanosomiasis: a review of non-endemic cases in the past 20 years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Migchelsen, S.J.; Büscher, P.; Hoepelman, A.I.M.; Schallig, H.D.F.H.; Adams, E.R.

    2011-01-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by sub-species of the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei and is transmitted by tsetse flies, both of which are endemic only to sub-Saharan Africa. Several cases have been reported in non-endemic areas, such as North America and Europe, due to travele

  12. Human African trypanosomiasis : a review of non-endemic cases in the past 20 years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Migchelsen, Stephanie J.; Buescher, Philippe; Hoepelman, Andy I. M.; Schallig, Henk D. F. H.; Adams, Emily R.

    2011-01-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by sub-species of the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei and is transmitted by tsetse flies, both of which are endemic only to sub-Saharan Africa. Several cases have been reported in non-endemic areas, such as North America and Europe, due to travele

  13. Human African trypanosomiasis: a review of non-endemic cases in the past 20 years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Migchelsen, S.J.; Büscher, P.; Hoepelman, A.I.M.; Schallig, H.D.F.H.; Adams, E.R.

    2011-01-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by sub-species of the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei and is transmitted by tsetse flies, both of which are endemic only to sub-Saharan Africa. Several cases have been reported in non-endemic areas, such as North America and Europe, due to travele

  14. Human African trypanosomiasis : a review of non-endemic cases in the past 20 years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Migchelsen, Stephanie J.; Buescher, Philippe; Hoepelman, Andy I. M.; Schallig, Henk D. F. H.; Adams, Emily R.

    2011-01-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by sub-species of the parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma brucei and is transmitted by tsetse flies, both of which are endemic only to sub-Saharan Africa. Several cases have been reported in non-endemic areas, such as North America and Europe, due to travele

  15. 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.

  16. Host density and human activities mediate increased parasite prevalence and richness in primates threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbora, David N M; McPeek, Mark A

    2009-01-01

    1. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the principal causes of the loss of biological diversity. In addition, parasitic diseases are an emerging threat to many animals. Nevertheless, relatively few studies have tested how habitat loss and fragmentation influence the prevalence and richness of parasites in animals. 2. Several studies of nonhuman primates have shown that measures of human activity and forest fragmentation correlate with parasitism in primates. However, these studies have not tested for the ecological mechanism(s) by which human activities or forest fragmentation influence the prevalence and richness of parasites. 3. We tested the hypothesis that increased host density due to forest fragmentation and loss mediates increases in the prevalence and richness of gastrointestinal parasites in two forest primates, the Tana River red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus, Peters 1879) and mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus galeritus, Peters 1879). We focused on population density because epidemiological theory states that host density is a key determinant of the prevalence and richness of directly transmitted parasites in animals. 4. The Tana River red colobus and mangabey are endemic to a highly fragmented forest ecosystem in eastern Kenya where habitat changes are caused by a growing human population increasingly dependent on forest resources and on clearing forest for cultivation. 5. We found that the prevalence of parasites in the two monkeys was very high compared to primates elsewhere. Density of monkeys was positively associated with forest area and disturbance in forests. In turn, the prevalence and richness of parasites was significantly associated with monkey density, and attributes indicative of human disturbance in forests. 6. We also found significant differences in the patterns of parasitism between the colobus and the mangabey possibly attributable to differences in their behavioural ecology. Colobus are arboreal folivores while mangabeys are terrestrial

  17. The protozoan associates of some crustaceans

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Santhakumari, V.; Gopalan, U.K.

    Protozoan associates found on the estuarine shrimp Metapenaeus monoceros (Fabricius) and the tanaidacean Apseudes chilkensis (Chilton) from Cochin backwaters have been described. A peritrich ciliate Zoothamnium rigidum (Precht.), a heterotrich...

  18. Using the Ciliate Protozoan Vorticella in Teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Alick R.

    1980-01-01

    Describes methods for collection, culture, observation, and making permanent stained preparations of the protozoan vorticella. Suggestions are made for experiments to investigate growth, reproduction, settlement, ecology, feeding, and osmoregulation. (CS)

  19. 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.

  20. Insights into the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway of human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum as chemotherapeutic target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krungkrai, Sudaratana R; Krungkrai, Jerapan

    2016-06-01

    Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. Artemisinins remain as the first-line treatment for Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) malaria although drug resistance has already emerged and spread in Southeast Asia. Thus, to fight this disease, there is an urgent need to develop new antimalarial drugs for malaria chemotherapy. Unlike human host cells, P. falciparum cannot salvage preformed pyrimidine bases or nucleosides from the extracellular environment and relies solely on nucleotides synthesized through the de novo biosynthetic pathway. This review presents significant progress on understanding the de novo pyrimidine pathway and the functional enzymes in the human parasite P. falciparum. Current knowledge in genomics and metabolomics are described, particularly focusing on the parasite purine and pyrimidine nucleotide metabolism. These include gene annotation, characterization and molecular mechanism of the enzymes that are different from the human host pathway. Recent elucidation of the three-dimensional crystal structures and the catalytic reactions of three enzymes: dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, and orotidine 5'-monophosphate decarboxylase, as well as their inhibitors are reviewed in the context of their therapeutic potential against malaria.

  1. Photodynamic therapy in the cattle protozoan Tritrichomonas foetus cultivated on superhydrophilic carbon nanotube

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Machado, Susane Moreira [Laboratory of Tissue and Cell Biology, Development and Research Institute (IP and D), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP), Av. Shishima Hifumi 2911, Urbanova, 12244-000 São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Pacheco-Soares, Cristina [Laboratory of Tissue and Cell Biology, Development and Research Institute (IP and D), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP), Av. Shishima Hifumi 2911, Urbanova, 12244-000 São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Laboratory of Dynamics of Cellular Compartments, Development and Research Institute (IP and D), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP), Av. Shishima Hifumi 2911, Urbanova, 12244-000 São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Marciano, Fernanda Roberta; Lobo, Anderson Oliveira [Laboratory of Biomedical Nanotechnology, Development and Research Institute (IP and D), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP), Av. Shishima Hifumi 2911, Urbanova, 12244-000 São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Soares da Silva, Newton, E-mail: nsoares@univap.br [Laboratory of Tissue and Cell Biology, Development and Research Institute (IP and D), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP), Av. Shishima Hifumi 2911, Urbanova, 12244-000 São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Laboratory of Dynamics of Cellular Compartments, Development and Research Institute (IP and D), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba (UNIVAP), Av. Shishima Hifumi 2911, Urbanova, 12244-000 São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil)

    2014-03-01

    Superhydrophilic vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNT-O{sub 2}) were used for the first time as scaffolds for photodynamic therapy (PDT) to induce inhibition of cell division in eukaryotic cells. VACNT-O{sub 2} scaffolds were produced on Ti substrates using plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique and functionalized by oxygen plasma. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was performed to characterize the surface changes of the protozoan and interaction with VACNT-O{sub 2}. Characterization of lipid and total protein expression was performed with protozoa that were or not treated with PDT. Quantification of protein was conducted using Qubit fluorometer and separated on a polyacrylamide gel. SEM analysis showed the release of lipid vesicles by protozoa after the PDT. These vesicles were characterized by the PKH26 fluorescent probe. The results demonstrated a greater amount of protein released after PDT than in the control. When analyzing the protein material in polyacrylamide gel, a significant protein expression of approximately 65 kDa was found. A model identified the programmed death of Tritrichomonas foetus after the PDT was also proposed. - Highlights: • VAMWCNT-O{sub 2} used for the first time as scaffolds for study in parasitic protozoan. • VAMWCNT-O{sub 2} films applied to understand spreading mechanisms of parasitic protozoan. • A release of a protein of approximately 65kDa of protozoan was also observed.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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.

  5. Progesterone Induces Scolex Evagination of the Human Parasite Taenia solium: Evolutionary Implications to the Host-Parasite Relationship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobedo, Galileo; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio; Hernández-Hernández, Olivia Tania; Ostoa-Saloma, Pedro; García-Varela, Martín; Morales-Montor, Jorge

    2010-01-01

    Taenia solium cysticercosis is a health problem in underdeveloped and developed countries. Sex hormones are involved in cysticercosis prevalence in female and male pigs. Here, we evaluated the effects of progesterone and its antagonist RU486 on scolex evagination, which is the initial step in the development of the adult worm. Interestingly, progesterone increased T. solium scolex evagination and worm growth, in a concentration-independent pattern. Progesterone effects could be mediated by a novel T. solium progesterone receptor (TsPR), since RU486 inhibits both scolex evagination and worm development induced by progesterone. Using RT-PCR and western blot, sequences related to progesterone receptor were detected in the parasite. A phylogenetic analysis reveals that TsPR is highly related to fish and amphibian progesterone receptors, whereas it has a distant relation with birds and mammals. Conclusively, progesterone directly acts upon T. solium cysticerci, possibly through its binding to a progesterone receptor synthesized by the parasite. PMID:20037735

  6. Progesterone Induces Scolex Evagination of the Human Parasite Taenia solium: Evolutionary Implications to the Host-Parasite Relationship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galileo Escobedo

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Taenia solium cysticercosis is a health problem in underdeveloped and developed countries. Sex hormones are involved in cysticercosis prevalence in female and male pigs. Here, we evaluated the effects of progesterone and its antagonist RU486 on scolex evagination, which is the initial step in the development of the adult worm. Interestingly, progesterone increased T. solium scolex evagination and worm growth, in a concentration-independent pattern. Progesterone effects could be mediated by a novel T. solium progesterone receptor (TsPR, since RU486 inhibits both scolex evagination and worm development induced by progesterone. Using RT-PCR and western blot, sequences related to progesterone receptor were detected in the parasite. A phylogenetic analysis reveals that TsPR is highly related to fish and amphibian progesterone receptors, whereas it has a distant relation with birds and mammals. Conclusively, progesterone directly acts upon T. solium cysticerci, possibly through its binding to a progesterone receptor synthesized by the parasite.

  7. Structure of Human Chitotriosidase. Implications for Specific Inhibitor Design and Function of Mammalian Chitinase-like Lectins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fusetti, Fabrizia; Moeller, Holger von; Houston, Douglas; Rozeboom, Henriëtte J.; Dijkstra, Bauke W.; Boot, Rolf G.; Aerts, Johannes M.F.G.; Aalten, Daan M.F. van

    2002-01-01

    Chitin hydrolases have been identified in a variety of organisms ranging from bacteria to eukaryotes. They have been proposed to be possible targets for the design of novel chemotherapeutics against human pathogens such as fungi and protozoan parasites as mammals were not thought to possess chitin-p

  8. XML Parasitic Contamination of Consumed Vegetables in Golestan Province, 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    This paper should be cited as: Rahimi - Esboei B, Pagheh A, Fakhar M, Pagheh S, Dadimoghadam Y . [ Parasitic Contamination of Consumed Vegetables in Golestan Province, 2012 ]. mljgoums . 201 4 ; 8 ( 3 : 82 - 89 [Article in Persian] Rahimi - Esboei, B. (MSc

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objective: The Outbreak of human parasitic diseases associated with the consumption of raw vegetables often occurs in both developing and developed countries. This study aimed to evaluate parasitic contamination of edible vegetables in Golestan Province. Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in the cities of Golestan Province for six months, 2012. The samples (N = 100 were randomly chosen among different vegetables (parsley, lettuce, radish, and cress, and examined for the presence of helminthic and protozoan parasitic contaminations following washing, centrifuging and sedimentation. Results: Thirty-seven (37% were found to have parasitic contamination, and of these 30 (81.1% and 7 (18.9% were helminths and protozoa, respectively. The highest rate of contamination was detected in parsley (37.9%, and the lowest in radish (12.0%. Moreover, free living larva with 58.6% and Hymenolepis nana ova with 5.1% were the highest and lowest contaminated rates, respectively. Conclusion: Based on our results, consumed vegetables in Golestan Province is considered as a potential risk for some human parasitic infections.

  9. 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....

  10. Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites among Food-handlers in Shiraz, Iran

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    Mohammad Hossein MOTAZEDIAN

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Parasitic intestinal infections are still among socioeconomic prob­lems in the world, especially in developing countries like Iran. Food-handlers that directly deal with production and distribution of foods between societies are one of the most important sources to transmit parasitic infections to humans. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among food-handlers in Shiraz, Iran. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 1021 feces samples were randomly col­lected from food-handlers in Shiraz, central Iran from August to September 2013. Two different methods, routine direct fecal examination and Formalin –Ethyl ace­tate concentration as a complementary technique, were done to detect parasites.Results: The prevalence of parasitic organisms was 10.4% in the food-handlers. The most species of the protozoan parasites were G. lamblia, E. coli and B. hominis; meanwhile, only one infection by H. nana (0.1% was detected in this group. Mixed infections were observed in 13.2% (n=14/106 of positive cases. The majority of participants were male (57%; however, data analysis showed significant statistical difference in the rate of infection between females 11.9% (n=53/444 and males 9% (n=52/577 (P=0. 024. There was no significant statistical difference in the rate of infection among different educational and occupation groups.Conclusion: Although decreasing of helminthic infections is distinct, but infecting with protozoan parasites is still important in food-handlers. Concentration tech­nique is more useful than direct smear technique, especially for detection parasites in low number. High level of education in our study showed that training courses in this group could be effective in the implementation of control and prevention programs.

  11. Identification of phosphorylated proteins in erythrocytes infected by the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

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    Xia Dong

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous comparative proteomic analysis on Plasmodium falciparum isolates of different adhesion properties suggested that protein phosphorylation varies between isolates with different cytoadherence properties. But the extent and dynamic changes in phosphorylation have not been systematically studied. As a baseline for these future studies, this paper examined changes in the phosphoproteome of parasitized red blood cells (pRBC. Methods Metabolic labelling with [35S] methionine on pRBC and 2D gel electrophoresis (2-DE has previously been used to show the expression of parasite proteins and changes in protein iso-electric point (PI. 2-DE of different parasite strains was combined with immunoblotting using monoclonal antibodies specifically to phosphorylated serine/threonine and tyrosine, to obtain the phosphorylation profiles throughout the erythrocytic lifecycle. Affinity chromatography was used to purify/enrich phosphorylated proteins and these proteins from mature trophozoite stages which were identified using high-accuracy mass spectrometry and MASCOT search. Results 2D-immunoblots showed that P. falciparum infection greatly increased phosphorylation of a set of proteins in pRBC, the dominant size classes for phosphorylated tyrosine proteins were 95, 60, 50 and 30 kDa and for phosphorylated serine/threonine were 120, 95, 60, 50, 43, 40 and 30 kDa. The most abundant molecules from 2D-gel mapping of phosphorylated proteins in ItG infected RBCs were identified by MALDI-TOF. A proteomic overview of phosphorylated proteins in pRBC was achieved by using complementary phosphorylated protein enrichment techniques combined with nano-flow LC/MS/MS analysis and MASCOT MS/MS ions search with phosphorylation as variable modifications. The definite phosphoproteins of pRBC are reported and discussed. Conclusion Protein phosphorylation is a major process in P. falciparum-parasitized erythrocytes. Preliminary screens identified 170 P

  12. 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

  13. In silico multiple-targets identification for heme detoxification in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phaiphinit, Suthat; Pattaradilokrat, Sittiporn; Lursinsap, Chidchanok; Plaimas, Kitiporn

    2016-01-01

    Detoxification of hemoglobin byproducts or free heme is an essential step and considered potential targets for anti-malaria drug development. However, most of anti-malaria drugs are no longer effective due to the emergence and spread of the drug resistant malaria parasites. Therefore, it is an urgent need to identify potential new targets and even for target combinations for effective malaria drug design. In this work, we reconstructed the metabolic networks of Plasmodium falciparum and human red blood cells for the simulation of steady mass and flux flows of the parasite's metabolites under the blood environment by flux balance analysis (FBA). The integrated model, namely iPF-RBC-713, was then adjusted into two stage-specific metabolic models, which first was for the pathological stage metabolic model of the parasite when invaded the red blood cell without any treatment and second was for the treatment stage of the parasite when a drug acted by inhibiting the hemozoin formation and caused high production rate of heme toxicity. The process of identifying target combinations consisted of two main steps. Firstly, the optimal fluxes of reactions in both the pathological and treatment stages were computed and compared to determine the change of fluxes. Corresponding enzymes of the reactions with zero fluxes in the treatment stage but non-zero fluxes in the pathological stage were predicted as a preliminary list of potential targets in inhibiting heme detoxification. Secondly, the combinations of all possible targets listed in the first step were examined to search for the best promising target combinations resulting in more effective inhibition of the detoxification to kill the malaria parasites. Finally, twenty-three enzymes were identified as a preliminary list of candidate targets which mostly were in pyruvate metabolism and citrate cycle. The optimal set of multiple targets for blocking the detoxification was a set of heme ligase, adenosine transporter, myo

  14. Parasitic contamination of fresh vegetables sold at central markets in Khartoum state, Sudan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Mona Ali; Siddig, Emmanuel Edwar; Elaagip, Arwa Hassan; Edris, Ali Mahmoud Mohammed; Nasr, Awad Ahmed

    2016-03-11

    relationship was observed between the type of parasite and total prevalence in fresh vegetables (p = 0.000). The study has identified a moderate rate of fresh vegetables contaminated with protozoan and helminthes. Contaminated fresh vegetables in central markets of Khartoum state may play a significant role in transmission of intestinal parasitic infections to humans, and the water used by greengrocers to sprinkle vegetable(s) can be implicated in vegetable contamination.

  15. The role of wild canids and felids in spreading parasites to dogs and cats in Europe. Part II: Helminths and arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otranto, Domenico; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Brianti, Emanuele; Pfeffer, Martin; Genchi, Claudio; Guberti, Vittorio; Capelli, Gioia; Deplazes, Peter

    2015-09-30

    Over the last few decades, ecological factors, combined with everchanging landscapes mainly linked to human activities (e.g. encroachment and tourism) have contributed to modifications in the transmission of parasitic diseases from domestic to wildlife carnivores and vice versa. In the first of this two-part review article, we have provided an account of diseases caused by protozoan parasites characterised by a two-way transmission route between domestic and wild carnivore species. In this second and final part, we focus our attention on parasitic diseases caused by helminth and arthropod parasites shared between domestic and wild canids and felids in Europe. While a complete understanding of the biology, ecology and epidemiology of these parasites is particularly challenging to achieve, especially given the complexity of the environments in which these diseases perpetuate, advancements in current knowledge of transmission routes is crucial to provide policy-makers with clear indications on strategies to reduce the impact of these diseases on changing ecosystems.

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular phylogeny of the filaria genus Onchocerca with special emphasis on Afrotropical human and bovine parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krueger, A; Fischer, P; Morales-Hojas, R

    2007-01-01

    Filarial parasites of the genus Onchocerca are found in a broad spectrum of ungulate hosts. One species, O. volvulus, is a human parasite that can cause severe disease (onchocerciasis or 'river blindness'). The phylogenetic relationships and the bionomics of many of the nearly 30 known species remain dubious. Here, the phylogeny of 11 species representing most major lineages of the genus is investigated by analysing DNA sequences from three mitochondrial genes (ND5, 12S and 16S rRNA) and portions of the intergenic spacer of the nuclear 5s rRNA. Special emphasis is given to a clade containing a yet unassigned specimen from Uganda (O. sp. 'Siisa'), which appears to be intermediate between O. volvulus and O. ochengi. While the latter can be differentiated by the O-150 tandem repeat commonly used for molecular diagnostics, O. volvulus and O. sp.'Siisa' cannot be differentiated by this marker. In addition, a worm specimen from an African bushbuck appears to be closely related to the bovine O. dukei and represents the basal taxon of the human/bovine clade. At the base of the genus, our data suggest O. flexuosa (red deer), O. ramachandrini (warthog) and O. armillata (cow) to be the representatives of ancient lineages. The results provide better insight into the evolution and zoogeography of Onchocerca. They also have epidemiological and taxonomic implications by providing a framework for more accurate molecular diagnosis of filarial larvae in vectors.

  18. Occurrence and removal efficiency of parasitic protozoa in Swedish wastewater treatment plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berglund, Björn; Dienus, Olaf; Sokolova, Ekaterina; Berglind, Emma; Matussek, Andreas; Pettersson, Thomas; Lindgren, Per-Eric

    2017-11-15

    Giardia intestinalis, Cryptosporidium spp., Entamoeba histolytica and Dientamoeba fragilis are parasitic protozoa and causative agents of gastroenteritis in humans. G. intestinalis and Cryptosporidium spp. in particular are the most common protozoa associated with waterborne outbreaks in high-income countries. Surveillance of protozoan prevalence in wastewater and evaluation of wastewater treatment removal efficiencies of protozoan pathogens is therefore imperative for assessment of human health risk. In this study, influent and effluent wastewater samples from three wastewater treatment plants in Sweden were collected over nearly one year and assessed for prevalence of parasitic protozoa. Quantitative real-time PCR using primers specific for the selected protozoa Cryptosporidium spp., G. intestinalis, E. histolytica, Entamoeba dispar and D. fragilis was used for protozoan DNA detection and assessment of wastewater treatment removal efficiencies. Occurrence of G. intestinalis, E. dispar and D. fragilis DNA was assessed in both influent (44, 30 and 39 out of 51 samples respectively) and effluent wastewater (14, 9 and 33 out of 51 samples respectively) in all three wastewater treatment plants. Mean removal efficiencies of G. intestinalis, E. dispar and D. fragilis DNA quantities, based on all three wastewater treatment plants studied varied between 67 and 87%, 37-75% and 20-34% respectively. Neither E. histolytica nor Cryptosporidium spp. were detected in any samples. Overall, higher quantities of protozoan DNA were observed from February to June 2012. The high prevalence of protozoa in influent wastewater indicates the need for continued monitoring of these pathogens in wastewater-associated aquatic environments to minimise the potential risk for human infection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Intestinal parasite co-infection among pulmonary tuberculosis cases without human immunodeficiency virus infection in a rural county in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin-Xu; Chen, Jia-Xu; Wang, Li-Xia; Tian, Li-Guang; Zhang, Yu-Ping; Dong, Shuang-Pin; Hu, Xue-Guang; Liu, Jian; Wang, Feng-Feng; Wang, Yue; Yin, Xiao-Mei; He, Li-Jun; Yan, Qiu-Ye; Zhang, Hong-Wei; Xu, Bian-Li; Zhou, Xiao-Nong

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiologic studies of co-infection with tuberculosis (TB) and intestinal parasites in humans have not been extensively investigated in China. A cross-section study was conducted in a rural county of Henan Province, China. Pulmonary TB (PTB) case-patients receiving treatment for infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and healthy controls matched for geographic area, age, and sex were surveyed by using questionnaires. Fecal and blood specimens were collected for detection of intestinal parasites, routine blood examination, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus. The chi-square test was used for univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression models were used to adjust for potential confounding factors. A total of 369 persons with PTB and 366 healthy controls were included; all participants were negative for human immunodeficiency virus. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites in persons with PTB was 14.9%, including intestinal protozoa (7.9%) and helminthes (7.6%). The infection spectrum of intestinal parasites was Entamoeba spp. (1.4%), Blastocystis hominis (6.2%), Trichomonas hominis (0.3%), Clonorchis sinensis (0.3%), Ascaris lumbricoides (0.5%), Trichuris trichiura (2.2%), and hookworm (4.6%). The prevalence of intestinal parasites showed no significant difference between persons with PTB and healthy controls after adjusting for potential confounding factors. There was no factor that affected infection rates for intestinal parasites between the two groups. Infection with intestinal parasites of persons with PTB was associated with female sex (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01-4.17), body mass index ≤ 19 (AOR = 3.02, 95% CI = 1.47-6.20), and anemia (AOR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.17-5.03). Infection of healthy controls was only associated with an annual labor time in farmlands > 2 months (AOR = 4.50, 95% CI = 2.03-10.00). In addition, there was no significant trend between rates of infection with

  20. 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.

  1. Macrophage and T-cell gene expression in a model of early infection with the protozoan Leishmania chagasi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas A Ettinger

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Visceral leishmaniasis is a potentially fatal infectious disease caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania infantum/chagasi in the New World, or by L. donovani or L. infantum/chagasi in the Old World. Infection leads to a variety of outcomes ranging from asymptomatic infection to active disease, characterized by fevers, cachexia, hepatosplenomegaly and suppressed immune responses. We reasoned that events occurring during the initial few hours when the parasite encounters cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems are likely to influence the eventual immune response that develops. Therefore, we performed gene expression analysis using Affymetrix U133Plus2 microarray chips to investigate a model of early infection with human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs challenged with wild-type L. chagasi parasites, with or without subsequent co-culture with Leishmania-naïve, autologous T-cells. Microarray data generated from total RNA were analyzed with software from the Bioconductor Project and functional clustering and pathway analysis were performed with DAVID and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA, respectively. Many transcripts were down-regulated by infection in cultures containing macrophages alone, and the pattern indicated a lack of a classically activated phenotype. By contrast, the addition of autologous Leishmania-naïve T cells to infected macrophages resulted in a pattern of gene expression including many markers of type 1 immune cytokine activation (IFN-gamma, IL-6, IL-1alpha, IL-1beta. There was simultaneous up-regulation of a few markers of immune modulation (IL-10 cytokine accumulation; TGF-beta Signaling Pathway. We suggest that the initial encounter between L. chagasi and cells of the innate and adaptive immune system stimulates primarily type 1 immune cytokine responses, despite a lack of classical macrophage activation. This local microenvironment at the site of parasite inoculation may determine the initial course of immune T

  2. Bax function in the absence of mitochondria in the primitive protozoan Giardia lamblia.

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    Adrian B Hehl

    Full Text Available Bax-induced permeabilization of the mitochondrial outer membrane and release of cytochrome c are key events in apoptosis. Although Bax can compromise mitochondria in primitive unicellular organisms that lack a classical apoptotic machinery, it is still unclear if Bax alone is sufficient for this, or whether additional mitochondrial components are required. The protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia is one of the earliest branching eukaryotes and harbors highly degenerated mitochondrial remnant organelles (mitosomes that lack a genome. Here we tested whether human Bax expressed in Giardia can be used to ablate mitosomes. We demonstrate that these organelles are neither targeted, nor compromised, by Bax. However, specialized compartments of the regulated secretory pathway are completely ablated by Bax. As a consequence, maturing cyst wall proteins that are sorted into these organelles are released into the cytoplasm, causing a developmental arrest and cell death. Interestingly, this ectopic cargo release is dependent on the carboxy-terminal 22 amino acids of Bax, and can be prevented by the Bax-inhibiting peptide Ku70. A C-terminally truncated Bax variant still localizes to secretory organelles, but is unable to permeabilize these membranes, uncoupling membrane targeting and cargo release. Even though mitosomes are too diverged to be recognized by Bax, off-target membrane permeabilization appears to be conserved and leads to cell death completely independently of mitochondria.

  3. Investigation of intestinal parasites in pig feces that are also human pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uysal, Hayriye Kirkoyun; Boral, Ozden; Metiner, Kemal; Ilgaz, Atilla

    2009-01-01

    A total of 238 pig fecal specimens were collected from pig farms in Corlu (Tekirdağ), Ayazma, and Arnavutköy (Istanbul) during the summer. Out of the 238 pig specimens, 105 were from pigs younger than 6 months and 133 from pigs older than 6 months. These were investigated for intestine parasites in particular the ones that are human pathogens. Cryptosporidium spp. was detected In 21 fecal specimens (8.8%), Giardia spp. in 9 (3.7%), Balantidium coli cysts in 4 (1.6%) and Ascaris suum eggs in 9 (4.1%). Giardia lamblia were found in 8 (7.6%) of 105 pigs younger than 6 months, Cryptosporidium spp. in 12 (11.4%), Balantidium coli cysts in 2 (1.5%). In the pigs older than 6 months Giardia lamblia were found in 1 (0.7%), Cryptosporidium spp. in 9 (6.7%), Balantidium coli cysts in 2 (1.5%). and Ascaris suum eggs in 9 (6.7%). The difference in the rate of G. lamblia (p=0.01) in pigs less than 6 months and of A. suum in those over 6 months was found to be statistically significant (p=0.005). Our results revealed that pigs are important sources of these parasites.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A functionally atypical amidating enzyme from the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mair, Gunnar R; Niciu, Mark J; Stewart, Michael T; Brennan, Gerry; Omar, Hanan; Halton, David W; Mains, Richard; Eipper, Betty A; Maule, Aaron G; Day, Tim A

    2004-01-01

    Many neuropeptide transmitters require the presence of a carboxy-terminal alpha-amide group for biological activity. Amidation requires conversion of a glycine-extended peptide intermediate into a C-terminally amidated product. This post-translational modification depends on the sequential action of two enzymes (peptidylglycine alpha-hydroxylating monooxygenase or PHM, and peptidyl-alpha-hydroxyglycine alpha-amidating lyase or PAL) that in most eukaryotes are expressed as separate domains of a single protein (peptidylglycine alpha-amidating monooxygenase or PAM). We identified a cDNA encoding PHM in the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Transient expression of schistosome PHM (smPHM) revealed functional properties that are different from other PHM proteins; smPHM displays a lower pH-optimum and, when expressed in mammalian cells, is heavily N-glycosylated. In adult worms, PHM is found in the trans-Golgi network and secretory vesicles of both central and peripheral nerves. The widespread occurrence of PHM in the nervous system confirms the important role of amidated neuropeptides in these parasitic flatworms. The differences between schistosome and mammalian PHM suggest that it could be a target for new chemotherapeutics.

  7. Improved orthologous databases to ease protozoan targets inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotowski, Nelson; Jardim, Rodrigo; Dávila, Alberto M R

    2015-09-29

    Homology inference helps on identifying similarities, as well as differences among organisms, which provides a better insight on how closely related one might be to another. In addition, comparative genomics pipelines are widely adopted tools designed using different bioinformatics applications and algorithms. In this article, we propose a methodology to build improved orthologous databases with the potential to aid on protozoan target identification, one of the many tasks which benefit from comparative genomics tools. Our analyses are based on OrthoSearch, a comparative genomics pipeline originally designed to infer orthologs through protein-profile comparison, supported by an HMM, reciprocal best hits based approach. Our methodology allows OrthoSearch to confront two orthologous databases and to generate an improved new one. Such can be later used to infer potential protozoan targets through a similarity analysis against the human genome. The protein sequences of Cryptosporidium hominis, Entamoeba histolytica and Leishmania infantum genomes were comparatively analyzed against three orthologous databases: (i) EggNOG KOG, (ii) ProtozoaDB and (iii) Kegg Orthology (KO). That allowed us to create two new orthologous databases, "KO + EggNOG KOG" and "KO + EggNOG KOG + ProtozoaDB", with 16,938 and 27,701 orthologous groups, respectively. Such new orthologous databases were used for a regular OrthoSearch run. By confronting "KO + EggNOG KOG" and "KO + EggNOG KOG + ProtozoaDB" databases and protozoan species we were able to detect the following total of orthologous groups and coverage (relation between the inferred orthologous groups and the species total number of proteins): Cryptosporidium hominis: 1,821 (11 %) and 3,254 (12 %); Entamoeba histolytica: 2,245 (13 %) and 5,305 (19 %); Leishmania infantum: 2,702 (16 %) and 4,760 (17 %). Using our HMM-based methodology and the largest created orthologous database, it was possible to infer 13

  8. Rapid Diagnosis of Intestinal Parasitic Protozoa, with a Focus on Entamoeba histolytica

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    Anjana Singh

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Entamoeba histolytica is an invasive intestinal pathogenic parasitic protozoan that causes amebiasis. It must be distinguished from Entamoeba dispar and E. moshkovskii, nonpathogenic commensal parasites of the human gut lumen that are morphologically identical to E. histolytica. Detection of specific E. histolytica antigens in stools is a fast, sensitive technique that should be considered as the method of choice. Stool real-time PCR is a highly sensitive and specific technique but its high cost make it unsuitable for use in endemic areas where there are economic constraints. Serology is an important component of the diagnosis of intestinal and especially extraintestinal amebiasis as it is a sensitive test that complements the detection of the parasite antigens or DNA. Circulating Gal/GalNac lectin antigens can be detected in the serum of patients with untreated amoebic liver abscess. On the horizon are multiplex real-time PCR assays which permit the identification of multiple enteropathogens with high sensitivity and specificity.

  9. Zoonotic and non-zoonotic diseases in relation to human personality and societal values: support for the parasite-stress model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornhill, Randy; Fincher, Corey L; Murray, Damian R; Schaller, Mark

    2010-04-11

    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.

  10. [From malaria parasite point of view--Plasmodium falciparum evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerka, Agata; Kaczmarek, Radosław; Jaśkiewicz, Ewa

    2015-12-31

    Malaria is caused by infection with protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium, which have arguably exerted the greatest selection pressure on humans in the history of our species. Besides humans, different Plasmodium parasites infect a wide range of animal hosts, from marine invertebrates to primates. On the other hand, individual Plasmodium species show high host specificity. The extraordinary evolution of Plasmodium probably began when a free-living red algae turned parasitic, and culminated with its ability to thrive inside a human red blood cell. Studies on the African apes generated new data on the evolution of malaria parasites in general and the deadliest human-specific species, Plasmodium falciparum, in particular. Initially, it was hypothesized that P. falciparum descended from the chimpanzee malaria parasite P. reichenowi, after the human and the chimp lineage diverged about 6 million years ago. However, a recently identified new species infecting gorillas, unexpectedly showed similarity to P. falciparum and was therefore named P. praefalciparum. That finding spurred an alternative hypothesis, which proposes that P. falciparum descended from its gorilla rather than chimp counterpart. In addition, the gorilla-to-human host shift may have occurred more recently (about 10 thousand years ago) than the theoretical P. falciparum-P. reichenowi split. One of the key aims of the studies on Plasmodium evolution is to elucidate the mechanisms that allow the incessant host shifting and retaining the host specificity, especially in the case of human-specific species. Thorough understanding of these phenomena will be necessary to design effective malaria treatment and prevention strategies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Elevated levels of urinary hydrogen peroxide, advanced oxidative protein product (AOPP) and malondialdehyde in humans infected with intestinal parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandramathi, S; Suresh, K; Anita, Z B; Kuppusamy, U R

    2009-03-01

    Oxidative stress has been implicated as an important pathogenic factor in the pathophysiology of various life-threatening diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. It occurs when the production of free radicals (generated during aerobic metabolism, inflammation, and infections) overcome the antioxidant defences in the body. Although previous studies have implied that oxidative stress is present in serum of patients with parasitic infection there have been no studies confirming oxidative stress levels in the Malaysian population infected with intestinal parasites. Three biochemical assays namely hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), lipid peroxidation (LP) and advanced oxidative protein product (AOPP) assays were carried out to measure oxidative stress levels in the urine of human subjects whose stools were infected with parasites such as Blastocystis hominis, Ascaris, Trichuris, hookworm and microsporidia. The levels of H2O2, AOPP and LP were significantly higher (Pparasite-infected subjects (n=75) compared to the controls (n=95). In conclusion, the study provides evidence that oxidative stress is elevated in humans infected by intestinal parasites. This study may influence future researchers to consider free radical-related pathways to be a target in the interventions of new drugs against parasitic infection and related diseases.

  13. The health impact of polyparasitism in humans: are we under-estimating the burden of parasitic diseases?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pullan, R; Brooker, S

    2008-06-01

    Parasitic infections are widespread throughout the tropics and sub-tropics, and infection with multiple parasite species is the norm rather than the exception. Despite the ubiquity of polyparasitism, its public health significance has been inadequately studied. Here we review available studies investigating the nutritional and pathological consequences of multiple infections with Plasmodium and helminth infection and, in doing so, encourage a reassessment of the disease burden caused by polyparasitism. The available evidence is conspicuously sparse but is suggestive that multiple human parasite species may have an additive and/or multiplicative impact on nutrition and organ pathology. Existing studies suffer from a number of methodological limitations and adequately designed studies are clearly necessary. Current methods of estimating the potential global morbidity due to parasitic diseases underestimate the health impact of polyparasitism, and possible reasons for this are presented. As international strategies to control multiple parasite species are rolled-out, there is a number of options to investigate the complexity of polyparasitism, and it is hoped that that the parasitological research community will grasp the opportunity to understand better the health of polyparasitism in humans.

  14. Parasitism enhances tilapia susceptibility to Flavobacterium columnare

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flavobacterium columnare, a Gram-negative bacterium, is the causative agent of columnaris disease. Many commercially important freshwater fish worldwide are susceptible to columnaris disease that can result in high fish mortality. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich) is a protozoan parasite in many ...

  15. Optimization of an in vitro system to study the exo-erythrocytic stage of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Rossouw, C

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available scaffold and harvesting cells via the temperature change is currently being scaled up and a prototype bioreactor has been developed. Optimization of an in vitro system to study the exo-erythrocytic stage of the human Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium... hepatocyte line that supports in vitro development of the exo-erythrocytic stages of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygeine 74:708-715. [4] Shor L, Güçeri S, Wen X, Gandhi M, Sun W. 2007...

  16. Mammalian gastrointestinal parasites in rainforest remnants of Anamalai Hills, Western Ghats, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Debapriyo Chakraborty; Shaik Hussain; D Mahendar Reddy; Sachin Raut; Sunil Tiwari; Vinod Kumar; Govindhaswamy Umapathy

    2015-06-01

    Habitat fragmentation is postulated to be a major factor influencing infectious disease dynamics in wildlife populations and may also be responsible, at least in part, for the recent spurt in the emergence, or re-emergence, of infectious diseases in humans. The mechanism behind these relationships are poorly understood due to the lack of insights into the interacting local factors and insufficient baseline data in ecological parasitology of wildlife. Here, we studied the gastrointestinal parasites of nonhuman mammalian hosts living in 10 rainforest patches of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, India. We examined 349 faecal samples of 17 mammalian species and successfully identified 24 gastroin-testinal parasite taxa including 1 protozoan, 2 trematode, 3 cestode and 18 nematode taxa. Twenty of these parasites are known parasites of humans. We also found that as much as 73% of all infected samples were infected by multiple parasites. In addition, the smallest and most fragmented forest patches recorded the highest parasite richness; the pattern across fragments, however, seemed to be less straightforward, suggesting potential interplay of local factors.

  17. Drug resistance in the sexually transmitted protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    REBECCA L DUNNE; LINDA A DUNN; PETER UPCROFT; PETER J O'DONOGHUE; JACQUELINE A UPCROFT

    2003-01-01

    Trichomoniasis is the most common, sexually transmitted infection. It is caused by the flagellated protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Symptoms include vaginitis and infections have been associated with preterm delivery, low birth weight and increased infant mortality, as well as predisposing to HIV/AIDS and cervical cancer. Trichomoniasis has the highest prevalence and incidence of any sexually transmitted infection. The 5-nitroimidazole drugs, of which metronidazole is the most prescribed, are the only approved,effective drugs to treat trichomoniasis. Resistance against metronidazole is frequently reported and crossresistance among the family of 5-nitroimidazole drugs is common, leaving no alternative for treatment, with some cases remaining unresolved. The mechanism of metronidazole resistance in T. vaginalis from treatment failures is not well understood, unlike resistance which is developed in the laboratory under increasing metronidazole pressure. In the latter situation, hydrogenosomal function which is involved in activation of the prodrug, metronidazole, is down-regulated. Reversion to sensitivity is incomplete after removal of drug pressure in the highly resistant parasites while clinically resistant strains, so far analysed, maintain their resistance levels in the absence of drug pressure. Although anaerobic resistance has been regarded as a laboratory induced phenomenon, it clearly has been demonstrated in clinical isolates. Pursuit of both approaches will allow dissection of the underlying mechanisms. Many alternative drugs and treatments have been tested in vivo in cases of refractory trichomoniasis, as well as in vitro with some successes including the broad spectrum anti-parasitic drug nitazoxanide. Drug resistance incidence in T. vaginalis appears to be on the increase and improved surveillance of treatment failures is urged.

  18. SPECIES AND GENUS DIFFERENTIATION OF PARASITES (GIARDIA AND CRYPTOSPORIDIUM) BY MALDI - MASS SPECTROMETRY

    Science.gov (United States)

    The protozoan parasites, Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia, have been responsible for numerous waterborne outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness in the United States. The 1993 cryptosporidiosis outbreak in Milwaukee affected approximately 400,000 people and resulted in o...

  19. Gastrointestinal parasites of feral cats from Christmas Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, P J; Elliot, A D; Algar, D; Brazell, R I

    2008-01-01

    To investigate the gastrointestinal parasites present in feral cats on Christmas Island, with particular interest in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Faecal and serum samples were collected from 28 and 25 cats respectively that were trapped as part of an ongoing eradication program being run on Christmas Island by the Department of Environment and Conservation. Faecal samples were screened microscopically for helminth and protozoan parasites. Serum samples were screened for antibodies to T gondii using a commercial indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a latex agglutination test (LAT). The most common helminth parasites detected were Toxocara cati (present in 15 of 28 faecal samples), Strongyloides sp (13/28), Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, (7/28), an unidentified capillarid (6/28) and Ancylostoma sp (4/28). Based on serology, T gondii was the most common parasite detected (protozoan or otherwise) with antibodies detected in 24 serum samples by IFA and 23 serum samples by LAT. Cats on Christmas Island harbour many of the helminth and protozoan parasites reported from feral cats elsewhere in Australia. The high seroprevalence of T gondii in these cats indicates a high level of exposure to the parasite in this environment.

  20. Recurrent wheezing is associated with intestinal protozoan infections in Warao Amerindian children in Venezuela: a cross-sectional survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overeem, Marcella M A; Verhagen, Lilly M; Hermans, Peter W M; del Nogal, Berenice; Sánchez, Adriana Márquez; Acevedo, Natacha Martinez; Murga, Rosalicia Ramirez; Roelfsema, Jeroen; Pinelli, Elena; de Waard, Jacobus H

    2014-05-29

    While in developed countries the prevalence of allergic diseases is rising, inflammatory diseases are relatively uncommon in rural developing areas. High prevalence rates of helminth and protozoan infections are commonly found in children living in rural settings and several studies suggest an inverse association between helminth infections and allergies. No studies investigating the relationship between parasitic infections and atopic diseases in rural children of developing countries under the age of 2 years have been published so far. We performed a cross-sectional survey to investigate the association of helminth and protozoan infections and malnutrition with recurrent wheezing and atopic eczema in Warao Amerindian children in Venezuela. From August to November 2012, 229 children aged 0 to 2 years residing in the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela were enrolled. Data were collected through standardized questionnaires and physical examination, including inspection of the skin and anthropometric measurements. A stool sample was requested from all participants and detection of different parasites was performed using microscopy and real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We observed high prevalence rates of atopic eczema and recurrent wheezing, respectively 19% and 23%. The prevalence of helminth infections was 26% and the prevalence of protozoan infections was 59%. Atopic eczema and recurrent wheezing were more frequently observed in stunted compared with non-stunted children in multivariable analysis (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.3 - 13.6, p = 0.015 and OR 4.5, 95% CI 0.97 - 21.2, p = 0.055). Furthermore, recurrent wheezing was significantly more often observed in children with protozoan infections than in children without protozoan infections (OR 6.7, 95% CI 1.5 - 30.5). High prevalence rates of atopic eczema and recurrent wheezing in Warao Amerindian children under 2 years of age were related to stunting and intestinal protozoan infections respectively. Helminth

  1. Protozoan growth rates on secondary-metabolite-producing Pseudomonas spp. correlate with high-level protozoan taxonomy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Annette L.; Winding, Anne; Altenburger, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Different features can protect bacteria against protozoan grazing, for example large size, rapid movement, and production of secondary metabolites. Most papers dealing with these matters focus on bacteria. Here, we describe protozoan features that affect their ability to grow on secondary...... with membrane-bound metabolites. Interestingly, protozoan response seemed to correlate with high-level protozoan taxonomy, and amoeboid taxa tolerated a broader range of Pseudomonas strains than did the non-amoeboid taxa. This stresses the importance of studying both protozoan and bacterial characteristics...

  2. Extending parasite-stress theory to variation in human mate preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBruine, Lisa M; Little, Anthony C; Jones, Benedict C

    2012-04-01

    In this commentary we suggest that Fincher & Thornhill's (F&T's) parasite-stress theory of social behaviors and attitudes can be extended to mating behaviors and preferences. We discuss evidence from prior correlational and experimental studies that support this claim. We also reanalyze data from two of those studies using F&T's new parasite stress measures.

  3. Novel insights into the molecular events linking to cell death induced by tetracycline in the amitochondriate protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Kuo-Yang; Ku, Fu-Man; Cheng, Wei-Hung; Lee, Chi-Ching; Huang, Po-Jung; Chu, Lichieh Julie; Cheng, Chih-Chieh; Fang, Yi-Kai; Wu, Hsueh-Hsia; Tang, Petrus

    2015-11-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis colonizes the human urogenital tract and causes trichomoniasis, the most common nonviral sexually transmitted disease. Currently, 5-nitroimidazoles are the only recommended drugs for treating trichomoniasis. However, increased resistance of the parasite to 5-nitroimidazoles has emerged as a highly problematic public health issue. Hence, it is essential to identify alternative chemotherapeutic agents against refractory trichomoniasis. Tetracycline (TET) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic with activity against several protozoan parasites, but the mode of action of TET in parasites remains poorly understood. The in vitro effect of TET on the growth of T. vaginalis was examined, and the mode of cell death was verified by various apoptosis-related assays. Next-generation sequencing-based RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was employed to elucidate the transcriptome of T. vaginalis in response to TET. We show that TET has a cytotoxic effect on both metronidazole (MTZ)-sensitive and -resistant T. vaginalis isolates, inducing some features resembling apoptosis. RNA-seq data reveal that TET significantly alters the transcriptome via activation of specific pathways, such as aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and carbohydrate metabolism. Functional analyses demonstrate that TET disrupts the hydrogenosomal membrane potential and antioxidant system, which concomitantly elicits a metabolic shift toward glycolysis, suggesting that the hydrogenosomal function is impaired and triggers cell death. Collectively, we provide in vitro evidence that TET is a potential alternative therapeutic choice for treating MTZ-resistant T. vaginalis. The in-depth transcriptomic signatures in T. vaginalis upon TET treatment presented here will shed light on the signaling pathways linking to cell death in amitochondriate organisms.

  4. Blastocistosis y otras infecciones por protozoos intetinales en comunidades humanas ribereñas de la cuenca del rio Valdivia, Chile Blastocystosis and other intestinal protozoan infections in human riverside communities from - Valdivia River Basin, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricio Torres

    1992-12-01

    Full Text Available Entre marzo y octubre de 1987 se examinaron muestras coprológicas de 970 personas (20, 9% de la población pertenecientes a 209 grupos familiares de las comunidades ribereñas de la cuenca del rio Valdivia, Chile; con el propósito de determinar las prevalencias de infección por Blastocystis hominis y otros protozoos intestinales para establecer relaciones con la edad y sexo de los hospedadores, saneamiento ambiental y porcentaje de individuos infectados por grupo familiar. Un 72, 5% de las personas presentó una o más especies de protozoos intestinales. La mayor prevalencia se registró para B. hominis (61, 8%, que se incrementó con la edad del hospedador al igual que en las infecciones por Endolimax nana y Entamoeba coli. No se demostró asociación entre el sexo del hospedador y la prevalencia de infección por B. hominis y otras especies de protozoos. La prevalencia de B. hominis fue mayor en individuos que habitaban viviendas cuya disposition de excrementos era no sanitaria. Más del 60% de los integrantes de los grupos familiares presentaron infección por B. hominis en el 53, 1% de las familias encuestadas en contraposición al 2,4%-21,8% observado en infecciones por otros protozoos. El examen de 45 muestras de excrementos de cerdos, reveló infección por Blastocystis en el 22,2% de estos animales.Between March and October 1987, the prevalence of infection by Blastocystis hominis and other intestinal protozoan, their relationship with the age and sex of the hosts, and the percentage of in fected persons in family groups were determined in riverside communities of Valdivia River Basin, Chile. One or more intestinal protozoan species were determined in 72.5% of the examined persons. The prevalence was greater for B. hominis (61.8%. The prevalences of B. hominis, Endolimax nana and Entamoeba coli were greater in relation to the age of the host. The sex of the host and prevalence of infections by B. hominis and other species of

  5. Tradition and transition: parasitic zoonoses of people and animals in Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Emily J; Castrodale, Louisa J; de Rosemond, Simone J C; Dixon, Brent R; Elmore, Stacey A; Gesy, Karen M; Hoberg, Eric P; Polley, Lydden; Schurer, Janna M; Simard, Manon; Thompson, R C Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Zoonotic parasites are important causes of endemic and emerging human disease in northern North America and Greenland (the North), where prevalence of some parasites is higher than in the general North American population. The North today is in transition, facing increased resource extraction, globalisation of trade and travel, and rapid and accelerating environmental change. This comprehensive review addresses the diversity, distribution, ecology, epidemiology, and significance of nine zoonotic parasites in animal and human populations in the North. Based on a qualitative risk assessment with criteria heavily weighted for human health, these zoonotic parasites are ranked, in the order of decreasing importance, as follows: Echinococcus multilocularis, Toxoplasma gondii, Trichinella and Giardia, Echinococcus granulosus/canadensis and Cryptosporidium, Toxocara, anisakid nematodes, and diphyllobothriid cestodes. Recent and future trends in the importance of these parasites for human health in the North are explored. For example, the incidence of human exposure to endemic helminth zoonoses (e.g. Diphyllobothrium, Trichinella, and Echinococcus) appears to be declining, while water-borne protozoans such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma may be emerging causes of human disease in a warming North. Parasites that undergo temperature-dependent development in the environment (such as Toxoplasma, ascarid and anisakid nematodes, and diphyllobothriid cestodes) will likely undergo accelerated development in endemic areas and temperate-adapted strains/species will move north, resulting in faunal shifts. Food-borne pathogens (e.g. Trichinella, Toxoplasma, anisakid nematodes, and diphyllobothriid cestodes) may be increasingly important as animal products are exported from the North and tourists, workers, and domestic animals enter the North. Finally, key needs are identified to better assess and mitigate risks associated with zoonotic parasites, including enhanced

  6. 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.

  7. Clinical heterogeneity of human neurocysticercosis results from complex interactions among parasite, host and environmental factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleury, Agnès; Escobar, Alfonso; Fragoso, Gladis; Sciutto, Edda; Larralde, Carlos

    2010-04-01

    Human neurocysticercosis (NC) is endemic in most countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa and is re-emerging in some industrialized nations. Both within and among endemic countries, NC is very variable in its clinical and radiological features, as well as in the intensity of the immuno-inflammatory reactions of the hosts. This review, focusing on the Mexican experience, describes and interprets the heterogeneity of NC as the result of different combinations among factors associated with the parasite, host and environment. The review may serve to foster similar descriptive efforts in other endemic areas of the world in order to facilitate the identification of the distinct factors that participate in the complex pathogenesis and diverse clinical outcomes of NC. In particular, it is necessary to understand the precise physiopathology of the inflammatory reaction associated with NC, as inflammation is one of the characteristics of those NC cases that are clinically more severe and less responsive to current treatments. Devising new medical interventions through the use of molecular regulators of the innate and adaptive immune responses of the host is a largely unexplored approach that could improve the existing forms of treatment. Copyright 2010 Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Motility modes of the parasite Trypanosoma brucei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temel, Fatma Zeynep; Qu, Zijie; McAllaster, Michael; de Graffenried, Christopher; Breuer, Kenneth

    2015-11-01

    The parasitic single-celled protozoan Trypanosoma brucei causes African Sleeping Sickness, which is a fatal disease in humans and animals that threatens more than 60 million people in 36 African countries. Cell motility plays a critical role in the developmental phases and dissemination of the parasite. Unlike many other motile cells such as bacteria Escherichia coli or Caulobacter crescentus, the flagellum of T. brucei is attached along the length of its awl-like body, producing a unique mode of motility that is not fully understood or characterized. Here, we report on the motility of T. brucei, which swims using its single flagellum employing both rotating and undulating propulsion modes. We tracked cells in real-time in three dimensions using fluorescent microscopy. Data obtained from experiments using both short-term tracking within the field of view and long-term tracking using a tracking microscope were analyzed. Motility modes and swimming speed were analyzed as functions of cell size, rotation rate and undulation pattern. Research supported by NSF.

  9. 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....

  10. Parasitic infections in travelers and immigrants: part I protozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Francesca F; Monge-Maillo, Begoña; Martínez-Pérez, Ángela; Perez-Molina, Jose A; López-Vélez, Rogelio

    2015-01-01

    The growth in international commerce, travel and migration contribute to the global emergence of certain parasitic infections. Importation of vectors and food products may contribute to the emergence of protozoan infections in nonendemic countries. Infections such as malaria are potentially fatal, especially in nonimmune patients, and outcome depends largely on timely diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis/management of imported parasitic infections may be complex especially as some patients may have underlying immunosuppressive conditions such as HIV infection. Major challenges concern the development of improved diagnostic techniques, safer/more effective drug therapies and identification of biological markers of progression and response to treatment. Imported parasitic diseases which may be transmitted vertically or through blood transfusion/organ donation could become a public health priority in the near future. Climate change may affect arthropod distribution and facilitate the spread of protozoan vector-borne diseases. The first part of this review focuses on protozoan infections in travelers and immigrants.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Plasmodium falciparum-like parasites infecting wild apes in southern Cameroon do not represent a recurrent source of human malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaman, Sesh A; Liu, Weimin; Keele, Brandon F; Learn, Gerald H; Bittinger, Kyle; Mouacha, Fatima; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Manske, Magnus; Sherrill-Mix, Scott; Li, Yingying; Malenke, Jordan A; Delaporte, Eric; Laurent, Christian; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Shaw, George M; Rayner, Julian C; Peeters, Martine; Sharp, Paul M; Bushman, Frederic D; Hahn, Beatrice H

    2013-04-23

    Wild-living chimpanzees and gorillas harbor a multitude of Plasmodium species, including six of the subgenus Laverania, one of which served as the progenitor of Plasmodium falciparum. Despite the magnitude of this reservoir, it is unknown whether apes represent a source of human infections. Here, we used Plasmodium species-specific PCR, single-genome amplification, and 454 sequencing to screen humans from remote areas of southern Cameroon for ape Laverania infections. Among 1,402 blood samples, we found 1,000 to be Plasmodium mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) positive, all of which contained human parasites as determined by sequencing and/or restriction enzyme digestion. To exclude low-abundance infections, we subjected 514 of these samples to 454 sequencing, targeting a region of the mtDNA genome that distinguishes ape from human Laverania species. Using algorithms specifically developed to differentiate rare Plasmodium variants from 454-sequencing error, we identified single and mixed-species infections with P. falciparum, Plasmodium malariae, and/or Plasmodium ovale. However, none of the human samples contained ape Laverania parasites, including the gorilla precursor of P. falciparum. To characterize further the diversity of P. falciparum in Cameroon, we used single-genome amplification to amplify 3.4-kb mtDNA fragments from 229 infected humans. Phylogenetic analysis identified 62 new variants, all of which clustered with extant P. falciparum, providing further evidence that P. falciparum emerged following a single gorilla-to-human transmission. Thus, unlike Plasmodium knowlesi-infected macaques in southeast Asia, African apes harboring Laverania parasites do not seem to serve as a recurrent source of human malaria, a finding of import to ongoing control and eradication measures.

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

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    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

  15. Humans, dogs and parasitic zoonoses--unravelling the relationships in a remote endemic community in northeast India using molecular tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traub, R J; Robertson, I D; Irwin, P; Mencke, N; Monis, P; Thompson, R C A

    2003-07-01

    Canine parasitic zoonoses pose a continuing public health problem, especially in developing countries and communities that are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Our study combined the use of conventional and molecular epidemiological tools to determine the role of dogs in transmission of gastrointestinal (GI) parasites such as hookworms, Giardiaand Ascarisin a parasite endemic tea-growing community in northeast India. A highly sensitive and specific PCR-RFLP was developed to detect and differentiate the zoonotic species of canine hookworm eggs directly from faeces. This allowed epidemiological screening of canine hookworm species in this community to be conducted with ease and accuracy. Seventy two percent of dogs were found to harbour A. caninum, 60% A. braziliense and 37% harboured mixed infections with both hookworms. No A. ceylanicum was detected in the dog population. The zoonotic potential of canine Giardiawas also investigated by characterising Giardia duodenalisrecovered from humans and dogs living in the same locality and households, at three different loci. Phylogenetic and epidemiological analysis provided compelling evidence to support the zoonotic transmission of canine Giardia. Molecular tools were also used to identify the species of Ascarisegg present in over 30% of dog faecal samples. The results demonstrated the role of dogs as a significant disseminator and environmental contaminator of Ascaris lumbricoidesin communities where promiscuous defecation practices exist. Our study demonstrated the usefulness of combining conventional and molecular parasitological and epidemiological tools to help solve unresolved relationships with regards to parasitic zoonoses.

  16. 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

  17. First record of an epibiont protozoan Epistylis sp. (Ciliophora, Peritrichia attached to Ergasilus chelangulatus (Ergasilidae in Brazil

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    RK. Azevedo

    Full Text Available In the present paper, we described the first record of an epibiont protozoan Epistylis sp. Ehrenberg, 1830 (Ciliophora, Peritrichia attached to Ergasilus chelangulatus Thatcher and Brasil-Sato, 2008, parasite of Pimelodus maculatus Lacépède, 1803 in Brazil, with electron microscope observations. Fish were collected in Veados River, state of São Paulo and the crustacean Ergasilus chelangulatus being registered for the first time in this river, expanding its geographical distribution in Brazil.

  18. A Novel ADP/ATP Transporter in the Mitosome of the Microaerophilic Human Parasite Entamoeba histolytica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chan, Ka Wai; Slotboom, Dirk-Jan; Cox, Sian; Embley, T. Martin; Fabre, Olivier; Giezen, Mark van der; Harding, Marilyn; Horner, David S.; Kunji, Edmund R.S.; León-Avila, Gloria; Tovar, Jorge

    2005-01-01

    Recent data suggest that microaerophilic and parasitic protozoa, which lack oxidative phosphorylation, nevertheless contain mitochondrial homologs, organelles that share common ancestry with mitochondria. Such widespread retention suggests there may be a common function for mitochondrial homologs th

  19. Sex Steroids Effects on the Molting Process of the Helminth Human Parasite Trichinella spiralis

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    Romel Hernández-Bello

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated the in vitro effects of estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone on the molting process, which is the initial and crucial step in the development of the muscular larvae (ML or L1 to adult worm. Testosterone had no significative effect on the molting rate of the parasite, however, progesterone decreased the molting rate about a 50% in a concentration- and time-independent pattern, while estradiol had a slight effect (10%. The gene expression of caveolin-1, a specific gene used as a marker of parasite development, showed that progesterone and estradiol downregulated its expression, while protein expression was unaffected. By using flow citometry, a possible protein that is recognized by a commercial antiprogesterone receptor antibody was detected. These findings may have strong implications in the host-parasite coevolution, in the sex-associated susceptibility to this infection and could point out to possibilities to use antihormones to inhibit parasite development.

  20. Behavioural defences in animals against pathogens and parasites: parallels with the pillars of medicine in humans

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    No other theme in animal biology seems to be more central than the concept of employing strategies to survive and successfully reproduce. In nature, controlling or avoiding pathogens and parasites is an essential fitness strategy because of the ever-present disease-causing organisms. The disease-control strategies discussed here are: physical avoidance and removal of pathogens and parasites; quarantine or peripheralization of conspecifics that could be carrying potential pathogens; herbal med...

  1. Prevalence of intestinal and blood parasites among wild rats in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siti Shafiyyah, C O; Jamaiah, I; Rohela, M; Lau, Y L; Siti Aminah, F

    2012-12-01

    A survey was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of intestinal and blood parasites among wild rats in urban area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total of 137 stool and blood samples were collected from wild rats from Sentul and Chow Kit areas. Five species of rats were captured and supplied by Kuala Lumpur City Hall. The most common was Rattus rattus diardii (Malayan Black rat), 67%, followed by Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat), 10%, Rattus argentiventer (rice-field rat), 10%, Rattus tiomanicus (Malaysian field rat), 9% and Rattus exulans (Polynesian rat), 4%. Rattus rattus diardii is commonly known to live in human environment and they are normally identified as pests to human community. More male rats were captured (61%) compared to female (39%). Out of 137 samples, 81.8% samples were positive with intestinal parasites, with 86.2% from Sentul area and 78.5% from Chow Kit area. Six different parasites were detected. The most common intestinal helminth parasite detected was Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (80.3%), followed by Hymenolepis nana (23.4%), Capillaria hepatica (13.9%) and Hymenolepis diminuta (2.9%). Intestinal protozoan detected was Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar (8.8%). Trypanosoma lewisi (1.5%) was the only blood parasite detected.

  2. Uso del microhábitat por el protozoo parásito Aggregata patagonica Sardella, Ré & Timi, 2000 (Apicomplexa: Aggregatidae en su hospedador definitivo, el pulpo Enteroctopus megalocyathus (Gould, 1852 (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae en el sur de Chile Microhabitat use by the protozoan parasite Aggregata patagonica Sardella, Ré & Timi, 2000 (Apicomplexa: Aggregatidae in his definitive host Enteroctopus megalocyathus (Gould, 1852 (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae in southern Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CHRISTIAN M. IBÁÑEZ

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Los protozoos de la familia Aggregatidae requieren de dos hospedadores para completar su ciclo biológico: un crustáceo y un cefalópodo. En este estudio se busca evidenciar si existe un uso diferencial de microhábitats de las infrapoblaciones de Aggregata patagonica entre dos zonas del tracto digestivo de su hospedador definitivo, el pulpo Enteroctopus megalocyathus. Para ello, se examinaron 40 ejemplares de Ancud y 37 de Quellón, provenientes de las capturas artesanales de la Isla de Chiloé. El tamaño y la densidad de los ooquistes se cuantificaron en el ciego y el intestino del hospedador. Además, se efectuaron observaciones histológicas para determinar cuantitativamente la ocurrencia de los distintos estados de desarrollo del parásito. En Ancud el 80 % de los pulpos estaban parasitados en el ciego y el intestino, mientras que en Quellón era el 100 %. Se determinaron cuatro estados de desarrollo (microgametos, cigotos, esporoquistes inmaduros y maduros. Los ooquistes de A. patagonica fueron más pequeños y abundantes en el ciego, pero la cobertura fue mayor en el intestino. Además, la densidad y cobertura aumenta en pocos meses entre una muestra y otra. Al parecer, A. patagonica no usaría a los dos microhábitats como lugares de preferencia para pasar los diferentes estados de desarrollo, sino más bien, y según las condiciones del microhábitat, en el intestino crecerían más los ooquistes pero en menos cantidad, ocupando una mayor superficie del microhábitat, contrario a lo que ocurre en el ciego. Por esto se sugiere que A. patagonica hace un uso diferencial del microhábitat, mediante dos estrategias distintas de historia de vidaThe protozoan parasites of the family Aggregatidae, require two hosts to complete their life cycle, a crustacean and a cephalopod. This research looks for evidence of differential microhabitat use of Aggregata patagonica infrapopulations between two zones of the digestive tract of his definitive host

  3. Parasite sources and sinks in a patched Ross-Macdonald malaria model with human and mosquito movement: Implications for control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruktanonchai, Nick W; Smith, David L; De Leenheer, Patrick

    2016-09-01

    We consider the dynamics of a mosquito-transmitted pathogen in a multi-patch Ross-Macdonald malaria model with mobile human hosts, mobile vectors, and a heterogeneous environment. We show the existence of a globally stable steady state, and a threshold that determines whether a pathogen is either absent from all patches, or endemic and present at some level in all patches. Each patch is characterized by a local basic reproduction number, whose value predicts whether the disease is cleared or not when the patch is isolated: patches are known as "demographic sinks" if they have a local basic reproduction number less than one, and hence would clear the disease if isolated; patches with a basic reproduction number above one would sustain endemic infection in isolation, and become "demographic sources" of parasites when connected to other patches. Sources are also considered focal areas of transmission for the larger landscape, as they export excess parasites to other areas and can sustain parasite populations. We show how to determine the various basic reproduction numbers from steady state estimates in the patched network and knowledge of additional model parameters, hereby identifying parasite sources in the process. This is useful in the context of control of the infection on natural landscapes, because a commonly suggested strategy is to target focal areas, in order to make their corresponding basic reproduction numbers less than one, effectively turning them into sinks. We show that this is indeed a successful control strategy-albeit a conservative and possibly expensive one-in case either the human host, or the vector does not move. However, we also show that when both humans and vectors move, this strategy may fail, depending on the specific movement patterns exhibited by hosts and vectors.

  4. Chapter A7. Section 7.3. Protozoan Pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushon, Rebecca N.; Francy, Donna S.

    2003-01-01

    Protozoan pathogens are widely distributed in the aquatic environment. Cryptosporidium and Giardia are the principal protozoan pathogens that are known to affect the acceptability of water supplies for public use within the United States. A sampling program for protozoan pathogens should be conducted over an extended period of time because of cyclical and seasonal variations in their concentrations in the environment. This report provides information on the equipment, sampling protocols, and laboratory method that are in standard use by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) personnel for the collection of data on protozoan pathogens.

  5. Parasitic Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... water, a bug bite, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not. Parasites ... can be seen with the naked eye. Some parasitic diseases occur in the United States. Contaminated water supplies ...

  6. Molecular diagnosis of Chagas' disease and use of an animal model to study parasite tropism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vera-Cruz, J M; Magallón-Gastelum, E; Grijalva, G; Rincón, A R; Ramos-García, C; Armendáriz-Borunda, J

    2003-04-01

    Chagas' disease, which is an important health problem in humans, is caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. The cellular and molecular mechanisms, involved in the selective tropism of T. cruzi to different organs remain largely unknown. In this study we designed a PCR-based molecular diagnosis method in order to study the tropism and growth kinetics of T. cruzi in a murine model infected with parasites isolated from an endemic area of Mexico. The growth kinetics and parasite tropism of T. cruzi were also evaluated in the blood and other tissues. We observed that T. cruzi isolates from the Western Mexico showed a major tropism to mouse heart and skeletal muscles in this murine model.

  7. Novel molecular mechanism for targeting the parasite Trypanosoma brucei with snake venom toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martos Esteban, Andrea; Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Carrington, Mark

    Trypanosoma brucei is a parasitic protozoan species capable to infecting insect vectors whose bite further produces African sleeping sickness inhuman beings. During parasites’extracellular lives in the mammalian host, its outer coat, mainly composedof Variable surface glycoproteins (VSGs)[2...

  8. High malnutrition rate in Venezuelan Yanomami compared to Warao Amerindians and Creoles: significant associations with intestinal parasites and anemia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhagen, L.M.; Incani, R.N.; Franco, C.R.; Ugarte, A.; Cadenas, Y.; Ruiz, C.I. Sierra; Hermans, P.W.M.; Hoek, D. van der; Ponce, M.; Waard, J.H. de; Pinelli, E.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Children in rural areas experience the interrelated problems of poor growth, anemia and parasitic infections. We investigated the prevalence of and associations between intestinal helminth and protozoan infections, malnutrition and anemia in school-age Venezuelan children. METHODS: This

  9. High malnutrition rate in Venezuelan Yanomami compared to Warao Amerindians and Creoles: significant associations with intestinal parasites and anemia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhagen, L.M.; Incani, R.N.; Franco, C.R.; Ugarte, A.; Cadenas, Y.; Ruiz, C.I. Sierra; Hermans, P.W.M.; Hoek, D. van der; Ponce, M.; Waard, J.H. de; Pinelli, E.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Children in rural areas experience the interrelated problems of poor growth, anemia and parasitic infections. We investigated the prevalence of and associations between intestinal helminth and protozoan infections, malnutrition and anemia in school-age Venezuelan children. METHODS: This

  10. Host Diet Affects the Morphology of Monarch Butterfly Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoang, Kevin; Tao, Leiling; Hunter, Mark D; de Roode, Jacobus C

    2017-06-01

    Understanding host-parasite interactions is essential for ecological research, wildlife conservation, and health management. While most studies focus on numerical traits of parasite groups, such as changes in parasite load, less focus is placed on the traits of individual parasites such as parasite size and shape (parasite morphology). Parasite morphology has significant effects on parasite fitness such as initial colonization of hosts, avoidance of host immune defenses, and the availability of resources for parasite replication. As such, understanding factors that affect parasite morphology is important in predicting the consequences of host-parasite interactions. Here, we studied how host diet affected the spore morphology of a protozoan parasite ( Ophryocystis elektroscirrha ), a specialist parasite of the monarch butterfly ( Danaus plexippus ). We found that different host plant species (milkweeds; Asclepias spp.) significantly affected parasite spore size. Previous studies have found that cardenolides, secondary chemicals in host plants of monarchs, can reduce parasite loads and increase the lifespan of infected butterflies. Adding to this benefit of high cardenolide milkweeds, we found that infected monarchs reared on milkweeds of higher cardenolide concentrations yielded smaller parasites, a potentially hidden characteristic of cardenolides that may have important implications for monarch-parasite interactions.

  11. Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 and Haemozoin: Wedding Rings for Human Host and Plasmodium falciparum Parasite in Complicated Malaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Prato

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available It is generally accepted that the combination of both Plasmodium falciparum parasite and human host factors is involved in the pathogenesis of complicated severe malaria, including cerebral malaria (CM. Among parasite products, the malarial pigment haemozoin (HZ has been shown to impair the functions of mononuclear and endothelial cells. Different CM models were associated with enhanced levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs, a family of proteolytic enzymes able to disrupt subendothelial basement membrane and tight junctions and shed, activate, or inactivate cytokines, chemokines, and other MMPs through cleavage from their precursors. Among MMPs, a good candidate for targeted therapy might be MMP-9, whose mRNA and protein expression enhancement as well as direct proenzyme activation by HZ have been recently investigated in a series of studies by our group and others. In the present paper the role of HZ and MMP-9 in complicated malaria, as well as their interactions, will be discussed.

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

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    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.

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

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    Frederik Van den Broeck

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  14. Marine actinomycetes: a new source of compounds against the human malaria parasite.

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    Jacques Prudhomme

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Malaria continues to be a devastating parasitic disease that causes the death of 2 million individuals annually. The increase in multi-drug resistance together with the absence of an efficient vaccine hastens the need for speedy and comprehensive antimalarial drug discovery and development. Throughout history, traditional herbal remedies or natural products have been a reliable source of antimalarial agents, e.g. quinine and artemisinin. Today, one emerging source of small molecule drug leads is the world's oceans. Included among the source of marine natural products are marine microorganisms such as the recently described actinomycete. Members of the genus Salinispora have yielded a wealth of new secondary metabolites including salinosporamide A, a molecule currently advancing through clinical trials as an anticancer agent. Because of the biological activity of metabolites being isolated from marine microorganisms, our group became interested in exploring the potential efficacy of these compounds against the malaria parasite. METHODS: We screened 80 bacterial crude extracts for their activity against malaria growth. We established that the pure compound, salinosporamide A, produced by the marine actinomycete, Salinispora tropica, shows strong inhibitory activity against the erythrocytic stages of the parasite cycle. Biochemical experiments support the likely inhibition of the parasite 20S proteasome. Crystal structure modeling of salinosporamide A and the parasite catalytic 20S subunit further confirm this hypothesis. Ultimately we showed that salinosporamide A protected mice against deadly malaria infection when administered at an extremely low dosage. CONCLUSION: These findings underline the potential of secondary metabolites, derived from marine microorganisms, to inhibit Plasmodium growth. More specifically, we highlight the effect of proteasome inhibitors such as salinosporamide A on in vitro and in vivo parasite development

  15. 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.

  16. Inhibition studies of bacterial, fungal and protozoan β-class carbonic anhydrases with Schiff bases incorporating sulfonamide moieties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceruso, Mariangela; Carta, Fabrizio; Osman, Sameh M; Alothman, Zeid; Monti, Simona Maria; Supuran, Claudiu T

    2015-08-01

    A series of new Schiff bases derived from sulfanilamide, 3-fluorosulfanilamide or 4-(2-aminoethyl)-benzenesulfonamide containing either a hydrophobic or a hydrophilic tail, have been investigated as inhibitors of three β-carbonic anhydrases (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) from three different microorganisms. Their antifungal, antibacterial and antiprotozoan activities have been determined against the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, the bacterial pathogen Brucella suis and the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani chagasi, responsible for Leishmaniasis. The results of these inhibition studies show that all three enzymes were efficiently inhibited by the Schiff base sulfonamides with KI values in the nanomolar or submicromolar range, depending on the nature of the tail, coming from the aryl/heteroaryl moiety present in the starting aldehyde employed in the synthesis. Furthermore, the compounds hereby investigated revealed high β-CAs selectivity over the ubiquitous, physiologically relevant and off-target human isoforms (CA I and II) and to be more potent as antifungal and antibacterial than as antiprotozoan potential drugs.

  17. Estudo da ocorrência de enteroparasitas em hortaliças comercializadas na região metropolitana de São Paulo - SP, Brasil: II - Pesquisa de protozoários intestinais Study of the occurrence of intestinal parasites os vegetables comercially traded in the metropolitan area of S.Paulo, SP - Brazil: II - Research into protozoan cysts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Augusto Fernandes de Oliveira

    1992-10-01

    Full Text Available Foram analisadas hortaliças "in natura", comercializadas na Região Metropolitana de São Paulo, SP-Brasil, visando à pesquisa e à identificação de cistos de protozoários de interesse médico. As hortaliças, constituídas de 50 amostras de cada variedade, consistiram em: alface (Lactuca sativa, variedades lisa e crespa, escarola (Chichorium sp e agrião (Nasturtium officinale. Os resultados evidenciaram elevados percentuais de contaminação em todas as variedades de hortaliças analisadas, porém as freqüências de protozoários foram maiores no agrião. As amostras de alfaces apresentaram os menores percentuais de contaminação, enquanto que a escarola apresentou valores geralmente situados entre o agrião e as alfaces. Observou-se uma grande variedade de protozoários, cujas freqüências de ocorrência na população residente na Região Metropolitana de São Paulo são igualmente elevadas. Os mais freqüentes foram Entamoeba sp (com 4 e 8 núcleos e Giardia sp. Foram também isolados cistos de Iodamoeba sp, Endolimax sp e Chilomastix sp. Os elevados níveis de contaminação fecal encontrados nas amostras analisadas apontam para a importância dos alimentos na transmissão de protozoários intestinais.Vegetables in natura , commercially traded in the metropolitan area of S.Paulo, Brazil, were analised by means of the appropriate methodology with a view to discovering and identifying protozoan cysts of medical interest. The vegetables under study consisted of 50 samples of each of the variaties listed bel ow: lettuce (Lactuca sativa - oily leaves and crisphead varieties, endive (Chicorium sp and water-cress (Nasturtium officinale. Results showed high rates of contamination in all the varieties of vegetable analysed. However, the water-cress was the one which presented the highest frequencies of enteroparasites. Both the oily leafes and crisphead varieties of lettuce presented the lowest rates of contamination, whereas endive

  18. Bioinformatic analysis of beta carbonic anhydrase sequences from protozoans and metazoans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolfaghari Emameh, Reza; Barker, Harlan; Tolvanen, Martti E E; Ortutay, Csaba; Parkkila, Seppo

    2014-01-21

    Despite the high prevalence of parasitic infections, and their impact on global health and economy, the number of drugs available to treat them is extremely limited. As a result, the potential consequences of large-scale resistance to any existing drugs are a major concern. A number of recent investigations have focused on the effects of potential chemical inhibitors on bacterial and fungal carbonic anhydrases. Among the five classes of carbonic anhydrases (alpha, beta, gamma, delta and zeta), beta carbonic anhydrases have been reported in most species of bacteria, yeasts, algae, plants, and particular invertebrates (nematodes and insects). To date, there has been a lack of knowledge on the expression and molecular structure of beta carbonic anhydrases in metazoan (nematodes and arthropods) and protozoan species. Here, the identification of novel beta carbonic anhydrases was based on the presence of the highly-conserved amino acid sequence patterns of the active site. A phylogenetic tree was constructed based on codon-aligned DNA sequences. Subcellular localization prediction for each identified invertebrate beta carbonic anhydrase was performed using the TargetP webserver. We verified a total of 75 beta carbonic anhydrase sequences in metazoan and protozoan species by proteome-wide searches and multiple sequence alignment. Of these, 52 were novel, and contained highly conserved amino acid residues, which are inferred to form the active site in beta carbonic anhydrases. Mitochondrial targeting peptide analysis revealed that 31 enzymes are predicted with mitochondrial localization; one was predicted to be a secretory enzyme, and the other 43 were predicted to have other undefined cellular localizations. These investigations identified 75 beta carbonic anhydrases in metazoan and protozoan species, and among them there were 52 novel sequences that were not previously annotated as beta carbonic anhydrases. Our results will not only change the current information in

  19. Aptamers as a promising approach for the control of parasitic diseases

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    Juan David Ospina-Villa

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Aptamers are short single-stranded RNA or DNA oligonucleotides that are capable of binding various biological targets with high affinity and specificity. Their identification initially relies on a molecular process named SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment that has been later modified in order to improve aptamer sensitivity, minimize duration and cost of the assay, as well as increase target types. Several biochemical modifications can help to enhance aptamer stability without affecting significantly target interaction. As a result, aptamers have generated a large interest as promising tools to compete with monoclonal antibodies for detection and inhibition of specific markers of human diseases. One aptamer-based drug is currently authorized and several others are being clinically evaluated. Despite advances in the knowledge of parasite biology and host-parasite interactions from "omics" data, protozoan parasites still affect millions of people around the world and there is an urgent need for drug target discovery and novel therapeutic concepts. In this context, aptamers represent promising tools for pathogen identification and control. Recent studies have reported the identification of "aptasensors" for parasite diagnosis, and "intramers" targeting intracellular proteins. Here we discuss various strategies that have been employed for intracellular expression of aptamers and expansion of their possible application, and propose that they may be suitable for the clinical use of aptamers in parasitic infections.

  20. Prevalence and distribution of three protozoan symbionts in blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) populations across Louisiana, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Holly A; Taylor, Sabrina S; Hawke, John P; Anderson Lively, Julie A

    2015-05-11

    Louisiana has one of the largest blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) fisheries in the USA, but little is known about blue crab diseases, parasites, and symbionts in this area. In 2013-2014, large juvenile and adult blue crabs were collected at 4 diverse sites to determine the prevalence of the protozoan symbionts associated with black gill disease (Lagenophrys callinectes), buckshot crabs (Urosporidium crescens), and bitter crab disease (Hematodinium perezi). A high aggregate prevalence of L. callinectes (93.2%) was identified across all seasons at all 4 collection sites regardless of salinity. A moderately low aggregate prevalence of U. crescens (22.4%) was identified across all seasons and sites. Prevalence of U. crescens depended on site salinity, with only 10% of infections detected at sites with callinectes and U. crescens are commensal parasites of blue crabs, infections can result in unmarketable and unappealing meat. In the Louisiana fishery, H. perezi has been blamed circumstantially for adult mortalities in the low salinity nearshore fishing grounds. Despite this, H. perezi was not detected in any of the large crabs sampled, even from the low salinity sites. The prevalence data reported here for these 3 protozoans are the first to include blue crabs sampled seasonally at multiple locations along the Louisiana coast over the period of a year.

  1. Unique apicomplexan IMC sub-compartment proteins are early markers for apical polarity in the malaria parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulin, Benoit; Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Brady, Declan; Silvie, Olivier; Wright, Megan H; Ferguson, David J P; Wall, Richard J; Whipple, Sarah; Guttery, David S; Tate, Edward W; Wickstead, Bill; Holder, Anthony A; Tewari, Rita

    2013-01-01

    The phylum Apicomplexa comprises over 5000 intracellular protozoan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, that are clinically important pathogens affecting humans and livestock. Malaria parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium possess a pellicle comprised of a plasmalemma and inner membrane complex (IMC), which is implicated in parasite motility and invasion. Using live cell imaging and reverse genetics in the rodent malaria model P. berghei, we localise two unique IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs) and examine their role in defining apical polarity during zygote (ookinete) development. We show that these proteins localise to the anterior apical end of the parasite where IMC organisation is initiated, and are expressed at all developmental stages, especially those that are invasive. Both ISP proteins are N-myristoylated, phosphorylated and membrane-bound. Gene disruption studies suggest that ISP1 is likely essential for parasite development, whereas ISP3 is not. However, an absence of ISP3 alters the apical localisation of ISP1 in all invasive stages including ookinetes and sporozoites, suggesting a coordinated function for these proteins in the organisation of apical polarity in the parasite.

  2. Unique apicomplexan IMC sub-compartment proteins are early markers for apical polarity in the malaria parasite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit Poulin

    2013-09-01

    The phylum Apicomplexa comprises over 5000 intracellular protozoan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, that are clinically important pathogens affecting humans and livestock. Malaria parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium possess a pellicle comprised of a plasmalemma and inner membrane complex (IMC, which is implicated in parasite motility and invasion. Using live cell imaging and reverse genetics in the rodent malaria model P. berghei, we localise two unique IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs and examine their role in defining apical polarity during zygote (ookinete development. We show that these proteins localise to the anterior apical end of the parasite where IMC organisation is initiated, and are expressed at all developmental stages, especially those that are invasive. Both ISP proteins are N-myristoylated, phosphorylated and membrane-bound. Gene disruption studies suggest that ISP1 is likely essential for parasite development, whereas ISP3 is not. However, an absence of ISP3 alters the apical localisation of ISP1 in all invasive stages including ookinetes and sporozoites, suggesting a coordinated function for these proteins in the organisation of apical polarity in the parasite.

  3. Cystatins of parasitic organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klotz, Christian; Ziegler, Thomas; Daniłowicz-Luebert, Emilia; Hartmann, Susanne

    2011-01-01

    The cystatin superfamily comprises several groups of protease inhibitors. In this chapter we will focus on I25 family members, which consist predominantly of the type 2 cystatins. Recently, a wealth of information on these molecules and their activities has been described. Parasite cystatins are shown to have dual functions via interaction with both parasite and host proteases. Thereby, parasite cystatins are not only essentially involved in the regulation of physiological processes during parasite development, but also represent important pathogenicity factors. Interestingly, some studies indicate that parasite cystatins evolved exceptional immuno-modulatory properties. these capacities could be exploited to interfere with unwanted immune responses in unrelated human inflammatory diseases. We highlight the different biological roles of parasite cystatins and the anticipated future developments.

  4. A global comparison of the human and T. brucei degradomes gives insights about possible parasite drug targets.

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    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.

  5. Risk factors for gastrointestinal parasite infections of dogs living around protected areas of the Atlantic Forest: implications for human and wildlife health

    OpenAIRE

    N. H. A. Curi; Paschoal,A. M. O.; Massara,R. L.; SANTOS, H. A.; Guimarães,M.P.; M. Passamani; Chiarello,A.G.

    2016-01-01

    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 parasitologi...

  6. Gibberellin biosynthetic inhibitors make human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum cells swell and rupture to death.

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    Tomoko Toyama

    Full Text Available Malaria remains as one of the most devastating infectious disease, and continues to exact an enormous toll in medical cost and days of labor lost especially in the tropics. Effective malaria control and eventual eradication remain a huge challenge, with efficacious antimalarials as important intervention/management tool. Clearly new alternative drugs that are more affordable and with fewer side effects are desirable. After preliminary in vitro assays with plant growth regulators and inhibitors, here, we focus on biosynthetic inhibitors of gibberellin, a plant hormone with many important roles in plant growth, and show their inhibitory effect on the growth of both apicomplexa, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii. Treatment of P. falciparum cultures with the gibberellin biosynthetic inhibitors resulted in marked morphological changes that can be reversed to a certain degree under hyperosmotic environment. These unique observations suggest that changes in the parasite membrane permeability may explain the pleiotropic effects observed within the intracellular parasites.

  7. HUMAN PARASITE SURVEY ON NASI AND BERAS ISLANDS ACEH PROVINCE, SUMATRA

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    E. E. Stafford

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Survey parasit usus dan darah manusia terhadap penduduk pulau-pulau Nasi/Beras Propinsi Aceh, Sumatra, telah diadakan dihulan Januari, 1975. Sebanyak 83 pulasan darah dari 67 pria dan 16 wanita, serta 87 contoh tinja diperoleh dari 52 pria dan 35 wanita. Brugia malayi microfilaria ditemukan dalam 3 atau 3 persen dari darah yang diperiksa dan juga parasitemia yang disebabkan oleh Plasmodium malariae 1 atau 1 persen dan P. falciparum 2 atau 2 persen. Trichuris trichiura (86 persen , merupakan parasit usus yang paling banyak ditemukan, diikuti oleh cacing tambang (77 persen, Ascaris lumbricoides (60 persen, Entamoeba histolyrica (11 per sen, H. coli (10 persen . Endolimax nana hanya 5 atau 6 persen dan Iodamoeba butschlii dan Giardia lamblia, masing-masing 3 persen. Tidak ada ditemukan Schistosoma japonicum atau pun ova cestoda diantara penduduk yang diperiksa.

  8. HUMAN PARASITE SURVEY ON NASI AND BERAS ISLANDS ACEH PROVINCE, SUMATRA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. Stafford

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Survey parasit usus dan darah manusia terhadap penduduk pulau-pulau Nasi/Beras Propinsi Aceh, Sumatra, telah diadakan dihulan Januari, 1975. Sebanyak 83 pulasan darah dari 67 pria dan 16 wanita, serta 87 contoh tinja diperoleh dari 52 pria dan 35 wanita. Brugia malayi microfilaria ditemukan dalam 3 atau 3 persen dari darah yang diperiksa dan juga parasitemia yang disebabkan oleh Plasmodium malariae 1 atau 1 persen dan P. falciparum 2 atau 2 persen. Trichuris trichiura (86 persen , merupakan parasit usus yang paling banyak ditemukan, diikuti oleh cacing tambang (77 persen, Ascaris lumbricoides (60 persen, Entamoeba histolyrica (11 per sen, H. coli (10 persen . Endolimax nana hanya 5 atau 6 persen dan Iodamoeba butschlii dan Giardia lamblia, masing-masing 3 persen. Tidak ada ditemukan Schistosoma japonicum atau pun ova cestoda diantara penduduk yang diperiksa.

  9. Helminth allergens, parasite-specific IgE and its protective role in human immunity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Human chronic chagasic cardiopathy: participation of parasite antigens, subsets of lymphocytes, cytokines and microvascular abnormalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria de Lourdes Higuchi

    1999-09-01

    Full Text Available This article tries to demonstrate by new pathological findings (with the use of immunohistochemical technique and confocal laser microscopy that chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy is a result of multiple factors involving myocarditis, immunodepression, severe fibrosis and microvessels dilatation and that all of these alterations are probably directly related with the presence of Trypanosoma cruzi parasites in the host associated with inadequate immunological response of the host.

  11. Helminth Allergens, Parasite-Specific IgE, and Its Protective Role in Human Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzsimmons, Colin Matthew; Falcone, Franco Harald; Dunne, David William

    2014-01-01

    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 s 3) 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.

  12. Novel amidines and analogues as promising agents against intracellular parasites: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeiro, M N C; Werbovetz, K; Boykin, D W; Wilson, W D; Wang, M Z; Hemphill, A

    2013-07-01

    Parasitic protozoa comprise diverse aetiological agents responsible for important diseases in humans and animals including sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, malaria, toxoplasmosis and others. They are major causes of mortality and morbidity in tropical and subtropical countries, and are also responsible for important economic losses. However, up to now, for most of these parasitic diseases, effective vaccines are lacking and the approved chemotherapeutic compounds present high toxicity, increasing resistance, limited efficacy and require long periods of treatment. Many of these parasitic illnesses predominantly affect low-income populations of developing countries for which new pharmaceutical alternatives are urgently needed. Thus, very low research funding is available. Amidine-containing compounds such as pentamidine are DNA minor groove binders with a broad spectrum of activities against human and veterinary pathogens. Due to their promising microbicidal activity but their rather poor bioavailability and high toxicity, many analogues and derivatives, including pro-drugs, have been synthesized and screened in vitro and in vivo in order to improve their selectivity and pharmacological properties. This review summarizes the knowledge on amidines and analogues with respect to their synthesis, pharmacological profile, mechanistic and biological effects upon a range of intracellular protozoan parasites. The bulk of these data may contribute to the future design and structure optimization of new aromatic dicationic compounds as novel antiparasitic drug candidates.

  13. Modulating the Gut Micro-Environment in the Treatment of Intestinal Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Vitetta

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The interactions of micro-organisms cohabitating with Homo sapiens spans millennia, with microbial communities living in a symbiotic relationship with the host. Interacting to regulate and maintain physiological functions and immunological tolerance, the microbial community is able to exert an influence on host health. An example of micro-organisms contributing to an intestinal disease state is exhibited by a biodiverse range of protozoan and bacterial species that damage the intestinal epithelia and are therefore implicated in the symptoms of diarrhea. As a contentious exemplar, Blastocystis hominis is a ubiquitous enteric protist that can adversely affect the intestines. The symptoms experienced are a consequence of the responses of the innate immune system triggered by the disruption of the intestinal barrier. The infiltration of the intestinal epithelial barrier involves a host of immune receptors, including toll like receptors and IgM/IgG/IgA antibodies as well as CD8+ T cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. Whilst the mechanisms of interactions between the intestinal microbiome and protozoan parasites remain incompletely understood, it is acknowledged that the intestinal microbiota is a key factor in the pathophysiology of parasitic infections. Modulating the intestinal environment through the administration of probiotics has been postulated as a possible therapeutic agent to control the proliferation of intestinal microbes through their capacity to induce competition for occupation of a common biotype. The ultimate goal of this mechanism is to prevent infections of the like of giardiasis and eliminate its symptoms. The differing types of probiotics (i.e., bacteria and yeast modulate immunity by stimulating the host immune system. Early animal studies support the potential benefits of probiotic administration to prevent intestinal infections, with human clinical studies showing probiotics can reduce the number of parasites and the severity

  14. Modulating the Gut Micro-Environment in the Treatment of Intestinal Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitetta, Luis; Saltzman, Emma Tali; Nikov, Tessa; Ibrahim, Isabelle; Hall, Sean

    2016-11-16

    The interactions of micro-organisms cohabitating with Homo sapiens spans millennia, with microbial communities living in a symbiotic relationship with the host. Interacting to regulate and maintain physiological functions and immunological tolerance, the microbial community is able to exert an influence on host health. An example of micro-organisms contributing to an intestinal disease state is exhibited by a biodiverse range of protozoan and bacterial species that damage the intestinal epithelia and are therefore implicated in the symptoms of diarrhea. As a contentious exemplar, Blastocystis hominis is a ubiquitous enteric protist that can adversely affect the intestines. The symptoms experienced are a consequence of the responses of the innate immune system triggered by the disruption of the intestinal barrier. The infiltration of the intestinal epithelial barrier involves a host of immune receptors, including toll like receptors and IgM/IgG/IgA antibodies as well as CD8+ T cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. Whilst the mechanisms of interactions between the intestinal microbiome and protozoan parasites remain incompletely understood, it is acknowledged that the intestinal microbiota is a key factor in the pathophysiology of parasitic infections. Modulating the intestinal environment through the administration of probiotics has been postulated as a possible therapeutic agent to control the proliferation of intestinal microbes through their capacity to induce competition for occupation of a common biotype. The ultimate goal of this mechanism is to prevent infections of the like of giardiasis and eliminate its symptoms. The differing types of probiotics (i.e., bacteria and yeast) modulate immunity by stimulating the host immune system. Early animal studies support the potential benefits of probiotic administration to prevent intestinal infections, with human clinical studies showing probiotics can reduce the number of parasites and the severity of symptoms. The

  15. Parasitic diseases of zoonotic importance in humans of northeast India, with special reference to ocular involvement

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    Das D

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Dipankar Das,1 Saidul Islam,2 Harsha Bhattacharjee,1 Angshuman Deka,1 Dinakumar Yambem,1 Prerana Sushil Tahiliani,1 Panna Deka,1 Pankaj Bhattacharyya,1 Satyen Deka,1 Kalyan Das,1 Gayatri Bharali,1 Apurba Deka,1 Rajashree Paul1 1Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya, Guwahati, 2Department of Parasitology, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Guwahati, Assam, India Abstract: Parasitic zoonotic diseases are prevalent in India, including the northeastern states. Proper epidemiological data are lacking from this part of the country on zoonotic parasitic diseases, and newer diseases are emerging in the current scenario. Systemic manifestation of such diseases as cysticercosis, paragonimiasis, hydatidosis, and toxoplasmosis are fairly common. The incidence of acquired toxoplasmal infection is showing an increasing trend in association with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Among the ocular parasitic diseases, toxoplasmosis, cysticercosis, toxocariasis, dirofilariasis, gnathostomiasis, hydatidosis, amebiasis, giardiasis, etc, are the real problems that are seen in this subset of the population. Therefore, proper coordination between various medical specialities, including veterinary science and other governing bodies, is needed for better and more effective strategic planning to control zoonoses. Keywords: zoonoses, regional infections, toxoplasmosis, cysticercosis, toxocariasis, hydatidosis 

  16. Human parasites in the Roman World: health consequences of conquering an empire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Construction of a human functional single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibody recognizing the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wajanarogana, Sumet; Prasomrothanakul, Teerawat; Udomsangpetch, Rachanee; Tungpradabkul, Sumalee

    2006-04-01

    Falciparum malaria is one of the most deadly and profound human health problems around the tropical world. Antimalarial drugs are now considered to be a powerful treatment; however, there are drugs currently being used that are resistant to Plasmodium falciparum parasites spreading in different parts of the world. Although the protective immune response against intraerythrocytic stages of the falciparum malaria parasite is still not fully understood, immune antibodies have been shown to be associated with reduced parasite prevalence. Therefore antibodies of the right specificity present in adequate concentrations and affinity are reasonably effective in providing protection. In the present study, VH (variable domain of heavy chain) and VL (variable domain of light chain) were isolated from human blood lymphocytes of P. falciparum in one person who had high serum titre to RESA (ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen). Equal amounts of VH and VL were assembled together with universal linker (G4S)3 to generate scFvs (single-chain variable fragments). The scFv antibodies were expressed with a phage system for the selection process. Exclusively, an expressed scFv against asynchronous culture of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes was selected and characterized. Sequence analysis of selected scFv revealed that this clone could be classified into a VH family-derived germline gene (VH1) and Vkappa family segment (Vkappa1). Using an indirect immunofluorescence assay, we could show that soluble expressed scFv reacted with falciparum-infected erythrocytes. The results encourage the further study of scFvs for development as a potential immunotherapeutic agent.

  18. Efficient in vitro RNA interference and immunofluorescence-based phenotype analysis in a human parasitic nematode, Brugia malayi

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    Landmann Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background RNA interference (RNAi is an efficient reverse genetics technique for investigating gene function in eukaryotes. The method has been widely used in model organisms, such as the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, where it has been deployed in genome-wide high throughput screens to identify genes involved in many cellular and developmental processes. However, RNAi techniques have not translated efficiently to animal parasitic nematodes that afflict humans, livestock and companion animals across the globe, creating a dependency on data tentatively inferred from C. elegans. Results We report improved and effective in vitro RNAi procedures we have developed using heterogeneous short interfering RNA (hsiRNA mixtures that when coupled with optimized immunostaining techniques yield detailed analysis of cytological defects in the human parasitic nematode, Brugia malayi. The cellular disorganization observed in B. malayi embryos following RNAi targeting the genes encoding γ-tubulin, and the polarity determinant protein, PAR-1, faithfully phenocopy the known defects associated with gene silencing of their C. elegans orthologs. Targeting the B. malayi cell junction protein, AJM-1 gave a similar but more severe phenotype than that observed in C. elegans. Cellular phenotypes induced by our in vitro RNAi procedure can be observed by immunofluorescence in as little as one week. Conclusions We observed cytological defects following RNAi targeting all seven B. malayi transcripts tested and the phenotypes mirror those documented for orthologous genes in the model organism C. elegans. This highlights the reliability, effectiveness and specificity of our RNAi and immunostaining procedures. We anticipate that these techniques will be widely applicable to other important animal parasitic nematodes, which have hitherto been mostly refractory to such genetic analysis.

  19. Survival strategies of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum

    OpenAIRE

    Ramya, TNC; Surolia, Namita; Surolia, Avadhesha

    2002-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, the protozoan parasite causing falciparum malaria, is undoubtedly highly versatile when it comes to survival and defence strategies. Strategies adopted by the asexual blood stages of Plasmodium range from unique pathways of nutrient uptake to immune evasion strategies and multiple drug resistance. Studying the survival strategies of Plasmodium could help us envisage strategies of tackling one of the worst scourges of mankind.

  20. AIDS - associated parasitic diarrhoea

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    Arora D

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the advent of human immunodeficiency virus infection, with its profound and progressive effect on the cellular immune system, a group of human opportunistic pathogens has come into prominence. Opportunistic parasitic infection can cause severe morbidity and mortality. Because many of these infections are treatable, an early and accurate diagnosis is important. This can be accomplished by a variety of methods such as direct demonstration of parasites and by serological tests to detect antigen and/or specific antibodies. However, antibody response may be poor in these patients and therefore immunodiagnostic tests have to be interpreted with caution. Cryptosporidium parvum , Isospora belli , Cyclospora cayetanensis , Microsporidia, Entamoeba histolytica and Strongyloides stercoralis are the commonly detected parasites. Detection of these parasites will help in proper management of these patients because drugs are available for most of these parasitic infections.

  1. Probability of Transmission of Malaria from Mosquito to Human Is Regulated by Mosquito Parasite Density in Naïve and Vaccinated Hosts.

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    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.

  2. Probability of Transmission of Malaria from Mosquito to Human Is Regulated by Mosquito Parasite Density in Naïve and Vaccinated Hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinden, Robert E.; Poulton, Ian D.; Griffin, Jamie T.; Upton, Leanna M.; Sala, Katarzyna A.; Angrisano, Fiona; Hill, Adrian V. S.; Blagborough, Andrew M.

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28081253

  3. Newly incriminated anopheline vectors of human malaria parasites in Junin Department, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, J; Calderon, G; Falcon, R; Zambrano, V

    1987-09-01

    Sporozoite data from salivary gland dissections are presented that clearly incriminate Anopheles trinkae, An. pseudopunctipennis, An. sp. near fluminensis, An. oswaldoi, An. nuneztovari and An. rangeli as vectors of malaria parasites in the Rio Ene Valley, a hyperendemic malarious area in Junin Department, eastern Peru. Anopheles trinkae is considered the most important vector based on dissections, abundance and man-vector contact. Other notes are presented on the relative abundance, bionomics and previous records of these species in Peru and in the study sites.

  4. 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.

  5. Parasites: Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Tropical Diseases Laboratory Diagnostic Assistance [DPDx] 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 ...

  6. Transgenic Analysis of the Leishmania MAP Kinase MPK10 Reveals an Auto-inhibitory Mechanism Crucial for Stage-Regulated Activity and Parasite Viability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cayla, M.; Rachidi, N.; Leclercq, O.;

    2014-01-01

    Protozoan pathogens of the genus Leishmania have evolved unique signaling mechanisms that can sense changes in the host environment and trigger adaptive stage differentiation essential for host cell infection. The signaling mechanisms underlying parasite development remain largely elusive even th...

  7. A transcriptional switch underlies commitment to sexual development in malaria parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafsack, Björn F C; Rovira-Graells, Núria; Clark, Taane G; Bancells, Cristina; Crowley, Valerie M; Campino, Susana G; Williams, April E; Drought, Laura G; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Baker, David A; Cortés, Alfred; Llinás, Manuel

    2014-03-13

    The life cycles of many parasites involve transitions between disparate host species, requiring these parasites to go through multiple developmental stages adapted to each of these specialized niches. Transmission of malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) from humans to the mosquito vector requires differentiation from asexual stages replicating within red blood cells into non-dividing male and female gametocytes. Although gametocytes were first described in 1880, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in commitment to gametocyte formation is extremely limited, and disrupting this critical developmental transition remains a long-standing goal. Here we show that expression levels of the DNA-binding protein PfAP2-G correlate strongly with levels of gametocyte formation. Using independent forward and reverse genetics approaches, we demonstrate that PfAP2-G function is essential for parasite sexual differentiation. By combining genome-wide PfAP2-G cognate motif occurrence with global transcriptional changes resulting from PfAP2-G ablation, we identify early gametocyte genes as probable targets of PfAP2-G and show that their regulation by PfAP2-G is critical for their wild-type level expression. In the asexual blood-stage parasites pfap2-g appears to be among a set of epigenetically silenced loci prone to spontaneous activation. Stochastic activation presents a simple mechanism for a low baseline of gametocyte production. Overall, these findings identify PfAP2-G as a master regulator of sexual-stage development in malaria parasites and mark the first discovery of a transcriptional switch controlling a differentiation decision in protozoan parasites.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M El Bakkouri; A Pow; A Mulichak; K Cheung; J Artz; M Amani; S Fell; T de Koning-Ward; C Goodman; et al.

    2011-12-31

    The Clpchaperones 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 Clpchaperones and proteases in the humanmalariaparasitePlasmodiumfalciparum. 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 Clpchaperones 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Within-host competition and drug resistance in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushman, Mary; Morton, Lindsay; Duah, Nancy; Quashie, Neils; Abuaku, Benjamin; Koram, Kwadwo A; Dimbu, Pedro Rafael; Plucinski, Mateusz; Gutman, Julie; Lyaruu, Peter; Kachur, S Patrick; de Roode, Jacobus C; Udhayakumar, Venkatachalam

    2016-03-16

    Infections with the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum typically comprise multiple strains, especially in high-transmission areas where infectious mosquito bites occur frequently. However, little is known about the dynamics of mixed-strain infections, particularly whether strains sharing a host compete or grow independently. Competition between drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains, if it occurs, could be a crucial determinant of the spread of resistance. We analysed 1341 P. falciparum infections in children from Angola, Ghana and Tanzania and found compelling evidence for competition in mixed-strain infections: overall parasite density did not increase with additional strains, and densities of individual chloroquine-sensitive (CQS) and chloroquine-resistant (CQR) strains were reduced in the presence of competitors. We also found that CQR strains exhibited low densities compared with CQS strains (in the absence of chloroquine), which may underlie observed declines of chloroquine resistance in many countries following retirement of chloroquine as a first-line therapy. Our observations support a key role for within-host competition in the evolution of drug-resistant malaria. Malaria control and resistance-management efforts in high-transmission regions may be significantly aided or hindered by the effects of competition in mixed-strain infections. Consideration of within-host dynamics may spur development of novel strategies to minimize resistance while maximizing the benefits of control measures.

  11. Off the hook - how bacteria survive protozoan grazing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matz, Carsten; Kjelleberg, S.

    2005-01-01

    Bacterial growth and survival in numerous environments are constrained by the action of bacteria-consuming protozoa. Recent findings suggest that bacterial adaptations against protozoan predation might have a significant role in bacterial persistence and diversification. We argue that selective...

  12. Factors Associated with High Prevalence of Intestinal Protozoan Infections among Patients in Sana'a City, Yemen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alyousefi, Naelah A.; Mahdy, Mohammed A. K.; Mahmud, Rohela; Lim, Yvonne A. L.

    2011-01-01

    Background Intestinal protozoan diseases in Yemen are a significant health problem with prevalence ranging from 18% to 27%. The present study is a cross-sectional study aimed at determining the factors associated with the high prevalence of intestinal protozoan infections among patients seeking health care in Sana'a City, the capital of Yemen. Methodology/Principal Findings Stool samples were collected from 503 patients aged between 1 and 80 years old; 219 were males and 284 females. Biodata were collected via pretested standard questionnaire. Faecal samples were processed and examined for (oo)cysts or ova using a wet mount preparation after formal-ether concentration technique. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected using the Ziehl-Neelsen staining technique. The overall prevalence of intestinal protozoan infections was 30.9%. Infection rates of Giardia duodenalis, Entamoeba histolytica/dispar and Cryptosporidium were 17.7%, 17.1% and 1%, respectively. Other parasites detected included Ascaris lumbricoides (2.4%), Schistosoma mansoni (0.3%), Hymenolepis nana (1.4%) and Enterobius vermicularis (0.4%). Multivariate analysis using forward stepwise logistic regression based on intestinal protozoan infections showed that contact with animals (OR = 1.748, 95% CI = 1.168–2.617) and taking bath less than twice a week (OR = 1.820, 95% CI = 1.192–2.779) were significant risk factors of protozoan infections. Conclusions/Significance This present study indicated that intestinal protozoan infections are still a public health problem in Yemen, with Giardia and Entamoeba infections being most common. Statistical analysis indicated that low personal hygiene and contact with animals were important predictors for intestinal protozoan infections. As highlighted in this study, in order to effectively reduce these infections, a multi-sectoral effort is needed. Preventive measures should include good hygienic practices, good animal husbandry practices, heightened

  13. Factors associated with high prevalence of intestinal protozoan infections among patients in Sana'a City, Yemen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naelah A Alyousefi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Intestinal protozoan diseases in Yemen are a significant health problem with prevalence ranging from 18% to 27%. The present study is a cross-sectional study aimed at determining the factors associated with the high prevalence of intestinal protozoan infections among patients seeking health care in Sana'a City, the capital of Yemen. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Stool samples were collected from 503 patients aged between 1 and 80 years old; 219 were males and 284 females. Biodata were collected via pretested standard questionnaire. Faecal samples were processed and examined for (oocysts or ova using a wet mount preparation after formal-ether concentration technique. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected using the Ziehl-Neelsen staining technique. The overall prevalence of intestinal protozoan infections was 30.9%. Infection rates of Giardia duodenalis, Entamoeba histolytica/dispar and Cryptosporidium were 17.7%, 17.1% and 1%, respectively. Other parasites detected included Ascaris lumbricoides (2.4%, Schistosoma mansoni (0.3%, Hymenolepis nana (1.4% and Enterobius vermicularis (0.4%. Multivariate analysis using forward stepwise logistic regression based on intestinal protozoan infections showed that contact with animals (OR = 1.748, 95% CI = 1.168-2.617 and taking bath less than twice a week (OR = 1.820, 95% CI = 1.192-2.779 were significant risk factors of protozoan infections. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This present study indicated that intestinal protozoan infections are still a public health problem in Yemen, with Giardia and Entamoeba infections being most common. Statistical analysis indicated that low personal hygiene and contact with animals were important predictors for intestinal protozoan infections. As highlighted in this study, in order to effectively reduce these infections, a multi-sectoral effort is needed. Preventive measures should include good hygienic practices, good animal husbandry practices, heightened

  14. The streamlined genome of Phytomonas spp. relative to human pathogenic kinetoplastids reveals a parasite tailored for plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porcel, Betina M; Denoeud, France; Opperdoes, Fred; Noel, Benjamin; Madoui, Mohammed-Amine; Hammarton, Tansy C; Field, Mark C; Da Silva, Corinne; Couloux, Arnaud; Poulain, Julie; Katinka, Michael; Jabbari, Kamel; Aury, Jean-Marc; Campbell, David A; Cintron, Roxana; Dickens, Nicholas J; Docampo, Roberto; Sturm, Nancy R; Koumandou, V Lila; Fabre, Sandrine; Flegontov, Pavel; Lukeš, Julius; Michaeli, Shulamit; Mottram, Jeremy C; Szöőr, Balázs; Zilberstein, Dan; Bringaud, Frédéric; Wincker, Patrick; Dollet, Michel

    2014-02-01

    Members of the family Trypanosomatidae infect many organisms, including animals, plants and humans. Plant-infecting trypanosomes are grouped under the single genus Phytomonas, failing to reflect the wide biological and pathological diversity of these protists. While some Phytomonas spp. multiply in the latex of plants, or in fruit or seeds without apparent pathogenicity, others colonize the phloem sap and afflict plants of substantial economic value, including the coffee tree, coconut and oil palms. Plant trypanosomes have not been studied extensively at the genome level, a major gap in understanding and controlling pathogenesis. We describe the genome sequences of two plant trypanosomatids, one pathogenic isolate from a Guianan coconut and one non-symptomatic isolate from Euphorbia collected in France. Although these parasites have extremely distinct pathogenic impacts, very few genes are unique to either, with the vast majority of genes shared by both isolates. Significantly, both Phytomonas spp. genomes consist essentially of single copy genes for the bulk of their metabolic enzymes, whereas other trypanosomatids e.g. Leishmania and Trypanosoma possess multiple paralogous genes or families. Indeed, comparison with other trypanosomatid genomes revealed a highly streamlined genome, encoding for a minimized metabolic system while conserving the major pathways, and with retention of a full complement of endomembrane organelles, but with no evidence for functional complexity. Identification of the metabolic genes of Phytomonas provides opportunities for establishing in vitro culturing of these fastidious parasites and new tools for the control of agricultural plant disease.

  15. The streamlined genome of Phytomonas spp. relative to human pathogenic kinetoplastids reveals a parasite tailored for plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Betina M Porcel

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Members of the family Trypanosomatidae infect many organisms, including animals, plants and humans. Plant-infecting trypanosomes are grouped under the single genus Phytomonas, failing to reflect the wide biological and pathological diversity of these protists. While some Phytomonas spp. multiply in the latex of plants, or in fruit or seeds without apparent pathogenicity, others colonize the phloem sap and afflict plants of substantial economic value, including the coffee tree, coconut and oil palms. Plant trypanosomes have not been studied extensively at the genome level, a major gap in understanding and controlling pathogenesis. We describe the genome sequences of two plant trypanosomatids, one pathogenic isolate from a Guianan coconut and one non-symptomatic isolate from Euphorbia collected in France. Although these parasites have extremely distinct pathogenic impacts, very few genes are unique to either, with the vast majority of genes shared by both isolates. Significantly, both Phytomonas spp. genomes consist essentially of single copy genes for the bulk of their metabolic enzymes, whereas other trypanosomatids e.g. Leishmania and Trypanosoma possess multiple paralogous genes or families. Indeed, comparison with other trypanosomatid genomes revealed a highly streamlined genome, encoding for a minimized metabolic system while conserving the major pathways, and with retention of a full complement of endomembrane organelles, but with no evidence for functional complexity. Identification of the metabolic genes of Phytomonas provides opportunities for establishing in vitro culturing of these fastidious parasites and new tools for the control of agricultural plant disease.

  16. 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

  17. The mechanism of killing and exiting the protozoan host Acanthamoeba polyphaga by Legionella pneumophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, L Y; Kwaik, Y A

    2000-02-01

    The ability of Legionella pneumophila to cause legionnaires' disease is dependent on its capacity to replicate within cells in the alveolar spaces. The bacteria kill mammalian cells in two phases: induction of apoptosis during the early stages of infection, followed by an independent and rapid necrosis during later stages of the infection, mediated by a pore-forming activity. In the environment, L. pneumophila is a parasite of protozoa. The molecular mechanisms by which L. pneumophila kills the protozoan cells, after their exploitation for intracellular proliferation, are not known. In an effort to decipher these mechanisms, we have examined induction of both apoptosis and necrosis in the protozoan Acanthamoeba polyphaga upon infection by L. pneumophila. Our data show that, although A. polyphaga undergoes apoptosis following treatment with actinomycin D, L. pneumophila does not induce apoptosis in these cells. Instead, intracellular L. pneumophila induces necrotic death in A. polyphaga, which is mediated by the pore-forming activity. Mutants of L. pneumophila defective in expression of the pore-forming activity are indistinguishable from the parental strain in intracellular replication within A. polyphaga. The parental strain bacteria cause necrosis-mediated lysis of all the A. polyphaga cells within 48 h after infection, and all the intracellular bacteria are released into the tissue culture medium. In contrast, all cells infected by the mutants remain intact, and the intracellular bacteria are 'trapped' within A. polyphaga after the termination of intracellular replication. Failure to exit the host cell after termination of intracellular replication results in a gradual decline in the viability of the mutant strain bacteria within A. polyphaga starting 48h after infection. Our data show that the pore-forming activity of L. pneumophila is not required for intracellular bacterial replication within A. polyphaga but is required for killing and exiting the protozoan

  18. 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

  19. Prevalence of zoonotic intestinal parasites in household and stray dogs in rural areas of Hamadan, Western Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardarian, K; Maghsood, A H; Ghiasian, S A; Zahirnia, A H

    2015-06-01

    Zoonotic parasitic infections are a major global public and veterinary health problem and widespread among dogs. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of intestinal parasites in stray and household dogs in the rural areas of Hamadan district. During 2012, 1,500 fresh fecal samples from 243 household and 1,257 stray dogs were examined by using direct wet mount, simple zinc sulfate flotation, and Lugol's solution staining. Of 1,500 dogs, 20.4% were positive for intestinal parasites. Helminthes eggs were more frequently found in fecal samples than protozoan cysts or trophozoites (15.9% vs. 4.5%, respectively). Toxocara canis was the most frequently detected parasite, with a prevalence of 6.3%, followed by Taenia/Echinococcus spp. (2.9%), Isospora spp. (2.7%), and Toxascaris leonina (2.6%). Helminthes and protozoa were significantly more prevalent in household dogs than in stray dogs (Pparasites indicated that people residing in this area are at risk of exposure to these potentially hazardous zoonotic pathogens. Mass education of the general population is highly recommended to increase awareness of the potential for horizontal transmission of these parasitic infections from dogs to humans.

  20. Human cysticercosis and taeniasis: molecular approaches for specific diagnosis and parasite identification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McManus, D P; Garcia-Zepeda, E; Reid, A; Rishi, A K; Flisser, A

    1989-01-01

    The construction and antibody screening of Taenia solium cDNA libraries, generated in the Escherichia coli bacteriophage lambda gt11, with the identification of clones putatively expressing antigen B, T. solium-specific and other antigens is described. Lysogens were produced from a number of selected clones a